The World Heavyweight Championship tournament begins again!
The WWE Draft’s new rosters are now in effect, and the new World Heavyweight Championship tournament begins, all here on Monday Night Raw!
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: Seth Rollins VS Damian Priest VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Rollins wins and advances to tonight’s main event.
- Otis w/ Chad Gable & Maxxine Dupri VS Mustafa Ali; Ali wins.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: Cody Rhodes VS Finn Balor VS The Miz; Finn wins and advances to tonight’s main event.
- Rhea Ripley w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Dana Brooke; Rhea wins.
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Imperium; Kevin & Sami win.
- Zoey Stark VS Nikki Cross; Stark wins.
- Xavier Woods VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; Dom wins.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Raw Finals: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor; Rollins wins and advances to Night of Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes is here!
Jacksonville fires up for The American Nightmare, who found a way to conquer the Beast at Backlash. But now, he’s getting ready to #FinishTheStory using the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Fans sing the song and Cody gets the mic. Cody enjoys the cheers for a moment before he says, “So Jacksonville… DUUUVAL! Whaddya guys wanna talk about? I greatly appreciate that reception. Many of you know, this was my home during the pandemic. We made a lot of wonderful memories together. I say we make another good memory tonight. And before we talk about tonight, let’s talk about Backlash.
“The biggest, most-watched Backlash of all time, from the Island of Charm there, Puerto Rico. All the pomp, all the circumstance. I didn’t get to experience it that way because I had the daunting task against me of competing against the Beast. The most decorated combat sports athlete, I’m talking about Brock Lesnar.” Fans boo Brock but Cody says, “And here is what I discovered.” Cody found out what Brock was made off because it was literally all over Cody’s fists. Cody found that Brock CAN be defeated, because Cody beat Brock Lesnar!
Lesnar took away Cody’s focus and clarity, it was a fight for survival. But now that Brock is in the rear view mirror, it is clear what is next for Cody here on Monday Night Raw, and it is the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Fans like the sound of that. “You Deserve It!” Cody walks over to the title as he brings up Night of Champions. HE has the bracket appear. The Triple Threats we’re about to see tonight are there, as well as SmackDown’s. For SmackDown, it will be AJ Styles VS Edge VS Rey Mysterio, and then Austin Theory VS Bobby Lashley VS Sheamus.
Cody says there are, “Multiple world champions, some of the biggest superstars on the planet, and just considering I got out of what I call the fight for survival, I intend to fight the same way in this very tournament. Fight tooth and nail until Samantha over there says, ‘Your winner, and NEW World Heavyweight Champion, the American Nightmare…! Cody Rhodes.” Fans again chant “You Deserve It!” but Cody has the honor of saying, “Jacksonville, let the tournament begin!” And out comes Seth Rollins! The Visionary smiles at Cody as he heads to the ring. Will these two rivals meet again in tonight’s main event? Or will the odds not be in either man’s favor here in Jacksonville?
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: Seth Rollins VS Damian Priest VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
Rollins enters the ring and he gets the spotlight so that the fans may sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” for him. Raw is going to break, will the fans serenade him the entire time?
Raw returns and the singing continues! Rollins revels in it a little more as Raw recaps Backlash’s brutal San Juan Street Fight. Backstage, Cathy Kelley interviews Priest, and she asks if that loss is still weighing on him. Oh, that’s what she wants to talk about? Fine. Bad Bunny did his thing. But after that match, the name that will live forever is Priest, because it took an entire island to keep him down! Now, Priest plans by himself to put down Shinsuke Nakamura, and put down Seth Freakin’ Rollins! Then, we’ll see if it’s Priest or Finn Balor who brings the title home to The Judgment Day. Priest makes his entrance, will his confidence see him through to the end?
Nakamura now makes his entrance, and the fans sing along with his song, too. Priest ROCKS Nakamura, DECKS Rollins, and then TOSSES Rollins to a corner! Priest fires off hands on Rollins, then runs corner to corner to ROCK Nakamura! Priest stomps a mudhole in but fans boo. Priest runs corner to corner to back elbow Rollins! Priest’s beat up leg bothers him, and Nakamura fires off a strike fest! Priest blocks one kick but not the ENZIGURI! Rollins KNEES Priest out of the ring! Fans fire up as Rollins and Nakamura are now alone. Fans duel as the two stare down. They circle as the songs echo out.
Nakamura and Rollins tie up, then break. They go again, then break again. Nakamura shoots in, Rollins elbows and runs, but into a knee! AX KICK! Nakamura runs to SLIDING KNEE! Rollins goes to a corner, Nakamura runs in but blocks boots! Nakamura puts Rollins in ropes, ROUNDHOUSE and SLIDING GERMAN! Nakamura shouts, ‘C’MON!” He avoids Priest’s boot to KICK the bad leg! Nakamura puts Priest on the apron to KNEE LIFT! And then GIULLOTINE KNEE DROP! Fans fire up with the King of Strong Style as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest brawls with Rollins, forearm for forearm! Rollins gets the edge, whips Priest to ropes but Priest reverses. Rollins KICKS Priest away! Nakamura returns, runs at Rollins, but into a BUCKLE SHOT! Rollins goes to the apron, Priest runs in but Rollins shoulders him away. Rollins goes up top, DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Fans fire up as Nakamura and Priest both go down! They both bail out, and Rollins takes aim to DIVE! Direct hit on Priest at the ramp! Rollins keeps moving, and DIVES onto Nakamura! Direct hit at the desk! Rollins gets back in and fires up even more!
Rollins DIVES into a right from Priest! Priest gets in to back elbow in the corner! Rollins flops out but Nakamura fires off a strike fest on Priest! Nakamura boots, whips, but Priest reverses. Priest runs in, but only gets buckles! ROUNDHOUSE! Fireman’s carry onto the corner, TOP SHELF KNEE! Nakamura then goes up, for the FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Priest is hanging tough and Nakamura grows a little frustrated. Nakamura throws forearms, waistlocks, but Priest stops the lift. Rollins joins in, O’Conner Rolls Nakamura, TWO! Rollins kicks Priest low, underhooks, but elbows Nakamura away! Priest dumps Rollins out!
Priest DECKS Nakamura, turns around, and he catches Rollins out of the air, FLATLINER! Cover, TWO!! Priest snarls, he brings Rollins up but sees Nakamura stand. Priest rushes Nakamura, Nakamura dodges the rolling elbow, but then DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSES hit! Rollins SUPERKICKS Priest! Nakamura ducks, Rollins ducks, but Nakamura WHEEL KICKS! All three men are down and the fans fire up again! “This is Awesome!” as all three men stir. Priest crawls after Rollins and Nakamura, and he throws forearms and elbows. Rollins ROCKS Priest, Nakamura KICKS Priest, then Rollins CHOPS Nakamura!
Priest ROCKS Rollins, CHOPS Nakamura, but Rollins and Nakamura hit him back! Rollins CHOPS, Priest fires off fast forearms, then knees! Priest kicks but Nakamura blocks to kick the legs out! Rollins SUPERKICKS again! Nakamura gets Rollins in a SLEEPER! Rollins flails, reaches out, but Nakamura KNEES him low! INVERTED EXPLODER, but Rollins lands on his feet! DISCUS LARIAT! Fans fire up for Rollins as he hurries to position Nakamura. Rollins then climbs a corner, but Priest trips him up! And then drags him into the crucifix! But the leg gives out! CURB STOMP!! Rollins covers, Nakamura breaks it in time!!
Rollins snarls as Nakamura staggers to his feet. Nakamura stares Rollins down and wags his finger. Rollins won’t let Nakamura take this title from him, but Nakamura just says, “C’MON!!” And the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go back and forth. They start slowing down, but Nakamura hits harder! Rollins hits harder! Nakamura fires a flurry! And then winds back, but misses! ROLLING ELBOW from Rollins! Turn and DREAM- NO, Nakamura ducks the DREAM SMASHER Rollins! And then INVERTED EXPLODER! Direct hit this time and Nakamura is ready! “YAO~!” But Priest CLOBBERS Nakamura!
Priest hurries to TOSS Rollins out, and he drags Nakamura back up! But Nakamura kicks the bad leg! And again! And then rolling takedown into a KNEEBAR!! Priest flails, reaches out, and fans rally up! Rollins FROG SPLASH OUTTA NOWHERE!! And then a PEDIGREE for Nakamura!! Cover, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall (advances to later tonight)
The Visionary saw his opportunity and he took it! Rollins is one step closer to the brand new title, will he take the next step in the semifinals?
Imperium arrives backstage.
Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci announce as such as they walk the halls, and let us know that next week, Der Ring General is coming! They tell Akira Tozawa to pay attention, even though he’s on the phone. Gunther is coming next week! Oh, but if it isn’t the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens. Kevin says they were talking. Well, in case you missed it, Imperium is here, and next week- Okay, okay, that’s all well and good, but Kevin & Sami were in the middle of something. Something kinda important, actually, but just give them five minutes and they’ll talk with them about whatever they want.
Five minutes? Kevin’s pretty sure this will only take seconds. Vinci says perhaps they didn’t hear Imperium. They do not deal with disrespect. They are IMPERIUM! Oh, well, you’ll still be that in five minutes, right? So just come back and they’ll talk. Take a hint. And then Ludwig puts his finger in Kevin’s face. What’s with that? Ludwig says they surely didn’t try and disrespect them. With Gunther arriving next week, that would put Kevin & Sami in a very unfortunate situation, if you know what he is saying. Vinci says that what Ludwig is saying, is that if the champs keep disrespecting them, they are putting themselves and their titles in serious danger.
Kevin asks if these guys are Gunther’s henchmen. Like how Roman has the Usos. What’s with people having henchmen around here? Can’t anyone do anything on their own? Sami says this is different. They’ve dealt with The Usos for months and months and months. These guys are going to be dealt with in one night. And if they have a problem with that, then see you in the ring tonight! Imperium accepts the challenge and leaves. Will the Prizefighter & Great Liberator shut down Gunther’s soldiers night one? Or will the mat be sacred?
Otis w/ Chad Gable & Maxxine Dupri VS ???
The Alpha Academy’s prized pupil, Maximum Male Models’ number one prospect, the tree trunk can do both. Or can he? Will this match finally decide if it’s Otis or “Otíse?”
Raw returns and Otis’ opponent is Mustafa Ali. The bell rings and Otis circles with Ali. They tie up, Ali gets around for a SLEEPER, but Otis bucks him right off! Gable and Maxxine both cheer, and Otis whips Ali to ropes. Ali ducks ‘n’ dodges and dropkicks! Ali dropkicks again! Ali runs, but Otis runs him over! Maxxine says chef’s kiss. Gable says that’s how it’s done! Otis brings Ali up and trophy lifts! But Ali fights free! Ali fires hands, but Otis blocks the whip. Otis whips Ali up and out, but Ali skins the cat and shoulders in! Ali slingshots up and over and keeps moving, ducks ‘n’ dodges, but gets CLOBBERED!
Otis stalks Ali to a corner and SPLASHES! Ali falls and fans fire up as Otis tears off the shirt. Gable fires Otis up, but Maxxine says no! Gable says yes, Maxxine says no, but the fans are on Gable’s side! Otis agrees with Master Gable, but Maxxine keeps saying no. Otis runs in normally, but Ali moves! Otis POSTS himself! Ali goes up top and 450 SPLASHES! Cover, ALI WINS!
Winner: Mustafa Ali, by pinfall
Ali celebrates like he’s in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament or something, but that’s just part of his positive attitude. As for Maxxine and Gable, they argue over who is to blame for Otis’ loss. Will Otis have to think for himself next time?
The Miz speaks.
“You are looking at the first-ever two-time Grand Slam Champion in the history of this company! I am a history maker! The biggest celebrity, biggest star, the only true workhorse in this tournament. And when I win the World Heavyweight Championship, you will put respect on my name! Because I’m the Miz! And I’m…” The theme song says “AWESOME~!” and Miz makes his entrance. Will the Hollywood A-Lister make this tournament must-see? Or will someone else steal the spotlight to face Rollins in the main event?
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: Cody Rhodes VS Finn Balor VS The Miz!
Raw returns and The Prince of Judgment Day makes his entrance. Then the American Nightmare makes his entrance again, so fans get to sing his theme song again. The bell rings and Miz rushes Cody. Cody dodges to ROCK Finn, then he dodges Miz again. Miz ROCKS Finn right out of the ring! Cody rolls Miz up, TWO! Cody dropkicks Miz down and Miz bails out. Cody builds speed but Finn CLOBBERS him! Finn flexes but Miz rolls up Cody! TWO and Finn rolls up Miz! TWO and Cody CLOBBERS Finn, then CLBOBERS Miz! Cody fires forearms in the corner but Miz clubs Cody from behind.
Miz whips, Cody reverses and RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS! Cody then kicks Finn, suplexes, and GOURD BUSTERS Finn onto Miz! Cover on Miz, TWO! Cody takes a moment to watch where the others go. They both go outside, so Cody DIVES to take them both out! Cody is all fired up as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Finn stands and Cody is up top! Cody DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICKS Finn and Miz! Fans fire up as all three men are down! Cody shakes out the bad arm, he stands and counter punches Finn! And counter punches Miz! And repeat! Cody kicks Miz, he kicks Finn, DOUBLE RHODES UPPERCUTS! Cody whips but Miz reverses, only for Cody to forearm smash! Cody goes up and over Miz to POWERSLAM Finn! And then POWERSLAM for Miz! Finn brings Miz up but Cody springboards, DOUBLE CODY CUTTER! Cody roars and Jacksonville is with him! The bad arm slows Cody down but he stalks Finn.
Cody dragon sleepers, but Finn spins it around! But Cody drops to KICK Finn! Finn swings, misses, Cody springboards to DISASTER KICK! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Cody reels Finn in. Finn fights free of the bomb, trips Cody, but Cody avoids the stomps! Miz gets in, kicks both men, and DOUBLE BASEMENT DDTS! Cover on Cody, TWO! Miz keeps focus, even as fans taunt his “TINY BALLS!” Miz shouts “MASSIVE BALLS!” But Cody arm-drags the full nelson! Finn SLINGBLADES Miz! Cody clotheslines Miz out! Finn rolls Cody, TWO! Finn gets around, dragon sleeper, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO!
Finn goes to a corner, runs in, and SHOTGUNS Cody into another corner! Cody falls into the drop zone and Finn heads up top! COUP DE- NO, Cody moves! Miz RAMS Finn into Cody! Then Miz hits Finn with a SKULL CRUSHIGN FINALE!! Cover, Cody breaks it!! Cody saves this for himself, and he brings Miz up to TOSS him out! Cody goes back to Finn, and he waits on Finn to rise. Fans fire up as Cody dragon sleepers, but Finn cradle counters! TWO, and Finn swings, into the dragon sleeper! CROSS RHODES! Miz TOSSES Cody! Cover, but Cody drags Miz right off! CROSS RHODES!!
Cody holds on, he brings Miz up again, CROSS RHODES!! But Cody still holds on! A THIRD CROSS RHODES!! Cody crawls to the cover, but BROCK LESNAR drags him off?! Lesnar is here!? And he F5s Cody to the floor!! The Beast, black eye and stitched up forehead, looms over Cody. Finn goes up, to COUP DE GRACE on Miz! Cover, Finn wins!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall (advances to later tonight)
The Prince gets the win because the Beast screwed Cody! And Lesnar isn’t done, either! Lesnar hauls Cody up to F5 him through the announce desk!! Fans boo but Lesnar gets a mic. Lesnar tells Cody, “So, Cody, whaddya wanna talk about? Look at this face. LOOK AT THIS FACE!! What do you wanna talk about, Cody? Huh? What do you wanna talk about? I wanna talk about me. Me, Cody. I wanna talk about me. ME! ME! ME, ME, ME!! Cody Rhodes! Look at my face! You wanna take credit for this, Cody? You lucked into this face. You lucked into the victory Saturday night. I wanna talk about a fight. A FIGHT! I WANNA FIGHT!!
“You. Me. Night of Champions. A fight. What do you gotta say about that? Who is the coward now?” Lesnar drops the mic and now refs and producers approach. Lesnar takes his leave, Adam Pearce checks on Cody. Lesnar wants to end Cody’s story, will that happen in less than three weeks at Night of Champions?
A medic walks with Cody backstage.
They make it to the medical room, what will Cody’s physical status be after this newest round of brutality by the Beast?
Rhea Ripley w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Dana Brooke!
The SmackDown Women’s Champion defeated Zelina Vega in front of Zelina’s family, friends and devoted fans in Puerto Rico, and she looks to still run Monday Nights. But can the #FlexAppeal make a triumphant return to action? Or will she simply be eradicated?
The bell rings and Dana SHOTGUNS Rhea! Dana fires off fast forearms but Rhea shoves her away and HEADBUTTS Dana down! Dommy cheers on Mami as she rains down forearms! Rhea then brings Dana up to SMACK her off the mat! Rhea talks trash and HIP DROPS Dana. Fans are torn but that might just be Dom’s presence. Rhea drags Dana up but Dana avoids the hip drop to CHOP BLOCK! Rhea hobbles after Dana but Dana JAWBREAKERS! Dana ducks ‘n’ dodges to wheelbarrow and BULLDOG! Rhea flounders, Dana goes up a corner, and Dana leaps, only for Rhea to catch her! Rhea grins and hits a BACKBREAKER!
Rhea deadlifts into the RIPTIDE!! But Rhea doesn’t cover, she wants to make Dana suffer. PRISM TRAP!! Dana taps, Rhea wins!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by submission
Dom helps Rhea celebrate and she holds up the SmackDown Women’s Championship. But then she has Dom hold onto it so she can drag Dana back up! RIPTIDE!! And then the PRISM TRAP!! Fans boo as Rhea tortures Dana! Dana taps but it does no good now! But wait, here comes NATALYA! The Queen of Harts is back on Raw thanks to the Draft, and she steps up to Rhea Bloody Ripley! Fans fire up as Natty stares Rhea down, and then Rhea steps to Natty. Dom has Rhea hold on, whispers something to her, and then they leave. Fans boo but surely, Natty will come after Rhea’s throne soon enough.
Backstage interview with Zoey Stark.
Byron Saxton is with The Hunter, drafted from NXT to now be part of Monday Night Raw, and he says she is one of the most impressive superstars to come out of NXT. Now that she’s here, how does she handle the added expectations? That’s easy! She’s amazing! She has nothing but confidence in her abilities. And these other women… Wait, hold on. Come here. Nikki Cross is just off camera and Stark asks what she’s up to. This is why Zoey will succeed: there’s nothing but weirdos here! But hey! How about Stark and Nikki go 1v1 in Stark’s Raw debut? Nikki says if Stark wants to play, okay. Stark says they’ll see what Nikki’s got.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Imperium!
The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions felt disrespected by Imperium, and that made Imperium feel disrespected back! Will Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci learn about real respect? Or will they pave the way for Der Ring General, GUNTHER?
Raw returns as Imperium makes their entrance. The teams sort out and Sami starts against the Impeccable German. They circle, tie up, and Ludwig pulls hair to put Sami in a corner. The ref counts, Ludwig lets off, to then throw a body shot! Ludwig headlocks, grinds Sami down, but Sami fights up. Sami powers out but things speed up. Sami hurdles, arm-drags, and he has the armlock! Fans cheer and Sami brings Ludwig up. Ludwig chinbars Sami to ropes, whips free but Sami reverses. Vinci sneaks a tag as Ludwig whips, but Sami throws Ludwig out! Vinci CLOBBERS Sami from behind! Vinci stomps Sami, then brings him up.
Vinci UPPERCUTS Sami, whips him to ropes, but Sami goes up and over then LARIATS! Fans fire up as Sami bumps Vinci off buckles! Sami goes up, but Ludwig shoves him down into Vinci’s LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Vinci drags Sami over, tags Ludwig, and Imperium mugs Sami. Ludwig stomps away on Sami at the ropes, but lets off to taunt Kevin. Vinci CHOKES Sami! Fans boo but Vinci gets away with that, and Ludwig SLAPS Kevin! The ref keeps Kevin back but Imperium set Sami in the ropes! They DOUBLE DROPKICK Sami on the apron! Fans boo more but Imperium just soaks it up as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Sami throws hands on Ludwig! Sami reaches for Kevin but Ludwig RAMS him into the Imperium corner! And again, and again! Ludwig lets off as the ref counts, and then he taunts Sami as he crawls. Ludwig stomps Sami, whips him away, but Sami holds ropes. Ludwig runs in but Sami TOSSES him! Fans fire up as Vinci shouts at Ludwig. Vinci hurries in, gets Sami’s feet, but Sami BOOTS him away! Hot tag to Kevin! Kevin rallies on Ludwig with haymakers! Jacksonville is thunderous but the rf counts. Kevin stops at 4 and he roars! Kevin fires off haymakers in the corner, then whips Ludwig to ropes for a BIG back drop!
Ludwig stands into the atomic drop and LARIAT! Fans fire up again as Kevin huffs and puffs and stomps, CHOPS and SLAPS! Kevin goes corner to corner, but he has to CLOBBER Vinci first! Ludwig runs up, into a kick and pump handle, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ludwig survives but Kevin goes up top! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, Vinci breaks it! Kevin DECKS Vinci, then stomps him out of the ring! Kevin drags Ludwig up but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Vinci tags in, Imperium hits Kevin with a HIGH LOW! Cover, TWO!! Vinci argues the count but the count was fair. Vinci coordinates with Ludwig and fetches Kevin.
Ludwig tags in, Imperium mugs Kevin, and Ludwig whips Kevin to a corner. Ludwig runs in to UPPERCUT! And GAMANGIRI! Ludwig keeps going but Kevin LARIATS him inside-out! Fans fire up as both men are down, and Sami stands back up to the corner! Kevin and Ludwig crawl, hot tag to Vinci and he BLASTS Sami! Vinci fires off on Kevin, fans boo as Ludwig goes up. Vinci hauls Kevin up but Kevin back drops! Ludwig hops down, into a STUNNER! Vinci rolls Kevin, with tights! TWO!! Kevin dodges the lariat to SUPERKICK! Hot tag to Sami! Kevin runs in at Vinci, is put on the apron, but a HELLUVA KICK outta nowhere!! Cover, Sami & Kevin win!
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, by pinfall
The tag team champions stand tall! Will Imperium get an ear full from Gunther next week?
Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green are backstage.
They want people to sign their petition to save the ocean, and they come across Xia Li. Reduce, reuse, recycle. What? What? Never mind, just sign. Xia obliges, and then Sonya & Chelsea find three more people. It’s The Way! Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell! Surely, they wanna sign this, as it stands against “the injustices of the world.” Uh, sure, yes. All those injustices. What it really is is a petition for Sonya & Chelsea to get a rematch for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships after they were unjustly cheated! Uh, Indi isn’t sure. She asks Dexter his opinion. Dexter walks into frame, and gives a thumbs down!
Well, there you have it. Fine! Just know, you’ll all regret this when Sonya & Chelsea become champions. And Lumis should smile! This IS him smiling. But Gargano is happy to have the family back together again. And like he was saying, he’s coming back soon. Candice isn’t sure. No, it is! Candice can tell, Lumis is saying it’s not great with his eyes. Will The Way find their way to the top of Raw now that they’re all together?
Zoey Stark VS Nikki Cross!
The challenge was made, and the challenge was accepted, and this could get downright crazy! Will Stark begin a new hunt here on Raw? Or will she learn that being a weirdo isn’t a weakness?
Raw returns and Stark makes her entrance. The bell rings and Stark SLAPS Nikki! Nikki fires off in return! They end up in a corner, the ref counts, and Nikki lets off. But Stark kicks low to throw Nikki into the corner! Stark stomps away, CLUBS Nikki, then stomps more! The ref backs Stark off, and she runs back in. Nikki puts Stark on the apron, but Stark bumps Nikki off the buckles! Nikki falls, Stark slingshots for an outside-in SENTON! Fans boo but Stark CLOBBERS Nikki! Cover, TWO! Stark clamps onto Nikki with a chinlock and thrashes her around. Nikki endures, even as Stark leans on her.
Nikki fights up, throws body shots, and JAWBREAKERS! Stark runs in but Nikki sends her into buckles! Nikki ROCKS Stark with forearm after forearm! Fans rally up but Stark shoves Nikki away, only for Nikki to ROCK her again! Nikki whips, Stark reverses, but Niki goes up and over. Things speed up. Nikki ducks ‘n’ dodges to dropkick the legs out! Nikki keeps going to DROPKICK! Nikki roars, fans fire up with her, and she runs in to SPLASH in the corner! Nikki then goes up, reels Stark in, and TORNADO- NO! Stark throws Nikki away, SUPERKICKS, and Z 360!! Cover, Stark wins!
Winner: Zoey Stark, by pinfall
The Hunter takes down her prey, and she looks hungry for more! Will she soon hunt down the title, whoever has it?
Backstage interview with Rhea & Dom.
Byron is with the champion and asks her about her roll as of late. From winning to Backlash to tonight, but she had an interesting interaction with Natalya. As the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but Raw’s #1 overall draft pick, is she feeling any extra pressure? Rhea says she welcomes the pressure. It comes with running the division. Wait, who is laughing their way over here? It’s Akira Tozawa and Xavier Woods. Dom tells them to shut up and show respect when Mami is talking! Oh, Dominik Mysterio, looking like he got his outfit from a lost ‘n’ found. Relax, man!
Oh, Woods thinks he’s a comedian, huh? He thinks he’s funny? He won’t be so funny when Dom punches him right in the face! Oh, well, Woods just got to Raw and he’s been looking for a fight. How about tonight? Rhea steps up, Tozawa steps away. Rhea says Dom-Dom accepts. Dumb-Dumb accepts? Cool. Bye, Dumb-Dumb. Bye, Mami. Tozawa, where’d you go? Woods is ready to play, but will it be game over against #ExConDom?
Trish Stratus puts up missing posters.
She’s looking for Becky Lynch! Trish is making her way towards gorilla as she hands them out, but will she explain exactly why she’s doing this?
Trish Stratus heads to the ring.
And fans boo the entire time. Trish gets the mic and says, “Have you guys seen her? Hey, Kevin (Patrick), I know as a fellow countryman, you’re very concerned, you’re very worried, but don’t worry, honey, we’re gonna find her, okay? So cheer up, buttercup. Go Ireland!” Trish knows the fans are worried, so is she. Becky Lynch is missing! But the work they’re gonna do here today, her using all her platforms and tools, and she even has Corey Graves tweet for her real quick. She feels that Becky will be found. And when they do find her, the fans can all say, “Thank You, Trish.” Fans boo instead right now.
Trish says Becky will be found in some dark, dank corner of Iowa, sitting in the corner with her dumb little daughter. What? No, she IS dumb. She doesn’t even know her colors, she’s only two. But Becky will be found, will come back, but not to Raw because this is Trish’s show. This is Trish’s spotlight, and to be clear, no one is going to steal her spotlight. She doesn’t care if you’re Becky Freakin’ Lynch, no one steals her spotlight. WAIT! BECKY’S HERE NOW!? Nope, Trish got us with the oldest trick in the book! She says we’re all so dumb and gullible, like when Becky thought Trish was her friend.
Trish mocks the fans that Becky was gonna get Trish, but she never will because she’s never coming back. Trish wants to tell us a little story. One time, Trish’s daughter wanted this cute little doll, and so Trish bought it for her, and they brought it home, and- Fans chant ‘BECKY! BECKY!” Trish says they’re all idiots, Becky’s NOT here. But that name is fitting, because that’s what Trish’s daughter wanted to name the doll! She wanted to name it after Becky Lynch! Trish said, “Why would you want to call her Becky?” Because Becky’s pretty and- Wait, the theme song is hitting again? Trish says no, they did the joke already.
But that’s because Becky REALLY IS BACK!! Trish senses it, turns around slowly, and Becky smiles. Before she DECKS Trish! And again! And then UPPERCUTS! Becky scoops Trish, for the BECKSPLODER!N Trish flounders away and Becky dares her to come back for more! Becky gets the mic while fans fire up, and Becky tells Trish, “You want me, Trish, I’m right here! The Man has come around to kick yer ass!” Seems Trish’s work did pay off, because Becky’s back! Will Becky “thank” Trish by bringing her into the Big Time?
Kevin, Sami and Adam Pearce check in with Cody.
He has ice on his ribs, and luckily it is only bruised, not broken. So what’s gonna happen now? Pearce says nothing right now. But will Cody choose to take Brock up on that challenge?
Xavier Woods VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley!
No Big E, no Kofi Kingston, but no stopping the Power of Positivity! Will Woods hold it down for the New Day? Or will “the most dangerous man” on Monday Night Raw ruin Woods’ good time?
Raw returns and Dom makes his entrance, Mami by his side. Fans boo Dom, the bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Woods headlocks and he hits a takeover. Dom keeps his shoulders up, Rhea coaches him, and Dom reaches for a headscissor. Woods moves around, turns Dom over, and then ties up the legs to float and get the deathlock! Dom gets the ROPEBREAK, and Woods lets off fast. The fans chant “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Rhea distracts Woods by shouting he’s nothing but the third man in his team! Dom runs in but Woods sees him. Dom stops, offers a handshake, but Woods knows better than that.
Woods blocks the cheap shot, spins Dom, but Dom whips him away to then kick low and throw Woods down by his hair! Dom soaks up the heat, speed up, but runs into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up with Woods, he brings Dom up and CHOPS him to a corner. Woods throws body shots in the corner, Rhea protests but Woods CHOPS again! Woods throws more body shots, but Dom YANKS Woods into buckles! Dom stomps away on Woods, then blows a kiss to Mami. Fans boo but Dom goes after Woods. Woods throws hands! Dom dodges, and dropkicks Woods onto ropes! Dom dials it up but Woods drop toeholds back!
Woods dials it up! Woods hits the SLIDING ATTACK! Dom flounders, Woods goes up, CROSSBODY! Woods brings Dom up, puts him in a corner and fires off shots! Rhea protests, the ref counts, and Woods stops at 4. Woods backs up, runs in, but Dom throws him up and out! Woods SMACKS off steel steps and Rhea laughs at him! Fans boo but Woods is dazed as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and WOods fights out of a chinlock! Woods mule kicks, then reels Dom in, but Dom wrenches out to ROCK Woods! Dom reels Woods in, snap suplex! He holds on because that’s Uno Amigo! Fans boo as Dom suplexes, DOS AMIGOS! Dom brings Woods up again, for THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO! Dom and Rhea argue the count but the ref says it was fair. Dom clamps onto Woods with a chinlock and squeezes tight. Rhea coaches Dom on, but then tells fans to shut up as they rally for Woods. Woods fights up, throws body shots, and he ROCKS Dom with a forearm! And CHOPS! And ROCKS him again!
Woods forearms and CHOPS over and over at the rope! Woods whips, Dom reverses but Woods ducks ‘n’ dodges ‘n’ slides, to then ROLLING ELBOW! Fans fire up as Dom goes to a corner. Woods runs in to forearm smash! And whip corner to corner, to clotheslines! Snapmare and HONOR ROLL! Woods fires up and he brings Dom up. Dom throws Woods out, but Woods shoulders back in! Woods steps in, TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up, Woods covers, TWO! Rhea is relieved and tells Dom that was too close. Woods has the fans behind him, “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Woods stands Dom up, scoops, but Dom slips free!
Dom shoves, Woods elbows him back! Dom comes back, to UPPERCUT Woods! Cover, TWO! Woods is still in this and Dom is frustrated. Dom drags Woods to the ropes, stomps him, then goes out to the apron. Dom gives some Latino Heat and the fans boo. Dom slingshots, but Woods trips him up! Dom falls to the floor, Woods brings him up to the apron, and CLUBS away as he has Dom on the ropes! The ref counts, Woods lets off to go to the corner. GUILLOTINE MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Rhea is relieved again, but Woods drags Dom around now. Woods puts Dom in a drop zone and then goes to the apron.
Woods climbs, tightrope walks, LIMITBREAKER misses as Rhea drags Dom out! Dom gets in, Oklahoma Roll with tights! DOM WINS!
Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall
Fans boo as Dom-Dom only wins thanks to Mami! But with tactics like these, will the Judgment Day soon take over all of Raw?
Indus Sher speaks.
Jinder Mahal (re)introduces us to Veer & Sanga, “two international juggernauts united as one force of destruction. These two men have conquered continents and obliterated competition all over the world. And now, we’re ready to bring unprecedented levels of pain. We have waited patiently for our moment to strike. From the shadows, we emerge to shake the very foundation of Monday Night Raw.” The Modern Day Maharaja is bringing two massive allies with him, will they soon take over Raw?
Shinsuke Nakamura scowls backstage.
The Miz walks over and shakes his head. Nakamura has nothing to say? Nothing? Miz told Nakamura that Raw is different from SmackDown and they should have each other’s backs! If Nakamura and Miz were united, they’d both still be in this tournament! But instead, Nakamura lost! Yeah, well so did Miz! Not the point! Look! Miz is willing to forgive the disrespect if Nakamura will just give their team a chance. It’s a win-win! Think of the audience, the chants! #MIZUKENAKAMURA!! What does he say? Nakamura says Miz is right, Nakamura has nothing and this could be his opportunity.
So next week, The Miz, Shinsuke Nakamura… 1v1! Wait, what? Yeah, mano-a-mano! It’s gonna be AWESOME~! Miz says that’s the opposite of what he wanted. Will Miz sticking his foot in his mouth soon get him a knee upside the head?
Sonya & Chelsea continue petitioning.
They need a few more signatures to meet the quota. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez walk over, saying they’ll sign it. Because ladies, they heard about the campaign, and honestly, if they wanted a rematch, Sonya & Chelsea simply had to #WomanUp and ask. It would’ve been so much easier. Liv takes the clipboard and pen, writes her name and even kisses the paper. Raquel adds her own signature, and Liv says after she and Raquel get through Damage CTRL, they’ll see Sonya & Chelsea next week. Sonya & Chelsea laugh. Not that they don’t love having the champs’ support, but this wasn’t specifically to challenge Liv & Raquel.
Sonya says they imagined DMG CTRL winning, and then Sonya & Chelsea would face Bayley & Dakota. HAHA! They leave, Liv & Raquel mock the laughter, and it’s a good thing the champs don’t lean on a plan. Will Morgan & Rodriguez still be #LivingLarge after SmackDown this Friday?
Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes.
Cathy asks him about the brutal attack by Lesnar, and how disappointed he is to no longer be in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. Cody chuckles, and says, “I know you’re obligated to ask that question. Obviously, I don’t know. Obviously, I don’t feel good. Obviously now, I don’t get to be the first World Heavyweight Champion on Monday Night Raw in a tournament that, respectfully, was mine to win. So I really… I’m sorry. What else is there to say?” Cody turns to go but then turns back to say, “Actually, here’s what I do know. This is the second time, the second time, that Brock Lesnar has attacked me for no reason. And from behind, again, for no reason.
“The only reason I can think of is that Brock Lesnar’s long-reigning grip on the main event scene, his monopoly over the main event scene, that grip has been released. Because by every measurable metric there is, I have been the man around here. And at Backlash, I proved it. I pinned Brock Lesnar, and I don’t think Brock Lesnar can handle that. And here he is tonight, grabbing me by the throat, asking me to fight.” Cody turns to the camera to say, “Wanna fight, Brock Lesnar? You wanna fight me? Against all my better judgment, here’s what I have to say. Let’s fight! At Night of Champions, I accept.” Is the American Nightmare’s story not done yet?
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Raw Finals: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor!
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or rather, the more history there is to make, the more history seems to repeat itself. The Visionary and The Prince once battled to be the inaugural Universal Championship. Now they battle to see who moves on to Night of Champions! Will history repeat itself with Finn standing tall? Or will Rollins #BurnItDown once again?
Raw returns and Rollins once again makes his entrance. The fans once again sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” for him, and the bell rings. Rollins and Finn stare down, both men remembering that day at SummerSlam. They tie up, Finn waistlocks then headlocks to hit a takeover, but Rollins headscissors. Finn kips free, and Rollins uses Scott Hall fingers to taunt him. Fans cheer and the two reset. They feel things out, tie up, and Finn wrenches to a wristlock. Rollins rolls, kips and wrenches back! Finn gets the ropes, and the ref counts. Rollins lets off, Finn shakes out the arm, and the two reset again.
They knuckle lock, Finn shoots around to snapmare, but Rollins turns hammerlock around onto Finn. Finn goes back to ropes, the ref counts, and Rollins lets off, but Finn cheap shots Rollins! Rollins JABS, throws haymakers, but Finn knees low. Finn throws Rollins to the apron, Rollins shoulder sin and slingshots over! But Finn rolls through to basement dropkick! And Finn clotheslines Rollins out of the ring! Finn goes out the side, runs around the way, but Rollins SLINGBLADES first! Fans fire up and sing for Rollins again. Rollins CHOPS Finn against barriers, puts Finn in the ring, and then aims from the apron.
Finn storms over, he anticipates the shoulder and kicks away on Rollins! Rollins is stuck in the ropes, and Finn goes out to bring Rollins off! BARRIER BOMB!! Payback for 2016! Rollins writhes and the ref checks on him as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Finn wrenches an arm to a hammerlock. Finn wrenches again but Rollins SLAPS him! Finn YANKS, wrenches, but Rollins SLAPS! Finn wrenches again, Rollins SLAPS and CHOPS and SLAPS! Finn kicks the bad arm! Finn whips, Rollins reverses and CLOBBERS Finn! And again! Fans rally as Rollins mule kicks, front kicks and DISCUS LARIATS Finn down! Finn goes to a corner, Rollins runs in to SPLASH! And then BACKBREAKER! Rollins shakes out the bad arm and he goes up the corner. Fans sing again, FROG SPLASH onto knees! Finn cradles, TWO! But he has the FUJIWARA ARMBAR!
Rollins endures and flails as Finn pushes back! Rollins reaches out and even bites his own thumb to ignore the pain in his arm! Fans rally, Rollins fights and rolls, but Finn gets around to SLINGBLADE! Finn aims from a corner, he runs in at Rollins, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Rollins and Finn are both down, catching their breath, and fans rally up. Rollins sits up, and he brings Finn up. But Finn throws body shots! Fans rally as Rollins throws forearms! Finn throws them back, they go shot for shot, and then Finn YANKS the bad arm! Rollins BOOTS Finn! Finn tumbles out and Rollins goes out the side!
Rollins hurries in around the way, but Finn SMACKS him off the apron! Rollins gives it back! Finn gives another! Rollins dribbles Finn more and more, and he goes all the way to TEN! Rollins puts Finn in before the ring count reaches 10, and he ROLLING ELBOWS! But Finn CHOPS! Rollins PELES! Finn wobbles, but he PELES back! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Rollins crawls to a corner, Finn goes to the opposite end. They talk some trash, they stand back up, and they rush back in! DOUBLE FOREARMS! And again! Finn body scissors to STOMP 182! Finn hurries up the corner!
Finn aims, but Rollins leaps up after him! SUPERPLEX! Roll through, FALCON ARROW but Finn slips out! Dragon sleeper, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!!! Rollins survives! Finn is too tired to be upset, and he’s tasting blood in his mouth from a busted lip. Rollins and Finn slowly stir, and Finn forces himself up. Finn storms up and he stomps away on Rollins! The ref has Finn back off but Finn pushes him away! SHOTGUN to the back! Rollins flounders around, Finn SHOTGUNS him into a corner! Rollins is in the drop zone, Finn goes back up top! COUP DE- NO, Rollins dodges! Finn staggers into a kick!
Rollins underhooks, holds on with his one good arm, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!!! Finn survives! And Rollins seethes as he rises back up. Rollins gets a wild look in his eyes, and he waits on Finn. Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” as Finn sits up. Rollins runs in, but Finn dodges! Roll-up, but Rollins rolls through! CURB STOMP to the face! And then a CURB STOMP proper!! Cover, Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall (advances to Night of Champions)
He is a Visionary, he is a revolutionary, and he is still a contender! Rollins had a bad arm, but Finn should’ve gone after a leg, because now Rollins is stepping closer to the title! Will Rollins win it all in Saudi Arabia? Who will he be facing from Friday Night SmackDown?
A really good Raw here to follow up Backlash and to give us our first taste of the new rosters. Good first match on Raw for Zoey Stark, though the fans didn’t seem to care one way or another. Maybe it was because she was facing Nikki Cross and Nikki hasn’t exactly been booked the best these days. Though, I suppose neither has Dana Brooke, as she got squashed by Rhea. Natalya stepping to Rhea was a good way to establish Natty is back on Raw, and maybe this gives Rhea her title match for Night of Champions. I’m mostly surprised they didn’t do anything in regards to the title swap with Bianca. Maybe Rhea and Bianca interact on SmackDown for that?
Rhea and Dom had a good promo with Woods and Tozawa to set up a match. Rhea helping Dom win makes sense, because duh, Heels. This could be the start of a really good feud, especially if it lasts long enough for Kofi to make a return and back Woods up. Good match out of Otis VS Ali and the conflict between Gable and Maxxine was of course the reason Otis lost. This has to lead to some kind of match for the fate of Otis. Maybe Alpha Academy VS Mace & Mansoor 2v2, winning team keeps Otis. And good promo from Jinder to set up the Raw debut of Indus Sher. I know Indus Sher are Heels, but I would love to see them take on Imperium or Judgment Day, all big trios faction stuff.
Speaking of Imperium, good promo from them with Kevin and Sami, and them insisting on people fearing Gunther feels like the most personality Ludwig & Vinci have gotten to show since being called up. Great match out of Kevin & Sami VS Imperium, but it feels like a disconnect when Imperium got beat super fast by The Street Profits on SmackDown. Gunther probably faces Kevin or Sami next week, and that will be an awesome match either way. Not sure what we’re getting for Gunther at Night of Champions, and something still has to happen with the tag titles. Maybe Imperium and Indus Sher get in on a tag title opportunity and one of those teams get the titles before Night of Champion.
And speaking of tag titles, good promo stuff for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Sonya & Chelsea petitioning for a match is very fitting of their personas, and I like that they more or less scammed Xia Li and others into signing. Good to see 80% of The Way together here, Austin Theory being the only one on SmackDown. I think that’s the “he” Gargano referred to. But anyway, good on Liv & Raquel to step to Chelsea & Sonya. Pretty sure DMG CTRL loses because Iyo Sky passive aggressively gets back at Bayley for Backlash, so we’re definitely getting a rematch of Liv & Raquel VS Chelsea & Sonya next week.
And of course, great stuff out of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament story. Great opening promo from Cody, though I was surprised his match wasn’t the opener. Both Triple Threats were awesome, and Rollins was a natural choice as one semifinalist. Cody being screwed over by Lesnar makes sense, Lesnar is a sore loser, but it was still pretty surprising. And it had to happen this way rather than in the main event, because Triple Threats are No Disqualification, so Lesnar wouldn’t be handing Cody a win. They played up Cody taking damage well, and of course we’re getting a rematch from Backlash now. Big money for Lesnar, and he’ll probably still put Cody over, but this is all so Cody can chase the new WHC the rest of the year.
Nakamura and Miz had a good promo afterward, and of course we’re getting Nakamura VS Miz, that was basically set-up with their MizTV segment. And great main event with Finn VS Rollins. Again, Rollins was a natural choice to win, he will want to use this new WHC to prove a point to Roman who is really the top champion in WWE without actually having to face Roman. And from SmackDown, between Edge, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Austin Theory and Rey Mysterio, I’m mostly crossing off Austin Theory as he’s still US Champion. Any of the other guys makes a great opponent for Rollins, but I feel like the only ones who could beat Rollins are Edge and Lashley as they’re unattached.
Rey and Styles both have factions they gotta stick with on SmackDown, but Edge and Lashley could move back to Raw through this WHC. Plus, Edge and Lashley each act as proxies to Roman given combinations of strength, speed, experience, and of course, using The Spear as a finisher. Rollins beating them is as close to beating Roman as he’ll get for the foreseeable future.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/29/23)
Eddie Kingston is on a Rampage!
Will the Mad King regret this gamble?
Before putting both belts on the line against Katsuyori Shibata at AEW WrestleDream, Eddie Kingston defends his NJPW Strong title against Rocky Romero! Will plans have to change all thanks to Azucar?
- AEW World Trios Championships: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn VS The Hardy Party; The Acclaimed & Billy win and retain the titles.
- NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS Rocky Romero; Eddie wins and retains the title.
- The Righteous VS Caleb Crush & Gunnar; The Righteous win.
- AEW Women’s World Championship #1 Contender’s match: Ruby Soho VS Hikaru Shida; Shida wins and will challenge Saraya for the title on Title Tuesday, October 10th.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Trios Championships: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn VS The Hardy Party!
The open challenge was put forth, and it was answered very quickly! Will Matt, Jeff & Brother Zay DELETE the Scissor World Tour? Or will Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & Daddy Ass keep the party going?
But of course, Platinum Max has a diss track! “Acclaimed on the mic, ’bout to leave these dudes up in smoke! Y’know we comin’ like the Colorado Buffalos! Matt, I don’t want any heat! I don’t need your crazy ass wife sendin’ me tweets! It’s the one guy in Private Party! Nowadays, he gets tag teamed by the Hardys! Jeff, I’m a leave you black in both eyes! You gonna need these sunglasses like Coach Prime.” Bowens takes the mic to say “COLORADOOOO~! The Acclaimed have arrived! Scissor Me, Daddy Ass~!” And he does! The belts are raised, and we see who survives WrestleDream weekend!
The trios sort out and Bowens starts against Kassidy. They shake hands, tie up, and Bowens waistlocks. Kassidy drop toeholds, facelocks but Bowens slips free to wrench. Kassidy rolls, handsprings, wrenches and hammerlocks to a headlock. Bowens powers out to headlock but Kassidy powers out, only for Bowens to run him over! Bowens self-scissors, then things speed up. Kassidy hurdles, Bowens shoves then follows but Kassidy arm-drags! Bowens arm-drags! Bowens blocks Kassidy’s arm-drag to whip, but Kassidy wheelbarrows and arm-drags! Bowens stands, into a RANA! Kassidy then pounds the mat and fans fire up.
Bowens kicks but Kassidy blocks to spin him. Kassidy kicks but Bowens blocks to flip him! Bowens then kicks, kicks and KOTARO KRUSHER! Fans fire up, “EVERYONE Loves The Acclaimed!” Bowens drags Kassidy up, tags in Caster, and they double whip. Kassidy holds ropes, TOSSES Bowens then BOOTS Caster! Tag to Matt and Matt BOOTS Caster! Kassidy hits a NECKBREAKER, Jeff tags in to go up, for the SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Jeff snapmares Caster to then NECK SNAPPER! Fans fire up with Jeff and he waits on Caster to stand. Kick but no Twist as Caster slips free! Jeff ducks the backhand to SPIN KICK!
Jeff CLUBS Caster, Caster scrambles away, tags to Billy and Matt! Fans fire up as Matt says “DELETE! DELETE!” Billy says “SUCK IT!” “DELETE!” “SUCK IT!” “DELETE!” “SUCK IT!” And repeat! Then Billy headlocks! Matt throws body shots, powers out, but Billy runs Matt over! Billy flexes and does a dance, and then he runs in. Matt ELBOWS Billy, BOOTS him, then bumps him off buckles! “DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!” Billy gets all three layers, and Matt tags Jeff. Jeff tags Kassidy, and the Hardys set up fort he classic POETRY IN MOTION! Then Kassidy adds PARTY IN MOTION! But The Acclaimed CLOBBER Kassidy & The Hardys!
Fans fire up as Caster has Kassidy up to scoop and SLAM! Billy helps get the legs, and Bowens goes up to SCISSOR ME TIMBERS! Kassidy squeals before impact! Cover, TWO! Kassidy survives but The Acclaimed have control as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Billy brings Kassidy up, bumps him off buckles, and he hears the fans singing. Billy ROCKS Kassidy with a right, apologizes to the ref, then tags to Bowens. Bowens drags Kassidy up to ROCK him with haymaker after haymaker! Bowens then brings Kassidy up to tag in Caster. They double suplex Kassidy, Caster covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Caster keeps Kassidy down with a chinlock while fans rally up. Kassidy fights to his feet, throws body shots, and he fires forearms as Rampage returns to single picture. Kassidy runs but Caster CLOBBERS him! Tag to Billy and they mug Kassidy.
Billy brings Kassidy to an open corner, stomps and ROCKS him on repeat, then lets off to smirk at the Hardys. He dares them to do something, but Matt tells Billy to suck it! So Billy DECKS Matt! Billy runs corner to corner but Kassidy dodges! The splash hits buckles and Billy falls back! Fans rally up as both men crawl, but Billy gets Kassidy’s leg! Kassidy stands up to ENZIGURI! Hot tag to Jeff! Jeff rallies on Billy, on Bowens, and on Caster! Fans fire up and Jeff clotheslines Billy up and out! Jeff CLOBBS Bowens, then catches him for a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Leg hook cradle! Cover, Caster breaks it!
Caster helps Bowens up, then runs in, but Jeff ELBOWS caster and ROCKS Bowens! Jeff goes up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Jeff gets both Caster and Bowens but everyone is down! Billy returns, kicks low, says ‘SUCK IT!” and runs, but Jeff dodges! Matt kicks Billy for a TWIST OF FATE! Jeff hurries up top, fans fire up, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it in time! Matt CLUBS Bowens, Bowens hits back, and Bowens calls to Caster. They whip Matt to a corner, forearm then ELBOW then forearm again! And a feed to the POWERSLAM! ROLLING ELBOW for Jeff! The Acclaimed regroup, and Billy crawls to the corner.
Fans fire up as Billy drags Jeff over. Jeff gets loose, hot tags to Kassidy and Bowens! Kassidy dodges Bowens to DROPKICK Caster! “This is Awesome!” as Kassidy BOOTS Bowens! Kassidy goes up, leaps, FLYING FLATLINER! Billy stands, runs in, but Kassidy dumps him out! Kassidy slingshots out then QUEBRADAS to take Billy down! Kassidy mocks the scissoring, then tells Bowens to get up. Kassidy springboards in, but Bowens dodges and Caster BACKHANDS Kassidy! Then Bowens BACKHANDS Kassidy! Bowens fires off the Five Tool Strike Fest! Caster hoists Kassidy up and Bowens helps, to give Kassidy the PLATINUM BOMB! Cover, The Acclaimed win!
Winners: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Championships)
A huge win for the champions, and the Scissor World Tour continues! In fact, it is heading to Seattle for WrestleDream’s Zero Hour! TMDK’s Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls & Bad Dude Tito are waiting, will they show The Acclaimed that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?
Eddie Kingston speaks.
“Well folks, tonight, it’s me and Big Rock, Rocky Romero, for the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. Rock, I got nothing but respect for you, dawg, so it’s gonna be an honor and a pleasure to defend this against you. You’re the man that got me into the G1. You’re the man that got me-” Wait, Team Triple J is interrupting. Jay Lethal says that if we’re talking honor and respect, Eddie is standing here with two titles on his shoulders, and that is worth respecting. But Lethal can’t get behind how Eddie is the ROH World Champion. Lethal dedicated his life to that title! His blood, sweat, tears, all to honor a tradition that meant that every person to hold that title would be a pure athlete!
And Eddie, you are no pure athlete! Now as for this NJPW Strong Openweight title, Lethal doesn’t care if Eddie wins it or loses it here tonight. He really doesn’t. But he just cares that Eddie is unfit to be ROH World Champion! Eddie says okay, he’s got Lethal. But excuse his back, he’s gotta go beat up Romero. The Mad King leaves, but will he still have both crowns going into WrestleDream?
AEW shares an interview from after last week’s Collision.
Lexi Nair was with Andrade El Idolo after he was bandaged up from the beating Bullet Club Gold gave him. He almost won, but Juice Robinson interfered. What was that about? Andrade says everyone saw that Andrade had White beat. But the question for Juice is… “Do you have a problem with me? With Andrade El Idolo? Lemme tell you something. See you Saturday in Seattle!” Andrade wants his revenge on Rock Hard, will he get it on WrestleDream Eve?
NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS Rocky Romero!
The Mad King beat Kenta at NJPW Independence Day back in July to have his first singles title under the NJPW banner. And now he defends it against Azucar as a favor for getting him in the door. Will Rocky repay this favor by taking this title from Eddie? Or will Eddie still head to Seattle as a double champion?
The introductions are made, the NJPW belt is raised, and we see who is truly NJPW Strong!
The bell rings and fans rally up for “EDDIE! EDDIE!” The two circle, Rocky tests things with a kick but Eddie stays back. They feel things out, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Eddie waistlocks, Rocky wrenches, wristlocks, but Eddie clinches. Fans rally, Rocky keeps on the wristlock but Eddie powers through to wrench and wristlock back. Rocky rolls, breaks free and DROPKICKS! Fans are torn as Rocky swaggers, but he and Eddie reset. They feel things out, knuckle lock, and Rocky knees low. Rocky headlocks, grinds the hold, but Eddie powers up and out. They RAM shoulders, but Eddie stays up with a smirk.
Fans fire up as Rocky smirks back, but then pie faces Eddie! Rocky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and RANAS! Eddie bails out, Rocky builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit but Eddie stays up, so Rocky goes again! DIVE and Eddie drops to his knees! Rocky keeps going, and he DIVES for the hattrick, only for Eddie to catch him! Stalling suplex, to the floor! Fans rally behind Eddie while Rampage goes picture in picture.
Eddie stands, stretches out his back, and then he gets Rocky up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Eddie keeps cool, and also chooses not to rain down fists, instead clamping on a chinlock. Rocky endures as Eddie grinds him down, and fans rally up. Eddie cranks the headlock but Rocky refuses to give up. Rocky fights up, throws elbows, but Eddie knees him low! Eddie whips to knee low again, then whips for another knee! Eddie whips but Rocky rolls him up, TWO! Rocky BUZZSAWS Eddie, then TORNADO DDTS! Both men are down and a standing count begins. Rocky stirs at 3, crawls over, and he brings Eddie up.
Eddie pushes Rocky, runs, but into an IRON OCTOPUS! Eddie endures, pries at the hold, and pops free, only for Rocky to wrangle him with a ghost pin! TWO, and Eddie goes to ropes. Rocky storms up, KICKS Eddie in the back, but Eddie just grimaces. Eddie eggs Rocky on so Rocky KICKS him again! Eddie growls and eggs Rocky on more as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rampage returns and Eddie suplexes, but Rocky knees free! Rocky knees low, Eddie rebounds, but into a JUMP KNEE! Eddie goes to ropes, Rocky storms over and brings him up through the ropes, to KICK! Eddie eggs Rocky on even though he’s stuck, so Rocky SLAPS Eddie! Eddie SLAPS Rocky! Rocky SOBATS! Then Rocky goes up a corner to MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Eddie is still in this and Rocky argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Rocky drags Eddie up, cravats, but no Sliced Bread! Eddie runs in to clothesline in the corner! And MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Fans fire up and Eddie hoists Rocky up top!
Eddie climbs up behind Rocky, stands him up, but Rocky throws hands! Rocky CLUBS Eddie, cravats, and hits SUPER SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Eddie survives, and Rocky grits his teeth. Rocky pumps up and fans rally. Rocky runs in to clothesline! That’s one-ever! Two-ever! But URAKEN stops that! URAKEN again!! Eddie drags Rocky into the STRETCH PLUM!! Rocky taps, Eddie wins!!
Winner: Eddie Kingston, by submission (still NJPW Strong Openweight Champion)
Azucar could not dethrone The Mad King, but he still shows Eddie respect with a handshake and hug. Eddie is still NJWP Strong, but will he have to fight even harder to survive The Wrestler, Katsuyori Shibata?
Wait! That’s Shibata’s music! Shibata is HERE! He goes into the ring and shakes hands with Eddie. These two respect each other, and that means they will give it everything they’ve got! Will Eddie still be a two belt king? Or will Shibata become a TRIPLE CROWN Champion?
Aussie Open speaks.
Mark Davis says he is so tired. So tired of hearing the “top blokes” walk around here the last year, hubris unchecked, lying to the people that they are the best in the world. Kyle Fletcher says that for the last 365 days, everything Aussie Open has done has been to get back to FTR. When FTR beat them a year ago, it broke Fletcher. Fletcher felt like a failure and felt lost. So what he wants more than anything is to make FTR feel that pain. This Sunday, Aussie Open takes the AEW World Tag Team Championships, burns down the legacy of #7StarFTR, and from the ashes, rebuild a new empire that they will stand atop of to proclaim that THEY are the best tag team in the world!
The Aussie Arrow and Dunkzilla are ready to bring down Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler, will they fulfill that WrestleDream?
The Righteous VS Caleb Crush & Gunnar!
Speaking of tag titles, Dutch & Vincent are aimed at the ROH World Tag Team Championships! However, Adam Cole will be out with injury so it’ll just be Maxwell Jacob Friedman meeting them in Seattle. Will this tune-up prove to be more than enough going into that tag title handicap match?
The teams sort out, but then Dutch just CLOBBERS Crush & Gunnar! Fans boo as Dutch says just a few more days and those titles will be theirs! Vincent rains down fists on Crush, then drags him up to UPPERCUT! Vincent bumps Crush off buckles, tags in Dutch, and the Righteous mugs Crush before the BOSS MAN SLAM! Gunnar staggers up but Dutch feeds him to Vinnie’s KNEE! Then Vinnie feeds him to a BOSS MAN SLAM! Tag to Vinnie, fans are torn as the Righteous pace around Crush. Vinnie snaps his fingers, then cravats, AUTUMN SUNSET! Cover, Righteous win!
Winners: The Righteous, by pinfall
A swift and dominant win, these are the two men coming for the tag titles! Will The Righteous purge ROH of the “false friendship” that is the brochachos? Or are even two Righteous men combined not on the level of the Devil?
Ortiz sits alone in a room.
He looks back on his career alongside Mike Santana. They were at the top of their game coming into AEW, but then it ended up going downhill. There’s even audio from Konnan touching on how Ortiz and Santana stopped talking to each other and how Konnan was saddened by that. Ortiz has the footage stop there. What will it take for him to get Santana to talk to him?
Darby Allin speaks.
After replaying what Christian Cage said just last Wednesday on Dynamite, the Relentless One reiterates that he is NOT losing in Seattle, Washington! Will Darby defend home turf against Captain Charisma?
Nick Wayne speaks.
He knows Darby has a lot to say about Christian Cage, and all of that will be part of the Countdown special. But Nick also knows Darby’s actions will speak louder than his words at WrestleDream. And although Darby told Nick not to be there ringside, Nick doesn’t really want to anyway because of what Christian & Luchasaurus are capable of. So, while they let Christian and Darby settle their business, how about Nick and Luchasaurus settle theirs? For months and months, Luchasaurus walked around here while another man held his title. And Luchasaurus followed Christian around like he was some kind of father figure.
And Nick isn’t sure what it is about Christian where he thinks he can even be such a figure to “us Lost Boys,” but Nick had a father. And he told Nick at a young age “to never leave your debts unpaid.” Nick owes Luchasaurus. At Wembley Stadium, Luchasaurus choke slammed Nick onto a skateboard and Nick never forgot it. Nick will repay Luchasaurus this Sunday during Zero Hour. And Nick will even hand Luchasaurus a receipt. Nick brings his own skateboard, will he grind it right into the Right Hand of Destruction?
BREAKING NEWS for Collision!
AEW is going to do it big for WrestleDream Eve as, with Zack Sabre Jr. on commentary, we see an 8 Man Tag! FTR teams with Bryan Danielson & Wheeler Yuta to take on Aussie Open, Ricky Starks & “Big Bill” Morrissey! Plus, Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega test their tag team chemistry against The Gates of Agony! Will The Ocho & The Cleaner survive Toa Liona & Bishop Kaun to take on the Don Callis Family? And Julia Hart gets in action to build some last minute momentum, will she be ready for Kris Statlander and their TBS Championship match set for Sunday?
Backstage interview with Zack Sabre Jr.
Renee Paquette is with The Front Man of TMDK, and says we’re just days away from WrestleDream, where ZSJ takes on The American Dragon, Bryan Danielson. ZSJ just came off a three week tour in NJPW and just got here to the States, is he worried at all about acclimating? ZSJ asks Bryan “Dragon Bullocks” Danielson, “Where are you, darling?” As Renee just said, ZSJ got off a 16 hour flight from Tokyo and is feeling fresh as a daisy. But perhaps this company’s keeping Bryan wrapped head to toe in bubble wrap, or keeps him in a giant Zorb ball. At this point, a strong gust of wind will knock Bryan over.
And is ZSJ supposed to be honored that Bryan chose him as part of the year long retirement tour? Newsflash: Bryan barely has a weekend. This Sunday isn’t just about finding out who the best technical wrestler is, no no. Bryan has retired once in Seattle, so ZSJ will make it final. Ya like that? The final retirement~! Submissions in Seattle, see you on Sunday. The NJPW World Television Champion has put Bryan on notice, but will he be able to slay the American Dragon?
AEW Women’s World Championship #1 Contender’s match: Ruby Soho VS Hikaru Shida!
While the Outcasts stand at two members, Saraya is looking forward to a friendly showdown with the Runaway in a little under two weeks! But will Ruby make sure there is No Future for the Shining Samurai? Or will Shida take down one Outcast to go after another?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up as Ruby and Shida step up, and they’re on Shida’s side. Ruby shoves, runs, and RAMS Shida, but Shida just fires up! Ruby headlocks, Shida throws body shots, and then she powers out. Shida then runs past Ruby to run Ruby over! Fans duel, Shida has the majority, and she goes to the corner. Shida climbs up but Ruby slips away before any fists can rain down! Shida is annoyed but she waits on Ruby to return. Ruby takes her time going to the apron, steps in at 6 of 10 but wants Shida to stay back. Shida gets annoyed as the ref keeps her back, but then Ruby pulls Shida’s hair to throw her down!
Ruby throws hands, puts Shida in the corner, then RAMS into her again and again! Fans boo but Ruby runs, only to miss! Shida ROCKS Ruby, then climbs up to rain down fists! Ruby gets away before three, runs back in but into a BOOT! Shida bumps Ruby off buckles, climbs up and rains down those fists! Ruby slips out at five to YANK Shida down! Ruby whips, Shida goes up and CROSSBODIES! Shida then drags Ruby up, puts her in yet another corner, and tries one more time! Shida rains down fists, and goes all the way to TEN! Fans fire up with Shida and she kicks Ruby out, to then MISSILE DROPKICK!
Fans fire up as Shida drags Ruby up, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Ruby CLUBS away on Shida to stop the lift, then shoves her to a corner. Ruby runs in, Shida dodges, but Ruby ELBOWS her! Ruby goes up to hit DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Ruby digs Shida into the buckles, lets off as the ref counts, and then brings Shida up to snapmare. Ruby covers, TWO! Ruby throws down fists now, but lets off with a smug smirk. Ruby puts Shida on ropes to CHOKE! The ref counts, Ruby lets off, and then Ruby has Shida in the ropes to throw knees! A shoutout to Saraya, and Ruby lets off at 4. Ruby stalks Shida, looms over her, and pushes her around. Shida pushes back but Ruby eggs her on.
Shida ROCKS Ruby, then fires again! Ruby claws Shida’s face! And throws her down by her hair again! The ref reprimands, but Ruby clamps on a straitjacket stretch! Shida endures, but Ruby grinds her into the mat! Fans rally, Shida fights up, and she arm-drags free! Ruby returns to CLOBBER Shida! Cover, TWO! Ruby is annoyed but Shida grabs at Ruby’s hair! Ruby CLUBS Shida, drags her up, and stomps a hand! Shida scrambles to a corner while the ref reprimands but Ruby stomps a mudhole in. Ruby lets off as the ref counts, and Ruby storms around. Shida drags herself up, but Ruby CHOKES her on the ropes!
The ref counts while Ruby BITES Shida’s ear! Ruby lets off at 4, drags Shida up, but Shida ROCKS her! And again! And again! And again! But Ruby knees low! Ruby talks trash, whips Shida to ropes, but Shida ducks ‘n’ dodges, and DOUBLE LARIATS knock both women down! Rampage returns to single picture as the standing count climbs. Fans rally, both women are down at 5 of 10 but Shida goes to ropes. Shida snarls, she and Ruby stand at 7, and they storm up. Shida fires a forearm, Ruby gives it back! Shida throws another, so Ruby gives it back! They go back and forth, harder and harder, faster and faster!
Ruby gets the edge, but Shida ROCKS her! And ROCKS her! And ROCKS her again! Shida whips to JUMP KNEE! Shida then suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Shida fires up again and the fans are with her! Shida aims, KATA- NO, Ruby ducks and bails out! Fans boo but Shida goes out to pursue! Shida runs in, jumps off the steps, and DROPKICKS Ruby down! Fans fire up again and Shida stands Ruby up. Shida torture racks Ruby, then goes to the ramp!? Fans are thunderous but Ruby fights free! They throw forearms, and CHOPS! Shida CLUBS Ruby, Ruby throws body shots, but the count is climbing!
They both hear it’s 8 of 10 and start sprinting! They both slide in at 9.5!! Fans are thunderous and then Ruby swings, but Shida blocks! Ruby HEADBUTTS, blocks a kick, then KICKS back! SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Shida survives and Ruby grows frustrated. Ruby goes to a corner, and she takes Shida’s kendo stick for her own! The ref stops Ruby, takes the kendo stick, but then Ruby brings out the spray paint! Shida and the ref both block that and they’re all fighting over it! Down goes the ref!! Shida and Ruby are both stunned, but then Ruby HEADBUTTS! DESTINATION UNKNOWN! But no ref to count the cover!
Ruby is furious, she would’ve had this! But then she sees the kendo stick! Ruby grins as she wields Shida’s weapon! Fans boo, but Shida blocks the strike to kick and HEADSHOT! Then KATANA KICK!! Cover, but still no ref! Wait, here comes Aubrey! Aubrey slides in, counts the cover, TWO!! Ruby survives but Shida fires up! Shida puts Ruby in a drop zone, goes up the corner, and she METE- NO! Ruby dodges to then STO! Ruby drags herself up the corner, goes to the very top, and STAGE DIVE SENTONS onto knees! And then FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Ruby survives but Shida won’t stop there!
Shida hauls Ruby up but Ruby wrenches to NO FUTURE KICK! But Shida rebounds to KATANA!! Cover, Shida wins!!
Winner: Hikaru Shida, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the AEW Women’s World Champion)
The Shining Samurai takes down The Runaway, but wait! Here comes Saraya! #TitleTuesday is coming, will that be a good Knight for the champ? Or will Shida take this belt back to become a historic THREE-TIME champion?
A great Rampage, especially as the go-home to WrestleDream. I figured the title matches would end with the champions retaining, but we got really good stuff out of Acclaimed VS Hardy Party and Eddie VS Rocky. As for their title defenses on WrestleDream, I don’t see TMDK taking the trios titles as this will be their AEW debuts. And as I’ve said a few times already, Eddie isn’t losing both belts he worked so hard to have so soon. Plus, it feels like there’s some tension between NJPW the company and Shibata, or else Shibata would already be NJPW Strong Openweight Champion and not one of ROH’s champs.
Speaking of Eddie, good promo from him before his match with Rocky, and good interaction with Team Triple J. I wasn’t exactly expecting Jay Lethal to be Eddie’s first actual feud for the ROH World Championship, but I suppose it does make sense as Lethal was a major player in ROH. I hope these guys actually show up on ROH programming, but also, Tony Khan wants this feud to be seen so it’ll end up on AEW programming instead. Y’know, just like all these other ROH title stories outside of the AEW Women’s title.
Good squash from The Righteous, and I’m really curious as to how the tag title match goes on Sunday. There’s a lot of stuff MJF still has to do with Cole, Roddy and The Kingdom, and now this intrigue with Jay White, Bullet Club Gold and the backstage attack at the end of Dynamite. I still feel it should’ve been The Kingdom in the PPV match anyway, but it seems they were going to drag this story out even before Cole hurt his foot. Good promo from Nick Wayne to call out Luchasaurus, but I feel like Luchasaurus ends up winning that match just to make a point of Nick not being able to show up ringside for Darby.
Good promo from Andrade to call out Juice for this week’s Collision, and I’m still wondering if/when La Faccion Ingobernable helps Andrade against Bullet Club Gold. For that matter, why can’t MJF be paying LFI to beat up on White and the BCG? He’s had business dealings with Andrade & Rush before, let’s strike that up again for some continuity. Really good promo from Aussie Open ahead of their tag title match, and from ZSJ to call out Bryan. That 8 Man Tag tomorrow night is going to be good stuff, and perhaps rather telling about where the PPV matches go. The only reason I don’t see Aussie Open winning against FTR is because of that big Fatal 4 Way tag contenders match, but who knows, maybe Aussie Open wins to bring the AEW belts to NJPW events as they take on like Goto & Hashi.
And of course, a great main event from Shida and Ruby. Seems a little silly to set up Ruby as a contender, wouldn’t that just end up in a Finger Poke of Doom situation with Saraya? Which therefore meant Shida was winning. Saraya VS Shida for this Title Tuesday Dynamite is going to be good stuff, but something makes me feel like Ruby is just gonna help Saraya retain. And not to be mean to Shida, but if she’s already a two-time champ, I don’t see her becoming three-time so soon. Why not get Shida in on the TBS Championship story? Britt Baker wants to be the first to have held both titles in AEW, but Shida should want that distinction, too. Then that lets us have Britt VS Shida as we should’ve gotten by now given everything else we’ve been seeing lately.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (9/29/23)
King VS Emperor to determine a champion!
One way or another, the US title belongs to the LWO!
Rey Mysterio defends his WWE United States Championship against friend and protege, Santos Escobar! But will things stay friendly between them?
- Jimmy Uso w/ The Bloodline VS Karl Anderson; Jimmy wins.
- Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller VS Cameron Grimes; Theory wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio VS Santos Escobar; Rey wins and retains the title.
- Charlotte Flair VS Bayley w/ Damage CTRL; Charlotte wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Bloodline is here!
Fans boo as Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa & Paul Heyman head to the ring. And Jimmy is definitely hyped over how he and Solo took down AJ Styles and John Cena, putting the tag team match at Fastlane into question. Heyman has the mic to introduce himself, but the fans keep on booing. His name isn’t “Boo,” he’s Paul! Heyman! And tonight, a rare opportunity that he doesn’t have to do this into the phone but live to the world here from SmackDown, in the hell hole of Sacramento, California. “We ACKNOWLEDGE our Tribal Chief!” The Bloodline throws up the ones, and Heyman says, “And so do each and every single one of you!”
The fans boo, though some do raise the fingers. Heyman asks us why do they acknowledge Roman… Reigns? Because it is in Roman’s name that last week, the second greatest of all time, John Cena, took a beating at the hands of the Bloodline in a way Cena hasn’t taken in at least a decade. And to wit, Heyman calls our attention to the Bloodline version of the Zapruder Film. Heyman plays footage from just last week, where Cena was the only one who signed the contract to have a match for Fastlane. Cena hoped AJ Styles was going to be his partner, but then the Bloodline struck first and hospitalized AJ Styles.
And back to present, fans are booing but Jimmy’s almost cracking up. Heyman says not to get involved in Cena’s business, but a little birdie told Heyman that there are some transportation issues this evening. And while Cena is expected to make it here, you can’t see him because Cena is NOT here. But y’know who else ain’t here? AJ Styles! And why is that? Because he’s lying in a hospital bed, watching them on SmackDown and- Jimmy holds his hand out for the mic? Heyman says he wasn’t done but Jimmy snatches the mic. “Sacramento! The Bloodline is now in your city!” Heyman sighs while Jimmy raises the one.
Jimmy tells the Wise Man, you are too kind. The real reason Cena isn’t here tonight is because he’s scared! Scared of one JIM USO! Jimmy says if Cena is smart, he’ll stay far, far away. If not, they’ll take care of him like they did the Phenomenal One! The one who built the house, place, face- KARL ANDERSON CLOBBERS SOLO! Then he TACKLES Jimmy! Jimmy gets up but Karl clotheslines him up and out! Fans fire up for Karl as he represents for The OC! Karl says he told Styles not to get in Bloodline business and now Styles is in the hospital. So now, this is OC business! Any one of them, get in the ring with him!
Fans fire up but Heyman has Solo stand down. Heyman whispers things to The Enforcer, and then Solo tells Jimmy to handle this or he’ll do it for him. Jimmy says he’s got this. Solo doesn’t return the high-five, but will Jimmy return fire on the Machine Gun?
Jimmy Uso w/ The Bloodline VS Karl Anderson!
SmackDown returns and the match is going as Karl bumps Jimmy off buckles! Then CHOPS! And fires off haymakers! The ref counts, Karl lets off but then stomps a mudhole! Karl lets off to tell Heyman & Solo they made this personal. Karl stands Jimmy up but Jimmy swings. Karl dodges to JUMP KICK! Karl says he told Styles not to get involved but too late now. Karl whips, Jimmy BOOTS back! Jimmy runs, but Karl gives him a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Heyman is worried but Solo is stoic as Jimmy survives. Karl storms up on Jimmy, UPPERCUTS him to the corner, then UPPERCUTS again!
Karl brings Jimmy up to the top rope, ROCKS him with rights, then climbs. Solo steps forward and that distracts Karl, as well as the ref. Jimmy CLAWS Karl’s eyes! The ref misses it but fans boo as Jimmy rains down fists on Karl. Jimmy snarls, goes to a corner, and he SUPERKICKS Karl down! Jimmy goes to the corner, climbs up, and scowls at the booing fans before the USO SPLASH! Cover, Jimmy wins!
Winner: Jimmy Uso, by pinfall
Heyman is relieved and he whispers something more to Solo. Jimmy may be getting himself into trouble, but he’s also getting himself out, will this get Jimmy back in the Bloodline?
Wait, Karl isn’t done! He gets up to throw more hands with Jimmy! Solo storms in to hit the SAMOAN SPIKE! Solo roars as Karl is down, no back-up even possible with both Styles and Gallows hurt. Is the OC no longer a problem for The Bloodline? Wait, Michin is here! She SLAPS Jimmy right down! Fans are thunderous as she storms to the ring. Jimmy asks what the heck! Mia Yim packs a punch, will that knock some sense into Jimmy?
Backstage interview with Santos Escobar.
Cathy Kelley is with The Emperor of Lucha, and says that he faces his mentor and LWO teammate, Rey Mysterio. Where is his mind at tonight? Santos says his mind is focused, but his stomach has butterflies. But this match is about heart. And Santos has already said this is a dream match for him, and he has been working his entire life for it. Now, with the whole world watching, he has a chance to make the dream come true. He never gives up on his dreams, and he will fight for them, so Rey is in for the fight of his life. May the best man win. Will it be Emperor or King of Lucha that reigns as the United States Champion?
The Bloodline regroups backstage.
Jimmy is fuming and he yells at a production staff member just for looking at him. He asks another if they saw what happened, then just shoves the guy down! Jimmy storms off, Solo follows and Heyman has the staff relax. Then he puts in a call to Roman Reigns. What will The Tribal Chief have to say about Jimmy’s attitude?
It’s an all new Grayson Waller Effect.
The Aussie Icon, the Moment Maker, the Dynamite From Down Under is already in the ring on his set, and he says what a wild night already. Cena may be the greatest of all time, but he ain’t the greatest at being on time! Hah! But don’t worry, because Waller is here to save the show. Fans boo but Waller thanks them. Waller’s guests just keep getting bigger, and this is literal given the physical specimen. He has done everything in the WWE as a performer, but not as a talent scout. But that’s alright, he gets what he’s always been missing: the Waller rub! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the All Mighty Bobby Lashley!
Fans cheer as Lashley makes his way out and Waller does some push-ups so he looks at least a little bigger standing next to him. They shake hands and then sit at the desk. Waller says he wasn’t lying when the guests keep getting bigger, right? How does he fit into the suit? But Waller appreciates Lashley being on the show, especially after the week he’s had. His boys, the Street Profits had a devastating loss last week. Lashley says he made a mistake. He was looking for the next big thing, he thought the Profits had what it takes to do whatever they want, but seems not. Back to the drawing board, huh?
Wow, that must be hard for the Profits to hear. But yeah, if you’re looking for a tag team, they need to be willing to do whatever it takes. A team with unbridled charisma! A team that is undefeated! Maybe a team like Austin Theory & Grayson Waller! Lashley’s stare makes Waller slow his roll. Lashley knows all about Theory, that’s a pass. Yeah, but Theory’s changed! If you get to know him, he’s a good bloke! And- Wait! Here come the Street Profits! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins came dressed to match Lashley, and Lashley seems rather upset and confused. The Profits step into the ring, mics in their hands.
Lashley steps to them, and he stops Dawkins before he gets started. No excuses, no reasons. If they want something out of Lashley, they need to prove it. Lashley goes to leave, and then the Profits look to each other. They storm out after Lashley and get up in his face! Lashley says he told them what to do. Now go do it. He keeps on moving, and Waller says how awkward. Hey, light the beam for the 153 million hit man, Austin Theory! Theory makes his entrance, walking past Lashley on the stage, and then continues down the ramp. He smirks at the Profits and goes to the steps, with Waller being the only one cheering.
But will it be A-Town Down as Theory faces Cameron Grimes? Or will SmackDown go TO~ THE~ MOON~?
Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller VS Cameron Grimes!
SmackDown returns, Theory is busy looking at NXT’s Dragon Lee watching from the front row, and the bell rings. Theory turns around into a BOOT from Grimes! Grimes fires off KICKS, UPPERCUTS, and then CHOPS! Grimes whips, Theory reverses but Grimes CLOBBERS Theory! Grimes keeps moving and he CLOBBERS Theory again! Atomic drop, then KICK! Then a KICK, run, and SHOTGUN dropkick! Cover, ONE! Another cover, ONE! Theory scrambles, Grimes has the leg, and Grimes drags Theory back. Theory kicks free, Waller coaches Theory up and Theory ELBOWS Grimes! And throat chops!
Theory throws down clubbing hands while fans boo, but Theory shouts at everyone. Theory brings Grimes up, talks trash, but Grimes eggs him on! Grimes fires off fists, body shots, then backs Theory to a corner. Grimes whips, Theory reverses, then Theory runs in. Theory blocks a boot but Grimes ENZIGURIS! Grimes goes up, leaps, CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Theory hangs tough and Waller relaxes. Grimes aims, and he BUZZ- NO, Theory ducks! So Grimes backflips to deadlift GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Theory survives but Grimes storms up on him in the corner. Grimes KICKS Theory against ropes!
Grimes runs, then he clotheslines Theory out of the ring! Grimes goes to the apron, and he PENALTY KICKS Theory down! Fans fire up with the Carolina Caveman as he takes it to Mr. ATL. Waller talks trash, though, and Grimes stares him down. Theory POSTS Grimes in the distraction! Waller laughs, Theory drags Grimes up and in, and then Theory slingshots. Somersault SHOTGUN! Grimes staggers into the fireman’s carry, A-TOWN DOWN! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Waller’s a baller with that assist to his boy, and The Now comes out on top! Will these two look to take over SmackDown one win at a time? Theory also talks some trash on Dragon, then pie faces him! So Dragon hits back! Fans fire up but the ref keeps Theory back. Dragon is here as a guest, but Waller says Dragon can’t do nothing anyway. Will this duo hope Boy Wonder stays away from this brand?
Backstage interview with Rey Mysterio.
Kayla Braxton is with the US Champion and says earlier tonight, Santos said this wasn’t just a dream match, but the fight of their lives. What is Rey’s response? Rey says LWO is familia and will always be that. But he knows how hard Santos has worked to get here. Heck, Rey grew up watching Santos’ father, El Fantasma. So Rey has nothing but love and respect for Santos. But be careful what you wish for. Every time Rey steps in the ring, he expects the best of his opponent and brings the best in return. So Santos, like they say, this IS the fight of their lives! May the best man win. Rey seems to feel the same way as Santos, but will either man still feel good after taking a loss?
The Bloodline is beating up Ashante THEE Adonis?!
B-Fab shouts for Jimmy to stop but Jimmy stops when he says he’s stopping! Refs and producers rush in and Jimmy says okay, his bad, he’s done now. Adonis crawls away, but Solo is there! Jimmy says finish this, Solo! UREANGE through the table!! Hit Row suffers the wrath of The Bloodline, but when and where will it stop?
WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio VS Santos Escobar!
SmackDown returns as Zelina is ringside for both men, and Santos makes his entrance. Santos says hola to Dragon before getting in the ring. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who holds gold for the L W O!
The bell rings and fans fire up as the two tie up. They go around, Santos waistlocks but Rey works on an escape. Santos holds tight, they sit down, and Rey moves around. Rey fights up, jumps, but Santos holds on during the flying mare! Santos shifts to go for an abdominal stretch but Rey fights it to have a toehold. Fans rally and duel, Santos chinlocks but Rey pulls on the leg. Santos uses that to body scissor, and he rolls Rey to a cover, ONE! Rey is still stuck in the scissors but he moves around. Rey claws at the hold, Santos shifts and has the back mount to then roll Rey again. Rey slips free and the two stand off.
Fans cheer as Rey and Santos reset. Santos trips Rey, blocks the headscissor, but Rey gets up. Santos wrenches, wristlocks, but Rey flips through! Santos whips, Rey reverses but Santos reverses again. Rey is on the apron but he RAMS into Santos! Rey slingshots but Santos stops the rana to GAMANGIRI! Rey falls, Santos PLANCHAS! Down goes Rey at the ramp and Zelina is worried for both men as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Santos has Rey in a modified stretch. Rey endures, Santos shifts his grip, but Rey fights free. Santos has a hammerlock to keep Rey close, and Santos wrangles Rey down. Rey fights up, fans rally, and Rey jumps to hit that flying-mare! Fans fire up as Santos speeds things up and runs Rey over! Things keep moving, Rey dodges but Santos DROPKICKS him down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Rey hangs tough, and Zelina is again torn. She rallies the fans more for the LWO than for either man. Santos waistlocks, Rey switches, but Santos switches back. They go to ropes and Rey bucks the O’Conner.
Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges and tilt-o-whirls to RANA Santos outta the ring! Fans fire up and Rey builds speed, goes up the corner to PLANCHA! Down goes Santos! Fans fire up with Rey and he hears the ring count. Rey drags Santos up, puts him in at 6 of 10, and then climbs the corner. Santos stands, Rey SEATED SENTONS! Rey keeps moving, and he CLOBBERS Santos! Both men are down and fans rally up more. But wait, Jimmy and Solo are still wreaking havoc backstage? SAMOAN SPIKE for security! Jimmy says that guy won’t be Cena’s partner, either! Back to the ring, fans rally for “619! 619!” as Rey goes to ropes.
Santos stands, he rushes in to sunset flip, but Rey rolls through to BUZZSAW! Santos is dazed, Rey calls his shot and he drop toeholds Santos onto ropes! Rey dials it up as fans go wild, but Santos SUPERKICKS Rey outta the ring! Santos takes aim, builds speed, ARROW FROM HELL!! Direct hit at the ramp and down goes Rey! Santos catches his breath while he stands back up, and then he goes up the barriers? To MOONSAULT Rey on the ramp! Zelina is worried again but Santos puts Rey back in the ring. Rey staggers and goes to the far side but Santos takes aim. “This is Awesome!” as Santos spells it out, “L! W! O!”
Santos goes corner to corner, DOUBLE KNEES! Rey wobbles, but Santos puts him back in the corner. Santos goes again, DOUBLE KNEES! Santos hoists Rey up top, climbs up after him, but Rey HEADBUTTS! Rey fires forearms and he knocks Santos down! Santos stands up while Rey steadies himself, but Santos GAMANGIRIS first! Santos climbs up again, goes to the very top, and he whistles for the SUPER STEINER! Zelina couldn’t even watch that, worried for both men. Santos goes to the apron, to SLINGSHOT SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Rey survives and Santos is a bit surprised as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns yet again and Santos has Rey against ropes. Santos CHOPS, and fans “WOO~!” as Rey staggers. Santos whips, BOOTS, and then brings Rey around. Santos picks Rey up into a GORY ESPECIAL! Rey endures being bent back, and Santos even pulls on the arms! Fans rally, Rey fights against the hold, and pops free to arm-drag! Fans fire up as REy goes to a corner, and Santos runs in, only to be put on the apron! Santos GAMANGIRIS, Rey staggers, and then Santos fires up! Santos climbs, leaps, but Rey dodges and the crossbody flops! Rey lines up a shot, runs and springboards but then Santos dodges!
Rey and Santos are both down after those belly flops, and fans rally as both men rise up. Santos runs in, scoops Rey and hits a BACKBREAKER! Fans rally as Rey staggers up, but into a tilt-o-whirl torture rack! Santos runs around with Rey, then hits a RACK DROP! Cover, TWO!! Zelina is relieved again but Santos is surprised. Rey tells Santos to bring it on, there needs to be a winner. Santos storms up to CHOP! And whip, but Rey KICKS back! Rey runs to RAN- NO, Santos blocks that! Santos swings Rey up but Rey sunset flips! TWO!! Santos escapes and even Zelina is stunned! Fans fire up again, “This is Awesome!”
Rey runs in, Santos puts him on the apron but Rey ROCKS Santos first! Then Rey goes up a corner, brings Santos up to join him, and then adjusts position to fire off hands! Fans fire up as Rey calls the shot, but Santos drags Rey into a fireman’s carry! Rey fights with elbows, then pops up to SUPER RANA!! Fans are thunderous while Santos sits up in a daze! Rey DROPKICKS Santos onto ropes! Dial it up! 6 1 9 BLOCKED! Santos drags Rey into an Alabama Lift! But Rey holds the ropes for dear life! Rey then RANAS Santos back onto ropes, redials, and 619 HITS!!! Rey hurries up top, says hey to Eddie, and hit a FROG- NO!
Santos avoids the splash, CLUBS Rey, covers, TWO into the ghost pin! TWO!!! Both men escape by nanoseconds but Santos fireman’s carries! PHANTOM- TAKEDOWN! Rey has a spladle! REY WINS!!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
And the greatest luchador of all time comes out the champion! Santos is stunned, but Rey offers him a handshake of respect. They are still familiar, aren’t they? WAIT! The Profits attack!! Dawkins & Ford mug Rey & Santos, this must be how they’re proving Lashley wrong! They hit Escobar with a BIG LARIAT! Fans boo but here comes Lashley! The All Mighty says that’s it! That’s what he wanted! But then here comes the rest of the LWO! Lashley CLOBBERS Wilde while Ford & Dawkins mug Cruz! But Dragon Lee wants to get in! Security keeps him back, he’s just here as a guest! So Wilde is fed to the REVELATION!
The fans boo but The All Mighty has his Profits! Will they soon run SmackDown with iron fists?
The LWO regroups.
They’ve all got icepacks in the medical trainer’s room, and Kayla walks in to congratulate Rey on the win. But before the team could celebrate the moment, they got jumped by The Profits. Santos says sorry, excuse him, but the Profits ruined the moment! Rey says they beat the Profits last week, and now Lashley and them act like they run SmackDown! LWO challenges Lashley & The Profits to a match at Fastlane! Let’s see how tough they are when it’s fair and square! What will happen when these factions go to war in Indianapolis?
WWE announces a huge signing!
Former AEW TBS Champion and rising star, JADE CARGILL, is now with WWE! She got 20 MILLION views on a video just for showing up at the Performance Center! Will a storm be coming for the WWE Women’s Division?
John Cena arrives backstage!
He pulls in rather fast and furious, and he storms right into the arena, that tag match contract in his hands! Will Cena find someone Jimmy & Solo haven’t destroyed to sign on the dotted line? Is there even anyone left?
Pretty Deadly has a video message.
“On July 14th, 2023, Elton prince suffered a devastating shoulder injury. Despite all odds, he is on the road to recovery.” It’s another rehab workout montage, but Elton is still in the wheelchair… Elton works on reaching out for hot tags, swinging chairs, ends up rolling downhill during a celebration, and can’t even poke eyes properly. But as he continues to work at it, he has the courage to stand up and tag in Kit! #YESBOY! #EltonStrong.
The Brawling Brutes are watching this.
Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne look at each other, and neither of them can even process this. Dunne feels maybe they should’ve broken Elton’s leg. The idiots. Will Elton & Kit hope they can stay far, far, far away from Northern Grit and the Bruiserweight?
Charlotte Flair VS Bayley w/ Damage CTRL!
The Queen did what she could to help The Empress of Tomorrow hold off the Evil Genius and her cohorts, but all that got them was a win for Iyo Sky and this rivalry rematch with the Role Model! Will Bayley make an example out of her fellow Horsewoman? Or will Charlotte make Bayley bow down?
SmackDown returns and Bayley makes her entrance, Iyo and Dakota right behind her. But then Charlotte has Bayley hold on so she can get a mic. Charlotte has a question for Bayley: What’s happened to you? Bayley is one of the Four Horsewomen, but now she’s just happy carrying Iyo’s bags. Bayley has become a stepping stone while Charlotte is still the measuring stick. And in the end, it doesn’t matter. Bayley is just in Charlotte’s way. She’ll beat Bayley tonight, and then challenge Iyo for the WWE Women’s Championship at Fastlane! Fans fire up for that, and the bell rings. Bayley CLOBBERS Charlotte!
Bayley fires off, all riled up after what Charlotte said. DMG CTRL cheers and high-fives Bayley. Bayley CHOPS Charlotte, bumps her off buckles, then stomps a mudhole in! Bayley ROCKS Charlotte, lets off, and brings Charlotte around to whip. But Charlotte reverses to send Bayley into the corner, and she CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” and Charlotte CHOPS again! Charlotte whips, Bayley reverses but Charlotte goes up and out to BOOT Bayley down! Iyo swipes at Charlotte, then Bayley BLASTS Charlotte down! Bayley goes out to the apron, to then FLYING ELBOW Charlotte down! DMG CTRL is fired up as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Charlotte is up top, to CROSSBODY Bayley down! Fans fire up with Charlotte as she storms around. Bayley flounders to ropes, stands up, and Charlotte CHOPS her! And CHOPS her! And CHOPS her! And then CHOPS again! Fans fire up as Charlotte says one more, then CHOPS Bayley again! Charlotte swings, Bayley dodges but Charlotte scoops! FALL AWAY SLAM! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up again! Charlotte handsprings to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Bayley is still in this but Charlotte knows she’s tough. Bayley bails out to the apron, Charlotte storms over, but Bayley HOTSHOTS!
Bayley slides in, waistlocks, but Charlotte bucks the O’Conner, to then trip Bayley! Bayley scrambles, Charlotte steps over to drop a knee on Bayley’s knee! Bayley goes to a corner and Charlotte GAMANGIRIS! Bayley staggers, but she BOOTS back! But then Charlotte BOOTS back! Cover, TWO! Charlotte keeps her cool while the fans rally up. Charlotte steps on Bayley and goes to the corner, then goes up the corner, only for Bayley to YANK her down! Bayley puts Charlotte in the ropes, throw hands, then hits a STOCK DROP! Shoutout to another of the Horsewomen! Bayley then SUNSET BOMBS Charlotte into buckles! Bayley drags Charlotte to a cover, TWO!
Bayley tells fans to shut up, don’t cheer for her! Dakota and Iyo cheer her on, though, and Bayley fires forearms on Charlotte! Bayley mocks the “WOO~!” then CHOPS! Bayley CHOPS Charlotte again and again, runs, but Charlotte SPEARS her down! Cover, Charlotte wins!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall
DMG CTRL can’t believe it, but their Role Model lost! The Queen is already wearing yellow ‘n’ block to match Fastlane’s logo, will she take that gold off Iyo? Bayley gets a mic to shout, “Cut the music, you idiots!” Bayley won’t let Charlotte just cut the line! Bayley vowed to end Charlotte, and that’s what DMG CTRL is gonna do! The three surround the ring, but here comes ASUKA! The Empress joins the Queen to run off their common enemies! Asuka gets a mic to shout “OI OI OI OI!” What do you idiots think you’re doing?! She won’t let them do whatever they want! Bayley says okay, they want a Triple Threat for the women’s title?! Then they’ve got it!!
Wait, what? Iyo is confused, but Bayley says this is totally what Asuka said. No, Iyo knows what Asuka said and it wasn’t that! But Bayley says this is so they can teach both Asuka and Charlotte a lesson! Bayley sticks her foot in Iyo’s mouth again, will the Evil Genius have to really work hard on a plan to survive Fastlane?
John Cena heads to the ring!
Sacramento fires up as Cena storms out, saying we’re getting serious tonight! Cena slides into the ring, contract still in hand. Cena also gets a mic, and he tells Sacramento, “I hear ya out there!” Sacramento chants for Cena and so he knows they hear him. And he knows that because last week, he said he was back to compete and that he wanted a match. The Bloodline didn’t take too kindly to that, though. They left Cena knocked out, but they also left him with the contract. This is the contract for a match with them at Fastlane. Yeah, a little lukewarm, because there’s a problem: Cena doesn’t have a partner.
Cena says tonight is very important, because now he has a choice to make. He could rip up the contract and act like this didn’t happen. Fans boo that idea. Or he could stand and fight. The fans like that! So what do you think the man who wears the words “Never Give Up” is gonna make? They cheer the second so he says that’s damn right! He will honor this contract! And if he doesn’t find a partner by Fastlane, then he will fight The Bloodline by himself in a 2v1 Handicap! But speaking of, here comes The Bloodline! Jimmy grins as he has the mic again. “Well, look who finally showed up.”
Cena’s out here talking about Fastlane? Did he not just see what The Bloodline’s been doing all night? They were sending messages! If you team with Cena, you get got by The Bloodline! Fans boo, but Jimmy goes to the apron to tell Cena, “You’re not making it to Fastlane!” But then Cena DECKS Jimmy! Solo stares Cena down, fans fire up, and Solo gets in the ring! Cena throws off the shirt because it is go time! Solo swings, misses, and Cena fireman’s carries, but Jimmy SUPERKICKS him! Flashbacks to last week, HIP ATTACK in the corner! Then Solo adds a HIP ATTACK in the corner! Then Jimmy whips Solo in for another HIP ATTACK!
Fans boo as Cena flops out of the ring. The Bloodline clears off the announce desk! They put Cena on it, and Jimmy raises the one. Jimmy goes up the steps but Solo stops him. Solo wants this one! Jimmy grins and nods and lets Solo climb. But L A KNIGHT is here!! Fans are thunderous as the Mega Star storms down, slides in, and he dodges Jimmy to BLAST Solo! And then he BLASTS Jimmy! Knight stomps a mudhole into Jimmy but Solo stops him! So Knight fires off haymakers! Solo TOSSES Knight, but misses the splash! JUMP NECKBREAKER! Jimmy is up, Knight scoops to POWERSLAM!
Fans fire up, and they spell it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” BIG elbow drop for Jimmy! Cena is back and he TOSSES Solo! Knight TOSSES Jimmy! Mega Star and Greatest of All Time look to each other, and Knight picks up the contract! Fans are electric as Knight signs his name! Cena can’t believe it, either! He has a tag partner for Fastlane? YEAH!! Will Cena and Knight show The Bloodline whose game is it? With EVERYBODY saying… L A KNIGHT, YEAH!!
An awesome episode of SmackDown, especially with how fired up the Sacramento crowd was for everything. Great stuff with Bloodline and such, taking logical yet still exciting turns. Karl Anderson going after The Bloodline was good, because as much as Karl didn’t want Styles getting involved, but he also wasn’t going to let The Bloodline get away with this. Though, Karl didn’t really accomplish much as he got cheated in that match. That slap from Mia was great, though. Then Jimmy & Solo going on a rampage backstage was a great way to show how Jimmy is drunk with power all because he thinks Roman will have his back. Roman most certainly won’t now that Jimmy’s actions have brought LA Knight into the story. Great save from Knight, and he will make a great team with Cena.
Great “main event” match from Charlotte VS Bayley, and that black ‘n’ yellow gear is pretty cool stuff from Charlotte. DMG CTRL of course tries to help Bayley but that backfires. And then I actually like that we’re going back to Bayley talking big and putting Iyo on the spot. The Triple Threat title match is going to be great, and is actually some mad genius thinking from Bayley. DMG CTRL can now legally interfere to make sure Iyo wins against Charlotte and Asuka, but I feel like this can also bring in Shotzi or even Bianca to counteract DMG CTRL. Either way, it’ll be some great stuff to really up things in the SmackDown Women’s Division.
Hilarious vignette from Pretty Deadly, and good response from Brawling Brutes. That feud will definitely start up again after Fastlane and give us a SmackDown contender for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships. Really good stuff out of the Grayson Waller Effect with Lashley putting the pressure on the Profits. Almost thought they were gonna jump Theory since Lashley doesn’t like Theory, but I guess that would make this faction Faces since Theory is Heel. It was nice to see Grimes back, though he does lose to Theory. Dragon Lee being here tonight makes me think he is called up to SmackDown after he screws Dominik Mysterio out of the North American title tomorrow night.
And after just an awesome US Championship match, the Profits instead go after the LWO, a logical move given the back and forth between the factions. LWO wants a Six Man Tag, but does that mean it’ll be Santos, Cruz & Wilde? Or is Rey going to take one of the spots? Either way it’ll be a good time but it feels like the All Mighty Profits are going to take that one to build their momentum towards their own title goals. Lashley VS Rey for the US Championship with Santos helping feels like the move. Maybe there’s tension created as Santos costs Rey, or as Rey says Santos can’t be bending rules just to win. It just feels like something’s going to/has to change in the group dynamic.
My Score: 8.9/10
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