The Raw Women’s Champion named her challenger, but both of them have a common enemy to deal with. Can Ronda and Sasha coexist against The Samoan Dynasty?
- Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax & Tamina; Rousey & Banks win.
- Lucha House Party VS The Revival; The Revival wins.
- Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Bayley, Natalya & ???; Bayley, Natalya & Nikki Cross win.
- Jinder Mahal w/ Samir Singh VS Finn Balor; Finn wins and stays in the #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Dean Ambrose VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashey w/ Lio Rush; Lashley wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor VS John Cena; Finn wins and will face Brock Lesnar for the title at the Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Now arriving in a limousine…
It’s Vincent Kennedy McMahon! The Chairman is here for Raw, but he wants his driver to make sure the limo is perfectly clean. Vince then heads in, what will he have to do and say tonight in Memphis?
BRAUN is here, too!
The Monster Among Men awaits his second chance against The Beast at the Royal Rumble, but he was hoping to get a fight out of Brock Lesnar last week. Strowman tried goading Lesnar into reacting, but Paul Heyman and Lesnar simply brushed off all Strowman’s insults. Memphis chants “Get These Hands!” for Strowman has he picks up a mic. “You know he’ll never admit it, but Brock Lesnar has always been afraid of me.” When Strowman was the Monster in the Bank, Lesnar was constantly looking over his shoulder. When Strowman was about to beat Roman Reigns, Lesnar came down to bust the door of the Cell. And when Strowman was gonna beat Lesnar directly at WWE Crown Jewel, Baron Corbin rigged the match.
“Hey, Beastie Boy, I hope you’re watching this from training camp. Because I’m all healed up.” And Corbin is no longer in power, so there’s no one to save Lesnar now. Lesnar’s biggest fear will come true in Phoenix, because Strowman will get the Universal Championship, and Lesnar will #GetTheseHands! But speaking of Baron Corbin, he comes out on stage. Fans boo as Corbin tells Strowman that he may not run raw anymore– Because he got fired! But as Corbin was– Strowman gets it. “You Got Fired~!” Corbin says fans can chant all they want but they’ll still have to listen to him, even if he has to be out here all night. In fact, if Corbin’s out here for just another five minutes, that’ll be longer than Strowman lasted against Lesnar!
Corbin tells Strowman needs to stop lying. Fans believe in him but all he does is let us down. Strowman can’t win, and he knows it! Corbin will then win the Royal Rumble and go to where Strowman never will: the main event of Wrestlemania! But Strowman rushes Corbin on stage! The chase is on and ends up backstage. Strowman demands to know where Corbin is, and the Singh Brothers can’t decide which way, so he throws them both into catering! Strowman continues his hunt, where will the Monster Among Men find The Lone Wolf? The Drifter appears to sing as the bard of WWE. He knows where Corbin went, saw it with his own two eyes. Now the Monster’s on a chase, there’s something he should know. Corbin’s hiding in that limo. Strowman thanks Elias with a nod and closes in on his target.
Strowman goes right at the limo, and smashes the mirrors off! He drags out the driver and tosses him! The doors are locked, so Strowman demands Corbin get out. Corbin doesn’t, so Strowman finds himself a pipe! And he smashes the windows! Corbin screams as Strowman pulls the door right off!! Corbin escapes the other side and runs away. But then Strowman encounters the limo’s owner, Vince McMahon! McMahon is naturally angry, and perhaps for the first time in his life, Strowman is worried. What will the consequences be of demolishing the Chairman’s car?
Raw returns, and Strowman tries to fix the limousine.
It doesn’t work. McMahon sees this human wrecking ball, a walking danger zone. Look what he did! Strowman will have to pay $100,000. For this piece of crap?! If Strowman wants to raise his voice and be a bad guy, then his title match is off! Strowman is furious, so he decides to take it out on what’s left of the limo! He gets it up and over! But vehicular destruction aside, who will take Strowman’s shot at Lesnar?
Braun Strowman is escorted out of the building.
The Monster is out, and Corbin is laughing it up. Will the Lone Wolf capitalize on this opportunity?
Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax & Tamina!
The Baddest Woman on the Planet challenged The Boss to be her next challenger, but the Irresistible Force wouldn’t let herself be passed up. Banks beat Nia in a #1 Contenders match and now Ronda and Sasha will have that title match. However, to keep the Samoan Dynasty out of their business, the #RowdyBossAlliance has been formed for tonight! Will they be able to coexist and survive to reach the Royal Rumble?
Raw returns as the teams sort out. Sasha starts against Nia as a rematch from last week, but Nia and Tamina talk it over first. Nia circles with Sasha and Nia says she wants Ronda. Fans like the sound of that, but Sasha hits Nia with forearms! Nia shoves Sasha but Sasha comes back to huricanrana Nia to a corner. Sasha runs in for double knees, then does it again. But Nia catches those and puts Sasha up top. Sasha boots back then runs to sunset flip. Nia lifts her up and puts her back in the corner. Sasha dodges to rock Nia with a chop. Sasha goes acrobatic to arm-drag, but Nia blocks! Nia yanks Sasha up but Sasha slips into a sleeper hold! Nia puts Sasha on buckles again, but Sasha hops back on! Sasha is a backpack but Nia tosses her off.
Nia runs in but Sasha dodges. Sasha hits a knee, then climbs up. She boots Nia again to hit a bulldog! Sasha keeps going, shining wizard! Cover, TWO! Sasha tags to Ronda and the Rowdy One kicks away! She throws hands, too, but Nia powers her to the corner. Tamina tags in and Tamina throws headbutts. She rocks Ronda, but Ronda comes back with a takedown into the armbar! Tamina flails and Nia saves her! The Samoan Dynasty regroups as fans boo and jeer. Ronda waits for Tamina, but she and Nia make Ronda wait a little longer as they talk strategy. Tamina finally returns, then ducks back out. Fans boo and jeer but the Samoans simply smile. Tamina slowly returns, but Sasha Meteoras Nia! Sasha saw through their plan, and things continue after the break.
Raw returns as Nia thrashes Sasha about in a bearhug! Fans rally for Sasha as she endures the squeeze. Sasha fights out but Nia pushes her away. Sasha rolls up but into a powerbomb! High stack, TWO! Nia barrels into Sasha with a senton! Cover, TWO! Nia is shocked but keeps on Sasha with a cobra clutch. Fans rally up again and Sasha continues to endure. We go picture in picture as Sasha feeds off the rally. Sasha stands but Nia wrangles her right back down. We return to single picture as Nia leans on Sasha. Sasha stands and jawbreakers out! Sasha runs but into a back elbow! Nia drags Sasha up and over, then tags in Tamina. Tamina stomps a mudhole into Nia, then drags Sasha up again.
Tamina scoops but Sashas slips out to roll up! TWO, and Tamina catches Sasha’s leap! Sasha’s so close but Tamina shoves her away from Ronda. Tamina hits Ronda down, and the ref has to keep Ronda back! Tamina runs into Sasha’s boot! Sasha fights out, goes up and over and Tamina hits Nia! Rolling leg sweep into the crossface! Tamina taps, Sasha and Ronda win!
Winners: Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks, Sasha by submission
The Boss and the Baddest make it a win as a team, but now they’re back to being opponents. Charli Caruso interviews them in the ring and comments on that teamwork. It’s easy to trust each other when there’s respect. Sasha’s a great superstar, and it will be Ronda’s honor to defend against her. Ronda winning against Sasha will be the best win yet. Sasha heard that comment. Ronda didn’t mean it in a bad way. The way to show her respect is to make her tap out. Tap Sasha out? Again, that’s not how it sounds.
Sasha doesn’t like Ronda thinking she’s the only submission star here. Just ask Nia and Tamina what Sasha did. Sasha is ready to go any time, any where. And she’ll be the one teaching Ronda how to lose with class. Then teach by example, because Ronda’s not about to become the world’s classiest loser. Again, Ronda tries to say it’s not how it sounds, but Sasha won’t let her forget who she called out. Ronda said Sasha’s the best. Sasha isn’t afraid. And Ronda will get used to not having eh way around here, because Sasha’s gonna tap Ronda out and take back that title. #BankOnIt. Sasha leaves, but Ronda wants to apologize. This is meant to be respectful. Sasha isn’t listening, this is her house. But will that be her title again after the Rumble?
Mr. McMahon has a line outside his door.
But coming out of the office is Jerry “The King” Lawler! No Way Jose passes by with his conga line and King is clearly confused. But what is all this business about?
An argument breaks out backstage!
Ronda and Sasha won’t stop, so their friends Bayley and Natalya step in to keep the peace. Natty tells Ronda to just cool off in the locker room while Bayley tells Sasha to go somewhere else. Natty says Sasha needs to learn how to control herself. Bayley takes offense and says it’s Ronda who riled Sasha up. Ronda is the one talking out of both sides of her mouth. Natty says Ronda didn’t do anything, it’s just Sasha being sensitive. Now these two argue!
And the Riott Squad come by to tease everyone for “falling apart”. This isn’t any of their business. Oh sorry, is Bayley upset over Sasha dumping her for the Raw Women’s Championship? Again, this has nothing to do with them. Oh it has everything to do with them. Because they love making bad situations worse. If Bayley and Natty can find themselves another friend, they can have a match. Natty accepts for the both of them, but is that a wise move right now?
Lucha House Party VS The Revival!
The #TopGuys cry conspiracy over the two times they lost in Raw Tag Team Championship matches controversially, but also all those Lucha House Rules matches they were stuck in. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson say LHP saw the ropebreak last week, but instead of saying anything, they just turned their backs. Tonight, they’ll pay the price for that. Will Dash & Dawson #SayYeah to some of their own personal justice?
The teams sort out, and Lince Dorado is the odd amigo out. Dash starts against Kalisto and circle. They tie up and Dash arm-drags Kalisto fast. Dash mocks the lucha chants, then hugs Dawson. Kalisto and Dash tie up again and Dash powers Kalisto to ropes. Dash arm-drags but Kalisto cartwheels through. Things speed up and Kalisto dropkicks Dash. Kalisto chops and goes acrobatic, for a big arm-drag! Kalisto tags in Metalik and they double whip Dash. They hip toss Dash down, then add the wheelbarrow senton! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps on Dash and tags Kalisto. Kalisto climbs and hits the elbow. Kalisto wrenches but Dash tags Dawson. Atomic drop dropkick combo! Cover, TWO! Dawson drops leg drops while we check on Mr. McMahon’s office.
Dawson drags Kalisto up to whip and elbow him down while Dasha Fuentes notes that everyone wants that title match with Brock Lesnar. Dasha interviews one hopeful in Apollo Crews. Dawson drags Kalisto to a corner while Apollo says this line is crazy. That’s how important the Universal Championship is! Dawson rocks Kalisto with European Uppercuts and CHOPS. Dawson snap suplexes Kalisto then covers, TWO! Curt Hawkins comes in and says everyone is deserving. But no one brings what he brings to the table: The Streak! “You feel me?” No… Dawson keeps on Kalisto with a chinlock while The Top One Percent is spotted in line! EC3 just grins, because he doesn’t need to say anything more.
Kalisto endures the chinlock as fans rally up, but The B-Team speak to Dasha. The B stands for Brock! Wait, what? So who will face him then? Is that what this is for? Kalisto fights Dawson off with body shots, then slides under. The B-Team is undecided and will get back to Dasha on that. Kalisto kicks Dawson away, hot tag to Dash! Dash stops Kalisto from tagging Metalik while Slater and Rhyno walk up. Slater does NOT want to face Lesnar, he’s got kids. But Rhyno might give it a try. Kalisto kicks Dash away, hot tag to Metalik! Metalik swing kicks Dash then springboards to crossbody! Metalik boots Dawson and slingdogs him! Then he handsprings at Dash to huricanrana! Dawson tag sin but gets a dropkick!
Dash avoids Metalik, and the Revival regroup. They double suplex, but Kalisto saves Metalik. Kalisto rolls Dash for a Listo Kick! Dawson clobbers Kalisto! Metalik runs, springboards and sunset flips! TWO!! Metalik runs and walks the ropes, but Dawson ducks under. Dawson misses, Metalik ducks, but Dawson makes it a DDT! Cover, and Dash denies a ropebreak! The Revival win!
Winners: The Revival, Scott Dawson pinning
Poetic justice or bending the rules in their favor? It doesn’t matter to the #TopGuys, they got a win! Will they continue to “correct” the wrongs against them?
More stars wait outside Mr. McMahon’s office.
Vince comes out and sees Dasha. They want to know the scoop, right? Well he’s going to tell us, in the ring. Who has The Chairman chosen to be the Monster Among Men’s replacement?
Mr. McMahon heads to the ring!
Memphis is happy to see The Chairman in person as he picks up a mic. But before Vince can say anything, JOHN CENA appears! Cena stands across from Vince and tells him we already know what happened. The Universal Championships match is in jeopardy on the Road to Wrestlemania, so Vince wants someone to step up. Cena saves Vince the time and the trouble. When everyone else left Vince high and dry, from Stone Cold to The Rock, and even Brock Lesnar when he said “I’m going to play football”, Vince told the rejects and misfits to step up. Cena came up like a man and said “You give me a chance, I will not let you down.” Vince gave Cena that chance, and Cena didn’t let him down.
And then another chance and another chance. Cena missed birthdays, weddings and funerals for the WWE. That’s not for sympathy, but because he stepped up. So Cena just wants another chance, and promises not to let Vince down. Cena vows to walk in, defeat Lesnar, and become a 17-time world champion!! How does Cena know? Because he has something no one else has: RUTHLESS AGGRESSION! “No, no, no!” Drew McIntyre says this stops right now. How dare Cena do this. McIntyre doesn’t care about the title reigns, about the movie plugs or book deals, but he will not stand for Cena standing here with a straight face and claim that he still has that ruthless aggression. McIntyre will show us real ruthless aggression! Cena’s time is up, and McIntyre’s time is now! So like Stone Cold, just like Rock and just like Lesnar, Cena should just leave.
But Baron Corbin comes out now, and says that his life was threatened by Strowman. He’s not the kind of guy who has a lawyer on speed dial, but if he was, Mr. McMahon and Corbin could come to an agreement. Give him that Universal Championship match! Whoa whoa whoa. Finn Balor doesn’t want to interrupt, but he’s tired of being left out of the conversation. These three can claim a lot of things, but Finn is the only one who was ever Universal Champion. Vince likes the guts, but he’s not big enough for “all this beef.” Finn knows Vince never believed in him. But the fans did! And still do! Finn knows Vince is stubborn, and nothing he says will work. “So how about I show you.” And a fight breaks out! Finn rocks Corbin and McIntyre rocks Cena, but then McIntyre Claymores Finn!
The Scottish Terminator takes aim at Cena again, and hits another Claymore! McIntyre glares at Vince, and Vince likes what he sees! Each one of these men wants the title, so let’s find out who gets it! A Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! McIntyre stands tall in the scrum, but will he stand tall at the end of the night?
Vince McMahon encounters Jinder Mahal backstage.
The Modern Day Maharaja is honored to be in Vince’s presence. And Mahal is a little offended he wasn’t considered for that contenders match. He was a great WWE world champion, and was a finalist in the Mixed Match Challenge tournament. Plus, the WWE Universe was robbed of Lesnar VS Mahal a couple Survivor Series ago. So Mahal wants at the title? Yes, he wuold’ve been part of that argument if not for Strowman attacking the Singhs! Please, just one shot. Vince says that Mahal can choose one of those other four men. If he beats them, he takes their spot. Mahal accepts, and chooses Finn Balor! Then good luck. Will Mahal be able to rob Finn of his chance to grab his?
Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Bayley, Natalya & ???
Ruby, Sarah and Liv poked fun at the Huggable One and the Queen of Harts while they were in the middle of arguing about the argument between Sasha and Ronda. They were dared to find a third “friend” to make this match, but who did they find? It’s NIKKI CROSS!! The Loony Lass is on Raw as a free agent, will she make a major impact in her debut?
The teams sort out, and Sarah Logan starts against Bayley. They circle while Nikki runs about on the apron. But then Bayley thinks Nikki should have her turn, and fans like that idea! Tag to Nikki and she goes right at Sarah! Nikki hops on but Sarah throws her off, only for Nikki to dropkick Sarah down. Liv tags in but Nikki throws her around! Nikki grins as she slaps herself, and Ruby tags in. These two revisit their time in NXT together, but the Squad backs her up. Natty and Bayley come in, but Nikki tells them she’s got this, “Let Nikki play~!” Natty and Bayley let her play with the entire Squad! Nikki tackles Ruby and the Squad hurry to get their leader to safety. But then Bayley and Natty wreck Liv and Sarah with dropkicks!
Nikki drags Ruby under the ring! Nikki has Ruby in the apron skirt and hammers away! The wild one is in control, sorta, while we go to break.
Raw returns and Sarah toys with Bayley. Sarah drags Bayley up but Bayley fights back with forearms. Sarah whips but Bayley goes up and crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Sarah catches Bayley to toss her! Sarah runs and cartwheel knee drops! She scrapes Bayley out then goes out to fetch her. Sarah stomps Bayley and throws her back in. Bayley rolls Sarah, TWO! Sarah drags Bayley by her ponytail and tags in Liv. Liv climbs up and Sarah feeds Bayley to the knees and bulldog! Cover, TWO! Liv grins as she stalks Bayley to the ropes. Fans rally as Liv hops on for a sleeper pulling Bayley back. Liv lets up but Ruby gets in a cheap shot. Liv adds her dropkick then high stacks, TWO! The Squad keeps their cool as they toy with Bayley. Liv drags Bayley back but Bayley kicks her. Sarah tags in and stomps Bayley out.
Sarah drags Bayley up in a cobra clutch, but fans rally. Bayley endures and sits up. She fights back but Sarah gives her a backbreaker and toss into buckles. Sarah stomps Bayley then whips her to a corner. Bayley hits buckles hard, and Sarah roars as she runs in. Bayley gives her snake eyes! Sarah grabs Bayley but Bayley evades to hot tag Natty! The Queen of Harts rallies and German Suplexes! Then the discus clothesline! Natty keeps going with a whip, but Sarah wheelbarrows. Natty powers through to facebuster! Cover, but Ruby breaks it! Ruby drags Sarah away but Bayeley knees her down! Liv still tags Sarah, and runs to headscissor Natty! Cover, but Nikki breaks it! Liv swings but Nikki screams at her. Liv turns around into the Sharpshooter! But Liv pushes away, Nikki tags in!
Natty picks Liv up, Nikki climbs, SUPER Hart Attack! Nikki thrashes Liv around, then sees Sarah coming. Nikki gives her a neckbreaker, Natty gives Ruby a German! Ruby and Sarah end up in the same corner, Nikki sandwiches them with a splash! Bulldog for Ruby! Natty whips Nikki back to monkey flip Sarah! Natty adds a basement dropkick, then Nikki DIVES onto Ruby and Liv from the apron! Fans fire up with the frenzied Nikki, but Liv kicks her back. Liv brings Nikki back to the ring, but Nikki blocks the kick. Liv goes Matrix to dodge Nikki’s clothesline, then rolls Nikki up! TWO, and Nikki tags Bayley. Nikki gives Liv a draping neckbreaker! Bayley climbs, Nikki positions Liv, Macho Elbow! Cover, Bayley and team wins!
Winner: Bayley, Natalya and Nikki Cross, Bayley pinning
The crazy Cross makes a successful Raw debut! Will Nikki stay red or go to SmackDown blue tomorrow? And what of the issues between Bayley, Natty and each of their best friends?
Dean Ambrose speaks.
“Right versus wrong.” Right: Ambrose, all the time about everything. Wrong: a Triple Threat match for the title! Wrong: Seth Rollins is one of those two men! Also wrong: Bobby Lashley being the other! And the most wrong: defending it here in Memphis. But the odds could be 50-50 or 33 and one third chance, Ambrose will still win because no one is taking his title. Right or wrong, will the “Moral Compass” still be champion?
Finn Balor heads to gorilla.
Who is that talking to Mickie James and Dana Brooke? Why it’s the Lady of NXT, Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier talks her fabulous wardrobe, but when will she bring her ring gear to Raw and SmackDown?
Jinder Mahal w/ Samir Singh VS Finn Balor!
The Modern Day Maharaja is down a Singh after what Braun Strowman did, but he will soldier on in his attempts to become champion. He wants to remove the Extraordinary Man from tonight’s Fatal 4 Way, but will that be easier said than done?
Raw returns as Finn makes his entrance, but he doesn’t get to finish it! Samir Singh anchors Finn’s foot on the top rope, and Mahal blasts Finn off it! Mahal goes after Finn on the outside as fans boo and jeer. Mahal throws Finn into the apron again and again, then into the barriers! The referee tells Mahal to back off, but Mahal says he’s going to the Rumble to face Brock. Mahal throws Finn into more barriers, then back into the apron. He puts Finn in the ring, and tells the ref to ring the bell. The ref checks on Finn first, and Finn wants this match to happen, too. The bell rings, Mahal runs in, and boots Finn down! Cover, TWO! Mahal is furious this match isn’t over already, but he drags Finn back up for haymakers. He adds clubbing crossfaces, then puts on a chinlock.
Finn endures as fans rally for him. He fights his way up but Mahal wrangles him back down. Mahal and Samir trash talk but Finn fights his way up again. Finn fights but Mahal knees low. Mahal whips but Finn reverses. Mahal sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn grits his teeth while Mahal rolls away. He fetches Mahal but Mahal back suplexes him up! Finn fights out and swing kicks Mahal! Mahal falls to the floor and Finn aims from the apron. Finn kicks but Mahal blocks it to sweep the legs! The Maharaja has the odds in his favor while we go to break.
Raw returns as Mahal drops knees at the ropes! Mahal stops to grind his knee into Finn’s face, then backs off at 4. Finn gasps and sputters while Mahal uses Shanti to keep focus. Mahal stomps Finn then drags him up. He whips Finn corner to corner and Finn hits buckles hard. The ref checks on Finn but Finn refuses to quick. Mahal drives elbows into Finn’s forehead, then pulls him back in a partial camel clutch. Finn endures as Mahal shifts to a half nelson. Fans rally again and Finn fights his way up. Mahal lifts for a big back suplex but Finn makes it a crossbody! TWO, and Mahal gets the chinlock again. Finn endures all over again, but fans rally up again. Finn jawbreakers free, and then throws hands! Mahal shoves and they collide, PELE! Both men are down and fans rally up!
Samir coaches Mahal up as both he and Finn stand. Mahal runs but into Finn’s feet. Finn hits a big forearm smash! Finn whips but Mahal reverses, only for Finn to hit another forearm. He trips Mahal up and hits the double stomps! Fans fire up with Finn as he aims from the corner. Finn runs but Mahal denies the slingblade. Finn sees Samir get up so he dropkicks him down! Mahal kicks Finn but Finn back drops him out of the ring! Finn builds speed to FLY! Direct hit hit on Mahal and Samir! Finn flexes and roars as he puts Mahal back up and in. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as Finn hits the slingblade! And the blasting dropkick! Mahal’s down while Finn climbs up, COP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; stays in the #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way
The Extraordinary Man was truly extraordinary to survive this match! But he’s still banged up going into tonight’s match with Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and John Cena. Will Finn be able to be even greater than extraordinary and punch his ticket to Phoenix?
Lio Rush speaks.
“In order to step up, you need to be willing to step on others.” Both he and Bobby Lashley understand that. They’ve suffered that, but now they’ll make others suffer. That includes Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Lashley is the man Raw needs as champion, because Lashley is a fighter. Lashley will become Intercontinental Champion whether fans like it or not. Ambrose and Rollins better come correct or not at all, because Lashley is here to dominate and collect. That triple threat for that title, is next!
WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Dean Ambrose VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashey w/ Lio Rush!
The Lunatic Fringe doesn’t like anything about this Triple Threat match, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Will he be able to settle things with The Architect while also denying the Rocky Mountain Machine? Or will one of them end his reign to bring that title down the Road to Wrestlemania?
Raw returns as Lashley makes his entrance with Lio. Rollins has a quick backstage interview. Is this his last chance to win back the title? Maybe it is, but that’s life. You need to make the best out of opportunities, and Rollins vows to do that when he kicks Ambrose’s teeth down his throat. Rollins is still hurting from Ambrose’s horrifying betrayal on the night of Roman Reigns’ life altering announcement. Ambrose betrayed six years of friendship, and Rollins cannot forgive him. As for Lashley, he’s impressive and intimidating, but all that only gets you so far. What matters is what you do, and no one on this planet does what Rollins does. If this is his last chance, then Rollins will lay it all on the line to take that title back. Rollins makes his entrance, and Memphis is ready to #BurnItDown!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! The fans are on Rollins’ side as the three men circle. Ambrose tells Rollins that they can still work together against Lashley. Rollins seems to accept, but then he throws Ambrose at Lashley! Rollins didn’t fall for anything, and got Ambrose first! Lashley throws Ambrose out but Rollins throws hands and chops. Rollins whips but Lashley reverses, and things speed up. Rollins dropkicks Lashley out of the ring, then slingshots out! He takes Lashley out but Ambrose comes around. Rollins senses him coming and hits Ambrose first. Rollins puts Ambrose in, shoulder shim away, then leaps for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Lashley runs in but Rollins throws hands. Ambrose hits Rollins then grounds ‘n’ pounds. Lashley throws Ambrose off to rain down on Rollins.
Ambrose talks with Lashley, and now he talks an alliance between them. Lashley goes with it and puts Rollins in the corner hard. Ambrose throws haymakers then lets Lashley pick Rollins up. Lashley suplexes and floats over, ONE! Ambrose tells Lashley to take it slower, and they work together to mug Rollins. Lashley drags Rollins up for a neck wrench, then helps Ambrose mug Rollins again. Rollins gets to the apron but Ambrose drags him back in. Ambrose chokes Rollins on the ropes with Lashley’s help. Lashley holds Rollins for Ambrose to hit a forearm smash in the corner. Fans rally for Rollins while booing Lashley and Ambrose. Lashley puts Rollins in the corner to run and ram a shoulder in! Ambrose keeps on Rollins, then whips Lashley in. Rollins dodges and then rallies on both enemies! Rollins runs, but into a BIG spinebuster!
Ambrose shoves Lashley out and covers Rollins, but Rollins small packages! TWO, and Rollins clotheslines Ambrose out! Then he DIVES on both opponents! Rollins keeps going, but Lio Rush gets in! Rollins stops the kick to flip Lio. Lio dodges and the chase is on! Rollins runs into another spinebuster! Lashley catches Ambrose and throws him overhead! The former Shield brothers are down while we go to break.
Raw returns and Lashley has Rollins in a chinlock. Fans rally as Rollins endures. Ambrose returns but Lashley throws Rollins down to go after him. Ambrose gets away, and Lashley runs into Rollins’ boot. Lashley staggers into Ambrose’s clothesline! The former brothers use a familiar string of moves as Ambrose hits the sliding lariat and Rollins drops a knee! Ambrose drops the elbow, and even as enemies, they’re still in sync. They stomp away on Lashley a la The Shield! Rollins and Ambrose clothesline Lashley out of the ring, but they keep on him. They go to the steel steps and pull off the top. They aim at Lashley, and ram him with the steel! Lashley is down and Rollins returns to the ring. Ambrose and Rollins stare down, and the fight is own!
Rollins chops, Ambrose chops, repeat! Rollins gets an edge but Ambrose knees low. Ambrose runs but into Lashley’s roaring elbow! Rollins lifts Ambrose but Ambrose back drops out. Rollins sunset flips, TWO! Ambrose has the suplex, but Rollins reverses to a Falcon Arrow! Cover, but Lio breaks it on Lashley’s behalf! It’s legal because of No Disqualifications, but now Lio regrets getting everyone’s attention. The chase is on, again! Lio gets Rollins on the return, but Rollins grabs Lio. Ambrose runs in but only gets Lio! Rollins rolls Ambrose, TWO, SUPERKICK! Lashley clotheslines Rollins out! Cover on Ambrose, TWO!! Lashley is furious, but he refocuses from a corner. He aims at Ambrose, runs out, but into a kick! And an eye poke! Ambrose underhooks but Rollins springboards in!
Rollins goes after Lashley with the enziguri! Then he climbs up top. Frog Splash! But Ambrose throws Rollins out! Cover on Lashley, TWO!! Ambrose can’t believe it, but he’s not finished yet. Memphis admits “This is Awesome!” as Ambrose climbs up top. Ambrose aims but Rollins leaps up to join him! Lashley stands up and grabs Rollins! Electric chair leads to an unlikely Doomsday Device! But Rollins lands on his hands and knees to spring up and SUPERKICK Lashley! Mule kick for Ambrose, but Lio dumps Rollins out! SPEAR from Lashley to Ambrose! Cover, Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Almighty Fighter finally has this title on his record! Lio helps Lashley celebrate, but he does share part in this victory. Will the Rocky Mountain Machine dominate even more as we roll down the Road to Wrestlemania?
Alexa Bliss’ assistant brings her her latte.
But she doesn’t respond right away, so he enters the dressing room. To find Alexa’s in the middle of changing!! She didn’t hear him at the door, and tells him to put the coffee on the table. He explains she’s up next then hurries out of the room. The second Moment of Bliss is up next, but will The Goddess be able to compose herself?
It’s time for a Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess welcomes Memphis to the second episode ever. And this past Christmas, Vince McMahon announced the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. But he didn’t tell us when and where. Bliss promises the inside information: Five weeks in Houston Texas, three teams from each brand, will compete in a Tag team Elimination Chamber Match! The surviving team will walk out the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions! And Alexa reveals the belts! Exciting, right? But that’s what Moment of Bliss does: make history!
Now to business. Welcome the special guest, the greatest manager in WWE history, who now introduces himself. “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman.” And yes, please welcome him, he’s very welcome in Memphis. Heyman congratulates Bliss on interviewing the Advocate for the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar.” Give him your best shots. Bliss says it’s a wild night. Bobby Lashley is the new Intercontinental Champion. And Heyman was to talk Lesnar VS Strowman, but Strowman’s out. Lesnar defends against a new contender. With all this chaos, what are Heyman’s emotions? Emotions play no part, but it’s strategy that “practically guarantees” that the Universal Champion will still be Brock Lesnar.
The four challengers could line up and be defeated individually or all at once. But why clear out the entire Heavyweight Division at once? There can only be one, but who will that one be? Will it be the great John Cena? Heyman must remind everyone that “The Foundation of Suplex City” was built on Mr. Hustle, Loyalty & Respect. Will it be the ruthless Drew McIntyre? Heyman would be a liar if he didn’t admit he’s had his eye on McIntyre since his return. We all should be watching McIntyre! That man is almost guaranteed to be a future Universal Champion, just not now. Or what about the conniving Baron Corbin? Heyman knows Corbin isn’t that popular right now, but admit it, he was almost permanent GM but-
Wait, who is that making his way out on stage? It’s Otis Dozovic of Heavy Machinery! “Hashaaa!” The Dozer is ready, but what is he doing here now? “Boom shaka loo, yeah~!” Otis, no, this is not a Moment of Dozer. But Dozer says he and Tucker are COMIN~! Tucker Knight comes out to fetch his overenthusiastic friend away form the “pretty lady”, this is not their time to debut, either. But anyway, that ends the Moment of Bliss. And now it’s time to see who exactly faces Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble! The main event is after the break!
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor VS John Cena!
The Lone Wolf, the Scottish Terminator, the Extraordinary Man and the Franchise Player all want their shot at the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, but must prove themselves strong enough to make it through this match! Finn was roughed up by Jinder Mahal both before and during their “qualifying” match earlier tonight, but he still manages a smile as he enters. Will he be a factor in this match? Or will he fall to “all this beef”?
The bell rings and Corbin goes right at Finn! McIntyre goes at Cena and throws him out while Corbin puts Finn in a corner. Finn dodges and slips to the apron to kick Corbin back. Corbin’s down, Finn climbs, but Corbin grabs him first. Corbin brings Finn down for the choke slam backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cena and McIntyre return, and Cena finds himself between a Terminator and a Lone Wolf while we go to break.
Raw returns and Cena throws hands with Corbin. Corbin knees low then runs in, but gets nothing but post! Corbin falls out of the ring but McIntyre returns to stalk Cena. McIntyre drags Cena up to throw at Finn, but Finn dodges. Cena hits the floor while Finn slingshots and sunset flips McIntyre. TWO, and McIntyre runs, but Finn throws him out. Finn wrecks McIntyre with a dropkick, but Corbin blasts Finn off the apron! Corbin runs but into Cena’s feet. Cena leaps for a tornado DDT! Cover, McIntyre breaks it! McIntyre grounds ‘n’ pounds Cena with heavy rights. McIntyre says “You Can’t Bloody See Me!” and laughs. He runs but Cena dodges to hit the shoulder tackles! Cena hits the spin-out bomb, then tells McIntyre “You Can’t See Me!” Five Knuckle Shuffle hits! Cena lifts McIntyre, Attitude Adjustment! Cover, but Corbin breaks it!
Everyone is down, but Corbin and Cena are in the ring. Corbin clubs away on Cena with shots to the lower back. But Cena goes to lift! Corbin slips out and suplexes back, but Finn comes in to help Cena double suplex Corbin! Cena decides to work with Finn to mug Corbin in a corner. They haul Corbin up top, then climb up together. They want to superplex but McIntyre comes in to add on, DOUBLE Super Powerbomb! Corbin drags McIntyre up but McIntyre hits back. McIntyre climbs now, but Corbin trips him up! Corbin throws hands and McIntyre is in the Tree of Woe! But McIntyre sits up to throw Corbin off! McIntyre takes aim, but we go to break!!
Raw returns one more time, and Finn is in the ring. He builds speed but runs into End of Days! Cover, but McIntyre breaks it! Corbin and McIntyre stare down, and the brawl is on! McIntyre shoves Corbin, Corbin slides out then in, but into the Glasgow Kiss! Cena climbs up top and leaps! But into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! McIntyre can’t believe it! All four men are down from exhaustion but “This is Awesome!” Cena and McIntyre stir, then Corbin and Finn follow. McIntyre and Corbin crawl with Cena and Finn. Corbin stomps away on Finn while McIntyre stomps Cena down. Fans boo and jeer as McIntyre stomps Cena’s hands. Corbin drags Finn up for haymakers, then McIntyre does the same. But Cena and Finn fight back! They go back and forth and pick up speed. McIntyre runs but is dumped out, Finn slingblades Corbin!
Cena lifts Finn, but Finn slips out. Finn boots Cena down then climbs up! But Cena stops Finn with fists! Cena climbs up to join Finn, and fireman’s carry. Finn fights back, but Cena keeps going. Cena hits a SUPER AA!! But Corbin throws Cena out to cover Finn! TWO!! Fans rally for Finn while Corbin is frustrated. Corbin gets up and goes outside to fetch a chair. This is No Disqualifications, after all. Corbin jabs and SMACKS Cena! He SMACKS McIntyre, then jabs him while he’s down. Corbin goes back to Finn in the ring, and grins as he looms over Finn. Corbin waits for Finn to sit up, before he SMACKS Finn back down! And SMACKS him again! Cover, but Cena breaks it!
Cena goes after Corbin but Corbin punches back. Corbin picks up the chair again, aiming for Cena. Cena dodges, lifts, AA!! CLAYMORE fro M McIntyre! Finn runs, tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cena’s down, Finn climbs! COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, FINN WINS!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; will face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship
Extraordinary is now an understatement! Finn Balor wins two matches in one night, and now has new life in the title hunt! Cena tells Finn that you fight to earn respect. Vince didn’t believe in Finn, but Finn said the fans did. “For what it’s worth, you’ve got one more person that believes in you.” Cena hopes Finn gives Lesnar Hell at the Rumble, and then raises his hand in victory. Will the endorsement of an all-time great give Finn the momentum to be greater than extraordinary against The Beast?
What an interesting episode for Raw. Vince arrives but mostly to shake up the hyped up Lesnar VS Strowman rematch. We’re not getting that match any more, but I hope that means Strowman can enter the Royal Rumble match and earn his opportunity that way. Sasha & Rousey VS Nia & Tamina was a decent tag team match, and we should’ve expected Ronda and Sasha to start losing that friendly attitude. All of Ronda’s friendly rivalries, outside of Natty’s, turns sour so this is just natural. And it continues to plug the possibilities that Ronda will finish up with the NXT Four Horsewomen and go into Horsewomen VS Horsewomen.
I wasn’t surprised to see Bayley and Natty arguing, that’s natural progression, too. I wasn’t surprised to see The Riott Squad to get at them. But I was surprised to see the third partner wasn’t Ember Moon! Nikki Cross makes her Raw in-ring debut and it was great! She got a much better Raw appearance than Lacey Evans and her cameo, or EC3 in that backstage segment. For that matter, that backstage segment was wasted being picture-in-picture with The Revival VS Lucha House Party. While it was hard to pay attention to that tag match, it was clear Dash, Dawson, Kalisto and Metalik were doing well. Revival wins by cheating, but that’s fine, they’re the Heels. I’m thinking they’ll cheat their way back to the tag titles, and maybe even cheat to finally win them, which will actually be great for them anyway.
But then, things got really good with the latter half of the show. The Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat was great, and I’m actually happy to see Lashley gets the title. Rollins and Ambrose never really needed that title for their feud, so it’s good to get it out of the way. Lashley can take that title with him against all sorts of Faces. Lashley VS Apollo or Lashley VS EC3 would be a lot of fun. Moment of Bliss was great with Heyman’s promos and the reveal of those amazing looking Women’s Tag Titles. Heavy Machinery’s cameo was pretty funny, too. The Women’s Tag Elimination Chamber match will be great, and I think we can all predict Sasha losing at the Rumble to fall back to this match with Bayley. And given that, they might not even win, and it’ll be The IIconics or Riott Squad winning instead.
Then the story of Strowman’s replacement was pretty well done. McIntyre stands tall after that brawl, but clearly Cena VS McIntyre is the story coming out of this. Mahal VS Finn was good, because of Finn toughing it out to win. And then I was shocked but excited to see Finn wins it all! Cena giving him props is also great, and brings Cena kinda full circle in his career from when he got the nod from American Badass Undertaker. I have no idea if Finn wins at Royal Rumble, but he better show up as Demon Balor to make a strong showing plausible. And if Finn does somehow win, I feel like Chase Field will explode, the internet will be broken, and I myself might truly, truly mark out. The Fresh Start is not real until Lesnar loses that title, and the sooner the better.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (5/11/21)
To be the best, you gotta BEAT the best!
NXT puts gold back on the line!
Mercedes Martinez challenges Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar must go 2 outta 3 with Kushida, and the NXT Champion looks to END Austin Theory!
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano; Kross wins.
- MSK VS Breezango; MSK wins.
- Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium VS Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick; canceled.
- Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff; Dunne wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez; Gonzalez wins and retains the title.
- Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne; O’Reilly wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma; Kushida wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano!
In the words of the NXT Champion, “Tick tock, time’s up!” Will it be Doomsday all day for The Way? Or can Johnny Wrestling help his boy get one over on Kross?
Johnny and Theory are both stunned seeing Kross’ entrance, but Johnny snaps Theory out of it and coaches him up. Fans chant “TICK TOCK!” as Theory sheepishly gets in the ring with Kross. The bell rings and Theory circles with Kross, but ends up in a corner. Theory dodges, fires off forearms, then knees. Kross shoves Theory away, Theory dodges to dropkick! Kross stays up! And gets mad… Kross choke grips, puts Theory in a corner and BOOTS him down! Theory sits up in a daze and Kross grins at Gargano. Kross drags Theory up, puts him in another corner and TOSSES him across the way!
Gargano and Kross stare down, but Kross runs corner to corner, only for Theory to dodge! Kross avoids hitting buckles, wags his finger, and Theory lariats, but bounces off! Kross LARIATS and down goes Theory! Scarlett smiles as she watches Kross stalk Theory. Kross looms over Theory, fans rally as he wrenches and keylocks Theory and puts him in another corner for a HEAVY body shot! Kross wrenches, keylocks and ROCKS Theory again! Theory falls to his knees, Kross BOOTS him to the mat! Kross has Theory on ropes, chokes him, but lets off at the ref’s count of 4. Kross grins and dares Theory to reach for Gargano, only to STOMP his fingers!
Kross laughs as he looms over Theory again. Kross gets Theory up, knees him low and hard, then bumps him off buckles. Kross runs in but Theory knees him back! Theory runs, into an EXPLODER! Fans fire up as Kross says this is the end! Kross gets Theory up, brings him in, DOOMS- NO! Theory rakes eyes while Gargano distracts the ref! Scarlett protests but Kross bails out. Gargano tells Theory to take advantage of the bad eyes! Theory gets around all the big strikes, and he RAMS Kross into Plexiglas! And then DDT’s him hard to the floor! Fans boo, Theory leaves Kross behind, but Kross gets in at 9.9!
Kross then slides out, Theory goes out after him, Kross scoops and aims, but Theory slips off to POST Kross first! Gargano is even surprised as Theory puts Kross in! BUZZSAW! Theory rains down fists, stomps away on arms and shoulders, then rains down forearms! Scarlett coaches Kross, fans rally up, and Kross knees Theory low and hard! Theory ends up on the apron, Kross storms over but into a hotshot! Theory slingshot somersaults for a SHOTGUN dropkick! Cover, ONE?! Kross shocks The Way but Gargano coaches Theory to keep focus. Theory stalks Kross, runs in and clotheslines in a corner! Then scoops for a FALL AWAY SLAM!
Theory gives a thumbs up to Gargano, but Kross is back up! DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! And then another DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Kross is winding the hands of time, “TIME’S UP!!” APOCALYPSE ELBOW!! Kross doesn’t cover, either, he rains down forearms of fury on Theory’s head! Kross stares Gargano down as he puts on the KROSSJACKET!! Theory is OUT, Kross wins!!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
This could’ve been called by knockout after what Kross did to Theory! Kross promised to hit harder than life itself, and he may just have! Will Kross do this to everyone on his path? But wait! Finn Balor appears! Fans are going nuts as Prince and Doomsday stare down! Finn says he doesn’t wait in line. He wants his rematch! Kross wants another round, too, so challenge accepted! When and where will these two forces of NXT collide again?
Next week will be COLOSSAL because Bronson Reed is getting his shot! Will Reed crush Johnny Gargano and take the NXT North American Championship away from him?
NXT shares an exclusive from earlier today.
William Regal was talking about tonight’s big title matches, but Leon Ruff walked in. He apologizes for interrupting and says he wants to compete. Regal, however, says that would not be wise after how he was beat up last week. Ruff knew Regal would say that, he checked with the medical team and they said he was cleared. Regal knows that, they report to him. But that doesn’t matter, he won’t allow it. Ruff says that’ snot good enough and he throws things off Regal’s desk! “What do I gotta do?!” Regal says Ruff is NOT competing tonight, and tells him to leave. Ruff storms off, but what will Ruff do to get even with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott?
MSK VS Breezango!
Wes Lee & Nash Carter have made an impact as NXT Tag Team Champions, but they have to be careful with the fashionable and formidable Prince Pretty and Lord of the Dance! Will these #MustSeeKids continue to prove their worth?
The teams sort out and Lee starts with Breeze. They circle, fans rally and the two tie up. They go around, Breeze arm-drags and then backs away to lounge on the top rope. Fandango “makes it rain” on Breeze, Lee rushes in but Breeze waistlocks to a snapmare, only for Lee to return with a shoulder tackle! Things speed up, Breeze hurdles, Lee FLIPS, and fans admit that was good. Lee does a shimmy, then hurdles Breeze, but Breeze whips Lee. Lee stops to suplex but Breeze fights that off. Breeze suplexes, Lee lands to waistlock, but Breeze bucks him away! SUPERKICKS collide, and the two shake out their legs. Breeze seems a bit stunned Lee is this quick, but both he and Lee tag out.
Carter and Dango circle, tie up, and Dango wrenches to a wristlock. Carter rolls, handsprings and flips to arm-drag Dango away. Carter wrenches an arm now, whips Dango to a corner, but Dango goes up and over to arm-drag back! Dango swivels hips, things speed up again, Carter dropkicks Dango down! Carter shows off his own hip swivels, Dango kicks low! Dango headlocks, Breeze tags in as Carter powers out. Carter and Breeze drop, and drop, and then drop, Dango eventually runs into Breeze! Breeze headlocks Carter, Carter powers out, and somehow the ref ends up part of this! The ref hurdles, Carter dropkicks Breeze out of the ring! Fans are rallying for the ref!
Breeze and Carter reset, the ref remembers he’s a ref, but fans still say “That was Awesome!” as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fandango has Lee in a headlock. Lee fights up, Fandango knees low then whips him to a corner. Lee manages to dodge to then ENZIGURI Fandango! Lee snapmares Dango, handsprings back but Dango gets under and JAPANESE ARM-DRAGS Lee into buckles! Fandango gets Lee up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, Carter breaks it! Dango is upset, but he drags Lee up and over to tag Breeze. Breeze has the legs, he and Dango coordinate, but Lee disrupts the Fashion Faux Pas with a shoulder tackle! Lee stomps Breeze then stumbles away to tag in Carter! MSK rallies on Breeze with kick after kick, BUZZSAW to DOUBLE STOMPS! And then, the PUSH-SAULT! Cover, Dango barrels in to break it!
All four men are down, the fans are fired up, and all four rise as the fans rally up. Lee and Breeze are on one side, Dango and Carter on the other. Lee and Breeze punch first, but Dango and Carter respond. They go back and forth, Lee and Breeze, Dango and Carter. The brawl moves to everyone’s feet, Lee ENZIGURIS but Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS! Breeze dodges Carter to SUPER MODEL KICK! MSK is down, Breeze hurries to tag in Dango! Dango climbs and Carter is in a drop zone! Carter gets up fast, though, and SHORYUKENS! Carter climbs to join Dango, but Dango resists the superplex! Dango throws body shots, knocks Carter away, but Carter returns with a JUMPING KNEE!
Carter sees Breezango outside, goes to the corner, SUPER MOONSAULT takes them both down! Fans are thunderous as Carter puts Dango in and tags Lee! MSK coordinates, assisted SHOTGUN dropkick! Breeze tags in as Dango is in the corner, and he gets Lee’s arms! Lee resists the turn, Carter SUPERKICKS! MSK combines, BLOCKBUSTER SPINEBUSTER! Cover, MSK wins!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall
That energy and innovation is why MSK are NXT Tag Team Champions! Breezango show respect to the young champions, but MSK tells Legado that the champs aren’t hard to fine! If they want the titles, come get them! MSK all night and all day!
Alexander Wolfe is showing signs of the stomach flu, so he won’t be competing against Killian Dain tonight! Will Imperium’s Hatchet Man have to try again next week when it comes to settling things with the Belfast Beast?
Johnny Gargano angrily leads NXT Media to William Regal’s office.
Gargano shouts “This sucks!” as he heads for the door. Regal says this is actually rather nice. He doesn’t have a meeting and the door was open this time. Gargano asks if he heard right about next week’s title match. He did hear right! Well that’s real nice, isn’t it? First, Regal feeds Theory to the wolves, then he hates Gargano enough to put him in a match! Regal doesn’t hate Gargano, he respects Gargano’s ability. Then treat him like it! Treat him like the North American Champion! That’s what Regal’s doing! So Gargano’s still facing Reed next week! Good luck.
Gargano grabs for the brass knuckles and Regal tells him not to dare touch that. Gargano takes Regal’s pencil and breaks it! Will Gargano’s anger only cost him when he takes on another huge challenge?
BIG news for the next TakeOver!
As first broken by Barstool Sports’ Rasslin’ podcast with Brandon Walker, NXT is back In Your House! June 13, 2021, NXT brings back the retro tradition to make a new tradition of their own! And Todd Pettengill will be back, too!
Ever-Rise has an impromptu episode of Ever-Rise Live.
Well not really, they’re just behind commentary.
Pete Dunne is in the ring.
“So Karrion Kross has chosen Finn Balor? And y’know what? I don’t blame him. Because we both know I’m the toughest match-up there is. So Karrion, keep ducking me, mate. Cuz sooner or later, that title is mine! Cuz I’m the baddest man in NXT! And see if anyone in the back thinks otherwise, here’s your chance! Try and prove me wrong!” Dunne is issuing an open challenge! But who takes it? LEON RUFF, and from outta nowhere! Ruff fires off hands, Dunne shoves him away, but Ruff comes back with a dropkick! Dunne bails out, Ruff dares him to come back, and it seems Regal’s orders had a loophole! Will this be another rough night for Ruff? Or will he show the Bruiserweight what tough is all about?
Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff!
The bell rings and Ruff fires off on Dunne again! Dunne SPINEBUSTERS Ruff and rains down fists from all sides for that! Dunne goes for an arm, Ruff throws him away and KICKS from the mat! Ruff runs corner to corner but Dunne puts him on the apron. Ruff ROCKS Dunne, goes up and around and under, but Dunne gets the arm to roll Ruff for body scissors. Dunne clamps onto Ruff’s arm, bends the fingers back as far as he can, and Ruff shouts in pain as Dunne tortures the digits! Dunne locks the arm, hammers Ruff in the head, then shifts to twist the wrist. Ruff gets up, fans fire up and Ruff CHOPS! Ruff goes up the corner, on the ropes and SPRINGBOARD RANAS!
Dunne staggers up, but sends Ruff into ropes to then CLOBBER him! Ruff gasps for air, Dunne kicks him in the side then goes after the arm again. Dunne bends the fingers way back, and STOMPS the shoulder! Dunne kicks at Ruff, Ruff crawls to ropes, but Dunne wraps the arm around ropes to bend him back! Dunne chinbars to CHOP Ruff down! The ref reprimands but Dunne drags Ruff up again to SLAP! Ruff CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne shoves Ruff, Ruff dodges to ENZIGURI! Dunne falls into a BACKBREAKER, Ruff pops Dunne up for another ENIGURI! Ruff goes up to hit a missile dropkick! But Dunne ENZIGURIS on return!
Dunne gets Ruff up, whips, but Ruff rebounds to LARIAT! Ruff keeps moving, leaps, but Dunne DECKS him! Dunn has a TRIANGLE HOLD and throws elbows in over and over! Ruff is OUT, the ref calls it!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by referee stoppage
Ruff is tough, but the Bruiserweight is just that brutal. Will Dunne show no mercy until he’s got the title match he wants? Speaking of no mercy, Dunne grabs Ruff’s hand and SNAPS the fingers!! Will Ruff regret going around Regal’s orders?
El Legado del Fantasma speaks.
Raul Mendoza says tonight, we’ll see who the real NXT Cruiserweight Champion is, and that is Santos Escobar. Joaquin Wilde says that while Kushida is champion right now, Escobar brings it home. Escobar himself says that the only reason Kushida is still champion is because Escobar has let him. It stops tonight! Escobar vows that after tonight, he will be Leader of Leaders, Emperor of Lucha Libre, sange y tradicion, and TWO-TIME NXT Cruiserweight Champion! Will the Phantom be able to back up all these words when he must defeat Kushida not once but twice in the same match?
Ladies and gentlemen, you’re cordially invited…
…to the greatest moment of your lives! The in-ring premiere, live on NXT in two weeks, Franky Money! Will Monet live up to the hype when she finally laces up her boots?
MORE BREAKING NEWS!
It has been made official! Two weeks from tonight, Kross VS Balor the epic rematch happens live on NXT! The NXT Championship will be back on the line, but will the Prince take back his throne?
NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez!
Big Mami Cool knew Cobra Kai wasn’t going to cut it against Mean Ms. Martinez, so she took matters into her own hands. Raquel respects that Mercedes paved the way, but she won’t show any restraint against her in the ring! Will Mercedes return the favor when she takes away the title?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Ricky Desperado’s first defense puts her to the test!
Mercedes goes right after Raquel with heavy hands! And she clotheslines Raquel up and out of the ring! Mercedes goes to the apron and CANNONBALLS! Raquel goes down, and Mercedes scares Dakota off! Mercedes runs and KNEES Raquel into Plexiglas! The ring count climbs, Mercedes refreshes it, and goes out to fire off on Raquel again! Mercedes puts Raquel in as NXT goes picture in picture.
Raquel hits back and CLUBS Mercedes, then bumps her off buckles! Raquel stomps Mercedes, drags her back up and whips her corner to corner hard! Mercedes hits the mat, Raquel looms over her, and then drags her into a chicken wing and chinbar. Mercedes endures being stretched, fights up to her feet, but Raquel throws her down by her hair! Raquel stalks Mercedes, chokes her on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Raquel brings Mercedes around but Mercedes fires off again! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel with an uppercut then bumps her off buckles! Mercedes stomps a mudhole, digs her boots in, but lets off as the ref counts.
Mercedes gets Raquel up to ROCK with another uppercut, then whips her to ropes. Raquel dodges to DECK Mercedes with one right! Raquel scoops and walks around with Mercedes before the SLAM! Cover, TWO! Raquel grows frustrated but she stands over Mercedes. Raquel gives Mercedes toying kicks before she SNAP SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Raquel is right on Mercedes with a keylock and chinbar! Mercedes endures, fights and gets a ropebreak with a foot. Raquel throws Mercedes down then covers, TWO! Mercedes gets back to the ropes, Raquel storms over but Mercedes throws body shots. Raquel CLUBS Mercedes down and throws elbows. Cover, TWO!
Raquel argues with the ref as Mercedes gets to ropes. Raquel throws haymakers, lets off as the ref counts, and Mercedes hits back! Mercedes CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms and CHOPS as NXT returns to single picture! Mercedes whips, Raquel reverses and LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel is frustrated again, and she drags Mercedes up by her hair. Raquel whips Mercedes to a corner, runs in to SPLASH, then brings Mercedes out to scoop and SLAM again! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Mercedes survives, but Raquel drags her into a chinlock. Mercedes endures and throws punches from below! Mercedes gets free, CLUBS Raquel, then fires off more strikes!
Raquel shoves Mercedes, but Mercedes comes back to go after legs! Mercedes gets Raquel down, fires off hands but Raquel throws her out of the ring! Mercedes returns and clamps on a SLEEPER! Raquel flails and scrambles around, and RAMS Mercedes into buckles! Mercedes holds on, Raquel RAMS her in again! Mercedes is holding on tight, but Raquel powers her through to a lawn dart, only for Mercedes to send her into ropes! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel, runs in but misses in the corner! Mercedes dodges the boot to ROCK Raquel again! Mercedes gets Raquel onto the top rope for a DRAPING SWINGING NECKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are fired up as Mercedes and Raquel are down! Raquel gets to an apron, Mercedes joins her and runs in to SPEAR her onto the apron! Fans are thunderous and Dakota panics as both women flop to the floor! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up and in at 7 of 10! Cover, TWO!! Raquel kicks from the mat but so does Mercedes! They kick more, Mercedes gets up to stomp and ROCK Raquel, throwing heavy hand after heavy hand! Mercedes runs, but rolls into an ALLEY-OOP into ropes! Mercedes flops out of the ring but Raquel snarls as she crawls after her. Raquel won’t leave it to the count as she drags Mercedes up and RAMS her into barriers!
Raquel brings Mercedes up to lawn dart into the post! Raquel goes in, drags Mercedes to a cover, TWO!! Mercedes is still in this and Raquel is starting to lose her cool. Dakota coaches Raquel, fans rally and duel, and Raquel drags Mercedes up. Mercedes jawbreakers back! Mercedes kicks a leg, throws haymakers, then runs, but Raquel shields herself from the body check. Mercedes stomps Raquel more, throws EuroUppers, then runs, but Raquel LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel hurries to get Mercedes up for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Raquel is angry, she gets Mercedes up, but Mercedes fights the bomb off to roll up! TWO, and Mercedes KNEES Raquel down!
Mercedes drags Raquel up, fisherman to the BUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Raquel survives and Mercedes can’t believe it! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up by her wrists, fires off KNEE after KNEE into her head, but Raquel dodges the third to BOOT! Raquel hurries to drag Mercedes back up, hooks the leg, DESPERADO BOMB!! Cover, Raquel wins!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Champion)
Mercedes put up one hell of a fight, but in the end, it was not enough! Will Raquel continue to knock down those that line up to face her?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and crew arrive.
They don’t let the cameramen get in their way and even shove one down! #TopDolla AJ Francis tells him to get up, he wasn’t even pushed that hard. What will Swerve, AJF, Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Briana Brandy have to say to NXT after the break?
NXT returns and Gargano is getting kicked out from somewhere?
Gargano promises to see Reed next week, and we find that he just finished attacking Reed in his locker room! Reed gets up and says, “Johnny’s a dead man!” But Reed is in no shape to do anything about it tonight, will he have 7 days to grow meaner and madder?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott stands on stage.
He has a mic to say, “It’s about to get real spooky here in NXT.” With that, the “Hit Row” make their first official entrance! Brandy, Adonis and #TopDolla stand with Swerve, strike a pose, and then swagger down to the ring. They get Swerve a chair so he can sit, and he admits he made mistakes in NXT. But the biggest mistake was that he was trying to be something that the fans all thought he was. That’s not Swerve! “Whose house? Swerve’s house?” “Swerve is confidence?” That’s not him! But what is Swerve? “Swerve is a savage. Swerve is disrespectful. Swerve is a very dangerous man.” And that’s how he’s been the last six months.
So it only felt right to recruit those who felt just like him! Staring with Top Dolla! Why he Top Dolla? Because from the NFL to A&E to XXL Magazine to NXT on USA, he makes top dolla everyday! He’s nefarious, scariest, make you digest each line like lariats! Anyone want a beef? He gonna bury ya! You don’t know what’ sat stake, you become vegetarian! Quick question? Who hotta than Top Dolla? Not nada! Adonis has three rules. First, details are crucial. Second, don’t try him, proceed with caution. And third, check your energy when you come around them or you gonna get WORLDSTAR’D! Whoa, alright, relax, no one else is out here.
Brandy says you just have to look at her and you’ll understand she’s fab. They see it! Brandy IS fab. But unlucky for everyone else, she’s also legit. She’s been on tour with Juicy J, been overseas and coulda stayed, but Swerve said he needed a mind, so she didn’t mind. She’s the dime who makes the deals, like last week with Leon Ruff. Who? That boy’s a done deal. They put money on Ruff’s head so Dolla dropped him! Swerve says this is fun and all, but look at what’s in the ring right now! “This here is a problem! Together, we produce hits! We are Hit Row! And if you didn’t know, now you know!” Will these four hit the top of the charts and get gold as easy as breathing?
Cameron Grimes went to a local auction today.
The auction was for a beautiful lakefront home with 8 bed, 6 baths, a full Jacuzzi and a deck overlooking the lake. The bidding starts at two MILLION dollars! But Cameron Grimes said, “Hold the phone!” He asks Mr. Alan if it’s for two, then put him down. Yes, sir, please have a seat first. Grimes says no problem. Two million? Two fifty? Three? Grimes can’t keep up, why’s he talking so fast? The numbers climb, Grimes says everyone should just stop now as he goes for four million. Five million! Five and a half! Grimes is getting annoyed. Who is that? Six million! Seven! Eight MILLION! Grimes is confident, but then someone says TWENTY MILLION!?!? Grimes can’t handle that!
Who spends 20 million on a house?! The winner is TED DEBIASE!! Grimes loses his mind again and says Ted is ruining his life! Grimes dares him to bring it on! DeBiase says it again, everyone has a price for the Million Dollar Man. And Grimes is no Million Dollar Man. Grimes shouts, “WHYYYY~!?” But when and where, if at all, will Grimes finally get even with the living legend?
Zoey Stark speaks.
“I was a big fan of Toni Storm before I got here. She is exactly what she says she is: a global superstar.” The problem is, Toni stopped performing and started talking. Toni said Stark was pissing her off as a “flavor of the month” that was losing her taste. Toni does not like Stark, but not because Stark beat her, but because she outworks her. Stark practically lives in the gym, moves around in the weight room, puts in the hard work to be a success, and then beat Storm. We get a rematch next week, and it won’t be an upset but a legit victory because Storm is going to face a wrestling machine! Will Stark ride the lightning and end #ToniTime before it begins again?
Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne!
While #CoolKyle wants another go at the NXT Championship, but the Boston Brawler says he just can’t get it done! Kyle knows Lorcan is itching for a fight so he’s giving him a fight on live television! Will Kyle use Lorcan as a launching pad back into the top title scene?
The bell rings, Kyle and Lorcan circle, and they tie up. They end up on the ropes, the ref counts and the two reset. Kyle and Lorcan tie up again, Lorcan gets an arm but Kyle gets them to the ropes again. The ref counts, the two back off, and then go again. Lorcan powers Kyle onto ropes, lets off, but swings a chop! Kyle dodges, kicks but Lorcan blocks! Lorcan gets a facelock, floats all around, gets the arm, and drags Kyle down to a headscissor. Kyle moves around, rolls Lorcan over to get the legs then float to a headlock. Kyle shifts his grip to then get an arm. Lorcan fights free, fights up, and puts Kyle in a corner. The ref counts, Lorcan swings but Kyle ducks to hit back! And again!
Kyle headlocks, grinds Lorcan, but Lorcan powers out, only for Kyle to run him over! Things speed up, Lorcan BLASTS Kyle down with that back elbow! Lorcan bumps Kyle off buckles, whips him corner to corner hard, and Kyle hits the mat! Lorcan looms over Kyle, taunts him, and has him at the ropes to shove and CLUBS him in the back! Kyle flops to the apron, Lorcan goes after him through the ropes, but Kyle gets a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Kyle lets off, and Dunne is right there. Kyle stares Dunne down but Lorcan CLBOBERS him from behind! Fans boo and Kyle writhes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Lorcan knocks Kyle down with a straddle attack! Lorcan rains down rights, but lets Kyle get up so he can CHOP him to a corner! Lorcan talks trash right in Kyle’s face before he CHOPS him! Kyle hits back, Lorcan CHOPS again, repeat! Kyle manages to stay up, KICKS back, but Lorcan blocks a kick to elbow the knee! Lorcan runs in to back elbow Kyle in a corner. Lorcan goes corner to corner but into a kitchen sink knee! Kyle gets Lorcan up, clinches and fires off knees, then SLAPS and knees and KICKS! Kyle sweeps the legs, fans fire up! Lorcan goes to a corner, Kyle runs in, and hits a BIG forearm smash! Kyle wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER and BIG back suplex!
Kyle gets a HEEL HOOK! Lorcan goes for his own but rolls to a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kyle lets off fast and KICKS Lorcan’s leg! Lorcan CHOPS back, Kyle KICKS, repeat! Kyle knees low, reels Lorcan in for a facelock but Lorcan fights off the guillotine, only to get a KNEE to the chest! Kyle gets Lorcan up, BRAINBUSTER! Kyle goes to a corner, climbs up top, KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, Kyle wins!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall
Dunne fires off on Kyle! Kyle hits back but Lorcan returns! Lorcan get Kyle down so Dunne can STOMP Kyle’s head! The 2v1 mugging continues, but BOBBY FISH returns! He fires off KICKS on Dunne and Lorcan! Fish DECKS Lorcan, SPLASHES Dunne, but Lorcan comes back. Fish elbows Lorcan away, BOOTS Dunne out, and Kyle KICKS Lorcan down! Fans are fired up as reDRagon has reunited! Well, not quite. Kyle says he is doing his own thing, and Fish respects that, because he has his own scores to settle with Dunne and Lorcan. Will these two finish what the Bruiserweight and Boston Brawler started, but not together?
“In a world…”
“…filled with evil and uncertainty, two women overcame every obstacle and found a way to achieve their destiny.” The NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions are Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae, of The Way! Cheesy superhero movie stuff aside, will Indi & Candice lead the way into the future?
Bronson Reed speaks.
“JOHNNY, GARGANO! I am sick to death of you! I am sick to death of Austin Theory, and I am sick to death of The Way!” Reed talked with William Regal, and he has given Reed what he wants! The North American Championship match is now inside a STEEL CAGE!! Will this already colossal match going full metal be the way Gargano’s reign ends?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma!
The Time Splitter dethroned the undisputed Cruiserweight Champion right after TakeOver: Stand & Deliver because of the arrogance of Escobar’s open challenge. But now, Escobar has returned to take this title away! This will settle things so that there are no excuses! Will the Emperor of Lucha be better than the Super Junior twice to solidify his legacy?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and perhaps the most important match in this division’s history main events NXT!
Escobar kicks and clubs Kushida right away! Then he throws Kushida out! The ref keeps him in the ring but Legado makes a move! Kushida is ready and he hits them first! Then MSK FLIES in from the barriers! Lee & Carter aren’t going to let Wilde & Mendoza ruin this, and also get in some shots before their own inevitable title match! Lee ROUNDHOUSES, Carter KNEES, and the ref has to tell them all they’re EJECTED from ringside! Good enough for MSK! Escobar is pissed, but he doesn’t see Kushida climbing! He turns around, Kushida SUPER SWANTONS! Direct hit and the CWC is thunderous as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Kushida runs but into a dropkick! Escobar catches his breath, drags Kushida from ropes, and has a Half Crab that he gets a side angle on so he can fishhook Kushida’s face! The ref reprimands, Escobar drags Kushida up and puts him in a corner. Escobar CHOPS Kushida down, hoists him up top, and then CHOPS him again! Escobar climbs up to fireman’s carry, for a TOP ROPE GUTBUSTER! Kushida flops to the steel steps below, Escobar goes out after him to throwback to their previous match! Boston Crab into the post! The ref counts, Escobar lets off because he can’t waste a fall, and he goes into the ring. Kushida KICKS, Escobar fires off forearms!
Escobar whips, drop toeholds, then gets the legs to hook them up. Escobar clubs Kushida, gets his arms, and brings Kushida into the ROMERO SPECIAL! Kushida endures the floating surfboard, Escobar throws him down and then reels him into a deep camel clutch! Kushida still endures, Escobar shifts to shoot the half on a cover, TWO! Kushida gets to a corner but Escobar kicks him down! Escobar stands Kushida up, fires forearms, but Kushida fires them back! Escobar BOOTS Kushida, KICKS him, then stalks him back to a corner. Escobar digs his knees in and chokes Kushida on ropes, but the ref counts. Escobar lets off, to then pull Kushida back against ropes!
The ref counts, Escobar lets off, he stomps Kushida and kicks him around. Escobar drags Kushida up, throws more forearms, then runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE Kushida down! Fans rally and duel while Escobar talks trash to Kushida. Escobar gives more kicks, more haymakers, and more CHOPS! Kushida staggers, Escobar puts him back in the corner and ROCKS him! Escobar puts Kushida up top, climbs up to join him, but Kushida shoves him away! Escobar comes back to bring Kushida down for more haymakers! Escobar climbs up so he can rain down punches and he gets 10! The fans duel, Escobar soaks up the heat, and he puts Kushida up top to CHOP!
Escobar climbs again, and SUPER STEINERS, but into a sunset flip! TWO!! Kushida is after an arm, Escobar whips him away, but Kushida handsprings and back elbows! Kushida whips to hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick Escobar down! Kushida fires up but Escobar KNEES him first! Fireman’s carry and PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar scores a fall!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 0
The Emperor has the first point and is now in control! Fans rally up and Escobar runs in, DOUBLE KNEES to Kushida! Escobar runs, but Kushida jumps to get a body scissors! Kushida drags Escobar down, gets the arm and has the ARMBAR!! Escobar knows he’s stuck, so he TAPS!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 1
In the blink of an eye, we’re back to square one! It all comes down to this, who will be NXT Cruiserweight Champion?! Both men recover as NXT goes picture in picture!
Escobar shakes out the bad arm while Kushida is in a corner. A ring count could still settle this but Escobar gets in. Kushida runs corner to corner to dropkick Escobar down! Kushida stomps and stomps and then rains down fists! Kushida lets off to get Escobar up and wrench the arm. ARMBAR BULLDOG! Kushida stands over Escobar, stands on the arm and hammerlocks it to CRANK it!! Escobar writhes and clutches the elbow but Kushida is after him again. Kushida KICKS the shoulder, Escobar reaches for ropes but Kushida drags him away. Kushida wrenches to another ELBOW BREAKER!
Escobar staggers to a corner, Kushida drags him down and locks the bad arm to then get the good arm and step over. Kushida has the double omoplata and SNAP LOCKS ’em! Escobar writhes, Kushida KICKS him in the leg and the side over and over! Escobar rolls to an apron, Kushida is after him, but Escobar kicks him away. Kushida comes back to KICK the bad arm! Kushida gets the arm, pushes down for a cover, TWO, into a KIMURA! Escobar fights up, Kushida CLUBS the arm and YANKS it! Kushida wants the double wristlock again but Escobar gets up. They go around and around, Kushida stays clamped on and NXT returns to single picture.
They go around and around and Escobar throws Kushida out! Escobar goes out after Kushida but Kushida is right after the arm! Escobar RAMS Kushida into barriers! Escobar hurries inside, Kushida gets him through the ropes! Escobar ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida has the KIMURA again! Escobar HOTSHOTS Kushida down! Escobar builds speed to DIVE!! Direct hit at the ramp with that Arrow from Hell! Escobar puts Kushida in, covers, TWO!! Kushida is still in this but Escobar covers again, TWO! Escobar underhooks the arms, Kushida fights the driver, and he breaks free to wrench and run! Escobar scoops, tilt-o-whirl but Kushida makes it a DDT!!
Both men are down and the CWC is thunderous! Kushida goes to a corner, Escobar slowly gets up. Kushida climbs a corner to AX HANDLE the bad arm! Kushida hits the FAST BALL and the PENALTY KICK! Escobar bails out but Kushida builds speed to slide. Escobar ducks under to waistlock, but Kushida has the arm to ARMBAR BULLDOG again! Fans are fired up as Kushida drags Escobar back up. Kushida puts Escobar in, stalks up behind Escobar, but Escobar avoids the kick! Kushida wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO!! Kushida jumps on to body scissor! Escobar makes the Hoverboard into a small package! TWO!! CALF KICK!
Escobar drags Kushida up into the fireman’s carry, but Kushida fights free! Escobar switches, Kushida blocks to sit, TWO, to a sunset! TWO, high stack! TWO, sunset, TWO! Prawn hold, TWO!!! Things speed up again, DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down!! “This is Awesome!” and still isn’t over yet! Escobar and Kushida slowly stir, Escobar is in a corner and Kushida runs in! Escobar blocks, puts Kushida up top and ENZIGURIS! Escobar climbs up again, fireman’s carries, fans anticipate what’s coming, and Kushida does, too! Kushida elbows free this time! Kushida has Escobar with a double wristlock, SUPER ARM-DRAG!! HOVERBOARD LOCK!!
Escobar endures, reaches, but Kushida drags him away from the ropes!! Kushida cranks as hard as he can but Escobar keeps fighting! ROPEBREAK! Kushida has the arm still, Escobar rams into buckles, and again! Kushida throws knees in return, and HAMMERLOCK SUPLEXES Escobar into buckles! Kushida drags Escobar back up, for another HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Kushida wins!!!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
The Time Splitter outmaneuvers Escobar and holds onto the title! Will this send the Emperor of Lucha to the back of the line? Who is next for Kushida’s growing reign?
What an awesome night! Of course, just about every week of NXT is awesome, but this was especially awesome. I don’t usually note recap packages, but NXT used the small recap of last week’s NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match to transition into hyping up tonight’s matches. That is something Raw and even SmackDown can learn to do with their recent use of opening recaps. And using this one to set up Kross VS Theory opening the show was pretty well done. Theory and Gargano had great character work here, the match itself was perhaps the most intense a squash match could be, and of course Kross wins.
Gargano being mad at Regal is of course a great running gag. Gargano gets mad he has a match next week, reactively attacks Reed and only makes things worse for himself, and I am sure I am going to again be surprised by how well a steel cage match can go. Maybe Gargano wins, maybe Reed wins, who knows. The Way having that quick superhero spot to remind us again that Candice & Indi won the tag titles was fun, but I was hoping for a bit more, like a minute or so showing us how dysfunctional and chaotic it was to get things right for that little bit we got to see. Or at least a reaction from Shotzi and Ember. Maybe we get another The Way superhero video and then a reaction next week.
The next couple of weeks are being built up pretty well, too. Storm VS Stark, the North American Championship Steel Cage match, maybe Wolfe VS Dain that we were supposed to get tonight, just to name a few for next week, are all great matches. Then in two weeks, Franky Monet finally wrestles for NXT, and Kross VS Balor happens on TV! A big match in May before TakeOver: In Your House 2021 in June makes some sense, and will make for awesome television again. But I am thinking Kross finds a way to retain so that he can be the one who faces Kyle at TakeOver. Dunne’s open challenge answered by Ruff was great, Kyle VS Lorcan was great, Fish returning was awesome, and while I like them as reDRagon, it makes a lot of sense for Kyle and Fish to try things as singles stars for right now.
Grimes losing an auction to DeBiase was great, if only because it gives us a general idea of the (kayfabe) amount of money Grimes is making. He was willing to go to eight million but high double digits was too much. “Hit Row” is a good enough name for Swerve’s faction, their promos together were alright, it was the first time #TopDolla, Briana Brandy or even Ashante “Thee” Adonis (Tehuti Miles) have gotten real talking time, but it helped get their personalities and roles in the group across. Give it some time and I’m sure these four will be a top faction in NXT.
I’m a little surprised the women’s title didn’t main event, but I suppose it did give the match time to breathe. I think some booing had to be piped in to convince viewers that Raquel was the Heel, because I am sure the CWC fans love both Raquel and Mercedes. Raquel retaining makes sense, she just got going with this title, and she is definitely heading to TakeOver to face just about anyone NXT wants her to because there are so many good choices. MSK VS Breezango was a very good tag match, and they had the ref getting involved in a way that enhanced the match, and I think started getting some of the more reluctant CWC fans onboard.
MSK calling out Legado is a good move on their part, as was helping fight Legado off during the main event. Kushida VS Escobar is an awesome match, definitely worthy of the main event, but I figured there would be the usual case of WWE and televised wrestling making the second fall happen really quickly. But even then, NXT had a brilliant way of making that work because commentary sold the surprise of that armbar. Escobar took a smart, tactical approach of giving up his lead to save his arm, and then that arm still comes back to bite him because Kushida just kept after it and used that to win. Kushida retaining makes sense, Escobar can move on to whoever or whatever else, Kushida can give us fresh match ups, and surely Jordan Devlin will be putting his name back in the conversation soon enough.
My Score: 9.4/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (5/11/21)
It’s Dark After Blood & Guts!
There’s still more in the aftermath of Blood & Guts!
Things aren’t slowing down in AEW! Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston are after the Young Bucks but they’ll settle for some Milk Chocolate tonight!
- Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston VS Milk Chocolate; Moxley & Kingston win.
- Six Man Tag: The Dark Order VS Spencer Slade, Cole Karter & Andrew Palace; The Dark Order wins.
- Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS Angel Fashion; Archer wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Factory VS RYZIN, Jake Logan & Rick Recon; The Factory win(s).
- Varsity Blonds w/ Julia Hart VS Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan; Varsity Blonds win.
- Diamante VS Willow Nightingale; Diamante wins.
- Dante Martin VS Aaron Frye; Martin wins.
- Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero VS Ashley D’Amboise; Nyla wins.
- Cezar Bononi & Ryan Nemeth w/ The Pretty Picture VS Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis; The Pretty Picture wins.
- Kris Statlander w/ Best Friends VS Julia Hart; Statlander wins.
- Jungle Boy VS Marty Casaus; Jungle Boy wins.
- Big Swole & Red Velvet VS The MK Twins; Swole & Velvet win.
- Preston Vance VS JD Drake w/ The Pretty Picture; Vance wins.
- The Acclaimed VS Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela; The Acclaimed win.
- Bear Bronson VS Brian Cage w/ Hook; Cage wins.
- “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs w/ Hook VS Mike Sydal; Hobbs wins.
Moxley & Kingston starting was a nice twist, and they just destroy Milk Chocolate! That is enough to make it a match to watch, and does make sense since Mox and Kingston already competed on Elevation, and Mox is going to need to be 100% for his IWGP US Championship match with Yuji Nagata on Dynamite. The “Violent Crown,” a lariat Half ‘n’ Half suplex combo, is a great team finisher for them, too. Dark Order does great as always, they had a great promo on the Hardy Family Office to build story, but Preston Vance’s mask becoming more and more The Joker has me torn. Yes, The Joker is iconic, he’s THE Batman villain, but it’s so much so that people wanting to reference him (and Harley Quinn by extension) is overdone.
Vance should try to reference some other masked character(s), like Rorschach or Ghost Face. I get it, Pentagon is running around as Venom on and off, and Venom is another frequently referenced character, but not nearly as much so it’s not grating yet. The “Pretty Picture”/”Wingmen” arguing about the name is hilarious stuff, too. I wonder if there will be a match of Bononi & Avalon VS Nemeth & Drake, winners decide which one is the real name. Nemeth & Bononi get a good win for themselves, Vance VS Drake was great and worthy of the “main event” that is basically the entire latter half of these YouTube shows. It was fourth to last, not a real main event, but still great.
Archer doing a springboard cannonball to start the assault was great. Murderhawk Monster squash matches are always fun, especially now that Jake the Snake is getting on commentary for them. I like the arrogance in The Factory that QT Marshall can just sit on the “throne” that is the steel steps on the ramp while watching his guys fight in a 3v2. At the same time, Comoroto is big and strong enough that he can make up for being down a man. QT’s aggression and using the Figure Four after definitely implies nothing is done between him and Cody, but I still wish he had gotten a grudge match with Dustin first.
Julia Hart joining Varsity Blonds is a good sign that the Blonds are moving up in the ranks in AEW as far as presentation. Best Friends made Kris Statlander an honorary member, Julia can be like the varsity cheerleader or something, and we can start getting some mixed tag/mixed trio matches. Brandyn & Jordan, aka Waves & Curls, got a really good showing for a Dark debut, but naturally the Blonds win and I still think their finisher should be the Varsity Bomb. Statlander of course beats Julia, but perhaps seeds have been planted for Best Friends VS Blonds? Diamante calling out Statlander is an interesting choice, but sometimes you just have to throw people together to get a feud going and see what comes of it.
Dante Martin is doing so well as a singles guy while waiting on brother Darrius to recover, I feel like Dante should get a TNT Championship opportunity. Of course, that’s only if Darby Allin retains on Dynamite, or if Miro chooses to be a workhorse champion like Darby. I just hope there isn’t some story where the brothers disagree and there’s a break-up because Top Flight can be a truly amazing team once they’re both running hot like that. JB VS Casaus was good, Casaus getting a good showing before he of course loses because it’s Jungle Boy! #Swolevet should be considered for whatever women’s tag concept AEW thinks of next, they and KiLynn King make a great group.
Again, the latter part of Dark being the “main event,” that is logically where the strength of the card lies. Vance VS Drake, probably Caster’s funniest rap yet, The Acclaimed VS Jersey’s Finest, and then Team Taz’s muscle closing in the last two matches, all great stuff. I almost feel like the tag match could’ve been the main event over the separate Team Taz matches, it was that damn good. Another surprise was that I thought Brian Cage would main event, because he beat Hangman Page and though the FTW Championship isn’t an official title of AEW, you’d think Cage would still be seen as the frontrunner of Team Taz. He also has a great match with Bear Bronson, who is solo right now with Boulder hurt.
And if multiple Team Taz members were on the card tonight, why didn’t they think to have them all enter together and just wait on their opponents to show up? Ricky Starks could’ve even been on commentary to further the passive aggressiveness he has towards Cage. Just a small thing that would’ve helped build story, so that instead of saying “It’s just AEW’s YouTube show,” fans can start to say, “AEW is genius for putting this on YouTube!”
My Score: 8.4/10
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