The final SmackDown before WrestleMania Weekend!
John Cena returns to SmackDown to address Bray Wyatt’s special challenge! Will Cena step inside the Firefly Fun House for WrestleMania?
- Triple Threat: Naomi VS Lacey Evans VS Tamina; Tamina wins.
- From WrestleMania 24 – Shawn Michaels VS Ric Flair.
- Tucker Knight VS Dolph Ziggler; Knight wins, by disqualification.
- Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ The Artist Collection; Bryan wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown opens with Miz TV!
Clearly the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The Miz & John Morrison, are ready for a Ladder Match with all the ladders around. But before they make their entrances, Jimmy & Jey Uso say “Whoa!” No offense to G-Ham, the Usos aren’t waiting on the “hosts.” Especially not after last week’s blindside! Whose show do they think this is? This ain’t Ellen, Oprah or Maury. This is Friday Night Lockdown with WrestleMania on the horizon! And the USos are gonna climb the ladders and become the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions! But AWWWW~ people at hoooome~! The New Day makes their entrance now to join the Usos in the ring. And they say “Ohhhh no!” over and over. Did the Usos just say they were going to snatch the W, W, E, world, tag, team, championships?
We all may be used to 70+ THOUSAND screaming fans at WrestleMania, but circumstances aside, it’s still WrestleMania! And ya bois are gonna insert themselves into the annals (Big E giggles) of time. And they do that by climbing up and taking the titles back from Miz & Morrison. But that means getting past the Usos. Before “Dumb & Dumber” got involved, the New Day was gonna get done up. Oh really? Is that how they remember it? Because the way Kofi remembers it is that the New Day had the Usos handled. The rivals argue and clear out chairs but here come Miz & Morrison. Oh don’t mind them. It’s not like this is Miz’s talk show. But he and Morrison are used to this kind of disrespect, despite being A-List #TurtleneckToughGuys. They are SmackDown tag champs that deserve better!
First, they had to defend their titles against the entire SmackDown Tag Division in Elimination Chamber! Check. Now, they must face to undeserving teams in a Ladder match. Why not? But understand that no matter what anyone does, says or throws at them, Miz & Morrison will win! Bicker all you want, because The Miz & Morrison will have a front row preview to Mania. The New Day and Usos are buddy-buddy until competition sets in. Then Miz & Morrison will climb the ladders to STAY SmackDown Tag Team Championships. “Simple, straightforward and effective. Strategy like this is why we are the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century!” #BeJealous! Actually, now that Miz & Morrison have climbed ladders and left themselves vulnerable, the Usos and New Day attack!
Miz and Morrison are stuck in a 4v2 that goes down the ramp! Jimmy and Kofi mug Morrison, but then Morrison dodges and a SUPERKICK goes into Kofi! Big E sees that and LARIATS Jimmy! Jey runs at Big E but Big E catches him to THROW him over the barriers! But Miz & Morrison send Big E into a ladder! And then use a ladder to SMASH Kofi! The tag team champions did exactly as they said in using the rivals against each other. Will this happen yet again in that Triple Threat Ladder match?
Triple Threat: Naomi VS Lacey Evans VS Tamina!
Three of the five women in the SmackDown Women’s Championship Elimination Match battle in a sudden death preview! Will the Sassy Southern Belle and Daughter of Superfly #FeelTheGlow? Or will another take the lead going into the big WrestleMania Weekend title fight?
SmackDown returns as Bayley and Sasha Banks join Michael Cole on commentary. Lacey makes her entrance and gives Michael her hat, then throws her shawl at the bad role models. Tamina is last but certainly not least. Cole asks how Bayley would handle being eliminated, but she chooses not to even consider that an option as WWE’s only Grand Slam Women’s Champion. The bell rings and the match begins with Naomi and Lacey going after Tamina together. Tamina shoves them both away but Naomi dropkicks back. Lacey runs in but is put on the apron. Tamina elbows Naomi away but Lacey shoulders Tamina and slingshots to a roll up! Tamina gets up but Lacey dropkicks her down.
Naomi headlocks Tamina and springboards to a sunset flip. Tamina stays up and SLAMS Naomi down! Tamina counter punches Lacey and throws her to the apron. Both Naomi and Lacey are on that apron, and Tamina BLASTS them both off! The wild card is in control as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Tamina cranks Naomi’s neck. Naomi fights her way up and throws elbows to free herself. Tamina clubs Naomi on the back then whips her to a corner. Tamina runs in but Naomi BOOTS her away! Naomi runs but into Tamina’s clothesline! Cole asks Sasha about being in the Fatal 5 Way and about that smirk she had when it was announced. Sasha redirects the conversation to get him to say, “It’s Boss Time.” Tamina covers Naomi, TWO! Tamina headbutts Naomi down then looms over her. Naomi throws body shots and forearms. Tamina uppercuts back and whips. Naomi springboards to enziguri! Lacey slingshots in to elbow Tamina! And again! Lacey ducks and dodges to LARIAT!
Tamina ends up in a corner. Lacey hits the headstand swinging bronco buster! Lacey slingshots for the elbow drop! But Naomi drags Lacey out! Naomi ROUNDHOUSES Lacey down! Naomi heads up top, Sasha excuses herself from commentary, to throw Lacey into steel steps! But Naomi ROUNDHOUSES Sasha just for good measure. Tamina runs into a ROUNDHOUSE! Naomi slingshot sunset flips, TWO! Naomi enziguris Tamina and then runs. Tamina pops her up for a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO!! Tamina can’t believe it but Bayley “loves” the passion. But doesn’t she care what happened to Sasha? Tamina runs at Naomi in the corner, but Naomi dodges! Naomi has Tamina down then goes up, but Bayley is there! Bayley hotshots Naomi, Tamina SUPERKICKS! Cover, Tamina wins!
Winner: Tamina, by pinfall
The best friends just helped the wild card win? Bayley praises Tamina as the kind of superstar SmackDown needs. She wants to shake hands to show respect, and Tamina takes it. “See you on Sunday. Good job.” But then Tamina SUPERKICKS Bayley!! Tamina doesn’t need to be told she’s good. Sasha wants Tamina to remember the days of Team BAD, but Tamina gives her a SAMOAN DROP! Tamina can do bad all by herself. Will she be the last woman standing in the Fatal 5?
SmackDown returns, and more glitching happens.
No, it isn’t glitching. It’s a message! “The Truth Will Be Heard.” What truth? Who has this truth we are going to hear? That isn’t answered as Mandy Rose walks over to Tucker Knight. Mandy tries to talk with Tucky in regards to his match with Dolph Ziggler later tonight. Will she be able to convince him to take it easy on the Show-Off?
From WrestleMania 24 – Shawn Michaels VS Ric Flair!
WrestleMania was in Orlando, Florida for the first time ever back in 2008! But this was also the last time we’d see this match. The stipulation for this match was that if The Nature Boy lost, he would retire!
The Nature Boy was only just inducted into the Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania. And now, he walks down the ramp as if it were for the very last time, because it very well could be. The Flair Family is in the front row, and Flair Country is all around them echoing every “WOO~!” The bell rings, and these two living legends tie up. HBK headlocks but Flair powers out, only for HBK to run him over with a shoulder. Fans boo HBK but he’s just wrestling like he would anyone else. HBK and Flair tie up again, and HBK powers Flair to the corner. The ref counts, Flair turns things around, but now the ref reprimands Flair. HBK shoves but Flair shoves back! “Old Yeller, huh!?” Flair is clearly upset over what HBK has said about him in the weeks leading up to this night.
HBK SLAPS Flair away! Flair and HBK tie up again, and Flair knees low to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Flair whips, HBK reverses but Flair kicks back! Flair whips HBK and elbows him down! Fans “WOO~” as Flair drops the knee! Flair whips HBK again but HBK elbows Flair back hard! Flair uses the ropes to get up but HBK climbs up a corner. HBK is up top, but Flair throws him off! Flair goes up top!? And punches HBK away as HBK tries to return the throw. Flair LEAPS for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! HBK headlocks but Flair counters with a shin breaker! Flair wants it but HBK denies the Figure Four! Flair falls out of the ring, HBK builds speed and wrecks Flair with a baseball slide! HBK aims at Flair from the apron, and MOONSAULTS! But Flair moves, and HBK SMASHES the announce desk!
Fans lose their minds as both men are down! The referee checks on HBK while Flair leaves him behind. HBK writhes and sputters as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as both men have returned to the ring. Flair gets HBK up for a back suplex! Cover, TWO! HBK survives, even after wrecking his own ribs. Flair keeps his cool as he drags HBK back up. Flair throws body shots and then hits a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Flair keeps his eyes on HBK as he stomps HBK in the back. HBK gets up but Flair CHOPS him! HBK punches back but Flair CHOPS again. Flair suplexes HBK and holds him up! Then drops him down! Fans give an ovation for the strength Flair still has. Cover, TWO! He tries another cover, TWO! Flair pushes HBK around but HBK kicks back. Flair CHOPS, HBK jabs, repeat! HBK CHOPS now, and CHOPS again! And again! Flair hits back and whips, but HBK comes back with a neckbreaker!
Both men are down and Flair shakes the cobwebs out. HBK and Flair get to opposite ends of the ring. Flair storms over but HBK dumps him out high and hard! HBK goes out to the apron, climbs up top, and MOONSAULTS! This time he hits Flair, right at the ramp! Both men crash and burn but fans are loving it! The ring count begins as both men slowly stir. Flair flounders to the ring but HBK pursues. Both men get in at 9! Flair stomps HBK but hobbles around. HBK CHOPS Flair, but Flair CHOPS back! It’s a CHOP fight now! Flair CHOPS, HBK CHOPS, repeat! HBK gets the edge, whips but Flair reverses, only for HBK to hit flying forearms! Both men are down again, but HBK kips up! HBK gives Flair an atomic drop and a punch! And then another atomic drop and another punch.
Flair flounders up into a scoop slam! HBK catches his breath before he heads to a corner. He’s up top again, for the MACHO ELBOW! He gets up, clutching his ribs and growling as he goes to a corner. Fans boo as HBK tunes up the band! Flair slowly rises in the opposite corner, HBK runs in, but he hesitates to hit the kick! And Flair takes advantage with a takedown! To the FIGURE FOUR! HBK flails and endures as fans are thunderous! Flair cranks as hard as he can but HBK refuses to quit. HBK turns the hold over! Now FLAIR endures! Flair gets the ropebreak and the two are separated. Flair manages to stand, but SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again as Flair goes for another shin breaker. HBK sunset flips up and over, but Flair stays standing as long as he can! HBK still gets him, TWO!! Flair goes to a corner but HBK is on him with CHOPS! HBK won’t let Flair escape the corner until he whips. Flair reverses and HBK tumbles up the buckles! Flair chop blocks the leg out! Fans “WOO~” and cheer harder as Flair gets a leg. Flair steps through, but HBK cradle counters! TWO, but HBK kicks. Flair blocks, then ducks the enziguri, to get the FIGURE FOUR! HBK flails and endures all over again! HBK is down so it’s a cover, TWO! Flair cranks harder but HBK drags himself towards ropes! But Flair keeps him from them! HBK turns the hold but Flair turns it over again! But HBK gets the ropebreak!
Flair has to let go, but he goes after HBK with stomps! The ref backs Flair off but Flair goes back for more. Flair stomps HBK’s bad leg over and over, then gives us another strut. But he turns around into a SUPERKICK!! Flair just got annihilated! Cover, TWO!?! Flair survives and the fans are thunderous again! HBK drags himself to a corner and his bad leg slows him down. He grits his teeth as he tunes up again. HBK dares Flair to get up, but Flair just reaches around in a daze. HBK continues to tune up but Flair is still on all fours. The ref checks on Flair, but HBK drags him up. Flair blocks the ref’s view as he LOW BLOW mule kicks HBK!! Still the Dirtiest Player in the Game! HBK falls and fans give another ovation! Flair covers, TWO!!
HBK sits up and Flair uses ropes to stand. Flair shakes out more cobwebs before hobbling over. HBK trips Flair to put on the FIGURE FOUR!?! HBK steals the Nature Boy’s move and even modifies it! But Flair drags himself backwards towards ropes. HBK clamps onto the legs with clawing hands but Flair slaps him off them. Flair reaches back, and gets the ropebreak! And then a buckle pad?! The ref keeps him from using the pad as a weapon, but this is a distraction! Flair POKES HBK in the eyes! Again, Dirtiest Player in the Game! HBK lets Flair free as he hobbles around, and Flair rolls him up! TWO!! Flair grits his teeth as he CHOPS HBK. HBK CHOPS back, and we have another CHOP fight on the mat. The two men stand as they give more CHOPS! Flair gets an edge but HBK SUPERKICKS outta nowhere!!
Both men are down as the fans give another ovation! HBK goes to a corner now and looks at Flair. He’s conflicted, even after giving two kicks already. Flair dares HBK to do it, and HBK nods. You can’t hear it, but you can lip read HBK’s words to Flair: “I’m sorry. I love you.” SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!! Cover, Shawn Michaels wins!
Winner: Shawn Michaels, by pinfall; Ric Flair MUST retire
There was only so much Michaels could do not to end Flair in that match. But giving it his all is the ultimate sign of respect to the 16-time world champion. As for the fans, their ovations and tears, along with the chant of, “Thank You, Flair!” are clear signs of our admiration and respect for him. Thank you, Flair, for everything you have done in the ring. Flair is overcome with emotion as he hugs and kisses his family at ringside.
SmackDown has BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
The Lone Wolf King’s vicious attack last week left Elias lying on the floor after a 10 foot drop off the Full Sail perch. The Drifter is still okay to compete, but what shape will he be in when he goes for revenge on Baron Corbin?
And the BIGGEST news is that the WWE Universal Championship match must change! Due to understandable circumstances regarding health and safety, Roman Reigns CANNOT compete! The man to take his place is the Monster Among Men, BRAUN STROWMAN! Will Goldberg #GetTheseHands this WrestleMania Weekend? Or is Strowman simply #WhosNext to lose to the living legend?
Otis paces backstage.
Tucky walks up to the Dozer, and Otis says Ziggler is his! Just as long as Tucky saves him a piece. Of course. But Tucky lets Otis know that Mandy came over and asked about Otis. When? Today? Yesterday? What was she wearing? No, it was today. And she just wanted to know how Otis was doing. But Mandy was on her way to Ziggler’s dressing room so it might’ve just been her being nice. Wait, Otis gets a text. He heads out, but where to? Tucker and Ziggler have their match after the break!
Tucker Knight VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Show-Off swooped in to snag the lovely lady, and then rubbed it in Otis’s face. Tucky is Otis’s best friend and is standing up for him, but will he get a sampler of what Ziggler has in store for WrestleMania?
The bell rings and Tucker circles with Ziggler. Ziggler dodges and slithers away, but then goes for a leg. Tucker blocks that and throws Ziggler off. Tucker runs in but into a back elbow. Ziggler runs into Tucker’s LARIAT! Tucker looms over Ziggler and stomps him at the ropes. Tucker kicks Ziggler in the rings! Ziggler gasps but Tucker drags him up. Ziggler kicks the leg out then turns Tucker for the neckbreaker! And a BIG elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Ziggler clamps onto Tucker with a chinlock and traps an arm. Tucker endures as Ziggler grinds him down. Tucker fights up but Ziggler throws him down by his hair. The ref reprimands but Ziggler dropkicks Tucker down! Cover, TWO!
Ziggler goes right back to the trapped arm and chinlock. Tucker endures all over again, even as Ziggler claws his forehead. Tucker fights his way up and out, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler aims, leaps but gets caught! Tucker catapults Ziggler into buckles! And then BOOTS him down! Tucker aims from across the way, and runs in, only to get posted! Ziggler leaps, for the satellite DDT! Both men are down but SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Ziggler grinds Tucker back down in the chinlock. Tucker fights up again and pries against the hold. Tucker throws body shots and haymakers! Ziggler throws hands back but Tucker counter punches! Tucker traps both arms for an OVERHEAD suplex! Ziggler flounders out of the ring but Tucker pursues! Tucker bounces Ziggler off the announce desk, then whips him into barriers! The ref starts a ring count but Tucker refreshes the count at 5. Tucker sees Ziggler go up the ramp and pursues. Tucker whips Ziggler into steel steps! Ziggler goes down in a heap and Tucker knocks the top steps over. Tucker puts Ziggler in the ring and runs, but into a kick. He catches it, for a scoop and sidewalk slam! Cover, ROPEBREAK!
Tucker keeps his cool despite being so close. Ziggler flops out of the ring again and Tucker pursues. Tucker brings Ziggler over to the base steps, but Ziggler fights free. Ziggler rakes Tucker’s eyes! The ref reprimands but Ziggler ZIGZAGS Tucker onto the steps!! The ref calls for the bell!
Winner: Tucker Knight, by disqualification
The Show-Off doesn’t care that he lost the match, because he just sent a message to Otis. Ziggler grabs the top half of the steps but Fire &Desire hurry out! Mandy and Sonya stop Ziggler from destroying Tucker, and here comes OTIS! Ziggler runs for the hills but Otis checks on Tucker first. And then the messages appear again. “THE TRUTH WILL BE HEARD.” Who is sending the WWE these messages? We get a glimpse of the man in his control room! The mysterious hacker turns around to say, “Will you pay attention? I told you the truth will be heard.” Then the hacker presses a button, and candid footage plays!
This is from Valentine’s Day SmackDown two months ago! Mandy is on the phone and is talking with someone. “He’s big. He’s really big. But I think Otis is cute, in a different kind of way.” She’s talking to Sonya about how sweet Otis is. Sonya wants Mandy to know she does support Mandy in this. Especially with their date coming up. Sonya wants Mandy to share all the details when they meet up later. Mandy heads out, but Sonya picks up Mandy’s phone!! Sonya sent the text about Mandy being late!! Then she deleted the evidence!! But the hacker made it known! And wait, there’s more! Sonya did it, because she was in cahoots with Ziggler!! It was meant to be a win-win between them!
Sonya begs Mandy forgive her and understand why she did it. But Mandy storms off, not sure who to trust anymore. But as for Otis, he still wants after Ziggler! Ziggler gets to the ramp but Otis clips him! Ziggler gets up fast and gets away even faster! The mystery hacker has given Otis even more of a reason to go after the Show-Off! But just who is this digital vigilante? And if they watched what unfolded between Otis, Mandy, Sonya and Ziggler, what other secrets have they seen?
SmackDown returns to Sonya hurrying after Mandy.
Mandy will not wait for the person she thought was a friend. Sonya is panicking about what to do to fix this. Is there anything that can make up for what Sonya did?
Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ The Artist Collection!
The Philly Stretcher helped The Goat earn a WWE Intercontinental Championship match for WrestleMania Weekend, but he did have some help from Bryan. Bryan now goes against The King of Strong Style just to show “The Great Liberator” that he’s not going to coast. Will Bryan beat Nakamura and be ready for Sami Zayn the next day?
The bell rings and Bryan circles with Nakamura. Sami joins commentary but tells Cole to leave him alone because he’s in a bad mood. Bryan goes for a leg, Nakamura blocks the takedown and gets around. Bryan slips out of the waistlock to go for a headlock. Nakamura slips out but Bryan gets a leg for a heel hook. Nakamura pries that apart but Bryan stays close. Bryan facelocks then wrenches to a wristlock. He brings Nakamura down and keylocks the arm, to STOMP it! Nakamura gets up and gets space. The two approach and Nakamura calls for a test of strength. Bryan accepts, but Nakamura kicks him low! Nakamura wrenches and yanks on Bryan’s arm to then clamp on with a wristlock. Bryan fights out and around to spin Nakamura for a wristlock of his own.
Bryan drags Nakamura down but Nakamura gets to his base. But Bryan rams a knee into the ribs! Nakamura sits up but Bryan has the hammerlock. Nakamura elbows out, runs but into a dropkick! Bryan runs as Nakamura bails out, and Bryan wrecks Nakamura with a dropkick! Sami grows further upset as Bryan hits a FLYING knee! Cesaro lurks close but Gulak keeps him back. Bryan puts Nakamura in the ring then climbs up top. Bryan leaps and missile dropkicks Nakamura down! And then kips up! “Sami, this one’s for you!” Bryan goes corner to corner to dropkick Nakamura! He hoists Nakamura up top and climbs up to join him. Bryan SUPER STEINERS, but Nakamura slips out! Bryan hits the mat, then Nakamura hits him with a FLYING KNEE of his own! Cover, TWO!
Nakamura backs off to watch Bryan stir. Nakamura kicks Bryan while he’s down then put shim in the corner. He gives Bryan Bad Vibrations! Nakamura whips Bryan corner to corner then runs in. Bryan puts up boots but Nakamura blocks them! Nakamura turns Bryan sideways on the ropes, for the SLIDING GERMAN! Sami finally likes what he sees and high fives with Cesaro while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Nakamura rams his shoulder into Bryan in a corner. Nakamura whips Bryan corner to corner but Bryan goes up and over. Things speed up and Bryan hits a leaping lariat! Sami is upset again as Bryan and Nakamura rise. Bryan fires himself up and gives Nakamura YES Kicks! Nakamura sits up but Bryan kicks him from all sides! Bryan powers up but the buzzsaw misses! Nakamura drags Bryan back, down, and around to RAM knees into Bryan’s head and shoulders! Sami is happy again as Nakamura gives Bryan some kicks! Nakamura powers up but Bryan blocks the buzzsaw into a takedown! Bryan Penalty Kicks the arm out! And then ROUNDHOUSES Nakamura down! Cover, TWO!!
Gulak coaches Bryan but Sami says Gulak has only just “squeaked by” on SmackDown. Bryan brings Nakamura up to give him a shoulder breaker! And then another! Bryan drags Nakamura down and grinds the arm, but Nakamura knees Bryan back. Nakamura whips Bryan into buckles, then hits an inverted EXPLODER! But Bryan lands on his feet! Bryan runs but into a BOOT! Now Gulak is worried as Nakamura has Bryan up. INVERTED EXPLODER! Bryan is down and Nakamura takes aim. “YAO~!” But Bryan trips Nakamura up into a Half Crab! Nakamura endures, Bryan sits DEEP! But Nakamura gets the ROPEBREAK! Sami sings Nakamura’s praises but Gulak coaches Bryan up again.
Bryan and Nakamura stand and Bryan unleashes kicks. Nakamura gives strikes in return, so Bryan throws more kicks and uppercuts. Nakamura kicks and punches and knees Bryan back. He unleashes the strike fest but Bryan gets the arm! Bryan gets an armbar but Nakamura counters with his own. Bryan covers, TWO! Nakamura gets a flying takedown! Bryan grips his hands together but Nakamura hammers it apart! Bryan rolls to get his own armbar back! Sami can’t even believe that happened! Bryan gets Nakamura in a triangle hold, but Nakamura fights up. Only for Bryan to drag him into the YES LOCK! Nakamura endures but Cesaro attacks!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by disqualification
Cesaro stomps Bryan down but Gulak rushes in! Gulak tackles Cesaro out of the ring! Sami panics as Gulak BOOTS Cesaro and then laps on for a floating guillotine! But Cesaro powers up to TOSS Gulak over barriers! Sami is fired up but Bryan DIVES onto Cesaro! But Cesaro catches Bryan to scoop SLAM him on the announce desk! Sami says this is all a preview of WrestleMania! The Artist Collective attack Gulak together, and whip him into steel steps! Nakamura drags Bryan up for Sami to push around. The referee tells them to stop but they put Bryan in the ring. Sami grabs his title belt and brings it into the ring. Cesaro gives Bryan the NEUTRALIZER! Nakamura gives Bryan a KINSHASA!
“You don’t want to listen to reason, huh?” Then this is what Bryan gets for rejecting their invitation! Cesaro and Nakamura stand Bryan up, for Sami’s HELLUVA KICK!!” Bryan is down and Sami says justice has been served. Will Sami and his “collective” continue to reign after WrestleMania?
John Cena returns again!
He’s back again after having heard Bray Wyatt’s challenge to have WWE’s first ever Firefly Fun House match. Cena says that one month ago, the WWE announced that it’d continue its broadcasts right here at the Performance Center, even with no live audience. It was a message that left everyone from fans to wrestlers asking, “What’s really going to happen?” There’s a learning curve, but together, we have all navigated the uncertainty. Cena thanks the fans for letting the WWE do so. Because it has all lead up to this: the final minutes of the final show before an “unprecedented WrestleMania.” And yet everyone is still asking, “What’s really going to happen?”
Cena explains that tomorrow night, on the WWE Network and PPV providers, it will be night one of the most viewed and most talked about event in WWE history. Because for the first time ever, no one really knows what will happen. Cena himself has been challenged to a Firefly Fun House match. But no one knows what that is! Bray Wyatt himself might not know. But Cena knows this is what The Fiend wants. The Fiend loves uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to fear, fear leads to panic, and panic leads to collapse. The Fiend thrives off of uncertainty. The Fiend has dominated the WWE with uncertainty, fear and panic. Yet here we are. The night before WrestleMania 36, “staring into the uncertainty, asking, ‘What happens next?'”
Cena will tell you what happens next. Cena refuses to panic, and he is sure as hell not afraid. Most of all, he will SQUASH Bray Wyatt and finish what he started six years ago. Cena doesn’t care if it’s a Fun House, Run’s House or Stone Cold Stun’s House! Bray Wyatt is NOT even on the level below Cena! Those who know Cena know what he’s capable of. And those same people know some bootleg of a poor man’s Mr. Rogers stands NO CHANCE of defeating Cena. As for The Fiend, is Cena really supposed to fear “a guy dressed up as the overfed sex child of Wiz Khalifa and the WB Frog?” Fiend please! Goldberg exposed The Fiend’s weakness. Cena exposes the Fiend as an embarrassment!
The Fiend challenged Cena just as Cena was stepping aside. And he has tried to get every advantage possible! This is his match choice on his turf on his terms, and he is STILL going to get his ass kicked! Cena asks us, “What’s going to happen?” But he also answers Bray Wyatt’s challenge: “I accept!” And Ramblin’ Rabbit is here?! Ramblin’ is SO excited! Because once The Fiend is done with him, Cena will be playing with the Fun House gang forever! Huskis is here, too, and echoing, “Forever~!” Mercy the Buzzard and Abby the Witch, too… “Uh oh. He’s here~…!” The lights go down. And when they come back up, an eerie red light shines on the perch. The Fiend stands there, glaring at Cena. Cena glares back, unflinching.
The tension mounts, and then BRAY IS BEHIND CENA! “Let Me In!” Lights go down again, and then come back up. Cena is all alone. Cena may not be afraid now, but will that all change this weekend?
Honestly, this was a pretty good go-home here. Global circumstances were of course going to put a cap on how good this episode was going to be. But what we got did a good job in setting things up for Mania. Well, mostly. I’m a little disappointed they didn’t give us a reason for Roman Reigns stepping down from the Universal Championship match. The world knows what’s going on in the world, so you might as well explain that Roman’s immune system might not be up to dealing with illness right now. I know the WWE wants to keep kayfabe and not worry anyone with real-world things, but c’mon. Worrying will happen regardless. But now that it’s official, I hope Strowman wins in Roman’s place and we can get Strowman VS Roman 2020, whenever 2020 decides to be cool.
The Women’s Triple Threat was pretty good, and it was fairly clear Tamina was going to win that because of Bayley and Sasha. But I feel like this is all just to make the math to make it that much easier for Sasha to take the title. Tamina could clear the field, and then Sasha gets Tamina off guard with a Bank Statement. Ziggler VS Tucker was alright but the finish was the major part. Oof, Tucker falling back on those stairs… And then I was really surprised to see this SmackDown hacker make their presence known tonight. The secret is out, and Otis VS Ziggler is going to be even more intense. Can Otis win both the match and the girl in one night?
Seeing Flair VS Michaels was a great choice for the PPV replay. 2008, I was about to graduate high school, if you can believe it. I didn’t see that match the first time, and just hadn’t taken the time to see it. But in the 12 years, I learned a lot about that match just from highlight reels and all that. I still reacted to seeing Michaels hit the desk like that, though. And it doesn’t matter how many times you see it, seeing HBK say “I’m sorry, I love you” and Flair going to his family and hugging a young Charlotte Flair is still going to hit the heartstrings.
Then, Cena in the go-home of the go-home was great. His message intertwining with the world’s circumstances is definitely on-brand for Top Face Cena. Plus, his use of “squash” was a subtle touch of meta given pro-wrestling terminology. And the silver-lining of pre-recorded Empty Arena SmackDown is being able to edit things like they did for maximum effectiveness. Because with the puppets and The Fiend being present, Bray as himself still popping up was very effective for me. I can’t wait to see what the Firefly Fun House match will be.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (6/22/21)
Adam Cole hits the ring, BAYBAY!
NXT lights the fuse, get ready for fireworks!
Before an explosive rematch on the Great American Bash, Kyle O’Reilly takes on NXT Cruiserweight Champion, Kushida, and Adam Cole takes on…?
- Adam Cole VS ???; Cole wins.
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark VS The Robert Stone Brand; Shirai & Stark win.
- Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan; Gargano & Theory win.
- Franky Monet VS ???; Monet wins.
- Ever-Rise VS Hit Row; Hit Row wins.
- Kyle O’Reilly VS KUSHIDA; O’Reilly wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Adam Cole VS ???
The Panama City Playboy is back, but he never gave an answer to last week’s “pick your poison” challenge as posed to him and Kyle O’Reilly. Cole is confident as ever, though, does he have an idea?
Cole gets the mic and reminds us that William Regal set up Cole VS Kyle at Great American Bash. Oh, and Samoa Joe assaulted and attacked him! Now this week, he gets to handpick his opponent. Cole was doing some thinking, so ain’t no way in hell HE is going to do that. He doesn’t have to start following the rules just cuz Joe is here. And Cole wants Joe to know there’s a new king of this brand, and you’re looking at him! After Cole embarrasses Kyle at Great American Bash 2021, Cole will be recognized the best in NXT ever! So the fans can consider themselves lucky for having seen Cole, but this isn’t happening.
Oh wait, here comes Carmelo Hayes! This newcomer came close to the Cruiserweight Championship in his debut, seems he’s aiming at another prize. “Hey, Cole, you might not know who I am, but I know who you are.” Melo introduces himself, and says if anyone changes Cole’s mind, it’s him. Oh is that so? Then enlighten him on how. Melo says there is this famous phrase. How does it go? “RUTHLESS! AGGRESSION!” Same energy, bruh. And then Melo SLAPS Cole!! Cole is pissed and the match is on!
Hayes dodges, fires off hands on Cole but Cole knees low! Cole ROCKS Hayes, runs, but Hayes springboards to FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Hayes chases Cole but Cole gets out of the ring. So Hayes just PLANCHAS Cole down! The CWC fires up for Hayes as he gets Cole up and into the ring. Hayes gets on the apron but Cole BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Cole finally throws off his merch shirt. Cole goes out after Hayes, drags him up and into the ring, then stalks him to a corner. Cole stomps a mudhole into Hayes, throws forearms, does more stomping, but lets off as the ref counts. Cole gets Hayes up but Hayes shoves him away.
Cole ROCKS Hayes again, then brings him out for a snap suplex! Cole dusts off his hands as fans rally up. Hayes sits up, Cole gets him up, and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cole is having fun now as he stalks Hayes to ropes. Cole chokes Hayes on the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, and fans are dueling between the veteran and the new kid. Hayes throws body shots and CHOPS but Cole throws haymakers and forearms! Hayes kicks from the mat, but falls for 52 Fake Out! Cole grins, but Hayes blocks the superkick to TKO KNEE SMASH and LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Coles gets to a corner but Hayes keeps his cool.
Hayes storms over to fire off body shots, windmills clubbing forearms, but lets off as the ref counts. Cole yanks Hayes into buckles! Cole gets space, comes back, but into a boot! Hayes goes up but Cole SHOVES him down! Hayes hits the floor hard and Cole goes out to RAM him into barriers! Cole gets Hayes back up to TOSS him into boards! Fans boo Cole as NXT goes picture in picture.
Cole paces, refreshes the ring count, and fetches Hayes, just to TOSS him into the boards again! Hayes gasps and sputters as Cole refreshes the count again. Cole puts Hayes back in the ring, JAMS his knee in Hayes’ back, then wraps on a headscissor necklock. Hayes endures, even as Cole drives in elbows into his head. Hayes turns, rolls, and gets the ropebreak! Cole holds on until the ref counts, and then lets off at 4. Hayes hits Cole as he goes, but Cole stomps him down. Cole drags Hayes up to throw haymakers and then bumps him off buckles. Cole throws hands, wrenches, and whips him corner to corner hard! Hayes bounces off buckles and Cole smirks as he taunts the rookie.
Cole drags Hayes up, Hayes shoves free but Cole kicks low! Cole gets Hayes up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Cole grows annoyed now but he looms over Hayes before bringing him up again. Hayes throws forearms so Cole gives them back! Hayes knees low, Cole EuroUppers! Hayes CHOPS but Cole kicks low! Cole fireman’s carries for the USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Hayes’ toughness is getting on Cole’s nerves and Cole wraps on a chinlock. Hayes endures as Cole grinds him down. Cole talks some trash while cranking the hold back, but Hayes fights with hammering hands.
NXT returns to single picture and fans rally up as Hayes keeps working on the chinlock. Hayes sits up, pries the grip open and gets to his feet to throw body shots. Hayes is free, runs, but Cole CLOBBERS him with a back elbow! Fans duel again as Cole gets Hayes up. Cole bumps Hayes off buckles, wrenches and whips Hayes corner to corner hard, and Hayes slumps down in the corner. Cole says Hayes chose the wrong guy to step to. Hayes bails out, Cole lets the ring count climb. Hayes stands at 5 of 10 and flounders a bit, but gets himself in at 7 of 10. Cole smirks as he stalks over to the corner. Hayes gets up but Cole throws forearms!
Cole says “You’re a nobody, you hear me? I’m Adam Cole, BAYBAY, and you’re nobody!” Hayes gets up but Cole SLAPS him down! Hayes gets up to throw forearms and Cole gives them back! Cole whips Hayes to ropes but Hayes rolls off Cole’s back to BOOT him down! Fans fire up with Hayes as he runs, but into a BOOT from Cole! Hayes wobbles, Cole gets him in a suplex, but Hayes suplexes to a CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Cole survives but Hayes gets him up and reels him in. Cole cradle counters, TWO! Hayes boots but Cole blocks, ENZIGURI follows! And a HUGE Code Breaker!! Cover, TWO!! Cole survives and Hayes can’t believe it!
The CWC is fired up while Hayes refocuses. Cole goes to ropes, Hayes grits his teeth and storms over to CHOP him! Hayes whips, Cole reverses but swings into a spin and fireman’s carry! Cole slips off to BACKSTABBER! High stack cover, TWO!! Hayes survives and Cole is getting mad now! Cole goes to a corner, hops up but Hayes gets away from the drop zone. Cole still leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Hayes runs, springboards, into a SUPERKICK!! Cole goes back to a corner, goes back up and leaps, PANAMA SUNRISE!! Cover, Cole wins!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall
The Generational Talent came close again, but this is why Cole considers himself the king of NXT! However, Cole has two weeks to get ready for the rematch with Kyle O’Reilly! Will Cole be ready to bash it up at the Bash?
Franky Monet talks with Jessi Kamea & Aliyah.
Monet is so excited for tonight. The Robert Stone Brand has a match with Zoey Stark & Io Shirai, and Aliyah says it’ll be a piece of cake. Jessi says it’s already in the bag. And of course, Franky has her second match! These three should be the Winner’s Circle! Yeah, great name. But then suit man Stone come sin and Franky says tonight is going to be a great night for them all. Good luck, ladies! Thank you! The high-five to Stone is a little hard, will it hurt even harder if and when his clients ditch him for Monet?
Backstage interview with Zoey Stark.
We all just saw Monet talk up Jessi & Aliyah, but why did she help Shirai last week? Well Shirai gave Stark her big break. All last week was was paying it back. But tagging tonight is a surprise, especially with how notorious Shirai can be when playing with others. But speaking of, Shirai comes in to say it for herself: She did pick Stark for tonight, but that doesn’t mean she likes her. Mutual respect is all they need tonight as far as Stark is concerned. Will that help them get a win against the bougie bad brand?
LA Knight speaks.
The Million Dollar Ladder match made him the NEW Million Dollar Champion, “So let me talk to ya.” Knight’s coronation made him drop what he didn’t need, and that was the old man DeBiase boarding the gravy train! Then the ungrateful NXT fans are all shouting “TO THE MOON!” for that “Hilljack” Grimes, who comes out to go after Knight. Good on Grimes, because even Knight thought Grimes only cared about the title and the money. Turns out, he cares about the old man. That’s so sweet. Grimes is what Knight knew he was on day one: a moron idiot!
That fall Grimes took at TakeOver was beautiful, but that won’t compare to when he gets dropped on his head by the Million Dollar Megastar, the- Oh, thank you! Drinks on Knight! Whose game is it? L A Knight’s game! Toast to that! But will Knight be living the high-life after coming face to feet with a Cave-In?
Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory are here!
They make their way down to the ring, and Gargano says these are exciting times! There is new management in town so we need a new NXT Champion! A new face of the brand! We don’t need the big, mean, angry, leather jacket wearing doomsday guy. No! We need the handsome, the hardworking, the headband wearing, respectable family man! We need Johnny! Theory agrees, of course. The 57 days Gargano was champion, NXT THRIVED! It was a paradise! Chef’s kiss and all that. At TakeOver, Gargano proved Karrion Kross is NOT on Gargano’s level. Gargano outshined him every time they were in the ring together! And everyone knows Gargano can outwrestle Kross on his worst day!
But instead of Kross, Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan show up! The Bruiserweight has a mic to respond, “Are you mad?” This is so stupid. Gargano must be nuts if he thinks he’s #1 contender over Dunne. And shut up, Theory. Theory gets heated but Gargano has him stop. These two are trying to provoke them and start chaos! There is a new way to do things around here, the Way does not partake in hijinks and shenanigans! They are law-abiding citizens, and there are rules to follow, Peter. The Way are good people. If Dunne and Oney want a fight, it won’t come from them. Gargano puts the mic down, he and Theory wash their hands of this as they leave the ring.
Oney picks up the mic as Theory says he is watching Dunne. Theory points at Dunne, but Dunne grabs those fingers to SNAP them! Theory needs to be more careful around the Bruiserweight! Will Gargano find a way to get back at Dunne that follows the rules?
Cameron Grimes rolls up.
Everyone says hey and Grimes gives them money for their troubles. How is DeBiase doing? He’s alright, Grimes will keep checking on him. Ari Sterling says Grimes must’ve just come from the nursing home. Had to check on Gramps and all that. What was that? Grimes heard him. Grimes did, and he laughs, before he DECKS Sterling! That’s for Ted, this is for you. Grimes gives Sterling a $100 even so, and laughs his way into the CWC.
Backstage interview with Adam Cole.
McKenzie asks him about his coming match with Kyle, and Cole says no. He is not talking about Kyle at all. He doesn’t care about Kyle, he doesn’t care about Kyle VS Kushida tonight, because what Cole did to Hayes will happen to Kyle at the Bash. But here comes Regal. Cole asks what he wants. Regal appreciates Cole going through with that match tonight. Cole says he did it for himself, not for Regal. Regal hopes there’s no animosity between Cole and Joe. According to who? Well Cole touched Joe, Joe got him with the clutch, that’s the end of it. Don’t provoke Joe again.
Oh is that how Regal sees this? How great that Regal has done absolutely nothing to reprimand Joe for putting his hands on Cole! But don’t worry, Cole will do Regal a favor by getting out of his hair. Cole takes his things and goes, will this make things considerably easier on the General Manager tonight?
The battery continues to charge.
We are now at 31%.
Gargano is fuming and he gets the cameraman to follow him.
He and Theory storm up to the GM’s office and since Theory’s fingers hurt, Gargano knocks. Regal lets them enter and Gargano hopes he saw what happened. Regal did. The Way are being model citizens, and look! A new pencil to replace the other one. But there need to be consequences! Regal agrees, there should be. Alright, so what’s gonna happen? Is Joe gonna go get them? Put them through a wall? Or better yet, Coquina Clutch! Regal stands up and Gargano wants to see Regal get those brass knuckles and “knuck ’em up!” No, no, they’re going to face Dunne & Oney in a match, later tonight.
What?! They’re not even dressed, they don’t have their stuff! Doesn’t matter, they have to go. Gargano and Theory panic and rush out of the room, will they suffer more than two bad fingers tonight?
Io Shirai & Zoey Stark VS The Robert Stone Brand!
The Evil Genius and the Rising Star(k) are ready to shine, but Franky did fire up Jessi & Aliyah backstage. Will Shirai’s return to the ring be a great success or a disappointing stumble on her way back after the title?
The teams sort out and Aliyah starts with Shirai. They tie up, Shirai headlocks, but Aliyah powers out. Shirai counters the hip toss to an arm-drag, then fireman’s carries. Aliyah slips out and pulls hair, but Shirai CHOPS and punches her on repeat for it! Shirai pulls hair now but Aliyah shoves her away. Aliyah runs but into a FLAPJACK! Shirai runs and basement dropkicks Aliyah down! Shirai brings Aliyah over, sits her down in the corner and digs her boots in! Swinging knees! Tag to Stark, Stark gets Aliyah up to wrench and fireman’s carry takedown. Stark wrenches the arm, Aliyah throws forearms, but Stark blocks the whip to reverse it!
Tilt-o-whirl, Aliyah throws Stark but Stark handsprings through to SLIDING LARIAT! Aliyah scrambles and tags in Jessi, Stark dodges the boot to waistlock. Jessi bucks the O’Conner roll and hits a sliding wheel kick! Cover, TWO to a Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Stark avoids the dropkick to Oklahoma Roll again! TWO, but Stark DOUBLE STOMPS! Stark fires up, gets Jessi up on the apron, but Jessi hotshots her down! Jessi slingshots in to then springboard for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Stark grits her teeth but Jessi is frustrated, and now Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell make their way down to ringside.
Jessi puts Stark in the corner, Aliyah tags in and stomps a mudhole then fires off hands! Tag to Jessi, they mug Stark then Jessi CLUBS Stark down! Tag to Aliyah, she stomps a mudhole into Stark again, and then Aliyah brings Stark out. Stark rolls Aliyah, ONE, and Aliyah calf kicks Stark down! Aliyah covers again, TWO! Stark tries to get away from Aliyah while Shirai glares at Candice, and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Jessi keeps Starks down with clubbing forearms. Tag to Aliyah, she gets a boost for a tilt-o-whirl SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Aliyah puts on a body scissor squeeze and thrashes Stark around! Stark endures, pushes back to a cover, TWO! Aliyah clubs away on Stark but Stark turns around to fire off on Aliyah! Aliyah squeezes tighter then gets a facelock to keep Stark down! Stark powers up and powers out to SLAM Aliyah down! Fans fire up while both women are down, and The Way isn’t sure what to make of this. Hot tags to Shirai and Jessi! Shirai rallies then FLAPJACKS Jessi down! Shirai DECKS Aliyah for good measure, then hits a 619 on Jessi!
Jessi flounders, Shirai dodges Aliyah’s swipe to AX KICK her down! Springboard missile dropkick for Jessi! Cover, TWO! Shirai keeps her focus and she gets Jessi up. Shirai underhooks but Jessi wrenches out to KICK! Tag to Aliyah and she gets Shirai up for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Shirai survives and Aliyah shrieks! Tag to Jessi, they double suplex, but Shirai lands on her feet! Hot tag to Stark and she DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICKS! Stark gets Jessi up for a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Tag back to Shirai, and Shirai makes sure Candice sees this! Shirai goes up, and OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai & Stark win!
Winners: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark, by pinfall
The Evil Genius stares Candice down as she and Stark have their hands raised. They dare The Way to get in, but then Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai come out from the crowd side. Raquel teases that Shirai goes on vacation and came back to get a friend. If either of them think they’re jumping the line for that #1 contender’s spot, they’re crazy! Those titles belong to Kai & Gonzalez! But whoa, whoa, whoa! Shotzi & Ember show up! Now certainly no one forgot about them! They done lost their minds! MARBLES! But also, they beat Kai & Gonzalez for that contendership spot, right? Right! So then that puts Kai & Gonzalez at the back, right? Right!
But, wait, Ember… They DID forget! Whaaa…? Well let’s remind them! And by that, Shotzi means, KICK SOME ASS!! It’s a chaotic brawl in the ring, but the champs stay far away from it all! Shirai, Kai and Ember, then Raquel, Shotzi and Stark! Samoa Joe comes out and Candice says this isn’t on them! Joe has referees and security get in this, and teams are separated from other teams. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but that’s not happening! Shotzi and Ember are the ones left in the ring, Shirai and Stark are on one side, and Kai and Gonzalez are on the other. Will Candice & Indi have to watch out with this many teams targeting them?
“I knew my professional wrestling life wouldn’t last forever. This will be a special moment in my career. Nobody can take this moment away from us.” The Time Splitter is ready, but will he come out on top against a motivated Kyle O’Reilly?
The Great American Bash just got bigger! After Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher got past the Grizzled Young Veterans, they are getting their shot at the NXT Tag Team Champions! Will the Must-See Kids find themselves in a must-win scenario?
Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan!
The Way scrambles to finish dressing but they’ve made it in time! Will they make the Bruiserweight and Boston Fury regret getting in their way tonight? Or will it be the other way around?
The teams sort out and Oney starts with Gargano. Gargano fires off hands but Oney knees low and waistlocks. Gargano switches, shoves, then follows to RANA Oney! Oney is up but Gargano dropkicks him down! Oney scrambles to tag Dunne, Gargano arm-drags Dunne but then Dunne fakes Gargano out. Dunne goes for La Magistrol but Gargano slips right out to arm-drag Dunne after all! Fans rally as Dunne kips up, but Gargano wrenches. Tag to Theory but that was the bad hand! Dunne throws Gargano out, but Theory gets Dunne with a forearm! Theory headlocks, Dunne powers out and things speed up, Dunne CLOBBERS Theory!
Tag to Oney, he and Dunne double wrench and double CHOP Theory! Oney CHOPS Theory in a corner, then CHOPS him again! Theory flops down, Oney gets him up to wrench the bad arm and wristlock the bad hand! Dunne tags in, Dunne takes those fingers and bends them! Theory shouts in pain as Dunne hammerlocks the arm into the mat and STOMPS it! Theory flounders, Dunne stays between him and Gargano, then he stomps the bad hand! Dunne gets Theory up, tortures the already damaged digits, and then digs knees into the elbow. Dunne gets the bandages off the fingers to stomp them directly!
Dunne again keeps Theory from Gargano, CHOPS him, then tags Oney. Oney CHOPS Theory, and Theory might have to worry about his chest as much as his fingers. Oney wrenches the arm, bends the fingers, but Theory throws hands. Oney ducks but comes up into a back elbow! Oney is in a corner, Theory hits a clothesline then throws Oney down for slingshot stomps! And a dead lift suplex! Fans fire up as Theory tags Gargano. The Way double whips Oney and double elbow him down! No look high-five and double elbow drop! Gargano is after Oney but Oney kicks low. Tag to Dunne, but Gargano atomic drops!
Tag back to Theory, Gargano whips Dunne and Theory somersaults, SHOTGUN SPINEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Theory storms after Dunne in a corner to throw forearms. Theory’s arm bothers him, Dunne fires off KICKS to the leg! Dunne has the arm again for a hammerlock, then pulls the far arm! Dunne digs knuckles into ribs, a knee into the shoulder, and he hammers away on Theory’s side! Dunne drops knees on the bad hand! Chinbar and hammering hands, Dunne just tortures Theory! Dunne sits on Theory to bend the arm back, bend the fingers, and then PENALTY KICK the triceps! Theory sits up into another KICK!
Dunne brings Theory up, whips him to a corner, but Theory manages to go up and over and duck to DROPKICK! Oney gets in but Theory clotheslines him back out! Theory aims, and manages a PLANCHA but misses! Dunne comes around to CLOBBER Theory! Dunne gets in to DECK Gargano, and he tags Oney! Oney & Dunne get Theory up for a DOUBLE APRON SLAM!! The Way is in a bad way as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Dunne drags Theory by his legs. Tag to Oney as Dunne gets Theory up in the Surfboard! Oney CHOPS Theory over and over while he endures, but Dunne lets go at the ref’s count, and Oney DDT’s Theory right down! Gargano coaches Theory but Dunne tags back in. Oney isolates the arm for him and Dunne STOMPS it again! Theory writhes but Dunne gets his wrists. Theory dodges the stomps to roll Dunne up! TWO, and Dunne trips Theory before he gets to Gargano! Theory BOOTS Dunne, Oney tags in, and Oney just barely keeps Theory from Gargano! Theory ROCKS Oney, hot tag to Johnny!
Johnny Wrestling rallies, ENZIGURI for Dunne and CHOP for Oney! BULLDOG CLOTHESLINE COMBO! The fans rally, Gargano whips but Oney puts him on the apron., Gargano SUPERKICKS Dunne, slingshots and SPEARS Oney down! Gargano DIVES to take out Dunne! Fans are thunderous as Gargano gets in and tags Theory. The Way works together but Oney fights hem both off! Oney goes up but Gargano GMAANGIRIS, Theory ARABIAN SPANSIH FLIES! Cover, but Dunne breaks it in time! Gargano scoops Dunne but Dunne slips out to pump handle! BITTER- NO! Gargano slips out but Dunne ROCKS him! Gargano rebounds to DISCUS!
All four men are down and fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” Theory gets Oney back up, Oney CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Theory CHOPS back! And throws a BIG forearm! Oney comes back with a BLOCKBUSTER! Tag to Dunne and Dunne KICKS Theory to ropes. Dunne WRINGS out the bad arm, locks it, and tortures the fingers before he pulls way back on the arm!! Oney blocks Gargano but Gargano boots him down onto Dunne! Theory is free thanks to that, and Dunne gets his legs moving. Gargano tags in but Dunne ROCKS him! Gargano ROCKS Dunne back with boxing elbows, but Dunne SNAP GERMANS! STOMP to the hands, but Gargano ducks the kick to schoolboy KICK!
Gargano keeps moving, Dunne dodges him, slingshot SPEAR into a FOREARM! Tag to Oney, he and Dunne get Gargano up but Gargano fights free! Gargano shoves Dunne and Oney into each other, then runs and tilt-o-whirls Dunne. Dunne fights off the takedown, and feeds Gargano to Oney’s half nelson! HALF NELSON POWERBOMB COMBO!? Cover, Theory breaks it in time!! Fans are thunderous again as Theory fires off on Dunne! Dunne is after the bad arm again! Theory kicks low, reels Dunne in, but no bomb as Dunne slips out and ENZIGURIS! EuroUpper from Oney! And a CHOP! Oney runs, into Gargano’s SUPERKICK!
Gargano tosses Dunne, runs and DIVES! TOPE TORNADO DDT!! Gargano gets back up to ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, The Way wins!!
Winners: Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory, by pinfall
Bad fingers, little time to prepare, but a victory all the same! Gargano is feeling great, until KARRION KROSS blindsides him with a forearm!! Fans boo cranky Kross for attacking Gargano, but Gargano should’ve known better than to call out Mr. Apocalypse. Will there be any way for Johnny Wrestling to take that title from Kross 1v1?
The batter continues to charge.
We are now at 41%.
Backstage interview with Kross and Scarlett.
Kross won’t talk to the media, he wants to talk to management. Joe is the one to meet him, though. Kross says, “So, these are the new rules. Remember, ‘unless provoked.'” Of course, champ. Joe lets Kross through to the exit. Scarlett shoots Joe a sneer, and then Joe turns around to see Dunne. Another silent stare down between these two certified destroyers of men. Will there ever be words exchanged?
MORE BREAKING NEWS!
After the huge brawl earlier tonight, we’re getting a TRIPLE THREAT to determine #1 contenders to the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships! Shirai & Stark VS Shotzi & Ember VS Gonzalez & Kai!! Who wins to make their way to the Great American Bash to take on Candice & Indi?
Franky Monet VS Elektra Lopez!
While La Wera Loca calls this her “encore,” it’s really just her second match in NXT. However, she is against a debuting face. Will Franky foil another superstar’s premiere to shine brighter again?
The bell rings and the two tie right up. Franky headlocks, hits a takeover, and cranks on the hold. Lopez gets up, pries free and wrenches to a wristlock, but Franky rolls and wrenches back. Franky powers Lopez into a corner, the ref counts and Franky lets off to CHOP Lopez! Franky dares Lopez to do something, but then runs into Lopez’s elbow! And boot! Lopez storms after Franky to scoop and SLAM her! And drop an elbow! And then another! Lopez does a little dance but Franky bails out. Lopez storms over but into a shoulder! Franky runs into forearms from Lopez! Lopez runs but Franky follows, blocks and wrenches to KICKS and an STO!
Franky fires up and the fans follow as she floats around to ground ‘n’ pound. Looks familiar, like a certain guru taught her. Franky stomps Lopez, then drags Lopez up to TOSS her by her hair! Franky eggs Lopez on again and Lopez throws body shots, only for Franky to CLUB her down! Franky whips Lopez to the corner, runs in and elbows her! Franky makes Lopez take a seat, then goes corner to corner, but Lopez dodges! Franky bumps into buckles, and Lopez gets up to CHOP! And CHOP! Lopez dodges, comes back and back elbows! Fans fire up with Lopez and she BOOTS Franky, to then fireman’s carry! Franky fights free, blocks Lopez and spins her to ROLLING ELBOW!
Franky gets Lopez up, chicken wing, GLAM SLAM! Cover, Franky wins!
Winners: Franky Monet, by pinfall
The sequel is a success, just like the first! Will it only be a matter of time before #BougieBad goes after the belt?
Backstage interview with Bronson Reed.
The North American Champion knows Santos Escobar is calling him out, and his response is that he is confused. He squishes Escobar, puts him through a barricade, what more does Reed have to do? Does he have to squish Escobar into this TV here? Or put him through the windows? Through walls? Reed could destroy the whole CWC and- Hit Row interrupts by walking in, and Swerve gets in Reed’s face. Swerve eyes the title, and Top Dolla says, “Everybody’s colossal, until a colossus walks in the room.” True, Top Dolla is talla than Reed. Adonis tells the fans that Ever-Rise are about to get a crash course, without seatbelts.
Also, Reed ain’t even from North America. Yeah, cuz that’s how to get this. Reed doesn’t sweat Hit Row, but will he worry about them more after dealing with Escobar?
NXT shares a video from social media.
Apparently, this incident earlier today is what Hit Row was referring to before the break. Ever-Rise was lurking like parking lot ninjas, and they crept up on Hit Row’s ride. They shake up the spray paint, but “Dolla King” was already in the driver’s seat. Does he know that Ever-Rise is Ever-Rise? “Ski masks don’t work when your name’s on your shirt.” Oh, right. RUN FOR IT! Will Ever-Rise at least rule in the ring?
Ever-Rise VS Hit Row!
Matt Martel & Chase Parker take on Top Dolla & Ashante “Thee” Adonis, and if you didn’t know, now you know!
The teams sort out, Martel gets bulldozed by Dolla and Dolla even hits Parker for good measure! “What is my name?!” Dolla DECKS Martel, stands on him, and tags Adonis. Adonis takes his shirt off to throw it at Parker! Parker gets mad but Martel gets around to tag him in! Parker ROCKS Adonis but Adonis hits the AIR-DROP! Adonis hammers away on Parker, fires off knees, and B-Fab tells him to cool off. Adonis drags Parker back, tags Dolla back in, and Hit Row gets Parker up. Dolla taunts Martel but Parker wriggles free! Tag to Martel and Ever-Rise fires off hands! Dolla shoves them both away, but they dump him out hard!
Fans fire up for Ever-Rise as they fire each other up. Dolla gets up and he’s pissed! Parker runs in but Dolla DECKS him, then TOSSES him! Dolla gets Martel with a choke grip, shoves him to the corner and SPLASHES! Tag to Adonis for the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! Tag back to Dolla, and Swerve says to end it. Dolla drags Parker up, reels him in, and coordinates with Adonis, POWERBOMB NECKBREAKER! Cover, Hit Row wins!
Winners: Hit Row, by pinfall
Parker checks on Martel, but he gets a HOUSE CALL from Swerve! Ever-Rise might not ever get back up! Will they make sure to keep Hit Row’s names out of their mouths from now on?
Backstage interview with Mercedes Martinez.
McKenzie has huge news, there will be a mixed tag with her against Boa & Xia Li! But who has she chosen for a partner? Well, Mercedes can get down with this. But she doesn’t make friends that easily. She can go, with or without- But then XIA LI attacks from behind! Boa talks some smack to Mercedes, too, but JAKE ATLAS comes in and BOOTS him down! Atlas says he’s just joined the fight! Mercedes and Atlas tell Tian Sha’s warriors they’ll see them next week. Will Mean Ms. Mercedes and the Muscle of El Monte make Tian Sha shrink back into the shadows?
Kyle O’Reilly speaks.
“Sometimes, you come across a guy you were just born to wrestle, and Kushida is that for me.” When Kyle and Kushida face off, the world watches a great match that is just a byproduct of them stepping in the ring. Kyle will wrestle like this is the last match of his career, and he is sure Kushida will do the same. That match is coming! Will Kyle keep pace with Cole? Or is he going to find why Kushida is still the Super Junior?
Kyle O’Reilly VS KUSHIDA!
This match may have come about because of the “pick your poison” challenge, but both men (and the fans) are more than happy to have this dream match happen in NXT! Will Kyle be fired up just weeks away from the Great American Bash? Or will plenty of fireworks go off right here?
The bell rings and the two circle. They give a quick low-five of respect before they clinch and go for control. Kushida hooks a leg to block a takedown and they end up on ropes. Kyle gets the other leg, trips Kushida, but Kushida’s leg guard is strong. Kushida trips Kyle, Kyle’s leg guard is also strong, and they knuckle lock on top of the leg grapple. Kyle turns things back around, cover, ONE! Kyle pushes that arm down for another cover, Kushida bridges. Kushida uses his leg guard to keep Kyle away, and then gets up to push Kyle over with body weight. Kushida throws elbows, handsprings through and gets Kyle for an ARMBAR! Kyle gets up and gets free, and fans cheer the exchange!
Kyle and Kushida go again, another leg hook to block a takedown, and Kushida gets a waistlock. Kyle pries the waistlock open, tackles Kushida, and uses his knee to keep Kushida down while going for the Triangle! Kushida gets the ropebreak, Kyle lets off, and fans cheer again. Kushida and Kyle circle, tie up, Kyle waistlocks but Kushida pries at it. Kyle headlocks, Kushida powers out and things speed up. Kyle rolls to BOOT, but Kushida stays up. Kyle whips, Kushida handsprings, into an ARMBAR! Kushida gets free and comes back to go around with Kyle! Kyle holds Kushida off to put Kushida in the cobra twist! But Kushida hip tosses free and cartwheels to basement dropkick!
Fans love this as Kushida looms over Kyle. Kushida steps over to hammerlock the arm, and TWISTS it! Kyle writhes but Kushida gets him up for a top wristlock. Kyle tries to fight free but Kushida wrangles him down. Kushida bends fingers, twists the wrist, and drags Kyle around. Kyle pushes a forearm into Kushida’s face but Kushida KICKS him to a corner! Kushida whips Kyle corner to corner, Kyle stops himself and comes back to go for a leg. Kushida gets free and he goes for a leg, but Kyle steps over to get Kushida’s leg. Kushida shakes Kyle off and goes for Kyle’s leg, but Kyle gets free. They both shoot in and their heads collide! Fans fire up how even these two are, and NXT goes picture in picture!
Kushida and Kyle back off to opposite ends and Kyle even goes out of the ring to walk it off. Kushida sees him, Kyle gets on the apron and Kushida is after the arm! Wrench and elbow breaker HOTSHOT! Kyle flops down, Kushida gets him inside and has the arm for another wristlock. Kushida grinds Kyle down, hooks up the arm and pulls the other back! Kyle endures, Kushida steps over and further, for a RECLINER! Kushida’s wrestler bridge is leverage enough but he gets back up to fall back! Kyle writhes from the snap in the shoulders! Kushida gets Kyle up but Kyle waistlocks and drags Kushida down to CLUB him! And KNEE him! And float to CLUB and KNEE again!
Kyle backs off to run and KNEE DROP! Kushida writhes now, but Kyle gets him up to tie up the legs in a figure four knot. Kyle adds on a cobra twist, Kushida endures what Kyle wants to call this combination, and pulls hair to pull Kyle back! TWO, and Kyle grimaces but Kushida KICKS him in the leg! Kushida KICKS the leg again, but Kyle kicks back! They kick and boot each other on the mat, then get space again. Kyle gets Kushida up to throw forearms, but Kushida KICKS the arm! And again! And again! Kyle walks around, clutching his elbow, but Kushida YANKS the arm! And YANKS! And YANKS again!
NXT returns to single picture and fans rally as Kyle tries a chinlock. Kushida snapmares free then PENALTY KICKS the arm in the corner! Kushida keeps moving but Kyle KNEES him back! Kyle wants a sayanagi but Kushida blocks the first time. Kyle gets the throw after all, and wraps on body scissors and sleeper! Kushida moves around to resist, and he hooks Kyle’s legs for a toehold! Kyle CLUBS Kushida, the two separate, and Kyle KICKS and SLAPS and KNEES and KICKS! Kushida jumps the sweep to CLOBBER Kyle! Kyle staggers up into an atomic drop! Kushida whips and hip tosses to an ARMBAR! Kyle moves around but into the HOVERBOARD!
Kyle slips free and he wants an armbar! Kushida moves around, waistlocks, but Kyle switches! Kushida drops, slips under and trips Kyle to the Hoverboard! But Kyle headscissors! Kushida floats, gets free, PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kyle clutches the wrist and Kushida KICKS away on the biceps! Kyle blocks a kick to slip around, fisherman but Kushida knees free! Kushida underhooks for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Bridge, ROPEBREAK! Kyle saves himself and Kushida is a bit surprised! Kushida goes to the corner, climbs up top, and leaps, but Kyle avoids the flying knee! Kyle gives knees, forearms, KICKS and a rolling takedown! HEEL HOOK!
Kushida gets up to BRIDGE! TWO!! Kyle escapes but Kushida ROCKS him! Kyle forearms, both men try to fake the other out, but Kyle KNEES Kushida! Kushida holds off the suplex to ROLLING ELBOW! Kyle yoyos but Kushida dodges to PELE! Kyle still yoyos to LARIAT!! Kyle drags Kushida up, suplex and BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives, this is why he is a champion! The CWC is thunderous as they rally and duel! Kyle goes to the apron, to a corner, and he climbs up. Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS Kyle down! Kyle is on the apron, Kushida gets his arm, and RAMS the arm into the post!
Kushida goes out to join Kyle on the apron now, and Kushida KICKS the arm again! And again! And again! Kyle grits his teeth as he blocks, but he has to reverse grip. Kushida fights off the guillotine and HAMMERLOCK SUPLEXES Kyle to the apron! Both men fall to the floor and fans are thunderous as a ring count begins! We’re at 5 of 10 as Kushida drags Kyle up and into the ring. Kushida aims and PENALTY KICKS the arm again! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl but Kyle KNEES Kushida! AX ‘N’ SMASH! But Kushida FAST BALLS!! Both men fall over and fans are still loving this! Kushida gets Kyle up by his bad arm, wrenches it and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! TO THE HOVEBOARD!
Kyle moves around and around, slips out and whips Kushida to a corner to KNEE him! Kyle keeps moving, but runs into a body scissor! HOVERBOARD!! Kyle uses his own tights to block! But Kushida keeps Kyle from ropes! HOVEBOARD IS ON! But Kyle victory rolls?! KYLE WINS!!!
Winners: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall
Kyle just snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! Kushida can’t believe it, but Kyle gives Kushida his due. Kushida returns the favor, these two have great respect for each other, and for good reason! But here comes Cole! Kyle was ready and he tackles Cole over the announce desk! They brawl and bounce each other off desk and barriers! Then they throw more hands! Cole bounces Kyle off desk and barriers again, security rushes out to stop this, but Kyle wants payback! Cole goes after him, too, but Joe is
Wait, who is that going after Kushida?! Waistlock and SLAM!! That’s RODERICK STRONG?!?! Strong, Tyler Rust and a third man are here, and Strong KNEES Kushida down! Strong and his new compatriots have matching jackets, and MALCOLM BIVENS is here, too? Bivens shows Strong the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, and says “THIS! IS! DIAMOND MINE!!” Finally, we see just who was coming to NXT! And Strong tells Kushida, “Soon.” The Diamond Mine is open, and the Messiah of the Backbreaker is coming for gold! Will Kushida be able to withstand the pressure?
What an awesome episode! Cole opening with his promo about not wanting to and then Carmelo Hayes coming out and literally referencing John Cena, and especially the match, all of it was great stuff. Hayes is definitely a future champion on any if not all levels of NXT, this was perhaps Cole’s seal of approval on him. We got a good promo from Knight, and a good, quick segment with Grimes. I am pretty sure this means Grimes VS Ari Sterling is next week to help get Grimes back into the swing of things before going after Knight in a Million Dollar Rematch. Also, Ciampa & Thatcher VS MSK for Great American Bash, that’s a great move and could go either way to me.
Bronson Reed had a good promo to respond to Santos Escobar, their 1v1 match should definitely happen at Great American Bash. Given Swerve getting in Reed’s face tonight, Reed has to retain so Swerve can get his shot. Escobar can still come back around later, but Reed and Swerve have history so it just makes sense they have their match. Hit Row VS Ever-Rise was really good, really fun, lot of character work from everyone. Hit Row of course wins, Adonis and Dolla might need to work on that bomb neckbreaker combo, but they’re gonna get in the title scene soon enough. I’m just curious as to if and when “B-Fab” Briana Brandy gets in a match.
Franky Monet is totally swiping Robert Stone’s team from him, just a matter of when. Franky of course wins her second match, but I will say Elektra Lopez gave her a lot better fight than I expected. Franky leading an all female faction will definitely help keep her bougie bad persona from getting stale, she is already having good chemistry with Aliyah and Jessi, they could definitely make big moves in the division. Though, obviously, not right now. Shirai & Stark did great in their match against the Robert Stone Brand, and I did like that we got that big brawl of the women’s teams to set up next week’s contender’s match.
The only shortcoming was Shotzi & Ember having awkward banter. I appreciate Ember sticking to a catchphrase but I feel like Shotzi should change up her add-on. She already used “MARBLES!” so maybe other synonyms for going crazy should be used. In that Triple Threat, they all have reason to get after The Way, but given the recent build, I think Shirai & Stark get the nod for Great American Bash. At the same time, I don’t think the challengers take the titles off The Way, unless Dexter Lumis returns to distract Indi with his apology about that Poppy misunderstanding. Love conquers all, and #InDex is gonna conquer The Way.
The other half of The Way had great stuff, too. Gargano and Theory are so great together, both in promos and in matches. They had an awesome match with Dunne & Oney, Gargano got to unleash again, and Kross going after Gargano totally means those two face off, maybe even at The Great American Bash. Kross will certainly cross off Gargano and just keep going until Kyle comes back around. Speaking of which, Kyle and Kushida each had great promos to hype the main event, and it was definitely a match that lived up to the hype. Kyle winning with a quick pin rather than any finisher is great, it keeps Kushida strong enough given what’s coming next.
Cole attacking Kyle makes sense, and I like that it wasn’t used to “ruin” the main event. And it all worked that Joe was more focused on that chaos than what ended up happening in the ring. The Diamond Mine was hyped for showing up tonight, and just when it seemed like they wouldn’t, they did! I could not have ever guessed it was Roderick Strong coming back after claiming he was quitting. And at the same time, the writing was there for Rust and Bivens. “Diamond in the Rust,” that all comes back around to be Rust is in the Diamond Mine and that is clever.
The third man, though not named here, is apparently Hideki Suzuki, who has built his career for the last 13 years in the Japanese independents, having Pro-Wrestling Zero1’s Triple Crown. I therefore know very little else, but if he’s in NXT and debuting through this group, he’s a big deal and will show us some great stuff in the coming weeks.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (6/22/21)
The Path of Cage grows Dark!
AEW Dark paves the way towards a Dynamite Saturday!
Abadon, Brian Cage, Lance Archer and The Dark Order are in action as AEW prepares for a super Saturday Night Dynamite!
- Abadon VS Ashley Vox; wins.
- Marko Stunt VS Griff Garrison w/ Varsity Blonds; wins.
- Chuck Taylor w/ Best Friends VS Dan Barry; wins.
- Diamante VS Ashley D’Amboise; wins.
- Lance Archer VS Rex Lawless; wins.
- Brian Pillman Jr. w/ Varsity Blonds VS Bear Bronson; wins.
- Brian Cage VS Chandler Hopkins; wins.
- The Bunny w/ The Blade VS Reka Tehaka; wins.
- Stu Grayson w/ The Dark Order VS Serpentico w/ Luther; wins.
- Colt Cabana w/ The Dark Order VS Kit Sackett; wins.
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dark will begin later tonight]
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