Date: January 7, 2022
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncastville, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
It’s the first show of the year and that means we’re in for a special night with two World Champions in the house. Last Saturday, Brock Lesnar became the WWE Champion and tonight he is here to confront Roman Reigns, who was not around at Day One due to health issues. I think that’s going to make for a sufficient explosion so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Paul Heyman aligning with Brock Lesnar on Raw, revealing that he got Lesnar into the WWE Title match at Day One.
Here is Roman Reigns for a chat. He was gone for a week and everything fell apart….but here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to interrupt. We get the big staredown and Heyman loads up the catchphrase but Lesnar gets in Reigns’ face to introduce himself. That means Lesnar does Heyman’s catchphrases and tells Reigns to acknowledge him.
Last Saturday, they both got what they wanted: Lesnar got the WWE Title and Reigns got out of the match. Now let’s give the people what they want and go title vs. title, champ vs. champ. Reigns says it’s a good idea but it isn’t his idea. This is his show so we’ll do it on his time. Besides, he doesn’t do business with people who do business with trash like Heyman.
That’s too far for Heyman, who says he got Reigns where he is now. Heyman protected him from Lesnar and loved him….but Lesnar cuts Heyman off as he is about to cry. Lesnar wants to know what Heyman is talking about, sending Heyman into a crying rant about how Reigns was all he had while Lesnar was gone. Lesnar: “Shut up Paul!” Reigns: “Don’t talk to him that way.” Lesnar: “I said shut up.” Reigns drops Lesnar with a Superman Punch and leaves as Heyman looks stunned. That’s an interesting twist.
Sami Zayn talks about how the conspiracy against him started over a year ago but now he has the chance to win his Intercontinental Title back. First up though, he has to deal with Rick Boogs, who is a gorilla with a guitar. Hold up though, as Sami walks over to see Johnny Knoxville, who is here to get in the Royal Rumble. Sami laughs it off and says he needs technical wrestling skills, but Knoxville says he has to send someone over the top rope.
Sami Zayn vs. Rick Boogs
Boogs doesn’t waste time in gorilla pressing Sami to start, sending him outside as we take a break. Back with Sami hammering away but getting caught in a bearhug. Boogs isn’t done as he powers him up into a suplex, gets kneed in the head to take him down to one knee, and then powers back up into the suplex (because that can be done). Sami bails to the floor and manages to catch Boogs with a boot to the face. Back in and Boogs small packages him for the fast pin at 6:33.
Rating: C. Boogs is about as scary of a power freak as you can get and it is cool to see what kind of things he can come up with week to week. Sami losing again isn’t the best sign, but there is a good chance that he winds up winning the Intercontinental Title anyway. This didn’t have much time to get very far, but Sami’s frustrations are always funny.
Post match Sami yells a lot and here is Johnny Knoxville to dump him out. Apparently that is enough to qualify Knoxville for the Royal Rumble.
New Day sounds British and promise to take the Tag Team Titles from the Usos in a street fight tonight.
Here is Charlotte to mock the ideas of new year’s resolutions. Those are the things that are designed to make people feel better but she doesn’t have to do that. The Royal Rumble is coming up and it is a chance for a lot of women to make their mark. Here are a lot of the people already in the match:
Pat McAfee: “That’s Impact Knockouts Champion Mickie James!” As a bonus, there is a nineteenth entrant in the Royal Rumble: Charlotte herself! Cue Naomi to interrupt and challenge Charlotte to a title match right now. Charlotte doesn’t think so, meaning it’s a slap in the face and a toss to the floor (through the ropes).
Charlotte vs. Naomi
Non-title but a Championship Contenders match. Charlotte chops away to start and we’re quickly into the figure four neck lock, with Naomi’s face being driven into the mat. Naomi fights up and hits a bulldog into the middle buckle but Charlotte boots her off the top and out to the floor.
Back up and a Blockbuster off the barricade knocks Charlotte silly on the floor….but here is Sonya Deville to say that this match can’t be won by countout. Charlotte hits a chop block to take Naomi down and we take a break. Back with Naomi kicking Charlotte in the face, setting up a springboard spinning kick to the face for two. Charlotte shrugs it off and grabs the Figure Four so Naomi makes the rope….which has Sonya saying it’s No DQ.
Naomi is still down so Charlotte stomps away on the ropes, setting up the double jump moonsault for two. Back up and they hit stereo big boots but Naomi grabs a rollup for two more. Charlotte hits a backbreaker out of the corner for two of her own and breaks up the split legged moonsault. Natural Selection finishes Naomi at 13:10. Sonya: “And your loser: NAOMI!”
Rating: C. So they were going for the Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin deal here with Sonya and Naomi, and there is at least a feud set up for that to work. I’m not sure how effective it was and I do kind of want to see Naomi take Sonya apart, but I also could have gone without Charlotte getting another win. This couldn’t have been Shayna Baszler? Just to give her SOMETHING?
The Usos are ready for the New Day.
We recap the opening segment.
Adam Pearce has been told that he can pick Roman Reigns’ opponent for the Royal Rumble and has until the end of the night. He and Sonya Deville are off to bounce some names off each other.
Here is Happy Corbin for Happy Talk. Corbin talks about how with the Coronavirus running around, you have to watch your back. That includes Drew McIntyre, and we see a clip of Corbin attacking him at Day One. McIntyre is here tonight though….and it’s Madcap Moss, dressed as McIntyre (complete with neck brace, cane, and limp inflatable sword).
Moss, doing the Scottish accent, says if he could survive haggis, he could handle anything Corbin did. If they had a match though, Moss would have all kinds of problems. As for the injury, he is going to milk it for all it is worth so he can write poetry about the Loch Ness Monster. McAfee: “When is this over?” Moss reveals that he isn’t really Drew McIntyre and it’s time for a match.
Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin vs. Viking Raiders
Joined in progress with Erik headlocking Moss but it’s off to Corbin before that can get very far. Deep Six gets two on Erik and it’s time for the villains to take turns beating on him in the corner. Moss pounds away until the referee has to pull him away, allowing Erik to score with a hard knee to the face. Corbin pulls Ivar off the apron though and Moss hits his forward neckbreaker (the Punchline) for the pin at 3:29.
Rating: C-. Not much to this one, though I don’t think there was any need for it to go long either. Moss and Corbin have things going on while the Raiders are just there to take a loss every now and then. I would assume we’re heading for McIntyre vs. Corbin at either the Rumble (if McIntyre is healthy by then) or in Saudi Arabia in February at the latest, and either of those sound like a long way off.
Drew McIntyre will get an update on his neck injury on Monday.
Sheamus isn’t worried about McIntyre because he is more worried about Ridge Holland’s broke nose. To take his mind off of it, he is entering the Royal Rumble.
Adam Pearce tries to tell Roman Reigns his Royal Rumble opponent but Reigns says there is no one on this roster he can’t smash. Reigns has Pearce leave without telling him the opponent so he can watch his cousins’ match. It’s going to be Goldberg isn’t it?
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. New Day
New Day is challenging in a street fight and this is their last shot at the titles. Woods and Jey get things going (because we are tagging to start) but it’s quickly off to Kofi for the Trust Fall to the floor. We take a very early break and come back with all four fighting on the stage.
That doesn’t last long as Woods hits a tornado DDT for two on Jey back inside. Jey whips out some duct tape to tie Woods to the rope, leaving Kofi to hit a messed up SOS for two on Jimmy. Woods is freed in a hurry and they fight to the floor again. The Usos take Woods over the barricade and hit him in the face with the steps, only to get knocked down by a diving Kofi as we take another break.
Back again with New Day pulling out a helmet and knight armor, meaning Woods can shrug off a superkick to the face. The armor and helmet are kicked into the Usos’ faces with some Van Daminators and it’s time to get a table set up in the ring. That takes a bit too long though and it’s a double superkick to Kingston. With Woods on the floor, the 1D through the table finishes Kingston at 18:14.
Rating: B-. The armor/helmet stuff was amusing but I don’t know how many more times I can see these teams fight. They fought before the pay per view, they fought at the pay per view, and now they fought after the pay per view. Thank goodness they announced this as the final match between the teams (at least for now), but forgive me for being a bit skeptical about that one.
We cut to the back where someone knocks on Roman Reigns’ door (sounding like a certain famous theme song)….and it’s Seth Rollins. He laughs at Reigns, who looks annoyed to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a show where they started the build to the Rumble in a hurry, with most of the women’s field set, another name added to the men’s match, and a surprise main event being set up. The wrestling left a good bit to be desired, but they covered a lot of ground in the span of two hours. Sometimes that is the kind of show that you need and they made it work well here.
Rick Boogs b. Sami Zayn – Small package
Charlotte b. Naomi – Natural Selection
Happy Corbin/Madcap Moss b. Viking Raiders – Punchline to Erik
Usos b. New Day – 1D through a table to Kingston
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