Week of 2/19/2018 - 2/25/2018 (Monday - Wednesday)
Jeff Jarrett is confirmed for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Monday Night Raw
Date: February 19, 2018
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
It’s the go home show for the Elimination Chamber pay per view and for some reason we’re having a gauntlet match tonight. I guess the theory is that the elimination match tonight is supposed to make us want to watch another elimination match on Sunday. Maybe we can just get the whole roster in the Chamber this time. Let’s get to it.
We open with a moment of silence for the victims of the Florida massacre.
Here’s Roman Reigns as the first entrant in the gauntlet match tonight. He’s not worried about the other people in the Chamber and lists all of them off with Balor/Rollins getting the best reactions.
Roman and Seth Rollins start things off as we have a BURN IT DOWN chant. Roman headlocks him to the mat to start and it seems that we’re in for a long one here. Back from an early break with Rollins fighting out of a chinlock but getting punched down in the corner. Reigns charges into a boot to the face and gets caught with a Blockbuster.
The Sling Blade takes Reigns down again and there’s the springboard clothesline. Reigns is right back with the apron dropkick and some corner clotheslines of his own. The Superman Punch is blocked twice and Rollins actually manages the Buckle Bomb. Reigns is right out of the corner with the Superman Punch and we take another break.
Back again with Rollins missing a frog splash but throwing Reigns outside for a pair of suicide dives. The springboard knee is Superman Punched out of the air for two though and they’re both down. Back up with Reigns avoiding the Curb Stomp but getting rolled up for the pin at 20:08. They stare at each other for a long time until John Cena is in third. Rollins decks him from behind for two and we take another break.
We come back again with Cena, still in the t-shirt, holding Rollins in a headlock. Seth fights back up but Cena takes the shirt off and grabs a chinlock with a grapevine. Cena sends him outside as Cole talks about Cena’s history in the Elimination Chamber, mention that Cena has won from first and sixth. So numbers mean nothing? Seth makes it back in at nine but gets caught in rolling belly to belly suplexes for two. We take yet another break and come back with Rollins barely standing during a slugout until Cena throws him onto his shoulder and spinning it into Stunner.
Rollins refuses to give up so Cena circles him a bit, followed by a right hand between the eyes for one. Cena elbows him in the jaw and shoulders Rollins to the floor as we take ANOTHER break with the match breaking 40 minutes in the process. We’re back again with Rollins down and Cena seeming to take some mercy on him. The STF goes on a few seconds later but Cena lets it go to pull Rollins back to the middle.
That’s enough for an escape and they’re both down again. Rollins gets small packaged for two but comes up with his Falcon Arrow, only to be slammed down. You Can’t See Me is blocked with a pair of superkicks for two, sending Cena bailing to the apron. Rollins takes him outside and avoids a charge to send Cena into the steps. The AA is escaped and Seth slaps on a Crossface in the middle of the ring.
That’s escaped into the AA but Rollins sticks the landing and hits an enziguri. The frog splash gives Rollins two but the AA connects…..for two? Seriously? Now the superplex into the Falcon Arrow gives Rollins two and they’re both down. Cena is right back with the STF but Rollins does the big crawl for the break. Rollins pulls himself up but gets caught in the hold again, this time close to the middle of the ring.
Somehow that’s escaped with ANOTHER rope break and Cena is ticked. That means a Super AA but Rollins elbows out. Cena’s high crossbody is rolled through into an AA to give Rollins ANOTHER close two. These kickouts are getting insane. The Phoenix splash misses and Cena hits an AA. The second AA is escaped and Rollins hits the Curb Stomp to get rid of Cena at 56:44.
Elias is in third (with music) and stomps away for some near falls as we take another break. We come back again with Rollins caught in a half crab as this is now the longest match in Raw history. With Rollins in the hold, we go split screen for an interview with Cena who knows what he has to do in the Chamber and praises Rollins’ abilities. He’s doing a lot of stuff right now and if he doesn’t win on Sunday, he might not have a Road to Wrestlemania.
Rollins tries his flip off the ropes but can’t stand on his knee. He’s fine enough to superkick Elias down for two and hit a slingshot dive to the floor. Back in and the knee gives out, allowing Elias to hit Drift Away for the pin at 1:04:56. Rollins gets a standing ovation as this is now the longest match in WWE TV history. Balor comes in and slugs Elias down but it’s too early for the Coup de Grace as we take a break.
Back again with Elias holding an armbar and we go to another split screen interview with Rollins. Seth thinks the two pins mean something but he’s disappointed if he doesn’t win on Sunday. A shoulder breaker gives Elias two and he slams the arm into the apron. The fans greet this with a WE WANT STROWMAN chant until Balor kicks him in the head. Elias gets taken down with some running forearms (one of which actually makes contact) and another kick to the head.
They go outside again with Balor hitting a shotgun dropkick to drive Elias into the barricade. Back in and an electric chair into a sitout powerbomb gives Elias two as we take another break. We come back again (I’m getting tired of typing that) with Elias grabbing a Fujiwara armbar and then kicking the bar arm a few times. Balor scores with a Sling Blade and a shotgun dropkick in the corner. The Coup de Grace ends Elias at 84:50 and it’s Miz in sixth.
Miz sneaks in through the crowd and decks Balor from behind for an early two count. Miz’s short DDT gets the same and he kicks Balor in the face for a third near fall. Balor is sent outside and then has his bad arm (Miz: “IS IT THIS ARM?”) wrapped around the ropes as we take another break. Back again with Miz holding an armbar as we’ve broken ninety minutes. In another interview, Elias says he’ll pick up the scraps and move on to the performance of a lifetime.
Balor throws him down and hits a pair of running chops in the corner but has to slip out of the Skull Crushing Finale. The Miztourage breaks up a near fall so Balor dives on them, followed by the shotgun dropkick in the corner. Another distraction breaks up the Coup de Grace though and now the Skull Crushing Finale gets rid of Balor at 95:55.
Reality quickly sets in on Miz as Braun Strowman is in seventh. Miz is smart enough to run through the crowd but Strowman CATCHES HIM and drags it back to the ring...as we take another break? With STROWMAN in there? Back with Miz being thrown across the ring twice in a row as the fans are pleased with Strowman. Miz’s kicks to the ribs have as much effect as you would expect as Balor says there won’t be a Miztourage on Sunday.
Strowman gets low bridged to the floor (Coach: “Miz is doing better than I thought he would!”) but clotheslines Miz down (Coach: “My bad.”). Back in and the Miztourage offers a distraction so the Skull Crushing Finale can get two, with Miz being sent outside on the kickout. The running powerslam gives Strowman the pin at 1:45:55.
Post match Strowman says he’s going to do the same on Sunday because he’s not finished with Lesnar. Then at Wrestlemania, Beasty Boy is going to get these hands. Strowman isn’t done yet as he beats up the Miztourage again, including one to Miz after Strowman goes up the ramp to get him.
Jeff Jarrett Hall of Fame video. This is still so bizarre to see.
Here’s Asuka for a chat. It is her destiny to win the championship at Wrestlemania so this coming Sunday won’t be her first loss. Nia has promised to make her need the mask all the time but she likes to talk. On Sunday, Nia won’t be talking because she’ll be tapping. Cue Nia to catch Asuka with a Samoan drop and a bunch of legdrops.
Video on Ronda Rousey, who signs her contract on Sunday. Various wrestlers talk about how awesome she is, including Stephanie, who I fully expect to interrupt Sunday’s segment.
The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide
Non-title and now it’s just Apollo now instead of Apollo Crews. Cesaro and Titus start things off with Cesaro getting chopped in the corner, meaning it’s off to Apollo for a double back elbow. Everything breaks down and Apollo is sent outside for a clothesline from Sheamus. Double kicks to the ribs have Apollo in more trouble as the announcers discuss Dana Brooke’s research. Apollo fights out of a chinlock but Sheamus broke up a hot tag by pulling Titus to the floor. Cesaro is distracted though and it’s a rollup to give Apollo the pin at 4:33.
Newly announced for Sunday: Bray Wyatt vs. Matt Hardy.
Bray hopes the end is near for Matt Hardy. Matt pops in and promises to render Bray obsolete. They go back and forth about wanting to end each other as they’re done several times now.
Sasha Banks/Bayley/Mickie James vs. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville/Alexa Bliss
Bliss and James start but Alexa bails in short order. With neither getting anywhere, it’s off to Mandy vs. Sasha with Graves saying that if they studied art like Rose in college, he wouldn’t have dropped out. Bayley comes in with a hair whip, followed by a suplex to send Mandy outside.
Back from a break with Bayley in trouble but getting in a shot to Mandy’s jaw. Mandy pulls her right back though and Bliss tags herself in, much to Mandy’s annoyance. The running slap drops Bayley and it’s off to Deville for a chinlock. Bayley fights up and brings in Mickie for some house cleaning, only to have Rose take her down with a cheap shot.
Deville gets in a hard shot for two of her own, only to have Mickie get in a double neckbreaker for the break. Sasha comes in off the hot tag and house is cleaned, including the double knees to the chest to drop Bliss. The middle rope double knees gets two with Mandy making the save. Not that it matters though as the Bank Statement makes Bliss tap at 15:55.
Post match Absolution destroys Banks and Bayley before turning on Bliss. Mickie makes the save though and it’s a double implant DDT to Deville to end the show.
Braun Strowman won a gauntlet match last eliminating The Miz
Titus Worldwide b. The Bar – Rollup to Cesaro
Bayley/Sasha Banks/Mickie James b. Absolution/Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement to Bliss
Date: February 20, 2018
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Last week saw a big change of pace as two more names were added to the Fastlane World Title match. Maybe this week we can just add more people until there’s nothing left to do but have one match take up most of the pay per view. I mean, they did the same thing on Raw last night. Let’s get to it.
Renee Young brings out AJ Styles to start things off. Hang on though as AJ has to strike a quick pose for the AJ STYLES chants. AJ explains the idea of a fatal five way and says he could lose the title to someone when he’s not even being pinned. One on one he can beat any of them but here’s Baron Corbin to disagree. Baron has beaten him twice in a row because he has AJ’s number. The difference is Corbin is a fighter instead of an athlete and he can pin anyone to win the title.
This brings out Kevin Owens, who says he can beat anyone at any time. AJ says Owens must have had a boil lanced off his back, meaning Sami. Owens blames all of this on Shane McMahon, who is next to interrupt. Shane makes Corbin vs. Styles and Owens vs. Ziggler for tonight. Actually let’s just do one of those matches right now. Standard opening here and at least they didn’t have all five participants come out and talk.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens
Owens forearms him down to start but eats a dropkick to send him outside. Kevin turns it into a brawl though and sends Ziggler into the barricade. That just means another dropkick off the apron but Owens drops him again. The backsplash misses though and Ziggler scores with a suplex. Owens whips him into the corner though and the Cannonball gets two as we go to a break.
Back with Ziggler hitting a DDT but getting thrown into the corner again. A Vader Bomb elbow gives Kevin two but Ziggler is right back with the Fameasser for two of his own. Ziggler slips out of the Pop Up Powerbomb and the Zig Zag gets another near fall. Cue Sami for a distraction though, allowing Owens to hit a superkick to the back of the head for the pin at 11:19.
Here’s Jinder Mahal to talk about Bobby Roode having a secret. Since Mahal is a man of honesty, he has Roode’s Smackdown Top Ten voting list. Roode of course is at #1 but Orton is nowhere to be seen. That makes Roode a glorious egomaniac and a glorious LIAR. Cue Roode to say that wasn’t his list but the truth is Mahal can’t make a top ten list. Roode knows Jinder wants to be US Champion so forget Randy Orton. This of course brings out Orton, who helps send Jinder outside before taking the Glorious DDT. Mahal comes back in with a Khallas to Roode.
Shane and Bryan are in the back with Shane talking down to Bryan again about the same issues with his decision making. As a result, Shane makes Roode vs. Orton (presumably for the title but not specified) at Fastlane. Shane calls it final, actually trying to make it seem like Bryan isn’t going to add Mahal.
Charlotte/Naomi/Becky Lynch vs. Riott Squad
Charlotte slides around Logan to start and quickly brings in Becky for the rapid fire legdrops. Everything breaks down and the Squad is sent outside as we take a break. Back with Becky holding Riott in an armbar as everything breaks down. Naomi hits a slingshot dive onto Logan and Riott but Morgan sends her into the steps to take over.
Logan comes back in with an Anaconda Vice until Naomi sends her into the corner, allowing the hot tag off to Charlotte. The strut into the neckbreaker rocks Logan but Morgan’s distraction prevents the Figure Eight. Logan chop blocks the knee but Charlotte gets over for the tag to Becky anyway. Everything breaks down and Riott has to be saved from the Disarm-Her. Instead it’s the Riott Kick to pin Becky at 13:13.
Sami comes in to see Owens and says he owes him. Until he joined Owens, he was frustrated all the time and nothing was working. Now he’s where he belongs though and it’s time to be Kevin’s guardian angel. That’s why at Fastlane, Sami will lay down for him so Kevin can become champion. Owens doesn’t know what to say and doesn’t look completely convinced. That sounds intentionally fishy.
New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable
Winners get the title shot at Fastlane. Woods is sent into a kick from Shelton to start and a hard slam puts him down again. Back from an early break with Woods hitting a missile dropkick and making the hot tag to Big E. House is cleaned but Gable muscles him over with a belly to belly. Big E. gets caught on the top rope so Kofi gets on the apron for some reason, allowing Shelton and Chad to hit the powerbomb/middle rope clothesline combination. Woods makes a last second save and it’s a Shining Wizard to end Shelton at 6:47.
Post match the Bludgeon Brothers come out and scare New Day to death.
Bludgeon Brothers vs. ???/???
They’re tossed to the floor, Rowan hits a double splash, a sitout powerbomb crushes Jobber #1 and the double spinebuster ends Jobber #2 at 1:29.
Video on Shinsuke Nakamura.
Ruby Riott will face Naomi next week but wants Charlotte and the title at Fastlane.
Corbin, with words on the screen, promises to win the title at Fastlane.
Charlotte vs. Riott for the title is confirmed for Fastlane.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin
Non-title. AJ knocks Corbin outside to start and tries a slingshot dive, only to get caught in a chokebreaker. We take an early break and come back with Corbin hitting a hard clothesline but missing a charge into the post. AJ is thrown outside and having to dive over the announcers’ table to beat the count.
A short range Phenomenal Forearm gets two but one heck of a Deep Six gets the same. End of Days is broken up and AJ gets the Calf Crusher for the near submission to send Corbin bailing to the ropes. A faceplant drops AJ again but he pops back up with the real Phenomenal Forearm for the pin on Corbin at 12:11.
Post match Sami and Kevin come out for the beatdown but Corbin takes them both out to end the show.
Kevin Owens b. Dolph Ziggler – Superkick to the back of the head
Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Naomi b. Riott Squad – Riott Kick to Lynch
New Day b. Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable – Shining Wizard to Benjamin
Bludgeon Brothers b. ???/??? – Double spinebuster
AJ Styles b. Baron Corbin – Phenomenal Forearm
Date: February 21, 2018
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo
We have a main event quality main event here with Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano in a title vs. NXT career match. Gargano lost to Almas in a classic at Takeover: Philadelphia and now he has one more chance. The stipulations would suggest an obvious ending, but that’s not exactly the way NXT tends to operate. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Almas vs. Gargano, including the champ’s rise and their match in Philadelphia. Two weeks ago Gargano asked for one more title match and was granted his request, albeit with his career on the line.
Velveteen Dream vs. No Way Jose
The fans are WAY into Dream and Jose happens to be there too. Dream pops him in the jaw to start and gets in some forearms in the corner. Jose is right back with an elbow and backdrop to the floor, followed by a slingshot dive. The fans aren’t against Jose here but Dream is just crazy popular. Back from a break with Dream hitting a hot shot and a swinging neckbeaker. Jose gets in a small package for two but the Toma Punch is countered with a dropkick. The rolling Death Valley Bomb and the Purple Rainmaker (Dream: “DREAM OVER!”) is good for the pin on Jose at 7:15.
Post match Dream says he was the Competitor of the Year with the Match of the Year and his name is on everyone’s lips. If people don’t get that, he doesn’t have time for you.
William Regal announces the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which starts in two weeks. The winners get a Tag Team Title shot at Takeover: New Orleans.
Nikki Cross vs. Vanessa Borne
Cross goes crazy to start and jumps on Borne’s back with a choke. Borne manages to throw her down for some near falls before grabbing a chinlock. The fans are entirely behind Cross here, even as she smiles at being in trouble. Borne looks scared as Nikki hits a running crossbody and a splash in the corner. The fisherman’s neckbreaker ends Borne at 2:54.
We look back at Killian Dain coming out to face Aleister Black last week.
TM61 have officially entered the Dusty Classic.
We look back at Kairi Sane saving Ember Moon from Shayna Baszler last week.
Moon vs. Baszler next week.
NXT Title: Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas
Almas is defending and Candice LeRae and Zelina Vega are the respective seconds. Gargano bails from an early hammerlock DDT attempt and we take a break. Back with Gargano loading up a dive but pausing when Vega steps in his way. Candice doesn’t mind diving onto her, leaving Gargano to cannonball off the apron and take the champ down. Candice fights Vega to the back and it’s one on one.
Almas is right back up and drives Gargano back first onto the apron for two before starting in on the arm. The shoulder goes into the buckle and Almas wraps the arm around the ropes to keep him in trouble. Back from another break with Gargano chopping in the corner but banging his arm up some more. The slingshot spear gets two but Gargano misses the superkick.
Almas takes him into the corner for two off the running knees. The hammerlock DDT is broken up again and they slug it out on the apron with Johnny getting the better of it. Another slingshot spear is countered into the Fujiwara armbar on the bad arm. With that not working, Almas reversed into the Gargano Escape, which is escaped pretty quickly. Gargano charges into a hiptoss in the corner and Almas loads up the Alberto top rope stomp to the apron.
That’s broken up as well and Almas shoves him to the floor, followed by a tornado DDT on the floor. The slingshot DDT gets two back inside for a VERY hot near fall with the fans buying into it the whole way. They slug it out from their knees but Almas decks the referee by mistake. The Gargano Escape has Almas ready to tap….and here’s Tommaso Ciampa to break a crutch over Gargano’s back. Almas hits the hammerlock DDT to retain at 22:23.
Johnny gets the big sendoff until the announcer says Gargano must now leave NXT. Candice consoles her husband and we get the THANK YOU JOHNNY chants. Ciampa looks on to end the show.
Velveteen Dream b. No Way Jose – Purple Rainmaker
Nikki Cross b. Vanessa Borne – The Purge
Andrade Cien Almas b. Johnny Gargano – Hammerlock DDT
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