All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering; Undisputed Era win and and retain the NXT Tag Team Champoins.
- Kassius Ohno VS Velveteen Dream; Dream wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler; Ember wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
- Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black VS Adam Cole; Black wins.
- NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Johnny Gargano; Almas wins and retains the NXT Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The NXT Preshow panel is joined by Samoa Joe!
The former NXT Champion, though out with a foot injury, is here in Philadelphia to watch and analyze all the action of his Alma mater in the WWE. He looks forward to everything tonight, and updates us that he’s “feeling strong and healing quickly.” The main roster should consider this a silver lining, since Joe won’t be in the Royal Rumble.
Corey Graves & Renee Young present the NXT Year End Awards for 2017!
Both alumni of NXT are back to honor the highlights and superstars of last year, as decided by the fans via social media and WWE’s official website.
The first award of the night is the Rivalry of the Year. The winner is: Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream! The Patrick Clark Experience wanted the Embodiment of the End to acknowledge his enigmatic brilliance, and to #SayMyName! Aleister would refuse to do so, as Dream came off as “a child throwing a tantrum”, but in the end, both men would come to respect the other. Aleister made Dream #FadetoBlack, but still said his name. To accept the Golden Ring Bell is Velveteen Dream himself! He takes the bell and thanks God. Why? Because Velveteen Dream is the closest thing to the Light that NXT will ever have. However, tonight is not about the Light and the Darkness. Tonight is about a Velveteen Dream “guaranteed” 30 second KO of Kassius Ohno. Doubters can doubt but you’ll all still #SayMyName.
The second award of the night is “a very, very big one”, it is the Male Competitor of the Year. The winner is: Aleister Black! The Dutch Destroyer is still undefeated in 1v1 competition, so how does it feel to get the Golden Bell? “I set out to do something different.” Something unique and unconventional. The Golden Ring Bell validates that mission, so he thanks the fans for their support. And while he’s here, Renee lets Aleister know he’s also the Breakout Superstar of the Year, so he can expect a second golden bell soon for himself. The Embodiment has already dominated in three categories, will he dominate in tonight’s Extreme Rules match?
The Year End Awards continue after a break.
The third award is for Female Competitor of the Year. The winner is: Asuka! The Empress of Tomorrow was the natural choice after being an undefeated NXT Women’s Champion for 523 days and against many different opponents. Asuka accepts the Golden Ring Bell and reminds everyone that “No one is ready for Asuka!” She’s definitely Corey’s pick.
The fourth award is for Match of the Year. The winner is: Tyler Bate VS Pete Dunne in TakeOver Chicago’s WWE UK Championship match! Tyler Bate appears to accept, and recounts his 2017. “I’m absolutely honored and I’m really grateful for everyone that voted.” Bate even gives props to his rival, Pete Dunne, who is himself a great wrestler. What’s next for Bate? Another match of the year candidate, for sure.
Meanwhile, Pete Dunne joins the panel.
The British Bruiserweight also had quite a great 2017, such as when he won the UK Championship. What does this mean to him? Dunne had two objectives last year: become WWE UKC, and establish the WWE UK Division. His TakeOver: Chicago match accomplished both. Why does Pete Dunne think he and Tyler Bate were standouts from the UK Tournament? Because he and Bate both wrestled with chips on their shoulders as two men who were often overlooked. Joe acknowledges that Dunne and Bate are like wrestling ambassadors. Dunne agrees, because the WWE UKC is the end all, be all to him in wrestling.
What does Dunne have planned next? He wishes to further raise the prestige of the UK Championship and Division. Who would he love to face from outside the UK Division? “Anyone and everyone”, from NXT Champion to Universal Champion. If he had one thing to say to Bate right now, what is it? Dunne would tell Bate that he’s had his turn, “who’s next?”
The Year End Awards resume on stage.
“This is it,” the final award of 2017. The final category is the biggest of all, it is for THE Overall Competitor of the Year! Aleister was Male Superstar of the Year, Asuka was Female Superstar of the Year, but the winner here is: ASUKA!
The Empress claims her second Golden Bell of the night! Can Asuka continue her incredible domination in the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match?
Zelina Vega appears on the Preshow panel.
She asks them “Do you guys see what’s wrong with the picture here?” They were talking about the NXT Year End Awards, but they forgot about “the only man that matters.” Andrade “Cien” Almas didn’t win a single category! But the fans decided who won those awards. Oh so it was losers voting for losers? Did anyone here count the votes? No? Then Zelina demands a recount! But, Almas only became champion at the end of 2017. Zelina takes a seat to properly represent her client. Almas went from zero to 100 in that little a time! He and Zelina “are this brand”! Then why didn’t fans choose him? “Because teh fans are losers.” More importantly, Almas will still have the championship after tonight. JOe says it’s easy to reach the top but harder to stay there. Gargano has momentum, and maybe if Almas stays “tranquilo” he can win. Zelina says Almas is the greatest star in NXT ever, even bigger than Joe! Joe doesn’t believe that, but will let Zelina have her opinion.
Sam Roberts brings up Almas needs to keep his championship and have more defenses to establish himself, but Zelina is confident that’s how it’ll happen tonight. Zelina ignores Gargano’s parallels to Almas, because Almas has won twice already and will win the third. But that’s a difficult thing to do, and Joe says it’ll be difficult for Almas. This is also a different Gargano he’s up against. Zelina still doesn’t care. She explains that “we are the NXT Champion”. Her guidance and his focus, they will win again. Joe uses his experience to make sure Zelina understands it is tougher than anyone can imagine to stay on top. Zelina says Almas will show rather than tell. Is Zelina being defensive? Zelina has no time left, but promises Almas will win and retain. She takes her leave, will her words carry through the night?
The Road to Wrestlemania starts tonight!
Philadelphia has always been the land of extreme. “But this isn’t about dwelling in the past. This is about creating the future.” The revolution is growing, and the revolution is N X T!
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering!
Akam & Rezar want those titles back and they want them NOW! Does the duo known as reDRagon stand a chance of surviving?
Perhaps Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish don’t, as Akam & Rezar are upon them the moment they hit the ring!
O’Reilly & Fish manage to escape the ring, but the AoP are rabidly waiting. The champions regroup and prepare themselves while Ellering calms his pair of behemoths. The bell rings, Fish starts with Rezar, Fish runs but gets run over! He bails out of the ring again to walk it off, but Akam keeps him from going too far. Fans chant “Shock the System!” while Fish slowly reenters. He stays by the ropes then tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly circles, and manages to stick ‘n’ move with kicks to Rezar. He goes for a leg, but Rezar uses power to push him off. They each dare the other to bring the fight, Kyle kicks Rezar’s legs. Rezar grabs those feet and rolls O’Reilly but misses the clubbing ax handle. The two men get up, Rezar tackles O’Reilly right down!
Fist after fist hammer O’Reilly but O’Reilly grabs the triangle hold! He rolls Rezar but can’t extend the arm so he hammers away with palm strikes. Rezar shoves him off, O’Reilly narrowly avoids the boot and escapes the ring. The champions regroup again while Philly applauds and the referee counts. O’Reilly walks up the steps and takes his time reentering. He backs up and tags Fish back in. Fish evades Rezar and kicks at the leg. Rezar catches one kick and brings Fish to the AoP corner to tag in Akam. Akam & Rezar drive knees into Fish, then a fireman’s carry takeover before a big stomp. Akam glares at O’Reilly before going back to Fish. Fish drives in a knee then tags in O’Reilly, O’Reilly comes in but gets thrown to the mat. Akam runs him over with a shoulder, reDRagon has to regroup again. The champions want to walk out on this match, but they get run over around the corner instead!
Akam & Rezar coordinate, and throw Fish right into steel steps. They go after Kyle with haymakers from all sides. Kyle tries to get away but flops right off the apron and back to the floor. AoP put Fish in the ring, Fish tries to run away again, but Akam grabs him in a wheelbarrow to slam him into the barriers!
Fish slumps to the floor while Akam grabs O’Reilly. Akam tags in Rezar, they mug Kyle in their territory. Another tag, and they give O’Reilly the side slam stomp. Akam’s knee bothers him, so the referee checks on him. He’s good to go, he whips Kyle, but Kyle dumps Akam to the apron. Akam fights back, Fish sweeps that bad leg! Rezar runs Kyle over, but then Fish tackles Rezar right out of the ring!
They topple to the floor hard, and O’Reilly goes over to Akam. Akam fights back but O’Reilly unloads various strikes before sweeping that bad leg. Fish returns, tags in, and they both go after Akam with sharp kicks. Fish tags O’Reilly back in, they keep Akam offbalance by going after those legs. Akam tries to fight back but Fish tags back in to hold that leg open. O’Reilly runs in, but Akam elbows him away. Fish tries but Akam puts him on the apron. O’Reilly returns but gets thrown down, Fish yanks that bad leg to also crotch-shot Akam on the ropes. Akam can’t defend himself from Fish’s kicks, or the body splash to the bad knee. Fish wrenches the knee, then drags Akam up and around. He gives body shots and tags in Kyle, Akam tries to fight back but Kyle chop blocks the leg. Kyle then pulls on that leg to turn Akam over, but Akam kicks him away. The fans duel while the two men crawl, Kyle gets the bad leg in a kneebar!
Akam endures while Kyle adds on an Achilles lock, and even clubs at Kyle’s back, but it doesn’t get Kyle to let go. Akam drags himself to ropes and gets the break, Kyle is forced to let go. Kyle tags in Fish, Fish stomps that bad knee. Fish tags Kyle back in, they both go after Akam with knee strikes, and even a table top trip back into the kneebar. Akam grabs the ropes again, but Fish tags back in, slingshot senton! Cover, TWO, reDRagon is frustrated. Fish drags Akam up for forearm strikes and kicks to that bad knee. He gives a cheap shot to Rezar, but that only pisses Rezar off. Akam gets a big body drop on Fish! Hot tags to Rezar and O’Reilly, Rezar rallies on reDRagon! He slams Fish with a trophy slam, then slams O’Reilly with a spinebuster! Rezar won’t slow down, and the Philly fans love it! Rezar scoops O’Reilly but Fish hops on with a sleeper. This doesn’t stop Rezar, he just slams them both!
Cover on O’Reilly, TWO! Ellering looks worried, but Rezar gets up and goes after O’Reilly again. He brings O’Reilly up for a powerbomb but O’Reilly counters with a guillotine. Rezar tosses him off all the same, but then takes knees to the stomach and shoulders! He staggers to the Unidsputed corner, Fish tags in. O’Reilly and Fish run a corner strike train! Fish goes for an overhead suplex but Rezar reists. O’Reilly kicks out Rezar’s leg and Fish gets the suplex!
Cover, TWO! Fish is shocked, but he doesn’t stop. He drags Rezar over then tags O’Reilly in. O’Reilly grabs Rezar in a sleeper but Rezar fights out to boot Fish down and clobber O’Reilly with a clothesline! AKam returns to the apron, even with his bad leg. The fans rally while Rezar tags in Akam. Akam walks over and drags O’Reilly up. Rezar gets running, but runs into Fish’s leaping knee strike! O’Reilly rolls Akam into the kneebar! Fish subdues Rezar with a sleeper hold!
Rezar gets up while Akam endures, Rezar throws Fish onto O’Reilly! The two holds break at the same time and all four men are down while the fans applaud. The fans rally and duel while the competitors stir. Rezar rolls out one side of the ring while Fish rolls out the other. O’Reilly and Akam stand up in the ring, and O’Reilly kicks away at the bad leg. Akam gets up each time, despite the pain. O’Reilly shifts to hitting Akam in the head but that only fires Akam up. He catches O’Reilly in a one-leg overhead suplex!
Akam rams knees into O’Reilly, then clobbers Fish off the apron! He lifts O’Reilly and gives him a buckle bomb before returning to those massive knees. Rezar returns to boot Fish right down, and now they hit their favorite, the Super Collider!
However, O’Reilly reverses and throws Akam at Rezar with a huricanrana! Then he rolls Akam up in a school boy, Undisputed Era win!! The champions retain by the skin of their teeth and once again #ShockTheSystem!
Kassius Ohno VS Velveteen Dream!
This match was made because the Knockout Artist said “I told you so” to the Patrick Clark Experience after he failed to defeat Johnny Wrestling on last Wednesday’s NXT. Dream promises to not only defeat Ohno, but do it in 30 seconds or less. Will Dream get to say “I told you so” back to his opponent tonight?
Dream is ready for Ohno to the point that he even has a special mouth guard to protect against Ohno’s devastating elbow strikes. Meanwhile, Ohno represents the Pittsburgh Pirates with the black and yellow.
The fans are already fired up before the bell rings. They count those 30 seconds to keep Dream to his word, but Dream struggles as Ohno gets him against the ropes. Dream turns it around to throw body shots in a corner, but the referee backs him down. Dream gets the haymaker, and he wants the ten count! The referee checks on him, the fans count for Dream, but Ohno gets up to knock that mouth piece out!
The fans boo and jeer, they thought Dream was gonna do it. Dream picks up his mouth piece, but Ohno kicks him right in the face! Then boots him out of the ring! Ohno goes out to fetch Dream, bringing him up and into the ring. Dream hits Ohno with a sucker punch back elbow, then runs, only to run into Ohno’s boot! Ohno runs, into Dream’s spinebuster!
Both men are down but Dream springs up to pose for a second. The fans are loving this match already as they cheer for “Vel-ve-teen!” Dream stomps and punches Ohno, Ohno staggers to a corner and Dream keeps up the boxing. Dream whips OHno corner to corner while the fans keep up the chanting. He toys with Ohno, then drags him up for a big suplex. Cover, ONE, so Dream kicks Ohno in the back and clubs him in the head. Ohno is down, so Dream swivels his hips over him. Dream drops knees into ribs then kicks Ohno while he’s down. The referee reprimands Dream, but that doesn’t stop Dream from choking Ohno on the ropes. Dream stomps Ohno and demands he quit already. Ohno stands up and chops Dream back, so Dream rocks him with an uppercut. Dream snapmares Ohno down and into a modified abdominal stretch. The fans rally while Dream puts pressure on the ribs. The fans duel while Dream shifts to a camel clutch, but Ohno uses power to get up and carry Dream into a corner. Dream turns it around, then takes off his arm band before unloading on Ohno in the corner. The referee has him back down, but Dream shouts that tonight is “Dream Over!” He kicks Ohno in the face, but that only fuels the fire. Dream climbs up and hits a double ax handle, TWO. He keeps on Ohno with more ax handles and frustrated kicks to the ribs. Dream wants Ohno to quit, or #SayMyName. Ohno refuses to do either, he endures the clutch to power up again. Dream keeps him down and on the ropes, then lifts Ohno with a fireman’s carry. Ohno elbows his way out, but Dream boots him in the face. Dream tries a suplex but it is Ohno countering with a suplex toss! The fans applaud while both men are down again. A ten count begins, and the two men stir. The count climbs past 6 before Dream stands up. He clubs Ohno, Ohno rock shim with a forearm. Dream gives Ohno a European Uppercut, Ohno retaliates with an elbow. Ohno then chops Dream, boots him, and runs for a lariat. Ohno keeps moving with another boot, then the back senton! He isn’t done there, either. He takes aim, spins and boots Dream down!
Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated, but he keeps his focus. He calls for his killer elbow, and fans rally as he stands up. Ohno brings Dream up, brings him around, but Dream counters with a backslide, TWO. Dream’s kick is blocked, Ohno spins around, but Dream gets him with the second SUPERKICK! Dream then drives Ohno down with the sidewinder DDT!
Cover, TWO! Now Dream is the one surprised. The two men stand up, Dream climbs up top. He jumps, into Ohno’s boot! Ohno keeps going with a stiff elbow, then runs for the high– Rolling Death Valley!
Dream rolls Ohno to a cover, TWO! The frustration grows in Dream, but he stands up and calls for the end. OHno gets him in the wristlock, ripcord, roaring elbow! TWO! Ohno doesn’t know how Dream survived, but Philly loves it all the same. They’re thunderous as Ohno brings Dream up. He spins him around, but Dream evades the elbow for another fireman’s carry, and another Rolling Death Valley!
Dream hurries to the top rope, and from the post he hits the Purple Rain Maker elbow!
Dream wins!! It wasn’t in 30 seconds, but it was still a win. Can Dream use this momentum to rise to the top?
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler!
The Prophecy of Flame fought for so long and finally achieved her dream. However, the Queen of Spades quite literally bullied her way onto the scene. Will the underdog reign already come to an end?
The bell rings and the two tie up, Shayna gets the waistlock and slam. Ember gets up and gets the standing switch but Shayna puts her in a corner. She grinds a forearm in Ember’s face before honoring the break, then trips Ember anyway. Ember goes after Shayna, but Shayna uses the ref as a shield. Shayna then takes Ember down and grinds her palm into Ember. Ember shoves Shayna away, Shayna just grins at Ember. Ember ducks under Shayna’s kick then kip-ups. Shayna blocks a kick and goes for her signature Kirafuda but Ember throws her off and sweeps the legs! Shayna stands up with a frustrated grimace, but Ember dropkicks her down! She does it a second time! And a third time! Shayna gets out of the ring and walks off her frustration, but Ember runs and DIVES!
The champion knocks her challenger over and Philly fires up. Ember drags Shayna up and into the ring, then stalks the Queen of Spades from behind. Shayna gets to a corner, Ember handsprings but into Shayna’s takedown, where she repeatedly knees Ember in the face! Shayna lets her hair down and then gives Ember one last big kick before the cover, TWO! The fans cheer Ember on while she slowly gets up, but Shayna shoves her back down. Shayna stands on Ember’s hand before stomping on her arm!
Ember’s arm bent just like Dakota Kai’s did weeks ago on NXT! Shayna just laughs it off while Ember writhes. She goes after that arm with a seated keylock that shifts to a torturous wristlock. Shayna drops a knee on it, and Ember continues to writhe. Cover, ONE, but Shayna is still all smiles. She toys with Ember while she stomps on the injured arm. Ember endures the kicks and the wrenching while the fans continue to support her. Shayna bends and twists the arm again, then pulls it as hard as she can while she keeps Ember down. Ember rolls and escapes the hold but Shayna just kicks her down. Shayna uses the ropes now, and only the referee’s count gets her to let go. Shayna keeps toying with Ember, daring the champion to try something. Ember uses her good arm to slap Shayna, then she evades Shayna’s strike to slap her again. Ember keeps retaliating with kicks and that one good arm. The fans fire up while Ember springboards for the crossbody!
TWO! Ember and Shayna stand up, Ember runs in for a forearm smash on Shayna. The champion climbs up with one arm, wanting her finish. She takes aim, jumps and hits the Eclipse!!
That bad arm hurts Ember, she can’t make the cover. Shayna is out cold but Ember can’t do a thing about it from the pain! The referee checks on her, and asks for medics to come out. The fans boo, they don’t want it to end this way. Ember doesn’t want that either, but she can barely do anything with that arm. The fans call “Bullshit!” Ember stands up, she drags Shayna up, but SHayna catches her in a modified armbar!
Ember resists while she reaches with her legs, but Shayna has that bad arm locked. Ropebreak! Shayna lets go, then staggers to her feet. She drags Ember but Ember’s good arm holds the ropes. The grip lets go, Shayna puts the lock back on! Ember claws at Shayna, but she cant’ get free. Shayna keeps the lock, even as Ember flails and rolls! Ember runs out of steam, Shayna keeps wrenching the bad arm. Shayna goes to hook a leg but Ember keeps flailing. Ember endures another wrenching of the arm, rolls but cannot escape! Ember doesn’t need to escape, she just rolls and covers, SHE WINS!! No one can believe this, least of all Shayna! Ember’s savvy helped her survive, but what is teh state of that arm?
Forget the arm, Shayna goes after Ember’s throat with her Kirafuda Lock!
She brings Ember down on the ramp and chokes her out! The Queen of Spades is a sore loser to say the least. She lets go when more referees appear, only to put the back on! Shayna wants Ember to pay for escaping defeat, but what will the consequences of this attack be?
Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black VS Adam Cole!
It is an understatement to say that this grudge has grown as intense as possible. The Embodiment of the End transforms into the Embodiment of Extreme, will he make the Undisputed Leader #FadetoBlack?
Anyone unfamiliar with Extreme Rules should know, that there is only one rule: win! The bell rings, the two men stare at each other from across the way. Cole trash talks while fans already declare “This is awesome!” The two run at each other and trade off forearms! Cole gets an advantage but then gets kicked right out of the ring. Aleister runs, but fakes Cole out to then sit down. Cole doesn’t hesitate to grab a chair! He paces while fans chant “E C Dub!” but Aleister calmly watches. Cole gets on the apron and says Aleister should be afraid. Instead, Aleister ducks the strike, kicks Cole low and takes the chair from him. Cole bails out of the ring again, so Aleister simply sits and waits for him to reenter.
Cole gets up and in, but Aleister throws the chair out to then throw Cole out. Aleister pursues and rocks Cole with a right hand! He keeps up on Cole, but Cole hits back and bumps Aleister off the apron. Cole brings chairs out from under the ring, kicks Aleister and bounces him off the barriers, then brings out a trash can. The can is tossed into the ring while Cole boots Aleister down again. Cole puts more chairs in the ring, but Aleister comes back with strikes. Cole knees low again to throw Aleister into a barrier! The fans love it while Cole looks for something. He fetches a kendo stick! However, Aleister grabs one for himself. The two men get in the ring, armed with the bamboo swords. Aleister then reconsiders, he wants Cole to come at him! Cole laughs, and says Aleister is stupid for this. However, Aleister dodges each of Cole’s swings to then swing away with forearms and kicks! Aleister runs and springboards but Cole SMACKS the Quebrada out of the air!
Aleister writhes while Cole catches his breath and the fans lose their minds with “Holy Shit!” Cole stands up, still armed with the kendo stick. He walks over and SMACKS Aleister across the back. “You don’t know how you’re dealing with!” Cole uses the stick to bend Aleister back. Aleister stands up but Cole brings him down with a backstabber!
Cover, TWO! Cole grows frustrated, but he keeps on Aleister with a rain of right hands and stomps. The fans wants Cole to “Get the Tables!” Cole rolls out of the ring and obliges! He drags out a table and Philly goes wild! Cole brings the table around while Aleister flounders in the ring. Cole sets the table up while fans cheer “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” The table is placed at an angle near a post while fans serenade themselves with “Oh~ We Want Some Tables~.” Cole lets them know they’re gonna get tables while he drags Aleister over. They go up to the top rope, but Aleister resists. Aleister fights back and crocks Cole with rights, to then throw him down onto the trash can!
Now Cole writhes while Aleister recovers. The Dutch Destroyer stands up and runs in for a running knee! TWO! Aleister does not lose focus, he just formulates a new plan. He goes outside and brings out a second table! The fans love what they see as Aleister sets his table up next to Cole’s. Aleister thinks about it, and it seems if two tables are better than one, then a ladder will only make it that much better! However, Cole dropkicks that ladder into Aleister, and Aleister hits the announce desk. Cole takes that ladder and sets it up in a corner. He then fetches Aleister and brings him back into the ring. Cole drags Aleister up and over to the ladder, but Aleister resists the suplex. He turns thigns around on Cole but COle resists. Aleister evades a punch but Cole gives him an enziguri! A dazed Aleister ends up in a corner, Cole stomps and punches away on him. COle climbs up to give corner punches, but he stops at about 6 to hit his “BAYBAY” pose. He continues but Aleister turns it around to an Electric Chair, to fling him at the ladder!
Both men are down but the fans are fired up as they lose their minds again. The referee checks on both men, but they’re somehow still okay to compete. The fans rally and Aleister starts to stir. He crawls over to Cole, Cole clutches his own hand. The medics must check on him, which upsets the fans a bit. Aleister manages a cover, TWO, but that doesn’t deter Aleister. He stands up again, and picks up one of those chairs. Aleister stands it up, then brings Cole over to place his head there. Aleister runs, but Cole revives to bring that chair up and ram it into Aleister’s stomach! Cole catches his breath before grabbing another chair and standing it up. He hobbles over to Aleister and brings him over now. Cole wants a repeat of NXT from weeks ago but his back gives out in the fireman’s carry. ALeister tries to grab Cole but Cole elbows him away. Cole goes for the Shining Wizard but Aleister ducks under to roll him up. Cole dodges a kick, but not the double stomps!
Aleister drags Cole over to that chair, sets his head down and gets to the apron. He climbs up top, but Cole gets up and throws the chair at Aleister. SUPERKICK knocks the chair into Aleister’s face, and then Aleister falls back to fall through the tables!!
Philadelphia loses their minds harder than ever with that crash landing! Cole recovers in the ring while the referee checks on Aleister. The fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” while Cole slowly makes his way out and over. He drags Aleister’s limp body up and around the wreckage before putting him in the ring. Cover, TWO!? Cole has no idea how Aleister survived, but fans know “This is awesome!” Cole brings a chair back over and sets it up again. He then brings a second chair over and sets it up with the first. Cole thinks for a moment, and decides to invert the chairs. He grins an evil grin before bringing Aleister up, but Aleister reverses and throws Cole onto the chair edge!!
Cole clutches his break as he writhes in pain and the fans hit an all time high. They even tell Cole “You deserve it!” Cole crawls his way around to the chairs and makes one into a crutch. Aleister knees that chair into Cole!
Cover, but then the rest of the Undisputed Era appear to disrupt it!
Kyle and Fish drag Aleister out, and hit an unfortunately legal Total Elimination!
Aleister goes down at the hands of the banged-up reDRagon, but there’s nothing the referee can do to stop them. Philly calls “Bullshit!” on this as reDRagon drag Aleister over and around the ring. They coordinate to take the announce desk apart, as well as position Aleister on spare production trunks. SAnitY appears to make the save!
They clobber the NXT Tag Team Champions mostly for what they owe the Undisputed Era from weeks ago. They throw reDRagon all around ringside, and Big Damo is in the ring with Cole. He wants Cole to watch as he DIVES onto everyone!
Damo takes out reDRagon AND SAnitY, and though Cole is frightened, the fans eat it up. HOwever, Aleister is still prone on the trunks, and Cole takes advantage! He goes over and brings Aleister up, but Aleister blocks. Aleister knocks Cole away, then takes aim, to double knee drop Cole through the announce desk!
The fans again chant for “NXT! NXT!” while Aleister drags himself over to Cole. He brings Cole up and into the ring, and fans chant “MAMA MIA!” Cole SUPERKICKS Aleister outta nowhere! Cole crawls back to a chair, and he vows to use it to end this. He brings that chair up but BLACK MASS outta nowhere!!
Aleister wins!! This match went to the extreme, but it is still Aleister’s win! Can anyone hope to stop the Embodiment of the End?
NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Johnny Gargano!
El Idolo does not believe Johnny Wrestling is a match for him, but Johnny FREAKING Wrestling refuses to be doubted ever again. Can Gargano dethrone El Campeon this soon into his reign?
The fans are already thunderous for Johnny Wrestling before the bell. The bell rings and the two men stare down while they slowly circle. The tension builds and then they tie up. Almas powers Gargano aruond and into a waistlock, but Gargano keeps up with Almas in technical back and forth. Gargano gets the facelock but ALmas gets loose, fans applaud. They circle again, the cheers continue, Almas gets the waistlock again. Gargano gets a wristlock and then the arm wrench, bringing Almas ot his knees. Almas stands up and tries to pry hsi way out, but instead slips around to another waistlock. Gargano feels his way through the hold to reapply the wristlock and into a hammerlock. Gargano gets the headlock takeover, Almas headscissors but Gargano pops out. Almas turns the tables but cannot pop out of Gargano’s headscissors. He still finds a way out and the two go seated switch for seated switch. Almas stands up and the fans applaud again. Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LaRae, watches from the front row as Gargano and Almas go again. Almas brings Gargano in for a headlock but Gargano powers out, only for Almas to rum him over with a shoulder. Things speed up, but Almas fakes Gargano out. Almas grabs Gargano and has the hammerlock but Gargano denies the DDT. Gargano goes for his submission but Almas slips out, he goes for the hammerlock again but Gargano reverses. Gargano still wants his submission hold but Almas continues to resist. The two separate once more, and the fans are loving it. Both men grin, Gargano because he knows he’s always close but Almas because he is still ahead. The two walk and circle again while the fans cheer “This is Wrestling”. The two go again but Almas kicks low, then drives Gargano to a corner. He whips corner to corner but Gargano goes up and over and side steps the hit a running headscissors and dropkick!
Gargano arm-drags Almas to an armlock, and fans applaud again. Zelina doesn’t like what she sees. Almas keeps from being caught in a cover, but Gargano puts more and more of his weight on Almas. Gargano keeps on an arm, but ALmas pulls on hair to put Gargano in a corner. Almas whips Gargano corner to corner again and fakes Gargano out, for a STIFF chop!
The chop gets Gargano across the face and chest, but Almas keeps on him with stomps. He drags Gargano up and around to a corner for another stiff chop. Almas whips Gargano back into the corner but Gargano boots back. Gargano hops up and throws ALmas with a flying huricanrana! He clotheslines Almas out then slingshots, but Almas evades. Gargano alley-oops Almas up but Almas lands on the apron. Almas asais but Gargano evades, Gargano hops onto the apron. Gargano jumps to evade Almas’ leg sweeps, then mule kicks Almas away. Gargano takes aim and jumps for the cannonball, but Almas side-steps!
Johnny Wrestling hits nothing but floor! Candice is concerned but Almas drags him up and into the ring. Cover, TWO, and Almas grows frustrated. Zelina keeps him focused as he stomps on Gargano. The fans continue to cheer for “Johnny Wrestling!” while Almas brings him up. Gargano revives to give southpaw forearms, but Almas shoves him away. Gargano turns that around to throw Almas at ropes, but Almas goes Spider-Man on the ropes. He then shifts and blocks Gargano’s forearms to then put Gargano in a dragon sleeper on the ropes!
The referee counts, Almas lets go at 4. He then sits Gargano up for a dropkick right to the head! Cover, TWO, and Almas grows further frustrated with Gargano. He puts Gargano in the chinlock. The fans rally, which upsets Zelina. Gargano endures the squeeze, but he starts to fade just a bit. The fans keep cheering while Zelina calls Gargano a loser. Almas shifts to put Gargano into a deeper chinlock stretch, but Gargano does not quit. The fans rally stronger now, and Gargano feeds off the energy. He wills himself up and fights back to free himself. Almas slips out of the scoop but Gargano denies the dragon sleeper. Gargano tries to suplex but his back won’t let him. He slips out of Almas’ suplex and rolls him for the schoolboy kick! Almas crawls to a corner, Gargano gets up and gives him a running chop. They go corner to corner, Almas reverses but Gargano puts him on the apron. Gargano kicks but Almas blocks and hangs him up in a Tree of Woe! Almas climbs up, takes aim, but Gargano leans back to avoid the draping stomps! Gargano gets out and throws Almas into the buckles!
Both men are down, but Zelina is the most concerned. The champion and challenger stir, and then they brawl with sharp elbows back and forth. Fans cheer for Gargano but boo Almas. Gargano gets an edge with short lariats. Almas shoves Gargano, he returns with a big forearm! Gargano rallies with forearms from both arms and then rocks Almas with an enziguri. Almas staggers to a corner, Gargano runs in for a forearm smash. Gargano hops up, takes aim, and hits a tornado downward spiral!
Cover, TWO! Zelina breathes easier, but she still wants her man to get back into this. Gargano brings Almas up. Almas revives, misses, but elbows his way out of Gargano’s move. Gargano kicks back and throws Almas to the ropes. Gargano knows he’ll Spider-Man so he slips under to the outside. Almas knocks Gargano back with a forearm then gets running, but into Gargano’s slingshot spear!
Cover, TWO! Zelina panics but Gargano keeps his cool. Gargano gets space before standing back up. He runs at Almas in a corner for a big kick, then runs for the tilt-o-whirl, but Almas makes it a facebuster! TWO, and Almas again grows frustrated. Zelina coaches her man, he rams a right forearm into Gargano’s head. Almas then climbs up to the top, moonsault but Gargano evades, Almas lands on his feet to immediately moonsault again! Cover, TWO! Zelina is furious and Almas is shocked. Almas drags Gargano up and gives him more stiff elbows. Gargano responds with his own elbows, then runs but into a big back elbow! Cover, TWO and three quarters! Almas runs, but into Gargano’s SUPERKICK!
Cover, TWO! Gargano and Almas get moving again, going lariat for lariat and slap for slap! The two fall down but the fans applaud this instant classic. The two men stir and get to opposite ends of the ring. The fans hope they “Fight forever!” while Almas gets to a corner. Gargano runs in but into a boot. Almas hops up, Gargano grabs a leg, so Almas enziguris him with the other leg! He brings Gargano up and onto the top rope. Almas climbs up to join him, hammerlock and facelock, but Gargano resists. Gargano slips out but Almas denies the powerbomb with punches. Gargan slips outs and SUPERKICKS Almas upside-down!
Almas is stuck up there, and Zelina panics all over again. Gargano climbs up again, and goes to sunset flip Almas but Almas springs out and lands on his feet! CIEN KNEES!
Almas goes corner to corner, but Gargano evades and Almas hits buckles! Gargano gets to the apron, slingshots in, but Almas catches him for a draping facebuster and clubbing forearm! Almas keeps going, inverted tornado DDT!
Cover, TWO! Zelina looks this close to ripping her hair out over this but Philly gives a standing ovation! Gargano and Almas drag themselves to the apron while the fans are thunderously cheering. Almas brings Gargano up, wants the DDT but Gargano hooks a leg on the ropes. Almas clubs Gargano and lifts with a fireman’s but Gargano slips out. Gargano rocks Almas with a forearm, Almas forearms back. They brawl like this, Gargano enziguri Almas but he stays on. Gargano sees his opening, slingshot DDT to the apron!!
Both men slump to the ground, the referee checks on Almas. They’re both okay to continue, so the referee starts a ring count. Gargano drags Almas up and over at about 4, and they both get in at 7. Cover, TWO! Zelina keeps coaching, but Gargano slips around and slowly applies his hold. Almas revives just in time to resist the final phase. The two struggle and stand up, jawbreaker from Almas. He then wrenches Gargano’s arm but gets a forearm for it. Almas swings but Gargano spins him, the back elbow comes in from the other end. Zelina shouts orders, Almas runs, but into Gargano’s lariat! Gargano keeps moving, scooping Almas for the long dart! Gargano isn’t done there, and the fans know it. He takes aim, Zelina swipes at him, Almas dropkicks in the distraction! Almas hurries to do anything, but Gargano counters with a small package! TWO!! super feint to mule kick, then killer mule kick! TWO!! The fans still applaud this insanity and want them to “Fight Forever!” while repeating that “This is awesome!” Gargano gets up and crawls over to a corner. Almas chases at a crawl while Gargano climbs up. Almas anchors a foot but Gargano punches him away, but Almas sweeps the legs. Gargano hangs on as Almas climbs up now and keeps up those elbows. Almas reaches the top, draping stomps to the apron!
Gargano topples down and his eyes glaze over. Almas drags him up to shove him back into the LED board! He won’t let up, he keeps bouncing him off the board. The referee backs him off but Almas wont’ stay back. Almas drags Gargano up and in, then watches him in the corner. CIEN KNEES again!!
TWO!? No one can believe Gargano survived, but this is how much winning the NXT Championship means to him! Gargano’s eyes still look dazed, but fans still hope they “Fight Forever!” Almas and Gargano fight as best they can on the ground. Almas slaps Gargano, and fans boo the disrespect. He does it again, but Gargano keeps moving. They stand up, Gargano revives to throw a left haymaker. Then another, and another. Gargano keeps going, slapping Almas back. Almas chops Gargano, Gargano SUPERKICKS, then POISONED RANA!!
The fans fire up all over again, as does Gargano! Almas is the one dazed, Gargano gets running, tilt-o-hwirl into GargaNO Escape!!
Almas crawls and reaches, but fans chant “TAP! TAP!” The champ rolls but Gargano keeps a hold of him! Zelina reaches out for Almas and keeps him from tapping. The referee goes over to her, and in that time, Almas scratches Gargano’s eyes and gets him to let go! Almas goes over to Gargano, wants the hammerlock but Gargano power shim to a corner. Gargano shoves Almas over and out of the ring, then runs to DIVE!
He puts Almas in the ring, but then Zelina finds an opening to get on the apron and hit Gargano with a flying headscissors! Gargano is sent into steel steps!
Zelina shouts for Almas to fetch Gargano and he does. They return into the ring, Almas brings Gargano up, and hits the Hammerlock DDT!!
Almas covers, TWO!?!? Gargano lives!? Philly chants “YES! YES!” for the unofficial heir to Daniel Bryan’s legacy! The fans will not give up on “Johnny Wrestling!” but Zelina has hit her limit. She gets on the apron and shouts at the referee. Gargano rolls away in the meantime. Zelina storms her away around the ring, headed right for him, but in comes Candice to defend HER man!
Mrs. Wrestling unloads on La Gerente, then throws her right into the barriers!
The assault continues but Zelina retreats through the crowd! Candice gives chase, and now Almas is alone against Gargano. The fans say “Thank you, Candice!” while Gargano gets himself onto the apron. Almas comes over but Gargano kicks him away, to hit another slingshot DDT!!
TWO!? Even so, Gargano puts his GargaNO Escape back on! He bends Almas back and Almas endures, his legs get a ropebreak. Gargano lets go and Almas gets to the apron. Gargano goes out to join him, Almas shoves him into the post! The referee checks on Gargano as he slumps down, but Almas gets to the opposite ends. CIEN KNEES NUMERO TRES, and into the ring post!!
Almas leaves Gargano down and out on the outside. The referee checks on Gargano again, but Almas comes back over. Gargano somehow pulls himself up but Almas brings him the rest of the way. The fans keep cheering for Gargano as Almas drags him over the top rope, for a SUPER DRAPING HAMMERLOCK DDT!!
Almas covers, Almas finally wins. As Mauro Ranello puts it, “You could not ask for more out of an NXT Championship match.” Whether by hook or by crook, El Idolo inches out a win against Johnny Wrestling to remain NXT Champion. Zelina even returns to celebrate with her man. Has Almas earned a place in the conversation of top superstar in NXT?
As for Gargano, his wife, Candice, returns to check on him.
Mrs. Wrestling consoles Mr. Wrestling, he did nothing wrong in this match. Philadelphia also cheers for him and his superhuman effort. The chant of “Thank you, Johnny!” mixes with the others while Candice helps Gargano up the ramp. He turns around to give Philly one last look.
But then Tommaso Ciampa attacks from behind!!
The Psycho Killer returns to make Gargano’s loss even worse! Gargano writhes on the ground, and his former friend simply stares at him. Philly calls Ciampa an “Asshole!” but he doesn’t care what they think. Ciampa simply wants to make good on his promise to bring Gargano down with him. When will he strike again?
NXT just raised the bar on everything else in WWE with this special alone. Everything was brilliant from start to finish, and with no complaints from me. The NXT Year End Awards were fun to see presented in the preshow, and they truly went to the most deserving nominees. The NXT Tag Team Championships opening was a great surprise and completely works within story given the attitudes of the Authors of Pain. Obviously reDRagon were the underdogs despite being champions, and they played it up well. That said, they managed to exploit the one weakness all humans have, and that is the joints. There was great storytelling with going after Akam’s leg, and though it technically didn’t lose AoP the match, the leg came into play enough to help reDRagon come away with a win and those NXT Tag Team titles. This defeat likely means AoP could show up on the main roster as soon as Monday to do whatever they want to the main roster’s tag team divisions. Likewise, Ohno losing in a stellar match with Velveteen Dream could mean he’ll finally make his way to the main roster and perhaps freshen up the mid-card. If I had to choose, I’d put Ohno on SmackDown to challenge Bobby Roode for the US Championship.
The NXT Women’s Championship match was also incredible, and it felt like Philly legitimately disliked Shayna Baszler. Shayna played up her Heel persona perfectly, and there was again great storytelling through Ember’s arm injury. Ember’s character may not have gone the way it should have but she still impresses with how she persevered and found a way to win. Of course, Shayna ups the ante with a Sore Loser Heel move, she is not through with the Women’s Championship scene just yet. Aleister-Cole was the first Extreme Rules match for NXT, and probably the best one of those in the history of WWE as a whole. There was innovation in the destruction as well as legitimacy in the storytelling, such as reDRagon coming out to legally interfere on Cole’s behalf only to be thwarted by SAnitY. SAnitY are still owed NXT Tag Team Championship rematches, but Wrestlemania Weekend is so far away that the rematch will likely happen long before then. Either team could come away champions, but both teams will definitely give an amazing match. And probably the most amazing match ever was properly saved for last as Almas and Gargano tear it up and tear it down for the NXT Championship. I still can’t believe they went as long and as hard as they did even after it’s all said and done. I was also glad to see Candice get involved to stop Zelina from interfering, as she’s super close to making her own NXT debut. Almas still wins in this microscopically close match-up, so that he isn’t a transitional champion. While it means Gargano is swept 0-3, that in itself feeds his ultimate underdog story, and allows him and the returning Ciampa to feud over personal pride and disdain rather than the gold. And in which case, Ciampa VS Gargano in the feud we’ve been waiting for is going to be full of instant classics itself.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)
The three challengers to the Cruiserweight Championship will challenge each other in a Triple Threat! Who proves they’re Buddy Murphy’s biggest threat?
- Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik; Carrillo wins.
- Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa; Itami wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick hypes up the already exciting night for 205 Live!
It will be one of the most intriguing line-ups with some major implications towards the Cruiserweight Division’s future! First, Humberto Carrillo is officially part of 205 Live and has his second match on air against Lucha House Party’s King of the Ropes! Humberto showed heart against the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy, can he show even more against Gran Metalik? Then the Triple Threat main event pits Akira Tozawa, Hideo Itami and Kalisto against each other in one last match before the Cruiserweight Championship match! Who seizes a big advantage going into the title match?
Aiden English joins commentary!
The SmackDown superstar and symphony singer shifts gears to be alongside Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on the fastest hour of WWE!
Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik!
The man formerly known as Ultimo Ninja has been making quite the waves in NXT and even in his 205 Live debut last week. Humberto didn’t win against the Juggernaut, but he did impress everyone enough to earn his Cruiserweight contract! Will he have a better time against the King of the Ropes? Or will he go a quick 0-2?
The bell rings and Humberto shakes hands with Metalik to show respect. Fans like that, and applaud as the two tie up. Metalik gets a waistlock, but Humberto works his way out to a wristlock. Humberto wrenches but Metalik rolls and reverses. Metalik wrenches but Humberto handsprings and reverses back to a headlock. Fans applaud while Metalik powers out. Things speed up and Humberto shows his agility! He dodges the handspring but Metalik headscissors, only for Humberto to handspring through! They both dropkick but those cancel out, and fans applaud the stalemate. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as the two go again.
Metalik dodges Humberto to chop him and whip him. Humberto goes up and over and shows off more, then gets Metalik with an arm-drag. Humberto chops and goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! Metalik bails out but Humberto builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes Metalik down and Humberto lands on his feet! Humberto drags Metalik up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Humberto keeps on Metalik with a grounded wristlock, then brings Metalik up for a facelock. He suplexes Metalik down and floats to a cover, TWO! Humberto keeps his cool as he drags Metalik back up. He scoops and slams Metalik to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Fans fire up as Humberto moonsaults, but he gets boots! Metalik gets up and runs to Sling-Dog Humberto down! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps his cool as he drags Humberto up.
Metalik puts Humberto in a corner, CHOPS him, then whips corner to corner. Humberto reverses but Metalik walks the ropes to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik is surprised but focused as he wraps on a chinlock. Humberto endures as fans slowly build to a rally. Humberto feeds off the energy and fights out, but Metalik throws him back down. Metalik puts the chinlock back on, but Humberto endures again. Metalik brings Humberto up in the fireman’s carry but Humberto fights out. Hands start flying, then both men duck kicks, but Humberto comes back with an enziguri! Humberto covers, TWO! Metalik rolls to ropes while Humberto grits his teeth. Humberto hurries after Metalik and both men end up on the apron. Humberto brings Metalik up but Metalik boots him back. Metalik brings Humberto in but Humberto boots him.
Fans rally up as Metalik tosses Humberto over the corner. Humberto hits Metalik back then climbs up top. Humberlto hits Metalik with a SUPER Bulldog to the apron! It was a bit double-edged as Humberto hits the floor, but he forces himself back up. Humberto goes up top again as Metalik slowly stands. Humberto leaps for a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives and Humberto grows frustrated. Humberto and Metalik go to oppsite corners, and Humberto runs in. Metalik dodges but Humberto tumbles to the apron. Humberto SLAPS Metalik away, but Metalik comes back with a SUPER HURICANRANA! Both men crash and burn to the floor but fans fire up! The referee checks on them both but they’re somehow okay.
Metalik sits up first and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Fans echo it as he puts Humberto in the ring. Metalik climbs and springboards, Swanton! Cover, TWO!! Humberto survives and now Metalik is shocked. Metalik refocuses and waits for Humberto to stand. He drags Humberto up and onto the top rope, then CHOPS him for good measure. Metalik positions Humberto and climbs up to throw forearms. He even SLAPS Humberto to see what the young star has. Metalik prepares but Humberto resists. Humberto fights back and shoves Metalik. Metalik lands on his feet but runs into a boot. Humberto adjusts, leaps, and hits a missile dropkick! Humberto doesn’t cover, he headstands and rebounds for an Aztec Press! Cover, Humberto wins!!
Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
A huge victory over a 205 Live staple! And Metalik gives him the show of respect he earned. Humberto breaks even at 1-1, but will this first victory be the first of many?
Drake Maverick meets with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.
Clearly the ground game lobbyists of the Submission Commission are upset that a high-flyer was the first new Cruiserweight signed. But look at how impressive Humberto Carrillo is! Gulak and Gallagher have no words. They storm off but Tony Nese enters and wants a word with the GM. Nese wants a rematch with Noam Dar tonight. Well yes they are tied, and the fans would love seeing that tiebreaker. Maverick will consider it. Consider it? Well yes, he can’t just jump into it. The Rumble is Sunday, the title could change hands– Nese doesn’t care about any of that. Just consider what will happen if Nese doesn’t get his match. Dar has been running his mouth and Nese is tired of it. If Nese doesn’t get the match, then he’ll make his own opportunity. The Premier Athlete has sent his ultimatum, will Maverick take it seriously?
Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick speak.
Tozawa says that he’s “had some good times and bad times on 205 Live.” But the past doesn’t matter, this opportunity is huge. Tozawa didn’t travel around the world to be a joke, he came to the WWE to make a name for himself. He will become the two-time Cruiserweight Champion. But can he be the top contender after tonight’s Triple Threat?
The Lucha House Party speak.
Lince Dorado knows that 2019 will be a big year for the trio. They’re on both Raw and 205 Live, and they spared the joy of lucha libre to the WWE Universe. But the one thing that they’re missing and will take them to the next level is that Cruiserweight Championship! If one of them wins, they all win! And Kalisto is going to show all the others in that Fatal 4 Way that he IS a threat. Kalisto vows to be that two-time Cruiserweight Champion, with the power of “Lucha! Lucha!” But can speed kill when there are multiple opponents?
Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa!
The Lucha Dragon may have his amigos, the Innovator of the GTS may have his hype man, and the Stamina Monster may have the Man with a Plan, but who will have the momentum going into the title match this Sunday?
Before Hideo Itami makes his entrance, he and Ariya Daivari have an interview backstage. What would it mean to finally become Cruiserweight Champion? Daivari speaks for Itami, saying that as the only man who has not held that title, it makes Itami the hungriest and most dangerous superstar. The only thing missing from his already legendary career is WWE gold, so Itami will make an example out of his opponents tonight. Itami speaks in Japanese to say that he is coming for the Cruiserweight Championship by any means necessary. Itami makes his entrance, and we begin this match!
But wait, Buddy Murphy makes his presence known! The champion reminds his contenders what they’re fighting for while also keeping an eye on all three of them. And as a bonus, he joins commentary! The bell rings and Itami goes right at Kalisto and Tozawa! Murphy already knows commentary will talk about how a Fatal 4 Way means he could lose the title without being pinned, but that won’t matter because he’s not losing. In the ring, Itami keeps on Tozawa and throws him out. Itami then goes after Kalisto with haymakers and a whip. Kalisto kicks Itami back then runs to tilt-o-whirl haedscissors! He adds a dropkick, then chops Itami before going acrobatic for the arm-drag! Itami bails out but Tozawa returns, and Tozawa hits Kalisto with a missile dropkick! Kalisto bails out but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo blasts Kalisto into the announce desk!
Tozawa and Murphy stare down, but Itami knocks Tozawa into the desk now! Itami and Murphy stare down for a moment before Itami drags Tozawa up and throws him into barriers. Itami stomps Kalisto thenn puts him into the steel steps! Murphy is confident this won’t happen to him in the match. Itami kicks away on Tozawa then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Itami keeps on Tozawa with a whip, then a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Tozawa shows his toughness but Itami kicks him in the back. Itami boots Kalisto out and then soaks up the heat. Itami goes to Tozawa but Tozawa hits him back. But Itami still puts Tozawa in a chinlock to grind him down. Tozawa endures and moves around to a ropebreak.
Itami lets him go but drops elbows right on the back. He stomps Tozawa then goes after Kalisto. Kalisto hits back but Itami rocks him with a European Uppercut and a swift boot! Fans respect that with applause, as does Murphy. Itami goes back to Tozawa and covers, TWO. Itami keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock but Tozawa again endures. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa fights out but Itami knees low. Itami runs but into a huricanrana! Tozawa gets Itami with a saido suplex! Kalisto leaps in but into a dropkick! Tozawa quickly covers Kalisto, TWO! Now he covers Itami, TWO! Tozawa keeps his cool but both Kalisto and Itami go to the apron. Fans echo “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he goes after Kalisto with a forearm. Tozawa builds speed again, but runs into Itami’s lariat! Cover, but Kalisto breaks it in time!
All three men are down and Murphy is amused. Fans build to a rally as all three men slowly stir. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, and Itami hits Kalisto. Kalisto hits Tozawa again, Tozawa hits Itami again, and Itami hits Kalisto again. The rotation continues like this as the three men stand up. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto. Kalisto CHOPS Tozawa, Tozawa CHOPS Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto! The rotation continues as Kalisto kicks Tozawa, but Tozawa fakes Itami out to hit Itami and Kalisto with jabs! Tozawa is the only one standing, and even Murphy applauds that. Fans chant “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he runs at Itami. Itami boots him away then climbs up to tornado hotshot Tozawa down. Itami climbs up and makes sure Murphy is watching, but Kalisto kicks Itami!
Kalisto climbs with fans chanting “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto clubs away on Itami as they both stand. He wants the superplex but Itami resists. Tozawa adds on and helps Kalisto, but then Murphy joins in! This is a Triple Threat, so no disqualifications as Murphy helps make this a Tower of Doom!! The Juggernaut says this is just a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, but the referee still insists he leave. Murphy doesn’t listen as he throws Itami into a corner to stomp a mudhole into him. He then goes after Kalisto with a heavy forearm, and then throws Tozawa into a corner for another mudhole. Fans duel but Murphy soaks it all up. Murphy goes after Kalisto again but Kalisto kicks him away. Murphy staggers into Tozawa’s boot, then into double SUPERKICKS! Kalisto gives Murphy a Salida del Sol! And Tozawa adds his Tozawa Torpedo!
But then things return to the match as Kalisto knee-board sentons onto Tozawa! Kalisto drags himself back into the ring, and Itami boots him down! Itami drags Tozawa into the ring, stands him up, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Itami is furious but he won’t let off Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up for a strike fest, but Tozawa dodges to give his own. The swinging roundhouse hits! But Kalisto springboards for a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Everyone is down, but Tozawa crawls to a corner. Kalisto runs in at him for a kick to the stomach! Kalisto hauls Tozawa up top and rocks him with another kick. He climbs up to join Tozawa, prepares a superplex, but Itami attacks. Kalisto headbutts Itami then dumps him out hard. He kicks Tozawa again, climbs up again, and SUPER STEINERS! But Tozawa held on and Kalisto hits the floor!
Tozawa stands, leaps, SUPER SENTON! But Kalisto avoids it! Itami blasts Kalisto witht he dropkick, then hits Tozawa with the GTS Mk. II, aka the Sakura Knee! Cover, Itami wins!
Winner: Hideo Itami, by pinfall
If Murphy made this a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, then we just saw Itami survive them all and win! Will Murphy change things when it really is a Fatal 4 Way? Will Itami repeat this performance? Or will one of the former champions become champion again?
A solid go-home for 205 Live here, and Aiden English did great on commentary. Percy Watson was okay, but he does better on NXT because it’s not live. And for whatever reason, there seemed to be more fans and more invested fans than last week. And that was fortunate, as Humberto Carrillo has another great match with Gran Metalik. Humberto wins now that he’s officially part of the Cruiserweight Division, and also because it wouldn’t be good for him to lose twice already. Metalik is safe in losing, it helps build Humberto up. I’m pretty sure Humberto is going up against Gulak & Gallagher soon enough, so that’ll also be great for him. He’s a great talent, so he’ll get to the title soon enough, he just needs to build himself up in the eyes of live audiences.
Nese VS Dar 3 is coming, but with Nese making that threat, it’ll probably be after he attacks Dar backstage. The tiebreaker blow-off should feed into a contenders scenario. If anything, including Nese and Dar in a bigger contenders match would be nice, too. Like a Triple Threat that throws in Cedric Alexander, who has history with both men, or a Fatal 4 Way to include Lio Rush because he needs his chance. Tonight’s Triple Threat turning into an unofficial Fatal 4 Way was smart, too, as it keeps the three contenders relatively equal. Itami wins and could defy the math, but I wonder if this opens the door to a two-time champion in Kalisto or Tozawa. Kalisto implying Lucha House Party is like the New Day with Freebird-ing a singles title would be an interesting story to go with, but maybe that’s why it won’t be him.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)
SmackDown prepares for the Royal Rumble in the biggest ways! Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas, 2 out of 3 Falls! Who gains momentum while breaking the tie?
- Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
- The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Cesaro wins.
- Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas; Mysterio wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Man starts off SmackDown!
Becky Lynch prepares for her shot at the Empress of Tomorrow at the Royal Rumble PPV, but she’s here in Wichita to say that there’s nothing more than she likes than being in the ring fighting. But The Man has something to say first. It wasn’t too long ago that no one paid attention to Becky. But now everyone has an opinion on who and what she should be. Becky will say this: the only thing The Man should be doing is main-eventing Wrestlemania! Fans agree with that! And she’ll slap the heads off anyone and everyone who gets in her way. That journey starts on Sunday, against Asuka. Becky’s watched Asuka clean out NXT, steamroll the main roster, and is undoubtedly one of the best. “But I’m better.”
Becky reminds us that Asuka never beat Becky for the title. And the fact that isn’t eating her up tells Becky something. The others have warmed themselves on the fire Becky lit, but things change at the Rumble. Becky has dethroned a Queen, and will break the Empress! Becky will walk through fire and brimstone- But speaking of the Empress, here comes Asuka! Asuka stands across the ring from Becky and holds up the belt. She tells Becky in Japanese that she’s not intimidated by the talk. Fans duel as these two argue, but here comes Charlotte! The Queen is going to be in the Women’s Rumble, but she has a mic to tell both Becky and Asuka tonight that “As much as I’m enjoying this, and excited for your match this Sunday”, nothing will be better than her throwing out 29 other women to win the Rumble.
And then the choices she’s got on her plate. Ronda VS Sasha, but Sasha’s someone Charlotte’s beaten so many times, and has beaten the Hell out of Ronda via “Ken” the kendo stick. Then Asuka VS Becky, Charlotte broke the Empress’ Streak, and “The Man” may have gotten her the last few months, but Charlotte has owned the division for four years. And Charlotte IS the Main Event! Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” but Asuka fires off on Becky! A brawl goes down in the ring and Charlotte watches in amusement. Fans cheer but referees come out to break this fight up! Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and they do fight, but security comes out to try their hand. It’s no good, Becky gets after Asuka now! Asuka throws Becky into barriers then stomps away! The brawl continues, and Becky throws Asuka over the announce desk!
Referees and security reprimand Becky but she uses her own jacket to whiplash Asuka over and over! The Lass Kicker stands tall, to then clobber Asuka back down! Fans are thunderous as Becky finally backs off. Asuka gets up and is furious, but she’ll have to wait for Sunday to settle things. With this level of fire inside both of them, which woman will blaze a trail down the Road to Wrestlemania?
The brawl continues backstage!
Asuka caught up to Becky and the fight again has to be pulled apart! Will these two even make it to Phoenix?!
Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!
The Glow found out about the Golden Goddess trying to seduce and humiliate her husband, but she threw down in the hotel room. This fight finishes in the ring, will Naomi make Mandy #FeeltheGlow in the strongest way? Or will Mandy dim the lights instead?
Naomi doesn’t wait for the bell! She charges through Sonya and gets right at Mandy on the ramp! She throws Mandy into the apron then into the ring. Naomi wants to keep going, but Mandy SLAPS her! The bell rings and now things are official as Naomi fires off slaps of her own! She tops it off with a backhand and Mandy rolls out. Mandy regroups with Sonya while we go picture in picture. Sonya helps Mandy catch her breath and Mandy returns. Naomi is right on Mandy but Mandy puts Naomi in the corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole then backs off at the count of 4. Naomi gets up and SLAPS Mandy! Naomi snapmares and runs for the sliding lariat! Leg drop cover, TWO! Naomi keeps on Mandy with an armlock while Mandy checks her nose.
Naomi wrenches and Mandy endures. But Naomi rubs Mandy’s face into the mat, then pulls her hair before stomping her back down. Mandy checks her nose again as Naomi scoops and slams her. Naomi runs and drops the splits! Cover, TWO! But Naomi doesn’t let up, she’s right back on Mandy with a facelock. They stand up and Naomi whips. Mandy reverses but Naomi slides and shoulders back in. Sonya runs in but gets a kick, Mandy blasts Naomi with a knee! Mandy drags Naomi up and in and covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Naomi with a rain of right hands! She drags Naomi up for a thrashing chinlock, but now Naomi endures. Naomi fights her way up but Mandy reels her in. Naomi dodges and rolls Mandy up, TWO! Jawbreaker as we return to single picture!
Naomi roundhouses Mandy, then runs for lariats and elbows! Mandy clotheslines Naomi back down then covers, TWO! Mandy glares at Naomi as she stomps her back down. She kicks Naomi to the ropes then chokes her against them. Mandy lets up at 4 while fans boo and jeer. Mandy drags Naomi up for forearms in a corner, but backs off at 4 again. Naomi boots back, and hits the enziguri! She kicks Mandy while she’s down, then stands her up for forearms of her own! Mandy shoves Naomi away, but Naomi come back to hit a huricanrana! Mandy staggers about and Naomi runs, but is put on the apron. Naomi hits Mandy away, but Sonya anchors feet. Mandy takes advantage by shoving Naomi into the post! Cover, Mandy wins!
Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall
The duo formerly known as Absolution works together for victory! However, the Royal Rumble is always every superstar for themselves. Will Sonya be willing to help Mandy then? Will Mandy go into business for herself? Or will Naomi get back at both of them with an elimination?
Rey Mysterio speaks.
“2006, I was in the Royal Rumble match for over an hour.” He used every trick he had to survive. His speed got the better of bigger competitors. His training gave him the stamina to never slow down. And his will to keep fighting shocked the world. This Sunday, Rey looks to repeat history. But tonight is about respect as he faces Andrade Almas again. Almas took a shortcut to win, but now he won’t have La Muneca ringside. The playing field is even, and Almas will learn that in order to gain respect, he has to earn it. Who will earn massive momentum towards this year’s Royal Rumble match?
The Miz meets with Shane McMahon.
Is he ready? He’s ready. The Most Must-See Superstar takes on the Swiss Cyborg up next!
The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!
The #BestTagTeamintheWorld challenges The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Sunday, and the Hollywood A-Lister looks for a singles sweep leading into it! He got the better of the Celtic Gladiator on Shane O’Mac’s birthday, and Shane even got to give Sheamus a Coast2Cake dropkick. Can Miz gain his team more momentum tonight? Or will Cesaro save the champs from going 0-2 against 1/3rd Best in the World?
The bell rings and Sheamus distracts right away so Cesaro can blast Miz with big European Uppercuts! Cesaro does not let up on the EuroUppers until the ref counts 4! Cesaro then deadlift gut wrenches and tosses Miz! The Swiss Cyborg taunts Shane then drags Miz up for a headlock. Miz powers out and things speed up, but Miz gets caught into a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Miz with a whip but Miz reverses. Miz runs, blocks the boot and kicks the leg against the ropes! Miz backs off, but runs back into another EuroUpper. Cesasro dumps Miz but Miz sunset flips to the Figure Four! Miz has Cesaro in the legendary leg lock but he heads for the ropes. Sheamus helps Cesaro get the ropebreak, then helps him escape the ring.
Miz goes for the wrecking ball dropkick, but gets another EuroUpper for it! The Bar is fired up but Shane keeps Sheamus in check while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Miz fights out of a headlock. Cesaro throws hands but Miz counter punches! Miz backs Cesaro down with rights and lefts, then kicks! Miz goes corner to corner for a dropkick! He keeps going and hits another dropkick! Miz wants a hat trick, and hits the A-List lariat! Fans fire up and Shane applauds while Sheamus panics. Miz climbs up but leaps into another EuroUpper! Cesaro has feet on the ropes but Shane stops that! Sheamus come around and runs Shane over! Miz rolls Cesaro, TWO! Cesaro swings but into a full nelson. He elbows out of the Finale and puts Miz on the ropes. Cesaro chokes, Sheamus gets a cheap shot! Gotch Neutralizer!! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
But Shane comes back with a vengeance on Sheamus! Cesaro goes after Shane but gets those same fast hands! Shane shoves Cesaro into a post, then clocks him again! Fans are riled up for Shane as he clears off the announce desk! Shane puts Cesaro on top then climbs up high. Fans are anticipating Shane’s trademark madness, but Sheamus shoves Shane down at the barriers! Sheamus drags Miz up to throw him into a post, then The Bar mugs Shane! Cesaro feeds Shane to a BROGUE!! Fans boo and jeer as The Bar stomp away on Shane, but Miz shields Shane with his body. Miz gets clubbing hands and then dragged over to the table.
Cesaro scares off the referee while Sheamus drags Shane up. The Bar work together, to body slam Shane through Miz and the table!! Fans lose their minds over this, but does this mean Shane & Miz will lose out on those titles?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
The Beacon of Light was meant to face the Destroyer in a match last week, but the Destroyer decided to destroy Ali before the bell ever rang! Joe left Ali for dead, but Ali being a former Chicago police officer, he doesn’t back down so easily. Ali learned that eyes tell the whole story. Joe gave Ali a beating and kept asking “Do you understand?!”
Ali understands, but it wasn’t the punching and post tosses that told him. It was Joe’s eyes. And those eyes said Ali wasn’t worthy. Those eyes said Ali was just an example being made. Those eyes said Ali was nothing in Joe’s eyes. But now Joe will have to look into Ali’s eyes and see a man with no fear. It will be a light so bright the darkness has nowhere to hide. Ali’s eyes say he can win. But will his body back up what his eyes are saying?
Vince McMahon sees what happened to his son.
He watches backstage as referees and medics help Shane and Miz get up. Somehow Shane and Miz are okay after what The Bar did, but Vince can’t worry about them right now. He has to keep the peace between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles in their face-to-face encounter, next!
Vince McMahon heads to the ring!
Wichita greets The Chairman with an ovation as he enters. He’ll hold his thoughts to himself about what just happened to Shane, but he’s sure that tag title match will be incredible. And that brings him to the two most passionate and athletic superstars on SmackDown having their own title match on Sunday. First, the challenger and former champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles! Styles makes his entrance, and fans give him an ovation. Then, the champion himself, “The New” Daniel Bryan! Fans boo this time for the man who killed the Yes Movement.
But Bryan doesn’t stand in the ring, despite this being a “face-to-face.” Bryan claims this is a trap, and refuses to step into a ring with the “sociopath”, the same man who slammed Bryan into a bunch of “animal carcasses” last week. Bryan’s too embarrassed to stand in the same ring as a man who pandered to the people. He had a vision of the future of AJ Styles once again being WWE Champion. It is an ignorant future, an impotent future and an illiterate future! AJ Styles cannot be allowed to have the title, because he uses it for fame and fortune. Bryan uses it for the “greater good”! Greater good? Is that “Greater good” Bryan acting like a jackass?
This behavior is why the fans want Styles to be their champion. He makes them laugh and cheer and jump around, but he doesn’t make them think or feel guilty when they should feel guilty every day of their lives! Bryan doesn’t care about their feelings, because he’s not the “People’s Champion”, he’s the Planet’s Champion! The planet doesn’t need Styles, it needs Bryan to use this platform to be its voice. If the planet had a voice, it’d be shouting for Bryan to shut up. Styles doesn’t remember Bryan pedaling a bike here. He probably got on a plane to get here. There’s a word for that: fickle. Fans echo “Fickle!” at Bryan. And Bryan talks of being embarrassed? That’s not the feeling. It’s fear.
Styles stood across from many men and has seen that look in their eyes, too. Bryan is afraid of what will happen at the Royal Rumble. Bryan should be afraid. He’s corrupted himself just to have the title. But what happens when he no longer has that title? What will Bryan have left? “Nothing.” Bryan quotes Carl Sagan, but Vince insists he get in the ring. Fans say “YES! YES!” but Bryan knows Vince obviously doesn’t want to listen. The Baby Boomers are the greatest parasites of this world! These fans bow down to Vince, but they don’t realize that Vince’s entire generation just takes and takes but never gives back! They BOW to Vince for it! It’s like Vince just pulled this incredible illusion to conceal the economic debt, but fans are satisfied with social media garbage.
Meanwhile, Vince hordes the wealth and power! Vince has created such an environment where someone like Styles can be a hero! Damn it, Bryan, get in the ring! Styles knows Vince advertised a face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in a ring. Styles chases Bryan on the outside! And catches him! Styles throws haymakers then throws Bryan into barriers! Bryan scampers away but Styles keeps on him, throwing him into steel steps! Styles puts Bryan in the ring, takes aim, and springboards, but Bryan uses Vince as a shield! Styles aborts but gets the Knee Plus for it! Fans boo as Bryan takes the belt and retreats. The New Daniel Bryan won’t have anywhere to run at the Rumble, will the real AJ Styles get that belt back?
R-Truth and Carmella talk about their respective Royal Rumble matches.
Truth is excited to be Mr. 30 and book his trip to face the Phenomenal AJ Styles or the New Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. So not the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar’s champion? No, Truth does not want to go to Sioux Falls City. No it’s Suplex City. Same thing. But Truth wouldn’t mind trying the Cruiserweight Champion, Bobby Murphy. No it’s Buddy Murphy. And there’s a weight limit to that Division, Truth. Oh so he’s fat? No he’s just not 205! As for Carmella, she encounters Charlotte. Charlotte thinks she’s just going to waltz her way into the Rumble and Mania? She wasn’t even in last year’s. This isn’t’ just any match, it’s a tornado. You gotta keep a head on the swivel and hold onto the ropes. Plus, Carmella’s Ms. 30, the #GatekeeperinGucci. No one gets through her.
Charlotte tells Carmella it’s fine to be confident. Being 30th is an advantage, but Charlotte is Charlotte. And with a trip to Mania on the line, the match isn’t a tornado, Charlotte is. Who will survive their respective Rumble matches to headline the Greatest Show in Sports Entertainment?
Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe!
The Beacon of Light said his peace, but The Destroyer’s expression says it all for him on his way out. This match will finally happen, who will send the biggest message this close to the Royal Rumble?
SmackDown returns as Ali makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Ali and Joe approach and Joe throws those swift jabs! Joe stomps Ali in the corner, then grinds his boot in. He scrapes Ali out of the ring, then pursues while trash talking. Joe stand Ali for a CHOP, and Ali staggers to the ramp. Joe drags Ali up and says Ali still doesn’t understand. He throws Ali at the post but Ali hops up to fly back for a crossbody! Ali keeps on Joe with fast hands, and both men get in the ring. Ali dropkicks Joe down, then throws haymakers! The ref counts and backs Ali off, but Joe CHOPS Ali off his feet! Joe drags Ali up and headbutts him back down.
Joe drags Ali up by his hair to then throw into buckles. He runs but misses, Ali forearms him away! Ali slingshots but into throat chops! Ali crashes and burns, we go picture in picture. Joe leaves Ali down and out while a ring count climbs. But Joe then goes out to fetch Ali with a grin, and drags him up for roundhouses. Joe paces around Ali like a shark with blood in the water before putting Ali back in. He rains down rights and stomps on Ali, still smirking. He sits Ali up into an arm surfboard and digs a knee into Ali’s back. Ali endures and powers up to fight out! He runs, but into Joe’s elbow! Joe glares down at the dazed Ali before covering, TWO! Ali lives but Joe is just annoyed. Joe drives his elbow into Ali’s head, then looms over him menacingly.
Joe puts Ali in a corner and gives more jabs and elbows. He stops at 4, but Ali crawls after Joe. Joe says Ali asked for this, and throws hands, but Ali counter punches! Ali backs Joe down then whips, but Joe reverses. Joe runs in for the back elbow and Pele! Ali goes down, Joe covers, TWO! Joe grows further annoyed, but he just smirks as he looks down at Ali. He drags Ali up for a neck wrench, but Ali endures again. Fans rally up and Ali powers up. Ali fights back but Joe knees low and backs Ali down. Joe whips corner to corner but Ali slips out to hit back. Ali slingshots for the facebuster! But he’s too tired to cover! Fans rally up as the ref counts. Both men stir and stand.
Ali ducks the punch to dropkick Joe back! And another dropkick sends Joe out. Ali builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit! Joe staggers but Ali pursues, but Joe puts him in the timekeeper’s area. Ali returns with a leaping crossbody! He tackles Joe down and rains down rights! Ali drags Joe up but Joe shoves him into the ring. Joe returns but Ali kicks and SUPERKICKS, and SUPERKICKS again! Joe staggers, Ali leaps, tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali can’t believe Joe lives, but he doesn’t’ give up. He drags Joe over to a drop zone and climbs up. Joe trips Ali up, then drags him into the Coquina Clutch! Ali flails but Joe drops down with the body scissors! Ali taps, Joe wins!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission
But Joe won’t let go until Ali falls asleep! Joe sends his message to Ali and the other 28 superstars entering the Men’s Rumble. Will Joe destroy the entire field? Or will there be a shining light in his way?
The New Day do Royal Rumble research.
They watch the many saves of Kofi Kingston’s career. Kayla Braxton comes in to ask them about The New Day going every man for himself. Everyone asks this question! Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Mike Rome, now Kayla? Is Tony Chimel gonna ask next? He does! Chimel, be gone! Be gone, Chimel! “Every man for himself”, but that doesn’t matter to The New Day. When one of them wins, they all win! Now, they’ll dog walk erryone, but Kofi wonders if this is the year he can’t save himself. Woods and Big E keep Kofi’s chin up, and Kofi gets an idea. He has a new idea! But he’s not telling you, Kayla. Kayla, no no no. What will Kofi do to keep himself in the Rumble this time? Will this finally be the year he actually wins?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas!
The King of Lucha Libre and El Idolo have gone back and forth, and now they’ll settle things in the main event before the Royal Rumble! Without Zelina Vega, can Almas stay tranquilo? Or will Mysterio show Cien how it’s done?
The bell rings and we begin the first fall. Almas and Mysterio approach and Almas fires of kicks and punches. He whips and elbows Mysterio down, then drags Mysterio up for a shove. Mysterio kicks back then runs again, but into a torture rack. Almas swings but Mysterio makes it an arm-drag! Mysterio aims at Almas on the outside for a flying huricanrana! Almas is down and we go to break!
SmackDown returns again, and Almas looms over Mysterio. Almas whips but Mysterio reverses, only to be put on the apron. Mysterio shoulders in then swing kicks Almas away. Almas is dazed while Mysterio catches his breath. Mystiero springboards for the seated senton! He keeps moving to springboard again but into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Almas keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio back up. Almas hammerlocks but Mysterio slips out to sunset flip DESTROYER! Cover, TWO! Mysterio keeps calm and heads to a corner. He hops up as Almas crawls over, flying wheelbarrow to victory roll, but Almas counters! TWO, and Almas puts Mysterio on the top rope. Mysterio adjusts but Almas trips him up! Almas climbs now, but Mysterio trips him up!
Mysterio goes to the outside, CHOPS Almas, then climbs up to join him. Almas fights Mysterio then gets a fireman’s carry. Mysterio stops Almas, then adjusts to SUPER- No, the Steiner is blocked to a SUPER SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, Almas gets the first fall!
Almas – 1; Mysterio – 0
But this is just the first! The second fall begins, but both men have already given so much. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as both men catch their breath. Almas stands while Mysterio leans on the ropes. The ref gives the signal, and Almas kicks Mysterio. Powerbomb lift, rebound, another sit-out! Cover, TWO!! Mysterio survives this bomb, but Almas just fires himself up. Almas drags Mysterio up for another bomb, but Mysterio pops through for another DESTROYER!! Cover, Mysterio gets the second fall!
Almas – 1; Mysterio – 1
Things are tied up faster than a hiccup, and now it all comes down to this third and final fall! Both men are down and catching their breath, so we go to one last break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Mysterio dodges Almas in the corner! Almas crashes and burns from corner to floor! Mysterio recovers in the ring while Almas is down and out. Mysterio takes aim, builds up speed, and slides, but into the facelock! Almas drags Mysterio out but Mysterio shoves him into barriers. Mysterio adds an enziguri, but the 10 count climbs. Mysterio returns to the ring at 6, but he’s not gonna leave Almas alone. Sliding sunset bomb into the barriers! Mysterio drags himself away from Almas and gets himself some water. Fans are loving this as Mysterio returns to Almas. He puts Almas in the ring then takes aim from the apron. Fans fire up as he springboards, West Coast Pop! Cover, TWO!! Almas lives but both he and Mysterio are exhausted.
Fans rally up with chants of “619!”, and Mysterio goes to Almas at the apron. Almas drags Mysterio into the draping armbar! Almas lets go at 4, and fans boo as Almas fires himself up. He goes after Mysterio, and throws him into buckles hard. Almas soaks up the heat, and even shimmies like Latino Heat, as he drags Mysterio up. He throws Mysterio at the corner again but Mysteiro stops himself. Mysterio puts Almas on the apron but Almas forearms him back. Almas shoulders in but into Mysterio’s knee. Mysteiro slingshots for another sunset flip powerbomb, but Almas back flips through! Mysterio rolls up but into a bomb to the post! ALmas puts Mysterio in fast, drags him up, hammerlock DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Mysterio survives and Almas cannot believe it! Almas grits his teeth while fans rally for Mysterio again.
Almas goes after Mysterio’s arm with a Fujiwara! Mysterio endures and rolls around, but Almas holds on. Almas brings Mysterio back down but Mysterio refuses to quit. Mysterio drags himself over but Almas drags him away! Almas adds leverage with his legs but fans cheer Mysterio on. Mysterio keeps moving, rolls through, but Almas pushes for a cover. ONE, and Mysterio springs up to the ropes. But Almas trips him up, only for Mysterio to make it a roll up! TWO, and Almas quickly puts Mysterio up on his shoulders. Mysterio hits a reverse-rana! He crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted, but Mysterio forces himself back tot he apron. Springboard huricanrana puts Almas on the ropes! Mysterio dials it up, 619 connects! But wait, Samoa Joe!? He apron bombs Mysterio!!
Winners: Rey Mysterio, by disqualification
Mysterio gets the second fall but not the way anyone wanted! But Joe isn’t just after him, he goes right after Almas, too! He throws Almas right into the post, then goes back to Mysterio on the outside. Joe puts Mysterio in the ring, and drags him into the Coquina! Mysterio can’t tap, he’s got nothing left! Joe lets Mysterio go and demands a microphone. “I told you people I came here to make a statement!” And what he just did is exactly what he’ll do to 24 other Rumble entrants. “Because my name is Samoa Joe”– RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! The Viper returns after being gone for weeks! Randy Orton is another of the Rumble participants, is he going to be the one in Joe’s way?
What a great SmackDown go-home! We have another opening talk segment, but it was to great effect with Charlotte coming out to stake her claim, and then we get that awesome brawl. It was great to have the return from commercial have even more brawling, it really boosts the heat between Becky and Asuka. I’ve been talking about a Triple Threat at Mania, but it really is a shame if it’ll be at the expense of Asuka. The title match will be great, but a part of me wouldn’t mind if Asuka retained and Becky found a different way to go after Ronda. And with hyping Charlotte and Carmella for the Women’s Rumble, I bet Charlotte wins after all to complete the Triple Threat.
Naomi VS Mandy was a surprisingly good match, but that recap package, I feel like this entire story has been about paralleling USA Network’s original reality show, Temptation Island. Ugh. Things like this are why it’ll be better for SmackDown to get on Fox. But as for this story, it’s probably not over since Mandy and Sonya had to cheat. Naomi might find herself a tag team partner to go against them both, and even be part of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, and that will serve as the blow-off.
Vince McMahon’s presence was better used here than on Raw. He helped the show transition from the great Miz VS Cesaro and subsequent beat down into the champion-challenger face-to-face. With the beating The Bar gave Miz and Shane, I’m really hoping Miz and Shane win the belts. It’s not burying The Bar but pushing the Miz-Shane story further. I almost don’t want them to fight each other now, Miz and Shane are doing pretty good together, but it might still happen. And then things can truly be freshened up in the SmackDown Tag Division so a team like SAnitY or Heavy Machinery can come into prominence. Then the Styles-Bryan face-to-face was good, with Bryan’s newest Eco-Heel promo and Vince just not having any of it. Bryan gets away while standing tall, I wonder if that means Styles wins.
Ali VS Joe was good, but naturally Joe won. Ali is talented, and he had a great video promo a la his 205 Live promos, but he’s just not at the level to defeat Joe yet. Mysterio VS Almas was incredible, but Joe attacking at the end was both awful and perfect. Mysterio VS Almas can’t settle just yet, not on a go-home, and Joe makes himself a real threat for the Rumble. But wow, what a great way for Orton to return! RKO Outta Nowhere is classic and effective. I don’t really want Orton to win the Rumble, but there were rumors of Orton VS Styles at Mania. Even if Rollins wins to give us Finn VS Rollins 2, Orton can still find a way through Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. It’s not really the match I want, but it might be coming after all.
My Score: 8.5/10