While Drew Gulak gets his shot at the Cruiserweight Championship, Mustafa Ali and Hideo Itami look to settle their own differences in 1v1 action tonight!
- Lucha House Party w/ Gran Metalik VS Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy; Nese & Murphy win.
- Noam Dar VS Sean Maluta; Dar wins.
- Hideo Itami VS Mustafa Ali; Itami wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick promises a “combustible” night!
Two heated rivalries continue to turn it up in first-ever matches. Kalisto & Lince Dorado represent Lucha House Party as they go up against the muscular Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy after another post-match altercation from last week. Will speed or strength win out in tag team action?
Then, the main event has the first-ever singles encounter between the Beacon of Light and the Don from Nihon. Hideo Itami has constantly cost Mustafa Ali his chance at the Cruiserweight Championship. From interfering in a match with Buddy Murphy to a Triple Threat to the Fatal 4 Way two weeks ago, Itami has been a thorn in Ali’s side. Can Ali get back at the Innovator of the GTS? Or will the Heart of 205 Live be made to #GoToSleep?
Lucha House Party w/ Gran Metalik VS Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy!
The Golden Lynx and Lucha Dragon have the King of the Ropes by their side once again, but he has to watch as they take on the Premier Athlete and Australian Antagonist in 2v2 action. Who will win this first ever tag team showdown?
The bell rings and Murphy starts against Lince. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up already as Murphy and Lince tie up. Murphy tosses Lince at the muscle corner, but Lince slips away with agility. Murphy lunges at Lince but Lince slips away again. But Lince finds himself cornered, so he sunset flips over Murphy. Murphy denies that and drags Lince up, but Lince chops him. It does nothing, so Lince hits Nese. Murphy gives Lince a big knee strike! Murphy drags Lince up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Nese and Nese stomps a muscular mudhole into Lince. Nese taunts the Lucha dance, then whips Lince. Lince kicks back then throws Nese with headscissors. He adds a dropkick, and the matracas sound off. Nese tags to Murphy, but Kalisto tags in.
Kalisto gets a standing switch and clubs away on Murphy, but Murphy wrenches the arm. Murphy whips but Kalisto dodges to tilt-o-whirl! Murphy denies the DDT with power, but Kalisto slips out of the suplex. Kalisto pushes Murphy, then rolls him for the Listo Kick! Kalisto runs, Spike-Rana! Cover, TWO! The “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up while Murphy rolls to ropes. Murphy shoves Kalisto away and tags to Nese. Murphy puts Kalisto on the apron, but Kalisto swing kicks Murphy down. He doesn’t realize Nese is legal, until Nese trips him off the apron! Kalisto goes down hard, but Nese puts Kalisto up and in. Cover, ONE, so Nese clubs Kalisto with crossface forearms. Nese pulls back on Kalisto with a partial camel clutch.
Fans rally up and the matracas make noise, but Nese puts Kalisto in the corner. Tag to Murphy and they stomp away on Kalisto. Murphy brings Kalisto out for a swift elbow strike. Tag to Nese, but Kalisto fights out. Murphy keeps Kalisto from his corner, then tosses him to the mat. Nese triangle jump moonsaults in! Cover, TWO! Nese grows annoyed, but he embraces the heat as he trash talks lucha libre. He drags Kalisto up, whips, and runs Kalisto over with a back elbow. Cover, TWO! Nese drags Kalisto over and tags in Murphy. Murphy stomps Kalisto out, then kicks him in the back. Murphy drops a knee, then taunts Lince. Cover, ONE, but Murphy is on him with a chinlock.
Murphy grinds Kalisto to the mat, but fans rally up with Metalik’s matraca. Kalisto feeds off the energy, but they spin around and around until Murphy brings him back down. The rally from the fans continues, and Kalisto works his way out of Murphy’s hold. Kalisto gets free with the jawbreaker! He kicks Murphy away and crawls to the apron. Nese rushes over but Kalisto kicks him away. Kalisto kicks Murphy, too, then slingshots over for a sunset flip! TWO! Kalisto crawls but Nese comes in. Nese is thrown out, but he trips Lince off the apron! Murphy deadlifts and German Suplexes! Bridging cover, TWO! Murphy grows frustrated, but he brings Kalisto up. Tag to Nese, and they both lift Kalisto. Kalisto escapes, but Nese grabs a leg. Kalisto shoves Nese into Murphy! Hot tag to Lince!
Lince climbs up and flies with a crossbody! He gets both men, then rallies on them with forearms and chops. Lince enziguris Murphy, then heel kicks Nese! He dropsaults with Murphy to land on Nese! Cover, TWO! “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up, but Lince runs into Nese’s elbow. Nese suplexes but Lince slips out to SUPERKICK him down! Nese ends up in a corner, so Lince runs in for a bronco buster! Lince rolls Nese up and around, dragon sleeper to Saving Grace! Cover, but Murphy breaks it! Murphy rocks Kalisto with a forearm, then glares at Lince. Lince glares back, but he gets attacked by Nese from behind. The muscle men double whip, but Lince springboards back for a DOUBLE Golden Rewind! Tag to Kalisto, and Lucha House Party takes aim. They build speed and FLY! They get both Murphy and Nese, and the fans are fired up.
Lince & Kalisto put Murphy & Nese in the ring. They bring both men up, but Murphy pushes Lince out of the ring! Kalisto dumps Murphy out, then hits Nese. Kalisto lifts off but Nese pushes him off. Nese pushes Kalisto but gets a boot. Nese distracts Kalisto, Murphy trips Kalisto up! Kalisto shouts at Murphy, but gets rolled up by Nese! Nese & Murphy win!
Winners: Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy, Nese pinning
The duo with brawn proves they also have brain as they outsmart Lucha House Party. This may have been the first tag team encounter, but which side will win the last?
Mustafa Ali gave a medical update via Twitter.
After the damage he took during that Fatal 4 Way, Ali had to be hospitalized over night. But as he told the WWE Universe, “Fear not, I always kick out at 2.” The Heart of 205 Live is still beating even after taking a beating, will he return the favor to Itami later tonight?
Speaking of, Mustafa Ali prepares backstage.
Drake Maverick checks in on him. How’s he feeling? “I feel great, boss.” Ali just saw the doctor, and the doctor says Ali is ready to go. Yes, but that’s the same doctor who told Maverick about Ali’s hospital stay, and who believes Ali is “overdoing it.” Ali appreciates the concern, but that Fatal 4 Way was a speed bump. Ali is back, and is not going to give up this chance at Itami. Maverick understands, and appreciates Ali’s heart. Ali has nothing to prove. Then worry about Itami more. Ali’s got this. Is the Heart of 205 Live listening too much to his heart instead of his head?
Elsewhere, Hideo Itami has a message for Mustafa Ali.
He says it in Japanese first, then translates to English. “You should have shown me respect.” Will Ali show the respect Itami demands? Will Itami show Ali mercy if he doesn’t?
WWE and 205 Live take a closer look at Noam Dar.
The Scottish Supernova and the youngest Cruiserweight in the Division at just 24 years old, the Scottish-Israeli star was riding high, until a Fatal 4 Way on Monday Night Raw 10 months ago resulted in a torn meniscus. Dar realized just how easily something can be taken away. It was a reality check that made Dar step up his game. Dar has worked harder than he’s ever worked before, and completely rewired his way of thinking. His return match was a shocker, but his second match back, TJP would go after that injured leg. Dar let TJP use that to get in his head. That won’t happen again. The Supernova will show everyone why he’s the real star of the Cruiserweight Division. And he’ll do that, up next!
Noam Dar VS Sean Maluta!
We’ve seen what the Supernova has been through, and we’ve learned what he’s done to get back. He’s only been back a month, and has already had his ups and downs. Will Dar have another up going against a fellow Cruiserweight Classic competitor?
The bell rings and Dar circles with Maluta. They tie up, and Dar puts Maluta in a corner. Dar lets Maluta out, then gets him in a headlock. Maluta fights back then powers out. Dar runs Maluta over, then things speed up. Dar stops to waistlock, but Maluta grabs ropes. The ref counts and Dar lets go. Maluta sucker kicks Dar low, then runs. His boot misses, but he blocks Dar’s kick. Maluta knees the bad leg, then dropkicks it out! Maluta shows no mercy, but Dar shows no quit. He throws forearms from both sides, but gets a kick to the back of the knee. Maluta whips, but Dar reverses. Dar ducks and Maluta hits mat! Dar gives throat chops, a headbutt and an uppercut! He runs in corner to corner while TJP watches backstage.
Dar hits Maluta with the back shoulder, then reels Maluta in for a Northern Lights suplex! TJP is apparently not impressed. TJP checks his phone while Dar takes aim at Maluta. Dar sweeps Maluta’s legs, then takes aim again. He runs out, Rolla Nova! Cover, Dar wins!
Winner: Noam Dar, by pinfall
Dar toughs it out and gets the win. His knee is doing good, will it become more of a concern as more matches come his way?
Cedric Alexander speaks.
The Soul of 205 Live is “not surprised” by the actions Drew Gulak and his Ungentlemanly Alliance took last week. Jack Gallagher coming out of nowhere when THE Brian Kendrick didn’t get the job done. For all of Gulak’s talk, Gulak knows that 1v1 with Alexander, “you can’t beat me.” Alexander will remind Gulak of that personally at Summerslam. But if Gallagher’s willing, Alexander’s also up for proving it to him personally, next week.
Drew Gulak responds.
“If a match against Jack Gallagher a mere five days before our encounter at Summerslam” is what the champion wants, then challenge accepted. Gulak will focus on the bigger picture. Summerslam season finds the Cruiserweight Division at a crossroads. Will they be represented by a champion that’s all flash? Or by a champion who is steadfast in his beliefs that the Cruiserweight Division is “the last true bastion of pure wrestling in WWE today”? Only one of them can create a #Better205Live. Gulak doesn’t need someone to do his dirty work, his plan is simple. Alexander, “you will tap out.” What state will the Extraordinary Man be handing the Soul of 205 Live over to the Philly Stretcher?
Hideo Itami VS Mustafa Ali!
The Japanese legend shows no respect, yet demands everyone show some to him. As for the Chicago inspiration, he shows respect until he isn’t shown any back. Is Ali’s “overdoing it” going to come back to bite him against the sadistic striker? Or perhaps he’ll fly high over Itami to earn himself what really matters: a title match.
The bell rings, and Itami tests the waters with kicks, but Ali keeps his distance. Ali gets under one to get a leg pick, only to get pushed away. They both stand, Ali gets a headlock. Itami pulls hair to then power out. Ali goes up and over, narrowly avoiding Itami’s boot. They go again, Ali gets another takedown but Itami shoves him away again. Itami runs at Ali in a corner, but Ali goes up and over again. Ali ducks another boot to give a dropkick! Ali rains down rights to take out his frustration. He brings Itami up, ducks a backhand, then gets a headlock. Itami powers out, but things speed up. Ali handsprings past the kick, to then block another kick to give a kick! Itami rolls out of the ring, but Ali builds speed. Ali FLIES for a powerful collision!
It wasn’t the best landing for Ali, but he stands up. Ali puts Itami into the ring, then climbs up top. He leaps for a big crossbody. Cover, ONE! Fans fire up, but that back is bugging him. Itami kicks low, then drags Ali up. He kicks Ali to ropes, then stands on his head. Itami pushes Ali into the bottom rope, shouting “Respect me!” Ali punches Itami, then throws forearms. Itami knees low then whips Ali. Ali kicks Itami back, then runs, only to be sent out. Ali drags Itami out to join him, and chops him against the apron. Itami retaliates with a kick, but Ali chops back. Itami kicks, and kicks, and kicks! Ali is on the ground, the count is at 7. Itami refreshes the count, to go back at Ali. He kicks Ali more, then demands more respect. Fans boo Itami but cheer Ali.
Both Ali and Itami end up on the apron, and Ali throws elbows. Itami returns the favor, and they brawl on the edge. Itami dropkicks Ali into a post! Ali hits it spine first, then falls to the floor. He writhes in pain, but refuses to quit. Itami riles up the fans by demanding still more respect. He looms over Ali, then brings him up. He bounces Ali off the apron, then kicks his face into the LED! Itami embraces the heat while the ref checks on Ali. They go back into the ring, and Itami covers. TWO, but this only irritates Itami. Itami toys with Ali more, kicking Ali while he’s down at the ropes. He grinds his boot into Ali, then whips. Itami flips Ali over with the kitchen sink knee. But instead of covering, Itami walks around Ali to soak in the heat. Now a cover, TWO.
Itami wraps Ali in a chinlock, grinding Ali to the mat. Ali refuses to quit, and the fans rally up for him. Ali powers up and fights back. Itami whips Ali into a corner, then flips him over with another kitchen sink knee. Fans boo the cocky Itami as he drags Ali up again. Itami swiftly kicks Ali in the back. He stands on Ali for a cover, TWO. Itami taunts Ali, so Ali hits him with forearms! Itami knees low again, then kicks Ali to the ropes. Then he kicks Ali at the ropes. Itami whips but Ali turns the knee itno a roll up, then a crucifix! TWO, but Ali chops Itami to a corner. Ali whips corner to corner but Itami reverses. Ali slides to a stop, then slips out to roundhouse Itami from the apron. Itami staggers, Ali slingshots in, but into a roundhouse! Cover, TWO!
Itami can’t believe that kick didn’t finish this. He drags Ali back up, fireman’s carry, but Ali fights out. Ali shoves Itami, then pursues for the flapjack dropkick. Fans rally up as Itami grits his teeth. Ali runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips Itami to a corner, but Itami reverses. Ali stops himself and hits another roundhouse, then another! Slingshot, X-Factor! Cover, TWO! Ali keeps his focus while fans rally up again. He brings Itami up, suplexes, but Itami slips out. Itami waistlocks, but Ali elbows out. Ali walks into a boot, but ducks to give a SUPERKICK to the back of Itami’s head! Yet Itami still gives Ali a backhand! Both men are down, but fans are fired up. The referee checks on both men, but they’re okay to continue. Both men crawl to corners and stand up.
Ali runs but into a waistlock. He bucks Itami off and boots him away. Ali runs, but his tilt-o-whirl is turned into a Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Itami is still shocked, but he won’t stop. Itami drags Ali up, and hoists him onto the top rope. He climbs up to join Ali, and demands respect one more time. Itami prepares a superplex but Ali resists. Ali throws Itami down, then adjusts for a sunset flip. Ali deadlifts to a sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Ali can’t believe it, but Itami survives. Both men slowly get up, and Itami yanks Ali into buckles. Then he yanks Ali back in dragon sleeper. Itami swings Ali around but Ali pushes Itami away. Itami kicks Ali, and tries again, but Ali pushes out again. Ali runs but into an overhead suplex into the corner! Itami, bleeding from the lip, covers, TWO!! He tries again, TWO!
Itami is beside himself. What does he have to do to win? Then he remembers the Fatal 4 Way, and the steel steps. He drags Ali over, positions Ali’s head, and backs up for a running start! Ali moves, the dropkick goes into steps! Ali climbs up, for a SUPER tornado DDT!! Fans are fired up as Ali drags the dead weight Itami into the ring. Ali keeps going as he climbs up top. He wants his imploding flip, but he’s really dizzy now. Ali steadies himself, but Itami trips him up! Ali ends up in the Tree of Woe, and Itami hits his hesitation dropkick! The referee wants Itami to stop, but he won’t! He hits a second dropkick! Then a THIRD! Ali comes loose of the Tree, and Itami covers, Itami wins!
Winner: Hideo Itami, by pinfall
There was no respect, and there was no mercy. Itami wins because Ali couldn’t finish it off. Will Itami get a second shot at the title after Summerslam? Ali stands, and starts to walk, but then collapses! The referee calls for back-up while checking on Ali. Maverick rushes out and calls for medics. Is the Heart of 205 Live’s body giving out on him?
Another great night for 205 Live and the Cruiserweights. The tag team match was a really good opener, and I was happily surprised to see Murphy & Nese win with some Heel tactics. This feud can continue on, but I’m still hoping that Cruiserweight Tag Team Division and titles gets going already. Make it something for Survivor Series, with teams like Kendrick & Gallagher and the Daivari Brothers. A Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Elimination Match, last team standing gets the titles. Nice video package for Noam Dar to establish himself as a Face, maybe a Face Tweener. Good to see Sean Maluta on 205 Live, I don’t know why they don’t just make him a full-time Cruiserweight. It’s not like he’s going anywhere in NXT right now. But Dar winning while TJP watches “ironically” because he doesn’t care, those two can still feud for some good matches.
Next week’s go-home sounds pretty good, with Alexander VS Gallagher to feed the title story, while the Lio Rush VS Akira Tozawa rematch keeps their story going. Gulak and Alexander have solid promo work, but next week’s match could determine the outcome of the title match. Then the main event, that was amazing action and story integration. There’s obviously kayfabe concern over Ali’s health, and it comes into play. I would hope they don’t make it about a concussion, that seems a bit controversial. But at the same time, without putting Ali into a continuing feud, perhaps an injury angle is what he needs for story depth.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mitchell’s WWE Stomping Grounds Results & Report! (6/23/19)
It’s time to kick ass and take names!
It’s the first-ever WWE Stomping Grounds event!
WWE debuts a brand-new PPV with a lot on the line! Who will Baron Corbin’s guest referee be? Who escapes a steel cage THE WWE World, Heavyweight, Champion?
- Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari; Gulak wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans; Lynch wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Owens & Zayn win.
- WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet; Ricochet wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery; The Planet’s Tag Team Champions win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Bayley wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre; wins.
- WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler; wins and
- WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee ???; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WWE Stomping Grounds Kickoff Show!
Join Jonathan Coachman, Charly Caruso, David Otunga and Booker T as they recap and prepare for all the action tonight in Tacoma!
Big E and Xavier Woods join the panel!
The New Day speak to the preparation of WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston, for tonight’s intense steel cage match with Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler might be watching, though, so they can’t give away any secrets about the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion. Big E guzzles down and drenches himself in water, because he’s thirsty for victory. As for Woods kicking Ziggler, Ziggler kicked him first, so things were even. Ziggler is a grown man, he got what he got. Then what does Kofi have to do to remain champion without them? “Coach, he don’t need us!” 11 years, Kofi doesn’t need The New Day. New Day will have Kofi’s back from the back.
Woods knows Coach knows players gotta get it done on their own. The New Day will do that to Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn when they “stomp their grounds.” Do better, Coach! But will all three men of the New Day be victorious tonight?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
Has the Lone Wolf found his special guest referee for tonight’s WWE Universal Championship? He’s had people knocking on his door all morning. But yes, he has picked his referee. And the guest ref is… a secret! Corbin will keep Seth Rollins on his toes until he’s pinned him on his back. What Rollins did this past week was sadistic and cowardly. At Super Showdown, the ref screwed up. At Stomping Grounds, Corbin vows to slay the Beastslayer and become the new WWE Universal Champion. Will Corbin’s ace in the hole go the way he hopes?
Ricochet joins the panel!
The One and Only challenges for the WWE United States Championship against Samoa Joe after winning a big Fatal 5 Way Elimination. Booker T gives Ricochet props for making it here, and Ricochet notes his whole journey has been amazing. How does he feel taking on one of the most dangerous men in the WWE today? Ricochet worked so hard and sacrificed so much to perfect his style, and he will not waste this opportunity. But Joe’s mean streak only proves he’s a bully. Ricochet will be in the fight for his life, and will force Joe to respect him.
But then Joe communicates via video chat! Don’t think for a second he isn’t listening! Respect? Ricochet’s been here for a cup of coffee and not a good one. Ricochet knows nothing about surviving and competing int he WWE. Joe will show Ricochet what he’s really won in that Fatal 5 Way. “Being amazing has never saved anyone from the beating I put on them.” Ricochet will sleep tight, but tonight is not his night. Ricochet says he’ll respond with actions, but will it be enough to get the gold?
The Planet’s Tag Team Champions address the WWE Universe.
At least, they would if the stage hands would get out of the way! Once the referees get clear, Daniel Bryan rants about the treatment of the tag team divisions! “That’s the kind of disrespect people have for the entire Tag Team Division.” It’s because of The New Day and Usos, who have amazing matches, treating the division like a joke! Swivel hips, throw pancakes, play practical jokes. But the Planet’s Tag Team Champions vow to SAVE this division from teams like Heavy Machinery. Tucker Knight, an All-American, Otis Dozovic, a Pan-American medalist, but they just talk about “having a great time.”
Can you imagine the poor example those two would set. It’s Idiocracy come to life! Tucker and Otis would make this all a giant joke! “We’re trying to save the tag team division from being a joke!” The entire world should be thanking them! But it’s not for them. It’s for an ideal. It is for the greater good of tag team wrestling, and the planet. “Blue Collar Solid is no match for champions fighting for the greater good.” Now keep refs out of his shot!
Shane McMahon smells something good.
It’s the smell of victory for Drew McIntyre against Roman Reigns. McIntyre tells Roman that he’s too emotional. The mere mention of his family and Roman freaks out. All McIntyre has ever done is tell the truth. The truth is, Roman’s family won’t recognize him and his children will scream in terror. If that upsets Roman, that’s on Roman. The truth hurts, but not as much as what McIntyre will do to him. Shane loves the intensity! But will he love the result of tonight’s grudge match?
Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari!
The Premier Athlete didn’t expect two challengers, but he welcomes the challenge! But will he be able to survive both the Philly Stretcher and the Stamina Monster? Or will one of them come away with the title, without even pinning or submitting the champ?
The introductinos are made, Nese repping the 205 Live brand all the way with his new gear. The belt is raised and we kick off the action!
Gulak dropkicks Nese right down! Tozawa goes at Gulak but Gulak throws him to a corner. Gulak runs into forearms from Nese. Nese gets Gulak in a corner and throws haymakers until Tozawa hurries back in. Tozawa throws haymakers on Nese but Nese elbows him back. Nese springs up but Tozaa gets under. Nese still lands on his feet! He also goes Matrix as Tozawa swings at him, to kip-up and kick back! Nese knee lifts and sweeps the legs, cover, TWO! Nese suplexes but Tozawa slips out. They standing switch and Nese rolls Tozawa, but Gulak runs in, only to get turned around into a German Suplex! Nese has two covers, TWO! Both men get free but Nese stomps Tozawa down. Gulak bails out but Nese slingshots out. Nese cartwheels over Gulak’s clothesline to SUPERKICK him away!
But Tozawa DIVES to hit Nese! The Tozawa Torpedo takes out Nese, then he CANNONBALLS onto Gulak! All three men are down but the fans are fired up! Tozawa crawls away from Gulak to fire up and go after Nese. Tozawa drags Nese up and in and climbs to the top rope. He leaps at Nese, missile dropkick hits! Cover, but Gulak breaks it just in time! Gulak grimaces as he goes to Tozawa. Tozawa throws Gulak out and drags Nese to a drop zone. Tozawa climbs agani, but Nese SHORYUKENS! Nese leaves Tozawa stranded, for a top shelf kick! And then a gut buster! Cover, but Gulak breaks in again! Gulak drags Nese up for a suplex, but Nese slips out.
Gulak standing switches and inverted suplexes Nese to the apron. Nese hits back but Gulak puts him through ropes. Gulak elbows Tozawa then suplexes him into Nese! All three men are down again while we go picture in picture.
Gulak drags Tozawa up and headlock takeovers. Gulak traps an arm but Tozawa endures the combination of holds. Tozawa fights out and lifts Gulak, but Gulak is just a bit too much. Gulak fights out of the fireman’s carry to drag Tozawa up for headbutts. Gulak whips but Tozawa ducks and tilt-o-whirls to the Iron Octopus! Now Gulak must endure a submission! Gulak endures, but starts to fade. We return to single picture as Nese picks Tozawa off Gulak, to throw at him! Nese then whips and ROCKS Tozawa with a left hand! But Gulak LARIATS Nese! Gulak roars and dragon sleepers to the GuLOCK! Nese endures the full hold, sleeper and body scissors! But he works his way out and around, reaching for ropes. Gulak pulls the arms away to sink it in deep! But Tozawa DROPS IN!! The super senton outta nowhere!!
All three men are down again and Tozawa grins that he saved the match. Tozawa covers Nese, TWO! He covers Gulak, TWO! Tozawa backs off to catch his breath. Gulak fireman’s carries, but Tozawa slips out to shove and huricanrana! Tozawa tries again, and manages the fireman carry slam! And then a shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Gulak lives but Tozawa keeps his focus. Tozawa lines up a shot and runs in, but gets tossed out! Nese elbows Gulak then runs, but Gulak tosses him out. Nese lands and kicks back! Gulak is down, Nese Triangle MOONSAULTS! Cover, but now Tozawa breaks it in time! Tozawa and Nese glare at each other. Nese CHOPS but Tozawa CHOPS back. Nese CHOPS again, but so does Tozawa. Tozawa CHOPS, then fakes Nese out to the JAB! Nese is in the corner but right back up to put Tozawa up top. SHORYUKEN again!
Nese climbs up to join Tozawa, but Tozawa resists. Tozawa and fans shout “AH! AH!” as he clubs away on Nese! Tozawa forearms NEse into the Tree of Woe! But Gulak jumps over Nese to SUPERPLEX Tozawa! But Nese sits right up to adjust and aim, 450 FLOP!! Gulak avoids the splash and drags Nese up, only for Nese to bring Gulak up in the Dude Buster! Cover, SHINING WIZARD! Tozawa covers Nese, TWO!! All three men are down but fans are loving it! Nese crawls to a corner while Tozawa sits up. Tozawa goes at Gulak with the kick, the swing, the slide and the rolling roundhouse! Nese comes back and shoves Tozawa right out hard! PREMIER KNEE! But Tozawa rolls Nese!! TWO, and Nese rolls Tozawa! TWO, to a deadlift, BUCKLE BOMB! Cover, TWO!!
Tozawa bails out to leave Nese and Gulak alone in the ring. These old rivals glare as they stand up. They grab each other by the bear, but Gulak throws elbow after elbow. Nese forearms Gulak then German Suplexes him into buckles! NEse brings down the pad, runs, but into an elbow! Gulak torture racks Nese, but Nese slips out. Tozawa runs in and shotguns Nese down! Gulak ducks the kick, torture rack, neckbreaker! Cover, GULAK WINS!!
Winner: Drew Gulak, by pinfall; NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The Submission Specialist didn’t need a submission, and he beat the other challenger to take the title from the champ! Will Drew Gulak change the way 205 Live operates once and for all?
In the WWE, boots are made for more than just walking.
A Lady wants a belt. A Beastslayer won’t let his go so easily. The Big Dog wants to take a bite out of a Terminator, and a Show-Off wants to prove #ItShouldHaveBeenMe! Who walks on from here walking tall?
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans!
They say ladies first, but The Man is the one who wants to get this over with! Will Lynch finally shut the Sassy Southern Belle up with this rematch from Money in the Bank? Or will a Woman’s Right be all it takes to take that last belt from the former Champ-Champ?
The introductions are made with Becky going out first. Lacey follows, in gear that already looks like she’s celebrating. The belt is raised and we begin Stomping Grounds with some Straight Fire!
The bell rings and Becky circles with Lacey. They tie up and Lacey powers Becky to a corner. Becky turns it around and talks trash. Lacey slaps Becky’s hand away then shoves her. Becky shoves back and the fans are already thunderous. Lacey waistlocks but Becky drop toeholds to a trailer hitch! Lacey grabs the ropebreak and Becky lets go at 3. Becky taunts Lacey as they circle and tie up again. Becky waistlocks and slams Lacey, but Lacey scrambles tot he ropes again. The ref counts but Becky yanks and slams Lacey! Lacey bails out but Becky pursues to club her down! Becky puts Lacye in and dodges the shoulder to knee and kick Lacey back.
Fans fire up as Becky gets in, and Becky catches the kick! Lacey asks Becky simply put it down, but Becky runs around to spin and throw Lacey! Becky bumps Lacey on buckles and then another corner, and then a third. Fans still cheer as Becky gets all four corners! Becky whips Lacey but Lacey reverses. Becky stops herself and elbows Lacey, but then springboards to kick Lacey back. Lacey gets out again which only annoys Becky. Fans chant “Lacey Sucks!” Becky wrecks Lacey with a baseball slide! Becky drags Lacey up and in, but Lacey kicks her back! Lacey crawls but Becky returns to backslide, TWO! Becky blocks another kick to dragon screw Lacey! Lacey punches Becky’s ribs! Lacey grabs Becky in a facelock, for a fallout DDT! Then Lacey gator rolls Becky to the apron and a post.
Lacey Bow ‘n’ Arrows Becky against the post by a leg and the ponytail! Fans boo as Lacey kicks Becky back in. Cover, TWO! Lacey stalks Becky to ropes and stomps away. She wrenches and wrings Becky out to then pull on the arm. Lacey kicks Becky in the ribs while fans jeer. Becky endures as Lacey pulls but she pops out to a cover! ONE, and Lacey bumps Becky off buckles now. Lacey stomps a mudhole into those ribs, then kicks Becky while she’s down. Lacey throws Becky down by her hair, and clamps on to an armlock. She hammers the ribs but Becky endures. Becky fights back as fans rally up, but Lacey hammers her to a cover, TWO! Lacey has the arm again and just hammers away! Becky still endures, but Lacey covers, TWO!
Lacey keeps on that arm while digging her knuckles and elbow into Becky’s ribs. Becky refuses to quit and fans rally up again. Becky kicks free then rolls Lacey, TWO! Lacey and Becky slowly stand but Becky throws hands. Becky whips but Lacey reverses to run her over! Lacey covers but Becky slips out! Becky mule kicks Lacey, then dodges in the corner for the jump kick! Becky grabs Lacey but Lacey elbows out. Lacey rams her shoulder into Becky’s ribs! Lacey hoists Becky up top but Becky fights back! Super armbar takedown!! Lacey flails and rolls to stack Becky, ONE! The armbar is back on! Lacey uses her legs for a ropebreak! Becky lets go at 3 and hobbles away. She runs in but gets sent into the buckles! Lacey hits her swinging bronco buster! Cover, TWO!
Lacey adjusts her outfit while catching her breath. She returns to Becky with the handkerchief to wipe herself off and throw it on Becky. Lacey adjusts her hair while fans boo. She toys with Becky but Becky shoves the tissue back in Lacey’s mouth! Becky throws off haymakers and uppercuts! Then she rallies with lariats! Becky gives back kicks and knees, then runs, but into a body shot! Becky boots Lacey back, then runs for big forearms! Lacey is down and Becky fires up with the fans. Becky stalks Lacey, takes aim, Straight Firearm! And more stomps! Becksploder! Cover, TWO!! Lacey still lives and Becky is beside herself. Becky drags Lacey to a drop zone and stomps her down to then climb up. Straight Fire Leg Drop FLOPS!! Lacey climbs while Becky writhes. Lacey slingshots but into knees! Becky rolls Lacey, TWO!
Becky grabs at the arm, but Lacey gets up and whips. Lacey follows but into a scoop. She escapes, and elbows Becky away. Springboard stunner! BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives and Lacey loses her cool. Lacey drags Becky into the drop zone and climbs up. Becky springs up to yank Lacey off! And into the Disarm-Her! Lacey taps, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission; still Raw Women’s Champion
The Man denies the Lady again! Will this finally keep the Sassy Southern Belle out of her business? Who else will move up to challenge Becky for her belt?
Mustafa Ali will be the light of the WWE.
No matter who, no matter where, and no matter what the situation, he vows to protect, serve and inspire the WWE Universe.
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
The Advocate just came out of Baron Corbni’s office! Is he the referee despite what he said on Raw? And will Brock Lesnar follow? Those aren’t the questions to ask. Heyman wants to know if the WWE World and WWE Universal Champions are here tonight. And they are. So with both of them here, doesn’t that present multiple opportunities for The Beast in the Bank? Yes, it does. Heyman walks off, but did he really confirm or deny anything?
But then Corbin walks out, and he’s starting to think Kayla is after more than an interview. She wants an answer: has he chosen a referee? Yes, someone who won’t do any favors, who will call this down the middle. Corbin doesn’t need help to beat Rollins, he just needs someone who can do their job. Then when Corbin becomes champion, he’ll worry about Lesnar if he shows up. Will the Lone Wolf have to worry that far ahead? Or will he lose to Rollins even with a “competent” ref?
The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
Awwwww~ Tacoma~! While Kofi Kingston defends his W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Championship, Big E and Xavier Woods will show these best frenemies what they get for sticking their noses in their business. Plus, this is finally a chance to get back at “Big O” for tricking them! But will Sami & Kevin ruin the New Day’s fun before the fairy tale is over?
The teams sort out and Woods begins with Kevin. They approach and Kevin SUPERKICKS Big E! Then SUPERKICKS Woods! Then another SUPERKICK! A fourth SUPERKICK! Kevin hurries up top for a SWANTON! Cover, TWO!? Tag to Sami and Saim drags Woods up for another SUPERKICK! Then a Blue Thunder Bomb!! Cover, TWO?! How is Woods doing this?! Tag to Kevin and Kevin climbs again, for a Frog Splash! Cover, TWO?!? Kevin and Sami are furious! How can Woods take all this damage?! Kevin rains down rights and then argues with the ref on the counts. Tag to Sami and Sami rains down rights of his own. Big E gets back on the corner and fans rally for the New Day. Kevin tells them to shut up but they only chant harder.
Sami drags Woods up for kicks to his face. Big E coaches Woods on but Sami punches Woods back down. Sami puts Woods in the corner then taunts Big E. Tag to Kevin and Kevin drags Woods around for stomps. Kevin backs off to taunt Big E while Sami gets cheap shots in. Then Kevin runs back in for a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Woods somehow still has something left. Kevin taunts Big E more then drags Woods around for a back senton! Kevin mocks Woods to go tag Big E, before dropping another senton! Cover, TWO! Kevin mocks the New Day clap but fans genuinely clap. Kevin drags Woods up and puts him in the corner. Tag to Sami and Sami throws hands!
Sami stomps Woods, then distracts the ref for Kevin to get a cheap shot in. Sami slaps Woods, so Woods SLAPS Sami! Woods also CHOPS Sami, but Sami wrangles Woods to a crossface! Woods endures the hold as Sami cranks back. Fans rally up again and Woods rolls Sami, TWO! Sami anchors Woods down and drags him away. Sami tags Kevin and Kevin stomps Woods down. Kevin mocks Woods’ pain before bringing him up. Woods dodges the clothesline to enziguri Kevin! Kevin tags Sami and Sami hits Big E down! Sami stalks Woods and drags him up for a back suplex. Woods slips out to give Sami the back suplex! Both men are down but crawling.
Sami tags Kevin and Kevin runs, but Woods dodges the senton! Woods jumps for the corner but Kevin catches him. Woods turns around, wheelbarrow facebuster! Big E rises and returns to his corner! Hot tags to Sami and Big E! Big E throws Sami overhead! And again! And then belly2belly! Big E swivels them hips! But he has to hit Kevin down first. Sami gets up but gets a big elbow, then the Big Splash! Cover, TWO! Now Sami survives, but Big E keeps on him. Big E waistlocks but Sami fights out with elbows. Sami boots Big E then hops up to bring Big E in. Sami rains down rights and lefts, and grins as he facelocks, but Big E powers out of the tornado. Big E urenages Sami down! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Woods and the New Day coordinate. Woods tries but can’t lift Big E the first time. He gets it the second time for the human weapon, Big E splash! Sami writhes and Woods runs, banzai leg drop! Cover, but Kevin breaks it! Big E throws Kevin out then scoops Sami. Woods climbs up but Sami wiggles free. Woods jumps over Big E into Sami’s boot! Big E hits post, too, and the New Day is down! Sami tags Kevin and gives Woods a HELLUVA KICK! Then feeds to the POP-UP POWERBOMB! Cover, but Big E breaks in! Fans say “This is Awesome!’ as Sami runs into Big E’s lariat! SUPERKICK from Kevin! Woods denies the stunner for a rolling elbow! All four men are down but Tacoma is giving a standing ovation!
Kevin goes to a corner but so does Woods. Sami joins Woods on the apron, but Woods mule kicks. Big E runs and SPEARS Sami down to the ground! Woods kicks Kevin down into the drop zone! Woods climbs but Kevin trips him up! STUNNER! Cover, Kevin and Sami win!
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Owens pinning
After dealing out so much damage, the best frenemies finally down the New Day! Is this the start of Kevin and Sami turning things around?
Nikki Cross checks in with Alexa Bliss backstage.
The Loony Lass is excited for her friend and tonight’s SmackDown Women’s Championship match. The Goddess appreciates having Nikki in her corner. It won’t be Alexa against the world anymore. They wanted to be tag team champions together, but Bayley cost them that. Alexa also feels responsible, but Nikki says Alexa doesn’t need to feel bad. Bayley showed her true colors, so hopefully fans see her for who she really is. But that title is too special to belong to someone like Bayley. Which is why Nikki will love watching Alexa win. It’s them against the world, but will Nikki ever see she’s on the wrong side?
WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet!
The Destroyer lost the belt because of controversy, but Rey Mysterio was noble enough to give it back. Joe was less so when he still attacked an injured King of Lucha for even having the belt at all. Now the King of Flight steps up, can he succeed where even the living legend failed?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin!
Joe and Ricochet circle as fans chant, “Joe’s gonna kill~ you~!” They tie up and Joe wrenches Ricochet to then slap and kick away! Ricochet gets right up but Joe has his guard up. Joe grins as Ricochet stays back and they circle again. They tie up and Joe JABS Ricochet down. Ricochet keeps his cool while Joe dares him to come back for more. They tie up again and Ricochet ducks the jab this time to CHOP Joe! Joe just shrugs but he runs into Ricochet’s forearms. Ricochet runs and rolls off Joe’s back to then huricanrana Joe down! And dropkick him out! Ricochet builds speed and slides out but Joe dodges. Ricochet throws more haymakers but Joe rams him into the apron! Joe looms over Ricochet and throws him into steel steps!
Joe refreshes the count to then stalk Ricochet more. He drags Ricochet into the ring at the count of 5, then runs in at Ricochet in the corner. Ricochet goes up and over but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool as he looms over Ricochet again. Fans duel as Joe stalks a crawling Ricochet. Joe drags Ricochet up for a CHOP and Ricochet falls back down. Ricochet gets to a corner but Joe is on him again. Ricochet CHOPS and forearms back, but runs into a back elbow! Joe covers, TWO! Ricochet is dazed and the referee checks on him. Joe comes back as Ricochet slowly gets up. Joe bumps Ricochet off buckles to CHOP him back! Ricochet throws forearms and whips, but Joe reverses. Joe back elbows and PELES! Cover, TWO! Ricochet lives and Joe grows annoyed.
Joe pulls Ricochet’s arms and wraps on a chinlock. Ricochet endures and fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy and works his way up. He fights back with elbows and body shots but Joe clamps on tighter. Ricochet stands to jawbreaker out! Joe checks his chin while fans rally again. Ricochet stands and throws forearms on Joe. Joe hits Ricochet back with one big swat! Joe has Ricochet at the ropes and grabs the legs to yank Ricochet up into a powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Ricochet flounders away but Joe keeps his focus. Joe drags Joe up again for a snapmare and neck wrench. Ricochet endures but fans rally up again.
Ricochet reaches but can’t get ropes, so he works his way back up. He fights out with body shots again, but Joe CHOPS him back! Joe runs but into Ricochet’s dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ricochet ducks the lariat to PELE Joe back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ricochet gets back to his feet but Joe follows. Joe swings but Ricochet counter punches. Ricochet then runs to forearm, but Joe stays up. Ricochet tries again, for another huricanrana! Joe is in a corner and Ricochet runs in to ram his shoulder in. Ricochet springboards and clotheslines Joe down! Joe bails out but Ricochet runs to FLY! Direct hit takes Joe down! Ricochet hurries to get Joe up and in! Ricochet springboards again, missile dropkick! But he’s not done, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Ricochet keeps his cool as he heads for another corner. He climbs up and aims, but Joe gets up. Ricochet jumps over but Joe scoops him for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Joe grows frustrated, but keeps his eyes on Ricochet as Ricochet stirs. Joe drags Ricochet up but Ricochet throws forearms and CHOPS! But Joe CHOPS back again! Ricochet stands so Joe whips, Ricochet handsprings, but into a full nelson! Ricochet breaks free but still gets a German Suplex! Joe runs as Ricochet rises to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Joe is shocked. Joe glares at Ricochet as he clamps hands on the shoulders. Joe drags Ricochet up for another urenage, but Ricochet fights out! Ricochet boots but Joe blocks it, to FLIP Ricochet!
Joe puts on the Coquina Clutch! But Ricochet climbs the ropes! Ricochet hotshots Joe down! Joe is in the drop zone, and Ricochet climbs up again! Ricochet 630 but he has to roll through! Joe LARIATS Ricochet, but Ricochet springs back up! CODE BREAKER! Ricochet keeps going and gets back up top! Ricochet tries again, 630 SENTON! Cover, Ricochet wins!!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; NEW WWE United States Champion
Incredible! Ricochet’s first try, and he’s already a champion! The One and Only surprises himself more than anyone, but now he IS United States Champion! Will Ricochet ascend to even greater heights now that he’s got gold?
Ricochet is welcomed and congratulated by other WWE superstars.
Former and current champions alike welcome Ricochet, but even Triple H! The King of Flight clearly has the respect of The Game, but will Samoa Joe be coming back for revenge?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery!
Big Red Rowan and “The New” Daniel Bryan vow to save tag team wrestling in the WWE by ending the fun and the jokes. But perhaps the new YOLO County Tag Team Champions, Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, will show them you can have fun and win at the same time!
The introductions are made, and the Washington crowd is strongly behind Aberdeen’s Daniel Bryan. The belts are raised and the teams sort out, we begin this champions vs “champions” match with Dozer and Rowan.
Dozer shimmies those legs but Bryan calls Rowan over. Fans hope he tags in, and he does! Bryan circles with a stomping and jiving Dozer, then they approach. Bryan kicks Dozer in the leg but Dozer shrugs it off. They circle and Bryan kicks again. Fans cheer but Dozer still isn’t bothered. Bryan and Dozer circle again and Bryan gets in another kick. Bryan kicks Dozer more, but Dozer keeps moving. More kicks land but Dozer blocks one to shove Bryan down! Dozer flexes but Tacoma boos. Bryan gets up and circles with Dozer again. They tie up and Dozer shoves Bryan again! Dozer shows off the pythons, brother! Fans still cheer Bryan as he stares down the shimmying Dozer.
Bryan and Dozer approach and Bryan gives more kicks! Fans chant “YES! YES!” and Bryan runs, but into a trophy lift! Dozer dumps Bryan down then suplexes Bryan up. Dozer holds him as Tucker tags in. Tucker takes a hand-off, and he keeps Bryan up for another five before dropping him! Cover, TWO! Tukcer keeps on Bryan with a headlock and he grinds Bryan to his knees. Fans rally for Bryan and Bryan powers out. Tucker runs Bryan over then things speed up. Tucker shows that agility to then LARIAT Bryan down! Cover, TWO! Tucker keeps his cool as he back suplexes. Bryan lands on his feet and Rowan tags in. Bryan kicks Tucker and Rowan crossbodies Tucker down! Rowan roars and drags Tucker to a corner for buckle bumps.
Rowan clubs away then runs corner to corner, for a big corner splash! He pushes Tucker to then dropkick him down! Cover, TWO! Rowan keeps on Tucker with a chinbar while fans cheer, “Please Recycle!” Tucker endures the neck wrench and fights his way up. Rowan throws Tucker back down and soaks up the cheers. Tag to Bryan and fans cheer louder as the Planet’s Tag Champions mug Tucker. Rowan whips Bryan in for the dropkick, then adds his own clothesline! Bryan drags Tucker to a post to swing the leg into it! And again! Bryan stalks Tucker as he crawls, then grabs the legs for a surfboard! Bryan stomps the knees! Tucker writhes while Rowan tags in. Rowan drags Tucker up for headbutts then drops elbows on the legs. Rowan runs to splash down! Cover, TWO!
Tucker crawls to a corner while Rowan argues with the ref. Rowan claws at Tucker’s face! Rowan clubs Tucker then whips him corner to corner hard. But Tucker boots back and dodges, to send Rowan into the post! Tucker crawls while Rowan falls to the mat. Hot tags to Bryan and Dozer! Dozer rallies on Bryan with big arms and shoulders! Fans boo as Bryan gets scooped for a spinning, spinning, spinning slam! Dozer runs at Bryan but gets sent into buckles! Bryan runs corner to corner to hit a dropkick! Then another! But Dozer pops Bryan up to a powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Heavy Machinery was so close! But Dozer has Bryan in a drop zone and climbs up. Dozer banzais, but misses the Vader Bomb! Bryan grits his teeth as he fires up.
Dozer sits up and Bryan unleashes Yes Kicks! Bryan kicks Dozer over and over, then prepares the buzzsaw, but Dozer is the one powering up! Dozer takes more kicks as he pumps his hips! Bryan kicks and kicks but Dozer leans into them! Then he scoops and SUPLEXES Bryan! Dozer runs corner to corner for a splash! Bryan flops down, and Dozer has his target. Dozer pumps up and hits the CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Tag to Tucker, and Dozer catapults Bryan into the belly2belly suplex! Cover, but Rowan breaks it! Rowan clotheslines Dozer down then kicks him out. The ref reprimands Rowan and the Big Red backs off. Tucker gets to his feet but Bryan gives his leg kicks! Tucker haymakers back but Bryan still kicks. Bryan kicks but misses, into a back suplex!
Tucker gets to a corner, climbs up, and MOONSAULTS! But flops!! He clips Bryan but it was far from what he wanted! Both men are down, and they crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Rowan and Dozer! Dozer and Rowan stare down and start brawling with haymakers! Rowan runs to bump shoulders but Dozer comes back to give it. Rowan clotheslines but DOzer stays up> dozer clotheslines but Rowan stays up. They both go and collide, butn either aflls! Rowan runs, Bryan tags in, Dozer dodges to scoop! Powerslam on Rowan, tag to Tucker! They grab Rowan, but he’s not legal! Bryan dumps Tucker out! Bryan climbs and leaps at Dozer, flying knee! Then he runs at Tucker, but gets a haymaker! Tucker climbs, to LEAP onto Rowan!! Tucker goes back to Bryan, but gets caught in a cradle! Bryan & Rowan win!!
Winners: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions, Bryan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Bryan’s brain beats Tucker’s brawn! Bryan and Rowan get through this by the skin of their teeth, but is this the last time Heavy Machinery challenges for the titles?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross!
There is a lot of history between the Huggable One and the Goddess that dates back to their days in NXT. Bayley was Raw Women’s Champion when these two first battled for a title, and Alexa won because things were too extreme for her. But now, a year later, Bayley has grown while Alexa has stayed the same. Yet Alexa’s “very special friend” doesn’t seem to see that. Will Nikki play into Alexa’s game? Or will Bayley hold on to this title to prove she isn’t just a placeholder?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this rivalry revisited!
Bayley goes right to Alexa and shoves her. Alexa shoves back and now it’s a brawl! Alexa puts Bayley in a corner for stmops, but Bayley powers her out to another corner! Bayley throws furious haymakers, then runs in for a big knee! She rolls Alexa to a cover, TWO! Bayley drags Alexa up but Alexa powers her to a corner now. Alexa rams her shoulder in, then gets mad at the ref for counting. Bayley flapjacks Alexa on buckles! Then long darts her onto more! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool then runs in, but Alexa gets clear. Bayley changes direction to put Alexa in a corner. She bumps Alexa off buckles. Alexa turns it around to throw Bayley into buckles back! Alexa drags Bayley to a cover, TWO! The Goddess grows frustrated while fans duel.
Alexa puts Bayley on ropes to choke her! She lets up at 4 and Bayley shoves back. Alexa clubs Bayley down then wrangles her into a chinlock. Bayley endures while fans continue to duel. Bayley moves around and fights her way up. Alexa wrangles Bayley down with a chinbar! Alexa grins but Bayley fights up again. Bayley elbows free and scoops, but Alexa slips out to give Bayley a backbreaker! Alexa chokes Bayley on the ropes again, but lets up at 4. Alexa puts Bayley in a corner with buckle bumps, then bounces Bayley off the mat. The Goddess brings back a classic, the skateboard stomps! Cover, TWO! Alexa tries again, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated, but Bayley throws body shots. Bayley runs and crossbodies! Cover, TWO!
Alexa clubs Bayley right back down, then drags her up by her ponytail. Alexa whips Bayley hard into a corner, then runs in, to SLAP her! Bayley checks her mouth while Alexa takes a bow. Alexa runs in to get run over by Bayley! Cover, TWO! Bayley stomps Alexa then somersaults for a rolling elbow! She keeps moving, but into that killer right! Nikki coaches Alexa on and Alexa goes at a dizzy Bayley, only to get a hotshot! Bayley knees Alexa back in, then climbs up top. Bayley leaps over Alexa but turns around into a facelock. She fights out to then run and knee Alexa down! Alexa bails out and regroups with Nikki. Bayley tells Nikki to back off, to then daredevil dropkick. Alexa dodges but not for long! Bayley has Alexa’s arm but Alexa uses that to yank Bayley into the post!
Alexa slams that arm on the ground a few times. Alexa clubs Bayley’s shoulder and puts her in the ring to cover, TWO! Frustration starts to boil up again as Alexa yanks and pulls on Bayley’s arm. Alexa wristlocks and drops a knee on the arm. Cover, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated by Bayley’s toughness. Bayley gets to ropes but Alexa is on that arm again. Alexa laces the arm through to pull Bayley into ropes. She lets up at 4 but comes back for more. Alexa yanks on that arm but Bayley swings the other. Alexa catches her and rolls her to a bridging cover. Bayley gets up and powers out, but Alexa tilt-o-whirls, only for Bayley to saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool as she gets to a corner.
Alexa stirs as fans duel again. Bayley aims, runs in, and sunset flip powerbombs Alexa into buckles! But Alexa slumps out of the ring! Nikki checks on her pal, but Bayley runs to DIVE! Nikki takes the hit! Alexa throws hands but Bayley counter punches. Bayley runs but Alexa sends her into steel steps! Alexa drags Bayley up, for a Sunset Flip Bomb! “This is MY title, Bayley!” Alexa drags Bayley up and in to stomp her more. Then Alexa climbs up top but Nikki gets in?! Nikki wants back at Bayley but this wasn’t the time! Bayley climbs up but Alexa sends her back down. Alexa moosnaults, but Twisted Bliss gets knees! And BAYLEY2BELLY! Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall; still SmackDown Women’s Champion
Nikki costs Alexa and Bayley keeps her title! But just what is the truth here? Karma keeping Alexa from getting what she wants? Or Alexa getting what she deserves?
The WWE 24/7 Championship has had quite the week.
First, R-Truth gets tricked by Drake Maverick in disguise as Carmella! Maverick high-tailed it out of SmackDown to make it to his wedding, only for a certain someone to crash it! Maverick was in shock that Truth would ruin his special day and take away the title! The newlywed husband would drown his sorrows at the reception, but worse yet, his new wife is asking for a divorce!! Can Maverick salvage his marriage before worrying about his wrestling career?
The NEW WWE United States Champion takes pictures with the title!
Ricochet poses for the camera, and the Good Brothers give him congrats. They pose with him for some Too Sweet pics. Ricochet doesn’t want them fooling around, but then AJ Styles joins in. Now it’s a Phenomenal photo shoot. Styles compliments the champ, and says he’ll see him tomorrow on Raw. Wait, what? Is the new champion already up against a top tier contender?
Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre!
The Big Dog is a special talent and Shane McMahon knows that. Roman has won multiple Royal Rumbles and is a WWE Grand Slam Champion, but the Best in the World still beat him at WWE Super Showdown. Of course, it wasn’t without a lot of help from the Scottish Terminator, which is why Roman turns his attention to him. Will it be Roman or McIntyre kicking ass and taking names to prove they’re the biggest dog in the WWE Yard?
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (RAW: June 17, 2019)
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Week 1, Episode 1
Monday Night RAW/ June 17, 2019
Los Angeles, California
As you can read in my introduction column, I’m doing an experiment to see if WWE’s YouTube content is any good. If it’s worth watching, if it’s enough to make me want to get back into watching WWE (I’m 11 months clean and sober), or if it’s just not worth my time. Every week I will only watch the video clips WWE posts to their official YouTube channel, and I’ll write a review, so to speak, of the show based on that alone. It’s an experiment. Seriously. I have a hypothesis and everything! Go check out the big introduction if you haven’t already, and then come back and read along with me!
I welcome and greatly encourage feedback, especially because my only exposure to WWE (for the most part) will be the YouTube clips. I won’t be reading recaps or reviews. So please, by all means, if you have any opinions, positive or negative, about what I’m about to write, let me know. I thrive on criticism (constructive or otherwise — tell me I’m a batshit crazy moron if you want). That all aside, I don’t want to be insanely long-winded, so I’m going to get right into it.
Total Number of Clips: 18
Total Time: 45 minutes, 43 seconds
Seth Rollins blasts Elias with a steel chair (2 minutes, 22 seconds)
Good start! Based on what I know, Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin have been feuding over the Universal Title. Seth is defending the belt on Sunday at Stomping Grounds, and Corbin promised that the match would have a special guest referee. In this clip, Elias is in the ring making fun of Los Angeles and reveals that Corbin chose him to be the ref on Sunday. Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins appears out of the darkness and lays Corbin out with a chair (very cool visual) and declares that anybody who decides to take Corbin up on the offer to referee the match on Sunday is going to take a steel chair up the ass. Something like that.
This was a very simple and effective start to the show. Rollins showed a ton of fire, and coming out of the darkness with the chair shot, as I mentioned, made for a really cool visual. I am interested in watching the next video clip! (1 for 1)
Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match (2 minutes, 42 seconds)
Another great clip. A quick peek at the results shows that the match was about 14 minutes long, and they crammed it into 2 and a half. Not a bad thing, as the idea of the YouTube clip is to get across the story being told. The story here is that Ricochet beat Cesaro, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and The Miz in order to earn a shot at Samoa Joe’s United States Championship this Sunday. Strowman was dominant. He caught Cesaro springing off the ropes and nailed him with the powerslam and followed up by scooping Lashley up, thwarting an attempt at a spear and hitting another powerslam, except instead of driving him into the mat, he threw him onto Cesaro. Moments later (according to the clip) he hits Lashley with a second powerslam and pins him. Cut ahead in time, and Cesaro is hitting the Gotch Neutralizer on Braun, which allows Ricochet to kill Braun with a massive 630.
I don’t know if there’s a deeper backstory or if Lashley and Cesaro were just mad that they were eliminated fair and square. Not only did they attack Braun after being eliminated, but after the 630, they piled on and helped Ricochet secure the pin! Is Cesaro a heel? Is Braun? Lashley? I know Ricochet is a babyface and unless things have changed very recently, The Miz is a babyface as well. Either way, that gave Ricochet the chance to win the match, as moments later (the magic of editing!) he hits a second 630, this time on The Miz, and pins him to win the match. He doesn’t have long to celebrate, however, as Joe hits the ring and blindsides him. Ricochet saves himself by ducking a clothesline and sending Joe to the floor and wiping him out with a dive.
When you only show 2 and a half minutes of a 14-minute match, you’re due to get all action. It was fun. Since I’m essentially coming into this as almost a newcomer, this clip told me that Braun is a dominant beast, Cesaro is strong as hell, Ricochet is good at flipping, and the Miz… maybe sat ringside until the very end. I don’t know. He was only in the clip for about 5 seconds. Oh, and Joe is an asshole. An enjoyable clip that gave me a little bit of an idea about 4 of the 6 men involved. (2 for 2)
Becky Lynch catches Lacey Evans by surprise (4 minutes, 21 seconds)
I don’t really know much of the backstory here. Lacey has been a thorn in Becky’s side. I know that she interfered in the title match with Charlotte to cost Becky the SD Women’s Title and according to the promo here, Lacey has been attacking Becky from behind. Becky cuts to the chase and calls Lacey out, and Lacey obliges. She talks about how she’s a classy lady (I gather that’s her usual promo) and before she can get into the ring, Becky attacks and hits her with the Bexploder and leaves.
Some of the segment was definitely cut for time, but it got the message across. Becky is tired of Lacey’s schtick, but Lacey is keeping it up because she knows it pisses Becky off. Becky caught Lacey by surprise and got the upper hand before their match on Sunday. I’m hoping that what I saw here isn’t indicative of what Becky has become because her promo was super generic and she didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. The fire that I remember seeing in clips since she became “The Man” was not there. It seems like Lacey would be a perfect foil for her, so maybe the edit hurt the segment or maybe missing the entire feud up to this point has cost me some context. In any event, it wasn’t bad by any means. It was average. I love Becky and I’m interested in seeing what Lacey can do, so I’m in. (3 for 3)
Seth Rollins takes out Baron Corbin with a steel chair (1 minute, 5 seconds)
This was a quick one. Baron Corbin cuts an awkward promo about Elias no longer wanting to be the referee. I assume it’s because he’s afraid Seth will hurt him, even though he could, I dunno — leave the arena and avoid Seth until Sunday? In any event, Corbin stumbles over his lines and tries to be smarmy and cocky (I think) but just comes across like a goof who is struggling to remember his lines. He had about 35 seconds to fill with 6 sentences, and he sounded like a 5th grader practicing for his first ever role in a school play. Slow down! Enunciate! Take a breath and pause between your sentences, dude. I understand the character traits he was trying to get across, but he did that poorly.
It’s tough to judge this one. It was barely a minute long, and while it featured a brutal 35-second mushmouth performance from Baron Corbin, it ended with him getting hit with a chair. I can’t be mad. (4 for 4)
The Viking Raiders vs. Russ & Randy Taylor (52 seconds)
Hey! A full match! Erik hits a sweet running knee on one of the dudes and pulls the other into the ring to hit him with an exploder. Ivar tags in. Erik hoists the guy up for a German and Ivar springboards into a clothesline to assist and add extra impact. A springboard Doomsday German, perhaps. Erik presses the legal man into the air and Ivar catches him with a powerslam (the move is now called the “Viking Experience” — good to know) and that’s that, in 32-seconds.
The Raiders looked awesome and the other guys got in zero offense, which is exactly how it should be. If I’m a fan who has never seen these two guys before, I get two things from this clip. One, I want to see these guys again, because they look awesome. Two, their names are stupid as shit. Still, this was good. (5 for 5)
R-Truth and Carmella try out some new disguises (1 minute, 9 seconds)
While the Taylor Brothers — why not call one of them Brad or Mark, by the way? Missed opportunity — lay in the ring, still recovering from being destroyed by the War Raiders, the cameras pan the audience. Carmella and Truth are in disguise, but everyone quickly realizes who they are and a cavalcade of people come running down the ramp. Truth tries to hide under the ring only to find a confused Titus O’Neil, and the distraction lets he and Carmella run through the crowd to get away.
I haven’t been following the 24/7 Championship saga very closely, but what I have seen has been entertaining. Nothing really happened here, but it was a minute long and happened in the same televised segment as a good squash match, so there’s zero to complain about. (6 for 6)
Drew McIntyre brutalizes old friend Heath Slater (2 minutes, 17 seconds)
Heath Slater walks into a room with a little buffet. Shane McMahon is there with The Revival and Drew McIntyre. Drew looks like he would rather be anywhere else in the world. Slater asks for a raise, and because he’s an asshole, Shane gives him a sliver of hope and then denies the raise and tells him to get to steppin’. As Slater leaves, he makes the sign to Drew to follow. Quick cut to the hallway, as Drew feigns trying to help Heath and offers him some money, but beats the crap out of him instead.
Now I’m not familiar with the storyline — so correct me if I’m wrong. I know Shane McMahon has been winning matches left and right over top talent, and I’m assuming that Drew has been helping him cheat to win. Whether I knew that or not, here’s what I gathered from this: Shane McMahon is the asshole boss, The Revival, who go unnamed, are a couple of silly lackeys, and McIntyre is just Shane’s bodyguard/hired gun. If that’s actually the case, that fucking sucks.
The Revival running in and scooping up all of the cash was funny. I enjoyed that. Again, I don’t know the story, so maybe Drew is getting sick of Shane’s power trip. That would explain his body language. If that’s not the case, as I said, that sucks. So Shane is getting a bunch of big wins, the tag team champions are bumbling lackeys, and Drew is a possibly unhappy bodyguard? Gross. Now, if Drew wins on Sunday against Roman, that’s a big deal. Shane doesn’t have a match, so maybe he’s proven his point and is going to step aside and be Drew’s manager and the authority-like leader of the group of Drew and The Revival. I would be all for that. Again, I don’t know much about what’s going on, so I’ll catch up as time goes by. As a standalone segment, this was fine, but because I don’t like Drew as a “heavy” and I know enough about this story as it currently stands, I just didn’t like it. (6 for 7)
The New Day crash “The Kevin Owens Show” (5 minutes, 0 seconds)
Baron Corbin is the guest. Sami and Kevin don’t want to get hit by chairs, so they both opt out of being the guest referee for Baron Corbin’s Universal Title match on Sunday. Corbin figured that would be the case, so he has EC3 waiting in the wings. EC3 comes out, and as expected, he gets lit up by Seth Rollins with a chair shot from behind and gets another shot while he’s on the ground, just for good measure. I’m enjoying this running gag. It’s funny, but at the same time shows that Seth isn’t going to let Corbin try to make believe he’s still the “Constable” and yield power that he doesn’t actually have.
The New Day make their way out for no discernible reason (which I’m cool with, of course) and challenge Corbin, Owens, and Zayn to a match. EC3 agrees to sanction the match just like Stephanie McMahon sanctioned her marriage to Triple H, and that’s that. Renee Young made the obvious “Weekend At Bernie’s” joke (and now the Tweet makes sense!) but it was too obvious, and she didn’t try to make it topical. If you have to go that direction, why not say “Weekend At Dixie’s”? It’s a 3-second line that most people aren’t going to pick up on anyway… how many people watching RAW do you think actually saw that movie?
This was fun and felt way less than the 5-minute runtime of the clip. It’s the 8th clip so far and the longest of the night. The Nick Marsico from a year ago would probably complain about the lack of compliance to the “wildcard rule”, but I think it’s actually a funny gag to have more than the allotted 3 (I think that’s how many it’s supposed to be) pop up on the opposite show every week. It’s humorous to me whether it’s their intended purpose or not, so I’m all for it. Plus, The New Day is a welcome addition to any show, any time. Fun, silly, and furthered the night’s running storyline, as well as the build for the title match on Sunday. Plus, Baron Corbin said less than the other segment he was in, and didn’t stumble over his lines! Everybody wins! (7 for 8)
The New Day vs. Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (2 minutes, 52 seconds)
Woods rolls up Sami for the first fall (why not tell us it’s 2 out of 3 falls in the description?). Cut to the second fall and Owens hits a superkick on Big E, but doesn’t get the pin. Cut again, still in the second fall I assume, to Kofi almost pinning Corbin, but Corbin comes back with a SWEET looking Deep Six. Clip again, and Corbin accidentally clotheslines Sami. Owens doesn’t like this and superkicks Corbin, allowing Kofi to get the pin with Trouble in Paradise.
Can’t really get any gauge as to whether this was a good match or not, but it got the story across. It’s an ineffective and lazy story, though. I get that the gimmick for the night is that Baron Corbin is having a really shitty night leading up to his title match at the PPV, but did he need to look like a chump AND get pinned? I love the New Day, but they didn’t have three other guys who could have benefitted from being in this spot? Why not Ryder, Hawkins, and Cedric Alexander? Great segment to lead into the match, but the match was worthless. (7 for 9)
Paul Heyman has a reminder for Seth Rollins (3 minutes, 22 seconds)
Hey, it’s Paul Heyman! He puts over both Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, which is cool, and teases that Brock is going to show up. We know he isn’t around. I like that he completely disregards that Baron Corbin has any kind of chance at winning the title, as he addresses everything directly at Rollins.
This was definitely clipped big time — there’s no way Paul Heyman spoke for less than 3 and a half minutes. It got across the point, though, and proves that 3 and a half minutes is all that he needs to cut an effective promo. Brock is watching and Brock is waiting. Be scared, because he’s always got the advantage in any situation, but having that briefcase gives him even more power, so the Universal Champ should be scared.
I love heady-handed Michael Cole ending the segment by pointing out that Brock Lesnar’s steel chair attack on Seth is what drove Rollins to go on a chair-swinging rampage. I don’t think Heyman meant that when Brock returned, he was coming with a chair. He was specifically reminding us, without actually saying the words, that Brock recently kicked the shit out of Seth with a chair. He implied that Seth is on a rampage because of what Brock did and Cole (at Vince’s command, I’m sure) heavy-handedly drove that point home by literally saying it. Stupid line from Cole aside, this was good. (8 for 10)
Seth Rollins dissuades Eric Young (1 minute, 22 seconds)
Corbin asks Eric Young to be the guest referee, and Eric says he’ll think about it. Clearly Seth Rollins overheard because he approaches Young. EY backs off, trying to say he only agreed to think about it because he was tired of talking to Corbin (which is a 100% plausible story), but Rollins beats the piss out of him with a chair anyway.
Nothing wrong with this. Chair-swinging lunatic Rollins is fun. I’m glad Sanity they disbanded Sanity for this. Totally worth it. (9 for 11)
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (2 minutes, 51 seconds)
Oh my god, Gallows and Anderson have been around for 3 years? Holy shit. Cole mentions that they were “part of a club” with AJ Styles and namedrops the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles. Well that was odd. Gallows and Anderson completely dominate but pause to “Too Sweet” each other. Gallows gets caught with a double superkick, and that’s the end.
Based on what I read going through the results so I could put these videos in order, I saw that AJ gave the Good Brothers a pep talk backstage and told them to get their crap together. They didn’t, and acted cocky, and it cost them the victory. That works for me. Maybe this time they’ll actually follow through on this storyline. This is like the 3rd or 4th time they’ve done the “You’re supposed to be the most dominant team in modern Japanese wrestling history! What the fuck are you guys doing?” storyline. I hope they don’t just drop it after 2 weeks like they have in the past. The match was heatless, but was literally shorter than the length of this clip, so I can’t complain. They didn’t do a boring 10-minute match to tell a 3-minute story. That was smart. There’s promise here. (10 for 12)
Roman Reigns storms into Shane McMahon’s VIP room (5 minutes, 1 second)
Shane and Drew talk smack, but Drew mentions Roman’s family, so THE BIG DOG makes his way to their (really sweet, actually) VIP room. Roman threw one of the dudes from the Revival at least 50 feet down a hallway and into a loading door on the way. Good god. Roman kicks the crap out of Drew and puts him through a catering table then chases Shane to the ring, where the Best in the World eats a Superman punch and spear. And the crowd was cheering for Roman the whole time! That’s gotta be a positive thing.
This was fine. It looks like they clipped out whatever Roman said to start the segment, since this video started with him in the ring, but it probably wasn’t important. Drew sort of looked like an idiot when he kept talking even after Roman was halfway to the backstage area. Shane already saw that Roman was coming — Drew mentioned something about a movie Roman is going to be in, so I guess they just had to shoehorn that in there. Now I don’t know anything about this rivalry, but it seems like Drew talking about how he’s going to disfigure Roman’s body to the point that his family wouldn’t recognize him was big time overkill. That was graphic for no good reason, and he could have made the same point 30 other ways. But hey, they cheered for Roman and it looks like Drew might not just be a lackey after all, so I’m cautiously optimistic. (11 for 13)
Rumors spread about Bayley (38 seconds)
Watch the video. Whatever. Was this really something that needed to be documented? (11 for 14)
The IIconics vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title Match (2 minutes, 36 seconds)
Not much to say about the match. Bayley was at ringside, probably because of the mean social media post that Charley Caruso showed her in the previous clip. Nikki Cross did most of the work for her team and controlled the match for the majority of what was shown. Alexa Bliss pushed Bayley down, and the IIconics take advantage of the 2-on-1 situation, with Billie rolling up Nikki to retain the titles. Bayley stopped Alexa from getting back into the ring to break up the pin.
The match looked fine. It’s not really possible to judge based on under 2 and a half minutes of wrestling, but the IIconics looked okay in the ring. Nikki Cross is great and if she gets the chance, she will be a fantastic babyface when she plays the same role Nia Jax played back when she was Alexa’s lackey who thought they were besties. I thought the rule was that you were supposed to wait 7 years before running the same storyline? None of this was bad at all. (12 for 15)
Nikki Cross learns the “truth” about Bayley (38 seconds)
Nikki is upset that Bayley stopped Alexa from saving her, which cost them the tag titles. She’s going to be in Alexa’s corner at Stomping Grounds.
Bookending the tag title match with 38-second backstage interactions. Works for me, and advances the storyline very quickly and very simply. (13 for 16)
Fear is power in the “Firefly Fun House” (3 minutes, 9 seconds)
The latest iteration of the Fun House randomly has Bray saying that the Earth is flat and that dinosaurs aren’t extinct. Okie dokie! Or, Yowie Wowie, I guess. Bray, all his friends, and Cultaholic, I guess, want you to “Join Us” and it appears that along with “Let Me In”, Bray’s new catchphrase may be “Follow the Leader” instead of “Follow the Buzzards”.
This continues to be different from everything else on the show, and in a very good way. It looks like they’re putting a lot of legitimate effort into this. I hope it translates well once he gets out of the Fun House and into the arena. (14 for 17)
Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan (3 minutes, 26 seconds)
Rollins hits Bryan with a suicide dive, but upon his second try (he and Bryan both do the multiple dive spot, don’t they?) he’s caught by Erick Rowan, who nails him with a sweet-looking Iron Claw modified choke slam (guess you can’t really call it a chokeslam, but whatever). The match is thrown out after a brawl ensues involving a bunch of mostly random people. The New Day come out to help Seth, which… good guys helping good guys, I guess… Sami and KO followed, which makes sense since they have Woods & Big E at the PPV. The Revival aren’t doing anything on Sunday (except for interfering in the Roman/Drew match I would assume) but they ran down as well. And The Usos, who also aren’t on the card for the PPV, also ran down, since… they’re pals with The New Day. What a random bunch of nonsense. The Usos take out all of the bad guys with a stereo dive over the top and the match is restarted. Seth beats Bryan with the Stomp but gets taken out by Corbin with a steel chair on the ramp to end the show.
I don’t get the point of the big run-in party. To make things seem chaotic, since the 3rd hour of RAW is down and dirty and gritty now? Are they still pushing that or was that literally a one time only deal? Maybe They’ll do Usos vs. Revival on the pre-show. Maybe The Revival will be co-special guest referees. In any event, I’m sure the match was good, but they only showed about a minute of it. Closing the night with Corbin standing tall after blindsiding Rollins with a chair is the type of good, simple booking I like to see. Strong way to close the show. (15 for 18)
Week 1, Episode 1
For the most part, I liked what I saw. Out of the 18 segments, only three of them got the thumbs down from me. One of them was only 38 seconds long! It took 7 videos for me to find something I didn’t like. That definitely makes this a good show in my eyes. Granted this was a curated, truncated version of Monday Night RAW, but nothing got left out. There was some stuff that wasn’t necessary and could have been cut entirely and not be missed. An important note: just because I liked a segment didn’t mean it was a great segment. Unless something is actively bad, I’m going to give it a pass. I’m an easy grader. RAW was easy to watch and made plenty of sense as a series of clips clocking in at 5 minutes or less.
If nothing else, this proves that RAW could very easily be a 2-hour show and not have to cut anything. It also proves that as a 3-hour show, they could fit so much more and feature more wrestlers. Well, one episode doesn’t prove it, but if this becomes a recurring theme over the course of the next 2 months, I think that would prove it. The roster isn’t too big for the amount of time they have.
I’ll have to see if this becomes a trend — interestingly enough, the runtime of the 18 clips, which featured everything that happened on the show, was 45 minutes. That’s the length of an hour-long television show if you exclude commercials. RAW without commercials is roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes, and SmackDown is roughly 1 hour and 25 minutes. If my theory holds up, the runtime of the YouTube clips for SmackDown should be in the range of 35 minutes.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (Kinda)
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