Hey, I’m back! Did you miss me?

When Triple H mentioned the WWE draft they’ll be sanctioning, I didn’t think it was going to be so soon. Next week, to be precise. I’m ready for it. I wonder, is everyone else?

Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs. Finn Balor & Damian Priest – Tag Team match

Did Damian Priest even have an alliance with Bad Bunny? Normally, when someone aligns themselves with a person they may not like or they do like, it’s because you have similar interests that could benefit you both. Was it really an alliance if it imploded that quickly?

Balor and Rey start this off as Finn attempts to kick the Hall of Famer Luchador, yet he gets impeded and punched in the head.

Mysterio rolls through a stack up attempt and drop kicks Balor in the face. He continues with that momentum with a Moonsault, yet Finn had his knees up.

Once Priest came into this match, he made his kick to Rey look effortless and disinterested. He and Balor play a double team on Rey that includes a back break and a leg drop.

Judgement Day has done an effective job when it comes to keeping Rey in their corner as they soften him up with a headlock by Balor. Rey manages to release himself from Balor’s clutches with a DDT then tags Santos in.

Escobar delivers a back breaker to Balor and a cheap shot to Damian prior to that. Priest tries to get involved, Santos ducks, then delivers harsh knees to his jaw.

Here comes the double team by Rey and Santos as they plough Damian down. Unfortunately, as Rey was about to body splash Finn on the main floor, Priest drags him out the way, which results in Mysterio plummeting to his stomach. A failed experience.

Escobar was looking to fly, yet Finn intercepted back inside the ring.

Although, Santos was able to fend Damian off, it was short lived once he delivered a boot to Escobar’s face.

The waves of change have arrived the moment Rey got back in against Finn, delivering hit after hit. Mysterio was about to perform the 619 to Balor, but Damian tags in and carries Rey. That came as a surprise, thankfully, Rey was able to shove it off.

Mysterio and Escobar didn’t know that Priest was legal when he pushed Rey into the post then performed the South of Heaven to Santos for the win. A sneaky move on their part. Wade Barrett called it ” classic chicanery”.

After that, Damian mocks the fact that next week Monday, Bad Bunny will be there. Priest cockily hopes that Bunny’s visit goes awry like last time.

Winners: Finn Balor & Damian Priest 

Zelina Vega, looking as fashionable as ever, is backstage talking to Adam Pearce about her concerns over the upcoming draft. Given the animosity the LWO have been getting from The Judgement Day, Vega shockingly wants to battle Rhea Ripley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. That had me coughing for a moment…

Pearce had doubts too. Zelina does recognize that she’s Rhea bloody Ripley, but since WrestleMania Backlash is happening in Puerto Rico and hosted by Bad Bunny, she feels that she needs to represent her latina heritage and prove that she’s ready regardless of her height. Pearce makes no promises, yet he’ll speak to upper management and Ripley.

Barrett cares Zelina’s passion, yet he thinks she’s… over-reaching.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. How could I?! Shinsuke Nakamura was here last week. The return of a king.

Elsewhere, Karrion Kross and Scarlett are here too. I haven’t seen them in a while, that’s why I sighed the second I heard him speak. Ha! Identity, that’s why we’re here. It takes a lifetime to find and easy to break. Kross took Drew McIntyre’s temperament. He took Madcap Moss’ joy. For Rey, it was his patience. Apparently, Nakamura is Kross’ next target according to the cards. Shinsuke has honor, the very thing Karrion wants to destroy. Tick tock…

Strangely enough, there was some truth to what he said about identity easily being taken and dumped when something emotional, irrational, traumatic and/or psychological happens to us. Ourselves are changed, for better or worse, depends on you.

Ricochet & Braun Strowman vs. The Viking Raiders – Tag Team match

The moment the bell ringed, Ivar had Braun teetering at the mercy of the Viking warrior. Strowman strikes back with hits to the upper back of Ivar.

Michael Cole calls them “two mammoth men”. Ha! Ha!  Strowman puts Ivar through an impressive shoulder tackle plus a clothesline.

Ivar tags Erik in while Braun remains completely unaware till the Vikings play a double team on him.

Once he muscled his way out, Braun got overly excited when he used Ricochet as a weapon only to miss the mark. Poor Rico. Thrown around like a ragdoll.

Ricochet doesn’t let that spoil the fun though as he flies and crashes into the Vikings on the outside near the commentary table. Thanks to Valhalla’s interference, distracting Rico, the Raiders have gained an upper hand.

The hype moves in favor of Strowman and Ricochet once Braun drop kicks Erik against the turnbuckles, something you don’ t see very often from the big man. Even more so with the Strowman Express, sending Ivar into the post.

Valhalla interferes again, which allows Erik to deliver a harsh knee to his jaw. After that splash from Ivar, it was shocking to see that Braun was still in this. Even Miss Val was dumbfounded.

Braun tags Ricochet. He delivers a springboard elbow to Erik, who isn’t the legal man, than meets with a boot by Ivar. The inflation of his speed was quickly deflated. My God…

Anyway, Ricochet goes to the top of Braun’s shoulders then Swantons Ivar for a victory. This laid the Vikings down.

Winners: Ricochet & Braun Strowman

Backstage, Liv Morgan really has become one the most unhinged fighters I’ve seen recently. Because of the water that Chelsea Green threw in her face this past Monday when Green and Deville won an opportunity to challenge the tag champs, Morgan is ready to be the messiest person they’ll see. I have no doubts.

Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez (c) vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville – Women’s Tag Team Championship match

Unnecessarily rude as usual, Green and Deville as they make their way to the ring telling the audience that they need to show them respect once their presence has been known. Green mocks Liv again with the water, which angers her, but Raquel holds her back till the bell rings.

Morgan drop kicks Green right out of the gate, that causes Chelsea to back up and tag Sonya in. The match barely started, and you leave? Pfft.

Rodriguez and Morgan play a double team as they body crash into Sonya in their corner of the ring. Raquel had a hold on Deville for a moment, but a moment is all it takes for things to falter. Sonya slides off Raquel’s shoulders then brutally hits the back of her opponent’s kneecap.

That’s all well and good, but once Chelsea is tagged, Rodriguez makes quick work out of her, it’s funny. A couple waistline takedowns as it were.

Raquel tags Liv, yet she’s taken outside the ring by Chelsea, who also kicks Morgan. Green was about to leap after Raquel, she gets temporarily caught, lucky for her her whining gets Sonya’s attention to jump Rodriguez. They were celebrating after that, but Morgan cuts it short.

Later on, Green was able to stack Morgan up for a cover that she connivingly used the bottom rope to her advantage only to get caught. Ha! Ha!

As if that were surprising. Deville wards the official’s attention onto her after she almost breached the five count allowing Chelsea to choke Liv with the rope. Green and Deville kept trying to cheat their way to winning, thankfully, we have a reliable referee.

Deville and Green powered Morgan up, Liv switches it into a double neck breaker to create space, so she can reach Rodriguez for assistance.

Raquel brought the heat when she took out both ladies, especially Chelsea with a Fall Away Slam and a Spinning Corkscrew that almost granted the champs the retaining win… until Sonya broke things up.

Rodriguez superplexes Deville while Morgan drop kicks Green after she made a quick tag to her champ partner. All of them were down. Morgan with a Backstabber to Green makes her jump like a fish. A kick to Liv by Deville. Then a boot by Rodriguez.

While the official was telling Sonya to leave the ring, Green marches over to Morgan. What she didn’t know was that Liv had her water bottle from earlier and poured it on her as payback, resulting in a flip up assisted by Rodriguez to retain.

Barrett thinks it odd that the referee was able to catch Green and Deville cheating, but incapable of doing the same with Raquel and Liv. Eh… I don’t care.

“I have a good mind to speak to management about this!” said Barrett

“My own personal Karen seating with me at ringside.” said Cole

Winners: Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan 

Although Matt Riddle has an incoming 6-man Tag Team match with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn versus the Usos and Solo Sikoa at Backlash, he still has vengeance on his mind because Sikoa buried him under the announcement table this past Monday. He promises to inflict the same in return.

Gunther (c) vs. Xavier Woods – Intercontinental Championship match

This is Woods’ first ever Intercontinental Championship title shot after bumping LA Knight last week. He has his hair braided down for this match. Serious business even though Gunther said that Woods doesn’t respect this line of work. False. He does, given his commitment over the years even without the opportunities, which he sadly hasn’t had many.

Xavier uses his quickness to avoid a chop then goes on the attack with multiple kicks to the back of Gunther’s legs. Unfortunately, a punch to the kidney has Woods bowed down for a bit.

Gunther climbs back in control with a swift chop to Woods’ chest, sending him backwards. It has been an unfiltered beatdown of Xavier while we were away. Woods was in dire need of a switch.

Woods tries to fight back after multiple chops that left him winded, however, Gunther suplexes him for his efforts. What shocked me was the sudden slap Xavier gave Gunther when he talked smack. Understandably hilarious.

Out of nowhere, Xavier slings Gunther by his throat, taking him down, which alarmed Cole. Woods climbs to the top and meets with a chop, but he muscles thought it with a swift quick. The champ plummets. Woods leaps in with a leg drop that ALMOST put Gunther away. Very close.

Gunther abruptly puts Xavier into a sleeper hold that changes into an attempt at a powerbomb that Woods avoids and plants the champ face first.

Xavier, dare I say, was the one who took Gunther to another level of limitation. Alas, the champ manhandles Woods into a sleeper hold that siphons the strength of out him.

Winner: Gunther

The Usos have reigned for two years as champions. It’s not an easy streak to break, that’s why I questioned the duration of Owens and Zayn’s reign. I said that they’ll lose those titles starting from WrestleMania Night Two and the following three months. I still believe it regardless of how rude that may sound to you guys.

A rematch is put into motion between the current tag champs and the greatest tag champs the Usos next week.

Before we get to the twins, Cody Rhodes got his angry shouting antics answered as he battles Brock Lesnar at Backlash. Zelina Vega also has her match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Omos faces Seth Rollins, I didn’t see that coming. The US Championship is up for grabs with a Triple Threat match between Bronson Reed, Bobby Lashley and Austin Theory.

Ha! Ha! The Riddle impersonation Jimmy does was abruptly comical. It almost sounds like it isn’t coming from his mouth. Ha! Ha!

The question that was constantly asked of them was what’s next given they lost their titles. They’ll do what they always do, that’s trip people from under, fight and win back the gold. What irked me was that they’ll dedicate their potential win next Friday to Roman Reigns…. Why? WHY? I have a headache…

Solo Sikoa vs. Matt Riddle – No Disqualification match

As Riddle’s theme music plays, no one sees him materialize himself behind Sikoa as he goes at it. The bell rings to officiate the match, as if anyone cares. Everyone loves dropping from the sky these days.

Anyway, Matt’s advantage quickly turns on him when he’s unable to deliver an Exploder suplex, which allows Sikoa to counter with a massive clothesline.

Riddle twists a triangle arm hold around Solo, Sikoa carries his opponent to the center of the ring then plants him for a failed cover. That’s when Solo breaks in the armory by bringing chairs and kendo sticks in play. Emphasis on “play”.

Riddle wails the pain he feels from the kendo stick. He’s on his backside getting whacked apart. Matt is able to duck underneath at an incoming swing and kick Sikoa’s head.

While Sikoa wasn’t looking, Riddle grabbed another kendo stick and is now the one on the attack. Solo was squirming like a cat being dunked in cold water. He went for a table, but Sikoa wouldn’t let him. Who cares about the fans?

Riddle manages to drive Solo into the stairs before sending a Broton. Ha! Weirdly constructed word.

Sikoa was looking for the Uranage, Riddle counters with elbows only to be swiftly put down with a Samoan Drop. He looks to inflict further damage by taking Riddle out again by wrapping a chair around his neck. Luckily, Sikoa took too much time, so Riddle threw the chair at his face. He later unloads with multiple kendo strikes.

Even when Riddle had two chairs set up and suplexed Solo onto them, the Enforcer kicks out. Matt goes for the running knee, yet Solo sends him face first against the apron. Sikoa wanted to bury Riddle like last time, but Matt stops him using his legs. Solo decides to Samoan Spike him while standing on the announce desk, yet Riddle counters with a knee.

Now it’s Riddle’s turn to bury Solo. However, the Usos came back to finish the job… well, attempt anyway.

Riddle’s face when he saw Solo raising from under the table, coming back to life. He looked like he saw a damn poltergeist. He goes after Sikoa and gets caught then sent onto the apron with a Uranage.

Sikoa is about to Samoan Spike Riddle, he ducks out with a flash knee, yet the moment he bounces off the ropes, Solo delivers one of the harshest clotheslines, or Samoan Spikes, a controversy, nevertheless, I’ve ever seen in order to win.

And how do you get back into the Tribal Chief’s good graces? By torturing the problem to the degree of immobilization, of course. One and Done through the table.

Winner: Solo Sikoa


TOP PHOTO: Solo Sikoa looks for a Samoan Spike on Matt Riddle. Courtesy of WWE