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Mitchell’s WWE Fastlane Results & Report! (3/21/21)

Full speed ahead!

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Mitchell's WWE Fastlane 2021

Fastlane puts pedal to the metal on the Road to WrestleMania!

We’re in the homestretch and picking up speed! Who does Fastlane leave in the dust just weeks away from WrestleMania?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Show – WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution; Riddle wins and retains the title.
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair; Jax & Baszler win and retain the titles.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Big E wins and retains the title.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Free Sample: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa VS Joseph Average; Average wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Free Sample Take Two: Joseph Average VS Akira Tozawa VS R-Truth; Truth wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Shane McMahon Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Seth Rollins; Rollins wins.
  • No Holds Barred: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus; McIntyre wins.
  • Randy Orton VS Alexa Bliss; Bliss wins.
  • WWE Universal Championship, Edge as Special Guest Enforcer: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Daniel Bryan; Reigns wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

It’s the Fastlane Kickoff show!

Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Peter Rosenberg in discussing, analyzing and predicting all the action here tonight on the last stop before WrestleMania!

 

Sonya Deville joins the panel!

The SmackDown official and sharp dresser is here to talk the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Big E is a friend, an incredible competitor, has everything it takes to be the best, but this new Apollo Crews is scary! Large and in charge, showing a side no one knew was there. Sonya is torn, but will let the others predict first. Kayla asks more what triggered Apollo to show this side of himself. The defeat? The disrespect? Booker T says this is the REAL Apollo. Trying to conform and be what others what you to be, Apollo is now someone who represents something, and this transformed him. THIS Apollo is going to move up the ladder, and Big E is just in the way.

Rosenberg says we’re so focused on Apollo, there’s also a new Big E. Sonya says this side was always there for Big E, always wanting to break away and stand on his own, and hasn’t been able to do so until now. He has a different attitude, too. The championship is not playing games and is defending his livelihood. Great for Apollo to dig into his heritage, Big E is fighting for his family. Sonya was there when Big E was taken away on a stretcher. TO come back from that means his determination is stronger than ever. Then final vote? Sonya is for Big E, because of his heart and spirit. Rosenberg goes with Big E. As dangerous as Apollo is, Big E is it.

King says Apollo was using stuff on Big E, like the steps. But Apollo is a weapon himself so he votes Apollo. Booker says from here to WrestleMania, it will be a celebration. Apollo wins. Well they’re tied because Kayla won’t choose a side. But the match itself will be a tiebreaker, so this is one to watch!

Moving on from that, they discuss Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman! Booker says Shane is a man who throws caution to the wind! Do not cross the boss! Made Braun into a living green screen! Rosenberg says that was a very Nickelodeon moment. But Shane’s been insulting Braun for weeks. Booker says this is Shane motivating Braun, and Braun took it the wrong way. Braun could learn a lot if he just went along. Rosenberg says Shane must be bored. Rich people do thrill-seeking, but Shane is doing the wrong thing! Why does Shane want problems with Braun? Sonya says that as a fighter, you see Braun’s size and strength, but Shane can throw hands.

King isn’t so sure, Shane was a little hurt out there. Kayla points out there was an incident where Shane may have injured himself training. We go to Sarah Schreiber for an update.

“Thanks, Kayla. Shane McMahon is currently being evaluated by WWE medical personnel due to his knee injury.” She can neither confirm or deny what will happen with Shane’s match later tonight. Booker says he had that same pained look Shane had tearing MCL and PCL, so it can’t be good. King says Shane has said a lot about Braun, like Braun is strong as an ox and almost as smart. Braun should be smart enough that, should the match happen, he’ll go after Shane’s leg. Even if Shane was 1000%, though Rosenberg respects Shane, he’d still pick Braun. So less than 100%, that’s even worse. Maybe Shane will rethink this. Sonya is also worried, but we’ll see what happens.

And speaking of respect, Rollins thinks Cesaro disrespected him and disrespected Cesaro back. But now he has to deal with Cesaro’s friend, Shinsuke Nakamura! The King of Strong Style is an Artist who painted a painful picture on SmackDown, and could do the same tonight!

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

Is Rollins surprised that Cesaro’s friend and former tag team partner, Nakamura, confronted him on SmackDown? New guy, what’s your name? Kevin. Welcome, Kevin! But let’s take a second before talking about Nakamura to admire “the drip.” Seth Drippin’ Rollins! Seth’s suit game is huge on social media. But no, nothing surprises Rollins anymore. He’s just disappointed in Nakamura. Nakamura is better than this! At least, Rollins thought he was. If anyone would understand respect, it’d be Nakamura.

Turns out, nope! Turns out, he’s just as bad as Cesaro Nakamura wants to be a tough guy and pick a fight on Cesaro’s behalf. That’s fine, because Rollins will teach Nakamura a lesson, and hopes Cesaro is at home, on his couch, icing his dumb, bald head, and learns something. Because if Cesaro gets in Rollins’ face again, he’ll be next. And welcome to the team, Kev. Rollins heads out, but will he the one learning something about respect?

 

WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution!

The Bro beat the Beacon, but to be fair, Ali did lose because of Mustafa Ali’s own team! Riddle is a fair fighting champion, so he’ll give Ali another shot. But will there be no excuses when Riddle shuts Ali down this time?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this rematch from Raw kicks things off!

Ali bails out but Riddle waits in the ring. Ali takes his time returning, and he gets back in at 5 of 10. They circle again, tie up and Riddle clinches to put Ali in a corner. Ali pulls hair to turn things around, but the ref counts. Riddle shoves Ali, Ali shoves back but Riddle tackles him! Riddle rams knees in, floats and rams more knees! Then Riddle gut wrench suplexes Ali for a BROTON! Cover, TWO! Ali crawls for ropes but Riddle stalks up behind him. Riddle kicks Ali, but Ali holds ropes to deny the exploder. Ali knees low, but Riddle sweeps the legs! Riddle leaps but Ali BOOTS the Broton away!

Ali wants to make sure Retribution is watching as he bumps Riddle off buckles. Ali goes out to trip Riddle and pull him into ropes to then ROCK him! Ali spins Riddle and Riddle SMACKS the post! Ali then baseball slide dropkicks Riddle to the floor! “This is why I will be the next United States Champion!” Ali puts Riddle in the ring, covers, TWO! Riddle is still in this and he fires body shots and forearms! Ali ducks and kitchen sink knees Riddle down! Cover, TWO! Ali wraps Riddle up in a body scissor and squeezes tight. Riddle endures, pries free but Ali clubs Riddle down. Ali throws hands, Riddle gut wrenches again! Ali slips out and shoves Riddle into buckles, then SHOTGUNS him down! Cover, TWO!

Ali grows frustrated but drags Riddle up to ROCK him! And CHOP him! Riddle CHOPS back but Ali kicks low! Ali whips corner to corner, Riddle reverses but Ali handsprings then slips out! Riddle hits buckles, Ali slingshots and somersaults to a BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives and Ali grows frustrated. Ali stalks Riddle, throws more clubbing forearms and then snapmares Riddle into the body scissors. Riddle endures, Ali chinbars, and fans rally on their screens. Riddle elbows Ali’s leg and gets free! Riddle storms over to Ali, suplexes, but Ali slips out to shove Riddle and then run, into a BROMISSION!! Ali rolls back, prawn hold, TWO!!

Riddle and Ali fires off furious fists! Riddle boots, spins Ali and PELES! Ali staggers to a corner, Riddle kips up and runs in to forearm smash! Riddle goes side to side to forearm again! And BROSPLODER! Riddle aims, PENALTY KICK! Riddle dead lift POWERBOMBS, and flips Ali for a FINAL FLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Ali survives and Riddle can’t believe it! Riddle goes up top, for a FLOATING BRO onto knees!! Ali took some damage because of his bad leg, and both men are down. Ali glares as he gets to a corner. Riddle sits up, Ali goes up and leaps, into Riddle’s arms! Riddle suplexes, but Ali cradles! Riddle rolls through for a FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!

KOJI KLUTCH!! Ali has Riddle trapped, squeezes tight, but Riddle endures and fights for ground. Riddle reaches out, moves around, Ali keeps trying, but Riddle dead lifts to SLAM Ali! Both men are down, Riddle gasping for air. Ali shouts, “See what I did there?!” Ali grins as he says it’s over. But he runs into a BOOT! Riddle goes up, but Ali trips him! Riddle lands on the ropes, but Ali swings, into a DRAPING SLEEPER! Riddle drags Ali up into the gut wrench, for a SUPER BRO DEREK!! Cover, Riddle wins!

Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)

Ali spoke too soon, because it wasn’t over for Riddle, it was over for Ali! Will Riddle continue to represent the Bronited States all the way to WrestleMania?

As for Retribution, they pick up Ali and he gets mad at them!? Ali says this is somehow his team’s fault when they didn’t even do anything! “Reckoning” shakes her head and Ali calls her out for it! She stops listening to him, and leaves! Ali says that’s fine, because he doesn’t need her! She needs him! Slapjack wants to leave? Ali says he’s nothing without Ali so get back in line! Slapjack refuses! Ali says this is T-Bar’s fault and Mace’s fault! But they’re bigger than him, so they don’t need to take orders from him! DOUBLE CHOKE SLAM!! Retribution doesn’t need Ali and they don’t want Ali! Will Ali be the one left alone in the dark from now on?

 

“These are the moments that are remembered forever.”

WrestleMania is the Grandest Stage of Them All, but there is still time to change the future. “What happens next can change the course of everything.” The Big Dog takes on an underdog with a Rated R Enforcer ringside. The #LegitEST want to have belts together before fighting over one. A 20 YEAR friendship is broken and it’ll be No Holds Barred! And a Viper has been haunted, but wants to exorcise those demons! Step on the gas, go for gold, and hit the final stop on the Road to WrestleMania!

 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair!

The Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades beat the Boss and the EST already at Elimination Chamber, but things were a bit different then. In the last month, dysfunction has crept in between Sasha and Bianca, which will of course complicate things. But the same has started to happen with the champions, where Nia might be a little preoccupied with Reggie. Which team cracks first and misses out on the gold?

The introductions are made, the tag belts are raised, and Elimination Chamber is revisited!

Shayna and Sasha start, Sasha fires off with haymakers and then bumps Shayna off buckles. Sasha tags Bianca, they both stomp away on Shayna. Bianca handsprings to run in and RAM into Shayna! Sasha tags back in, and hits a SWINGING METEORA! Tag back to Bianca, and they snapmare Shayna for Bianca to handspring SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Bianca keeps on Shayna with a scoop but Shayna fights free, shoves and runs. Bianca dodges, drops and hurdles, but the two stand off a moment. Bianca catches Shayna to a backslide, ONE! Bianca steps through to La Magistrol, TWO! Roll up, TWO, but into a Triangle! Bianca dead lifts but Shayna gets free to forearm and KNEE!

Shayna stalks Bianca, gets the arm and twists the wrist to then hammerlock the arm. Nia tags in and Shayna is upset because she was going to stomp! Bianca fires forearms on Nia, Sasha tags in but runs into a fireman’s carry! Sasha slips off, runs and tilt-o-whirls and wants the arm! Nia shoves her away and runs her over! Reggie laughs as Nia covers, TWO! Nia runs but Sasha avoids the elbow drop! Sasha runs but Nia pops her up! Sasha fights, Bianca tags in, and Bianca dropkicks Nia into Sasha’s rana! Bianca dropkicks Nia down, covers, ONE!! Bianca keeps on Nia, but Nia blocks the whip to whip Bianca.

Bianca dodges and Nia hits buckles. Nia puts Bianca on the apron, Shayna is there but Nia DECKS Bianca! Shayna tags in, drags Bianca up and throws her into the apron! Shayna pushes Bianca in, keeps her from Sasha and rains down fists! Cover, TWO! Shayna wraps on a grovit, Bianca endures, fights her way up, but Shayna clubs away on Bianca’s back! Shayna drags Bianca over, Nia tags in and headbutts Bianca in the ribs! Nia drags Bianca up to choke her on the ropes! The ref counts, Nia lets off at 4 and then TOSSES Bianca around the way! Nia runs to SPLASH the corner, then she shoves Bianca down. Nia runs to drop the elbow! Cover, TWO!

Nia drags Bianca up, puts her in a corner, tags Shayna in and Shayna runs in to KNEE Bianca down! Cover, TWO! Shayna grows annoyed but she kicks Bianca around. Shayna chokes Bianca on ropes and grinds her face in! The ref counts, Shayna lets off but Bianca hits back. Shayna knees and kicks away on Bianca, then looms over her. Shayna clamps onto an arm, grinds it down but Bianca fights up. Sasha coaches Bianca, Bianca fights up and kicks but Shayna blocks to throw her down! Tag to Nia, and Shayna feeds Bianca to Nia’s scoop and SLAM! Cover, ONE!! Nia keeps on Bianca with a cobra clutch and leans on the hold. Bianca endures, even as Nia thrashes her!

Sasha coaches Bianca, Bianca fights up, throws elbows and gets free, but Nia scoops her. Bianca slips out, shoves and fireman’s carries! Shayna gets in but Bianca hits her first. Nia shoves Bianca to a corner, Bianca goes up and Nia POSTS Herself! Hot tag to Sasha! Sasha blocks Shayna’s kick to KNEE her! METEORA for Nia! METEORA for Shayna! Sasha springboards but Nia blocks and throws her! Sasha gets Shayna, kicks Nia and TORNADO DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Sasha gets Shayna up, tags Bianca and then slams Shayna down. Bianca is up top, for an EST 450!! Cover, but Reggie distracts the ref! Sasha leaps but misses Reggie! So Bianca DECKS him!!

But Shayna gets Bianca in a KIRAFUDA! Bianca gets out, chicken wings, and Sasha tags in! GlamEST KNEE!! To a BANK STAEMTNE! Bianca intercepts Nia but Nia shoves Bianca down on Sasha and Shayna! Everyone else is down as Nia goes back to her corner. Sasha misunderstands what happened but Bianca points out it was Nia! The challengers argue, Sasha pushes the “rookie” and Bianca has had it with Sasha. But Shayna rolls Sasha up, and wins!!

Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)

And that’s what broke the #LegitEST duo! Sasha and Bianca couldn’t trust each other and they get caught off guard! They keep arguing after the champions leave, and Sasha boops Bianca. Then SLAPS her! “You’re the rookie!” Sasha leaves before Bianca can respond, but is the receipt coming soon enough at WrestleMania?

 

Shane McMahon exits the Doctor Trainer room.

A huge ice pack is on his knee and he has a crutch. Elias and Jaxson Ryker come by to talk their WrestleMania pitch. A huge musical epic for Mania that Bad Bunny will feel obligated to hand over his Grammy out of respect. Now’s not a good time, guys. But Elias has always wanted to be in front of a WrestleMania crowd! Name it, he’ll do it! Well, putting it that way… Shane has an idea. Is Shane about to find someone for Braun to face after all?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

To say this has gotten personal is putting it lightly. To say the title was the only reason these two stopped being friends is inaccurate. And to say that there is aggression between these two is an understatement. Big E and the REAL Apollo are ready to cripple each other if that is what it takes to prove who is truly worthy of going to WrestleMania as the Intercontinental Champion! Will Apollo get what he wants? Or just get what he deserves?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and a battle of steel and gold finally looks to settle itself!

Apollo and Big E fire off fists right away! Apollo knees low, CLUBS and whips but Big E reverse! Apollo ends up on the apron and Big E runs to SPEAR him off it! “This is what you wanted!? This is what you wanted?!” Big E clubs Apollo, Apollo throws hands but Big E ROCKS him! Big E has Apollo on the apron and says he asked for this! Big E stomps Apollo, stands on Apollo’s head, then stomps him again! “You wanted this ass whooping! You asked for this ass whooping! And you’re gonna get every bit of it.” APRON SPLASH! Apollo writhes and Big E says this is the side of him Apollo wanted to see! Big E CLUBS Apollo more, gets in the ring and tells the ref Apollo wanted this!

Big E goes back to the apron and says Apollo doesn’t want this now that he knows what it’s about. ANOTHER APRON SPLASH! Apollo crawls away into the ring, Big E pursues and says, “This is what conflict is!” Apollo throws a haymaker but Big E ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! And then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E gets Apollo up again for another OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E shouts that Apollo wanted this shot, so he’s getting it! But then Apollo dropkicks Big E’s leg out! Apollo hits a clothesline, then drags Big E up for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Apollo holds on to GERMAN SUPLEX again! And ANOTHER GERMAN SUPLEX!

Apollo looms over Big E and stomps him. Now Apollo stands on Big E’s head, but lets off at 4. Apollo demands Big E get up, and then reels him in for a SPINEBUSTER! Apollo stomps Big E, goes to a corner and climbs up top, for a FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Big E survives but Apollo wraps on a rear bearhug! Apollo squeezes tight, Big E endures and fights up to throw elbows. Big E is free but he runs into an ENZIGURI! Apollo ENZIGURIS again! STANIND MOONSAULT ONTO KNEES! Big E runs in but Apollo dodges to POST him! Apollo reels Big E in but no bomb yet! Big E arm-drags, scoops, but Apollo slips out!

Apollo brings Big E around to cradle, TWO! Big E has it, and even bridges, Big E wins?!

Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)

But Apollo attacks! Does he not realize he lost? Or does he not care?! Apollo demands Big E get up, for an OLYMPIC SLAM!! He says it is NOT over, and he drags Big E up again, for ANOTHER OLYMPIC SLAM! Apollo slaps Big E around, demands he get up again, and SLAPS him! A THIRD OLYMPIC SLAM!! Apollo does not accept Big E as champion, because HE is the one standing tall! Will this war between former friends never end?

 

“Joseph Average” is giving out Old Spice samples.

Drew Gulak likes, but Akira Tozawa demands to know where R-Truth is! Joseph doesn’t know- WHERE IS R-TRUTH!? Truth is hiding behind the free samples! He even hands Akira one! TRUUUUTH!! Tozawa drags Truth out from behind the shelves! Joseph tries to pick up his samples, but ends up pinning Truth?!

Winner: Joseph Average, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

Regular ol’ Joseph Average, is champion!? Truth says he WAS! Roll up! Truth wins!!

Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

Truth thanks Average Joe for the free samples! Tozawa rips Joseph’s shirt, but then sees that shirt! The prophecy is true! The Night Panther lives!!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

Shane officially introduces The Drifter, and says as a “prelude” to WrestleMania, he wants the fans to hear Elias’ music. Elias takes it from here, playing his guitar, but then Shane interrupts and apologizes for that. He wants Elias to know that he’s taking Shane’s place in tonight’s match. Wait, what? The match with Braun!? YES!

Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Braun Strowman!

The Drifter is about to learn that you really should be careful what you wish for. Elias wants to play on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but will he even make it down the Road to WrestleMania with the Monster Among Men in his path?

The bell rings, Elisa wants Braun to take it easy, he’s after Shane, remember? Braun still rushes at Elias, but Elias dodges and throws quick body shots. Ryker distracts, but Strowman still gets Elias in a corner for hands! And elbows! So many elbows! Then Braun TOSSES Elias across the ring! Braun is foaming at the mouth as Elias gets out, and Braun grabs Elias by his hair! He POSTS Elias, then POSTS him the other way! Elias flops down, Braun drags him in and throws him around again! Braun KICKS Elias to a corner! And bends him against the ropes! The ref counts, Braun lets off at 4, and brings Elias up to CLUB him down! And then runs in at the corner!

Ryker saves Elias and they regroup on the outside. But the Strowman Express runs! Ryker dodges and Elias gets BLASTED! Braun goes back to the ring as the ring count climbs. Ryker checks on Elias, and throws him in at 8! Elias might’ve wanted to stay out, actually… Braun glares at Ryker, Ryker gets up on the apron again, and Elias CHOP BLOCKS Braun! DDT!! Elias hurries up top, for a MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Elias is sent flying and is shocked! Elias hurries to go after Braun with haymakers and knees! Elias runs, into a LARIAT! Braun is still seething as he corner SPLASHES and then throws Elias down! Braun drags Elias up for a ONE HAND SPINEBUSTER!!

Braun isn’t done there, he scoops Elias for the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins!

Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall

Shane didn’t #GetTheseHands but The Drifter sure did! Will Braun be sure that, once Shane is 100% again, they will have their battle in the ring?

 

Riddle checks in with Nakamura.

Sup, Bro? Nakamura congratulates Riddle on retaining his title. Thanks, bro! And good luck with Rollins! But uh, would Nakamura want to go in business with Riddle? Riddle’s latest idea is great! Tricking out scooters! Getting some Nos boosters, LED lights, and some manes like they’re horses! That’s interesting- Yeah, very interesting, right? And think about this! Riddle’s cousin Skeeter was a skater and he had a scooter, and he was grinding the rail all slow and at a weird angle, and then he smashed his little skeeters. Now he kinda walks like Nakamura’s entrance. Oh, where’d Nakamura go? Probably to get his scooter. Alright, see you later, bro!

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Seth Rollins!

The King of Strong Style wants to avenge the Swiss Cyborg for what the Architect has done to him! But Rollins says he is going to show Nakamura what respect is all about! Will Nakamura dry up that Seth Rollins drip? Or will he have no choice but to #EmbraceTheVision?

The bell rings and Rollins circles with Nakamura. They tie up, Rollins headlocks and laughs, but Nakamura fights up and powers out. Rollins runs into a kitchen sink knee, then Nakamura drops a knee! Rollins staggers, but ducks the roundhouse to get out! Nakamura shouts, “C’MON!!” Rollins gets in, Nakamura kicks and whips to GAMANGIRI! Cover, ONE! Nakamura stomps Rollins, kicks him, then waistlocks. Rollins flails and reaches but elbows free! Rollins kicks Nakamura in the leg then SMACKS him off the mat! Rollins throws Nakamura out hard, aims from the apron and LEAPS for a flying knee! Rollins sneers as he drags Nakamura up and bounces him off the desk!

Rollins puts Nakamura in as the ring count climbs past 5, then slithers behind him. “You want to disrespect me?” Rollins runs and KNEES Nakamura against ropes. Rollins whips and KNEES again, and then again! Rollins fireman’s carries Nakamura for a GUT BUSTER! Cover, ONE!! Rollins is upset that he only got a one, but he dares Nakamura to get up. Rollins throws down hands, rams Nakamura into a corner, and rams him in again. Rollins wrenches, whips corner to corner hard, then drags him out to scoop to a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Rollins wraps on a rear bearhug but Nakamura throws elbows. Rollins squeezes tighter but Nakamura endures.

Nakamura gets up, reaches for ropes but has to elbow Rollins more. Rollins lets go but he elbows Nakamura down! And drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Another cover, ONE!! Rollins is again annoyed, and talks trash, “Cesaro is watching!” Rollins chokes Nakamura on ropes and then throws him down again. Rollins shouts about being swung around 22 times and he asks where Cesaro is now. Rollins says he’s strong! He’s tough! He gets Nakamura’s legs, and he slaps Nakamura around. Nakamura drags Rollins down with an ARMBAR! Rollins gets a ropebreak but Nakamura lets go fast. Rollins is outside, Nakamura WRECKS him with a baseball slide!

Nakamura puts Rollins on the apron for a KNEE! And then a GUILLOTINE KNEE! Nakamura puts Rollins in, Rollins staggers into KICKS! Nakamura shoves Rollins to a corner for GOOD VIBRATIONS! Nakamura whips corner to corner but Rollins reverses. Rollins runs in but Nakamura KNEES back! Nakamura puts Rollins up top for the TOP SHELF KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grits his teeth as he gets Rollins back up. Nakamura scoops but Rollins elbows free! Rollins runs but into a boot! Nakamura goes up top but Rollins throws him off!! Nakamura hits the floor, Rollins builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and they hit barriers!

Rollins drags Nakamura up, puts him in, and aims from the apron. Springboard FLYING KNEE! And then a SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives and Rollins is beside himself! Rollins drags Nakamura up, reels him in, but Nakamura blocks the suplex! Rollins ROCKS him with a right, reels him in again, but Nakamura blocks again! Rollins ROCKS Nakamura but Nakamura hits back! Rollins throws another forearm but so does Nakamura! They go back and forth, Rollins gets the edge but swings into a strike fest! Rollins PELES! Rollins drags Nakamura up to powerbomb lift but Nakamura slips out! Rollins ducks one kick but not the LEFT!

Rollins staggers to a corner, Nakamura aims from the other! Nakamura runs in but blocks boots first! He turns Rollins sideways into the ropes, SLIDING GERMAN! Rollins flounders up, Nakamura fires up and aims again! “YAO~!” But Rollins pops Nakamura up for a BUCKLE BOMB! Rollins drags Nakamura back up, and suplexes for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives and Rollins is furious! Rollins aims from a corner, runs in but Nakamura gets him to a fireman’s carry! LANDSLIDE DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura drags Rollins up, INVERTED EXPLODER! Nakamura aims from the corner again, “YAO~!” KIN-

NO! Rollins rolls Nakamura up, Nakamura slips out but Rollins reels Nakamura in for a DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! And then the CURB STOM- NO, Nakamura ducks it! But Rollins HEEL KICKS him down! Rollins is seething as he shouts, “Don’t disrespect me!” Nakamura slowly sits up, Rollins runs and CURB STOMPS!! Cover, Rollins wins!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall

The Architect beats the Artist, and shouts, “That’s what happens when you step into my ring!” Rollins demands respect, but will he get it from the SmackDown roster?

 

No Holds Barred: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus!

“A lot can happen in 20 years.” A friendship that defined both of these men has now fallen apart. Two journeys that intertwined, parted, but reunited was ruined, all because of jealousy and pride. These two warriors made each other better, but now they’d love nothing better than to finish this. With nothing holding these two back, which warrior stands tall at the end of this war?

The bell rings and Sheamus says McIntyre asked for this. Did McIntyre ever think of what Sheamus did for him? McIntyre SLAPS Sheamus, and now it’s a brawl! Sheamus knees low, CLUBS hard, then whips McIntyre to ropes. McIntyre reverses, Sheamus kicks him and runs but into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! And then McIntyre gets Sheamus for ANOTHER! McIntyre clotheslines Sheamus out, pursues, but Sheamus trips him on the apron! Sheamus throws hands, whips McIntyre into barriers and then throws hands! Sheamus brings McIntyre up to whip, but McIntyre reverses to reel him in for another OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

McIntyre drags Sheamus back up, CHOPS him against the announce desk, and then throws haymakers! McIntyre whips and POSTS Sheamus! McIntyre clears off the desk, goes under the ring, and brings out chairs, and kendo sticks! Sheamus runs in to blindside McIntyre! Sheamus POSTS McIntyre, hurries to get himself a kendo stick, and then swings! McIntyre dodges and stick hits post! McIntyre reels Sheamus in for a fourth OVERHEAD! McIntyre drags Sheamus up to whip into steel steps! Sheamus flops against the base and McIntyre storms over. McIntyre stands on Sheamus’ head then STOMPS him! Sheamus flops back but McIntyre looms over him.

McIntyre drags Sheamus up to CHOP him again! McIntyre puts Sheamus in, gets a kendo stick, but Sheamus KNEES him down first! Cover, TWO! Sheamus gets a kendo stick again, and SMACKS him on the back! And SMACKS him again! Sheamus SMACKS McIntyre while taunting him, “This is what you wanted, right?!” Sheamus says he’ll make it legit! McIntyre’s going to WrestleMania, he should get up! Sheamus SMACKS McIntyre back down! Sheamus digs the kendo stick into McIntyre’s jaw! “How does that taste?!” McIntyre’s jaw is still a target from last year, but McIntyre headbutts and HEADBUTTS! And BOOTS!

McIntyre goes to a corner to catch his breath, and he starts to get pissed again. McIntyre picks up the kendo stick and sees Sheamus is down. Sheamus glares up at McIntyre, and McIntyre SMACKS him! And SMACKS, and SMACKS, and SMACKS! McIntyre uses the stick for a Russian Leg Sweep! McIntyre digs the kendo stick into Sheamus’ eyes!! Sheamus pushes McIntyre away but McIntyre just SMACKS him again! Sheamus falls out of the ring, McIntyre follows and runs into a drop toehold to the steps! McIntyre is dazed, Sheamus fetches the top half of the steps! McIntyre staggers up as Sheamus comes around, and Sheamus RAMS McIntyre down!

Sheamus fires up, finishes clearing the desk for McIntyre, and then stomps McIntyre while he’s down. “What’s that face paint gonna do for you now?!” Sheamus puts McIntyre on the desk, climbs up to join him, and fireman’s carries, but McIntyre fights free! To underhooks the arms! Sheamus resists, McIntyre throws knees, to then throw Sheamus at the barriers! McIntyre glares as he stalks behind Sheamus through the timekeeper’s area to the outside. McIntyre fish hooks Sheamus’ mouth! And punch him down! The go behind the ThunderDome screens, McIntyre throws Sheamus into railing! And CHOPS him off his feet!

McIntyre stomps and CLUBS Sheamus more, and follows him around the way. Sheamus throws hands, they brawl, and Sheamus blocks a suplex! Sheamus suplexes McIntyre! McIntyre thuds off the bare floor of the ThunderDome! McIntyre sputters and crawls to a ramp. Sheamus CLUBS McIntyre on the back, up some trunks, and then rains down more rights. Sheamus drags McIntyre up to throw body shots! McIntyre ends up on the upper level of the ThunderDome screens but he hits back! McIntyre fires off haymakers, then whips Sheamus along, only for Sheamus to reel him in! ROLLING SENTON! Again, McIntyre gasps and sputters!

Sheamus drags McIntyre up, brings him along the aisle, but McIntyre throws body shots! Sheamus CLUBS McIntyre down again and again, then fireman’s carries. McIntyre slips off before Sheamus can throw him! McIntyre bumps Sheamus off ThunderDome screens, then sends him crashing through others!! Sheamus tumbles from that middle row to somewhere down below!! McIntyre climbs down to loom over Sheamus, and dares him to keep talking trash. McIntyre CLUBS Sheamus, follows him back to the ramp and punches him down the way. McIntyre says up Sheamus’ as he kicks him down! McIntyre dares The Fella to talk more trash, as he puts him on a road case!

McIntyre pushes the case around to get Sheamus back to ringside! McIntyre drags Sheamus up, for a suplex to the floor! Both men writhe but McIntyre forces himself to rise! McIntyre drags Sheamus back up, fireman’s carries him, and hauls him back to the desk. Sheamus claws McIntyre’s eyes and BROGUES him over barriers!! Sheamus clutches his back as he hobbles up and looks to fetch McIntyre. Sheamus hops over the barriers, grits his teeth while clutching his side, and he stomps McIntyre! Sheamus bumps McIntyre off road cases, then drags him up and over the barriers, aiming for the desk! “I should be the main event of WrestleMania!!”

Sheamus fireman’s carries, tucks McIntyre in, WHITE NOISE THROUGH THE DESK!! The ref checks on both men in the wreckage and somehow they’re okay to continue! Sheamus hobbles up, drags McIntyre towards the ring but his own back makes that hard. “This is Awesome!” as Sheamus still gets McIntyre up and in. Sheamus looks for something more to use, and decides to use a piece of the desk! Sheamus brings that in, positions it, and looms over McIntyre. “You’re the Chosen One, right? What about me? What about Sheamus, huh?” Sheamus throws more hands, but McIntyre SLAPS Sheamus! Sheamus SLAPS back and it’s a SLAP fight!

Sheamus kicks, Alabama lifts, but McIntyre slips out! Sheamus avoids the underhooks once, but not the second! FUTURE SHOCK to the desk piece!! CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!

Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall

The Celtic Warrior almost had the Scottish Warrior, but the key word is “almost!” McIntyre defeats Sheamus, and now moves on to Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania! If he could survive this, will McIntyre be able to survive the Rocky Mountain Machine and take back the WWE World Championship?

 

Randy Orton VS Alexa Bliss!

The Viper thought burning The Fiend alive was enough. He thought it’d end there. He thought wrong. Twisted Lil’ Bliss has been haunting Orton in ways no one could’ve imagined. But Orton vows to exorcise Alexa and kick her out of his life for good. Will it really end here? Or is Orton going to pay for all of his transgressions?

But as Orton goes for his pose, he starts spitting up the black ink!! Alexa is already affecting him before the bell! Orton is pissed, demands a towel and the timekeeper hands him one. Orton wipes his mouth, coughs and sputters, then seethes and glares at the stage. He isn’t getting scared off, he’s getting pissed off! He demands Alexa stop playing games and get to the ring! Alexa makes her entrance, and already has those spooky eyes as she laughs and skips her way to the ring. The magenta light bathes the arena and the bell rings! Orton storms right over but then FIRE flashes all around!! The ref even bails out after that one!

Alexa laughs at Orton, Orton runs in but Alexa dodges and he POSTS himself! Alexa pretends to feel bad but then laughs at Orton’s pain. Alexa skips around the ring and wants Orton to follow after. Orton gets up, seethes as he follows in this twisted follow the leader. Alexa hops over the steel steps, waits so Orton can get closer, and then gives a curious smile. She looks up, and a LIGHTING TRUSS falls?! Alexa laughs and Orton shouts, “Are you trying to kill me?!” She just shrugs and says “The sky is falling.” Alexa goes back into the ring and coaxes Orton in like he’s a puppy dog. She even plays in the ropes like it’s a swing set.

Orton takes his time returning, checking to see if anything else will fall. Orton steps inside, Alexa blows a kiss, and then throws a FIREBALL!! Orton narrowly avoided that one, but Alexa still celebrates like she scored a homerun or something. Alexa hops up to sit on the top rope and Orton stands up, but what is reaching out from under the ring mat?!?! It’s a gnarly, burned hand! And with another burst of flame, THE FIEND returns!!! Mutilated and grotesque, The Fiend returns from the dead!! Orton isn’t even sure what to say, but Alexa shoves Orton into SISTER ABIGAIL! Alexa covers, the ref returns to count, Alexa wins!!

Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall

HE’S HEEEERE~! And with his help, Alexa has beaten The Viper! But just what is going to happen now that these two are reunited?!

 

WWE Universal Championship, Edge as Special Guest Enforcer: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Daniel Bryan!

The plans for WrestleMania could change drastically right here! The Special Counsel wants us to believe that the Tribal Chief will not just give the Goat a hellacious beating, but that he will scare away the Rated R Superstar tonight. However, Edge is here to make sure things are finally fair and square for the challenger to the Universal Championship! Will Bryan be able to turn the tide and have one more #YEStleMania moment?

Edge makes his entrance first as enforcer. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we will see what THE main event of WrestleMania really looks like!

Bryan and Roman circle, Bryan picks up the speed a bit as he goes around Roman. Roman tries to corner Bryan but Bryan wants his leg. Roman grabs ropes and Bryan lets off. Bryan taunts Roman that he’s worried about a simple single leg. Roman and Bryan feel out a grapple, Roman gets Bryan into a corner, but the ref counts. Bryan slips out at 3 to kick Roman in the leg. Bryan taunts Roman more, and they circle again. They tie up, Roman powers Bryan to another corner, the ref counts and Roman CLUBS Bryan as they break! Roman tells Bryan he should just go home. They circle again, approach, and Bryan gets a leg pick! Roman scrambles around to get a ropebreak!

Bryan says he could get that any time. Roman gets up, cools off but Bryan pushes the offense. He dares Roman to come after him, and then he goes for a leg. Roman grabs at Bryan but Bryan gets around. Roman gets another ropebreak, and Bryan grins as he lets off. They feel out the grapple again, knuckle lock, and Roman uses his strength to bring Bryan to his knees! Roman mocks Bryan, “You wanna break?” Roman scrapes his laces on Bryan’s face but Bryan gets up and gets a takedown to an ARMBAR! Roman scrambles, gets another ropebreak, and Bryan lets off quick. Bryan does Yes Fingers, fans join in on their screens, but Roman keeps his cool.

Roman and Bryan circle again, Bryan gives testing jabs, but Roman just gets annoyed. Roman dares Bryan to hit him, Bryan jabs him in the stomach again. Bryan grins as Roman keeps egging Bryan on. Bryan throws more jabs, then a kick! Roman is getting more annoyed as Bryan throws more quick kicks. Bryan gets cornered, Roman headlocks and throws Bryan down! Heyman likes what he sees but Bryan fights up. Bryan slips out the back, has a hammerlock and he knees Roman in the arm! And again! Heyman’s confidence turns to worry as Bryan digs his elbows into Roman’s head. Bryan gets Roman’s other arm and bends the fingers! Bryan pulls to go after Roman’s shoulder!

Roman endures as Bryan stands on the arm to make it a recliner cover, ONE!! Roman headbutts Bryan, then stomps him down! Roman drags Bryan up to DECK him! Roman paces around, drags him back up and throws a haymaker! Bryan goes to a corner, Roman stalks him, and Roman RAMS into Bryan! Roman hauls Bryan up but Bryan flails, only for Roman to RAM him into another corner! Roman runs but into a dropkick! Bryan gets Roman’s arm, wrenches and hits an elbow breaker! And then wrenches to KICK the leg, and hit another elbow breaker! And then KICKS the leg, to wrench. Roman rakes eyes, gets Bryan in a corner, but the ref reprimands.

Roman throws point-blank lariats! But Bryan turns it around for YES Kicks and fast hands! Bryan whips, Roman reverses, but Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving to duck and run, into a tilt-o-whirl SLAM! Cover, TWO! Roman digs Bryan’s face into the mat and bounces him off it! Roman taunts Edge but Edge tells him to worry about Bryan. Bryan goes to ropes, Roman throws crossface forearms! Roman drags Bryan up, and snap suplexes him! Heyman’s confidence returns as Roman covers, TWO! Roman grows annoyed again but then he smiles as he looms over Bryan. Bryan goes back to a corner, Roman drags him up but Bryan goes for a leg!

Roman holds off Bryan’s takedown and CLUBS Bryan! Bryan hits from below but Roman kicks him down. Bryan hits again but Roman stomps him back down! Bryan keeps hitting back but Roman keeps stomping! Roman snarls and drags Bryan into a chinlock. Roman grinds Bryan down, and says, “When I got it, you don’t get out.” Roman says he has a vice grip, but Bryan fights up. Bryan throws body shots, Roman shoves Bryan away but Bryan returns! Roman puts Bryan on the apron and DECKS him with an uppercut! Bryan falls to the floor and Roman again taunts Edge. Edge says Roman still needs to worry about Bryan. Roman goes out to fetch Bryan, and throw him into barriers!

The ring count is past 5 but Roman goes in at 7. Bryan stands as Roman goes out to fetch Bryan, but Bryan fires body shots and uppercuts and kicks! Bryan KICKS away on Roman, but Roman POSTS him! The ring count is climbing but Roman puts Bryan in at 8! Cover, TWO! Heyman says it was that close, but Bryan is still in this. Roman drags Bryan up to snap suplex again! Cover, TWO! Roman is again annoyed and Bryan drags himself to another corner. Roman runs in to corner clothesline him! Heyman says Bryan should listen to his Tribal Chief! Roman wants Bryan to acknowledge him. Look in the camera and tell the world!

Roman whips Bryan corner to corner hard! Roman runs in but Bryan drop toeholds him into buckles! Bryan fires off Yes Kicks from all sides, then runs corner to corner to dropkick! Bryan brings Roman up to the very top, then throws haymakers! Bryan climbs up, but Roman blocks the Steiner! Roman drags Bryan into a BOSTON CRAB! Bryan endures as Roman bends him back! Bryan claws for ropes, reaches, but Roman brings him around! Bryan makes that a cradle, TWO!! Bryan dodges, and hits a LEAPING LARIAT! Both men are down and Heyman’s stress is back again! Edge paces, making sure nothing sneaky is happening as both men slowly rise.

Bryan throws hands, kicks, but Roman knees low! Roman whips Bryan to ropes but Bryan kicks him away! Roman returns but Bryan dumps him out! Bryan slingshots to PLANCHA, but Roman makes it a SLAM! Roman then drags Bryan up, but Bryan slips off to POST Roman! Bryan aims from the apron for a FLYING KNEE! Down goes Roman! But Bryan can only win the title in the ring! Bryan puts Roman in at 7 of 10, climbs up top and FLYING KNEES ROMAN’S ARM!! Roman writhes, Heyman panics and Bryan climbs up again! Bryan is up top again and leaps for a missile dropkick! Roman is down again but Bryan fires up! Bryan crawls to cover, TWO!

Bryan keeps his focus while Roman tries to get his bad arm moving. Heyman is doing his best to be stoic as Bryan gives Roman more YES Kicks! Roman flounders about as Bryan keeps giving him KICKS! Kick after kick after kick, then the BUZZ- NO! Roman blocks the buzzsaw and powers Bryan to a corner! The ref counts, Roman ROCKS Bryan with an uppercut! Roman grinds his forearm into Bryan’s face, throws knees into him, but the ref keeps counting. Roman finally lets off to cool down, but Bryan kicks back! And rushes in! Roman sprawls to block the takedown, and brings Bryan up, but Bryan RANAS the bomb away! BUZZSAW! And then ANOTHER BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!!

Bryan nods, he knows Roman is tough. Heyman is worried, Edge is invested, and Bryan says Roman likes to talk, but now he’s going to get broken! Bryan unleashes DANIELSON STOMPS! Then drags Roman into the YES LOCK!! Roman endures, but the hands are in his face, he can’t see! Roman refuses to quit, reaches out and gets his face free, but Bryan gets the other arm! Bryan rolls Roman away from ropes and then gets the YES LOCK BACK!! Roman is stuck, hands in his face, and he can’t figure out where ropes are! Roman pries at Bryan’s fingers, gets the hold off and he rains down furious forearms, and even elbows!

But Bryan triangle holds! Roman dead lifts to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Bryan survives but both men are down! Bryan drags himself to a corner while Roman talks to himself. Roman gets to the other corner and watches Bryan get up. Roman run sin, but into a kick! Roman staggers, but dodges, the FLYING KNEE hits the ref!! Roman SPEARS Bryan! Cover, but the ref can’t count! Edge is making himself the ref! TWO!! Both men are down again as Roman looks up and sees Edge. Edge says he’s just doing his job as special enforcer. Roman says Edge better follow his lead, but Edge says Roman needs to do his job.

Roman rains down rights on Bryan again! Bryan gets Roman’s arm again! TRIANGLE HOLD! Roman powers up to dead lift again, but Bryan shifts and throws hands, to then drag Roman back down! YES LOCK!!! Roman endures, pries at the hold, but Bryan throws crossface forearms! Bryan clubs away on Roman again and again then puts the Yes Lock back on! JEY USO SUPERKICKS EDGE!! And SUPERKICKS Bryan!! Jey always has to save Roman! Jey goes out and gets a chair! Jey drags Edge up to POST him! Jey tells Bryan to stand, but Bryan ducks the chair to KNEE PLUS Jey down!! Heyman panics as Bryan gets the chair!!

Bryan glares at Roman, and SMACKS JEY! And SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS Jey! Jey bails out, Bryan sees no one is up to see… Bryan aims at Roman, but Roman dodges again, and EDGE takes the chair shot! SUPERMAN PUNCH!! Roman seethes, glares at Bryan and runs, INTO A YES LOCK!! Just like Elimination Chamber!! Roman is stuck!! Roman is freaking out and Heyman is, too! Roman is fading out!! Is he tapping?!?! Roman is tapping, but Edge SMACKS Bryan with the chair!!! Edge SMACKS Roman, too!! Edge SMACKS Bryan again, and shouts, “THIS IS MINE! MINE!!” The Rated R Superstar no longer cares who he faces, he storms off and lets this sort itself out!

Roman and Bryan are both writhing, stirring, and a second referee appears! Roman drags himself to cover Bryan, and Roman wins!

Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall (still WWE Universal Champion)

Once again, Roman is fortunate to have someone else around! But will Roman be able to survive when he finally faces Edge 1v1?


My Thoughts:

So this was a bit of a mixed back for a WWE PPV. Though not announced as such, I just had a feeling the US Championship would end up a kickoff show match. And as I figured, Riddle would win and Ali would get kicked out of Retribution. Heck, Retribution might just be through, with all but Mace and T-Bar going their separate ways. Maybe they’ll all get their real names back, too. The real critical point is what Ali does now that he’s not their leader. The main show then seemed to zip by, which is both good and maybe not so good, as it didn’t seem like a good chunk of the show was really diving that deep into the matches.

The WWE Women’s Tag title match went as expected, including Reggie interfering and being just part of the reason Sasha & Bianca lost. I expected a bit more of a scuffle from Sasha and Bianca but it works that Sasha left with just disrespecting Bianca and slapping her eyelashes out of place. The next three weeks are going to really escalate things for Sasha VS Bianca. Big E VS Apollo was a great match, but that ending was really about preserving this feud so they can go again at Mania. It may not have been done as crisp as they wanted, but it was clearly about Big E just snatching a win. I feel like a disqualification ending would’ve been better, given the anger between these two.

If I’m not mistaken, “Joseph Average” was actually Eric Bugenhagen from NXT. I almost hope this is his call-up. The Old Spice Night Panther commercial turning into a WWE 24/7 Championship segment was very clever, and makes it one of the best produced WEW 24/7 Championship segments. Shane swapping out with Elias wasn’t the swap out I expected, but we all knew Shane wasn’t actually facing Braun yet. I just didn’t think Shane would have a “training injury” as the reason why. Of course, even in kayfabe, it could be a fake-out to delay things. I wonder if Braun will force Shane to compete against him at Mania, exposing the “injury” is just a cover.

From Rollins VS Nakamura on, we started getting some really good PPV stuff. Rollins VS Nakamura itself was a great match, and I was actually surprised we didn’t get anything of Cesaro or Murphy, but that was for the better. Rollins wins fair and square so perhaps all the better for him and Cesaro at Mania. The No Holds Barred, McIntyre VS Sheamus, was great and even had a great video package to set it up. Smashing up ThunderDome screens was not a spot I would’ve expected but that really added something. McIntyre wins to go strong towards Mania, but it’s going to be hard to determine who wins between Lashley VS McIntyre because they’re both going so strong right now.

Alexa VS Orton was perhaps exactly what it should’ve been. Alexa was using all her tricks, and then we got burned zombie Fiend busting up from the floor a la Kane, that was really wild stuff. While Firefly Fun House Match 2, the Orton Saga is a great concept, I almost want at least one match with burned, disgusting Fiend to see how that affects his fighting style, and just for more opponents to react to.

The Universal Championship match was a lot longer than I expected it would be, as it dominated the last hour, and Bryan had great character work the entire time. I’m just disappointed we had to again throw Jey in there, and even have one of those “OH NO! Hit the wrong person! And now that person will hit me back!” with Bryan and Edge. Edge shouting “THIS IS MINE!” like he was selfishly keeping this for himself was a good touch, though. If we end up with a Triple Threat like fans want/hope, that moment would at least make Edge a Tweener where Roman is Heel and Bryan is Face. There was also the fact Roman tapped, just without it being put on the win-loss record, so I’m thinking there’s a way to get us to that Triple Threat to make Mania even bigger.

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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