Date: January 12, 2024
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves

We are just over two weeks away from the Royal Rumble and after last week’s rather boneheaded move, Roman Reigns is defending against AJ Styles, LA Knight and Randy Orton at the same time. Other than that, the Royal Rumbles could use some more entrants so we might get to cover a few names this week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s triple threat #1 contenders match, which saw the Bloodline interfere for the no contest. Then the Royal Rumble title match was made a four way,=.

Grayson Waller vs. Cameron Grimes

Austin Theory is here with Waller. Hold on though as here is the Bloodline to jump Grimes from behind. Theory and Waller bail and we have no match.

Paul Heyman grabs the mic and mocks Nick Aldis for putting Roman Reigns in a four way match. Aldis pops in to say the match is on no matter what. As for tonight, it’s the Bloodline, including Roman Reigns, in a six man tag….despite Reigns not being here. The team can find a third entrant, but otherwise it’s handicap match a go-go.

Video on Angel and Humberto joining forces with Santos Escobar.

Post break Heyman says that Reigns isn’t here tonight so the team will have to find a replacement.

LWO vs. Angel/Humberto

Zelina Vega is here with the LWO and Santos Escobar is on commentary. The fight is on fast to start with the LWO sending them outside for the big double flip dives. Back in and Del Toro hammers away on Angel, setting up a springboard missile dropkick to the floor. A low bridge sends del Toro outside though and we take a break. We take a break and come back with a basement dropkick hitting del Toro for two.

Del Toro rolls over for the tag off to Wilde though and house is quickly cleaned. Angel crotches Wilde on top though and a double super gorilla press brings him back down. Humberto rolls Wilde into a powerbomb for two but Wilde is right back with a poisonrana. It’s back to del Toro for the big flip dive to the floor as Carlito comes out to jump Escobar. That leaves Wilde to roll Angel up, only to have Angel sit down on him and grab the rope for the pin at 9:58.

Result: Angel/Humberto b. LWO – Rollup to Wilde while grabbing rope (9:58)

Carmelo Hayes is in Nick Aldis’ office where it sounds like contract negotiations are taking place. Hayes mentions the Royal Rumble but Nick Aldis and Austin Theory interrupt. That’s not cool with Hayes, so Aldis makes Hayes vs. Theory for tonight.

The LWO isn’t happy with their loss but Paul Heyman pops in to offer an apple in exchange for teaming with the Bloodline tonight. Carlito takes the apple but would rather fight Santos Escobar.

We look back at Kevin Owens becoming #1 contender to the US Title and knocking out Logan Paul after the match.

Logan Paul isn’t here tonight but sends in a video, threatening to sue Owens over an assault with a weapon. If Owens has the cast at the Rumble, his title shot is gone.

Tyler Bate and Butch are at a coffee shop, with Bate thinking they would make a good team going forward. Butch isn’t sure because the Brawling Brutes are in the past but Bate suggests that Butch find out what his name is going to be. Nothing is said but Butch is thinking about it.

Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

The rest of Damage CTRL is here with Bayley. They start fast so Bayley can take her down by the hair, which doesn’t have Belair happy. An exchange of clotheslines puts both of them down but Bayley is back up to wrap the arm around the rope. Belair isn’t having that and runs her over, only to get clotheslined in the back of the head. Some slams put Bayley down but she sends Belair throat first into the ropes. The threat of a quick KOD is broken up so Belair rams her into the buckle as we take a break.

Back with Bayley working on the arm but Belair manages a quick spinebuster. The comeback is on but Bayley ties her in the corner for a running knee. Bayley goes extra evil by tying Belair’s hair around the ropes….so Belair uses it as a rip wire in a creative spot. With the hair untied, Belair bends Bayley’s back around the post before slamming her ribs first into another post.

Back in and Belair hammers away in the corner, followed by a backbreaker for two. Belair throws her out of the corner and hits the handspring moonsault for two more. Bayley sends her into the corner again and drops the top rope elbow for her own near fall. A charging Belair is sent outside but she’s fine enough to nail a spear on the way back inside. The KOD finishes for Belair at 16:26.

Result: Bianca Belair b. Bayley – KOD (16:26)

Kevin Owens is down for the Royal Rumble, and offers to have Logan Paul on the Kevin Owens Show next week.

Damage CTRL is not pleased with Bayley but Dakota Kai gives her a pep talk.

Here are Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits for a chat. They’re not happy with the AOP and Karrion Kross, who have gotten into a fight they can’t win. The challenge is on but Kross and company pop up on screen to say this is a new era of pain. The team is officially dubbed the Final Testament but they don’t show up.

Pretty Deadly offers their services to Paul Heyman. He points out that it’s one spot instead of two and facepalms as they leave.

Video on Carmelo Hayes. Again: these quick hype packages on people Smackdown fans might not know are such a great idea.

Paul Heyman offers Bobby Lashley a chance to take out his aggression in the main event. Lashley says the only time he wants to be in the ring with the Bloodline is when he’s facing Roman Reigns.

Carmelo Hayes vs. Austin Theory

Grayson Waller is here with Theory. They trade headlocks to start until a dropkick puts Theory down. A thumb to the eye cuts Hayes off though and Theory elbows him in the face. Back up and Hayes ties him in the ropes for the Fade Away (springboard jump backwards into a Fameasser). A DDT onto the apron plants Theory again and we take a break. Back with Theory hitting the rolling dropkick but Hayes reverses a suplex to take him over instead.

An atomic drop into a springboard clothesline sets up a facebuster for two on Theory. A superkick looks to set up a Codebreaker but Theory puts him on top instead. What looks to be a super Spanish Fly doesn’t go right though and they both land on their heads, which is enough for the referee to stop it at around 8:55. The problem was Hayes’ foot got caught on the rope and he couldn’t flip forward, which brought Theory down as well.

Result: Carmelo Hayes vs. Austin Theory went to a referee stoppage (8:55)

The medic checks on them and their limbs are all moving so it seems like a bad double bell ringing.

Paul Heyman says he couldn’t find anyone worthy of the Bloodline and he is NOT worried. Jimmy: “OG, I’M WORRIED!” Sikoa: “I’m not.” Jimmy: “If Solo’s not worried, I’m not worried!”

Bloodline vs. LA Knight/Randy Orton/AJ Styles

Hold on though as the Bloodline jumps Orton from behind with Sikoa hitting a Samoan Spike. Knight and Styles argue over who starts until Uso jumps Knight to get things going. A swinging neckbreaker puts Uso down and a running crotch attack to the back gets two. Sikoa comes in but gets clotheslined to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Styles in a nerve hold, followed by Sikoa’s running hip attack. Styles slugs away at Jimmy and it’s a double knockdown, meaning Sikoa can pull Knight away so there’s no tag. Knight is back up but Styles yells at him instead of tagging. Jimmy’s superkick misses Styles and hits Knight instead….but Orton is back. The tag brings in Orton, who hits the hanging DDT and RKO to finish Jimmy at 11:42.

Result: LA Knight/AJ Styles/Randy Orton b. Bloodline – RKO to Uso (11:42)

Post match the winners all hit their finishers on Sikoa and TripleBomb him through the announcers’ table to end the show.

Angel/Humberto b. LWO – Rollup to Wilde while grabbing the rope
Bianca Belair b. Bayley – KOD
Carmelo Hayes vs. Austin Theory went to a referee stoppage
LA Knight/AJ Styles/Randy Orton b. Bloodline – RKO to Uso

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