Less than a week before facing The Brothers of Destruction in tag team action for the first time at WWE Crown Jewel, D-Generation X seemed like they were a man short as Triple H stared down The Undertaker & Kane on his own. However, Shawn Michaels hit the ring and nailed The Deadman with Sweet Chin Music! DX's celebration was short, though, as they witnessed The Phenom rise moments later. Will The Undertaker be as resilient this Friday at WWE Crown Jewel?
Last week, Finn Bálor embarrassed Bobby Lashley with a flash pin that came so out of nowhere it bordered on an upset. Clearly, The Rocky Mountain-Made Machine was not going to let that happen again. Lashley wasn’t out for victory in their rematch so much as vindication, even shrugging off a disqualification loss — Lio Rush knocked Finn off the top rope while he was setting up the Coup de Grâce — to ensnare the Irishman in a full nelson while Rush talked trash and slapped Bálor repeatedly across the face.
The WWE Universe was repulsed by Lashley and Rush, but at least one individual felt differently. Baron Corbin, who had been mockingly Too-Sweeted by Bálor after eating three Running Powerslams from Braun Strowman, summoned Lashley to the trainer’s room after the match and administered something of a reward. Off the strength of his performance on Raw, Lashley received an automatic berth into the WWE World Cup, where he would replace the one Superstar who hadn’t won a qualifying match: John Cena.
Why did Dean Ambrose turn his back on Seth Rollins moments after they won the Raw Tag Team Titles in a match dedicated to Roman Reigns? The only man who knows is Dean Ambrose. But he’s not interested in telling. And by the end of the night, the explanation didn’t matter anymore to Seth Rollins.
After The Kingslayer asked his partner for answers, Ambrose appeared from The Shield’s traditional perch in the audience. Rollins began to crack immediately, accusing Ambrose of “mocking” his own brotherhood. Then, The Architect upped the ante, reminding Ambrose that he had given an explanation for his own betrayal four years ago, and The Lunatic Fringe owed him that same courtesy at the very least.
It didn't work. Ambrose didn’t respond to Rollins’ increasingly furious demands, sneering at him from afar while The Architect grew angrier and angrier by the second. The only thing that provoked any kind of reaction was when Rollins, who was unraveling by the second, called him a lunatic, but Ambrose clearly had no desire to explain himself — or, for that matter, to fight. The Lunatic Fringe turned around and walked away when Rollins finally snapped and pursued him up the staircase, and the Superstar who assembled the brotherhood Ambrose broke was left to compose himself outside, stewing over the one answer he could have possibly gotten that was worse than what he imagined: No answer at all.
D-Generation X loves some trash talk, so it would stand to reason they’d try to get in The Brothers of Destruction’s heads just four days before their first-ever tag team battle. So while it was indeed surprising that they decided to let their actions do the talking with a sneak attack on The Undertaker & Kane, the bigger shock was that DX seemed to have only further ignited the fury of the legendary Superstars.
After promising to hand DX a soul-stealing defeat, the Brothers attempted to bait DX into an early throwdown. Triple H emerged atop the ramp, but Shawn Michaels was noticeably absent. The Game’s presence was enough to draw Kane out of the ring, and HBK struck from behind, ambushing Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music and bailing out after The Devil’s Favorite Demon doubled back to his brother's side. DX’s triumph was short-lived, however: They were merrily making their way back up the ramp when The Phenom sat bolt upright and stopped their celebration in its tracks. Clearly, the element of surprise won’t be enough. And time’s running out to go back to the drawing board.
In other action … Braun Strowman confronted Brock Lesnar … Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya, Trish Stratus & Lita def. The Riott Squad, Mickie James & Alicia Fox … Elias def. Jinder Mahal … Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. AOP and The Ascension (Triple Threat Match) … Nia Jax def. Ember Moon; Tamina confronted Nia after the match … The Lucha House Party def. The Revival … and Dolph Ziggler def. Apollo Crews.