Date: September 17, 2018
Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
The Big Takeaway --
The next show in Saudi Arabia is called Crown Jewel and will be main evented by a triple threat match for the Universal title with Roman Reigns defending against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman. Reigns successfully defended his title tonight against Baron Corbin (see more below). Seth Rollins defended his IC title against Dolph Ziggler. Dean Ambrose lost to Drew McIntyre.
Undertaker will have in Kane in his corner for his match against Triple H (with Shawn Michaels in his corner) in Australia.
Nia Jax returned to team with Ember Moon and may be feuding with Alexa Bliss next. Finn Balor was not on the show.
Show Recap --
Roman Reigns came out to start the show. They interrupted his entrance to show a video package of his Hell in a Cell match. He said last night was brutal and didn’t go according to plan, but he woke up still Universal Champion. Weird thing to brag about.
Reigns said he knows Brock Lesnar has a title rematch but wasn’t expecting him to kick down the door to hell and take him out. He challenged Lesnar to have the rematch right now. Strowman came out instead. The crowd chanted “Get these hands.”
Strowman said Reigns should be thankful for Lesnar because his attack was the only reason he’s still the champion. Strowman was pissed that Lesnar cost him a chance at the title again and he would be the one to get Lesnar next, and when he was done, he was going for Reigns.
Baron Corbin came down to cool things down because he didn’t want them to fight right now (even though that’s not what Strowman said). Corbin also wasn’t happy about the finish last night, and after talking to Stephanie McMahon, he had a solution.
On November 2nd in Saudi Arabia, at an event called, “Crown Jewel,” Reigns would defend the title in a triple threat match against Strowman and Lesnar. Strowman said, “I think that sucks,” then told Corbin and Reigns that they also suck. Strowman was cheered like crazy for that, until he told the crowd that they suck too.
Strowman was about to storm off when Paul Heyman interrupted. Some stagehands brought out the door that Lesnar kicked down last night. Heyman said Lesnar laid out both men and conquered Hell in a Cell.
He educated the fans on how valuable Lesnar was and how he was leveraging his star power against UFC and WWE, and nothing brought more power than the Universal title. He credited Lesnar with the WWE gaining a multi-billion dollar TV deal and all-time high stock price, then accused the company of conspiring against him to get the title off of him.
Heyman said Lesnar would reclaim his championship in Saudi Arabia because he was the crown jewel of WWE. Strowman marched after Heyman, who bailed.
Reigns snatched the mic out of Corbin’s hands, then Corbin snatched it back. Corbin said he knows Reigns is hurt and he wouldn’t have to worry about the triple threat, because he had to defend the title against Corbin tonight.
Smackdown tomorrow has AJ Styles vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas, Becky Lynch’s championship coronation, and a special guest on Miz TV.
Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose (11:12)
Ambrose worked over McIntyre’s knee early in the match and later applied a Texas cloverleaf. After McIntyre got a rope break, Ambrose nailed a suicide dive. Ambrose then went to the top rope and tried a dive to the outside, but McIntyre side-stepped him and Ambrose crashed into the barricade.
Ambrose barely made it back in the ring before the ten count, but McIntyre immediately caught him with the Claymore kick for the pinfall win.
The match was fine while it lasted. The crowd liked Ambrose, who basically cost himself the match.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler, who was selling his neck, congratulated McIntyre on his win. Corbin showed up and said tonight wouldn’t be the Shield's night after he takes the title from Reigns. He also heard Ziggler was invoking his IC title rematch tonight. Ziggler said no, because he was hurt. Corbin told him that Seth Rollins wasn’t here, and if he doesn’t show up for the match, he would give Ziggler the title. Ziggler accepted.
The Bellas and Natalya were approached by Ronda Rousey backstage. The Bellas congratulated her on the win last night. Rousey asked them how open challenges work -- Does she just go to the ring? Does she talk to Corbin first? Natalya urged her to just go to the ring and do it and said you never know who would accept. Rousey was pretty confident regardless.
Chad Gable did an inset promo with Bobby Roode. Gable has been feeling glorious since teaming with Roode. Roode approved.
Chad Gable (w/Bobby Roode) defeated Viktor (w/Konnor) (4:10)
Viktor briefly had control, but this was basically a showcase for Gable who suplexed Viktor all over and won with the Chaos Theory suplex. If you haven’t been watching, the story is that Gable is filled with confidence now, and he was basically cackling with glee while on offense.
After the match, Konnor pushed Gable into Roode as they celebrated. I guess that means next week we’ll get the fourth straight Raw show with some combination of these four having a match.
Kayla Braxton approached Rollins as he arrived to the building. He was bewildered to learn that Ziggler was invoking his title rematch. She told him that he would be stripped of the title if he couldn’t compete. Rollins said he would remind Corbin this was still Monday Night Rollins.
Undertaker came out to a big reaction. He said, “They say delusion is the final recourse for the damned. That no man can spin a web of lies like a man that has a broken soul. And I have never seen anyone with a more broken soul than Triple H.”
Taker mentioned Triple H’s claim that he lost his self-respect, but said delusion would be his downfall. Taker said there was a time where Triple H was savage, but now his battlefield was the boardroom and his life was so filled with lies that he can no longer decipher the truth. He said Triple H couldn’t see the fear in his own friend’s eyes or his own demise.
Taker said the result of their final match would be the same as their first and he would put him six feet under. Taker knew that Shawn Michaels wasn’t going to Australia just to watch the match, he would be in Triple H’s corner. Taker was fine with that, because in his corner would be his brother Kane. The crowd cheered.
Taker took Michaels’ career and he would take Triple H’s as well, but Triple H deserves a fate worse than that, so he would take his soul as well. He finished with “rest in peace.” This was definitely an Undertaker promo.
They aired a video for Connor’s Cure and a few kids were able to do an entrance live with Sasha Banks and Bayley.
Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) defeated Dana Brooke
Bayley won quickly via pinfall after a running knee and Bayley-to-belly suplex.
AOP walked through the back and Rezar was about to kill a random stagehand but Drake Maverick told him to save it.
AOP (w/Drake Maverick) defeated Gregory James & Barrett Brown (1:01)
AOP won quickly with the Super Collider.
Ziggler was getting ready backstage and seemed concerned now that Rollins had arrived. Corbin told him that Rollins was feeling worse than he was. Rollins showed up and said he wasn’t backing down and hoped that Ziggler was ready for a fight.
Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Championship (9:32)
They’re both selling big time after taking the table bump off the cell last night. Rollins seemed like he wanted to do a dive early, but instead just slid to the outside. Ziggler cut him off, sending him into the barricade and us to a commercial break.
Rollins made a comeback immediately after the break, hitting strikes and a blockbuster. Rollins fought out of a sleeper and hit the ripcord knee for two. They battled on the top which led to a superplex by Rollins. Ziggler countered the falcon arrow into a schoolboy holding the tights for a nearfall, then Rollins hit the curb stomp for the pinfall win. Short but fun match.
Charly Caruso interviewed Reigns and told him that many are considering him the underdog tonight given that Corbin didn’t compete last night. Reigns said he might be the underdog against someone like Lesnar or Strowman, but not against Corbin. “I’m not going to be the underdog, I’m just going to be the big dog.” That’s what he said.
They aired a video for Hispanic Heritage month.
Rousey came out to a good reaction. A few people were booing but they were mostly drowned out by “Ronda Rousey” chants. She was delighted by the reaction. She gave credit to Alexa Bliss for her fight last night and for pushing her to her limits.
Rousey wanted to be the greatest champion they ever saw. She wanted to be like Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Ric Flair. She issued a challenge to any woman in the back who had the “gumption” to take her title.
Natalya’s music hit but she didn't come out. Instead, She was dragged out by the Riott Squad. Ruby Riott said she would be the one accepting the challenge. Rousey punched her off the apron, then took out Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Rousey continued to sell her ribs as she fought them off, but Ruby managed to catch her with a spear.
They put the boots to her until Nikki and Brie Bella made the save. (Brie wore her red gear instead of the blue and green she wore on Smackdown and HIAC.) Rousey and the Bellas stood tall and stared down the Riott Squad as they backed away up the ramp. I mean, maybe Rousey or the Bellas should go check on Natalya?
Strowman approached Corbin backstage and wondered why he booked himself in a title match. Strowman hoped that Corbin won, “because like I said earlier, you suck, and I know that I can kill you.” The crowd was amused.
Elias was in the ring and performed on his guitar. He said, “I know how bad this show can be before Elias shows up.” If it were up to him, the show would be three hours of Elias, but he always gets interrupted by people jealous of him.
He said he would have to deal with Bobby Lashley, a constant disappointment like the Dallas Cowboys. The crowd booed. He told the fans that wearing a Cowboys jersey was just advertising failure. He was about to perform but was interrupted by Lio Rush, which seemed to confuse Michael Cole. (The graphic for Rush was purple instead of red.)
Rush accused him of repeating the same material. Elias interrupted and asked, “whose kid is this?” which got a big pop. Rush introduced himself as the 23-year-old piece of gold, the man of the hour. Elias didn’t care and said security could send him to lost and found. Rush laughed him off and said “the big man” had some unfinished business with him.
Elias defeated Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) via DQ
The Bayley match started during a break and when they came back, Bayley had Brooke in a headlock. This match started during a break and when they came back, Elias had Lashley in a headlock. Lashley came off the top but Elias caught him with a high knee, which was cool.
With both men down, Kevin Owens came out and went after Rush, who was on commentary. Rush evaded him by jumping over him, and also dodged when Owens threw a chair at him. Rush also leapt over Elias twice and gave him an enziguri. The referee called for the bell.
Owens caught Rush and tried an apron powerbomb, but Lashley saved him. Lashley then launched Rush onto Owens and Elias. Lashley put Rush on his shoulders and they posed as the heels backed away.
Bliss did a selfie promo with Alicia Fox and Mickie James. She claimed they would all be Hall of Famers as singles competitors, but wanted them to be a team now. Basically, they challenged Ember Moon to a match assuming she could find a partner, and they wondered who would ever want to be her friend.
Ember Moon & Nia Jax defeated Alicia Fox & Mickie James (w/Alexa Bliss) (6:17)
Moon got a big pop when she was announced from Dallas. Bliss was filled with dread upon seeing Jax.
Moon nailed both opponents with a suicide dive, but a distraction allowed Fox to push her off the top and the heels took over. There was a strange moment where James went for a cover but the referee stopped counting after one even though Moon didn’t kick out.
Jax eventually got the hot tag and ran wild on Fox. James broke up a cover so Moon took her out with an Eclipse, then Jax gave Fox a Samoan drop for the pinfall win. This wasn't good but the crowd was happy.
Corbin told a referee to call his match down the middle tonight, even though he controls his fate.
They plugged a new Wednesday night lineup on the Network. Starting at 7pm ET, it goes 205 Live, NXT, and the Mae Young Classic.
Roman Reigns defeated Baron Corbin to retain the Universal Championship
With Reigns banged up, Corbin went for a bunch of quick covers right away. Reigns fended him off and hit a drive-by dropkick, but Corbin came back with a clothesline for a two count.
(Less than two minutes into this title match, Cole sent us to commercial, the screen went black for a second, then the feed came back on with no commentary. Corbin applied a rest hold and then they went to commercial for real.)
Back from break, the crowd is cheering on Reigns as he fought out of a rest hold but Corbin cut him off with a chokeslam backbreaker for two. Corbin put on another hold for a while until Reigns fought out and hit clotheslines, a jumping clothesline, clotheslines in the corner and a big boot. Reigns followed with a Samoan drop for two.
Corbin rolled to the outside, so Reigns went out and gave him a superman punch. Corbin again went outside, so Reigns went after him, but Corbin threw a chair in his face. The referee hesitated but then called for the bell as Corbin freaked out.
Corbin suddenly remembered he was the acting GM and had the match restarted as a no-DQ match. Corbin grabbed the chair but Reigns gave him a superman punch for a close nearfall.
Reigns picked up the chair, then Strowman entered. Corbin knocked Reigns down from behind, then Strowman attacked. Reigns avoided a shoulder tackle and Strowman fell to the outside. Corbin then caught Reigns with a Deep Six for a nearfall.
Ziggler and McIntyre came out, but Rollins and Ambrose soon followed, brawled with the heels and took them out with suicide dives. Reigns went for a dive but Corbin caught him with a forearm. That didn’t matter though because Reigns hit him with a spear for the win.
There was way too much going on here, and there’s no reason Corbin couldn’t have found any way to get himself the title.
The initial match went 11:54, and the second match went 4:38.