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Date: August 20, 2017
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T., John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
It’s finally time for one of the biggest shows of the year as WWE takes over New York City all over again. This time around the big main event is a four way for the Universal Title with Brock Lesnar defending against Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. The rest of the card is too deep to break down in short order so let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Hardy Boyz/Jason Jordan vs. Miz/Miztourage
The idea here is that Miz wants to be defending his Intercontinental Title against Jason Jordan but is stuck in this for reasons that aren’t clear. The section opposite the hard camera is MAYBE ten percent full because we’re about an hour and a half away from the start of the pay per view. Jeff takes Axel into the corner to start and hands it off to Jordan to work on the arm. Dallas comes in and gets the same treatment, sending the Miztourage outside for a breather as we take a break (with empty sections of seats being shown on camera).
Back with Jeff in trouble with Miz hammering away and working on the arm. Matt comes in and throws some right hands but the Twist of Fate (with Matt shouting TWIST OF FATE) is broken up. Miz gets in some YES Kicks but gets sent into the corner, setting up the hot tag to Jordan. The suplexes send the Miztourage flying as everything breaks down. Jordan hits the running shoulder in the corner to Axel but Miz makes a blind tag, setting up the Skull Crushing Finale to put Jordan away at 10:31.
Result: Miz/Miztourage b. Hardy Boyz/Jason Jordan – Skull Crushing Finale to Jordan (10:31)
Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Title: Neville vs. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa is defending after winning the title on Monday. The crowd is looking far better already with the section opposite the hard camera now mostly full. Neville, in white trunks for a change, gets knocked outside so Tozawa can do his shouting. Tozawa follows him out but gets sent into the LED apron as we take a break.
Back with Neville throwing on a chinlock until Tozawa throws him outside for a suicide dive. A hard belly to back suplex drops Neville and an Octopus Hold has him in even more trouble. Neville makes the ropes and cuts off a charge with an enziguri, only to get kicked down as well to put them back to even. Back up and Tozawa rocks Neville with a right hand but it’s still too early for the backsplash. The superplex is broken up but the backsplash hits raised knees. The Red Arrow gives Neville the title back at 10:47.
Result: Neville b. Akira Tozawa – Red Arrow (11:47)
Here’s Elias to sing two songs, one of which insults Brooklyn in general and the other of which insults local singers. No match or anything but this is a thing that happened.
Kickoff Show: Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. New Day
New Day is defending with Big E. and Woods in the ring. Before the match, Kofi (in Red Lantern inspired gear) talks about New Day’s history in Brooklyn, which is the first place they sang to the crowd and the birthplace of Francesca. Woods forearms Jimmy down to start and snaps off some rights and lefts in the corner. A raised boot cuts him off though and we take a break.
Back with Woods fighting out of a chinlock before coming up with a dropkick to Jey. Jimmy pulls Big E. off the apron though and it’s a Death Valley Driver into the corner for two. A modified Demolition Decapitator gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Back up with Woods getting in a faceplant for the tag off to Big E. as house is cleaned in a hurry. The Warrior Splash hits Jimmy and Big E. powerbombs Woods onto him for good measure.
In a real twist, Woods puts Big E. on his shoulders for a splash. JBL: “That’s what you’ve come to expect from the New Day!” Jey comes in off a hot tag and a double spinebuster gets two on Big E. It’s back to Woods who sends Jimmy into Big E. for a Rock Bottom/Backstabber combination and a near fall. Everything breaks down with the twins being sent outside for a dive from Woods, only to have Big E.’s stopped by a superkick.
The Superfly Splash gets two on Xavier but he’s back up with a Koji Clutch on Jey. A Shining Wizard gets two more and the Midnight Hour plants Jey with Jimmy diving in at the last second for the save. Woods charges at Jey, who launches him over the top into a Samoan drop on the floor. Big E. spears Jey through the ropes, only to have the Big Ending broken up by a blind tag. Five superkicks and a double Superfly Splash gives us new champions at 19:09.
Result: Usos b. New Day – Double Superfly Splash to Big E. (19:09)
We get a KFC ad featuring various people auditioning to be the next Colonel Sanders. This cuts to the arena where Shawn Michaels comes out in a sleeveless Sanders outfit, dances around, slides over the announcers’ table, and nothing else.
The opening video looks at every match under the slogan Go Big.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
Cena cost Corbin his Money in the Bank cash-in on Monday. For a change of pace, Cena slides to the floor and grabs JBL’s hat while saying Corbin is shaken up. Back in and Cena’s headlock is broken up with some knees to the ribs. Corbin’s slide underneath the ropes into a clothesline gets two and it’s time to yell at the referee.
A World’s Strongest Slam gets two and triggers a WHERE’S YOUR BRIEFCASE chant. That earns Cena a chokebreaker as this is mostly one sided so far. Cena fights out of a superplex with a tornado DDT but the AA is broken up. Deep Six gives Corbin two but Cena comes right back with the Attitude Adjustment for the fast pin at 10:18.
Result: John Cena b. Baron Corbin – Attitude Adjustment (10:18)
Smackdown Women’s Title: Natalya vs. Naomi
Natalya is challenging after winning an elimination match last month. Naomi starts fast and knocks her outside, meaning it’s time to shout a lot. Back in and the champ’s leg gets snapped over the top rope and then over the turnbuckle for good measure. A suplex gives Natalya two, followed by a small package to give Naomi the same.
Back up and Natalya blasts her with a clothesline, followed by a Michinoku Driver for two more. The discus clothesline drops Naomi again but she comes back with a Russian legsweep. Naomi declares it GLOW TIME and does her dancing kicks but Natalya pulls her down to the mat instead. Back up and the reverse Rings of Saturn is reversed into the Sharpshooter for the surprise tap out at 10:49.
Result: Natalya b. Naomi – Sharpshooter (10:49)
There’s no Carmella appearance.
We recap Big Cass vs. Big Show. Cass turned on Enzo Amore for running his mouth too much so Enzo brought in Show to help deal with him. Tonight Enzo is locked in a shark cage and Show’s hand is broken due to an attack by Cass.
Big Cass vs. Big Show
Enzo runs his mouth before the match and sucks up to Brooklyn. Show slugs away with his left hand as Enzo runs his mouth about how we’re going to work tonight while dancing in the cage, causing it to rattle loudly. Show hurts his hand on a missed Vader Bomb as Enzo is now jumping up and down.
Cass hammers on the hand and grabs an armbar for some psychology. The fans think this is boring as Show fights up with a left handed chokeslam for two. Cass knocks him down again and Enzo is taking his pants off. He pulls out some hidden oil and covers himself with it, allowing him to slip through the bars. Enzo gets down so Cass kicks him in the head but the big boot only gets two on Show. A second big boot sets up the Empire Elbow for the pin on Show at 10:28.
Result: Big Cass b. Big Show – Empire Elbow (10:28)
Daniel Bryan comes in to see Kurt Angle to say he thinks Smackdown will steam the show. Bryan: “It’s true, it’s true.” Angle thinks Raw will be better and starts a YES chant. This turns into one heck of a YES/NO battle until both guys get winded.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Not much of a story here as Rusev wanted competition and Orton answered him. Rusev jumps Orton during the entrance and beats the heck out of him before the bell. Orton says he can go and it’s an RKO for the pin at 9 seconds.
Result: Randy Orton b. Rusev – RKO (0:09)
Sasha Banks is coming to the ring when she runs into Bayley, who gets booed while wishing Bayley good luck.
Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Banks is challenging as a replacement for an injured Bayley. They brawl into the corner with the fans booing the heck out of Sasha. Bliss hits the hardest right hand she’s ever thrown but gets caught with a crossbody for two. Banks gets caught in the corner and faceplanted down to the mat. The New York fans are of course pleased with the woman from Boston getting beaten up, including having Bliss stand on her hair.
Alexa chokes in the corner and hits some double knees to the back. Some more choking ensues but Banks flips her out of the corner for a breather. Sasha makes her comeback with some clotheslines and a dropkick. Bliss tries a sunset flip out of the corner, only to have Sasha flip her backwards and head first into the buckles.
The Bank Statement goes on but it’s way too close to the ropes. Bliss takes her outside and sends her hard into the barricade, possibly injuring Sasha’s shoulder. Banks is back in at nine so Bliss is right on the arm, followed by Twisted Bliss for two. Some shots to the shoulder break up another Bank Statement, only to have Banks grab it again for the tap and the title at 13:17.
Result: Sasha Banks b. Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement (13:17)
We see the Shawn Michaels KFC bit again.
Long recap of Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt. Bray seemed to think that Balor was a false idol and promised to destroy him. Wyatt beat him this past Monday and then poured “blood” over him for some extra effect. Balor then said that Bray had his demons, but he did too.
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
After Bray’s full entrance, a voice starts singing He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands. That means the Demon King returns for the first time since last Summerslam to easily the reaction of the night. Finn crawls around and Bray takes an early breather on the still smoky floor. Back in and Balor hammers away, kicking Bray right back to the floor. Balor jumps over him in the corner so Bray leans over backwards for a scary look of his own.
That’s fine with Finn who sends him outside for a flip dive but it’s too early for the Coup de Grace. A suplex onto the floor knocks Balor silly though and we hit the chinlock for a bit. Balor pops back up and knocks him outside for a kick from the apron, followed by a Sling Blade back inside. Bray boots him in the face for two and declares that he has him. Balor gets in the shotgun dropkick against the barricade and throws him back inside for a quick Coup de Grace at 9:42 in another weak finish.
Result: Finn Balor b. Bray Wyatt – Coup de Grace (9:42)
We recap Cesaro/Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins, which has very little to do with Cesaro/Sheamus. Ambrose and Rollins were tired of getting double teamed and teased getting back together for weeks. It FINALLY happened earlier this week and they were granted an immediate shot at the Tag Team Titles.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Sheamus/Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins
Sheamus and Cesaro are defending. Ambrose headlocks Sheamus to start and it’s a blind tag from Rollins to set up a knee drop. A dropkick staggers Cesaro and the champs are knocked to the floor without too much effort. Sheamus pulls Dean outside for a Brogue Kick though and Seth gets slammed on the floor for good measure.
Seth grabs a Blockbuster for a breather but hang on a second as Cesaro is running into the crowd. He grabs a beach ball that a fan was batting around and rips it to shreds, drawing a heck of a YES chant. Cesaro suplexes Seth down for two but seems to have tweaked his knee.
Rollins gets taken outside for a double beating, only to have Ambrose come off the top with the elbow to put everyone down. Back in and the champs are clotheslined over the top, setting up the double suicide dives. A Hart Attack with a Sling Blade gets two on Cesaro and the rebound lariat puts him down again. Sheamus gets caught on top for a superplex with Rollins tagging himself in for a frog splash and a near fall with Cesaro making the save.
Cesaro breaks up the double bomb out of the corner and Dirty Deeds is countered into the Sharpshooter. Dean is almost in the ropes but Cesaro switches to a Crossface in the middle of the ring. Since that’s not going to work, it’s a powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination for two instead. White Noise is loaded up but Seth hurricanranas Cesaro off the top into Sheamus for the crazy save. A jumping knee to the face knocks Sheamus into Dirty Deeds for the pin and the titles at 18:35.
Result: Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins b. Cesaro/Sheamus – Dirty Deeds to Sheamus (18:35)
We recap Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles for the US Title. They’ve traded the title in recent months but Owens blames his recent loss on bad refereeing. This meant Shane McMahon was appointed as guest referee, so Owens started bringing up Shane’s history as a crooked referee and his issues with AJ. The question is will Shane screw someone over and who will it be.
US Title: Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles
AJ is defending with Shane McMahon as guest referee. Owens jumps him at the bell and hammers away with AJ’s comeback being cut off without much effort. The Cannonball gets two and Owens yells at Shane. A chinlock and backbreaker get two more on the champ but AJ says bring it. Styles wins a slugout and hits a belly to back faceplant for two but can’t follow up.
Back up and AJ manages the Phenomenal Forearm, only to hit Shane by mistake. That means there’s no one to count the Pop Up Powerbomb so Owens yells at Shane. As you might expect, AJ gets back up and knocks Shane to the floor by mistake. The Calf Crusher goes on and Owens taps to no avail.
Everyone gets back in and AJ forearms Owens down, only to get caught in the spinning superplex for two. AJ comes right back with the Styles Clash for a close two. Owens grabs the Pop Up Powerbomb for the pin but AJ’s foot was on the ropes and Shane calls it off. That means an argument and Shane shoves Owens into a rollup for two. The Pele sets up the Phenomenal Forearm and a second Styles Clash retains the title at 17:25.
Result: AJ Styles b. Kevin Owens – Styles Clash (17:25)
Some fans won a sweepstakes and got to go to the show.
We recap the Smackdown World Title match. Jinder Mahal won the title in May in a huge upset and has continued to defy his critics ever since. Shinsuke Nakamura became #1 contender by pinning John Cena clean. There’s also no Baron Corbin to cash-in his Money in the Bank briefcase any longer.
Smackdown World Title: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal
Jinder is defending and Nakamura is played to the ring by a live violinist. The threat of some kicks brings Mahal close enough to grab a wristlock, only to have Nakamura spin out and send Mahal outside. Nakamura says bring it on so Mahal gets back inside, only to get caught with Good Vibrations. Shinsuke is getting a little too comfortable so the Singh Brothers offer a distraction, allowing Mahal to pound him down and grab a chinlock.
Back up and Nakamura gets in a spinning kick to the jaw and a cross armbreaker but Jinder makes the ropes. Some hard kicks to the front and back of the head have Mahal reeling but here are the Singh Brothers for another distraction. This time it allows the Khallas to end Nakamura at 11:25.
Result: Jinder Mahal b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Khallas (11:25)
We recap the Universal Title match and simply put, this is going to be chaos. Brock Lesnar is defending against Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns with basically a guarantee of pure anarchy. I don’t think you need much more of an explanation.
Universal Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman
Lesnar is defending, anything goes, and he leaves WWE if he loses. Naturally Paul Heyman handles Lesnar’s Big Match Intro and we’re ready to go. Joe goes after Lesnar while Strowman and Reigns head outside. The first suplex sends Joe outside but Reigns posts Strowman to set up the first showdown. The first German suplex drops Reigns and Joe comes in to take the second. NOW it’s the real showdown though with Strowman vs. Lesnar and the fans are way into this one.
Joe and Reigns cut it off though and we’re forced to wait a bit more. The wait is only a few seconds though as Reigns and Joe are knocked outside and it’s Strowman LAUNCHING Lesnar into the corner and clotheslining him hard to the floor. Reigns comes back in and clotheslines Strowman, who calmly shoves Reigns away. Joe grabs the Koquina Clutch on Lesnar but sidesteps a spear, sending Lesnar HARD through the barricade.
Joe Rock Bottoms Reigns onto the announcers’ table but Strowman runs Joe over, leaving him as the last man standing. Strowman goes to load up the table as Graves hopes he uses Saxton as a weapon. A running powerslam drives Brock through a table but Reigns dropkicks Strowman down. Joe’s suicide elbow drops Reigns so Strowman throws a commentator’s chair at both of them.
Lesnar is getting back up so Strowman powerslams him through the second announcers’ table. Fans: “ONE MORE TABLE!” Strowman obliges by turning the last table over on top of Lesnar, drawing a bunch of referees and agents to save the champ. Heyman: “NOOOOO!” We get a stretcher for Brock as Heyman is absolutely losing his mind. Lesnar is taken out and Strowman wants to know where the Beast is now.
Strowman picks up some steps and decks both guys but Reigns slows him down with a few shots. A shot with the steps has Strowman reeling and a third sends him outside, only to have Joe come in with a rollup for two on Reigns. Roman gets two off the Samoan drop but the Superman Punch is countered into the Koquina Clutch. Strowman is right back in though and a double chokeslam gets two.
The Undertaker chants start up and here’s Brock again. Strowman gets taken down and a running forearm knocks him to the floor. It’s Suplex City time with both Samoans being sent flying. Strowman, with a bloody ear, breaks out of a suplex attempt so Brock goes with the Kimura.
Reigns makes the save with a Superman Punch, followed by another one to both guys. A weird looking spear (Lesnar didn’t really go backwards) gets two on Brock but Reigns gets caught in the Koquina Clutch. That’s broken up by a Strowman dropkick (Cole: “Is there anything he can’t do?”) for two on Joe. The Pop Up Superman Punch gets two more on Strowman and Reigns is almost scared by the kickout.
Braun gets two more off the powerslam with Lesnar making a save. Lesnar can’t F5 Braun but Reigns spears Braun out to the floor, leaving him alone with Brock. Joe is back in with the Clutch on Lesnar but Brock reverses into the F5 for two with Reigns making the save for his only positive reaction of the night. Three straight Superman Punches drop Brock but the spear is countered into the F5 to retain the title at 21:01.
Result: Brock Lesnar b. Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman – F5 to Reigns (21:01)
Lesnar looks like he just fell out of a building to end the show.
John Cena b. Baron Corbin – Attitude Adjustment
Natalya b. Naomi – Sharpshooter
Big Cass b. Big Show – Empire Elbow
Randy Orton b. Rusev – RKO
Sasha Banks b. Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement
Finn Balor b. Bray Wyatt – Coup de Grace
Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose b. Cesaro/Sheamus – Dirty Deeds to Sheamus
AJ Styles b. Kevin Owens – Styles Clash
Jinder Mahal b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Khallas
Brock Lesnar b. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe – F5 to Reigns
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