It’s the Raw After Extreme Rules!
And there’s a not-so-new WWE Universal Champion! What is going to happen now that once Raw is once again under the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR!?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls Six Man Tag: Ricochet & The Usos VS Robert Roode & The Revival; Ricochet & The Usos win.
- The Viking Raiders VS Vinnie Rooner & Jackson James; The Viking Raiders win.
- Drew McIntyre VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins.
- Finn Balor VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
- Zack Ryder VS Mike Kanellis w/ Maria; Ryder wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Club VS Lucha House Party; The Club wins.
- Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Elimination Fatal 4 Way: Natalya VS Naomi VS Carmella VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Natalya wins and will face Becky Lynch for the title at Summerslam.
- WWE 24/7 Championship: Drake Maverick w/ Renee Michelle VS R-Truth; Truth wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender “Cross Brand All-Star Top 10” Battle Royal: Seth Rollins wins and will challenge Brock Lesnar for the title at Summerslam.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw makes Long Island into Suplex City!
And that’s because Paul Heyman brings The Beast with him! The Advocate and the NEW Universal Champion enter the ring and Heyman gives his introductions, and is happy to shout he is with the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, BRRROCK! LESNARRR!” But what amazes Heyman the most is that he told the truth, and fans would rather he told a lie. Heyman isn’t much for an “I told you so,” but he told you so. He told the WWE Universe last night during Extreme Rules that Lesnar would cash-in, and he did! #WeToldYouSo. Don’t boo that, boo yourselves for not believing.
But another group that needs to listen to the “told you so” is the WWE roster. Rollins wasn’t going to be the challenger and there needed to be a new one, but no one stepped up. Heyman has the stroke right now, wink wink. So Heyman has the how for who will be Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent. Lesnar is not the easiest Beast to negotiate with. Just ask UFC. Lesnar fights when, where and how he wants. So Heyman’s plan will be the “Cross Branded, Top Ten All Star Battle Royal!” And of course, the winner of this tongue twister gets to make history in Toronto by being beaten, victimized and conquered by Brrrock! Lesnarrr! But who are the top ten all-stars? Here they are! Will it be Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Big E, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Bobby Lashley or Roman Reigns that wins his way to the biggest party of the summer?
If Heyman were Roman, he’d take a rain check. Seth Rollins rode into Philadelphia like he was Becky Lynch’s Stud, and then Lesnar made Rollins into a “gelding.” Google it, Long Island. But the emasculated pony that steps up to Lesnar, you risk health, well-being and manhood. The promise and threat and spoiler from Heyman this time: if anyone has the opportunity to step into the ring with Lesnar, you risk all that and more, “because in this Universe, you’re all Brock’s b*tches.”
But as Brock and Heyman make their exits, the One and Only makes his entrance! Ricochet may not have an opportunity at Lesnar, but he’s just fighting to get back at the man who took his title. Will the King of Flight fly high for a chance at The Phenomenal One?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls Six Man Tag: Ricochet & The Usos VS Robert Roode & The Revival
Raw returns and hey, Uce. There’s unfinished business with the Lil’ Rascals. Pretty Ricky is ready to rock with Jimmy & Jey, and they’re going to welcome the GLORIOUS #TopGuys to the Uso Penitentiary!
The teams sort out and we begin with Scott Dawson and Jimmy Uso. SUPERKICK to Dawson with the bell! Dash runs in and gets a kick from Ricochet! Ricochet tags in, Recoil! Shooting star press, cover, the first fall is Ricochet’s!
Ricochet & Usos – 1; Roode & Revival – 0
Well that was fast. Roode is upset with the Revival already, but now he starts the second fall with Ricochet. They tie up and Roode knees low. Roode clubs then bumps Ricochet off buckles, then stomps a GLORIOUS mudhole in! Roode CHOPS Ricochet against the ropes, then whips him across the way. Ricochet rolls off Roode’s back to handspring and headscissor and dropkick! Cover, ONE! Roode won’t be beat so quick, but Ricochet drags him to the corner. Tag to Jey and he takes the hand-off. Jey whips but Roode reverses. Jey goes up and over to mule kick and pop-lock into a SPINEBUSTER! Roode covers, TWO!
Roode tags Dash and Roode feeds Jey to Dash’s knee. Dash throws European uppercuts then rips off Jey’s shirt. Dash clubs Jey but fans rally up as he chokes Jey on the ropes. The ref backs Dash off and then keeps an eye on Dawson. Dash CHOPS Jey but Jey uppercuts back. Dash throws Jey into the corner but Jey fights out! Jey walks into Dash’s kick then gets a scoop slam. Dash drops but misses his elbow, tag to Jimmy! Jimmy rallies and kicks to pop-lock and uppercut! Then the Samoan Drop! Jimmy fires up but has to hit Roode first. Dash whips and Dawson tags in, flapjack on Jimmy! Cover, the Revival tie things up!
Ricochet & Usos – 1; Roode & Revival – 1
The Raw Tag Team Champions keep their trio in this, and we go to break!
Raw returns for the third and final fall. The bell rings and Dawson corner clotheslines Jimmy. Dawson snap suplexes, then drops an elbow, a leg and the headbutt. Cover, TWO! Another try, TWO! Tag to Dash, and the Revival work together to rope guillotine Jimmy! Dash covers, TWO! The Revival and Roode grow frustrated but they’re still in control. Dash drags Jimmy up to an abdominal stretch but fans rally as Jimmy endures. Jimmy works his way out and arm-drags Dash away. Dash grabs Jimmy to keep him from his corner! Jimmy punches Dash but can’t get free. Dash reels Jimmy back into the stretch, but gets a hip toss! Dawson tags in and tackles Jimmy while Dash hits Jey. But Jimmy dragon whips and dropkicks! Hot tags to Roode and Ricochet!
Ricochet bumps and boots Roode, then springboards for the flying clothesline! Ricochet dropkicks Dawson down! He tosses Dash out and Jey FLIES! But Roode kicks Ricochet, only for Ricochet to roll him up. Roode slips out, but gets a RECOIL! Ricochet hurries up top, 630 senton! Cover, Ricochet & the Usos win!
Winners: Ricochet & The Usos, Ricochet pinning
But to ruin the celebration, it’s The Club! AJ Styles wears the WWE United States Championship proudly, but Ricochet DIVES right onto him! Gallows and Anderson go after Ricochet but the Usos go after them! But The Revival go after the Usos! To get SUPERKICKS! SUPERKICK for Anderson, SUPERKICKS for Gallows! And then the Usos run, but Roode drags Jimmy out to throw him into barriers! Jey grabs Roode but gets a hotshot, into the SHATTER MACHINE! Roode has the Revival go after Jey more, but Ricochet springboards to crossbody them all! But Styles snipes Ricochet with that Phenomenal Forearm! The Club gets the better of Roode again, as they feed him to the MAGIC KIILLER!
“That’s what you get?! You have no idea who you’re messing with!” That is Styles’ message to the One and Only and anyone else who wants to step to The Club! Who will dare step to them for a chance at the US Championship?
The Viking Raiders VS Vinnie Rooner & Jackson James!
The war comes to Long Island! Their team name is a birthright for Erik and Ivar, and they will rain down mayhem on any fools that stand before them! Those fools tonight clearly don’t know what they’re in for, because they’re still here. How long will Long Island’s own even last?
The bell rings and Erik powers Rooner right to the corner! Tag to Ivar and Rooner is fed to the knee, then another knee. Ivar throws Jackson in for Erik’s shotgun knees! Ivar then goes corner to corner to splash Rooner and bronco buster Jackson! Then Erik uses Ivar as a human weapon to smash Rooner in the corner! Cover but Ivar wants to do more. He tags Erik back in and they haul Jackson up for a scoop slam backbreaker, to gutbuster, to German lariat combo! And of course, Rooner gets THOR’S HAMMER! Cover, the Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, Erik pinning
Another team has been sent to Valhalla after going through the #VikingExperience. Who else will experience the war these two viking machines bring?
Drew McIntyre storms into the Raw locker room.
After he and Shane McMahon lost to Roman Reigns and The Undertaker, the Scottish Terminator is in no mood to have the other superstars laughing it up. Does Cedric Alexander think he’s funny with that trick last week? Well when it comes to challenging competition, Alexander is up to the task. How inspirational. But McIntyre will get Alexander back for sticking his nose into someone else’s business. McIntyre will dismantle and dismember Alexander. Kidding! That’s illegal. But he will humble Alexander. He will eviscerate him. Well Alexander has heard how humble he is, but the joke tonight will be on McIntyre. Does the former Cruiserweight Champion know what he’s getting himself into with an angry Scottish Psychopath?
Drew McIntyre VS Cedric Alexander!
Raw returns and the business between these two men will be settled already! Alexander was standing up to help Roman, but will he regret it?
The bell rings and McIntyre runs Alexander over! Then bumps him off buckles to CHOP away on. McIntyre whips Alexander but Alexander dodges, the handspring and hit the Neuralizer enziguri! Alexander then FLIES onto McIntyre! The Age of Alexander still has that 205 Live fire, and he puts McIntyre in to springboard. McIntyre gets under and catches Alexander for a belly2belly into buckles! McIntyre stand Alexander up to CHOP him off his feet! then he throws him overhead across the ring! McIntyre isn’t done, he suplexes and TOSSES Alexander! Cover, TWO! McIntyre keeps on Alexander with stomps and another CHOP! He drags Alexander up again for the deadlift, but Alexander fights out! Alexander blocks the boot to hit the elbow!
McIntyre staggers but runs in, only o miss in the corner. He lands on the apron and climbs up, to leap into a dropkick! Alexander has McIntyre down! Fans rally up as Alexander gets up. Alexander runs and handsprings again, but into the Glasgow Kiss! McIntyre drags Alexander up for hammering haymakers in the corner! The ref backs McIntyre off but he just comes back and lifts Alexander, inverted Alabama Slam, that Alexander counters to a roll-up! ALEXANDER WINS!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
The biggest upset in years! McIntyre lost focus and Alexander has the last laugh! Will Alexander reestablish himself on Raw with this as the foundation?
Raw hears from Finn Balor.
“Last night was a rough night.” He lost the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura. But he doesn’t dwell on the past, he looks for a way forward. Finn wants the title back, but he has to fight his way there. Samoa Joe is in his path. Finn doesn’t care has to go up, over, around or straight through, he will keep moving forward.
Samoa Joe responds.
Finn thinks he can do what? Through Joe? Over him? Well unless Finn is going to summon the Celtic heroes of old to help him, here is what really happens: Finn walks out and Joe will be waiting to hand him another loss. Joe’s music hits, it’s time to see if the Extraordinary Man can do extraordinary things.
Backstage interview with Roman Reigns.
The #GraveyardDogs were victorious, but how does the Big Dog plan on using that in tonight’s battle royal? Roman doesn’t care what anyone says, from Braun Strowman to Rey Mysterio to even Seth Rollins. This is Roman’s week! From ESPY’s to Hobbs & Shaw to Extreme Rules, the only way Raw ends is with Roman dominating tonight and punching a ticket to take back his Universal Championship. Will Roman truly make the WWE his Yard once again?
Finn Balor VS Samoa Joe!
Finn lost his title, and Joe failed to take one for his own. Both men are determined for another chance, but who comes out of this heading for Toronto?
Raw returns as Finn makes his entrance. The bell rings and this NXT rivalry is renewed for a night!
Finn and Joe tie up and Joe powers Finn to a corner. Joe lets up but shoves Finn. Finn comes back and waistlocks, but Joe elbows out. Joe wrenches Finn to a wristlock but Finn rolls through. Joe wrangles Finn back down, but Finn kips up. Finn headlocks and holds on as Joe tries to power out. Joe lifts Finn but Finn gets the takeover. Joe stands back up to try again and he gets free. He CHOPS Finn on the run, then whips. Finn kicks back then headlocks. Joe powers Finn to a corner but Finn uses the corner to go up and around to another takeover. But Joe makes it a crucifix! Joe wins!!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by pinfall
But he isn’t done fighting! He hammers Finn down then drags him up for the Coquina Clutch! But Finn rolls back to double stomp! And Slingblade! Finn grits his teeth as he shotgun dropkicks Joe into the corner! Joe is down, Finn climbs up, COUP DE GRACE! A ferocious Finn leaves Joe the one reeling, but he still lost. What more must the Extraordinary Man do to get back to a title?
Wait, what is going on with the music? And the lights…? Something is happening in the dark! It’s the FIEND!! Bray Wyatt has Finn in his clutches!! For a Sister Abigail!! Long Island loses its mind as the Fiendish One leaves, laughing all the way.
Drake Maverick and Renee Michelle check in.
As Mr. & Mrs. 24/7 Champion. Oh wait Renee wasn’t supposed to hear that. But it’s for their protection. This is the perfect place for them, right? Renee wants the most romantic room and the most expensive wine. Maverick pays cash to stay off the grid. With a generous tip. But R-Truth is lurking! He and his referee are looking for a Hornswoggle. H-o-r-n, swoggle. Short guy with a funny accent. Oh wait, what’s that behind his ear? A whole George Washington! Well alright, Truth can check the guest list.
The Street Profits are watching Raw, backstage.
Uuuuuuh… Wow. So Maverick has not consummated his marriage yet? Well he’s probably nervous because he’s never done it before. Wait, no, not like that. But there’s a reason guys are putting their height on their Tinder profiles. But anyway, to business: the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way ELIMINATION match! Natalya, Naomi, Carmellaaaa~ and even Alexa Bliss! Wait, is Nikki Cross going to be in her corner? “That’s what the graphic says.” Well then Bliss-Cross all day. For real?! What is with you, boy? Why you crushing in Cross? She’s intense! Yep.
But speaking of intense, TONIGHT! The 10-Man All Star Battle Royal! Who you got!? Huh!? HUH!? BIG E!! Yeah man! But Ford wants… Monday Night ROLLINS! Rollins is like them! He wants all, the, smoke. #WeWanttheSmoke. But will Rollins be able to #BurnItDown when he’s in the ring with nine other hungry superstars?
Zack Ryder VS Mike Kanellis w/ Maria!
Long Island Iced Z is the hometown hero, but the First Lady surprises Mike by saying she’s taking his match? She’s pregnant! Yeah and he’s a loser. She has a better chance of defending the family honor than him. The music hits, and she walks out first?! So, wait, what? WWE doesn’t do co-ed! And certainly not with a pregnant woman! Mike hurries out after Maria and convinces her he will do this. Mike gets in the ring, the bell sounds, and Ryder hits the ROUGH RYDER! Cover, Ryder wins!
Winner: Zack Ryder, by pinfall
Wow, they even announced that it was under a minute. Salt in the wound for the struggling Opportunist of Love. Maria says she told him so. Because they’re- no, her unborn child had a better chance at beating Ryder than Mike. She drops the mic, leaving Mike stinging more from her words than the leg lariat. Will Mike ever be a man in Maria’s eyes again?
Six Man Tag: The Club VS Lucha House Party!
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson all got to #BeatUpRicochet again tonight, but they’re not satisfied. They want to prove Raw is theirs as they take on Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado. Are Mondays about to be #JustTooSweet?
The trios sort out and Styles starts against Metalik. Styles goes right at the King of the ropes and hammers him into the Club’s corner. Tag to the Machine Gun and he stomps away on Metalik, too. Anderson bumps Metalik in the other corner then whips corner to corner. Metalik boots back then Sling-Dogs! Metalik runs the ropes to leap for a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik drags Anderson up but gets a knee. Anderson stomps Metalik out then drags him by his mask to the Club’s corner. Tag to Gallows and Anderson grinds a boot in. Gallows drags Metalik up for big body shots. Gallows stomps but the ref backs him off, and Styles gets a cheap shot in. Big Doc Gallows drags Metalik up again to club him back down.
Gallows throws hands but Metalik CHOPS! But it does nothing, and Gallows decks Metalik. Gallows adds a headbutt, then drags Metalik to whip. Metalik kicks back then whips but Anderson tags in. Gallows reverses and kicks, Anderson shotgun boots Metalik down! And the Club Too Sweet together. But wait, Ricochet attacks Styles!! Ricochet wants revenge! He throws Styles down and Lucha House Party takes care of the Good Brothers! This match is just chaos now, and other refs have to grab Ricochet. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but Raw goes to break while things are sorted out.
Raw returns as this Six Man Tag starts again. Styles mugs Lince and whips him to a dropkick! Styles is all fired up after what Ricochet did earlier, and he drags Lince to the corner. Tag to Gallows and Gallows throws haymakers on the Golden Lynx. The ref counts and Gallows backs off, to come back and tag Anderson. The Good Brothers mug Lince more, then stomp him out. Anderson drags Lince up for a big scoop slam and cover, TWO! Anderson keeps on Lince with a headlock and grinds him down. Long Island rallies with “LUCHA! LUCHA!” for Lince and he fights back. But Anderson clubs Anderson down and sucker punches Metalik! Anderson taunts Kalisto but the ref keeps the Lucha Dragon back.
Anderson whips Lince but gets a Golden Rewind stunner! Hot tag to Kalisto! Kalisto hits Styles down then kicks Gallows! HE rolls Anderson for the List Kick! Then handspring enziguri! Cover, TWO! Kalisto keeps moving to SPIKE-Rana Anderson! Anderson bails out but the Lucha House Party regroup to DIVE! They take out Gallows, Kalisto FLIES to hit Anderson! Kalisto puts Anderson in and punches, but styles anchors him. Kalisto kicks Styles away but Kalisto springboards into a catch! And a SPINEBUSTER! Anderson tags Gallows, and the Good Brothers drag Kalisto up, for the Boot o’ Doom! Gallows boots Lince away then tags Styles. Styles drags Kalisto back up while fans boo, and puts no the Calf Crusher! Kalisto taps, The Club wins!
Winners: The Club, Styles by submission
Styles refuses to let Kalisto go, and the Club throw Lince and Metalik back out. Kalisto suffers until Styles is satisfied! And then Styles kicks Kalisto out so that he and his Good Brothers stand alone. The Club wants to run Raw, who will they run over to do it?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
The former Universal Champion clearly has not gotten over last night, but he has no choice but to watch Lesnar walk around with a title he doesn’t deserve. Rollins is hurt but he’s also a man possessed. Speaking of, The Man, Becky Lynch, is one of the toughest people he knows. She will be okay, whether she shows up here or not is her choice. But Baron Corbin knows what happens when you push Rollins. And that is just a sample of what he’ll do to anyone and everyone as he fights his way back to the title! Sami Zayn, Bobby Lashley, even Roman Reigns! All until he is fighting and beating Brock Lesnar again. Is Rollins going to burn it all down for revenge?
Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Elimination Fatal 4 Way: Natalya VS Naomi VS Carmella VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross!
The Goddess and her loyal friend failed to dethrone Bayley over on SmackDown, but perhaps they can become Raw Women’s Co-Champions. However, Alexa will have to get through the Queen of Harts, the Glow and the Princess of Staten Island to head for Toronto. Will the Loony Lass play any part in this attempt at redemption?
But wait, The Man IS in Long Island! Becky walks out, sore as she is, to proudly hold up the belt she still has. Who will the Lass Kicker see win a chance to get their head slapped off their shoulders? We find out after the break.
Raw returns and the bell rings. Alexa kicks Natty and SLAPS Naomi, but Naomi chases her out of the ring. Mella rolls Naomi but Natty breaks that. Natty shoves Mella out while Nikki checks on Alexa. Now Natty and Naomi, friendly rivals, stand alone. They tie up, Naomi headlocks but Natty shoves. Naomi leaps to sunset flip, TWO! Naomi whips Natty to a corner but misses to get buckles. Natty rebounds and sits Naomi down to walk all over her. But Naomi is ready for the basement dropkick, and the two cancel each other out with dropkicks, and then clotheslines! Alexa wants to take advantage but Mella trips her up.
Mella takes advantage, cover on Naomi, ONE! Cover on Natty, TWO! Cover on Naomi, ONE! Natty, TWO! Naomi again, TWO! Mella is freaking out as she covers Natty again, TWO! She drags Natty up to throw her out, then goes at Naomi with stomps in the corner. Mella whips Naomi corner to corner but Naomi elbows back hard. Naomi ups up but Mella forearms back. Mella backs off and runs in to FABULOUS Steiner! Cover, TWO! Naomi stays in this, and Natty returns. Mella ducks and tilt-o-whirls to go around the world! The Mella-go-round sends Natty down in a corner! Then she moonwalks and runs corner to corner, for the FABULOUS Bronco Buster! But then she ducks the Rear View to FABULOUS KICK! FABULOUS KICK for Natty! Alexa rolls Mella up, Alexa ELIMINATES Carmella!!
The Goddess got the better of the Princess and now she covers Naomi. But Mella distracts long enough, TWO! Dropkick from Naomi to Alexa, and Naomi covers, TWO! Naomi keeps her cool as she facelocks Alexa. Naomi scoops Alexa for a slam, then kicks her down. She dropkicks Natty out for good measure, then drags Alexa back up. Naomi bumps Alexa off buckles and kicks away on her. Nikki is concerned as Naomi snapmares and kicks Alexa again. Cover, TWO! Naomi grows annoyed with Alexa as she drags her back up. Fans rally and Alexa fights back. Naomi knees low then scoops but Alexa slips out to clothesline! Cover, TWO!
Alexa grows annoyed but Nikki coaches her up. Alexa clubs Naomi and kicks her back. She SLAPS Naomi then runs, but into clotheslines with Naomi! Both women are down and Becky likes what she sees. Fans rally but we go to break.
Raw returns and Alexa is alone against Natty and Naomi. But then Naomi rolls Natty, TWO! Naomi headscissors Natty down, then slides. Natty blocks the dropkick to drag Naomi out for a suplex. Naomi rests so Natty shoves her into steps. natty walks into an elbow, then Naomi hops up for a blockbuster! Naomi grins but Alexa attacks from behind! Alexa puts Naomi in and covers, TWO! Alexa keeps on Naomi with a chinlock. Naomi endures as Alexa thrashes her around. Alexa pulls hair to get a little mean. Fans rally up and Naomi fights her way up and out, but Alexa knees low. Alexa bumps Naomi off buckles and stomps a mudhole in. Natty comes in but gets kicked out, but Naomi gets Alexa in a full nelson bomb! Body scissor clutch cover, TWO!
Becky mocks Alexa as Naomi leg drops! Cover, TWO! Nikki passionately coaches and cheers Alexa on, but Naomi kicks Alexa. Naomi hits a buckle bulldog, but Natty discus clotheslines Naomi down! Cover, TWO! Natty wraps a chinlock on Naomi now, and Nikki checks on Alexa. Naomi fights her way up again but Natty throws her down. Natty drags Naomi around to hook the legs, and then grabs at the arms. Naomi tries but she still gets pulled into the surfboard! Natty holds Naomi up but Alexa covers Natty! TWO and then Alexa scramlbes away, with a grin on her face. Natty drags Naomi up but Naomi kicks back. Naomi tries to light Natty up but Natty dragon screws her to a corner! Natty runs into Naomi’s kick!
Naomi hops up but has to kick Alexa away. Natty gets Natty for a spinning powerbomb! Cover, and Alexa even helps, TWO! Natty boots Alexa then drags Naomi around, but Alexa rolls Natty up! TWO, and Alexa DECKS Natty with that divine right hand! Alexa kicks away on Naomi while fans rally up. Alexa puts that chinlock back on, but Naomi crawls for the ropes. Naomi reaches but Alexa drags her away to a cover, ONE! Alexa drags Naomi up as Nikki gets fans to cheer. Alexa stomps a mudhole in but the ref backs her off. She grinds her feet into Naomi but Naomi scorpion kicks then dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Alexa catches Naomi by the hair to throw her down, then wraps that chinlock back on.
Alexa grins at Becky but Becky doesn’t seem to sweat Alexa. Naomi fights back up but Alexa throws her into Natty! Natty is down while Naomi is out, but Natty powers Alexa to a corner to fire off! But Alexa throws Natty into buckles! Alexa stomps Natty back then dares fans to boo. But Natty SLAPS Alexa, to a scoop. Alexa slips out, throws Natty down, then runs, only for Naomi to drag her out. Naomi kicks Natty, BOOTS Alexa, then slingshots to sunset flip Natty! Natty rolls through, high stack, Natty ELIMINATES Naomi! The Queen of Harts just felt the Glow, and we take a break before the final showdown.
Raw returns and Natty stares Alexa down. Nikki assures Alexa she has this, and Alexa gets back in the ring. Natty goes right at her but Alexa uses the ropes as defense. Natty eggs Alexa on but Nikki grabs the mic. If people don’t start cheering for her best friend, she’s gonna… She’s gonna… The fans boo and Nikki shouts at them to shut up! Nikki will chant for Alexa alone if she has to! Alexa gets back in, but still uses the ropes. The ref backs Natty off and Alexa plays cat ‘n’ mouse to BOOT Natty down. Fans chant “You Suck!” and Nikki is upset. Alexa clubs Natty but Natty scoops Alexa. Alexa lips out to throw Natty down by her hair! Fans still boo as Alexa adds Insult2Injury! Cover, TWO!
The booing gets louder but Alexa drags Natty up to whip her to a corner. Natty dodges and gives Alexa the rebound sit-down! Natty stomps Alexa but Alexa bails out. Alexa runs away from Natty Nikki takes the discus! Alexa moves past her best friend to put Natty in. She drags Natty up but Natty gets the Sharpshooter! ALexa taps, Natty wins!!
Winner: Natalya, by submission; NEW #1 Contender to the Raw Women’s Championship
Charly Caruso congratulates The Queen of Harts on punching her ticket to Toronto. Natty says a year makes such a difference. So much happened, but now she’s going back home to Canada to face her friend in Becky Lynch. This is a dream come true. Becky borrows a mic to respond, as a friend. “Correction: The Man has something to say.” Fans cheer as Becky hits the ring to stand with her contender.
Becky gives Natty congrats, and admits to being all hurt. But Becky is here to fight, because nothing makes her happier than a fight. With that, no more smiles. If Natty thinks this will be a match of friends, she’s in for a shock. Step up or Becky will wipe the floor with her. “Your career needs something.” And Becky is that something. If it’s one thing Becky learned in her last year, she does better at war than at love. Well then Becky must not be a good lover, “b*tch.” The claws are out and Becky has her war. Natty is going to take that greasy orange mop off her head, pull the horseshoe out of her ass, and beat the hell out of The Man. Becky wouldn’t have it any other way. Who wins this already red hot summer blockbuster?
Raw hears from Randy Orton.
“After I win tonight’s battle royal, I’ve got a little unfinished business with Brock Lesnar to attend to.” It isn’t a chip on his shoulder, but it is enough venom to take down the Beast. Will the three most dangerous letters in the WWE end Lesnar in Toronto?
Raw presents another edition of Miz TV!
The Hollywood A-Lister was asked by the Show-Off himself if he could be the guest tonight. Miz obliged, and he’ll talk with Dolph Ziggler after the break!
Raw returns to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show and Miz gives the introductions. Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance and joins Miz in the ring. Miz gest to business; why does Ziggler want to be here? Well Ziggler has his career problems on SmackDown, but he and Miz go way back and wanted to see if the rumors are true. What rumors? That while Miz used to want to outdo everyone, he’s just the yes man who does the talk show. Oh wow, Ziggler’s trying to get a rise out of Miz? Is he upset? Jealous? What? No, Ziggler is happy for Miz that Miz is happy to be here. Well yeah, he’s happy to be here in Long Island!
But this is what Ziggler means. Miz is just happy to be here now. He doesn’t have that fire anymore. Everything Miz does for the WWE, is it worth kissing ass and yet being snubbed off PPV? Better that than lose in 17 seconds. Well yeah, Ziggler has to deal with that embarrassing. Like Goldberg Taker bad. But Ziggler just wants to know how Miz could become everything he hated! He’s not from Long Island! Or Hollywood! They’re both from Cleveland! A gritty city, where they grew up with that attitude. Miz is better than this, yet he’s becoming everything he hates! Miz is everything that is wrong with WWE! He only cares about fortune and fame, “just like your wife.” That’s it! Miz attacks Ziggler and runs him out of the ring! Miz has fire now, but will Ziggler regret sparking it?
Mr. & Mrs. 24/7 Champion prepare for tonight.
Those roses have thorns, though. Ouch. But will they really “get it on” when we come back from break?
Raw returns and Maverick is ready. Renee is slipping into something more comfortable, so Maverick does, too. “Daddy’s ready for love.” Maverick does his best Shawn Michaels with just the belt on. Renee has a little surprise, but wait, room service comes by. Maverick is too ready, so he calms himself down. Renee brings the table in and thanks the bellboy with a tip. She heads to the bed and she has a big surprise. Wait, can the bellboy leave already? Wait, that’s… A REFEREE!! Is someone else here?! Who followed them!? Where is that other WWE superstar? Truth pops out from the table!! ROLL-UP! TWO!! Maverick throws the roses in Truth’s face! But Truth crossbodies Maverick onto the bed! Cover, Truth wins!!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall; NEW WWE 24/7 Champion
Truth got his baby back! And he hopes they’re still able to consummate. Maverick chases Truth out of the room, and Renee shouts under the sheets. What will Maverick and Truth do to each other next as their legendary feud continues?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender “Cross Brand All-Star Top 10” Battle Royal!
Awwww~ Long Island~! Prepare to see the best from both brands battle it out for a chance at the Beast, and feel~ the power~! Big E is out first as he, the Lone Wolf, the Critic of the Critics, the King of Lucha Libre, the Rocky Mountain Machine, the Monster Among Men, the Swiss Cyborg, the Viper, the Big Dog and the Architect are set to do battle! Who is the last all-star standing to meet Lesnar in Toronto?
Before Strowman goes out there, he makes sure all nine others know, they’re going to #GetTheseHands! Lashley’s wearing the rib tape to prove what happens when fighting the #LastMonsterStanding, but will Strowman do it all over again? But wait, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman return to get a good look at this match. The reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion takes a seat right on the stage while we go to one last break.
Raw returns once more, and the bell finally rings! Heyman and Lesnar watch eagerly as the brawls break out! Corbin and Rollins keep fighting from Extreme Rules, as do Strowman and Lashley! Rollins runs but into a choke slam! Corbin whips Rollins out but Rollins keeps off the floor. Lashley runs Orton over but Strowman body shots those bad ribs. Roman has Orton but Corbin saves Lashley? Those two work together like back in the day to soften Strowman up. Rollins and Mysterio fight, Cesaro comes in to go after them both. Cesaro deals uppercuts to everyone around! Sami, Orton, Roman, Sami again, Roman again, then Big E! He even hits Mysterio and trips him up, for the Swiss Swing!
Cesaro and Mysterio go around 10 times, then he catapults Msyterio up. Mysterio saves himself and Big E scoops Cdesaro. Cesaro sips out to trip BIg E, but Lashley crossbodies Cesaro down! Then trophy lifts and ELIMINATES Cesaro! But then Mysterio 619’s the bad ribs! And missile dropkicks as payback for a few weeks ago. Strowman ELIMINATES Lashley with a toss!! But now, Big E steps to the biggest man in the ring. Big E wants to see what Strowman can do. They collide but neither falls. Fans rally with “New! Day Rocks!” as Big E dodges Strowman, only to get run over! Strwoman hauls Big E up, but Big E slips out. Big E sends Strowman into buckles, and scoops Strowman!! BIGGEST ENDING!
But RKO for Big E! The Viper is still here, but Sami ELIMINATES Big E for him. Sami laughs all the way into an RKO! Mysterio dropkicks Sami, dials it up, 619! And Orton ELIMINATES Sami! But then Roman turns Orton around, to get an RKO anyway! Mysterio kicks his old foe and whips Orton, but Orton whips Mysteiro to 619 Roman! Orton whips but Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES! Orton falls out under the middle rope, he’s not out of the match. Mysterio climbs, leaps, seated senton on Roman! But Corbin whips Mysterio out and ELIMINATES him! As if Corbin wasn’t hated enough. But now we have four of the final five in the ring: Strowman, Corbin, Rollins and Roman.
The Shield brothers stand united with Strowman against Corbin. Fans cheer as Strowman uppercuts Corbin. He puts Corbin on the ropes while Roman slips out the bottom, for a Drive-By Dropkick! Corbin reels into Rollins’ SUPERKICK! Rollins ELIMINATES Corbin! But now he, Roman and Strowman (and Orton on the outside) are the only ones left. And Strowman powers Rollins into a corner. He blocks the Superman Punch, to start a corner splash train on the Shield boys! But then Roman runs out, only to SPEAR Rollins! Strowman grabs Roman with one hand, scoops him up, and brings him tot he ropes. Roman fights out and looks to drag Strowman out with him! Rollins bumps them and ELIMINATES them both!
But Rollins forgets about Orton! Orton throws Rollins, but Rollins skins the cat! Orton runs over but gets a forearm. He hits back but Rollins does, too. Rollins and Orton brawl on opposite sides, but Orton drags Rollins in for the draping DDT! Rollins is down and Orton wants Lesnar to see him hear the voices in his head. The Viper stalks the Architect, but gets a mule kick and CURB STOMP! Rollins drags Orton up and throws him out, to win!
Winner: Seth Rollins; NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship
The Architect follows through! He wants one more shot at Lesnar to finally put him away for good! But Heyman says, “That’s not how you introduce the winner of a Cross Brand Top Ten All-Star Battle Royal.” He does the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen, your winner of the Battle Royal, the new #1 contender, and the man who now gets to go to Summerslam to be beaten, victimized and conquered, SETH, FREAKIN’, ROLLINS!”
Rollins responds and tells Heyman to “shut the hell up!” He’s been the conduit long enough, Rollins talks directly to Lesnar! “I told you I am a man possessed!” Rollins vowed to fight anyone to get a fight with Lesnar, and will make Summerslam look like Wrestlemania when he stomps Lesnar out and becomes THE reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion again. Lesnar has heard enough, and he has the chair as a weapon. He slams the apron with it, but that’s just a warning shot. Rollins doesn’t back down, but will he be put down? Or will history repeat itself between Beast and Beastslayer?
After a surprisingly good Extreme Rules, this Raw ended up a bit of a mixed bag. I’ll say right now that while the “no wrestling during commercials” edict seems to have loosened a little (but really only in the second Six Man Tag), it is still very present and very detrimental to the flow of things. The first Six Man Tag had to be made 2 out of 3 Falls because of it, which really held Ricochet, Roode, Revival and the Usos back given how great all six men are. It was fine that Ricochet and Usos won to rebound from their Extreme Rules PPV losses, and then it worked for The Club to go after them. In the Club’s Six Man Tag later on, booking was at least smarter, making Ricochet be the cause for a “restart.”
I really hope we’re getting Triple Threats for both the Raw Tag Team and WWE US titles, but more the former than the latter. Styles VS Ricochet 1v1 without Good Brother interference will be what they and the title needs. And a triple threat for the Raw tag titles to mirror SmackDown will be exactly what The Revival, the Usos and the Club all need. Speaking of needs, I like that Becky frames her coming match with Natty something Natty needs to stay relevant, because it’s true. Natty winning the Women’s Elimination Fatal 4 was a great surprise, but it works since WWE is going to Canada and she’s Canadian. But the pacing could’ve been better, and would’ve been helped if Becky wasn’t ringside the whole time. Have Becky come out after to have the same promos with Natty, and you still get the effect of her toughing out her bumps and bruises.
Poor Viking Raiders, still fighting their way out of the hole Vince put them in. And as soon as Maria was acting like she was going to make Mike’s match her match, it was clear Mike was losing. Just didn’t think it’d be in a squash they actually announce as such. But that little detail is to probably further “humiliate” Mike. As of last week’s 205 Live, Mike promises to do something drastic for this week, so this can help as motivation for that. I hope he shouts “I AM a man!” the entire time. And what a great win for Cedric Alexander! This will make for a great build for McIntyre if that match with Taker is still coming. Maybe Taker saves Alexander from a beat down this time to then challenge McIntyre to a match. And a new Miz VS Ziggler feud might be interesting, with Ziggler all but saying Miz is the new Cena.
I am so pumped to see the payoffs of two unlikely hits for Raw. After a surprisingly fast win for Samoa Joe and an equally surprising retaliation from Finn, Bray Wyatt returns! The Fiend makes his live debut, and I’m pretty sure this means Fiend VS Demon at Summerslam for some really freaky stuff. Also the fans should’ve chanted “Yowie Wowie!” here, but oh well. Then the other was getting to see what we all guessed would happen: Truth crashes the honeymoon! He takes the title back but I’m not sure where gags like this can go, because this was already the ultimate thing. Maybe Bischoff chooses a third person for the mix with SmackDown tomorrow night and that changes things up for Maverick and Truth.
I knew the long-name battle royal wasn’t going to take that long by the time we got it. They did great to jam in everything in those 10 minutes or so, but of course Rollins wins for what will essentially be his last chance at the title. Raw could’ve really freshened things up with Strowman winning for another try, and hopefully a successful one. Or they could’ve found used this match to turn Lashley or even Orton Face to go at Lesnar. Lashley would’ve been the preferred two of those, but it seems his turn isn’t what they want to do yet. Lesnar VS Rollins will still be good, and seeing it again shouldn’t be a reason to dislike it. A rivalry is built on rematches, but this one does need to end things for a good long time, and hopefully with Rollins winning so we don’t get Lesnar just disappearing with the belt again.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)
Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?
Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!
SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!
- Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
- Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
- Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
- Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.
But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!
But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.
But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.
Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?
Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?
SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!
Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!
The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?
As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.
Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.
Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!
Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall
Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?
Billie finds the Squad backstage.
She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?
Daniel Bryan is here!
And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!
“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!
Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!
The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?
Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!
SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!
Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”
Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?
Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!
It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?
SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!
Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!
Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission
Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?
Roman Reigns sits in his private room.
Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!
Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.
Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!
Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!
Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)
And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?
Kevin Owens speaks.
“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.
And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.
But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.
The Street Profits have a basket.
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!
Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?
Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!
The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!
But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?
Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!
Winner: Bianca Belair
Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.
Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.
Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?
Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!
SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.
Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?
Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!
Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?
Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?
Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!
Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!
Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!
Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?
A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.
But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.
The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.
Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.
And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.
My Score: 8.5/10
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