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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (4/8/2020)

One. Last. Beat.



NEW NXT Coverage

NXT takes over USA Network!

Apologies to Tampa, but more of the TakeOver plan moves to television! Who stands tall as THE heart of NXT after #OneLastBeat?



  • NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Ladder Match: Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Io Shirai VS Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai; Shirai wins and will challenge Charlotte Flair for the title.
  • Partial Replay – NXT UK 3/12/20: Finn Balor VS Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium; Balor wins.
  • Indus Sher w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Ever-Rise; Indus Sher wins.
  • One Last Beat: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; Gargano wins.


NXT’s most intense and storied rivalry all started with one moment.

It was TakeOver: Chicago three years ago. DIY lost, and Tommaso Ciampa lost it! A throw into an LED wall and an Air Raid Crash off the announce desk through spare tables sparked a saga. “In the history of NXT, there has been no greater rivalry, no personal issue more intense than what we have witnessed over the last few years between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.” Both men have given blood, sweat and tears while trying to take the other man’s heart and soul. The Black Heart and the Rebel Heart have fought each other over and over, and tonight it all ends. Two walk into a building, one walks out, and “it’s done.” When it is over, it is over forever. This will be Gargano VS Ciampa, #OneLastBeat.


NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Ladder Match: Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Io Shirai VS Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai!

There is a NEW NXT Women’s Champion after WrestleMania, and yet it is also an old one. Charlotte Flair is back on top of the black ‘n’ yellow, but she’s already going to have a challenger lined up! Who among this super six pack stands atop the ladder as #1 Contender?

The bell rings and all six women stare down. Then things spark into brawls! Tegan of course goes after Dakota and Candice goes after Shirai! Mia goes after Green in a corner and stomps her down. Shirai stomps Candice while Dakota bumps Tegan off buckles. Shirai hits a swinging meteora! But Dakota throws Shirai out! Dakota clubs Mia and Green scurries away. Dakota tells Raquel to get her a ladder, and a tall one! Raquel does as ordered while Dakota stomps whoever moves. The ladder is in but Mia and Candice dropkick it back out at Raquel! They glare at Dakota, who tries to calm them down. But then Dakota bumps into Tegan, and she stops smiling. Dakota ends up in a 3v1 punch cycle!

Candice throws haymakers and chops and fires off! Tegan runs in to uppercut Dakota, then gives Green a shot just because. Mia adds on to Dakota and Green, then so does Candice! Green tumbles down and Tegan gives Dakota the CANNON-BOAR! Mia adds her CANNON-BALL, and they both help Candice hit a BIG cannonball! These three feel good working together, but then Candice gets clear as Shirai flies in! Shirai takes Mia and Tegan down with a missile dropkick! Candice runs back in but gets a flapjack! The Evil Genius goes out to drag a new ladder from under the ring. Meanwhile, Robert Stone helps Green get a table! Shirai has her ladder in but Candice climbs it like steps! Shirai shakes her off and kicks her low, to Alabama lift! Candice fights free and lifts, but Shirai resists.

Shirai blocks a kick but not the enziguri! She staggers, but still SHOTEIS Candice back! Green gives them BOTH a bulldog to the ladder! The Hot Commodity clears the ring with a grin as NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Green now has a chair. But Mia trips her and she falls on said chair! Mia drags Green out to throw hands but Green throws them right back. Tegan gets in but Dakota follows to throw hands. The former Team Kick partners brawl fast and furious! Tegan choke grips but Dakota breaks free to Scorpion Kick! Tegan rebounds to HEADBUTT! She runs but into a big forearm! Dakota runs but Tegan uppercuts! Tegan runs but Dakota follows Around the World to BOOT! Dakota runs corner to corner but Tegan follows! Dakota dodges her at the last second, but the boot is blocked to another uppercut! Tegan choke grips and CHOKE SLAMS! Tegan sees Green slide a ladder in and stands on it. They tug-o-war, and Tegan rams Green into railing!

Tegan stands the ladder up under the contract briefcase. She climbs up but Dakota hurries after her! Dakota and Tegan are both up top and Dakota SMACKS Tegan off the top! But Candice YANKS Dakota down and Dakota SMACKS off a rung! Tegan clings to her side and Candice climbs up. The two friends hesitate, but Green and Dakota attack in that opening! Green DECKS Tegan and Dakota feeds Candice to buckles! Dakota and Green climb and brawl but get yanked down by Mia and Shirai! Mia knocks Green down and Shirai kicks Kai. They climb now, but Candice returns with a ladder. She and Tegan bring that over while Dakota goes back after Shirai. Dakota kicks Shirai out of the ring and Green goes after Mia while Candice and Tegan set up this other ladder.

Mia kicks Green away while Tegan and Candice climb. Dakota returns to go after Tegan and Green goes after Candice. Green brings Candice down then goes back after Mia. Mia elbows Green away and keeps climbing. Dakota and Tegan take each other out, leaving Mia alone to reach for the briefcase! But Candice pulls her back down! Candice swings, Mia ducks, and wrenches Candice’s arm, PROTEC YA NECK! Mia leaves Candice down and heads up again, but Green SMACKS her with a chair! Green tosses the chair to Mia to then BOOT, but she misses! Green is caught in the rungs of a ladder set in the corner! Mia gives Green’s knee a CHAIR SHOT! Green screams and Mia pushes her out of the ring. But Shirai returns to basement dropkick Mia! Shirai GUILLOTINE CATAPULTS Mia into the ladder!!

Shirai shouts that this is her time! She hurries up the ladder, but RAQUEL pushes her over!! Shira falls onto everyone else! The irony is that Raquel just took out Dakota, who she’s supposed to be helping! NXT goes to break while everyone is down!

NXT returns as Raquel guards the ladder. She throws Candice out then makes sure everyone else is down. Robert Stone says Green is not a threat now, so Raquel hurries to help Dakota. They go into the ring, and Raquel even lifts Dakota on her shoulders. Raquel climbs for Dakota, but Mia returns! Mia attacks Raquel but Raquel boots her down! Dakota is at the top but Candice yanks her down! Raquel climbs up and drags Mia up by her hair! Mia fights back with body shots and forearms! Mia gets under Raquel and wants to bomb! Raquel holds on but Tegan joins in! Tegan choke grips Raquel, and together, she and Mia SUPER CHOKE SLAM BOMB Raquel THROUGH A TABLE!! But Mia goes all out for it, taking herself out with Raquel!!

Tegan watches Mia and Raquel in the wreckage a little too long, and Dakota goes after Tegan on the top rope! Dakota runs side to side, to BOOT Tegan down! Tegan crashes through a ladder bridge!! So much carnage at ringside!! Dakota sees she’s alone with Raquel down, and Candice is climbing! Dakota hurries to stop her, and they’re both up top. They both have a hand on the case, but Candice SMACKS it off Dakota’s head! Shirai springboards in to SMASH Dakota’s head off the ladder! Dakota falls but even Candice stumbles back. Shirai ducks Candice to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW MISSES! Candice waistlocks and GERMANS Shirai!

Robert Stone says this is Green’s chance! Green hobbles up and into the ring with him cheering all the way. Green drags herself up the rungs but her bad leg is too much. Stone throws off his jacket to climb up on the other side! He hesitates the higher he goes, and then helps Green from the other side. They’re almost there, but Shirai and Candice tip the ladder over! Green falls onto the ropes and gets tangled up!! Everyone is down, but Shirai and Candice are still in the ring! They both bring the ladder back up and start to climb again. Candice reaches the top first, but Shirai stops her from touching the case. They brawl way up high, back and forth. Candice throws haymakers and Shirai wobbles.

Shirai blocks Candice’s hand, then rakes her eyes!! Candice falls back onto the corner ladder! Shirai finishes the ascension, and grabs the briefcase off the hook! Shirai wins!!

Winner: Io Shirai (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship)

The Evil Genius shouts her own praises in Japanese as she literally sits atop everyone else! But will she finally be at the very peak of the NXT Women’s Division after facing the Queen of All Eras?


NXT looks back on The Prince VS Imperium!

After defeating Johnny Gargano in Portland, Finn Balor openly wondered what his next move would be. To that effect, NXT UK’s Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel told Balor that it would be to fall in line behind The Ring General, WALTER. Balor refused and was beaten down for it that very night. But then Balor would turn the tables and go to NXT UK to take the fight to them!

Balor glares at Walter as he stomps Wolfe down. “You want some, Walter?!” Balor springboard stomps over and over, and says they’re all for Walter! The ref backs Balor off and Wolfe slowly rises. Fans are thunderous as Balor hits Wolfe with a SLINGBLADE! Fans troll Imperium with “Walter is a baby~!” Balor aims from a corner but Aichner and Barthel go after Balor! He fights them off but Wolfe LARIATS Balor down! The referee EJECTS Imperium! Imperium protests but fans sing, “Hey hey hey~! Good bye!” Balor and Wolfe rise, and Balor glares as he throws forearms. Wolfe gives them back and we have a brawl!

Balor runs into a EuroUpper and enziguri! Wolfe reels Balor in, but Balor slips out of the bomb to trip up and DOUBLE STOMP Wolfe! Fans fire up as Balor is in the corner. Wolfe denies the Slingblade to roll Balor up, TWO!! BOOT and GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO! Wolfe drags Balor up to a fireman’s carry but Balor slips around to a sleeper! Dragon sleeper, elbow drop DDT! Balor aims from a corner again, SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Wolfe bounces off buckles and Balor heads up top! COUP DE GRACE!! But Balor won’t end it there, he gives Wolfe 1916! Cover, Balor wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

Wolfe went at Balor, but he missed and got taken down instead!

Finn Balor speaks.

“Walter. You and I share a lot of traits.” They both do things on their own terms. They both have control over their own worlds. But here they are, both poised to make their next moves. This time will pass, and Walter will learn that the NXT UK Championship he holds is on borrowed time. Will the Prince take over the UK when he and Walter meet again?


Indus Sher w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Ever-Rise!

Bivens Enterprises brings a new destructive force to the NXT Tag Team Division. Rinku and Suarav already showed the Bro what they can do. Will we all see just how much more they have in their arsenal?

The teams sort out and Rinku starts against Matt Martel. They tie up, Martel waistlocks and headlocks, then wristlocks and wrenches. Rinku isn’t bothered at all and he throws Martel off! Chase Parker tags in and Rinku dares him to bring the fight. Rinku swings, Parker dodges and Parker sucker punches Suarav! Parker throws hands on Rinku and CHOPS! Rinku just roars and throws Parker at ropes! Parker holds ropes to boot back! Tag to Martel, and Ever-Rise throws hands on Rinku together! Martel powers Rinku to the corner and Parker adds the enziguri! Martel CHOPS Rinku then tags Parker before tripping Rinku up. Parker slingshots to drop an elbow on Rinku’s back! Bivens is mad as Parker covers, but Rinku powers out at ONE! Rinku is up and LARIATS Parker down!

Rinku drags Parker up and brings him to the corner. Tag to Suarav and Indus Sher double whips. They double shoulder Parker down! Suarav drags Parker up to scoop and SLAM! He glares at Martel before looming over Parker. Suarav tags Rink and they bring Parker up for a double HIP TOSS! Rinku stays between Parker and Martel as Martel rallies. Rinku BOOTS Parker down! And stomps him down to the Bivens Enterprises corner. Rinku drags Parker up to scoop for a sidewalk slam! Tag to Suarav and Rinku DECKS Martel! Indus Sher drags Parker up to whip into an open corner. Suarav corner clotheslines hard! Bivens is pleased as Suarva tags Rinku back in. Indus Sher mugs Parker in the corner, then Rinku CLUBS Parker down. Rinku drags Parker up and CLUBS him again!

Parker throws forearms back and scrambles, but Rinku drags him away from Martel. Rinku DECKS Martel again then tags Suarav. Indus Sher whips Parker to a corner. Rinku runs in for a corner clothesline, and feeds Parker to Suarav’s BOOT! They finish this with the backbreaker elbow drop! Cover, Indus Sher wins!

Winner: Indus Sher, by pinfall

The lions have destroyed their first opponents and Bivens promise they’ll do more of the same! Will the NXT Tag Team Championships simply be prey for Rinku and Suarav?


Adam Cole speaks.

“Bravo, Velveteen.” He beat Bobby Fish because he got lucky. Unfortunately for Dream, lightning never strikes twice. Especially when it comes to the greatest NXT Champion ever in Adam Cole Baybay. Cole explains something to Dream: Dream does not deserve a shot! Dream is a pretender but Cole is the real deal! Cole has proven it time and again. How many times does he have to explain it to Dream so Dream understands? If Dream keeps pushing, maybe Cole will one day feel the need to end the Experience. How about shattering the spotlight? And when that happens, there will be nothing Dream can do about it. And that is Undisputed.


NXT shares Charlotte Flair’s post-match interview after Night 2.

Charly Caruso starts to congratulate her, but The Queen says she doesn’t need anyone to do that. Charlotte says that when she was little, Ric Flair had custom cars, custom robes, and custom suits. Everyone thinks the suit makes the man, but no. Ric always said the man makes the suit. So therefore, the title doesn’t make the wrestler, it is the wrestler that makes the title. Charlotte has been Raw Women’s Champion, SmackDown Women’s Champion, and even retired the Diva’s Championship. Now she is a two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Rhea Ripley was alright. But she does what ever other woman does: Bow down to The Queen. “WOO~!” Will Charlotte once again make the black ‘n’ yellow brand bow to her?

NXT also shares Rhea Ripley’s own post-match interview.

The Mosh Pit Kid can’t help but be emotional after losing the title she fought so hard to win. “She’s a lot better than I expected.” That’s all she can say now, but when and where will the Nightmare be back?


One Last Beat: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano!

The Cruiserweight Classic. TakeOver: Chicago I and II. TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, and everywhere in between. Three years culminates in one night. Which heart of NXT takes its #OneFinalBeat?

Johnny Gargano pulls up to the location HHH found for him and Ciampa. Candice is also in the car and walks with him. Gargano even redesigned his DIY shirt to be #TJGW. Gargano tells Candice it’ll be alright, and she gives him something wrapped in a brown paper bag. She drives off to wait as Gargano heads inside. HHH waits in the ring, and both Gargano and Ciampa arrive at the same time. “Alright, guys. Right on time.” This is where it ends. It starts in this ring and ends in this ring. It doesn’t matter what they do to each other, but when it is done, it is done. Senior referee Drake Younger will officiate the match to simply count pins and submissions. Nothing more, nothing less. HHH tosses down his chair and says that once he’s out the door, “it’s on.”

HHH leaves the ring, walks to the exit, and looks back one last time before pushing through the doorway. Gargano and Ciampa both get in the ring, keeping their eyes on each other, and HHH’s chair. They step forward, but Ciampa kicks the chair aside. Ciampa says they don’t need that, it’s about him and Gargano. Gargano throws the first punch and it begins! Ciampa backs Gargano down but Gargano hits low. Gargano throws haymaker after haymaker! He whips but Ciampa reverses, and Gargano takes an HBK tumble up the buckles. Gargano gets in but Ciampa stomps him down. Ciampa throws Gargano out but Gargano stays on the apron. Ciampa runs but into an enziguri! Gargano slingshots in, but into a knee! Ciampa catches his breath and NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Ciampa grabs HHH’s chair after all. He aims at Gargano but Gargano hits low! Gargano reaches for the chair but Ciampa kicks him down! Gargano curses from pain in his arm but Ciampa is on him with stomps. Ciampa says they were brothers, but asks who turned on who. He stomps Gargano’s legs then guillotine catapults him into the bottom buckle! The ref checks on Gargano while Ciampa catches his breath. Ciampa knows Gargano isn’t going to stop this here, he’s “Johnny Wrestling.” Ciampa claws at Gargano’s face as he brings him up against the ropes. Gargano resists the DDT and drags Ciampa out. Gargano swings Ciampa’s leg into the post! And then again! And again! Ciampa flops down to the floor but he won’t let the ref check on him.

Gargano mocks Ciampa’s pain as he boots him down. “How long’s it been? How does it feel?” Gargano throws hands on Ciampa while he’s down on the floor. Ciampa crawls but Gargano drags him up. Gargano brings Ciampa over for a suplex but Ciampa fights him off. Ciampa suplexes Gargano to SLAM him into the post! The ref checks on Gargano again but just as Ciampa said, he isn’t quitting. Ciampa clears off a spare table but Gargano gets in the ring. Ciampa pursues but Gargano stomps away on him! Gargano kicks Ciampa out to then build speed and DIVE! Direct hit and Ciampa tumbles away! Gargano sits on the apron and mocks “Daddy” with the slow clap and a pat on the back. Gargano brings Ciampa up to throw into random furniture! And then boot him further in!

Gargano pushes things aside to drag Ciampa back up for more punches. He dares Ciampa to get up after each one, and he punches him so hard, the trash can starts to break! “Heart and soul of NXT? This is it?” Gargano drags Ciampa up and SMACKS him with the trash can lid! Ciampa writhes but Gargano just brings out a new trash can. Gargano SMASHES it on Ciampa’s back! Gargano says he’s disappointed in Ciampa, because he expected more. He puts Ciampa back in the ring and looms over him. Ciampa throws hands but Gargano stomps him down for it! Gargano mocks Ciampa for all the talk of being tough. How many surgeries did he come back from? The torn labrum gets a JAB from the chair! The torn ACL gets a JAB from the chair! And who can forget the neck! Gargano JAMS Ciampa in the back!

The ref checks on Ciampa but Gargano won’t let this stop. Gargano takes a seat and says this is what Ciampa wanted. The ref says this is going too far, but Gargano doesn’t care. Gargano brings the chair up again, to SMACK Ciampa on the back! Gargano paces and grins. “Don’t worry, old man. You’re not going to last much longer.” Gargano wedges the chair into a corner then brings Ciampa up. But Ciampa reverses the whip to send Gargano into the chair! Both men are down and writhing in pain as NXT goes to break.

NXT returns again as Ciampa stands up. He goes after Gargano but Gargano throws him out of the ring! Gargano slingshots, into a trash can lid SMACK! Things are even now but Ciampa still has the lid. “You want to see how my ACL’s doing?!” Ciampa uses the lid for a FULL METAL KNEE! Gargano flounders but Ciampa SMACKS him down again! Gargano reaches and grabs HHH’s chair but Ciampa stands on his hand! And stomps it! Ciampa brings the chair around and puts it around Gargano’s neck! Flashbacks to TakeOver: Chicago II’s brutal Street Fight! But this time, Ciampa throws Gargano into a post!! Then he gives back all the mocking applause and pats on the back, before stomping away! “QUIT! QUIT!” But Gargano refuses.

Ciampa takes off his shirt as Gargano crawls. Ciampa throws cables down on Gargano, then finds the trusty old crutch. Nostalgic, isn’t it? Ciampa brings the crutch over and Gargano begs for mercy. But Ciampa uses it to choke Gargano! Ciampa says if Gargano wants to talk injuries, he’ll talk injuries! Ciampa powered through the torn ACL in that tag match for Gargano! Not for the fans, but for him! Ciampa kicks Gargano around, but they end up by the table. Ciampa throws more haymakers but Gargano hits back, so Ciampa stomps him back down. Gargano flounders about and finds a fire extinguisher! Another flashback! Gargano grins while Ciampa grabs a water bottle. Ciampa washes out his eyes but Gargano is right on him.

Gargano brings Ciampa over to a table and lifts, but Ciampa resists. Ciampa throws body shots and forearms to then reel Gargano in. Ciampa lifts and POWERBOMBS Gargano through the table!! Gargano gasps and sputters and Ciampa’s eyes still sting, but this is far from over. Ciampa says this is going to end in the ring, so that’s what’ll happen. Another flashback as Ciampa undoes the strings on the ring mat! Ciampa stomps Gargano down for good measure before pulling the ring mats up! The ref says THIS is too far, but Ciampa also ignores him. The wood is exposed once again! “I’m sick of the lies! I lived with him so I know!” Ciampa goes out to fetch Gargano, but Gargano throws cable. Gargano misses wide right and Ciampa kicks him down for it. Ciampa brings Gargano up for more haymakers and Gargano flounders into trash.

Gargano heads for the door, but Ciampa says it’s supposed to end in here! Ciampa pursues, and Gargano RAMS him with a road case! And then bounces him off the top! Gargano throws Ciampa into the side of a truck trailer! And again! Gargano punches Ciampa against the tires over and over and over! Gargano goes back for the road case, and runs it at Ciampa! Ciampa moves and the case hits tires instead. Ciampa crawls under the trailer to go out the other side. Gargano looks for Ciampa but he’s already gotten on top of the cab. Ciampa then goes up to the top of the trailer. Gargano sees him up there and now it’s a stand-off. Ciampa dares Gargano to join him, so he does. The ref follows them and the two brawl! They throw hands fast and furious over and over and over!

Gargano SUPERKICKS Ciampa, but Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Ciampa spins into another SUPERKICK! Gargano brings Ciampa up but Ciampa BOOTS him back! Ciampa drags Gargano to the edge but Gargano elbows him. “Is this fun!? I think it’s fun!!” Ciampa stomps Gargano but Gargano hits back! Gargano drags Ciampa to the edge now, in the GargaNO Escape! Gargano cranks back on Ciampa’s neck but lets go when his grip gives up. He drags Ciampa up but Ciampa blocks the kick! Ciampa kicks back but Gargano SUPERKICKS anyhow! Ciampa BOOTS, Gargano SUPERKICKS again, but both men fall over! And NXT goes to break!

NXT returns once again and Gargano hobbles his way back to the arena. Ciampa rises and follows after. Ciampa doesn’t see Gargano until Gargano kicks him from the folded bleachers! And then Gargano LEAPS onto Ciampa, sending them both crashing through a table!! Gargano drags himself away while Ciampa gasps and sputters. Gargano rains down fists on Ciampa and says it ends how it started. He drags Ciampa up and into the ring. They’re on the exposed wood now, and Gargano throws in trash can lids and steel chairs. Gargano stalks over to Ciampa and throws more haymakers in the corner. Gargano picks up speed as he punches and stomps Ciampa down! “This is it!” He puts Ciampa up top, throws more haymakers, then climbs up to join him.

Gargano brings Ciampa up in a fireman’s carry but Ciampa clubs and elbows back! Ciampa picks up speed, too, and then keeps going. Ciampa brings Gargano up, for a SUPER AIR RAID CRASH TO THE FLOOR!! The referee can’t believe what these two are doing to each other! He checks them both but they’re somehow still moving. Ciampa sits up while Gargano feels around. Gargano finds the ring frame but Ciampa is the one to bring him up and in. Ciampa covers, TWO!! Gargano refuses to be the heart that dies and NXT goes to another break.

NXT returns once again, and Ciampa hobbles ringside. He finds the crutch and brings it back to the ring. This is yet another flashback as he aims at Gargano. But Gargano SMACKS Ciampa’s bad knee with the trash can lid! Gargano drags Ciampa in, and uses the crutch to trap an arm! Ciampa resists but Gargano gets it around! It may not be a knee brace, but it’s still being used in the crossface! Ciampa endures as Gargano cranks back! The two move around and Ciampa grabs the lid! Ciampa SMACKS Gargano in the face! Gargano SMACKS him back with it! And again! And again and again and again! Gargano only stops because he gets tired. Both men are sore and exhausted, but it is Gargano who uses the crutch now. Gargano flounders about as he supports himself with it, and SUPERKICKS Ciampa back down!

Ciampa is in a daze but Gargano brings him up again. Gargano supports himself on the crutch again, for yet another SUPERKICK! Ciampa teeters over and Gargano flounders about. Gargano shouts at Ciampa, “You’re a failure!” A failure as a man! As a husband! And as a father!! But Ciampa laughs?! Gargano sits him up and dares him to keep laughing. Ciampa is a monster, and he’ll finally pay! Gargano swings but Ciampa dodges! Ciampa kicks low then stomps Gargano! Ciampa has the crutch to hit Gargano over and over and over and over, until the crutch breaks apart! He wants Gargano to say all that again! He shouts in Gargano’s face about it! “You’re a piece of s*it!” Ciampa knows Gargano isn’t done, so he dares him to get back up. But Ciampa sits down to catch his breath, and NXT takes one last break.

NXT returns as Gargano sits up. Ciampa aims with the jagged crutch, but Gargano ducks! Gargano goes for a headlock but Ciampa slips out to use the crutch in a crossface! Ciampa gives Gargano a taste of his own medicine as he cranks back! The ref asks Gargano if he’s done, but Gargano pokes the ref in the eye!! The financial punishment doesn’t matter, just as long as Gargano doesn’t lose the match! Ciampa lets go of Gargano in frustration, and runs at Gargano. But Gargano moves, and the ref is hit with the Psycho Knee!! Younger goes down and Gargano SMACKS Ciampa with the crutch!! Gargano flounders after Ciampa and puts him back in the ring. But what doe sit matter without a ref?! Ciampa gets Gargano with the DRAPING DDT TO HARD WOOD!! The final flashback needed to win, but there’s no one to count!!

Ciampa sits against the ropes, completely exasperated. And yet, Gargano reaches for his hand, like in the days of their friendship. Ciampa pulls his hand away from Gargano, and finds the crutch again. Or, what’s left of it. Gargano has the other piece of the crutch! Ciampa stalks up behind Gargano, but runs into a SUPERKICK! Gargano swings but into a boot! Both men have pieces of crutch, and they both SMASH the other! Candice finally walks in, perhaps wondering what’s taking so long. And she sees them both down in the ring. She’s almost in tears as she joins the two. “What’re you guys doing?! Stop!!” Ciampa and Gargano realize she’s there, and back away to opposite ends. Candice asks who this Johnny even is. And she asks if Ciampa is happy doing this to his friend and her husband.

But then she dares him to finish it. Go ahead, they’ve gone this far. Gargano reaches for Candice, but she LOW BLOWS HIM!? WHY, CANDICE, WHY!? She leaves without another word, and even Ciampa seems speechless. Ciampa kneels by Gargano’s side, because Candice just did something far worse than anything he has done tonight. Ciampa again has compassion for his friend, and helps him sit up. They stand, but Candice returns to LOW BLOW Ciampa!!! And Gargano laughs?! This was the plan all along! Because the thing wrapped in paper before, was a CUP!! A protective athletic cup protected Gargano’s Johnny! “You lose!” Gargano drags Ciampa up and the ref comes to, in time for Gargano to STEAL the Fairy Tale Ending!! Cover, Gargano wins!!

Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall

Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling concocted a scheme that no one saw coming! And now, Ciampa can never get his revenge. What happens now that this feud has had its #OneFinalBeat?



My Thoughts:

An incredible second part to the spread out TakeOver card! The only real low parts of tonight were in the middle. I appreciate getting some NXT UK footage to fill for time but I feel like there could’ve been more to Finn Balor calling out Walter. If the timeline was different and TakeOver went as originally intended, we probably would’ve gotten a great NXT UK Championship match in Walter VS Balor that then also tied into NXT UK’s Dublin event. But WWE surely has all of this in their back pocket for when the world gets over the virus. And while replaying the Raw package of Charlotte’s win, complete with Charlotte’s interview, thankfully we got Rhea’s too. Rhea has her own real-life problems with her work visa, but hopefully that gets sorted quickly so she can come back.

Obviously Indus Sher was going to win, but I’m surprised they let Ever-Rise do as much as they did. Word is that there will have to be big changes to both the NXT Tag Team and Cruiserweight Championship plans since there’s crossover with the UK that can’t happen now. A shame if titles are stripped, but at least the WWE would be showing more consistency in the rules of defending a title. The Women’s Ladder Match was an incredible opener, and I’m thrilled Io Shirai is the #1 contender. As I’ve been saying about Kairi Sane wanting to go back to Japan, Shirai is in the same boat (no pun intended given Kairi is the Pirate Princess). Shirai winning this match doesn’t guarantee she wins the title when it’s Charlotte she’ll be challenging. But at the same time, a loss to Charlotte doesn’t mean Shirai is gone. Yet.

The #OneLastBeat/#OneFinalBeat (I hate it when WWE changes their marketing) was incredible, too. It’s hard to follow great cinematic matches like the Boneyard or the Firefly Fun House, but the one thing this had was that it was an actual match. But this one was definitely the best thing NXT put on since having to do Empty Arena shows. I loved that this was just dripping with references to everything over the last three years. It especially focused on the Unsanctioned Match to get Gargano his career back, and the Street Fight thereafter. But the best was the twist of Candice’s Heel turn. She was the only one not to go Heel yet, so that adds a new layer to this. I’m still lost as to the motivations, though. Was there an affair we don’t know about? Either way, great stuff and I’m ready for what’s next.

My Score: 9.3/10

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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)

And you thought last week was big!



Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!


  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.


205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.

It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.

The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?


Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!

How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?

The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!

Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!

Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!

Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?


Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!

The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?

The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!

Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.

Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.

Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!

Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!

Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?

My Thoughts:

A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.

Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.

My Score: 8/10

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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)

Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?



Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!


  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
  • Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
  • Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.


Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.

But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!

But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.

But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.

Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?

Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.


Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?

SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!

The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?

As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.

Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.

Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!

Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?


Billie finds the Squad backstage.

She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?


Daniel Bryan is here!

And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!

“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!

Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!

The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!

Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”

Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?


Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?

SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!

Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!

Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?


Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?


WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!

Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.

Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!

Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!

Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)

And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?


Kevin Owens speaks.

“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.

And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.

But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.


The Street Profits have a basket.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!

Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?


Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?

SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!

But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?

Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!

Winner: Bianca Belair

Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.


Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?


Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.

Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?


Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?

Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!

Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!

Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?

My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.

But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.

The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.

Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.

And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.

My Score: 8.5/10

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