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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (8/12/20)

Who is the third man, brother?

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NEW NXT Coverage

Who else heads for NXT TakeOver: XXX?

KUSHIDA returns to action and gets a chance at the NXT North American Championship! But so does Cameron Grimes, and a mysterious third man!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Danny Burch; Kross wins.
  • Drake Maverick VS Killian Dain; No Contest.
  • Tyler Breeze VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma; Escobar wins.
  • Mia Yim VS Indi Hartwell; Yim wins.
  • Bronson Reed VS Damian Priest; Reed wins.
  • Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah w/ Robert Stone VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter; Martinez & Aliyah win.
  • NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Cameron Grimes VS ???; Grimes wins and advances to TakeOver: XXX.

PLAY BY PLAY

Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Danny Burch!

Mr. Doomsday didn’t want to do things “the hard way,” but William Regal wouldn’t budge. Kross attacked various NXT prospects as well as The Govenah, and now he faces the consequences! But will Burch be the one wishing it weren’t so?

Burch demands the bell ring right away so that’s what happens! And he dropkicks Kross! Burch fires off in the corner but Kross pushes him back and tosses him into the corner! Kross swings, Burch dodges and stomps away! Burch throws fast hands and a headbutt! He clotheslines Kross out of the ring! Kross flounders about but drags Burch out to join him! Kross two hand choke SLAMS Burch down! The ref starts the ring count but Kross looms over Burch until 5. Kross drags Burch up at 6 and puts him in at 8. Kross takes his time following, kicking Burch around. “The whole world’s watching!” Burch throws body shots but Kross uses an EXPLODER to toss Burch away!

Kross stalks Burch as he talks trash. Burch gets up in the corner as the crowd rallies up, and he boots Kross away! Burch dodges to enziguri Kross in the corner! Burch hops up and leaps to missile dropkick Kross down! Kross gets up and swings, but into Burch’s GERMAN SUPLEX! Kross snarls as he gets back up again, and he ROCKS Burch with a forearm! Kross drags Burch out, but Burch switches and GERMAN SUPLEXES again! Kross pops back up, but Burch LARIATS him down! Cover, TWO! Into a CROSSFACE! Burch cranks, Kross rolls but Burch holds on! They roll again, Burch is still on Kross with the crossface! But Kross glares as he powers up and lifts Burch with one ram! Burch lets go, but into the DOOMSDAY SAIDO!

Kross adjusts his neck because he’s not done with Burch. Kross drags Burch up, wrenches to another DOOMSDAY SAIDO! Burch flops and flounders but Kross stalks behind him. The crowd rallies up but Kross CLOBBERS Burch down! Kross drags Burch up and asks if he remembers the KROSSJACKET! Burch fades out, Kross wins!

Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission

Kross crushed Burch, but here comes Keith Lee! The Limitless NXT Champion marches out to the ring without the belt, but with a contract! Kross and Scarlett give Keith the ring, but Keith gets a mic. “I’m not surprised at all. Because you say this is on me, but no, Kross. This is on you!” Keith offered Kross to join him in the ring and earn his shot, but Kross is just running away, “just like the little BI*CH” you’ve proven to be! But Keith begged and pleaded with Regal, “Please, I promise I won’t put my hands on him until TakeOver if you give me the match.” Keith signed, Regal signed, so now all this contract needs is Kross’ “punkass name.”

Keith tosses the contract down, Scarlett fetches it, and Kross signs it. Scarlett seals it with a kiss before returning it to Keith. Keith checks it, but it FLASHES WITH FIRE!? Referees and medics try to help Keith as he was almost burned and blinded by that dirty magic trick! The pain is one thing, but Keith’s rage is boiling over. He storms through the back as the medics tend to his eyes. Will Keith make Kross pay when they finally clash in the ring?

 

Drake Maverick VS Killian Dain!

NXT is picture in picture to keep an eye (pardon the unintended pun) on Keith while Rockstar Spud hits the ring! Will Maverick survive his first ever encounter with the Beast of Belfast?

The bell rings and Maverick starts to realize the trouble he’s in for. Maverick avoids Dain’s grasp once, but gets cornered the next! Maverick manages to slip around and he clubs Dain in the chest, but it doesn’t bother Dain at all! NXT goes picture in picture with commercials as Dain scoops Maverick. Maverick slips out, kicks Dain’s leg and backs him down to a corner. Dain pushes Maverick away but Maverick forearms back! Maverick kicks away on the leg then tries to hook it on ropes. We also check in with Keith and he’s being taken to an ambulance now. Keith is still angry but the referees convince him he needs to leave and get better medical attention.

In the ring, Dain has clobbered Maverick and now looms over him. Maverick tries to breathe as Dain stands on his leg. Dain kicks the leg in return for Maverick kicking his leg, and then Dain returns the favor with wrapping Maverick’s leg on the ropes! The ref counts, Dain lets up, Mia Yim appears by Keith’s side to check on him as well as cool him off. In the background of the back lot, Kross and Scarlett drive away in their dark as night Dodge. In the match, Dain whips Maverick but Maverick kicks the back drop away, only for Dain to CLOBBER him! Dain circles around Maverick like a shark, and then drags him up to elbow him down! Dain toys with Maverick as he brings him up for a scoop and slam!

Dain watches Maverick writhe while Keith has a wrap around his eyes. Mia rides with him in the ambulance as they head out. Dain drops a back senton but Maverick dodges! Maverick gets to a corner, he boots Dain away, then baits Dain into buckles! Maverick hurries to build speed, and he dropkicks the legs out! Dain carwls,. Maverick fires off kicks and haymakers from all sides! Maverick fires off jabs, haymakers, but Dain shoves him down! Maverick runs to forearm but Dain stays up. Maverick tries again but still Dain stays on his feet. Maverick tries a third time, but Dain catches him with body hands! Maverick pulls on the beard, breaks free and enziguris! Dain staggers while we get one last glimpse of the ambulance leaving.

NXT returns to single picture as the Undisputed Era pulls into the parking lot. They’re in a bad mood of their own after what Pat McAfee did last week. But back to the action, Maverick is on the top rope and leaps to the outside, HUGE CANNONBALL takes Dain down! But Dain still gets back to the ring first as the ring count climbs. Maverick pursues, making sure Dain is inside. Maverick heads back up top and MACHO ELBOWS! But the Era attacks them both?!

No Contest

Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong don’t care about any of this as they stomp and punch and kick both Maverick and Dain into the mat! Maverick gets tossed out while Dain gets beat down 4v1! They let Dain get up so Strong can KNEE him back down! Maverick scrambles up but Cole SUPERKICKS him back out! Dain takes TOTAL ANNIHILATION from reDRagon! And then the LAST SHOT from Cole! The Era kicks Dain out of the ring and Cole grabs a mic.

“Hey, Pat McAfee~!” Cole knows for a fact Pat is watching, so Pat better shut up and listen! Pat wants to come to Cole’s world and “play wrestler.” Pat runs his mouth on social media, but he cut Cole with his arms behind his back! That’s not special. What’s special is that Cole is the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time! At TakeOver: XXX, Pat steps into the ring with THAT guy! So Pat should do Cole a favor. Cole DARES Pat to show up next week. If Pat has the guts to walk down the ramp, step through the ropes and into the ring, he and Cole can stare each other in the eye, face to face and man to man, and Cole will let Pat know he’s gonna whoop that ass. Then when Pat finally realizes that he is in WAY over his head, it is going to SUCK  for Pat to know that there is absolutely NOTHING he can do about it. THAT is Undisputed.

 

NXT hears from Kushida!

“Finally, I have a chance!” Keith Lee was the previous North American Champion, and the Super Junior vows to be the next. “Isn’t it fun?” Kushida knows he has Cameron Grimes, but doesn’t know who the third man is, not that it matters to him. At the dream stage of TakeOver: XXX, Kushida will win the Ladder Match and seize glory! “It’s time for Kushida to taste gold!”

 

Tyler Breeze VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma!

There are no fun entrances this week, because Prince Pretty is going to be all business in avenging the Lord of the Dance. Will he make the NXT Cruiserweight Champion pay for what he and his cohorts did to Fandango?

Actually, the Leader of Leaders is so confident that he can handle Breeze, he lets Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde go back to the back. The bell rings and Breeze rushes Escobar with fast hands! Escobar powers Breeze to a corner but Breeze keeps hitting. Escobar forearms and stomps back, then kicks Breeze around and throws in big knees! He kicks Breeze while he’s down, drags him up to haymaker again, then puts him on the ropes. The ref counts but Escobar CHOPS Breeze down! Escobar stomps and kicks Breeze, drags him back up and whips to ropes. Things speed up and Escobar dropkicks Breeze down! Escobar talks trash to Breeze and stomps him more.

Breeze sits up but Escobar kicks him all around. Escobar taunts Breeze with every shot, and then stomps him again! Escobar keeps talking trash as he kicks Breeze to a corner. He throws haymakers then pushes Breeze down. Escobar looms over Breeze, calling himself “The Emperor of Lucha.” Escobar drags Breeze up as the crowd rallies. Breeze enziguris back! Escobar bails out, Breeze hurries after him, and puts him back in the ring. Escobar bails out the side so Breeze pursues again. Escobar comes back to chop block the legs! Then Escobar fireman’s carries to snake eyes Breeze off the apron and CLOBBER him on the outside! Escobar says “Estos lucha!” as NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Escobar grinds Breeze down with a chinlock, even digging his own chin into Breeze’s head. Breeze fights up but Escobar body shots and shoves. Atomic drop and a running KNEE! Breeze flounders and Escobar brings him up to the fireman’s carry. Breeze fights out and shoves Escobar out of the ring. Escobar steadies himself and gets back in, but he runs into forearms from Breeze! Breeze rocks Escobar over and over, then mule kicks in the corner! Breeze whips corner to corner, hits a BIG forearm, then whips back the other way for another! Breeze whips to ropes, Escobar reverses but Breeze kicks and SUPER MODEL KICKS! Breeze would cover but he sees Wilde and Mendoza returning!

El Legado flanks the ring but Breeze is ready! Breeze hits Wilde, then dropkicks Mendoza out! Escobar gets him for the PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar wins!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

Big assists to Wilde and Mendoza as they were part of the plan all along. But wait! Fandango comes out with a mop, probably part of a sexy janitor idea, but he breaks off the head! Fandango has one good arm to SWING the stick around! He hits Wilde down but Mendoza comes back to take another shot! Escobar enziguris the bad arm! And uses the mop stick to SMACK it! And then El Legado grinds Fandango down with stomps! They pull the sling off, but here comes SWERVE! Isaiah Scott rocks Wilde, Mendoza, and Escobar! Escobar gets away with his title, but the one man who has beaten him in WWE wants after him in the worst way! Will Escobar have no choice but to visit Swerve’s House?

 

NXT hears from Dakota Kai.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret.” Everyone has put Io Shirai on a pedestal, because she’s “so great.” The best! But Dakota doesn’t see it that way. She’s found a way to beat Shirai! The best path to success is getting inside your opponent’s head. Dakota is in Shirai’s head because Shirai has wandered into “Dakota Territory” now. Dakota has outsmarted the Evil Genius, and has done everything on her own to get to this point. Dakota doesn’t need friends, enemies, associates or insurance policies! At TakeOver, Dakota vows to beat Shirai, “and your captain becomes the new NXT Woman’s Champion.” Will Dakota kick Shirai off that pedestal and down to the bottom of the mountain?

 

NXT hears from Ridge Holland.

“Last week, the world was introduced to Ridge Holland.” The hype was real for Yorkshire Grit, and his second chance at going to TakeOver: XXX is in a match against Johnny Gargano. Guys Gargano’s side wouldn’t last a minute on Holland’s rugby field. Pain is coming for #AllHeartNoSoul, will there be no stopping Holland’s redemption?

 

Mia Yim VS Indi Hartwell!

Before her entrance, Mia is asked about Keith Lee’s medical status, but she couldn’t stay long enough to hear it all herself. She had to rush back and get ready for this match. But from what she does know is that Keith will be okay, there was no serious damage, and that championship match will happen. Will the Head Baddie In Charge be able to focus on her own match when she’s up against the #Impressive Indi?

The bell rings and Mia circles with Indi. They tie up, Mia headlocks and wrenches to a wristlock to then hammerlock. Indi stomps a food and headlocks back. Mia powers out but Indi runs her over! Indi shouts, “IMPRESSIVE!” and runs. Mia follows, redirects Indi and chop blocks the legs, to then basement dropkick Indi down! Mia runs and BOOTS Indi in the corner, then sweeps the legs. Mia runs corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Indi gets away to another corner but Mia keeps her cool. Mia runs corner to corner but Indi sends her into buckles! Indi stomps a mudhole then CHOPS her a la the Grizzly Magnum! Indi mocks Keith’s moves and his pose, and that just fires Mia up! Mia CHOPS then throws big forearms!

Mia whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps on Mia with a chinlock but Mia endures. MIa grabs Indi’s hair and fights her way up as the crowd rallies. Indi hops on like a backpack but gets rammed into buckles. Indi climbs back on and Mia starts to fade! The crowd rallies, Mia gets her second wind and powers up to turn this into a backpack STUNNER! Indi lets go, but then rises back up to wrap the sleeper back on! Mia fights to her feet, pries at the hold but again has a backpack. Mia throws Indi off but Indi elbows back! Indi stomps Mia at the ropes then dumps her down for a cover, TWO! Indi pushes Mia around, but Mia CHOPS back!

Indi keeps pushing buttons but Mia pushes back. Indi knees low, mocks Keith again by shouting, “Bask in MY Glory!” Mia has had it with Indi and tackles her down! Mia rains down hands, dodges the boot and dropkicks back! And again! And then hits a running neckbreaker! Mia brings Indi up, GERMAN SUPLEX! Indi flounders up, Mia grabs her arm but Indi pushes her away. Mia hits a body scissors takedown to a cover, ONE! Mia has Indi’s head trapped under her leg and just PULLS on the arm! Indi taps, Mia wins!

Winner: Mia Yim, by submission

That’s some impressive innovation from Mia! Will Mia and her modified clutch bring her back to the NXT Women’s Championship scene? Can she clear her mind knowing Keith will be okay?

 

Finn Balor speaks.

“First, it was opportunities. Now, it’s second chances. I’m not one to politic, I don’t need to. The office wants me on TV.” It doesn’t matter if you’re 18, 49 or living in a retirement home. Everyone watches The Prince. “Cameron Grimes, Kushida, or whoever is yet to reveal themselves… Enjoy yourselves tonight, because whoever’s left over will be easy pickings for Finn Balor, future North American Champion.” But just who IS the third man?

 

Triple H made it official on ESPN’s Get Up.

He wants Pat McAfee to put his money where his mouth is and take Adam Cole on 1v1, “if Pat’s got the guts to say yes.” Pat responded by saying, “I accept the challenge for sure!” Pat wants to beat Cole’s ass, and “dance on the grave of NXT.” And as for Cole’s challenge earlier tonight, Pat tweeted out that if Cole wants him back, he’d love to. “The last time I was there, you ended up lifeless on the ground with Shawn Michaels worried about your soulless, dumb, stupid body.” Pat looks forward to dominating Cole “and the whole wrestling community… AGAIN.” But will Cole be returning the kick, as it were?

 

Bronson Reed VS Damian Priest!

Auszilla and the Archer of Infamy are in the TakeOver: XXX ladder match, but if Dexter Lumis’ misfortune is any indication, there’s no point in going too hard if you get injured. Will Reed and Priest hold anything back knowing the title match is the real deal?

The bell rings and Reed dares Priest to do something. Priest circles with Reed slowly, they tie up, and Reed powers Priest back. Priest shifts to go after the arm but Reed pushes him to a corner. Priest grins as he comes back to circle again. They tie up, Priest gets the arm again, wrenches around to a wristlock, but Reed spins and wrenches back. Reed cranks the wrist as Priest tries to push him away. Priest rolls, handsprings up and wrenches back to go after the shoulder. Priest brings Reed to a knee and clamps on a chinlock. Reed endures the grind while Priest grins again. The crowd rallies up as Reed powers Priest to ropes. Reed lets up, but Priest wrenches and headlocks.

Reed powers out, the two collide but neither falls. Priest grins but Reed shakes his head. Reed dares Priest to run, so Priest does, but Reed follows to knock Priest into ropes! Priest likes the moxie as Reed dusts himself off. Priest and Reed dare each other to run, and Priest volunteers, only to kick Reed’s leg! And the other leg! Now Priest runs, but Reed follows and runs Priest over! Priest gets up fast but Reed pushes him. Now they start throwing heavy forearms back and forth! Priest fores off a strike fest, Reed shoves but Priest dodges and hurdles to back elbow! Reed goes down and the crowd fires up!

Priest whips Reed but Reed blocks with size and strength! Reed whips Priest, Priest goes up and forearms back! Priest eggs Reed on but then fires off kicks and forearms, and a discus! Priest powers up but Reed blocks that punch! Priest ROUNDHOUSES back and Reed goes to a corner. Priest runs corner to corner to leap, into Reed’s arms! Priest fights free and wrenches to then try a suplex. Reed is too big and strong, he gets around to waistlock. Priest fights free but turns around into a DDT! Reed tries but can’t get Priest before he rolls out of the ring! Priest saves himself while NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Priest hammers away on Reed before clamping on another chinlock. Reed endures as Priest thrashes him about. Reed fights up, Priest hits low but Reed counter punches. Reed throws haymakers, a big elbow, but Priest ducks only to run into SPINE BUSTER! Priest flounders up in surprise but Reed corner splashes him! Reed fireman’s carries, Priest fights out and ear claps! Ripcord ROUNDHOUSE! Spin back kick is CAUGHT! Reed hits a FALL AWAY SLAM then a THICC SENTON! Cover, TWO! Priest survives but Reed won’t let up. Reed drags Priest up, but Priest slips out to hit a COMPLETE SHOT! The crowd fires up as both men slowly rise.

Priest bobs ‘n’ weaves, fires off strikes and BIG haymakers, to a ROLLING ELBOW! Reed wobbles but stays up, so Priest SPRINGBOARD CANNONBALLS into him! Reed gets to a corner, Priest aims and runs corner to corner, BIG elbow! Priest brings Reed out to try the suplex again but Reed is just that big. Priest keeps trying, gets Reed up but not high enough! Priest rams knees into Reed over and over, clubs him and reels him in, and roars as he BROKEN ARROWS!! Cover, TWO!?! Reed survives but Priest won’t let up! He tries again but Reed suplexes Priest back! The crowd is thunderous as the ref checks on both men. Reed and Priest stir, slowly rise, and start brawling with big forearms! Reed rocks Priest, but Priest spins to ROUNDHOUSE!

Priest aims again, springboards but into a POWERSLAM! Reed climbs up top for the TSUNAMI, only to FLOP as Priest narrowly avoids it! Priest aims from the corner, reels Reed in, but no Reckoning! Reed jackknifes, Reed wins!!

Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall

The shock is all over Priest’s face! Reed gets the better of the Archer of Infamy, will he use this momentum to take over at TakeOver?

 

NXT hears from Io Shirai.

“When Dakota kicked me in the face, message received.” But Dakota’s acting as if she’s a big star. It wasn’t until she betrayed Tegan Nox that anyone learned who she was. Dakota is a user, a manipulator. She uses people until she doesn’t need them, and then throws them away. Just ask Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, or Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai only sees “the cute girl who was terrified of Shayna Baszler.” And just like Shayna, Dakota will be afraid of Shirai at TakeOver. Dakota is no match for her. Dakota isn’t in Shirai’s head, she’s just pissed Shirai off! Will the Evil Genius show Dakota the dark truth about her reality?

 

NXT hears from Cameron Grimes!

“Always at the right place at the right time!” Speaking of time, Grimes ain’t got no time for Kushida! “And as for that man of mystery, it doesn’t matter to me, because I’m gonna leave with that victory!” Grimes climbs the ladder, grabs that North American Championship, and takes it to the moon!

 

Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah w/ Robert Stone VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter!

The Robert Stone Brand has meddled in the business of Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley, but is finally going into business for itself. Will the brutal and the bougie be a combination that climbs up the WWE Women’s Tag Division? Or will KC and KC use the power of friendship to win instead?

Stone grabs the mic and says that “unless you’ve been living under a rock,” you’d know that his brand has been el fuego. If you don’t know what that means on fire! That’s the great thing about his brand! He is always looking to the future, and that future is very, very, very bright. It could include Kacy Catanzaro, because lets be real. American Ninja Warrior, fans love her, but she’s hanging out with all the wrong people when she could choose the right people. What Stone is saying is that KC needs to lose the loser. Kacy keeps Kayden back, and Kacy shows slap! Stone covers up, but Kacy STOMPS his bad foot! Stone gets to the apron, Aliyah checks on him, but Mercedes rushes KC! KC dodges and huricarnanas her down! The crowd fires up and the bell rings as Mercedes and Stone get out, Aliyah starts against Kayden!

Aliyah rushes Kayden but she ducks and mule kicks. Kayden tags in Kacy and they whip to trip and mule kick Aliyah! Slingshot senton and cover, ONE! Kacy has Aliyah in the corner and elbows in. Kayden tags in, gets some help from Kacy to kick Aliyah, and then returns the favor to give Kacy the boost for the kick! KC Squared double SUPERKICK Aliyah down! Cover by Kayden, TWO! Kayden keeps on Aliyah, Aliyah fights out but Kayden waistlocks. Aliyah runs to ropes, bucks Kayden off and Mercedes tags in! Kayden dodges Aliyah and wheelbarrows Mercedes, but ends up in a wheelbarrow cutter! Cover, Kacy breaks it! Mercedes chases Kacy off as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Aliyah has Kayden in a facelock. Kayden hits back but Aliyah throws her down! Cover, TWO! Aliyah tells Kacy to kiss this before bringing Kayden away. Tag to Mercedes, they mug Kayden in the corner. Mercedes CHOPS but Kayden hits back. Mercedes clubs and stomps Kayden in a corner but lets up at the ref’s count. Mercedes keeps Kayden from Kacy and bumps her off buckles. She rams into Kayden hard then tags Aliyah in. Mercedes snap suplexes Kayden for Aliyah to drop a leg! Cover, TWO! Aliyah tries another cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps Kayden from Kacy and tags Mercedes back in. Mercedes mugs Kayden more then chokes her on the ropes! The ref counts, Mercedes lets up but Aliyah calls Kayden a loser.

Mercedes stomps Kayden in another corner, then CHOPS her down! Mercedes drags Kayden away, tags Aliyah back in, and Aliyah dares Kayden to get up. Kayden runs into a lift and a push, but she slides under! Aliyah gets a leg but Kayden kicks and Eddy Gordo kicks Aliyah down! Both women crawl for their corners, hot tags to Kacy and Mercedes! Kacy sweeps the legs and Mercedes hits buckles! Kacy stomps a mudhole and fires off forearms but Mercedes shoves her away. Kacy comes back with an A-List Lariat! She dumps Mercedes down to somersault ax kick! Cover, Aliyah breaks it!

Kayden SUPERKICKS Aliyah down! Mercedes BOOTS Kayden! Kacy huricanranas but Mercedes blocks to fireman’s carry, AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, The Robert Stone Brand wins!

Winner: Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah, by pinfall

KC and KC were not enough to slow down the brand, but here comes RHEA RIPLEY! The Aussie Nightmare wants payback for the blindside, but Stone and Aliyah want to cut and run. Mercedes refuses to retreat, so Rhea rushes the ring, gets around her and BOOTS Mercedes down! Rhea drags Mercedes up to club away, fire body shots, but Aliyah comes back to chop block Rhea! Mercedes pushes Aliyah away because she wants after Rhea! Mercedes stomps away so Aliyah joins in! But here comes SHOTZI! Shotzi gets around Aliyah for a SAIDO! And then she baits Mercedes into an ENZIGURI!

The Robert Stone Brand falls back as the wild child helps Rhea up. Will Shotzi help Rhea #TCB, Take Care of Bidness?

 

NXT checks in with The Garganos.

After dinner, Johnny takes care of chores while Candice sits with their dog. Everyone, even the dog, is wearing “Power Couple” track suits. Gargano uses a ladder to check a light while Candice reads a fairy tale to Doggo Gargano. “The dragon betrayed the fairy and the evil witch ran away with the enchanted gem.” A sad story! You know why? Because “the dragon” didn’t need to be there in the first place. “The dragon” had to but into “the fairy’s” business, and then goes and plays dumb like she’s the hero. News flash: the fairy isn’t the evil one! Candice isn’t evil! Tegan the dragon just needs to mind her own damn business!

What book is Candice reading? It’s nothing. But now, the evil forces have all the magic gems! All hope looks lost! They’re doomed! Johnny says the “kingdom” isn’t doomed. The kingdom is fine, because the Wednesday Knight is going to ride in and save the day just like always. There has been a lot of change in NXT, but that is the one constant. All these fresh faces, like Damian Priest, “that thicc boi guy,” all very talented and very hungry. One more than the other. But as talented as those two are, “they are not on the level of Johnny Gargano! I know it, they know it, even Mr. Regal knows it! You can’t have a TakeOver without Johnny Takeover.” So Regal did the right thing and put Johnny in a fair qualifier against Ridge Holland.

Holland is big and strong, but he is NOT Johnny Gargano. Gargano vows to win, be in the ladder match he should’ve been in the entire time, and make TakeOver: XXX into the night Johnny Gargano made history becoming the first and only TWO-TIME NXT North American Champion! And next time Gargano climbs a ladder, it won’t just be to fix the house. It’ll be to fix NXT. Okay, time for bed. Is Gargano going to bring some gold home with him at the end of TakeOver? Is he not going to put that ladder away before turning in for the night?

 

NXT checks in on Thatch As Thatch Can Wrestling.

Timothy Thatcher welcomes his students back and says today’s lesson is adaptation. He makes one student where a Finn Balor shirt while he has demonstrates the move that “had the match one” for him. Single Leg Crab. Go after the ankle, pick the leg up and turn. But he modified it into an ankle lock style and drops down to the grapevine. This man taps when Finn didn’t. The lesson is of course, that you need to learn to adapt. Thatcher may not have his second chance in the North American Championship match, but he’s calling out The Prince. Whether Balor wins his way back into TakeOver or not, will he make sure to teach The Professor of Pain a thing or two first?

 

NXT makes it official!

Next week, we will have the face to face between Adam Cole and Pat McAfee! Will Cole beat down Pat before ever getting to TakeOver? Or will Pat upstage and humiliate him all over again?

Plus, after the confrontation earlier tonight, Swerve joins forces with Breezango to take on El Legado del Fantasma! Will Breeze and Dango get revenge while also helping Swerve prove his point? Or will Escobar, Wilde and Mendoza deny them all their shot at the Cruiserweight Championship?

And while we know Gargano takes on Holland, Finn Balor will be watching the main event very closely. Tonight’s winner moves on to TakeOver while the loser is on the outside looking in. But with the third man still a mystery, who will be the odd one out to face The Prince?

 

A quick update on Keith Lee!

The Limitless One has left the hospital, and vows to make Kross a dead man! The full update is on WWE’s official website, but does Kross understand the gist of the situation he’s put himself in?

 

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: KUSHIDA VS Cameron Grimes VS ???

The Time Splitter feels it’s his time, but so does the Carolina Caveman. And after a week of speculation, we finally learn that their mystery opponent is… THE VELVETEEN DREAM!! The Experience has returned at the most opportune moment! Will he seize the moment and take over this close to TakeOver?

The bell rings and Grimes grabs Dream’s leg! Dream counters with a headlock, Grimes powers out and Dreams heads for Kushida. Kushida gets the arm, Dream stays up and whips Kushida at Grimes. Grimes waistlocks Kushida but Dream grabs Grimes’ hair. Grimes elbows out hard then kicks Kushida. Grimes suplexes Kushida but Dream catches Kushida to set him aside before he ROCKS Grimes with an uppercut! Dream then hotshot bulldogs Grimes, Grimes staggers towards Kushida, and Kushida wrings Grimes’ arm out so hard, Grimes might as well have gotten powerbomb’d! Grimes flops over and out while Kushida spots Dream slithering in. Kushida says Dream was that close to catching him as the two circle.

Grimes drags Dream out but Dream ROCKS him with another uppercut! Kushida hurries over but Dream uppercuts him, too! Dream climbs up, leaps and ax handles! Cover, TWO! Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Kushida drops while Dream lunges and Dream falls out of the ring hard! Grimes clobbers Kushida and CHOPS him! Grimes whips, Kushida dodges and Kushida handspring kicks Dream down! Kushida boots Grimes, goes to the apron and tornado DDT’s Dream to the ground! Kushida shoulders back into Grimes, climbs up, but Grimes trips him up! Kushida tumbles down while NXT goes picture in picture.

Grimes soaks up the heat before digging a knee into Kushida’s head at the ropes. The ref reprimands but there are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat, so Grimes lets up on his own time. Grimes drags Kushida up to bump off buckles, then stomps away. Kushida staggers to another corner but Grimes is on him with digging knuckles. Grimes whips corner to corner hard and Kushida bounces off buckles! Grimes gloats but Dream rolls him up, TWO! Dream ROCKS Grimes with big haymakers and then whips. Grimes reverses to CLOBBER Dream with a clothesline! Grimes is the only one up as he glares at Kushida and Dream. Dream flops out so Grimes goes after Kushida, only for Kushida to wrench the arm. Grimes claws Kushida’s face to avoid the shoulder breaker!

Grimes drags Kushida down and chinbars on top of trapping the arm. Kushida endures as the crowd rallies up. Kushida fights but Grimes whips and kitchen sink KNEES Kushida down! Cover, TWO! Dream returns but Grimes clobbers him on the apron! And then DECKS him back down! Grimes drops down on Kushida to get another chinbar and armlock! Kushida endures, fights back up, and fights back with haymakers. Kushida throws more as NXT returns to single picture, but Grimes knees low. Grimes DECKS Dream off the apron again, but then turns around into an arm-drag! Kushida handsprings and dropkicks Grimes down! Then Kushida KICKS Dream to a corner!

Kushida runs to SHOTEI Grimes down from a corner! The crowd rallies up, Kushida aims at both opponents, SOMERSAULT- NO! No DDT, Dream and Grimes push Kushida away. Dream blocks Kushida’s kick but ducks the enziguri, and Grimes takes the hit! Dream drags Kushida up but Kushida kicks away first! ROUNDHOUSE! Kushida whips Grimes, Grimes reverses but Kushida handsprings! Grimes catches Kushida in a waistlock, Kushida elbows out but walks into Dream’s fireman’s carry. Kushida fights out to FAST BALL! Grimes ROUNDHOUSES Kushida, Dream SUPERKICKS Grimes, and all three men are down!! The crowd is thunderous, “This is Awesome!”

All three men stir, Grimes goes to one side while Dream and Kushida end up on the same side. Dream and Grimes stand, Dream clotheslines Grimes out, then climbs up to SUPER AX HANDLE! Dream fires up, puts Grimes back in and aims from a corner. Kushida runs in but Dream elbows him away. Dream hops up and leaps again, but Kushida gets clear so only Grimes gets ax handles! Kushida runs into a BOOT from Dream, and Dream brings Grimes up. Grimes holds onto the rope to block the whip, so Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Dream gets Kushida for the DREAM VALLEY! Grimes dumps Dream out but Dream drags Grimes out with him!

Grimes bumps Dream off the apron, they brawl and Grimes DECKS Dream! The crowd rallies up as Grimes drags Dream back up, but Dream throws haymakers and jabs! Grimes rakes eyes! Kushida FLIES in to SENTON Dream down! Grimes puts Kushida back in, hurries up top, but Kushida handspring kicks him first! Kushida climbs up to join Grimes, brings him up, SUPER FLYING ARMBAR!! Grimes flails, kicks, endures, Dream PURPLE RAIN MAKERS into an ARMBAR! Kushida now has Dream flailing and kicking, gets the HOVERBOARD KIMURA! Dream powers up and back drops Kushida, then jackknifes to a fireman’s carry! But Kushida fights back, grabs the arm, HOVERBOARD!

Dream endures, fights to stay on his feet, but Grimes CAVE INS Kushida!! Grimes pushes Dream out, covers Kushida, Grimes wins!!

Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall (advances to TakeOver: XXX)

Cameron Grimes took advantage and takes his place at TakeOver! Kushida is completely eliminated, but Dream will get his second chance. But it’ll be against FINN BALOR! Dream gets back in and looks at Kushida. Dream SLAPS Kushida while he’s down, then rains down brutal fists! Dream has lost his cool and even threatens referees! He gets back in and SUPERKICKS Kushida down! Dream poses on the top rope, but Balor appears! These two meet in the second chance match, but who punches their ticket to TakeOver?


My Thoughts:

A really great episode of NXT tonight, with some really good surprises. Kross was obviously going to beat Burch but Burch looked amazing getting even that much offense in. The different take on the contract signing was good, but couldn’t they have trimmed down on Scarlett glaring at Keith? It made it almost obvious that something was up after Kross signed it. I do like the use of the flash paper, though, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen fireballs used in WWE. Obviously Keith was going to be okay, but we sure lingered on him being taken to the ambulance. Though, I should’ve seen it as foreshadowing that Dain and Maverick were in a meaningless match. Undisputed Era are still playing the line of Tweener while Cole’s story with Pat McAfee continues. Cole and Pat are going to turn up the heat next week, and that’s going to be great in itself.

We got really great tie in for Mia Yim there, and Indi Hartwell really upped being a Heel bringing up all of Keith’s mannerisms. Mia gets a solid win out of it, and I almost expect her and Scarlett to throw down over this. The Robert Stone Brand had a really good match with KC and KC, and of course were going to win. I love that I called it on Shotzi and Rhea working together. Those two teams are going to have a really good match, I just wish WWE would let NXT be more involved in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Maybe that happens after SummerSlam weekend when we see how the Bayley and Sasha story shakes out. We get a pretty good match from Breeze and Escobar, but it will always annoy me when a Heel needs henchmen to beat someone they claim they can handle. Though that could be what they’re going for every time. The Six Man next week will be a lot of fun, too, to propel Swerve towards the Cruiserweight title.

We got really good promos out of Dakota Kai, Io Shirai and everyone involved in the North American Championship scene. I think Shirai’s was better than Dakota’s, and I’m already figuring Shirai wins. The Garganos had a great segment, too, and Gargano VS Holland is going to be great. I honestly don’t know which result is better, because both guys are going to bring a lot to the ladder match. Reed and Priest have a great match, and it works for Reed to win quick like that. They’re both going into the ladder match very strong, even with other guys in the mix. The Triple Threat was incredible, practically TakeOver worthy already, and what a way to bring Dream back! I was a bit surprised by Grimes winning, but even his ego needs to be vindicated now and then. Plus, this sets up Dream VS Balor, an incredible match just thinking about it. And there’s a Prince pun in there somewhere…

My Score: 9/10


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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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