Tonight’s Raw opens with the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!
After ambushes, brawls and a BEEFY Six Man last night, Big E and Bobby Lashley throw down for the WWE Championship to OPEN tonight’s Raw!
- WWE World Championship: Big E VS Bobby Lashley; Big E wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- Erik w/ Ivar VS Angel Garza w/ Humberto Carrillo; Garza wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship: Reggie VS Ricochet; Reggie wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- Akira Tozawa VS Keith Lee; Lee wins.
- WWE United States Championship No Holds Barred Match: Damian Priest VS Sheamus; Priest wins and retains the title.
- Six Man Tag: Jeff Hardy, Mansoor & Mustafa Ali VS Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky; Mahal, Veer & Shanky win.
- Karrion Kross VS Jaxson Ryker; Kross wins.
- Matt Riddle VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins.
- Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
- WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Big E VS Bobby Lashley; Big E wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE World Championship: Big E VS Bobby Lashley!
The Powerhouse of Positivity was the 2021 Mr. Money in the Bank and did what any Mr. Money in the Bank winner would do when he pounced on the Rocky Mountain Machine. But he won’t stand for being called a coward while being the one jumped from behind! Will Big E make Lashley feel real small in this Raw before the Draft?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this massive Monday begins!
Fans rally for “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” as the two tie up and go around. They end up in a corner and Lashley pushes Big E into the buckles. The ref counts, Lashley lets off clean but the two stare down. Big E SLAPS Lashley so Lashley fires off haymakers and knees! The ref counts, Lashley lets off again and runs side to side to ROCK Big E with a forearm! Big E crawls, Lashley gets him up and on the ropes to choke him! Lashley also throws forearms but the ref counts. Lashley lets off to glare at the ref, then he gets Big E up to bump off buckles. Lashley throws back elbows but fans rally behind Big E. The ref counts again, Lashley lets off to suplex Big E down! Cover, ONE!!
Lashley snarls as he stalks Big E. Lashley stands Big E up for a knee, whips him out of the ring, then soaks up the heat as he paces. Big E stands up, Lashley goes out after him and RAMS him into barriers! Then he fireman’s carries to POST Big E! Big E hits the floor and Lashley encourages the boos as he says he’s becoming champ again. Lashley hears the ring count start so he goes after Big E, only to get an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E gets even as Raw goes picture in picture.
Lashley sputters and Big E staggers. Big E gets Lashley in the ring, but Lashley hits back then runs to BLAST Big E off the apron! Lashley soaks up more heat as he paces and lets the ring count put pressure on Big E. At the same time, it’s Champion’s Advantage so Lashley goes back out at 7 to brawl with Big E! Big E throws body shots but Lashley throws him into steel steps! Lashley gets right in the faces of the front row fans before he brings Big E up. Raw returns to single picture as Lashley puts Big E back in the ring. Lashley catches Big E for a COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Big E still has power to spare but Lashley wraps on a chinlock to cut the air off.
Big E fights up as fans rally and he throws body shots. Big E gets free but he runs into an elbow! Lashley soaks up more heat before he whips Big E to a corner. Lashley runs in to RAM his shoulder into Big E. Lashley puts Big E up top, throws hands then climbs up to join him. Big E throws body shots again and then CLUBS Lashley down! Fans fire up but Lashley comes back to ROCK Big E! Lashley climbs up, Big E resists and throws more body shots. Big E shoves Lashley down, Lashley staggers but goes side to side to ROCK Big E with a right! Big E falls off the top and hits the floor! Lashley revels in his own power before he goes outside to fetch Big E.
Lashley runs in around the way but into DOUBLE LARIATS! Both men are wrecked down on the outside but Lashley crawls around the way. The ring count climbs to 5 of 10, then 7. Both men are in at 9! Lashley CLUBS Big E but Big E CLUBS back. They throw forearms, haymakers, and then stand up to keep brawling. Big E gets the edge with big fists but Lashley knees low! Lashley whips Big E into a corner, then whips corner to corner. Lashley goes corner to corner but into the clinch! Lashley fights off the urenage to hit a NECKBREAKER! Lashley stands, Big E sits up, and Lashley throws down fists. Fans rally up and Big E is feeding off the haymakers!
Lashley pushes Big E, runs, but Big E drops to then hurdle! Big E ELBOWS Lashley, then scoops! Lashley grabs ropes to avoid the Big Ending, so Big E puts him on the apron. Big E ROCKS Lashley, builds speed and SPEARS Lashley off the apron! But wait, is that Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in Hurt Business gear? Aren’t they OUT of that group? But then Big E gets in to get a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Lashley sees his old associates and smiles to see he has allies again. Lashley aims at Big E, runs in, and SPEARS! But here come the NEW DAY! Woods and Kofi fight Alexander and Benjamin in the ring and the ref throws it all out!
Winner: Big E, by disqualification; retains the title
The Hurt Business is reformed and they’re brawling with the New Day! Big E throws Lashley out, Woods takes care of Alexander, Kofi takes care of Shelton! Cincinnati is fired up as Kofi and Woods FLY to take out Cedric and Shelton! Security and management hurry out but Big E CLOBBERS Lashley into the timekeeper’s area! Adam Pearce shouts, “ENOUGH! I have seen enough! Dammit, it is not gonna end like that! Not in Cincinnati! This match needs to decide who the better man is once and for all.” Pearce tells Lashley and Big E they will compete again tonight, with the title on the line, and inside a STEEL CAGE! Cincy goes nuts hearing that one! Will the battle for the gold finally end inside the steel?
Erik w/ Ivar VS Angel Garza w/ Humberto Carrillo!
The Viking Raiders settle for singles action against the heartthrob cousins. Will Erik give Garza a Viking Experience he won’t forget? Or will the Lethal Lothario look even better against a former Raw Tag Team Champion?
The bell rings, Erik waistlocks but Garza elbows free. Erik shoves Garza down, waistlocks and SLAMS him down again, then kicks. Garza blocks to knee! Garza runs to LARIAT! OFF COME THE PANTS! Garza goes after Erik but Erik throws hands. Garza knees Erik down, clamps on and clubs him before putting on a dragon sleeper. Erik fights back but Garza traps an arm. Garza has a seated cobra twist but Erik endures. Fans rally, Erik fights up but Garza uses the beard to jam Erik up! Garza boots, Erik DECKS Garza with a right! Erik CLOBBERS Garza into a corner, then hauls him up for an EXPLODER! Erik stalks Garza but Garza kicks back
Garza whips Erik, Erik reverses and reels him in, Ace Ten Mao! Carrillo distracts Erik but Ivar rushes over. But Erik turns around into a SUPERKICK! WING CLIPPER!! Cover, Garza wins!
Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall
Ivar snarls and rushes in, but Carrillo helps Garza get away. The cousins smile and celebrate together, but will they stick together through the WWE Draft?
WWE 24/7 Championship: Reggie VS Ricochet!
The one man Cirque du Sommelier can do a lot through the air, but he might learn some things from the One and Only King of Flight! Will Ricochet swoop in and take the title away? Or is there still time left on Reggie’s reign?
Raw returns and Ricochet makes his entrance. Also, R-Truth, Drew Gulak and Drake Maverick are watching in the front row… Is this part of their brilliant new plan? The bell rings, Ricochet and Reggie shake hands and then tie up. Ricochet headlocks, Reggie powers out but then things speed up as Ricochet front flips over him. They go again. Ricochet waistlocks, Reggie switches, Ricochet switches back but Reggie slips out the back then does his own front flip over “Rico.” Ricochet gives credit where credit is due, and they tie up again. Reggie headlocks, Ricochet wrenches out and puts Reggie in a corner to whip corner to corner. Reggie goes up and over but so does Ricochet!
Reggie runs at Ricochet but Ricochet arm-drags him out. Ricochet then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and the two men are down! Maverick sends his henchmen! They beat up Reggie to end the match!
Winner: Reggie, by disqualification; retains the title
Truth and Gulak mug Ricochet but they’re forgetting about Reggie! Ricochet flips off the table to QUEBRADA the mob down! Maverick shouts into his walkie-talkie and here comes Akira Tozawa! He was their back-up plan! Reggie hurries back to the ring, slips around him and hits the SPINNING CROSSBODY! Reggie hurries away and Maverick is upset with his bungling minions again. Will Team Rockstar Spud ever dethrone the slipper sommelier?
Matt Riddle scoots around backstage.
The Bro is humming Randy Orton’s theme song, but Kevin Patrick asks him how he’s preparing for AJ Styles. Riddle’s getting in the zone flying solo because Orton is taking a week off. Orton needed some time away from Riddle or else, and these are Orton’s words, he might RKO Riddle onto the concrete. Riddle said that’d just hurt Orton’s back but anyway, Riddle wonders if Orton is chilling at a spa to get ready for the Draft. Or he could be right outside getting some Skyline Chili. Either way, Orton deserves a cheat day because of his hard work. If anything, Orton is just at home watching his bro, Riddle, right here tonight.
Riddle has a message for Orton: “I miss you and I love you.” Riddle has Orton with him at all times, though, in these headphones as he jams out to Voices. Kevin leaves it at this, because here comes Omos and Styles! Riddle is a deer in headlights, but will he be all good against The Phenomenal One 1v1?
Akira Tozawa is still in the ring?
The Stamina Monster was sulking after another failed attempt, and now he wants to vent. “Tonight, I demand a match with R-Truth! I demand a match with Drew Gulak! I demand a match with Drake Maverick! I don’t care who it is!” Tozawa waits, but it isn’t either of those three! It’s KEITH LEE!!
Akira Tozawa VS Keith Lee!
The Limitless Bearcat is here to get himself a fight, too! The bell rings and Tozawa bangs his head on buckles cursing his luck. Tozawa runs in but Lee CLOBBERS him! Then whips him and SPLASHES in the corner! Lee TOSSES Tozawa across the ring, then fireman’s carries for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE!! Cover, Lee wins!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall
And he’s barely even breathing hard. Tozawa might be barely breathing, will he learn to watch what he says? As for Lee, he’s back but who will he get to limit break next?
Big E and the New Day are fired up.
Kevin asks how Big E feels about the Steel Cage rematch tonight. Big E wants to first bring up the “family reunion” we just got. Kofi and Woods sing and Big E tells Cedric and Benjamin that if they wanna bring their narrow behinds up into his business, that’s just fine! Bobby, you know when that cage goes up, it’s going down! And Big E promised that he was gonna cash in, and he did! He promised that he and New Day would win, and they did! So just like Babe Ruthe in his prime, Big E’s calling one more shot! Steel Cage, just Big E, just Lashley, and Big E promises and assures Lashley that he walks out once more as the RIGHTFUL WWE Champion! The cage is ready, but who survives its sadistic steel?
WWE United States Championship No Holds Barred Match: Damian Priest VS Sheamus!
Extreme Rules and the Triple Threat with Jeff Hardy wasn’t enough for these two! The Archer of Infamy takes on The Fella for a third round, but who wins when there MUST be a winner?
Raw returns to the ring as Sheamus makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, this is the exclamation point on this rivalry!
The two rush right into a tie-up and they go into a corner. They go around, Sheamus puts Priest in a corner but Priest pushes back and puts Sheamus on ropes. Sheamus gets a headlock but Priest slips out so they tie up again. Priest wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, tries to bring Sheamus down but he counters with a facelock. Sheamus powers his way to a lateral press but Priest keeps his arms up. Sheamus throws down elbows, clamps on a headlock, then hits a takeover. Sheamus still wants a lateral press but Priest resists. Sheamus powers him to a cover, ONE, and Priest gets up to his feet. Priest wrenches to a hammerlock and CLUBS the arm more, but Sheamus gets to ropes.
Priest doesn’t have to let off, though, and he CLUBS Sheamus again! Sheamus elbows Priest away, CLUBS him in return, and then CLUBS him down. Priest gets mad and gets up but Sheamus whips him corner to corner. Priest reverses, runs in and back elbows! Priest whips back the other way to back elbow again, then a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, ONE!! Sheamus bails out but Priest pursues, only for Sheamus to trip him on the apron! Priest lands hard, Sheamus throws body shots. Priest blocks the suplex to give a suplex to the floor! Sheamus hobbles away and Priest pursues again, and a BOOT sends Sheamus tumbling over the steps!
Time to get extreme as Priest brings out a TABLE! A day late, technically, but better late than never. Priest sets the table up by ringside but Sheamus CLOBBERS him from behind! Sheamus hauls Priest up, THROWS him at the steps, and Priest tumbles up and over! Sheamus goes to reposition the table, but Priest comes FLYING over the steps with a forearm! Direct hit, and now Priest brings Sheamus to the ring. Sheamus puts Priest in first, then stands him up against ropes. Sheamus has Priest up for Beats of the Bodhrain, but Priest blocks at 5! And ROCKS Sheamus with a right! Then another! Sheamus teeters, but he dodges the boot to fire forearms back!
Sheamus hauls Priest up to a fireman’s carry, WHITE NOISE through the table!! Both men crash through wood and to the floor and are down as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Sheamus SMACKS Priest with a kendo stick! Sheamus counts them out, he’s already gotten two so here’s THREE! But then he trolls fans on the fourth and CHOKES Priest with the kendo stick! Sheamus has the bamboo in Priest’s mouth for a new take on the Dublin Smile, but fans rally up behind Priest. Priest powers up, powers the kendo stick away from his face, but Sheamus CLUBS him on the back! Sheamus smirks as he watches Priest get up. Priest elbows Sheamus away, but Sheamus scoops for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Sheamus is frustrated but he gets a new table! Sheamus sets that up in the corner while Priest flounders to the other side.
Sheamus fetches Priest, stomps his hand, then brings him up to throw hands. Priest counter punches, body shots, uppercuts, forearms and then whips. Sheamus kicks the back drop away, then brings Priest around , only for Priest to put him outside. Sheamus goes to the corner but Priest runs in. Sheamus HOTSHOTS Priest, goes up top, and showboats, before he leaps into a KENDO STRIKE! Priest SMACKS Sheamus in return and with interest! Sheamus is stinging and Priest CLOBBERS him up and out of the ring! Fans are fired up as Priest goes out and runs to BACK ELBOW Sheamus against barriers! Priest roars and fans fire up with him as he looms over Sheamus!
Priest drags Sheamus up, but Sheamus POSTS him! Sheamus RAMS Priest into barriers, then Sheamus goes into the ring with a chair. Sheamus sits in the chair to soak up the heat and watches Priest drag himself back into the ring. Sheamus goes over to Priest, stands him up and places the chair on his face. Priest ROCKS Sheamus with haymakers and body shots! Fast hands and JUMP KICK! Priest springboards but Sheamus CLUBS him! Sheamus RAMS Priest into a chair that was wedged in the corner!! Sheamus then hauls Priest up in an Alabama for an ALABAMA SLAMMA! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Sheamus seethes.
Fans boo as Sheamus soaks up some heat and aims from a corner. Sheamus runs, into a CHAIR! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! The Fella survives and the Archer is frustrated! The two sit up, they throw forearms on the mat, then Sheamus gets the edge. Priest hits back, they stand up and Priest gives BIG boxing elbows! ROUNDHOUSE! ANOTHER! Sheamus staggers and Priest runs to the ropes, but he fakes the Brogue out to LARIAT! Fans are thunderous as Priest runs in at the corner. Sheamus puts him out again but gets another ROUNDHOUSE! Priest climbs the ropes for the jump, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!?! Priest barely gets an arm up!
Sheamus is too sore to be frustrated and he can barely walk. “This is Awesome!” as Priest and Sheamus shake out the stars. Sheamus gets a kendo stick to SMACK Priest again! He stands Priest up with the stick but Priest swats that away to duck, BELL CLAP and BOOT! Dragon sleeper, but Sheamus uses that to scoop Priest! But Priest slips out before heading for table! Sheamus mule kicks, whips but Priest reverses and Sheamus CRASHES through table!! Priest roars, hauls Sheamus up and dragon sleepers, RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
Now THAT is how you #LiveForever! If this is truly the end for him and Sheamus, where will the Archer of Infamy look to next to add to his legacy?
Mustafa Ali and Mansoor talk at gorilla position.
Is this what he wants? A Six Man Tag with Jeff Hardy? What is he thinking? Oh c’mon, Mustafa. Are you really not excited to be teaming with THE Jeff Hardy? Hardy is a tag team legend! And this could be the difference between them being separated in the Draft or being taken together as a tag team! Hardy can help! Did Ali ever ask for help? If Ali saw that face painted freak to his face, he’d- What would you say, Ali? Uh… That he and Mansoor are honored to be working with him. Hardy says that Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky are “some big scary bastards,” but Hardy’s faced bigger and scarier. But he’s also excited for this team up. Plus, they get to twist some fate!
Six Man Tag: Jeff Hardy, Mansoor & Mustafa Ali VS Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky!
The Star of Saudi Arabia joins in with the dance moves, but The Beacon is still reluctant. But can they and the Charismatic Enigma overcome the Modern Day Maharaja and his compatriots in Cincinnati?
Raw returns and Mahal’s team make their entrance. Ali starts with Shanky and dropkicks at the bell! And then again! Shanky steadies himself to tilt-o-whirl SIDEWALK SLAM! Shanky roars as he stands over Ali, then he tags in Veer. Veer stands Ali up to CLUB him on the back, then scoops him. Ali slips off to put Veer in a corner then tags to Mansoor! Mansoor rallies but Veer doesn’t budge from the forearms! Mansoor CHOPS, whips, but Veer reverses and follows to VEER THESZ PRESS! Then drops a LEAPING elbow! Cover, TWO! Veer clamps onto Mansoor with a neck wrench! Fans rally as Mansoor endures but Veer leans on the hold. Mansoor fights up but Veer KNEES him low.
Tag to Shanky, he brings Mansoor around and DECKS him with a right hand. Shanky throws back elbows, then goes corner to corner, but Mansoor dodges the boot! Mansoor crawls, Shanky tags Mahal, hot tag to Hardy! Hardy rallies with haymakers on Mahal, then whips. Mahal reverses but Hardy clobbers him! Hardy DECKS Veer and Shanky to atomic drop, leg trip and leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick and a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Hardy throws off the shirt and kicks low, but Mahal avoids the Twist! Ali tags in as Hardy elbows Mahal away. Somersault FACEBUSTER! Cover but Veer breaks it! Hardy goes after Veer but Veer throws him out.
Veer goes to the corner, Shanky hobbles after Hardy. Shanky gets Hardy up but Mansoor LEAPS in to knock Shanky down! Veer tags in and stalks Ali, BIG shoulder tackle! Veer dares Ali to get back up and he winds up, FAST BALL LARIAT!! Cover, Team Mahal wins!
Winners: Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky, by pinfall
The Million Dollar Arm pays dividends for the Maharaja! Will they be ready to take over whatever brand the Draft puts them on?
Karrion Kross speaks.
“My name is Karrion Kross. And I’ve never felt more rejuvenated, more reinvigorated or more alive than now. Because I’ve only just begun to taste the vindication of erasing souls. Sure, some of your favorite superstars have limped out of the ring with torn ligaments and broken spirits, but that’s nothing more than a preliminary trial.” No one truly knows where they’ll end up by the end of this, but it all leads to the agony Kross causes. You won’t recognize the affliction until the last waking moment. In the end, they will all #FallAndPray. Who will Kross cross out next? We find out next!
Karrion Kross VS Jaxson Ryker!
Raw returns and Ryker’s made his way out to the ring. The bell rings and the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock so they break, and Ryker eggs Kross on. Kross fires off haymakers and then stomps Ryker in a corner. Kross runs but into haymakers from Ryker. Kross BOOTS Ryker, has him against ropes and claws at his face while they’re in the corner. The ref counts and Kross eggs on the Marine. Ryker throws hands in return, but Kross gets under to hit an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Kross keeps on Ryker with an armlock but Ryker fight sup. Ryker pulls an ear, throws body shots but Kross knees low. Kross whips, Ryker reverses and RAMS Kross!
Ryker fireman’s carries but Kross fights free to DOOMSDAY SAIDO! KROSSJACKET! Ryker flails, tries to fight free, but he taps! Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
Mr. Apocalypse smirks as he conquers Ryker. Will time only tell where and when Kross brings the end to a champion’s title reign?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage.
They’re both excited to see who steps up to Charlotte Flair’s open challenge tonight, but then they’re visited by “Doudrop” Piper Niven. What can they do for her? Well, they could give her the match with Flair just cuz. Sonya says they don’t want Piper thinking she doesn’t deserve a title match, unlike Naomi who doesn’t deserve to be on SmackDown. But that’s besides the point. Piper’s beaten Eva twice and no one will see this coming. But if Piper wins, can she do the dance with them? Y’mean this one? Piper does her little side to side shimmy and Sonya loves it. So then will Piper dethrone the Queen to dance her way to the Draft?
Bobby Lashley speaks.
“Big E, you call yourself the rightful WWE champion? And that makes me sick! Makes my blood boil! You became champion by cashing in a briefcase after I had a grueling match with Randy Orton and I was injured.” But he isn’t injured anymore. He’ll be happy to be in a steel cage, because he can beat Big E up, bash his head in, climb out or even take mercy and just open the door as the rightful WWE Champion! There are many ways to win and losing is NOT an option, but will Lashley once again be All Mighty?
Matt Riddle VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
The Bro is going solo like Han, but will he shoot first on the Phenomenal One? Or will Styles bring Riddle down from his high and get that much closer to a Raw Tag Team Championship rematch?
Raw returns and Styles makes his entrance, Omos at his back. The bell rings and Styles circles with Riddle. They tie up, Riddle waistlocks and SLAMS Styles to the mat, but holds on as Styles gets up. Styles powers Riddle into a corner, throws an elbow as he exits, but Riddle dodges to fire off KICKS! Riddle tops it off but Styles blocks to put the leg on the ropes! Styles KICKS the hammy and then KICKS Riddle down! Styles paces while he seethes and then he kicks again. Riddle blocks to fire off palm strikes and forearms! Riddle whips, Styles reverses but Riddle goes up and over and KICKS Styles down! BROTON! Riddle gut wrenches Styles for a suplex, then gets up to do it again!
Riddle holds on and wants a third, and he gets the third! Styles writhes from the hattrick while fans fire up. Cover, ONE! Riddle keeps his cool as Omos seethes. Styles throat chops Riddle, then storms in, into a KNEE! Styles staggers back to the corner, Riddle runs in to forearm smash! Riddle runs side to side but Styles CLOBBERS him! Styles suplexes to TOSS Riddle out to the floor! The ref tells Omos to give Riddle space, Styles goes out to SLIDING KNEE from the apron! Riddle is down, Styles fetches him up as the ring count starts, and Styles puts Riddle in the ring. Styles takes his time returning, soaks up the heat and mocks Riddle about Orton being absent again.
Riddle throws body shots in return then fires forearms. Riddle runs but into a BACKBREAKER! “I’m the main event! ME!” Styles is clearly frustrated about more than just being without tag titles. Styles drags Riddle up, throws him out of the ring, and again Omos looms over Riddle as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Riddle throws hands but Styles knees low. Styles swings but Riddle spins him for a PELE! Riddle runs in to forearm, then goes side to side. Styles tries to hit him first but Riddle dodges to hit Styles after all! BROSPLODER! PENALTY- NO, Styles ducks it, avoids the moonsault, and gets knees up for the Broton! Riddle writhes, Styles reels him in for a fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as both men are down but Styles drags himself up first. Styles says this is it, but Riddle fires off palm strikes! Styles the roundhouse to unload the Phenomenal Blitz, into a FINAL FLASH! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Riddle grows frustrated but he gets up and brings Styles around. Riddle fireman’s carries but Styles fights free. Styles ducks the clothesline to PELE! Both men are down again and Omos is seething on Styles’ behalf. Styles is up, he spins but Riddle ducks to ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Both men are down again but Riddle keeps wrist control! Riddle drags Styles up as he fires up, but Styles ducks the kick to pump handle to a GUT BUSTER! Riddle writhes and sputters but Styles isn’t done with him. Styles goes to the apron and takes aim. Fans rally up as Styles prepares the arm, springboard, but Riddle KICKS his legs out! Styles gets a hotshot then falls to the floor, to get a PENALTY KICK!
SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO! Direct hit and Cincy is thunderous for Riddle as he puts Styles in! Riddle goes up top now, FLOATING BRO into a CALF CRUSHER!! Styles catches Riddle out of the sky and CRANKS back on the leg! Riddle endures, crawls, flails, powers up and gets the ROPEBREAK! Omos is furious as Styles lets go. Styles gets the leg again but Riddle drops so he can boot Styles away. Styles slides in, into another KNEE! Riddle hears voices in his head just like his bro, the Viper! Fans fire up, Omos panics, but Styles turns RKO into BURNING HAMMER!! Styles stands Riddle up, for the STYLES CLASH!!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Omos says, “That’s what I’m talking about!” All worries are relieved as the Phenomenal One truly gets a phenomenal victory! Then Omos hauls Riddle up for a COLOSSAL CHOKE SLAM! Will this prove to management to give these two another shot at the Raw Tag Team Championships? Or even the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Fridays?
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler.
Sarah wants to know what was going through her mind when she brutally injured Nia Jax last week. Shayna seems conflicted all over again, so she chooses not to answer. Will the Queen of Spades’ actions speak loudly for her the next time she’s in the ring?
Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven!
The Queen not only defeated Alexa Bliss at Extreme Rules, she tore her heart out by ripping Lily to shreds. But she confident puts up this challenge, and the woman who Doudropped the #EvaLution accepts! Will Piper dry up Charlotte’s reign to being her own? Or will we still say #LongLivetheQueen?
Raw returns and Piper makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the fans love Piper’s energy as she goes up against the top of the mountain!
Charlotte and Piper circle, approach and tie up. They’re in a deadlock so Charlotte gets a headlock. Piper powers out and runs Charlotte over! Charlotte is surprised and Piper nods that’s how it is. Things speed up, Piper rolls then side steps to redirect and run Charlotte again! Fans fire up with Piper but Charlottes kicks low. Charlotte scoops but Piper’s pretty big. Piper scoops Charlotte but Charlotte slips out to shove. Piper ducks and dodges to CLOBBER Charlotte with a double sledge! Then the BACK SENTON! Fans fire up as Piper runs but here comes Eva…! The EvaLution is not done with Piper, no matter how many times she loses.
And Charlotte BOOTS then NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall (still Raw Women’s Champion)
Eva storms right into the ring to talk trash on Piper. “That’s what you get.” Eva is taking the spotlight and that just annoys Charlotte so Charlotte CLOBBERS her! Eva just got humbled, but will the Queen ever stop stylin’ and profilin’ as Raw Women’s Champion?
Goldberg is live via satellite.
“Bobby Lashley. Let’s talk man to man here. I’m a father, you’re a father. I don’t know what kind of father you are, but for your kid’s sake, I hope you’re a better father than you are a liar.” When Lashley put his hands on Goldberg’s neck to choke him out, he had the balls to say it was a misunderstanding. But there’s no misunderstanding. Just like when Goldberg’s son was born and he swore on everything that is holy to protect him from all that would hurt him. Lashley hurt Goldberg’s son. Now, Goldberg will fulfill his promise to his wife, son and to Lashley when he hurts Lashley really badly. If Goldberg’s lucky, he’ll even kill Lashley.
One thing people forget about Goldberg is that he will enjoy every single second of what he does. Gage Goldberg is Bill Goldberg’s son, and Bobby Lashley is about to be Goldberg’s victim. But will Lashley also be a champion when Goldberg comes for his livelihood?
Eva Marie is still in the ring.
She picked herself up over break and has to say, if she had the opportunity that Piper just had, she would be Raw Women’s Champion. And honestly, she is tired of being taken advantage of and disrespected, especially from all the fans. Eva could beat any woman in the locker room and they all know it! But before Eva can exit the ring, Shayna Baszler comes out to go right to the ring! Eva tries to get out the other way but Shayna gets her in the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Shayna thrashes Eva around as she squeezes her out! Eva barely has the energy to tap but she goes to sleep! And fans cheer for the Queen of Spades!
But Shayna isn’t done! She drags Eva to the apron and kicks away on the arm! Eva flops to the floor but Shayna pulls the steps apart! Shayna wants to repeat what she did to Nia! She isolates the arm and Eva pleads, but Shayna still STOMPS the arm!! Referees rush out as Shayna makes history repeat itself! But unlike with Nia, Shayna embraces what she’s doing to Eva! Fans want that “One More Time!” but medics already have Eva out of the way. Shayna leaves it at this, but will she be satisfied until she’s dismantled every woman in her way to the title?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H!
The NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions have found success together because just look at them. They’re complete opposites, but opposites attract. And one thing they have in common is that they wanted these titles. They fist bump but Rhea has Nikki stop moving around. And the draft doesn’t matter, they can go wherever whenever. No matter what, #SuperBrutality is ready to fly! Well, they’re working on that. But now that they’re champs, they need… matching outfits! Rhea, what do you say to the color blue? Blue is a good color, on Nikki. Then what about a blue cape? They can BOTH be Almost SuperHeroes! Will Rhea stick to her black and metal? Or will she lighten up her outlook with some help from Nikki?
The cage begins to lower.
It is ready for all the violence and anger that will be unleashed, but will either Big E or Lashley still be standing after tonight?
WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Big E VS Bobby Lashley!
The big battle to open the show didn’t finish with a big ending, but there’s still time tonight! This match is to prove who is TRULY WWE Champion, but will he be a Powerhouse of Positivity or a Rocky Mountain Machine that leads the way into the Draft?
The introductions are made, the door opens and Lashley attacks Big E right away! Lashley kicks Big E down, goes out after him and, after taking the belt off him, RAMS him into barriers! And then RAMS him into the timekeeper’s area! Lashley drags Big E up, brings him back around for forearms and then RAMS him into steel steps! Fans boo but Lashley soaks it all up as he looms over Big E. Lashley hauls Big E up again to RAM into the side of the cage from the outside! And then chokes him against barriers before firing clubbing forearms! Lashley fireman’s carries Big E to POST him off the corner of the cage!
The referees reprimand Lashley and check on Big E as Lashley paces around. Lashley pulls steel steps apart, takes aim at Big E and RAMS him down from behind! Big E flounders but Lashley wants fans to boo louder as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Big E has gotten into the cage! He isn’t letting this end without a real fight and Lashley laughs. The bell rings, the door closes and Lashley runs in, into an Urenage-E!! Cover, ONE!! Big E gets Lashley up to RAM him into steel! And then more steel! Big E is giving it all back as he whips Lashley into a corner! But Lashley comes back to CLOBBER him! Fans boo but Lashley feeds off it as he drops elbows on Big E, then stands him up for forearms. Lashley RAMS Big E into steel and Big E staggers around. Lashley fires hands in a corner, digs his forearms in, then lets off to go corner to corner, and RAM Big E back into the corner!
Lashley brings Big E around, suplexes and holds him up, then SLAMS Big E down! Lashley brings Big E around to straddle and knock him down. Fans boo as Lashley paces around again. Big E slowly gets up, Lashley takes aim from a corner. Lashley runs in but Big E HIP TOSSES him into the corner! Big E RAMS Lashley into more steel, side to side and back again! Lashley wobbles, Big E scoops, but Lashley slips out to get the arms! Big E resists the full nelson, elbows but Lashley uses that to half nelson! Big E resists so Lashley scoops for a HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Lashley snarls, but he decides to climb the cage! Big E hurries up and after him!
Big E CLUBS Lashley’s legs, climbs up to join Lashley up top, and he drags Lashley into position, only for Lashley to turn things into a DRAGON SLEEPER! The ropes help with leverage and Big E is fading! Fans rally with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” but Lashley lets Big E go. Big E falls to the floor, Lashley starts climbing up again! Big E flounders as Lashley reaches the top, and Big E springs back to life! Big E drags Lashley down, they brawl on the top rope and Big E dribbles Lashley’s face off steel! Lashley falls back and fans fire up as Big E starts to climb! But as he reaches the top, here comes the HURT BUSINESS! Cedric and Shelton attack and send Big E back inside!
Big E falls against ropes and then to the floor! The Hurt Business shout to their Chief Hurt Officer and he heads for the door. But the New Day SLAMS it shut on him!! And then Woods and Kofi drag Cedric and Shelton down! Kofi is up top but Shelton whips Woods at steel. Woods goes Spider-Man to CLOBBER Shelton! Kofi SUPER TRUST FALLS to take out Hurt Business!! The New Day shout to Big E to keep going as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Big E battles with Lashley up top, but Lashley hits a SUPERPLEX! Lashley crawls to the cover, TWO! Big E is still in this and fans rally up behind him. Big E and Lashley slowly rise, Lashley goes to a corner and runs corner to corner at Big E, but into a big elbow! Big E runs but Lashley hurdles! But he turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then ANOTHER! Lashley swings, Big E dodges then gets the THIRD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up as Big E runs, but Lashley SPEARS before the splash! Cover, TWO!! Lashley and Cincy are shocked Big E survives! Fans rally again but Lashley stands first. Lashley hauls Big E up, turns him, NECKBREAKER!
Lashley goes to a corner and climbs while Big E is down. But he isn’t leaving the ring, he waits for Big E to stand for a FLYING ELBOW! Lashley looms over Big E again and drags him back up, snap suplex! Lashley signals for the door and strolls over, but Big E anchors him! Lashley stomps Big E down then walks for the door but again Big E grabs on. Lashley stomps him and tells him to stay down, but Big E refuses! Big E grabs Lashley’s arm, Lashley scowls and drags Big E up to swing on him. Big E ducks and scoops, BIG ENDING!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives and Cincy is surprised again, but Big E keeps his cool.
Big E heads for the door as fans cheer but Lashley anchors Big E now. Lashley gets up as he has a leg and he reels Big E in, but Big E dodges to get Lashley up! Lashley fights free to uppercut and whip, to then hit a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Lashley grins as he paces, and he goes to a corner to climb up the wall. Big E hurries as Lashley reaches the top, and Big E CLUBS Lashley on the back again! And again! Lashley throws hands, Big E elbows him back. Big E elbows and elbows and elbows and elbows! Then he gets Lashley in position, for a SUPER BIG ENDING!! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE World Champion)
That might be an understatement! That was an AMAZING ending! And in the end, Big E proves he is mightier than the Rocky Mountain Machine! Will Raw continue to #ThinkBig even after the Draft?
But wait! Here comes DREW MCINTYRE! Lashley’s embargo on the Scottish Warrior is long gone, and now he’s aiming his Claymore at Big E! Big E is just fine with that, but will McIntyre be granted mercy by the Draft and still have a way back to the world title?
What a great Raw, especially knowing this is the “go-home” to the Draft and the follow-up to Extreme Rules. WWE rebounds fairly well from the slightly blasphemous headscratcher ending of Reigns VS Demon Balor by keeping things fairly strong through the whole night. Well, even “fairly” seems generous. Ricochet got 24/7 Division’d outta nowhere and yet he and Reggie don’t even get a chance to really show everyone what they can do. Reggie retains because Maverick’s team bungle things up, but at least Keith Lee gets a strong return as he squashes Tozawa. And for those unsure or unaware about the “Bearcat” nickname, it is to pay homage to wrestling history, especially in terms of African-American wrestler history. But whether Bearcat or Limitless, Keith Lee should hopefully get to a title this time.
Speaking of titles, we got an awesome US Championship match out of Priest VS Sheamus in a No Holds Barred match, but I really wish this is what we got at Extreme Rules. Yes, USA Network and Raw need the ratings but WWE just keeps going bass ackwards through the process. But with this, I am thinking/hoping Sheamus goes to SmackDown in the Draft. As I said last night for Extreme Rules, Sheamus can go after the Intercontinental Championship and complete his Grand Slam. As for Priest, his card’s open so maybe Keith Lee gets next up. Then in the Raw Women’s Championship match, I was naïve to think Eva Marie wouldn’t screw Piper over.
Now I’d rant again about Vince dragging us kicking and screaming back to the days before #GiveDivasAChance, but then Shayna got to wreck Eva as a vicious statement saying that not only is she back to her old form, but we aren’t quite in such shallow waters yet. If anything, Shayna taking Eva out of the equation for a moment means she will be going for the title, perhaps having to go through Piper to do it. We got a decent promo out of the women’s tag champions, but could it kill Raw’s writers to realize, “Hey, the champs literally got called out on SmackDown, shouldn’t they respond to that?” Continuity between brands and networks would help everyone, y’know.
I was a bit surprised Team Jinder won, but it makes sense since they’ve been flattened over and over by Drew McIntyre and they need something to get back up. I like the use of the Million Dollar Arm from Veer, that wind-up lariat is a great finisher. I would hope the Draft keeps Mahal’s group together, and same for Mansoor & Mustafa, but Hardy going to SmackDown could help freshen some things up, including for himself. Kross VS Ryker was whatever, but it does make me wonder where Elias has been. We saw that vignette where Elias stated he was giving up the musician gimmick, but clearly WWE has no idea what to do with him when he isn’t that. Maybe he resurfaces in the Draft and finds that new character to get himself going again.
Riddle VS Styles may have been yet another rematch, but this was truly a great match to improve the night. It is clear Styles & Omos are still on a course to once again collide with RKBRO, but it just shows Vince doesn’t know what else to do with his own great selection of teams. Why not get T-Bar & Mace going as Tweeners that fight RKBRO and Styles-Omos? Dijak can do more than just throw people around and I’m sure the same goes for Dio Maddin, Vince just has to realize they’re not only what his mind comes up with. Meanwhile, Goldberg has a decent promo that in a roundabout way sets up a Crown Jewel match without saying anything about it, but obviously its happening.
The world title story was rather paint-by-numbers for WWE but still pretty action packed. The opening world title match was really good until the absolutely unmotivated Hurt Business reunion. Well, other than MVP can’t be around in person for a long time and Lashley clearly needs someone to help him out when things get desperate. Which is NOT how an “all mighty” Heel should be, but whatever. I am a bit surprised we didn’t get Kofi & Woods VS Cedric & Shelton in the middle somewhere but I suppose if the Hurt Business is back, we might get one more of those during the Draft event.
Lashley losing could easily be a sign he’s moving to SmackDown and his team is going with him, but then that’d mean SmackDown has the two “star power” matches, Lashley VS Goldberg and Roman VS Lesnar, and I don’t think USA would allow that. Hurt Business probably stays on Raw and we relive the summer. Meanwhile, what a great move to have McIntyre step up. Whether or not the Draft moves McIntyre, he does deserve a match with Big E now that the ban on the world title is lifted. Big E VS McIntyre shouldn’t be saved for Crown Jewel, it should happen on one of the Draft nights to add to the suspense.
McIntyre could win and be moved, could lose and be moved, could win and stay, or could lose and stay, all with some great possibilities for him in the Fall and Winter. As I said last night and in relation to Sheamus, McIntyre should go for the Grand Slam in time for Survivor Series. He can lose in an awesome match to Big E, stay on Raw, fight his way to the US title and be a champion in time to face the Intercontinental Champion from SmackDown, aka Sheamus, in a really huge Survivor Series showdown.
My Score: 8.5/10
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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