The SmackDown Women’s Champion needs a challenger at the Royal Rumble event, so three former champions battle in a #1 Contender’s Triple Threat!
- Daniel Bryan VS R-Truth; Bryan wins.
- Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Joe & Almas win.
- The Bar VS The Usos; The Bar wins and denies The Usos a title match.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Charlotte Flair VS Becky Lynch VS Carmella; Lynch wins and will face Asuka for the title at the Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Daniel Bryan protests the arena food stands?
The “New” Bryan, that is. And he uses this to get AJ Styles’ attention. This is Bryan “educating” us. The concession stands are only here to destroy our health and wealth. Fans boo Bryan’s protest as he rants on about the junk food that fills a void in our “empty and vacuous” lives. That is why fans cheer AJ Styles! Because fans look up to him and fill the emptiness. Styles is exactly like these fans here! Bryan takes someone’s hot dog! Fans stuff their faces, cheer Styles, but leave empty and just move on to something else! Bryan throws the hot dog back at the fan! And then he takes someone’s slushee drink and plastic cup, and then splashes the fan with it! “Fickle! Fickle!”
Bryan continues his “tour” to the merchandise stand! Can he get a Yes Movement shirt? But wait, those were discontinued. Because the Yes Movement is dead and Bryan killed it! He doesn’t want to fill the Earth with this toxic consumerism. But look! Styles shirts, Styles gloves, all to fill the emptiness of everyone’s lives. “Look at this trash!” Plastic garbage ruining the Earth! Bryan moves his protest to the stands where fans stand to boo and jeer him. “I am out here changing the world. I am out here making the world a better place.” But to create change, Bryan must force the fans to change. Fans are weak, submissive and impotent! “Submissive! Change it! Impotent. Change it!”
Bryan is here to change the world one person at a time. He snatches a fan sign to denounce The House AJ Styles Built! Styles fills a void for a few seconds, but Bryan will fill the void with meaning and value! Something the future generations can be proud of! “Impotent! Change it!” Fans boo as Bryan reaches ringside. But here comes R-Truth!? Truth wants payback on Bryan for the humiliating defeat he suffered on Christmas! The referee backs Truth down, but he’s scheduled to have a match with Bryan anyway! Will Bryan be ready to face the Truth after the break?
Daniel Bryan VS R-Truth!
SmackDown returns as Truth reverses a whip. Bryan kicks but runs into a hip toss! Bryan gets to a corner and Truth throws hands and forearms! Truth whips Bryan corner to corner but Bryan goes up and over. Bryan runs but Truth splits and calf kicks him down! Cover, TWO! Truth keeps his cool but Bryan hits back with body shots. Bryan puts Truth in a corner for No Kicks, then snapmares Truth for a kick to the back. Bryan slaps Truth and says “You’re the problem!” The ref reprimands Bryan and Truth hits back. Bryan rocks Truth with a European Uppercut! Bryan puts Truth in a corner for more No Kicks, then runs corner to corner for the dropkick! He keeps going, and hits another dropkick. Bryan wants a third but gets Truth’s flying elbow instead!
Truth fires up and suplexes Bryan, into a stunner! Cover, TWO! Truth grits his teeth as he gets up and back suplexes Bryan. Bryan slips out and gets to a corner, then dodges Truth’s splash. Knee Plus! Cover, Bryan wins!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by pinfall
The New Daniel Bryan keeps on winning, but that doesn’t mean he’s gotten rid of Truth just yet. Truth is the 30th spot in the Royal Rumble match, will he make the most of it and win his way to a Wrestlemania main event?
Bryan leaves Truth alone, but as he goes up the ramp, AJ Styles attacks! Styles knocks Bryan down and throws hands on the stage! Styles headbutts Bryan over and over, but security comes out to drag him away. He fights out to go after Bryan at the LED wall! Bryan crawls for retreat but Styles pursues, with a chair! The chase leads backstage, but Styles threatens to hit security first. Fans fire up for Styles, and Styles is raring for a fight. Will Styles stop The New Bryan in their Royal Rumble world championship match?
Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The King of Lucha, the Beacon of Light and the Destroyer all fell short of a title opportunity in the Fatal 5 Way match, but there’s still a path to the title at the Royal Rumble. Mysterio and Ali team up for the first time ever, as are Joe and El Idolo. Which side will win big momentum for the 30 man battle royal here tonight?
SmackDown goes picture in picture as everyone makes their entrances. The teams sort out as we return to single picture, and it will be Ali starting against Joe. The two circle and tie up, and Joe pushes Ali to the ropes. Joe honors the ropebreak, but then gives Ali a shove. Ali and Joe circle again, and tie up. Joe again puts Ali on the ropes but grinds a forearm into Ali’s face. Joe backs off, but Ali ducks the sucker punch. Ali fires forearms then runs, but can’t get Joe off his feet. Ali runs but Joe runs him over! Joe drags Ali up by his hair to CHOP him to a corner. Joe jabs away, then whips Ali corner to corner. Ali dodges and dropkicks Joe back. Ali dropkicks Joe again, but Joe still stays up. So Ali tags in Mysterio, and double dropkicks knock Joe over!
Mysterio and Joe stare down, but Almas tags in. Almas and Mysterio meet again as they tie up. Almas kicks low then wrenches Mysterio to a hammerlock. Mysterio fights back and rebound snapmares Almas down! Mysterio speeds things up and kicks Almas in the leg. Almas lifts Mysterio and spins him, but Mysterio spins through to arm-drag! Mysterio whips but Almas reverses, only for Mysterio to go up and over. Almas knocks Mysterio down and covers, TWO! Almas keeps his cool and drags Mysterio over to his corner. Tag to Joe, and Joe headbutts Mysterio. Joe bumps Mysterio off buckles and jabs away from all sides. The ref counts and Joe backs off at 4 to tag Almas back in. Almas pumps himself up as he drags Mysterio up by his mask.
Fans rally for Mysterio but Almas CHOPS him. Mysterio hits back but Almas shoves. Mysterio comes back to wheelbarrow facebuster Almas down! Fans fire up and both men crawl for their corners. Hot tag to Ali! Ali rallies and speeds things up to headscissor Almas down! Ali bumps and chops Almas, then whips. Almas reverses the whip, but Ali slides to a stop. Ali slips out to the apron to roundhouse Almas back! Ali slingshots and hits the facebuster! Cover, ONE! Ali keeps on Almas with a waistlock, but Almas elbows out. Almas boots but Ali sees the elbow coming and dodges. Joe tags in while Ali runs, Ail gives Almas the flapjack dropkick. Joe and Almas get in each other’s way, and Ali dropkicks them into each other!
Ali aims at Almas and hits the tornado DDT! Almas rolls out, Ali slingshots but into Joe’s arms! Joe throws Ali with a Fall Away Slam onto the announce desk! Fans lose their minds while we go to break!
SmackDown returns, and Almas has Ali in the Tree of Woe. But Ali sits up to throw Almas off! Zelina cannot believe it, but fans rally up for the resilient Heart of SmackDown! Ali pops out of the Tree and drags himself towards his corner. Almas goes after Ali but misses, hot tag to Mysterio! Springboard huricanrana! Mysterio whips but Almas reverses. Mysterio ducks the boot but Almas sunset flips, only for Mysterio to roll through and buzzsaw! But Joe runs in to throw Mysterio to buckles. Mysterio ducks Joe and then sing kicks him away. Mysterio springboards to seated senton Joe down! Almas runs at Mysterio but Mysterio gets around. Mysterio balances Almas on his feet, then jumps up for a destroyer!! Cover, but Joe breaks it!
Joe drags Mysterio up to whip him into a corner. Joe runs in but misses again, and Mysterio baits Joe to ropes. 619!! Then Ali hurries up, 450! Almas gets up and suplexes Ali but Ali slips out., Ali feeds Almas to Mysterio to put on the ropes. Almas gets a shot, to FLY onto Joe! Then Mysterio dials it up, 619! But Almas catches it! Fireman’s carry to gutbuster drop! And then, Hammerlock DDT! Cover, Almas & Joe win!
Winners: Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas, Almas pinning
El Idolo shocks the King of Lucha and wins big! Will this mean even bigger things for Almas, and by proxy Zelina Vega, at Wrestlemania?
“You don’t think I hear people talking?” No one thinks she’ll win tonight’s Triple Threat. Why is that? Because she’s good looking? Because she has style and likes to have fun? Or is it because Charlotte Flair knows how to use kendo sticks, or that Becky Lynch finally found a personality. Carmella was SmackDown Women’s Champion for 130 days. And during that time she beat Charlotte twice and beat Asuka twice. All Carmella has ever needed is an opportunity. And she’ll use tonight’s opportunity to prove that #MellaIsMoney. Will Mella put her money were her mouth is? Will Asuka be ready for the FABULOUS Princess at the Rumble?
The Usos speak.
All they have to do tonight is beat The Bar to get a title shot at The Bar? They can get that. Step up or get stepped on! The true tag team steps up. Jimmy and Jey welcome the Bar back to the Uso Penitentiary! But will they get this next title shot #OnLock?
The Miz visits Shane McMahon in his office.
“Tell me you didn’t have anything to do with that.” With what? The Usos getting another chance at the titles, before Miz & Shane! Surely a different McMahon approved this. Because no one is more deserving then The Best Tag Team in the World! Shane says they’re far from that. But that doesn’t’ matter, Shane’s a McMahon. He can just give the team that match. Miz likes taking shortcuts, and Shane is excited for this match, but he’s not going to abuse power. They have to train, scout and be confident enough to win. They have to challenge themselves as well as their competition. Are they in agreement? Yes. Okay then. But speaking of, what about the outfits? Miz likes the white leather. Yes, the white leather, yes… Shane again excuses himself, and Miz decides on red.
Rusev is in the ring!
But the Bulgarian Brute is not his usual jovial self. Last week, Lana helped Rusev against Shinsuke Nakamura’s attack, but ended up being a casualty of the fight. She got hurt because of the selfish actions of the King of Strong Style. Rusev knows Lana is home safe and resting, but he stands here not as United States Champion. Rusev is here not as the Bulgarian Brute, “with the body of a thousand Hemsworth brothers.” He is here as a husband. Fans sing “Lana is the Best~! Lana Number One!” in support of Rusev. Rusev says Shinsuke can do whatever he wants to Rusev. “But once you mess with my wife, you cross a line!” Rusev calls Shinsuke out and promises to break every bone in that body, and CRUSH!
Shinsuke’s response is from the production truck in the back. “Hey, Rusev. You want people to believe it’s my fault”, but Rusev is trying to get sympathy. Shinsuke is in the truck to prove to everyone that it’s not his fault. This is Rusev’s fault. “See for yourself.” Roll footage. It is footage of Shinsuke’s attack, and Lana’s retaliation. But Shinsuke makes sure to focus on the moment the Machka Kick hits. The footage keeps rolling to show the Kinshasa that hits Rusev back, but Nakamura then brings us back to live. “Rusev, you crushed Lana.” Rusev doesn’t care to see things Nakamura’s way. And since Shinsuke didn’t come to him, he’ll go to Shinsuke! Rusev hurries backstage, but will he find Shinsuke in the truck?
The crew direct Rusev to the truck, but Nakamura attacks him with a trunk! The King of Strong Style set a trap for Rusev, and tops it off with a roundhouse and stomps! Security pull Nakamura off but Nakamura says he is the true United States Champion! Rusev manages to sit up, but gets a KINSHASA! Nakamura leaves Rusev down and out, but will this end with the United States of Nakamerica rising again?
Becky Lynch speaks.
“So tonight, I have to jump through hoops to get back to the championship that nobody beat me to have.” Becky made that title the talk of the wrestling world, and woke up the entire industry. But that’s fine, because now Becky can do what she wants. Charlotte and Carmella are formalities, and Asuka will have to do more than climb a ladder. The Empress is on borrowed time, because The Man’s coming around to settle a score. Will the Lass Kicker kick enough lass to go after Asuka’s throne?
Hulk Hogan returned to WWE Television to share his own heartfelt feelings over the loss of perhaps THE greatest interviewer and pure entertainer of all pro-wrestling. RIP “Mean” Gene, you will forever be missed but never forgotten.
The Bar VS The Usos!
Jimmy & Jey know that if they want another shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, they have to win in this non-title match with the Celtic Gladiator and Swiss Cyborg! Can the Usos put the champs on #LOCKDOWN once more? Or will Cesaro & Sheamus make one last jailbreak to deny The Usos once and for all?
SmackDown returns as The Usos make their entrance. Fans are strongly behind the Usos as the bell rings. Sheamus starts against Jey and the two circle. They tie up and Sheamus gets a headlock takeover. Jey headscissors and Sheamus pops out. They circle again and tie up. Jey gets the arm and wrenches. Sheamus forearms out then drags Jey up to whip. Jey kicks Sheamus away then things speed up. Jey clotheslines Sheamus out, and then dropkicks Sheamus on the return! Cover, ONE, and Sheamus tags to Cesaro. Jey tags Jimmy and Jimmy circles with Cesaro. They tie up and Cesaro gets a headlock. Jimmy powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Cesaro runs and things speed up, but Cesaro catches Jimmy! Jimmy slips out and things sped up again, huricanrana throws Cesaro!
Jimmy runs corner to corner but Sheamus saves Cesaro from the hip attack. The Usos grin and laugh but then give chase. Cesaro leads Jimmy back into the ring, but Jimmy blocks the boot to uppercut! Jimmy powers Cesaro tot he Uso corner, tag to Jey. Jey hits a forearm smash, then wrenches Cesaro’s arm. Cesaro knees low and tags Sheamus. The Bar mug Jey and Sheamus puts Jey in a corner with EuroUppers. Jey hits back but Sheamus hits another EuroUpper. Sheamus whips Jey corner to corner but Jey comes back with an uppercut and chops! Jey backs Sheamus down but Sheamus puts on a headlock. Jey powers out and clobbers Sheamus with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!
Jey keeps on Sheamus but Sheamus powers him to ropes. Sheamus lets up but Cesaro hotshots Jey! Sheamus then clobbers Jey back! The Bar has control while we go to break.
SmackDown returns as Jey endures Sheamus’ chinlock. Fans rally and Jey fights out. Sheamus shoves Jey but Jey fights out of The Bar’s corner. Jey runs but Sheamus scoops him to a fireman’s carry, and rolling senton! Tag to Cesaro for a Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Jey to tag Sheamus. The Bar mug Jey but fans cheer “Uce! Oh!” Sheamus chokes Jey on the ropes but stops at 4. He drags Jey up into a keylock, but Jey endures and arm-drags Sheamus out of the ring. Sheamus grabs Jey for Beats of the Bodhrain! And more than ten! Sheamus drags Jey up for another go but Jey enziguris out! Jey crawls again, but Cesaro coaches Sheamus on. Sheamus gets in and grabs Jey’s legs, but Jey shoves him away. Hot tags to Jimmy and Cesaro!
Jimmy rallies on Cesaro with kicks and uppercuts, then the dragon whip kick! Things speed up, Samoan Drop! Jimmy fires up with the fans as Cesaro crawls to a corner. Jimmy takes aim, runs in, and hits the hip attack! Cover, TWO! Cesaro survives and Jimmy is shocked. Jimmy takes aim as Cesaro rolls away. Jey intercepts Sheamus with a mule kick, then the Usos both dump Sheamus out onto Cesaro. Jey builds speed and FLIES onto Sheamus! Jimmy DIVES onto Cesaro! Cesaro ends up in the front row! Everyone is down, but Jimmy drags Cesaro back to the ring. Jimmy climbs and leaps, the crossbody hits! Cover, TWO!! Jimmy is again shocked, and both men are down again. Sheamus slowly returns to his corner, and Cesaro rocks Jimmy with EuroUppers!
Tag to Sheamus, but Jimmy ducks the Brogue! Sheamus puts Jimmy on the apron but Jey tags in! Double swing kicks, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus lives, and this match continues as we go picture in picture! Sheamus and Jey crawl for corners, and Jey aims at Sheamus. Jey climbs up top, but Cesaro returns. Jey kicks him down, but his Uso Splash gets knees! Cesaro covers, but Jimmy breaks it! Everyone is down again, and they regroup as teams. Jimmy runs but into Cesaro’s flapjack EuroUpper! Cesaro tags in and runs at Jey in the other corner for a running EuroUpper! Cover, TWO! Cesaro tells Sheamus to get in, and The Bar work together for the double urenage! Cover, TWO! The Bar is furious, but they aren’t through.
Sheamus tags Cesaro back in, and then feeds Jey to Cesaro’s swing! We return to single picture as Jey goes around and around, and then Cesaro puts on the Sharpshooter! Jey endures the legendary leg lock, but fans give him the power to make it to the ropes! Cesaro chokes Jey, then Sheamus gets a cheap shot knee! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus shouts “I don’t believe it!” Cesaro tags Sheamus and Sheamus loom over Jey. Sheamus drags Jey up by the chin, but Jey fights back! Jey headbutts away on Sheamus! Jey grits his teeth as he climbs up, but Sheamus hits him with a big knee! Sheamus steadies himself before hauling Jey out on a fireman’s carry. Sheamus climbs up now, but Jey slips out! SUPERKICK sends Sheamus down! But Cesaro tagged in! Cesaro leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Jimmy recovers and fans fire up!
Jey crawls, but Cesaro pursues. But wait, is that Mandy Rose in just a towel?! The Golden Goddess flirts all the way from the stage. She needs Jimmy’s help. Did she leave her tiny gold shorts in his hotel room? Jimmy doesn’t get what she’s up to, but Sheamus blasts him off the apron! Cesaro hits a Neutralizer! Cover, The Bar win!
Winners: The Bar, Cesaro pinning; The Usos are denied a title shot
Mandy costs The Usos, all to get back at Naomi. Will Naomi make Mandy feel more than just The Glow? As for The Bar, The Miz comes out to address the tag team champions. “Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for your SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Sheamus & Cesaro, The Baaaar!!” Miz congratulates them on behalf of himself and Shane. The Bar have cleared out all the teams on SmackDown, except one. Miz grants these two an opportunity of a lifetime: putting the titles on the line at the Royal Rumble against the one team they have yet to dominate, #TheBestTagTeamintheWorld!
Cesaro snatches the mic to tell Miz that if they want The Bar, the team that has destroyed everyone on both Raw and SmackDown, to face a team that is “untested, uncoordinated, dysfunctional” and full of daddy issues, here’s their answer: a Brogue Kick!! Sheamus & Cesaro accept this challenge, but they don’t seem intimidated. Will Miz and Shane make The Bar pay for this disrespect? Or will Shane talk some sense into his Hollywood A-Lister partner?
Mandy Rose meets up with Sonya Deville.
Mandy takes off her towel, and surprise! She was wearing her gear all along! The two share a laugh, but the laughing stops when Naomi attacks! Naomi hits both Mandy and Sonya, and then throws Mandy into trunks. Sonya comes back for more, but Naomi is fine taking them both on. At least, until Sonya roundhouses Naomi in the stomach. Jimmy runs in and saves his wife, but this fight is far from over. Will Naomi make Mandy pay via the Women’s Royal Rumble match?
Charlotte Flair speaks.
“Tonight’s Triple Threat match: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Carmella.” Wait, Carmella? Last year’s hottest thing? And Becky, this year’s hottest thin? But Charlotte Flair, the hottest thing on the entire main roster the last four years running. Charlotte is the combined seven time Women’s Champion, has main evented both Raw and SmackDown and several Pay-Per-View events. But Charlotte no longer needs to prove herself to anyone. She’s here for herself, and for her women’s champion. She focuses on Becky and Carmella tonight, then on Asuka at Rumble. Prepare to be humbled by The Queen! That Triple Threat is next!
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.
Bryan is on his way out, but he’s having a bad night because of the mustard stain some “fat, ignorant, impotent man” spilled on his shirt. Actually he’s also having a bad night because AJ Styles attacked from behind. Why? Because Bryan is trying to change the world for the better? Because Bryan fills that empty void in the fans’ heart better than Styles ever could? Or is it because Bryan is the WWE Champion and Styles isn’t?
“I do not care why AJ Styles attacked me.” If we all thought what Styles did was vicious, that’s not half as vicious as the New Daniel Bryan! People have not seen how vicious Bryan can be, but Styles will see at the Royal Rumble! Styles will never take the title from Bryan, because Bryan fights for a cause bigger than anything Styles has ever fought for in his life! What level of violence does Bryan plan on giving Styles in their title rematch?
Shane finds The Miz backstage.
The Bar accepted the challenge, and the match is coming! Shane’s plan worked. That wasn’t Shane’s plan. But Shane said he needed to challenge their competitors, so Miz made the challenge. That wasn’t how Shane meant it! They needed a plan, be on the same page, all that. But they also need the confidence to win. Miz is ready, and he believes in this team! IF they are not testing themselves, then what are they doing?! Miz told Shane how personal this is. They wouldn’t be who they are if they let others pass them by. Well it’s just not how Shane wanted things to go. Miz thinks they can win? He knows they can win. Then Royal Rumble it is! Can The Best Tag Team in the World become champions their first time out?
SmackDown Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Charlotte Flair VS Becky Lynch VS Carmella!
The Queen, The Man, and The FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island. These three former champions all want that belt back, but they’ll have to get past the other two to do it! Who will prove themselves the better former champion to then take on the current champion at the Rumble?
The bell rings and fans are strongly behind Becky! Becky makes sure Charlotte and Carmella hear it, Charlotte gets her own fans going with “WOO~!” Becky and Charlotte hit each other, and Carmella takes advantage by throwing Becky down! Charlotte scoops Carmella but Carmella slips out to throw Charlotte into Becky! Carmella then rolls Charlotte up, ONE! Charlotte hits Carmella but Becky returns with EuroUppers for everyone. Becky mule kicks Carmella out then mule kicks Charlotte down. She scrapes Charlotte out of the ring before hitting Carmella with a leaping forearm. Becky runs Charlotte over with a clothesline, then declares “This is MY show!” Becky’s show will return after the break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Becky has Carmella down. Fans fire up as Becky runs into the corner. Carmella dodges but runs into Becky’s boot. Charlotte shoulders in and hotshots Becky back. Charlotte climbs up top, but Becky stops her with forearms. Becky throws Charlotte onto Carmella! Then she drop-sentons them both! Cover on Carmella, but Charlotte yanks Becky off. Charlotte and Becky glare down as they circle. The friends turned enemies are having flashbacks to Summerslam as they brawl with forearms and chops! Charlotte eggs Becky on and the brawling continues. Becky hits, Charlotte chops and back again! Charlotte gets an edge with those knife edge chops! Charlotte runs, but into Becky’s Thesz Press! The two scrap and roll around, but Carmella’s FABULOUS Kick rocks Charlotte!
Becky grabs Carmella but Carmella fights out to hit a complete shot! Carmella goes after Charlotte but Charlotte trips her to get the Figure Four. Carmella resists, Charlotte jackknifes but into the Code of Silence! Charlotte endures, then powers her way up to her feet. Carmella rolls through, TWO! Charlotte knees low, but Becky leaps in! The missile dropkick hits Carmella! Charlotte throws Becky with an exploder! Charlotte baits Carmella in, backbreaker but Carmella slips out, only to get a boot! Fans “WOO~” for the Mad Queen as she drags Carmella around. Charlotte tells the Becky fans to “Shut up and sit down!” before placing Becky in the drop zone.
Charlotte climbs, but Becky springs up! Becky grabs at Charlotte but Charlotte kicks her away. Charlotte adjusts, two for one Moonsault! Cover on Becky, TWO! Cover on Carmella, TWO!! The Queen grows further frustrated, but we go to one more break.
SmackDown returns again, and Becky climbs up after Charlotte on the top rope. The two fight up top and Charlotte saves herself from falling off. The brawling continues, and Becky gets the better of Charlotte. Becky pulls but Charlotte resists the superplex. Carmella comes in to yank Becky down! Carmella hits Charlotte, and then hits the FABULOUS- No, Charlotte counters the steiner into a lift. But Carmella fights through to hit the FABULOUS Steiner! Cover, TWO!! Carmella shouts in frustration, but refocuses. She kicks Charlotte out, then kicks Becky back down. Carmella takes a risk as she builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit on Becky! Carmella drags Becky up, but Charlotte leaps for a SUPER MOONSAULT! Only for both Becky and Carmella to get clear! Charlotte manages to roll through the landing, only for Carmella to kick her down!
Becky gets Carmella with a Becksploder! All three women are down on the outside, but Becky stands up first. She goes over to Carmella and drags her up. Becky throws haymakers, then throws Carmella into barriers! Fans cheer as Becky drags Carmella up and into the ring. Becky and Charlotte both enter, and Charlotte boots Becky down! Carmella rolls Charlotte up, TWO! Charlotte wants the Figure Four but Carmella denies her again. Becky grabs Carmella’s arm but Carmella resists. Charlotte hits Becky with a SUPER Natural Selection! Shades of Summerslam yet again! But FABULOUS Kick hits Charlotte! Carmella covers, but Charlotte breaks it in time! Charlotte covers Becky, TWO! All three women are down from exhaustion, but fans fire up.
Carmella is furious. She SLAPS Charlotte, and again, and again! She hammers away on Charlotte from all sides, but Charlotte slaps he back! Charlotte goes for the Figure Four, and puts it on! She bridges, Figure Eight! But Beck drops a leg on Charlotte!! Cover, TWO!? But right into the Disarm-Her!! FABULOUS Kick!! Carmella tells Becky “You Suck!” before throwing Charlotte out of the ring. Carmella goes to Becky as fans say “This is Awesome!” Becky resists the suplex, but gets a SPEAR from Charlotte! Another FABULOUS Kick! Carmella goes back to Becky, but into the Disarm-Her!! Carmella taps, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission; will face Asuka for the title at the Royal Rumble
The Man gets the better of The Queen and The Princess this time, and now moves on to challenge The Empress! And speaking of, here comes Asuka! Champion and challenger stand in the ring together, and the champion raises her belt. The two stare down and talk trash, but this fight is still a few weeks away. Will Becky be too Relent-Lass for even Asuka? Or will even The Man find out that not even she is ready for Asuka?
What a stellar SmackDown! They took what worked from last night’s Raw and even improved on it a little. The surprise promo from Bryan in front of all the Jacksonville fans was pretty good, though because of that, it was harder to hear Bryan. “The New Bryan” is doing pretty great as what is essentially evil Captain Planet, and this story has really benefited R-Truth! Truth gets to show some fire of his own, and for being a short match, he and Bryan had a fun opening match. Styles attacking Bryan was also a good move for the story. Bryan’s interview about being vicious makes me how this rematch of theirs is at least No Disqualification. In order to cap off the story, I feel the winner needs to really go above and beyond in their win, and violence is definitely the way to go.
Mysterio & Ali VS Joe & Almas was great, and I was really surprised to see the Heels win. At the same time, Almas and Joe were due a win, both of them have had more losses than wins as of late. They’re all in the Rumble, but Joe and Mysterio have the better chances of winning. And even then, I can’t be sure this is the year for Joe or Mysterio to main event Mania. On the way to Mania, I would love to see any mix of these four in singles competition feuds. I feel like Joe VS Ali would be a great test of Ali on the main roster. Ali’s time on 205 Live has proven Ali knows how to do promos, and he’s already proven his ring skills on SmackDown, so it’d be a great feud for him, even though he’d surely lose.
The Bar VS The Usos was yet another instant classic, but I had a strange sense that Mandy Rose would get involved. The Usos don’t get another title match, but the “Fresh Start” calls for new match-ups, so we don’t need another round of this feud. Miz jumps the gun but it made sense to move Miz’s story with Shane along these lines. If they win, we can see them try to handle being a real team and maybe they break up to set up Shane VS Miz at Mania. If they lose, it’s the same but the break-up happens that much faster. As for Mandy and Naomi, I believe I said this before, but they’ll have an encounter in the Rumble, and then their blow-off is likely on a SmackDown after.
That was an amazing Triple Threat! It was on par with the Summerslam edition, maybe even better. I was glad to see they referenced the finishing spot from Summerslam, and then again with switched roles. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Becky winning over Charlotte. Two NXT Horsewomen getting title shots at the same PPV, that’s pretty great. But at the same time, this brings into question: how are we supposed to get Ronda VS Becky this way? Will Becky dare Ronda to fight her just because? Maybe both titles will be on the line and we’ll have the first ever Undisputed Women’s Champion. Though at the same time, the woman who wins the Women’s Rumble could be inserted for yet another Triple Threat. Or maybe Becky doesn’t win at all and she moves over to Raw to get at Ronda. All the options sound good to me.
My Score: 8.7/10
AJPW New Year Wars 2019 Results & Review (1/2-1/3/2019)
Well we told you Mathew was gonna cover it, and he had a small break from Stardom to add his expertise to the first two days of New Year Wars 2019. All Japan coverage time!
Welcome to our first All Japan Pro Wrestling show of the new year and last time I covered AJPW, I did the Real World Tag League where The Bomber won the whole thing and they’ll be fighting Violent Giants in this show.
If you’re reading the title right, it’s showing two days on there and that’s because I will be covering the two title matches that happened on the January 2nd show and then cover the whole January 3rd show.
We got a lot to cover and 2018 was a great year for AJPW but now let’s see how 2019 will go for them. Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Yusuke Okada
Review: Our first title match for this show is for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship where Koji Iwamoto will defend his title against Yusuke. The junior division I’m not too crazy about in the company due to the lack of depth, so I didn’t pay much attention to it during the last few months but gonna give it a shot instead of just covering one match on this show. Yusuke came back a couple of months ago and he looks to be back in the mix for a title opportunity as he fights Koji, who won it back from Shuji Kondo. Will Koji retain the title or Yusuke becomes the new champion?
Now that I’ve seen this match, I can say it’s a step in the right direction for the division as a whole since you got Koji Iwamoto, who is a very talented individual that could very well be the one that would be a great leader to the division and then someone like Yusuke Okada to be a strong contender. Koji is someone I’ve always enjoyed when I see him wrestle in the ring but the lack of depth in the division made it hard for me to care about it as a whole that this was a very pleasant surprise to see. Okada came back better than ever since his return from injury and would show his progress in the ring.
Okada would start to destroy Koji with his Lariats to weaken him a little bit but Koji would still find a way to kick out of them. Okada attempts to finish him off with a Fisherman Buster but Koji would fight out of it and hits a quick STO before he would get him up for a Superplex and the competitors are down. Koji went to look to finish Okada off as Okada would struggle for a little bit until he got caught in a Dragon Suplex and a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Koji would finally hit the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall victory and I wish Ronda Rousey would use this throw as her finish instead, would look amazing. Okada puts up a good fight but not at that level where he needs to be just yet, so hard to make it a bit believable for him. Nobody else came out to challenge Koji as he celebrates his victory in a solid bout.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
World Tag Team Title Match
Violent Giants (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs. The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering)
Review: Our main event of this show and final match is Violent Giants defending their titles against the Real World Tag League winners, The Bomber. The two teams would fight in the finals of the tournament when The Bomber was able to pick up the win to know how this match here. We also found out on this show that Shuji Ishikawa is no longer a Freelancer and is now apart of the AJPW roster full-time. Will Violent Giants get some revenge to retain the titles or will The Bomber make lightning strike twice and take the titles with them this time?
The match is pretty much what you would expect it would go between these two and if you liked their first encounter during the finals, then chances are you’re going to like this one a lot better. The to would start off fairly evenly matched and the two teams would start to fight outside of the arena to the point where they would even fight up into the audience until they went back into the arena to get back to the fight. Dylan James keeps on improving and it’s about time he starts finding his voice in All Japan instead of just being a bust like the first half of his year in 2018, so I guess him teaming up with Joe Doering turned out to be the best thing to happen to him at the end of things. Violent Giants are always on point when it comes to tag team wrestling and no surprise why they’re Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year two years in a row.
Things start to get more intense in the ring once Suwama starts beating Doering down onto the mat before he tags in Shuji for the hot tag as him and Dylan start pummeling each other with strikes and slams. Shuji would deliver a Double Stomp onto the middle rope as he goes for a pin but Dylan kicks out at two as Joe helps his partner out by giving Shuji a Lariat and am Elbow Drop to top it off. Violent Giants start to go for a Double Powerbomb onto Dylan but Joe would break it up before he got tossed into the ropes as Joe catches them both with a Diving Body Press and the crowd goes nuts. The Bomber would look to go for their Double Piledriver onto Shuji as Suwama would fight Joe off before they could finish them off. Violent Giants start acting in sequence onto Dylan as they would hit him with a German Suplex, Backdrop Driver, and a Double Lariat to knock him down. Shuji would hit the Fire Thunder Driver but Joe breaks the count before being tossed back out again by Suwama. Shuji then has Dylan all by himself as he hits him with multiple knee strikes and does the Giant’s Slam as the Violent Giants retain the titles! After the match, Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi challenged them to a title match at the Big Japan Wrestling show on January 13th and it’s sure to be a fun time. Great match and very hard-hitting, what more could you ask for?
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Tag Team Match
Danji Tamura & Hokuto Omori vs. Atsuki Aoyagi & Yusuke Okada
Review: Our opening match is a regular tag team match with Yusuke Okada teaming up with Atsuki Aoyagi taking on the team of Danji Tamura and Hokuto Omori. Danji, Hokuto, and Atsuki are all new All Japan’s young lions as they made their debut on the January 2nd show and now I get to see them for this one. Will the new guys win or does Yusuke guide Atsuki to victory?
So how did our new guys fair off in this tag match? Well, I think that all three of them have potential and I don’t know who is who due to the music being cut out along with their names, but one of them had a really nice sequence with Yusuke. The match itself was an average tag match with the young lions getting showcased and all three of them had an equal chance to shine in this one. The match was about six minutes and Yusuke would have one of them in a Boston Crab to make them tap out for the victory. I wish all three of these men luck on their journey in the world of professional wrestling.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Tag Team Match
Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is another tag team match with Hikaru Sato and Osamu Nishimura taking on Masanobu Fuchi and Yoshitatsu. It looks like another tag match with probably some humor involved due to Fuchi being apart of it. Which one of these teams will win?
Yoshi, dude, please get rid of that Hunter Club shit. What purpose does it provide for you now? Nothing, so why keep wearing anything related to it at all? Just get rid of anything related to it already. Anyway, not that I got that little vent out of my system, I thought the match was a little bit average. The pop Fuchi still gets is an incredible feeling with the fans showing their love and support to him in the ring and even has fans resent his opponents, like how Hikaru would just kick him down and the boos he gets, is one of the loudest I’ve seen for an undercard or most of the time in general, it’s incredible. Fuchi would be in the match for pretty much the majority of it since Yoshi was only in for the beginning sequence before tagging in Fuchi. It would be Fuchi and Osamu in the ring and they would be cradled up to try and go for the pinfall as the two kick out to hold the position to pin the other but wait, Hikaru would push his partner to make him pin Fuchi and they steal the victory!
Rating: Tony Schiavone
Six Man Tag Team Match
Sweeper (Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Ryouji Sai) vs. Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama & Zeus
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with our Sweeper members, Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto, and Ryouji Sai taking on the team of Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama, and Zeus. I guess The Bodyguard is out with an injury since he’s not booked on this show at all. It’s always good to see Jake Lee in the ring and I feel like 2019 is going to be kind to him, but he needs to get a victory here to get some momentum. Can Sweeper sweep up the victory or will Uncle Jun and Daddy Zeus take it?
Ryouji and Zeus started the match off as the two would trade in some blows until Jake got tagged in as him and Zeus would have a little staredown before they got right into the action to fight each other. During the majority of this match was pretty much Zeus and Jun abusing Jake any chance they would get and I mean it since they just chop him down, stiff him, pretty much just beating the crap out of him and I feel like it’s tough love for Jake at this point. Once Jake was done being abused during this match, Koji would get tagged in now as he’s now in the ring with Atsushi for the remainder of the match and I wonder if he could be a potential contender for the Junior Championship? That question seems to be out of the question since Koji would just make quick work of him and hits the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall once Zeus was unable to break the pinfall in time. Decently paced match with more progression with Jake Lee and I wonder if he will encounter Zeus in singles action soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Six Man Tag Team Match
The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering) & Gianni Valletta vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: We got ourselves another six-man tag match with The Bomber teaming up with Gianni Valletta since TAJIRI has a title match coming up tonight as they take on Evolution and no, not WWE’s Evolution. Evolution has Violent Giants and Atsushi Aoki in it. Yesterday, Violent Giants defeated The Bomber to retain the World Tag Team Championships as it looks like they’ll be fighting again in this match-up. Wonder if Bomber wins again they would get another rematch for the titles, only time will tell.
The Bomber would start the assault to Evolution to the outside of the ring once the bell would ring and they would start to get some of that heel heat in. Atsushi would now be the victim for the assault as he would just get chopped, slammed down, or just suffer a Lariat or two between the three men that are fighting him and Violent Giants. Suwama would help his partner out to get a little bit of offense in when he fights of Dylan a little bit, but Dylan would end his momentum with a few chops and a Lariat to the corner before hitting an Elbow Drop for a two count. Shuji would duck a Lariat for an STO and would tag in Suwama for a hot tag as he would start cleaning house for Evolution until Dylan tagged in Gianni for all three of them to try and gang up on Evolution, but Suwama would fight off Gianni and Joe for a little bit until Gianni was alone in the ring for Violent Giants to land their assault onto him. Suwama would pick Gianni up right away as he hits the Backdrop Driver for the victory as Evolution stands tall! Solid match and wonder who will Violent Giants defend the titles against next.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
GAORA TV Title Match
TAJIRI (c) vs. Minoru Fujita
Review: Our first title match for this show is TAJIRI defending the Gaora TV Championship against Minoru Fujita. TAJIRI has been on quite a roll with this title run with four successful title defenses under his belt with his last one being against Super Crazy. This is Minoru’s first match in AJPW during his entire career and he could very well take that title with him to Tokyo Gurentai. Can TAJIRI retain it again or will we have a new champion?
What can I really say about this match? I mean it wasn’t horrible by any means but at the same time, it just felt like a regular match without a title on the line, like just a special singles match. We all know TAJIRI’s glory days are long gone and he’s pretty much just having a good time with a lighter schedule to do as much as he can before he decides to fully hang it up for good. I haven’t really followed Minoru’s career all that much but I will say that he was still pretty mobile and would hit the moves he wanted to do without a problem like his dive to the outside and such. Don’t think were was anything really big that happened in the match except that Minoru would place a bag over TAJIRI’s head to blind him a little and hits a Splash off the top rope for a two count. Minoru would go back to the top rope and TAJIRI takes the bag off to spit green mist into his eyes once he jumped off the rope and does a Small Package to retain the title. Again, not a terrible match but just really standard.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
All Asia Tag Team Title Match
NEXTREAM (Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) (c) vs. Black Menso-re & Takao Omori
Review: Our next title defense for this show is NEXTREAM defending their All Asia Tag Team Championships against Takao Omori and Black Menso-re. These two teams are no strangers to each other as the two fought on October 10th where NEXTREAM would retain the titles and it looks like they want a rematch this time around. NEXTREAM has retained their titles twice during this run and would like to add a third defense if they can beat their opponents. Can NEXTREAM retain or do they lose it in the revenge match?
If we’re going to compare the two title matches these teams had against each other, I would say they were both equally as good but this one probably had a better flow throughout, so I think I would give the edge to this one at least for the time being, I don’t really recall how the partnership between Menso and Takao happened but for some reason they would work pretty well together with their different styles of speed and impact to make them a pretty solid team. NEXTREAM would keep proving themselves as a tag team and rise up in the ranks to better themselves as partners and individuals as Naoya and Yuma are both very talented wrestlers. Black Menso-re really is a talented guy and I hope to see him as a contender for the Junior title in the future since he would have a great match with Koji.
NEXTREAM would start to double team Menso with elbows into the corner as Yuma throws him into Naoya to catch him for a Gutbuster, then Yuma does a German Suplex, and Naoya finishes the combo with a Spear and goes for a pin but Takao jumped in to break the pinfall. Nomura would try to elbow Menso would counter it with a roll-up and no matter how many times Naoya would try to break out of it, Menso would somehow get him back into the same position until he was able to finally kick out and let go. Takao gets into the ring now and hits a few Ax Bombers onto Naoya before he had him up for a Package Driver as Menso tops it off with a Double Stomp for Yuma to break the near fall. Yuma would help his partner out by giving Takao a German Suplex and then Naoya does a German Suplex hold for Menso to break up the pinfall. Naoya isn’t done just yet as he would now hit a Splash off the top rope but Tako would kick out again as Naoya has enough and picks him up for the Death Valley Driver and NEXTREAM retains their titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Triple Crown Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. KAI
Review: Our main event for the night is Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship for the first time in this reign against KAI. This match took place when KAI would pin Kento during the Real World Tag League and now he looks to be the one to dethrone the ace. Kento’s goal once he won the title back from Zeus was to surpass the record for most title defenses, which is currently held by Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses under his final reign. This will be Kento’s first one so let’s see if he can fulfill this goal. Can Kento succeed in his first title defense or will KAI ruin his plans?
Pretty explosive start right away as Kento would attempt to go for the Blackout a couple of times once the bell rang but KAI would move out of the way every time he does and they have a stare down as the crowd starts cheering for them. KAI would pretty much outsmart him for the beginning of the match and it got to the point where Kento would even be outraged and throw him into the turnbuckle post, which looked like an okay idea but it would backfire once he attempted a Blackout onto the post as KAI moved out of the way and hits a Dragon Screw on his injured leg between the post. The two would keep fighting outside of the ring for a little bit until Kento would drop him against a guardrail and the two would get back inside. I think this was KAI’s best match that I’ve seen in quite some time as KAI is one of those wrestlers that can be a hit or miss depending on the opponent he fights and he was able to go toe to toe with Kento, even the crowd was supportive of KAI during the match at some point.
Kento starts to get a comeback in as he hits a German Suplex and then quickly gets up to hit not one but two Blackouts in the match to try and knock him out but KAI managed to kick out of it when he could. KAI would attempt to kick up Kento for a Powerbomb but he would struggle for a bit until KAI gathered enough strength to make it connect but Kento kicked out at two before KAI went to the top rope for a Frog Splash, only for Kento to put his knees up and risks hurting his leg a little bit more to get enough time to recover. KAI would deliver some kicks to the face and once he Irish Whipped him, Kento would duck and hit him with a Blackout and before he could hit one more, KAI would catch him to set up for a Fire Thunder Driver as he connected for a two count. KAI would have him up on his shoulders until Kento would get off to attempt a German, but KAI rolled out of it to get caught into a European Clutch for another two count. KAI attempts to go for his signature flash pin only for Kento to power out of it and catches him in a German Suplex Hold for a two count and he would eventually hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the victory and his first successful defense in this reign.
So what was the big takeaway for this match? Well, it’s really because of KAI and not knocking his performance here since he did great but it was more of he wasn’t a very believable opponent for Kento and there was not one moment in the match where it seems like he had a chance to win the belt at all. If you have Kento make a claim to break a record, why would you have him lose in the first defense and against someone like KAI? So Kento retaining was the right call and a lot of people knew it would happen despite fans being behind KAI. No new challenger came out to fight Kento, so we’ll see who they pick next. Great match and a great way to close the show.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought this was a pretty solid show with only two matches that were mediocre while the rest deliver us some solid matches for the most part. All the title matches except for the GAORA one were the highlights of these shows and it’s showing us promise of what’s to come in 2019.
Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Least Favorite Match: Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/16/19)
NXT continues on the Road to Phoenix! The Limitless One looks to give the Knockout Artist payback on behalf of the King of Bros! Will Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
- Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers; Street Profits win.
- Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode; Dijakovic wins.
- Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo; Gargano wins.
- Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno; Ohno wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford want to put the #CurseofGreatness on the NXT Tag Team Division, and that requires winning the NXT Tag Team Championships. But before they can do that, that means racking up win after win. Will the Profits make their prophecy come true sooner rather than later in 2019?
The teams sort out, and it will be Ford starting against Chris Metro. Ford wants Christ to know that he does remember him. Chris shoves Ford, so Ford shoves him back! “Don’t sleep on me, boy!” Chris forearms back and whips but Ford reverses. Things speed up as Ford hurdles then dropkicks Chris! Ford kips up and shimmies at JC before whipping Chris. Tag to Dawkins and Dawkins runs Chris over. Dawkins helps Ford with the back suplex splash! The Profits fire each other up but they get a bit too rough as Dawkins shoves Ford over. JC tags in and slaps Dawkins, Dawkins ROCKS JC with a right! Dawkins sees Chris coming and Chris backs off a moment. Chris runs in, but into another of those killer rights! Ford laughs then tags in, to hit JC with the high-flying frog splash! Cover, and The Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, Montez Ford pinning
Their first match back and it was impactful! Dawkins and Ford celebrate with the Full Sail crowd, but will they be celebrating with titles soon enough? But then the Forgotten Sons attack to ruin the fun! Dawkins and Ford put up a good fight against Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, but Jaxon Ryker changes that! Ryker wipes Dawkins out then catches Ford to ram him into the apron! Blake grabs Ford but Ford throws hands. Ford gets 3v1 and hit with a sit-out spinebuster! Fans taunt the Forgotten Sons that “We Forgot You!” but will the Profits remember them now? The Forgotten Sons make sure they do, as they stomp Ford and Dawkins out! And then the flying stomp inverted DDT combo! Will Ryker, Blake and Cutler continue to #DoUntoOthers on their own path towards the titles?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle and Keith Lee.
The King of Bros won a match but lost a fight with Kassius Ohno, and now the Limitless One competes in his place. Riddle would love to sit ringside and watch Keith show Ohno what it is to be limitless. But Riddle also hopes Lee leaves something of Ohno left so he can get his turn, “bro”. Will Ohno be saying “Oh no!” against Lee later tonight? Or will the Knockout Artist expose the Limitless One’s limit?
Aleister Black speaks.
“Do you feel that, Tommaso Ciampa?” Of course he does. The days of TakeOver: Phoenix are coming, and everyone feels it. For Ciampa think that he was safe was foolish. Aleister will absolve Ciampa of his sins and take the title back. But everyone will be back at Full Sail, so let’s start this fight early? What will the Embodiment of the End do when he finds the Psycho Killer in the arena?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST is the new #1 contender to Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship and the two face off for the first time in Phoenix. But right now, the Un-De-Fea-Ted woman says that “chaos” tried to stop her rise. Bianca sent Nikki Cross packing, because this is her time to finish the climb. 2019 will be the Year of EST, and she has 20-20 vision when it comes to the title. Shayna, Bianca sees you. She has the title and her horsewomen galloping up behind her, but the EST of NXT will still be Un-De– But speaking of the Queen of Spades and her cohorts, here they come! Shayna, Jessamyn and Marina all walk down the ramp, their eyes locked on Bianca in the ring. Shayna leads the way into the ring, mic in hand, and sees the EST for herself.
“I gotta be honest with you, I just don’t see it.” Shayna knows Bianca has a lot of records, from fastest to strongest, but obviously not the smartest. If Bianca had even half a brain, she’d know that it doesn’t matter how big and strong those arms are, Shayna will still tear them off in Phoenix. Bianca tells Shayna, “Uh-uh.” The only thing Bianca’s arm will do is hold the title up after it’s all over. The fans are on Bianca’s side but Shayna says Bianca’s the same as all the others she faced. They can’t put their money where their mouth is and actually fight Shayna. Bianca is afraid of having a broken arm, afraid that the hype will be silenced, and afraid that instead of Un-De-Fea-Ted, she’ll become O-Ver-Rate-Ed. Fans duel while Bianca and Shayna stare down.
Shayna smirks as she asks about Bianca being worried about Marina and Jessamyn. She tells Bianca they’re the least of her worries. Bianca SLAPS Shayna! Then she dodges Jessamyn’s kick and Marina’s lunge! Bianca blows kisses good-bye, and tells her the fight’s coming. Will Bianca blow a Kiss of Death to the reign of #ShaynaTwoTime? Or will Shayna rock Bianca right in the kisser?
Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode!
#FeastYourEyes on the five-tool tower, but as well as the Brazilian bulldog! Both men have mixed martial arts training in various styles, but whose combined style will win their first match of 2019?
The bell rings and Jauode uses his capoeria stance to throw Dijakovic off a bit. Dijakovic avoids one takedown then another, and the two circle again. They tie up and Jauode puts Dijakovic in a corner. The ref counts and Jauode picks Dijakovic for a body slam! Dijakovic holds Jauode off from a cover, and gets a facelock to counter. They stand up and Jauode gets another takedown! Jauode drags Dijakovic back up with the facelock. He gets a fireman’s carry takeover, but Dijakovic denies the cover. Dijakovic gets a waistlock, but Jauode turns and powers him to a corner again. The ref calls for the ropebreak, but Dijakovic clubs Jauode off. Dijakovic runs out to mule kick, front kick and back elbow! Jauode falls back and crawls to a corner.
Dijakovic runs corner to corner to splash, then elbow and club Jauode more. Dijakovic says “Time to fly!” and throws Jauode with a suplex! Fans applaud the power game as Dijakovic stalks Jauode. Jauode throws hands and backs Dijakovic down! Dijakovic punches and chops back, then throws forearms before one big clothesline! Or as he calls it, the Blood Line. Dijakovic stomps Jauode into the corner, then against the ropes. Dijakovic keeps stomping but Jauode gets a kneebar! Jauode drags Dijakovic down but Dijakovic gets the ropebreak. Jauode backs off, to then capoeria roundhouse back! Dijakovic staggers, but comes back with a discus boot! Dijakovic says “Feast Your Eyes!” before dragging Jaoude back up. He torture racks Jauode, to hit THE Feast Your Eyes! Cover, Dijakovic wins!
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic, by pinfall
Dijakovic said so, and Jauode did so! Will Dijakovic soon feast his eyes on a title opportunity?
The War Raiders prepare for Phoenix.
These modern day vikings tell the Undisputed Era that this gathering is to celebrate the victories, the scars, and the respect for them. But in Phoenix, “empires crumble, dynasties fall.” Ray Rowe & Hanson celebrate their coming victories. The Undisputed Era’s tactics were bold, and their strategies fierce. But at TakeOver: Phoenix, the era ends! And that is undisputed. Hanson & Rowe have lit the fire, will the Undisputed Era burn?
Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo!
Johnny Wrestling, or perhaps Johnny Venom, wants to be Johnny Champion as he challenges The One and Only for the NXT North American Championship in Phoenix! But that’s still over a week away, he wants to build momentum on the way there. Will he get that from Humberto Carrillo? Or will Humberto be more than Gargano expected?
Humberto got to show his skills on the first 205 Live back on Tuesdays against Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy. Unfortunately for Humberto, he lost to the Juggernaut, but he still had a great showing. Can Humberto have another great showing now that he’s back at Full Sail?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Gargano puts Humberto in the corner. He backs off quick, playing the good guy again. Gargano and Humberto circle, and Gargano rolls to a takedown. Gargano gets a toehold but Humberto spins and rolls to escape. Humberto wristlocks but Gargano spins and reverses. Gargano praises himself but fans go along with it. Humberto rolls and handsprings and reverses the wristlock back! Gargano rolls and throws a forearm! Gargano backs Humberto to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Humberto goes up and over and adds an extra flip!
Things speed up and Humberto leaps for a sunset flip. Gargano kicks but misses, Humberto kicks, misses, but comes back with an enziguri! Humberto whips Gargano but Gargano reverses. Things speed up again and Humberto hits a high-flying arm-drag! Gargano bails out but Humberto slides out. Gargano dodges and tosses Humberto, but Humberto lands on the apron to mule kick Gargano! Humberto runs but Gargano slingshot spears! Fans still fire up for that move as Gargano walks it off. Gargano stalks Humberto as fans duel. Gargano snapmares Humberto and dropkicks him in the head! Cover, TWO!
Gargano keeps on Humberto with a wrench, then a standing abdominal stretch! Humberto endures and fans rally up. Humberto fights free and throws haymakers! He scoops Gargano but Gargano slips out to shove Humberto. Gargano runs into a boot, then into buckles. Humberto fires off and whips, but Gargano reverses. Humberto handsprings to back elbow! Gargano rolls out, Humberto builds speed, and Humberto FLIES! Direct hit takes them tot he ramp! Humberto puts Gargano back in and climbs up top to leap for a BIG missile dropkick! Humberto rolls back to moonsault! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Humberto is shocked!
Humberto keeps his cool but Gargano anchors a foot. Humberto stomps Gargano away then climbs up, moonsault gets boots! Gargano stands and SUPERKICKS Humberto! Humberto stays standing, and Gargano scoops him for a long dart into buckles! But Gargano isn’t done with Humberto yet, as he slingshots for the DDT! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall
Whether he’s Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Badass or Johnny Venom, Johnny is the winner of this match! Johnny heads for Phoenix and his title match with Ricochet, will we soon be calling him the new North American Champion?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“Aleister Black, you like to refer tot he champ as ‘The Puppet Master.’ Boy, if I am the puppet master, than you are the ultimate puppet.” Aleister is so gullible to be running around that we won’t have to wait until Phoenix. Aleister doesn’t understand. “The Champ fights on the biggest, grandest stage.” So they will wait until Phoenix, that’s what main event players do. Not that Aleister would ever understand. Ciampa tells his “number one puppet” to listen closely to him. “Be careful what you wish for.” Is Ciampa denying or accepting the challenge? Will we find out next week?
Velveteen Dream speaks.
“23 years old and all this talent. How do you do it, Dream?” Is it easy? Is it natural? There is no secret formula, it is simply The Experience. This is the same Velveteen Dream who said in 2017 that the world won’t forget him. And then in 2018, he made that prophecy a reality. Just ask the legends and icons that took notice. Now in 2019, #DreamOver will evolve into #DreamOn. Dream’s back in action next week, who will experience the Experience up close and personal?
Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno!
The Knockout Artist immediately dismissed both Keith Lee and Matt Riddle as the “shiny new toys” of NXT. But then the King of Bros KO’d KO at TakeOver: WarGames II. They had a rematch and Riddle won by Bromission, which infuriated Ohno. Ohno beat Riddle down to the point where he could not be medically cleared, so it will be the Limitless One going after Ohno on behalf of his friend. Will Lee make Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
Fans sing for Lee even before the bell. The bell rings, and Lee circles with Ohno. Ohno keeps his distance and he backs to a corner. Lee backs off and they finally tie up. Ohno gets a headlock but Lee powers out. They collide and it’s Ohno who falls! Lee drags Ohno up in a gut wrench, but Ohno slips out. Ohno CHOPS, then kicks, then runs, but Lee leaps over him! Things speed up and Lee crossbodies Ohno down! Cover, TWO! Lee keeps on Ohno with a whip but Ohno holds ropes. Ohno bails out but Lee just builds speed! Ohno runs away so Lee gives up on flying for now. Lee wags his finger while fans sing again. Ohno returns just to refresh the count and take another breather. But Lee gives chase, and they go back in the ring.
Lee catches the sucker kick to rock Ohno with forearms and body shots! He grabs Ohno by the hair and whips, to hit a BIG back drop! Ohno writhes to a corner as fans chant “Keith Lee! Woop woop!” Lee runs in but Ohno trips him into buckles! Ohno runs back in to boot Lee! Lee grimaces but Ohno stomps and chops him. Ohno drags Lee out for a headlock punch, then another boot. Ohno boots Lee again and again, and Lee rolls to ropes. Lee puts his dukes up so Ohno boots him down, and drops the back senton! Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated while fans rally up. Ohno stomps Lee and puts him in a double underhook stretch. Lee feeds off the rally and fights his way up, but Ohno puts him on the ropes for a stiff forearm!
Ohno whips Lee but Lee holds ropes. Ohno keeps trying but Lee keeps resisting, so Ohno rocks him with forearms, chops and kicks! The ref has OHno back off, so Ohno whips again. Lee reverses but Ohno reverses back to an arm wringer and rabbit punch forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee still lives but Ohno is on him with a chinlock. Fans rally again as Ohno puts the underhooks back on. Lee endures and powers up to his feet. Ohno kicks low then knees Lee in the head! Ohno drops another senton, but onto Lee’s knees! Lee and Ohno are down but fans rally up again. Ohno stands first but Lee follows. Lee counter punches Ohno then throws forearms of his own. Ohno staggers to a corner, Lee runs in for a big splash! Lee tosses Ohno across the ring!
Lee runs back in, but Ohno puts him on the apron. Ohno goes after Lee but Lee buckle bumps him, then slingshot crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Ohno wants a timeout but Lee will not give him one. Ohno wants to bro fist, but Lee just throws fists and knees! Lee clubs Ohno off his feet, then drags him back up. Ohno headbutts the gut, but Lee just gets mad now. Lee double chops Ohno! Lee runs, ducks the elbow and redirects to POUNCE!! Fans fire up as Lee lifts Ohno in the fireman’s carry. Ohno holds ropes and escapes, but Lee waistlocks instead. The ref counts and Ohno shoves Lee into the ref! Lee rocks Ohno, then checks on the ref. Ohno sneaks up to LOW BLOW! Ohno hits the roaring elbow! Fans boo as Ohno covers, but Ohno wins!
Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall
Lee may be Limitless, but no man can withstand what Ohno did to him! Ohno feels proud of himself, but Riddle comes raging down the ramp! Riddle runs Ohno off, but he checks on his friend instead of throwing hands with Ohno. When and where will the King of Bros settle things with the Knockout Artist?
A really good episode of NXT here as we draw closer to Phoenix. We get quite a bit of action in this episode, and start right away with a pretty fun tag team segment. Profits win fast and Full Sail was into it, but this is to also set up their rivalry with the Forgotten Sons. Sadly, the Forgotten Sons just on their name alone is becoming a butt of jokes type trio. Fans don’t care about them, but maybe after an actual match with Ford & Dawkins, that “Stay Forgotten!” heat will shift to normal Heel heat. War Raiders had a pretty great viking promo to hype their match with Undisputed Era, I’m thinking the Undisputed Era will have a response on the go-home. I’m really curious to see how this match turns out, because it still feels like it’s 50-50.
Dijakovic VS Jauode was a solid match, but boy is it hard to type their names quickly. Dijakovic wins and perhaps he will get a North American Championship shot after Gargano VS Ricochet happens. Gargano VS Humberto was also solid, and perhaps this match was why they thought to give Humberto the shot against Buddy Murphy. After all, NXT episodes are taped in advanced, and Humberto really is a great in-ring talent. Aleister and Ciampa have a good pair of promos, and in combination with Ricochet confronting Gargano next week, I really hope something happens to bring about Aleister & Ricochet VS Heel DIY for the go-home! That match will be amazing and is TakeOver worthy just on paper.
I’m very curious about Dream only doing promos, and not in person. Is Dream dealing with injury that we haven’t heard too much about? Or are they just saving him while title matches are spoken for? Dream competing against anyone for either title will be a great lead into Wrestlemania season. Dream coming full circle to get a title against Aleister Black would be absolutely incredible! Then there’s the incredible main event of Lee VS Ohno. They did great with Ohno’s hard hits and Lee’s still surprising agility. Ohno cheating to win is perfect for his continued Heel turn, and now Riddle VS Ohno III is coming. I hope they put that on TakeOver and let them just go off! Riddle can win and Ohno will either settle things with Lee or strangely, finally head to main roster.
My Score: 8.5/10