Date: September 24, 2018
Location: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
The Big Takeaway --
There was a show-long story where Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre tried to goad Dean Ambrose into leaving the Shield and join them. He didn’t. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns defeated the team of Baron Corbin and AOP in the main event. The Shield posed to end the show with Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman looking on.
Liv Morgan appeared to get knocked out legit by Brie Bella’s Yes Kicks. Morgan continued for a moment before being taken out of the match. The Riott Squad won the match anyway over Brie, Nikki, and Natalya.
Next week, Ruby Riott faces Ronda Rousey, and Shawn Michaels will appear.
Show Recap --
There’s a new signature video to start the program that reads “WWE Forever.”
Baron Corbin greeted Stephanie McMahon as she exited her limo backstage. He began singing “Happy Birthday” but stopped when he saw Triple H. Stephanie had something to say to Corbin, so Triple H left knowing how awkward it was about to get.
Stephanie wondered about Corbin putting himself in a title match. Corbin tried to blame the Shield, but she didn’t care and told him to find two partners to face the Shield tonight. She told him to take care of business or she may have to bring back Kurt Angle sooner than anticipated.
The Shield came out to a big reaction. Dean Ambrose called them the three workhorses of WWE, and while they have lost a few battles, they always win the war. Roman Reigns began talking and was booed. Seth Rollins laughed.
Reigns said all they need to do was show off their titles, then he and Rollins raised their belts (while Ambrose just stood there watching). Rollins called them the best, and Braun Strowman recruiting “a couple jackasses” against them wasn’t enough. Rollins called out Corbin and told him to bring his partners.
Corbin came out and said he would impress Stephanie tonight. He said nobody in the locker room liked the Shield. That brought out Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Strowman said he would take the title from Reigns and claimed he could already see cracks in the Shield.
Strowman said they would have a 4-on-2 handicap match against them at Super Show-Down. Rollins was confused. Ziggler put the focus on Ambrose and said the Shield needed him, but he didn’t need them. Ambrose was the champion on his own on Smackdown two years ago. McIntyre put him over for their match last week and said he deserved more.
Ziggler said Ambrose has sacrificed himself for his partners but has nothing to show for it. Ziggler also reminded us how quickly Rollins replaced Ambrose with Jason Jordan. Ziggler offered Ambrose a spot with them, and it would guarantee him the IC title.
Reigns told Ziggler to shut up. He wanted them to fight. They were about to oblige but Corbin stopped them. The crowd wanted to see it, but Corbin reminded Ziggler and McIntyre that they have a tag title defense later. Corbin said he and his partners would deal with the Shield later.
Bayley hugged Finn Balor backstage and the announcers plugged the Mixed Match Challenge.
Finn Balor (w/Bayley) defeated Jinder Mahal (w/Alicia Fox & Sunil Singh) (9:45)
Mahal applied a chinlock 30 seconds into the match. Balor came back with a dropkick and flip dive. After a break, Mahal was back in control. Balor came back with a dropkick, forearm, foot stomp, and enziguri. Balor followed that with a slingblade, but Singh grabbed his foot with the referee’s back turned. Mahal then came off the ropes but was tripped by Bayley.
Fox went after Bayley but Bayley knocked her down. Sunil got in Bayley’s face, so she gave him a Bayley-to-belly. Mahal was distracted, so Balor rolled him up for the pinfall win. The crowd was happy with this. Seems like a hot crowd in general.
Afterwards, Mahal shoved down Sunil as the crowd chanted “you suck” at him. Mahal and Fox sat down to do his “shanti” chant and Sunil reluctantly joined them.
The Riott Squad defeated Natalya, Nikki & Brie Bella (10:36)
There was a moment early on where it looked like Liv Morgan was knocked out legitimately. Brie hit her with Yes Kicks and she sorta just fell over. She was dragged back toward her corner and it sounded like somebody said “she’s out,” but she eventually made her way back on the apron. They did a couple more spots and went to a much needed commercial break.
(I went back to watch it again, and it looked like the second-last Yes Kick caught Morgan in the chin and Brie didn’t notice before hitting the last one.)
Back from break, Morgan was not on the apron. The announcers said she was taken to the back.
Natalya made a hot tag and hit Sarah Logan with a German suplex and discus clothesline, but Ruby Riott broke up the cover. Natalya put Logan in the Sharpshooter, but Riot had made a blind tag and gave Natalya a Riott Kick for the win.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the ring for a Connor’s Cure segment. The roster watched on the ramp, including the Shield, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre. Ambrose at least made sure to move away from the heels. They aired a video and announced a new sponsor supporting the charity.
Stephanie introduced Carter and Elizabeth who made an entrance to the ring. Triple H called them survivors and champions and presented them with title belts. The crowd chanted “you deserve it” and Elizabeth began tearing up. An exec from the new sponsor spoke for a while, then presented them with a cheque for Connor’s Cure.
Ziggler approached Ambrose backstage. Ambrose grabbed him back the jacket, but Ziggler tried to reason with him and asked him where the Shield was when he almost died of a staph infection. Ziggler said he knows how hard it is to turn on your brothers, so they would be out there watching his match tonight and all he has to do was give them the signal and he won’t have to do a thing.
Konnor (w/Viktor) defeated Chad Gable (w/Bobby Roode) (2:34)
Konnor won clean with a Dominator. Gable gave him a German at one point, but this wasn’t much.
Charly Caruso caught up with Stephanie and Triple H as they were about to leave. She asked Triple H about the Undertaker. Triple H said Taker has already lost if he thinks he’s just a suit. “As far as him taking my soul -- I sold that a long time ago.” That was a good line. He said anybody who is honest with themselves knows the end is near for the Undertaker.
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre defeated The Revival to retain the Tag Team Championships (12:44)
The Revival did not get an entrance. Konnor got one earlier for his match. They also didn’t do the big in-ring introductions like they usually do for title matches.
The Revival shined early on, basically picking apart Ziggler for the first few minutes. On the outside, Ziggler avoided a charge by Dash Wilder who went crashing into the steel steps. McIntyre tagged in and his team took over during commercial, but Scott Dawson made a hot tag after break and gave Ziggler a double underhook powerbomb for a nearfall.
Dawson gave Ziggler a superplex and Wilder followed with a splash but McIntyre broke up the cover. Wilder gave McIntyre a tornado DDT off the barricade. Revival then gave Ziggler a Doomsday Device for a close nearfall.
McIntyre tagged in and was double-teamed, but he managed to fight them off. He tagged in Ziggler and they hit the Claymore Kick/Zig Zag combo for the win. Good match and the crowd got into the Revival, who were impressive.
The Kevin Owens Show
Elias was in the ring and told the crowd in Denver that they don’t deserve a performance. He introduced his partner for Super Show-Down, Kevin Owens. Owens said they had to fight the super team of Bobby Lashley and John Cena. Owens put over Cena’s accomplishments before reminding us he beat Cena on his first night.
Owens moved on to Lio Rush, who talked trash about him unprovoked. He introduced Rush as his guest. Rush stopped on the stage, so Owens invited him into the ring. Rush said he wasn’t naive. Elias said they took care of him by making special arrangements, then pulled out a booster seat for him. Rush wasn’t impressed and brought out Denver’s own Bobby Lashley.
Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) defeated Elias (w/Kevin Owens) via DQ (13:03)
A long, dull match ended when Owens accidentally ran into Lashley on the outside of the ring, barely hitting him. Even Michael Cole compared this to Clay Matthews. Owens was chasing after Rush. They eventually caught him but Lashley saved him and that was it.
Backstage, Rollins told McIntyre that Ziggler was the weak link in their team and McIntyre is the one that should be getting shots at singles titles. Rollins told him to look in the mirror and think about who is really being used. After Rollins left, then Ziggler showed up and asked McIntyre what he said. McIntyre told him not to worry about it. Crowd was into this.
Nia Jax (w/Ember Moon) defeated Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss & Mickie James) (2:57)
Fox was on offense briefly but Jax won quickly with the Samoan drop. The crowd liked Jax.
McIntyre approached Ambrose backstage. McIntyre wondered why Rollins approached him earlier. He told Ambrose that maybe Rollins wanted a four-man Shield, or maybe he wanted McIntyre to replace Ambrose because it’s not like Rollins ever stabbed him in the back before.
They aired a video package for Undertaker vs. Triple H. Shawn Michaels will be on Raw next week in Seattle. Also next week, Ronda Rousey faces Ruby Riott, and Bobby Lashley faces Kevin Owens.
The Shield defeated Baron Corbin & AOP (w/Drake Maverick) (19:20)
Corbin said half the roster wanted to be his partners but he picked the cream of the crop, AOP. Maverick standing next to Corbin was quite the visual. Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre watched the match from the stage, sitting on steel chairs.
Rezar knocked down both Ambrose and Rollins with a clothesline, then Reigns tagged in and had a big staredown with him. Reigns gave him a jumping clothesline, but Rezar basically no sold out which caught Reigns by surprise.
The two teams brawled and the Shield got the better of it. Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre picked up their chairs and started walking down the ramp, but it was just a distraction allowing Corbin and AOP to take control.
After a break, Reigns made a hot tag to Rollins who hit Akam with an enziguri and blockbuster for two as the crowd chanted “burn it down.” Maverick distracted the referee which allowed Corbin to pull down the top rope, causing Rollins to fall to the outside. They beat up on Rollins and the referee stopped Reigns from helping. Ambrose remained on the apron.
The crowd chanted for Dean as AOP continued working over Rollins. He almost made a tag but Akam pulled Ambrose off the apron. Rezar sent Reigns into the steps, then they gave him a Last Chapter. Corbin gave Rollins a Deep Six for a near fall. Rollins caught Akam with a superkick, then made the hot tag to Ambrose.
Ambrose hit Corbin with clotheslines, a knee to the gut, running forearm and small package for two. Ambrose went to the top but Akam knocked him down. Ambrose ducked a clothesline from Corbin and followed with a neckbreaker and diving elbow drop, but AOP broke up the cover.
Reigns gave Rezar a superman punch, Akam booted Reigns, Rollins took out Akam, gave Corbin a curb stomp, then gave Akam a suicide dive. Ambrose gave Corbin a Dirty Deeds, took out Rezar with a suicide dive, then Reigns finished off Corbin with a spear for the win.
Reigns and Rollins stood in the ring ready to celebrate, but waited on Ambrose who was on the outside. Ambrose took a glance at McIntyre, Ziggler and Strowman, but climbed back in the ring to pose with his pals.