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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (5/13/20)

NXT has a MAJOR announcement!

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NEW NXT Coverage

NXT is full to the brim!

Rhea Ripley returns, the NXT Tag Team Championships are on the line, and Triple H returns with a major announcement, all in one night!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NXT Tag Team Championships: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher VS Imperium; Imperium wins and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
  • Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell; Nox wins.
  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Tony Nese VS Jake Atlas; Atlas wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Cameron Grimes; Grimes wins.
  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jack Gallagher; Gallagher wins.
  • Aliyah VS Kayden Carter; Carter wins.
  • Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher; Riddle wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NXT Tag Team Championships: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher VS Imperium!

Bro… Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner ruined the Newly-Bro Show and want to end the young friendship of Stallion Riddle and Stallion Tim! Will their plans be what’s ruined instead?

The teams are introduced and the belts are raised. Thatcher starts with Barthel at the bell. They tie up, go around, and Thatcher shifts to a half nelson and then hammerlock. Thatcher drags Barthel to the mat and grabs the other arm for a cover, TWO! Barthel gets a facelock but Thatcher slips right out to have the hammerlock again. Thatcher digs his knee in but Barthel rolls and headscissors back. Barthel squeezes tight but Thatcher rolls him over. Thatcher pops out, has the legs and the chin for the Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Barthel rolls off but Thatcher keeps on him with a facelock. Barthel trips Thatcher up and the two fight for control. Barthel tries ground ‘n’ pound but Thatcher SLAPS back! The two lock up legs and headstand for just a moment before Thatcher rolls it over. Thatcher gives slapping ground ‘n’ pound, then goes after the arm! Barthel gets the ropebreak with his legs and Thatcher lets go.

Aichner tags in before Thatcher whips Barthel. Barthel reverses and ducks and Aichner arm-drags Thatcher down. Thatcher fights his way up but Barthel goes after Riddle! Riddle is ready and fires off forearms and CHOPS! Riddle clobbers Barthel against the barriers while Aichner CLUBS Thatcher! Aichner waistlock slams and facelocks Thatcher. Thatcher fights up, wrenches out and Riddle tags in. Riddle gets Aichner in a headlock but Aichner powers out. Aichner runs Riddle over, things speed up, and Aichner catches Riddle into a fireman’s carry. But Riddle slips to a sleeper hold, only for Aichner to throw him off. Aichner runs into a gut wrench suplex! Barthel tags in but runs into a BROSPLODER! Penalty Kick! Riddle rocks Aichner off the apron then drops a Broton onto knees! Tag to Aichner and Imperium hits Riddle with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Imperium has control as NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Aichner has Riddle down with a high keylock sleeper hold. Riddle fights his way up and fights back, but Aichner shoves. Riddle kicks back but Aichner catches his leap! Aichner rams Riddle into the corner and tags in Barthel. Imperium meets at the corner with dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Thatcher coaches Riddle up but Barthel talks trash while throwing down forearms. Tag to Aichner and Aichner stomps Riddle down. Riddle chops back but Aichner just stomps him more. Aichner hammers away and digs a boot into Riddle’s neck! The ref backs Aichner off but Aichner drags Riddle up. Tag to Barthel but Riddle fights back! Riddle KNEES Aichner down but Barthel runs in to intercept. Riddle back drops, Barthel sunset flips but Riddle rolls out. Riddle misses the Final Flash and Barthel waistlocks. Riddle elbows Barthel away, but Barthel grabs the trunks. Riddle ROUNDHOUSES Barthel down!

Thatcher reaches out, but Barthel brings Riddle back around. Riddle monkey flips Barthel, but into Thatcher! A miscalculation from The Bro and his bro is down! Thatcher gets up with a grimace, and he leaves Riddle?! Riddle didn’t mean to do it, but that was the last straw for Thatcher. Aichner tags in and Riddle is all alone! Imperium smiles as they finish Riddle off with the EURO- NO! Riddle powers out and hits BRO TO SLEEP! Barthel leaps into FINAL FLASH! Aichner escapes the bomb and Barthel tags in. SPINE BUSTER and PENALTY KICK! Then Imperium resets, EURO BOMB!! Cover, Imperium wins!!

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall (NEW NXT Tag Team Champions)

The Newly-Bros breaking up at the worst possible time allows Barthel & Aichner to take away the gold! Will Riddle ever get his Bruiserweight back to get a rematch?

 

Backstage interview with Timothy Thatcher.

Why did he walk out on Matt Riddle in the middle of their match? Thatcher says that all Riddle had to do was knock ’em out, so that he could tap ’em out. Instead, Riddle wants to do game shows, kick off his flip-flops, be all “Bro…” Thatcher wants to be a champion, but not with this hot mess. But Riddle comes by to ask what that was about. Thatcher shoves Riddle, Riddle pushes back, and it’s a BRAWL! Referees and security rush in to put a stop to it but clearly tensions are running high. When will we see Riddle and Thatcher have it out in the ring?

 

Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell!

The girl with the Shiniest Wizard is back, looking to move past her own tag team implosion with Dakota Kai. Will she be able to kick it up a notch and head for the top?

The bell rings and Tegan ties up with Indi. Indi pushes Tegan back and Indi is immediately not impressed. They tie up again and Indi throws Tegan down. Tegan gets up, gets around, but Indi blocks the arm-drag. Indi throws Tegan down by her hair then stomps her around. Indi taunts Tegan and throws haymakers. Cover, TWO, and Tegan scrambles to ropes. Indi drags Tegan up but Tegan rolls. Indi denies the sunset flip with slaps and stomps, then drags Tegan up just to club her down. Tegan is getting mad but Indi stomps away on her in the corner. The ref counts and Indi lets off before bringing Tegan up. Tegan throws body shots but Indi clubs back. Tegan kicks but Indi clubs again. Indi whips and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool as she brings Tegan back up. Indi whips Tegan corner to corner then runs in, but into an elbow! Tegan dumps Indi to the apron but walks into the shoulder.

Indi springboards, but into the choke grip! CHOKE SLAM! Tegan staggers back but aims at Indi. She brings Indi up to CHOP and CHOP and throw forearms. Indi reverses the whip but Tegan goes up and over to uppercut! Tegan enziguris then sweeps the legs. Tegan goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Indi rolls but Tegan climbs, for a flying crossbody! Tegan hits the SHINIEST WIZARD! Cover, Tegan wins!

Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall

Indi wasn’t impressed at first, but surely Tegan just left her mark! Will NXT’s Captain Marvel have a marvelous rise towards the title?

 

NXT hears from Rhea Ripley.

“Yeah, WrestleMania didn’t go as I planned.” And Rhea hasn’t rested much since. The thought of Charlotte Flair walking around with her NXT Women’s Championship sickens Rhea. Io Shirai put up a great fight last week, but in the end, she couldn’t get the job done. The person that will bring the title back to NXT is Rhea. Even if Rhea has to beat that into Io herself! Rhea isn’t done with Charlotte, but as the saying Charlotte’s old man used to say goes, “We’ve only just begun.” Charlotte’s title belongs to Rhea. When will we get to see the Queen and the Riptide have a WrestleMania rematch?

 

Backstage interview with Matt Riddle.

The Bro finishes up a video call with Mr. William Regal, and he is very thankful and happy. What did Regal have to say? He made a match for Riddle VS Thatcher later tonight. And unlike Stallion Pete, Thatcher’s just a stupid- Oh no! Thatcher blindsides Riddle! A referee hurries over to tell Thatcher to back off, but Thatcher uses a spare television screen to SMASH Riddle down! Thatcher says he’ll see Riddle later tonight, but did he just make sure that won’t be the case?

 

Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Tony Nese VS Jake Atlas!

The round robin tournament enters its final round before THE final match! Will the Premier Athlete play spoiler tonight? Or will he be unable to stop Atlas’ journey towards the title?

Before the match, Byron Saxton interviews Atlas, reminding him that it all comes down to this match. What are his final thoughts? This is do or die for Atlas. Atlas needs to defeat a former Cruiserweight Champion to even have a shot. And as the biggest Drake Maverick fan, Atlas hopes Maverick beats Kushida to force the tie. But he can’t think that far ahead. He just has to handle business.

The bell rings and Nese circles with Atlas. They tie up, Nese gets a takedown but Atlas counters to a chinlock. Nese fights up but Atlas wrenches the arm. Nese powers Atlas to ropes but the ref calls for the break. Nese headlocks instead, but Atlas reverses to one of his own. Nese back suplexes but Atlas lands on his feet, only to run into a mule kick and knee lift! Nese adds the roundhouse but Atlas jumps the sweep. Atlas kicks but Nese avoids that, and the standing moonsault! Nese goes to trip Atlas but Atlas cartwheels over it. Atlas tells Nese to stop, and he take a bow. Nese throat chops back! Nese brings Atlas around for the bulldog hotshot! He goes back in to ground ‘n’ pound but the ref backs him off. Atlas pushes Nese but Nese kicks low. Nese clubs Atlas on the back then toys with him. Atlas throws body shots but Nese CHOPS! Nese stomps away on Atlas then brings him out for a big suplex! Cover, TWO!

Nese keeps on Atlas with a facelock and even traps on arm in the hold. Atlas endures the grind and fights his way up. Nese cranks on Atlas harder then knees low. Nese catches Atlas’ kick then slips under to get the waistlock but Atlas elbows out. Atlas ROCKS Nese with that forearm, but Nese ROCKS Atlas back! Atlas grits his teeth to BOOT Nese down! And hit a SNAP GERMAN! Basement enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Nese survives but he scurries away. Atlas walks over into a CHOP! Nese pushes Atlas into a corner and grinds in forearms. Nese whips, slips under and pump handles, but Atlas fights free! Atlas hits a leaping neckbreaker! Atlas grits his teeth again and goes up top. Nese SHORYUKENS! Nese CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS until Atlas is dangling over the edge! Then he stomps away between the romps! The ref backs Nese off but Nese comes back to put Atlas on the apron.

Nese hops up top and toys with Atlas, but Atlas CLUBS back! And CLUBS and CLUBS! And sweeps the legs! Nese bounces off buckles on his way down! Atlas climbs up, handsprings on the ropes for the DDT!! Cover, Atlas wins!!

Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall (moves up to 2-1; Nese drops to 0-3)

Somewhere over the rainbow is Atlas’ chance at the championship! But now, it’s all about Kushida VS Drake Maverick next week! Can the ultimate underdog force a three-way tie in Group A?

 

NXT shares Adam Cole’s video call with Kyle O’Reilly.

The best buds miss seeing each other, because it feels like it’s forever. But how has the movie role been going for Kyle? Unbelievable! He sets the stage: “The world’s greatest athlete” in Kyle, Daniel Day-Lews, Devito, a bit of a buddy comedy meets Ghostbusters meets Titanic. It’s all so amazing. Kyle yells at someone about his latte, and then Bobby Fish joins the call! The Infamous One misses his pals, the OG3 Undisputed Era. Wait, Roderick Strong joins the call! Strong has his FitBit! Sweet! Kyle looks so different with that beard. Yeah, he’s like Tom Hanks in Castaway. But seriously, Kyle loves what the rest of the Undisputed Era is doing on NXT, such as destroying Velveteen Dream’s dreams. Cole “embarrassed the crap” out of him. Dream is a joke! But speaking of embarrassing, what Dexter Lumis tried to do to Roddy and Bobby, pff. Who even is that guy? What is his problem? Someone needs to take care of this guy.

Kyle gets an idea: throw a name up on who should take Lumis out. On three… RODDY! They all agreed! Time to break Lumis’ back. Great minds think alike. Dream and Lumis will be moved out of the way and then the Undisputed Era can run roughshod on NXT all over again. And that is Undisputed. Throw up the UE! But when will we see all four of them back in the ring again?

 

NXT hears Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux.

“The world is always tirelessly searching for answers. The question is, motives, explanations, great certainty as to why terrible people do terrible things.” They are not here to shock the system. They are not here to save you from your black hearts. Tick tock. They are the reckoning. “It’s time to wake up from the dream, before you stand asleep forever.” Tommaso Ciampa was just the first. #FallAndPray.

 

NXT takes a closer look at Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.

Dakota says she cared “way too much about what the fans thought of me, what people backstage thought of me.” Her injury made her realize something had to change. More times or not, she’d have to stop her own rehab session just so she could be part of filming Tegan’s. “They” didn’t care about Dakota. So when Dakota returned, being in the shadow of others, that moment told Dakota it was time for a change. Her attack on Tegan was just the beginning. “It felt good.” Tegan wanted revenge in Portland, but that was Dakota’s stage. Dakota’s career went to a new level with Raquel’s appearance. Raquel is all muscle, and the new dominant force in NXT. But more importantly, she’s the only woman Dakota can truly trust.

Raquel says she and Dakota share a common bond. They both know what it is to be outcasts. Be warned: they’re in the hurt business, and business is going to be good. Who will be first to feel the hurt from #CobraKai and the Daughter of the Desperado?

 

Backstage interview with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.

Swerve’s match against Jack Gallagher is also a “win or go home” scenario. What will it take for him to stay in this tournament? “Confidence.” Swerve has a lot of it. The way he’s been moving in the ring has been so smooth and innovative, he feels untouchable. Fantasma found that out real quick. Fantasma thought he was going to run through this division, but then Swerve stopped that. Now the task at hand is Gallagher, but we know how that’s going to go. Swerve isn’t someone who isn’t going to get even a single win. If he couldn’t get a single win, he’d quit wrestling all together. Swerve excuses himself to protect the house. Whose house? Swerve’s house.

 

Degeneration X takes over NXT!

Triple H and Shawn Michaels are backstage in the production area to inform us that GM William Regal could not be here in person. But the announcement set for tonight needed to be made, so they’re here to give it. Hopefully this goes better than that HHH XXV celebration a couple weeks ago. But funny to mention that. Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the very first WWE In Your House PPV. Whoa! Road Dogg shows up! He heard them say In Your House, and brings up how he had a match on that event against Razor Ramon. And HBK had a match against Jeff Jarrett. HHH had a match, didn’t he? HHH doesn’t recall, because he lost. But that’s beside the point. What’s important now is that the 25th anniversary of In Your House is coming, and a lot of people are stuck spending time in their houses. So it all makes sense that right now, NXT does something about that.

So on June 7th, it will be NXT TakeOver: IN YOUR HOUSE! The brand that delivers will deliver once again! And if you aren’t down with that, they’ve got two words for ya! PIG CRAP! That’s what happened! HHH got his faced shoved in pig crap and it was all in his beard. HHH has cameras cut away, but the big news is that TakeOver is going to be In Your House! With just a month away, who will we see earn a spot on this special 25th anniversary celebration?

 

Finn Balor VS Cameron Grimes!

The Prince knows there’s a snake slithering in the locker room, but he’s going to worry about the weasel in front of him first. Will the Carolina Caveman be able to Cave-In before Balor can hit his Coup de Grace?

The bell rings and Grimes tries for Cave-In right away! But Balor easily avoids it to CHOP Grimes to a corner. Grimes powers Balor across the way to ram in, but Balor knees back. Balor bumps Grimes off buckles then throws body shots. Balor snapmares to a chinlock and he thrashes Grimes about. Grimes endures and claws at Balor but Balor holds on. Grimes tries to power out but Balor still holds on. They go around as Grimes keeps clawing. Grimes gets out and has an armlock. He digs his fingers into Balor’s face but Balor fights up to trip Grimes. Balor stomps Grimes down then Penalty Kicks him for good measure. Balor CHOPS then whips Grimes corner to corner. Grimes avoids the chop to waistlock and slam Balor down! Grimes falls on Balor over and over then hammers away.

Grimes claws at Balor’s face again but the ref backs him off. Grimes brings Balor up to roundhouse him back down! He chokes Balor at the ropes but the ref counts. Grimes lets up at 4 to whip. Balor reverses, Grimes sunset flips but Balor slips out to basement dropkick! Balor wants a Slingblade but Grimes blocks. Balor blocks Grimes’ lift and underhooks, but Grimes powers up to swing and SLAM Balor down! Cover, TWO! Grimes is in shock but NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Grimes grinds Balor into the mat with the chinlock. Grimes cranks back in a half camel clutch and shouts, “This is what you wanted, Balor!” Balor fights his way up and the two go around. Grimes wrangles Balor back down and grinds his forearm into Balor’s face. Balor fights up to forearm free but Grimes whips and hits a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Grimes keeps on Balor with another armlock and a wrench. Balor forearms free again, and keeps on Grimes with those forearms. Grimes turns things around to whip Balor hard into buckles! Grimes glares at Balor and stands on Balor’s head. He steps away at the ref’s count but stalks up behind Balor for forearm shots. Grimes pushes Balor into buckles then rams his shoulder in. He whips corner to corner again, but Balor BOOTS back! Balor runs into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Grimes keeps his cool but he also keeps talking trash. He CLUBS Balor down and is feeling confident now. But Balor trips him to DOUBLE STOMP him down!

Balor KICKS and stomps away at the ropes but the ref backs him off. Grimes bails out and drags Balor out to join him, but Balor bumps him off the apron. Balor stomps on Grimes’ head over and over, then stops at the count of 4. Balor lines up the shot to PENALTY KICK Grimes down! But wait! Is that Damian Priest? Is he the snake Balor talked of? Balor decks Damian and SLINGBLADES Grimes! Balor puts Grimes in the ring at the count of 6 and leaves Priest behind. But then Priest uses his night stick to CLUB Balor on the back! CAVE-IN!! Cover, Grimes wins!!

Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall

The Archer of Infamy just helped the technical savage get a win on Balor!! Grimes takes his hat and runs off into the night, but now Priest goes after Balor directly. Priest slides a chair into the ring and then looms over Balor. Priest drags Balor up, RECKONING onto the chair!! Priest grabs the chair takes a seat on Balor’s neck! The Archer of Infamy wants to #LiveForever, so why not take out NXT’s Prince? Priest just didn’t realize he’d enjoy it so much. Just like he did three weeks ago. The snake reveals himself! Priest wants to annihilate the Prince, but will Balor have something to say about that?

 

Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jack Gallagher!

Swerve lost to Akira Tozawa but won against El Hijo del Fantasma. The gentleman turned jackal, meanwhile, has yet to win once. Will Gallagher end up in the same boat as the winless Nese? Or will Gallagher be Swerve’s spoiler?

But before the match, Nese attacks Swerve! He sends Swerve into steel steps! Nese clearly heard Swerve’s words about being winless and all that, and points to the Cruiserweight Championship as he angrily retorts, “You’ll never have this!” Gallagher is very confused that Nese did this now, but he isn’t going to complain, either. Swerve gets up and in the ring and wants to have this match. The bell rings, and Gallagher hits the JACKAL DROPKICK! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Swerve saves himself but Gallagher wants after him. Gallagher goes out and brings Swerve around to enziguri the back! And again! The ref reprimands and Gallagher goes in to cover, TWO! Gallagher drags Swerve up to whip and kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Swerve winces but Gallagher shows no mercy. Gallagher drags Swerve by his legs to stomp the ribs. Gallagher clamps onto Swerve with a seated stretch, but Swerve still endures.

Swerve fights his way up and breaks free with body shots. Swerve goes to suplex but Gallagher throws body shots of his own. Gallagher swings but Swerve fires back. Swerve blocks the kick, trips Gallagher and rolls him to a dead lift! Gallagher breaks free and runs, but misses the corner to corner dropkick! Swerve goes corner to corner, for the HOUSE CALL! Cover, TWO!! Gallagher survives and Swerve grits his teeth, but Swerve is far from through. Swerve KICKS Gallagher in the chest tattoo. And again! Swerve brings Gallagher up and runs, but into Gallagher’s leaping guillotine! Gallagher drags Swerve down with the body scissors and shouts for the ref to check Swerve. Swerve keeps moving, keeps fighting, and powers back up. Swerve powers Gallagher into a suplex, but Gallagher breaks free! ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, Gallagher wins!!

Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall (moves up to 1-2; Swerve drops to 1-2)

Gallagher says “Thank you very much!” as he keeps from being winless in his own run. Swerve has been taken out of the running, too, leaving Group B all to the winner of Tozawa VS Fantasma!

 

Aliyah VS Kayden Carter!

The Bougie helped the Robert Stone Brand withstand the spice last week, but will they return the favor as Aliyah takes on the fiery Filipina?

The bell rings and Aliyah rushes KC for a takedown. Aliyah turns KC over but KC gets up and trips Aliyah up. KC has the leg but Aliyah kicks her away. KC gets the leg again and hooks it up for a deathlock, but Aliyah pushes her away. Aliyah kips up in a huff and argues with KC. They start pushing, but KC dodges the punch to waistlock and O’Conner Roll. TWO and KC springboard dropkicks! Cover, ONE, and Aliyah scurries away. KC runs in but Aliyah puts her on the ropes to kick away on the back! Aliyah is a bougie banshee as she SLAMS KC down. Cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps on KC with a BIG hip toss! Aliyah throws forearms from all sides then shouts at the ref to back off. Aliyah cools off but KC dodges and stomps her back! KC backs off to run in, but Aliyah boots her back! Aliyah storms over to choke KC on the ropes. Robert Stone appears and seems to like what he sees. Aliyah goes back to KC but KC cradle counters! TWO and Aliyah dropkicks KC down!

Aliyah goes to the corner to show off for Stone. She goes up even higher but KC trips her up! KC throws forearms and CHOPS then whips. Aliyah reveres but KC wheelbarrows and victory rolls to SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! KC drags Aliyah into the deathlock and TWISTS! Aliyah taps, KC wins!

Winner: Kayden Carter, by submission

Robert Stone didn’t like that. Aliyah hurries after Stone and grabs his sleeve, but he politely has her let go. Will Aliyah get another chance to impress the hottest rising stable? Or has she missed her one shot?

 

NXT has dinner with the Garganos.

Weeks ago, Johnny and Candice realized what they had to do to fix NXT. And now look at them! Candice stomped a hole into “a freakin’ ninja,” Kacy Catanzaro. Johnny took out the 7′ 8″, 385 pound Dijagoofavic! They watch replays of their matches, such as Gargano’s chop block. “What a stud!” Candice married a stud! If that colossal goof took Keith Lee to the limit, what does that say about Keith Lee? Gargano thinks it says Keith is just another flavor of the month. But Dijakovic learned a very valuable lesson: If you say Gargano’s name, there will be consequences; If you stick your nose in the business of the Garganos, you will find out that it is their way or none.

But Johnny, don’t forget Candice had a match, too. Of course not! He had the best seats in the house to a five star classic! But the undeserved rewards keep being dished out. Mia Yim got to go toe-to-toe with Charlotte Flair on the same night Candice was given Kacy Catanzaro. Kacy is not a ninja, or a warrior. She is American, though. But what she really is, is an example. That is what Candice and Johnny will do to every undeserving imbecile! That is an example Mia should take heed of. Because time and time again, Mia has lost, yet she gets opportunity after opportunity. Why!? Because she panders to fans? Candice refuses to be that pathetic. They don’t deserve anything. But just look at the company Mia keeps. She’s dating someone more concerned with everyone basking~ in his glory~, which is an awful song in the Garganos’ opinion, than being champion.

Johnny lived that live, rode that ride and knows what it’s like. The chants, the cheers, the adulation. Everyone loves you, until they don’t. The glory Keith wants doesn’t exist. It’s just a catchphrase to get fans on his side. But it doesn’t last, and you’re left feeling empty, hopeless and helpless. The fans are leeches that bleed you dry, then move on to the next. Keith may be the biggest and strongest physically, but not mentally or emotionally. But The Johnny Gargano Way is about giving people what they deserve. Candice wants to show Keith and Mia what glory really looks like. And then everyone will have to bask in that.

 

NXT makes it official!

Rhea Ripley said she’d beat some sense into Io Shirai, and now she’ll get her chance! The Mosh Pit Kid and the Evil Genius will go 1v1 next week! Will this match go a long way to determining Charlotte Flair’s In Your House challenger?

 

Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher!

Newly-Bros no more, and all because of differences in personality! Will Riddle knock Thatcher out before Thatcher makes Riddle tap out?

The bell rings and Riddle goes right at Thatcher with strikes! Thatcher gets a leg and trips Riddle up to go for ground ‘n’ pound! Riddle pushes him away and gives kicks back! The two go around again and clinch. They fight for control but Thatcher gets the takedown! Riddle gets out of the mount fast but Thatcher floats on him. Riddle dumps Thatcher down to rain rights. Thatcher moves but Riddle gives kicks. Thatcher gets a leg again but Riddle gets ropes. The ref backs Thatcher off and the fighters reset. Riddle and Thatcher feel it out and clinch again. Riddle gets the arm-drag takedown to a headlock, but Thatcher slips out and turns it around. They’re in the ropes so Thatcher lets off but Riddle comes right back! Riddle gets a takedown and hits where he can. Thatcher does the same, but Riddle shifts to get around back! Riddle half nelsons and knees Thatcher in the ribs! Riddle grabs the arm and wants the double wristlock but Thatcher resists.

They go around, Thatcher gets a cover, ONE but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher digs his knuckles into ribs and cranks on the shoulder, but Riddle moves. Thatcher has the facelock again, but Riddle fights his way up to throw knees. Riddle kicks, fakes Thatcher out to ROUNDHOUSE! Riddle is enraged as Thatcher bails out and NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Thatcher has a standing toehold. Riddle fights back but Thatcher cranks on the ankle. Riddle hammers Thatcher’s leg so Thatcher drops on Riddle. Thatcher clamps onto the leg again and cranks the ankle! Riddle endures, kicks with his other leg, and then CHOPS away with slapping palm strikes. BOOT but the knee misses! Thatcher hits a German Suplex, but Riddle roars back for a FINAL FLASH! Riddle waistlocks but Thatcher stomps the toes! Thatcher ROCKS Riddle with that EuroUpper! And he RAMS his knees into Riddle’s back! Thatcher digs his knee into the spine as he clamps on with a chinlock. Riddle endures the modified camel clutch and fights up, but Thatcher clubs away. Riddle still powers up to the Alabama lift, but Thatcher sunset flips. But Riddle drops to get the triangle hold! Thatcher sits up to make it a cover on Riddle, ONE! Riddle holds on but Thatcher gets a ropebreak! Riddle lets go but the damage has been done.

Thatcher comes back to KNEE Riddle down! And again! And again! Thatcher climbs on for a slapping ground ‘n’ pound, and he wants his own armbar! Riddle resists, shifts, and makes it a cover! TWO, and Thatcher keeps pulling on the arm. Riddle shifts again but ends up in a triangle. Riddle powers up to POWERBOMB!! Both men are down but Thatcher grabs at Riddle. The two men throw shots and uppercuts! Thatcher SLAPS away on Riddle’s face, but swings into Riddle’s PELE! But Thatcher catches the foot for an ANKLE LOCK! Riddle turns, but Thatcher just turns him back over! Thatcher has the Ankle Lock on the other foot, but Riddle pushes him away! Thatcher comes back to GAMANGURI! But Riddle fireman’s carries for BRO TO SLEEP! Riddle has to crawl over but he doesn’t cover. He climbs up top, for FLOATING BRO onto knees! Thatcher has the FUJIWARA! Riddle endures as Thatcher cranks back harder!

Riddle rolls and powerbombs! “You’re not my bro!” But Thatcher grabs the arm again! Riddle rolls again, but Thatcher gets a KNEEBAR! Riddle hammers Thatcher and kicks with the free leg! They roll around, Riddle hammers Thatcher where he can, but Thatcher boots and kicks Riddle in return. Riddle powers up and around to get a cover! RIDDLE WINS!!

Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall

Thatcher can’t believe it! Riddle outsmarts him, but Thatcher CLOBBERS Riddle! And RAMS his arm into the buckles, then hits an armbreaker DDT! FUJIWARA! NOW Riddle taps, but it doesn’t matter! Thatcher lets Riddle go, only to clamp on again! Riddle screams in pain and futilely taps out! Thatcher glares at the camera to let the whole world know what he’s about! Does Pete Dunne regret teaming up his Bro with this ruthless animal?


My Thoughts:

A great episode with a lot of unexpected developments. First, I almost thought the announcement was going to be a bad thing, but then realized there’s no way it’d be that on a WWE TV program. I am glad to hear we’re getting a TakeOver event even during the Empty Arena Era, and I’m really excited to see it’s inspired by the classic In Your House series. I don’t think there’d be anything particularly different about this TakeOver just because it celebrates In Your House, but I do hope they go big for it. Rhea VS Shirai being next week, I wonder if something happens where there isn’t a clean winner. As I said before, the best thing would be an NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat. That way Charlotte can lose without being part of the decision, and hopefully we get Shirai as champion. And I hope we get the Mixed Tag Match of Johnny & Candice VS Keith & Mia at TakeOver, that’s going to be incredible.

I was surprised we learned who Balor’s attacker was so soon. Damian Priest moving on to Balor is pretty great, like a title match in itself. This is the second time Grimes benefits from Priest attacking someone, I think. Priest and Balor is definitely a TakeOver worthy match and I’m intrigued to see where the build goes. I also like where the build for Robert Stone Brand is going, in that Aliyah lost. Aliyah growing desperate to join the brand might make for some good material, and then she and Chelsea Green can become a tag team to FINALLY get NXT in the mix for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. The NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament had great matches tonight. Atlas winning to then put pressure on Drake Maverick makes for a great story going into next week, and I just knew Nese was going to attack after Swerve said what he said. Nese VS Swerve will be a good holdover story while the Cruiserweight Championship situation sorts itself out.

The developments in the NXT Tag Team Division are really great. It is a bummer that Thatcher and Riddle broke up, but that main event we got was incredible. Obviously this story continues since Riddle gets a quick pin win and Thatcher destroys him right after. That is going to make for a great TakeOver match, and I would love if Pete Dunne could make an appearance somehow. Dunne going after Thatcher for turning on Riddle would be an interesting part of the story. And then as I touched on with NXT UK, Imperium was surely meant to become NXT UK Tag Team Champions before all the pandemic lockdowns, so getting these NXT Tag Team Championships was like compensation. I am not sure who Imperium faces at TakeOver, but I’m sure whatever match we get will be incredible.

My Score: 9.1/10


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

And you thought last week was big!

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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!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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?

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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!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

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

 

Billie finds the Squad backstage.

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

 

Daniel Bryan is here!

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

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

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

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

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

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

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

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

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

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

 

Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

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

 

Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

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

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kevin Owens speaks.

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

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

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

 

The Street Profits have a basket.

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

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

 

Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Bianca Belair

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

 

Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

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

 

Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

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

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

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

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

 

Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

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

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

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

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

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

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


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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