*Author’s note: This week’s recap will be significantly more condensed than normal, as I am watching it on live TV and don’t have DVR. Having said that, if you prefer this style, let me know in the comments.*
After a quick recap of the main event of Fastlane, we go to the arena, where Triple H opens the show. We are in Indianapolis, IN this week. Trips sets the WWE World title on a podium, then introduces himself, as if no one has seen him before. He yammers on for a moment, then turns his attention to Roman Reigns, who no doubt knows him by now. Reigns will have no doubt in his mind who Trips is after what happened on RAW with the fake blood, courtesy of Byron Saxton. We go to the footage, complete with the black and white filter. Back to Trips in the arena, he says if Reigns didn’t remember when he was lying in a puddle of his own blood, on Tuesday morning, when he was on an operating table to have his nose repaired, it must have dawned on him then. We see photos of Reigns with his nose bandaged up. Trips says that’s the look of a man who has been HUMBELED. Trips says his corporate role can confuse people, but make no mistake he is the law. It’s human nature to want to rebel against authority. He’s done it himself, but the fact is you can’t beat authority. Reigns can’t do it, and neither can anyone here. People want to buck the system, but they can’t. They bow to authority. So, this goes out to anyone who can hear him: if you meet him, have some courtesy, sympathy and taste, or he will lay your soul to waste. Reigns wants to be the WWE World Champion more than anything in the world. Takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to be the champion. Trips has had to walk over a lot of people to get here. Reigns has the sweat down. Trips says he’s damn good. As far as the blood goes…he pulls bloody bandages out and says he’s got that covered. As far as tears, Trips will get that one at Wrestlemania. At AT&T Stadium, in front of the largest crowd in history, Trips will HUMBEL Reigns and get those tears. There’s not a damn thing Reigns can do about it, because Trips is the law, and the World Champion. Because he is that…………………………………….Damn……………………………………………………………………………..Good.
Tonight, Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and a mystery partner will face the New Day in a 6-man match.
MATCH 1: THE LUCHA DRAGONS (WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION SIN CARA & KALISTO), NEVILLE AND DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS (KING BARRETT, ALBERTO DEL RIO, RUSEV AND SHEAMUS)
I feel like I’ve recapped this match or a variation of it about 812 times in the last few months. Barrett actually gets to start, which is shocking. The match immediately turns into a brawl after Barrett knocks Neville from the apron. The faces clear the ring before the Dragons go for a pair of suicide dives, getting destroyed by kicks from Rusev and ADR in the process. Back in the ring, Ziggler hits Sheamus with a leaping DDT before the Winds of Change from Barrett gets a 2-count. Commercials.
Back from the break, Barrett hits a running kick in the corner for 2. ADR tags in for stomps, then knocks Kalisto from the apron. Ziggler runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Rusev in, and he hits a running “elbow”, then another for 2. Rusev mocks Ziggler as he crawls for a tag, then runs him into the heel corner. Sheamus in, and he hits a release suplex before knocking Cara to the floor. Sheamus screams at Ziggler before Ziggler surprises him with a superkick. Barrett and Neville tag in, with Neville getting in all the hot tag offense. He goes up for the Red Arrow, then dives over an incoming Sheamus into a 450 splash on Barrett for 2. ADR and Rusev run interference, but get wiped out by the Dragons. Neville hits the Red Arrow on Barrett as Sheamus distracts the ref. ADR breaks up the pin with a superkick. Ziggler superkicks ADR. Sheamus tags in and Brogue Kicks Neville for 3.
WINNERS: THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
If you like kicks, this is the match for you, as that was pretty much all that happened from everyone involved for the duration.
We go to some footage from earlier today with Renee Young and Kevin Owens. Owens says he was inspired by the actions of Dean Ambrose on RAW, specifically stealing an ambulance and confronting Brock Lesnar. He thinks Ambrose needs to be rewarded, so he’s granting Ambrose an IC title match tonight. Young points out Ambrose isn’t here. Owens says that’s a shame. He’s beaten everyone, so he gets the night off. The Big Show walks in and says Owens hasn’t beaten him yet. Dear god, not a Show/Owens match. Owens tells Show he is on the road to retirement. Show grabs him by the collar and says they have a match and that he will KO KO. So clever.
MATCH 2: D-VON DUDLEY (W/BUBBA RAY DUDLEY) VS. JIMMY USO (W/JEY USO)
Before the bell rings, Bubba says he knows everyone wants to see the Dudleyz put someone through a table. Well, it isn’t happening. They’re not a circus or nostalgia act. The Dudleyz are 9-time WWE tag champs, which makes them better than everyone. D-Von then says they will do whatever they have to do to reestablish themselves as the greatest team whether anyone likes it or not. Bubba tells everyone to shove it.
The match starts, and Jimmy goes on the attack with punches and kicks. He then runs into a boot in the corner before hitting a superkick. Jimmy goes up top as Bubba pulls out a table. Jey chases him away and starts to set the table up. The ref gets distracted by Jey, and this allows Bubba to crotch Jimmy, and D-Von rolls him up for 3.
WINNER: D-VON DUDLEY.
Well, that was pointless.
We get a recap of Shane McMahon returning to face the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, because WWE has officially run out of ideas. Also, Stephanie McMahon is one of the worst fake criers I’ve ever seen.
We see Chris Jericho and AJ Styles in the locker room. Jericho likes teaming with Styles more than he cares to admit and thinks they could be a top team in the company. Styles says he’s here to be the best and compete with the best. He thinks they could be tag champs. Jericho says if they can beat the New Day tonight, they could be at the top of the list for a title match at WM. Styles says they need a partner for tonight. Mark Henry volunteers solely to remind us he still has a job. Jericho accepts him as their partner.
MATCH 3: THE BIG SHOW VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION KEVIN OWENS (NON-TITLE)
Show is now sporting long tights. Random observation. Before Owens comes out, we’re reminded that the Godfather is going into the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Rick Rude and Owen Hart still haven’t been inducted, to name a couple. Owens throws some weak offense at Show. Show hits him with a hiptoss. Owens gets the advantage with a dropkick to the knee and a running senton gets 1. Owens boots Show down and hits him with a basement enziguri. Show shakes it off and assaults Owens in the corner. Owens rolls to the floor before Show pulls him up by the head. Owens hotshots him and comes back in, where he runs right into a chokeslam. Owens rolls back to the floor, and Show follows this time. Owens is rolled back in, and Show heads up top. Owens crotches him and looks for a superplex. He gets shoved down, then pulled up by the throat by Show. Owens drops back down and crotches Show, sending him to the floor. Show gets counted out.
WINNER VIA COUNT-OUT: KEVIN OWENS.
Owens grabs the IC title and immediately heads up the ramp to celebrate.
Becky Lynch faces Natalya next.
MATCH 4: NATALYA VS. BECKY LYNCH
Nattie’s catsuit leaves little to the imagination. Not that I’m complaining. The two shake hands and lock up. Nattie hits a hip throw, then slides into a pin for 2. Nattie gets 2 off a shoulder, only to have Lynch bridge out and hit a dropkick for 2. Lynch drops a leg and an elbow, but misses a revolution legdrop. Nattie hits a nice release German, sending Lynch to the floor. Team BAD run down and wipe out Nattie right in front of the ref, ending this match.
WINNER: NO CONTEST.
Well, there’s goes my hopes for a good match tonight.
Team BAD go after Lynch, but Sasha Banks run down to even things up. That’s when Charlotte and Ric Flair come out on stage. She panders to Lynch and Banks before saying the #1 contender match between Lynch and Banks will happen on RAW. Charlotte will be at ringside and sincerely wishes the best of luck. She and her dad then “wooooo”. That was a Nikki Bella “I wish you died in the womb”-level of bad promo by Charlotte. They really need to stop letting her talk. Let dad be the mouthpiece, because she doesn’t know what she’s doing.
MATCH 5: HEATH SLATER (W/CURTIS AXEL, BO DALLAS AND ADAM ROSE) VS. R-TRUTH
Before the match starts, Goldust comes down to ringside. Truth stops him, but Goldust says he’s only here to watch from a neutral corner. Truth allows it, and now the match starts. Slater gets a wastelock, which Truth reverses before getting in a headlock. Crisscross ends with Truth putting on the brakes. He dances a bit, so Slater tries a clothesline. Truth split-ducks and hits a hiptoss. He lands a couple uppercuts and some forearms before the ref pulls him away. Slater then lands a running knee out of the corner. An elbow drop gets 2 as Goldust dances at ringside. Slater comes off the ropes and gets caught with a jumping side kick. Truth then hits a sit-out gourdbuster. Rose jumps on the apron and gets floored. Dallas tries a distraction as Truth goes for a backslide. Slater blocks, but the ref is still distracted, so Goldust punches Slater, allowing Truth to pull him down into the move for 3.
The New Day come out for the main event, but first, joy of joys, it’s promo time. Xavier Woods mocks the League of Nations. Big E calls their opponents a “team of moistness” or some such nonsense. They laugh about Mark Henry being “The World’s Strongest Man” before saying Woods is stronger. Kofi says that, if you want to look like Woods, all you have to do is Bolieve! Oh, wait. Wrong faction.
MATCH 6: THE NEW DAY (WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS BIG E, KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. CHRIS JERICHO, AJ STYLES AND MARK HENRY
Henry comes out last. That makes a lot of sense. Jericho and Kofi start the match with your standard starting offense. Shoulder by Kofi, crisscross, Jericho dropkick. Kofi tags out to E, who runs right through Jericho with a shoulder. Jericho tags to Henry, who sends all three members of New Day to the floor. Jericho and Styles take out Kofi and Woods on the floor with stereo pescados, and the faces follow up with mocking the New Day’s hip-shake bit. Commercials.
Back from the break, Jericho and Woods are legal, with Jericho lighting Woods up with chops. Styles tags in, and the faces hit a double back elbow. Styles hits a running backbreaker for 2, then tags in Jericho. The two trade some shots before Woods runs into a back elbow. Kofi gets dropkicked to the floor for trying to interfere. As the ref checks on Woods, E runs Jericho’s face into the buckles. He tags in, picks up Jericho and runs him face-first into a kick from Kofi for 2. This leads to the Unicorn Stampede by the New Day. This ends with the corner dropkick by Kofi, which sends Jericho to the floor. Kofi rolls him back in for 2, then prevents a tag. He applies an armbar on Jericho, but Jericho fights out. Kofi prevents a dropkick from connecting, then tags in Woods, who hits a basement dropkick. E tags in and hits the Warrior Splash while Woods drops a leg for 2, only to have Styles break it up. E then amps up the pace by…applying an abdominal stretch. Jericho escapes, only to get kneed in the gut. Jericho tries for a cross-body but gets caught. E looks for the Big Ending, but Jericho escapes and hits a step-up enziguri. Woods and Styles tag in, with Styles hot tagging it before hitting a basement forearm. They trade wastelocks before Styles hits a moonsault into an inverted DDT for 2. E breaks up the pin, and Henry takes him out. Kofi gives Henry Trouble in Paradise, then tries it on Styles, only to have Jericho shoves Styles out of the way and eats the move. Styles clotheslines Kofi to the floor before Woods rolls Styles up for 2, then nails a rolling forearm. Styles shakes it off and rolls Woods into the Calf Crusher for the submission win.
WINNERS: MARK HENRY, CHRIS JERICHO AND AJ STYLES.
END OF SHOW.