There was a memorial graphic for Tim White (1954 - 2022). RIP.
The announcers mentioned that Riddle’s quest to win the championship wasn’t over because he faces Omos in a Money in the Bank qualifier tonight.
Bianca Belair entered. She announced that Rhea Ripley would not be cleared in time for MITB so, unfortunately, that match wasn’t happening yet. Belair looked forward to every challenge and looked forward to facing Rhea Ripley eventually.
Belair announced a fatal five-way match tonight between Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Asuka, and Becky Lynch with the winner earning a title shot at MITB.
Lynch interrupted. She complained about recent events before stating that she would the match tonight and get her title shot.
Asuka interrupted. She mocked Lynch for crying again and called her a big-time baby. Lynch said Asuka should spend less time making Simpsons memes and more time worrying about her because it was Asuka’s shoulders down on the mat each of the last two times they've wrestled.
Morgan interrupted. She noted that she already qualified for MITB, unlike Lynch, but was willing to trade that for a title match against Belair.
Carmella interrupted. She said Morgan didn’t belong in the match because she’s never been a champion.
Bliss interrupted. She said Carmella has never accomplished anything on her own and threatened to beat her face right now.
Belair was (finally) tired of all the talk and suggested they start the match now.
There was a John Cena video package. He returns next week.
Fatal 5-way match: Carmella defeated Liv Morgan, Asuka, Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss (12:28)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Down
Carmella won and will face Belair for the title at MITB. The match started slow but was good once they returned from the commercial break.
Byron Saxton mentioned that Carmella’s mask was gone. Corey Graves said he took out an expensive insurance policy for her.
Bliss and Morgan worked together briefly before shaking hands and facing off. And by facing off I mean they rolled around the ring trading cradles. They went to a commercial after Carmella pushed Morgan off the top rope to the outside into everyone else.
After the break, Carmella brought Lynch down from the top with a hurricanrana and Lynch landed right on top of Morgan but Asuka broke up Carmella’s cover. Asuka put Carmella in the Asuka Lock but Bliss broke it up.
Asuka tried the Asuka Lock on Lynch but Morgan brought her down with a missile dropkick. Lynch did the Man-handle slam but Bliss broke it up with a Twisted Bliss and her cover was broken up by both Morgan and Carmella. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.”
Asuka wiped out Bliss with a kick to the head but Lynch chucked Asuka from the ring. Lynch blocked an Oblivion and hit a Man-handle slam but Asuka yanked her out of the ring. Asuka kicked her in the head too but Bliss knocked out Asuka. Bliss tried Twisted Bliss but Morgan got her knees up.
Carmella dropped Morgan with a superkick for the pinfall win.
— After the match, Lynch marched to the back and ranted at Adam Pearce. She was still complaining after a break. Pearce said she was originally scheduled to face Asuka tonight in a qualifier so he decided to make that match again. Lynch was happy to hear it until she was informed that it was happening tonight.
Vince McMahon entered. The crowd cheered. He called John Cena the greatest of all time and plugged his return. He left.
There was a recap of Roman Reigns retaining his title over Riddle and Brock Lesnar’s return.
Riddle entered. He mentioned that the Bloodline may have ended Randy Orton’s career and he made a promise to himself that he would get revenge. He came close on Friday but Roman was Roman in the end and he came up short. Riddle let the fans down, let down himself, and he let down Randy.
Riddle wasn’t finished yet and wanted to win MITB so he could cash in on Roman and end his reign of terror. Riddle mentioned the other MITB competitors but specifically focused on Seth Rollins. He wasn’t happy that Rollins attacked his boy Cody Rhodes with a sledgehammer and planned on hitting him with a ladder in response.
MVP and Omos interrupted. MVP wondered what kind of stuff Riddle was on if he thought he was winning tonight. Riddle said he would get high — when his hand was raised high in victory and he moves on to win MITB.
Money in the Bank qualifying match: Omos (w/MVP) defeated Riddle (3:54)
Riddle had tape around his midsection. Omos had him in a long bearhug but Riddle fought back with a knee strike and floating bro. Riddle tried an RKO but Omos blocked it and hit a tree slam for the pinfall win.
Omos gave him another tree slam after the match.
— Seth Rollins entered. He decked Riddle and chucked him from the ring. He said he didn’t share airspace with losers and called Riddle the ultimate loser for losing his buddy, losing to Reigns, and losing his shot at MITB. He said it didn’t matter who else was in MITB anyway because he was the only man on the planet who had Reigns’ number.
Riddle attacked Rollins as he did his catchphrase but Rollins knocked him down and gave him a curb stomp.
Theory stood on the platform from last week’s pose-down. He tried to get through his promo while also telling the crowd to shut up about five different times. He dismissed Cena’s return because Cena’s time was up and his time was now.
Theory decided to do a pose-down for us again. Lashley appeared from behind and the crowd cheered. Theory assumed they were cheering for him. He took a selfie but upon opening his camera phone he realized that Lashley was behind him.
Lashley sprayed him in the face with baby oil (or water) and speared him off the platform. Lashley demanded a US title match.
— After a break, Theory told Kevin Patrick that he spoke to Pearce and they made a match: Lashley must win a gauntlet match tonight against three opponents of his choosing to earn a US title shot.
The Usos said Reigns would smash Lesnar just like he smashed Riddle. They planned on smashing the Street Profits at MITB.
The Street Profits entered. Montez Ford said the only thing better than money in the bank was gold around their waists. Angelo Dawkins was ready to beat up Jey Uso right now.
Angelo Dawkins (w/Montez Ford) defeated Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso) (7:20)
Dawkins got a nearfall with a Silencer but Jey came back with a superkick. Jey went to the top for a splash but Dawkins caught him and hit a sit-out spinebuster for the pinfall win. (Graves noted that Jimmy had his back to the ring because he was so confident that Jey would win.)
Ezekiel met with Elias in the back. They sat on opposite ends of the couch. (There was also a complicated painting in the background which I assume was meant to make this split-screen look more convincing.)
Ezekiel wondered if Elias was looking forward to playing in Nebraska considering some of the things he’s said about it in the past. Elias called himself a changed man. The crowd sang along when they said “walk with Elias.”
Elias said his catchphrase and the crowd sang along again. Elias was happy to hear it. He was about to perform but Kevin Owens marched out. Owens said nobody wanted to see this and nobody was buying that video they just showed. Owens knew it had to be special effects. After all, he just saw a movie with dinosaurs and a T-Rex flying a helicopter.
Ezekiel appeared on the screen to prove once more that they were different people. Owens was annoyed and Elias sang “Kevin Owens is a liar.” Owens was pissed so he chucked the guitar from the ring. Elias nailed him with a knee strike and smashed a guitar over his back.
— Owens was accosted by Patrick in the back. Patrick asked if he was convinced yet. Owens said they must have pre-taped the Ezekiel tron video and he must have worn a fake beard. Owens challenged Elias or Ezekiel or whoever to a match next week. Ezekiel showed up (no beard) and accepted the match. Owens freaked out.
They played the Cena video for a third time.
Bobby Lashley won a gauntlet match over Chad Gable, Otis and Theory
Bobby Lashley defeated Chad Gable (w/Otis) (5:48)
Lashley was completely dominating and hit a delayed vertical suplex but Gable countered a spear with a drop toe hold and applied an ankle lock. Lashley was in the ankle lock for a long time before pushing off Gable. Gable actually knocked Lashley down with a shoulder tackle before hitting a moonsault for two.
Lashley hit an overhead suplex, blocked a roll-up and applied the Hurt Lock for the submission win.
Otis immediately attacked Lashley after the match.
Bobby Lashley defeated Otis (w/Chad Gable) via disqualification (8:29)
Otis continued to toss Lashley around ringside and could have won by count-out but he broke up the count. Otis splashed Lashley on the outside which led to break. Otis remained in control until he missed a Vader Bomb and Lashley followed with a flatliner. Lashley avoided a corner charge and hit a spear. He had it won but Gable broke up the cover for the DQ.
After the match, Gable gave Lashley a
German suplex and Otis splashed him.
Non-title: Bobby Lashley defeated US Champion Theory (1-2 minutes)
Theory tried to take advantage and went for the ATL but Lashley used a nice counter into a cradle for the pinfall win.
Lashley will face Theory for the US title at MITB. The crowd liked Lashley.
Belair told Sarah Schreiber that she was ready for Ripley so she was ready for Carmella. Carmella decked her from behind.
(Belair popped to her feet after Carmella left but just stood there because Carmella was out of the frame even though she was probably only ten feet away.)
Miz TV with guest AJ Styles
Miz was trying to egg on Styles by recapping recent events but Styles wasn’t playing along. Miz took a shot at Nebraska students so Styles let him know this was Cornhusker country. The crowd loudly chanted for their team. Styles also mentioned Miz’s popcorn-sized balls and Miz said we were not making this a thing. Styles asked the crowd if this was a thing and the crowd cheered.
Styles blamed himself for not qualifying for MITB. He’s been through adversity before but that’s how he became phenomenal. When he gets disrespected, he doesn’t run his mouth like Miz.
Styles punched Miz but Ciampa suddenly decked Styles from behind.
AJ Styles defeated Ciampa (4:30)
They had a competitive match that Styles won clean with the Phenomenal forearm.
After the match, Miz tried to attack from behind but Styles dodged and hit a Styles Clash.
Patrick interviewed Veer Mahaan on the stage. Patrick asked about his decisive win over Rey Mysterio last week. Mahaan said he would not stop until there was nothing left. He loves carnage. “Fear Veer.”
(In the past, they’ve had Mahaan try to sound like a ‘monster’ but here he seemed to speak in something closer to his regular voice.)
Money in the Bank qualifying match: Asuka defeated Becky Lynch (12:08)
Asuka pinned Lynch clean to qualify for MITB.
Lynch attacked Asuka during her entrance but that just pissed her off and she tackled Lynch when the bell rang. Asuka hit a codebreaker for two but Lynch knocked her off the top rope and she fell to the outside. (As Asuka lay there motionless two seconds after getting knocked down, the ref yelled at her to get back in the ring — “Let’s go! Inside!”)
Lynch missed a leg drop after a break and Asuka followed with a sliding kick, strikes and a cradle for two. Asuka followed with more strikes, a German suplex and a running hip attack for two. They traded submissions until Lynch drove Asuka face-first into the turnbuckle for two. Asuka came back with a missile dropkick for two.
Lynch tried something off the apron but Asuka caught her with a knee strike. They both just barely got back in the ring before a ten count.
They traded counters and rollups until Asuka kicked Lynch in the head for the pinfall win.
Lynch freaked out after the match.
Overall: Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up