SmackDown paves the way to #WrestleManiaBacklash!
Before SmackDown puts all their gold on the line this Sunday, there’s gold here tonight! Can Natalya & Tamina finally stop Nia & Shayna?
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina; Natalya & Tamina win and become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
- Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Dolph Ziggler w/ Robert Roode; Rey wins.
- Shinsuke Nakamura VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Cesaro VS Jimmy Uso; Cesaro wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jey Uso is in the ring.
“They call me ‘The Right Hand Man,’ Main Event Jey Uso. You know this.” Last week, brother Jimmy disrespected The Head of the Table, Roman Reigns. So this week, they have no choice but to handle family business! That said, Jey brings to the WWE Universe the Head of the Table, the Tribal Chief, the man who will handle Cesaro this Sunday at #WrestleManiaBacklash, Jey’s cousin and WWE Universal Champion, Roman…! Reigns! Roman does indeed make his entrance, with Paul Heyman following behind and carrying the title for him. Heyman hands the belt over so Roman can hold it up as pyro goes off.
Roman hands the belt back to Heyman and they continue down the ramp while recap of last week plays. Roman raises the title for the second round of pyro, then is handed the mic from Heyman. He says to Jey, “So clearly, we’ve got some problems. One of them being your brother. And we’ll get to him here in a minute, but I’m gonna address Cesaro first. I like him. Like a lot of the boys in the back, I respect Cesaro. I do, he’s a top tier talent. Hell, we could say he’s one of the best wrestlers in the whole world.” Heyman agrees with “one of.” But Paul, Roman is so much more than just a wrestler, right?
Heyman agrees there, too. He lists off how Roman is Tribal Chief, Head of the Table, the End All Be All, and of course WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion. But with everything Roman does, no way could Cesaro fulfill all that. Does WWE really want Cesaro in Roman’s place? Do you think SmackDown wants that? Does Fox want that? NO! Just look at the facts. How many world title matches has Cesaro even had? ZERO. And rightfully so! But how many has Roman had? Heyman’s people are good with numbers, and that number is 39! Wow! But moving on, let’s just talk about Jimmy Uso. “It was simple! He got to see how it works.”
But Jimmy comes out to interrupt! And his new shirt reads “NOBODY’S BITCH,” to emphasize what he said to last week. Jimmy has a mic and says he’s here, so let’s talk. Jimmy hears the chief jaw-jacking, running his mouth, while his brother standing there like, a, BITCH! Like the shirt, Uce? Jey must be feeling it. Jimmy has one for Jey if he’s ready. Matter fact, now’s the time! Jimmy isn’t sure if “our boy” Roman is gonna make it past Cesaro! Jey says that’s their cousin! Head of the Table! Show respect to family, Uce! Jimmy IS all about family, Uce! Roman asks Jimmy about that. If he’s about family, then he’s about Roman because what he’s done for the family.
No, that’s not it. Roman may be family, but he isn’t the entire family! Roman wants to backtrack a bit. Jimmy doesn’t think Roman can beat Cesaro? That’s how he feels? Jimmy doesn’t want to make this a thing, but if Roman’s asking… No, he doesn’t. But Jimmy can, right? He can do what Roman does, but better? No, but the Usos together can. Check it! What if the Usos won the tag titles but then Roman loses his Universal title? Wouldn’t that make the Usos the Heads of the Table? Technically, they’d be chiefs! That’s not how it works! That is not their part! Roman is Roman and the Usos are the Usos! Roman is chief and CHAMPION! He puts food on the table and carries this company, a responsibility Jimmy could never handle!
Hold on. Does Jimmy think he can? He really thinks that? He thinks he can do what Roman does? Be the man around here? Then do it! Represent like Roman represents. Put the title on the line against Cesaro tonight! Show the world that he’s the man! Roman will let the whole world see Jimmy can defend against Cesaro. Hell, just show you can beat him, Uce! Can you? Jimmy grins and calls out Cesaro! Cesaro is surely listening, but Jimmy is ready to lock it down! What you say, Uce? Was that good enough, Roman? Jimmy is still smiling, but here comes the Swiss Superman! Cesaro has a nice suit and a mic, but he says challenge accepted!
And Roman, look at Cesaro. Cesaro will beat Jimmy tonight, then Roman on Sunday! Cesaro is ready, despite what Roman says. Jimmy is ready, despite what Roman says. But can Jimmy hang after all the time off? Or will he get into the swing of things thanks to the #1 contender?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina!
These two teams met at WrestleMania 37 after the Queen of Harts and Daughter of Superfly got through Tag Team Turmoil. They were close but still so far away. Will they finally get these belts off the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades this close to #WrestleManiaBacklash?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we revisit WrestleMania before the PPV all about revisiting WrestleMania!
The teams sort out, and once again blood battles blood as Tamina and Nia stare down. They circle, Reggie already distracts and Nia attacks! Nia CLUBS Tamina over and over, then looms over her at the ropes.? Nia drags Tamina up to toss her into the corner! Tag to Shayna, they mug Tamina but Tamina fights back! Tamina shoves Nia out, fires off on Shayna, then backs her down to the other corner! BIG uppercut, tag to Natty, then a HEADBUTT and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty drags Shayna back over, tags Tamina back in, and feeds Shayna to Tamina’s LARIAT! “That’s what you get!” Tamina tags Natty back in, they coordinate, catapult SAMOAN DROP!
Reggie gets on the apron again but the ref tells him to stop! The ref EJECTS Reggie, but he’s still missing Natty cover Shayna! Nia is upset, Tamina attacks her on the ramp! They brawl, Nia fireman’s carries, SAMOAN DROP into barriers! Shayna kicks Natty down, KNEES her in the face, cover, TWO!! The second generation superstars are in a tough spot as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Shayna whips Natty to feed Nia’s scoop SLAM! Nia then runs to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Tamina is still down on the outside, Nia dribbles Natty on the mat! Nia shoves Natty to the corner, runs in and HIP ATTACKS! Shayna tags, she drags Natty to a cover, TWO! Natty survives but Shayna wrenches the arm and stands on Natty’s head. The ref reprimands, Shayna locks the arm and STOMPS it! Shayna mocks Natty to go get a tag, then tags in Nia. Shayna feeds Natty to Nia again, then runs, KNEE TO SIDEWALK SLAM! Nia sees Tamina and sends Shayna to get her while Nia covers Natty! But Tamina scoops and SLAMS Shayna onto Nia!
Tamina goes back to the corner and calls to Natty. Natty crawls, hot tags for Tamina and Shayna! Shayna dodges but returns to a scoop! Shayna slips out to Kirafuda! Tamina gets free, runs and FLYING HEADBUTTS! Shayna gets to a corner, Tamina fires up and run sin. Shayna dodges, but Tamina elbows back. Tamina boots but Shayna catches it to twist the foot! Tamina uses power to kick and STOMP Shayna down! Cover, TWO! Tamina drops knees on Shayna, then goes to the corner. Tamina climbs up, but Shayna gets up to KICK her first! Tag to Nia, and Nia hurries to climb up after Tamina! Tamina fights off the superplex and clubs Nia back! Nia throws headbutts and sends Nia down!
Nia staggers, Shayna swipes but Natty trips her up! The Queen of Harts sends the Queen of Spades into barriers with a GERMAN SUPLEX! Nia hits Natty, headbutts Tamina, and drags Natty into a fireman’s carry! SAMOAN DROP! BUT SUPERFLY OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Tamina & Natty win!!
Winners: Natalya & Tamina, by pinfall (NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
History has been made! Tamina has been 24/7 Champion, but she’s finally got a “major” title under her belt! Kayla Braxton interviews them and congratulates them. Natty says tonight was for anyone who has had a dream but felt like it passed them by. It is NEVER too late to keep fighting for your dreams! Natty is so proud of Tamina, and Tamina is thankful to Natty and the WWE Universe! Tamina is thankful to their families! This is why they do this!
Kayla Braxton intercepts Paul Heyman.
He was headed for Roman’s private suite but she wants a quick word. If Jimmy & Jey did team up and become tag team champions while Roman lost his Universal- Oh stop with the hypotheticals! Here’s the real question! “Mr. Heyman, can Jimmy Uso beat Cesaro tonight?” Heyman doesn’t know, but he does know that Roman can and will defeat Cesaro on Sunday. Thank you for your questions. Heyman goes into Roman’s room and we’ll just have to wait and see on all of that.
Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez are in the ring.
Azeez stands on a podium, colored green and white for Nigeria, as Apollo has a mic and a box in his hand. “Tonight, all of you get to witness a very, very special presentation.” Very triumphant music plays and Apollo says that ever since he became WWE Intercontinental Champion, “the swarm of gnats” attempting to take the title has grown. But time after time after time, his commander has swatted them like the nuisances they are. With the help of Azeez, Apollo has restored glory to this title, and brought honor to Nigeria! There is no end in sight to Apollo’s reign of prosperity! As a matter of fact, Apollo might be Intercontinental Champion for LIFE!
And so, for those acts of bravery and loyalty, Apollo presents Azeez with the most distinguished medal, the Nigerian Medal of Honor! Azeez bows and Apollo puts the medal around his neck. Big E talks from the titantron! “Apollo~! Apollo~! You ain’t gotten rid of me yet!” And what sham is this? This is worse than when Macklemore won best rap album of the year. Apollo better not get comfortable with the title. Because Apollo still has to feel the power~! But wait, Sami Zayn heads out now! Is this not typical Big E behavior? Having to mock and joke? Sami always respects and loves an awards ceremony, though. This isn’t the Sami Awards but-
Apollo tells Sami to shut up. How dare he come out here and disrespect both Apollo and Azeez! Sami says the truth is, there is a bone to pick. Apollo is holding Sami’s Intercontinental Championship. Azeez picks up the podium and TOSSES it out of the ring! Sami wants Azeez to calm down and tells Apollo that if he were a man of honor, he’d give Sami a match so that he can reestablish his status as Champion of the People! But not now, of course. Wait, here comes Kevin Owens! Sami wants everyone to just take a breath, but then he urns into the ring to avoid Kevin! Kevin gives chase, he ends up brawling with Apollo and Azeez!
Apollo fires off haymaker after haymaker, but Big E is here! Big E goes after Azeez, but Azeez throws him out! Big E stays on the apron, Azeez grabs him, but Big E ducks the Nigerian Nail to dump Azeez out! Big E goes after Apollo, Kevin SUPERKICKS him down! And SUPERKICKS Apollo! Sami hits Kevin and now fires off haymakers! Sami goes corner to corner, into a STUNNER! Big E scoops Kevin for the BIG ENDING! Apollo swings, only for Big E to scoop him! Azeez saves Apollo again! Big E says that title is his, but Apollo says it will never be Big E’s again! What will Apollo do to finally exterminate the challengers that are bugging him?
Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Dolph Ziggler w/ Robert Roode!
There was a last minute swap between father and son last week, and it paid off! The Show-Off certainly wants redemption, but will the King of Lucha Libre show him up?
SmackDown returns as the SmackDown Tag Team Champions make their entrance. The bell rings and Ziggler circles with Rey. They tie up, Ziggler puts Rey in a corner, but lets off as the ref counts. Ziggler smirks as he and Rey reset. They tie up again, Rey waistlocks but Ziggler gets ropes. The ref counts, Rey lets off and they go again. Ziggler waistlocks, brings Rey around, pulls at the mask but the ref reprimands and counts. Ziggler headlocks, grinds Rey down, but Rey fights up. Rey throws body shots, powers out but Ziggler runs him over! Ziggler swivels hips and fires up as he looms over Rey at the ropes. The ref has Ziggler back away and Rey gets up.
Rey and Ziggler circle, tie up again, and Ziggler headlocks again. Ziggler drags Rey down but Rey gets up. Rey throws body shots, powers out, and things speed up, only for Ziggler to run Rey over! Ziggler talks trash while he puts a headlock back on. Roode talks trash to Dom while Ziggler makes Rey look at him. Ziggler puts Rey on the ropes and grinds his forearms in. “You don’t have what it takes anymore!” Ziggler whips Rey, drops and waistlocks but Rey uses that to send Ziggler out! Rey WRECKS Ziggler with a dropkick, then builds speed to SLIDING TOPE! Both men are down on the outside as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Ziggler has Rey in a corner. Ziggler throws haymakers, talks more trash, then throws more hands. Rey counter punches! Rey whips, Ziggler reverses but Rey ducks and springboards, only to FLOP off the crossbody! Ziggler grins and Roode says to stay on him! Ziggler stalks Rey to ropes, the ref warns Roode, but Ziggler sits Rey up. Ziggler digs his fingers into the eyeholes of the mask and Rey’s eyes themselves! The ref counts, Ziggler lets off, and he drags Rey up to INVERTED POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Ziggler stays on Rey with a chicken wing and chinlock! Rey endures the holds as Ziggler pushes up for leverage.
The fans rally on their ThunderDome screens as Rey fights up. Rey elbows free, throws body shots and even clubs Ziggler’s leg! Rey runs but into a BIG back elbow! Ziggler hobbles over to cover, TWO! Roode is frustrated on Ziggler’s behalf, but Ziggler puts Rey in a grounded Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Rey endures, reaches and gets the ropebreak! Ziggler holds until 4, then stalks Rey to a corner. Ziggler whips Rey corner to corner hard, then runs in, to get a BOOT! Rey uppercuts, headscissors, but Ziggler blocks to bring Rey off the corner! Rey swings to make that a DDT! Both men are down but their tag partners coach them up as fans fire up!
Ziggler and Rey sit up, Ziggler goes to a corner but dodges Rey as he runs in! Rey goes to the apron, shoulders back in, DECKS Ziggler then climbs up! Ziggler hits Rey first! Ziggler climbs, stands on the very top, but Rey fights back with body shots! Rey headbutts Ziggler away, then adjusts to FLYING SEATED SENTON! Rey whips Ziggler, Ziggler sunset flips but Rey rolls through to BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler survives and Roode panics. Rey dropkicks Ziggler onto ropes and dials it up! 619 misses and Ziggler returns with a FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is beside himself as Rey survives but he aims from a corner. Rey dodges the superkick to put Ziggler back on ropes!!
Dial it up, SUPERKICK!!! Ziggler got Rey outta nowhere but he has to crawl to a cover! He gets it, ROPEBREAK!! Ziggler is shocked but Rey’s resilience is part of what made him a legend! Ziggler gets Rey up, scoops and SLAMS him, then vows this is over! Ziggler drags Rey back up, scoops and Rey makes it a cradle!! REY WINS!!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall
That’s twice the Mysterios have gotten Ziggler! Roode runs in but Dom is there to BLAST him first! Dom and Rey are ready, but will they keep this momentum rolling all the way through Backlash to make history as father and son?
Backstage interview with Cesaro.
His first Universal Championship opportunity is Sunday, but he must get through Jimmy Uso tonight. What’s his plan of attack for both those matches? It means the world to Cesaro that he has a Universal Championship match. He grew up dreaming of a moment like this, watching WWE in Switzerland. People thought he was crazy to want to go to the US, enter the WWE and become champion. But he always told himself, “I think I can.” When someone doubted him, mocked him, said he can’t, he said, “I think I can.” Cesaro isn’t like Roman Reigns. He wasn’t bred for this business, asking people acknowledge him. He earns it.
And he’s not taking Jimmy lightly. But does Jimmy want to be known as Jimmy Uso, or as Roman’s Cousin? Cesaro doesn’t think he can, he KNOWS he can beat Roman Reigns and earn our acknowledgement as WWE Universal Champion! Will that start with avoiding lockdown tonight?
Backstage interview with the Mysterios.
Kayla congratulates Rey on the win, and Rey says they’re so close to grabbing the titles, he can almost feel it. He and Dom are going to make history together! But here comes Ziggler & Roode. Ziggler told the kid doesn’t belong, so he should just beat it. Daddy got lucky, but on Sunday, the Dawgs take him out for good! So if “Baby Dom” were smart, he wouldn’t even get out of his crib. They can call Dom all the names they want, but on Sunday, he’ll be #BabyChamp! Aw, how cute. The Dawgs say THEY’RE the champs, but will that all change in the most historic way?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST SmackDown Women’s Champion is here ahead of her title match at Backlash, and we’ll hear her final thoughts before her match with Bayley, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole has joined Bianca in the ring. He can’t believe it’s been four weeks already that she won this title off Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 37. And this Sunday at Backlash is her first title defense against a woman who held the belt for 380 days, the Role Model, Bayley. Bianca wants Cole to remember that she’s the B E S T. When you shine like she shines, you get a whole lotta hate! People have doubted her all her life, but speaking of, where is Bayley? Yes, that is an obvious question after last week.
A recap package reminds us that Bayley talked up then talked down to all the past champions, and even Bianca as the current. Bianca responded, they brawled, and Bayley had the last laugh quite literally. And now in the present, Bayley is here to laugh at Bianca more! Does Bayley like Bianca’s hair? She wants to show Bayley her braid. Where is she, anyway? Far, far away, okay? Via satellite thanks to the technology of 2021! Bianca must be a big idiot if she thinks they’ll be in the same ring after that vicious attack! The next time they’re in the ring together is when they battle at Backlash, and Bayley takes back her title.
Oh, Bayley, you’re so funny. Bayley talks a big game and will do whatever it takes to win, but when Bianca gets her hands on her, it will be the roughEST, the toughEST and the quickEST victory yet! Bayley laughs more, but Bianca says she didn’t want to have to stoop to Bayley’s level. But Bayley keeps coming at her so time to hurt Bayley’s feelings. Bianca says the real reason Bayley is so mad is that she was busy getting thrown down the ramp by the Bellas while Bianca was in the main event and won the title! Bayley isn’t laughing anymore. When Bayley sees Bianca waving her ponytail, shining to get attention, it’s like a look into Bayley’s past.
Bayley wants Bianca to know that from experience, the fairy tale doesn’t end well. Bayley makes sure it ends for good on Sunday. The longEST reigning champion and the newEST champion are going to get serious, but who comes out of Backlash with the belt?
Shinsuke Nakamura VS King Corbin!
The King of Strong Style may have suffered the pinfall at the hands of the Wolf King, but he is not conquered in the least! Will Nakamura show Corbin how different 1v1 is from 5v5?
SmackDown returns as Corbin makes his entrance. The bell rings, Nakamura and Corbin circle. They tie up, Corbin powers Nakamura to a corner but Nakamura powers back. Corbin knees low and hard, then brings Nakamura up to suplex. Nakamura knees free, Corbin ducks a roundhouse but not the HEEL KICK! Nakamura gives Corbin some BAD VIBRATIONS! Corbin staggers, Nakamura runs in but Corbin dodges! Nakamura boots Corbin, hops up, but Corbin DECKS him! Corbin stomps Nakamura, puts him on the ropes and chokes him! The ref counts, Corbin lets off to argue, but then Corbin gets Nakamura up. Nakamura fires body shots, runs but into a kitchen sink!
Corbin gets Nakamura’s arms and throws down elbows! Ghost pin, TWO! Corbin argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Corbin looms over Nakamura with a grin, then drags him up to a facelock. Corbin whips, Nakamura ducks and dodges to DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Both men are down but the ThunderDome rallies up. Nakamura fires off a strike fest, ducks Corbin’s counter and fires off kicks! Corbin blocks one but not the ENZIGURI! Nakamura gets Corbin up, whips him but Corbin reverses. Corbin runs in, but Nakamura dodges. Corbin slides out, slides in, swings but into a takedown! ARMBAR!! Corbin fights to get up but ends up in a triangle hold!
Corbin powers up to dead lift Nakamura but Nakamura throws hands! Nakamura drags Corbin down but Corbin makes it a cover, Corbin wins!!
Winner: King Corbin, by pinfall
And then Corbin throws Nakamura out so he can celebrate! Corbin demands his crown back, and he puts it on, only to turn around into a ROUNDHOUSE!! And a KINSHASA!! Nakamura has knocked Corbin’s crown off his head! And then steps on him to go to the crown itself! Nakamura wants the crown for his own! He pretends it’s very heavy, but he still gets it on his head! Will Nakamura truly become the King of WWE soon enough?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage.
But then Apollo and Azeez barge in! What kind of leaders are they?! Did they not see what happened to Apollo and Azeez? “How can you allow those idiots to interrupt my sacred Nigerian ceremony?!” He demands consequences! What is Pearce going to do about it? Well the plan was to figure out who faces Apollo next week for the Intercontinental Championship. What?! They’re going to be rewarded?! That is outrageous! Sonya tells Apollo to be careful, or else Pearce might end up making Apollo face them all at once like he did Roman. Just saying. Pearce says that’s a great idea! It will be a Fatal 4 Way for the championship next week!
Apollo says Pearce is out of his mind! But he and Azeez leave, and Pearce tells Sonya not to undermine him in front of the superstars. The tension in the management aside, will Apollo survive when Big E, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn all come for the title at once?
SmackDown returns and Nakamura models the crown.
He seems to like how he looks with it on, even if it was made for Corbin. Will Corbin come back to get that one? Or use that money he brags about to buy a better one?
Aleister Black shares Chapter 3 from Tales of the Dark Father.
“Man is born worthless. But he can discover his value. Not by love, not by affection. It can only be trial by fire. It can even cleanse or consume you. Father spoke about the cruelties of life. Father taught me… The Lesson.” Father taught Aleister that he was wrong to fight his true nature. “I am a cruel man, because you have deemed it so. I was cut from steel while you were made from dirt. Because I was chosen. I saw greatness and I chose it, while you chose the archetype.” But it’s easier to take a seat and watch life happen rather than fight through it. Aleister could help us, teach us The Lesson, but he won’t. “Because you’re not a participant. You’re a spectator.” Will SmackDown have no choice but to watch what Aleister has in store for us next?
Backstage interview with Jimmy Uso.
What’s going through his mind just moments before his first match in over a year? Well this isn’t his idea. He thought his first match back would be alongside Jey, and they’d do what they do. Because as far as Jimmy is concerned, the Usos are the hottest tag team the WWE Universe has ever seen! But now, he’s not so sure. Roman Reigns is playing around. Jimmy was home as he saw Jey do all the work for Roman. Roman says he doesn’t need Jey to have success. Well Jey doesn’t need Roman, either! Jimmy knows Jey doesn’t think that but Jimmy does. Jimmy knows the brothers will be fine, so long as Roman stays out of it.
But what’s better than WWE tag team champions and Roman being Universal Champion? Roman wants to see what Jimmy can do to Cesaro. Well let’s get it! Jimmy makes his entrance first, can Jimmy break through to both Jey and Roman and make them see things his way? Or will he just be a pawn in Roman’s game with another of his challengers?
Cesaro VS Jimmy Uso!
SmackDown returns and the bell rings. Jimmy and Cesaro tie right up, go around, and Jimmy wrenches to a wristlock. Cesaro rolls, handsprings, breaks free and dropkicks Jimmy down! Cesaro welcomes Jimmy back but Jimmy keeps his cool. They tie up, Jimmy headlocks but Cesaro changes it to his headlock. Jimmy powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Things speed up, Jimmy leaps but into a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Jimmy gets to a corner but Cesaro waits on him. Jimmy rushes into a waistlock, Cesaro whips him to a corner, but Jimmy goes up and over. The leg bothers him, that’s why he was out for so long.
But Jimmy was suckering Cesaro in! Mule kick, whip and SAMOAN DROP! Jimmy grins as he covers, TWO! Jimmy clubs away on Cesaro, then wraps on a chinlock. Cesaro endures, fights up, but Jimmy squeezes tighter. Jimmy CLUBS Cesaro, goes for a suplex but Cesaro blocks. Cesaro powers up to suplex Jimmy up and over! Fans fire up while Cesaro catches his breath and shakes out his arms. Jimmy gets up, he kicks but Cesaro blocks. Cesaro spins Jimmy but gets the DRAGON WHIP! Cover, TWO! Cesaro gets to a corner, Jimmy fires up and runs in, to HIP- NO! Cesaro dodged the hip attack, rolls Jimmy up, TWO! SUPER- NO! Cesaro blocks the kick to EuroUpper!
Cesaro whips Jimmy corner to corner, runs in but Jimmy dodges and POSTS Cesaro! Cesaro staggers, Jimmy clotheslines him out of the ring! Jimmy builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit for the first time in over a year! Jimmy clutches his leg and this time it might be a bit more real. Both men are down at the ramp while SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns once more and Cesaro fires body shots on Jimmy in a corner, then throws in EuroUppers! The ref backs Cesaro off but he runs to DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Jimmy is still in this but Cesaro reels him in. Jimmy back drops, Cesaro lands on his feet, springboard into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives and gets to a corner. Jimmy runs in, HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Jimmy keeps his focus and goes to a corner. Cesaro is down as Jimmy climbs up, but Cesaro gets up to EuroUpper! Cesaro climbs to join Jimmy, brings him up, and SUPERPLEXES! Both men are down, fans fire up, but Cesaro crawls to a cover, TWO!!
Cesaro shakes out the cobwebs while checking the count. Jimmy survives, drags himself over to ropes, but Cesaro stalks over. Cesaro goes out after Jimmy, aims from the apron, and leaps to CANNONBALL! Fans fire up with Cesaro, but he isn’t done there! He runs in and EuroUppers Jimmy into barriers! Jimmy wobbles, Cesaro puts him in the ring, and ROMAN ATTACKS!
Winner: Cesaro, by disqualification
Roman POSTS Cesaro, then throws him over the announce desk! “I TOLD YOU! I RUN THIS BITCH!” Jimmy is upset, Roman just had to make this about him. Jimmy had Cesaro but then Roman and Jey get in the ring. Jimmy goes to leave, Roman says this isn’t about Jimmy. No one cares if Jimmy wins! Jimmy says he was gonna win. Roman says no one cares about the little matches. This is about the big money matches!! That is how they keep the family on top, and how Roman keeps them on top! UNDERSTAND THAT!
So it’s about Roman? Not this time! Cesaro gets after Jey with EuroUppers! Jimmy and Roman still argue, but then Roman runs in to CLOBBER Cesaro! Roman asks what Jimmy is doing outside. Get inside and help! But Cesaro EuroUppers Roman! And again! And kicks low, to reel him in! Jey attacks and saves Roman! Jey rains down rights on Cesaro, then tells Jimmy to get in here so they can end this! But Cesaro EuroUppers away on Jey! And BOOTS Jimmy! Roman retreats but Cesaro gets Jey back up! “This is gonna be you this Sunday!” Gotch, hold NEUTRALIZER!! Cesaro dares Roman to do something for his family, but Roman stays put on the ramp!
Cesaro drags Jey up and reels him back in. Another Gotch hold, another NEUTRALIZER!! Does Jey not matter to Roman? Cesaro says this will be Roman’s fate at Backlash! Will Cesaro prove he’s worthy by earning the top spot?
SmackDown avoids Go-Home Syndrome because this was a pretty great night! There were recap packages that kinda had to be mentioned, but it was actually because they were worked into segments much more organically than just starting the night with one or throwing over to a “Progressive Match Flow” to fill between segments. Bianca’s segment having that was good, and it was a good segment even without the recap, as Bianca throws Bayley’s segment with the Bellas in her face, but also for Bayley saying she had the same experience as a ponytail Babyface. Their match is going to be awesome and could be a show stealer just on the in-ring, but I would think Bianca wins.
It is so great that Natalya & Tamina won the Women’s Tag Titles tonight. Nia & Shayna had a strong run but the last few months have been the downhill part, so it was good to get these titles onto a new team now. Tamina & Natty can carry the titles through into the Summer, and maybe all the way to SummerSlam, whenever and wherever that will be. Nia & Shayna can still stick together since the RawDown Women’s Tag Division still needs teams, but this can also free them up for a story about “Who goes after the Raw Women’s Championship first?” The dysfunction element that helped Shayna & Nia work before as characters can come back and keep them going a little longer.
On the SmackDown Tag Team Championship scene, I’m a little surprised we didn’t get Rey VS Roode as the flipside to Dom VS Dolph, but I suppose since we were “meant” to get Rey VS Dolph, we were still going to get that. Ziggler losing again might mean history isn’t made at Backlash, which is a shame, but maybe WWE decides to surprise us and make Backlash noteworthy again. Apollo giving Azeez a kayfabe medal seemed like a nice touch, it allows both of them to have something to boast about. I also like that the Intercontinental Championship match is happening next week, in a Fatal 4 as expected.
As I said before, this can help keep everyone fairly strong, even if Apollo retains, and maybe, just maybe, it gets Sami and Kevin on the same side again. As much as Jimmy wants to reunite with Jey and go for the tag titles, Sami and Kevin joining up could really get the SmackDown Tag Division going because it is surely something all the Sami and Kevin fans have wanted to see for some time. Nakamura VS Corbin, King VS King, is a very natural move, though obviously this first match was just an appetizer. I don’t know if this will spark a 2021 King of the Ring tournament, but with Nakamura snatching Corbin’s literal crown, at least make it a Ladder Match, winner takes the crown.
We got great stuff out of the ever expanding Universal Championship/Roman Reigns story. I feel like Jimmy already having a Jimmy Uso “Nobody’s Bitch” shirt is a sign he isn’t going to convince Jey of anything, but it’s a good detail. Jimmy calling out Cesaro in an indirect move for the Head of the Table is a great detail. I find it intriguing that he’s trying to get the others to be reasonable, and is of course finding resistance from Roman. Cesaro VS Jimmy was a great main event, a great return for Jimmy, and the ending segment was great for Cesaro because he took the fight to the Bloodline again, and looked like he actually got Roman to be wary.
With Cesaro standing tall, the math says Roman wins on Sunday, and there’s a good chance he does with Jey still being loyal. I think it’d be creative to have Jimmy try and stop Jey, and that distraction in itself is how Cesaro loses. Cesaro has been working so hard for so long, it would be a shame if he loses, but Roman’s story is still that strong. As for Jimmy, they could bring this full circle by having Roman VS Jimmy like Jey did at Hell in a Cell, and that could be the moment of truth for Jey. Jey saving Jimmy from Roman like he couldn’t do in October would definitely get a pop from fans, live or otherwise, and that’d help the Usos skyrocket right back into the tag title scene.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (12/1/23)
Best Friends are on a Rampage!
Will tonight be Very Nice, Very Evil or whatever?
Greetings humans! Danhausen is back in AEW, and to celebrate, he teams with Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta & Hook in a Very Nice, Very BIG 8 Man Tag!
- 8 Man Tag: Orange Cassidy, Hook, Danhausen & Trent Beretta VS Matthew Menard, Angelo Parker & The Dark Order; OrangeHookHausen & Trent win.
- Six Man Tag: The Don Callis Family VS ???; The Don Callis Family wins.
- Six Woman Tag: Anna Jay & The Outcasts VS Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue & Kris Statlander; Shida, Skye & Statlander win.
- Six Man Tag: Penta El Zero Miedo, El Hijo Del Vikingo & Komander w/ Alex Abrahantes VS Brian Cage & The Workhorsemen w/ Prince Nana; Penta, Vikingo & Komander win.
PLAY BY PLAY
8 Man Tag: Orange Cassidy, Hook, Danhausen & Trent Beretta VS Matthew Menard, Angelo Parker & The Dark Order w/ Jake Hager!
OrangeHausen, HookHausen, OrangeHook, all of the above, and #JustTrent take on Daddy Magic, Cool Hang Ange, Alex Reynolds & Evil Uno in a big, super team-up type deal! But will the Very Nice, Very Evil Best Friends be victorious together? Or will the rogues gallery standing against them earn themselves quite a lot of golden opportunities all at once?
But wait, as Big Hurt Hager gets the VNVEBFs to turn their backs, the rogues attack! Fans boo, the bell rings, and all but Danhausen is tossed out of the ring as he tosses Reynolds instead. Uno CLUBS Danhausen, Cassidy is sent into railing, and Uno puts Danhausen in a corner. Uno CHOPS him, soaks up the heat, and then storms up. Danhausen kicks low, throws hands, but Uno kicks back. Uno whips corner to corner, runs in but into a BOOT! Danhausen runs up to RANA! Uno tumbles, fans fire up and Danhausen catches Reynolds as he runs in, wrench and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Fans fire up as Danhausen kicks low and tags Hook.
HookHausen double whip Uno, Uno holds ropes and Menard tags in. Menard, Parker and Reynolds all get in, but then so do Trent and Cassidy! The eight men are stare down, and the brawl is back on! The ref reprimands but the Dark Order & X-JAS get the edge. They all have someone in a corner, then they all coordinate to quadruple whip! But the Best Friends all reverse that, X-JAS and Dark Order crash into each other! And then Best Friends set up in the corners… and Hook needs to be coaxed a little bit, for the GROUP- NO, they all get kicked low! Fans boo as X-JAS & Dark Order reel them in, but the Best Friends QUADRUPLE SUPLEX!
Fans fire up because now we get the GROUP HUG! You GOT to give the people what they want! Hook then goes after Parker with body shots, but Menard storms up. Menard hits low, scoops Hook, BACKBREAKER and Parker KNEES Hook down! But Trent JUMP KNEES Parker down! Menard kicks low and POWERBOMBS Trent! Cassidy dodges Menard to tilt-o-whirl and DDT! Uno CHOPS Cassidy down! Danhausen baits Uno in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Reynolds runs in, spins Danhausen and ROLLING ELBOWS!
Hook is back up, T-BONE for Reynolds! T-BONE for Parker! Uno is up, he kicks low and whips. Hook reverses that to clinch and T-BONE! Extra large serving for Uno there! But wait, here comes Wheeler Yuta! The ROH Pure Champion wants to taunt Hook like he has been for weeks now, and then Menard CLOBBERS Hook in the distraction! Yuta joins commentary while Menard bumps Hook off buckles, and reels him in for a big suplex! Tag to Parker and he stomps Hook down. Parker stomps more, then pushes Hook around. Parker tags Uno, they mug Hook. Uno then bumps Hook off the boots of Menard and Reynolds.
Reynolds tags in, he runs side to side to ELBOW Hook! Uno SPLASHES, short arm LARIATS, and Reynolds covers, TWO! Reynolds stands on Hook’s head, fans boo but the Dark Order and X-JAS soak up the heat. But Hook clinches! Reynolds fights with forearms, then he bumps Hook off buckles. Tag to Menard, he stomps Hook then lets off to distract the ref, Uno and Parker CHOKE Hook while Rampage goes picture in picture!
Menard stomps Hook, drags him up, and ROCKS him with a right. Menard pushes Hook around, soaks up the heat, but turns around into a CHOP! Menard trips Hook, drags him back, and tags Parker in. Parker CLUBS Hook down, then stomps him. Parker taunts the Best Friends, flicks his hair gel at them, then goes back to Hook. Parker CLUBS Hook, tags Uno, and they mug Hook some more. Uno scrapes his laces on Hook’s face then tags Parker back in. Parker stomps Hook, but Hook powers Parker back! They end up on ropes, Parker KNEES Hook back! Parker then BLASTS Cassidy off the corner!
Rampage returns to singe picture as Parker goes after Hook, and Hook gets around to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Parker tags Menard but Hook LARIATS Menard down! The fans fire up as Hook and Menard crawl, hot tags to Trent and Uno! Trent rallies on Uno, then on Reynolds! GERMAN SUPLEX! And then another GERMAN SUPLEX! Trent still has Reynolds but Reynolds fights the nelson. Uno runs in but Trent ducks, the BOOT hits Reynolds! Trent HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEXES Uno away! Trent runs in at Reynolds but into a BOOT! Reynolds goes up but Trent YANKS him down for a SAIDO! Fans fire up with Trent!
Trent tags Cassidy, and Cassidy storms up to “unleash.” But then he really does fire off BOOT after BOOT on Dark Order! Yuta sighs as this is typical Cassidy. Cassidy dodges the Dark Order’s double lariat to DOUBLE SHOTGUN! Cassidy kips up and the fans fire up! Cassidy ducks ‘n’ dodges and tilt-o-whirls, but Uno stops the DDT to suplex! Only to get STUN DOG MILLIONAIRE! Cassidy keeps moving but Uno BOOTS him! Uno hooks Cassidy up, for SOMETHING EVIL! Cover, Trent KNEES it apart! Fans fire up, Reynolds BOOTS Trent! Reynolds runs in to BOOT Cassidy in a corner! Reynolds puts Cassidy up top!
Reynolds ROCKS Cassidy, climbs up, but Trent runs up to get Reynolds! SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up as Cassidy adjusts, and Danhausen tags in! But so does Menard! Menard says do NOT do what he thinks he’s gonna do! But then Danhausen CURSES him! And yes, the PURPLE HAT! Hager is pissed, Parker tries to calm him down, but then Hager runs in! Danhausen dodges, Trent & Cassidy dump Hager out! Menard grabs Danhausen, Parker runs in to get the hat back! But Hook gets Parker in the REDRUM!! Menard lets Danhausen go, but Danhausen rolls him up! BEST FRIENDS WIN!
Winners: Orange Cassidy, Hook, Danhausen & Trent Beretta, by pinfall
Not only is X-JAS furious, but Yuta says this is unbelievable. But will the Decoder have to worry about the much more Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil?
Backstage interview with The Outcasts & Anna Jay.
Renee Paquette is with Saraya, Ruby Soho & The Star of the Show to say they are teaming up for the first time in Six Woman Tag action. Saraya says yes they are, and sorry for cutting Renee off, Renee knows Saraya loves her, but… Isn’t Anna just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? Ruby sighs and Saraya says “Liza Minnelli” is in a time out so shush. Anyway, Saraya thanks Anna for teaming with them, Lord knows they’ve needed some extra help around here. And also, they do have something in common that is giant, greasy, irritating, and needs to be handled. Oh, speaking of, here it comes.
Parker walks in, apologizes for not being here sooner, and then says hi to Ruby. But uh, yeah, the guys are ready to go, they’ll be out there for her, team effort! Um, no, Anna doesn’t want the boys out there. Especially Parker. What? But Saraya says this is why she loves Anna! She’s great. Yeah, she is. Hey, no, stop looking at Ruby. Saraya drags Ruby along, leaving Parker alone. Will the X-JAS still even be the X-JAS anymore with all this drama?
Tony Schiavone is in the ring.
Schiavone says that 28 years ago, in this town, at the Mall of America, two men were in the main event for the very first wrestling match ever on TNT. It was Sting VS Ric Flair. And Schiavone wants to also say that the final match on TNT back then was Sting VS Ric Flair. So it gives Schiavone a sense of pride to welcome one of Minnesota’s favorite sons, as well as STIIIING~! The Icon makes his way out to the ring and fans howl for him. Schiavone then introduces the Nature Boy, the Minnesota native, Ric Flair! Fans “WOO~!” as Flair makes his way out now, and hugs Sting in the ring.
Schiavone has them bring it in. Wednesday night, they announced the location of Sting’s final match at AEW Revolution, March 3rd, 2024. It will be Greensboro, North Carolina, where these two set the standard for a great televised wrestling event. Sting stands at 24-0, the longest undefeated streak standing, and we’re just two weeks away from tickets going on sale. Sting asks to take the mic, and he howls for the fans! The fans howl back and Sting says Minneapolis, lots of great memories here! Not only did he and Ric do the first and last WCW shows on TNT here, but they did the very big, gigantic- Oh, can’t really say that on TV, sorry. Copyright and stuff.
But the massive match at Mall of America, everyone knows about it. Sting’s had great matches here against and with Lex Luger, Bam Bam Bigelow, and lots of other great memories. So good to be back. Thank you for those memories. Thank you, Tony Khan, Tony Schiavone and the Nature Boy! WOO~! Ric takes the mic now, and he says, “Wow. From 1972 ’til today. And believe it or not, I’m still alive. And that’s saying a lot, heh. Because I’ve covered a lot of ground and had a lot of fun. But there are three or four people that are always gonna be special in my life, and you’ll love these names.
“Dusty Rhodes, Ricky The Dragon, and a guy that I think I’ve wrestled at least 15 hundred times over our career, the great–and the word ‘Icon’ does not even enough to begin to say what a man he is. I’m so serious, to be back in my hometown in this moment, and this ride. This is an incredible ride. Think about the history of our business. I’ve been there with him since ’88, and I’m gonna be there with him in the end. And man, that doesn’t happen in real-life, guys. And y’know what? We’ve stayed as respectful and honest with each other as the day we met, and that’s really unusual. You’re the man, brother.”
Fans cheer, and Ric says, “We’re gonna dance all night and dance a little longer. We’re gonna stay up all night and stay a little longer. I cannot tell you where we’ll be at like the old days, but you know we’ll be going AEW strong! WOO~!” Fans echo “WOO~!” with Ric and Schiavone says Ric will be there for Sting at AEW Revolution, tickets on sale soon! The Icon and Nature Boy are riding off into the night, and we have the when and where. Now all we need is, who faces Sting in his final match?
Backstage interview with Hikaru Shida, Kris Statlander & Skye Blue.
Renee is now with the Shining Samurai, the Galaxy’s Greatest and Chicago Skye as she says a lot has changed in the AEW Women’s Division after Full Gear. Shida lost the AEW Women’s World Championship to Toni Storm, and Statlander lost the AEW TBS Championship to Julia Hart, the same match Skye Blue was in. Does tonight feel like a way to get momentum back? Kris says it has been a hard pill to swallow. “You work so hard for something, and you come back from multiple injuries, you come back and change yourself so many times, and you obtain something so precious, and it’s just taken away in a matter of seconds.”
And worse yet, Kris wasn’t the one who got pinned. Oh, okay, blame Skye when Kris had plenty of chances to win the Triple Threat, and didn’t. Shida tells them to stop. She also lost a title, she also feels angry, but not towards them. Not towards her partners. They can take their anger out on their opponents tonight! Kris agrees with that, and so does Skye. Will this trio of stars be able to bring down The Outcasts and Star of the Show?
The Don Callis Family VS JAH-C
So what if they lost the Like A Dragon Street Fight? “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs did damage to Paul “The Giant” Wight like no man has ever done before, and there’s still a lot left in the tank for Kyle Fletcher & Konosuke Takeshita. Will they only be made stronger from that loss?
The teams sort out, Hobbs starts and Jah throws hands! Hobbs doesn’t even flinch! Jah runs, but Hobbs CLOBBERS him! In runs ??? but Hobbs picks him up to SPINEBUSTER! D runs in but Hobbs SPINEBUSTERS him, too! Fletcher & Konosuke step in, they all get a man up, and in synchronized formation, we get the WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM, GRIMSTONE and BASTARD DRIVER!! Cover, The Don Callis Family wins!
Winners: The Don Callis Family, by pinfall
Fans boo but Callis celebrates with his “family.” Then Callis gets a mic to talk. “Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega! The Golden Jets! You put two of the greatest of all time into a tag team and what do you got? You got a team that could be the most dominant of all time. And I know that wins and losses matter here in All Elite Wrestling. But in the Don Callis Family, the only thing that matters is winning! And whether it’s singles, tag, or trios, the Don Callis Family will continue dominating until there’s nowhere for the Golden Jets to hide in AEW!” The ultimatum has been issued, will it only be a matter of time before AEW belongs to the DCF?
Prince Nana & Brian Cage talk with The Workhorsemen.
Nana says it is an unbelievable time for the Mogul Embassy. Cage says it’s always a great time. Nana says the Gates of Agony are in NJPW World Tag League, killing it and bringing home that money. But tonight, Nana needs to hire some help, and that brings in JD Drake & Anthony Henry. Nana has been watching them, he likes their style. That is why tonight, he needs their services. And this could be a huge opportunity for you both to step up to the plate and to prove a point. To impress Swerve Strickland, too. So tonight, Nana’s paid them, get the job done, and we’ll see if they can join the team. But he believes in them!
Nana & Cage head out, will Scrap metal & The Saint of Augusta help The Machine bring down the luchador trio in tonight’s main event?
Six Woman Tag: Anna Jay & The Outcasts VS Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue & Kris Statlander!
Both sides have said what’s on their mind, but it’s the emotions in their hearts that could make or break these team-ups. Will Saraya be able to keep things together between Anna and Ruby? Or will it be Shida who struggles to keep Skye and Kris on the same page?
The teams sort out and Kris starts against Anna. The fans rally as the two circle, then tie up. Kris waistlocks, SLAMS Anna, then drags her up to tag Shida. The former champs double whip, sweep and ELBOW Anna down. Then they shake hands to DOUBLE ELBOW DROP! Shida covers, TWO! Tag to Skye and she wrenches Anna to a JAWBREAKER! Anna blocks the superkick but not the BASEMENT ROUNDHOUSE! Skye pushes Anna around, but Kris tags herself in. Skye lets that go, to then tag herself back in! But Kris tags back in again! They argue, but then Shida tags herself in to get them both to stop.
But then Anna hot tags Saraya! Saraya gets around Shida, Shida gets around Saraya, but Saraya mule kicks Shida! Saraya runs, but Shida ENZIGURIS first! Shida fires up, the fans are with her, and Shida torture racks! Saraya endures, but Ruby says put her down! So Shida DROPS Saraya! Ruby storms in but Shdia kicks her low, and snap suplexes her onto Saraya! Fans fire up as Shida covers Saraya, TWO! Shida tags Skye in and Skye keeps Saraya from her corner. Skye whips, runs up and SHINING WIZARD on the ropes! But Anna distracts the ref so Saraya can keep Skye stuck, and Ruby ROUNDHOUSES Skye down!
Fans boo but Saraya howls to the moon. Saraya stomps Skye, insults her, and whips her to the corner as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Saraya bumps Skye off buckles, lets off to distract the ref, and Ruby digs her boot in! Anna pulls Skye’s hair to help out, then Saraya storms up to bump Skye off buckles. Tag to Ruby, she stomps away on Skye, but lets off as the ref counts. Saraya tells fans to shut up while Ruby drags Skye around. Skye throws body shots, then JAWBREAKERS! Ruby staggers back, Saraya tags in, and the Outcasts mug Skye! Saraya has Skye in the ropes to throw knee after knee! The ref counts, Saraya lets off, and she pushes Skye back in. Saraya keeps Skye from her corner, taunting Shida and Kris, then she stomps Skye.
Saraya bumps Skye off buckles, tags Anna and Anna CHOKES Skye! The ref counts, Anna lets off, and then Anna CHOKES Skye on ropes! The ref counts again, Anna lets off and distracts the ref so Saraya can SLAP Skye. Anna bumps Skye off buckles, Ruby tags in, and Anna ROCKS Skye. Ruby CHOPS Skye, stalks her to a corner, and stands her up, but Skye avoids the chop to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Skye and Ruby sputter and drop to their knees while Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns and hot tag to Kris! She BLASTS Ruby, drags Saraya up and FISHERMAN BUSTERS! Cover, but Anna kicks it apart! Anna drags Saraya back and tags herself in. Anna stands Kris up, wrenches and HOOK KICKS! Then Saraya KNEES Kris down! Cover, TWO! Anna drags Kris up, QUEENSLAYER SLEEPER! But Kris powers up to back suplex free! Ruby runs in, STO! Skye SUPERKICKS Ruby! Saraya YAKUZA KICKS Skye! Shida ROCKS Saraya, whips her but Saraya reverses, only for Shida to JUMP KNEE! Anna BOOTS Shida! Kris runs up, but into a COMPLETE SHOT! Anna tags Ruby and they get Kris up.
Anna HOOK KICKS, then Ruby SUPERKICKS but Kris pulls Anna into it! Ruby panics, Kris tags Skye and Electric Chair Lifts Ruby! SLAM and CODE BLUE!! Cover, Skye’s team wins!
Winners: Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue & Kris Statlander, by pinfall
The dysfunction wasn’t enough to bring down Skye and Kris, they made it work and now celebrate together! As for Anna, she is furious with Ruby, and Saraya pulls Ruby along like an angry mother with her daughter. Are the Outcasts going to be on the outs sooner rather than later?
BREAKING NEWS for Dynamite!
Firstly, the Continental Classic continues, and the Gold League’s third round has been set: Jon Moxley VS Rush; Jay White VS Jay Lethal; and Swerve Strickland VS Mark Briscoe! Will El Toro Blanco be the one to serve The Maniac that first L in the tournament? Will Lethal and Briscoe finally get on the board?
And after being the one to score the pinfall in tonight’s Six Woman Tag, Skye Blue gets her shot at “Timeless” Toni Storm and the AEW Women’s World Championship! Will Skye finally make it through the Storm to grab the gold on the other side?
Six Man Tag: Penta El Zero Miedo, El Hijo Del Vikingo & Komander w/ Alex Abrahantes VS Brian Cage & The Workhorsemen w/ Prince Nana!
While the AEW World Trios Champions, Billy Gunn & The Acclaimed, are down and out, trios are forming and fighting their way up. Alex Abrahantes’ league of luchadores want their shot, but will they make it through a Rampage? Or will The Mogul Embassy learn that having #CeroMiedo is priceless?
The trios sort out, and Cage starts against Komander. Cage kicks Komander low right at the bell, then whips him to ropes. Komander handsprings, Cage dodges but Komander dodges back, then RAN- NO, Cage blocks that to pop Komander up! But Komander sunset flips! Cage drags Kmoander up to OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Penta tags in, then GAMANGIRIS Cage! Penta goes up to CROSSBODY! And then he dodges to SUPERKICK! Henry tags in, bobs ‘n’ weaves and fires off hands. Henry gets around to make Penta kneel, and he DROPKICKS Penta away! Henry soaks up the jeers, but Penta tags Vikingo!
Viking springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK Henry! Fans fire up as Vikingo then whips Henry corner to corner. Henry reverses, but Vikingo reverses back to HEEL KICK! Vikingo forearm smashes int he corner, goes up and fans rally, for the IMPLODER DRAGON-RANA! And then the DREAMCAST KICK! JD tags in and fans rally up. JD says “SUCK IT!” and then dares Vikingo to chop him. Vikingo winds up as fans chant “SI! SI! SI!” CHOP! JD nods, but he wants another. Vikingo CHOPS again, and JD huffs and puffs. JD swings, Vikingo ducks ‘n’ dodges but JD CHOPS Vikingo down after all!
JD then powers Vikingo to ropes to BIEL him across the way! JD taunts Penta, whips Vikingo, but Vikingo ducks ‘n’ dodges again to CORKCCREW RANA! JD flounders out, Cage and Henry run in, but Penta & Komander SUPERKICK them first! Henry bails out, Penta gives Komander a boost, saluting MISSILE DROPKICK! Cage tumbles out, fans rally as the luchadores coordinate, and “CERO! MIEDO!” TRIPLE DIVES!! Some cleaner than others, and JD pops Vikingo back up to CLOBBER him off the ropes! Komander stomps Cage, and puts him in the ring as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Komander hurries in, Penta BOOTS JD to join Komander. But Henry trips Komander! Penta runs up, SUPERKICKS Henry, then makes sure he knows, “CERO! MIEDO!” Penta runs but into a SPIN POWERSLAM! Cage drags Komander up for a deadlift SUPERPLEX!! Cage flexes, Henry & JD join in, and then JD stalks Komander. JD drags Komander up, DECKS him, then stalks him to ropes. JD puts Komander in the corner, CHOPS, and then tags Henry. The Workhorsemen mug Komander, Henry throws body shots, then he runs in to forearm smash! JD tags, LARIAT, NECK TWIST and SLINGSHOT SENTON!
Nana likes what he sees as Komander writhes. JD drags Komander up, keeps him from the lucha corner, and he CLUBS Komander back down. JD drags Komander up to scoop and SLAM! JD goes up a corner, to then VADER FLOP as Komander moves! Henry tags in, he drags Komander from the corner, then ducks the enziguri! But Komander rolls free and hot tags Vikingo! Vikingo springboards to CROSSBODY! Vikingo SOBATS Henry, runs but into a cheap shot from Cage! The ref reprimands but Henry throws Vikingo down by his hair! NECK TWIST! And a headscissor squeeze, even!
Henry lets off to then stand Vikingo up, for another NECK TWIST! Tag to Cage and he RAMS Vikingo into a corner! And again! And then he CHOPS! Cage wrenches Vikingo, scoops him, and does bicep curls before he FALL AWAY SLAMS Vikingo! Cage flexes, taunts Cero Miedo, and he drags Vikingo up to GERMAN SUPLEX! Vikingo lands on his feet! Vikingo waistlocks, Cage elbows free then whips Vikingo to ropes. But Vikingo slides under, only to get caught! But Vikingo then PELES! Hot tag to Penta as Rampage returns to single picture! Penta dodges Cage to then SLINGBLADE Cage down! SLINGEBLADE again!
The Workhorsemen attack, double whip, but Penta KICKS JD and SUPERKICKS Henry! Penta runs in to wheelbarrow Cage, victory roll and DOUBLE DDT on the Workhorsemen! Fans fire up and Penta SUPERKICKS Cage! Tag to Komander and he goes up top to MISSILE DROPKICK JD! Penta hauls Henry up, ALLEY-OOP into a MISSILE DROPKICK from Vikingo!! Fans lose their minds over that one, and then Penta sets up so Komander can use him as a step, HANGTIME DROPKICK on JD in a corner! Cage staggers up, Penta has his target, SUPERKICK! Komander springboards, FLYIGN CODE BREAKER! And he holds on for Vikingo to DOUBLE STOMP Cage!
Penta goes up, “CERO! MIEDO!” DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS of his own! Cover, TWO!! Cage survives because he’s a Machine! But Abrahantes rallies the fans for his team. Penta hauls Cage up, reels him in, “CERO! MIEDO!” But Cage wrenches out to JUMP KNEE! Penta falls into the tag with Komander, and Komander springboards, but Cage SWATS him! Cage whips Komander to the corner, tags Henry, and Cage runs up to MONKEY FLIP Komander into JD’s POWERBOMB!! Then JD CATAPULTS Kmoander into Henry’s SUPERKICK! Henry goes up, DIVING DOUBLE STOMP BACKBREAKER of their own! Cover, Vikingo breaks it!!
JD TOSSES Vikingo, Penta SUPERKICKS JD! Cage fireman’s carries Penta for F10! Vikingo returns with a springboard, FLYING TORNADO DDT!! Henry is back, he steps over and reels Vikingo in, PILEDRIVER! But Penta catches Henry now, half nelson, pump handle, MADE IN JAPAN!! JD is up, Penta kicks but JD blocks it! JD has Penta for the underhooks, the SILENCER! Komander returns, JD ducks his roundhouse but not the HEEL KICK! But Cage waistlocks Komander! Komander fights with elbows, but Henry runs up! Komander ducks, the ENZIGURI hits Cage! Nana is furious, and Cage CLOBBERS Henry!!
Nana says no more, they’re done. JD asks what the hell, but Cage shoves JD. Vikingo DREAMCAST KICKS JD! The Embassy is leaving, they don’t want to hire Workhorsemen anymore? Well Penta says “CERO! MIEDO!” and FEAR FACTOR!! Komander is up top, he tags Vikingo before giving Henry CIELITO LINDO! Komander DIVES onto JD! Vikingo adds on the 630 SENTON!! Cover, the luchadores win!
Winners: Penta El Zero Miedo, Komander & El Hijo Del Vikingo, by pinfall
The implosion of Nana’s team all over a misunderstanding gives Penta’s team their first victory together! Will Penta, Komander y Vikingo take this momentum to next beat Action Andretti & Top Flight?
A really good Rampage here with a lot of tag team action. There must be something in Cassidy’s contract about opening shows, though, because that 8 Man Tag certainly felt main event worthy. But then it made sense in story that it had to go first so that the X-JAS could be in action before Anna, and Anna would tell Parker to stay in the back during her match because of how Ruby would be involved. Great win for Cassidy’s team, and great win for the Faces in the Women’s Trios match. Rather surprised Skye is getting her shot at Storm so soon. Yes, she interrupted Storm’s acceptance speech moment, and won here, but why not give us a promo segment between them first, then the match on Winter is Coming. But at the same time, debut in Montreal, they want it to be important.
Of course Don Callis Family squashes jobbers, but I like that we got to see Hobbs, Konosuke and Fletcher all in red ring gear. And seeing Don Callis’ Last Supper parody, it makes me think he wants a total of 11 faction members. I say 11 because “Judas” is already accounted for in Jericho. So far, he has five, Callis really is gonna have to recruit tag teams and/or trios if he wants an easier time of filling out the group. Really good main event from Penta’s team going against Cage & Workhorsemen. Of course the Faces win, but also it was clear the Workhorsemen were going to take the loss for the Heels. Kinda wished Cage would beat down the Workhorsemen after the loss, not because of the “misunderstanding” trope, but that’d probably take away from the Faces celebrating.
And given Rampage is prerecorded, turns out that was for the best this week. I’d only just heard today about how… controversial Ric Flair got in his part of the promo segment. Flair also tweeted about it, both apologizing and not apologizing for what he said. This is gonna be a long three months if everyone has to worry about Flair spouting off the stuff he got away with in the 1980s when he was much, MUCH younger. That aside, the entire segment was redundant anyway, we heard them talk on Dynamite, this is the same crowd that heard it all, it’s just a waste of time.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (12/1/23)
SmackDown hears voices!
The Viper is here for The Bloodline!
He returned at WarGames, he returned to Monday Night Raw, and now, The Apex Predator, Randy Orton, returns to Friday Night SmackDown! Will he be able to strike at The Bloodline tonight?
- Pete Dunne VS Bobby Lashley w/ The Street Profits; Lashley wins.
- Santos Escobar VS Joaquin Wilde; Santos wins.
- Kevin Owens VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory; Kevin wins.
- Bianca Belair w/ Charlotte Flair & Shotzi Blackheart VS Kairi Sane w/ DMG CTRL; Bianca wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Bianca Belair is here!
Brooklyn cheers The EST as she skips to the ring, her team victorious against Damage Control in WarGames! After a recap package, fans chant for Bianca and she gets the mic to say, “Man, it is so cool to be in one of the best boroughs in one of the greatEST cities in the world, Brooklyn!” The fans cheer that! Bianca says DMG CTRL really tried to take them out, but her team did what needed to be done. So shout out to Becky Lynch for coming through, showing up and showing out. Shout out to Shotzi for her guts and passion. And shoutout to Charlotte Flair for being a bigger person and making that call to Becky.
“Now while it feels great to be standing in this ring and celebrating that W from WarGames, my war with DMG CTRL, it ain’t over~! Cuz Iyo Sky, I’m still coming for you, cuz I want my title back!” Fans also cheer that. But speaking of Iyo, here she comes! The Evil Genius leads DMG CTRL out, though where’s Bayley? That aside, Dakota Kai is the one to tell Bianca, “It’s really great how uh, you can get all of these people to cheer for you.” The fans boo her but Dakota tells them to shut up! Dakota says just earlier, Iyo was saying how gross it is here in Brooklyn! It smells! Who would want to live here?!
DMG CTRL slide into the ring, and Dakota says Iyo was also saying that Bianca is in way over her head, dude. Iyo already beat Bianca twice. So… if Bianca wants to get yet another shot, she’ll have to go through all of DMG CTRL. Well that ain’t nothing new. So who wants it first, huh? But wait! Here come Charlotte & Shotzi to back Bianca up! Fans cheer as Charlotte says “Ladies~…! Bianca isn’t the only one coming for you. And I’d love to go through all of DMG CTRL.” Shotzi says it seems to her that there’s enough DMG CTRL to go around. They rush in, and the brawl is on! Fans fire up but Iyo TOSSES Bianca and helps Asuka against Charlotte!
Shotzi and Kairi brawl in a corner, Bianca returns, Charlotte BOOTS Asuka way while Bianca RAMS Iyo into a corner! Bianca stomps Iyo down, Charlotte helps Shotzi with Kairi, and Charlotte sets Kairi up for Shotzi’s BOOT! Iyo ends up isolated, and Bianca hits a SPINEBUSTER! Iyo scrambles out, DMG CTRL regroups, are their days on top numbered?
DMG CTRL regroups backstage.
And Bayley is confused as to what’s going on. Iyo angrily asks where Bayley was but Bayley says no one told her they were going out there! Maybe if she knew, things would’ve been different! The joshi talk in Japanese, Dakota cools it off. What matters is that Kairi is facing Bianca tonight. No one knows Bianca better than Bayley so Kairi would appreciate the help. Kairi says yes, they’re “tomodachi <friends>,” that’d be appreciated. Bayley says okay, but are they really Bayley’s friends?
Pete Dunne VS Bobby Lashley w/ The Street Profits!
With Sheamus recovering from injury and Ridge Holland just ditching him last week, The Bruiserweight is all alone against The All Mighty! Will Dunne stand a chance against the overwhelming strength of Bobby Lashley?
SmackDown returns and Lashley makes his entrance, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins by his side. But before the bell, Lashley gets a mic to say “Hey, listen, kid. When I told you to make a name for yourself…” The fans chant “BOBBY! BOBBY!” and Lashley says that’s a name. Does Dunne know what Lashley can do to him? Lashley will break Dunne into pieces! Is Dunne ready for that? Dunne SLAPS Lashley! Fans fire up, Lashley grins, and the bell rings. Dunne then BOOTS Lashley! And BOOTS! And fires off furious fists! Lashley carries Dunne to then TOSS him! Dunne flounders but also snarls. Dunne swipes at the Profits, but Lashley run sin to CLOBBER him!
Lashley whips Dunne hard into buckles, then storms around. The Profits high-five Lashley and Brooklyn is behind him as he stands Dunne up for haymakers! Lashley smothers Dunne in the corner, lets off to whip corner to corner, then storms up on Dunne. Lashley digs hands into Dunne’s face, the ref counts and Lashley lets off. Lashley runs in but Dunne BOOTS again! Dunne runs up to DROPKICK Lashley out of the ring! Fans are torn as Dunne goes out to FLYING KNEE! Lashley staggers back, Dunne sets up to MOONSAULT! Down goes Lashley and Dunne hurries back up! Dunne ARIHARA MOONSAULTS! Down goes Lashley and fans fire up as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Lashley clotheslines Dunne in a corner! Lashley then brings Dunne around to snap suplex! Dunne writhes, Lashley paces around him and the fans cheer. Lashley drags Dunne up, suplexes again, and this time he holds Dunne up! Dunne throws knees, gets free, and he runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, but Lashley hits a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up again and Lashley drags Dunne up. Lashley TOSSES Dunne out, storms out after him, and then drags Dunne up again. Fans cheer as Lashley fireman’s carries Dunne, to then POST Dunne! The Profits say this is an extended Black Friday!
Lashley puts Dunne in, Dunne crawls away but Lashley aims. Lashley runs in, but Dunne sends the Spear into the POST! Lashley staggers back, the Profits coach him up, but Dunne GAMANGIRIS! Dunne runs up to ENZIGURI! Lashley ends up in a corner, Dunne GAMANGIRIS again! And again! Dunne KICKS and KICKS and KICKS, then pushes Lashley out so he can go up. Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS an arm! Dunne bends the fingers, isolates the arm, and STOMPS the arm! Lashley grits his teeth but Dunne reels him in. ASAI DDT! Cover, TWO! Lashley is tougher than that but Dunne keep son him with HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS!
But Lashley fights up! Fireman’s carry, then an adjustment, for the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives and Lashley is annoyed. Ford says yeah, Dunne’s got heart, but that’s about it. Lashley hauls Dunne up but Dunne SLAPS him! Lashley LARIATS Dunne inside out! Lashley then drags Dunne up, MILE HIGH- ENZIGURI! Dunne gets up, Lashley SPEARS him back down!! Cover, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall
The Bruiserweight put up a fight, but Lashley is still Lashley. Will The All Mighty soon head for a title as we head for the New Year?
Paul Heyman walks into Nick Aldis’ office.
The Wise Man seems rather indignant looking at the SmackDown General Manager. Heyman then dusts off the New York Jets NFL Legacy belt before speaking. “Did you invite Randy Orton to SmackDown tonight?” Aldis says yes, he did. And Aldis intends to sign Randy to a SmackDown exclusive superstar contract tonight. Heyman looks around and asks if the Tribal Chief knows about this. Aldis says Heyman has forgotten that there are countless memos: All communication to Roman Reigns must go through Paul Heyman. So consider this a communication to Roman: Aldis WILL sign Randy to SmackDown.
And if Aldis has to offer up the entire Bloodline as leverage, so be it. So the question to Heyman is… “What’re you gonna do about it?” Heyman says, “Anything it takes.” Heyman gets on his phone to call Roman Reigns. But is there nothing that can stop The Viper from finally being within striking distance of The Tribal Chief?
Backstage interview with Pete Dunne.
Kayla Braxton says he lost to Lashley, but she wants to talk about last week. Why did Ridge walk out on him? Dunne says he doesn’t know. And he doesn’t care. Because right now isn’t about the Brutes, it’s about Dunne! He is going to focus on himself. He is here to fight, and he will fight anyone! But in walk Pretty Deadly. They say this is so tough. But don’t be sad, use this as a learning opportunity. Sometimes, being abandoned can help you find your own path. Even if that path, like Dunne’s career, hits a dead end. Dunne HITS them! Dunne fires off but that’s 2v1 and Pretty Deadly turns it around! They TOSS Dunne into a road case!
How’s that, Butch?! HUH!? You’re alone! ALONE! And always will be! Elton Prince & Kit Wilson have numbers on their side, but will Dunne still get revenge?
Backstage interview with Santos Escobar.
Cathy Kelley says given his recent history with the LWO, what can we expect in his match with Joaquin Wilde here? Santos says he’s only trying to finish what Rey started. Rey turned his back on the LWO when he chose Carlito over Santos. And now Santos’ own brothers in arms are blinded by their hero, not seeing that Rey will do the same to them. Cruz is still recovering from the last time he tried standing up to Santos. And if Wilde can’t see the truth, Santos will put him on the shelf, too. The Emperor of Lucha is becoming a tyrant, but will he be unstoppable in destroying what he helped create?
Santos Escobar VS Joaquin Wilde!
SmackDown returns and Wilde makes his entrance. The bell rings and Wilde DROPKICKS Santos! And DROPKICKS again! Then kips up and ROCKS Santos with haymakers! Fans fire up, Wilde whips and ELBOWS Santos down! Then drops an elbow! Santos bails out but Wilde PLANCHAS out onto him! Fans fire up again and Wilde CLUBS Santos. Wilde puts Santos in the ring, then aims again, but Santos bails out! Fans boo but Wilde just goes to the corner! Springboard CANNONBALL! Direct hit and the fans fire up all over again! Wilde snarls and he puts Santos back in. Cover, TWO! Wilde keeps on Santos with a shove.
Wilde then goes up a corner, but Santos sweeps the legs! Wilde tumbles down, Santos stomps away and RAMS Wilde into a corner. Santos puts Wilde in the Tree of Woe, goes to the far side and runs in, DROPKICK! Wilde falls out of the Tree, Santos snapmares to cover, TWO! Santos is annoyed but he CLUBS away on Wilde’s chest! Santos rips up the LWO shirt! Fans boo but Santos throws the shirt away. Santos drags Wilde up, CLUBS him, then clamps onto an arm with a cording hold. Wilde endures, Santos talks trash that HE is the LWO, but the fans rally up. Wilde fights up to his feet, throws knees, but Santos whips Wilde away.
Santos storms up, Wilde ELBOWS him, then bumps Santos off buckles. Wilde fires haymakers again, then whips. Santos reverses but Wilde ducks ‘n ‘dodges to dropkick a leg out! Fans rally up behind Wilde and he runs up to KNEE Santos down! Wilde roars and fans are with him! Wilde runs back in, SOMERSAULT SATELLITE DDT!! Cover, TWO!! Santos survives and Wilde grows frustrated. Wilde hurries back to a corner to aim again. Wilde runs in, into a SUPERKICK! Santos says this is what happens when you cross him! Fireman’s carry, and “This is for YOU, Rey!” PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Santos wins!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall
But Santos isn’t done sending his message! He beats down Wilde with fists, the ref tells him to stop, but Santos refuses! So here comes Dragon Lee! The Boy Wonder may have lost at Survivor Series but he won’t let Santos just do what he wants! Santos bails out, he did what he wanted. Wait, he slithers back in! But Dragon is ready and fires haymakers on him! Dragon whips, Santos reverses but Dragon RANAS! Santos ends up in a corner, Dragon JUMP KICKS, leg sweeps, and SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Dragon hits, and fans fire up! Dragon aims again, BULL’S HORNS!! Santos flounders away, is his fight with Dragon far from over?
Nick Aldis greets Logan Paul backstage.
The Maverick is her with his United States Championship, ready to make his first appearance on SmackDown. What will the ImPAULsive Influencer have to say about being United States Champion? We find out, after the break.
Adam Pearce visits Nick Aldis in his office.
And the Raw GM asks the SmackDown GM to tell him the rumor isn’t true. Is Aldis trying to get a Raw Legend out from under Pearce’s nose? Aldis tells Pearce that Randy is a free agent now. But yes, Aldis does intend to sign Orton right here tonight in that ring. Is that so? Yeah, Pearce had his chance on Monday. Don’t worry about what happened on Monday. If Aldis is going to the ring with a contract, Pearce will join him. Pearce also has a contract folder! Nice office, by the way. Pearce heads out, who wins the signature of the Legend Killer?
Logan Paul heads to the ring!
Brooklyn is a little torn on seeing the Maverick in person, though probably because he needed brass knuckles to load his already titanium reinforced hand to beat Rey Mysterio. But Logan gets the mic to say, “To every friend who stabbed me in the back, to every hater who preyed on my downfall, I’ve got a question: WHERE ARE YOU NOW?!” He doesn’t understand. Don’t they get it by n ow? The more they hope he fails, the harder he works. And the harder he works, the more he wins. And the more he wins, the more he gets to stand up here and bark back!
And to all the jealous superstars backstage mad at him because they’ve been doing this their whole life while he’s the fastest rising superstar in history, you want the US Championship? Of course you do! It has been on his junk, just like y’all have since he got here! But a champ is only as good as his challengers, and since Rey is hurt, Logan can’t give him the rematch he was so excited for. So good news! Logan spoke with Aldis, and they have created a tournament to determine his next challenger. It starts next week, featuring eight superstars!
Santos Escobar, Dragon Lee, Karrion Kross, an NXT superstar to still be determined, Bobby Lashley, Grayson Waller, Austin Theory, and of course Kevin Owens. And Logan guarantees whoever wins this will have a nightmare trying to take this title from him. But wait, speaking of! Here comes Kevin Owens! Brooklyn fires up for The Prizefighter as he heads right for the ring. Kevin gets himself a mic and he says if Logan wants to talk about a nightmare, this, Logan Paul in the ring, is a nightmare. The first time Kevin ever saw Logan was 10 years ago on that app, Vine. And back then, it only took Kevin those six seconds to realize Logan is an unbearable jackass.
Fans cheer in agreement, and Kevin says if we’re talking about “junk,” the only junk is that crap drink Logan peddles. And now, guess what? Kevin is here to tell us that if he’s in the tournament, the nightmare will end. Logan’s days as champion will be numbered. That’s funny. Kevin calls himself a prizefighter, but Logan’s been in the ring with the greatest boxers in the world. If these two were to fight, six seconds is five more than Logan needs to KO KO. Kevin will never take this away from Logan: he’s very clever. But the thing is, that’s another world. This ring, the WWE Universe, it’s Kevin’s world, understand?
Logan says we’ll see about that. But then here comes Grayson Waller & Austin Theory! Logan smiles because it’s like looking in a mirror as these two walk down here. And Waller tells Logan he is better than this. He doesn’t need to talk with Kevin, Kevin is a troll looking for attention. He isn’t a forward thinking disruptor like the three of them. They have a lot in common, really. A-Town Down Under get in the ring, and Kevin says he loves punching people in the face. Look who he is in the ring with: Logan Paul is a man who knocks people out. So after Logan is done knocking Kevin out, maybe Kevin’s days of punching people- KEVIN DECKS THEORY!
Fans fire up as Theory tumbles out, and Waller goes to check on his buddy. Logan and Kevin drop their mics, stare down, and fans fire up as Kevin dares Logan to make the first move. Logan says worry about Waller first. Will Kevin give us a preview of the US Championship Contender’s Tournament? We find out after the break!
Kevin Owens VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory!
SmackDown returns and Logan is sticking around to be on commentary for this one. Logan says he is like a proud father watching his sons on the playground. The bell rings, Waller bails out and regroups with Theory. Kevin goes out to ROCK Waller! And CHOP him! And then SMACK Waller off the desk! The ring count climbs, Kevin throws hands and he puts Waller in the ring. The ref makes sure Theory stays back, but then Waller stomps away on Kevin. Waller talks trash, UPPERCUTS Kevin, but Kevin CHOPS back! Waller kicks low, CLUBS Kevin on the neck, then cravats him into the ropes! The ref counts, Waller lets off.
Waller whips, Kevin reverses and CLOBBERS Waller! Then SENTONS! Fans rally, Kevin runs in at the corner and he clotheslines! Kevin then goes corner to corner, but Waller gets up to BOOT him! Waller LEG LARIATS! Waller rains down fists, then talks trash. Logan isn’t sure how well Kevin is built for this. Waller throws hands again, Logan denies knowing anything about brass knuckles, and Waller goes along the ropes. BALLER ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kevin SLAPS Waller! And SLAPS him again! Waller BOOTS Kevin down! Waller snarls, drags Kevin up, but Kevin fights the suplex! The fans rally, Kevin suplexes Waller up and over!
Kevin glares at Logan, then CHOPS Waller! And CHOPS again! Kevin fakes the chop to then poke Waller in the eye! Kevin goes corner to corner, but then Waller bails out! No cannonball here and fans boo. Kevin goes out after Waller but Waller ROCKS him first! And SMACKS Kevin off the desk! Logan holds onto his Prime to make sure it doesn’t spill. Waller gets in the ring, builds speed and slides, but Kevin avoids the lariat to DECK Waller! Kevin gets on the apron, to FROG SPLASH to the floor! Fans fire up with Kevin while the ring count climbs. Kevin goes out after Waller again, but Waller RAMS him into steel steps!
Waller gets in to distract the ref, Theory STOMPS Kevin’s hand on the steps! Theory signals that to Waller and Waller stomps that arm! Waller slides out to then SLAM the arm into the post! Fans boo as A-Town Down Under high-five, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Kevin hits a FROG SPLASH in the ring! Fans fire up again while both men are down. Kevin shakes the bad hand out while Waller goes to the corner. Kevin storms up but Waller hits the bad hand! Then ARMBAR DDT! Waller hammerlocks that arm, then hits a ROLLING SNAP on the arm! Waller traps that arm in a double wristlock but Kevin endures. The fans rally, Kevin fights up, and he throws body shots with the good hand. Fans cheer, Kevin throws Waller out, but Waller grabs at Kevin’s bad hand. HOTSHOT on that arm! SOMERSAULT STUN- NO, atomic drop first! And then a DDT!
Fans fire up as Kevin evens things out. Kevin goes to ropes, drags himself up, but Waller runs up. Kevin blocks to HEADBUTT, CHOP and CHOP! Then a forearm! But that’s the bad arm! Waller runs in, Kevin dodges and SUPERKICKS! Waller is in the corner, Kevin runs in to CANNONBALL! Kevin goes up the corner again, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Waller survives and Theory rubs it in that it was just a two. Kevin keeps his focus, kicks low, but Waller grabs the bad arm to stop the stunner! Waller STOMPS the fingers! FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Kevin endures, fights around, but Waller twists the wrist!
Kevin keeps fighting, reaches out, and ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Waller lets go at 4. Waller has Kevin in the corner, puts the bad hand inside a buckle pad, and then runs up to PUNT only buckle! Kevin rolls Waller up, KEVIN WINS!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Logan can’t even! Kevinn pulled off a minor miracle, can he do that all over again in the opening round of this coming tournament?
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
CM Punk will show up on Friday Night SmackDown in Providence, Rhode Island! What more will the returning Best in the World have to say about “coming home” to the WWE?
Bianca Belair w/ Charlotte Flair & Shotzi Blackheart VS Kairi Sane w/ DMG CTRL!
The Evil Genius said The EST will have to not just earn her rematch for the title, she’ll have to get through everyone in DMG CTRL first! Bianca said bet, but will she be able to sink the Pirate Princess? Or will Bayley’s tips help Kairi end the series before it begins?
SmackDown returns and DMG CTRL has a pep talk backstage. Dakota asks if Bayley is okay. Yeah, yeah, she’s good. Go, Kairi. Dakota says Bayley doesn’t seem like herself, and then Iyo says Bayley will stay backstage tonight. Bayley ends up the odd one out as the others make their entrance, what is that about? But that aside, the bell rings and the fans rally up for Bianca. Bianca and Kairi circle, approach, but Kairi dodges. They tie up, Bianca puts Kairi in a corner but Kairi dodges to KICK a leg! Kairi goes to roll up but Bianca stays up! Then Bianca handsprings free, and she runs Kairi over! Bianca dusts off her hands, then keeps moving.
Kairi drops, Bianca handsprings over her, and then runs her over again! Bianca wags her fingers, then drags Kairi up. Kairi throws body shots, but Bianca blocks the whip! Bianca reverses, Kairi uses ropes to go up and RANA, but Bianca handsprings through to DROPKICK! Fans fire up while Bianca eggs Kairi on. Bianca stands Kairi up, scoops her, but Kairi fights free! Kairi grabs the braid, but Bianca uses that to reel Kairi in and DECK her! Bianca runs, but Asuka trips her up while the ref is checking Kairi! Kairi fires off on Bianca while fans boo, and Kairi SLAPS Bianca! DMG CTRL taunts Bianca, Kairi runs, but Charlotte trips her!
Btu the ref SAW Charlotte do it! So the ref EJECTS Charlotte and Shotzi! Fans boo but then Asuka is caught slithering in! So the ref EJECTS DMG CTRL! Now all things are equal and that doesn’t sit well with DMG CTRL! Asuka protests but Bianca DROPKICKS her down! Kairi goes after Bianca, shoves her to a corner, but Bianca shoves Kairi! The EST and Pirate Princess stare down as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Kairi has Bianca down with the ANCHOR HOLD! Bianca endures as Kairi bridges back, but then Bianca powers Kairi away! Bianca runs in, but gets POST! Kairi AX KICKS Bianca down, covers, TWO! Kairi stays on Bianca with a chinlock, then gets the arms for a straitjacket stretch. Bianca endures, fans rally up, and Bianca fights to her feet. Kairi ends up a backpack , but Bianca powers up to arm-drag Kairi away! Bianca eggs Kairi on, then scoops her to SLAM her! Fans fire up as Bianca scoops and SLAMS again! Bianca huffs and puffs and whips Kairi to a corner! Bianca storms up to then climb up, and she rains down fists!
The fans cheer and count along, Bianca goes all the way to TEN! Then she backflips away, Kairi runs in into a SPINEBUSTER! Bianca runs, handspring MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Kairi escapes and Bianca can’t believe it. But Bianca then drags Kairi up to a fireman’s carry. Kairi fights free, waistlocks, and they go to ropes. Bianca bucks the O’Conner, scoops Kairi again, and SLAMS her! Cover, TWO! Bianca stands Kairi up but Kairi URAKENS! Bianca goes to the corner, Kairi screams and marches to the far side. Fans boo as she runs back in, SLIDING D! Kairi pushes Bianca out, goes to the top, FLYING KABUKI ELBOW! Cover, TWO!
Bianca is reminding us she’s the toughEST and that makes Kairi mad. Kairi storms up to URA- NO, Bianca blocks and chicken wings! But Kairi victory rolls to send Bianca right out! Kairi then goes to the apron, runs in, but Bianca avoids the elbow to chicken wing! GlamEST Slam on the barriers! Fans fire up as Bianca puts Kairi in, but wait! Bayley sneaks out here! She grabs the braid and YANKS Bianca down! The ref notices Bayley now and is confused, but he did eject the others, not her. Kairi and Bayley high five and then Kairi climbs. Kairi prepares that elbow, but Bianca ROCKS her first!
Bianca drags Kairi off the corner into the torture rack! Bayley freaks out for the KISS OF DEATH!! Cover, Bianca wins!!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall
Bayley has no words as her help had no effect! Bianca can check Kairi off the list and she continues on, who will she look to take down next?
BREAKING NEWS for the United States Championship Contender’s Tournament!
Our first two opening round matches are set! Dragon Lee and Santos Escobar get to run it back from Survivor Series while Bobby Lashley and Karrion Kross clash for the first time in the WWE! The special Tribute to the Troops edition of SmackDown is the perfect place to start this tournament, but who will move on to the second round?
Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce are both in the ring.
The General Managers are both here, and Aldis says “Ladies and gentlemen, as your General Manager, it is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome back to SmackDown, the Viper, Randy…! Orton…!” The fans fire up as Randy indeed makes his way to the ring, and he looks just as happy to be back! Orton joins Aldis and Pearce in the ring, strikes his pose on the corner, then revels in the fans chanting his name. Randy gets so fired up, he throws his vest off! Pearce says this is electric, but Aldis says, “How dare you interrupt me on MY show!” Pearce says Aldis better calm down. Randy is a Raw legend, that is where he belongs.
But Aldis can give Randy the one thing he wants, right here on SmackDown. Pearce knows what Aldis is getting at, and counter offers with a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity. Randy is rather taken aback, but Aldis says he can give Randy the guys who took him out. But “Ladies and gentlemen, things that live in Brooklyn,” here comes Paul Heyman. And he serves as the Wise Man to Your REIGNING! DEFENDING! UNDISPUTED! WWE UNIVERSAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION…! Roman… Reigns. And look who’s back. “After 18 months on the shelf, thanks to Roman Reigns and The Bloodline, Randy Orton comes home looking for revenge.”
But there will be no RKOs this evening, and there will be no decision made by Randy Orton, because The Bloodline is going to make his decision for him. Fans boo but then here comes Solo Sikoa! Jimmy Uso is also with the Enforcer, and the GMs get outta there. Jimmy slides in but Randy stomps away! Solo run sin but Randy fires off hands! Randy fights them both 2v1 but that gets the better of him! But here comes L A KNIGHT! Fans go wild again as the Mega Star runs in and kicks Jimmy! Then he fires off on Solo! Fans chant “YEAH! YEAH!” with every shot! Knight dumps Solo out but Solo drags him out! So Knight fires hands then throws Solo into barriers!
Knight and Solo head up the ramp, but Orton gets Jimmy! He puts Jimmy in the ropes, to DRAPING DDT! And despite what Heyman said, fans want to see it! Orton grins and he hears those voices! Jimmy gets up, for an R K O!!! Heyman is furious, but Orton has the GMs hand over the contracts. Orton looks them both over, Heyman says to stay safe by going with Raw. But Orton looks at Jimmy, who is still out cold. So yeah, Orton signs with SmackDown! Then Orton gets on the mic to say, “Hey, Paul… You can call Roman Reigns. And you can tell him… Daddy’s back.” The fans fire up for that! Aldis raises Randy’s hand in celebration, only to get an RKO!!
The fans are even more fired up as Randy is going to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants! Will the Apex Predator soon make himself the Head of the Table?
A great SmackDown here to follow up Survivor Series while turning the corner. A brilliant story beat for how to get Orton on SmackDown so he can go after The Bloodline, and great move to have LA Knight help out. With Kevin now shifting his attention to Logan Paul and the US Championship, Knight and Orton are going to be a good duo going after the Bloodline together, probably have a tag match with Jimmy & Solo, and maybe a few singles matches, before Randy takes on Roman at the Royal Rumble. I don’t expect Randy to win the Universal Championship because it just doesn’t seem like Roman’s losing before Mania, maybe not even at Mania, but this is going to be good stuff for Randy in his return.
And speaking of the US Championship Contender’s Tournament, awesome field right there, because for one, Karrion Kross gets to do stuff again. And second, it has the classic “settling feuds here” matches you see in WWE tournaments. And also, it gives an NXT superstar an opportunity, possibly even a call-up, so can’t wait to see who HHHBK agree should jump in here. Really good promos from Logan, Kevin and A-Town Down Under to help set this in motion, and Kevin VS Waller was great stuff as a preview. Kevin snatching the win feels like an indicator that he’ll make it to the end, maybe even win the whole thing, only to sadly lose to Logan in the title match.
Lashley being in the field is great, too, he had an awesome opening match with Dunne. Dunne is having to find himself again as his current trio falls apart and then gets beat down by Pretty Deadly. I hope there’s a two birds, one Big Strong Boi opportunity taken here: put Tyler Bate in the contender’s tournament, give him a great showing, but then have him be Dunne’s old-new tag partner so that the mainstream WWE fandom can see the greatness of British Strong Style. And then of course Santos beats Wilde, and Dragon makes a great save to get some heat going into their rematch. I would like to think Dragon wins the rematch to move towards the title, and Santos can screw him over in the later rounds.
And we continue to get awesome stuff out of the DMG CTRL story. Bianca of course wants her title rematch and that means having her go against DMG CTRL again, but Iyo purposefully keeping Bayley at arm’s length is a nice detail. Bayley taking the pin in WarGames despite all her efforts, and then Bayley costing Kairi against Bianca despite her good intentions, the last straw is more than likely gonna be if/when Bayley loses to Bianca, and then maybe, just maybe, the same way Becky and Charlotte made amends, Bayley will try to make amends with Charlotte. There are a lot of stories in WWE right now about forgiveness and grudges, it’d be fitting if Bayley went on a soul searching journey a la Jey Uso and Sami Zayn.
My Score: 8.8/10
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