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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/6/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Charlotte Flair VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad; Charlotte wins.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS jobbers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Rusev; Roode wins and retains the WWE US Championship.
  • Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS The Ascension; Benjamin & Gable win.
  • WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; thrown out due to interference, both Kevin & Sami and will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane, in a Triple Threat.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, is already in the ring.

Shane O’Mac welcomes Kansas City to the show, and admits that he’s not so excited about tonight’s main event. The reason is that the stakes have “epic implications”, as it is to decide who faces AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. Shane personally feels neither Kevin nor Sami deserve another chance, but he respects the man who does, and that is SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan, who now makes his own entrance.

Kansas City greets Bryan with a “YES! YES!” ovation while he enters the ring. Bryan and Shane hear the cheers before Shane continues. SmackDown is the Land of Opportunity, and that’s what these two agreed to. They vowed to listen to the WWE Universe, and the WWE Universe determines a lot that goes on. It is then Shane’s and Bryan’s responsibility to fulfill those wants. However, Shane doesn’t think Bryan is listening. Fans chant “Rusev Day!” to make their own point. “Duly noted.” That said, Bryan keeps giving the same two superstars opportunities, but maybe the fans want someone else.

Bryan knows that Shane saw the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble, there was a mistake made. Bryan is making a negative into a positive where two of Shane’s least favorites would “rip each other apart” for that opportunity. And honestly, Bryan expected a raise. Let’s not get carried away now, even though fans chant “YES!” Was that also duly noted? Shane counters, by admitting that he looks forward to Kevin & Sami ripping each other’s heads off, but what bothers Shane is the many second chances Bryan keeps giving them. It is difficult to understand why Bryan is constantly giving these opportunities to #Kami. Shane understands that what Bryan has done in the WWE changed the WWE forever. Fans agree to that with more “YES! YES!” And while there are similarities, #Kami is not Bryan. The “Yep Movement” is just a cheap imitation of Bryan’s greatest creation. Think about this, Bryan: do not allow #Kami to manipulate you.

Shane knows Bryan sympathizes, and that more than anything, Bryan would love to compete in the ring for himself. Fans also agree! Bryan speaks up: “What exactly is it that I’m doing?” Everyone sees it: Bryan is living vicariously through #Kami. Now AJ Styles appears!

The fans chants “AJ Styles!” and Styles speaks. In just 2018 alone, Styles has traveled thousands of miles defending his title. He’s been all over the world because that is what he does. Styles was put on this planet to be Phenomenal! And he can deal with bumps and bruises, he can deal with being away from home, “that’s part of the grind” that Styles was built for. But what Styles can’t stand is SmackDown management “obsessing” over #Kami. He doesn’t just mean Bryan, he also means Shane. Every decision about #Kami affects Styles. Styles doesn’t care because SmackDown is “The House that AJ Styles Built”, so just do him a favor: “Stay out of the way tonight.” The champion makes his own luck, and can keep his title to go on to Wrestlemania. The Phenomenal One leaves, message sent. Can management sort this all out and finally put their #KamiConspiracies to rest?

 

The New Day enjoys pancakes.

But they’re also answering questions from the WWE Universe on Twitter. “Do you think Corey Graves has a better jab or left hook?” They’re gonna see! The New Day is spending the night in the Social Media Lounge, just use #AskTheNewDay!

 

AJ Styles walks backstage but encounters Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style again says that he’s going to beat Styles at Wrestlemania. Can Styles hold on through Fastlane to take on another top tier threat to his title reign?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion wants revenge on little Ms. #LivStrong for last week, but she should worry about the Squad being ringside. Is the champion’s pride getting the better of her this far out from Fastlane?

The bell rings and Charlotte goes right at Liv! She puts Liv in the corner and rams in her shoulders while the Squad freaks out. THe referee keeps Ruby and Sarah back, Charlotte stomps a mudhole into Liv. Liv falls out of the ring but Charlotte keeps on her on the outside while we go picture in picture.

Charlotte slaps Liv before putting her back in the ring, but again has to be wary of the Squad. Liv pounces but then Charlotte counters with a takedown. Charlotte drives Liv’s head into the mat again and again! She then drops a knee on Liv, then drags her up into a corner. Liv boots back, but runs into Charlotte’s lariat. Charlotte sees the Squad scramble to Liv’s side, and dares Liv to return. The Squad coaches Liv back up and in, but Charlotte gets a waistlock on Liv. Liv elbows out then whips but Charlotte reverses. Liv dodges and Charlotte hits buckles, but then CHarlotte elbows back. She puts Liv on the apron, but Ruby distracts. Liv takes advantage again, inverted hotshot! She covers, TWO, so Liv hammers away with forearms. Now Liv drives Charlotte’s head into the mat, before wrapping on a seated straitjacket stretch. Charlotte endures the bend, but Liv starts thrashing her around. Liv stays on top of Charlotte, mocking the “WOO~!” She slams Charlotte into the mat elbows first, then sits her up to drive a knee into her back. Charlotte continues to endure, then works her way back up to her feet. Liv grounds her again as we go back to single picture.

The fans boo and jeer while Liv trash talks and mocks the “WOO~” some more. She stalks Charlotte to the ropes and kicks her while she’s down. Liv puts Charlotte in a corner, then brings her to another for a buckle bump. Charlotte knees back and Liv goes down. Liv returns but Charlotte backs her off with chops! Liv falls down and the fans fire up with Charlotte. Charlotte scoops and throws Liv overhead! Then she boots Liv in the face!

Charlotte drags Liv into position then literally walks over her to climb up, but Liv yanks her down to the mat. Both women are down and the referee checks on them. The Squad coaches Liv back up, Liv gives Charlotte the jumping double stomps! Cover, TWO, and Liv grows frustrated. She returns to the straitjacket stretch, sitting right on Charlotte’s back. The fans rally, and Charlotte feeds off the energy. Charlotte lifts Liv up on her shoulders, but Liv rolls through, TWO! Liv swings but gets spun around into the neckbreaker, and the spear! Sarah distracts on the apron but gets tackled off to the floor!

Ruby drags Liv out to save her, and Charlotte gets pissed. However, the referee ejects The Squad! The Squad is furious, and now Liv is all alone! Charlotte fetches Liv back into the ring, Liv misses her enziguri, Charlotte boots her down again! And from there, Charlotte puts Liv in the Figure Four, and then the Figure Eight!

Liv endures, taps, Charlotte wins! The Queen stands tall tonight, can she hold on to her title all the way to Wrestlemania?

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Will the outcome of his match with Sami Zayn affect their friendship? Wow, a great question for once. But she’s asking the wrong person. She should ask Sami and whether he can handle losing to Kevin.

 

The Bludgeon Brothers VS !

Harper & Rowan are back again, set on decimating whatever team is put before them. That sadly seems to be the fate of the two men put before them here, as Harper is upon the legal man the moment the bell rings. He stares down the tag partner as he pump-handle Fall Away Slams his prey! The tag partner hops off the apron, but Harper pursues, and Rowan blindsides him with a body check! Big Red carries “Little Red” up and around, and Harper stacks him and the partner in a corner. He tags in Rowan, slaps him to fire him up, and then whips him in for the corner splash sandwich! Full-nelson lift into the sit-out powerbomb!

And then the legal man gets the Bludgeon Bomb! The Bludgeon Brothers win! Is it only a matter of time until the challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships?

The Usos appear!

Jimmy & Jey walk out with their SmackDown Tag Team titles in hand, and stare right at the Bludgeon Brothers, who stare back just as fiercely. Harper keeps Rowan from making a move, and they let the Usos move past them. Harper & Rowan leave while the Usos take the ring, we go to break.

SmackDown returns and the Usos speak. “So check this out.” They let everyone know what Day One Ish means. Now they’ll explain what #LockDown means. Not getting booked, not orange jumpsuits, not “assume the position” or sleeping on a slab. What the Usos mean is a state of mind. They turn their minds into a prison and run that prison. Lots of cats acting real hungry, but not for cupcakes, but for success. You eat when the Usos say you can eat! Lots of cats are thirsty, but not for lemonade, Kool-aid or the purple stuff, but the thirst for the spotlight. Take a sip from their Holy Grail, but they’ll split you like the Red Sea! Lots of cats sleeping on them, but not bedtimes and bunk beds, but about the Usos stepping up and turning it around. They went from face paint to snap backs! From rainbows to white and black. They went from tights to “all whites”, and from “they ‘aight” to “match of the night!” The Usos went from Samoan Drops to SUPERKICKS, from “Uce-SO Crazy” to “Day One Ish”! You sleep when the Usos say you can sleep! It’s not paranoia, it’s the UCE-O!! Jimmy & Jey are ready to keep those titles #OnLock, will anyone step up to the challenge?

 

Daniel Bryan brings us the premiere of the SmackDown Top 10 List.

This list was compiled by the SmackDown roster, and the management had no input whatsoever. Number 10 is of course Tye Dillinger. Number 9: Randy Orton! At number 8: Becky Lynch! At number 7: The Usos! Number 6: The New Day! Number 5: The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode! Fourth place: Naomi! Third place: Shinsuke Nakamura! Second place: Charlotte Flair! And THE Number One is… AJ STYLES! Who will make it onto the list next week? Who will move up? And what opportunities will some of these superstars get from it?

 

The New Day continue to “enjoy” pancakes…?

Xavier Woods has pancakes massaging his face, and something happened to Big E’s shirt. What other questions will be asked and answered before the night is over?

 

Team Rusev Day speaks.

The ring is covered in canvas because art happens in the ring. Aiden English will give us a musical piece of art, but Rusev “is a very different animal.” The Bulgarian Lion roars, and “Bob Roode” better prepare to lose that United States Championship. Rusev comes for his Magnum Opus, MACHKA!

“Please welcome the melodious voice of Aiden English!”

The Drama King has a sing along, to besmirch the good city of Kansas City. “But there’s no need to worry, there’s no need to fear~! For today is the single greatest day of this or any year~!” This is RUSEV DAYYYY~!

WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Rusev!

The Lion of Bulgaria wants to make his day a GLORIOUS one by defeating the GLORIOUS One! Can Rusev once again become US Champion this early into Roode’s reign?

The bell rings, and the two circle while fans chant “RUSEV DAY!” Rusev and Roode tie up, Rusev backs Roode into a corner. The ref calls for a break, and Rusev honors it cleanly in honor of Rusev Day. Roode and Rusev tie up again, and Roode turns it around to put Rusev in a corner. The break is again clean, and “GLORIOUS!” They circle again, then tie up, Rusev gets the waistlock. He slams Roode down and floats to a facelock. Roode rolls and reverses into a hammerlock. Rusev rolls and gets his waistlock back, but Roode spins around, Rusev snapmares and covers, TWO. Rusev keeps on Roode with another facelock, but Roode stands up. Roode reverses to an arm wrench and headlock, but Rusev powers out. Rusev runs Roode over with a shoulder, Roode gets himself to a corner. The fans cheer for “RUSEV DAY!” while the champion sorts himself out, we go to break.

SmackDown returns to find Roode fighting back out of a corner. He backs Rusev down and whips him corner to corner but is reversed. He still boots Rusev away, then hops up for a GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool, and drags Rusev up for more chops. Rusev reverses the whip again but Roode ducks, only to be caught and thrown in a Fall Away Slam! English and the fans rally for “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” Roode gets to a corner, but Rusev is upon him with big right hands and stomps. Rusev has Roode on the ropes, then kicks him down with a stiff shot to the ribs. The Bulgarian Lion suplexes Roode, Roode clutches his back. Cover, TWO, so Rusev wraps Roode in a chinlock. The fans rally and Roode gets to his feet. However, Roode fades and Rusev sits him back down. The fans keep rallying, and Roode gets his second wind, so Rusev rams elbows into Roode’s shoulder and chest before putting the chinlock back on. The fans duel now, and Roode fires up again. Roode fights back with body shots then haymakers, rocking Rusev on his feet. Roode whips but Rusev reverses, yet Roode rallies with lariats! Rusev gets to a corner, Roode runs in for a corner clothesline and neckbreaker! Roode climbs up top and takes aim, big flying lariat! The fans are loud as Roode winds it up, but English distracts! Rusev gets Roode with a roundhouse!

He covers, TWO! Rusev Day is shocked while we go picture in picture.

Roode stirs while Rusev catches his breath. English watches in shocked frustration while Rusev gets to his feet. Rusev drags Roode up and to a corner to hoist him onto the top rope. A right hand rocks Roode, then another. Rusev positions Roode how he wants him before climbing up. Roode fights back with body shots and haymakers, then headbutts Rusev down, only for Rusev to come right back and rock him with a haymaker of his own. Rusev climbs up again, prepares and hits the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO! The frustration grows as Rusev rests against ropes. English coaches Rusev back into the match while Roode stirs and we return to single picture.

Roode fights back with haymakers, Rusev knees low. Rusev whips Roode, but Roode sees the body drop coming. He wants his DDT but Rusev shoves him away, pop-up knee to the stomach! Rusev runs now, GLORIOUS Spinebuster! TWO! Now Roode can’t believe it, but he won’t slow down. English distracts again, but gets the right hand! Rusev surprises Roode with a roll-up, TWO! Roode boots Rusev, tornado denied, MACHKA KICK! Rusev himself is wobbly, but he has fire in his eyes as he sees Roode is down.

He stands up and fires himself up as the fans chant “RUSEV DAY!” The stomp, then the clutch, but Roode rolls, TWO! Rusev blocks the kick, rolls, TWO! Accolade countered with a snapmare, into the GLORIOUS DDT!! Roode wins and retains! It may have been by the skin of his teeth, but the GLORIOUS One keeps hold of the US Championship, even on Rusev Day!

But RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!!

The Viper strikes again, and fans are going berserk! English tries to shield Rusev, then tries to run away, but even he gets an RKO! Orton feeds off the chaotic energy, and sees Rusev standing up… RKO!! Does Orton want a shot at the US Championship?

 

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin speak.

They’re in Fashion Police HQ, and point out “Exhibit A: Buffoons in costumes”, and “Exhibit B: Clowns solving made-up mysteries.” These two are here to bring back “prestige” to the SmackDown Tag Team Division. The only mystery here is “How are these guys still in our division?” These teams may have jokes but Gable & Benjamin have punchlines! They took out Breezango, now they’re after The Ascension. These #WeaponsofTagDestruction go after the Wasteland!

 

Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS The Ascension!

After being denied the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble, Benjamin & Gable have made it their mission to make the division serious again. They’ve already dealt with the Fashion Police, can they now put away Breezango’s “best friends”?

The match start with Benjamin and Konnor, the two circling before getting in each other’s face. Benjamin hits Konnor with forearms but Konnor doesn’t budge. Konnor hits back then whips back, running Benjamin over with a back elbow. Konnor runs but misses the elbow drop. He blocks the kick but Benjamin comes back around with the dragon whip! Benjamin keeps on Konnor but then gets run down again. Gable hops off the apron to keep from being a target. Konnor runs at Benjamin but Benjamin dodges, Konnor’s leg gets stuck on the top rope off the missed boot. Benjamin goes after him with hands, the referee backs him down but Gable pounces in the distraction by giving that stuck leg a hotshot! Konnor hobbles, Benjamin rock shim with the step-up knee! Cover, TWO, Benjamin tags in Gable. They bring Konnor up for double knees, kicks, and double chop blocks! Gable goes after the wounded legs with the knee-wrenching toehold. He keeps Konnor grounded and yanks on the leg more, covers, ONE. Gable trips Konnor up again and wraps the legs into another toehold. Konnor endures while Viktor coaches him on. Gable stomps the leg, then trash talks Viktor. However, Konnor springs up to flapjack Gable down! The two crawl, Konnor tags in Viktor! Viktor rallies hard on Gable & Benjamin, chopping away on Gable. He whips Gable corner to corner then hits a big running uppercut. Gable dodges the second attack but Viktor hits a flying knee, Benjamin breaks the cover. Konnor returns to rock Benjamin with right hands, but Benjamin counters into a spinebuster! Viktor returns to throw Benjamin out, but Gable pounces with the waistlock. He rolls Viktor as Benjamin tags in for the rolling German Suplex! Then they finish Viktor with Doomsday!

Benjamin & Gable win! With these two cutting out the jokes, will they become a serious threat in the SmackDown Tag Team Division?

 

The New Day continue answering questions.

“Who does The New Day think will win tonight?” Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn? Who cares! It’s not any of them, maybe #Kami can both lose. Yeah, they can fight forever. In traffic! “If you guys ranked 6th, who do you think would rank highest if you were just individuals?” The three of them are all great, but it has to be the smartest. No, it would be the strongest. AKA Kofi! Four time IC Champion, seven time Tag Team Champion, three time US Champion,and in 2018, the W! W! E, World Heavyweight CHAMPION~! Which then makes all three New Day members champion! If Kofi had one vote, he’d break it in half to give half each to Woods and E! They return to eating pancakes, but keep asking them questions!

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Any last comments before the main event? Sami feels tonight is his opportunity to step out of Kevin’s shadow. Kevin’s won all the titles, but that’s fine because they’re best friends. But even as friends they’ve fought each other more than anyone. Sami knows what Kevin is capable of and that Kevin will stop at nothing to win. But neither will Sami. This match of world championship proportions is about to begin!

WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!

The Underdog and the Prizefighter fight for the right to challenge the champ, and the champ even comes out to be on commentary. Styles doesn’t mind which man wins, he’ll be happy to beat the crap out of either of them.

The bell rings, the two friends circle and tie up. Kevin powers Sami to ropes, then honors the break. They go again, Kevin puts Sami on the ropes but Sami turns it around. The break is clean again, and they go again. Kevin gets the waistlock, Sami pries out but Kevin rolls to trip Sami. Kevin floats to the facelock, Sami stands up and they spin around. Sami grabs ropes, Kevin honors the breka but gives a stiff shove. Sami laughs it off, and the two circle again. Kevin gets a headlock, Sami powers out but Kevin runs him over with a shoulder. They speed up, Sami arm-drags Kevin, then spins around to another arm-drag and armlock. Sami wrenches Kevin’s arm but Kevin stands up, Kevin gets to ropes. The break is honored but with a bit of a pie-face from Sami. Kevin shrugs that off, and they tie up again. Kevin gets the waistlock, Sami the standing switch, Kevin’s elbow is very sharp. Sami trips up Kevin and fires off hands! Kevin bails out of the ring, Sami dares him to get back in. The fans jeer and cheer, Kevin doesn’t want to hear it. Sami waits for Kevin but Kevin says Sami should “calm down.”

He gets back in, Sami gets him again! Kevin bails out a second time then comes back up in frustration, only fro Sami to rock him right down! Styles likes what he sees while we go to break.

SmackDown returns again, and both men are slowly rising to their feet. Kevin chops Sami in the corner, then chops again, but Sami fights back with haymakers. Kevin knees low, but Sami springboards up and over to boot Kevin, only for Kevin to boot back. Sami boots back, Kevin clobbers him with a lariat! Both men go down and the fans applaud. Styles also likes what he sees as both men slowly stir. They get up and brawl again with haymakers and chops. Kevin backs Sami down, whips but Sami kicks Kevin away. Sami kicks but Kevin flips him to enziguri him! Then, Fisherman Neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kevin can’t believe it, but Styles likes to hate them. Sami gets to a corner, Kevin takes aim from the other, then runs in for the cannon- Sami catches Kevin but Kevin fights back. Kevin swings but Sami chops, to then acrobatically tornado DDT Kevin down!

TWO! Sami can’t believe it now. He stalks Kevin to the corner then stands him up. Sami tries to lift Kevin but Kevin clubs him down. Sami fires back and gets Kevin up to the top rope. He rocks Kevin with a right before climbing up, then prepares the superplex. Kevin resists, then fights back with body shots and an elbow. Sami falls, Kevin adjusts, SWANTON hits knees! Kevin writhes and rolls but so does Sami. They’re both on the outside now, Sami sees Kevin and gets a running start… Daredevil DDT! The fans are loud for both men while Sami struggles to stand up. “This is Awesome!” Sami puts Kevin in the ring and takes aim from the corner. He runs into a SUPERKICK! Kevin hurries to the top rope, he wants it this time… FROG SPLASH! TWO, and Kevin is shocked. Sami sits up, and the two “friends” glare at each other. Kevin pushes Sami, the fans want them to “Fight Forever!” He tells Sami to stay down, but Sami slaps him! Kevin throws Sami to the ropes, pop-up evaded, Half ‘n’ Half then the Blue Thunder Bomb! TWO!! And Sami cannot believe it. Kevin rolls away to the apron, then falls to the floor. Sami pursues while Kevin makes his way to the announce table. He drags Kevin over then asks Styles if he sees what he’s doing to Kevin. Styles does, and he wants Sami to finish him. Sami keeps talking trash, getting in Styles face, Styles shoves him away.

Then Styles starts swinging on them both! The match is thrown out, and Styles goes after Sami in the ring. He stomps Sami, but then Kevin returns, so Styles rocks him with a right hand. Styles doesn’t regret what he’s done, he just slingshots onto them both! He shouts that he “wanted somebody”, but Daniel Bryan returns to make an announcement. Given this “superlative performance of both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and due to the outside interference of AJ Styles”, Bryan says both Kevin & Sami will face Styles at Fastlane in a Triple Threat!! Kevin & Sami are happy with that, but Styles says this is the same thing all over again. Will this decision stand? Can Styles keep his cool and his title through to Wrestlemania?

 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode of SmackDown here tonight, though nothing too particularly spectacular. The tension between SmackDown management continues to grow, but the only real improvement is that Styles calls them both out for taking this #Kami/#YepMovement thing too far. Styles is still stuck as the proxy for Shane and Bryan to fight out their differences of opinion, and while it hasn’t exactly grown stale it isn’t that exciting right now, either. The match of Sami VS Kevin was still great, up until the almost obvious ending of disqualification. Bryan “logically” chooses to put Sami & Kevin both in the championship match, which would probably go down easier if it was two Faces and one Heel. However, with #Kami as Heels and Styles as the Face, it just seems awkward that this has kept going. Perhaps that’s the point, given Styles’ stated opinion on the matter; we are meant to feel as frustrated and unsure as he is, and in the end hope he comes out on top to keep the Dream Match alive.

The rest of the night was still pretty good. Charlotte puts on a great match against Liv and stands tall to A) Keep Carmella from trying another cash-in attempt and B) establish that she wants to defeat The Riott Squad single-handed. Like Alexa Bliss and the Raw Women’s Championship, Charlotte still has one last PPV to defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship, but there’s no signature match-type to just plug-and-play them into. I would hope Charlotte doesn’t end up against multiple members of the Riott Squad. Perhaps they’ll ban whichever two aren’t in the match from ringside so Charlotte can have a fair shot. The SmackDown Tag Team Division clearly wants Usos VS Bludgeon Brothers without either side directly saying so. Harper & Rowan deal with jobbers again while The Usos give us another fiery promo. Their match will be very physical and a likely Match of the Night, but after this, SmackDown is going to need some new teams to arrive to freshen things up. Maybe the Authors of Pain can come over here instead of over to Raw for that purpose. The US Championship is going really strong, given the great match between Rusev & Roode, and then HOLY CRAP Orton. Orton VS Roode will make for a fun match, but don’t count Rusev (Day) out of the hunt just yet. They and a few others might get a part in a US Championship match at Fastlane, such as Ziggler and Corbin who are having a match next week, and Tye Dillinger who rightfully appears on the SmackDown Top 10. Giving the US Championship a huge match at Fastlane would mean a lot for the title and for Roode as its defending champion.

My Score: 8/10

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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (12/12/18)

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205 Live = Cruiserweight Division

The Cruiserweight Champion and challenger are set to face off at TLC, but first warm-up in Vegas! Will Buddy Murphy or Cedric Alexander come out ahead?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Buddy Murphy VS Noam Dar Gran Metalik; Murphy wins.
  • Cedric Alexander VS Tony Nese; Alexander wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick sets the scene for tonight!

TLC will see Buddy Murphy defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Cedric Alexander in a long awaited rematch from Super Show-Down! The champion and challenger both have something to prove to the other, and allowed Maverick himself to choose their opponents for tonight. The Scottish Supernova was eager to step up and get back at Murphy for screwing him in a match with Tony Nese. But Noam Dar is unfortunately not cleared to compete. Therefore, it will be the Juggernaut taking on the King of the Ropes, Gran Metalik! Metalik himself is eager to show he can hang with the champion.

As for the Soul of 205 Live, he still gets his match with The Premier Athlete. Alexander and Nese have gone back and forth in their own rivalry that dates back to the beginning of this brand. Nese gave Alexander a defeat the 205 Live after Alexander lost the title, and wants to be a major road block to Alexander’s rematch. “With such a small margin for error between Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy”, who will make it to TLC riding high on a wave of momentum?

 

Buddy Murphy VS Gran Metalik!

The Juggernaut wants to show the tag team victory the Heart & Soul of 205 Live have over him means nothing by taking on anyone tonight. The King of the Ropes wants to ride the high his Lucha House Party amigos reached in their Tornado Tag victory last week. Murphy taking on this match is a huge gamble, but it is Las Vegas, after all. Will Murphy hit the jackpot or bust this close to TLC?

The bell rings and Murphy circles with Metalik. They tie up and Murphy powers Metalik to a corner. Murphy backs off but then pie faces Metalik. Metalik shoves Murphy then dodges to egg Murphy on. They circle again and Murphy waistlocks. Metalik standing switches but Murphy pries his way out to a wristlock. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” for Metalik as Murphy yanks on his arm. Murphy brings Metalik to the mat and grinds an elbow into the shoulder. Metalik flips through and reverses, but Murphy reverses back, only for Metalik to reverse again, but Murphy wrangles him back to the mat. Metalik kips up but Murphy drives him back down, so Metalik headscissors. Murphy pops out but Metalik sweeps and covers. ONE and Murphy sweeps to cover, ONE. Metalik handsprings again and fans fire up.

The “Lucha! Lucha!” chants return but Murphy keeps his cool. Murphy and Metalik tie up again and Murphy kicks low. Murphy clubs Metalik then wrenches into a back suplex. Metalik slips out and speeds up to handspring past Murphy. Metalik headscissors and throws Murphy out. Now Metalik builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit on Murphy and the champ goes down! Fans chant for Metalik as he gets up and goes after Murphy. Murphy shoves him away then knees low, but Metalik sends him into barriers. Metalik stalks Murphy from the barrier’s edge, to leap for another headscissor! The fans fire up as Metalik puts Murphy in the ring. Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps the fans going as he goes to Murphy. Murphy yanks Metalik into buckles!

Murphy gets up and puts Metalik on the top rope. He climbs up to join Metalik but Metalik fights back. Metalik shoves Murphy down but Murphy’s right back up! Metalik shoves him away again, and boots him back. Murphy staggers, but catches Metalik’s leap into a suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up. Murphy crawls to a cover, TWO! Metalik shows his toughness but Murphy keeps his cool. Murphy drags Metalik up to throw him out. He leaves Metalik for dead as the count climbs. Metalik crawls back at 6, and gets in at 8! Murphy stomps Metalik out, then throws a heavy right hand! Cover, TWO! Murphy grows frustrated but he puts Metalik in a grounded stretch.

Fans rally as Metalik endures the forearm in the face. Metalik pries his way out but Murphy drives in elbows to the chest! Cover, TWO! Murphy wraps Metalik up in a chinlock, but Metalik fights his way up. Metalik rams Murphy into buckles while throwing in body shots. Metalik gets free but walks into a boot! Murphy drags Metalik up and throws him out, but Metalik stays on the apron. Murphy is annoyed as he goes back over to Metalik. He brings Metalik up but Metalik swing kicks him away! Metalik aims and springboards, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik kicks Murphy’s legs but Murphy shoves Metalik. Metalik springboards for the back elbow! He CHOPS Murphy then whips, but Murphy reverses. Metalik walks the ropes, and springboards for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Metalik keeps his cool, and starts up another “Lucha! Lucha!” He lifts Murphy in a fireman’s carry, but Murphy slips out. Murphy fires off his strike fest, but misses the knee to get a SUPERKICK! Metalik gets another fireman’s carry but Murphy slips out and shoves Metalik to the ropes, KNEE TRIGGER! Murphy runs, but into a fireman’s carry, Metalik Driver!! TWO!! Metalik almost had the Cruiserweight Champion, but Murphy’s tougher than that. Metalik drags Murphy to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Murphy revives and rolls out to the apron. Murphy goes for Metalik but Metalik shoves him down. Metalik goes after Murphy but Murphy drop toeholds him into the desk! Murphy then back suplexes Metalik right on the apron! Murphy puts Metalik in and climbs up top, for a flying meteora! Cover, TWO! Metalik shows he’s tough, too, and Murphy can’t believe it.

Both men slowly stir with the 10 count. Fans rally up as Murphy stands first. Murphy drags Metalik up but Metalik inside cradles! TWO and Metalik boots Murphy down! Metalik climbs but Murphy tucks him in, only for Metalik to pop out and mule kick Murphy away! Metalik finishes climbing, and moonsaults, onto boots! Murphy deadlifts to a sit-out bomb! TWO!? Metalik lives and Murphy is furious. But fans love this and bring back the “Lucha! Lucha!” Metalik gets to the ropes but Murphy grits his teeth. Murphy drags Metalik up and around, for the point blank knee trigger! Then, pumphandle to victory roll!? TWO! Metalik springboards, but into Murphy’s Law! Cover, Murphy wins!

Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall

The Cruiserweight Champion finally finishes it off and moves on to his title defense this Sunday! If the King of the Ropes put up such a great fight, how much more will the Age of Alexander do? And what shape will Alexander be after his match later tonight?

 

Akira Tozawa & THE Brian Kendrick meet with Drake Maverick.

The Stamina Monster helps The Man with a Plan with his collar as the GM walks in. Maverick approves their match with Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher, under Street Fight rules. How ironic, really. How? Well, their Street Fight match against each other. And now they’re working together in a Street Fight tag match. Yes, true. Kendrick admits he’s changed since then. When he returned to the WWE, he manipulated and cheated because he was desperate. Kendrick was doing whatever he had to in order to keep his dream, and Tozawa was one of the main targets. So Kendrick should thank Gallager & Gulak for beating that out of him. What Kendrick needs to do now is lift this Division up. Kendrick’s a changed man.

Tozawa agrees and supports Kendrick. But the problem now is that Kendrick still looks the same. Tozawa has an idea. Well, okay… What kind of makeover will Tozawa give Kendrick? And Tozawa thanks Maverick for his time, but reminds Maverick he lost those Raw Tag Team Championships. “So, you’re FIRED!” Tozawa can’t fire people, he’s not the GM or anything. But can he and Kendrick fire up and melt the cruel winter?

 

Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher respond.

“A Street Fight is the perfect place to end the career of THE Brian Kendrick.” And what Kendrick needs to understand that the beating they gave him wasn’t to humiliate but to redeem Kendrick. Kendrick was fired once, twice, so maybe this isn’t for him. Gallagher & Gulak didn’t go far enough, because if they had, the team of Tozawa & Kendrick wouldn’t have existed. And that’s why a Street Fight Tag is perfect: they can go as far as they want, and anything is legal. So when they face off for the final time, you WILL tap out. Who will survive this gritty grudge match?

 

Backstage interview with Ariya Daivari.

The Persian Lion has beaten down local competitors two weeks in a row, what is the reason behind that? Wrestling used to be simple: find two of the toughest men, put them in a ring, and let them battle it out until only one was left standing. It was never meant to be flashy or pretty. “What’s happened to this business?” All anyone seems to care about is dressing up like their favorite superheroes or retweeting compliments. Daivari was out with an injured neck, and he watched 205 Live have a lot of flash, but no fight.

Hideo Itami walks over, and says he was watching last week. “Good job.” The two shake hands, and there seems to be mutual respect for their mean streaks. Daivari says Itami is one of the last true men in the Cruiserweight Division, and the only one worthy of respect. Will Daivari and Itami bring 205 Live back to a rougher and more “respectful” time of wrestling?

 

Cedric Alexander VS Tony Nese!

The Soul of 205 Live wants to rebuild his legacy starting with TLC, but the Premier Athlete says he’s not worthy. The Juggernaut already goes in tired but victorious, will Alexander be able to do the same?

The bell rings and Nese flexes on Alexander. Alexander ignores it as he circles with Nese. Fans rally up as the two tie up. Alexander pushes Nese back to a corner but backs off at 4. Alexander flexes back and circles with him again. Vegas is on Alexander’s side and that annoys Nese. Nese and Alexander tie up and Nese gets a waistlock. Alexander tries to break out but Nese rolls him. Nese flexes again but Alexander shrugs it off. Alexander and Nese tie up again and Alexander gets the wristlock. Nese pulls hair and gets the reversal. Alexander rolls and handsprings to reverse back then get a takedown. Nese shoves Alexander back and gets his own takedown, but Alexander pushes him away. Alexander rolls, handsprings and headscissors but Nese handsprings through!

Alexander runs into Nese’s back elbow, but Alexander gets under Nese’s moonsault! Nese goes Matrix to dodge Alexander, but Alexander hits the dropkick! Fans fire up as Alexander covers, TWO! Alexander checks his teeth while catching his breath before going back to Nese. He bumps Nese off buckles and then CHOPS. Alexander CHOPS again, then follows Nese to ropes. Nese mule kicks and then goes to backslide, but Alexander hooks ropes to stay grounded. Alexander reels Nese in to toss him out! Fans fire up as Alexander builds speed, but Nese slides in! Alexander barely grabs the rope in time to stop himself, and he manages to shoulder Nese back. Nese rolls as Alexander springboards to SHORYUKEN! Cover, TWO!

Nese keeps on Alexander with stomps, then he flexes again. Fans boo as Nese clubs Alexander. Alexander chops back, but Nese kciks him to a corner. Nese whips corner to corner hard, then covers, TWO! Nese keeps his cool as fans duel. Alexander chops back again, then boots from a corner. Alexander runs into a throat chop! Nese runs and hotshots Alexander down! Then triangle jump moonsault! Cover, TWO! Nese argues the count but the ref says it was two. Nese stomps away on Alexander then brings him up for a scoop slam. Cover, TWO! Nese sits Alexander up for the body scissor squeeze. Fans rally while Alexander endures. Nese grabs for an arm but Alexander resists, so Nese clubs him. Nese gets the arm and CHOPS Alexander. Alexander punches back and breaks free!

Alexander throws more hands, then runs, but into a big clothesline! Cover, TWO! Alexander survives and Nese is surprised, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese wraps on a chinlock and drives a knee into Alexander’s back. Fans rally and Alexander feeds off the energy. Alexander gets up but Nese throws him to the apron. Alexander boots Nese back, then springboards. He fakes out the uppercut to step-springboard for a complete shot! Nese gets to a corner and fans rally up. Alexander takes off the elbow pads and rallies on Nese. He gives Nese an uppercut now, but msises in the corner. Nese runs into the dropkick and hits buckles. Alexander goes to the apron to kick Nese back in! Nese staggers, Alexander springboards, flying lariat hits! Cover, TWO! Nese is dazed but he survives.

Alexander fires up with the fans as he stalks Nese. He brings Nese up but Nese mule kicks and knee lifts. Nese roundhouses but misses the sweep to get a buzzsaw! Cover, TWO! Alexander grows frustrated and gets a wild look in his eyes. Alexander goes back to Nese and brings him up. Nese clutches ropes and Alexander has no choice but to let go. Alexander walks into a gutbuster! Cover, TWO! Nese keeps on Alexander with a shove and a back elbow. Then Nese runs for big forearms! Cover, TWO!! Alexander barely gets out and Nese grows frustrated. Nese drags Alexander up, saying “I’m better than you!” He slaps Alexander as he repeats that, but Alexander slaps back!

Alexander blocks the kick to give an elbow, then runs to handspring. Nese catches the Neuralizer into a Samoan Drop! But Nese can’t cover, he’s too exhausted. Nese forces himself to stand and bring Alexander up. He whips but Alexander reverses. Nese grabs ropes then dumps Alexander out. Nese runs to FLY! Direct hit folds Alexander up! The referee checks on both men, but they’re both okay to continue. Nese drags Alexander up and in, then goes to a corner. Nese climbs up, leaps, but his 450 flops! Alexander goes to cradle but Nese blocks it, TWO!! Michinoku Driver outta nowhere! TWO!! Alexander can’t believe Nese survives, but fans are fired up!

Vegas cheers Alexander on as he stalks Nese. Alexander brings Nese up but Nese sprawls to block. Nese elbows Alexander but walks into a roundhouse. Alexander lifts but Nese slips out to a cover, TWO! Neuralizer! Then Lumbar Check!! Cover, Alexander wins!!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall

The Premier Athlete pushed Alexander to his limits but it wasn’t enough, the challenger keeps pace with the champion. Speaking of, Buddy Murphy returns to stare Alexander down. Alexander dares Murphy to bring the fight, there’s nothing but “space and opportunity” between them! Murphy takes a look at his belt, and puts it down so he can rush the ring! Murphy gets in but Alexander gets him down! The champion and challenger brawl on the mat, but then Murphy bails out. Alexander doesn’t let him go as he FLIES out! Fans fire up as Alexander gets back in the ring. Alexander dares Murphy to keep the fight going, but Murphy reconsiders. The Soul of 205 Live is fired up, but will he be able to reclaim his throne? Or will he be stopped by the unstoppable?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A great go-home for 205 Live that also feeds a bit into next week’s episode. I do like the full circle Kendrick is going through having another Street Fight based match for a blow-off. I just hope Tozawa’s new wardrobe ideas don’t make Kendrick reconsider the partnership. We still need more teams for the potential Cruiserweight Tag Team Division. And in which case, Daivari’s promo about joining forces with Itami started to sound more like a reason he’d join up with Gulak & Gallagher. But I suppose more than one Heel team can have the motivation of wanting a more brutal and less flashy style of wrestling to prevail. But where Gulak & Gallagher love ground game and grapples, Itami & Daivari can be about strikes and drivers. A match between those four might be pretty good, too.

The two matches we got tonight were the only matches we needed. It’s a shame Noam Dar didn’t get to go against Buddy Murphy, but Murphy VS Metalik was still an incredible opener. The styles went well together, and Metalik still looks really strong in losing. Alexander VS Nese was incredible again, even after the many other times we’ve seen it. I was curious as to why it wasn’t Alexander VS Ali, but not only would it be too soon, we know now Ali VS Bryan was in the works. I was surprised Murphy agreed to brawl against Alexander for even that little bit. As the Heel, he should’ve just stayed back rather than fight to retreat. It still got the fans fired up, but maybe this is so Alexander can stand tall and give the math to Murphy.

My Score: 8.8/10

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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (12/12/18)

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Ricochet puts up his NXT North American Championship on the line, but against who? Plus, EC3 wants payback on Bobby Fish for that vicious chair attack!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EC3 VS Bobby Fish w/ The Undisputed Era; EC3 wins.
  • Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Mighty; Lorcan & Burch win.
  • NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way Qualifier: Mia Yim VS Reina Gonzalez; Yim wins and joins the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way.
  • NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS ???; Ricochet wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

EC3 VS Bobby Fish w/ The Undisputed Era!

The Top One Percent looks to keep it 100 as he goes for payback against the Infamous One for what he did weeks before TakeOver: WarGames II. But Fish has his friends by his side as always, will EC3 be able to win with Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong and Adam Cole lurking?

Adam Cole says the holidays have come early because now Fish gets to humiliate the “Top One Percent of Morons”. EC3 was dumb enough to think he’d elevate his career to new heights. But with the help of a chair, Fish showed EC3 that NXT is their world! The Undisputed Era is the center of the NXT Universe, and everything revolves around her. This has been a career year and is just the beginning of an entire decade! And in 2019, the four of them will be “draped in gold”. That’s not a threat, “that is Undisputed.” But EC3 makes his entrance and we begin this grudge match!

Fish and EC3 are ready to go with the bell. Fish moves around but EC3 corners him, so Fish bails out. The Undisputed Era cheer Fish’s mind games on, and so do some fans. Fish returns but wants EC3 to stay back. EC3 doesn’t and he hip tosses Fish in! Fish scrambles to a corner and EC3 fires off hands and stomps! EC3 whips corner to corner but Fish ducks down to go after the leg. EC3 powers Fish off and hits a BIG powerbomb! Fish staggers about and EC3 clotheslines him right out! EC3 goes out with him, but gets back in the ring, all fired up! Fish is reeling and the Era coach him up, but EC3 comes out. EC3 fetches Fish into the ring and puts on a half nelson. Fish gets up but EC3 makes it a nerve hold to keep him down.

Fish gets up and powers EC3 to a corner, but EC3 turns it around. EC3 CHOPS Fish, and again! Then he biels Fish across the way. Roddy and Kyle distract, and Fish chop blocks the bad leg! Fish rains down rights but EC3 pushes him off. Fish stomps EC3, then kicks him. The Era is rabid as Fish throws hands and puts EC3 in a corner. Fish throws body shots and forearms, then kicks away at the back leg. Dragon screw throws EC3 for a loop! Fish grabs the bad leg and pulls on it, standing on the other leg to keep him down. Fans rally and EC3 pushes Fish off! EC3 runs in but misses, and then turns around into an exploder! Cover, TWO! Fish is furious, but he goes back for more.

Fish brings EC3 up but it’s EC3 who hits the suplex! EC3 grits his teeth as he gets up, and he counter punches Fish. He fires off lefts and rights then whips, but Fish snaps against the ropes awkwardly. EC3 takes advantage with a scoop slam, then wants Fish to “Say My Name!” Name Drop elbow hits! Roddy and Kyle distract again but EC3 hits them for it. But Fish still gets the chop block! Fish goes for a leg but EC3 cradles! EC3 WINS!

Winners: EC3, by pinfall

But The Era attack! All four of them stomp away like rabid dogs, but here come Heavy Machinery! Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic use size to even up the numbers! Dozer clobbers Cole and Strong while Tucky gets rid of reDRagon! Kyle tries to escape but Heavy Machinery drag him back in. EC3 gets Kyle up for the One Percenter! Fans are thunderous for this trio as EC3 gets Dozer pumping up. Dozer gets going with the Caterpillar elbow! Will Heavy Machinery help the Top One Percent end this Undisputed Era once and for all?

 

NXT Media catches up to Dakota Kai and Io Shirai.

They fought together to stop The Horsewomen from ganging up on Captain Kick. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir keep sticking their noses in Shayna Baszler’s matches, so these two are going to stop that personally. The Genius of the Sky don’t want her friends getting bullied, so all that’s left is a match. That’ll happen next week, who takes a victory in this Women’s Division war?

 

Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Mighty!

The One Two Combination defeated Shane Thorne & Nick Miller already, but this is about the sore loser sneak attack after the match! Will Thorne & Miller regret punking out this pair of pugilists? Or will Lorcan & Burch finally make The Mighty kneel?

Lorcan & Burch are raring to go but they still wait for the bell. Thorne starts with Lorcan and Lorcan fires off! Then Miller and Burch get in and it’s a pair of brawls! Burch throws Miller out then Lorcan throws Thorne out. Burch goes out and Miller shoves him into the apron, but Lorcan FLIES! Lorcan wipes The Mighty out and fans fire up! Lorcan puts Thorne in and then runs into the corner for a big elbow. He gets moving but Thorne follows with a European Uppercut! Thorne runs but Lorcan follows to rock him back! Lorcan suckers Thorne into an elbow and a powerbomb! Then the Half Crab! Miller comes in but gets CHOPS! Thorne gets Lorcan with the saido suplex! Tag to Miller and he whips Lorcan. Miller hits a big corner clothesline, then whips into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lorcan lives but Miller keeps on him.

Tag to Thorne, and Miller whips Thorne at Burch. Miller then whips Thorne back but Lorcan dodgse to tag Burch! The Governor rallies on The Mighty, and tackles Thorne with a Thesz Press! Burch rocks Miller with a right, then goes right at Thorne with a clothesline and kick. Miller runs but is sent into Thorne, and then Burch deals out more kicks! Burch hops up and leaps for a missile dropkick! And he kips up! Tag to Lorcan, and the One Two coordinate at a corner. Burch lifts Thorne but Thorne fights out. Thorne dodges Burch to SHORYUKEN Lorcan. Then he clobbers Burch. Miller returns and helps Thorne get up top quick. SUPERPLEX BOMB! Miller puts Thorne on top to cover, but Burch barrels through Miller to break it! Burch gets thrown out, and Thorne tags Miller in.

The Mighty go after Lorcan but Burch saves him from Thunder Valley. Miller tackles them both, and then scoops Lorcan. Powerslam, to Poetry in Motion cannonball! Cover on Lorcan, TWO!? The Mighty are shocked by this double toughness! Miller tags Thorne, and they again go after Lorcan. They lift Lorcan up, but get double DDT’s! Lorcan has a wild look in his eye and fans rally behind it. Lorcan takes Miller’s face and SLAPS away! Then he SLAPS away on Thorne! they BOTH slap Lorcan, but then he ducks and they slap each other!! Lorcan sends Miller into a post, then tags in Burch. Burch headbutts Thorne, and with Lorcan’s help, London Tower! Cover, Lorcan & Burch win!

Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, Burch pinning

They did it again! The Mighty fell to the One Two Combination, who continue their hot streak since returning to action. While the Undisputed Era has Heavy Machinery to worry about, will Lorcan & Burch move up the ranks towards those NXT Tag Team Championships?

 

NXT Media has another video from Johnny Gargano.

“Aleister, you thought our story ended in Los Angeles when you ‘absolved’ me of my sins.” But Gargano never said he did nothing wrong. This is about the greater good. The ends justify the means. The end: becoming NXT Champion, and the world celebrating! So if the means meant beating someone up, Aleister was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why their story continues. Gargano says Aleister can put Gargano in a cage with the devil himself, and he’ll do whatever he has to to make sure the story ends the right way. Gargano won’t just turn the page, he closes the book on Aleister Black. Will Gargano keep his word to end the Embodiment of the End? Or will his happy ending simply #FadeToBlack?

 

Dominic Dijakovic speaks.

“The bond of blood is sacred. The roots of our tree are unbreakable. They keep us grounded.” He will fight for them, and die for them. This is “our vision”, and you will #FeastYourEyes on his debut, next week.

 

Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler and the Horsewomen.

She, Jessamyn and Marina have heard about the Fatal 4 Way #1 Contenders match. But Shayna doesn’t care, because it will always end the same way: she goes home with the title, her opponent goes home with nothing. As for the challenge issued by Dakota & Shirai, Marina & Jessamyn laugh it off. They’re ready for the “challenge”. The Horsewomen roll out, but who will have the last laugh when it’s all said and done?

 

NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way Qualifier: Mia Yim VS Reina Gonzalez!

The Queen of Spades awaits a challenger at TakeOver: Phoenix now that she’s moved the Pirate Princess out of the way. The Un-De-Fea-Ted Bianca Belair is already one participant, and William Regal announces via Twitter that Lacey Evans will be the other. Both women have put together impressive wins, so it’s up to the Blasian Baddie and the Daughter of the Desperado to impress the GM this week. Who joins the EST and the Lady of NXT in a fight for the right to challenge #ShaynaTwoTime and her reign of terror?

The bell rings and Mia ties up with Reina. Reina powers Mia to a corner, but Mia dodges the swing to jump on for a guillotine! Reina powers out but Mia slips away. Mia leaps back on for the guillotine! Reina powers out but Mia dropkicks her back. Mia goes for Sole Food but Reina pushes her away. Reina swings but Mia dodges, and puts the guillotine back on! Reina powers out again, but to a suplex! And she hangs Mia out to dry on the rope, before throwing her down! Reina stomps a mudhole into Mia, but backs off at 4. She drags Mia out to a cover, TWO! Reina grows frustrated but fans rally up for Mia. Mia hits back, but gets clobbered! Reina runs, and boots Mia right down! Cover, ONE! Reina tries again, TWO!

Reina grows frustrated but she talks trash in Spanish. She dares the Baddie to get up, then pulls her into a Canadian torture rack! Mia endures the stretch and Reina even fish hooks. Reina jumps around to add torque, but Mia fights out. Mia arm-drags Reina into ropes, then gets space. Reina staggers over but into CHOPS! Mia throws body shots and even more chops! Mia throws palm strikes and kicks, then knees and a Pele! Reina staggers, time to Eat Da Feet! Cover, Mia wins!

Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall

Reina eats Sole Food and Mia now sits at the winner’s table! Can the Baddie beat out the Model Soldier and EST? Who will join them as the fourth and final contender?

 

Aleister Black speaks.

“What I find interesting about the human race is that everything they do revolves around how they are feeling.” Everyone keeps asking, “What do you feel about your match with Johnny Gargano?” How does he feel about a Steel Cage Match with Gargano? He doesn’t feel anything. He just knows he has to win. “It’s come to my attention that you are far, far beyond absolution. You are far beyond redemption. And the only thing left is the total annihilation.” It will happen in that steel cage. There won’t be any running or hiding, there will simply be Gargano and his sins, and they will all #FadeToBlack! Will Aleister leave Gargano for dead inside the steel?

 

NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS ???

The One and Only is eager to prove he’s a fighting champion and a worthy champion at that. He left it to NXT GM William Regal to choose his opponent, and Regal promised “something special” for this match. But who is it that answered this open contract challenge?

Ricochet makes his entrance and awaits his mystery challenger. The “something special” turns out to be… “Look everyone, it’s Tyler!” Prince Pretty returns to NXT in a major way! Tyler Breeze brings back the selfie cam titantron feed, and looks to revitalize himself with a new belt! Will Breeze shock everyone by becoming the third-ever North American Champion? Or will Ricochet add Breeze to the highlight reel?

The belt is raised and fans chant “Welcome Back!” for the NXT alumni. The bell rings and fans are already dueling. Tyler and Ricochet take a moment to enjoy it before circling. They tie up and go around, and Breeze arm-drags Ricochet. Breeze backs off to lounge on the top rope. Ricochet nods respect as Breeze comes back. They tie up again, and Ricochet gets around to a headlock. Breeze powers out but Ricochet rolls and speeds things up. Ricochet rolls off the back then ducks under to handspring and headscissor and dropkick! Breeze bails out to catch his breath, but Ricochet comes out. Breeze hurries back in, but Ricochet doesn’t give him time to rest. Ricochet and Breeze go around, Breeze goes for a Half Crab. Ricochet gets to ropes and pushes Breeze away. Breeze kicks Ricochet then runs, but into a somersault lariat!

Breeze bails out, but Ricochet fakes him out on the apron. Ricochet boots Breeze then leaps, into a dropkick! Both men are down, but fans are loving this! The fans still duel while Breeze checks his teeth. Breeze puts Ricochet into the ring, then into a corner. Breeze stomps a gorgeous mudhole into Ricochet, then shouts at the ref when he’s pulled away. Ricochet flounders but Breeze is on him with a scoop. Breeze puts Ricochet on the top rope and climbs up, but Ricochet fights him off. Breeze falls back and Ricochet is on him, but Breeze shoves. Ricochet comes back to knee Breeze back. Ricochet then somersaults from a corner to dropkick Breeze! Breeze crawls to a corner and Ricochet runs in, for a big back elbow to back hand.

Ricochet throws Breeze into buckles but misses the tiger feint kick. Breeze German Suplexes but Ricochet lands on his feet! Ricochet sends Breeze into buckles again and hits the tiger feint! Ricochet springboards for a flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Breeze survives, showing his toughness. Fans rally up as Ricochet gets back up. Ricochet puts Breeze in a drop zone, then climbs up top. Ricochet leaps, but has to roll through the Phoenix Splash when Breeze moves. Breeze hits back with haymakers, but so does Ricochet. They brawl back and forth, and fans are divided.

They hit each other at the same time, and same goes for kicks. Ricochet turns around but both men clothesline. Breeze blocks Ricochet’s boot but Ricochet dodges Breeze’s Super Model Kick. Both men run, and collide with double crossbodies! Fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” while both men are down. A 10 count begins and the fans rally up. Breeze and Ricochet sit up slowly, and brawl on their knees. Ricochet gives an uppercut, but Breeze clubs him on the back. They continue as they stand up and Ricochet fires off forearms. Ricochet suplexes but Breeze resists. Breeze suplexes but Ricochet resists. They repeat the cycle but Ricochet slips out. Ricochet back suplexes but Breeze slips out. Breeze waistlocks but Ricochet elbows out.

Ricochet runs, springboards, but misses, SUPER MODEL KICK! And Reverse-Rana! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Breeze is shocked. Fans declare “This is Gorgeous!” rather than awesome, but it’s still awesome, too! Ricochet and Breeze go to opposite corners, then approach. Ricochet says NXT is his now, but Breeze mule kicks. Breeze throws haymakers, then aims a kick, but Ricochet hits with a boot first! Ricochet walks over, into a jumping knee! And an enziguri! Breeze leaps but he’s caught, into the fireman’s carry, and Samoan Driver! Cover, Ricochet wins!

Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; still NXT North American Champion

That wasn’t just special, that was spectacular! Prince Pretty gives the King of Flight a fight he wasn’t expecting, but Ricochet shows Breeze the respect he deserves, and the two handshake. Will Breeze stick around to give it another try? Will Ricochet’s reign extend to be one of the most impressive in NXT history?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible episode right here! We waste very little time getting into action and I am really impressed that EC3 pulls off another surprise win on an Undisputed Era member. He and Fish had a great match, and I really liked that it was Heavy Machinery backing EC3 up in that brawl. I think it should be a Six Man of EC3 & Heavy Machinery VS Roderick Strong & reDRagon while Adam Cole likely distracts or interferes. And while his story with the North American Championship likely isn’t over, I don’t know if NXT would want to create a secondary WarGames scenario where now it’s just EC3 and Heavy Machinery standing in for Pete Dunne & War Raiders. Cole can hang about as the leader of Undisputed Era while waiting for title scenes to change.

I’m a touch disappointed we’re only getting 2v2 next week, but Dakota & Shirai VS Jessamyn & Marina should be a great match for the last two MMA Horsewomen to make an in-ring debut with. Now in real-time, we have learned Dakota Kai is injured, but that shouldn’t affect next week’s match. Sadly it’ll mean she won’t get to be part of TakeOver: Phoenix or anything else after that, and we wish her a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, Mia and Reina have a great match. Reina having a bull rope and cowbell makes me want a Women’s Bull Rope match for the hell of it. If Reina sticks around, she should be able to gain some ground once things clear up. As it stands, Mia looks like a front runner as the Face in that Fatal 4 Way. I wonder if they’ll use a battle royal to determine the fourth participant.

That tag team match of Lorcan-Burch VS The Mighty was incredible! NXT Tag Team wrestling is getting back up there and the scrappy One Two Combo is a large part of that. Get those two on SmackDown AND 205 Live, they’ll be great tag title contenders at least. Gargano and Aleister have great promos going towards their Steel Cage match, but I hope they use the cage in different ways of physicality than we usually see. Throwing the opponent into steel is one thing, but I think NXT can use these two for something really gritty.

For me, it’s a bit of a mixed bag on Tyler Breeze’s return. It’s a bit sad that he was sent back, but it was a great surprise and Full Sail got behind him. The bottom line is this is the wrestling quality main roster should’ve given Breeze, but Vince just insisted on overemphasizing gimmick and comedy. Granted, Breeze does great with comedy, but if the Fashion Police were doing matches on this level, they’d be champions. Breeze gave Ricochet a hell of a match, and it really elevates Ricochet in winning. It’ll really take something insane to dethrone Ricochet, if Breeze got to be this strong. As for Breeze, I’m not sure what he’ll do now that he’s back. I was hoping he’d go to 205 Live, but I know HHH will treat Breeze right either way.

My Score: 8.8/10

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