Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/3/22)
Fallout from the New Year!
New Year, NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion!
After plans changed for Day 1, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Joined the WWE World Championship and won it! Will Raw become Suplex City once again?
- RKBRO VS The Alpha Academy; The Alpha Academy wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag: Dana Brooke & Reggie VS Tamina & Akira Tozawa; Dana & Reggie win, Dana retains the title.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H; Vega & Carmella win and retain the titles.
- The Street Profits VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez; The Street Profits win.
- WWE United States Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler; Priest wins and retains the title.
- AJ Styles VS Omos; Omos wins.
- WWE World Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Big E VS Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP; Lashley wins and will challenge Brock Lesnar for the title at the Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw opens with PAUL HEYMAN in the ring!
The Special Counsel is here to introduce himself to Atlanta as an Advocate, and he’d like to introduce us to his client. “And NEW Reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Heavyweight Champion of the Worrrrld…! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!!” Fans are going nuts as Lesnar makes his way out, Heyman back in his corner! Lesnar takes a victory lap around the ring, then TOSSES the steel steps into the ring! Lesnar stands those up, then stands on those steps like a podium! Heyman hands the mic over to Lesnar and Lesnar says, “Before we get this party started tonight, I’d like to give a big shoutout to my good buddy, Roman Reigns.”
Roman is more than likely at home, watching Raw, and watching the NEW WWE Heavyweight Champion, the REAL champion, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! “Get well soon, buddy.” But that said, “South Carolina! Acknowledge me.” Lesnar grins as he uses Roman’s catchphrase, and he also wants to acknowledge his Advocate, for advocating free agency, advocating all those strings he pulled to make Lesnar the new WWE Champion. Lesnar thanks Heyman and Heyman is given the mic back. Heyman says, “If you think it’s interesting out here, you should see the things that go on behind the scenes.”
Heyman negotiated Lesnar’s free agency, and then on Day 1, when Lesnar showed up, looking to win a title from a champion, and one champion couldn’t make it while the other was in a Fatal 4 Way, what’s better than that but a Fatal FIVE Way with Brock Lesnar? So all the machinations and strings were pulled, Lesnar enters the Fatal 5 Way, and now what does he do as YOUR WWE Heavyweight Champion? Well reigning, and defending, at the Royal Rumble of the originally scheduled Fatal 4 in tonight’s main event. Let’s rundown the challengers! First, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, you lump them together because they’re a team now!
And in a match where it’s every man for himself, they figured out how to be jackals, hyenas, and go after the lions. Then winning together, they leave management to figure it out and who cares about them, right? But it’s a pretty smart thing for someone as dumb as Seth Rollins. Rollins likes to say he’s a Visionary but he’s too stupid to see he isn’t. If he had a vision for the future, he’d see that his wife is going to leave him when he fails to beat Brock Lesnar for the title! And he can’t, so who she gonna leave him for? Sure won’t be Kevin Owens! Kevin can’t beat Lesnar, either!
Maybe they should be traded to SmackDown as there’s a certain Tribal Chief who is vulnerable without his Special Counsel…! In fact, Heyman can prove it. One week without Heyman, Roman gets COVID. You can get past ‘Rona, but Karma is a bitch. Speaking of, let’s talk about MVP. No, wait, let’s not, since no one talks about MVP anyway. Let’s instead talk about Bobby Lashley. Lashley is a worthy challenger! Lesnar and Lashley hadn’t met at all before, that’s just a fact. No bumping into each other in the back, no shaking hands, it’s like they were avoiding each other. That’s not the case, cuz neither avoids anyone or anything.
But the first time they did met, Lashley speared Lesnar through a wall. Then Lesnar hit F5’s on everyone but Lashley who speared and damn near pinned Lesnar. The third time in that match, Lashley put Lesnar in the Hurt Lock and Heyman said this to Lesnar’s face, Lesnar didn’t look like he’d get out. That’s a testament to how damn good Lashley is. Except, Lashley was hitting Lesnar from a blindside. So if Lashley wins tonight and he faces Lesnar at the Rumble, he’ll have to face Lesnar face to face, and that is a whole different story. The story between jackin’ someone from behind, and just going down in history as the All Mighty Lesnar Wannabe!
There’s one more man in that match, the odds on favorite, the former champion in Big E. Heyman has nothing bad to say about Big E, that is a great champion. Big E did WWE justice and a credit to this company, the fans and the lineage of the title. Big E is that and more and would still be champion if he didn’t have to step into the ring with Lesnar. They have nothing but respect and admiration for Big E. If Big E wins and gets his rematch, then sir, it will be an absolute honor to witness that match. Big E will lose, which is no shame, but it’ll still be a honor to watch Big E lose to the greatest champion of all time, the winner of the Fatal 5 and the REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED WWE Heavyweight Champion of the WORLD! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!
Heyman and Lesnar head out and prepare to watch the main event. Who of the four will fight their way to become the one at the Rumble?
Randy Orton and Matt Riddle meet up backstage.
The Bro seems to still be in the Migos mindset as he rolls up on his scooter. Will the Stallion & Viper keep their momentum going as they take on “Master” Gable and The Dozer 2v2?
Raw returns sand Riddle rolls back in. Where has he been? And no, no, no on all that he’s got on. What? Wasn’t it awesome hanging out with Migos? They’ve got sweet connections, and Riddle can’t get their music out of his head. They could be their own rap group! The Notorious R I Double D to the L E, and Lil’ Ran-Dog. Word on the street is that “Swim Shady,” Riddle’s pet fish, is available. Orton sighs and has Riddle take off the shades and chains. Is he gonna try them on? No, he’s not putting this crap on. How does Riddle have all these celebrity connections? No, it doesn’t matter. What happened to the resolutions they made for this year?
Well, they talked about going to the Grand Canyon, grocery shopping for some things, and getting on Farmville. Oh yeah, and “Listen to Randy more.” Exactly! Last week, they were on the same page and look what happened? Riddle beat Gable and Orton beat that walking tree trunk, Otis. They also won at Day 1 to retain the tag titles. How did they do that? How? Because they are… What? Our name is… Who? Our name is… CHIKA CHIKA RKBRO! That was awesome, Randy! They are totally rappers now. Orton has Riddle focus, and they head to the ring.
RKBRO VS The Alpha Academy!
Riddle & Randy swept Gable & Otis when it was 1v1 twice in a row, but will they still be top of the class now that it’s a full tag team match? Or will Gable and #4pointOtis ruin the New Year for the old champions?
As the Academy make their entrance, Gable gloats about his Master’s Degree and how he’s handing out free lessons. Plus, look at his number one guy! Look at his face! The first resolution is for RKBRO. They’re gonna learn “acceptance.” They are going to accept that their title reign is coming to an end at the hands of the Alpha Academy. And it’ll be curtesy of the four most dangerous letters: O T I S. The Academy attacks and it’s a brawl! Gable is after Orton, Otis TOSSES Riddle out of the ring! Otis hits Orton with the WRECKING ELBOW! The Academy then goes out after RKBRO, Otis brings Riddle around to hit an EXPLODER!
The ref shouts at Gable and Otis while they gloat “FOR THE ACADEMY!” and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Riddle is firing off forearm son Gable! Riddle hits Otis, too! But then Gable DECKS Riddle, and hits a TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Gable gets a leg for a KNEE JAMMER, then another one! And then a YANK on the leg, before a third KNEE JAMMER! Gable has the toehold but Riddle endures. Riddle drags himself back, kicks away at Gable with his free leg and gets free. Gable tags Otis then gets Riddle’s arm. Gable reels Riddle in, flapjack to Otis’ trophy lift and SLAM! Otis covers, TWO! Otis puts Riddle in the corner, tags Gable, then they mug Riddle, and whip for a BIG back elbow! Gable rains down fists, then stands Riddle back up.
Tag to Otis, Gable scoops and SLAMS Riddle, Otis runs for a BIG elbow drop! Fans rally up for “Randy! Randy!” but Otis sits Riddle up for a neck wrench. Riddle fights up, Otis whips him to a corner. Riddle hits Gable down, then goes up and over Otis and Otis POSTS himself! Riddle crawls, Otis reels him in to back suplex, but Riddle lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE staggers Otis to ropes! But Gable sneaks up to the RKBRO corner and trips Orton off the apron! Orton goes after Gable but Otis SPLASHES Riddle! Otis then goes out to CLOBBER Orton! Gable tells Otis to hurry, and Otis gets in, to get a FINAL FLASH! Riddle hears voices, but NO RKO!
Otis turns Riddle around, POWERSLAM! Cover, The Alpha Academy wins!
Winners: The Alpha Academy, by pinfall
Whether or not RKBRO was on the same page, the Alpha Academy had all the answers to the test! Will Gable & Otis look to graduate from being A+ contenders to NEW Raw Tag Team Champions?
Backstage interview with Bobby Lashley & MVP.
If Lashley wins tonight- MVP stops there and says not to get ahead of ourselves. If we’re talking about the future, the inevitable future, the All Mighty has to overcome insurmountable odds. He has to beat Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big E. This is a Herculean task! Having finished being a bit sarcastic here, MVP walks off stage. Sarah asks Lashley his thoughts. “Brock Lesnar fears me!” Will the Rocky Mountain Machine repeat what he did to get into the Fatal 4 Way, just all at once?
Backstage interview with Omos.
How does he react to AJ Styles saying he regrets taking Omos under his wing, and calling Omos a piece of- Omos puts his massive hand over Kevin Patrick’s face. “That’s how I react.” Will Omos do the same to Styles when they finally face off later tonight?
WWE 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag: Dana Brooke & Reggie VS Tamina & Akira Tozawa!
Since R-Truth didn’t work, it seems the Daughter of Superfly is using the Stamina Monster as her tag partner this time. Will they be the combination that stops the Flex Appear and slick sommelier in their tracks?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and how does a tag match for a singles title work out? We’re going to find out tonight, after the break!
Raw returns and the teams sort out. Tozawa wants to face Dana but this is still Mixed tag, men face men. Reggie and Tozawa circle, approach, and Tozawa dodges to mule kick! Reggie ducks the spin kick but Tozawa slips under to sunset flip! TWO, Tozawa kicks low again then ROCKS Reggie with a jab! Tozawa grins as he suplexes, but Reggie slips out to dropkick Tozawa away! Reggie tells Dana he’s got this but then Tozawa hits low! Tozawa whips Reggie in, runs but Reggie dodges and Tozawa BOOTS Tamina! Tamina doesn’t go down and Tozawa’s frozen in fear! Tamina scowls, roars, and SLAPS Tozawa down!
Reggie is in the corner, runs and 450 SEATED SENTONS! Cover, Reggie & Dana win!
Winners: Reggie & Dana Brooke, by pinfall (Dana is still WWE 24/7 Champion)
Well, Reggie did all the work, but he’s fine with Dana still holding the gold. Tamina is down another sidekick, will she just have to do this alone?
Becky Lynch is here!
The Raw Women’s Champion is still Big Time! The Man is here to ring in the New Year, but what is next for her? We’ll see, after the break.
Raw returns and Becky is given a proper introduction. “Here we are, huh? 2022. There’s something about the new year that inspires so much hope in people. It doesn’t matter if you failed the whole of last year, or you failed the whole last five years. Hell, it doesn’t matter if you failed your whole life. When that clock strikes midnight, everything can change for the better. New Year, New You, huh? Yeah, now I know for a fact that all those women in the back, they have at the top of their New Year’s Resolutions, ‘Become Raw Women’s Champion.’ And I admire their ambition, I really do. But at the top of mine is, ‘Remain Raw Women’s Champion.'”
And now, if we have learned anything from the last few years, it is that Becky is the consistent homeostasis that is unyielding to the roster’s brittle willpower. Sorry, she means, they can’t beat her. Many have tried, many have failed, no one can beat Becky. But Becky would be remiss if she says she hasn’t taken the time to think back this past year. Were her decisions right? Wrong? 365 days, 365 blank canvases, what has Becky become? A work of art! Now stay with her if you can. Say you go to a museum and you see a famous Van Gogh and you look at it in awe. You may not understand all the details, the nuances, the complexities, but it makes you feel something.
Becky says she makes us feel something! That is what good art does! She makes you feel! And the other thing about fine art is that it reveals the truth. So Becky standing here as the Vincent Van Goat is going to show us that no, you’re not going to lose those last 10 pounds. No, you’re not going to get that job promotion you were looking for. And no, you’re not finally gonna get the hell outta South Carolina! And all those girls back there, they are not going to win the Raw Women’s Championship. If you don’t believe her, just look at Liv Morgan! She swore to all the fans that she was going to win the title, and on the very first day of this new year, she broke that promise.
But here comes Liv! Liv says, “Wow~! New Year, New Ugly Jacket, and same delusional Becks.” Hey, Becky likes this jacket. Uh, well she’s the only one. But Liv was hearing all this about her coming up short, so here’s something she should know: There is no one harder on Liv than herself. But Liv was just thinking… Liv knows, and Liv knows Becky knows, just how close Liv was to winning. Becky got one thing wrong, too. The only thing Liv ever promised from the moment she was old enough to dream of being in this ring is that she would give it her all and leave it all in the ring every chance she got! And that’s what she did at Day 1.
Becky says that’s lovely and all. Liv maybe will be champion one day, after Becky retires. She’s holding onto the title. This is what happens when you’re Big Time, and there’s only one Big Time, and it sure ain’t Liv. But speaking of big, here comes the EST, Bianca Belair! “Oh, just like you ain’t the EST of WWE.” And y’know what? Bianca is tired of hearing Becky talking like she’s untouchable. Liv ain’t buying it, and neither is Bianca. And Bianca doesn’t trust Becky as far as she can throw her. Oh wait, that doesn’t make sense, because Bianca could throw Becky pretty damn far.
Now, Bianca may have taken a Doudrop Detour, but she graciously stepped aside to allow others time to catch up. But now, Bianca the EST is right back in line for Big Time Becks! No no no no. Becky says these two are victims of her routine: Beat, Sleep, Repeat. But hey, maybe these two can get together and do a support group where they talk about how they almost beat Becky but came up short. Wait, that already exists. It’s the Raw Women’s locker room! Li says, “Oh haha.” What does Becky know about being in the locker room? She hasn’t spent time in there in years! And as for Bianca, but Liv says they’re in the middle of something,
Oh, y’know, Liv, no offense taken, but at the end of the day, Bianca and Becky have beef that goes back way before Liv’s. Becky says this is rather interesting. These two need to figure this out 1v1, and Becky’s shared spotlight enough for tonight. These two can get out and let Becky know later on. Becky ushers Liv and Bianca out, but she instead gets double kicks and double whipped right out of the ring! Then Liv and Bianca stare down. They each say they’re getting the belt, and then they start throwing hands! Bianca RAMS Liv into a corner, then RAMS into her more and more! Liv shoves back, boots Bianca away, then ENZIGURIS!
Liv is roaring and she drags Bianca up! But Bianca ROCKS Liv, torture racks, but Becky CLOBBERS them both! Becky reels Bianca in for the MAN HANDLE SLAM! Becky picks up her belt, but that bull’s eye is only getting bigger! Will the EST or the Liv-ing Embodiment hit the mark?
Kevin Owens finds Seth Rollins backstage.
“There he is! Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins!” Does Rollins like that Kevin said it nice and loud for him? Rollins chuckles and says he’s glad to see Kevin. Maybe Kevin can help Rollins with a problem he’s having. He wants to know what to do about Paul Heyman. Does Rollins staple Heyman’s lips shut? Or just rip his tongue out? Rollins thought about castration, but it’s not like Heyman uses that all that much, anyway. Kevin likes the staples thing. They can worry about that later, after they figure out what they’ll do tonight. Rollins is listening. Well they have the same problem they had before Day 1.
This is the original Fatal 4 Way, with Big E and Lashley in their way. Obstacles, if you will, to the WWE Championship, if you will. Or rather, obstacles to the opportunity at the title. So Kevin thinks they stick to the plan, them together taking care of those two, then one of them wins, doesn’t matter who, and that person faces Lesnar at the Rumble. Then that guy who didn’t win helps the one who did so that they defeat Lesnar, and then they both go to WrestleMania, Kevin VS Rollins, for the title. How does that sound? Sounds huge, right? It’s a great plan. Rollins does love that plan. Yes, thank you! Rollins and Kevin can trust each other, sounds like a plan!
Rollins heads off laughing all the way, but Kevin hopes Rollins isn’t lying. But the question is, will Kevin stick to that plan on his end?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H!
The Queen of the Ring and the (self-proclaimed) Most Beautiful Woman in All the WWE have confidence just looking in the mirror every day. Meanwhile, the Nightmare has been trying to get the Almost Super Hero to fire back up and bring that super positivity back! Will Rhea & Nikki pull it together and pull off a win to start their 2022? Or will Zelina & Mella reign eternal?
Raw returns, the belts are raised, and things start with Rhea and Vega. Nikki gets the fans rallying behind Rhea already, but Vega gets in Rhea’s face. Vega SLAPS Rhea, but Rhea SLAPS back! Rhea whips, Vega wheelbarrows and spins around, but Rhea powers out to a suplex! Rhea carries Vega around like that, with one arm, then SLAMS Vega down! Cover, TWO! Rhea drags Vega over, wants to tag in but Nikki is hesitant. She still does tag, Rhea snapmares and Nikki neck snaps! Cover, TWO! Nikki whips Vega, Vega reverses but Nikki goes up and over. Things speed up but Nikki trips, but she still hits a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Mella calls to Vega now that she has her mask on, and Vega clings to ropes. Nikki pulls at Vega, Vega holds on, then drop toeholds Nikki into ropes! Vega rains down hammering fists, then drags Nikki around into a chinlock. Vega stretches Nikki back, but Nikki endures. Fans rally up, Nikki fights up and throws body shots, and then she arm-drags free! Vega comes back to throw Nikki by her hair! Vega takes a bow, then sucker punches Rhea! Fans boo but Vega waves, only for Nikki to kick low and fireman’s carry! Vega slips off to roll up, Vega & Mella win!!
Winners: Zelina Vega & Carmella, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
Mella celebrates because she won without lifting a finger! Rhea isn’t even sure what happened there and Nikki apologizes. Will Nikki ever figure out what’s going wrong?
Johnny Knoxville wants in!
He loves being part of Jackass, but he wants to make a run for the Royal Rumble! Thirty men enter, one man left standing! He hopes the WWE is going big, because Knoxville doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He already has a shirt that says “Johnny Knoxville, World Champion,” but will that even come close to coming true?
Rey & Dominik Mysterio speak.
Rey’s been in this business for a very long time. Not only has he taken out 29 other opponents in the Royal Rumble after entering second, he got to watch his son enter his first Rumble just last year. This year, they’re both entering the Rumble to show the world that it may be every man for himself, that the Mysterios are still an unstoppable duo!
The Street Profits are here!
We’re on the road to WrestleMania, which means they’re four weeks away from St. Louis and the Rumble! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are entering the Rumble match! They’ll take care of business, even against each other. Everyone for themselves, fam. The Profits are up and #WeWantTheSmoke! But will they start that in a big tag match to kick off the New Year?
The Street Profits VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez!
Raw returns as the Pride of Nigeria and his bodyguard make their entrance. The teams sort out, Ford is ready and he starts against Azeez. They circle, tie up, Azeez whips Ford to a corner. Ford dodges to then CHOP, CHOP and throw body shots. Ford kicks, kicks and CHOPS, but Azeez blocks the whip to put Ford back in a corner. Ford dodges again, runs, dodges, but Azeez runs him over! Azeez snarls, drags Ford up and scoops to SLAM him down. Azeez runs for a FALLING HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins is also there, but Azeez keeps on Ford. Azeez back suplexes, Ford lands on his feet to ENZIGURI!
Azeez staggers but he manages a tag to Apollo, hot tag to Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on Apollo and Azeez, but then Apollo kicks low to whip Dawkins to ropes. Dawkins hurdles, then leaps for a back elbow! Apollo goes to a corner, CYCLONE SPLASH from Dawkins! Underhooks to the SILENCER! Cover, Azeez drags Dawkins off the cover! Azeez whips, Dawkins holds ropes then dumps Azeez out! Azeez drags Dawkins out with him, scoops him, but Dawkins slips off to POST him! Dawkins gets in, into Apollo’s ENZIGURI! Apollo waistlocks, Dawkins bucks the roll-up and Ford tags in! ANOINTING to the FROM THE HEAVENS SPLASH! Cover, the Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall
And just like that, the Profits are back up! Will they both reach new heights as they enter the Royal Rumble this year?
Backstage interview with Damian Priest.
What are his thoughts on the unique stipulation for tonight’s title match? No Champion’s Advantage is pretty big. We’ve all seen the side of Priest that’s furious, and that’s the side Dolph Ziggler wants. But if Priest can keep his cool, calm collected side going, he’ll win. Well, he’ll beat Ziggler either way, it’s just a matter of beating him with mercy, or if “Damian” erupts in rage. That’s up to Ziggler. If Ziggler does it straight up, it’ll be a fair fight. If not, Ziggler knows what’ll happen. But either way, Priest remains champion. Will the Archer of Infamy keep his focus and his cool to keep the gold around his waist?
Sonya Deville & Adam Pearce are excited.
The first Raw of 2022 and they have the huge Fatal 4 Way main event! Who knew? But then Piper Niven barges in and is very upset. Is this some kinda joke? Bianca and Liv want another chance at a match with Becky? How is this happening? Piper will not be cut in line again! Um, Pearce will speak for management when he respectfully asks, what the hell is she yelling about? Piper asks if grandpa Pearce is deaf! She is tired, the fans are tired, everyone is tired of seeing the same women get title opportunity after opportunity. Bianca, Liv, repeat. Piper demands, DEMANDS, that she be given her first chance!
Okay, breathe, relax. They don’t give out title opportunities. But they are in the business of giving opportunities to those who prove themselves. So how about this: next week in Philadelphia, Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match, Liv Morgan VS Bianca Belair VS “Doudrop,” winner going on to face Becky for the title at the Royal Rumble. That’s more like it. Piper leaves satisfied, but will she be the one taking the golden ticket to St. Louis?
WWE United States Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler!
Raw returns and Ziggler makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see if Priest loses control or just the title.
Ziggler and Priest circle, approach, and Ziggler dodges to SLAP Priest! Priest grabs Ziggler, throws him to a corner and fires off haymakers! Priest lets off at 4, but Ziggler insists it was 5. Priest BOOTS Ziggler out of the ring, then goes out to run in. Ziggler dodges the leg lariat, jumps up, but no DDT! Ziggler fights and kicks off the barriers for a TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and the ring count is climbing as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Priest ROCKS Ziggler with a haymaker, then dodges Ziggler’s punch to BELL CLAP! Priest throws more strikes, Ziggler staggers, Priest FLAPJACKS him! Priest roars and fans fire up as he runs corner to corner to back elbow! Priest then reels Ziggler in, but no Broken Arrow! Ziggler slips out to POST Priest, then RUNNING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down as Ziggler is beside himself! Ziggler drags Priest up to scrape laces off his face, then does it again. Ziggler pushes Priest around, wanting to bring out the rage. “Give me that title! Give me what’s mine!” Priest ROCKS Ziggler, and then ROCKS him again!
Priest KICKS, KICKS and KICKS, to then ROUNDHOUSE! Ziggler staggers, Priest gets him up for a Canadian Rack, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO! Priest keeps his focus and he goes to a corner. Priest climbs up, fans fire up, but Ziggler leaps up to get him! Priest blocks the superplex, fans fire up more, and Priest slips down to HOTSHOT and ROUNDHOUSE Ziggler down! Priest goes back up, but Ziggler has the ref check on him. Robert Roode appears from outta nowhere to trip Priest up! Priest tumbles down, Ziggler hits a FAMOUSER!! Cover, TWO?! Priest survives and the Dirty Dawgs are furious!
Priest slowly sits up, and now Damian is here! He glares at Roode, but then at Ziggler! Priest CLOBBERS Ziggler, goes out and fires off on Roode! The ring count is climbing but Priest gets a chair! Priest stalks Roode as we’re at 5 of 10, Priest hears 7! Priest gets in the ring but he brought the chair! Ziggler dares Priest to hit him with it! Priest has wild eyes, but then he sees Roode shouting on the apron, “HIT HIM!” Priest SMACKS Roode! But ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Damian is still fuming! Priest drags himself up the ropes, Ziggler runs in, but no Superkick! THE RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
The rage subsides, and Priest survives the Dirty Dawgs’ dastardly plan! Will Priest be able to continue riding the line of rage and reason as he reigns?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Vince says he only said, “Who is it?” Not, “Come in.” Theory apologizes. But Vince doesn’t like that, either. Apologizing is a sign of weakness. Vince never apologizes. “Sor- I didn’t mean to interrupt.” No, no, when people say stuff like that, of course they meant to interrupt. Why else would they do that? Well, Theory is just here to ask about a rematch with Finn Balor. Rematch? Theory lost to him. But then he made up for it and then some with that attack from behind in the hallway. Theory beat the hell outta Finn and we haven’t seen him since. That’s rather admirable. Vince says if you can’t beat someone one way, you find another way to do it.
Right, “expect the unexpected.” Just like Vince taught him. And that is what happened to Finn. Alright, let’s have a seat. Vince has a surprise for Theory. Sit back a bit. Vince says that at the Royal Rumble, Theory will be in the Rumble match! And of course, if he wins, he’ll go to the main event of WrestleMania against the champion of his choice! Theory is speechless! Will Theory make Vince proud by winning his golden ticket to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
The Miz & Maryse are here!
The It Couple are back again, even after what happened at Day 1. What will they have to see about that Rated R surprise? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and The Miz has a mic. “I stand before you- No, we stand before you, outraged over the outcome that happened at Day 1.” Miz had Edge right where he wanted him, one Skull Crushing Finale away form defeating Edge and having the respect he deserves. Miz is amazed he has to remind us that he is the one and only TWO-TIME WWE Grand Slam Champion! That makes him an all time great and someone who has surpassed his peers and predecessors. Yet he still has to prove himself against Edge, “a one-time Grand Slam Champion.” One, uno, or in French, Err! No, ar. Ar. Oui.
But the one-time Grand Slam Champion’s resilience, and some questionable calls by the ref, kept Edge alive until that last kick out. That is when Miz saw the look of defeat in Edge’s eyes! The look of despair, the look of a young boy asking for his mommy. Or in Edge’s case, his wife. Because his wife, WWE Hall of Famer, Beth Phoenix, showed up. She interfered in the match and allowed Edge to cheat fate and steal a pathetic victory! “Edge deserved to lose! You know it and I know it!” They all know this because of what Edge did to Miz & Maryse last week! If you don’t remember, here’s the replay. It was a BROOD BATH to end the vow renewal ceremony!
Oh, fans find that funny? “YES!” They liked that? “YES!” They enjoyed that? Well that’s because your lives and relationships are so miserable, you like seeing bad things happen to good people! But your disgusting auras do not affect them, for true love always wins. Miz & Maryse kiss, and Miz says that after that night, Miz vowed to end Edge’s career. But when Miz got in that ring at Day 1, it wasn’t old Edge, Brood Edge, Rated R Edge, or even WWE Hall of Famer that Miz respected and wanted respect from. It was an Edge that hides behind his wife! What kind of man does that? Fans say, “YOU!” No, not Miz!
Edge doesn’t deserve anyone’s respect! What kind of man relies on his wife to fight his own battles? “YOU!” Who would do that? “YOU!” No, not The Miz! He is strong, brave and handsome. And that’s why Maryse married Miz. She loves him so much. They kiss again and Maryse says that Beth stole their moment. If Beth was here, Maryse would punch her right in the face! Well here comes the Glamazon! Beth Phoenix stands on stage, and here comes Edge! The Rated R Superstar and Glamazon go to the ring with mics of their own to respond to the It Couple. “You were saying, Maryse?” Beth offers up a cheek, but Edge figured they wouldn’t do anything.
Most people would just take the L and move in, Miz. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Edge knows Miz better than that. He knew Miz would bitch, moan, whine and complain as to why Edge won. It could’ve been the Browns lost last week, but what else is new? It could’ve been Miz didn’t get his socks starched. It could’ve been Miz dropped a deuce in his drawers the minute he heard Beth’s music. Does Edge really need to illustrate to South Carolina, pause for the pop, exactly what a hypocrite Miz is? Ububububub, you got nothing? “For once, Miz is at a loss for words! Did not know that was possible.”
And by the way, Edge never asks Beth to fight his battles. Everything that went down at Day 1, to be clear, was all Beth’s idea. And Edge’s idea now is this: if Miz wants to rectify what happened, even though he picked this fight with Edge and even though that result would’ve happened even without Beth, Edge is just crazy enough to give Miz what he wants. Actually, they’re crazy enough to give them what they want. Imagine this: a huge marquee, lights and letters! “The Miz & Maryse, the It Couple VS The Rated R Superstar & The Glamazon, the Grit Couple, at the Royal Rumble!” What do they say? Fans say, “YES! YES! YES!”
Miz asks, “Are you serious?” Maryse, the gorgeous, vivacious and intelligent star and executive producer of USA’s hit reality show, Miz & Mrs., the sexiest alchemist, and one of the longest reigning Diva’s Champions and the mother of Miz’s children, teaming together with him to go against Edge and Beth? A simple yes or no will suffice. What’s it gonna be? “We accept!” Maryse seems a bit surprised by that, though. They argue, Beth shows punch and Maryse falls on her butt! Beth and Edge smirk, will they finally put Miz in his place?
Backstage interview with Big E.
The former WWE Champion had the odds stacked against him at Day 1, so how motivated is he to win tonight’s match to get a chance at regaining that title? “Being WWE Champion meant a lot to me. And uh, it meant something to a lot of people, too. Now, there’s no shame in losing to Brock Lesnar. But what we don’t do is get kicked and stay down. What we don’t do is wallow in self pity. Because what we do is we make sure that our next chapter is our best chapter, you feel me?” Big E has the chance to right all the wrongs. Tonight he starts his path back to reclaiming what is his! And he’ll be damned if there’s a soul on earth who can stop him! Will we all feel the power once again after tonight’s Fatal 4 Way?
AJ Styles VS Omos!
The Phenomenal & The Colossal had their falling out, and there’s been enough talk. Will Styles be able to topple the mountain of a man now that he stands all alone? Or will he be left in the long, long shadow cast by his former protégé?
Raw returns as Omos makes his entrance. The bell rings, the two stare down and fans rally up. Omos compares their heights, but Styles KICKS away on the leg! Styles throws hands, Omos throws Styles to a corner! Styles dodges, fires off CHOPS and haymakers, but Omos backs him down! Styles bails out, dares Omos to come out after him, so Omos down, only for Styles to KICK Omos’ leg! Omos steps back in, Styles hurries after him, but Omos BOOTS Styles down! Omos CLUBS Styles in the corner, then chokes Styles before he whips him corner to corner! Styles slides but hits POST! Omos goes out after Styles and drags him up.
Omos TOSSES Styles back into the ring, stalks Styles to a corner, but Styles kicks the leg! Styles throws more forearms and haymakers, then Phenomenal Blitz! Omos stays standing through that, and fireman’s carries Styles! Styles slips off, scrambles to a corner and BOOTS back! Omos stays up so Styles BOOTS him again! Styles forearms from the apron, fans fire up, and Styles springboards, into Omos’ hands! But Styles fights that to HOTSHOT! Springboard again, PHENOMENAL FOR- CHOP!! Omos swats Styles down, and then dares Styles to get up. Styles goes to a corner, Omos hoists Styles up top and looks him in the eyes.
Omos tells Styles this is what happens, and he fireman’s carries for a SLAM to the mat! Omos hauls Styles back up, has him with both hands, COLOSSAL SLAM! Cover, Omos wins!
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Styles may be phenomenal, but not even a WWE Grand Slam Champion could stop Omos! Will no one stop Omos now that he’s doing what he wants?
WWE World Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Big E VS Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP!
Oh, the irony. This was meant to be the match to determine the WWE World Champion coming into tonight, but now it will be the match that determines who goes after the Beast, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! The Powerhouse of Positivity vows to fight even harder to get back to the top, while the Architect & Prizefighter look to work together again, and the All Mighty simply looks to inflict damage. Who rises up to head for the Royal Rumble?
Raw returns as Big E makes his entrance, followed by Rollins, and then Lashley. All four men are in the ring, but only one can win! We see who that is, after the break!
Raw returns again, and the bell rings. Lashley and Big E clotheslines Kevin and Rollins! Lashley goes out after Rollins while Kevin and Big E brawl in the ring. Lashley RAMS Rollins into apron, and again, while Kevin fires hands on Big E. Big E hits back, Lashley fireman’s carries Rollins to POST him! Kevin sees that and cringes, and then he gets run over by Big E! Kevin goes to the apron, Big E runs to SPEAR Kevin off! It was a glancing blow but Kevin still falls! Big E is right back up, too, and he goes back to the ring. He meets Lashley and fans fire up for this one! They circle, talk some trash, and they start throwing hands!
Big E, Lashley, Big E, Lashley! Lashley knees low, CLUBS Big E then runs, but Big E drops, hurdles, and ELBOWS Lashley! Lashley comes back to LARIAT Big E! Lashley gets Big E up, suplexes, and SLAMS Big E down! Kevin returns but Lashley spins him around for a NECKBREAKER! Lashley drags Kevin up and reels him in for a suplex! Lashley holds Kevin up before the SLAM! Lashley paces as Kevin and Big E bail out. Fans rally behind Lashley, he runs and SPEARS himself through barriers as Rollins saves Kevin! They regroup but Kevin points out Big E. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Bell! Kevin runs in but gets SMACKED off the desk!
Big E takes the hood off the desk, clears off the monitors, and fans fire up as he CLUBS Rollins! Big E brings Rollins over, but Kevin saves Rollins! Kevin whips Big E into steel steps! Rollins and Kevin keep working together as they get Big E up to whip him into the POST! They dump the pieces of barrier onto Lashley, and Kevin even swipes at MVP. Kevin and Rollins get Big E to the desk, and they DOUBLE POWERBOMB Big E through the desk!! The teamwork might make the dream work, but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once again, and Lashley returns! He drags Rollins out for fast hands but Kevin goes out after him! Lashley gets mugged, put back in the ring, and then Rollins & Kevin work together to mug him more. Big E is slumped in a corner, Lashley crawls to another. Rollins CLUBS away on Lashley, Kevin stomps Big E down. Kevin whips Rollins in at Lashley for a forearm smash, then Rollins whips Kevin in for a CANNONBALL! Kevin and Rollins soak up the heat, and then they repeat the process on Big E. Kevin whips Rollins in, but Big E gives him the Urenag-E! Big E runs, into a SUPERKICK from Kevin! But Lashley CLOBBERS Kevin!
Lashley snarls as MVP shouts, “The All Mighty will not be disrespected!” Kevin and Rollins regroup, but Big E and Lashley look at each other. They decide to work together against Kevin and Rollins! The chase is on, Rollins going into the crowd on one end, and Kevin the other! But Big E and Lashley chase them up the stairs! They brawl with the fans right there with them! They’re even going to the pavilion around the back! Lashley SMACKS Rollins off trash barrels! Kevin whips Big E into a light! HURT LOCK on Rollins! Kevin has a trash can lid and he SMACKS Lashley with it! But that only pissed Lashley off!
Kevin finds himself by the merch table, Big E gets him for an URENAGE through the table! Big E and Lashley are standing tall in the unlikeliest of spots, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns one more time, and Lashley has turned on Big E as they brawl in the crowd now! Lashley throws hands, Big E hits back, but then Rollins CLUBS Big E from behind! All three of them are brawling in an entryway, but where is Kevin? He reappears on the railing and SWANTONS onto them all!! Fans are loving this as the ref check son all four men. Rollins is up first and he seems surprised he survived! Kevin drags himself up and Rollins regroups with him. Kevin is so fired up, he gives Rollins a kiss on the cheek! They drag Big E back to ringside, “This is Awesome!” as things go back to the ring.
Kevin hurries up top, SWANTON BOMB! Rollins hits a FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Rollins and Kevin can’t believe it! Big E survives, and he’s building energy as he sits back up! Rollins and Kevin look worried, but they DOUBLE SUPERKICK Big E back down! Kevin sets Rollins up, but Big E fights free! Big E scoops Rollins, Rollins slips off and shoves Big E at Kevin! POP-UP- NOPE! Big E fights that, Kevin kicks but Big E shoves him away. No Stunner, but Rollins hits a DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Feed to the POP-UP POWERBOMB!! Cover, Lashley shoves Rollins down to break it!
Lashley goes after Kevin, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Rollins gets up, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley goes outside, runs and CLOBBERS Kevin! Rollins staggers up, Lashley goes in, but Rollins spins for a ROLLING ELBOW! But Big E scoops Rollins, only for Rollins to slip off again! Rollins shoves Big E into a SPEAR! Lashley is up, Rollins swings but misses, SPEAR! Kevin returns, he SUPERKICKS Lashley, kicks and- NO! No Stunner, just a SPEAR! Cover, Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE World Championship)
It’s happening! It is finally happening! Lashley and Lesnar will go 1v1, and for THE WWE Championship! Will the Beast be the one conquered by the All Mighty? Or does Lesnar stay the alpha male of the WWE?
Speaking of Lesnar, Lesnar is watching and Kevin Patrick asks if he has a comment. Yes, he does. Tell Roman Reigns that Lesnar will see him this Friday on SmackDown. Whoa! Is Lesnar planning something even bigger than what’s looming at the Royal Rumble? Or will it all tie together once Beast and Tribal Chief meet on SmackDown?
This was a great Raw to start the year, at the end of the night. The main event should always be the best thing on a show, but in tonight’s case, it was not hard to be the best. In a vacuum, the Fatal 4 was still awesome, and Lashley getting the win is great for the world title story. Heyman’s great promo earlier, the second best thing tonight, gave kudos to both Lashley and Big E, but it is great that we’re finally getting Lesnar VS Lashley 1v1. Lesnar shrugging Lashley off to talk about Roman is also great, we could definitely be heading for a Winner Takes All scenario at WrestleMania. Lesnar VS Lashley at Rumble, then we also factor in the Rumble winner, and use Mania being two nights to see who comes out the newest Undisputed WWE Champion.
Everything else felt phoned in, even though we saw Vince here tonight. Vince’s newest segment with Theory was whatever, it was easy enough to say Theory is in the Rumble. He won’t win it, but I bet he’s given a really good number. And I also hope Finn uses that moment to return and screw Theory over so they can set up some kind of grudge match. If Vince still has any sense, Finn will win out so that he can be reestablished towards a title. Priest VS Ziggler was fairly good, and it makes sense Roode would wait to appear until the most opportune time. A little surprised Priest retains, but I hope what’s next is Big E. Big E could still try for the Rumble, but I want Big E to become a Grand Slam Champion. That man deserves nothing less after how his reign ended.
RKBRO had a good match with The Alpha Academy, but it went pretty quick after the commercial break. Other tag teams are entering the Royal Rumble, such as the Mysterios and Profits, so it seems pretty clear Alpha Academy is challenging RKBRO at the Rumble. They do make for a good contender team, but I’m not sure of their chances of taking the titles. Profits had a good match against Apollo & Azeez, and I feel like Ford himself is going to have a really good showing in the Rumble match. I don’t want the Profits to split up, but I do feel like Ford is the one who would be given a singles title shot.
Meanwhile, the 24/7 Championship is being used in the stupidest way possible. A Mixed Tag where the champion doesn’t even get involved? Why not have some controversy where Reggie wins the match and is the one given the title? What would’ve happened if Tozawa won? Would Tamina be given the belt or would he? Also, get more women back from the free agency void to go after this belt, at least. Dana literally just has to watch out for Tamina since the male superstars are apparently not allowed to roll Dana up. And speaking of being used stupidly, the Women’s Tag titles! How come those matches aren’t allowed to last more than five minutes?! Why don’t they just reset Nikki into her SAnitY form and let her go nuts on Mella & Vega? She might get disqualified like that but at least it’d be fun!
One thing that’s actually a bit interesting is that the Raw Women’s Championship scene is getting busy again. Naturally, Liv wants one more shot, and Bianca has been building herself back up a match at a time, but Piper has her own point about the same contenders getting more chances. Of course, this also goes back to WWE needing to get some women back in the roster instead of cutting them away. And honestly, I hope Piper wins the Triple Threat. It’ll make for something fresh because we’ll see Piper and Becky finally interact, and honestly, WWE giving us a Heel VS Heel title story would itself be refreshing. Raw needs it, the WWE needs it, and we the fans need it.
My Score: 7.9/10
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Champions are on a Rampage!
Four championships on one Friday night!
AEW Rampage hosts FOUR (non AEW) championship matches on one night! Will the champions make it through with their titles?
- AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico; Vikingo wins and retains the title.
- NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti; ZSJ wins and retains the title.
- NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura; Willow wins and retains the title.
- ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty; Shibata wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico w/ Jose!
Two of these men teamed up just last night on ROH to win a Six Man Tag, but now they are opponents for the top title in AAA Lucha Libre. Meanwhile, La Faccion Ingobernable’s Prince of Silver and Gold is hungry for gold, will he take it away from Vikingo?
The bell rings and the three circle. Fans rally up for “LUCHA! LUCHA!” and “LUCHA LIBRE!” Dralistico swings, Vikingo dodges, but then Komander ducks Vikingo’s kick! Dralistico picks Vikingo up, throws him at Komander, but Komander throws Vikingo back. Vikingo wheelbarrows and arm-drags Dralistico but handsprings through. Vikingo dodges Komander now, shoves him to ropes, but Komander springboards! Vikingo gets under the crossbody, Komander tumbles and rolls but Dralistico jumps over, and then Vikingo jumps over Dralistico. Komander jumps over Vikingo, Dralistico jumps over Komander again, and they cycle continues!
Fans fire up for jump after jump, and then the three stand off. Dralistico raises the LFI fist and the three circle. Dralistico shoves the other two to then DOUBLE SHOTGUN! They bail out, Dralistico runs to FLY! Dralistico wipes both men out and fans fire up! Dralistico RAMS Komander into steel steps, and then he runs and RAMS Vikingo into railing! Fans cheer, Jose pats Dralistico on the shoulder and Dralistico goes back to BOOT Komander down. Dralistico puts Komander in, aims and springboards, to SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Dralistico wants a faster count but the ref says his count was fair.
Dralistico stomps Komander but fans taunt him. Dralistico bails out, tells the fans he’s done with them, but then they boo. Dralistico goes back to the ring, brings Komander up and tells everyone to hush. Dralistico CHOPS and Komander sits right down! Fans cheer as Dralistico says one more time, and he CHOPS, and CHOPS, and whips Komander. Komander reverses, runs in but is put on the apron. Dralistico swings, Komander blocks, and then Komander CHOPS! Komander slingshots up but Dralistico trips him! Dralistico ROCKS Komander, puts him in the ropes, and then goes up the corner.
Fans fire up as Dralistico WOE STOMPS Komander to the apron!! Fans fire up but then Vikingo gets in to go up and up and AIRHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit on Dralistico and the fans are thunderous! Vikingo gets Dralistico and Komander in the ring, and then runs in at the corner. Dralistico stands up into the GAMANGIRI! Vikingo goes up the corner, to IMPLODER DRAGON RANA!! Fans fire up as Vikingo keeps Dralistico in the ring to then go up the ropes, OUTSIDE-IN PHOENIX SPLASH!! Cover, Komander breaks it! Fans fire up as this continues, they love “LUCHA! LUCHA!”
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Dralistico, Komander adds a knee, and they double whip corner to corner. Vikingo sends Komander in but Dralistico TOSSES him out! Vikingo and Dralistico step up face to face, and Vikingo CHOPS! Dralistico CHOPS! Vikingo CHOPS again! Dralistico drops to a knee, and fans rally up. Vikingo throws forearms but Dralistico gives them back. Dralistico then SOBATS, KNEES, and runs, but into a SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, TWO! Dralistico survives and Vikingo is a bit surprised. Fans continue to rally as Vikingo sees Komander on the apron. Vikingo storms up to throw forearms on Komander while Rampage goes picture in picture.
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Komander down to the floor, then he fires forearms on Dralistico. Vikingo gets the fans fired up as he whips corner to corner. Dralistico reverses, runs in, but Vikingo puts him on the apron. Dralistico bumps Viking off buckles, ROUNDHOUSES him, then springboards, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Vikingo is still in this and Jose is upset. Dralistico drags Vikingo up, pushes him to ropes, then goes out to look under the ring. He brings out a TABLE! Jose helps Dralistico set that up at ringside, then Dralistico goes to fetch Vikingo. Komander is there but Dralistico ROCKS him and RAMS him into railing.
Dralistico CHOKES Vikingo against the railing, Rampage returns to single picture, and Dralistico puts Vikingo in the ring. Fans rally up, Dralistico runs to SUPERKICK Komander in the corner! Dralistico tranquilos on the top rope and fans are torn. Dralistico runs side to side again but Komander avoids the boot wash to GAMANGIRI! Komander springboards and double jumps, FLYING RANA!! Not the cleanest but fans fire up. Vikingo returns, Komander goes Matrix to then arm-drag Vikingo around! And dropkick! Fans fire up again as Vikingo brawls with Dralistico on the outside, and Komander climbs the far corner!
Komander tightrope walks to double jump MOONSAULT! “This is Awesome!” as Komander puts Dralistico in the ring. Komander goes up the corner again, tightrope walks again, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, but Vikingo DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS it apart! Fans fire up as Dralistico flops out onto the table. Vikingo whips Komander, Komander reverses, but Vikingo goes up and Komander hits buckles! Vikingo then springboards to FLYING POISON-RANA Komander down!! Vikingo puts Komander out on the table with Dralistico, and then runs the ropes! Fans fire up as Vikingo goes up and 630 SENTONS through the senton!!
“This is Awesome!” but Dralistico avoided disaster! Dralistico puts Vikingo in, slashes his throat, POWER- RANA!! Cover, VIKINGO WINS!!
Winner: El Hijo del Vikingo, by pinfall (still AAA Mega Champion)
Dralistico is furious that victory was snatched away from him in an instant! But this is why you cannot underestimate El Hijo del Vikingo! Will his AAA Mega reign continue through the summer?
Backstage interview with Team Triple J.
Lexi Nair is with Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh, as well as Jeff & Karen Jarrett, “and the talk all week has been that you, Sonjay Dutt, and your group will be suspended.” WHAT?! Fined? Suspended? The only ones who should be facing that is AEW itself! They backed Triple J into a corner and they came out swinging like any real fighters would! Lethal feels that there should be consequences for Aubrey Edwards! She’s been against Triple J since the dawn of time! Something needs to be done about her! Jeff adds that there’s been enough talk these past five days. Should the heat go on the promotion? Should the heat go on Briscoe? On Aubrey?
The reality of the fact is, these five people are walking, talking, fire-breathing heat! But wait, here comes Mark Briscoe! He wants everyone to simmer down. There will be no suspensions, he assures us that. Mark talked with Tony Khan, Tony promised them there would be no suspensions. Because if Triple J is suspended, then they can’t be here. Because if they aren’t here, then they can’t get the ass whooping they deserve! Lethal wants Mark to hold on but Mark tells Lethal to shut up! We ain’t talking about Lethal! We’re talking about Jeff and KAREN! What?! “We?” Who is “we?!” AUBREY EDWARDS!!
Triple J cannot believe this. Aubrey wants Karen? Then there’s nothing but air and opportunity between them. So then Aubrey CHOKES Karen!! Karen and Aubrey start scrapping and Triple J, other refs and security rush in to stop this! When and where will Double J & the one true Karen have to face off with the Sussex County Chicken and one pissed off zebra?
NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti!
Speaking of just last night on ROH, the Frontman of TMDK just defended this belt against Rocky Romero to prove a point to “Samoan Joseph” about who is the better, harder working Television Champion. And here he is again as part of this championship edition of Rampage! Will the ZSJ Show continue on into the summer block? Or will NJPW have some #LightsCameraAction?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Action gets his 15 minutes of fame!
The bell rings and we’re on the clock. The two circle, fans rally, feel things out, and ZSJ shoots in to waistlock and full nelson. Then he spins Action to a cravat, but Action pries at the hold. ZSJ facelocks now, Action wrenches out of that but ZSJ rolls and slips away. Fans cheer this opening exchange and the two reset. Action shoots in but ZSJ avoids him. They tie up with knuckle locks, ZSJ bridges back and wrenches around to then wrangle Action with a top wristlock. Fans cheer and ZSJ digs a knee into the shoulder. Action rolls, cartwheels, arm-drags, but fans cheer as ZSJ holds onto the wrist!
ZSJ twists the wrist, bends the fingers, drags Action up and wrenches the arm to wrangle him again. Action keeps his shoulders up, fans rally, and Action kips up to wrench and MONKEY FLIP! But ZSJ still holds onto the wrist! Fans rally, ZSJ bends the fingers and he tortures Action’s arm. Action fights up but ZSJ keeps after the fingers. ZSJ flexes but Action stands. Action spins, flips and arm-drags free! Action then CHOPS ZSJ, then knuckle locks to go up and up and FLYING ARM-DRAG! ZSJ flounders up, Action DROPKICKS him down! Fans fire up as Action runs to IMPLODER TORNILLO! Cover, TWO!
ZSJ is still in this but he goes to a corner. Action runs in, but ZSJ dodges. Action goes up, leaps, and FLYING RANAS! ZSJ bails out, fans fire up and Action builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit into the railing! Fans are fired up with Action and he brings ZSJ back up. Action puts ZSJ in, slingshots, but ZSJ shoves him! Action lands safe but swings into body scissors, which ZSJ makes into a HANGING TRIANGLE! ZSJ did this to Rocky last night! The ref counts, ZSJ lets go at 4 and he drags Action back in, to WRING the arm out! Fans sing “OH~ Zack Sabre Junior~” as he stalks Action. ZSJ sits on the arm, hammerlocks it, and TWISTS!
Action writhes while fans are torn over the savagery. ZSJ gets Action’s leg, steps over to get the arm, and he STOMPS the arm! “OI! TV Tekkers, mates!” ZSJ stalks Action to a corner, brings him up and UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! “This is Awesome!” and ZSJ knuckle locks to wrench Action. Action endures as ZSJ twists the wrist more, and then ZSJ KICKS a leg. Action stays up so ZSJ wrenches and twists the wrist. Action throws body shots and CHOPS! ZSJ jumps on to drag Action down to a DISARMER! Action endures, reaches out, and fans rally. Action kicks around, ZSJ pulls on the arm, but Action gets the ROPEBREAK!
ZSJ lets go in frustration but he storms up to drag Action up. ZSJ has a double wristlock but Action endures. Fans rally, ZSJ jumps on to body scissor! Action stays up but ZSJ keeps on that arm. Action throws body shots, then suplexes high and HARD! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Action roars, runs, springboards, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives and fans rally up again. Action brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ fights the torture rack to wrench and PELE the arm! And then he drop toeholds Action so he can STOMP the arm again! Fans are torn while Action clutches the bad shoulder.
ZSJ drags Action up, but Action blocks the Pele to ENZIGURI! Action puts ZSJ up top, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. But ZSJ gets the bad arm to twist it! And YANK it! Action throws body shots, forearms, but ZSJ DECKS Action! ZSJ eggs on the fans, the fans cheer, and Action kips up! PELE!! Action runs corner to corner and jumps up to SUPER STEINER!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Action can’t believe it! Action drags ZSJ up, torture racks, but ZSJ has a SLEEPER! Action sputters, he starts fading! But Action powers up! ZSJ lets go, slips free, but Action drops to victory roll! TWO!!!
ZSJ KICKS Action in the leg! And then KICKS him in the arm! ZSJ is mad now, but he runs into a SUPERKICK! Action goes up, POISON-RANA!! ZSJ flops around, Action runs in again, “This is Awesome!” as Action SHOTGUNS ZSJ down! ZSJ is in the drop zone, Action goes up, SPLIT-LEG MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives again but Action goes right to the apron. Action springboards, but flies into a TAKEDOWN! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!!! Action flails around, but ZSJ gets the other arm! Modified Rings of Saturn, into JIM BREAKS ARMBAR!! Action verbally quits, ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (still NJPW World TV Champion)
Action’s 15 minutes of fame were really just over 10 minutes as The Frontman does it again! But now he moves on to defend this title at NJPW Dominion on Sunday against Jeff Cobb in a highly anticipated rematch. The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will ZSJ get crushed by the Imperial Unit?
NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura!
The Babe with the Power, too sweet to be sour, is the very-first NJPW Strong Women’s Champion after a powerful run at Resurgence. But will Willow make it through her first defense? Or will the Queen of Joshi take Willow’s throne already?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, we witness a historic first defense!
The bell rings and the two RAM each other! Fans rally up as Emi and Willow RAM shoulders again! And again! Emi eggs Willow on so she says okay! Willow runs, RAMS Emi, but Emi roars! Emi runs, Willow follows and runs Emi over! Fans fire up and Willow waves. Willow brings Emi up to snap suplex! Willow runs up to CHOP Emi in the corner, then follows her along the ropes. Willow CHOPS Emi in the other corner and fans rally up. Willow puts Emi in the third corner, CHOPS, CHOPS and MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Fans fire up but Emi avoids the big chop. Emi runs in but Willow goes out to the apron.
Emi stops from hitting buckles, but Willow still counter punches her! Willow then brings Emi up, and fans fire up as they go up the ropes! Emi fights the suplex, tries to suplex Willow, but Willow fights to try again. But Emi rakes the eyes! Emi runs to BODY CHECK Willow off the apron! Emi goes out, signals to media to move, and laughs before she TOSSES Willow at railing! Fans rally as Emi runs in to SPLASH Willow against the railing! The ring count climbs as Emi drags Willow up and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Emi puts Willow in the ring, taunts the fans a bit, soaks up some heat, and then takes her time going up the steel steps. Willow sits up, Emi steps in, but Willow throws body shots! Emi CHOPS Willow, Willow goes to ropes, and Emi CHOPS her again! Willow goes to a corner, Emi soaks up the heat, and she storms up to CHOP again! And again! And again! Emi swaggers around, storms back up, but Willow CHOPS! And CHOPS! And ROCKS! Willow CHOPS again! Willow falls, Emi hurries to sit her up into a DRAGON SLEEPER! Willow endures, fights around, but Emi cranks the hold!
Fans rally, Willow fights but Emi pushes her to a cover, TWO! Willow is free of the hold, but Emi CHOPS her! And CHOPS her again! Willow eggs Emi on but Emi pokes her in the eye! The ref reprimands but Emi just grins. Emi brings Willow up to HEADBUTT! Willow staggers but she throws body shots. Emi eggs Willow on and SLAPS her! Emi brings Willow around to reel her in and hook the arms. But Willow fights with body shots! Willow fires off but Emi CLUBS her down as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns and Willow has Emi in a corner. Willow goes corner to corner to back body block! And clothesline! And snapmare to then go up. Emi stands, Willow MISSILE DROPKICKS! Cover, TWO! Emi survives, maybe even got Willow’s eyes again, but Willow comes back. Willow fireman’s carries but Emi slips fere to the DRAGON SLEEPER! Emi laughs, to TWISTING DDT! Willow staggers to a corner, Emi grins and runs in, BODY CHECK in the corner! Emi goes up top to TWISTING VADER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and Emi is frustrated. Emi reels Willow in, hooks the arms, but Willow fights again!
Willow Alabama Lifts but Emi sunset flips! Willow rolls through to BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Emi survives but Willow just runs in, only for Emi to sidestep and roll-up! TWO, but Emi steps over. Willow powers out of La Magistrol, and DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Willow fires up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Willow fires up again, swings, but Emi gets around to CHOP LARIAT!! Both women are down and the fans fire back up! The ref checks and both women are still in this. Emi drags Willow up, fans rally, but Emi underhooks the arms. BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER!! Emi fires up, she’s not done here!
Fans are thunderous as Emi waits on Willow to rise. Emi then CHOPS, CHOPS, and CHOPS again! MACHINE GUN CHOPS, but Willow shoves her away. Emi CHOP LARIATS, then whips corner to corner. Willow comes back to POUNCE Emi into the corner! Fans fire up as Willow runs to CANNONBALL! And then she drags Emi out to high stack, TWO!! Emi is still in this and fans fire up! But the straps come down and Willow fires up! Fans fire up with her, she reels Emi in to gut wrench, but Emi fights the lift! Emi slips free to SLAP! SLAP! And SLAP! Emi runs, but Willow CLOBBERS her!
Gut wrench, and BABE WITH THE POWER BOMB!! Cover, Willow wins!
Winner: Willow Nightingale, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Women’s Champion)
Now that’s a first defense for the history books! How much better will Willow make this inaugural reign if this is just the beginning?
BREAKING NEWS for Dynamite!
After their encounter with Dralistico and Preston Vance last Wednesday, #JungleHook reunites for a TEXAS TORNADO TAG MATCH! Will Jack Perry & The FTW Champion tear apart La Faccion Ingobernable?
BIG news for ROH!
On Friday, July 21st in Trenton, New Jersey, ROH returns to PPV with Death Before Dishonor! Tickets go on sale next Friday, June 9th!
Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.
“Tonight, two technical masters go face to face when Lee Moriarty takes on Shibata for the ROH Pure Championship.” Nigel McGuiness says a competitor like Shibata can pick you apart, one body part by another. But Tony Schiavone and Taz say not enough is said about just how talented Moriarty is for such a young wrestler. It looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s TIME for the main event!
ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty!
The Wrestler defended this title just last night on ROH against his student, Alex “The Android” Coughlin. But now he faces #TAIGASTYLE, who has come close to snatching this title for his own not too long ago. Will tonight be Moriarty’s night? Or will Shibata make it through this Pure Wrestling Double Header?
The introductions are made, our judges are BJ Whitmer, Christopher Daniels & Jerry Lynn, and the belt is raised as we see who is truly THE Wrestler!
The bell rings and the clock is ticking on this 60 minute time limit. The two feel things out, Moriarty shoots in but Shibata holds him off with a sprawl. They clinch on the mat, Shibata slips to a waistlock and then a chinlock. Moriarty slips free but Shibata pushes him to a cover, ONE! Shibata wraps Moriarty up with his own arm and then goes for the armbar! Moriarty clasps hands but ends up in a TRIANGLE! Moriarty falls onto the ROPEBREAK, that is his first of three. Shibata even lets Moriarty know it as they reset. They knuckle lock, go shoulder to shoulder, clinch, and Moriarty tries for a leg.
Shibata powers Moriarty down, gets around to a waistlock, and they stand up. Moriarty pries the hold, fans cheer this technical exchange, but then Moriarty elbows free! Moriarty stomps Shibata into a corner, the ref counts, but Moriarty digs his boot in. Fans boo, but Shibata powers up to back Moriarty down! Shibata throws the foot down but Shibata ROCKS him! Moriarty runs to dropkick the legs out! Fans boo while Moriarty grits his teeth, and then the fans rally up for Shibata as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Moriarty mocks the applause as he stands over Shibata. Moriarty then says they can stop all that, and he grabs a leg to DDT the foot! Moriarty kips up, air guitars, and he ties up Shibata’s legs into a unique crisscross toehold. Then he sits with it for a modified stump puller! Shibata’s shoulders are down, Moriarty is practically stealing Darby Allin’s Last Supper! TWO as Shibata kicks out and Moriarty argues the count. Moriarty drags Shibata around, stomps a leg, then stomps it more and more before another DDT to the foot! Moriarty mocks the clapping from the fans, and then he drags Shibata around for a spinning toehold!
Shibata endures as Moriarty ties up the legs into another cross toehold. Moriarty puts Shibata into an Indian Deathlock, then he knuckle locks Shibata for a cover. TWO as Shibata gets an arm up! Moriarty pushes the arm back down, TWO as Shibata gets the other arm up! Moriarty pushes that arm down, TWO as Shibata gets both arms up! Moriarty CHOPS Shibata, pushes on the legs, then lets Shibata go. Moriarty gets a leg, hooks it, and ties Shibata up in another cross toehold, only for Shibata to trip him! Shibata gets Moriarty’s legs, steps through, but Moriarty fights the figure four! Shibata powers through to sync it in!
Moriarty endures, reaches out, but his shoulders are down. TWO as Moriarty sits up, Shibata keeps on the pressure, and Moriarty falls back onto his shoulders. TWO as he sits up again! Shibata has the extended leg caught in a heel hook behind his back! Moriarty falls back again, shoulders are down, TWO as he sits back up! Moriarty endures, reaches out, claws at the hold, and he pries it open. Shibata works to keep it on tight, Moriarty is down again, TWO! Moriarty sits up, Shibata thrashes around, and Rampage returns to single picture. Fans rally, Moriarty drags Shibata along as he reaches back, but Shibata drags him from the ropes!
Moriarty scrambles and goes to the opposite side, ROPEBREAK! That’s his second, he has one left, and we’ve only just past six minutes! Shibata stomps Moriarty’s bad leg, has him in a corner, and he fires off forearms! The ref counts, Shibata fires again and again, but lets off at 4. Shibata runs corner to corner but Moriarty follows to KNEE him in the corner! And then HALF HATCH BRIDGE! TWO as Shibata fights out of the “pancake.” Moriarty HAMMERS away on the back of Shibata’s head! Fans rally, Moriarty suplexes, but Shibata blocks! Shibata powers out but Moriarty kicks low!
Moriarty runs but into a kitchen sink knee! Fans rally, Shibata stomps his legs into working, and he storms up on Moriarty. Shibata drags Moriarty up to whip him to a corner and BOOT! And he fires off more forearms! The ref counts, Shibata runs corner to corner, HYDRAULIC DROPKICK! Fans fire up for that Shibata signature and he drags Moriarty up. HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO! Moriarty is still in this but Shibata clamps right on with a chinlock! Moriarty fights to the ROPEBREAK, but that’s his last! Shibata waistlocks. Moriarty switches to roll up, TWO! But Moriarty rolls with to get the BORDER CITY STRETCH!!
Shibata endures, Moriarty pulls him back, but fans rally up. Shibata rolls things to a cover, TWO! Moriarty ROCKS Shibata, winds up, but Shibata ROCKS Moriarty! And then SLEEPER!! Shibata sits Moriarty down, runs, PENALTY KICK!! Cover, Shibata wins!!
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata, by pinfall (still ROH Pure Champion)
Just past nine minutes and Shibata finishes things off, but wait! Daniel Garcia is here! The Dragonslayer is a former ROH Pure Champion, and he’s walking out right to the ring! Garcia steps in, he swaggers up to Shibata, and it is clear this is what’s next for Shibata. Shibata raises the belt to signal his accepting the challenge, will The Wrestler put down this sports… enner-tay-ner?
A great Rampage here, though I’m surprised this wasn’t just a Battle of the Belts special. Excalibur said it himself on commentary in the main event, but it was great to start off with the epitome of lucha libre and finish on Strong Style technical wrestling. The AAA Mega Championship was a great opener, and was definitely another instance where I’m grateful we can pause things because they were going fast and furious. Or maybe at Flash speeds, since that’s a Warner Brothers movie they could plug. But as I figured going into this, all the champions retained, since none of these were AEW titles (directly, since ROH is a subsidiary of AEW now).
The NJPW World Television Championship continues to be a great title to watch because of the 15 minute time limit speeding things up. Likewise, ZSJ is always a great wrestler to watch, but so hard to write for cuz he has the biggest collection of named signature moves/holds of any wrestler I’ve seen. I had to double check what he was using to make Action tap, because I keep thinking things are Clarky Cat when they’re not Clarky Cat. ZSJ is setting a very high bar for this title, maybe he retains against Cobb at Dominion or maybe he loses, but it’s going to be hard for the second-ever NJPW World TV Champion to match what ZSJ has done.
Great first title defense for Willow and this title, she and Emi put on a great match. I wonder when Willow has her first defense on NJPW Strong, and who she’ll be facing. And we got a great Pure Championship match to finish, and I’m surprised it was so quick, even compared to the NJPW World TV Championship match. But great win for Shibata, I like that Garcia is stepping up, and that’s going to be an awesome match. I don’t know if they’re going to wait until Death Before Dishonor in July for that match, but knowing AEW and ROH, they can find a way to stretch things out. Especially with Garcia also busy being part of JAS and doing JAS things.
My Score: 8.7/10
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Is the Bloodline finished?
SmackDown celebrates The Tribal Chief!
Roman Reigns celebrates 1000 DAYS as WWE Universal Champion, but what does it matter after Jimmy Uso betrayed him at Night of Champions?
- Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly; Theory & Pretty Deadly win.
- The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab; The Good Brothers win.
- Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans; Vega wins and advances to MITB.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford; Knight wins and advances to MITB.
PLAY BY PLAY
Paul Heyman speaks.
“Roman Reigns, your Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, stands at the apex of sports entertainment. Nearly three years ago, Your Tribal Chief reclaimed his Universal Championship. And as time passed, Roman’s title reign has surpassed legends, icons, hall of famers. On the Grandest Stage of Them All, the Head of the Table smashed and stacked his competition. Then humbled a Hall of Famer, and sent a 16-time world champion into the Ocean of Obscurity. Every contender, unable to withstand Roman’s sheer dominance and forced to…” ACKNOWLEDGE him.
“Challenger after challenger, crumble at his feet. And at his second Showcase of the Immortals as your reigning champion, Roman Reigns conquered The Beast, unifying the WWE and Universal titles on his 581st day as the champion in WWE. His power persisted. His Bloodline strengthened. His legacy flourished. Greatness on a different level. And on his 945th day, the greatest champion of any era made history by retaining his championship for the third straight WrestleMania. And now, it’s time to acknowledge the longest reign in over 35 years, over 1000 days. Roman. Reigns…!”
Austin Theory is in the ring.
The Now may not have reached even half of what Roman has achieved, but he is the United States Champion. He welcomes us to Austin Theory Live but the fans boo. Theory says they don’t need to have an attitude. Tonight is a very special night. “Tonight is the celebration of your Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns’ historical title reign. But you know what’s even better than that? If you took Roman’s title reign, and you combined it with the greatest United States Champion of all time… wait for it… Austin Theory’s reign, and you’d have… What is that? A total of 1,209 days! That is impressive. And not only that, it is very inspiring.
“It is almost as inspiring as being the guy who beat John Cena at WrestleMania.” Fans boo but Theory says we should face it. Let’s not be idiots! We all know Theory will have his 1000th day celebration for his title, and a 2000th, and maybe even a 3000th. Probably a 4000th. But if they just keep giving him guys like Sheamus, he’ll be the US Champion forever! “Guys, you really can’t boo me because I’m 25 and I’m the greatest to ever do this. And when you’re this great, everybody wants to gravitate towards you, they wanna be a part of it.” That brings Theory to the guys he wants to bring out.
These two guys did what was right! Theory presents none other than Pretty Deadly! Kit Wilson & Elton Prince make their entrance, and their theme song has a new remix, and they join Theory in the ring. They get mics, and Kit tells Theory, “We came here to tell you, that it was a pleasure destroying those ugly gremlins, the Brawling Brutes.” Elton says that unlike Sheamus, Theory is a champion the people deserve. They wanna show Theory their appreciation for such a good champion, in a way that only they can! “YES BOY~!” And they point to him! Feels good, right? But wait, here come the Brawling Brutes!
Fans fire up as Sheamus leads Ridge Holland & Pete Dunne out to the ring, ready for Fight Night! The ref hurries in to keep the peace, but will Theory & Pretty Deadly be leaving in pieces?
Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly!
The trios sort out, Ridge starts against Elton. Elton headlocks, Ridge powers out and he CLOBBERS Elton! Fans fire up as Ridge UPPERCUTS Elton, then HEADBUTTS him to a corner. Ridge adds a clothesline, then bumps Elton off the buckle, KICKS him in the back and CLOBBERS him again! Ridge drags Elton up, tags in “Butch,” and they coordinate, suplex dropkick combo! Dunne drags Elton up, wrenches, but Elton throws body shots. Elton RAMS Dunne into the corner, tags in Kit, and Kit runs in to UPPERCUT! Dunne clutches his jaw while fans boo. Kit drops elbows, rains down hands, then covers, TWO!
Kit sits Dunne into a chinlock. Dunne endures, fans rally for Sheamus, and Dunne fights up. Dunne powers out, drops then hurdles to then drop and CLOBBER Kit! Fans fire up, Dunne stands on Kit’s hands, then STOMPS them! Kit ducks the buzzsaw and scrambles away. Tag to Theory, fans boo, and Theory tells Dunne he wants Sheamus! Fans fire up because they want that, too! Dunne tags Sheamus in and the Mohegan Sun Arena are fired up! These two circle, but then Theory bails out, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Elton has Dunne down with a top wristlock. Fans rally, Dunne endures and he fights up to his feet. But Elton throws him down by his hair! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Elton grabs at Dunne. Dunne grabs Elton’s fingers! Dunne bends the fingers, Elton screams, but Elton CLUBS Dunne down! Tag to Theory and he runs to BLAST Ridge! Theory taunts Sheamus, stomps Dunne, then brings Dunne up to CLUB him down. Fans rally for Dunne but Theory flexes on him. Theory drags Dunne over, tags in Kit, but Dunne kicks at Theory. Kit stomps Dunne, stands him up and UPPERCUTS him down!
Tag to Elton and Theory CHOKES Dunne behind the ref’s back! Pretty Deadly stomp while the ref is busy with Sheamus. Elton drags Dunne up but Dunne CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Elton ROCKS Dunne, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Dunne goes up, leaps, FLYING DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Dunne and Elton crawl, hot tags to Theory and Sheamus! The Fella rallies on Theory! And clotheslines in the corner! Whip corner to corner for another clothesline! Scoop and POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as Sheamus ROCKS Pretty Deadly and has them both on the ropes!
But Theory rolls Sheamus up! TWO!! Sheamus gets Theory with an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Then an IRISH CURSE for Kit! And then an IRISH CURSE for Elton! Fans fire up and the Brutes return. Everyone fireman’s carries someone, for a TRIPLE WHITE NOISE! Fans are thunderous and Sheamus has Theory all alone! BROGUE!!! Cover, but Pretty Deadly drag Theory out! Sheamus hurries up top!? Ridge BLASTS Pretty Deadly, Sheamus steadies himself, and he FLYING LARIATS Pretty Deadly back down! Dunne goes up, everyone gathers, ASAI MOONSAULT onto Theory & Pretty Deadly!
Fans are thunderous as the Brutes prove they can fly! Sheamus commends Butch for topping things off, and SmackDown goes to break.
Elton stomps Dunne. Elton brings Dunn up but Dunne gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Kit runs in but into an ENZIGURI! ENZIGURI for Theory! GAMANGIRI for Kit in a corner! GAMANGIRI for Elton in a corner! Tag to Ridge and SPLASHES Elton! Then Ridge brings Elton up, Dunne joins in, BACK SUPLEX BOMB COMBO! Sheamus tags in and goes up for a KING KONG KNEE DROP! Cover, TWO!! Elton survives but Sheamus keeps his cool. Sheamus drags Elton up, reels him in, Canadian rack but Elton fights free of the crucifix! Elton BOOTS Sheamus, tags Kit, then gives Kit the boost, CRY MARTINI!
Theory tags in, drags Sheamus up to ROCK him and torture rack him! TOWER HACKER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Theory is furious and he rains down fists! Fans boo while Theory seethes and looms over Sheamus. Theory talks trash, brings Sheamus up, but Sheamus blocks a body shot to LARIAT point blank! Elton gets in but Ridge gives him an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Kit DROPKICKS Ridge but Dunne ENZIGURIS Kit! Dunne runs at Theory but Theory shovels him up and out! Theory somersaults, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives and Sheamus is too tired to be upset. Both men crawl and fans rally up.
Sheamus and Theory reach out, hot tags to Elton and Ridge! Kit tags in, but The Fridge picks Elton up! Kit saves Elton, but then Ridge picks them both up! DOUBLE back drop! Fans fire up as Ridge kicks Kit to the apron. Sheamus has Theory, and Dunne has Elton! Fans fire up for the TRIPLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN!! The Brutes all go to 10, though Dunne gets a little extra. Ridge then scoops for NORTHERN GRIT! Cover, but Theory breaks it! Dunne swings on Theory but into A-TOWN DOWN! Sheamus clotheslines Theory out! Sheamus pursues Theory, but Theory POSTS Sheamus!
Kit and Elton coordinate, they pull a sneaky move by hiding Elton under the apron skirt. The matching outfits make Ridge think that’s still Kit! Ridge drags Elton in, and surprise! Kit CHOP BLOCKS Ridge! Kit tags Elton, they get Ridge up for SPILT MILK!! And tag to Theory so he can cover, Theory & Pretty Deadly win!
Winners: Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly, by pinfall
The three of them hurry away before Dunne returns, having pulled another fast one. Will Kit & Elton be heading towards the tag titles? Will anyone be able to take the US Championship from Theory?
Paul Heyman is backstage.
The Wise Man is holding onto both the black WWE Championship and blue Universal Championship belts for the Tribal Chief as he walks up to the private suite. Heyman walks inside, is he going to discuss the celebration plans with Roman Reigns during the break?
SmackDown returns, and Heyman’s talking with Solo Sikoa. The magnitude that has never been accomplished before in the WWE. This needs to be special for the Tribal Chief, especially given what happened at Night of Champions. Heyman wants this to be special for Roman Reigns. And he knows Solo feels the same way. Heyman will go talk with Adam Pearce to make sure that Solo’s brothers, The Usos, are nowhere to be found tonight so that this is the night that we acknowledge Roman… Reigns! Heyman smiles and heads out, how does Solo really feel about what Jimmy did to Roman?
The OC talk backstage.
The Good Brothers are worried but Mia Yim says it’s fine, tonight is his birthday. AJ Styles walks in and they say happy birthday! Yes, it IS his birthday! And he apologizes for losing at Night of Champions, he ruined their night. No, no, it is not his fault. But you take the L, keep it moving. The OC has their back. But did anyone else see the “diss” track by Hit Row? Yeah, but Styles would rather see the Good Brothers drop Hit Row. Too Sweet, baby! And that match is happening next! Will Top Dolla & Ashante THEE Adonis think twice before opening their mouths next time?
The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab!
SmackDown returns as Hit Row makes their entrance. The teams sort out, but Adonis ambushes Karl Anderson! Fans boo and the ref counts while Adonis stomps away, but then he lets off at 4. Adonis whips to CLOBBER Anderson, then he taunts Luke Gallows. Anderson goes to a corner, Adonis drags him out and tags Dolla. Hit Row whip Anderson to a corner, then Dolla whips Adonis in to RAM Anderson! Dolla talks trash on The Machine Gun, then reels him in for an ELBOW! Dolla talks more trash, drags Anderson to the ropes, and he CHOPKES him! The ref counts, Dolla lets off and tags Adonis.
Adonis runs to STRADDLE ATTACK! Adonis sits on Anderson while smoothing his hair, but lets off as the ref counts. The ref argues with Adonis and B-Fab sucker punches Anderson! Michin storms up and B-Fab backs off. Adonis covers, TWO, but he clamps onto a chinlock. The ref has Michin and B-Fab back off, and fans rally as Anderson fights up. Anderson throws body shots but Adonis CLUBS him! Adonis whips, Anderson reverses, SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down. Fans rally, Anderson hot tags Gallows! Doc BOOTS Adonis, BOOTS Dolla, then DECKS Adonis!
Gallows ROUNDHOUSES Adonis to a corner, runs in and back elbows! Then he keeps moving, FLYING UPPERCUT on Adonis! Fans fire up as Gallows scoops to AK 47! Tag to Anderson, the Good Brothers get Adonis up, MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, Good Brothers win!
Winners: The Good Brothers, by pinfall
But Dolla BOOTS Anderson! And CLOBBERS Gallows! But Styles springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Fans fire up as the birthday boy gets him some, and The Hit Row? They don’t want none! Will The OC be too sweet all the way to some gold?
Adam Pearce is on the phone.
Yes, he is very excited, this is perhaps one of the biggest nights in SmackDown history. He excuses himself and ends the call as he sees Heyman walking in. Pearce tells Heyman right now that the Usos’ travel was canceled, they were told they weren’t needed tonight. And as requested, should The Usos want to show up, security has been doubled. The Usos are NOT getting inside the building. Heyman smiles and puts a call into Roman Reigns. Will nothing go wrong during the 1000 Day Acknowledgment?
BREAKING NEWS for Raw!
Seth Rollins put out the open challenge for his NEW World Heavyweight Championships on social media and it was quickly accepted by Damian Priest! Will the Judgment Day add more gold when the Punisher brings down The Visionary?
SmackDown presents an all new Grayson Waller Effect.
The 21st Century Success Story, “The Dynamite from Down Under, the Moment Maker, the Aussie Icon,” gets the big introduction once again as he’s already in the ring. And he says, “What a week it has been here in the WWE, and we’re gonna keep it rolling with the most honest talk show in WWE history.” Waller brings us the biggest and the best, and he’s done it again tonight. So please welcome the NEW Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA~! The fans do like that as the Empress of Tomorrow walks out with the belt on her shoulder. She joins Waller in the ring and at the desk as he welcomes her to the show.
Waller says, “Congratulations, what an incredible performance against Bianca at Night of Champions. In fact, let’s see exactly how you got it done.” Waller and Asuka look to the tron as we all see a Progressive Match Flo recap video of that match. Asuka used blue mist fingers to finish Bianca, and Waller says wow. Asuka laughs and smiles, and in Japanese, she says “I told you saw! I’m the Raw Women’s Champion!” Waller says he could not have put it better himself! But he can’t help but notice the briefcases above the ring. There’s no shortage of people who think they’re ready for Asuka. They’re gonna climb the ladder, win the briefcase to be Miss MITB, and maybe cash in on her?
Waller says Asuka’s gotta keep her head on a swivel. Nevermind that Bianca’s gonna come looking for a rematch. Asuka is amused there. She reenacts how she spat mist on her finger, got Bianca in the eyes and made Bianca cry. Waller is amused, too! He says that was so true. And so smart! He can’t imagine the pain and suffering Bianca went through. Asuka’s even drooling some blue mist right now. Waller looks a bit worried, but also maybe excited. But then IYO SKY shows up! She tells Asuka in Japanese that she’s nothing special for what she did. And Iyo won’t even need MITB to take that title from! But she’s still gonna win it, and then Iyo will be the new champion!
Asuka laughs, and tells Iyo she’s a child, the way she’s storming up in here. Iyo tells Asuka to shut up, dammit! Asuka calls Iyo an idiot, Iyo calls Asuka a scumbag, and they go back and forth like that. Waller has them stop, this is HIS show, he did not approve a second guest! But wait, here comes BAYLEY! The Role Model says Iyo said that after both Iyo and Bayley qualify for the MITB, one of them is winning the MITB briefcase. Though it is every woman for themselves, and Bayley’s won it before, so either way, DMG CTRL will win the title- Wait! Here comes Shotzi!
Fans fire up as the Wild Child says, “Awww, Bayley! There is NOTHING that I would love more than to crush your dreams with the help of some cold, hard steel! Because, if there is anyone made for the pure chaos of the Money in the Bank Ladder match, it’s me!” Wait, here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier is embodying Sergeant Slaughter and she tells Shotzi to shut up and salute her! Fans boo but Lacey says none of these nasty things are taking the briefcase anywhere, it’s coming home with her. But first, she’ll take her Cobra Clutch, wrap it around that “shrimp,” Zelina Vega, and-
Wait! Here comes Zelina! Fans fire up as La Muneca says there is only one problem with everyone’s plans. They are all underestimating Zelina. And y’know who else did that? Rhea Ripley at Backlash. Because Zelina was this close to becoming champion! So “Shrimp?” Keep that energy, Lacey. Because to be honest, even if Lacey got her hair done, her nails done and traded in those “piss soaked boots” for red bottoms, you still wouldn’t be half the woman Zelina is. So please, underestimate her. Everyone do that. Because it will be that much sweeter when she wins. Because that is how she is going to become Miss MITB!
Bayley laughs and says they’re all idiots. Waller says this is the best day of his life. Bayley asks him what kind of show he’s running here, and he’s hoping for more ladies to show up. Asuka slips away to say, “Hey hey hey hey! NO ONE is ready for Asuka!!” But then Bianca storms up to ROCK Asuka with a forearm! They brawl on the stage and fans fire up! Referees rush out to stop that scrap, only for Bianca to break lose and hit Asuka again! The refs and even some producers get in to separate them again, but fans wanna “Let Them Fight!” Will the angriEST Bianca be coming after the Empress?
Cameron Grimes talks with Adam Pearce backstage.
They watch a replay of Baron Corbin ruining Carmelo Hayes’ moment just last Tuesday on NXT, and Grimes said that’s exactly what Corbin did to him last week. Is Corbin even here? No, and with his free agency status, the next time we see him will be next Tuesday on NXT. Grimes says Melo will handle that. But the next time Corbin shows his face on SmackDown, Grimes will handle that. Pearce nods, will the Carolina Caveman crush Baron Corbin?
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans!
Since everyone was already at ringside, this match is happening now! And Vega is already clutching her jaw, it seems the Model Soldier got a cheap shot in while everyone was watching Asuka and Bianca. Will Vega still be able to humble Lacey for underestimating her? Or will another Woman’s Right simply take Vega out?
The bell rings and Lacey stomps Vega into the corner! The ref counts, fans boo, but Lacey lets off at 4. Lacey stands on Vega’s hair and salutes, then lets off to SWINGING BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey pushes Vega around, covers, TWO! Lacey sits Vega up, and clamps on the COBRA CLUTCH! And she SWINGS Vega around! Fans rally for Vega but Lacey TOSSES her away! Lacey dusts off her hands, runs in, but Vega goes up and over and rolls Lacey, Schoolgirl Kick! Cover, TWO! Vega whips, Lacey reverses but Vega KICKS her! Only for Lacey to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Lacey dribbles Vega off the mat, then smirks as fans boo.
Lacey salutes but fans boo, and Vega hits low. Lacey BOOTS Vega, drags her from ropes and stands on her for a cocky cover. The ref says it’s on the throat! Lacey steps off to argue with him, and then Lacey clamps onto Vega with a chinlock. Fans rally but Lacey throws knees into Vega’s side! Vega still endures, fans rally up, and Vega kicks from below! Lacey drags Vega up but Vega RAMS her into a corner! And again! Vega smacks Lacey off buckles, headlocks and springboards for a headlock takeover! Lacey runs in but into the tilt-o-whirl and CODE RED!! Cover, VEGA WINS!
Winner: Zelina Vega, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
What did she just say about underestimating her? Because there’s the proof! Lacey toyed with Zelina but got played, will Zelina soon be La Muneca en el Banco?
The LWO celebrates backstage.
They are so proud of Vega! Latinos around the world are going to gather in celebration! And next week, when Escobar wins his qualifier and win the MITB contract, oh he can see it now. She can see it, too. Rey Mysterio can see it, too! It is only a matter of time before the entire locker room refers to them as Santos y Zelina, Mr. and Mrs. Money in the Bank! Will the LWO soon take over London?
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford!
The Mega Star told the Street Profits that if they want the smoke, he’ll be the one to burn ’em! Is that not an insult but just a fact of life? Or will #KingTez be the one saying “YEAH!” on the way to London?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up, the two tie up, and Knight wrenches to a hammerlock, and he slaps Ford around. Fans rally for “L A KNIGHT! L A KNIGHT!” The two circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Knight powers out the back to hammerlock, but Ford switches it onto him. Knight switches back, Ford switches again, Knight switches again. They keep going, Knight gest the ROPEBREAK, but Ford slaps him around now. Fans are a bit torn but Knight gets heated. Knight shoves, Ford shoves, repeat! Fans are on Knight’s side as the two tie up again but Ford headlocks. Knight powers out but Ford runs him over!
Ford actually seems to enjoy upsetting the Knight fans, and things speed up. Knight hurdles, but Ford whips him away to keep things moving. Ford hurdles, Knight hurdles, but Ford DROPKICKS! Fans are salty as Ford clotheslines Knight in the corner. And then in another corner! Ford whips Knight into the corner, runs in but Knight puts Ford on the apron. Ford ROCKS Knight back! But Knight BLASTS Ford! Fans cheer Knight while Ford crawls and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and both men collide! Fans rally up while both men are down, and then Knight stands. Knight throws haymakers but Ford gives them back! They go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford gets the edge, whips, but Knight reverses, only for Ford to LARIAT! Ford rallies on Knight, ducks ‘n’ dodges to LARIAT again! Knight gets up, Ford hits a BIG back suplex! Ford kips up, fans fire up, and Ford flexes to MOONSAULT, but Knight moves! Ford lands on his feet, swings but misses, and Knight torture racks! SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up, Knight stalks Ford and fans duel. Knight stands Ford up but Ford elbows him! Ford runs in but into an elbow! Ford falls over, Knight tries a springboard, LIONSAULT FLOPS as Ford moves! Ford ENZIGURIS Knight, then fires up to clinch and ROCK BOTTOM! Cover, TWO!! Knight survives and Ford is seething. Fans fire up as Ford drags Knight up. Ford whips, Knight KICKS back! Ford doges the lariat, both men run, DOUBLE LARIATS take them down! Fans fire up again while the ref checks both men. Knight and Ford crawl to each other, and Knight throws a haymaker. Ford gives it back!
Fans rally as the hands go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford CHOPS, then DECKS Knight! Knight stands at the ropes, Ford runs in but is put back on the apron. Ford GAMANGIRIS Knight then goes up a corner! But Knight ROCKS Ford first! Knight climbs, Ford throws body shots then shoves Knight away. Knight returns and springs right up! But Ford shoves him back down! Fans fire up as Ford comes in, FROM THE- NO, Knight moves! Knight kicks low, BF- NO, Ford O’Conner Rolls, TWO! Knight O’Conner Rolls with ropes!! Knight wins!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
The Mega Star snatches that one away from Ford, but the fans still love it! Knight then brings a ladder out and sets it up under the briefcases. Knight climbs, says this is what we’ll see, because whose game is it? Will this really be what happens when LA arrives in the UK?
Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn speak.
“Sanguis rubeus luna et exponentia exitio.” That phrase repeats as we travel through a snow covered forest. Translation: “The perfect moon will spell your doom.” The Unholy Union is here, what will they do to the landscape of SmackDown?
SmackDown sets the rest of the qualifiers!
For the Men’s MITB, Baron Corbin returns from NXT to take on “Butch” Pete Dunne, and Mustafa Ali returns from NXT to take on Santos Escobar! And then, as announced during the Grayson Waller Effect, DMG CTRL is in the mix as Bayley takes on Mia Yim and Iyo Sky takes on Shotzi! Will DMG CTRL look to take control of that briefcase one way or another?
Triple H is here!
Fans fire up for The Game as he heads to the ring! It seems even he is here to celebrate Roman Reigns’ 1000+ days as Universal Champion! What will HHH have to add to the occasion? We find out, after the break.
SmackDown returns and HHH is in the ring with a pedestal and a familiar looking cloth. HHH has the mic to say, “On rare occasions, an athlete comes along that is so dominant that they change the entire face of their chosen sport. And when it happens, they will be talked about for generations to come. In boxing, it was the Great One, Muhammad Ali. In basketball, Michael Jordan. In the WWE, right now, we have the privilege of witnessing that greatness live. Believe me, you will talk about this for generations, so please help me welcome a man who has passed 1000 days as champion. Please help me welcome a man that you will tell your children and your grandchildren about.
“Please help me welcome the Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.” The Head of the Table makes his entrance with fans torn between boos and throwing up the ones. Roman has Solo and Heyman with him, the brand new “1000 Days” branded jacket and shirt on as he holds up the belts for the pyro. The Bloodline, if this group even still counts as that, continues on into the ring. Roman then shakes HHH’s hand and Heyman fetches a mic. Heyman also shakes HHH’s hand, and then HHH tells Roman, “On behalf of the WWE, and on behalf of the entire WWE Universe, I would like to congratulate you on surpassing 1000 days as champion.”
That is something that hasn’t been accomplished in the WWE in almost forty years! Truly an epic accomplishment. So to congratulate Roman and celebrate this historic achievement, it is HHH’s honor to present him with a brand new Undisputed WWE Universal Championship belt. HHH takes the cover off to reveal the same home base design, but with a GOLDEN face plate! Heyman removes the belt Roman is wearing on his waist so that he can hold up the new belt, for more pyro! HHH then helps Roman put that belt on, then Heyman hands Roman the mic. Roman smiles while fans are torn between cheers and jeers.
Roman says, “Pennsyl- No, no, no. I mean, c’mon! That’s not good enough anymore. The entire universe…! ACKNOWLEDGE ME!!” Wait, the USOS are here?!? How?! Heyman heard from Pearce that this wasn’t supposed to happen! But Jimmy & Jey do walk out and Roman glares at Heyman. Heyman defends he was assured this wouldn’t happen, but it is! And we see what the Usos are going to do, after the break.
SmackDown returns and the Usos are now in the ring with Roman, Solo & Heyman. And Jimmy’s staring Roman down. He even glances at the brand new Universal Championship blet. Jimmy has the mic, but Roman speaks first, telling Jey to kick Jimmy in the face! Fans boo but Roman says it again, kick Jimmy in the face. He didn’t stutter, do it now! That’s what Jimmy did to Roman. Jimmy took Roman’s tag team titles away from him, so Jey has to fix this. Jey has to kick his brother in the face! Fans boo more, and Jey just paces. Roman is not happy about that, and he tells Jey this is the last time: KICK HIM IN THE FACE AND FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!
Jimmy speaks up to that the only one who needs fixing is ROMAN. Fans cheer that! Roman scowls but Jimmy says Jey can’t fix this. Jimmy kicked Roman in the face, “The Kick Heard Worldwide.” And Jimmy did what he did in Saudi not to be the Tribal Chief, not to lead the Bloodline, but because Jimmy was being a brother. Brothers treat each other with love and respect, and as of lately, you ain’t been such a good brother, Roman. What kind of brother manipulates, betrays and hurts his own family? What kind of brother does that, Uce? Roman has gone crazy! CRAZY! This right here is Jimmy’s brother! It is embedded in Jimmy to protect Jey.
In fact, SOLO is Jimmy’s brother! He’ll protect Solo, and he’s gonna tell Solo right now, that after Roman’s done using you, he’s gonna abuse you, betray you, kick you to the side, and put you in the dirt! Jimmy IS Solo’s brother, that’s why he’s saying this. Fans cheer that, too! Roman tries to laugh it off but Jimmy tells Solo to listen to him. Fans rally for the “USOS! USOS!” and Roman says that’s because of ROMAN! Roman is the Tribal Chief! You see him? Tribal Chief. This here is an imposter! Jimmy talking like he’s the leader, like Solo don’t have a voice. Let’s hear it from Solo who Solo is loyal to!
Roman hands the mic to Solo and fans boo. Solo looks at the mic, thinks about it, and fans chant for “SOLO! SOLO!” Solo says, “I acknowledge you, My Tribal Chief.” Fans boo and Roman smiles. But then Solo says, “But these two right here… They’re my brothers.” UH OH~! Roman is shocked and the Usos smile! Solo hands the mic back, to stand with his brothers!! Roman can’t believe what he’s seeing! Jimmy says hey, hey, so what’s it gonna be, Uce? Does Roman wanna run this thing together with respect? Or just end up on the Island of Relevancy all by himself? Roman tells Jimmy to shut up, but Jimmy pie faces him!!
Heyman is shocked and cowering in the corner! Fans fire up as Jey and Solo are both tense. Roman registers what just happened, then gets up in Jimmy’s face. Jey stops them both, and he wants to keep the peace. It’s not going like this. Jey needs them both, they cannot start fighting! They’re better than that, okay? Jey gets Jimmy to understand, and Jimmy cools off. Stronger together, Uce. But see, Jey is Jimmy’s brother, and Solo is Jimmy’s brother. But so is Roman. Roman’s always been family. So be a brother, have respect, and run this place like they’ve been doing! But TOGETHER! Bloodline, right? Family, right? They are still the ones, right?
Roman wipes sweat from his brow and takes a breath. Fans want Roman to accept what the Usos are saying, but he seems unsure what to do. Roman and Jimmy HUG!! Fans cheer, and Jey is relieved. Roman then says, “No.” WHAT?! Heyman is shocked all over again! Roman lets go and Jey is upset again! How could Roman say that?! And then Solo SAMOAN SPIKES JIMMY!?!? Jey is even more devastated!! Roman takes his leave, Heyman and Solo following behind. Is the Tribal Chief’s iron grip that powerful? Heyman then asks Roman, “What about Jey?” Roman says Jey will do what he always does and fall in line. Just give it time.
Fans boo as Roman refuses to share love and respect with his family. What will it take for The Usos to change that?
An awesome episode to follow Night of Champions with! Granted, a lot of that comes from the Bloodline story, which once again continues to be the top story. And with this story already having set a high bar, they find a way to raise the bar again. Great video package narrated by Heyman to open the show, good promos backstage to expertly set up what we got in the closing segment. I did appreciate that since they’re not undoing the unification, Roman now just has one actual belt to hold onto and he can just keep the other two at home. Naturally, they just kept the cookie cutter shape they’ve been using, but I like the gold backing on the logo there, it really stands out.
And naturally, the Usos DID show up, and what an amazing emotional rollercoaster there. After all that, we are definitely getting Usos VS Roman & Solo, and that will be the moment of truth where I would think Solo really does side with his brothers. Then it’s on Roman to either “fall in line” and accept his family as family, or he ends up all alone with just Heyman. Either way, this is all great stuff that can carry the story into the Summer, maybe even to SummerSlam. And what would really put a cherry on top: if Roman, no more pawns to get in the way, gets beat by a Mr. MITB cash-in.
Great opening Six Man from Theory & Pretty Deadly VS Brawling Brutes, and I figured the Heels would find a way to win. I would think Pretty Deadly finds a way into the Undisputed Tag Team Championship scene for the summer, as those titles are meant to be on both Raw and SmackDown. And who wouldn’t love seeing a promo between Kevin, Sami and Pretty Deadly? At the same time, The Good Brothers should also get in on some of that, they got a really good win off Hit Row. Happy birthday to AJ Styles, maybe he can find his way to a title match of some kind. Him and Theory wouldn’t be half bad for MITB.
Really good Grayson Waller Effect segment, though not really because of Waller. If this same stuff happened with The Miz and MizTV, it’d amount to about the same great stuff. Asuka and Iyo getting at each other and then arguing in Japanese seems to be their thing, but I would love if we got Iyo to turn Face. Between her and Asuka being longtime rivals, and DMG CTRL about to fall apart at a moment’s notice, Iyo could come out a top Face for the SmackDown Women’s Division. But I also do like that Bianca went after Asuka, that was a logical move. I just wish we got to see the sucker punch from Lacey live and not in a replay.
The MITB qualifiers were both good matches, but Zelina was a very obvious winner given Lacey’s attitude and how Zelina seems to be on a great push. Ford VS Knight was a bit closer, but the fans are just loving Knight, so it makes sense Knight won here. We’re also going to get great stuff out of next week’s matches, and I’m thinking Bayley, Iyo, Escobar and Dunne win. Bayley and Iyo because of the DMG CTRL breakup story they’re giving us, Escobar because the LWO tease they gave us, and Dunne because it won’t be Corbin since he’s got stuff brewing in NXT and Grimes just isn’t gonna let him win.
And what a spooky vignette from Fyre & Dawn. Just as it isn’t clear what they’re planning with having the Smackdown Women’s Championship on Raw and vice-versa, I’m not sure what’s going on with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships still being up here on main roster. I don’t think they’d unify, nor do I want them to unify, mostly because Fyre & Dawn probably wouldn’t beat Ronda & Shayna. Well, Shayna didn’t do well against spooky given Twisted Alexa during pandemic era, but I still don’t think using supernatural elements would be enough to take out Ronda. Though it would be pretty funny to see.
My Score: 8.8/10
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