Date: September 16, 2022
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole
As has been said multiple times lately, and then everything changed. Over the course of the week, Roman Reigns started focusing on Logan Paul, which seems to be a likely Crown Jewel main event. That is the kind of thing that seems hard to fathom, but here we are with a big segment needed to make it work. Let’s get to it.
Here is Logan Paul to get things going. After commentary recaps Paul’s issues with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman this week (Reigns went on Paul’s podcast and had an interview, then after Reigns left, Paul said he could beat him), Paul says he has done it again, meaning he has made someone mad.
We get some hardcore WHATing before Paul talks about how he has challenged people like Floyd Mayweather before, so tomorrow there is going to be a press conference in Las Vegas. If Reigns is man enough, he can show up and meet him face to face. Cue the Bloodline, minus Reigns, with the returning Paul Heyman getting to say exactly what you would expect. Heyman gets inside, as per Logan’s invitation, and tells the team that he has this. He sees Logan as one of the few non-WWE guys who could be a Paul Heyman Guy. Logan is the one who stood up to fight Mayweather and never went down.
Logan asks what Heyman is getting at so Heyman praises the Paul Brothers’ fighting abilities before suggesting that Logan is in over his head. That doesn’t shake Logan, who asks what Heyman is afraid of with a press conference. Yeah Reigns would probably smash him, but what if Logan hit that one lucky shot and won the Undisputed Universal Title? That makes Heyman back up a bit, so he has Solo Sikoa get in the ring.
Logan thinks he could knock Heyman out before Solo could get in the ring, so Sami slides in first. Sami thinks Reigns should have let him handle things, so Heyman throws the mic down and says do it. Logan drops him with one shot, drawing in the Usos and Sikoa to chase him off. Cue Ricochet for his scheduled match. Logan vs. Reigns is an out of nowhere match that needed to be set up fast. They did what they could here but there are only so many ways to make it work and I don’t think it quite came together, especially with all the focus on the boxing stuff.
Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn
Sami works on the arm to start and wristlocks him to the mat. The chinlock is quickly reversed into a headlock as Cole actually name drops Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Ricochet fights up and knocks him to the floor but Sami is right back in with a shot to the face. A middle rope elbow to the head sets up a chinlock but Ricochet fights back up again. What looked like a springboard is broken up, sending Ricochet ribs first as we take a break.
Back with Sami going up top but getting dropkicked out of the air for a crash. Ricochet starts kicking away and hits a running hurricanrana into a high crossbody for two. The Recoil is blocked and Ricochet’s standing moonsault hits knees, causing Heyman to make a mess of the announcers’ table. A superkick looks to set up the frog splash but Jimmy Uso offers a distraction, allowing Zayn to hit the Blue Thunder Bomb for….nothing due to Logan Paul.
The Benedryller is broken up but Ricochet knocks Jey Uso off the apron again. Sami snaps off a half and half suplex but Jey’s angry charge distracts the referee. That’s enough for Zayn to yell at the Usos, allowing Ricochet to hit a big dive onto them. Back in and the shooting star press finishes Zayn at 13:06.
Rating: C+. These two know what they’re doing and as usual, it is always nice to see Ricochet getting a win where he can. That hasn’t happened often enough for a very long time but it’s working more in recent weeks. Throw in Zayn getting to do some more stuff and this was rather nice to see, especially with the time they had.
Post match the Bloodline looks ready to strike but Madcap Moss runs down with a chair to cut it off.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett are looking forward to choking out Drew McIntyre so he’ll stay down. McIntyre fought, but like everyone else, he eventually went down. Kross is going to leave him in an endless loop of suffering.
The Dupris introduce the Maximum Male Models with their Back To School Collection, but Braun Strowman runs in to take them apart (with Mace giving a great OH NO look when the music hit). The powerbomb plants Mansoor hard but cue the Alpha Academy to go after Strowman. Otis manages a World’s Strongest Slam but Strowman pops back up. The Academy wisely runs.
Here is Damage Ctrl for a chat. Bayley laughs about being back and introduces the rest of the team as the new Women’s Tag Team Champions. That means they can go anywhere they want, which Bayley describes as power. They took the titles and put Aliyah on the shelf. Cue Raquel Rodriguez to call them powerless bullies.
Bayley vs. Raquel Rodriguez
The rest of Damage Ctrl is here so Rodriguez goes outside to throw Kai into Sky. The distraction lets Bayley get in some shows of her own though and the stomping ensues outside. Back in and Bayley is knocked into the corner, setting up a big boot to drop Bayley again. The Vader Bomb elbow is broken up via a distraction though and Bayley ties Rodriguez’s leg in the ropes.
A running knee to the tied up knee gives Bayley two and a running clothesline to the back of the head gets the same. Rodriguez fights back up with some fall away slams so the rest of the team offers another distraction. That’s fine with Rodriguez, who slams Kai onto Bayley to set up the corkscrew Vader Bomb elbow. Sky rakes the eyes though and it’s the Rose Plant for the pin at 6:26.
Rating: C. It’s weird to see Rodriguez lose but it did take three people and a bunch of cheating. That’s a good enough way to protect her, which is a good idea given what kind of a force she has been lately. Bayley seems set to go after Bianca Belair so Rodriguez is going to need a partner not named Aliyah to go after the Tag Team Titles, at least in theory.
Post match the beatdown is on until Shotzi runs in for the save.
We get a sitdown interview with Ronda Rousey, who wasn’t worried about Liv Morgan last time and still isn’t this time. Liv comes in and sits down, where she says that Rousey uses more useless words than anyone else. Rousey doesn’t buy it but Liv says she is the only person to beat her twice. Liv is used to the lack of respect and knows she has to do it again, so let’s make it an Extreme Rules match. Rousey says it’s Morgan’s funeral and leaves. I’ll take it over a straight match.
Drew McIntyre is on the commentary table to say Karrion Kross has his attention. It seems that if Kross isn’t jumping him from behind, he won’t face McIntyre like a man. McIntyre says the only countdown Kross needs to worry about is 3, 2, 1, lights out. It was short and to the point, but having McIntyre pop up and stand on the table made it feel more spontaneous, or at least different.
The Usos fire up Solo Sikoa, but he says he has this because Jey Uso was off earlier. Sami Zayn can come though.
NXT North American Title: Solo Sikoa vs. Madcap Moss
Sikoa, with Sami Zayn, is defending. Feeling out process to start until an elbow to the face drops Moss. Back up and Moss runs him over as well, setting up a running clothesline to put Sikoa on the floor. Sami offers a distraction though and Sikoa whips Moss into the barricade to take over. They get back inside where Sikoa can hit a spinwheel kick, followed by some glaring.
A belly to belly plants Moss again and the running hip attack connects, but Moss fights up and hits his forearms to the face. Something like a Rock Bottom gives Moss two, followed by Sikoa’s Samoan drop for the same. Moss grabs a fall away slam but Sami pulls Sikoa to the floor. The chase is on, allowing Sikoa to hit a superkick into a swinging Rock Bottom for the pin at 10:51.
Rating: C-. This picked up a bit near the end but it was clear that neither was ready to lead a match. They’re both athletic and can do the moves, but they don’t quite seem to know when or where to do them. It was disjointed rather than bad and that often shows just as much if not more, which was the case here.
Hit Row vs. New Day vs. Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium
For the #1 contendership with B Fab, Gunther and Sheamus at ringside.. During the entrances, we’re told that Erik of the Viking Raiders has suffered a foot injury, hence the team’s absence. Butch and Kaiser slug it out to start before going outside for the brawl. Top Dolla throws Ashante Adonis onto the two of them, setting up back to back flip dives from New Day to send us to a break.
Back with Kaiser putting Butch in a neck crank but Butch escapes and starts twisting on the fingers. Holland comes in but gets caught in Imperium’s corner, with Vinci armdragging him into an armbar. That’s broken up though and Dolla comes in to suplex Holland. Adonis comes in for an assisted splash and we hit the chinlock. Holland fights up so Kofi tags himself into pick up the pace. Everything breaks down and Imperium hits their double dropkick in the corner as we take another break.
Back again with Holland fighting out of trouble, allowing the hot tag to Woods to clear out Imperium. Holland is back in to clothesline Woods but Butch tags himself in and gets to clean house as well. Dolla kicks him down before putting Butch and Woods on his shoulders, plus catching Kofi in a World’s Strongest Slam at the same time.
All three are planted but Holland comes in with an Alabama Slam for two. Kofi hits a heck of a suicide dive onto Dolla, leaving Kofi to hit the top rope splash to Adonis’ back, with Butch having to make a save. Imperium breaks that up and drops Kofi with the Imperial Bomb but Holland tags himself in to steal the pin at 18:55.
Rating: B. This was the kind of insanity that you are supposed to get with a match like this and that was a good thing. It felt like there were multiple times where any team could win and it’s nice to have that kind of drama. The Brutes winning is a surprise and while I can’t imagine them taking the titles, they’re fresh challengers for the Usos so it’s a step up.
Overall Rating: C+. The main event helped and while I wasn’t wild on the Logan Paul stuff, it is something different as they take a side tour on the road to Extreme Rules. This was an easy to watch show save for maybe Moss vs. Sikoa, which wasn’t even that bad. The main thing continues to be a slightly different way of presenting the show and that is what WWE has been needing for far too long now.
Ricochet b. Sami Zayn – Shooting start press
Bayley b. Raquel Rodriguez – Rose Plant
Solo Sikoa b. Madcap Moss – Swinging Rock Bottom
Brawling Brutes b. Imperium, New Day and Hit Row – Imperial Bomb to Kingston
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