Week of 1/22/2018 - 1/28/2018 (Saturday - Sunday)

Discussion in 'The Weekly Wrestling Review' started by klunderbunker, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Takeover: Philadelphia
    Date: January 28, 2018
    Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Commentators: Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo

    This one is a little bit different as we don’t really have a top match to build this show around. There’s a lot of good stuff but nothing all that great. That being said, it’s kind of NXT’s bread and butter as they know how to set up a full card instead of hanging everything onto one match. Let’s get to it.

    Paul Heyman narrates the opening video, talking about how this city has a rich history of fighting but tonight is about the future. We see the standard clips of the big matches before Heyman caps it off with the WE ARE NXT line.

    Nigel McGuinness is out sick.

    Tag Team Titles: Undisputed Era vs. Authors of Pain

    The Era is defending but there’s no Adam Cole due to his match later. The Authors jump the champs to start things off, sending Fish and O’Reilly outside before the opening bell. Fish bails from Razar to start so it’s Kyle coming in to take him down and strike away. That goes as long as you would expect with Razar powering out without much effort, meaning it’s time to get another breather.

    Back in and Fish goes after the knee but gets knocked around by the raw power. It’s off to Akum for some shots to the head, which send the champs outside. Walking away doesn’t work as Fish is pulled back and dropped face first onto the barricade. Back in and Akum gets low bridged to the floor, allowing Fish to kick him in the leg and really take over. Fish spears Razar to the floor (I didn’t think he could pull that off) and it’s time for the double kicks to the ribs.

    Some hard kicks to the leg take Akum down and O’Reilly comes back in for a leg lock. Some champion miscommunication allows Akum to hit a good back body drop for the hot tag off to Razar, even though there really aren’t any faces in this. The fall away slam/drop backwards with Fish on Razar’s combination crushes the champs all over again but they’re right back up with the strikes in the corner.

    Fish again shows off the power with an exploder suplex for two but Razar slugs them down. Akum comes back in on the bad leg but it’s a jumping knee to the head to cut off the Last Chapter. O’Reilly grabs a kneebar on Akum and Fish gets a choke on Razar, who flips him down onto Kyle for the save. Not bad.

    Everyone is down so the fans start the dueling chants. It’s Akum up first and buckle bombing Fish. A buckle bomb crushes O’Reilly and the Super Collider connects but Akum can’t powerbomb Fish. Instead it’s a hurricanrana to send the Authors into each other and Fish rolls Akum up to retain at 14:56.

    War Machine is here.

    Earlier today, Velveteen Dream promised a thirty second knockout of Kassius Ohno.

    Velveteen Dream vs. Kassius Ohno

    Dream now has a muscular man and a woman to help him with his entrance, including a large pillow containing his custom made mouth piece. He’s also now in boxing trunks for a rather sharp change of pace. After Ohno’s entrance, Dream boxes the buckle a little bit. The fans count and Dream hits a big right hand to knock Ohno down at 27 seconds.

    Dream dances around though and gets forearmed in the face, knocking the mouth piece out. Back up and Dream scores with a swinging spinebuster from two as the fans are almost entirely behind Dream here. We hit the chinlock until Ohno powers him into the corner, where Dream unloads with rights and lefts. Dream shouts DREAM OVER at Ohno, followed by a top rope double ax for two more. The second chinlock goes a bit better but Ohno powers out of it again, this time slamming Dream down.

    Back up and Ohno easily wins a strike off, followed by the running backsplash. A superkick cuts Ohno off and the wind up DDT (with no snap this time around) gets two, followed by Dream’s Death Valley Driver for the same. The rolling forearm drops Dream but it’s another Death Valley Driver into the Purple Rainmaker (from the post) for the pin on Ohno at 10:46.

    We recap Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler. Shayna is the newcomer/outsider as a former mixed martial artist who has choked a bunch of women out. Moon won’t stand for the bullying but Baszler says this has been her plan all along.

    Women’s Title: Shayna Baszler vs. Ember Moon

    Moon is defending. Baszler easily takes her down to start and kicks Moon’s leg out. Back up and Moon scores with some dropkicks to put Baszler out on the floor. A suicide dive drops her again but Baszler takes the hair down and unloads with strikes to the face and chest. Makes sense here as they’re having Baszler easily win the standup fighting but getting beaten down in the wrestling.

    Baszler steps on the arm like she did to Dakota Kai and it’s off to an armbar. More knees and stomps to the arm have Moon in trouble before Baszler just pulls on the arm. Moon gets in a few slaps though, followed by a kick to the chest and a springboard spinning crossbody. The Eclipse connects but it hurts the arm even more, causing Moon to writhe in pain in the corner.

    The trainer comes in to check on the arm and the fans are NOT happy with the delay. Baszler finally gets up and tries a cross armbreaker, only to have Moon get her feet on the ropes. The armbreaker goes on again in the middle of the ring with Baszler even pulling the legs back towards the middle, just in case. Somehow Moon rolls her over though and stacks Baszler up to retain at 10:11, sending Mauro into a huge MAMA MIA.

    Moon is helped out but Baszler sneaks up from behind and grabs the choke.

    Ricochet (billed as Trevor “Ricochet” Mann) is here.

    We recap Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole. Black knocked Cole out of the #1 contenders tournament by kicking him in the head, only to have Cole cost Black the tournament final. A match was set up but William Regal made it Extreme Rules, which might play more towards Cole’s strengths.

    Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black

    Extreme Rules. Black’s entrance is surrounded by candles and smoke this time around, making it look even better. Black easily wins an early strike off and moonsaults into the seated position. Cole grabs a chair and there’s the ECW chant that you knew was coming. That’s taken away in no time and Black has a seat on the chair as Cole needs to come up with a better idea.

    Black follows him out this time and gets caught with a few shots, allowing Cole to throw in some weapons. Both guys find kendo sticks but Black throws his away and says bring it on. He’s either very skilled or very stupid. A few kicks to the chest have Black in trouble but the springboard moonsault is caned out of the air in a good looking crash. Cole’s Backstabber with the kendo stick (White Russian Backstabber?) gets two and it’s table time.

    Black breaks up a superplex attempt and gets slammed off the top onto a trashcan. A running knee drops Cole again and Black sets up another table next to the first. That’s not enough though as Black pulls out a ladder but Cole kicks him down and sets the unfolded latter in the corner. Cole is bleeding from somewhere (might be his hand) and hammers away in the corner. Black fights up and drops Cole onto the ladder in a good looking crash.

    With Cole down, Black goes up top but Cole throws him a chair and superkicks it into Black’s head, sending him through the tables. Mauro: “HOLY BLEEP INDEED!” That’s only good for two so Cole loads up two chairs next to each other. Black is back up though and hits an AA onto the top of the chairs to probably break Cole’s back. A sliding knee into the chair into Cole’s face gets two as Fish and O’Reilly run in for the save. High/Low on the floor drops Black and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table.

    Cue Sanity for the save with Killian Dain taking everyone out with a suicide dive. With Black still down, Cole tries a suplex through the table. That’s broken up as well and the double knees (ala Sasha Banks) drives Cole through instead. Fans: “MAMA MIA!” Back in and Cole scores with his own superkick and grabs a chair. Of course he walks right into Black Mass (to the shoulder) for the pin at 21:58.

    Ethan Carter III, billed as EC3, is here and officially confirmed as a new signing.

    We recap Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. Almas has righted the ship after months of mediocrity, mainly thanks to the addition of Zelina Vega. Gargano had a nightmare of a 2017 and is on the comeback trail, finally turning himself back into Johnny Wrestling. Tonight is his chance at redemption, both by winning the title and beating Almas, who was a big part of his downward spiral.

    NXT Title: Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas

    Almas is defending and is played to the ring by a masked mariachi band. He also wears a mask to the ring but takes it off before getting inside. They start with a technical sequence and wrestle to a standoff as we see Johnny’s wife Candice LeRae in the crowd. Neither finisher can connect early on and Almas bails into the corner while waving a finger at Johnny. We start again with Gargano wrestling him down into an armbar but one heck of a chop gets the champ out of trouble.

    The announcers recap the Almas story of letting his career fall apart as he gets sent outside but manages to avoid the running flip dive off the apron. Back in and Almas bends Johnny’s neck across the top rope, followed by the chinlock. Johnny fights up but gets caught in the Tree of Woe. Almas misses the top rope stomp though and gets suplexed into the corner. A middle rope swinging Downward Spiral gives Johnny two and the slingshot spear is good for the same.

    As usual, Vega has s-ome awesome facial expressions as you can feel her panicking on the near falls, which sell them that much more. Almas catches him with a spinning faceplant for two before going up. The regular moonsault doesn’t work but Almas lands on his feet and hits a standing version for two more in a smart sequence. Johnny’s superkick gets the same and they’re both down again.

    Gargano puts him on the top but can’t hit the sunset bomb. Almas misses the running knees in the corner but the slingshot spear is countered into a faceplant. A reverse tornado DDT gets two more and both guys are spent again. Excellent sequence. Almas can’t hit the hammerlock DDT on the apron so Gargano slingshot DDTs him onto the apron instead. That’s only good for a very close two back inside and Almas blocks the Gargano Escape. The running knees are broken up and there’s the Lawn Dart to rock Almas again.

    Vega’s distraction lets Almas grab the DDT but that’s reversed into a small package for a VERY close two. A low superkick gives Johnny two, with the camera panning over to tease interference but it just shows Vega panicking at the near fall. Almas cuts him off on top and it’s the top rope double stomp onto the apron, followed by a hard toss to send Gargano into the apron again. Back in and the double knees are good for two and Almas is shocked.

    They fight back to their feet and Johnny somehow grabs a hurricanrana. The Gargano Escape goes on and Almas can’t spin out. Vega grabs Almas’ hand and the distraction lets Almas rake Johnny’s eyes. The hammerlock DDT is broken up and a backdrop puts Almas on the floor for a suicide dive of all things. Vega is back up with a hurricanrana to send Johnny into the steps though and the hammerlock DDT…..gets two. They had me on that one.

    Gargano rolls outside and Vega goes after him, drawing Candice over the barricade for the brawl. She chases Vega to the back, drawing a THANK YOU CANDICE chant. The slingshot DDT gets a VERY close two and the Gargano Escape goes on again….but the foot is on the ropes. They head to the apron again and Almas hits the running knees to drive Johnny’s head into the post, leaving him with the far away look in his eyes. A draping hammerlock DDT FINALLY ends Gargano at 32:22.

    Post match Candice comes back to take Johnny to the back but they stop for the pose on the stage….AND TOMMASO CIAMPA BREAKS A CRUTCH OVER JOHNNY’S BACK! Ciampa walks away as Candice tends to Johnny to end the show.

    Undisputed Era b. Authors of Pain – Rollup to Razar
    Velveteen Dream b. Kassius Ohno – Purple Rainmaker
    Ember Moon b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
    Aleister Black b. Adam Cole – Black Mass
    Andrade Cien Almas b. Johnny Gargano – Hanging hammerlock DDT


    Royal Rumble 2018
    Date: January 28, 2018
    Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Booker T.

    The big night is finally here and for the first time ever we have two Royal Rumbles in one night. This time around we have a women’s version to go with the standard men’s version and that opens up the doors for a lot more surprise entrants. Of course it also opens the door for a lot more boring action if the last few Rumbles are any indication. Let’s get to it.

    Kickoff Show: Drew Gulak/TJP/Jack Gallagher vs. Kalisto/Gran Metalik/Lince Dorado

    Drew takes Kalisto down by the arm to start as the announcers talk about the upcoming 205 Live General Manager. That just earns a few chants from the crowd, which Gulak of course can’t stand. It’s off to Gallagher vs. Metalik with Gran working on the knee until Lince and TJP come in to complete each trio’s ring time.

    The announcers discuss dabbing until the villains are all sent outside. The three masked men hit stereo moonsaults from the same turnbuckle (very cool) to the floor as we take a break. Back with TJP kicking Lince in the ribs and handing it off to Gulak, who drops Dorado’s partners off the apron. Now the announcers speculate on the next General Manager, which is much more focused than you would expect from these guys.

    Jack cranks on Dorado’s leg as about half of the HUGE group of empty seats opposite the hard camera is filled in. But hey, at least we have a meaningless match going on an hour and a half before the rest show starts. Gallagher goes to the middle rope, pauses to listen to Gulak telling him not to jump, and then misses a dive anyway. The hot tag brings in Metalik for the rope walk into the dropkick to put Gulak down. The rope walk elbow works just as well for two as everything breaks down. Stereo dives take Gallagher and Gulak down, leaving the Salida Del Sol to finish TJP at 13:13.

    Kickoff Show: Revival vs. Anderson and Gallows

    Rematch from Monday where Anderson and Gallows won, followed by the Revival getting destroyed by DX and Scott Hall. The Brian Pillman style trunks don’t really suit Revival but anything is better than Monday. Dawson gets sent outside to start for a breather before it’s Gallows tossing both of them around. Back from a break with Dawson working on Anderson’s knee with a string of elbow drops.

    Wilder comes in to crank the knee even more but Anderson keeps kicking him away. Therefore, in a good tag team idea, Revival double teams him to keep the advantage. Now why is that so hard to figure out? Of course the hot tag goes through a few seconds later but at least they were trying. Everything breaks down and Gallows scores with a splash for two. Everything breaks down and the Magic Killer is broken up. Dawson sidesteps a charge to post Gallows and Dash’s chop block is good for the pin on Anderson at 9:11.

    Kickoff Show: Bobby Roode vs. ???

    Roode is defending in an Open Challenge answered by….Mojo Rawley. The fans think Mojo sucks as he sends Roode into the corner and actually hammers him down as we take a break. Back with Mojo driving knees in the corner and grabbing a chinlock. Roode fights up and hits a running forearm, followed by a neckbreaker for two. There’s the Blockbuster but the Glorious DDT is countered into a spinebuster. Back up and another Glorious DDT is countered into a backdrop but the running punch is blocked. Instead it’s a regular DDT to retain the title at 7:37.

    The opening video doesn’t say much out of the ordinary but it does a very good job of setting up the big matches while treating the Rumble win as a big deal. It’s very nice that they gave the match some shine for once because they haven’t exactly treated it like it matters up to this point.

    Smackdown World Title: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn

    AJ is defending in a handicap match. The challengers do have to tag and it’s Sami starting for the team. No contact and it’s off to Owens, who hangs on the ropes instead of going after the champ. Sami is already back in as there’s almost no contact in the first minute and a half. AJ wrestles Sami down but it’s already back to Owens, who takes AJ down, runs to the floor and tags Sami back in.

    That means a drop down into a dropkick for Zayn as Byron and Graves have ANOTHER stupid argument that completely ignores the match. There’s a backdrop for two on AJ as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for. Owens comes back in and unloads with right hands before sending AJ into the barricade. Almost all challengers so far. Owens gets in a double stomp and brings AJ into the corner for more right hands. An electric chair faceplant is good for two more and it’s off to the chinlock.

    AJ fights up again and gets in a shot to Owens’ ankle, which was banged up on Smackdown in the first place. The Pele is enough to bring Sami back in but the Helluva Kick is blocked with a raised boot. Everything breaks down and Owens monkey flips Styles, who hurricanranas Zayn to the floor instead of crashing to the mat. The Calf Crusher has Owens ready to tap until Sami dives back in for the save.

    Owens kicks AJ in the back of the head to knock him into the Blue Thunder Bomb, which of course only gets two (once in a lifetime you see). Another kick to the head puts Sami down this time and the springboard 450 is good for another near fall. They slug it out with AJ throwing Sami to the floor, only to eat a superkick from Owens. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered into a rollup though and AJ retains (pinning the illegal man) at 16:08.

    Wrestlemania XXXIV ad.

    Sami and Kevin ask Shane what he’s going to do. They can’t have another referee screw Owens out of another title. Shane says that yep, he did indeed see that. Nothing else is said.

    Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable

    The Usos are defending and this is 2/3 falls after Gable pinned the wrong Uso a few weeks back. In other words, the same ending as the previous match, again showing the limited creative abilities of WWE. Gable can’t hit a German suplex on Jimmy to start so it’s some chops to the chest in the corner. A distraction lets Chad get in a chop block though and Jimmy is in trouble early on.

    Benjamin drives knees into the bad knee as the challengers start cutting the ring off for an old NWA feel. Shelton stops to yell at the crowd though and it’s an enziguri to cut him off. The hot tag brings in Jey, who dives through the ropes to take out both challengers in a row. Back in and Gable gets two off a tiger suplex (I haven’t seen that one in years), followed by a powerbomb to send Jey into Jimmy.

    Paydirt gives Shelton two and the bug eyed look on the kickout is funnier than it should be. It’s back to Gable who moonsaults onto both champions on the floor but Gable can’t pin the illegal Uso. That means a superkick into the Superfly Splash for two in a surprise near fall. The double Superfly Splash is broken up so Gable loads up Rolling Chaos Theory.

    That’s broken up as well and four straight superkicks end Gable at 12:21. Gable and Benjamin beat the heck out of both champs to start the second fall. A rolling Liger Kick hits Jey and Chad goes up, leaving Shelton to get small packaged to retain the titles in two straight falls at 13:47.

    Rumble by the Numbers video.

    Jerry Lawler joins commentary for the Rumble.

    Men’s Royal Rumble

    90 second intervals this year. Rusev is #1 (with Aiden English singing him to the ring) and Finn Balor is in at #2 to a very strong reaction. Balor gets sent to the apron early on but gets back in without too much effort. Rhyno is in at #3 and gets in a showdown with Rusev that doesn’t go much of anywhere. Balor is back up and it’s Baron Corbin in at #4 to quickly eliminate Rhyno.

    Finn is right behind Corbin though and gets rid of him as well, sending Corbin into a rage. That means Balor is pulled to the floor for a whip into the barricade (shoulder first) and End of Days on the floor to Rusev. Heath Slater is in at #5 and gets run over on the ramp. Everyone is down and it’s Elias in at #6, playing the guitar (and kicking Slater in the head) on the way to the ring.

    It’s time for a song about spitting in the Rocky statue’s face but the countdown clock cuts him off. NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas is in at #7 (running Slater over again) and a running elbow puts Elias into the corner. The running knees rock Elias again but the hammerlock DDT is broken up. A hard clothesline drops Almas and it’s Bray Wyatt in at #8.

    Naturally Slater gets laid out again and there’s a release Rock Bottom to Elias. Balor comes back in to break up Sister Abigail (again, thank goodness). Big E. is in at #9 and gives Slater some pancakes instead of beating him up. Rusev is back in but can’t get rid of Almas. Tye Dillinger is in at #10 (again), giving us Balor, Rusev, Slater (still not in the ring), Elias, Almas, Wyatt, Big E. and Dillinger. Actually hang on a second as we cut to the back to see Dillinger getting beaten down by Owens and Zayn. Sami is taking his place and continues the tradition by jumping Slater.

    Sheamus is in at #11 and throws Slater in….who immediately eliminates Sheamus a second later. Bray dumps Slater almost immediately and it’s Xavier Woods in at #12. Woods and Big E. double team Sami and a wheelbarrow slam into a splash hits Elias. Rusev can’t get rid of Big E. and it’s Apollo Crews in at #13. Apollo gets in a good looking jumping enziguri on Bray as Byron is now anti-Zayn as he tries to show a personality.

    Balor escapes Sister Abigail and it’s Shinsuke Nakamura in at #14. Sami is waiting on him in a Takeover: Dallas flashback as the fans sing Nakamura’s song. Nakamura fires off some kicks and it’s Good Vibrations for Elias. The running knee in the corner gets rid of Sami and Cesaro is in at #15, giving us Balor, Rusev, Elias, Almas, Wyatt, Big E., Woods, Crews, Nakamura and Cesaro.

    Uppercuts abound without much happening and it’s Kofi Kingston in at #16. Cesaro cuts him off with an uppercut but Crews gorilla presses Cesaro….to the apron at least but he gets back in. Instead a shot to the back gets rid of Crews to thin the ring out a bit. Jinder Mahal is in at #17 and goes after Woods, who dropkicks him into the corner. Woods is dumped a few seconds later though and Mahal gets rid of Big E. as well.

    Seth Rollins is in at #18 and gets rid of Cesaro in short order. Mahal sends Kofi over the top but he lands on Xavier….and then on a plate of pancakes. Big E. and Woods launch him from the floor over the ropes and over Mahal, who gets caught with Trouble in Paradise for the elimination. As the rest of New Day throws pancakes at Mahal, Almas hits the hammerlock DDT and eliminates Kofi in a pretty big upset.

    Matt Hardy is in at #19 for a standoff with Bray, which is broken up by Rusev. Bray and Matt actually start working together and get rid of Rusev before fighting each other. They eliminate each other and it’s John Cena at #20, giving us Balor, Elias, Almas, Nakamura, Rollins and Cena.

    Everyone jumps Cena at the same time in a smart move but then let him up, allowing him to AA Elias out. The Hurricane of all people is in at #22 and tries a chokeslam but gets tossed out by Cena. Hurricane lands on the pancakes, nearly slips, and then does his pose over and over again on the way to the back. Aiden English is in at #22 and goes after Rollins before switching to Balor.

    Adam Cole (with taped ribs) from NXT is in at #23 to a very nice reaction. Balor kicks English off the ropes for an elimination and it’s Randy Orton in at #24. An RKO drops Almas and there he goes after a strong performance. Things settle down a bit and it’s Titus O’Neil in at #25. Cole gets sent to the apron but slides back in, leaving Titus to chop Nakamura in the corner. Miz is in at #26 and starts fast with the YES Kicks, followed by a Skull Crushing Finale on Cena.

    Lucky #27 is the returning Rey Mysterio to get rid of Cole in a hurry. The Miz takes 619 and it’s Roman Reigns in at #28. You can feel the pain from the booing. Reigns goes after Miz and hits the jumping clothesline, followed by the clotheslines in the corner. Titus gets eliminated but the Miztourage saves Miz from the same fate. Rollins Curb Stomps Miz but gets into a showdown with Reigns. A DoubleBomb gets rid of Miz but Reigns turns on Rollins to get rid of him as well.

    Goldust is in at #29 and hurts himself headbutting Reigns. Cena gets beaten up as well and it’s Dolph Ziggler (POP) in at #30, giving us a final group of Balor, Nakamura, Cena, Orton, Mysterio, Reigns, Goldust and Ziggler. Goldust is out in a hurry and Balor kicks Ziggler out, making him one of the most inconsequential #30s in recent memory. Rey, Cena and Orton get together in one corner, Nakamura and Balor are in another and Reigns is on his own (how appropriate).

    Balor takes a quick AA followed by the 619 to Reigns. There’s an RKO to Nakamura but Cena blocks another attempt. A Superman Punch lets Reigns get rid of Orton and a double 619 hits Reigns and Cena (with Cena loudly talking to Reigns while they wait). Balor throws Mysterio out to get us down to four meaning everyone goes to a corner.

    We get the big staredown as the fans are behind Nakamura. Cena throws a You Can’t See Me at Balor and hammers on Nakamura while Reigns beats on Balor. That gives us the big showdown as the fans think they both suck. No one throws a punch as Balor and Nakamura get back up, giving us a much better received showdown. The running knees in the corner put Balor on the apron but he kicks a charging Nakamura in the head. Another kick to the head rocks Balor but he scores with a basement dropkick.

    Reigns and Cena are back up again with Cena charging into a Samoa drop. The Superman Punch is countered with a ProtoBomb but the Shuffle is broken up with a Sling Blade. Balor hits the shotgun dropkick on Reigns but Nakamura kicks Balor in the face. Balor’s standing double stomp cuts off Kinshasa and Cena tosses Balor to get us down to three. Reigns slips out of an AA and hits the Superman Punch on Cena. The spear is cut off by the AA and Nakamura puts Cena on the apron.

    A running kick to the face gets rid of Cena and we’re down to Nakamura vs. Reigns. That means COME ON and Reigns does so with a Superman Punch. Reigns sends him to the apron but gets kicked in the head but Nakamura grabs a hanging triangle over the apron. A powerbomb brings Nakamura back in and they’re both down again.

    It’s Reigns up first but the spear is cut off with a kick to the face. A middle rope knee to the face drops Reigns but Kinshasa is hit with a spear to put them both down again. Nakamura grabs the ropes to hang on and another running knee drops Roman, setting up the elimination to give Nakamura the win at 65:32.

    They laid the match out nicely here as things took a little time to get going but the final ten to fifteen minutes were excellent with the final six all being solid options. I wasn’t dreading this one at all and it made the match that much better. This was a lot of fun and the way the Rumble should go, with one of the best endings in a long time. Great match.

    The Smackdown bosses are celebrating in the back when Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle come in to say Raw will win later. Daniel and Shane (buddies again) don’t seem to care.

    Post match Nakamura is asked who he wants to face at Wrestlemania. Fans: “PLEASE SAY STYLES!” Nakamura: “AJ STYLES!”

    There was a Royal Rumble to determine the next Colonel Sanders with Ric Flair winning. He has the wrinkles for it.

    Raw Tag Team Titles: The Bar vs. Jason Jordan/Seth Rollins

    Rollins and Jordan are defending with Seth and Sheamus starting things off. Seth gets driven into the corner with Cesaro offering a distraction to keep Jordan away from interfering. Jordan is ready for the hot tag but Cesaro pulls him down (I thought that was the heel turn) and posts him into near unconsciousness. Back in and Sheamus’ top rope clothesline gets two as the double beatdown is on, made especially worse by Seth’s long Rumble run.

    Seth finally sends Sheamus into the post to get it back to even, followed by a Sling Blade and Blockbuster. Sheamus comes back in for the save but Rollins drops both of them for a double frog splash. As Seth gets up, Jordan is STILL sitting on the steps, leaving Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick. The super White Noise gives us new champions at 13:03. Jordan was never in the match.

    We recap the Raw World Title match. Basically you have three monsters fighting each other and breaking things to hurt each other, meaning it’s time to get violent.

    Raw World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman

    Brock is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Strowman wastes no time in cleaning house, including a hard knee to Brock’s head. That’s fine with Brock who starts throwing punches, only to have Kane score with a chokeslam. Brock grabs a chair but Braun punches it away and drops everyone.

    Shots with the steps clean house and it’s time for a pair of tables. Strowman chokeslams Kane for two with Brock making the save and it’s time for Suplex City. Braun pops up like a daisy and powerslams Brock through a table with Kane making the save this time. Kane is tossed away again and it’s time for the announcers’ table.

    Braun takes too long though and it’s an F5 to drive him through instead. Brock turns the other table over Braun and F5’s Kane through another. Braun gets up again and sends Brock into the steps, followed by the powerslam. Kane makes the save and sends Braun outside, setting up an F5 onto the chair to retain Brock’s title at 10:12.

    Trailer for Andre the Giant’s HBO documentary.

    We get a video on the women’s Royal Rumble with a focus on the Revolution with everyone talking about how important this is.

    Maria Menunos is guest ring announcer and Stephanie McMahon is guest commentator, with Cole reading off her resume. Alexa Bliss and Charlotte come out to watch at ringside.

    Women’s Royal Rumble

    Sasha Banks (in Wonder Woman gear) is in at #1 and Becky Lynch is in at #2 to give us a good start. Becky blocks an early elimination attempt and we talk about how nervous Stephanie is. The Bank Statement is broken up and it’s a double clothesline as Sarah Logan is in at #3. Logan clotheslines Becky down but Sasha makes a questionable save. Becky gets stomped down in the corner and it’s Mandy Rose in at #4. Mandy can’t get rid of Sasha and it’s LITA in at #5.

    Sasha and Becky aren’t sure what to do so they opt with kicking her in the stomach. Mandy jumps Lita from behind and gets placed on the apron, followed by a hard shot for the first elimination. Kairi Sane is in at #6 and chops Lita into the corner as Cole talks about her “yacht persona”. Sane kicks Sasha down and drops the Insane Elbow, followed by another to Becky as Tamina is in at #7.

    Lita starts hitting the Twists of Fate and hits a double moonsault onto Sasha and Becky (more like her falling backwards instead of any kind of jump but give her a break). That means the YOU STILL GOT IT chant before she eliminates Tamina, only to get dumped by Becky. That’s all this needed to be from Lita and it worked to perfection. Dana Brooke is in at #8 and actually dumps Kairi before stomping on Sasha in the corner.

    Torrie Wilson is in at #9 and it’s time to prove why she wasn’t a wrestler. Logan dropkicks her down but Torrie pops up and eliminates Dana. Sonya Deville is in at #10, giving us Banks, Lynch, Logan, Wilson and Deville. Sonya starts firing off knees and gets rid of Torrie (thank goodness). Liv Morgan is in at #11 so the Squad can start getting together. No one is tossed though and it’s Molly Holly in at #12.

    Molly gets rid of Logan and hits the Molly Go Round on Sasha. Lana is in at #13 and is immediately taken down by Morgan and Deville. She actually gets fired up and slaps her way to freedom as Michelle McCool is in at #14. That means an UNDERTAKER chant as she gets rid of Logan, Morgan and Holly. Sasha and Becky are down on the floor (not eliminated) as Michelle gets rid of Lana as well. With Michelle alone, Becky and Sasha get back in and it’s Ruby Riott at #15, giving us Michelle, Becky, Sasha and Ruby.

    Vickie Guerrero is in at #16 and shouts EXCUSE ME over and over but everyone stares her down. She tries to bail and is tossed with ease. Carmella is in at #17 but Vickie takes the Money in the Bank briefcase to knock her silly. Natalya is in at #18 and throws her gear on Carmella, who pulls Natalya off the apron. That’s enough for Carmella to get in for some superkicks and it’s Kelly Kelly in at #19. Kelly fends off an early elimination as Natalya gets rid of McCool.

    Naomi is in at #20, giving us Banks, Lynch, Riott, Carmella, Natalya, Kelly and Naomi at the moment. Becky goes up for some reason and gets dumped by Riott. Jacqueline is in at #21 and goes after Kelly. Nia Jax is in at #22, meaning it’s time to clear the ring. Jacqueline is out first, followed by Kelly with ease. Natalya is sent outside (through the ropes), leaving Nia to press Riott onto the top turnbuckle and then out to the floor. Naomi goes after Nia’s legs but tries a hurricanrana.

    Nia knocks her off the apron but the pile catches her, allowing Naomi to land on the barricade. NXT Women’s Champion (with a bad arm) is in at #23 with a springboard kick to Nia’s face. Nia sends her flying as Naomi is walking across the barricade to steal Maria’s chair on wheels. She then crawls across the floor using her hands and the wheels on the chair….only to have Nia catch her coming back in and toss her out. Beth Phoenix is in at #24 and this could be a lot of fun.

    Phoenix is a lot closer to Nia’s size than I expected and manages a fireman’s carry but can’t eliminate Nia. Natalya’s help doesn’t work very well as they knock Nia through the ropes. That means a hug and of course Natalya turns on her and gets rid of Beth. Carmella (never eliminated) comes back in to jump Natalya from behind….and it’s Asuka at #25. There’s the hip attack to Carmella and it’s time for the showdown with Ember Moon.

    Ember actually hits a one armed Eclipse but Asuka goes after the bad arm and gets rid of her. Sasha (also never eliminated) gets back in and it’s Mickie James in at #26. That goes nowhere and it’s Nikki Bella getting lucky #27. That means the JOHN CENA SUCKS song but Carmella takes Nikki into the corner for the Staten Island Shuffle (not the Moon Walk Stephanie). Nikki powers her up though and a neck snap across the top rope gets rid of Carmella.

    Brie Bella is in at #28 to save her sister from a big beatdown. The Bellas get their big moment and knock Nia off the apron. A double suplex puts Natalya down and it’s Bayley in at #29. Asuka kicks Bayley in the head in short order but can’t get rid of her. It’s Trish Stratus in at #30 to give us a final group of Sasha, Natalya, Nia, Asuka, Mickie, Nikki, Brie, Bayley and Trish.

    Stratus gets to clean house and hits a double Stratusfaction before getting into a showdown with Mickie. James misses a charge and gets tossed, meaning it’s time for everyone to go after Nia. She shrugs them all off but the Bellas choke her on the ropes, allowing everyone else to join in and get rid of Nia. Sasha of course turns on Bayley for the elimination and we’re down to six.

    Natalya puts Trish in the Sharpshooter for some reason and is broken up just as quickly. The Chick Kick eliminates Natalya but Trish mocks Sasha’s Boss pose, meaning the Stratusfaction is broken up to get rid of Stratus. Sasha turns around to meet Asuka but they decide to get rid of the Bellas….for all of three seconds until Sasha decks Asuka from behind. Sasha calls the Bellas off so she can beat on Asuka in the corner but the Twins dump her out as she tries the double knees.

    So we’re down to the Bellas and Asuka and it’s time for the YES Kicks to both Twins (there’s a joke there that I’m not touching). Brie gets sent to the apron but Nikki decks Asuka, followed by the Rack Attack 2.0. Nikki decks Brie to get rid of her though and it’s down to two. Asuka is on the apron and hits a missile dropkick but Nikki’s spinning middle rope kick catches her in the face. Nikki puts her on the apron for the big forearm….which doesn’t end it. Instead Asuka grabs a headscissors to put Nikki on the apron but Asuka kicks kicks her in the leg for the elimination to win at 58:47.

    The champions get in the ring…...AND BAD REPUTATION HITS AS RONDA ROUSEY IS HERE!!! Rousey, in a Roddy Piper shirt, points at the Wrestlemania sign and offers Asuka a handshake but Asuka slaps it away. Ronda also shakes Stephanie’s hand and high fives fans to end the show.

    AJ Styles b. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens – Rollup to Owens
    Usos b. Chad Gable/Jason Jordan – Small package to Benjamin
    Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble last eliminating Roman Reigns
    The Bar b. Seth Rollins/Jason Jordan – Super White Noise to Rollins
    Brock Lesnar b. Kane and Braun Strowman – F5 to Kane
    Asuka won the Royal Rumble last eliminating Nikki Bella

    Quick Results

    Monday Night Raw
    Bayley/Sasha Banks/Mickie James/Asuka b. Absolution/Alicia Fox/Nia Jax – Bank Statement to Fox
    The Miz b. Roman Reigns – Skull Crushing Finale
    Bray Wyatt b. Matt Hardy – Sister Abigail
    Titus Worldwide vs. Heath Slater/Rhyno went to a double DQ when all four brawled
    Anderson and Gallows b. Revival – Magic Killer to Dawson

    Chad Gable b. Jey Uso – Rolling Chaos Theory
    Naomi b. Liv Morgan – Sunset flip
    Shinsuke Nakamura b. Baron Corbin via DQ when Randy Orton interfered
    New Day/Bobby Roode b. Rusev Day/Jinder Mahal – Top rope elbow to English
    AJ Styles b. Kevin Owens – Calf Crusher
    Sami Zayn b. AJ Styles – Blue Thunder Bomb

    No Way Jose b. Cezar Bononi – Toma
    Bianca Belair b. LaToya Alstott – Alleyoop
    Johnny Gargano b. Velveteen Dream – Gargano Escape

    Impact Wrestling
    Matt Sydal b. Ethan Carter III – Shooting star press
    Laurel Van Ness b. Allie – Title to the face
    Moose b. Lashley – Game Changer
    Taiji Ishimori b. Andrew Everett – 450 splash
    Eli Drake b. Alberto El Patron and Johnny Impact – Drake escaped the cage

    Takeover: Philadelphia
    Undisputed Era b. Authors of Pain – Rollup to Razar
    Velveteen Dream b. Kassius Ohno – Purple Rainmaker
    Ember Moon b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
    Aleister Black b. Adam Cole – Black Mass
    Andrade Cien Almas b. Johnny Gargano – Hanging hammerlock DDT

    Royal Rumble 2018
    AJ Styles b. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens – Rollup to Owens
    Usos b. Chad Gable/Jason Jordan – Small package to Benjamin
    Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble last eliminating Roman Reigns
    The Bar b. Seth Rollins/Jason Jordan – Super White Noise to Rollins
    Brock Lesnar b. Kane and Braun Strowman – F5 to Kane
    Asuka won the Royal Rumble last eliminating Nikki Bella

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