This has been long overdue. I finally sat down and worked out where I wanted to go with the fantasy booking I started way back at the Superstar Shake-Up, and I’m going to be working on it from now on. I’m going back to my original format of posts for the time being, and hopefully once I catch up with the real life timeline I’ll go back to the Shake-Up format of post.
As a reminder, I didn’t set myself any rules before – I have full control of NXT call-ups, heel/face turns, and the formation or break-up of tag teams. But since writing in the return of Big Cass and his subsequent departure from the company, I’m going to say that if someone genuinely leaves or joins the company, I must adhere to that timing. For example, I’m not going to bring Neville back, and not just because I’m not dealing with the Cruiserweight division. Equally I’m not suddenly going to have Kenny Omega in WWE, unless he actually does sign in real life. Similarly, the matches WWE already announced for Greatest Royal Rumble and Backlash have mostly been kept the same.
This post only covers a week of programming, one Raw, one SmackDown and the Greatest Royal Rumble. It’s not a huge amount, but I think it’s a good way to ease back into these articles. So now that this is back (the link to the Shake-Up is at the top of the article if you want a refresher), let’s get back into it!
Monday Night Raw, 23rd April
Results: Sasha Banks defeats Naomi by submission, Tye Dillinger defeats Elias by pinfall, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James defeat Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose, AJ Styles defeats Curt Hawkins, Samoa Joe & The Miz defeat Randy Orton & Finn Balor (Joe makes Orton tap out)
Promos: – Kurt Angle comes out to the ring to open the show. He says he’s been talking to Stephanie McMahon, Shane McMahon and Paige, and they have all agreed that the winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble match will receive a future shot at either the Universal Championship on Raw, or the WWE Championship on SmackDown. He also announced that tonight we will see a tag team match with Raw’s competitors in the United States and Intercontinental Championship matches at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
– Renee Young meets up with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose backstage and asks about Paige leaving them behind on Raw to become SmackDown General Manager. Rose says that Paige was a great mentor to them over the last few months and they have learned so much. She says that they knew Paige couldn’t wrestle any more for a while, and then Shane McMahon approached her about taking over SmackDown. Deville says they couldn’t blame Paige for jumping at the opportunity, and says they are Paige’s legacy. Deville says that they are going to make Paige proud. They are interrupted by the laughing pair of Alexa Bliss & Mickie James. Bliss asks what planet they’re living on? Bliss says that Page realised she’d made a mistake by plucking Rose and Deville out of nowhere as soon as she’d done it, and she was desperate for a chance to leave them behind. Rose checks that Bliss and James have lost for the last two weeks, to which James tells her to watch her mouth because they’ll happily beat some respect into Rose and Deville tonight. That sets the match up for later.
– The Deleters of Worlds cut their standard promo about the Expedition of Gold continuing in the Saudi Arabian kingdom. Cesaro & Sheamus’ actions last week will be Obsolete by the time they face off on Friday. They’re cut off by The Bar backstage, who say that they didn’t need to attack Hardy and Wyatt last week, they just did it because the felt like it. They say it didn’t matter who won last week, because everybody else is just striving to get to The Bar. They say that they will retain their Tag Team Titles, because they don’t just set the bar, they are The Bar.
– We see clips from various superstars (Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley and more) throughout the night talking about wanting to win the Greatest Royal Rumble.
– AJ Styles gets on the mic after squashing Hawkins, and cuts a simple promo about how his business with Nakamura will end in Jeddah, and when all is said and done he will still be able to call himself WWE Champion.
– Dolph Ziggler meets up with Tye Dillinger in the locker room and says he didn’t really prove anything, because he only beat Elias because of Bobby Lashley. Dillinger says in WWE a win is a win, and that’s more than Ziggler has had recently. Ziggler says that’s about to change, because next week he’s taking on Elias, and he’s going to win without any help. Ziggler leaves saying Dillinger should watch because he might learn a thing or two.
– Roman Reigns comes down to the ring. He runs down his history with Brock Lesnar, going back to the Wrestlemania main event in 2015. He says that he’s come closer to beating Brock Lesnar than anyone else has in the last year, and he claims he saw a different look in Lesnar’s eyes at Wrestlemania. Lesnar realised he was in the ring with someone he couldn’t put down with one F5. Lesnar realised that he couldn’t bully Roman Reigns. Reigns says that he saw doubt in Lesnar, he saw fear, because he would not back down. Reigns says that Lesnar won the match at Wrestlemania, and he kept the Universal Title. But Reigns won the mental battle, because he knew what he was getting into, and clearly Lesnar didn’t. Reigns says that Lesnar asked for a cage match, and that was the worst thing he could have done, because the beast is going to realise when the door gets locked shut that he’s trapped himself in with the biggest dog in the yard. Reigns says that he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Lesnar doesn’t escape this time and next Monday night Reigns will be standing here as your new Universal Champion – and that’s not a promise, that’s a spoiler.
Storyline – Bobby Lashley interferes and distracts Elias, costing him his match with Tye Dillinger. Lashley then leaves Elias laying after the match too.
– Sasha Banks refuses to release the Bank Statement after Naomi taps out, and doesn’t relent until multiple referees are in the ring trying to break the hold.
SmackDown Live, 24th April
Results: Baron Corbin defeats Big Cass by pinfall, Andrade “Cien” Almas defeats R-Truth by pinfall, Drew McIntyre defeats Mojo Rawley by pinfall, Bludgeon Brothers defeat Breezango by pinfall, Jinder Mahal defeats Seth Rollins by pinfall
Promos: – Pre-match, Mojo Rawley has the microphone and says that the only reason he lost to Drew McIntyre last week was because McIntyre had the element of surprise. He says that’s not going to happen this week in their rematch because when he’s on his game, nobody can beat him.
– We see the same sort of video that we saw on Raw with various superstars talking about wanting to win the Greatest Royal Rumble to earn a WWE Championship match, headlined by Daniel Bryan.
– The Revival are interviewed by Renee Young backstage saying that they attacked Slater & Rhyno and Titus Worldwide last week because the only new team on SmackDown that deserved any of the spotlight is The Revival. They say that this is a new chance for a new lease of life for them, and The Revival are going to make the most of this chance.
– We see another vignette for the coming soon Sanity.
– Charlotte is in the locker room with Bayley and Becky Lynch, and Flair says that she was going to get her title back and then deal with the so-called IIconics, but after last week she realises that’s not going to happen. She says she’s going to have to take out Billie Kay and Peyton Royce before she gets her hands on her title, and she’s probably going to need Bayley and Becky to have her back to do so.
– Throughout the night, Renee Young tries to get a word with Shinsuke Nakamura regarding his title match with AJ Styles at Greatest Royal Rumble. He keeps avoiding her and refusing to answer her questions. Then just as SmackDown is about to go off air, she tries one more time, and Nakamura simply says that he will be the new WWE Champion.
Storyline: – The New Day are on commentary for the Bludgeon Brothers win and face off with them after the match
– Mahal beats Rollins after a distraction from Sunil Singh
Greatest Royal Rumble, April 27th
Results: John Cena defeats Triple H by submission
Undertaker defeated Chris Jericho in a Casket Match
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt defeat Cesaro & Sheamus by pinfall to win the Raw Tag Team Championships
Bludgeon Brothers defeat The New Day by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Seth Rollins defeats Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and The Miz in a Ladder Match to retain the Intercontinental Championship
Randy Orton defeats Jinder Mahal by pinfall to win the United States Championship
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship ends in a double count out
Roman Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar by pinfall in a Steel Cage match to win the Universal Championship
Daniel Bryan wins the 50-man Royal Rumble match to earn a shot at the WWE Championship
Storyline: – The WWE Championship match ends in a double count-out when both men go crashing through the announce table and can’t make it back into the ring before the 10-count
– In the Universal Championship cage match, Brock Lesnar attempts to escape through the door, but Paul Heyman slams the door on his head and he falls back into the ring. Roman Reigns then hits a superman punch and a spear to pin Lesnar. After the match, Heyman raises Reigns’ hand in celebration as he holds the Universal Title high.