WWE Battleground (7/24/16)

Charlotte & Dana Vs. Sasha Banks & ???

The very first match of the night features the Top Dogs the Head Honchos the Cream of the Crop  in the Woman’s Division. And Dana Brooke. Charlotte & Dana come out first and then The Boss. The only thing we’re missing, is Sasha’s tag team partner. And whom might that be?

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It’s Bayley!!!!

Yes, the one and only, undrafted NXT Superstar Bayley! WWE got something totally right here and as much as we the Universe wanted it, it meant so much more to see those wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tubemen dancing around on a Pay Per View as opposed to a Takeover. Bayley is here if not forever, for a little while. Her first time being involved with the main roster and I love it.

Fanfare aside, this IS a match. While Bayley and Sasha are busy being stuck in the moment, Dana and Charlotte strike. The bell hasn’t rang yet so the match hasn’t officially started. The ref finally gets some order and the match gets underway.

Bayley and Sasha look like two Superstars that form a tag team and destroy the division. Something like The Rock n Sock Connection or DX or JeriShow! There’s not a lot of tag technique but it’s not needed. Just have your partner’s back and lay the smackdown!

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Sasha and Charlotte are legal. After a big boot and Natural Selection, Charlotte goes for the pin. Bayley comes in to break it up. Dana comes in to get Bayley out of there. They fight outside while Charlotte goes for the Figure 8 on the inside. Sasha counters into the Bank Statement. Luckily for Charlotte, Dana is able to pull her out the ring and save the match. Bayley slides under the ropes to take out Dana and Charlotte lays out Bayley. Charlotte gets back in the ring and goes for Sasha. Sasha counters and hits Charlotte with a Back Stabber and follows that up with the Bank Statement. Sasha has it in deep and no one is there to save Charlotte. She’s not close enough to the ropes and she would be forced to tap. The Boss and Hug Connection win!

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The New Day Vs. The Wyatts

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This is NOT a title match but as of this past Wednesday, the New Day accomplished quite the feat. They are now the longest reining WWE World Tag Team Champions in WWE history! Now they may have gotten themselves into some trouble facing The Wyatts but luckily for them this should be their last Wyatt encounter for quite some time as the group was fractured due to the draft last week. The New Day make a few jokes about that and appear to laugh in the face of fear, almost literally. The Wyatts come down to the ring and there will be no more fun and games. It’s time to settle this the proper way. Both teams are in the ring, the bell rings, and the match begins.

Braun Strowman steps over the top rope and will start things for the Wyatts. Big E is in the ring for the New Day. Before E can make a move, Xavier Woods tags himself in. I guess he wants a piece of the bearded giant. When Woods tags himself in, Bray Wyatt does the same. With Bray in the ring, Xavier freezes up, almost petrified. His lack of action causes Kofi to tag himself in and get things going.

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Kofi does a little shake n bake and has some momentum before the Wyatts get ahold of him. Bray and family make frequent tags while wearing down Kofi Kingston. Bray hasn’t said much aloud but his motives are clear and his gestures are getting in the mind of Xavier Woods who hasn’t seemed to find his happy place just yet.

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Bray tags himself in again and unloads on Kofi. Kofi is in desperate need of a tag. He almost gets to his corner but Bray hits him with a wicked clothesline. Bray drops to his knees and glares at Xavier. Woods jumps back off the apron with a look of terror painted on his face.

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Here’s where things start getting crazy. Let’s use a bunch of pictures to help explain.

After getting beat down for another few minutes, Kofi finally manages to slip away from Bray Wyatt and tag Big E. Bray tags in Erick Rowan and E starts doing work. Belly to Belly suplex, hip shimmy, big splash. E goes for the pin and Strowman breaks it up. Woods tried to back up his partner but ended up getting swatted like a fly.

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Rowan goes for a cover on E and Kofi breaks it up. Strowman tries to give Kofi the boot but ends up sending himself over the top rope. Kofi flies and takes out Strowman on the outside.

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Kofi gets back up and tags back in. Big E is trying to pick up Erick Rowan for the Big Ending but he breaks free and disposes of Big E.

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Woods tags himself in. Kofi nails Rowan sending him flying into his corner. Bray tags himself in. Kofi goes for Trouble In Paradise and Bray counters and has him ready to sacrifice to Sister Abigail. Woods comes in to save The Day (see what I did there).

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Bray and Xavier lock eyes.

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Bray is whispering something and Woods is quietly responding. Woods is mesmerized. He starts slowly kneeling to Bray before Kofi comes in to return the favor.

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While Woods snaps out of it, Bray spikes Kofi and takes him out of the picture.

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Woods DOES snap out of it and unleashes a flurry of punches on Bray. He goes absolutely wild before Strowman climbs up on the apron to intervene. Strowman gets ahold of Woods but Big E is there to Spear Strowman through the ropes and down to the outside of the ring.

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Woods watched his buddy crash to the arena floor and when he turned around, a twisted Bray was crawling at him upside down with a smile on his face. Woods wouldn’t let that stop him tonight. He charged Bray but it wouldn’t be enough. Xavier became a sacrifice to Abigail and the Wyatt Family wins.

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Rusev (w/Lana) Vs. Zack Ryder – United States Championship Match

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The first thing I want to do is acknowledge Ryder’s gear. He says he’s paying homage to some childhood favorites; Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and The Ultimate Warrior. It’s US inspired specifically for this bout for the title and also because, ‘Merica.

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Ryder has not disappointed us at since the RAW after Mania. He’s been putting forth great effort and winning matches or at leas being competitive in them. This match is no exception. He really came to win! He’s having a better fight than anyone could’ve imagined and Rusev had better watch out!

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After fighting outside the ring, Ryder brings it back inside. Rusev looks to follow him and ends up catching a Rough Ryder! Zack quickly climbs the ropes to seal the deal with an EL-Bro Drop but Rusev gets his knees up to counter. Ryder is in pain and probably didn’t know what hit him after Rusev gives him one of those sweet kicks to the back of the head. Accolade is on. Ryder almost breaks free, but Rusev leans back and Ryder has no choice but to tap. Rusev wins.

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The beating wasn’t done yet. Rusev is looking to make an example out of Ryder when the most hype music of all time hits. It’s Mojo Rawley! He comes to his partner’s aide and Rysev high tails it out of there.

Rollins Ready

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We see #TeamRAW talking about the WWE Championship and what it would mean if one of their Superstars could manage to bring it back to RAW. Enter Seth Rollins. Stephanie and Mick give him a pep talk of a lifetime but his confidence is enough. He shares with the leaders of RAW how great he is and how confident he is about winning tonight. We shall see.

Sami Zayn Vs. Kevin Owens

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Yep. This is how it starts. Zayn enters the ring first, then Owens. Owens walks up the steps and immediately gets in Zayn’s face.

The fight almost instantly goes outside and it’s a legit brawl. They would eventually get back in the ring and turn the fight into a match. You can tell how well these two know each other and that they’ve had many a match together. The chemistry as always is real.

The match goes left when Zayn attempts that butt bouncing backflip thing and comes up just a little short. He lands on his shoulder and tweaks it. Owens uses this to his advantage and now it becomes all about the shoulder. Owens is viciously slamming Zayn’s arm into the post outside and utilizing a Crossface inside.

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But Zayn is resilient. Even after multiple clotheslines and a few Super Kicks, Zayn is able to land a Brain Buster on the apron.

That was a big swing. Owens was almost counted out. He slides back in at 9. Both men need a breather but both have too much fight left. They start doing that awkward punch thing they do.

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Zayn gets the better of Owens and Owens slides out to get a breather. Zayn slides out and sizes up Owens. He goes for his Tornado DDT through the ropes but catches a Super Kick instead. Owens runs back in and hits his cannonball. Then he climbs to the top and lands a Frog Splash. He goes for the pin and gets a 2 count.

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Still not enough to win. Owens would even land a Pop Up Powerbomb but he was too close to the ropes and didn’t hook the leg.

Owens got so mad that he just started slapping Zayn. Zayn gets up to his knees and tells Owens to bring it on. Owens backs away and runs at him. Zayn nails him with an Exploder Suplex, and then another Suplex! He sets up for the Helluva kick and then nails him with it. Instead of going for a pin, he catches Owens in his hands and stares at him.

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Sami leans Kevin up against the turnbuckle for one more kick. He nails him with it and gets a three count.

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Becky Lynch Vs. NatalyaBVSN

Unfortunately, this is the next match after such an intense and crazy rivalry match. That takes away from the energy and spirit of this current match. I mean, a legit rivalry or one that was manufactured by WWE just to have a month long storyline? You be the judge.

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Anyway, Nattie vs. Becky! This is definitely one of the more technical matches you’ll see in the WWE Women’s division. Harts gonna Hart. Nattie is showing that she can work a good Heel persona and that she has what it takes to do it. The entire match is something straight out of the 90s with Nattie working exclusively on Becky’s leg to tune her up for the finish. Becky is catching a serious beat down. Even when she tries to mount a comeback, it’s clear that her leg is slowing her down. Nattie is able to dig in a Sharpshooter but somehow Becky finds the ropes.

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Becky is finally getting it going. Maybe a little too much fire. She forces Nattie back into the corner and the ref breaks the two women up. Nattie is able to get her foot under the ref and between his legs to kick Becky in her injured leg unexpectedly. She uses this opening to lock in the Sharpshooter again and THIS time Becky taps out. Win for Heel Nattie!

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Make Way For the Champ

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SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon and his General Manager Daniel Bryan check in on Dean Ambrose. Bryan tries to get him fired up for the match but Ambrose doesn’t need all that. SmackDown DOES need the WWE Championship and Shane and Daniel aren’t afraid to put that kind of pressure on the champ. He seems like he can handle it.

The Miz (w/Maryse) Vs. Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) – Intercontinental Championship Match

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We’re losing the crowd here people. No offense to any of these Superstars but the fans are still reeling after that Owns/Zayn match. After Darren Young & Bob come out, The Miz and Maryse come out wearing this:

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Is Miz a blinged out elephant demon or something? I don’t know, but okay. He enters the ring and goes to kiss his wife but he forgot he still has the mask on.

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I can’t lie, this match is some what of a drag. A lot of wristlocks and headlocks. Not many takedowns and no signature moves. It’s like watching an episode of WWE Superstars. Let’s figuratively fast forward to the action.

One cool moment: Miz taunts Backlund as he holds Young in one of those aforementioned headlocks:

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So Young was getting schooled almost the entire match. He only needed one opening to speed up the pace of the match and take control. Right when he looked to apply the Chicken Wing, Miz decided to bail on the match. Coach Backlund was having none of that. He blocked the path and forced him back to the ring where D. Young was waiting for him.

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Maryse wan’t happy about this and decided to give Bob a piece of her mind and a piece of her flesh. Slap time!

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Maryse feigns an injury and causes a commotion. Darren Young looks confused and Coach Backlund is livid.

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Maryse is saying Bob pushed her and of course Miz steps out to see what the problem is. He confronts Backlund who rips off his shirt and doesn’t back down. Miz pushes the legend to the ground and now Young gets involved.

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Darren Young is having none of this and assaults The Miz. He straps on the Crossface Chickenwing and the ref calls for the bell. I guess he feels he’s lost control of the match. Miz will retain and more officials will have to come down to get Darren off of him. Miz is finally freed but Darren wants back in. He pushes an official down (a BIG no-no) before he snaps back to reality. He looks at his hands (kind of like someone else used to do) and walks back up the ramp to the locker room.

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John Cena/Enzo & Cass Vs. The Club

The first 15 minutes of this segment were a video promo for the build up, Cena’s entrance, Enzo & Cass’ entrance and mic work (how you doin?) and The Club getting to the ring. Sheesh!

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When the match starts, Cena takes more of a hands off approach. This really looks like a handicap match. A 2 on 3 but somehow it’s even. Cena looks more like Hulk Hogan than ever before. He’s getting the crowd amped and showboating while staying on the apron in his corner.

Here’s where things get exciting.

Enzo needs a tag and Gallows is pounding on him. Gallows makes one mistake and misses a splash. Enzo tags in Cena and Gallows tags in Styles.

Stay with me here.

Cena goes shoulder, shoulder, back drop, 5 knuckle shuffle.

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He picks up AJ for the Attitude Adjustment but AJ flips out of it. He hits Cena with a Pele kick and both Superstars are on the mat.

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AJ gets up and knocks Enzo off the apron. He picks up Cena for Styles Clash but Enzo comes in to save the day. He hits AJ with a crazy looking Tornado DDT. Karl Anderson takes him out with a Spinebuster. Cass takes HIM out with a Fallaway Slam. Gallows takes out Cass with a Chokeslam Sit Out Powerbomb. Enzo is looking to fly. Gallows ducks and Enzo lands on Cena. Cena rolls thru and tosses Enzo at Gallows.

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Gallows drops Enzo and here comes AJ with the Phenomenal Forearm. Cena ducks and AJ takes out Gallows instead.

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Cena lands the AA on AJ and goes for the pin. Karl Anderson pulls Cena out the ring before 3. He Spinebusters Cena on the announce table and the ref starts counting. Cena JUST sneaks in at 9 and a quarter.

AJ gets up first and this time is able to land Styles Clash. He goes for the pin and Cass pulls him out of the ring, delivering a big boot and saving the match.

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Gallows attacks Cass from behind and the two take the fight in the ring. Cass is going for a Body Slam but Anderson breaks that up. The Club members are able to hit the Magic Killer on Big Cass.

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Enzo is left alone to take on The Club.

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Anderson runs himself into a post so now it’s one on one. With one good kick, Enzo is floored. Cena rolls back into the ring. Gallows is looking to take him out while Styles is climbing to the top turnbuckle as well. Gallows charges Cena and misses in the corner. Cena bounces off the ropes causing Styles to fall and clotheslines Gallows to the outside.

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Cena rushes back to AJ Styles and attempts a Super AA. Styles tries to fight out of it. but Super Cena is too strong. Cena hits the AA and his team wins.

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The Highlight Reel w/ Special Guest Randy Orton

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Jericho comes out and talks everyone’s ears off before Orton comes comes out! We’ve all waited 9 months for this.

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Orton gets in the ring and his eyes light up. He speaks on enjoying his family time but feeling like he was missing something. He missed the ring. He wanted to come back and do it right by taking on Lesnar, as opposed to how Jericho came back to fight Fandango. Jericho has been poking the bear this entire time. He questioned Orton’s intelligence and insinuated that he was afraid of The Beast which is why the two have never fought each other, even though they came into the WWE together. Orton had some strong words for Lesnar and brushed off a lot of what Jericho was spewing out.

“It only takes one RKO to get to Viperville. No enhancement needed.” – Randy Orton

Every time Jericho said something rude or disrespectful, he asked Orton if he was gonna give him an RKO outta nowhere. Orton just smiled. Jericho told him to watch out before he catches a Codebreaker outta nowhere.

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Jericho says he knows someone close to Lesnar and they wanted to relay a message to Orton. Pretty much, Lesnar plans on ripping off his shoulder and beating him with his arm. Jericho continues to tell Orton to focus on Lesnar. Orton kees his cool but he’s getting real fidgety. Jericho notices and again chides him about his RKO. Jericho is unthreatened and even tells Orton that he doesn’t believe he’s gonna do anything. Jericho turns his back on Orton….

and Orton does nothing really. He’s just kidding. He just makes it LOOK like he was going to —

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#RKOOuttaNowhere

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Ladies and gentlemen, HE’S BACK!!!

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Dean Ambrose Vs. Seth Rollins Vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Championship Match

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This is it. The battle of former brothers. The champ is the only one representing SmackDown. Reigns returns and Rollins seeks to prove that he was always the best. This is it!

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This match is a big deal. Both GMs and Commissioners have ringside seats, and both locker rooms are on the edge of their seats. If Ambrose wins, all of the SmackDown competitors can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they have a chance to become champion. RAW has 2 shots at bringing home the gold. What brand will come out on top and who will be the champion at nights end?

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The best entrance goes to Roman Reigns. Epic beard. Booed before his music even started.

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The future of the WWE are all in the ring. Jo Jo does her thing and the ref is ready to call for the bell and start the match.

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As soon as the match starts, Rollins is up to know good. He taunts his former brothers by putting his fist out. He goes to both guys and tries to get some “love”. Neither is having it and Reigns quickly tosses him out the ring.

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Reigns looks at Rollins then Ambrose. He doesn’t want to fight Ambrose just yet so he follows Seth outside the ring. Seth runs back in and Ambrose sends him out again. Reigns throws him around and back into the ring. Rollins ducks an Ambrose clothesline, and Reigns follows up with a clothesline that send Rollins back out to the floor. Reigns looks down at Rollins and Ambrose makes his move. Ambrose steps up behind Reigns and goes for the roll up.Reigns kicks out at two. He glares at Ambrose and Ambrose grins.

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The same thing happens when Rollins gets back in the ring but this time, Reigns goes for the pin on Ambrose. The two have it out in the middle of the ring and Reigns seems stronger somehow. Ambrose attempted a cross body and bounced right off of him. Safe to say, no ring rust. Rollins slides back in and takes control of the situation. He keeps Reigns down in the corner while Ambrose recovers in another. This wouldn’t last for long as Reigns would quickly take control. Ambrose and Rollins consult each other about Reigns. They decide that he’s too strong to take alone. They team up on him and try to Powerbomb him in the middle of the ring. Reigns fights out of it. Ambrose would manage to get Reigns out the ring and he and Rollins would dive on him. They see their opportunity again, but this time it’s the announce table. They toss off the cover, remove the TVs and they do manage to put him through it.

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Rollins and Ambrose fall to the ground and take a breather. Rollins digs under the ring and finds a chair. No one is safe when Rollins has a chair.

After working on Reigns, Rollins grabs Ambrose and rolls him in the ring. He’s looking to end it quick but Ambrose has other plans. The two duke it out and end up on the top rope with Ambrose looking for a Superplex. Reigns slides in and has a Powerbomb party, dropping both men with bombs. Guess he wanted revenge for the table.

Rollins rolls out of the ring leaving Reigns and Ambrose to duke it out. After a stiff punch, Ambrose bounces off the ropes looking for his patented clothesline but is met with a Superman punch instead that sends him out of the ring. Rollins sneaks in from the other side and surprises Reigns with a kick and a Pedigree.

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Reigns is somehow able to kick out at 2 and 3 quarters! Rollins tries another Pedigree but Reigns blocks it. Rollins recovers and picks Reigns up for a Bucklebomb. Reigns hits the turnbuckle but bounces off and hits Rollins with a Superman punch. He follows that up with a Spear!

Reigns goes for the pin but Ambrose slides in and picks him up. He hits Reigns with Dirty Deeds and the WWE Championship is coming home to SmackDown!

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The entire SmackDown locker room comes down to celebrate. They lift up the champ and parade him around. What does this mean for RAW? Will they ever see the WWE Championship again or will they have to go without? Will they just have to make a new title or un-retire a classic? We may find out tomorrow.

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Yes, The Usos carry Dean Ambrose after pinning their cousin. Because brand loyalty baby!!!

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