Date: January 3, 2019
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph, Percy Watson
We’re back in the arena this week after a pair of Best Of shows. That means more of your favorite lower card talents plus a bunch of highlights from some shows that a lot of people didn’t actually watch due to the holidays. Things should be at least somewhat interesting though as we see what the new year might hold. Let’s get to it.
Titus O’Neil vs. Curt Hawkins
Hawkins’ early waistlock attempt is shoved away without much effort, as expected. Titus throws him into the corner for some chops but Hawkins snaps his throat across the top to get a breather. A Russian legsweep sets up a chinlock with a knee in Titus’ back but the comeback doesn’t take long. An exchange of right hands goes to Titus and the Clash of the Titus is good for the pin on Hawkins at 4:52.
Result: Titus O’Neil b. Curt Hawkins – Clash of the Titus (4:52)
Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre
In a cage with pinfall, submission or escape to win. An early escape attempt doesn’t work for Ziggler and Drew chops the heck out of him. That and a delayed vertical suplex are enough to put Dolph down for some writhing on the mat. Dolph’s early comeback is cut off by the Glasgow Kiss but he catches Drew on top. That means a series of rams into the cage but Drew kicks the knee out for a crotching.
Back from a break with Drew demanding that Ziggler fight and being set into the cage for his efforts. The superkick gives Ziggler two but Drew pulls him back inside. A double headbutt puts them both down again but Drew is up first, only to have Ziggler slam the cage door on his head.
The Fameasser gets two and we take a break. Back again with McIntyre superplexing him off the top of the cage and then sending Ziggler face first into the cage. The Claymore takes Dolph’s head off but Drew would rather sit and look instead of cover. Another Claymore finishes Ziggler at 19:29.
Result: Drew McIntyre b. Dolph Ziggler – Claymore (19:29)
Post match Drew isn’t done as he puts a chair in front of Ziggler’s head and Claymores it into Ziggler’s head, driving it into the cage. Drew says that he’s going to win the Royal Rumble and leaves, but comes back as Ziggler was sitting up in the chair. That means another Claymore to leave Ziggler laying.
There’s nothing wrong with some violence:From Smackdown.
Here’s John Cena, bad hair and all, for a chat. Cena thanks the fans for the energy and talks about the year in review. He bought a ticket to Wrestlemania and probably shouldn’t have had those beers before the match. His personal life was all over national television, he wrote a best selling children’s book that he’s very proud of and lived in China for six months. With all that though, he still thinks this hair is a good idea. On top of that though, he can still float like a butterfly and sting like a bumblebee, which is still certified fresh.
The question now is why is he here. Well he knows that someone is going to come out here right now and say Cena should leave WWE faster than Nikki Bella left him. That brings out Becky Lynch to some applause from Cena. Becky asks how it feels to expect a man to come out here but to get The Man instead. Things have gotten a bit more complicated since Cena left, because now Becky wants to take his place instead of Charlotte’s. He’s been THE star of WWE and now she wants to be on those posters and filling his shoes. If Cena has a problem with that, Nikki won’t be the only woman to drop him this year.
This brings out Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega, with the latter saying a fresh start was promised not too long ago. What she sees though is an old face in Cena and a still broken face in Becky. Vega introduces the two of them and promises that this will be the year of tranquilo. Cena: “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Cena and you may know me from being John Cena.” The challenge is thrown out and the mixed tag starts after the break.
John Cena/Becky Lynch vs. Zelina Vega/Andrade Cien Almas
The women start with a chop sending Vega bailing for a tag to Almas. That means Cena comes in as well and Andrade is rather pleased. The early tranquilo pose doesn’t have Cena very impressed and Almas’ headlock doesn’t make things much better. The fans want Becky but have to settle for more headlocking instead. Almas kicks him down but gets his suplex reversed. A running clothesline takes Cena down though and we take a break.
Back with Vega holding Cena on the ropes and Almas still in control. Cena fights up and avoids a charge, allowing the hot tag to Becky as the fans stay interested. Some kicks have Vega in trouble and the Bexploder makes things even worse. A top rope dropkick with almost no elevation (Becky might have slipped) gets two but Almas breaks up the Disarm-Her. Cena takes care of him with the usual, including the Lightning Fist. Becky shoves Cena out of the ring though and grabs the Disarm-Her for the win at 10:11.
Result: Becky Lynch/John Cena b. Andrade Cien Almas/Zelina Vega – Disarm-Her to Vega (10:11)
Post match Cena offers a handshake but Becky does You Can’t See Me instead.
It’s such a Lynch thing to do:
Revival vs. Tyler Breeze/Zack Ryder
Breeze armbars Dawson to start and gets uppercutted for his efforts. Wilder comes in and gets caught in a hurricanrana and there’s a dropkick to Dawson. Ryder helps out on a double backdrop and a slingshot dropkick through the ropes rocks Dawson again. A clothesline on the floor cuts Breeze down though and it’s time for the beatdown inside. Dawson slams him down and an assisted gordbuster gets two.
Ryder gets pulled off the apron for a distraction and the Hart Attack is good for another two. We hit the required chinlock before Breeze fights up with an enziguri. The hot tag brings in Ryder for the usual, including knees to Dawson and a flapjack to Wilder. A double Broski boot sets up the double neckbreaker before it’s back to Breeze. Ryder gets sent to the floor and the Shatter Machine finishes Breeze at 7:42.
Result: Revival b. Tyler Breeze/Zack Ryder – Shatter Machine to Breeze (7:42)
Rey Mysterio vs Mustafa Ali vs. Samoa Joe vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles
One fall to a finish and the winner gets Bryan at the Rumble. Everyone is in the ring at once so Ali goes right at Joe, who throws him down without much effort. AJ hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Rey before hammering away at Orton in the corner. Everyone but Orton heads outside with the aggressive AJ sending Ali face first into the post. Ali is fine enough to hit the rolling X Factor for two on Orton as Joe makes the save.
Rey dives in to take Joe down but AJ sends him hard into the corner. Mysterio is fine enough to hurricanrana AJ out to the floor, only to walk right into a powerslam. Joe suplexes Ali but charges into AJ’s elbow in the corner, setting up the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two. Back from a break with AJ taking over again but not being able to launch the Phenomenal Forearm. Joe drops him through the announcers’ table, only to have Ali take him down.
Rey does the same to Orton and we get an Ali vs Mysterio showdown. Ali flips out of a headscissors and catches Rey on top with a super Spanish Fly. That’s good for a delayed two with Joe making a save this time and firing off knees to Ali. The Satellite DDT plans Joe but the 054 misses. Joe grabs the Koquina Clutch with Rey making a save off a 619. Another 619 hits Ali and there’s the RKO to make it worse, with Rey coming off the top with a legdrop for the save. A hurricanrana on the floor takes care of Joe and AJ hits the springboard 450 to pin Orton for the title shot at 13:09.
Result: AJ Styles b. Mustafa Ali, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio – Springboard 450 to Orton (13:09)
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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