We’re in Portland, OR this week, and the show is kicking off with Chris Jericho. We’re going into our opening contest, which will be Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles. As Jericho comes out, we go back to RAW when “MizTV” turned into the “Highlight Reel”. Styles came out, which led to Miz attacking Jericho from behind, because that’s all Miz is capable of anymore. Miz then got his ass kicked by Styles and Jericho before those two started throwing punches.
Before Styles comes out, Jericho welcomes the crowd to the show. He is pumped tonight, because finally, he gets his rematch against Styles. He is so ready. After Styles punched Jericho on RAW, he realized he respects Styles, but doesn’t like him. Is Styles good? Yes. Great? He doesn’t know. Phenomenal? Not compared to Jericho. Styles hasn’t earned the right yet. Jericho earned it in Portland in 2008 when he fought Shawn Michaels for the World title in a ladder match in this very arena. That was good. Jericho is good. Is he great? Some would say. But he is the best in the world at what he does. He then demands Styles to get to the ring, because phenomenal isn’t good enough for Y2J.
MATCH 1: CHRIS JERICHO VS. AJ STYLES
Before the ref can ring the bell to start the match, the Social Outcasts come out, minus Bo Dallas. You know where this is going. Heath Slater says Smackdown is about to go viral. He calls them the “Phenomenal Four”, then corrects himself before saying Dallas is still in the studio, recording a rap album. He then spits out Jericho’s old “Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla” nickname. Adam Rose says they are the headliners and calls them the “Social House Cats”. Curtis Axel doesn’t like that. He refers to Axl Rose, then tries to turn that into a joke about him and Rose, which falls on deaf ears. Slater says “Welcome to the jungle”, and Jericho finally tells him to shut up. He calls them idiots, and they’re getting on his nerves. Slater continues rambling, so Jericho pops him with a mic. Rose and Axel jump Jericho, and Styles interjects himself, throwing Slater out and then going after Axel while Jericho beats on Rose. Jericho says he’ll still fight Styles later, but right now, they’re going to fight the Social Outcasts.
MATCH 1A: CHRIS JERICHO AND AJ STYLES VS. CURTIS AXEL AND ADAM ROSE (W/HEATH SLATER)
After some commercials, this match is underway. Axel hits Jericho with a shoulder off the ropes, then goes into a crisscross, only to eat a dropkick. Styles says he can do better and calls for a tag, then nails a gorgeous dropkick. Jericho tags back in as the trash-talking continues. Jericho hits a snapmare and kicks Axel in the spine. Styles back in, and he repeats the kick with a little extra mustard. Styles hits a snapmare and tags in Jericho. Jericho hits a delayed vertical before Styles asks for a tag again, but instead of repeating Jericho, he instead hits a snap suplex. Styles lights Axel up with a chop before Jericho tags in and repeats. Styles back in, and they both chop Axel down. They argue, which allows Axel to tag out to Rose. Rose nails a knee to the back, then sends Styles Hart-first into the buckles. Slater gets in a cheap shot behind the ref’s back before Rose connects with a trio of corner clotheslines. Axel tags in and hits a rolling neck snap after Rose hits a snapmare, then applies a rear chinlock. Styles elbows out before Axel knees him in the gut. Axel then misses a clothesline, allowing Styles to blast him with a Pele. Rose tags in and chases Jericho off the apron, then turns around into an all-out assault from Styles. Jericho tags himself in and gets thrown over the top. He lands on his feet and heads to the top buckle, where he hits a double axe handle. Axel gets sent flying before Jericho ducks a clothesline from Rose, which he then turns into a springboard dropkick on Slater, who has jumped on the apron. Rose then runs into a back elbow before Jericho connects with the Lionsault. Styles then tags himself in, and Jericho doesn’t like it. Styles springboards over him and blasts Rose with a flying forearm for 3.
WINNERS: CHRIS JERICHO AND AJ STYLES.
As the ref raises their arms in victory, Jericho shoves him away and drops Styles with a Codebreaker.
We go to tweets sent out to Daniel Bryan by members of the WWE locker room, thanking him for his career.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman return to Smackdown next week.
We see tables set up in the ring and all around ringside.
The Dudley Boyz make their way out, and they are now in full heel mode. That’s fine, because they’re better as heels anyway. We go back to RAW when they turned on the Usos and put both through tables. Back to the arena, Bubba Ray says they made a statement on RAW, but it seems like the only thing anyone wants to talk about is Daniel Bryan. They are sick of hearing about Bryan. They’re actually sick and tired about a lot of things around here. D-Von says that, since they came back to WWE, the fans have looked at them as a nostalgia act. Did everyone forget they are the baddest tag team on the planet? The Usos did. Bubba calls him and D-Von two legends, and says they want to add to their legacy. Speaking of legacy, he points out all the tables around ringside, the tables the fans love and chant for. Take a good look at the tables, because it’s the last time we’ll ever see them. He then calls for crew and stagehands to get the tables out of here right now. A bunch of guys show up and do just that. If you ever wanted to see how they set up one of these displays, but in reverse, this is the segment for you. Bubba says those tables didn’t win them 9 WWE tag team titles; the Boyz won those. All the fans want to do is chant for tables. What they should chant is “Let’s go D-Von” and “Let’s go Bubba”. What about them? What about Raven? Oh, wait. Wrong washed-up ECW guy. There’s one table left in the ring, and Bubba says this is the last time we’ll ever hear it: D-Von! Get the…Bubba drops the mic, and the Boyz fold the table up before carrying it to the back.
Becky Lynch will be on commentary for the next match. We go back to footage from RAW, where Tamina pinned Lynch off a superkick (take a shot). Until then, I can’t recall the last time Tamina won a match.
MATCH 2: SASHA BANKS VS. NAOMI (W/TAMINA)
Naomi has new music, and it’s only slightly less offensive to the ears than the last one. Only slightly. We’re informed that, at Fastlane, Banks and Lynch will face Naomi and Tamina. Naomi immediately kicks Banks and clubs her down. Naomi hits a forearm before Banks comes back with a Thesz press and some mounted punches. She throws Naomi to the corner, then to the adjacent on. She mounts the buckles for a foot to the face, then hits a snapmare and a running slap to the face for 1. Oookay. Lynch stomps Naomi down before Naomi slugs her in the gut. Banks shakes it off and goes for another throw to the corner. Naomi blocks and reverses before laying in some rights. Banks reverses a corner whip and runs into an elbow. She blocks a pair of feet and sets Naomi up across the middle rope, where she drives both knees into the gut for 2 before Tamina pulls Naomi to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Naomi misses a roundhouse, and Banks jackknifes her for 2. Naomi comes back with a backslide for 2, only for Banks to hold on, power up and get a small package for 2. Banks hits a drop toehold and gets in a variation of a crucifix for 2. Naomi reverses into a pin for 2, then pops up with a kick to the gut. Naomi hits a Dropsh*t, then charges in. Banks looks to backdrop her to the floor, but the spot gets the Botchamania treatment. Banks then just throws Naomi to the floor through the ropes, and Naomi barely connects with Tamina to knock her down. God, Naomi sucks. Banks heads to the apron and kicks Tamina away. She tries to do the same to Naomi, but Naomi grabs her foot and yanks down, causing Banks to land back-first across the apron in a very awful-looking spot. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: apron moves are a terrible idea and are dangerous as hell. Ask BJ Whitmer. Anyway, Naomi then rams Banks back-first into the apron before kicking her in the gut yet again. She sucks so much! Naomi throws som punches and sends Banks back into the ring for a 2-count. Naomi stomps Banks down, then hits a back suplex before standing on Banks’ hand. Naomi hits a basement clothesline, then stands on Banks’ neck. Christ, this is terrible. Naomi hits some atrociously bad jumping kicks before catching a step-up enziguri. She then applies a rear chinlock, because she’s done so much to warrant a resthold for herself. She pulls Banks up and hits a kneelift. Banks comes back with a spinning headscissors off the ropes. Banks gets to her feet first and connects with some forearms. Naomi botches a clothesline before Banks hits one of her own. Banks connects with a jumping clothesline, a dropkick and another headscissors before connecting with a pair of double knee shots in the corner for 2. One of Naomi’s shoe lights is broken. Good. Banks goes for the first part of the Banks Statement, but Naomi shoves her off. Banks goes into the ropes and kicks off a back-body drop attempt before Tamina grabs her foot under the bottom rope and trips her behind the ref’s back. Naomi hits her headscissors driver for 2. On the outside, Lynch and Tamina get into it. Tamina knocks Lynch down, then pulls the desk chair back into position. As Tamina is yanking Lynch by the hair at ringside, back in the ring, Naomi goes for a split-legged moonsault, but misses when Banks rolls out of the way. Tamina throws Lynch into the barricade, but then Banks heads outside and boots Tamina over a desk chair. Back in the ring, Naomi rolls Banks up for 1, only to have Banks counter into the Banks Statement for the submission win.
WINNER: SASHA BANKS.
Lynch begrudgingly applauds Banks after the match.
Jojo is standing by with AJ Styles. She points out his match with Chris Jericho later tonight after the two already wrestled the Social Outcasts earlier in the show, because the injuries are just piling up in this company. She asks Styles what he thinks the message was that Jericho was trying to send when he attacked Styles. Styles points out he was called a “redneck rookie” on RAW. Yes, he’s a redneck and proud of it. A rookie? No. Jericho is one of the best in the world, and he knows what Jericho is doing. It’s not going to work. Tonight, he shows the world and Jericho why they call him “The Phenomenal One”.
The Wyatt Family is here.
The Wyatts come out for their match, and a video package for their history plays. What’s funny is the background music is AJ Styles’ entrance music from TNA when he turned heel toward the end. Back to the arena, Bray Wyatt says they send forth men to battle, but none return home to claim their welcome. He goes on about Greek mythology and old vs. new. In the end, the titans were conquered by Zeus, the king of gods. Wyatt says they’re mythology becomes his reality. He is now the king of gods, and this is his army. He lists off their victims, ending with Ryback. They have their sights set on ridding WWE of all the titans. They are long overdue for people to worship a new generation of gods. Luke Harper then says in their presence, the largest titans turn to mere mortals. Erick Rowan says there’s no point in resisting. Bow your heads and accept fate. Braun Strowman says the earth will shake. Oceans will boil. Darkness will consume all. Back to Wyatt. He says the apocalypse is all around. The gods of today are ready to take their rightful place. They are ready to fly. He is the angel of dirt, the eater of worlds, he is Bray Wyatt. This war against your gods has only just begun.
MATCH 3: THE COSMIC WASTELAND (KONNOR, STARDUST AND VIKTOR) VS. NEVILLE AND THE LUCHA DRAGONS (WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION KALISTO & SIN CARA)
Yes, the Cosmic Wasteland is still a thing. Why? Who the hell knows? Cara is back from injury, so I’m guessing Kalisto drops the US title back to Alberto Del Rio AGAIN at Fastlane. The Cosmic Wasteland attack the faces from behind before the bell rings, so they’re for sure going to lose. The ref checks on Neville, who says he okay. He starts with Stardust, who does the Hardcore Holly kick on the ropes. He then plants Neville with a diving inverted DDT for 2. Konnor tags in and stomps Neville before tagging in Viktor. Viktor sends Konnor in for an avalanche, then hits a high knee for 2. Viktor applies a rear chinlock, but Neville counters with a jawbreaker and rolls Viktor up for 2. Viktor stomps him down before going after the Dragons, who drop to the floor. He turns around and gets caught with a step-up enziguri by Neville. Stardust runs up and down the apron like a douche canoe as Viktor tags in Konnor. Meanwhile, Kalisto also tags in and nails a kick from the apron. He then hits a springboard sit-down splash, ducks a clothesline, ducks a back elbow, then hits a springboard corkscrew plancha. Viktor tries to run interference, but gets caught with a spinning headscissors, then gets backdropped to the floor by Cara. Stardust comes in and gets dropkicked in the knee. Cara then comes in and sends Kalisto up for a seated dropkick, knocking Stardust outside. The Dragons hit stereo topes before Kalisto runs into a boot from Konnor back in the ring. Konnor picks Kalisto up for a powerbomb, but Kalisto escapes and makes a blind tag to Cara. Kalisto then hits a handspring tidal crush before Cara hits a kick from the apron. Kalisto hits a Salida del Sol, followed by a swanton bomb from Cara, who tags out to Neville before hitting it. Neville then comes off with the Red Arrow and gets 3.
WINNERS: THE LUCHA DRAGONS AND NEVILLE.
I hate six-man matches, but at least this one was short and basically a squash. Watching Neville’s Red Arrow in slo-mo, I can only imagine how bad his knees are going to be in a few years.
We get more tweets from the WWE roster about Daniel Bryan’s retirement. Of course Byron Saxton says Stephanie McMahon had the best tweet. We then go to video package about Bryan’s retirement hitting numerous major news outlets, which then goes into bits from his official retirement on RAW. Back to the arena and the announce team, Jerry Lawler breaks character to talk about Bryan’s retirement, and Mauro Ranallo mentions something about a “definitive Daniel Bryan collection”, which I’m guessing is a DVD they are going to be putting out soon. I will happily review that, should it happen.
On a side note, I personally would like to thank Bryan as well. Bryan grew up just down the freeway around 30 minutes from where I grew up, with both of us coming from small towns in Washington. When I first saw him in the indy scene after he graduated HBK’s school, even though he was small and didn’t stand out in the looks department, I could tell he could be something special. Even as a rookie, he was crisp, fluid, and he took his job as a wrestler very seriously. He was bound and determined to become a success, and although it took a long time before he got to shine on the biggest stage in the US, he made it and made the most of it. He gave all fans out there, especially those from small towns, just a little bit of hope that it’s possible to be a great success in whatever you want to be in life. So thank you, Bryan. I know this isn’t how/when you want to go out, but you went out on top, and that’s all that matters. Enjoy retirement. You’ve earned it.
MATCH 4: CHRIS JERICHO VS. AJ STYLES
Second attempt at this match tonight. They lock up, break, then go back to it, jockeying for position. They break in the corner, shove each other a bit, then go back at it, where Jericho gets Styles in a headlock. He shoulders Styles down, then catches him with a hip throw. Styles gets back to his feet, goes into a crisscross, then nails Jericho with a dropkick. Styles lights Jericho up with chops, then snaps off a suplex. Ranallo lists off some of Styles’ previous accomplishments, including him being a 3-time NWA World Champion. Kind of surprised that one was allowed. Styles blasts Jericho with a forearm in the corner, then whips him across the ring. Jericho reverses and catches Styles in a waistlock. Styles reverses, but Jericho trips from the front. Jericho looks for the Walls, but Styles surprises him with a hurricanrana from a down position. Jericho recovers and chops Styles’ face off before stomping him down. Jericho then catapults Styles under the bottom rope before hitting a delayed vertical. Jericho kicks Styles in the ribs, then lights him up with some chops. Styles gets corner-whipped, blocks a charge with a pair of boots, then heads to the apron for a clothesline. Jericho ducks and knocks Styles to the floor with a springboard dropkick from the middle. Commercials.
Back from the break, Jericho has Styles in a rear chinlock. Styles fights out and pops Jericho with a forearm before running into a back elbow that sends him into the buckles. Jericho tries for a running bulldog, but Styles shoves him off and into the middle buckle. Both are down, but get to their feet quickly. Styles beats the hell out of Jericho, then hits a basement flying forearm for 2. Styles wails on Jericho with some rights, but then misses a jumping knee. Jericho puts him down with a basement dropkick for 2. Jericho connects with another chop and sends Styles in for a corner clothesline. Jericho mounts the middle, but Styles catches him with a punche, then knocks him back down to the mat with a Pele for 2. Jericho blocks a clothesline and hits a tigerbreaker for 2. Jericho catches a double-leg and goes for the Walls. Styles spins his way out and hits a few strikes before Jericho catches a step-up enziguri for another 2. Jericho heads up top and calls for Styles to get up. When he does, Jericho dives off and gets caught in mid-air with a dropkick. Both are slow to get up, and when they do, they trade forearms, with Styles getting the better of it. Styles goes for his dropkick, but Jericho sees it coming and holds onto the ropes off the Irish whip. He then lands the Lionsault, but is slow to get the cover, resulting in a 2-count. Jericho pounds on Styles with rights, then kicks him in the back. Jericho charges in, and Styles catches him in a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker for 2, which Ranallo says is called an “Ushi Kobashi” in Japan. Styles gets up quickly and calls for the Styles Clash. He gets Jericho up, but Jericho grabs the leg while upside-down and manages to turn it into the Walls of Jericho, right in the center. Styles muscles his way to the bottom rope, but Jericho sees him get close and drags him back to the middle. Styles reverses and gets to his back, breaking the hold with punches. Styles then grabs the leg and rolls through into the Calf Crusher. Jericho nearly taps several times, but eventually grabs the bottom rope for the break. Styles then baseball slides Jericho right to the floor before hitting a slingshot forearm. Styles rolls Jericho back in and gets on the apron. He goes for a springboard, but Jericho trips him and sends him to the mat. Jericho sends Styles hard into the buckles, then catches him with a Codebreaker for 3.
WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO.
Styles suffers his first one-on-one loss in WWE. My guess is this goes to a third match at Fastlane, probably best-of-3 falls or something to that effect. Regardless, this was a good one. I’ve been losing interest in Jericho for quite a while now, but you can’t deny he can still go when he’s motivated. Early MOTY candidate here.
END OF SHOW.