All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Six Man NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: EC3 VS Adam Cole VS Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream VS. Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain; Cole wins and becomes the new NXT North American Champion.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler; Shayna wins and becomes the new NXT Women’s Champion.
- Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne; Undisputed win, retain the NXT Tag Team Championships and win the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
- NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Aleister Black; Black wins and becomes the new NXT Champion.
- Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano VS Tommaso Ciampa; Gargano wins and has his NXT contract back.
PLAY BY PLAY
The NXT Kickoff Panel interviews Adam Cole.
He clutches onto one of the NXT Tag Team Championship belts but is also going for the North American Championship. Cole is pulling double duty, but tonight is a “living, breathing travesty”, it’s TakeOver: Let’s Screw Undisputed Era. He says it’s ridiculous. And what is Pat McAfee doing there? He’s not worth Cole’s time. But Pat tells Cole soem breaking news: the NAC Ladder Match starts the night! The very first night is the ladder match?! Cole has to do that before the triple threat tag?! Yes, take it up with management. How is Cole going to address this possible lose-lose night? Regal wishes that’s how it’ll go. Tonight is the biggest challenge in Undisputed Era’s career, but they’ll find a way because they always come out on top!
Sam Roberts asks what the goal was with last NXT’s interruption? To prove a point: the Undisputed Era is the best team in NXT and ALL of the WWE. No one else deserves the Dusty Rhodes Classic cup or the Tag Team Championships, “and that’s a fact”. Cole storms out before Pat can finish asking his next question, how will Cole’s mood be once the show starts?
Backstage interview with Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne.
Tonight, the sold-out TakeOver puts both the Dusty Cup and the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line. How are these two feeling? “Tonight’s huge!” Strong has always wanted to be champion here, and tonight it can happen. Strong wanted a tag partner he felt he could trust, and that’s Dunne. Dunne says the Undisputed Era put their foots in their mouths when they stuck their noses in someone else’s business, so now Dunne vows to put his foot and more into their mouths. The Authors of Pains are also part of the match, and Strong knows “they’re big bad dudes”, but while Akam & Rezar bring the fight, so will they. When it’s winner takes all in the triple threat tag, who will come out the combined Dusty Rhodes Classic winners and tag team champions?
Triple H has Johnny Gargano sign the Hold Harmless Agreement.
This paperwork is necessary for the Unsanctioned Match, as Gargano is no longer an employee and WWE cannot be held responsible for what Tommaso Ciampa does to him in their match.
Candice LeRae joins the panel.
Mrs. Wrestling speaks on her husband’s ultimate grudge match with a former best friend. This is like the Twilight Zone to her. Ciampa was a roommate, a best friend, the best man at their wedding, yet he seems like a completely different person. The match is more than just about Gargano getting his dream job back, with how special NXT is, but this is a personal fight. What is Gargano’s state after what Ciampa has done to him? As his wife, Candice doesn’t always agree with her husband’s decisions, but she understands and accepts his choice.
Neither of them are happy about what happened, “I want my husband back.” This has changed Gargano, too, and “it’s unsettling how calm he seems.” Gargano has no nerves or anxiety, he’s eerily calm. Pat knows Gargano has everything to lose as well as gain here, because this could be a permanent good-bye. Is he fighting for revenge or for his career? “He’s fighting for his dream.” Which is Candice more worried about? Gargano’s job or his health? She admits it’s a gamble, but she still supports him. She hopes for the best but prepares for the worst, if it means they can both be in NXT together.
Referee Drake Wuertz joins via video call to say that he’s really only part of the match to count pins and submissions. Other than that, there’s no rules, anything can happen. Unsanctioned means no rules, but Pat can’t understand what else is there for a ref to do! Drake agrees, but he’s not sure about this, either. Sam asks Drake about his relationship with Gargano and Ciampa. Drake had to count the pin that fired Gargano from NXT to begin with. Drake knows now he made a bad call but he was in a bad spot. That pinfall will haunt him for a long time. Will he be able to do another hard call tonight? Drake takes a moment, but says he will. As for Candice, she’s at a loss for words. Anything can happen in the Unsanctioned Match, can Johnny Wrestling get back to NXT?
Drew McIntyre joins the Kickoff Panel.
How does the former NXT champion feel? He’s doing rehab for his injury these last four months, but he did #WWJCD: What Would John Cena Do? McIntyre has been 100% focused to get back. He’s been watching Andrade “Cien” Almas, the man who defeated him, “the man’s cocky but he gets the job down.” Almas and Vega are a great duo, and he dropped McIntyre on his head. McIntyre promises when he returns, he’s not just taking Almas’ arm, but his head. What does McIntyre see happening tonight? It doesn’t really matter, so long as the best man wins, because McIntyre will be back to go after either of them. But who would McIntyre like better? Again, doesn’t matter, he still goes after Almas either way.
Cane Hill opens the show with live music!
Specifically, they play the theme song they provided for TakeOver: New Orleans, “It Follows”.
Six Man NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: EC3 VS Adam Cole VS Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream VS Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain!
With NXT bordering between developmental and a brand unto itself, William Regal felt it necessary to make an entirely new championship! And what better way to give this new belt meaning than to have six amazing talents from around the world compete to be the first? The Panama City Playboy has another match to worry about tonight, will he be able to focus on grabbing history for his own? Or will another of the contenders climb above the rest?
All six men watch the belt hoisted high above the ring. The bell rings, and already fans say, “This is Awesome!” The six men are standing around but EC3 slips out. Cole and Dream pounce on Ricochet, but then Lars and Damo pounce on them. Only the monsters remain in the ring, but they notice EC3 egg them on, so they go out after him! He’s cornered, but Cole and Dream come over. The behemoths get the better of the three, but then Ricochet springboards and FLIES!
Ricochet wipes out Lars and Damo, and the fans lose their minds! The One & Only King of Speed gets a ladder in the ring and stands it up. Ricochet climbs up but Dream intercepts to knock him away. Dream moves the ladder aside, but Ricochet goes after him. Ricochet whips but Dream reverses, Ricochet rolls off his back to handspring headscissor and dropkick Dream down! Fans are all fired up for the red-hot Ricochet, but Dream puts him on the apron. Ricochet punches Dream away but Dream trips up the springboard to send him crashing and burning. Dream gets the ladder, but Cole comes in to stop that. Cole throws hands and kicks, then a mudhole stomp.
Damo grabs Cole but Cole enziguris Damo down. Dream runs out, but Cole gets him with the Ushigoroshi! Cole hurries up but EC3 gets in, so Cole hops down, but into a shoulder jawbreaker. EC3 keeps Lars out, splashes and snapmares Cole to a neck snap. The fans rally but Lars returns to clobber EC3, then do the same to Cole. Lars whips Cole, pop up into a powerslam! Then he scoops EC3, for another powerslam! Damo returns and dumps Lars out, to then build speed and DIVE!
The Beast of Belfast wipes out the Leviathan, but he enters just as Ricochet does. Damo rallies on him and Dream with big rights. Damo scoops Dream, then catches Ricochet, but Cole kicks and they all fall down. Cole brawls with Ricochet, but then Damo adds on. He grabs them both and Dream comes in for 2v2 brawling. Damo has Cole in a corner while Dream European Uppercuts Ricochet. EC3 comes in and it’s a five man brawl. Lars carries in another ladder like it’s nothing, and throws it at them all!
They go down like bowling pins! Lars roars as he picks that ladder back up and rams Damo with it. Then he knocks EC3 and Cole down with it, then puts the ladder around his head to hit Dream and Ricochet, then EC3 and Cole again! Lars sits the ladder in a corner, and boucnes Damo off it. Lars gets another ladder, grabs Dream, and just drops him on it, ribs first! The Leviathan finally stands a ladder up, and climbs. Ricochet catches up to him and throws hands on the big man. Ricochet gets up and over but Lars holds onto the ladder to deny the sunset flip pwerbomb. EC3 and Dream keep the ladder down, and work to pry Lars off with Ricochet. Cole returns, climbs up and punches Lars, and the powerbomb is completed!
This leaves Cole on the very top, and he climbs! But Damo returns to stop him. Cole tells the “punk” off, but Damo just headbutts Cole down. Damo dumps the ladder over, then tosses Ricochet onto the other! He stands the other ladder back up and begins to climb, but Cole dropkicks him. EC3 returns and hits Damo with a super bulldog! EC3 and Cole fight over the ladder, then decide to work together to use it on Lars. They wedge Lars in the corner and throw hands. Then they spot Damo and go after him. EC3 brings out a new ladder, and Cole helps him with it to make a bridge. They go back to Damo, and double whip him into it, the ladder clotheslining Damo down!
EC3 and COle return to ram Lars again, and even high-five. The Top 1% copies Cole’s pose, and Cole takes offense, so he Death Valley Drivers EC3 on a ladder. SUPERKICK to Dream, SUPERKICK to Damo, SUPERKICK to Lars, then SUPERKICK to EC3! And yes, SUPERKICK to the flying Ricochet, from “ADAM COLE, BAYBAY!”
Cole finds himself all alone again, and gets a ladder up. He climbs up with the fans fired up behind him, but Lars returns to tip it over. Cole hotshots on ropes but Dream rams Lars down. Dream climbs up to the top, and hits Damo with a PUrple Rain Maker elbow! He won’t slwo down, he hits one on Cole! Dream wants the hat trick, taking aim at Ricochet, and he hits it to the back of Ricochet’s head. Now Dream is the one all alone, and he grabs a ladder. Lars returns an dpins Dream into a corner with the ladder. Dream taps out, but that doesn’t matter. Lars runs corner to corner, but Dream shoves that ladder in his face! Dream sets the ladder up again, and climbs to the very top. Fans sense what’s coming next as Dream takes aim at Lars. SUPER Purple Rain Maker!
And it hits! The fans are loving this as Dream gets himself back up. Dream sets one of the other ladders up in a corner, then adjusts the ladder he used. He climbs, but EC3 returns to get him. EC3 pulls Dream down and powerbombs him into the corner ladder!
Dream goes down, and EC3 has the fans rallying as he flounders back to the main ladder. Damo blasts EC3 with a dropkick, but EC3 counters with the modified STO. He gives Lars a cutter, too, then finally climbs. Cole yanks him off, then climbs, so EC3 clubs him back. EC3 puts Cole in a fireman’s carry, SUPER TKO!
Everyone is down, but EC3 and Damo are stirring. EC3 climbs while fans again say, “This is Awesome!” Damo stops EC3, bicycle boot knocks EC3 down. Now Damo tries the climb, but Cole goes after him. Damo throws Cole to a corner, then brings EC3 up for the Wasteland slam. Damo sets a ladder on top of EC3, and hits the back senton! EC3 writhes from being crushed, but Damo won’t stop there. Damo climbs up, but Cole returns and clubs him. Cole climbs up, positions himself for a sleeper, but Damo jumps and they both fall on EC3!
The Vader Bomb takes them all out, but Lars slowly returns while fans again say, “This is Awesome!” Cole slumps out of the ring while Damo and Lars rise. The monsters lock eyes again, but Ricochet comes in. Lars tosses Ricochet aside but Ricochet dodges in the corner to hit Darmo with a bicycle kick, then hit Lars with one. Ricochet keeps moving, roaring elbow to Damo, but Lars catches him. Lars puts Ricochet in a corner and throws him across the way! Damo sees that, fans want Damo to “Throw Him Back!” So he does! Ricochet bounces out of the ring, and now the monsters are alone again for a brawl! They go back and forth, Lars runs but into Damo’s mule kick. Damo throws elbows and EuroUppers, then clobbers Lars with a lariat. Damo runs at Lars, but Lars catches him!! Lars slams Damo out of the Divide!
Lars grabs a ladder, stands it up, and begins to climb. Ricochet returns to go after Lars, pulling him off for a roundhouse! Ricochet climbs, but Lars tips the ladder, so Ricochet moonsaults off onto Damo and Cole! Fans lose their minds while Ricochet crawls away from the wreckage. He springboards and dropkicks Lars down, but then EC3 kicks Ricochet down. EC3 puts Ricochet on the top rope and chops away at him. He moves things around, but Ricochet hits back, and EC3 ends up on a ladder again. Ricochet takes aim, and hits a Shooting Star onto EC3 and the ladder!
Everyone is down again, but Ricochet has the fans rallying. Ricochet positions a ladder and climbs up, but Dream returns! Dream rocks Ricochet with a right, then takes another ladder. He misses hitting Ricochet, but Ricochet hits Dream with a heavy haymaker. They go ladder against ladder and make a new bridge. Dream rocks Ricochet again, then finishes the ladder bridge before placing Ricochet on it. Dream climbs up again, but Ricochet intercepts him. They brawl while they climb, and end up balancing on the bridge. The fans beg, “Please Don’t Die!” Ricochet trips up Dream, and looks to leap on him, but Dream kicks him in the stomach. Dream sits up while Ricochet sits down. Dream throws hands and finds footing, for a very scary rolling Death Valley!
The fans lose their minds as both men go down. Referees check on Ricochet and Dream, they’re somehow okay to continue. But while they’re down, Lars gets up. Lars lariats Dream back down! He drags Dream up, sets him on the original ladder bridge, then climbs onto the apron. He sees EC3 coming and clubs him, to bring him out, for a FREAK ACCIDENT!
The ladder breaks!! Lars takes himself out with EC3 and Dream, and the fans are losing their minds harder than ever. But again, “This is Awesome!” While these three men are still down and out, Damo grabs Ricochet and puts him on a new ladder bridge. Damo climbs up, but Cole goes after him. Cole brawls with Damo, but it does nothing. Damo just brings Cole with him as he jumps onto Ricochet!
And that ladder breaks, too!! All six men are wrecked on the floor, but fans chant “NXT! NXT!” The fans also want them to “Fight Forever!”, as impossible as that might seem. Lars drags himself up into the ring, and he goes into the ring to climb the one ladder standing. But Damo is slowly following. Lars is almost there, but Damo stops him. They brawl while they climb. Somehow EC3 returns, and uses a ladder to jab at them both. Lars and Damo come down while EC3 sets up the ladder. Cole returns and climbs with EC3, side by side with Damo and Lars. They all reach while brawling, not letting anyone else get ahead of them.
Dream returns and adds on, while also adding a third ladder. The ladders go three wide while Dream climbs and Ricochet returns. Dream comes the closest but has to let go as the brawl gets stronger. No one is backing down, so Cole just takes EC3 with him in a Russian leg sweep! Dream and Ricochet kick the monsters down, Dream paws at the belt, but Ricochet brawls with him. Ricochet ducks a punch to then turn Dream, for a SUPER Neckbreake! This leaves the monsters left on the ladders. Damo clubs Lars down, but Lars grabs Damo, for a SUPER Freak Accident! No one is left on the ladders, but the fans are loving it. Lars drags himself up again, climbing for the top, but Ricochet leaps in out of nowhere to bring him down!
Ricochet leaves Lars on the ground as he positions a ladder back under the belt. He climbs, but Cole tips him off and out! Cole climbs up, grabs the belt, and brings it down! Adam Cole wins!!
Winner: Adam Cole, NEW NXT North American Champion!
The Undisputed Era’s double duty superstar makes history, just as he promised! Cole has a belt all to his own, but will he have the energy to help Kyle O’Reilly return the tag team championships later on?
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler!
While the Queen of Spades made it to the finals of the Mae Young Classic and sees herself as a champion already, the Prophecy of Flame simply sees her as a bully. Ember may have survived Shayna in Philadelphia, but will this war end in New Orleans with the War Goddess still champion?
The bell rigns and Ember goes right at Shayna, but Shayna dodges to rock Ember with a right hand! Shayna smirks, but Ember gets her with a swing kick. Ember drags Shayna out, then dropkicks her into steel steps. SHe puts Shayna back in the ring, but Shayna’s right up. Ember runs, dodges, and hits a flying Code Breaker! Cover, TWO, but Ember puts Shayna in a crossface! Shayna rolls her, Ember holds on, Shayna gets the ropebreak. Ember lets go at 4, Shayna gets out of the ring. Ember stalks from the apron, but Shayna blocks the kick to trip the champion up. Shayna taunts Ember before putting her into the barriers, then back in the ring. Cover, ONE, but Shayna goes after that left arm.
Ember gets away so Shayna lets her hair down. Shayna runs and htis Ember with a knee, then a gut wrench suplex and a kick. Cover, TWO, but Shayna isn’t bothered. She just bends Ember back in a Bow & Arrow. The fans rally for Ember, Ember fights out, then slips up and around for a headscissor. Ember runs at Shayna, handspring forearm! She runs, but Shayna follows for another knee. Shayna runs but into Ember’s roll up, TWO. Ember tries again but Shayna spins her around, big knee lift! Cover, TWO! Shayna keeps her cool, daring Ember to get up again. Shayna grabs Ember in a sleeper, but Ember throws her off.
Ember dropkicks Shayna, matchbook cover, TWO, and Shayna slips around to a sleeper! Ember backs her into buckles but Shayna holds on, so Ember jumps to fall on Shayna. Shayna lets go, the fans applaud while Ember crawls to a corner. The fans rally while Ember pulls herself up. Shayna stands and runs in but Ember evades. Ember comes back with kicks, then runs to dropkick Shayna down again. Ember keeps going, half-hatch suplex and kip-up. The fans fire up as Ember runs, sliding complete shot! Cover, TWO.
Ember grits her teeth as she brings Shayna back up. She clubs Shayna, whips but Shayna reverses, Ember springboards but Shayna ducks under, letting Ember hit the mat. Shayna stands on Ember’s hand, and Ember senses what’s coming. Shyna goes to stomp, but Ember gets clear! Ember sweeps Shayna’s legs, then stands on Shayna’s hand to turn things around! Ember stomps on Shayna’s arm!
Shayna writhes, but the referee backs Ember off. Ember doesn’t care, she gets right at the arm for an arm wringer. Matchbox cover, TWO, but Ember keeps her focus. She kicks Shayna’s arm, then decides to climb up top. Ember takes aim, but Shayna bumps ropes to trip her up. Shayna kicks Ember while she’s stuck, giving a swift kick to the head, then a dropkick to the back. The referee backs her off, and Shayna takes a moment to recover. She pops her arm back in with the help of the post! Then she goes to Ember from the outside, but Ember is ready. Ember kicks her down, then gets another wicked idea in her head. She adjusts, takes aim, and leaps for a SUPER Eclipse!
Both women are down on the outside! The referee checks on them, and sees they’re okay to continue. He begins a ten count, and Ember begins to stir. The count reaches 8 when both women get in the ring. Shayna still works to get her arm working, but Ember crawls over. Shayna suddenly pops Ember into the Kirafuda!
Ember reaches, pries, and goes after the bad arm! Shayna lets go, Ember keeps on the arm with hammering forearms, but Shayna gets her in a triangle hold! Ember high stacks that, TWO, so DEADLIFT POWERBOMB! Another cover, TWO!! And Ember can’t believe it! But she won’t let that stop her, as she grits her teeth. The fans rally while Ember gets to the top rope again. Ember takes aim, and jumps for another Eclipse!
But gets dragged into the Kirafuda!!
Ember is caught! She goes for the bad arm, but Shayna won’t let that stop her anymore! Shayna uses her hair to finish the lock, keeping Ember in. Ember tries anything, from the bad arm to prying at the legs. Ember flails, reaches, but she starts to fade. Shayna rolls her away, Ember keeps trying, but she can’t get out. Fans rally, Ember gets a second wind to make it a cover, TWO, and the hold stays on. Ember’s out, Shayna wins!!
Winner: Shayna, by submission; NEW NXT Women’s Champion
The Submission Magician has done it! She has defeated the #Shenom to get her hands on what she felt was hers all along. Now that Shayna reigns over the Women’s Division, will there be any stopping her from doing what she wants to who she wants?
Adam Cole gets checked out in the trainer’s room.
The new North American Champion is very tender, but Kyle O’Reilly wants a partner out there. It doesn’t look good for the Undisputed Era, how will they hold on to their belts like this?
Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne!
The premier tag team tournament that honors the godfather of NXT, the American Dream, returned for a third year. However, Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly felt that with Bobby Fish down with injury, they had to do something to protect their titles. They ruined what were the finals of the tournament, but William Regal wouldn’t allow it to end that way. Thus, this triple threat was made! Who will come away with all the prizes in this amazing combination of tag team matches?
The Authors don’t wait for the bell, they go right at the weakened Undisputed Era! It is a brawl with all six men going left and right. Akam & Rezar get control with a big boot to Cole, then another to Kyle. Strong gets thrown out and then so does Dunne. They focus on Kyle, neckbreaker bomb, but Cole manages to break the cover. Akam & Rezar throw the battered Cole out, and then clear off the Spanish announce table! Ellering coaches them as they bring Cole up, but Dunne & Strong come in. Akam & Rezar boot them away, then go back to Cole, but he slips out of the double choke slam! He can’t get away, though, they make it a double POWERBOMB!
Cole goes down through the table, but then Kyle flies in to knee Rezar! He boots Akam, too, but then turns into Strong’s chop. Kyle still knees Strong down, but Dunne is upon him with a hoverboard wristlock! They fall to the mat, Kyle makes it a cover, then to an armbar, but Dunne slips out. Dunen swings but Kyle blocks and counters with a strike fest that dumps Dunne on his head. Strong chops Kyle, then catches a knee into a backbreaker. Strong knees Akam out, then dropkicks Rezar. Rezar stays up so Strong unloads, and lets Kyle forearm Rezar out for him. Strong then gets Kyle into a full nelson backbreaker, cover, TWO!
The Messiah of the Backbreaker knows he’s close, so he hoists Kyle up. Kyle slips around to put Strong in the guillotine! He wrenches, Strong works to make it a cover, but Kyle slips into a triangle! Akam returns and stomps Kyle, but Kyle grabs that foot into an ankle lock!
Kyle has two holds at once, but then Dunne comes in, only for Rezar to use him in a powerbomb to break it all! Everyone is down, but Ellering coaches his team up as Rezar gives knees to Strong. Akam actually tags in, and they mug Strong with knees. Akam stomps Strong, then gives him body shots. He tags Rezar in, and they continue to mug Strong. Rezar knocks Strong around, covers, ONE. Rezar puts Strong in a modified clutch, but fans rally. Strong stands up, fights back, but gets thrown overhead! Kyle returns and kicks at Rezar, but Rezar sits him down with a forearm. Cole is barely stirring, so Kyle goes it alone as he throws forearms, but gets thrown in a German Suplex! yet he’s right back up! To fall right out…
Strong crawls for his corner but Rezar intercepts him. Rezar tags in Akam and they again mug Strong in their corner. Akam drags Strong up for kicks to the stomach, then tags Rezar for more mugging of Strong. The referee checks on Cole but he’s nowhere near the ring. Rezar taunts Dunne while standing on Strong. He tags in Akam, and they mug Strong with another knee to the ribs. Akam taunts Dunne but fans rally for Strong. Akam tags Rezar back in, Rezar hits Dunne just because, but Kyle returns, only to get booted down again. Strong boots Rezar then enziguris him, and crawls for his corner. Kyle grabs Strong, but Strong shoves him off, tag to Dunne!
The British Bruiserweight rallies on Akam with strikes and an enziguri. Kyle whips Dunne to a corner but Dunne goes up and over. Dunne gets a waistlock, but Kyle gets the standing switch and German, but Dunne lands on his feet! Dunne kicks Kyle in the back, but then Rezar grabs him, only for Dunne to reverse the slam into a DDT! Cover, TWO! Kyle gets up and kicks Dunne, so Dunne slaps him. They brawl fast and furious, but Dunne get s the edge with a palm strike. Kyle kicks, then they both palm strike, but Akam runs them both over with clotheslines! The Authors grab one each, for the Super Collider!
They’re not done there, they drag Kyle up. Rezar runs, LAST CHAPTER! Cover, but STrong breaks it just in time! Strong hits Akam with a knee, then goes after Rezar. Rezar throws Strong out instead, then goes to Dunne. But Dunne gets the fingers! And snpas them! Then tag to Strong. Strong lifts Rezar but Rezar fights him off, shoving Strong into Dunne. Dunne goes down, but Strong puts Rezar into the corner, for a shining wizard! He then brings Rezar out, Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO! But Strong won’t stop, he tags in Dunne. Dunne climbs up, but Kyle anchors his foot. Strong goes after Kyle, and drops him on the apron! And Dunne adds double stomps! Strong swing kicks Rezar, then hits a knee lift, to then hit the knee and enziguri comb! Strong lifts Rezar, hand-off to Dunne, Bitter End of Heartache!
Cover, Akam breaks it! Strong goes after Akam and dumps him out, then runs, but his wrecking ball dropkick misses. Akam rushes Strong, but Strong puts him into steps! Dunne swings at Kyle but Kyle dodges to counter with the ax kick, Dunne still gets the enziguri! Dunne lifts Kyle, Bitter End! Cover, but Strong breaks it!? And he hits Dunne with End of Heartache?! He puts Kyle on the cover, Undisputed Era wins?!
Winners: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly, O’Reilly pinning), still NXT Tag Team Champions
What is going on!? Why did Strong do that to Dunne when they would’ve won?! Why did he help his enemies in the Undisputed Era? Or, are they enemies? Strong takes the armband, and is now a member of the Undisputed Era!!
NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Aleister Black!
The Embodiment of the End has sought the NXT Championship ever since joining this brand. El Idolo has let his ego run wild on his way to the top. Will the devil on Aleister’s back be satisfied with making Almas #FadeToBlack? Or will Almas get the respect he and Vega feel he deserves?
The bell rings, and the two run at each other! Aleister grazes Almas and the two brawl with haymakers. Aleister gives Almas a strike fest, Almas bails out, Aleister fakes him out with a springboard, but then actually jumps on him with a SUPER moonsault! Almas goes down, but Aleister puts him in the ring. Aleister glares at Vega to keep her back, then goes back to Almas. Almas slips out of the ring to overhand chop Aleister. Aleister hits back and puts Almas in the ring but Almas clobbers him. Almas whips, Aleister rolls off his back and goes for the crucifix, but makes it an Octopus hold! Shift to a sunset flip, TWO, and Almas gets out of the ring again.
Aleister pursues him, punching him around the corner. Aleister kicks Almas against barriers, then puts him in the ring, but Vega being Vega, she hits Aleister with a flying headscissors!
She sends Aleister into the steel steps! Vega then shouts to Almas, Almas gets Aleister in the ring, cover, TWO. Almas rains rights on Aleister, then brings Aleister up to put him into the post. The fans duel while Almas stomps a mudhole into Aleister. Almas whips Aleister corner to corner, then blocks Aleister’s boots into a draping backbreaker and clubbing forearm. Cover, TWO, so Almas stomps away on Aleister. Almas goes to the apron and grabs Aleister in the hanging triangle! The ref counts and Almas lets go at 4, to then springboard missile dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Almas keeps on Aleister in the chinlock.
Fans rally and Aleister fights his way out of the hold, but Almas switches to a chinbar and armlock. Almas wrenches Aleister while Vega trash talks him. The fans continue to rally, and Aleister fights his way up. he puts Almas in a corner but Almas holds on, so Aleister rams him to buckles again. Almas brings Aleister around, but the third time is the charm, and Aleister gets free. Aleister runs but back into a sleeper! He backs Almas into buckles and gets free again, to then back elbow Almas away. Almas boots back, then hops up, but Aleister fights him off. Aleister turns around, but Almas gets him right back into the hanging triangle! Almas lets go, and Aleister staggers away, but he counters the springboard missile dropkick with a knee lift!
Fans rally while both men are down, Vega shouting for her man. Both men stir, then stand up and brawl. Almas blocks but Aleister counters. Aleister rallies with forearms, sweeps the leg and slides in for a knee! Aleister kip-ups, and the fans fire up, he runs in for a forearm smash on Almas. He whips Almas back into the buckles, then springboards for the Quebrada!
TWO, and Vega is relieved. She tries to get Almas back into this while Aleister climbs up. Almas springs up to stop him, then chops him for good measure. Almas climbs up to join Aleister, but Aleister resists with body shots. Aleister adjusts, sunset flip but Almas lands on his feet! Almas misses Cien Knees, Aleister boots him back but then Almas gets around Aleister for a German Suplex! Vega tells Almas to seize opportunity, and Almas climbs up. Moonsault, Almas lands on his feet to moonsault again onto Aleister! Cover, TWO, and Vega is frustrated for Almas. Almas goes after Aleister’s arm, but Aleister forearms back.
They brawl with forearms back and forth, Aleister getting the edge. Almas kicks, so Aleister kicks and knees, but the roundhouse misses. Almas throws elbows from both sides, then runs, but narrowly avoids Aleister’s back hand to give a back elbow of his own! Cover, ONE, and Vega can’t believe it. Almas runs, Aleister hits a big knee, cover, TWO! Vega coaches Almas up, and Almas stands up. Aleister also stands as the fans rally. Almas forearms Aleister, then they both forearm, both chop, and both roundhouse! They both fall back to the mat, and fans applaud while Vega is shocked. She tells Almas to think, to be the smarter man. The fans like it, though, and declare “This is Awesome!”
The ref starts a ten count, and it reaches 6 before either man stirs. They get up, Aleister elbows Almas away, and Almas ends up in a corner. Aleister runs in at Almas, Almas hip-tosses Aleister into buckles! Almas fires up and runs, but Aleister intercepts the knees. Aleister kicks then runs, but Almas dumps him out over the top rope! Almas runs, jumps and hits Aleister with a corkscrew plancha! He keeps going, putting Aleister back in the ring to cover, TWO! Vega and Almas can’t believe it! But Almas calms down to then direct Vega. Vega grabs the belt and gives it to El Campeon, who brings it into the ring. The referee takes the belt away from Almas, but this is a distraction so Vega can hit Aleister with a spike-rana!
Vega slips out and Almas covers, TWO! And Vega throws a tantrum. She tells Almas to finish this now, and fans rally as Almas drags Aleister back up. He puts Aleister in the hammerlock, but small package counter, TWO! BLACK MASS!!
Cover, but Vega cheats the ropebreak! Vega laughs to herself while Aleister can’t believe it. Almas slumps out of the ring to buy himself some time. Aleister goes for another moonsault, but Vega anchors his feet! He manages to kick free, but Almas runs over and trips him up! Vega tells Almas to keep going, and Almas climbs up. Almas forearms Aleister, then continues on up, draping double stomps!
Almas isn’t done there, CIEN KNEES!!
Cover, TWO!! And neither Almas nor Vega can believe it! Fans are all fired up for this, even though Vega is furious. Almas stalks Aleister on weak legs. He drags Aleister up, and prepares the hammerlock, but Aleister lifts with a fireman’s carry. Almas slips out then swings that back elbow, but Aleister dodges and the referee almost takes the hit. Aleister goes for Black Mass, but Almas dropkicks him in the back! Both men are down again, Aleister clutching his back. Almas gets to ropes, and they both end up on the apron. Almas grabs Aleister, but Aleister fights back, sitting him down with a chop. Deja vu to Philadelphia, Almas goes to the other end, and comes back for Cien Knees against the post!
Aleister is dazed, but he tells the referee he’s okay to continue. Almas comes over and drags Aleister up, draping him on the top rope, but Aleister slips back in and dumps Almas out! Vega coaches Almas up, but Aleister builds speed to FLY!!
But Aleister doesn’t stop, he gets Almas back in the ring, only to walk right into the Hammerlock DDT!! Cover, TWO!? Aleister survives and no one can believe it! Almas argues with the referee, but Vega’s climbing up top? Everyone sees this, she jumps, but onto Almas!
Almas catches her, but then Alesiter hits another BLACK MASS!!
Cover, Aleister wins!!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall, NEW NXT Champion
The devil on his back has what it wants! Aleister is now THE NXT Champion, the 13th ever, which is incredibly fitting. Vega throws a fit, but it’s her own fault for getting a little too involved. Aleister is ecstatic, having achieved his goal. He fought so hard to get it, how hard will he fight to keep it?
Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano VS Tommaso Ciampa!
They were once friends in Team DIY, but that changed when the Psycho Killer chose to be selfish. Things got worse when Ciampa returned to blindside Gargano after his loss at TakeOver: Philadelphia, and then again to cost him both the title and his job in NXT. But Gargano would return the favor by attacking Ciampa out of nowhere, and now it’s all led to this. In a match with no rules but to win, can Johnny Wrestling get his job back? Or will Ciampa add one last insult to injury and be rid of Gargano once and for all?
And if it wasn’t clear from the booing and the chants of “Asshole! Asshole!” as well as “You Suck! *clap clap* You Suck!” during his entrance, New Orleans does not like Ciampa one bit. Not that it matters to him, he takes it all in stride. But in stark contrast, everyone loves Gargano as he makes his entrance. The referee, Drake Muertz, does not wear official referee stripes, because this is not in line with official NXT regulations. That aside, the bell rings, and we begin.
Gargano and Ciampa stare down, Ciampa saying this is his moment. The fans continue to make noise, in support of Gargano and in anger towards Ciampa. Gargano and Ciampa continue to glare at each other, until they suddenly explode into a brawl! They both punch fast and furious, and Gargano knocks Ciampa over, then jumps on him with a Thesz Press! Gargano rains hands but Ciampa shoves him off. Ciampa throws Gargano to the apron, but Gargano comes back with the slingshot spear!
Gargano doesn’t care for the cover, he just throws more hands! Ciampa kicks back then puts Gargano in a corner. Gargano slips out and throws more hands, then stomps a mudhole into Ciampa! Gargano stomps and stomps and stomps because he can, and the fans love it! He goes back to Ciampa, drags him up for a corner to corner whip, but Ciampa reverses, only for Gargano to reverse back. Ciamap hits buckles, then Gargano clotheslines him out of the ring. Gargano takes aim, runs and DIVES!
Gargano just manages to hit Ciampa and bring him down. The fans are all fired up and cheering as Gargano stalks Ciampa. Gargano rocks Ciampa with a left hand, then another, but Ciampa knees back. Ciampa clubs Gargano’s back, and the fans boo. Ciampa whips, but Gargano reverses, and Ciampa ends up in the crowd! While Ciampa writhes, Gargano backs up then runs, and leaps onto Ciampa! The referee hurries into the crowd, to keep with them as Gargano rains down more lefts on Ciampa.
Gargano backs off to then drag Ciampa back up, but Ciampa shoves him back into the barriers. Ciampa drags Gargano, suplex and gordbuster onto those rails, to then club and club and club away on Gargano’s back. He pushes Gargano away, then climbs back over the rails to drag Gargano up, for a backbreaker! Ciampa’s knee brace adds extra pain into the move, and he dares Gargano to “do something, you piece of garbage!” But when Gargano doesn’t get up, Ciampa peels away floor mats! The concrete is exposed while fans boo and jeer. Gargano gets up and hits Ciampa with a forearm, but Ciampa boots him back. Ciampa stands over Gargano, clubbing him as he brings him up. He lifts Gargano, but Gargano resists! Ciampa keeps trying, Gargano keeps resisting. Ciampa gets him up, but Gargano slips out, then to the apron, for a mule kick!
Gargano is right on the dazed Ciampa by throwing him across the English announce table! The fans chant, “Mama Mia!”, since Mauro Ranello is too busy getting clear. Speaking of clear, Gargano decides to clear the table! Gargano gets on the table and drags Ciampa up to join him. He pulls Ciampa up in powerbomb position–and with a bit of a wedgie–but Ciampa resists the lift to hit Gargano low with a monitor! Ciampa grabs Gargano now, Gargano again resists the lift, but Ciampa still SUPERPLEXES Gargano from table to floor!
Both of them crash land and writhe from the impact! The fans rally for Gargano, but the referee checks on both men to be sure they can continue. Ciampa is first to sit up, and he glares down at Gargano. He rains rights down on him, and fans boo and jeer. Ciampa takes the announce desk cover and sets it up as a ramp, to then back suplex Gargano against it! The cover cracks but doesn’t break, and Ciampa stands up on the desk to embrace the heat. Ciampa sits and watches the writhing Gargano while the fans vent their displeasure. He then kicks Gargano right across the back, then puts him on the apron to ram his chest into the edge. Ciampa pushes Gargano into the ring, not for a cover, but to drop elbows and stomps on him.
Ciampa continues to stomp Gargano, and fans return to calling him an “Asshole!” He whips Gargano hard and Gargano tumbles up and down, landing on his head and shoulders. Ciampa enjoys it as he stalks Gargano again. He taunts Gargano, saying he should give up, but Gargano instead throws more left hands! Gargano throws hands, Ciampa boots, but Gargano comes back for the discus lariat, only for Ciampa to duck under and slam Gargano with a back suplex! Cover, ONE, so Ciampa puts Gargano in a Cloverleaf. Gargano grabs Ciampa’s beard to deny the hold, but Ciampa throws hands to weaken Gargano. Ciampa gets Gargano’s legs, and brings him into the Cloverleaf hold!
Gargano endures, but Ciampa bends him back further. Fans rally for Gargano, and Gargano gets to ropes. There are no ropebreaks, so Ciampa just holds onto the hold as long as he wants! Gargano keeps crawling, and gets himself out of the ring. Ciampa joins him on the apron, stomping and stomping away again without mercy. Then he sits down, and sarcastically claps to mock the fans. The Sicilian Psycho glares down at Johnny Wrestling, then goes searching under the ring. The fans let Ciampa know, “You’re a Wanker!” Ciampa can’t find what he’s looking for on that end, and accuses the referee of removing “it”. He sees Gargano moving, and keeps him down with a knee to his head! Again, that knee brace adds to the impact, and Gargano clutches his head. Ciampa scares a fan and takes their crutches?!
We all know what Ciampa’s done with crutches in respect to Gargano in the past. He waves “bye bye” like he did that night he cost Gargano his job before. Ciampa slips into the ring, armed with the crutches. Fans boo and jeer while rallying for Gargano, but he’s down on the mat. Ciampa uses the crutch to shovel Gargano up to his knees, then thrusts the crutch, but Gargano ducks! Ciampa tries to swing on the return, but Gargano ducks that, too. Gargano gets Ciampa with a strong left hand, then dodges the crutch again to throw a one two combo. Ciampa drops the crutch, Gargano goes for it, but Ciampa kicks him away. Ciampa picks the crutch back up, Gargano dodges and rolls Ciampa, for the school boy kick, which sends Ciampa out of the ring!
The fans cheer Gargano on as he goes over to where Ciampa is on the apron. They’re both slow to standing up, but Gargano stands Ciampa up for another left hand. Ciampa teeters on the edge as Gargano keeps punching. Ciampa sits down, Gargano reaches for him, but Ciampa sweeps his legs out! When Ciampa sees they’re back to the exposed concrete, he drags Gargano up, and tries to suplex him again. Gargano resists, for the sake of his life, and swing kicks Ciampa back. Gargano sees where he is, and slingshots over, but Ciampa blocks it! Ciampa hoists Gargano up and shifts him around, preparing for an Air Raid! Gargano slips out, to powerbomb Ciampa to the concrete!!
A sickening thud as Ciampa’s back hits the floor! And fans are losing their minds! But at the same time, they tell Ciampa, “You Deserve It!” Ciampa writhes in pain on the ground while the referee checks on him. Gargano rests in the ring while Ciampa drags himself up and in. Both men are down, but a crutch is halfway between them. Gargano and Ciampa each eye the weapon, and the fans know what they’re thinking. They both crawl for the crutch, and grab it at the same time. They tug-o-war over it, and Gargano gets the better of Ciampa!
Gargano has ownership of the crutch, and smacks Ciampa over and over with it! One for the betrayal, one for the sneak attack in Philly, and the rest for screwing him out of the title and his job! He even sweeps Ciampa’s bad knee with it. Gargano goes running in but Ciampa dumps him to the outside. Ciampa staggers over, but Gargano SMACKS him in the back of his head!
Gargano gets to the apron, slingshot DDT! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps his frustration in check, and the fans continue to cheer him on. Gargano gets to a corner, and decides to expose one of the cross bars, as well as the buckle itself. He goes back to Ciampa, bringing him up and carrying him, but Ciampa slips out of the long dart to push Gargano into the top buckle. Ciampa clubs Gargano in the back, then hoists him up in the torture rack. Gargano slips out but Ciampa blocks the kick. Gargano evades Ciampa’s haymaker, but that back elbow gets Gargano right in the jaw. Ciampa gets space while Gargano checks his teeth. Ciampa runs back, and knees the slingshot spear down! Torture rack, Tower Hacker sit-out powerbomb! TWO! Gargano shows the same heart he showed back in Philly, and fans hope they “Fight Forever!”
Ciampa gets to a corner and watches Gargano stir. He waits for Gargano to sit up, and does a callback to their days as DIY. Knee strike to the back of Gargano’s head! Cover, TWO!! And Gargano can’t stand it! The fans keep cheering for Gargano, even as he is dazed. Fans say, “We Want Tables!” while Ciampa adjusts his knee brace. He brings Gargano up, preparing a lift, but Gargano resists again. Ciampa clubs Gargano to weaken him, then lifts, but still Gargano resists. Gargano slips under and starts throwing heavy left lariats! Gargano shouts “This is MY moment!” and starts unloading overhand chops across Ciampa’s face!
Ciampa shoves him, but Gargano tilt-o-whirls on the rebound, but Ciampa clobbers him with a lariat! Then the powerbomb lift, but Gargano slips out again, for the Reverse-Rana! It’s not the cleanest, but Gargano doesn’t care, he fires up to run and tilt-o-whirls! He gets Ciampa in the Garga-No Escape!
The fans chant “YES! YES!” while Ciampa flails and endures. Ciampa reaches, fades, but drags himself to ropes! The ropebreak doesn’t matter, and Gargano pushes them back to the middle of the ring! Ciampa comes close, but he instead rakes at Gargano’s eyes! Fans boo and jeer again, but again, there are no rules. Gargano blindly reaches and rolls while Ciampa undoes his wrist tape. The fans rally, but Ciampa gets enough slack on the tape, to go after Gargano! Gargano blocks the choke, and the two brawl with haymakers. The tape keeps them together as they throw those heavy hands, but neither man backs down. Their punches get stronger and meaner, then faster and faster.
Gargano gets the edge, and fans chant “YES! YES!” but Ciampa kicks Gargano in the balls! A legal low blow gives CIampa a chance to grab the other crutch, and smack Gargano with it! Then he brings Gargano up, for the powerbomb backbreaker, aka Project Ciampa!
Cover, TWO!? Ciampa can’t believe it, but the fans love it! Both men are down, barely stirring. Fans rally for Gargano once more, but it’s Ciampa who gets up first. Gargano crawls over to Ciampa, but Ciampa just shakes his head. Ciampa says this is his moment, but Gargano just fires off palm strikes! Ciampa responds with his own, then spins for the lariat, but turns into a SUPERKICK! Gargano then clobbers Ciampa with a left, and lifts for the long dart into the exposed buckle!
He’s not done there, he mule kicks Ciampa! That’s still not enough, he gives Ciampa the DIY MULE KICK! Cover, TWO?! But how?! Yet the fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Gargano crawls to a corner, and drags himself up to the top rope. Ciampa crawls to follow, and they brawl as Ciampa makes the climb. That knee brace adds to the knee strike, and Ciampa adds a headbutt. Ciampa brings Gargano up in the fireman’s carry, then adjusts, but Gargano fights out again. Gargano elbows Ciampa n the head over and over and over, then adjusts for standing corner punches. But he punches one too many times, Ciampa gets him in a SUPER Project Ciampa!!
Cover, TWO!?!? Somehow, someway, Johnny FREAKIN’ Wrestling survives! Fans again chant “NXT! NXT!” but Ciampa undoes his knee brace… Ciampa clutches his knee, but he stands up to bring the knee pad down. He exposes his knee completely, but Gargano sits up. Ciampa prepares another DIY knee, but Gargano uses the discarded brace as a weapon on that knee! Gargano then grabs the crutch, and breaks it apart to make a jagged edge. Gargano rushes Ciampa with it, but stops short as Ciampa covers up. The fans want Gargano to finish it, but Gargano can’t bring himself to be worse than Ciampa. Deep down, Gargano is still Ciampa’s friend, so he puts down the crutch.
Gargano sits down with Ciampa, flashback to the Cruiserweight Classic, but Ciampa swings at him with the knee brace! Gargano ducks it, and puts Ciampa back in the Garga-No Escape! Ciampa reaches for the brace, so Gargano slips around to the other side, using the brace in an STF!!
Ciampa taps, Gargano wins!!
Winner: Gargano, by submission; wins back his NXT contract
Gargano is BACK in NXT! And Candice LeRae runs out to celebrate with him! Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling are together in NXT!
They were both betrayed by Ciampa, so it is both their victory that Gargano gets back at him here tonight. With this grudge put behind them, what does the future hold for Johnny & Candice in NXT?
TakeOver specials are always great, but this was flat out amazing. It was great booking to schedule the Six Man Ladder Match first, because it put a lot of pressure on Adam Cole since he chose to do double duty. I did not expect Cole to win because of this, but it was great to see the fans pop for him so unanimously. Then in that amazing Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Title match, I really didn’t expect that swerve coming. I thought Undisputed Era would win using the other teams against each other, but instead, Strong goes back to his ROH roots and is not only Heel but Heel on the Undisputed Era’s side. Now the UE rolls four deep and 100% ROH talent, I can’t wait to see where this leads.
The NXT Women’s Championship was great, especially with Ember returning all the bullying and such to Shayna, but Shayna showing how gritty she could be with that shoulder-fix spot. With how well Shayna has been doing in the ring and even on the mic, it was inevitable for her to become champion. It was also great out-of-character stuff to see her celebrate with Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke, she’s the first of the MMA Horsewomen to really make it in pro-wrestling, so fans can all be happy for her regardless of her being Heel or Face. The NXT Championship was also great, so much of Almas’ offense was from his match with Gargano, Aleister knew it, and he gets the better of Almas because of it. As McIntyre said in the kickoff, a feud of him and Aleister is going to be amazing.
And the most amazing part of it all, was the FORTY MINUTE main event of the Unsanctioned match! And every minute was worth it, this was like taking their Cruiserweight Classic Match, doubling it, and adding all their instant-classic NXT tag team title matches on top of it. So much story, so much aggression, and spots I never could have imagined. Of course Gargano wins, he has so much still to do in NXT, but the match was booked so well that it still made it feel like the most amazing thing in the world to see.
My Score: 9.5/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (2/7/23)
Konosuke Takeshita gets Dark!
The future of wrestling could be defined in the Dark!
Konosuke Takeshita is going strong in AEW, but he takes on MLW’s EJ Nduka! Will Konosuke still be The Future? Or will The Judge bring down the law?
- Slim J VS Mascara Dorada; wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Aiden Park; wins.
- The Outrunners VS Logan Cruz & Tyshaun Perez; wins.
- Baliyan Akki VS Rico Gonzalez; wins.
- Blake Christian VS Serpentico w/ Luther; wins.
- Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Dante Casanova; wins.
- Kiera Hogan VS Megan Meyers; wins.
- Konosuke Takeshita VS EJ Nduka; wins.
Another pretty good line-up, but the highlight is of course Konosuke VS Nduka. Both are great, having been champions outside of AEW. In fact, Nduka will be featured on tonight’s debut edition of MLW Underground on the Reelz channel. Nduka is challenging Alex Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. Between AEW Dark on YouTube and the MLW television debut, Nduka is going to get noticed by a lot of wrestling fans, and he very well could be the new MLW Champion the next time he’s in AEW.
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/6/23)
Time to rage in the cage!
Will it end where it all began?
Damage CTRL denied us and Becky Lynch the cage match with Bayley before, but now that Raw is in Orlando, The Man VS The Role Model WILL happen! Will this all come full circle for both these Horsewomen?
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins; Priest wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano; Lumis wins.
- Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella; Carmella wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
- Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy; Alexander & Benjamin win.
- Chelsea Green VS ???; Asuka wins.
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford; Ford wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Edge and Beth Phoenix are here!
Orlando goes nuts as the Rated R Superstar and the Glamazon make their way to the ring! Edge even takes some selfies with fans in the front row before he stands with Beth in the ring. The Grit Couple is of course here for revenge on the Judgment Day, a grudge that goes back to last year and Extreme Rules. They get the mic, and Edge says, “Oh, Orlando…! I gotta try and bring my heart rate down after watching that video, and just say it is so damn good to be back.” Orlando is happy to have them back, and Edge says he’s “The King of Comebacks as this point, it’s getting silly.” But we all know why they’re here this time: The Judgment Day.
Fans boo and Edge agrees. But the Judgment Day is his fault. The idea was to try and elevate talent he felt deserved it. And to be honest, it worked. All of them are at a better place now than they were a year ago. Finn Balor is on a level Edge has never seen before and that is saying something. Damian Priest has proven he’s a workhorse that come out week after week against the very best. Rhea Ripley, well… Fans do cheer Rhea, and Rhea went from number one to outlast everyone, and has punched her ticket to WrestleMania. Edge makes sure everyone sees him point at the sign. Oh, and Dom’s there, too.
“For the last year, we have battled back and forth. From Cardiff to Portland to Toronto, all leading up to Extreme Rules. And I knew that Finn Balor didn’t have what it takes to physically hurt me enough to make me say, ‘I Quit.’ But as you saw in the video, the minute I saw Rhea Ripley bash Beth in the back of the head with brass knuckles and hold that chair in her hand, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was helpless to stop it. And I am the kind of man, and I know a lot of you can relate out there, I am the kind of man that is not used to feeling helpless.” Fans cheer, and Edge “congratulates” Judgment Day with a sarcastic clap.
Fans chant “You Still Got It!” and Edge says, “I never lost it.” Fans cheer that! Edge continues to say, “But here’s the thing, guys. You just made a bad problem even worse. Because I am a cruel, vindictive, sick bastard, who will sink to any level to get my pound of flesh!” Beth calms Edge and says she’ll cut to the chase. “If you’ve got the stones, Ripley, Balor, my husband and I are here to finish this.” But speaking of, here comes the Judgment Day! Finn, Priest and Dom have the mics but Rhea isn’t here. Finn asks if he’s the only one who notices a pattern. Edge makes his triumphant return, only for the Judgment Day to beat him down again and again and again!
Finn tells Edge, “It might be time for you to say ‘I quit.’ HAHAHA!” Dom says word on the street travels fast. Fans boo Dom but Finn tells them to let Dom talk. Dom says since Edge & Beth have been gone, he has served hard time! Fans continue to boo, Finn again says to let Dom talk! Dom tells Edge & Beth to run along, before he does something to them he learned “on the inside.” Just like he did to his deadbeat dad! Rey didn’t even make it into the Rumble match! Priest says Dom’s right. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Priest says it doesn’t matter. Edge and Rey are “something else.” Every time they come back, Judgment Day beats them down, but they come back for more.
So next time they beat Edge down, Extreme Rules will look like child’s play. And speaking of child’s play, after Dawkins gets cooked and Priest enters the Money… Wait, no, Edge has him so flustered. Finn says it’s alright, Edge has Finn all mad, too. Priest promises Edge that he hates him that he can’t even speak right. Priest is getting inside the Elimination Chamber to be the United States Champion! Dom wishes Rhea was here, she could see what they’re about to do to Edge. But Rhea is busy promoting WrestleMania. Edge tells Dom to shut up! Fans cheer that! Edge says he was right, but they all confuse him! They don’t know what they really want!
Priest, the night he clotheslined Edge’s head off, he claimed he didn’t want a leader. And yet, he’s following Finn around like a giant labradoodle. He’s better than that! As for Finn, he’s a Dollar Store Jamiroquai! It’s insanity. Google Jamiroquai, kids. But the difference between Judgment Day and The Grit Couple is that Edge and Beth have each other’s backs. But they all just drop each other quicker than “Ex Con Dom” did his drawers in the clink! “Which is fitting, considering how many times you screwed your dad over.” And by the way, Edge can’t wait until Rey snaps and 619s Dom’s teeth down his stupid throat! It’s coming!
Beth says Rhea’s not here cuz she’s doing promotional appearances? We all know it’s because Beth speared Rhea’s soul out of her body. But listen to her very closely: she didn’t come here to talk. She came to beat Rhea’s ass!! But if she’s not here tonight, how about this? The Rated R Superstar, Edge and the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix VS Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley at Elimination Chamber! Oh, oh, really? Does Dom think Rhea’s in? Dom says Mami is totally in. Finn is in, so they accept! That is, if Edge & Beth make it to Elimination Chamber. The Judgment Day surrounds the ring, Edge & Beth stand their ground, and the fight is on!
Beth runs off Dom, Priest & Finn go after Edge, but here comes ANGELO DAWKINS! Dawkins BLASTS Dom, then fires off on Priest! Dawkins clotheslines Dawkins out, Edge SPEARS Finn down! Dom is freaking out, and Ford creeps up behind him. Ford spooks Dom, puts him in the ring, and Dom wants mercy! He gets chicken wings and a GLAM SLAM instead! Orlando is all fired up, but will the Curse of Greatness be able to take down Damian? Or will Punishment be heading for Montreal?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins!
Raw returns as Priest stomps away on Dawkins, this match already underway. But it is also truly 1v1 as Adam Pearce made sure during the break to say no one else is allowed ringside! Priest stands Dawkins up to ROCK him with a right, then whips him to ropes. Dawkins handsprings over and DROPKCIKS Priest! Dawkins fireman’s carries for a FLAPJACK! Priest bails out, Dawkins builds speed, but Priest moves. Dawkins stops, slides out the side, and runs in to POUNCE Priest onto the announce desk!! Fans are thunderous as Priest flops to the floor! Dawkins puts Priest in the ring, sees him go to the corner, and runs in to CYCLONE- FOREARM!
Priest snarls as he stomps away on Dawkins again. Priest drags Dawkins up, rams him into a corner and fires off hands! Priest whips corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Priest brings Dawkins up for a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest snarls, he sits Dawkins up and pulls on the arms for a motorcycle stretch. Dawkins endures, Orlando rallies up, and Dawkins fights but Priest CLUBS him down! Cover, TWO! Priest clamps on with a chinlock now, and he bends Dawkins against his knee. Dawkins endures, fans rally up, and Dawkins fights up. Priest swings, Dawkins blocks to ROCK back! And again! And again! Anda gain!
Priest shoves, Dawkins bobs ‘n’ weaves then ROCKS Priest again! Dawkins dodges Priest’s boot to ENZIGURI! Priest runs in again but Dawkins dumps him out! Fans fire up as Dawkins goes out and runs in again, but into a LARIAT! Priest glares at Dawkins as he storms up on him. Priest drags Dawkins up, BIG suplex to the floor! Priest slides in the ring but just to refresh the count. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps and FLYING KCIKS Dawkins down! Fans boo but Priest is in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and both men are down after a collision. Fans rally up, Dawkins and Priest go to opposite ends, and Dawkins runs in to rally with clotheslines! Priest hits low, whips, but Dawkins hurdles and FLYING UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up with Dawkins, he runs corner to corner to CYCLONE! And ENZIGURI! And facelock, but Priest wrenches out, Dawkins ducks the lariat, to clinch and EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Dawkins grows a little frustrated but fans rally up. Dawkins brings Priest up, ROCKS him with a right, then climbs a corner. Priest choke grips first! Priest then climbs up to join Dawkins, but Dawkins HOTSHOTS him back!
Dawkins hurries in, but into a SUPERKICK! Clinch and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins survives and Priest is growing frustrated now. Priest holds up his hand and fans boo. Dawkins rises, Priest clamps on, SOUTH OF- NO, Dawkins pops free for the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Dawkins hurries to a corner and climbs back up! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Priest survives and Dawkins is beside himself! But Orlando fires up as he drags Priest back up. Priest clamps onto a leg, Dawkins throws hands! Dawkins brings Priest up again, but Priest ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest staggers, into a RIGHT from Dawkins!
Priest goes to a corner, Dawkins runs in, but into a SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
The Punisher pulverizes Dawkins, and now he’s taking aim at the US Championship! Will Priest hit his mark and take that title back?
The United States Champion pulls into the arena.
Austin Theory drives a black Lamborghini, showing that The Now rides in style. Will he have anything to say about the Elimination Chamber field as it fills out tonight?
Adam Pearce meets with Maximum Males Models.
Maxxine Dupri finishes signing the contract, she, Maçé & Mansöôr are now officially part of Monday Night Raw. Pearce is happy to have them here, and is sure they have big WrestleMania plans. Maxxine confirms, she has big, BIG plans. But then Chelsea Green walks in and asks, “Are you the manager?” Chelsea, you know Pearce is the manager, they spoke last week. Pearce has MMM excuse themselves, and Chelsea says that, as they spoke last week, she is supposed to have a private room, with Swiss chocolates and fresh spring water. He took care of that. Oh, well, that was Belgian chocolate. She’s been to Belgium, she knows the difference.
Anyway, while she has him, she wants to talk about how she’s NOT in the Elimination Chamber match. But Liv is, Raquel is, Nikki is, all of who she could be. With all due respect, Chelsea, you didn’t even last five seconds in the Women’s Rumble, so- Uh, sorry, does she need to call his manager? All she wants is an opportunity. her family is in attendance, so she deserves a match. And in that match, she deserves to be presented as the big star she is. So he either makes this right, or… One call could cost him his job. Okay, thanks, bye. Chelsea heads out, but will Pearce bend to her demands?
Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano!
The Modern Day Wrestling God didn’t last all that long in the Men’s Rumble, and he didn’t get a win over Johnny Wrestling last week. The Rumble was because of Lesnar, that match with Gargano was because of Lumis. Can Corbin even the score with the Tortured Artist? Or will JBL start to question his investment into Baron?
Raw returns and Lumis makes his entrance. Corbin attacks Lumis as soon as he’s in the ring! The ref reprimands and fans boo, but Corbin lets off. The bell rings and Corbin hits a SPLASH in the corner! Corbin throws Lumis down, elbows him down, then clamps on a chinlock. Corbin grinds Lumis down but fans chant, “Corbin Sucks!” Lumis endures, fights up and fights free of the hold. Lumis then headlocks, but Corbin powers out. Corbin CLOBBERS Lumis, then rains down more elbows! Corbin clamps the chinlock on again, and insults the fans. JBL coaches Corbin, Lumis still endures and fights his way back up.
Corbin knees low, he puts Lumis in a corner and fires off forearms. Corbin whips corner to corner hard and Lumis bounces off buckles! Cover, TWO! Corbin says Lumis is nothing and Gargano isn’t anything, either. Gargano says he still got a win off Corbin. Corbin grinds forearms into Lumis’ face, then twists Lumis’ head in a neck wrench. Fans rally and Lumis fights up again. Lumis throws hands, dodges Corbin’s, then DECKS him! And DECKS him again! Pop-up UPPERCUT! Lumis runs to clothesline in the corner, then BULLDOG! Fans fire up as Lumis catches Corbin for a BIG back suplex! Kip up to LEG DROP!
Fans fire up as Corbin flounders up. Lumis clinches, but Corbin RAMS him into a corner. Corbin fires off elbows, then runs in, but only gets buckles! Lumis clinches for the SIDE EFFECT! Cover, Lumis wins!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by pinfall
JBL is speechless as Gargano stands with Lumis. Gargano is headed to the Elimination Chamber for the US title, but will Lumis find himself in title talks soon enough?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
Byron Saxton says The Man finally has Bayley inside that Steel Cage. What does tonight mean to her? “Orlando, Florida! Orlando, where it all began. Ten years ago, when I got off the plane with my bags to chase this WWE dream. When I first met you, Byron Saxton. A lot has happened in Orlando in those ten years, but ten years ago, I first met Bayley. In the weight room in the NXT Performance Center. And she seemed sweet and she seemed kind, and she wanted to be great. And her way of being great was high-fiving people and hugging people, and attaching herself to whoever she thought would be her meal ticket to the top.
“But I, too, Byron, I wanted to be great. And my way of being great was smashing faces, kicking down doors and changing the game so that I could become The Man of this industry! And Bayley… Bayley didn’t like that. No, she didn’t like that. So she’s attacked me and hit me with chairs and separated my shoulder. And she brought my family into this. And Bayley, I’m gonna learn you to not talk about my family. But all that aside, I had a plan. And tonight, I got what I want, and that is a Steel Cage Match.
“And so Bayley, you can bring your little friends, and you can bring your little tricks. Well, there is one hand that I haven’t played yet, and I’m thinking… I’m thinking, Byron, tonight might be the night.” What does Big Time Becks have planned for the Role Model in tonight’s main event?
Brock Lesnar is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as The Beast walks out to the ring and tips his cowboy hat with a feather in it. Lesnar gets the mic to say, “I appreciate ya. Thank you very much. Good evening, Orlando. Did y’all by chance catch the Royal Rumble? I did, too. I thought it sucked. At least, I had a sucky experience. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar got his ass thrown out over the top rope. That’s not the worst of it. I got my ass thrown over the top rope, by Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Now I apologize. I wasn’t on Raw last week, I had to get my head together a little bit. Bobby, you finally struck a chord in Brock Lesnar.”
All last week, Lesnar could not get Lashley out of his head. Lesnar tried to go hunting, and all he could think about was Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Next day, Lesnar wakes up, wants to go ice fishing. He likes coastal fishing, too, but he tries to go, but all he can think of is Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! He sits down for a big ol’ steak dinner, and all he can think about is Bobby Lashley! He gets into bed at night with his wife, and… Well, four or five hours later, all Lesnar could think about is Bobby Lashley! So for a whole week, Lesnar thought about what he’s gonna do with Lashley. Lesnar has a resolution. A violent resolution, but still.
You see, within Lesnar’s “five dollar denim jacket, is a multi-million dollar contract.” Fans like the sound of that. Lesnar reads the contract: “Bobby Lashley VS Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber.” Now Lashley, if you’ve got balls, you’ll get down here and sign the contract! Well here comes Lashley! Lashley is in shades and a nice suit as he heads down the ramp and to the ring. Lashley gets himself a mic, and he says, “Well nice of you to grace us with your presence, Brock. I didn’t even know you were gonna be here. But since you are, let’s take a little walk down memory lane.”
Match number one, what happened? Lashley pinned Lesnar. Match number two, Lesnar won. But if memory serves, Lashley laid Lesnar out cold as he walked out of the ring. And the third meeting was at the Royal Rumble, and Lashley threw Lesnar out without a problem. Lesnar steps closer and hands Lashley the contract. Lashley takes it, and again says that if memory serves, Lashley will be done under his terms. Lashley is going to take Lesnar’s contract and let his agent look at it, and his manager, and his lawyer, then Lashley will get back to Lesnar. This will be under consideration.
Oh, is Lesnar surprised? Surprised that Bobby Who has one up on you? Lashley emphasizes that with a poke of the finger. Lesnar smirks, and he reels Lashley in! F5!! Lesnar puts the contract in Lashley’s pocket, but fans chant “ONE MORE TIME!” Lesnar figures why not! Fireman’s carry, F5!! The Beast puts his hat back on, takes his leave, and the ball is now in the All Mighty’s court. Will this all but guarantee Lashley will want that match with Lesnar in Montreal?
Johnny Gargano finds Candice LeRae backstage.
Mr. Wrestling says hello to Mrs. Wrestling, tonight is big, right? How is she feeling? Luck hasn’t been on her side but she feels good. Lumis has a picture for good luck. Wow, the whole family! Gargano, Candice, little Quill and their dog, Pawdme, and… Who is that in the back? Nikki Cross? Cuz she’s SPYING on them! Nikki laughs and runs off! Candice isn’t sure what to make of that, but will she worry more about it once she’s in the chamber with crazy Cross?
Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella!
Raquel Gonzalez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Asuka and Natalya are waiting, and there’s just one spot left in the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match! Will it be Michin, Mrs. Wrestling, the Scottish Viper, or the FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island going all the way to Montreal for that golden opportunity?
Raw returns, Candice is already in the ring as Mia makes her entrance. Then, last but not least, Piper Niven! She’s dropped the nickname, will she make a name for herself on the Road to WrestleMania? The bell rings and Piper CLOBBERS Mia and Candice! Piper and Mella stare down, Mella talking trash even though this is her return match. Piper scares Mella with a growl and Mella bails out to hang by hubby Corey Graves. Piper whips Candice into Mia at a corner, then runs in to SANDWICH them! Candice and Mia both fall, and Piper grins. Mella hops on for a SLEEPER! Piper throws her right off!
Mella bails out again, but Mia and Candice fire off on Piper! Piper shoves them away, runs, but into a double drop toehold! She ends up on ropes, DOUBLE DROPKICKS send her out! Fans fire up with Mia and Candice, but then the two friends circle. They fist bump, and then Mia rushes in. Candice avoids the clothesline but Mia jumps over the leg sweep. Candice deflects a boot to waistlock, but Mia switches. Candice elbows free, Mia blocks a kick, and Mia slips under to pick Candice up! BUCKLE BOMB! Mia hoists Candice up top, CHOPS her, then blocks another kick! Mia has Candice in an Electric Chair, but Candice POISON-RANAS!
Mella scurries in to cover Candice, TWO! Cover on Mia, TWO! Cover back on Candice, TWO! Another cover on Mia, TWO! Piper TRIPLE SPLASHES them all!! Cover on Mia, TWO!! Piper drags Mia up to throw her out, then she kicks Candice out. Piper covers Mella, TWO!! Piper drags Mella up, throws her right out, and Piper is all fired up! Orlando is fired up with her, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Piper has everyone in corners. Piper SPLASHES Mia, SPLASHES Candice, but Mella dodges! FABULOUS KICK! Piper rebounds to CLOBBER Mella! Candice CROSSBODIES, but Piper catches her! Mia runs in to hit a NECKBREAKER that takes Piper down! All four women are down but Piper bails out of the ring! Orlando fires up while the others stir. Mella shouts, “This is MY match!” But Mia says no it ain’t! Mella throws a forearm, but Mia ROCKS Mella! Mella throws another, but Mia fires off a flurry! Mia BOOTS, then wrenches to hit EAT DA FEET!! Cover, Piper drags Mella away!
Fans are torn but Mia is shocked! Piper storms in, Mia throws body shots and haymakers! Piper ducks a roundhouse to HEADBUTT! Mia wobbles, Piper reels her in but Candice is up top! MISSILE DROPKICK! Piper is down, Candice LIONSAULTS! cover, Mia breaks it! Friends or not, this is every woman for herself! Mia says sorry, but then Piper shoves Mia into Candice! Candice falls, but Mia runs, but into a SCRAPBUSTER! Cover, Candice breaks it! Piper pulls at her hair and bites her fingers in frustration, but she has Candice to herself now. Candice fires off haymakers, but Piper shoves her down. SENTON FLOPS as Candice moves!
Candice STEP-UP SENTONS! But Mella rolls Candice up! TWO!! Candice escapes, DEKCS Mella, and Mella goes to a corner. Candice runs in but is sent into buckles! Mella shouts at Candice and stomps a fabulous mudhole in! Fans boo as Mella moonwalks and says, “Mella! Is! Money!” FABULOUS BRONCO BUSTER! But Piper runs in! Mella dodges, CANNONBALL for Candice! FABULOUS KICK for Piper! Mella stacks Candice, and WINS!
Winner: Carmella, by pinfall (advances to the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match)
The Princess of Staten Island took advantage, and she is heading to Montreal! But will she be the one heading to WrestleMania with that golden ticket?
Baron Corbin regroups with JBL backstage.
Corbin laughs it off. “That didn’t go as planned, did it?” But where are they going to eat? Maybe get some drinks or something? JBL asks, “We? There ain’t no ‘we’. I headlined WrestleMania, I sold out arenas all over the world, I was must-watch television. You are channel changing television. That sound you hear when you get the ring, that’s the sound of remote controls around the world changing the channel to watch anything but you. And I don’t give a damn about you. I give a damn about the fact that MY Hall of Fame legacy, my CHAMPIONSHIP career, has lost all credibility, because of YOU!”
Corbin frowns but JBL continues. “Modern Day Wrestling God? I’ll tell you what you need. Not some cute little shirt, but a red nose and floppy shoes. Because you are a clown. You do not belong near me.” Corbin asks where this is coming from. He can do better! He’ll do better! JBL says, “You can’t polish a turd. I tried.” JBL storms off, did Corbin blow another major opportunity?
Meanwhile, we can see in the background that MVP is talking with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. They shake hands, having a much better talk than JBL and Corbin just did. As the Wrestling God partnership falls apart, are we seeing the return of the Hurt Business?
Piper Niven finds Candice LeRae backstage!
Piper blames Candice for that loss! Piper should be going to WrestleMania! Mia storms in and makes Piper back off. Piper says they’re both very luck. If either of them get in the way of her and the title again, she will not be forgiving. Mia and Candice stick together, but will they both have to worry about the angry Scottish Viper slithering around?
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy!
Speaking of, PRIME Alexander and the Gold Standard are going up against “Master” Chad Gable and his number one guy, Otis! It’s a battle of former Raw Tag Team Champions, will one of these teams make a big impression on the Road to WrestleMania?
Raw returns and MVP is with Cedric & Shelton in their entrance! The teams sort out and Gable circles with Cedric. They tie up, Gable waistlocks and SLAMS Cedric, but Cedric gets up, only for Gable to snapmare. Gable rolls with Cedric, has a waistlock again, but Cedric pries free, only for Gable to headlock for the takeover. Cedric headscissors, Gable kips free, but Cedric arm-drags Gable. Gable arm-drags back, then blocks Cedric’s arm-drag to say, “SHOOSH!” Gable stands Cedric up but Cedric mule kicks back. Cedric runs, handsprings, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cedric flounders and Gable shouts, “A THANK YEW~!”
Gable tags Otis, the fans fire up and Otis struts. Gable cravats Cedric, Otis runs and CLOBBERS Cedric! Fans fire up but MVP protests. Cedric tags Shelton and he fires forearms on Otis! Shelton whips but Otis blocks! Otis whips, Shelton LARIATS, but Otis stays up! Shelton runs but Otis scoops! Shelton slips free to ROUNDHOUSE! Otis staggers, Shelton runs in to STEP- UP- NO!! Otis carries Shelton out for a WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Fans fire up with the tree trunk and he runs, to SPLASH! Fans rally while Shelton sputters, but Otis CLUBS him on the back. Otis whips Shelton corner to corner hard and Shelton falls to the mat!
Fans rally behind Otis and he brings Shelton up. Shelton kicks but Otis blocks, and Otis spins Shelton around, only for the DRAGON WHIP to hit! Otis staggers around, Shelton runs in but into another SLAM! Otis drags Shelton up, puts him in a corner, and then runs in, only to get buckles! MVP coaches Shelton and he crawls, but so does Otis! Hot tags to Gable and Cedric! Cedric rallies on Gable, runs in to forearm smash int he corner, then snapmare and BASEMENT DROPKICK! MVP is fired up with Cedric and Cedric whips. Gable reverses, Cedric goes up and over. Things keep moving, NEURALIZER!
Gable flops out of the ring, Cedric builds speed! Cedric DIVES, but into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Gable puts Cedric in while MVP shouts to shake it off! Gable is up top, for the DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, Shelton breaks it! Otis CLUBS Shelton, throws him to a corner, and then runs in, only to get more buckles! STEP-UP KNEE! And then another STEP-UP KNEE! And a SAMOAN DROP!?! Fans are thunderous after that, but Gable KNEES Shelton out! Cedric is up, Gable CLOBBERS him! Gable goes up top, to MOONSAULT! Cedric avoids it, back suplex, LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Cedric & Shelton win!
Winners: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall
MVP is all fired up! He celebrates with his guys, is this the revival of the Hurt Business?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Cathy Kelley knows The A-Lister was caught off guard last week by Rick Boogs, but what is his reaction to that return? His reaction? Miz will gladly give it to Pearce, along with a bill for the damages to his $10,000 suit that Maryse bought Miz! Who makes someone compete in a suit?! And as far as “Boogs” goes, what? He’s supposed to be impressed that Boogs can bench press 500 pounds and play the electric guitar? But speaking of, here comes Boogs! Uh, how did he get a meeting before The Miz? Oh, of course, he’s special, right? Wow, Boogs is special? Thanks, Miz.
But Boogs is just excited to be reunited with the Boogs Crew in the WWE Universe. The Boogs Crew? Oh, cut the humble crap. Miz would’ve won easily, if he was dressed and ready. Boogs got luck and he knows it, but he’s also lucky that Pearce is a lazy and incompetent official. Because if it was different and Miz was ready, it would’ve been a different story! Pearce walks up behind Miz and says, “Tell me how you really feel.” Miz sighs and smiles at Pearce. Pearce says that if Miz wants a rematch with Boogs, all he had to do was ask. In fact, how about next week? Boogs says that is righteous! THICK RICK VS The Miz, he’s so excited! Rick “Boogs out” on his exercise bar!
Miz looks at Pearce, then frowns as he walks away. But then Chelsea walks back in. She’s about to go to the ring, so she wants him to find an opponent, or she will call his boss. Okay thanks, bye~! The Hot Mess heads out, but who will Pearce send out to face her?
Chelsea Green VS ???
“Shh… It’s Chelsea.” Orlando has mixed feelings as The Hot Mess struts her way to the ring in her first singles match since coming back to the WWE. She’s already got an ego over the fact that she is back, but is she going to be ready for her opponent tonight? Because her opponent is ASUKA!!
Wait, is that Raquel Rodriguez in the crowd? Big Mami Cool snuck in from SmackDown to watch Raw in person, and she’s distracting Asuka! The bell rings and Chelsea SHOTGUNS Asuka down! Chelsea CLUBS away on Asuka, but now we see Natalya sneaking in from the other side! And Liv Morgan! Chelsea dribbles Asuka off the mat, brings her up, and shushes her, before she SLAPS her! Mella struts her way back out, since all the Chamber entrants are here. Chelsea BOOTS Asuka into buckles! Chelsea drags Asuka up, clinches, picks her up, COMPLETE SHOT! Chelsea sees everyone else and asks if they all watched that.
Chelsea says SHE should be in the Chamber, not “whatever this is,” in reference to Mella. Chelsea goes back to Asuka, kicks dirt, and also talks trash on Natty. Wait, Nikki sneaks out here now? Nikki laughs at Chelsea. Chelsea says if Nikki wants crazy, she’ll give her crazy! Chelsea also talks trash on Liv and Raquel. But Asuka gest back up! Chelsea senses something is wrong, and Asuka eggs her on in Japanese! Chelsea swings, misses, and Asuka fires off a strike fest! URAKEN! URAKEN! SOBAT! FRONT KICK! URAKEN and HEEL KICK! GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW! Chelsea wants a time-out!
Chelsea gets to a corner, Asuka runs in, but Chelsea BOOTS her! Chelsea runs in, into a CODE BREAKER, which Asuka then turns into a DOUBLE ARMBAR!!! Chelsea verbally quits, Asuka wins!
Winner: Asuka, by submission
The Empress of Tomorrow stands tall tonight, and she makes sure to look her future opponents in the eye. But then BIANCA BELAIR appears! The RawEST Women’s Champion is here, and she tells them all, “I want all of y’all to take a good look at each other and tell me what you see. Cuz I’ll tell you what I see. I see six top tier women in the WWE.” Fans cheer that. “But… Who has what it takes to win the Elimination Chamber match? Who has what it takes to go one on one with the EST of WWE? Because last year, I was in your position. I know what it’s like to be in an Elimination Chamber match, and I know what it takes to win. That’s how I got this.”
Bianca holds up the title, and says, “I want to wish each and every one of you good luck. Because whoever makes it out… I’ll be ready to see you at WrestleMania.” The EST has sent her message to all her potential contenders, but just who will survive the Chamber to meet Bianca in Hollywood?
Cody Rhodes is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as the American Nightmare makes his way to the ring. Fans chant Cody’s name as he gets the mic. “So, what do you guys wanna talk about? Hmm… Last week, I used my interview time to come out here and talk to you with respect about my current WrestleMania opponent, The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the biggest superstar in the world, the Best in the World, Roman Reigns.” Fans boo Roman, then chant for “SAMI! SAMI!” So they just read Cody’s mind. Cody did say “current.” Cody’s path to WrestleMania is straight and clear, but the destination is foggy.
The reason being, Roman is putting the titles on the line at Elimination Chamber, “against a guy who has kicked up all the dust, a guy who has all the momentum, a guy that’s walking into his hometown, and that is Sami Zayn.” Fans cheer and chant for Sami and Cody continues. “You guys seem like a perfect judge for my next question. It looks more and more like at WrestleMania, it’s going to be me standing there, challenging for the championship against Sami Zayn.” Fans like the sound of that! Cody says this with the utmost respect. “I have respect for anyone avenging an injustice done to them. I have respect for my friend, Sami Zayn. I wish you the best of luck, may the best man win.”
But wait! “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman. And I serve as Special Counsel, and The Wise Man, to YOUR Tribal Chief, the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman…! Reigns!” Fans boo as Heyman continues into the ring. Fans chant “E C DUB!” and Heyman steps into the ring. Heyman tells Cody that something he may one day find out in life, “hopefully not at my expense, but one day, is that life at the very top in this industry requires an understanding that the only week busier than the week leading into a major event like the Royal Rumble, or watch the point, WrestleMania…
“Is the week coming out of a major event, like the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. And I’m sure you know that the Tribal Chief and I have had a lot on our plates in the last week. And a few things fell through the cracks, admittedly, on the Island of Relevancy. One of which is the Tribal Chief and I, in front of the entire world, want to congratulate you on winning the 2023 WWE Men’s Royal Rumble match.” Cody and Heyman shake hands and Heyman says Cody earned it and that he’s very proud of Cody. Fans cheer that, and chant, “You Deserve It!”
Cody knows that his father had a nickname for Heyman, his brother had a nickname for Heyman. But if you’ll indulge Cody, Cody will go with “Mr. Heyman.” It is because Cody has “unparalleled respect” for Heyman and Heyman knows why. But if they’re going to pull back the curtain here, might as well pull it back for everyone here in the crowd and watching at home. This is a story that should’ve been told a long time ago. The year was 2000. The till in Cody’s family dried up a bit, and Hard Times was more than a famous promo. “Simply put, my family went broke.” $100 in a checking account for all of them.
To put a visual on it, Cody’s dad was doing local car commercials and not for money. Just so he could keep a car. Fans chant for Dusty now and Heyman gets emotional. “But then he got a phone call,” Cody continues. Heyman called Dusty. Heyman told Dusty that ECW as in town, that Steve Corino was gonna talk some smack, and that if Dusty would just agree to appear on camera, that if Dusty would be on ECW TV, Heyman “would pay him and pay him well.” Fans again chant for “E C DUB!” Cody says Heyman kept his word. In addition to the money that the Rhodes family sorely needed, ECW gave Dusty his confidence back, and Cody can never repay Heyman for that.
Flash forward a bit, and they might talk about it, but before coming back here, Cody was somewhere else, “causing a little bit of trouble.” From one disruptor in sports entertainment to another, Heyman showed Cody the way, so thank you again. Fans applaud that, and Heyman again gets emotional. Fans chant, “Thank You, Paul! Thank You, Paul!” Heyman says Cody is good. Cody really got Heyman there. Heyman was here to schmooze business with him, and Cody got him personally. Heyman sighs, fans cheer, and if we’re peeling back and shooting from the hip, let’s go all the way.
Heyman says this isn’t about him, and with all due respect and love and admiration and even acknowledgement, this isn’t about Dusty. This is about Cody, about everything Cody has fought for from the bottom to the top, out the door, back in, to winning the Rumble to main-eventing WrestleMania! “And winning WrestleMania is a whole different story. Just getting there is a long, long road.” And that’s Cody’s story. That’s Cody’s story that he needs to finish to find out if this is a dream come true, or if he must “suffer the nightmare of coming just this close.”
Because Cody isn’t just main-eventing WrestleMania, he’s trying to “take away from the greatest box office attraction and greatest champion of all time, Roman… Reigns.” Fans boo but Heyman says that’s no easy task for any mere mortal, let alone someone that has no idea what it’s like under that spotlight. Will Cody crumble and wither? Will he self-destruct under that pressure because no one ever prepared him for it? Heyman says down the road is the WWE Performance Center. At that very place, Cody’s father, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, trained and prepped the biggest stars of this generation.
Cody’s father, Dusty, trained and prepped Seth Rollins, trained and prepped Becky Lynch, trained and prepped Bayley, trained and prepped Kevin Owens, trained and prepped for the highest level of success, the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. But do you know who Dusty didn’t train and prep? Dusty did not train nor prepare Cody. Cody tries to smile through that but Heyman says he could counsel Cody that maybe, just maybe, Dusty wanted Cody to make it on his own. That’s how much love Dusty had for him. That Dusty wanted Cody to step out of the shadow of a national monument such as the American Dream himself.
Perhaps Dusty didn’t want Cody going through life as “Dusty’s son,” but as Cody Rhodes, “WrestleMania Main Eventer Who Stopped the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.” Maybe. But Cody, Heyman can’t convey in words how much he loved Dusty. But he can say to Cody’s face that Dusty loved Cody. To share this personally, in Heyman’s last conversation with Dusty, Dusty told Heyman… “You, Cody, were his favorite son.” Cody and the fans aren’t sure what to make of that, but then Heyman adds, “But Roman Reigns was the son he always wanted.” Heyman drops the mic and fans cannot believe he just said that!
Cody rushes up on Heyman but Heyman backs away. Fans want Cody to go after Heyman but Heyman wants him to reconsider. Cody offers a handshake, then makes Heyman take it. “I’m just trying to win a wrestling championship, and everybody, everybody, wants to make it personal. And that’s what you just did, and you’re not gonna pay for it, Mr. Heyman. Your boy, Roman Reigns, is going to pay for it. At WrestleMania, when I take those titles, personally.” Cody pushes the mic into Heyman then heads out. Will Cody ironically be hoping Roman beats Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber so he can be the one to tear the Tribal Chief down?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford!
There is just ONE spot left in the United States Championship match, and it comes down to The Drifter and the flyest high flyer WWE has seen in a long time! Will all of Montreal #WalkWithElias? Or will this Profit be up, looking for gold?
Raw returns and Elias makes his entrance while Austin Theory is on commentary. The bell rings and Elias circles with Ford. They tie up, and they are in a deadlock. They go around, Ford puts Elias in a corner but Elias turns it around. The ref counts, both men let off, and they reset. Ford and Elias tie up again, Elias headlocks and he grinds Ford down. Ford powers up but Elias holds tight. Ford tries again, but Elias still holds tight. Theory isn’t concerned about Elias’ level of aggression, because the person with aggression is him. Ford powers up and out, but Elias runs him over! Cover, TWO!
Elias stands Ford up but Ford rolls Elias up, TWO! Ford cradles, TWO! Elias headlocks again and he hits a takeover. Ford keeps his shoulder up, moves around, and fans rally. Theory likes Ford’s athleticism, and the move on his regimen, but he’s intrigued to face Elias since they’ve never met in a match. Ford fights up, powers out, and things speed up. Ford hurdles then runs Elias over! Ford DROPKICKS Elisa, and then Ford snarls as he whips. Elias reverses but Ford KICKS back! Ford runs in, but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Ford sputters to a corner and Elias storms up to CHOP, UPPERCUT and repeat!
Elias fires off, the ref counts, and Elias lets off. Elias then stomps Ford again, CHOPS him, and whips to back drop Ford! Ford bails out, Elias pursues, and Elias RAMS Ford into barriers! Elias then brings Ford up to STEEL STEPS BACK SUPLEX! Elias roars and fans are torn as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Elias has Ford in a motorcycle stretch. Ford endures, turns, but Elias drags him up into a waistlock. BACKBREAKER! Elias then goes to a corner and climbs up top, but Ford hops up after him! Ford fires haymakers, Elias throws body shots, and Elias CLUBS Ford down. Elias SUNSET FLIPS, but Ford holds onto the ropes! Fans fire up as Ford fights his way back up, and he ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias turns things into an Electric Chair Lift! SPINNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Theory says he thought that would end it, though he sounds a bit sarcastic.
Ford crawls to the apron and Elias storms over. Ford GAMANGIRIS Elias, ducks a haymaker, then bumps Elias off buckles to GAMANGIRI again! Ford goes back up, CROSSBODIES, and says “SUCK IT!” Ford rallies with clotheslines, then runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Elias staggers, Ford pumps up and hits a BIG back suplex! Kip up but Ford’s back tightens up. Ford powers through to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Theory likes that Elias is still in this, but Ford brings Elias up. Elias CHOPS! ford ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias ROCKS Ford, but Ford ENZIGURIS! Ford runs, into the SYMPHO-KNEE!
Elias fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ford survives and Elias grows frustrated. Theory doesn’t worry about the match, and goes on to talk trash on the other entrants. Theory thinks Johnny Gargano will be a stay-at-home dad, Bronson Reed probably can’t fit in a pod, but then gets mad at Kevin Patrick for bringing up the loss to Bronson back in their NXT days. Elias meanwhile RAMS Ford into a corner, RAMS him again, and again, and again! Elias backs off, runs in again, but Ford puts him on the apron! Elias shoulders in, slingshots, but into a HAYMAKER!
Elias flounders away, Ford goes corner to corner to FLY!! Direct hit and down goes Elias! Ford puts Elias in the ring and fans fire up! Ford goes up top, and leaps in FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, Ford wins!
Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
Ford takes the last spot, but Theory stands on the desk to hold up the title. Will Theory still have that title after the Elimination Chamber? Wait! SETH ROLLINS CLIPS THEROY! Theory hits the desk and Rollins laughs! Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” before the CURB STOMP to the floor! The Now didn’t see The Visionary coming, will nothing and no one stop Rollins from winning in the Chamber?
Bayley talks with Damage CTRL backstage.
Dakota Kai is in crutches given what Becky Lynch did to her last week, but Bayley isn’t worry. She tells Kai & Sky the plan and prepares for the main event, which is up next!
Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch!
The Role Model used Damage CTRL to take control away from The Man and deny us all this match on the Raw 30th Anniversary episode. But now, there’s no running from this, there’s no hiding from this, and there’s no getting around this! Will Bayley survive Becky’s Big Time wrath? Or will Becky leave Bayley behind just like when they were in NXT?
The bell rings, fans fire up, but Bayley smirks. Fans rally for Becky as she and Bayley circle. They feel things out, Bayley ROCKS Becky then climbs the wall! Becky yanks her down, she won’t let Bayley just run away like a coward. They talk trash, Bayley says Becky doesn’t tell her what to do or when to do it. Bayley shoves Becky, so Becky ROCKS Bayley! They go back and forth, Becky gets the edge, but Bayley kicks a leg out! Becky trips Bayley! Becky says she was going for the door, but that’s not how this is going down. Becky whips but Bayley turns it around, only for Becky to stop from hitting the steel.
Becky hits Bayley back, but Bayley also blocks hitting steel. Bayley elbows Becky away but Becky goes for an arm! Bayley and Becky go around, but Bayley throws Becky into the steel! Kai & Sky like what they see as Bayley sends Becky into more steel! Bayley stomps away on Becky, then digs her boots in! She also digs Becky into the frame of the cage! Fans boo but Bayley covers, ONE!! Becky is hanging tough, so Bayley decides to climb. Becky hurries over and dropkicks the cage to shake Bayley loose! Bayley falls to the mat, then Becky drags her up to RAM her into the steel! Becky drags Bayley up again to RAM her into more steel!
Becky runs to basement dropkick Bayley into the steel! And again! Becky stomps away on Bayley now, then pushes her face into the steel! “You think you can talk about my husband?! You think you can talk about my husband now, Bayley?!” Becky lets off, then drags Bayley up. Fans rally and Becky throws Bayley into more steel! Bayley drags herself out while Becky climbs the cage. Bayley hurries to anchor Becky, but Becky kicks her away. Bayley climbs up after Becky, but Becky kicks her again. Bayley anchors a foot, but Becky dribbles Bayley’s face off steel! Becky then adjusts, brings Bayley around, but Bayley RAMS Becky into steel!
Bayley dribbles Becky now, throws her off the ropes, then adjusts to MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kai & Sky coach Bayley on as she has control, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns just as Becky kicks out of a cover! And she wants the arm! Bayley hurries to push Becky away, but Becky hits a FLYING FOREARM! Both women are down and Orlando fires up! Kai & Sky coaches Bayley as she and Becky both stand. The forearms go back and forth again! Fans rally behind Becky as she gets the edge, uppercuts and SOBATS! Becky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and JUMP KICKS Bayley down! Becky whips Bayley to a corner, but Bayley uses that to get up the wall! Becky grabs Bayley’s legs to SLAM them against the steel! And again! Bayley holds on with her hands but Becky RAMS her into the steel again and again! SUPER JUMP KICK!
Bayley ends up slumped on the ropes, for Becky’s SUPER GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally and Becky fires up. Kai & Sky plead with Bayley as she gets up, but Becky clinches. Bayley slips out of the slam to SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Becky is still in this and fans fire up again! Bayley drags herself to ropes, climbs the cage, but Becky rises! Becky drags Bayley back down, has her draped on the ropes and TOSSES her into the steel! Becky runs, to drop a leg, brother! But Bayley turns it into a HEEL HOOK!! Becky flails, reaches out, and crawls her way to the door! Becky grabs the frame but Bayley drags her away!
Bayley stands Becky up but Becky rolls to send Bayley into buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Back to the HEEL HOOK! Becky still crawls, they roll to ropes, and Becky SMACKS Bayley off steel! And again! And again! Bayley is dazed but Becky hobbles back up. Becky climbs a corner but Bayley anchors her foot. Becky kicks her away, but Bayley tries again. Becky kicks Bayley again, but Bayley hurries up after her! They brawl, Becky shoves Bayley away! Becky is on the top rope but Bayley CLUBS her! Bayley clubs after and they braw on the top rope! Bayley RAMS Becky into the steel, SUPER BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, TWO!?!
Kai & Sky can’t believe it, and neither can Orlando! Bayley stalks Becky, but then decides to climb the wall! Bayley reaches the top! Becky hurries up after Bayley, catches up to Bayley, and they brawl up top now! Fans rally as the haymakers go back and forth! Bayley SMACKS Becky off the top! But Becky grabs an arm! Becky uses that to drag herself back up, DISARM-HER ON TOP OF THE CAGE!!! Bayley slips free, gets caught up on the ropes, and flops to the mat! But Becky just adjusts, only for Sky to climb up after her! The Evil Genius brawls with Becky, and then she kicks Becky down into the ring! Kai sneaks a crutch to Bayley!
Bayley JAMS Becky with the crutch! But wait, is that LITA?!? The living legend is here and she goes up after Sky! Lita YANKS Sky right off the cage! Lita storms up on Kai and uses her other crutch to YANK her into steel steps! Lita JAMS Sky, reels her in, TWIST OF FATE to the floor!! Bayley is flabbergasted, but she hurries for the door! Fans are losing their minds as Lita SLAMS the door shut! Bayley staggers into a MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Becky had Big Time back-up, was this the ace in the hole she talked about? Did Lita help Becky put behind her Damage CTRL once and for all?
A great Raw, and full to the brim at that. Great opening segment with Edge, Beth and Judgment Day. I am glad they’re giving us that Mixed Tag for Elimination Chamber, but I was hoping they would make it Edge & Beth VS Rhea & Dom. But at the same time, if Dom was involved, it’d be obvious Dom would take the loss just so The Grit Couple can win without really hurting Rhea’s momentum. With Finn in that match instead, it could go either way. Rhea could beat Beth to win it while we see Edge and Finn set up a 1v1 rematch for WrestleMania. That’s two birds, one stone, so perhaps WWE will go with that.
I also like that they used the brawl that broke out to bring in the Profits. Dom taking the Glam Slam was beloved by all, and of course we go right into Dawkins VS Priest. Priest winning makes sense, he really is the workhorse Edge said he is, Priest will have a great showing in the Elimination Chamber. Elias VS Ford was great stuff, even with Theory on commentary. Theory wasn’t bad, but what does he really add talking himself up? At the same time, it was great for Rollins to drive-by Theory to get himself some momentum while not in the ring. And as I’d hoped, Ford is in the Chamber now, so get ready for a From the Heavens off a pod.
Corbin VS Lumis being a comparative squash was a bit of a surprise, but it leading to JBL dumping Corbin was also quite surprising. At the same time, something had to give. The WWE never books Corbin strong forever, which is why Corbin has been through more changes to his character these last few years than anyone else. I’m not sure what’ll get Corbin to the next level, if WWE even cares to do that. I still think they skipped through the Bum Ass Corbin stuff too soon, but that’s on Vince. Maybe Corbin will start trying to earn JBL’s respect like he needs it as validation for who he is.
And because HHH’s team is really clever, they gave us another “Easter egg” in a promo, with MVP talking with Cedric & Shelton before their match. Their match against Alpha Academy was pretty good, though it seemed clunky at the start. Commentary touched on it, I think Shelton was just not quite ready for how big and strong Otis was gonna run in there. But Shelton & Cedric win because clearly, the Hurt Business is on its way back. Lesnar and Lashley had a good promo together, and I’m a little surprised we’re getting that match at the Chamber. Maybe there will be something crazy that happens, compelling a WrestleMania match. Plus, from Lashley’s promo, he’s counting their Rumble match confrontation as part of the record, so the Chamber match would be round 4, making Mania round 5 and a tiebreaker of sorts.
Good backstage promos with Adam Pearce. Miz putting his foot in his mouth and ending up in a rematch with Boogs was good stuff. Officially signing MMM to Raw was a nice detail to help give us a reason we’re even watching Pearce, which sets up Chelsea “Karen Joke Punchline” Green complaining to him and getting a match. And seeing as how Chelsea avoided bringing Asuka up, it was perfect that she had to fight Asuka. It was a logical surprise to have the other women in the Elimination Chamber match show up, though I feel like Chelsea could’ve been faster about talking trash. Asuka wins, of course, and Bianca had a great promo calling out all the contenders.
Speaking of, the Fatal 4 was great stuff, and I suppose Mella winning is a good choice. She’s returning, she’s got momentum just on that, but she’ll surely be used to build up Asuka in that match. Mella had that segment with Asuka last week, Asuka will definitely mist and eliminate Mella. Asuka is definitely a frontrunner to win the Chamber, and this return to Kana in presentation has to mean Asuka’s going to WrestleMania. Piper threatening Candice and Mia was good stuff. Piper might get a partner to take them on at some point, but we can get some great 1v1 matches out of Piper VS Candice and Piper VS Mia.
Cody’s promo segment with Heyman was so good. I just knew Heyman was setting up that insult on Cody about Dusty wanting someone like Roman as a son, and it was still powerful. And while Sami Zayn is great, it of course gave the idea that WrestleMania’s main event will stay Roman VS Cody. Then we got a great main event in the Steel Cage match. Granted, it was the usual Steel Cage formula: throw each other into steel; keep each other from climbing up and out multiple times; Heel still has minions interfere. But I did like that Lita showed up to help Becky in a callback to their Crown Jewel match. Lita helping Becky win was good stuff cuz it was DMG CTRL facing karma, and fans got to see the legendary Lita celebrate with the iconic Becky. Hell, maybe we get some kind of tag match now so Lita can return to WrestleMania.
My Score: 8.7/10
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