SmackDown is FUN-NOMENAL!
YOWIE WOWIE! Bray Wyatt returns to SmackDown for an all new Firefly Fun House! Plus, AJ Styles celebrates becoming WWE Intercontinental Champion!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle; Riddle wins.
- Chad Gable VS Mojo Rawley; Gable wins.
- The New Day VS Lucha House Party; The New Day wins.
- Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Nikki Cross w/ Alexa Bliss; Banks wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown opens with an Intercontinental Championship Presentation!
SmackDown superstars surround the ring to witness this special occasion. Renee Young is in the ring with the title belt as she introduces the preeminent star of this and any generation. The Face that Runs the Place, AJ Styles, makes his way to the ring! The New Day copies Styles’ posing while there is a mixed reaction from the crowd. Styles says he loves this. Renee did perfect in listing his accolades, he’s like an achievement machine. And why wouldn’t he be? He’s back int he House That AJ Styles Built! That’s why he invited everyone here to see this historic moment. He wants them to know that this is as close as they’re going to get to the Intercontinental Championship!
Renee brings up that this is the one title Styles had yet o win, so what does this milestone mean? A lot of things. Vindication. That what he has always said was right. Cream rises to the top! Life’s rewards are for those who climb up and grab it, not those who sit back and want hand outs. But Styles could go on and on about himself, but he wants to give the people what they want. Wait, hold on! Styles says Renee is great at this and all, but she’s not right for this honor. There is only one person qualified to present the title to him. Where is he? Not Baron Corbin, not Cesaro… Daniel Bryan! “Come give the champ his title.” Aw c’mon, Bryan. Styles won fair and square. Just have a little respect for a championship that he said means so much to him.
Bryan does climb into the ring and walks over to the pedestal. All he has to do is put the belt around Styles’ waist and congratulate him. The crowd chants, “NO! NO!” but Styles says it is the respectful thing to do. Styles beat Bryan to get this belt, after all. Just don’t do anything stupid. Bryan picks the belt up, but Styles senses the hesitation. Is it that Styles undermines everything Bryan has said about being champion? “That’s despicable.” Bryan’s better than that, so put the title on Styles’ waist already. Be a man about it. He is a man, isn’t he? Prove it. Bryan looks at the belt long and hard, but Styles changes his mind. If Bryan is a coward, that’s fine. Bryan has Styles turn around to put the belt on him. Make sure it’s on tight.
The belt is secure, Styles feels good, but he doesn’t like Bryan’s mumbled congratulations. No one heard it! Do it like a man! Bryan grabs a mic and is willing to give a speech. “Congratulations, AJ Styles. Last week, you were the better man.” They may disagree about a lot, Bryan infinitely respects his in-ring ability. To add to that, Bryan thinks Styles is going to be a great Intercontinental Champion> In fact, he could be the greatest IC Champion EVER! What about that? If Styles shows up every week, pushes himself, and defends the title against the amazing talent around the ring that are hungry for it. Imagine that legacy! Styles VS Chad Gable! Styles VS Gran Metalik! Imagine Styles VS Big E! WOW!
Styles puts a stop to that. Styles is sorry Bryan said anything. Bryan’s vision is not Styles’ vision. A select few, those on Styles’ level, get their opportunities at this title. And Bryan is the bottom of the list. Well if Styles likes people earning things, then he should be more than happy to defend the title against Drew Gulak, given he pinned Styles two weeks ago! Gulak EARNED it, so defend it! The crowd now chants “YES! YES!” because they want Styles to back up his words. Styles says he is NOT Daniel Bryan. He is NOT giving hand outs. If someone wants their opportunity, they need to earn it by becoming #1 contender. The next person that wants to stand up and run their mouth will deal with the consequences.
“Bro…” MATT RIDDLE is here! The Original Bro joins Styles in the ring as the crowd chants for him. “What’s up, bro?” Matt Riddle introduces himself but Styles says he knows who he is. The talk of the town is just some dude with no shoes in Styles’ ring. Riddle never wears shoes, bro. Not the point. Styles just sees another human wanting a hand out. They come in different shapes and sizes. Bro, Riddle doesn’t want to be given something. He’s giving Styles advice. Styles is the Face that Runs the Place? Riddle is here to inform Styles that he’s the Bro That’s Gonna Run the Show. Styles puts the belt on the pedestal to fire off haymakers! But Riddle comes back with knees and a KICK! Styles is stuck in the ropes, Riddle dumps him out! Corbin and Cesaro ask Styles what’s up with that, and Riddle is ready to fight! Styles demands a referee to give Riddle a fight! Is SmackDown about to get BRONOMENAL?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle!
SmackDown returns and it’s time to #brodown! And Riddle’s debutt is going to be for the workhorse title! Will Riddle become a golden bro? Or will Styles kick him to the back of the line?
But wait! As the introductions are made, Styles scratches out that championship detail! He is pretty sure Riddle didn’t see the sign: “No shirt, no shoes, no championship title match for you!” Well that’s not cool, bro. But Riddle just shrugs it off and looks ready to earn a victory!
AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle!
The bell rings, the crowd and ringside superstars are already fired up, and Riddle blocks a kick to spin Styles into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Riddle knees Styles then dead lift gut wrench suplexes! Float over and another dead lift, to another gut wrench! Styles writhes, Riddle covers, ONE! Riddle kicks Styles while he’s down and stomps him, to then ground ‘n’ pound. Styles gets the ropes but Riddle backs off. Riddle brings Styles up but Styles jawbreakers back. Styles whips Riddle but Riddle holds ropes. Riddle breaks free, kicks, but Styles ducks to waitlock. Riddle standing switches but Styles backs him to a corner. The ref counts, Styles elbows Riddle, but walks into a ROUNDHOUSE! Cover, TWO!
Riddle keeps his cool as the crowd and fellow superstars cheer him on. BROTON! Cover, ONE, but Riddle clamps on with a facelock. Riddle grinds Styles down, goes after the arm and gets a double wristlock. Styles fights up, pulls hair and rakes eyes to put Riddle in a corner. Styles rams his shoulder in again and again, then CHOPS! Riddle CHOPS back! And again! Riddle rams into Styles and fires off body shots! Riddle clubs away on Styles and the crowd is all fired up. But Styles dropkicks Riddle down! Styles catches his breath as he stalks Riddle. Styles puts Riddle in the corner to fire off punches and stomps. Styles drags Riddle up to bump off other buckles, then brings him out. Riddle fires off heavy hands and backs Styles into a corner for kicks! Riddle lets off, and Styles throat chops!
Styles clotheslines Riddle out to the apron! He drags Riddle up by his hair but Riddle forearms back! Riddle trips and drags Styles but Styles kicks him into Corbin! Corbin shoves Riddle and now the Wolf King and Bro have beef! Things are red hot as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Riddle endures a chinlock. The crowd and superstars rally up as Riddle fights to his feet. Riddle pries at the hold but Styles throws him down! The ref reprimands about the hair pulling but Styles just shrugs it off to bring Riddle up. Styles ROCKS Riddle with forearms then scoops him for a running backbreaker! Riddle writhes while Styles looms over him. Styles brings Riddle up for elbows and kicks! Riddle just glares at Styles but Styles keeps kicking. Styles SWATS Riddle down then brings him up for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Riddle gets up but Styles throws hands. Riddle CHOPS, Styles forearms, then bumps Riddle off buckles. Styles rakes Riddle’s face on the ropes! The ref reprimands but Styles just grins.
Styles brings Riddle up to snapmare him, and runs for a knee drop! The crowd boos while Styles brings Riddle back up. Riddle throws hands, forearms, palm strikes and kicks. Styles blocks one to DRAGON SCREW! Riddle goes to a corner but Styles KICKS the bad leg out! Riddle gets to another corner but Styles is on him. Riddle hits back, but Styles wrenches, only for Riddle to ROCK him! Riddle grabs a leg but the ref counts for the ropebreak. Styles turns things around, hits low and whips. Riddle blocks again, but his roundhouse misses and Styles CHOP BLOCKS! Riddle falls and Corbin talks trash as Styles stomps him to a corner. Styles grabs the leg but Riddle KNEES out! Riddle throws hands, but Styles hits the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles grabs Riddle but Riddle fisherman suplexes out!
Both men are down but the crowd and superstars rally up. Riddle goes to a corner, Styles goes to the other. Styles runs in but Riddle dodges, to come back with a forearm! And then another! Riddle BROSPLODERS Styles away, runs to Penalty Kick. Styles dodges, and he dodges the standing moonsault, but not the BROTON! Cover, TWO! Riddle drags Styles right into a BROMISSION!! Styles endures, flails, bridges back to a cover, TWO! Styles gasps for air, but Riddle fireman’s carries for a pop-up. Styles slips through to get the CALF CRUSHER!! Riddle endures as Styles cranks back, but Riddle crawls around to the ROPEBREAK! Styles holds on until 4 and Bryan coaches Riddle up. The crowd is thunderous as Styles sits up. Styles sees Riddle on the apron and goes to the outside. Styles pushes Bryan out of the way!
Bryan is heated but Gable and Gulak keep him back. Styles pushes Riddle into the ring then climbs up. Styles goes back out to get in Bryan’s face about going after him. The Lucha House Party also keeps Bryan back, and Styles takes aim at Riddle. Springboard, but into the gut wrench, tuck, BRO DEREK!! Cover, Riddle wins!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
INCREDI-BRO! The debutt isn’t golden, but it’s almost as good! Riddle beat the Intercontinental Champion fair and square, did he just earn his title op-bro-tunity?
SmackDown returns to an exclusive interview with Jeff Hardy.
The Charismatic Enigma confronted the Celtic Warrior head on with everything he had at Backlash, but it wasn’t enough to win. Renee Young thanks Hardy for taking this time to speak. How has he been this past week? A bit of a roller coast, physically and emotionally. He just came back from injury two months ago. He’s 42 years old, trying to turn his life around, though it’s felt that way for his entire adult life. The bad times haunt him if he lets them. He’s doing what’s best for his family. Just when it looks like he’s turning things around, as he extinguish one fire, another fire springs up. The struggle is real.
The rivalry with Sheamus is rather uncomfortable as he targets Hardy’s struggles. Hardy’s redemption came up short at Backlash, how has he been dealing with that loss? Hardy’s lost a lot and will surely lose more. But Sheamus is a constant reminder about what hardy doesn’t like about himself. It creates a negative mindset that makes him just want to beat the holy hell out of Sheamus and shut him up. It’ll prove that Hardy’s spirit is resilient and he can overcome. But there’s another part in losing that the doubts creep in. “Am I good enough anymore? Am I bad performer? A bad husband? A bad father?” The darkness comes back, but the bottom line is, the one thing he’s learned in life is that he has to catch himself before the train of thought spirals out of control.
Sheamus may call him a junkie, Hardy may start to believe it, but it isn’t true. Hardy needs to step back and see things for what they are. Yes, he is a junkie, for adrenaline. He’s a recovering alcoholic but he’s recovering. Sheamus’ problem isn’t with Hardy, it’s with Sheamus. Sheamus is a bully that sees vulnerability as weakness. Hardy’s overcome worse, so Sheamus is just another obstacle on the road to redemption. Hardy is a “humanomaly,” and is far from done.
Backstage interview with Shorty G, Chad Gable.
He is moments away from a match with Mojo Rawley, a man who stands an extra 8 inches tall and weighs an extra 80 pounds more. Is Gable worried? It’s on his mind, but fotrutnatley, it isn’t about height, weight or that you’re friends with Gronk. Speaking of Mojo, he walks up behind Gable to mock his height with hand gestures. Gable has wrestled heavyweights all his life, and they’re all the same. The best thing about wrestling a bigger opponent is that they don’t know what it’s like to have eyes in the back of their head. Gable DECKS Mojo, then makes his entrance. Will Gable show Mojo that having a big ego isn’t an advantage?
Chad Gable VS Mojo Rawley!
SmackDown returns as the bell rings, and Mojo tackles Gable to the corner! Mojo rams his shoulders in then throws Gable to another corner. Mojo stomps a mudhole and toys with Gable. “You’re real funny!” Mojo whips Gable corner to corner hard, then looms over him on the mat. He drags Gable up, Gable sunset flips, then rolls to get the Ankle Lock! Mojo swats Gable off, but runs into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Gable keeps moving but Mojo flapjack hotshots him down! Mojo runs to POUNCE Gable off his feet! Cover, TWO!! Mojo is all over Gable with ground ‘n’ pound and trash talk. The crowd boos as Mojo looms over Gable. Mojo drags Gable up into the chinbar half nelson and leans on the hold. Gable endures as the crowd rallies up. Mojo whips, Gable ducks and tilt-o-whirls to a SLEEPER! But Mojo throws him off, only for Gable to throw him out.
Gable gets to a corner, Mojo leaps into the ring and corner splashes him! Mojo looms over Gable again, brings him back up, and then runs corner to corner. Gable dodges and Mojo hits buckles! GERMAN SUPLEX! Mojo is down but Gable heads to a corner. Gable climbs up, Mojo stands, Gable LEAPS! Mojo catches him, but Gable shifts to a cradle! GABLE WINS!
Winner: Chad Gable, by pinfall
Shorty G just got the best of Mojo! Gable feels on top of the world, but will he be able to stay on top?
SmackDown returns to Miz TV!
The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century welcome us back to the Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE history. Before getting to their guest, they need to address the elephant in the room. Otis? No, their Backlash defeat. John Morrison had the champion pinned but Miz dragged him off. Yes, Miz got caught up in the moment, but what’s most interesting about that is why it happened? And why did it happen? They changed the rules! They were preparing to be co-champions, and yet are told last minute that the man to pin Braun Strowman is the sole champion. They don’t change the rules so suddenly like that anywhere else! World Series? NO! Super Bowl? NO! NBA Finals? NO! Because you just don’t.
And then there was the “canned ham covered in body hair,” Otis! Mr. Money in the Bank took their focus off the ball because he teased the cash-in. They were constantly looking over their shoulder for Otis and his buddy, Tucky. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fight for a title when you’re basically outnumbered? If it weren’t of Otis, one of these two would be champion. But speaking of Otis, that brings them to their guest. She is involved in one of the most “intriguing” romances in WWE history, as well as one of the most vicious rivalries in SmackDown history. Give it up for Mandy Rose! The sweet peach heads to the ring and takes a seat.
Now before getting to that “relationship,” let’s talk what’s going on with her best friend- Former best friend. Right, right, right. How long were they bets friends for? Five years. Five, whole, years! And did Mandy ever notice she was upstaging Sonya Deville? Stealing the spotlight? Being a terrible friend? And that Sonya was the better fighter anyway? Sorry, what? Guys, c’mon, she didn’t come out here to be insulted. She’s leaving. Aw, no, wait! They’re just joking around. They aren’t taking her seriously, so Miz will be serious when he says he has a surprise for her! “Hit the music!” It’s SONYA! Figures. Sonya asks Mandy what’s wrong. Didn’t think she’d be invited to the party? Sorry but here she is. Wow, really? Still on this? Mandy can get Sonya being mad, but Sonya is the one who tried to sabotage Mandy’s career and personal life! So whatever it is she thinks Mandy did to her, she’s DONE playing the game.
Done? Mandy thinks they’re done? Sonya wishes they could be done! But y’know what? Sonya just can’t, because week after week, she watches MANDY get the spotlight! And then she thinks, “What has Mandy done to deserve that?!” If it wasn’t for Miz & Morrison, Sonya probably wouldn’t even be out here tonight! Sonya would be stuck in catering twiddling her thumbs. Did she not see the promotions for tonight’s show? Of course Mandy hasn’t, because she doesn’t care. But it was “Mandy Rose on Miz TV.” Yeah, but where’s Sonya? The thing Sonya keeps asking is, “What is it you’ve done with these opportunities, Mandy?” Won matches? Nope. Said anything of any value or interest? Nope. Hold on, Sonya will come up with something. Oh, right! She made out with Otis in the pool so everyone can see it. Congrats! 2020 is a great year for you!
Mandy just wants this to stop! What does Sonya even want? Yes, okay, Sonya can hurt her physically, but she’s still here. Sonya can hurt Mandy emotionally, or at least try. But unlike Sonya, Mandy has people by her side. Otis has been there for her! He was loyal from day one! So Mandy asks Sonya: What is it that Sonya has besides being a fighter? She’s alone. So how much longer is Sonya going to hold on to her petty resentment? Oof, she want there? Sonya says she’ll break this down simply for even Mandy to understand. It isn’t anger anymore. It’s confusion! Sonya can’t figure out what she has to do to get the Mandy Rose treatment here! Sonya is here, trying to figure out the differences between them. She looks at herself, then Mandy, and back again. And all she sees is this. Her outfit? Her body? If this is why, when Sonya is superior in literally every other single way…! Well, then Sonya is done, too.
Mandy thinks she’s better than her? Sonya vows to take the one thing that matters to Mandy. Sonya will rip Mandy apart piece, by piece, by piece, until her outside is just as hideous as her inside. And then Sonya DECKS Mandy and rains down furious rights! Miz and Morrison clear some space while cheering on the scrap! Mandy tries to hit back but Sonya shoves her away. Sonya takes off the jacket and the brawling continues! Mandy actually gets Sonya down, but they get back up. Miz and Morrison stand in Mandy’s way for Sonya to bail out. “YOU’RE GONNA RESPECT ME, MANDY!” Miz says he didn’t mean to get in the way, but Mandy SLAPS him! Is the melt down of Fire & Desire only going to become an inferno before the Summer is over?
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions return to SmackDown!
The Boss and #BayleyDosStraps are still holding up those tag titles after getting through NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox last Wednesday. They join commentary as part of Bayley’s birthday week. They’re feeling so good, they might even take Corey Graves’ and Michael Cole’s jobs! What will the #GoldenRoleModels say and do as they watch whatever match is up next?
The New Day VS Lucha House Party!
Awwww~ people at hooome~! SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston and Big E bring their tag team championships to the ring, and throw their jackets at Graves again. Bayley is taking notes on how to improve her own sass. But Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado want to make sure everyone takes note of what they can do 2v2 with the champs! Will it finally be #LuchaLit in the SmackDown Tag Division?
The teams sort out and Kofi starts with the Golden Lynx. They circle, approach, tie up, and Lince wrenches to a wirstlock. Lince kicks, wrenches, but Kofi handsprings and wrenches back. Kofi clamps down on the shoulder, but Lince handsprings, cartwheels and rolls to headscissor and throw Kofi to a cover, ONE! Kofi backs off and the crowd cheers. Lince and Kofi tie up, Kofi waistlocks, Lince switches, but Kofi breaks free to wrench and whip Lince to a corner. Lince goes up and over but Kofi does, too! Double dropkicks cancel out and the crowd fires up. Kofi and Lince tie up again and Kofi waistlocks. They go around, Kofi whips, Lince rolls off the back to tag in Metalik. Metalik enziguris Kofi away and springboards up to use Lince for the elevated splash! Cover, TWO!
Metalik keeps on Kofi with clubbing forearms but Kofi hits back. Kofi whips, Metalik reverses, but Kofi tags Big E and dodges to boot Metalik back! Big E grabs Metalik for the belly2belly slam! Bayley claims credit for that move, but then Kofi leap frogs Big E to leg drop Metalik! Lince runs in, but Big E uses an OVERHEAD belly2belly to throw him out of the ring! Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are watching backstage as Kofi tags in. Kofi builds speed but Metalik pulls down ropes to dump Kofi out! Lince enziguris Big E then Metalik springboard missile dropkicks! Big E bails out, Metalik springboard PLANCHAS onto Kofi! Lince does the same to Big E! LHP has control and the Golden Role Models are fired up as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as the crowd rallies up. Big E has Lince in a camel clutch but Lince fights his way out. Lince throws hands, Big E shoves him away but he runs into a boot! Lince elbows then goes up top, to leap into Big E’s arms! Big E shifts but Lince slips out, only to run into Big E’s elbow! Big E runs and runs to BIG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Lince survives but Big E drags him up to put on the cobra twist! The crowd claps along as Big E bends Lince and clamp son a hand. Lince fights free but Big E whips him away, only to get the GOLDEN REWIND! Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Metalik and Kofi! Kofi springboards to clobber Metalik! Kofi throws chops and a dropkick! Kofi runs, Metalik dodges and mul ekicks to then CHOP! Metalik whips, Kofi reverss, but Metalik boots and SLING-DOGS!
Metalik fires up, runs the ropes in the corner, but springboards into Kofi’s dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives but Kofi takes aim. Kofi spins but Metalik dodges Trouble in Paradise to fireman’s carry. Lince tags in, climbs up and leaps over to huricanrana Big E! METALIK DRIVER to Kofi! Lince is up top, FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Big E barrels through Metalik to break it! LHP goes after Big E and kicks him out. They dodge Kofi, DOUBLE SUPERKICK! Lince and Metalik each go up top, but Big E shoves Metalik down! Kofi avoids Lince, to DOUBLE STOMP!! Tag to Big E, MIDNIGHT HOUR!! Cover, New Day wins!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall
But KINSHASA from Nakamura outta nowhere! Cesaro fireman’s carries Kofi for a TOSS to the corner! The Artist Collective drags Big E up, Gotch Neutralizer! The crowd boos but this isn’t all! Cesaro swings Kofi into the KINSHASA!! Bayley and Sasha give the Collective their headsets to speak. “We are sick and tired of being overlooked!” They beat the New Day last week but aren’t even mentioned tonight! This an international heavy-hitting team, the last of a dying breed, and yet they’re treated like this? They’re sick and tired of it! Cesaro and Nakamura dare Cole to say otherwise. Will the Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style finally get the respect they demand?
The rest of the SmackDown Women’s Division meets backstage.
Alexa Bliss can’t take this any more. Sasha and Bayley are “insufferable.” She and Nikki Cross- Naomi speaks up, “What you mean you and Nikki?” Last time we checked, they had their chance and they lost. Lacey Evans says the last time she was in the ring with Sasha, Sasha was done with a fist print on her face. Lacey will do the same to Bayley. Tamina isn’t going to let Lacey just declare herself Bayley’s next challenger. Well she did, ya nasty. Dana Brooke says those two are disrespecting them all! They all deserve a chance to knock some sense into Bayley and Sasha and show that they are not just filler. But hold on. Where IS Nikki? They all wonder that. Is Nikki even in the building?
SmackDown returns to a backstage interview with Sheamus.
The Celtic Warrior responds to Jeff Hardy’s interview. “Watching the interview, I realized things have become pretty serious between me and Jeff. Lines have been crossed and… When Jeff came out and said I was a bully, it really made me think.” It made him proud to be a bully! Hardy deserves to be bullied for being so pathetic and weak! And Sheamus enjoyed Brogue kicking Hardy’s head at Backlash. Sheamus’ only regret is that he didn’t crush Hardy’s voice box so that we wouldn’t have to listen to that “mopey, depressing garbage that came out of his filthy junkie mouth.” What was it Hardy said? He’s resilient, strong and turned his life around. But you don’t have to be a genius to see that deep down, Hardy doesn’t believe it.
That’s where Sheamus comes in. If Hardy can’t lift himself up, then Sheamus will gladly do it for him. And with a smile on his face, in a way only a true Irishman can! So everyone, have a pint as we toast the one and only Jeff Hardy! Bayley and Sasha are still on commentary, they definitely want in on that. But will Sheamus’ “toast” to Hardy be anything but respectful?
Nikki Cross attacks Bayley and Sasha!
She springs up from behind and throws Bayley’s chair over! Then she grabs Sasha and throws her onto the desk! Nikki clubs away and bumps Sasha off the desk, but she’s 2v1 as Bayley comes back. Nikki elbows Bayley away and clobbers Sasha more! Alexa hurries out to get Nikki off the champions. Bayley shouts for Alexa to handle her “little mutt friend,” but Alexa says Nikki is no mutt. Nikki demands Sasha face her 1v1 because “I want some action!” The Boss doesn’t want to, but Bayley accepts the challenge on her behalf?! Bayley is putting Sasha into another sticky situation, is she finally writing a check Banks can’t cash?
Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Nikki Cross w/ Alexa Bliss!
SmackDown reutrns as Sasha stomps away on Nikki but lets up at the ref’s count. The crowd rallies for Nikki while Sasha taunts her. Nikki hits back and dropkicks Sasha down! Nikki runs in but Sasha begs for mercy. Sasha apologizes, but Nikki doesn’t care. Nikki runs but is sent out of the ring. Sasha runs but the baseball slide ends up in the apron skirt! Nikki hammers away on Sasha until the ref counts. Nikki goes wild as ever, brings Sasha up and into the ring at 6 to then climb up top at 7. Sasha bails out but Nikki just hops to the apron, to CROSSBODY! Nikki is all fired up and Bayley is panicked as Nikki puts Sasha back in. Sasha gets to a corner, Nikki runs corner to corner, corner splash! But the bulldog is denied with a whip to BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Another try, TWO!
Sasha and Bayley are both furious but the crowd rallies up for Nikki. Sasha grinds her boot into Nikki but lets up at 4. She stalks Nikki to a corner and brings her up to snapmare for a thrashing chinlock. Nikki endures and fights her way up. But Sasha knees her down and pulls on the arms. Sasha taunts Nikki that she’ll never be a contender, but Nikki fights out! Nikki throws elbows and then a throat chop! Sasha flounders into a low headbutt! Nikki sips to the apron, shoulders in and swings to dropkick Sasha down! Nikki bangs her head before climbing up, but Sasha trips her up! Sasha climbs up but Nikki bumps her into the buckle over and over and over! Nikki stops at the ref’s count, then adjusts for a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Sasha survives but Nikki keeps on her.
Nikki brings Sasha up, drapes her on ropes, but Sasha springs out to bring her around. Sasha shoulder sin then knees from the apron, to roll her into the CROSSFACE! Nikki pops out and bounces Sasha off the mat! Nikki ghost pins, TWO!! Sasha gets up, spins Nikki around, but Nikki drops down to victory roll! TWO, Sasha has the cover, TWO! Nikki runs, Sasha follows, back drop becomes a sunset flip but Sasha slips out to METEORA! Cover, Sasha wins!!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by pinfall
The Boss survives the loony lass, but she and Bayley are headed for a rematch with the IIconics. Will the Golden Role Models stay golden on a title-filled Monday Night Raw?
The WWE congratulate Titus O’Neil for being a Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award Finalist!
The Real Deal is certainly that when it comes to his role as a community outreach ambassador. Titus has been a major player in both the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Special Olympics. Through his own foundation, he has used his platform to raise millions for local charities, such as The Joy of Giving, Tampa Bay’s annual holiday event for underprivileged children. Titus’ tireless efforts has earned him much recognition, and is the 2020 South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Titus authored his first book, There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid. He wants the world better in every way possible. If it is done with love, respect and truth, positive change is inevitable. Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders. As a dedicated father and philanthropist, the WWE congratulates him on this newest accomplishment.
Braun Strowman sees the Firefly Fun House is coming.
The Monster Among Men is seething. Will he have something to say in response to tonight’s return episode?
Next week, the WWE Intercontinental Championship will be on the line!
But not against The Bro, Matt Riddle. AJ Styles is actually taking Daniel Bryan’s challenge to let Drew Gulak have his shot! Will the Philly Stretcher be able to break the Phenomenal Reign already? Or will Styles prove Gulak is not on his level?
SmackDown presents a new Firefly Fun House!
Bray Wyatt waves hi and says bonjour! It has been way too long! Did they miss him? He can’t wait to tell us what he’s been up to. He joined a book club, he learned the latest Tiktok moves, and mastered the dark art of resurrecting the dead! But oh, and he learned how to knit, and infiltrated a Reptilian stronghold. “I see you…” Ramblin’ Rabbit appears and says Bray was actually just sitting in a corner, muttering to himself about how he lost to Braun at Money in the Bank. Strowman pulled the wool over Bray’s eyes and kept the Universal Championship that night. Remember? Thanks for the reminder, rabbit… But yes, Bray did lose. In defeat, Bray realized he want about this all wrong. Braun is someone he’s known for a long, long time.
Speaking of, BRAUN heads to the ring! No more talk from Bray as the WWE Universal Champion goes to the ring. Strowman roars and the crowd roars with him. Bray is not pleased to see this. Strowman grabs a mic to say, “Look, Bray. Before you even get started, just don’t.” Bray had his opportunity and failed! “There are no more games. This story between me and you? It’s over.” Bray laughs really hard at that. That chapter may be over, but Bray wasn’t lying about resurrecting the dead. “Our story is just gettin’ started.” The Bray Wyatt of old is back! “What’s wrong, brother? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Well, in order for us all to move forward, we must first take a step back, to where it all began. Bray Wyatt created Braun Strowman. Therefore, it is Bray’s duty to destroy him. You know where to find him, Braun. Just follow the buzzards. “RUN.” The Eater of Worlds has returned!! What does this mean for the future of SmackDown and ALL of the WWE?!
What a great SmackDown! Matt Riddle still has his SmackDown debut despite accusations coming out about him and others. Covering #SpeakingOut is for a different article, but the reason it doesn’t affect this week’s episode is because this week was another pretaped one. Riddle and Styles have an incredible match for their first time, but sadly this might be all Riddle gets, should the facts reflect poorly on Riddle. Styles giving Gulak his shot next week is actually a great move, because it’s two birds with one stone. Gulak did pin Styles, and now that Styles is champion, that means Gulak pinned the champion and has a legit argument. At the same time, Styles is avoiding Riddle, who clearly was more than Styles expected. I don’t think Gulak wins, but we’ll have to wait and see if Styles VS Riddle for the title happens.
Gable gets a great win over Mojo, but I’m not sure where it goes. It would be great if Gable keeps winning to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship, and even Shorty G could be used as a way for Styles to avoid facing Riddle. And given how Riddle was sent into Corbin, those two could have a part in the story while Riddle fights to “earn” the rank of #1 contender, so that Styles VS Riddle isn’t at Extreme Rules in a month but at SummerSlam for a huge match. But again, time will tell. I like that there’s interweaving of stories between Miz, Morrison, Mandy and Sonya. I would love to see a Six Person Tag, Mandy and Heavy Machinery VS Sonya and The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century before having payoffs at Extreme Rules. I still hope the Women’s Extreme Rules goes to Sonya VS Mandy for this one, that’d be awesome.
I liked that the Women’s Tag Champions were ringside to watch the Men’s Tag Champions. While they probably won’t ever have a match against each other, it was nice to tease that Bayley & Banks want to prove they’re a better tag team than The New Day. New Day have a really good match with Lucha House Party but it also worked as a great segue to Cesaro and Nakamura attacking. That tag title match should be for Extreme Rules to have them go all out in some form of No Disqualifications match. Nikki Cross going after Sasha and Bayley was great, but obviously Sasha won tonight so she and Bayley can roll strong into Raw to face The IIconics. I sense something big brewing to determine a contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, so I really hope it somehow circles back to pitting Sasha and Bayley against each other.
Sheamus is doubling down on Hardy while he’s ahead. That “toast” will probably become a roast and bring us towards the tiebreaker between Sheamus and Hardy. A No Disqualifications match at Extreme Rules would be pretty fitting of the story they’ve built, and the result would have more finality to it. And though almost barely fit in for the show, Braun and Bray coming back around for another go is great! Especially after Bray “resurrected” his Eater of Worlds gimmick! Bray going deeper into a Faces of Foley mode is great stuff, and being able to shuffle between Firefly Bray, Face of Fear Bray and Fiend Bray will allow for some freshness in his feuds. This probably doesn’t end at Extreme Rules, so that SummerSlam will finally give us Strowman VS Fiend for something really big.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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Raleigh gets Elevated!
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (1/14/22)
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/14/22)
SmackDown gets extreme!
POD is WAR: Back In The Saddle
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