Brock Lesnar returns to SmackDown tonight!
The suspension was lifted, and now the Beast Incarnate, BRRROCK, LESNARRR, returns to Friday Night SmackDown to make it #BrockFriday!
- Sasha Banks VS Shayna Baszler; Sasha wins.
- The Viking Raiders VS Los Lotharios; Los Lotharios win.
- Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston; Woods wins, by disqualification.
- Sheamus VS Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Sami Zayn w/ Brock Lesnar; Roman wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
BROCK LESNAR opens SmackDown!
No more indefinite suspension for the “alpha male of our species,” he’s back on Friday nights! Lesnar gets the mic as fans chant for “Suplex City!” Lesnar sees they’ve caught on that his suspension’s been lifted. But he’s here for one reason and one reason only: The Universal Championship. Now, you might wonder how he got the suspension lift. But here comes Sami Zayn! Sami says this is great! At long last, their paths are crossing! It’s been a long time coming. In so many ways, they’ve paralleled each other. Minus the UFC Heavyweight Championships and WrestleMania main events. But other than that, there are similarities.
Sami wants fans to give him a second, he’s talking to Brock. They’re Canadian alpha males doing their thing, and no disrespect or funny business, but man to man… Sami’s a fan. He respects Brock’s body of work, and this look he’s got? Awesome! The top knot? Should’ve done that years ago. Brock tells Sami to shut up. Brock is a bit confused. He hasn’t got the slightest idea who the hell this is. Pardon his ignorance, but Sami’s a fan of Brock? Sami is also the “Master Strategist” and the elder statesman- Shut up. Sami’s sure got a lotta balls coming out here and interrupting Brock.
See, Brock lives in Saskatchewan and so he’s from Canada. He hunts things in Saskatchewan and kills them, then eats them in Saskatchewan. So tell Brock, “Who the hell you think you are, and why I haven’t ripped your… head off!” Valid questions, and Sami will give answers. Sami is the elder statesman and locker room leader, but also the #1 contender to the Universal Championship! Against all odds, Sami won a battle royal and is now the first in line to face Roman Reigns at WWE Day 1! So then, Brock wants to get this right. Brock gets suspended, and Sami ends up #1 contender. Yeah, it is kinda funny, right? Not a knee slapper but it’s good.
So yes, Sami is #1 contender. And once Sami wins, he will roll out the red carpet for- Oh, Sami’s taking on Roman at Day 1? Yes, and then we can have Sami VS Lesnar, no questions asked! Sami means it! He’ll happily do that for Brock. Oh silly Brock. It’s all coming together. “They’re playing you.” Well, yeah, they have been. There’s a whole conspiracy. But how is it they’re playing him? Well why wait until Day 1? Why not do it tonight? Here in San Antonio! Fans like the sound of that! Brock can see it now! Sami- It is Sami, right? Yes. Sami Zayn VS Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship! Great idea, but to be honest, Sami’s dreamed of winning the title, just not in Texas.
The fans boo hearing that, but Brock says he’s the fan now. Sami thanks Brock for that. There’s another thing. Sami needs to mentally compare, and there’s a thing in his hip- Brock suggests Sami should fight Roman tonight. C’mon! Sami nervously laughs, says it’s not a bad idea, he just needs to prepare. Sami, listen to Brock. Shut up and listen. Sami should fight Roman Reigns tonight. Sami keeps trying to reason with Brock, Brock’s kinda crowding him. But that’s fine. Do it tonight. But- Tonight. Sami thanks Brock for the advice but says no thanks. Then he puts a hand on Brock’s shoulder. Sorry, that’s on Sami. Brock bends Sami’s hand back and asks, “So tonight it is?”
YES! YES! Sami spares himself the pain and Brock says, “I knew you had it in ya! Go get ’em, kid!” And to top it off, Brock promises to be by Sami’s side to witness it first hand. He’s got Sami’s back. Oh, okay. Then you’re gonna see a new Universal Champion, TONIGHT! Is Brock genuinely going to make sure The Great Liberator dethrones the Tribal Chief? Or is the Beast the one playing Sami now?
Sami finds Sonya Deville backstage.
He wants to know if Adam Pearce is here so he can talk with both of them. Apparently not, he has travel issues. But she can help him. Well, the thing is, Sami kinda put his foot in his mouth and agreed to challenge Roman here tonight. But to be honest, he wants to wait until- Oh, hey, Brock! Sami was just saying how they should do things tonight. But Pearce isn’t here- Well Sonya can still make the match. And it’d be a great main event. It’s official! Awesome! And then Lesnar faces the winner at Day 1? Yep. They’re all winners! High five! Sami gets his chance, but he’s basically stuck between a Brock and a hard place!
Sasha Banks VS Shayna Baszler!
It’s #BossTime in San Antonio as Sasha goes 1v1 with the Queen of Spades! But will Sasha’s friendship with Naomi come back to bite her against Sonya Deville’s favorite wringer?
The bell rings, Sasha dodges Shayna to ROCK her with a forearm and bump her off buckles. Sasha CHOPS Shayna, knuckle locks and goes up, up, but jumps into a KIRAFUDA! Sasha arm-drags free, Shayna KICKS her down! Shayna drags Sasha, isolates the arm, but Sasha avoids the stomp! Sasha goes up and around to arm-drag again and Shayna bails out! Sasha builds speed but Shayna avoids the baseball slide to ANKLE LOCK! Sasha hops around then rolls to send Shayna into the LED apron! Sasha then runs to 619 Shayna from the apron! The ring count climbs, Sasha METEORAS Shayna down at the ramp!
Sasha gets Shayna up and in, covers, TWO! Fans rally behind Sasha as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns, Sasha slips out of a corner and shoulders into Shayna. Sasha runs Shayna side to side and bumps her off buckles, then swings in to DOUBLE KNEE! Sasha runs but Shayna follows to KNEE her down! Shayna drags Sasha up to gut wrench SLAM! Cover, TWO! Sasha is still in this but Shayna paces. Shayna taunts the fans cheering Sasha on, then she kicks Sasha around. Shayna taunts Sasha, “Give me pyro, see what happens. Give me jewelry, see what happens.” It’s not that stuff fans don’t like, it’s Sasha! But then Sasha SLAPS Shayna and everyone liked that! Sasha throws CHOPS, forearms, then knuckle locks to go up, up and FLYING ARM-DRAG!
Shayna staggers up, Sasha blocks the kick to KNEE her back! Shayna goes to a corner, Sasha runs in but she blocks Shayna’s boots to ROCK her! STOCK DROP KNEES! Cover, TWO! Sasha keeps on Shayna and brings her up in the corner. Shayna stops the tornado before it starts to KICK Sasha down! Shayna runs in, but into NIGHTSHADE! Sasha drags Shayna back up, TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO! Sasha can’t believe it, but she keeps her cool as fans rally up. Sasha drags Shayna up, reels her in, but Shayna drops to kangaroo kick then boot Sasha to a corner. Shayna runs in, only gets buckles! Sasha wheelbarrows but into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!!
Shayna has Sasha caught, but Sasha pushes back to a cover! ONE, but Shayna gets the clutch again. Sasha rolls back to another cover, TWO! BANK STATEMENT CROSSFACE! Shayna fights up, powers out, blocks a kick and throws Sasha down to then KNEE her down! Sasha is folded back! Shayna drags Sasha back up, gut wrenches but Sasha RANAS to a cover! Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by pinfall
The Boss snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Will this help Sasha get back up and be a #LEGIT contender?
Sonya Facetimes with Pearce.
She confirms, Brock is in the building and has convinced Sami to cash in his title opportunity tonight, and then the winner faces Brock at Day 1. So there’s a title match tonight? Yes. Main event, obviously. Well, maybe it’s for the best that Pearce isn’t there. No, Brock’s in a good mood! Pearce will be fine. Yeah, Brock’s in a good mood, he got reinstated without Pearce’s say-so. Pearce doesn’t want to disrupt anything, so he will “remember the Alamo” tonight. What?! Tonight of all nights? Upper management won’t like that. Yeah, well, upper management will like it less if something happens again so thanks, bye. Oh c’mon!
But then Drew McIntyre walks in. He wants to get to the point. Who is responsible for him not being in the Black Friday Battle Royal last week? Well Pearce made the list so ask him about the snub. Of course, Pearce isn’t here so you can’t. Okay. Then tell Pearce that McIntyre is looking for him and would like a word. The sword makes McIntyre’s point, will Pearce take that “under advisement?”
SmackDown presents an all new edition of Happy Talk!
Yes, “Happy” Corbin & “Mad Cap” Moss are back. And they’re going to host another episode of their talk show, after the break.
SmackDown returns as Corbin & Moss sit in their armchairs. Corbin welcomes us back, and “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” But what makes Corbin happy was that battle royal. Yeah, they had a ton of fun eliminating guys. Moss was throwing out left and right, and then Corbin had that hilarious prank when he threw Moss out. Moss frowns, but then laughs and says it was great. Yeah, but it wasn’t so great for Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s fried so many brain cells over the years, he couldn’t remember that Sami Zayn was never actually eliminated! So please, tell Corbin there’s a Jeff Hardy joke. Of course!
“What would you call Jeff Hardy if he were a woman with child? A Swanton MOM!” Only Moss and Corbin laugh. Corbin says that was incredible. And then, there’s Drew McIntyre. “That gigantic crybaby was so upset he didn’t make the cut for the battle royal, that he came running out here with a giant sword, swinging it around and trying to cut people! Drew has got to stop about worrying and become happy.” Moss has one: What do you call Drew McIntyre checking a battle royal list? A Scottish Worrier. But time for them to worry about McIntyre as he storms out with the sword! Moss hurries out to be the bouncer, but McIntyre points the sword at Corbin.
Corbin turns around, into a TWIST OF FATE! Moss goes after Hardy, but Hardy gives him a Twist of Fate! McIntyre gets in to CLAYMORE Moss down! And kip up! McIntyre and Hardy throw their shirts away and fire up with San Antonio! They even take some of Corbin’s hats! Will Moss & Corbin no longer be laughing when the Scottish Warrior and the Charismatic Enigma kick their asses?
Xia Li shares volume 3 of her journey.
“The starry night sky drapes over me on a peaceful walk back home. The only sound are my boots on the gravel. And then, something else. Deep breaths of anticipation. They creep from the shadows and skitter like rats to me. One blocks my path. the other lunges for my bag. I hate vultures. They see life through foggy lenses. Mistake women for weak, and the small for the disempowered. They never see me for me.” Xia Li is the defender of the vulnerable, destroyer of the oppressors. The Protector finally arrives next week!
The Viking Raiders VS Los Lotharios!
Erik & Ivar are here to bring the raid to San Antonio! Meanwhile, Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo want to bring the love to the ladies. But they both want to be at the top of the SmackDown Tag Division! Which duo gets one step closer to The Usos and the SmackDown Tag Team Championships?
SmackDown returns and the charismatic cousins make their entrance. The teams sort out and Erik starts against Garza. Garza takes his pants off, but Erik catches him before he can throw them, and hits a SPINEBUSTER! Erik DECKS Carrillo, drags Garza up and puts him in the corner to tag in Ivar. Erik feeds Garza to Ivar’s scoop SLAM! Then Erik scoops Ivar to SLAM him on Garza! Ivar fires up, tags Erik back in then SPLASHES Garza in a corner, to feed to Erik’s KNEES! Ivar runs in but Carrillo saves Garza from the Viking sized Bronco Buster! Erik grabs Carrillo, drags him up and in to SLAM him down! Carrillo gets up, dodges Erik and DIVES to hit Ivar!
Garza SUPERKICKS Erik! Tag to Carrillo, he Chanceries Erik and Garza talks trash before- Wait, someone is rocking out? Where did Boogs and Nakamura come from!? Erik gets free of the chancery, DECKS Garza, but Carrillo rolls Erik with tights! Los Lotharios win!!
Winners: Los Lotharios, by pinfall
The Viking Raiders still lost! Nakamura’s revenge plan backfired! The Viking Raiders go out and say they get this was meant to help and screw Los Lotharios over. Boogs makes it up to them by playing the Viking Raiders’ theme. Everyone’s ready for the raid, but will these four all get revenge on Garza & Carrillo?
Backstage interview with Toni Storm.
Kayla Braxton welcomes the Lightning From Down Under and Toni knows, after last week, she is now “Toni, the girl who got two pies thrown in her face.” That should be her intro. But Charlotte Flair can try and embarrass Toni as much as she wants, but that won’t stop Toni from going after what she wants: a title match. Toni is not afraid of Charlotte, she is not intimidated by Charlotte, and despite all those accolades and championships and fancy robes, Toni is not impressed by Charlotte. Charlotte tries to embarrass Toni because Toni already embarrassed her. Toni predicted that Charlotte would lose to Becky Lynch at Survivor Series, and that she would unravel when she did.
Toni knows Charlotte has more experience than Toni, but Toni is in Charlotte’s head. Charlotte may think Toni isn’t on her level, but when she accepts the challenge, Toni will prove Charlotte dead wrong. Toni may be “Two Pie Toni,” but she’s setting her sights on a better nickname: Toni Storm, SmackDown Women’s Champion. Toni heads out, is her time drawing near?
Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Xavier Woods!
The Right Hand Man knows he’s got to get ’em! But King Xavier wants to get his revenge on The Bloodline, so he’ll start at the bottom! Will Woods be able to exact vengeance for Kofi Kingston’s leg and the destruction of his regalia? Or will he be put in the Uso Penitentiary?
SmackDown returns as the Usos get the mics. They raise their fingers because #WeTheOnes, and San Antonio chants, “UCE! SO!” The Usos get fired up hearing that. Jey tells Sami Zayn, “What’s wrong with you? Challenging the Head of the Table to a championship match, Uce?” Jimmy says, “That’s a bad look for you, Sami Zayn.” But what’s worse? What? Having Brock Lesnar intimidate you and being all scared. Last time Jimmy checked, there’s only one man to fear here on SmackDown. Who’s that? The same man who gonna smash Sami tonight, then smash BRROCK. LESNARRR. At Day 1!
Oh you don’t know who they talking about? Who? The head of the Table! The Universal Champion! ROMAN! REEEEIGNS! #WeTheOnes! But Jey will finish business. They smashed the crown, now to smash Woods’ spirit! The King of the Ring makes his entrance and has a mic of his own to respond. “So the Usos don’t like surprises, huh? Like that surprise earlier tonight of one Samuel Zayn getting the upper hand on Roman Reigns.” Well then they won’t like this surprise tonight. Yes, Woods’ crown is shattered, for now. But Woods always brings a gift to the party. So without further ado, Woods brings to us… “Who? Who? Who?” THE HAND OF THE KING! SIR KOFI KINGSTON!
Yes! Kofi is back! His knee is all better and he’s backing Woods up! Will this reinvigorate Woods and help him get the win?
The bell rings, Jey kicks Woods and CLUBS away already. Jey whips Woods hard to a corner, Woods bounces off buckles and falls to the mat. Jey taunts Woods, stomps him down, then drags him up to waistlock. Woods elbows free, Jey reels him in to back suplex NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Woods gets to a corner, Kofi and Jimmy talk some smack but Jey talks smack, too. Jey gets the fans to go “UCE! SO!” Jey runs in but Woods dodges the hip attack! Jey hits only buckles, Woods CHOPS him then ROCKS him! And CHOPS him, whips him, and LEG LARIATS! Woods whips Jey corner to corner but Jey reverses, only to run into a BOOT! HONOR ROLL!
Fans fire up with Woods as he aims, runs in, dodges and ducks to then slide under and ROLLING ELBOW! Woods hurries up top, but Jimmy YANKS him down!
Winner: Xavier Woods, by disqualification
Kofi LEAPS and CLOBBERS Jimmy for that! Kofi keeps after Jimmy but Jey goes after Kofi! Jey throws Kofi into the ring, but Kofi spins him for TROUBLE IN PARADISE! Woods is back up, Jimmy dodges Trouble only for Woods to RAM him into a corner! The New Day club away on Jimmy, then stomp him, but Jimmy gets Jey out of the ring! The Usos go running, will this only prolong the revenge Woods & Kofi seek>
Roman is watching from his suite, and is not happy.
The Tribal Chief sees Kofi is back. Heyman says, “Yes, my Tribal Chief.” Pearce isn’t here tonight. “Correct, my Tribal Chief.” There’s a lot of things Roman doesn’t know about right now. Did Heyman know Brock would be here tonight? Heyman was as surprised as Roman was. Did Heyman know Brock was going to be in Sami’s corner tonight? That also caught Heyman by surprise. Surprise, huh? “Wiseman.” “Yes, my Tribal Chief?” “Here’s something you should know. I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna defend my Universal Championship, because I’m gonna smash Sami Zayn. And if Brock comes anywhere near me tonight, I’m gonna smash Brock Lesnar, too.”
The Head of the Table is in a foul mood, but will he make himself feel better by destroying his contenders?
The New Day talk with Aliyah backstage.
There was Linda, Laticia, Felicia, everyone was there! Aliyah congratulates them, the band’s back together. Woods sees the “town gossip” and allows her to approach. Aliyah excuses herself with a curtsy and Woods will hand this off to Kofi. Kofi tells Kayla that the Bloodline tried to end Kofi’s career, but they failed! But Kofi did have to watch from the sidelines as they crushed and destroyed the crown of King Woods. However, in the Kingdom of New Days, it is an eye for an eye! Just as the Bloodline destroyed the crown, so shall the New Day destroy the Usos’ title reign at WWE Day 1! They will become the NEW, W! W! E! World! Tag! Team! CHAMPIONS~ once again! They can’t wait! Will it be a New Day on New Year’s Day?
Charlotte Flair is here!
The SmackDown Women’s Champion struts her way to the ring, and she will address Toni Storm’s challenge, after the break.
SmackDown returns, Charlotte has the mic and says, “San Antonio, Texas! Wow, that feisty Toni Storm sure had a lot to say. I’m not sure where to begin. Actually, I do. We can all agree that the only way to get noticed in this women’s division is by challenging Charlotte Flair, the most decorated woman in Sports Entertainment history!” So whether that’s bringing up her name every five seconds in an interview, or begging for a title shot, Charlotte knows exactly what Toni is doing. Number one doesn’t talk about number two, six or even 10. Acknowledging Toni gives her too much credit.
Toni should thank Charlotte for doing her a favor. Toni was the talk of the town because Charlotte smashed not one, but two pies in Toni’s face. “You’re welcome.” Charlotte thought it was funny and is sure the fans all thought it was funny. So here’s the thing: Toni can shower off the pie, but she can’t rinse the stink of embarrassment off her. If it was that easy, then imagine what Charlotte could do to her in this ring! So we all know Charlotte is about uplifting the others in the locker room. But Toni not being on Charlotte’s level isn’t mean or conniving, it’s just fact, like 1+1 = 2. But Toni demanding a title shot doesn’t add up.
So Charlotte came all the way out here to show some respect, and that she did consider the challenge. But do you want to know what the answer is? “NO!” Charlotte smiles and soaks up the reaction from the fans. But will Toni find a way to make The Queen change her mind? Oh wait, here’s one way: Toni’s creeping up with a big ol’ pie! Charlotte turns around and BLAM! Right in the kisser! Charlotte is freaking out and Toni is having the last laugh! Will Charlotte have no choice now but to give Toni her time?
Sheamus VS Cesaro!
It’s the battle of The Bar! Former teammates, now fierce rivals, but The Fella is fighting to show his protégé how it’s done! Will the Celtic Warrior crush the Swiss Cyborg and still be a hero to Ridge Holland?
SmackDown returns and Cesaro makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. Sheamus shoves Cesaro, they tie up again, Sheamus headlocks and hits the takeover. Cesaro headscissors, Sheamus kips free but Cesaro gets around to waistlock. Sheamus powers Cesaro back into a corner, then throws back elbow after back elbow! The ref counts, Sheamus lets off at 4, Holland is watching backstage as Cesaro starts throwing EuroUppers! Sheamus throws body shots and EuroUppers, but then Cesaro EuroUppers back. Sheamus throws more EuroUppers then reels Cesaro in for the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Holland is liking what he sees as Sheamus drops knees on Cesaro.
Sheamus says to the camera, “Are you watching, Ridge?” He stands Cesaro up against the ropes for Beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus stops because the fans are counting, then he CLUBS Cesaro to fireman’s carry and ROLLING SENTON! Cover, TWO! Cesaro shakes his head, Sheamus stomps him and knocks him down. Sheamus gives Cesaro the Dublin Smile with those fish hooks! The ref reprimands, Sheamus lets off, but he wants to try again> Cesaro blocks that and powers up to headbutt back and fire off forearms from all sides! Fans fire up as Cesaro fires off fast hands in the corner! Cesaro then clotheslines Sheamus out of the ring!
Cesaro goes out and comes around the side to EuroUppers Sheamus into the timekeeper’s area! Cesaro roars and fans are fired up as Cesaro brings Sheamus around. Cesaro smacks Sheamus off the desk, then again, then again! Cesaro puts Sheamus in at 7 of 10, BOOTS him, then gets in, only for Sheamus to KNEE Cesaro down! Cover, TWO! Cesaro is still in this and he rolls away to ropes. Sheamus drives knees in again and again but the ref has him back off. Sheamus drags Cesaro up, “You were never in my league! Ridge Holland is 10 times the man you ever were! You held me back for to long!” But then Cesaro shouts back, “You were like a brother to me!”
Cesaro CLOBBERS Sheamus then DOUBLE STOMPS! Cesaro gets Sheamus up, but Sheamus back drops out of the Gotch. Cesaro lands on his feet, but Sheamus dodges him in the corner! BROGUE OUTTA NOWHERE! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Celtic Warrior puts the Swiss Cyborg away in an instant, but surely this battle is far from over! Will Cesaro prove to Sheamus that he was never the weak link in The Bar?
Sonya Deville is on the phone.
She says “Of course I have it handled,” but then Naomi walks in. Naomi says she couldn’t even enjoy her win last week with Sonya ringside. All Naomi could think of was what Sonya has tried to do to kill the glow. But Naomi will ask for a match against Sonya and only Sonya. Is Sonya scared or not? Sonya says fine, she’ll give Naomi the match. When Sonya decides to take off the suit. And Sonya will break this down for Naomi, be really transparent on this so there’s no confusion. If Sonya has her ring gear on, that’s one thing. But as long as Sonya wears the suit, she’s a WWE official and Naomi’s boss.
So if Naomi puts even one neon green painted fingernails on her, Sonya will make it so that Naomi doesn’t get the match she wants, and she no longer has a paycheck. Do you feel that? So is that accepting the challenge or not? Sonya SLAPS Naomi!! Naomi wants to hit Sonya so bad but Sonya smiles and says, “Yes, I am.” When and where will Sonya give Naomi the fight so that this can finally be settled? Turns out, it’ll be NEXT WEEK!
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Sami Zayn w/ Brock Lesnar!
It doesn’t really who wins here tonight, The Beast is the real winner because he’s still going to WWE Day 1! But will Lesnar make sure the elder statesman of SmackDown gets his fair fight and take this title off the Head of the Table? Or will the Reigning, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion still be the Tribal Chief?
SmackDown returns, and Sami wants to speak first. “Tonight might very well be the biggest match of my career, and this is something I feel I just have to say.” Texas is Sami’s favorite state of America. And he never dreamed of winning his first Universal Championship here. But once in a great while, a guardian angel whispers something in your ear that you never would’ve thought of. Tonight, that was Brock Lesnar. So tonight, Sami is going to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. Sami will shock the world the way it hasn’t been in a long time! Sami is gonna upset Roman Reigns, defeat Roman Reigns, and walk out of San Antonio the NEW Universal Champion!!
And when Sami does, he has none of the fans to thank. He doesn’t have to thank any fan, because they’ve never supported him in the conspiracy! The only one he has to thank is Brock Lesnar! And Lesnar makes his entrance! He’ll be in Sami’s corner, just as promised. Sami says, “There he is! Make some noise for BROCK! LESNARRR! Truly a man of his word.” Sami wants to tell Brock that Brock isn’t really out here to help him, not that he should, wink wink nudge nudge. Go tit? But at Day 1, it’d be easier against Sami than Roman. That’s not Sami selling himself short, but Lesnar’s track record against Roman hasn’t been great.
No, wait, that’s not… Don’t listen to the fans. This isn’t disrespect. Sami isn’t saying Lesnar can’t beat Roman, just that at Day 1, it will be Sami VS GERMAN SUPLEX! Sami should’ve just shut up, because he’s another GERMAN SUPLEX! San Antonio is now Suplex City, here’s a THIRD GERMAN SUPLEX! Lesnar grins as he looms over Sami, drags him up, and fireman’s carries for an F5! Lesnar grins as fans chant, “One More Time!” So Lesnar gets Sami up for ANOTHER F5!! Lesnar tells the ref it’s fine. He drags Sami up, puts him up in the corner, pats him on the shoulder, and gives him a thumbs up. Has Lesnar just guaranteed he’ll get Roman on New Year’s Day?
SmackDown returns one more time, and now Roman makes his entrance. He has Heyman and The Usos with him, they raise their belts for the pyro on stage, then again in the ring. Sami’s a heap in the corner, the Usos get him back up. As Pat McAfee says, it’s like Weekend at Sami’s, and the bell rings! “OOAH~!” SPEAR!! Then the GUILLOTINE!! Sami taps, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by submission (still WWE Universal Champion)
Fastest win for Roman yet, but largely in part thanks to Brock Lesnar! Roman still gloats like he did it all, but all he’s done is given us an epic rematch for WWE Day 1! We will get another chapter of Roman VS Brock, who writes their name down as Universal Champion?
A very good SmackDown, but a crying shame for Sami. He is #1 contender for a week just to be fodder for the Roman VS Lesnar story. He gets pressured into facing Roman tonight and not in a month, and sure he insults Lesnar but he gets slaughtered and then beaten in under a minute. Sami is a great talent, he should’ve had an actual match, but whatever, there’s just as much talk that Sami will move on from WWE as there is for Kevin Owens, who knows if he’ll ever really get more than midcard title reigns here. Brock VS Roman, Day 1, who knows how things go for such a blandly themed PPV that just wants to be on a holiday. At least Sami and Brock had good comedic chemistry.
Sasha VS Shayna was a great opening match for being fairly quick, Sasha wins to stay strong in the title standings. Naomi getting in Sonya’s face and Sonya again abusing authority was good, but I’m surprised we’re getting their match so soon instead of one more way for Sonya to dig at Naomi first. But maybe Sonya waits for as long as she can to put on her ring gear so that she can use her authority to make this match really one-sided or something. Toni had a good interview promo, Charlotte had a good response, and then Toni getting Charlotte with the pie was pretty good stuff. Pretty sure this confirms we’re getting Charlotte VS Toni at Day 1 to make that PPV bigger.
Of course, it’s already getting big with adding the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Woods VS Jey ended up being the vehicle for that, and we’re definitely getting a hot tag match there. Sadly, much like the Women’s Division, the current state of the Tag Division is that it is top heavy. The title stories are a lot of fun, anything else sucks. Viking Raiders losing to Los Lotharios because Nakamura & Boogs are too much of a distraction for the Faces was lame. I hope the way we get around that crap is for a big tag contender’s match with those three teams, and apparently Corbin-Moss or McIntyre-Hardy. Happy Talk set up a match for those guys, I would think McIntyre & Hardy win to shut Corbin & Moss up.
What was lowkey very special was how things went during Sheamus VS Cesaro. For one, they shot Holland watching TV using normal angles, as we’ve seen NXT 2.0 bring in. Though at the same time, we had too many shots of Holland watching, in that we got a second one. Just show us the one time, it’s established, only go back to Holland if there’s an interview planned. Sheamus VS Cesaro could’ve been a longer match, but I really like that we got the arguing and Cesaro letting out that line, “You were like a brother!” That gives some great depth to the story of The Bar that was never outright said during their time together, I hope we get a much more passionate and powerful rematch for like a holiday or go-home SmackDown.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.156 ~ 12TH JANUARY 2022