Fastlane puts pedal to the metal on the Road to WrestleMania!
We’re in the homestretch and picking up speed! Who does Fastlane leave in the dust just weeks away from WrestleMania?
- Kickoff Show – WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution; Riddle wins and retains the title.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair; Jax & Baszler win and retain the titles.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Big E wins and retains the title.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Free Sample: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa VS Joseph Average; Average wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Free Sample Take Two: Joseph Average VS Akira Tozawa VS R-Truth; Truth wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
Shane McMahonElias w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
- Shinsuke Nakamura VS Seth Rollins; Rollins wins.
- No Holds Barred: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus; McIntyre wins.
- Randy Orton VS Alexa Bliss; Bliss wins.
- WWE Universal Championship, Edge as Special Guest Enforcer: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Daniel Bryan; Reigns wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the Fastlane Kickoff show!
Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Peter Rosenberg in discussing, analyzing and predicting all the action here tonight on the last stop before WrestleMania!
Sonya Deville joins the panel!
The SmackDown official and sharp dresser is here to talk the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Big E is a friend, an incredible competitor, has everything it takes to be the best, but this new Apollo Crews is scary! Large and in charge, showing a side no one knew was there. Sonya is torn, but will let the others predict first. Kayla asks more what triggered Apollo to show this side of himself. The defeat? The disrespect? Booker T says this is the REAL Apollo. Trying to conform and be what others what you to be, Apollo is now someone who represents something, and this transformed him. THIS Apollo is going to move up the ladder, and Big E is just in the way.
Rosenberg says we’re so focused on Apollo, there’s also a new Big E. Sonya says this side was always there for Big E, always wanting to break away and stand on his own, and hasn’t been able to do so until now. He has a different attitude, too. The championship is not playing games and is defending his livelihood. Great for Apollo to dig into his heritage, Big E is fighting for his family. Sonya was there when Big E was taken away on a stretcher. TO come back from that means his determination is stronger than ever. Then final vote? Sonya is for Big E, because of his heart and spirit. Rosenberg goes with Big E. As dangerous as Apollo is, Big E is it.
King says Apollo was using stuff on Big E, like the steps. But Apollo is a weapon himself so he votes Apollo. Booker says from here to WrestleMania, it will be a celebration. Apollo wins. Well they’re tied because Kayla won’t choose a side. But the match itself will be a tiebreaker, so this is one to watch!
Moving on from that, they discuss Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman! Booker says Shane is a man who throws caution to the wind! Do not cross the boss! Made Braun into a living green screen! Rosenberg says that was a very Nickelodeon moment. But Shane’s been insulting Braun for weeks. Booker says this is Shane motivating Braun, and Braun took it the wrong way. Braun could learn a lot if he just went along. Rosenberg says Shane must be bored. Rich people do thrill-seeking, but Shane is doing the wrong thing! Why does Shane want problems with Braun? Sonya says that as a fighter, you see Braun’s size and strength, but Shane can throw hands.
King isn’t so sure, Shane was a little hurt out there. Kayla points out there was an incident where Shane may have injured himself training. We go to Sarah Schreiber for an update.
“Thanks, Kayla. Shane McMahon is currently being evaluated by WWE medical personnel due to his knee injury.” She can neither confirm or deny what will happen with Shane’s match later tonight. Booker says he had that same pained look Shane had tearing MCL and PCL, so it can’t be good. King says Shane has said a lot about Braun, like Braun is strong as an ox and almost as smart. Braun should be smart enough that, should the match happen, he’ll go after Shane’s leg. Even if Shane was 1000%, though Rosenberg respects Shane, he’d still pick Braun. So less than 100%, that’s even worse. Maybe Shane will rethink this. Sonya is also worried, but we’ll see what happens.
And speaking of respect, Rollins thinks Cesaro disrespected him and disrespected Cesaro back. But now he has to deal with Cesaro’s friend, Shinsuke Nakamura! The King of Strong Style is an Artist who painted a painful picture on SmackDown, and could do the same tonight!
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
Is Rollins surprised that Cesaro’s friend and former tag team partner, Nakamura, confronted him on SmackDown? New guy, what’s your name? Kevin. Welcome, Kevin! But let’s take a second before talking about Nakamura to admire “the drip.” Seth Drippin’ Rollins! Seth’s suit game is huge on social media. But no, nothing surprises Rollins anymore. He’s just disappointed in Nakamura. Nakamura is better than this! At least, Rollins thought he was. If anyone would understand respect, it’d be Nakamura.
Turns out, nope! Turns out, he’s just as bad as Cesaro Nakamura wants to be a tough guy and pick a fight on Cesaro’s behalf. That’s fine, because Rollins will teach Nakamura a lesson, and hopes Cesaro is at home, on his couch, icing his dumb, bald head, and learns something. Because if Cesaro gets in Rollins’ face again, he’ll be next. And welcome to the team, Kev. Rollins heads out, but will he the one learning something about respect?
WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution!
The Bro beat the Beacon, but to be fair, Ali did lose because of Mustafa Ali’s own team! Riddle is a fair fighting champion, so he’ll give Ali another shot. But will there be no excuses when Riddle shuts Ali down this time?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this rematch from Raw kicks things off!
Ali bails out but Riddle waits in the ring. Ali takes his time returning, and he gets back in at 5 of 10. They circle again, tie up and Riddle clinches to put Ali in a corner. Ali pulls hair to turn things around, but the ref counts. Riddle shoves Ali, Ali shoves back but Riddle tackles him! Riddle rams knees in, floats and rams more knees! Then Riddle gut wrench suplexes Ali for a BROTON! Cover, TWO! Ali crawls for ropes but Riddle stalks up behind him. Riddle kicks Ali, but Ali holds ropes to deny the exploder. Ali knees low, but Riddle sweeps the legs! Riddle leaps but Ali BOOTS the Broton away!
Ali wants to make sure Retribution is watching as he bumps Riddle off buckles. Ali goes out to trip Riddle and pull him into ropes to then ROCK him! Ali spins Riddle and Riddle SMACKS the post! Ali then baseball slide dropkicks Riddle to the floor! “This is why I will be the next United States Champion!” Ali puts Riddle in the ring, covers, TWO! Riddle is still in this and he fires body shots and forearms! Ali ducks and kitchen sink knees Riddle down! Cover, TWO! Ali wraps Riddle up in a body scissor and squeezes tight. Riddle endures, pries free but Ali clubs Riddle down. Ali throws hands, Riddle gut wrenches again! Ali slips out and shoves Riddle into buckles, then SHOTGUNS him down! Cover, TWO!
Ali grows frustrated but drags Riddle up to ROCK him! And CHOP him! Riddle CHOPS back but Ali kicks low! Ali whips corner to corner, Riddle reverses but Ali handsprings then slips out! Riddle hits buckles, Ali slingshots and somersaults to a BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives and Ali grows frustrated. Ali stalks Riddle, throws more clubbing forearms and then snapmares Riddle into the body scissors. Riddle endures, Ali chinbars, and fans rally on their screens. Riddle elbows Ali’s leg and gets free! Riddle storms over to Ali, suplexes, but Ali slips out to shove Riddle and then run, into a BROMISSION!! Ali rolls back, prawn hold, TWO!!
Riddle and Ali fires off furious fists! Riddle boots, spins Ali and PELES! Ali staggers to a corner, Riddle kips up and runs in to forearm smash! Riddle goes side to side to forearm again! And BROSPLODER! Riddle aims, PENALTY KICK! Riddle dead lift POWERBOMBS, and flips Ali for a FINAL FLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Ali survives and Riddle can’t believe it! Riddle goes up top, for a FLOATING BRO onto knees!! Ali took some damage because of his bad leg, and both men are down. Ali glares as he gets to a corner. Riddle sits up, Ali goes up and leaps, into Riddle’s arms! Riddle suplexes, but Ali cradles! Riddle rolls through for a FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
KOJI KLUTCH!! Ali has Riddle trapped, squeezes tight, but Riddle endures and fights for ground. Riddle reaches out, moves around, Ali keeps trying, but Riddle dead lifts to SLAM Ali! Both men are down, Riddle gasping for air. Ali shouts, “See what I did there?!” Ali grins as he says it’s over. But he runs into a BOOT! Riddle goes up, but Ali trips him! Riddle lands on the ropes, but Ali swings, into a DRAPING SLEEPER! Riddle drags Ali up into the gut wrench, for a SUPER BRO DEREK!! Cover, Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
Ali spoke too soon, because it wasn’t over for Riddle, it was over for Ali! Will Riddle continue to represent the Bronited States all the way to WrestleMania?
As for Retribution, they pick up Ali and he gets mad at them!? Ali says this is somehow his team’s fault when they didn’t even do anything! “Reckoning” shakes her head and Ali calls her out for it! She stops listening to him, and leaves! Ali says that’s fine, because he doesn’t need her! She needs him! Slapjack wants to leave? Ali says he’s nothing without Ali so get back in line! Slapjack refuses! Ali says this is T-Bar’s fault and Mace’s fault! But they’re bigger than him, so they don’t need to take orders from him! DOUBLE CHOKE SLAM!! Retribution doesn’t need Ali and they don’t want Ali! Will Ali be the one left alone in the dark from now on?
“These are the moments that are remembered forever.”
WrestleMania is the Grandest Stage of Them All, but there is still time to change the future. “What happens next can change the course of everything.” The Big Dog takes on an underdog with a Rated R Enforcer ringside. The #LegitEST want to have belts together before fighting over one. A 20 YEAR friendship is broken and it’ll be No Holds Barred! And a Viper has been haunted, but wants to exorcise those demons! Step on the gas, go for gold, and hit the final stop on the Road to WrestleMania!
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair!
The Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades beat the Boss and the EST already at Elimination Chamber, but things were a bit different then. In the last month, dysfunction has crept in between Sasha and Bianca, which will of course complicate things. But the same has started to happen with the champions, where Nia might be a little preoccupied with Reggie. Which team cracks first and misses out on the gold?
The introductions are made, the tag belts are raised, and Elimination Chamber is revisited!
Shayna and Sasha start, Sasha fires off with haymakers and then bumps Shayna off buckles. Sasha tags Bianca, they both stomp away on Shayna. Bianca handsprings to run in and RAM into Shayna! Sasha tags back in, and hits a SWINGING METEORA! Tag back to Bianca, and they snapmare Shayna for Bianca to handspring SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Bianca keeps on Shayna with a scoop but Shayna fights free, shoves and runs. Bianca dodges, drops and hurdles, but the two stand off a moment. Bianca catches Shayna to a backslide, ONE! Bianca steps through to La Magistrol, TWO! Roll up, TWO, but into a Triangle! Bianca dead lifts but Shayna gets free to forearm and KNEE!
Shayna stalks Bianca, gets the arm and twists the wrist to then hammerlock the arm. Nia tags in and Shayna is upset because she was going to stomp! Bianca fires forearms on Nia, Sasha tags in but runs into a fireman’s carry! Sasha slips off, runs and tilt-o-whirls and wants the arm! Nia shoves her away and runs her over! Reggie laughs as Nia covers, TWO! Nia runs but Sasha avoids the elbow drop! Sasha runs but Nia pops her up! Sasha fights, Bianca tags in, and Bianca dropkicks Nia into Sasha’s rana! Bianca dropkicks Nia down, covers, ONE!! Bianca keeps on Nia, but Nia blocks the whip to whip Bianca.
Bianca dodges and Nia hits buckles. Nia puts Bianca on the apron, Shayna is there but Nia DECKS Bianca! Shayna tags in, drags Bianca up and throws her into the apron! Shayna pushes Bianca in, keeps her from Sasha and rains down fists! Cover, TWO! Shayna wraps on a grovit, Bianca endures, fights her way up, but Shayna clubs away on Bianca’s back! Shayna drags Bianca over, Nia tags in and headbutts Bianca in the ribs! Nia drags Bianca up to choke her on the ropes! The ref counts, Nia lets off at 4 and then TOSSES Bianca around the way! Nia runs to SPLASH the corner, then she shoves Bianca down. Nia runs to drop the elbow! Cover, TWO!
Nia drags Bianca up, puts her in a corner, tags Shayna in and Shayna runs in to KNEE Bianca down! Cover, TWO! Shayna grows annoyed but she kicks Bianca around. Shayna chokes Bianca on ropes and grinds her face in! The ref counts, Shayna lets off but Bianca hits back. Shayna knees and kicks away on Bianca, then looms over her. Shayna clamps onto an arm, grinds it down but Bianca fights up. Sasha coaches Bianca, Bianca fights up and kicks but Shayna blocks to throw her down! Tag to Nia, and Shayna feeds Bianca to Nia’s scoop and SLAM! Cover, ONE!! Nia keeps on Bianca with a cobra clutch and leans on the hold. Bianca endures, even as Nia thrashes her!
Sasha coaches Bianca, Bianca fights up, throws elbows and gets free, but Nia scoops her. Bianca slips out, shoves and fireman’s carries! Shayna gets in but Bianca hits her first. Nia shoves Bianca to a corner, Bianca goes up and Nia POSTS Herself! Hot tag to Sasha! Sasha blocks Shayna’s kick to KNEE her! METEORA for Nia! METEORA for Shayna! Sasha springboards but Nia blocks and throws her! Sasha gets Shayna, kicks Nia and TORNADO DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Sasha gets Shayna up, tags Bianca and then slams Shayna down. Bianca is up top, for an EST 450!! Cover, but Reggie distracts the ref! Sasha leaps but misses Reggie! So Bianca DECKS him!!
But Shayna gets Bianca in a KIRAFUDA! Bianca gets out, chicken wings, and Sasha tags in! GlamEST KNEE!! To a BANK STAEMTNE! Bianca intercepts Nia but Nia shoves Bianca down on Sasha and Shayna! Everyone else is down as Nia goes back to her corner. Sasha misunderstands what happened but Bianca points out it was Nia! The challengers argue, Sasha pushes the “rookie” and Bianca has had it with Sasha. But Shayna rolls Sasha up, and wins!!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
And that’s what broke the #LegitEST duo! Sasha and Bianca couldn’t trust each other and they get caught off guard! They keep arguing after the champions leave, and Sasha boops Bianca. Then SLAPS her! “You’re the rookie!” Sasha leaves before Bianca can respond, but is the receipt coming soon enough at WrestleMania?
Shane McMahon exits the Doctor Trainer room.
A huge ice pack is on his knee and he has a crutch. Elias and Jaxson Ryker come by to talk their WrestleMania pitch. A huge musical epic for Mania that Bad Bunny will feel obligated to hand over his Grammy out of respect. Now’s not a good time, guys. But Elias has always wanted to be in front of a WrestleMania crowd! Name it, he’ll do it! Well, putting it that way… Shane has an idea. Is Shane about to find someone for Braun to face after all?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
To say this has gotten personal is putting it lightly. To say the title was the only reason these two stopped being friends is inaccurate. And to say that there is aggression between these two is an understatement. Big E and the REAL Apollo are ready to cripple each other if that is what it takes to prove who is truly worthy of going to WrestleMania as the Intercontinental Champion! Will Apollo get what he wants? Or just get what he deserves?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and a battle of steel and gold finally looks to settle itself!
Apollo and Big E fire off fists right away! Apollo knees low, CLUBS and whips but Big E reverse! Apollo ends up on the apron and Big E runs to SPEAR him off it! “This is what you wanted!? This is what you wanted?!” Big E clubs Apollo, Apollo throws hands but Big E ROCKS him! Big E has Apollo on the apron and says he asked for this! Big E stomps Apollo, stands on Apollo’s head, then stomps him again! “You wanted this ass whooping! You asked for this ass whooping! And you’re gonna get every bit of it.” APRON SPLASH! Apollo writhes and Big E says this is the side of him Apollo wanted to see! Big E CLUBS Apollo more, gets in the ring and tells the ref Apollo wanted this!
Big E goes back to the apron and says Apollo doesn’t want this now that he knows what it’s about. ANOTHER APRON SPLASH! Apollo crawls away into the ring, Big E pursues and says, “This is what conflict is!” Apollo throws a haymaker but Big E ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! And then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E gets Apollo up again for another OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E shouts that Apollo wanted this shot, so he’s getting it! But then Apollo dropkicks Big E’s leg out! Apollo hits a clothesline, then drags Big E up for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Apollo holds on to GERMAN SUPLEX again! And ANOTHER GERMAN SUPLEX!
Apollo looms over Big E and stomps him. Now Apollo stands on Big E’s head, but lets off at 4. Apollo demands Big E get up, and then reels him in for a SPINEBUSTER! Apollo stomps Big E, goes to a corner and climbs up top, for a FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Big E survives but Apollo wraps on a rear bearhug! Apollo squeezes tight, Big E endures and fights up to throw elbows. Big E is free but he runs into an ENZIGURI! Apollo ENZIGURIS again! STANIND MOONSAULT ONTO KNEES! Big E runs in but Apollo dodges to POST him! Apollo reels Big E in but no bomb yet! Big E arm-drags, scoops, but Apollo slips out!
Apollo brings Big E around to cradle, TWO! Big E has it, and even bridges, Big E wins?!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
But Apollo attacks! Does he not realize he lost? Or does he not care?! Apollo demands Big E get up, for an OLYMPIC SLAM!! He says it is NOT over, and he drags Big E up again, for ANOTHER OLYMPIC SLAM! Apollo slaps Big E around, demands he get up again, and SLAPS him! A THIRD OLYMPIC SLAM!! Apollo does not accept Big E as champion, because HE is the one standing tall! Will this war between former friends never end?
“Joseph Average” is giving out Old Spice samples.
Drew Gulak likes, but Akira Tozawa demands to know where R-Truth is! Joseph doesn’t know- WHERE IS R-TRUTH!? Truth is hiding behind the free samples! He even hands Akira one! TRUUUUTH!! Tozawa drags Truth out from behind the shelves! Joseph tries to pick up his samples, but ends up pinning Truth?!
Winner: Joseph Average, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
Regular ol’ Joseph Average, is champion!? Truth says he WAS! Roll up! Truth wins!!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
Truth thanks Average Joe for the free samples! Tozawa rips Joseph’s shirt, but then sees that shirt! The prophecy is true! The Night Panther lives!!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
Shane officially introduces The Drifter, and says as a “prelude” to WrestleMania, he wants the fans to hear Elias’ music. Elias takes it from here, playing his guitar, but then Shane interrupts and apologizes for that. He wants Elias to know that he’s taking Shane’s place in tonight’s match. Wait, what? The match with Braun!? YES!
Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Braun Strowman!
The Drifter is about to learn that you really should be careful what you wish for. Elias wants to play on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but will he even make it down the Road to WrestleMania with the Monster Among Men in his path?
The bell rings, Elisa wants Braun to take it easy, he’s after Shane, remember? Braun still rushes at Elias, but Elias dodges and throws quick body shots. Ryker distracts, but Strowman still gets Elias in a corner for hands! And elbows! So many elbows! Then Braun TOSSES Elias across the ring! Braun is foaming at the mouth as Elias gets out, and Braun grabs Elias by his hair! He POSTS Elias, then POSTS him the other way! Elias flops down, Braun drags him in and throws him around again! Braun KICKS Elias to a corner! And bends him against the ropes! The ref counts, Braun lets off at 4, and brings Elias up to CLUB him down! And then runs in at the corner!
Ryker saves Elias and they regroup on the outside. But the Strowman Express runs! Ryker dodges and Elias gets BLASTED! Braun goes back to the ring as the ring count climbs. Ryker checks on Elias, and throws him in at 8! Elias might’ve wanted to stay out, actually… Braun glares at Ryker, Ryker gets up on the apron again, and Elias CHOP BLOCKS Braun! DDT!! Elias hurries up top, for a MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Elias is sent flying and is shocked! Elias hurries to go after Braun with haymakers and knees! Elias runs, into a LARIAT! Braun is still seething as he corner SPLASHES and then throws Elias down! Braun drags Elias up for a ONE HAND SPINEBUSTER!!
Braun isn’t done there, he scoops Elias for the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
Shane didn’t #GetTheseHands but The Drifter sure did! Will Braun be sure that, once Shane is 100% again, they will have their battle in the ring?
Riddle checks in with Nakamura.
Sup, Bro? Nakamura congratulates Riddle on retaining his title. Thanks, bro! And good luck with Rollins! But uh, would Nakamura want to go in business with Riddle? Riddle’s latest idea is great! Tricking out scooters! Getting some Nos boosters, LED lights, and some manes like they’re horses! That’s interesting- Yeah, very interesting, right? And think about this! Riddle’s cousin Skeeter was a skater and he had a scooter, and he was grinding the rail all slow and at a weird angle, and then he smashed his little skeeters. Now he kinda walks like Nakamura’s entrance. Oh, where’d Nakamura go? Probably to get his scooter. Alright, see you later, bro!
Shinsuke Nakamura VS Seth Rollins!
The King of Strong Style wants to avenge the Swiss Cyborg for what the Architect has done to him! But Rollins says he is going to show Nakamura what respect is all about! Will Nakamura dry up that Seth Rollins drip? Or will he have no choice but to #EmbraceTheVision?
The bell rings and Rollins circles with Nakamura. They tie up, Rollins headlocks and laughs, but Nakamura fights up and powers out. Rollins runs into a kitchen sink knee, then Nakamura drops a knee! Rollins staggers, but ducks the roundhouse to get out! Nakamura shouts, “C’MON!!” Rollins gets in, Nakamura kicks and whips to GAMANGIRI! Cover, ONE! Nakamura stomps Rollins, kicks him, then waistlocks. Rollins flails and reaches but elbows free! Rollins kicks Nakamura in the leg then SMACKS him off the mat! Rollins throws Nakamura out hard, aims from the apron and LEAPS for a flying knee! Rollins sneers as he drags Nakamura up and bounces him off the desk!
Rollins puts Nakamura in as the ring count climbs past 5, then slithers behind him. “You want to disrespect me?” Rollins runs and KNEES Nakamura against ropes. Rollins whips and KNEES again, and then again! Rollins fireman’s carries Nakamura for a GUT BUSTER! Cover, ONE!! Rollins is upset that he only got a one, but he dares Nakamura to get up. Rollins throws down hands, rams Nakamura into a corner, and rams him in again. Rollins wrenches, whips corner to corner hard, then drags him out to scoop to a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Rollins wraps on a rear bearhug but Nakamura throws elbows. Rollins squeezes tighter but Nakamura endures.
Nakamura gets up, reaches for ropes but has to elbow Rollins more. Rollins lets go but he elbows Nakamura down! And drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Another cover, ONE!! Rollins is again annoyed, and talks trash, “Cesaro is watching!” Rollins chokes Nakamura on ropes and then throws him down again. Rollins shouts about being swung around 22 times and he asks where Cesaro is now. Rollins says he’s strong! He’s tough! He gets Nakamura’s legs, and he slaps Nakamura around. Nakamura drags Rollins down with an ARMBAR! Rollins gets a ropebreak but Nakamura lets go fast. Rollins is outside, Nakamura WRECKS him with a baseball slide!
Nakamura puts Rollins on the apron for a KNEE! And then a GUILLOTINE KNEE! Nakamura puts Rollins in, Rollins staggers into KICKS! Nakamura shoves Rollins to a corner for GOOD VIBRATIONS! Nakamura whips corner to corner but Rollins reverses. Rollins runs in but Nakamura KNEES back! Nakamura puts Rollins up top for the TOP SHELF KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grits his teeth as he gets Rollins back up. Nakamura scoops but Rollins elbows free! Rollins runs but into a boot! Nakamura goes up top but Rollins throws him off!! Nakamura hits the floor, Rollins builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and they hit barriers!
Rollins drags Nakamura up, puts him in, and aims from the apron. Springboard FLYING KNEE! And then a SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives and Rollins is beside himself! Rollins drags Nakamura up, reels him in, but Nakamura blocks the suplex! Rollins ROCKS him with a right, reels him in again, but Nakamura blocks again! Rollins ROCKS Nakamura but Nakamura hits back! Rollins throws another forearm but so does Nakamura! They go back and forth, Rollins gets the edge but swings into a strike fest! Rollins PELES! Rollins drags Nakamura up to powerbomb lift but Nakamura slips out! Rollins ducks one kick but not the LEFT!
Rollins staggers to a corner, Nakamura aims from the other! Nakamura runs in but blocks boots first! He turns Rollins sideways into the ropes, SLIDING GERMAN! Rollins flounders up, Nakamura fires up and aims again! “YAO~!” But Rollins pops Nakamura up for a BUCKLE BOMB! Rollins drags Nakamura back up, and suplexes for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives and Rollins is furious! Rollins aims from a corner, runs in but Nakamura gets him to a fireman’s carry! LANDSLIDE DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura drags Rollins up, INVERTED EXPLODER! Nakamura aims from the corner again, “YAO~!” KIN-
NO! Rollins rolls Nakamura up, Nakamura slips out but Rollins reels Nakamura in for a DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! And then the CURB STOM- NO, Nakamura ducks it! But Rollins HEEL KICKS him down! Rollins is seething as he shouts, “Don’t disrespect me!” Nakamura slowly sits up, Rollins runs and CURB STOMPS!! Cover, Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
The Architect beats the Artist, and shouts, “That’s what happens when you step into my ring!” Rollins demands respect, but will he get it from the SmackDown roster?
No Holds Barred: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus!
“A lot can happen in 20 years.” A friendship that defined both of these men has now fallen apart. Two journeys that intertwined, parted, but reunited was ruined, all because of jealousy and pride. These two warriors made each other better, but now they’d love nothing better than to finish this. With nothing holding these two back, which warrior stands tall at the end of this war?
The bell rings and Sheamus says McIntyre asked for this. Did McIntyre ever think of what Sheamus did for him? McIntyre SLAPS Sheamus, and now it’s a brawl! Sheamus knees low, CLUBS hard, then whips McIntyre to ropes. McIntyre reverses, Sheamus kicks him and runs but into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! And then McIntyre gets Sheamus for ANOTHER! McIntyre clotheslines Sheamus out, pursues, but Sheamus trips him on the apron! Sheamus throws hands, whips McIntyre into barriers and then throws hands! Sheamus brings McIntyre up to whip, but McIntyre reverses to reel him in for another OVERHEAD SUPLEX!
McIntyre drags Sheamus back up, CHOPS him against the announce desk, and then throws haymakers! McIntyre whips and POSTS Sheamus! McIntyre clears off the desk, goes under the ring, and brings out chairs, and kendo sticks! Sheamus runs in to blindside McIntyre! Sheamus POSTS McIntyre, hurries to get himself a kendo stick, and then swings! McIntyre dodges and stick hits post! McIntyre reels Sheamus in for a fourth OVERHEAD! McIntyre drags Sheamus up to whip into steel steps! Sheamus flops against the base and McIntyre storms over. McIntyre stands on Sheamus’ head then STOMPS him! Sheamus flops back but McIntyre looms over him.
McIntyre drags Sheamus up to CHOP him again! McIntyre puts Sheamus in, gets a kendo stick, but Sheamus KNEES him down first! Cover, TWO! Sheamus gets a kendo stick again, and SMACKS him on the back! And SMACKS him again! Sheamus SMACKS McIntyre while taunting him, “This is what you wanted, right?!” Sheamus says he’ll make it legit! McIntyre’s going to WrestleMania, he should get up! Sheamus SMACKS McIntyre back down! Sheamus digs the kendo stick into McIntyre’s jaw! “How does that taste?!” McIntyre’s jaw is still a target from last year, but McIntyre headbutts and HEADBUTTS! And BOOTS!
McIntyre goes to a corner to catch his breath, and he starts to get pissed again. McIntyre picks up the kendo stick and sees Sheamus is down. Sheamus glares up at McIntyre, and McIntyre SMACKS him! And SMACKS, and SMACKS, and SMACKS! McIntyre uses the stick for a Russian Leg Sweep! McIntyre digs the kendo stick into Sheamus’ eyes!! Sheamus pushes McIntyre away but McIntyre just SMACKS him again! Sheamus falls out of the ring, McIntyre follows and runs into a drop toehold to the steps! McIntyre is dazed, Sheamus fetches the top half of the steps! McIntyre staggers up as Sheamus comes around, and Sheamus RAMS McIntyre down!
Sheamus fires up, finishes clearing the desk for McIntyre, and then stomps McIntyre while he’s down. “What’s that face paint gonna do for you now?!” Sheamus puts McIntyre on the desk, climbs up to join him, and fireman’s carries, but McIntyre fights free! To underhooks the arms! Sheamus resists, McIntyre throws knees, to then throw Sheamus at the barriers! McIntyre glares as he stalks behind Sheamus through the timekeeper’s area to the outside. McIntyre fish hooks Sheamus’ mouth! And punch him down! The go behind the ThunderDome screens, McIntyre throws Sheamus into railing! And CHOPS him off his feet!
McIntyre stomps and CLUBS Sheamus more, and follows him around the way. Sheamus throws hands, they brawl, and Sheamus blocks a suplex! Sheamus suplexes McIntyre! McIntyre thuds off the bare floor of the ThunderDome! McIntyre sputters and crawls to a ramp. Sheamus CLUBS McIntyre on the back, up some trunks, and then rains down more rights. Sheamus drags McIntyre up to throw body shots! McIntyre ends up on the upper level of the ThunderDome screens but he hits back! McIntyre fires off haymakers, then whips Sheamus along, only for Sheamus to reel him in! ROLLING SENTON! Again, McIntyre gasps and sputters!
Sheamus drags McIntyre up, brings him along the aisle, but McIntyre throws body shots! Sheamus CLUBS McIntyre down again and again, then fireman’s carries. McIntyre slips off before Sheamus can throw him! McIntyre bumps Sheamus off ThunderDome screens, then sends him crashing through others!! Sheamus tumbles from that middle row to somewhere down below!! McIntyre climbs down to loom over Sheamus, and dares him to keep talking trash. McIntyre CLUBS Sheamus, follows him back to the ramp and punches him down the way. McIntyre says up Sheamus’ as he kicks him down! McIntyre dares The Fella to talk more trash, as he puts him on a road case!
McIntyre pushes the case around to get Sheamus back to ringside! McIntyre drags Sheamus up, for a suplex to the floor! Both men writhe but McIntyre forces himself to rise! McIntyre drags Sheamus back up, fireman’s carries him, and hauls him back to the desk. Sheamus claws McIntyre’s eyes and BROGUES him over barriers!! Sheamus clutches his back as he hobbles up and looks to fetch McIntyre. Sheamus hops over the barriers, grits his teeth while clutching his side, and he stomps McIntyre! Sheamus bumps McIntyre off road cases, then drags him up and over the barriers, aiming for the desk! “I should be the main event of WrestleMania!!”
Sheamus fireman’s carries, tucks McIntyre in, WHITE NOISE THROUGH THE DESK!! The ref checks on both men in the wreckage and somehow they’re okay to continue! Sheamus hobbles up, drags McIntyre towards the ring but his own back makes that hard. “This is Awesome!” as Sheamus still gets McIntyre up and in. Sheamus looks for something more to use, and decides to use a piece of the desk! Sheamus brings that in, positions it, and looms over McIntyre. “You’re the Chosen One, right? What about me? What about Sheamus, huh?” Sheamus throws more hands, but McIntyre SLAPS Sheamus! Sheamus SLAPS back and it’s a SLAP fight!
Sheamus kicks, Alabama lifts, but McIntyre slips out! Sheamus avoids the underhooks once, but not the second! FUTURE SHOCK to the desk piece!! CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
The Celtic Warrior almost had the Scottish Warrior, but the key word is “almost!” McIntyre defeats Sheamus, and now moves on to Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania! If he could survive this, will McIntyre be able to survive the Rocky Mountain Machine and take back the WWE World Championship?
Randy Orton VS Alexa Bliss!
The Viper thought burning The Fiend alive was enough. He thought it’d end there. He thought wrong. Twisted Lil’ Bliss has been haunting Orton in ways no one could’ve imagined. But Orton vows to exorcise Alexa and kick her out of his life for good. Will it really end here? Or is Orton going to pay for all of his transgressions?
But as Orton goes for his pose, he starts spitting up the black ink!! Alexa is already affecting him before the bell! Orton is pissed, demands a towel and the timekeeper hands him one. Orton wipes his mouth, coughs and sputters, then seethes and glares at the stage. He isn’t getting scared off, he’s getting pissed off! He demands Alexa stop playing games and get to the ring! Alexa makes her entrance, and already has those spooky eyes as she laughs and skips her way to the ring. The magenta light bathes the arena and the bell rings! Orton storms right over but then FIRE flashes all around!! The ref even bails out after that one!
Alexa laughs at Orton, Orton runs in but Alexa dodges and he POSTS himself! Alexa pretends to feel bad but then laughs at Orton’s pain. Alexa skips around the ring and wants Orton to follow after. Orton gets up, seethes as he follows in this twisted follow the leader. Alexa hops over the steel steps, waits so Orton can get closer, and then gives a curious smile. She looks up, and a LIGHTING TRUSS falls?! Alexa laughs and Orton shouts, “Are you trying to kill me?!” She just shrugs and says “The sky is falling.” Alexa goes back into the ring and coaxes Orton in like he’s a puppy dog. She even plays in the ropes like it’s a swing set.
Orton takes his time returning, checking to see if anything else will fall. Orton steps inside, Alexa blows a kiss, and then throws a FIREBALL!! Orton narrowly avoided that one, but Alexa still celebrates like she scored a homerun or something. Alexa hops up to sit on the top rope and Orton stands up, but what is reaching out from under the ring mat?!?! It’s a gnarly, burned hand! And with another burst of flame, THE FIEND returns!!! Mutilated and grotesque, The Fiend returns from the dead!! Orton isn’t even sure what to say, but Alexa shoves Orton into SISTER ABIGAIL! Alexa covers, the ref returns to count, Alexa wins!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall
HE’S HEEEERE~! And with his help, Alexa has beaten The Viper! But just what is going to happen now that these two are reunited?!
WWE Universal Championship, Edge as Special Guest Enforcer: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Daniel Bryan!
The plans for WrestleMania could change drastically right here! The Special Counsel wants us to believe that the Tribal Chief will not just give the Goat a hellacious beating, but that he will scare away the Rated R Superstar tonight. However, Edge is here to make sure things are finally fair and square for the challenger to the Universal Championship! Will Bryan be able to turn the tide and have one more #YEStleMania moment?
Edge makes his entrance first as enforcer. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we will see what THE main event of WrestleMania really looks like!
Bryan and Roman circle, Bryan picks up the speed a bit as he goes around Roman. Roman tries to corner Bryan but Bryan wants his leg. Roman grabs ropes and Bryan lets off. Bryan taunts Roman that he’s worried about a simple single leg. Roman and Bryan feel out a grapple, Roman gets Bryan into a corner, but the ref counts. Bryan slips out at 3 to kick Roman in the leg. Bryan taunts Roman more, and they circle again. They tie up, Roman powers Bryan to another corner, the ref counts and Roman CLUBS Bryan as they break! Roman tells Bryan he should just go home. They circle again, approach, and Bryan gets a leg pick! Roman scrambles around to get a ropebreak!
Bryan says he could get that any time. Roman gets up, cools off but Bryan pushes the offense. He dares Roman to come after him, and then he goes for a leg. Roman grabs at Bryan but Bryan gets around. Roman gets another ropebreak, and Bryan grins as he lets off. They feel out the grapple again, knuckle lock, and Roman uses his strength to bring Bryan to his knees! Roman mocks Bryan, “You wanna break?” Roman scrapes his laces on Bryan’s face but Bryan gets up and gets a takedown to an ARMBAR! Roman scrambles, gets another ropebreak, and Bryan lets off quick. Bryan does Yes Fingers, fans join in on their screens, but Roman keeps his cool.
Roman and Bryan circle again, Bryan gives testing jabs, but Roman just gets annoyed. Roman dares Bryan to hit him, Bryan jabs him in the stomach again. Bryan grins as Roman keeps egging Bryan on. Bryan throws more jabs, then a kick! Roman is getting more annoyed as Bryan throws more quick kicks. Bryan gets cornered, Roman headlocks and throws Bryan down! Heyman likes what he sees but Bryan fights up. Bryan slips out the back, has a hammerlock and he knees Roman in the arm! And again! Heyman’s confidence turns to worry as Bryan digs his elbows into Roman’s head. Bryan gets Roman’s other arm and bends the fingers! Bryan pulls to go after Roman’s shoulder!
Roman endures as Bryan stands on the arm to make it a recliner cover, ONE!! Roman headbutts Bryan, then stomps him down! Roman drags Bryan up to DECK him! Roman paces around, drags him back up and throws a haymaker! Bryan goes to a corner, Roman stalks him, and Roman RAMS into Bryan! Roman hauls Bryan up but Bryan flails, only for Roman to RAM him into another corner! Roman runs but into a dropkick! Bryan gets Roman’s arm, wrenches and hits an elbow breaker! And then wrenches to KICK the leg, and hit another elbow breaker! And then KICKS the leg, to wrench. Roman rakes eyes, gets Bryan in a corner, but the ref reprimands.
Roman throws point-blank lariats! But Bryan turns it around for YES Kicks and fast hands! Bryan whips, Roman reverses, but Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving to duck and run, into a tilt-o-whirl SLAM! Cover, TWO! Roman digs Bryan’s face into the mat and bounces him off it! Roman taunts Edge but Edge tells him to worry about Bryan. Bryan goes to ropes, Roman throws crossface forearms! Roman drags Bryan up, and snap suplexes him! Heyman’s confidence returns as Roman covers, TWO! Roman grows annoyed again but then he smiles as he looms over Bryan. Bryan goes back to a corner, Roman drags him up but Bryan goes for a leg!
Roman holds off Bryan’s takedown and CLUBS Bryan! Bryan hits from below but Roman kicks him down. Bryan hits again but Roman stomps him back down! Bryan keeps hitting back but Roman keeps stomping! Roman snarls and drags Bryan into a chinlock. Roman grinds Bryan down, and says, “When I got it, you don’t get out.” Roman says he has a vice grip, but Bryan fights up. Bryan throws body shots, Roman shoves Bryan away but Bryan returns! Roman puts Bryan on the apron and DECKS him with an uppercut! Bryan falls to the floor and Roman again taunts Edge. Edge says Roman still needs to worry about Bryan. Roman goes out to fetch Bryan, and throw him into barriers!
The ring count is past 5 but Roman goes in at 7. Bryan stands as Roman goes out to fetch Bryan, but Bryan fires body shots and uppercuts and kicks! Bryan KICKS away on Roman, but Roman POSTS him! The ring count is climbing but Roman puts Bryan in at 8! Cover, TWO! Heyman says it was that close, but Bryan is still in this. Roman drags Bryan up to snap suplex again! Cover, TWO! Roman is again annoyed and Bryan drags himself to another corner. Roman runs in to corner clothesline him! Heyman says Bryan should listen to his Tribal Chief! Roman wants Bryan to acknowledge him. Look in the camera and tell the world!
Roman whips Bryan corner to corner hard! Roman runs in but Bryan drop toeholds him into buckles! Bryan fires off Yes Kicks from all sides, then runs corner to corner to dropkick! Bryan brings Roman up to the very top, then throws haymakers! Bryan climbs up, but Roman blocks the Steiner! Roman drags Bryan into a BOSTON CRAB! Bryan endures as Roman bends him back! Bryan claws for ropes, reaches, but Roman brings him around! Bryan makes that a cradle, TWO!! Bryan dodges, and hits a LEAPING LARIAT! Both men are down and Heyman’s stress is back again! Edge paces, making sure nothing sneaky is happening as both men slowly rise.
Bryan throws hands, kicks, but Roman knees low! Roman whips Bryan to ropes but Bryan kicks him away! Roman returns but Bryan dumps him out! Bryan slingshots to PLANCHA, but Roman makes it a SLAM! Roman then drags Bryan up, but Bryan slips off to POST Roman! Bryan aims from the apron for a FLYING KNEE! Down goes Roman! But Bryan can only win the title in the ring! Bryan puts Roman in at 7 of 10, climbs up top and FLYING KNEES ROMAN’S ARM!! Roman writhes, Heyman panics and Bryan climbs up again! Bryan is up top again and leaps for a missile dropkick! Roman is down again but Bryan fires up! Bryan crawls to cover, TWO!
Bryan keeps his focus while Roman tries to get his bad arm moving. Heyman is doing his best to be stoic as Bryan gives Roman more YES Kicks! Roman flounders about as Bryan keeps giving him KICKS! Kick after kick after kick, then the BUZZ- NO! Roman blocks the buzzsaw and powers Bryan to a corner! The ref counts, Roman ROCKS Bryan with an uppercut! Roman grinds his forearm into Bryan’s face, throws knees into him, but the ref keeps counting. Roman finally lets off to cool down, but Bryan kicks back! And rushes in! Roman sprawls to block the takedown, and brings Bryan up, but Bryan RANAS the bomb away! BUZZSAW! And then ANOTHER BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!!
Bryan nods, he knows Roman is tough. Heyman is worried, Edge is invested, and Bryan says Roman likes to talk, but now he’s going to get broken! Bryan unleashes DANIELSON STOMPS! Then drags Roman into the YES LOCK!! Roman endures, but the hands are in his face, he can’t see! Roman refuses to quit, reaches out and gets his face free, but Bryan gets the other arm! Bryan rolls Roman away from ropes and then gets the YES LOCK BACK!! Roman is stuck, hands in his face, and he can’t figure out where ropes are! Roman pries at Bryan’s fingers, gets the hold off and he rains down furious forearms, and even elbows!
But Bryan triangle holds! Roman dead lifts to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Bryan survives but both men are down! Bryan drags himself to a corner while Roman talks to himself. Roman gets to the other corner and watches Bryan get up. Roman run sin, but into a kick! Roman staggers, but dodges, the FLYING KNEE hits the ref!! Roman SPEARS Bryan! Cover, but the ref can’t count! Edge is making himself the ref! TWO!! Both men are down again as Roman looks up and sees Edge. Edge says he’s just doing his job as special enforcer. Roman says Edge better follow his lead, but Edge says Roman needs to do his job.
Roman rains down rights on Bryan again! Bryan gets Roman’s arm again! TRIANGLE HOLD! Roman powers up to dead lift again, but Bryan shifts and throws hands, to then drag Roman back down! YES LOCK!!! Roman endures, pries at the hold, but Bryan throws crossface forearms! Bryan clubs away on Roman again and again then puts the Yes Lock back on! JEY USO SUPERKICKS EDGE!! And SUPERKICKS Bryan!! Jey always has to save Roman! Jey goes out and gets a chair! Jey drags Edge up to POST him! Jey tells Bryan to stand, but Bryan ducks the chair to KNEE PLUS Jey down!! Heyman panics as Bryan gets the chair!!
Bryan glares at Roman, and SMACKS JEY! And SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS Jey! Jey bails out, Bryan sees no one is up to see… Bryan aims at Roman, but Roman dodges again, and EDGE takes the chair shot! SUPERMAN PUNCH!! Roman seethes, glares at Bryan and runs, INTO A YES LOCK!! Just like Elimination Chamber!! Roman is stuck!! Roman is freaking out and Heyman is, too! Roman is fading out!! Is he tapping?!?! Roman is tapping, but Edge SMACKS Bryan with the chair!!! Edge SMACKS Roman, too!! Edge SMACKS Bryan again, and shouts, “THIS IS MINE! MINE!!” The Rated R Superstar no longer cares who he faces, he storms off and lets this sort itself out!
Roman and Bryan are both writhing, stirring, and a second referee appears! Roman drags himself to cover Bryan, and Roman wins!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall (still WWE Universal Champion)
Once again, Roman is fortunate to have someone else around! But will Roman be able to survive when he finally faces Edge 1v1?
So this was a bit of a mixed back for a WWE PPV. Though not announced as such, I just had a feeling the US Championship would end up a kickoff show match. And as I figured, Riddle would win and Ali would get kicked out of Retribution. Heck, Retribution might just be through, with all but Mace and T-Bar going their separate ways. Maybe they’ll all get their real names back, too. The real critical point is what Ali does now that he’s not their leader. The main show then seemed to zip by, which is both good and maybe not so good, as it didn’t seem like a good chunk of the show was really diving that deep into the matches.
The WWE Women’s Tag title match went as expected, including Reggie interfering and being just part of the reason Sasha & Bianca lost. I expected a bit more of a scuffle from Sasha and Bianca but it works that Sasha left with just disrespecting Bianca and slapping her eyelashes out of place. The next three weeks are going to really escalate things for Sasha VS Bianca. Big E VS Apollo was a great match, but that ending was really about preserving this feud so they can go again at Mania. It may not have been done as crisp as they wanted, but it was clearly about Big E just snatching a win. I feel like a disqualification ending would’ve been better, given the anger between these two.
If I’m not mistaken, “Joseph Average” was actually Eric Bugenhagen from NXT. I almost hope this is his call-up. The Old Spice Night Panther commercial turning into a WWE 24/7 Championship segment was very clever, and makes it one of the best produced WEW 24/7 Championship segments. Shane swapping out with Elias wasn’t the swap out I expected, but we all knew Shane wasn’t actually facing Braun yet. I just didn’t think Shane would have a “training injury” as the reason why. Of course, even in kayfabe, it could be a fake-out to delay things. I wonder if Braun will force Shane to compete against him at Mania, exposing the “injury” is just a cover.
From Rollins VS Nakamura on, we started getting some really good PPV stuff. Rollins VS Nakamura itself was a great match, and I was actually surprised we didn’t get anything of Cesaro or Murphy, but that was for the better. Rollins wins fair and square so perhaps all the better for him and Cesaro at Mania. The No Holds Barred, McIntyre VS Sheamus, was great and even had a great video package to set it up. Smashing up ThunderDome screens was not a spot I would’ve expected but that really added something. McIntyre wins to go strong towards Mania, but it’s going to be hard to determine who wins between Lashley VS McIntyre because they’re both going so strong right now.
Alexa VS Orton was perhaps exactly what it should’ve been. Alexa was using all her tricks, and then we got burned zombie Fiend busting up from the floor a la Kane, that was really wild stuff. While Firefly Fun House Match 2, the Orton Saga is a great concept, I almost want at least one match with burned, disgusting Fiend to see how that affects his fighting style, and just for more opponents to react to.
The Universal Championship match was a lot longer than I expected it would be, as it dominated the last hour, and Bryan had great character work the entire time. I’m just disappointed we had to again throw Jey in there, and even have one of those “OH NO! Hit the wrong person! And now that person will hit me back!” with Bryan and Edge. Edge shouting “THIS IS MINE!” like he was selfishly keeping this for himself was a good touch, though. If we end up with a Triple Threat like fans want/hope, that moment would at least make Edge a Tweener where Roman is Heel and Bryan is Face. There was also the fact Roman tapped, just without it being put on the win-loss record, so I’m thinking there’s a way to get us to that Triple Threat to make Mania even bigger.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (1/21/22)
Moxley is on a Rampage!
AEW continues LIVE in Washington, D.C!
Jon Moxley gets back in action against Ethan Page, and Jade Cargill defends the TBS Championship against Anna Jay!
- Jon Moxley VS Ethan Page w/ Scorpio Sky; Moxley wins.
- Nick Jackson w/ Matt Jackson VS Trent Beretta w/ Orange Cassidy; Trent wins.
- Hook VS Serpentico; Hook wins.
- AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Mark Sterling VS Anna Jay w/ John Silver; Cargill wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jon Moxley VS Ethan Page w/ Scorpio Sky!
The Maniac is back and he’s even more liberated than he was before! Will Moxley use that newfound freedom, and the same old ferocity, to deflate All Ego?
The bell rings and Moxley circles with Ethan. Fans are fired up for Mox as he ties up with Ethan. They go around, Moxley powers Ethan to a corner but Ethan shoves Moxley away. Ethan double guns and grins but Moxley keeps cool. Moxley and Ethan circle, tie up, Moxley waistlocks but Ethan switches to shove Mox away. Ethan blows a kiss but Moxley ties up with him again. They go around, end up on ropes and fans rally as Ethan lets off. Ethan CHOPS, but Moxley eggs him on. Ethan CHOPS again, Moxley CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Ethan kicks low, whips, but Moxley reverses. Things speed up and Moxley CLOBBERS Ethan!
Moxley follows Ethan to a corner, grinds forearms into his face, then climbs up to BITE Ethan’s forehead! Mox did say he drinks blood now… Moxley runs, but into a BOOT! Ethan goes up to ENZIGURI, then runs Moxley over with a shoulder! Moxley tumbles out of the ring and Ethan soaks up the heat. Ethan goes out to fetch Moxley, bumps him off the timekeeper’s table, then throws down hands. The ref starts a ring count but Ethan mugs Moxley and breaks the table! Moxley staggers away, Ethan stalks behind him. Moxley kicks and CHOPS back! And CHOPS more! Moxley whips Ethan into railing! Fans fire up as they get even closer to the action.
Moxley drags Ethan up, puts him in the ring, and fans fire up more as Moxley steps in. But Ethan knees Moxley at the ropes, gets the legs caught in the rope, and dropkicks the knee! Fans boo but Ethan drags Moxley up and in through the ropes. Double underhooks, DRAPING BUTTERFLY BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ethan looms over Moxley, has him on ropes and throws down punches! The ref counts, Ethan lets off, but Ethan drags Moxley up. Moxley rams him into the corner and throws his shoulder in. Moxley whips corner to corner, but Ethan dodges and Moxley POSTS himself!
AEW goes picture in picture as Ethan grins and Moxley flops to the floor. Ethan goes out, hammerlocks the bad arm and POSTS it! Ethan SLAMS the bad arm against railing, then brings Moxley around to KNEE him low. Ethan TOSSES Moxley over the railing and now the front row is getting a real interactive experience. Ethan talks trash that HE is the face of AEW, not Moxley. Ethan drags Moxley back over the railing to ringside, and then puts him in the ring. Ethan stalks Moxley, drags him up and reels him in, but Moxley fights out of the crucifix as AEW returns to single picture! School boy, TWO!
Ethan swings, Moxley gets around, GERMAN SUPLEX! And another German Suplex! Moxley gets Ethan up a third time but Ethan elbows free. Ethan runs but Moxley sidesteps for a SNAP GERMAN! Ethan flounders up in a corner, Moxley runs in and forearm smashes! Moxley keeps moving, Ethan ducks and fires a forearm! Moxley forearms back, but Ethan hits back. Moxley ROCKS Ethan, eggs him on, but Ethan throws another forearm. Moxley SLAPS, Ethan SLAPS, it’s a SLAP fight! Moxley fires off boxing elbows but Ethan knees low again! Ethan runs, into a knee at the ropes! Moxley runs, into a BOOT!
Moxley ducks the roundhouse to LARIAT Ethan down! Fans fire up as Moxley rises again. Moxley drags Ethan up, underhooks the arms, PARA- NO! Ethan slips out, ROUNDHOUSE! ROLLING ELBOW! Suplex to a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Ethan gets a leg and turns Moxley over for a HALF CRAB! Moxley endures, crawls, and reaches out for the ROPEBREAK! Ethan lets go at the ref’s count, and he fires off haymakers! Ethan runs in, but Moxley dumps him out! Moxley builds speed despite the knee, and he DIVES! Direct hit and Ethan hits railing! Moxley puts Ethan in, goes to the corner, climbs up, but Ethan ROCKS him first!
Ethan climbs up, brings Moxley onto a shoulder, SUPER POWERSLAM! Ethan has to crawl to the cover, TWO!! Ghost pin, TWO! Moxley drives hammering elbows into Ethan’s head! Then knees! Then the BULLY CHOKE!! Ethan endures, Moxley cranks way back, Ethan is OUT! Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by submission
And there it is! Moxley is back, and Ethan can’t even believe it! But Ethan gets in Moxley’s face, so Moxley kicks him and hits PARADIGM SHIFT! Now Ethan’s out cold all over again! Will Moxley do much of the same to the next man put in front of him?
As Moxley makes his exit, Bryan Danielson is there! Bryan applauds Moxley, but is the American Dragon planning on being next up?
AEW hears from Jurassic Express.
Jungle Boy tells Billy Gunn that Billy’s been “a salty old bitch” since they first met. So the fact Billy is upset his sons haven’t just been handed a tag title match doesn’t surprise him. The Gunn Clubs crossed the line going after Christian Cage like that. Christian was right about apples not falling far from the tree. Billy’s little Ass Boys are entitled and sour, just like Billy. The title match should be the least of their concerns, because when Christian comes back, this won’t be about a match. They’ll be coming to stomp Gunn Club’s heads into the ground! Will Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus make Gunn Club extinct?
Nick Jackson w/ Matt Jackson VS Trent Beretta w/ Orange Cassidy!
The Roppongi Vice reunion had to be postponed because of gaddang COVID. But Freshly Squeezed has Trent’s back as he takes on one of the Young Bucks 1v1. Who will have the momentum going into the tag team rivalry’s revival?
The bell rings, the two circle, and they tie up. Trent powers Nick to ropes, the ref calls for the break, and Trent lets off to pull a page out of Kazuchika Okada’s book: a fake chop, to then pat the shoulders. Nick is annoyed, he kicks Trent low and whips him to ropes. Trent kicks the back drop away, but Nick blocks the punch to knuckle lock, CHOP, and “LUCHA~ LIBRE~!” arm-drag! But Trent gets up and CLOBBERS Nick! Trent storms in at Nick to stomp, CHOP, and stalk Nick to another corner for another CHOP. And then another CHOP! Nick wants to tag Matt but Cutler reminds him this is a singles match.
Nick avoids Trent’s chop, stomps him then reels Trent in. But Trent powers up to TOSS Nick away! Fans fire up and Cassidy double guns on Trent’s behalf. Trent storms over to the apron but Nick hotshots him! Nick slingshots, but Trent blocks the DDT to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, ONE!! rent’s neck might be a concern again, but he gets up to throw forearms on Nick. Trent whips, back drops Nick high and hard, and fans fire up. Trent brings Nick up to throw forearms, wrap on a headlock, but Nick powers out. Things speed up, Trent ducks and dodges but crossbodies into ropes as Nick ducks!
Nick smirks as Trent is on the apron. Nick drags Trent through the ropes for a HOTSHOT NECKBREAKER! Trent flops out of the ring, Nick goes out to the apron, PENALTY KICK to the back! Trent goes down, Nick strikes a lounging pose on the apron. Fans rally up as AEW goes picture in picture.
Cutler sprays Nick down so he stays cool, and Nick drags Trent up. Nick puts Trent in the ring, climbs up a corner, and leaps to hit an ax handle to Trent’s back! Nick drags Trent up again, CLUBS him on the neck, then brings him around to run and HOTSHOT BULLDOG! Nick does his Macho Man before he goes into the ring. Nick brings Trent up, heads for the ropes again, but Trent powers out to CLOBBER Nick! Nick bails out, Trent grits his teeth and builds speed, but Nick gets in to SUPERKICK! Trent falls out of the ring, Nick runs and FLIES! Not the best takeoff but Nick still wipes Trent out! Nick gets back in the ring, but Cassidy makes sure Matt doesn’t try something.
Matt eggs Cassidy on, and Cassidy pulls back his fist, but then he avoids Nick’s kick from the apron! Trent trips Nick up and Nick hits apron on the way down! Trent puts Nick back in, hops up the corner, but Nick trips Trent up! Trent hits buckles on the way down! Nick wants Trent to get up but AEW goes to break.
AEW returns and Nick is up top. Trent is in the drop zone, Nick SWANTONS but onto Trent’s knees! Trent saves himself and fans rally up! Trent throws forearms but Nick hits back. They double forearm but neither falls! They double forearm again, they still stay up, and Trent LARIATS Nick down! Trent fires up, waistlocks and deadlifts to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Trent aims from a corner, runs and BUSAIKU KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nick goes to ropes, Trent fires forearms on him. Trent rains them down on Nick but the ref backs him off. Nick gets up, BOOTS Trent back, then handsprings to the apron. Trent runs in, but slides as Nick backflips away!
Trent dodges Nick to SPEAR him down! Fans fire up with Trent as he gets up and puts Nick in the ring. Trent runs in at the corner but into a BOOT! Nick swings but into a SAIDO! Trent gets Nick for a TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, Trent brings Nick up and CHOPS! And CHOPS! Trent runs, but Nick uses the ref as a shield! ROUNDHOUSE! GERMAN SUPLEX! But Trent gets right up and gets Nick for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down, a standing count begins and fans rally up. Nick crawls to the apron, shoulders into Trent, then slingshots, but Trent catches him! Trent shoves Nick away, Nick backflips and lands on his feet to ROCK Trent!
Nick slingshots, DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!! Trent survives and shocks Nick! Nick rains down fists on Trent, “This is Awesome!” but far from over! Nick brings Trent up but Trent throws a forearm! Nick throws another forearm, but Trent forearms back! Nick ROCKS Trent, but Trent shakes it off and ROCKS Nick! Nick goes to a corner, spins, ROUNDHOUSE! Trent crawls to a corner, Nick runs in to SHINING WIZARD, ROUNDHOUSE, and forearm to a BULLDOG! Nick wants Trent to stand up, but Trent blocks the superkick to whip! Nick flips through, but into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Nick SUPERKICKS, but Trent LARIATS!
Fans are thunderous as Trent gets Nick back up, PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?! Nick survives and Trent can’t believe it! Trent crawls after Nick and they end up on the ramp. Trent reels Nick in, but Nick back drops Trent away! Nick climbs a corner, takes aim, SWANTON on the ramp! Trent rolls into the ring, Nick goes back up top. Nick aims again, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO?!? Nick can’t believe it and Matt is furious! Nick aims from the corner, Trent slowly rises, SUPERKICK! Nick says he wants another! SUPER- NO! Trent ducks, Alabama lift and tuck, STRONG ZERO! Cover, Trent wins!!
Winner: Trent Beretta, by pinfall
A massive victory for #JustTrent! But will it be even bigger when Rocky Romero returns to reignite Roppongi Vice VS Young Bucks?
AEW takes a closer look at Martinez VS Rosa.
“No one knows the reason why I’m here. No one needs to know. All they need to know is that my first priority is taking out Thunder Rosa.” But Rosa reminds Mercedes that she took the TBS Championship away from her. Mercedes asks how it feels to see her dreams of being a champion slip away thanks to the OG Badass? Just cuz Mercedes thinks she’s the OG, doesn’t mean she is an OG. La Mera Mera is ready for anyone, but when and where are we going to see these two tear into each other?
Hook VS Serpentico!
The Handsome Devil is still undefeated, and he hasn’t even broken a sweat yet. Will he continue the streak? Or will SNAKEMAN strike him down?
Serpentico throws his streamers, and Hook CLOBBERS him! The bell rings and Serpentico tries to find his way out of the streamers but Hook just throws knee after knee, then he throws Serpentico! And then a drop sayanagi! STO! Fans sing, “Hook is gonna kill~ you~!” Hook gets Serpentico up, double wristlock takedown but Serpentico scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Hook lets off, then runs in, but into a boot! Serpentico runs, into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Hook paces, Serpentico flounders up, into the REDRUM! Serpentico taps, Hook wins!
Winner: Hook, by submission
Hook makes SNAKEMAN pay, but QT Marshall storms out and says this is what he’s been talking about! Hitting before the bell, holding on after! QT says Hook is a delinquent! Hook goes up the ramp but QT won’t let him through. Hook’s tough now, huh? QT says he’s ready for him now! But then Hook TOSSES QT, and walks on him! Will QT learn to just let Hook be Hook?
Mark Henry talks with the main eventers.
Jade Cargill is 24-0 and the TBS Champion. The first-ever, too. How does she feel about her competition tonight? “Anna Banana? Let’s just make this about me. I am undefeated, baby. And I am the first TBS champ. Anna should be elated that she has a spot on the main event.” Anna warns Jade one more time. She has a dark side. That street fight changed Anna, and she chokes people out. Tonight, TBS stands for That Bitch SLAYER. Oh, well Anna better bring the barbed wire! Anna says she doesn’t need it. Mark Henry says there’s been enough talk. It’s time for the main event! Will Number 99 survive the storm that’s coming for her?
AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Mark Sterling VS Anna Jay w/ John Silver!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see if Jade stays the undefeated inaugural TBS Champion!
Fans rally and duel as Jade flexes while Anna shows the Dark Order claw. They tie up, go around, Jade headlocks. Jade holds on as Anna tries to power out, but Anna gets free on the second try, only for Jade to run her over! Jade dusts herself off, drags Anna up, but Anna JAWBREAKERS! Anna runs, jumps, but into Jade’s arms! FALL AWAY SLAM! Jade kips up and fans fire up as she smirks. “I like money, but I’m That BI-” ROLL UP! TWO, and Jade CLOBBERS Anna! Anna bails out again, Mark Sterling talks smack but John Silver gets in his way. Jade goes out and moves Mark aside to get in Johnny Hungy’s face. They flex their guns at each other, they’re both jacked!
But then Anna roars as she runs in to CLOBBER Jade! “That Bitch SLAYER!” Anna gets back in the ring to refresh the count, and AEW goes picture in picture.
Anna SMACKS Jade off the apron, then does it again! Anna high fives Silver, but Jade hits back with elbows. Jade gets in the ring, Anna follows, and Anna runs in at the corner to forearm smash! Anna climbs up to rain down fists, but only gets 7 before Jade throws her away! Anna runs back in, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Jade drops an elbow, covers, TWO! Jade shows off by doing push-ups, but Anna throws body shots. Jade CLUBS Anna down, stalks her to a corner, then brings her up for forearms. Jade stomps Anna back down, digs her boot in, and lets off as the ref counts 4. Jade drags Anna back up to RAM a shoulder in!
Jade RAMS Anna again, lets off as the ref reprimands, but Jade fires off more forearms. Jade bumps Anna off buckles, CLUBS her, and CLUBS her again. Jade keeps on Anna, taunts her, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Anna runs, into an OVERHEAD suplex! Jade kips up, covers, TWO! Jade is annoyed but she drags Anna up to bump her off buckles again. Jade bumps Anna off more buckles, runs corner to corner as she “dribbles,” to DUNK on Anna! AEW returns to single picture as Jade whips Anna corner to corner. Anna dodges the corner attack to HEEL KICK! SLEEPER on the ropes! The ref counts, Jade HOTSHOTS Anna!
Both women are down, the ref starts a standing count, and fans rally up. Jade sputters as she gets up, and she stands Anna up, only for Anna to ROCK her with a forearm! Anna runs into the corner to back elbow, forearm, roll and DANGEROUS JAY KICK! Anna whips, Jade reverses but Anna wrenches to DANGEROUS JAY KICK again! And then a mule kick, SUPERKICK, and a COMPLETE SHOT! Anna roars and fans fire up with her! Anna drags Jade up, but Mark is on the apron to distract! Anna chases him off, Silver gets Mark by his tie! BRAINBUSTER to the floor! Anna gets around Jade, backslide! TWO!!
Jade BOOTS Anna down! Jade drags Anna back up, hooks the arms, JAD- VICTORY ROLL! To the QUEENSLAYER!!! Jade flails, fights up, and RAMS Anna into buckles! Jade is free, but Anna knocks her down! Anna hops up the corner, drags Jade up, HANGING SLEEPER! The ref counts, but Jade pries free! Jade drags Anna out onto her shoulder, but Anna slips off! Anna shoves Jade into a corner, DANGEROUS- NO! Jade catches Anna and powers her up for a POWERBOMB! And then Jade hooks the arms, JADED!! Cover, Jade wins!
Winner: Jade Cargill, by pinfall (still AEW TBS Champion)
Anna gave it her all, but it just wasn’t enough! Jade is 25-0, is still the champion, and is still making the big bucks! Will she continue to dominate until she is THE champion in AEW?
A great episode of Rampage, lots of great focus on the matches but there were still good promos, too. Jungle Boy calls out Gunn Club on behalf of Jurassic Express, I’m thinking we’re getting a Six Man Tag before the tag title match. Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa have another good promo to build towards their match, but hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. They can’t keep delaying this just because AEW keeps forgetting to make more time for women’s matches on Dynamite. Moxley VS Ethan was really good stuff, a great opener for sure, and a great return for Moxley. Bryan Danielson being there to applaud Mox was a nice way to branch this to something between them, that is going to be a killer match.
Nick VS Trent was also a killer match. Rocky Romero will definitely be back next week, and having Roppongi Vice VS Young Bucks on the post Beach Break Rampage will be really big. Hook had another great night, especially with him getting to shut QT up. Hook should definitely be considered for a TNT Championship story at some point. And we got a great TBS Championship match. Anna’s promo before was a little shaky but she came really close. But as I figured, Jade wins, and she’s going to build quite the reign before she ever loses.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/21/22)
Acknowledge the history made!
The Tribal Chief is the new Universal Championship standard!
SmackDown, acknowledge that Roman Reigns is the new longest reigning WWE Universal Champion as the Bloodline celebrates!
- Kofi Kingston VS “Mad Cap” Moss w/ “Happy” Corbin; Kofi wins.
- Aliyah VS Natalya; Aliyah wins, by disqualification.
- Los Lotharios VS The Viking Raiders; The Viking Raiders win.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Contender’s Match: Charlotte Flair VS Naomi; Charlotte wins and denies Naomi a title match.
- Sheamus w/ Ridge Holland VS Ricochet; Sheamus wins.
- Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens VS The Usos; Rollins & Kevin win, by disqualification, and The Usos are banned from ringside during the Royal Rumble’s Universal Championship match.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Usos are in the ring to start off SmackDown!
Jey tells Nashville, “The Bloodline is now in your city!” Jimmy says they’re here for one reason and one reason only! They’re celebrating the longest reigning Universal Champion EVER! At 508 days… That’s 508 consecutive days! There are a few big names who have been Universal Champion, but none held the belt as long as this. Not Kevin Owens, not Seth Freakin’ Rollins, not Brock Lesnar! But there is one. He is the Head of the Table, he is the Tribal Chief, he is the longest reigning Universal Champion in WWE history! Their cousin, ROMAN! REEEIGNS! And here comes Roman! He holds up the belt for one round of pyro on stage, then the second round in the ring.
Jimmy gets Roman a mic, and Roman says, “Nashville! Acknowledge me.” Jimmy says, “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s witness the highlights of the most dominant, decorated WWE champion, Roman Reigns.” The video starts by noting August 30th, 2020, Roman Reigns returned to action and took the title from Braun Strowman. From there, he defeated Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and even John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Big E. “ACKNOWLEDGE ME!” Back to present, Roman has a big smile on his face while the Usos applaud. That was a good video!
But then SETH ROLLINS appears! “Oooooh, what kind of party would it be without Seth Freakin’ Rollins~?” Hell of a video, and congratulations to the longest reigning Universal Champion of all time. They should celebrate, because that reign will end very, very shortly. But also, celebrate the fact that Roman made an honest man outta Rollins. Last week, Rollins came out, told Roman that he’s not responsible for any of his own success, and Rollins meant that in a meta way. Roman is the chosen one, catered to, but oh, Roman took it so literally. In fact, Roman sent his cousins to Raw to do the dirty work for him. If Roman had a message to send, he could just text.
But since we’re here celebrating, what they should be celebrating is the longest reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions in history, The Usos! They in truth, and Roman knows it, too, are the cornerstones of the Bloodline. They’re the ones who make everything Roman do possible. They hold Roman up now, just like Rollins and Mox did in the Shield! So let’s have a celebration for the Usos! “UCE! SO! UCE! SO!” Rollins laughs and says it is fun to say that. Roman tells “little brother” Rollins that he makes all the same excuses. Did Cena write that stuff for Rollins? Roman assures Rollins that their match at the Rumble will be 1v1. Rollins has Roman’s word.
Oh, is he gonna add a “Believe that” next? Once upon a time, Roman’s word was as good as gold, but Rollins doesn’t believe him. So Roman should put his money where his mouth is. Rollins can get a partner, beat the Usos, and then bar them from ringside at the Rumble! Rollins even adds a You Can’t See Me. Roman mulls it over, but the Usos say, “Hell yeah! Challenge accepted, Uce!” Then we have a main event! Rollins loves it! Jey says Rollins is trippin’. Ain’t nobody crazy enough to team with Rollins in the first place, so they’re good. Yes, not too many people like Rollins. But uh… Here’s KEVIN OWENS! The Prizefighter and Rollins hug, Kevin shouts HE likes Rollins!
Roman has them cut the “stupid music.” Nothing is final until the Tribal Chief says so! Rollins is a betting man, huh? Then let’s raise the stakes. When Rollins & Kevin lose tonight, that means Rollins loses his match at the Rumble. And Roman can go on vacation until WrestleMania! Deal? Rollins thinks, and says, “You’re on!” What a huge match on the way to the Royal Rumble! Will the Usos clear Roman’s schedule for him? Or will Roman have no choice but to do things all by himself?
Kofi Kingston VS “Mad Cap” Moss w/ “Happy” Corbin!
The Right Hand of the King will not let it stand that the literal fool of SmackDown got the last laugh last week. Before the match, Corbin says they’ve been on a roll! First, they took out Drew McIntyre. Then Moss steamrolled Sir Kofi! As incredible as Kofi is, without King Woods, the Hand of the King is just a disembodied hand. If Kofi started a Garth Brooks cover band, what would he sing? Friends in NO places! But Kofi makes his entrance, and surprise! Big E is here! Even more Raw stars are showing up on SmackDown! Will the Powerhouse of Positivity keep Corbin from helping his hyena sidekick?
The bell rings, Kofi and Moss circle. Kofi dodges Moss to waistlock, headlock, but Moss powers out. Moss runs Kofi over with a shoulder and then gives two thumbs up. Big E coaches Kofi but Moss CLUBS Kofi to the corner. Moss whips Kofi corner to corner, but Kofi goes up to missile dropkick! And LEAPING LARIAT! Fans fire up as Kofi runs, for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Big E says to make this quick work, and Kofi claps it up. Moss slowly gets up but Corbin distracts. Moss CLOBBERS Kofi from behind! Moss throws haymakers, CLUBS Kofi down, then throws Kofi out of the ring. Moss goes out and Corbin suggests to use the steps.
Moss gets Kofi up, whips him over, but Kofi leaps over the steps to jump back and CLOBBER Moss! And then Big E sends Corbin into the steps! The New Day is all fired up as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Moss has a chinlock. Kofi fights up and hits a JAWBREAKER! Kofi runs, Moss gets him up for a SPINEBUSTER! Corbin is fired up and Moss taunts Kofi. Moss also taunts Big E, then he stomps away on Kofi in a corner! The ref counts, Moss lets off and runs in, but is sent into buckles! Moss staggers up, Kofi rallies with DOUBLE CHOPS! And a dropkick! Kofi runs, but Moss ducks the lariat to kick low. Moss whips Kofi to a corner, Kofi goes up and up and RANAS Moss to another corner! Then STOMPS Moss down! Cover, TWO! Moss survives but Kofi drags him up to whip. Moss reveres, Kofi leaps, but into a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!
Moss snarls, Corbin tells him to keep on Kofi. Moss says this is it, and he reels Kofi in. Kofi slips out of the gut wrench, dodges to TROUBLE IN PARADISE outta nowhere!! Cover, Kofi wins!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by pinfall
Corbin gets in the ring, but Big E gets in, too. Big E dares Corbin to do something, but Corbin bails back out. Moss flounders up, Big E says this is for Corbin. Scoop and BIG ENDING! The New Day owns Corbin’s crony, will they own the Royal Rumble?
Aliyah VS Natalya!
Last time these two faced off, it lasted only 3.17 seconds because the Queen of Harts overestimated herself. Will Natty take Aliyah more seriously and redeem herself? Or will Aliyah still win, even if it takes longer than the blink of an eye?
SmackDown returns and Natty makes her entrance. Nashville’s own Summer Rae is in the crowd and is given a shoutout by the ring announcer. The bell rings, Natty kicks Aliyah then pulls her hair. Aliyah rolls Natty up, ONE! Natty bumps Aliyah off buckles, and stomps her. Natty drags Aliyah out to a snap suplex! Cover, ONE! Natty says Aliyah is gonna learn for disrespecting her, but Aliyah gets a cradle! TWO, and Natty LARIATS Aliyah down! Cover, ONE! Natty drags Aliyah up, whips, but Aliyah reverses. Aliyah runs in but Natty puts her on the apron. Aliyah throws a forearm, and hits a handspring huricanrana! But Natty’s right up, for a DISCUS! Cover, TWO!
Natty is frustrated with Aliyah and drags her up to reel her in. Natty gets a Canadian rack and uses gravity to stretch Aliyah out. Aliyah fights up, sunset flips, TWO! Natty whips Aliyah hard into ropes, then stomps her down! The ref counts, Natty lets off at 4, and she stomps Aliyah in the corner. The ref counts, Natty doesn’t let off, that’s a disqualification!
Winner: Aliyah, by disqualification
Aliyah wins again, but Natty only gets angrier! Natty fires off hands on Aliyah, and even dribbles Aliyah off the mat! But here comes XIA LI! The Protector returns to defend Aliyah from the bully, Natalya! Xia gets in the ring, stares Natty down, and then blocks Natty’s punch! Xia sobats Natty out of the ring, then dares her to try again. Natty leaves it at this, but will Xia make sure Natty learns not to cross the line?
Los Lotharios VS The Viking Raiders!
Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo may not have won the #1 contenders Fatal 4 Way, but they can definitely be a speed bump in the road. Will Erik & Ivar stumble against these two studs? Or will they run right through the heartthrobs on their way to the Usos?
SmackDown returns as the Viking Raiders make their entrance. Nashville is ready for the raid, and the teams sort out. Humberto starts against Ivar and they circle. Humberto knees low, CLUBS Ivar, then clamps onto an arm. Ivar powers Humberto back, tags in Erik, and whip. Humberto dodges Ivar but Erik scoops him for a SLAM! Then Erik scoops and SLAMS Ivar onto Humberto! Erik roars, drags Humberto up to whip to ropes, then scoops. Humberto slips out, Garza tags in, and Humberto feeds Erik to Garza’s GAMANGIRI! Garza fires off hands, knees Erik at the ropes, and off come the pants!
Garza throws the pants at Erik, has him against ropes, and tags Carrillo. Garza holds Erik out, they LEAP FROG ATTACK Erik down! Then double basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Humberto rains down fists, then STANDING MOONSAULTS but flops! Erik KNEES Humberto down, hot tags to Garza and Ivar! The War Beard rallies on Garza, then hits a BASEMENT SPLASH! Humberto runs in, into a HEEL KICK! Ivar runs at Garza, but Garza dodges. He turns seated senton into POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO! Tag to Humberto, but Erik sneaks a tag in! Los Lotharios double whip Ivar, but he cartwheels through the double clothesline!
The Viking Raiders scoop a Lothario each, stack them on Erik, POWERBOMB POWERSLAM COMBO! Then they get Humberto up, THOR’S HAMMER!! Cover, The Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
Raid successful! But the ultimate challenge will be going after the gold! Will Erik & Ivar get the titles off the longest reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions?
SmackDown Women’s Championship Contender’s Match: Charlotte Flair VS Naomi!
Adam Pearce stepped in to get past Sonya Deville’s bias, and now Naomi gets another chance! Will Nashville #FeelTheGlow now that things are fair and square against Flair?
SmackDown returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. But then Sonya appears outta nowhere and gets in the ring to talk with the ref. She wants to be the special guest referee?! Sonya throws off the jacket and the ref hands over his shirt. Naomi says Sonya can’t do this, but Sonya says she can. The bell rings, Naomi glares at Sonya, and then Charlotte ROCKS Naomi with a forearm! Fans boo but Charlotte stomps away! Sonya doesn’t count as a ref should, and Charlotte dribbles Naomi off the mat! Charlotte mocks the fans, drags Naomi into a headscissor necklock, and she RAMS Naomi into the mat again and again.
Charlotte squeezes tight, Sonya asks if Charlotte is okay, and she says yes. Charlotte TOSSES Naomi, and says this is too easy. She brings Naomi up to CHOP her in the corner. And CHOP! But Naomi kicks, Charlotte blocks, Naomi ENZIGURIS! And then RANA- NO! Charlotte blocks to a BOSTON CRAB! Naomi endures, crawls, Sonya stands in her way of the ropes! But Naomi fights through to kick Charlotte into Sonya! REAR VIEW!! Cover, but Sonya ignores it! Naomi would’ve won twice over by now! Naomi shouts at Sonya but then Charlotte CHOP BLOCKS the leg! FIGURE FOUR! Sonya just rings the bell?!?
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by referee stoppage
And then Charlotte bridges to a FIGURE EIGHT! Charlotte makes Naomi suffer a little longer, and then Sonya mocks Naomi, “How does it feel to be a big loser?” What does Naomi have to do to get Sonya to stop being a tyrant?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens & Seth Rollins.
Kevin and Seth are in a good mood, even with tonight’s high stakes tag match. Why is Rollins willing to bet his Universal Championship opportunity? Kevin asks if he can take this one. Yeah, have at it. Kevin tells Kayla that if it wasn’t for the Usos, Kevin would be the longest reigning Universal Champion of all time, but they kept that from happening. So the thought of them doing that to his friend, Seth Rollins, it tears Kevin up inside. Rollins says Kevin has become an honest man! And Rollins says that the stakes may be huge, but the risk is worth the reward. Can Rollins beat Roman with the Usos by his side? Maybe.
But 1v1, well, “Death, taxes and Seth Freakin’ Rollins beats Roman Reigns every single time!” HAHAHA! Kevin even has a shirt that says that. The friends head out, but will it be a certainty that they make Roman VS Rollins truly 1v1?
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
The Great Liberator continues to try and out Jackass the Jackass original, Johnny Knoxville, and we’ll see how he plans to do that, after the break.
SmackDown returns and it’s time for an all-new #InZayn! Sami has a collection of items on a table and he welcomes us to “self defense.” Many may not know this about Knoxville, but before he got famous doing Jackass, he got noticed for testing self-defense weapons on himself. So Sami is going to do the same here tonight! He has some of the most dangerous self-defense weapons on the market, and some not on the market, and will use them on himself! Anything Knoxville can do, Sami can do better! Starting with a cattle prod! The max setting could put down a rhino! So just going with level one, that’s quite a lot of voltage already.
Sami aims at himself, and here goes. One, two, three. ZAP! Sami hobbles around and tries to laugh off the pain. Not great, that wasn’t fun. Sami says it’s no big deal, really. Let’s go to level two! Knoxville was incapacitated for about 15 minutes, but let’s see how a real man handles it. Sami says he’ll even up the ante by putting it to his chest! Everyone, shut up! This is dangerous. One, two, three. ZAP! Sami falls right over into the ropes! Why does it hurt so much!? Sami gets up, but here comes Knoxville! So, Sami, you are so concerned about Knoxville making a mockery of his profession, yet Sami’s doing the same to Knoxville’s? Something seems off here…
Fans rally behind Knoxville and Sami says this is HIS show! Nothing is off! Knoxville snatches the cattle prod, and says this is a legit model. But it’s literally off. Sami never turned it on! Here, Knoxville will fix that. ZAP! And Sami falls right down! Yeah, that’s not good. Knoxville “apologizes” and wants to help Sami up. Sami asks why Knoxville did that, but Knoxville says, “See you at the Rumble.” And then Knoxville TOSSES Sami up and out! Will Sami stop trying to go InZayn and worry more about just wrestling the Rumble?
Adam Pearce talks with Eric Bischoff backstage.
Eric says a pessimist complains about the wind, while an optimist expects the winds to change. A true leader adjusts the sails. Pearce likes that. But in walks Sonya. Perfect timing. Pearce properly introduces them, and hopes Sonya knows of Eric’s history as a decision maker here in the WWE. Of course, and it’s a pleasure to meet him. She didn’t know he was coming, though. Well, Sonya, what you did out there in the ring was completely over the line. Pearce doesn’t know what this issue with Naomi is, but it needs to stop. It is affecting Sonya’s ability to lead. Pearce says he’ll bring it to upper management that Sonya and Naomi should have a match, next week.
Sonya does her best not to explode, and says great. Let her know what they say. Sonya walks back out, and Eric says that was great leadership. Pearce thanks Eric for that, but will Naomi be the one who’s really thankful once she gets her hands on Sonya?
Sheamus w/ Ridge Holland VS Ricochet!
The Fella has his protégé back by his side! Will the damage to the nose be avenged? Or will the One and Only just give Sheamus some of the same?
SmackDown returns and Ricochet makes his entrance. The bell rings, Sheamus kicks low and fires off on Ricochet! Sheamus bumps Ricochet off buckles, fires more forearms, and Ridge says to unleash on Ricochet for the nose! Sheamus whips, Ricochet goes up and over then runs to KICK and CHOP and forearm! Ricochet runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! Sheamus snarls, drags Ricochet and drives elbows into his shoulders. Sheamus knees Ricochet in the back then wraps on a chinlock. Sheamus thrashes Ricochet, Ricochet fights with fists and body shots to hit a JAWBREAKER!
Ricochet runs, Sheamus scoops but Ricochet slips free to tiger wall kick! And dropkick! Sheamus staggers, Ricochet runs, but into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Ridge loves it and Sheamus soaks up the heat. Ricochet goes to the apron, Sheamus drags him up to ROCK him with a forearm. Sheamus gives Ricochet Beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus stops at 9 to go out to the apron and CLOBBER Ricochet back into the ring! Sheamus drags Ricochet up in a motorcycle stretch but Ricochet kangaroo kicks free! Ricochet dodges the boot and Sheamus ends up on the apron! Ricochet triangle jump dropkicks Sheamus down!
Ricochet builds speed, and DIVES into a knee! Sheamus takes Ricochet outta the air, then puts him in the ring. Sheamus runs in and BROGUES! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
Ridge celebrates with The Celtic Warrior as he rolls towards the Rumble! Will Sheamus win the Rumble once again to head back to WrestleMania’s main event?
Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs rock out backstage.
Wait, is that Double J? Jeff Jarrett is here! Double J, E, double F, J, A, double R, E, double T! HAHA~! That was good, guys. But Jeff has to say, Boogs plays a mighty fine guitar. What’s his name? Double J wants to know his name? He’s Rick… BOOGS! Well, can he spell it? R I C K- Well, anyway, will we get a duet of Boogs and Jarrett some day?
Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens VS The Usos!
The Visionary and Prizefighter want to keep Jimmy & Jey from helping out the Tribal Chief at the Royal Rumble, but Roman wants a vacation. Will the Bloodline ironically prove Rollins right by doing their cousin’s dirty work? Or will Seth & Kevin be the ones that level the playing field against the Head of the Table?
Roman is watching from his private room as Rollins and Kevin go to the ring. This high stakes main event tag match determines Rollins’ fate, after the break.
SmackDown returns and Rollins starts against Jimmy. Rollins wants Jimmy to acknowledge the fans singing Rollins’ theme. Then Rollins rolls Jimmy up, TWO! Backslide, ONE! Rollins Oklahoma Rolls, ONE! Jimmy bails out and Rollins is feeling good. Rollins gives Jimmy time to come back, Jey tags in. Fans want tables already but Jey kicks Rollins low. Jey headlocks to the takeover but Rollins rolls it to a cover, ONE! Another, ONE! A third, TWO! Jey mule kicks hard, then he RAMS Rollins into the corner! Tag to Jimmy, the Usos mug Rollins, and Roman is pleased. Tag back to Jey, they stomp away on Rollins, and then tag back to Jimmy.
The stomping continues, Jimmy fires up but fans are torn. Jimmy drags Rollins up but Rollins powers him to the other corner! Rollins fires off, tags Kevin, and they stomp away on Jimmy in return! Tag back to Rollins, he stomps Jimmy more, then lets off as the ref counts. Kevin gets up to fire up the fans, and Rollins wrenches to kick Jimmy low. Rollins scoops and SLAMS Jimmy, then goes to a corner. Rollins climbs, but Jey distracts the ref. Jimmy trips Rollins up! Kevin protests but Jimmy bumps Rollins off buckles. Tag to Jey, Jimmy ROCKS Rollins with an uppercut, then holds Rollins still for Jey’s forearm smash!
Jey CLUBS Rollins down, stomps Rollins, and tags Jimmy. The Usos mug Rollins, Jimmy bumps Rollins off buckles, then stomps him down. Fans are torn as Jimmy holds up the finger. “UCE! SO!” Jimmy runs, but Rollins LARIATS him down! Fans fire up as both men are down, hot tag to Kevin! Kevin dodges Jimmy and fires off forearms and CHOPS! Kevin whips, CLOBBERS Jimmy with an elbow and adds a SENTON! Kevin DECKS Jey, shouts “SUCK IT!” and runs corner to corner and CANNONBALL into Jimmy! Then Kevin goes up top, only for Jey to rush over. Kevin kicks Jey away, SWANTONS onto Jimmy’s knees!
SUPERKICK! Tag to Jey, and he finds Kevin on the outside to SUPERKICK again! The Usos stand tall as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and both Kevin and Jimmy are down. They crawl for their corners, hot tag to Jey and he goes past Kevin to DECK Rollins! Jey drags Kevin away, the ref keeps Rollins from getting in, and Jey stomps away on Kevin! Roman nods as he watches, but Kevin CHOPS back. Kevin DECKS Jimmy, CHOPS Jey, but Jey mule kicks! Kevin drops into the corner, Jimmy holds him down and Jey stomps. Tag, and Jimmy stomps Kevin down now. Jimmy rains down fists, the ref counts, Jimmy lets off at 4. Fans rally, Jimmy drags Kevin up but Kevin blocks the kick, and ducks the Dragon Whip to ENZIGURI!
Both men are down again, Kevin crawls, hot tags to Jey and Rollins! Rollins rallies on Jey, whips but Jey reverses, only to get a SLINGBLADE! And then a fireman’s carry, to a GUT BUSTER! Rollins clotheslines Jey out of the ring! Jimmy runs in but Rollins sends him out, too! Rollins builds speed and DIVES! He takes out both Usos at once! Nashville fires up as Rollins puts Jey back in. Rollins aims from the apron, springboards in, FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Jey survives but Rollins drags Jey back up to suplex. Jey slips out, waistlocks, but Rollins switches. Jey switches back, back suplexes to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Jey is frustrated, but he gets up and aims from a corner. SUPER- NO! Rollins blocks to kick and reel Jey in! Jey fights the bomb, Jimmy tags in! Rollins runs into an ALLEY-UCE! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and the Usos can’t believe it! Fans rally up, Jimmy decks Kevin off the apron to take away a tag! Jimmy goes up top, Rollins stands but he gets under Jimmy! Kevin tags in, ROLLING ELBOW from Rollins! Jey gets in, but gets a PELE! Kevin POP-UP POWERBOMBS Jimmy! Cover, TWO!! But Kevin hurries to put Jimmy in a drop zone! Kevin goes back up top, fans fire up, but Jimmy ROCKS him with an uppercut!
Jimmy GAMANGIRIS Kevin, then climbs up after him. Kevin holds ropes, and turns things around, SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER! Kevin crawls to the cover, Jey breaks it! Fans are thunderous as Rollins tags back in! Forearm smash for Jey, then a flurry of fists and feet for Jimmy! Jey SUPERKICKS Rollins! Kevin kicks but no stunner! Kevin blocks Jey’s superkick to STUNNER anyway! Jimmy SUPERKICKS Kevin! Rollins SUPERKICKS Jimmy! ROLLING ELBOW, then the DREAM SMASHER! Fans are thunderous and singing Rollins’ theme as he aims at Jimmy, CURB STOMP!! But Roman runs in to SUPERMAN PUNCH!!
Winners: Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens, by disqualification (The Usos are banned from ringside)
Rollins was going to win, so Roman beat him to it! The Usos are still out of the equation, and the Architect is under the skin of the Tribal Chief! Will Rollins take advantage of Roman’s frustration and take away the Universal Championship?
A pretty good episode of SmackDown, though sadly a lot of it shares the same formula as Raw. The matches weren’t as long as they could’ve or should’ve been, and the promos took priority. I will say, stars from Raw showing up was quite a surprise. Perhaps a ratings grab play, maybe even an indicator that the rosters are combining into one again. But in Xavier Woods’ absence, it’s great that Big E is here to support Kofi. Kofi gets redemption in the rematch with Moss, and turns out we’re getting a tag match, New Day VS Corbin & Moss. That will be a really good match for the go-home as everyone’s going into the Rumble.
Jarrett showing up was random but they could be planting seeds for him and Boogs having something for WrestleMania. Bischoff showing up was cool, and I like that Pearce is putting Sonya in her place. Sonya again screws over Naomi but now she and Naomi are going to have a match. I just hope it lasts longer than five minutes, given how WWE is doing things these days. Aliyah gets another win because Natty loses her cool, but I appreciate that WWE remembered they were building to something with Natty and Xia. Viking Raiders get a quick win over Los Lotharios to stay warm for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match, but it doesn’t do much to make me think they’re winning the titles.
Sheamus getting payback on Ricochet for Ridge was rather anticlimactic. It was too short of a match for what we know those two can do. And can’t Ridge get payback for himself? Why is it Boogs gets the push while partnered with Nakamura but Ridge is just around while he’s partnered with Sheamus? They should basically be parallels. And when is Sami getting his title shot? I get Sami wasn’t going to really zap himself with the cattle prod, but they used such a corny zap sound. Even when Knoxville appeared to “really” zap Sami, it was a bad sound effect. Even though Sami’s the Heel, I hope he gets to eliminate Knoxville to get that heat, and then Nakamura eliminates Sami as instant karma.
But as has been the case for SmackDown these last 508 days, the best stuff was with the Bloodline. That really was a well made video to highlight Roman’s reign, and the interplay between Roman and the Usos was great stuff. Rollins and Kevin were great as always, too, and their tag match was a great match. I should’ve figured Roman would throw the match out of frustration. The Usos won’t be part of the main event, so unless someone from Raw who doesn’t like Rollins costs him, this could be the best opportunity to take that title of Roman before 600+ days.
My Score: 8.1/10
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