We are in Memphis, TN this week. The show opens with Roman Reigns coming down to the ring for the opening bout.
MATCH 1: ROMAN REIGNS VS. RUSEV (W/KING BARRETT AND ALBERTO DEL RIO)
The two lock up, with Rusev backing Reigns into the ropes. He gives a clean break before ADR distracts Reigns. Reigns avoids an attack by Rusev and uppercuts him before heading out after ADR. Rusev follows, gets nailed, then reverses a whip into the ring steps. Rusev rolls Reigns back in for 1, then kicks Reigns in the spine twice before landing a boot to the face. Rusev connects with a back elbow for 2, then hits a double axe handle to the back of the neck. Rusev continues to club away, because what the hell else is this oaf going to do? Reigns starts to “Reigns up”, then avoids a shoulder thrust in the corner, sending Reigns into the post. Rusev backdrops an incoming Reigns, but Reigns lands on the apron and hits a hotshot. He goes after ADR and Barrett, then turns around and blasts Rusev with the Drive-By (formerly the Fly-By). Back in, Reigns avoids a corner splash and hits a clothesline. He connects with another off the ropes, then goes for nine more in the corner, followed by right. Reigns signals for the Superman Punch, and that’s when ADR & Barrett swarm him in the corner, leading to the DQ. I smell a tag team or six-man match later in the evening.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: ROMAN REIGNS.
Barrett pulls Reigns to the floor, and he & ADR throw Reigns into the barricade. Sure enough, Dean Ambrose charges down to the ring and tackles Rusev before clotheslining him to the floor. Ambrose then goes for the flying elbow off the apron, but accidentally nails Reigns instead. Barrett then holds Ambrose up for a superkick by ADR. They roll Ambrose in, and Rusev locks in the Accolade. Reigns grabs a chair, and the League of Nations scatter.
Tonight, AJ Styles faces the Miz. Up next, Kalisto vs. Kevin Owens.
Can I call it or what? The main event, made official during the break, will be Reigns and Ambrose vs. Rusev and ADR.
Renee Young catches up with Ambrose in the back and asked if that was a preview of what he’ll do to Reigns at Fastlane. Ambrose says that was an accident. He gets out of control when he gets angry. Trust him, when he goes after Reigns, Reigns will know it. Young tries to stir the pot, and Ambrose basically calls her dumb. He said he was off earlier, but in the main event, they’ll be hitting other people instead of each other. Those are the good times.
MATCH 2: WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION KALISTO VS. KEVIN OWENS (NON-TITLE)
After Mauro Ranallo points out Kalisto is the smallest US Champion in company history, we get an inset promo from the champ. He says he fights against everyone who underestimates him. That includes Owens and ADR, who he’ll wrestle yet again at Fastlane. This series got tired in a hurry. Dolph Ziggler is on commentary for this match, due to his win over Owens on RAW.
Owens stomps Kalisto from behind and beats him down in the corner. Owens lands a chop, then clubs Kalisto down before going for a back suplex. Kalisto lands on his feed, we get a standing switch and some back elbows from Kalisto before he hits a Tidal Crush to send Owens to the floor. Kalisto levels him with a somersault plancha, then rolls him back in for the SDS. Owens shoves him away before catching him with a release German. Commercials.
Back from the break, Owens is clubbing Kalisto down before hanging him out to dry across the top rope. Owens stomps Kalisto down, then connects with a running senton out of the corner for 2. Owens goes for a back suplex again, but turns it into a gutbuster for 2. Nice spot there. Owens stares Ziggler down, and the distraction costs him as Kalisto kicks him in the face before avoiding another senton. On the apron, Kalisto hits another kick, dives over Owens, ducks two shots and hits a springboard corkscrew cross-body for 2. He follows up with a spike ‘rana for 2. Kalisto fires up the kicks before Owens plasters him with a back elbow. Owens goes for the pop-up, but Kalisto hangs onto the ropes. He ducks a clothesline and hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT for 2. Owens rolls to the floor, where he avoids a baseball slide. He grabs Kalisto in a fireman’s carry and drops him chest-first across the barricade. Owens starts to tear the announce desk apart and looks for a powerbomb. It’s a ruse, however, as Owens instead throws Kalisto onto Dolph Ziggler, then drops him with a superkick. Tell you what, if you’re a drinker, I’ve got a new drinking game for you: every time you see a WWE wrestler hit a superkick or a variation of it on a single show, take a shot. Anyway, Owens rolls Kalisto back in. Ziggler crawls to the apron, and Owens spots him. The momentary distraction allows Kalisto to schoolboy him for 3.
Owens tries to attack Kalisto after the match, but doesn’t get far before Ziggler slides in and chases him off.
We go to a clip from RAW from “MizTV” with AJ Styles. Miz gets pissed and calls Styles a “rookie redneck” who won’t get anywhere without his guidance. When he turns around, Styles assaults Miz for a minute before Miz runs to the back.
Jojo is standing by with the Miz. It doesn’t matter what Miz talks about, because he’s going to get jobbed out like always. As he should be.
MATCH 2: RYBACK VS. ERICK ROWAN (W/BRAUN STROWMAN)
Ryback is now dressing like Goldberg. This is the same guy who got in trouble for hitting a spear and jackhammer in a match because it reminded people of Goldberg. Makes sense. They lock up, and Rowan backs Ryback to the corner. Ryback avoids a shot, hits a few rights, ducks a clothesline, ducks a back elbow and hits a cross-body into some mounted punches. Rowan rolls to the apron and hits a hotshot. When he comes back in, he Pounces Ryback, then nails him with rights. Rowan walks over Ryback’s gut, then chops him in the corner. Rowan botches a snapmare, then clubs him down some more. Rowan is the Rusev of the Wyatt Family. Ruse-er, Rowan, goes for a head vice with his fists. Ryback gets to his feet, but Rowan cuts him off with a knee. He sets Ryback across the top rope for more clubbing shots. Ryback then hits a back elbow before connecting with a missile dropkick from the middle. Ryback follows up with a corner clothesline and a Pepsi Max and a spinebuster off the ropes. Ryback signals for the Meat Hook as Strowman jumps on the apron. Ryback looks at him for a second, then goes right back to Rowan, throwing him into Strowman and knocking him off the apron. Rowan turns around into a Meat Hook, and that’s good for 3.
Strowman knocks Ryback to the floor with a vertical splash. Ryback quickly recovers and stares the Wyatts down.
Renee Young is standing by with Becky Lynch. She says Lynch has been focused on the Divas title. Moments after Sasha Banks announced she wanted the Divas title on RAW, some stuff happened. We go to the footage, where Tamina is holding Lynch up for an attack by Naomi, only to have Banks break it up. The two then attacked Banks before Becky Lynch, Banks’ opponent for the evening, helped fight them off. Back to Lynch, Young asks why she helped Banks. Before Lynch can answer, Banks cuts her off. She has no friends, then wants to turn this into an episode of Young’s show on the Network. Banks basically says she wouldn’t piss on Lynch’s gums if her teeth were on fire (I might be paraphrasing here). Lynch points out Banks stuck her nose in the Divas title match at the Royal Rumble, but then says she saw Banks in trouble, so she helped, because that’s what she does. Banks says she didn’t ask for help, and Lynch mocks her about how she handled things on RAW so well. The two then begrudgingly agree to help each other with Team BAD, then argue over who gets the next title match. Lynch acts confused about what just happened.
Chris Jericho makes his way down. He’s on commentary for the next match.
MATCH 3: THE MIZ VS. AJ STYLES
Miz charges in, but Styles ducks the clothesline and hits a few strikes. Miz catches a back elbow, then runs into the best dropkick in the business. Styles snaps off a suplex before Miz kicks his knee in the corner. Miz charges in again, but Styles catches him with a double-leg and begins pounding on him with fists. Miz escapes and rolls to the floor, where Styles wipes him out with a slingshot forearm. Miz gets back in and charges at Styles on the apron, who low-bridges him back to the floor. Miz blocks a kick and yanks him down, sending Styles face-first into the apron. Miz throws Styles into the barricade, and I cannot help but laugh as Jerry Lawler calls Miz “an established WWE superstar”. There are just so many things wrong with that statement. Miz throws Styles back in for a 0-count, then pelts him with rights. Miz drops down across Styles’ back, then applies a rear chinlock. Styles counters with a jawbreaker before getting caught with the Reality Check for 1. Miz chokes Styles over the middle rope, then drops a leg across the back of Styles’ head for 1. Miz gets Styles in a modified surfboard, only to have Styles escapes and light Miz up with chops. Miz catches him with a kitchen sink, then a running boot to the face gets 2. Miz catches another boot,then a third. Styles shakes the last one off and hits a few rights before getting caught with a clothesline for a 0-count. Miz hits another boot. Then another. Really breathtaking action from Miz here. He misses another, and Styles rolls him up for 2. Styles catches him with a boot in the corner, then nails several strikes before rolling Miz with a clothesline. In the corner, Styles gets backdropped. He lands on his feet, springboards over Miz, ducks a clothesline and the two collide off simultaneous attempts. Commercials.
Back from the break, Styles hits a clothesline in the corner before hitting a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker across the knee for 2. Miz recovers and connects with a snap DDT for 2. Miz waves his hands like a jackass and calls for the SCF. Styles escapes with some elbows and connects with the Pele for 2. He calls for the Styles Clash, but Miz shoves him to the corner. Styles avoids the hanging clothesline by sliding through the ropes to the apron. From there, he drops Miz with a springboard flying forearm (formerly the Superman). Styles kips up and goes for the Clash once more. Miz backdrops him, then sits down for a 2-count. Styles counters into a sunset flip for 2, then rolls through into the Calf Crusher (formerly Killer) for the submission win.
WINNER: AJ STYLES.
We get a slo-mo over Styles’ forearm, and it’s really a thing of beauty.
Jericho gets on a mic and tells the crowd to give it up for Styles. Jericho wanted a front-row seat, and he’s very impressed. Everyone knows how good Styles is, and he wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t good. He wouldn’t have beaten Jericho, either. He’s good, but is he great? Jericho asks if he has what it takes to be a champion or reach legendary status, or get his own show on the Network? Does he have what it takes to beat Jericho twice? Jericho has an idea. He offers a rematch on Smackdown next week. If Styles thinks he’s great, he can prove it. Jericho offers a hand, and Styles slowly shakes it, making the match official. Jericho then pulls Styles in to try to intimidate him, but Styles doesn’t back down, instead offering up some trash-talk. Jericho then stares Styles down before he leaves the ring.
Jojo is standing by with Roman Reigns. She points out what happened at the top of the show and asks if it will affect the main event. Reigns says he and Dean Ambrose are never on the same page. Ambrose is crazy, and that’s fine. They have their own styles. Their on the road to Wrestlemania. Accidents happen. At Fastlane, it won’t be an accident; it will be an 18-car pileup. As for tonight, he and Ambrose ride together, fight together, and they will win together. Believe that.
Now it’s time for the New Day. I just don’t get it. We get a promo from them. Xavier Woods plugs their Network show. Then they talk about how everyone wants gold and talk about booties. Kofi Kingston talks about butterflies, then calls the audience caterpillars. I’m done.
The Social Outcasts (minus Bo Dallas) come out. Heath Slater says Dallas isn’t here because he’s in the recording studio, working on his gold record. Adam Rose points out the word “gold” before calling the tag titles bronze. They call the New Day idiots, and Rose says they will take the bronze titles. The two teams then argue about touching waists. Curtis Axel makes fun of the New Day’s horns and calls them rhinos. Slater then says they’ll be extinct. Just when I thought the New Day couldn’t get any worse, the Social Outcasts come along.
MATCH 4: THE NEW DAY (WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS BIG E, KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. CURTIS AXEL, ADAM ROSE AND HEATH SLATER
Slater and Woods start, with Slater sending them both to the floor with a clothesline. The ref then gets between the two teams at ringside. Commercials.
Back from the break, Kofi is now legal for his team, and he gets leveled with a jumping roundhouse. Rose tags in and stomps Kofi down before hitting a European uppercut. Rose misses a corner splash, and E tags in. E catches an overhead belly-to-belly, then dances. We then get the Unicorn Stampede. This ends with E whipping Kofi in for the corner dropkick. Kofi kicks Rose a couple times for 2, then tags into Woods, who hits a tornado DDT through the ropes for 2. Woods goes for the Honor Roll, but Rose catches him mid-air with a spinebuster. Axel and Kofi tags in. Axel avoids a springboard dive and knocks E off the apron before nailing Kofi with a clothesline. Kofi comes back with a kick, misses another, ducks a clothesline and goes for the SOS. Axel shoves him into the corner. He springs off the buckles for a chop or cross-body, which Axel avoids. Axel ducks TIP and blasts Kofi with a running knee to the face for 2 as Woods breaks it up. Slater tosses Woods, then gets tossed by E. Rose knocks E to the floor with a knee, then gets sent flying with a Trouble in Paradise. Axel sneaks in a schoolboy on Kofi and gets his feet on the ropes for 2 as Woods shoves them off. Slater knocks Woods down at ringside, only to get a northern lariat from E. Kofi then rolls Woods up in a schoolboy with his feet on the ropes for 3.
WINNERS: THE NEW DAY.
The Social Outcasts are already 3-Man Band levels of jobber after only a couple of weeks. It won’t get any better for them, either.
We get a clip of Brie Bella beating Charlotte on RAW with one of the worst inside cradles I’ve ever seen. She had no idea what to do with her free hand and basically wound up fondling Charlotte’s breast and ass in the process.
MATCH 5: WWE DIVAS CHAMPION CHARLOTTE (W/RIC FLAIR) VS. ALICIA FOX (W/BRIE BELLA)
The two lock up, and Charlotte applies a side headlock. Fox escapes and hits a shoulder off the ropes. Charlotte then kicks her in the gut and sends her into the corner. Fox tries avoid a charge by sailing over Charlotte, but Charlotte sees it coming and nails her in the back. Fox then does the splits across the top rope for who the hell knows why, and Charlotte clubs her again. Fox hits a back elbow, then tries a pair of boots. Charlotte blocks, sends Fox’s legs through the middle rope and hits a hanging neckbreaker. Charlotte then kicks Fox to the floor before rolling her back in. Brie tries to taunt her by holding her fingers up in an “L” on her forehead, because she’s apparently in the 4th grade. Charlotte comes back in, where Fox catches her with a couple shots. She misses a corner clothesline, then does the splits again and goes into a sunset flip for 2. Charlotte gets back up and hits a clothesline for 2. Charlotte drops an elbow into Fox’s elbow, then locks in a Taco Twister. Fox reverses into a bridge for 2, and they go for simultaneous big boots. Fox comes up with a couple knees and forearms, then hits a pair of Dropsh*ts before a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets 2. Charlotte comes back with a forearm and goes for a neckbreaker. Fox spins through and connects with a northern lights for 2, exhausting her moveset in the process. Charlotte then trips her, sending her throat-first into the middle rope. Charlotte chop-blocks the knee and locks in the Figure-8 for the submission win.
Alicia Fox screams and starts slapping herself in the face. No one in the crowd cares.
We go to footage from earlier today of R-Truth in a fancy hotel. He’s talking to the manager about some charges before he’s cut off by Goldust in a bellhop costume. Goldust is still trying to get Truth to be his partner. Then they fight over a suitcase. Truth is not Booker T, no matter how badly WWE apparently wants him to be.
MATCH 6: INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DEAN AMBROSE AND ROMAN REIGNS VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO AND RUSEV (W/KING BARRETT)
The fact that Reigns and Rusev are pulling double duty tonight shows you just how shallow the talent pool is in WWE right now, what with all of the injuries. I believe after this taping, Rusev is the only guy in the League of Nations who is still relatively healthy. Rusev and Ambrose start, with Ambrose going into a headlock into a hip throw. Ambrose grinds Rusev down for a moment, then applies an arm wringer. Ambrose kicks Rusev in the arm and goes for a headlock before Rusev shoves him off and hits a shoulder. Crisscross ends in a drop toe-hold from Ambrose, who then grinds Rusev’s face into the mat. Reigns tags in and throws Rusev to the adjacent corner, then kicks Rusev off an Irish whip attempt. the two exchange rights before Rusev catches a knee. He misses a shoulder, then catches Reigns with a roundhouse for 2. ADR tags in and comes off the middle with a double axe handle before applying a rear chinlock. Reigns fights out and hits ADR with an uppercut. ADR blocks a corner charge and connects with a clothesline for 2. Rusev tags in and he kicks Reigns before taunting him and hitting a short-arm. Rusev then knocks Ambrose off the apron before hitting a suplex for 2. Ambrose tries to get in the ring, but gets shoved back by the ref as Rusev stomps Reigns down. Reigns then gets choked over the middle rope before ADR gets in a cheap shot behind the ref’s back. Rusev takes a swing at Ambrose, then turns around into a Samoan drop. Reigns dives for a tag to Ambrose, and Ambrose connects with two clotheslines, a corner forearm and a running bulldog. Ambrose heads up top and hits a seated missile dropkick. ADR gets knocked to the floor, and Rusev gets low-bridged. Ambrose “hits” a suicide dive on Rusev, then rolls him back in, where he ducks a clothesline and goes for a cross-body. Rusev catches him and goes for a sidewinder, but Ambrose counters into a schoolboy for 2. Ambrose sets up Dirty Deeds, but Rusev escapes and catches Ambrose with a roundhouse, which in turn leads to the Lunatic Lariat by Ambrose. Ranallo called it something else, something “Catapult”, but I couldn’t understand what he said. Anyway, Ambrose tags to Reigns, who connects with a Drive-By on Rusev before knocking ADR off the apron again. Barrett gets on the apron as Reigns signals for the Superman Punch, then drops down when Reigns goes after him. Rusev tries a sneak attack, but Reigns sees it coming, ducks and nails the Superman Punch for 2 as ADR breaks it up with a superkick. Take a shot. ADR pulls Reigns to the floor for some punches as Ambrose goes for a suicide dive. ADR moves and Ambrose connects on Reigns. Reigns, however, catches him. The two then argue for a moment as Rusev tries another sneak attack. Once again, Superman Punch. Meanwhile, Ambrose throws ADR face-first into the announce desk. Rusev gets rolled back in by Reigns, and now Reigns calls for the spear, which connects for 3.
WINNERS: DEAN AMBROSE AND ROMAN REIGNS.
END OF SHOW.