Five years ago Daniel Bryan got hosed out of a WrestleMania XXX Main Event after losing in the Elimination Chamber. He went on to give the #YESMovement from the WWE Universe enough of a voice to change the match, allowing Bryan to have both his WM X and WM XX moments to end the night as the champion in a match I saw live in New Orleans.
Five year later Kofi Kingston is a replacement for Mustafa Ali at the Elimination Chamber and puts on a hell of a performance. Enough to get #KofiMania trending. Now with Kingston being kept out of tonight’s title match, will he be able to find a main to get into the title picture?
It’s the final PPV on the road to WrestleMania 35. Will Kevin Owens claim the WWE title from the New Daniel Bryan? Will Asuka defeat Mandy Rose? Will the Shield go out in style?
We’re coming to you from the Q in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since this is all about the Road to WrestleMania and the Main Event billed as a “One Last Time” match, this PPV can’t be properly rated until after ‘Mania.
Main Event: 6-Man Tag (Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre) vs. The Shield
After the three heels make their way to the ring the crowd goes silent for about 10 seconds before The Hounds of Justice make their old-school entrance from the crowd.
The start of this match is basically the Sheild’s greatest hits. Dean’s rebound lariat? Check. Dean and Seth doing stereo suicide dives on the outside and saving each other from impending doom? Check. Seth jumping off something unusual in a way that doesn’t seem possible? Check. Roman getting the hot tag and wrecking shop while hitting a Drive by? A big damn check.
The trio of Corbin, Lashley and McIntyre hold their own during this time so it’s not just a Shield squash. That’s another thing the Shield did well. Gave their opponents enough on offense to always make it seem like they could lose, they just were too damn good as a unit to actually do it.
Once Dean and Seth do their stereo dives the match now really begins. Roman goes for his diving move but Corbin intercepts him and turns it into a Deep Six. Roman kicks out. Dean and Seth jump Bobby and McIntyre outside near the timekeeper.
It’s just Roman and Baron in the ring. Both men are trading rights. Baron hits a chockeslam and Roman kicks out. Meanwhile Dean and Seth are now deeper into the crowd while Baron loads up Roman for a superplex. Roman powers out and hits a Last Ride Powerbomb. Corbin kicks out.
Bobby and McIntyre have Dean on a table but Seth jumps from out of the stands to knock all four men down. Roman sees this, cocks and locks his arm.
Barin avoids a punch but gets caught with a Superman punch. Seth and Dean get back to the ring. and the Shield surrounds Corbin has his buddies catch Seth and Dean before they can get to the ring. Roman runs into an End of Days but Seth and Dean jump in to break up the pinfall at the last moment.
Corbin and Roman I believe are the legal men in this match. Corbin tosses Roman out of the ring and calls for his team to rip apart the Spanish announce table. They load up Roman and get ready for their own powerbomb. That doesn’t come to fruition as Rollins and Ambrose make the save.
Just when Bobby Lashley goes for a powerbomb on Seth, Roman catches him with a Superman Punch. Seth hits a curb stomp on Lashley on the Spanish announce table and Roman spears Corbin. The Hounds now surround McIntyre, Roman yells and we have Triple Powerbomb No. 1 through the Spanish Announce table.
Crowd chants “One more time!” Shield now surrounds Corbin. “This is awesome!” chants. Seth superkicks, Roman Superman punches and Dean hits Dirty Deeds. Seth then says “Cleveland! One last mother*ckin’ time!” and we get a very emphatic Triple Powerbomb for the win.
Winners by pinfall…The Shield
The Shield embraces. Tons of man hugs and we see the destruction replays. Moving forward the big question of will we ever see these three men team up again hangs in the air. We know Rollins will challenge Brock at ‘Mania but not what will happen to Roman. Good luck to John Moxley wherever he ends up. The Shield does its triple fist pose as we go off the air.
Match 1: Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Shane O’Mac and The Miz vs. the Usos (c)
Shane starts out on fire against Jey with a couple of good arm drags before he tags in Miz. Both men do the Shane O’Mac Shuffle.
We get a Heart Attack double-team move that Jimmy Uso kicks out of at two. The Usos get the better of Shane and isolate him, going back and double-teaming him for an extended beatdown.
The beatdown continues until Shane hits a DDT to give Miz the hot tag. Miz hits a flapjacks and starts the YES! kicks and hits his clothesline to knock both Usos out of the ring.
Miz sheds his warmup shirt and hits a diving move on both Usos. He looks up at his father sitting at ringside who applauds his son’s effort. Miz then hits a DDT but can’t get the pinfall.
We get a tag by Jey Uso and the UCE-O chant. Shane breaks up the pinfall attempt and gets hit with a doubleteam Samoa drop. Miz puts Jey out of the ring. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but the ref was out of position, allowing Uso to kick out.
Miz looks frustrated. He then knees Jey’s leg and when he goes for the Figure Four he’s kicked into the turnbuckle post.
We get a tag in by the other Uso and then Miz eats a kick. We get Miz sent through the ropes hangman style.Shane and Uso both get on the top ropes and SHane intercepts Uso’s splash attempt on Miz.
That gets a “Holy Sh*t” chant from the crowd and I can’t argue. Never seen that before.
Miz’s dad tells Miz to go to the top rope for another diving move. Miz complies and when he goes for a Five-Star Frogsplash Uso gets his knees up. Miz is caught and can’t kick out of the pin.
Winners by pinfall…AND STILL SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…The Usos.
Miz and Shane shake hands afterwards. Shane says either he is a little loopy right now and Shane looks a little concussed.
The men each raise each other’s hands and Miz goes over to hug his father and then both Shane and Miz raise Miz’s dad’s hands.
Shane then clotheslines MIz from the back and starts beating him down. Shane tears Miz’s shirt off, and continues to beat him down before wiping the sweat off him and tossing the shirt in Miz’s face.
Miz’s father and Shane then have words. Shane puts his hands on Poppa Miz, pushes him down and then goes back to beating Miz down.
This seriously has gone on for too long. Shane has Miz in a triangle choke hold and Miz is going to sleep.
Shane finally leaves to a chorus of boos and Miz’s dad goes to console his son with two referees.
We’re reminded that we’re 28 days away from WrestleMania. We then get a backstage segment with Lashley and Co. looking like the old Shield backstage footage. Typical heel stuff about how the Shield is no longer the dominant trio in WWE.
Elias comes to play. Mentions Miz, insults him, the city of Cleveland. Mentions he’s going back to LA to see his friend LeBron.
Match 2: WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship – Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya Deville) vs. Asuka (c)
Asuka starts off on fire. Every time Asuka gets started, Sonya steps up to the ring to provide a distraction, but not actually interfere.
Mandy hits a V-Trigger and gains control. She puts Asuka in an abdominal stretch. Asuka reverses the hold. This causes Sonya to look for something under the ring, but it doesn’t look like she found anything. Corey Graves mentions Hornswaggle used to live under the ring.
The two start trading shots and Asuka hits a corner hip attack and a release German suplex. Mandy kicks out. Asuka continues to beat down on Mandy and we see Sonya finally get a kendo stick out from under the stick.
The apron was up and when Mandy is Irish whipped into the ropes, her foot gets caught, tripping her. An Asuka spinning kick that this one’s over.
Winner by pinfall…AND STILL SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION…Asuka.
Sonya never got the chance to use the kendo stick. She apologizes to Many afterwards, but Many tells her to stop and they both walk back.
We go backstage to see Big-E and Xavier Woods, fresh from their Kickoff Show win talk to Kobe.
The trio decide to go in the McMahon’s room. Vince says he’s been waiting for Kofi for over an hour. Kofi said he was told to keep waiting outside. So miscommunication I guess?
Big E and Xavier beg Mr. McMahon to make tonight’s WWE Championship match a triple threat one. He agrees. And tells Kofi to get out there now. He notes the New Day will be barred from the ring.
Match 3: WWE Championship Match
Kofi comes out to huge applause. We’re then informed it’s now a Handicap match. This doesn’t look good for Kofi as he has to now face The Bar in a 2-on-1 match. The Bar doesn’t even have to tag in and out.
Match 3: 2-on-1 Handicap: Kofi Kingston vs. The Bar
This goes like you’d expect it. Crowd is livid booing The Bar. Kofi can’t get any offense. After a few minutes of being beatdown Kofi gets in a little offense and singles out Cesaro. Kofi goes for a dive but eats a Cesaro uppercut. The Bar hits the Doomsday Device. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick.
Crowd chants “This is boring!” Cesaro fakes a pinfall attempt that further incites the crowd. Finally The New Day but Rusev and Nakamura cut them off. The Bar hits their finisher and both cover Kofi standing on top of him for the “win”.
Winners by pinfall…The Bar.
Backstage we get the Boss N’ Hug Connection. A quick promo about their opponents. And now we get a commercial about ATVs. Seriously.
We get another Elias segment. He bashes Kofi, adds Miz’s failures again and knocks the Cavs while applauding his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.
We get a recap of the beatdown by Shane again.
And then go back to backstage reporter who asks Shane to explain his actions. He closes the door on her without saying a word.
Match 4: Raw Tag Team Championship Triple-Threat – Ricochet and Aleister Black vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode vs. The Revival (c)
The NXT studs clean house and do their ring fakeout taunt/pose. This earns an “NXT” chant.
Gable and Ricochet tie up and Ricochet gets the better. The Revival tags in and goes for a pin but he kicks out. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder switch up and then Chad Gable tags in to take out the Revival. Dawson tags back in and continues to punish Ricochet.
Alesiter Black is pacing. He finally gets the tag in and he and Bobby Roode go to work. Black gets some good offense with his running moonsault. Black loads up for the Black Mass but it’s turned into a kick to Scott Dawson. Bobby hits a spinebuster and motions to Chad Gable.
Gable tags in. Black goes to his corner, get tagged by Ricochet. Nobody sees this so while Dash goes for a Scott Dawson Frog Splash on Roode, Ricochet gets his shooting star press but Roode breaks up the pin. That was close.
Ricochet and Scott Dawson climb to the top rope. We get a somewhat botched hurricurrana where Dawson doesn’t get too far from the ring. He takes out four men and now all six men are down in the corner.
Dawson and Ricochet both get back in the ring. Ricochet gets to the top rope and then sees Roode on the ground. Ricochet jumps over Gable, who blind tags Ricochet and tries uncussesfully twice to pin Dawson. The Revival recover and hit a Shatter Machine to retain.
Winners by pinfall…AND STILL RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…The Revival
Bobby is upset after and hits a Glorious DDT, he eats Black’s Mass and the NXT studs clean house. A 630 by Ricochet get the crowd amped, but the Revival still holds the straps.
Match 5: US Championship Fatal 4-Way – R-Truth (w/ Carmella) vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe (c)
Joe and Rey go to work, allowing Joe to push Rey into R-Truth and Andrade. He then hits a tope suicida to take all three out and starts chopping all competitors.
A lot of crazy stuff happens and ends with Truth and Almas alone in the ring. Rey hits a double hurricurana and goes to work on Truth before Joe clotheslines both men.
Truth and Joe face off with Joe putting Truth to sleep. Rey goes for a 619 but Joe escapes before eating a DDT by Rey for a two count. Andrade goes up to the top rope with Rey and mocks Eddie. This ends with another hurricuana. Andrade dropkciks Joe and now hits the Three Amigos. Rey goes for an inside cradle and Andrade escapes it.
Truth tries to go for two quick pins but both Andrade and Rey kick out. After some offense by Truth the fight goes outside. Rey climbs to the top and hits another Hurricanrana
Zelina and Carmella start fighting outside and a pinfall attempt is stopped by R-Truth. Truth and Andrade seem to make an agreenemnt, but Truth kicks him and then does John Cen’as Five Moves of Doom on Joe and Cien.
Rey hits the 619 and then is caught when going for a West Coast Pop. Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch and puts Mysterio to sleep.
Winner by submission…AND STILL US CHAMPION…Samoa Joe
We get a recap of the carnage and are now joined by Beth Phoenix as the guest commentator for our next match.
Match 6: WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – Boss n’ Hug Connection (c) vs. Tamina and Nia Jax
Things get close when Nia goes for apin on Sasha. Sasha tags in Bayley and goes for multiple rushes. Tamina goes to intercept but Bayley tosses her out of the ring. Tamina then spears the ringpost on her second attempt. Bayley and Banks get some good doubleteam moves.
Banks gets an assist from Bayley to dive outside but Tamina and Nia catch her. This means Bayley has to launch herself out as well. Bayley and Banks both hit diving moves on Nia but Tamina breaks up the pinfall attempt.
Bayley counters a Nia powerbomb attempt into a victory roll for to retain.
Winners by pinfall…AND STILL WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS…Boss N’ Hug Connection
Even before the announcer can list the victors, Tamina and Nia start beating down the champs. They soak up the boos. Beth Phoenix steps up and she and Tamina have a staredown. She had admonished Tamina and Nia for their actions and the Beth clubs Tamina.
Big mistake because Nia then knocks Beth down, tosses her into the ring and hits a led drop. Nattie Neidhart comes to try to help but Nia and Tamina knock her down. We get some officials who remove Nia and Tamina. It looks like these four women will be facing off at ‘Mania. Interesting to see how Beth can perform in a month.
Match 7: WWE Championship Triple Threat – Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan (w/ Rowan) vs. Mustafa Ali
Good choice for Ali being the third man since Kofi filled his spot at the Elimination Chamber while he was injured.
Crowd is chanting “We want Kofi!” Bryan chastises both Owens and Ali, who knock him out of the ring. The two go to work and the crowd is still chanting for Kofi.
Daniel and Kevin start trading chops. Owens knocks Bryan out of the ring and then slaps Ali. He asks Ali if he regrets his decision of being in this match yet before Daniel starts kicking the chest of Ali.
Bryan dropkicks Ali from the top rope to the barrier, allowing him to focus on Kevin Owens.
Bryan starts doing some nasty joint manipulation to Owens’ arms. Bryan sees Ali crawl into the ring and instantly knocks him out again. Bryan connects with the YES! Kicks but Ali breaks up the pinfall attempt.
Ali gets back in the ring and starts to chop away at Bryan. Owens gets up and hits a cannonball and superkicks on Ali and Daniel. Mustafa goes for a sleeper hold but Kevin hits a senton on top of Bryan with Ali still holding on.
We now get a spot with Bryan on the top rope with Ali hitting the Spanish Fly. Ali sees Owens on the mat and he goes up for the reverse shooting star press. He misses and Owens hits a Stunner but Bryan breaks up the pin.
Bryan loads up for the Knee-plus but Owens hits the popup powerbomb. Bryan kicks out at two because Owens doesn’t have good leverage.
Bryan goes for a running knee on Ali but misses and knees the ring post. Ali hits hits summersault move on Bryan on the edge of the ring. Bryan rolls back in the ring and Ali goes for a cover, but Rowan pulls him out.
Rowan looks like he’s goin in the ring but Ali and Owens hit three superkicks on him. Ali hits a hurricuranna and then Owens hits his diving moonsault on Rowan.
Bryan hits a knee on Owens and rolls him into the ring. Ali catches up and both men do some crazy diving moves, including Ali perfectly backflipping a toss counter before Owens powerbombs him into the ring.
Rowan gets up and unloads on Kevin Owens. He tosses Owens to the ring bell area and puts Bryan in the ring. Ali kicks out and Rowan and Daniel start talking.
Crowd starts chanting for Kofi. Bryan then slaps Ali a few times, Ali fights back, elbows Bryan and then while goes for a diving crossbody, Bryan kicks Ali mid-flight for the pinfall.
Winner by pinfall…AND STILL WWE CHAMPION…Daniel Bryan
Rowan decides to be a jerk and hit Ali with one more power move.Match 8: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, If Becky wins, she goes to ‘Mania
Not much of what you’d call a match. Becky comes out with her crutch and is informed she has to remove it from the ring. Charlotte is in control for most of the match until Becky pushes Charlotte into the barricade, possibly dislocating her arm.
This allows Becky to get her in the ring and apply the Dis-Arm-Her. Charlotte counters it into the Figure-Eight. Now Ronda Rousey comes to the ring and hits Becky and basically tells the ref to call the match. He does so and we’re now getting a triple-threat match at ‘Mania.
Winner by disqualification…Becky Lynch
Elias segment No. 3. Lacey Evans comes out for her fake walk. While Elias is distracted, and the lights are down, Orton hits an RKO #OuttaNowhere on Elias. That pops the crowd but he doesn’t see AJ Styles, who delivers a Phenomenal Forearm to the Viper.