Raw stands at the gates of Hell in a Cell!
Before stepping inside the sadistic structure of steel, Drew McIntyre steps up to the Phenomenal Raw Tag Team Champion, AJ Styles! Will the Scottish Warrior stumble and fall this close to facing the All Mighty Bobby Lashley?
- Nikki Cross VS Charlotte Flair; Nikki wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS John Morrison w/ The Miz; Morrison wins.
- Career on the Line: Jeff Hardy VS Cedric Alexander; Hardy wins and stays a WWE superstar.
- Eva Marie VS Naomi; changed to…
- Piper Niven w/ Eva Marie VS Naomi; Niven wins.
- The New Day VS RKBRO; RKBRO wins.
- Asuka VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins.
- Alexa Bliss VS Nia Jax; Bliss wins, by disqualification.
- Elias VS Jaxson Ryker; Ryker wins.
- Drew McIntyre VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; McIntyre wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders VS AJ Styles, Omos & Bobby Lashley w/ MVP; McIntyre & The Viking Raiders win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Alexa Bliss welcomes us to the Playground.
She is happy we’re here to play, but she admits she got complaints about what Lily did. Even she was surprised how far Lily went. Alexa says she had good intentions, but things got out of hand. Shayna Baszler may have stomped on Lily but Lily tried to bring the house down. So in light of her naughtiness, and WWE going back on the road soon, Lily is in time out. But that doesn’t mean Shayna didn’t deserve any of this. Oh hey, Nia, what a nice surprise! Alexa’s worried, how is Shayna? Cut the crap! Shayna will see you at Hell in a Cell! Yay! Alexa can’t wait! Nia asks what happened to Alexa. They were friends. Nia knew Alexa. The real one.
Nia tells Alexa to butt out of her career and stop messing with her friends. Oh? Well Alexa doesn’t appreciate Nia just barging in here with such vicious and disgusting allegations. Nia was never Alexa’s friend. Well maybe Nia needs to smack some sense into Alexa. They’re going to get in the ring, tonight! Alexa frowns, and tells Nia, “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I really didn’t.” Can Nia forgive her? Alexa cries, and Nia feels bad, until Alexa starts laughing. JK~! “I accept.” Will Twisted Lil’ Bliss put Nia through some of the Hell she and Lily put Shayna through? Or will Nia squash Alexa and give the scraps to Shayna this Sunday?
Nikki Cross VS Charlotte Flair!
The Looney Lass may be lucky to have gotten wins over the Raw Women’s Champion and the Queen week after week, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Will Nikki prove she’s both in a rematch against Charlotte this close to HIAC?
Sarah asks Charlotte backstage why she’s willing to have this match. AKA, why is she not focusing on Rhea Ripley and this Sunday? Everyone knows those two will have the best match of the night, but Rhea lacks the maturity of a champion. Charlotte will show everyone how it’s done. And while she doesn’t need this match, she does need that supposed loss removed from her record. Charlotte has not poured blood, sweat and tears into this business just so a flash in the pan, whose 15 minutes of fame are almost up, can live a delusion. Charlotte will end Rhea’s delusion of staying champion in Charlotte’s Division. Will the Queen’s anger only get the better of her tonight?
The bell rings and Nikki circles with Charlotte. They tie up, Charlotte knees low then throws Nikki down by her hair! But then Rhea Ripley makes her entrance? The Queen sneers as the Nightmare struts out on stage. Nikki rolls Charlotte up! ONE, and Nikki baits Charlotte into a corner. Charlotte puts her outside but Nikki ROCKS Charlotte first! Charlotte KNEES Nikki down and Rhea smiles as Charlotte dares her to come closer. Charlotte then RAMS Nikki into barriers, and tells her “Watch this.” Charlotte BOOTS Nikki back down! The ring count is climbing, though! Charlotte puts Nikki in at 8 of 10 and follows at 9. Rhea still grins as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Charlotte throws Nikki down, then dribbles her off the mat! Charlotte wraps on a chinlock and thrashes Nikki about! Nikki endures but Rhea looks amused at ringside. Nikki fight sup, throws body shots, but Charlotte throws her down again! Charlotte seethes, scoops Nikki, but Nikki slips out to duck and dodge and tilt-o-whirl for a hammerlock and La Magistrol! TWO and Charlotte gets up to CLOBBER Nikki! Rhea says she’ll take note of that as Charlotte chokes Nikki on ropes! The ref counts, Charlotte lets off, and Rhea asks, “How’s the ego goin’, mate?” Charlotte kicks and pie faces Nikki around, but Nikki headbutts low! And throat chops!
Nikki headbutts into a CHOP! Charlotte fires off more CHOPS, and CHOPS Nikki off her feet! Rhea cheers Nikki on in a grumpy way, and Charlotte runs in at Nikki in the corner. Nikki goes up and over to sunset flip! Charlotte stays up to stomp away on Nikki’s stomach! The ref counts and Charlotte lets off with a grin of her own. Charlotte taunts “Princess” Rhea as she hoists Nikki up top. Charlotte CHOPS Nikki but stares down Rhea. Charlotte climbs up but Nikki hits back! Nikki CLUBS Charlotte, adjusts, then boots her for a TORNADO DDT! Charlotte bails out but Nikki fires up! Rhea applauds as Nikki aims from the apron, and leaps! But into Charlotte’s arms!
Charlotte gets Nikki up, stares Rhea down again, and gives kissy face before the FALL AWAY SLAM! Charlotte kips up, the ring count is climbing again! Wait, Charlotte forgets the count and NIKKI wins?!
Winner: Nikki Cross, by count-out
The Queen is furious and Nikki is laughing all the way to the bank! Rhea laughs pretty well, too, but Charlotte is a sore loser and she BOOTS Nikki down at the ramp! Rhea shrugs, as she figured this might happen. Charlotte puts Nikki in the ring for ground ‘n’ pound, and a Figure Four! But Rhea gets her in a pump handle, RIPTIDE!! The Nightmare reminds the Queen of the real fight that’s coming! But will Rhea be so focused on Charlotte that she’s not be ready for Asuka?
Matt Riddle talks with Jeff Hardy.
The Bro feels bad, having let Randy Orton down. Orton was ringside and Riddle lost focus. And hey, Hardy’s a tag legend, what advice does he have to be more successful? It’s about teamwork, continuity, and most of all, trust. When trust is broken, the team’s spirit is gone. Hardy is surprised he’s saying this, but Riddle should listen to Orton. Orton’s been here a long time, and when The Viper speaks, listening shows respect. Now, Hardy has a match with John Morrison next. He has to go. Whoa, Hardy has four eyes?! Riddle wishes he did! Then he could see super far! Or maybe four arms, so that he could shred on two guitars, or play two drums at once!
Then Riddle and Boogs and Woods and even Orton could be a band! Oh, right, Hardy had to go, so he’s gone. But then Orton shows up! Riddle asks Orton about Elton John. What? Nevermind. But sorry about last week, Riddle wants Orton to know he won’t let him down tonight. Then do him a favor. Don’t be another Orton. Just be Riddle, whatever that means. Does that mean Orton likes Riddle? Nope. Oh, you! But will RKBRO solidify their partnership against one of the greatest tag teams ever?
Jeff Hardy VS John Morrison w/ The Miz!
Speaking of great tag teams, the Charismatic Enigma is half of another all-time great, and #JohnnyDripDrip is hoping to rep for The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century *stare off into distance*! Will Hardy take Morrison to the extreme and render him OBSOLETE? Or will the Mayor of Slam Town take Hardy on a Moonlight Drive?
Raw returns and The Miz is on commentary now while Hardy makes his entrance. Miz says he still feels like a million bucks despite the injured leg because he is still the two-time WWE Grand Slam Champion. But as Hardy gets up on the corner for his signature pose, Morrison uses a Drip Stick to BLAST Hardy in the eyes! Miz tells Morrison to hurry and Morrison gets in! The bell rings and Morrison fires off on Hardy with forearms and elbows and a KICK! Morrison mocks the Hardy’s hand gestures but Hardy DECKS him! Hardy bumps Morrison off buckles, RAMS shoulders into him, then throws more hands! Hardy lets off to hit a corner splash!
Hardy swings but Morrison BOOTS the Hardyac dropkick away! Morrison handsprings and LARIATS Hardy down! Miz says Morrison always has something new in his arsenal! But Cedric Alexander is walking out? PRIMED has beef with Hardy and all “has-beens” but Morrison keeps focus going after Hardy with ground ‘n’ pound! Hardy shoves Morrison away but gets an Eddy Gordo kick! Morrison keeps moving around, brings Hardy up, and whips him to ropes. Hardy ducks the hurdle, stops before the leap and gets the leg trap clutch! Cover, TWO! Hardy CLUBS Morrison down, fires off on him in a corner, then whips corner to corner.
Morrison reverses but Hardy BOOTS him back! Morrison is down, Hardy throws his towel at Miz, then climbs up for WHIPSER IN THE WIND! Cover, TWO! Morrison survives and Miz rants as Hardy goes to the apron. Morrison throws hands but Hardy shoulders in! Hardy gets Morrison up but Morrison lands on the apron to mule kick! Morrison fireman’s carries for a TKO HOTSHOT! Hardy flops down and Alexander likes that as Morrison hits STARSHIP PAIN!! Cover, Morrison wins!
Winner: John Morrison, by pinfall
Alexander barks at Jeff Hardy and “apologizes” to him for last week. Alexander says he should’ve shown the respect Hardy deserves. Alexander grew up idolizing Hardy. But then Alexander watched the match and how Hardy taunted and disrespected him back! All Alexander could see was someone who he was a fan of was nothing more than a sore winner! So the only thing Alexander is sorry for now is not kicking his disrespectful old ass into a retirement home! Hardy responds back that if Alexander is sorry about that, then how about Hardy puts his career on the line right NOW! Alexander takes Hardy up on that, and we see if the Charismatic Enigma can survive, after the break!
Career on the Line: Jeff Hardy VS Cedric Alexander!
Raw returns and the bell rings! Hardy dodges then RAMS Alexander, then tosses him out of the ring to WRECK him with a dropkick! Hardy goes out, puts Alexander back in but Alexander gets a leg for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Alexander seethes while Hardy writhes, and Alexander hurries to cover, TWO! Alexander gets a leg for a HALF CRAB! Hardy endures, Alexander sits deeper but Hardy crawls. Alexander lets off to stomp the leg, then gets Hardy up to KICK the leg. Hardy hobbles, Alexander brings him around, but Hardy hits a JAWBREAKER! Hardy elbows Alexander, Alexander runs in at a corner but Hardy sends him into buckles!
Hardy swings for the HARDYAC! Cover, TWO! Hardy grits his teeth and hobbles as he watches Alexander. Kick but no Twist! Alexander scoops for the MICHINOKU DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hardy survives and Alexander is furious! “I got something for you, Jeff!” Alexander climbs up top and mocks the Hardy Boyz, as he SWANTON FLOPS!! Hardy dodges and kicks but still no Twist! Jump KNEE, and a NEURALI- NO! Hardy ducks the kick, gives a kick, and hits the TWIST OF FATE! Hardy throws his shirt off to go up top and try it for himself! SWANTON BOMB!! Direct hit, cover, Hardy wins!!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall (still an active WWE superstar)
Alexander’s arrogance bit him on the ass, and Hardy wins his own gamble! Will PRIMED ever be able to get past the WWE veterans?
Eva Marie VS Naomi!
No longer all red everything, the #EvaLution will be televised! But will the return be as inspirational as Eva wants it to be? Or will she #FeelTheGlow her first night back?
Raw returns and Eva makes her entrance. And she’s not alone? Is that Piper Niven from NXT UK?! And Piper is the one getting in the ring? What kinda bait and switch is this?!
Piper Niven w/ Eva Marie VS Naomi!
The bell rings and Piper runs Naomi right over! Naomi gets to ropes but Piper drags her up. Naomi fires off hands but Piper HEADBUTTS her down! Piper drags Naomi up to whip her to ropes, Naomi leaps but Piper catches her! And SLAMS her down! Piper runs to BACK SENTON! Piper runs to BASEMENT SPLASH! Eva approves of her protege and Piper drags Naomi up to scoop and MICHINOKU DRIVER!! Cover, Piper wins!!
Winner: Piper Niven, by pinfall
Piper the Viper just destroyed a former SmackDown Women’s Champion! Eva announces that Eva Marie won? What? She wasn’t in the ring! Is Eva going to take credit for the success of someone else?!
Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose have a photoshoot.
The #SexyMuscleFriends are interrupted by a loud ruckus and walk over. It’s Natalya and Tamina sparring in the practice ring! Can they keep the noise down a bit? Natty “apologizes,” but it seems these two care more about how they look on camera than they do in the ring. And what’s that supposed to mean? No offense, but if the SMF put half as much effort into their wrestling as they do their looks, they’d be the champs by now. Hey, they do take this seriously! They won their match a couple weeks ago, remember? Natty & Tamina were watching, after all. But maybe they’re just jealous that those titles would look better around Mandy & Dana.
Natty says neither of them are going to be champions because their priorities are all wrong. There’s working hard and working smart. And it’s pretty clear that their brains didn’t get them here. Oh, well it seems to Mandy & Dana that if Natty & Tamina didn’t have the last names that they do, the doors would’ve been slammed shut on them years ago. Then bring it! Dana and Mandy kick off their shoes and get in the ring, only for Natty and Tamina to go right after them! The four brawl, security and referees hurry to stop it, but this is far from over! When and where will Dana & Mandy get their shot on the second gen superstars?
Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre.
Kevin Patrick asks him about being locked inside Hell in a Cell with “The All Mighty” Bobby Lashley, in what could be McIntyre’s final WWE World Championship match, and how he intends to shift focus onto AJ Styles. McIntyre tells Kevin that he doesn’t have to say the full “All Mighty” title when bringing Bobby up. In fact, the way he’s been acting, the company he keeps and how he represents the title, Lashley should be called, “Trashley.”
But McIntyre doesn’t need to refocus for anything. Styles is good, and surely Lashley and MVP are throwing back some champagne. But Styles is a man ready to walk into hell. That’s what McIntyre wants out of Trashley. It’s what McIntyre warned Lashley about, both the physical, the mental and the tactics. Scots are known for being strategists. One of their best was William Wallace. Right, from Braveheart? Big Willy as McIntyre thinks of him. But known for his courage, his ferocity and his Claymore the size of the Isle of Man, and known for his big, humongous, gigantic and unmatched brain!
One of McIntyre’s favorite William Wallace strategies was at the Battle of Sterling Bridge. Wallace knew the enemy was cocky, so the Scots were on one side of the river, with a very narrow bridge crossing it. The enemy thought they could just cross over, take out the Scots and Big Willy. But Big Willy waited for half the enemy army to be across that bridge and then ANNIHILATED each and every of them! Why couldn’t the enemy do more? Because the corpses were piling up in their way! But what does this have to do with HIAC? Well aside from the arrogance, nothing, because McIntyre loves that story!
But while McIntyre won’t tell us his strategy, he promises it is just as cold, calculated and successful! And it will make McIntyre WWE World Champion once again! So now, bugger off, Kevin. Will McIntyre honor Big Willy this Sunday? Or is he the one being cocky while crossing the narrow bridge?
The New Day VS RKBRO!
Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston didn’t win the Tag Team Battle Royal, but neither did Randy Orton & Matt Riddle. This has been building for weeks now, will the 11-time W, W, E, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~ show the Viper and the Bro what it really means to be a team?
Raw returns as RKBRO makes their entrance. It’s still just Orton’s music and Riddle scooting up behind Orton, but better than individual entrances, right? Orton also still won’t pose with Riddle. The teams sort out, Woods starts with Riddle, and they circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Riddle powers Woods back but Woods uses that to corner Riddle! Kofi taunts Riddle, “Wrong side of town, Bro!” Woods keeps Riddle cornered with the collar ‘n’ elbow, but Riddle switches to a sleeper! Woods RAMS Riddle into buckles, Kofi tags in and powers up, mule kick to assisted Manhattan Drop! Cover, TWO!
Kofi keeps on Riddle with an arm wrench, then tags Woods. Woods CLUBS the arm, tags Kofi, and Kofi climbs to DOUBLE STOMP the arm! Riddle clutches his elbow, Kofi wrenches and tags Woods, and Woods CLUBS the arm again! Woods wrenches but Riddle throws forearms! Riddle ROCKS Woods but Woods wrenches, so Riddle CHOPS! Woods shoves and arm-drags Riddle, then gets a facelock! Riddle fights up but Woods moves him towards the New Day corner. Riddle gets away, still holding onto Woods’ leg, and Orton tags in! Woods gets away, and stands off with the Legend Killer.
The two circle, Woods and Orton tie up and Orton headlocks. Orton grinds Woods down to the mat, but Woods fights up. Woods pries the hold and makes it a top wristlock, to then get a headlock of his own. Orton powers out, Woods duck sand dodges and elbows back! Kofi tags in, Woods baits Orton into a shoulder! Schoolboy and springboard FROGGY-BODY! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps on Orton with an armlock but Orton pulls hair. Kofi wrenches but Orton knees low! Orton brings Kofi around for EuroUppers, then whips him corner to corner., Kofi goes up and up and missile dropkicks back! Orton bails out but Riddle jumps in, only to get an EXPLODER from Woods!
The New Day has the ring as RKBRO regroups, but the New Day build speed! They fake RKBRO out and laugh! Kofi twerks while bouncing on ropes as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Riddle fires off forearms on Woods! Riddle runs but into a forearm from Woods! Woods runs but into a HARD forearm from Riddle! Riddle runs but into a HARD forearm from Woods! Woods throws more forearms, runs, but into a FLYING KNEE from Riddle! BACK TO THE FUTURE from Riddle! Cover, TWO!! Tag to Orton, and Riddle gets a boost for an ASSISTED FLOATING BRO! Orton stomps Woods, covers, TWO! Orton keeps Woods down with an armlock and he grinds the shoulder. Woods endures, Kofi coaches him up, and Woods stands, only for Orton to YANK the arm! Woods falls in a heap but Orton gets him up to YANK the arm again! And again!
Orton wrenches, tags Woods, and Riddle KICKS Woods in the ribs. Orton scrapes laces on Woods’ face, then Riddle kicks Woods around before dropping a BROTON! Riddle keeps Woods down with a back mount and ground ‘n’ pound, to an ARMBAR! Woods blocks, turns, but Riddle wrangles him back down! Woods keeps moving, shifts, but Riddle scoops around to keep him from ropes! Woods gives it one last go, has a cover, ONE! Riddle tags Orton, Woods scrambles but Orton stomps Woods down! And then stomps him more, and more, and more! Orton drags Woods up and pulls him back against a knee before wrapping on a chinlock.
Woods endures all over again but the ThunderDome rallies up. Woods fights up, fights back with body shots, but Orton CLUBS him down! Woods fireman’s carries but Woods slips out! Tag to Kofi! Springboard ax handle for Orton! Kofi DECKS Riddle then rallies on Orton! Kofi dropkicks Orton down, keeps moving and jumps, but Orton dodges the stomp! Orton back suplexes, Kofi lands on his feet and hits the LEAPING LARIAT! Kofi hits the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi claps, “New! Day Rocks!” But Riddle swipes at him. Kofi swipes back but Orton gets up. Orton ducks Trouble in Paradise and tags in Riddle!
Riddle fires off KICK after KICK in the corner, then goes side to side for a forearm! And side to side for another forearm! BROSPLODER! Kofi sits up into a PENALTY KICK! Riddle reels Kofi in, ripcord and FINAL FLASH! Riddle goes to a corner, climbs up top, FLOATING BRO!! Woods gets in in, but Orton intercepts Woods with a POUNCE! Riddle covers Kofi, TWO?!? Kofi survives and bails out to regroup with Woods, and RKBRO looks at each other. Orton and Riddle both nod as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Riddle fights Woods off on the top rope. Riddle adjusts but Woods bumps ropes to trip Riddle up! Riddle lands on his bros, but he still fights Woods off. Kofi tags in and Woods hits a SUPERPLEX! Kofi is up top, for a FRGO SPLASH!! Power and Glory! Cover, Orton breaks it! Woods gets up but Orton kicks him and throws him out! Woods stays on the apron as Orton gets Kofi up. Orton whips but Kofi reverses to send Orton out! Kofi catches his breath, he heads after Riddle, but gets caught to a cradle! TWO, and Kofi swings, but into a PELE from Riddle! Woods tags in, steps in, GET OVER- NO! Riddle blocks the DDT to a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Riddle seethes as Woods survives but Orton seems to be enjoying this. Orton tags in, Riddle gets Woods up, and they work together for a DOUBLE POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives, but Orton glares at him. Orton drags Woods up, puts him through ropes, but Kofi saves Woods from the DDT! Orton gets a hotshot, Woods GAMANGIRIS! Woods steadies himself but Riddle tags in! Riddle rushes over and drags Woods up the ropes! But Woods slips under to Electric Chair! Kofi tags in as Riddle fights! Kofi goes up, FLYING STOMP DOOMSDAY! Cover, TWO!?!? Riddle still lives and the New Day can’t believe it!
Kofi mule kicks Orton down and gets Riddle back up. Woods tags in, and Woods scoops. Kofi goes up but Riddle slips off! Riddle shoves Woods at the corner, Kofi leaps over but Riddle KNEES him out of the air! Kofi stumbles all the way out of the ring and now Riddle reaches for Orton. Woods gets Riddle first, but Riddle turns things into a fireman’s carry! Orton tags in as Woods fights out! RK- NO! Woods rolls Orton up, TWO!! Orton kicks low, whips Woods to a corner and runs in. Woods BOOTS him, and somersaults, HONOR- RKO!!!! Cover, RKBRO WINS!!
Winners: RKBRO, by pinfall
Bro! Riddle and Orton just defeated a top tier tag team! Riddle raises Orton’s hand in victory and is vibing, but Orton brings his hand away. Riddle strikes his pose again, and Orton… Doesn’t pose with him. Well, tag teams still take time, right? But will it only be a matter of time before the Viper and the Bro take a bite out of the Raw Tag Team Champions?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley.
Could she shed some light on what happened between her and Charlotte earlier tonight? Rhea says tonight is just another example of why Charlotte is the delusional one. Charlotte thinks she’s better in every single way, but the truth is that Charlotte can’t control herself when Rhea’s around. Instead of focusing on the title match, Charlotte is mending her bruised ego. It’s funny seeing someone so powerful crumble. Rhea is going to send Charlotte packing to the back of the line when she retains the Raw Women’s Championship. But right now, Rhea is going to focus on her match with Asuka. So please, go away. The Nightmare sounds ready, but is she ready for the Empress of Tomorrow?
Asuka VS Rhea Ripley!
Things may not have gone Asuka’s way at WrestleMania 37 or at #WrestleManiaBacklash, but she could change the flow of momentum right here! Will Rhea run into a speedbump going into HIAC?
Raw returns and Rhea makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two circle slowly. They approach, tie up, and Asuka headlocks. Rhea powers out, but Asuka goes up and over in the corner to then do her dance. Rhea shrugs it off but Asuka dodges the haymaker. Things speed up, Rhea hurdles but Asuka turns hip toss into takedown and cover, TWO! Rhea has a ghost pin, TWO! Asuka mule kicks, but Rhea throws body shots. Rhea clinches and tosses Asuka into a corner, then takes a second to check her chin. Rhea runs in, ducks a roundhouse, but Asuka ducks Rhea’s haymakers again. Asuka SLAPS Rhea, then BOOTS her!
Asuka runs and clotheslines but Rhea just tanks it! Asuka shoves Rhea, Rhea HEADBUTTS Asuka! Rhea gets Asuka up, has her hair, but Asuka blocks the toss to reel Rhea in for an IRON OCTOPUS! Rhea looks shocked but she endures as Asuka pulls the arm back. Rhea powers out of the hold, fireman’s carries, but Asuka slips around to a SLEEPER! Rhea flails as Asuka becomes a backpack! Rhea reaches back and BACKPACK SENTONS! Cover, TWO! Asuka gasps for air but survives, and Rhea gets up as she catches her own breath. Rhea stands Asuka up for a SHORT ARM CLOTHESLINE! And then another!
Rhea drags Asuka back up, reels her in, but Asuka swings on her! Rhea ducks and waistlocks, then ripcords Asuka back out, but Asuka breaks free! Asuka ROCKS Rhea, CLUBS her, then whips, but Rhea blocks! Rhea whips Asuka, runs in but Asuka moves! Rhea dropkicks buckles and falls hard! Rhea bails out, clutching an arm, but she gets up for Asuka to mule kick from the apron! And PENALTY- NO! Rhea blocks the kick, makes it an Electric Chair, and SLAMS Asuka onto barriers! Asuka checks her teeth and Rhea grins as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Asuka fights the body scissors into a ground ‘n’ pound! Rhea guards, boots Asuka away, and gets up, only for Asuka to duck, dodge and dropkick! Rhea flounders to a corner, Asuka runs in but Rhea BOOTS her back down! Rhea snarls, bumps Asuka off buckles, and then hoists her up top. Rhea ROCKS Asuka with haymaker after haymaker, then lets off at the ref’s count. Rhea goes up top, gets Asuka up, but Asuka resists the superplex! Asuka throws body shots, shoves Rhea down, and adjusts for a missile dropkick! Both women are down but the ThunderDome is fired up!
A standing count begins, Asuka slowly sits up but Rhea follows. They throw hands at 5 of 10 and fight to their feet. Asuka fires off more forearms but Rhea shoves. Rhea runs into a POP-UP KNEE! Asuka runs in at the corner but Rhea dodges. Asuka still follows and LARIATS Rhea down! Asuka crawls to a cover, TWO! Rhea slowly gets up but Asuka runs in, HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Asuka hurries to get Rhea up in a waistlock. Rhea fights but Asuka ripcords. Rhea turns that around into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Asuka survives and Rhea grows frustrated. Rhea gets Asuka back up but Asuka BACK HANDS!
Asuka gets around to a waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka runs, SLIDING WIZARD!! Cover, TWO!! Rhea survives and Asuka can’t believe it! Asuka gives Rhea KICK after KICK after KICK! Rhea wobbles, blocks the next kick, and turns that into a cravat and KNEE! Asuka shoves Rhea away, catches her on the rebound but Rhea forearms! Rhea whips, Asuka wheelbarrows but the victory roll is turned into the PRISM TRAP!! Asuka endures the hanging cloverleaf but rolls to get a takedown! Asuka wants the chinlock and arm, but Rhea gets up! Rhea elbows free, gets behind but no atomic drop!
Asuka headlocks, hammerlocks but Rhea ducks the strikes to pump handle! RIPTIDE!!! Cover, Rhea wins!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall
The Nightmare overcomes Asuka, but Charlotte runs in outta nowhere and CLOBBERS her! They brawl, Charlotte TACKLES Rhea then rains down rights! Rhea turns it around to throw hands from all sides! Charlotte gets up, Rhea puts her in a corner and the ref pulls them apart. Charlotte ROCKS Rhea, RAMS her into a corner, and then lets off, only for Rhea to ROCK her in return! The brawl keeps going faster and faster! Referees and security rush out to stop this! Adam Pearce is here to have them stand down! Charlotte is so furious, she hits the officials away from her to get back at Rhea! Charlotte digs her fingers into Rhea’s face but Rhea kicks her away!
Rhea and Charlotte are each a little bloody but their rage boils over! Charlotte wants Rhea and Rhea wants Charlotte, but the officials tell them to save this for Sunday! Charlotte is shrieking, “It’s MY championship!” And she eggs Rhea on! Charlotte even elbows Pearce away! Rhea BOOTS Charlotte down!! Charlotte is cussing up a storm judging from the mute censoring, and then she rushes the ring! The referees and officials drag her away as Rhea eggs her on now! Will there be hell to pay when Queen and Nightmare finally have it out?
Bobby Lashley, MVP and the ladies keep partying.
That’s what it is to be a champion! But Kevin Patrick walks in and asks their insight as to why McIntyre is facing Styles tonight. MVP takes this. First, why is Kevin so rude? He always comes in without knocking! And why does he insist on blatantly disrespecting the champion? Kevin address Lashley as “The All Mighty,” got that? Kevin apologizes but MVP tells him to shut up, he’s just making it more awkward. And as far as McIntyre VS Styles, how this came about doesn’t matter nor does MVP care. Lashley sure doesn’t care, either. He’s the champ, and this is one of many perks of being champ.
Now, if McIntyre is foolish enough to take on someone the caliber of AJ Styles barely a week before HIAC, that’s McIntyre’s business, not the champ’s. The only thing Lashley cares about is HIAC. Because then McIntyre finally runs out of opportunities to face the All Mighty. Lashley tells us that when McIntyre walks into the Cell, he’ll wish he’s never even uttered the name, “Bobby Lashley.” And when Lashley gets his hands on McIntyre, break his face, and throw his lifeless body around the Cell, just remember that McIntyre asked for this.
Lashley heard McIntyre compare himself to William Wallace. Lashley likes that comparison. Because in the end, McIntyre has committed a capital offense of trying to take the world title. Lashley will PUBLICLY EXECUTE McIntyre, and mount his head on a stick. The All Mighty’s wrath has been provoked, will he eviscerate the Scottish Warrior inside the Cell?
Alexa Bliss VS Nia Jax!
Lil’ Miss Bliss has changed into something almost unrecognizable compared to how she was when she and the Irresistible Force were frenemies. Will her newfound darkness be the demise of the Irresistible Force?
Raw returns and Nia makes her entrance. The bell rings, Nia rushes in but Alexa fires off kicks! Alexa gets around to jump on for a SLEEPER! Nia RAMS Alexa into buckles, then throws her off! Alexa sits up and slithers about, contorting herself as she moves. Nia scoops Alexa but Alexa again gets a sleeper! Nia rams Alexa back into buckles, runs in but Alexa dodges the boot to kick the leg! Alexa drops knees on the knee, then KICKS Nia against ropes! And fires forearms! Alexa is vicious but Nia shoves her away! Alexa KICKS and forearms again, then runs, into a BODY CHECK! Nia looms over Alexa, then drags her back up. “What the heck is wrong with you!?”
Nia TOSSES Alexa to a corner! Alexa sits up again, and Nia shakes her head. Nia runs in to HIP ATTACK! Alexa flounders, Nia gets her up and scoops her for a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Alexa lives but Nia sits her up for a half nelson, then a cobra clutch! Alexa endures as Nia thrashes her about. Alexa fights up as Nia shouts, “What happened to you?!” Nia gets Alexa up but Alexa swats her in the face! Alexa SLAPS Nia, but runs into a LARIAT! Nia runs, but Alexa sits up like the Deadman to avoid the leg drop, brother! Alexa then KICKS Nia down! Alexa gets Nia up, but Nia shoves her away. Nia runs but Alexa slips to the apron and Nia hits buckles!
Alexa climbs, smiles, but Reginald appears outta nowhere! Alexa gets distracted, Nia blocks the tornado DDT, but Alexa dropkicks legs out! Alexa ROCKS Nia, roars in her face, and reels her in for a BASEMENT DDT! Alexa paces about, then glares at Reggie! Reggie scurries away as Alexa climbs. Alexa aims, for TWISTED BLISS!! Cover, but Reggie gets in and drags her away!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by disqualification
Alexa is furious with Reggie and he tries to apologize. Alexa stays put, they lock eyes and… Is Alexa hypnotizing Reggie? He tilts his head the same as Alexa does, and back the other way. Nia gets in the ring and Alexa bails out! Has Alexa planted a seed within the mind of the sommelier?
MVP meets with New Day backstage.
He pretends not to know Woods’ name. Kofi tells MVP to stop creeping. What doe s he want? Nothing! Just curious if Kofi considered what they discussed last week. Maybe it makes more sense after tonight’s loss. Either way, #KofiMania is dead and gone, never to come back. And if he wants to know who to blame- Durr, look in the mirror, right? That’s what MVP is gonna say? No, not at all! You look to the left. MVP asks if Kofi ever wonders why he hasn’t gotten close to a WWE Championship opportunity since? It’s because he’s wasting his career in a tag team with people who don’t measure up. At least in a singles match, you only have yourself to blame for losing. But in a tag match, you don’t even have to take the loss, and yet you are still the loser.
Can MVP hurry up? Woods has to get home and put water in Mama P’s dish. Kofi tells MVP that unless he wants to be picking up his teeth and walking with two canes, shut up and keep moving. What’s the endgame here? Is Kofi to tell MVP he’s right? That he agrees with MVP? Nah, man. Kofi will never say that. Like Kofi has said before, he’ll say it again since MVP isn’t hearing him. The reason Kofi has been so successful here is because of the bond with his brothers. Nothing MVP says will ever change that. So just move on.
MVP accepts that. But he’ll wish Kofi good luck with his match this Sunday. Oh right, they don’t have one! That’s fine. Have fun with your friends. Whatever, just go. Will MVP’s provoking of Kofi come back around to bite him? Or is it going to get in Kofi’s head sooner or later?
Elias VS Jaxson Ryker!
The Drifter ran away, but now he must face the consequences of abandoning his follower. Will Ryker finally wreck Elias once and for all?
Raw returns as Ryker makes his entrance. The bell rings and Elias hits the SYMPHO-KNEE on Ryker right away! Elias fires off on Ryker, CHOPS and ROCKS him, then whips to CLOBBER him! Elias grins as he gets Ryker back up to DECK him! Ryker gets up to throw body shots, Elias knees low then bumps Ryker off buckles. Elias CHOPS Ryker, whips him corner to corner, but Ryker comes back to CLOBBER Elias back! Ryker CLUBS Elias now, bumps him off buckles, and whips him to ropes. Ryker kitchen sink KNEES Elias, and dares him to get up! Ryker drags Elias up but Elias throws body shots. Ryker CLUBS him down, bumps him off buckles again, then CLUBS away on his chest!
Ryker CHOPS Elias in return, and CHOPS him again! Elias CHOPS, Ryker fires off hands, the ref breaks them up and Elias BOOTS Ryker! Elias CHOPS again, runs, but Ryker hits a SPINEBUSTER! Ryker dares Elias to get up again, and then reels him in to throw him out! Ryker pursues to make sure Elias doesn’t run away, and Elias kicks low! Ryker gets Elias up to POST him! The ring count climbs, Ryker gets in at 5 of 10. Elias staggers around, hears it’s 8, but takes his time! Elias decides to run away again!
Winner: Jaxson Ryker, by count-out
Ryker calls Elias a coward for letting it end this way again! Will Ryker ever truly have vindication against The Drifter?
Drew McIntyre VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
Before the Scottish Warrior enters into Hell to dance with the All Mighty, he wants to show he has no fear! Will the Phenomenal One simply be fodder for the Claymore tonight? Or will Styles make McIntyre regret using him as a tune-up?
Raw returns and Bobby Lashley makes his entrance! He, MVP and the ladies put the VIP Lounge on the stage again so that they can watch this main event with their own eyes. Then Styles and Omos make their entrance, being cheered by the ladies as they cross through the lounge. Will the Raw Tag Team Champions be invited to join them? Styles tells Omos not to get distracted and keep with him at ringside. The bell rings and the two circle. McIntyre focuses on Styles and not Omos as they tie up. Styles wrenches but McIntyre breaks free. Styles backs off to avoid a haymaker, and the two go again.
Styles powers McIntyre to a corner to ram his shoulder in, but lets off as the ref counts. Styles whips, McIntyre reverses and Styles hits buckles. Styles still elbows McIntyre away then CHOPS him in the corner. And again! McIntyre blocks the next chop to grab Styles and TOSS him into another corner! McIntyre CHOPS Styles off his feet! McIntyre gets Styles up, whips him to ropes and back drops him SKY HIGH! Styles has a rough landing and McIntyre grins as he walks over. McIntyre gets Styles up to DECK him, then stomp him! McIntyre dares Styles to get up but is on him in a corner. McIntyre whips Styles to ropes but Styles kicks back!
Styles throws forearms, fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but McIntyre dodges the Pele to backslide! Styles rolls through but McIntyre has the underhooks! FUTURE SHOCK! But McIntyre doesn’t pin?! McIntyre stares Lashley down and tells him up his! Lashley gets pissed, McIntyre aims at Styles but Omos bails Styles out of the ring! Lashley is at ringside, but here come the VIKING RAIDERS! Erik & Ivar aren’t just evening the odds, they’re keeping an eye on the Raw Tag Team Champions! McIntyre says he has nothing to do with this, but he appreciates the back-up. Will things get even more explosive after the break?
Raw returns again and McIntyre stomps a mudhole into Styles as the Raiders cheer him on! The ref counts, McIntyre lets off, and Lashley is still fuming at ringside. Styles fires off body shots but McIntyre throws hands! McIntyre whips Styles hard to a corner and Styles bounces off buckles! Styles gets up, McIntyre whips him to ropes and tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS! Cover, TWO!! Styles is still in this but McIntyre has him in the corner again. McIntyre gets Styles up and reels him in for a suplex. Styles kicks and knees free, then ROCKS McIntyre with haymakers! Styles whips, McIntyre holds ropes and catches Styles for an uppercut!
McIntyre grins and taunts Lashley as he brings Styles back up. The ref counts as McIntyre mugs Styles against ropes. McIntyre lets off, Styles throat chops! Styles gets McIntyre for a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT, and then dumps McIntyre out to the floor! MVP has Lashley stay back as McIntyre gets up. Styles goes after McIntyre and POSTS him! Omos likes that and wants Styles to punish McIntyre. McIntyre gets up and drags himself back onto the apron but Styles is after him with haymakers. Styles gets McIntyre up for a suplex, but McIntyre blocks! The Raiders rally and McIntyre throws body shots. McIntyre hotshots Styles in return!
Styles leans on ropes as he sputters, and McIntyre whips him corner to corner! McIntyre runs but into BOOTS from Styles! Lashley likes that as McIntyre is dazed. Styles drags McIntyre around into a chinlock then a neck wrench. McIntyre endures as Styles shifts to a chinlock. The ThunderDome rallies, McIntyre throws body shots, and he CHOPS Styles! McIntyre runs but into Styles’ SLEEPER! Styles becomes a backpack and he squeezes tight! McIntyre drops to a knee, but he fights up to his feet. McIntyre reaches back for a JAWBREAKER! Styles staggers, McIntyre catches his breath, but he turns around into Styles’ PELE! But McIntyre comes back with a LARIAT!
Both men are down, Lashley and MVP aren’t happy and Omos looks worried. The Viking Raiders rally and coach McIntyre up. McIntyre and Styles slowly stand, and McIntyre snarls. McIntyre rallies on Styles with elbows and clotheslines! McIntyre drags Styles around to a DEAD LIFT BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives because he’s Phenomenal, but McIntyre keeps focus. Omos assures Lashley that Styles has this, but then McIntyre hits a MICHINOKU DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre frowns, Lashley paces, and McIntyre gets Styles up. McIntyre hoists Styles up top, throws haymakers, then climbs up.
Styles resists the superplex, slips out and under to trip up McIntyre! Fireman’s carry to an USHIGORISHI! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre is still in this and MVP asks if Omos is sure Styles has this. Styles gets McIntyre back up, reel shim in but no Clash! McIntyre back drops Styles up and out of the ring! McIntyre goes out after Styles, MVP again has Lashley stay back, and McIntyre puts Styles in the ring. Lashley steps closer but McIntyre JABS him, then TOSSES Him into barriers! McIntyre backs MVP down with a glare, then goes back to the ring. McIntyre climbs up top and leaps for a HUGE FLYING CLOTHESLINE! McIntyre kips up but Lashley attacks!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by disqualification
The Viking Raiders go after Lashley in return! They give him knee after knee in the corner, then toss Lashley out of the ring! McIntyre pursues to get Lashley for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! MVP goes to Lashley’s side as the Raiders are fired up in the ring! What’s going to happen when Raw returns from break?
Six Man Tag: Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders VS AJ Styles, Omos & Bobby Lashley w/ MVP!
Holla holla, Raw returns and all the fighting is going to be in one match! Though, with Lashley taking his time getting his ring gear on, this looks more like a 3v2 Handicap to start. Styles and Ivar start, and Styles headlocks. Erik tags in as Ivar powers out, Ivar KNEES Styles and feeds him to Erik’s KNEE! Erik roars and drags Styles up., but Styles throat chops! Styles whips Erik corner to corner but Erik goes up and over and comes back with a kitchen sink- No, wait! Styles rolls through and rolls Erik up to then ENZIGURI! Styles roars at Erik and swings, into a waistlock SLAM! Erik roars again, drags Styles up and brings him over to tag in Ivar.
The Viking Raiders tag again so then whip and scoop Styles for a SLAM! Ivar is the human weapon, scoop slam SENTON! Erik covers, TWO! Erik keeps his eyes locked on Styles but here comes Lashley! And he goes after McIntyre! Lashley TOSSES McIntyre into barriers but then backs away. Styles CLOBBERS Erik from behind, then gets him up to bring him over. Erik hits back but Styles tags Lashley in. Lashley CLUBS Erik, bumps him off buckles and fires off haymakers! Lashley lets off to go side to side and DECKS Erik with that forearm shot! McIntyre gets up and is furious, but Lashley covers Erik, TWO!
Lashley tags Styles in, they put Erik in a corner, and Styles forearm smashes! Tag to Omos, and now things get rough as Omos KNEES Erik down! Lashley tags in, and clinches Erik, but Erik fights with elbows! ACE TEN MAO! But Lashley still anchors Erik from his corner, reels him in and hits a COMPLETE SHOT! MVP talks trash that they should never think they can match the All Mighty! Lashley sucker punches McIntyre! But he turns around and Erik ROCKS him with a right! Tag to Ivar, and Ivar rams Lashley, to scoop and SIDEWALK SLAM on the rebound! BASEMENT SPLASH! Ivar roars and scoops Lashley, but Lashley slips out and shoves him to ropes!
Ivar rebounds and rolls off Lashley’s back! Ivar cartwheels to avoid Lashley’s shot, and swings, but into a half nelson! Ivar snapmares free and runs, into a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER!! Cover, Erik KNEES Lashley down! Styles dropkicks Erik, but McIntyre BOOTS Styles! Lashley gets up to clinch McIntyre for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly of his own! Ivar BOOTS Lashley but Omos tags in! The Warbeard shows no fear as he fires off but Omos pushes him away. Omos CLOBBERS Ivar with the shoulder tackle! The towering titan looms over Ivar as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once again and Lashley rains down fists on Ivar in a corner. Lashley lets off to then throw more hands and stomps! The ref counts, Lashley digs his boots in but stops at 4, just to do it again! The ref counts, Lashley stops this time and he gets Ivar up for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Lashley keeps Ivar down with a chinlock and shifts to a neck wrench. Lashley grinds Ivar down, jams his knee into Ivar’s back, then twists harder on the neck wrench. MVP tells Lashley to make Ivar pay for the disrespect, but Ivar endures even as Lashley turns him for the STRADDLE ATTACK! Lashley flexes on McIntyre but Ivar CHOPS him!
Ivar throws body shots, haymakers, but Lashley trips him! Lashley puts Ivar in the corner, throws big elbows, then lets off as the ref counts. Lashley grins and gets Ivar up to tag in Omos. Omos goes corner to corner to BACK BODY BLOCK! Ivar gasps as Omos tags Styles. Styles snapmares Ivar, wraps on a chinlock and squeezes tight. Ivar endures, fights up and throws body shots! ThunderDome rallies as Ivar and Styles trade shots! PELE! Styles runs in but into the SEATED SENTON! Erik and McIntyre fire up for Ivar as he crawls over! Hot tags to McIntyre and Omos! McIntyre sees how tall Omos is for himself as the two circle.
Omos and McIntyre get face to face, and McIntyre shrugs. But Omos choke grips first! Omos is making McIntyre kneel with one hand, but McIntyre kicks at Omos’ legs! Omos holds on but McIntyre kicks and throws forearms! McIntyre backs Omos down but Omos shoves him away! Styles tags in and springboards, but McIntyre gets under! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And another! McIntyre runs in to get Styles in a corner, for a third OVERHEAD Belly2Bell! But Lashley distracts the ref as Omos grabs and THROWS McIntyre down by his head! The Raiders storm over but Omos POUNCES Ivar over barriers! Erik leaps off steps to ROCK Omos!
Erik fires off but Omos grabs him to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s area! Styles and McIntyre both crawl, Styles gets to a corner and MVP tells him to tag out. Styles goes over and reaches out, but he stumbles and tags in Lashley, not Omos! Everyone is shocked by that, most of all Lashley! Lashley gets in, to get a CLAYMORE!! McIntyre hurries to cover, McIntyre and the Viking Raiders win!!
Winners: Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
The Scottish Warrior just took out the Rocky Mountain Machine! Lashley is furious but he still has to go through hell with McIntyre! McIntyre says he can’t wait! Will McIntyre get to do this and more to Lashley in their most hellacious battle yet?
I really thought Raw was getting past Go-Home Syndrome. They didn’t shove nearly as many recap packages in this time, and really tried to give us matches that progressed things. But they also couldn’t help themselves by giving us FOUR weak finishes. We got Elias running away to lose by count-out again, we got Reggie disqualifying Nia in her match with Alexa, and then there was the finish to Charlotte VS Nikki and McIntyre VS Styles. The latter two worked to a degree but the others were just bland. Elias VS Ryker was most bland, didn’t need to happen here, could’ve waited until next week’s post-PPV Raw.
Nia VS Alexa was a good match until the finish because of how it played off the story between them. WWE sucks at using their own continuity, but for once they nailed it. And I will say, it is interesting to see Alexa “hypnotize” Reggie. Is there going to be a twist where Lily possesses Reggie? His acrobatics would make for an interesting wrestling style for Lily if that’s true. But I am glad we’re finally getting Alexa in matches again. We should’ve had this a month ago, giving us a better build to Alexa VS Shayna at HIAC. Then we’d see Alexa actually look like a real contender to the Raw Women’s Championship.
There was still some copy-paste with Charlotte, Nikki, Rhea and Asuka, but the matches made a lot of it worth it. Nikki getting a ring count win was great, I really feel like it works for what they’re doing with Nikki. Asuka VS Rhea was another great match, I’ll forgive them for not having anything else because it still works. Charlotte and Rhea brawling after was awesome stuff, too, definitely something this feud and Raw in general has needed. Their match isn’t in the Cell but it will probably have the intensity of one, all the more reason it could go either way. Then whoever wins comes out as a very strong champion with a strong division to face.
Well, a mostly strong division. The most glaring flaw in tonight was Eva Marie’s debut. Granted, Eva was gonna have heat from fans anyway, but wow that bait ‘n’ switch with Piper Niven. And yes, her name is Piper Niven, even though commentary at least pretended they didn’t know her. I guess no one on Raw watches NXT UK and they can’t even be bothered to research things with a quick call to someone. Way to promote your own product, Vince! I swear, if Rhea interacts with Piper like she has NO IDEA who that is even though they were BOTH on NXT UK at the same time… But Piper got a strong debut for herself, so at least there’s that.
Natty & Tamina had a decent segment with Mandy & Dana, at least. The tag champs didn’t say it, but they were implying Mandy & Dana were like the Divas of old, but I bet Mandy & Dana get to show them otherwise on the road to Money in the Bank. I have no idea how SmackDown is going to get in the Women’s Tag Division again with no Riott Squad, no Mella & Billie, no anything, but maybe Mandy & Dana can use “Brand2Brand Invitation” to go over to SmackDown and have the title match there. At the same time, Raw really needs the ratings so the match might still happen over here. The RawDown Women’s Division is really suffering these days.
Morrison VS Hardy was a good match, and Hardy VS Alexander with Hardy’s career on the line was alright. I had a feeling this wasn’t how Hardy was going to leave WWE, but I have a feeling this story of Hardy and Alexander could lead to that in the end. Who knows if that means Jeff joins Matt Hardy in AEW or goes into true retirement to be with the kids. New Day VS RKBRO was an amazing tag match, almost like they were competing for tag titles right there. RKBRO winning was the right move for several reasons, but I like the follow-up with MVP. I really think the build to MITB with MVP, Lashley and New Day will be what helps get Raw out of the ditch.
And that’s especially given how Lashley is totally retaining now. Sure he was still partying with the ladies, but we got a great double main-event out of things. McIntyre VS Styles was great to start, but when the Viking Raiders showed up, I should’ve figured a Teddy Long style mash-up match. The Six Man was great stuff, but they had another momentum killer commercial break just as Omos finished with Ivar there. Omos got to dominate the Viking Raiders but that was a sloppy way to go from the champions dominating to McIntyre snatching away the victory.
McIntyre standing tall here totally means he loses, and then he’ll have no choice but to try for a different title. Well, there is MITB but I feel like someone else could benefit from that, too. Though, look at what happened with Otis and then The Miz. Maybe SmackDown wins the Mr. MITB briefcase given the story with Roman Reigns, and then it’s about earning the shot against Lashley between contenders like Kofi, Styles… Wow, there aren’t that many choices, are there? Too bad WWE let go of a Monster Among Men and hasn’t even tried using Limitless Keith Lee lately. Bring Lee back and that will definitely fix some things.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)
The Elite are on a Rampage!
Is The Elite in for a tune-up or trap game tonight?
Though they plan to defend the AEW World Trios titles on Dynamite, Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks defend the titles against The Firm here on Rampage! Will they overlook Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy and get caught?
- AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy; The Elite win and retain the titles.
- Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr; Swerve wins.
- Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters; Saraya & Storm win.
- Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy!
Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks accepted the challenge of the upstart Top Flight & AR Fox, but then they also accepted the challenge of The Firm’s All Ego! Will The Elite’s ego cost them in their very first defense? Or will they still keep their date with Fox, Dante & Darius for Dynamite?
The bell rings and the trios sort out. Dayton chants, “THE! ELITE! THE THE ELITE!” Nick Jackson starts against Isiah Kassidy, they circle, and they tie up. Nick wrenches to a wristlock, Kassidy rolls and handsprings to wrench and wristlock back. Nick uses ropes to flip through and wrench back to hit a headlock takeover. Kassidy headscissors, Nick kips free, but Kassidy hits a headlock takeover. Nick headscissors, Kassidy kips free, things speed up and Kassidy wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Kassidy kips up, but Nick blocks the chop to knuckle lock. Nick CHOPS, goes up and up, “LUCHA LIBRE~!” and arm-drags!
Kassidy staggers up into another arm-drag, and Nick has the armlock! Fans cheer but Ethan is furious. Nick wrenches Kassidy, tags Matt, and the Bucks double whip to bait Kassidy into a GUTBUSTER, to the NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up with the Bucks, and Matt points to Kenny. Fans fire up, and Matt tags in Omega! Hardy tags in and he circles with Omega. They tie up, break, and then go again. They break, go again, then Hardy headlocks. Omega powers out but Hardy runs him over. Things speed up but Hardy fakes out the hurdle! Hardy kicks low, reels Omega in, TWIST- NO, Omega powers out!
Omega runs in at the corner but Hardy dodges, and the V-Trigger hits buckles! Hardy reels Omega in, but Omega fights the Side Effect! Hardy staggers, Omega runs in but Hardy sends him out! Omega hurries back up but Hardy BLASTS him off the apron! Omega hits railing, Stokely laughs at him, and then Hardy goes up the corner! Omega stands up, but Ethan leaps to CLOBBER Omega! Ethan gives Hardy a thumbs up, he did that so Hardy wouldn’t have to risk himself. Ethan puts Omega in the ring, Ethan apparently snuck a tag that not even Hardy noticed. Ethan drags Omega up to scoop and SLAM him!
Fans boo but Ethan tells the Bucks to kiss this. Ethan drags Omega up, throws haymakers, and then has Omega in the corner. Ethan has Hardy and Kassidy hold Omega in place, then Ethan runs to BLAST the Bucks off the apron! Fans boo more but Ethan runs in, into Omega’s BOOT! Omega is free, he goes up and over Ethan to hot tag Nick! Ethan runs in, Omega dodges and the Bucks DOUBLE GAMANGIRI Ethan back! Nick then tags Matt while Omega RANAS Ethan! The Bucks double kick, Nick runs and Matt gives him the boost to RANA Ethan! Ethan hurries to tag Hardy, he runs in but into DOUBLE DROPKICKS!
Ethan shouts for Kassidy to do something, so Kassidy springboards, but the Bucks get clear to double elbow! They wheelbarrow and lift Kassidy, Omega runs in, WHEELBARROW KOTARO KRUSHER! Kassidy flounders out of the ring while the fans fire up with the Elite. Hardy returns but Omega sets up Ethan and Kassidy. Matt runs in to WRECK Ethan and Kassidy with a dropkick! Matt then holds the ropes for Nick to FLY and take them out! But Matt Hardy kicks Matt Jackson low and reels him in! TWIST- NO, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Matt Jackson starts up the Polar Express, but Ethan saves Hardy!
Ethan swings, but into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Fans fire up with Jackson as he has Hardy for haymakers! And stomps! Jackson runs, Ethan trips him up but Jackson BOOTS Ethan! Hardy catches Jackson for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson over and tags in Ethan. Ethan stomps Matt Jackson, going after the legs. Ethan talks trash on Dayton then brings Matt around for a BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but Ethan soaks up the heat as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Ethan drags Matt up, bumps him off Kassidy’s boot, then tags Kassidy in. Ethan and Kassidy mug Matt, Kassidy stomps away, then lets off as the ref counts. Kassidy drags Matt back up, tags Hardy, and they mug Matt Jackson now. Hardy brings Jackson around to fire forearms and elbows! Then Hardy has Jackson under the bottom rope, for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! Kassidy gives thumbs up as Hardy covers, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off Ethan’s boot, and then tags Ethan in. Ethan and Hardy mug Jackson, abut Jackson fights back with haymakers! Rampage returns to single picture as Jackson backs Ethan down!
Matt Jackson runs but into a BOOT! Ethan BLASTS Omega and taunts Nick. Fans boo but Ethan drags Matt Jackson over to tag Hardy back in. Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off buckles and shouts “DELETE! DELETE!” Fans chant along, and Hardy goes through all three levels! Hardy grabs Jackson’s legs, and YANKS him into a POWERBOMB! Cover, but Nick breaks it! The ref reprimands but Nick backs off. Hardy drags Matt Jackson to the drop zone, goes up the corner, but then Ethan tags in! Fans boo as Ethan ruins Hardy’s good time. Ethan then copies Hardy’s stuff, but leaps into a SUPERKICK!
Fans rally as Ethan and Matt are down! Hot tag to Omega! Fans fire up as Omega goes up top to CROSSBODY Ethan! Kassidy runs in, to get a POLISH HAMMER! POLISH HAMMER for Ethan! Omega spins but Ethan dodges to kick low! Ethan whips, Omega reverses and fireman’s carries! “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” ROLLING SENTON, and the MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Omega drags Ethan up into a half nelson. Ethan fights the full nelson, RAMS Omega into the corner, and Kassidy tags in. Kassidy and Hardy run to BLAST the Bucks while Ethan fires off back elbows on Omega!
Ethan whips Omega corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Kassidy adds a SPLASH, Hardy adds a clothesline! Hardy sets up, Ethan whips Kassidy, FIRM IN MOTION INTO DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!! Ethan is shocked to see what happened, but he runs into a SNAP DRAGON! Hardy runs in, kicks low, but Omega turns Twist into full nelson! Hardy elbows free, runs, and DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Nick goes up, but so does Kassidy! STEREO SWANTON BOMBS!! Nick takes out Hardy while Kassidy takes out Omega! Then Kassidy runs in, dodges Nick and goes up to FLYING COMPLETE SHOT!
Matt Jackson shouts “YOU’RE DEAD!” and he SUPERKICKS Kassidy! Ethan runs in, blocks a kick and spins Jackson to ROUNDHOUSE! and then deadlift POWERSLAM! But V-TRIGGER outta nowhere!! All six men are down and the fans are thunderous! A standing count begins, “This is Awesome!” and Omega crawls to hot tag Nick! Nick storms in to CLUB Kassidy. Kassidy throws a forearm, but Nick hits back! They go back and forth with heavy shots, but Kassidy gets the edge! Nick staggers, but he ROUNDHOUSES back! Nick whips, Kassidy reverses and SPIN KICKS! Nick goes to a corner, Kassidy runs in, but Nick dodges!
SHINING WIZARD! GAMANGIRI! FOREARM! BULLDOG! The Elite regroup and they aim at Kassidy, only for Hardy and Ethan to drag Omega and Matt Jackson out! They’re sent into railing hard, and Kassidy runs to hit a DESTROYER!! Nick flounders to a corner, Hardy sets up again! PARTY IN MOTION! Ethan & Kassidy put Nick up top, DOUBLE ICONOCLASM! And then a feed to the TWIST OF FATE!! Kassidy covers, Matt Jackson breaks it!! Ethan storms in, he gets Matt Jackson up, but he slips off the Ego’s Edge and Omega V-TRIGGERS Ethan down! Hardy throws Omega out!
Hardy runs in, Jackson moves, Hardy BLASTS Ethan! Hardy is shocked and he hurries to check on Ethan. Kassidy TOSSES Matt Jackson out, but Nick springboards in! CUTTER?!? Kassidy covers, TWO!!! Kassidy almost wins this on his own because Hardy and Ethan distracted with Ethan’s jaw. Nick tags Omega while Kassidy calls to his team. Hardy hurries over but Omega V-TRIGGERS Kassidy down!! Omega drags Kassidy away, tags Matt in and then Matt tags Nick. Jackson BLASTS Hardy, Omega Electric Chair Lifts Kassidy! ONE WINGED ANGEL!! Into B T E TRIGGER!!! Cover, The Elite wins!
Winners: The Elite, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Champions)
This was no trap game, but this was far more than a tune-up! The Elite are red hot now, will they melt the Coldest Tag Team in the Game this Wednesday?
Backstage interview with Ricky Starks.
Lexi Nair is with The Absolute, and she brings up the Jericho Appreciation Society throw down the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet challenge. Starks sorta got what he asked for, so what’s the plan? Starks says, “I can tell you it wasn’t a plan for us to match here,” in reference to his shirt and her whole ensemble both being a light khaki. But Starks admits he puts his foot in his mouth, something he’s known to do around here. But that’s okay, because if that is how Starks gets at Chris Jericho, then that is what he’s going to do. If that is the way to beat Jericho, to get out of the “Web of Jericho” that he has entangled himself in, that is what Starks will do.
“I am no stranger to having the deck stacked against me, because I always find a way. Parker, Daddy Magic, Sammy, Danny, it doesn’t matter. Because in El Paso, Texas, I am gonna to prove exactly why I am Absolute. And when I do get my way, Chris, I am going to embarrass you. And I am going to beat you, again.” Starks is ready for everything the JAS is going to throw at him, but will that still get him the win?
Team Triple J speaks.
Jay Lethal tells the others, “Right now, we are riding high. But the Screen Actors Guild and AEW, they’re trying to rain on our parade by distorting on the camera Sonjay’s Golden Globe. I tell you what, just like last week, when we embarrassed the Best Friends and Danhausen, we proved that in the ring, we can’t be matched! And I bet right now, Paul Walter Hauser is sitting at home without a Golden Globe, wishing that he had better friends.” Jeff Jarrett says, “I bet Mr. Walter Hauser wishes he never ever stepped foot in the Kia Forum! Because what happened the last time? I bet he’s wishing he never went on The Late Late Show with James Corden!”
But Best Friends respond!
Danhausen is upset that he got smashed in the head with a Grammy! No, it was a Golden Globe. But keep going, this is good energy. Yes! Danhausen was “decimating” their giant, Satnam Singh, and then he was caught off guard by a GOLDEN GLOBE! That was bad. So YOU will be cursed if it happens again! It shouldn’t happen again, right? It shouldn’t. Danhausen says it WON’T happen again! But when and where will we see the sequel to this showdown of friends and enemies?
Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr!
For whatever reason, second generation wrestlers get on Swerve’s nerves. He can’t get after The Natural just yet, but he’s settling for #FlyinBrian41 here tonight! Will BPJ use his homefield advantage to stop the Mogul? Or will Dayton be “Whose House?” “SWERVE’S HOUSE!”
The bell rings and Swerve circles with BPJ. They tie up, go around, and BPJ powers Swerve to a corner. Swerve pushes back and wrenches to a wristlock. BPJ rolls, cartwheels, handsprings and headstands, but Swerve pushes him down to turn BPJ over to a ghost pin! TWO, BPJ gets up but Swerve is after him. BPJ whips Swerve to a corner, Swerve goes up and over and O’Conner Rolls, then Eddy Gordo RANAS, but BPJ rolls through to stand back up. Fans cheer the technical exchange. BPJ and Swerve tie up again, Swerve pulls BPJ’s hair and puts him in the corner. BPJ turns things around, and he swings, only for Swerve to duck.
Swerve whips BPJ but BPJ rolls, handsprings and kangaroo kicks! Swerve checks his nose while fans rally up. Swerve runs in, BPJ dodges, things speed up and BPJ hurdles to drop. Swerve handsprings over, things keep moving, but BPJ steps on Swerve! Fans fire up as BPJ asks, “Whose House?” “BRIAN’S HOUSE!” But Swerve takes off his necklace to wrap around his fist as he ROCKS BPJ with a sucker punch! Fans boo, Swerve whips, but BPJ reverses and DROPKICKS! Swerve bails out, BPJ builds speed, and fans fire up as BPJ WRECKS Swerve with a dropkick! BPJ hurries away from Trench & Boudreaux while Rampage goes picture in picture.
BPJ grins while Swerve is furious. Boudreaux & Trench help Swerve stand up. BPJ talks some smack but Swerve has his guys stand down. Swerve goes up the steps and into the ring, and he ties up with BPJ. Swerve kicks BPJ, ROCKS him with a right, then swings, but misses in the corner! BPJ CHOPS, ROCKS, and wrenches before he whips corner to corner. BPJ runs in to clothesline, CHOP, and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! BPJ rallies the fans while Swerve grits his teeth. BPJ storms up but Swerve gets around to JAM the leg! BPJ falls over and clutches the knee while Swerve taunts Dayton.
Swerve stands on BPJ’s leg, throws down fists, then kicks him around. Swerve stands BPJ up, BPJ throws hands, but Swerve KICKS the leg out! Swerve goes to the corner, goes up, and he taunts the fans before the FALLING UPPERCUT! Swerve swaggers and smirks at all the fans before he goes back to BPJ. Swerve kicks the leg, grinds an arm, and Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns as BJP and Swerve fire forearm after forearm at each other! BPJ CHOPS, CHOPS, then SLAPS! Swerve staggers, BPJ grabs at him, but Swerve brushes that away to ROCK BPJ with a haymaker! BPJ staggers to a corner, Swerve storms over, but he blocks a boot! Swerve brings BPJ out, slips around that leg and hits a BACKBREAKER! BPJ staggers, Swerve SLAPS him, but BPJ SUPERKICKS! And LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Swerve survives but BPJ fires up! Fans rally as BPJ fireman’s carries. Swerve fights free, and he SLAPS away on BPJ’s back. BPJ snapmares, Swerve blocks the superkick and he mule kicks the bad leg!
Swerve aims from the corner as BPJ clutches his knee. BPJ stands but the bad leg gives out! And then the HOUSE CALL!! Cover, TWO!?! BPJ survives and Swerve is fuming! Dayton fires up but Swerve drags BPJ up. Swerve bumps BPJ off buckles, hoists him up top, then climbs up after him. BPJ throws body shots in return, then climbs up to HOTSHOT Swerve away! Trench distracts BPJ, BPJ runs him off, and the ref is busy with Trench, allowing Boudreaux to trip BPJ up! Fans boo, but Swerve hurries to go out after BPJ and drag him up! Fireman’s carry, APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!!
Swerve hurries up a corner and BPJ sits up, for the KILL STOMPS!! Cover, Swerve wins!
Winner: Swerve Strickland, by pinfall
Mogul Affiliates comes through for their leader, Swerve takes out a second generation star! #HoodiesUp, and the big men stand Swerve up. Trench feeds BPJ to Boudreaux’s LARIAT! Then Swerve brings out the necklace, but here comes DUSTIN RHODES! The Natural has a TURNBUCKLE CROSSBAR! Dustin uses that to run off Mogul Affiliates, but this war has only just begun. Will Dustin prove to Swerve that being second generation doesn’t make him better, but that being better makes him better?
The House of Black speaks.
Malakai says, “There was a saying that reads, ‘Assumptions are a poison that create unrealistic expectations.’ And what is the poison that you people created? The assumption that Eddie Kingston was going to join the House. No, the House does not want Eddie, and Eddie does not want The House. The House did what it always does, and what its mission has been since the beginning: prove that every human being on this planet, no matter how true of heart, is corruptible. And it takes the smallest push into the right direction to peel off the layers of virtue and let that venom of hate grow.
“There is no forgiveness for people like you and me, Eddie. And like Cain did to Abel, you do what you can’t help but do, because it is your nature. It is the balance of who you are in this world. Because no man is ever truly…” The Mad King has begun his descent, will there be no going back now that he has begun to #FadeToBlack?
Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters!
Speaking of a descent, the Revolution and the Lightning have stooped to shocking lows as of late, all in the name of showing the AEW homegrown talent that they, the outsiders, know what is best for business. But will they continue to do whatever they want to the AEW Women’s Division? Or will Charlette & Robyn be just the renegades to fight The Revolution?
The teams sort out and after a rock-paper-scissors game that goes nowhere, Robyn steps up to Storm. Storm doesn’t seem to take Robyn seriously but Robyn eggs her on. Robyn and Storm tie up, go around, and end up against ropes, in a corner, and then to more ropes. Storm lets off to pie face Robyn. Robyn ROCKS Storm! And again, and again, and then she CHOPS! Robyn whips, Storm reverses but Robyn ducks, only to run into Storm’s THESZ PRESS! Storm rains down fists, then she drags Robyn up. Storm puts Robyn in the ropes, CHOKES Robyn, then argues with the ref so Saraya can CHOKE Robyn, too!
The fans boo as Saraya fires off knees on Robyn! Storm sucker punches Charlette! Storm runs to HIP ATTACK Robyn off the apron! Fans are torn while Robyn lands on the floor. Storm and Saraya bring Robyn up to RAM her into steel steps! And then into the railing! The ref has to keep Charlette back, and Saraya says Charlette is crazy! Storm drags Robyn up and puts her in the ring to then drag her over. Tag to Saraya, they mug Robyn, and Saraya short arm LARIATS! And again! And again! Fans boo but Saraya smiles and soaks it all up. Saraya drags Robyn up, tells fans to shut up, but Robyn waistlocks.
Saraya elbows free, whips Robyn to a corner, SHINING WIZARD! Fans boo but Saraya just revels in it. Saraya snapmares and SHINING WIZARDS again! Cover, TWO!! Robyn survives but Saraya drags Robyn up. Robyn RAMS Saraya into a corner, but it’s the enemy corner! Storm tags in, she and Saraya mug Robyn, and then Storm snap suplexes Robyn down! Cover, TWO! Robyn is hanging tough but Storm clamps on a full nelson. Fans rally as Robyn endures and fights up. Storm thrashes Robyn around, but Robyn fights up and breaks the nelson! Only for Storm to throw her down by her hair! Fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Storm just scowls.
Storm kicks Robyn around, toying with her, but Robyn gets mad. Robyn ROCKS Storm! Robyn eggs Storm on so Storm hits back! Robyn ROCKS, CHOPS and repeat! Storm swing, Robyn dodges and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up as both women are down! Storm a nd Robyn crawl, hot tag to Charlette! Charlette rallies on Storm and Saraya! SPLASH in the corner! Charlette rallies the fans with “GET! YOU! SOME!” Charlette runs in, but Storm SHOTGUNS her down! Charlette flounders to a corner, Storm runs in, SWEET HIP MUSIC! Storm brings Charlette up for Saraya to YAKUZA KICK! STORM ZERO!! Cover, Storm & Saraya win!
Winners: Saraya & Toni Storm, by pinfall
The outsiders win, but they’re not done! Saraya brings out cans of spray paint! Toni CLOBBERS Robyn, Saraya chases the ref out of the ring, and they start spraying the Renegades! They put big green L’s on the Renegades, will they continue to hand out those L’s to the AEW Women’s Division?
Adam Cole speaks.
“There is nothing that I love more than professional wrestling. And I have worked harder every single day than I ever have in my entire life. Because for me, I thought my dream was dead. And when your dreams die, your hope dies. I never, ever lost hope, because I refused to let anybody or anything stand in my way of getting back inside that squared circle. And I have no idea who my first opponent will be when I return, but I can promise you this: You are going to get the best damn pro-wrestler on the planet. And his name…” ADAM COLE, BAYBAY! AEW Revolution is the target, will Adam Cole make it all about the boom?
Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.
The World’s Strongest Man says, “Before former ROH Champion, Rush, faces Bryan Danielson this Wednesday, he will face former ROH Champion, Christopher Daniels tonight on Rampage.” The Fallen Angel tells El Toro Blanco, “Your reputation precedes you, but I am not intimidated by reputation. And I’m not a stepping stone for anyone, Rush.” But Rush tells Daniels, “You have never faced anybody like Rush.” Rush continues on in Spanish, then says in English, “Just remember: if you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” Mark Henry then says, “It’s TIME! For the main event!” Will Rush be rolling into El Paso and his battle with the American Dragon? Or will this be the rise of the Fallen Angel?
Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels!
The bell rings and fans rally for the Fallen Angel. Daniels and Rush circle, tie up, and Daniels waistlocks. Rush switches, Daniels switches back but Rush sits. Daniels holds on for a moment but Rush switches back. They stand, Daniels shifts to hit a headlock takeover. Rush headscissors, Daniels pries free to trip Rush to a cover, ONE! The two stand off and fans cheer. Rush and Daniels reset to circle again. They tie up, Rush wrenches and YANKS the arm, then wrenches to CLUB the arm. Rush YANKS the arm but Daniels uses ropes to flip through and arm-drag Rush away! Rush stands up, sidesteps, but Daniels blocks the hip toss!
Daniels tries but now Rush blocks the hip toss. Rush swings but Daniels blocks the haymaker to hit a NECKBREAKER! Daniels then CLOBBERS Rush! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Daniels drags Rush up and CLUBS him. Daniels whips Rush to ropes to calf kick him out! Daniels then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Daniels drags Rush up and into the ring, hurries up the corner, but Jose distracts! Daniels AX HANDLES Jose down! But Rush DECKS Daniels with a sucker punch! Daniels flops out of the ring and Rush distracts the ref so “Perro Peligroso” can attack! Preston Vance holds up the Ingobernables fist, then he POSTS Daniels! Vance even CHOKES Daniels with the stolen masks of luchadors Vance has beaten outside of AEW! Vance gets away with all this as Rush goes out after Daniels. But then Vance distracts the ref so that Rush can beat down Daniels! Rush drags Daniels around the way to throw him into railing!
Rush throws knee after knee into Daniels against the railing while Jose hurries to get the bright green cable! Rush throws down fists, Jose throws the cable over, and Rush holds it up. Rush then gathers some slack, to LASH Daniels! And then CHOKE him with it! Daniels can only cough and sputter because Vance is still in the ref’s face! Rush lets Daniels go, then drags him up to put him in the ring. Jose gives Rush some water to refresh himself, then Jose shows off just one of the many fat stacks MJF gave LFI on Dynamite. Rush uses the fat stack to fan himself off, then gives it to Vance. Rush then gets in the ring to CHOP Daniels!
Rush whips Daniels corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Then he sits Daniels down to rain down forearms! The ref reprimands and counts, Rush lets off at 4. Jose beats the apron like a drum and Rush runs corner to corner, to fake Daniels out on the Bull’s Horns! Daniels lets his guard down, and Rush KICKS him in the face! Daniels clutches his jaw while Rush rolls back to tranquilo. Rush then drags Daniels up to throw him out, and of course Vance is right on Daniels! Vance CHOPS Daniels while Rush distracts the ref. Vance puts Daniels back in, Rush stands on Daniels with a cocky cover, ONE!
Rush is annoyed but he stomps away on Daniels. Rampage returns to single picture as Rush pretends to take Daniels’ head and kicks it into the crowd. But then he KICKS Daniels in the side! Daniels goes to the apron, fans boo, but Rush kicks him to the floor. Rush again distracts the ref, and Vance uses the fat stack of cash to SLAP Daniels! Vance then makes it rain on Daniels, and stands him up to CHOP him down! Fans boo as Jose also makes it rain on Daniels. Vance puts Daniels in the ring, Rush drags Daniels up and throws body shots. Rush tosses Daniels back out, and then “apologizes” to the ref as a way to distract him!
Jose and Vance stand Daniels up, Jose chicken wings Daniels’ arms, and Vance runs in. Daniels moves, the BOOT takes out Jose! Fans fire up, Vance is shocked, and Daniels POSTS Vance! Daniels throws Jose into the ring then goes around the way. Rush is distracted by his assistant being where he shouldn’t be, and Daniels slips in to roll Rush up! TWO!! Rush escapes, but Daniels baits him into the corner. Daniels dodges, ENZIGURIS, and fans fire up! Rush staggers, Daniels runs in and LARIATS Rush! And CHOPS! And wrenches to a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives but Daniels fires back up!
Daniels drags Rush up, CLUBS him again and again, then runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! But Daniels swings! Rush dodge to SUPERKICK! Rush roars, swings, but into a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! But into a KOJI KLUTCH!! Rush endures, Vance drags Rush’s leg to the ROPEBREAK! Fans boo but Daniels lets Rush go all the same. Daniels knows it was that damn dog, but Rush rolls Daniels up! WITH TIGHTS! TWO, and Rush swings again, but into the URENAGE! Daniels points to the corner and fans fire up! Daniels goes up, for the BEST MOONSAULT EVER onto knees!!
Rush OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes Daniels into the corner! Rush makes sure Daniels sits up, and then he stomps away with both feet! Fans boo, Rush stomps around then runs corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
Though it was a valiant effort, Christopher Daniels fought a 3v1 the entire time, he had no chance of winning out. Will Bryan Danielson also have no chance against those odds? Or will the American Dragon find a way to slay El Toro Blanco?
A really good Rampage here. The trios titles opening was quite the surprise, but it was a great match. The Firm looked good, but of course they also had the story of Ethan stealing the spotlight from his own teammates every chance he could. As such, The Elite win, and now we’re going to get a stacked episode of Dynamite. The trios titles, the tag titles, and eliminator matches for the women’s world title and men’s world title. Of those, I’m fairly confident The Elite retain their titles, that would only be their second defense and they have got to be heading to AEW Revolution with these belts. No idea who they’d face then, though.
Plenty of good promos again. Starks responding to the JAS gauntlet didn’t necessarily add anything, he’s of course going to find his way through. Malakai’s promo was equally good but it effectively established what’s going on with the story of House of Black and Eddie Kingston. Triple J and Best Friends are definitely going to have another match, and as I said before, I hope Paul Walter Hauser gets involved to avenge Triple J stealing his Golden Globe. And great new promo from Cole, though it doesn’t necessarily add anything more. Cole is surely going to be part of the Revolution card, and whoever he faces is going to put Cole over but in a very good match.
Really good match out of Swerve VS BPJ, but of course that as a Heel leading a faction, Swerve wins because his guys help out. But it also made sense for Dustin to show up and run the Mogul Affiliates off. As I sensed on Dynamite, Dustin is surely going to team up with BPJ and Brock Anderson against Mogul Affiliates in a Six Man Tag. And as AEW seems to struggle establishing new team names, I’m assuming Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson are gonna be “Lineage” (stylized LineAGE) as a sort of AEW version of Legacy. I say that cuz LineAGE was on BPJ’s tights. Dustin can also join LineAGE if he wants, and maybe LineAGE can get going in the Trios Division.
The Renegade Sisters got a good showing against Storm & Saraya, but of course they also lost to Storm & Saraya. And I suddenly had inspiration seeing Saraya & Storm spray paint big green L’s on the Renegades. Will Saraya & Storm be like The Outsiders, Nash & Hall, and they get an NWO moment at Revolution? The “third woman” will be someone who is currently Face and seems like they’re on AEW’s side. It probably won’t be Shida, she doesn’t seem to like how Saraya & Storm are going. But with Saraya & Storm wearing green and using green paint, and Ruby Soho having green hair, I wonder if Ruby is pushed to the point where she ends up seeing things Saraya’s way.
Still disappointing that Mark Henry’s segment is being trimmed down more and more, but I’m thinking it’s to give more time to the main event match. But this main event was a great main event, even though I just knew Daniels would lose. Rush VS Bryan will be great stuff, and I am sure Bryan will look close to losing because of Jose and Vance getting involved, but surely Bryan will find a way to win.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)
What is the State of the Bloodline?
Roman Reigns responds to what happened at the Royal Rumble.
Though he is still Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the Tribal Chief is without Jey Uso and without the Honorary Uce. What will Roman Reigns do about the Bloodline’s situation?
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium; Braun & Ricochet win and will challenge The Usos for the titles next week.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
- The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla; The Viking Raiders win.
- Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya; Natty wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Bloodline arrives.
Kayla Braxton is already on the scene as Jimmy Usos, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman and the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, exit the vehicle. Kayla wants a word on Jey Usos’ status after what we saw on Saturday, but Roman doesn’t give an answer. Heyman, however, says, “What a cold-blooded question from such a warm-hearted lady.” But at this time, the Bloodline will neither confirm nor deny Jey’s status within the group. But thanks for wearing black and red for them. The Wise Man heads out with the Head of the Table, what will Roman himself have to say later on tonight?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium w/ GUNTHER!
The Monster of All Monsters and the King of Flight were last minute substitutes, but they made the most of their opportunity! Will they take over that SmackDown Tag Division right as the Usos’ partnership is in question? Or will it be Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci secure victory and make Der Ring General proud?
The teams sort out and Braun starts against the Pride of Italy. They circle, tie up, and Braun shoves Vinci away! Braun flexes and roars but Vinci talks strategy with Ludwig. They tag, Ludwig talks some trash but Vinci rushes in! Braun stays up from the chop block, he shoves Ludwig away, kicks Vinci out of the ring, and then DECKS Ludwig on the return! Imperium regroups outside and Braun dares them to bring it. Gunther talks strategy with his soldiers, a ring count starts, and fans rally up for Braun. Braun tags to Ricochet as Ludwig gets back in and they circle. They tie up, Ricochet waistlocks and headlocks.
Ludwig powers up and out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to dropkick him down! Ricochet throws forearms but Ludwig DECKS Ricochet! Ludwig drags Ricochet back up but Ricochet hits a JAWBREAKER! Ricochet brings Ludwig up but Vinci takes a swipe! Ricochet gets distracted and Ludwig CLOBBERS him with a EuroUpper! Braun is upset, he runs in around the way to CLOBBER Vinci! Braun stares Gunther down and Gunther backs away. Braun dares Gunther to try something now, but Ludwig DIVES! Only for Braun to catch him! Ludwig tries to fight free, but Vinci goes up and up and CROSSBODIES to wipe Braun out!
Fans rally for Braun while Gunther has Imperium regroup. The Monster and the high-flyer are in trouble as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Braun CLUBS Vinci. Braun scoops Vinci, Vinci slips free and POSTS Braun! Ludwig tags in, they have Braun stuck in the corner, and they DOUBLE DROPKICK! They push Braun in to cover, TWO! Gunther is frustrated but Ludwig rains down fists. Tag to Vinci, Imperium mugs Braun, and Vinci CLUBS away on Braun’s back. Vinci facelocks and grinds the hold but Braun fights up! Fans rally as Braun powers his way over a step at a time, and he TOSSES Vinci away! Hot tag to Ricochet, he springboards to CROSSBODY Ludwig! Ricochet runs to RANA Vinci, then he runs to RAM him in the corner!
Ricochet bumps Vinci off buckles, kicks him away, and springboards for a FLYING LARIAT! Ricochet keeps moving, STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Gunther is still worried as Ricochet has the fans rallying behind him. Ricochet brings Vinci up, fireman’s carries, but Vinci slips off to CLUB Ricochet and POST him! Ludwig tags in, they set Ricochet up like Braun, but Ricochet dodges! The dropkicks take Vinci out! Ludwig rushes in, Ricochet dodges to handspring and back elbow! Ludwig flounders to the corner, Braun runs in to BLAST Vinci away! Braun has Ricochet build speed, and gives him a boost to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Imperium!
Fans are thunderous, Ricochet is roaring, and Gunther is furious! Ricochet tells Gunther to back off, this is Imperium’s fight. Gunther shoves Ricochet, and the ref saw it! The ref EJECTS Gunther! Fans love it as now this is a fair fight! Gunther is fuming but Braun dares him to try something more. Ricochet gets in the ring but Vinci grabs at him! Ricochet kicks Vinci away but Ludwig is after him in the ropes! Ricochet shoves Ludwig away, but Ludwig and Vinci HIGH-LOW on the rebound! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Braun is shocked, too, as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Ludwig brawls with Ricochet! Ricochet gets the edge, runs, but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Ludwig whips, Ricochet reverses to V-TRIGGER! Ludwig wobbles, Ricochet fires off fists, and the ref counts. Ricochet roars as he lets off at 4, but Ludwig turns things around! Vinci tags in and springboards to CROSSBODY! PENALTY KICK from Ludwig! DOUBLE DROPKICKS to Braun! Vinci covers Ricochet, TWO! Ricochet is hanging tough and Imperium grows frustrated. Vinci drags Ricochet up, Ludwig tags in then climbs the corner, but Ricochet back drops Vinci! Ricochet drags Ludwig down to GAMANGIRI!
Ricochet brings Ludwig back up and reels him in to suplex but Ludwig slips out. Ludwig whips Ricochet to the corner, runs in, but blocks the kick! Tag to Vinci but Ricochet elbows Vinci away! Ricochet ROCKS Ludwig, ENZIGURIS, and goes up! But Ludwig GAMANGIRIS! ROCKET LAUNCH into the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Braun YANKS Vinci outta the ring! Fans are thunderous and Braun fires up! Ricochet stirs as the fans rally up and Braun reaches out. Vinci crawls in, both men go for their corners, hot tags to Ludwig and Ricochet! Braun rallies on Ludwig with big shoulder tackles! And a TOSS across the way!
Vinci runs in, springboards, but bounces off Braun’s body! Braun rips off his shirt but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Braun LARIATS on return! “THAT’S IT!” Braun drags Ludwig up, reels him in, and fans fire up for the MONSTER BOMB!! Tag to Ricochet and he goes up onto Braun’s shoulders! MONSTROUS SWANTON!! Cover, Braun & Ricochet win!
Winners: Braun Strowman & Ricochet, by pinfall (NEW #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
Imperium belittled them as “sideshow circus freaks,” but these freaks are going to challenge the Usos next week! Will this be the perfect time to strike down the historic reign of Jimmy & Jey?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
Kayla is with The Queen, saying the world is buzzing with the Women’s Royal Rumble match winner, Rhea Ripley, choosing her as her WrestleMania opponent. But how does Charlotte feel? Charlotte says Mania will be epic. But tonight, she’s focused on Sonya Deville. “You cannot overlook someone who is as persistent as Sonya.” Sure, she complained to get here, but we’re in Carolina! And- Oh, here comes Sonya now. Sonya says Charlotte must mean they’re in Flair Country! “WOO~!” Yeah? Or more like, Hicksville, No Man’s Land, the middle of nowhere where no one wants to be, including Sonya herself.
But Sonya won’t let that stop her. She’s here for one reason and one reason only: The SmackDown Women’s Championship. And then it’ll be Sonya VS Rhea at Mania. Because Hollywood needs a star, and Sonya is a star! Charlotte chuckles and Sonya asks what’s so funny. Charlotte won’t be laughing when Sonya beats her in the ring. Charlotte says to leave this trash talk for the ring. Sonya says fine, she’ll see her in the ring. Will the Queen still have her crown after taking on the Jersey Deville?
SmackDown shares footage of WWE superstars at the LA Coliseum.
Just last night, in partnership with Fox Sports and NASCAR, The New Day and Rey Mysterio were with Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and the official Clash at the Coliseum branded stock cars. However, The Judgment Day’s Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor & Damian Priest had to crash the fun. Dom says this isn’t about celebrating Rey again, “hanging out with this old guy in pajamas.” Waltrip got upset but the New Day stepped in. Show some respect to the two-time Daytona winner. Finn says that’s the past! They’re with Ross Chastain, the current NASCAR champion! Waltrip tells Dom to be more respectful, but Dom knows what this is about.
Dom says Rey must want to race like they did back in the day when Dom was beating Rey at go-carts! Rey says if Dom wants to get spanked like when he was a kid, sure! Clint said they had two cars right here, so why not race for real? Get on the track and settle this! Everybody got real hyped for that, so Rey and Dom suited up. Waltrip hyped Rey up, and Chastain hyped Dom up. Rey and Dom got in the driver’s seats, put on the steering wheels and helmets, and Waltrip said, “Gentlemen! And the Judgment Day, I guess. Start! Your! Engines!” BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, and they’re off! Dom took an early lead but Rey was hot on his tail!
Dom was even talking trash, asking if anyone had a booster seat for Rey! And where’s the NOS? But Rey says Dom’s driving is as fake as his teardrop tattoo! Dom still had the lead, and said he learned this from his cellmate who was a getaway driver. Rey said the only “getaway driving” Dom’s ever done is in video games! Lap after lap, Dom holds onto the lead, until Rey makes a move! “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” They’re neck and neck, but Rey takes it at the checkered flag! And in the end, that’s what matters! The New Day celebrated with Rey, but Dom says Rey had to have cheated! Things got tense, the pit crews had to break this up! Will nothing but a fight settle this family dysfunction?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville!
The Queen reigns again, but the Pride Fighter says that’s an injustice. Will Sonya bring about her own form of justice and equality to SmackDown? Or will this home game in Flair Country be a big win on the Road to WrestleMania for Charlotte?
SmackDown returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who Rhea faces in Hollywood!
The bell rings and fans rally behind Charlotte already with “WOO~!” after “WOO~!” Sonya and Charlotte circle, feel things out, then tie up. Charlotte arm-drags Sonya, runs her over, then stands over her. Charlotte eggs Sonya on, “Where’s the trash talking now?” Sonya stands up, she and Charlotte tie up, and Charlotte waistlocks to SLAM Sonya down. Charlotte pushes Sonya to a press, ONE! Sonya stands but Charlotte wrenches an arm. Sonya pulls hair but the ref reprimands. Sonya wrenches, wristlocks, but Charlotte cartwheels to wrench back. Charlotte whips, Sonya reverses, but Charlotte goes up and out!
Charlotte BOOTS Sonya from the ropes, goes up top, and fans fire up as Charlotte leaps! CROSSBODY! Cover, ONE!! Sonya is out but Charlotte says that was still close. Charlotte runs in but only gets buckles! Sonya runs in but is put on the apron. Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, stands her up, and wrenches, but Sonya throws Charlotte by her hair! Sonya mocks the “WOO~!” but fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Charlotte sits up, into a KICK from Sonya! And another! Sonya mocks the “WOO~” again, fans boo some more, but Sonya runs in, only for Charlotte to roll her up! TWO, and Sonya ROUNDHOUSES Charlotte back down! Cover, TWO! Charlotte survives but Sonya clamps on a chinlock. Sonya thrashes Charlotte around, says she can do this all day, but fans rally as Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, snapmares free, and then blocks forearms to give forearms! Sonya ROCKS Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks buckle bump to give buckle bump! Sonya staggers away, Charlotte stomps up, but Sonya kicks out a leg!
Sonya runs, Charlotte ducks the lariat and CLOBBERS Sonya! And again! Charlotte CHOPS and CHOPS and CHPOS! Fans “WOO~!” but Sonya swings, into a back suplex! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up! Charlotte runs in at the corner, but blocks boots! Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, climbs up and drops a knee on the knee! Sonya flounders, Charlotte runs to BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya survives but Charlotte is actually amused. Sonya goes to ropes, Charlotte storms up and reels her in. Sonya holds ropes, elbows free, then whips, but Charlotte reverses! Sonya tumbles out to the apron, avoids the boot and HOTSHOTS the leg!
Sonya slides in, runs in and BOOTS Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya can’t believe it! Sonya fumes while Charlotte crawls to a corner. Charlotte drags herself up, Sonya run sin but into a BACKBREAKER! But Sonya avoids the boot! Sonya KCIKS Charlotte, goes up the corner, and FLYING KNEES Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!!! Sonya is furious, but she drags Charlotte to center. Sonya stomps the leg, grins, and goes ‘WOO~!” Sonya steps through, Charlotte turns figure four into cradle! TWO!?!? Sonya escapes by nanoseconds! Fans boo but Charlotte storms up, only for Sonya to send her into buckles!
Sonya runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte drags Sonya to a drop zone, goes up top, and fans fire up for the MOONSAULT! Sonya BOOTS her back! And rolls her up! FEET ON THE ROPES! TWO!!! The ref reprimands but Charlotte still escapes! Sonya steps through, Charlotte kicks free of the figure four! Sonya comes back, sunset flips, but charlotte rolls through! Charlotte has the legs, “WOO~!” Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT!! Sonya taps, Charlotte wins!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)
Sonya was so close and yet so far! But that is how good Charlotte Flair is now that she’s back on top! What will it take for even The Eradicator to take this title off Charlotte at WrestleMania?
The Bloodline sits in their private room.
Roman asks Jimmy, “Where’s your brother?” Jimmy doesn’t know. Jimmy didn’t talk to Jey? Haven’t heard from him. Roman isn’t sure if it’s just him, but don’t you find that disrespectful? Jey not only walks out, but he doesn’t care enough to communicate. It’s one thing to walk away, but to not hear from him for a whole week… Plus, don’t the Usos have a title match next week? “We don’t walk out on our obligations.” Roman can’t understand this. So he asks again: Has Jimmy talked to Jey? And Jimmy will say it again, he hasn’t heard from Jey. But Jey will be there, Jimmy has faith in him. But they all know Jey. He just needs time to cool off.
Roman repeats, “He’ll be there. he’ll be there for you. What about all of us? He gonna be there for the entire Bloodline? Huh? Solo, have you talked to your brother?” Jimmy says if he hasn’t heard from Jey, Jey isn’t talking to nobody, Uce. Nobody has heard from Jey. Roman says they don’t understand the urgency that is needed right now. Roman calls upon the Wise Man. “Yes, My Tribal Chief.” “Is it not WrestleMania season?” “It is WrestleMania Season, My Tribal Chief.” Then you ain’t gonna find Jey on the couch. Go find him now! Jimmy and Solo get up and head out. Will Main Event Jey be found at all tonight?
The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla!
“Butch” and Ridge the Fridge are going to avenge Sheamus against Erik & Ivar! Will the Bruiserweight and Yorkshire Grit be the ones to bring Ragnarök to the Vikings? Or will they end up just like the Celtic Connection?
SmackDown returns and the Vikings make their entrance. The teams sort out and Dunne starts with Ivar. They tie up, Ivar puts Dunne in a corner, but he lets off quickly. Dunne fires forearms but Ivar throws body shots and fast hands! The ref counts, Ivar lets off again, but then Ivar whips Dunne out to send him back into the corner hard! Dunne falls, Ivar drags him to the corner and tags in Erik. Erik whips Dunne into the corner, runs in, but into boots! Dunne brings Erik around, ties him up, and has an abdominal stretch, but he bends the fingers! Dunne powers Erik to the corner, fires forearms, and tags in Ridge.
Ridge runs side to side to forearm smash! Ridge keeps going, and he runs Erik over with a shoulder! Ridge drags Erik up but Erik wrenches out to ROCK him with a forearm! Erik suplexes but Ridge is too big for that! Ridge suplexes Erik up and over! Tag to Dunne, then Ridge clobbers Erik! Dunne BOOTS Ivar, and then the Brutes have Erik for DOUBLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! They go to 7 before Dunne just fires off furiously! Erik flops down, Dunne stomps him off the apron, then he PLANCHAS! Erik gets clear, but Dunne stares “Valhalla” Sarah Logan down. Erik RAMS Dunne into barriers, then CLOBBERS him! Fans boo but SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Dunne pries his way out of a sleeper at the ropes! He SNAPS Erik’s fingers! Valhalla is shocked, Erik runs in, but Dunne goes up and over! Tag to Ridge, and he EXPLODERS Erik! Erik is back up, but he swings into another EXPLODER! Ridge blocks haymakers to throw HEADBUTTS, and then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Ridge roars, “FIGHT NIGHT!” but runs into a KNEE! Tag to Ivar, Ridge CLOBBERS Erik but Ivar kicks low! Ivar reels Ridge in, lifts him up, but Ridge powers up and Alabama Lifts Ivar! ALABAMA SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Valhalla is relieved as the War Beard survives!
Ridge snarls, he waistlocks Ivar but Ivar backs him into a corner. Ivar fires elbow after elbow, but Dunne tags in to ENZIGURI! Dunne runs in to BOOT Ivar! Erik tags in, he runs but into an ENZIGURI! Dunne runs, but into a LARIAT! ACE TEN MAO! Cover, ONE?!?! Tag to Ivar, and Ivar climbs. Erik hands Dunne off to Ivar, but Ridge drags Erik out! Erik RAMS Ridge into barriers! Dunne fights the slam, rains down elbows, and then SUPER STEINERS Ivar away! Cover, TWO!! Ivar survives and Valhalla breathes easy again. Dunne goes up top to MOONSAULT! But Ivar catches Dunne!! Ivar deadlifts Dunne, but Dunne slips into a SLEEPER!
Ivar RAMS Dunne into buckles, Erik tags in and Erik CLOBBERS Dunne! Ivar goes out, Ridge runs in, but into a HEEL KICK! Ivar tags back in, the Vikings have Dunne, and Valhalla nods. RAGNARÖK!! Cover, the Vikings win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
The Brutes could not stop the brutality of Erik & Ivar, the raid continues on! Will the Viking Raiders be waiting on the other side of next week’s tag title showdown?
WAIT! Here comes Drew McIntyre and Sheamus! The Celtic Connection are back on their feet, and they brawl with the Vikings on the stage! Sheamus tackles Erik, McIntyre throws Ivar into railing! The forearms fly, and Sheamus RAMS Erik into a girder! McIntyre runs and RAMS Ivar into the LED screen! Ivar staggers, McIntyre BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Sheamus & McIntyre stand tall! Will they turn the tides in this battle on the Road to WrestleMania?
Bray Wyatt sits in his rocking chair.
Like us, he was surely watching back the highlights of the Pitch Black Match from the Royal Rumble. But then Uncle Howdy walks over! He and Bray look at the camera together, does this mean they’re on the same side after all?
Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya!
As we learned on Raw, there will be a Women’s Elimination Chamber to name Bianca Belair’s WrestleMania opponent! Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Asuka are automatically in given their performance in the Women’s Rumble match. Raw will hold its own Fatal 4 on Monday, but who qualifies for the fifth spot here on Friday Night SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and the Queen of Harts makes her entrance, with the Wild Child, Queen of Spades and La Muneca already waiting. The bell rings and Natty rushes Shayna. Natty dodges Shayna’s haymaker, Shotzi ROCKS Shayna with a right, and then Natty fires off on Shayna. Vega rushes Shotzi but gets a kick. Natty bumps Shayna off buckles and stomps a mudhole! Shotzi throws Vega out, then goes after Shayna, even pushing Natty outta the way! Shotzi has her own bone to pick with Shayna, but then Natty throws Shotzi away. Natty stomps Shayna out of the ring, Shotzi rolls Natty up! TWO, Shotzi headlocks but Natty powers out.
Shotzi runs Natty over, fans fire up and Shotzi runs, but Vega trips her up! Vega drags Shotzi out, THROWS her to the barriers, then laughs as she goes into the ring. Vega and Natty tie up, Vega gets around to roll Natty up, TWO! Vega KICKS from below, covers, TWO! We see Liv and Raquel are here watching backstage, already representing SmackDown in the Elimination Chamber. Vega drags Natty up but Natty ROCKS Vega! Natty scoops Vega but Vega slips off and pushes her away. Vega then tilt-o-whirls, and hits a CODE RED! Cover, Shayna kicks it apart! Shayna gut wrenches Vega to a SLAM!
Shotzi returns, Shayna gets around and hooks Shotzi up, BACKBREAKER! Shayna grabs Shotzi’s arm and stands on her head. Shotzi flails, fans boo, but Natty CLUBS Shayna down! Natty drags Shayna up, throws her to the apron, and runs in. Shayna avoids the shoulder to KICK Natty! Vega trips Shayna but Shayna CLOBBERS her for it! Shayna gets back in, and KNEES Natty down! Shayna grins as she covers, TWO!! Natty survives that nasty knee that once broke her nose, and Shayna soaks up the heat from the fans while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Shayna pulls on Shotzi’s arm in a top wristlock. Shotzi fights up and fires body shots but Shayna DECKS her! Shayna stands on Shotzi’s arm, but she avoids the stomp! Roll up, ONE, but Shotzi BOOTS, KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS Shayna, to then QUESTION MARK KICK! Shayna ends up on ropes, Shotzi runs to SENTON! Shayna bails out, Shotzi DIVES to take her out at the ramp! Fans fire up but Vega goes up top! Vega SUPER MOONSAULTS onto Shotzi and Shayna! All three are down, Natty hurries out to DECK Vega! Natty puts Shotzi in, runs and trips Shotzi, to the SHARPSHOOTER!
Fans fire up as Shotzi endures, but Vega hits a BULLDOG on Natty! Shotzi chicken wings Vega to TIGER SUPLEX! But Shayna reels Shotzi in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Shayna then drags Vega up into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Vega flails, but she’s fading! Natty runs in, Shayna drops Vega to duck the discus! KIRAFUDA for Natty!! But Natty throws Shayna out of the ring! Natty hurries to get Vega for the SHARPSHOOTER!! Vega taps, Natty wins!!
Winner: Natalya, by submission (advances to Elimination Chamber)
The Queen of Harts is going to be the hometown hero in Montreal! But will that help her take the golden ticket to Hollywood?
Roman Reigns still waits in his private room.
Heyman apologizes to the Tribal Chief. Jey’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Heyman wants to say more, but he holds his tongue. Jimmy and Solo return, and they also say they got nothing. A big fat zero. Roman sighs. “I just don’t understand. Of all the times of year for this to happen. We were doing so good. No problems, no hiccups.” Roman says they know how much he has on his plate. That they understand “the stress and the burden of this position.” He feels like he’s being pulled in two different directions, and spread too thin. He loves them, and is sorry for speaking tot hem the way he did.
Jimmy says not to worry about it. Roman says he needs them. He needs them to be as strong as they ever were. Because if they’re not, there is no more #WeTheOnes. Wise Man had catering sent to the bus, it’s a whole bunch of sushi, steaks, etc. It’s good stuff. They can go to the bus and eat up while Roman goes to the ring to handle business. He needs them with him. They understand? Yeet. Then enjoy. He’ll catch up with them later. Jimmy says okay, and has Solo tag along. What will Roman say about Sami, Jey and the Bloodline as a whole? We find out, after the break.
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
On top of the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, we will see a Fatal 4 Way match to name a #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship! Rey Mysterio VS Madcap Moss VS Karrion Kross VS Santos Escobar! Who will win to go after Der Ring General?
Roman Reigns heads to the ring.
Paul Heyman is the only one to accompany the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as his reign now reaches 887 DAYS! Roman lifts the belts for the pyro, then continues to the ring. As it stands, Roman Reigns will headline WrestleMania against the American Nightmare, the Men’s Rumble Winner, Cody Rhodes, but even that seems to be secondary to what is going on within The Bloodline. Roman and Heyman stand in the ring, and Roman lifts the belts again for the second round of pyro. Heyman then hands Roman a mic while fans chant, “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman lets that settle down before he says, “Greenville, South Carolina… ACKNOWLEDGE ME!”
Fans are still rather torn between cheers, jeers, and the chant of “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman was going to ask them who they want him to talk about, but it’s obvious. Roman says he’d rather sit here and talk about Cody Rhodes. “Y’know, the guy that won the Royal Rumble, the #1 contender. Someone who actually deserves my attention. But you simple folks have reduced me to talking about the past.” Fans boo, then start up the “SAMI! SAMI!” again. Roman says fine, if they want to hear about Sami, he’ll talk about Sami. “But remember, there’s two sides to every story, so you’re gonna hear mine.” Fans boo, they already don’t like that.
Roman says that in order to hear his side of the story, “we’ve gotta go all the way back to WarGames.” Heyman remembers when Roman looked Sami in his eyes that Roman saw everything he needed to see. “Would you like to know what I saw that night? I saw greed. I saw the same thing that I see in everybody that I ever interact with in my life nowadays. If a restaurant was lucky enough to have me, when I walk in, the hostess, the people in the kitchen, the waitress, the waiter, they all say the same thing. ‘I want this.’ It’s not, ‘Tribal Chief, it’s great to see you.’ No, it’s ‘What can I do for you, like I haven’t already done enough?'”
So Roman does the same thing for Sami, he gives Sami the opportunity of a lifetime, and Sami just uses him, the Bloodline and the Island of Relevancy! “No different than each and every one of you, because you all want, want, want. You can never give back, huh?” BUT THEN SAMI ATTACKS!! Sami came outta the crowd in a hoodie but it’s clear as day that’s him! Sami rains down furious fists and fans are loving it! Sami tears off the hoodie to reveal his new Sami Zayn shirt! Roman staggers up, Sami fires off, but Roman throws knees in return! Roman stomps Sami down, fans boo, but Roman shakes out the stars.
Roman tells Heyman to get a chair, so Heyman gets a chair. Heyman hands the chair to Roman, but Sami is back up! Sami SPEARS Roman?!?! Fans are thunderous as Sami hits Roman with his own move! And then Sami looks down at the chair. Fans are chanting for “SAMI! SAMI!” and Sami swings! Roman avoids the chair shot and retreats up the ramp! Sami shouts in the mic, “ROMAAAN!! You’re wrong about me. I never wanted anything from you. I never wanted anything from you!! Until now. I want something from you now, and I’m gonna take it. Because I am coming after you and the WWE UNDISPUTED UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!”
Fans are going nuts, and Roman is flabbergasted! But then Jimmy SUPERKICKS Sami down! Solo and Jimmy mug Sami! Fans boo but Roman grins as Solo rains down HEADBUTTS! Solo stands Sami up, SAMOAN SPIKE!! Sami sputters but the Bloodline isn’t done with him! They sit Sami in the corner, rain down fists, and then they put the chair around Sami’s head! They’re gonna Riddle him! Solo runs in, but Roman stops him!? Roman looks down on Sami and says, “You want something, huh? You want something from me?” Roman takes the chair away, and fans are chanting “WE WANT JEY! WE WANT JEY!”
Roman tells Sami to listen to that. The fans want Jey, but Roman doesn’t have Jey because Sami broke up the Bloodline. The Right Hand Man isn’t here because of Sami! Sami was given the keys to the kingdom, the invitation to the Promised Land, and Sami repays them by breaking up the family! Sami will get what he wants, but Roman will get what he wants. Sami and Roman will be in Montreal at the Elimination Chamber! Sami broke up Roman’s family, so Roman will break Sami in front of his family! Sami’s parents, wife, kids, friends, relatives, everyone he’s connected to! They will see what happens when you mess with Roman’s family! “I’ll see you soon!”
Sami is still down, fans still chant for him, but then they boo as Roman takes the belts back. If this is what Sami wants, then this is simple to Roman! This isn’t a dream, this is reality! Sami should’ve just stayed in the Bloodline. Roman lifts the titles over Sami, will this be what we see in Montreal in just two weeks?
This was a great SmackDown to follow the Royal Rumble! For one, it flew by, though that could be because of the recap packages and only the four matches. I did like the bit we got out of Bray and Uncle Howdy, though it was rather short. The NASCAR racing segment was cheesy like a lot of pro-wrestling corporate synergy stuff is, but it continues to further the plot point that Dom will just get in Rey’s face anywhere and everywhere. With Rhea wanting after Charlotte, it is obvious that the rest of Judgment Day will move over to SmackDown with her, they will have a new feud with Rey, and New Day might even back Rey up for some really good Six Man Tags.
Speaking of Charlotte, she and Sonya had a decent promo before their match, which logically wasn’t the main event because it was a given Charlotte would win. Even so, Sonya looked strong in that match, just not strong enough. And great move having the Women’s Fatal 4 be the “main event” as far as matches. Shotzi, Shayna, Vega and Natty are all great talents, and it makes sense to give Montreal their hometown hero of Natty in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. Personally, I would’ve given the nod to Shayna, she would be just as good in the match, and if she were to move over to Raw, she could still have great matches against Bianca Belair and others past Mania.
The Brutes VS Viking Raiders was a really good tag match, but of course the Vikings were gonna win that. And given that, of course Drew & Sheamus were gonna get after them. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in a Donnybrook or a Viking Rules match, but we need one of those at Elimination Chamber for the blow-off of McIntyre & Sheamus VS Erik & Ivar. They need to go wild and just beat each other down. I also like the news of the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4. Rey, Moss, Kross and Escobar is a great field, but I can’t be sure who faces Gunther. Well, outside of Moss. I don’t see him pulling out a win there, but at the same time, Rey and Kross might cancel out. Escobar VS Gunther so that we could get Legado Del Fantasma VS Imperium would be really cool.
Speaking of Imperium, great opening tag to finish the SmackDown Tag Title tournament. Braun and Ricochet getting after Gunther to get him ejected was good stuff, and of course Braun & Ricochet as the Faces win. Their story ties into the Bloodline dysfunction, and the promos from The Bloodline was good stuff. Jey is MIA and radio silent, which is still a big part of things. Roman again had to walk back his anger in order to keep Solo and Jimmy on his side, and then Roman had a great promo to close the night, along with Sami’s blindside attack. Sami wanting the titles is a natural move, but I have a feeling Sami loses in Montreal to really put heat on Roman. As much as we all love Sami, as great as Sami truly is, Roman VS Cody got a really good Mania Hollywood graphic, WWE’s not changing that.
My Score: 8.8/10
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