Date: October 22, 2018
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI
Show Recap --
Roman Reigns came out to start the show. He was booed. Reigns wore a black t-shirt and gold chain, instead of his own merch or Shield gear.
Reigns said he owed everyone an apology. He said for months he would be a fighting champion and a workhorse, but that was all a lie. He said he real name was Joe, and he’s been living with leukemia for eleven years. He can’t fulfill his role, he can’t defend his title, and he’ll have to relinquish his championship. He doesn’t want the fans to feel bad for him, because he has faith.
When he was 22 years old, he was diagnosed with this. It was the hardest part of his life. He didn’t have a home, his football career was over, and he had a kid on the way. The team that gave him a chance was the WWE. Reigns said the fans have made his dreams come true. Despite how the crowd reacted, they always did react, and he thanked them for that.
The crowd cheered and chanted, “thank you, Roman.”
Reigns said the right thing to do was go home and focus on his family and health. He said this was by no means a retirement speech, because once he was done whoopin’ leukemia’s ass, he would be back here to show everyone that when life throws a curveball, he’ll swing for the fences every single time.
“I will beat this, and I will be back, so you will see me very, very soon.”
Reigns wished the crowd well as they chanted “thank you, Roman” again. He placed the title belt in the ring and left. He shook hands with some fans as he left up the ramp. He was greeted by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, and they all hugged on the stage. Rollins was in tears as they did the Shield pose.
They went straight to a break after that. After the break, Michael Cole, Renee Young, and Corey Graves were choked up as they spoke about Reigns. The crowd could be heard chanting, “cancer sucks” in the background. Best of luck to Roman Reigns.
Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) (8:39)
Rush introduced Lashley and chanted for him on the mic throughout his entrance and during the match. Balor slipped out of a delayed vertical suplex, hit a slingblade, but missed Coup de Grace. Lashley nailed him with a clothesline, but Balor countered a Dominator into a schoolboy for the pinfall win.
The announcers said that Baron Corbin has been on the phone with Stephanie McMahon regarding how to address the vacant Universal title.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler thanked Drew McIntyre for having his back. McIntyre saw the writing on the wall and knew once Braun Strowman went after Ziggler, he would be next. Ziggler said that at Crown Jewel, he can prove what he’s always said, that he’s the best in the world. He was worried about Strowman roaming around, but McIntyre told him he had nothing to fear. As he left, Ziggler asked where was going, so McIntyre said, “monster hunting.”
Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) defeated Sasha Banks (w/Natalya & Bayley) (9:39)
A brawl broke out on the outside as Banks had the crossface applied. Banks left the ring to knock down Logan and Morgan, then Ruby used the distraction to hit the Riott Kick for the win. The action in this was good, but too much of the match happened during commercial.
Nia Jax cut a promo backstage on Evolution. She said winning the battle royal was her road back to the title and she wouldn’t squander the opportunity.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels came out to their DX entrance and got a good reaction. Triple H said they weren’t afraid and mocked the promo Undertaker and Kane did last week. They made quips about Kane being the mayor that didn’t get much of a reaction. Michaels said maybe ‘nostalgia’ was another way of saying ‘old.’
Triple H said, then again, Halloween is number one in theatres, and they just packed 70,000 into a stadium in Australia to see them, so maybe nostalgia was another way of saying, “we’re better.” Triple H said the “X” on their t-shirts represented how strong they always were, and today, the “X” stands for something new.
Michaels said “we’re running that too,” and the crowd lightly chanted for NXT. Triple H said they weren’t coming to Crown Jewel for nostalgia, they were coming to kick ass. They were about to sign off, but the Undertaker’s dong went off and the lights turned off.
A video of Taker and Kane in a graveyard was shown. Kane said you can’t turn back the clock and you can’t survive the Brothers of Destruction. Tombstones for Michaels and Triple H were shown, and Undertaker said they would own their souls for eternity. They poured dirt into the empty graves for some reason and said DX would rest in peace.
This was all very silly, including Triple H’s promo.
They replayed Reigns’ promo.
Strowman will face Brock Lesnar for the vacant Universal title at Crown Jewel.
Dana Brooke said she would win the battle royal at Evolution and the world will finally see what she can do.
Paul Heyman promo
Heyman said his thoughts and prayers were with a champion of a man we know was Roman Reigns. He said it was humbling to be among the people in the locker room tonight, among such courage and greatness.
Heyman said he wants his children to understand that we witnessed sacrifice tonight. Reigns sacrificed his obligations tonight because, to everyone there, the title deserves the best the champion has to offer it. He said the fans had the right to be able to point at the champion and know that person was the very best.
Heyman said that only one man between Strowman and Lesnar would be worthy of being the champion and that sure as hell wasn’t Strowman. He said only Lesnar was worthy of being your champion. This was mostly booed. Heyman said Strowman can call himself a monster, but Lesnar doesn’t bill himself a beast, he actually is a beast.
Heyman said Strowman wasn’t in Lesnar’s league and wasn’t even in the same species. Strowman interrupted. Strowman told Heyman that he should warn Lesnar that he was going to get his ass beat. Strowman said he was bringing the title to Raw and when Reigns’ beats leukemia, he would be first in line.
Strowman said Lesnar would get these hands, then McIntyre flew in out of nowhere and nailed him with a Claymore kick. This was good.
Backstage, Charly Caruso asked if McIntyre was afraid of what Strowman would do. McIntyre said no. He said the roster wasn’t willing to do what it takes, but he was. He doesn’t believe in monsters and Strowman just received a swift kick of reality. McIntyre said Strowman would realize that he needed them.
Elias defeated Apollo Crews (7:58)
Elias won after a high knee and Drift Away.
Kurt Angle did a pre-taped promo. He said he used to be the best in the world, and now years later, he finds himself in position to prove he is still the best. He ran down the others in the tournament. This felt very scripted.
After a break, JoJo introduced us to Elias again. Before he could perform, Corbin interrupted. The crowd booed as he tried to move on with the rest of the show. Corbin mentioned Stephanie and was about to call her the commissioner, to which Elias responded, “I know who Stephanie McMahon is,” which was funny.
Elias said she was a fan and wanted him to perform, but Corbin cut him off and said if Stephanie didn’t like him, he’d fire Elias right now. He told Elias to get off the stage. Elias claimed he didn’t hear Corbin and told him to shut his damn mouth so he could perform a song he just wrote in his head.
He called Corbin a puppet with Stephanie’s hand up his ass, then Corbin cut his mic and demanded he get off the stage. Elias hesitated, then left. Corbin began speaking, then Elias walked back out and smashed the guitar across his back.
Women’s Championship Contract Signing
They showed a tale of the tape for Ronda Rousey and Nikki Bella, including their win-loss records. Rousey’s record was 24-0, Nikki’s was 337-222-4.
Cole introduced Nikki and Brie Bella, who left the ring when Rousey entered. Nikki said they weren’t here to fight now, especially here in Providence. Rousey said she wasn’t going to beat them up now and gave them her word. She asked them to get in the ring so Nikki could sign.
The Bellas hit the ring. Nikki mocked Rousey for giving them her word. Nikki recalled Rousey telling her mother that she would win at the Olympics and telling her that she wouldn’t lose in the octagon. Nikki said Rousey's mother was already ashamed of her, and imagine what she’ll think when a “diva” beats her for the title.
Nikki signed the contract, then slapped Rousey in the face. Rousey laughed it off, then signed the contract. Rousey grabbed the mic and said, “Come Sunday, I will end you. I give you my word.” Rousey grabbed her belt and left.
They showed tweets from different wrestlers sending well wishes to Roman Reigns.
Caruso asked Ambrose and Rollins for words on Reigns. Ambrose said there were no words to describe the ride they’ve been on, and when there were no words, they had to do the only thing they knew how to do and that’s win. Rollins said there were no words, but there were plenty of emotions, and they would channel those emotions to win the tag team championships. Rollins ended with, “We’re going to do it for you, Roman. We love you. Believe that.”
Fatal 4-Way: Ember Moon defeated Tamina, Dana Brooke and Nia Jax (1:50)
Moon won via pinfall over Tamina after an Eclipse.
The announcers ran down the card for Evolution. Renee Young and Beth Phoenix will call the show on Sunday. (Presumably alongside Cole, though they didn’t say that.)
Titus O'Neil hosted a breast cancer awareness segment and introduced six survivors.
Caruso interviewed Lita and Trish Stratus backstage, but they were interrupted by Alicia Fox, who appeared to be 8 feet tall. She was there as a distraction, allowing Mickie James to attack them from behind. James and Fox teamed up, but it was eventually broken up by officials. Stratus and Lita jumped back in to lay out Fox and James. (Alexa Bliss was not there.)
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre to win the Tag Team Championships (19:17)
The heels worked over Rollins forever, and just as he was about to make the hot tag, Ziggler yanked Ambrose off the apron. Ambrose chased after Ziggler but ran into McIntyre who knocked him down. McIntyre then gave Rollins a reverse Alabama Slam, leading to commercial.
After a break, Ambrose was the legal man, then Rollins tagged in and hit a frog splash on McIntyre for two while Ambrose took out Ziggler with a suicide dive. Rollins followed later with a superplex and Falcon Arrow on Ziggler for a nearfall.
Rollins tried a buckle bomb but McIntyre caught Ziggler, then he kicked Ambrose out of the ring. Ziggler gave Rollins a Zig-Zag for a nearfall.
Strowman’s music hit and he began marching to the ring. As this happened, Rollins took out the referee by accident. Strowman went after McIntyre and they brawled through the crowd. Strowman eventually chased him to the back.
Ziggler grabbed his belt to use it as a weapon, but Ambrose snatched it away. Rollins gave him a curb stomp, then Ambrose tossed the referee back in the ring and he counted to three. Rollins and Ambrose are the tag champs.
As they celebrated, Ambrose tossed his belt aside and gave Rollins a Dirty Deeds. The crowd was stunned.
Rollins slowly regained his composure and told Ambrose, “it’s okay,” then Ambrose jumped him and hammered away. Ambrose continued the beating as the crowd booed. Ambrose whipped the belts at Rollins. Ambrose then exposed the concrete and gave Rollins the Dirty Deeds. People were swearing at Ambrose, who left through the crowd.