SmackDown brings us a Wrestlemania Rematch this close to TLC! The Queen ended the Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak, but will history repeat itself?
- Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali; Bryan wins.
- The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad; The Miz & Shane win.
- Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana; Hardy & Rusev win.
- Charlotte Flair VS Asuka; Asuka wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!
Or should we say, the new Daniel Bryan. Either way, the WWE Championship will be on the line against the Phenomenal AJ Styles. However, it’s a minor miracle Styles can even compete after what this Daniel Bryan did to his leg at the end of last week. Fans boo and jeer this Bryan as he picks up a mic. Bryan recalls calling the WWE Universe a bunch of sheep. He wants to apologize for that. Bryan wants to apologize to sheep. Sheep don’t deserve to be compared to such idiots! They’re not the ones destroying the planet with endless consumption. It’s not a “carbon hoof print.” The fans aren’t sheep. They’re parasites! Fans disagree, and believe “Daniel Sucks!” He just calls them fickle.
As he was saying, fans are parasites because they take and take and give nothing in return, especially in Las Vegas. But Bryan isn’t surprised, because fans latched on tot he Old Bryan and lived vicariously through him. That’s what the Yes Movement really was. “Well guess what? The Old Daniel Bryan is dead! And the Yes Movement is dead!” But just like any parasite, the fans have moved on to a new “fickle field”. And these idiots all sit on the couch in the House that AJ Styles Built. Fans cheer for Styles, but Bryan reminds us he is the WWE Champion! And at TLC, Bryan vows to crush Styles’ dream of reclaiming the title, and then the announcement will be “Still WWE Champion, the NEW Daniel Bryan!”
Do fans not believe him? “No! No!” Well Bryan debates with friends all the time, “sometimes you don’t know whether your’e stupid or you deliberately pull the wool over your eyes so you don’t have to realize the facts.” Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance. Like in Vegas! But wait, here comes Bryan’s opponent for tonight, the Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali! Ali responds to Bryan with an introduction, but Bryan already knows who he is. The idiot fans might not but Bryan does. And he knows they’re having a match later, but Ali can join him now. Bryan gives Ali an introduction, and it seems fans do know who he is. Ali is the Heart of 205 Live, and is an incredible performer. Bryan sees a lot of his former self in Ali.
So Bryan gives Ali advice: they don’t need to have this match tonight. Bryan tells Ali that the fans won’t care, “they’re too self-absorbed” and xenophobic. These fickle fans do not deserve this great match. Fans boo so Bryan calls them all fickle. But Ali wants to know what happened to Bryan. Bryan inspired wrestlers like Ali to become a superstar. The entire 205 Live roster looks up to Bryan because Bryan stood toe to toe with any giant and proved he had heart. So what happened? Bryan talks about the Old Bryan, but that Old Bryan would want a fight. Ali wants a fight! Bryan paces while fans chant “Fight! Fight!” Bryan asks Ali what kind of car he drives. What does that have to do with this? But, it’s an SUV.
Bryan doesn’t like that. Ali is small, why does he need a car so big? Well, he has a wife and kids- Bryan slaps him! Bryan says Ali is ignorant, and slaps him again. So Ali fights back! Bryan whips but Ali reverses and headscissors Bryan tot he apron! Then dropkicks Bryan out, and leaps with a senton! Ali looks to shut this New Bryan up, next!
Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali!
SmackDown returns as Bryan whips Ali and knocks him down with a kitchen sink knee. Bryan drags Ali up for a headbutt then toys with him. Fans boo as Bryan taunts Ali then bumps him off buckles. Bryan kicks away on Ali in the corner, then soaks up the heat. Bryan drags Ali up with an arm wrench, then whips him corner to corner. Ali goes up but Bryan catches him with a kick. Bryan kicks Ali while he’s down, then drops knees. Bryan hooks Ali’s face but lets up at 4. Ali gets to a corner but Bryan rocks him with a European Uppercut. Bryan grabs Ali for a toehold, then drops an elbow on the knee. Bryan hooks the legs and grabs at the arms. Ali resists so Bryan hooks the nose instead!
Bryan lets up at 4, then hooks the nose again. He lets go at 4, and then lets off the legs to stomp Ali on the back! Fans boo but Bryan soaks up the heat. Bryan stalks Ali and gives him the Yes Kicks. OR perhaps now, the “No Kicks” because fans say “No!” with each one. Bryan aims but Ali dodges to kick back! Ali SUPERKICKS Bryan in the back, covers, TWO! Bryan bails out but Ali builds speed to wreck him with a dropkick! Ali slingshots but Bryan dodges to send Ali into the post! Bryan grins while we go picture in picture.
Ali is down while Bryan catches his breath. Bryan climbs up top to make sure everyone can see him. Then he goes back for Ali on the outside, but leaves him for dead. Bryan soaks up the heat and counts along, but Ali gets in at 9! Bryan looks annoyed by the resilient Ali. He kicks Ali while he’s down, then drags him up. Bryan snap suplexes Ali down, then heads up top. Ali gets up and stops Bryan! Ali climbs up to join Bryan, and hits a SUPER SPANISH FLY!! But Ali flounders away, he crawls back to a cover, TWO!! Ali was so close to pinning THE WWE Champion! He hurries to put Bryan in a drop zone and goes back up. But Bryan trips Ali off and Ali hits the floor!
Bryan gets Ali back into the ring fast, and wraps on the No Lock! Ali moves around, enduring the hold. Bryan wrenches back hard, but Ali doesn’t give up. Ali drags himself and Bryan towards ropes as we return to single picture. Ali reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Bryan lets go, but is simply annoyed further. Bryan drags Ali up and puts him on the top rope backwards. He pulls Ali down into the Tree of Woe and gives more No Kicks. Bryan runs corner to corner, and hits a dropkick! Bryan drags Ali out of the Tree, then puts him back up. He climbs up behind Ali, but Ali slips out of the Super Back Suplex! Ali dodges Bryan and Bryan hits buckles! Ali CHOPS Bryan, and again, and again! Bryan kicks back and bump Ali off buckles.
Bryan whips but Ali reverses. Ali gets under Bryan to hit the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali again comes close and is shocked. Bryan ends up in a drop zone and Ali hurries up again. Ali leaps, 0-5-4 FLOPS! Bryan drags Ali over and slams his leg into the post! And again! And again! Ali crawls away but Bryan comes around from the corner to chop block the leg! Bryan drags Ali into the Heel Hook! Ali taps, Bryan wins!
Winner: The New Daniel Bryan, by submission
The WWE Champion’s new mean streak helps him snuff out the Beacon of Light tonight in Vegas! However, The Phenomenal One is coming for payback, will he become the new champion?
But Bryan isn’t done with Ali! He attacks Ali on the stage with those savage stomps! And he puts the Heel Hook on again! Ali taps but it doesn’t matter. More referees appear and Bryan lets Ali go. Fans boo but Bryan revels in it as he holds up his title. This mean streak runs deep, will it be the key to keeping the New Bryan the current champion?
Awww Vegas~! It’s time for a Rap Battle!
The New Day come out to host a special battle of bars between The Usos and The Bar!
SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E stand ready as judges for this second ever SmackDown Rap Battle. Meanwhile, The Bar look like they stepped out from the 90’s. Now they’ll all be battling in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat. The Bar requested this battle but the New Day won’t allow for any funny business. Sheamus starts off, “This has gone too far, Big Tony, hit them with the bar.” Cesaro starts a beat for “Ice Ice Shamy.” The Bar basically parody Vanilla Ice. Fans don’t know whether to laugh or boo. The New Day rank that… a trash can out of 10.
As for the Usos, Jimmy and Jey take a moment to collect themselves. “It’s the Usos VS the Bar in a rap off, I’m like it can’t be. What the hell are they about to talk about, UCe?” “Sheamus’ hair grease. Cesaro’s mouth piece.” The Usos got cheated, defeated, they removed it from their memories like Woken Hardy: DELETED. They beat the Ninja Turtles, and now it’s on to Bebop and Rock Steady. “FELLA~!” Mr. Movie Star, they’re not stealing a line but that was booty. Usos show love, like cupid. Sheamus looks dumb. No, like stupid! Is Sheamus purposefully staying white like chalk? Does he have Cesaro help him with the mohawk? Brogue Kicks VS Superkick, ain’t no pump action, those come from the hip, hit you in the teeth. But how do you knock Cesaro’s teeth out with no knuckles? I dunno. Let’s introduce our friend, Mr. Turnbuckle.
Hello, Mr. Turnbuckle! How did it feel? Well when he pushed Cesaro’s teeth down his throat, we learned who’s the real man of steel. Cesaro the Swiss Superman, right? King of Swing, right? But that won’t matter against their Uso kryptonite! The Bar sets the bar? No this is a true tag team, they’re the stars. Ten years, still going hard, zero injuries, Uso Iron Man! Tony Stark!! The Usos are bulletproof, are the truth and still have fun. Back to back tag team of the year, six time champs coming soon. The Bar, New Day, Usos, Sunday, Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! The Bar have heard enough, they start swinging! The Usos are ready, and they hit back! Cesaro and Sheamus get sent out, and then the Usos are ready to throw with The New Day.
But The Bar comes back to blow it all up! BROGUE for Jey, and then a beating for the hosts! Jey gets up, but gets A-Swiss-ted White Noise! The Bar hold up their titles, and as the Usos said themselves, “We ARE the Bar!” Will #RunBAR continue to run the SmackDown Tag Team Division after TLC’s Triple Threat?
“I thought nobody would be ready for Asuka. I was wrong, I was not ready, I made one mistake.” The mistake was Asuka let up. But this Sunday, Asuka will kick, strike, climb and grab that title to win. As for tonight, Charlotte won’t be ready this time! The Empress is fired up, will she settle the score from back at Wrestlemania?
The Miz is in the ring!
He holds the World Cup trophy, and tells Shane McMahon that while it’s his week to have custody, Miz needs to speak his mind. Miz wants Shane to come out, and doesn’t want to have to beg. Fans want to see him beg. Miz concedes, and kneels. He bends the knee, and asks Shane come out to talk. This is bigger than a trophy, so please come out. Shane O’Mac appears! He joins Miz in the ring, and says “What’s up, Las Vegas?” And what is up with Miz? Is he okay? Why is Miz out here with the trophy? It’s the only way Miz can get through to him! Shane won’t respond to him. They can be so good together, if he’d just give Miz a chance.
Miz knows Shane is scared, and so is Miz. But Shane owes Miz one. They should tag together again. If they lose, fine, this can stop. But if they win, they can be the #BestTeamintheWorld! Shane thinks this is getting weird. No, the trophy is just a symbol. They can be so much more! Then enlighten him. Okay, fine. Miz will say this for the first time in his life. In fact, Miz will show him! Get a referee out here! A referee appears. They’ll take on Chip & Chad, The Vegas Boys! Chip & Chad appear, and the match is set?
The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad!
Shane is very confused, and tries to reason with Miz while the bell rings. Chip and Chad attack Shane! Miz is shocked, but he coaches Shane up. Shane fires off fast hands! He knocks Chip(?) down then throws him out! Shane dares Chad(?) to fight, and he lights him up with jabs! Shane whips then hits a big back elbow. He hits Chip away and then gives Chad a float-over DDT! Fans want Miz to get in, but he’s busy holding the world cup. Shane brings Chad into a triangle hold! Miz is already celebrating before Chad taps out. Shane & Miz win!
Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon, Shane by submission
The Best Team in the World finally succeeds! But Miz is clearly more pumped then Shane is about it. Will Shane come around and join Miz on this tag team journey to the top? Or is Miz just seeing what he wants to see?
Paige is furious with the referee.
They can’t just be making matches without the GM’s consent! Especially with the commissioner. But The Miz said she gave permission. Paige sees what’s going on now. But just as she tells the ref to hush, Chip & Chad come in, with invoices. The Miz said they were getting paid $5000 each for that match. Paige tears up the invoices, and tells everyone to leave. Will the GM have words for the overly ambitious A-Lister?
Randy Orton heads to the ring!
The Viper prepares for a Chairs Match with the King of Lucha Libre! These two will be able to do whatever they want with those infamous steel weapons. Orton brings one into the ring with him, and says “Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned solid steel chair, am I right?” They’re built for comfort, but can also make a statement. Orton rolls footage of how he’s used these chairs to brutalize Rey Mysterio these last few weeks, namely wrapped around Mysterio’s head before being thrown into a steel post. Orton likes that, but perhaps we can do better. He rolls more footage, as he did very much the same thing, but throwing Mysterio into steel steps this time.
“Now let me get this straight.” Mysterio knows he has a Chairs Match, and is okay with that? Everyone’s seen what Orton does to his opponent, yet Mysterio is okay with that? Mysterio must think he’ll get his revenge. But Mysterio is a victim, and victims don’t get revenge. The locker room will be worried about TLC, but Mysterio needs to be worried about RKO. But Mysterio SMACKS Orton from behind! Mysterio jabs the chair into Orton, then SMACKS him again! Then he tosses the chair at Orton, to dropkick it in his head! Orton is on the ropes, and Mysterio hits the 619! Orton bails out, but Mysterio wants more! Will the Viper be a victim after Sunday?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
If Charlotte Flair and Asuka beat each other up badly enough, does that give her an advantage in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC? Advantage? Becky’s getting back in the ring, road testing both her banged up face and her banged up brain, in one of the most dangerous matches in all of WWE. And not just against one but two of the best. So no, there is no advantage. But Becky still loves it. Fighting against the odds is what Becky does. And doctors can get all twitchy, but she’ll still scout her opponents tonight. And then on Sunday, she’ll remind all of us how much chaos can happen when The Man comes around.
Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana!
The Destroyer wants to remind the Enigma of his troubled past, while the King of Strong Style wants to make it clear the Super Athlete will never relive his glory days. Will Hardy and Rusev uniting be enough to show Joe and Nakamura that it’s not about the past but the future?
Nakamura and Joe troll their opponents, but then the FABULOUS Truth appears? Dance Break~! The music hits and the flossing begins! “Proceed.” Nakamura kicks Hardy and the match begins! Nakamura drives in knees, then stomps Hardy down. He tags in Joe and Joe drives down elbows. Hardy hits back and Joe bails out. Joe drags Hardy out to join him and then throws Hardy into barriers. The Destroyer looms over the Enigma as we go picture in picture.
Joe puts Hardy back in the ring and stands hardy up. He tags to Nakamura and Nakamura stomps away in the corner. Nakamura gives Hardy Bad Vibrations, then taunts Rusev. He says “C’MON!” and Rusev takes the bait, but the ref keeps him back. Nakamura goes back to Hardy for a snapmare and knee drop! Cover, TWO! Joe tags in but Hardy flounders for Rusev. Joe drags him back and stomps Hardy out, before driving elbow after elbow into Hardy’s shoulder. He wrenches Hardy’s neck and Hardy endures as fans rally. Hardy stands up and fights back, but runs into Joe’s back elbow. Joe covers, TWO! Joe stands Hardy up for jabs as we return to single picture.
The referee counts and Joe backs off. Hardy fires off but Joe reverses the whip to hit the back elbow to Pele! Hardy goes down, Joe covers, but Rusev breaks it. Joe keeps on Hardy with another snapmare, and chops to the shoulder. He tags in Nakamura and Nakamura stomps on Hardy. Nakamura brings Hardy up in a facelock, then rams his knee in. He puts Hardy on the top rope and hits the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps his eyes on Rusev as he tags Joe back in. Joe kicks Hardy while he’s down, then pulls on the arms for the half surfboard. Rusev and fans rally for Hardy, and Hardy gets up. Hardy kicks and punches Joe, but Joe denies the Twist. Joe runs into the corner but into an elbow. Whisper in the Wind hits! Both men are down but fans fire up!
Hardy and Joe crawl for their corners as fans chant “Rusev Day!” Hot tag to Nakamura, then to Rusev! The Bulgarian Brute rallies on the Rockstar, and throws haymakers! Rusev whips and clobbers him at the ropes. Rusev scoops Nakamura to ram in his knee, then throws him with the Fall Away Slam! Nakamura gets to a corner but Rusev runs in for the back shoulder, and then the spinning heel kick! Fans fire up with Rusev as he stomps the mat. Nakamura slowly stands, and he elbows Rusev away. Rusev still lifts but Nakamura slips out. Nakamura swings but misses, Rusev’s roundhouse connects! Cover, but Joe breaks it. Hardy gives Joe the Twist of Fate!
Hardy follows after, and leaps off the apron! He wipes Joe out, but Nakamura runs at Rusev. Drop toehold, into the Accolade. Nakamura escapes to use his strike fest, then aims from a corner. But he runs into a MACHKA KICK instead! Cover, Rusev & hardy win!
Winners: Jeff Hardy & Rusev, Rusev pinning
The Bulgarian Brute pins the United States Champion! Will Rusev use this to launch back into the title scene? Will Hardy be able to render Joe’s mind games OBSOLETE?
Shane McMahon confronts The Miz backstage.
What is going on with him and the trophy? Paying competitors to attack Shane? Tricking an official into calling a match no one sanctioned? Miz is crossing a line. Miz admits it! But he won’t apologize. Shane’s instincts kicked in and won, just like he did at the World Cup! That kill-or-be-killed McMahon instinct! Miz has main evented Wrestlemania, has a film franchise and a reality TV series, but he’s never been considered Best in the World. Not until Shane came along. Miz offers a handshake, but Shane denies it. Miz is left hanging, will he give up this pursuit? Or will he only be all the more motivated?
Backstage interview with AJ Styles.
“The New Daniel Bryan” took the WWE Championship through underhanded means, but is Styles ready to take the title back? Styles is biding his time, because no one else wants to beat Bryan up more than he does. He’s counting the days, hours and minutes to TLC. This “new” Bryan isn’t that new. It’s more like “the real” Bryan. But there’s only one Phenomenal One, and that’s AJ Styles. Styles is ready for revenge, but will he get satisfaction on Sunday?
Charlotte Flair VS Asuka!
The Queen and the Empress are both ready for TLC’s first ever Women’s TLC match, that is also a triple threat with the champion, Becky Lynch. However, tonight is about a rematch from their epic SmackDown Women’s Championship Wrestlemania match! Will Charlotte be able to repeat history? Or will she find she’s no longer ready for Asuka?
SmackDown returns with a backstage interview from Charlotte. She’s days away from another historic first, but what about this amazing rematch? Charlotte knows what’s at stake. Asuka says she’s going to break Charlotte, but The Queen doesn’t break. The Queen breaks streaks. This will be a preview of how Charlotte will make them bow down to the Queen! The Queen makes her entrance, and we begin!
But wait, The Man promised to be ringside, and her she comes! Becky Lynch raises her belt all the way down the ramp and over to commentary where she takes her seat. The bell rings and Asuka and Charlotte turn their focus back on each other. Charlotte boots but misses, and Asuka puts on a waistlock. Asuka lifts but Charlotte fights out, only for Asuka to chop her back. Asuka runs, but her hip attack is caught! She still victory rolls through to a Kneebar! Charlotte scrambles around and stands up. She pries Asuka off and drives her down with a back suplex! Charlotte stands but Asuka follows. Charlotte CHOPS Asuka, and again. Asuka ducks the third to hit a German Suplex! Asuka fires up and runs, but Charlotte dodges the hip attack. Charlotte boots Asuka off the ropes, and takes a moment to catch her breath.
Fans echo the “WOO~!” as Charlotte brings herself over to a corner. Charlotte climbs up and moonsaults, but gets knees! And then flipped into the Asuka Lock! Charlotte scrambles more and gets up. Asuka holds on, but Charlotte makes it a backpack senton! Asuka grabs Charlotte again! Charlotte scrambles around but can’t get Asuka off. Charlotte roles to a ropebreak, and Asuka lets go at 4. This epic rematch continues after the break.
SmackDown returns once more, and the two are brawling on the mat! Charlotte and Asuka fire up with each hit and fans are dueling. Asuka hits, Charlotte hits, but Asuka gets an edge! Charlotte blocks, spins Asuka around, but Asuka switches to an octopus stretch! Charlotte endures as Asuka pulls back harder. Fans rally on both sides as Charlotte works against the hold. Charlotte pops Asuka up but Asuka makes it a crucifix driver! Cover, TWO! Fujiwara armbar outta nowhere! Charlotte struggles against it, but can’t get away. Becky seems unimpressed either way. Asuka wrenches back but Charlotte rolls through, only to end up in a triangle hold! Charlotte makes it a cover, ONE. She tries again, ONE! Charlotte rains rights then makes it a cover again, ONE.
Asuka fires palm strike while holding the hold. Charlotte deadlifts and powerbombs! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte almost had Asuka, but both women are down from exhaustion. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte and cheer for Asuka as the two stir. Charlotte sits up first, and crawls over to Asuka. Asuka sits up and they both trash talk. Charlotte slaps Asuka as she says “You will never break me!” But Asuka gets the takedown, the jackknife, but Charlotte slips through to Figure Four! Asuka endures as Charlotte wrenches back. Asuka turns the hold over! The pressure reverses and now Charlotte endures! Charlotte scrambles to ropes and the two separate. Becky seems amused now. Asuka and Charlotte force themselves up, but Charlotte gets Asuka’s leg. Asuka endures the toehold, but Charlotte drives in elbows! Charlotte goes for another Figure Four but Asuka resists, so Charlotte drops a knee!
Fans duel as Asuka endures. Charlotte hammers away on Asuka, her frustration boiling over. Cover, TWO! Becky is again stoic as she watches Chalrotte drag Asuka over to a corner. Charlotte throws a leg into the post! She gives Becky a glare before she again throws Asuka’s leg against post. Charlotte then drags Asuka over, covers, TWO! She goes for the figure four, but Asuka cradles! TWO, and Charlotte CHOPS Asuka. And chops, and chops! Asuka blocks the next chop, and fireman’s carry takedown to kicks! Asuka runs, but Charlotte follows. Spear into a code breaker! Cover, TWO!! Asuka almost caught Charlotte there but this battle continues. Fans continue to duel as Asuka stands. Asuka kicks away on Charlotte, again and again and again, but then the buzzsaw is blocked. She still knocks the wind out of Charlotte, then fires off elbows from all sides!
Asuka kicks Charlotte in the face again and again, almost toying with her. She gives another shot then runs, but into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!? Asuka survives and Charlotte is surprised. Becky is stone faced, but on the edge of her seat. Charlotte flounders to her feet while Asuka stirs on the mat. Charlotte drags Asuka to a drop zone while fans duel. She climbs up top, moonsault! Asuka gets her feet up, but Charlotte saw it coming! Charlotte grabs the feet for a figure four, but Asuka sees that coming! Cradle to Asuka Lock!! Charlotte flairs but the hold is on deep! Asuka stays on Charlotte’s back, and they fall out of the ring! Charlotte resorts to a kendo stick! And she SMACKS Asuka!
Winner: Asuka, by disqualification
The Mad Queen returns as she swings wild! Charlotte gave Asuka the win, but The Man simply smirks as she looks at her battered competition. Becky goes to leave, but Charlotte SMACKS her in the back! Charlotte SMACKS away on Asuka, but Becky comes back with kicks! Becky throws Charlotte into the steps, then takes up the stick! She SMACKS Charlotte now! And again, and again! But Asuka attacks Becky! And throws her over the announce desk! Asuka picks up the stick for her own, and SMACKS Charlotte back! And Becky on the table, too! Asuka smacks everyone!! The Empress stands over The Queen and The Man, but will she stand tall as the Women’s Champion?!
SmackDown again has the superior main roster go-home! And oddly enough, that might be because they changed some things. Naomi and Mandy Rose were meant to spark a feud tonight, as started by social media, but perhaps there were factors beyond anyone’s control that cancelled that match. After all, this is a live show. But I do appreciate SmackDown at least wanted a midcard story going into TLC, it can’t always be about the title.
Moving on, Daniel Bryan’s opening promo was great. I knew he was going to pull that gag about “that’s an insult to [x]”. And it’s great for Mustafa Ali to be the one trying to get through to Bryan about his new behavior. For one, it’s just great that Cruiserweights are showing up on both main shows, and I hope this continues to some degree, in perhaps an effort to stop the isolation of the Division on 205 Live. Raw already has Lio Rush and the Lucha House Party, perhaps SmackDown can have stars like Ali, Noam Dar, or Cedric Alexander show up to give us some great matches. Bryan VS Ali was itself a great match and Ali looked strong even in losing.
I’m a little disappointed Bryan VS Styles won’t be a Chairs Match, but learning that Orton VS Mysterio gets that, that’s really great. Orton and Mysterio have been heading that way given the violent chair spots, and I am sure they’ll do the stipulation justice. But Mysterio standing tall tonight, I have a feeling that means Orton wins at TLC so his hunt for heroes can continue. The rap battle was great, from The Bar having a completely comedic routine to The Usos having a killer one. The Bar attack and manage to stand tall, but perhaps that, too, is a sign we get new champs at TLC. I feel that since The New Day already reached their five-time mark, The Usos will get another turn. And as great as these three teams are, I hope Usos becoming champs help shuffle challengers. SAnitY and The Club deserve second chances.
The Miz is definitely heading for a match with Shane, he just has to be. He goads Shane into a surprise match with jobbers, which actually helps cover up that Shane’s floatover DDT turned into a hungover DDT. I’m just wondering what he’ll have planned now that Shane seems firmly against #BestTeamintheWorld. Hardy & Rusev VS Joe & Nakamura was a really good match, and definitely builds things towards their respective blow-offs. However, it still feels too early to call who wins their respective feuds. It would be great if Rusev gets the US Championship back, he could use it after that detour with Aiden English. Hardy-Joe is also harder to decide, but Joe hasn’t won much lately so he could really use this one.
The SmackDown Women’s Championship scene is incredible right now. This Wrestlemania rematch tonight was amazing, and in the moment I was disappointed that it ended with a disqualification. But between the awesome brawl that happened between Charlotte, Asuka and Becky and how a disqualification keeps both women strong, I’m okay with it. The TLC Triple Threat is going to be off the charts, and it will definitely steal the show no matter where it is on the card. I’m hoping that if there is a new champion, it will be Asuka. The fans were so behind her, they have been behind her, and will be behind her even if she takes the title from Becky. The only other option fans will still be behind is if Becky retains, because otherwise Charlotte treads dangerous waters in her push.
My Score: 8.7/10