Well, we’re told that tonight, fantasy warfare gets real. Got to say, my idea of fantasy warfare doesn’t start with a two hour pre-show, but I’ve got a cup of tea in my hand, so I guess that’s some sort of English fantasy right there. Personally, my idea of fantasy when it comes to wrestling involves Seth Rollins doing Charlotte Flair’s entrance, complete with splits. It’s just a thing.
Tonight’s a bit of a special one, as we’re tag-teaming this between myself – Steph – and Jess, our SmackDown Live recapper! We’ll be tagging in so that we can share the work on this five hour extravaganza of tag-team japes, and I get to start, because I own the site and because Jess is in Australia and has to go get breakfast. Also because I’m clearly the better part of this tag team. Absolutely.
The kick-off panel are in a completely empty arena, because this is ridiculously early. Renee Young is in something lovely and black, with an interesting collar, Booker T is professionally and attractively dressed, Lita’s in something stunning, lacy, and red, and Jerry Lawler looks like he’s been sleeping in a bin, as per usual. I wish he’d stayed there.
We mention that the last time Survivor Series was in Canada, it was the Montreal Screwjob, and then it’s over to Tom Phillips, in blue, who will later be joined by Kevin Owens, who will aggressively patronise him. Renee gently mocks Tom’s nervousness, and Jerry Lawler thinks it would be hilarious if KO assaults Tom on live TV.
It’s only two weeks until TLC. My schedule can’t cope. How am I supposed to think of funny things to say about Tom Phillips with this kind of regularity? Apparently Roadblock is now Raw only, and also in December. Did we just decide not to create any new names for these PPVs?
Matches coming up on the show are a six-man tag Cruiserweight match including my precious Scottish cutie Noam Dar, who I have personally touched and thus love extra hard, and then something where Kane and Luke Harper are going to bat at each other ineffectually. You can cover that one, Jess. In no way do I mind. Cruiserweights are terrible to recap. You have our previous CW recapper, Jordan, IN THE ROOM WITH YOU.
Booker’s excited about the Cruiserweights, and apparently they’re already trying to hype us up about Lesnar and Goldberg. We go back to July – was it really that long ago? – when the brand split started, and we see all the thing that Raw has done since, followed by all the things SmackDown has done since. Yeah, yeah, we get it. There’s a cute tagline thing where Jericho is tagged as ‘Kevin Owens’ best friend’, and I think that’s lovely. Raw get told their jobs are on the line, and SmackDown get told The Undertaker will kill them if they lose. My wife quietly comments that ‘team Raw are the fuckbois’, but that’s just her hatred of Seth speaking. Only two members of Team SmackDown know what a shower is, so that’s fair.
Renee wants to talk about how these teams are going to set aside their internal rivalries, but Lita says that Team Raw seem to be putting their team first. Lawler trips over some words that I refuse to listen to as people ‘woo’ in the almost empty arena. Booker T doesn’t like Shane being involved in the SmackDown Live team, and Lawler says the same thing, that he’s a corporate guy, and he’s physically outclassed. Lita thinks Shane will be a good example for the SD team, but Booker says that Team Raw have got the group mentality.
Lawler thinks that joking about people killing themselves is fun and an appropriate way to express that he doesn’t like Ellsworth. Booker T is excited about Randy Orton, despite the fact that he’s a racist prick. I mean, he doesn’t say that, but I hope that’s what he’s thinking. There’s talk about the Wyatt family creating an alliance, and Lawler calls Randy Orton ‘Randy Owens’, probably because he’s drunk. Sorry, I just… I hate him.
Booker T is on the List of Jericho. When did that happen? Lawler thinks Raw will win the men’s tag match, Lita says SD will win – both because of Ellsworth – and Booker is going for SD, because they let him be King Booker. Booker, you lectured the tag-teams, not the men’s team. I know it’s hard to tell them apart, but there were twice as many people in the room. Come on, now.
Time to talk about the women! Yay! But first, The Weekend did a song. Or something. I’m not sure I’d call it a song, but I’m grumpy and it’s gone 10pm. So, to the women! On SD, the Raw women showed up, with front-row seats, Charlotte sitting next to some old guy who looked like he might have a heart attack, and Nikki punched her in the face. I am still sad that Bayley got so eagerly involved in the subsequent beatdown. What has RAW done to you, Bayley? Booker thinks Charlotte is a Jedi, and we see footage of the brawl from SD last week, and we hear that Nikki lost a tooth that night. I’d have sympathy, but she can afford new ones.
Renee Young tries to corral the excitable puppies that are the kick-off team. Booker says that Charlotte’s the Queen of Raw, and she’s already been champion multiple times, even though she’s ‘just got here’. But he can’t discount Becky, either. Renee talks about Sasha and Charlotte and how they can get under the skin of the women they face, and Lita feels like poor Bayley is going to end up being the lynchpin of the team as she tries to make them work together. Lita talks about these women being the next steps in the revolution, but Booker says he doesn’t see it like that, then basically talks about a different point.
Renee says Lawler’s been quiet, probably with relief, and then we let him talk about women, because he knows sooooo much about them, right? He thinks the guiding force in the team will be Nikki, who’s been in WWE for longer, and who knows what she’s going. Booker makes a joke about time not waiting for women, and Lita refuses to smile, and says that actually, this is about the women on both brands wanting to take the steps for being equal. Renee plugs 2Pawz for Nattie, because she’s fucking marvellous.
Lawler says someone should call JBL and tell him the 60’s want their references back. I wouldn’t talk if I was wearing that shirt.
Lita’s going for Team Blue, Booker’s going for Team Blue, and Lawler’s going for…. Team Blue. Huh.
IC title discussion next, and I’m already sleepy. Last week on SmackDown, Miz managed to get a surprise win over Dolph Ziggler to become the new Intercontinental Champion. There was a bit of a hand from Maryse in the final moment, which the kickoff panel try to talk about, but then we’re cutting to a locker room with Sami Zayn and Mick Foley.
Sami doesn’t understand why he’s been chosen to represent Team RAW in the fight for the championship, and Foley talks about how his son once said he can imagine himself with a Sami Zayn action figure. I’m not sure why that’s encouraging, but Sami perks up a bit and says he became a professional wrestler because of Mick Foley and peps himself right out of the room. Lawler says that Daniel Bryan only browbeats the Miz, while Foley is encouraging Sami, and I’m not sure if he just understood that segment more than I did or if he just has strange standards for encouragement. Booker likes Sami, and now opportunity is knocking for him and he can’t be caught in his shower shoes. Yes, it’s been a career year for the Miz, but Sami is a force to be reckoned with of his own.
Booker goes on to explain that he thinks the Toronto crowd might actually work in the Miz’s favour, not Sami’s, as Sami might feel under pressure – but then the Miz wanders in, Maryse by his side. Miz is reiterating essentially what Lawler said, that he turned to Daniel Bryan for support and got none. The Miz always wanted the Intercontinental Championship as a child, because all his heroes were IC Champs, and now he’s got it he’s not going to lose it to Sami, and he’s going to prove to Daniel why he should be here.
I hate to say this because I love the Miz as a heel, but I’m sort of getting behind him here? That’s not something I’m really happy about. Why does Miz have to be so good at getting me onside?
Jerry Lawler says words referencing the Mike Pence / Hamilton business. Fuck you, Lawler. Apparently he thinks Pence is a great man. Suuure, Lawler. Go fuck yourself.
Time to talk about the tag teams tag team match. Lita understands me on a very fundamental level when her first comment is ‘that’s so many bodies’. Yes, Lita. 20 men is too many men for a tag team match. But about average for a night at my place.
Booker remembers that he spoke to the tag teams now, about uniforms and wearing their blue shirts, which Breezango understandably didn’t enjoy, because they’ve somehow picked a blue that looks bad on a blue-eyed blonde, which should be impossible. They obviously agreed between the two of them to protest by wearing as little of the shirt as possible. Renee thinks the SD tag teams have a better working order, but possibly that The New Day might be the grounding force for Raw. Lita thinks the power of positivity will help, and that the uniforms will help her work out who’s who. Let’s just hope that commentary can tell the members of The New Day apart, which is never a given.
Booker enjoys Cesaro, so thinks he’ll help the Raw team, but Lawler says that Cesaro and Sheamus aren’t a good tag team, so they might be the weak link. Booker’s prediction is for the SD team, Lita’s all about Team Raw, and Lawler says SD.
The countdown shows an hour and 13 minutes left in the fucking kick-off show. How the hell am I supposed to get through that?
The Brian Kendrick has a video package telling me I’m too lazy to do what he can do, and I make excuses for my lot in life, and that I’m willing to be weak. Uh, no, mate, I’m disabled, but thanks for reiterating what the government and my parents think of me. He says Kalisto is like that, too, and that he looks fun, but he does it all for adulation, whereas Kendrick… doesn’t? He calls himself the Cruiserweight division. Okay, if it’s just you, then no wonder you’ve got the belt.
Lita says Brian’s so weird, and she does sort of like watching it, but only to see what’s going to happen. She says they’re like a big ska band, and Brian’s the troublemaker, and they just have to hope for the best. Lawler says Kendrick looks like he’s close to cracking under pressure, and that Kalisto is used to fighting bigger guys ‘the normal heavyweights’, he says, because he’s not exposed to men weighing less than 200lbs, like, ever. Booker says the pressure is on the champ, but he believes in him, that it’s not about being flashy, but about holding onto the championship. Lita says Brian will have something up his sleeve, and that this should be an intense match.
Lawler’s prediction is Kalisto, Lita and Booker are going for Brian Kendrick, and Booker calls him a ‘kid’ then mentions he’s 40.
Becky and Nikki are talking backstage about how they’re going to kick Raw’s lass, and Becky starts talking about Game of Thrones, and tells Nikki to be looking out for Nia. Charlotte and Dana appear, Charlotte talking about how she’s made both Nikki and Becky tap out, and Becky just sits with her tongue out while Nikki talks about how she can’t wait to get her hands on Charlotte. Charlotte says she’s put Nikki in a neck brace before, and she’ll do it again, and that Nikki should be careful, because Becky’s her old best friend… ooooh. We talk about Dana being involved in the match tonight, though she’s only ringside.
Next up we’re in the social media lounge with Tom Phillips and Kevin Owens! Kevin is mad because Tom is trying to tell him not to wear blue because he’s not on SmackDown, but Kevin likes money so he’s going to make merch in the Blue Jays’ colours. But most importantly, Kevin is mortally offended because Tom did not invite his best friend to join him for this interview.
Jericho has set up a cute bit about how he’s wearing brown because he’s going to take Tom downtown, but Jericho is actually wearing black because he forgot which jacket he was wearing. But Kevin is a very good best friend and explains that it’s because Jericho was too busy being clever. They are so perfect together and I love them so much.
First of all, Kevin explains that of course he will wear Jericho’s scarf, because that’s what best friends do. Secondly, Kevin is confused when asked how he feels about team mascot James Ellsworth because he thought that Shane McMahon was the team mascot. Kevin also raises a concern which has been plaguing me for weeks, which is that it makes absolutely no sense that Tom Phillips is now commentating SmackDown because 3 commentators was already one commentator too many. Kevin Owens asking the real questions here, but Tom doesn’t provide a satisfactory answer.
Jericho keeps making references that Kevin doesn’t get, which makes me feel better about the fact that I have no idea what he’s talking about either, but he’s still smiling at him encouragingly. It’s sort of like that face I get when my three year old niece tries to tell me about her day but gets distracted halfway through and I just smile and nod because I love her very much even though she’s not saying words anymore. Tom Phillips and the guy in charge of putting graphics on the social media lounge screen both make the list, and we cut back to the panel.
Renee is excited about the friendship between Kevin and Chris, as we all are, and then they gently shill the Network to us, and Booker says Brock will be fighting himself tonight. I’d pay to see Brock Lesnar fight a mirror. The mirror would win.
MATCH: Ariya Daivari, Drew Gulak & Tony Nese vs. Noam Dar, Rich Swann & TJ Perkins – Six Man Tag Team Match
Mauro and Corey on commentary, as they’ll be the commentary team on 205 Live. I still don’t know why Drew Gulak is a pleather knight, but I’m starting to dig it. Unlike Tony Nese’s weird sex harness thing. Noam! He’s so precious, I love him so much. Poor TJ Perkins has been bumped down to the pre-show, from being the Cruiserweight champion. Poor lad.
- The men shake hands before the bell rings, and it’s Nese against Swann first, early lock up with collar and elbow tie, before Swann gets Nese into the corner. Swann whipped into the corner, getting a boot up as Nese comes at him. Dropkick from Swann takes Nese down easy, and he tags in TJP before a snapmare.
- TJP with a senton, punches to Nese in the corner, before a kick to Nese and a belly-to-back suplex, and a pin on Nese for two. Octopus hold from TJP, Nese reversing it and slamming TJP into the mat.
- Gulak tagged in, armlock from TJP, Renee Young breaks in briefly as broadcast sound goes weird. Swann tagged in, wristlock, Dar tagged in, keeping pressure on that wrist before tagging TJP back in, where he gets a quick shot to the belly from Gulak, and a right hand. The crowd chant for TJP.
- Gulak whips TJP into the corner, TJP leapfrogs, and gets the Kneebar locked in, Nese and Daivari breaking in to break up the hold, so Dar and Swann comes in, too.
- Back from commercial, Daivari and TJP, Dar tagged in and they trade off, before a dropkick from Dar floors Daivari. Nese tries to interrupt, distracting Dar, kicks from Daivari taking Dar down. Dar to the second rope, tangled in it, back kicks from Daivari, cover for two.
- Gulak tagged in, Dar trying to roll across the ring, but Gulak gets him in a headlock and tags in Nese, who gets Dar to the middle of the ring, big blows to the face and a leaping leg drop. Vertical delayed suplex from Nese, and a pin for two.
- Gulak tagged in, the two roll Dar, isolating the knees, then it’s Gulak, keeping pressure on Dar’s knee and ankle, Indian Deathlock transitioning into an armbar. Headbutt to Gulak, but Dar quickly loses momentum.
- Daivari tagged back in, elbow drop to Dar. Gulak tries a distraction, Dar knocking him away, and he and Daivari tumble off the ropes. Dar makes it to Swann, tags him in, spinning back kick and a double stomp to Daivari’s back. Swann hits a frankensteiner that wins him a pin for two.
- Gulak gets a cheap shot, Daivari getting a two count as TJP and Dar come in to break it up. BRawl in the ring, culminating in TJP somersaulting over the red and onto Gulak and Nese on the outside, before he helps Dar up.
- Kick from Swann, standing 450 splash on Daivari – and the pin for the win!
Nice speedy much, that was a good choice for the kickoff show, because it was exciting enough, without giving away anything too interesting. Also, I’m biased because Noam Dar was in it, and his team won, and I love him.
Kalisto is being interviewed backstage up next. It’s been strange for him with the Cruiserweights being on RAW with SmackDown blue running through his veins, but now he has the opportunity to bring it across to his side and be the new face of the Cruiserweights. Kendrick pops in at this point, however, to make snide comments about the idea of a masked wrestler being the ‘face’ of any kind of division, and that Sin Cara is just the better version of Kalisto anyway, and he’s already part of the Cruiserweight division.
MATCH: Kane vs. Luke Harper
Tom Phillips is not on commentary for this match, I assume because he’s off having a cry after Kevin Owens told him how useless he is there. Kane out first, followed by Luke Harper, who has his own non-Wyatt entrance music. Just thought we’d all like to know that.
- Two men circle each other as the bell rings, then a full nelson from Kane, snapmare takedown, into a rear chinlock.
- Harper to a vertical base, rebounding off the ropes, then Kane with a shoulder tackle to take Harper to the mat.
- Collar and elbow, then a waistlock, then transition quickly to a headlock from Harper. Kane with a slam, and Harper is sort of smirking up at Kane from the mat.
- Kick from Harper, then strikes back and forth until Kane with a hammer lock throws Harper into the ringpost.
- Kane still working Harper’s left arm; Harper creates distance and tries to take Kane down with a shoulder block but he just bounces off.
- Kane out of the ring, and Harper flies out through the ropes after him. Kane back into the ring and a senton from Harper gets a two-count.
- Kick to the face, but Kane kicks out at two again.
- This is a pay-per-view; there is no need at all to cut to commercial as Harper starts to posture. And yet, we do.
- When we’re back, Harper has Kane in a rear chinlock. Kane struggles out of it, and Harper comes back in with a pair of forearms and then back into the chinlock. Another attempt from Kane to get out of the hold, and Harper keeps him down with knees to the head.
- Harper up on the second rope, and Kane with an uppercut. Harper on the top turnbuckle and Kane takes him down with a superplex.
- Both men down but Harper is the first back up to his feet. Kane grabs him for a chokeslam, but Harper breaks out.
- Shoulder blocks to take Harper back down, then into the corner for a clothesline.
- Sidewalk slam from Kane, for a two-count.
- Back kick from Harper for another two-count. Harper postures a bit more as Kane gets to his feet, then Kane into the corner but meets Harper with a big boot.
- Harper with a dropkick gets a two count, but Kane is back on his feet quickly.
- Harper walks into another big boot, then a DDT, but kicks out at two.
- Harper with another kick, then a swinging sidewalk slam for a two-count. Harper prepares for the discus clothesline, but Kane hits the chokeslam for a one-two-three instead.
Kane celebrates in the ring and Harper appears to have disappeared.
Back on the panel, Lawler tells us that he loved the match, and he’s laughing about the idea of Harper flying through the ropes like he thinks he’s a cruiserweight too. There was no Wyatt family involvement in the match, which is faintly remarkable, but Booker reminds us that with Randy Orton and Bray in the five-on-five men’s match later tonight, there’s still time for Wyatt shenanigans to take place.
Lita reflects on her career here; tapping out to Trish Stratus in this arena, and facing Mickie James at her last Survivor Series. As she tries to talk about Mickie James on Takeover last night, the crowd starts chanting for Goldberg. That’s as good a segue as any, I suppose. Oh, no – it’s time for Lawler to talk about his Survivor Series history. He faced The Rock at Survivor Series once. Renee tries to sell me the Network, which I am currently using to watch the show, again.
Now it’s time to talk about Lesnar and Goldberg. It’s the first time in 12 years – what’s going to happen? Booker T calls it the Shucky Ducky Quack Quack moment, then goes on to quote Ric Flair; time off is a wrestler’s worst enemy. That’s bad enough when it’s a matter of months, but years? Not to mention, Goldberg has been doing a lot of chattering about what’s going to happen, but Lesnar hasn’t said a word. Either because he’s not good at using his mouth to make sounds without Paul Heyman, or because he’s busy training and preparing for the match.
Lita agrees that Goldberg seems like he’s too many years removed from active wrestling to put on a good show, though Lawler points out that Goldberg did hit a Jackhammer and a Spear on RAW recently. Booker has to keep going, though, because he and Goldberg are besties, but Lawler doesn’t think that’s a good point to bring up – friends don’t let friends fight Brock Lesnar. Final predictions: Lawler is going for Lesnar, while Lita thinks Goldberg. Booker with the tiebreaker vote simply says that ‘pain’ is going to win tonight. Probably the audience’s pain.
We get an interesting ‘don’t try this at home’ warning that I want to immediately disregard. IMMA GO GERMAN SUPLEX MY WIFE! I mean, I’m not, it’s midnight and she’s got work tomorrow morning, but…. Cute. Very cute.
MATCH: Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox (with Dana Brooke) vs. Natalya, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Alexa Bliss & Naomi – Team RAW vs. Team SmackDown Live Elimination Tag Team Match
Apparently we’re starting with the women, because giving them the main event last PPV was deemed like it might make them uppity, or some bullshit. Maybe this is the negotiation that Triple H had to make with Vince to let Sasha and Charlotte main event Hell in a Cell. Fuck’s sake. JBL and Mauro are here for SD, Corey and Byron for Raw. It’s pretty fucking telling that everyone else appears to have red gear/new red gear, and Nia’s just got a Raw shirt over her usual gear. What, it’s too hard to make her new gear in red too, or add some red accents? Even Dana’s got her red and black gear on. And we saw Nikki’s got a new blue top, so… great. The larger woman doesn’t get new gear, just a t-shirt. We’re barely 7 minutes in and I’m already livid.
Team SD enter, and okay, it doesn’t look like Becky’s got blue gear…. And what’s this, Nikki’s not here? The rest of team SD are paused on the ramp, and Nikki’s not coming out, Team Raw looking smug. We go backstage to see Nikki curled up whimpering about her neck, saying someone hit her from behind, and there’s Daniel Bryan and Natalya, who’s conveniently in her ring gear and an SD shirt. Oh look, Nattie’s going to have to take Nikki’s place.
- We start off with Alicia and Carmella, quick lock up, before the ref gets them to part because of hair pulling. Carmella shoves Alicia, dropkick from Foxy, Northern Lights suplex with a bridge. I love seeing that. Flying headscissors from Carmella, quick pin on Foxy for two.
- Kicks from Fox, Carmella tagging in Becky, Alicia tagging in Bayley. The two women can’t actually keep the grins off their faces, but Charlotte tags herself in, then backs away, and Sasha tags herself in. Sasha and Charlotte start shoving each other, Bayley trying to make peace, and there’s a European uppercut from Becky to Charlotte. Brawling in the ring, Nia Jax shoving the SD ladies back into their own corner to split the groups.
- Sasha and Becky lega, quick roll up from Becky, backslide from Sasha for a two count. Kick from Sasha to Becky, Charlotte tagging herself in, taking two deep arm drags from Becky, before an armbar. Waist lock from Becky, rolling Charlotte up, but Charlotte gets free. Becky with a back kick to Charlotte’s knee, rolls through to the Dis-Arm-Her, but Charlotte gets back into her own corner.
- Nia tagged in, lifting Becky easily and getting her into the corner, slamming into her and then headbutting her. Carmella tagged in, wiped out with a clothesline. Alexa flattened nexty, then Naomi up on the second rope, cross-body, Nia catching her and slamming her into the mat. Nattie tagged in finally, kick to Nia’s midsection. Carmella tags herself in, and it’s a double shoulder block from the SD ladies, before Nia takes them both down with a huge double clothesline.
- Carmella and Alicia, Fox getting Carmella hung up on the ropes, the ref wresting her away. Kick from Fox, and a cover – Carmella eliminated.
- Alexa Bliss off the top rope onto Alicia, and that’s Fox eliminated.
- Naomi against Charlotte, jawbreaker from Naomi, who kicks the rest of Team Raw off the apron, and leaps off the top turnbuckle onto Nia on the outside. The ref counts Nia and Naomi, and Nia wallops Naomi, who lies flat on the outside, and is eliminated via count out.
- Alexa and Sasha in the ring, Alexa standing on Sasha’s injury-prone back, using the ropes for balance before she shoves Sasha into the corner and tags in Nattie. Bliss dragged back in, Sasha with a knee to Nattie. She hangs Bliss on the ropes and throws Nattie into here, then a double knees off the apron onto Nattie.
- Back in the ring, Sasha looks like she’s going for a suplex, but Nattie gets a quick roll-up and a suplex of her own. Sasha goes for the backstabber, but Nattie rolls her up and that’s Sasha eliminated.
- Nattie and Charlotte, with chops from both women, then a german suplex from Nattie, but Charlotte comes back, the crowd chanting Suplex City. Charlotte goes to the top rope for the moonsault, Nattie lifting her high for a sit-out powerbomb, Nia breaking up the resulting pin. Nattie goes for the Sharpshooter instead, because Survivor Series, but Dana gets Charlotte onto the ropes. Charlotte gets Nattie down – Natalya eliminated.
- Becky knocks Charlotte down, and then Alexa tags herself in, Becky and Alexa fighting. Nia goes to take both of them down, but they dodge, trying to suplex her between them. Instead, Nia hits a double suplex!
- Bliss off the top rope, Nia catches her, Becky with a missile dropkick, rolling both women away. Becky get a pin on Nia, who kicks out, then gets the Dis-Arm-Her – and that’s Nia eliminated. But Nia doesn’t leave, throwing Becky around like a ragdoll, before heading to the back.
- Charlotte with a big kick to Alexa, pinning her quickly – Alexa is eliminated!
- Charlotte and Becky now, Becky in the corner taking huge kicks from Charlotte, who stands in the centre of the ring, grandstanding. She pins Becky for two, then stands above her and tries for the Figure Eight. Becky back with clotheslines and a leg lariat, followed by a Bex Plex.
- Becky to the top rope, flying leg drop, and she pins Charlotte – but Bayley breaks it up just in time. Charlotte rolls out, Bayley in against Becky, the two of them looking at each other, Bayley going for a bridged jack-knife cover that Becky rolls out of. The two women trade blows, before a pump-handle Bex Plex from Becky and a pin for two.
- Elbow drop from Becky, Bayley getting up with a big clothesline to Becky, pinning her for two. Armbar attempt from Becky, Bayley rolling through, suplex from Bayley. Becky back on Bayley’s arm, but Bayley hooks herself onto the ropes. Bayley-to-Belly, pinning Becky – and that’s the win!
Charlotte steps into the ring and raises her hands with Bayley – then punches her in the face. Clearly Charlotte isn’t happy that she didn’t get the pin, and she takes Bayley to the outside, throwing her into the barricades like a ragdoll. Dana stands nearby with Charlotte’s title, as Bayley lies crumpled on the ground. Charlotte snatches her title back, her music plays, and she and Dana leave, triumphant.
James Ellsworth is ambling about backstage looking pleased to be there. Gallows and Anderson have to come and ruin his fun, though, telling him that he’s a ‘Chinderella story’ – gone from scrubbing floors in rags to being the belle of the ball. They’re mad at him for having pinned AJ and generally being a little twerp and teasing him about having no chin, but Mick Foley comes out to yell at them for being mean and to tell them they wouldn’t like it if he teased them for being bald.
Ellsworth is so excited to meet Mick because he loved watching him get the snot beat out of him – though Mick tells him to please not say that The Undertaker ‘tossed him off’ anything because that means something different in some parts of the world. Mick tries to seduce Ellsworth to the red side, but Ellsworth says he’s not interested. Not until he turns around and walks into a giant sweaty wall of Braun Strowman, and he flees before he can be ragdolled around a second time.
MATCH: The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Sami Zayn – Intercontinental Title Match
I just can’t help myself; I’m singing and dancing along as the most gorgeous couple in WWE make their way down the ramp. Maryse is sparkly and marvellous, and The Miz, as always, looks thrilled to have her by his side. Don’t worry, I haven’t been too badly seduced by the heels – I almost injured myself dancing for Sami. I just can’t help myself. I think my coffee this morning was a little too strong.
- Collar and elbow transitions to a wrist lock, which Sami rolls out of, knocking Miz off his feet.
- Another collar and elbow, Miz gaining the advantage again, but then Sami leapfrogs him and gets a deep arm drag into an armbar, rolling through into a pin attempt for a one count.
- Sami with Miz’s arm locked, then as Miz breaks the hold again, Sami leapfrogs him and Miz rolls out of the ring.
- Sami goes to fly after him, but upon seeing that Miz has moved out of the way, springboards off the ropes back to his feet in the ring. Miz is not impressed, dragging Sami out of the ring by his apron and sending Sami headfirst into the apron. Sami with a moonsault off the barricade, and Maryse has some very stern words with him.
- Back in the ring, Miz hits a double axe-handle of the top rope then an elbow onto Sami’s leg. Miz continues to work Sami’s leg to set up for the Figure Four, but the ref creates separation as they stay in the corner too long.
- Chop from Sami to Miz’s chest, then Miz into the turnbuckle. Sami blocks a strike from Miz then hits back with one his own, then a series of strikes in the corner. Miz slips out between his legs and knocks him to the mat.
- Miz setting up for the surfboard stretch, then taunts the crowd with the ‘yes’ chant before stomping on Sami and letting him go.
- Sami with a back elbow then a boot to Miz, then pulling the ropes down as Miz comes at him to send Miz tumbling to the ground. Miz drags him by the ankle again, sending his leg into the ringpost; then a second.
- Miz throws Sami Figure , but Sami kicks him away. Several kicks from Miz, then strikes back and forth as Sami gets to his feet. Clothesline from Sami, but that leg is still giving him trouble, even as he clotheslines Miz over the top rope.
- Sami flies over the top rope to take Miz out. Throws Miz back into the ring; Miz goes for the Figure Four again, but Sami counters and hits the Michinoku Driver for a two-count.
- Sami goes to pick up Miz again, but Miz fights out with elbows, then a second attempt is countered again. My feed stutters a moment over what looks like a series of pin attempts.
- Miz taunts the crowd with some more yes chants as Sami tries to shakeout his injured leg, then hits a boot and a pair of dropkicks in the corner.
- Miz up onto the turnbuckle for the double-axe handles again, but his misses and Sami hits the Blue Thunder Bomb. Miz kicks out at two, and Sami clutches his knee again.
- Miz scrambles to the corner, and Sami motions for the Helluva Kick. He moves slowly, though, because of his knee, giving Miz plenty of time to roll out of the way. An attempt at the skull-crushing finale is countered, and Sami hits an exploder suplex and motions for the Helluva Kick a second time.
- Miz moves out of the way again, and Sami hits the turnbuckle. Miz locks in the Figure Four. Sami looks like he’s about to tap, but scrambles to counter. He manages to reverse the pressure onto Miz, then make a rope break. His leg is in bad shape now, however.
- Miz taunts the crowd and his general manager some more with the Yes Kicks, but Sami ducks the final kick and locks in the Figure Four.
- Miz drags himself to the rope, but Sami drags him away again. The bell rings and Sami gets up, thinking Miz must have tapped – but Maryse is in the timekeeper’s area, looking theatrically confused. Miz rolls Sami up with a big handful of tights, and retains the championship!
Miz looks so pleased with himself and his beautiful and clever wife as he celebrates with his title, and Sami doesn’t know how to feel about any of this.
Dean and AJ are backstage, and AJ is telling Dean to look out – they’re both talking about walloping each other with chairs, and telling each other their fantasies. Shane comes in to break it up, telling them that they’ve already lost one match, they’re not losing another one. He tells Soccer Mom and Dean to focus, and Dean playfully punches AJ in the arm before wandering off.
MATCH: Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Sheamus & Cesaro, The Club, The New Day, & The Shining Stars vs. Breezango, American Alpha, Beauty & The Manbeast, The Usos, & The Hype Bros
Enzo and Cass make their way out to the ring; I’ve missed them, with me being the SmackDown recapper, I no longer get to mimic them on their way down to the ring while also trying to type. Cass hypes the crowd by saying he’s been drinking some Tim Hortons coffee while SmackDown have been sipping on a cup of average joe. Enzo removes his top layer, revealing that ‘if you can read this, it’s too late’. The ring announcer confirms that if one member of a team is eliminated, that team is eliminated, which I must admit makes the concept of a twenty man elimination match seem much less stressful. The rest of the RAW teams join them, and I appreciate that Big E is wearing his RAW shirt underneath his ring gear. Xavier and Kofi take the mic, and hype the crowd, leading a ‘Team RAW rocks’ chant.
Cesaro and Sheamus bicker their way down the ramp, bringing up the rear, as Slater and Rhyno make their entrance. Breezango follow, somehow wearing even smaller shirts than last week, followed by the rest of Team SmackDown.
- Fandango and Big E start in the ring together and before the match even begins Fandango looks fairly apprehensive. Oh, wait; no, he’s just distributing fashion tickets to everyone. The New Day get the quickest elimination I’ve ever seen and Breezango are out before the match even begins properly. Tyler is mutinous at ringside, but while he’s carrying on, the Usos have made their mark and Kofi is pinned before I even know what’s happening. The New Day has been eliminated!
- Big Cass in next, dragging around Jimmy Uso, but Epico tags himself in. Ryder tags in on the SmackDown side, then in comes Mojo Rawley to dance for our amusement.
- Mojo rolls to block Epico from making a tag to Primo, then goes for a quick cover for a two-count. Basement dropkick from Epico, then Primo tags in for kicks in the corner. Crowd chanting ‘we want Slater’.
- Luke Gallows in now, for more strikes then a body avalanche, before Anderson tags in. Crossbody from Rawley, then Ryder back in with a clothesline and then throwing Anderson into the corner. Reversal on an Irish whip from Anderson, but Ryder gets his knees up then hits a missile dropkick. Broski Boot is set up, but Anderson rolls out of the way with help from Gallows.
- Wrecking ball dropkick from Ryder, but he takes a knee to the head from Anderson as Gallows tags back in. Magic Killer, and the Hype Bros are eliminated!
- American Alpha in the ring, a double dropkick on Gallows, then Gable whipped into the corner by Jordan against Gallows. Gallows regains control quickly, though, dragging Gable to the corner to tag in Sheamus for strikes in the corner.
- Sheamus tags in one of the Shining Stars, and there’s quick tags between the two of them, ending with Epico with strikes on Gable’s head. Lateral press for a two-count, then a rear chinlock.
- Gable to a vertical base, but a belly-to-back suplex, a German suplex and a vertical suplex takes Gable to the mat – but he kicks out of the cover. Double axe handle as Primo tags in, but he goes into the ring post as Gable slides of the way of his assault.
- Jordan in with the electric chair, and Gable flies off the turnbuckle – Jordan gets the cover and the SHining Stars are eliminated.
- On the outside, Sheamus is thrown into the barricade by Jason Jordan, while Slater and Rhyno fight Enzo and Cass in the ring. Cass throws Enzo over the ropes at the Usos, then Slater up on the turnbuckle to stage dive to take down the whole group.
- Sheamus and American Alpha back in the ring; overhead belly to belly from Gable, then Cesaro is in getting Gable in the Cesaro Swing. Jordan launches Gable over the ropes to land on the group on the outside, then tries to follow himself, but is blocked by Luke Gallows.
- Magic Killer to Jordan, then Anderson gets the pin – American Alpha has been eliminated.
- Slater in from behind on The Club, raining down knees and strikes on the two of them, but Anderson takes him down with a spinebuster. Stomps in the corner, then a tag to Sheamus. A series of strikes from Sheamus, then he offers the tag to Cesaro, then pulls away for more assault on Slater.
- Gallows tags himself in, hitting a series of elbow drops, knocking Enzo off the apron as he tries to rebound. As they argue, Slater crawls to tag in Rhyno – GORE! Gallows and Anderson are eliminated.
- Big Cass comes in with a big boot, then tag to Enzo for the Bada Boom Shaka Laka. Slater and Rhyno have been eliminated!
- It’s only the Usos left now, Jimmy in the ring taking a big strike from Enzo. Enzo runs into the superkick, then a Samoan Splash from Jey, and Enzo and Cass are eliminated.
- Sheamus in the ring now, Sheamus with a knee to Jey, then throwing him over the ropes. His SmackDown shirt is torn from his body for Sheamus’ assault over the ropes, then a rolling fireman’s carry slam from Sheamus.
- Sheamus poses dramatically, then misses with the brogue kick, taking an enzuigiri. Superkicks in stereo as Jimmy tags back in, but Cesaro takes the brunt of the impact. Brogue kick from Sheamus, for a nearfall, but Jey breaks up the tag.
- Sheamus clotheslines Jey over the top rope, then sets up Jimmy on the turnbuckle for White Noise. Jey tagged in however, and hits the splash – but Cesaro in with a double stomp for the save.
- Cesaro eager for the tag, and Sheamus finally goes for it. Cesaro starts in on the uppercut party, but Jey breaks it with a forearm. Springboard corkscrew uppercut, then a pair of kicks and a crossbody for a two-count.
- Cesaro signals for the swing, and the crowd is just shouting ‘ten’ instead of a proper count. Is Dillinger in the building?
- Cesaro transitions straight into the sharpshooter, but Jimmy breaks it up. Arm trap half-boston looks like it’s giving Cesaro some trouble, but he struggles out of the hold and locks in the sharpshooter. Sheamus knocks Jimmy away as he tries to break up the hold, and Jey taps – team RAW wins!
Sheamus and Cesaro celebrate together, though they don’t look thrilled to be sharing this moment.
Steph and Mick are backstage high fiving each other, super proud that they’re two for two on the tag team matches so far, even if Sami lost to The Miz. Apparently Cesaro and Sheamus have proven themselves, and will be allowed a title match against The New Day tomorrow night. Steph and Mick share thumbs up.
We’re reminded that TLC is only two weeks away, and I’m kinda sad, because I like that PPV, so I might actually watch it that night, even though it’s a SD exclusive.
MATCH: Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto – Cruiserweight Championship Match
We see the same Kendrick video package we watched earlier. Kalisto is out first, dressed in the colours of the Mexican flag, followed by Brian Kendrick, dressed in the colours of space, and also the Cruiserweight title, singing along to his own music. His galaxy leggings are the business, man, WWE should sell that shit and make a mint.
- The two reluctantly shake hands, intensely. Kendrick runs straight into Kalisto, frankensteiner, and Kendrick’s straight out of the ring, Kalisto coming over the top rope in a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Irish whip from Kendrick, springboard corkscrew cross-body from Kalisto, and an early pin for two.
- Suplex from Kendrick, two count. This match is literally too fast for me to call. Kendrick goes for Slice Bread #2, Kalisto for Salida Del Sol, neither managing, and they trade roll ups for a little while, before an elbow from Kendrick sends Kalisto sprawling.
- Whip from Kendrick, Kalisto coming back with a kick, then a headscissors takedown, followed by a dropkick. Kendrick bounces Kalisto’s head off the turnbuckles in the corner, then props him between the steps and the ring apron, and Kendrick squashes him in there. He climbs back into the ring and grandstands as the ref counts.
- Kalisto back in, double axe-handle from Kendrick, who then wraps Kalisto up in the ropes, followed by a kick to the small of the back. Suplex from Kendrick, pin for two. Cravate from Kendrick, Kalisto’s hands shaking with the effort to power himself up and out of it.
- Kalisto on his feet, takes Kendrick down, but Kendrick rolls it through and it’s back to the cravate. Kalisto back up, kicks to Kendrick, who dives through the ropes while holding Kalisto’s arm, slamming Kalisto into the ropes. Kendrick trying to get back into the ring, dropkick from Kalisto to send him out again.
- Both men on the apron, trading kicks, Kalisto shoving Kendrick hard into the ring post. Spanish Flag from Kalisto off the ring apron, both men landing hard, lying still for a moment as they struggle to recover. Kalisto flings Kendrick back into the ring, pins Kendrick for two.
- Kendrick rolls back out of the ring, Kalisto with a suicide dive straight onto him, huge blows to Kendrick’s head. Kalisto kicks Kendrick, shoving him back into the ring, and goes to the top rope, like he’s looking for a moonsault, and Kendrick kicks him. Kalisto lands with the rope between his legs.
- Both men on the second rope, Kendrick raking at the eyes, rolling them both off the ropes and into the Captain’s Hook, readjusting to try and keep Kalisto from the bottom rope, but he eventually makes it, breaking the hold.
- As Kalisto’s recovering, Kendrick hits him in the back with a double axe handle, driving him into the corner and carrying on with blows to the lower back. Moving away, Kendrick runs right into a kick from Kalisto. Cartwheel driver from Kalisto.
- Salida del Sol from Kalisto! He pins Kendrick, but Kendrick gets a foot on the ropes to break it. Kendrick down flat, Kalisto goes to the top rope – and Baron Corbin appears, shoving Kendrick aside and catching Kalisto. Brian Kendrick retains!
Corbin exits quickly, and Kendrick holds his title high, enjoying himself with this lucky win.
The kickoff panel are here to kill time, but I’ll take Renee Young and Lita any time. I just wish someone would shoot Jerry Lawler. They talk some nonsense about the matches we’ve had and the matches we’re waiting for.
Baron Corbin is backstage, where Daniel Bryan asks what his problem is, and calls him selfish for costing SD Live the Cruiserweights. Corbin doesn’t care, he doesn’t want little pests running around him, he says, as he stares down at little Daniel Bryan. Bryan says he’ll deal with him on Tuesday.
MATCH: Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman vs. AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton & Shane McMahon (with James Ellsworth) – Team RAW vs. Team SmackDown Live Elimination Tag Team Match
James Ellsworth is the first person out to the ring for Team SmackDown, looking just so happy to be here tonight. Despite the fact that AJ Styles as the WWE World Champion should be captain, it’s Dean Ambrose who comes out last of his team, to a huge pop. Yet, they’re chanting ‘AJ Styles’ as Team RAW starts to make their way in, starting with Braun Strowman. Bray and Randy have a quiet little whisper as he makes his way out; perhaps Bray just wants Randy to reassure him that Braun doesn’t look as happy without him. Seth is wearing half a RAW shirt, and half his own, and if I didn’t hear the music, I’d recognize from the boos that it’s Roman Reigns out next. Jericho, then Owens, make their way out, and Owens is not wearing the scarf that Jericho gave him on the pre-show. He’s not a very good best friend after all. The crowd takes up in a ‘Y2J’ chant, presumably to punish Kevin for not respecting his friend’s scarves.
- AJ, Shane and Dean can’t seem to decide amongst themselves which of them are going to start in the ring, though AJ eventually does. He and Kevin circle each other. Kevin immediately with the upper hand, but AJ rolls out. Transitions follow, until Kevin gets a side headlock. AJ rebounds off the ropes, then leapfrogs over him and goes for a dropkick but misses. Kevin with a senton, but AJ rolls out of the way.
- Exchanging blows, then AJ rebounds off the ropes and meets Kevin halfway. Kevin dodges a Pelé kick, then Kevin tries to go for a powerbomb, but AJ blocks. An attempt at a Styles Clash is also blocked, and the crowd starts chanting ‘stupid idiot’.
- Jericho tags in, and Kevin gives him a very comforting big hug as AJ looks on smiling. Jericho throws his RAW shirt at AJ, then goes in for a quick assault, taking him down with a shoulder block. AJ recovers with a dropkick , and Jericho gets distracted as he gets to his feet because Seth is laughing at him, and tags him in out of something like spite.
- Seth and AJ circle each other, then AJ makes the tag to Dean. Seth looks shocked for a moment. The two lock up, then Dean with a waistlock, then Seth taking Dean to the mat. Seth rolls through a wrist lock, then a pair of quick covers; shoulder tackle from Ambrose, then Seth leapfrogs.
- Dean tries to go for Dirty Deeds but is blocked, then Seth tries a Pedigree and is blocked. Jericho tags back in, and points at Dean, still yelling about how expensive his jacket was, I guess. Dean shuts him up with a kick, then backs him into the corner for more strikes and kicks.
- Jericho back, striking Dean, but Dean reverses Jericho’s Irish whip, then a pair of arm drags. Pendulum lariat is almost countered into a Codebreaker, but Dean blocks. Jericho with an enzuigiri drops Dean, but he kicks out at one.
- Dean in the corner, Jericho with a headbutt, then a knee to the stomach and some elbows and a few slaps to the face. Dean throws Jericho into the opposite turnbuckle, then gets on the middle rope for strikes to the head. Referee creates separation, and Dean tags in Shane McMahon.
- Shane with quick strikes on Jericho, taking him to the mat, but Jericho rolls out of the ring.
- Back in the ring, then with strikes back and forth, and Shane is practically dancing as he knocks Jericho down then hits a pair of arm drags.
- Jericho into the corner, knocking Shane away with a boot. Dropkick from Jericho, then a tag to Seth.
- Seth with a suplex for a two-count, then drags Shane into the corner by the ankle to tag in Roman. Headbutt from Roman, and Shane scrambles to the corner. Roman meets him with some corner clotheslines. Shane drops down under the arm, but is struggling.
- Right hand from Roman, then Seth tags in. Roman holds Shane in place as Seth climbs on the turnbuckle for a flying strike.
- Seth with a face lock on Shane, Dean on the apron encouraging his commissioner, and Shane powers to a vertical base with elbows to Seth’s stomach.
- Back body drop from Shane, and he makes the tag to Dean as Seth tags in Kevin.
- Rebounds from the ropes, and Dean knocks Owens down with a clothesline, then a forearm in the corner. Kevin sets up for the cannonball, but Dean is on his feet, knocking Kevin out of the ring and Jericho off the apron. Suicide dive after him, then Dean up on the turnbuckle after throwing Kevin back into the ring.
- Misses from the turnbuckle, and Kevin sets up for the pop-up powerbomb, which Dean reverses with a hurricanrana. As Dean sets up for Dirty Deeds, Jericho enters the ring to interfere, then all ten men enter the ring for a confrontation. A ten-way brawl breaks out as the crowd chants for ‘Ellsworth’.
- Bray and Kevin fight on the outside, as Randy Orton sends Seth headfirst into the apron and Roman deals with AJ. Dean flies out of the ring at Braun, who just catches him in his arms. He looks to be setting up to slam him onto the apron, but AJ comes in with a forearm to save him.
- Kevin up on the turnbuckle, cannonballing onto the other men. He goes for Randy, but Randy sends him onto the barricade. Shane McMAhon is up on the turnbuckle next, not to be outdone, but Strowman throws him back into the ring.
- Strowman with strikes, then Dean and AJ come in to save him. Shane and Strowman tumble over the top rope, then Roman and Seth come in to fight Dean and AJ.
- AJ hits Roman with a Pelé Kick, and Dean sends Seth out of the ring. The crowd chants ‘AJ Styles’, as AJ very smugly points out to Dean, and Shane tries to get between them, but Dean tackles AJ anyway.
- AJ fights back, then Strowman comes in with a running powerslam, and successfully eliminates Dean.
- Shane in the ring next, and he gets in a quick series of strikes on Strowman, but Strowman knocks him off his feet easily, then sends him into the corner for a splash.
- AJ attempts the Phenomenal Forearm, but is thrown out of the ring easily. Randy tries to hit the RKO, but Strowman knocks him off hi feet with a clothesline.
- Strowman stomps Shane in the corner, but as he runs back, he runs into Bray and just stops in his tracks. The two stare each other down, and Bray just points him away. Jericho tries to interfere, and Strowman grabs him for a chokeslam – then reaches out with the other arm for Bray.
- Bray off his feet with a clothesline from Braun, then takes a dropkick that knocks him out of the ring. Strowman clears the German announce table, but Randy hits an RKO out of nowhere onto the table instead, then helps Bray back to his feet.
- Randy and Bray together clear the next announce table along, then lay Strowman together on top of it. Shane slowly comes to, then climbs onto the turnbuckle, putting Strowman through the table with a forearm.
- Seth and Roman come in to attack Bray and Randy, and AJ comes over to check on Shane then helps him back into the ring. Strowman finally gets to his feet and tries to climb back into the ring, but a pair of hands grab him from under the ring – it’s James Ellsworth, stopping Strowman beating the ten count, and Strowman is eliminated by countout.
- Strowman stomps Ellsworth on the ramp, and throws him off the stage into the equipment in a fury before making his way backstage.
- Jericho and Shane facing off in the ring. Jericho tries to get a quick pin on Shane in all the chaos, but Shane kicks out.
- Jericho tags in his best friend, and Owens targets Shane with a series of strikes to the head, then a senton for a two count.
- Kevin backs Shane into the corner, then tags in Jericho again. Standing dropkick from Jericho, but Shane kicks out at two again.
- Snapmare into a rear chinlock from Jericho, though Shane eventually powers to his feet and knocks Jericho back with strikes.
- Lionsault from Jericho, but Shane transitions the pin into a rollup, for a two-count.
- Two Codebreakers from Jericho, but Shane still kicks out at two. Bray and Randy have some words at ringside, while team RAW looks confused and angry.
- Seth tags in, stomping Shane, and his hair has dried enough that it’s all over his face. Jericho tags back in, up on the turnbuckle, but Shane rolls out of the way of the splash.
- Shane manages to tag in AJ, going right after Jericho with a series of clotheslines, then a knee to the back of the neck. Jericho kicks out at two.
- Kevin taunts AJ from the ring, but AJ sets up for the Styles Clash. Jericho counters, trying to roll him into the Walls of Jericho, but AJ beats him back with right hands and rolls into the Calf Crusher.
- Jericho fights out, slamming AJ’s head into the mat, then goes for the Walls again. AJ transitions into a rollup; Jericho kicks out at two.
- Another Styles Clash attempt, but Kevin comes in with the list of Jericho, hitting the Pop-Up Powerbomb. The referee tries to shoo him away, but the ring announcer makes the call – Kevin has been eliminated by disqualification.
- Jericho is absolutely livid that the list has been destroyed – he doesn’t know what to do. While he’s trying to tidy up, Randy Orton tags in and hits the RKO – Jericho is eliminated.
- Seth makes his way into the ring to face Randy, but Randy is ready with a kick. Seth knocks Bray off the apron, but Randy catches him with a powerslam on his way back.
- Seth headfirst into the turnbuckle, then Bray tags in, hitting Seth with a splash in the corner. Seth kicks out at two.
- Bray with strikes on Seth over the ropes, then tags Randy back in. Randy stomping on Seth’s leg and ankle, then propping him on the turnbuckle for more strikes.
- Seth jumps down and knocks Bray away again, but Randy props him back up for a superplex. Seth and Randy tag Roman and AJ at the same time. Randy knocks Bray off the apron, and Randy comes in, taking a Samoan Drop. Bray takes a Samoan Drop too, followed by AJ. Crucifix powerbomb from Roman, for a two-count.
- Roman cocks his fist for the Superman Punch, but AJ kicks him instead. Shane tags in, a sequence of quick strikes, but Roman slaps him away.
- DDT from Shane, but Roman rolls away and Seth comes off the turnbuckle after Shane. Spinebuster from Shane onto Seth, then throws Roman into the ringpost.
- Shane up on the turnbuckle, and he tries to go coast to coast, but Roman meets him with the spear. Shane weakly gets a shoulder up, but after a moment, it is called as an elimination. There’s some confusion for a moment over what’s going on. The referee and some medics come in to check on Shane, then escort him away.
- Bray with a senton on Roman, but Roman kicks out at two. Strikes from Bray, then tags in Randy for several strikes on Roman. Referee creates separation, and Bray tags back in; Randy holds Roman still while Bray gets in more strikes.
- Clothesline from Roman, then AJ and Seth tag in. Seth with a blockbuster on AJ, then springboarding off the ropes with a knee.
- Bray sent into the barricade, then Seth back in the ring for a pair of forearms on AJ in the corner. Seth and AJ go back and forth in the corner, and Seth hits an enzuigiri as AJ climbs up to the top rope.
- While AJ is dazed, Seth hits the superplex then rolls through to hit the Falcon Arrow, but Randy breaks up the cover. Seth throws Randy out of the ring, then tries to fly after him, but Randy hits him with a right hand.
- Roman comes in to Seth’s rescue, and the two former Shield brothers beat on Randy together on the outside, before Seth taps Roman on the shoulder and points to the half-cleared announce table. We know what it’s time for, here!
- Together, Roman and Seth clear the third announce table too, but before they can set up for the double powerbomb, AJ comes in on Roman from behind.
- AJ rolls back into the ring, but Dean comes running back in, grabbing AJ from behind and knocking him down for a series of strikes. A whole cabal of referees come in to shoo Dean away, and he politely rolls out of the ring, only to strike AJ some more, then throwing him into the stairs.
- Security scrabble at Dean while Roman and Seth look on in confusion, but then they come after him, throwing the security guards aside to free Dean.
- Together, Dean and Seth pick up AJ, and it’s the Shield back together, powerbombing AJ throw the announce table. I haven’t breathed in about 45 seconds and there’s tears in my eyes.
- Back in the ring, Seth pins AJ, eliminating him. Referees are still trying to get Dean to leave. Seth and Roman are standing in the ring together like they’re not quite sure what’s happening here.
- Neither Bray or Randy are entering the ring again just yet, as Seth and Roman stare them down – and then Luke Harper appears, as if from nowhere, and all three Wyatts climb up onto the apron. Seth and Roman knock Harper away, but Randy and Bray use this as their opportunity. Bray and Seth in the ring, while Randy and Roman fight on the outside, then Harper with a superkick to Roman.
- Slingblade from Seth to Bray, then he flies out of the ring at Harper. Bray into the corner, and Seth with a splash. Randy tries to come in with a clothesline, but takes an enzuigiri to the shoulder.
- Bray tries to roll up Seth, but Seth kicks out and superkicks Bray in the face. Seth up on the top rope, but Randy catches him from the frog splash with an RKO. Bray goes for the cover, and Seth has been eliminated.
- What is Dean doing? Is he putting on a RAW shirt? I need to know. Please don’t leave this unresolved.
- Roman is the last man standing for Team RAW, and Bray is waiting as he wearily climbs back into the ring. Crowd chanting ‘let’s go SmackDown’.
- Roman with a superman punch to Randy sending him off the apron, then both Roman and Bray on the outside and Roman sending Bray into the steel steps.
- Roman whips Randy into the stairs, then throws Bray into the barricade. Drive By on Bray, then rolls Bray back into the ring, hitting a Spear on Luke Harper on the outside before he climbs back into the ring.
- Bray picks Roman up for Sister Abigail, but Roman fights out – Bray kicks him away, but Roman comes back with a superman punch.
- Roman signals for the Spear, but Randy pushes Bray out of the way and takes the Spear himself. Bray catches Roman for Sister Abigail – SmackDown wins!
Well, I feel guilty for making Jess recap what turned out to be an hour long match while I sat in my home office/spare bedroom and drank sparkling water. A round of applause for Jess, frankly, because I would have tapped out in the middle of that and handed it over to my partner in crime. Thank you, Jess. Now I have a really boring match to recap, but hey, at least it’ll only be another 20mins, tops.
MATCH: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg – Grudge Match
I don’t care, no one cares, we just had an amazing hour long match where Roman nearly killed Shane and himself, no one cares about this match unless Goldberg wins it, and frankly, pigs will probably fly first. We get the same video package we got earlier, Heyman spitting vitriol last Monday on Raw. This match is Drug Cheat vs. Old Man, and I really feel like the booking team fucked this up. They could have ended the PPV there and it would have felt like a really, really good night. Despite all the fuck ups. As it is, either we’ll be going home elated because Goldberg wins, or we’ll have another one of those endings where Brock nearly kills someone, and we all feel really weird about it.
- After literally ten minutes of build up, the bell rings. The two men stare at each other, then Brock’s straight in, getting Goldberg into the corner, where he shoves Lesnar to the ground. They stare at each other some more, because Brock’s really going to earn those millions.
- Spear from Goldberg, Lesnar stumbling. Second spear from Goldberg, lesnar rolling on the mat, Heyman praying for his beast to rally. Lesnar struggles to his feet, the crowd chanting for Goldberg, who delivers a jackhammer – and that’s the win.
Are you fucking kidding me? All that shit, and the fucking video package was longer than the fucking match? Goldberg stands on the turnbuckle, grandstanding, and just… are you fucking serious? The REPLAY is going to be longer than the damn match at this rate! I mean, I didn’t think I cared about this match, but I cared more than THAT.
Goldberg goes to his wife and son, Lesnar still in the ring, lying flat out. Goldberg clasps the hands of the crowd around him as they chant his name, and we watch the replay again to fill the last five minutes. Goldberg rolls his son into the ring and celebrates, holding his son’s arm high in the air. He bows his thanks to the crowd, hugs his son – and that’s it. That’s the end.