SmackDown heads for SummerSlam inside the Thunderdome!
Before WWE’s Biggest Party of the Summer, SmackDown enters the THUNDERDOME! And with BOTH the WWE Intercontinental and SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line!
- Big E VS Sheamus; Big E wins.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Lucha House Party; Cesaro & Nakamura win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; wins in 3 minutes, 39 seconds.
- Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Bayley w/ Sasha Banks; Naomi wins and Bayley VS Asuka goes first at SummerSlam.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Vince McMahon returns to SmackDown!
The Chairman welcomes us to the show and to ThunderDome! Are you among the faces in the virtual crowd? “No one brings the thunder like the WWE!” But wait! Lights are going down! This isn’t Retribution. This is THE FIEND!! Bray Wyatt’s darkest side is heading to the ring! The Fiend laughs as he steps in to join Vince. Vince and Fiend stand under the red lights as the crowd is thunderous. Fiend won’t let Vince exit, either. But wait! Here comes BRAUN!! The Monster walks down the ramp and has The Fiend’s attention. Braun joins Fiend in the ring, and Vince has since exited. Braun puts the belt down as he stares The Fiend right in the eyes. “I told you.”
The lights flicker but stay on. Retribution is here! They’ve flanked the ring in an instant! But these troublemakers may have just made the biggest mistake of their lives. Fiend and Braun, Fiend waves bye, and the lights go down. When they come up, Fiend is gone! Braun feels a bit betrayed, and now he’s all alone 15v! They go after Braun with hammering fists, clubbing him down to his knees! They have Braun on the mat! Here comes the SmackDown roster, Big E leading the charge! They still get swarmed, so another wave comes in, led by Baron Corbin! Now things are a bit more even! Retribution is purged from the ring one by one, they scatter and retreat! The Miz is last to get out here, though perhaps no one else noticed.
Braun gets up from the cowardly gang attack, and he CLOBBERS Drew Gulak! And then he tosses Jey Uso out of the ring! The Monster said he’s the most evil SOB in the world, and now he’s the angriest! Will he get back at The Fiend for leaving him high and dry? Or will the Retribution be the ones to feel that wrath?
SmackDown returns but things are still tense.
Retribution may have fled but a good number of WWE superstars are still here to keep an eye on things. Big E and Sheamus are both in the ring and they start shoving each other! This of course has to do with last week, Sheamus hitting Big E with a Brogue over supposedly riling Retribution up. But with them both here, their match will happen now! Will Big E give Sheamus as good as he got?
Big E VS Sheamus!
The bell rings and they tie up fast! Big E and Sheamus go to a corner, Sheamus has control but lets up at the ref’s count. They tie up again and go around more, Big E gets Sheamus in the corner now. The ref counts, Big E gets away from Sheamus’ grip to tie up again. Sheamus headlocks, Big E powers out to headlock in return. Big E grinds to the rhythm, “New! Day Rocks!” Sheamus powers out and they ram shoulders, but neither falls. Sheamus knees low, clubs Big E down, then mocks him for being all alone. Sheamus runs but Big E clotheslines him out! Big E goes out to RAM Sheamus into the steel steps with a shoulder! The virtual fans in the “front row” get a closer look as Big E throws Sheamus back in.
Big E has Sheamus on the apron and clubs away on him! The ref counts, Big E gets back in at 5 of 10, but then aims from the apron for the SPLASH! Sheamus goes in, clutching his chest. Big E stalks Sheamus to a corner, Baron Corbin says something to Heavy Machinery, but Sheamus hotshots Big E! And then again! Big E staggers, Sheamus climbs up top and leaps for a flying clothesline! Sheamus clutches his ribs instead of covering, and Sheamus stands on Big E at the ropes! The ref counts, Sheamus stops at 4 but drags Big E up. Sheamus gives Big E some beats of the Bodhrain! And talking trash at the same time! Sheamus stops to let Big E flop down as the ref reprimands.
Sheamus drags Big E up to a headlock but Big E throws body shots. Big E runs but into Sheamus’ IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! The lights flicker again and that’s never a good sign. Is Retribution coming back for more? We’ll see after SmackDown returns from break!
SmackDown returns and Sheamus has Big E in a headlock. Big E fights up as the other superstars rally. Big E elbows free and OVERHEAD SUPLEXES Sheamus! And again! And then dodges for the side belly2belly! Big E has Sheamus where he wants him as he swivels those hips! Big E runs and hits the BIG SPLASH! Big E claps and watches Sheamus stand. Scoop but Sheamus slips out to boot! Sheamus runs but into a pop-up! Sheamus slips off to KNEE Big E down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus grows frustrated and he drags Big E up to punch him down. And again! Sheamus punches but Big E counter punches! Big E hits back but Sheamus kicks low to fireman’s carry! Big E slips out, baits Sheamus in for the Urenage-E! Cover, TWO!!
The virtual crowd rallies while Corbin barks more orders. Sheamus is on the apron, Big E runs but into another KNEE! Sheamus drags Big E back up for more beats of the Bodhrain! Big E blocks and drags Sheamus up and over! Sheamus holds the ropes to avoid the slam, and then he dodges to POST Big E! Scoop for WHITE NOISE! Sheamus doesn’t cover, and Corbin sucker punches Matt Riddle! The Wolf King can’t let his grudge go even for one night, and he tells Chad Gable to do his part. Sheamus aims at Big E, but Riddle brawls back with Corbin! The other superstars try to stop that and this distracts Sheamus. Big E rolls Sheamus up, BIG E WINS!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall
What a sudden turn around! Heavy Machinery celebrates with Big E while Corbin is angry with Riddle and Gable and Sheamus is just upset. Will the Celtic Warrior want a rematch with Big E or another fight with Corbin?
SmackDown finds Jeff Hardy in the Trainer’s Room!?
The Charismatic Enigma is supposed to challenge AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship tonight, but his knee is hurt! Someone got him from behind and went after his leg. Hardy doesn’t want to cancel the main event, he just wants a brace or ice to help his leg. Will Hardy be able to make it to that match with the Phenomenal One tonight?
Lucha House Party heads for gorilla.
The returning Kalisto pumps up Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado with a pep talk, but they get blindsided by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura! The Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style ask what’s the matter. Their match is up next, will the King of the Ropes and the Golden Lynx be able to get back at the champs by taking their belts?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Lucha House Party!
As we just saw before the break, the Artist Collective felt the need to hit LHP first, still upset over the little prank they pulled last week. But will it the champions be even more upset after Dorado and Metalik score another upset victory?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and it’s time to get #LuchaLit!
The teams sort out and we begin with Metalik and Nakamura to continue where they left off. Metalik side steps Nakamura to huricanrana, but then he runs into a kitchen sink knee! Nakamura KICKS then CLUBS Metalik before bumping him off Cesaro’s boot. Tag to Cesaro, he runs to basement running elbow! Cover, TWO, but Cesaro wraps on a chinlock. Cesaro whips, Metalik tilt-o-whirls a couple times to headscissor Cesaro away! Cesaro flounders up to whip Metalik away from Dorado, but Metalik walks the ropes to springboard! The huricanrana is blocked to a SIT OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro is frustrated as he has to drag Metalik back up. The Miz and John Morrison are talking backstage as they watch this match. Morrison asks if Miz thinks Lucha House Party will “libre” those titles from Cesaro and Shinsuke. By the way, “libre” means “liberate” or “free” in Spanish. Miz knew that. Miz wants Morrison to take this more seriously. This is a high stakes match, and what they should talk about is the “daredevil luchas” making a “luncha” out of Shinsuke and the Swiss Cheese. Don’t say “luncha” too loud or Otis will wanna eatcha. But yes, seriously, Shinsuke Nakamura is silent but deadly. That’s why he is the Fartist Known as Shinsuke Nakamura! Good one! High five! “Miz ‘n’ Morrison! Hey hey! Ho ho!”
Meanwhile, in the match, Cesaro fireman’s carries Metalik, tags Nakamura, then drops Metalik onto the top rope. Nakamura hits the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura cravats Metalik and grinds Metalik down to a snapmare. Cover, TWO! Tag to Cesaro and he scoop slams to then drop a leg on Metalik! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Metalik and tags Nakamura back in. They double whip Metalik, to double BOOT him down! Nakamura sucker punches Dorado and then tags Cesaro back in. They mug Metalik, Cesaro suplexes to hang Metalik out to dry! The ref reprimands but Cesaro hops up. Metalik CHOPS first, then climbs up the ropes. Cesaro hits back with European Uppercuts but Metalik hits back with haymakers!
Metalik brings Cesaro up, for a SUPER STEINER! Kalisto rallies Metalik with all he’s got! Cesaro and Metalik tag in Nakamura and Dorado! Dorado boots Nakamura, leaps and crossbodies! Dorado bounces off, dropkicks Cesaro, then dodges Nakamura to fire off fast hands! ENZIGURI! Dorado whips corner to corner, Nakamura reverses but Dorado goes up and over and handsprings away. Dorado ducks a kick to SUPERKICK! Dorado moonsaults off the bottom rope! Then the second rope MOONSAULT! And then the top rope, for another MOONSAULT! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it! Cesaro drags Dorado right up to a powerbomb but Dorado counters with a huricanrana! Metalik FLIES for a double-edged FLYING Rana!
Nakamura gives Dorado an INVERTED EXPLODER! Nakamura goes out to stomp away on Metalik for good measure before aiming at Dorado. “YAO~!” But Dorado counters the Kinshasa to a roll up, TWO! GOLDEN REWIND!! Nakamura staggers, Cesaro tags in, Cesaro slingshot sunset flips to SWING Dorado! But Dorado sits up to sunset flip through, ONE!! Dorado runs, into a pop-up but Dorado huricanranas through it! But Cesaro manages to sunset flip through that, covers, Cesaro and Nakamura win!!
Winners: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall (still SmackDown Tag Team Champions)
That was fast and furious by the end of it, and in the end, Cesaro and Nakamura still come away with the championships! Kalisto is even more frustrated than Dorado as he asks, “Que es eso? Is that it?!” Dorado pushes Kalisto but Metalik hurries in to keep the peace. Dorado shoves Kalisto and dares him to get up, and Kalisto is definitely fired up. Metalik tries desperately to keep his friends from fighting any harder, but is the party almost over for Lucha House Party?
The trainer continues to work on Jeff Hardy’s leg.
Hardy still has time before the main event, but is it even possible to get his leg feeling alright?
The SmackDown crew spotted something during the Retribution melee.
Hardy wasn’t attacked by a member of the anarchist thugs, it was AJ STYLES!! Styles took the opportunity to stomp Hardy on the back of his leg as insurance for tonight! The Phenomenal One admires his handiwork but now Kayla Braxton comes by to ask about that. The footage clearly shows- Shows what? That Styles was showing some urgency going after Retribution. If Hardy was showing that same urgency, “he wouldn’t have been in the way.” But now it seems that “unfortunately,” Hardy can’t compete. That’s a shame, really. But it reminds Styles of Hardy’s career. Everyone Hardy has gone, he’s wasted his opportunities. Hardy said he was standing on his own two feet, but clearly not now. The Jeff Hardy Story in a Nutshell, by AJ Styles.
Styles heads out but bumps into two fellow champions in the Golden Role Models! The belts are all looking good. But almost as good as his. But they’ll still belt clink him. Sasha and Bayley are still feeling great with everything SummerSlam has in store, and they’re headed to gorilla.
Backstage interview with Mandy Rose.
Kayla just wants to know how she’s doing. Mandy isn’t sure. It’s been such a rough week, to say the least. SummerSlam is Sunday, and Mandy isn’t sure what’s going through Sonya Deville’s mind, just only how Mandy feels. And despite all the ugliness she’s seen, Mandy needs to believe there is still good in the world, because that is the world she wants to live in. So Mandy wants to speak directly to Sonya now.
“Sonya. We’ve been through a lot. And I don’t know if you know this, but so much of the good and beautiful, we’ve been through it together when we were best friends.” Today, Mandy chooses to believe that the Sonya she knows, the one she was inseparable with for the past five YEARS, is still in there. So while Mandy doesn’t know how Sonya is feeling right now, with this “vicious” Hair VS Hair match coming up, but the way Mandy feels is that they just put this all behind them and get back to where they were. Mandy chooses to see the good in Sonya. Will Sonya choose to do the same?
The Golden Role Models head to the ring!
Bayley and Sasha show off all their belts, and even have pyro for their entrance! Corey Graves is in the ring already as Bayley and Sasha grab mics for themselves. Graves welcomes #BayleyDosStraps and #TwoBeltzBanks to the show, and blatantly asks if they’re splitting up. Uh, no! Well alright then. Now, two days from SummerSlam, where Bayley and Sasha each defend their SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships in separate matches against the same opponent, Asuka. Asuka could leave SummerSlam a dual champion in her own right, but Bayley says that won’t happen. That’s because there are only two women in all of WWE capable of being dual champions, and you’re looking at them!
So does that imply Asuka is incapable when she’s defeated each of them in the past? It took them both to stop Asuka the last time. Hold up, Corey Graves! “If that even is your real name.” Did you not hear them on Raw? They’re good enough and will destroy Asuka. Don’t stir the pot! He’s not, he’s just trying to understand the logic behind their moves. Logic? They’re the most logical duo in this company! Everything they do is for a reason. That’s why ding-dong, hello! They have ALL the belts! Graves did watch Raw, and points out Bayley phrased going first as the “heavy lifting.” Doesn’t that seem illogical? Asuka has Bayley’s number having beaten Bayley twice, and she also wants revenge for Kairi Sane.
Bayley says that what she said was a suggestion. Sasha is just as capable of beating Asuka first, if she wants to. Just a suggestion? Sasha is asking if Bayley is volunteering her again. Is there a disagreement here? No! No disagreement! They’re on the same page, there’s no one can beat them both in one night! Not even Asuka! There is not one woman in the WWE locker room that can touch them! But Naomi heads to the ring now! “Hello, ding-dongs~!” Naomi thinks she can help them handle this situation. How about Naomi faces both of them tonight! Sasha laughs at the idea that Naomi wants to face them both. But challenge accepted! Cool, so who wants it first?
Wait, what? What part of Naomi’s death wish settles SummerSlam’s issues? Graves says it could be a Beat the Clock Challenge. Just a suggestion. Naomi likes that idea, too. But again, which one of them wants to go first? Sasha and Bayley talk it over, but Naomi dropkicks them both! The Glow wants the Golden Role Models to step up, but who steps up first?
Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!
SmackDown returns and it’s The Boss who wants to #FeelTheGlow first! Will Sasha win fast to prove she doesn’t need Bayley to soften anyone up for her?
The bell rings and they circle. Sasha trips Naomi, rains down right hands then covers, ONE! Sasha drags Naomi up and talks trash but Naomi pushes her back. Naomi headlocks, uses the ropes to springboard sunset flip and matchbook cover, TWO! Sasha comes back but Naomi full nelsons for the Bubba Bomb! Body scissor cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Naomi rolls and rolls and rolls Sasha to another cover, TWO! Naomi lets Sasha go to SLAP her! Bayley protests and says not to disrespect her best friend. Naomi dodges Sasha and slides, to then handstand and huricanrana Sasha out hard! We’re past a minute as Sasha staggers up for Naomi’s PLANCHA!
Naomi glares at Bayley and Bayley says she isn’t doing anything. Naomi brings Sasha up, puts her in, then kicks at Bayley from the apron. Sasha grabs Naomi’s hair to drag her through the ropes! Sasha clubs away then kicks Naomi in the face! Sasha slingshots in for the STOCK DROP! Cover, TWO!! Sasha tries again, TWO! The timer hits two minutes while Sasha grows panicked. Sasha wraps Naomi up in a chinlock and grinds Naomi down. Naomi fights up, throws body shots but Sasha pushes her away. Naomi comes back with a running jawbreaker! Sasha is in the corner, Naomi runs in but Sasha puts her on the apron. Naomi ROUNDHOUSES back!
Sasha staggers, Naomi climbs and leaps, crossbody! But Sasha rolls through to take the cover! TWO and Naomi drags Sasha up for a suplex! Naomi hangs Sasha out to dry and kicks her back! Then springboards to ENZIGURI! Down goes Sasha and Naomi covers, TWO! We’re past 3 minutes now but that’s just fine to Bayley it seems. Naomi drags Sasha to a corner, climbs up but Sasha rolls Naomi, TWO! Sasha dodges and waistlocks but Naomi counters the O’Conner roll to a wheelbarrow lift! Sasha slips out to get the arm for a takedown, BANK STATEMENT! Naomi endures, Sasha cranks back, but Naomi taps!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission, at 3:39
Bayley gets in and KNEES Naomi down! She wants her match now, to even Sasha’s surprise. The ref checks on Naomi as Bayley grows further impatient. The crowd boos but Naomi says she’s okay to go. The bell rings and Bayley fires off!
Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Bayley w/ Sasha Banks!
Bayley stomps away then hammers away with fists! She clubs Naomi down, covers, TWO! Bayley rains down more fast hands then drags Naomi up. Snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Naomi clutches her back but Bayley stomps her down. Bayley kicks Naomi to a corner as we drop under 3 minutes. Bayley whips Naomi corner to corner hard, then brings Naomi up for a snapmare. Cover, TWO! Bayley runs to sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Bayley grows frustrated as she glares at the clock. Bayley pushes Naomi to ropes but Naomi fights back with body shots! Naomi brings Bayley to a corner for a bulldog!
Naomi kicks Bayley then runs corner to corner, only for Bayley to CLOBBER Naomi! Cover, TWO! Sasha clutches her title, and as we drop under 2 minutes, it’s hard to tell if she’s happy or upset right now. Bayley gets up, runs and goes to knee but Naomi deflects! REAR VIEW!! Naomi WINS!!
Winner: Naomi, by pinfall, 1:44 to spare
The Glow just beat the SmackDown Women’s Champion! Of course, that only matters if Bayley stays champion! Because now she MUST go first against Asuka at SummerSlam! Will Bayley’s “heavy lifting” cost her her title but insure Sasha keeps hers? And Sasha even sneaks in a smirk as she “comforts” Bayley. At least, until Asuka appears! Asuka laughs at the Golden Role Models and lets them know The Empress is here! Oh, Sasha, Bayley, what happened? At SummerSlam, Asuka will be the Empress of EVERY TITLE!! Because no one is ready for Asuka!! Sasha runs at Asuka but gets a ROUNDHOUSE for it! And then Asuka goes to SLIDING WIZARD Bayley!
Bayley gets to ropes but Asuka stomps her out of the ring! Bayley scrambles around, manages to grab the SmackDown Women’s Championship and her WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship belt, but totally abandons Sasha and her stuff! Will the Empress not only win both belts but break up the best friends once and for all?
Jeff Hardy has his leg brace.
He tests the leg and seems to do alright. But it’s really more about pain tolerance. Hardy says Styles is going to lose to a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest, and that one legged man will become Intercontinental Champion once again!
Backstage interview with Sonya Deville.
Kayla asks if Sonya has her response to Mandy’s message. Sonya does, but she won’t bother saying it here. What she has to say, she’ll say in front of the entire world. But Dana Brooke comes by to say that she feels awful about what happened to Sonya this week. If there’s anything Sonya needs- Sonya says it’s nothing she can’t handle. And then she SLAPS Dana?! Sonya says Dana was the disrespectful one!? Sonya heads off to gorilla, what will her response to Mandy be?
SmackDown returns as Sonya Deville heads to the ring.
She cuts the music short so she can speak. She heard what Mandy said, and she gets it. Mandy is second guessing her own challenge, which correct Sonya if she’s wrong, is exactly what Sonya knew she’d do. But what Sonya doesn’t get is, “What do you want, Mandy?” What is it that Mandy wants? Mandy is going to face Sonya one way or another! It WILL be them at SummerSlam!
But since clearly, Mandy is bothered by how Sonya cut her hair, and clearly everyone here knows Sonya doesn’t “give a damn” if she’s bald or not, why don’t they just up the ante?! They should raise the stakes! It will be Sonya and Mandy, NO DISQUALIFICATIONS, and LOSER LEAVES WWE!! Because what Sonya realized, hair or no hair, she’s just sick of looking at Mandy’s face. So wipe the tears “and bring your A-Game, bi*ch!” Sonya is not letting go of her fire, but will she be forced to let go of her WWE contract?
SmackDown presents The Firefly Fun House!
A video package recaps the developments between him, Braun and Alexa Bliss. The Fiend threatened the well-being of Alexa to provoke Braun, but Braun claims she doesn’t matter to him anymore. Alexa claims that is not the Braun she knows, because they’ve been friends for years. Bruan claims that’s not true. She treated him as a bearded clown. Everyone that comes in contact with The Fiend changes, and that includes her. Alexa tried literally slapping some sense into him, but he picked her up and THREW her! Is The Monster really no longer charmed by The Goddess?
Nikki Cross speaks.
“Me and Alexa have been friends for quite awhile now.” And when they spoke last Tuesday, she just seemed a little… Off. Nikki isn’t sure what it is, but Alexa is definitely different. She talks like Alexa, acts like Alexa, but the Alexa Nikki knows is warm, caring and funny. But the Alexa Nikki sees now is not that, and it scares Nikki. Because Nikki just has this feeling that “something terrible is about to happen.” Did Braun have it right when he said The Fiend changed Alexa?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Jeff Hardy!
The Phenomenal One took a phenomenal cheap shot on his challenger earlier tonight in an attempt to avoid this dream match. But Hardy isn’t out of the running yet, and Daniel Bryan points out that Styles is only willing to face the best when they’re at their worst. So hopefully tonight inside the ThunderDome, Hardy gives us all a champion we deserve. Will that hope come true? We find out after SmackDown returns from break.
SmackDown returns as Hardy makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this showdown of icons begins!
Hardy hobbles as he and Styles circle. They approach, Styles gets the leg but Hardy clubs and elbows him to ropes! The ref backs Hardy off but Hardy comes back to kick and whip Styles to ropes. He back drops Styles high and hard! Hardy brings Styles up to club him more but Styles powers Hardy into a corner. Styles runs but into boots! Hardy goes up but Styles clips the leg! Hardy tumbles down hard but Styles stomps the leg! Styles rips the pants leg open to show the knee brace! Styles stomps right on the brace, even as Hardy goes to a corner. Styles won’t let up as he drags Hardy up and whips. Hardy can’t even run to the other side! Hardy tumbles down and Styles laughs.
Styles says Hardy should’ve known better than to get in the ring. Styles stomps the leg and then stands on it! The ref counts as Hardy is in the corner, so Styles lets off. Hardy hits back but falls over again. Styles stomps the bad leg again but Hardy throws body shots. Styles rocks him with a right, then brings Hardy around, only for Hardy to jawbreaker! Styles leans on the ropes while Hardy gets away. Styles runs but is put on the apron, and takes a spill! Hardy swings but Styles blocks the dropkick to SLAM the bad leg on the apron edge! Hardy is down and in pain as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again as Styles goes after Hardy’s leg with a modified leg lock. Styles leans on the knee but Hardy turns around to kick him back! Hardy hobbles up, kicks with the good leg, but Styles blocks it. Hardy pivots to still mule kick Styles down! Styles walks into an atomic drop, then Hardy drops the leg splitting leg drop! And basement dropkick! Hardy splashes down, covers, TWO! Hardy keeps going as he reels Styles in. Hardy gets Styles up for a GOURD BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Both men are down, exhausted, but fans rally up. Hardy gets to ropes, waits for Styles to stand, then kicks low. No Twist of Fate, though as Styles slips out to PELE! Both men are down again and the ref starts a standing count.
Styles stirs first but Hardy follows. The standing count reaches 5 as Hardy hobbles and Styles staggers. Styles goes after Hardy but Hardy elbows him away! Hardy goes up but his bad leg gives out, no Whisper in the Wind! Hardy hits the mat hard, but somehow he’s okay to continue. Styles aims from the apron, springboards, but into a BIG body shot! Hardy saves himself and both men go to opposite corners. Hardy runs but Styles avoids the swinging dropkick. Styles gets the leg, rolls Hardy to the CALF CRUSHER!! Hardy endures, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Styles lets go fast and stalks behind Hardy.
Styles grabs the leg, Hardy fights back with clubbing forearms and gets free, but Styles kicks the leg out! Styles reels Hardy in, lifts but Hardy kicks his legs. The knee brace smacks Styles in the face!! Hardy adds on with the TWIST OF FATE! Hardy hurries to the corner! He climbs up slowly but reaches the top rope, for the SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, Hardy wins!!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Styles’ attack on Hardy earlier comes back to haunt him! The knee brace gives Hardy the edge, and Kayla is in the ring to congratulate the new champion. After everything Hardy has been through, what does it mean for him to be champion once again? “If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be Intercontinental Champion again, I would think you were crazy.” Back then, he was in a dark place, and couldn’t find a way out. But life is always a challenge, and he stands here with a bad knee but with a lot of hope that things will get better. He couldn’t do this without the WWE Universe! He thanks us as the music plays him off, will Hardy be able to properly thank us by continuing to rise back up?
SmackDown checks in on the Firefly Fun House.
Huskis the Pig Boy wears a “Get These Hooves” shirt while Ramblin’ Rabbit cosplays as Alexa Bliss. A new episode premieres, after the break!
AJ Styles is FURIOUS!
He complains to Joseph Park about what happened. Kayla comes by to ask that maybe he was overconfident tonight. OVERCONFIDENT!? This is on Park and his PISS saying that Styles was mathematically guaranteed to beat Hardy tonight! Styles did until Hardy cheated with that knee brace! Look at the mark on Styles’ face! It’s actually not that big… This is the only reason Hardy is champion! “This is bullcrap!” Styles continues to berate Park over the numbers, but will Styles have no choice but to earn his way to a rematch?
Talking Smack returns!!
Available on even the FREE version of the WWE Network as of tomorrow morning, the hit post-show returns as hosted by Kayla and The Miz, with word from Big E, the Golden Role Models and the NEW Intercontinental Champion! Sign up now and be there for the historic “rebirth!”
SmackDown presents a new episode of Firefly Fun House!
The Wall of Braun is still standing as Bray says, “YOWIE WOWIE! What a night! I mean, WWE ThunderDome, am I right?” But y’know, come closer so he can tell you a secret. “I love you.” Aww~! Yay~! But don’t be fooled, Fireflies. Love can actually be a terrible thing. It’s just a way to trick someone into an emotional, physical or even financial burden. Love can bring an angel crashing down with broken wings. Too much love turns even a field of sunflowers into a “grotesque wasteland.” Hold on, Bray’s getting a call. He puts on the Hurt glove to answer the voices in his head. Someone wants him to something right now.
Okay, take Braun and Alexa for example! Let’s revisit our modern Shakespearean tragedy! Firefly Theater Presents: Braun & Alexa. As played by Huskis and Ramblin’ Rabbit. Dramatic music plays as Ramblin’ Lexi “demands answers” from Huskis Strowman. His answer is that she never cared about him, and now he has become the most evil Son of a Pig on the planet. That’s not the real him, dude! There’s something special between them, she can feel it! Really? Really! Aww~! But just as the two are about to go in for the big kiss scene, Bray shouts “CUT!” What the freakin’ hecc was this?! That’s not how it happened! Oh, sorry. Huskis is just a method actor and Ramblin’ got lost in the moment. Oh? Look at Bray. “Get lost.”
After the puppets disappear, Bray continues. Love leads to pain and suffering. The best you can do is be like “him.” “A being that is built on rage and fueled by anger.” And “he” cannot wait to get his hands on Braun. In fact… Bray smells something in the air. “What took you so long?” Braun attacks!! Braun drags Bray up to CLUB him down! And then again and again and again!! “I’m not finished with you!!” Braun drags Bray off stage, but where to?!
SmackDown returns and tries to keep up with the chaos!
Braun and Bray are apparently brawling somewhere in the Amway Center, and cameras finally find them! Bray hits back and rams Braun into a door! Braun clubs Bray back then ROCKS him with an uppercut! Braun knees low, clubs Bray again, then brings him up. “You think you can get in my head and manipulate me?! You’re wrong, Bray!” Braun has Bray by the throat near a loading dock, and CHOKE SLAMS HIM!! The referees shout for Braun to stop here and he storms off. Security find Bray and an ambulance has arrived already.
Bray isn’t moving as the medics get a stretcher for him. They finally get the stretcher over to Bray and carefully load Bray onto it. They strap Bray in and get him up into the ambulance. The doors close and the ambulance hurries out. Adam Pearce breathes a sigh of relief, but then the ambulance stops? Why?! It backs up!? What’s going on with this ambulance!? It stops, the lights inside turn red!! Everyone gathered sees the doors open, THE FIEND is there!! Bray transformed and “it’s him.” The Fiend laughs at his own pain. Will he be laughing at Braun’s pain this Sunday?
Another crazy episode for a go-home. First of all, the ThunderDome looks amazing but sounds kinda awkward. The piped in crowd noise is more obvious than when the WWE was in the Performance Center, but I suppose it beats not hearing the viewers on the LED screens, whatever it is they might’ve been saying. But again, my experience with awful 205 Live crowds in the past has helped me to tune most of that out. Except during that interview by Corey Graves with the Golden Role Models. That segment felt awkward, and tried to point out Bayley’s passive aggressive comment from Raw in a clumsy attempt to get the duo’s dysfunction up again.
The Beat the Clock Challenge of Sasha, Bayley and Naomi was good, but literally fast. Even with Bayley’s help, why did Sasha win so quickly? Naomi is a former champion, can’t she put up a fight that’s more than 5 minutes? Though I do like that Bayley lost hers to further drive the point home that she might be in the worst position against Asuka. Asuka shows up to get the better of the Role Models, and this part might’ve done the best to drive the dysfunction back up. Depending on how WWE writes it, they might actually make it win or lose at SummerSlam, Payback is where the two turn on each other because they lose the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Asuka becoming Raw Women’s Champion can have her and Shayna Baszler feud on the way to Survivor Series, Sasha and Bayley feud over the SmackDown title.
Vince and Retribution got their parts out of the way quickly. The Fiend stepping on Vince’s intro was a good touch, and Braun confronting Fiend was an obvious move. Retribution beating Braun down seemed a bit lame to me, he should’ve smashed at least five of them first. But I suppose it was a way to tie the other stories together, such as Styles getting that cheap shot on Hardy’s leg. I still like that Miz is always showing up late to these Retribution things. Is he the mastermind? Or is he just afraid of them? Starting to hope for the former, even though it wasn’t like him leading The Miztourage was that amazing of a story arc.
Big E and Sheamus have their match right from there made a lot of sense, and I do have to give some credit to Corbin being responsible for Sheamus’ loss. I still say we need a huge match of the top midcarders: Big E, Sheamus, Corbin, Riddle, and hell, throw Chad Gable in there so he can settle his part of the story with Riddle, Corbin and the King’s Ransom. We got great title matches tonight, but it just felt right for Cesaro and Nakamura to retain. LHP looks like it’s starting to crack, which makes a lot of sense to someone following them even on 205 Live. They’ve all been working so hard for years, Kalisto has been the only champion, but him getting upset with Dorado seems unfair. I can’t be sure how a break-up would go, either. Who would be Heel? Would it even work out for them?
I do appreciate that WWE lightly touched on the real life horror Mandy and Sonya went through, and I found it interesting that Sonya basically doubles down on how she’s been. Mandy did what I was hoping and asked they try to be friends again, Sonya wants a Loser Leaves match, but I can’t see either of them leaving the WWE. Now, a No Disqualifications match technically has count-outs. Will WWE use a double count-out draw to prevent either superstar from having to leave? Nikki Cross had a great promo to add her perspective to things, and I really wonder if the overall Braun-Bray-Bliss story reaches a point where Nikki will need to get involved in the ring.
Firefly Fun House was again hilarious in its own special way, and I like that Braun is the second person to infiltrate that strange other dimension just like Rollins did. The brawl was alright, and the editing of the choke slam was good. Definitely similar to how NXT just did Rhea Ripley powerbombing Mercedes Martinez to the outside. I really liked that Braun brought back “I’m not finished with you!” a la his days feuding with Roman Reigns. I was hoping he’d use it again when he went after the ambulance to also hearken back to those days. But instead, we get Bray transforming into The Fiend inside the ambulance so that… The Fiend can close the show, it seems. We all figured Bray “transformed” into The Fiend, but this drives it home for those just not paying attention. Not really sure what it does for the math, I still feel like SummerSlam’s Universal Championship match could go either way.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (5/12/21)
AEW is The Pinnacle!
There’s a new pecking order in AEW!
After surviving Blood & Guts, MJF and The Pinnacle stand atop AEW! And with titles on the line, who will stand atop the Tag Team and TNT Divisions?
- Cody Rhodes w/ Arn Anderson VS Anthony Ogogo w/ The Factory; wins.
- AEW World Championship Eliminator Match: PAC VS Orange Cassidy; wins and will challenge Kenny Omega for the title at Double or Nothing.
- IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley VS Yuji Nagata; wins and
- AEW World Tag Team Championships, Titles VS Tag Career: The Young Bucks VS SoCal Uncensored; win(s) and
- AEW TNT Championship: Darby Allin w/ Sting VS Miro; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (5/11/21)
To be the best, you gotta BEAT the best!
NXT puts gold back on the line!
Mercedes Martinez challenges Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar must go 2 outta 3 with Kushida, and the NXT Champion looks to END Austin Theory!
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano; Kross wins.
- MSK VS Breezango; MSK wins.
- Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium VS Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick; canceled.
- Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff; Dunne wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez; Gonzalez wins and retains the title.
- Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne; O’Reilly wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma; Kushida wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano!
In the words of the NXT Champion, “Tick tock, time’s up!” Will it be Doomsday all day for The Way? Or can Johnny Wrestling help his boy get one over on Kross?
Johnny and Theory are both stunned seeing Kross’ entrance, but Johnny snaps Theory out of it and coaches him up. Fans chant “TICK TOCK!” as Theory sheepishly gets in the ring with Kross. The bell rings and Theory circles with Kross, but ends up in a corner. Theory dodges, fires off forearms, then knees. Kross shoves Theory away, Theory dodges to dropkick! Kross stays up! And gets mad… Kross choke grips, puts Theory in a corner and BOOTS him down! Theory sits up in a daze and Kross grins at Gargano. Kross drags Theory up, puts him in another corner and TOSSES him across the way!
Gargano and Kross stare down, but Kross runs corner to corner, only for Theory to dodge! Kross avoids hitting buckles, wags his finger, and Theory lariats, but bounces off! Kross LARIATS and down goes Theory! Scarlett smiles as she watches Kross stalk Theory. Kross looms over Theory, fans rally as he wrenches and keylocks Theory and puts him in another corner for a HEAVY body shot! Kross wrenches, keylocks and ROCKS Theory again! Theory falls to his knees, Kross BOOTS him to the mat! Kross has Theory on ropes, chokes him, but lets off at the ref’s count of 4. Kross grins and dares Theory to reach for Gargano, only to STOMP his fingers!
Kross laughs as he looms over Theory again. Kross gets Theory up, knees him low and hard, then bumps him off buckles. Kross runs in but Theory knees him back! Theory runs, into an EXPLODER! Fans fire up as Kross says this is the end! Kross gets Theory up, brings him in, DOOMS- NO! Theory rakes eyes while Gargano distracts the ref! Scarlett protests but Kross bails out. Gargano tells Theory to take advantage of the bad eyes! Theory gets around all the big strikes, and he RAMS Kross into Plexiglas! And then DDT’s him hard to the floor! Fans boo, Theory leaves Kross behind, but Kross gets in at 9.9!
Kross then slides out, Theory goes out after him, Kross scoops and aims, but Theory slips off to POST Kross first! Gargano is even surprised as Theory puts Kross in! BUZZSAW! Theory rains down fists, stomps away on arms and shoulders, then rains down forearms! Scarlett coaches Kross, fans rally up, and Kross knees Theory low and hard! Theory ends up on the apron, Kross storms over but into a hotshot! Theory slingshot somersaults for a SHOTGUN dropkick! Cover, ONE?! Kross shocks The Way but Gargano coaches Theory to keep focus. Theory stalks Kross, runs in and clotheslines in a corner! Then scoops for a FALL AWAY SLAM!
Theory gives a thumbs up to Gargano, but Kross is back up! DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! And then another DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Kross is winding the hands of time, “TIME’S UP!!” APOCALYPSE ELBOW!! Kross doesn’t cover, either, he rains down forearms of fury on Theory’s head! Kross stares Gargano down as he puts on the KROSSJACKET!! Theory is OUT, Kross wins!!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
This could’ve been called by knockout after what Kross did to Theory! Kross promised to hit harder than life itself, and he may just have! Will Kross do this to everyone on his path? But wait! Finn Balor appears! Fans are going nuts as Prince and Doomsday stare down! Finn says he doesn’t wait in line. He wants his rematch! Kross wants another round, too, so challenge accepted! When and where will these two forces of NXT collide again?
Next week will be COLOSSAL because Bronson Reed is getting his shot! Will Reed crush Johnny Gargano and take the NXT North American Championship away from him?
NXT shares an exclusive from earlier today.
William Regal was talking about tonight’s big title matches, but Leon Ruff walked in. He apologizes for interrupting and says he wants to compete. Regal, however, says that would not be wise after how he was beat up last week. Ruff knew Regal would say that, he checked with the medical team and they said he was cleared. Regal knows that, they report to him. But that doesn’t matter, he won’t allow it. Ruff says that’ snot good enough and he throws things off Regal’s desk! “What do I gotta do?!” Regal says Ruff is NOT competing tonight, and tells him to leave. Ruff storms off, but what will Ruff do to get even with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott?
MSK VS Breezango!
Wes Lee & Nash Carter have made an impact as NXT Tag Team Champions, but they have to be careful with the fashionable and formidable Prince Pretty and Lord of the Dance! Will these #MustSeeKids continue to prove their worth?
The teams sort out and Lee starts with Breeze. They circle, fans rally and the two tie up. They go around, Breeze arm-drags and then backs away to lounge on the top rope. Fandango “makes it rain” on Breeze, Lee rushes in but Breeze waistlocks to a snapmare, only for Lee to return with a shoulder tackle! Things speed up, Breeze hurdles, Lee FLIPS, and fans admit that was good. Lee does a shimmy, then hurdles Breeze, but Breeze whips Lee. Lee stops to suplex but Breeze fights that off. Breeze suplexes, Lee lands to waistlock, but Breeze bucks him away! SUPERKICKS collide, and the two shake out their legs. Breeze seems a bit stunned Lee is this quick, but both he and Lee tag out.
Carter and Dango circle, tie up, and Dango wrenches to a wristlock. Carter rolls, handsprings and flips to arm-drag Dango away. Carter wrenches an arm now, whips Dango to a corner, but Dango goes up and over to arm-drag back! Dango swivels hips, things speed up again, Carter dropkicks Dango down! Carter shows off his own hip swivels, Dango kicks low! Dango headlocks, Breeze tags in as Carter powers out. Carter and Breeze drop, and drop, and then drop, Dango eventually runs into Breeze! Breeze headlocks Carter, Carter powers out, and somehow the ref ends up part of this! The ref hurdles, Carter dropkicks Breeze out of the ring! Fans are rallying for the ref!
Breeze and Carter reset, the ref remembers he’s a ref, but fans still say “That was Awesome!” as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fandango has Lee in a headlock. Lee fights up, Fandango knees low then whips him to a corner. Lee manages to dodge to then ENZIGURI Fandango! Lee snapmares Dango, handsprings back but Dango gets under and JAPANESE ARM-DRAGS Lee into buckles! Fandango gets Lee up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, Carter breaks it! Dango is upset, but he drags Lee up and over to tag Breeze. Breeze has the legs, he and Dango coordinate, but Lee disrupts the Fashion Faux Pas with a shoulder tackle! Lee stomps Breeze then stumbles away to tag in Carter! MSK rallies on Breeze with kick after kick, BUZZSAW to DOUBLE STOMPS! And then, the PUSH-SAULT! Cover, Dango barrels in to break it!
All four men are down, the fans are fired up, and all four rise as the fans rally up. Lee and Breeze are on one side, Dango and Carter on the other. Lee and Breeze punch first, but Dango and Carter respond. They go back and forth, Lee and Breeze, Dango and Carter. The brawl moves to everyone’s feet, Lee ENZIGURIS but Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS! Breeze dodges Carter to SUPER MODEL KICK! MSK is down, Breeze hurries to tag in Dango! Dango climbs and Carter is in a drop zone! Carter gets up fast, though, and SHORYUKENS! Carter climbs to join Dango, but Dango resists the superplex! Dango throws body shots, knocks Carter away, but Carter returns with a JUMPING KNEE!
Carter sees Breezango outside, goes to the corner, SUPER MOONSAULT takes them both down! Fans are thunderous as Carter puts Dango in and tags Lee! MSK coordinates, assisted SHOTGUN dropkick! Breeze tags in as Dango is in the corner, and he gets Lee’s arms! Lee resists the turn, Carter SUPERKICKS! MSK combines, BLOCKBUSTER SPINEBUSTER! Cover, MSK wins!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall
That energy and innovation is why MSK are NXT Tag Team Champions! Breezango show respect to the young champions, but MSK tells Legado that the champs aren’t hard to fine! If they want the titles, come get them! MSK all night and all day!
Alexander Wolfe is showing signs of the stomach flu, so he won’t be competing against Killian Dain tonight! Will Imperium’s Hatchet Man have to try again next week when it comes to settling things with the Belfast Beast?
Johnny Gargano angrily leads NXT Media to William Regal’s office.
Gargano shouts “This sucks!” as he heads for the door. Regal says this is actually rather nice. He doesn’t have a meeting and the door was open this time. Gargano asks if he heard right about next week’s title match. He did hear right! Well that’s real nice, isn’t it? First, Regal feeds Theory to the wolves, then he hates Gargano enough to put him in a match! Regal doesn’t hate Gargano, he respects Gargano’s ability. Then treat him like it! Treat him like the North American Champion! That’s what Regal’s doing! So Gargano’s still facing Reed next week! Good luck.
Gargano grabs for the brass knuckles and Regal tells him not to dare touch that. Gargano takes Regal’s pencil and breaks it! Will Gargano’s anger only cost him when he takes on another huge challenge?
BIG news for the next TakeOver!
As first broken by Barstool Sports’ Rasslin’ podcast with Brandon Walker, NXT is back In Your House! June 13, 2021, NXT brings back the retro tradition to make a new tradition of their own! And Todd Pettengill will be back, too!
Ever-Rise has an impromptu episode of Ever-Rise Live.
Well not really, they’re just behind commentary.
Pete Dunne is in the ring.
“So Karrion Kross has chosen Finn Balor? And y’know what? I don’t blame him. Because we both know I’m the toughest match-up there is. So Karrion, keep ducking me, mate. Cuz sooner or later, that title is mine! Cuz I’m the baddest man in NXT! And see if anyone in the back thinks otherwise, here’s your chance! Try and prove me wrong!” Dunne is issuing an open challenge! But who takes it? LEON RUFF, and from outta nowhere! Ruff fires off hands, Dunne shoves him away, but Ruff comes back with a dropkick! Dunne bails out, Ruff dares him to come back, and it seems Regal’s orders had a loophole! Will this be another rough night for Ruff? Or will he show the Bruiserweight what tough is all about?
Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff!
The bell rings and Ruff fires off on Dunne again! Dunne SPINEBUSTERS Ruff and rains down fists from all sides for that! Dunne goes for an arm, Ruff throws him away and KICKS from the mat! Ruff runs corner to corner but Dunne puts him on the apron. Ruff ROCKS Dunne, goes up and around and under, but Dunne gets the arm to roll Ruff for body scissors. Dunne clamps onto Ruff’s arm, bends the fingers back as far as he can, and Ruff shouts in pain as Dunne tortures the digits! Dunne locks the arm, hammers Ruff in the head, then shifts to twist the wrist. Ruff gets up, fans fire up and Ruff CHOPS! Ruff goes up the corner, on the ropes and SPRINGBOARD RANAS!
Dunne staggers up, but sends Ruff into ropes to then CLOBBER him! Ruff gasps for air, Dunne kicks him in the side then goes after the arm again. Dunne bends the fingers way back, and STOMPS the shoulder! Dunne kicks at Ruff, Ruff crawls to ropes, but Dunne wraps the arm around ropes to bend him back! Dunne chinbars to CHOP Ruff down! The ref reprimands but Dunne drags Ruff up again to SLAP! Ruff CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne shoves Ruff, Ruff dodges to ENZIGURI! Dunne falls into a BACKBREAKER, Ruff pops Dunne up for another ENIGURI! Ruff goes up to hit a missile dropkick! But Dunne ENZIGURIS on return!
Dunne gets Ruff up, whips, but Ruff rebounds to LARIAT! Ruff keeps moving, leaps, but Dunne DECKS him! Dunn has a TRIANGLE HOLD and throws elbows in over and over! Ruff is OUT, the ref calls it!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by referee stoppage
Ruff is tough, but the Bruiserweight is just that brutal. Will Dunne show no mercy until he’s got the title match he wants? Speaking of no mercy, Dunne grabs Ruff’s hand and SNAPS the fingers!! Will Ruff regret going around Regal’s orders?
El Legado del Fantasma speaks.
Raul Mendoza says tonight, we’ll see who the real NXT Cruiserweight Champion is, and that is Santos Escobar. Joaquin Wilde says that while Kushida is champion right now, Escobar brings it home. Escobar himself says that the only reason Kushida is still champion is because Escobar has let him. It stops tonight! Escobar vows that after tonight, he will be Leader of Leaders, Emperor of Lucha Libre, sange y tradicion, and TWO-TIME NXT Cruiserweight Champion! Will the Phantom be able to back up all these words when he must defeat Kushida not once but twice in the same match?
Ladies and gentlemen, you’re cordially invited…
…to the greatest moment of your lives! The in-ring premiere, live on NXT in two weeks, Franky Money! Will Monet live up to the hype when she finally laces up her boots?
MORE BREAKING NEWS!
It has been made official! Two weeks from tonight, Kross VS Balor the epic rematch happens live on NXT! The NXT Championship will be back on the line, but will the Prince take back his throne?
NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez!
Big Mami Cool knew Cobra Kai wasn’t going to cut it against Mean Ms. Martinez, so she took matters into her own hands. Raquel respects that Mercedes paved the way, but she won’t show any restraint against her in the ring! Will Mercedes return the favor when she takes away the title?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Ricky Desperado’s first defense puts her to the test!
Mercedes goes right after Raquel with heavy hands! And she clotheslines Raquel up and out of the ring! Mercedes goes to the apron and CANNONBALLS! Raquel goes down, and Mercedes scares Dakota off! Mercedes runs and KNEES Raquel into Plexiglas! The ring count climbs, Mercedes refreshes it, and goes out to fire off on Raquel again! Mercedes puts Raquel in as NXT goes picture in picture.
Raquel hits back and CLUBS Mercedes, then bumps her off buckles! Raquel stomps Mercedes, drags her back up and whips her corner to corner hard! Mercedes hits the mat, Raquel looms over her, and then drags her into a chicken wing and chinbar. Mercedes endures being stretched, fights up to her feet, but Raquel throws her down by her hair! Raquel stalks Mercedes, chokes her on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Raquel brings Mercedes around but Mercedes fires off again! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel with an uppercut then bumps her off buckles! Mercedes stomps a mudhole, digs her boots in, but lets off as the ref counts.
Mercedes gets Raquel up to ROCK with another uppercut, then whips her to ropes. Raquel dodges to DECK Mercedes with one right! Raquel scoops and walks around with Mercedes before the SLAM! Cover, TWO! Raquel grows frustrated but she stands over Mercedes. Raquel gives Mercedes toying kicks before she SNAP SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Raquel is right on Mercedes with a keylock and chinbar! Mercedes endures, fights and gets a ropebreak with a foot. Raquel throws Mercedes down then covers, TWO! Mercedes gets back to the ropes, Raquel storms over but Mercedes throws body shots. Raquel CLUBS Mercedes down and throws elbows. Cover, TWO!
Raquel argues with the ref as Mercedes gets to ropes. Raquel throws haymakers, lets off as the ref counts, and Mercedes hits back! Mercedes CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms and CHOPS as NXT returns to single picture! Mercedes whips, Raquel reverses and LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel is frustrated again, and she drags Mercedes up by her hair. Raquel whips Mercedes to a corner, runs in to SPLASH, then brings Mercedes out to scoop and SLAM again! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Mercedes survives, but Raquel drags her into a chinlock. Mercedes endures and throws punches from below! Mercedes gets free, CLUBS Raquel, then fires off more strikes!
Raquel shoves Mercedes, but Mercedes comes back to go after legs! Mercedes gets Raquel down, fires off hands but Raquel throws her out of the ring! Mercedes returns and clamps on a SLEEPER! Raquel flails and scrambles around, and RAMS Mercedes into buckles! Mercedes holds on, Raquel RAMS her in again! Mercedes is holding on tight, but Raquel powers her through to a lawn dart, only for Mercedes to send her into ropes! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel, runs in but misses in the corner! Mercedes dodges the boot to ROCK Raquel again! Mercedes gets Raquel onto the top rope for a DRAPING SWINGING NECKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are fired up as Mercedes and Raquel are down! Raquel gets to an apron, Mercedes joins her and runs in to SPEAR her onto the apron! Fans are thunderous and Dakota panics as both women flop to the floor! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up and in at 7 of 10! Cover, TWO!! Raquel kicks from the mat but so does Mercedes! They kick more, Mercedes gets up to stomp and ROCK Raquel, throwing heavy hand after heavy hand! Mercedes runs, but rolls into an ALLEY-OOP into ropes! Mercedes flops out of the ring but Raquel snarls as she crawls after her. Raquel won’t leave it to the count as she drags Mercedes up and RAMS her into barriers!
Raquel brings Mercedes up to lawn dart into the post! Raquel goes in, drags Mercedes to a cover, TWO!! Mercedes is still in this and Raquel is starting to lose her cool. Dakota coaches Raquel, fans rally and duel, and Raquel drags Mercedes up. Mercedes jawbreakers back! Mercedes kicks a leg, throws haymakers, then runs, but Raquel shields herself from the body check. Mercedes stomps Raquel more, throws EuroUppers, then runs, but Raquel LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel hurries to get Mercedes up for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Raquel is angry, she gets Mercedes up, but Mercedes fights the bomb off to roll up! TWO, and Mercedes KNEES Raquel down!
Mercedes drags Raquel up, fisherman to the BUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Raquel survives and Mercedes can’t believe it! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up by her wrists, fires off KNEE after KNEE into her head, but Raquel dodges the third to BOOT! Raquel hurries to drag Mercedes back up, hooks the leg, DESPERADO BOMB!! Cover, Raquel wins!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Champion)
Mercedes put up one hell of a fight, but in the end, it was not enough! Will Raquel continue to knock down those that line up to face her?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and crew arrive.
They don’t let the cameramen get in their way and even shove one down! #TopDolla AJ Francis tells him to get up, he wasn’t even pushed that hard. What will Swerve, AJF, Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Briana Brandy have to say to NXT after the break?
NXT returns and Gargano is getting kicked out from somewhere?
Gargano promises to see Reed next week, and we find that he just finished attacking Reed in his locker room! Reed gets up and says, “Johnny’s a dead man!” But Reed is in no shape to do anything about it tonight, will he have 7 days to grow meaner and madder?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott stands on stage.
He has a mic to say, “It’s about to get real spooky here in NXT.” With that, the “Hit Row” make their first official entrance! Brandy, Adonis and #TopDolla stand with Swerve, strike a pose, and then swagger down to the ring. They get Swerve a chair so he can sit, and he admits he made mistakes in NXT. But the biggest mistake was that he was trying to be something that the fans all thought he was. That’s not Swerve! “Whose house? Swerve’s house?” “Swerve is confidence?” That’s not him! But what is Swerve? “Swerve is a savage. Swerve is disrespectful. Swerve is a very dangerous man.” And that’s how he’s been the last six months.
So it only felt right to recruit those who felt just like him! Staring with Top Dolla! Why he Top Dolla? Because from the NFL to A&E to XXL Magazine to NXT on USA, he makes top dolla everyday! He’s nefarious, scariest, make you digest each line like lariats! Anyone want a beef? He gonna bury ya! You don’t know what’ sat stake, you become vegetarian! Quick question? Who hotta than Top Dolla? Not nada! Adonis has three rules. First, details are crucial. Second, don’t try him, proceed with caution. And third, check your energy when you come around them or you gonna get WORLDSTAR’D! Whoa, alright, relax, no one else is out here.
Brandy says you just have to look at her and you’ll understand she’s fab. They see it! Brandy IS fab. But unlucky for everyone else, she’s also legit. She’s been on tour with Juicy J, been overseas and coulda stayed, but Swerve said he needed a mind, so she didn’t mind. She’s the dime who makes the deals, like last week with Leon Ruff. Who? That boy’s a done deal. They put money on Ruff’s head so Dolla dropped him! Swerve says this is fun and all, but look at what’s in the ring right now! “This here is a problem! Together, we produce hits! We are Hit Row! And if you didn’t know, now you know!” Will these four hit the top of the charts and get gold as easy as breathing?
Cameron Grimes went to a local auction today.
The auction was for a beautiful lakefront home with 8 bed, 6 baths, a full Jacuzzi and a deck overlooking the lake. The bidding starts at two MILLION dollars! But Cameron Grimes said, “Hold the phone!” He asks Mr. Alan if it’s for two, then put him down. Yes, sir, please have a seat first. Grimes says no problem. Two million? Two fifty? Three? Grimes can’t keep up, why’s he talking so fast? The numbers climb, Grimes says everyone should just stop now as he goes for four million. Five million! Five and a half! Grimes is getting annoyed. Who is that? Six million! Seven! Eight MILLION! Grimes is confident, but then someone says TWENTY MILLION!?!? Grimes can’t handle that!
Who spends 20 million on a house?! The winner is TED DEBIASE!! Grimes loses his mind again and says Ted is ruining his life! Grimes dares him to bring it on! DeBiase says it again, everyone has a price for the Million Dollar Man. And Grimes is no Million Dollar Man. Grimes shouts, “WHYYYY~!?” But when and where, if at all, will Grimes finally get even with the living legend?
Zoey Stark speaks.
“I was a big fan of Toni Storm before I got here. She is exactly what she says she is: a global superstar.” The problem is, Toni stopped performing and started talking. Toni said Stark was pissing her off as a “flavor of the month” that was losing her taste. Toni does not like Stark, but not because Stark beat her, but because she outworks her. Stark practically lives in the gym, moves around in the weight room, puts in the hard work to be a success, and then beat Storm. We get a rematch next week, and it won’t be an upset but a legit victory because Storm is going to face a wrestling machine! Will Stark ride the lightning and end #ToniTime before it begins again?
Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne!
While #CoolKyle wants another go at the NXT Championship, but the Boston Brawler says he just can’t get it done! Kyle knows Lorcan is itching for a fight so he’s giving him a fight on live television! Will Kyle use Lorcan as a launching pad back into the top title scene?
The bell rings, Kyle and Lorcan circle, and they tie up. They end up on the ropes, the ref counts and the two reset. Kyle and Lorcan tie up again, Lorcan gets an arm but Kyle gets them to the ropes again. The ref counts, the two back off, and then go again. Lorcan powers Kyle onto ropes, lets off, but swings a chop! Kyle dodges, kicks but Lorcan blocks! Lorcan gets a facelock, floats all around, gets the arm, and drags Kyle down to a headscissor. Kyle moves around, rolls Lorcan over to get the legs then float to a headlock. Kyle shifts his grip to then get an arm. Lorcan fights free, fights up, and puts Kyle in a corner. The ref counts, Lorcan swings but Kyle ducks to hit back! And again!
Kyle headlocks, grinds Lorcan, but Lorcan powers out, only for Kyle to run him over! Things speed up, Lorcan BLASTS Kyle down with that back elbow! Lorcan bumps Kyle off buckles, whips him corner to corner hard, and Kyle hits the mat! Lorcan looms over Kyle, taunts him, and has him at the ropes to shove and CLUBS him in the back! Kyle flops to the apron, Lorcan goes after him through the ropes, but Kyle gets a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Kyle lets off, and Dunne is right there. Kyle stares Dunne down but Lorcan CLBOBERS him from behind! Fans boo and Kyle writhes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Lorcan knocks Kyle down with a straddle attack! Lorcan rains down rights, but lets Kyle get up so he can CHOP him to a corner! Lorcan talks trash right in Kyle’s face before he CHOPS him! Kyle hits back, Lorcan CHOPS again, repeat! Kyle manages to stay up, KICKS back, but Lorcan blocks a kick to elbow the knee! Lorcan runs in to back elbow Kyle in a corner. Lorcan goes corner to corner but into a kitchen sink knee! Kyle gets Lorcan up, clinches and fires off knees, then SLAPS and knees and KICKS! Kyle sweeps the legs, fans fire up! Lorcan goes to a corner, Kyle runs in, and hits a BIG forearm smash! Kyle wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER and BIG back suplex!
Kyle gets a HEEL HOOK! Lorcan goes for his own but rolls to a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kyle lets off fast and KICKS Lorcan’s leg! Lorcan CHOPS back, Kyle KICKS, repeat! Kyle knees low, reels Lorcan in for a facelock but Lorcan fights off the guillotine, only to get a KNEE to the chest! Kyle gets Lorcan up, BRAINBUSTER! Kyle goes to a corner, climbs up top, KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, Kyle wins!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall
Dunne fires off on Kyle! Kyle hits back but Lorcan returns! Lorcan get Kyle down so Dunne can STOMP Kyle’s head! The 2v1 mugging continues, but BOBBY FISH returns! He fires off KICKS on Dunne and Lorcan! Fish DECKS Lorcan, SPLASHES Dunne, but Lorcan comes back. Fish elbows Lorcan away, BOOTS Dunne out, and Kyle KICKS Lorcan down! Fans are fired up as reDRagon has reunited! Well, not quite. Kyle says he is doing his own thing, and Fish respects that, because he has his own scores to settle with Dunne and Lorcan. Will these two finish what the Bruiserweight and Boston Brawler started, but not together?
“In a world…”
“…filled with evil and uncertainty, two women overcame every obstacle and found a way to achieve their destiny.” The NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions are Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae, of The Way! Cheesy superhero movie stuff aside, will Indi & Candice lead the way into the future?
Bronson Reed speaks.
“JOHNNY, GARGANO! I am sick to death of you! I am sick to death of Austin Theory, and I am sick to death of The Way!” Reed talked with William Regal, and he has given Reed what he wants! The North American Championship match is now inside a STEEL CAGE!! Will this already colossal match going full metal be the way Gargano’s reign ends?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma!
The Time Splitter dethroned the undisputed Cruiserweight Champion right after TakeOver: Stand & Deliver because of the arrogance of Escobar’s open challenge. But now, Escobar has returned to take this title away! This will settle things so that there are no excuses! Will the Emperor of Lucha be better than the Super Junior twice to solidify his legacy?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and perhaps the most important match in this division’s history main events NXT!
Escobar kicks and clubs Kushida right away! Then he throws Kushida out! The ref keeps him in the ring but Legado makes a move! Kushida is ready and he hits them first! Then MSK FLIES in from the barriers! Lee & Carter aren’t going to let Wilde & Mendoza ruin this, and also get in some shots before their own inevitable title match! Lee ROUNDHOUSES, Carter KNEES, and the ref has to tell them all they’re EJECTED from ringside! Good enough for MSK! Escobar is pissed, but he doesn’t see Kushida climbing! He turns around, Kushida SUPER SWANTONS! Direct hit and the CWC is thunderous as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Kushida runs but into a dropkick! Escobar catches his breath, drags Kushida from ropes, and has a Half Crab that he gets a side angle on so he can fishhook Kushida’s face! The ref reprimands, Escobar drags Kushida up and puts him in a corner. Escobar CHOPS Kushida down, hoists him up top, and then CHOPS him again! Escobar climbs up to fireman’s carry, for a TOP ROPE GUTBUSTER! Kushida flops to the steel steps below, Escobar goes out after him to throwback to their previous match! Boston Crab into the post! The ref counts, Escobar lets off because he can’t waste a fall, and he goes into the ring. Kushida KICKS, Escobar fires off forearms!
Escobar whips, drop toeholds, then gets the legs to hook them up. Escobar clubs Kushida, gets his arms, and brings Kushida into the ROMERO SPECIAL! Kushida endures the floating surfboard, Escobar throws him down and then reels him into a deep camel clutch! Kushida still endures, Escobar shifts to shoot the half on a cover, TWO! Kushida gets to a corner but Escobar kicks him down! Escobar stands Kushida up, fires forearms, but Kushida fires them back! Escobar BOOTS Kushida, KICKS him, then stalks him back to a corner. Escobar digs his knees in and chokes Kushida on ropes, but the ref counts. Escobar lets off, to then pull Kushida back against ropes!
The ref counts, Escobar lets off, he stomps Kushida and kicks him around. Escobar drags Kushida up, throws more forearms, then runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE Kushida down! Fans rally and duel while Escobar talks trash to Kushida. Escobar gives more kicks, more haymakers, and more CHOPS! Kushida staggers, Escobar puts him back in the corner and ROCKS him! Escobar puts Kushida up top, climbs up to join him, but Kushida shoves him away! Escobar comes back to bring Kushida down for more haymakers! Escobar climbs up so he can rain down punches and he gets 10! The fans duel, Escobar soaks up the heat, and he puts Kushida up top to CHOP!
Escobar climbs again, and SUPER STEINERS, but into a sunset flip! TWO!! Kushida is after an arm, Escobar whips him away, but Kushida handsprings and back elbows! Kushida whips to hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick Escobar down! Kushida fires up but Escobar KNEES him first! Fireman’s carry and PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar scores a fall!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 0
The Emperor has the first point and is now in control! Fans rally up and Escobar runs in, DOUBLE KNEES to Kushida! Escobar runs, but Kushida jumps to get a body scissors! Kushida drags Escobar down, gets the arm and has the ARMBAR!! Escobar knows he’s stuck, so he TAPS!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 1
In the blink of an eye, we’re back to square one! It all comes down to this, who will be NXT Cruiserweight Champion?! Both men recover as NXT goes picture in picture!
Escobar shakes out the bad arm while Kushida is in a corner. A ring count could still settle this but Escobar gets in. Kushida runs corner to corner to dropkick Escobar down! Kushida stomps and stomps and then rains down fists! Kushida lets off to get Escobar up and wrench the arm. ARMBAR BULLDOG! Kushida stands over Escobar, stands on the arm and hammerlocks it to CRANK it!! Escobar writhes and clutches the elbow but Kushida is after him again. Kushida KICKS the shoulder, Escobar reaches for ropes but Kushida drags him away. Kushida wrenches to another ELBOW BREAKER!
Escobar staggers to a corner, Kushida drags him down and locks the bad arm to then get the good arm and step over. Kushida has the double omoplata and SNAP LOCKS ’em! Escobar writhes, Kushida KICKS him in the leg and the side over and over! Escobar rolls to an apron, Kushida is after him, but Escobar kicks him away. Kushida comes back to KICK the bad arm! Kushida gets the arm, pushes down for a cover, TWO, into a KIMURA! Escobar fights up, Kushida CLUBS the arm and YANKS it! Kushida wants the double wristlock again but Escobar gets up. They go around and around, Kushida stays clamped on and NXT returns to single picture.
They go around and around and Escobar throws Kushida out! Escobar goes out after Kushida but Kushida is right after the arm! Escobar RAMS Kushida into barriers! Escobar hurries inside, Kushida gets him through the ropes! Escobar ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida has the KIMURA again! Escobar HOTSHOTS Kushida down! Escobar builds speed to DIVE!! Direct hit at the ramp with that Arrow from Hell! Escobar puts Kushida in, covers, TWO!! Kushida is still in this but Escobar covers again, TWO! Escobar underhooks the arms, Kushida fights the driver, and he breaks free to wrench and run! Escobar scoops, tilt-o-whirl but Kushida makes it a DDT!!
Both men are down and the CWC is thunderous! Kushida goes to a corner, Escobar slowly gets up. Kushida climbs a corner to AX HANDLE the bad arm! Kushida hits the FAST BALL and the PENALTY KICK! Escobar bails out but Kushida builds speed to slide. Escobar ducks under to waistlock, but Kushida has the arm to ARMBAR BULLDOG again! Fans are fired up as Kushida drags Escobar back up. Kushida puts Escobar in, stalks up behind Escobar, but Escobar avoids the kick! Kushida wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO!! Kushida jumps on to body scissor! Escobar makes the Hoverboard into a small package! TWO!! CALF KICK!
Escobar drags Kushida up into the fireman’s carry, but Kushida fights free! Escobar switches, Kushida blocks to sit, TWO, to a sunset! TWO, high stack! TWO, sunset, TWO! Prawn hold, TWO!!! Things speed up again, DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down!! “This is Awesome!” and still isn’t over yet! Escobar and Kushida slowly stir, Escobar is in a corner and Kushida runs in! Escobar blocks, puts Kushida up top and ENZIGURIS! Escobar climbs up again, fireman’s carries, fans anticipate what’s coming, and Kushida does, too! Kushida elbows free this time! Kushida has Escobar with a double wristlock, SUPER ARM-DRAG!! HOVERBOARD LOCK!!
Escobar endures, reaches, but Kushida drags him away from the ropes!! Kushida cranks as hard as he can but Escobar keeps fighting! ROPEBREAK! Kushida has the arm still, Escobar rams into buckles, and again! Kushida throws knees in return, and HAMMERLOCK SUPLEXES Escobar into buckles! Kushida drags Escobar back up, for another HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Kushida wins!!!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
The Time Splitter outmaneuvers Escobar and holds onto the title! Will this send the Emperor of Lucha to the back of the line? Who is next for Kushida’s growing reign?
What an awesome night! Of course, just about every week of NXT is awesome, but this was especially awesome. I don’t usually note recap packages, but NXT used the small recap of last week’s NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match to transition into hyping up tonight’s matches. That is something Raw and even SmackDown can learn to do with their recent use of opening recaps. And using this one to set up Kross VS Theory opening the show was pretty well done. Theory and Gargano had great character work here, the match itself was perhaps the most intense a squash match could be, and of course Kross wins.
Gargano being mad at Regal is of course a great running gag. Gargano gets mad he has a match next week, reactively attacks Reed and only makes things worse for himself, and I am sure I am going to again be surprised by how well a steel cage match can go. Maybe Gargano wins, maybe Reed wins, who knows. The Way having that quick superhero spot to remind us again that Candice & Indi won the tag titles was fun, but I was hoping for a bit more, like a minute or so showing us how dysfunctional and chaotic it was to get things right for that little bit we got to see. Or at least a reaction from Shotzi and Ember. Maybe we get another The Way superhero video and then a reaction next week.
The next couple of weeks are being built up pretty well, too. Storm VS Stark, the North American Championship Steel Cage match, maybe Wolfe VS Dain that we were supposed to get tonight, just to name a few for next week, are all great matches. Then in two weeks, Franky Monet finally wrestles for NXT, and Kross VS Balor happens on TV! A big match in May before TakeOver: In Your House 2021 in June makes some sense, and will make for awesome television again. But I am thinking Kross finds a way to retain so that he can be the one who faces Kyle at TakeOver. Dunne’s open challenge answered by Ruff was great, Kyle VS Lorcan was great, Fish returning was awesome, and while I like them as reDRagon, it makes a lot of sense for Kyle and Fish to try things as singles stars for right now.
Grimes losing an auction to DeBiase was great, if only because it gives us a general idea of the (kayfabe) amount of money Grimes is making. He was willing to go to eight million but high double digits was too much. “Hit Row” is a good enough name for Swerve’s faction, their promos together were alright, it was the first time #TopDolla, Briana Brandy or even Ashante “Thee” Adonis (Tehuti Miles) have gotten real talking time, but it helped get their personalities and roles in the group across. Give it some time and I’m sure these four will be a top faction in NXT.
I’m a little surprised the women’s title didn’t main event, but I suppose it did give the match time to breathe. I think some booing had to be piped in to convince viewers that Raquel was the Heel, because I am sure the CWC fans love both Raquel and Mercedes. Raquel retaining makes sense, she just got going with this title, and she is definitely heading to TakeOver to face just about anyone NXT wants her to because there are so many good choices. MSK VS Breezango was a very good tag match, and they had the ref getting involved in a way that enhanced the match, and I think started getting some of the more reluctant CWC fans onboard.
MSK calling out Legado is a good move on their part, as was helping fight Legado off during the main event. Kushida VS Escobar is an awesome match, definitely worthy of the main event, but I figured there would be the usual case of WWE and televised wrestling making the second fall happen really quickly. But even then, NXT had a brilliant way of making that work because commentary sold the surprise of that armbar. Escobar took a smart, tactical approach of giving up his lead to save his arm, and then that arm still comes back to bite him because Kushida just kept after it and used that to win. Kushida retaining makes sense, Escobar can move on to whoever or whatever else, Kushida can give us fresh match ups, and surely Jordan Devlin will be putting his name back in the conversation soon enough.
My Score: 9.4/10
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