SmackDown (8/16/16)

Contract Signing

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Randy Orton is with his GM and Commissioner in the back, ready to sign his contract for SummerSlam. He does so with full confidence.

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Heath Slater comes through with a fruit basket in an attempt to make up for his outburst last week. He throws Randy an apple and hopes that all is forgiven. It’s not, but Randy has a bright idea…..

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Miz TV (w/ Dean Ambrose & Dolph Ziggler)

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Dolph and Dean storm the set and the two have a lot on their minds. Before they can takeover the show and eventually throw fists, Miz gets control of things. He questions Dolph’s resurgence and his ability to follow through. Dean echoes those sentiments.

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Dolph isn’t about showing off anymore. He’s about proving. No amount of chips on his shoulder can hold him down come Sunday. And oh yeah, just like last week, Dean owes Dolph one.

During the Commercial Break

Crews

We missed it! Crews and Miz had their first face to face altercation and it comes just days before SummerSlam nonetheless. Crews gets the better of the IC champ tonight. Will Miz suffer the same fate come Sunday?

The Usos, American Alpha, & The Hype Bros Vs. Breezango, The Vaudevillains, & The Ascension – 12 Man Tag Team Match

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Six Heels Vs. Six Faces. I’m sure you know how this ends up. After The Usos go crazy, American Alpha ends it in Grand style. Game, Faces.

Eva Marie Vs. Naomi

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Hey! Naomi is back and ready for action! Everything glows in the dark now, seriously. Her hair, she has a mouthpiece, she has a glow in the dark body suit — she even had a bag of goodies! She passed out swag and flipped around as everything semi-glowed in the dark, it was awesome! When it was time for Eva Marie to come out, uhhh not so much. Apparently the Red Queen was stuck in traffic. That’s the third week in a row something has happened and she wasn’t able to compete. Good to see Naomi back!

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#BeatUpJohnCenaParty

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AJ Styles runs into Alberto Del Rio in the back. Since his boys are on RAW, he hasn’t had anyone to talk about beating up John Cena with! Del Rio is a wise guy. He knows what AJ is trying to do and he shuts it down quick. He doesn’t need someone to hype him up for a match, (Del Rio will be facing John Cena later on tonight.) especially when it’s someone that he barely knows! AJ makes a snarky remark about having a match at SummerSlam while Del Rio isn’t even on the card.After a momentary stare-off, AJ walks away.

Curt Hawkins

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Curt Hawkins is coming to SmackDown LIVE! I don’t know when, sometime soon. Too bad Shelton Benjamin is hurt. We would’ve loved to see him suit up for #TeamBlue again. Anyway, did you know that Curt Hawkins has counted to infinity twice? Crazy!

Randy Orton Vs. Heath Slater

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This must be the idea Randy had earlier! Give Heath another opportunity but this time against Orton. This can’t be right. Slater has already taken Ls from Jinder Mahal and Rhyno, and he visited Suplex City last night on RAW! The guy’s got heart. The match starts and Randy throws Heath around, beating him into a pulp. He pounds on Slater in the corner and the ref starts counting. The ref is trying everything in his strength to get Randy back but The Viper must be hearing voices. The ref has no choice but to call for the bell. Technically speaking, Heath Slater just beat Randy Orton? Anything can happen.

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Orton wasn’t done. He pummeled Slater all over the ring, throwing him over the announce table and hitting that Hangman’s DDT off the barricade before bringing him back into the ring.

 

Everyone is expecting an RKO but Randy gives us a German Suplex. He flexes his chest muscles and bounces in place, much like a BEAST that is exclusive to RAW. Shots fired? The Universe wouldn’t be disappointed as Randy does land an RKO before letting the poor man be. Orton just made a huge statement.

Wyatts?

One Man Band-Aid

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Heath is in the back on the trainer’s table after his ‘win’. Shane and Daniel drop by to check on him and maybe even congratulate him. After all the damage that Heath has absorbed over the past two days, his mind isn’t exactly in the right place. He claims that he beat up Brock AND Randy and showed them no mercy. Daniel likes the sound of that thus the PPV in October will be called, No Mercy. Been a while since we heard that PPV name thrown around. The Commish pulls out a contract and hands it to Slater. Heath just can’t seem to keep his big mouth shut! He goes on to mistake Daniel Bryan for Mick Foley and Shane McMahon for Stephanie. He takes a few digs at Daniel and calls ‘Stephanie’ beautiful. Shane takes exception to that and pulls the contract away from Slater when he closes his eyes. Heath Slater is STILL a free agent.

Rivalry Still on Pause

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If you recall, before his injury, Randy had some heat with The Wyatts. The beat him down and he was never quite able to get revenge. The Wyatts had come down almost immediately after the RKO so they crossed paths with Orton. There was a stare down and it looked like Bray said something to Orton. Perhaps there may be some unfinished business between The Viper and The Wyatts? Plot is oatmeal.

Dean Ambrose Vs. Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)

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Good to see Erick Rowan get some singles shine! I think that kick last week might’ve earned him this spot. A one on one with the champ? Nice gig. Now take this Dirty Deeds and I’ll See You Next Tuesday. See what I did there? Ambrose wins.

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After the match, Bray stares at Erick’s sheep mask. He stands up, places the mask in his rocking chair, and walks away. Did Bray just abandon one of his own?

Carmella & Becky Lynch Vs. Natalya & Alexa Bliss

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Tag team action in the Women’s Division! Becky Lynch comes in on a hot tag and she’s ripping it up. Then, everything goes red…..

Eva?

Eva Marie has overcome traffic and made it to the arena. She struts down the aisle with a smirk on her face. Before she can get halfway down the ramp, Naomi comes out. If Eva is here, maybe there’s still a match to be had?

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Eva wants none of Naomi. She backs away and runs around the ring, ending up inside. Naomi follows suit but Nattie dumps her out. Eva escapes, Nattie goes for the roll up on Becky, but Becky counters with the Dis-Arm-Her! Carmella and Becky win! What an odd turn of events.

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Don’t Be a Bully…

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For the second consecutive week, Baron Corbin has assaulted Kalisto backstage. He sends a stern message this time around. Every time Kalisto gets back up, he will be there to knock him down.

Squeeze In One More

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One more video about Lesnar & Orton. What’s that you say? We’ve seen this exact clip already. True.

Alberto Del Rio Vs. John Cena

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AJ Styles joins the guys at the announce table for a closer view of his SummerSlam opponent. He and Del Rio may not be very fond of each other but he’s pulling for him tonight to put a hurting on Cena.

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Cena and Del Rio have a match reminiscent of their Hell in a Cell bout. Del Rio goes for the Cross Armbreaker and Cena counters with an STF. Del Rio would eventually lock in that Armbreaker and Cena would counter with a Powerbomb. Much like last week against Orton, Del Rio put forth a valiant effort but this week he fell to the Attitude Adjustment.

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AJ is not pleased. He steps up on the apron and nails a celebrating Cena with a Phenomenal Forearm. He talks that talk one more time and almost leaves the ring. He’s worked himself up enough that he feels he needs to leave a true impression.

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Styles comes back to Cena and sets up for a Styles Clash. Cena counters with an AA! That wouldn’t be all. Cena throws the cover off the announce table and slams AJ’s head into the steel steps. He sets the stairs up close to the announce table and picks up AJ. AA through the announce table!

Now that’s what I call a statement!

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SmackDown 8/9/16

The Wyatt Family owned the show last week, ending SmackDown LIVE with a beating to both the champion and the number one contender. Lesnar brought the pain to Orton all the way from RAW, and American Alpha made their debut. That’s what we’re building with tonight!

Viperville Rio!

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Everyone is buzzing about the Orton/Lesnar match up. It’s getting annoying. It’s like a TV with ESPN on all day. Same regurgitated story all day long from different mouths. Orton arrives to the arena only to be faced with more Lesnar talk.

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All of this is interrupted by Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio has grown tired of all the SummerSlam talk as well and it’s been reported that he and Orton will be facing off tonight. Del Rio plans on sending Orton to SummerSlam with a broken arm.

The Enemy of My Enemy is STILL My Enemy

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Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan are in the ring. Bray is complaining about the recent turn of events. Dean Ambrose comes out and calls him a crybaby. He wants to run in and fight, but he knows better. Apparently, Ziggler doesn’t. He comes out, walks right past Dean Ambrose, and zips straight to the ring. He gets beat up on until Ambrose joins. Rowan goes down and Ziggler is in the corner. Bray gets ready to deliver Sister Abigail to Dean. Dolph goes for a Super Kick and he hits Dean instead. Whoops!

Screw You!

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After getting themselves handled by The Wyatts, Dean & Dolph have a bit of a conversation in the back. Ambrose isn’t so sure that Super Kick wasn’t intentional. He tells Ziggler that he owes him one. Shane and Daniel walk by and book a match for the main event. Ziggler and Ambrose will face the Wyatts.

American Alpha Vs. Mikey O’Shea & Mike Vega (Local Competitors)

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Ready for another brief showcase of skill and talent? Another beat down on some locals? Well so are a lot of the tag team division. The Ascension, The Hype Bros, and The Vaudevillains come down and surround the ring like lumberjacks. Why be a fly on the wall when you can BE the wall?

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The match itself took maybe 3 minutes and that’s because Alpha prolonged it. After they hit Grand Amplitude and the Mikes left the ring, the guys on the main roster step up.

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A full on brawl ensues with Alpha standing tall at the end. If SmackDown LIVE DOES come up with some new tag titles, Alpha have got to be the front runners.

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#AllRedEverything

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It looks like the next action we’ll be seeing in the ring will involve Eva Marie. Are you ready?

Let’s Talk Some Smack

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Renee Young sits with Miz and Maryse to discuss Miz’s title defense against Apollo Crews. Miz is more interested in talking about how beautiful his wife is. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just Miz being Miz.

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A video montage of Apollo Crews plays and when we get back to Renee and company at the table, Miz and Maryse have decided to express their love for each other in a very public way.

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Miz compares Maryse’s beauty to that of legend and Maryse speaks to Renee on her husband’s behalf. According to Maryse, no rookie will beat her husband so Crews is not to be considered a threat.

Becky Lynch Vs. Eva Marie

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It’s time! Last week was supposed to be Eva’s first match back on the main roster in quite some time. She can’t hide behind Nia Jax anymore and the Universe is clearly against her. You can’t really go off of the crowd reaction because what they want is so specific. Roman Reigns hasn’t had a bad match in over a year yet they boo him mercilessly. That’s a different show so let’s get back to the SmackDown Live debut of #AllRedEverything.

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Eva enters the ring and this time, she DOES NOT injure herself hopping down from the second rope. This time, her top mysteriously comes off and she yells for a towel.

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She runs to the back and Becky is left in the ring for the second consecutive week. The referee calls the match off before it could even begin.

Becky Lynch Vs. ???

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Becky is furious. She just wants a match! It’s understandable. She takes her frustration to the mic an issues an open challenge to any woman in the back willing to throw down.

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Luckily for Becky, Alexa Bliss is willing to fill in. Eva’s debut has turned into Alexa’s! Midway through the match, Eva Marie comes back out fully covered and ready to go.

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The all red moment was enough to distract Becky Lynch allowing Alexa to hit her with a chokeslam followed by Twisted Bliss. Win for the rookie!

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Eva didn’t mean any harm to Becky or Alexa and she seemed genuinely disappointed that she was unable to compete. She said a few words right after Alexa’s match and promised to try again next week.

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Randy Orton Vs. Alberto Del Rio

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Orton and Del Rio as the third match? Seems a bit early in the show. Anyway, great match! Del Rio was true to his word and worked on Orton’s arm. There was vintage Orton, there was innovative Orton.

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After Randy hit his patented hangman DDT, he was gearing up for an RKO. Del Rio was able to roll out and escape. Orton chased him to the timekeeper’s area where Del Rio assaulted him with a chair. Orton wins by DQ but there’s more pain to come.

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After a few chair shots outside the ring, Orton escapes to the comforts of the squared circle. He nurses his wounds while Del Rio has a moment with a few of the fans. Del Rio slides into the ring and walks up on Orton only to be met with an RKO. It wasn’t quite out of nowhere but it did seem like time stopped for about half a second.

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As great as Del Rio is, he’s no Brock Lesnar. If Orton struggled here, how does he think he can hang with a BEAST?

Slater Pleads

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Heath Slater may act like he loves being a free agent, but deep down (heck, maybe even on the surface) he knows he wants to be tied to a brand. He’s scheduled to have a match with Rhyno tonight and if he wins, he gets a contract to be included on the SmackDown LIVE roster. He comes to Rhyno in the back and tries to cut a deal. Slater mentions his 2 kids and swimming pool he has to pay for. Rhyno takes a second to think about it, asks about the kids and the swimming pool, and pauses. Slater brings up his 4 kids again. Rhyno makes a face and says, “I thought you said you had two kids?” Slater looks down with guilt. No dice Heathy baby.

A Bone to Pick With Scooby Doo

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The Miz approaches Scooby Doo and he has an issue. Miz wants to know why he isn’t on the cover of the DVD. He demands that all the movies be pulled off shelves and be replaced with new copies featuring himself on the cover. Scooby tries to calm Miz down with some Scooby Snacks he has in the Mystery Machine. He invites Miz in and locks him inside. Scooby somehow got his hands on the Miz’s car keys and drives off in his car.

Rhyno Vs. Heath Slater

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The cards are stacked against Heath Slater and Rhyno is here to Gore them down. It won’t be smooth sailing for either Superstar. Rhyno is a monster and Heath is fighting for his career.

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Slater looks really good out there! He’s never looked better as a singles Superstar. It’s looking like he might just win. He’s willing to do so by any means necessary which includes cutting corners, poking eyes, and using the ropes for leverage.

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The ref counts two before he notices Slater using the ropes for an unfair advantage. He stops the count and a disheveled Heath Slater starts to panic. He loses sight of the goal and of his opponent. Bad move.

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Rhyno wins. I think we should all take a step back and let Heath have a moment.

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Wyatt Family Values

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Bray Wyatt is one of the greatest speakers this side of the year 2000. With Erick Rowan still in his hand, The Wyatts are still a force to be reckoned with. Bray ignites a flame within Rowan, encouraging him to die for the cause. the cause being….. I guess Bray Wyatt? Rowan is down for that cause.

The Hottest Free Agent

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Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are in the back discussing Heath Slater. Daniel Bryan has an unsigned contract and he wants Slater to sign. Shane is uncertain but Daniel wants Slater for his heart and never-say-die mentality. He feels that it’s a great representation of what #TeamBlue stands for. Shane buys in and Heath Slater approaches furious. Heath feels disrespected that he even had to fight for his job. Daniel Bryan is trying to tell him about the contract but Slater has too much steam. He PG curses (yeah, that’s a thing) Shane and Daniel out before storming out. Heath Slater successfully walked away from a guaranteed contract. What is Slater going to do about his 7 kids now?

Carmella Vs. Natalya

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Carmella and Natalya aren’t strangers. Nattie did a lot of work with the new class of women down in NXT. Nattie probably taught Carmella a lot in Florida, and if not, she’s teaching her tonight. Carmella can’t get the ball rolling and Nattie is looking like the top woman in SmackDown. Carmella hung in there waiting for an opening. She had just enough left in the tank to lock in the Code of Silence and make Nattie tap. I guess it’s true when they say it only takes one mistake.

Cena/Styles Build

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Neither Cena nor Styles have a match tonight. Instead we’re stuck seeing clips of their feud from previous matches…..again.

One Wolf, Pack Pride

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Commotion in the back. Baron Corbin has attacked Kalisto again. Staff and officials are trying to break it up. Corbin looks down at a battered Kalisto and tells him, “That’s for making me lose the IC title opportunity.” Well okay. We’re attacking people in the back for our own shortcomings now? Gotcha.

Dean Ambrose & Dolph Ziggler Vs. The Wyatts

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The match starts with a bit of chest puffing. Ambrose and Ziggler both want to start the match and end up being attacked by The Wyatts. Based on how that ends up, Ambrose and Bray become the legal men.

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New Era or not, there’s no way the front runners on SmackDown LIVE were going to lose heading into SummerSlam. Erick Rowan still has a nice spin kick.

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It wasn’t easy but Ambrose and Ziggler manage to pull off the victory. Ziggler pats Ambrose on the back and congratulates him. Ambrose must’ve been broke because he cashed in Ziggler then and there. Dirty Deeds. He told Ziggler he owed him one, now they’re even.

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One more show before SummerSlam.

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SmackDown (8/2/16)

The First 30 Minutes

In case you missed it, SmackDown LIVE Superstar Randy Orton ended RAW last night with a bang. You can read about that and other shenanigans from last night’s RAW here.

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It appears that both the GM and Commissioner of SmackDown are not too pleased with the Viper’s slithery ways. Shane knows that Lesnar will not be taking the situation lightly and it wouldn’t be above the Beast Incarnate to make an appearance on SmackDown. This IS where Lesnar first kicked his career off making a name for himself and becoming a Champion. Randy may want to watch his back and Shane definitely needs Orton healthy with the lack of household names on the SmackDown Live roster. So what’s the solution?

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Security. Because it’s worked in the past, right? Orton isn’t taking this whole thing seriously. Clearly he proved last night that he’ll be fine with or without anyone’s assistance. Exit stage right.

Shane and Daniel don’t seem to care what Orton thinks. It’s their job to make sure that all of their staff and Superstars are safe from outside interference. They disperse the security and continue down their path until they hear the voice of a whiny champion.

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The Miz seems to have a problem with the way he was treated after his ‘victory’ at Battleground. I mean, he DID bring the title back to SmackDown and he was a pretty high draft pick. Ambrose was literally lifted by the entire roster and Miz’s match left everyone wondering what just happened. Daniel Bryan tells Miz right to his face that he drafted the title and not the person. Speaking of title, Miz needs a #1 contender for SummerSlam so Bryan sets up a Triple Threat match that will take place tonight to determine that. The contenders? Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews and Kalisto.

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How does everyone know where to find Shane and Daniel? This is getting ridiculous. This time it’s Dean Ambrose and he just volunteered to kick off the show with a few words.

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All Superstars Matter?

Ambrose enters the ring and it’s clear he still has a chip on his shoulder. He invites Dolph Ziggler to the ring to share it with him.

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Ziggler is clearly not dressed for a match or anything and he comes down to the ring as humble as can be. No showing off, just simply showing up. Dean Ambrose doesn’t seem to care. He just wanted to tell Ziggler to his face that he will not be losing his title anytime soon. He talks about scratching and clawing his way up the roster and realizing and living his dream. Ambrose believes that Dolph is too worried about showing off and getting the approval of the WWE Universe and the locker room.

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Ziggler takes exception to these words, seeing as he got his first push as a member of the Spirit Squad. You want to talk about scratching and clawing? Ziggler was once a caddy for Kerwin White aka Chavo Guerrero. Ambrose came in as the leader of The Shield. He walked into the company as a favorite and practically had main event status handed to him while Dolph had to wrestle on well, WWE Main Event! There’s no denying the struggles both Superstars had to overcome, the REAL question is who will walk out of SummerSlam with the gold?

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Ambrose has heard we he needed to hear and said his piece. He leaves. Commercial break? Not quite.

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I’m Here to Show the WORLD

And just like that,  Bray Wyatt appears and steals the show. Kind of ironic. Bray doesn’t feel like Dolph deserves his status as the number one contender so he offers Dolph a challenge. A match tonight. He wants Ziggler to put his status as the number one contender on the line. There are officially buzzards to follow.

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After a commercial break, Ziggs finds the two most findable people in the history of hide and go seek, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. He’s livid. Ziggler doesn’t believe that anyone is in his corner and he feels obligated to prove himself. Prove himself to everyone including the guys who drafted him. He demands that Shane and Daniel book the match Bray Wyatt is asking for. Shane calls it a deal and Ziggler storms off. Was Dean Ambrose right about Dolph? Did he just make the biggest mistake of his career?

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Baron Corbin Vs. Kalisto Vs. Apollo Crews – #1 Contender Match

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Miz and Maryse take a front row seat for this bout. With one of these guys being the Miz’s next big challenge, it’s only right. The match starts and Corbin is punching everyone. He almost punches himself. There are no scenarios in which teamwork is a thing, and it’s clearly and truly every man for himself.

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Crews is down after a Deep 6. He some how managed to kick out. Kalisto and Corbin duke it out with Corbin immediately getting the upper hand. Corbin goes between both men throwing punches until Crews is able to fight back. Down goes Crews again. Corbin turns around and catches a flying Kalisto. Corbin carries him close to the ropes and Crews kicks him in the back of the head with a Drop kick. Kalisto flips Corbin over the top rope and Crews rolls him up from behind. Three count! Apollo Crews is the new #1 contender for the IC championship.

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That wouldn’t be the end of things. An angry Baron Corbin takes out his frustrations on Kalisto. Crews runs back to the ring to help. Crews gets Corbin in the corner but is blindsided by The Miz. Miz plants Crews with a Skull Crushing Finale.

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As he stands over Crews, Miz doesn’t sense a dark presence behind him. What is it you might be asking?

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The End of Days.

Becky Lynch Vs. Eva Marie

Yeah! The women’s division is alive and strong on SmackDown! There may not be a title but there is fierce competition. Becky is clearly a front runner here, and Eva Marie is….nice to look at? I personally believe she’s gotten better over time but it’s been a while since she’s been in the ring. Will there be rust? And what new tricks does she have under her sleeve?

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Uhhh…… what is going on?

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I don’t understand.

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Is this for real?

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Is she okay?

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So maybe next time?

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Speedy recovery Eva.

Maybe she wasn’t ready? I’m not sure if this is legit or not. We have no choice but to wait and see. If she truly hurt herself, we witnessed it live when she jumped down off the ropes.

How You Doin’?

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Renee Young is in the studio and she has a special guest with her.

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It’s Carmella! No time to miss Enzo & Cass. She’s a rising star here on SmackDown. She’s not buying Eva’s potential injury, and Nattie isn’t buying her. Natalya is jealous that Renee didn’t invite her in to talk. Nattie is the self-proclaimed leader of the women here on SmackDown and she doesn’t like Carmella’s attitude. Not enough boot kissing. Carmella is the Princess of Staten Island and royalty doesn’t back down. She challenges Nattie to a match tonight.

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The Vaudevillains Vs. American Alpha

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American Alpha has finally made it to the main roster! Wow. It’s like watching NXT. The Vaudevillains unfortunately don’t get the same love they did in NXT. Maybe the novelty has worn off? Or maybe they need to leave their heelish ways behind. Either way, Breezango has passed them in popularity. They need to go find The Ascension and have a fantastic match at the SummerSlam Pre-show. Otherwise they’ll be in this same predicament when it comes time to put The Revival over. But I guess, welcome to the big league Alpha!

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Styles Adjustment

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AJ Styles has had it with John Cena. He has some words for The Face That Runs the Place and all of Cenation. With John Cena being the man he is, he’d rather hear these words to his face.

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I mean, it’s all fine and dandy out here. Styles just thinks everyone that cheers for John Cena is a misguided loser. He asks Cena why he’s even still around? Cena thinks that’s a dumb question. He’s around because he loves it here! Always has and always will.

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To sum it up, rematch at SummerSlam. Yeah, I know. You’re smart and you figured that. If you didn’t see this segment I would highly recommend that you find it somewhere on the internet. Styles was magnificent on the mic! John Cena was well, John Cena on the microphone.

Fandango Vs. Randy Orton

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Breezango is here together because ain’t no party like a Breezango party! You can’t have Fadango without a Breeze, and apparently we can’t have this match without security. Why do we need security again?

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Oh yeah. Revenge is a dish best served cold. RKOs are best served out of nowhere.

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Where does that leave F5s?

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Out the building….for now.

Slater Pleads His Case

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Daniel Bryan is on the phone trying to figure out how Brock got through security. Heath Slater has somehow found a way into his office! Slater must be tired of being blindsided in the ring and embarrassed in front of thousands of people. He begs again for a contract and Daniel Bryan has a solution for him. DB tells Slater that he’s giving him an opportunity for a contract. Slater gets a match next week against Rhyno. Rhyno hits him with a gore out of nowhere. Poor Slater.

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Ambrose Is Still A Lunatic

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Ambrose weighs in on the main event for tonight. He can go either way. Ziggler is the kind of guy to lose a match like this, but Ambrose isn’t banking on it. I think he’s starting to see a change in Dolph Ziggler. Is that respect on your sleeve Ambrose?

Viper Rules

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Hey! A Randy Orton interview after being attacked by Brock Lesnar! He’s leaving the trainer’s room when he’s stopped by Charly Caruso. Let’s tune in:

Caruso: After being attacked by an invading Brock Lesnar, what is your condition?

Randy: *sips water and walks away*

Carmella Vs. Natalya

Yes! Finally a women’s match on SmackDown LIVE!

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Nevermind. I guess Nattie doesn’t actually like to wrestle anymore. Let’s just blindside everyone until a PPV. Lame.

Do You Believe?

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Last chance for Ziggler to change his mind and Daniel and Shane try to make it happen. Ziggler takes that as a sign of disrespect. He’s gonna prove that he deserves respect and he deserves to be in the title picture.

Bray Wyatt Vs. Dolp Ziggler – #1 Contender Match

Dean Ambrose joins us at ringside and it’s on. Ziggler comes out the gate hot! Bray cools him off with a big clothesline. Bray is working on getting a turnbuckle pad off and the ref stops him. Ziggler is able to capitalize with a Zig Zag.

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Only a two count. What does Ziggler have to do in order to keep Bray down? I’m not sure. Ziggler goes for the turnbuckle pad this time and he’s able to rip it off. Bray is having none of that and escapes Ziggler’s clutches. Ziggler is sold on connecting Bray’s face to the exposed turnbuckle but ends up getting himself exposed to the mat after Bray Wyatt spikes him. Wyatt throws Ziggler into the corner with the exposed turnbuckle pad but Ziggler hits the corner low. Bray moves in and Ziggler counters. He finally introduces Wyatt’s face to the turnbuckle and follows that up with a Super Kick. Winner… AND STILL number one contender.

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Family Over Everything

Ziggler rejoices and points at Dean Ambrose. He’s coming for the champ next. Before any of that can happen, one of the forgotten draft picks of SmackDown LIVE makes his first appearance. It’s Erick Rowan! He and Bray beat down Ziggler and when Dean Ambrose comes in to help he catches a beat down too.

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Kiss the baby.

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Some things never change.

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SmackDown LIVE (7/26/16)

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Just as RAW did the night before, SmackDown LIVE has a new logo, new music, and a new video intro. The very first thing we see is Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan holding microphones ready to drop some knowledge. They talk to the camera, get real buddy buddy. They remind us that SmackDown LIVE is about the Universe and the Superstars. They lead the cameraman to the ring where all of the recently drafted Superstars surround them.

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After a well deserved “Yes” chant, Shane informs us that SmackDown LIVE will be hosting their very own PPVs live on the WWE Network starting September 11. That first PPV will be a classic known as Backlash.

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The next thing to do, is decide who will be facing Dean Ambrose at Summer Slam! Ambrose was the only Superstar not already at ringside so Shane calls him down. Ambrose comes down full of energy and up for a challenge. He wants to know who his opponent is and he’s ready.

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Daniel Bryan announces that there will be a 6 Pack Challenge for the #1 contender at SummerSlam and it will take place tonight. He rattles off a bunch of names:

John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and AJ Styles.

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Now that’s only 5 names and there’s a reason for that. Bryan states that everyone is eligible for the last spot. There will be a Battle Royal for the 6th and final spot. The Battle Royal starts now.

Battle Royal

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In a Battle Royal it’s always wise to eliminate the biggest and strongest Superstars first. Everyone seemed to be on the same page and went straight for either Kane or Erick Rowan as soon as the bell rang. Both Superstars were able to break out of the scrum.

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Kane is Kane. He’s eliminating Superstars one tag team at a time!

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The last four competitors remaining are Kane, Zack Ryder, Kalisto and Apollo Crews.Final4.png

After some high flying shenanigans from Zack Ryder and Kalisto onto Crews, Kane gets up from a momentary nap. He grabs a charging Kalisto and throws him over the top with a chokeslam-like grip. Ryder goes next. The last two guys are Kane and Crews. Kane tries to end it quickly, by tossing Crews out the same way he did the last two. Crews backflips out of the choke hold and backs away from Kane.

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Kane rushes him and Crews pulls the top rope down on him. Kane falls over the top rope and eliminates himself. Crews wins! He’ll be the last person in the 6 Pack Challenge.

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In an interview right after the match, Crews reminded himself to calm down. There’s still work to do. One match down, one to go.

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The Return of Shelton Benjamin?!?!

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Is it true? I’ve heard rumors before but it appears to be happening!! Shelton Benjamin would be a perfect fit on SmackDown LIVE. Check him out on the network. His feud with Evolution was epic!

Straight From the Heart

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Dolph Ziggler cuts an intense promo prior to the main event tonight. He speaks on bashing his head on the metaphoric glass ceiling and losing his way in the ring. Now he’s renewed. He’s in a sound place with a good head on his shoulders and he promises to steal the show.

Becky Lynch Vs. Natalya

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A rematch from Sunday in the New Era? Why? I have hope!

This match is a lot more fast paced, even more physical, but just as intense. Becky is able to protect her leg this time around and she’s on the offensive. Nattie has her moments but she can’t keep Becky Balboa down. After Nattie catches Becky with a German Suplex, the tides turn a bit. Natalya would even get in position for a Sharpshooter. Before she can wrap the legs, Becky grabs her hand. She pulls Nattie down and transitions into a Dis-arm-her. Nattie taps and Becky gets her revenge.

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The Women of Tuesday Night

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Renee Young is ready to interview Becky and they are both interrupted by an unfamiliar (to some) voice.

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It’s Alexa Bliss! She tells Becky that she’s old news and that she is the personification of the New Era. More music!

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It’s Naomi! Welcome back! She tells Alexa that she’s gotta get in that ring before she can claim anything. Naomi is back and ready to take over Tuesday nights. The jukebox must be broken now because here comes someone else.

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It’s Carmella! The First Lady of Staten Island. She’s ready to through her hat in the ring and boogie, and so is the next interrupting Superstar,

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Eva Marie! She has the most over the top entrance possibly ever and it makes everyone stop and watch. Some guy with a cheesy announcer voice introduces her. I guess we’re supposed to be seduced or something? I guess so. The ladies are here and the competition will be fierce. That’s a great sign because there is no Woman’s title on SmackDown LIVE. I’m sure something can be arranged.

The Lone Wolf

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Baron Corbin just wanted to let us all know that he is and always has been self centered. That is all.

Miz Tv w/ Special Guest The Miz?

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Miz gets the crowd whipped into a frenzy. It’s SmackDown LIVE! With Miz being exclusive to Tuesdays, this is a thing now! Miz says he has a great guest tonight. This person is a Legend Killer and through Evolution has become one of the all time greats.

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No, it’s not Randy Orton. It’s himself. Yes, Miz interviews himself. Well not for long because someone has a bone to pick with him.

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The Viper is here and he doesn’t like where Miz is going with this. It clearly sounded like he was calling out Orton and now Orton is here. Miz asks him why he would decide to come back and have his first match back with Brock Lesnar. Orton says it doesn’t have to be his first match back, he can do that tonight against The Miz. Miz reminds him of their history and how he beat Orton for the WWE Championship years ago.

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Randy has some more harsh words for both Miz and Maryse and Miz remains calm. Maryse doesn’t. She accepts Orton’s challenge for her husband and now we’ll see the two face off!

The Miz Vs. Randy Orton

The bell rings and Miz rolls out the ring to have a chat with his wife. He whispers something in Maryse’s ear before climbing back in the ring. Miz does have a gameplan. He goes straight for the surgically repaired shoulder of Orton.

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Miz is in complete control of this match until Randy hits an RKO outta nowhere!

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Orton doesn’t go for the pin. Instead, he stands up and backs away. He walks up and looks down at his prey, and begins pounding on the mat. The Miz gets to his feet and is hit with another RKO for good measure. This time he covers Miz for the 3 count.

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A Look At Alpha

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It looks like we’ll be seeing American Alpha next week on SmackDown LIVE!

The Unaccounted For

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There’s some sort of a local competitor in the ring. He’s gearing up for a match but is attacked by the undrafted Superstar, Heath Slater. Slater has a bone to pick. He should be on a roster and it looks like he’s using SmackDown LIVE to voice his frustration. He wants in on the 6 Pack match and he gets the crowd to chant, “Sign Heath Slater!” I’m pretty sure that will become a hashtag.

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Shane comes out to get the situation in check. The two go back and forth before another undrafted Superstar sneaks into the ring behind Slater. By the time Slater noticed, it was too late.

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GORE!!

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Throw in Shelton Benjamin and it looks like SmackDown LIVE may have just added 3 more talents to the roster.

They Don’t Want None

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AJ Styles has a bone to pick with Shane and Daniel. They didn’t draft The Club and now he has to prove himself in a 6 Pack match? He doesn’t like it but he IS ready to #BeatUpJohnCena.

The Whole World in His Hands

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Before the big match, Bray has words for the Universe. He usually has so much to say but not this time. He just really wants to win I guess. Welp! He heads down to the ring so the main event must be next.

The #1 Contender 6 Pack Challenge

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So.

Much.

Action.

So many Superstars, so little time! Everyone has their moment to shine in this match.

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After all 6 Superstars participate in some sort of Towers of Doom Super Power Plexbomb, only the bottom two guys are left standing. It’s Apollo Crews Vs. Baron Corbin, which you would know has happened in NXT if you watch. Corbin hits Deep Six but Crews kicks out. He goes for The End of Days but Crews flips out. Crews grabs Corbin and lifts him up. He hits a Spinout Powerbomb and goes for the cover.

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Bray pulls the referee out at 2.

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So now there’s no ref and Bray and Apollo are in the ring. Bray introduces Crews to Sister Abigail.

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Dolph hits a Zig Zag on Wyatt but there’s no ref to count! He tunes up the band for a Super Kick but Cena intercepts him. Attitude Adjustment. Bray gets bounced between Cena and Styles before he gets Pele kicked and rolls out the ring. Styles charges Cena and is met with an AA. Cena goes for the pin and the ref counts. AJ kicks out at 2!

 

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Styles rolls out of the ring and that’s when Super Cena comes out. Attitude Adjustments for everyone!

Cena turns around and finds a Phenomenal Forearm waiting for him.

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Styles turns around and falls victim to a Super Kick!

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Ziggler with the pin on Styles and the win!

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Dean Ambrose comes out to puff his chest, or as the young dudes say, ‘flex’ on Ziggler. He holds his title high and talks a little smack. This will be SmackDown LIVE’s main event come SummerSlam!

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The Commish and the GM come out to congratulate Ziggler and hype up the match. Good show for the B squad! You weren’t gonna top Bálor and Banks winning last night so you do what you can. Excited for the New Era!

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SmackDown LIVE!!! (7/19/16)

THE DRAFT IS HERE!!!!

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The draft will start here on SmackDown and will end after the show. All the anticipation and hype have led us to this moment. One key thing that must be noted is that contrary to what Stephanie wants, last night’s contest ended in a draw. Ambrose was given his title back and a rematch was scheduled for tonight! Sneaky things to note about the draft:

  • The Wyatts are not listed as a group
  • Ryback is not listed so his time with the company may have come to an end
  • Eva Marie is listed as a main roster Superstar and if drafted won’t count against the 6 NXT picks.
  • Nikki Bella, Tamina Snuka, and Luke Harper are not listed as potential draftees

Now that that’s out the way, let’s get down to business.

The First Overall Pick (Round 1)

Tonight is all about the draft. It’s great that after all these years SmackDown is finally live but that’s an afterthought. Everyone knows that RAW has the first pick and Stephanie and Mick had no hesitation when selecting the #1 overall pick in the draft….

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Seth Rollins. It was either going to be he or Ambrose and seeing as Stephanie and Dean don’t have the greatest history, this only made sense.

The draft will be broken up into rounds. Each round will consists of 5 picks alternating between shows with Raw picking 3 Superstars and SmackDown selecting 2. The rest of the first round was as follows:

RAW
  • Charlotte
  • Finn Bálor (NXT #1)
SmackDown
  • Dean Ambrose
  • AJ Styles

I won’t be going over the draft in this piece, but I WILL be covering it in other articles and writings. You can find the full list of drafted Superstars here.

John Cena Vs. Luke Gallows

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The coolest part of this match was that they did a picture in picture allowing us to watch commercials and Gallows get beat up at the same time! In somewhat of a preview to Battleground, Enzo and Cass came out to back Cena and Anderson and Styles were ringside  because duh. Gallows got a chance to look strong but nobody beats Super Cena on a special night. Gallows gets his attitude adjusted while Styles and Anderson have a spill courtesy of Enzo & Cass. How you doin?

Round 2

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The big names keep coming here as the main event caliber talent is starting to disappear from draft boards. Roman Reigns is the first pick of the second round and the Universe couldn’t have booed harder. Will we finally see a heel turn when the leader of the Roman Empire returns? We know now that he’ll be without the aide of Dean Ambrose.

RAW
  • Roman Reigns
  • Brock Lesnar
  • New Day
SmackDown
  • John Cena
  • Randy Orton

Champions (The Miz & Rusev w/Lana) Vs. Challengers (Zack Ryder & Darren Young w/Bob Backlund)

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This is a pretty nifty and innovative idea! The contenders for both the US and IC titles team up to take on the holders of said titles. Rusev has been on a tear and The Miz has even looked good lately, almost besting WWE Champ Dean Ambrose a couple of weeks ago on SmackDown. Ryder is getting a push and rolling with it. It almost wouldn’t be a surprise at this point if he somehow manages to win at Battleground.

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Teamwork makes a dream work and after Ryder and Young manage to get Rusev over the top rope and out, things are looking good for the challengers. Miz is still reeling from a Gut Check/Rough Ryder combo and an aggressive Ryder is all over Rusev out side the ring. Young looks toward his life coach for guidance and Backlund thinks it’s time. He orders Young to go for the Crossface Chicken Wing. Darren Young readies himself and sneaks up behind Miz. He grabs Miz and the wing is on! Miz taps and the unlikely duo of Ryder and Young win.

 

Bray Wyatt Vs. Xavier WoodsSacrifice

Having just been drafted to RAW, Xavier and the rest of New Day are here and happy! Woods gets in the ring and things must look and feel different for him. This is a Singles match against The New Face of Fear. There are no tags and nowhere to run. I think Woods realizes this as soon as the bell rings.

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Bray is back at his usual tricks, using fear as a tool for success and it’s working. Woods would almost conquer his fear but it would not be enough to conquer Bray Wyatt.

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Kane Vs. Kevin Owens

This.

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Match.

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Never happened.

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Round 3

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Bray won his match against Xavier Woods today but he may have lost his mental grip on him heading into Battleground. Woods can now rest easy knowing that he’ll be on RAW eating Booty-Os while Bray will be on SmackDown. Where will the rest of the Wyatts end up?

RAW
  • Sami Zayn
  • Sasha Banks
  • Chris Jericho
SmackDown
  • Bray Wyatt
  • Becky Lynch

Charlotte & Dana Brooke Vs. Sasha Banks (Handicap Match)

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How long has it been since we’ve seen a good ol’ fashioned sanctioned Handicap match? I mean, it’s not really a fair fight but if anybody in the WWE might be able to pull this off (aside from Lesnar & Super Cena) it would be The Boss!

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Well for the first time I think ever on the main roster, Banks was pinned! As clean as can be. She didn’t see Charlotte tag herself in while Dana was busy being Back Stabbed and put in the Bank Statement. Charlotte was able to hit a huge boot and Natural Selection to get the pin and leave Banks on her back.

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Round 4

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SmackDown decided it was time to add some more gold to the picture by taking The Miz. If you’re only going to have 2 titles on your show, why not the top 2 singles titles out there? After complaining the entire night about not being drafted, Kevin Owens is off the board too. He and Sami will still be seeing each other in the RAW locker room every week.

RAW
  • Rusev w/Lana
  • Kevin Owens
  • Enzo & Cass
SmackDown
  • The Miz w/Maryse
  • Baron Corbin

Cesaro Vs. Chris Jericho

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This was a bright spot in the night in terms of match ups! REAL competition between two of the most technical Superstars WWE has to offer. Jericho came into it bragging about already being drafted to RAW while Cesaro’s services were still up for grabs.

This match was like something from the Ruthless Aggression Era. Counters and reversals, dives and stiff shots. It looks like Cesaro is going to put it away but he gets caught with a Codebreaker while attempting a Springboard Uppercut. Lights out.

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Natalya Vs. Alicia Fox

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Brawl.

Yes, for the 3,466 week in a row and the second act of its kind tonight, a match that’s scheduled doesn’t happen. I had to scramble and piece together the people in the match and what kind of match it was. Right out of commercial break and into a fight, huh? I mean I guess so. There is no more, “Wait til Thursday.” You got to get it all out there now. Does Alicia still wrestle?

We get it. Nattie Vs. Becky at Battleground.

Round 5

NXT is in the house! Nia Jax and American Alpha go in this round. If you haven’t seen any of these Superstars perform, pay your $9.99 and do your research! The other news from this round is that Gallows & Anderson will no longer be tied to AJ Styles. That doesn’t mean that they’re alone in this crazy world. Plot thickens….

RAW
  • Gallows & Anderson
  • Big Show
  • Nia Jax (NXT #3)
SmackDown
  • American Alpha (NXT #2)
  • Dolph Ziggler

Round 6

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Neville! We haven’t seen or heard from him in a long time but I guess he’s due back from injury soon. Also, Nattie goes to SmackDown a few picks behind Becky. More heat for Battleground.

RAW
  • Neville
  • Sheamus
  • Cesaro
SmackDown
  • Natalya
  • Alberto Del Rio

The Main Event: Dean Ambrose Vs. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship Match)

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This match was almost exactly the same as last night’s. The only difference is the Superplex spot. Instead of a double pin, Rollins attempts to roll thru and land another but Ambrose has other plans. He slides out and hits Rollins with Dirty Deeds. A 3 count and a clean win for the Champ and SmackDown’s biggest asset going into Battleground.

All in all, it could’ve been better, it could’ve been worse. It was the first SmackDown LIVE and I believe it can only get better from here. We have to see how the rest of this draft goes and who will be chosen from NXT.

 

 

SmackDown 7/14/16

Finally! It’s been a long time coming but we’re almost there. This is the final recording of SmackDown before we go LIVE! Hopefully they do it justice. It’s not that big a deal really, but it’s still special.

Kevin Owens Is Petty

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While this isn’t news, it’s true. Today we start our show with Kevin Owens holding a piece of mail. Owens opens this envelope and it’s a card from Sami Zayn. He claims that it was given to him for his son before the falling out. He finds a $20 bill and calls Zayn cheap and mentions that Zayn was almost the Godfather of his son. He promises that if Sami comes down to the ring during his match he’ll send him to the hospital. He’s also rocking a really nice Finn Balor shirt.

Limousine Ridin’

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It may be 2016 but there’s still a person with the last name Flair stylin’ and profilin’ while holding onto a title! Charlotte and Dana Brooke have arrived in grand style and they still have unfinished business with the self proclaimed Boss. Both Dana and Charlotte are convinced that what happened on RAW was a fluke and lightning will NOT strike twice. Sasha Banks had better be prepared.

Awesome

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The Miz and Maryse are in the back putting on makeup and preparing for a special edition of Miz TV. Looks like the IC champ doesn’t take Darren Young or his life coach too seriously. Will Miz end up eating his words?

The Lunatic Champ

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What is this Terminator look Dean is rolling with tonight? I don’t know about that…. but anyway, he’s ready to fight Kevin Owens for the 2,843 time on SmackDown!

Sasha Banks Vs. Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte)

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The first match of the night has title implications. If Sasha can win this match, she’ll be a shoo-in for a title shot.

Dana is in over her head. The Boss has her number and it’s pretty obvious. Charlotte’s distractions aren’t even enough to help Brooke as she taps out to the Bank Statement yet again.

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Sasha can’t celebrate for even five seconds before Charlotte is in the ring kicking her in the face. Sasha spills out the ring near the announce tables and Charlotte follows her. She picks Sasha up and flings her over the announce table. I mean, it looked pretty bad.

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Banks lay there for a while and everyone was checking on her in the most kayfabe of ways. Charlotte and Dana left with smiles on their faces.

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Dolph Ziggler Vs. Rusev

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Dolph Ziggler is a scrappy mid carder with dreams of being champ. He always gives his all and is looking to steal the show. Rusev is a consummate professional, disposing of his opponents quickly and painfully.

Rusev is in go mode. The last time he was this unbeatable, was the last time he was the United States champion. Only Super Cena could dismantle the Bulgarian Brute and he’s currently feuding with The Club. In tonight’s edition of Rusev Crush, Dolph Ziggler plays the watermelon and Rusev plays Gallagher. Rusev is rolling until Zack Ryder’s music hits. Enter the Long Island Iced Z.

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Well, kinda. After exchanging some words with Lana, he stands back and watches the match. Rusev has definitely taken notice and decides to bring the match to Ryder. With all three men standing outside the ring, Ryder takes a step back. Rusev picks up a limp Ziggler and throws him at Ryder. Then Rusev grabs both men one at a time and throws them in the ring. Ryder immediately slides back out to avoid getting either man disqualified (or maybe he just doesn’t want to be crushed yet). Rusev reaches through the ropes for Ryder and Ziggler wisely rolls him up quickly from behind to steal the victory.

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Rusev is furious. Ryder and Ziggler stand atop the ramp laughing at how mad Rusev is allowing himself to get. Rusev starts ripping away at the ring, tearing away two turnbuckle pads. He throws a chair at the side of the ring before beginning the cool down process.

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The Wyatt Compound

I talked about this in my RAW review here. Feel free to peruse around the site and find what fits you. I could’ve just copied and pasted but…meh.

ESPYs Spot

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In case you didn’t know, John Cena was the host of the ESPYs on ABC last night. I’d say he did a pretty decent job. They showed some clips from last night’s events that I guess was pretty cool for the more traditional sports fan. I’d suggest you check it out or at least the highlights.

Enzo & Cass Vs. AJ Styles & Karl Anderson (w/Luke Gallows)

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“At the end of the day, even salt looks like sugar.” – Enzo Amore

Words to live by spoken by the gift of gab himself, Enzo Amore. Enzo and Cass were at it again handing out SAWFT cards this week to The Club. Everyone is geared up for Battleground and this match is merely a prelude.

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Most of this match takes place between the mouthpieces behind each team, AJ Styles and Enzo Amore. AJ did a lot of work on the left leg of Enzo, but the numbers game is what sealed it.

The Club thwarted a tag to Big Cass several times in this matchup but the last time would be what ended the match. Enzo was catching a beatdown and in a last gasp effort, he lands a tornado DDT on AJ Styles. Both Superstars are reaching for their partners and Karl Anderson tries to run in, or at least that’s what he wants us to think. It’s just a ploy to distract the ref. Enzo reaches for the hot tag and Gallows pulls Cass down from the outside. The ref only sees Cass give Gallows the boot. Karl Anderson would come around and lay Cass out with a boot of his own. Enzo reaches over and Anderson snapped his head on the top rope. AJ capitalizes with a Calf Crusher and The Club wins.

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Brock Lesnar Vs. Randy Orton Build

More clips from Lesnar’s UFC brawl last weekend. Same thing they did on RAW. You can find RAW recaps here. Yes, this is the same link from above.

Tyler Breeze (w/Fandango) Vs. Kalisto (w/Sin Cara)

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Daaaaaang WWE! Back at it again with Breezango Vs. The Lucha Dragons. I truly hope that Breezango gets separated during the Draft. Tyler Breeze is finally comfortable on the main roster and if he can find a legitimate finishing move, he’ll be set! He and Kalisto build on what they started on RAW. They put a lot of effort into this very brief bout and the WWE Universe didn’t boo or go to the bathroom or get a hot dog or anything! Kalisto would ultimately hit a SDS to win the match.

Miz TV w/ Special Guests Darren Young & Bob Backlund

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I don’t know whose idea it was to do this but putting the IC champ in the ring with the #1 contender for his title is CLEARLY a problem waiting to happen. But honestly, I’m here for it! The Miz starts off by letting all the young people in attendance know exactly who Bob Backlund is, paying homage to him with a video of his career highlights. Mr. Backlund gets a standing ovation and stands to acknowledge the arena. The Miz claims he used the WWE Network to find these highlights, and that he did the same for Darren Young. This was the result.

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Nothing. I guess we’re just gonna ignore that fact that he was once a WWE Tag Team champion. Miz (and most of us actually) believes that Darren didn’t WIN the Battle Royal on RAW but was just lucky enough that everyone else lost. Bob Backlund tells Darren not to listen to Miz because Miz will never be a great champion due to the fact that he’s so disrespectful. The Miz and Maryse decide that play time is over (or as Matt Hardy in TNA would say, OVAH!) and begin taking shots at Coach Backlund. Maryse has probably the worst one liner of the night and Darren Young has heard enough.

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1982 called and they say, “You’re old.” – Maryse

Young gets all up in the grill of Miz. Miz says he has a quick monologue that would sum this conversation up but before he can speak, Darren pushes the mic down. Miz tells Darren to never touch his microphone again. Darren takes the microphone right out of his hand and asks Miz what he plans to do about it. Miz takes his wife by the hand and the two leave. Young’s eyes are full of intensity and he’s ready to go. Battleground couldn’t be any sooner.

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Draft Update

But first, look at these pictures of R-Truth showing Shane McMahon how to dab. Just WOW.

 

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It looks like Shane has picked his GM and we’ll get to see who that is on Monday.

Boss Treatment

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Sasha is still in a bit of a tizzy after Charlotte’s attack earlier. She’s in the back with trainers going through what looks like a concussion test. Charlotte and Dana drop by to say hello and such. The Boss is upset but ready to fight. The title is so close she can almost feel it around her waist. Charlotte turns into Bad News Barrett for a second and breaks some news to Sasha. Their match at Battleground will be a tag team match. Sasha has about a week and a half to find a partner. Anybody want to be a co-manager?

Dean Ambrose Vs. Kevin Owens

Although we’re not expecting much of anything new from this match, it IS the main event and should be respected. Although I can say for sure that in 2014 when Reigns was on the rise, he could’ve been booked against anybody and had a good match. I think I miss Roman Reigns! That’s beside the point.

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Our guys enter the ring and just before the match starts, Seth Rollins music hits. I guess he wanted a closer look at Ambrose before his title match on Monday.

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It couldn’t have been but 45 seconds into the match when Seth interferes. He sneaks up on Ambrose and beats him into the ground. He throws him into the ring and continues wailing on him. Kevin Owens doesn’t know what to do and then…

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Sami Zayn comes down to get some! He and Ambrose clear the ring and we hit a commercial break.

Dean Ambrose & Sami Zayn Vs. Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens

So yeah, the predictable thing happened. Someone came out during the commercial break and made this an official match. Honestly, I think these guys mailed it in this week. I’m not even mad though. I mean, it doesn’t help that we keep having these tag matches where the guys are not tag partners so they don’t wrestle tag style or with tag team moves. No shade, it happens every now and again. These guys and gals are on the road almost every night and they’re the draw. They’re the Superstars everyone pays to see and we all have off days.

With all of that being said, the end of this match was right on point! Dean dove through the ropes and KO caught him. Owens threw him right into the steel steps. Zayn and Rollins were brawling it out in the ring and after a missed Helluva kick, Rollins hit a pedigree and won it.

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Owens wasn’t finished. He ambushed Zayn after the match and tried to Powerbomb him on the apron. Flashes of NXT, am I right? Before anything crazy could happen, Dean Ambrose came by to save the day. He took out Owens and looked back at Seth in the ring. Fisticuffs!!! Ambrose would get the better of Rollins but before he could hit Dirty Deeds Rollins managed to slip away. Rollins may be winning several battles but I’m not sure about the war. We’ll be seeing another battle on Monday.

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SmackDown 7/7/16

Yes!! We are starting to see the change already. WWE brass had a great idea promoting the lead writer from NXT to SmackDown. You can see his influence in the show already. I’d say that last week’s SmackDown was better than this week’s RAW. Let’s see what SmackDown has to offer us this week.

I love how the show starts. We see The Club goofing around in the back, Jericho getting mentally prepared for battle later tonight while looking for his blue scarf, Seth Rollins entering the arena and exchanging words with Jey Uso and Sami Zayn telling the world he’s ready for his match against Chris Jericho tonight. The hype machine is on and poppin’!

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JoJo is in the ring to announce the first match and before she can say too much, Dean Ambrose’s music hits and he comes storming down the ramp. He apologizes to JoJo and says he wants to try his hand at ring announcing. She hands him the mic and he announces the first competitor for the night, Jey Uso.

Jey Uso Vs. Seth Rollins

Dean does a pretty solid job filling in for JoJo. Calling Jey one half of the amazing flying Uso brothers, and announcing Seth as 217 pounds of ego. The match starts and Ambrose takes a seat next to JoJo.

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Jey and Seth are really going at it. Sliding and jumping, ducking and dodging. It’s a beautiful sight. Every time it looks like Seth is about to make a match altering move, Dean Ambrose speaks on the mic and distracts him. Dean even calls for a commercial after Jey flies and smashes Seth on the outside of the ring. Seth would eventually shake it off and land a Pedigree. 3 count. Rollins makes eye contact with Ambrose from Pedigree to pin fall.

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Ambrose announces Seth as the winner and rushes the ring. Rollins slides out and backs his way up the ramp yelling at Ambrose to keep his distance. Dean replies, “I was only trying to raise your hand.”

Zack Ryder Vs. Sheamus

Zack Ryder has been on top of the world this past week. A win on NXT in tag team competition and pinning Sheamus on RAW has us wondering what’s next? A match with Sheamus. I guess the Celtic Warrior wants revenge.

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The match starts and Sheamus is mad. He’s putting a hurting on Ryder. Slamming him and throwing him around like a rag doll. The two end up perched on the top turnbuckle. Sheamus is going for something brutal. Zack manages to fight back. He delivers a few shots to Sheamus who takes a gnarly spill and lands flat on his back in the ring. Zack Ryder sees his opening and lands an ElBrow and in an upset, defeats Sheamus!

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WWWYKI

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After beating Sheamus, Tom Phillips is waiting for Ryder at the top of the ramp. He congratulates Zack on his win and asks him what’s next? Ryder jokes about needing Advil and ice but then gets serious. He wants the US title back. No, not the IC title, the United States championship. He feels that Rusev is a disrespectful person and the belt should be on someone with some decency. He officially challenges Rusev before walking off stage with an angry Sheamus approaching.

Rusev Responds

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Rusev is furious. He feels disrespected that someone like Zack Ryder would challenge him and do it from afar. He brings up what he did to Titus O’Neil on RAW and says he’ll do the same to Zack. If Zack is a real man, a real challenger, he’ll challenge Rusev to his face on RAW. Let’s see what comes of this.

Becky Lynch Vs. ???

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Cue music. Cue steam. Okay Nattie, go! Yes, Natalya interrupts Becky Lynch’s entrance and blindsides her before she’s even off the ramp. Heel Nattie putting in some good work. The smack talk during the Sharpshooter was a nice touch.

It’s A NEW Woods, Yes It Is….

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We get a recap of the New Day/Wyatt feud and how it’s effecting Xavier Woods. We also see a clip from an interview Woods had on WWE.com talking about the Wyatt Compound and why he has his reservations. Only fools rush in so maybe Xavier has a point. With that being said, he says he will be there with his partners to face the Wyatts.

How You Doin’?

 

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Enzo and Cass are here! Of course they are. They’re here to explain why they helped out John Cena on RAW. Cass feels like if The Club can come out here and just beat up John Cena what’s to stop them from doing that to anyone else? They did it to protect the locker room. In a petty attempt to avenge being interrupted on RAW, The Club come out to interrupt Enzo and Cass. AJ calls out Enzo, leading to a match that will start right after the commercial break of course!

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AJ Styles Vs. Enzo Amore

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The match starts and Enzo shows AJ that he’s no scrub. Countering AJ and getting the best of him early. AJ gets tossed out the ring. In an attempt to take out the whole Club, Enzo almost kills himself trying to fly over the top rope. The momentum shifts. AJ gets Enzo back in the ring and starts working on him. Enzo gets his second wind and strikes back. He sits on the top turnbuckle when Karl Anderson gets on the apron. Cass pulls him down and he and Gallows take each other out with simultaneous Big Boots. AJ has had time to recover. He pushes the ropes and Enzo falls leaning forward. AJ takes him off the top turnbuckle and has him upside down in a compromising position. He lands Styles Clash and gets the 3 count. No post match shenanigans. Just a smirk from AJ.

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The Blue Scarf

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Jericho has been all over the arena looking for his blue scarf. He’s finally found it! Kevin Owens is just sitting in a random hallway smiling with the scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. He tells Jericho he was looking for a gift for his wife so he decided to try out the scarf. He’s made a mess of it and Jericho is enraged. He demands that KO pay him back for his $750 piece of fabric. KO reaches in his pocket and pulls out a handful of change and drops it in Jericho’s hand. Coins everywhere. Jericho demands one more quarter because dry cleaning is expensive. Owens gives him a green Jolly Rancher and says that’s all he has left. He wishes Chris well in his match against Sami later and tells him to enjoy the Jolly Rancher. Owens will be watching the match from ringside.

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Who Threw The Potato Salad?

Miz gathers a bunch of Superstars and he’s furious. It’s about the food fight on RAW. He wants to know who hit Maryse with potato salad. Apparently she’s allergic to mayonnaise and he needs justice. The guys all laugh and Kalisto ends up challenging him to a match.

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The Miz Vs. Kalisto

The Miz has had a lot of good matches since winning the IC title the day after WrestleMania. Are we being set up for another Miz WrestleMania main event? I doubt it, but he’s doing some of his best work right now.

Miz is bigger than Kalisto but who isn’t? This should be good. Kalisto as the flyer and Miz as the savvy vet that relies on his instincts. Kalisto sets the pace for the match. He’s flying around kicking and flipping and Miz can’t catch up. Kalisto makes one mistake and misses badly on a flying Corkscrew. Miz capitalizes and hits the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz is still awesome.

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Sasha Banks Interview

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Sasha still has words for Charlotte and Dana Brooke, and apparently the feeling is mutual! They step into her interview (share this post if that sounds familiar) with Legit style. Charlotte is literally dressed like Sasha, mocking her and shining up her title. She uses some pretty dicey language calling Sasha a Taco Bell Chihuahua and saying she gets her gear from the Nicki Minaj knock off Dollar store. Them is fighting words. Dana challenges Sasha to a match on RAW. Sasha wants to go now, but Charlotte makes her wait. Banks Vs. Brooke on RAW this Monday.

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Make Darren young Great Again

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This is big. Bob Backlund gave Darren Young his submission hold. This is awesome. A legacy. A torch has been passed.

Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam Opponent will be…

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Randy Orton. You probably knew that by now and I don’t know why it’s such a big deal. Amazing talents yes, but they haven’t been around. Orton has been injured and Lesnar is focused on UFC 200. This is the kind of thing that CM Punk was talking about. Not so much on Orton or Brock but on the WWE. This would have been even greater if it were a surprise.

The Golden Truth Is That We All Have Bills

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In today’s bill paying segment, we see the Golden Truth, a ladder, and a $5 Sonic Boom Box. Even I’m saying it now. Wow. Anywho, R-Truth is looking at this meal that sits above him on the top of a ladder. Goldust asks him what he’s doing and why there’s food on top of the ladder. R-Truth tells him that he’s trying to conquer his fear of heights in order to win MITB. Goldust informs him that MITB was two weeks ago. Truth changes his whole stance and asks Goldust to get his food for him. Goldust obliges and asks Truth to save him a tater tot.

Sami Zayn Vs. Chris Jericho

Besides a wicked Moonsault from Sami Zayn, this match is just a formality.

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It’s really all about Kevin Owens Vs. Sami Zayn at Battleground. KO does an excellent job on commentary and doesn’t even get involved with the match.

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After Sami Zayn hits his patented flip over the top ropes on Jericho, he pounds on the announce table. Owens takes exception to this and throws water (maybe?) on him.

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Zayn retaliates by throwing Jericho at him (which is a common thing these days) before climbing in the ring. Jericho and Zayn have another heated exchange which ends when Zayn lands an Exploder Suplex in the corner. Zayn sets up for the Helluva kick and Owens jumps up on the apron. Zayn decides to boot him instead. Jericho tries to capitalize and go for The Walls but Sami rolls through and pins Jericho for the win. Two Superstars, one stone.

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Fight Owens Fight

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After the match Sami celebrates in the ring. Chris Jericho doesn’t like that. He nails Zayn with a Code Breaker and leaves. Owens takes this as an opportunity to exact some revenge. He pounds away at Zayn and then hits him with a Pop Up Powerbomb. He stands over him and the show ends.

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I LOVE the direction SmackDown is heading in. It’s officially a New Era but the draft hasn’t even started yet!

SmackDown! 6/30/16

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Immediately, something we can get behind! Before anything can truly happen and right after we see, “Then. Now. Forever,” a graphic flashes across the screen. There will be a #1 Contender’s Match for the United States Championship. The winner of this match will face Rusev later tonight for his title. Four Superstars will be involved and none of them are Titus O’Neil. The competitors will be Apollo Crews, Cesaro, Sheamus, and Albert Del Rio. I wonder what this means for Titus? Is a rematch for the title a guarantee or is he just the #5 contender? And didn’t we see this match on Monday? It was a tag match!

Cesaro’s Upper Cut Party

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We see a real nice big body car pull up and Cesaro steps out! Hey Swiss Superman! He states that tonight he’ll be hosting an exclusive Upper Cut party. Only his opponents in the fatal four way match are invited. He sounds ready for a big fight or two tonight!

Apollo Crews Vs. Cesaro Vs. Sheamus Vs. Alberto Del Rio (Fatal 4 #1 Contender Match)

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There’s legitimate beef between Crews and Sheamus. And Del Rio and Sheamus. And history between Cesaro and Sheamus! I guess everyone hates Sheamus. Crews has a lot to prove not being in the WWE for that long, and all of the other men have held this title at one point or another. That makes Crews an underdog going into this match. Del Rio most recently held the title. Sheamus hasn’t had as much success (outside of winning MITB for some reason) since he dropped the title. Cesaro hasn’t seen gold since Tyson Kidd was still around. They all want this and there’s no telling who wants it more.

From jump, Apollo wants Sheamus and the two go at it almost immediately. They spill out of the ring with Sheamus getting the better of Crews. Cesaro is there lurking on the apron. He front flips onto the side of Sheamus’ head and the crowd is feeling it. Del Rio comes to the aide of Sheamus and the two decide to team up. They drag Cesaro into the ring and start working on him. Crews comes in and breaks things up. Sheamus gets Cesaro in a Cloverleaf and Del Rio almost kicks his face off. Alliance over. Del Rio gets Sheamus in the Cross Arm Breaker and Crews breaks that up with a Standing Moonsault and a pin. Nice move by the way.

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Cesaro nails Crews with a Drop Kick and then everyone shows up to the Upper Cut party Cesaro was talking about.

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Sheamus leaves the party early and slams Cesaro. After a few blows here and there, Crews and Sheamus somehow spill out of the ring again and Del Rio and Cesaro are left in the ring Del Rio goes for his Cross Arm Breaker and Cesaro reverses. He grabs Del Rio’s legs and it’s time to start swinging! Cesaro quickly transitions into a Sharpshooter and Del Rio taps! Cesaro wins.

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After the match, Del Rio, being the poor sport he is, attacks Cesaro. Slamming him around and hitting his Double Stomp from the apron to the floor. Cue Rusev.

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Rusev comes out demanding to start his match now. Attack the enemy while he’s weak. He calls Cesaro a coward. A real champion would fight now. Cesaro WAS heading to the back but his pride wouldn’t allow him. Clutching his rib area, he accepts and the match starts.

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Cesaro Vs. Rusev w/Lana (United States Championship Match)

Rusev wisely jumps on Cesaro from the very beginning. Cesaro is able to swing things in his favor and fights back delivering fist after fist. Rusev would eventually take the reigns and trap Cesaro in a Bear Hug.

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Cesaro fights out of it and then we get to see the brilliance and creativity that is Cesaro. Kicks, flips, and European Upper Cuts galore! He goes for the Dutch Neutralizer but his battered ribs won’t allow him to apply the proper torque needed to get the big man up. Rusev counters and goes for the Accolade. Cesaro is able to slip out and somehow go for a Sharpshooter. His ribs again hinder him. He’s not able to turn Rusev over. Well, Rusev DOES have a good hold on Cesaro’s leg as well.

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Rusev takes advantage of the opening and tries for the Accolade again. This time Cesaro winds up flipping it into an odd pin. Rusev kicks out at 2. Rusev has had enough. He nails Cesaro with a kick on the side of the head and yells, “CRUUUUSHHH!!!” He stomps on Cesaro back and ribs and finally applies the Accolade. Cesaro has no choice but to tap immediately. Rusev retains.

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Rusev Interview

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Renee Young finds Rusev and Lana walking down a hallway. She congratulates him on his victory. Rusev calls himself a true American hero. Renee schools him on the history of Independence Day and that it’s approaching quickly. Rusev has more snide and disrespectful remarks about the country and brags about taking Lana away on a trip. Renee informs him that he has another title defense on Monday, July 4 against none other than Titus O’Neil. Answers my question from earlier. Before Rusev can express his rage, Lana simply says, “Crush,” and Rusev calmly walks away.

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Dana Brooke Vs. Billie Kay

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I don’t know how they expect us to watch SmackDown every week and this is a match, but work with me here. If you’ve never seen either of these girls check out NXT. Dana was no scrub down in Florida. They don’t use her very well on the main roster. Sorry, Charlotte didn’t even want to see this match.

Bless their hearts! In NXT there’s a lot more opportunity and equality in terms of match length and importance on the roster between men and women. Not so much on the main roster. Billie Kay can really move. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no Sasha or Charlotte but she’s got some stuff.

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The match starts off with Dana obviously taking Kay to school because let’s bury one talent to enhance another for some reason. Dana toys with her with the usual heel-ish shenanigans, until Kay catches her off guard. Kay hits a nice Discus Clothesline and a Big Boot to match but Dana quickly extinguishes the fire. She hits whatever she’s calling her finisher and the match ends just like that.

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Sasha Banks (Legit Interview)

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During the last sequence of the match, we see our beloved Sasha Banks watching on a monitor in the back. After Dana gets the three count, Renee Young approaches The Boss and comments about how on fire she’s been and inquires about her title aspirations. Sasha reminds us all of her longstanding rivalry with Charlotte dating back to NXT and even plugs RIVALRIES on the WWE Network. That’s a great show by the way. According to Sasha, Charlotte knows she’s coming and she should be scared.

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All of a sudden, a “Summer Breeze” slides in. Summer Rae stands directly in the spotlight texting on her phone.

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She “realizes” she’s interrupted Sasha’s interview and decides to say a few words herself. Apparently the locker room is sick of this whole, “Legit Boss” business and Summer in particular can’t wait for the brand split and hopes the two get split up. Sasha takes them as fighting words and issues a challenge to Summer Rae. We’ll be seeing these two in the ring shortly.

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Miz TV (with Dean Ambrose)

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Maryse is here, stunning as ever, to introduce her husband. Before Miz can get into his whole shtick, Ambrose’s music hits and he comes to the ring with a brown paper bag.

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Ambrose apologizes for being late and explains that he’s been very busy running around since he’s become champ. Miz tells him that he’s early as Ambrose opens his paper bag and begins eating a sandwich. Miz gets upset about the sandwich and Ambrose offers him a bite. Miz declines because of the Gluten.

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The two get into a war of words, The Miz talks about starring in Marine 5, Ambrose calls it Maroon 5 and they argue about who has a better talk show. Miz states that Ambrose as a champion is a disgrace to everyone else on the roster with a title. Ambrose is through talking and he throws down the gauntlet. He puts his mic down and waits for Miz to take his designer jacket off. Miz finally prepares himself for battle. Ambrose takes another bite of his sandwich and uses Miz’s jacket as a napkin.

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He gets in there pretty good. Maryse flips out and yells at Ambrose about how expensive and important that jacket is. She throws it over his head and The Miz nails him with a Big Boot.

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Miz and Maryse walk away grinning. I don’t think this is the end.

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Braun Strowman & Eric Rowan Vs. Two Random Guys (They’re Literally Listed As Local Competitors)

Rowan starts off the match by taking off his mask slowly. He runs through Competitor #1 and takes a cheap shot at Competitor #2. Rowan lays out #1 with a Full Nelson Slam and tags in Strowman (as if THAT were necessary).

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Strowman grabs #2 and drags him into the ring. He throws him so far up in the air he almost got hit by a plane.

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#2 lands on #1 and Strowman basically uses #2 to pin #1, 1,2,3.

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New Day Gon’ New Day

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Bray Wyatt enters the ring and grabs a microphone. Before he can utter a word, the Titantron flashes. We see New Day graphics flash across the screen in a Wyatt-like fashion. We see Kofi Kingston wearing a black sheep mask with a unicorn horn on it. He removes the mask. He speaks on fear with his best Bray Wyatt impression. He asks Bray Wyatt what he fears. The camera pans and now we see the whole squad. Big E has some colorful suggestions of what might be scaring Bray. Examples include soap, the ghost from The Conjuring 2 and females with big ol’ booties! Wyatt just smiles and laughs. Big E says New Day will EXPOSE the Wyatts. He demands Bray expose himself! Before this gets out of hand, Kofi stops it. Too far, E. We don’t want to see that. Big E then tells Bray to keep his sheep in the barn (ba-dum,tsss!). Bray laughs and responds. He loves how everything is a joke to them. But he’s noticed that Xavier is not joining in on the fun. He tells Xavier to inform his pals of what he already knows. “The DEVIL calls for you,” says Bray in that eery voice he loves to use. “All that’s left for you to do is pray….and RUN!”

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Sasha Banks Vs. Summer Rae

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Sasha gets right into it. She’s flinging Summer around and reminding her just why she calls herself The Boss. All the momentum is on Banks’ side. The two begin brawling on the apron near the ramp. Summer tries to Suplex Banks quite possibly on the apron, but Sasha pushes out. That creates enough separation for Summer to land a HUGE Boot sending Sasha flying into the ring post and on to the floor.

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With Summer in control, we see a plethora of kicks and spins. Her long legs and dancer prowess work well in the squared circle. Sasha would mount a comeback with some fast paced maneuvers. It becomes a battle of counters until Sasha finally lands Double Knees in the corner and quickly slaps on the Bank Statement. Boss wins.

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RAW Rebound

No. Just, no. Not doing this. NEXT!!

The Miz w/Maryse Vs. Dean Ambrose

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Told ya that wouldn’t be the end. Because, who doesn’t want to see a Champion Vs. Champion match? Say what you want about The Miz, but he’s an excellent worker with a firm grasp on how to work a WWE crowd. Ambrose is just crazy in the ring.

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You know, it’s weird seeing the champ fight on a SmackDown taping, but that’s okay! Ambrose is on the top of his game and so is Miz. In this match, Ambrose seems one step ahead. One step quicker and one punch stronger. One punch stronger? I stand by it. I mean, he’s not One Punch Man or anything. Anyway, don’t we love to see the Lunatic fly? Not since Daniel Bryan crashed through the ropes (or Jay Lethal about 2 and a half or 3 times in a row in ROH every match) have we seen a more exciting Crash & Burn! Well tonight, Maryse ruined it for us all. She grabs her husband before Ambrose can even fill up the tank for take off. Miz climbs back in the ring and still can’t get the best of Ambrose. He winds up being chased outside the ring. Maryse interferes and Ambrose ends up being tossed into the barricade.

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Match swings in Miz’s favor. He goes to work on Dean’s lower body, focusing on softening up that left leg for a Figure Four. After a failed Missile Drop Kick, Miz locks in the Figure Four and Ambrose is straining. He somehow manages to grab the bottom rope to force a break.

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Miz drags him back to the certain of the ring to try again and Dean rolls him up. Miz kicks out at 2 and Dean throws him out the ring. Opportunity for redemption! Ambrose flies and this time connects! Flying Lunatic!

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The action makes its way back into the ring and when Ambrose goes for his patented Clothesline, Miz counters with The Skull Crushing Finale.

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Somehow Dean kicks out at 2. Match continues. Miz climbs the top rope looking for a Double Axe Handle Smash, Dean counters with a kick to the gut and Dirty Deeds. Three count.

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Funny how Dean and everyone else is saying, “WWE Champion” instead of “WWE World Heavyweight Champion” now. Y’all ain’t slick.

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