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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (3/20/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Nakamura wins.
  • Baron Corbin VS Tye Dillinger; Corbin wins.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Natalya; Natalya wins.
  • Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Harper w/ Rowan; Harper wins.
  • Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad; Naomi & Becky win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown flashbacks to the night Daniel Bryan retired.

He wrestled for 16 years, and was grateful to the WWE. “It is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness” that he had to officially announce his retirement. But now, Bryan is medically cleared for competition! And an outpouring of love, support and excitement came from everyone, ranging from superstars to celebrities to fans.

Daniel Bryan is here!

Dallas greets the SmackDown General Manager with an incredible ovation of “YES! YES!” and even “Welcome Back! Welcome Back!” Bryan hears their chants, and thanks them all. But he moves things from joy to sadness, as Shane McMahon was attacked. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn aren’t here yet, so for now, Bryan will talk about something else. Two years ago, Bryan’s forced retirement was one of the toughest days of his life. But Bryan focused on gratefulness. He admits he was depressed, that he was angry, that he was being kept from doing what he loves, but he stayed focus on being grateful. He has much to be grateful for. From his family, to friends, to “the best fans in the world”, but especially his “beautiful wife”.

Through all his struggles, Brie was there supporting him. She let him know it was okay to fight for a dream. Brie encouraged him to see specialists, and Bryan did. Each new review encouraged them to see another, and another. Fans chant, “Thank You, Brie!” Every specialist that cleared Bryan encouraged him to keep going. Bryan fought his way back, even when he wanted to quit. Brie kept him in the fight for his dreams, because if you fight for your dreams, you dreams will fight for you! “Every hard thing seems impossible until it becomes real.” Bryan got the WWE to review his case, and they sent him all over the country to meet the best of the best. And every specialist said one thing: “You are cleared.” Fans chant “YES! YES!” once again in hearing this great news.

“There was a time when being cleared to compete in a WWE ring seemed impossible. But now it is real.” Bryan has many thanks, such as to the WWE and the doctors. They looked at him as a person and not a wrestler. They gave Bryan that second look and cleared him. Bryan thanks the WWE Universe, in Dallas or at home, for the support through all of this. Every week, all the “YES!” Chants, or “Daniel Bryan!” or “You Deserve It!”, Bryan thanks them for that. And lastly, Bryan thanks Brie, because she’s supported him more than anyone else can imagine.

Now to the fun stuff. Bryan doesn’t know when or where it’ll be that he returns to the ring– Fans want Wrestlemania!

Is that a good idea? “YES! YES!” Bryan vows that even if it isn’t Wrestlemania, he will return to the WWE ring for competition! It’s only a matter of time, where and who against will it be?

 

Daniel Bryan talks with Charles Robinson backstage.

Robinson congratulates Daniel Bryan, but reports that Kevin & Sami aren’t here yet. When they arrive, let Bryan know. Dolph Ziggler comes over to congratulate Bryan, and to say he can’t wait to beat him. Bryan says Ziggler can try. Is the Show-Off a potential return opponent for the Goat?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The King of Strong Style beat the Bulgarian Brute back at Fastlane, but Rusev is back for more! Can Nakamura maintain momentum this close to his WWE Championship match with AJ Styles? Speaking of Styles, he’s ringside on commentary to keep an eye on things.

The bell rings and the two circle. Rusev gets the arm wrench and wristlock while fans duel back and forth. Nakamura uses the ropes to flip and reverse the hold, but Rusev turns that around into a headlock takeover. Nakamura headscissors back, but Rusev pops out. They circle again, feeling each other out, but Nakamura gets a quick kick in on Rusev. Nakamura laughs, then dodges to say “C’MON!”

Rusev runs in but into the knee. Nakamura kicks, Rusev kicks, then Nakamura forearms and Rusev forearms. Nakamura fires off but Rusev put shim in a corner. Rusev kicks the inner thighs, whips and then knocks Nakamura over with the heel kick. Cover, TWO, but Rusev keeps his cool while we go picture in picture.

Rusev stalks Nakamura, dragging him up to stomp his ribs. Rusev reels Nakamura into a clothesline, then drives an elbow into Nakamura’s shoulders. He backs up to kick Nakamura stiff in the back, then cover, TWO. Rusev keeps his cool but Nakamura fires back, only to run into Rusev’s back elbow. Rusev wags a finger “No no no” before wrapping Nakamura in a chinlock. Nakamura endures the squeeze on the mat, and slowly works his way up. Rusev squeezes and stretches Nakamura, but Nakamura responds with a jawbreaker! Nakamura runs but into Rusev’s boot, then Rusev stomps Nakamura’s head. Rusev drops an elbow, then another elbow, then another, and covers, TWO. Rusev glares at Nakamura, then drags him up to the ropes to choke him. He backs off at the ref’s count, then brings Nakamura up for a back suplex. Cover, TWO, so back to the chinlock it is.

Nakamura endures more squeeze while we go single picture again. He fights out with elbows, but Rusev responds with a knee. Rusev whips, but Nakamura dodges, to hit the dynamic dropkick! The fans rally while Styles looks on intently. Nakamura strike fests and kicks Rusev in the chest. Rusev blocks one but gets the other, and gets to a corner. Nakamura gives an elevated Good Vibrations, then sets Rusev up top for the Top Shelf knee! Nakamura fires up and aims at Rusev, but Rusev drop toeholds! Accolade barely escaped, but that roundhouse! Cover, TWO! English is furious in Rusev’s place, but Rusev himself keeps his cool. Rusev stomps the mat and prepares himself. He thrusts in but Nakamura swings, swings, but brings Rusev into a takedown! Cover, TWO, and Rusev tries his own, TWO. Nakamura gets another cover, Nakamura wins! Even Styles grins there.

But English attacks! Team Rusev Day stomp and stomp Nakamura, like they did to Styles last week. Styles watches, like Nakamura did last week, then slowly prepares to help. However, Nakamura fights Rusev Day off by himself! Seems Nakamura didn’t need Styles to help him out. Will the Rockstar be in better shape then the Phenomenal One come Wrestlemania?

 

SmackDown looks at Championship VS Streak.

The Queen of Flair is the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but the Empress has a streak as long as it is dominant. “No one is ready for Asuka!” Charlotte herself is preparing backstage when Natalya comes along. Natty knows Charlotte is scared. What is she babbling about? The clock is ticking, it is only a matter of time the Queen bows down. No, Charlotte is excited because this will be her biggest challenge yet. Natty is better than both of them! She should be the one facing Charlotte! Asuka is only undefeated because she hasn’t faced Natty. Well if Natty wants to prove that, they’ll have a match tonight. Fine by the Queen of Harts. Will Natty put her money where her mouth is? Or will Charlotte get some easy momentum headed towards Wrestlemania?

 

AJ Styles find Nakamura backstage.

Nakamura assures Styles he didn’t need his help. Styles saw that. Okay but one more thing. Styles knows, Nakamura says he’ll beat Styles at Wrestlemania. Styles needs to be more confident. But yes, Nakamura will win, with a #Knee2Face.

 

Baron Corbin VS Tye Dillinger!

The Lone Wolf and Perfect 10 have both declared for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, but who will gain momentum towards it here 1v1?

The bell rings, Tye gets a waistlock but Corbin backs him to a corner. Tye gets a headlock and holds on even as Corbin tries to power out. Corbin lifts but Tye holds on. Tye tries to snapmare but Corbin won’t go down, so Tye gives forearms. He whips but evades Corbin’s kick to chop, Corbin clobbers Tye down! Corbin drags Tye up and rock him with a right forearm, and Tye staggers to ropes. Corbin throws Tye into a buckle, then backs off to run back in. Tye evades, Corbin slides out and in but into Tye’s boot!

Tye clotheslines Corbin out, and then goes to the apron to jump. Corbin catches him by the throat, lifts but Tye slips out. Tye mule kicks Corbin then puts him back in the ring. Tye hops up, flies, but the crossbody turns into End of- No, Tye manages to counter by going limp and slipping out. Corbin throws Tye all the way out of the ring, then goes out to rock him with a right. Corbin reels Tye in, NOW End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins! Can the Lone Wolf finally take advantage of opportunities by becoming a two-time Battle Royal winner?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Natalya!

SmackDown’s Queen of Flair and Queen of Harts do battle once again to see if catty Natty really can beat the Women’s Champion.

The bell rings and Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” before tying up with Natty. Natty gets the wristlock but Charlotte arm-drags her, and meow, those claws come out. They tie up again as fans rally, and Natty gets the wristlock again, but Charlotte spins around and puts the lock back on Natty. Natty shows her agility to reverse and then get he takedown. She rolls over Charlotte but Charlotte reverses to a headlock. Natty goes back to the wristlock, then rolls up, TWO. Natty tells the fans to shut up, they just “WOO~!” at her. Charlotte lunges in and get a waistlock slam, cover, TWO. Charlotte gets another takedown, cover, TWO, and Natty kicks low. Natty clubs Charlotte, then whips her to a corner, but Charlotte goes up and over to roll Natty back with a bridge, TWO!

Things are still technical and scrappy as Charlotte pushes Natty for another cover, TWO. Charlotte drives in an elbow, then goes to a neck wrench before shifting to a headscissors hold. She throws Natty around in that hold three times before covering, TWO. Natty kicks low again, then tells the fans to shut up. She whips Charlotte but Charlotte goes up and over to shoulder in and dive for a roll, TWO. Stiff neckbreaker to big boot, and Natty bails out of the ring. Charlotte styles and profiles while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Natty now in control with an abdominal stretch. The fans rally and Charlotte works her way out, but Natty turns that to a backslide. Charlotte slides off and boots Natty down again. She runs at Natty in a corner but Natty elbows back. Natty tries to boot back but Charlotte takes that leg and puts it on the ropes. Charlotte springboards to drop a knee on it, but Natty evades and Charlotte’s knee goes into the mat. Natty throws Charlotte against the buckles, then embraces the heat. She stomps a mudhole into Charlotte, then tells the ref to shut up about the count. Natty drags Charlotte up and out for a snapmare, then runs over her, but Charlotte kip-up to lariat! Both women are down from exhaustion, but Charlotte drags herself up to her feet.

The fans rally, and both women approach each other. Charlotte gives out those Flair chops! She whips Natty to the corner, then chops again! Charlotte’s exploder suplex throws Natty at the ropes, and she walks over, but Natty yanks her into the buckles! Natty spins, but into another boot! Charlotte goes for the legs but Natty scrambles away, then evades in a corner. Natty runs in but is caught into backbreaker and buckle shot! Natty gasps while Charlotte brings herself up to her feet. Charlotte climbs up, but Natty springs up to trip her up! Natty carries Charlotte, for a spinning powerbomb!

Cover, TWO! Both women are down again, barely moving. Natty finally gets up, and she goes for the legs, for the Sharpshooter! Charlotte endures, reaches and crawls for ropes, to get the ropebreak. Natty kicks her to the apron, then guillotine catapults her into the ropes.

Natty staggers up, as does Charlotte, Natty discus lariats Charlotte down! Cover, TWO! Natty brings Charlotte up, Charlotte cradle counters, TWO. Charlotte gets the takedown, but Natty shoves Charlotte out. Natty comes out running but Charlotte runs her over with a SPEAR! Charlotte brings Natty up and in, and finally into the Figure Four! Natty endures, slapping Charlotte. Natty rolls things but Charlotte keeps it going, and then Charlotte brings Natty tot he apron for a hanging Figure Four! The referee has them break it up, but Charlotte isn’t done yet. She climbs up, but Natty intercepts again. They brawl while Natty climbs up, and Natty grabs Charlotte, for a SUPERPLEX! Natty can’t move for the cover, out comes CARMELLA!!

Ms. Money in the Bank brings her own ref, and the briefcase! But Charlotte revives! She boots Carmella down! Natty rolls Charlotte, Natty wins!! No cash in for Carmella, but no win for the SmackDown Women’s Champion, either! Was this a conspiracy or just perfect timing for Natty? And all that aside, can Charlotte refocus to be ready for Asuka?

 

Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Harper w/ Rowan!

After the utter devastation The Bludgeon Brothers brought upon The New Day and the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, obviously the Usos would want some semblance of revenge. Can Jimmy do it when it’s just him and just Harper? Or will the story be the same for the stoic behemoths of the Blue Brand?

Before the match, the Usos speak. “Check this out.” At Fastlane, Usos VS New Day, battling it out to be the champions. “One of the hottest rivalries renewed.” Another instant classic to determine who goes on to Wrestlemania. Until the Bludgeon Brothers got involved. Harper & Rowan weren’t just after titles, but they were out to give out beatings. Jey is all banged up, but it’s okay because the Usos still have the belts. The Usos don’t know how to back down, they only know how to survive. They only know is how to go hard and be “the best damn tag team the WWE has ever seen!”

Three weeks away, they’re not standing down. Nine years in the game, and you think you can take just take away what they’ve worked so hard to get? It doesn’t matter if the Usos are 100%, 90%, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20. It doesn’t matter, you get in the ring, it’s #LockDown! Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! Harper & Rowan appear while we go picture in picture.

The Bludgeon Brothers take their time entering the ring. Harper hops up onto the apron and stares Jimmy down. The two circle, but Jimmy slips out of the ring. Harper follows, with Rowan behind him, and they stalk Jimmy regroups with Jey to lead them around. Jimmy reenters the ring, to hit Harper as he hops up. Jimmy runs, but Harper knocks him back, to then get in the ring and throw Jimmy out. Harper leaves the ring again to rock Jimmy with a stiff chop and uppercut. He rips Jimmy’s shirt off before giving him another uppercut, then another. Jimmy gets to a corner but Harper is upon him, a palm grinding into Jimmy’s jaw. Harper chops Jimmy, then chops him again, but Jimmy hits back with an uppercut and chop of his own.

Jimmy backs Harper down, then whips but Harper reverses to hit a corner uppercut. Harper throws Jimmy down, then stalks him to a corner. Fans rally, but Harper chops Jimmy again. Harper runs in for a side splash, but fans keep rallying for the Usos. Harper runs but Jimmy ducks and Harper tumbles down and out. Jey stays clear while Jimmy comes out, but Harper shoves him back. Harper runs but a drop toehold sends him face first into the LED, breaking a panel! Jimmy builds speed but Rowan is on the apron to stop him.

Harper returns, but Jimmy kicks Rowan and dragon whips Harper. Rowan is incensed, but Jey SUPERKICKS Harper, Jimmy SUPERKICKS, cover, TWO!? Jimmy is shocked but he doesn’t lose focus. He runs but into Harper’s SUPERKICK. Harper lifts Jimmy but Jimmy slips out, and boots Harper away. Jimmy climbs up, Harper sweeps his legs, and then climbs up to smack Jimmy’s face off the top of the post. Harper backs away to take aim from the corner, big spinning lariat! Harper covers, Harper wins for the Bludgeon Brothers. With great dominance and durability even 1v1, who can hope to defeat Harper & Rowan as a team?

 

Sunil Singh introduces Jinder Mahal.

Or in other words, the “next United States Champion” and Modern Day Maharaja. The WWE announced a United States Championship Triple Threat with Mahal, former champion Bobby Roode, and current Champion, Randy Orton. The fans boo and jeer, but Mahal says they’re just hypocrites. Mahal has sacrificed everything for a moment on the Grandest Stage. He reminds us that “a man of my wealth” could be vacationing anywhere in the world. And a “man of my looks and physique” could be the biggest star in Bollywood. Yet, Mahal chose to restore the WWE Championship to prestige and make SmackDown the show. People should worship him! Americans claim to want change, yet all they care about is the status quo with men like Randy Orton and… Bobby Roode appears!

The GLORIOUS Roode says the only hypocrite here is Mahal. As for no respect, “respect is a two way street.” And Mahal doesn’t deserve any respect. What Mahal deserves come Wrestlemania is Roode beating him and winning back the United States title. And when Roode does, “it’s going to be absolutely–” Randy Orton appears!

Yes, the Grand slam Champion! Mahal, shut up. He doesn’t understand why no one respects him, or why when people think of the greatest champions, he’s not included. It’s actually rather obvious, really: without the help of his stooges, Mahal sucks. The fans agree, they chant “You Suck! You Suck!” at Mahal. Mahal takes off his coat, but throws Sunil Singh at Orton! Mahal runs away, Orton gives Sunil the draping DDT! Orton prepares those voices, but Roode takes Sunil for the GLORIOUS DDT! He tries one for Orton, Orton tries to reverse to the RKO but Roode pushes away. Mahal slinks near the ring but they’re both ready for him. The fans chant “RKO! RKO!” but this will wait for Wrestlemania. Who will be THE United States Champion after these three meet on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad w/ Ruby Riott!

The Glow and the Fire look to get back on track after a few defeats as of late. Meanwhile, Ruby’s #KentuckyStrong and #LivStrong compatriots want to look strong going into the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal. Who will get the edge here tonight?

The bell rings and Sarah Logan starts against Naomi. They tie up and Sarah picks Naomi up to bring her to the Squad’s corner. She tags in Liv Morgan and they double whip Naomi, only for Naomi to slide under and kick them both. Liv ducks a kick and a kick and a kick, but not that knee. Naomi covers, TWO, so Naomi tags in Becky. They double whip and double hip toss Liv down. Becky mule kicks and European Uppercuts Liv to then go after her at the ropes. Liv kicks back then whips but Becky reverses. Liv yanks Becky into buckles and tags in Sarah, Ruby looking on with a grin as Becky’s head is bumped off Sarah’s boot. The Squad mudhole stomp Becky, then Sarah runs to hit Becky with a stiff sliding knee. Cover, TWO, but Sarah stays on her with a half straitjacket.

The fans rally for Becky, even as Sarah thrashes her around. Becky fights up to her feet and arm-drags out, but Sarah intercepts her tag to slam Becky down. Sarah brings Becky up but Becky throws Sarah out over the top rope. Becky crawls but Ruby helps Sarah get back in, and Sarah runs to knock Naomi off the apron. Sarah drags Becky back, then single leg deadlift, but Becky reverses into the Disarm-her!

Liv comes in, Rear View from Naomi! Sarah taps, Becky & Naomi win! The Fire and the Glow light up, can one of them carve their names in history at Wrestlemania?

 

Daniel Bryan learns of Kevin & Sami arriving.

He has his assistant tell them to meet him in the ring. What will happen on the other side of the break?

 

Daniel Bryan returns to the ring.

The SmackDown GM waited all night for this. They’re here, so he asks Kevin & Sami come to the ring to join him. Sami & Kevin do come out, and are excited from knowing the news of the day.

They weren’t sure about coming, since Shane McMahon wasn’t. Then they got the news! Daniel Bryan is cleared for competition! Kevin & Sami raced here, but got pulled over by Walker Texas Ranger for speeding. They talked their way out of it, because “everyone’s dumber in Texas.” But they’re here now to share the moment and it feels great. Sami & Kevin wouldn’t miss this for the world. He supported them day one. He understood them when no one else did. When the rest of SmackDown’s roster hated them, he stood up for them. When Shane had a grudge against them, he was fair. And now, Bryan gets to return to in-ring competition! Good things happen to good people.

Raw VS SmackDown, A-Show VS B-Show? The show that has Kevin, Sami and Bryan is the DREAM Show! In fact, that sounds like a dream team. The fans say “NO! NO!” and Bryan appreciates the idea, but that’s not what this meeting is for. It’s about the assault they committed on Shane last week after Shane said he would take an indefinite leave of absence and step down from being Commissioner.

Sami & Kevin can’t help but laugh. They think that was funny? Kevin admits they got carried away, and Sami admits that looks extreme, but we all know Shane deserves it, right? Bryan says they can’t act like this is something small. That attack was a big deal. They understand what they did, right? Bryan knows they’re the very best of this generation, and when Shane said Bryan lived vicariously through them, he was right. They’ve known each other for 15 years. But they assaulted their boss.

And the one thing Bryan really can’t understand is, they’d won. Shane admitted to everything, and gave them a 1v1 match at Wrestlemania! Imagine back to ten years ago, if they were told this was going to happen. Not only did Shane do that, but also, he was leaving! Bryan was in their corner to run this show, yet they still went and did that. Shane was right, and Bryan doesn’t want to do this but… Bryan was fired twice, and came back better. Sami & Kevin can learn and grow, so as much as Bryan hates having to do this, but… “You’re Fired.”

The fans chant “YES! YES!” as Kevin & Sami get what they deserve. Bryan says they won’t be gone forever, just for now. He’s sorry, but he has to. He offers a handshake good-bye, which Sami accepts. Bryan offers it to Kevin, Kevin accepts it. They go to leave, but Kevin attacks!! Kevin roars as Sami rains down rights and lefts! Deja vu to last week, #Kami goes after Bryan, but Bryan fights back! He pushes Kevin to a corner and unloads kicks! Then Sami comes in for a sleeper, but Bryan slips around for a German Suplex! Dropkick fro Kevin! Dropkick for Sami!

Another for Kevin! Another for Sami! Bryan is back! And fans chant “YES! YES!” as Kevin takes the YES Kicks!

Sami returns to clobber Bryan, and fans boo. Referees try to stop this but Sami keeps going. He drags Bryan up,  SUPERKICK from Kevin. Kevin holds Bryan up, and shouts for Sami to “DO IT!” Sami runs in, HELLUVA KICK! Bryan goes down, the fans say “You Suck! You Suck!” Kevin and Sami look down at Bryan as he tries to stand, and Kevin punches him down again. They bring Bryan out of the ring and to the floor, and Sami feeds Bryan to the APRON POWERBOMB!! Bryan goes down in a heap, and the fans boo and jeer while Kevin roars in rage. Kevin & Sami finally leave while a stretcher comes out. The fans remind them “You’re Still Fired!” but will there be consequences beyond that for them? And what will this mean for Bryan’s in-ring return after taking all that damage?

 

My Thoughts:

This was quite the episode of SmackDown. Things were a bit copy & paste of last week with some edits, but it was all in good taste of the stories building. Nakamura taking on Rusev, winning, then actually fighting them off, all without Styles, was a great flip from last week when he bailed Styles out. There should be a Styles-Nakamura VS Rusev Day tag match before we get to ‘Mania, it’s completely logical. Corbin VS Dillinger was a bit filler, but still great to see Dillinger back on TV. Clearly WWE wants us to anticipate a possible repeat win for Corbin, which will likely mean he doesn’t repeat. Would be great if Dillinger wins, battle royals are perfect for giving someone a big boost in the card.

The Women’s Division did pretty good tonight. Charlotte VS Natty was incredible, but their matches always are. Carmella pulling off a cash-in swerve not-swerve was incredible. I’d like to think Carmella was being in it for herself and Natty took advantage as opposed to a plan between the two. Carmella still has chances, but this could foreshadow how she tries it again at ‘Mania. As for the tag match, that was a bit weaker, but good for Becky to get the win. Maybe Becky can use the Women’s Battle Royal to boost her back up to the top. The Tag Team and US Championship segments were also good, helping set up some great stuff for ‘Mania, and especially next week’s tag team of Orton-Roode VS Mahal-Singh. Given how Orton pointed out Mahal sucks when he’s without the Singhs, I’d hope they win to prove it.

Great to hear the news reported again on air, and Bryan was genuinely emotional sharing the reality of it all. There was so much speculation in the hours leading up to tonight, and Ziggler gave a nice tease. However, it’s clear the first thing for Bryan in-ring has to do with Kevin & Sami. I did not expect Bryan to “fire” them, and I really didn’t expect them to attack like that. They did almost as much as they did to Shane, but obviously they couldn’t go that hard on someone who just got cleared. This does kinda make you wonder just how long he really was cleared, or why he was finally cleared. But chances are, Bryan & Shane VS Kevin & Sami is where this is heading. After that, the sky’s the limit for Bryan because of how red hot over he still is with fans.

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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