A.J. Stiles vs. Damin Priest
As a special condition of the match, if Priest loses tonight, he will not be allowed to appear at ringside during Edge and AJ’s match at WrestleMania Backlash. Right after the bell, Styles started throwing heavy punches, but Damien fought back and then had a hard big boot as well. From that point on, a stretch of Prist’s dominance began, which Edge was happy to watch from ringside. “Phenomenal” began to fight back with strikes, and then reversed the attempt to throw himself out of the four-corner, flying at his vis-a-vis with a crowning forearm strike over the ropes. There was no way Priest wanted to go back in the ring, and he reversed his next attack by sending his opponent shoulder into the ring stance before leaving for commercials. Upon returning, we saw Styles attempt an Ushigoroshi, but ran into a spinning leg lariat to 2. Superplex “Phenomenal” escaped by spinning Torture Rack Bomb to 2. “Clash” was blocked, A.J. went out for a rollup to 2, got a kick to the injured shoulder, but responded with a kick of his own.
Backbreaker from Priest to 2, and Damien got ready for Razor’s Edge, but Stilesch avoided it by running a Pele kick. Once on the apron, he prepared for Phenomenal Forearm, but got distracted by Edge, so Damien met his flight with his South of Heaven chokeslam to 2. The Crown Flatliner didn’t go through, and Priest stunned his opponent, and almost hit Calf Crusher, but he was distracted again by Edge. Damien wanted to take advantage of this, but hit a curl to 3, and AJ won. No sooner had the winning theme music started to play than Edge attacked his PLE opponent. Priest then gave him his flatliner, and then Edge brought 2 chairs into the quad to finally destroy Phenomenal’s injured shoulder. The Finn Balor theme music played prevented him from doing so. He ripped into the quadrangle, came back from the chair kick, and held Prist to a dropkick to the knee. Edge got a series of punches that he barely escaped, and Damien got a slingblade. Damian was sent out of the ring by AJ’s Closeline, and the former Bullet Club leaders exchanged a 2 Sweet gesture and hugged.
Quite a solid match for television that advances the story, although I’m not a big fan, for I’m always looking for logic. For example, why does Styles look at Edge himself, who does nothing, even though he knows he lost at WrestleMania in a similar episode because of it? Then he wins by wrap-up, which is probably okay for the situation, he gets attacked, and then Finn Balor shows up. On the one hand, this is understandable. First, Finn saved an old friend from disability (cafebly, naturally). Second, he also fits into the story because he’s had some history with Priest lately. But I’m trying to answer the “why do we need Finn here in the long run?” question. AJ doesn’t need him on the PLE, for Damien won’t be there. He shouldn’t be in Styles’ corner either, because that would give the face-off some advantage, and that’s very un-WWE. No, I certainly have a theory that WWE also watched Wrestling Dontaku and decided that not only NJPW, but they can make the Bullet Club great again.
MWPW was admiring Omos’ big fists backstage when Cedric Alexander came up to them. He immediately started sucking up, like, he appreciates Montel, unlike Bobby Lashley, because when Cedric, Shelton, and Bobby were under Pi’s wing, they were all champions, thanks to MTVP’s leadership. And if it weren’t for Benjamin and Lashley’s egos, that Hurt Business would still be running things on RAW. MWPI said he was proud of Cedric for acknowledging all this, and also for speaking directly to Montel’s face. However, he already said that Hurt Business is in the past, and he’s busy with big things now, so he has no plans to renew the business relationship with any of his former mentees. Alexander replied that he was not speaking for Hurt Business, but for himself. To prove that he has a place near P even now, Cedric asked management to schedule him for a fight with Bobby Lashley. Montel said that now he’s interested. He and Omos will be watching this fight closely, and maybe Cedric will get something after it. Cedric tried to say something else, but Omos interrupted him with “YOU GOT TO GET OUT OF THERE!