With WWE Evolution and Crown Jewel looming and a few uncertainties about how they’re going to go down, we saw an attempted buildup to these PPV events this week. It included a lot of promos, a couple surprise appearances, and some of the same ol’ same ol’ matches. So what went down exactly? Here’s our recap and the results of WWE Raw, SmackDown, and NXT for the week of October 15th-17th.
Monday Night Raw – October 15th
Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre by countout to qualify for the World Cup at Crown Jewel
The Dogs of War came out to claim that they’d broken The Shield last week on Raw and exposing the troubles of Dean Ambrose. But Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins showed up to set them straight, but Dolph Ziggler pointed out the obvious absence of Ambrose before the match got started.
With lots of distractions coming from the Dogs of War, Rollins had his hands full, using suicide dives to counter. Ambrose’s music hit and he finally showed up to help out his buddy by taking care of Ziggler. McIntyre then took out the Lunatic Fringe before Rollins hit the Scotsman with a quick Stomp outside the ring. As the refs counted time, Rollins narrowly dragged himself back in to avoid a count-out and win the match.
The Undertaker and Kane threaten D-Generation X
The Brothers of Destruction looked like they were standing in a boiler room (or possibly hell) during this pre-taped promo as they claimed the reformation of DX was built on a bed of lies. They suggested that Shawn Michaels has stayed away this long out of fear. Kane and the Undertaker plan to reunite and make his fears come true at Crown Jewel.
They’ve got three words for their future opponents: “Rest in peace.”
Ember Moon and Nia Jax defeated Dana Brooke and Tamina Snuka
Promoting the battle royale featuring these four women at Evolution (where the winner gets a shot at the title), this match was just okay. Snuka showed impressive power, hitting Jax with a Samoan Drop. She tagged in Moon who quickly pinned Brooke following an Eclipse. Moon then turned on Jax, and she and Snuka tossed Jax out of the ring. Moon attempted to come from behind and do the same to Snuka, but Brooke rushed over and threw them all out.
Ronda Rousey addresses the Bella Twins
Rousey stood in the ring to address last week’s betrayal and called out the Bellas for an explanation. They obliged, showing up to tell Rousey that she was the reason they came back to the WWE to compete – not to support her and sit on the sidelines watching while Rousey championed this Evolution movement and disregarded all the Bellas had done for the sport. Rousey said the Divas era stuff made her sick to her stomach, calling the Bellas the “embodiment of a stereotype” and “Do-Nothing Bellas” who are desperate for attention. She said the Bellas leeched off their men while Rousey knocked down doors. The only door Nikki Bella has knocked down is that of John Cena’s bedroom. Whoa.
At that remark, it looked like the Bellas might attack, but then some dudes in black came out to surround them. Rousey easily took out several men from their security detail as the Bellas made their escape.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose to qualify for the World Cup
Ambrose dominated this match but couldn’t nail down the pin. A few minutes in, McIntyre attempted to interfere but Rollins stopped him. As The Architect tried to help his buddy up, Ambrose shoved him off and pushed himself back into the ring, right into a Superkick and pin by Ziggler. Rollins and Ambrose began to argue in the ring until Reigns came out to calm things down. Constable Corbin then showed up to book them all into a six-man tag match for tonight… so yeah, same main event as last week…
Finn Balor defeated Jinder Mahal with a Coup de Grace. Bayley and Alicia Fox were there in support. (Yawn.) Oh, but Lio Rush did come out to mock Balor afterward.
Bobby Lashley defeated Tyler Breeze as Rush hyped him up for the crowd. To solidify the heel turn, Lashley posed a lot between his moves before finally hitting a Dominator for the pin.
Trish Stratus, Lita, Alexa Bliss, and Mickie James have another little chat.
This was basically the same segment as last week. Bliss and James interrupted Stratus and Lita to remind these two that it’s been a looooong time since they were in the ring. They did impressions of the older women and told them how humiliating Evolution was gonna be. The legends responded with a rough version of Allen Iverson’s rant about “practice” before suggesting that maybe they should practice tonight. Bliss and James pretended to get ready to fight but thought the better of it. They put their jackets back on, turned around, and headed back up the ramp instead.
Natalya defeated Ruby Riott via disqualification. After some backstage drama, Natalya brought Bayley and Sasha Banks as backup during this match. As she attempted the Sharpshooter, Sarah Logan interfered, starting a total brawl between the heels and the faces. Banks and Bayley stopped Ruby & Co. from finishing off Natalya, helping her up to hit a German Suplex on Ruby. After clearing the ring of the Riott Squad, the three stood tall.
AoP defeated The Conquistador who we all thought was Kurt Angle but turned out to be local talent after they unmasked him. Corbin watched on eagerly (and then disappointedly) as the real Kurt Angle then crept up and Angle Slammed him onstage.
Apollo Crews interrupted Elias while he was trash-talking Philly and Eagles fans. Crews came out to tell everybody that he was tired of keeping his mouth shut. Ready to make his own mark, he attacked Elias, avoiding a clothesline and hitting a dropkick and press slam to stand tall and (probably) start a new feud.
The Shield defeated Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre. Backstage, we saw Strowman threaten his partners, saying if they screwed things up, they’d “get these hands.” In the ring, The Shield also appeared to be bickering, allowing Strowman to clothesline all three. Later in the match, Ambrose and Rollins hit simultaneous suicide dives and set up the Dirty Deeds on McIntyre, but Ziggler threw Rollins into them, causing another argument between the two. This allowed Ziggler to get in a ZigZag and a two-count on Ambrose and the heels began to double-team The Lunatic Fringe.
Reigns appeared (again) to save the day with a couple of Superman Punches before Strowman was tagged in. McIntyre attempted a Claymore on Reigns but ended up hitting Strowman with it instead. Reigns speared McIntyre and then The Shield set up Ziggler with the triple powerbomb and Ambrose covered him for the pin.
After the bell, an angry Strowman hit Ziggler with a powerslam and then McIntyre hit The Monster with a Claymore. Looks like the Dogs are fighting now…
SmackDown – October 16th – The 1,000th Episode
Truth TV with the McMahons
Carmella and R-Truth were back in the ring for their new “show.” They displayed a video package of SmackDown throughout the years and, of course, stopped everything for a seven-second dance break. They introduced General Manager Stephanie McMahon, who spoke about her vision coming to life. Then, after having been absent for a long time, commissioner Shane McMahon appeared. There was a little bickering between siblings, but all that stopped when the man himself, Vince McMahon, appeared to the delight of thousands of cheering fans and ordered a dance break. Everyone participated.
The Usos defeated Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles
They’re supposed to be battling it out at Crown Jewel but tonight we saw them work together… kinda. Everything was going well until Bryan nailed Styles with a forearm meant for Jey Uso. Styles responded by pushing Bryan into a Superkick from their opponents before getting hit with one himself for the pin.
Evolution together in the ring!
Icons filled the ring as Ric Flair, Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton took turns wooing the crowd. Triple H talked about how SmackDown has survived 1,000 episodes through evolving. Flair strutted and soaked up applause, and Batista talked about how nervous he is to get back in the ring. He also said he’s glad to be back with the brand he helped build. Then Batista planted a few seeds when he reminded Triple H that he’s still never beaten the Animal.
Miz defeated Rusev to qualify for the World Cup. After a distraction by Aiden English, Miz rolled up Rusev for the pin. After the bell, Lana kicked English in the crotch and Rusev threw him over the announcers’ table.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair on “The Cutting Edge”
WWE star Edge returned to the scene after more than a year away to talk about all the achievements of SmackDown, including some of his personal best. He said that he’s been watching over the past few weeks and he wanted to come here to provide a moral compass to the show. Then he introduced Becky Lynch.
Edge said he understood everything Lynch is going through – not being the face on the posters, not being one of the big names – and having to fight for everything she ever got. But he also said she made the wrong choice throwing her friendship with Charlotte Flair away. He knows because that’s what he did, burning bridges on the way to the top. Edge warned that those choices will change her, that she’ll end up all alone and she won’t even like herself. Lynch, unsurprisingly, dismissed his advice, saying, “You’re right, I don’t like myself. I love myself” before telling him to get out of her ring.
Charlotte Flair showed up and said Lynch only cares about the title and if she loves herself so much, she’s gonna love what she does to her right now. The Queen attacked and the two women fought until the officials could break them up. Can’t wait for their match at Evolution!
The Bar defeated The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Well, we kinda saw this coming after their recent matchups. After a couple of near pins by Sheamus and Cesaro, Xavier Woods dove from the top rope onto his opponents. But The Bar turned the tables when they tossed Woods into the crowd. The Big Show’s music hit and he joined the action. We thought he was going to tackle The Bar, but instead, he chokeslammed Kofi Kingston through the announcer table. This gave Sheamus the chance to hit Big E with a Brogue Kick in the ring for the pin… and the titles.
Rey Mysterio defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to qualify for the World Cup
Even if the match was pretty lackluster, we were reintroduced to Rey Mysterio who’s back in action with the WWE full-time. He got the pin with a 619 and frog splash to become the eighth guy in the World Cup at Crown Jewel. Mysterio celebrated in the ring… until The Undertaker’s music hit.
The Undertaker came out to the center of the ring to deliver another “Rest in Peace” message to DX. Yes, that’s two very similar messages from The Undertaker in the same week. End show.
NXT – October 17th
The War Raiders defeated Undisputed Era by DQ to retain the NXT Tag Team Title. It looked like the challengers had it in the bag until Bobby Fish interfered, using a chair on Hanson and Rowe to force the disqualifcation. Adam Cole, who tried to get in the action earlier, joined in the celebrations.
Shayna Baszler defeated Britt Baker via referee stoppage. The former NXT women’s champion targeted Baker’s arm until the refs called time. Baszler gave her one last high knee as the officials helped her up. This just builds up Baszler as a total intimidating force before her match against Kairi Sane at Evolution.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Tian Bing and Rocky. The British-American team beat the Chinese wrestling duo via pin following a high-elevation implant DDT. This one was as quick and easy as it was supposed to be.
Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair ends in a no-contest. These two had great chemistry in the ring together as Cross hit the Tree of Woe and Belair fended off Cross’s craziness with kicks, a forearm to the face, and a powerbomb. When both women were left lying motionless in the ring, the lights went out. When they came back on, Aleister Black was seated right there with them. He asked Cross about the attack (as the crowd chanted, “Nikki’s got a secret”). Whatever she whispered back left him super angry. End scene.