Well, I’m joining you late, starting myself off with a triple threat video package, because I was busy getting sugary drinks and setting up the fan. It’s warm in England tonight, and I’ve finally got the preshow up and going! Aaaaand Jerry Lawler is apparently still here – the roster split looks like he’s lost his spot on main commentary thanks to what Vince probably calls ‘a little indiscretion’, but he’s still going to be here for the pay-per-views. Either that, or everyone’s too embarrassed to tell him he’s fired, so they let him sit at the table and feel important, and then later on, they’ll take him out back and put him out of his misery.
Glorious art in this is, as always, by in-house artist, Sora.
We get a Wyatt promo, with Bray glad to be back, much flashing lights, which are a problem, considering I’m photosensitive and have seizures. We get to see Xavier Woods thoroughly unnerved by Bray Wyatt and his creepy tricks – New Day… falls.
Renee looks like a goddess, asking how The New Day are going to cope with this. Corey says he’s never seen Xavier Woods not smile, and he’s a little worried about that, and that they might be cohesive, but they’re not like the Wyatts. Lawler compares the Wyatts to a weed, growing and spreading, and Booker T reads off Vince’s cue cards and calls Braun Strowman a monster.
Andrea D’Marco is backstage, talking to Zack Ryder. He says he thinks he’s got a chance, although his trunks are terrible, so I’m going to judge him based on those and the terrible tan he’s got going on. Corey Graves mistakes the US title for the IC title, and says that even though he’s wearing a tie in DC, no one’s electing him. Shame. Better him than Trump. Lawler makes a joke about how marriage is suffering, and all I can think of is ‘I mean, yeah, if you hit her’. Piss off, Lawler.
We’re talking about partners for Sasha – Lawler thinks it could be the anger of Summer Rae, and Corey Graves says that it could be Nia Jax, but Booker T thinks it’s going to be Lita. I mean, the whole crowd thinks it’s going to be Bayley, obviously – in kayfabe they’re both besties, so it makes sense. Renee says it could be Nikki Bella, and I mean… she’s obviously not ready to be back in the ring, but dear god I’d love to see that. Corey says Sasha is the most popular woman on either roster, and that this is her chance to back up her talk in the ring.
We’re talking Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and they give us the exact same video package that we saw last time these two had a match. Really? Oh, with a tiny amount of MitB stuff. Cesaro’s here with the experts to talk to them about these two. Cesaro is frustrated that he’s stuck at the expert table, and he wants to be in the ring, he’s very frustrated – apparently Cesaro’s going heel soon, huh? He says that he just hopes they sort themselves out tonight, because he’s sick of them interfering in everyone’s matches and getting in the way, they fight all the time, and he’s tired of it. Booker T says this business isn’t about making friends, it’s about making money. Uh… is it not about fighting? Cesaro also calls himself the best wrestler – whoops, don’t say that, Cesaro, you’ll be in trouble! He’s giving us truth here, Cesaro will give everything to be in the matches, rather than talking to us… god, I love Cesaro losing it, I really do.
Q&A time in the social media lounge with DBry and Mick Foley, and Mick starts off by dissing Daniel because he’s not in the Hall of Fame yet. They both talk about how they don’t want management to be the main standpoint of the rosters, they want the superstars to be the point of both shows. They get asked which Hall of Famer they’d bring in if they could – Mick would pick Terry Funk, and Bryan would pick Shawn Michaels. Hell yes, I’d see Shawn back in a heartbeat. Shut up. I love him, okay? Finally, they’re asked how they want to revitalise their rosters. Mick says he’s looking forward to interacting with the superstars, and helping them along their journeys, to help them achieve great things. Bryan says that he’s got some risky ideas, and that the important thing is trying to make changes and a difference. Mick says that Raw will still be the flagship show, and Bryan gives him a raised eyebrow. Thanks, Tom Phillips!
Corey Graves is happy because he loves being on Raw, and he’s excited about that, so that’s pretty adorable. Cutiebutt. I’m really happy to see him on there, too, he deserves it.
Bob Backlund and Darren Young are off doing squats, while Maryse does he husband’s make up, both preparing in their own ways. Corey is for Darren Young, Lawler is for The Miz, and Booker’s going with The Miz as well. Booker says that the hardest title to win is the IC title – because he’s had so many.
MATCH: Breezango vs. The Usos
Mauro is sad to say goodbye to working with Byron, but it’s the start of the tag team match, with The Usos out first, Jey seeming to have forgotten to put a shirt on, and he’s pretty oiled up, too. Jimmy’s got a shirt on, though. Guys, it’s fine, you don’t need to dress differently, this is Mauro and Byron, they can tell you two apart, it’s not Cole and Lawler. Oh my god, Tyler’s brought out the red and black tonight for him and Fandango, and they look like a misguided ladybug cosplay as Fandango wiggles his hips above a prone Tyler. Save it for later, boys.
- Starting off with Fandango and Jimmy in the ring, clothesline from Fandango, knocking Jimmy down
- Hip toss from Jimmy, followed by a pendulum backbreaker, Fandango taking some punishment and a pin for two
- Tyler tagged in straight into a couple of jabs, lifting a running Jey Uso onto the ropes
- Fandango tagged in, pins Jey for two, and then puts him into a headlock, Jey trying to fight his way out to get to Jimmy
- Tyler tagged in again, holding Jey by the leg, trying to tag Fandango in, but Jey hits him with a dropkick that shoves Tyler backwards, into his partners crotch, before Fandango takes a superkick to knock him off the top rope
- Fandango takes a Samoan drop from Jimmy Uso, leaving him crumpled in the corner, running hip before Tyler comes in to break up the pin
- Tyler gets Jey up on the ropes, superkick to the face, and helps drop Fandango onto Jimmy for the cover, kick out at two
- Fandango and Jimmy Uso on the top rope, Tyler kicked away, and Jey gets Fandango into the electric chair, Tyler coming in to mess things up, but Jimmy coming off the top rope to take out both of Breezango, pin on Fandango
- Top rope spot, dropkick to Jimmy, Tyler tags in Fandango, and then it’s general chaos with kicks, Jimmy Uso on the top rope with a downed Tyler in the ring, Jey knocking Fandango away from interfering
- Jimmy’s left Tyler just a little too long, so when he goes for the pin, he gets rolled into a small package instead, and it’s Tyler who gets the pin!
That was pretty hard to recap, either it’s speedy, or I’m out of practice at looking at the screen across the room, and typing at the same time! Tyler and Fandango limp off, checking their beautiful faces for damage. Don’t worry boys, you won! And winners are always gorgeous.
Oh god, it’s a Shield video package for the triple threat, and they’re all complimenting each other, and I can’t cope with it, because I just miss their brotherhood so much, and now it’s Seth having made an enemy of them both, and he’s on the roster with Roman, and Dean’s all on his own, and it’s just… I’m having feelings, okay. And The Phantoms’ ‘This Is A War’ doesn’t help with the feelings I’m having.
MATCH: Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks and ???
Wow, we’re blowing our wad early on this one, huh? They can’t keep us in suspense for too long, and this is so cool! I’m so excited for two women’s matches, and just… ARGH. Sasha meanders out in her usual fashion… but who’s coming to be her teammate? That’s the question we all want an answer to. Dana and Charlotte look like girlfriends again, I love it, and the crowd chant for Bayley – and OF COURSE IT IS! God, I love her so much, I’m so happy it’s her, even though we knew it would be, it’s just so good to see her! Hopefully this is a proper debut, and not just a one off, but I think we were all very surprised not to see her in the draft.
- Charlotte doesn’t wait for the bell to ring, she and Dana charging a cuddling Sasha and Bayley, and once Sash is out of the ring, the two of them pile onto Bayley
- They get them pulled apart, Bayley already looking injured and hurt, and the bell rings, Charlotte ready to pull Bayley to pieces in the ring
- Springboard elbow from Bayley, Sasha in, powering into Charlotte with vicious forearms
- Charlotte gets her on the top turnbuckle, Sasha kicks her away and then comes back with a flying headscissors takedown, Charlotte rallies to slam Sasha’s head into the turnbuckle
- Cover from Charlotte on Sasha, for two
- Charlotte gets Sasha into her corner, and tags in Dana for some stomps to the mid-section and the face, before Dana drags Sasha into the middle of the ring for a pin and kick out at one
- Chinlock from Dana, holding Sasha in the centre of the ring as Bayley tries to rally the crowd for her friend
- Sasha battles out, sending Dana throat-first onto the ropes, and gets free to make the tag to Bayley
- Bayley bounces around the ring, taking Charlotte off the apron, heading up to the top rope and being distracted by Charlotte, Dana pulling her off and letting Bayley’s head hit the top turnbuckle
- Dana’s holding Bayley in the middle of the ring, Bayley reversing the hold to roll Dana over her, but Dana’s up and throwing her into the corner again and again – she looks so much bigger and stronger than Bayley
- Roll up from Bayley, pin for two, Dana kicking out
- Dana stands and flexes as Bayley crawls at her feet, and then it’s back to the corner, Dana with a handstand to get her boot on Bayley’s throat
- Clothesline from both women, both crawling to make the tag
- Charlotte and Sasha both in, neckbreaker from Sasha, and a huge knee to the face, knocking Charlotte down
- Charlotte bounces off the turnbuckle, and Sasha gets a pin for two and a half
- Dana comes to try and help, but Sasha comes off the ropes onto Charlotte for a two-count
- Charlotte knocks Sasha down and pins her, Bayley breaking it up, and as Dana and Bayley take care of each other, Charlotte goes for a Figure Four, Sasha makes it a Banks Statement, and Dana has to break it up
- Kick from Bayley to Dana, taking her down on the outside
- Backstabber from Sasha, into the banks statement, and Charlotte taps out!
Almost a ten minute match, pretty awesome, and a good show as a warm up to SummerSlam, where the title will be on the line, and Sasha gets her chance at it. Bayley and Sasha clasp hands in the ring, and Bayley points to Sasha, before they almost go for a hug… and then they do, because these girls love each other so much, and we love to see Sasha smile.
MATCH: The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family – Six-Man Tag Team Match
Our longest reigning tag team champs! They’re here, they’re gorgeous, and Xavier Woods looks like cosplaying Garnet from Steven Universe and pokéwalking the streets of California at SDCC has been good for him. They boys are happy to be drafted together, but Xavier says the Wyatts are going to be more dangerous than ever, because it’s the last time they’ll be together. Time for the Wyatts to come out, stalking out, with Bray in a new jacket. He whispers to his boys before the match begins, and Xavier Woods looks nervous.
- Strowman to start, Xavier Woods tagging in instead of Big E, and then Bray tags in, too. The two stare at each other before Kofi tags in
- Dropkick from Kofi to Bray, Xavier frozen in the ring still
- Strowman back in, boots to Kofi, Bray grandstanding on the apron
- Shoulder tackle in the corner from Strowman, Rowan tagged in with kicks to the mid-section, Kofi lifted easily and dropped, pin for one and a kick out
- Kofi held in a headlock, elbows to the head from Rowan, Xavier still looking nervous on the apron and Kofi tries to fight out from Rowan’s hold
- Kofi fights out, but clothesline from Rowan knocks him flat again
- Rowan holds Kofi by the leg, and Bray comes in with stomps to the mid-section and a huge right hand, knocking Kofi into the Wyatt corner
- Running senton from Bray, off a slam, Kofi kicks out of the pin at two, but he’s grappled into a headlock once more
- Kofi fighting out, getting away from Bray, but heading to his corner, there’s another huge clothesline from Bray, knocking Kofi down
- Bray stares down Xavier, who steps off the apron, looking petrified
- Kofi in the corner, Strowman with a knee to his throat, dragging him back into the Wyatt’s corner to bounce his neck off the turnbuckle
- Kofi tries to move away again, and he runs back into Bray, but Kofi dodges a clothesline, Bray going to the outside
- Big E tagged in against Rowan, belly-to-belly suplex and some hip gyrations above Rowan, big splash from E, who takes a second to knock Strowman off the apron, rolled up by Rowan, but he kicks out
- Xavier Woods breaks it up, then heads out of the ring, Strowman in to break up a pin from E, chokeslam from Strowman
- Kofi somersaults over the ropes onto Strowman, Kofi in with Roawn, sending him into the turnbuckle, and then Bray’s there
- Bray goes for Sister Abigail on Kofi, Xavier comes in to break it up, and he pauses, sinking to one knee in front of Bray
- Kofi leaps onto Bray, breaking it up, and Xavier looks at his hands like he doesn’t know where he is
- Kofi’s easily dispatched by Bray, and now it’s Xavier coming hard at Bray, coming off the top rope with a splash onto his tormentor
- Rowan in, eats a kick from Woods, Strowman punched off on the apron, Big E coming in with a suicide dive to move him away
- Spider walk from Bray, freezing Xavier, who gets caught in Sister Abigail, and that’s all she wrote.
Holy. Hell. The Wyatts looked legitimately spooky as hell, they made Bray look creepy and frightening, and worryingly occult, and the match was bloody incredible to watch… it told a story, it was good, it had great pacing… WWE, what’s happened? Am I really watching this show, or am I dreaming the best show in the world?
MATCH: Rusev vs. Zack Ryder – United States Championship Match
Blimey, we’re not getting much time to breathe tonight, are we? Lana comes out to announce her fiancée, in a sparkling gown and a tiara, once more saying Rusev’s the only man who can have her – loving that imperious gimmick. Then, it’s Ryder, whose trunks look like a knock-off Louis Vuitton handbag, and he’s wearing an American flag jacket, in case we forget where he’s from.
- The men go to lock up, Ryder dropping back, then waist lock from Rusev, bringing Ryder down to the mat and holding him there
- Cover for one from Rusev, and then it’s back to the mat wrestling, snapmare from Rusev, and back into holds
- Ryder rolls out of the ring, Rusev follows, and Ryder’s back in, swinging on the ropes to kick Rusev in the face
- Both men back in the ring, WOO WOO WOO chants from the crowd, dropkick from Ryder just shrugged off by Rusev
- Boot from Rusev crumples Ryder to the mat, and Rusev goes off with the punches to Ryder’s head
- Spinning heel kick from Rusev, cover, kick out at two from Ryder
- Rusev stalks the mat, like he’s picking his spot, and he’s back in with a waist lock, Ryder crying out in pain
- Elbows from Ryder, fighting Rusev away from him, Rusev shoulder first into the turnbuckle
- Forearm from Ryder, Rusev backing away from them
- Ryder going for blows in the corner, Rusev looking punch-drunk as Ryder revs up the crowd
- Goes for the Broski Boot, Rusev scouts it, catches him, and knees Ryder in the cut
- Rusev goes for a vertical suplex, Ryder counters into a neckbreaker, then comes in with the Broski Boot, and pins Rusev for two
- Rusev rolls out, Ryder following, and Rusev lifts him easily, dropping him ribs first onto the barricade
- Count of four, Rusev rolls into the ring, but then back out, goes for Ryder still on the barricades, and Ryder rolls out of the way, Rusev hitting the barricades hard
- Ryder with a missile dropkick off the top of the barricades, knocking Rusev down but also hurting himself
- Both men back into the ring on a count of nine, Rough Ryder on Rusev before an Elbro Drop, but Rusev gets the knees up, Ryder staggering away and getting a kick to the back of the neck for his troubles
- Ryder in the middle of the ring, a boot to the spine, and Ryder suddenly finds himself in the Accolade, he almost fights his way out, but Rusev pulls him right back over onto his back, and Ruder has to tap.
Rusev keeps his US title, and holds the submission for a little longer than he needs to, because why not, and then hefts his title. he drops the title to take boots back to Ryder’s spine, over and over. Mojo Rawley runs out to save his bro, shouting at a very unimpressed looking Rusev, who backs off from the clearly deranged man in the ring, heading for the ramp as Rawley protects his bro like a guard dog. Rusev gets hit title back, Rawley still yelling at him as he stalks off with Lana.
Backstage, Steph and Mick are talking about Bayley and Raw in general, and Seth’s not happy that they’re not talking about him. Steph says he has a chance to prove that he’s the best, and Seth says he should never have to prove anything. Mick says that he’s worried Seth’s confidence might have been affected, and Seth says he has reason to be confident – oh good, we’re back to calling Roman a wild animal, okay. Seth’s certain he’s going to win, and that he’s going to bring the championship back to Raw, and everyone’s going to have a baby boom because we’re all going to bang when he wins. Well, I guess we know what Seth’s got planned for tonight; lots of unsafe sex. Don’t listen to the weasel heel, kids – always use a condom.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
We’re not wasting any more time, after video packages and all sorts – these two have nothing left to say to each other, just a fight to settle.
- Helluva kick from Sami straight away, Kevin out of the ring, both men brawling on the outside, Kevin sending Sami into the barricades
- They take it in turn throwing each other into the barricades, then Kevin in the ring, Sami on the outside, headbutting Owens in the midsection
- Sami comes in with a huge knee to the face of Owens, who goes down hard, the ref checking on him
- The two trade blows, KO going for the back bock drop, taking a knee to the face from Sami
- Kevin gets Sami hung up, groin-first on the ropes, and as he drops into the corner, KO hits a cannonball, and gets a cover for two
- Knee to the back from Owens, screaming at Zayn to look at him, huge chops to Sami’s chest
- Sami back to the mat, and another pin for two
- Kevin with huge elbows to Sami’s head, Sami looking stunned, then Kevin steps on Sami’s hand and stands there, hard
- Blows to the face from Kevin, mocking the Ole chant, before looking like he’s going for a suplex, instead dropping him onto the ropes
- Kick to the spine from Owens, then a running senton and another pin for two on Sami
- Snapmare from Owens, and a headlock, pushing Sami flat to the mat and holding him there, Sami desperately trying to break the hold
- Sami trying to struggle out of a Chinlock, desperate to get up, and eventually struggling to his feet, but Owens takes him back down, mockingly chanting for Sami
- Elbow to the face from Sami, ref asking Sami, and Kevin saying that Sami wants to give up
- Sami fights to his feet, blows to the gut of Kevin, and a huge club to the middle from Kevin
- KO comes off the ropes into a huge clothesline, almost knocking Owens right over into a somersault
- Michinoku driver from Sami, pin for two
- KO rolls to the outside, and Sami goes for a dive, but KO grabs Sami’s ankle, dragging him out
- Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb, Sami grabs the ropes and gets free, but he bounces off the rope and lands on his previously injured shoulder on the apron, holding it like it stings
- Blue Thunder Bomb from Sami, pins Owens for two, unable to make the pin properly with the injured shoulder, which he’s still holding
- Sami goes to the top rope, but Owens meets him there, punching him back and going for a superplex, Sami coming back with shots to the gut and headbutts
- Owens falls off the ropes, and Sami climbs higher, comes off the top rope, rolls through, Owens dodging, and coming back with a huge superkick
- Sami pinned for two, and Owens rolls Sami into a cross-face, with the bad arm between his legs, held tightly, Sami trying to drag himself to the ropes to break it
- Sami gets a foot on the rope, so Owens has to break the pin
- Back at it, huge blows in the corner from Owens, and punch-drunk Sami is knocked down with a clothesline, left lying in the corner, face stunned
- Sami manages an exploder suplex from the corner, Kevin down
- Sami goes for the Helluva Kick, Owens rolls out of the way, Sami goes to the top rope, Owens meeting him and looks like he’s going for a rolling senton on the apron, but Sami fights free
- Sami goes for a suplex, on the apron, Owens landing hard on his back, both men down on the outside, Owens unmoving, Sami writhing in pain
- Sami rolls back in at a count of five, Owens makes his way in at nine, but both men are on their backs in the ring, struggling, clearly exhausted
- Sami’s bad arm is clearly stinging, but the two trade blows as the crowd’s chants duel too, Sami getting the better offense, hammering into Owens until the ref has to break it up as Owens is at the ropes
- Owens rolls up, Sami goes for a dive through the ropes for a tornado DDT, but Owens catches him with a superkick
- Cannonball to Sami in the corner, to his head, Sami flat out in the ring, Owens hits the frogsplash off the top rope, and the pin is so close – two and a half
- Sami runs the ropes, hits the tornado DDT, and goes for the Helluva Kick, caught again by Owens, who does for the pop-up powerbomb, Sami leaps free, and Sami gets Kevin down, pin for two and a half
- Standing ovation from the crowd, this is INCREDIBLE
- Pop-up powerbomb from Owens, pin for two and a half, both men in the ring looking thoroughly exhausted, giving everything they have as the crowd chant that this is awesome
- Kevin screams at Sami, asking why he won’t stay down, telling Sami not to make him do this as he sends huge blows to Sami’s face, Sami fighting back
- Exploder suplex from Sami, into the corner, and then a Helluva kick, Sami holds Kevin in his arms, staring down at the man who used to be his best friend as he lies limply in his grasp
- Gently, he props his best frenemy up on the turnbuckles – and comes back with a huge Helluva Kick, pinning Kevin to take the win
Sami howls in the middle of the ring, his face a mixture of elation and sadness, like he can’t believe that this is over, that he’s made this victory, that he’s managed to best Kevin. Eventually, the joy seems to win out, and he’s almost crying I the ring, breathing hard through it, the motion clearly overtaking him as he falls to his knees. If they don’t do that again for a long, long time… then that was a hell of a way to end it. That was amazing. I’m crying my eyes out.
MATCH: Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
These two ladies have a hard act to follow, I just hope we get a strong, lengthy match out of them, but I’m not really expecting it to resolve anything to do with storyline.
- Women straight in for a lock up, Becky fighting Nattie to the ropes quickly
- Waist lock from Becky, sidewalk slams to take Nattie down, before bending her over the ropes, Nattie slipping to the outside where she’s roundly booed
- The ref holds Becky back from Nattie as she climbs in – is this a rule for women only? They don’t do this in the men’s matches
- Nattie rolls out again, stands to address the crowd and gets a kick to the back from Becky for her troubles
- Becky comes out of the ring for another kick to Nattie, then both are back in and Nattie is straight back out
- Becky goes to leave the ring, and Nattie grabs her ankle, getting her caught up on the apron and pulling her down onto the floor
- Back in the ring, Beck sitting on the ropes in the corner, Nattie stomping on Becky’s thighs, tenderising her for the Sharpshooter
- Nattie grabbing Becky, more pressure on that left knee, holding her leg tightly, Becky almost making it into a Dis-Arm-her
- Another kick from Nattie, Becky groaning in pain, and Nattie stands on Becky’s leg, putting pressure eon that leg again
- Becky grabs the ropes to protect herself, Nattie pulling her away from it and working her leg again
- Becky kicks free, but it clearly hurts her, Nattie slapping Becky across the face and kicking to that knee before Nattie does a kip up, showing off her skills
- Another hold with pressure on the leg, Becky lying flat, but coming up to punch at Nattie’s face
- Once more, Becky nearly gets the Dis-Arm-Her in, and she manages an enzuigiri, but she has to use the ropes to hope herself stand properly
- Clotheslines from Becky, and a back elbow as he calls for straight fire, hobbling over into the corner for a clothesline
- Bexploder, cover for two, and Becky’s still back to her feet, discus clothesline from Nattie stopped by a grab to the arm
- Dis-Arm-Her nearly on again, Nattie rolling Becky up for two instead, locking in the Sharpshooter, but Becky makes it to the ropes to force a break
- Becky goes to the top rope, missile dropkick, and a cover for two
- Nattie in the corner, Becky flying towards her for punches to the face, the ref pulling Becky away and Nattie kicking between the ref’s legs to Becky’s bad knee
- Nattie gets the Sharpshooter locked in, centre of the ring, Becky crawling to the ropes, pulled back into the middle – and she taps
Becky lies in a crumpled heap in the middle of the ring – that was another ten minute match, that’s twenty minutes of ladies. I can only hope that means great things for the forthcoming women’s matches.
Shane and Bryan find Dean hanging out in the backstage area, and Shane says that Dean’s got the title, and it needs to stay on SmackDown. He says Dean’s got heart, and that’s why he’s going to stay the champ. Bryan says he always worried about Ambrose when he was in the ring with him, and Dean says that of all the guys the Shield beat up, he was always his favourite. He says that tonight, he proves something to himself, and the Shield goes to war – and he’ll still be the champ as he walks out.
MATCH: Darren Young vs. The Miz – Intercontinental Title Match
Maryse comes out, dressed in her dominatrix best, and Backlund is in his own set of clothes. Poor Bob Backlund. Maybe if Darren wins, he’ll buy his coach a new shirt.
- The two of them straight at it, Young having to be held back by the ref, grabbing Miz’s foot
- Waist lock from The Miz, getting Young in the corner
- The two go for a test of strength, Miz with a kick to Young’s face
- Darren Young crumpled in the corner, Backlund going to give advice
- Another test of strength, Miz goes for the kick again, but Young’s ready, front face lock from Miz, but Young grapples his way out
- Miz sent into the ropes, comes back with a shoulder tackle to take Young down, but then Young trades it off with a shoulder tackle of his own
- Swinging neckbreaker from Young, pin for two to Miz
- Miz in the corner, Young with huge blows to the chest, and then a kick in the corner
- Maryse distracting Young as he’s on top of the turnbuckle, and Mix knocks him off the apron
- Bac in the ring, headlock from Miz, holding Young in the middle of the ring
- Side headlock takedown from Miz, and once more, holding that on, Young going for a noogie to get Miz to let go
- Miz shouting at Backlund, Young rolling Miz over and almost getting the pin, Miz holding that headlock on
- Both to their feet, Miz dropping the hold, Miz going for the neckbreaker, looking for a backslide, Miz rolls over to get out of it, and then again, another backslide, Young fighting back, the two almost in a test of strength
- Backslide from Young, pins Miz for two
- Miz kicks out, and sends a kick to Young’s face for good measure
- Mix stomping at Young’s mid-section, has to be pulled away by the ref
- Miz heads for the corner, straight into a clothesline from Young, but bother men are down, and by the time Young rallies, Miz is back up, so the two trade chops and jabs for a little, before Darren launches Miz over his head, and Miz tolls out for a breather
- Young drops Miz on the apron, pin for two and a half, Miz kicks out
- Backlund yells at Young, he goes for the cross-face chicken wing, but Mix counters, heads out of the ring, but Backlund stops him in his tracks, backing him towards the ring so Young grabs him by the hair and pulls him back in
- Backlund goes towards the ring, and Maryse confronts him, slapping Backlund in the face, and then backing away saying that he tried to hit her
- Backlund goes mad, ripping his shirt off and screaming, Miz smacks Backlund, and Young leaps onto Miz and pins him to the outside, the bell ringing as another official has to be called to pull the two men apart.
Darren Young staggers up the ramp, staring at his hands like he can’t believe what just happened, and the match is over. Presumably the bell rang because Miz and a Backlund got into it? It was sort of unclear, and weird finish for a title match. Just looked a bit silly, really.
MATCH: John Cena and Enzo & Big Cass vs. AJ Styles and Gallows & Anderson
Enzo’s dressed like he wants to do some decorating, which is nice, and he wants to talk to us, calling himself the Mount Rushmore of certified g’s, and says he’s smarter than the average bear – and that they’ve got John Cena, so they’re technically 4g. Oh, you clever boy. Cass starts to talk, too, and god, this is so good, they’re so good, I love them – Cass tells AJ to get his minivan and pick up his boys, pack a lunch… I love these two so much. And it’s nice to get a rest, because the matches have been coming thick and fast, and I’ve been struggling. The Club have nothing to say, and we get this match started.
- Enzo against Anderson to start, Cena and Styles duelling chants as AJ looks at the crowd like he’s bored
- AJ nd Anderson too sweet for the tag, and AJ goes for a waist lock on Enzo, who moves out of the way pretty quickly
- Takedown from AJ, as the crowd shout ‘soccer mom’ at him, and Enzo gets out of the way
- Side headlock from Enso, AJ sending him into the ropes, leapfrog over, and then a dropkick to the face, Enzo looking a little baffled
- Cass tagged in, and Anderson tagged in, too, the two men staring each other down for a moment, big right hands from Anderson, before a shoulder tackled from Cass sends him down
- Anderson in the wrong corner, and Enzo thrown into an approaching Gallows, and Anderson taken down too
- Cass flings Enzo over the ropes at Gallows and Anderson as the crowd chants HOW YOU DOIN’?
- Cass throws AJ over into the three men already on the outside as well, because why not, then climbs out to get Anderson back into the ring with him, looking like he’s relishing it
- Double team again, dropping Enzo on Anderson, Enzo tagged in, but Anderson comes out of that with a big right to Enzo, knocking him over
- Enzo in the wrong corner, Gallows in, standing in his way, and Enzo uses Gallows’ body to crawl up to his feet, suplex into a slam and a cover for two
- At this point, your recapper has to take some morphine, so I apologise if this shit gets a little surreal from here on out
- AJ tagged in, grappling with Enzo, who fights back and out, trying to make it to his corner, but Styles shoves him back in the Club corner, and Anderson comes in with a huge kick to the side of Enzo’s head
- Enzo tries to make it back to his own corner, Anderson takes him back again, and throws him to the outside
- AJ tags himself in, and goes to fetch Enzo, with huge punches in the corner, the ref making him back off
- Styles comes at him with a run, after tagging in Anderson, and Enzo lifts him over the ropes, Anderson dragging Enzo out, Gallows coming in as well, but missing him and hitting the post
- Enzo looks like he’s make a tag, but Gallows hits him with a kick, knocking him down
- Finally, Enzo makes the tag, Cena in, Styles in too
- Shoulder tackles from Cena, who hots the Five Knuckle Shuffle, going for the AA< but Styles lands on his feet and hits a Pelé kick on Cena
- Styles gets Enzo off the apron while Cena’s still staggering up, the chants duelling again as h goes for the Styles Class, but Enzo comes in with a DDT, Anderson in in time to take a fallaway slam from Cass, then Cass gets wrapped up in a sit-out powerbomb from Gallows
- Weird spot where Enzo gets thrown into Cena, then Styles lands on Anderson, there’s an AA in ehre somewhere, and it ends up with Cena over the announce table, and there’s men all over the floor, Anderson having hit a spinebuster on the German announce table on Cena
- Cena makes it back in on a count of nine, he and Styles the only men still moving, and even then, just barely
- Styles goes for the Clash, hits it, but Big Cass breaks the pin at two
- Gallows in on Big Cass, but Cass comes back in, Gallows and Anderson hitting Magic Killer on Big Cass, and Enzo crawls back in, running circles around the two bigger men in the ring – Styles and Cena still the legal men
- Anderson runs at Enzo, who dodges, Anderson hitting the ring post
- Enzo runs into a big kick from Gallows as Cena slowly drags himself into the ring, the legal man, but Cena dodges and Gallows hits the ring post
- Styles on the top rope, Cena takes him down, the they’re bother on the top rope, AJ on Cena’s shoulders, but he fights out of it
- Cena throws AJ over his shoulders and he hits the mat hard – Cena gets the pin for three!
Not a bad match, all told, and certainly not a bad showing for the last time The Club will be together, Enzo hugging Cena, and then hugging Cass with a little grin that’s more real than performative. Cena claps both men on the back and pulls them into hugs, happy for a job well done as they head up the ramp.
Jericho’s here to let us drink him in, and he’s wearing a fetching vest, with is lovely scarf and some leather pants I’d say he was too old for if he didn’t make them look so damn good. He’s here to interview Randy Orton, and I’m going to take a break to get an ice pack and some different painkillers, because frankly, watching Jericho when I’m full of morphine is a bit weird. What’s also weird is how dressed these two men are, when we’re used to seeing them in tiny trunks. I feel a bit like Randy Orton in actual clothes is the real death of kayfabe.
Randy says he’s a bit sad to be spending time in the ring with Jericho, and the crowd chants ‘RKO’ at him. Jericho says Randy should be thankful for being able to be with him, and calls himself the GOAT. Like, actually says goat. Seriously. Randy says the crowd have him in a good mood, but he’s worried it might change, and he might drop Jericho’s ass with an RKO outta nowhere. Jericho’s pretty dismissive of that, and Jericho wants to fill Randy in on what he’s missed this week on Glee. Or, y’know, on WWE.
Randy gets offered the gift of Jericho, and Jericho’s still selling the tacks months later, and this is good, but it’s 3.35am here in the UK, and I’ve done something to my back that means I should probably be in hospital, and I’ve taken some morphine so it’s all pretty foggy…. And I really don’t want to watch a Brock Lesnar video package.
Randy manages to get a sly jab in about ‘no enhancement needed’ for his own work – babe, we remember your strikes, don’t push it – and Jericho suspects he’ll pay for that comment later. Jericho passes on messages from Brock Lesnar – and adds that Brock totally says he’s a stupid idiot. Suuuuure, Jericho. Jericho basically begs for an RKO like he’s asking for a spanking from daddy.
Obviously Randy hits an RKO. No one saw that coming. But c’mon, it’s his only move. He does his weird post on the ring post, too. Hi Randy, we sort of missed you, but this was a Raw segment, not a PPV one. But thank for you the break in fast-paced match recapping.
MATCH: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Championship Match
So, apparently most of the roster are backstage waiting for this match, watching, and we spot Dolph Ziggler chatting Tyler Breeze, probably about haircare, or Summer Rae. Hi Dolph! Out come the Raw and SmackDown GMs, because this isn’t just a match about the Shield brothers, this is about where the title is going. So, Seth comes out first, in shiny silver gear that looks amazing on him, then there’s the chorus of boos for Roman Reigns, in his golden-tinted gear, stalking along the apron as he stands to raise his hands, to more boos. Even Steph, who picked him for the roster – sort of – just has golf claps for him. Then it’s Deano, precious Deano with the title, stalking out in his usual gear, that big belt around his slim waist, and I just… he has to keep it, right? Please let him keep it, or I’m going to cry.
Also I take it that we’re overrunning, because otherwise this match is going less than seven minutes. No freaking way, guys.
- Starting off, Dean eying both the men he called brother, who share the same roster, as ‘Roman sucks’ echoes through the arena, Seth grinning
- Seth goes forward for a fistbump, beckoning for Dean to bring it in, and Roman drives Seth out with a shoulder tackle, chasing him around the outside, and when Seth slithers back in, Dean sends him flying over the ropes to the outside again
- Seth back in, sent out again by Roman this time, and Dean goes for a small package on Roman, and when Roman’s out, they share a moment of ‘can’t blame a guy for trying’ before going at each other
- Seth in, moving between them, and Dean sends him flying, Roman rolling Dean up this time, before a kick out at two
- Dean goes for Dirty Deeds, but Roman gets free, and the two trade blows, before Dean goes for a cross-body that doesn’t even move Roman
- Dean slumped in the corner as Seth comes from behind and gets Roman on the ground, boots to him over and over
- Seth whipped into the corner, goes up on the ropes, caught by Roman, Dean coming and sending both his former brothers down, Dean gets a cover on Roman for two
- Dena punching Roman in the corner, Roman reverses it and goes for shoulder tackles to the gut
- Positions reversed again, and punches wildly at Roman, Seth coming from behind again and getting Dean out of the way
- Neckbreaker from Seth to Roman, and Roman rolls free of the ring after he kicks out of the pin
- Seth gets Dean caught up in the ropes, neck first, and whips him into the corner, throat first, Dean on his back on the mat
- Seth grabs Dean at the head, gets him in the corner again, and then Seth comes running for a forearm in the corner
- Seth goes for the corner again, but Dean follows him, Dean send face first into the second turnbuckle, Roman coming with a drive by for Seth
- Seth and Roman on the outside, Dean coming off the top rope to both of them and mostly hits Roman, Seth going to the top rope and coming off with a flying elbow for Dean
- Dena thrown into the steel steps by Seth, Roman into the barricade as Seth stalks the outside, breathing heavily, and runs back to Roman at the barricades
- Roman lifts him up and over, into the timekeeper’s area, and follows Seth in, brawling with him in there
- Dean runs along the announce tables and launches himself off the final one into both men
- Dean back to the ring, up onto the top rope as Roman crawls into the ring, and a huge missile dropkick to Roman, and then a running bulldog, too
- Dean back to the top rope again, flying elbow to Roman and a pin for two
- Seth comes off the tope rope and lands on a prone Dean, pin for two, all three men down in the middle of the ring
- Seth goes for the Pedigree on Roman, who pushes out of it, and then smacks Seth with two huge clotheslines
- Forearms to Seth in the corner, Dean running into a clothesline too, tilt-a-whirl slam from Roman to Seth, and then a Superman Punch to Dean, then Seth
- Roman tries to pick who to pin, roaring to the crowd, and both kick him at the same time, before a kick from Seth to Dean, huge punch from Roman to Seth, and a clothesline from Dean to Roman, and all three are down again
- The three men trade jabs, Dean and Seth taking blows from Roman, before they band forces, taking him down to the ground
- Dean looks like he’s going to lift Roman for Seth to put into a powerbomb, but Roman kicks Seth down
- Roman out of the ring, Dean with a suicide dive to push Roman into the table, and then Seth with a somersault over the ropes and into both men
- Dean and Seth pull apart the Spanish announce table, Dean making Seth look him in the eyes, and they set up for a double powerbomb, sending Roman through the Spanish announce table
- Seth comes out from his crouch near the ring with a chair to Dean’s back – apparently this match is a no DQ? That wasn’t announced until now! – and then Seth takes the chair to Roman, too
- Seth going for the Pedigree on Dean, then changes his mind, goes for the turnbuckle powerbomb, but Dean counters with a headscissors, and Seth goes flying into the corner
- Dean goes to the top rope, Seth bounds up to meet him, and there’s a superplex that both roll through to be on their feet again, falcon arrow from Seth for a pin for two on Dean
- Dean’s still prone in the ring, and Seth’s crawling upright, boot the other gut, and Dean launching Seth into each other, but he bounces free
- Seth and Dean at the top rope, Roman gets under Dean and slam shim into the mat, Seth comes off the top rope and Roman catches him, goes for the pin, but Seth kicks out at two
- Roman’s prepped for the Superman Punch, Dean comes and goes for Dirty Deeds, then Roman’s trying to go for razor’s edge, but Dean fights free into a huge right hand from Roman, then a Superman Punch that he dodges
- Pedigree from Seth to Roman, Dean on the outside, and it looks like three – but Roman made it out at two
- Seth grabs Roman, furious now, going for the Pedigree again, but Roman lifts him high… but it’s not enough, turnbuckle powerbomb from Seth, and Roman comes in with a Superman Punch and a spear
- Both men are down, Dean comes in and hits Dirty Deeds on Roman – and gets the pin!
YES! Dean retains, the title is going to SmackDown, and that was a HELL of a match, the match we’ve all be waiting for, and it was just as good as I wanted it to be, my heart is RACING. The SmackDown locker room come out to hug and congratulate Dean, Cena hugging him and Dean gratefully taking it. Sure, next week these guys will be fighting Dean for his title, and they’ll be stabbing him in the back, but for now, The Usos lift the man who just pinned the cousin who’s dragging their good family name through the mud, and we close out the PPV with the sight them embracing the man who embodies their brand – our champion, Dean Ambrose.