SmackDown puts gold on the line!
In a unique rematch from WrestleMania, the SmackDown Tag Team Championships are defended in a SINGLES Triple Threat match! Does The Miz retain just like John Morrison?
- Tamina VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; Tamina wins and will challenge Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Sheamus VS Denzel Dejournette; Sheamus wins.
- Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Naomi VS Dana Brooke; Dana wins and advances to the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Daniel Bryan VS Cesaro; Bryan wins and advances to the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Miz VS Big E VS Jey Uso; Big E wins and The New Day become new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
The WWE mourns the loss of Howard Finkel.
The first full-time WWF/WWE employee and legendary ring announcer will be missed by family, friends and fans.
SmackDown presents A Moment of Bliss!
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions head to the ring to host their talk show tonight. Alexa and Nikki take their seats and have their coffee mugs as they welcome us to the show. They also congratulate themselves as the WWE’s first ever two-time Women’s Tag Team Champions. But to business, they have a big guest tonight. It’s the Monster Among Men, BRAUN!! The WWE Universal Champion feels good as he heads to the ring, even with a match for the title set for Money in the Bank. He sits with Alexa and Nikki and they congratulate him on defeating Goldberg at WrestleMania. What a match! Spear after spear and slam after slam! Braun thanks them and congratulates them back. He can’t think of any team more deserving. Cheers to the champs!
But while the coffee is strong, it’ll be sweet when Nikki and Alexa retain their titles against Carmella and Dana Brooke next week. And speaking of title defenses, Braun’s MITB match will be against Bray Wyatt. Alexa knows Braun knows Bray, and Bray has a multiple personalities. Instead of seeking help, Bray wallows in it. But even so, he’s cunning, brutal and psychotic. Bray had some things to say, and Alexa cues up the footage. Bray vowed to teach Braun how to share, in that he’d give the title over to Bray. “As one circle closes, another begins again.” Bray brought Strowman into the world, and vows to take him out.
Back in the present, Alexa asks Braun’s response to that. Braun admits, he was part of the Wyatt Family. That is a part of the past he wants to forget. Bray didn’t create Bruan, and Bruan doesn’t owe Bray anything, let alone an apology. The past is the past, Braun made himself who he is. Braun knows Bray is a manipulator, who plays on people’s doubts. But Braun isn’t playing along. If Bray wants the title, fine. But let it be known that if Bray comes for Braun and not the title, all he’ll get are these hands. Alexa is sure he will. But wait, Braun spots something. Is that for him? Wait, where did that present box come from? They didn’t get it for him… Braun knows Team Little Big is still in effect. He opens the box, and it’s… A SHEEP MASK!!
The black sheep mask that Braun used to wear has returned from the void! And Bray’s laughter echoes in the night. And then the images of that forgotten past play on the titantron! Braun may not want to play, but he has no choice. Is he going to win or lose the mind games Bray has put in motion?
Tamina VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!
The Daughter of Superfly was the biggest threat in WrestleMania’s SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5, that’s why she was taken out first. But she has a shot at a second chance if she can beat The Boss. Will Tamina be more than legit on the road to Money in the Bank?
Bayley joins commentary to support her best friend, even though she put her in this situation in the first place. The Role Model has confidence in Sasha, and does not see how she threw her friend under the buss. The bell rings and Sasha wants Tamina to cool off. Sasha got Tamina a Legit Boss shirt for old time’s sake. “This is a small. I wear an extra large!” Oh, true. Sasha looks to Bayley for what to do and Tamina throws her down! Tamina throws the shirt at Bayley then drags Sasha up. Tamina whips, Sasha sunset flips but Tamina stays up. Sasha apologizes but Tamina lifts her up. Sasha victory rolls, TWO! Tamina kicks low then headbutts Sasha down! Sasha scrambles to a corner but Bayley has confidence.
Tamina whips, Sasha goes up but Tamina catches her! The ref calls for the break but Tamina puts Sasha on the apron to elbow her down! Tamina roars while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Tamina RAMS into Sasha at the corner. The ref counts and Tamina backs off at 4. Tamina runs in but Sasha moves and KNEES Tamina back! Sasha hurries in with the METEORA! Cover, TWO! Bayley is so proud and confident right now as Sasha rains down rights on Tamina. Sasha kicks Tamina while she’s down then runs to dropkick. Cover, ONE! Sasha pulls Tamina against ropes with her hair! The ref backs Sasha off but Sasha boots Tamina back down! “This is what you wanted, huh?!” Sasha clubs Tamina and puts on a sleeper. Sasha then knocks Tamina down and sits deep on the hold. Tamina powers up but Sasha thrashes her about. Sasha grinds Tamina down as Bayley brags for them both. Tamina fights her way up and has Sasha as a backpack, to ram into buckles!
Tamina gets free and breathes again. She runs in, but Sasha dodges again. Sasha runs back in but is put on the apron. Sasha knees back then steps in, but into a LARIAT! Tamina catches her breath while Sasha rolls out. Tamina pursues but Bayley distracts her. The ref reprimands Bayley, but Sasha RAMS Tamina into the post! Sasha tiger feints on the apron and kicks Tamina, then RAMS her into steel steps! Bayley “checks” on Tamina, and she takes a shoe off! But here comes Lacey Evans! The Sassy Southern Belle runs and LEAPS to body check Bayley! Sasha is in shock, but she goes after Tamina. Tamina SUPERKICKS Sasha down! Tamina hurries to get Sasha up and in, Sasha staggers into ANOTHER SUPERKICK! Cover, Tamina wins!!
Winner: Tamina, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship)
The Model Soldier helped keep things even, and now Tamina is poised for a title match. Will the Samoan Steamroller smash the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion?
Jey Uso speaks.
Representing the Usos live! Kofi and Morrison put on a great match alongside brother Jimmy, but now their better halves are runnin’ up to get done up! Jey tells Miz and Big E, that they face the Uce with da Juice! Seven-time Champions are comin’! Is SmackDown going back on lockdown in the Uso Penitentiary?
Backstage interview with Lacey Evans.
We all know Sasha has been a thorn in her side, but as Lacey’s daddy used to say, Sasha got a taste of her own medicine. Wherever Sasha goes, Lacey goes. Lacey is not only a US Marine, but she’s going to lace up and throw hands until the mission is complete. Her hand reads “NO Sasha” with the slashed-circle. Will Lacey succeed in that mission?
Sheamus VS Denzel Dejournette!
The Celtic Warrior is still on a roll in his own mission to toughen up SmackDown the hard way. Will the hard way work on Dejournette?
The bell rings and Sheamus circles with Dejournette. Sheamus whips but Dejournette rolls him, TWO! Sheamus rushes Dejournette but Dejournette waistlocks. But Sheamus just elbows away over and over and over until he has Dejournette down! He keeps going until Dejournette almost goes limp! He knees away on Dejournette for his brief trash talk. The ref backs Sheamus off, but Sheamus fires up and BROGUES! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Fella doesn’t work by the hour, and he makes quick work of the young prospect. Will Sheamus continue to purge the roster?
Sheamus also takes offense to Michael Cole plugging Jeff Hardy’s vignette during his exit. He complains about how we’d rather talk about “Bleeding Jeff Hardy” while Sheamus is still around. Sheamus intimidates Cole, and warns him not to be disrespectful. Will Sheamus get the respect he feels he deserves?
SmackDown presents part two of the Jeff Hardy story.
Jeff simply wants to be remembered. And he has done things no one will ever forget. But it all takes its toll. This is Chapter Two: The Fall.
Jeff’s body was almost always hurting. Big Show remembers seeing the pain in Jeff’s eyes. Jeff admits he was losing himself. It was September of 2009 that he had to say not goodbye forever, just for now. But he was abusing his pain medications, and a drinking problem on top of it. He was drunk on film a few times, and his friends knew he was lying about things. Jeff had to get pills illegally because that’s how deep he was, and he got busted. The news was everywhere. He’s had problems all the way up to 2018. It was hard not to hear the news. His friends couldn’t help him, but it was on him to clean up his act.
Jeff went to prison, and it scared him. Jeff knew he hit rock bottom, and that he had a lot of making up to do. Be sure to see next week, Chapter Three: The Redemption!
Carmella finds Dana Brooke backstage.
Is Dana really facing Naomi tonight in the MITB qualifier? What about their tag title match? And give up her chance at the title contract? No way! Dana can do both! She can beat Naomi tonight to be in MITB, then beat Bliss-Cross alongside Mella to become tag team champions. Just trust her! Well, alright. And good luck.
SmackDown has huge news on how MITB works this year!
This year, the competitors of both the Men’s and Women’s MITB Ladder matches will be climbing the corporate ladder, so to speak. The matches will take place inside WWE’s corporate headquarters, Titan Towers! They start on the ground floor and head up to the roof! Just how will this incredibly unique take on this golden opportunity play out?
Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Naomi VS Dana Brooke!
The Glow once shined as SmackDown Women’s Champion, but she wants another round. Meanwhile, The Flex Appeal hasn’t even touched gold, and this could be her chance. Who checks off the first SmackDown spot in the Women’s MITB Ladder match?
SmackDown returns and Dana makes her entrance. The bell rings and Naomi circles with Dana. They tie up, Naomi rolls Dana, TWO! Dana swings into a crucifix from Naomi, ONE! Naomi kicks Dana’s arms away but Dana comes back to O’Conner roll! ONE as Naomi rolls Dana back to her own cover, ONE! Dana gets up but Naomi dropkicks her down! Cover, ONE, but Naomi keeps her cool. Naomi brings Dana up to whip Dana to the corner. Dana reverses but Naomi goes up, only for Dana to toss her out hard! Naomi hits the floor and Dana points to the briefcase hanging overhead. Dana wants the ring count and the ref begins. Dana is very confident this is her spot, and then she baseball slides Naomi down! “That’s all you got?” She puts Naomi in and covers, TWO!
Dana body scissors Naomi and squeezes tight. Naomi endures as Dana says this is about fighting, not dancing. Dana pulls on Naomi’s hair but Naomi elbows and bridges back to cover. TWO and Naomi is free, to body scissor clutch Dana. TWO, and Naomi throws forearms on Dana! Naomi whips but Dana reverses, only to get a ROUNDHOUSE and SCORPION KICK! Naomi springboards to enziguri! Cover, TWO! Dana survives the flurry but Naomi keeps kicking. Naomi lights Dana up with those kicks then runs, into a pop-up BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Naomi survives and Dana can’t believe it! Naomi crawls to a corner but Dana runs and handsprings in. Dana hits a back elbow then rolls Naomi out, for the handspring splash, onto knees! REAR VIEW but Dana rolls Naomi! TWO, and Naomi dodges to REAR VIEW again! Cover, TWO!!
Naomi is shocked that Dana survives, but this is how badly Dana wants it. Naomi kicks Dana to a corner, then split legs for the GLOWSAULT, but it FLOPS!! Dana sunset flips to a cover, and wins!!
Winner: Dana Brooke, by pinfall (advances to the Women’s MITB Ladder Match)
The biggest win in Dana’s career, and she’s pumped! Will Dana keep this momentum going into the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match?
SmackDown returns to Sonya Deville heading to the ring.
Fire & Desire has broken up as Mandy Rose is now with Otis Dozovic! Sonya gets herself a mic to talk to Mandy before she comes out. Mandy has shut Sonya out, so what else is she to do? Sonya is willing to make things right, if Mandy will still be in the same ring as her. When Mandy doesn’t enter right away, Sonya starts to beg. Sonya’s never had someone like Mandy in her life before. Tough Enough, Absolution, Fire & Desire, it’s always been the two of them! Mandy was at Sonya’s sister’s wedding! Just come out so they can talk! Mandy does appear, and she does go to the ring. Sonya wipes a tear from her eye as Mandy gets herself a mic.
Mandy says she has nothing to say to Sonya after what she and Dolph Ziggler did. But Sonya just wants her to listen. For the last five years in her life, Sonya has spent more time with Mandy than her own family. Mandy shutting her out made it feel like Sonya was nothing to her. Sonya just wants to tell Mandy the truth. Mandy is the most… selfish human she’s ever met! Whoa, what is that about? What does this have to do with Sonya’s sabotage of her and Otis? Otis?! This has NOTHING to do with Otis! It is about how, from the second Mandy even started being interested in “someone like him,” Sonya realized she was going to be kicked to the curb! What is Sonya talking about?!
But that’s just it! Mandy doesn’t understand! She never gets it! Fire & Desire wasn’t about them! Sonya came out to Mandy’s stupid music! Sonya handed out Mandy’s stupid magazine! Her face was blurred out next to Mandy’s! Trying to share camera time with the “Golden Goddess,” which that name makes Sonya gag by the way. Though Mandy’s probably been gagging being around someone as gross as Otis. But again, that’s not hte point. If Mandy had just played along, we wouldn’t be here. Mandy should’ve just focused on Fire & Desire! Plot twist: Ziggler actually does care about Mandy. And look at him compared to Otis. So yeah, Sonya helped Ziggler, but oh well. It was in exchange for Ziggler helping the team! Fire & Desire could’ve become Women’s Tag Team Champions but NO~! Mandy ruined it.
How did Mandy ruin anything?! Sonya says it’s glad to have the cards on the table. Because now all she wants to do is to see Mandy hurt. Mandy may be pretty, but she’s nothing but another “dime a dozen bottle blonde who looks like she was created in some sort of lab.” Does Mandy know what it feels like to work and work for five LONG years, and have it WASTED just being second to some eye candy with no talent?! So Sonya wants “Barbie” To listen up: Sonya knows Mandy better than anyone. A sister, a roommate, teammate and partner! And she will use that all to ruin Mandy’s life! And then everyone will see who the TRUE champion in Fire & Desire was! The REAL FIGHTER, “not some centerfold b*tch.” Mandy says she no longer regrets that slap at WrestleMania.
But before Mandy and Sonya can throw down, Ziggler appears! He wants everyone to just calm down. Ziggler gets in the ring and wants Mandy to hear him out. He admits they went about this the wrong way. But Valentine’s Day night, she can’t deny what they had. Ziggler will spend however long it takes to make it all up to her. Just look him in the eye and tell him she doesn’t feel anything for him. He brushes her hair aside, moves in for a kiss, but she pushes him away. And Sonya DECKS her! Ziggler can’t believe Sonya did that, but here comes OTIS!! Otis throws hands on Ziggler! Ziggler bails out but Sonya jumps on! Sonya claws at Otis but Mandy throws Sonya down!
Sonya scrambles away and regroups with Ziggler. Ziggler waits until Otis and Mandy are having a moment to attack! But Otis knocks him down, to BOOM SHAKA LOO, CATERPILLAR! This love story turned betrayal thriller just upped the intensity! Will this get even more heated as Fire and Desire have their falling out?
SmackDown pays tribute to Howard Finkel.
A career spanning five decades, #TheFink is arguably the best ring announcer in WWE history. He basically invented the way to say “AND NEW…!” in pro-wrestling. He called classic moments like Shawn Michaels surviving elimination in the Royal Rumble, and would even join in the fun with some future legends. Finkel will always be remembered as a friend to all in the WWE Universe.
The Miz speaks.
“This has to be the greatest injustice in WWE history.” John MOrrison defended the titles at WrestleMania! Management will never hear the end of this! Because now Miz must prove why he, MC M I Z and #JohnnyDripDrip, aren’t just the greatest rap duo, aren’t just the greatest acting duo, but that they ARE the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century! That’s because he’s The Miz, and he’s AWWWESOOOME!
SmackDown profiles The Forgotten Sons.
Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake, Jaxson Ryker. If you don’t give them the opportunity, they will take it. Passed up, left out, thrown aside. The savages will make sure you never forget them.
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak VS Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura!
While “The Great Liberator” keeps the WWE Intercontinental Championship safe, the Swiss Cyborg looks to represent The Artist Collective in this golden opportunity. Meanwhile, The Goat has already been Mr. MITB and wants to do it again! Who wins to take on the most unique and challenging form of the Money in the Bank Ladder match ever?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Cesaro headlocks, Bryan powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Bryan is right up to get a leg takedown but Cesaro pushes him away. Cesaro rushes Bryan but Bryan monkey flips him out of the ring! Bryan builds speed and DIVES! He hits Cesaro over the announce desk! But wait, the mysterious SmackDown hacker returns?! They have a new message! “We have heard all the lies. But when will we hear the truth?” Footage from random segments plays, all of tag teams. The Usos, Bliss-Cross, Miz & Morrison, and The New Day? The hacker sends SmackDown to break!
HackDown- er uh, SmackDown returns, and Bryan brawls with Cesaro. Bryan kicks while Cesaro European Uppercuts, and repeat. They also have a knuckle lock keeping them tied up, and Cesaro throws more EuroUppers. Cesaro snapmares but Bryan uses the knuckle lock to bring Cesaro down. Bryan keylocks the arm to stomp it! Bryan wrenches and uses shoulder breakers to bring Cesaro back down. He traps the bad arm and pulls on it! Cesaro endures but Bryan cranks hard! Cesaro powers up, rolls, and elbows free! He headlocks but Bryan powers out. Things speed up and Bryan hip tosses to an ARMBAR! Cesaro blocks with a grip and rolls, but Bryan keeps his shoulders up. Cesaro dead lifts and BOMBS Bryan down! Bryan writhes but Cesaro backs off to catch his breath and shake out the bad arm.
Cesaro drags Bryan up to scoop slam hard! Gulak coaches Bryan but Cesaro KICKS Bryan in the back! Cesaro taunts Bryan and drags him up for another scoop slam! Cover, TWO! Bryan rolls to ropes but Cesaro keeps his focus. Cesaro drags Bryan up but Bryan hits a shoulder breaker through the ropes! And again, and again! Bryan goes to a corner and climbs up. He leaps, but Cesaro still catches him Cesaro powers up with one good arm for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Cesaro has the legs, and gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures and crawls, and gets the ropebreak! The ref has Cesaro let off and Bryan bails out. Gulak coaches Bryan up, but Cesaro slips out the side. Cesaro comes around the way, to EUROUPPER Bryan into barriers! Bryan is down as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cesaro gives Bryan more EuroUppers. But Bryan underhooks for a backslide! Cesaro resists and flips Bryan over. Bryan stays on his feet to get an armbar takedown! Cesaro flails and grips, rolls and lifts, but Bryan hooks a leg! Bryan brings Cesaro down then Penalty Kicks the arm! Cesaro clutches the elbow but Bryan gives him Yes Kicks from all sides! Bryan kicks and kicks and kicks, but Cesaro blocks the buzzsaw! But it was with the bad arm! Bryan comes back and BUZZSAWS! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives but Bryan won’t let up. Bryan drags Cesaro around to drag into a seated cobra stretch. He rains elbows down on Cesaro’s shoulder and chest! But Cesaro powers up to fireman’s carry, and RAM Bryan into buckles! Then Cesaro military presses to a GO TO SLEEP! Cover, TWO!!
But into a Crossface! Cesaro and Bryan struggle but the hold locks on! Bryan is stuck, but he rolls and rolls, and pops out to his YES LOCK!! Cesaro is the one caught now, but he pries the fingers apart. They fight for a cover, ONE, then another, TWO! Cesaro LARIATS Bryan down! Cesaro looms over Bryan and brings him up. He gives more EuroUppers in the corner, until the ref counts at him. Cesaro brings Bryan up to whip corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, but Cesaro catches him! But Bryan spins through to a takedown, and the YES LOCK!! Cesaro endures, Nakamura gets in, but Gulak stops him! Nakamura kicks at Gulak but Gulak won’t let go! Gulak throws Nakamura into barriers, and Cesaro taps! Bryan wins!!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by submission (advances to the Men’s MITB Ladder Match)
Coach Gulak helps out Bryan, and now Bryan joins the corporate climb! Will Bryan become a two-time Mr. Money in the Bank?
Elias heads out of his dressing room.
The Drifter is set to give SmackDown a special performance, but Baron Corbin BLASTS him over catering!! The Wolf King wants revenge for WrestleMania, and he throws Elias into road cases and the production truck as part of it! Corbin says Elias is a nobody and he DECKS him with a right hand! Then stomps him down! Corbin dares to see what kind of fight Elias has in him, but he kidney punches him! “I don’t hear you now!” Corbin SMASHES Elias’ arm between trunks!! “Why don’t you play me a song now!?” Corbin grabs Elias’ other arm, and the guitar, and drags him towards gorilla for “some fun!” What kind of performance does Corbin have planned for the battling bard?
SmackDown returns and Corbin keeps on Elias with haymakers. Corbin dares Elias to write songs about him now! Then he rams him into more road cases. Corbin says this isn’t going to be fun for Elias, because he’s making an example of him. He stands on the broken hand! He dares Elias to sing for him now! And then BASHES him in the THROAT with the scepter! Corbin makes Elias look at him as he says he is the KING! Corbin vows to make examples out of those who make jokes about him, and make them all bow down! Then he BASHES Elias again! Corbin walks away, but says Elias might need his guitar. And he SMASHES the guitar on Elias’s back! Corbin leaves Elias sputtering for air, but has he completely silenced The Drifter?
SmackDown announces the next round of MITB qualifiers!
For the men, it will be the tyrannical King Corbin going up against Drew Gulak! Then for the women, Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks will finally have it out 1v1!
SmackDown Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Miz VS Big E VS Jey Uso!
AWWWWW~ people at hoooome~! Don’t you dare be sour! Watch as we get the other halves of WrestleMania’s unique Triple Threat, and FEEL~ the POWER~! Will Big E bring The New Day their eighth? Will Jey bring him and his brother lucky number seven? Or will the Hollywood A-Lister hold up his end to keep his and Morrison’s second?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the sequel begins!
Miz rushes Big E but is sent into a corner. Big E runs Jey over then catches Miz for an OVERHEAD suplex! Miz bails out but Big E follows, to throw him into barriers! Big E goes to Jey and commentary. He clears off the announce desk and says he has a plan. But he turns around into a SUPERKICK! Miz BOOTS Big E and now he and Jey bring Big E around. Double Suplex THROUGH THE TABLE!! Big E is WRECKED along with the desk as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Jey gives Miz a Samoan Drop! Miz is up and Jey clotheslines him out! Jey DIVES onto Big E! They crash into the desk wreckage, but Jey keeps moving! Jey DIVES onto Miz! Jey puts Miz in quick and goes up top. Miz is up so Jey settles for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jey sees Big E coming and kicks. Big E blocks and spins Jey, but gets the dragon whip enziguri! Jey has a target in each corner, and gives Big E a hip attack! Then Miz! Then back to Big E, only to get an Urenag-E! But Miz hits his A-List Lariat in E! Miz springboards and ax handles Big E down! Miz starts up the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” as Big E stands. Full nelson denied and Jey SUPERKICKS Miz! Jey SUPERKICKS Big E! Cover, TWO!!
Jey keeps his cool as he looks around. He calls the ref over as he heads for Miz, but Miz cradle counters! TWO!! Miz walks into a sunset flip but rolls through. Jey denies Miz the figure four and kicks him into Big E! Miz sends Big E back down and out! Jey rolls Miz up, TWO! Miz catches Jey into the FINALE!! Cover, TWO!?! Jey survives, but Miz has the Figure Four! Jey endures, flails, shouts, but he isn’t giving up! Miz cranks back as hard as he can but Jey hammers the knees. Miz hits back and cranks harder! Jey moves around but BIg E drags Miz up off the hold, for the BIG ENDING! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions)
The muscle of the team wins and Kofi Kingston is fired up on video chat! Kofi gives a shout out to the late, great Finkel with, “and NEWWW…! WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions, it’s ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~!” Xavier joins in and plugs everyone’s social media for their celebrations that are coming! Eight is great for Big E and his brothers! Will the good times never end for these three best friends?
A really good episode for SmackDown, even after all the madness going on in the WWE. The Moment of Bliss was a great opening segment. While WWE Backstage made me realize Strowman VS Wyatt is a little too soon, I’m glad this segment hit a mark I was hoping they’d hit. Bray bringing the black sheep mask back was a brilliant move and I hope we get some more of that. Sadly, WWE cut Erick Rowan so we can’t have him speak to the history of the Wyatt Family. I wonder if they’d dare bring Nicholas up, maybe give the kid a video recorded promo from home.
There was good interweaving in the Women’s Division tonight. Tamina VS Sasha was good stuff, and that gag with the shirt was funny. Lacey joining in was good continuity, and now we’ll be getting her and Sasha settling things with MITB on the line. Tamina VS Bayley for MITB will be good, too, but I feel like it’s totally setting up for a same night cash-in. Mella was right to be a bit worried Dana’s focus is split with their tag title match coming. But what a great surprise for Dana to win her qualifier! That’s big for her, and what a match to be a part of this year! A match that will span the entire Titan Towers office building! Making both MITB matches into cinematic matches like The Boneyard Match and #OneLastBeat is going to be amazing!
Bryan VS Cesaro was a great qualifying match, too, but I’m most intrigued by the timing of the SmackDown hacker’s newest appearance. Is the hacker implying a known tag team is going to be splitting up because of a turn? Or is it all red herrings for Gulak turning on Bryan? Gulak VS Corbin next week will be great, but after Corbin’s newest attempt to murder Elias, Elias definitely costs Corbin. Gulak also entering MITB, that could be the set-up for the hacker’s message of keeping friends close and enemies closer. Also, I’m curious when and how we’ll learn this hacker’s identity and how that turns into a feud. Meanwhile, Sheamus reacts to the Jeff Hardy plugs earlier than I expected, but with the third and final part of the vignettes next week, I’m pretty sure Sheamus goes after Jeff the moment Jeff’s on TV again.
The Sonya Mandy confrontation went mostly as I expected. But Sonya came outta nowhere with that passion, and all her points were valid. I totally remember the moment she pointed out being blurred during an entrance once. Also there was something rather DIY “My moment!” to it with Sonya worried she’d be replaced. It feels like this story with Sonya, Mandy, Otis and Ziggler was really thought out and took advantage of every little detail over the past few months. It’s probably SmackDown’s best story overall. And lastly, I liked the SmackDown Tag Title Triple Threat we got, but this sequel couldn’t outdo the original. Mostly because the original had ladders.
And while I’m excited to see The New Day excited, I actually feel the Usos getting number seven or Miz retaining would’ve been better outcomes. I know the New Day are still hot commodities, but I feel like there was still more to be done with the others. The Usos and Miz-Morrison could’ve had their own feud where there would undoubtedly be a rap battle thrown in so that the Usos could school MC M I Z and Johnny Drip Drip. Maybe that still happens to name #1 contenders.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (2/7/23)
Konosuke Takeshita gets Dark!
The future of wrestling could be defined in the Dark!
Konosuke Takeshita is going strong in AEW, but he takes on MLW’s EJ Nduka! Will Konosuke still be The Future? Or will The Judge bring down the law?
- Slim J VS Mascara Dorada; wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Aiden Park; wins.
- The Outrunners VS Logan Cruz & Tyshaun Perez; wins.
- Baliyan Akki VS Rico Gonzalez; wins.
- Blake Christian VS Serpentico w/ Luther; wins.
- Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Dante Casanova; wins.
- Kiera Hogan VS Megan Meyers; wins.
- Konosuke Takeshita VS EJ Nduka; wins.
Another pretty good line-up, but the highlight is of course Konosuke VS Nduka. Both are great, having been champions outside of AEW. In fact, Nduka will be featured on tonight’s debut edition of MLW Underground on the Reelz channel. Nduka is challenging Alex Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. Between AEW Dark on YouTube and the MLW television debut, Nduka is going to get noticed by a lot of wrestling fans, and he very well could be the new MLW Champion the next time he’s in AEW.
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/6/23)
Time to rage in the cage!
Will it end where it all began?
Damage CTRL denied us and Becky Lynch the cage match with Bayley before, but now that Raw is in Orlando, The Man VS The Role Model WILL happen! Will this all come full circle for both these Horsewomen?
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins; Priest wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano; Lumis wins.
- Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella; Carmella wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
- Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy; Alexander & Benjamin win.
- Chelsea Green VS ???; Asuka wins.
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford; Ford wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Edge and Beth Phoenix are here!
Orlando goes nuts as the Rated R Superstar and the Glamazon make their way to the ring! Edge even takes some selfies with fans in the front row before he stands with Beth in the ring. The Grit Couple is of course here for revenge on the Judgment Day, a grudge that goes back to last year and Extreme Rules. They get the mic, and Edge says, “Oh, Orlando…! I gotta try and bring my heart rate down after watching that video, and just say it is so damn good to be back.” Orlando is happy to have them back, and Edge says he’s “The King of Comebacks as this point, it’s getting silly.” But we all know why they’re here this time: The Judgment Day.
Fans boo and Edge agrees. But the Judgment Day is his fault. The idea was to try and elevate talent he felt deserved it. And to be honest, it worked. All of them are at a better place now than they were a year ago. Finn Balor is on a level Edge has never seen before and that is saying something. Damian Priest has proven he’s a workhorse that come out week after week against the very best. Rhea Ripley, well… Fans do cheer Rhea, and Rhea went from number one to outlast everyone, and has punched her ticket to WrestleMania. Edge makes sure everyone sees him point at the sign. Oh, and Dom’s there, too.
“For the last year, we have battled back and forth. From Cardiff to Portland to Toronto, all leading up to Extreme Rules. And I knew that Finn Balor didn’t have what it takes to physically hurt me enough to make me say, ‘I Quit.’ But as you saw in the video, the minute I saw Rhea Ripley bash Beth in the back of the head with brass knuckles and hold that chair in her hand, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was helpless to stop it. And I am the kind of man, and I know a lot of you can relate out there, I am the kind of man that is not used to feeling helpless.” Fans cheer, and Edge “congratulates” Judgment Day with a sarcastic clap.
Fans chant “You Still Got It!” and Edge says, “I never lost it.” Fans cheer that! Edge continues to say, “But here’s the thing, guys. You just made a bad problem even worse. Because I am a cruel, vindictive, sick bastard, who will sink to any level to get my pound of flesh!” Beth calms Edge and says she’ll cut to the chase. “If you’ve got the stones, Ripley, Balor, my husband and I are here to finish this.” But speaking of, here comes the Judgment Day! Finn, Priest and Dom have the mics but Rhea isn’t here. Finn asks if he’s the only one who notices a pattern. Edge makes his triumphant return, only for the Judgment Day to beat him down again and again and again!
Finn tells Edge, “It might be time for you to say ‘I quit.’ HAHAHA!” Dom says word on the street travels fast. Fans boo Dom but Finn tells them to let Dom talk. Dom says since Edge & Beth have been gone, he has served hard time! Fans continue to boo, Finn again says to let Dom talk! Dom tells Edge & Beth to run along, before he does something to them he learned “on the inside.” Just like he did to his deadbeat dad! Rey didn’t even make it into the Rumble match! Priest says Dom’s right. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Priest says it doesn’t matter. Edge and Rey are “something else.” Every time they come back, Judgment Day beats them down, but they come back for more.
So next time they beat Edge down, Extreme Rules will look like child’s play. And speaking of child’s play, after Dawkins gets cooked and Priest enters the Money… Wait, no, Edge has him so flustered. Finn says it’s alright, Edge has Finn all mad, too. Priest promises Edge that he hates him that he can’t even speak right. Priest is getting inside the Elimination Chamber to be the United States Champion! Dom wishes Rhea was here, she could see what they’re about to do to Edge. But Rhea is busy promoting WrestleMania. Edge tells Dom to shut up! Fans cheer that! Edge says he was right, but they all confuse him! They don’t know what they really want!
Priest, the night he clotheslined Edge’s head off, he claimed he didn’t want a leader. And yet, he’s following Finn around like a giant labradoodle. He’s better than that! As for Finn, he’s a Dollar Store Jamiroquai! It’s insanity. Google Jamiroquai, kids. But the difference between Judgment Day and The Grit Couple is that Edge and Beth have each other’s backs. But they all just drop each other quicker than “Ex Con Dom” did his drawers in the clink! “Which is fitting, considering how many times you screwed your dad over.” And by the way, Edge can’t wait until Rey snaps and 619s Dom’s teeth down his stupid throat! It’s coming!
Beth says Rhea’s not here cuz she’s doing promotional appearances? We all know it’s because Beth speared Rhea’s soul out of her body. But listen to her very closely: she didn’t come here to talk. She came to beat Rhea’s ass!! But if she’s not here tonight, how about this? The Rated R Superstar, Edge and the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix VS Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley at Elimination Chamber! Oh, oh, really? Does Dom think Rhea’s in? Dom says Mami is totally in. Finn is in, so they accept! That is, if Edge & Beth make it to Elimination Chamber. The Judgment Day surrounds the ring, Edge & Beth stand their ground, and the fight is on!
Beth runs off Dom, Priest & Finn go after Edge, but here comes ANGELO DAWKINS! Dawkins BLASTS Dom, then fires off on Priest! Dawkins clotheslines Dawkins out, Edge SPEARS Finn down! Dom is freaking out, and Ford creeps up behind him. Ford spooks Dom, puts him in the ring, and Dom wants mercy! He gets chicken wings and a GLAM SLAM instead! Orlando is all fired up, but will the Curse of Greatness be able to take down Damian? Or will Punishment be heading for Montreal?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins!
Raw returns as Priest stomps away on Dawkins, this match already underway. But it is also truly 1v1 as Adam Pearce made sure during the break to say no one else is allowed ringside! Priest stands Dawkins up to ROCK him with a right, then whips him to ropes. Dawkins handsprings over and DROPKCIKS Priest! Dawkins fireman’s carries for a FLAPJACK! Priest bails out, Dawkins builds speed, but Priest moves. Dawkins stops, slides out the side, and runs in to POUNCE Priest onto the announce desk!! Fans are thunderous as Priest flops to the floor! Dawkins puts Priest in the ring, sees him go to the corner, and runs in to CYCLONE- FOREARM!
Priest snarls as he stomps away on Dawkins again. Priest drags Dawkins up, rams him into a corner and fires off hands! Priest whips corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Priest brings Dawkins up for a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest snarls, he sits Dawkins up and pulls on the arms for a motorcycle stretch. Dawkins endures, Orlando rallies up, and Dawkins fights but Priest CLUBS him down! Cover, TWO! Priest clamps on with a chinlock now, and he bends Dawkins against his knee. Dawkins endures, fans rally up, and Dawkins fights up. Priest swings, Dawkins blocks to ROCK back! And again! And again! Anda gain!
Priest shoves, Dawkins bobs ‘n’ weaves then ROCKS Priest again! Dawkins dodges Priest’s boot to ENZIGURI! Priest runs in again but Dawkins dumps him out! Fans fire up as Dawkins goes out and runs in again, but into a LARIAT! Priest glares at Dawkins as he storms up on him. Priest drags Dawkins up, BIG suplex to the floor! Priest slides in the ring but just to refresh the count. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps and FLYING KCIKS Dawkins down! Fans boo but Priest is in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and both men are down after a collision. Fans rally up, Dawkins and Priest go to opposite ends, and Dawkins runs in to rally with clotheslines! Priest hits low, whips, but Dawkins hurdles and FLYING UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up with Dawkins, he runs corner to corner to CYCLONE! And ENZIGURI! And facelock, but Priest wrenches out, Dawkins ducks the lariat, to clinch and EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Dawkins grows a little frustrated but fans rally up. Dawkins brings Priest up, ROCKS him with a right, then climbs a corner. Priest choke grips first! Priest then climbs up to join Dawkins, but Dawkins HOTSHOTS him back!
Dawkins hurries in, but into a SUPERKICK! Clinch and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins survives and Priest is growing frustrated now. Priest holds up his hand and fans boo. Dawkins rises, Priest clamps on, SOUTH OF- NO, Dawkins pops free for the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Dawkins hurries to a corner and climbs back up! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Priest survives and Dawkins is beside himself! But Orlando fires up as he drags Priest back up. Priest clamps onto a leg, Dawkins throws hands! Dawkins brings Priest up again, but Priest ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest staggers, into a RIGHT from Dawkins!
Priest goes to a corner, Dawkins runs in, but into a SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
The Punisher pulverizes Dawkins, and now he’s taking aim at the US Championship! Will Priest hit his mark and take that title back?
The United States Champion pulls into the arena.
Austin Theory drives a black Lamborghini, showing that The Now rides in style. Will he have anything to say about the Elimination Chamber field as it fills out tonight?
Adam Pearce meets with Maximum Males Models.
Maxxine Dupri finishes signing the contract, she, Maçé & Mansöôr are now officially part of Monday Night Raw. Pearce is happy to have them here, and is sure they have big WrestleMania plans. Maxxine confirms, she has big, BIG plans. But then Chelsea Green walks in and asks, “Are you the manager?” Chelsea, you know Pearce is the manager, they spoke last week. Pearce has MMM excuse themselves, and Chelsea says that, as they spoke last week, she is supposed to have a private room, with Swiss chocolates and fresh spring water. He took care of that. Oh, well, that was Belgian chocolate. She’s been to Belgium, she knows the difference.
Anyway, while she has him, she wants to talk about how she’s NOT in the Elimination Chamber match. But Liv is, Raquel is, Nikki is, all of who she could be. With all due respect, Chelsea, you didn’t even last five seconds in the Women’s Rumble, so- Uh, sorry, does she need to call his manager? All she wants is an opportunity. her family is in attendance, so she deserves a match. And in that match, she deserves to be presented as the big star she is. So he either makes this right, or… One call could cost him his job. Okay, thanks, bye. Chelsea heads out, but will Pearce bend to her demands?
Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano!
The Modern Day Wrestling God didn’t last all that long in the Men’s Rumble, and he didn’t get a win over Johnny Wrestling last week. The Rumble was because of Lesnar, that match with Gargano was because of Lumis. Can Corbin even the score with the Tortured Artist? Or will JBL start to question his investment into Baron?
Raw returns and Lumis makes his entrance. Corbin attacks Lumis as soon as he’s in the ring! The ref reprimands and fans boo, but Corbin lets off. The bell rings and Corbin hits a SPLASH in the corner! Corbin throws Lumis down, elbows him down, then clamps on a chinlock. Corbin grinds Lumis down but fans chant, “Corbin Sucks!” Lumis endures, fights up and fights free of the hold. Lumis then headlocks, but Corbin powers out. Corbin CLOBBERS Lumis, then rains down more elbows! Corbin clamps the chinlock on again, and insults the fans. JBL coaches Corbin, Lumis still endures and fights his way back up.
Corbin knees low, he puts Lumis in a corner and fires off forearms. Corbin whips corner to corner hard and Lumis bounces off buckles! Cover, TWO! Corbin says Lumis is nothing and Gargano isn’t anything, either. Gargano says he still got a win off Corbin. Corbin grinds forearms into Lumis’ face, then twists Lumis’ head in a neck wrench. Fans rally and Lumis fights up again. Lumis throws hands, dodges Corbin’s, then DECKS him! And DECKS him again! Pop-up UPPERCUT! Lumis runs to clothesline in the corner, then BULLDOG! Fans fire up as Lumis catches Corbin for a BIG back suplex! Kip up to LEG DROP!
Fans fire up as Corbin flounders up. Lumis clinches, but Corbin RAMS him into a corner. Corbin fires off elbows, then runs in, but only gets buckles! Lumis clinches for the SIDE EFFECT! Cover, Lumis wins!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by pinfall
JBL is speechless as Gargano stands with Lumis. Gargano is headed to the Elimination Chamber for the US title, but will Lumis find himself in title talks soon enough?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
Byron Saxton says The Man finally has Bayley inside that Steel Cage. What does tonight mean to her? “Orlando, Florida! Orlando, where it all began. Ten years ago, when I got off the plane with my bags to chase this WWE dream. When I first met you, Byron Saxton. A lot has happened in Orlando in those ten years, but ten years ago, I first met Bayley. In the weight room in the NXT Performance Center. And she seemed sweet and she seemed kind, and she wanted to be great. And her way of being great was high-fiving people and hugging people, and attaching herself to whoever she thought would be her meal ticket to the top.
“But I, too, Byron, I wanted to be great. And my way of being great was smashing faces, kicking down doors and changing the game so that I could become The Man of this industry! And Bayley… Bayley didn’t like that. No, she didn’t like that. So she’s attacked me and hit me with chairs and separated my shoulder. And she brought my family into this. And Bayley, I’m gonna learn you to not talk about my family. But all that aside, I had a plan. And tonight, I got what I want, and that is a Steel Cage Match.
“And so Bayley, you can bring your little friends, and you can bring your little tricks. Well, there is one hand that I haven’t played yet, and I’m thinking… I’m thinking, Byron, tonight might be the night.” What does Big Time Becks have planned for the Role Model in tonight’s main event?
Brock Lesnar is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as The Beast walks out to the ring and tips his cowboy hat with a feather in it. Lesnar gets the mic to say, “I appreciate ya. Thank you very much. Good evening, Orlando. Did y’all by chance catch the Royal Rumble? I did, too. I thought it sucked. At least, I had a sucky experience. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar got his ass thrown out over the top rope. That’s not the worst of it. I got my ass thrown over the top rope, by Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Now I apologize. I wasn’t on Raw last week, I had to get my head together a little bit. Bobby, you finally struck a chord in Brock Lesnar.”
All last week, Lesnar could not get Lashley out of his head. Lesnar tried to go hunting, and all he could think about was Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Next day, Lesnar wakes up, wants to go ice fishing. He likes coastal fishing, too, but he tries to go, but all he can think of is Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! He sits down for a big ol’ steak dinner, and all he can think about is Bobby Lashley! He gets into bed at night with his wife, and… Well, four or five hours later, all Lesnar could think about is Bobby Lashley! So for a whole week, Lesnar thought about what he’s gonna do with Lashley. Lesnar has a resolution. A violent resolution, but still.
You see, within Lesnar’s “five dollar denim jacket, is a multi-million dollar contract.” Fans like the sound of that. Lesnar reads the contract: “Bobby Lashley VS Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber.” Now Lashley, if you’ve got balls, you’ll get down here and sign the contract! Well here comes Lashley! Lashley is in shades and a nice suit as he heads down the ramp and to the ring. Lashley gets himself a mic, and he says, “Well nice of you to grace us with your presence, Brock. I didn’t even know you were gonna be here. But since you are, let’s take a little walk down memory lane.”
Match number one, what happened? Lashley pinned Lesnar. Match number two, Lesnar won. But if memory serves, Lashley laid Lesnar out cold as he walked out of the ring. And the third meeting was at the Royal Rumble, and Lashley threw Lesnar out without a problem. Lesnar steps closer and hands Lashley the contract. Lashley takes it, and again says that if memory serves, Lashley will be done under his terms. Lashley is going to take Lesnar’s contract and let his agent look at it, and his manager, and his lawyer, then Lashley will get back to Lesnar. This will be under consideration.
Oh, is Lesnar surprised? Surprised that Bobby Who has one up on you? Lashley emphasizes that with a poke of the finger. Lesnar smirks, and he reels Lashley in! F5!! Lesnar puts the contract in Lashley’s pocket, but fans chant “ONE MORE TIME!” Lesnar figures why not! Fireman’s carry, F5!! The Beast puts his hat back on, takes his leave, and the ball is now in the All Mighty’s court. Will this all but guarantee Lashley will want that match with Lesnar in Montreal?
Johnny Gargano finds Candice LeRae backstage.
Mr. Wrestling says hello to Mrs. Wrestling, tonight is big, right? How is she feeling? Luck hasn’t been on her side but she feels good. Lumis has a picture for good luck. Wow, the whole family! Gargano, Candice, little Quill and their dog, Pawdme, and… Who is that in the back? Nikki Cross? Cuz she’s SPYING on them! Nikki laughs and runs off! Candice isn’t sure what to make of that, but will she worry more about it once she’s in the chamber with crazy Cross?
Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella!
Raquel Gonzalez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Asuka and Natalya are waiting, and there’s just one spot left in the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match! Will it be Michin, Mrs. Wrestling, the Scottish Viper, or the FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island going all the way to Montreal for that golden opportunity?
Raw returns, Candice is already in the ring as Mia makes her entrance. Then, last but not least, Piper Niven! She’s dropped the nickname, will she make a name for herself on the Road to WrestleMania? The bell rings and Piper CLOBBERS Mia and Candice! Piper and Mella stare down, Mella talking trash even though this is her return match. Piper scares Mella with a growl and Mella bails out to hang by hubby Corey Graves. Piper whips Candice into Mia at a corner, then runs in to SANDWICH them! Candice and Mia both fall, and Piper grins. Mella hops on for a SLEEPER! Piper throws her right off!
Mella bails out again, but Mia and Candice fire off on Piper! Piper shoves them away, runs, but into a double drop toehold! She ends up on ropes, DOUBLE DROPKICKS send her out! Fans fire up with Mia and Candice, but then the two friends circle. They fist bump, and then Mia rushes in. Candice avoids the clothesline but Mia jumps over the leg sweep. Candice deflects a boot to waistlock, but Mia switches. Candice elbows free, Mia blocks a kick, and Mia slips under to pick Candice up! BUCKLE BOMB! Mia hoists Candice up top, CHOPS her, then blocks another kick! Mia has Candice in an Electric Chair, but Candice POISON-RANAS!
Mella scurries in to cover Candice, TWO! Cover on Mia, TWO! Cover back on Candice, TWO! Another cover on Mia, TWO! Piper TRIPLE SPLASHES them all!! Cover on Mia, TWO!! Piper drags Mia up to throw her out, then she kicks Candice out. Piper covers Mella, TWO!! Piper drags Mella up, throws her right out, and Piper is all fired up! Orlando is fired up with her, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Piper has everyone in corners. Piper SPLASHES Mia, SPLASHES Candice, but Mella dodges! FABULOUS KICK! Piper rebounds to CLOBBER Mella! Candice CROSSBODIES, but Piper catches her! Mia runs in to hit a NECKBREAKER that takes Piper down! All four women are down but Piper bails out of the ring! Orlando fires up while the others stir. Mella shouts, “This is MY match!” But Mia says no it ain’t! Mella throws a forearm, but Mia ROCKS Mella! Mella throws another, but Mia fires off a flurry! Mia BOOTS, then wrenches to hit EAT DA FEET!! Cover, Piper drags Mella away!
Fans are torn but Mia is shocked! Piper storms in, Mia throws body shots and haymakers! Piper ducks a roundhouse to HEADBUTT! Mia wobbles, Piper reels her in but Candice is up top! MISSILE DROPKICK! Piper is down, Candice LIONSAULTS! cover, Mia breaks it! Friends or not, this is every woman for herself! Mia says sorry, but then Piper shoves Mia into Candice! Candice falls, but Mia runs, but into a SCRAPBUSTER! Cover, Candice breaks it! Piper pulls at her hair and bites her fingers in frustration, but she has Candice to herself now. Candice fires off haymakers, but Piper shoves her down. SENTON FLOPS as Candice moves!
Candice STEP-UP SENTONS! But Mella rolls Candice up! TWO!! Candice escapes, DEKCS Mella, and Mella goes to a corner. Candice runs in but is sent into buckles! Mella shouts at Candice and stomps a fabulous mudhole in! Fans boo as Mella moonwalks and says, “Mella! Is! Money!” FABULOUS BRONCO BUSTER! But Piper runs in! Mella dodges, CANNONBALL for Candice! FABULOUS KICK for Piper! Mella stacks Candice, and WINS!
Winner: Carmella, by pinfall (advances to the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match)
The Princess of Staten Island took advantage, and she is heading to Montreal! But will she be the one heading to WrestleMania with that golden ticket?
Baron Corbin regroups with JBL backstage.
Corbin laughs it off. “That didn’t go as planned, did it?” But where are they going to eat? Maybe get some drinks or something? JBL asks, “We? There ain’t no ‘we’. I headlined WrestleMania, I sold out arenas all over the world, I was must-watch television. You are channel changing television. That sound you hear when you get the ring, that’s the sound of remote controls around the world changing the channel to watch anything but you. And I don’t give a damn about you. I give a damn about the fact that MY Hall of Fame legacy, my CHAMPIONSHIP career, has lost all credibility, because of YOU!”
Corbin frowns but JBL continues. “Modern Day Wrestling God? I’ll tell you what you need. Not some cute little shirt, but a red nose and floppy shoes. Because you are a clown. You do not belong near me.” Corbin asks where this is coming from. He can do better! He’ll do better! JBL says, “You can’t polish a turd. I tried.” JBL storms off, did Corbin blow another major opportunity?
Meanwhile, we can see in the background that MVP is talking with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. They shake hands, having a much better talk than JBL and Corbin just did. As the Wrestling God partnership falls apart, are we seeing the return of the Hurt Business?
Piper Niven finds Candice LeRae backstage!
Piper blames Candice for that loss! Piper should be going to WrestleMania! Mia storms in and makes Piper back off. Piper says they’re both very luck. If either of them get in the way of her and the title again, she will not be forgiving. Mia and Candice stick together, but will they both have to worry about the angry Scottish Viper slithering around?
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy!
Speaking of, PRIME Alexander and the Gold Standard are going up against “Master” Chad Gable and his number one guy, Otis! It’s a battle of former Raw Tag Team Champions, will one of these teams make a big impression on the Road to WrestleMania?
Raw returns and MVP is with Cedric & Shelton in their entrance! The teams sort out and Gable circles with Cedric. They tie up, Gable waistlocks and SLAMS Cedric, but Cedric gets up, only for Gable to snapmare. Gable rolls with Cedric, has a waistlock again, but Cedric pries free, only for Gable to headlock for the takeover. Cedric headscissors, Gable kips free, but Cedric arm-drags Gable. Gable arm-drags back, then blocks Cedric’s arm-drag to say, “SHOOSH!” Gable stands Cedric up but Cedric mule kicks back. Cedric runs, handsprings, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cedric flounders and Gable shouts, “A THANK YEW~!”
Gable tags Otis, the fans fire up and Otis struts. Gable cravats Cedric, Otis runs and CLOBBERS Cedric! Fans fire up but MVP protests. Cedric tags Shelton and he fires forearms on Otis! Shelton whips but Otis blocks! Otis whips, Shelton LARIATS, but Otis stays up! Shelton runs but Otis scoops! Shelton slips free to ROUNDHOUSE! Otis staggers, Shelton runs in to STEP- UP- NO!! Otis carries Shelton out for a WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Fans fire up with the tree trunk and he runs, to SPLASH! Fans rally while Shelton sputters, but Otis CLUBS him on the back. Otis whips Shelton corner to corner hard and Shelton falls to the mat!
Fans rally behind Otis and he brings Shelton up. Shelton kicks but Otis blocks, and Otis spins Shelton around, only for the DRAGON WHIP to hit! Otis staggers around, Shelton runs in but into another SLAM! Otis drags Shelton up, puts him in a corner, and then runs in, only to get buckles! MVP coaches Shelton and he crawls, but so does Otis! Hot tags to Gable and Cedric! Cedric rallies on Gable, runs in to forearm smash int he corner, then snapmare and BASEMENT DROPKICK! MVP is fired up with Cedric and Cedric whips. Gable reverses, Cedric goes up and over. Things keep moving, NEURALIZER!
Gable flops out of the ring, Cedric builds speed! Cedric DIVES, but into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Gable puts Cedric in while MVP shouts to shake it off! Gable is up top, for the DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, Shelton breaks it! Otis CLUBS Shelton, throws him to a corner, and then runs in, only to get more buckles! STEP-UP KNEE! And then another STEP-UP KNEE! And a SAMOAN DROP!?! Fans are thunderous after that, but Gable KNEES Shelton out! Cedric is up, Gable CLOBBERS him! Gable goes up top, to MOONSAULT! Cedric avoids it, back suplex, LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Cedric & Shelton win!
Winners: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall
MVP is all fired up! He celebrates with his guys, is this the revival of the Hurt Business?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Cathy Kelley knows The A-Lister was caught off guard last week by Rick Boogs, but what is his reaction to that return? His reaction? Miz will gladly give it to Pearce, along with a bill for the damages to his $10,000 suit that Maryse bought Miz! Who makes someone compete in a suit?! And as far as “Boogs” goes, what? He’s supposed to be impressed that Boogs can bench press 500 pounds and play the electric guitar? But speaking of, here comes Boogs! Uh, how did he get a meeting before The Miz? Oh, of course, he’s special, right? Wow, Boogs is special? Thanks, Miz.
But Boogs is just excited to be reunited with the Boogs Crew in the WWE Universe. The Boogs Crew? Oh, cut the humble crap. Miz would’ve won easily, if he was dressed and ready. Boogs got luck and he knows it, but he’s also lucky that Pearce is a lazy and incompetent official. Because if it was different and Miz was ready, it would’ve been a different story! Pearce walks up behind Miz and says, “Tell me how you really feel.” Miz sighs and smiles at Pearce. Pearce says that if Miz wants a rematch with Boogs, all he had to do was ask. In fact, how about next week? Boogs says that is righteous! THICK RICK VS The Miz, he’s so excited! Rick “Boogs out” on his exercise bar!
Miz looks at Pearce, then frowns as he walks away. But then Chelsea walks back in. She’s about to go to the ring, so she wants him to find an opponent, or she will call his boss. Okay thanks, bye~! The Hot Mess heads out, but who will Pearce send out to face her?
Chelsea Green VS ???
“Shh… It’s Chelsea.” Orlando has mixed feelings as The Hot Mess struts her way to the ring in her first singles match since coming back to the WWE. She’s already got an ego over the fact that she is back, but is she going to be ready for her opponent tonight? Because her opponent is ASUKA!!
Wait, is that Raquel Rodriguez in the crowd? Big Mami Cool snuck in from SmackDown to watch Raw in person, and she’s distracting Asuka! The bell rings and Chelsea SHOTGUNS Asuka down! Chelsea CLUBS away on Asuka, but now we see Natalya sneaking in from the other side! And Liv Morgan! Chelsea dribbles Asuka off the mat, brings her up, and shushes her, before she SLAPS her! Mella struts her way back out, since all the Chamber entrants are here. Chelsea BOOTS Asuka into buckles! Chelsea drags Asuka up, clinches, picks her up, COMPLETE SHOT! Chelsea sees everyone else and asks if they all watched that.
Chelsea says SHE should be in the Chamber, not “whatever this is,” in reference to Mella. Chelsea goes back to Asuka, kicks dirt, and also talks trash on Natty. Wait, Nikki sneaks out here now? Nikki laughs at Chelsea. Chelsea says if Nikki wants crazy, she’ll give her crazy! Chelsea also talks trash on Liv and Raquel. But Asuka gest back up! Chelsea senses something is wrong, and Asuka eggs her on in Japanese! Chelsea swings, misses, and Asuka fires off a strike fest! URAKEN! URAKEN! SOBAT! FRONT KICK! URAKEN and HEEL KICK! GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW! Chelsea wants a time-out!
Chelsea gets to a corner, Asuka runs in, but Chelsea BOOTS her! Chelsea runs in, into a CODE BREAKER, which Asuka then turns into a DOUBLE ARMBAR!!! Chelsea verbally quits, Asuka wins!
Winner: Asuka, by submission
The Empress of Tomorrow stands tall tonight, and she makes sure to look her future opponents in the eye. But then BIANCA BELAIR appears! The RawEST Women’s Champion is here, and she tells them all, “I want all of y’all to take a good look at each other and tell me what you see. Cuz I’ll tell you what I see. I see six top tier women in the WWE.” Fans cheer that. “But… Who has what it takes to win the Elimination Chamber match? Who has what it takes to go one on one with the EST of WWE? Because last year, I was in your position. I know what it’s like to be in an Elimination Chamber match, and I know what it takes to win. That’s how I got this.”
Bianca holds up the title, and says, “I want to wish each and every one of you good luck. Because whoever makes it out… I’ll be ready to see you at WrestleMania.” The EST has sent her message to all her potential contenders, but just who will survive the Chamber to meet Bianca in Hollywood?
Cody Rhodes is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as the American Nightmare makes his way to the ring. Fans chant Cody’s name as he gets the mic. “So, what do you guys wanna talk about? Hmm… Last week, I used my interview time to come out here and talk to you with respect about my current WrestleMania opponent, The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the biggest superstar in the world, the Best in the World, Roman Reigns.” Fans boo Roman, then chant for “SAMI! SAMI!” So they just read Cody’s mind. Cody did say “current.” Cody’s path to WrestleMania is straight and clear, but the destination is foggy.
The reason being, Roman is putting the titles on the line at Elimination Chamber, “against a guy who has kicked up all the dust, a guy who has all the momentum, a guy that’s walking into his hometown, and that is Sami Zayn.” Fans cheer and chant for Sami and Cody continues. “You guys seem like a perfect judge for my next question. It looks more and more like at WrestleMania, it’s going to be me standing there, challenging for the championship against Sami Zayn.” Fans like the sound of that! Cody says this with the utmost respect. “I have respect for anyone avenging an injustice done to them. I have respect for my friend, Sami Zayn. I wish you the best of luck, may the best man win.”
But wait! “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman. And I serve as Special Counsel, and The Wise Man, to YOUR Tribal Chief, the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman…! Reigns!” Fans boo as Heyman continues into the ring. Fans chant “E C DUB!” and Heyman steps into the ring. Heyman tells Cody that something he may one day find out in life, “hopefully not at my expense, but one day, is that life at the very top in this industry requires an understanding that the only week busier than the week leading into a major event like the Royal Rumble, or watch the point, WrestleMania…
“Is the week coming out of a major event, like the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. And I’m sure you know that the Tribal Chief and I have had a lot on our plates in the last week. And a few things fell through the cracks, admittedly, on the Island of Relevancy. One of which is the Tribal Chief and I, in front of the entire world, want to congratulate you on winning the 2023 WWE Men’s Royal Rumble match.” Cody and Heyman shake hands and Heyman says Cody earned it and that he’s very proud of Cody. Fans cheer that, and chant, “You Deserve It!”
Cody knows that his father had a nickname for Heyman, his brother had a nickname for Heyman. But if you’ll indulge Cody, Cody will go with “Mr. Heyman.” It is because Cody has “unparalleled respect” for Heyman and Heyman knows why. But if they’re going to pull back the curtain here, might as well pull it back for everyone here in the crowd and watching at home. This is a story that should’ve been told a long time ago. The year was 2000. The till in Cody’s family dried up a bit, and Hard Times was more than a famous promo. “Simply put, my family went broke.” $100 in a checking account for all of them.
To put a visual on it, Cody’s dad was doing local car commercials and not for money. Just so he could keep a car. Fans chant for Dusty now and Heyman gets emotional. “But then he got a phone call,” Cody continues. Heyman called Dusty. Heyman told Dusty that ECW as in town, that Steve Corino was gonna talk some smack, and that if Dusty would just agree to appear on camera, that if Dusty would be on ECW TV, Heyman “would pay him and pay him well.” Fans again chant for “E C DUB!” Cody says Heyman kept his word. In addition to the money that the Rhodes family sorely needed, ECW gave Dusty his confidence back, and Cody can never repay Heyman for that.
Flash forward a bit, and they might talk about it, but before coming back here, Cody was somewhere else, “causing a little bit of trouble.” From one disruptor in sports entertainment to another, Heyman showed Cody the way, so thank you again. Fans applaud that, and Heyman again gets emotional. Fans chant, “Thank You, Paul! Thank You, Paul!” Heyman says Cody is good. Cody really got Heyman there. Heyman was here to schmooze business with him, and Cody got him personally. Heyman sighs, fans cheer, and if we’re peeling back and shooting from the hip, let’s go all the way.
Heyman says this isn’t about him, and with all due respect and love and admiration and even acknowledgement, this isn’t about Dusty. This is about Cody, about everything Cody has fought for from the bottom to the top, out the door, back in, to winning the Rumble to main-eventing WrestleMania! “And winning WrestleMania is a whole different story. Just getting there is a long, long road.” And that’s Cody’s story. That’s Cody’s story that he needs to finish to find out if this is a dream come true, or if he must “suffer the nightmare of coming just this close.”
Because Cody isn’t just main-eventing WrestleMania, he’s trying to “take away from the greatest box office attraction and greatest champion of all time, Roman… Reigns.” Fans boo but Heyman says that’s no easy task for any mere mortal, let alone someone that has no idea what it’s like under that spotlight. Will Cody crumble and wither? Will he self-destruct under that pressure because no one ever prepared him for it? Heyman says down the road is the WWE Performance Center. At that very place, Cody’s father, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, trained and prepped the biggest stars of this generation.
Cody’s father, Dusty, trained and prepped Seth Rollins, trained and prepped Becky Lynch, trained and prepped Bayley, trained and prepped Kevin Owens, trained and prepped for the highest level of success, the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. But do you know who Dusty didn’t train and prep? Dusty did not train nor prepare Cody. Cody tries to smile through that but Heyman says he could counsel Cody that maybe, just maybe, Dusty wanted Cody to make it on his own. That’s how much love Dusty had for him. That Dusty wanted Cody to step out of the shadow of a national monument such as the American Dream himself.
Perhaps Dusty didn’t want Cody going through life as “Dusty’s son,” but as Cody Rhodes, “WrestleMania Main Eventer Who Stopped the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.” Maybe. But Cody, Heyman can’t convey in words how much he loved Dusty. But he can say to Cody’s face that Dusty loved Cody. To share this personally, in Heyman’s last conversation with Dusty, Dusty told Heyman… “You, Cody, were his favorite son.” Cody and the fans aren’t sure what to make of that, but then Heyman adds, “But Roman Reigns was the son he always wanted.” Heyman drops the mic and fans cannot believe he just said that!
Cody rushes up on Heyman but Heyman backs away. Fans want Cody to go after Heyman but Heyman wants him to reconsider. Cody offers a handshake, then makes Heyman take it. “I’m just trying to win a wrestling championship, and everybody, everybody, wants to make it personal. And that’s what you just did, and you’re not gonna pay for it, Mr. Heyman. Your boy, Roman Reigns, is going to pay for it. At WrestleMania, when I take those titles, personally.” Cody pushes the mic into Heyman then heads out. Will Cody ironically be hoping Roman beats Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber so he can be the one to tear the Tribal Chief down?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford!
There is just ONE spot left in the United States Championship match, and it comes down to The Drifter and the flyest high flyer WWE has seen in a long time! Will all of Montreal #WalkWithElias? Or will this Profit be up, looking for gold?
Raw returns and Elias makes his entrance while Austin Theory is on commentary. The bell rings and Elias circles with Ford. They tie up, and they are in a deadlock. They go around, Ford puts Elias in a corner but Elias turns it around. The ref counts, both men let off, and they reset. Ford and Elias tie up again, Elias headlocks and he grinds Ford down. Ford powers up but Elias holds tight. Ford tries again, but Elias still holds tight. Theory isn’t concerned about Elias’ level of aggression, because the person with aggression is him. Ford powers up and out, but Elias runs him over! Cover, TWO!
Elias stands Ford up but Ford rolls Elias up, TWO! Ford cradles, TWO! Elias headlocks again and he hits a takeover. Ford keeps his shoulder up, moves around, and fans rally. Theory likes Ford’s athleticism, and the move on his regimen, but he’s intrigued to face Elias since they’ve never met in a match. Ford fights up, powers out, and things speed up. Ford hurdles then runs Elias over! Ford DROPKICKS Elisa, and then Ford snarls as he whips. Elias reverses but Ford KICKS back! Ford runs in, but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Ford sputters to a corner and Elias storms up to CHOP, UPPERCUT and repeat!
Elias fires off, the ref counts, and Elias lets off. Elias then stomps Ford again, CHOPS him, and whips to back drop Ford! Ford bails out, Elias pursues, and Elias RAMS Ford into barriers! Elias then brings Ford up to STEEL STEPS BACK SUPLEX! Elias roars and fans are torn as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Elias has Ford in a motorcycle stretch. Ford endures, turns, but Elias drags him up into a waistlock. BACKBREAKER! Elias then goes to a corner and climbs up top, but Ford hops up after him! Ford fires haymakers, Elias throws body shots, and Elias CLUBS Ford down. Elias SUNSET FLIPS, but Ford holds onto the ropes! Fans fire up as Ford fights his way back up, and he ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias turns things into an Electric Chair Lift! SPINNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Theory says he thought that would end it, though he sounds a bit sarcastic.
Ford crawls to the apron and Elias storms over. Ford GAMANGIRIS Elias, ducks a haymaker, then bumps Elias off buckles to GAMANGIRI again! Ford goes back up, CROSSBODIES, and says “SUCK IT!” Ford rallies with clotheslines, then runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Elias staggers, Ford pumps up and hits a BIG back suplex! Kip up but Ford’s back tightens up. Ford powers through to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Theory likes that Elias is still in this, but Ford brings Elias up. Elias CHOPS! ford ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias ROCKS Ford, but Ford ENZIGURIS! Ford runs, into the SYMPHO-KNEE!
Elias fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ford survives and Elias grows frustrated. Theory doesn’t worry about the match, and goes on to talk trash on the other entrants. Theory thinks Johnny Gargano will be a stay-at-home dad, Bronson Reed probably can’t fit in a pod, but then gets mad at Kevin Patrick for bringing up the loss to Bronson back in their NXT days. Elias meanwhile RAMS Ford into a corner, RAMS him again, and again, and again! Elias backs off, runs in again, but Ford puts him on the apron! Elias shoulders in, slingshots, but into a HAYMAKER!
Elias flounders away, Ford goes corner to corner to FLY!! Direct hit and down goes Elias! Ford puts Elias in the ring and fans fire up! Ford goes up top, and leaps in FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, Ford wins!
Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
Ford takes the last spot, but Theory stands on the desk to hold up the title. Will Theory still have that title after the Elimination Chamber? Wait! SETH ROLLINS CLIPS THEROY! Theory hits the desk and Rollins laughs! Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” before the CURB STOMP to the floor! The Now didn’t see The Visionary coming, will nothing and no one stop Rollins from winning in the Chamber?
Bayley talks with Damage CTRL backstage.
Dakota Kai is in crutches given what Becky Lynch did to her last week, but Bayley isn’t worry. She tells Kai & Sky the plan and prepares for the main event, which is up next!
Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch!
The Role Model used Damage CTRL to take control away from The Man and deny us all this match on the Raw 30th Anniversary episode. But now, there’s no running from this, there’s no hiding from this, and there’s no getting around this! Will Bayley survive Becky’s Big Time wrath? Or will Becky leave Bayley behind just like when they were in NXT?
The bell rings, fans fire up, but Bayley smirks. Fans rally for Becky as she and Bayley circle. They feel things out, Bayley ROCKS Becky then climbs the wall! Becky yanks her down, she won’t let Bayley just run away like a coward. They talk trash, Bayley says Becky doesn’t tell her what to do or when to do it. Bayley shoves Becky, so Becky ROCKS Bayley! They go back and forth, Becky gets the edge, but Bayley kicks a leg out! Becky trips Bayley! Becky says she was going for the door, but that’s not how this is going down. Becky whips but Bayley turns it around, only for Becky to stop from hitting the steel.
Becky hits Bayley back, but Bayley also blocks hitting steel. Bayley elbows Becky away but Becky goes for an arm! Bayley and Becky go around, but Bayley throws Becky into the steel! Kai & Sky like what they see as Bayley sends Becky into more steel! Bayley stomps away on Becky, then digs her boots in! She also digs Becky into the frame of the cage! Fans boo but Bayley covers, ONE!! Becky is hanging tough, so Bayley decides to climb. Becky hurries over and dropkicks the cage to shake Bayley loose! Bayley falls to the mat, then Becky drags her up to RAM her into the steel! Becky drags Bayley up again to RAM her into more steel!
Becky runs to basement dropkick Bayley into the steel! And again! Becky stomps away on Bayley now, then pushes her face into the steel! “You think you can talk about my husband?! You think you can talk about my husband now, Bayley?!” Becky lets off, then drags Bayley up. Fans rally and Becky throws Bayley into more steel! Bayley drags herself out while Becky climbs the cage. Bayley hurries to anchor Becky, but Becky kicks her away. Bayley climbs up after Becky, but Becky kicks her again. Bayley anchors a foot, but Becky dribbles Bayley’s face off steel! Becky then adjusts, brings Bayley around, but Bayley RAMS Becky into steel!
Bayley dribbles Becky now, throws her off the ropes, then adjusts to MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kai & Sky coach Bayley on as she has control, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns just as Becky kicks out of a cover! And she wants the arm! Bayley hurries to push Becky away, but Becky hits a FLYING FOREARM! Both women are down and Orlando fires up! Kai & Sky coaches Bayley as she and Becky both stand. The forearms go back and forth again! Fans rally behind Becky as she gets the edge, uppercuts and SOBATS! Becky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and JUMP KICKS Bayley down! Becky whips Bayley to a corner, but Bayley uses that to get up the wall! Becky grabs Bayley’s legs to SLAM them against the steel! And again! Bayley holds on with her hands but Becky RAMS her into the steel again and again! SUPER JUMP KICK!
Bayley ends up slumped on the ropes, for Becky’s SUPER GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally and Becky fires up. Kai & Sky plead with Bayley as she gets up, but Becky clinches. Bayley slips out of the slam to SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Becky is still in this and fans fire up again! Bayley drags herself to ropes, climbs the cage, but Becky rises! Becky drags Bayley back down, has her draped on the ropes and TOSSES her into the steel! Becky runs, to drop a leg, brother! But Bayley turns it into a HEEL HOOK!! Becky flails, reaches out, and crawls her way to the door! Becky grabs the frame but Bayley drags her away!
Bayley stands Becky up but Becky rolls to send Bayley into buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Back to the HEEL HOOK! Becky still crawls, they roll to ropes, and Becky SMACKS Bayley off steel! And again! And again! Bayley is dazed but Becky hobbles back up. Becky climbs a corner but Bayley anchors her foot. Becky kicks her away, but Bayley tries again. Becky kicks Bayley again, but Bayley hurries up after her! They brawl, Becky shoves Bayley away! Becky is on the top rope but Bayley CLUBS her! Bayley clubs after and they braw on the top rope! Bayley RAMS Becky into the steel, SUPER BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, TWO!?!
Kai & Sky can’t believe it, and neither can Orlando! Bayley stalks Becky, but then decides to climb the wall! Bayley reaches the top! Becky hurries up after Bayley, catches up to Bayley, and they brawl up top now! Fans rally as the haymakers go back and forth! Bayley SMACKS Becky off the top! But Becky grabs an arm! Becky uses that to drag herself back up, DISARM-HER ON TOP OF THE CAGE!!! Bayley slips free, gets caught up on the ropes, and flops to the mat! But Becky just adjusts, only for Sky to climb up after her! The Evil Genius brawls with Becky, and then she kicks Becky down into the ring! Kai sneaks a crutch to Bayley!
Bayley JAMS Becky with the crutch! But wait, is that LITA?!? The living legend is here and she goes up after Sky! Lita YANKS Sky right off the cage! Lita storms up on Kai and uses her other crutch to YANK her into steel steps! Lita JAMS Sky, reels her in, TWIST OF FATE to the floor!! Bayley is flabbergasted, but she hurries for the door! Fans are losing their minds as Lita SLAMS the door shut! Bayley staggers into a MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Becky had Big Time back-up, was this the ace in the hole she talked about? Did Lita help Becky put behind her Damage CTRL once and for all?
A great Raw, and full to the brim at that. Great opening segment with Edge, Beth and Judgment Day. I am glad they’re giving us that Mixed Tag for Elimination Chamber, but I was hoping they would make it Edge & Beth VS Rhea & Dom. But at the same time, if Dom was involved, it’d be obvious Dom would take the loss just so The Grit Couple can win without really hurting Rhea’s momentum. With Finn in that match instead, it could go either way. Rhea could beat Beth to win it while we see Edge and Finn set up a 1v1 rematch for WrestleMania. That’s two birds, one stone, so perhaps WWE will go with that.
I also like that they used the brawl that broke out to bring in the Profits. Dom taking the Glam Slam was beloved by all, and of course we go right into Dawkins VS Priest. Priest winning makes sense, he really is the workhorse Edge said he is, Priest will have a great showing in the Elimination Chamber. Elias VS Ford was great stuff, even with Theory on commentary. Theory wasn’t bad, but what does he really add talking himself up? At the same time, it was great for Rollins to drive-by Theory to get himself some momentum while not in the ring. And as I’d hoped, Ford is in the Chamber now, so get ready for a From the Heavens off a pod.
Corbin VS Lumis being a comparative squash was a bit of a surprise, but it leading to JBL dumping Corbin was also quite surprising. At the same time, something had to give. The WWE never books Corbin strong forever, which is why Corbin has been through more changes to his character these last few years than anyone else. I’m not sure what’ll get Corbin to the next level, if WWE even cares to do that. I still think they skipped through the Bum Ass Corbin stuff too soon, but that’s on Vince. Maybe Corbin will start trying to earn JBL’s respect like he needs it as validation for who he is.
And because HHH’s team is really clever, they gave us another “Easter egg” in a promo, with MVP talking with Cedric & Shelton before their match. Their match against Alpha Academy was pretty good, though it seemed clunky at the start. Commentary touched on it, I think Shelton was just not quite ready for how big and strong Otis was gonna run in there. But Shelton & Cedric win because clearly, the Hurt Business is on its way back. Lesnar and Lashley had a good promo together, and I’m a little surprised we’re getting that match at the Chamber. Maybe there will be something crazy that happens, compelling a WrestleMania match. Plus, from Lashley’s promo, he’s counting their Rumble match confrontation as part of the record, so the Chamber match would be round 4, making Mania round 5 and a tiebreaker of sorts.
Good backstage promos with Adam Pearce. Miz putting his foot in his mouth and ending up in a rematch with Boogs was good stuff. Officially signing MMM to Raw was a nice detail to help give us a reason we’re even watching Pearce, which sets up Chelsea “Karen Joke Punchline” Green complaining to him and getting a match. And seeing as how Chelsea avoided bringing Asuka up, it was perfect that she had to fight Asuka. It was a logical surprise to have the other women in the Elimination Chamber match show up, though I feel like Chelsea could’ve been faster about talking trash. Asuka wins, of course, and Bianca had a great promo calling out all the contenders.
Speaking of, the Fatal 4 was great stuff, and I suppose Mella winning is a good choice. She’s returning, she’s got momentum just on that, but she’ll surely be used to build up Asuka in that match. Mella had that segment with Asuka last week, Asuka will definitely mist and eliminate Mella. Asuka is definitely a frontrunner to win the Chamber, and this return to Kana in presentation has to mean Asuka’s going to WrestleMania. Piper threatening Candice and Mia was good stuff. Piper might get a partner to take them on at some point, but we can get some great 1v1 matches out of Piper VS Candice and Piper VS Mia.
Cody’s promo segment with Heyman was so good. I just knew Heyman was setting up that insult on Cody about Dusty wanting someone like Roman as a son, and it was still powerful. And while Sami Zayn is great, it of course gave the idea that WrestleMania’s main event will stay Roman VS Cody. Then we got a great main event in the Steel Cage match. Granted, it was the usual Steel Cage formula: throw each other into steel; keep each other from climbing up and out multiple times; Heel still has minions interfere. But I did like that Lita showed up to help Becky in a callback to their Crown Jewel match. Lita helping Becky win was good stuff cuz it was DMG CTRL facing karma, and fans got to see the legendary Lita celebrate with the iconic Becky. Hell, maybe we get some kind of tag match now so Lita can return to WrestleMania.
My Score: 8.7/10
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