Video package of last week events with Roman and Paul .
An unkept Paul Heyman is backstage with Kayla Braxton and having a sit-down interview, Kayla wants to give Paul a chance to tell what he happened. Paul explains that he only told the truth he explains that he was just trying to protect Roman as an intellectual property and as a champion.
He says Roman is the greatest Universal champion of all time BUT needs to be protected from Brock Lesnar, Kayla asks what next, Paul says he doesn’t know he can’t start again, and that he needs to acknowledge his career is probably over.
During this interview Paul genuinely looked as if he hadn’t slept, his beard was scruffy and not well shaved, he just looked like a wreck, Paul sold this whole interview like a dream.
We start off with the Smackdown Women’s title
Charlotte flair vs Toni storm
Smackdowns women’s championship match
We begin with a few lock ups in a row, Toni gets some uppercuts Charlotte reverses, Toni gets a nice running cross body for 1 and a basement dropkick for 1 before Charlotte goes to ringside.
Absolutely no crowd reaction so far.
Charlotte apprehensively gets back in the ring and Toni gets another cross body for 1, Charlotte gets a reversal and bounces Toni off the middle corner pad before chopping Toni and stamping on her when she dropped.
She gets Toni in a neck lock with her legs and bounces her head off the mat several times, she then puts her shoulders to the mat for a 1 count before purposely pulling her shoulders up while saying “no”,
Toni gets a bridge for a 1 count on Charlotte before she throws Toni with her legs and kips up, Charlotte disrespectfully kicks Toni on the ground before Toni gets a roll up and a headbutt, Charlotte gets a reversal big boot driving her out the ring.
When we come back Charlotte has control throwing Toni to the mat again pushing her around once she’s down on the mat disrespectfully, Charlotte then hits a clothesline for 2, Toni gets a snap suplex reversal and follows up with a corner rearview, Charlotte again reverses and hits Toni on the corner before Toni hits a German suplex and bridge pin for 2, Charlotte reverses a running corner move with a backbreaker then driving Toni onto the middle corner pad.
She then Drags Toni to the centre of the ring and steps on her as she goes up for the Moonsault and gets two, 2 counts in a row, she gets Toni up for a couple of chops in the centre of the ring, she kicks Toni in the gut dropping her to her knees before going for the natural selection but Toni blocks and counters with a German suplex.
Charlotte reverses a backbreaker into a figure 8 leg lock. Toni forces the rope break.
Charlotte hits another big boot, Toni rolls to the apron and gets another boot to the face dropping her to ringside, Toni gets a reversal pushing Charlotte into the ring post and carries on attacking at ringside and throws her back in the ring, she follows her in and Charlotte reverses a backbreaker into a roll up but Charlotte is holding the ropes, ref sees her holding the ropes and breaks the count.
There is a series of roll up reversals from both women before Charlotte succeeds with one and gets the 3 counts
Winner: Charlotte flair
There was some good in-ring wrestling in parts, but this match took a while to get going and Charlotte dominating slows any match down.
Once there was some Toni offence and it became slightly more even in the match it was good, up until the point where charlotte wins with a roll up, again another case of why not just let her hit a finisher and win.
This match made a bit of a mockery of Toni, getting disrespected throughout the match, then losing by roll up, I was sort of waiting for the Babyface comeback/ flurry of offence, but it never really happened.
We know from NXT How great she can be, if she just repeatedly loses to Charlotte and doesn’t win the title at any point it could be quite damaging to her career and take a big redemption arc to get it back.
There was almost no crowd reaction throughout this match, poorly done so although it was a good match, it was poorly done. Not really sure what they’re trying to do with Toni.
We’ve since found out that this is a non-issue, as we’ve heard Toni has left the company.
We have a video recap of last week’s Happy talk antics…. Sigh
We go backstage and The New day are discussing the antics before Drew McIntyre joins them and “The Drew day” hit a promo on the USOs and madcap moss with some weird laughing antics.
Can’t say it didn’t make me smile. But was a bit strange, some light-hearted comedy relief.
12 days of Christmas Gauntlet match
An Intercontinental Championship Match
Angel Garza vs Mansoor
A lock up in the ring. Mansoor gets a reversal followed by a dropkick, Angel gets a reversal and pulls Mansoor’s legs out from the top rope dropping Mansoor then hitting him with a dropkick to the face while Mansoor is down. Mansoor gets up to hit a step up enziguri and goes to the top rope, he goes for a move off the top rope, Angel hits a superkick to Mansoor who is in mid-air before hitting the wing clipper for the 3 count
Winner: Angel Garza
Gauntlet Match #2:
Angel Garza vs. Erik
It’s Erik of the Viking Raiders. Angel met him with a kick while on the floor. Angel went to the middle turnbuckle and went for a moonsault, Erik caught him and hit a body slam on the ringside.
Erik was in control using his power with a knee to the face followed by a German Suplex for two and a pin fall for 2,
Angel avoided a charge by Erik, he sent Erik to the mat and Angel hit the Wing Clipper for the pinfall win.
Gauntlet Match #3:
Angel vs. Shanky
Angel attempted to start quick with a dropkick, but Shanky came back with a clothesline then a chop to the chest along with a hip toss across the ring. Shanky with a slam off the shoulders that looked similar to the wasteland that Wade Barrett used to use, Shanky pinned Angel for the 3 count.
Gauntlet Match #4:
Shanky vs. Ivar
Ivar charged with a shoulder tackle, but Shanky came back with a clothesline. Ivar with corner clotheslines and a running splash against the turnbuckle. Ivar went up top and hit a Viking Splash on Shanky for the pinfall win.
Sheamus made his entrance as the next man in the match.
Gauntlet Match #5:
Ivar vs. Sheamus
Sheamus took it to Ivar with punches, but Ivar came back with punches to knock Sheamus over the top to ringside.
Back from the break and we have a neck breaker for 1 count, Sheamus was in control with a chin lock. Ivar broke free with two shoulder tackles, Sheamus got a boot to the face and Ivar hit a sidewalk slam followed by a running cross-body block on a seated Sheamus. Ivar did the “Raid” chant with the crowd and wanted a slam, but Sheamus countered with an elbow and Ivar sat on Sheamus while near the turnbuckle. Ivar went up top but Sheamus with punches, then Ivar fought back, Sheamus missed a clothesline with Ivar ducking, but then Sheamus with a Brogue Kick on the return for the pinfall win.
Gauntlet Match #6:
Sheamus vs. Drew Gulak
As soon as Gulak got into the ring, Sheamus hit him with a Brogue Kick and pinned him. Oh Drew….
Gauntlet Match #7:
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Cesaro had his ribs taped up because of attacks from Sheamus and Ridge Holland in the previous weeks.
Sheamus didn’t wait around and attacked Cesaro they brawled in the aisle a bit, then into the ring and Cesaro hit a cross body block off the top. He goes for the swing, but Sheamus gets a reversal with kicks before hitting a rolling Senton, Sheamus hit a belly to back suplex on Cesaro. Sheamus with forearms to the back where Cesaros bandages are. Cesaro tried to get back into it with a boot to the face followed by a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Cesaro applied the Cesaro Swing to Sheamus then with a running uppercut and a discus clothesline. Cesaro went for the neutraliser, but Ridge Holland was on the apron to distract, Sheamus with a kick to the ribs of Cesaro and followed up with a Brogue Kick for the pinfall win.
Gauntlet Match #8
Sheamus vs Ricochet
Ricochet was next with Sheamus greeting him with punches, but then Ricochet hit a cross body block over the top to the floor. Ricochet followed up with a springboard moonsault off the top rope onto a standing Sheamus.
The match came back from break with Ricochet charging right into Sheamus, who caught him with a backbreaker. Sheamus with a chin lock leading into a powerslam for two. Sheamus hit the 10 beats of the bell, Sheamus went up top, he jumped off looking for a clothesline, but Ricochet turned it around with a DDT for two. Ricochet sent Sheamus into the middle turnbuckle followed by a springboard crossbody block. Ricochet went for a springboard moonsault, but Sheamus got the knees up to block and got an inside cradle for two. Ricochet sent Sheamus’ throat into the top rope, then hit a jumping kick followed by a springboard splash, knees up by Sheamus and a roll up for 2, Sheamus went for 10 beats again, Rico with a reversal before getting a kick from the apron and a springboard clothesline from the apron, Ricochet hit a standing moonsault for a two count. Ricochet went up top, Ridge Holland was on the apron again to distract and Sheamus hit Ricochet with a knee that sent Ricochet into the barricade from the apron, once back in the ring, Cesaro showed up at ringside and shoved Holland into a camera man at ringside. Ricochet with a dropkick to Sheamus’ back to send him face first into the turnbuckle and then Ricochet with a roll up for 3
Sheamus hits a cheap shot on Ricochet after the match.
Gauntlet Match #9:
Ricochet vs. Humberto
Humberto with a dropkick, then he went up top for a moonsault, but Ricochet got his feet up to block. Ricochet hit the Recoil action for the 3 count.
Gauntlet Match #10:
Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal with a slam on the ring apron. Mahal hit a belly to back suplex for two. Mahal went for The Khallas, but Ricochet countered with a forward roll and sat on top to pin him.
Gauntlet Match #11:
Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn hit a clothesline for a two count. Zayn did some trash talking while on the middle rope, he kicked Ricochet down and Ricochet was back with a hurricanrana for two. Ricochet got some offence going with punches and kicks to Sami, Zayn avoided a kick and Ricochet countered a slam into a cross body block cover for two. Ricochet with a running dropkick, Zayn avoided it and Zayn hit the Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Zayn went for a suplex, Ricochet countered with elbows to the head and Zayn caught Ricochet with an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn charged, but Ricochet hit a superkick to block. Ricochet had Zayn on his shoulders leading to Ricochet hitting a jumping kick to the head. Ricochet went up top, Zayn went after him on the turnbuckle and Ricochet knocked him down with punches. Ricochet jumped off the top with a shooting star press, but Zayn got the knees up. Zayn with an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle followed by the Helluva Kick on Ricochet for the pinfall win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Winner of the 12 Days of Christmas 12 Man Gauntlet Match: Sami Zayn
Post-match, Zayn celebrated the big win while having a staredown with Nakamura at ringside with Nakamura holding up his IC Title.
The whole gauntlet was a fantastic watch throughout but really picked up steam once Sheamus got in the match, which also coincided with the first time during this show that we had any sort of reaction from the crowd, during the match there was some storyline stuff with Cesaro, Sheamus and Ridge which worked well then once Ricochet got in there, he put on a fantastic performance with what seemed like a breath-taking move about every 20 seconds.
I think with Ricochet it goes against him that he is so athletic because people look great when they’re throwing him about, so he almost gets jobbed because he sells so well, but he could be the face of the company given a proper push.
On the whole, it was a great match that went nearly 45 minutes.
Paul Heyman Tribute Video
A video aired about Paul Heyman’s career going back over 30 years in pro wrestling. The video talked about how Paul was a celebrated mind in sports entertainment as a manager, promoter and advocate. They showed Heyman with the Dangerous Alliance in WCW with Steve Austin, Rick Rude and others. It was onto ECW where Heyman’s creative style led to the Attitude Era. When Heyman lost with ECW and The Alliance in 2001, it was the last we saw Heyman until 2002 when he came back with Brock Lesnar. They mentioned Lesnar’s eight times as WWE & Universal Champion while showing clips of Lesnar with Heyman. When Drew McIntyre beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 in 2020, people thought that was the end of Heyman. However, later that year he was brought to island of relevancy in the summer of 2020 as the Special Counsel to the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. That led to the last few months of issues between Reigns and Lesnar with Heyman caught in the middle. Reigns fired Heyman last week as mentioned earlier. They showed the clip of Heyman saying he should acknowledge that his career is most likely over.
The ring was surrounded by the Christmas trees, presents, food and other items that are part of the next match. Sigh.
Madcap Moss entered with Happy Corbin. The Usos were next as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions and they’re teaming with Moss in this match.
The New Day duo of King Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston made their entrance to Xavier’s new song. Drew McIntyre was next with his sword Angela joining him at ringside.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight
Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston & King Xavier Woods
Madcap Moss, Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso
Jey and woods start, and woods starts with a face lock before hitting a spinning forearm on Jey, Kofi tagged in with a running kick, Woods with a clothesline and Kofi with a splash off the ropes for 1, Jimmy tags in with punches on Kofi, then Moss tagged in with a knee to the ribs and went for a belly to back suplex but Kofi broke free to bring in Drew. Moss got some punches, but Drew hit a clothesline then a big chop followed by a Future Shock DDT for a two count with The Uso’s breaking it up. The four guys on the apron got into a brawl. Drew had Moss on his shoulders, Corbin with a candy cane kendo stick and delivered several kendo stick shots to the back of Drew, The Uso’s and New Day were fighting by the entrance with Jey tossing Woods into some presents and trees.
When we came back from break, we had wrestlers fighting all around the ring. The Uso’s were throwing presents at Kofi and Woods on the floor. Back in the ring, Moss hit a suplex on Drew while Jey had a drink of eggnog at ringside. Moss sent Drew into the turnbuckle. The Uso’s each hit Kofi with Christmas trees at the same time and followed up by running at Woods with two trees and knocking Woods down. Drew charged at Moss, who knocked him down with a kick. Moss wanted a suplex, but Drew turned it into a suplex on his own. Woods with a kick on the floor while some cookies went flying. Woods with a spin kick into a chair on Jimmy and Jey hit Woods with an immense superkick. Kofi was in the ring with Jimmy leading to punches, kicks, and a Boom Drop.
Kofi went for Trouble in Paradise, Jimmy ducked leading to a boot to the face and Kofi jumped off the top with a head scissors followed with a foot stomp to the chest. Woods and Kofi sent both Uso’s out of the ring, Kofi went up top with plates of cookies in hand and hit both Uso’s with them. Moss punched Drew while doing some trash talk, but then Drew made the comeback with two clotheslines then two belly to belly suplex’s across the ring followed by a neck breaker and a kip up, Corbin grabbed Drew’s foot to prevent the claymore, so Drew chased Corbin out of the ring. Kofi went up behind Corbin and dumped some eggnog on his head. Drew got two pitchers of eggnog and poured them on Corbin and Moss at ringside, Woods kicked Corbin into the commentary table. McIntyre threw Moss Back in the ring and hit a Claymore Kick on Moss
Winners: “The Drew Day”
Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston & King Xavier Woods
When I saw that this was another themed gimmick match, I was expecting the worst...
I was pleasantly surprised with this match, there was some nice spots and once the match descended into chaos; As a street fight should, it was a lot of fun to watch the only down point to it was another “Smackdown food throwing” segment which seemed unnecessary other than that it was very entertaining, and I would happily watch it again.
My Rating for this show
This week we only technically had 3 matches, one being the 12 man gauntlet match of course, but we got more in ring action than the last couple of weeks combined which is fantastic to see and ultimately what I want to see on a wrestling show…
The only down points in this very entertaining show for me were the ending of the Women’s match as other than making Toni look fairly resilient it make her look pathetically weak, it felt like they were trying to do a similar thing with Liv and Toni on their respective brands, they were smashing it with Liv and really dropping the ball with Toni, I could never see Toni winning the title, whereas I think Liv is going to win it, the booking of Toni looked very questionable after this show, but with the news of her release since then, it makes sense.
The only other thing this show was lacking was its biggest stars, there was no Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, or Sasha Banks on this episode which will always be a huge miss because Roman and Sasha are top 5 in the world regardless of gender right now.
This show was incredibly entertaining in no small part because of the amount of wrestling and even the “comedy relief” bits that I’m not usually a fan of were decent on this show.
If we could have this amount of wrestling with the aforementioned stars amongst others wrestling on the show you’ve all of a sudden got an absolute worldy of a show!
This was a show I wasn’t particularly looking forward to I was very surprised and entertained!
The last thing I want to mention is “The Drew Day” throwing gifts and merchandise into the crowd to finish off the show was a lovely touch!
There won’t be a written #Day1 review… But I will be appearing on the Recharge Wrestling podcast for my second appearance for a review of the first show of the new year, so make sure you check that out!
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