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 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.
Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.
Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!
Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!
Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!
Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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