Who is heading to NXT TakeOver: XXX?
Imperium returns to defend their NXT Tag Team Championships, a new #1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship will be determined, and another Triple Threat will add to the North American Championship Ladder match!
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match: Dakota Kai VS Rhea Ripley; Kai wins and will challenge Io Shirai for the title at TakeOver: XXX.
- Bronson Reed VS Shane Thorne; Reed wins.
- NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: Oney Lorcan VS Damian Priest VS Ridge Holland; Priest wins and advances to NXT TakeOver: 30.
- Keith Lee VS Cameron Grimes; Lee wins.
- Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell; Nox wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium VS The Undisputed Era; Imperium wins and retains the NXT Tag Team Championships.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match: Dakota Kai VS Rhea Ripley!
From the Mae Young Classic to NXT UK to WarGames to right here tonight, #CobraKai and the Aussie Nightmare have grown and transformed into truly two of the best! But who will prove to be the better and earn their shot at THE Io Shirai?
The bell rings and the two circle. Dakota and Rhea tie up and Rhea shoves Dakota to a corner! Rhea brushes herself off as Dakota gets back up. They tie up, Dakota headlocks but Rhea blocks the takedown with pure power! Rhea goes to back suplex but Dakota pulls hair! The ref reprimands as Dakota keeps pulling. Dakota lets up to CHOPS Rhea! Dakota grins and laughs but Rhea just scowls as she stands up. Rhea spins Dakota and LARIATS! And LARIATS! And then ripcord to dropkick! Dakota flounders but Rhea rams into her in the corner! The ref counts, Rhea lets up but bumps Dakota off buckles.
Rhea stalks Dakota to another corner and CHOPS back! Dakota is stinging but the crowd fires up. Rhea kicks Dakota’s leg then swings another chop, only for Dakota to dodge. Dakota swings a chop but Rhea dodges back, and CHOPS Dakota again! Rhea brings Dakota up, suplexes and holds her! After a count of 10, Rhea drives Dakota down! Cover, TWO! Rhea keeps her cool as she drags Dakota back up. Rhea whips, Dakota ducks and redirects but Rhea follows. Dakota hurdles, rolls back but Rhea wheelbarrow SLAMS her down! Cover, TWO! Rhea stalks Dakota to another corner and stomps her. Rhea throws Dakota down and kicks her around to the ropes.
Rhea pulls on Dakota’s hair as she drags her up, but lets up at the ref’s count to then kick her in the side! Rhea has Dakota in a corner and the two brawl! Rhea clubs Dakota down hard but lets up to hear the crowd fire up. Dakota sits up, Rhea brings her up but Dakota throws body shots. Rhea shoves her back down then brings her up again, just to knock her down. Rhea pulls hair and knocks Dakota down again, then drags her into body scissors! Dakota endures the squeeze and the shoving, and even more hair pulling! Rhea lets up but puts on more of a squeeze. Dakota elbows back, bridges to a cover, TWO! Rhea still has the squeeze, and forearms Dakota in the back over and over!
Dakota endures, pries at the hold but Rhea pulls on hair again. Dakota moves around but Rhea turns that into a body scissors cover, TWO! Dakota is free but Rhea CLOBBERS her! Rhea talks trash, covers, TWO! Rhea stomps Dakota down, brings her back up but Dakota throws forearms. Rhea kicks then reels Dakota in for a suplex. Dakota slips out, gets to ropes, and dodges Rhea. Dakota goes around, grabs Rhea’s foot but can’t trip her up! Rhea KICKS Dakota away! Rhea goes out and grabs Dakota on the apron. Dakota kicks Rhea away, but kicks into an Electric Chair, that becomes an APRON INVERTED ALABAMA SLAM! Rhea drags Dakota up and into the ring, covers, TWO!! Dakota survives and Rhea can’t believe it as NXT goes picture in picture!
Rhea looms over Dakota as she flounders and crawls. Rhea kicks her further towards the corner, then runs corner to corner, only for Dakota to drop toehold her into buckles! Dakota fires furious fists then covers, TWO! Dakota goes after Rhea with clubbing forearms, puts her on the ropes and chokes her! The ref counts, Dakota lets off but comes back with more clubbing forearms. Dakota brings Rhea up, bumps her off buckles, then runs side to side to BOOT her! Rhea stays up against the ropes so Dakota runs side to side again for another BOOT! Dakota covers, TWO!! Rhea still lives and Dakota grows further frustrated.
Dakota drags Rhea around into a straitjacket stretch! Rhea endures as Dakota thrashes her and leans on the hold. The crowd rallies up, Rhea fights her way up but Dakota throws her down! Cover, TWO! Dakota pushes Rhea around now, clubs her on the back again, then runs to Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO! Dakota is right on Rhea, wanting the straitjacket again. She wraps it back on, pulls it tight, and Rhea endures all over again. Dakota grinds Rhea down to the mat and hooks a leg around her for a partial body scissor. Rhea kicks and fights but Dakota bounces her off the mat! Cover, TWO! Dakota grits her teeth as NXT returns to single picture.
The crowd is thunderous as Dakota goes to ax kick, but Rhea dodges! Rhea O’Conner rolls, TWO! Dakota BOOTS Rhea right down! Cover, TWO! Dakota is still seething as she drags Rhea into a grounded cobra twist. Rhea endures being pulled and stretched, but she grabs Dakota’s hair to pull back! The ref reprimands, Rhea lets go, and Dakota rolls to make it a cobra twist clutch! TWO, Dakota gets up to kick, but Rhea dodges! Rhea BOOTS Dakota away! Rhea fires herself up with the crowd, Dakota runs at her but Rhea LARIATS! Rhea rallies, spins and cravat knee smashes again and again! Snapmare and basement dropkick! Rhea is fired up as the crowd is thunderous again!
Rhea Electric Chairs again, another SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Dakota survives and now Rhea is losing her cool. Rhea drags Dakota up but Dakota fights back. Dakota kicks Rhea away and ROUNDHOUSES her! Rhea throws body shots and a haymaker in return! Rhea roars but Dakota reels her in, only for Rhea to ROCK her with the elbow! Dakota SCORPION KICK! “I’m the #1 contender!!” Dakota runs, but Rhea FLAPJACKS her! Cover, TWO!! Dakota still lives and Rhea is beside herself! Rhea wobbles to her feet while Dakota slowly sits up. Rhea won’t let Dakota think she’s the contender just yet. Pump handle and lift, but Dakota DDT’s out of Riptide!! Cover, TWO!!
Dakota is seething as she watches Rhea get up. KAI-RO- NO! Rhea pops out and BOOTS Dakota down! Then Rhea gets Dakota’s legs, PRISM TRAP!! The hanging Clover Leaf has Dakota caught! Dakota claws, crawls, rolls and sends Rhea into buckles! Dakota gets space as Rhea manages to stand. Dakota runs Around the World to BOOT! Rhea ends up on the apron, Dakota drags her up to the top rope. Rhea resists, Dakota clubs her back, but Rhea holds onto ropes. Dakota clubs more, tries with all her might, but Rhea hits back. Rhea DECKS Dakota off the top! But while the ref checks on Dakota, MERCEDES MARTINEZ BOOTS Rhea outta nowhere!! Does Robert Stone Brand still have beef with Rhea?!
Dakota drags Rhea back up, manages to fireman’s carry for a GO TO KICK!! Cover, Dakota wins!!
Winner: Dakota Kai, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship)
The Aussie Nightmare’s dream of facing Io Shirai 1v1 was just ended by Mercedes! Dakota gets to go to TakeOver, but will she finally take over the Women’s Division? As for Rhea and Mercedes, Robert Stone’s newest signee attacks Rhea again! Mercedes drags Rhea up, fireman’s carries, and hits the AIR RAID CRASH! Will the Robert Stone Brand regret incurring Rhea’s wrath?
Pat McAfee talks with Shawn Michaels!
It’s not clear what HBK is telling former NFL kicker turned analyst, but Pat will be joining commentary later tonight. Will this conversation give Pat any ideas?
Bronson Reed VS Shane Thorne!
Auszilla is chomping at the bit to start that NXT North American Championship Ladder Match. But first, he once again battles his Worst fellow friend. Will Shane soothe his jealousy by ruining the run of the Thicc Boi?
The bell rings and Thorne circles with Reed. The crowd chants for “Thicc Boi~! Thicc Boi~!” as he and Thorne tie up. They go around, Reed powers Thorne to a corner, but lets up at the ref’s call. Thorne hangs back a minute and Reed dares him to do something. Thorne says they’ll “skip the pleasantries” and he throws a forearm! Reed dares him to do that again and Thorne does. Thorne runs and forearms again! Reed just ROCKS Thorne in return! Thorne fires himself up but Reed ROCKS him again! Reed runs but into Thorne’s dropkick! Reed tumbles out of the ring. Thorne DIVES! The tope takes Reed down at the ramp! Thorne swaggers over as Reed gets up, and CHOPS! Thorne goes to bump Reed off the apron but Reed blocks it! Reed hits back, then catches Thorne to an APRON FULL NELSON SLAM!
Reed pushes Thorne in, the crowd fires up as Reed climbs, but Thorne goes to anchor Reed. Reed clubs Thorne away but Thorne hits back! Thorne climbs up, throws forearms, and goes to underhook the arms. Reed powers out and shoves Thorne, but Thorne lands on his feet! Thorne ROCKS Reed with a dropkick, then goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL into Reed!! Reed flops down, Thorne pumps himself up and aims a KNEE!! Cover, TWO! Thorne can’t believe Reed lives but the crowd is loving this! Thorne drags Reed up, Reed resists the chicken wing crossface and reels Thorne into a headbutt! Reed military presses and drops Thorne, to then THICC SENTON! Cover, TWO!!
Reed doesn’t let Thorne off easy, he fireman’s carries. Thorne elbows free and ROUNDHOUSES back! Reed wobbles but stays up and Thorne clotheslines! Reed still stands, fires up, and clotheslines collide! Thorne throws haymakers and palm strikes, talks some trash, then runs to get a LARIAT from Reed! Reed drags Thorne up, fireman’s carry, RUNNING DEATH VALLEY! Reed keeps going, and returns up top! TSUNAMI SPLASH!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
The thiccness keeps on going! With all this momentum behind him, will Reed bulldoze whoever gets in that ladder match with him?
Breezango arrives at Full Sail.
Fandango and Tyler Breeze already beat The Undisputed Era once, in a Triple Threat Tag. They don’t mind if Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish win the tag titles tonight. But just then, El Legado del Fantasma pulls up! They attack to make Breezango pay for “mocking” lucha libre culture! That’s a 3v2 brawl, and they SMASH Fandango between door and frame! And then they put him in the trunk!? El Legado kidnaps Fandango!! What do they plan on doing to the Lord of Dance with Prince Pretty unable to help?
Backstage interview with The Robert Stone Brand.
After seeing Mercedes attack Rhea Ripley, the obvious question is, “Why?” Stone says that Rhea may be done with them, but they aren’t done with her. Aliyah says, “Bye-yee~!” as the trio heads out. What will it take for them to leave Rhea be?
NXT shares footage from after last week’s Triple Threat.
Finn Balor kept from tapping out to Timothy Thatcher, but Dexter Lumis took advantage and put Thatcher to sleep. To add on, Finn took his frustrations out on Thatcher with a 1916! Will The Prince make the Professor of Pain pay for his insolence?
NXT injury update!
Despite the great win, Dexter Lumis may be out of TakeOver: XXX with an ankle injury! Was the damage sustained in that match too much for even the tortured artist to endure?
NXT North American Championship Ladder Match Qualifier Triple Threat: Oney Lorcan VS Damian Priest VS Ridge Holland!
We hopefully still have two of the five men in for TakeOver: XXX’s golden opportunity, time to add one more! The Boston Fury wants to prove he can hang with the giants, the Archer of Infamy wants to Live Forever, but they’re both going to “welcome” the Yorkshire Grit from NXT UK to the States! Will Holland make the biggest impact ever in his NXT USA debut?
The bell rings and the three men stare down. Oney throws European Uppercuts on Holland but Holland gives them back! Priest barges in with a leaping roundhouse to Holland! And then he ROCKS Oney with a right! Priest swaggers as he takes aim. Holland says no thanks but Priest dodges the clothesline to hit a leaping elbow on Oney in a corner! But Holland follows right up with a corner splash, that only gets Oney! Priest ear claps Holland then ROUNDHOUSES! And lifting Complete Shots! Oney runs into knees and kicks, fast hands and a rolling elbow! But he dodges the clothesline to get the half nelson! Priest breaks free, switches, but Oney resists the lift! Holland returns and ROCKS Priest!
Holland boots Priest out but Oney BLASTS Holland! Oney runs to FLY onto them both!! Oney topples the titans and has the crowd fired up! Oney puts Holland in, corner elbows then runs corner to corner. Holland dodges, comes back but gets another elbow. Oney is up top, leaps, but Holland catches him! Holland pops Oney around, and arm triangle OVERHEAD suplexes him away! Priest returns, bobs ‘n’ weaves and fires off a strike fest! But Holland counters to an arm trapped HEADBUTT and OVERHEAD suplex! Holland LARIATS Priest out of the ring and stands tall! The crowd is thunderous as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Holland brawls with Priest on their knees. Priest hits, Holland ROCKS, but Priest JABS! They fight as they stand back up and throw forearms back and forth. Holland EuroUppers, Priest clotheslines but Holland clotheslines! They both clothesline and stagger, Oney FLIES in again! Oney topples them back over, grits his teeth and watches both big men go to corners. Oney runs and elbows Holland, then runs at Priest. Priest swings on him but Oney gets under. Oney comes back to hit a DOUBLE BLOCKBUSTER! Oney covers Holland, TWO! Priest staggers to a corner but comes back with a rolling roundhouse! But Oney catches it to a HALF CRAB!
Oney has it high to go after the ankle but Priest powers him away! Oney uses that momentum to EuroUpper Holland! Oney goes back at Priest to EuroUpper him down! Cover, TWO! Oney grits his teeth and fires up as Priest bails out. Oney builds speed again, but Holland POUNCES him! Holland fires up and scoops Oney for an EXPLODER JACKHAMMER HYBRID!! Cover, TWO!?! Oney lives and the crowd is loving this! Holland keeps his focus as he looms over Oney. Priest slides in as Holland brings Oney up, Priest dragon sleepers Holland, but Holland spins out of Reckoning! Holland HEADBUTTS and GUT WRENCH POWERBOMBS Priest down! Cover, but Oney breaks it!
All three men are down, the crowd rallies up, and Priest sits up first. Priest goes to a corner while Holland focuses on Oney. Oney CHOPS back, but Holland grabs Oney again. Oney CHOPS again so Holland DECKS him! Holland dares Oney to get up and Oney builds that fury! Oney CHOPS, CHOPS, and CHOPS! He runs to EuroUpper! Holland staggers and Oney keeps moving, to EuroUpper again! Holland is down, Oney moves, but Priest choke grips! Oney pops out, pulls hair and SLAPS away on Priest’s back! Oney runs, into a LARIAT from Holland!! Holland turns around into Priest’s SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Priest glares wild at Oney, brings him in, RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (advances to TakeOver: XXX)
The Archer of Infamy called himself the favorite for this match, and he proved himself right! Reed may be rolling and Lumis may be out, but will Priest #LiveForever after TakeOver?
NXT shares Pat McAfee’s tweet.
Pat shares that he is thankful Adam Cole let him have this chance to chat. The conversation was an example of something very rare these days: two people have a miscommunication, they talk it out, agree to disagree and move forward. Is the hatchet finally buried between the two?
Keith Lee VS Cameron Grimes!
The Limitless One was in no mood for the Carolina Caveman’s cawing and crowing, so he clobbered him as an example to Karrion Kross. Will the NXT Champion do it all over again? Or is his focus too frayed to avoid a Cave-In?
Grimes is already moving around, but he wants Keith to give him room. Keith barely moves until the bell rings. He and Grimes circle, Keith backs Grimes up but Grimes uses the ropes as defense. Keith stays back and Grimes bails out. Grimes knows Keith is mad but Keith needs to follow the rules. Keith gives Grimes more space to return, and they circle again. Grimes changes levels but backs away again. Grimes goes out again and warns Keith to play fair. Keith may be champion but he’s dealing with Cameron Grimes! Keith gives Grimes space again as Grimes calms himself down. Grimes returns, goes after a leg, but Keith pries him off to a facelock. Grimes gets a ropebreak with his legs, so Keith pushes him away.
Keith glares at Grimes more as they circle again. Grimes kicks but it’s caught! Grimes fires off forearms fast and heavy, but Keith powers up to grab Grimes by his hair! Keith whips and runs Grimes over! Grimes flounders to a corner, then to the apron. Keith drags him back in by one hand, but Grimes kicks back! Grimes runs, but gets run over again! Keith seethes as he drags Grimes up. Keith whips Grimes corner to corner hard! Grimes manages to stay up but Keith whips him corner to corner the other way! Grimes tumbles over and out of the ring and to the floor! Keith lets Grimes stay there as the ring count climbs, but then gets an idea.
Keith goes out, builds speed around the way, but Grimes dropkicks his legs out! Grimes saves himself from a Pounce to RAM Keith into the steel steps! Grimes climbs up fast, and SUPER MOONSAULTS to take Keith down! Both men are on the ground at the ramp as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Grimes boots Keith! Grimes talks trash, “I don’t care who you are! I’m Cameron Grimes!” But Keith swats Grimes’ punches away, ROCKS him with haymakers from all sides and DECKS him with a left! And then forearms in the corner! And CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO!! Grimes survives but Keith just brings him back up. Keith reels him in, lifts him up and SPIRIT- NO! Grimes pops out of the bomb, but his kick is caught! Keith fireman’s carries and throws Grimes, only for Grimes to counter with a cradle! Cover, TWO! Grimes ducks, waistlocks and shoves Keith to table top him to a matchbook cover, but he puts his feet on the ropes!! TWO!!
Keith escapes but Grimes SUPER FOREARMS! Keith stands back up to choke grip, whip, but runs into an enziguri! Grimes knew the Pounce was coming again, and now he goes up and leaps! Into Keith’s arms! Keith frowns as he pops Grimes right up. Grimes escapes, dodges and hits COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO!! Keith lives and Grimes can’t believe it! Grimes grits his teeth as he aims from a corner. Keith stirs, the crowd rallies, and Grimes runs at Keith, but gets caught! Grimes fights out of the bomb with hammering forearms, but Keith GRIZZLY MAGNUMS back! Keith is seething again as he looms over a floundering Grimes.
The crowd sings, “OH~ Bask in His Glory~!” as Keith drags Grimes back up. Grimes SUPER FOREARMS, and CHOPS, but none of it bothers Keith! Keith raises his hands but Grimes stops the Grizzly Magnum with body shots and forearms! Grimes keeps throwing forearms, Keith fires up, GRIZZLY MANGUM! Keith keeps Grimes standing, reels him in and LARIATS! Keith shakes his head, he is not done with Grimes. Keith drags Grimes up again, reels him in and hits another LARIAT! Another LARIAT! And ANOTHER LARIAT! Keith waits for Grimes to flounder back up to his feet, then pops him up for the SPIRIT BOMB!! Cover, Keith wins!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall
The Limitless NXT Champion has crushed Cameron Grimes, but that rage is still boiling underneath the surface. But the lights change, and once again the spotlight shines on Keith. Scarlett Bordeaux speaks in Serbian, then Karrion Kross speaks on the titantron! “Mr. Lee…! I guess we’re doing this the hard way.” Kross hasn’t seen William Regal once since Kross was signed. But since he’s the one who makes things happen, all of this is on him! The camera zooms out, and it is revealed that Kross is choking out Danny Burch! And he already wiped out a number of other wrestlers! “Ticktock.” Kross and Keith want after each other in the worst way, will Regal’s hand be forced?
NXT has a message from William Regal!
“I think it’s safe to say that the North American Championship match series has been nothing short of extraordinary, and the opportunity created by Keith Lee has already paid off with Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis and Damian Priest, as all three men have qualified for the match at TakeOver: 30.” However, Lumis’ ankle injury is going to keep him out of the match! His spot is vacated and we’re back to three open spots! Regal considers the fact that Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor were not pinned or submitted in their respective Triple Threats, and they of course believe they deserve another chance. Therefore, in two weeks, we will have the four men that weren’t defeated in their respective Triple Threats face of in two 1v1 matches. The winners of each match will be our final two participants!
El Legado del Fantasma heads to the ring!
However, not from the ramp, but from a back door entrance! Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza drag Fandango in while Santos Escobar has a mic. He has the music stop so that we can hear what he says to the “perro” they have here. Escobar says that every week, they come out here and explain why lucha libre culture is important. They explain why lucha libre is art and not just some gimmick to be exploited for easy merchandise money. Unfortunately, people like Breezango exist. Mendoza and Wilde TOSS Fandango into ringside! Then they push him into the ring where Escobar waits.
Escobar continues to tell Fandango and the rest of us that Fandango and Breeze just play dress up. At the Great American Bash, they mocked lucha libre! They didn’t just spit in the face of El Legado’s ancestors, such as Escobar’s own father, El Fantasma. They spit in the face of Escobar himself! No mas! The disrespect stops now! But Breeze appears to save his friend! But that’s still 2v1 as Escobar watches his men beat Breeze down! Enziguri Russian leg sweep combo! Listen closely, everyone. Anyone who can hear his voice, such as Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, if you dare speak Escobar’s name again, this will be your future. Breezango is down in a heap as the Leader of Leaders stands over them. Will El Legado continue to remake lucha libre and Cruiserweight wrestling in their image?
NXT reviews the history of the Undisputed Era.
Their debut at TakeOver: Brooklyn did in fact #ShockTheSystem. At the inaugural NXT WarGames, they took over. The Undisputed Era ruled the system with a golden fist. They closed 2017 in style with the NXT Tag Team Championships. They added Roderick Strong to the rankings. Everyone wanted a shot at them. Moustache Mountain may have taken those belts away but it wasn’t for very long. “What everyone may fail to realize is that, this is the Undisputed Era.” The gold always came back to them, because they were “The Baddest Team on God’s Green,” becoming a historic three-time NXT Tag Team Championship faction! But now, Imperium has those titles. Will Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner deny them that fourth? Or is history repeating itself not only inevitable, but undisputed?
Backstage interview with Damian Priest.
NXT Media finds The Archer of Infamy in the parking lot, ready to leave, so Priest wants to make this quick. After his successful win to move on to TakeOver: XXX, what are his initial thoughts? The same thing he thought last week: this opportunity was created for him. It is not a secret that Priest has been after the North American Championship for some time, so it doesn’t matter who is in the match. Bronson Reed, whoever else, the #ReignOfInfamy begins. One last question, how does he feel about Dexter Lumis unfortunately being out because of injury? It sucks to be Lumis. You get into the business, knowing the risk- Bronson Reed interrupts from his parking spot and congratulates Priest. See you at TakeOver. Maybe.
Priest walks over to Reed and makes it clear. Reed has aspirations and all, but he needs to get them out of his head. This isn’t going to be a fluke situation. A fluke? Yes, a fluke. Reed can show Priest what a “fluke” can do. Is that supposed to intimidate Priest? Take it how you want. Well Priest isn’t going to take it, because Reed ain’t that big. But if Reed wants to try him, they can go 1v1. Any time. Then see you soon. Will Auszilla and Priest battle and batter each other right out of TakeOver: XXX?
Pat McAfee joins commentary!
The special invitation by Adam Cole has Pat sitting with Tom Phillips, and now Pat is a married man! Pat feels good to be back in the family after that little dust up.
Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell!
Don’t call it a comeback anymore, the girl with the Shiniest Wizard is here and building back up to the title scene. But #ImpressiveIndi got her first NXT win over Shotzi Blackheart, with some help from Robert Stone. Will Indi’s ego keep her rolling? Or will Tegan shine some light on the subject?
The bell rings and Indi brags about beating Shotzi. Tegan says that’s fine, but Tegan had a great match alongside Io Shirai and all that. Indi doesn’t care, that wasn’t #Impressive. So Tegan HEADBUTTS her! Tegan throws forearms and EuroUppers then more forearms. Tegan CHOPS Indi in a corner, has her in another corner for forearms, but Indi hits back. They brawl, Tegan clubs Indi but Indi lifts and hotshots Tegan down. Indi drags Tegan up to sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi clamps on a chinlock but Tegan endures. Tegan fights her way up as the crowd rallies, fights back with body shots, then whips. Indi reverses and elbows Tegan down! Cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Tegan with another chinlock, drags her around and grinds her to the mat. The crowd rallies, Tegan fights her way up again but Indi wrangles her back down. Tegan tries again, rolls Indi up, TWO! Tegan comes back but Indi BOOTS her down! Cover, TWO! Indi is shocked! That move finished Shotzi, but again Shotzi was distracted. Indi runs corner to corner, Tegan boots her away, then comes back to leaping takedown! Tegan rains down angry rights, Indi pushes Tegan off, but Tegan comes back to stomp a mudhole! Tegan stops as the ref counts, but she comes back to CANNON-BOAR! Tegan rolls Indi out to SHINIEST WIZARD!! Cover, Tegan wins!
Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall
Now that was #Impressive! Will Tegan keep the fire going and the light shining all the way back to a golden opportunity?
One last North American Championship series Triple Threat is announced!
It will be Cameron Grimes VS the returning KUSHIDA VS a superstar yet to be named! Given William Regal’s caveat from earlier, things get much more complicated now! One man will win and advance automatically while another is completely eliminated! But now, the odd man out will join Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano and Ridge Holland in a second chance singles pool! Who is the third man, brother?
Two more matches are made official for next week!
Danny Burch wants revenge on Kross for victimizing him and the assortment of wrestlers backstage! Will Burch be able to settle the score? Or will Kross simply sharpen his teeth on the Govenah’s bones?
NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium VS The Undisputed Era!
It wasn’t mentioned earlier, but part of the Undisputed Era’s legacy includes taking on NXT UK’s premier faction in the Worlds Collide crossover spectacular earlier this year. Though, that might be because Imperium won that war. However, that was 4v4 with the Ring General, Walter, in the mix. Will the Pride of Italy and the Impeccable German be able to defeat the duo formerly known as reDRagon 2v2? Or are the titles going back to the UE for a fourth time?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and history will be written with Worlds Collide renewed!
The teams sort out, Kyle O’Reilly starts with Aichner and they tie up right away. Aichner knees low, clubs Kyle on the back but Kyle fires back. Aichner CHOPS, Kyle forearms! Aichner chops again, Kyle kicks this time. Aichner CHOPS then fires off strikes, but Kyle dodges and runs to BOOT! Aichner BOOTS back! Kyle forearms, Aichner EuroUppers but Kyule kicks again. Kyle ducks, fires off more strikes then sweeps the leg! Aichner crawls to ropes, Kyle kicks him to the corner. Kyle fires off more strikes, tags Bobby Fish in, and Fish stands Aichner up to throw forearms and body shots. Fish kicks Aichner around, brings him up for knees, then headlocks.
Aichner powers up and powers out, but Fish ducks and leaps, into Aichner’s arms! Aichner hits a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Aichner drags Fish around to an armlock but Fish moves around. Aichner stays on top of Fish, Fish rolls back but Aichner stands over him again. Aichner cranks the arm, Fish throws body shots and powers back. Barthel tags in as Fish whips. Aichner reverses and Barthel arm-drags Fish down! Barthel cranks on his own armlock and even digs an elbow into Fish’s side. Fish fights up, he throws forearms, then throws body shots and kicks the legs out! Fish tags Kyle and wrenches Barthel, but Barthel fights back! Barthel rocks Fish with a right, but reDRagon shoves him and double KICKS him down!
Kyle digs a knee in, stays on top of Barthel and rains down hands! Tag back to Fish, Kyle keeps Barthel down and Fish slingshots for the senton! Cover, TWO! Barthel flounders around but Fish is after him. Barthel throat chops and tags Aichner back in! Fish dodges Barthel but Aichner SPINE BUSTERS, and feeds Fish to Barthel’s Penalty Kick! Pat’s comments about Adam Cole upset Beth Phoenix a bit, but Pat apologizes while also defending that Cole having a child’s body and a big bobble head are just him teasing. Imperium is standing tall while Cole glances over at Pat while NXT goes picture in picture.
Aichner toys with Fish, stomps him down, then has him in a corner. Aichner clubs Fish at the ropes then stomps him down. The ref counts, Aichner lets off and Cole coaches Fish up. Aichner drags Fish over and tags in Barthel. Imperium mugs Fish, brings him around, and Cole starts to be suspicious about what Pat is saying on commentary. Barthel bumps Fish off buckles and throws body shots. The ref counts, Barthel stomps a mudhole in, but lets up at 4. Barthel taunts Kyle and the rest of the Undisputed Era, but the ref keeps Kyle back. Fish kicks from the mat, gets up but gets BLASTED with a EuroUpper! Cover, TWO! Barthel keeps Fish from Kyle while Cole stares at Pat.
Barthel has Fish down with a chinlock and leans on the hold, but Roderick Strong gets Cole to focus on the match. Barthel brings Fish up to throw haymakers! Fish is in the Imperium corner as Barthel rams his shoulders in. Tag to Aichner but Fish hits back! Fish DECKS Barthel and boots Aichner! Fish leaps but Aichner catches him, to feed to Barthel’s blindside EuroUpper, and then LARIATS him down! Cover, TWO! Aichner drags Fish into body scissors as NXT returns to single picture.
Cole continues to stare daggers at Pat while Fish endures the squeeze. Fish throws elbows to get free but Aichner chinlocks. Cole still rallies with the crowd as Fish fights back, but Cole just can’t look away from Pat. Aichner CLUBS Fish, whips him but Fish decks Barthel! Aichner runs in but is dumped out hard! Fish is down and crawls, but Aichner intercepts! Fish body drops Aichner away! Hot tags to Barthel and Kyle! Kyle rallies on Imperium as he BOOTS Aichner and KNEES Barthel! Kyle whips, Barthel reverses, but Kyle ducks under and kicks and strikes away on Barthel! Leg sweep! The crowd is thunderous, Kyle runs in and forearms Barthel! Kyle wrenches to shoulder breaker!
Aichner runs in but Kyle knees him first! Barthel blocks Kyle’s kick but Kyle SLAPS him away! Kyle blocks Aichner’s kick and sends it into Barthel, to then grab Barthel’s leg! DRAGON SCREW CHAIN! The crowd is thunderous as Kyle AX ‘n’ SMASHES Aichner out of the ring! Barthel boots but the leg is put on the ropes! Barthel begs, “NEIN!” as Kyle DRAPING DRAGON SCREWS the other leg! Kyle kicks the leg out! Kyle climbs up top, leaps and KNEES the bad leg! HEEL HOOK!! Barthel flails, hammers the legs, shouts in pain and hammers more, but Kyle cranks harder! Barthel drags himself over to a ropebreak! But Fish drops a falling headbutt on him! Also, Pat makes many odd short jokes about Cole and his friends.
Kyle drags Barthel from the ropes to put the Heel Hook back on! Barthel continues to endure, Aichner returns to triangle MOONSAULT onto Kyle! Everyone is down and the crowd is thunderous! But Cole has had enough of just watching Pat, he storms over. Cole wants Pat to understand that even with all the noise, he still hears what Pat says! He thought they were over this! Pat says he was joking, but Cole says it isn’t funny. Cole isn’t asking, he is telling Pat to chill. Pat mutters to Tom that Cole is an “angry elf.” Cole takes Pat’s water and SPLASHES him with it! Cole tells Pat to stop talking and do something! Referees and Strong rush over to stop this from escalating, and even HBK and HHH show up! The hatchet was NOT buried at all!
Back in the ring, Kyle is distracted by the incident and Aichner BLASTS him off the apron! Barthel clobbers Fish! Imperium coordinates and hits Fish with the EUROBOMB!! Cover, Imperium wins!!
Winners: Imperium, by pinfall (still NXT Tag Team Champions)
Adam Cole blames Pat McAfee but the UE still dropped the ball. Pat is about to leave but he thinks of something more to say. “Nothing is ever gonna change. For the rest of your life, you’re going to be a tiny, itty bitty, short little BI*CH!” That really sets Cole off! Everyone holds Cole back as he climbs over the announce desk, and then Pat sucker punch field goal kicks him!! Pat gets attitude but HHH shoves him! Pat says this is a “very unprofessional place” NXT has here, but is still evicted from the premises. Cole is out cold as HBK checks on him. Will Pat pay for turning an apology into a punk out attack?
Woo, what an episode! We got to open strong with the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match, and I had half a mind last week thinking Rhea wasn’t out of that Robert Stone Brand story. I really hope Rhea and Shotzi team up to take on Mercedes and Aliyah. Clearly, both Rhea and Shotzi are into rock ‘n’ roll, heavy metal and all that, and they are going to rock that match. The qualifier Triple Threat happened sooner than I thought but it makes a lot of sense to make that the midway match. Priest, Oney and Holland had a great match, but I wonder if NXT pulled an audible knowing Dexter Lumis was in bad shape. Priest wins, and will have a great match next week with Bronson, who himself had a really good match with Shane Thorne.
It is a real shame for Lumis, who was on quite the roll, but I think they made a mistake trying to get him to do a flip out and land like he’s Ricochet when he is not. Hopefully he’ll be back soon to keep his momentum. Obviously Grimes loses to Keith, and Kross’ actions were logical given Regal refusing to just give him his shot. Kross VS Burch will be really good next week. Grimes and Kushida being in a qualifier Triple Threat is great, but I am really curious to see who the mystery man is. Is Velveteen Dream going to be back from this hiatus he’s been on? Is it someone NXT has yet to use? Will a Raw or SmackDown star pull of a successful return like Finn Balor? And Regal making that announcement is great news. I bet Balor finds his way back in through that, because I really expect him to become North American Champion to give meaning to said return.
Tegan had a good match to fill for time, and clearly she and Candice are going to meet again. Their story is far from over, and it will surely feed into Candice’s rise towards the title. Giving her and Johnny #TheJohnnyGarganoWay as a mission wouldn’t really work if she didn’t become a true contender at some point. Then the story of Pat McAfee and Adam Cole happening while there’s also the NXT Tag Team Championship match was pretty good stuff. The match was great, even with a distraction based finish (WWE is really doing that a lot when you look at everything as a whole, not sure what that’s about). But it makes sense, it feels like the UE is almost out of NXT and on to SmackDown.
Cole and McAfee are obviously going to have a match after this, as McAfee was just brilliant as he went from Face to Heel right before our eyes, or in our ears since he was just talking. It makes a lot of sense for a football kicker to have a strong kick like that. I just feel really bad if Cole loses against a semi-celebrity on his way out.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/18/21)
Will Raw be on fire tonight?
Will Alexa Bliss have a twisted surprise for the Raw Women’s Champion?
She gave Randy Orton a taste of his own medicine, but she might be hungry for something more! Will Alexa be ready for Asuka and earn herself a shot at the title?
- Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce; Charlotte wins.
- Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution; Mace wins.
- Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Matt Riddle & The Lucha House Party; win(s).
- Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
“Now is the time.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s dream lives on, but only if we live it. Do not judge by the color of one’s skin, but by the content of their character. We will reach the promised land together. #LongLiveTheDream.
Randy Orton speaks.
“There is a saying that people who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes. Ashes of the one responsible for their affliction.” Orton wears a mask to cover his burned face. “The voices in my head have never been louder. Encapsulating my every thought, just like this mask encapsulates my face.” Orton held Alexa Bliss’ fate in his hands, yet showed a side of himself he didn’t know he had: compassion. Orton rewatches the footage for himself. The hatred he had for himself needed to be redirected, and he was ready to make Triple H “like a lamb to the slaughter, until she interrupted.”
It was only just last week that HHH was shockingly spirited away so that Alexa could throw a literal FIREBALL at Orton! “And now look at me. LOOK AT ME! This is the damnation I receive for showing compassion? I haven’t been able to sleep because every time I close my eyes, all I see is that ball of fire hurtling towards my face.” Orton seethes as he says “that inescapable feeling of the fire burning my flesh will never go away.” Whatever compassion was in him, it left with that inferno. Orton wears this mask to not only protect himself, but to shield everyone else from the horrors that he endured.
Orton watches himself from last week flail and writhe as he clutched his face in pain. “Despite the agony I felt that would mortify a lesser man, I consider myself… lucky.” Orton came away with just first degree burns and not much worse. He could’ve been disfigured forever! But Orton doesn’t blame Alexa. He blames THE FIEND! Orton already sent him straight to Hell. “There’s no doubt The Fiend is responsible for this. Alexa was merely the vehicle. And I know exactly what The Fiend wants. He wants to stop me from achieving the inevitable.” That is to say, winning the Royal Rumble again, going back to WrestleMania, and becoming a world champion.
Orton is sure everyone else in the locker room loved seeing his face burn, “knowing that their biggest threat may have just been eliminated from competing in the Royal Rumble match. But you could chop off all my limbs and it wouldn’t stop me from winning this year’s Royal Rumble match. Because despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the Royal Rumble match. I can only compete as long as I can tolerate the pain, but the funny thing is… I enjoy the pain. It fuels my every move.” Orton has a match! Orton wants everyone to thank The Fiend when he burns their dreams to ashes and goes on to main event WrestleMania! He lights the match, watches it burn, then blows it out. Will this new, even darker Orton extinguish 29 other lights before going back to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Ric Flair arrives at the ThunderDome, with Lacey Evans!
Lacey wants to hear some Four Horsemen stories but Charly Caruso comes over to ask about this “relationship” first. Lacey says that’s so nasty. This isn’t TMZ. This is beneath Charly! Charly is compelled to ask because Ric helped Lacey beat Charlotte Flair, his own daughter! Lacey says to show respect to the 16-time world champion, and a living legend. But to answer the question, there’s a reason Ric is the Dirtiest Player in the Game. He was just living up to that name. As far as the relationship goes, Lacey is simply learning from the greatest man to ever step in the ring. Now, they are going to go watch Peyton Royce knock the nasty Queen of her throne.
Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce!
But speaking of dirty, Peyton attacks Charlotte from behind at the ramp! They brawl, referees hurry to separate them but this match is going to happen, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings and Charlotte tackles Peyton to a corner! Then stomps away on her! The ref backs Charlotte off but she goes right back for more! She RAMS Peyton, RAMS her again, but Peyton sends Charlotte into buckles to fire stomps back! The ref counts, Peyton stops at 3 and brings Charlotte out to hammer away. Charlotte trips Peyton, gives some ground ‘n’ pound, then tackles her to ropes! They spill out of the ring and Charlotte CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Charlotte puts Peyton in but Peyton rolls out the far side. Charlotte pursues but Peyton kicks back, only for Charlotte to CLUB her, and bounce her off the desk!
Charlotte stalks Peyton around the way, they go back in the ring, then back out the ramp side. Another CHOP, CHOP and CHOP into the post! Peyton shoves Charlotte into the post, then into the ring! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is still in this but Peyton drags her around to drop elbows. Peyton puts on a thrashing chinlock but Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, arm-drags free, and CLOBBERS Peyton! Charlotte looms over Peyton, drags her up and bounces her off buckles. Charlotte bends Peyton against ropes, lets go at 3, and brings Peyton around for another buckle bump! Peyton dodges, Charlotte hits buckles, and Peyton throws Charlotte down by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is frustrated but she kicks Charlotte down and around. She pushes Charlotte to ropes, bumps her off buckles in return, then digs her boot into Charlotte’s face! The ref counts, Peyton lets off and bumps Charlotte off more buckles. Peyton whips corner to corner, Charlotte goes up and out to shoulder back in! Slingshot and roll up, TWO, but Charlotte ROCKS Peyton with a right! Charlotte blocks boots, has Peyton in the ropes, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! But now Ric makes his entrance?! Ric swaggers on stage and Charlotte is annoyed, because here comes Lacey in one of Ric’s robes!
Charlotte is confused as ever, but Peyton catches her with the HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Peyton is furious that Charlotte survives and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Peyton goes to buckle bump but Charlotte blocks to CHOP! And O’Conner roll, TWO! Charlotte goes into buckles but she dodges to send Peyton back into buckles! Both women are down and Peyton crawls away. Charlotte gets up, checks her nose, and then goes after Peyton. Peyton jawbreakers, whips, but Charlotte holds ropes to KICK back! Peyton dodges to HEEL KICK back! Peyton runs but Charlotte puts her on the apron, but Peyton SCORPION KICKS! Peyton goes up, leaps, but Charlotte gets under! Peyton turns around into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Cover, TWO!
Charlotte watches Peyton go to the apron, runs in and BOOTS her down! Charlotte dares Lacey to do something again, but no, Lacey stays in the back this time. Peyton drags herself up as the ring count is 8 and is in at 9, but gets stomped by Charlotte! Charlotte puts Peyton’s leg on the rope, then drops a knee, only to miss! Peyton mule kicks then hobbles away from her back hurting. She dodges Charlotte’s clothesline to elbow, kick and HEEL KICK, to then ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is furious and she drags Charlotte up to suplex. Charlotte slips out to CHOP BLOCK the leg! Knee breaker after knee breaker, Charlotte shows no mercy! Charlotte steps through, Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT! Peyton taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
But she doesn’t let go! She wants Peyton to suffer on behalf of Lacey! Charlotte finally does let Peyton go, will Peyton even be able to team with Lacey now? Will anyone want to?
Matt Riddle crosses paths with The Hurt Business.
Riddle just wants to say hi but MVP doesn’t want to hear it. Does he wear this same lame outfit on the streets? Of course. Riddle lives his life free and untethered. And unkempt, it seems. Uncalled for, bro. But Riddle will take the high road. Of course he will. Riddle just wants to say he admires how nice they all dress. MVP is like Gordy Gecko, then there’s “Ceddy the Cheddy,” and Benjamin spending the Benjamins. And of course, who would ever call Lashley “Slobby Bobby.” Lashley handles this and the others head out.
Lashley tells Riddle that if it were him, he actually likes the flipflops. But he heard they’re bad for your feet. What? No they’re not. Lashley STOMPS one of Riddle’s feet, and says that proves his point. Riddle says Lashley will see this foot later, right up his ass! Will The Bro and his “brochachos” make the Hurt Business pay in their 3v3 later tonight?
Raw returns as Lucha House Party checks with Riddle.
Is he going to be okay for the match? Riddle says when he was in high school, his cousin ran his foot over with his truck, and Riddle was still able to go to prom. He’ll just tape it up. If he says so…
Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution!
Here he goes again on his own! Mustafa Ali says this is their time to strike. Kofi Kingston at home with a broken jaw isn’t enough, Ali wants to break his spirit, and that’s by breaking one of his most beloved friends! Ali prays Kofi can’t compete or even be in Elimination Chamber or WrestleMania. Then Kofi will feel what Ali did just one year ago! Will this revenge a long time coming be carried out by the menacing monster at Ali’s command?
Ali shouts at Woods about Kofi being a coward. Woods DECKS Ali for that and the ref has to keep Retribution back! Woods is ready for a fight but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and the bell rings! Woods circles with Mace but is cornered! Mace keeps Woods from getting away but Woods CHOPS back, only for Mace to shrug it off. Woods and Mace go again, Woods CHOPS and fires off hands but Mace shoves him away. Woods kicks low, climbs up and throws more hands but Mace shoves him away again. Mace catches Woods with both hands and brings him out to center for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives but Mace choke grips Woods again and dead lifts him to shove him to a corner! Mace runs in to elbow Woods down! Ali mocks Woods’ pain as Mace whips Woods and KNEES him in the back! Mace looms over Woods, covers, TWO!
Mace sits Woods up, pries on fingers and then clamps on for a neck wrench! Woods endures, Mace fish hooks Woods’ mouth, and Ali says Kofi doesn’t need to worry. Woods will break his jaw and be right next to Kofi tomorrow. Woods bites Mace’s hand! Woods mule kicks, CHOPS away, then kicks low to CHOP and CHOP again! Mace ROCKS Woods with the uppercut! Mace whips, Woods dodges and ducks to dropkick a leg out! Woods keeps on Mace with haymakers and elbows! Mace shoves Woods away but Woods CLUBS him! Mace shoves Woods but runs into a boot! HONOR- NO! Choke grip! Woods fights the grip, gets free, and ENZIGURIS!
Mace flops out of the ring but Ali shouts at him to get back in. Mace goes up, but Woods baseball slides under Mace to hit Ali! Woods hits Mace off the apron again but Ali tells them they stop this. They’re going to shut Woods down! Mace gets in, the other members run distraction, Woods SUPERKICKS but runs into a BOOT! Mace drags Woods back up, fireman’s carries, and SWINGING AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, Mace wins!
Winner: Mace, by pinfall
Retribution wins again, and Ali stands over Woods. “Tell Kofi, Retribution says, ‘Get well soon.'” Ali and his cohorts are laughing now, but will Kofi make a comeback to shut them up?
Backstage interview with Asuka.
She’s been invited to Alexa’s Playground, what does she expect? Asuka honestly doesn’t know. But after seeing her set Orton on fire, Asuka hopes it isn’t Alexa’s dark side.
It’s the WrestleMania Report!
It’s Hank E. Panki, totally not Triple H, and Anita Reelman, totally not Stephanie McMahon. Don’t question it. But they’re sending it over to the weatherman, Sunny McCloud. Nope, it’s Roman Reigns, and there is no weatherman. Roman sits at the rightful place as Head of the Table. He’s not going to play along. But if they were, Paul Heyman is sure someone would say, “The extended forecast-” Paul, no. Just give it to them straight. Heyman says Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium will be the home of WrestleMania 37! Wow, big news! It’s going to be buck wild this April! And how great that they get to host WrestleMania again, for the first time.
But some real breaking news in sports, “Hailey Mary” and not Sasha Banks has the exclusive! But then an assistant makes sure she got the report about how WrestleMania is coming back to AT&T Stadium for 2022. Uh, y-yes, now she does! Now shoo. But you heard it here first! WrestleMania 38 will be right here in Texas! It doesn’t get much bigger than that! Dropping exclusives like it’s hot! And what a spectacle! Hank’s a spectacle. Rawr. But now, to Huge Kantseeme for entertainment news! Hugh? Hello? We can’t see him. It’s totally not John Cena! They love it when he does that. And you know what Huge loves? LA!
CUT! When Cena- er, uh, Hugh, says that, it sounds so fake. Um, Hugh, we’re live… Okay, he’ll try again. “Y’know what else I love? LA! That’s right, Hollywood!” Who doesn’t love drama? Cue zoom. Here’s some drama: WrestleMania is going Hollywood in 2023! PLOT TWIST! Thanks, Hugh, but you got a bit carried away. It will be in SoFi Stadium, or as Anita likes to call it, “So FINE Stadium.” Nothing like a good giggle. And that wraps things up for the WrestleMania Report. And we’re good. Phew! HHH and Stephanie take off the “costumes” and are pretty sure no one realized it was them all along. But yes, WrestleMania is all set for the next THREE YEARS! Who will make it to each of them? Will you be there?
Raw presents… Alexa’s Playground…!
Alexa goes to her swing and welcomes us back. She is so excited we’re all here, but before we get started, she wants to address The Viper in the room. “Randy, last week, I was just coming out here to talk to you. Y’know, clear the air. And then, things got a little… heated!” Alexa laughs at her own joke and says if Orton needs some sunblock, just let her know. But either way, good to see he’s feeling okay. Now to tonight’s very special guest! Alexa is so excited to invite her opponent, the Women’s Tag Team and Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA! Asuka makes her entrance, and joins Alexa on the swings. Alexa says no, that’s not her seat. Oh, okay…
Is Asuka okay? Yes, yes! Asuka is okay. Sorry, Alexa wasn’t talking to her. Oh, okay. Asuka says she’ll just stand over here by the slide… They giggle, and Asuka more nervously than Alexa. Alexa knows they have a match tonight but for now, let’s have fun! Alexa has breaking news! It’s big news! Should she tell them or do you want to, invisible friend? Okay, she’ll say it. Alexa is entering the Women’s Rumble! Asuka wishes Alexa good luck. But wait. If Alexa wins the Rumble match and Asuka is still champion, then they might face off at WrestleMania! Asuka says that would be her honor! And Asuka is a big fan of Alexa’s! Really? Yes! Thank you, that’s so sweet! Well of course! YOWIE WOWIE~!
Alexa doesn’t like Asuka saying that. Asuka hopes Alexa still wants to have fun. Let’s dance! It’s Asuka’s theme, but Asuka still dances. Alexa doesn’t want that. Alexa says STOP IT! Asuka’s music stops and Asuka is a bit startled. Alexa’s friend says something and Alexa says they’re right. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. If Alexa had done something differently, he’d still be here… Asuka says it’ll be okay. Asuka tries to explain in Japanese, and then says The Fiend’s still here. “Do NOT say his name!” Alexa then gets a smile as she waves at the rocking horse. Asuka is spooked and leaves the ring. Alexa switches to the rocking horse, but will she flip the switch when the bell rings?
Backstage interview with The Miz and John Morrison.
Can they give us a hint at what they have in store for Goldberg tonight on The Dirt Sheet? Oh, she wants to know? Of course Sarah wants to know! “I WANT THE SCOOP~!” NO! No spoilers. Tune in like everyone else. But what Miz will say is that what is in store will definitely be controversial. Controversy creates cash, much like the Money in the Bank. CHACHING!
Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
While the #SexyMuscleFriends go to the ring together, the Queen of Spades gives fair warning backstage. “Last week, I made Mandy Rose tap out, and then I threw Mandy Rose out of the ring like an empty can of White Claw.” She promises to do the same thing tonight, and then everyone the Women’s Rumble better watch out because she’ll do the same to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Charlotte, Bayley, or even her own tag team partner. Nia is surprised by that, but it IS every woman for themselves. Nia says she’s been the one carrying the team, but will Shayna prove she can do bad all by herself after the break?
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill Results & Match Ratings: 1.16.21
Three title matches, the return of Decay, Barbed Wire Massacre and a main event with Kenny Omega. Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill definitely sounds like it’s got a little bit of everything. Check out how it went!
So the news that made many people cry a few days ago, was that Alex Shelley would be out of the main event. He went out of his way to film a response/promo/apology so fans knew it was something non-pandemic related, so that was an effort that wasn’t necessary, though appreciated.
Aside from losing it’s “Dream Match” luster, we get Moose as a replacement, which could really work for the cold calculated persona he’s taken on after his EC3 encounter. We also get to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions for the first time in seven and a half years. Let’s also not forget, this could end up being Taya’s swan song from Impact, so we should expect a good match but no Wera Loca victory.
Let’s see if we get any surprises!
- Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb: Steve wins via King Kill 33 @8:55 – * ½
- Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake: EY wins via Piledriver @9:55 – ** ½
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok: Kiera wins via Face the Music @8:40 – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via DQ @2:30 – N/A
- X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey: Manik retains via Ole Cradle @13:50 – *** ½
- Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay: Deonna retains via Venus de Milo @11:40 – *** ¼
- Ethan Page vs The Karate Man: Karate Man WINS…Fatality – 200 Stars
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards: Eddie wins via Diehard Flowsion @18:50 – *** ¾
- Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows: Kenny Omega wins via One Winged Angel @20:30 – ****
During the last few moments of the Countdown, Madison Rayne officially retired from wrestling and from Impact Wrestling. Not sure how long she’ll stay a house wife, but good for her. She did great to actually prove to people she was a decent wrestler since her run during the WOH tournament, she was a fun commentator, so good for her.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb
The weird thing about this match was the dynamic between who was involved and what went on. Crazzy Steve showed a very high work rate in this match, with his strikes and moves looking fantastic. But Rosemary got exposed a bit on still being less than 100% with the knee and generally sloppy on a lot of spots.
Kaleb and Tenille definitely tried to add comedy and their quirky personalities, but the fact that we saw a lot of sloppiness, Steve working his ass off and just comedy spots or gimmick spots too often; this was a giant mess of a match. It also didn’t help that D’lo and Striker are still getting used to each other, so the announcing was distractingly bad.
It can only get better from here!
Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
This starts the same way every Tommy Dreamer match starts, with a brawl and weapon use. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s really not anything worth going deeply in to. EY did the flair corner to top rope spot, which ended with Dreamer hitting him with a cookie sheet. We had a Tower spot in the corner, with Joe Powerbombing a Suplex, and it landed right into Dreamer’s face.
Doering got to look like a beast when the entire team took the chairs to him, and he still fought back, ending up in control. Dreamer introduced tacks, then we saw the Signature/Finisher spam which ends with EY breaking up the pinfall and hitting Cousin Jake with the Piledriver.
Again, decent enough, but nothing really special.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
Oh, Brian Hebner is back for this match. Slightly surprising.
Kiera and Tasha try to start fast, but the bigger women over power the smaller team and throw them around a little bit. Havok beats up on both of them, Neavaeh comes in to keep up the momentum, but eventually Tasha and Kiera start making a comeback. We see Fire and Flava go for a lot of quick spots, fast tags and trying to spin around the larger women, but they just get taken for a ride more often than not.
It’s not until Kiera hits a High Round Kick, followed by Tasha with the Springboard Neckbreaker actually takes Havok off her feet. Nevaeh tries to make a save and get things back on track, but Tasha picks her leg, Havok gets wiped out after a great Super Kick from Kiera, Tasha and Kiera use some tandem attacks on Nevaeh, then Tasha slows down Havok as Kiera hits Face the Music and we have new Knockouts Tag Team Champions!
Ace Austin comes out to declare himself into the X Division Triple Threat to make it a 4 way! D’Amore comes out, says he can have a match, just not the title match. Matt Cardona comes out.
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona
Ace tries to go at Cardona before the ring jacket is off, but Cardona absorbs some offense and then fires back a bit. Fulton gets in the way quite often during this match, so the finish is a little telegraphed. But right as Cardona starts building momentum; Fulton slides in to cause the DQ.
Decent enough way to protect Ace and give Cardona quick win.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.
Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
Early on all of the seconds get kicked out, with the beauty of the situation being that Susan pulls out her phone and says she’s filming the whole thing. So Susan, really may be a middle aged transformation of Su Yung. Susan might as well be named Karen.
EVERYBODY has been ejected from ringside.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
As we focus on the actual match, Deonna starts slowly picking apart Taya. Going after her left arm, then her left knee and just trying to apply submission and weaken different limbs. Taya was able to push back and have her own submission attempt moment. Taya went for an STF, but the submission game isn’t her wheelhouse.
Deonna was able to pick her apart, counter a pinfall attempt and keep Taya grounded long enough to work in some holds. The normal Fujiwara didn’t get her submit, so Venus de Milo followed up and Taya verbally submitted.
Ethan Page vs The Karate Man
Since this is cinematic or at least green screen, I won’t rate this as a real match. But it was amazingly entertaining. Dragon Ball Z references, Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat references, it was just amazing.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!
Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.
Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!
Eddie hasn’t hit that Flowsion in a long time. I did appreciate Sami paying homage to Cactus Jack and Striker acknowledging Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa on commentary though.
Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
The early onset is interesting. Karl Anderson and Chris Sabin start off and there’s some solid technical counter wrestling, and it’s fast paced action. Moose and Gallows come in to do a big boy showdown which worked fairly well, where Swann and Omega had a brief lockup before the Brothers come in to start heeling it up.
We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
Well this started off pretty bad, but at least it built upwards. The main even had a lot of fun wrinkles which increased the storytelling, psychology and overall enjoyment of the show. Hell even when Callis nearly jumped into the ring to break up a pin on Kenny was a good little nugget.
As I said in the weekly coverage, this is probably Taya’s final match, or at least one of the last, especially since they logically moved Rosemary back to Decay with Crazzy Steve. Eddie and Sami had a hell of blood feud and it was nearly cathartic. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Tasha and Kiera actually won the Knockouts Tag titles. I almost thought they wouldn’t win just because they are so charismatic and attractive without the titles, where Havok and Nevaeh don’t exactly have electric personalities. But I’m ecstatic that Kiera finally has a title in Impact!
With the pretty awful start for the wrestling and the commentary, which put the show behind the eight ball; but it did recover fairly well. Not nearly as good as Genesis, but it managed to keep the stories rolling and end on an interesting note. A pretty good show after all was said and done.
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