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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (8/17/20)

One week until SummerSlam!

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WWE Raw Coverage 3.0

Raw is reeling this close to SummerSlam!

Everyone is in shock that The Viper’s viciousness turned on Ric Flair! Shawn Michaels returns to Raw, will he confront Randy Orton? Will he be the Legend Killer’s next victim?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business; Apollo wins and bans The Hurt Business from ringside for SummerSlam.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Hurt Business Bail Out: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas VS Shelton Benjamin w/ Hurt Business; Benjamin wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ivar w/ Erik; Garza wins.
  • Natalya w/ Lana VS Mickie James; Natalya wins, by count-out.
  • The Golden Role Models VS Asuka & Shayna Baszler; Asuka & Baszler win.
  • Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Royce wins.
  • Raw Underground – Erik goes 1-1, Ziggler goes 1-0.
  • Raw Underground – Arturo Ruas VS Riddick Moss; No Contest.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Mid-Match Mayhem: Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Six Man Elimination Tag: The Hurt Business VS Apollo Crews, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali; The Hurt Business wins.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Akira Tozawa; Alexander wins and retains the WWE 24/7 Championship.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Dirty Business: Cedric Alexander VS Shelton Benjamin; Benjamin wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Raw Underground – Marina Shafir wins.
  • Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Angel Garza; Ford wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The opening intro is all weird…

Rewinding, stopping, flipping around. Is Retribution taking over now, then and forever?

 

Drew McIntyre heads to the ring!

The WWE World Champion is here and grabs the mic to address what we all saw last week. The Celtic Colossus was first on the scene after Randy Orton PUNTED Ric Flair in the head, and will be facing that very Viper this Sunday at SummerSlam. McIntyre says what Orton did last week “was completely unforgivable. Randy Orton brutalized Ric Flair.” Not just the legend, the 16-time world champ, two-time hall of fame inductee and icon for generation after generation. But a 71-year-old man. Ric is someone Orton grew up around for 20 years as a mentor, protector and friend. Last week, with a tear in Ric’s eye, he told Orton that Orton should be the one to break the record because of how much Ric loved him. And what did Orton do? “You kicked him in his damn skull!”

But here’s the thing. SummerSlam isn’t Orton and a defenseless old man. Orton is facing “a pissed off, 6’5″ Scottish fire-breathing dragon” that wants to hurt him! Not just for McIntyre, but for everyone Orton’s ever wronged, and especially Flair! Camera cuts are a bit weird and graphics are showing up randomly as McIntyre tries to take us down memory lane. Orton VS Foley, all the weapons! Yes, Orton took the torch from Foley that night. And we’re getting a replay of Dominik Mysterio taking those kendo stick strikes in a picture in picture. McIntyre tells Orton that SummerSlam will be a beating far worse than thumbtacks and weapons. “Screw that! Drew McIntyre IS a damn weapon!”

McIntyre wishes SummerSlam was now, and he knows Orton is hiding somewhere in the building. The graphics are going by so fast it’s a bit nauseating. A cameraman barges into the production truck to find Retribution members forcing the tech crew to do these things! Then they break the computers now that they’ve been found! McIntyre keeps talking about what he wants to do to Orton while Raw goes to break! Is this the end or just the beginning of the chaos for tonight?

 

Raw returns to the locker room assembled.

Much like the superstars last Friday Night SmackDown, Titus O’Neil, Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, Humberto Carrillo, The Viking Raiders and even Riddick Moss all want answers. This was no hacker, and it wasn’t Akira Tozawa’s ninja clan. McIntyre comes in and says his stuff with Orton can wait. Is Ric okay? Yes, from what McIntyre’s heard. But Orton won’t be okay. Of course, that’s if we get to Sunday. Retribution keeps causing chaos and trouble, and McIntyre doesn’t appreciate them doing this. So they have tow choices: carry on and see what happens; or band together and stomp this out! But Seth Rollins come sin, laughing and applauding.

Rollins appreciates what McIntyre is doing. Yes, Retribution is a problem. But Monday night already has its Messiah, so there’s already a locker room leader. Okay, Rollins. You’ve been doing this song and dance for about five years now. If the boys didn’t respect you then, they’re not going to respect you now. Rollins gets it, McIntyre is the champion with a chip on his shoulders and thinks he’s the leader. But being a champion doesn’t make you a leader nor a teacher. Let’s not forget who taught McIntyre about being a champion. It was Rollins. Just like how Rollins taught Dominik what it takes to be a WWE superstar. Ricochet says Rollins is about to get his receipt for that, too. BURN!

Rollins asks if Ricochet has something to say. Just saying, Rey Mysterio going to be here tonight. Literally impossible. We all saw what Rollins did to Rey’s eye. But Alexander speaks up and says it’s still happening. Rollins doesn’t believe them but McIntyre asks if the Messiah is scared. He’s not! Rollins knows how to protect himself and those around him. Meanwhile, McIntyre couldn’t protect Flair from Orton. Get your priorities straight or you’ll end up the EX WWE Champion. Well Rollins could just come out and say it. If he wants McIntyre to drop him right here, McIntyre will gladly oblige! Buddy Murphy steps in and things get tense. McIntyre dares Rollins to step up, but Rollins and Murphy take their leave. Will everything blow up tonight before SummerSlam?

 

The Hurt Business is here!

It takes a moment to get the proper titantron and lights going, but MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin still head down to address business. “While Drew McIntyre is in the back, organizing some sort of buddy system,” they’re here to make a statement. “Retribution, wherever you may be. The Hurt Business is officially open for business.” MVP already knows what this is. While the rest of the WWE roster is “hand wringing” and worrying, the Hurt Business is calling Retribution out! Retribution thinks they’re tough for terrorizing from the shadows? That’s not tough! What is tough is Lashley, Benjamin and even MVP! A cameraman finally returns to ringside to get a better look.

MVP says in his life, he’s learned to follow the money. This is the same. Follow the path. Who benefits most from Retribution? Think about it. If you follow the trail, it leads you to catering, where you find Apollo Crews and “His band of merry pranksters,” Ali, Ricochet and Alexander. In fact, Hurt Business bets that they hatched this up while Apollo was home on the couch after the “Full Lashley” full nelson. TO cut to the chase, we all know Retribution showed up around the time MVP faced Apollo for the United States Championship! That’s not a coincidence! That was a ploy so that Apollo could still MVP’s US Championship belt that he paid thousands of dollars for! But here comes Apollo to respond!

Apollo has that very belt and a mic to say, “I knew that you would be out here making excuses.” But to accuse Apollo for leading Retribution? That’s low. No, what’s low is Apollo and his “masked dudes” pulling these “subversive actions.” No this is just MVP distracting from the match at SummerSlam. MVP can’t beat Apollo without help, just like Benjamin. Let’s real talk. Until Apollo had the title, he’s had more stops and starts than a used car. That made Apollo bitter and that’s why he has a crew of the same people. Apollo doesn’t fear MVP, but losing the title. Because as soon as he does, it’s back to catering.

Yeah, Apollo DOES fear losing. That’s why he FIGHTS. But if he was anything like MVP, he would’ve joined up with the Hurt Business months ago. Well if he was like MVP, he’d be smart and he’d understand this business! If he wants to talk business, then let’s talk business! If Apollo beats Benjamin, then both Benjamin and Lashley will be in catering banned from ringside, and MVP will have to go 1v1. MVP says Apollo is a child, and there will be no excuses when MVP puts Apollo over his knee. MVP sicks the Hurt Business after Apollo but Apollo ROCKS Benjamin and gets in the ring! Will Apollo even the odds for Sunday?

 

Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business!

Raw returns with the match already in progress. Apollo clubs away on Benjamin then whips, but Benjamin reverses. Benjamin waistlocks but Apollo counters to a victory roll, TWO! Benjamin CLOBBERS Apollo! MVP tells Benjamin add on and he stomps away on Apollo. Benjamin puts Apollo in a corner, stomps away then clubs away. The ref backs Benjamin off, but Benjamin whips Apollo corner to corner hard! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies up for Apollo but Benjamin waits. Apollo denies Pay Dirt then hits a SPINE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps his focus as Benjamin gets to a corner. Apollo waistlocks and brings Benjamin out, but Benjamin counters the Crews Missile to a DDT! Cover, TWO!!

MVP shouts for Benjamin to keep going, and Benjamin drags Apollo back up. Benjamin reels Apollo in, but is that R-Truth!? He’s running away because of Akira Tozawa and the ninjas giving chase! Benjamin has to shove the ninjas out of the way, Apollo trips him up to jackknife cover! Apollo wins!!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall; Hurt Business banned from ringside for the WWE United States Championship match

But Lashley and MVP go after Apollo! No more concern for Apollo’s health this week, they’re just angry! They beat Apollo up but here come those friends! Ricochet, Ali and Alexander fight the Hurt Business back! Lashley puts Alexander on the apron but gets an enziguri! Springboard, but into the #FullLashley! But Ricochet and Ali save Alexander with a sleeper hold, SUPERKICK and BOOT! Apollo and friends dump Lashley out! The Hurt Business suffers another loss, will this finally be settled come SummerSLam?

Truth returns but Benjamin BOOTS him down! Cover, Benjamin wins the 24/7 Championship!!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

MVP says “We are NOT going out like that! Not tonight!” They will not be disrespected by Truth the clown, a bunch of ninjas, and Apollo’s crew. How about Apollo choose two of those idiots and face MVP’s guys in a Six Man ELIMINATION Match?! Challenge accepted! Who steps up to hurt the Hurt Business all over again?

 

Angel Garza reunites with Demi Burnett.

Did she enjoy his match last week? Of course! Well here’s a rose. Thanks! But Ivar returns to charm her again. He really enjoyed their conversation last week about his hoop dreams. Damian Lillard has Dam Time, but now it’s Ivar Time. Would Demi like to be his guest at Raw Underground tonight? He presents her with turkey. Thank you, Ivar! She’d love to! Anything for such a beautiful lady. Oh and, Garza didn’t poison it this time. Did Garza poison Montez Ford? No! No one did! This is just Ford’s excuse so he won’t have to defend the Raw Tag Team titles! Garza says Ivar won’t be pretending in their match up next. And then he throws the turkey down! But Ivar calls it back like Mjolnir! Garza better put some respect on that name! Everything is fair in love and warbeards, but who survives to take Demi on a date?

 

WWE has a huge announcement!

With everything going on in the Performance Center, the venue for Raw and SmackDown is about to change! WWE turns the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida into the THUNDERDOME! SummerSlam weekend will be bigger than ever as far as a state-of-the-art “virtual fan” experience! Try it out for yourself starting this Friday Night SmackDown!

 

Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ivar w/ Erik!

We return to the ring with everyone already here. Who will win the heart of Demi in the shadow of the biggest party of the summer?

The bell rings and Garza runs in, only for Ivar to side step him! Ivar waistlocks but Garza elbows free. Garza headlocks, Ivar powers out and fireman’s carries but Garza slips out. Garza waistlocks but Ivar bucks him off. Things speed up, Ivar cartwheels but Garza catches the heel kick to KNEE Ivar! Garza throws Ivar down by his beard! Off come the pants! Demi watches as Garza wraps Ivar up in a half nelson. Wait, Angelo Dawkins is saying hi to Demi! Garza turns the armlock into a part crossface, but Ivar endures. The crowd rallies, Ivar fights up but Garza throws knees and forearms. Garza whips, Ivar reverses and EXPLODERS Garza away!

The crowd fires up more as Ivar runs Garza over with a shoulder! Ivar waits for Garza to stand before he scoops and sidewalk slams! Then the BASEMENT SPLASH! Ivar fires up as Garza crawls away. Ivar stalks him to a corner, drags him up, and whips him corner to corner. Corner clothesline! Ivar whips the other way, another clothesline! Garza flops but Ivar is ready. Ivar scoops Garza but Garza slips out and shoves. Garza runs into the SEATED SENTON! Cover, TWO!! Garza survives and Vega is relieved. Ivar drags Garza up as the crowd rallies again. Ivar hoists Garza up top and climbs up behind him. Garza resists and elbows Ivar back. Garza bumps Ivar off buckles as he goes to the apron. But Ivar clobbers Garza with a clothesline!

Vega checks on Garza but Ivar builds speed! Vega stands in his way so Ivar slams on the brakes. Ivar goes out to get Garza and throw him into the apron! And then the Plexiglas! Ivar puts Garza in at 4 and glares at Almas. Almas stays back but Garza kicks Ivar down! Garza slithers around, and basement dropkicks! Cover, Garza wins!!

Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall

The Lethal Lothario definitely lives up to the first half of his nickname. But Dawkins tells “Fabio” to look at the screen. Demi congratulates Garza on an awesome win. Wait, what is this? Chill, Garza, they were just talking. They were both saying how great the Raw Tag Team championship match is going to be. Demi was asking a lot of questions about Ivar and Garza. Dawkins will back his #VikingProfits brother all day, but the only thing Dawks knows about Garza is that he likes velvet sweats in the summer. Maybe they should ask someone who knows him a little better. Where’s Charly Caruso?

Garza says that’s enough! Mind your business, Dawkins! He’s just playing, fam. But mama always told Dawkins that you can tell a lot about someone from the crew he’s rolling with. And in this case, we really about to find out a lot about those three. What? The titantron changes but Garza hurries to the back!

Vega and Almas ask commentary what this is about. Samoa Joe says Retribution has caused the WWE to start an “intensive security review process,” and it seems they’ve gone over hundreds of hours of security footage. Joe is well-liked, but he was shown something rather interesting. He shared it with Dawkins, and it seems Dawkins now wants to share it with everyone. It’s one of those things that shows how far someone is willing to go, when they think no one is watching. Vega suddenly starts to worry. She and Almas leave, but just what are we about to see?

 

Raw returns as Garza finds Dawkins and Demi.

Dawkins gives Demi his phone but Garza warns her. If you see that number at 2 AM, delete it. Whoa, why does it gotta be like that? Vega hurries in and wants the phone because of the evidence. Back down, fam! Charly appears because of the commotion. She also wants to know what the video is. Dawkins tells production to roll tape! The video is of Vega up to something. She looks around to see the coast is clear of human eyes. If that is what it looks like, she DID spike Ford’s drink!! Vega defends that everyone is clearly blind, because that is not what she did. What did it prove? Maybe it was messed with!

Wait, Charly is behind this! What?! It’s because Charly is upset Garza “upgraded” to Demi! That’s what’s going on here! Dawkins shouts that Vega poisoned Ford! He told them once and will say it again. Dawkins says “Fam” a lot but Ford is family. Dawkins has been holding back, but it’s time to give them what’s owed. Ford wants that smoke! Ford is back as he and Dawkins brawl with Almas and Garza!! Garza and Almas run for it, but there is no running from this on Sunday! Will the Street Profits still have the gold after getting their payback?

 

Natalya w/ Lana VS Mickie James!

The Queen of Harts has her Ravishing Russian buddy ringside as she and the former six-time women’s champion both return to action. Will Mickie be able to make this comeback a big one?

The bell rings, Mickie rushes Lana as she hollers at her! Natty attacks from behind, stomps away in the corner, and Lana takes pictures for social media… Natty pulls Mickie against ropes, the ref reprimands and Natty lets off. Natty whips, Mickie reverses to back kick, front kick and run! Mickie dodges to Thesz Press! Mickie rains down rights as the crowd fires up! Mickie drags Natty up but Natty knees low and hard! Natty clubs Mickie down, looms over her then brings her up for a headlock. Mickie throws Natty off and headlocks back! Natty powers out, Mickie runs her over! Lana coaches Natty but Mickie tells her to shut it.

Mickie waits for Natty to stand, then she kicks low and reels her in! Natty powers out and spins, but a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE take them both down! The crowd fires up, loving the action between these two veterans! But wait, why is Seth Rollins coming out here? He and Murphy are after Samoa Joe and Tom Phillips! They want to know how Joe knows about Mysterio. Joe bets he does. Rollins wants to know Joe’s sources but Joe won’t tell. In the ring, Natty whips Mickie to a corner but Mickie comes back with a huricanrana! Mickie spins Natty around for a neckbreaker! Mickie kips up and Lana panics!

Mickie goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lana gets on the apron! This slows Mickie down and Natty BLASTS her to the floor! Natty and Lana want the ring count while Rollins says Joe’s source is #FakeNews. The ring count rises above 5 on Mickie but she stirs at 7! She’s up at 9 but gets counted out! Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by count-out

Natty celebrates and Lana mocks Mickie while Joe and Rollins finish their argument over sources. Lana gets this on film for TikTok and the ‘Gram, but the MICK KICK kicks the phone down!

Rollins keeps ranting at Joe, and says this: “If Rey and Dominik have the audacity to spit in my face and show up on MY show here tonight, it will be the last mistake either of them make, and neither of them will be making it to SummerSlam!” Rollins has issued his warning, but Joe doesn’t sweat it. Will the Mysterios only use this as motivation towards SummerSlam?

 

The Golden Role Models VS Asuka & Shayna Baszler!

Bayley and Sasha Banks will have to be very careful! Though the fact they both will face the Empress of Tomorrow at SummerSlam sounds like an advantage, tonight could jeopardize their momentum.

Before the match, the Role Models get the mics. “When you are the hardest working superstars in the WWE and have ll the gold, that’s enough to break anybody.” Being part of all three brands!? Give them a break! And now they both face Asuka!? They’ve had a few days, and… THEY CANT’T WAIT! They will get the night off! Asuka thinks she’s so smart getting into that Triple Brand Battle Royal. But the Empress of Tomorrow is more like the Empress of STUPID! She’s so dumb to think she has a chance in hell to win that double header!

But the real question is, who should defeat Asuka first? Sasha and Bayley think the other should, out of friendship. Bayley accepts that first match, so that she can do the heavy lifting and let Sasha win without even breaking a sweat! Bayley’s so sweet. Then they can finally CELEBRATE~! Because life is good and no one can stop the two of them. They’ll celebrate through Payback, too, as they successfully defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! The only question is: Who are going to be the losers? Bliss-Cross? The IIconics? Heck, event he Riott Squad. Better yet, Asuka and Kai- Oh… Kairi Sane is gone!!

Shayna shows up to say something herself. “No matter what happens at SummerSlam, whoever it is that has that Raw Women’s title… I got next.” Asuka shows up to say the Empress is here! And SummerSlam, her two title matches, she already tells Bayley that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for her to keep hers! And as for tonight, Asuka takes them both on, with Shayna on her side. They have to fight together, before they can fight each other. Shayna likes the sound of that, and it’s go time! Bayley and Banks bail out to keep things under control. Will Shayna and Asuka even leave anything of them to make it to Sunday?

The teams sort out and Bayley starts against Asuka. They circle, the crowd rallies, and Bayley gets Asuka to the corner! Tag to Sasha and the Role Models mug Asuka. Asuka kicks back, Sasha stomps her, then tags Bayley back in. They mug Asuka more and Bayley wraps Asuka up into a chinlock. Bayley bumps Asuka off buckles, tags Sasha back in, and Sasha toys with Asuka. Asuka kicks but Sasha blocks to KNEE her back! Sasha sucker punches Shayna, but almost gets the pop-up knee! Asuka turns things around for a CODE BREAKER! Both women are down, Shayna gets up but someone knocks the Plexiglas over onto her!! It’s NIA!! Nia Jax is violating suspension to get after Shayna!! Nia stomps Shayna under the board!

Security rushes out and tells Nia to leave! Pat Buck is out in front to tell Nia to leave but Shayna goes after Nia! They brawl into the timekeeper’s area!! Nia shoves Shayna but Shayna comes back. Asuka reverses Sasha’s whip but Bayley keeps Sasha on the apron. So they BOTH get the hip attack! The Empress is all fired up, even if she is alone, and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Bayley grinds Asuka down in a chinlock. The crowd rallies up but Bayley knocks Asuka down and stomps her to ropes. Bayley stomps more but Asuka kicks back! Asuka goes after the leg but Bayley stomps her back down. Bayley bumps Asuka off buckles, tags Sasha, and they double suplex Asuka up and over! Cover, TWO! Sasha toys with Asuka and Bayley mocks Asuka that she has no Kairi, no Shayna and no chance! Sasha drags Asuka up and clubs her down, but Asuka hits back again. Sasha whips, Asuka holds ropes and elbows back! Asuka kicks and sunset flips! Sasha slips out, basement meteora! Cover, TWO!

Sasha grows frustrated but she drags Asuka up. Sasha bumps her off buckles, tags Bayley and they mug Asuka again. Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley drags Asuka into a chinlock and digs a knee in. Asuka endures as the crowd continues to rally. Bayley thrashes Asuka around, digs her knee in harder, but pulls on hair. The ref counts, Bayley stops at 4, and continues to mock Asuka not having a partner. But Asuka fights back! Bayley clobbers her down, drags her around and tags Sasha back in. The Role Models drag Asuka up to crisscross and whip her into the corner. Sasha snapmares, covers, TWO! Asuka growls but Bayley tags back in. The Role Models double whip, double wrench and double back suplex! Cover, TWO!

Bayley and Sasha are growing frustrated but Bayley goes to a corner. Bayley climbs up top, leaps, but lands on BOOTS! GHOST PIN! TWO!! Bayley gets up, drags Asuka up, and Sasha tags in. Asuka BACK HANDS Bayley! Sasha spins Asuka for a BACKSTABBER! BANK STATEMENT!! Asuka is in the crossface but Shayna returns?! Shayna KICKS Sasha off the hold! Asuka and Sasha crawl, but Sasha keeps Asuka away. Asuka boots Sasha, hot tag to Shayna! The Queen of Spades rallies on The Boss! Corner KNEE! Sliding KNEE at the ropes! Shayna drags Sasha around, stands on her hand, but Sasha avoids the stomp to roll Shayna up! TWO and Bayley tags in! Shayna gets Sasha but Bayley gets Shayna! Shayna just grabs Bayley, but Sasha hits a BACKSTABBER! BAYLEY2BELLY! Cover, TWO!?

The crowd is thunderous as Shayna survives and the Role Models are furious! Sasha tags back in, she and Bayley double lift Shayna but she knees free! Shayna throws Bayley, throws Sasha out, then rocks Bayley with a body shot to a gut wrench SLAM! And a KNEE!! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Sasha kicks Shayna to save Bayley but Asuka sends Sasha out! Sasha shoulders into a knee! Asuka slides and gets Sasha in an ASUKA LOCK! Sasha is tapping, not that it matters. Shayna counters Bayley’s face plant into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Bayley taps, Shayna and Asuka win!!

Winners: Asuka & Shayna Baszler, by submission

Both champions tap to hungry challengers! Asuka has to run the gauntlet while Shayna waits on the other side. Will Sasha and Bayley still be golden when this is all over?

 

Apollo talks with Alexander, Ricochet and Ali backstage.

The three of them are ready to face the Hurt Business, and he thanks them all for that back-up. That’s why Apollo accepted the challenge and chosen Mustafa Ali and Ricochet. Wait, what about Alexander? Apollo knows Alexander’s eager but he’s been going hard and should rest. Apollo needs to work off the rust because he was home for so long. Alexander doesn’t want that! He is in a tag team with Ricochet, they should go together. Ricochet assures Alexander it’s fine, they can get him in next time. The four friends head out, will Alexander at least be there for his friends for support?

Uh oh. Randy Orton walks into view now. The Viper seems to be contemplating something. Is he going to strike someone who least expects it?

 

Shawn Michaels finds Drew McIntyre backstage.

HBK checks in on the champ, because he knows what’s going through his head. Ric Flair meant a lot to everyone, including HBK. But McIntyre needs to understand that the anger and frustration will be used against him by Orton. McIntyre needs to focus and understand that he just needs to kick Orton’s head off. McIntyre has worked too hard and went down too rough of a road to lose now. McIntyre appreciates hearing that. Reflecting on his road back, McIntyre knows HBK was a huge part of that. Getting back through NXT, that was great because he got to spend time working with HBK. It wasn’t about the past but the future, and here he is now as world champion. But Orton has run roughshod over legends, and McIntyre feels like he’s let HBK down.

Let him down? McIntyre could never let HBK down. He is a Scottish Stud and there’s nothing stopping him! Yes, it’s tough. There are hills and mountains to climb, that’s what being a champion is. But all of that was tailor made for McIntyre. HBK remembers McIntyre didn’t take time for that torn bicep until he absolutely had to. He drove five hours every day to train, learn, build and grow. That’s the McIntyre HBK knows. The one who beat Brock Lesnar, a man who held the title hostage, and McIntyre set it free. The road McIntyre has traveled proves he has earned where he is. And now he’ll show everyone who he is all over again.

So promise HBK one thing: when HBK goes out there and he confronts Orton, McIntyre gives HBK that space. McIntyre promises that, and thanks HBK for the talk. But will HBK be put in the same situation as The Nature Boy tonight?

 

The IIconics confront Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan.

Aw look, it’s the “New and improved” Riott Squad. Will they trust each other today? Or will that change again? Billie Kay says her shoulder isn’t feeling so good so Peyton Royce is subbing in for Ruby in their match tonight. Right, Peyton? R-Right, of course! That’s what best friends do for each other. Though it seems like a surprise to Peyton. Liv says that’s surprising. Peyton asks if the “trash” has something to say, and that riles Ruby right up! Liv keeps Ruby calm and gets her to head for gorilla. The IIconics linger, and spot two people with Shayna. It’s Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke! Are the other MMA Four Horsewomen finally joining Raw?

 

Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!

Raw returns as the IIconics finish their entrance, but Ruby is already in the ring. The bell rings and Ruby rushes Peyton right away! Ruby trips Peyton, rains down rights but Peyton gets up. Ruby keeps after her, ducks the heel kick and clothesline to STO! Ruby rains down more rights but Peyton gets away again. Peyton goes to ropes, Ruby goes after her but Peyton kicks her away. Peyton is on the apron, but Ruby runs and BLASTS her off! Ruby bumps Peyton off the apron, then whips her into barriers! Ruby refreshes the ring count to whip Peyton again, but Peyton reverses to send Ruby into barriers! Peyton puts Ruby in, waistlocks, but Ruby standing switches. Peyton bucks her off and KNEES her down! Cover, TWO!

Peyton and Billie are furious but Peyton drags Ruby back up. Peyton bumps Ruby off buckles then digs her boot in. The ref counts, Peyton lets up and throws close range clotheslines. Ruby slips out to fire forearms back! Peyton shoves her away but Ruby comes back with a BIG forearm! Ruby whips Peyton out then into the corner to hit an elbow! Ruby goes side to side for a running MULE KICK! Billie is worried while Peyton flops out of the ring. Ruby is on the apron and CROSSBODIES her down! The crowd is fired up as Ruby puts Peyton back in. Billie gets in Ruby’s face but Liv gets in Billie’s. Peyton shoves Ruby INTO Liv! Liv goes down, Peyton gives Ruby the DEJA VU!! Cover, Peyton wins!

Winner: Peyton Royce, by pinfall

The IIconics get another one by using the Squad against each other! Will Billie and Peyton head back to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships after sweeping Ruby and Liv?

 

It’s almost time!

Shane McMahon arrives at the door and Jordan Omogbehin knows what that means. Raw Underground is coming up! Who steps up to throw down?

 

Raw Underground begins!

And Erik is already throwing someone around! Erik clubs away but his opponent gets away. He throws hands but gets thrown by Erik again! Erik lets his man up to see if he can do more. Nope! Erik facelocks, knees away, and the ref calls it!

Winner: Erik

Ivar has to cool Erik off, because the damage is done! Shane talks with Dolph Ziggler, and Ziggler says he’s had a lot of fun here already. Now, we just saw a great fight from Erik, but question: how would Ziggler rate it? “I mean, it was pretty good.” 4/10 at best because his guy was only okay. Shane would go higher but he agrees it was still impressive. Erik of course hears this and dares Ziggler to try him. Ziggler says Erik doesn’t want that, but Shane this is a “call out.” Challenge accepted? Ziggler figures why not. What a match-up! Erik and Ziggler circle, test things out, and ZIggler gets a leg. Erik keeps him back, they move around, Ziggler has a leg! Erik stays up and ROCKS Ziggler with that right!

Ziggler slips around fast to avoid the facelock and gives the facelock. But Erik powers up to SLAM Ziggler down! Erik goes for the facelock, Ziggler fights it off and they clinch. Erik throws knees, forearms and elbows, then gets the leg. He lifts Ziggler again, but Ziggler fights free! Ziggler gets the sleeper! Erik rolls but Ziggler stays clamped on! Erik fights up, Ziggler thumbs him in the eye!! Ziggler puts Erik out and Shane calls it! Ziggler wins!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

The Show-Off celebrates but Ivar BLASTS him out of the ring! Ivar clearly didn’t take kindly to the thumb to Erik’s eye. Shane calms things down and we return to regular Raw.

 

Rey Mysterio IS here!

The King of Lucha and his son, Dominik, prove the rumors right! Dominik is still sore as he holds his ribs, given all the damage done from the kendo stick attack. And Dominik is still going to face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam in what is now a STREET FIGHT! Rey says there is only one word that can describe how he’s felt since Extreme Rules: pain. And a lot of it. Pain for what Rollins did to Rey’s eye, and an even worse pain for what Rollins did to Dominik. “Having to witness my own flesh and blood in agony, not being able to do anything about it,” as he saw that savage kendo stick beating, made Rey feel a rage that he has never felt before. Rey wanted to be there to protect Dominik. He needed to be there to stop that beating, or even take it himself so Dominik wouldn’t suffer.

Rey may not be fully recovered from his eye injury, and there is a chance that may never happen. But there’s no doctor that can stop Rey from protecting his son! “So Seth, escucha me.” Listen closely, Seth. You will not repeat what you did to Dominik, because Rey will be in his corner as he watches Dominik kick Rollins’ ass in that Street Fight! Dominik thanks his father for all of that. Dominik knew what he was in for when he signed a WWE contract. He knows what he has to do to defend the Mysterio family, and will be ready. Father and son hug as the crowd cheers. Rey says Dominik has no idea how proud he is right now. Rey loves his son, and admires his son’s determination, as well as the will to defend the family name. If Rollins gets anywhere near them tonight, Rollins will be the one that won’t make it to SummerSlam.

“Well, well, well.” Rollins didn’t think they’d show up. Rey is a lot of things, some good and some bad, but Rollins didn’t think he was an idiot. Six days away from his son’s most important moment, and yet he’s put Dominik in danger. Why? For Rey’s own personal glory, because it’s always been about Rey! So selfish. What kind of father is he? Rollins can’t understand why Rey continues to put himself and his son in such preventable situations. Everyone has a role to play in the “greater good,” yet Rey resisted. This could’ve been avoided if Rey accepted his role. Rey got hurt, Dominik got hurt, yet they still haven’t learned. The most tragic thing of all is that it won’t just be Rey or Dominik, but the Mysterio name and legacy that will become the ultimate sacrifice.

Rey tells Rollins that if he’s the Monday Night Messiah, a man using big words, maybe he should show up and back them up. Rollins laughs and asks, “What is wrong with you, man?” Rey has one eye and Dominik can barely stand. But they asked for this. Don’t move from that ring. Rollins and Murphy are headed their way! The Mysterios wait, and Rollins and Murphy return to ringside. Rollins takes off his suit jacket and loosens his tie as he and Murphy go down the ramp. The Mysterios get out of the ring, and Rollins taunts them. Mysterio talked big but can’t back up his own words? If they want this, come get it! But is it because his boy is hurt?

Rey eggs them on as they egg him on, but Dominik gets kendo sticks!! And he SMACKS Rollins from behind! And then SMACKS away on Murphy! And more for Rollins! Rey gets the other stick and they both SMACK away on Rollins!! Front and back, just like Dominik took! They tie Rollins up in ropes, but Murphy runs back in, only to get the SMACKS for Rollins! Disciple and leader run away, but it won’t end here! SummerSlam brings us a Street Fight in the Thunderdome, who walks out not so much the winner, but the least battered and bruised?

 

MVP finds Cedric Alexander backstage.

“My, my, my, ain’t this a familiar scene.” What does MVP want? What does he have to say? Relax, man! MVP gets where Alexander is. Just a young man navigating the WWE, wanting to be in the ring rather than back here. But it wasn’t MVP’s friends who held him back. Alexander knows MVP is just stirring the pot again. But the difference is that Apollo is looking out for Alexander. What does MVP know of looking out for someone else’s best interests? MVP plays along, since Apollo was in the #FullLashley just like Alexander and can understand the pain. But it could be that Apollo thinks Alexander is the weak link. Ricochet must’ve spoken up for him, though, right? Well, maybe not. It must be really hard being in a tag with the the #OneAndOnly.

MVP says that offer is still on the table. Just think it over while you’re enjoying the “fine cuisine” of catering. Alexander grows frustrated as he thinks about it. Will he take that offer?

 

We return to Raw Underground!

Last week, we saw these two have impressive wins! It’s Arturo Ruas VS Riddick Moss! It begins! Rusas knees but Moss dodges! Ruas fires off hands and a boot but Moss hits a SPINE BUSTER! Moss rains down rights but Ruas pushes him away. Ruas Eddy Gordo kicks! Ruas has Moss on the defense with kicks at the legs and body shots all over. But Moss grabs Ruas by the beard and hammers away with forearms! Ruas pulls hair to give them all back! Moss and Ruas slug it out, Ruas SPINE BUSTERS this time! Ruas rains down rights, gets around to sleeper hold, but Moss powers up to his feet. Moss has Ruas as a backpack for the SENTON! Moss clubs away on Ruas, stomps away, but Ruas gets the kneebar on that leg!

Moss scrambles, fights back, they clinch on the mat but Ruas gets the heel hook! Moss rolls them out of the ring to break the hold! The crowd gets a bit handsie trying to get them back into this, and Ruas ROCKS the guy closest to him! Moss ROCKS the guy near him! Shane calls it because “that was sick!” Will things only get wilder on Raw Underground?

 

Six Man Elimination Tag: The Hurt Business VS Apollo Crews, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali!

MVP may not have Benjamin and Lashley ringside for SummerSlam, but the Hurt Business looks to get even with Apollo and his crew. Will the King of Flight and Beacon of Light help Apollo shine tonight?

The teams sort out and we start with Benjamin and Ali. They circle, tie up, Benjamin powers Ali to a corner but lets up to knee low. The ref reprimands, Benjamin whips Ali corner to corner. Ali goes up and over, arm-drags Benjamin around and then gets an armlock. The crowd rallies but Benjamin fights up. Ali wrenches and tags in Ricochet. Ricochet goes up and drops ax handles on the arm. Ricochet wrenches now, but Benjamin pushes him away. Ricochet dropkick-flips and enziguris! Cover, ONE! Ricochet tags Ali and Ali brings Benjamin to a waistlock. Benjamin elbows out and tags in Lashley, and Lashley runs Ali over to then hit Ricochet and Apollo out, all without slowing down!

Lashley drags Ali up for the Canadian rack, DOMINATOR! Cover, Lashley ELIMINATES Ali already!! The crowd boos but Ricochet runs in to go after Lashley with forearms. Lashley swings, Ricochet dodges to keep throwing hands. Lashley shoves Ricochet, Ricochet comes back into the MOUNTAIN HIGH SPINE BUSTER! Tag to Benjamin as Ricochet sits up in a daze. Benjamin taunts Apollo before he gives Ricochet the PAY DIRT! Cover, Benjamin ELIMINATES Ricochet!! Apollo’s crew is already done! Apollo steps in, Benjamin knees and clubs away, throws big forearms, but Apollo hits back. Benjamin whips corner to corner, Apollo dodges the splash, CREWS MISSILE!! Cover, Apollo ELIMINATES Benjamin!

Things are a bit more even as MVP steps up now. MVP and Apollo circle, but Alexander takes advantage of Benjamin being 24/7 Champion! Roll up, Alexander wins!!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

So much for that offer MVP made! Alexander snatches the title and runs for it! “What now, Hurt Business?!” Will Benjamin stay to support his team? Or will he chase after the Age of Alexander and the gold? We find out after the break!

Raw returns as MVP clubs away on Apollo and stomps in a mudhole. The ref counts, MVP lets off but Apollo chops back. MVP ROCKS Apollo with rights but Apollo hits back. MVP fires off in anger and clubs Apollo down. MVP whips Apollo to a corner hard, and Apollo bounces off buckles. MVP drags Apollo up, throws him out, then goes out to bring him up. MVP bounces Apollo off the apron, put shim in the ring and covers, TWO! MVP brings Apollo up, tags Lashley in and they mug Apollo. Lashley clubs Apollo, Apollo kicks back but Lashley fires off on him! The ref backs Lashley off but Lashley digs his boot into Apollo. Lashley lets up at the count to drag Apollo up and runs corner to corner, to RAM into Apollo!

Tag to MVP, MVP runs corner to corner and BOOTS Apollo down! Cover, TWO! MVP is annoyed and he drags Apollo back up. MVP throws body shots, whips Apollo out then in, then runs, only to get buckles! Apollo reels MVP in, CREWS MISSILE!! Cover, Apollo ELIMINATES MVP! But Lashley gets right on Apollo with big forearms! Lashley digs a knee into Apollo’s head, pulls on the arm and clubs the shoulder. Lashley drags Apollo around just to kick him while he’s down. The crowd boos as Lashley whips but Apollo comes back with big forearms! And an enziguri! Lashley wobbles into another enziguri! Apollo hits a basement enziguri, then a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO!

The crowd is thunderous as Apollo brings Lashley up. Lashley standing switches and wants his full nelson! Apollo resists, elbows free and throws forearms. They both run, Lashley SPEARS!! Cover, The Hurt Business wins!

Winners: The Hurt Business, by pinfall

But that isn’t enough for Lashley or Benjamin! They and MVP are all in the ring, but MVP keeps them from adding on. Will Apollo be able to fight back up with the title on the line? Or is that brand new belt coming back to its creator?

 

Shane talks with Shayna backstage.

The Queen of Spades confirms that Shafir and Duke are legit. Will the Horsewomen make their debuts not on Raw, but on Raw Underground!?

 

WWE 24/7 Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas!

Raw returns and the newly minted champion is already being put to the test! Will the former Soul of 205 Live be able to thwart the Stamina Monster like back in the day?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Alexander gets the arm, Tozawa rolls through to wrench back. Alexander rolls and handsprings to wrench back on Tozawa. MVP watches backstage as Alexander wrings Tozawa out and dropkicks him down! Alexander kips up and stalks Tozawa. Tozawa goes to a corner and wants a little mercy. But then Tozawa says, “Ninja! Ninja! NINJA POWAH~!” And his ninjas go into action, only for Alexander to ROCK one off the apron onto the other two! Tozawa dodges Alexander to back kick, swing, slide under and spin kick again! Alexander is in the drop zone, Tozawa heads up top! Tozawa leaps but has to bail out as Alexander moves. Alexander handsprings, NEURALIZER! LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Alexander wins!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (still WWE 24/7 Champion)

The first defense is a success, putting an exclamation point on sticking it to MVP! But then Benjamin returns to hit PAY DIRT!! Cover, Benjamin wins!!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

The Gold Standard has the gold back already, sticking it back to Alexander! Will Alexander think twice before trying to hurt the Hurt Business?

 

Raw Underground officially sets up a match next week!

After what happened between Ziggler and Ivar, the Show-Off will have to answer to the Warbeard! Will Ziggler sweep the Viking Raiders? Or will he be run over by the raid?

 

Speaking of, we return to Raw Underground!

And the deal has been struck, Marina Shafir has her first fight! She doesn’t even wait for Shane to give the go ahead, she throws her hat at her opponent and throws hands! The Supernova throws her opponent down, drags her back up by her hair, but her opponent SLAPS back! Shafir blocks and hits a takedown! Then she drags her opponent around. She cartwheels to avoid the kick to give a kick back! And then, heel hook triangle hold combo!! Her opponent taps, Shafir wins!

Winner: Marina Shafir

But then NIA JAX attacks Marina?! Jessamyn Duke jumps up but Nia knocks her down! The suspended Irresistible Force just doesn’t care, so long as she can go after Shayna and those connected to her! Shayna gets in and dares Nia to step up. Suspensions on Raw mean nothing to the Underground! They throw down, but Nia runs away! She kicks Marina on the way out, but the crowd chants, “She’s scared~! She’s scared~!” Will the Horsewomen make sure Nia pays for punking them out?

 

Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Angel Garza!

After the shocking reveal that wasn’t a surprise, #KingTez is back for revenge! Will he give El Idolo what he gets for having such a sneaky manager?

The bell rings and Ford circles with Almas. Almas rushes Ford but Ford dodges to fire off fast hands! Ford whips but Almas kicks him back. Ford just dropkicks Almas out! Almas checks himself but Ford FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Ford puts Almas in, climbs to the top but Almas trips him up. Almas throws forearms, CHOPS Ford back, then climbs up to join him. Almas wants the superplex but Ford resists. Dawkins makes sure Garza and Vega stay back while Ford fights back. Almas still hits the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ford grits his teeth while Almas sneers. Almas wraps Ford up in a chinlock and grinds him down.

The crowd rallies as Ford endures and fights his way up. Ford fights out with elbows but Almas rocks him with a right! Almas CHOPS Ford against the ropes then whips. Ford reverses to LARIAT! Ford whips, Almas reverses but Ford goes up and over the back drop to hit another lariat! Ford kips right up to standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Vega is stressing out as Ford watches Almas go to a corner. Ford runs in but Almas boots him down! Almas hops up, Ford comes back to NO HANDS RANA! Ford fires up with the rope shaking and he climbs up top. Vega is on the apron to distract and Almas ROCKS Ford with an uppercut! But Vega spots Bianca Belair! Vega leaps, into Bianca’s arms and a SLAM! Almas is distracted by this, Ford rolls him up! Ford wins!

Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall

The Street Profits just got even with Vega’s team! But it won’t really be even until they’ve had their Raw Tag Team Championship match! Will things finally be settled at SummerSlam?

 

HBK heads through the backstage area.

Shawn says hi to Titus O’Neil, Humberto Carrillo and even R-Truth. HBK is headed to the ring, what happens when he calls out Randy Orton?

 

Shawn Michaels goes to the ring!

The crowd goes wild for the Heartbreak Kid as he gets himself a mic. He wishes he was here under a more exciting note. Footage of Orton’s shocking betrayal replays. Last week, with tears rolling down his face, HBK watched as Flair relived the worst 31 days of his life. Those 31 days where the Nature Boy was on his death bed, just wanting to tell those he loved how he felt. HBK wants us to know that Ric, more than anyone, loved performing inside this ring. If it wasn’t for guys like Ric, there would be no HBK, no HHH, no Batista, no Edge, no Christian, no Big Show and certainly no Drew McIntyre. There’s of course another guy on that list in Randy Orton.

But unlike the others, Orton doesn’t have the same gratitude or appreciation. Even though Flair was his mentor for YEARS, one of the best EVER, Orton didn’t appreciate that. No, Orton feels he was owed something like that. “Randy. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I can assure you it is going to happen. At SummerSlam, I don’t know if you’re going to meet your justice at the end of a Sweet Chin Music, or if you meet it from a Claymore,” HBK assures Orton that he will see it coming! HBK drops the mic and heads out, but Orton is there! RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! And then a PUNT as quick as that!! McIntyre shows up and is furious that he couldn’t help another legend! McIntyre makes sure HBK is okay, and shouts “get some help out here!”

Referees hurry out but Orton comes back! McIntyre throws haymakers! And then clotheslines Orton out! McIntyre pursues, throwing Orton into steel steps! And into Plexiglas! And then into more Plexigalas! And over the announce table! McIntyre glares down at the Viper before going back to HBK. Where are the medics?! Orton just slithers back in to RKO McIntyre!! Orton glares down at McIntyre but leaves it at this, because he wants that WWE World Championship. Will the Legend Killer end McIntyre before he even becomes a legend? Or can McIntyre deny Orton that next step towards breaking the Nature Boy’s reign record?


My Thoughts:

A really wild go-home tonight, though it almost felt too wild at times. First, and as I believe I said for SmackDown, Retribution is way more active on SmackDown. Yes, Retribution “messed” with the broadcast to start, but that was it, and was honestly more annoying than anything. But I think it was good for MVP to put it out there that there is a mastermind, more than likely within the existing roster. And I like the tiny detail that someone brought up this not being the forgotten SmackDown hacker. Hopefully SummerSlam takes a moment to give us some real progress on Retribution, both on the members and the motives. And please don’t let Tommaso Ciampa be any of that.

There was a LOT of Hurt Business going on, and oddly none of it in Raw Underground despite that first segment. I like that they made a match to determine if MVP can have Lashley and Benjamin ringside, and it is great that he can’t because now things will definitely be more of a blow off. There was a lot of back and forth with the WWE 24/7 Championship in regards to the Hurt Business, with Benjamin winning it, losing it, then winning it back all in one night. It was still pretty good, but it also felt like filler just to get it in before SummerSlam. It does help build things so that Alexander ends up the focus of the feud next. I wonder if there’s also a point where a faction heads for the Raw Tag Team Championships.

There was also a lot of development for the Raw Tag Team title story all over the night. Garza beats Ivar to “impress” Demi Burnett, but the reveal that Vega did “poison” Ford seemed like a letdown. It could’ve still been one of the two between Almas and Garza, but oh well. Also, I feel like they could’ve written this slightly different to make it better. It needed to be where Vega denies poisoning Ford, but there’s that twist of, “No one said he was poisoned.” And then the video evidence adds on and we still get to where we are now. Ford and Bianca get the better of Almas and Vega, but I still feel like the title match can go either way. And again, the winner can move on to take on either the Hurt Business or Apollo’s crew for the next stretch.

Poor Mickie James. Her return match ends up overshadowed by the Monday Night Messiah story. Of course, I don’t think anyone wants to be forced to focus on social media obsessed Lana trying to make Natty’s matches worthy of views and likes and all that. I hope Mickie gets someone to watch her back and counter Lana. No idea who, though. The Riott Squad being used against itself might be a bit rushed. It is fitting that Peyton’s finisher is Deja Vu for the pun, though. We got an AMAZING match out of Asuka & Shayna VS Golden Role Models. And it seems Nia is still going to be around. It just shows that security guards in wrestling mean nothing. Nia keeps getting in and out, the same as Retribution. Her first brawl with Shayna was fine, but I would’ve kept her away, as her retreating in Raw Underground makes her look weak.

As for Asuka, the WWE is her oyster with the three obvious routes she can take. She could win both, which would be amazing and well deserved. She could win the SmackDown Women’s Championship but be screwed out of the Raw Women’s Championship, and that moves Asuka over to SmackDown so Fox can have the incredibly popular superstar for a moment. Or she could somehow lose the SmackDown title match, probably because of cheap tactics, but then “redeems” herself by winning the Raw title, to then face Shayna for the rest of the year. There’s also the fact that Shayna and Asuka beat the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions and they could get in the mix towards Payback. I doubt that’ll be the case, and it’ll be left to Riott Squad or IIconics, though neither of those feel like they could outright beat Sasha and Bayley.

Raw Underground is still going strong for just being around the last few weeks. I like that we’re already getting some serious competition between the established names. Erik and Ziggler had a great go around, and Ziggler VS Ivar next week is going to be great, too. For one, it’s a historic first for Raw Underground in scheduling a match rather than letting it be who wants in next. Also, I really like seeing Kona Reeves as that extra excited fan swinging his shirt while he sits way up high. Moss and Ruas had a great bit, but I wish they were allowed time to settle it. And while Nia basically hit and run, Marina Shafir was looking really good getting in the ring for Underground. This might be more her speed to get pro-wrestling ready, and the same for Jessamyn Duke.

McIntyre being part of the opening that gets “ruined” by Retribution was an odd move, but I suppose it needed to establish his mission for the night. It was pretty clear that with HBK waiting until the end of the night, and just showing up at all, he was going to get attacked by Orton. I feel like Raw didn’t let anyone stand tall for very long tonight, and not even McIntyre was exempt. HBK gave him that great talk backstage but Orton just doesn’t stop as he goes after McIntyre. I feel like that’s how Raw chose to keep the booking 50-50 on the night, so who knows who wins at SummerSlam. The same for Dominik VS Rollins. Now that it is officially a Street Fight, anything could happen, such as interference from Murphy or even a returning Austin Theory or Authors of Pain (though there hasn’t been any news on those three in any form). It’s hard to be sure if the Faces come away with this or not.

My Score: 8.4/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (4/19/24)

Prepare for Backlash!

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Did you know that challenger in French is still “challenger?”

In a WrestleMania rematch, AJ Styles takes on LA Knight in a #1 contender’s match, to challenge WWE Champion Cody Rhodes at Backlash in France!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight; Styles wins and will challenge Cody Rhodes for the title at Backlash.
  • SmackDown/WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma; The Profits win and will challenge A-Town Down Under for the titles.
  • Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez; Santos wins.
  • WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi; Bayley wins, by disqualification, and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight!

After fighting their way through Triple Threats, the Phenomenal One and the Mega Star meet again, YEAH! It’s a WrestleMania Rematch, the winner moving on to Backlash, YEAH! Will AJ Styles avenge his loss at the biggest WrestleMania ever? Or will everyone from here to France know whose game it is?

The bell rings and the two step to each other. The fans in Pittsburgh “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” and Knight lets Styles know it. Styles snarls, they tie up, and they go around. Knight puts Styles in a corner, the ref counts, but Knight lets off slowly. Styles kicks low! The fans boo but Styles headlocks. Knight pulls hair, throws body shots, then headlocks in return. Styles pushes Knight to ropes, powers up and out, then hurdles, drops and DROP- NO, Knight avoids the dropkick to BOOT, and LARIAT! Knight then TOSSES Styles out of the ring, storms out after him, and brings him to commentary. Knight SMACKS Styles off the desk! And again! And again!

The fans chant “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” with every SMACK, then Knight tops it off with one last SMACK! Knight drags Styles up and into the ring, storms in, but Styles KICKS Knight in the ropes! Styles reels Knight in, but Knight back drops Styles up and out! Styles flounders on the floor, Knight runs to WRECK him with a dropkick! Styles hits desk again and Steel City is loving “L! A! KNIGHT, YEAH!” as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles soaks up the heat as he taunts Knight. Styles brings Knight up, but Knight fires haymakers! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight backs Styles down, whips, but Styles ducks ‘n dodges! Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges, then DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Both men are down and the fans fire up. Both men slowly sit up, crawl around, and then stand. Styles fires a shot, but Knight gives it back! The haymakers go back and forth, “YEAH! BOO! YEAH!” Styles staggers but he still ROCKS Knight! Knight ROCKS Styles again and again, but Styles throat chops! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Knight ducks the lariat!

Knight JABS, JABS, JABS, and DECKS Styles! Knight stomps a mudhole in at the corner, “YEAH!” Knight then runs corner to corner to KNEE Styles down! The fans fire up, Knight puts Styles up, and Knight ROCKS Styles. Knight climbs, but Styles ROCKS him back! Knight staggers away, but returns to spring right up! SUPER DUPER PLEX! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives that crash but both men are down again. The fans rally as Knight rises, and he brings Styles around. Knight reels Styles in, suplexes, but Styles slips free! Styles goes to a corner, ELBOWS Knight away, then goes up to QUEBRADA DDT! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up as Knight stays in this and Styles starts losing his cool. The fans rally for Knight but Styles looms over him. Styles brings Knight up and in, but Knight RAMS him into a corner! Knight then scoops Styles, but Styles slips free to roll up, TWO!! Knight escapes, swings, but Styles dodges to PELE! Knight ends up in a corner, Styles runs in, but Knight puts Styles on the apron! Styles ROCKS Knight, springboards, but Knight gets under! Styles comes back, into a scoop and POWERSLAM! Then JUMP ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up with with Knight as he storms around. Styles rises, Knight winds up, B F- NO, Styles bails out!

The fans boo but Knight storms over. Knight drags Styles up but Styles HOTSHOTS him! And pokes him in the eyes! Then ROCKS him! And springboards, to PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the Undisputed WWE Championship)

Styles bent the rules, but a win is a win! He will get his shot at the American Nightmare in Lyon, France, will this year’s Backlash be phenomenal?

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

The car pulls up, Solo Sikoa steps out in a suit, and Paul Heyman is there to greet him. Nice threads, Solo. Tama Tonga walks over and Solo says meet the newest member of The Bloodline, Solo’s MFT. The Wise Man is stunned. But Solo cuts him off to ask if Kevin Owens is here. Heyman hesitates and Solo asks again, is Kevin here? If he is, he’s probably already in the locker room. Then take them to him. Heyman obeys and leads on. There have already been changes to the chain of command, is there about to be a change to the landscape of SmackDown, too?

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

In a familiar scene to Monday Night Raw, there is a podium with something under a satin sheet. The SmackDown General Manager welcomes to Pittsburgh the Chief Content Officer, Paul “Triple H” Levesque! The fans fire up as The Game makes his way to the ring! HHH joins Aldis in the ring, gets a mic, looks around at the crowd as he revels in the cheers, then says, “On the heels of the biggest, most epic, history making, record breaking, epic, unbelievable WrestleMania of all time, we are here tonight, sold out, 15 thousand strong, Pittsburgh, PA! So let me say, welcome to SmackDown!” The fans cheer that!

HHH wants to take a moment to say that he thinks Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis are both doing great jobs at leading their respective brands into the future. Thank you to both of them. And when we talk about the future, we have to talk about the history made coming into the future. So when history is made, HHH wants it to be represented here befitting of those that make it. So Aldis, if we could, let us bring the… champions out here. Aldis says without further ado, the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Austin Theory & Grayson Waller. The fans boo as A-Town Down Under make their way, blue belts in hand.

Theory & Waller join Aldis and HHH in the ring, mics already in hand, and they soak up the heat from Steel City. Waller says this is huge. Monday, we saw the second place champions get new belts. And now A-Town Down Under will be presented new titles! Theory says speaking of truth, didn’t Truth think HHH was a magician? Well, who knows what magic trick HHH has to make these guys look better than they already do, but hey, give it a try. HHH says congratulations on becoming tag team champions, so he will show them what they will wear going forward. From now on, they will be the WWE Tag Team Champions.

Reveal! In the style of the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era belts, the solid gold shines. HHH offers a handshake, but Waller leaves him hanging to shake Theory’s hand! Aldis makes it clear to them. They ever pop off and disrespect HHH like that, here’s a real magic trick: A-Clown Down Under will disappear, permanently! The fans like the sound of that! Aldis snatches the blue belts away since they won’t need them, and speaking of disappearing, there’s a chance one of the following four teams will make their title reign disappear. That #1 contenders match starts right now! The fans fire up, but which team defies the odds to get some golden tickets to France?

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

Kayla Braxton is with The Glow and says last week, she beat Tiffany Stratton to get this title opportunity tonight. Will the friendship with Bayley get in the way of this match? Naomi says no, of course not. Bayley’s her sister, and she needed help against Damage CTRL, so Naomi was more than happy to help. But in no way will friendship get in the way of this opportunity. It has been over two YEARS since Naomi’s last WWE singles championship match, and there is nothing that will get in the way of making the most of this moment. Now last week, Tiffy Time felt the glow, so that same energy keeps going tonight.

Naomi is also looking forward to next week’s WWE Draft, where she will walk in the NEW WWE Women’s Champion. Naomi is ready, but will she be able to best Bayley in Bayley’s first title defense?

 

WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma!

SmackDown returns as Legado makes their entrance, followed by Akam & Rezar with the Final Testament. Waller & Theory are on commentary, Waller admitting he wants any team but AOP, and Theory saying these teams are fortunate to have real superstars leading their division. In this form of Fatal 4 Way, only two teams are active, so the Big Strong Boi, Tyler Bate, starts against Montez Ford. They circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Bate powers up to pry at the hold but Ford clamps on tighter. Bate powers up and out, drops, but Ford leaps over! The fans cheer, things keep moving, Bate feints high to drop low!

Bate shows knuckle lock, Ford obliges, but Bate wrenches, baits and double pump handles to FLIP Ford! Cover, TWO! Ford gets up to sweep and cover, TWO! Bate steps over, La Magistrol, TWO! Ford gets up, dropkicks cancel out, and both men kip up! The fans fire up and the two reset. But then Humberto Carrillo sneaks a tag, before he DECKS Bate with a sucker punch! Ford dodges Humberto but Angel Garza holds the ropes open! Ford tumbles out,  Garza tags in, and Humberto sits Ford up. Garza runs in to KNEE Ford down! The fans boo, Garza drags Ford to a cover, TWO! Garza back suplexes, Ford lands out!

Ford tags Dawkins and he dodges Garza to FLYING ELBOW! Garza tags out to Akam, but then the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, tags in off Dawkins! Rezar tags, Dunne runs up but Akam LARIATS him down! Rezar DECKS Dawkins, then the AOP start clearing the corners! But Ford goes up to leap, but into an URENAGE! The fans boo but the AOP roar and soak up the heat. Waller’s worst case scenario might end up reality, but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and the fans rally as Ford endures a facelock. Ford fights up, pries at the hold, but Rezar shoves him to ELBOW him down! Rezar talks trash, Waller taunts the Steelers players sitting in the front row that they don’t really know what championships are, and then Rezar sucker punches Dawkins down! Rezar stands Ford up, Canadian Racks and bends him! Ford endures, the fans rally, but Rezar thrashes Ford around! Ford kicks and flails, he gets free, hot tag to Dunne! Bate sneaks a tag, Dunne GAMANGIRIS Akam and then NCR fire off on Rezar! The fans fire up, Humberto runs in, but Dunne dodges to SNAP GERMAN!

Bate & Dunne STOMP Humberto’s hands! Then BASEMENT DROPKICK! Garza runs up, but into the REBOUNDER GERMAN COMBO!! The fans fire up with NCR, but Rezar runs up! He grabs Dunne, but Bate says Bop up, BANG! Bate fireman’s carries Rezar?! But Rezar ELBOWS right free! Dunne GAMANGIRIS, Ford SUPERKICKS, and Dawkins ENZIGIRIS! Rezar wobbles, and everyone helps Bate gets Rezar up! BIG STRONG AIRPLANE SPINE! But then Legado CLOBBER Bate and Rezar! They BOOT Dunne, whip the Profits but the Profits reverse to TOSS Legado out! Ellering coaches Rezar while the Profits regroup.

Bate gets up, Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins brings Bate to the very top, but Dunne CLUBS Dawkins! NCR mug Dawkins but Ford joins in! They brawl, but AOP add on! Humberto finds Rezar to tag in, before the DOUBLE TOWER OF DOOM!! Bate’s the only one left up top, so Legado mug him! They double trophy lift Bate, to DOUBLE ROCKET LAUNCH him onto everyone!! Humberto then finds Bate, sunset flips and rewinds, Garza jumps, MISSILE DROPKICK DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! “This is Awesome!” as all eight men are down around ringside, and Waller says this is gonna be easy pickings for A-Town Down Under now.

Dunne grabs Garza, Bate has Humberto, STEREO ANKLE LOCKS!! Grapevine for Garza! But Humberto BOOTS Bate onto Dunne! Legado is free, Ellering has AOP regroup, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Rezar CLUBS Dawkins down. Rezar soaks up heat, taunts the other teams, then CLUBS Dawkins again. Rezar brings Dawkins up again, but Dawkins fires off body shots! Rezar KNEES low, reels Dawkins in, talks more trash, and lifts Dawkins up, to POWERBOMB! But then Dunne runs up to ROCK Rezar! Akam gets in to scoop Dunne and SLAM him on Dawkins! Cover, TWO! Rezar looks to Ellering and he coaches AOP. Rezar HAMMERS Dawkins, Akam tags, and AOP get NCR up! The fans boo but NCR RANA free to send AOP into each other! Ford jumps in, as does Garza.

All the teams realize, they gotta do something about AOP. So they all mug AOP! The fans fire up as AOP tumble out, but now who strikes first? Dunne runs up but Garza SUPERKICKS him first! Bate waistlocks Garza and Ford winds up, but Garza ducks so the BACKHAND hits Bate! Garza SUPERKICKS Ford, but Dawkins DECKS Garza! Humberto springboards to FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO!! Theory says if A-Town Down Under were in this match, he’d knock everyone out and Waller could just sneak in to cover. Humberto and Dawkins rise and go to corners. Humberto runs up, but Dawkins POUNCES him away!

Dawkins gets Humberto up, Ford returns and tags in! Dawkins Electric Chair Lifts Humberto and Ford climbs! The stars are out for the BLOCKBUSTER DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! Another save from the Bruiserweight and Ford is frustrated. Dunne drags Dawkins up to CHOP, but Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins whips Dunne out of the ring, but Dunne grabs the arm! And he pulls off the glove so he can SNAP fingers! The fans fire up, but Ford ENZIGIRIS Dunne down! Ford brings Humberto up, Humberto JAWBREAKERS! Bate tags in off Ford, BOOTS Garza, then runs up, but into a POP-UP! But Bate RANAS Humberto!!

Bate then DUMPS Garza out, goes to the apron, and Dunne lines up targets. Bate and Dunne climb, Ford runs in, NCR DOUBLE ARIHARA MOONSAULT while Ford FLIES over the corner post!! Down goes Legado and AOP!! The fans are losing their minds as Bate hurries to get Humberto up. Bate puts Humberto in, reels him in, underhooks, but Humberto fights it! Humberto back drops but Bate lands on his feet! Humberto cradles, TWO! Humberto LARIATS Bate, tag to Garza! Legado gets Bate up, feed to the POP-UP KICK!! #FTY! Humberto then DIVES to take out Dunne! Garza goes up the ropes to LIONSAULT!!

But Ford flies in FROM THE HEAVENS!! The fans are thunderous as everyone is down again! Bate flounders, Dawkins tags in! Dawkins whips Legado, Ford joins in, THE REVELATION!! Cover, PROFITS WIN!

Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships)

Waller & Theory are relieved it isn’t AOP, but they still look a bit annoyed that it is Ford & Dawkins. The Profits are Triple Crown Tag Team Champions from Raw to SmackDown to NXT, but will they soon add the WWE Tag Team Championships to make it a grand slam?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

Byron Saxton is with The Role Model, and brings up the emotional moment from Monday Night Raw where Rhea Ripley had to relinquish her title. But let us focus on Bayley’s title, as she defends it for the first time against Naomi. Where is her head at ahead of the main event? Bayley says after seeing Rhea vacate the Women’s World Championship on Raw, Bayley appreciates her reign more. She is focused, and she has realized she’s THE Women’s Champion in WWE right now, something she does not take for granted. Because we all know that with the WWE Draft, things are bound to change.

And as excited as Bayley is to face her friend, Naomi, one thing that won’t change is her as THE WWE Women’s Champion. Bayley is just as confident at Naomi, so something’s gotta give! Will The Role Model #FeelTheGlow? Or will she still be shining with gold after tonight?

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

The Wise Man apologizes that they haven’t found Kevin Owens, but he has to be here somewhere. Just look at the time. They will find him, somewhere. Solo stops listening and heads to gorilla. Heyman follows after, but Solo gives him a look. Heyman says he isn’t trying to upset Solo. Please believe him. The last person on this planet Heyman wants to piss off is Solo. But respectfully, Solo is making decisions that are not his to make, yet. One day, these will all be Solo’s decisions. But not now, not here! These are decisions that can only be made by one man. Solo asks Heyman if he’s done talking. Heyman asks if MFT is coming with Solo.

Solo just gives a thumbs up, with that taped thumb. The music hits and Solo makes his entrance, Heyman still following all the way into the ring. What does the Enforcer have planned? We’ll find out, after the break.

SmackDown returns and Heyman has the mic to give his usual introduction. And he doesn’t know if there is a list of the most brilliant backstage maneuvering politicians int he history of the WWE, but if there were, Heyman would have to think that he personally is in the top… Well, permit Heyman, with Solo’s permission, to explain what’s going on right now within The Bloodline, “the premier act in the history of WWE.” The fans chant, “We Want Roman!” but Solo shrugs that off. Heyman assures us that as The Wise Man for… Heyman gets emotional, so Solo just snatches the mic! The fans boo but Solo paces.

Solo tries to talk but the fans boo. Solo says last week, he had to lose a brother! He had to! It was in order for him to find a new one! His MFT, Tama Tonga! And with that, a bloodied Kevin Owens is tossed out, by the Good Bad Guy! Tama shoves Kevin down the ramp, stalks behind him, and referees rush out to stop him from doing anything further! Kevin can’t even sit up, but Tama steps over him to go to the ring. The fans boo as Tama joins Solo in the ring while the refs help Kevin to his feet and to the back. Tama raises his finger to the sky, because he acknowledges Solo! Heyman has no choice but to go along, but wait! Kevin is heading back down the ramp!?

The fans fire up as Kevin shows his grit and defiance! He drags Tama out to fire off hands!! The fans cheer but then Solo whips Kevin into steel steps! Solo drags Kevin back up, puts him in the ring, but now security rushes in! Tama storms in after Kevin but Kevin TACKLES Tama! The security gets Kevin away from Tama, but Solo SAMOAN SPIKES Kevin down!! The fans boo but then Tama SPLASHES Kevin! Tama rains down fists on that bloody wound, then he DECKS guard after guard! Producers try but Tama is a madman! Tama shoves everyone away so he can slip out of the ring, to grab a chair!!

The fans boo as Tama storms back in, but now Aldis steps up! Aldis warns The Bloodline here, and Solo has Tama stand down. Solo takes the chair from Tama to show they’re done here. The fans chant “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” but the damage is done. Solo & Tama are a dangerous duo, will nothing and no one stop them from taking over SmackDown?

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

He’s in shock, but Aldis finds him and pulls him along. Was Heyman aware of this? Aldis shows Heyman the aftermath of one car T-boning another! And in case Heyman can’t guess, the struck car was Kevin’s. The attacking car was Tama’s! Heyman says this wasn’t authorized! No, Heyman, Aldis is speaking now. He gets this is a conflict within The Bloodline, but on his show, things are settle din the ring. Next week is the Draft, a lot of eyeballs on it, and a lot top brass are gonna be here. So Aldis will not tolerate this behavior. So make sure The Bloodline understands. Because, Heyman, if you don’t, the repercussions will be equally savage.

Aldis brings Heyman in close to tell him losing isn’t the only thing that has consequences. Will the Wise Man be able to rein in such an unruly force as Solo and Tama?

 

Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez!

The LWO still doesn’t believe Legado’s claims that they had nothing to do with Dragon Lee going down before WrestleMania, so they’re going to get to the bottom of this one themselves! Will Caribbean Cool make the Emperor of Lucha confess his crimes? Or will Santos prove he was right all along?

The bell rings and the two talk trash. Then they start throwing hands! Carlito backs Santos down but Santos gets around to whisper something in Carlito’s ear. Carlito ELBOWS Santos away, runs up and hits a THESZ PRESS! Carlito then bumps Santos off buckles, fires hands, then has him in another corner. Carlito whips corner to corner, runs up, but Santos BOOTS him! Santos runs up, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Vega coaches Carlito to stay on Santos and he brings Santos up. Carlito ROCKS Santos, whips, but Santos KICKS him! Santos runs, but into a DROPKICK! Carlito kips up and the fans fire up!

Santos is on the outside, the ref won’t let Carlito go after him, but then Carlito WRECKS Santos with a dropkick! Carlito loads up to PLANCHA! Direct hit on Santos and Carlito hoists Vega up to celebrate! The fans cheer the LWO on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Santos whips Carlito hard into buckles. Carlito falls over, Santos soaks up the heat, then Santos HEADBUTTS Carlito to a corner. Santos then CHOPS, gets space and runs in, to DOUBLE KNEE! Carlito slumps in the corner but Santos puts him up top! Santos GAMANGIRIS then climbs up! SUPER STEINER! Carlito flounders, Santos pushes him to a cover, TWO! Vega is relieved but Santos huffs and puffs. Santos rains down fists on Carlito, then clamps on a top wristlock. Carlito endures and Vega coaches him while the fans rally. Carlito rises, throws body shots, then LARIATS!

The fans rally as Carlito starts to rally with more clotheslines, and an ELBOW! Carlito kicks, runs, and KNEE LIFTS! Santos wobbles, Carlito LARIATS again! Cover, TWO! Santos is tougher than that but Carlito says he’s going up! Carlito climbs, but then Lopez gets on the apron! Vega storms right over to YANK her down! The fans fire up as Vega goes up, and RANAS, only for Lopez to block! Lopez SWINGS Vega into barriers! Carlito ROCKS Santos, steps in, but the ref is reprimanding Lopez so he misses Santos KICK ropes to jam Carlito low! Santos reels Carlito in to POST him, then brings him back for the fireman’s carry! PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Santos wins!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

La Madrina helps The Emperor steal this victory, them taking down the Caribbean Cool and La Muneca! Whether or not Legado beat down Dragon Lee, will nothing stop them from conquering SmackDown?

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

Kayla is with Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Kairi Sane & Asuka as they sit way up in the back. What made the former WWE Women’s Champion and crew want a special view of this main event? Dakota takes offense for Iyo with the use of “former” there. Is Kayla trying to disrespect them? Iyo will take that title back when they’re good and ready. But for now, they’re here to watch two people they can’t stand tear each other apart! Does Dakota need to remind everyone here that DMG CTRL is still the most dominant force in the WWE!? The fans boo but Dakota says the Kabuki Warriors are STILL the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and that will not change-

WAID! Jade Cargill is here! She makes her entrance from the other skybox, with Bianca Belair alongside her! The strongEST duo argues with DMG CTRL, their own title intentions clear. But for now, it’s time for the main event! Who shines with gold here in the Steel City? We find out, after the break!

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

The American Nightmare is in the UK as part of Raw’s tour, but he still took time to say, “What is the task? Run up the score, leave no doubt, right? Formerly, the task was ‘win the big belt, in the big place.’ We’ve done that. Now, it’s a whole new frontier for us, undiscovered country.” There’s an old expression: the title can make the man, or the man makes the title. Which will it be for Cody? He’s in London tonight, the O2, 16 THOUSAND, then it’s on to Belfast, Ireland. Cody is keeping his promise to bring this title all around the world. Back home, AJ Styles has emerged the #1 contender to this championship.

So then, it will be two Georgia boys duking it out in Lyon, France. The first time ever, at that. Styles has an unprecedented reputation in pro-wrestling. The modern day Excellence of Execution, if you will. Styles rarely misses. But the same goes for Cody. So Backlash in France, Cody looks forward to it. The contract signing is next week, even as the WWE Draft is going on! Will things be explosive when American Nightmare and Phenomenal One meet face to face?

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

SmackDown returns and Bayley makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and either we shine or we glow!

The bell rings, the fans rally, and the two circle. The two tie up, go around, and Bayley headlocks. Naomi powers up but Bayley wrenches to wristlock. Naomi slips through, rolls Bayley up, ONE!! The fans rally as the two go again. Naomi waistlocks, Bayley headlocks to hit a takeover, and she makes it a cover, TWO! Naomi fights up to her feet, powers up but Bayley wrenches gain. Naomi waistlocks, O’Conner Rolls, ONE! Both women get up, Naomi ducks the boot but Bayley arm-drags her around! Bayley has the cording hold, the fans rally up, and Naomi fights to her feet. Naomi whips Bayley away, but Bayley runs her over!

The fans cheer and Bayley tells DMG CTRL she’s watching them, too. Things speed up, Naomi does the splits to duck under, then she comes back to kick from below! She drags Bayley into a cradle, ONE!! Bayley hurries to step over, LA MAGISTROL! ONE!! Naomi and Bayley get up, Naomi trips Bayley to jackknife, ONE!! Ghost pin, TWO! Both women hurry up, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! The fans rally while both women are down, evenly matched in this chess game so far. Both women rise, and Naomi SHOTGUNS first! Then she runs up, uses the ropes to slingshot and BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Naomi is frustrated but keeps her focus.

Naomi drags Bayley up, Bayley shoves her away. Naomi dodges the lariat to hit REAR VIEW! Cover, TWO!! Bayley survives but Naomi lets her know it was that close, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Bayley whips Naomi to a corner, runs in, but into a BOOT! Bayley gets up, Naomi runs up, JAWBREAKER! Bayley ends up in a corner now, Naomi runs in, and she forearm SMASHES! Naomi then runs Bayley corner to corner for a BUCKLE BULLDOG! Naomi slips out to the apron while Bayley flounders, and Naomi climbs. The fans duel as Naomi CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Bayley is tougher than that but Naomi knows that. Naomi keeps her focus while DMG CTRL, Bianca & Jade all focus on them. Naomi ROCKS Bayley, tries the ropes again, but Bayley stops the bulldog to SMACK Naomi off buckles!

Bayley then reels Naomi in, SAIDO! High stack, TWO! Naomi is still in this and Bayley remembers Naomi’s tougher than that, too. Bayley drags Naomi into a drop zone, then goes up the corner! Bayley aims, to MACHO ELBOW onto knees! Bayley writhes, Naomi goes to the apron. Bayley stands, runs up, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Naomi slingshots, for a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Bayley survives and Naomi is stunned! Naomi refocuses, goes to the corner, and goes up to SPLIT LEG MOONSAULT onto knees! Bayley returns the favor and both women are down. Bayley shakes out the leg, stands and runs, to KNEE Naomi down!

Bayley hurries to put Naomi back in a drop zone, and then hobbles her way to a corner. Bayley climbs, to MACHO ELBOW!! Direct hit this time and Bayley covers, TWO!! Naomi survives and Bayley is frustrated. Bayley hobbles on the bad leg, leans on ropes while she catches her breath, and the fans duel even more. Bayley stalks Naomi, hooks her up, but Naomi PELES free! Naomi hurries to a corner, Bayley runs up, but Naomi goes up to sunset flip! TWO!! But into the BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Bayley endures, reaches out with her legs, but then she tucks to a cover, TWO!! Naomi gets up, both women throw forearms!

They both wobble, storm up, and Bayley eggs Naomi on. Naomi wants this, right? So hit her! Naomi fires a forearm, Bayley hits back! Naomi winds up to forearm, Bayley comes back with another! The fans fire up as the forearms go harder and faster! Bayley gets the edge, but Naomi SWATS one, to SCORPION KICK, and then JUMP KNEE! Bayley tumbles out of the ring, Naomi PLANCHAS! Direct hit and a hard one, both women are down on the floor! The ring count starts, Naomi stirs at 3 of 10. Naomi brings Bayley up, but BAYLEY2BELLY onto the desk!! The count is 7! Naomi flounders on the desk, but then TIFFANY ATTACKS BAYLEY!!!

Winner: Bayley, by disqualification (still WWE Women’s Champion)

Tiffany makes herself the center of attention as always as she ruins this main event! She dribbles Naomi off the desk, then RAMS Bayley into steel steps! Then she drags Naomi off the desk to POST her! Tiff storms back over to Bayley, puts her in the ring, then adds Naomi in, too. Tiff says sorry not sorry, but it’s Tiffy Time! Tiffy goes to the corner, for the PRETTIEST MOONSAULT EVER! Tiff flexes over both champion and challenger, having upset Bianca & Jade but having entertained DMG CTRL. But will Wrestling Barbie pay for pissing off the Role Model?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that also acted as a WWE Draft go-home. Great match from Styles and Knight to open the night but also follow-up their WrestleMania match. Naturally, Styles wins because then he and Knight are 1-1 in 1v1 matches, and also natural Face VS Heel right there. Good promo from Cody Rhodes, that title match is going to be awesome. Awesome new looks for the WWE Tag Team Championships, though maybe too much gold. Nothing really pops when it’s all the same color, so they should’ve had silver on the WWE logo and the words, “Tag Team Champions,” but it’s still a great redesign.

We also got an awesome Fatal 4 Way tag match, with Theory & Waller decent on commentary. And pieces are falling into place for what I was thinking: Profits win the right to face Theory & Waller, we’ll surely get Lashley wanting the US Championship, we’ll get a good faction feud there as we approach those title matches. Also good continuation of the LWO VS Legado feud with Carlito VS Santos, and distractions of course helped Santos win. There’s gotta come a point where Carlito reveals it was him, Dragon Lee, it was him all along! Now, that would make like the third turn since the start of this rivalry (Santos to Heel, Andrade to Face and Carlito to Heel) but hey, the drama is heightened each time, and maybe Dragon Lee will actually get a win in this feud.

Great stuff in Bayley VS Naomi, as well as all the promos. DMG CTRL watching from the skybox, same as Bianca & Jade, was good stuff. The tag title match is definitely coming for Backlash, that will be great stuff. But I should’ve figured Tiffany would “ruin” the main event so that there won’t really be a choice between Bayley and Naomi. The Draft is coming, hopefully they think to keep all three on the same brand, and probably here on SmackDown, so that those three can have it out. I don’t know the chances of a Triple Threat for Backlash but it still feels possible. Though  at the same time, I don’t think they’d take the title off Bayley after only a month, so she’d probably use Tiffany against Naomi to retain.

And what wild stuff with this new, more vicious Bloodline. Solo is in a suit because he certainly thinks he is Tribal Chief already, given Roman Reigns did give him the nod as “Tribal Heir” a few months ago. And while Tama is the MFT, which everyone is already wondering what that even means, it’s clear he’s also the right hand man and a loose cannon at that. Without the Draft, it’d be pretty wild for Jimmy to come back and help Kevin against this new Bloodline. With the Draft, we could get Jey back on the same brand as his family and then he and Jimmy stand against Solo and Tama. But either way, it’ll be a wild ride in this new chapter and I’m all for it.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Andrew’s TNA iMPACT! Results & Match Ratings: 4.18.2024

Motor City Machine Guns either go out on their backs, or head to Rebellion as champs! Lets see how they finish their current run in TNA!

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No burying the lead here! The Main Event is The System versus Motor City Machine Guns, and it’s the Go Home episode before Rebellion! So we’re guaranteed a damn good tag match, and we should get either new wrinkles, or ways to keep the storylines cooking going into the Pay-per-View.

With all the rumors and innuendo about the Guns being on their way out, I think we all assume that MCMG is losing, but my inner fanboy is still excited.

Ratings:

  • Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone: Hammerstone wins via Torture Rack – SQUASH
  • LSG vs Joe Hendry: Hendry wins via Standing Ovation – SQUASH
  • Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno: Ali wins via 450 Splash – ** 3/4
  • Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna: Rosemary wins via Spear – ***
  • Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards: System wins via Roster Cut + Knee Party – *** 1/4

 

Results:

So we kick off the match with Josh coming out to commentary again to watch Hammerstone’s match. They really need a new way to try and keep heat without reusing the same tired gimmick of “ring side seat” to a Squash match.

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

Guido tries to shoot the half, but Hammerstone shrugs him off, lifts him like a child and runs him into a corner, few short shots and then just tosses him across the ring. Hammer gets a little distracted talking smack to Josh and eats a foot, but then tosses Guido with the ole Sack of Shit move and keeps working over Guido.

Hammer shoves Clayton, and provokes him to push him back right in front of the referee. She ejects them, Guido tries to take advantage but when he goes for the pinfall Hammer kicks out immediately and presses Guido out of thing through the ropes. Continues to dog walk Guido, puts the head gear on the ECW Original and then Torture Racks him while staring directly at Josh, and of course picks up the submission victory.

LSG vs Joe Hendry

Hendry cuts a little promo, mentioning the Fat Uncle Phil joke…something about shopping at the TOP Dollar Store. Solid mic work.

LSG is a damn good local talent, he’s been seen in ROH and AEW in the past (perhaps others, but that’s what comes to mind immediately for me), but we all know this is an enhancement match. A few nice chain wrestling spots early, but Hendry uses his power to stop the smaller wrestler, Sack of Shit into Standing Ovation and the match is over quickly.

Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno

Well okay, having Deaner ask the crowd if they wanted a 3v2 or their third member…RHYNO…is pretty much a no brainer in Philly. But at least the gimmick isn’t quite as cringe as I expected.

Jake starts with Zack Gibson and throws him around. Jake goes for the tag and Deaner asks the crowd who Jake should tag, and the crowd picks Rhyno. Rhyno Whips Gibson into a corner, Drake actually softens the impact, allowing Gibson to fire back, tag out, but Rhyno levels both GYV members and then even knocks Ali off the apron. Rhyno tries to call to the crowd to tag in Deaner and that goes over like a fart in church. He tags him in anyway, and the crowd is kinda dead and doing whatever it wants after the obvious ECW chants when Rhyno tagged in.

GYV take a couple lumps but they of course start to work over Deaner and capture some momentum. Solid tandem work from GYV, they cut off Deaner from making a tag and goad Jake a little to cause the ref to block off the babyfaces so the heels can take a few shortcuts. Cody eventually makes the tag to Rhyno, hot tag, he tries to set up the Gore but the GYV manage to stop him in his tracks and hit an Enzuigiri to daze the Man Beast, he falls to his corner and Jake tags himself in. Jake literally runs them all over, tags in Cody and Launches him from the Top Rope into Zack Gibson. Ali makes the save and Jake tries to get his hands on Ali, but the GYV keep throwing themselves at him, literally. The triple team finally gets the best of Jake, they hit 3 Dives and then post Jake, so they gather around Cody like hyenas.

They forgot about Rhyno, he’s set up for a Gore, he Gores Drake, Gibson and Ali take out Rhyno, but then Cody starts to fight back. Ali stops Deaner’s offense with an Avalanche Sunset Bomb, then hits his 450 Splash. Jake barely misses being able to break up the pin.

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

Jody tries to start quickly with Shoulder Tackles, Lariats and Scoop Slams, and it does seem somewhat effective. Rosemary is having trouble finding offense against the intensity, but she keeps kicking out. Shotgun Dropkick finally gives Rosemary an opening, she goes into full mount and rains down strikes. Rosemary shoves Jody into a corner and Bites her in the corner. Jody tries to fight out, they go across and Rosemary catches her with the legs and puts her in the Upside Down. Splash in the corner from Rosemary, Exploder Suplex and Jody is eating a lot of offense.

Rosemary looks like she’s caught after she gets tripped up into the ropes and Jody goes for her Rope Knee into the German, but Rosemary dodges. Rosemary hits her own suplex and pulls out a beautiful Last Chancery! I haven’t seen her do that in a long time. Jody manages to fight to the ropes, Rosemary is a little slow to capitalize and eats a Pump Kick. Rosemary goes flying into the ropes, Jody hits the Double Knees into the German this time for 2, and they trade a few haymakers after that. Jody folds Rosemary with a low Lariat, Zombie rise spot a few times, Jody goes for a pinfall and Rosemary kicks out.

Havok jumps up on the apron, Dani meets her and they decide to step down, but the distraction was enough. Jody turns around and eats a Spear. Rosemary wins!

Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards

Eddie and Shelley start off, and its a very simple slow start. Mostly an early stalemate, the typical Japanese style the TNA seem to love to employ. Starters tag out, but then Shelley with the blind tag, Sabin Baseball Slides out, picks Eddie’s ankle and sends his face bouncing off the apron, while Shelley sneaks up being Myers and they hit a tandem move before we cut to commercial. Off of the commercial it looks like Eddie and Myers regained control. But a nice Jawbreaker from Shelley sends Eddie falling back into the MCMG corner. Dragon Screws to both legs from Sabin and Shelley, and we get the Dragon Screw dissection spot for the Guns.

Myers gets sick of things, tries to get involved, but Simultaneous Figure Fours from the MCMG makes The System look silly. Alisha does the classic “push the rope forward” gimmick to assist Eddie in breaking the hold. She keeps chirping at Shelley until she finally grabs his foot. Shelley doesn’t take kindly, tries to grab her by the hair but she gets away, Shelley eats a strike and falls back to the ropes so Lish can just throttle him with the rope, Sabin walks over and acts like he’s going to PK her and the look of disgust on her face is hilarious, like “how dare he threaten to kick her”. Would I be mad is Masha decides to team with Lish and they win the Knockouts Tag titles? No, because the Knockouts Tags are trash. But I still prefer Lish as valet/manager.

Shelley starts fighting back after another commercial break, Eddie tries to cut him off, but Sabin clocks Eddie and Shelley manages to make the tag and Sabin comes in. Lights up both System members, Kick off Tornado DDT, into a Running Gamengiri. Eddie tries to counter but Shelley assists, tandem strikes, Double Baseball Slide into the classic MCMG spot 5 Hole Dive! Keeping up with the classics Shelley stacks the System members on each other and hit the Missile Dropkick/Flatliner spot. As the Guns are rolling, Sabin accidentally catches Sabin with his foot and The System take control! They hit their pieces of the System Overload spot, but Sabin kicks out. Roster Cut attempt from Myers, but Shelley is back. High Speed Dirt, Machine Gun Sandwich, but Lish grabs Shelley’s foot when they’re setting up Skull and Bones. Shelley gets dropped on the turnbuckle and thrown out, Sabin eats the Roster Cut followed up with Boston Knee Party and System retains!

Its a little weird to have had the two commercial cuts and the fact there’s still Nic Nemeth to follow. So it feels a little flat, I hope this wasn’t their swan song match, because it was nice to see some classic spots, but it was entirely too abbreviated. 

Nemeth comes out, goes into the crowd and finds a kid with a kendo stick and borrows a beer from someone, so he does a bit of a Sandman tribute. Moose cuts off his promo basically immediately. He throws out the “can’t beat the system” line again, and Nic rolls with the punches well. Moose uses a few cute analogies about Nic having a failure laden past, but Nemeth bites back and its really damn good. He says he can see it in Moose’s eyes that he thinks he’s getting in the ring with Dolph Ziggler, but no, there is no more old Dolph Ziggler, just the new Nic Nemeth. And Moose’s cool seems to be slightly shaken after those words. Good promo.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

So this was okay, if it didn’t end as strongly as it did, I would’ve rated this much lower. Two squash matches in the beginning, reusing the Josh comes out to the announce table to watch trope is boring, hell even Clayton’s shove to Hammerstone was super lame looking. The Deaner match was luke warm at best, but things picked up around the Rosemary match.

Lets also not overlook the segments with ASH & Xia, Jonathan Gresham’s whole deal and EY having to return to the violence/sickness/world class maniac, whatever you want to call it, were all great building blocks. This definitely wasn’t what I would call a strong Go Home, but it didn’t hurt things for Rebellion. The whole injury of Cardona was addressed, which honestly sounded weird since Jordynne basically said she was expecting them to have a backup plan so she has a backup plan. I don’t really like how that video package came across.

But who knows, all I know is, this wasn’t an awful episode, it just wasn’t really strong either.  Here’s to hoping Rebellion Saturday is still strong.


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