I have been a casual 205 Live viewer from day one. The reason I never really wrote about it is because writing about Raw and Smackdown every week is a lot. Most of the time when I watch 205 Live it’s to focus on the main event and I’m sitting on my couch when I do it. This week I figure I’m going to write about it because I want to get more content posted here on TJRWrestling on a daily basis. This will likely be a Wednesday afternoon or evening post. We’ll see how the numbers do on the site and if people are interested in these reviews.
We all know the 205 Live audience on WWE Network is not that big. However, there’s usually one great match every week and this week I know the main event is outstanding, so I feel like I should review it. I’m going to try to commit to doing these 205 Live reviews until the end of August at least and then re-assess if I want to keep doing it. I think September is going to be when we do a TJRWrestling Writer Search. What will most likely happen is another writer can either cover 205 Live for us or do more of the news posts, which would give me more time and energy to devote to this. Also, Chad Gable is one of my favorites in WWE and he’s in the main event, so that helps me in terms of making me want to review the show.
Live from Worcester, Massachusetts, this is 205 Live for episode #138. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
Drew Gulak, the Cruiserweight Champion, said that after Extreme Rules, he has erased all doubt and now his grip on the Cruiserweight Championship grows tighter by the day. He wondered who would step next? “My name is Drew Gulak and I am your WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Welcome to my 205 Live.”
Analysis: They used the Extreme Rules match to further establish as the Cruiserweight Champion since he won the title in a triple threat, so beating Nese in a singles match made him stand out more.
The announcers for 205 Live are Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Aiden English. I think English has done well on commentary, but I firmly believe he has untapped potential as a wrestler too.
Akira Tozawa (w/The Brian Kendrick) vs. Samir Singh (w/Sunil Singh)
Tozawa worked over Samir with chops followed by a punch to the face. Samir came back by sending Tozawa face first into the turnbuckle. Samir with a hard whip that sent Tozawa into the turnbuckle. Tozawa with a kick to the gut, then he picked up Samir and slammed him off the shoulders. Running dropkick by Tozawa sent Samir to the floor. Tozawa to the apron leading to a running flip dive into Samir against the barricade. Tozawa up top, Sunil distracted him, Samir charged, Tozawa moved and Sunil hit the ropes. Tozawa rolled him up with a sunset flip into the pin for the victory after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Akira Tozawa
Analysis: *3/4 This was a decent match to put over Tozawa after fighting off the cheap tactics of the heels. Sunil can do a lot more in the ring, but he wasn’t really there to do much in this match. This was about Tozawa winning with the surprise win.
Post match, the Singh Brothers tried a double team attack, but Kendrick saved his buddy and Tozawa kicked Sunil out of the ring. The Bollywood trophy that the Singhs bring to the ring was in the ring, so Tozawa held it up in the air.
The announcers were shown on camera talking about the show.
There was a video about Humberto Carrillo. They did this a week earlier also. He just said the only thing on his mind is the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Mike Kanellis entered alone for his match. His wife Maria was backstage watching the match.
Mike Kanellis vs. Jackson James
James is an enhancement talent that was also used on Raw. Kanellis hit James with a running boot to the face followed by several chops to the chest. Kanellis with a spinebuster, corner clothesline and a running clothesline. Kanellis with another running clothesline. Kanellis hit a reverse neckbreaker that sent James face first into the mat for the pinfall win. The match was over in under two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mike Kanellis
Analysis: 1/2* An easy squash victory for Kanellis while James got no offense at all.
After the match, Kanellis stomped on James and tossed him out of the ring.
Mike Kanellis did a promo calling out 205 Live GM Drake Maverick and told him to fine him for that if he wants. Maverick walked down to the ring. Kanellis said that two months ago his contract expired, he could have gone anywhere in the world, but he decided to stay here at WWE for two reasons. The first reason is he wanted to prove to his wife that he’s as good as he says he is by becoming the Cruiserweight Champion. The second reason was because he wanted to kick Drake’s ass. Drake told Kanellis to take accountability and he told him the reason that he’s not where he is due to his own actions. Maverick mentioned other cruiserweights that have worked hard on 205 Live unlike Kanellis. Maverick mentioned Kanellis having a short match on Raw, so Kanellis brought up Drake’s “performance” with his wife. That drew an “oooohhhh” reaction from the crowd. Maverick said he’s never going to fight him, he’s not going to fight him – he’s the General Manager. Kanellis said that Maverick has neglected his duties because he’s been chasing the 24/7 Title and he’s walking down the street in his damn underwear. Kanellis said he’s not the joke, Drake is and Drake said he never thought Mike was a joke. Kanellis told Drake he’s not the bigger man or even half of a man. Kanellis told Drake to go home, talk to his wife and prove to her that you’re a man. Kanellis said a real man wouldn’t back down from a fight or let somebody talk down to somebody like Mike is doing to him right now. Kanellis said that a real man would get mad, then he said Drake’s wife is a filthy…and Drake punched him in the face. Drake hit a dropkick on Kanellis leading to Kanellis bailing to the floor. Kanellis had a smirk on his face while Maverick was mad in the ring.
Analysis: Good promo work from both guys. Kanellis was perfect as the antagonizing heel that tried to get under Drake’s skin by regular trash talk and then he made it more personal leading to Drake punching him.
After 205 Live, Drake Maverick announced that Kanellis can get a Cruiserweight Title match if Kanellis wins a match against…Drake.
Analysis: That should be interesting. The storyline is working and both guys did well on the show this week. Drake is not a regular wrestler in WWE. Drake is a trained wrestler, though, so having him in a match with Kanellis is the right move. Mike should win that match and go on to face Gulak unless WWE wants to go another route with somebody else.
A commercial aired for Raw Reunion on Monday.
There were highlights shown from last week’s great Anything Goes Match with Oney Lorcan beating Arya Daivari after a superplex through a table.
It was time for the main event with “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher up first. They showed highlights of their match from 205 Live one match earlier where Chad Gable beat Gallagher by countout. Chad Gable was up next. He is more tanned and with more baby oil on his body than he used to have going into a match.
Chad Gable vs. “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher
There was a handshake to start the match. Gable with a headlock leading to Gallagher countering by getting to his feet. They did some slick mat wrestling with counters and reversals of several moves leading to a staredown. Gallagher caught Gable, he sent him throat first into the top rope and flipped over into a pin attempt for two. Gable with a leaping arm drag, then a cradle and another arm drag into an armbar. When Gallagher grabbed an armbar, Gable picked him up and slammed him onto his back. Gable with a hard whip into the corner where Gallagher sold it with a sternum bump. Gallagher charged, Gable caught him and hit an overhead belly to belly suplex for two. Gable worked over the left knee of Gallagher with knee drops and a dragon screw leg whip. Gallagher got a backslide pin for two followed by a standing dropkick. Gallagher got some momentum for the first time with a punch to the face and delayed vertical suplex showing off his power. The crowd liked that spot. Gable got a roll through into a waistlock, Gallagher with a wristlock submission and Gable managed to crawl to counter into a nearfall for two. Gallagher with a back elbow to the face followed by a dropkick off the middle ropes. Gallagher knocked Gable to the floor and he whipped Gable into the barricade. Gallagher went for a suicide dive, he did not land comfortably on Gable and then Gable hit him with a German Suplex on the floor.
Gable tossed Gallagher back in leading to Gallagher getting an inside cradle for two. Gable with a double underhook Powerbomb for two and Gable transitioned into an Ankle Lock. When Gallagher got near the ropes, Gallagher dropped to the mat with the heel hook and Gallagher had a sweet escape by turning out of it. Gallagher with elbows to the face. The crowd cheered both guys for their effort. Gable with a rolling kick to the head, Gallagher off the ropes and a headbutt got a two count. Great nearfall there. The crowd was really coming alive now. Both guys were down selling for nearly a minute. Both guys were on their knees as they exchanged palm strikes, forearms to the face and Gallagher won the slugfest with punches. Gallagher sent Gable to the ropes, he charged, Gable caught him, put him on his shoulders and hit a sitout slam that sent Gallagher to the mat on his stomach. That was good for two as the crowd really popped big for that nearfall. On the replay, it almost looked like a DDT with the way Gable brought Gallagher to the mat. Gable went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault and Gallagher got the feet up to block it. Gallagher charged with the running dropkick on Gable against the turnbuckle. That was an impressive dropkick and as Gallagher covered, Gable got his foot on the bottom rope. Another great nearfall in this match. Gallagher set up Gable on the top rope for a belly to back suplex, but Gable shifted momentum and landed on top. Gable with rolled through into the bridging German Suplex (that’s called Chaos Theory) and that was enough to get the one…two…and three. It went 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chad Gable
Analysis: **** That was an excellent match. Four stars out of five. The crowd got into a lot by the time it was finished. That’s an example of winning over the crowd. It’s what all wrestlers want to do. They worked at a slow pace in the first half, but then it really picked up and they had a really fun match. It was very even the whole way although the pace really picked up when Gallagher made his comeback in the second half of the match. Both guys busted out some moves that I haven’t seen that often from either them, which makes it more special when they bust out moves that we are unfamiliar with. Gable executed his finisher perfectly in what was an impressive move to win the match.
After the match, the crowd applauded them. Joseph called it a “standing ovation” although it really wasn’t all of the crowd clapping. A lot of people were standing to watch, but not necessarily clapping. The announcers praised the match heavily. Replays aired of the key moments in the match.
Gable got to his feet first while Gallagher was seated up against the ropes. Gable helped Gallagher to his feet. Gable tapped him on the chest as a sign of respect and he left. Gallagher nodded in approval. The announcers put over the match as being outstanding and the definition of what 205 Live is all about.
Analysis: Gable getting the win here could lead to him being pushed as the next challenger to the Cruiserweight Title because he’s not doing anything else on the main roster right now. It depends on if Kanellis wins over Maverick to get the next shot at the title.
This episode of 205 Live had a runtime of 46:02 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
Drake Maverick did very well too!
I’m not going to do The Scoreboard or rate the show out of ten like in my Raw and Smackdown reviews.
It was a one match show this week and that one match was excellent as I covered above. Watch Gable vs. Gallagher if you have 15 minutes of free time because it’s worth your time. The promo exchange between Kanellis and Maverick was pretty good too.
Welcome to the WWE Smackdown Live Review right here on TJRWrestling. Here’s my review of Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules review in case you missed it and Monday’s Raw Deal review is here as well. In case you’re wondering, Eric Bischoff, who recently signed a deal to be the new Executive Director of Smackdown, is not at Smackdown. There’s also no Bischoff influence on the show according to the Wrestling Observer. If you follow Eric on Twitter, he’s been driving across the country to his new home in CT. Maybe by next week he’ll start. Let’s get to the review.
Live from Worcester, Massachusetts, this is Smackdown Live for episode #1039. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
This week’s Smackdown Live started with a video package featuring the memorable promo from Kevin Owens last week when he ranted about Shane McMahon. It also included a highlight of later that night when Owens hit Shane with a Stunner.
There was a clip from “Earlier Today” with Shane McMahon standing by with security by the arena entrance. Kevin Owens arrived at the arena. Shane said he heard Kevin loud and clear, so it gave Shane the idea for the Town Hall. Shane said he won’t tolerate insubordination like Owens was doing. Owens said his contract is with WWE, not with Shane, who reminded him WWE is owned and controlled by the McMahon Family. Shane said he is Kevin’s boss. Shane told Kevin he has the night off. Shane told Kevin to have a good night, then said: “au revoir” which means goodbye in French. Owens left the arena.
Smackdown Live Town Hall
The Smackdown Live roster was on the stage with two microphones nearby for the Town Hall segment while Shane McMahon stood in the ring. Most of the wrestlers were dressed in their ring gear. The New Day trio were together off to the side, Randy Orton was front and center, Charlotte Flair was beside him, Andrade was nearby with Zelina Vega. Elias was there with his guitar. Anyway, most of the Smackdown roster was there.
It looked like it was ready to start, but instead, we got a video package of The Undertaker and Roman Reigns beating Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules.
Analysis: That means we are supposed to believe Shane is running this show and he thought it was okay to show a video of him getting his ass kicked? That’s odd.
Shane stood in the ring as Greg Hamilton did the “best in the world” introduction and as usual, “The Ham” did a fantastic job with it.
Shane started talking about Kevin Owens, but the fans greeted him with “you suck” chants. Shane said Owens is not allowed to be in the building. Shane said KO gave him the idea for the Town Hall. Shane said that as long as they are respectful, he is willing to hear what they had to say. Shane asked who wants to go first? After a bit of delay, Roman Reigns stepped up.
Roman Reigns went up to a microphone. Reigns said that Shane doesn’t get it because nobody in this room respects him. Reigns said as far as diplomacy, well, “you can kiss my ass.” That drew cheers and Reigns left. Shane said that wasn’t respectful, so Roman will be fined and he will deal with Roman later.
Analysis: That was all for Reigns on the show, but he did wrestle in a dark match later.
Charlotte Flair stepped up because Shane called on her. Charlotte claimed that what Roman said was so uncalled for. Charlotte said from one family to another, thank you so much because the McMahon Family has been nothing but gracious to her since the day she was born. Flair told fans to shut up. Flair said it makes her sick that Kevin Owens would take advantage of Shane’s kindness. Liv Morgan stepped up to the other microphone and told Flair to stop being such a phony. Morgan asked if there was anything real about her. Flair looked down at her chest. I thought the same thing. I’m sure Andrade did too. Flair asked who she is again and does she even work here? Flair mocked Morgan by saying “we’re all born with blue tongues” as a joke. Flair said he didn’t know Liv still worked there until Kevin Owens belched it out of his mouth last week. Morgan said that people like Flair are the reason why people like her don’t get a fair opportunity. Shane shut them down. That set up a match.
Buddy Murphy stepped up because Shane noted that Kevin Owens mentioned him last week. Murphy said he didn’t need Owens to fight his battles. Murphy said maybe Owens should keep his name out of his mouth or he will slap it out of his mouth. Shane said he would love to see that happen, so Murphy is not WWE’s “best kept secret” anymore according to Shane. That was all for Buddy, who was not in a match later.
Apollo Crews was called out by Shane since KO mentioned Apollo last week. Crews said he did have something to say. Crews claimed that everybody agrees with what Kevin Owens said last week. Zelina Vega and Andrade stepped up. Zelina said that Crews is sucking up to the WWE Universe and she challenged Crews to a match against Andrade. Andrade yelled at Crews in Spanish and Charlotte Flair was smiling about that. Anyway, that set up a match.
Elias stepped up with his guitar saying he is not Kevin Owens, he is Elias. The New Day trio cut him off with Xavier Woods laughing at him. Big E said that Elias is the greatest jackass in Smackdown Live history. Kofi Kingston, the WWE Champion, stepped up saying they don’t like Kevin Owens, but the man is making some good points. Kingston said it took him too long to get a shot at the WWE Championship and while Kofi was talking, Shane signaled for the microphone to be cut off. Kofi complained about how Shane wasn’t giving opportunities to the talent. The microphone shut off.
Shane had a fake apology about the microphone cutting out. Shane thanked them all for addressing things and said that the Town Hall was concluded. The fans booed.
Cesaro stepped up with Shane saying that Cesaro is a Raw guy. Cesaro said he wants Aleister Black to pick a fight him with him…tonight. Shane said you’ve got the match.
Shane said he hopes this demonstrates that he didn’t have to rule with an iron fist. Kevin Owens showed up from behind in a “WWE Crew” shirt. Owens turned Shane around, kick to the gut and Owens dropped him with a Stunner. They messed up on the first attempt since Shane went down on the kick, then Owens picked him back up and hit it. The crowd popped big for it. Owens mocked the Shane O Mac shuffle dance as well and Owens left through the crowd.
Analysis: The Town Hall took about ten minutes and it did allow for some different people to speak, so in that sense it was productive. Other than that, it was just done to set up some matches for later in the show like most show opening segments. At least they ended it on a happy note with “Stone Cold” Kevin Owens dropping Shane with a Stunner again. The fans love when he does that. I’m enjoying the KO babyface run so far.
Bonus Analysis: Good week for WWE doing the “sneak up behind the guy staring into the hard camera” spots. Drew did it to Undertaker and Owens to Shane.
A replay aired of Kevin Owens attacking Shane McMahon.
Aleister Black made his entrance for his Extreme Rules rematch with Cesaro, who was up next.
Cesaro vs. Aleister Black
Black with two kicks to the chest, Cesaro to the floor and Black did his backflip into the seated position. They went to the split screen in the US, so that means commercial here in Canada.
Cesaro with a knee to the ribs, Black with a sweep kick and a sliding knee to the face. Black with a moonsault press onto a standing Cesaro for a two count. Cesaro shoved Black into the turnbuckle, then two uppercuts and a running boot to the face for two. Cesaro transitioned into a Crossface submission. Black broke free leading to a jumping knee to the face. Black lifted up Cesaro with his foot and hit the Black Mass kick to the face with Cesaro spitting out his mouthpiece for effect. The match went about seven minutes although only about four minutes for us in Canada.
Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black
Analysis: **3/4 Good match featuring two guys who know how to make the most of their time in a seven-minute match like this. A longer match would be preferred, but WWE TV matches have changed. Black has two straight wins over Cesaro now. I think Black should keep winning, but hopefully, Cesaro isn’t lost in the shuffle going forward. I liked the way Cesaro’s mouthpiece was knocked out to put over the Black Mass as a deadly finishing move.
Shane McMahon was backstage where Dolph Ziggler walked up to him. Ziggler said that somebody needs to teach Owens a lesson and it should be him. Ziggler said he knows he can get Owens back here tonight for the main event of the show. Shane said if he can make that happen, the match is on.
Charlotte Flair was shown walking backstage for a match with Liv Morgan.
The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were shown on camera. They showed a clip of Daniel Bryan talking about how he tried to take the tag team division to the main event and he failed. Bryan said if he wants to change the planet he has to go where Daniel Bryan has not gone before.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance in her robe. She has not been on TV that much in the last two months, so it’s good to see her again. Liv Morgan entered as the opponent for her first match since she was moved to Smackdown three months ago. She still has the Riott Squad entrance song.
Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan
Flair shoved Morgan over. Morgan with a headscissors followed by a dropkick and then she showed off her blue tongue. Flair worked over Morgan with a forearm to the back, then chops to the chest and Morgan came back with a step up enziguri kick to the head. Morgan with a stomp to the back of the head. Morgan went for a headscissors again, Flair caught her and gave her a Powerbomb. Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission with Morgan tapping out to give Flair the win after two minutes.
Winner by submission: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: *1/2 The result was never in doubt with Flair winning, but at least Morgan got some offense in and was able to show off a bit of what she can do. Morgan can have some success as a quirky underdog babyface as long as they work on her character some more.
Post match, Flair was cocky as she left with a smile on her face. Morgan looked sad about the loss. Morgan took off Corey Graves’ headset and said, “when I come back, I’m gonna be real.” Liv limped away.
Dolph Ziggler was shown backstage talking to referee Drake Wuertz with their phones out with Dolph asking him for a number for Kevin Owens. Drake gave him the number, so the idea is Ziggler was trying to get Owens back to the arena.
Ember Moon was shown walking backstage for her tag team match.
The tag team of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville entered. They did not enter to Mandy’s song, so that was a shame. Mandy is a favorite of mine. Ember Moon entered first ahead of her mystery partner, who was…the Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. Shoutout to the fan with the ICOPRO sign in the crowd. You’ve gotta want it!
Ember Moon and Bayley vs. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose
Deville with knee strikes to the ribs of Bayley. Rose tagged in with a jumping knee and Deville with a sliding knee for two. Bayley with a belly to back suplex on Rose. Moon tagged in with a dropkick, an enziguri kick and a corner clothesline. Moon went up top, Deville in the ring, Bayley with a belly to belly to Deville and Moon hit the Eclipse off the top on Rose for the pinfall win after about two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Ember Moon and Bayley
Analysis: * It was a quick match to put over Moon after she had been “bullied” (I guess) by Deville and Rose over the last month.
After the match, Bayley and Moon were interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who asked Bayley about who her SummerSlam opponent might before Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title. Bayley said she’s happy that her rivalry with Alexa Bliss is over so she can elevate the Smackdown women’s division. Bayley said she wanted to face somebody that’s talented, has charisma and dedicated to the championship if she loses…then fans chanted “Ember” and Bayley smiled at Moon. Ember: “Hell yeah.” Graves complained about it because Bayley was picking a target that she thinks she can beat and Saxton said it will be a great match. The match was made official later in the night.
Analysis: That should be a great match and it’s also a fresh matchup, which is nice after getting a lot of repeats in the last few months. It’s also a face vs. face match just like Lynch vs. Natalya, so it feels repetitive a bit that way. Both matches should be very good, though.
Shinsuke Nakamura, the new Intercontinental Champion, was interviewed Sarah Schreiber. Nakamura said he was free to reign down chaos on the whole universe. Ali showed up to say congratulations to the new champ.
Analysis: I’m all for Nakamura vs. Ali feud for the IC Title. That would be fresh.
Daniel Bryan’s “career-altering announcement” is next since he was walking backstage with Rowan.
A replay aired from earlier with Shane McMahon told Kevin Owens he was no longer allowed in the building. Owens returned with a Stunner on Shane. The announcers said that Owens has been contacted and he’s on his way back to the arena.
Let’s Hear from The New Day
The New Day made their entrance with Big E letting us know they are the six-time Tag Team Champions and Kofi is still the WWE Champion. Kofi was wearing the WWE Title while Big E and Xavier Woods had the Smackdown Tag Team Titles on.
Woods mentioned Kofi beating Samoa Joe at Extreme Rules while Kingston talked about Big E and Woods becoming the six-time Tag Team Champions. Kingston said that they are like African American leprechauns at the end of the rainbow because they’ve got all the gold. Big E said we knew what Daniel Bryan was going to say about recycling and they accepted the Tag Team Title rematch right here in Worcester.
Daniel Bryan, who was in his ring gear, entered along with his buddy Rowan as they stood on the ramp. Bryan put the microphone to his face, looked out at the crowd, looked back at Rowan and walked to the back without saying a word.
Bryan walked back out there, put the microphone to his mouth and nearly spoke, but instead, he walked to the back again. The fans booed while New Day was frustrated about it.
Bryan entered for the third time, Graves said “this is gonna be good” and fans chanted “New Day rocks.” Bryan looked out at the fans, dropped the microphone, said nothing again and walked to the back again.
Analysis: They hyped up Bryan making a “career-altering” announcement, people speculated on what it would be all day and then he said absolutely nothing. Sometimes heels troll the fans to get heat. That’s all this was. I hope Bryan gets back into WWE Title picture soon.
Samoa Joe said that it looks like Kofi’s henchmen are giving out title opportunities, so how about Kofi puts his WWE Title on the line against Samoa Joe? Joe told Kofi to be the man he claims to be.
Elias showed up without his guitar. Elias said with all due respect, Joe had his chance at Extreme Rules and it didn’t work out. Elias said if there is anybody primed and ready to take that WWE Championship from Kofi, it’s Elias.
Analysis: Really? I can’t remember the last meaningful win that Elias has had. Heels lie.
Randy Orton with the crowd reacting in a pretty big way. Orton has not been on TV that much in the last couple of months. It’s obvious what was coming here. Orton said that it’s been a while since he’s had that gold around his waist, so Kofi, he’s going to take it. Orton said he’ll take it by using the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment…RKO. Elias suggested that they should have a six-man tag team match tonight.
Woods: “Are you suggesting a six-man tag team match, playa?” Big E also said “playa” as a Teddy Long reference and Kofi said, “we accept, playa.” Orton didn’t seem interested. Kingston said you would think The Viper would be ready to strike, but it seems like he has gone a little limp. Orton walked back towards the ring, so apparently the match was on.
Analysis: It was a good promo exchange to set up the six-man tag team match. Orton was on the sidelines in part because of a minor injury, but the creative team also had nothing for him after WrestleMania.
The New Day – Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E vs. Randy Orton, Elias and Samoa Joe
Kingston with a leaping elbow on Elias for a two count. Elias kicked Kingston into the turnbuckle. Joe tagged in, hard whip sent Kingston into the turnbuckle and Kofi hit a leaping double knee attack to knock Joe down. Woods got the tag with a sliding clothesline, Kingston with a dive off the ropes and Woods with an elbow drop. Big E tagged in with a running splash on Joe for two. Elias tagged in, Big E slapped on the abdominal stretch along with the butt slapping and an elbow to the face. Woods tagged in with Big E slamming Woods onto Elias. Woods with a boot to the face of Elias followed by the Honor Roll clothesline. Orton yanked Woods down by the hair with the referee not seeing it. Elias with an elbow to the face of Woods followed by punches and Elias tossed Woods out of the ring. That led to the split screen in the US leading to a break here in Canada.
The match returned with Woods continuing as the face in peril while Elias grabbed a headlock on Woods followed by a hair pull. Elias knocked Kingston and Big E off the apron, so Joe hit Big E with a kick to the face. Elias wanted a superplex on Woods, but Woods fought him off and Woods hit a missile dropkick all the way across the ring. Kingston got the hot tag against Orton with Kingston hitting a dropkick followed by a leaping clothesline and the Boom Drop legdrop. Orton avoided Trouble in Paradise, but Kingston came back with a cross body block off the top for two with Elias making the save. Big E with a side belly to belly on Elias and Joe with a clothesline on Big E. Woods back in with punches on Joe, then a low bridge sent Joe out of the ring and Woods hit a somersault dive over the top on Joe. Woods with a kick to the face of Elias, but Joe pulled Woods off the apron. Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch on Woods on the floor while Elias hit Big E with a running knee to the face when they were on the floor. The thing about that knee is it didn’t come close to connecting because Big E went down before Elias got up in the air. It was still treated like a big move. Elias went in the ring, Kingston avoided a move and hit a Trouble in Paradise kick to the ribs. Orton capitalized on that with a RKO on Kingston for the pinfall win after ten minutes. The crowd reacted to the RKO in a big way as usual.
Winners by pinfall: Randy Orton, Elias and Samoa Joe
Analysis: ***1/4 Good tag team match with a very exciting finish in the last two minutes as everybody hit some big moves including Orton’s RKO for the win. Orton getting the pinfall was likely done to set up the WWE Title match with Kofi Kingston at SummerSlam. It’s not official yet, but based on that booking decision, it seems likely. Perhaps they will make it a multi-man match, but I think Kofi vs. Orton is a good match to do at SummerSlam. It was 15 years ago when Orton won his first World Title at SummerSlam and what city was that in? Toronto, just like this year.
Orton stood over the fallen WWE Champion Kofi Kingston as his music played to end this match.
Analysis: There’s also a lot of history between Orton and Kingston from their feud a decade ago with the memorable Orton “STUPID” tirade in a match. They can certainly reference that when building up to a possible SummerSlam match.
The Kabuki Warriors team of Asuka and Kairi Sane were backstage with Paige for their match up next.
Carmella was backstage looking for R-Truth and Truth, who is once again the 24/7 Champion, was hiding in a washing machine. Truth was stuck, so she took off the top piece of it. Carmella said she had a hiding spot for him, but he had to have a costume. Truth kept on rattling off numbers when talking about the 24/7 Champion. Carmella told him to go to Comic Con (in San Diego) and Truth had a funny line saying don’t call him con since he paid his debt to society. Truth got out of the machine and they left.
Analysis: The San Diego Comic Con is later this week, so look for some 24/7 Title comedy skits on WWE’s social media.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay) vs. The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) w/Asuka
Royce slapped Sane, so Sane chopped her and hit a headscissors. Asuka tagged in with a double knee, Sane with a neckbreaker and Asuka with a running knee attack. Kay tagged in, Asuka missed a hip attack and Kay kicked her for a two count. Asuka hit Kay with a spin kick to the face, so Kay bumped to the floor and the IIconics stayed on the floor for the countout loss. The match was under two minutes.
Winners by countout: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) (Royce and Kay are still the champions)
Analysis: 1/2* That was not much of a match. It fit the cheap heel tactics of The IIconics, so it will keep the feud going. Perhaps they’ll have a SummerSlam match as well.
The IIconics celebrated holding onto the titles even though they lost the match while The Kabuki Warriors and Paige were upset about what happened. Graves said it was great strategy.
Asuka and Sane went after the champs. They whipped Kay into the barricade. Asuka brought Royce into the ring leading to a running hip attack and a kick to the head. Sane went up top and hit the Insane Elbow off the top rope onto Royce.
Analysis: Revenge for the challengers. The Insane Elbow by Sane is one of my favorite moves in WWE. Asuka might be the most poorly used wrestler in WWE considering how good she is and how little she has been utilized for most of the year.
Andrade and Zelina Vega were walking backstage ahead of the next match.
Andrade and Vega were already in the ring. Apollo Crews made his entrance. He jumped over the top into the ring and Andrade attacked him from behind. Andrade stomped away on the head of Crews. The referee asked Crews if he wanted to start the match and Crews said yes.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Apollo Crews
Andrade with knees to the ribs. Crews missed a jumping kick and Andrade followed with punches. Andrade with a spinning back elbow to the head. Andrade with the running knees against the turnbuckle. When Andrade went for the cover, Crews hooked the arms and held Andrade down for the pinfall win after one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews
Analysis: 3/4* An upset win in a short match to put over Crews. It was like Cedric Alexander beating Drew McIntyre on Raw. I like Apollo winning a match, but when it’s that short it’s not going to mean that much to the fans. They need to have more time to show off what they can do.
A replay aired of Bray Wyatt attacking Finn Balor on Raw with Wyatt wearing “The Fiend” mask on his face.
Dolph Ziggler was shown walking backstage for his match up next.
A commercial aired for Raw Reunion on Monday in Tampa. That should be fun. I hope Steve Austin and Kevin Owens have some interaction with Austin telling him he likes Owens using the Stunner.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance for the main event. Kevin Owens entered as his opponent with Owens looking behind him as if he was anticipating an attack.
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
Owens went for a kick to the gut and Stunner like at Extreme Rules, but Ziggler bailed to the floor. Owens hit an impressive somersault dive over the top onto Ziggler on the floor. Owens sent Ziggler back in the ring and went for a Senton Bomb, but Ziggler got the knees up to block. Ziggler with a Fameasser, two elbow drops and an armbar. Ziggler with a neckbreaker on Owens followed by a chinlock. Owens whipped Ziggler into the corner, Owens missed a charge and Ziggler came back with a jumping DDT for a two count. Ziggler missed a corner charge, he hit the turnbuckle and Owens hit a superkick. Owens up top with a Senton Bomb for a two count. Shane McMahon entered with Drew McIntyre, Elias and other heel wrestlers on the roster. Owens was distracted by that leading to Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag for two because it’s not his finisher anymore. Ziggler whipped Owens shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Ziggler whipped Owens into the turnbuckle again. Ziggler went for the superkick, Owens caught the foot and hit a Stunner. Owens covered, but Shane pulled Owens out of the ring. Owens with a Stunner on Shane while they were on the floor! Owens ran up the ramp while the wrestlers ran after him. It went about six minutes.
Winner by countout: Dolph Ziggler (I guess?) – When Owens left, the match was forgotten about. Shane grabbing Owens could have made it a DQ too. It could be a No Contest although it’s not like it matters that much.
Analysis: **1/4 It was a solid match where Owens should have just won by pinfall and then they could have the attack after the match, but they opted for the non-finish instead. Ziggler is fine as an upper midcard heel although he rarely wins anymore, so there’s not much of a reaction to him right now.
Shane was seated up against the side of the ring apron with McIntyre beside him. Shane was coughing to sell the Stunner. Replays aired of what happened.
Shane was coughing while sitting up against the side of the apron. Kayla Braxton showed up for an interview. Shane said that Kevin Owens is going to pay for what he did. Shane walked away with Drew to end the show.
Analysis: It seems like this will lead to Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon at SummerSlam. Perhaps they will have a stipulation where if Shane loses then he has no more power over booking matches because then WWE can move on from this heel Shane character and try something else in terms of authority figures. That could mean Heyman on Raw and Bischoff on Smackdown, but I’m not sure if WWE wants to go that route. I’m fine with minor roles for authority figures like William Regal on NXT. They don’t need to be the centerpiece of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7
2019 Average: 6.72 (Raw is 5.57)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 5.5, 6, 7, 5
2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)
2019 Low: 5 (January 15, June 11)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 6.5 out of 10.
Smackdown has changed from what it used to be when the brand extension happened three years ago. When the brand split happened, it was usually four matches and two of them would be over 10 minutes. Now because of the “no wrestling during breaks” rule that exists, they had seven matches and four of them were around two minutes or less. It’s not as interesting to watch when it is formatted this way. The result of the main event didn’t matter either. I did enjoy the Black/Cesaro and six-man tag team matches.
There were good moments in terms of storyline development with Kevin Owens and some others, so it’s still a slightly above average show.
The next WWE PPV is SummerSlam on August 11 in Toronto. Here’s what we know so far.
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon
I assume we will be able to add Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title, perhaps AJ Styles vs. Ricochet again for the US Title, Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ali for the Intercontinental Title is possible and The IIconics vs. The Kabuki Warriors for the Women’s Tag Team Titles again. Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon is a possibility too.
There will be many more matches added in the weeks ahead.
Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review for post-Extreme Rules edition of Monday Night Raw. You can check out my WWE Extreme Rules review here in case you missed it. It featured a lot of good matches over the course of four hours, but not a single that I would say was outstanding or a must-see match. Nothing was bad, though. It was also newsworthy because Brock Lesnar cashed in Money in the Bank on Seth Rollins to win back the Universal Championship. Some people might say Lesnar as Universal Champion again is bad and I can’t say I’m thrilled about it either. Rollins wasn’t that interesting as the champ, though, so I can see why WWE made the change. I just hope Lesnar’s reign isn’t too long. Also, AJ Styles beat Ricochet to become the United States Champion thanks to some help. We are officially on the road to SummerSlam, which is less than four weeks away on August 11 in Toronto (go Raptors).
For this week’s Raw, WWE has announced two matches:
– There will be a 10-man battle royal featuring Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Big E. When they first announced the match, they had listed Daniel Bryan and then they changed it to Sami Zayn. That’s why the banner of this top has Zayn “pasted” in there. The winner of that battle royal gets to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. To the ones saying “shouldn’t you put the people that won at the PPV instead of the ones that lost at the PPV in the match” I agree with you. It’s not up to me. This is WWE where they don’t care about logic. Plus, there’s a Smackdown live event tonight, so I assume Aleister Black is there. Could they have set it up better? Of course. That’s a frustrating thing about being a WWE fan. Also, obviously, the brand extension continues to be ignored.
– A Fatal 4-Way women’s match was also announced between Natalya, Naomi, Alexa Bliss and Carmella. The winner of that match gets to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam on August 11.
This is also the first Raw where it’s expected that Paul Heyman will be fully entrenched as the Executive Director of Raw with Vince McMahon nearby of course. I joked on Twitter that anything that is good on Raw will be credited to Heyman while bad things will be blamed on Vince. That’s just some fans are these days. I’m trying to look at things optimistically and I liked Extreme Rules, so here’s hoping for some excitement on the road to SummerSlam next month.
Live from Long Island (Uniondale), New York, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1363 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
Raw began with a shot of the crowd with Michael Cole welcoming us to the show.
Let’s Hear from Brock Lesnar…But Really Paul Heyman
Brock Lesnar’s music as the three-time Universal Champion Lesnar made his entrance. Lesnar put the title by his ear like a boombox as a joke like he did with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lesnar had Paul Heyman with him as usual. A video package aired showing the main event of Extreme Rules with Lesnar cashing in the Money in the Bank contract on Universal Champion Seth Rollins, which led to Lesnar leaving with the Universal Championship again.
Heyman introduced us saying that he’s been waiting to say this for several months…and new reigning defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion…Brock Lesnar. The crowd had a mix of boos and cheers. Heyman said that what amazes him is you tell people the truth and they would rather you tell them a lie. Heyman said “we told you so” and reminded us that he said it last week on Raw that Lesnar would cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Heyman told us at Extreme Rules as well and Lesnar did it to leave as the champion. I missed a few minutes of the speech due to some technical difficulties on my end. I’m sure it was just Heyman bragging.
They talked about the 10-man battle royal for a shot at Lesnar at SummerSlam. There were graphics shown on the video screen featuring these ten men: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Big E. He didn’t read the names in that order, but I just felt using what I had above. When Zayn’s image was on the screen, Heyman joked that he hoped Zayn wins the battle royal.
Heyman said that last at Extreme Rules, Rollins strode into Philadelphia like he was Becky Lynch’s stud and when Lesnar got through with Rollins, Seth was nothing more than a gelding. Heyman said that if you don’t understand the reference, Google it because he’s not there to educate especially here in Long Island. Heyman said that when you step in the ring with Lesnar, you risk your health, your welfare and your very manhood. Heyman said this is a guarantee, a promise, a threat, a spoiler – if any one of you ever had the opportunity to step into the ring with Brock Lesnar, you’d be risking your health, your welfare and your manhood because in this universe you’re all Brock’s bitches.
Analysis: It was the usual bragging promo by Heyman about how Lesnar is the greatest. We have heard it many times over the last five years since Lesnar has dominated the WWE Championship and Universal Title picture. I was surprised that there was no Rollins interruption, but I guess the story there is that Seth would be getting ready for the battle royal later in the night.
As Lesnar left the ring with Heyman, Ricochet’s music hit and former US Champion made his entrance. Ricochet ran into the ring as Lesnar looked at him doing his flips in the ring. Cole mentioned that Ricochet could be a future Universal Champion. Ricochet didn’t really stare back at Lesnar.
Analysis: I wonder if that Ricochet and Lesnar tease is a potential long term storyline that WWE might be looking to do at some point later this year or early next year.
Still to come: Women’s Fatal 4-Way, Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe and more.
The Revival, who are the Raw Tag Team Champions, were in the ring with Robert Roode. It’s a full beard look for Roode instead of the mustache look. The Raw announce team is Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves as usual.
The Usos made their entrance to team up with Ricochet. They did a quick pre-match promo about how they are teaming with “Ricky” tonight.
Two out of Three Falls Match: The Usos and Ricochet vs. The Revival and Robert Roode
The first fall was over quickly with Ricochet hitting the Recoil (Codebreaker) followed by a standing Shooting Star Press on Dawson for the pinfall.
The Usos and Ricochet lead 1-0.
Ricochet hit Roode with a hurricanrana and a dropkick. There was a graphic with Hulk Hogan on it that was promoting Raw Reunion next Monday. Roode with a spinebuster on Jey Uso for a two count. Wilder tagged in choking Jey over the top rope. Wilder with a body slam, but Jey avoided an elbow smash. Jimmy tagged in with a kick to the ribs followed by a Samoan Drop on Wilder. Jimmy decked Roode with a punch, Dawson tagged in and hit a flapjack on Jimmy for the pinfall. Really? That was surprising as a move that would get a pinfall. I figured they would hit their finisher, but it was just a flapjack. Anyway, that led to a break for the third fall.
Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of WWE Extreme Rules. There are twelve advertised matches counting the Kickoff Show, so that’s more than usual. Let’s get to it.
WWE Extreme Rules From the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 14, 2019
The first Kickoff Show match saw Shinsuke Nakamura beat Finn Balor to win the Intercontinental Title after about 8 minutes. Balor’s title reign was unimpressive, and I don’t know why, but I’m fine with Nakamura getting some positive momentum again. I’ll probably watch it after the show if I have the energy to do it.
The announcers for the Cruiserweight Title match were Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Aiden English.
Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese
Gulak was cheered for his entrance because is from Philly. Nese with a back elbow, he avoided a clothesline, kick to the chest and a sweep kick. Nese with a clothesline that sent Gulak over the top to the floor. The fans booed Nese even though he was the face because it was in Drew’s hometown. Gulak jumped off the apron with a clothesline on the floor. Gulak grabbed a chinlock as they cut to the split screen with a commercial for the PPV. Gulak with a dropkick followed by another chinlock. Nese powered out of it with a powerslam for a two count. Gulak worked over Nese with kicks, but then Nese got a hold of him and hit a German Suplex into the turnbuckle. Gulak with an elbow to the face, Nese to the apron, Nese with a forearm and Nese hit a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle while Nese was on the middle ropes. That was unique. Both guys were down for a bit. Nese went up top with a 450 Splash and it was good for a two count. That was a rough landing because Nese’s knees hit the chest of Gulak, so that probably hurt more than Nese landing on his chest. When Nese went for a leapfrog, Gulak rolled him up, then Nese rolled through and went for a slam. Gulak countered a Powerbomb attempt into a Powerbomb of his own for a two count. Gulak lifted Nese up onto his shoulders and hit the Cyclone Clash slam for the pinfall win at 7:25.
Winner by pinfall: Drew Gulak
Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match that was a bit on the short side since they didn’t even get ten minutes. The crowd was into most of it since Gulak is from Philly. I liked the offense from both guys and the last few minutes featured some big moves from both guys. Gulak winning was expected since he just won the title last month.
That was the last Kickoff Show match. There are ten advertised matches for the main show.
Extreme Rules Main Show
The opening video package focused on the big matches of the show and it was really done as usual. The WWE video production team is outstanding.
There was a shot of the live crowd in Philadelphia and it looked like a full crowd. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show.
The video package aired to set up Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre vs. The Undertaker and Roman Reigns as the first match. Shane and Drew were beating up Roman when The Undertaker randomly showed up, so we have this match.
Shane McMahon entered first on his own with ring announcer Mike Rome giving him the special “best in the world” introduction. Greg Hamilton does it better, but Mike did better here than he did on Raw. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young are calling the action for this match. Drew McIntyre was next to join his partner Shane. This fan was ready with a sign for Drew. For those that don’t know, The Rock used to love the use the “roodypoo” name for phrases like how he wanted to whip all your roody poo candy asses, for example.
Roman Reigns was up first for his team with Cole screaming about the “Big Dog” as usual. The Undertaker was last and he took his time to get to the ring because that’s what he does. The crowd popped big for The Undertaker. They love him as they should.
It took Undertaker about four minutes to get to the ring. The bell rang to start the first match after 18 minutes and there was no promo to start the show.
No Holds Barred Match: Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon vs. Roman Reigns and The Undertaker
There are No Holds Barred rules, yet you must tag in and out of the match. If you can’t get DQ’d, why not just stand in the ring instead of the apron? It’s not like WWE is going to explain that.
Reigns and McIntyre started with McIntyre hitting an overhead belly to belly suplex. Shane tagged in, Reigns overpowered him and Undertaker hit Shane with a shoulder tackle leading to an armbar. Taker is wrestling with a black tank top on. He is in good shape, but he’s opting for the tank top look. Taker wanted to do the rope walk, Shane blocked it and Taker hit him with a clothesline. Taker did the Old School rope walk leading to a punch to Shane’s shoulder. McIntyre tagged in for a staredown with Taker leading to punches. McIntyre with a kick, Taker no sold it and McIntyre hit a clothesline over the top to the floor. Taker with a leg drop on McIntyre while on the apron. Reigns worked over McIntyre with ten corner clotheslines followed by a boot to the face. Reigns with punch to Shane, a punch to Drew and Shane pulled the apron down leading to Reigns bumping over the top to the floor. Taker grabbed a chair and chased after Shane, who ran up the ramp. McIntyre whipped Reigns into the steel steps and went back into the ring with Drew hitting a suplex on Reigns. Shane went back to the apron as Drew hit a neckbreaker and Shane covered Reigns for a two count. McIntyre with an overhead suplex on Reigns followed by an armbar. Reigns got back into it with a Samoan Drop. The crowd cheering as Taker got the hot tag.
Taker tagged in against Shane with Taker working him over with punches, a corner clothesline, snake eyes into the turnbuckle and Taker with a boot to the face of Shane. Taker knocked McIntyre off the apron and Taker hit Shane with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Taker cleared off the English announce table, which was in the middle of the three tables at ringside. Taker was about to slam Shane through a table, but Elias showed up with a guitar to the back of Taker. Reigns punched Elias and McIntyre came back with a Claymore Kick on Reigns to send him over the barricade. Elias went after Taker, but McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Taker as well. Shane told Drew and Elias put Taker on the announce table. Shane went into the ring, he went up top and Shane jumped off the top rope with an elbow drop that put Undertaker through the table. McIntyre and Elias brought Undertaker into the ring and set him up against the turnbuckle. Shane placed a trash can in front of Taker. Elias held the trash can. Shane did the throat slash motion while he stood on the top rope and Shane hit the Coast to Coast dropkick into the trash can in Undertaker’s face. Reigns got back into it with a Superman Punch on Elias. McIntyre dropped Reigns with a Russian legsweep on the floor. Shane pulled Undertaker to the middle of the ring, but Taker sat up and gave Shane a Chokeslam. Undertaker gave Elias a Chokeslam as well. Taker faced the hard cam like a good company man and did the throat slash. McIntyre charged, but Reigns saved Undertaker with a Spear. Reigns whipped Shane to Taker and Taker hit Shane with a Tombstone Piledriver for the pinfall win at 17:01
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns and The Undertaker
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid match that featured some big spots with Shane getting his high spots in. They did what I expected with Elias out there to make it look like the heels would win, but Reigns and Taker were too much for them. I’m glad it was Shane that took the pin instead of Drew because it was time for Shane to get beat in a match like that. The bad thing about this match is they said it’s No Holds Barred with tags, then they did tags for the first half and then it was ignored. It could have been ignored the whole time, so again that’s something I wish WWE was more aware of when they set up these matches.
Post match, Undertaker stared at Reigns and tapped him on the chest as a sign of respect. Reigns left as replays of the key spots in the match aired.
The Undertaker’s music hit as the 54-year-old legend did his posing in the crowd. It was noted by Cole that we don’t know how many more times we’ll be able to witness Undertaker and that’s a good point. It’s up to Undertaker. The Undertaker did his posing in the ring, then his long walk up the ramp and his fist raise to say goodbye for now.
Analysis: The Undertaker did well here. He was a lot better in this match than he was in his match against Goldberg last month.
Becky Lynch, the Raw Women’s Champion and WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Rollins said they know what is at stake and they know they are in the city of Brotherly Love in Philadelphia, PA. Rollins said that Philly’s Liberty Bell has a crack in it like the crack he’ll put on Baron’s head. Lynch said if they put up a statue of Lacey Evans then it would be covered in pigeon crap like her career after tonight. Rollins was confident and Lynch said the only thing that’s not an option is losing.
There was a commercial for Raw Reunion one week from tomorrow (July 22) on USA Network.
It'll be the BIGGEST reunion in Monday Night #RAW HISTORY.
Analysis: Get a bunch of former stars on the show to try to boost the ratings. That’s fine with me.
The Revival were up next as the Raw Tag Team Champions. The Usos did a quick promo on their way to the ring.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)
There were a lot of quick tags early on. The Usos hit a double kick to Wilder, but when they went for a superkick, Dawson pulled Wilder out of the ring. The Revival went back in the ring, but The Usos tossed them out of the ring and The Usos hit dives over the top to take out both guys. Wilder drew Jey out of the ring, Dawson hit Jey with a clothesline and The Revival whipped Jey into the barricade to take control. Back in the ring, Dawson with a leg drop, elbow and headbutt. Dawson slammed Wilder onto Jey for a two count. Wilder with a catapult that sent Jey into the bottom rope. Dawson tagged in, he prevented Jey from tagging out and Jey hit Dawson with a belly to back suplex. Wilder went after Jimmy, the referee made Dawson leave the ring, so he didn’t see Jimmy get the tag. The Revival worked over Jey with punches. Wilder tagged in with an elbow drop off the ropes. The fans chanted “Uso” to try to help Jey get going as Dawson set up Jey for a superplex. Jey with a headbutt (I think) on Dawson while they were on the top rope and they both landed on the floor. Wilder got the tag, but Jey broke free and tagged in Jimmy, who hit Wilder with a cross body block for two. Jimmy with a Samoan Drop on Wilder and a Samoan Drop on Dawson. Jimmy hit a running hip attack on Dawson and Wilder came back with a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Dawson and Wilder charged, Jimmy kicked them and a corkscrew off the top for two. Jey tagged in, Jimmy launched him into a Samoan Drop from Jey for a two count. Dawson with a punch to knock Jimmy off the apron, Dawson with a kick to Jey and a brainbuster got a two count. Dawson hit a superplex on Jey, Wilder tagged in and hit a splash off the top, but Jimmy broke that up with an Uso Splash. Jey covered Wilder, but Dawson broke it up. All four guys were down selling. Jey got back up with a superkick on Dawson and Wilder. Jimmy got the tag, Dawson pulled Jey out of the ring and Dawson made a blind tag leading to the Shatter Machine double team move for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Revival
Analysis: *** It was a good WWE tag team match with a lot of moments where it looked like either team could win. The Usos selling is always excellent, which is why they are one of the best babyface teams ever because they know how to build up to the big comeback. The crowd wasn’t into the whole match, but they got into it by the end. It was a relatively clean win for The Revival, who I expected to win.
A commercial aired for SummerSlam in Toronto on April 11. It’s over two hours away from me, but I don’t know if I’m going.
The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton took over. A video package aired to see how this Aleister Black vs. Cesaro match was set up.
Cesaro made his entrance. They showed the international row of announcers: Portuguese, Russian, French, Hindi, Japanese (hey Funaki) and Mandarin. That led to the usual Graves joke about hanging out with the Mandarin announcers.
Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of the third All Elite Wrestling show called Fight for the Fallen. Just like Fyter Fest two weeks ago, this was not a pay-per-view show and some key guys on the roster were missing, but I still want to cover AEW regularly. The next major AEW show is All Out on August 31, so they are building to that event as well. I watched this on Bleacher Report Live free for those of us in the United States and Canada.
I’m not going to review the Buy In Pre-Show. The main show is nearly four hours and this review is over 8,000 words already. It’s a lot to write about. Here are the results.
Sonny Kiss defeated Peter Avalon
Bea Priestley and Shoko Nakajima defeated Britt Baker and Riho
AEW Fight for the Fallen July 13, 2019 Daily’s Place at Jacksonville, Florida
The opening video package aired hyping up the matches that will take place tonight. It was really good.
Jim Ross welcomed us to the show with a shot of the live crowd at Daily’s Place.
I like the way the arena was set up. Some fans were on a stage near the ring and other fans had great seats. The venue was located beside the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars stadium. The Khan family that owns AEW also owns the Jaguars, so that’s the connection.
The announce team for the show is Jim Ross, Excalibur in the mask and Alex Marvez.
The introductions took place for the opening match with Maxwell Jacob Friedman (no pre-match promo from him makes me sad), Sammy Guevara and Shawn Spears, who is the former Tye Dillinger. Shawn’s got a “The Chairman” shirt since he attacked Cody with a chair at the last AEW show and he was introduced as “The Chairman” as well. MJF was not happy about teaming with Spears since MJF claims he is Cody’s best friend.
The babyface team was made up of Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc and Joey Janela. They all have a similar style in that they are all hardcore style wrestlers.
Shawn Spears, Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Sammy Guevara vs. Joey Janela, Darby Allin and Jimmy Havoc
Janela worked over MJF a bit, then Havoc bit MJF’s hand and Havoc got a two count followed by some more hand biting. MJF distracted the referee, then did an eye poke and a body slam. Guevara tagged in with a kick to the head, Janela avoided a cross body block and Janela hit a German Suplex into the turnbuckle. Guevara with a knee to Havoc, then Havoc with a forearm to the back and a running kick to Sammy. Guevara came back with a rising knee to the face of Havoc. Spears was booed heavily when he tagged in against Allin, who was cheered a lot. Spears tagged himself out to Guevara and Allin slapped on an armbar on Sammy. Allin with a sweet arm drag off the top rope. Janela with a shoulder tackle, but then a diving attack missed and Janela hit the turnbuckle. Janela with a headscissors on Guevara, who came back with a dropkick. Excalibur made a Blink 182 reference for Janela due to his “fight” with Enzo Amore in the last week. MJF tagged in with a forearm to knock Janela to the floor and Spears tagged himself in. Spears with a belly to back suplex on Janela. There were quick tags from the heel side, but also some issues with MJF and Spears. MJF did a Perfect 10 gesture to Spears and then the middle fingers. That was funny. Janela came back with an elbow to MJF. Havoc tagged in with forearms and he slammed Spears onto MJF. Guevara sent Havoc to the turnbuckle, then MJF accidentally hit Spears and Havoc hit a superplex off the top and off MJF’s back for a two count. That was unique. Havoc sent Spears and MJF outside the ring. Allin tagged himself in and he hit a flipping crusher for a two count because Spears made the save. Janela with a forearm to Spears. MJF sent Janela into the turnbuckle and Havoc with an Acid Rainmaker clothesline. Guevara with a Backstabber on Havoc. Guevara went for an attack on Janela on the floor, but Janela moved and Guevara ended up hitting two dives to take out Havoc and Janela on the floor. Sammy hit a standing Spanish Fly on Allin for a two count. Great sequence by Sammy there. Janela grabbed Guevara on the top rope and gave him a Death Valley Driver onto the ring apron. Spears tagged himself in and Allin hit a spinning attack on MJF. Spears with an Ushigoroshi followed by a running Death Valley Driver on Allin for the pinfall win at 13:15.
Winners by pinfall: Shawn Spears, Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Sammy Guevara
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with all six guys getting a chance to show off what they could do. I liked the story of Spears/MJF not getting along, yet they were on the winning side, so it worked out. Spears winning the match makes sense because he’s likely going to face Cody at All Out, which makes it smart for Spears to get the win.
There was a shot of Shad Khan, who is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and really the owner of AEW as well. His son Tony is running the company, but it is Shad’s money. He’s a multi-billionaire. They also showed Calais Campbell of the Jacksonville Jaguars. They showed the Farah brothers that are the sponsors for the show. The tag team of Private Party were shown at ringside. They have AEW contracts.
A video package aired about Brandi Rhodes, who is married to Cody. It was about how Brandi had doubts about her wrestling career, but now she’s motivated. There were some comments from Allie too.
Allie entered first. She’s from my hometown of London, Ontario, but they say Toronto, which is okay. I’ve met her a few times. She’s talented. Brandi was next and then Awesome Kong came out to support Brandi. The Awesome Kong appearance was a surprise.
Allie vs. Brandi Rhodes (w/Awesome Kong)
Allie knocked down Brandi with a kick to the head, then she had a staredown with Kong and Brandi hit a dropkick to knock Allie down. Brandi dumped some water on Allie and Brandi sent Allie face first into the side of the ring apron. Back in the ring, Brandi with a running kick. Brandi with a standing side kick on Allie for a two count, which led to Brandi following with punches. The announcers noted that Brandi hasn’t had a match since last December. Allie ran the ropes, Kong grabbed her foot and the ref didn’t see it. Brandi with a waist lock takedown for a two count. I don’t know if that was supposed to be a German Suplex, but it just looked like a basic takedown. Alli got a rollup for two followed by a hair grab into a neckbreaker. They got into a forearm exchange, Allie with a clothesline, running elbow and a running forearm to the face. Allie with a sliding elbow strike against the turnbuckle for a two count. They had a bit of a sloppy exchange leading to Allie hitting a bulldog for two. Brandi with a snapmare, boot to the face and Brandi hit a suplex out of the corner for two. Brandi charged right into a superkick by Allie for two. Allie hit a running Death Valley Driver for two because Kong pulled Brandi under the bottom rope to break up the count. Allie turned her attention to Kong. Brandi got an inside cradle. Allie slapped on a Dragon Sleeper, Kong went on the apron, the referee was distracted by her and Brandi tapped, but the referee never saw it. Brandi with an eye gouge followed by the Bionic Spear by Brandi for the pinfall win. They call it the Bionic Spear because Brandi had a collarbone injury earlier in her career. It went 11:01.
Winner by pinfall: Brandi Rhodes
Analysis: *1/2 It was a cheap heel win by Brandi because she won thanks to the help of Awesome Kong. I thought Ali performed very well. Her offense looked good, she sold everything well and I liked how she reacted to Kong being out there. Brandi doesn’t have that much experience and had no matches this year going into this, so she seemed off. They got enough time to tell a good story, but the match wasn’t that interesting.
Post match, Brandi and Kong celebrated. Brandi gave Allie to Kong to do a move, but the legendary Aja Kong slowly walked to the ring in a face off between the two Kong ladies. The women had a staredown, but referees showed up to break it up and Brandi told Kong to move back. Kong left with Brandi, so there was no physical contact.
Analysis: I assume that will lead to Awesome Kong vs. Aja Kong at All Out next month. That should be a very interesting match.
The Dark Order tag team of Evil Uno and Stu Grayson entered with some dudes in masks known as “creepers” who went to the back. They were the unknown guys that showed up at Double or Nothing that are a Canadian tag team that were called Super Smash Brothers, but they have the Dark Order name in AEW now. This is their first AEW match. Jack Evans and Angelico were the next team to enter and this is their second AEW match because they lost to the Best Friends at Double or Nothing. The team of Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy entered along with Marko Stunt. They got the best reaction of the three teams.
Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/Marko Stunt) vs. Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson)
Two guys are in the ring and the others are on the apron. The first fall wins the match.
Evans went for a leaping attack off the top, but Grayson hit an overhead suplex. Angelico tagged in leading to Grayson hitting a dropkick. Grayson with a spinning uranage slam on Angelico. Uno, the masked man, tagged in to bite the ear of Angelico. Boy tagged in with an armdrag on Uno, then a hurricanrana and a dropkick. Uno with a neckbreaker. Luchasaurus tagged in with fans chanting for him and Uno tagged out. Evans tried a shove that didn’t work, then the chop was blocked and Luchasaurus tossed Evans across the ring. Luchasaurus with a boot to the face and Boy knocked Evans into the Dark Order corner. Boy worked over Grayson with chops and then Grayson shoved Boy out of the ring because Uno pulled the rope down. Grayson with a senton splash onto Boy on the apron for two. Grayson and Uno worked over Boy in their corner. Marvez noted that Dark Order are from Canada while Excalibur said I guess that means Parts Unknown is in Canada. Now we know! That’s a mistake by Marvez. Uno with a dropkick to send Luchasaurus out of the ring. Uno with a boot to the face of Boy, he went up top and hit a Senton Bomb for a two count. Boy hit a Spear off the ropes on Uno and Luchasaurus got the hot tag against Grayson. Luchasaurus with several kicks to the face of Grayson, a spin kick on Angelico, a kick on Evans and a standing moonsault by Luchasaurus on Evans drew a big pop. Luchasaurus launched Evans over the top onto Angelico on the floor. Boy hit a moonsault off the apron onto Angelico/Evans on the floor to take them out. Luchasaurus caught Grayson for a sitout slam face first with Uno showing up to break up the pin. Luchasaurus with a sitout slam on Uno. Grayson with a backflip kick on Boy and Luchasaurus. Angelico tagged in while Evans hit a double foot stomp on Boy. Evans with a spinning kick to the head of Uno. Evans tagged in, there were several kicks from Evans/Angelico and Evans hit an assisted 450 Splash on Boy for a two count. The fans chanted for Jungle Boy as Angelico hit a Black Tiger Bomb into the turnbuckle. Marko Stunt got involved as he knocked Angelico off the apron and he went up top and hit a hurricanrana off the top to a big pop. The referee did nothing while it happened, but then he tossed the little man Marko to the back.
Luchasaurus put Stunt on his back and tossed him onto Angelico on the floor. Boy held Evans up, Luchasaurus with a spin kick and Luchasaurus launched Evans into the air right into a Powerbomb by Boy for a two count. That was cool. Uno with a chop block to the knee of Luchasaurus, rising knee by Grayson on Boy and he tossed Boy onto Luchasaurus in the corner. Grayson hit a 450 splash on Jungle Boy while Uno hit a cannonball on Luchasaurus against the turnbuckle. Uno held Boy on his back, Grayson went off the top and hit a Blockbuster like move that they call the Fatality and that Uno pinned Boy for the win at 15:15.
Winners by pinfall: Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson)
Analysis: ***1/2 Good action from the moment the bell rang with Dark Order getting the big win. I was really impressed by Luchasaurus when he got the hot tag even though he wasn’t in the match for that long. He did a great job while the crowd was strongly behind him. Jungle Boy did very well. Angelico and Evans are great athletes, but they didn’t get to show off too much in this match. I didn’t know that much about Dark Order going into this, but they had some incredible tag team moves including what they did towards the end of the match.
After the match, the announcers put over Dark Order for the big win while JR noted that Jungle Boy may have been the MVP of the match.
There was a brief video package about Adam Page.
Kip Sabian entered as a cocky heel to not much of a reaction. “Hangman” Adam Page got a big pop along with a bit of a pyro display for his entrance. Page will face Chris Jericho at All Out on August 31 with the winner becoming the AEW World Champion.
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kip Sabian
They touched hands as a bit of a handshake. JR noted both guys were 27 years old, so they have bright futures ahead of them. They did some mat wrestling to start with not much happening. It turned into a chop fest with Page taking control after a spinning elbow to the face. Page with a fallaway slam followed by a clothesline that sent Sabian over the top to the floor. Page was selling the left knee that he has been selling for two months. Sabian with a springboard kick off the turnbuckle to knock Page to the floor. Back in the ring, Page slammed Sabian off the shoulders. Page with a bridging pumphandle suplex on Sabian for a two count. Sabian teased a move on the apron, then he kicked Page to the floor followed by a suicide dive. A fan got in Sabian’s face for some trash talk, so Sabian turned to kiss him. I think that’s what that was. That drew laughs. It shut the guy up at least. Back in the ring, Sabian with a missile dropkick off the top for two. Sabian with a running knee for a two count. Sabian with an enziguri kick to the head, then he went up top and he hit a double foot stomp off the top for a two count. Page got back into it with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Page with a fireman’s carry followed by a running clothesline and a standing Shooting Star Press by Page got a two count. Sabian came back with a DDT off the ropes for a two count. Sabian with three hard kicks to the chest of Page along with a stomp to the knee for a two count.
They got into a slugfest as they exchanged forearms. Page with hard chops to the chest, Sabian with a rising knee and a punch to the head. Sabian charged, but Page countered with a spinning clothesline to knock both guys down. They battled on the turnbuckle with Sabian hitting Page with a headbutt. Sabian went for the stomp, Page avoided it and Page hit a belly to back suplex on Sabian on the apron. Page went up top with a moonsault onto Sabian on the floor. Page grabbed his left leg to sell the injury again. That was an impressive move. Back in the ring, Page picked up Sabian and launched him over the top onto the ramp, so it was like a Powerbomb off the top onto the ramp. That was a cool spot that drew a big reaction from the crowd. Sabian crawled back into the ring before the ten count. It was a 20-minute time limit with about three minutes left. Page set up Sabian off the top with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Sabian got back into it with a dragon screw leg whip on the left knee of Page against the middle ropes. Sabian with a springboard attack into a hurricanrana for two. They went into a pinfall exchange. Page put Sabian on his back and dropped him with the Deadeye slam for the win at 19:03.
Winner by pinfall: “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with Page as the obvious winner. Everybody watching knew that Page was going to win since he’s in the AEW Title match at All Out, so there wasn’t that much to get excited about. Sabian put up a fight, but a lot of it was just filling time until they went home with an exciting final few minutes. Sabian should have worked over the left knee of Page more than he did. I think the match dragged on for too long. This is an example of a match that would have been a lot better if it was around 12-15 minutes instead of going nearly 20 minutes. By having Page take that long to beat a guy that is barely known to the average fan, it doesn’t make Page look like enough of a star. I don’t think Sabian would have been hurt by losing in a shorter match.
The win by Page meant that he was 3-0 in his AEW career not counting that first match with PAC that wasn’t on an official AEW show.
After the match, a masked man that was one of the “creepers” was in the ring. The masked guy hit Page with a clothesline with punches while the announcers wondered who it was as if we didn’t know. There was another clothesline by the masked man followed by a Codebreaker. The masked man revealed that it was Chris Jericho. Referees went into the ring to try to stop Jericho and he hit Page with a Judas Effect elbow to the face of Page. The elbow by Jericho cut open Page’s head above the eye. Fans chanted “Thank You Jericho” and Jericho gave them the double middle fingers hand gesture.
Analysis: The cheap attack from Jericho was a good way to build to the Jericho/Page match at All Out on August 31.
The So Cal Uncensored group entered with Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky wrestling in this match while Christopher Daniels was at ringside for the match. They had Jacksonville Jaguars colored gear. They did their usual “worst town I’ve ever been in” promo while Daniels mentioned the Jaguar colors. That was followed up by the SCU chants.
The Lucha Brothers team of Pentagon Jr. and Fenix made their entrance. They lost their first two matches in AEW in a tag team match to the Young Bucks and a six-man tag against the Young Bucks with Kenny Omega, so going into this, the expectation was that they would get the win.
The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) vs. So Cal Uncensored – Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky (w/Christopher Daniels)
Kazarian knocked Fenix down with a shoulder tackle followed by a few exchanges of moves. Pentagon faced off with Sky for some taunting and mannerisms where the crowd chanted for each side. Pentagon tossed the glove to the referee, she dropped it, then they did it again and the crowd cheered. Sky with a Thesz Press followed by a clothesline. Pentagon sent Sky to the turnbuckle, superkick to the head and a double superkick by the Lucha Bros on Kazarian. Pentagon and Fenix slid out of the ring to hit Daniels with a double superkick as well. Pentagon chopped Daniels in the chest and then Fenix chopped Sky in the chest. Fenix went for a dive, Daniels moved and Fenix hit Pentagon by accident. Daniels hit an Arabian Moonsault off the top onto both Lucha Brothers guys. The referee Aubrey Edwards ejected Daniels from ringside. Kazarian with a diving cross body block off the top onto the Lucha Bros on the ramp. Double team slam by SCU on Fenix followed by Kazarian hitting a springboard leg drop for two. Kazarian and Sky hit corner dropkicks on Fenix against the turnbuckle. Fenix with a superkick on Kazarian followed by a step up spin kick to the face. Wow. That was impressive. Pentagon and Sky tagged in with Pentagon hit the Slingblade on both guys followed by superkicks for both guys. Sky sent Fenix to the ropes, Fenix held on with a superkick, then the Lucha Bros connected with a kick to the head, forearm to the head of Kazarian and Pentagon was sent into Sky against the turnbuckle. Pentagon went up top with a double foot stomp for a two. That’s the second straight match with a double foot stomp off the top for a two count, but it works for Finn Balor! Just saying.
Fenix went back in with a superkick followed by a dive over the top on Kazarian while Pentagon hit a pumphandle driver on Sky for a two count. Kazarian with a leg drop to the back of Pentagon and a German Suplex on Fenix. Kazarian with a backstabber to the back of Pentagon, then Sky jumped off the ropes and hit double stomp to the chest. Fenix with a double cutter on SCU. Sky with an Ace Crusher on Pentagon on the apron and Kazarian with a corner dropkick. Sky launched Kazarian to the top rope for a top rope DDT on Fenix for two. JR was shocked that was a nearfall. It was an amazing move that should be a finisher in most matches. Pentagon got back in the ring with chops, but Kazarian hit a DDT on him. JR: “How many DDTs have we seen now?” Yes. A lot of people to DDTs in wrestling today. Lucha Bros got back into it with Fenix doing a rope walk into a stomp on the back of Kazarian and Pentagon hit a Canadian Destroyer on Sky for a two count. Great nearfall. Pentagon held up Sky for a package piledriver, Fenix jumped off the top with a double foot stomp and Pentagon drove Sky to the mat. Perfect timing on that double move. Pentagon covered Sky for the pinfall win at 15:10.
Winners by pinfall: The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix)
Analysis: ***3/4 That was an exciting tag team match that didn’t run too long. They ignored tag team rules because that’s how AEW does tag team matches, which I don’t like, but I guess I’ll get used to it. The amount of double team moves by both teams were incredible. The Lucha Brothers getting the win made sense since they lost their first two AEW matches and they are obviously going to be a big factor in the company going forward. I’m so impressed by the Lucha Brothers every time I see them. I like SCU a lot because they’re a polished act that works well together.
Post match, the Lucha Brothers brought a ladder into the ring and hit Daniels in after Daniels was in the ring checking on his buddies. They hit Kazarian with the ladder as well.
Pentagon and Fenix set up the ladder in the ring. They clipped the ladder. The fans were chanting “Cero Miedo” which is the Lucha Brothers chant that means “No Fear.” Pentagon spoke in Spanish and then he said they are the best tag team in the planet. He called out the Young Bucks. Fenix said there should be a Ladder Match between The Young Bucks and Lucha Brothers at All Out in Chicago. Pentagon said “Cero Miedo” again to end it. It would likely be for the AAA Tag Team Titles.
Analysis: A ladder match between the Young Bucks and Lucha Brothers will be amazing at All Out. They had an outstanding regular tag team match at Double or Nothing as well as many other great matches together, so upping the ante a bit with a ladder match should make that match even more special.
CIMA made his entrance to a solid reaction. The announcers noted he was a 22-year veteran that has never wrestled Kenny Omega before.
Kenny Omega got the loudest crowd reaction of the show so far. There’s a cool light display for his entrance, but the song doesn’t stand out that much. His entrances in New Japan were cooler. The announcers noted he was looking for his first singles win in AEW because he lost his only singles match to Chris Jericho and then he got the win in a six-man tag team match. Omega greeted fans all around the ring.
Kenny Omega vs. Cima
Cima hit arm drag takedowns followed by a double foot stomp to the chest. Omega with a hurricanrana, but Cima rolled through into a nearfall leading right into an armbar submission. When Omega got back up, they exchanged hard chops, Omega with a kick to the face and a belly to back suplex for a two count. An elbow drop by Omega got a two count. Cima with a hard punch to the stomach followed by Omega hitting a hurricanrana. Cima went to the floor, Omega ran the ropes and Cima went back in with a kick to the head. Omega came back with a DDT for a two count. Cima hit the Perfect Driver for a two count. Omega blocked an attack followed by a spinning kick to the back of the head and a running knee splash against the turnbuckle. Omega set up Cima on the top rope, Omega put him on his shoulders and Cima countered into a sunset flip Powerbomb. Cima went for the double knees off the top, but Omega missed and Cima hit the mat hard. Omega worked over the left knee of Cima by stretching it against the ropes and he stomped on the back of the knee. Omega with a rolling senton followed by a moonsault, but Cima got the knees up to block. Cima worked over Omega with chops to the chest, Omega with a chop block to the back of the knee and a snap dragon suplex. Omega had Cima on his shoulders, Cima countered and hit a backstabber. Cima with a running dropkick to knock Kenny off the apron to the barricade. Omega slammed Cima knee first into the side of the ring apron to continue working on the knees. Omega grabbed the small ringside announce table, the referee wasn’t counting them out and Cima came back with a snap suplex on the floor. Cima climbed up onto the staging area and hit the Meteora double knees onto Omega across that small table. Huge move! Big pop from that and the crowd chanted “AEW” as well. That was very cool with a bit of danger, but not too dangerous.
Cima rolled Omega back in the ring and hit a springboard Meteora to the back of the head and then up top again with a Meteora to the front of the head for a two count. The fans gave them the well deserved “this is awesome” chant. Cima went up top, he jumped off, Omega caught him and gave him a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Omega with a Snapdragon suplex followed by a V-Trigger knee for a two count. Omega picked up Cima for a Perfect Driver across the knee. Omega with another V-Trigger knee to the head. Omega went for his finisher, but Cima fought out of it and Cima came back with a DDT. Amazing move. Cima with slaps, Omega with two knees to the face and Cima with a double knee onto the chest of Omega. Cima with another Meteora knee attack off the middle ropes to the chest. They battled on the apron with Cima hitting a side slam onto the side of the apron. Cima up top with another Meteora double knee attack onto the chest of Omega for a two count because Kenny’s foot was on the ropes. It was announced that they had gone 20 minutes so far. Omega and Cima got into an exchange of hard palm strikes to the face. Cima with a roundhouse kick, Omega with a forearm, Cima came back with a dropkick and when Cima tried to run the ropes, he collapsed to sell the left knee. Omega with a V-Trigger knee and a double underhook Tiger Driver 98 only got a two count. Cima hooked the arms for a two count. Omega with a V-Trigger knee followed by the One Winged Angel finishing move for the pinfall win at 22:30.
Winners by pinfall: Kenny Omega
Analysis: ****1/4 That was an excellent wrestling match, which was no surprise considering Omega was involved and Cima’s a very talented veteran wrestler. Omega is my favorite wrestler in AEW. I’m sure they have wanted to wrestle eachother for a long time. Their styles worked well together. Cima went to the Meteora so many times that it felt like too much because it couldn’t put Omega away, so it made the Meteora look weak a bit. Omega ending with a flurry of offense was the right way to bring it home. I thought they sold better than a lot of guys in other matches, the pacing was just right and the final few minutes were exciting.
Post match, the referee checked on both guys and gave them a bottle of water to help cool down because it was hot out in Jacksonville. It was Kenny’s first singles win in AEW. The fans gave them a well-deserved round of applause. I am really looking forward to Omega vs. Jon Moxley at All Out.
Let’s Hear from Chris Jericho
The legendary Chris Jericho made his entrance for a promo. He was in full jacket and scarf gear along with a black top hat. Jericho is one of the greatest of all time. There’s no question about it in my mind. To be as good as he still is a few months before he turns 49 years old is amazing.
Jericho was in the ring saying he was looking at the blood of Hangman Page on his hands right now. He still had blood on the outside of his hands. Jericho asked for his “thank you” and told the fans he didn’t want it to them. Jericho said they were in Jerksonville, Jackoffville and that pissed off the crowd, so they booed him a lot. Jericho said a thank you doesn’t mean anything because he’s going to beat up everybody here in AEW starting with the Hangman. Jericho said if he wasn’t there, none of them would be there because you’d be on the street recycling bottles to make money. Jericho said that the company started because of him and the TV deal in October is because of him. Jericho said of course he beat Kenny Omega at Double or Nothing while he said he watched the battle royal. He wondered if the winner would be the guy with no legs, Joey Janela with a cigarette stapled to his head or others. Jericho said the Hangman got the win and he put him over as one of the hottest products in AEW. Jericho said when he beats Hangman it will be another notch in the belt of Jericho. He said if he loses to Hangman, it will be the beginning of the end of AEW and the beginning end of his illustrious career. Jericho said “I have to beat the Hangman” repeatedly. Jericho said that’s why he attacked him and left him in a pool of his own blood. Jericho said he’s going to prove at All Out that he’s going to become the AEW Champion. He said all the people in Jackoffville wouldn’t be there without him being in AEW and he’s going to prove that Hangman is nothing more than a little bitch.
Page ran out to the ring to brawl with Jericho. The fight was broken up by referees and officials including Jerry Lynn. There were more wrestlers that entered the ring to try to break up the fight. Page broke free and attacked Jericho again. Jericho left he ring and got helped to the back by Daniels, the Librarian dude, referees and others.
Analysis: It was a fun promo from Jericho as usual. He’s the best talker in AEW. Jericho was out there trying to build up Hangman and he did a great job of that. This is the last AEW show before All Out, so it was smart of AEW to use this show to build up their AEW World Title match at All Out.
The announce team talked about the main event tag team match. After every match, they went to the announcers for an on camera discussion. JR had to ask if the main event is where they were going and that was right.
The video package aired to set up The Young Bucks vs. Dustin and Cody Rhodes. It featured Jake Roberts and Tony Schiavone talking about both teams. They showed Dustin/Cody talking about the match by pointing out that The Young Bucks made fun of them during their “Being the Elite” show. Dustin mentioned Cody and him were the first team that beat The Shield although they bleeped “The Shield” since it’s a WWE copyright. Anyway, nice video by involving Jake and Tony for their insight.
The Young Bucks duo of Matt and Nick Jackson were up first to a good reaction as some “bucks” aka money was shot into the air during their entrance. They are 2-0 after two AEW shows with a win over the Lucha Brothers in a regular and a six-man tag team victory.
Dustin Rhodes was up first for his team with the phrase “One Last Ride” featured prominently for the 50-year-old who had a tremendous match with Cody at Double or Nothing in late May. Cody (Rhodes) was up last without his wife Brandi. As I have mentioned, Cody can use the Rhodes last name if he wants, but he chooses to just go by Cody as his ring name. Dustin and Cody hugged before the match. This is one of those matches where I’ll use the first names of the competitors since they are brother teams.
Cody and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
Cody shook hands with Nick to start the match. They did a running shoulder tackle competition where neither guy got the advantage and then Nick slapped Cody. Nick and Cody did a sequence of moves where neither man was able to connect. They did a lot of counters leading to a staredown. Dustin tagged in with a bulldog on Nick, the Rhodes boys did the uppercut punch and a double clothesline sent Matt over the top to the floor. Matt got back into it with a double cross body block on the Rhodes boys. Matt launched Nick into the air for a dropkick on Dustin and a kick on Cody to knock him off the apron. The Bucks hit double dives over the top to take out both Rhodes boys followed by the Young Bucks mocking the Dustin and Cody hug with some fake tears. Nick with a leaping facebuster onto Dustin and then a moonsault onto Cody on the floor. Young Bucks hit a double suplex on Dustin. The Young Bucks worked over Dustin in their corner while Nick also spit on Cody. Matt with a jawbreaker on Dustin while the announcers pointed out Nick turns 30 years old soon while Dustin has already been wrestling for over 30 years. The Young Bucks punched Cody off the apron, Dustin hit a back body drop on both guys and Cody wasn’t there to tag. Dustin with a spinebuster on Matt and Nick pulled Cody off the apron. Dustin decked Nick with an uppercut punch and Matt hit a clothesline on Dustin. Dustin with back elbows on both guys followed by a cross body block off the middle ropes onto both Bucks. Cody got the tag with a forearm to Matt, dragon screw leg whip on Nick and a suplex on Matt. Cody with a boot to the face of Nick followed by a moonsault press on Nick. Cody with a dive over the top rope onto Matt on the ramp. Cody took off his weight belt and hit Matt in the back with the belt. The referee took the belt away. Cody wanted hit a reverse superplex on Matt for a two count. They shot that from the wrong angle because it didn’t show how an impressive of a move that it was. Cody hooked Matt’s arms, Matt sent him to the turnbuckle and Matt charged leading to Matt hitting the turnbuckle with his shoulder. Dustin whipped Matt’s left arm into the steel ring post. Cody tagged in, he whipped Matt’s left shoulder into the turnbuckle and stomped on the arm repeatedly. Dustin stomped away on the left arm of Matt followed by an armbar. Dustin decked Nick with a punch to knock him off the apron. Cody with a hiptoss into the armbar, then a roundhouse kick to the left arm and Matt was doing a good job of selling. Dustin whipped Matt left shoulder first into the turnbuckle. The crowd quieted down for a few minutes as Dustin sent Matt into the ring post in their corner. Cody stomped on Matt’s chest. Matt came back with a Northern Lights suplex once, but Cody brought Matt down to the mat with an armbar with Matt getting to the ropes to break it. Matt countered a bulldog by tossing Cody across the ring and then Matt hit a back body drop onto the wooden ramp. Cody back in the ring and Matt hit a Spear with the left arm that the Rhodes boys were working over for several minutes.
Nick got the hot tag with kicks on Cody including a spin kick and then a bulldog/clothesline combo on Cody/Dustin. It was announced that they had passed the 20 minute mark. Nick with a kick to the head of Dustin, then a backstabber on Cody and the crowd was getting into it more. The Young Bucks hit a double sunset flip into a Sharpshooter, the Rhodes boys kicked out of it and then they slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Matt and Nick. They broke free of that leading to a double clothesline to knock down all four guys. Dustin tagged himself in with a powerslam on Nick and a powerslam for Matt as well. Dustin with a flipping senton off the apron onto Matt while Cody climbed the ropes leading to a dive onto Nick on the floor. Cool spot. Matt with a blind tag, superkick on Dustin and Cody with a springboard kick on Nick and a disaster kick on Matt. Cody picked up Matt, Dustin held Matt and they hit a double team Cross Rhodes. There was a cover leading to Nick going up top and hitting a Senton Bomb to break up the pin attempt as fans chanted “AEW” for them. Cody and Matt got into a slugfest as they exchanged punches with Matt selling the left arm injury well. All four guys went into the ring for a slugfest called a slobberknocker by JR. Cody and Dusty hit spinning powerslams at the same time. Cody and Dustin tagged in leading to the double Shattered Dreams kick and then Cody and Dustin each hit a suplex into a neckbreaker for a two count. The referee counted both pins because the referee lost control of this match several minutes ago. The Young Bucks were on the floor, Cody tried a leaping attack and he was hit with a double superkick. Dustin worked over both Young Bucks with punches, but then Nick hit him with a superkick, running knee and Matt went up top with an elbow drop for two. Dustin kicked arm of Matt leading to a sunset flip into a Powerbomb for two. Cody tagged in, superkick to Nick, who wasn’t legal and Nick hit a superkick on Cody. The Young Bucks hit a superkick to the back of Cody’s head leading to Dusting breaking up the pin. It was announced that they have passed the 30 minute mark. Dustin helped Cody back up to their feet, then the Young Bucks did the Rhodes uppercut punch and the Rhodes hit superkicks. The Young Bucks hit a double superkick on the Rhodes boys and then Nick hit Cross Rhodes on Cody with Matt covering for two. Nick up to the top rope and he jumped onto Dustin on the floor although it was really only Nick’s hands that connected. Matt picked up Cody and Nick jumped off the top for the Meltzer Driver pinfall at 31:25. Matt was selling his left arm injury while he pinned his buddy Cody.
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good tag team match especially in the last ten minutes. I think they made a mistake by going 30 minutes. It didn’t need to go that long. We know Cody and the Young Bucks are helping to run the show, so they can go as long as they want, but I think timing is important. Dustin was impressive again as the oldest guy in the match and he showed that he could keep up with the younger guys. There was good psychology with Matt selling the left shoulder injury for most of the match, so it helped tell the story they were going for. The Young Bucks getting the win was the right move since they are a full-time tag team that are going to lead the tag team division in AEW, so they should get the win.
The win by the Young Bucks means that they are 3-0 in AEW so far, Cody is 1-1-1 and Dustin is 0-2.
After the match was over, Cody was selling the finisher in a big way. Nick didn’t want his hand raised by the referee.
Matt Jackson said that they had fun at the expense of the Rhodes brothers, but it was all in the spirit of competition. Matt was selling the left arm injury while he spoke. Matt said that he didn’t watch much of the other product, so he didn’t really see it, but dammit Dustin and Cody are one of the best tag teams that they have ever been in the ring with. When Matt was talking, there was some music that played and a bunch of people came out from the back.
Shad Khan, who owns the company along with his son Tony, was with Kenny Omega, Brandi Rhodes, Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and others with a giant cheque in his hands. Cody pointed out it was Shad Khan and the fans cheered.
There was a $150,000 cheque donated from AEW to the Victim Assistance Advisory Council in Jacksonville to help victims of gun violence. Cody mentioned that $110,000 of that was from AEW leading to “AEW” chants. Cody said they wanted to help those affected by gun violence, so the VAAC makes sure that it goes to those that need it. Cody said he didn’t know if they were on the air, but you can’t counter program what AEW is doing. Cody said you can’t counter program the love, the genuine feeling and the revolution that is AEW. The fans cheered and there were more “AEW” chants. Cody asked the fans if they are coming with them when this group goes to TNT this fall. The fans cheered. Cody called on Kenny to say something.
Kenny thanked the fans for coming out there to support a great cause. Kenny said that the most important statement they made was that they are doing something for this community and they thanked the fans for all the support. Matt whispered something in Kenny’s ear. Kenny said as much as he would like to bid us all adieu, tonight it would seem a bit inappropriate. Kenny said that we should have fun with it since they are off the air, but they are still on. Kenny did the goodbye, wish you adieu, he threw in a boing and he thanked the fans. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: That was a happy way to end the show with the giant cheque donation for the VAAC group in Jacksonville. The money is going to go to people that really need it. That’s what this show was all about. It’s a smart move by AEW to run a charity show as their third event. I think they should have posted a website where fans can donate for the cause too, but they didn’t mention that. Oh well. People can look it up if they want. Good job by everybody involved.
This event had a run time of 3:35:46 on B/R Live.
Five Stars of the Show
The Young Bucks
Dustin and Cody Rhodes
It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.
The match quality was very good, but since AEW is a new promotion I want to provide some feedback that may be helpful. They went too long. If they went under three hours it would have been better. I saw a Cody Rhodes interview saying that they want to give wrestlers time and the fans didn’t leave, so it was a success. It’s not about fans leaving. It’s about the quality of the show. I think that several matches were hurt by being too long. If you shaved of 5-10 minutes off some of these matches, not only would it be a better show overall, but the match quality would have improved. If cut out 35 minutes and made it a three hour show then it probably would have helped.
Also, I don’t think Alex Marvez is a good wrestling announcer. I know he’s a successful NFL writer, he does radio and he’s written about wrestling, but that doesn’t mean he should be an announcer on AEW shows. My understanding is he’s a close friend of Tony Khan, but that doesn’t mean he should be boring us with his commentary for three hours. They really don’t need a third person with JR and Excalibur.
I think they built some angles well towards All Out on August 31 including Jericho vs. Page. I was surprised there was no Cody/Shawn Spears interaction because I figured Shawn would challenge him to an All Out match, but that didn’t happen. They have time obviously, but this is the last AEW show before All Out, so it would have been the right time.
My favorite match was Omega vs. CIMA. That was clearly the best to me. They worked together so well and their styles meshed perfectly. There were four tag team matches (five if you count the pre-show), some of which ignored tag team rules a lot, so they felt a little bit repetitive.
The right person or team won every match. All of the booking decisions made sense. I’m going to be interested to see how they utilize the wins/losses going forward and how it affects their storytelling when the TV show begins in October.
Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.
The 20th Survivor Series continued the rivalry between the Raw and Smackdown brands as well as the ECW brand, which became an official thing under the WWE banner a few months earlier.
The main event of this show was Batista taking on Booker T for the World Title. There’s an interesting behind the scenes backstory because they got in a legit fight while taping a SummerSlam commercial several months before this. Most stories say that Booker won the fight, but others disagree. They managed to put their feelings aside and worked together for this event.
There really wasn’t much else in terms of intrigue heading into the show. It was a bit of a down year for WWE in terms of creating interesting storylines and memorable moments.
The show did 228,000 buys on PPV, which was over 50,000 buys more than the disastrous Taboo Tuesday 2004 PPV, but it was less than Taboo Tuesday 2005 by 22,000. The bad news is that it did the lowest number of PPV buys of any WWE PPV in 2006. I’m surprised that they did Cyber Sunday two more years after this considering how badly this kind of show did in 2004 and 2006 especially.
Survivor Series 2006 did 383,000 pay-per-view buys, which was the worst of WWE’s “big four” PPVs in 2006. It did beat all of the other PPVs that year, though. Survivor Series had a bad trend starting with this show because the number kept going down every year until WWE changed the PPV model to WWE Network in 2014. In 2009, Vince McMahon said on a conference call that the Survivor Series idea didn’t work anymore and there were rumors that the PPV would end, but WWE has kept with it for over 30 years now.
Note: This review was originally written in 2016 when I reviewed every Survivor Series. I may tweak a few things, but for the most part, it’s the same review.
For the last few years, I have been reviewing WWE PPVs starting in 2003 through the mid-2000s. Check out my WWE Retro PPV archive here if you want to read any of the reviews during that period. Let’s get to it.
WWE Survivor Series
Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 26, 2006
This event has a rating of TV-14 and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.
The opening video package hyped up the major matches set to take place on the show.
It was a packed house in Philadelphia. The announce teams welcomed us to the show. It was Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield from Smackdown, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler from Raw and the Spanish announcers are there too.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes & Ron Simmons (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Spirit Squad (Kenny, Nicky, Johnny, Mikey w/Mitch)
Pre-match notes: The old guys are the faces with the younger guys as the heels. It was originally Roddy Piper with the old guys, but Ron Simmons replaced him due Piper having cancer at the time. Piper beat it and passed away in 2015. Nicky became Dolph Ziggler a few years after this. Flair was the only guy on his team that was still active.
Simmons with a powerslam on Mikey early and then he attacked the others. Mitch tripped up Simmons, so Simmons went after him. Mitch backed into Arn Anderson, who sent him into the ring post. The ref counted out Simmons for going after Mitch on the floor. The ref also ejected Mitch. Simmons gave Mitch a spinebuster for good measure. The ref also ejected Anderson.
Ron Simmons eliminated by countout
Slaughter with a bod slam on Nicky. Dusty tagged in with some elbows for Nicky. Flair got in there with some hard chops. Slaughter with a short clothesline. Cobra Clutch submission by Slaughter on Nicky. Kenny tried to save, the ref had to get him out and Johnny nailed a kick on Slaughter and Nicky covered for the elimination.
Sgt. Slaughter eliminated by Nicky
Rhodes went into the ring, hit an elbow drop on an exhausted Nicky and pinned him.
Nicky eliminated by Dusty Rhodes
Analysis: Ziggler would have better days.
The heels worked over Dusty in their corner. Dusty came back with the flip, flop and fly elbow combination on Kenny. Dusty missed a corner elbow, so Kenny did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate him.
Dusty Rhodes eliminated by Kenny
Flair battled with Mikey as the fans chanted for Flair. Inverted atomic drop by Flair followed by a pinfall with his feet on the ropes that the ref didn’t see, which was good for the elimination.
Mikey eliminated by Ric Flair
Kenny worked on Flair for a bit including a back body drop and elbow drops. Flair came back with an inside cradle to eliminate him.
Kenny eliminated by Ric Flair
Flair with a knee breaker on Johnny and then a chop block to the back of the leg. Flair applied the Figure Four Leglock. Johnny tapped out to give Flair the win at the 10:31 mark.
Johnny eliminated by Ric Flair
Survivors: Ric Flair
Analysis: *1/2 A feel good match to put the old guys over the comedy heels. It wasn’t a fast paced opener by any means, but it made the fans happy to see the veterans win the match. While the Spirit Squad were tag team champions at one point, they were mostly used to put over others. No surprise that Flair survived as the only active member on his team.
Post match, all five Spirit Squad guys were in the ring beating up Flair. Kenny jumped off the top rope and hit a legdrop to the back of the head of Flair. They left while nobody saved Flair.
Analysis: Poor Flair. I guess his old guy teammates were too slow to make the save.
A video package aired to set up Chris Benoit defending the United States Championship against Chavo Guerrero. Vickie Guerrero was part of the storyline. She was Eddie’s wife, this was a year after Eddie died and Chavo destroyed Rey Mysterio with chair shots. Chavo also attacked Benoit with chair shots while Vickie yelled at Benoit about Eddie’s estate.
Analysis: It was a weird storyline where they used Eddie Guerrero’s estate in the storyline with Benoit trying to be the good guy standing up for his deceased friend.
United States Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Pre-match notes: Benoit was the face champion while Chavo was the heel with Vickie as his manager.
Benoit was aggressive early on with some hard chops in the corner. Snap suplex by Benoit gets two. Forearm smash by Benoit for another nearfall. Chavo came back with punches and forearm shots with JBL yelling encouragement about how this is how you beat a man up. Vickie grabbed Chavo’s boot to help him get to the ropes when Benoit applied the Crossface. Back suplex by Benoit for two. Chavo came back by sending Benoit shoulder first into the ring post. Suplex of his own for Chavo gets two. Dropkick by Chavo for two. Benoit came back with his rolling German Suplexes – he hit three of them. Benoit went to climb to the top, the ref was looking at Chavo without seeing Vickie grab the foot of Benoit. Benoit jumped off the top, but Chavo moved because of the distraction. Chavo with a suplex. Chavo went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. It did not look as good as when Eddie did it. Vickie went on the apron. Chavo kicked his way out of a Sharpshooter attempt and Benoit knocked down Vickie off the apron. Chavo with a rollup for two. Benoit followed up with the Crippler Crossface for the submission win at the 8:19 mark.
Winner by submission: Chris Benoit
Analysis: **1/2 The match was just average. It was disappointing because of the caliber of the performers. The match also was shorter than I remembered it. The story was about Vickie Guerrero interfering to give Chavo a chance, but I don’t think people bought into the idea of Chavo winning.
Post match, JBL called Benoit a rotten son of a bitch for hitting a widow even though he was kicked into it. JBL said Benoit was a “rotten example of a human being.” That statement was true especially after Benoit’s double murder homicide committed in the summer of 2007.
The Women’s Champion Lita and Tag Team Champion Edge were interviewed backstage by Todd Grisham. He mentioned that Lita planned to retire after the match. Lita said she’s going to beat Mickie James and retire as the greatest Women’s Champion ever. Edge said that she doesn’t care what the crowd has to say about her. Lita left. The Cryme Tyme duo of JTG & Shad went into Lita’s locker room without Edge seeing. Edge talked about how they’re going to beat the DX team so bad later in the show. Edge left. JTG & Shad walked out with a box. JTG told Todd that he ain’t seen nothing and told him to be quiet.
Analysis: Solid heel promos. The Cryme Tyme stuff played out after the match.
Women’s Championship: Lita vs. Mickie James
Pre-match notes: Lita was the heel Women’s Champion that was set to retire just two months after Trish Stratus retired. Mickie was the face challenger after being a heel earlier in the year.
Mickie was aggressive with some kicks. Lita took her down with punches. Lita did a hair whip that looked sloppy. Mickie came back with a clothesline. When Mickie went for a headscissors takedown, Lita sent her into the mat face first. Lita with a Russian legsweep for a two count. Fans chanted a “she’s a crack whore” for Lita. Lawler acknowledged it, but didn’t specifically say what the chant was. Lita with a snap suplex for two. Sleeper by Lita took Mickie down until Mickie got to the ropes. Lita went up top for a cross body block, fans chanted “ho” at her and Mickie moved, so Lita went crashing into the mat. Mickie went up top, but Lita recovered with a back suplex for a two count. Mickie fired up with a clothesline and chops. Mickie nailed a couple of kicks followed by a spin kick for a two count. Fisherman’s suplex by Mickie gets two. Lita sent Mickie face first into the mat. Lita up top for her moonsault off the top, but Mickie kicked out. Big pop for that because it was Lita’s finisher. Mickie held onto the ropes to counter a DDT. Cover by Mickie gets two. Inside cradle by Lita for two. Each woman got a rollup. Mickie nailed her Mickie-DDT for the win at the 8:18 mark.
Winner by pinfall and New Women’s Champion: Mickie James
Analysis: ** The story of the match was fine, but the quality of the work was just okay. I thought the ending was done well in terms of putting Mickie over in a strong way. Since it was Lita’s farewell and Trish was gone, Mickie became the focal point of the division.
James held up the Women’s Champion to begin her second reign as the champion. After the match, Lita told announcer Lilian Garcia to call her the greatest Women’s Champion of all time, so Lilian did. The fans booed. Lita grabbed the microphone wondering why the fans were disrespectful to her.
The Cryme Tyme duo of JTG and Shad walked out with a box. They said they were having a “Ho Sale.” They sold Monistat – used for yeast infections – for one dollar. JBL smelled her panties and paid $100 for it. They had a vibrator for sale. Classy. I’m sure the parents that brought their kids to the show had fun explaining that. Lita’s box was sold for $20 too. It’s big and you can fit your whole head in it. Cryme Tyme’s music played to end it while Lita freaked out in the ring.
Analysis: It was mildly funny, but also something that a lot of people hated because it was very disrespectful to somebody on their way out. She was a heel, so I guess it’s okay in WWE’s eyes. I just think it went a bit too far.
As a bonus, here’s what Lita wrote on MySpace after the show, which shows she didn’t like the way her goodbye was handled although she had fun with friends later in the night.
“So, to say I was disappointed with my final moments with WWE is quite an understatement. It was comforting to read all your comments and emails when I got home. I appreciate that you were able to see I did my best in the situation that was handed to me to give you guys an entertaining match and play along and be a professional with the other stuff that went along with my “big farewell night”. BUT……… that’s NOT why I am writing. If that were why I was writing it’d probably be about 10 pages long and with a bunch of ****s and capital letters. But I don’t want to think about negative things because I have a killer story for you guys. It has absolutely nothing to do w/ the Luchagors, but I have nowhere else to write about this, so until I do, …. here I am!! So my mom and step dad came to the show. I planned on getting a low key bite to eat w/ them and Adam (edge, duh). So Adam said he knew of a place that we could still grab some grub that late and we were gonna meet my folks there. I walk in to this loungey bowling alley where we have the top floor reserved and all the guys and gals of the WWE are there yelling SURPRISE! except Carlito, who is singing Happy Birthday… So, were bowling, eating, drinking and stuff when Adam makes an announcement for everyone to have a seat. Out comes the cake (at which time Carly, again, starts singing Happy Birthday ) and a video starts playing where all the guys and gals start saying a bunch of really sweet mushy stuff. Adam had planned this whole thing out, …. pretty cool huh? I haven’t even got to the good part………… So this video is playing and who is the last person on the video wishing ME well in my retirement?????………………..****ING PEE WEE HERMAN!!!!!!!!!!! So my last TV moments weren’t perfect, but Adam could not have pulled anything cooler and I felt pretty damn special to have such cool friends and to hear PEE WEE HERMAN say my name to me. I am still in shock. You guys are awesome, I’ll be in touch soon, but if you need me, I’ll be in my living room w/ my message from Paul Reubens on loop. Pee-Wee rules, and so do you guys.
Take Care, Amy”
Lita stayed retired although she has come back a few times for some appearances and matches in the years that followed.
They went to a pre-show interview with Michael Cole talking to Batista about his match. Cole asked a bunch of questions and Batista never answered them. They showed a clip from Smackdown signing the contract. Batista said: “I’m leaving tonight World Heavyweight Champion.” That was it.
Analysis: I think they were trying to get the point across that Batista was very serious and ready for this match. It was pretty simple.
There’s a Rocky Balboa statue outside the arena in Philly because they love fictional sports heroes. Rocky rules.
It’s time for Team DX vs. Team RKO from the Raw brand.
The Hardy Boyz entered first to a huge reaction. Jeff Hardy was the Intercontinental Champion. CM Punk was on the ECW brand at the time and he received a good reaction. The DX duo of Shawn Michaels and Triple H were out to the biggest pop of the night so far, which was no surprise. Are you ready? Yes, apparently they are. I thought they would have said no. I’m shocked. They did their usual pre-match promo routine. It was notable that some fans chanted “CM Punk” as well.
The heels made their entrance. Melina was looking fantastic in black leather. No Melina entrance. That’s like going to buy your favorite ice cream sundae with the chocolate syrup on top only to find out that they ran out of syrup just before you got there. Helms was the Cruiserweight Champion on Smackdown. Mike Knox was with Kelly Kelly, who wasn’t wearing that much. I’m observant. Edge and Orton were the Tag Team Champions known as Rated RKO.
Survivor Series Elimination Match – Team DX: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) & CM Punk vs. Team Rated RKO: Randy Orton, Edge, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms & Mike Knox (w/Melina & Kelly Kelly)
Pre-match notes: The DX team were the faces and Rated RKO were the heels.
Hunter wanted Kelly to flash them, Knox got mad about that, he shoved Hunter and Michaels nailed Knox with a Sweet Chin Music superkick to eliminate him about ten seconds into the match. Shawn asks who that guy was as his team tells him he really was in the match. That was funny.
Mike Knox eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Michaels worked with Nitro a bit and did a funny spot where he put his arm on Melina’s shoulder, but then she screamed when she saw who it was. Jeff with a neckbreaker on Nitro. Matt and Jeff hit some tandem offense. Helms tripped up Hardy when he was on the middle ropes. Edge stomped away on Matt to rekindle an old rivalry. Orton got in there for the heel team with Matt bleeding from the mouth from something that happened earlier. Matt nailed a Side Effect on Nitro. Punk tagged in for the first time with forearm smashes, knee in the corner and bulldog on Nitro. Punk slapped on the Anaconda Vice and Nitro tapped out.
Johnny Nitro eliminated by CM Punk
Punk nailed a boot to the face of Edge. Helms distracted the referee, so Orton choked Punk on the top rope to stun him. Orton with a dropkick on Punk. Fans chanted for Punk. Helms nailed a move that was like a Codebreaker that Jericho later used in his career. Punk tried to fight off Orton and Orton was able to nail a RKO. He went for the pin, but Michaels broke up the pin attempt. Edge tagged in, missed a corner charge and hit the middle turnbuckle. Hunter tagged in against Helms with a running knee to the face. Facebuster by Hunter. Edge took him down with a neckbreaker. Jeff and Shawn took out Edge and Orton on the floor with cross body blocks. Hunter with a spinebuster on Helms. Matt tagged in with the Twist of Fate on Helms, Jeff with the Swanton Bomb and Matt pinned Helms to get rid of him.
Gregory Helms eliminated by Matt Hardy
It’s two on five as Edge and Orton teased leaving. The Hardys brought both guys back in the ring. A clothesline by Hunter sent Orton out of the ring. Hardys double team Edge and Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music to eliminate Edge.
Edge eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Orton jumped the barricade and went into the crowd to try to get away, but the others stopped him. Back in the ring, Michaels hit Orton with Sweet Chin Music and Hunter hit a Pedigree to eliminate Orton at the 11:30 mark.
Randy Orton eliminated by Triple H
Survivors: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) and CM Punk
Analysis: **1/2 An easy win for the good guys. The crowd was into it and I liked the way they did the last two eliminations. It would have been nice to see the heels get some eliminations in, but this was about putting over the good guys over in dominant fashion. I remember being happy that Punk was cheered so much because he was well liked by the fans and he should have been doing more than just being in ECW.
A video package aired for The Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy with Kennedy doing the typical heel promo about how Undertaker’s career will end. They set up a First Blood match after Kennedy bloodied Undertaker by attacking him with his microphone.
Backstage, Mr. Kennedy was interviewed by Kristal Marshall. He said it’s the biggest match of his career. MVP showed up to tell him he’s got Kennedy’s back if things go wrong out there.
Analysis: I was a huge fan of both guys around this time. They were young talents that were new on the main roster and putting them against the likes of Undertaker and Kane was a smart move.
Kennedy came out first and he took the padding off two turnbuckles. Undertaker received a big ovation. As Undertaker made his entrance, Kennedy took the padding off the other turnbuckles.
First Blood Match: Undertaker vs. Ken Kennedy
Pre-match notes: Undertaker is the face. Kennedy is the heel. The winner is the first man to make his opponent bleed.
Taker whips Kennedy over the top to the floor and slams Kennedy’s head into the announce table. Taker sent Kennedy into steel steps and nailed punches. Hard slam by Taker on the floor. Boot to the face by Undertaker on the floor. Kennedy came back with a whip into the steps. Taker caught Kennedy in his arms and drove him back first into the ring post. They went back into the ring with Undertaker pounding him in the ribs. Superplex by Undertaker, which isn’t a move he did that often, but it looked good. Kennedy finally got some offense with a low blow punch to the groin. Taker came back with a boot to the face. They went up against the turnbuckle. Kennedy nailed a kick to the balls for a second low blow, but the ref is in the ring with Undertaker. Kennedy was bleeding from the mouth. MVP ran down to the ring with a towel to stop the bleeding. It looked like they were leaving, but MVP tossed him back in the ring because Kennedy did something similar to MVP a few weeks earlier. Kennedy avoided punches and sent Undertaker face first into the turnbuckle. Kennedy sent Undertaker’s head into the exposed turnbuckle. MVP went into the ring with a steel chair. The ref tried to grab it from him, but MVP was able to pull it away, he swung it, Kennedy was down and Undertaker was hit by the chair. Undertaker was bleeding in the head. Kennedy pounded Undertaker with fists as Robinson went back into the ring and saw the blood. Kennedy won the match at the 9:15 mark.
Winner: Mr. Kennedy
Analysis: ** A cheap win for Kennedy even though he barely got any offense the whole match. The presence of MVP proved to be the difference as well. A First Blood match prevents a guy like Undertaker from getting pinned, so Kennedy could brag about the win even though it was cheap.
Post match, Kennedy continued the attack with punches and kicks. Kennedy was bleeding from the mouth. Kennedy grabbed his microphone, looked at the fallen Undertaker and said his name as the winner of the match, but Undertaker grabbed him by the throat. Undertaker got back to his feet with a barrage of punches. Kennedy got back to his feet and Undertaker crushed him with a stiff chair shot to the head. Undertaker nailed a Tombstone Piledriver in the middle of the ring. Undertaker took off his MMA gloves and punched Kennedy in the head repeatedly. Undertaker bled as much as I’ve ever seen him at this point in his career.
Analysis: Undertaker lost the match, but he won the war by delivering a message after the match. That steel chair shot to the head was nasty. I’m glad chairs to the head no longer happen in wrestling. They had another match at the next PPV, Armageddon 2006, with Undertaker going over.
Backstage, Sharmell and Booker used their fake English accents to say they’ll beat Batista. This will be the “bittah, bittah end” says King Booker. I liked the king act.
The introductions took place for the second elimination match of the night. MVP was out first for the heels. That was one of my favorite entrances and songs from this era. Test looked bigger than ever at this point – he was in ECW. Umaga was next up for his team with his manager Armando Estrada. JR noted that Umaga hasn’t been pinned or submitted. Finlay’s his name and he loves to fight. Big Show was captain of the heel team and he was the ECW Champion at the time.
The faces entered with RVD out first for the team. He was a part of ECW at the time. Sabu was up next, who was also from ECW. Bobby Lashley was a power wrestler that they liked a lot and he was new to the ECW roster at that point. Kane (with no mask) was a face from the Smackdown brand with MVP as his main rival at this point. The WWE Champion John Cena was up last with mostly cheers, but some boos as well.
Survivor Series Elimination Match – Team Big Show: Big Show, MVP, Test, Umaga and Finlay (w/Armando Estrada) vs. Team Cena: John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Bobby Lashley and Kane
Pre-match notes: It was a mix of Raw, Smackdown and ECW guys. Cena’s team were the faces while Show’s team were the heels.
Cena brawls with Umaga. Cena had the advantage on Umaga and then he tagged out. Umaga’s pissed, so he grabbed a monitor and beat up the babyface team while drilling Cena in the head with it. Cena played dead on the floor. Umaga was eliminated due to DQ after about a minute.
Umaga eliminated by disqualification
Analysis: That’s how you book an undefeated guy without making him lose. I’m not saying it’s good, but that’s how you do it. Umaga was pushed into a feud with Cena leading to a great match at Royal Rumble 2007.
The heels worked on RVD in their corner. Test caught RVD with a backbreaker to slow him down. Chinlock by MVP on RVD, who had a bloody mouth. Spin kick by RVD on MVP leading to both guys being down. RVD with a kicks on MVP, Test, Finlay and Show. Test tripped up RVD, brought him out of the ring and RVD shoved him into the ring post. Cena argued with the ref, so Kane went into the ring with a Chokeslam. RVD up top and he hit the Five Star Frog Splash to eliminate MVP.
MVP eliminated by Rob Van Dam
Test went into the ring and hit a boot to the face on RVD to eliminate him. Sabu with a rollup on Test for two. They went to the floor with Lashley hitting a huge Spear on the floor. Sabu with a slingshot leg drop followed by a Tornado DDT on Test to eliminate him.
Test eliminated by Sabu
Sabu jumped onto Show, but Show caught him and hit a Chokeslam to eliminate him.
Sabu eliminated by Big Show
Kane and Show each choked each other at the same time. Hornswoggle (then known as Little Bastard) went into the ring. The ref was distracted so Finlay hit Kane in the back of the head with the shillelagh stick. Show hit a Chokeslam on Kane to eliminate him.
Kane eliminated by Big Show
Show with a body slam on Cena. Finlay and Show worked on Cena for a bit. JR mentioned Big Show’s shoe size, which is 22E for those of you that need to know. I think he is required to say it by law. Finlay went for an attack off the middle ropes, but Cena got his boot up. Lashley tagged in with punches. Overhead suplex by Lashley on Finlay got two as Big Show broke up the pin. Double clothesline by Show on both Cena and Lashley. Finlay brought Hornswoggle into the ring. Lashley hit Finlay with a Spear to eliminate him.
Finlay eliminated by Lashley
Show is the last man left against Cena and Lashley. Double shoulder tackle by the faces. Lashley sent Show into the top turnbuckle. Double DDT by the faces gets two. It didn’t look good. Double suplex by the faces on Show looked impressive. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Lashley with a shoulder tackle into Show and Cena hit Show with the FU (Attitude Adjustment) to win the match at the 12:35 mark.
Big Show eliminated by John Cena
Survivors: John Cena and Bobby Lashley
Analysis: *** A basic elimination match with the faces going over strong. It would have been nice if Umaga played a bigger role in the match, but once again I understand why they booked him the way that they did. It just felt like his elimination happened too quickly. I don’t think the survivors were a surprise to anybody since Cena was pushed so strongly as the WWE Champion while Lashley was a star on the rise.
The video package aired for King Booker defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista. Booker was the World Champion since July. It was Batista’s last shot at the title. Batista was forced to surrender the title in January due to injury, so he fought back all year to try to get it back.
The Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long made his entrance. Long reminded us that if Batista doesn’t beat King Booker then it’s his final opportunity. Long says that if Booker gets counted out or disqualified then we will have a new World Heavyweight Champion.
Analysis: That “last title shot” stipulation made it obvious that Batista was winning. It was not a high profile feud, but they were both solid performers.
Batista made his entrance to a loud ovation from the crowd. He was the main guy on Smackdown since the summer of 2005 and was usually in the face role.
King Booker entered with his wife Queen Sharmell. I like how much he embraced the king role that some wrestlers ignored. The accent was ridiculous, but I thought it was entertaining for the most part.
World Heavyweight Championship: King Booker (w/Sharmell) vs. Batista
Pre-match notes: Booker was the heel champion on Smackdown and Batista was the face challenger.
Batista beat him up in the aisle before the match, but it’s apparently legal since the match didn’t start. The ref told them to get back in the ring, so they did. Batista nailed a suplex. Booker was out of the ring, so Sharmell told him to get back in because he loses the title if he’s counted out. Backbreaker by Batista. JBL said Batista is like Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds because he hits homeruns (figuratively). It’s another way of saying he’s got a power game. Clothesline by Batista gets two. Booker came back with a stun gun like move on the ropes. Standing side kick by Booker gets two. Corner clothesline by Booker. Batista came back with a sidewalk slam for a two count. The crowd isn’t reacting to these nearfalls very much. Batista hit a Jackhammer slam for a two count. Batista nailed a Bossman Slam for a two count. They battled on the apron with Batista hitting an elbow. Sharmell grabbed Batista’s leg, the ref never saw it and Booker nailed a kick that sent Booker into the barricade. Booker sent Batista face first into the steel steps at ringside. Batista tried a comeback, but Booker nailed a jumping side kick for a two count. Booker with a chinlock. The crowd woke up a bit chanting for Batista to come back. Batista hit a belly to belly suplex into a slam. Batista with three clotheslines and a boot to the face that sent Booker out of the ring. Batista tossed Booker into the steel steps at ringside. Batista went up with a shoulder tackle for a two count. He didn’t do that very often and it got a two count.
Batista with a Spinebuster for a two count. Whip in, Booker caught him and he hit a Book End for a two count. Good nearfall. Batista hit a Batista Bomb to a loud ovation from the crowd. He covered for the one…two…and Booker got his hand on the bottom rope. JBL credited Booker for having the ring presence to grab the ropes. Sharmell handed the title to Booker and she went in the ring, so the ref told her to leave. Batista teased giving her a Batista Bomb. Booker went for a shot with the title. Batista moved, grabbed the title for himself and hit Booker in the head with the title. Batista covered for the win at the 13:58 mark.
Winner by pinfall and New World Heavyweight Champion: Batista
Analysis: ** It was an okay match with a very predictable outcome. The ending was clever because it was the face cheating to win like the heel wanted to win. Nice way to finish the match. The match didn’t generate that much of a crowd reaction considering it was for Smackdown’s biggest prize. Booker had great heel mannerisms. I always liked him better as a heel even though he was a face for most of his career. Batista had good matches with the right opponent, but their styles didn’t mesh that well.
Post match, Batista celebrated with the title while JBL ranted about how Batista cheated to win. Cole explained it as Booker brought the title into play, so Batista just did what he had to in order to win.
The show ended with Batista posing with the World Heavyweight Title while pyro went off in the arena for his celebration.
This event had a run time of 2:37:15 on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 4.5
It was a below average show. There was nothing that bad about it, but nothing to make you say wow either. For one of the big four PPVs they should have done a better job of making it feel bigger.
– There were seven matches on this card with none of them lasting more than 15 minutes. The longest match was the last one and it was the type of match that was slow. There was nothing on the card that I rated above three stars, which is pretty bad.
– This was a crowd pleasing show more than anything. The good guys did well. Batista won, Benoit won, Mickie won, the Survivor Series matches all ended with the faces coming out on top and aside from Undertaker losing to Kennedy, it was a clean sweep for the faces. For people ordering the show to see their heroes win I’m sure they left it satisfied.
– None of the Survivor Series elimination matches had any real drama to them. The Old Dudes vs. Young Guys was just done so the old guys can get in the ring again. The DX vs. Rated RKO one was basically a squash to put over a team of babyfaces that always gets put over. The Cena vs. Show one didn’t really further Cena vs. Umaga since all they did was a monitor shot, nor did it further Lashley vs. Show because Cena’s the one that pinned Show, not Lashley. Cena giving Show the FU wasn’t a new thing either.
– I’m glad that Mr. Kennedy got the win on Undertaker although he took such a beating after the match and lost their next PPV match that it didn’t help him that much. It’s one of those things where WWE feels like a guy is elevated just by having a PPV match with Undertaker.
– This show was pretty big for CM Punk’s career because I think it showed them how popular he was. He was still on the ECW brand for over a year after this, but you could tell he was winning over the crowds after just a few months of being on WWE’s main roster.
Best Match: Team Cena vs. Team Big Show (*** out of 5)
Worst Match: Team Flair vs. Spirit Squad (*1/2)
Five Stars of the Night
To be honest, nobody really stood out. I just picked five guys that were on winning teams and did some impressive things.
Next up: ECW December to Dismember 2006. One of the worst PPVs ever!
The first ever WWE Cyber Sunday PPV was a Raw brand show that replaced Taboo Tuesday. It had the same theme as Taboo Tuesday where fans get to vote on matches, stipulations and other things, but WWE made it a traditional Sunday show. The Tuesday PPV experiment didn’t really work because the 2004 and 2005 Taboo Tuesday shows did poorly (especially 2004) and WWE also brought back ECW on Tuesday nights in 2006, so that was a convenient excuse for WWE to keep it off Tuesdays.
The main event was a triple threat with the WWE Champion John Cena facing World Champion King Booker and ECW Champion Big Show. The fans got to decide what title would be on the line. I think it was a decent idea in theory, but I doubt many people watching this show were expecting a title change.
As I look at the card again now and think back to WWE during this period, the one thing that I was reminded of is that they didn’t have any hot feuds going on. There just wasn’t anything that interesting, so going into Cyber Sunday, it was lacking in terms of interest. I have no memories of this show. It was a day after my 26th birthday, so perhaps that is part of why I have no memories of it!
The show did 228,000 buys on PPV, which was over 50,000 buys more than the disastrous Taboo Tuesday 2004 PPV, but it was less than Taboo Tuesday 2005 by 22,000. The bad news is that it did the lowest number of PPV buys of any WWE PPV in 2006. I’m surprised that they did Cyber Sunday two more years after this considering how badly this kind of show did in 2004 and 2006 especially.
For the last few years, I have been reviewing WWE PPVs starting in 2003 through the mid-2000s. Check out my WWE Retro PPV archive here if you want to read any of the reviews during that period. Let’s get to it.
WWE Cyber Sunday
US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio
November 5, 2006
This event has a rating of TV-14 and “S” for Sexual Content on WWE Network.
The opening video package focused on the idea of the fans getting to vote on different things throughout the show. They also focused on the DX vs. Rated RKO tag team match and the triple threat main event match that WWE hyped up as a “Champions of Champions” match.
The pyro went off in the arena, there was a solid crowd, but research tells me it was not a sell out. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show. Ross said that 14.3 million people have voted for Cyber Sunday and Lawler said that 1.5 million people have voted today. The Spanish announcers were shown.
Umaga made his entrance with Armando Alejandro Estrada with the announcers noting that he was undefeated.
Todd Grisham and the lovely Maria were the hosts of the show. Who will face Umaga? All three guys were faces that were also standing backstage. Here are the results:
The Sandman (28%)
Chris Benoit (23%)
Kane made his entrance to a good pop. Kane had an intense staredown with Umaga before the match.
Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada) vs. Kane
Pre-match notes: Umaga was a heel that was undefeated while Kane was a face. Umaga was a Raw guy while Kane was on Smackdown after losing a “Loser Leaves Raw” match on October 9.
Kane was aggressive early with punches, Umaga no sold being sent into the turnbuckle and connected with a headbutt. Umaga with a side belly to belly suplex followed by a headbutt. Kane came back with punches, but Umaga hit a spinning heel kick as fans chanted “Kane” for the big man. Kane with a boot to the face, Umaga didn’t go down and Umaga hit a flatliner. Umaga with an eye rake followed by a body slam. Umaga went to the middle ropes leading to a headbutt for a two count. Umaga worked over Kane with punches, then Estrada told him to do a running attack and Umaga hit the running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Umaga went for the Samoan Spike, Kane moved and Umaga’s thumb hit the ring post. Kane followed by up forearm shots to the chest. Kane got some offense going with punches, the crowd came alive for Kane’s offense and Kane hit a corner clothesline. Kane with another corner clothesline, but then Umaga came back with a Samoan Drop. Kane sat up, he went for a Chokeslam, Umaga with an eye rake, Umaga missed a corner charge and Kane hit a belly to back suplex. Kane went up top, Estrada tried to distract, Kane knocked him down and Umaga countered a top rope clothesline with a punch to the throat. Umaga with a Samoan Spike (which was more like a punch to the chest in this instance) for the pinfall win at 8:39.
Winner by pinfall: Umaga
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match between two power guys. Umaga getting the win was no surprise since he was an undefeated star on the rise and they were building him up to be a main event guy. Kane put up a fight and the fans were into his comeback, but Umaga getting the win was the right call here. Two months after this, Umaga was in the WWE Title picture.
After the match, Umaga left with Estrada while JR reminded us again that Umaga was still undefeated.
Big Show was shown walking backstage with the ECW Title on his shoulders when Queen Sharmell showed up to talk. Sharmell said that being Champion of Champions doesn’t matter because what matters is keeping your title. Show said being Champion of Champions means a lot. She said that Show and Booker can work together, but Show wasn’t interested. Show told Sharmell he doesn’t trust her or her husband. She left angrily.
The entrances took place for the four-way tag team match with Cryme Tyme out first, the team of Viscera/Charlie Haas entered to no reaction, The Highlanders were next and the last team were Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. The only team that got a reaction was Cryme Tyme. The match stipulations were voted on by the fans:
Texas Tornado (50%)
Tag Team Turmoil (35%)
Fatal Four-Way (15%)
Texas Tornado: Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG) vs. Viscera and Charlie Haas vs. The Highlanders (Rory and Robbie McAllister) vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch
Pre-match notes: Cryme Tyme were faces, Cade/Murdoch were heels, The Highlanders were faces and Viscera/Haas were a thrown together face team that got no reaction.
The Texas Tornado rules meant that all four teams were active and they did not have to do tags.
The eight guys paired off with some action in the ring and some on the floor. Cade with a body slam on Rory and JTG sent Haas out of the ring. Viscera with a body slam on Shad followed by a missed elbow drop. Shad slammed JTG on Viscera for two as Cade broke it up. Murdoch with a jawbreaker on Shad and Cade with a neckbreaker to send Shad out of the ring. The Highlanders double teamed Cade and Murdoch to send them both out of the ring with clotheslines. The Highlanders each hit slingshot dives over the top onto Cade and Murdoch on the floor. JTG with a dropkick on Haas, but then Haas came back with a German suplex. Shad went back into the ring with a boot to the face of Haas. Viscera with a sidewalk slam on Shad, who had “23 arrests for assault” according to JR as if that is a good thing. I guess it’s supposed to make us think he is tough because he got arrested so many times? Sure. The Highlanders hit a double dropkick to send Viscera out of the ring. Murdoch and Cade hit a double team kick to the face of Robbie followed by a High/Low clothesline/kick combo on Robbie. Cryme Tyme went back in the ring, they sent Cade and Murdoch out of the ring and JTG covered Robbie for the pinfall win at 4:28.
Winners by pinfall: Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG)
Analysis: * This was bad. I don’t think it needed to go longer than that considering it was a Texas Tornado without a lot of great talent in the ring. Cryme Tyme was new on the roster, so it made sense for them to get the win. If you would have told me that Cryme Tyme would never win Tag Team Titles on the main roster I wouldn’t believe it because they were popular. It just didn’t happen for them.
Post match, Cryme Tyme went over to Ross and Lawler at their table. While JTG greeted JR and Lawler, Shad took Lawler’s laptop and walked to the back with it. Lawler realized that Shad took the laptop from him and freaked out about it.
Shawn Michaels was shown on a laptop trying to vote for the referee of their match when his DX partner Triple H walked up to him. They noted that they hadn’t done anything to Eric Bischoff. Hunter said that Bischoff claimed that DX doesn’t know what it’s like to be controversial. Shawn reminded him that he was the one that put Bret Hart in the Sharpshooter, Hunter married that “what’s her name” and Shawn was angry about it. Michaels walked up to a guy, asked his name and he said Stan, so Michaels hit him with a superkick! (It was Shawn Spears aka Tye Dillinger.) Michaels: “I just kicked Stan!” Michaels walked away and hit two more guys with superkicks. That was hilarious. Hunter said he didn’t know if it was controversial, but it sure was funny.
Analysis: That was pretty funny, especially the random superkick on “Stan” standing by. Some of the DX comedy in 2006 was gross out stuff, but a lot of the other comedy they did was genuinely funny like this. Hunter married Stephanie in 2003, but they didn’t fully acknowledge it on WWE TV until early 2009 during Hunter’s feud with Orton heading into WrestleMania, so that’s why Michaels said “what’s her name” here.
Jeff Hardy entered with the Intercontinental Championship and he got a big pop as usual. The poll results for Jeff’s opponent went like this:
Shelton Benjamin (25%)
Johnny Nitro (13%)
Carlito was the only face of the three men, so of course he won.
Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito
Pre-match notes: Hardy was the face Intercontinental Champion while Carlito was also a face.
They did a pre-match handshake as fans chanted for Hardy. They did an inside cradle spot that was messed up a bit, but it got a two count. Carlito got a backslide pin for two. Jeff with a shoulder tackle, he ran the ropes and they completely missed a leapfrog spot with Jeff not going under, so they got their signals crossed. Carlito with a dropkick to the knee followed by a suplex for two. Hardy with a dropkick to the ribs and it looked like they may have messed up that spot too. Hardy with a clothesline. Carlito went for an attack off the ropes, Hardy avoided and kicked Carlito out of the ring. Hardy with a dropkick that knocked Carlito to the floor. Hardy ran the barricade, jumped off and Carlito dropped him with a dropkick. Back in the ring, Carlito slapped on a chinlock, Hardy fought back with punches and Carlito with two feet up to block a corner attack. Carlito squeezed the ribs to keep Hardy grounded, then Hardy came back with a jawbreaker and Carlito got a rollup using the tights for two. Carlito grabbed another chinlock, then Jeff got back to his feet and Carlito hit a leg drop. Carlito grabbed another waist lock rest hold. When Hardy tried to attack, Carlito caught him and hit a flapjack slam for a two count. Carlito with a backbreaker followed by another chinlock. Hardy back up, elbow to the head and Hardy hit a DDT. Hardy with a clothesline, back elbow and a Slingblade although it wasn’t called that yet. Hardy with a front suplex where it looked like Carlito’s head was spiked into the mat. Hardy up top, Swanton Bomb, but Carlito got the knees up and blocked for a two count. Carlito went for a springboard senton that barely connected followed by a springboard moonsault that connected even less. That got a two count. Carlito missed a springboard attack when Jeff moved and Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind attack off the turnbuckle for a two count. Jeff went up top, Carlito met him with punches, Carlito went for a hurricanrana, Jeff blocked it, Carlito hit hard and Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win at 13:21. That Swanton Bomb really connected with all of Jeff’s weight landing hard on Carlito’s upper body.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: ** This was below average. They should have had a better match, but there were several moments where they messed up. They must have been told they needed to fill time because they killed so much time with Carlito applying rest holds. Jeff retaining was fine with me because he was one of the most popular guys on the show.
After the match, Hardy celebrated and JR tried putting over big time by saying it was a “tremendous match” but this really wasn’t a great match at all.
There was a video package for Degeneration X vs. Rated RKO. I was a fan of Edge teaming with Orton as fresh rivals for Michaels and Triple H because the DX feud vs. The McMahons went on for too long. The feud involved Edge and Orton doing impressions of DX as well while DX said it didn’t matter who the referee was.
The Degeneration X duo of Shawn Michaels and Triple got a big reaction from the crowd. The DX guys pointed at the crowd to get them to cheer. There was also a pre-match promo from DX to fire up the crowd as usual.
The special guest referee was announced. Maria said she voted for Vince McMahon because she didn’t want to get fired. The three choices were all heels. The results were:
Eric Bischoff (60%)
Vince McMahon (20%)
Jonathan Coachman (20%)
Eric Bischoff made his entrance in a referee shirt. This was about a year after he was removed as a full-time General Manager of Raw. He was promoting his “Controversy Creates Cash” book around this time. Due to that, the announcers manage to say the word “controversy” about a dozen times during the next match.
Randy Orton was up first for his team in the “hey nothing you can say” theme song days. Edge was next without Lita because she had a match later in the show. As I say all the time, Edge’s theme song was one of my favorites in wrestling history.
Analysis: Those intros took about ten minutes. There was a lot of time killing here.
Rated RKO (Edge and Randy Orton) vs. Degeneration X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels)
Pre-match notes: Edge and Orton were heels while Michaels and Triple H were faces. Bischoff was a heel referee.
Michaels was in control early with chops to Edge’s chest. Michaels pulled Edge’s tights down a bit while going for a pinfall, so that drew some laughs. Michaels with a sunset flip with Bischoff doing a one count because he was slow to start the count. Hunter tagged in teasing a move off the top, then he climbed down the ropes and kicked Edge. Hunter worked over Edge with several punches to the head. Hunter with a running clothesline on Orton followed by a suplex and a knee drop. Michaels with a boot to the face of Orton, Hunter back in and Orton drove Hunter to the heel corner, so Edge hit Hunter in the back. Orton with a dropkick on Hunter with Edge as the legal man. Edge with a sitout neckbreaker for two. Bischoff was counting at a normal speed. Orton worked over Hunter with punches. Edge went for an attack off the ropes, Hunter with a kick to the gut and Hunter hit a DDT. Michaels tagged in with a forearm on Edge, atomic drop on both heels and Hunter with a body slam on Edge. Michaels went up top with an elbow drop on Edge. Michaels went for a superkick, so Orton grabbed him and drove him groin first into the ring post. Hunter yelled at Bischoff, who said he didn’t see anything. The heels made some quick tags as they worked over Michaels as the face in peril, which was followed by some cheap heel work. Edge hit a standing dropkick on Michaels for a two count. Edge grabbed Michaels in a front facelock to keep him grounded. Michaels nearly made a tag, but Edge got a sunset flip followed by a boot to the face for two. Orton grounded Michaels with a headlock for about one minute. Michaels tried to come back with chops, but Orton hit a modified backbreaker to stop that. Edge set up for a Spear, Michaels moved and Edge hit Bischoff with the Spear by accident. Michaels hit an enziguri kick on Edge.
Hunter got the hot tag against Orton although there was no referee to see it. Hunter with a jumping knee to the face, then a facebuster and a clothesline on Edge. Hunter with a spinebuster on Orton. Hunter went for a Pedigree, but Edge came back with a Spear. Michaels dumped Edge over the top to the floor followed by a cross body block over the top onto Edge. Hunter turned around right into a RKO by Orton. When Orton covered, referee Chad Patton slipped into the ring and Hunter got the right shoulder up to kick out at two. Orton was surprised by that. Hunter shoved Orton right into a Sweet Chin Music superkick by Michaels for two because Bischoff pulled referee Patton out of the ring and punched him in the head. Big heat for that. Michaels went after Bischoff on the floor and Edge hit Michaels in the head with a steel chair. Edge brought the chair into the ring, Hunter with the kick and Orton hit Hunter in the back with the chair. Bischoff saw it, but did nothing. Orton hit the RKO on the steel chair and covered with Bischoff counting the pinfall at 18:11.
Winners by pinfall: Rated RKO (Edge and Randy Orton)
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a good match by four of the biggest superstars in WWE history in terms of what they accomplished in their careers. I thought it dragged on a bit too much, which isn’t a surprise because most Triple H PPV matches went too long. If they went closer to 15 minutes with more action and exciting nearfalls it would have been better. The action did pick up after Bischoff was hit with that Spear by accident. It was smart booking to have Orton/Edge get the win because this was the beginning of their rivalry, so it was the right call to set up some rematches later in the year. It was also a very cheap win since Bischoff didn’t call for the DQ when the heels blatantly cheated.
The duo of Orton and Edge celebrated the win in the aisle while Bischoff walked away with them.
There was a video about the movie The Marine, which was WWE’s first movie project that starred John Cena. I saw it on cable years later. Nothing special.
Edge and Randy Orton were in the parking lot celebrating the win. Lita went up to them to congratulate them on the win. Edge said they gave DX their first defeat since reforming. Lita said she’s going to win the Women’s Title and Edge said he’ll see her at the hotel. Todd Grisham asked Edge and Orton about their tainted victory. Orton laughed about the win. Edge said that there will be a new era on Raw that will be Rated RKO. Edge and Orton left in a limo.
The women’s roster made their entrance for the Women’s Title match. The women were Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Ashley Massaro, Jillian Hall, Layla El, Rebecca DiPietro, Kelly Kelly, Ariel, Michelle McCool (later known as Michelle McTaker by me), Melina, Victoria, Trinity and Kristal Marshall. They stood in a line in front of the announcers. Gorgeous line right there.
It was time for the Women’s Championship Tournament finals. The title was vacant due to Trish Stratus retiring after she won the title at Unforgiven. Mickie James was up first to a decent reaction. She beat Melina to get to the finals while Lita beat Maria to get the finals. The tournament only had four women. Lita was up next with fans booing her. The voting results were shown.
Diva Lumberjack match (46%)
No Disqualification match (40%)
Submission match (14%)
Analysis: Weak voting options for this match. It was not as interesting as the two previous years.
Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match: Mickie James vs. Lita
Pre-match notes: Lita was the heel and Mickie was the face.
Lita kicked James in the ribs and tossed her to the floor where the heel girls were, but Mickie got back in the ring quickly. James tossed Lita on the floor near the babyface women and Lita fought her way back in the ring. Lita with a running shoulder tackle, James with a trip and a dropkick. Lita went to the apron, the babyface women grabbed her and Lita drove her throat into the top rope. Lita with a knee drop to the ribs followed by a snap suplex for two. James threw Lita into the turnbuckle, but Lita came back with a rake to the eyes. Lita stepped on James’ back while she was against the turnbuckle. Lita with a tilt-a-whirl slam that was a bit sloppy for a two count. Lita slapped on a sleeper hold, James fought out of it with an armbar counter and Lita got to the ropes. That was a good counter. James tripped up Lita, whip into the ropes and three chops got a two count. James with an elbow to the face, then she went for the headscissors out of the corner, but both girls fell to the floor. The lumberjacks tossed the women back in the ring. James sent Lita into the turnbuckle, she wanted a DDT out of the corner, but then she just fell to the mat. JR said “what the hell was that?” and when Lita covered with her foot on the ropes, Candice shoved her foot off. James followed up with a rollup for two. James ran the ropes, Victoria grabbed her foot and James kicked Victoria down. Lita followed up with a DDT that planted James in the ring and Lita covered for the pinfall win at 8:07.
Winner by pinfall and New Women’s Champion: Lita
Analysis: ** It was a decent match with a few moments where they made some minor mistakes like that DDT out of the corner, but then they got through it and Lita got the cheap win thanks to the help from Victoria. I think they could have set up some nearfalls better to build up to the finish a bit more.
Lita celebrated with the title. Lawler kept talking about Lita’s sex celebration with Edge at the hotel. James and Lita had a staredown to end it.
Analysis: They would have a rematch a few weeks later at Survivor Series in what was Lita’s retirement match.
The five man Spirit Squad group were backstage with the World Tag Team Titles. Kenny tried to give them a pep talk, but Johnny asked who made him boss and Kenny reminded them that he beat Ric Flair by himself. Kenny told Mikey that he roughed him up for his own benefit to make him tougher. Kenny told Mikey they are going to beat those fossils. The group was fired up and they all said “Champs Til The End” to end their cheer.
Ric Flair made his entrance for the World Tag Team Title match. Flair got a big pop as usual. Who will his partner be? The results turned out like this:
It was reported after the show that WWE wanted Dusty to win, but Piper beat him. Sarge and Dusty were happy for him as Piper made his way towards the ring.
The Spirit Squad group made their entrance. Kenny (later known as Kenny Dykstra or Ken Doane) and Mikey (Mike Mondo) were wrestling in the match while Nicky (later known as Dolph Ziggler), Mitch (Nick Mitchell) and Johnny (aka Johnny Jeter) were on the outside. Flair invited Dusty and Sarge to ringside to support them at ringside. They got a big pop from the crowd.
World Tag Team Championships: Kenny and Mikey (w/Nicky, Mitch and Johnny) vs. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper (w/Dusty Rhodes and Sergeant Slaughter)
Pre-match notes: Flair was 57 and Piper was 52 – they were the heels. The Spirit Squad were the heel champions. Kenny was only 20 years old and Mikey was 23 years old, so there was a big age difference.
Flair with a hiptoss followed by a headlock. Flair with a shoulder tackle, Kenny with a leapfrog and a dropkick got a two count. Piper, who had a big gut by this point as you would expect at that age, tagged in with punches for Mikey and Piper bit the forehead. The heels distracted Piper, so they took over with Kenny rubbing his face into the mat. Mikey tagged in with an elbow drop. Kenny worked over Piper with a chinlock, then Mikey distracted the referee and Kenny raked the eyes without the referee seeing it. After Piper was slammed to the mat, Kenny put Mikey on his shoulders for a splash off the top, but Piper moved. Flair got the hot tag followed by chops on both heels. Flair and Piper with a double clothesline that sent Kenny out of the ring. Double back elbow by Flair/Piper on Mikey. Double suplex by Flair and Piper on Mikey. Roddy was moving very slow. Flair slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Mikey in the middle of the ring, but Kenny broke it up with a leg drop off the top on Flair. Mikey went for a slam, but Flair got an inside cradle on him. Flair chopped Mikey down followed by a Figure Four Leglock, Piper went into the ring and punched Kenny to prevent a save and Mikey tapped out to give Flair the submission win at 6:55.
Winners by pinfall and New World Tag Team Champions: Ric Flair and Roddy Piper
Analysis: *3/4 It wasn’t a great match from a technical standpoint, but it was a fun moment to see Flair and Piper win the titles. Sometimes that’s enough when you watch a wrestling show and you just want to see stuff that makes the fans happy. This worked as a fun moment.
After the match, the Spirit Squad guys went into the ring to attack, but Rhodes and Slaughter made the save for their buddies. Flair hugged Piper and they were really happy. The fans were excited about it too. Flair and Piper celebrated with the titles with Rhodes and Slaughter celebrating with them. Dusty’s music played with some dancing by the old guys. The fans popped huge for the celebration.
Analysis: This was only Piper’s second championship reign in his legendary WWE career. He won the Intercontinental Title in 1992 just so he can put over Bret Hart at WrestleMania 8 that year. Piper always said he didn’t care about winning titles, so he would refuse it when asked. I think this time he understood it would be a cool moment at this stage in their careers. At the combined age of 109 years old, Flair and Piper were definitely one of the oldest tag team champions in WWE history, if not the oldest.
King Booker and Sharmell walked into John Cena’s locker room. Booker said that they need to talk because if Big Show takes either of their titles to ECW, they may never get them back. Booker suggested that he makes a royal pact with Cena to take out Big Show leading to a Cena/Booker battle to the finish. Cena said it’s a good strategy. Booker said he’s wise as Solomon, as smart as Socrates and Cena stopped him. Cena said if he goes along with this, he wants one night with Queen Sharmell, who was not happy about that. Sharmell left angrily. Cena smirked. Booker said “okay” with Cena looking surprised and Cena yelled at him saying he never wanted his wife. Cena said that he wanted to see if Booker was dumb enough to do it. Cena said he had no problem taking Booker’s title. Cena joked about making a deal with Booker, then Sharmell yelled and Booker said he handled it. Ron Simmons showed up to deliver a…“DAMN” reaction.
Analysis: It was a unique meeting of the minds with Cena coming across as a clever babyface while Booker was made to look like a fool.
There were members of the Cincinnati Bengals at ringside.
There was a video package for the “Champion of Champions” match between WWE Champion John Cena, World Champion King Booker and ECW Champion Big Show. One title was on the line with the fans getting to vote on what title will be up for grabs. Vince McMahon set the match up. There wasn’t much of a storyline other than this being about three champions meeting in a match.
King Booker, the World Heavyweight Champion from Smackdown, made his entrance with his wife Queen Sharmell. The announcers did the best they could to make this seem like one of the biggest matches ever, but I don’t think the fans saw it that way. Big Show was up next as the ECW Champion. There wasn’t much of a reaction to him. I don’t know what he weighed, but he was as big as ever here. John Cena was last as the WWE Champion representing Raw and he had the spinner title with him. Cena got the biggest pop of the night for his entrance. Here are the poll results:
World Heavyweight Championship (67%)
ECW World Championship (21%)
WWE Championship (12%)
It was no surprise that the World Heavyweight Championship would win the poll because Booker was the top heel champion in the company. Big Show was a heel too, but fans didn’t care about ECW that much.
World Heavyweight Championship: King Booker (w/Queen Sharmell) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Booker was the heel World Heavyweight Champion from Smackdown, Cena was a face and Show was a heel.
Cena punched Booker, who went out of the ring and Show hit Cena with a headbutt. Show whipped Cena into the turnbuckle followed by a turnbuckle and a body slam. JR kept saying “Booker T” so Lawler corrected him that it’s “King Booker.” Show worked over Cena with a chop to the chest, a knee and a kick while Booker remained out of the ring. Booker took advantage of a situation with a scissors kick to the back of Show while Show was by the ropes. Show came back with a punch and a clothesline on Booker. Show with a headbutt to Booker and a knee that knocked Cena off the apron to the floor. Show with a body slam on Booker followed by an elbow drop to the chest into a two count because Cena made the save. Show with a headbutt to Cena, Booker with knees on Show and then Booker teamed with Cena for a double clothesline that sent Show over the top to the floor. Big bump by Show there. Booker got a rollup for two after that. Cena with a suplex for two, Show pulled Cena out of the ring and hit him with a clothesline. Show grabbed the steel steps, Cena with a dropkick to the legs and Show fell face first into the steps. Back in the ring, Booker hit a Book End on Cena for two. Booker with a back kick to the head of Cena. Booker picked up Cena and sent him into the top rope followed by a superkick for two. Booker with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Cena came back with a belly to belly side suplex on Booker for two. Booker slapped on a chinlock on Cena for about one minute until Cena countered into a belly to back slam for two. Cena went up top and he missed a poor looking splash because Booker moved, so that got a two count from Booker. Cena avoided a scissors kick, Booker avoided the FU and Booker hit a DDT on Cena for two. Cena came back with a side Russian legsweep for a two count. Cena went for the STFU submission, but Booker got to the ropes to break it. Booker with a thumb to the eye, Cena with a clothesline, running back elbow and a suplex for two.
Booker whipped Cena into the ropes leading to a back body drop. Booker went up top, Cena stopped him with a punch and Show got back in the ring to put Cena on his shoulders. Booker jumped off the top with a missile dropkick on Show to knock all three guys down. Booker covered Show leading to a power kickout by Show. JR called Big Show the biggest man in sports entertainment after nearly saying “professional wrestling.” Show hit a double suplex on Booker and Cena. Show whipped both guys into the turnbuckle leading to Show hitting a running back splash followed by a running shoulder tackle. Show with a Chokeslam to Booker. Cena ran the ropes, but Show took him out with a Spear with JR calling it a shoulderblock. It was a Spear. Show whipped Cena face first into the announce table and Show cleared off the top of the announce table, but not the monitors. Cena shoved Show into the ring post. Back in the ring, Cena with the two shoulderblocks on Booker followed by the spinning slam. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Booker while also kicking a steel chair in Booker’s face. Sharmell went into the ring with the World Title, Cena picked her up and hit the FU slam on her. The funny thing about that was that Sharmell held onto her crown while she was being slammed. Cena with a drop toe hold on Booker into the STFU submission while referee Mike Chioda checked on Sharmell. Kevin Federline showed up in an “America’s Most Hated” shirt and he hit Cena in the back with the World Title. The referee never saw it and even if he did, there are usually no DQ’s in a triple threat match. JR: “What in the hell is K-Fed doing here?” Believe me JR, the fans asked the same thing. Cena got back up, Federline left the ring and Cena went over to Booker again. Booker hit Cena in the face with the World Heavyweight Championship, which the referee never saw and Booker covered Cena for the pinfall win at 21:05. King Booker was announced as the winner as well as the “Champion of Champions” for winning this match.
Winner by pinfall: King Booker
Analysis: *** It was a solid triple threat match with Cena losing in cheap fashion because he rarely lost clean during this period. It was smart to have Big Show out of the match for about ten minutes because he didn’t look like he could work a 20-minute match. He was too big here. Cena and Booker worked well together to put on an entertaining match with several good nearfalls for each guy. It made sense for Booker to get the win since he was the one defending his title, so the expectation going in was that whoever the champion was in the match, they were going to retain. That’s exactly what happened. It wouldn’t have made a lot of sense to have Cena or Big Show win the title that was on Smackdown. Booker’s reign as World Champion didn’t last that much longer.
Post match, Booker picked up his wife Sharmell (who still had the crown on) while referee Mike Chioda carried the World Title for him.
Federline went into the ring with JR calling him Mr. Britney Spears and the fans booed. Lawler managed to plug K-Fed’s “Playing with Fire” CD that nobody bought. They replayed the ending of the match. Federline celebrated as he went back up the aisle while Cena was checked on by referees and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: Who the hell is Kevin Federline? I’m sure some of you are asking that. His biggest claim to fame is that he was married to singer Britney Spears, who was a big deal in the 2000s, and they had two sons together. Federline appeared on Raw a few weeks before this (as an ally of Johnny Nitro and Melina), Cena mocked him and gave him the FU, so this was Federline getting his revenge. After doing a quick search about Federline, Spears filed for divorce from him a few days after this show and then they were divorced by the next summer. On the first Raw of 2007, Federline pinned Cena in a match thanks to interference from Nitro and Umaga. Cena dropped him with a FU later that evening to put an end to that “rivalry” if you want to call it that. Federline was not famous for very long. I would love to know who suggested this to Vince McMahon, why Vince thought it was a good idea and how much Federline got paid for this because whatever it was, they overpaid him. The Federline appearances were not well received by fans at all.
This event had a run time of 2:33:06 on WWE Network. Much like No Mercy as the PPV before it, this broadcast ended about 12 minutes earlier than most PPVs of this era.
Show Rating (out of 10): 4
This was a disappointing show. There were only two matches around the three-star level and everything else was below average. Some of the stipulations they picked with the fan vote were not that interesting either, so Cyber Sunday came off as a boring event. Clearly, this concept of a show didn’t work, yet WWE did it two more years after this.
There isn’t a single match that I would recommend at Cyber Sunday because the guys in the best matches all had plenty of much better matches in their careers. Plus, the presence of Kevin Federline ending the show made me groan a lot by the time it was over.
Best Match: Rated RKO vs. Degeneration X (***1/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG) vs. Viscera and Charlie Haas vs. The Highlanders (Rory and Robbie McAllister) vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (*)
Five Stars of the Night
Next up: Survivor Series 2006, which featured Raw, Smackdown and ECW superstars.