Date: August 26, 2022
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
We are eight days away from Clash At The Castle and most of the card is set. There are still some things that need to be covered though and odds are we can get some of that this week. That would mainly include pushing the rest of the build to the matches we already have set, while probably adding in something else. Let’s get to it.
Ricochet vs. Happy Corbin
Ricochet starts fast and knocks him outside before backflipping into the superhero pose. Back in and a dropkick sets up a standing shooting star press for two on Corbin. The fast starts continues as Ricochet loads up a springboard, only to get knocked out of the air. Corbin pounds away a bit but gets knocked down for another flipping dive as we take a break.
Back with Corbin hitting something like a World’s Strongest Slam onto (not through) the announcer’s table before hammering away inside. Ricochet tries a handspring and is forearmed right back down as the power keeps working for Corbin. A spinning DDT gets Ricochet out of trouble and it’s time to kick away. Deep Six gives Corbin two but Ricochet kicks him down again. The shooting star press finishes for Ricochet at 12:13.
Rating: B-. This worked well because they followed a pretty simple formula of power vs. speed. Ricochet is able to fly with the best of them and it is great to see him getting a win here. Corbin losing again is a great thing to see and it is nice to see these emotional roller coasters that he lands on so often. Good start here and the rise of Ricochet is nice to see.
Post match, Corbin stays down in the corner, leaving McAfee to bust out the telestrator to explain what a horrible person he is.
The Street Profits meet Hit Row and seem rather cool with each other.
Long video on Drew McIntyre talking about the path his career has taken to get here. This includes a bunch of really cool footage of the early days of McIntyre’s career and his rise through the ranks, from the UK to FCW. McIntyre talks about his mom getting sick and hitting rock bottom when he was fired from WWE. More on this later.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett aren’t impressed because Kross could put his elbow through McIntyre’s head at anytime.
Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Natalya/Sonya Deville vs. Shotzi/Xia Li vs. Tamina/Dana Brooke vs. Doudrop/Nikki Ash
This is a one fall to a finish Last Chance match as Toxic Attraction was injured and a replacement was needed. Tamina superkicks Natalya off the apron to start and hits a Samoan drop on Deville, with Doudrop having to make a save. Li comes in to suplex Nikki into the ropes before dropping her throat first onto the top. Everything breaks down and it’s a parade of everyone being knocked down. With a big pile on the floor, Dana superplexes Nikki onto everyone else, with Nikki’s leg landing REALLY awkwardly. Sonya immediately throws her inside for the pin at 3:13 as I’d be shocked if we didn’t have a bad injury.
Rating: F. This was pretty terrible and I’m not even sure where to start. The biggest thing is Nikki’s leg, as she crashed hard at the end and very well might be in trouble. Other than that, Li looked lost and the match was an eight woman cluster with no one getting to shine. This was a total wreck and I’m not sure how much worse it could have been.
Video on Shayna Baszler.
Here are the Brawling Brutes, with Sheamus promising to beat the sauerkraut out of Gunther at Clash At The Castle to become the Ultimate Grand Slam Champion. Cue Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser, with Sheamus cutting Kaiser off because no one can understand him. Sheamus’ issue is with Gunther, because Sheamus is a ring general himself. Sheamus has beaten all kinds of stars around here and has won almost everything there is to win.
There are a lot of similarities between them and now Sheamus wants what Gunther has. Gunther says Sheamus is a man to be respected, but to protect the title, Gunther will teach him what violence really means. The staredown is on, even as Butch and Kaiser get in a fight. Ridge Holland is knocked outside and Kaiser and Butch are both knocked down, with Sheamus and Gunther not breaking their stare. Eventually they each grab their boys and leave, after one of the more amusing staredowns I can remember in a long time.
Sonya Deville and Natalya are ready for their semifinal match. As they talk, Nikki Ash and Doudrop are in quite the heated argument.
We look at the end of last week’s show with Sami Zayn taking the Claymore from Drew McIntyre to save Roman Reigns.
Zayn goes to see Reigns but finds the Usos instead. The Usos aren’t cool with McIntyre still walking but Reigns tells Zayn to come in. Reigns says Zayn lost but he appreciates what Zayn did to help him out. That’s something family would do and now, Reigns needs another family. He needs McIntyre distracted, which is cool with Zayn as he and McIntyre are facing each other tonight. Zayn says he has this and suggests making it a team effort. Reigns thinks this is all about Zayn though, which he can make work.
Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals: Raquel Rodriguez/Aliyah vs. Natalya/Sonya Deville
Bayley, with Iyo Sky/Dakota Kai behind her, is on commentary and Michael Cole looks crushed. Of note: the trio came to the ring before a break and the Zayn/Reigns stuff, meaning I was worried we would come back to them standing there. Instead, we came back to them at commentary, which was such a great relief that WWE stopped that dumb concept.
Anyway, Sonya gets knocked to the floor to start and Aliyah hits a Meteora off the apron. Natalya Michinoku Drivers Aliyah on the floor and we take a break. Back with Natalya breaking up the corkscrew Vader Bomb and kicking Rodriguez in the head. Rodriguez powers out of a choke but Aliyah has been knocked off the apron so Rodriguez knocks both of them down instead. The running splashes in the corner connect and there’s the corkscrew Vader Bomb to Deville. Rodriguez has to take out Natalya and gets kneed down by Deville for two. A big kick misses though and the Tejana Bomb finishes Deville at 8:13.
Rating: C. This was more or less a handicap match for Rodriguez and she continues to roll over just about anyone in front of her. That might be better to keep Aliyah away from the longer matches and let Rodriguez do just about anything. I can’t imagine they win the titles, but the title match should work out well enough.
Post match Sky and Kai come in for the staredown.
Maximum Male Models are having a photo shoot but Hit Row’s bus starts blaring music. No worries though as Maxxine has an idea.
Here is New Day, with Xavier Woods in a wheelchair (with his legs covered with a blanket) for their big return. They’re a bit serious here and talk about how they need to face reality: the Viking Raiders have been beating them up week after week. Then last week, the Raiders burned a bunch of their stuff and that has them thinking….that they’ll be interrupted by the Raiders.
Erik says this is pathetic because the New Day was giving a proper sendoff and yet here they are sniveling. The one thing a viking despises more than anything else is weakness and this groveling makes them sick. Violence is threatened but Woods whips the blanket off and the kendo stick underneath the blanket knock the Raiders outside. This could have been worse, but the feud needs to end already as it is already going too long.
The Maximum Male Models have painted HIT ROW SUCKS on the side of their bus, but Hit Row comes in to say it isn’t their bus. The Street Profits come out and glaring ensues.
Jey Uso yells at Sami Zayn to handle his business and never disrespect Jey in front of the family again.
We get the second half of the McIntyre video, featuring his return to WWE and rise to the top. Now he needs to get back to the top defeating Roman Reigns again. He promises to kick Reigns’ head off his f****** body. I’m not sure how this is going to work, but they almost have to change the title after setting up McIntyre this well.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn bails to the floor to start before catching McIntyre on the way back in. McIntyre knocks him outside though and it’s time to slug it out on the floor again. Back in again and Zayn kicks the rope into McIntyre’s leg, allowing him to hammer away. Zayn chokes away on the rope but McIntyre is getting annoyed. McIntyre unloads in the corner and there’s the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to put Zayn down again. Back up and Zayn manages a sunset bomb out of the corner to send us to a break.
Back with McIntyre snapping off an overhead belly to belly before snapping off an overhead belly to belly. There’s a neckbreaker to drop Zayn but here are the Usos for a distraction, allowing Zayn to grab the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. McIntyre shrugs that off and hits the Claymore for the pin at 10:26.
Rating: C+. This was almost guaranteed to be at least pretty good and that’s what we got here. McIntyre winning is no surprise as he has a major title match coming up. Zayn on the other hand is on a roll right now and doing some of his best work in years. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him change sides sooner rather than later, perhaps teaming up with Kevin Owens to go after the Tag Team Titles. Nice main event here though, and that’s all it needed to be.
Post match Roman Reigns comes in and the big beatdown is on, with the spear setting up a bunch of chair shots. McIntyre gets sent into various things on the floor, followed by Reigns guillotining him back inside. Reigns puts a chair over McIntyre and sits down to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This show was up and down, with the main focus being on the World Title match and everything else being a pretty hard step down. Other than a nice opener and the awkwardly amusing Sheamus/Gunther faceoff, there wasn’t much of value on the whole show. That four way women’s tag was just awful on every level and one of the worst TV matches I’ve seen in a long time. The show as a whole was ok enough, but the bad part was dreadful and the good didn’t bring it to a higher level.
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