All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Shayna Baszler VS Dakota Kai; Shayna wins, via referee stoppage.
- Kassius Ohno VS Raul Mendoza; Ohno wins.
- Lars Sullivan VS Lio Rush; Sullivan wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era VS SAnitY; canceled.
- NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era VS Roderick Strong & Aleister Black; The Undisputed Era wins and retains the NXT Tag Team Championships.
PLAY BY PLAY
“Welcome to 2018, boys and girls.”
The is the Year of the Undisputed Era. They closed 2017 “in style” by obtaining the NXT Tag Team Championships, but as far as Bobby Fish is concerned, they’re just getting started. The Undisputed Era will show the world why they’re the “baddest team on the planet.” The Era of the Undisputed shall dominate 2018, starting with tonight’s NXT Tag Team Championship rematch. Kyle O’Reilly promises SAnitY will be dealt with “once and for all.” As for “yours truly”, Adam Cole, he promises to end anyone who gets in the way of him become the NXT Champion. Ca the Undisputed Era solidify their legacy’s beginning here in NXT?
Shayna Baszler VS Dakota Kai!
The Queen of Spades and one-fourth of the MMA Four Horsewomen finally makes her in-ring debut in NXT! She’s already made an impact after she blindsided the woman who defeated her in the Mae Young Classic, Kairi Sane, and then went a little too far with Performance Center trainee, Jessie Jay. If that’s what she’s done before this in-ring debut, what will she do to her opponent here tonight?
Dakota Kai herself competed in the MYC, but didn’t get as far. Can the Captain of Team Kick avenge Jessie Jay while ruining Shayna’s debut?
The bell rings, the two circle, fans know “Shayna’s gonna kill~ you.” Shayna backs Dakota to a corner and doesn’t break until 4. Even when she does let Dakota go, Shayna trips her with a swift leg sweep. Dakota gets up and shoves Shayna, then gets around for a waistlock. The Submission Magician breaks free and uses a Japanese arm-drag to bring Dakota to the mat, then wrenches that arm in a modified hammerlock. Dakota resists but Shayna still wrenches that wrist and elbow around all sorts of ways. Shayna drags Dakota up, and serves that shoulder some Sole Food.
Dakota scrambles to ropes, but Shayna doesn’t care, she kicks Dakota right in the ribs. Shayna stalks Dakota, and stands on that bad hand to grind it into the mat. Then she stomps right on the elbow!
Dakota screams and writhes in pain, Shayna just grins. The referee keeps her back while he checks on Dakota. Fans boo and jeer, but Shayna embraces the heat as this match ends in a Referee Stoppage! Shayna raises her own hand in victory while the ref calls for medics.
And she’s not done with Dakota, either! She puts on the Kirafuda rear-naked choke just because!
Dakota fades into unconsciousness, and the referees cannot pry Shayna off her. Ember Moon appears to make the save!
Shayna lets go, laughing and grinning as she signals to Ember that she’s coming for the belt. Ember first checks on Dakota Kai, then turns her attention to Shayna. The referee manages to keep them apart, and Shayna is taking her leave anyway. If the Queen of Spades was this merciless in a debut, what will she do to become NXT Women’s Champion?
The Authors of Pain speak.
The AoP, “the most brutal force in NXT”, are coming for SAnitY and the Undisputed Era. It doesn’t matter who, where or when, whoever holds the NXT Tag Team Championships “will suffer”.
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler.
It looks like Shayna broke Dakota’s arm, then continued to attack her after the match was stopped. Why? GM William Regal came in to change this from interview to a meeting with the boss. Shayna knows Regal’s resume, so he knows the game she’s playing. Ambushes, injuring other wrestlers, those tactics won’t get her a championship match. Is that all he has to say? Shayna leaves, will Regal’s message be ignored?
Kassius Ohno VS Raul Mendoza!
The Knockout Artist is looking for a way back to the NXT Championship picture, but the Cruiserweight Classic competitor is still looking for his breakout moment. Which man will get a step closer to what they want here tonight?
The fans are strongly behind Ohno as the bell rings. The two circle, and shake hands respectfully. They tie up, Mendoza gets behind with a waistlock to headlock, but Ohno just stands up tall to lift Mendoza off the ground. Mendoza brings Ohno back down so both men can touch the ground, but Ohno powers him back up. Mendoza sunset flips, TWO, Ohno gets the high stack but Mendoza rolls through to sit for a pin, but then Ohno counters that with a roll. ONE, Mendoza runs in but Ohno trips him up for another cover, ONE. Ohno throws Mendoza to a corner, Mendoza hops up and over to the apron. Mendoza shoulders into Ohno’s stomach, then climbs up top. Ohno yanks him down, but Mendoza makes that into a swinging headscissors!
Oklahoma roll, TWO! Mendoza goes after Ohno with kicks, but Ohno blocks one to flip Mendoza, then boots him right into another corner! Fans fire up as Ohno stalks Mendoza. He drags Mendoza up, and gives him a sharp chop in the corner. Fans want “One more time!” so Ohno gives Mendoza a stiff elbow strike. Cover, TWO, but Ohno is not frustrated. He toys with Mendoza, then drags him up into a Gory Special!
Mendoza endures the stretch, and pops out! Victory roll, TWO, and Ohno is right on Mendoza with a flipping knee smash. Back senton added on, cover, TWO. Ohno looks a bit annoyed, but the fans are cheering him on. He yanks Mendoza up but Mendoza lands on his feet to arm-drag Ohno away. Mendoza gives Ohno a big forearm, Ohno responds with a chop. Ohno whips Mendoza, Mendoza slips to the apron and kicks Ohno away. Springboard flying arm-drag! Mendoza gets running, springboard enziguri!
Cover, TWO! Mendoza is shocked by how close he got. The fans rally for Ohno, who pops Mendoza up onto his shoulders, for an electric chair hotshot and then a boot! Ohno gets running, and leaps for the High Tension elbow!
Ohno wins! Mendoza’s moment will have to wait. Can Ohno’s NXT Championship dream still come true?
NXT Paparazzi interviewed Zelina Vega.
Andrade Almas and Vega are “more on the same page now than we’ve ever been before.” He understands now that while it takes a lot of work to become champion, it also takes a lot of work to stay champion. Vega vows that Almas will stay champion through TakeOver: Philadelphia.
They ask Vega about Johnny Gargano earning the right to challenge Almas, what are her thoughts? “Earned”? Is that what he did? No, Gargano got lucky. He is no fighter, he is an opportunist. Gargano let three other men beat the hell out of each other and then took advantage. Does that sound like a champion? Almas has beaten Gargano twice already, Philadelphia will be no different. Plus, in DIY, it was his tag team partner who was successful, not Gargano. Just like Cinderella stories and fairy tales, “Johnny Wrestling” is not real. But the reality is Andrade “Cien” Almas.
As Vega said, Almas beat Gargano twice before, but what will it take to win this third time? Vega would not be this successful if she gave secrets away. She will never give away her secrets, but she promises Almas is more prepared than ever. Almas will make sure Gargano understands there is no getting around him. Vega is confident, Almas is confident, but can Gargano shock them both?
Backstage interview with Johnny Gargano.
How is the #1 contender feeling this close to his TakeOver NXT Championship match? Winning that right in a Fatal 4 Way, when no one thought he would, “words can’t describe”. However, the Velveteen Dream appears!
“Say it.” Say what? Say “thank you”, for not being in the NXT Championship Contender Series. Gargano got lucky by beating “a guy” named Kassius Ohno; and he says “guy” because Ohno does NOT look like a superstar. And then it took Gargano 20 minutes to do it? Velveteen could’ve put Ohno away 30 seconds tops. They all know it. Gargano was also lucky to have pinned Aleister Black, which shouldn’t have happened. They all know it. And Gargano won’t beat Almas for the title. They all know it. Oh, and Gargano didn’t earn Velveteen Dream’s spot. Velveteen deserves his spot. They all know it. Will these mind-games affect Gargano this close to TakeOver?
The Street Profits bring Street Talk backstage to NXT.
As great as they feel, both Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford feel they need to “step the gold game up.”
Speaking of gold, they can just go right into William Regal’s office. Wait, no, they can’t just barge in, they’re better than that. They must have manners. They knock on his door, enter inside, and say hello. The Profits compliment him on his suit, and politely decline water bottles. Dawkins & Ford have been thinking that, given how they promised to bring “the gold to the streets” in 2018, and given how they’re undefeated as a team… When are the Street Profits getting their shot? Regal tells them that yes, they are undefeated, and they do need to start 2018 with a bang. Next week on NXT, they will compete in an NXT Tag Team Championship #1 contender’s match. It will be The Street Profits VS… The Authors of Pain. The Street Profits like the sound of that. They fire up with Regal, and promise not to disappoint. “Street Talk: we out!”
Lars Sullivan VS Lio Rush!
The Man of the Hour is back on NXT TV, but does he have a chance against the Leviathan?
The bell rings, Lio barely avoids Lars rushing in. Lars swings but Lio dodges, Lio kicks but Lars blocks. Lio slaps Lars, then evades his wrath, a big grin on his face. They cat ‘n’ mouse, Lio hits Lars with a handspring heel kick! But, Lars doesn’t fall! Lio keeps going, Lars grabs him with one hand and yanks him against the ropes. Lars gets in the ring while Lio gasps for air. Lars whips Lio corner to corner HARD!
The Leviathan roars as Lio crumples to the floor. He rushes in, Lio manages to jump up and over! Fans rally for Lio but Lars is upon him, and barrels him into a corner. Lio dodges again, Lars goes into the post! Lio runs, but gets clobbered with a clothesline! Lars drags Lio up, for the Freak Accident!
Lars wins! Lio shouldn’t feel too bad for losing, no one has slowed the Leviathan down. Though, will Lio feel much of anything after such domination?
Lars Sullivan takes to the mic.
“I faced opponent after opponent, sometimes two at once, and they’ve all fallen by my hands.” Lars keeps thinking back to that Fatal 4 Way, when he “dealt with a force” he’d never felt before. And he liked it. “Because it’s a force that I want to destroy!” The Leviathan calls out Killian Dain! When behemoths collide, who will survive? Not Lio! Lars hauls his limp body up to the top rope, for a SUPER FREAK ACCIDENT!
Lars Sullivan’s love of destruction will not be satisfied until he faces the Beast of Belfast. Who will come out the superior monster in NXT?
BREAKING: A Backstage Brawl Between SAnitY & Undisputed Era!
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish put out Eric Young using the walls and spare fencing, Adam Cole clobbers Dain with a lead pipe! Alexander Wolfe has also been decimated nearby. “We make the rules, you follow the rules!” With SAnitY out, is the NXT Tag Team Championship match canceled?
NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era VS SAnitY!
After laying out their opponents, is there even a need for the duo known as reDRagon to come out here? O’Reilly, Fish and “Adam Cole, BAYBAY” took care of Young, Wolfe & Dain, there is no one to challenge for the NXT Tag Team Championships now. The UE take to the mic with mix reactions from the fans. “Hey, Champs, I kinda got a weird feeling that maybe we’re missing something right now.” Yeah, where is SAnitY? Bobby, weren’t they supposed to challenge for the titles? Maybe SAnitY forgot. No, they “kicked the chaos” out of them! And will do so to any team that thinks they– Speaking of chaos, Nikki Cross is rabid on the stage!
The UE taunt her and her fury as referees drag her away. Cole has a good laugh, even as Cross gets a second wind. The fans want her to get her hands on Cole and his team, but it doesn’t happen. “Now, before I was so rudely int”– another interruption from NXT GM, William Regal!
Regal will make Fish & O’Reilly defend those titles tonight. And Roderick Strong appears to add on. “I’ll fight these guys.”
In fact, Strong can go find a partner. He won’t have to, a partner finds him! It’s ALEISTER BLACK!
The Embodiment of the End has his own grudge against the Undisputed Era, and the fans are fired up to see him. Black volunteers to join the fight! He and Strong rush the ring, and brawl with reDRagon!
Strong gets O’Reilly out of the ring, Aleister kicks Fish out. The Undisputed Era regroups on the outside while this chaos calms down over a commercial break.
NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era VS Roderick Strong & Aleister Black!
NXT returns and the bell rings, with O’Reilly and Aleister starting for their teams. The two circle, Fish tries to swipe at Aleister. Aleister scares him off, but is still able to thwart Kyle’s sneak attack. Aleister kicks Kyle towards his corner, but Fish comes in and takes a back elbow. O’Reilly tries to counter attack but Aleister unleashes a strike fest! Cover, ONE, Aleister is back on Kyle right away. Kyle gets out and regroups with Fish, Strong comes in to wreck Fish with a wrecking ball dropkick!
Strong then feeds Kyle back into the ring, Aleister sweeps the legs! Oklahoma Roll, TWO, but Aleister brings Kyle down with an arm-drag. He puts on an armbar, Kyle endures the wrench. Tag to Strong, Strong and Aleister double whip Kyle, Kyle runs into Strong’s calf kick! Cover, TWO, but Strong stays on Kyle. Fans cheer on Roddy as he whips Kyle into the corner and gives him a stiff chop. Strong lifts Kyle up, and gives him a pendulum backbreaker, TWO! Strong keeps on Kyle with a half-clutch stretch. Kyle crawls around and works his way to his feet. Strong gives him a knee, then tags Aleister back in. Aleister whips Kyle, Kyle grabs ropes then dumps Aleister to the apron. Aleister knocks Kyle away, but that gives Fish an opening to sweep the legs, and Aleister crashes onto the apron edge!
Fans boo while Aleister slumps to the floor. Strong protests but reDRagon is back in control as we go to break.
NXT returns again, and fans rally for Aleister while Fish tags in Kyle. Kyle unloads strikes on Aleister until the referee backs him off. Tag back to Fish, and reDRagon mugs Aleister in their corner. Tag back to Kyle, he sweeps the leg then puts on a leg lock. Fish tags in, to then slingshot senton in!
Cover, TWO! Fish keeps focus as he brings Aleister up and unloads body shots. Tag to Kyle, Aleister fights back. Kyle takes him down and unloads palm strikes. Fans boo and jeer while Kyle taunts Strong. Kyle brings Aleister up and puts him in the reDRagon corner. Tag to Fish, then a cheap shot to Strong, Kyle runs in for a forearm smash, Fish follows up for a knee smash, then Kyle comes back around for the running roundhouse. Kyle feeds Aleister to Fish, Fish gives Aleister an exploder! Cover, Strong breaks the pin. Strong coaches Aleister up and fans rally, but Fish puts Aleister in a chinlock. Aleister feeds off the fans’ energy, and fights out of the hold. Fish clubs him and whips him, but Aleister sunset flips over, TWO! They get to opposite ends, Fish walks over but Aleister gives him a knee strike right to the head. The fans rally again, Aleister and Fish crawl for their corners, hot tags to Kyle and Strong! Strong rallies, corner Shining Wizard for Fish and a flurry of strikes for Kyle! He whips and dropkicks Kyle, then fires up! Strong bumps Kyle off Fish, chops Kyle, repeat! Another whip, but Kyle reverses, only to end up in a half-nelson backbreaker!
Fish returns, Strong throws him overhead and onto Kyle!
Strong is all fired up, as are the fans! He runs in at Kyle, corner Shining Wizard and running slam! Fish breaks the cover, then knocks Aleister back off the apron. Strong throws Fish out, but Kyle gets him with a low kick. Kyle hits the Axe, but Strong hits the Smash with that knee strike! Both men down, the fans are fired up. Fish is furious, but then Aleister blasts him into the steel steps with a boot!
The Dutch Destroyer isn’t done there. He puts Fish in the ring, but then Cole appears and attacks Aleister!
However, Aleister stays standing. He scares Cole back with a glare, then pursues up into the bleachers.
Cole asks Aleister calm down, even as Cole backpedals and Aleister stomps his way up the steps. However, without someone watching Strong’s back, reDRagon hits TOTAL ELIMINATION!
The Undisputed Era win and retain! Fish & O’Reilly are ecstatic, Aleister is flabbergasted!
Aleister will not stand for this, he storms down back to the ring. He strikes Fish with a roundhouse and then clobbers Kyle with one. Cole returns to throw Aleister right into a post! Cole has reDRagon drag Aleister out and add on knees before Cole gives Aleister right hands. “You’ll never be us! You’ll never beat us!” He then backs up and gives a bicycle boot right to Aleister’s face! Then, Cole mocks Aleister by lifting him up with his foot, and feeds him to TOTAL ELIMINATION!
The fans boo and jeer the Undisputed Era, but they don’t care. Cole has Kyle prepare something even worse. Kyle goes out, and grabs a chair. Fish drags Aleister up while Cole takes that chair and sets it up. Fish feeds Aleister to Cole’s fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi to the chair!
The referee calls in help while Cole asks Aleister, “Have we made it clear?!” The Undisputed Era stands over Aleister and poses with the belts.
Fans continue to boo and jeer as the Undisputed Era sees themselves out. However, William Regal meets them at the stage.
“Philadelphia has an extreme history.” Regal tells Adam Cole that he’ll be facing Aleister Black at TakeOver: Philadelphia, in an Extreme Rules match!! Cole glares at Regal, but then he backs off, and grins. He already gave Aleister a taste tonight, will he finish the Embodiment of the End in the City of Brotherly Love?
This was a great night, and almost a full hour! I was shocked to see Shayna win from referee stoppage, but that actually goes a long way towards her character. She could be like the Samoa Joe of the Women’s Division with her lack of remorse, and I kinda felt bad for Dakota Kai being her victim. Dakota already hasn’t been used all that much in NXT, and now she’ll be kayfabe injured and off TV again. As for Shayna, she is coming out as a front-runner for Ember Moon’s #1 contender, despite what Regal said. And if Ember VS Shayna happens, it will make complete sense if Shayna takes that title from Ember the first try. Ohno-Mendoza was a great, competitive match (though it was technically filler) and builds Mendoza up a bit in the mid-card. Both men are just waiting for something, I’d think Ohno will go to main roster finally via the Royal Rumble. Mendoza can then rise up in a story similar to Tye Dillinger or Johnny Gargano, winning over fans over time and being a workhorse to help elevate others.
It was great to see Lio Rush back on NXT TV, too bad for him it was against Lars Sullivan. Lars-Lio was still a great match, like a not-squash squash match. Lars calling out Big Damo is great, their match is going to be great, and the winner will look exponentially stronger for it. The NXT Tag Team Championship #1 contender’s match of AoP VS Street Profits is going to be fun, and both teams did great promo work tonight. While the AoP is heavily favored, I anticipate the Street Profits surprising us. This will, at the very least, give the AoP their way out onto the main roster. The Undisputed Era attacking SAnitY to weasel their way out of the title defense was a nice surprise, and then the last-minute slapdash team of Strong & Black was incredible. Of course, Undisputed Era was going to retain, they need to lose those belts to an established tag team, but it was a masterful way of building to it. Cole-Black in Extreme Rules is going to be insane, but I can’t see them using it as a way to end Aleister’s singles undefeated streak, that’d just be cheap. It will also be the first time Aleister gets extreme in WWE/NXT, I want to see what he’s capable of.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/18/21)
Will Raw be on fire tonight?
Will Alexa Bliss have a twisted surprise for the Raw Women’s Champion?
She gave Randy Orton a taste of his own medicine, but she might be hungry for something more! Will Alexa be ready for Asuka and earn herself a shot at the title?
- Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce; Charlotte wins.
- Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution; Mace wins.
- Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; Baszler wins.
- Ricochet VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins, Ricochet is NOT in the Men’s Royal Rumble.
- Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Matt Riddle & The Lucha House Party; win(s).
- Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
“Now is the time.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s dream lives on, but only if we live it. Do not judge by the color of one’s skin, but by the content of their character. We will reach the promised land together. #LongLiveTheDream.
Randy Orton speaks.
“There is a saying that people who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes. Ashes of the one responsible for their affliction.” Orton wears a mask to cover his burned face. “The voices in my head have never been louder. Encapsulating my every thought, just like this mask encapsulates my face.” Orton held Alexa Bliss’ fate in his hands, yet showed a side of himself he didn’t know he had: compassion. Orton rewatches the footage for himself. The hatred he had for himself needed to be redirected, and he was ready to make Triple H “like a lamb to the slaughter, until she interrupted.”
It was only just last week that HHH was shockingly spirited away so that Alexa could throw a literal FIREBALL at Orton! “And now look at me. LOOK AT ME! This is the damnation I receive for showing compassion? I haven’t been able to sleep because every time I close my eyes, all I see is that ball of fire hurtling towards my face.” Orton seethes as he says “that inescapable feeling of the fire burning my flesh will never go away.” Whatever compassion was in him, it left with that inferno. Orton wears this mask to not only protect himself, but to shield everyone else from the horrors that he endured.
Orton watches himself from last week flail and writhe as he clutched his face in pain. “Despite the agony I felt that would mortify a lesser man, I consider myself… lucky.” Orton came away with just first degree burns and not much worse. He could’ve been disfigured forever! But Orton doesn’t blame Alexa. He blames THE FIEND! Orton already sent him straight to Hell. “There’s no doubt The Fiend is responsible for this. Alexa was merely the vehicle. And I know exactly what The Fiend wants. He wants to stop me from achieving the inevitable.” That is to say, winning the Royal Rumble again, going back to WrestleMania, and becoming a world champion.
Orton is sure everyone else in the locker room loved seeing his face burn, “knowing that their biggest threat may have just been eliminated from competing in the Royal Rumble match. But you could chop off all my limbs and it wouldn’t stop me from winning this year’s Royal Rumble match. Because despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the Royal Rumble match. I can only compete as long as I can tolerate the pain, but the funny thing is… I enjoy the pain. It fuels my every move.” Orton has a match! Orton wants everyone to thank The Fiend when he burns their dreams to ashes and goes on to main event WrestleMania! He lights the match, watches it burn, then blows it out. Will this new, even darker Orton extinguish 29 other lights before going back to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Ric Flair arrives at the ThunderDome, with Lacey Evans!
Lacey wants to hear some Four Horsemen stories but Charly Caruso comes over to ask about this “relationship” first. Lacey says that’s so nasty. This isn’t TMZ. This is beneath Charly! Charly is compelled to ask because Ric helped Lacey beat Charlotte Flair, his own daughter! Lacey says to show respect to the 16-time world champion, and a living legend. But to answer the question, there’s a reason Ric is the Dirtiest Player in the Game. He was just living up to that name. As far as the relationship goes, Lacey is simply learning from the greatest man to ever step in the ring. Now, they are going to go watch Peyton Royce knock the nasty Queen of her throne.
Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce!
But speaking of dirty, Peyton attacks Charlotte from behind at the ramp! They brawl, referees hurry to separate them but this match is going to happen, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings and Charlotte tackles Peyton to a corner! Then stomps away on her! The ref backs Charlotte off but she goes right back for more! She RAMS Peyton, RAMS her again, but Peyton sends Charlotte into buckles to fire stomps back! The ref counts, Peyton stops at 3 and brings Charlotte out to hammer away. Charlotte trips Peyton, gives some ground ‘n’ pound, then tackles her to ropes! They spill out of the ring and Charlotte CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Charlotte puts Peyton in but Peyton rolls out the far side. Charlotte pursues but Peyton kicks back, only for Charlotte to CLUB her, and bounce her off the desk!
Charlotte stalks Peyton around the way, they go back in the ring, then back out the ramp side. Another CHOP, CHOP and CHOP into the post! Peyton shoves Charlotte into the post, then into the ring! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is still in this but Peyton drags her around to drop elbows. Peyton puts on a thrashing chinlock but Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, arm-drags free, and CLOBBERS Peyton! Charlotte looms over Peyton, drags her up and bounces her off buckles. Charlotte bends Peyton against ropes, lets go at 3, and brings Peyton around for another buckle bump! Peyton dodges, Charlotte hits buckles, and Peyton throws Charlotte down by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is frustrated but she kicks Charlotte down and around. She pushes Charlotte to ropes, bumps her off buckles in return, then digs her boot into Charlotte’s face! The ref counts, Peyton lets off and bumps Charlotte off more buckles. Peyton whips corner to corner, Charlotte goes up and out to shoulder back in! Slingshot and roll up, TWO, but Charlotte ROCKS Peyton with a right! Charlotte blocks boots, has Peyton in the ropes, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! But now Ric makes his entrance?! Ric swaggers on stage and Charlotte is annoyed, because here comes Lacey in one of Ric’s robes!
Charlotte is confused as ever, but Peyton catches her with the HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Peyton is furious that Charlotte survives and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Peyton goes to buckle bump but Charlotte blocks to CHOP! And O’Conner roll, TWO! Charlotte goes into buckles but she dodges to send Peyton back into buckles! Both women are down and Peyton crawls away. Charlotte gets up, checks her nose, and then goes after Peyton. Peyton jawbreakers, whips, but Charlotte holds ropes to KICK back! Peyton dodges to HEEL KICK back! Peyton runs but Charlotte puts her on the apron, but Peyton SCORPION KICKS! Peyton goes up, leaps, but Charlotte gets under! Peyton turns around into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Cover, TWO!
Charlotte watches Peyton go to the apron, runs in and BOOTS her down! Charlotte dares Lacey to do something again, but no, Lacey stays in the back this time. Peyton drags herself up as the ring count is 8 and is in at 9, but gets stomped by Charlotte! Charlotte puts Peyton’s leg on the rope, then drops a knee, only to miss! Peyton mule kicks then hobbles away from her back hurting. She dodges Charlotte’s clothesline to elbow, kick and HEEL KICK, to then ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is furious and she drags Charlotte up to suplex. Charlotte slips out to CHOP BLOCK the leg! Knee breaker after knee breaker, Charlotte shows no mercy! Charlotte steps through, Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT! Peyton taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
But she doesn’t let go! She wants Peyton to suffer on behalf of Lacey! Charlotte finally does let Peyton go, will Peyton even be able to team with Lacey now? Will anyone want to?
Matt Riddle crosses paths with The Hurt Business.
Riddle just wants to say hi but MVP doesn’t want to hear it. Does he wear this same lame outfit on the streets? Of course. Riddle lives his life free and untethered. And unkempt, it seems. Uncalled for, bro. But Riddle will take the high road. Of course he will. Riddle just wants to say he admires how nice they all dress. MVP is like Gordy Gecko, then there’s “Ceddy the Cheddy,” and Benjamin spending the Benjamins. And of course, who would ever call Lashley “Slobby Bobby.” Lashley handles this and the others head out.
Lashley tells Riddle that if it were him, he actually likes the flipflops. But he heard they’re bad for your feet. What? No they’re not. Lashley STOMPS one of Riddle’s feet, and says that proves his point. Riddle says Lashley will see this foot later, right up his ass! Will The Bro and his “brochachos” make the Hurt Business pay in their 3v3 later tonight?
Raw returns as Lucha House Party checks with Riddle.
Is he going to be okay for the match? Riddle says when he was in high school, his cousin ran his foot over with his truck, and Riddle was still able to go to prom. He’ll just tape it up. If he says so…
Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution!
Here he goes again on his own! Mustafa Ali says this is their time to strike. Kofi Kingston at home with a broken jaw isn’t enough, Ali wants to break his spirit, and that’s by breaking one of his most beloved friends! Ali prays Kofi can’t compete or even be in Elimination Chamber or WrestleMania. Then Kofi will feel what Ali did just one year ago! Will this revenge a long time coming be carried out by the menacing monster at Ali’s command?
Ali shouts at Woods about Kofi being a coward. Woods DECKS Ali for that and the ref has to keep Retribution back! Woods is ready for a fight but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and the bell rings! Woods circles with Mace but is cornered! Mace keeps Woods from getting away but Woods CHOPS back, only for Mace to shrug it off. Woods and Mace go again, Woods CHOPS and fires off hands but Mace shoves him away. Woods kicks low, climbs up and throws more hands but Mace shoves him away again. Mace catches Woods with both hands and brings him out to center for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives but Mace choke grips Woods again and dead lifts him to shove him to a corner! Mace runs in to elbow Woods down! Ali mocks Woods’ pain as Mace whips Woods and KNEES him in the back! Mace looms over Woods, covers, TWO!
Mace sits Woods up, pries on fingers and then clamps on for a neck wrench! Woods endures, Mace fish hooks Woods’ mouth, and Ali says Kofi doesn’t need to worry. Woods will break his jaw and be right next to Kofi tomorrow. Woods bites Mace’s hand! Woods mule kicks, CHOPS away, then kicks low to CHOP and CHOP again! Mace ROCKS Woods with the uppercut! Mace whips, Woods dodges and ducks to dropkick a leg out! Woods keeps on Mace with haymakers and elbows! Mace shoves Woods away but Woods CLUBS him! Mace shoves Woods but runs into a boot! HONOR- NO! Choke grip! Woods fights the grip, gets free, and ENZIGURIS!
Mace flops out of the ring but Ali shouts at him to get back in. Mace goes up, but Woods baseball slides under Mace to hit Ali! Woods hits Mace off the apron again but Ali tells them they stop this. They’re going to shut Woods down! Mace gets in, the other members run distraction, Woods SUPERKICKS but runs into a BOOT! Mace drags Woods back up, fireman’s carries, and SWINGING AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, Mace wins!
Winner: Mace, by pinfall
Retribution wins again, and Ali stands over Woods. “Tell Kofi, Retribution says, ‘Get well soon.'” Ali and his cohorts are laughing now, but will Kofi make a comeback to shut them up?
Backstage interview with Asuka.
She’s been invited to Alexa’s Playground, what does she expect? Asuka honestly doesn’t know. But after seeing her set Orton on fire, Asuka hopes it isn’t Alexa’s dark side.
It’s the WrestleMania Report!
It’s Hank E. Panki, totally not Triple H, and Anita Reelman, totally not Stephanie McMahon. Don’t question it. But they’re sending it over to the weatherman, Sunny McCloud. Nope, it’s Roman Reigns, and there is no weatherman. Roman sits at the rightful place as Head of the Table. He’s not going to play along. But if they were, Paul Heyman is sure someone would say, “The extended forecast-” Paul, no. Just give it to them straight. Heyman says Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium will be the home of WrestleMania 37! Wow, big news! It’s going to be buck wild this April! And how great that they get to host WrestleMania again, for the first time.
But some real breaking news in sports, “Hailey Mary” and not Sasha Banks has the exclusive! But then an assistant makes sure she got the report about how WrestleMania is coming back to AT&T Stadium for 2022. Uh, y-yes, now she does! Now shoo. But you heard it here first! WrestleMania 38 will be right here in Texas! It doesn’t get much bigger than that! Dropping exclusives like it’s hot! And what a spectacle! Hank’s a spectacle. Rawr. But now, to Huge Kantseeme for entertainment news! Hugh? Hello? We can’t see him. It’s totally not John Cena! They love it when he does that. And you know what Huge loves? LA!
CUT! When Cena- er, uh, Hugh, says that, it sounds so fake. Um, Hugh, we’re live… Okay, he’ll try again. “Y’know what else I love? LA! That’s right, Hollywood!” Who doesn’t love drama? Cue zoom. Here’s some drama: WrestleMania is going Hollywood in 2023! PLOT TWIST! Thanks, Hugh, but you got a bit carried away. It will be in SoFi Stadium, or as Anita likes to call it, “So FINE Stadium.” Nothing like a good giggle. And that wraps things up for the WrestleMania Report. And we’re good. Phew! HHH and Stephanie take off the “costumes” and are pretty sure no one realized it was them all along. But yes, WrestleMania is all set for the next THREE YEARS! Who will make it to each of them? Will you be there?
Raw presents… Alexa’s Playground…!
Alexa goes to her swing and welcomes us back. She is so excited we’re all here, but before we get started, she wants to address The Viper in the room. “Randy, last week, I was just coming out here to talk to you. Y’know, clear the air. And then, things got a little… heated!” Alexa laughs at her own joke and says if Orton needs some sunblock, just let her know. But either way, good to see he’s feeling okay. Now to tonight’s very special guest! Alexa is so excited to invite her opponent, the Women’s Tag Team and Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA! Asuka makes her entrance, and joins Alexa on the swings. Alexa says no, that’s not her seat. Oh, okay…
Is Asuka okay? Yes, yes! Asuka is okay. Sorry, Alexa wasn’t talking to her. Oh, okay. Asuka says she’ll just stand over here by the slide… They giggle, and Asuka more nervously than Alexa. Alexa knows they have a match tonight but for now, let’s have fun! Alexa has breaking news! It’s big news! Should she tell them or do you want to, invisible friend? Okay, she’ll say it. Alexa is entering the Women’s Rumble! Asuka wishes Alexa good luck. But wait. If Alexa wins the Rumble match and Asuka is still champion, then they might face off at WrestleMania! Asuka says that would be her honor! And Asuka is a big fan of Alexa’s! Really? Yes! Thank you, that’s so sweet! Well of course! YOWIE WOWIE~!
Alexa doesn’t like Asuka saying that. Asuka hopes Alexa still wants to have fun. Let’s dance! It’s Asuka’s theme, but Asuka still dances. Alexa doesn’t want that. Alexa says STOP IT! Asuka’s music stops and Asuka is a bit startled. Alexa’s friend says something and Alexa says they’re right. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. If Alexa had done something differently, he’d still be here… Asuka says it’ll be okay. Asuka tries to explain in Japanese, and then says The Fiend’s still here. “Do NOT say his name!” Alexa then gets a smile as she waves at the rocking horse. Asuka is spooked and leaves the ring. Alexa switches to the rocking horse, but will she flip the switch when the bell rings?
Backstage interview with The Miz and John Morrison.
Can they give us a hint at what they have in store for Goldberg tonight on The Dirt Sheet? Oh, she wants to know? Of course Sarah wants to know! “I WANT THE SCOOP~!” NO! No spoilers. Tune in like everyone else. But what Miz will say is that what is in store will definitely be controversial. Controversy creates cash, much like the Money in the Bank. CHACHING!
Raw hears from Jeff Jarrett!
Double J has a prediction for Drew McIntyre VS Goldberg for the WWE World Championship at the Royal Rumble PPV. Jarrett knows both men, but he quotes his old buddy, Toby Keith. The hook goes, “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m good once as I ever was.” That will be the story of the Rumble, because we’ll see Goldberg’s Spear, Jackhammer and win for a NEW WWE World Champion! Will McIntyre deny that prediction when the match actually happens?
Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
While the #SexyMuscleFriends go to the ring together, the Queen of Spades gives fair warning backstage. “Last week, I made Mandy Rose tap out, and then I threw Mandy Rose out of the ring like an empty can of White Claw.” She promises to do the same thing tonight, and then everyone the Women’s Rumble better watch out because she’ll do the same to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Charlotte, Bayley, or even her own tag team partner. Nia is surprised by that, but it IS every woman for themselves. Nia says she’s been the one carrying the team, but will Shayna prove she can do bad all by herself after the break?
Raw returns and Nia joins commentary as the bell rings. Mandy and Shayna tie up, Mandy shoves Shayna then trips her up with a leg. Shayna gets up, Mandy waistlocks, rolls Shayna up, ONE! Shayna kicks Mandy’s legs out, KNEES her down then covers, TWO! Shayna drags Mandy around and clamps on with a neck wrench. Mandy endures and Dana coaches her up. Shayna drives an elbow into Mandy’s face! Shayna CLUBS Mandy, Mandy hits back but Shayna CLUBS and KICKS her around! Shayna throws forearms, drags Mandy up for knees, then snapmares to KICK her again! Cover, TWO!
Shayna is back on Mandy with the neck wrench. Mandy fires up, throws body shots but Shayna throws her down by her hair! Shayna clamps onto Mandy again, pulls on arm arm for a half straitjacket, then stands on the arm! It’s a new take on the ARM STOMP! Dana checks on Mandy but Shayna tells her to back off. Mandy rolls Shayna up, TWO!! Mandy runs Shayna over but shakes out the bad arm. Mandy ducks a kick and uses the good arm to lariat over and over! And hit a FLAPJACK! Mandy manages a kip up, runs in and powers Shayna to a corner! Mandy fires off forearms, the ref backs her off but Mandy comes back to throw more forearms and even stomps!
The ref counts, Mandy backs off but Shayna gets around to KICK the bad arm! Shayna wrenches that arm, but Mandy fires off forearms with the other! Mandy pulls Shayna’s hair but Shayna twists the arm! KEYLOCK TAKEDOWN! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Mandy taps, Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by submission
The Queen of Spades took care of this by herself, just as she said she would! Nia says Mandy almost had her, but Shayna argues it wasn’t even close. But Dana sneaks up and dropkicks Nia into Shayna, and they both hit post! The Flex Appeal gets away with Mandy, and they aren’t out of the running yet! Will one of these women win the Women’s Rumble to go after the Raw Women’s Championship?
Shayna and Nia argue backstage.
Shayna says that was Nia’s fault for getting involved but Charly Caruso comes by to ask about them not getting along. Well they’ve never really gotten along, even as champions. But meanwhile, the current champions, Charlotte has her daddy issues and Asuka is being creeped out by Alexa, are they really getting along? In fact, now is the perfect time to get that rematch for the titles! Nia says that’s actually a good idea. They go off to find management, will they regain the gold before getting into the Rumble?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
Before discussing the tag titles, how uncomfortable was it for her to see Lacey wearing one of Ric’s robes? Ever since stepping foot in the ring, people accuse her of living off her family name. Now there is literally a woman draping herself on Ric’s arm, begging for her 15 minutes of fame, and living off the name! Charlotte knows that Lacey is just using Ric to get to her. But Charlotte’s been learning from Ric her entire life. She just never went down that path. Maybe Charlotte needs to rethink things, because one person can only take so much trash. Lacey may have one of Ric’s robes, but she will never has Charlotte’s crown.
Adam Pearce talks with Ricochet.
We know that there are superstars who need to earn their way into the Rumble match. And this match is perfect timing. A win can go a long way towards opportunities. Ricochet is just glad to have this opportunity. Maybe this is the start to his road to WrestleMania. But then AJ Styles comes by and says it’s funny that Pearce is talking about opportunities. Who would take advice from Pearce, who just literally ran away from the Universal Championship? Yes, he would’ve lost, been embarrassed, but at least he’d have his dignity. Look at Ricochet. Ricochet is going to lose, but he’ll lose with dignity.
Ricochet says Styles has selective amnesia, like 50 First Dates. What’s he talking about? Well, Drew Barrymore’s character couldn’t remember a thing past a certain date because- Styles knows the movie! It’s in his top ten, right next to The Notebook. What’s he talking about here tonight? Ricochet’s point is that Styles has forgotten about TLC when he got embarrassed- Hey! That was The Miz’s fault! Well all Ricochet knows is that Styles will need more than a seven foot giant by his side to prove Ricochet doesn’t belong in the Rumble. The One and Only heads out to the ring, but will he be better than Phenomenal once again?
Ricochet VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
Styles hangs back long enough to tell Pearce that he doesn’t like him anymore. And when he doesn’t like someone, Omos doesn’t like someone. Omos literally looks down on Scrap Daddy, but what will Pearce do about it, after the break?
Raw returns and Styles makes his entrance. The bell rings, Styles and Ricochet circle, tie up, and Styles powers Ricochet to a corner. The ref counts, Styles lets off and Ricochet circles with him again. They tie up, Styles headlocks, Ricochet tries to power out but Styles holds on tight. Styles grinds Ricochet down, Ricochet rolls to a cover, ONE and Styles holds on. They get up, Ricochet tries to power out again but Styles still holds on. Ricochet makes it a cover again, ONE! Ricochet throws body shots, powers out this time but blocks Styles’ kick to hit an arm-drag! Ricochet whips, Styles gets around to backslide, but Ricochet rolls through. Styles reels Ricochet in but Ricochet trips him up to jackknife bridge! TWO, and Styles tilt-o-whirls to a sunset flip, TWO!
Styles wants the Clash but Ricochet pops free to get around and roll him up, TWO! Ricochet dodges, runs, and headscissors! Styles pops up but into a RANA! Styles is back again, Ricochet rolls and handsprings to headscissor again! Styles is dizzy and flounders, into a dropkick! Ricochet talks some smack to Omos as Styles flounders out. Ricochet runs, slides, but Styles catches him, only for Ricochet to still headscissor him! Ricochet is getting fired up, but Omos glares at him from around the way. Ricochet puts Styles in and follows, but Styles runs in. Ricochet sends Styles out, slingshots, but Omos catches him!
The ref warns Omos to set Ricochet down, and Omos DROPS Ricochet! Ricochet is down but not out yet, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Styles drags Ricochet up to bump him off buckles. Styles scoops Ricochet for a RUNNING BACKBREAKER! Ricochet writhes but Styles paces around. Styles sits Ricochet up to dig a knee in and clamp on with the chinlock. Ricochet endures, fights his way up and throws body shots. Jawbreaker! Styles staggers, but he dodges to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! Ricochet lands on his feet! Ricochet dodges Styles, runs and tilt-o-whirls for the DDT! Both men are down and Omos stares as fans clap on their screens. Ricochet gets to ropes and uses them to get up, and he counter punches Styles then fires off strikes! DISCUS LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Ricochet is frustrated but Omos is relieved as Styles survives. Ricochet fireman’s carries but Styles fights out. Ricochet mule kicks a leg then back flips into the DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO! Ricochet grows further frustrated but he watches Styles stand. Ricochet runs out from the corner but Styles dodges. Styles runs in, Ricochet elbows back, QUEBRADA into a LARIAT! Styles gets Ricochet up, SNAP BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Styles fireman’s carries Ricochet for USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Omos says it’s alright but Styles is still surprised Ricochet survives!
Styles goes to a corner, goes to the apron, and takes aim. Styles springboards, but Ricochet hits the RECOIL!! Both men are down, Ricochet crawls to the cover, TWO!! Styles survives and Ricochet is beside himself! Ricochet goes to the corner, climbs up top, but Styles trips him up! Ricochet lands hard on his stomach and flops to the apron! Omos coaches Styles as Ricochet drags himself up. Styles goes to the corner, brings Styles up, but Ricochet hotshots! Ricochet aims, slingshots, but into Styles’ suplex, that rebounds off the ropes! Into the STYLES CLASH!!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Now that was a PHENOMENAL way to win a match! But once again, Styles denies another entry into the Rumble, will he continue to eliminate superstars before they ever get in?
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill Results & Match Ratings: 1.16.21
Three title matches, the return of Decay, Barbed Wire Massacre and a main event with Kenny Omega. Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill definitely sounds like it’s got a little bit of everything. Check out how it went!
So the news that made many people cry a few days ago, was that Alex Shelley would be out of the main event. He went out of his way to film a response/promo/apology so fans knew it was something non-pandemic related, so that was an effort that wasn’t necessary, though appreciated.
Aside from losing it’s “Dream Match” luster, we get Moose as a replacement, which could really work for the cold calculated persona he’s taken on after his EC3 encounter. We also get to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions for the first time in seven and a half years. Let’s also not forget, this could end up being Taya’s swan song from Impact, so we should expect a good match but no Wera Loca victory.
Let’s see if we get any surprises!
- Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb: Steve wins via King Kill 33 @8:55 – * ½
- Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake: EY wins via Piledriver @9:55 – ** ½
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok: Kiera wins via Face the Music @8:40 – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via DQ @2:30 – N/A
- X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey: Manik retains via Ole Cradle @13:50 – *** ½
- Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay: Deonna retains via Venus de Milo @11:40 – *** ¼
- Ethan Page vs The Karate Man: Karate Man WINS…Fatality – 200 Stars
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards: Eddie wins via Diehard Flowsion @18:50 – *** ¾
- Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows: Kenny Omega wins via One Winged Angel @20:30 – ****
During the last few moments of the Countdown, Madison Rayne officially retired from wrestling and from Impact Wrestling. Not sure how long she’ll stay a house wife, but good for her. She did great to actually prove to people she was a decent wrestler since her run during the WOH tournament, she was a fun commentator, so good for her.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb
The weird thing about this match was the dynamic between who was involved and what went on. Crazzy Steve showed a very high work rate in this match, with his strikes and moves looking fantastic. But Rosemary got exposed a bit on still being less than 100% with the knee and generally sloppy on a lot of spots.
Kaleb and Tenille definitely tried to add comedy and their quirky personalities, but the fact that we saw a lot of sloppiness, Steve working his ass off and just comedy spots or gimmick spots too often; this was a giant mess of a match. It also didn’t help that D’lo and Striker are still getting used to each other, so the announcing was distractingly bad.
It can only get better from here!
Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
This starts the same way every Tommy Dreamer match starts, with a brawl and weapon use. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s really not anything worth going deeply in to. EY did the flair corner to top rope spot, which ended with Dreamer hitting him with a cookie sheet. We had a Tower spot in the corner, with Joe Powerbombing a Suplex, and it landed right into Dreamer’s face.
Doering got to look like a beast when the entire team took the chairs to him, and he still fought back, ending up in control. Dreamer introduced tacks, then we saw the Signature/Finisher spam which ends with EY breaking up the pinfall and hitting Cousin Jake with the Piledriver.
Again, decent enough, but nothing really special.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
Oh, Brian Hebner is back for this match. Slightly surprising.
Kiera and Tasha try to start fast, but the bigger women over power the smaller team and throw them around a little bit. Havok beats up on both of them, Neavaeh comes in to keep up the momentum, but eventually Tasha and Kiera start making a comeback. We see Fire and Flava go for a lot of quick spots, fast tags and trying to spin around the larger women, but they just get taken for a ride more often than not.
It’s not until Kiera hits a High Round Kick, followed by Tasha with the Springboard Neckbreaker actually takes Havok off her feet. Nevaeh tries to make a save and get things back on track, but Tasha picks her leg, Havok gets wiped out after a great Super Kick from Kiera, Tasha and Kiera use some tandem attacks on Nevaeh, then Tasha slows down Havok as Kiera hits Face the Music and we have new Knockouts Tag Team Champions!
Ace Austin comes out to declare himself into the X Division Triple Threat to make it a 4 way! D’Amore comes out, says he can have a match, just not the title match. Matt Cardona comes out.
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona
Ace tries to go at Cardona before the ring jacket is off, but Cardona absorbs some offense and then fires back a bit. Fulton gets in the way quite often during this match, so the finish is a little telegraphed. But right as Cardona starts building momentum; Fulton slides in to cause the DQ.
Decent enough way to protect Ace and give Cardona quick win.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.
Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
Early on all of the seconds get kicked out, with the beauty of the situation being that Susan pulls out her phone and says she’s filming the whole thing. So Susan, really may be a middle aged transformation of Su Yung. Susan might as well be named Karen.
EVERYBODY has been ejected from ringside.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
As we focus on the actual match, Deonna starts slowly picking apart Taya. Going after her left arm, then her left knee and just trying to apply submission and weaken different limbs. Taya was able to push back and have her own submission attempt moment. Taya went for an STF, but the submission game isn’t her wheelhouse.
Deonna was able to pick her apart, counter a pinfall attempt and keep Taya grounded long enough to work in some holds. The normal Fujiwara didn’t get her submit, so Venus de Milo followed up and Taya verbally submitted.
Ethan Page vs The Karate Man
Since this is cinematic or at least green screen, I won’t rate this as a real match. But it was amazingly entertaining. Dragon Ball Z references, Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat references, it was just amazing.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!
Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.
Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!
Eddie hasn’t hit that Flowsion in a long time. I did appreciate Sami paying homage to Cactus Jack and Striker acknowledging Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa on commentary though.
Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
The early onset is interesting. Karl Anderson and Chris Sabin start off and there’s some solid technical counter wrestling, and it’s fast paced action. Moose and Gallows come in to do a big boy showdown which worked fairly well, where Swann and Omega had a brief lockup before the Brothers come in to start heeling it up.
We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
Well this started off pretty bad, but at least it built upwards. The main even had a lot of fun wrinkles which increased the storytelling, psychology and overall enjoyment of the show. Hell even when Callis nearly jumped into the ring to break up a pin on Kenny was a good little nugget.
As I said in the weekly coverage, this is probably Taya’s final match, or at least one of the last, especially since they logically moved Rosemary back to Decay with Crazzy Steve. Eddie and Sami had a hell of blood feud and it was nearly cathartic. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Tasha and Kiera actually won the Knockouts Tag titles. I almost thought they wouldn’t win just because they are so charismatic and attractive without the titles, where Havok and Nevaeh don’t exactly have electric personalities. But I’m ecstatic that Kiera finally has a title in Impact!
With the pretty awful start for the wrestling and the commentary, which put the show behind the eight ball; but it did recover fairly well. Not nearly as good as Genesis, but it managed to keep the stories rolling and end on an interesting note. A pretty good show after all was said and done.
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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/16/21)
Kevin Owens is back!
DWI Podcast #258: Where’s My Nipple Button
With the WWE Champ having Covid, is the title match at the Royal Rumble in jeopardy? In keeping with the...