WWE KING & QUEEN OF THE RING RESULTS (5/25): Gunther vs. Randy Orton, Nia Jax vs. Lyra Valkyria, Cody Rhodes vs. Logan Paul, Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan



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MAY 25, 2024

Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

-They showed scenes of Riyadh and also its place on the map in that part of the world along with other big cities in the region. They showed wrestlers arriving.

(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. LIV MORGAN – Women’s Title match

Graves said Liv is perpetually in second place, but her whining and complaining that she deserves more is nonsense. He said Becky needs to shut her up. Cole said Becky is 4-0 against Liv. They noted Becky is champion because of what Liv did to injure Rhea Ripley. Cole said this is Liv’s first singles title match in two years. Graves said when you’re out injured, the game moves on and you can’t step back in and expect to catch up immediately.

The bell rang 11 minutes into the hour. They were in ring gear that covered their entire bodies other than their heads, heck, and hands. Cole said it’s hard to stay hydrated in Jeddah. Graves quipped he lost four pounds since they went on the air.

At 9:00 as Becky went for the Manhandle Slam, Liv countered and began scoring two counts. Graves said if Liv comes up short, it’ll be tough for her to swallow since she’s spent months telling everyone what she deserves. She went for Oblivion, but Becky blocked it and drove Liv to the mat. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Becky and Liv reversed each other’s rollups. Liv caught Becky with a dropkick right afterward for a two count. Cole wondered if she was experiencing doubt. A brief “This is awesome!” chant broke out.

Becky applied an armbar mid-ring. Liv leveraged Becky’s shoulders down for a two count and then applied Rings of Saturn. Becky shifted into a Disarm Her at 14:00. Dominik Mysterio then showed up at ringside. Cole said he was posting on social media earlier that he was there. Graves said Dom wants to be sure Liv doesn’t get Ripley’s championship. Becky turned and yelled at Dom. Liv gave a distracted Becky a Code Breaker for a dramatic near fall.

Liv climbed to the top rope. Becky met her up there and superplexed her. Dom slid a steel chair to Becky. He then climbed onto the ring apron and distracted the ref. Liv then DDT’d Becky on the chair and then delivered Oblivion for the three count. Cole yelled, “Dominik, you’re a frickin’ moron!” Graves said he’s an idiot who deserves to be locked up. Cole said he gave the title to the woman who took Ripley out and he’s going to be in trouble with Mami as a result.

WINNER: Morgan in 16:00 to win the Women’s World Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: First of all, good match that the crowd was into. Becky being on the chase might be better for her. With fans behind Ripley, but against Dom who was buried by commentators, having Liv as the heel champion sets up an interesting dynamic that will have to resolve itself in coming weeks. It seems odd that the announcers pushed so hard that Dom wasn’t happy, while ignoring suspicious interactions on Raw in recent weeks between Liv and Dom that could suggest this was actually a clever move by Dom to get the belt to Liv while pretending he’s upset by it.) [c]

(2) SAMI ZAYN vs. CHAD GABLE (w/Otis) vs. BRONSON REED – Intercontinental Title match

When Gable came out, fans enjoyed chanting “You suck!” at him. Cole said that chant used to be reserved for another U.S. Olympian. When Bronson came out, Cole said he’s all about business and is looking to win his first championship on “the main roster.” Graves said he admires how Bronson approaches every match as just business, but he wants to see some emotion from Bronson and seem him get angry. Sami got a big ovation and the crowd loved singing his song. The bell rang 41 minutes into the hour.

Sami landed a Blue Thunder Bomb on Bronson at 8:00 for a dramatic near fall. Bronson came back and dove through the ropes onto both Sami and Gable, which drew a big crowd reaction. Sami avoided a Tsunami. When Sami stood and went for a Helluva Kick, Gable side-stepped him and gave Sami two unreleased German suplexes. Sami fought the third and broke free and gave Gable two German suplexes. Bronson then came up behind Sami and tried to suplex both of them. Gable broke free and actually suplexed both Sami and Bronson at once. All three were down on their backs. Cole called what Gable did “absolutely insane.”

Gable yelled orders to Otis and threw Sami at his feet. Otis didn’t attack Sami. Gable chewed him out. Graves said Otis should listen to his coach. “What’s the matter with you?” Gable yelled. Gable held Sami. Otis wound up, but didn’t do anything. Fans cheered. Gable yelled in Otis’s face and shoved him and slapped him. He held Sami and ordered Otis to hit him again. Otis this time charged, but Sami ducked and Otis clotheslined Gable. Otis reacted like it was a mistake and he was conflicted. Sami re-entered the ring and landed a Helluva kick on Bronson for a three count. Sami celebrated as Gable gave a stern intense stardown to Otis. Graves said Otis must feel bad. He added, “I’ve never screwed up that bad.”

WINNER: Sami in 11:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Fun match with some good spots and an invested crowd. Ultimately, it was mostly for the story of Gable and Otis.)

-A clip aired of Saudi Arabia female athletes sharing their stories with WWE women wrestlers in a panel discussion. The narrator said WWE is committed to making an impact on communities across the globe. [c]

(3) NIA JAX vs. LYRA VALKYRIA – Queen of the Ring final

As Nia made her entrance, Cole quoted Zelina Vega, the first Queen of the Ring, talking about her plans to watch this match. Graves said she sounded bitter she wasn’t going to win this year. Cole, commenting on her ring outfit that included giant feathered rings, said Lyra “fancies herself” an Irish Goddess off war who used to take shapes of ravens and fly over the battlefield to decide who would win or die. The bell rang 10 minutes into the second hour.

Graves said he doesn’t know a ton about Lyra other than she’s “a technical wizard.” Lyra went for a drop toe hold, but Jax didn’t budge. Lyra went for a sleeper, but Jax powered her back into the corner to break the grip. Lyra knocked Jax to the floor and then kicked her, but it just grazed her shoulder. Jax shoved Lyra into the ring apron. Lyra came back quickly with a dropkick. She went for a DDT, but Jax blocked it. Lyra applied a sleeper. Jax broke free and started “bulldozing” Lyra, as Graves put it. She elbowdropped her back and scored a two count at 3:00.

Jax methodically went on the attack. When Cole noted that the winner will earn a title match at Summerslam, Graves said WWE’s landscape will be much different by then. When Lyra showed signs of life at 6:00, Jax countered with a sudden Samoan Drop. She set up an Annihilator, but Lyra moved to the ring apron. Jax shifted to the ring apron for the Annihilator, but Lyra moved. Jax cried out, “Oh, that hurt!” Lyra then slidekicked her to the floor and into the announce desk. Lyra went for dropkick, but Jax blocked it. Lyra came back with a bulldog at ringside. She landed a tornado DDT in the ring for a two count.

Jax came back with a Samoan Drop and then set up another Annihilator, but Lyra stood and knocked Jax off balance. She followed with a double stomp for a two count. When Lyra landed a guillotine legdrop, Cole called it a “legdrop to the back of the neck.” (Saudi Arabia beheads people as part of their criminal justice system, so maybe there are certain terms they don’t want to use in the course of wrestling commentary.) Jax set up Lyra for a sunset powerbomb, but Jax resisted and then turned it into an Annihilator for the win.

WINNER: Jax in 10:00 to become Queen of the Ring.

-Paul “Triple H” Levesque presented Jax with the crown afterward. They hugged. Jax looked choked up with emotion. Kayla Braxton entered the ring and congratulated Jax. Jax said she didn’t need her congratulations. She said she knows none of the fans like that she won, but she will go on to win the Women’s Title at Summerslam.

(Keller’s Analysis: Nice match for the most part. Lyra put in a spirited effort, and there’s no shame in losing to Jax at this stage of her run on the main roster. Jax looked powerful and dominant.)

-Bryon Saxton was speaking when the camera caught Becky chewing out Dom in the background. Becky then said she has a rematch clause and she’ll get it on Raw this Monday.

-They showed Tiffany Stratton and Carmelo Hayes in the crowd. (With Smackdown in Saudi Arabia the night before, more wrestlers were flown out than would have been otherwise.)

(4) GUNTHER vs. RANDY ORTON – King of the Ring final

Gunther came out first. He was alone. Then Orton. Fans sang the lyrics to Orton’s song. Graves said the fans in Lyon France have sparked a trend for Orton’s entrance. The bell rang 42 minutes into the hour. Cole said this qualifies as a dream match, as they’re wrestling for the first time ever.

They felt each other out for the first four minutes. The announcers said there’s a different vibe in the arena than the rest of the night. Fans sang “Olé” and chanted “RKO!” Orton took Gunther down with a side headlock. Gunther avoided an RKO attempt at 7:00 as a counter to Gunther setting up a powerbomb. Orton grabbed at his hip area in pain. Gunther stomped away at his back and hip area.

At 12:00 they exchanged clotheslines. Gunther took Orton down and scored a near fall. They showed a hard chop from Gunther in slo-mo. The announcers speculated on Orton’s knee being hurt, wondering if he twisted it with a snap powerslam earlier. His knee was heavily taped. Orton came back with a snap powerslam, but Cole said he didn’t have as much snap as usual. Fans chanted “RKO!” He gave Gunther a draping DDT next, but he was slow to follow-up as he struggled to stand. He pounded the mat as he waited for Gunther to stand. Gunther blocked an RKO and bodyslammed Orton. He followed with a top rope splash for a near fall. Orton then surprised Gunther with an RKO out of nowhere at 15:00. Orton was slow to roll toward Gunther to make the cover, though. Gunther rolled to the ring apron.

Orton dropped Gunther on the announce table. Gunther recovered and went for a powerbomb. Orton backdropped him at ringside. Back in the ring, with both men hobbled, Gunther applied a half crab on Orton. Cole pointed out that will hurt both Orton’s knee and back. Orton reached for the bottom rope, but Gunther dragged him back to the middle. Orton slipped free and hit a quick RKO for a near fall that popped the crowd. Gunther leveraged Orton’s shoulders down for a three count. Unfortunately, it was obvious Orton’s left shoulder was no where near the mat right in front of the ref. The announcers didn’t draw attention to it, so it’s not part of the planned story. Orton clutched his knee afterward.

They replayed it from a reverse angle where it was less obvious Orton’s shoulder was up, but Graves said he’d love to get another angle. He didn’t specify why.

WINNER: Gunther in 22:00 to become King of the Ring.

-Levesque presented Gunther with the crowd. Byron asked, “How does it feel to be king?” Some fans chanted, “You deserve it.” Gunther said, “Thank you, that is very kind, but what I do or don’t deserve is none of your business.” (Such a great response by a heel.) The crowd switched to chanting, “You suck!” He said this is the day the Apex Predator became the prey. He said he will become the World Champion at Summerslam. Cole noted Priest is the current world champion on Raw.

(Keller’s Analysis: My first thought is that Orton looked old and worn out here, and even beyond the story they were telling for the match. The final pin was awful. Just a terrible way to end the tournament because it was juts such a flawed call by the ref. The match told a solid story of Orton being hobbled by injuries during the match. Overall, though, perhaps a bit of a letdown but a compelling grueling battle so by no means a bad match.)

(5) CODY RHODES vs. LOGAN PAUL – WWE Unified World Title match

They showed Logan running the ropes to train for the match. Cole showed the brass knuckles that Logan gave him at the press release yesterday. Graves said on Smackdown, a referee found a second set of brass knuckles. The bell rang 24 minutes into the hour.

Logan ducked a flying crossbody by doing the splits. Cody rolled to the floor. Logan drove Cody into the ringside steps. Logan looked at Cole and said he didn’t knee brass knuckles for that. Logan punched away at Cody’s body in the corner.

As Cody took control at ringside, Logan’s lackey shoved Cody. Cody yanked him to ringside and yelled at him. Logan put on brass knuckles and then punched Cody in the gut when he charged at him. Cole yelled at Logan that he said he wasn’t going to use the knux. Cole called Logan a loser. Logan marched toward Cole behind the desk. Graves blocked him. Cody dove onto Logan and then threw him back into the ring at 12:00.

Cody landed a snap powerslam as Logan charged at him. Cody landed a Bionic Elbow and scored a two count. Cody put Logan in a figure-four mid-ring. Logan forced a break by grabbing the bottom rope.

Cody landed a Cody Cutter for a two count seconds later after ducking a Logan flip springboard clothesline. Cody lifted Logan for a vertebreaker, but Logan slipped free and landed a Cross Rhodes on Cody for a two count at 16:00. Cole complimented Logan for taking Cody to the limit. Logan went for a top rope splash, but Cody moved, so Logan landed on his feet. Cody landed a twisting suplex. Cody got fired up and shook the ropes. Cody set up a Cross Rhodes and looked to the sky, but Logan broke free and threw Cody to the floor.

Logan asked Cole if he needs the announce desk. He then cleared the surface and said, “Sorry Michael, my bad.” He threw Cody onto the table. Logan rolled into the ring to break the ref’s count. Logan then set up a Pedigree, but Cody fought out of it and then delivered a leaping Cody Cutter on the announce table. Cody re-entered the ring, but stopped the ref from counting Logan out. Cole asked what Cody was doing. He said he admires Cody wanting to beat Logan in the ring, but he wasn’t sure if it was worth it. Logan recovered enough to shove Cody into the ringside steps. He then hit Cody with his tatanium forearm.

Logan broke the ref’s count, then climbed to the top rope, took a swig of his energy drink, and leaped at Cody onto the Arabic announce desk. “Cody is crushed!” exclaimed Cole. Logan landed a top rope splash. Cody kicked out. Logan yelled in frustration. He lifted Cody and yelled at him, “I hate you!” Logan reverse-whipped Cody into the ref, then splashed the ref in the corner. Cody surprised Logan with a vertebreaker. Cody made a cover and fans counted, but the ref was down. Cody went over to check on the ref. He apologized to the ref and said they need to finish this. Logan recovered and gave Cody a low blow.

Logan pulled out the brass knuckles and wound up. The guest ring announcer, a local celebrity, grabbed Logan’s boots. Cody then gave Logan a Cross Rhodes three times in a row for the pin.

WINNER: Cody to retain the Undisputed WWE TItle in 25:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Not off the charts epic, but really solid start to finish with Logan really playing into the brass knuckles story they’ve been telling.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: A good, enjoyable breeze of a show with solid storyline developments throughout with good wrestling. I wouldn’t say any match delivered above expectations and nothing was outstanding, though.

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