The first REAL NXT of 2020!
NXT gets back at it with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! Who advances through part one of the opening round?
- Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm & Candice LeRae VS Kay Lee Ray, Bianca Belair & Io Shirai; Ripley, Storm & LeRae win.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: Imperium VS The Forgotten Sons; Imperium wins and advances to the next round.
- Austin Theory VS Joaquin Wilde; Theory wins.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: Gallus VS The Undisputed Era; The Undisputed Era wins and advances to the next round.
- Mia Yim VS Kayden Carter; Yim wins.
- NXT North American Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damien Priest VS Cameron Grimes; Lee wins and will challenge Roderick Strong for the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Long Live Ripley!
The Riptide dethroned the Queen of Spades, Shayna Baszler! We live in a new era of championships, will there be another new era rising as NXT brings back the tribute to the American Dream?
Rhea Ripley is here!
The NEW NXT Women’s Champion struts out with the title around her waist and a smile on her face as fans chant her name! The young history-maker takes to the ring and takes up a mic as she revels in the cheers of “You Deserve It!” Rhea thinks back on fond memories. Like being in this ring and becoming the NEW Women’s Champion! Like celebrating while being hoisted on the shoulders of the WWE Universe. Memories like those will never ever be forgotten. But wait, is that Toni Storm?! The Lightning From Down Under is here in Full Sail just DAYS from her date in Blackpool! But why?! Toni storms to the ring and has her own mic!
“Rhea, congratulations. I am so proud of you, I honestly am. You deserve this.” But remember that one time Toni beat you? Remember when she beat her twice? See this is what happens; Toni takes back her NXT UK Women’s Championship. And then, Worlds Collide, she becomes a DOUBLE Champion! That is, if Rhea has the guts to accept. Fans do like the idea of “Toni Two Belts!” but Rhea says, “Really, Toni?” Well okay, yeah, Rhea would love to beat Toni back. Challenge accepted! But wait, here comes NXT UK Women’s Champion, KAY LEE RAY! And she tells Toni, “Nobody really believes that, do they?” There’s NO WAY Toni takes the title this Sunday, lt alone make it to Worlds Collide.
Wait, IO SHIRAI makes her entrance?! The Evil Genius bumps KLR to take her mic and then storms the ring to stand in Rhea’s way. Shirai says she is the best in the world, so that title is “MINE!” Okay, now BIANCA BELAIR appears! The EST of NXT skips past KLR to get in the ring. “Girl, uh-uh.” Bianca says she has 2020 vision to see that she is better than Shirai, KLR, and Toni don’t even go here. And she is definitely better than Rhea. Rhea bumps Bianca, but now… CANDICE LERAE makes her way out! Candice joins everyone else and Rhea just wants it to stop! Because obviously, Candice wants to fight, too. Yep. Good, because so does Rhea. And she sucker punches Bianca! A brawl breaks out as Candice goes after Shirai and Toni goes after KLR! Fans are all fired up as all six women fight.
Toni throws KLR out, Rhea headbutts EST out and then Candice chases Shirai! Shirai, KLR and Bianca get out of the way before anyone comes flying in! And the word comes down, we get a SIX WOMAN TAG NOW! And Candice DIVES out onto all three opponents! NXT goes picture in picture as this match gets sorted out!
Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm & Candice LeRae VS Kay Lee Ray, Bianca Belair & Io Shirai!
Candice drags Shirai into the ring and hurries after her, for the step-stool senton! Cover, ONE, but Candice tags in Rhea. Candice whips Shirai into Rhea’s boots! Rhea stalks Shirai but KLR tags in. KLR shoves Rhea so Rhea shoves back. KLR pie faces so Rhea grabs that hand! And reels KLR in for a lariat! And another! And then ripcords for the hook kick! KLR drops down but Rhea yanks her up, atomic FACEBUSTER! Tag to Toni and the two drag KLR up. Toni fires off a strike fest then a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Toni drags KLR up but KLR body shots and knees back. Tag to Bianca and KLR and EST combine to double suplex. They hold her up for a second before dropping her hard! Cover, TWO!
Bianca stomps Toni and taunts Rhea with “Kiss this!” Bianca bumps Toni off buckles and then stomps a mudhole. She backs off at the ref’s count to then bring Toni up for a scoop and slam! Cover, TWO! Bianca keeps her cool as she stomps Toni back to the corner. Bianca wags a finger then whips Toni corner to corner. Toni reverses, Bianca goes up and over and handsprings to ram in her shoulder! And again! And again! The ref counts and Bianca backs off to flap and taunt about. Bianca throws big forearms on Toni, then brings her away for another scoop. Bianca squats while carrying Toni, but Toni fights free! Tag to Candice and Toni elbows Bianca back! Candice is up top, missile dropkick! Bianca tumbles, KLR tags in, but into haymakers and CHOPS!
Candice backs KLR into the corner with fury! She backs off to run corner to corner, big back elbow! Snapmare and Candice climbs but Shirai distracts. Candice leaps into a SUPERKICK from KLR! Cover, TWO! KLR kicks Candice while she’s down and clubs away. KLR drags Candice over to tag in Shirai, and Shirai mugs Candice. Shirai drags Candice up to whip but Candice reverses, only for Shirai to kick back. Shirai whips and flapjacks! Then basement dropkicks, but she ends up bumping Bianca on the run. Cover, TWO, and Bianca is upset. Shirai stomps Candice and taunts Rhea, then goes back to chinlock Candice. Fans rally up as Candice endures and Candice arm-drags free! Shirai runs Candice over!
Tag to KLR and KLR stomps Candice down. KLR drags Candice up to snapmare and knee her back down, then puts on a grounded cobra twist! Candice endures the stretch and fans rally again. Candice fights up, fights out but KLR throws her by her hair! Candice gets to ropes but KLR chokes her! The ref counts, KLR lets up and then drags Candice back up. Tag to Bianca, and the two mug Candice. Bianca keeps between Candice and her corner, but Candice CHOPS! And CHOPS! But Bianca clubs Candice down with forearms! Cover, TWO! Bianca wraps on a chinlock and thrashes Candice about. Fans rally once again and Candice rolls Bianca up! ONE, and Bianca runs Candice over!
Tag to KLR again, and KLR toys with Candice. KLR drags Candice up and suplexes, but Candice cradle counters, TWO! KLR forearms Candice down! KLR drags Candice into another chinlock. Fans keep rallying but Candice it put in enemy territory. Tag to Bianca and Bianca drags Candice up to club away. Snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Bianca keeps on Candice with a neck wrench, and even smears Candice’s face. Candice fights up as fans rally again. Bianca whips, Candice holds ropes and then tosses Bianca out! Candice crawls, but Bianca intercepts just in time! Candice is fingertips away but is tossed and ROCKED! Handspring and tag to KLR, KLR goes up to SWANTON! Cover, but Toni breaks it up! Bianca SPEARS Toni! Rhea dropkicks Bianca! Shirai SHORYUKENS but Candice enziguris! All six women are down but Full Sail is fired up as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Candice is again isolated in enemy territory. KLR taunts Toni and Rhea but fans rally up again. Candice boots KLR and fights out of the corner! KLR fireman’s carries but Candice pops up to POISON-RANA! Bianca tags in and hurries to keep Candice away! Hair biel and then a sucker punch to Rhea! Bianca runs corner to corner but Candice dodges, Bianca knocks Shirai off the apron! KLR tags in but so does Toni! The Storm rallies on KLR! And HEADBUTTS Shirai! KLR elbows out of a waistlock but her enziguri misses, leg trap GERMAN SUPLEX! Toni runs to sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! KLR lives but Toni keeps her focus. Toni has KLR in a corner and whips her corner to corner, KLR reverses to SUPERKICK!
Tag to Shirai and Shirai runs corner to corner, METEORA! Then underhooks, TIGER BACKBREAKER! Shirai drags Toni into position and heads up top. DESCENT INTO- A tag?! Bianca wants all the glory, she’s the greediest woman in this match! She drags Toni up but Shirai springboards, MISSILE DROPKICK ON BIANCA! Shirai won’t let Bianca take anything from her! Toni tags Rhea, and Rhea BOOTS Bianca!! Cravat knees after knees, then snapmare and basement dropkick! Pump handle, RIPTIDE!! Cover, Rhea’s team wins!
Winners: Ripley, Storm & LeRae, Ripley pinning
The NXT Women’s Champion leads her team to victory, but she’s far from through with this fight. Candice goes to hand the title to Rhea, but then looks at it herself. She smiles as she hands it back then raises Toni’s and Rhea’s hands in victory. But surely Candice is just as eager to hold gold in 2020 as everyone else. Who is it that challenges Rhea first? And what of TakeOver: Blackpool II this Sunday? Will Storm have the #ShinyShiny back when Worlds Collide?
WWE and NXT wish to help in fighting the Australian bushfires.
However you can, please help in this firefight by visiting the official Red Cross website.
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“Sometimes in live, you’ve just gotta bet on yourself. Quiet all them voices and listen to your instincts.” That’s what he did, and he became NXT Champion. For 238 days, he was “the greatest NXT Champion of all time.” They were the greatest 238 days of his career. “And then it stopped.” His neck broke, he had surgery, and he gave up “Goldie.” There are days when he doesn’t even recognize himself. Adam Cole has held Goldie since, and Ciampa feels empty. Ciampa wants his “life” back. What will Ciampa do to do that in the New Year?
Keith Lee speaks.
“It doesn’t seem to matter how many champions I pin here, somehow, Keith Lee has to prove himself.” That’s fine. Because tonight, Keith will Pounce whoever is in his way out of the way. In 2020, The Limitless One becomes champion!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: Imperium VS The Forgotten Sons!
The tournament begins! Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner are days away from a Ladder Match Fatal 4 Way for the NXT UK Tag Team Champions, but they also want to take over all of the NXT Tag Team Division! Will they begin their international dominance tonight? Or can Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake take advantage of a team with divided attention?
The teams sort out and Blake starts against Aichner. Aichner and Blake tie up and Blake knees low. Tag to Cutler and the Sons double backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cutler cravats Aichner and tags Blake, the Sons double whip and double elbow Aichner down! Cover, TWO, but Blake looms over Aichner. Blake fireman’s carries but Aichner fights out. Blake gets stuck between ropes, Aichner tags to Barthel, and Imperium meets at the corner with basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Barthel drags Blake up for big European Uppercuts, but Blake counters to a backslide! Barthel swings Blake out but Blake drops him with a DDT! Tags to Aichner and Cutler, and a brawl is on!
Aichner rocks, kicks and uppercuts Cutler! Aichner spins but Cutler dodges to SHOTGUN KNEE! Butterfly backbreaker, cover, TWO! Cutler drags Aichner around by his legs for a Boston Crab! Aichner endures but Barthel runs in! Cutler DECKS Barthel then scoops Aichner. Aichner slips out, tags Barthel, enziguri to back suplex! Cover, TWO! Barthel bumps Cutler on buckles and hoists him up top. Tag to Aichner, but Cutler fights out! Cutler leaps into Aichner’s arms, and Aichner pops him up. Cutler slips out, tags to Blake, Cutler gets dumped out of the ring! Aichner fireman’s carries but Blake yanks off the nose guard! Rolling senton as the ref gets the guard out of the ring, Barthel tags and Blake BOOTS Aichner in the face! Blake LARIATS Barthel!
Blake LIONSAULTS onto knees! Barthel puts Blake up, tosses him to Aichner for the BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Imperium was so close and Barthel is seething! Tag to Aichner and Aichner has Blake, but Cutler drags him out to throw hard into railing! Barthel chases Cutler but gets caught into a fisherman, SUPERKICK and DRIVER! But Aichner springboards to crossbody and break the pin!! Fans are fired up as all four men are down! Teams regroup as Barthel and Blake crawl. Blake and Barthel stand and throw hands! They go back and forth with haymakers, Barthel ROCKS Blake. Blake comes back to CHOP, elbow, and atomic drop! Dropkick but Aichner tags in! SPINE BUSTER and PENALTY KICK! Then, EURO-
NO! Huricanrana, and a dropkick to Barthel! Quebrada and Cutler climbs! But Barthel intercepts with an enziguri! Cutler falls onto Ryker! Aichner rolls Blake up, TWO and Aichner dead lifts Blake! Barthel is up top, EURO-BOMB!! Cover, Imperium wins!!
Winner: Imperium, Aichner pinning; advances to the second round
The Forgotten Sons won’t get to relive fond memories from 2018, they’re out in the first round! Will Imperium use this momentum to win those NXT UK Tag Team Champions? Will Imperium’s takeover of NXT continue?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle!
The Original Bro teams with Pete Dunne in the Dusty Rhodes Classic, but how did this “unconventional” duo come about? Riddle doesn’t know Dunne that well, but in the spirit of the Dusty Cup, that’s what makes them a perfect team. When Riddle went to talk to Dunne, he just said, “Hey, Pete. I’m a bro, you’re a Bruiserweight, Dusty Cup. Let’s do this.” Pete gave his special shrug, Riddle gave his “bro special” hang loose, and the #Broserweights were born. Will this incredible team mesh together well and go all the way in the Dusty Cup?
Austin Theory VS Joaquin Wilde!
The former Evolve Champion took Roderick Strong to the limit in just his NXT debut! And now, in just his second match ever, will it be #AllDay every Wednesday? Or are things going to be a little too Wilde for even Theory?
The bell rings and Theory circles with Wilde. They tie up and Wilde waistlocks, but Theory slips out. Wilde headlocks and hits the takedown, but Theory headscissors. Wilde pops out and holds onto the leg as he drags Theory around. Theory tries but can’t kick Wilde away. Wilde air-horns “BUR BUR BUR BURRR” but Theory boots out of the leg lock. Things speed up, Wilde back elbows and wobbles Theory. Wilde throws uppercuts then whips, but Theory reverses. Wilde goes up and over and headscissors Theory down! Fans are divided as Theory gets up. Wilde runs in but gets flapjack’d on the ropes! Theory run in to corner clothesline and go to the apron. Wilde is down, Theory slingshot stomps and fisherman suplexes! Cover, ONE, but Theory keeps his cool.
Theory straitjackets and KICKS Wilde, then clamps on with a cobra clutch. Wilde endures as Theory thrashes him around. Fans rally and duel as Wilde fights his way up. Wilde throws body shots but Theory knees and clubs him back. Theory whips Wilde but Wilde reverses. Theory blocks, pops Wilde up but Wilde punches back! Wilde runs and rallies with lariats! Wilde whips, Theory reverses, but Wilde slips out to swing kick! Wilde goes up, leaps, and hits a huricanrana! Theory bails out but Wilde speeds up, only for Theory to slingshot shotgun dropkick! Theory says “All Day!” as he scoops Wilde, to a HUGE TKO! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
It wasn’t just in theory, it is proven that Theory can win in NXT! Will Austin be winning #AllDay every day in 2020?
Damien Priest speaks.
“Winning NXT’s first main event of the year? Now that’s how you live in infamy. Becoming North American Champion, ladies, that’s how my name stands the test of time. Hell, that’s how Damien Priest lives forever.” But will he last that long against three fellow contenders?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 Opening Round: Gallus VS The Undisputed Era!
This is a Champions VS Champions match worth of the finals themselves! But we’re getting it now, in the opening rounds! Will it be NXT UK or NXT boasting biggest that their tag team champions beat the other’s?
The tag teams talk trash about their brand being better, but the bell rings and the teams sort out. Wolfgang starts against Kyle O’Reilly, with a corner splash! He wipes out Bobby Fish at the same time! Wolfgang then TOSSES Kyle to the Gallus corner! Kyle fights back and now it’s a brawl! Forearm for forearm but Wolfgang gets the edge. Kyle kicks a leg and runs, but gets run over! Wolfgang puts Kyle in the Gallus corner to tag Mark Coffey, and Mark throws hands. Kyle throws forearms and we have another brawl! Mark ROCKS Kyle but Fish distracts. Kyle attacks from behind with sharp kicks and then tags in Fish.
Fish keeps on Mark with knees then brings him around. Mark powers Fish to a corner to throw hands! Mark then TOSSES Fish! “Our Kingdom!” But Fish kicks a knee out! Mark picks Fish up and back drops him! Tag to Wolfgang and Gallus has Fish on the mat. They double monkey flip Fish to a corner! Wolfgang throws EuroUppers on Fish, then whips him corner to corner. Fish goes up but gets caught. Adam Cole distracts, then Roderick Strong does. Fish uses that opening to attack Wolfgang! Fish tags Kyle and he throws hands all over on Wolfgang. Big knee rocks Wolfie, but he comes back with big hands! Kyle kicks and facelocks but Wolfgang scoop slams! Tag to Mark and Mark CHOPS Kyle to a corner.
Mark whips Kyle corner to corner hard! “OUR KINGDOM!” Mark drags Kyle up to throw forearms then whips corner to corner hard again! Kyle comes back with big knees, but Wolfgang tags in on the whip. Mark kitchen sink knees Kyle and Gallus hits a LEAPING senton on Kyle! Fish runs in but gets a hip toss! Wolfgang corner splashes Kyle then goes to the apron. Fish runs in but gets dumped out. Kyle swings, misses, and Wolfgang clotheslines him down! The Undisputed Era regroups and rush the ring, but Gallus stands in their way. NXT goes to break as the ref maintains order.
NXT returns and Wolfgang fights out of Kyle’s armlock. Fans rally and duel as Wolfgang reaches for Mark but forearms Kyle. Kyle wrenches and tags out to Fish, who sucker punches Mark! Wolfgang fights off reDRagon together! They double whip and double KICK him down! Cover, TWO! Fish argues with the ref but drags Wolfgang around to drop knees on the arm. Fish drags Gallus up by his hair and then headlocks. Wolfgang endures as Fish throws crossface forearms. Fish wraps on a sleeper hold but Wolfgang fights his way up. Wolfgang throws Fish off his back but Fish tags out to Kyle. Kyle runs into a sidewalk slam! Cover but Fish breaks it! Wolfgang shoves Fish out of the ring but Kyle grabs the legs. Wolfgang pushes him away, but Kyle heel hooks! And Fish trips up Mark!
Mark DECKS Fish back, Wolfgang rolls but Kyle swipes at Mark. Mark evades and Kyle turns around for Wolfgang to LARIAT him down! Hot tag to Mark! Mark rallies on Kyle with big shoulder blocks! Big corner uppercut and clotheslines, then the POLISH HAMMER! Fish runs in to get another back drop! Mark decks Cole! Half nelson SLAM for Kyle! Cover, TWO!! Mark drags Kyle up and around to suplex but Kyle slips out. Mark blocks a kick but Kyle gives knees. Tag to Fish and reDRagon mugs Mark. Double kicks! Cover, TWO! Mark toughs it out and Fish grows frustrated. Fish drags Mark over to the corner for big knees. Tag to Kyle and Kyle runs in to forearm. Fish adds a knee, the Kyle kicks. Fish runs in but is put on the apron. Mark dodges Kyle and the BOOT hits Fish! BACK SUPLEX!
Tag to Wolfgang and Gallus goes after Kyle, catapult SAMOAN DROP! Cover, but Fish breaks it again! Fans cheer and duel as the teams regroup. Gallus and reDRagon glare at each other and a brawl breaks out again! They all go back and forth with forearms, trading partners, and then reDRagon isolates a leg of Wolfgang’s to kick! Mark decks Fish, Kyle ROCKS Mark! Wolfgang BOOTS Kyle and the Undisputed Era regroups again. Mark runs and Wolfgang gives him a lift to FLY! They wipe out all but Fish, and Fish distracts the ref! Kyle drop toeholds Wolfgang into Cole’s enziguri! Tag to Fish and reDRagon TOTAL ANNIHILATION! Cover, Undisputed Era wins!
Winners: The Undisputed Era, Fish pinning; advance to the second round
Huge assists to the other two members of this group #DrapedInGold, but now the Undisputed Era takes another step closer to their second Dusty Cup in 3 years! Will 2020 be just as Undisputed as 2019? Will Gallus be able to rebound and retain their NXT UK Tag titles in Blackpool?
Johnny Gargano is back!
Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling made sure Finn Balor knew before the holidays that he was coming for payback! And Gargano is here tonight to speak to that. “I’ve been waiting a very long time to get a live microphone to talk about The Prince, Finn Balor.” To Balor, Gargano won’t take away what he helped build in NXT. Balor put NXT on the map, and Gargano won’t take anything away from that, or what he did to Gargano. Gargano missed a TakeOver, and nothing can change that. But that’s the past. What does Balor like to say? His future is his past? Well his past is right here, “because you didn’t finish the job on the ramp!” How about Balor retrace his steps back to Gargano?
Balor says everyone else is soft and he is the flag-bearer of NXT. Gargano remembers back in 2016, when Balor got that call to move on, and he couldn’t wait to drop that flag and get the hell outta Full Sail. Gargano got that call back in August. The big difference between them, Gargano stayed! Gargano said he loves Full Sail, and meant it! Fans duel over Gargano, and Gargano promises he has more. “Finn, while you left and you went off and you decided to play Mr. Extraordinary Man that does extraordinary things,” Johnny picked up that banner, threw the map away and put NXT on a rocket ship to fly it into outer space! Finn abandoned NXT and “WE took it to new heights without you!” Finn was left behind, and that ate him alive!
But here comes The Prince now! Balor applauds Gargano, “What a promo! Congratulations!” Maybe he should be Johnny Promo, since it’s the only thing he’s cleared for. Yes, he cost Balor the NXT Championship. Keep smiling now, Gargano, because Balor could slap it right off him. But this is Balor’s chessboard, and he was right: Gargano is soft! So quit crying about TakeOver. If Gargano wants his moment, they’ll throw down in Portland. If Gargano makes it, that is. Balor takes aim at Gargano. Will it go down in Stumptown? Or will Balor look to cut down Gargano long before then?
Cameron Grimes speaks.
“Tonight’s the night that I’ve dreamed about every night up until this night!” Tonight is the night Grimes gets the opportunity he deserves way more than anyone else! One Cave-In and he’ll be the #1 contender. Just one. But will Grimes be the one facing Roderick Strong in the future?
Kushida’s mystery partner is revealed!
Joining him in this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is… indie sensation extraordinaire, ALEX SHELLEY!! The Time Splitters reunite under NXT as part of next week’s opening round finale! Will they get through the Grizzled Young Veterans, Zack Gibson & James Drake?
Mia Yim VS Kayden Carter!
The Head Baddie in Charge is back in action after her crash landing with Dakota Kai. Will she be able to bounce back against the Florida native hungry to make a breakthrough?
The bell rings and Mia circles with KC. They tie up, Mia shoves KC but they circle again. KC goes for the wrist but Mia blocks so KC pushes her. The two test kicks, dodge and counter each other, and fans like the exchange. The two go again, Mia blocks a roll up to bring KC up. Mia whips, KC crucifix but Mia throws her down. Mia runs KC over then speeds things up. KC follows and bumps but neither falls. So KC CHOPS! KC wristlocks and goes up to hop, hop and arm-drag! Then dropkick! Cover, TWO! Mia grits her teeth but KC is on her with a whip. Mia blocks and whips back but KC dodges and huricanranas, only to be blocked! Mia brings KC up for a SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!
Mia keeps her cool as she gives KC swift kicks. KC sits back up but Mia keeps kicking, then basement dropkicks her down! Cover, TWO and Mia grows a little frustrated. Mia brings KC around to lace the legs and Bow ‘n’ Arrow! KC endures, pops out to cover, TWO! KC is up, Mia gets around, SAIDO! Bridging cover, TWO! Mia grows further frustrated and she goes at KC. Mia CHOPS KC in the corner then whips her corner to corner. KC dodges Mia’s boot to then ROCK her with a right! And CHOPS! KC fires off more forearms and then sweeps the legs. KC runs and BOOT WASHES Mia’s face! Mia staggers into Victory Roll and SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! KC is close but not quite there!
KC hurries to a corner, climbs up and leaps, into PROTECT YA NECK! Cover, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall
Mia made KC eat da feet and she gets da win! Mia shows respect to KC by helping her up and giving her a friendly hug. But someone who doesn’t show respect is CHELSEA GREEN! She attacks them both at once, and says “Hush.” And from the stage applauds… Robbie Stone! And he has a mic to say that “2020 is the year that the Robert Stone Brand takes over NXT.” Stone says this starts with the hottest, and he means hottest free agent signing yet, Chelsea Green! The Hot Mess is ready to mess up anyone and everyone in the NXT Women’s Division. Will she mess up Mia’s plans of becoming champion in the New Year?
Dominik Dijakovic speaks.
“Nine months ago, I promised my family the North American Championship. Tonight, I’ve got three obstacles in my way. Not that it matters.” This match is a formality in his eyes. “The world is going to feast their eyes on its next North American Champion.”
Tommaso Ciampa speaks again.
“So it is written, so it is said,” Cole fulfilled the Undisputed Prophecy and took the title to heights not even Ciampa feels he could have. But the legacy is tainted because Cole had Ciampa’s title HANDED to him! And Cole learned what it is to go to war with Ciampa. When the time comes that it’s just Cole, “and the champ!” Cole either gives Goldie back, or Ciampa takes that shot for the title he never lost! Cole needs to solidify a legacy, but Ciampa is taking his life back. Because he doesn’t know who he is, or what he is, without it.
HUGE news for the NXT Women’s Championship!
A #1 Contender’s Battle Royal will be held to determine Rhea Ripley’s next challenger! Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Vanessa Borne, Kayden Carter, Mia Yim, Santana Garrett, Xia Li, and even newcomers Chelsea Green and Shotzi Blackheart, all get an opportunity in this match! Who will be the last woman in the ring preparing for a fight with the Mosh Pit Kid?
NXT North American Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damien Priest VS Cameron Grimes!
Limitless. Colossus. Infamous. Savage. These are the words that describe the four men fighting for a shot at the Undisputed Era’s Savior of the Backbreaker. But who will get to call themselves “challenger” after tonight?
NXT returns as Dijakovic and Grimes are in the ring. Keith Lee makes his entrance, and it is time to #BaskInHisGlory! The bell rings and fans sing and all four men stare down from a corner each. Grimes is annoyed with the singing and he tells them to shut up. Grimes talks trash to his opponents, but thinks different about Keith. Keith tosses Grimes into a corner! Dijakovic throws Priest! The rivals stare down but then run at Grimes and Priest, only to get boots. The boots are blocked, Grimes and Priest are sent at each other. Priest dodges the Cave-In but wants the Reckoning! Grimes boots Lee and Priest elbows Dijakovic before Grimes snapmares free. But now Dijakovic torture racks Grimes and Lee fireman’s carries Priest! Priest and Grimes fight free, Lee HEADBUTTS Priest and Dijakovic DECKS Grimes!
Dijakovic and Lee face off again and fans fire up. Dijakovic kicks but Lee blocks and shoves. Dijakovic dodges Lee but Lee hurdles over Dijakovic! Dijakovic stops himself using ropes, but Lee blocks his boot again. Lee and Dijakovic trade blocks and dodges, and fans are loving this! Even they have to respect each other after that one. But then Priest and Grimes attack from behind! They beat down the fan favorites with stomps and forearms! Priest watches Grimes just fire off on Dijakovic, then DECKS him for himself! Priest stomps everyone then throws hands on Dijakovic. Priest whips corner to corner and hits a corner back elbow! Priest whips Dijakovic but he counters to kick and elbow! Then, “TIME TO FLY!” Dijakovic THROWS Priest AT LEE! But then Lee catches Priest! Lee swings Priest around to hit Grimes! And Dijakovic! And then he BOMBS Priest onto Dijakovic!
Fans are thunderous for “Keith Lee! Keith Lee!” as he covers Priest, TWO! Priest bails out and Lee sees everyone else is outside. Fans sing again as Lee decides to go out and join them. Grimes attacks Lee with boots, and Dijakovic joins in. They mug Lee on the outside with clubbing forearms and big stomps. They drag Lee up for more shots, and CHOPS him against the railing! Lee staggers but stays standing. If anything, he’s powering up! Lee throws Grimes into railing and elbows Dijakovic! Priest is poised to leap but Lee was ready! Priest backs off for Grimes to go after Lee again. Then Priest FLIES to bowl everyone over! All four men are down as NXT goes picture in picture!
The referee checks on the four but they’re all okay to continue. Priest drags himself to the ring and gets up. Priest fetches Grimes into the ring and stalks him to a corner. Priest runs but misses the elbow, Grimes dropkicks Priest down! Cover, ONE, but Grimes keeps on Priest with a neck wrench. Grimes rakes Priest’s eyes then kicks him in the back. Grimes throws uppercuts and CHOPS, then whips Priest. Priest reverses but Grimes kicks back. Grimes runs into a back elbow! Priest swings but Grimes dodges to crossbody himself and Priest out hard! Meanwhile, Dijakovic puts Lee in and stalks up behind him. Dijakovic stomps Lee down then brings him up for uppercuts of his own. Dijakovic back elbows in the corner, throws forearms, then reels Lee in. “TIME TO FLY!” But Lee is too big and strong for that!
Dijakovic keeps trying but Lee keeps resisting. Grimes and Priest brawl on the outside as Dijakovic keeps trying. Lee overpowers Dijakovic to headbutt and GRIZZLY MAGNUM! Priest snake eyes Grimes on the apron! NXT returns to single picture as Lee and Priest stare down. Priest hops up and rocks Lee, then climbs up. But Lee headbutts Priest down! Priest wobbles on the apron but Lee headbutts him again! Lee climbs up and drags Priest up to join him. He dead lift SUPERPLEXES Priest!! Priest rolls away but Dijakovic MOONSAULTS onto Lee! Cover, TWO!! Grimes slithers in and takes aim, but Dijakovic choke grips him. Grimes fights out to super forearm and SUPERKICK! Then ROUNDHOUSE! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
All four men are down again and fans fire up. Grimes rises first and drags Priest into the ring. Grimes then climbs up from the outside, Priest UPPERCUTS! Priest hits another, then cyclone KICKS Grimes! Priest climbs up to join Grimes, SUPER STEINER and Lee catches Grimes! To swing him up into powerbomb position! But Dijakovic BOOTS Priest down then kicks Lee low. Dijakovic takes Grimes in the torture rack, FEAST YOUR EYES! Lee POUNCES Dijakovic OUT of the ring!! Priest roundhouses and RECKONING on Lee!! Cover, Dijakovic BOOTS Priest off! Fans are thunderous with “MAMMA MIA!” and “NXT! NXT!”
Dijakovic gets back into the ring, leaving Lee and Grimes behind. “This is Awesome!” as Dijakovic dodges Priest. Priest dodges Dijakovic to kick and kick and kick, but Dijakovic SUPERKICKS him back! Dijakovic fires off strikes, but Priest ROCKS with a right! They both BOOT each other down! Priest and Dijakovic slowly rise, and they both choke grip the other! They both stand up, but Lee rises from the abyss! To chop and DOUBLE CHOKE SLAM them both!! Fans are fired up with Lee as both Dijakovic and Priest bail out! Fans sing again and Lee likes that. Lee runs to build speed, but Grimes SPANISH FLIES!! Cover, TWO!?! Grimes is shocked he didn’t just shock everyone else! Grimes aims, but Priest returns. Grimes ROUNDHOUSES Priest, then gets clear so that Dijakovic’s cyclone BOOT hits Priest!
Grimes boots Dijakovic and leaps up to MOONSAULT onto Priest! Grimes gets up as Dijakovic is on the apron, CAVE-IN!! Fans are firing up as Grimes climbs up again. Grimes aims at Lee, Lee staggers over, SUPER- MAGNUM! Lee chops the Cave-In away and then brings Grimes back up. But Grimes forearms and ROUNDHOUSES! Another super forearm, then Grimes runs, into the POP-UP SPIRIT BOMB!! Cover, Lee wins!!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall; NEW #1 Contender to the NXT North American Championship
Incredible! All four men put so much into this fight, but in the end, no one has more than the Limitless One! Lee has his shot at Strong, will Strong #BaskInHisGlory? Will the Undisputed Era stop being #DrapedInGold?
An AMAZING episode for NXT to truly start their 2020! Almost nothing was filler, and almost everything was top notch. I love the NXT Women’s Championship story that’s developing. Rhea is the top champion that everyone wants after, but a lot of this indicates that Shayna and the Horsewomen might be moving on from NXT at some point, as I didn’t see Shayna in the coming contender’s battle royal. Unless she and the Horsewomen wreck it, that is. But the Six Woman Tag that opened was great, and I love that they’re already teasing the Champion VS Champion match at Worlds Collide. I don’t think one woman will actually hold both belts simultaneously a la Becky Two Belts, but it’s good to at least put it out there.
Yim VS Carter was alright, perhaps a bit rusty or hesitant. But in the end, it was to facilitate Chelsea Green’s NXT TV debut since she hadn’t actually had it yet. Robbie E starting his NXT career as “Robert Stone,” a manager type, is a good move. He talks of it being a brand, aka a stable, so I am curious to see who else he has as “clients.” Theory VS Wilde was good, but obviously not on the level of Theory VS Strong. Theory is already a great talent, and he’s young so he’ll have a great career ahead of him. The promos for Ciampa were great, the promos between Balor and Gargano were great, I feel like DIY sweeps in Portland.
The Dusty Rhodes Classic matches tonight were both incredible! Imperium VS Forgotten Sons was very fast and very good, but naturally Imperium wins. Gallus VS Undisputed Era was great, too, but it’s a little disappointing that reDRagon needed Cole and Strong to help cheat. It’s typical, but not sure if it helps reDRagon at all. It does keep Gallus strong, though, in that they didn’t lose clean. I sense Imperium could be on the rise between both brands. Blackpool is going to be a great TakeOver, especially this Ladder match, but I’m thinking Imperium could take those titles and then roll into Worlds Collide for that 8 Man Tag. As for the Dusty Cup itself, I could also see Imperium VS Undisputed Era as the finals to be a preview of Worlds Collide. At the same time, the #Broserweights and the TIME SPLITTERS are great contenders. I am so excited to see Alex Shelley be in NXT, even if it’s a limited time. Though, I would hope this is so that Time Splitters as a team can add a tag title shot to their resume.
All of the contenders tonight had great promos, and the Fatal 4 Way itself was AMAZING. Grimes really went above and beyond as the smallest man in the match, mostly because the other three are towering titans. Everyone looked great, but it just felt right that Keith Lee got this win. Lee VS Strong isn’t waiting for Portland, so this will make for an AMAZING title match on TV. I can’t be sure, but I feel like this could also be the time when Lee finally gets himself a title and the Undisputed Era loses one. Adversity and tension is how you keep the Undisputed Era’s story going, and it’d be great if Lee got to be the thing that starts that.
My Score: 9.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.
Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.
Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!
Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!
Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!
Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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