NXT has a #RRREEEALDream Match!
While the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament continues, Finn Balor vows to prove why HE is the greatest champion ever!
- Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez; Dakota & Raquel win.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Drake Maverick VS Jake Atlas; Atlas wins.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: KUSHIDA VS Tony Nese; Kushida wins.
- Mia Yim VS Jessi Kamea; Mia wins.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: El Hijo del Fantasma VS Jack Gallagher; Fantasma wins.
- Velveteen Dream VS Finn Balor; changed to…
- Velveteen Dream & Keith Lee VS The Undisputed Era; Dream and Dexter Lumis win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT opens with chaos!
Finn Balor’s private dressing room has been wrecked! Someone, or perhaps multiple someones, left Balor’s bags and a torn up shirt but there’s no sign of The Prince himself. What happened to Balor? And what does that mean for the main event tonight?
Velveteen Dream is already in the ring!
And he’s parodying Balor’s entrance! Dream has a leather jacket and a mic as he says, “New levels, new devils.” And then he does a finger gun. Dream says that in his experience, sometimes you’re just dealing with the same old demons. None of that matters tonight, because Dream was stood up by The Demon. Yes, Finn Balor, he means you. But wait! The Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole returns! The NXT Champion says a lot of people assumed Balor VS Dream was going to determine a new #1 contender. But that’s rather convenient, isn’t it? Balor is suddenly nowhere to be found! Cole knows EXACTLY what’s going on here. Dream is trying to weasel his way into a guaranteed opportunity. Dream can dream all he wants but he will never be NXT Champion! Adam Cole is reality! And while we don’t know what happened to Balor, Cole knows what’s going to happen to Dream. The Undisputed Era jumps Dream from behind!
Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong stomp away and then Cole joins in! The 3v1 has Dream against the ropes! They drag him up but Dream keeps kicking. But here comes the NXT North American Champion, Keith Lee! He BLASTS the Undisputed Era and rallies with lariats! Lee swats the boot away to run and POUNCE Cole into Strong! The Undisputed Era regroups and retreats as Lee stands with Dream. Will the Limitless One help Dream stand against Cole and his cohorts? Will we learn what happened to The Prince tonight?
Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez!
The Team Kick Civil War took a new turn when the wild child made sure the odds were even! But will she be able to help Tegan #TCB, take care o’ business? Or will #CobraKai and the Daughter of the Desperado kick them both to the curb?
The teams sort out and Tegan starts against Raquel. The bell rings and Raquel rushes right at Tegan with a boot! But Tegan side-steps it to go for a roll-up. Raquel stays up and stomps at Tegan. Tegan gets up but Raquel whips. Shotzi tags in and Tegan dropkicks a knee. Shotzi gives a knee, a spinning forearm and a question mark kick! Shotzi runs and springboards to huricanrana, but Raquel stays up! Raquel powers Shotzi up but Shotzi escapes the bomb attempt. Shotzi dropkicks Raquel back and Dakota tags in. Dakota rushes at Shotzi but Shotzi trips her up! Dakota shoves Shotzi back but Shotzi goes up and over in the corner. Shotzi comes back and arm-drags Dakota! She boots away the clothesline to hit a SLING-DOG! Dakota crawls to ropes and Shotzi shouts, “WELCOME TO THE BALL PIT!” What? Shotzi runs and CANNONBALLS into Dakota! Oh that’s what she meant.
Tag to Tegan, and she hits a CANNONBALL, too! Tag to Shotzi but Dakota bails out. Raquel runs in but gets dumped out! Tegan helps Shotzi go up and FLY for a crossbody! Down go Dakota and Raquel, and Shotzi howls to the moon while NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Raquel has Shotzi in a Canadian torture rack! Shotzi endures but Raquel vows to break her. Raquel RAMS Shotzi into the corner and Dakota tags in. Dakota BOOTS Shotzi down off the top, then drags her in for a cover. TWO, but Dakota keeps on Shotzi with a whip to the corner. Dakota glares at Tegan before going Around the World. The boot misses but Dakota hurries to grab Shotzi. Shotzi enziguris! Hot tags to Raquel and Tegan! Tegan dodges Raquel to hit Dakota down! Tegan rushes Raquel and throws hands, but Raquel clamps on a choke grip! But Tegan breaks free to CHOP away! She backs Raquel down with forearms and body shots! Tegan fires up but her clothesline doesn’t drop Raquel! Nor does the second one! Tegan stomps Raquel’s foot and uppercuts, then HEADBUTTS! Tegan whips but Raquel blocks and reverses.
Raquel runs in but only gets buckles. Tegan uppercuts again, then adds an enziguri! Raquel staggers and Tegan climbs up. Dakota runs over but Tegan boots her away. Tegan leaps, into Raquel’s arms! Raquel FALL AWAY SLAMS Tegan! Shotzi tags in and climbs up, to leap for a SEATED SENTON! Cover, TWO! Dakota runs in and grabs Shotzi, but Tegan throws Dakota out. Dakota drags Tegan out to BOOT down! Shotzi runs, wheelbarrows but Raquel blocks the bulldog, for a POWERBOMB! Cover, Raquel and Dakota win!
Winners: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai, by pinfall
The difference maker makes all the difference. Will Raquel’s strength and Dakota’s speed be a combination the NXT Women’s Division is not ready for?
NXT announces a big new main event!
With Finn Balor nowhere to be found and the tension rising between Dream and Cole, a tag team match has been made! Dream and Lee team up to take on the Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole and Roderick Strong! What will happen in this #UndisputedLimitlessDream match?
NXT shares Drake Maverick’s emotional video message.
“I have been released from my WWE contract.” Maverick is very fortunate that the WWE is still allowing him to compete in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. It is very likely they will be the last matches Maverick will ever have. Maverick was in tears as he finished recording.
Since then, Maverick has reflected on what this opportunity means. He hasn’t been in the ring in some time, and he’s going up against some of the best in the world today. This tournament now means everything to him. He isn’t done yet, he still has a story to tell. This isn’t even about the title anymore, this is about his life. The global crisis is affecting everyone, from his coworkers, friends and family. Maverick is not special, but he has to give it his all in these next three matches. Just as he said when he poured his heart out, he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him. There are those going through way worse. But Maverick will do everything he has to because he is not done yet. Maverick vows to become NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Will Maverick fight his way back into the WWE in this round robin?
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Drake Maverick VS Jake Atlas!
As we just heard, the former 205 Live General Manager is staking it all on this tournament! He is a man with nothing to lose and everything to gain! But will that motivation be enough to overpower Atlas?
Before the match, we learn about the newest signing from Evolve. Atlas sharpened his skills and honed his craft and now joins the top athletes in the world. Atlas wants to break barriers and pave the way for others, as well as make those who support him proud. This title symbolizes that whatever you aim for, you can obtain it. The odds are against him but he’s been breaking stereotypes and proving doubters wrong all along.
The bell rings and the two tie up. Atlas pushes Maverick away, showing the difference physically already. But Maverick comes back and gets a headlock. Atlas powers up and out but Maverick slides under to a waistlock. Maverick tries for a roll but Atlas bucks Maverick off, only to turn around into Maverick’s sunset flip. Atlas slips out but Maverick ducks the kick. Atlas standing moonsaults but Maverick gets clear! Maverick goes to sweep the legs but Atlas cartwheels out of the way! Atlas gives a bow but Maverick gets up in a huff. Maverick and Atlas circle again, and Maverick mocks the bow, to then lunge at the leg! Atlas blocks the initial takedown but Maverick brings him around for a trip. Maverick then shifts right to a headlock and grinds Atlas down.
Atlas powers up and the two stand. Maverick shifts to an armlock and traps an arm. Maverick wants La Magistrol or perhaps Tequila Sunrise but Atlas gets away. Atlas and Maverick stand off and reset. They tie up again, Maverick KICKS a leg! Atlas hobbles to a corner but Maverick is after him again. But Atlas powers up to Alabama Lift Maverick! Maverick kicks and gets to the apron for safety, then shoulders in! He slides under, goes around and dropkicks! Atlas wobbles but Maverick runs in. Atlas catches Maverick for a bomb, but Maverick fights for his life! Maverick drags Atlas over the ropes with a headscissors! Atlas hits the floor and Maverick catches his breath. Maverick drags Atlas up and into the ring, then runs, into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cover, ONE! Both men grit their teeth as they slowly stand.
Maverick gets to a corner but Atlas whips him corner to corner hard! Atlas drags Maverick up but Maverick pushes him away. Maverick manages to stand in the corner, but Atlas reels him in for a SLAM! Atlas has the waistlock still, and makes it a bearhug. Maverick fights with elbows but can’t get free. He endures the squeeze and throws elbows. Atlas drags Maverick up but Maverick runs him into buckles! Maverick is free but Atlas comes back. Maverick POSTS Atlas! Atlas slowly gets out but Maverick KICKS the leg again! Maverick throws hands and European Uppercuts! Maverick whips corner to corner, Atlas reverses, but Maverick goes up and over! He baits Atlas into a drop toehold that sends him into buckles! Maverick adds on with another KICK! Atlas staggers and Maverick climbs up, for a missile dropkick! Maverick has the legs, TEQUILA SUNRISE! Atlas scrambles and gets the ropebreak!
Atlas bails out but Maverick DIVES!! Maverick is on fire as he puts Atlas back in! Maverick climbs up while Atlas is in the drop zone. MACHO ELBOW!! Cover, TWO!?! Atlas survives but Maverick has a wild look in his eyes. Maverick cravats, but no Sliced Bread! Atlas hits a SUPERKICK!! Atlas climbs up top now, but slowly. Maverick SHORYUKENS! Maverick climbs up to join Atlas, and jumps, but Atlas denies the Super Steiner! Atlas cartwheels on the ropes to DDT Maverick!! Cover, Atlas wins!!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall; (moves up to 1-0; Maverick drops to 0-1)
The grit and determination was off the charts! Atlas has his first win in both this round robin and in NXT period. Is he on course towards the title? As for Maverick, this is strike one. Will he be able to rebound in the next round?
On-stage interview with Jake Atlas.
Congratulations are in order for this big win. Atlas says he is on top of the world right now! He wants to say something to Maverick on his way out, but Maverick sulks and storms off. Atlas says Maverick gave him a hell of a fight, but that’s one down and tow to go. The world will know Atlas’ story when he becomes the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
Someone is replaying last week’s Keith Lee vignette.
The Limitless One’s story has been shared with the entire NXT Universe. But Damian Priest doesn’t give a damn about it. The only thing he cares about is that North American Champions. The same title he granted opportunities to, to the people he knew he could beat. Lee handpicked Cameron Grimes because he knew he could win. He did the same thing with Dominik Dijakovic. And that Triple Threat wasn’t Lee’s idea, it was William Regal’s. And Lee still didn’t beat Priest. Priest understands why Lee avoids him. Priest hits hard, and is the one man that can limit him. Lee thinks of himself as “The Moment Maker.” Priest has a moment for Lee: Priest’s first NXT main event when he beat Keith Lee. But now, he’s thinking of a bigger moment. No, the biggest moment. It’ll be when Priest beats Lee for the title, and solidifies his story, so that he will #LiveForever. When will this huge challenge happen?
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: KUSHIDA VS Tony Nese!
The Time Splitter is no stranger to round robin tournaments, and is ready to conquer this one. The Premier Athlete is no stranger to title tournaments, and is ready to win another. But then who proves they can win a round robin that’s for the title? The first step starts here!
The bell rings and Kushida circles with Nese fast. Nese waistlocks and throws Kushida away! Nese flexes but Kushida keeps his cool. The two go again, go around, and Kushida gets the arm. Nese gets around to another waistlock and slams Kushida down! Nese floats to a facelock, but Kushida slips out and gets Nese in a facelock of his own. Kushida keeps hold as Nese rolls, and again. Kushida floats all over Nese and pats him on the back. Nese gets up in a huff as Kushida flexes back on him. Nese powers Kushida down and has the leg, but Kushida rolls around. Kushida resists but Nese still gets both legs in a modified deathlock. Kushida reaches back and gets Nese in a headlock! Nese rolls but Kushida holds on and shifts to a hammerlock. Kushida cranks but Nese powers him to ropes. The ref calls for the ropebreak, and Nese pie faces. So Kushida ROCKS him with rights!
Kushida backs Nese down but Nese throat chops! Nese brings Kushida around for the bulldog hotshot! It wasn’t the best landing for Nese, but he drags Kushida out to throw him into railing! Nese keeps on Kushida by throwing him hard into more barriers! He puts Kushida back in the ring and covers, ONE! Nese keeps on Kushida as he brings him up. Kushida throws forearms again, but Nese throws him to the apron. Kushida stays on and climbs up, to leap for flying ax handles! Nese flounders but Kushida whips. Nese reverses, and trips up the handspring! He drags Kushida out again and back into barriers! Nese is fired up as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Kushida endures the Nese squeeze. Nese pulls on Kushida’s hair while he has the body scissors on tight. Kushida CHOPS so Nese CHOPS back! It’s a CHOP fight inside the body scissors! Kushida gets an edge as he CHOPS again and again! He gets free but keeps on with a ground ‘n’ pound! Nese powers Kushida away and both men stagger to their feet. He CHOPS Kushida back but Kushida CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Nese whips but Kushida reverses to throw Nese out. Kushida walks into another hotshot! Nese PREMIER TRIANGLES, but he FLOPS! Kushida fires up to throw forearm after forearm! He whips but Nese reverses, but Kushida hits the handspring back elbow! He whips Nese to hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick! Nese flounders into the FAST BALL! Kushida Penalty Kicks the arm!
Kushida whips but Nese holds ropes to fake the hip toss out. Nese ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida KICKS away on the arm! Kushida whips, Nese reverses, slides and pump handles! He lifts but Kushida has the bad arm! HOVERBOARD LOCK! Nese endures, stays standing, and powers through to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men are down but Nese drags himself to the corner. Nese climbs up but Kushida handspring heel kicks! Kushida hurries up top, but Nese pushes him down! Nese 450 SPLASH! Cover, TWO!?! Nese can’t believe it! Both men are down but Kushida goes to a corner. Nese has a target, brings down the knee pad, and runs, into a SHOTEI! Kushida runs in to SHOTEI again! Nese is down and Kushida heads up top! But Nese SHORYUKENS!
Nese climbs up and drags Kushida into the fireman’s carry. Kushida fights with elbows, and then shifts around, for the SUPER HOVERBOARD, and TAKEDOWN! SAKURABO LOCK!! Nese taps, Kushida wins!!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by submission (moves up to 1-0; Nese drops to 0-1)
And the Super Junior takes the crucial first win! Will this lead Kushida to another championship in his career? Or can Nese make a recovery to catch back up?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher.
Last week, everyone got a big surprise when the Bro’s mystery partner was the debuting Thatcher in an NXT Tag Team Championship defense. Both belts are on Riddle’s shoulders because obviously he and Thatcher won against Indus Sher. But Riddle makes it clear, Thatcher is his new tag partner for the time being. Riddle loves “T Time” here, but he still misses Stallion Pete. But a big win is a big win, so how are they gelling as a team? Thatcher says that even with that big win, there’s a long way to go. Clearly both men have different philosophies. Riddle likes the knockout, Thatcher prefers to lock on and make an opponent submit. Thatcher is a beautiful man, and every time Riddle looks into those blue eyes, he is reminded of Stallion Pete. Um, Thatcher’s eyes are brown. They sure are, bro. And next week, the NXT Universe will see how beautiful Thatcher really is. What does Riddle have in mind? Just trust him, bro.
NXT, “we gave you fair warning.”
He’s coming~! He already struck down Tommaso Ciampa. And soon, everyone will know that “you can’t stop it.” Scarlet and Karrion Kross are here, and doomsday is upon NXT. Who will be left standing when the clock strikes midnight?
NXT hears from Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae.
“September 16th, 2016.” That is a day Gargano will never forget. The most beautiful woman said, “I do,” and became Mrs. Wrestling. Gargano’s fairy tale came true. Most people only get one fairy tale ending, if even that. But Gargano’s entire career has been a fairy tale. The first ever NXT Triple Crown winner! Who would’ve thought? No one but Gargano. During a time when NXT had superstars like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, and Ricochet, who would’ve thought Johnny Gargano would become the heart and soul of the brand? No one but Gargano. “And who thought that Johnny Gargano was always the better man over Tommaso Ciampa?” No one, but them. Dinner is served and both Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling feel great. Because they are not living in a fairy tale, they are living in reality. The true fairy tale was NXT.
“You can play by the rules as much as you want, but let’s be honest.” The NXT Gargano loves has become a toxic wasteland where the good people, like Johnny and Candice, are taken advantage of! The horrible people thrive and are rewarded! The real fairy tale was thinking being a good person and being nice to everyone was going to lead to success. Media appearances! Can Gargano do those? Yeah, no problem! Merchandise! Can Gargano sign these? Yeah, no problem! Happy birthday messages “for some stupid kid”! Can Gargano film these? Yeah, no problem! But it’s a cookie cutter world where they take advantage of kindness. Gargano is sick and tired of saying yes all the time while “a dirt bag like Tommaso Ciampa gets what he doesn’t deserve.” You know who does deserve everything? Gargano does! He is sick and tired of waving the NXT banner on top of a mountain of under appreciation.
Candice agrees. But sadly, that’s just the NXT way. She’s been underappreciated since she stepped foot in the place. She played the big sister role to the entire women’s locker room. Tegan, Dakota, and countless others. Candice sacrificed for those women. She put them before herself. Candice ate second so they could all eat first. It’s what was right. But when she needed help, where were they? Any of them! Nowhere to be found! And Candice kept telling herself, “They’ll change, Candice. It’s okay, they’ll change.” But isn’t that what some people call, “insanity?” Doing the same thing over and over and over, expecting a different result. Insanity is quite enlightening. But in celebration, Gargano lets Candice eat first. Take what you deserve, because that is what they’ll both do from now on.
They both know how NXT has worked for a long, long time. Too long. All these random people walked all over them, and all the horrible people got things handed to them. Yet these two were given table scraps! They wanted to keep the personal and professional lives separate, but where did that get them? Gargano got hurt. Friends betrayed them both time and again! But who does Gargano trust? Candice. And Candice can trust Gargano. They tried to fix NXT separately. But now, they are going to tear NXT down and rebuild it in their image. It isn’t just the Johnny Gargano way. It’s their way. The Johnny & Candice way. And they’ll make history as the first ever married couple to reign together! NXT Women’s and NXT Champion. They will rule together. And then everyone else will get what they deserve, when the happy couple gets what they deserve.
NXT hears from Io Shirai.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to face Charlotte Flair.” But why is that? Because the Evil Genius wants to show Charlotte just how great Shirai really is. “She will find out everything when she sees my eyes in the ring.” The #1 contender is coming for the title. “The castle where the beautiful, beautiful queen lives… I’m destroying it!” Oi, Charlotte! Shirai bows down to NO ONE.
Backstage interview with Drake Maverick.
Maverick is alone, sulking on the stairs, as he is asked about his defeat. “Jake Atlas is great.” Every other athlete in this tournament is fighting their opponent. Maverick is fighting his opponent, and himself. Maverick thinks that maybe everyone was right about him. Is Maverick throwing in the towel when there’s still two rounds to go?
Mia Yim VS Jessi Kamea!
The Head Baddie In Charge got a lot of praise from Charlotte Flair, and wants to stay sharp before that “lesson in humility” the Queen promises. Will Mia sharpen that edge at the expense of the nerdy-turned-naughty Jessi?
The bell rings and Mia circles with Jessi. They tie up, Jessi gets the wristlock and wrenches, but Mia powers Jessi to a corner! Mia grinds forearms but Jessi pushes her away. Jessi runs into Mia’s drop toehold, and Mia headlocks. Jessi throws body shots then whips, but Mia runs her over. But Jessi kips right up! Mia is impressed, and they speed up. Jessi runs Mia over but Mia shows she can kip, too. Jessi runs, Mia side steps then follows to redirect her. Mia comes back to run Jessi over! Jessie is up but Mia fakes her out and kicks her in the back! Cover, TWO! Mia drags Jessi up and throws big knees. She whips Jessi to a corner but Jessi dodges. Jessi waistlocks but Mia standing switches. Jessi bucks Mia off and wipes her out with a windmill kick! Cover, TWO!
Jessi keeps on Mia with a ground ‘n’ pound! Mia powers out but Jessi pushes her around. Mia throws body shots but Jessi CLUBS her down! Jessi snapmares Mia but Mia kicks back. Jessi throws Mia down by her hair then springboards, for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Mia gets to a corner and dodges Jessi running in. Jessi hops up and jumps but her dropkick misses! Mia rallies with clotheslines and boots! Jumping neckbreaker! Mia fires up as she taunts Jessi. She brings Jessi up, hits an STO and then flips Jessi for PROTECT YA NECK! Cover, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall
The HBIC gets the W! But wait! Charlotte Flair returns to NXT already! The two stand face to face and surely Mia heard. “Out of the deepest division, I wanted a match with you first.” Mia has had time to think about it, does she still want this match, too? The last five years, Mia has watched Charlotte grow into The Queen she is now. But Mia has grown into the Head Baddie. She would be honored to be in the ring with her. Good! Because Charlotte never got to thank Mia for that match five years ago. Mia helped Charlotte become a star. Mia has always been “a good hand,” so now Charlotte will finally make Mia into a star, too. A back handed compliment, but Flairs know about back hands. Will Mia give it back in kind?
NXT hears from Jack Gallagher.
“Gentleman Jack” has been with the WWE Cruiserweight Division for the last four years. In that time, he has yet to be Cruiserweight Champion. It was fun and games, but now he’s here to be a champion, “not a bloody joke for you people.” Outside of the ring, he remains a gentleman. But inside, when you see those tattoos, that is warpaint. Those are proof of the live he has lived etched into his skin. In this tournament, we will see things from Gallagher that you never expected.
“Another day in the life of the Robert Stone Brand.”
Robert Stone himself lounges poolside while the Hot Commodity, Chelsea Green, poses for a swimsuit photo shoot. Chelsea was mere inches from becoming #1 contender. But now, they will reload, move forward and prove why she is the face of the NXT Women’s Division. She is beautiful, brilliant and tough. Name another woman who has that? Shotzi Blackheart? No. Tegan Nox? No way! Not even Rhea Ripley! Chelsea says that she put the world on notice in that ladder match. She proved she’s not just a pretty face. She is the total package! Yes, she is. And she’s a future NXT Women’s Champion. Yes, she is.
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: El Hijo del Fantasma VS Jack Gallagher!
The Son of the Phantom makes his NXT in-ring debut in the biggest way possible! He is therefore also the newest member of the Cruiserweight Division. But his first match will be quite the challenge against one of the pillars of 205 Live. Will the gentleman turned jackal ruin the debut? Or will his road to the title continue to be treacherous?
The bell rings and the two rush each other! They tie up and ago around, and Fantasma puts Gallagher on the ropes. Gallagher puts him in the corner and the two scrap. Gallagher wants after the mask but the ref reprimands. He backs Gallagher off and Gallagher smirks. Fantasma glares as he and Gallagher circle again. They approach, tie up and Fantasma waistlocks. He slams Gallagher down and facelocks. He holds on as Gallagher rolls, but Gallagher slips out to hammerlock. Gallagher again pulls the mask but shifts to a chinbar. Fantasma sits up and reaches back to use him for leverage. Fantasma stands, powers out and speeds things up to dropkick Gallagher down! Cover, ONE, but Fantasma has Gallagher in a chinlock now.
Gallagher endures as Fantasma cranks the neck. Gallagher stands up, headlocks back, but Fantasma powers out. Fantasma leaps into a fireman’s carry, and wasteland slam! Cover, ONE! Gallagher tries again, ONE! Another cover, TWO! Gallagher keeps his cool as he simply works to tire Fantasma out. He brings Fantasma up but Fantasma throws forearms! Fantasma ROCKS Gallagher with a right then builds speed. Gallagher tosses Fantasma to the apron and ROCKS him back! Gallagher baseball slides but Fantasma ducks under, only for Gallagher to throw him into railing! The second generation luchador is down and Gallagher refreshes the count. Gallagher drags Fantasma up by his mask, and throws EuroUppers. He knocks Fantasma against railing again, then refreshes the count a second time. The ref reprimands so Gallagher goes back in to stay. He reaches for Fantasma, only to get a PELE!
Fantasma counter punches Gallagher from the apron. Fantasma traps on arm, then hops up to get the other, for a crucifix toss! Gallagher crashes down but Fantasma builds speed. Fantasma fakes Gallagher out with that somersault, to then PESCADO! Direct hit and Fantasma fires up! Gallagher is crawling away as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Gallagher spins Fantasma on the apron to KICK in the back! Gallagher keeps toying with the mask, then gives another KICK! Gallagher drags Fantasma in for a cover, TWO! The fighting gentleman grows frustrated and he stomps Fantasma’s arm! He cranks on it from wrist to shoulder but Fantasma endures. Fantasma works up to his feet and powers Gallagher back. Fantasma tries but can’t power out of the hold. Gallagher cranks harder on the arm, but Fantasma gets up again. Fantasma whips then breaks Gallagher’s grip to run him over with elbows and clotheslines! Fantasma fires up as he puts Gallagher in a corner. He throws forearm after forearm but Gallagher throws body shots back. Gallagher backs Fantasma up to ram his shoulder into the ribs! Gallagher throws a punch but Fantasma dodges to SUPERKICK! That sends Gallagher tumbling out of the ring!
Fantasma builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit with that powerful tope suicida! The ring count climbs as both men are down, but Fantasma puts Gallagher in at 7. Fantasma stalks Gallagher to a corner and stomps him. He throws some elbows then goes corner to corner. Fantasma hits a corner uppercut! And then a sudden wheelbarrow victory roll! TWO, but Fantasma keeps his cool. Gallagher stands but Fantasma fireman’s carries. Gallagher claws the mask then O’Conner rolls, TWO! Fantasma gets up, to get a HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!! Fantasma survives and Gallagher can’t believe it! Gallagher grits his teeth as he gets back up. He goes corner to corner now, but the Gentleman’s Dropkick misses! Fantasma fireman’s carries but again the mask is a target. But Fantasma knees away on Gallagher’s head, before hitting the SAMOAN DRIVER! Cover, Fantasma wins!!
Winner: El Hijo del Fantasma, by pinfall (moves up to 1-0; Gallagher drops to 0-1)
The debut is successful! Fantasma joins Akira Tozawa in the top half of the block while Gallagher joins Isaiah “Swerve” in the bottom.
On-stage interview with El Hijo del Fantasma!
A big win for his debut, and he politely takes the mic from Mackenzie. “Muchos gracias” to everyone around the world at home watching. Fantasma vows that this tournament will be his, as will that NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Is tonight’s win just the first of many?
NXT gets set for a big night next week!
Charlotte Flair and Mia Yim have their rematch from the match that started it all! Will the Queen make the Head Baddie in Charge bow down? Plus, Priest’s challenge was heard, and accepted! It will be Keith Lee VS Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship!!
NXT shares footage from the commercial.
El Hijo del Fantasma was on his way out, speaking with NXT Media about his tournament win, when another mystery van pulled up! And they came for Fantasma! He fought them off and they ran away! What is with those mysterious luchadors and their abducting NXT superstars?!
Velveteen Dream & Keith Lee VS The Undisputed Era!
Dream no longer minds that The Prince is no longer his opponent tonight, because he has the opponent he’s wanted after for weeks. Will the experience be limitless tonight? Or will the winners be undisputed?
The bell rings and the Undisputed Era attack immediately! Strong goes after Lee while Cole goes after Dream! Lee bumps Lee back and Dream turns things around to TACKLE Cole into a corner! Fish swipes at Dream but Dream kicks him away. Dream DECKS Cole while the ref reprimands Fish. Dream wants after Fish but the ref takes care of it. The ref says Fish is EJECTED! Meanwhile, Strong and Lee spill out of the ring. Lee knocks Strong down, but Priest appears! Priest JAMS the baton into Lee’s chest and throat!! Lee is gasping for air as Dream returns to the ring. Dream sees Lee is down and has the ref check on him. They call for help and additional refs appear. Cole and Strong aren’t sure what happened but they like that it’s in their favor. And while everyone’s busy with Lee, the Undisputed Era RAM Dream into railing! Things are chaotic again as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Dream is without Lee as Strong ROCKS him with a right! Cover, TWO! Strong mocks Dream by going to the corner and offering a tag. Dream flounders up but Strong clamps on with a facelock. Dream powers Strong to the corner and rams him into buckles! He throws body shot after body shot, then whips Strong. Strong reverses and sends Dream hard into the Undisputed corner! Tag to Cole, and Strong brings Dream up. Dream fights back, blocks a boot and throws hands. But Cole BOOTS Dream into the OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO! Dream still lives and Cole grows frustrated. Cole tells Dream that he is a nobody and will never be champion. Cole drops ax handles and knees on Dream then drags him to the corner. Tag to Strong and the UE mug Dream in their corner. Strong drags Dream up and scoops for a backbreaker! Cover, ONE, so Strong drags Dream up for an atomic BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Strong keeps close to Dream and has him for a grounded cobra twist. Dream endures being bent, but wait. Is that Dexter Lumis on the apron!? Lumis is in Dream’s corner! Why!? What is his obsession with the Undisputed Era about? Dream powers up and pries free of the hold! Strong staggers but Dream elbows him down! Dream crawls towards the corner, but Strong brings him around. Strong suplexes but Dream slips out! Dream fireman’s carries, for a DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Strong and Dream crawl, and Lumis reaches out his hand! The ref says Lumis needs the tag rope so Lumis grabs it. Cole rushes at Dream but Dream slips under and then leaps over! HOT TAG TO LUMIS! Lumis rallies on Cole with uppercuts! Strong runs in but gets uppercuts and a dropkick! Lumis stomps Strong to the corner then rains down right hands! Cole turns Lumis around and kicks low to whip. But Lumis reverses, Cole ducks a haymaker, but not the Thesz Press!
Lumis rains down fast hands on Cole, then catches Strong for a SPINE BUSTER! Cole flounders into the URENAGE! But Fish returns! He isn’t allowed out here! Lumis tags Dream then FLIES onto Fish and Strong!! Dream is up top, for the PURPLE RAIN MAKER!! Cover, Dream and LUMIS win!
Winners: Velveteen Dream & Dexter Lumis, by pinfall
The Experience pins the NXT Champion!! He has a path to the title! But what is Lumis’ part in all this? And what happened to Finn Balor?!
What a wild episode! So much great stuff, stuff I didn’t even expect them to have tonight. But also, an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. I’m glad Drake Maverick isn’t gone, but it really brings into question what’s really going on. As linked to and reported, Maverick was among the many names on the released talent list last week on #BlackWednesday. I assumed NXT was going to bring back a repackaged Mendoza or Wilde to take his place and use it for story. Instead, Maverick had a vignette to somehow turn the release into its own story. Was Maverick’s release real? If so, was his emotional video somehow the thing that convinced WWE to secretly keep him? Or was it all a badly timed work? In a vacuum, Maverick fighting for his job on top of a title is really powerful stuff, because it was. But given the situation, it just seems a little disappointing that NXT has been dragged into Vince territory.
I won’t knock his match for it, though. Maverick and Atlas really did put it all on the line because of the stories they both came in with. Though Atlas didn’t say any words relating to it, it was clear he is fighting to openly represent the LGBT community within the WWE Universe. That is not solely why he won, because he is a great athlete, and it also just works better in Maverick’s story if he has to struggle even more. I’m not sure Maverick gets even a single win, but I could see Atlas being in the middle of the block with a 2-1 record. Nese VS Kushida was also an incredible Group A match, and naturally Kushida wins to lead off. Kushida is still the favorite to take the group, while Nese VS Atlas will be a big match to determine second and third place in the group. Gallagher VS Fantasma was a great match to wrap Group B’s opening round, and again, it’s natural for Fantasma to win here. I’m intrigued by them tying Fantasma to that luchador abductors story, though. Is it a group trying to stop luchadors or consolidate them?
The Women’s Division gets another strong showing tonight. The opening tag match was really good, and it makes sense for the Heels to win in order to extend the story. Can NXT please lead the way in extending the WWE Women’s Tag Team Division? Though, I suppose that would mean Fox gets over themselves and lets Bliss-Cross be on NXT at some point. Robert Stone and Chelsea Green have a decent promo, mostly about the aesthetics of the Hot Commodity. Jessie Eleban returns as Jessi Kamea and has a decent showing against Mia Yim. I’m very excited to see Charlotte VS Mia next week with the story of both women improving over the last 5 years. Pretty sure Charlotte wins but I’m sure Mia will look strong. Shirai had a great little promo, I wonder if her match with Charlotte is part of Money in the Bank given how A) NXT is slowly becoming on par with Raw and SmackDown, and B) the MITB matches are changed up this year.
Scarlet and “Karrion Kross” are officially named on air so that’s a nice development. Candice and Gargano gave an amazing cinematic promo. It was like a horror movie or something, and that’s a great development for their characters. I would love if they got to accomplish that goal of being the super couple of NXT. Then there’s the Finn Balor mystery and the great overlapping of stories. Lee VS Priest is going to be great next week but wow did Priest do a number on Lee (in kayfabe). And as I sensed last week, Lumis is apparently targeting the Undisputed Era as the most bizarre Face I’ve seen in some time. But at the same time, could Lumis have been the one to go after Balor because he “knew” things would go this way? Did he create the opening for himself to join Dream against the UE? Or was it just Imperium because of what Balor said last week? I’m actually hoping it’s Lumis. Dream getting the win is great, and Cole VS Dream is going to be great, too. It’s hard to say if Dream wins or not, but if WWE pulled the trigger on McIntyre with an empty arena, I would think HHH could do the same for Dream.
My Score: 9.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/16/21)
Will Retro take down The Premier?
Tony Nese defends that 205 Live is still HIS show!
The Premier Athlete says he IS Mr. 205 Live, but that could all change! Will August Grey lead the way for the purple ‘n’ orange?
- Ashante “Thee” Adonis VS Jake Atlas; Atlas wins.
- August Grey VS Tony Nese; Grey wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Ashante “Thee” Adonis VS Jake Atlas!
The Braggadocios learned savvy from THE Brian Kendrick, but in a roundabout way, the Muscle of El Monte learned aggression from The Psycho Killer! Who puts the lessons learned into practice now that WWE is past WrestleMania?
The bell rings and Atlas circles with Adonis. Fans rally as they approach, and Adonis gives a testing kick to the arm. Atlas shakes that off but Adonis kicks him again. Atlas eggs Adonis on, then swats the kick to wrench the arm! Atlas YANKS the arm, wrenches to an elbow breaker then clamps down on it. Adonis gets up but Atlas brings him back down. Adonis reverses the armlock but Atlas reverses it back. Adonis rolls Atlas but Atlas shifts right back to the armlock. Fans rally, Adonis fights up but Atlas shoves him away to then arm-drag on the rebound! Atlas grinds the arm, Adonis fights up, but Atlas whips Adonis to arm-drag again!
Atlas goes after the arm and wrangles Adonis back down. Adonis fights up but Atlas whips, only for Adonis to fake the arm-drag out! Adonis KNEES Atlas in the side, but Atlas shoves him! Adonis shoves back, they lock up and go around! They end up on ropes, the ref has them break. Adonis swings, Atlas ducks it but Adonis returns the favor. Adonis back suplexes, Atlas lands on his feet, slides under and runs, but into a LARIAT! Adonis seethes as he stalks Atlas to a corner, and then RAMS his shoulder in! Adonis throws EuroUppers, follows Atlas and throws more EuroUppers! Atlas CHOPS back! And CHOPS again!
Atlas CLUBS Adonis, CHOPS him in a corner, but Adonis kicks back! Adonis ROCKS Atlas in the corner, CHOPS him, and then whips him corner to corner. Atlas reverses but Adonis reverses back, only to miss in the corner! Atlas WRINGS the arm out, then goes up top! Atlas aims, but Adonis trips up the cartwheel! Atlas is stuck on the top rope, AIRDROP sends Atlas to the floor! Adonis goes out to fetch Atlas, and RAM him into boards! Adonis SLAMS Atlas’ arm into the steel steps! Adonis gets Atlas up an din the ring at 7 of 10, then covers, TWO! Atlas toughs it out and fans rally up as he crawls for ropes. Adonis gets the arm first, wrenches it, and uppercuts the triceps!
Adonis WRINGS Atlas’ arm in return, then covers, TWO! Atlas grits his teeth but Adonis is after the arm! Adonis wants a Fujiwara but Atlas turns it to a cover, TWO! Adonis still has the arm, shifts around and goes for the Fujiwara again! Atlas endures as Adonis bends the arm back, and he powers up to get around. Atlas throws body shots, Adonis CLUBS the arm, repeat! Adonis bumps Atlas off buckles, but Atlas elbows back! Atlas boots the clothesline away then back kicks, ax kicks and BOOTS Adonis! Adonis resists the waistlock and elbows free! Atlas EuroUppers Adonis, then rallies with clotheslines! Atlas spins Adonis to WHEEL KICK! Adonis staggers into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!!
Atlas couldn’t hold Adonis down because of the bad arm! Atlas tastes his own blood in his mouth but that only fires him up! Fans rally as Atlas climbs a corner, but Adonis intercepts with a forearm! Adonis goes up, he and Atlas brawl up top but Atlas ROCKS Adonis! Adonis comes back to ROCKET LAUNCH Atlas down! Atlas slowly rises, Adonis climbs up and leaps, BIG CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Atlas survives and Adonis is growing frustrated. Adonis kicks Atlas to the apron. Adonis stands Atlas up, rolls him through the ropes, TWO! Adonis back drops but Atlas sunset flips, TWO! KNEE TRIGGER! And a ROLLING ELBOW!
Atlas GOURD BUSTERS Adonis to the drop zone, then goes up top. Atlas hits the CARTWHEEL DDT!! Cover, Atlas wins!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall
It seems Old Man Ciampa’s lessons paid off! Will Atlas lift himself up towards a title opportunity now that Santos Escobar isn’t the champion?
August Grey VS Tony Nese!
#RetroAG finally got payback on Daivari Dinero, then was weirdly congratulated by him after defeating Adonis a few weeks ago. Will Daivari congratulate Grey again when he defeats Daivari’s fellow 205 Live OG? Or will the Premier Athlete prevent the new wave from taking over his brand?
Well Daivari is showing which side he’s on by accompanying Nese to the ring! Though he does get left hanging on that fist bump. Daivari joins commentary as the bell rings and Grey circles with Nese. They tie up, Nese waistlocks and slams Grey down! Nese then flexes on Grey, but fans are on Grey’s side as he and Nese circle again. Grey and Nese tie up, Grey waistlocks, but Nese hooks a leg to get the drop toehold. Nese floats to a facelock but Grey slips out to a hammerlock. Grey reels Nese in, Nese resists but Grey wrenches a wristlock to then headlock. Nese tries but can’t power out as Grey grinds him down. Nese tries again but Grey still holds on tight!
Nese fights up, powers out, and things speed up. Nese hurdles, Grey headlocks to the takeover! Fans cheer as Nese endures another grind. Nese fights up, powers Grey to a corner, and the ref counts. Nese is set free but he whips Grey corner to corner. Grey goes up and over and hits another headlock takeover! Nese pushes with forearms but Grey grinds the headlock. Nese fights up, fans rally and Nese powers out. Grey goes up and over again but Nese goes up and over, too! Nese does jumping jacks just to show off. Grey runs, into an arm-drag, but he gets the headlock! Nese rolls Grey off but Grey does the jumping jacks in return!
Grey side-steps Nese, blocks the hip toss and dodges the clothesline to headlock again. Nese counters as he back suplexes Grey down! Nese kicks and stomps Grey around, covers, TWO! Nese grows annoyed as he gets Grey up and kicks him in the stomach! Fans rally for Grey but Nese hauls Grey up in a pump handle! Grey slips free, drop toeholds Nese onto ropes, then dials it up for a SLIDING STRADDLE! Grey ROCKS Nese with an uppercut, then climbs up, SHORYUKEN from Nese! Grey is stuck on the ropes, Nese runs in to TOP SHELF KICK, to the fireman’s carry and GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Nese stomps Grey down and then looms over him.
Nese soaks up heat from the fans as he kicks Grey in the side. Nese whips Grey hard into the corner and Grey bounces off buckles! Nese flexes on Grey again and Daivari cheers the peak. Nese kicks Grey to a corner, Grey hits back with body shots! Grey throws haymakers but Nese hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Nese goes to a corner and unties a buckle pad? The ref stops him before he can finish, and Grey trips Nese up! Grey gives Nese a taste of his own medicine, catapult into that buckle! Roll up and cover, TWO! Grey CHOPS Nese, whips but Nese reverses to then slide and pump handle, for the scoop and DRIVER! Cover, TWO!!
Grey survives but Daivari says Nese’s got this. Grey gets to a corner, Nese storms over to give him kicks in the ribs! Grey throws body shots and forearms and a CHOP! Nese runs into a back elbow, Grey boots but that’s blocked. Nese throws the foot down but Grey ROCKS him! Grey runs to RANA, then CLOBBER Nese! Grey goes for a gut wrench, Nese back drops but Grey sunset flips! Nese rolls through to back KICK Grey down! Cover, TWO!! Grey survives but Nese puts on the squeeze! Grey endures, pries the feet apart but Nese shifts to a headlock. Nese knees Grey, then talks trash. Nese pushes Grey around but fans taunt Nese, “You Still Suck!” Grey CHOPS Nese, then JABS! CHOP! JAB!
Nese puts Grey in a corner but Grey dodges to CHOP and stomp away! Grey fires off hands, the ref counts and Grey stops at 4. Grey whips, Nese reverses but Grey comes back to LARIAT! Grey spins Nese to hit a jawbreaker, to NECKBREAKER! Grey handsprings and fans fire up with him! Daivari doesn’t like the showboating, but Nese throws Grey to the apron. Grey ROCKS Nese in return, then goes up top! Tightrope CROSSBODY! Grey rains down rights and then ROCKS Nese again! Grey hits the EXTRA LARGE BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Daivari says it takes more than that to stop the Premier Athlete, the 205 Live OG! Grey gets up, brings Nese up but Nese throat chops!
Grey gasps, Nese talks trash, and then Nese runs with Grey, but Grey blocks the hotshot! Grey shoulders but into a kick! Nese slingshots, into a HOTSHOT CUTTER! Grey gets Nese in, for another Extra Large, but Nese lands on his feet! Nese gets a cover, TWO! Nese mule kicks, front kicks, knee lifts and enziguris! Nese whips, uses that to slide, but Grey rolls through to SUPERKICK! Nese tumbles out, Grey DIVES! Direct hit and Nese is sent flying over the announce desk! Fans fire up and Daivari has to get out of his seat because of that. Grey gets back to the ring, the ring count is 5 of 10! It keeps going, 7 of 10 but Nese is still down. Will Grey learn from last time?
NOPE! Grey goes out at 9 because he wants to win this in the ring! Daivari brings up how that messed him up with Mansoor, but Grey tells him to shut up. Nese rolls Grey up, but Grey turns it around! Grey wins!!
Winner: August Grey, by pinfall
What was that about messing up? Grey won “the right way,” but Daivari says it was just dumb luck! Will AG keep getting the better of the OG on 205 Live?
A very fun, very good 205 Live to get back to new content after WrestleMania. Atlas VS Adonis was a very good match, started to feel like the early days of 205 Live that we just relived last week. Atlas and Adonis being names from Greek myth, I kinda want them to try being a team at some point. Though at the same time, that feels like something early 2000’s WWE would do and maybe it’s best if they don’t? Who knows, maybe give it a try, see if something comes of it.
Grey VS Nese was also really good, and the story that’s building with Grey and these OG is pretty good. Daivari on commentary was explaining how Grey winning against Adonis with the feet on ropes was a twinkling of him being compatible with Daivari & Nese, who are solidly Heel. But Grey resisting that and doing things the solidly Face way is a good story in itself, so I hope this is how Grey builds himself up to at least try for the Cruiserweight Championship. Grey’s got a lot of innovative moves, as well, so I’d definitely be okay with seeing him try those with Kushida, maybe even Swerve and Ruff.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (4/16/21)
SmackDown is up, and WE! WANT! THE SMOKE!!
The SmackDown After WrestleMania puts more gold on the line!
After WrESTleMania, we have a NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion in Bianca Belair! But will we have new tag team champions to match? It’s The Dirty Dawgs VS The Street Profits in 2v2 competition!
- Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Otis w/ Chad Gable; Rey wins.
- Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Cesaro; cancelled.
- Sami Zayn VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Dirty Dawgs VS The Street Profits; The Dirty Dawgs win and retain the titles.
- Natalya w/ Tamina VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; Natalya wins.
- Cesaro VS Jey Uso w/ Paul Heyman; Cesaro wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Pat McAfee joins SmackDown commentary!
The Punter of the Decade joins Michael Cole and it is his honor to be here!
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Tribal Chief is STILL WWE Universal Champion, and he again has Jey Uso and Paul Heyman by his side as he holds that belt up high in the ThunderDome. Fans boo and give thumbs down but that just makes Heyman laugh. Heyman hands the mic to Roman, but fans chant, “You Suck!” Roman says it is no secret, “we put a lot of eyes on SmackDown.” So for the new viewers, let’s tell them about the men Roman beat in the main event of WrestleMania. Heyman says he would be honored.
First is Edge, an ELEVEN time world champion, married to a hall of famer and is a hall of famer in his own right. Then there’s Daniel Bryan, a FIVE time world champion, also married to a hall of famer, and will “YES! YES! YES!” his way into the hall of fame when he retires, which should be soon after Roman stacked them and pinned them together. Take all of their accomplishments combined and the enormity of both men’s legacies, who came up against Roman, it was practically a Handicap match in THE main event of WrestleMania. McAfee agrees on commentary.
Roman says he took a page from Heyman’s playbook and Babe Ruth’d it! He called his shot: He was gonna smash ’em, stack ’em, and pin ’em 1-2-3. Then, they would #AcknowledgeMe. Now to be honest, it’s embarrassing! If Roman was another man, he’d never want to be in that situation. WWE will probably never put him in a Triple Threat again after that. Nobody wants to face Roman! No one wants that to happen to them! These were hall of famers, and he smashed ’em, stacked ’em and pinned ’em. And if he’s doing that to guys like that, who will want it next? Nobody! “Don’t nobody want to step to me now!” Not worth it! No one measures up to Roman, no one is on his level.
So after fulfilling the obligations and opened Roman’s show, cut the check, fire up the jet, time to go home. Heyman takes the mics for Roman, but here comes CESARO! The Swiss Cyborg finally had and won his first singles match at WrestleMania, and is now getting in Roman’s face! He looks at the Universal Championship, then gets a mic. Roman still takes his leave, but Cesaro figured as much. Cesaro doesn’t get to say his piece, but will he make Roman acknowledge him?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage.
Cesaro walks by, they congratulate him on his Mania win, but he asks if they saw what “that son of a bitch” Roman did. No one is going to step up? Cesaro will. Not even for the title! He just wants a match tonight. Sonya says she’ll talk to Roman and see if he’ll accept that. Cesaro is fine with that, but is Pearce?
Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Otis w/ Chad Gable!
While the King and Prince of Lucha didn’t get those SmackDown Tag Team Championships off Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, neither did the Alpha Academy. This battle has been brewing for months after Gable unleashed The Dozer on Rey’s ribs. Will Rey get his revenge and his redemption going 1v1 with the big man?
The bell rings, and Otis CLOBBERS Rey with his gut already! Otis gets Rey up, CLUBS him on the back, then looms over him as he writhes. Otis scoops Rey, pops him up to a military press, and then DROPS Rey! Gable cheers Otis on while Dom coaches Rey up. But Otis brings Rey up to SLIDE him out! Rey rolls through to come back and shoulder into Otis! Rey fires forearms, hotshots Otis away, then goes up a corner, only for Otis to trip him! Rey ends up in a Tree of Woe, Otis stomps a mudhole into him! The ref backs Otis off, but Otis comes back, only for Rey to sit up! Otis hits buckles, Rey turns around and leaps to SEATED SENTON! BASEMENT SEEATED SENTON! Cover, TOW!
Rey kicks but Otis blocks the whip. Otis whips Rey away, Rey ducks and springboards, into Otis’ arms! POWERSLAM! Gable tells Otis to keep on Rey and Otis drags him to a drop zone. Otis goes up the corner, leaps, but FLOPS as Rey rolls out of the way! Dom coaches Rey up, Gable shouts to Otis, and Rey dropkicks Otis onto ropes! Rey dials it up, but Otis comes back! Rey trips Otis onto ropes, and hits the 619! Rey hurries up top again but Otis is back up! Rey leaps, for a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Cover, Rey wins!!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall
That’s a huge win for Mysterio! The Dozer is furious but will he have to go back to the drawing board?
Kayla Braxton talks with Paul Heyman.
And from the look on Heyman’s face, he is both shocked and offended that SmackDown management wants Roman to compete tonight! It’ll be non-title, but will it even happen? We find out, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Kayla asks if Heyman accepts the challenge. That’s the question? Yes, because that’s what we do around here in the WWE: “We put smiles on the faces of Neanderthals, like Cesaro.” Does Kayla have any clue the enormity of the star power that is possessed by Roman and its affect on the ENTIRE WWE Universe? What happened on Saturday? Oh~ a rain delay! Rain delay, Heyman’s “kosher tuchus.” Those were the tears of the angels descending upon Tampa over the BEATING Roman was going to give, and that is what happened! Roman walked out champion, and neither Bryan nor Edge walked out of Raymond James at all.
And as Heyman was walking back with Roman, they were stepping in puddles, and Heyman said, “My goodness! Tears still descending from up above!” Except it wasn’t from the skies, but from the locker room. A visionary like Seth Rollins had to lower himself to face “a knuckle-dragging, slack-jawed, bucktooth Swiss quisling like Cesaro.” A billion dollar body but a 10 cent brain and THIS is who emerges to get in the face of Your Tribal Chief?! Cesaro is physically capable of being a great opponent, but he is not an attraction. He’s a joke!
So let’s put an end to the joke! Stop the train before it leaves the station! They will give Cesaro what he wants, tonight live on SmackDown! Cesaro in the main event against THE main event, Jey Uso. Of course Heyman had a way to change the course. But will Cesaro blast through the Right Hand Man to get at the Head of the Table, whether they like it or not?
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
The Great Liberator didn’t defeat his long-time frenemy, and he didn’t even have Logan Paul on his side! And Sami loves to see the headlines outside of the one that is most accurate: “Sami Zayn Once Again SCREWED!” Where is that one, huh?! Well, does it exist…? Sami says it was his vindication! The stars were aligned, and he had the one star that matters in Logan Paul! Logan was supposed to help Sami expose the WWE and celebrate his grand victory, but that’s not how it went down, did it?
And here’s why: Logan’s mind was poisoned by Kevin Owens and the WWE Universe talking bad about Sami, like he’s a crackpot! It was poisoned by management, and the “corporate mouthpiece,” Michael Cole! They got in Logan’s head and Sami could sense it and feel it as he hugged Logan! And then in the match, of course he was distracted! Sami was worried about Logan! And that is the only reason, THE ONLY REASON, Kevin squeaked out that win. And Kevin is back there, obviously. Sami will not be denied vindication! Sami calls Kevin out for a rematch! There’s nothing to distract him, there are no toxic fans or stupid Logan Paul and his warped mind! No distractions, no way for Kevin to steal this!
But that’s why Kevin won’t come out, because- Wait, Kevin DOES come out to the ring! Kevin says if Sami’s gonna keep making excuses, then here we go! This WrestleMania rematch happens, after the break!
Sami Zayn VS Kevin Owens!
The bell rings and Sami bails out! Kevin smirks because he knew this would happen. Kevin slides out but Sami slides in. Then Kevin slide sin, but that’s a fake-out! Sami is on the outside and Kevin fires off! Kevin bounces Sami off the desk, puts him in the ring, and CHOPS him to a corner! And CHOPS again! Sami stumbles to another corner but Kevin gives him body shots! The ref counts, Kevin lets off, and then comes back, but Sami hits first! Sami whips corner to corner, Kevin comes back to CLOBBER Sami! BACK SENTON! Sami is in a corner, Kevin runs in but Sami bails out. Kevin goes to the apron but Sami hotshots him! Then BLINDSIDES him!
Sami rains down furious fists from all sides! Sami lets off to snarl and seethe. Sami puts Kevin on the ropes and chokes him! The ref counts, Sami lets off at 4 and CLUBS Kevin! Kevin gets up to CHOP back! Sami stomps Kevin to a corner, digs his boots in, and even stands on Kevin! The ref counts, Sami lets off, and then Sami throws haymakers. Kevin hits back, counter punches, and backs Sami down. Sami jawbreakers in return! Sami CHOPS Kevin against ropes, then whips him to ropes. Kevin reverses but Sami kicks back, only for Kevin to LARIAT! Kevin reels Sami in, suplexes to hang Sami out to dry, and Sami springs off the ropes to hit the mat!
Kevin fires off on Sami in a corner, hoists him up top and CHOPS him again! Kevin climbs up, Sami throws elbows and then adjusts to sunset flip POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives, Sami argues with the ref, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Sami is again fighting Kevin off on the top rope. Kevin hits back, climbs back up, and Sami throws headbutts! Kevin falls back, Sami adjusts and leaps, but Kevin gets clear! Kevin SUPERKICKS Sami down! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives but Kevin hurries right to the top rope! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives again and Kevin is beside himself! Kevin shakes his head as he stands Sami up, whips him, but Sami bails out to avoid a pop-up. Kevin pursues Sami as the ring count climbs, and gets him on the ramp to throw him into barriers! Kevin puts Sami back in at 5 of 10, knees low then whips, but Sami slips through the pop-up to get an arm!
Kevin fights the Half ‘n’ Half, then pump handles for the PACKAGE USHIGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!!! Sami still survives that move, just like WrestleMania! Kevin gets annoyed, but he again has to pursue Sami on the outside. Kevin drags Sami from the barriers, puts him in, and kicks, but no Stunner! Sami again bails out, Kevin grabs at him on the apron, but Sami rakes Kevin’s eyes! The ring count is still climbing, though, but Sami wants to run away! Sami gets himself counted out, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by count-out
Kevin wins again, but it seems Sami didn’t want revenge that badly. But Kevin pursues and goes after Sami with fists at the ramp! Kevin puts Sami in the ring, kicks and STUNNERS! It seems Kevin still hasn’t beaten sense into Sami, will these two #JustKeepFighting?
Apollo Crews speaks.
“All of Nigeria has not stopped celebrating, ever since I smashed Big E into oblivion and I became the new Intercontinental Champion!” And he would give Big E a rematch tonight, but he’s not here. And do you know why? Two words: Nigerian Nail! That is the name of the move used by this giant beside Apollo here. This is his commander of the guard, Azeez, former member of the Nigerian Elite Guard. If anyone dares come for Apollo, they will be annihilated by the Nigerian Nail!
The Street Profits head to the ring!
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are going to be facing the Dirty Dawgs for the tag titles later tonight, but first they are going to celebrate the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! This will be the EST of celebrations, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Ford says it’s Friday Night, and he’s feelin’ right! Dawkins says it is official takeback season! Time to do spring cleaning to send Dolph & Roode back through that time warp they came out of so they can return to 1986. Oh, and about getting the shine back on those SmackDown tag titles! Right! The Dirty Dawgs will get snatched, but that’s not the only reason why the Solo cups are raised high. It’s been a long time, and they got some inspiration this past weekend. Some motivation! WrestleMania was a night for the ages, a night to remember!
One match in particular will be something Ford tells his grandkids about! That is the historic, the glass ceiling shattering SmackDown Women’s Championship! ROLL TAPE! Sasha Banks VS Bianca Belair, WrestleMania 37 Night One, the main event! Headlines were marking how amazing it was even before the bell, and no one could deny it after! We have a NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion, and it is Bianca Belair! Dawkins has the feels, fam! Ford says that as we just saw, the party isn’t over! The champagne for the campaign is not done popping. Saturday, that was a genuine moment that will be with them for the rest of their lives. And they just want to share that joy with the fans!
So they introduce to use, the roughest, the toughest, the quickest, the strongest, and the greatest part of Ford’s life, the NEW WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion, the EST, no no no, THE E S T of the W W E, BIANCA BELAIR!! Bianca makes her entrance, Ford and Dawkins sing her praises and the fans cheer on their ThunderDome screens! Bianca is handed a mic, and she feels like he’s been floating since Saturday! Her mind is blown, her heart is filled, and she feels blessed. But despite the setbacks, the struggles, she never stopped believing that this moment was possible.
And her family has been making history for generations, they are the ones who showed her that when you demand greatness from yourself, that no matter how hard the game gets, you can change the game! If you were to have asked her a year ago if she could ever imagine main-eventing Mania, winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship… Well she probably would’ve said yes! But that’s not because she’s cocky. That’s because she’s unapologetically her. Everyone has a little EST in them, and when you find it, you know that you’re talented and working hard, you never need to apologize for saying you are the B-E-S-T! “Because if you can dream it, you can do it.”
Bianca showed up, showed out, but it isn’t just about her. Sasha Banks, Bianca thanks you. There is no one she would’ve rather shared that spotlight because Sasha pushed her to her limits and it takes two. They BOTH made history. But… If Sasha ever tries to forget it, just know that Bianca left you with something to remember her by. That hair whip did leave a mark… But this is also about Sasha, too. This moment is so much bigger than them. This is about all the girls watching at Raymond James and at home, who saw Bianca and saw themselves. This is for you! That was Mania magic, but we’re only getting started!
Ford and Bianca hug, Dawkins joins in for a family moment, and Bianca says it’s time to drop the cups, throw the tissues away, and get those titles again. They only wear gold in this house. The Profits and the new SmackDown Women’s Champion are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke! Will this trio become truly golden after tonight?
Backstage interview with Sasha Banks.
After seeing Bianca out there, she is in no mood. The Boss still has the mark on her side, and she seethes. She takes a second to cool off, but it doesn’t work, and she storms off. Will Sasha find a way back to that title and to WrestleMania revenge?
Backstage interview with Bayley.
The Role Model acknowledges that Cesaro was super impressive with the UFO spin, as footage is replayed, but what about Sasha? She probably wants a rematch but is so angry she can’t say it. While Bayley was super busy trying to save both nights of Mania, Bianca was in the main event crying. Even before the match began! No one wants to say it but Bayley will: those tears was because Bianca thought she couldn’t win. Is that who you want as champion? And now she’s showboating and arrogant! That is NOT the kind of champion we should want!
So there is only one way to fix this, and restore dignity to the title: for Bayley, the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion ever, to challenge Bianca and take that title! Will Bayley cut Sasha in line and get back to the gold first?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Dirty Dawgs VS The Street Profits!
The Show-Off & The Glorious One made it through #WrestleManiaSmackDown and its Fatal 4 Way with these titles, but now they’re 2v2 with Ford & Dawkins! Will takeback season work out for the fam? We find out, after the break!
SmackDown returns and the titles are raised. Teams sort out, Ziggler starts with Dawkins and they circle. They feel out the grapple, Ziggler shoots in but Dawkins sprawls then shifts to a waistlock. Ziggler gets the ropebreak, the ref counts but Ziggler elbows free! Ziggler dares Dawkins to get up, then he gets Dawkins only for Dawkins to DECK him! Tag to Ford, the Profits whip Ziggler, Dawkins drops and Ford dropkicks Ziggler down! Cover, TWO! Ford gets Ziggler back up, snapmares him to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Ford keeps Ziggler from Roode, wrenches and armlocks to tag in Dawkins. Ford wrenches the arm again and again, Dawkins drops ax handles!
Dawkins wrenches, tags Ford back in, and now Ford drops ax handles! Ford mocks Roode but Ziggler ROCKS Ford! Roode tags in but Ford reverses the whip to send Ziggler into Roode! Tag to Dawkins, the Profits double whip to DOUBLE FLAPJACK! Ziggler comes in, but gets a DOUBLE FLAPJACK onto Roode! Ford throws Ziggler out, Dawkins gives Roode the CYCLONE SPLASH! Dawkins keeps moving, BULLDOG! Then a BIG shoulder tackle! The Profits are fired WAY up as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Dawkins covers Roode, TWO! Dawkins keeps on Roode with a headlock, Roode powers out but Dawkins runs him over! Things keep moving, Dawkins leaping back elbows! Roode avoids the cyclone but Dawkins elbows him away. Ziggler distracts but Dawkins DECKS him, only to run into a GLORIOUS SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler tags in and DECKS Ford! Ziggler gets Dawkins up for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler tags Roode back in, the Dirty Dawgs mug Dawkins and Roode stomps Dawkins down. Roode brings Dawkins up to suplex high and hard, covers, TWO! Roode argues the count but it was fair.
Tag to Ziggler, the Dawgs mug Dawkins, and Ziggler taunts Ford before daring Dawkins to stand. Dawkins gets up, Ziggler slaps him around, but his dropkick is caught for a CATAPULT! Ziggler hits buckle and then the mat! Ford fires up on his corner and fans rally on the ThunderDome screens. Ziggler and Dawkins crawl, hot tags to Ford and Roode! Ford rallies with big clotheslines, then he TOSSES Ziggler for good measure! Dropkick for Roode, dropkick for Ziggler! Ford dodges Roode to BLOCKBUSTER! Ford CLOBBERS Ziggler! Ford whips Roode, Roode reverses and reels For din but Ford lands out of the back suplex to give a back suplex! Kip up and STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Roode bails out to join Ziggler, Ford has a target! Ford builds speed, tags Dawkins as he FLIES! Direct hit to the Dawgs and Ford gets Roode in for Dawkins! Dawkins gets Roode up, THE ANOINTMENT! Tag to Ford, he climbs, and leaps FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, Ziggler breaks it!! Dawkins gets Ziggler up but Ziggler throws him to clothesline Dawkins and himself out! Ford DECKS Ziggler, gets Roode up and fires off fists in a corner! The ref backs Ford off, and Ziggler sneaks a tag in! Ford doesn’t know, he whips but Roode reverses. Ford goes up and over, into a ZIGZAG!!! Cover, the Dawgs win!!
Winners: The Dirty Dawgs, by pinfall
As fired up as Ford was, Ziggler & Roode find a way to survive! Is this the end of takeback season? Will the Dawgs move on to new challengers in the wake of WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Cesaro.
While denying him a match with Roman Reigns, Heyman said some rather derogatory things about Cesaro. His response? “I think Paul Heyman is right.” Cesaro admits he has buck teeth, a slack jaw, and that he isn’t the smartest. And with his long arms, maybe he does look like a Neanderthal. But he’s wrong about one thing: Cesaro DOES belong in the ring with Roman Reigns, and will prove it tonight by beating the Right Hand Man!
Heyman talks with Roman in their VIP room.
Roman doesn’t like that Cesaro isn’t just accepting things. Roman wants Jey to teach him a lesson. Will Jey Uso check Cesaro off the list for Roman?
Natalya w/ Tamina VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
Though the #BOAT and Daughter of Superfly won the Tag Team Turmoil, they could not win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Can the Queen of Harts redeem herself with another win over the Queen of Spades?
The bell rings, the two tie up and Natty gets a headlock. Shayna powers out, things speed up and Natty ducks to get a waistlock. Shayna blocks the lift, wrenches free and fires off hands and kicks! Shayna knees but Natty deflects it to get the legs! Natty steps through, but Shayna scramble’s and Nia saves her! Tamina storms over, Shayna gets back in the ring, but Natty is waiting! They tie up, Natty trips Shayna, floats to a facelock, but Shayna slips out to hammerlock. Natty gets up, slips through, wrenches, but Shayna wrenches back. Natty rolls, handsprings and gets a leg. Shayna sprawls to block, then shifts to a waistlock and slam, to the ARMBAR!
Natty endures, clasps hands, but Shayna pulls. Shayna stands to get the arm and hammerlocks it into the mat! This time, Tamina says Natty! Natty hotshots Shayna down, Nia storms over and the ref has to keep her and Tamina from throwing down. Natty gets in but Shayna KNEES Her down! Cover, TWO! Shayna grows frustrated, Natty goes to a corner and she elbows Shayna away. Natty spins, DISCUS CLOTHESLINE! Natty goes for legs but Nia gets on the apron! The ref reprimands but Shayna KICKS Natty down! KIRAFUDA, but Natty throws Shayna at Nia! Shayna stops herself, Natty rolls her up, AND WINS!
Winner: Natalya, by pinfall
Nia goes after Natty but Tamina SUPERKICKS her down!! Tamina and Natty aren’t done with the Irresistible Force or Queen of Spades! Will the second time around be the second generation superstars’ time to shine?
Jey Uso speaks.
“Cesaro, Cesaro. Boy, you’s a one hit move, huh? King of spin, king of swing, it’s all the same! That’s a cute airplane you did with no hands. But let me ask you something: can you do that with no teeth?!” You’re disrespecting the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table! Now you’ve crossed the Right Hand Man, and now Jey has to get you! He’ll show you why he is #MainEventJey! Jey vows to #GETIM, and Roman says, “You heard the man. Now he’s gonna show you.”
Cesaro VS Jey Uso w/ Paul Heyman!
The Swiss Cyborg shows no fear in the face of the Reigns-ing, Defending, Undisputed, (hardly) Uncontroverted Universal Champion, but the NEW winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal wants to change that. Will Jey be the one to learn something from the original winner of that match?
The bell rings and Cesaro gets Jey right up with a SLAM! Cesaro headlocks, Jey powers out and things speed up, and Cesaro catches Jey for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Cesaro keeps his focus as Jey goes to the apron. Jey gets to a corner but Cesaro bumps him off buckles. Jey counter punches, SLAMS Cesaro’s hand on the crossbar, then pulls the arm through the bars! Jey then kicks, but Cesaro blocks to hotshot the leg! Cesaro BOOTS Jey down and then goes out to pursue. Cesaro leaps from the apron, into a SUPERKICK! Main Event Jey evens things in the main event as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns once more and Jey cranks on an armlock. Cesaro throws body shots, whips but Jey reverses, to SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Jey keeps on Cesaro with a stomp to the shoulder! Jey ROCKS Cesaro with an uppercut, then wraps an arm around the ropes to pull! The ref counts, Jey lets off at 4, and then brings Cesaro around to suplex. Cesaro blocks it, then gets Jey up for a suplex of his own! Fans rally on their screens as Jey crawls his way to a corner. Cesaro snarls, aims at Jey and runs in, only to be put on the apron. Cesaro ROCKS Jey first, climbs up top, and leaps for a BIG CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro shakes out the arms, drags Jey back up, but Jey wrenches to WRING the arm out! SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives but he is in a daze as he gets to a corner. Jey runs corner to corner, HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Cesaro shakes out the arms again but Jey sees him in a drop zone. Jey climbs up, but Cesaro gets up to DROPKICK Jey down! Jey hangs on to keep from falling to the floor, but Cesaro climbs up to get him. Cesaro gets Jey back to the top, Jey fights with body shots and Cesaro hops down. EuroUpper SHORYUKEN! Cesaro gets Jey up for a SUPER GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Jey survives but Cesaro keeps focus.
Jey crawls, Cesaro brings him around, and reels him in! Jey fights the Gotch to wring the arm but Cesaro cartwheels! Cesaro dodges to springboard EuroUpper! Cover, TWO! Cesaro is a bit surprised, but he gets Jey’s legs! Jey kicks Cesaro away, but Cesaro comes back. Jey blocks a boot but gets a EuroUpper! Jey ducks the clothesline to pop-up NECKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives and Jey is furious! Both men slowly rise but Jey is after Cesaro first. Jey throws down haymakers, then SLAPS Cesaro! And slaps him more! Cesaro SLAPS back! And fires off furious palm strikes then furious EuroUppers!! Shots from all sides! Cesaro runs, and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro is seething, but he calls for the spin! Cesaro gets Jey into a SPINEBUSTER, to then get the wings! SWISS SWING!! Michael Cole & Pat McAfee count, but Cesaro doesn’t get past 5 before SETH ROLLINS attacks!!
Winner: Cesaro, by disqualification
The Architect won’t let it go! He doesn’t want anyone anywhere getting swung by Cesaro! Cesaro still wins the match because of this, but he is staggering about. Rollins shouts, “You were done with me?! You got lucky!! ONE TIME! This isn’t over! Nothing is over until I SAY IT’S OVER!! I am the END ALL BE ALL of this industry! And the sooner you figure it out, the better it’s gonna be!” The Savior of SmackDown has all but snapped, but will he be going for another spin before this is all said and done?
Well, this was a pretty good post WrestleMania episode. Then some stuff made it like most typical WWE programming. There are a few things that are clearly being set up for WrestleMania Backlash, and they’re all WrestleMania rematches because that’s literally what that PPV becomes when you name it that in such a lazy manner. I am glad Cesaro is the next one stepping up to Roman Reigns, but they’re clearly doing everything they can to stretch this story so that the match will happen at a PPV bigger than Backlash. Cesaro getting the runaround from Roman’s team was a good way to do it, but I’m not sure about Cesaro VS Rollins 2. It’ll be a great match, but is it really necessary? Of course, WWE did repeat the UFO airplane spin a lot, so them running it into the ground is actually a good sign that Cesaro will win, and is going to be the next challenger to Roman’s title.
Natty getting another fairly quick win over Shayna and Tamina knocking Nia down is surely a sign that we’re getting a rematch between those teams for the tag titles at Backlash. But if that is where Tamina & Natty are going to win the titles, it’s profoundly stupid. They should’ve just let Natty & Tamina win at Mania, and then it’d be about Nia & Shayna getting the belts back at Backlash, a much more logical route. The celebration promo for Bianca was great, and while Sasha wants a rematch, Bayley wants her own match with Bianca, so I’m hoping there’s a difference here in that Backlash gives us another Sasha VS Bayley match, winner faces Bianca at the PPV after that.
Dawgs VS Profits was a great match, especially for television, but I am really surprised the Profits didn’t win tonight. I get that the moment Bianca and the Profits are all wearing gold is going to be big, but then why not do that on the SmackDown After Mania? Make tonight feel big because it should be big! Is WrestleMania Backlash really going to be where they do it? I feel like that’s them forcing Backlash to feel special rather than letting it be special by surprise. Rey VS Otis was good, and clearly this feud isn’t over yet, and the winner of that will surely line up for the tag titles.
Kevin VS Sami tonight was also great stuff, a lot of similar spots to the match they had at Mania, but the count-out seems like another way to extend things. I have a feeling something’s gotta give at Backlash, and I hope Kevin & Sami finally start towards the tag titles. Apollo had a good promo to introduce Dabba-Kato’s new form, Commander Azeez, and the name of his finisher. The Nigerian Nail is pretty much a direct translation of the Samoan Spike, which is what the move was when Umaga used it. Big E VS Azeez has to be coming, perhaps with the stipulation that if Big E wins, he gets his rematch with Apollo at Backlash. Honestly, it all feels like WWE is spinning their wheels because Vince is rolling around in the $1 BILLION from NBC.
My Score: 8.2/10
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