SmackDown begins its part of King of the Ring!
Cedric Alexander and Samoa Joe have already advanced for the Raw bracket, now it is time for SmackDown to begin! Will it be Drifter or Prizefighter? El Idolo or rising star?
- King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Almas wins and advances to the next round.
- Buddy Murphy VS Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan; Murphy wins.
- The Revival VS Heavy Machinery; The Revival wins.
- King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Elias VS Kevin Owens; Elias wins and advances to the next round.
PLAY BY PLAY
Randy Orton opens SmackDown!
The Viper returns, his icy expression hiding how he must feel about decimating the New Day both last week and last night on Raw. Orton picks up a mic and says “Unlike Kofi Kingston, I am not a liar.” And the truth is, Kofi ran from a fight at SummerSlam, in front of his own wife and children. And why is that? Because Kofi’s “stupid!” Shut up and listen! Orton gave Kofi an opportunity to prove himself, and failed. Kofi got RKO’d twice because he is STUPID! And with help from The Revival, another New Day decimation happened. The best part was holding Kofi down and making him watch Xavier Woods be shattered! Why? Because Kofi is STUPID. Every time Orton gives Kofi a chance, Kofi fails. Orton proved the Power of Positivity can be crushed outta nowhere with the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment!
But wait, the New Day’s music hits. Where is Kofi? Behind Orton! Trouble in Paradise! Kofi gets Orton back, using his own tactics! “We’re going to find out who the stupid one is!” Kofi gets a chair and brings it in the ring. Kofi drags Orton over and puts Orton’s leg in the chair! He slaps Orton around so he’ll be awake for this. Kofi climbs up and aims at the trapped leg, but here comes The Revival! Kofi dropkicks Dash out then mule kicks Dawson. Orton gets away but Kofi uses the chair to jab and SMACK Dash down! Then he jabs and SMACKS Dawson with extra stank! The Viper retreats, but will he regret firing Kofi up like never before?
Shane McMahon is visited in his office.
He called Kevin Owens in to make sure he doesn’t do anything more to disrupt the show. That $100,000 fine will feel like a slap on the wrist. Kevin promises not to make anything worse, he’s focused on the King of the Ring. In that case, what is on Kevin’s mind? Shane knows what Kevin is thinking. He got angry at that massive fine, but who wouldn’t? Kevin took a week to reflect and it donned on him just how bad this is. Kevin and Shane don’t come from the same background, but this fine impacts the family. Shane is a good father, so he should understand. Truth be told, man to man, father to father, Kevin wishes Shane would reconsider. Shane thinks, and says he’ll take it under consideration. Shane dismisses Kevin, but will he forgive Kevin for the sake of Kevin’s family?
King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The path to the throne is opened, but only one can wear the crown! Will Apollo get back at Almas while also heading for the top? Or will Almas go from El Idolo to El Rey?
SmackDown returns as Apollo makes his entrance. The bell rings, and the Blue Brand’s journey to the throne begins!
Almas and Apollo rush each other but it’s Apollo who lands the clothesline! Cover, TWO! Apollo drags Almas up but Almas escapes the scoop. Almas baits Apollo into a corner and the buckles! Vega says to finish this now, CIEN SHADOWS! Cover, TWO! Apollo lives but Almas is glaring as he drags Apollo back up. Almas wants the hammerlock but Apollo powers out to a cradle, TWO! Apollo mule kicks then fireman’s carries, but Almas fights out. Almas gets on the apron and catches Apollo into a hanging armbar! The ref counts and Almas lets go at 4. Apollo staggers away, and Almas climbs up top. Almas leaps but into a dropkick! Both men are down on opposite ends of the ring and Vega is shocked!
Almas slumps out of the ring but Apollo hobbles over. Almas trips Apollo on the apron! Then slingshots, only for Apollo to catch him. Apollo heads for steel steps but Almas huricanranas free of the bomb! Apollo crashes into steel and falls to the floor as SmackDown goes picture in picture.
Almas catches his breath while Vega talks trash to Apollo. Apollo stirs but Almas is on him first. Almas CHOPS Apollo then throws him in the ring. Almas stomps Apollo around then slams his arms on the mat. Apollo gets to a corner but gets a knee and CHOP for it! Almas wrenches Apollo to a shoulder breaker, then hammerlocks to ram him into the buckles! Vega applauds while Almas soaks up the heat. Almas drags Apollo around to put the arm in a mounted armlock. Apollo endures and powers his way up. Almas knees Apollo back down then wrenches him into a facelock. Snap suplex for uno amigo. Then dos amigos. Almas holds on and hits tres amigos! Cover, TWO! Almas grows frustrated but Vega coaches him on.
Almas stomps Apollo then kicks him around. He drags Apollo up by an ear and into a fireman’s carry. Almas dumps Apollo down hard in a drop zone, then heads up top. Almas takes his time soaking up the heat, and Apollo trips him up! Apollo drags Almas up for a CHOP, then another, then fires himself up. Almas hits back as Apollo climbs and now they brawl! Apollo fires off CHOP after CHOP and Almas is barely holding on! Apollo climbs and drags Almas to the very top, but Almas fights back. Smackdown returns to single picture as Almas LEAPS, but into Apollo’s arms! Almas fights free with elbows, but runs into a pop-up gutbuster! Both men are down and Vega is concerned for Almas. Fans rally up and both men slowly rise.
Almas throws hands but Apollo counter punches. Apollo mule kicks, runs and boots Almas, then hits a leaping lariat! And kip-ups! Fans fire up with Apollo while Almas crawls to a corner. Apollo pulls on Almas but Amlas holds ropes. Almas elbows but Apollo hits back. Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives but Apollo keeps his cool. Apollo and Almas slowly rise again, but Almas fights off Apolo’s waistlock. Apollo still back suplexes but Almas lands on his feet. Almas BOOTS Apollo then hops up top. Apollo enziguris Almas right back! Apollo says he’s going to raise the roof, and has Almas up from the corner. But his arms give out! Almas drop toeholds Apollo into buckles again! Vega says “SI! SI!” and fans do follow along. Almas runs corner to corner, but Apollo gets clear! Almas falls from hitting buckles, and Apollo stands back up.
Apollo has Almas, but Almas arm-drags out of the slam. Almas BOOTS Apollo, then runs, into a boot of Apollo’s! Another enziguri! Apollo hits the standing shooting star! Cover, TWO!! Almas still lives and Vega is at her wit’s end! Apollo himself isn’t sure what to say or what to do. Fans fire up as Apollo gets to his feet. Almas crawls to ropes but Apollo is on him. Vega holds onto Almas and Apollo gets mad. But then Apollo turns around into the boot and elbow! Hammerlock, LA SOMBRA DDT!! Cover, Almas wins!!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall; advances to the next round
The mastermind La Muneca pulls off another victory for El Idolo! Is the new King of the Ring going to be Tranquilo?
Daniel Bryan and Rowan bring someone to a private room.
This is supposedly the man who is after Roman Reigns. Bryan says he knows what this man did, and the world will know what this man did. This man needs to stay in this room, or face the consequences. Who is the man under the hood?
Elias walks the halls, playing his guitar.
The Drifter is still the WWE 24/7 Champion, but is very wary of his surroundings. He spots one of the referees in disguise. Too easy! But where is the superstar after Elias? Over there… A trunk? Again? Elias has the ref hold his guitar and opens the trunk. Drake Maverick shouts “SURPRISE!” but then Elias chokes him. Maverick is still talking like he has Elias, but Elias says Maverick needs to read a special notice.
“To whom it may concern… Let it be known that the 24/7 Championship rules have been suspended for the entirety of the night so Elias can focus on defeating Kevin Owens in the first round of the King of the Ring tournament. No exceptions. Sincerely, the Best int he World, Shane McMahon.” With that settled, Elias choke slams Maverick back into the trunk and closes the lid. Elias won’t have to worry about running around tonight, but will Maverick ever get to consummate the marriage?
SmackDown presents: A Moment of Bliss!
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions once again co-host and welcome everyone to the show. Please make sure to address them as the champions. They take their seats and are “so humbled” by this reign. They had a long conversation, and they want the fans to know that this changes nothing. A Moment of Bliss will still welcome “the less fortunate.” The superstars and people who need this platform, because they don’t have titles of their own. Except for tonight, because the guest for tonight requested to be on the show. Please welcome The Queen, Charlotte Flair! #CharlotteNineTimes arrives, and feels this is the wrong chair. Can she have the throne over in the corner? Clever.
Alexa brings up Charlotte’s win over the great Trish Stratus, and how it is a passing of the torch moment. Charlotte says she didn’t get passed the torch, she took it. And she made Trish admit what everyone knows: Charlotte is the Queen of ALL Eras, and the face of the SmackDown Women’s Division. Well some would say that’s the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley. Not Alexa, no. But some do. People say a lot of things, but here’s the facts: Bayley might be the champion, but Charlotte is SmackDown. Is Bayley going to be on the red carpet? No! Charlotte is marketable, not Bayley. That’s why Charlotte does the press, because she is this brand! Bayley is an afterthought, which is why their title is an afterthought. But speaking of, here comes Bayley!
Bayley tells Charlotte enough with the same shtick over and over. Charlotte can treat Bayley like an afterthought while doing her appearances, but it’s all just excuses. Because at the end of the day, Bayley is champion! Which means Bayley is better than Charlotte! Which eats Charlotte up inside. Charlotte asks Bayley if she knows how people really feel about her. The fans were talking Flair VS Stratus, not Bayley VS Ember. Byaley has brought the title down and now Charlotte must restore the prestige by beating Bayley at Clash of Champions. If that’s a challenge, challenge accepted! Bayley can’t wait to do the fans a favor and finally shut Flair’s mouth! Oh and one more thing. She shoves Charlotte off the chair! Charlotte is shocked but fans are on Bayley’s side. The gauntlet has been thrown, but will Bayley maintain her throne?
Roman Reigns finds Buddy Murphy.
The Big Dog tells him they can either go like they did a few weeks ago, or they can talk man to man. Did Murphy lie to Roman? Or did he lie to Bryan? Murphy knows what Roman is thinking. And Murphy is pretty sure he saw Rowan. Pretty sure? Roman needs definitive! Murphy doesn’t know, he just think he saw Rowan. Everyone is sticking their noses in Murphy’s business but Murphy’s just trying to help. Roman hopes Murphy was sure, because if not, we will see another round of Roman whooping his ass. Can Murphy focus on beating Bryan with that hanging over his head?
Buddy Murphy VS Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan!
The Aussie Juggernaut goes against a Grand Slam Champion and the self-proclaimed Planet’s Champion to defend his honor after the beatings he’s been getting. Can Murphy at least survive having Bryan in the ring and Big Red outside it?
SmackDown returns and Murphy makes his entrance. Bryan grabs a mic and wants to “get this straight.” Now Murphy “thinks” it was Rowan. He maybe sorta saw Rowan? Murphy continues to be a liar, the worst kind of liar at that. He is a cowardly liar! Tonight, Rowan and Bryan promise to reveal the TRUE attacker! But Murphy will be exposed as an accomplice! The bell rings, and Murphy KNEE TRIGGERS Bryan! Cover, TWO!! Murphy drags Bryan up to throw him into a corner. Murphy stomps away on Bryan but the ref backs him off at 4. Bryan bails out but Murphy puts him back in fast. Murphy clibms up but Bryan baiils out again. Murphy gives chase but gets caught by Bryan’s stomp. Bryan throws European Uppercuts and kicks.
Bryan has Murphy in a corner but brings him out with more EuroUppers. Murphy CHOPS and haymakers back! Murphy throws hands in a corner but Bryan turns things around, to bite Murphy’s ear! Bryan gives more kicks then snapmares Murphy to kick him in the back! Bryan keeps calling Murphy a liar, then SLAPS him across the face. Bryan rocks Murphy with a EuroUpper, then drags him up to throw into buckles. He CHOPS Murphy again, and again! Murphy turns things around to CHOP away on Bryan! Murphy whips corner to corner but Bryan goes up and over, then ducks and dodges, only to get clothesline’d out! Murphy runs to FLY! Direct hit topples Bryan! Fans fire up as Murphy looks to give another instant classic! We go to break as Bryan tries to catch his breath.
SmackDown returns again, and Murphy leaps to missile dropkick Bryan down! Fans fire up with Murphy while Bryan gets to a corner. Murphy runs in but is put on the apron. He enziguris Bryan down then climbs up again. Murphy leaps for SUPER METEORA! Cover, TWO! Murphy felt how close he was, but he won’t be deterred. Murphy and Bryan slowly stand and Murphy back suplexes. Bryan lands on his feet and boots Murphy back. Bryan gets Murphy down into the LeBelle Lock! Murphy endures, reaches, moves around, but Bryan hooks his face! The ref reprimands as Bryan shifts into Rings of Saturn!! Murphy endures this new hold, and Bryan even gets a leg for part Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Murphy pops free just enough to reach with his legs! Bryan honors the ropebreak, learning how tough Murphy really is.
Fans rally up for Murphy as he gets to a corner. Bryan calculates what to do next, shaking his head as he looms over Murphy. Bryan unleashes No Kicks, and with some fire! He kicks both ways and tells Murphy to stay down. Murphy refuses, so he gets more kicks. Bryan prepares the buzzsaw, but misses! Spinning heel kick sends Bryan to a corner! Murphy runs in but gets put in a Tree of Woe! Bryan kicks and kicks and kicks, then runs corner to corner for the basement dropkick! Bryan hauls Murphy back up and to the top rope, sitting him backwards. Bryan climbs up to join Murphy, SUPER BACK SUPLEX! High stack cover, TWO!! Murphy still lives! Bryan can’t believe it! Bryan gets frustrated as fans rally for Murphy again. He drags Murphy up for No Kicks in the corner! Bryan shouts “LIAR!” with each kick, then lands another running dropkick!
Bryan puts Murphy up on the very top again, but Murphy pops out to tuck Bryan in! SUPERKICK! POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and Rowan is relieved. Murphy grits his teeth and clutches his arm. Fans are strongly behind Murphy as he drags Bryan up. Murphy forearms, Bryan uppercuts, repeat. They go back and forth with big shots, but Murphy gets the edge. Strike fest! Bryan avoids the knee to throw more EuroUppers! Murphy is wobbly, but he still backslides! TWO, kick to AUSSIE-GOYE! BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Bryan saves himself, and Rowan starts shouting at Murphy from the apron. Murphy glares at Big Red, but Bryan rolls Murphy up! TWO and Bryan ends up in Rowan. Murphy SUPERKICKS but it gets Rowan! Bryan rolls Murphy, TWO! Buzzsaw ducked, KNEE TRIGGER! MURPHY’S LAW!! Cover, Murphy wins!!
Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall
The biggest win of Murphy’s career!! Now everyone will know about the Best Kept Secret! But will we know the truth about Roman’s assailant?
The man in the hood gets anxious.
Will he be left backstage much longer? Who even is this man?
Backstage interview with Buddy Murphy.
But Rowan attacks before Murphy can speak! Bryan shouts Murphy is a coward and liar who doesn’t deserve to be here! Rowan Iron Claw CHOKE SLAMS Murphy onto trunks! Bryan says Murphy deserves all of this, and doesn’t deserve the spotlight! The cowardly liar deserves nothing! Rowan grinds his boot into Murphy, but referees and security rush over to get them to leave. Will Murphy be able to get out of this mess?
The Revival VS Heavy Machinery!
The #TopGuys felt Kofi’s wrath earlier tonight, and speak out against it. The fans cheer that?! They like that?! Well newsflash: That’s proof the New day aren’t championship material. They’re like the fans: cowards! They’re afraid of facing The Revival. Big E isn’t even here, he’s still helping Woods walk out of Minneapolis. Stop crying and make sure you’re at Clash of Champions so that The Revival can officially take those SmackDown Tag Team Championships! The Revival will revive and restore glory to this Division! But first, Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic make their way out! Can Dash & Dawson back up their big words by beating the literally biggest team on the roster?
The teams sort out and Dash starts against Tucker. Dash waistlocks and headlocks but Tucker powers out to run Dash over. Dash winces but keeps up with Tucker, but Tucker rolls and pops Dash up into a bearhug! Tucker squeezes tight on those bad ribs, then tags in Otis. Tucker hands Dash off to Otis to keep the bearhug going. Dash headbutts and Otis lets go, but Otis reels Dash in for a knee. Tag to Tucker, and Heavy Machinery double suplex Dash. Dawson runs in but Otis intercepts, and now we have parallel stalling suplexes! Double drops and double clotheslines, The Revival are writhing on the outside while Heavy Machinery belly bumps! SmackDown goes to picture in picture while #BlueCollarSolid has the ring.
Tucker goes out to fetch Dash but Dash runs for the other side of the ring. Dawson is there but Tucker scoops. Dawson slips out and Dash shoves Tucker into the post! The Revival regroup and recompose themselves, but neither is strong enough to lift Tucker. Dash tags Dawson and they both get Tucker in. Dawson scowls as he kicks Tucker down. Dawson drops a leg, an elbow and a headbutt to keep Tucker down. But Dawson’s ribs start giving him problems, so he drags Tucker up to choke on the ropes. The ref reprimands and Dawson lets up, but Dash gets his own shots in! Dawson bumps Tucker off buckles then CHOPS! He brings Tucker back to tag Dash as SmackDown goes to single picture.
The Revival mug Tucker then snapmare him down. Fans rally for “Tucky! Tucky!” but Dash is on him with a chinlock. Dash pulls back but his ribs start bothering him now. Tucker powers up and fights to his feet. Tucker heads for his corner, but Dash pulls hair! Dash throws Tucker into buckles! Dash hops up and leaps, big bulldog drives Tucker down! Cover, TWO! Dash is frustrated but he tags to Dawson. Dawson climbs up and leaps, but his elbow drop flops! Tucker crawls for his corner while Dawson writhes. Dawson tags Dash first, and Dash intercepts, only to get a flapjack! Hot tag to Otis! The Dozer rallies on The Revival! Otis scoops, spins and slams Dash down! Otis runs corner to corner to splash, then has Dash in the zone! Fans fire up as Otis pumps it up, CATERPILLAR!
Otis drags Dash over and tags Tucker. Otis has Dash but Dawson dropkicks him down! Tucker Thesz Presses Dawson but Dash rolls Tukcer up! The Revival win!
Winners: The Revival, Dash Wilder pinning
The #TopGuys survive despite the damage done to their bodies. Will they be able to take the SmackDown Tag Titles over to Raw?
Backstage interview with Chad Gable.
What does he say about being the underdog in the King of the Ring tournament? “I agree with them.” Fortunately, that’s how it’s always been for him. His first coach ever called him “stupid” and to find another sport because he wasn’t good enough. Gable wasn’t supposed to be on the Olympic team and he wasn’t supposed to be in the WWE, and yet here he is. Meanwhile, his first KOTR opponent, Shelton Benjamin, is sneaking and smirking in the background. Gable knows his life has meant to show the expectations put on him are not the reality. Gable promises to be the underdog that wins, because the KOTR is a tournament to open up some eyes. But then he sees a sign Benjamin put up on the door to the locker room: “You must be at least this tall to participate in the King of the Ring tournament.” And of course, it’s higher than Gable… Funny stuff, guys. But jokes aside, will Benjamin get serious when he has to take on the #ReadyWilling&Gable underdog?
SmackDown presents Miz TV!
The Hollywood A-Lister may be a Raw superstar in the Raw half of King of the Ring, but he’ll be a Wild Card tonight for a special occasion of the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show! We find out what’s going on after the break.
SmackDown returns and Miz welcomes us to the show. His guest requested to be on the show, and we all will learn why. Welcome back, Sami Zayn! The Critic of the Critics is already out of the King of the Ring after losing to Cedric Alexander admittedly quickly. Sami has complained on social media and vaguely noted “it is time for a change.” Sami joins Miz in the ring and takes a seat. Sami admits he doesn’t care about Miz or the talk shows, but he needed time to vent. Well Sami has also been doing a lot of losing, so he must have had a lot of time to think on the mat. Good zinger, Miz. For once, Miz is right. Sami has been on a losing streak lasting months. Last night, Sami had an epiphany. Why? Because Sami got caught up in the same trap as “people like you,” Miz. The WWE Trap of greed! Of selfishness and ambition!
Any success Sami has had is because he fought for something bigger than himself! Sami finally realized, his path to redemption is through altruism and helping others! So many superstars on SmackDown need his help. And who is that? Well the man about to come out right now. Shinsuke Nakamura? The Intercontinental Champion needs help? Miz will bite, how is Sami going to help Shinsuke? Why does Shinsuke want to associate with Sami? Sami asks Miz back, what language does he think Shinsuke will respond in? Shinsuke is from Japan, and is an artist! A poet! Does Miz not understand the pain a poet goes through when he can’t express himself? Sami does, because Sami is also an artist. Sami and Shinsuke have a bond no one will understand! From day one in NXT, that is when he and Shinsuke found they are two sides of the same coin. So Shinsuke will no longer need to feel that pain of suppression. If you want to talk to Shin, talk to Sami!
Miz wants to ask Shinsuke if this is real, and Shinsuke does refer him to Sami. Sami and Shinsuke can express themselves in a language everyone can understand. Roundhouse! KINSHASA! Shinsuke rams his knees into Miz and sends him reeling towards the corner. Shinsuke stomps a mudhole into Miz but Sami pulls him off. But Shinsuke comes back with a boot wash! Sami pulls Shinsuke off, saying that was perfect. It was enough, really. Sami goes back to Miz to check on him. Sami chuckles at Miz’s pain. Sami helps Miz up, but he’s only setting Miz up for another KINSHASA! “That is how you do it!” Sami says that is art! Will both Sami and Shinsuke reach new heights through this alliance?
Daniel Bryan and Rowan return to the secret room.
And they’re not in a good mood. Things will get better, but not for the mystery man. Roman is on his way and we will all find out the truth together. They wait for Roman, but how much longer will that take?
Shane McMahon is visited in his office again.
It is Kevin again. Shane called Kevin in because he remembered what he wanted to say before. Kevin still has to pay for attacking an official, even if it was Elias for the one night. No superstar can. What Kevin hasn’t said is he’s sorry for what he did. Kevin admits he should know better, so he apologizes to Shane. Shane has reconsidered the judgment and punishment. Shane will lift the fine, but if Kevin again intentionally harms a WWE official, Kevin will be fired on the spot. They’re clear, right? Totally. Kevin wants to shake on it, but Shane isn’t “quite there.” Kevin is spared the debt hanging over his head, but can he defeat Elias now that the burden is off his shoulders?
King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Elias VS Kevin Owens!
The Drifter also has a burden off his shoulders for the night in that he doesn’t need to worry about the WWE 24/7 Championship attracting contenders. Will Elias be able to overcome the Prizefighter and head for the throne? Or will Kevin grab up that prize for himself?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Kevin headlocks but Elias powers him to ropes. Elias gets a cheap shot in then headlocks, but Elias powers out. Elias runs Kevin over and covers, ONE! Elias throws hands then headlocks. Fans rally for Kevin as he powers out again. Things speed up and Kevin runs Elias over! Kevin clotheslines Elias out hard but Elias stays on his feet. Kevin builds speed but Elias runs off. Kevin goes out to chase after and haymakers Elias around the way. He CHOPS Elias, too! Elias staggers but Kevin keeps up the CHOPS! Kevin whips Elias but Elias reverses to send Kevin into barriers! Elias drags Kevin up into the ring then puts him in a corner. Elias CHOPS Kevin then whips him corner to corner. Kevin reverses and catches Elias as he goes up and over, for a German Suplex! Elias flounders but Kevin takes aim, CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO!
Wait, here comes Shane! But why? Kevin is just as confused as anyone as Shane comes to ringside. This match continues after another break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Elias cranks back on Kevin in a chinlock. Fans rally up for Kevin while Shane is watching ringside. Kevin powers up and fights back but Elias wrangles him back down. Kevin pulls hair but Elias rakes Kevin’s eyes! The ref reprimands them both, but Elias keeps on the headlock. Kevin powers up and fans rally as Kevin throws forearms. Kevin CHOPS Elias then runs, to kick Elias away. Elias comes back with a BIG knee! Cover, TWO! Elias grows frustrated but he keeps on Kevin with a rain of rights. Elias stomps Kevin around as Shane watches with vested interest. Elias drags Kevin up and bumps him off buckles. He stomps and punches away but the ref backs Elias off at 4. Elias comes back to ram his knee in! The ref counts as Elias grinds Kevin into buckles, but Elias does back off again.
Elias drags Kevin up and scoops him for a slam! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Elias sits Kevin up. Elias goes back to the chinlock, but Kevin refuses to fade out. Kevin powers up and throws body shots to get free. Elias knees low then whips, but Kevin hits him with a DDT! Both men are down but fans fire up for Kevin. Kevin and Elias slowly stand, but Elias runs into a back elbow. Kevin also boots Elias away, then hops up for a missile dropkick! Fans fire up and Kevin drops a senton! Elias crawls away but Kevin is on him with a whip. Elias holds ropes and boots Kevin away, but Kevin elbows back. Kevin hops up but Elias clubs his back. Elias has Kevin in the Electric Chair, spins him around, sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Kevin lives and Shane applauds.
Kevin gets to a corner but Elias grits his teeth. Elias drags Kevin up and to the top rope, and CHOPS! Elias climbs to join Kevin, but Kevin fights back. They brawl up there, and Kevin punches Elias down! Kevin adjusts, and SWANTONS onto knees! Elias saves himself there, but both men are slow to getting up. Elias runs in, but Kevin dumps him out! Kevin is on the apron and CANNONBALLS again! Fans fire up with Kevin as he drags Elias up. Shane is there but he says Elias needs time to breath. Shane is wearing a referee uniform!? He’s made himself an official to stick it to Kevin. Kevin keeps his cool as he gets in, but Shane follows. Elias gets after Kevin but Kevin SUPERKICKS Elias! Kevin wants Shane to watch, but Elias shoves Kevin away at Shane! Kevin stops himself, Elias rolls him up, SHANE counts! Elias wins!?
Winner: Elias, by pinfall; advances to the next round
Shane screws Kevin again! Is there no end to what Shane will do just because of a grudge?!
Roman finds the room.
Is this the guy? The minute the “cowardly liar” pinned everything on Rowan, Bryan defended him. No one would listen! So Bryan went to extremes to find the real guilty party! And he has found the man who nearly ended Roman’s career twice. The hood is taken off, and it’s… A man with a red beard just like Rowan!? Is this a joke?! Who even is this?! Roman is just as confused. Will we get a real conclusion to this mystery?
This was definitely an interesting episode right here. We got some good developments in the New Day story with Orton and The Revival. Kofi is showing the aggression I was hoping he would, evening things up with Orton. I was hoping The Revival would be forced to face Kofi and Big E tonight, but I suppose it’s good for Heavy Machinery to get back on TV. The Revival win to stay strong towards their impending challenge for the SmackDown tag titles, but I’m surprised they’re going to say Woods is still likely for Clash of Champions. I’m hoping things escalate and we get No Disqualification for at least Kofi VS Orton rematch. That’s where it feels like this is going, so it should just go ahead and do that. After getting a draw for SummerSlam, a win in such a match would work for Clash of Champions.
It was natural for A Moment of Bliss to set us up with Bayley VS Charlotte for Clash, and as I expected, we’ll be getting all four NXT Horsewomen on the card. I really hope my idea of Banks VS Bayley at Survivor Series comes true, it just feels right. Bayley got herself some great points shoving Charlotte over like that, too. Alexa and Nikki are still without opponents, but maybe something happens to bring a team back into contention, like a Triple Threat of Kabuki Warriors, IIconics and Fire & Desire. As for what must be the Intercontinental Championship story, it seems all they have is putting Shinsuke and Sami together since Sami’s been going downhill, and they’re going after Miz to give Shinsuke an opponent. This practically gives away that Miz isn’t winning King of the Ring, and it might be what causes him to lose to Baron Corbin. I’m not sure if anyone really wins at this point.
Speaking of, Apollo VS Almas was a great match for KOTR to open on SmackDown, both guys looked great. Getting a little tired of Vega almost always needing to help Almas win, but maybe he runs into an opponent that doesn’t work on. Benjamin’s little prank on Gable was not something I would’ve expected from Benjamin necessarily, but it seems to keep the rumors of a new nickname alive. Perhaps to save Gable from the fate of being “Shorty G,” my idea of The Fiend attacking and taking him out of the tournament comes true so that Bray can at least throw off expectations in the tournament’s outcome. Then we all should’ve known Shane would find a way to screw Kevin over. The fine obviously wasn’t going to last, that’s all kayfabe anyway. But Shane revealing he was an official was a nice little twist, so obviously things with him and Kevin can continue all the way to perhaps Hell in a Cell and Shane taking one last dive off something really high.
This Roman Reigns story is all over the place. Buddy Murphy has another incredible match, and it’s so awesome that he won! But he doesn’t get to enjoy it since he gets beat up again. And where we were all hoping we’d get Harper back through this story, doesn’t seem the case just yet. We get a weird swerve where this unnamed man with an orange beard that is not his natural color is supposed to be the culprit. I almost thought they were trying to make him Rowan’s long lost brother. Next week’s Raw and SmackDown will need to give us a good reason as to why we got this bait ‘n’ switch, but I feel like it’s just to keep things going through Clash of Champions to at least Hell in a Cell. If anything, Roman VS the REAL culprit is going to be one of this year’s Cell matches, and I still hope we can circle back to Harper by then. That’d be an amazing spotlight for a guy who is basically held hostage by the contract Vince slapped him with.
My Score: 8/10