Date: September 23, 2022
Location: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole
We are just a few weeks away from Extreme Rules but WWE is already focusing on Crown Jewel a month later. The big story is that Roman Reigns will be defending against Logan Paul in Saudi Arabia in November, which could open up more than a few interesting situations. Let’s get to it.
Here is the full Bloodline for a rather slow motion entrance. Roman Reigns eventually allows the crowd to acknowledge him before Paul Heyman can’t figure out what to call people from Utah. Eventually he settles on Salt Lake Cidiots before talking about how Reigns has run over everyone. This includes Drew McIntyre, who now has another bridge to Kross. As for Solo Sikoa, he isn’t the idea of Heyman, Reigns, or anyone else (seemingly a nod at Sami Zayn) but rather being sent by the Samoan dynasty.
Sikoa is the enforcer who leaves the Usos to pursue greatness. The Usos are ready to retain the titles tonight, because everyone else is the two’s and they the …..and Reigns wants the microphone before they can complete the catchphrase. Reigns says the elders may have sent Sikoa, but he answers to Reigns now. Acknowledge him, which Sikoa does.
The team goes to leave, but Sami says hang on a second. Sami understands he isn’t blood, but Reigns doesn’t get this. Why does Sami have a Bloodline shirt on? Why is he tagging along? Reigns wants the shirt off and Sami’s explanation doesn’t get him out of trouble. Jey rips the third off, with Reigns saying Sami is never wearing a Bloodline shirt again. Instead, Reigns has a new one for him, which says “SZ: HONORARY UCE”. Sami acknowledges Reigns and is Very happy, to the point of hugging Roman. That was a great moment for Sami, but him vs. Reigns down the line could steal all of the shows.
Lacey Evans vs. Liv Morgan
Non-title and Lacey now has part of her forehead painted. Morgan takes her down to start but gets kicked HARD in the chest. Evans gets in a kick into the corner and we hit the chinlock. A slingshot….something misses for Evans but she sends Morgan into the post as we take a break.
Back with Evans kicking her down again and grabbing a headscissors with some pushups thrown in. Morgan kicks her way out of trouble so Evans grabs a kendo stick. Because of course she does. Morgan isn’t having that though and hits a Codebreaker, setting up Oblivion to finish Evans at 8:39.
Rating: D+. Yeah this didn’t work and I’m not exactly surprised. Evans has never quite been a ring general and trying to have Morgan be more extreme (as commentary kept talking about) didn’t go very far either. Morgan isn’t working as champion and trying to spice her up for her next match with Ronda Rousey isn’t going to work well either.
Post match Morgan grabs the kendo stick and beats on Evans, followed by a Russian legsweep into the barricade. Morgan puts her on a table and climbs onto the post, setting up a backsplash through the table. To show she’s ready for Rousey you see.
Hit Row is going to be watching tonight, and so are the Street Profits, who pop up. Then Shinsuke Nakamura comes up and they all drink.
Sami Zayn is annoyed at catering being gone and even more annoyed when Madcap Moss and Ricochet come up to mock him for the Bloodline stuff. The insults continue but here is Solo Sikoa to beat Ricochet and Moss down. Zayn: “I was just about to do that.”
Video on the Usos’ Tag Team Title reign.
And now…..a Royal Rumble Classic? Ah tickets are on sale next week. Anyway, Shawn Michaels won in 1995 by going coast to coast.
New Day vs. Maximum Male Models
Mansoor gets rolled up to start so Mace comes in to kick woods in the face. Hold on though as Maxxine steals a camera and takes some pictures. A backdrop to the floor isn’t enough for Woods to make the hot tag as Mace comes in to kick Woods down. Not that it matters as Backwoods gives Woods the pin at 2:39.
Post match Max Dupri snaps on the team and storms out, even throwing down his jacket.
Back at Hit Row’s party and more wrestlers have shown up. Los Lotharios show up to hit on B Fab, seemingly much to Sonya Deville’s annoyance. Hit Row and the Profits (and Drew Gulak) chase them off.
Braun Strowman vs. Otis
Chad Gable is here too. They fight over a lock up to start until Strowman shoves him away. Otis gets dropkicked to the floor so Strowman loads up the run around the ring. Gable ducks though, which is enough to distract Strowman. That’s enough for Otis to get in a cheap shot, setting up a discus lariat for two back inside.
Strowman fights up and that means a meeting with Gable on the floor. You don’t do that to Strowman, who pops up and runs both of them over without much trouble. Back in and Strowman can’t hit the powerslam as his knee gives out, allowing Otis to hit the World’s Strongest Slam for two. The Vader bomb gets the same but a middle rope headbutt misses. The powerbomb finishes for Strowman at 5:30.
Rating: C-. I have no idea why Otis is being protected so much against a returning former World Champion but they certainly gave him a lot this time. Strowman did win in the end and the powerbomb looked good, but this should have been a lot closer to a squash. Otis is someone they need to protect that much? Really?
The Brawling Brutes are ready for the Tag Team Titles tonight. As a bonus, Sheamus is ready to win the Intercontinental Title in two weeks when it’s Sheamus vs. Gunther II. Tonight is about the Tag Team Titles though and they’re ready to have banger after banger.
Here is Drew McIntyre to call out Karrion Kross for jumping him from behind again and again. McIntyre has a strap in his hand and a surprise for Kross: a strap match, so Kross can’t sneak up on him. Cue Scarlett on stage for a distraction but McIntyre is ready for Kross this time. Kross is sent into the post and McIntyre straps them together. The beating is on until Scarlett gets in to beg off for Kross’ sake. Then Scarlett throws something like a fireball at McIntyre to no avail. With that not working (because it missed by about two feet, so good for McIntyre for not selling it), a low blow cuts McIntyre off and Kross Krossjackets him.
Dakota Kai vs. Raquel Rodriguez
The rest of Damage Ctrl is here with Kai, whose history with Rodriguez from NXT is explained. Rodriguez starts fast and blocks an early Scorpion Kick but the rest of the team offers a distraction. Now the Scorpion kick can connect, setting up the running boot from Kai in the corner. Bayley gets in a cheap shot but here is Shotzi to take Bayley and Iyo Sky out. The distraction lets Rodriguez grab a rollup at 1:19, which saw three interferences.
Los Lotharios jump Hit Row, who swear revenge.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Brawling Brutes
The Brutes are challenging with Sheamus and the rest of the Bloodline here too. Butch works on Jey’s hand to start but is fine enough to drive Butch into the corner. That doesn’t matter much as everything breaks down and the Usos get taken out. Stereo forearms to the chest drop Jimmy but Jey is back up with a cheap shot. The Usos drop Butch for two and we take a break.
Back with Butch fighting out of trouble and bringing in Ridge to clean house. A shot to the face knocks Ridge back into the corner for the tag to Butch though and a Shining Wizard get two on Jey. Everything breaks down and Butch gets to clean house, though Jey tags himself in blind. Butch’s moonsault gets superkicked out of the air (that looked good) for two and Jimmy isn’t sure what to do. 1D is broken up and it’s a finger snap to allow the tag off to Holland.
The Alabama Slam is countered so Holland backdrops both of them at once. The kick to the head/Norther Grit combination gets a VERY close two with Jimmy making the save. Zayn grabs a chair and goes to slide it inside but Sheamus breaks it up. Cue Imperium to go after Sheamus with Gunther kicking him in the head. The Usos are back up with superkicks to Butch and Holland, setting up 1D to retain the titles at 14:10.
Rating: B. This match did one thing that mattered more than anything else: it made me believe that an upset, as illogical as it would have been, was possible. There was a point where I believed they might do the unthinkable and change the titles and that is a great feeling. Not that the titles might change, but that I was able to believe something was possible. WWE does not get to make that work very often but they sure did it here.
Overall Rating: C. The main event was much better than I would have bet on but some of the other wrestling dragged it down so much. Wrestling isn’t the most important thing on a wrestling show, but it did need to be better than what we got here. There wasn’t much to see here outside of the main event, but they are setting some things up for later that should have some outstanding payoffs. For now though, check out the main event and the opening segment, but not much else.
Liv Morgan b. Lacey Evans – Oblivion
New Day b. Maximum Male Models – Backwoods to Mansoor
Braun Strowman b. Otis – Powerbomb
Raquel Rodriguez b. Dakota Kai – Rollup
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