FREE MATCH: Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt Hell In A Cell Match

WWE is continuing to promote the upcoming WWE Hell In A Cell PPV, showing a full match from a previous PPV between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt.

Wyatt, who is scheduled to compete inside the cell once again this year against Seth Rollins as the Fiend, competed against the Big Dog back in 2015, which you can see in full below.

 

The post FREE MATCH: Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt Hell In A Cell Match appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

The John Report: WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Review

Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of WWE Clash of Champions with every title in WWE on the line. Let’s get to it.

The Kickoff show results:

Drew Gulak defeated Lince Dorado and Humberto Carrillo to retain the Cruiserweight Title.

AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the United States Title. The match went only 4:55, which is disappointing.

WWE Clash of Champions
From the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC
September 15, 2019

There was an opening video package hyping up the matches for the show and the idea that all the titles are on the line. I think we get the point.

The Raw Tag Team Titles were on the line first with Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman entering separately. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode followed. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves called the action for the Raw brand matches. The Spanish and German announce tables were also at ringside.

Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Strowman started the match by shoving Roode onto his back to show off his power. Strowman tossed Roode into the turnbuckle, so Ziggler tagged in. After a Roode distraction, Ziggler jumped on Strowman’s back and then Strowman kicked Ziggler in the head. Rollins laughed about it. Strowman with a running clothesline on Ziggler against the turnbuckle, Rollins tagged in with a forearm to Ziggler and a shoulder tackle from Strowman got a two count. Ziggler elbow to Rollins, Roode tagged in and hit a forearm to the back to send Rollins to the floor. Ziggler hit Rollins with a DDT on the floor. Ziggler tagged back in with a chinlock on Rollins, who was the face in peril. When Rollins broke free, Ziggler hit a Fameasser for a two count. Roode back in with a suplex, cheap shot by Ziggler that the referee didn’t see and the heels remained in control. Rollins fought out of the heel corner with a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes. Ziggler tagged in with a sunset flip for two and then he jumped on Seth’s back with a sleeper. Rollins avoided a DDT and countered into a Falcon Arrow slam. Strowman got the hot tag, shoulder tackle on Ziggler two times, then a corner splash and Strowman left the ring to run over Roode and run over Ziggler on the floor. Back in the ring, Strowman with a corner clothesline on Ziggler, then Dolph sent him into the ring post. Roode tried a Glorious DDT, Strowman pushed him off and Rollins tagged back in. Rollins with a springboard knee to the face of Roode followed by a superkick. Ziggler grabbed the foot of Rollins, so Rollins hit a Slingblade on Roode and a suicide dive by Rollins on Ziggler. Roode came back with a spinebuster on Rollins for two. Strowman went into the ring, shoulder tackle to Roode into Rollins into the turnbuckle, Ziggler sent Strowman out of the ring and Roode hit a Glorious DDT on Rollins for the pinfall win at 9:30.

Winners by pinfall and New Raw Tag Team Champions: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with some fun moments. The result was an outcome that I expected with Rollins taking the pin for his team. Strowman was only in the ring for a few minutes and was dominant for all of it. The finish worked well because Strowman accidentally cost Rollins because Roode bumping into Rollins into the turnbuckle is what stunned Rollins leading for the finish. I like Roode and Ziggler as a team because they are two veteran heels that work well together.

Post match, Ziggler and Roode celebrated with their titles. Rollins had a frustrated look on his face as he stared at Strowman. There was also frustration on Braun’s face, but they didn’t say a word to eachother.

Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage. Charly Caruso showed up for an interview. Strowman said that he didn’t lose the tag championships, Seth did and that’s going to happen again later tonight against Strowman for the Universal Title when he…gets these hands. Way to work in the catchphrase.

A commercial aired for WWE NXT this Wednesday at 8pmET/7pmCT on USA Network. For the first two weeks it’s one hour on USA and then the second hour on WWE Network. That’s because Suits has two more episodes. After that, the two hours will be on USA Network.

Becky Lynch was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Lynch said she disagreed with Braun because her and Seth are going to remain champions. Lynch said that Sasha Banks is the one with everything to prove. Lynch said she’s not talking about Sasha in NXT or her run four years ago. Lynch wondered if Banks has what it takes while Lynch pointed out that she has had the greatest year in the history of the company (I wouldn’t go that far), she claimed she had a match of the year (the match with Charlotte at Evolution was awesome, but not match of the year to me) and Lynch kept on talking about her accomplishments. Lynch said it doesn’t get any bigger than this because tonight The Man comes around.

The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton took over. That led to the video package about Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Title.

Charlotte Flair got a nice ovation from the crowd in her hometown. It looks like her gear is a bit different because it covers up “the goods” more than her usual outfits. I’m observant. Even though Bayley is probably a heel now, she still has the Bayley buddies inflatable objects for her entrance. I like how they are having the wrestlers stand in the ring under a spotlight for the in-ring championship introductions for every match. Lots of cheers for Charlotte and boos for Bayley after the introductions.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair

Flair with a boot to the face right off the bat led to a two count. Bayley left the ring, Flair chased her back in and hit chops to the chest. Bayley did a hair whip to pull Flair down to the mat. Flair with an overhead suplex and a kip up. Bayley left the ring again, so Flair whipped Bayley into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Flair continued her dominance with a forearm to the face and she did a knee drop to knee of Bayley. There was a quick rollup from Bayley, but Flair came back with a boot to the face. Flair stomped on the back of Bayley against the turnbuckle, the referee made Flair back up and while that was happening, Bayley took the bottom turnbuckle cover off. When Flair charged, Bayley tripped her and sent Flair face first into the exposed steel turnbuckle. Evil Bayley! Bayley covered Flair for the pinfall win at 3:45.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: *3/4 A short match that was disappointing because they could have done so much more. This was more of a story where Flair was dominant until Bayley hit a cheap move and capitalized to win. It was different from any Bayley match we’ve ever seen because it put over Bayley’s new heelish attitude. Flair losing in a match that short is rare and it’s another example of WWE booking somebody to lose in their hometown. My prediction for this was Bayley by DQ to keep the feud going, but Bayley by cheap tactics could still keep the feud going as well.

After the match, Bayley grabbed the Smackdown Women’s Title and ran up the ramp to the back. They replayed the heel tactics of Bayley to win the match. Flair was frustrated about the loss.

There was a commercial for WWE Shop.

The New Day trio were also featured in a Skittles commercial.

They showed clips from Smackdown with Chad Gable beating Shane McMahon with an ankle while Kevin Owens was the referee. After the match, Shane attacked Owens from behind and told him he was fired.

Analysis: It’s possible that Owens will be moved to NXT, but that’s not confirmed. Owens has a lot of value wherever he goes.

The Revival entered first for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match. The New Day’s Big E and Xavier Woods entered with Woods wearing a brace on his left knee. Woods’ left knee was targeted by The Revival about three weeks ago and Woods was kept off TV to sell the idea that he was hurt.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

Wilder targeted the left knee of Woods as soon as the match began. Dawson got involved, so Big E gave him a clothesline on the floor. Big E tagged in with a uranage slam on Wilder for a two count. While Big E was battling Wilder on the apron, Dawson pulled off Woods off the apron and Wilder gave Big E a clothesline on the apron. The Revival took over with Dawson slamming Wilder on Big E for a two count. Wilder drove Big E into the turnbuckle leading to several punches by The Revival. Dawson with a back elbow on Big E while Woods was still down on the floor. Dawson worked over Big E with a forearm against the turnbuckle. Big E whipped Dawson into the turnbuckle for a sternum first bump. Wilder tagged in, Big E hit him with a belly to belly suplex and Woods got the tag. Woods with a forearm to the face of Dawson, then two kicks and Woods with a flying headscissors. Wilder in, so Woods hit him with the Honor Roll clothesline. Woods back in the ring with a DDT off the ropes on Dawson for two as Wilder kicked Woods in the knee to break up the pin. Big E back in, Wilder avoided a charge, suicide dive, Big E caught him and The Revival hit Big E with the Shatter Machine on the floor. Back in the ring, Woods tried to fight off both guys, but Wilder hit him a shoulder tackle to the back of the left knee. The Revival hit a Shatter Machine double team move. Woods was out, but they didn’t pin him. They ripped off the knee brace of Woods and Dawson applied a leg lock submission. Woods tapped out to give The Revival the win at 10:03.

Winners by pinfall and New Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Revival

The win by The Revival means they are the first team to win the NXT Tag Team Titles, the Raw Tag Team Titles and the Smackdown Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with The Revival doing their usual efficient work by focusing on Big E after they took out Woods. When Woods got in there, the story worked well with Woods unable to be effective because of the knee injury and that played into the finish well. I’m fine with the title change because The Revival are my favorite team in WWE. This put over The Revival very well as merciless heels that wanted to hurt Woods to win the titles.

The Revival did a post match promo on the stage. Dawson said you are welcome and the fans booed them. Dawson said no longer are the champions covered by proverbial pancake batter and you can consider yourselves revived. Wilder said no more trombones or hip swivels because the old school has finally quieted the new noise. Dawson said there will be a new WWE Champion when Randy Orton extinguishes the flame that Kofi Kingston lit at WrestleMania and finally it will be a new day…yes it will.

Analysis: They are currently Raw guys, but it’s not like that matters in WWE today. It should matter in October when the WWE draft happens, so I assume they’ll be kept on Smackdown at that point.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. They didn’t say much when it was interrupted. R-Truth was holding the boom microphone with Carmella and he called Bliss “other Carmella” when he saw her. Bliss spoke into the microphone saying R-Truth is on the set, so if you want the 24/7 Title come get him. Truth left and midcard wrestlers went after him.

There was a commercial for WWE Hell in a Cell on October 6, so that’s three weeks away.

The Fire and Desire team of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville got their own theme song that sounds like a remix of their two songs. Cole and Young wondered how Graves can get through this match with Rose and Bliss in the same match. They already wrestled non-title with Rose and Deville winning that match, so he got through it fine. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross entered to their own songs with Bliss up last for her team. Bliss looked tremendous in a Harley Quinn style outfit. I like Mandy more, but it’s close.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Fire and Desire (Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose)

Rose with a body slam on Cross, then Cross hit a clothesline and did some taunting mocking Rose. Cross whipped Deville into the turnbuckle, Bliss tagged in and hit a suplex on Deville for two. When Rose tagged in, Bliss hit a drop toe hold to knock her down. Bliss with a slap to the face of Rose, so Rose complained about getting slapped in the face and Bliss did it two times in a row. Bliss with two double knee drops to the ribs. R-Truth and Carmella ran down to the ring with midcard wrestlers chasing after them for Truth’s 24/7 Title. Graves: “Oh great, another woman who’s going to get me in trouble” when speaking about his girlfriend Carmella. Bliss did a rollup on Truth for a two count. Truth ran away with Carmella on his back and the wrestlers chased after them. That was it. Back to the match, Deville tagged in with a kick to the ribs of Bliss for two. Rose tagged back in with kicks and a delayed vertical suplex. Deville with a running knee on Bliss for a two count. Rose back in with forearms on Bliss. Rose and Bliss did a spot where they hit forearms to the face at the same time. Cross got the hot tag against Deville with Cross hitting three forearms, a corner clothesline and a bulldog. Cross dumped Rose out of the ring. Cross hit a belly to back suplex with a rough landing for Deville, but she was okay. Cross went up top and hit a cross body block for two. Bliss got the tag, she went up top, Deville pushed Cross into the ropes to knock Bliss down and Deville slammed Bliss off the top. Rose and Deville did a high/low attack with a kick to the back of the leg and a Rose knee to the face. Cross made the save, so Deville did the double team move and didn’t think about taking out the other partner. Cross tagged in, Rose avoided an attack, Cross knocked Deville off the apron, Rose missed a running knee and Cross set up Rose on the top leading to a neckbreaker by Cross for the pinfall win at 8:05.

Winners by pinfall: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross

Analysis: **1/2 The match was okay with the champs retaining as expected. Good finish. It was better than the match they had on TV. Cross has been booked very well as part of this team because it’s getting her personality over and the fans are reacting to her like a star. Bliss is a face now, which makes sense because fans like her. I think Rose/Deville are future champions, but I don’t mind Bliss and Cross keeping the titles.

There was a video about WWE’s fight against pediatric cancer.

They showed highlights of the Kickoff Show match with Gulak pinning Dorado to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Also, AJ Styles beat Cedric Alexander to retain the US Title with the Styles Clash. It’s rare to see Styles in a Kickoff Show match.

The Miz entered for the Intercontinental Championship for the ninth time. He’s an eight-time IC Champion and the record is nine for Chris Jericho, who isn’t mentioned by WWE anymore for obvious reasons (AEW). The international announce teams were shown: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin. That led to Graves making his monthly joke about partying with the international announcers. Saxton asked how come nobody invites him out and Graves said it was because nobody likes him.

Sami Zayn did a promo with a neckbrace on since The Undertaker gave him a Chokeslam on Smackdown. Zayn complained about disrespect from the fans and The Undertaker with Zayn claiming he sustained a neck injury. Zayn said that he’s still there to support the man that he liberated, the artist, the King of Strong Style and the Intercontinental Champion…Shinsuke Nakamura. They showed a clip of Undertaker giving Zayn the Chokeslam on Smackdown. Miz had a “Charlotte is Awesome” shirt pandering to the fans. Nakamura has a red cape with him for his entrance.

Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn) vs. The Miz

Nakamura slapped on a waist lock with Zayn on the microphone and Zayn got some cheap heat saying Miz looked about as good as Carolina on Thursday (the Panthers lost). Zayn mocked Miz for his “soft style” wrestling. Zayn’s microphone was cut off as Miz opened up on Nakamura with chops to the chest, then a running boot to the face and that got a two count. The action spilled to the floor, Miz tossed Zayn’s microphone up the ramp and after a Zayn distraction, Nakamura kicked Miz off the apron to the floor. Nakamura with a knee drop to the back of the neck. Nakamura with kicks to the chest, then an enziguri kick and Miz came back with a kick to the back of the left leg. Miz with the double knee attacks, then a corner clothesline and a weak looking double axehandle for two. Nakamura slapped on an armbar, Miz countered into a pin attempt and Miz with a kick to the leg followed by a DDT for a two count. Miz worked over Nakamura with kicks to the chest, Nakamura ducked a kick and got a rollup for two. Nakamura with a spinning lefty kick to the face with Zayn laughing about it. Nakamura with a kick to the back of the neck and a snap German Suplex. That’s such a great spot. Miz sent Nakamura to the turnbuckle, Miz drove Nakamura’s leg into his shoulder and Miz slapped on a “WOO” Figure Four Leglock as the fans cheered loudly. Nakamura managed to get to the bottom rope to break the hold. Nakamura got an inside cradle for two. Miz to the ropes, Zayn grabbed the leg while the referee wasn’t looking and Nakamura hit a running knee to the back of the neck for a two count. Nakamura charged, Miz avoided it and hit a Skull Crushing Finale with a cover, but the referee was dealing with Zayn on the apron. Miz chased after Zayn, which led to Nakamura hitting a jumping kick to the face of Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Nakamura hit Miz with the Kinshasa knee strike to the face for the pinfall win at 9:32.

Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura

Analysis: *** It was a fun match with some good back and forth action. The cheap finish was perfect for Nakamura as the heel champion with a new ally/manager in Zayn. The crowd was into this match more than I expected them to care about it, which is a credit to the performers for putting on a good match. Since Zayn with Nakamura is a new thing, it was the right decision to have Nakamura get the win in part thanks to Zayn. In our preview I wrote that this was the most predictable outcome on the card and I was right about that.

There was a commercial for Smackdown moving to Fox on October 4. It’s getting closer.

The announcers talked about the two-night WWE draft on Friday Night Smackdown on October 11 on Fox and Monday Night Raw on October 14 on Raw. That’s when the superstars will be brand exclusive again…until WWE changes their mind.

A video package aired about the Raw Women’s Championship match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.

Sasha Banks entered first to boos. I’m glad she’s a heel again because that’s when she is at her best. Becky Lynch was next and got a huge ovation from the crowd. It’s weird listening to the introductions from Mike Rome because Banks is introduced from Boston while he didn’t say where Lynch was from. He didn’t even say Ireland. I don’t know if they do that every time. I don’t always pay attention to that stuff.

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

Lynch went for her finisher early on, but Banks bailed to the floor to get away. Lynch with a baseball slide dropkick that knocked Banks down. Lynch with a forearm. Back in the ring, Lynch with two kicks and she went up top. Banks tripped up Lynch and stomped away with kicks. The fans were chanting for both women. Banks put her foot into the back while pulling back on Lynch’s arms. Banks drove Lynch’s face into the knee followed by a kick for two. Lynch came back with a kick against the turnbuckle. Banks fought back with a kick, but when Banks jumped off the turnbuckle, Lynch hit her with a dropkick to the ribs. Lynch with a Bexploder Suplex that sent Banks across the ring. Lynch went for a clothesline, Banks avoided it and slapped on the Bank Statement. The fans popped big for that, but Lynch got out of it and hit a Bexploder to the corner. Lynch with a leg drop off the middle ropes for two. Banks came back with the Meteora (double knees) off the ropes for two. Banks screamed about not being able to win with that. Good nearfall. Banks with the double knees against the turnbuckle and Lynch avoided a Bank Statement attempt. Lynch slapped on the Disarmher on the left arm of Banks, but Banks managed to move around to get her foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Lynch with a dropkick while Banks was against the ropes. Lynch with a missile dropkick off the top for a two count. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” although it wasn’t a loud chant. Banks came back with the Backstabber two times in a row with the second one leading to the Bank Statement submission move. Lynch countered and they got tangled up in the ropes. Banks pulled on the left arm against the bottom rope. Banks slid a steel chair into the ring, the dumbass referee tossed it out and Banks hit Lynch in the ribs with another chair (the referee never saw it). Banks hit a Shining Wizard knee for a two count. Great nearfall with the fans cheering when Lynch kicked out. Banks was shocked that her Eddie Guerrero-like tactics failed, which the announcers pointing out that Banks idolized Eddie. Banks brought the chair back in the ring, the referee stopped her, Lynch grabbed the chair, she swung it at Banks, but she moved and Lynch hit referee Dan Engler in the shoulder with the chair.

Lynch hit Banks in the ribs and the back with the steel chair. Banks tried to run away, so Lynch followed her up the stairs in the crowd. Lynch gave Banks the Disarmher against the guard rail. Banks tapped out, but that didn’t mean anything. Banks and Lynch walked out onto the concourse area where some fans were hanging out instead of watching the match in the arena. Lynch tossed Banks into a wall. They went back in the arena, down the stairs and over the barricade. Banks drove Lynch back first into the barricade. The referee was still down after several minutes with nobody checking on him. Banks tossed Lynch back into the ring. Cole said on commentary that Lynch was disqualified and is still the champion. Banks brought a chair into the ring, Lynch kicked her and grabbed the chair. Lynch hit Banks in the back with the chair repeatedly as payback for when Banks did it to Lynch on Raw several weeks ago. Lynch put the Disarmher on Banks’ left arm while using the chair. Referees and producers finally made their way to the ring. The match went about 15:00.

Lynch was given the Raw Women’s Championship and it was announced that Lynch was disqualified for striking an official.

Winner by disqualification: Sasha Banks (Becky Lynch remains champion)

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match by two of the best women in the company. I think the fans cared about this more than anything else that happened earlier in the show, which is no surprise because Lynch and Banks did a great job of building this match up. This felt like a fight from the moment the bell rang, it was intense the whole time and when they went for their submission moves, the fans reacted to them in a big way. Banks is terrific as a heel and I liked the Eddie Guerrero tribute spot as well. That was fun to see. The non-finish isn’t a surprise because we know Hell in a Cell next month and obviously this feud is going to continue. They could have announced the result earlier.

Lynch celebrated with the Raw Women’s Title while Banks remained down in the ring selling her left arm injury.

Analysis: When fans watch PPV matches they want a winner and a loser, but sometimes you need to book a DQ finish to keep the feud going. I think they booked this in a smart way because Lynch stood tall at the end of the match and got revenge for Banks attacking her last month.

There was a commercial for Batista as a character in the Gears 5 video game.

The video package aired for the WWE Championship match.

Randy Orton made his slow walking entrance with a serious look on his face. Orton did a “you can’t see me” hand gesture to a dad and son in the crowd wearing John Cena gear. Kofi Kingston made his entrance alone with the WWE Championship around his waist and he tossed pancakes into the crowd.

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton

Orton used his size advantage for a shoulder tackle, Kingston with two leap frogs and a back elbow to the face. Kingston with two forearm smashes and Orton bailed to the floor. Kingston worked over Orton with hard chops to the chest. Orton got a thumb to the eye that the referee didn’t see. Kingston was on the apron, he connected with a kick to the head and Orton knocked Kingston off the apron to send him into the barricade. Orton gave Kingston suplex into the top of the barricade and then a suplex on the floor. Orton picked up Kingston and gave him a belly to back slam onto the German announce table. Orton picked up Kingston and did a belly to back slam onto the table again. Back in the ring, that got a two count for Orton. Kingston was whipped into the corner and hit a missile dropkick. Orton faked a shoulder injury leading to Orton sending Kingston shoulder first into the ring post. Kingston came back with punches, but Orton stopped that by sending him face first into the steel steps. When they got back into the ring, Kingston hit a clothesline and both guys were down. Kingston hit a springboard attack off the top with a chop to the head. Kingston hit a leaping clothesline. The fans were not into it that much as Kingston hit a Boom Drop double legdrop. Orton with a modified backbreaker for a two count. Orton wanted the DDT off the ropes, but Kingston countered with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Kingston ran the ropes leading to a dive over the top where he landed back first onto Orton. Kingston went up top and hit a cross body block, but Orton rolled through for two. Orton countered SOS and hit a dropkick for two.

Kingston got back up with punches, but Orton did another eye gouge to stop his momentum. Kingston came back with the SOS trip into a slam for two. Kingston went up top and Orton tripped him up to crotch him on the top rope. Orton went for a superplex, Kingston fought him off, he sent Orton face first into the top turnbuckle and Orton came back with a powerslam for a two count. Orton hit a DDT off the ropes. Orton teased the RKO by slapping the mat repeatedly, Kingston avoided it and got a rollup for two. Kingston with boots to the face while on the apron. Both guys were slowly walking out of the ring and Orton hit the RKO on Kingston near the ropes. Orton covered, but he didn’t hook the far leg, so Kingston had his foot on the bottom rope to make it a two count. Saxton put over Kingston’s awareness while Graves said it was luck. Orton was frustrated by it. Orton teased The Punt, he charged, Kingston got back up, avoided a charge from Orton and Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise. Orton crumbled to the mat to give (good call by Phillips) and Kingston covered for the pinfall win at 20:50.

Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: **3/4 A long match with the right finish with Kingston winning clean to continue his reign as WWE Champion and finally getting a big win over Orton. I think if they shaved off 5-7 minutes it would have been a lot more intense and a hotter match. By going 20 minutes, the crowd wasn’t into it that much the entire way. The RKO nearfall spot worked very well and led to the crowd reacting more to the action that followed. They did pop big for the finish when Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise. I liked the story of the match. It just felt like it went too long and when you’re three hours into a show (counting the pre-show) then it’s tough for a crowd to be hot for an entire 20-minute match even when it’s a WWE Title match.

Kingston celebrated with the WWE Title. He has been WWE Champion for over five months, which might be longer than most people thought he would be champion.

Analysis: I think Kingston has been booked very well as WWE Champion with a lot of big wins that prove he’s a worthy champion, but none of the feuds have been that interesting. The rivalry between Kingston and Orton may continue to Hell in a Cell, but if they found somebody else for Kingston that would be fine too.

There was a shot of The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins celebrating the win for Kingston. Ford said Monday’s Raw is the King of the Ring finals with Baron Corbin and Chad Gable. Dawkins is picking Gable, then Ford started shouting some Lion King things. Ford said “Rikishi” and Dawkins said it was “Rafiki.” Dawkins had a funny line saying he didn’t mind a good Stinkface and then said “PAUSE.” That was funny. They said there will be a new king and then Booker T showed up in his King Booker (Bookah?) attire. Booker said he’s here to give his royal declaration of who he thinks will win it. Dawkins asked to be knighted and he wanted to tell girls he’s the “Black Knight, Sir Angelo Dawkins.” Booker said you cannot be serious and yelled at them to get their mind right. Booker did his “now can you dig that, sucka” line to end it.

Analysis: The Street Profits are great. I’m excited about their future in NXT or Raw/Smackdown no matter where they end up.

There was a commercial for game called Guns of Glory that I have never heard of.

There was a long video package showing the Roman Reigns feud with Erick Rowan leading to this No Disqualification match.

Roman Reigns entered first to a pretty good ovation. The announcers were trying to put this over as a big deal, but it was ridiculous when Saxton said this was the battle of Roman’s life. Obviously, the battle with leukemia comes to mind and Reigns has had many bigger matches than this. Erick Rowan entered alone with his generic theme song. Reigns attacked with punches out of the ring. Then they went into the ring and the bell rang to start the match.

No Disqualification Match: Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan

Reigns with punches, then he charged and Rowan with an elbow smash to the head. Rowan whipped Reigns into the barricade. Rowan slammed Reigns face first into the German announce table. Rowan sent Reigns into the barricade again. Rowan charged, Reigns moved and Rowan went crashing into the steel steps. Reigns grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring, but Rowan hit him with the steel steps that knocked Reigns into the crowd. Rowan with a kendo stick to the back. Rowans and Reigns brawled into the crowd where Rowan tossed a trash can into Reigns. Reigns came back with punches, then a headbutt and they were back to ringside. Reigns with a Drive By dropkick on the apron. Reigns was trying to clean off the announce table, but Rowan gave him a running cross body block to knock him down. Rowan put his boot onto the throat of Rowan against the turnbuckle. The announcers kept talking about how big Rowan was as if we can’t see it. Rowan hit a running splash on Reigns. Rowan with a back elbow off the middle ropes to knock Reigns down for a two count. When Reigns tried to make a comeback with punches, Rowan dropped him with a side slam for two. The fans were not into this match very much at this point. Reigns with a clothesline that sent Rowan out of the ring, but Rowan landed on the floor and Rowan whipped Reigns into the ring post. Rowan exposed a cover on the top of an LED board and slammed Reigns into it, so it was the side of the apron. Rowan got a two count out of that. Rowan tossed the steel steps inside the ring. Rowan charged with the steel steps in his hands, but Reigns caught him and gave him a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns was selling a back injury after that. Reigns came back with the steel steps to the face and a Superman Punch for a two count.

Rowan left the ring, so Reigns tried a Superman Punch on him, but Rowan caught him. Rowan picked up Reigns and gave him a Powerbomb through the English announce table. Rowan quickly brought Reigns back into the ring and that got a two count for him. That was a great nearfall. Rowan sent Reigns out of the ring again. Rowan with a ring bell to the back of the neck of Reigns. They went out to the crowd again. Reigns hit Rowan with a microphone stand and they were over by the tech area. Rowan grabbed Reigns and gave him the Iron Claw slam through a table. Rowan put Reigns on his shoulders, which led to Rowan putting Reigns on the stage. Rowan grabbed the camera jig like last week on Smackdown, but Reigns hit him in the ribs with some metal weapon. Reigns sent the camera jig into Reigns two times in a row to put the big man down. Reigns with a Superman Punch that sent Rowan going down the ramp toward the ring. Reigns charged at Rowan by running down the ramp, but Luke Harper showed up and gave Reigns a boot to the face! He’s back! Yes! Harper hit Reigns with a discus clothesline in the ring. Rowan picked up Reigns and hit the Iron Claw slam on Reigns for the pinfall win.

Winner by pinfall: Erick Rowan

Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent brawl with Rowan controlling most of the action, Reigns making the comeback and then the cheap finish to give Rowan the biggest win of his singles career. The cheap finish makes sense because Reigns doesn’t lose singles matches that often, so when he does, it’s probably going to happen after interference. I think the crowd was dead for some of it because there was a lot of Rowan offense and it’s not that exciting to watch. However, they built up to the finish well with Reigns making the big comeback. I’m also very happy that Harper is back for the first time since the battle royal at WrestleMania. This could lead to Daniel Bryan back in a face role siding with Reigns although I love Bryan so much as a heel that I don’t want to see a turn. It does make sense in the storyline, though.

Post match, Rowan got a big hug from his buddy Harper. Rowan and Harper posed together in the ring. Rowan and Harper backed up the ramp together with confident looks on their faces.

Analysis: The story with Harper was that he had asked WWE for a release since he wasn’t being used. They said no. Vince McMahon apparently wasn’t impressed by a match he had during WrestleMania weekend, so Harper has been home since that weekend. There were rumors that WWE was going to keep him off TV until his deal is up in April (I believe that’s when it expires), but obviously we are back to Rowan and Harper together again, which is fine with me. I’m a huge fan of Harper as an in-ring performer. Welcome back, Luke!

There were commercials for the WWE Network special on Sasha Banks and a WWE Shop commercial as well.

Seth Rollins was shown warming up backstage. Charly Caruso told Rollins that Strowman said Rollins was responsible for losing the Tag Team Titles. Rollins didn’t care what Braun thought. Rollins said he respects Strowman and he considers him a friend, but after slaying a beast at SummerSlam, he’s going to add a monster to his collection.

The Raw announce team talked over highlights of Rollins and Strowman losing the Raw Tag Team Titles earlier in the night.

Braun Strowman entered first for the main event and Seth Rollins was next with the Universal Championship around his waist. The reaction for both guys were not that strong because the fans saw them earlier.

Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman ran over Rollins with a shoulder tackle followed by two running splashes against the turnbuckle. Rollins avoided a powerslam, he kicked the leg of Strowman two times and Rollins hit three superkicks. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash that didn’t even get a one count because Strowman pushed him away. Rollins jumped, Strowman caught him and slammed him to the mat. Strowman tossed Rollins across the ring two times followed by a headbutt. Strowman told Rollins he’s tougher than this. Strowman with a headbutt. Strowman charged, Rollins moved and Strowman went shoulder first into the steel ring post. That’s a typical Strowman bump. Rollins with a jumping knee off the top ropes, he went up top again and jumped, but Strowman gave him a forearm to the chest. Rollins was on the floor, so Strowman ran him over with a running shoulder tackle. Strowman hit another running shoulder tackle on the floor. Strowman tossed Rollins back into the ring. Strowman went for another running charge, Rollins gave him a drop toe hold and Strowman went crashing over the German announce table. Strowman’s bumping usually leads to him running into things. Rollins with a suicide dive that sent Strowman into the side of the announce table. Rollins hit another suicide dive that sent Strowman into the announce table again and it broke the table. Strowman was bleeding from the nose. Rollins charged again, Strowman caught him and Rollins hit a superkick to the face to put Strowman on the Spanish announce table. Rollins went up top, Strowman got back to the apron and pushed Rollins down. Strowman was seated on the top rope, he stood up, the fans stood up and Strowman hit a Superfly Splash on Rollins for a two count. Strowman was holding his left knee after the splash to sell an injury. The splash looked pretty good from Strowman. Rollins grabbed Strowman in a sleeper, Strowman was down to his knees and then he flipped Rollins over to fight back. Rollins with The Stomp for a one count. Rollins hit The Stomp for a second time for a two count. Rollins hit The Stomp for a third time and it got a two count although this time there was no power kickout from Strowman – he just got his shoulder up. Rollins charged, Strowman went for a Powerslam, but his knee gave out. Rollins hit The Pedigree and then The Stomp for the fourth time for the pinfall win at 10:57.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

There were some boos when Rollins won the match. It wasn’t most of the crowd, but you could hear it.

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a fast-paced main event match that was exactly as it should have been in terms of the time. They didn’t need to go 20 minutes. They hit big moves from the moment the bell rang and it was booked evenly. Rollins winning was what I expected, but it also makes Strowman look weak because he has come up short several times when he had a shot to win the Universal Title in his career. I don’t think it’s going to hurt Strowman that much since it took Rollins hitting The Stomp four times to win. Strowman hitting the Superfly Splash on Rollins was one of the best spots of the match. Rollins going to the Pedigree again leading to The Stomp for the fourth time was a smart way to end it.

Seth Rollins was on the stage celebrating with the Universal Title, there was a graphic on the screen telling us it was the end of the night and then the lights were off because Bray Wyatt as “The Fiend” was there. The fans popped huge as The Fiend held Rollins and gave him the Sister Abigail neckbreaker on the stage. The Fiend also gave Rollins the Mandible Claw as the lights flickered on and off around them. The fans cheered for The Fiend as the lights went off and the Wyatt laugh played in the arena. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: The main event of Hell in a Cell is Rollins vs. The Fiend for the Universal Title in a Hell in a Cell match, so it was a good ending to get people excited about that match.

This event had a run time of 3:27:24 on WWE Network.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Luke Harper – I missed him.
  2. Becky Lynch
  3. Sasha Banks
  4. The Revival
  5. Seth Rollins

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 5.5 out of 10 from me.

It was an average show. I didn’t have great expectations going into it, but I thought there would be better matches. I think with the kind of roster that WWE has, they should be able to put on a card with multiple excellent matches (over four stars). Instead, we got no matches that really stood out. It’s not wrong of me to expect better shows. They have the talent to do it. Raw has been better in the last three months since Paul Heyman has had more influence and Smackdown is usually pretty good. This show just didn’t seem like a big deal at all.

The match between Lynch and Banks was my favorite of the night even with the DQ finish. I just liked the intensity of it and they worked well together. It was also great to see Luke Harper return after sitting at home for the past five months. I’m a fan of Harper, so I’m glad to see him back in action.

Based on my PPV ratings so far this year, it was the second worst WWE PPV of 2019 with Super Showdown as the only one that was worse.

 

Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs so far with a score out of 10:

WrestleMania 35 – 7.5

Elimination Chamber – 7.5

Fastlane – 7.5

Royal Rumble – 7

SummerSlam – 7

Extreme Rules – 7

Stomping Grounds – 6.5

Money in the Bank – 6

Clash of Champions – 5.5

Super Showdown – 3.5

===

Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

 

 

 

The post The John Report: WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Review appeared first on TJR Wrestling.

How Did WWE Keep Luke Harper’s Return A Secret?

WWE pulled out a surprise at WWE Clash Of Champions last night with Luke Harper’s return helping Erick Rowan earn a victory over Roman Reigns.

Harper has been out of the main roster for over a year through injury, with the former Wyatt Family member requesting to be released earlier this year after not being used upon his return to fitness.

WWE denied his request and added time to his contract, and now the former Tag Team Champion is back, and according to PWInsider.com, the company put in extra measures to keep things a secret.

The report states that Harper’s name wasn’t even listed on the format sheet and he was kept hidden backstage right until the time for him to come out and get involved in the match.

 

The post How Did WWE Keep Luke Harper’s Return A Secret? appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

Interesting Match Rumored To Be Headlining WWE Clash Of Champions

Today, the WrestleVotes Twitter account has reported that an unexpected match is currently on the card to headline WWE Clash Of Champions.

According to WrestleVotes, as of yesterday, WWE is planning on having Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan headline the PPV tonight in their no disqualification match.

This is an interesting move if it does end up happening, as the match obviously has no titles on the line, with the PPV being all about the fact that every title is on the line. WWE could have something big planned for the match though, hence why they want it to main event, although plans could still change and the match isn’t guaranteed to be closing the show.

The post Interesting Match Rumored To Be Headlining WWE Clash Of Champions appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 273

The Guy
Photo Credit: WWE.com

It’s Twitter Request Line time, everyone! I take to Twitter to get questions about issues in wrestling, past and present, and answer them on here because 280 characters can’t restrain me, fool! If you don’t know already, follow me @tholzerman, and wait for the call on Wednesday to ask your questions. Hash-tag your questions #TweetBag, and look for the bag to drop Thursday afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers:

As someone who has sworn off watching WWE, my answer might not mean much, but inasmuch as Reigns is an ambassador and a prohibitive ace for the company, I would say yes, he is The Guy, at least in WWE. He’s a good wrestler, which is more than you can say for Seth Rollins. He’s also a bit more diplomatic about things, even if he believes things that I don’t agree with. You have to figure that if he hadn’t had Vince McMahon scripting him dumb promos and pushing him too hard upon his comeback from a hernia, he might have won people over sooner, especially given that his match with Brock Lesnar at Mania 31 was solid, at least up to the Rollins cash-in. But there are worse people to have in front of the fans as the top dude than Reigns.

Like Seth Rollins.

I would say technically, the longest I’ve been out of sorts was when I went on cruises, but those are positive things I enjoyed. I’d say the longest I’ve been out of a routine was when my daughter was born. She was six weeks premature, and we were back and forth to the NICU, well I was. My wife, who got an emergency C-section, kinda had to stay at the hospital to recover. Anyway, it was brutal. My daughter was so small, but she eventually was okay enough that we could take her home. I don’t know how I coped with it. I guess Twitter helped. Getting to take off from work was a silver lining as well. I don’t know. It was a total reverse from when my son was born, where everything went mostly well. The end result was the important part, having a healthy daughter to complete the human portion of our family.

Protected user @earthdog asks:

How is the Greater Delaware Valley reacting to the first Eagles game?
How should I react to the Eagles first half slow start and second half comeback?

I have insulated myself from anyone whom I don’t follow on Twitter. That being said, the reaction was generally positive starting with the second half-opening drive. In retrospect, the Slurs’ defense was a strength last year, and I don’t think any of the starters played a snap in the preseason. I don’t think anyone expected Case Keenum to carve the team up, but at the same time, a few inches change in tackler position and Vernon Davis doesn’t score the first touchdown. Who knows how their luck might’ve changed there. The second half team is more of what the real deal is, I think. I could be wrong, because losses jump out at you from nowhere in the NFL. The Pats lost to five teams last year, none of which made the playoffs. The Falcons could jump out against the defense this Sunday night if the pass rush doesn’t get home, but you’d think that game isn’t worrisome, right? I would slot the Eagles as a 10-6 team at least, with better records possible with some luck.

I want to put him at number one if just for how important he was to so many great Eagles’ teams, especially this year’s, but Harold Carmichael was a game changer. He might be the most overlooked receiver in history, but he was the first of the kind of hybrid speed/height guys you have today, like Randy Moss or Alshon Jeffery. I think it’s pretty easy to slot the first two. After Jackson though, it gets harder. You have all-time great guys who haven’t logged as many seasons like Terrell Owens and Jeffery (although by the time his career is over, Jeffery might be a solid number three), and then you have guys who played here forever but were a step below like Fred Barnett or Jeremy Maclin. However, Jackson is definitely slotted behind Carmichael for a solid one-two punch.

How about if I have two AEW roster members? Give me Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, and Drew Gulak, the Gentleman’s Club, for one last run. They have name cache and are Chikara homegrown guys. What’s not to love? In all seriousness, while that trio would be amazing, I get the feeling that there are three valid choices for the final slot. The first is probably the most obvious, the Proteus Wheel. It’s strange they haven’t been announced yet, unless one of them left Chikara on the sly. The next most likely is The Whisper recruiting Joshua Wells and another Crucible guy as an act of defiance against Ophidian for dropping him from his team. The final least likely but enjoyable team nonetheless would be the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo of The Estonian Thunderfrog, Wildcat, and Airwolf. Either way, I’m awaiting that Trios announcement with bated breath.

5. New York Giants – Normally they’d be higher, but they’re so pathetic that I can’t hate them with the same tenacity. I also really like Saquon Barkley.

4. New Orleans Saints – I don’t think I’ll hate them forever like the Giants or other two divisional rivals, but the incessant whining from not only their fans but the TEAM itself is irritating. I’ve never seen someone carry so much venom for a team his owned last year than I do Alvin Kamara for the Eagles. Also, Sean Payton fuckin’ sucks.

3. New England Patriots – They win all the time and are joyless fuckbags about it. Also, they skirt the salary cap by underpaying their starting QB because said QB has a boutique nutrition business he makes money from and my team doesn’t.

2. Landover Racial Slurs – All owners are bad, but Daniel Snyder might be the worst. Also, the team name is racist.

1. Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones may be worse than Snyder. Their dynasty in the ’90s was boring. Also, they’ve won three playoff games in two decades and are still on at 4 PM or later on Sunday every week. FUUUUCK.

Everything. Like, it’s different when you have kids because now you gotta take care of them. Too many dads don’t realize it, so they’re deadbeats or they leave home. Like, I have two more reasons to stay alive and keep chugging along, because if I can’t help my kids have a better life than me, what kind of selfish dickhead am I?

My favorite wrestler ever to win King of the Ring is Randy Savage, but my favorite reign as King has to be Owen Hart. I mean, at the time I hated him, but that was because he was an excellent heel. No one made being the King a part of their character like Hart did. He went all in, much like he did with the Slammy Awards, and that’s why he was the quintessential King of the Ring.

People boo him. Vince McMahon will listen to crowd reactions over anything else, even ignoring the fact that every metric that defines a successful business has suffered in the last two years. Maybe some of that is pushing his failson Shane as a top heel despite being loose as fuck and not good at anything but glowing in the dark. Maybe some of it is the fact that RAW and Smackdown felt like they were in reruns (at least up to I stopped watching, which is all I can speak on). But I mean, if a live audience is booing Corbin, McMahon will push him.

1-2. Super Mario Bros. 2 and Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link – The two sequels to Nintendo’s wildly successful anchor franchises disappointed a lot of people. However, as a veteran of both of those games, I can tell you that they’re good.

3. Final Fantasy VIII – I see a lot of people saying they liked this game all along, but even back in the message board days, people dumped on this game. It’s better than VII, I’ll tell you.

4. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – Another NES sequel that people seem to like to hate on nowadays, I thought it was a fun riff on the franchise. The stuff that the Angry Video Game Nerd harped on didn’t really bother me either.

5. Nightshade – I have no idea if this game is hated or not, but the fact that I’m the only one I know who seems to have played it is, well, maybe a condemnation? Dislike through apathy is a thing.

I don’t really have reasons for them, but Daniel Bryan, Terry Crews, Aubrey Plaza, Laverne Cox, and Danny DeVito would all be a hoot to watch team up with the gang, especially DeVito, who has experience with his own gang. Maybe he’ll bond with Scooby and get an apartment with him.

Misinformation that feeds a confirmation bias is more powerful than the truth could ever be. If you want to slag Kenny Omega, or anyone for that matter, who cars about the facts?

Stipulation Added to Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan; Updated WWE Clash of Champions Match Card

Following their epic brawl on WWE SmackDown Live tonight WWE has added a stipulation to the upcoming match between Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan.

The two men are set to collide this Sunday at WWE Clash Of Champions after Rowan revealed he was behind the attacks on the Big Dog and their feelings about each other were made clear tonight on SmackDown.

The two men brawled all over MSG, with Rowan throwing a ‘fan’ at the Big Dog and then using the camera equipment to take down Reigns, which has led to WWE making this a No Disqualification match.

Below is the current match card for WWE Clash Of Champions

– Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan (NoDQ Match)

– Drew Gulak (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado (Cruiserweight Championship Match)

– Chad Gable vs Baron Corbin (King of the Ring Finals)

– Bayley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

– Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs The Miz (Intercontinental Championship Match)

– AJ Styles (c) vs Cedric Alexander (United States Championship Match)

– Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (c) vs Fire & Desire (Women’s Tag Team Championship Match)

– Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman (c) vs Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

– The New Day (c) vs The Revival (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

– Becky Lynch (c) vs Sasha Banks (Raw Women’s Championship Match)

– Kofi Kingston (c) vs Randy Orton (WWE Championship Match)

– Seth Rollins (c) vs Braun Strowman (Universal Championship Match)

The post Stipulation Added to Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan; Updated WWE Clash of Champions Match Card appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

The John Report: WWE Smackdown Live 09/10/19 Review

Welcome to another WWE Smackdown Live Review right here on TJRWrestling for the last Smackdown before Clash of Champions on Sunday. There are only three more episodes of Tuesday Smackdown left and then on October 4th it becomes “Friday Night Smackdown” once again when it moves to Fox. They didn’t advertise much going into this show other than The Undertaker will be there and Elias suffered a legitimate ankle injury, so he’s out of the King of the Ring Tournament.

Live from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York (for the second night in a row), this is Smackdown Live for episode #1047. 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. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

There was a shot of the mostly packed house in New York City and The Undertaker’s gong sounded in the arena. The fans screamed loudly for The Undertaker as the Deadman made his slow entrance to the ring. The Undertaker was in his full wrestling gear including the black hat on his head. The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton talked about The Undertaker’s legacy. After nearly four minutes, The Undertaker got into the ring.

Let’s Hear from The Undertaker

There were “Undertaker” chants from the crowd. There’s a “Wyatt or We Riot” sign in the crowd. The fan holding the sign won’t do anything. Good effort, though.

The Undertaker said that for 30 years he’s been coming here and he doesn’t know how many more times he’ll be back. The Undertaker spoke about the legends and heroes that were created right here in Madison Square Garden. Taker said that for each of those souls, he took a piece of them. Taker said they will not be forgotten because the echoes of their memories will go through these always for all of eternity. Taker said now we usher in a new era of superstar…and here comes Sami Zayn.

Zayn walked out with a microphone as the fans booed him while Taker had a look of disgust on his face. Zayn said he knows that New York City respects legends and The Undertaker is a legend. Zayn said what he finds most impressive is Undertaker has been selling out this arena for 30 years and Madison Square Garden has been his yard. Zayn got in the ring and told Undertaker he has the utmost respect for him, but however it shouldn’t be Undertaker opening Smackdown Live in MSG. Zayn said it should have been him opening the show. Zayn asked “when is enough, enough?” Zayn talked about how everything Undertaker has done is paving the way for the future and Zayn told him the future is here, the future is now and the future is Sami Zayn. The fans booed that idea. Zayn said the unruly fans want him to take out The Undertaker, which led to “you suck” chants. Zayn told Undertaker to turn around and leave this ring right now. Taker was not impressed.

Taker put the microphone into Zayn’s chest, which shocked Zayn and Taker teased leaving. When Taker got to the apron, Zayn laughed about it, so Taker went back in the ring, shook his head “no” and gave Zayn a Chokeslam. The fans loved that. Graves said Zayn needs to learn when to be quiet. Taker did his slow walk out of the ring, posed on the stage and the fans cheered some more. Undertaker left.

Analysis: It was a basic opening segment to pop the crowd by having Undertaker beat up an annoying heel like Zayn. I like Zayn and his schtick is entertaining to me, but it’s not like WWE is going to have him get the advantage over The Undertaker here. This was all about creating a MSG moment by having Undertaker on the show as a special occasion. For the people that want Bray Wyatt to attack The Undertaker, keep waiting. It didn’t happen here.

There was a shot of Shane McMahon backstage watching on a TV backstage. Chad Gable showed up in the office. Shane complimented Chad for his matches in the King of the Ring tournament. Shane said that Elias has “broken his ankle” and Gable thought that meant he was going to the finals. Shane said he knows about tournaments. Shane said Gable wants to earn his way and Gable said yes. Shane said that the opponent could be somebody from Raw, Smackdown or somebody that has been eliminated already. Gable said thanks and Shane said he’ll let him know.

Analysis: I’m not sure if Elias broke his ankle like Shane said, but it is an ankle injury for Elias. We don’t know how long he’ll be out of action.

The Miz entered for his match against Andrade after the break.

(Commercial)

The end of Andrade’s entrance was shown with Zelina Vega by his side. Shinsuke Nakamura was on commentary with the IC Title at his table. Nakamura faces Miz at Clash of Champions.

The Miz vs. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega)

Miz worked over Andrade with arm drags. Nakamura spoke in Japanese, Graves claimed he said “shut up Saxton” and that made me laugh at least. Andrade did his tranquilo pose on the ropes. Miz came back with a flapjack followed by a tranquilo pose of his own. Miz sent Andrade over the top with a monkey flip. Miz ran the ropes, Vega got on the apron, Miz avoided Andrade and got a rollup. Nakamura kept talking in Japanese while he was on commentary. Vega with an eye gouge to Miz that the referee didn’t see, so Andrade hit a dropkick followed by a double knee attack against the turnbuckle for two.

(Commercial)

The Miz was in control with his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo. Nakamura kept on talking in Japanese. Miz with the It Kicks to the chest, Andrade avoided the roundhouse kick, Miz hit a kick to the head and Miz hit more kicks to the chest. Miz with running knees against the turnbuckle two times, Andrade tried an attack, but Miz moved and Andrade went over the top to the floor. Miz with a running kick through the ropes. Nakamura got in the face of Miz, so Miz whipped Andrade into Nakamura by the announce table. Miz back in the ring, Vega grabbed his foot and Andrade hit a spinning back elbow for a two count. Andrade went up top, moonsault missed twice, Miz hung onto him and hit a Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good match with Miz getting a lot of offense and getting the win because he’s in a PPV match while Andrade is not. They could have done a better job of setting up some believable nearfalls for Andrade because there was really only one moment where I thought he might win, but even then I didn’t expect it. Miz winning was the predictable outcome.

Post match, Nakamura with a kick to the back of the head of Miz. Nakamura followed up with the Kinshasa knee strike to put Miz down. Nakamura’s music played to end it.

Analysis: I don’t expect Nakamura to lose the IC Title at Clash of Champions, but the fact that he got the upper hand here could mean The Miz will win it. I’ll probably pick Nakamura.

Still to come: Erick Rowan will prove he is nobody’s puppet.

Matt Hardy and Apollo Crews were in the locker room with Shane McMahon walking into the room. Shane asked them where Gable was and then he made a short joke. Shane said he found a guy right outside, then he left the room, walked back in and said Gable will face himself…Shane McMahon.

Mandy Rose, who is definitely a favorite of mine, made her entrance with Sonya Deville for her match up next.

(Commercial)

A graphic let us know that Chad Gable vs. Shane McMahon is coming up in the King of the Ring semifinals.

Mandy Rose had a microphone in hand in the ring. Rose said that last week, she told Nikki Cross she’ll never be like her and she would be embarrassed if she looked like Cross. Rose said that she is beautiful while Cross is ugly. They showed images of Rose and Cross on the Titantron. Rose said that handsome men open doors for her, they slam doors shut on Nikki and she said that Nikki looks like an oversized rat crawling out of the Lincoln Tunnel.

Analysis: It was an evil heel promo making fun of Cross to make Cross into more of a face. I think WWE wants Bliss and Cross to be the faces in this rivalry, so that promo was done to make Rose come across as a mean girl.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance and she is one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Nikki Cross made her entrance with the Women’s Tag Team Title in her hands. Nikki ran down to the ring to attack Rose to start the match.

Nikki Cross (w/Alexa Bliss) vs. Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville)

Cross jumped on Rose’s back and grabbed her in a headlock. Cross ran the ropes, Rose caught her and hit a fallaway slam. Rose slapped on a chinlock while trash talking Cross by saying she’ll never look like her. Cross made her comeback by no selling her head being whipped into the turnbuckle and Cross hit a bulldog. Cross went up top, Deville to the apron, Bliss pulled her off the apron and Cross missed a diving attack. Rose went for a running knee, Cross moved and Cross got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nikki Cross

Analysis: *1/2 It was fine for a short match. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again because it’s so deadly. It was Rose and Deville bating Cross and Bliss last week, so this was Cross getting the payback.

The Heavy Machinery team of Otis and Tucker were drinking shakes ahead of their match.

(Commercial)

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Bayley was in the women’s locker room. Ember Moon walked up to her asking what’s happening with her. Bayley said that what she did was for the women’s division and it’s about the title. Moon wondered how Bayley attacking Lynch was for the good of the women’s division. Moon pointed out that Bayley lost to Charlotte Flair last night on Raw. Bayley had a remark about Moon not knowing what it’s like being a champion. Moon was champion in NXT, but not the main roster. Anyway, Moon told Bayley to save that energy for the ring later, so they have a match later in the show.

Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) vs. Johnny Silver and Alex Keaton

Tucker with an arm drag on one guy, then a boot to the face and a clothesline. Otis got the tag and he did a running splash on both opponents. Otis did his Caterpillar move into an elbow drop. Tucker got the tag and they hit the Compactor double team move for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker)

Analysis: 1/2* This was just a squash match to get Heavy Machinery on the show. They haven’t had anything meaningful to do for a few months.

Shane McMahon was backstage talking to a guy in a headset. Kevin Owens walked into the office because Shane wanted to see him. Shane said he knows Kevin was there last week (KO said it was a few weeks ago), then Shane said yeah it was a few weeks ago and Shane said he’s reconsidered the $100,000 fine against Owens. Shane talked about wanting to be the King along with being the Best in the World. Shane said he’s got something for Owens to do and he gave him a referee shirt. Shane told Owens if he does his job correctly then he won’t have the fine and to think about his family. Owens wondered what if he didn’t do it correctly, but then he just left.

Analysis: That was the end of the first hour. It wasn’t that interesting, but they did set up some things for the second hour at least.

(Commercial)

The video package aired for the Roman Reigns storyline with Erick Rowan admitting that he was the one that did the mystery attacks on Reigns. Rowan beat up Reigns on Smackdown and he also beat up Bryan because he was sick of taking orders from him.

Let’s Hear from Erick Rowan

Erick Rowan made his entrance alone. The theme song had a slow beat to it and it came off as intimidating just like him. He will face Roman Reigns at Clash of Champions on Sunday.

Rowan said that all of his life, people just don’t seem to get him or get to know him. Rowan said you all think somebody tells him what to do until last week. Rowan said that all of you need to look at him in the eyes and see what it is that makes him tick. The fans were chanting “WHAT?” at him. Rowan said all you people see is a big brute that brutalizes and terrorizes just like he did to Roman Reigns last week.

Analysis: The promo was boring, but it was only about two minutes until the interruption. Keeping it short was the right call.

Roman Reigns made his entrance. Reigns went into the ring and he hit a Superman Punch on Rowan to send him out f the ring. Rowan came back with a kick, Reigns with a punch and Reigns sent Rowan over the barricade into the crowd. They went brawling into the crowd a bit, then Rowan sent Reigns back to ringside and Reigns hit a Superman Punch. There as security, referees and producers that tried to break it up. Rowan picked up a fan that’s obviously a plant and tossed him onto Reigns and others. Rowan ran around the ring and hit a running cross body block to knock down Reigns on the floor. Rowan slammed Reigns’ face into the ramp. Reigns got back up with another Superman Punch on the stage and they were on the King of the Ring throne area. Rowan got a hold of a camera that’s on a crane and he whipped it into Reigns. Rowan yelled “Sunday” at Reigns, who was down. Rowan went to the back.

They showed replays of the brawl. Reigns slowly got back to his feet and the fans were behind him with “Roman” chants.

Analysis: Good brawl that was exactly what it needed to be with Rowan looking dominant once again. The attack with the camera was unique because it’s not something we normally see. I also liked how even though there were guys there to try to break it up, the fight kept going because they wanted to get at eachother so much. They are trying to push Rowan as a singles heel, so he needs to have the advantage in a segment like that and I think Rowan should win at Clash of Champions too although I’m not sure if that part will happen.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of Rowan shoving the camera crane into Roman’s face.

There was a shot of Rowan backstage where he was pacing around and kept saying “Roman” repeatedly.

The announcers did a rundown of the Clash of Champions card. You can check out the card below. I will have a preview up on Friday.

Charlotte Flair was on commentary for the next match. Bayley made her entrance with Flair saying that she is glad that Bayley’s true colors are finally showing. Ember Moon entered as the opponent in this rematch from SummerSlam.

Bayley vs. Ember Moon

Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title is not on the line here. Moon with a jumping kick to the head. Moon with an arm drag, Bayley went to the floor, Moon went up the barricade and Bayley tripped her up. Bayley with a rising knee strike on Moon leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Moon was in control with kicks to the head, a forearm to the face and a springboard cross body block got two. Bayley came back with a headscissors takedown. Bayley kicked Moon out of the ring, but when she charged to the ropes, Moon kicked Bayley in the ribs. Moon went up top, she wanted the Eclipse, but Bayley avoided it and Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex for the pinfall. It went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: *3/4 A simple match to put over Bayley after she was pinned on Raw. There wasn’t a moment in the match where anybody thought Moon was going to win. They should have given Moon more offense.

Post match, Charlotte Flair went into the ring and clapped in Bayley’s face. Flair pointed at the Smackdown Women’s Title as the fans chanted “WOO” for her. Bayley backed out of the ring and left. Flair flashed ten fingers because she thinks she’ll be the 10-time Women’s Champion. Bayley left.

Analysis: The build for Bayley/Flair has just been decent. The Lynch/Banks match has been built up a lot better.

Kevin Owens was shown backstage in a referee shirt where he was thinking about what he’s going to do later tonight.

Kofi Kingston was shown looking at a photo of him and Randy Orton from ten years ago. Kofi is up next.

(Commercial)

Kofi Kingston made his entrance alone with the WWE Championship around his waist. Good pop for him along with some “Kofi” chants.

Let’s Hear from Kofi Kingston

Kingston said it feels good to be back in Madison Square Garden, baby. Kingston said it was in this building where his career changed forever. Kingston said it was here where he stepped up to a top WWE superstar to prove he belonged here and that’s what he did when he whooped Randy Orton’ ass in this entire building. Kingston said he beat him up in the arena and then he put his ass through a table. Kingston said that the arena was chanting his name, so there were “Kofi” chants. Kofi said that he knew one day he would be back here standing before you as the WWE Champion.

Kingston said there might be some kids that don’t remember what happened or they might have forgotten. Kofi called for the clip, so they showed the November 16, 2009 episode of Raw with Kofi doing the boom drop leg drop on Orton through a table.

Randy Orton interrupted the promo by saying “stupid” repeatedly. Orton spoke about how in the last ten years he won the WWE Title seven times and two Royal Rumble. Orton talked about Kofi being fake like that Jamaican accent or that phony “Power of Positivity” shit. It got bleeped here in Canada.

Kingston was mad, so he left the ring and went after Orton to the side of the ramp. Kingston ran at him and Orton him in the ribs with a steel chair. Orton hit Kingston in the back with the chair two more times. Orton whipped Kingston into a steel railing. Orton teased a DDT off a table, but Kingston fought back with punches. Kingston came back with chair shots to the back four times in a row. Kingston pulled out a table near a railing. Kingston said they will relive history, but Orton stopped him with punches. Kingston kicked Orton with a chair and the table broke while Kofi was sitting on a table. Kingston grabbed another table and he put Orton back first onto a table. Kingston hit Orton in the left arm with a chair. Kingston climbed up a railing, he stood on it and he jumped off with a Boom Drop double leg drop that put Orton through the table. The fans loved it and Kingston celebrated the attack.

Analysis: It was a big spot that looked familiar because it was like what they did ten years ago although it was not in the same location. Kofi got a lot of height on the leap, so it looked impressive. The issue with a segment like this is these guys brawled for five minutes and nobody tried to break it up, yet with Rowan and Reigns there were about a dozen people out there. Maybe the storyline explanation was that they wanted to let these guys fight, but it’s not like the announcers are going to mention it. Anyway, it was effective in terms of advancing this storyline. It’s possible that Orton wins the WWE Title at Clash of Champions, but it would be better for Kofi if he were to retain.

Up next: Shane McMahon vs. Chad Gable with Kevin Owens as the special guest referee.

(Commercial)

It was announced that Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan is now a No Disqualification Match.

Kevin Owens was in the ring in a referee shirt. Chad Gable made his entrance and before he got to the ring, Shane McMahon’s music hit. Shane had the Best in the World trophy with him.

King of the Ring Semifinals: Shane McMahon vs. Chad Gable (Kevin Owens is the referee)

Shane got onto his knees to tease fighting to mock Gable for his (lack of) height. Gable hit a rolling German Suplex into a pinfall and Kevin Owens counted the pin to give Gable the victory after about 20 seconds.

Winner by pinfall: Chad Gable

Post match, Shane announced that this match is now two out of three falls. The fans chanted “Asshole” at Shane for changing the match.

Shane attacked Gable with a clothesline to the back and then he whipped Gable into the announce table repeatedly. Shane tossed Gable over the barricade leading to a break.

(Commercial)

The show returned with about six minutes left. Shane was in control with punches. Gable came back by hooking the arms of Shane and had a pin attempt, but Owens did a slow count because he was there to try to be nice to Shane. When Shane got a rollup, Owens did a fast count and Gable kicked out at two. Gable with a kick, a rolling kick to the head and a spinning neckbreaker. Gable went up top and he hit a perfect moonsault, but Owens did a slow count and Shane got his shoulder up. The fans booed while Owens looked mad at himself. Shane with a neckbreaker using the top rope, clothesline to the back and Shane put Gabel on the shoulders leading into a slam for two. Shane brought a chair into the ring, Owens tried to tell him not to use it, so Shane gave it to Owens and told Owens to put it out of the ring. Shane tried a low blow kick, but Gable caught the leg and Gable slapped on the Ankle Lock into the Heel Hook. Shane tapped out to give Gable the win after about 12 minutes.

Winner by submission: Chad Gable

Analysis: *1/2 Good finish with the right guy going over, but it was more about the Shane/Owens angle instead of making people care about the match. I’m all for Gable using the Ankle Lock like Kurt Angle because it’s perfect for him.

After the match, we found out that the King of the Ring Finals have been moved to Raw with Baron Corbin facing Chad Gable. It was advertised for Clash of Champions, but that changed.

After the match, Shane and Owens were in the ring. Owens said there was nothing he could do because Shane tapped out. When Owens tried to leave, Shane attacked him with a clothesline to the back. Shane to Owens: “You’re fired.” Shane told him he was fired repeatedly. I could hear some “AEW” chants as the show went off the air.

Analysis: I don’t really care about firing angles. They have been done so many times over the last twenty years and the fans never buy it, so it ends up coming across as a lame angle to try to get heat. I’m so tired of Shane McMahon in this role. Raw has been refreshing of late because they don’t have an authority figure, yet here we are on Smackdown with the same Shane stuff they do way too often.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kofi Kingston
  2. Randy Orton
  3. The Miz

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

2019 Average: 6.74 (Raw is 5.78)

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 7, 8, 6.5, 7.5

2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)

2019 Low: 5 (January 15, June 11)

 

Final Thoughts

I give this week’s Smackdown a 5.5 out of 10.

This felt like a below average episode of Smackdown (as you can see above the SD average is pretty high this year) that was lacking in terms of great matches that we often see on this show. The Undertaker’s opening segment with Sami Zayn didn’t do much other than popping the crowd. The brawling segments with Rowan/Reigns and Kingston/Orton were similar although one of them had referees trying to break it up while the other one had nothing of the sort.

The main event match between Shane and Gable was not a classic match by any means. Gable winning was the right call, but then they had Shane fire Owens. Firing angles don’t interest me that much.

Raw was clearly better than Smackdown this week. It wasn’t even close, really.

The next WWE PPV is Clash of Champions, which takes place this Sunday, September 15. Here’s the official lineup so far.

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman

WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Randy Orton

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks

No Disqualification Match: Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Big E and Xavier Woods (c) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) (w/Sami Zayn) vs. The Miz

United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Cedric Alexander

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)

Cruiserweight Championship: Drew Gulak (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lince Dorado

As noted above, the King of the Ring finals has been moved to Raw instead of Clash of Champions.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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