What’s next for NXT after Portland?
After everything that happened in Portland, the NXT Champion is STILL Adam Cole Baybay! And Johnny Gargano has some explaining to do!
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Devlin VS Lio Rush; Devlin wins and retains the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
- Austin Theory VS ???; No Contest.
- Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- The Broserweights VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; The Broserweights win.
- Keith Lee VS Kona Reeves; Lee wins.
- Chelsea Green VS Kayden Carter; Green wins.
- Velveteen Dream VS Roderick Strong; Dream wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT, you can be anyone you want to be.
But the Queen makes sure Rhea Ripley is ready to fill the crown. The Broserweights now reign, Captain Kai has a new teammate, and the Blackheart fought for his life, only to be betrayed! But tonight, the Experience is back and looks to have a takeover of his own! Will Velveteen Dream wish he’d never returned?
The Undisputed Era open NXT!
But only one belt remains around the waist of Adam Cole BAYBAY! And Cole says “I told you~!” Obsession will never defeat destiny, and Cole showed Ciampa that the hard way. Just like anyone else will learn when they step into the ring with “the greatest NXT Champion there has ever been.” But what is that thing Ciampa kept asking? If he could ever be a champion like Cole? “That dummy” got his answer, and it’s Undisputed. Because the fact is, the title is going nowhere! The Undisputed Era are the measuring stick of the brand. They are going to set examples like Strong will against “the charade” that is The Velveteen Dream.
But speaking of, The Dream is here already! “Roddy, tonight, you have a chance.” A chance to prove something. Strong should leave his boys at home and prove he is a man. “Do it for Marina. Because when we do it tonight, let’s make it a night just for us.” Strong shouts at Dream that as everything he is as a man, he will make Dream wish he’d never come back!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Devlin VS Lio Rush!
The Irish Ace has been on a world tour with the title ever since Worlds Collide, but now the time has come. The Man of the Hour wants the title back, but will he be able to collect off the Devlinside?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised and this high-stakes first-time-ever match-up begins!
Devlin and Lio circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Devlin powers Lio to a corner but lets up at the ref’s count. Lio shoves Devlin but then ducks the punch to headlock. Devlin powers out, Lio jumps over, then leaps over, and Devlin avoids the roundhouse! Devlin bails out as fans fire up, and NXT goes picture in picture. Lio keeps his eyes on Devlin as he paces. Devlin gets up on the apron and back in the ring. The two tie up with knuckle locks, but Devlin kicks low. Devlin throws haymakers and puts Lio n a corner again. He wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Lio goes up and over. Lio keeps moving, redirects and fakes Devlin out to BOOT him! Lio slides and handsprings under a clothesline to mule kick and PELE! Cover, ONE!
Lio keeps his cool as he watches Devlin. He KICKS Devlin in the back but Devlin hits back. Lio hits Devlin again and Devlin flounders to a corner. Lio stomps but Devlin shoves, so Lio throws forearms. Snap suplex and cover, TWO! Lio keeps his focus and brings Devlin up. Devlin pushes Lio away so Lio boots him down. Lio bumps Devlin off buckles and throws forearms into the back. He stomps Devlin more then brings him up for a snapmare, and a basement uppercut! Cover, TWO! Lio grows annoyed with the counts but he clamps onto Devlin with a facelock. Devlin reaches back with his legs but Lio keeps him from ropes. They stand and Devlin throws hands to get free. Delvin ROCKS Lio with a jab but runs into a calf kick!
Lio stands over Devlin and gives him a kick to the chest. Lio mounts to grab at arms and bring Devlin down to the mat. He wraps on a chinlock and grinds Devlin, but Devlin powers up. Lio is a backpack as Devlin fights out and arm-drags. Devlin runs in but Lio jumps up and Devlin tumbles out! Lio handspring kicks Devlin back down! Lio builds speed as NXT returns to single picture, but he runs into Devlin’s arm for an urenage! Devlin Arabian Press! Cover, TWO! Devlin grits his teeth while massaging his own ribs. Fans rally up and Lio sits up. Devlin brings Lio up for a double knee strike! Devlin drags Lio up to KICK back down! Fans boo as Devlin grins. Devlin springboard sits on Lio! And adds crossface forearms! The ref reprimands Devlin and Lio flounders away.
Devlin is on Lio in a corner with European Uppercuts, but Lio throws body shots. Devlin throws a heavy right but Lio gives one of his own. Lio throws more forearms, but Devlin catches him again, another Urenage! But Lio counters the moonsault with knees! Lio fires off palm strikes and a forearm! Devlin flounders, Lio whips but Devlin reverses. Lio wheelbarrows, but into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO! Devlin is seething as he looms over Lio. Devlin drags Lio up, wrenches an arm and whips Lio to ropes, to hit the kitchen sink knee! Cover, ONE! Lio survives but Devlin stomps him down. Devlin grinds his foot into the ribs as fans rally up.
Devlin drags Lio up, underhooks and hits a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Lio still lives but Devlin keeps on him. Devlin hooks Lio up into a camel clutch! Lio endures being bent back and fans rally up again. Devlin uses more crossface forearms then sits down on Lio again. Fans rally and duel as Devlin puts Lio on the ropes to choke! Devlin lets up at 4 and Lio gasps for air. Lio throws body shots but Devlin clubs him back down. Devlin has Lio in a corner for a CHOP! Devlin drags Lio out for a BIG EuroUpper! Lio flounders and falls, but Devlin gives him toying kicks. Fans boo as Devlin laughs at Lio, but Lio ROCKS Devlin with rights! Devlin KICKS Lio right back in the face! Ripcord, but Lio lands out on his feet!
Lio dodges and springboards, but no Come Up as he gets the elevator backbreaker! Fans rally as both men are down. Devlin crawls to a cover, TWO! Lio shakes out the cobwebs but Devlin drives in an elbow. Lio gets up to CHOP Devlin! Devlin walks into another CHOP! Lio CHOPS Devlin in the corner, Devlin turns things around, but Lio dodges Devlin’s chop to CHOP again! Fans fire up with Lio but he walks into a jawbreaker! Both men are down again as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as both men are down again after a “malfunction at the junction,” as Mauro puts it. Devlin and Lio slowly rise on opposite ends of the ring. Lio runs in, slides under and then uses ropes to scoot back. Devlin turns around to get Lio’s kangaroo kick, and he goes flying out of the ring! Lio builds speed to LOWPE! Direct hit and they end up by the ramp! Lio puts Devlin in and climbs up top. Deviln is up, Lio hits a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Devlin survives but Lio grits his teeth. Lio drags Devlin up but Devlin shoves him away. Devlin runs in but is put on the apron. Devlin comes back with a slingshot CUTTER! Lio bails out but Devlin pursues. Devlin apron Penalty Kicks!
Lio is in a daze but Devlin goes to the corner, MOONSAULT! But Lio gets clear, Devlin rolls through, only to get a CORKSCREW SENTON! Lio puts Devlin in as fans fire up. Lio climbs up again, Devlin stands again, but Devlin gets under this time. Devlin turns around, into Lio’s heel kick! But Devlin heel kicks back! Devlin stalks up behind Lio to wheelbarrow, but Lio slips around to matchbook cover, TWO! SUPERKICK! Lio fires up, runs, but into the SPANISH FLY!! Cover, but into a KOJI KLUTCH!! Devlin endures, flails, reaches, gets around, and gets a ropebreak with his leg! The ref counts and Lio reluctantly lets go at 4. Both men are down but fans rally up again.
Lio drags Devlin to a drop zone and tries once again. He goes up top, but Devlin trips him up with the ropes! Devlin climbs up to join Lio now, stands him up, but Lio fights back. Lio clubs Devlin down and adjusts, to SUPER POISON-RANA!! The COME UP!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Devlin survives but Lio hops up, FINAL HOUR FLOPS! Headbutt from Devlin! And Devlin grabs the wrist, to ripcord DEVLINSIDE!! Cover, Devlin wins!!
Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
The Man of the Hour could not trump the Ace! How much greater will the Jordan Devlin Cruiserweight Championship Tour become on the Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzales.
The record books will say #CapKota defeated Tegan Nox in Portland, we all know it was thanks to the Daughter of the Desperado. What is the reason for this new alliance? “Tegan Nox has gotten every opportunity, and pushed Dakota aside.” Raquel knows what that feels like, watching others get opportunities first. Dakota was overlooked by her so-called friends, yet is an outcast for standing up for herself. Portland proved Raquel has Dakota’s back way more than anyone else ever has. Dakota will return the favor, and together they will be untouchable.
NXT GM William Regal walks over and congratulates Dakota on her win. And yes, this duo is untouchable. Except Raquel will be banned from ringside when Dakota and Tegan have their rematch in two weeks, in a Steel Cage! Did Captain Kick just step in it?
NXT shares backstage interview footage of Rhea Ripley after TakeOver: Portland.
The Aussie Nightmare retained her NXT Women’s Championship, but the celebration was cut short by Charlotte Flair “deciding” to accept the WrestleMania challenge. Rhea says the joke’s on Charlotte, because Rhea got what she wanted. At Mania, even the Queen will have a nightmare. Will this historic move prove to be Charlotte’s greatest achievement or worst decision yet?
Austin Theory VS ???
Evolution’s Theory is back again, ready to prove himself, but Tommaso Ciampa is storming down the ramp. Ciampa isn’t Theory’s opponent and he grabs a mic while ignoring the young gun in the ring. Fans chant “Daddy’s Home!” as Ciampa goes up the steps and into the ring. “NXT TakeOver: Portland…” Theory steps up to Ciampa, and Ciampa is in no mood. He warns Theory, “Not tonight.” Theory gives Ciampa his space and Ciampa continues. “A part of me feels like maybe I should’ve seen this all coming.” Ciampa was so focused on Goldie and getting his “life” back that he stopped paying attention to his surroundings. There were subtle signs, like the odd timing of a tag team reunion. Ciampa stopped listening to his instincts. “But if one thing goes hand in hand with Tommaso Ciampa and the NXT Championship, it is and always has been Johnny Gargano.”
Fans chant and duel, “Johnny Sucks!” “No!” Ciampa isn’t doing the cliche “Why Johnny Why?” but he knows why. Gargano knows why. And if there’s one thing Ciampa knows- Theory grows impatient and steps to Ciampa again! Ciampa DECKS Theory immediately! “If one thing is very clear, in order to get my life back, there can be no Johnny Gargano in NXT.” The DIY frenemies are at odds again, will Ciampa and Gargano finally settle things? Theory gets up and goes after Ciampa as he leaves, only to get a BOOT! Ciampa’s bad mood boils over and he PSYCHO KNEES Theory down! And then throws him into railing! And more railing! Now back the other way! Then the other way! Ciampa isn’t stopping! Theory gets about ten tosses total, and then 11!
Ciampa finally lets up, but it is clear his Blackheart is even darker than normal. Will Gargano regret ever returning the favor from 2017?
Chelsea Green has an NXT photo shoot.
Robert Stone has his top client (and only client) look her absolute best. But will she be looking like a winner in her “relaunch” rematch with Kayden Carter?
Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
The man who rides the Mendoza Line teams with his wild 205 Live rival to see if they can be an impressive combination. But will Mendoza & Wilde be tamed by Mr. Mayhem and Liverpool’s Number One?
The teams sort out and Zack Gibson starts with Wilde. The two tie up, and Gibson has a chinbar. He uses that to wrangle Wilde down but Wilde handsprings and dropkicks back! BEW BEW BEW BEW! They tie up again, Gibson waistlocks but Wilde standing switches. Gibson whips out, Wilde reverses but James Drake uses his body to save Gibson from buckles. Gibson knees Wilde in return, then tags in Drake. GYV complete the hand-off, but Wilde powers out. Drake runs Wilde over, then things speed up. Wilde leaps over, keeps moving, Drake leaps over, but Wilde rolls under. Wilde huricanranas Drake! Drop toehold and a hook to the ghost pin! TWO, but Wilde keeps on Drake with a wristlock.
Drake slips out to a headlock, Gibson tags in as Wilde powers out. Everyone leap frogs and Gibson clobbers Wilde! Gibson throws heavy forearms and stomps away. Gibson throws more forearms and stomps some more before dragging Wilde up. Straitjacket stretch, tag to Drake, Wilde is fed to Drake’s BIG forearm! Drake drags Wilde up for a facelock then a scoop and backbreaker! Wilde flops out, Gibson tags in and drags Wilde up. Drake slingshots, pescado sidewalk slam! Fans boo GYV but they tune it out. Gibson puts Wilde back in and scoop slams him hard. Tag to Drake and Gibson scoop splashes Drake on Wilde! Cover, TWO!
Drake keeps on Wilde with knees and puts Wilde back in the GYV corner. Wilde fights back with elbows and forearms! Drake whips Wilde away but Wilde QUEBRADA! Hot tags to Gibson and Mendoza! Mendoza ducks Gibson to hit Drake and fire off on Gibson! Mendoza whips, Gibson reverses but Mendoza gives clotheslines to everyone! He dropkicks Gibson down then fires off hands on Drake! Gibson waistlocks but Mendoza boots Drake out of the ring! Mendoza lands on his feet out of the German Suplex, whips Gibosn but Gibson reverses. Mendoza goes around the corner and enziguris to then springboard missile dropkick! Fans fire up as Mendoza brings Gibson up. Gibson fights out then throat chops! Single leg suplex!
Drake returns and tags in. He uses Mendoza as the step stool for Mayhem in Motion to Wilde! Drake drags Mendoza up and around but Mendoza fires off elbows. Mendoza whips but Gibson tags in. Drake reverses, gut wrenches, TICKET TO MAYHEM! Cover, GYV wins!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
The fans take off their shoes to troll Gibson, but he and Drake still won. Gibson grabs a mic to shout, “The land of the free and the home of the brave! Nah. The land of the neckbeards, and the home of the ignorant Yanks!” The Grizzled Young Veterans are here to takeover NXT, and are SOON to be recognized as the World’s Number One! Will GYV punch their own ticket to a rematch with the Broserweights?
The Broserweights VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
Speaking of, bro… Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne smoked the Undisputed Era and took the titles for their own! They being a duo that came together from seemingly nowhere take on a duo whose origins are very much alike. Which team of well-blended singles wrestlers has the right stuff tonight?
Before the match, Riddle and Dunne gets mics as fans cheer. “Bro… Where’s our golf cart?” Riddle got it impounded, too! Oh. But what matters is that the Broserweights are the brand new NXT Tag Team Champions! Fans say, “You Deserve It!” “And bro, the celebration continues.” Riddle and Dunne partied hard in Portland. Stallion Pete is a machine. “Just look at him, bro.” But Stallion Cup partied too hard, and unfortunately failed the WWE’s wellness policy and has been suspended 30 days. It’s a thing, guys. But that news aside, Lorcan & Burch hit the ring and it’s time to throw down!
The teams sort out and Burch starts with Dunne. The two tie up and Dunne wrenches to a wristlock. Dunne wrenches more, but Burch reverses to a wristlock, hammerlock and then headlock. Dunne brings Burch down to then float to a grounded hammerlock. He stands on Burch’s head to lace up the legs in a figure four! Dunne bends and pulls Burch around to a modified bow ‘n’ arrow, then smashes the knees. Burch kicks Dunne away and fans cheer the technical and gritty exchange. Dunne and Burch tie up again and go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength. Burch kicks, spins Dunne around but Dunne avoids the stomp to get an armbar! Burch moves around, and gets a crossface! Dunne rolls to a cover, TWO! Fans cheer as the two stare down.
Tag to Riddle and Lorcan! Lorcan and Riddle tie up. Lorcan lunges but Riddle blocks. Riddle gets a gut wrench and he throws Lorcan! But he holds on to drag Lorcan back up. Dunne intercepts Burch, stereo gut wrench suplexes! Tag and the Broserweights work together, corkscrew senton and a basement dropkick for Lorcan! Fans cheer as the One Two regroup and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Burch has Riddle in a Half Crab. Fans rally up as Lorcan tags in. Burch drags Riddle up and the One Two combine for an assisted powerbomb! Cover, TWO and now Lorcan has the Half Crab on Riddle! The Boston Brawler reaches back and shifts right to an STF! Riddle endures and gets his leg free. Fans rally up again as Riddle fireman’s carries Lorcan for a BRO TO SLEEP! Lorcan flounders and tags Burch, and Burch turns Riddle. Riddle boots Burch then tags Dunne! Dunne rallies on Burch, rebound German! Dunne hops up, and STOMPS the hands! BUZZSAW! X-PLEX to the AMRBAR! Burch resists with a monkey grip but Dunne breaks it! And has the fingers! Burch endures, moves around to a cover, TWO!
Dunne ducks Burch but Burch standing switches. Riddle tags and Dunne elbows Burch. Burch gets under the moonsault, but ends up in the enziguri sandwich! Dunne drags Burch up to powerbomb into the enziguri! Cover, but Lorcan breaks it! Fans fire up as all four men slowly rise. Lorcan throws Dunne out, but Riddle gives Lorcan FINAL FLASH! Burch turns Riddle around but gets a strike fest! Riddle whips, Burch reverses to corner clothesline and enziguri! German Suplex, but Riddle is up, to get a LARIAT! Cover, TWO, into the crossface! Fans rally as Riddle endures, and Lorcan intercepts Dunne! Dunne resists but Lorcan throws him with a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Dunne lands on his feet to BUZZSAW Lorcan! Then he BUZZSAWS Burch!
Fans fire up again as all four men are down. The teams return to their corners, but Burch keeps Riddle from tagging. Burch throws EuroUpper after upper, but gets a knee! So he HEADBUTTS! Burch whips, pops up, but gets a SUPER BRO PUNCH! Riddle POWERBOMBS and flips Burch, but Burch ROCKS Riddle! Dunne tags in to enziguri Burch! Lorcan tags in to CHOP Dunne! And CHOP! And CHOP! Lorcan runs to EuroUpper! BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up with the Fury as he runs corner to corner, only to leap into Dunne’s arms! Dunne bends the fingers! And SNAPS! Tag to Riddle, pump handle, BITTER FINAL FLASH! Cover, Broserweights win!
Winners: The Broserweights, by pinfall
An incredible match and only just days after Portland! Will the reign of Riddle and Dunne run all the way through WrestleMania?
The Undisputed Era huddle up backstage.
Strong says he is going to do this by himself. He knows the Undisputed Era can destroy Dream, but Strong has to do this for himself! The #StrongDreamRematch will be 1v1, man to man, but does that play right into Dream’s plan?
The Forgotten Sons put out a tweet.
“Grizzled Young Veterans… You want to put us on notice. Message received.” And in an accompanying video, Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker “let that sink in.” Gibson and Drake call themselves “Grizzled Young Veterans” but they don’t even have an idea what a “veteran” is! And using insults like “neckbeard” and “ignorant Yanks,” Blake takes those personally! Ryker says this IS the land of the free because of the brave. And they promise to beat that into GYV. Will Gibson and Drake wish they’d stayed in the UK?
Keith Lee is here!
And he is still NXT North American Champion after that newest instant classic with Dominik Dijakovic! WWE Backstage also basked in his glory, and spoke to the huge moments Lee has had. Lee is touched to know that those he has studied now respect what he’s capable of. Lee wants to be a leader by example, not by ordering people around. Fans cheer as Lee holds the title up high in the ring. They sing for Lee as he grabs a mic. But before he can speak, he is interrupted by The Finest! Kona Reeves returns from a short time in NXT UK, and he does not look happy. Reeves gets himself a mic, but then gets a POUNCE! “You can ring the bell.”
Keith Lee VS Kona Reeves!
The bell does ring and Reeves runs into Lee’s knees! Lee fireman’s carries for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE! Cover, Lee wins!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall
Lee is Limitless, and he proved The Finest isn’t anywhere on his level! But wait, here comes Dijakovic! The Colossus joins Lee in the ring and tells Keith that he’s not ready to move on. They both know that Dijakovic almost beat Lee. That top rope move, that almost finished Lee but it did finish Dijakovic’s back. That’s why there was no Feast Your Eyes. Because if Dijakovic hit that move- “If! If!” That’s all Lee hears from Dijakovic right now. Excuses, excuses. You can say “if” all you want, but the fact is: Lee won! But Lee does admit, everywhere Lee VS Dijakovic has gone, it’s always the same thing. Fans say “Fight Forever!” So while Dijakovic didn’t win that last time, Lee and the fans are up for it. If Regal approves, then they really can fight forever. Are we getting yet another epic rematch?!
Chelsea Green w/ Robert Stone VS Kayden Carter!
“If I could have your attention, please.” Robert Stone introduces “the face of the women’s division,” and the “relaunch” is here. But will Green silence the doubters when she finally gets a win?
The bell rings and Green circles with KC. Green kicks low then scoops KC, but KC cradle counters! TWO, and KC grabs an arm. Green grabs hair but the ref reprimands. KC spins out and CHOPS Green! KC ducks a kick to club and LARIAT Green down! Fans fire up and KC takes off all the armbands! Green reverses the whip, KC wheelbarrows and MULE KICKS! Cover, TWO! Green checks her jaw but KC drags her up. KC clubs and wrenches to CHOP and springboard, but Green trips her up! Green hits a draping backbreaker across her knee! Cover, TWO! Green drags KC up and throws in big knees to the ribs! And then one into the head! Cover as Stone is liking what he sees, TWO! Stone doesn’t like that.
Green goes after KC with a camel clutch and has it in deep! KC endures and fans rally up, but Green adds a neck wrench before she knocks KC down. KC gets to ropes but Green drags her up. Green has her between ropes for a guillotine! Cover, TWO! Green goes after KC and grabs her hair. Green whips KC corner to corner but KC goes up, under and tries to roll her. But Green holds ropes and stands on KC’s hair! Green starts stomping but Bianca Belair rolls in!? “Uh-uh, uh-uh!” Bianca says she’s happy for Green, and she’ll let her finish, but Bianca has something to say.
“Now girl, I done told you, you don’t even go here.” But if Charlotte wants to put her hands on Bianca, Bianca wants Charlotte. Here, there, when or where, Belair promises Flair, “I’ma whoop dat ass.” Add “boldest” to the list as Bianca calls Charlotte out! Bianca takes her leave, and Green rolls KC up! Cover, TWO! Green drags KC up, backslides, TWO! Now Green tries La Magistrol, TWO! KC ducks and SUPERKICKS! Green gets out of the ring to regroup with Stone but KC pursues. KC puts Green in, but Stone trips her up! Green gives KC an inverted Unprettier! Cover, Green wins!
Winner: Chelsea Green, by pinfall
THE Robert Stone makes sure his brand finally succeeds by any means necessary! Will the brand be bigger and better now that it’s off the ground? And when will we see Queen VS EST? Will it be part of NXT or WWE?
BREAKING NEWS for next week’s NXT!
After the encounter from earlier tonight, Tommaso Ciampa will take on Austin Theory! And as promised, The Prince makes his next move as he returns to Full Sail!
Velveteen Dream VS Roderick Strong!
The Experience returned and made things very personal with the Savior of the Backbreaker. Will Strong make Dream strongly regret that?
The tension mounts and the bell rings. Dream bails out to keep Strong at bay for a moment. Dream returns, mocks the UE hand sign and then the two tie up. Strong gets a leg but Dream sprawls and moves around. Strong keeps going after the legs and they end up on the ropes. Dream avoids Strong’s sucker punch but Strong narrowly avoids Dream’s right hand! Strong bails out but Dream keeps close. Dream beckons Strong to return as Strong paces. Dream swivels the hips but Strong tells him to stay back. The weight belt comes off and Dream assures the ref he will play fair. But then he spins and swings on Strong! Strong avoids the lashing and the ref keeps Dream back. The ref takes the belt away and Strong returns.
Dream lunges but Strong is ready. Strong gets the legs, Dream scrambles around to get Strong’s legs, too. Both men fight over leg lock control but Strong gets Dream down. Dream gets to ropes but Strong is right on him. The ref calls for the break and Dream backs off, to duck the punch. Dream slithers out and Strong grows frustrated. Strong goes out to pursue Dream around the way. They go back in and Dream dropkicks Strong! Strong throws big slapping hands and whips Strong corner to corner hard. And then SLAPS Strong while he’s down! Dream puts Strong in the corner to CHOP. And then he clubs and CHOPS Strong in the other corner. Dream works to suplex but Strong grabs ropes. The ref counts, Dream lets go, but wants after Strong. Strong thumbs Dream in the eye to then clobber and CHOP him back!
Strong clubs and CHOPS Dream more! Dream staggers and falls but Strong stomps him down. Strong brings Dream up for a backbreaker! Dream writhes, his back still recovering from what the Undisputed Era did to him months ago. Dream gets up and Strong goes out to fetch Dream, only for Dream to LARIAT him down! A ring count begins but Dream brings Strong up. Strong RAMS Dream into the apron then bounce him off it. Strong refreshes the count to drag Dream up and bump him again. Dream bumps Strong off the steel steps! The grudge match continues as NXT goes picture in picture.
The referee checks on both men but they’re both somehow okay to continue. Dream gets up and drags Strong up to throw him into railing! And then club him around the way! Dream takes a fan’s sign to smash it in Strong’s face! Dream snake eyes drops Strong on railing! The ref reprimands Dream as he gets back in the ring. Dream climbs up and leaps to double ax handle Strong down! Strong crawls away but Dream pursues. Dream refreshes the count but Strong hash is leg. Strong yanks Dream off the apron to DROP on the railing! Strong goes back into the ring to leave Dream writhing in pain. The ring count begins again but Dream is up at 3. Strong drags Dream up by his hair, to suplex into the ring!
Strong keeps on Dream with CHOPS! Dream flounders about but Strong puts him in a corner. Strong rains down rights, but Dream stops him before 5. Strong still DECKS Dream with one more big haymaker! Dream reaches but Strong covers, TWO! Strong keeps on Dream with a facelock, and then KNEES Dream down. Cover, TWO! Strong keeps on Dream with a chinlock as NXT returns to single picture. Dream endures and fans rally up. Dream fights to his feet and pries out to throw body shots. Strong knees hard again, then underhooks. But Dream back drops out! Both men are down but Strong gets up first. Strong brings Dream around but Dream throws more hands. It’s a gritty brawl and Strong rocks Dream. But Dream fireman’s carries, but Strong slips out!
Strong shoves but Dream dodges, only for both men to smack heads! Fans rally up as both men are in a stinging daze. Strong uses the ropes to get up first, and he brings Dream up for a CHOP! Dream CHOPS and it’s a CHOP fight! And a brawl! This is furious as Dream DECKS Strong again and again! Dream whips and LARIATS! Dream wrenches Strong to bump him hard off buckles! Fans cheer as Dream scoops to give Strong a backbreaker! Strong tastes some of his own medicine! Dream drags Strong up, scoops for another backbreaker! Strong crawls away but Dream stalks up behind him. Dream whips, Strong reverses, but Dream leaps up and underhooks.
Strong slips out, ROCKS Dream with a forearm, and then drags Dream up to get a haymaker! And DDT! Dream has to push Strong over to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted but still moving. Dream heads to the top rope and fans rally up again. Double ax handles! Haymakers and CHOPS! Dream whips, Strong reverses, but Dream knees the back drop away. Dream fireman’s carries but Strong slips out to club hard. But Dream elbows back! Dream hops up, Strong shoves and Dream hits hard on the post! Strong climbs up behind Dream but Dream throws elbows. Strong clubs Dream then climbs up again. He CHOPS Dream and brings him up, but Dream fireman’s carries! Strong fights his way off and scoops Dream, TOP ROPE BACKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans rally up as Dream and Strong slowly rise. Strong stalks over and brings Dream in. Suplex but Dream knees out! Dream throws body shots but Strong tries again. Dream still resists, but Strong spins him around, TIGER BOMB! Matchbook, TWO! STRONG HOLD! Dream endures the stretch, flails and reaches, then powers through the pain! Fans rally as Dream crawls towards the ropes, for the ropebreak! Strong lets go at 4, and Dream coughs and sputters for air. Strong drags Dream around by the legs but Dream boots him out of the ring! Dream crawls away as the ring count begins. Strong drags himself up but Dream is there to meet him. Strong shoulders in then slingshots for a sunset flip! But Dream rolls through to basement forearm!
Strong and Dream brawl on the mat, fast and furious with haymakers! Fans cheer as Dream boots Strong again. Dream is up, but Strnog boots and enziguris! Strong drags Dream up, throws big elbows from all sides, and then leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Fireman’s carry, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Strong is in the drop zone and fans fire up as Dream takes off the Animal Crossing jumpsuit to reveal… Marina Shafir airbrushed all over the tights! Her face is in a particularly telling place… Dream climbs up top, but has to LEAP onto the Undisputed Era! The boys refused to honor the deal and pay for it! Dream springboards in, into the STRONG KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Dream still lives but Strong drags him up. Only to get a DREAM VALLEY! Cover, Dream wins!!
Winner: Velveteen Dream, by pinfall
But the Undisputed Era pounce! They stomp Dream down 3v1! Kyle and Fish drag Dream up for TOTAL ANNIHILATION!! Strong drags Dream up to give him END OF HEARTACHE!! But this may only be the beginning of the end for The Experience! Will Dream learn to leave Marina out of this?
A really great episode for NXT tonight! Post-TakeOver episodes have definitely changed for the better now that NXT TV is 100% live. We didn’t get as much aftermath interview promos this week, but honestly, the rest of the night took care of a lot of that. The one we got of Rhea Ripley was a really good one, helping set up her match with Charlotte at Mania. But as we’d hoped, Bianca Belair had her own response to what Charlotte did. It was also pretty hilarious that she interrupted Green VS Carter for a moment. It was also clever that Green gets a win not because of Bianca but because of what we all expected: Robert Stone interferes. I’m thinking we’ll need a Green VS Carter tiebreaker, and Belair VS Flair could easily happen on either Raw or NXT, or even both because we can’t have just one of those.
The opener of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match was great stuff, but that was obvious given the two men involved. Devlin wins and I would think he defends the title against a top NXT UK contender for TakeOver: Dublin. And I would think because it’ll be Dublin, Ireland, Devlin would get a Face reaction, so he could even face a fellow Heel in that match. Ciampa interrupting Austin Theory’s match was a good move, though it makes Belair’s move look like she was copying him. Ciampa VS Theory next week will be a great match for sure, though I wonder if Gargano will interfere to propel their story for TakeOver: Tampa. Lee squashing Reeves was perfect, and man, if we’re getting another Lee VS Dijakovic, that could really set the bar high for Mania weekend.
We got some great tag team matches out of GYV VS Mendoza & Wilde and Broserweights VS Lorcan & Burch. Naturally GYV and the Broserweights won because it feels like those two teams are going to have a rematch down the line. And I think we’re about to see The Forgotten Sons try a Face turn similar to Lacey Evans’, where they finally play up the patriotism angle. Their match with GYV will be a good one, but I don’t know if the Full Sail fans will accept the Sons going Face so easily as the Raw audience accepted Lacey. Strong VS Dream was a great match, though a bit sloppy at times. Maybe it was meant to be sloppy, especially since this was Dream’s first match back. In the end, Dream wins only to get beat down for it, so I suspect a bigger match coming down the line.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)
Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?
Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!
SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!
- Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
- Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
- Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
- Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.
But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!
But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.
But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.
Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?
Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?
SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!
Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!
The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?
As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.
Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.
Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!
Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall
Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?
Billie finds the Squad backstage.
She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?
Daniel Bryan is here!
And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!
“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!
Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!
The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?
Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!
SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!
Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”
Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?
Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!
It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?
SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!
Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!
Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission
Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?
Roman Reigns sits in his private room.
Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!
Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.
Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!
Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!
Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)
And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?
Kevin Owens speaks.
“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.
And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.
But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.
The Street Profits have a basket.
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!
Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?
Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!
The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!
But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?
Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!
Winner: Bianca Belair
Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.
Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.
Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?
Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!
SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.
Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?
Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!
Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?
Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?
Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!
Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!
Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!
Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?
A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.
But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.
The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.
Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.
And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.
My Score: 8.5/10
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