Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (4/1/2020)
Tonight’s episode is HUGE!
NXT’s towering titans battle for one title!
WrestleMania is coming but NXT is taking over! Will Keith Lee continue his Limitless reign as North American Champion in tonight’s huge match?
- The Velveteen Dream VS Bobby Fish; Dream wins.
- Dexter Lumis VS Jake Atlas; Lumis wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match, Second Chance Gauntlet; Dakota Kai wins and joins the Contender’s Ladder Match.
- KUSHIDA VS Joaquin Wilde; wins.
- NXT North American Championship Triple Threat: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damian Priest; Lee wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Velveteen Dream VS Bobby Fish!
Adam Cole does not see The Experience worthy of an NXT Championship match. If Dream wants to take over, he’ll have to get through the Undisputed Era’s Infamous One first! Can he do it?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fish waistlocks but Dream pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Fish drags Dream down with a leg but Dream pushes him away. Dream slithers up on Fish but the two circle. Fish kicks the leg but Dream stays up. Dream keeps Fish back with a chop feint. They tie up again and Dream gets the arm, but Fish rolls through to ROCK Dream with a right. Fish throws kicks but Dream DECKS Fish with haymaker after haymaker! Dream whips Fish to ropes and clotheslines him down! Dream goes after Fish in a corner and wrenches him to a snapmare. Big knee drop! Cover, ONE, but Dream keeps his cool. Dream drags Fish up with a hip swivel and suplexes. But Fish slips out to a sleeper!
Dream flails about and reaches for ropes. Fish traps an arm then spins Dream to throw hands! Fish kicks the legs out and Dream crawls to a corner. The ref keeps Fish back to check on Dream. Dream refuses to quit but Fish BOOTS him down! Fish runs in but Dream slingshots out to escape. Dream’s leg slows him down and Fish pursues. Dream backs away and gets back in the ring. Fish stalks up but Dream slithers out to ROCK Fish with that uppercut! Dream leaps with ax handles! Dream grits his teeth and rallies through the pain. He back elbows Fish to a corner and throws big haymakers! The ref counts and Dream whips corner to corner. Fish reverses but Dream boots him back. Dream swings but Fish dodges, so Dream SUPERKICKS!
Fish is down and Dream goes up! Dream stands, blows a kiss to the cameras, but Fish bails out of the ring. Dream just LEAPS to ax handle Fish down! Both men slowly rise and Dream puts Fish back in the ring. Fish bails back out so Dream pursues. Fish RAMS Dream into railing! Dream is down as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fish DECKS Dream off the apron! Fish argues with the ref but Dream crawls back into the ring. Dream hooks Fish’s face and then throws Fish out! Dream slowly pursues but Fish sweeps the legs! Fish hurries in after Dream and grabs the bad leg. Dream holds ropes but Fish Dragon Screws anyway! Dream clutches the knee but Fish is after him. Fish turns Dream around to tweak the knee in knee drop. Fish drags Dream to a corner and digs his knees in. The ref backs Fish off and Dream gasps as he sits up. Dream kicks Fish back and hobbles over, into a big back elbow! Fish drags Dream around by his legs and stomps away at the bad one. Dream flounders and pushes Fish away but Fish comes back with body shots.
Fish rams knees into Dream, then drags him around for a grounded dragon screw! Dream writhes and pounds the mat in frustration. Fish drags Dream up to snapmare. Dream anchors Fish’s feet but Fish stomps him down. Fish slingshots out then in for the senton! Cover, TWO! Dream is still on the defense as NXT goes back to break.
NXT returns again, and Fish has Dream in an ankle lock! Dream writhes and flails and reaches, and manages the ROPEBREAK! Fish lets go for just a moment, arguing Dream tapped during the flailing. Fish grabs the ankle again but Dream throws hands! Dream still holds ropes, so Fish spins him to get a sleeper. But Dream fireman’s carries! Fish holds onto ropes and the ref counts. Fish slips out, and hops on for a backpack sleeper! Dream stays standing, and manages to throw Fish off. Fish runs into the DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, Dream wins!!
Winner: Velveteen Dream, by pinfall
Fish gave Dream quite the fight, but the Experience isn’t done yet. Will Dream continue to fight his way up to the NXT Championship?
But before leaving, Dream grabs a mic. “NXT Champion, Adam Cole. If you’d put your video games down long enough and take a second to open your third eye, maybe you would realize that the time for playing is over. Your Experience is coming. Play hard, because you’re about to work harder than you ever have before, courtesy of The Dream.”
Backstage interview with Malcolm Bivens and his associates.
The NXT Universe saw the debut of this new stable when they beat down Matt Riddle last week. What exact message were they trying to send? First, it is great to know Bivens’ reputation precedes him. He is a business manager and traveled the world to find the biggest and the baddest team to bring to NXT. And that team is right here before you now. Rinku Singh at 6′ 4″, 275 pounds! “When he hits you, you will drop like a sack of bricks.” Then there’s Saurav Gurjar, 6′ 8″, 300 pounds. “I dare someone to get in his face!” Together, they are Indus Shera, and they are #BivensEnterprises. Saurav and Rinku each speak in Hindi to tell the NXT Tag Team Division that this is their brand now. They put it on the Broserweights now.
Dexter Lumis VS Jake Atlas!
One of the Breakout Tournament entrants finally returns from “an undisclosed location”, but his opponent is brand new to NXT TV. Will Atlas crumble under the weight of Lumis’ unsettling stare?
The bell rings and Lumis stares into Atlas’ soul. Atlas paces but Lumis just stands like a statue. Atlas rushes in but Lumis dodges and clubs away! Lumis throws body shots and haymakers. Atlas shoves but Lumis just hits back. Lumis stomps and uppercuts Atlas, then claws his face! The ref reprimands and Lumis stops. Lumis whips but Atlas dodges to springboard and arm-drag Lumis! Atlas adds an enziguri and Lumis staggers! Atlas whips but Lumis reverses to a SPINE BUSTER! Lumis drags Atlas around into clubbing crossfaces over and over. Lumis stops to bring Atlas up for a BIG uppercut! He paces and stomps Atlas down, then brings him up to club on the back.
Lumis whips Atlas to a corner but Atlas boots and huricanranas! Lumis staggers up but dodges Atlas to put him on the rope! Then Lumis runs to slide out, turn around, and UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Atlas lives but Lumis is on him with a neck wrench. Lumis digs his fingers into the eyes and jaw but Atlas endures. Atlas fights his way up, throws body shots, and then hits a jawbreaker! Lumis clotheslines but Atlas handsprings to dodge! And then jumps for a neckbreaker! Lumis flounders out of the ring but Atlas builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Lumis into railing! Atals puts Lumis in and rushes, into a throat chop! Lumis sit-out URENAGES, into an ARM-TRIANGLE! Atlas taps, Lumis wins!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by submission
Lumis stops, pats Atlas on the head, then shoves him away. Lumis’s thousand yard stare returns, but it seems he isn’t spacing out. In fact, it may be Lumis seeing and analyzing everything before him. Will Lumis use that calculating coldness to conquer NXT?
NXT receives another message from… him.
His face is visible in shadowy darkness as claw-like hands reach out. More images of destruction and doom. Tick tock, time is running out. When will he arrive in NXT?
Next week, it’s #OneFinalBeat!
As Triple H promised both Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, a location has been secured for these two to finally have it out. It will be the Black Heart VS the Rebel Heart, for the last time in NXT!
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match, Second Chance Gauntlet!
Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, Chelsea Green and the returning Io Shirai are all in the Six Woman Ladder Match originally meant for TakeOver: Tampa. But with one spot left, the six not in get this second chance! And first out, it’s the wild child, Shotzi Blackheart and the Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo! Will either one make it to the end and into the high stakes Ladder match?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Deonna Purrazzo!
The bell rings and Shotzi circles with Deonna. They tie up, Deonna forces Shotzi to a corner and throws body shots and stomps. The ref counts but Deonna lets up at 4. Deonna whips Shotzi corner to corner but Shotzi reverses. Deonna goes up and under and baits Shotzi in for a roll up, ONE! Shotiz runs in but Deonna waistlocks. Shotzi bucks Deonna off, slides under and enziguris back! Deonna flounders to ropes and Shotzi fires up. Shotzi runs for a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Shotzi headlocks but Deonna powers her off the tornado bulldog and BOOTS her down! Deonna catches his breath while Shotzi goes to ropes. Deonna stomps Shotzi down then drags her back up for a big clothesline! Cover, TWO!
Deonna grows frustrated and stomps Shotzi down. She drags Shotzi back up to throw big forearms. She clotheslines Shotzi against the ropes over and over then snapmares her down. Deonna scrapes her soles on Shotzi’s face! Cover, TWO! Shotzi gets to ropes but Deonna drags her up for another snapmare. Deonna clamps on with a chilock and leans on Shotzi. Shotzi endures as Deonna grinds her down. Shotzi fights her way up and throws body shots. Deonna clubs Shotzi on the back, then drags her up for a headbutt! Shotzi ends up in a corner and Deonna stomps her more. Deonna runs from the center of the ring, into a BOOT! Shotzi hops up, but Deonna forearms her back!
Deonna climbs up top but Shotzi brawls with her. Shotzi gets the edge, then headbutts Deonna down! Shotzi adjusts and leaps, SUPER SENTON! Cover, Shotzi ELIMINATES Deonna! One down, four to go! But Shotzi must now prepare for… Xia Li! Things are about to get spicy! Can Shotzi handle the heat?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Xia Li!
No hesitation from either woman, but Xia ducks Shotzi’s clothesline to shotgun dropkick her down! Xia is fired up after being screwed out of her match last week, by who we still don’t know. Shotzi stays on her feet to throw forearms. Xia fires off a strike fest then whips but SHotzi leaps over the sweep. Shotzi ducks and slides under the roundhouse but misses the enziguri. Xia HEEL KICKS Shotzi down! She talks trash in Mandarin while Shotzi checks her face, and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Shotzi fireman’s carries but Xia slips out. Xia shoves and lariats and BOOTS Shotzi down! Shotzi gets up to get a SUPERKICK! Xia fires up, runs in and hits a forearm! Xia keeps moving and DYNAMIC DROPKICKS Shotzi down! The spice is fired up, but her spinning kick misses! Shotzi hits an Edge O’Matic, to a butterfly variant of Cattle Mutilation! Xia TAPS and Shotzi ELIMINATES another opponent!! Shotzi is ready to #TCB, Take Care o’ Business! But now, Aliyah heads to the ring. The Bougie thought she was in when Xia was taken out, but Io Shirai changed all that. Can Aliyah change things again here and now?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Aliyah!
Aliyah rushes Shotzi to waistlock, but Shotzi bucks her off. Aliyah comes back with a sunset flip, TWO! Shotzi jackknifes, TWO as Aliyah bridges out! Aliyah backslides, TWO and the two stand up together. Aliyah spins Shotzi to a cradle, TWO! Shotzi has the cradle, TWO and the two roll and roll and roll until the separate. They’re both dizzy but Shotzi gets Aliyah for a takedown! Shotzi traps an arm, rolls with it and gets a Rings of Saturn, with a headscissors! Aliyah fights her way out of this to a cover, TWO! The two stand, Aliyah swings but Shotzi waistlocks. Aliyah bucks Shotzi off and throws her down by her hair! Aliyah grins and covers, TWO! Shotzi gets to ropes but Aliyah stomps her down.
Aliyah drags Shotzi up to a corner and throws her across the way! Aliyah runs corner to corner to BOOT Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Aliyah grows frustrated, because she shouts, “I’m more deserving!” Aliyah pushes Shotzi around and then drags her up. She grabs Shotzi’s hair, but Shotzi grabs Aliyah’s hair! Shotzi CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms back. Then she hits a big knee lift then a question mark kick! Shotzi waistlocks but Aliyah grabs ropes. The ref calls for the break but Shotzi gets Aliyah to let go, with a TIGER SUPLEX! Aliyah flounders but Shotzi’s on her with that BUTTERFLY MUTILATION!! Aliyah TAPS, Shotzi ELIMINATES her third opponent!! But that just brings out the fourth, Kayden Carter!
Shotzi Blackheart VS Kayden Carter!
The fiery Filipina wastes no time going after the exhausted Shotzi. KC chops and forearms away on Shotzi then whips. KC tilt-o-whirl scoops but Shotzi headscissors out. But Kayden handsprings through to then dropkick Shotzi down! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi survives but Kayden stays right on her. Kayden whips, Shotzi reverses and reels Kayden in for a knee smash! Shotzi fireman’s carries for a BIG knee smash! Shotzi heads up top but Kayden is up fast! Kayden mule kicks the legs out, and Shotzi is stuck in the ropes! Kayden runs to dropkick Shotzi down out of the corner! Shotzi’s hot streak might come to an end, but NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Kayden runs into the corner. Shotzi dodges then comes back with a shining wizard! To a DRAPING DDT! Shotzi goes up top again, for the SUPER SENTON! Cover, Shotzi ELIMINATES Kayden!! Shotzi’s about to run the gauntlet! But the last competitor is of course Dakota Kai! Raquel Gonzales follows behind as #CobraKai gets in the ring!
Shotzi Blackheart VS Dakota Kai w/ Raquel Gonzales!
Dakota BOOTS and clubs away on Shotzi! Cover, ONE! Dakota sneers as she stomps away on Shotzi. Shotzi rises but Dakota AX KICKS her down! Cover, TWO! Dakota laughs at Shotzi as she stands on her neck! The ref counts and Dakota lets up at 4. Shotzi gasps for air but Dakota drags her up to grind her foot into her face! Dakota lets up again, then clubs Shotzi. Shotzi hits back but Dakota boots her down again. Dakota drags Shotzi up and whips, but Shotzi holds ropes. So Dakota goes out to trip Shotzi! Then spin her around for another BOOT! Dakota puts Shotzi in and covers, TWO! Dakota stalks Shotzi to ropes then drags her away to choke her on them! The ref counts but Dakota lets up, and Raquel gets her shots in!
Dakota drags Shotzi around to cover, TWO! Dakota keeps her cool as she stalks Shotzi. She kicks Shotzi around and Raquel encourages it. Dakota snapmares to a grounded cobra twist! Shotzi endures as Dakota cranks on her, but then Shotzi pushes back! It’s a cover, TWO! Dakota BOOTS Shotzi and covers, TWO!! Shotzi survives and Dakota grows further frustrated. Dakota stands on Shotzi again but the ref counts. Dakota backs off but grins again. Shotzi slowly stands in the corner but Dakota goes side to side, for the BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi will not die! Dakota kicks Shotzi around, toying with her. Dakota stands on Shotzi in the corner, then lets up. Shotzi stands, blocks the kick and then kicks back. Dakota blocks but Shotzi rolls her! Dakota kicks Shotzi away, runs into the corner, but only gets post!
Shotzi rolls and LARIATS! She rallies on Dakota and enziguris! Dakota flounders and Shotzi runs in, to waitlock and SAIDO SUPLEX! Dakota bails out and Raquel goes to her side. The two get to the ramp side and want a time-out. But Shotzi builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit on them both! Shotzi howls, having her second wind! She drags Dakota up and into the ring, but Raquel attacks! But Shotzi throws her into steel steps! Shotzi hurries back in but Dakota BOOTS her again!! Dakota drags Shotzi into a fireman’s carry, for the GO TO KICK!! Cover, Dakota wins!!
Winner: Dakota Kai, by pinfall (joins the #1 Contender’s Ladder Match)
Captain Kota better be sharing some of the winner’s purse with Raquel after that one. But will Raquel be an even bigger insurance policy in the Six Woman Ladder Match?
KUSHIDA VS Joaquin Wilde!
The Time Splitter returns, still on a winning streak. Will that streak continue as he takes a walk on the Wilde Side?
The bell rings and Kushida circles with Wilde. They tie up, Wilde gets the wristlock and wrenches. Kushida rolls and drop toeholds to a facelock. Kushida holds on as Wilde rolls around, then Kushida floats all over Wilde. He pats Wilde on the back, then drags him into a cover! ONE, and Wilde sweeps to cover. ONE and Kushida sweeps to cover, ONE! Wilde stands up but Kushida wheelbarrows to a victory roll, that he then stands on. Kushida rocks back to pop Wilde up into an armbar capture!! Wilde moves around to get the ropebreak! Kushida lets go and the two back off. Kushida says it was that close. Wilde and Kushida circle again then approach. Kushida kicks but Wilde stays back.
Kushida jumps on for a body scissors and knuckle lock. He uses that to wrench but Wilde steps in to headlock. Kushida powers out but Wilde slides under to headscissors back! Wilde arm-drags Kushida to an armlock! Kushida endures, powers his way up but Wilde wrenches again. Wilde grinds Kushida down but Kushida endures. Kushida fights up but Wilde wrenches and elbows away. Wilde runs but Kushida hip tosses to handspring and dropkick! Cover, TWO! Wilde gets to ropes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Wilde has Kushida in a corner. Wilde CHOPS and whips to then run and hit a falling inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Wilde keeps his cool and drags Kushida up with a chinbar. He scoops and flips Kushida for a modified knee smash! Cover, TWO! Wilde grows frustrated that his unique move didn’t work. Kushida gets to a corner but Wilde drags him up. Wilde bumps Kushida off buckles then stomps away. The ref counts and Wilde backs off, but he CLUBS Kushida back. Wilde bumps Kushida off more buckles then rams his shoulder in. The ref counts and Wilde backs off to then wrench and whip. Kushida reverses but Wilde goes up, only to get caught and kicked down! Wilde clutches the targeted arm and Kushida wonders if Wilde’s okay. Kushida brings Wilde up but Wilde throws forearms!
Wilde keeps on Kushida so Kushida kicks back! Kushida ROCKS Wilde with a right then runs, but into a jawbreaker! Wilde and Kushida both stagger, then Wilde whips. Kushida handsprings to back elbow! Kushida whips Wilde and hip tosses, INTO the armbar!! Wilde taps, Kushida wins!
Winner: Kushida, by submission
The Super Junior gets another win! Will Kushida reach a title in NXT in the near future?
NXT Media catches up with Joaquin Wilde.
Wilde is in the parking lot when he’s asked about his match with Kushida. What is going through his mind after that defeat? It was a great match, but another loss. That just seems to be the pattern ever since arriving in NXT. Wilde thought he was going to be a Breakout star, make an impact, but whoa! An SUV just pulls up outta nowhere! And two luchadors are telling Wilde to get in!? This is just like what happened to Raul Mendoza! We haven’t seen Mendoza since that night, either! Wilde is given little choice but to go with the luchadors! Will he end up in the same place as Mendoza? Will we ever see either man again?!
NXT North American Championship Triple Threat: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damian Priest!
The Limitless One and the Croatian Colossus have already redefined what supersized superstars can do in the ring. Now the Archer of Infamy interjects himself into their storied rivalry! Will Priest #LiveForever off the legacies of Lee and Dijakovic? Or will he only be a footnote in the history of this feud that quite possibly could #FightForever?
The introductions are made, stats are given for the first time ever as an upper third, and the belt is raised. The bell rings and this massive main event begins!
Priest swings a kick at Lee, but Lee catches him! Lee throws Priest at Dijakovic, who catches Priest in a choke grip! Priest ROCKS Dijakovic to free himself, but Lee ROCKS Priest! Dijakovic ROCKS Lee but Priest kicks. Dijakovic blocks and kicks back, but Priest also blocks. Lee spins but both Dijakovic and Priest duck the big heel kick! All three men ROUNDHOUSE the man to their left! All three titans stagger back and lean on the ropes, and NXT goes to break!
NXT returns again and Dijakovic runs corner to corner at Priest. Priest boots him away and ducks the discus to hit a COMPLETE SHOT! Both men slowly rise with Lee on the outside. Priest throws big body shots and a haymaker on Dijakovic in the corner. Priest climbs up to rain down rights but Dijakovic powers up and lifts Priest off! Only for Priest to counter with a DDT! Cover, but Lee pushes Priest off. Lee clotheslines Priest out but Priest lands on his feet! Priest ROUNDHOUSES Lee back! Lee wobbles and Priest climbs, but Lee ROCKS Priest back! Lee climbs the corner and drags Priest up top with him! Priest fights the superplex off, clubbing away. Lee clubs back and brings Priest around. Lee tries again and has a bearhug! Dijakovic slides in and joins in!
Priest and Dijakovic both club Lee, then an ear clap staggers Lee! Dijakovic has Lee on his shoulders in the Electric Chair, and Priest adjusts. HEEL KICK DOOMSDAY!! All three titans are down in the ring! Priest flounders over towards Lee but so does Dijakovic. Dijakovic stands first, but Lee follows. Priest is up last and Dijakovic clubs him. Priest clubs Lee then Dijakovic forearms. They work on Lee together with haymakers and kicks. They double choke grip, for a DOUBLE CHOKE SLAM!! But Lee rolls away before either man can cover. Dijakovic grabs Priest for the torture rack but Priest fights free. Priest whips Dijakovic to a corner then drags him up in a crucifix! Dijakovic resits, but Priest still THROWS out of the ring!! And Lee CATCHES him!
Lee and Dijakovic brawl but Priest builds speed to FLY! The tope conjilo wipes them all out and NXT goes to another break!
NXT returns once again, and Dijakovic MOONSAULTS, but FLOPS!! Priest avoids disaster and then choke grips Dijakovic, for a SOUTH OF HEAVEN Choke Slam!! Cover, TWO!?! Dijakovic lives and Priest grows frustrated. But Priest takes aim as Dijakovic slowly rises. Priest spins but his kick misses. Now Dijakovic choke grips, but Priest slips out, to a dragon sleeper! Priest drags Dijakovic up but Dijakovic brings Priest up instead! Lee returns as Dijakovic spins Priest. Priest lands on his feet, so it’s TIME TO FLY! Dijakovic THROWS Priest, but Lee catches Priest! Lee brings Priest up to swing into Dijakovic! And then BOMBS him on Dijakovic’s back! Lee holds on to DO IT AGAIN! And AGAIN! Lee keeps going, for a FOURTH bomb on Dijakovic’s back! And then SPIRIT BOMB!! Cover, Dijakovic breaks it!!
All three men are exhausted, but Lee rises again. Priest crawls to a corner but Lee brings Dijakovic up. Dijakovic elbows and forearms Lee back. Lee SLAMS Dijakovic with a huge spine buster! Lee runs and splashes Priest in the corner! He hops up top but Priest enziguris Lee first! Then spinning ROUNDHOUSES the arm! Priest climbs up top and rains down hands. Priest SUPER STEINER, but Lee blocks it! Lee brings Priest back up, for a SUPER SPIRIT- NO! Priest gets the Super Steiner after all! Dijakovic with the MACHO ELBOW outta nowhere!! Priest aims at Dijakovic and Dijakovic aims right back. Both men hit CYCLONE KICKS!! They both fall onto Lee for a cover, TWO?!? All three men are down but this match is not over yet!
Priest and Dijakovic crawl to ropes. They are on opposite ends of the same corner. Dijakovic choke grips Priest but Priest choke grips back. Lee breaks they bonds to GRIZZLY MAGNUM each of them! Lee climbs up top again and brings each man up. But Priest choke grips, and so does Dijakovic! DOUBLE SUPER CHOKE SLAM!! Dijakovic mule kicks Priest off the top and adjusts. His target is Lee, and he CORKSCREW MOONSAULTS!! Cover, TWO?!?! Lee is superhuman! But he, Dijakovic and Priest are still moving. Wait, Priest has his BATON! Triple Threat means No Disqualifications, but Dijakovic ducks the attack! FEAST YOUR EYES! And a POUNCE!! Priest is sent out of the ring! Lee fireman’s carries Dijakovic, for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE! Cover, LEE WINS!!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
You could call controversy on Priest’s nightstick hitting Dijakovic’s knee in all that, but a win is a win. Forget #LiveForever or #FightForever, will Lee #ReignForever so that we all shall #BaskInHisGlory?
A great episode that also starts the TakeOver compensation programming. If you aren’t sure what I mean by that, the TakeOver: Tampa logo was on the titantron the entire main event. Honestly, I thought this night could’ve been just Dream VS Fish, the Women’s Gauntlet and the NXT North American Championship. But Lumis’s return was really good character work, and even Atlas looked good for his debut. Kushida VS Wilde was really good, and I did not expect Wilde to be brought into the same luchador abduction angle as Mendoza. Are they going to return as brainwashed luchadors to fill the NXT Tag Team Division during this era of travel bans and pandemic policies?
Dream VS Fish was a solid opener, and naturally Dream wins so he can advance in his story. If anything, taking the time for Dream to run an Undisputed Era sweep works out since the world is having to take things very slow right now. We can get Cole VS Dream for the title at whatever TakeOver we get when things return to somewhat normal, with an audience shouting and dueling and what not. The Women’s Gauntlet was great, and I am pleasantly surprised to see Shotzi booked so strong! However, I knew 50-50 booking of equal Faces and Heels would require Dakota Kai to win it all. The Six Woman Ladder Match is going to be great just on story with both Mia and Tegan wanting payback on Dakota.
And then the Triple Threat was definitely TakeOver worthy, if not the direct copy and paste of the match they were going to have. For a moment, I thought Lee was losing, but they did a great job of steering it back to his win. Yes, Dijakovic can claim controversy with the nightstick, but I feel that we need Lee VS Priest 1v1 first before bringing things back to the Lee VS Dijakovic feud. And speaking of feuds, I really liked the video package for #OneLastBeat. Ciampa VS Gargano is going to deliver again next week, and could honestly go either way to me. I’m just curious to see if Killer Kross goes after the winner or the loser, which in itself could be a very creative twist on things.
My Score: 9.1/10
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Andrew’s IMPACT Sacrifice Results & Match Ratings: 3.24.2023
Well damn, 24 hours changes everything! Josh is injured and has to vacate the World title! Mickie is also injured but she’s making her announcement during the show. How does IMPACT salvage their two main title pictures at Sacrifice?
Well hot damn, a lot of news popped up in less than 24 hours. So Josh Alexander tore his triceps; so he has to vacate the World Title and he’s being replaced by Steve Maclin in the 6 man match. Mickie James apparently also has an injury, but they are going to turn it into a segment on the show instead of a straight up vacating.
Now from a story perspective this sucks since I loved the Maclin/Alexander segment last night. That’s just me being selfish since I wanted to see that build and Maclin get the big win he deserves. Now he’ll be facing Kushida for the vacated title at Rebellion, and even if Maclin wins it will feel a little flat. Here’s to hoping that when Josh returns from injury they can find a way to bridge the time lost and keep the story going eventually.
.@MeanGiaMiller caught up with @FrankieKazarian and #RichSwann to talk about @Walking_Weapon's unfortunate injury and @SteveMaclin replacing him as their partner TONIGHT at #Sacrifice! #CountdownToSacrifice pic.twitter.com/jdnqk6BLN9
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 24, 2023
- Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham: Bailey wins via Reverse Figure Four – *** 3/4
- Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers: Hendry retains via Standing Ovation – ***
- Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna wins via Venus de Milo – *** 1/4
- Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO: PCO wins via Straight Right Chair Punch – *** 1/4
- X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c): Trey retains via Cradle – *
- IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c): Bullet Club retains via ABC 1-2-Sweet – ****
- Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer: Bully wins – ** 1/2
- Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin: Kushida wins via Hoverboard Lock – ****
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham
With the injuries in the main event, I could definitely see one, or both of these guys; fast tracked into the title scene after Rebellion. And I don’t think anyone would really be mad at that.
A quick tit for tat start, no one really gets any advantage. Just a few quick counters and takeover attempts. They both pause to take in chants from the crowd and then lock up again. Collar and Elbow tie up, they don’t release and both roll one another under the rope and out of the ring. There is an early moment where while he’s against the ropes he pokes Speedball in the eye and then apologizes. So things go back to a technical face vs face, but it could be a precursor.
Technical catch wrestling continues. Wrestling one another down, trying to get positions for small submission picks or limb attacks, but nothing is sticking yet. Gresham does manage to an Indian Deathlock, and then a Reverse Figure Four that Gresham conveniently can’t untangle so the referee has to do it and Bailey is pissed. Gresham tries to explain it, but Bailey lights him up, Gresham falls out of the ring, Golden Triangle Moonsault and now the aggression is starting to pick up. Hamstring Kicks and Chops from Bailey, but Gresham baits the attack and trips up Bailey before attacking the left knee with a grin on his face. Bailey is grounded for a while and Gresham keeps trying to twist off his leg. Eventually some Up Kicks break the submission attempt but Gresham wrestles him down again into a Bow and Arrow Trailer Hitch kind of move. Since Bailey has Tanahashi next week, Gresham must be trying to make Bailey’s knees equal. Good Guy Gresham.
Bailey starts stringing some offense together, but a few Low Dropkicks ruins Bailey’s base and causes him to face plant and the offense is going nowhere. Gresham even goes for the pinfall by trying to hyper extend the leg he’s been working on. Strikes continue to trade, Gresham tries to shoot the half but Bailey kicks off, Hamstring Kick again, Gresham Kips Up but clutches the leg a little, a chance for Speedball but Gresham cradles him to the ground and locks in a Figure Four. Speedball eventually rolls to the apron, Gresham tries to continue the stretching but Bailey kicks him into the post, sweeps the leg and Moonsault Double Knees right on Gresham’s head; Bailey went full Billy Kidman with his offense.
Bailey and Gresham continue to jockey for position on the outside, it looks like it might be a double count out. Gresham gets in at 9, Bailey gets in right at the 10 and the referee allows the match to continue. Some quick offense, Tornado Kicks to the corner, Ultima Weapon misses, Gresham goes for the Figure Four again but Speedball reverses it and Gresham taps pretty quick.
Backstage segment with Brian Myers, Moose joins and says he’ll help him beat Hendry – but then Santino shows up! He tells Moose he’s dumb and just stooged himself out, so he’s banning him from ringside. Who would’ve thunk it, the comedy character brings the logic.
Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers
Myers powders after a few early bumps and then Hendry follows him. Hendry is definitely not fighting with “champion’s advantage”, as is the way for babyfaces. Myers tries to fight back on the floor but a Scoop Slam leaves Myers on the receiving end. Hendry has to roll in to reset the 10 count and Myers catches him.
A few quick attacks, Roster Cut attempt but Hendry gets the goozle on. Standing Ovation attempt but Myers slips it, Chop Block, and continues to hammer down on Hendry. Myers with a Falcon Arrow and a bunch of slightly arrogant offense until he goes for the Crossbody, gets caught again, Sack of Shit, and Hendry is back on the offensive. Pop Up Power – no, slips and a Running Spear from Myers for a 2 count. Myers hits the top rope but Hendry cuts him off, Myers pushes him off, launches and Hendry hits the RKO mid move! Throws Myers into the ropes, Standing Ovation, and Hendry retains!
So Mickie addresses her injury, it seems she broke a rib during the tag match. They are allowing Mickie to hold on to the title until Rebellion. Either she defends it in a 3 way versus Jordynne and the winner of the 4 Way at the Multiverse United show or Jordynne will face the winner of the 4 Way for the vacated title.
Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna starts off angry, Gisele is getting rocked early, they go through a few rope running counter cradles and slides but its just early counter wrestling. Gisele manages to surprise Deonna going for an Armbar, but Deonna counters it, tries the Venus de Milo but Shaw powders. Deonna hits the Baseball Slide, starts beating on Gisele but she slides back in to distract the referee while Savannah clocks Deonna.
Triplicate European Uppercuts from Gisele keep her very comfortably in control. Another distraction to the ref and Savannah swings and connects with Deonna again. Deonna tries to fight from the corner, Gisele grabs Deonna’s feet drapes her across the ropes and drops both knees on Deonna. Gisele drives her knee into Deonna’s shoulder blades and goes for the Chin Lock. Deonna tries to power out, Gisele stifles it a little, but Deonna catches her with a Twisting Neckbreaker. Slow start to the strike exchange but it slowly picks up, Deonna with a beautiful spot of a no look Back Kick right to Gisele’s stomach, Running Knee Lift into the Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Deonna Pump Kick, Gisele Superkick, Deonna bounces off the ropes, Flatliner into Koji Clutch, but Gisele slides back a little to turn it into a pinfall to break the submission.
Both women have wrist control and just swing at each other. Deonna gets the best, one big swing but Gisele ducks it, catches Deonna in Shock and Awe (Backbreaker into Flatliner). Denouement attempt, Deonna grabs at the arm for the Fujiwara attempt but Gisele fights it off. Venus de Milo gets locked in and Deonna holds it a little longer to make a point.
Savannah attacks Deonna afterwards, but Tasha Steelz music hits. Tasha tries to play nice like she’s here to help Savannah, then cheap shots her, fights off Jai with a Tornado DDT kicking off of Savannah. Okurr on Jai and Tasha cleans house and babyfaces herself.
Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO
Kenny comes out in an Honor No More shirt, which is a nice way to play into the story.
Eddie tries to get PCO’s attention and then Kenny attacks him right as the bell rings. PCO turns things around shortly, Eddie keeps trying to find angles to give Kenny ambush spots but PCO keeps fighting back. PCO stalks Eddie on the outside and Kenny hits a beautiful Tornillo, then a Scoop Slam as he mocks the whole Frankenstein gimmick. PCO rolls in and Kenny John Woo’s him into the corner and starts Bootwashing his face to talk smack. PCO fires, goozle and just throws Kenny out of the ring.
PCO kicks Kenny from getting back in the ring, looks to do his Senton but “short circuits”. So PCO does a Senton to the wrong side of the ring, crashing but popping right back up, and it apparently helped correct the issue. So Senton onto Kenny, throws him back in, Kenny tries the Eddy Gordo kick but PCO just barrels over him. PCO drapes Kenny in the corner, Codebreaker, into the back of the head Guillotine Leg Drop and now PCO pulls him to the apron.
Here we go, Deanimator attempt – but Eddie cuts him off, PCO kicks him back into the cameras, Kenny gets up and an Iconoclasm bouncing off the apron of the ring! Kenny throws him into the steps, rolls in, things he’s all but won…yet PCO beats the 10 count. “He’s Not Human” chant starts, Frog Splash from Kenny and PCO kicks out and fires at 2. Eddie throws a Kendo stick in the ring to distract the referee from Kenny using a chair. Kenny hits PCO once, PCO shakes it off and has a gameplan. So he actually helps keep the referee distracted to bait in Kenny for another chairshot attempt, but PCO just punches through the chair and knocks out Kenny.
Maclin, Kaz and Rich have a backstage segment. It perfectly shows the story beats of Maclin being annoyed that he put in all this prep and recon on Josh just for the opponent to be flipped. Typical tumultuous team members vibe, but Maclin gets his story beats across beautifully.
Can #RichSwann and @FrankieKazarian trust @SteveMaclin? #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/TcEZ79IWkC
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c)
Okay Lince comes out in a bathrobe with some cringe ass “Lucha Lit” gimmick. I…hate it. This is probably the first time ever that I want Trey to win. Cause Dorado is cringe as hell. In a game of them both sucking, I’ll pick the style of trash that I can tolerate more…which is Trey.
Lucha counter wrestling with flips over trips and that stupid ass Mirrored Dropkick Spot. I also don’t love the Lince doing the cat mannerisms, but Puma King and a few others have done that…so I guess its more tolerated in Lucha. This whole match has been a little paint by numbers boring Lucha where the moves are done just to pop the crowd but not to actually accomplish anything.
Diving whatever moves they accomplish nothing. Its really hard for me to care about flippy trash matches. Lince hits 2 of the 3 step Moonsaults, but Trey of course no sells and dodges the third, Tiger Wall Kick, but Trey stumbles a little for the Enzuigiri, Trey also hits a sloppy Outside In Tiger Feint…its just sloppy spots for spots sake. I would probably be more entertained if I had Runescape fired up on a different tab. This is just a waste of space, much like both “wrestlers”.
Lince hits a Avalanche Frankensteiner, into a Shooting Star Press but Trey powders. Lince tries that bounce off the corner with his legs spot, but its sloppy. Another sloppy Tiger Feint from Trey, Slingshot Sunset Bomb for 2. These are just stupid moves for stupid sake. Lince tries to cut off Trey from a rope run with a Big Boot but mostly misses, makes the whole cut off exchange look stupid. Trey with a flash cradle during the cut offs for pinfall. Eww…this was garbage.
IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c)
It is nice to see a variation of TMDK back together. I also enjoyed Tito called Ace and Bey the “Mini Bullet Club” since they’re the juniors heavyweights.
Tito and Bey start off, Bey is trying to show off his speed, Tito gets across the power though. Tito kinda looks like a young Scott Steiner, and he literally tosses Bey back into his corner. Ace tags in, tries to do something but Tito is just too strong. Haste gets tagged in for some flashy yet effective offense. Ace finds something with the Triangle Victory Roll, Bey blind tag, cheap shot on Tito, Russian Leg Sweep + Low Sweep combination into some Click Click Boom. So Bullet Club is showing very nice Junior style synergy. Haste is very loud and animated, so he’s a great one to have eating the offense. Especially when they do their Back Rake goof spot.
Haste finally maneuvers things to tag Tito in, and Haste hands off Ace to Tito and Tito hits a Standing Blue Thunder Bomb. Tree of Woe, Bey tries to come in to break up the spot but the referee is distract, Tito steps up and stands on the groin, nice homage to Petey Williams. We are in Canada. Announce team almost sets up too much meme fodder, and then Rehwoldt steers into it. Rehwoldt said Bey was trying to rush into to get Tito off…paused for a second, which you know Hannifan gave him a look. So then they just pivot to everyone in TMDK being like Australian Sex Pistols. Very clever misdirection.
The match is fun, Bey gets the hot tag, clocks everyone, Haste tries a Lariat, Bey ducks that, flies onto Tito on the outside, comes back in, Tornado Fameasser for 2. Bullet Club goes for a Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combo, but Haste gets out of it. Tito gets tagged in and he start to look like Steve Williams with the Doctor Bomb for 2. Tito hits a big battering ram Dive on Bey to clear him out. Haste Falcon Arrow, Tito Froggy Splash, but Bey breaks it up.
Tito starts getting ping ponged between the two Juniors, Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combination, for 1-2-3? – no Haste comes in the referee says it was in time to stop the 3 count. Tito charges and a beautifully times Superkick + Spinning Back Heel Kick on Tito. He’s dazed, ABC 1-2-Sweet! Bullet Club retain!
Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer
This is a First Blood Match for anyone who doesn’t know, and Dreamer comes out with an ECW Championship Belt.
Chair duel to start things, ECW replica belt to the face of Bully Ray. Dreamer grabs a soda from a fan, Muta mist on Bully, tries to shove the can into his skull for early blood but no. Bully crotches Dreamer on the guardrail and then picks a fight with Darren McCarty who’s in the crowd. Darren McCarty was the enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings, so its very old school letting the ex sports guy play. Bully also has a great spot where he pulls out a step ladder, then asks the referee to hold it, does the Jimmy Snuka pose and goes for a Splash and misses. Bully gets to rile up AEW and WWF fans all in one spot. Good old school heat. Corny, but good.
Dreamer gets a bag of tacks, Bully fights off the Piledriver, gets the cheese grater but Dreamer hits the Bionic Elbow as a counter. Cheese grater with Dreamer, Dreamer charges, Bully pulls the referee in the corner, so ref bump. Dreamer eventually makes contact with the cheese grater, but there’s no referee and Bully has his back to the camera, so it slow rolls the result nicely. Good Hands hit the ring, on with a towel to see if he can blot the bleeding before the ref comes to.
Bully hits Tommy with pocket tacks instead of pocket sand. Tries to drive Dreamer’s face into the tacks and then Elbow it further down but Dreamer moves. Dreamer grabs the grater again, Bully tries to beg off, screams he’s sorry and now tries to guilt Tommy with his family is going to see this. Dreamer actually stops and then Bully hits him in the balls. Bully busts open Tommy with the tacks, the Good Hands slide in Tommy as the referee comes to, so the referee only sees Dreamer bleeding. Its a solid old school Hardcore match but it was definitely a little too plodding and corny.
Yuya Uemura tries to make the save, then Darren McCarty jumps the railing. This really has turned into ECW, Bully gets a mic, asks him if he really wants to fight and tells security to let him go. LOL – a literal Hockey Fight. McCarty gets the best of things, Good Hands mug him from behind. Triple Powerbomb McCarty through the table.
Scott D’Amore’s music hits! Scott starts stripping like he’s Ric Flair. Bully calls down Scott, but Scott has backup. He calls Rino, Heath, Gresham, Baily and Joe Hendry. Good Hands try to attack Scott…Scott stops him…and HITS A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Can this lead to a Lethal Lockdown match? Team D’Amore versus Team Bully? Give me that…give me some Lethal Lockdown now!
Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin
Shelley and Swann start off, and its just a bit of chain wrestling. They both have Hammerlocks, Headlocks, and just twist around to try and find an angle. Shelley speeds things up a little, Shoulder Tackle, rope run, Swann goes down and Shelley puts on the brakes to sink in a quick STF but Rich grabs the rope. Kaz and Sabin tag in and we get some Battle of the Futures nostalgia.
Back and forth, Up and Over, Sabin with the Arm Drag into the Top Wristlock. Kaz fights through, a little more quick counters and fun stalemate spots as they are all having fun with each other. Kushida tags in and points to Maclin. Kaz slaps Maclin’s chest and we all know Maclin isn’t a fun loving babyface like Kaz and Swann, so the tone should start to change. Kushida starts by starting Grounded ala Inoki vs Ali, then manages to trip up Maclin and keep the mat wrestling going, but Maclin finally gets back to hit feet and can finally use his size and power to his advantage. Shelley blind tag, Time Splitters PK to the Arm combo.
Shelley keeps on the arm that got kicks with the Arm Wringer and then a few quick shots to the damaged arm. Kaz makes the blind tag after Maclin uses the middle rope into Shelley’s throat. Kaz and Rich with a little Hip Toss tandem stuff for a near fall on Shelley. But the tone of Rich and Kaz is definitely much different. Shelley fights his way out of the enemy corner, Time Machine triple team, Single Leg Crab, Camel Clutch, Sliding Dropkick from Sabin onto Rich. Kaz is trying to police too much of Maclin’s motion, typical team that doesn’t get along stuff. Rich driven into Kaz in the corner, triple Dropkicks from all of Time Machine.
Kushida tags in, stares down Maclin and then Maclin picks up and throws Rich to Time Machine because you can tell he’s frustrated getting policed with all of his moves. MCMG hold Rich, Kushida hits the Baseball Slide on the restrained wrestler and Kushida does the little Liger spin around pose/taunt and stares down Maclin. Shelley starts with the joint manipulation, and Swann is just getting torn apart. Swann in the Tree of Woe, Sliding Dropkick to Swann’s face, and then the Triple Baseball Slide. Sabin tags in with the Octopus Hold on Rich which he rolls into a pinfall, but Rich kicks out. You hear Maclin say “All you have to do is tag me bitch” – which proves that Maclin is trying to be a team player in his own way.
Rich fights out of the triple team, and chooses to tag in Kaz. Kaz hot tag, exchanges with Sabin which turns into the Guillotine Leg Drop through the ropes, Kaz is taking out everyone right now. Two Springboard Leg Drops…and now a third as all of the Time Machine offense is stopped. Sabin blind tag though gives Time Machine some momentum. Rich tries to come in, gets rocked, Maclin charges, Sabin grabs him and Tornado DDT sends Maclin to powder. Missile Dropkick/Flatliner on Kaz for 2.
Cradle Shock counter, rolling tag to Rich. Avalanche Headscissors, Rich goes to the top rope, Maclin tags himself in, but Time Machine gets rolling. Dragon Screw from Kushida with the Mutoh pose afterwards. Maclin and Shelley are legal, and going back and forth. Double Arm Breaker from Shelley after Kaz tries to get involved. Maclin gets some offense back in, Caught in the Crosshairs form Maclin, Maclin tags in Kaz, Kaz tags Rich, tandem attacks, Cutter form Rich into a 450…1-2-Kushida Kicks out! Swann goes for Phoenix Splash but misses. Flying Armbar from Kushida, triple Submission spot, but Maclin gets out of his and breaks Kushida’s submission. Maclin stares down Time Machine, hits the ropes and gets eaten alive by tandem attacks.
Time Machine goes for a Double Shiranui Tower, but it gets broken up. Outatime lands on Kaz. Sliced Bread lands on Swann. Tanaka Punch blocked, Maclin eats Shell Shock, Sabin gives Kushida a rolling start to throw him onto Maclin like a Spider Monkey and sink in the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin taps relatively quick, which is strategic to not risk injury.
Overall Score: 7/10
Talk about a show that no one knew what the hell to expect! Josh vacating the belt means that things had to change with fairly short notice. Mickie’s implications of either a Triple threat or she’ll hand over the belt to the winner if she’s not cleared is something you don’t see too often. But when it comes down to the card, the show was relatively good. Trey & Lince was hot garbage, and Busted Open was what we all kind of expected. Was it a bit more entertaining with some of the ECW nods? Sure. But it was just a spectacle and honestly Scott D’Amore hitting the Canadian Destroyer made that all worth it.
OH CANADA! @ScottDAmore CANADIAN DESTROYERS @TheJasonHotch and Windsor EXPLODES! #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/iqqpiH0tMZ
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
The tag and six man matches were the best stuff on the card, and sets the stage decently well for storylines into Rebellion. I’m not joking though, if we don’t get Team D’Amore vs Team Bully in a Lethal Lockdown…the salt will pour. Don’t let the Canadian Destroyer spot be for naught! Oh – and put the damn belt on Maclin!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/24/23)
It’s a family feud!
Wrestling really does have more than one royal family.
While Cody Rhodes is back on SmackDown to take on Ludwig Kaiser, Dominik Mysterio plans on confronting in his entire family in Las Vegas! Will Rey finally snap on his son?
- Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci; Cody wins.
- Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight; Knight wins.
- WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya; Shotzi & Natalya win and advance to WrestleMania.
- “Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER; Gunther wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci!
The American Nightmare is back on SmackDown, looking to stay razor sharp for his match with the Tribal Chief. But will he get more than just a tune-up from the Impeccable German? Or will Kaiser keep the mat sacred?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up for “CODY! CODY!” Ludwig eggs Cody on, they tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Cody powers Ludwig to a corner but Ludwig turns it around. Ludwig lets off, but throws a body shot! Ludwig whips, Cody reverses and reels Ludwig in to suplex! Fans fire up as Cody keeps Ludwig in the air, before the GOURD BUSTER! But wait, here comes Paul Heyman. Cody is distracted by the Wise Man, Ludwig waistlocks, but Cody trips Ludwig to then SHINING WIZARD! Ludwig bails out while Cody glances back at Heyman. Fans continue to rally for Cody while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cody staggers over to Ludwig. Ludwig UPPERCUTS then COMPLETE SHOTS! Cover, TWO! Ludwig scowls, and he rains down fists in a headlock! Fans boo but Ludwig lets off. Ludwig clamps onto Cody with a chinlock, then CLUBS him down. Fans boo as Ludwig goes outside to drag Cody to the corner, but Cody YANKS Ludwig into the post! Cody goes out to CHOP Ludwig, ROCKS him, and then CHOPS him against the announce desk! Cody rains down fists and fans fire up! Cody puts Ludwig back in the ring, runs and springboards, but Ludwig trips him up and YANKS him down!
Heyman is stoic as Ludwig sits Cody up to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Cody scowls but Ludwig looms over him. Ludwig pie faces Cody, drags him up but Cody ROCKS Ludwig and JABS and throws a body shot. Ludwig throat chops in return! Ludwig CHOKES Cody on the ropes, the ref counts and Ludwig lets off. Fans boo, but Vinci gets a cheap shot! Cover, TWO! Ludwig clamps back on with a chinlock. Cody endures, fans rally up, and Cody fights up to his feet. Ludwig throws Cody down by his hair! Fans boo more as Ludwig paces around and taunts Cody. Ludwig rains down more fists, then scrapes Cody’s face!
Ludwig runs to BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Heyman is still stoic as Cody drags himself to ropes. Ludwig kicks the ropes to jam Cody’s arm! Ludwig drags Cody up to UPPERCUT! Cody ROCKS Ludwig with forearm after forearm! Ludwig JAWBREAKERS! Ludwig throws body shots and stomps in the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Cody puts him on the apron! Cody ROCKS Ludwig, and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICKS Ludwig down! Fans fire up and Heyman is upset now. Ludwig staggers up into a kick, and Cody reels Ludwig in! Cody hooks the arms, but now SOLO SIKOA appears!
Fans boo as the Bloodline approaches, but Ludwig CHOP BLOCKS Cody’s leg! Solo and Heyman stay at the ramp as Ludwig goes out. Cody throws hands, whips, but Ludwig reverses and sends Cody crashing into steel steps! Fans boo but Cody drags himself up, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cody throws hands on Ludwig. Ludwig headlocks, Cody powers out and things speed up, but DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Solo & Heyman are now ringside as fans rally up. Vinci coaches Ludwig but Cody sits up first. They stand, Cody throws a body shot but Ludwig throws a haymaker. Cody throws a forearm, Ludwig gives it back, they go shot for shot, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Ludwig kicks low, whips, but Cody reverses to then follow and CLOBBER Ludwig! Cody kicks, RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then baits Ludwig, goes up and over in a corner, and POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!
Solo is stoic, Heyman smiles, but then Vinci throws in his track jacket. The ref gets that out of the way, but misses the HIGH LOW COMBO from Imperium! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and Ludwig is surprised. Ludwig shouts “NEIN!” and runs in to UPPERCUT, GAMANGIRI and HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Ludwig goes up top, leaps, but into a dragon sleeper! But Ludwig drops to victory roll! TWO, and Cody dodges Ludwig to springboard, CODY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cody stares down Heyman & Solo! Cody waits on Ludwig, reels him back in, CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!
Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall
The Impeccable German was less than perfect, and he loses to the American Nightmare! But Cody watches Solo get up on the apron and Heyman has the mic. Heyman has Solo stand down, and then tells Cody, “You’re owed an apology. And since I’m the Wise Man of the Bloodline, may I? I am going to be the one to deliver that apology to you.” The ring announcer did a lousy job. She must be from Vegas. Fans boo and Heyman acts surprised. But Heyman will do the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen! Your winner… and still challenger for the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns… Cody! RRRRHODES!”
Fans are torn but Heyman says this is the very same Cody Rhodes that sees his Road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday Night Raw, when Cody goes one versus one against… SOLO! And if, and isn’t that a big “if,” IF Cody survives Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be here live on SmackDown next Friday to see Cody one final time face to face. Heyman tosses the mic to Cody and he catches it. “Is that what we’re doing, Mr. Heyman? Are you moving the goal posts for me? Another thing you did, you interrupted them while they were singing the song.
“And now, you wanna move the goal posts and move ’em right here, huh? Am I expected to say ‘No?’ Oh, it’s six days out from the biggest match in the history of my family, I should probably say no, right? WELL, I probably shouldn’t have wrestled with half my body hanging off, and I still beat Seth Rollins! So when it comes to you,” he says as he points at Solo, “undefeated and as good as you are, like I said last week. You’re. Not. Ready!” Fans chant that, then Cody continues.
“And as for the champion, Roman Reigns. After Solo finds out that he’s not ready, at WrestleMania on April 2nd, your boy, Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, will find out the same thing. He is not ready, either!” Cody throws the mic back and Heyman misses it! Will everything about this homestretch to Hollywood be a nightmare for The Bloodline?
BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
The very first match of night one on Saturday, April 1st will be… AUSTIN THEORY VS JOHN CENA! The United States Championship will set the pace for the weekend, will The Now find that he’s not ready, either?
Charlotte Flair is here!
Vegas fires up as The Queen heads to the ring. The SmackDown Women’s Champion has her pyro then gets the mic to tell Las Vegas, “We are just eight days away from WrestleMania! Fourteen times. Fourteen time world champion. And I can tell you, that was not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. The same three things have been used against me by everyone, and I mean everyone, since I started in this business.
“Fear. What is fear? Fear is a lack of understanding. It’s ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. This business was built on respect! Rhea Ripley, I don’t fear you. I respect you! The only thing that I fear is my own potential. I respected Nikki and Brie. I respect Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Trish, Ronda, Asuka, Natty! I respected all of them! Insecurities. Damn right I have insecurities! Are you really ‘whatting’ me? This is important to me so listen. Insecurities, damn right I have them. And I have built this house on every brick that all of you have thrown at me! For the last seven YEARS! Lastly, nepotism.” Fans “WOO~!”
“That’s right, Vegas. I love my dad. And I will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment! And whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it, because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. WOO~!” The Queen is fired up, but will she be able to hold her throne at WrestleMania?
Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight!
The King of Lucha Libre, the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, has been pushed and pushed and pushed by his punk of a son, and the Mega Star was one big mouth too far! Will Rey be able to shut up the obnoxious jerk that isn’t Dominik? Or will things only get worse for Rey on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?
SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Knight chases Rey but Rey dodges and fires off hands! Knight shoves Rey away, but Rey slides under and dropkicks Knight to a corner. Rey runs in but Knight fights off the monkey flip. But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey runs in, and now he MONKEY FLIPS! Knight staggers up,. Rey KICKS Knight to a corner, and then rains down fists! Fans count all the way to TEN, then Rey gives us some Latino Heat. Rey runs, but Knight FLAPJACKS him down! Knight stomps Rey, stomps him to ropes, but the ref counts.
Knight lets off, “YEAH!” Then he bumps Rey off a buckle. Knight throws hands, JABS Rey, then digs his boots in. The ref counts, Knight lets off at 4, and Knight brings Rey up. Knight shoves Rey into the corner, Rey bounces off buckles, and into the NECKBREAKER! Knight spells it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” Cover, ONE!! Knight is annoyed and he throws fists down. Knight keeps on Rey, throws hands, then he bumps Rey off buckles. Fans rally and duel, but Knight whips Rey to ropes. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges then tilt-o-whirls to RANA! Knight flounders out of the ring and fans fire up!
Rey runs, WRECKS Knight with a dropkick, then he builds speed. Rey SLIDES to SPLASH! Fans fire up for that one, and Rey stalks Knight to CLUB him! Rey puts Knight in the ring, climbs up and shoulders in! Then he GAMANGIRIS Knight away, climbs the corner, but here comes Dom! Dom said he’d ruin the fun, and Knight trips Rey up! Rey tumbles to the mat, but Dom doesn’t care. Fans boo as Dom walks down the ramp while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Knight stomps away on Rey again. Knight drags Rey up but Rey throws hands! Rey fires off but Knight knees low! Knight scoops, Rey slips off and rolls Knight up, to then dropkick! Fans fire up while Knight scrambles around. Knight goes after Rey, Rey slips under and runs, but into a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dom paces at ringside, and Knight sits Rey up to KNEE him in the back! Knight drags Rey up, back suplexes high and hard, then dusts off his hands. “YEAH!” Knight grins as he stands over Rey, then he pulls on the mask. The ref reprimands, Knight whips Rey to ropes, but Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges!
Rey CROSSBODIES, but Knight catches him for a POWERSLAM! Dom smirks while Knight spells it out again. “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey and Knight slowly stand up, Rey goes to ropes and Knight storms over, but into an elbow! Rey springboards, wheelbarrows and BULLDOGS! Dom is annoyed but Rey goes to the apron. Rey climbs up, SEATED SENTONS! And Rey keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Rey brings him up to whip him to ropes. Knight reverses, kicks low and back suplexes, but Rey lands on his feet! Tilt-o-whirl, but Knight blocks to a BACKPACK SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Knight grows frustrated but he drags Rey back up. Fans rally for “619! 619!” as Knight scoops, but Rey turns slam into DDT! Rey then dropkicks Knight onto the ropes! Fans fire up, Rey dials it up, 619 BLOCKED by Knight! Knight grins, lifts Rey up, but Rey RANAS free! Rey redials, but Dom trips him up!! Fans boo and Rey is furious! He can’t believe Dom is doing this now, but Knight rolls Rey up! KNIGHT WINS!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall
Dom smiles because he just screwed his dad over. Dom gets the mic and tells, “Jefe… You gonna give me what I want? Huh? C’mon. C’mon Or are you gonna run away? Or are you gonna finally be a man and face me at WrestleMania?” Dom pushes Rey, and Rey brings down the straps. To wag his finger, “No.” Dom says, “That’s right. Walk away like you always do. Hey, mom. How does it feel to be married to such a pathetic loser? A coward who can’t even stand up to his own son?” Fans boo but then Dom points out the rest of the family. He asks if mom knew she married a deadbeat.
She did, because here’s why. She sat there every night while Rey abandoned Dom, sot hat makes her no better! His sister steps up now, and Dom asks Aalyah what she’s gonna do about it. She’s too stupid to understand this. Mom Angie snatches the mic from Dom but Dom snatches it back to tell her to shut up! Rey storms back over and fans fire up! Dom dares Rey to do something, and Rey DECKS Dom!! Dom is shocked but Vegas is thunderous! Rey tells Dom that Dom pushed him to do this. Rey doesn’t wanna do this but Dom gave him no choice! You do not disrespect your mother like that! That is Rey’s wife!
Dom wanted a fight at Mania? Then he’s on!! Fans are thunderous again as Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son.” Dom scurries away, having gotten what he wanted like the brat he is. But will Dom come to regret everything he’s done these past few months?
WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya!
The Model Soldier teams with The Predator to take on the Wild Child and the Queen of Harts! Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez are watching ringside, who will they see join them in this Fatal 4 Way tag team showcase?
The teams sort out, Shotzi and Lacey start. Fans rally as Shotzi and Lacey circle, then Shotzi gets around to a waistlock. Shotzi ripcords, wrenches and wristlocks but Lacey throws Shotzi by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Shotzi up and fans rally as Lacey whips her to the corner. Lacey RAMS into Shotzi, tags Xia, and then mocks the fans. Xia stomps Shotzi, brings her up to CHOP, then taunts Natty. Xia runs in to KNEE and ELBOW Shotzi, then reels her in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Natty rallies the fans behind Shotzi but Lacey tells them to shut up. Xia bumps Shotzi off buckles and tags in Lacey.
Lacey mocks the fans, then runs to headstand and BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey drags Shotzi up, snapmares and then dribbles Shotzi’s face off the mat! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Lacey drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws hands, kicks but Lacey blocks to trip her up! Lacey then sucker punches Natty! Fans boo but Shotzi rolls Lacey up! TWO and Shotzi ENZIGURIS Lacey down! But Natty is still off the corner so Shotzi has to BOOT Lacey away! Shotzi runs but Lacey CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Lacey tags Xia. Lacey & Xia drag Shotzi up, double whip but Shotzi KICKS Xia and JAWBREAKERS Lacey!
Xia waistlocks Shotzi, Lacey storms up, but Shotzi slips free and the WOMAN’S RIGHT takes out Xia!! Lacey is furious, but Shotzi whips her out of the ring! Shotzi swings on Lacey, Lacey counter punches, but Natty is back! Natty BOOTS Lacey, then Shotzi DIVES to take Lacey down! Fans fire up as Shotzi hurries back in and tags Natty! HART ATTACK! And then the SHARPSHOOTER! Xia taps, Natty & Shotzi win!
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya, by pinfall (advance to WrestleMania)
Two hearts and a lot of fire, these two make it through! But wait, here come Ronda & Shayna! Shayna says, “Look at all the history in the ring right now! I mean, each single one of those women has a reason to want to get revenge on us, right? Let’s look. Broken hand, broken nose, broken arm, broken spirit. What do you say we uh… Give them the opportunity tonight?” Fans fire up as the Baddest Women on the Planet step up, but then Ronda says, “Wait, Shay-Bayz. I’ve got a question for you. How many times have we sold out this exact arena?” A couple times. And what about this entire town? A couple more times.
And how much did they appreciate it? ZERO TIMES! These two have given Vegas more than it deserves, so never again! And certainly not tonight. Shayna agrees with that. But lucky for the others, or maybe unlucky, these two are here to let them know, they’re in the tag team showcase! WrestleMania may be taking place in Hollywood, but the stakes just got raised like here in Vegas! Who wins when the odds are not in their favor?
Drew McIntyre heads to the ring.
Vegas fires up as the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Der Ring General are about to converge for a contract signing! The Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship isn’t until WrestleMania, but will things break down on SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and Adam Pearce is in the ring to welcome us to this contract signing. But before he can introduce McIntyre, Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes make their way out! “Las Vegas, what’s the crack?” Sheamus says everyone’s been asking why he’s so mad at McIntyre. Imagine this: imagine working 15 YEARS of your life to achieve a particular goal; now imagine telling your best friend about that goal, only for him to go behind your back to try and steal it away from you. Imagine that friend being someone you let sleep and live on your couch, that you brought to his first training session in this business!
McIntyre rolls his eyes as Sheamus has said a lot of this before. Sheamus says, “Now imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in on the Grandest Stage of Them All, because they’re nothing but a backstabbing-” McIntyre says, “Imagine shutting up for a second. Every week, you run your mouth, you try to give me this guilt trip, trying to make me feel bad. And if it’s not on SmackDown, it’s on social medial with your little gifs and memes you create, blow up my Twitter like a teenage girl. It’s embarrassing, mate!”
McIntyre says last week, they were in this ring, proving why they are the most physical superstars in the WWE! They beat the hell out of each other! And afterwards, they should’ve been in the bar, laughing about it. That’s what they did in the old times. But now, Sheamus is so sensitive, he has this temper, that Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. Sheamus says McIntyre made this personal! McIntyre has a lot he’d love to say but he’ll stick to facts. And the facts are: McIntyre has beaten Sheamus, and he KNOWS he can beat Gunther. And history has shown that Sheamus can’t. Fans fire up as the two stare down.
Pearce has both men stand down because in order to get to WrestleMania, he needs three signatures on the contract. So how about we get the first two taken care of now? McIntyre takes the pen, signs his part, and then hands things over to Sheamus. Sheamus takes another pen, he signs his part, and then McIntyre throws his pen to the crowd as a free souvenir. And here comes GUNTHER! Gunther storms right into the ring, he gets right in Pearce’s face, and he tells Pearce to justify this decision. Justify why Gunther is in a match where the other two can pin or submit the other and Gunther still loses his title. Justify it! JUSTIFY IT!!
Pearce has Gunther calm down now, and Gunther signs his part. Is Pearce happy now? Whatever he has to do to defend HIS title at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat McIntyre. He will beat Sheamus. And if he has to, he’ll beat up Ridge and- What is Dunne looking at him like that for? DUNNE JUMPS THE TABLE TO GET AT GUNTHER!! Fans go wild as Butch goes wild! Ridge drags Dunne away, Gunther TOSSES the table! Gunther gets in Pearce’s face and Gunther wants a match! Pearce says okay, just calm down! Is Der Ring General about to break the Bruiserweight?
“Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER!
SmackDown returns, and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Dunne pulls on Gunther’s ears! Then CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne runs, but into a BOOT! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops and SLAMS him, then sits him up to PENALTY KICK! Dunne kicks back from below! Dunne forearms, CHOPS, SLAPS and then jumps on for a a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Gunther throws body shots and then shifts Dunne around into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Gunther paces around Dunne. Gunther kicks Dunne in the side, he taunts Sheamus, then he stomps Dunne down.
Gunther brings Dunne up but Dunne throws body shots! Dunne forearms, but Gunther CHOPS Dunne off his feet! Even McIntyre is feeling that one. Gunther drags Dunne up, and CHOPS him right back down! But Gunther holds onto the wrist and he brings Dunne up again. Gunther CHOPS Dunne inside-out! Gunther still holds the wrist and he gives toying kicks to Dunne while taunting Sheamus. Gunther ripcords, but Dunne uses that for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Gunther CHOPS Dunne down, into a BOSTON CRAB! Dunne endures, Sheamus and Ridge coach Dunne, and Dunne fights, only for Gunther to shift to an STF!
Dunne still endures, even as Gunther bends him back. Dunne pries free, wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Gunther pulls hair, then CHOPS Dunne down! Gunther drags Dunne back up but Dunne ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Gunther wobbles, blocks the third enziguri and deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Dunne goes to a corner, Gunther hauls him up onto the top rope to CHOP! Gunther climbs up and he STANDS on Dunne! Dunne endures and the ref counts, Gunther lets off and Dunne tumbles to the floor! Sheamus checks on Dunne, Gunther stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Gunther taunts Sheamus, but Dunne catches his Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans fire up as Dunne bends the fingers, and SNAPS them!! Gunther staggers away, Dunne runs in to fire forearms! GAMANGIRI! Gunther staggers, Dunne goes up and fans chant for the “BRUISERWEIGHT! BRUISERWEIGHT!” as Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the arm! Dunne waistlocks, but Gunther switches and puts on a SLEEPER! Dunne drops down, but powers up and he pries at the hold! Gunther holds on tight, Dunne reaches for ropes, and fans rally up, ROPEBREAK!
Gunther SLAPS the arms down, GERMAN SUPLEXEs, but Dunne lands on his feet! BUZZSAW! Gunther bails out and McIntyre smirks. Dunne goes to the apron but Gunther avoids the moonsault! Gunther CHOPS Dunne, and Dunne tumbles onto the desk! Gunther turns around to see Sheamus and McIntyre, but Dunne runs in! Gunther sends him into McIntyre! Gunther BOOTS Dunne into the ring! But Dunne STOMPS the hands and BUZZSAWS Gunther! Fans fire up, but McIntyre is on the apron! Sheamus drags McIntyre down! GLASGOW KISS from McIntyre! Ridge goes after McIntyre but McIntyre POSTS him!
Sheamus KNEES McIntyre down! Dunne runs in at Gunther, into a LARIAT!! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops for the LAST SYMPHONY!! Cover, Gunther wins!!
Winner: Gunther, by pinfall
Der Ring General used his enemies against each other, but The Fella stands back up. They both look at the WrestleMania sign, but Sheamus gets out of the way! CLAYMORE hits Gunther!! Fans fire up as Sheamus and McIntyre stare down now, will either of these men come away the NEW Intercontinental Champion in Hollywood? Or will Gunther use them against each other then like he did tonight?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage.
Montez Ford says that Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat is bound to be a banger. But he says there’s one thing bigger than that. Angelo Dawkins asks what, and Ford says THEIR tag team showcase. Alpha Academy, Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman & Ricochet, but wait. What do they have in common? Ford motions to the top of the head. Oh, right. They’re “smooth operators~.” But then Braun & Ricochet walk in. Real funny, guys. Y’all got jokes, huh? They got a problem with bald men? They don’t have a lot of room to talk, Dawkins is thinning up top. Whoa, fam, c’mon. Just jokes! Just playing. Well no one’s laughing.
Dawkins is just saying, Braun & Ricochet aren’t much of a tag team. Oh, well, we’ll see who’s playing when Ricochet & Braun show up and the other three teams fool around and find out. They want ALL that smoke. Well, okay, okay. Everyone is fired up for WrestleMania, but who wins the tag team showcase at the Showcase of the Immortals?
It’s the SmackDown return of the Kevin Owens Show!
And as such, Kevin Owens himself is headed to the ring. His guest will be Sami Zayn, but what will the Prizefighter and Great Liberator have to say about their coming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match? We’ll see, after the break.
SmackDown returns one more time and Kevin has his set and his mic. He thanks the ring announcer for the introduction, and then welcomes us back to the KO Show. Now please welcome his guest, tag team partner, friend and brother, the one and only Sami Zayn! Sami makes his entrance and the fans fire up again. Sami gets a mic and Kevin says, “Yeah, so I did it right? The way you wanted. It worked out?” Sami asks what Kevin means. Well, he brought Sami out with the big introduction like he wanted. It was good, right? Sami says he didn’t want a big introduction, this is Kevin’s show, and Sami’s the guest.
Yeah, but earlier, Kevin suggested they come out as co-hosts but Sami said they should make separate entrances so the fans can hear both of their songs and cheer for both of them. Which really means Sami wanted his own pop. Sami says he did not, but Kevin says it’s fine, the fans love him! Kevin gets it. Fans do cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin sits, Sami asks if they need to spill more backstage secrets, or can they just get to business? Yeah, of course. Sami says more than anyone, he’s been going non-stop about taking down Roman, the Usos, the Bloodline. And even Sami has lost sight of the fact that, does Kevin realize what they’re on the verge of doing?
“After all these years, from where we started, from nothing, staring together in Montreal all those years ago, we are on the verge of winning the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships! We are on the verge of doing that together, at WrestleMania! And not just any WrestleMania. This year, I don’t know what it is, but WrestleMania feels different this year.” Kevin says that’s right. And it isn’t lost on him. He knows what they can accomplish. But Sami is right, WrestleMania does feel different this year. Which is why Kevin brought Sami out here. Kevin has something for Sami.
Now, remember a few months ago, after Roman gave Sami that Honorary Uce shirt, that Kevin said Sami needed a new one. Kevin has one, it’s a KO-Mania Goes Hollywood shirt. That’s great! Well yes, but this is the back of it. Kevin does KO-Mania every year. But this year is different. This year isn’t about KO-Mania. “This year, there is only one person who took WWE by storm, who caught fire like no one else. There’s only one person that people can look at and say, ‘That guy has been the MVP of the WWE for the last 12 months,’ and that person is you,” Sami. Fans chant “MVP! MVP!” and Sami is rather touched.
Kevin says this year, it isn’t KO-Mania. It’s about the other side of the shirt. Kevin hands it over, Sami turns it around, and he sees… WrestleZAYNIA!! Sami’s all fired up now! Kevin shows that he’s been wearing one the whole time! Sami loves it! He throws off his shirt to put on the new shirt! Sami wants a hug but Kevin says no, one hug a year. Aw what the heck? THEY HUG! But then THE USOS attack!! They blindside KO & Sami from the crowd side, and then Jimmy rains down fists on Kevin while Jey rains down fists on Sami! Fans boo while the Usos clear the ring of the chairs. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS for Kevin!
Jey drags Sami up, whips him to ropes, and the Usos hit ONE AND DONE!! The fans boo more but Kevin gets up with a steel chair! The Usos run for it, telling KO & Sami that they’re going down! Kevin beats an armchair with the steel chair, but Sami tells the Usos that they’re not getting away with this one. Will Jimmy & Jey ruin the first ever WrestleZaynia? Or will KO & Sami be the ones to finally stop the ones?
A great episode for SmackDown here, especially with the story developments. For one, great closing moment we just saw with a great KO Show. I love that we got a positive swerve where Kevin gave Sami a shirt that had a WrestleZaynia logo on it. But I should’ve figured the Bloodline would do something, and the Usos technically stand tall here. That math would suggest the Usos are losing at WrestleMania, and we finally get so much in that moment, from vindication for Sami to the WWE Grand Slam for Kevin. We also got a really good match out of Cody VS Ludwig that Cody of course wins, and a really good promo segment right after for Cody and Heyman. The Bloodline is definitely desperate to hold onto everything, but that could be what brings them down.
Fairly big news with Theory VS Cena opening WrestleMania Night One. I’ve said before that it just feels like Theory is gonna win, since Cena doesn’t need the US title, and isn’t gonna be sticking around long enough to do anything with the US title. So if Theory wins the first match of the weekend, I could see him boasting, bragging and partying the entire weekend until he is just insufferable and annoys someone into challenging him for that title on the Raw After Mania. And then a pretty good promo from Charlotte, and I did like her calling out the “WHAT” chants here. Stone Cold Steve Austin is timeless, but lemming fans throwing out “WHAT” just to throw out ‘WHAT” are what? Stupid, that’s what. A) Show respect and pay attention. B) Come up with something of your own.
Really good match from Rey VS Knight, but of course Dom distracts to cost Rey. But biggest of all from that segment, the moment fans have wanted for the last few weeks now: REY DECKS DOM! And now we’ll get Rey VS Dom, and Dom sold all the emotion after that perfectly. He was upset, but there was also the fear and realization that comes with seeing something he thought would never happen actually happening. His dad is gonna whoop him, because Dom will only have Priest by his side while Finn prepares for Edge and Rhea prepares for Charlotte. And Legado can make a heroic move by countering Priest so that Rey VS Dom has a fair finish.
Good promo from Profits, Braun & Ricochet to put some tension between those teams going into the men’s Fatal 4. Good tag match qualifier for the women’s Fatal 4, and it was good weaving of stories that Shotzi & Natty win. Shayna & Ronda get that “first round bye” right into the match, but it does work because all four Faces want payback on them. It might not even matter who the fourth team is (though I’m sure it’ll be a team from Raw), Ronda & Shayna are probably gonna tear into them all to win and essentially be #1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
And there was just so much great stuff in the Intercontinental Championship contract signing. Sheamus brought back the same stuff he said when he and McIntyre had their 1v1 feud last year but that makes sense, it is how people can be when they argue with friends and family. I feel like McIntyre was tempted to Steiner Math because this is a Triple Threat, and he knows he can beat Sheamus. Gunther was also great, and I love that “Butch” Dunne went right after Gunther over their NXT UK past. Gunther VS Dunne was great stuff to have just for the hell of it, but of course there was the usual misunderstanding shenanigans that helped Gunther win.
If Gunther somehow retains at Mania, can we have HHH get Trent Seven back in WWE so we can have British Strong Style VS Imperium for the Summer? There were fans in Vegas who remembered Dunne for being Dunne and not for being a sidekick, and all fans deserve to see that Dunne alongside Tyler Bate and Trent Seven.
My Score: 8.8/10
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