Well, here we are again! I’ve clambered out of bed after my pre-Raw nap, kissed my wife and apologised for making her the sort of woman who sleeps alone on a Monday or Thursday night, and we’re back to the daily grind. Let’s go.
Apparently we’re sponsored by Battleborn on Sky now? Huh. News to me. We’re reminded that Extreme Rules is this weekend, which means I’m going to be doing double shifts next Sunday to Monday, but hey, what’s a labour of love, huh?
AJ is out early, which is rather like meeting a girl and getting your dick out on the first date, WWE, shooting your load a little early! We get a recap of last week – The Club and The Family, really? – and the whole game of pass the parcel with the chair, and people actually cheering for Roman Reigns, which was pretty baffling. If my play-by-play is bad today, it’s because there’s a cat in my lap, but it’s okay, because it’s just AJ talking right now. Apparently Roman’s been telling people that AJ’s a liar, that the Gallows and Anderson thing is a masterplan. It’s okay, AJ, I don’t think you could plan your way out of a wet paper bag. There’s a ‘Bullet Club’ chant after we see some tweets, and AJ wants to know if this isn’t the new era. Well, we’ll wait and see on that, dear.
AJ comes out to say that he’s headlined Tokyo in front of 60,000 people, and he doesn’t need this as badly as people think. And, out comes Roman Reigns, and JBL calls the noise coming out of the crowd ‘an ovation’, when it’s a chorus of boos and some screams of the women. Sign ‘when it Reigns, it bores’ and my god, that’s brilliant and I want to find the person who made that sign and shake them by the hand. ‘Boo this man’ sign, too – WWE crowd, you are doing a hell of a job tonight!
‘We want Big Show’ sign. Well, Roman’s basically Big Show at this point. Roman pauses to listen to ‘we want Rollins’ chants and snarl back at them. Wow. Our boy is getting some mic skills. AJ’s tired of hearing the ‘the guy’ speech too, apparently, and Roman says that AJ won’t be in a wrestling match, it’ll be the big fight? What the hell are we doing, kids, leapfrog? Hopscotch? Roman says AJ can’t beat him one on one, and that The Usos will be on his side. We’re doing more ‘bloodline’ stuff and that makes me distinctly uncomfortable.
Gallows and Anderson come out, but The Usos are already there, and Roman punches AJ out of the ring, to the boos of the crowd, as AJ’s boys hold him back and tell him to wait for Extreme Rules. They head off, Ro’s Bro’s in the middle of the ring, and Roman’s little shooing motion is adorable. Good grief, make the man a little evil and I’m all weak at the knees again. JBL ‘here comes the calvalry’ – no, sir, it’s cavalry, and I can’t believe you get paid to speak for a living.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro
The Miz is out, with his red carpet rolled out, and it’s going to be Miz on commentary, with Maryse at his side on commentary. I love a good talker joining commentary, so why not, and Maryse is there to be gorgeous, the two of them holding hands cutely. What lovely darlings. Apparently Kevin Owens is coming to join us on commentary, too, which means that this match is going to be HELL to recap. Kevin coos at Maryse in Quebecoise, and that’s just perfect, god, he’s the best heel and I adore him. Sami dances his way out, and then Cesaro has decided to take pity on us and strip his suit off every week, by the look of it. I’m very much up for that, but can Seth steal that gimmick when he comes back?
- Quick lock up as Miz and KO argue over who’s the better champion
- Powerslam from Cesaro
- Hurricanrana from Sami to Cesaro, sending Cesaro out of the ring
- Cesaro goes to sit on the barricades, and there’s a convoluted little spot where Sami bounces off the ropes to land nicely in the centre of the ring
- KO goes to leave, punches Miz and takes the IC title off Miz, trying to leave with it
- A brawl breaks out in the ring, and the bell rings to signal the match falling apart, when out comes Shane!
Steph comes out to join Shane, and they decide this is a tag team match now, with Cesaro and The Miz vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. And if KO walks out on Sami, Steph says he won’t be allowed in the match this Sunday. This is going to play havoc with my recapping, guys! Think of me!
MATCH: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro & The Miz
So we’re starting this match again, this time as a tag match, which might make recapping a little earlier, but it started during the commercial break, because what is pacing?
- Cesaro and KO in the ring, Cesaro going for the swing, but KO grabbing the ropes to break the hold
- Sami does slow clap for KO, and coos ‘great job, buddy’, so KO tags him in with a slap to the face
- Sami’s working the bad shoulder of Cesaro
- Multiple kip ups from Cesaro before an arm drag into an armbar
- Same arm drag into arm bar from Sami, but Cesaro gets free and sends Zayn sprawling with an uppercut
- Miz tags himself in to grapple with Sami
- KO tags himself in with a senton to Miz, and makes the pin, Sami standing there like he doesn’t know what’s happening
- Maryse distracting Sami, The Miz using that to take control of the situation and send Sami flying off the apron and into the barricades
- Back from commercials, Sami’s back in the ring, Miz hitting him with a corner clothesline, before he comes off the top rope into Sami with a double axe handle
- Miz shouts ‘how about that’ and KO comes back with ‘oh my god you’re so talented
- Cesaro tagged in and hitting Sami with a double axe handle of his own, telling Miz ‘that’s how you do it’ and then my stream dies, because the internet is a terrible, terrible place
- When I come back, Sami staggers back from The Miz and into KO, who tags himself in and then hits The Miz with a missile dropkick, corner clothesline, and then a cannonball
- Maryse screams as KO goes for the pin, but Miz kicks out
- Cesaro tagged in and a number of lovely uppercuts to KO, going from corner to corner until a dropkick from Cesaro floors KO, sending him rolling into his own corner
- Sami in, cross-body, but Cesaro catches him and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
- Miz tags himself in, but Cesaro doesn’t catch it, going for the swing
- Miz breaks up the swing, and goes for it himself, but Cesaro hits him with the Skull Crushing Finale
- Miz rolling out of the ring gets KO, being thrown into the barricades, and Sami pins Cesaro for the win
As Sami’s music plays for the tag team win, KO comes back into the ring with a superkick for Sami and my stream hates me, apparently, because we’re not getting a single bit of picture.
Jericho and Renee are talking about what Dean Ambrose is going to say tonight, and Jericho says Ambrose is going to apologise for cutting up his jacket. Uh huh. So you’re going to be rude to his girlfriend. Alright, everyone’s got their cross to die on, I guess.
MATCH: The Shining Stars vs. Local Talent
Primo and Epico are here, apparently, and this is ‘what we’ve been waiting for’? Alright. They call the ring ‘paradise’, that it is their island, and becomes Puerto Rico as they’re standing in it.
- Primo takes down Jackson, Epico cheap-shotting him on the apron
- My stream collapses, but I’m pretty sure we’re not missing anything in this match
- Shining Star to Kennedy and a pin for the win
I’m really not sure what’s happening, because I’ve just had to fight with a stream forever, so I’m a bit bloody grumpy at the moment. Nice to see no one getting buried for the sake of a debut, though, that’s a way to go.
Oh god, it’s a Cena promo and for a second I thought he was going to be back now, and I was about to have to shut the stream off myself this time. Thankfully we’ve got another two weeks to go, so I can prepare my sick bags properly. Hang on, are Rollins and Cena maybe back in the same week? I’m not sure I can cope with that.
Dean Ambrose down to the ring, and we get a recap of the plant feud, then the jacket feud… and then the straightjacket spot that we don’t want to have to deal with. I really, really don’t want to watch this again, but apparently WWE enjoys making me uncomfortable. Cheers, guys.
Dean’s tapping the mic for attention, and the ‘AMBROSE’ chants rise, and he just lets himself enjoy himself a little bit. Dean says he’s had his stability questioned for the whole time he’s been here, and he’s never agreed with that. He says something’s snapped just a little bit, in his head… really, WWE, are we doing this? Dean calls Jericho ‘boy’, that’s about the only bit I can enjoy, as he calls out Jericho to come and speak to him. Jericho comes out and I’m starting to wonder if he owns a shirt. He tells Dean to shut his mouth, and Jericho says he’s going to tell him what to say, and that Dean owes him an apology. Dean nods and grins like a seven-year-old boy being told he’s not supposed to stick worms down his sister’s dress and that he’s got to apologise to her.
Dean says he’s not apologising, and that wasn’t the point – he’s here to challenge Jericho to a match at Extreme Rules. Jericho says he’ll take $15,000 out of Dean’s ass, and I’m not sure that he’s worth that on the street these days. Dean asks Chris if he’s sure, because he’s not certain that Jericho can really go anymore – oooh! Fight fight fight!
Jericho calls himself a lunatic, and says it’s not a cute nickname, but that he’s the most crazy in the company because he’s faced everyone and everything that’s been thrown at him, and he’s not scared OF Ambrose, but scared FOR him, because he’ll show him what a lunatic really does in the ring. He tells Dean to drink in the gift of Jericho – Dean strikes me as the kinda guy who spits, not swallows.
Dean says he has a gift for Jericho, too, and down comes the steel cage, the cell. Dean says Jericho put him in the hospital, so he’ll put Chris in an asylum, that Shane said he can have any sort of match he wants… and it’s an asylum match. Straightjacket, a barbed-wire 2 x 4, a potted plant, a leather strap. Dean says this isn’t extreme rules, this is no rules, and there is no escape. Dean says Jericho will scream and cry and beg for mercy, and yeah, this is sort of turning Dean from the cutesey chipmunk we all love to love, and into something a little more frightening. It’s a hell of a promo, and it’s a return to that hardcore image that we all love from Dean, so I’m sort of behind that, but I could really, really do without the lunatic gimmick. But hell if Ambrose doesn’t sell it to me like I want it.
MATCH: Becky Lynch vs. Dana Brooke
Sad news with Emma, that she’s going to be out having surgery now, especially just as she was getting a storyline, but I guess Dana Brooke will be taking her place in that feud.
- The ladies lock up, Dana vicious to start with, holding Becky in the corner
- LET’S GO BECKY chants
- Deep arm drags from Becky to Dana, who rolls out of the ring to take herself some time
- Becky comes off the apron, Dana sidesteps, and throws Becky into the barricades
- Becky on her back in the middle of the ring, Dana covers for two
- Stomps to Becky’s chest
- WE WANT SASHA chants – yeah we do, where the HELL has she been?
- Becky kicks out of Dana’s submission move, coming back with some big right hands
- Dana catches Becky off the rebound for a slam, and then pins her for two once more
- Huge clotheslines from Becky, then a running knee
- Forearm in the corner followed by an Irish whip and a big kick, then a Bexploder to Dana
- Becky goes to the top rope, Dana pulling her down and putting her on her shoulders
- Becky rolls free, but Dana sits down, Becky’s shoulders on the floor – and Dana wins!
Really, we’re taking losses to NXT women now, from a woman who was on the damn poster at WrestleMania? And where is Sasha? What is happening? The women’s division is just falling apart right now and I’m not enjoying it. I forgot to time that match, bit I’d be surprised if it ran more than five minutes, and we didn’t get to see what either of the women could really do.
Darren Young and Backlund, and there’s a weird moment where we talk about how no one wears watches anymore, because the time is on the phone… are we selling phones now? This is bizarre. Poor Darren Young, he deserves better than whatever this weird thing is.
Shane and Steph are having a chat, and Steph wants to know why the asylum match thing wasn’t run past her, and Shane says Steph didn’t talk to him about the tag match, either. In come the Dudleys, and they say they can help the siblings, because maybe this new era isn’t going to be something they’re into it. They say that they want some local talent to squash, too, but Shane says instead, one of the Dudleys is going to face Big Cass later. Steph is surprised her brother can pronounce caucus, and Shane says he loves this job. Steph laughs at him and says there’s something wrong with him – there’s so much lovely sibling realness in this.
We get a Golden Truth retrospective, and they tell is it’s been five months of this. Has it? Really? Have I really been ignoring this whole thing for five months? Five months?
MATCH: Golden Truth vs. Breezango
Inoffensive 90s hip-hop and Lillian Garcia is smiling like her job depends on it, which it probably does.
- Breeze taken quickly into the corner, R-Truth giving him some forearms
- Breeze out of the corner, Fandango tagged in
- Fandango and R-Truth taking each other down, Fandango tagging in Breeze
- Lariat to Breeze before Fandango leaps in, managing to low blow himself
- Goldust pins Breeze for two
- R-Truth does to kick Breeze, but Breeze ducks out of the way, and Truth’s feet catch Goldust, knocking him down so Breeze can take the pin for the win
Breeze and Fandango have a cuddle and Goldust shakes his head at R-Truth, rolling out of the ring as R-Truth tries to explain. Fandango and Tyler look like they’re going back to find an alley to fuck in, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one thinking it.
Goldust and R-Truth are backstage somewhere that really echoes, and they’re talking about their kinks and getting their juices flowing. The echo is incredibly bothering, as R-Truth says that the WWE Universe wants Golden Truth, and I’m not really sure that’s true. Breeze and Fandango call them golden girls, and the two pretty boys have a giggle like they’re the baddest girls in school.
There’s a covered item in the middle of the ring, and it’s a New Day, yes it is! They have a good dance, and Francesca II is out as well. I just wish the red tracksuits would die, I just don’t like the colour on them. Kofi says he doesn’t understand about this bygone era, and they pull the sheet off… a time machine? Big E asks why the computer keyboard on the box is sticky, and we’re pretty sure every teenage boy is looking at his mum like ‘I don’t know what they mean, mother’ and trying not to turn red. The New Day come back out of the time machine, and Kofi’s back to doing that awful accent he used to do, before Xavier says they didn’t go back far enough, and Kofi says 2009 was his best year. Bless them.
Then, the screen is black and white and out come the New Day, with new facial hair, and as they start to coo over their title belts, the Vaudevillains are here, ambushing New Day, and the time machine falls on top of Xavier Woods! No! Not Xavier! He needs those hands for video game playing! The Vaudevillains’ music plays as they put up the dukes and shout about being the new champs. We’ll see, boys. We’ll see.
MATCH: Gallows & Anderson vs. The Usos
Welp, I guess this is a thing we have to watch now, like good and evil fighting it out via pawns rather than making us bored of seeing Roman and AJ fight. Or, you know, so we don’t notice that AJ can out-manoeuvre Roman in his sleep. The chorus of boos for Roman hasn’t lessened since earlier in the evening, and Roman looks – to steal a phrase from Martin “Little Kuriboh” Billany – mildly smug. “These guys just don’t like each other” sure, because it’s not about a title, or anything, is it?
- Jimmy starting against Anderson, Jimmy down on the mat in a headlock early on
- Lariat to Jimmy, Anderson down in a deep arm drag
- Chop from Jimmy, tagging in Jey for a corner clothesline
- Jey with open-handed chops to Anderson’s chest before a clothesline takes him over the ropes and out of the ring
- Jimmy comes in to take Gallows off the apron too, and the Club reconvene on the floor before Gallows is in against Jey
- WE WANT ROLLINS chants – guys, give him a couple of weeks, okay?
- Gallows landing over and over on Jey, smacking him about before tagging in Anderson
- Commentary are focused on the weekend, not this match, as apparently it doesn’t matter
- Anderson cover on Jey for two before tagging Gallows back in
- Leg drop into a chin lock from Gallows to Jey
- Jimmy tagged in, takes Anderson off the apron, then Jimmy dodges a clothesline and kicks Gallows
- Elbow from Jimmy to Gallows, followed by a corkscrew moonsault! Did we know he could do that?
- Gallows over the top rope, Jimmy coming off the steps with an elbow, before trying to drag Gallows back in
- Distraction from Styles, Gallows takes Jimmy down with a right
- Commercials as the match seems to break down into chatter
- Back from commercials, Jimmy in the corner with Gallows, Anderson tagging in and Jimmy pushes him over the top rope as Jimmy crawls to Jey and makes the tag
- Jey over the tope rope into both Gallows and Anderson, throws Anderson back in, cross-body from the top rope and pins him for two
- Kick to the gut for Anderson, Samoan drop as well
- Styles and Reigns keeping an eye on each other, stalking ringside
- Jey up to the top rope and Anderson catches him in the face, going up himself and trying to take Jey into a superplex, but Jey throws him off the rope and leaps down, rolling through
- Pin from Anderson following a spinebuster, kick out at two
- Roman somehow manages to get an ‘Uso’ chant rising from the crowd
- Anderson into a superkick from Jey, pin for two but Gallows interrupts
- Jimmy in, and double superkicks to both Gallows and Anderson
- Jey with a splash from the top rope onto Anderson, and a pin for the win!
Afterwards, AJ looks upset, staring down at Anderson, before Roman and AJ meet in the middle of the ring – Gallows hits Roman from behind, and Anderson comes back in with a chair to the Usos. AJ gets up, the chair in the middle of the ring and Roman still down on the mat. Styles strips off his shirt, goes with the chair, and then Roman rallies, punches him out of the way and comes back to take the chair to the back to AJ Styles. Anderson comes in and eats a couple of Superman Punches, but AJ rallies and slams the chair over and over into Roman’s back, before hoisting him for an awkward-looking Styles Clash onto the chair. Mixed crowd reactions to that, with a lot of boos, AJ’s music rising as Roman lies in the ring, AJ shouting about taking the title.
MATCH: Big Cass vs. D-Von Dudley
It’s our boy! Hello darling! Big Cass looks so lonely on his own, though, and you can’t help but think he’s stood there thinking ‘where’s my boy?’ without poor Enzo. Still, he has a little mic time, saying that if the Dudley Boyz have a problem with the new era, he has a problem with them. He does impressions, and cuts a HELL of a promo on the Dudleys – fuck, and people say he still gets mic nerves? He’s incredible. I want to cuddle him forever.
- D-Von in to huge HOW YOU DOIN chants, then he steps out and Bubba starts getting tables in
- D-Von comes back and hits Cass from behind, grabbing the hair
- D-Von has to pause as Cass sidesteps, stopping next to Bubba Ray
- Cass takes both Bubba and D-Von out with a big boot
- East River Crossing to D-Von, and a pin for three
I think the promo was more exciting than the match, but Cass gets to spell out SAWFT for us, where he was interrupted by the Dudleys’ entrance before. I hope they don’t push him meteorically and make us hate him before Enzo’s cleared to come back, though.
Oh Christ, it’s the Cena promo again. I know. We get it. The golden boy is coming back – but this isn’t the golden boy we want, we damn well want Rollins, like we’ve been chanting for the whole damn night, okay? We know who we want back, and which damn champ we want, and it’s not flaming Cena, got it?
MATCH: Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio
We get a recap about the whole mess with Rusev, talking about the match at Extreme Rules, but tonight it’s – as our esteemed Sora would put it – Good Mexico vs. Evil Mexico. Del Rio’s trunks are shiny.
- Side headlock from Del Rio, shoulder tackle and Kalisto coming back with kicks
- Del Rio puts Kalisto onto the top rope and plays with the mask as he’s done a thousand times before, then kick to the chest as Kalisto hangs from the top rope
- Sin Cara watching from backstage
- Headlock from Del Rio to Kalisto in the middle of the ring
- Punches to the gut from Kalisto to fight his way out
- Right hand and then a swift boot from Del Rio
- Kalisto dodges a clothesline and hits a hurricanrana on Del Rio
- Del Rio kicked off the apron by Kalisto
- Kalisto comes off the apron in an attempt at another hurricanrana, but Del Rio catches him and swings him into the barricades
- Commercials, because what is pacing?
- Back in, Del Rio has Kalisto in a headlock
- Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Del Rio, before he goes to the top rope and poses like he thinks he’s Rick Rude
- Del Rio with a right hand off the second rope and a pin for two and a half
- Kalisto sent shoulder first into the ringpost
- Rusev is attacking Sin Cara backstage so we cut away from ring action, with Lana
- Del Rio forcing Kalisto to watch, and Michael Cole doesn’t know the difference between Kalisto and Sin Cara
- Del Rio eats part of Kalisto’s mask? Is this wrestling?
- WE WANT LANA chants
- Dropkick from Kalisto to Del Rio
- Kalisto runs himself into the ringpost, and he’s hung awkwardly off the ropes, Del Rio’s foot on his face
- Del Rio ponderously climbs up to the second rope, then to the top, but Kalisto manages to get free, jarring the rope and making Del Rio fall
- Enzuigiri from Kalisto to del Rio, then a hurricanrana that sends Del Rio off the top rope
- Sin Cara and Rusev come down the ramp
- Kalisto with a seated senton to Del Rio, Rusev making Sin Cara watch before hitting him into the post
- Kalisto hit with a backstabber from Del Rio, and he gets the cover for the win
I thought the League of Nations was dead, but apparently Del Rio and Rusev are still looking after each other as well. Rusev gets into the ring and jumps about a bit before a huge kick to the back of Kalisto’s head. Rusev crush, boots to the spine and then the accolade. Lana stands by looking smug as the officials come to tell Rusev no, but obviously no one touches the two men, unlike when they’ll physically hold the women apart. Rusev slides out of the ring and takes the title, waving it around over the body of a fallen Kalisto, then he throws the title onto Kalisto’s prone form. Rusev finishes off by shouting ‘Rusev macka!’ which is apparently Bulgarian for ‘crush’, but because it’s Serbian for ‘cat’, it always makes me laugh.
Shane and Steph come out, and the crowd boo Steph, which she says is mean, and tries to start a ‘Stephie Mac’ chant. That’s pretty cute. Ric Flair interrupts Steph’s introduction of Charlotte to do his own, because apparently she really can’t do anything for herself. I hate listening to Ric talk, because he just sounds like he’s so drunk he can barely articulate. Charlotte looks wonderful, Ric looks like he can barely stand, and he shoulders his way in front of his daughter like he’s the important one. Charlotte thanks her daddy her for that introduction, but even she sounds sarcastic and like she doesn’t want him to be there.
Shane introduces Nattie, who stalks down looking fierce, of course, and shakes Steph and Shane’s hands, before agreeing to sign. However, first she says that she wants to talk about what Charlotte has become – she says Charlotte won at NXT without her ‘creepy father’, which is a little on the nose. She fluffs the promo a little, saying that she wants to fight the old Charlotte at NXT – not Extreme Rules – whoops. It sounds a little overworked, too. Charlotte says that the crowd here aren’t here for Nattie, and that she could punch everyone’s best friend in the face, but they’d still cheer her, because she’s their goddess. Wow. That’s a hell of line from Charlotte, actually, and she’s playing this really, really well.
Charlotte actually shuts down her dad, and says it’s her ring, that he needs to be quiet. Charlotte says she’s wasting time just telling Nattie how she’s going to beat her, and signs the contract, checking stuff with her dad first, and taking her time reading it, too. She points at a line and says ‘what is this’ – so now even if Ric walks down to the ring, then Charlotte forfeits the title. Shane says he can see Ric getting upset, and so he calls down security, and Steph says it’s not personal, just business. In fact, if Charlotte and Ric don’t sign the contract? Charlotte forfeits her title right there.
Ric says he’s trying to respect Steph because of who her husband is, and then the drunk legend starts taking off his jacket to attack Shane. Shane is trying to hold back an angry Ric, and then Steph puts herself in the way and slaps the old man, sending him spiralling to the floor. Security get Ric out of the way, the crowd chant STEPHANIE and that makes me so happy, before Natite puts Charlotte in the Sharpshooter, and Charlotte taps to it. The crowd chants YOU TAPPED OUT as Nattie holds the WWE Women’s Championship aloft and we close out on that image.