Date: September 27, 2021
Location: Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, OH
The Big Takeaway --
Big E beat Bobby Lashley in a cage match to retain the WWE Championship. Drew McIntyre might be his next challenger.
Keith “Bearcat” Lee returned to squash Akira Tozawa, and Goldberg threatened to kill Lashley in a video promo.
Alexa Bliss was not on the show.
Show Recap --
There was a video recap of Big E beating Bobby Lashley for the title before pinning him again last night at Extreme Rules.
WWE Championship match: Big E vs. Bobby Lashley ended in a DQ (9:59)
Lashley backed Big E into the corner so Big E smacked him right in the face. That pissed off Lashley and he whaled on Big E, who came up bleeding from the mouth. Lashley posted him but Big E responded with an overhead suplex onto the mats.
That led to a commercial break less than three minutes into this title match even though this opened the show. Fortunately, it was a short break.
Lashley regained control by hitting a flatliner. They collided as they both hit clotheslines at the same time before Lashley cut off Big E’s comeback attempt with a swinging neckbreaker. Big E went for the Big Ending but Lashley fought his way to the apron. That led to Big E hitting a big spear through the ropes to the delight of the crowd.
Big E got to his feet only to see Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander (wearing Hurt Business t-shirts) standing over him. Big E returned to the ring and ate a spinebuster. Lashley hit a spear as Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods ran down to attack Benjamin and Alexander.
The brawl spilled into the ring and interrupted the cover which led to a disqualification.
The teams continued to brawl and the New Day got the best of it after Kingston and Woods hit dives.
After officials ran down to break things up, Adam Pearce entered to announce that the two men will wrestle for the title later tonight in a steel cage match. The crowd was happy to hear it.
Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo did a backstage promo earlier today, basically explaining how handsome they were.
Angel Garza (w/Humberto Carrillo) defeated Erik (w/Ivar) (2:00)
Erik hit a knee strike but became distracted by Carrillo who jumped on the apron, seemingly ready to throw Garza’s pants at him. Erik turned around into a superkick by Garza, who finished him off with a Wing Clipper for the pinfall win.
I don’t always mention when there’s a video recap, but I should probably mention that there was a video package of Charlotte Flair beating Alexa Bliss and Bliss’ post-match freak-out.
On Friday’s Smackdown: the draft begins.
24/7 Championship match: Reginald vs. Ricochet ended in a DQ (1:27)
They did some acrobatics until Ricochet wiped out Reginald with a dive. R-Truth and Drew Gulak (who were with Drake Maverick) attacked abruptly for the DQ. As those men fought, Akira Tozawa (directed by Maverick) tried to attack but Reginald knocked him down with a spinning crossbody before leaving.
Kevin Patrick interviewed Riddle who was on his own tonight. Riddle said Randy Orton was taking a break. Orton told him he needed a break from him or else he’d RKO him out of the country. Riddle rambled for a while until he began listening to Orton’s theme on his headphones. Riddle suddenly realized that Omos and AJ Styles were standing behind him. They stared at each other until the segment ended.
Tozawa was still in the ring after a break and he demanded a match against Truth or Gulak or Maverick or whoever. Keith “Bearcat” Lee entered. Lee had new gear with “Bearcat” on the back.
Keith “Bearcat” Lee defeated Akira Tozawa (0:36)
Lee won quickly with the Big Bang Catastrophe.
Damian Priest did a pre-taped promo saying he wanted to finish Sheamus once and for all.
They announced that St. Louis will host the 2022 Royal Rumble and they expect 40,000-plus fans.
Patrick interviewed Big E, flanked by Kingston and Woods. Big E cut a serious promo where he said he called his shot when he said he would cash in the briefcase and when he said New Day would win last night. He was calling his shot again tonight and he would retain the title.
No countout, no submission match: Damian Priest defeated Sheamus to retain the US Championship (15:51)
Priest hit a Broken Arrow early in the match for just a one count. He set up a table soon after but Sheamus attacked him and sent him into the steel steps. They battled on the apron until Sheamus hit a White Noise through the table (which didn’t look fun for Priest and his shoulder).
After a break, Sheamus attacked with a kendo stick before hitting a powerslam for two. Sheamus mocked Priest before trying something off the top but Priest nailed him with the kendo stick and attacked repeatedly. Sheamus managed to shove Priest into the post and the barricade. (Priest had a cut a bruise on his upper back and shoulder from the table bump.)
Priest attempted a comeback but Sheamus cut him off and drove him face-first into a steel chair that was wedged between the turnbuckles. Sheamus followed with an Alabama Slam for two. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick but Priest chucked the chair at his face and hit a chokeslam for a nearfall.
Priest followed with a series of kicks but Sheamus came right back with a lifting knee strike for a nearfall. They traded reversals until Priest launched Sheamus into a table that was set up in the corner. Priest followed with Reckoning for the pinfall win.
This was a strong match, helped by the fact that they beat the crap out of each other.
Mustafa Ali approached Mansoor and asked him if he really asked Jeff Hardy to be their partner. Mansoor thought it was a great opportunity. Ali started trash-talking Hardy until Hardy showed up right behind him. Hardy wanted to hear what Ali had to say but Mansoor got between them. Hardy was pumped to beat up Jinder Mahal and his buddies tonight.
(They randomly announced during the upcoming match that we’d hear from Goldberg tonight, presumably by video.)
Six-man tag match: Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky defeated Mansoor, Mustafa Ali & Jeff Hardy (3:42)
Veer pinned Ali after hitting a big clothesline that turned Ali inside out. This wasn’t much.
(Corey Graves made a pitching analogy to Veer throwing the clothesline, playing off his brief baseball career.)
Karrion Kross did a promo in the back.
Karrion Kross defeated Jaxson Ryker (1:35)
Kross won via submission using a Saito suplex and Kross Jacket. (I don’t even think Kross had the hold locked in properly but Ryker still tapped.)
Doudrop approached Pearce and Sonya Deville in their office. She wanted the open challenge title match against Charlotte tonight. Deville said she would be fine with that, she just wanted to see Doudrop do that little dance that she does if she won. Doudrop danced in excitement.
(Deville also made a remark in here somewhere about Naomi not deserving to be on the Smackdown roster.)
(The funny thing about this segment was that Deville and Pearce left their own office for seemingly no reason so that we at home could focus on Doudrop’s dance.)
Lashley cut a promo in the back, speaking directly at the camera. He spoke about all the ways he can destroy Big E tonight to become the rightful WWE Champion.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Raw Tag Team Champion Riddle (12:34)
This match was all action.
Styles took control but Riddle mounted a comeback when they returned from commercial break. Styles got his knees up on a senton attempt and hit a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for two. Riddle came back with a German suplex for two. Styles hit a Pelé kick but Riddle came right back with a knee strike. Styles followed that with a pump handle gut buster.
Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but Riddle kicked him off the top rope before hitting a PK and a dive. Styles applied the Calf Crusher when they returned to the ring but Riddle got a rope break. Styles ran into a knee strike and Riddle set up for an RKO but Styles countered into a burning hammer and Styles Clash for the pinfall win.
Omos gave Riddle a chokeslam after the match.
Sarah Schreiber asked Shayna Baszler to explain to the WWE universe why she so badly injured Nia Jax. Baszler walked off without answering.
Charlotte Flair defeated Doudrop to retain the Raw Women’s Championship (1:50)
Doudrop used her power advantage to take control and crush Charlotte with a senton.
Doudrop was running toward the ropes, presumably for a running crossbody, but Eva Marie’s music hit and Doudrop stopped dead in her tracks. Doudrop was distracted by Marie so Charlotte hit Natural Selection for the pinfall win. This was so dumb.
Charlotte attacked Marie after the match and the crowd popped.
Goldberg interview via satellite
Goldberg had a message for Lashley. He hoped that Lashley was a better father than he was a liar. He knew that Lashley was lying when he said choking out Gage was just a misunderstanding.
He swore that he would protect his son against anything and anyone. He promised to hurt Lashley, and if Lashley was lucky, Goldberg would kill him. Goldberg enjoyed handing out punishment and Lashley would be his victim.
Eva Marie was still in the ring, getting booed throughout her promo. She said she would have won the title if she had the opportunity that Doudrop just had and she was tired of the crowd’s disrespect.
Shayna Baszler marched out before Marie could leave the ring. Baszler put her in the Kirifuda Clutch and Marie tapped out before passing out. The crowd cheered. Baszler also stomped on Marie’s elbow into the steel steps. Officials begged her off as the crowd chanted “one more time.”
(I think they piped in booing here as if the crowd didn’t like Baszler, but the timing made it sound like they were mad that she didn’t kill Marie.)
Schreiber interviewed Nikki ASH and Rhea Ripley. Ripley said they were complete opposites but sometimes opposites attract and the one thing they had in common was the tag team titles. She wasn’t worried about the draft because they could go wherever they want, whenever they want. Nikki said they needed matching outfits. Ripley wasn’t interested.
Lashley attacked Big E during his entrance before he could enter the cage. Lashley drove him into the barricade, the steel steps, the post, and the side of the cage. Lashley also drove the steel steps into Big E’s back and they went to break wondering if Big E could compete.
Cage match: Big E defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the WWE Championship (16:28)
After the break, the referee checked on Big E who demanded they start the match. He immediately hit an STO for a one count. He was on offense briefly until Lashley cut him off. Lashley tried a spear but Big E hip tossed him into the buckle before driving him three times into the cage. Lashley blocked him from doing more and hit an overhead suplex.
Big E tried a Big Ending off the ropes but Lashley countered into a dragon sleeper. Lashley tried climbing the cage but Big E went after him and bounced his head against the cage until he fell off the ropes.
Benjamin and Alexander, who we were told couldn’t get involved, ran down and got involved by knocking Big E off the cage. Lashley tried escaping through the door but Woods slammed it in his face before giving Alexander a superkick.
Kingston ran up the side of the cage to knock down Benjamin. Kingston then did a trust dive off the side of the cage, taking out both Benjamin and Alexander. Commercial break. (Pearce ejected Kingston, Woods, Alexander and Benjamin from ringside during the break.)
Big E hit three overhead belly-to-belly suplexes but Lashley came right back with a spear for two. The crowd chanted “let’s go Big E.” Lashley wanted to leave through the door but Big E kept getting in his way. Lashley went after him but Big E hit a Big Ending for a nearfall. Big E went for the door but Lashley stopped him and hit a spinebuster.
Lashley tried climbing the cage again but Big E again went after him and hit a Big Ending off the ropes for the pinfall win. Big E retains.
Pretty good match and a good win for Big E.
After the match, Drew McIntyre entered the stage. He pointed at Big E with his sword as they went off the air.