The stars of NXT UK share their favorites!
NXT UK once again relives some of the greatest matches of the past! Will these Superstar Picks be among your favorites list?
- Great American Bash 2006 – WWE United States Championship: Finlay VS William Regal; Finlay wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- NXT UK 11/28/18 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and becomes the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion.
- SummerSlam 1992 – WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart VS The British Bulldog; The British Bulldog wins and becomes the new WWF Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Adam Shepherd welcomes us back to NXT UK.
Once again, the stage is given to the superstars to pick the matches that influenced their careers, but with a twist! It is a championship edition, where every match chosen has a title on the line! First up, the Thunderstorm, Sam Gradwell! Gradwell chooses William Regal VS Finlay from the Great American Bash! Both men’s careers are full of “absolute classics,” and any time they collided with each other, you just knew they’d smash each other’s heads in. And that was no different when the WWE United States Championship was on the line! But the reason Gradwell chose this match in particular is because it wasn’t the advertised match on the card. This was a surprise to the world, because it was supposed to be Bobby Lashley, but he had to be pulled from the match because of a liver condition.
Teddy Long was General Manager at the time, and he assured Lashley that the WWE was thinking of his long term health. “It’s the doctor’s orders, Bobby.” Long made the decision to then pit Finlay against long time friend and rival, William Regal. Gradwell being a huge fan of both men and knowing their history, this was going to be a proper scrap. That and the following torment from Hornswoggle, you’d have to have no soul not to be entertained. Sit back and enjoy, “ya bunch of yoghurts.”
Great American Bash 2006 – WWE United States Championship: William Regal VS Finlay!
Teddy Long promised the fans a championship match and that’s what’s gonna happen! He knows Finlay and Regal are great friends, but they are still going to go 1v1! Regal and Finlay didn’t want to but they have no choice. The match starts NOW!
JBL is furious on commentary but the fans are already loving this. Regal and Finlay circle but Regal wants to make sure Hornswoggle isn’t around. Regal goes looking, and there’s a green light from under the ring… The ring count climbs so Regal returns and circles with Finlay. Regal and Finlay agree, they shouldn’t do this. But then Finlay rolls Regal up! ONE, and Regal ROCKS Finlay with a haymaker! Finlay and Regal tie up, go around, and Finlay has Regal in a corner. Regal puts Finlay in another corner, and then the two spill out of the ring. The ref reprimands them as they go around the way with their collar and elbow. They even go up the steps to the apron! Finlay leads things back into the ring but Regal powers him to a corner. The ref counts but Regal ROCKS Finlay again!
Finlay and Regal tie up, Regal trips Finlay up and has a standing toehold. Finlay pops up and spins to throw Regal away! The fans cheer that creative escape but Regal checks his arm. Regal and Finlay tie up again. Finlay headlocks but Regal puts him on the ropes. The ref counts but Regal powers Finlay off, only for Finlay to run him over! Regal is up quick but Finlay headlocks. Regal powers Finlay off again then throws him out hard! Finlay hits th efloor but Regal puts him on the apron for European Uppercuts! But there’s Hornswoggle! The Leprechaun grabs Regal’s leg and uses the shillelagh! Regal runs away but Hornswoggle chases him with the shillelagh! Regal stands on the steps to look for Hornswoggle, but Hornswoggle appears behind him! Regal freaks out, runs into the ring and Finlay is after him with forearms and a lariat! Cover, TWO!
Finlay clamps onto Regal’s shoulders and brings him to his knees. Finlay drives in an elbow then throws a stiff EuroUpper! Regal kicks low and throws a EuroUpper back. It’s a EuroUpper brawl! Back and forth between the two, Finlay and Regal even keep going as they drop to their knees. Finlay pokes Regal in the eye! And rolls him up, TWO! Finlay keeps his cool as he looms over Regal. Finlay brings Regal up to bump him off buckles and headbutt him low. Finlay whips Regal corner to corner hard and Regal falls to the mat. The fans chant, “We Want Lashley!” but Regal kicks Finlay away. Finlay stomps Regal down, then brings Regal up to whip to a corner. Regal boots back then underhooks for a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO!
Regal sees Hornswoggle and runs him off. But he gets caught under the apron! Hornswoggle is biting Regal’s fingers! Regal gets free but Finlay stomps the hands! Finlay headbutts low then slams the bad hand off buckles. Finlay wrenches and jams the fingers into the ropes! Regal kicks low then throws knees and EuroUppers. Regal goes to drop toehold but Finlay stays up. Regal kicks Finlay down and goes after him with a chinlock. Finlay sits up but Regal leans on the hold. Finlay endures as Regal grinds his face, and then kicks Regal off him! The fans jeer as Finlay throat chops. Finlay whips and CLOBBERS Regal, then drops a seated senton! Regal writhes but Finlay drags him out to the apron to SLAM him down! Regal flops off the apron and to the floor but Finlay brings him back up. Finlay RAMS Regal into the apron, then refreshes the count. Regal gets in and Finlay snapmares him to a chinlock.
Finlay leans on Regal now but fans rally up. Regal fights his way up and powers Finlay to a post. Finlay goes up and back but they both collide head to head! A standing count begins but Regal is up first. Regal stomps Finlay down and around and then stands on Finlay’s head. The ref counts, Regal drops to his knees to “plead” with the ref, but he’s still choking Finlay! The ref keeps counting so Regal lets off. Regal drags Finlay around to drop knees, then covers. TWO, but Regal tries again. TWO, so he tries again, ONE! Regal drags Finlay up to throw more EuroUppers! Regal whips and dropkicks Finlay down! Cover, TWO! Again, ONE! Regal grows frustrated and he scoops Finlay for an EXPLODER! Fans are divided as Regal runs to drop another knee! Cover, TWO!
Finlay is toughing it out but Regal brings him up to toss him out. Fans boo and jeer as Finlay flounders up. Regal grabs Finlay first to bump him off buckles! Finlay flops down but Regal leaps, into an apron skirt trap! Finlay fires off furious hands from all sides then headbutts! The ref reprimands and counts but Finlay stops at 4. Finlay wants to go back out after Regal but the ref keeps him in. Regal is stuck so Finlay goes out to throw haymakers and forearms! Finlay lets up at 4 again, but he just comes back for more. Regal finally gets free of the apron skirt and Finlay follows. Regal’s boot is missing and Finlay stomps that foot! Finlay throws hands in the corner but the ref tells him to back off. Finlay does, to come back and DECK Regal!
Finlay drags Regal up to whip him to the corner again. Regal dodges and Finlay POSTS himself! Regal rolls Finlay up, TWO!! Finlay barely escapes but Regal grabs the shillelagh! But Hornswoggle gives Finlay Regal’s boot! The ref takes the club away from Regal, but misses the BOOT SHOT! HIGH STACK, with the ROPES! Finlay wins!!
Winner: Finlay, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
The Irishman who loves to fight did fight, but he may have had a wee bit of help. Hornswoggle takes the title belt from Finlay but Finlay takes it back and puts Hornswoggle back under the ring. We know in the present these two would go on to be infamous partners in crime, will we ever see either of them back in the WWE ring?
NXT UK hears from Noam Dar.
“I don’t really like to complain, it’s not something that I like doing often, and it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me. That being said, what I want is competition.” Dar’s abilities are not confined to the ring! He could beat Walter in a hot wing eating contest! Or beat Tyler Bate at Snakes ‘n’ Ladders. Tyler may not have the mental capacity for such a tough game but the pretty pictures help, and Dar will even give him time to read the rule book. Dar might even play cards with Jordan Devlin. Poker, Snap, Texas Hold ‘Em. But the point is, let’s find good, creative ways for Dar to win against these “dafties” and show that he’s the best. Thanks, bye.
NXT UK hears from Piper Niven.
We all know the Women’s Division has been stealing the spotlight. And none other than when there was the 8 Woman Tournament to crown THE NXT UK Women’s Champion. The Scottish Viper specifically chooses the finals. “This match is a war that shows exactly what the NXT UK Women’s Division is all about.” “Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley collide in a spectacular display of passion, determination, tenacity and valor, everything it takes to become a champion.”
NXT UK 11/28/18 – NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley!
The Storm and the Riptide collide in a historic match we’ve been waiting weeks for! Both Aussies love to hit hard and rock ‘n’ roll, but only one will get the gold! Who went down in history as the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion?
“Tonight, we make history.” The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are on Toni’s side as they sing for her already. Toni and Rhea stare down, and Rhea talks trash. Rhea shoves Toni then strikes her pose. Toni fires off forearms! Toni fires off palm strikes and kicks then a boot! Rhea ends up in a corner, Toni hits her hip attack! Rhea slumps out of the ring but Toni takes aim. Toni builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and Toni fires up! Rhea is reeling but Toni runs at her. Rhea dodges and Toni collides with the barriers! The ref counts as Rhea stomps a mudhole into Toni against the barriers. Rhea drags Toni up at 5 to shove her into the apron. She refreshes the count at 6 to then swiftly kick Toni in the back.
Toni is wincing and clutching her back as Rhea keeps on her. Rhea puts Toni on the apron then joins her. Rhea refreshes the count again, but Toni fights back with knees. Toni throws forearms and prepares a bomb, but Rhea back drops out! Toni hits the apron edge back first! The referee checks Toni, but Rhea leaves her behind. Toni refuses to quit, so she must beat the ring count now. The count climbs past 5, and Toni barely gets in at 9! Fans fire up for the heart of Toni, but Rhea keeps on her with a ground ‘n’ pound of forearms. Rhea stomps away, then drags Toni up by her hair. Rhea whips Toni hard into buckles, going after that bad back. She then rams her shoulder into Toni’s stomach, only stopping because of the count.
Rhea throws body shots and forearms, then puts Toni in a new corner. She throws forearms into Toni’s back, then gives another swift kick. Toni is barely able to stand, so Rhea throws her around again. Rhea keeps on Toni with a body scissor squeeze! Fans sing for Toni as she endures. Toni works against the scissors as fans rally up. Toni moves around and throws forearms over and over. Rhea shoves Toni away but Toni comes back with more forearms. But Rhea gets Toni with a shinbreaker! Then the inverted cloverleaf! Toni endures and fans rally up for her again. Rhea wrenches the legs while keeping Toni off the mat. Toni crawls her way and gets a ropebreak! Rhea drops Toni to then kick her in the back!
Rhea brings Toni up but Toni fires haymakers! Toni dodges and goes for a German Suplex, but her back won’t let her. Rhea breaks free to kick low. Rhea suplexes but Toni slips out, and manages a German! Toni holds on for another! Rhea fights out of the waistlock, but gets a headbutt, into the third! Bridging cover, TWO! Rhea survives but both women are down. Fans duel now as Toni stands. Toni runs at Rhea for the shining wizard! Rhea is in the corner again, Toni hits another hip attack! But she keeps going for meteora! Toni drags Rhea out for a cover, TWO! Toni keeps her cool while fans continue to sing. She kicks away on Rhea’s face, then runs, but into Rhea’s dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Rhea grows frustrated but the fans sing “Evolution!” in reference to both the Mae Young Classic Finals and the WWE Women’s (R)Evolution overall. Rhea drags Toni up and whips her into a corner. Toni goes up and over and sends Rhea into the post! Then Toni manages a rolling bodyscissor bridging cover, TWO! Toni’s back might have kept that from working out, but she won’t stop. She double underhooks but Rhea back drops her all the way out of the ring! Rhea sends Toni into the barriers again and again, then back into the ring. Cover, TWO! It was close and Rhea knows it. Rhea drags Toni up and wants the pumphandle, but Toni slips out! Toni manages the underhook, but her back gives out! Rhea gets her again, RIPTIDE! Cover, Rhea Ripley wins!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall; inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion
A shocking result but all the more historic! The Mae Young Classic winner fails to win this UK Women’s Tournament! Instead, the Mosh Pit Kid establishes herself as the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion! Johnny Saint and WWE COO Triple H come in to congratulate Rhea and present her with the belt. The rest of the UK Division also stands on the stage to join the fans in the standing ovation. Rhea is very thankful to them for this opportunity and this honor, and we know in the present would go on to have a strong reign ironically ended by Toni Storm. Rhea has moved on for now but will she one day return to NXT UK?
Noam Dar… brushes his teeth.
The Scottish Supernova finishes his dental hygiene before telling us, “Look, I know I said I don’t really like to complain, but once you get into this head space, it’s kinda difficult to get out of it.” So Dar says the one word going through his head is “commitment.” Everyone else are having quiz nights, from family to pubs to just random things. That’s not commitment to Dar. Dar feels so bad for the person that first steps in the ring with him “after this period of divide.”
NXT UK hears from Aoife Valkyrie.
“Throughout the ages, ravens and crows have been symbols of change.” Do you hear them? They flock to her with a gift and a vision. They know the time draws near for the NXT UK Women’s Division “to undergo a transformation.” She has been watching for some long. But a goal without a plan is as useful as feathers are to a dead bird. She knows what she seeks, and her path is clear. Aoife is ready. #WitnessTheRise.
Noam Dar speaks again.
Again, he doesn’t like to complain, but he can’t help this one. What the WWE Universe wants is the same as what the Scottish Supernova wants, and that is to be deemed and recognized as an essential service. And the sooner Dar is essential, the quicker he can get back to the “2020 Galactic Conquest Tour,” and everything will be as the stars have so foretold. Thank you for listening.
Amir Jordan shares his pick!
The Bhangra Badboy takes us on a blast to the past to when SummerSlam came to Wimbley Stadium! 80 THOUSAND fans were live for the biggest wrestling event to hit the UK! And the main event was a family affair for THE Intercontinental Championship! Brothers-in-law vowed to bring the big fight to each other, and this match has gone down in history! Amir himself remembers the Hitman and the national hero, Davey Boy Smith, had everyone at home and in attendance on the edge of their seats. As an NXT UK star, there is no bigger pinnacle than main eventing Wimbley and putting on a classic like this.
SummerSlam 1992 – WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart VS The British Bulldog!
The European, British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Lennox Lewis, waves the Union Jack as he leads Davey Boy to the ring. The Canadian Bret Hart goes it alone because he has the title. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this historic battle begins!
The two icons stare down but Hart pushes first. Bulldog pushes back and the two circle. They tie up, Bulldog pushes Hart to a corner and the fans fire up. Hart comes back, circles with Bulldog and ties up again. Bulldog headlocks, Hart powers out and things speed up. Hart ducks under, hurdles up and over, but Bulldog blasts him out of the ring with that shoulder tackle! Bret has to take a moment to compose himself, and NXT UK goes to break.
NXT UK returns and Bulldog has Hart down with an armlock. Hart powers up and powers Bulldog to ropes to whip free. Things speed up again and Hart hits a kitchen sink knee! The fans immediately erupt with divided boos and cheers, but Hart soaks it all up. Hart stomps Bulldog then drops a leg. Hart drags Bulldog as the fans rally up and he wraps on a chinlock. Bulldog endures, fights his way up and elbows free. He runs but into Hart’s elbow! Hart takes his time dropping another elbow, then drags Bulldog up for an atomic drop! Bulldog is down but Hart brings him back up again. Hart whips but Bulldog slips around, only for his crucifix to be turned into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO, but Hart keeps on Bulldog with another chinlock. Bulldog breathes heavy but the fans rally up.
Bulldog fights his way up but Hart grinds the headlock. Bulldog powers out but Hart runs him over. Things speed up again, Bulldog hurdles and monkey flips Hart away! Bulldog brings Hart up for headbutts and a whip corner to corner. Hart hits buckles hard but Bulldog whips him the other way. Hart BOOTS Bulldog down and the fans are thunderous with their booing. Hart puts Bulldog in a corner and gives him a bulldog! Insult to injury perhaps! Hart climbs up top but Bulldog grabs him first, for a TOSS! Bulldog heads up top now, leaps, but the falling headbutt FLOPS! Hart lets Bulldog crash and burn but both men are down now. Hart crawls over and dribbles Bulldog’s head off the mat. The fans are at a fever pitch as Hart drags Bulldog up. Hart scoops, Bulldog slips out, but Hart sends Bulldog out of the ring hard!
Hart soaks up all the heat from the fans but leaves Bulldog to the mercy of the ring count. The count reaches 5 as Bulldog stands and goes around the way. Hart slingshots to PESCADO, and it ends up a sloppy neckbreaker kind of thing! Diana Hart, sister of Bret and wife of Davey Boy, just seems in shock watching them both crash like that. Hart drags Bulldog up to scoop and POST! Hart drags Bulldog back up and into the ring as the fans rally as hard as ever. He even mocks the fans for it! Hart brings Bulldog up to whip corner to corner hard, and Bulldog staggers into a clubbing forearm. Hart drags Bulldog up and headbutts him into a Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, TWO! Hart keeps his cool as he throws a European Uppercut! And another! Bulldog wobbles but stays on his feet as Hart throws haymakers. The dropkick drops Bulldog, but Hart brings him back up.
Hart whips and back drops Bulldog high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hart keeps on Bulldog with another chinlock but the crowd has not given up on their hero. Bulldog endures, fights his way up, but Hart reels him in for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Bulldog still has fight but Hart wraps another chinlock on. Bulldog slaps and claws at the hold but Hart brings him around for another headbutt. Hart uppercuts into a backslide! TWO, and Hart drops an elbow to drop Bulldog. Hart brings Bulldog up for a backbreaker! Hart goes to a corner, hops up top, and leaps for a BIG elbow drop! Cover, TWO!! Hart drags Bulldog up again to throws clubbing forearms. Hart pulls Bulldog around by his hair and throws him down by it! The fans boo hard as ever as Hart headbutts Bulldog and throws haymakers. Hart snapmares, chinlocks and leans on Bulldog again.
Bulldog endures so Hart brings him up for haymakers. Bulldog swings back but into a sleeper hold! Hart squeezes tight and Bulldog starts to fade! Bulldog drops to his knees, then to all fours. But he crawls to the ROPEBREAK! Hart holds on but lets go at 4 to stomp Bulldog at the ropes. Hart drags Bulldog up and whips again, to get the sleeper hold back! Bulldog is turning red as Hart leans on him. The fans rally as hard as they possibly can but Hart thrashes Bulldog around. The ref checks on Bulldog, the hand drops once. The hand drops twice. But Bulldog revives with the third! Bulldog has a second wind and he powers Hart back into buckles! Bulldog is free, but Hart grabs him again! Hart has the sleeper, leans on Bulldog, but Bulldog picks him up to ram him into buckles again!
Bulldog is free, finally breathes again, but turns into haymakers. It’s a brawl between brothers-in-law! Hart whips, Bulldog reverses and trophy lifts Hart, to drop him into the ropes! Hart saves himself from a worse tumble but he still took rope to a bad place. Bulldog drags Hart up to whip him into buckles then clobbers him with clotheslines! Bulldog rallies as the fans are electric! Cover, TWO!! Hart survives but Bulldog has more to give. Bulldog military presses and SLAMS Hart down! Cover, TWO!! Bulldog keeps going, and he suplexes Hart up and holds him there for a count of 10 before dropping him down! Cover, TWO!! Hart survives again but Bulldog is not losing his focus. Bulldog has Hart in a corner, whips him corner to corner HARD then covers, TWO! Bulldog flexes and signals his finisher. He brings Hart up, scoops him, and hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!?! Bulldog can’t believe Hart survived that!
Hart flounders to his feet but Bulldog pushes him over. Hart is on the apron, Bulldog drags him back up, and Bulldog suplexes Hart in. Hart slips out to waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men are down, too exhausted to be frustrated. Hart brings Bulldog back up, tries to suplex back, but Bulldog blocks to hoist Hart up top! Bulldog climbs up to join Hart, brings him up again, SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!?!? Hart survives but both men are slow to stand. Bulldog brings Hart up, whips but Hart reverses, only for Bulldog to dodge, DOUBLE CLOTHESLINES! Both men take each other out and the fans have gone past electric to an unknown level of excitement!
Hart grabs Bulldog’s leg while down on the mat, and looks to be putting on the Sharpshooter from this position! Bulldog realizes just as Hart turns him over! Hart gets to his feet and pulls back on the hold! Bulldog endures, crawls, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Hart lets go and Diana is cheering her husband on. Hart throws hands then whips but Bulldog reverses. Hart sunset flips but Bulldog sits on it! BULLDOG WINS!!
Winner: The British Bulldog, by pinfall (NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion)
Absolutely incredible! The 80,355 fans in Wimbley give a standing ovation to their hero taking the title! Bulldog holds onto the Intercontinental Championship, but he looks at his brother-in-law sitting up. Bulldog goes over to Hart and offers his hand. Hart stands up and goes to leave but the fans boo. Hart stops at the ropes, considers the handshake, and sees his sister crying in the crowd. Bulldog still offers the handshake to show there is respect and no hard feelings. Hart takes the handshake, and even hugs Bulldog! The Hart Family is still united! In the present, Davey Boy Smith sadly passed away in 2002, but his memory lives on forever as truly one of the greats.
Next week is NXT UK’s Most Brilliant III: Tyler Bate VS Pete Dunne, TakeOver: Chicago!
5/20/17, an epic rematch from the inaugural United Kingdom Championship Tournament, a match more important than anyone realized at the time. William Regal, HBK and even the men in that match itself know this influenced the future of all of NXT. Be sure to tune in for this blast from the past as the Big Strong Boy and the Bruiserweight put it all on the line!
NXT UK wraps for the week.
Adam Shepherd thanks Sam Gradwell, Piper Niven and Amir Jordan for sharing their favorites, and hopes we tune in again when we relive more great moments in NXT UK History.
Another great retrospective episode with some great championship matches. I remember 2006 being big for Bobby Lashley so it really was a rather odd move to keep him out of the US Championship match. But at the same time, the crowd had strong Heel Heat on both Regal and Finlay and therefore had strong Face support for Lashley. But ignoring the audience wanting Lashley over what they got, what they got really was a great match between two wrestling greats. I also remember the days of Hornswoggle, and those were wacky. Lashley did become US Champion eventually, but who knows if he becomes world champion this Sunday at Backlash. Reliving Rhea VS Toni was great, and it really was a surprising turn of events back then. I did not expect Rhea to have that historic distinction, and that only added to how great it was for her to become prime NXT Women’s Champion a year later.
Noam Dar had hilarious promos throughout, and him name dropping Devlin among the others makes me want Dar VS Devlin even more than before. Those two could’ve been competing to be Cruiserweight Champion before COVID made everyone close everything down, but at this point they could be competing to determine a separate NXT UK Cruiserweight Champion while El Hijo del Fantasma now turned Santos Escobar competes to keep his interim/US NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Then one day, we get the UNDISPUTED Cruiserweight Champion when Worlds Collide again. And lastly, finally getting to see Hart VS Bulldog for myself was a great experience, a great bit of history, and honestly a moment where a crowd is so hot that I don’t think we’ll ever get anything like that again. A true tragedy that he died at just under the age of 40.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
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?
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
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)
Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?
Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!
SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!
- Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
- Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
- Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
- Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.
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?
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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