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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (8/3/20)

Who is the TRUE WWE United States Champion?

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WWE Raw Coverage 3.0

Raw has so much going on in one night!

Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton come face to face, the TRUE United States Championship will be decided, and Shane McMahon returns to Raw!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE United States Championship: Apollo Crews VS MVP w/ The Hurt Business; Crews wins and is the undisputed WWE United States Champion.
  • The IIconics VS The Riott Squad; The Riott Squad wins.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Triple Threat: Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business VS R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa; Tozawa wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Shayna Baszler VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; No Contest.
  • Raw Underground – Daba Cato goes 2-0.
  • Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega; Garza wins.
  • Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; No Contest.
  • Raw Underground – Erik wins.
  • Raw Underground – The Hurt Business goes 3-0.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE United States Championship: Apollo Crews VS MVP w/ The Hurt Business!

Apollo is back and he’s going to finally face Montel Vontavius Porter as intended at Extreme Rules! Assuming the lights stay on in the Performance Center… But technical difficulties aside, will MVP prove he is the real US Champion? Or will the real US Champion win?

The introductions are made, the two different belts are both raised, and MVP grabs the mic. MVP “drops some truth gems” that he is the REAL United States Champion because Apollo didn’t show up. Bobby Lashley put the full nelson on, Apollo made excuses and MVP made history. MVP vows he will continue to rep the Hurt Business while Apollo can hang out with Ricochet and Cedric Alexander back in catering. Apollo lets MVP run his mouth, and we settle this once and for all to start Raw!

MVP and Apollo stare down but the flickering lights worry them. They tie up, go around, MVP monkey flips but Apollo holds on. They get up again, MVP spins Apollo around, then drops down to body scissors. Apollo fights off the sleeper to throw elbows! Apollo goes after MVP but MVP avoids the cover. Apollo rolls, jackknife cover, TWO! MVP gets up but Apollo handsprings up! Apollo and MVP go again, and MVP stomps Apollo’s foot! MVP throws hands then bumps Apollo off buckles. MVP throws European Uppercuts and rocks Apollo! Apollo gets up but MVP throws haymakers. MVP whips, Apollo reverses and elbows MVP down! Apollo starts to rally! Apollo snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Another try, ONE! Another, ONE! Apollo rains down right hands to keep MVP down.

Apollo goes after the arm and wrenches on the shoulder. MVP endures, fights but Apollo digs his forearm into MVP’s face. Apollo keeps on the shoulder, MVP gets up but Apollo wrenches. MVP wrenches back and ROCKS Apollo again! And BOOTS him down! The Hurt Business likes what they see as MVP looms over Apollo. MVP brings Apollo up but Apollo hits back! Apollo fires off forearm after forearm, whips but MVP is saved by Lashley and Shelton Benjamin. But Apollo FLIES out onto all three! The real United States Champion stands tall as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns as MVP Has Apollo in a cravat. MVP cranks but Apollo endures. Replay shows us Lashley interfered during commercial behind the ref’s back! Apollo tries fighting out but MVP knees low. Apollo fights up again and throws body shots. Apollo gets free, runs, but into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! MVP tries again, TWO! MVP brings Apollo up to elbow him down. Apollo gets to ropes but MVP brings him around to throw EuroUppers. Cover, TWO! MVP brings Apollo up to club and whip and drop toehold him down! MVP has Apollo in the ropes for a camel clutch! The bad neck is being attacked! The ref counts but MVP lets up at 4. MVP drags Apollo back up, throws big forearms, but Apollo hits back. MVP snap suplexes him, cover, TWO! Apollo barely gets out!

MVP drags Apollo up, throws forearms, then has Apollo in a corner for elbow after elbow from all sides! MVP whips corner to corner, powers up and runs in, but his boot misses! Apollo enziguris back! Apollo hops up, leaps, crossbody! But he rolls off, to tackle MVP into buckles! Apollo rams his shoulder in over and over as the crowd fires up. Apollo runs to hit a huge splash! And a SPINE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies up for Apollo as he drags MVP up and around. MVP fights off the bomb to waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! But Apollo rises! Apollo gives MVP the CREWS MISSILE! Cover, Apollo wins!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)

But Lashley goes after him! Apollo escapes the full nelson and gets away with both United States Championship belts! Which one will he choose to keep as the rightful title?

Backstage interview with Apollo.

Congratulations are in order! How does it feel to return to be the rightful champion? Apollo likes the sound of “rightful US Champion.” But in all seriousness, Bobby Lashley’s strength is unlike anyone else’s. Because of that full nelson, Apollo literally couldn’t turn his head away from the TV as he watched MVP walk around acting like the champ. But what hurt worse was Apollo’s kids saying, “Daddy, I thought you were the United States Champion.” But it’s okay, because now he IS champion! And he will take the classic belt and hang it in his kids’ room as a reminder of their dad’s first title in the WWE ever. As for MVP’s belt, how good does it look on Apollo? It looks so good! So thanks, P, Apollo appreciates this.

MVP grabs a mic at ringside.

“Hello? Hey! You tell me what kind of operation you three clowns are running here!!” What is with the unsafe working environment of the lights? Be ashamed of yourself! Is that how Apollo wants to win!? MVP was distracted! But he’s gonna explain something. Apollo didn’t show up because Lashley made him stay at home. But then Apollo shows up and steals MVP’s US Championship! “I don’t care about your wife! I don’t care about your kids! What I care about is my rematch!” MVP wants his rematch, but Shelton gives him an idea. The rematch will be… at SUMMERSLAM!

 

There’s something going on in a private dressing room.

There’s a guard, or perhaps a bouncer, at the door as dance music plays loudly. The “brainchild” of Shane McMahon is said to be behind that door. Is there something Shane O’Mac has planned for his return tonight?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley and Sasha Banks.

The Golden Role Models are Raw Women’s, SmackDown Women’s, and WWE Tag Team Champions because to put it simply, they have #AllTheGold! #BayleyDosStraps and #TwoBeltsBanks! But will either belt be defended at SummerSlam? Not to demean Sarah, but she is so boring! Ding dong, hello! This does no justice to what these two have accomplished! They are going to spice things up and have something special! ROLL THE FOOTAGE!

Movie trailer voice says, “In a world… full of mediocrity… two women are setting the standard, creating the blueprint, of what it means to be a champion.” We relive last week’s Raw Women’s Championship main event. Kairi chased Bayley away, but the narrator explains, “What on the surface… looked like cowardice… was actually a plan… of sheer brilliance.” Bayley turning things around on Kairi and that was a distraction to Asuka. Asuka chose to save Kairi over defending her title, and that is how Sasha “won” her second belt. “Now… they own all the gold…” They are your Golden Role Models.

But Asuka interrupts! “OI OI OI OI!” Do you think you’re going to get away with what you did to Kairi?! “Revenge will be very, very sweet!” That part scares Bayley and Sasha. What the hell is this?! They’re trying to be professional and you- Shayna Baszler interrupts the “garbage.” These two must be having fun. Shayna has a complaint. Sasha “snaked” her way to this title. But Shayna has waited long enough to finally have her own fun. And she DECKS Sasha!! Bayley is in shock as Sasha checks her chin. Shayna leaves, but when and where will she strike again?

 

Kevin Owens is backstage.

He picks up something to drink at catering, but the IIconics come over. They heard a little rumor that he is hosting another edition of the KO Show, and thought that they would make great guests. They would! He loves Australia. But maybe not this week. What? He already has guests for tonight. He does plan these things. Sorry, but have a water. Kevin heads off to do just as the IIconics said, but who are his guests? We find out, after the break!

 

Raw presents The KO Show!

The Prizefighter welcomes us back from break to his show. There are a lot of things happening tonight, one of them being the return of Shane McMahon. Kevin has plenty of thoughts on that, but he doesn’t want to talk about that. Wait, why is this mic freaking out? But Kevin wants to first talk about an issue that’s been going on. This is a very talented woman and a great friend of Kevin’s, it’s Ruby Riott! Ruby heads to the ring, definitely having gotten over a challenge in dealing with the IIconics. They sit in the chairs and Kevin thanks her for being here. He brings up the IIconics and how emotional Ruby was after finally winning. Ruby says it is no secret that she’s had bad luck since coming back. She hasn’t gotten a singles win since February and the IIconics grind salt into that wound.

Ruby has dealt with women like that her entire life. “Toxic, sad broads that gotta bring people down just to build themselves up.” Ruby brought Peyton Royce down to earth and hopefully put an end to the iconic BS. Strong words, but she should be proud. The only thing that would’ve been better is if Liv Morgan was here to celebrate. Well speaking of… Kevin got her to be on the show! Ruby is actually unsure if this is a good idea, but Liv does make her way out. Liv gets a mic and stands in the ring with Ruby and Kevin. Kevin thanks her for going through with this. Liv says Ruby wanted her to hear her out, and Kevin convinced her to try. So let’s hear it.

Kevin wants to say something first. He asked them both here, because he saw them both here when they started in the WWE. Stupid mic. It was Liv, Ruby and Sarah. Sarah is moving on to a new part of her life and that’s great. But these two can’t just throw everything away. He’s traveled with them, saw them together as friends, they’re great individuals but they also bring the best out of each other. Kevin has done a lot of really crappy things to people, said crappy things, and lost friendships because he thought it was better for his career. But he feels now it might not have been worth it. They don’t have to be friends, but it is worth hearing each other out. The crowd chants, “Hear Her Out!”

Ruby starts by saying that coming back, she thought it’d be the same. BUt she was wrong. The place was different, and Liv was different. Liv was thriving, coming into her own, and Ruby felt like she wasn’t needed anymore. Then Liv beat Ruby twice. Ruby realized Liv didn’t need Ruby. This world Ruby returned to without anyone, she wasn’t ready for it and she lashed out at Liv. She is sorry for that! That was wrong to do! But every time Ruby looks at her tattoo, the one that matches Liv’s, dedicated to their debut date, she remembers the day their lives changed. Ruby is just asking for a second chance. A second chance at the Riott Squad to be stronger than ever before! But then the IIconics crash the show!

Billie and Peyton of course have mics. Kevin washes his hands of this, but Peyton says everyone is SICK of hearing them babble on about whatever, because no one cares. Liv should’ve stayed in the tub. Ruby, the IIconics are just tired of the social media posts about her one “emotional” win over Peyton! After what? 400 losses?! Maybe some facts over emotion. Fact: The IIconics have dominated- The mic is freaking out. They DOMINATED the Women’s Tag Division. They conquered WrestleMania! And they have been, and always will be, better than Ruby and Liv. Actually, look BFF up and you’ll find a picture of them.

Liv speaks up and says maybe they’re right. Liv and Ruby aren’t friends like the IIconics. But there is one thing they will always agree on: NO ONE starts a riot better than us! The Riott Squad is reunited! Kevin says the message is clear. So unless the IIconics have something better to say, maybe they can just leave. Ruby and Liv think they’re a team now? They have nothing on the IIconics. Let’s go, right now! Any place, any time! Because right now… Actually, Peyton wants Billie to say it. No, Billie says Peyton can say it. They go back and forth and Kevin asks for more technical difficulties right now. Peyton SLAPS Kevin! And Billie laughs. Was that necessary? Billie SLAPS Kevin now! “Ladies, a little help, please?” The Riott Squad pounces!! The brawl spills out of the ring as Raw goes to break!

 

The IIconics VS The Riott Squad!

Peyton and Billie got the fight that they want, but will they regret it? Or can they ruin the Riott Squad’s reunion?

Billie starts with Ruby and circle. They tie up, Billie powers Ruby to a corner but Ruby turns it around. Billie shouts for the ropebreak, Ruby lets up to shove her back. Kevin has joined commentary as Ruby wrenches Billie’s arm. Billie throws hands, Ruby ducks but the throat chop hits! Billie wrenches Ruby to a straitjacket neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! The IIconics are furious already but Billie brings Ruby over to tag in Peyton. The IIconics double whip to double forearm! Peyton covers, TWO! Peyton drags Ruby around to jam her knees into Ruby’s back then she clamps on a chinlock. Ruby endures, the crowd builds to a rally, Ruby fights her way up to fight back. PEyton throws Ruby down by her green-yellow hair!

Tag to Billie the IIconics double wrench and double kick Ruby down! Billie talks trash before she kicks Ruby while she’s down! Billie drags Ruby up to club her back, then talks more trash. Ruby pushes her away to SUPERKICK her! Hot tags to Peyton and Liv! Liv rallies with flying forearms and a hair takedown! Liv whips, Peyton reverses, but Liv elbows back. Liv goes up, up and leaps for a missile dropkick! Cover, Billie breaks it! Billie drags Peyton to the corner and tags in. Billie storms up to Liv, brings her up, but Liv rolls Billie up! RIOTT SQUAD WINS!

Winners: The Riott Squad, by pinfall

But Peyton is right on Liv with hammering fists! The IIconics get up, coordinate, but Ruby saves Liv! Ruby shoves Peyton to a corner and enziguris Billie down! Ruby and Liv coordinate now, double STO! The squad heads out, will they continue to rise together? Or are there still cracks in the foundation they must be wary of?

 

Raw checks on the status of a near accident.

Large boxes fell over, things fell out, but no one was nearby so there were no injuries. There are rumors that perhaps, the boxes falling were not accidental. MVP is upset that they’re not talking about his loss because of these glitches and power surges! Charly Caruso understands he’s upset. She informs him that Apollo has accepted the rematch challenge. Well alright then! He feels a bit better now, but of course Apollo accepted it. What would his kids think if Daddy Apollo didn’t? But then Shelton comes by and says his 24/7 Championship belt has been stolen! What?! Well, they’ll track that down. Time to teach everyone what happens when you steal from the Hurt Business.

 

Drew McIntyre heads to the ring!

The WWE World Champion is not in a good mood after last week’s RKO outta nowhere! McIntyre had just settled things with Dolph Ziggler when Randy Orton made good on his threats. As such, the WWE world title is on the line at SummerSlam between the leader of Claymore Country and the Apex Predator! McIntyre picks up a mic to address this. “Randy Orton has spent 20 years preying on vulnerability.” He’s not the kind of guy who would show you how he felt with a finger gesture like Stone Cold. Or the kind of guy to take off and throw an elbow pad like The Rock. According to Orton, he’s better than those two. Orton is the kind who waits until you end an Extreme Rules match to hit you with an RKO outta nowhere.

But y’know what? That is on McIntyre. McIntyre was warned and it still happened. Lesson learned, it will never happen again. But McIntyre wants Orton to understand he knows how motivated The Viper is. He’s just as motivated to take the WWE title as McIntyre is to keep it. The similarities don’t end there. “Once upon a time, at one time or another, Vince McMahon himself looked at us, right in the eye and told us we were The Chosen One. We were the future of this industry.” McIntyre paces as he chooses his words. Things didn’t go as planned for McIntyre. But Orton admitted this wasn’t plan A, B, C or D. He didn’t lie awake as a kid in Scotland, a country of 5 million people, thinking about how he was going to make it to the WWE as one of the first ever.

Orton didn’t grow up being called crazy for dreaming so big, giving everything he could and finally pulling it off! This was handed to him! McIntyre doesn’t resent Orton for that. But he finds it interesting when Orton brags about the early accolades. The ones sped on a silver spoon because his father is Cowboy Bob. McIntyre never rode in a limo with Evolution, not that he wanted to. But the biggest part, McIntyre never had anyone cleaning up after him like Evolution did. No one had the influence like that for McIntyre. Making mistakes meant being punished, and in his case, FIRED for them. McIntyre has said it already, he did deserve that. But McIntyre has spoken to so many people over those years, those who cleaned up the literal crap Orton has left behind! Orton should’ve been fired WAY MORE times than McIntyre!

Orton appears, with Ric Flair by his side! Orton has a mic and tells McIntyre he’s gonna stop him right there and ask, “Is my respect not enough?” Orton said McIntyre had his respect, but McIntyre is repaying Orton by telling the fans all this? If Orton didn’t want to be here, then why  is he still here? Orton is here because he enjoys coming down the ramp, hitting RKO’s and punt kicking heads. Orton appreciates McIntyre’s fighting spirit, which will make it that much sweeter when Orton hits the RKO, the punt kick, and takes the title away. Now Orton should’ve been fired for all that? Well he’s right. Orton should’ve been fired multiple times! But McIntyre was because Orton is more valuable than McIntyre ever was or will be. Orton has been given third, fourth, fifth chances because he IS The Chosen One #ThenNowandForever.

Now it’s “real cute” that McIntyre is quoting legends like Edge. But Orton challenges McIntyre right now to come up with one opinion about Orton that’s his own. The key word, “original.” McIntyre puts his belt down and says if Orton wants McIntyre to “shoot,” then fine. McIntyre thinks Orton represents everything that is wrong with the WWE! Just like the others, we all watched The Last Ride. The most interesting part was Orton. Orton talked about how The Undertaker reached down, pulled Orton up to his level when he didn’t have to. HE didn’t, but why did he? Because Taker loves this industry and wants to preserve it. How many times can Orton honestly say over the last 20 years that he’s done the same? Never.

Has Orton ever sat down with a Kevin Owens, an Apollo Crews or a Mustafa Ali type, anyone at all, and passed on the knowledge that Shawn Michaels, Taker, HHH, or Ric Flair ever passed on? How about this? Ten years ago, there was a time when Orton went home and Edge reached out. McIntyre remembers being in catering, his world crumbling around him both professionally and personally. Orton could tell. McIntyre was far from home, his mother was sick, and he was self-destructing. Maybe something from Orton could’ve changed his life, but Orton didn’t even bother. McIntyre does not see a locker room leader. He does not see someone “the boys in the back” respect. McIntyre just sees “a selfish prick!”

So here is what happens at SummerSlam. McIntyre has receipts to cash in, not just from him. For guys on the current roster, from years ago, and every legend he has ever KICKED IN THE HEAD! McIntyre will RIP Orton’s head off, and Orton will sure as hell see it coming! The RKO or the Claymore, what move will decide the fate of not only the WWE World Championship, but both of these superstars?

 

Nia Jax talks with WWE official, Pat Buck.

She was fined for roughing him up last week, but it’s hard to be sure if she’s apologizing or expecting an apology. Either way, the Irresistible Force heads to the ring after the break!

 

Kevin Owens talks with Ruby and Liv backstage.

Are they good? Is the Riott Squad back full time? Before that can really be discussed, Ric Flair walks over! Ric says the Riott Squad was great, but needs to talk with Kevin. Ric has been following Kevin’s career, there’s history. Kevin is held in high esteem at the WWE. Everyone here loves Kevin. But Ric thinks Kevin is becoming the guy too worried about this and that, helping the others, when he should be helping himself! Kevin appreciates that, and all the advice Ric has ever given. Kevin isn’t being a guidance counselor, he was helping friends. He’s sacrificed friendships and done a lot of awful things just to get to the top. But now, Kevin is taking a new path. He wants to be the kind of person he’d look up to. What Orton could be if he wanted to but chooses not to. Does Ric get what he means?

Ric will let that slide as one of Orton’s friends. Instead of giving advice, Ric is warning Kevin to listen to him. “Mind your own business, take care of Kevin Owens, and maybe you’ll get a title match at SummerSlam.” Well, Ric,if you’re so worried about Kevin’s career, watch what kind of fight Kevin has. Just tell Orton to meet him in the ring next week. Really? Really, really. See you then. Will Kevin regret wanting Orton’s attention?

 

Nia Jax is in the ring.

Pat is right there with her as she has a mic. “I came out here tonight to own up to what I’ve done. And in the event you’re not sure what I’m referring to,” footage replays of Nia and Shayna brawling out of control. Nia used Pat to hit Shayna, then attacked him! Nia continues by saying she really takes to heart what the millions of fans who idolize her say. So when “a scrawny, undeserving little runt from WWE management who couldn’t cut the mustard in his own career steps to me, it’s my responsibility to step back.” Oh, hey, Pat, didn’t see you there still. She knows he wants an apology, but she’s giving him an opportunity to prove he’s wrong. Have a match against her, right now. Whoa, what? Pat tells her to hold on. He is in this ring for the apology.

Oh, Pat. You’ll get the apology after the match. IT can be settled right here! This is his big opportunity! All thanks to Nia! But she’ll do him a favor. She’ll start off real slow so his little legs can keep up. He wants the apology, nothing more. Is he scared? Even for a “little guy,” she hoped he’d have more fire. He is a ginger, after all. They don’t need to speak in private, say what you have to say. She pushes the mic into him, and he tells her, “After your unsanctioned actions against a WWE official, you are indefinitely suspended… Without pay!” Nia gets angry again, he has no authority to do that! She rips his jacket off and HEADBUTTS him! Pat can barely sit up! But Nia kicks him while he’s down! Pat flops out of the ring while Nia is fuming! How long will Nia sit and think about what she’s done?

 

R-Truth runs to the ring!

Akira Tozawa is chasing him and the 24/7 Championship belt! The ninjas are here, too! And Shelton Benjamin! They run all around ringside, but their match for that title will happen after the break!

 

WWE 24/7 Championship Triple Threat: Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business VS R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa!

Truth stole the belt but it isn’t his just yet! The Gold Standard of the Hurt Business is the one defending the belt, but can he hold onto it with two opponents after him?

The introductions are skipped since we saw them all come in. The belt is raised, and this wild situation finally becomes an official match!

Tozawa bails out but Truth throws hands on Shelton! Truth whips, Shelton reverses and hits a KNEE in the corner! Shelton snapmares Truth and rains down right hands at the ropes. Shelton stomps away but Tozawa rolls him up! TWO, and Tozawa focuses his power. Tozawa dodges, kicks, spins, slides under and fires off body shots! That do nothing… Shelton kicks low, lifts and POWERBOMBS Tozawa with authority!! Truth runs up, bobs ‘n’ weaves and throws hands back! The crowd fires up as Truth hits a leaping calf kick! Truth kicks low, runs again, but misses the scissor kick to get PAY DIRT! Shelton doesn’t cover, and a ninja handsprings in! He shows off his moves but his clothesline bounces off Shelton. Shelton BOOTS the ninja down!

Tozawa stays away as his ninja henchman is thrown out. But the other ninjas run in, only for MVP and Lashley to go after them! MVP throws one into barriers and the third endures the Almighty Full Nelson! But Tozawa hits his SUPER SENTON! Cover, Tozawa wins!!

Winner: Akira Tozawa, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

The Hurt Business is losing their gold like a bad investment! Tozawa runs away with the title, who will give chase?

 

There’s some kind of  match happening backstage?!

No ropes, a bunch of other men pounding the apron? Shane McMahon cheers them on as he talks to the cameras. He’s bringing something new to Raw, called the Raw Underground! Right here, 10 PM, more of whatever this is. See you there!

 

Backstage interview with Dominik Mysterio!

The son of Rey returns again, and answers why he continues to take these risks against Seth Rollins. He knows it might be crazy, but it’s easy to know why he’s doing this. He witnessed his father be blinded. It is understandable that Dominik’s mind isn’t in the right place. If anyone thinks he’s been crazy now, they’ll really think he’s crazy to challenge Rollins to a match at SummerSlam. That is pretty crazy, but also incredible! Will Dominik’s first match be a massive upset? Or just the only match he ever has?

 

Shayna Baszler VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!

The Queen of Spades called The Boss out and then knocked her down! Will #TwoBeltsBanks make her pay for that? Or will Shayna make her choose between #TapNapOrSnap?

The bell rings, Shayna and Sasha circle. Sasha pie faces Shayna, then SLAPS her! Shayna ducks the punch to hit a waistlock and slam, then another! Shayna drags Sasha around, shifts to a snapmare and fakes Sasha out with the kick, to pie face her back. Bayley is upset on Sasha’s behalf, but then Sasha gets up and throws a punch. Shayna blocks it to sweep her legs. Sasha swipes but her hand gets stomped! Shayna rolls Sasha to a cover, TWO! Sasha kicks low, says Shayna messed up, and reels her in. Shayna blocks the suplex, spins Sasha around, butterfly suplex to ARMBAR! Sasha rolls to the ropebreak and Shayna lets go. Bayley gets up on the apron but Shayna makes her back away. Shayna grabs Bayley’s hair but Sasha hits the arm with a code breaker! Sasha POSTS Shayna then rolls her up, TWO!

Sasha keeps on Shayna with a kick the the arm. Shayna backs off to shake out the arm but Sasha is on it! Sasha wraps the arm around ropes and pulls! The ref counts, Sasha lets go to kick Shayna in the corner. Sasha goes after the arm with a high keylock and Bayley talks trash. Shayna endures, fights up and throws hands. Shayna rams Sasha into buckles then rams her shoulder in. Shayna fires off, backs off at the ref’s count, and walks into Nightshade! Bayley is the only one cheering for Sasha as she kicks Shayna down. Sasha leaps, crossbody! Shayna rolls through, scoops Sasha, BACKBREAKER! The crowd rallies up as Sasha blocks a kick but Shayna blocks the knee. Kirafuda! Sasha drops, Shayna rolls her and kicks! Shayna has Sasha’s arm caught but Sasha rolls through, BANK STATEMENT!

Shayna endures the submission, pries the hold apart and fights her way up. Shayna scoops again, Sasha headscissors back! Sasha laughs, blocks a kick to KNEE, but Shayna ROUNDHOUSES back! Both women are down, and Asuka jumps Bayley! Asuka thrashes Bayley into barriers  and the ref wants her to stop! Asuka runs into the ring, the match is thrown out as the Golden Role Models regroup!

No Contest

Asuka won’t let the Golden Role Models get away from what’s coming to them! What happens to them after the break?

 

Raw returns to an in-ring interview with Asuka.

The Empress of Tomorrow relives what happened last week as footage of the main event plays again. What is the update on Kairi Sane’s condition? “Kairi will be okay. But now, she’s not here. Sasha and Bayley are here, I am here!” So what Asuka wants is a rematch against Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam! The crowd wants it, but Shayna speaks up. She’s not gonna fight Asuka right now. Shayna is cheering Asuka, really. She wants Asuka to win back that Raw Women’s Championship. Shayna will root, cheer and clap the entire time, because she is so excited to dismember Asuka and take that title from her. But the Golden Role Models have composed themselves to return to ringside.

Sasha laughs as she has a message for both Asuka and Shayna. “This is MY Raw Women’s Championship! Look at it! It’s mine!” But Asuka gets her rematch, only if she can beat a former NXT Women’s Champion, a member of the Four Horsewomen, and Sasha’s bestie, BAYLEY! Yes! Beating Bayley means Asuka gets her chance! Bayley sure seems surprised by that, but Asuka is raring to go! Will Bayley be ready for Asuka?

 

Angel Garza flirts with a young lady backstage.

He gets her number, she gets a rose. For those who don’t know, this is Demi Burnett from The Bachelor, so she knows all about getting roses. Andrade Almas walks over to say hello. Zelina Vega is right behind her. Demi doesn’t belong here. Oh yes she does! She’s a friend of Garza’s! Then they need to talk. Garza apologizes to Demi for that, promises to get her a seat and to be right back. El Idolo y El Latino both go up against the Street Profits in two singles matches! Will it be a sweep or a tie between the Raw Tag Team Champions and their challengers?

 

We check back in with “Raw Underground.”

One man counters the triangle hold into a dead lift POWERBOMB! The match is called, he is the winner! Shane says this is fun! But it looks like Isaiah “Swerve” Scott is disappointed in the other guy. Was there money on this match? And wow, there are… dancers here… Check out what more there is to come! And check on that guy, make sure he’s okay.

 

Raw returns to The Underground!

Shane is in his ring as a new wrestler steps up. He welcomes us to the hour with “very little rules, lots of excitement, carnage, chaos and quite frankly, lots of things I personally would like to see.” One thing he likes is a fight, like our  next contest. “Where is Daba Cato?” Bring him in! Daba is a BIG man! At 7′ tall, at least 360 pounds, it is DABA CATO! And in the other corner, sorry, bro. The bell rings, Daba dodges a flying knee, and then grabs his opponent. His opponent throws hands but he throws knees! And hammers away with furious fists! That’s a TKO, Daba wins!

Winner: Daba Cato

Whose got next, boys? In comes some rando, but Daba is ready. The bell rings, Dbaa waits for his opponent ot kick to then catch for an ARM TRIANGLE SUPLEX! And a rain of forearms! Daba wins again!

Winner: Daba Cato, 2-0 win streak

An incredible showing, but he isn’t done until his opponent is dumped out of the ring! Shane tells Daba he’s good, but he’s on to the third round. Anyone wanna try? No? Well alright. Will Daba pile up bodies to give Shane more of what he likes?

 

Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega!

The Raw Tag Team Champions party their way through the crowd as always, but will have to be ready for the fight against La Muneca’s alliance. First up is the #CurseOfGreatness and the Lethal Lothario! Will Garza make a good impression on his special guest?

Before the match, the Profits get the mics and welcome us to the show! But speaking of Raw, the longest episodic show in history, does Dawks remember last week when they got jumped at commentary? Yessir! But if things go right, Dawkins might holla at Garza’s friend. Demi from the Bachelor, you don’t need a rose from Garza. Come get a rose from Dawks! Focus, bro. Sorry! Ford likes how Garza walks around in his velvet track suit~! Jeda, it’s August and velvet does not breathe! Better step your game up to at least a polo. But tonight, they are put to the test against two of the best of the best. Vega is the secret sauce, muy caliente. But SummerSlam will be about the Raw Tag Team Champions and a bond like James! Vega put those two together. Dawks may say “fam” a lot, but Tez IS family.

Things get serious now as Ford takes off the sunglasses. You attack him and his brother twice, the games are done. Why? Because the Profits are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke! With things getting fired up, Garza and company make their entrance. Will things explode with these two heated 1v1 match-ups?

The bell rings, Dawkins powers Garza to a corner and fires off hands! Garza shoves back, but gets POST! Garza flops out, Dawkins runs out to POUNCE him into Plexiglas! Garza is down in a heap as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Dawkins has Garza down with an armlock. Garza endures, fights up and fights back, knees low and clubs away. Garza runs, into Dawkin’s FLAPJACK! Cover, ONE, but Dawkins keeps on Garza with a facelock. Garza reverses the whip, hurdles over but so does Dawkins. Dawkins shoves and dropkicks Garza down! Cover, TWO! Dawkins stays on Garza while Demi watches backstage. Garza fights back and she cheers, Dawkins hits back and she frowns. Dawkins lifts but Garza fights out of the bomb. Garza gets to the corner, off come the pants! Garza leaps to missile dropkick Dawkins down! Garza is furious and dares Dawkins to get the smoke! But Dawkins powers out of the underhooks to ROCK Garza with that right!

Dawkins hits the cyclone splash then the bulldog! Ford fires up with Dawkins and makes himself dizzy. Is he okay? What happened? Dawkins checks on Ford as he leans against the announce desk. Ford says he’s okay, but Garza SUPERKICKS Dawkins down! Garza hits a basement dropkick! Cover, Garza wins!!

Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall

Demi is happy, but what happened with Ford? Ford has to have his match next, but can he?

 

Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

Raw returns with this match already underway. Ford standing switches the waistlock, but Almas pries free to hit a shoulder breaker. Almas waistlocks Ford but Ford resists the lift. Ford pries out of the hold, wrenches through, then waistlocks back. Almas reaches back, wrenches through and hits another shoulder breaker. Almas has a wirstlock, Ford rolls, rolls and handsprings to wrench and waistlock again. Ford CLUBS Almas, headlocks, but Almas endures. Almas powers up to back suplex Ford high and hard! Almas stomps Ford down then CHOPS him to a corner! Almas chokes Ford on the ropes, the ref counts and Almas lets up at 4.

Almas drags Ford up, throws knees then shoves and kicks him down. Ford is back on ropes, Almas pulls him back against them! Ford wobbles to his feet but Almas knees low again! Almas stomps Ford, throws him out of the ring, and leaves him to the ring count for a moment. Almas and Garza both go to Ford but Dawkins keeps Garza back. Almas kicks Ford, whips him but Ford reverses to send Almas into barriers! Vega coaches Almas while Garza checks. Almas and Ford are up at the count of 4, and in the ring at the count of 5. Ford stomps away on Almas now, then rains down rights! Almas slips out, staggers away but Ford pursues. Almas uses the ropes as defense to then sucker punch Ford down!

The crowd boos as Ford shakes the cobwebs out, only for Almas to BOOT him down! Almas clubs Ford, brings him up and suplexes! Cover, TWO! Almas keeps on Ford with a chinlock and grinds him down. The crowd rallies, Ford fights up, fights back, but Almas ROCKS him with another right. Ford comes back to LARIAT! Ford rallies, whips but Almas reverses. Ford goes up and over and hits a leaping clothesline! The crowd fires up with Ford as he glares at Almas with wild eyes. Ford goes corner to corner, but Almas BOOTS him right down! Almas hops up, Ford dropkicks him down first! Vega coaches Almas but Ford FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Ford gets back in to use the power of the ropes! But that again wears him out!! The ref calls it, something is definitely wrong!

No Contest

The ref tells Vega’s team to back off, they need medics. Medics check on Ford, but it isn’t clear what is going on. Will Ford be able to stand or even speak?

 

Buddy Murphy watches what he did to Aleister Black.

Just like his Monday Night Messiah, the Disciple dug the steel steps into Aleister’s eyes. Seth Rollins is there, and says Murphy made the right decision. Rollins is proud of Murphy, and Murphy should be proud of himself. The past is the past. Tonight is about the future. Speaking of that, has Rollins thought about Dominik’s SummerSlam challenge? Personally, it’s ridiculous. Dominik hasn’t wrestled a match, is not even a WWE superstar, and literally saw his father be sacrificed in front of the world. It is ridiculous, right? Rollins does not answer. Will he have an answer soon?

 

We return to Raw Underground!

Shane keeps the dancers from fighting each other, that is not why they’re here. Unless they want to get in the ring next week. But now, the Viking Raiders have joined the fun! Erik steps up, it’s time to fight! His opponent is Mike Reed, and the bell rings. Erik keeps his guard up, tackles Reed to the mat and rains down rights! Reed gets up but gets a SLAM and more fists! Then a dead lift GERMAN! Erik dumps his opponent out of the ring but that doesn’t end the fight! Ivar puts Reed back in and Erik hits big knees! Then Ace Ten Mao! Shane calls it, Erik wins!

Winner: Erik

Wow, Reed is OUT! Shane applauds Erik and raises his hand in victory! Who else will step up in Raw Underground?

 

Raw gives a medical update on Montez Ford.

Ford fainted as he did his rope shaking move, but why? Charly is at the trainer’s room as Garza walks over. Garza tells Charly not to be afraid. People like them, with full hearts, have a tendency to feel things strongly. He gives her a rose, but then Vega and Almas come over. We are all concerned about Ford. Ford is an amazing competitor, and an even better champion. But on that topic, she can’t help but wonder what this means for the titles. Come SummerSlam- Wait! Dawkins comes out. The update on Ford isn’t 100%, but the doctors are saying Ford was poisoned?! And Bianca Belair is here!

Belair was looking for Vega. She has one chance to even say what happened before she hurts Vega. Vega didn’t do anything! Uh, Belair’s husband was poisoned, so she knows one of them did something! SummerSlam is coming, and we all know Vega is the brains. Well yes she’s the brains, but she would not do something like this! Belair takes off the earrings, and SLUGS Vega! Dawkins holds Belair back, Almas and Garza both hold Vega back! Things are going down a dark path, but what is the truth behind all this?!

 

Raw has security footage!

A group of hooded figures are causing trouble?! They threw a fireball at a power generator! But then they run off before security comes! Who are these people? What are they doing!?

 

Backstage interview with The Hurt Business.

They’re dressed to leave but Charly asks them about their rough day. MVP failed to capture the United States Championship and Shelton lost the WWE 24/7 Championship. The pattern is going a certain way and- Wait, this is supposed to count as journalism? Mysterious accidents backstage, power glitches, people throwing Molotov cocktails, but she asks about their matches? Lashley mentions that Raw Underground “stunt.” She asks them not getting it done, but she should be talking about the sabotage! Shelton says this is quite coincidental with how “Raw Underground” showed up. Charly didn’t say anything about it, she just knows that’s where Raw Underground is. Then the Hurt Business has a plan.

 

Seth Rollins heads to the ring!

The Monday Night Messiah, with Disciple by his side, looks to address the WWE Universe directly. Murphy hands him a mic, and Rollins says, “Before I issue a statement regarding Dominik Mysterio and his challenge,” he and Murphy have some… “housekeeping” to do. Rollins calls out Tom Philips on commentary. “If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a few questions.” Does Tom consider himself a professional? Does he consider himself an unbiased journalist? Rollins walks to commentary as he asks if Tom takes pride in his “body of work.” Rollins wants to ask Tom, “What were you doing last week when Rey Mysterio’s stupid kid was assaulting me with a kendo stick?”

To JOG HIS MEMORY, Tom was cheering Dominik on! Tom was inciting Dominik’s rage! Does Tom understand what that means?! Tom’s voice matters! What Tom says matters as the voice of Raw! Tom is part of the greater good, whether he likes it or not! What Tom say sis important because the fans hear it, it goes into their brains, and that is what they think. It is Tom’s JOB to call things down the middle! Not to skew things, slant things, or create bias! He is then doing a poor job. And if he is doing a poor job, then he becomes a liability. So Rollins feels the time has come to find a new voice of Raw. Murphy, take him. Samoa Joe steps up! “That ain’t gonna happen, gentlemen.”

Does Rollins think he can just bully them? Joe tells them to go back to the ring, finish speaking, or Joe can slap Rollins and beat down his disciple in front of him. If Rollins is worried about Tom, Joe will make this clear: he was laughing hardest of all! Rollins tells Joe he doesn’t want to do this. No, Seth, he does. Joe takes off the headset, Rollins and Murphy back off but dare Joe to get in the ring! Then it’s out of Rollins’ hands! The tension builds but Raw goes to break! Will Joe be able to finally humble the ego of The Architect?

 

Raw returns and Joe is still in a standoff with Rollins and Murphy!

They have chairs, he doesn’t. But while Rollins eggs Joe on, he doesn’t see Dominik return with ANOTHER kendo stick! And he SMACKS away on Rollins and Murphy! Rollins gets the stick from Dominik while Joe hops back on commentary to hype this up! Rollins swings, Dominik dodges and Murphy gets hit! Dominik TACKLES Rollins! Dominik throws fast hands on Rollins! Dominik wrecks Murphy with a swinging dropkick, then chop blocks Rollins onto the ropes! Dominik does his dad proud by dialing it up, to 6 1 9!! Rollins bails out and Dominik climbs up!? HUGE CROSSBODY! Dominik takes down Rollins and Murphy, then takes the ring back!

Dominik swings a chair but Rollins shouts! “I’ve had enough! You’ve jumped in way over your head!!” Dominik wants Rollins at SummerSlam? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!! Will Dominik finally avenge his father and everyone else Rollins has “sacrificed”?

 

We return to Raw Underground!

Dolph Ziggler is in the ring?! And he’s schooling his opponent on mat wrestling. Is that Jake Atlas? Atlas pushes Ziggler to a jackknife but Ziggler slips off to rain down rights! Ziggler turns Atlas over, has the body scissor mount and clubs away. He gets Atlas in a sleeper, Atlas taps!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

That is what they’re looking for! The Hurt Business waltzes in and Shane welcomes them. Does MVP have something to say? Shane hands him the mic. MVP has a LOT to say. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Raw Underground, but however, I have an announcement to make.” On behalf of the CEO of the Hurt Business, this place is under new management! Lashley is in the ring as the Hurt Business has a hostile takeover in motion! They like to fight? Hurt Business came to fight! Who wants to step up to the Rocky Mountain Machine? Chase Parker does! He gets in, gets a GUT WRENCH POWERBOMB, and then gets a BIG right hand! Lashley knocked that man OUT!

Winner: Bobby Lashley

MVP wants in on this action. He takes off his jacket and “tags in.” He dares someone to take MVP, but he first picks someone out of the crowd. Shelton shoves the man. Lashley drags him up for MVP and MVP gets him with a judo takedown! And a rain of right hands! Point-blank forearms! The ref calls it, MVP wins!

Winner: MVP

Lashley dumps the rando out, but who wants Shelton? This guy just insulted Mama Benjamin! Get him, Shelton! Wait is that Brennan Williams?! Is this what he does now that he’s not on commentary? The Shogun steps up, but gets TACKLED DOWN! Shelton rains down forearms and then rams in knees! Swerve and his friends coach Brennan but he’s already beaten!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin

Anyone else?! Wait, there’s someone! Uh, no, he was just… Too late! It’s a brawl! Swerve and his buddies get hurt by the Hurt Business! Anyone who can runs away before they get hit! Who else wants some!? Shane likes this! He wants the Hurt Business to stick around! That’s what it is to be in Raw Underground! But will anyone want to fight after this change in management? “Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Hurt Business. And Business is booming.”


My Thoughts:

This was perhaps the wildest Raw in a good, long time, and for the better! The ongoing thread through the night was this apparent rise in chaos backstage, with what appear to be a group of anarchists running amok. I have no idea if this is the “new faction” WWE hyped for their show, or there are wires crossed about what is happening when. But there was also the return of Shane McMahon, and the creation of Raw Underground. It had pseudo-shoot fighting, gave us the call-up of Babatunde as Daba Cato, dragged 205 Live wrestlers in to be both jobbers and fans, had ladies dancing around, and tied into the Hurt Business story. It was like part of what WWE tried to make their ECW but also a bunch of other stuff, and somehow it worked out to be really good.

Speaking of the Hurt Business, them losing their titles might have been a big part of getting involved with Raw Underground to make this a bigger story, and I for one look forward to where they’re going with this. Tozawa has the title, so he and Truth can continue their rivalry while perhaps also bringing in some new people. Of course, that implies Raw can throw anyone else in. A lot of people have stories, but this could also be the moment for someone underutilized between Raw, 205 Live and the Performance Center to shine. Apollo did what I figured in keeping MVP’s belt for THE belt, but I really liked how he framed retiring the old belt. In fact, that might be a shoot. His kids are probably holding up that belt as we speak as a great gift from dad.

Kevin Owens takes his Face turn in a new direction with how he helped reunite Liv and Ruby. Ruby and Liv had a good match with the IIconics but it ended quick, so definitely expect many rematches as a way to build up contenders for the WWE Women’s Tag titles on the side. Then Kevin tying into the Randy Orton story is great, Kevin and Orton will have a great match next week. McIntyre’s promo was INCREDIBLE! Those shots taken at Orton were strong. Their title match at SummerSlam is going to be great stuff, especially given the glimpses we got before the lockdowns. That match could go either way and I don’t think it’d hurt anyone or be a letdown.

The Raw Tag Team Championship story and Women’s Championships story both took wild but really fun turns tonight. I never thought I’d see a story that goes into someone being POISONED. It might mostly be for the sake of bringing Bianca back into this, but she needed to be a part of this anyhow. Nia getting suspended might be a way of preserving her different feuds. Shayna is going after the titles while Charlotte is resting up. Charlotte and Nia will probably return at relatively close times, probably in time for a Big Four like Survivor Series or Royal Rumble.

Meanwhile, Shayna sucker punching Sasha was amazing! A “No Contest” finish was to preserve things there, since Shayna is more than happy to wait. It speaks to her love of fighting that she wants Asuka, who is definitely considered the more dangerous all on her own. Asuka VS Bayley next week will be great, Asuka VS Sasha for SummerSlam will be great, and Asuka VS Shayna will be great. I hope they do it up big since it also boils down to proving who is the most dominant (former) NXT Woman’s Champion ever. Speaking of, how could Bayley NOT see Sasha was going to sell her out to Asuka? Sasha said she was going to choose an NXT Four Horsewoman. Sasha isn’t going to do it because she’s trying to avoid Asuka. Charlotte is out recovering and Becky is pregnant. Bayley was it by default! But hey, guess this is a way to circle back to the dysfunction between them.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)

And you thought last week was big!

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Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.

It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.

The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?

 

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!

How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?

The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!

Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!

Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!

Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?

 

Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!

The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?

The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!

Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.

Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.

Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!

Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!

Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?


My Thoughts:

A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.

Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)

Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
  • Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
  • Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.

But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!

But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.

But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.

Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?

Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.

 

Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?

SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!

The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?

As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.

Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.

Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!

Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?

 

Billie finds the Squad backstage.

She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?

 

Daniel Bryan is here!

And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!

“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!

Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!

The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!

Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”

Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?

 

Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?

SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!

Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!

Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?

 

Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!

Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.

Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!

Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!

Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)

And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?

 

Kevin Owens speaks.

“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.

And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.

But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.

 

The Street Profits have a basket.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!

Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?

 

Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?

SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!

But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?

Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!

Winner: Bianca Belair

Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.

 

Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?

 

Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.

Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?

 

Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?

Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!

Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!

Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.

But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.

The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.

Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.

And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.

My Score: 8.5/10


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