The NXT landscape could suddenly shift in one night!
Finn Balor is back on his throne as THE NXT Champion! But what’s next for his second reign? Plus, BOTH the North American and Tag Team Championships are on the line!
- Io Shirai VS Shotzi Blackheart; Shirai wins.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Desmond Troy; Ciampa wins.
- Austin Theory VS KUSHIDA; KUSHIDA wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championships: Breezango VS Imperium; Breezango wins and retains the NXT Tag Team Championships.
- Xia Li & Jessi Kamea VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter; Catanzaro & Carter win.
- The Undisputed Era VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick; Dain & Maverick win, by disqualification.
- NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest VS Timothy Thatcher; Priest wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Io Shirai VS Shotzi Blackheart!
The Robert Stone Brand tried to wreck the wild child’s ride, and crossed paths with the wrong Evil Genius! Shirai and Shotzi took the fight to Stone and Aliyah, but Shotzi playing around only made the NXT Women’s Champion turn focus all attention on her. Will Shotzi #TCB, Take Care o’ Business, and earn herself a shot at the title? Or will Shirai show it’s still 100 years too soon for Shotzi to defeat her?
The bell rings and the crowd is fired up already. Shotzi and Shirai circle but Shotzi offers a handshake. Shirai slaps the hand away and she ties up with Shotzi. Shotzi and Shirai go around, Shotzi arm-drags Shirai then boots, but Shirai deflects it. Shirai swings into a waistlock, Shotzi ducks the back hand to shove Shirai to ropes. Shirai comes back, Shotzi slides under the clothesline to howl at the moon! Things speed up again but Shotzi holds ropes to side step Shirai. Shirai falls back off the ropes, Shotzi goes for the legs but Shirai boots her away. Shotzi roll over Shirai to bring her up for a whip. Shirai handsprings back and the two stand off as the crowd fires up.
Shirai rushes Shotzi, Shotzi sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Shirai reverses rolls with the sweep, ONE! Shirai ghost pins, TWO! Shotzi kicks low, reels Shirai in for a powerbomb and jackknife covers, TWO! Shirai sunset flips and covers, TWO! Shirai wants the Rings of Saturn but Shotzi scrambles around to make it a cover, TWO! Shotzi runs Shirai over with a shoulder, arm scissors and rolls Shirai around to get the other arm! Shotzi tries for a recliner but Shirai resists. Shotzi clubs the shoulder as Shirai endures and reaches upside-down with legs. Shotzi keeps clubbing, Shirai keeps reaching, but Shotzi cranks back hard! Shirai kicks and flails and gets the ropebreak! Shotzi lets go fast as fans rally up.
Shotzi runs in but only gets buckles. Shirai runs in but is put on the apron. Shotzi ROCKS Shirai, runs but misses the dive! Shirai mule kicks and MOONSAULTS to take Shotzi down at the ramp! The crowd is thunderous as Shirai drags Shotzi back up. Shirai puts Shotzi in, covers, TWO! Fans sing for “IO~! Io, Io, Io~! Iooo~, Iooo~!” as NXT goes picture in picture.
Shotzi gets to ropes but Shirai stomps her to a corner. Shirai throws forearms and whips Shotzi corner to corner, but Shotzi reverses. Shotzi runs in, her monkey flip is blocked and Shirai puts her up top. Shotzi tries to boot but Shirai blocks it to YANK Shotzi off the top! Shotzi crashes down, Shirai handstands to drop knees hard! Cover, TWO! Shirai keeps her cool and might even be amused by Shotzi at this point. Shirai chokes Shotzi on the ropes but lets up at 4. Shotzi gets to another corner, Shirai snapmares her out and dropkicks her in the back! Shirai rear mounts to a camel clutch and sits deep on the hold!
Shotzi endures as Shirai pulls back hard. Shotzi gets an arm free, uses it to pray at the hold, but Shirai stomps her down! Shirai stalks Shotzi, drags her up and wrenches to reel her in for a cobra twist. Shirai digs her elbows into the ribs but Shotzi endures. Shotzi fights out of the hold but Shirai counters the hip toss to an arm-drag! Shirai elbows Shotzi in the corner, then comes back to throw heavy forearms again. Shirai keeps Shotzi from getting away and stomps her down! The ref counts, Shirai lets up at 4 and taunts Shotzi as Shotzi slowly stands. Shirai comes back to throw more forearms, then she brings Shotzi out, only for Shotzi to roll her up! TWO, and Shirai dropkicks Shotzi back to a corner!
Shirai swaggers over to CHOP Shotzi in the corner. And again! NXT returns to single picture as Shirai whips corner to corner. Shotzi goes up and over, rolls and comes back to shotgun dropkick Shirai in return! Shotzi hits a corner splash and fires off furious forearms! Shotzi pushes Shirai to hit a SLING DOG! The crowd fires up with Shotzi as she KICKS Shirai! Shirai blocks the rolling elbow, ROCKS Shotzi with a right, but Shotzi comes back with forearms of her own. The two trade forearms, and CHOPS, but Shirai gets the edge! Shirai fires up but Shotzi blocks the Shotei, only to miss the roundhouse. Shotzi blocks the boot, ducks the enziguri and reels Shirai into double chicken wings, but Shirai pops free to get the arm! Takedown to a CROSSFACE!
Shotzi endures as Shirai cranks back on the hold! Shotzi reaches around, kicks her legs, and gets a ropebreak with a foot! Shirai lets go and Shotzi leans on the ropes. Shirai runs but Shotzi ducks the tiger feint to ENZIGURI! And QUESTION MARK KICK! Shirai is on the ropes, Shotzi welcomes her to the BALL PIT! Shotzi fires up, drags Shirai up but Shirai grabs the ropes! Shotzi breaks one grip, then the other! Double chicken wings, for a TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!?! Shirai manages to tip over in time, but now Shotzi makes it CATTLE MUTILATION! Shirai endures, flails with arms and legs but she’s stuck in the middle of the ring! Shirai pushes up with her feet, rolls onto Shotzi for a cover, TWO!
Shotzi brings Shirai up to a fireman’s carry but Shirai fights out. Shirai shoves and FLAPJACKS Shotzi down! Shotzi flounders up, into the TIGER FEINT! Shirai climbs up top, aims at Shotzi, for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Shirai won’t slow down, she goes back up top, but Shotzi trips her up! Shotzi spins Shirai around, goes up top and SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi can’t believe how close yet so far she is from defeating the champion! Shotzi puts Shirai in the drop zone, heads back up top, but Shirai SHOTEIS first! Shirai climbs up, throws forearms and then grabs a leg. Shotzi resists the superplex, clubs Shirai back and puts her down on the apron! Shotzi boots Shirai, hops on abut Shirai bucks her off! Shirai APRON GERMAN SUPLEXES Shotzi down!!
Both women are down but only Shirai is on the apron! Shotzi is dazed as she slowly stirs and is somehow still okay to continue! Shirai drags Shotzi up and in to finish this directly. Cover, TWO!! Shirai is frustrated that Shotzi survived, but Shotzi is in the corner, still dazed. Shirai runs corner to corner, SHINKANSEN! Then Shirai puts Shotzi back in the drop zone before going back up top. Shirai goes OVER THE MOON!! Cover, Shirai wins!!
Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall
The title wasn’t on the line but it might as well have been! Shotzi pushes Shirai to her limit, but she doesn’t tank the Evil Genius! And Shirai does show Shotzi respect after, so Shotzi won something tonight! Will Shotzi find another way to earn a championship opportunity?
Tommaso Ciampa reviews his own actions since his NXT return.
He lived up to the old “Psycho Killer” nickname as he brutalized and essentially sidelined Jake Atlas just because he could. Will he decide to do even worse to another opponent here tonight?
NXT returns with a huge announcement!
It seems Shotzi will have an opportunity at earning a title shot, but so will ten others! Shotzi joins Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Xia Li, Indi Hartwell, Aliyah, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae in a #1 Contender’s Battle Royal next week! Who punches their golden ticket to the coming TakeOver?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Desmond Troy!
The song says “No One Will Survive,” but hopefully for this young prospect, it won’t be the case. Will any mercy be shown by the even more sadistic Blackhearted Ciampa?
The bell rings and Ciampa stares at Troy. They tie up, #DesTroy gets Ciampa’s leg and powers him to ropes. The ref calls for the ropebreak, Ciampa says it’s clean, but then he KNEES Troy in the head! Not really clean at all, was it? Ciampa snapmares to a chinlock and he grinds Troy down into the mat. Troy endures, Ciampa moves around to drag Troy up for a cravat and another snapmare. Ciampa goes to stomp but Troy moves and rolls Ciampa up, ONE! Ciampa stands up but Troy dropkicks him! Troy whips Ciampa to a corner but Ciampa comes back with big forearms! Ciampa corner clotheslines hard, then stomps a mudhole into Troy!
The ref counts, Ciampa lets up at 4, but then grabs the legs for a bottom buckle catapult guillotine! Tory crawls to the apron, Ciampa grabs him and brings him through the ropes, for WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Ciampa mercifully won quickly, but that also changes quick as Ciampa gets a chair! But wait! Jake Atlas is back and he gets Ciampa’s attention! Atlas could’ve run down there to attack Ciampa from behind, but he’s not a coward. Atlas knows Ciampa is dangerous because Ciampa has been the top of the food chain. But Atlas says that next week, “It’s my turn to eat. And I’m going to show you just how dangerous I can be.” The challenge has been issued, and Ciampa’s grin is perhaps his acceptance. Will Atlas get revenge? Or just get hurt even worse than before?
NXT Media catches Drake Maverick as he arrives.
Tonight, he and Killian Dain team up to take on Undisputed Era. But Dain has shown very little interest teaming with Maverick or anyone, so what is the plan for the match? Maverick says they have a common enemy, so that will help them take care of business. Sure, Maverick hasn’t heard from Dain all week, and Dain has already punched Maverick in the face a few times… Well, other than that, Maverick is confident they’ll be fine. Will it be fine? Or will it be Undisputed?
NXT hears from Finn Balor.
“Finn Balor. Adam Cole. Everyone wanted to know, ‘Who is the greatest?'” Adam is Undisputed, but there’s only one Prince. The questions keep coming. “What’s it like to be champion four years apart? How is NXT different then versus now? How will this reign be different from the last?” In the past, Finn did media tours, autograph signings, public appearances. He built the brand, carried it, became it. “But the future is a lot different. I don’t need the brand. I made the brand. And now the brand needs me.” Balor as champion makes the NXT Championship the most important one.
It doesn’t matter what country, NXT UK Champion Walter. It doesn’t matter what brand, Raw’s WWE World Champion Drew McIntyre, and it doesn’t matter what night, SmackDown’s WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Balor has been fighting for 20 years to be champion, so now people need to fight to face the champion. Form a queue, because the line starts here. But some advice: look both ways before you cross The Prince.
Austin Theory heads to the ring.
#AllDay didn’t really lost that long against the Colossal Bronson Reed, but that ego is immortal. He gets a mic to say, “Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. Austin Theory is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. And Bronson Reed, I hate bringing you up, but last week was a fluke.” Theory will prove that as fact by issuing an OPEN CHALLENGE! Anybody in the back, this is YOUR opportunity to tell the world that you were able to step in the ring with Austin Theory. Who accepts? KUSHIDA! Will the Time Splitter cut #AllDay short, too?
Austin Theory VS KUSHIDA!
The second Kushida hits the ring, he enziguris Theory down! The ref hurries in but Theory bails out! Kushida eggs Theory on and Theory gets back in, only for Kushida to trip him up! The bell rings, Kushida is all over Theory but Theory tires to counter. Kushida gets the half hatch and grinds Theory down but Theory gets the ropebreak. The ref counts, Theory is furious but Kushida lets off. Kushida eggs Theory on again, then rams into him for a takedown! Kushida floats, grabs at the arm but Theory gets away from one armbar only for Kushida to go for another! Theory pushes Kushida to ropes and hangs him out to dry! Then he LARIATS Kushida down!
Theory rains down angry left hands and stomps Kushida hard. Theory has Kushida on the ropes with clubbing forearms but Kushida hits back. Theory ROCKS Kushida, snap suplexes him and covers, ONE! Theory is cocky as he pushes Kushida around. Theory drags Kushida up but Kushida throws big forearms! Theory knees low, hits a back breaker, then toys with Kushida. All Day Standing Moonsault misses, and Kushida Penalty Kicks the arm! Kushida has the crowd fired up as he KICKS the arm, whips and YANKS on the arm to then kick and whip again! Hip toss, handspring basement dropkick! Theory flounders but the crowd is fired up as Kushida hits the handspring heel kick!
Theory bails out, Kushida aims and slingshots but lands on his feet as Theory moves. Theory kicks and aims but his forearm gets POST! Kushida wrenches that arm, and gives it a BULLDOG! The ring count climbs as the crowd is thunderous and Kushida puts Theory in. Theory stalks Theory, grabs both arms, and gives Theory Danielson Stomps! Then he wrenches the arm to the HOVERBOARD! Theory taps, Kushida wins!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by submission
But Kushida doesn’t let go! What has gotten into him!? Velveteen Dream is perhaps to blame for unlocking this side in the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Will Dream return to face the consequences of his actions?
NXT returns to hear from Candice LeRae.
The Pint-Sized Poison Pixie vents in a selfie video about how Tegan Nox says Candice is the one that’s changed. But at least Candice changed for the better! She offered Tegan “the opportunity of a lifetime,” and how does Tegan repay her? Johnny Gargano says it’s by breaking their television! Johnny is furious that their four-year wedding anniversary now has to be spent watching NXT on the crappy TV the put in the guest bedroom. And there’s still spaghetti everywhere, by the way! What’re they going to do? Buy a new TV? He is! And Tegan will get the bill!
But moving on, Candice has heard about the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal. The winner goes on to face Shirai at the next TakeOver. And guess who it’ll be? Candice! Also, Johnny found the most expensive flat screen he could: 100 inch, plasma screen, with 3D capabilities. Like looking into the sun! But it won’t be here for a few days, so they are still stuck watching “Crooked Tooth Thatcher versus Bootleg Slash for the North American Championship” on the bad TV. Luckily, it’s not in HD cuz those guys are oof. But after all this is said and done, Mr. and Mrs. Wrestling will have gold around their waists, will have the brand new TV, and will celebrate. Will the Garganos put their money where their mouths are soon enough?
NXT Tag Team Championships: Breezango VS Imperium!
Tyler Breeze and Fandango are back on the Fashion Force! Will they charge Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner with crimes against fashionability while keeping the tag titles under their custody? Or will the mat once again be sacred?
The introductions are made, but Imperium attack without hesitation! The ref tries to get peace but Breezango dump Imperium out of the ring! Things cool off long enough to have the teams sort out, and Aichner starts with Fandango. But Barthel blindsides Breeze at the bell! Aichner clubs Fandango down and this is already off to a one-sided start!
Aichner stomps away on Fandango at the ropes but lets off at the ref’s count. Aichner scoops Fandango to slam him down hard! The crowd rallies but Aichner pushes Fandango around. Tag to Barthel and Imperium drags Fandango up to mug him. Barthel bumps Fandango off buckles, ROCKS him with an uppercut, then stomps a mudhole in! The Impeccable German lets up at 4 but Fandango CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! Barthel keeps Fandango from Breeze with a bump off buckles. Barthel rains down right hands then stomps Fandango. Barthel taunts Breeze but the ref keeps Breeze at his corner. Barthel kicks Fandango then scrapes his soles off Fandango’s face! And adds a basement uppercut!
Barthel kicks Fandango to the ropes. Fandango gets up and hits back but Barthel hits a jawbreaker! Fandango is on the ropes, Aichner tags in and he chokes Fandango! Aichner lets up at 4 then back suplexes Fandango high and hard! Aichner soaks up the heat as he poses, then kicks at Fandango. Aichner drags Fandango up to whip but Fandango BOOTS back! Fandango hits Barthel but walks into a LARIAT from Aichner! Cover, TWO! Aichner grows frustrated but Fandango is also angry. Aichner toys with Fandango, grinds him with a facelock then drags him to the Imperium corner. Barthel tags in, they mug Fandango again, then Barthel chinlocks to grind Fandango down again. Barthel elbows Fandango in the head then looms over him at the ropes.
Barthel pulls on Fandango’s ear and twists it, then brings him up to whip into a corner. Barthel hits a running EuroUpper, then a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Fandango endures as Barthel puts him in a seated cobra twist, but Barthel stands him up for throat chops! Fandango ends up in the Imperium corner, Barthel digs his boots in then tags Aichner. The crowd rallies for Fandango and he fights back with forearms! Fandango runs but Aichner pushes him away, into Barthel’s BLINDSIDE EUROUPPER! Cover, TWO!! Aichner drags Fandango up and sticks him in the ropes. Tag to Barthel, Imperium hit the corner dropkick sandwich! Fandango is still stuck in enemy territory and the ropes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Barthel grinds Fandango down with a chinlock. He also trapped an arm in a high keylock. Fandango still fights up, fights free, but Barthel shoves him. Fandango kicks back and heads for his corner, but Barthel reels him back in! Fandango elbows Barthel, Barthel flounders but Fandango slows down! Fandango crawls, Barthel waistlocks and brings him back, but Fandango throws more back elbows. Barthel ducks an elbow but gets a LARIAT! Hot tags to Breeze and Aichner! Prince Pretty dodges and rallies on the Pride of Italy! Mule kick and dropkick! Aichner flounders, the crowed is fired up and Breeze forearms in the corner! Aichner reverses a whip but Breeze kicks him back!
Breeze hits a body scissor takedown to get a KNEEBAR! Aichner flails, kicks, Breeze makes it a Half Crab! Barthel get sin, Breeze ducks him and Fandango dumps Barthel out! Breeze scoops Aichner, Aichner kicks and flails to turn it around! Aichner pops Breeze into a fireman’s carry for a rolling senton! Aichner hops up, Fandango is there but Aichner punches him away! Breeze tucks Aichner in for the CHEEKY NANDOS! Aichner flops down, Breeze covers, Barthel breaks it up! All four men are down but the crowd is still fired up! Breeze drags Aichner over and Fandango is there, but Aichner uses the catapult to DECK Fandango! Breeze rolls Aichner but Aichner rolls Breeze, TWO! DEAD LIFT but Breeze fights out and gets to a corner! Barthel attacks Breeze but Aichner BOOTS Fandango!
Barthel shoves Breeze off the top and Aichner catches him for a BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, Fandango breaks it!! The crowd is thunderous as Barthel whips Fandango but Fandango throws Barthel out! Fandango drags Breeze to the corner, tags in, and he dodges Aichner to crossbody Aichner and himself out! Fandango brawls with Imperium on the outside but that’s 2v1! Breeze is on the apron but Barthel shouts, “NEIN!” He throws Breeze to Aichner again but Fandango saves Breeze this time! SUPERKICK for Aichner! SUPERKICK for Barthel! Fandango puts Aichner in, he climbs up top and aims, SUPER LEG DROP FLOPS!! Barthel PENALTY KICKS Fandango, Aichner dead lift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!!
Imperium is furious that the Lord of the Dance lives! Aichner kicks Fandango around, eggs him on, but Fandango CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Fandango whips Aichner corner to corner and runs for a TORNADO DDT! Both men are down, the crowd is thunderous, and hot tags to Barthel and Breeze! Breeze rallies on Barthel with forearms but Barthel dodges to uppercut back! Barthel runs into an enziguri! Aichner tags in, Barthel dodges Breeze and Aichner SPINE BUSTERS! PENALTY KICK! Imperium coordinates at the corner, EURO- NO! Fandango dropkicks Aichner and this sends him and Breeze towards Barthel! Breeze shoves Barthel down, huricanrana takeover to a cover, BREEZANGO WINS!!
Winners: Breezango, by pinfall (still NXT Tag Team Champions)
The Fashion Police win by the seat of their fashionable spandex pants! But now they’ve proven that you have to take them seriously in the ring! Will Barthel and Aichner feel like the butt of the joke when they reunite with the rest of Imperium?
Xia Li & Jessi Kamea VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter!
It’s time to get spicy in the NXT Women’s Division as a new combination takes on the dynamic duo of KC Squared! Xia, Kacy and Kayden are part of the #1 contender’s battle royal next week, but can one of these teams show NXT is still in the running for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships?
The teams sort out and Kayden starts with Xia. They tie up, Kayden gets the arm, wrenches to a wristlock, but Xia spins through to get a headlock. Xia wrenches, Kayden rolls and uses the ropes to roll back to wrench back. Xia breaks free, boots but misses and Kayden arm-drags Xia down! Kayden keeps on the arm, shifts to a facelock, and tags in Kacy. KC and KC double whip, trip Xia up, basement dropkick and slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Kacy keeps on Xia, Kayden tags back in, and they double snapmare to a ghost pin, TWO! Kayden drags Xia around by the arm, Xia reaches for Jessi but Kayden keeps her away. Xia knees low, whips Kayden to ropes and runs her over with an elbow!
Tag to Jessi and she runs into an arm-drag! Kayden grinds on the arm, Kacy tags in, and KC Squared double wrench, double trip and double elbow and kick! Cover, TWO! Kacy keeps on Jessi but Jessi clobbers her! Being the tallest woman in the match pays off there! Jessi tags out to Xia, Xia kicks but Kacy throws body shots. Xia clubs Kacy, bumps her off buckles and CHOPS her down! Xia fires up to throw big knees and then a back kick! Cover, TWO! Tag to Jessi, Jessi drags Kacy up to whip to the corner. Jessi hits a big leaping forearm, then snapmares to a straitjacket stretch! Jessi thrashes Kacy around, whips her to a corner, but runs into a boot. Kacy dodges the leap and this time Jessi gets buckles! Hot tags to Xia and Kayden!
Kayden rallies with fast hands on Xia, forearms and CHOPS over and over! Kayden has Xia on the ropes but Xia pushes her away, only for Kayden to dropkick Xia down! Kayden drags Xia up, whips but Xia reverses. Kayden wheelbarrows and victory rolls to basement SUPERKICK! Jessi runs in, to get a SUPERKICK! Kayden tags Kacy, and KC Squared coordinate, BICYCLE BOOT CRUCIFIX DRIVER! With a jackknife cover on top, KC Squared wins!
Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, by pinfall
KC and KC are an incredible combination! But they show sportsmanship with fist bumps, but Xia isn’t for it? Well, perhaps Xia is more focused on that singles title opportunity coming up. Will Xia be able to rebound and earn a shot at the title?
Drake Maverick finds Killian Dain backstage.
“Ah, there you are! I’ve been looking for you all day! Ready?” For what? The tag match, remember? They’re up next. Dain told Maverick already that they’re not friends or tag partners. Maverick is going out there alone, so good luck. Oh. Well see you out there. Is Big Damo really going to leave Rockstar Spud all alone against the Undisputed Era? We’ll find out after the break.
NXT returns with Tegan’s response to Candice.
“Candice, if you wanna tell yourself that I changed to make yourself feel better, then do what you gotta do. Go right ahead.” But at the end of the day, Tegan knows the truth. The Candice she knew wouldn’t watch her best friend be put through a table. The Candice Tegan knew wouldn’t listen to her husband’s constant complaining and whining about the television Candice broke throwing something, just so they could watch themselves lose every week. But where Candice wanted a lackey, Tegan wants her friend back. Neither thing happened. Just like Candice winning the battle royal isn’t happening, because it’ll be Tegan. But the best part of next week will be seeing the look on Candice’s face when Tegan wins. And as for Shirai, “This time, everything is different.” Will the Shiniest Wizard shine even brighter on the road to TakeOver?
The Undisputed Era VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick!
Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish were the aggressors in beating down the Belfast Beast and unwavering underdog, but now might have to face the consequences. That is, if Dain gets in the match. Dain doesn’t make his entrance and it seems Maverick really is in this all alone. Does Maverick stand a chance 2v1 against the Savior of the Backbreaker and the Infamous One?
The team sorts out and Fish starts against Maverick. They circle, Strong sneaks in but slips out before Maverick can get to him. Fish powers Maverick to the corner, Strong tags in, but Maverick fights back! That’s still 2v1 and Strong stomps Maverick down. Strong clubs Maverick, CHOPS him, and says “You made a BIG mistake!” Strong whips corner to corner, Maverick goes up but Strong avoids the over and CLUBS Maverick back down. Strong CHOPS Maverick, follows him to the corner and whips him corner to corner. Maverick dodges and Strong knees buckles! Maverick fires off CHOPS and haymakers and rocks Strong! Strong reverses the whip, falls for the up and over this time, but BOOTS Maverick down!
Fish tags in and talks smack on Maverick as he stalks him to ropes. Fish drags Maverick up, Maverick throws haymakers! Maverick dropkicks a leg out and Fish falls into buckles! Maverick knees Fish in the back! Maverick hops up, leaps and missile dropkicks Fish down! Cover, TWO! Maverick swipes at Strong but Fish clobbers him from behind! Fish drags Maverick around, headlocks and Strong tags in. Fish throws knees, forearms and then kicks but Maverick gets under! Maverick chops, boots and bulldogs, but runs into Strong’s cradle BACKBREAKER! Dain is watching backstage with NXT officials and staff, and chuckles at Maverick’s seemingly foolish bravado.
Strong gets in Maverick’s face, “HOW DOES THAT FEEL?” Half nelson urenage BACKBREAKER! Strong covers, TWO!! But Strong keeps on Maverick with a facelock, shifts to a chinlock and digs a knee into Maverick’s back. Maverick endures, the crowd rallies up, and Maverick powers up to throw body shots! Maverick backs Strong down, rams him into a corner over and over but lets up at the ref’s count. Strong comes back with another BACKBEAKER! Dain is still amused seeing this as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns, Fish KICKS Maverick’s leg out! Fish throws big forearms while William Regal finds Dain backstage. Regal can’t believe Dain is letting this happen to his tag team partner. Dain says he never signed up for a match. Strong tags in and CHOPS Maverick in the back! Regal stares Dain down, and Dain reluctantly goes to gorilla. Strong CHOPS, Maverick CHOPS, but Strong dropkicks him down! Strong tags Fish back in, the UE drags Maverick up and they mug him before throwing him out of the ring! The crowd boos, but here comes Dain! Dain picks Maverick up, puts him back in the ring, and says, “If you lose, take it like a man.” There, Dain helped Maverick. The UE thinks that’s actually rather funny.
Strong makes the mistake of talking trash, calling Dain a “fat dork.” Dain won’t stand for being called fat, but the UE throw Maverick at him! Dain dodges that, grabs Fish and yanks him into the ropes! And out of the ring! Dain gets in, Strong is right after him but Dain tosses him! Dain CLOBBERS Strong, DECKS Fish, then CLOBBERS Strong again! Dain fires off body shots on Strong, the ref tries to stop him since he isn’t even the legal man, but Dain lets up at 4. But then Fish uses a chair on Dain!
Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by disqualification
Fish just gave them the match! And Maverick saves Dain from another chair shot by taking the chair from Fish! Fish glares at Maverick but Maverick points behind him. Fish turns around into a BOOT! Dain drags Strong up, and Maverick holds the ropes down as Dain throws Strong out! Maverick is fired up and eggs the UE on! Dain and Maverick still win as a team, and Maverick is way too fired up. He pushes Dain and Dain DECKS him! Team? Maybe. Friends? Not even close. But will Maverick’s perseverance and determination get through to the Belfast Beast?
NXT Media catches up with Jake Atlas.
He returned tonight to issue the challenge to Ciampa, and now he has a match. Can he take us through the thought process of this bold move? “Damn right, it’s a bold move.” When he was in the ring with Ciampa, he was excited for that opportunity. But after what Ciampa did to him, Atlas wanted to go out there and show Ciampa lit a fire under him. But now Ciampa attacks from behind!! Ciampa shouts, “You wanna eat at MY table, boy!?” Ciampa throws Atlas into the side of a production truck! And then KICKS him in the ribs!
Security and crew hurry over, and Kyle O’Reilly is the one to ask Ciampa, “What’s your freakin’ problem, man?!” This is the parking lot! You have a match with him, so save it! Ciampa tells Atlas he’ll be seeing him next week. And maybe Kyle, too. Ciampa waves bye, but will Atlas be in any shape for that revenge match?
NXT returns to a message from General Manager, William Regal.
“This is an exciting and unique time in NXT. Over the past few weeks, four former NXT Champions have had the opportunity to win the title. And we have crowned a new NXT Champion, in the Prince, Finn Balor.” Now it is time to determine a contender. Given the incredible depth of the roster, it has been decided that FIVE equally deserving competitors will get their opportunity. The Velveteen Dream, Bronson Reed, Kushida, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Cameron Grimes, and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar are all eligible for the first-ever Gauntlet Eliminator!
Two men will start, and every four minutes, another will enter. The only way to be eliminated is by pinfall or submission! And the last man left will be THE #1 Contender and face Balor for the title at TakeOver, 10/4/2020! Regal wishes all the competitors the best of luck!
NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest VS Timothy Thatcher!
The Archer of Infamy still wants to #LiveForever, and holding onto this championship in his first defense would go a long way towards that. Will Priest keep the party going forever? Or is the Professor of Pain going to end all of that by taking Priest to school?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this main event of pain and punishment begins!
Thatcher and Priest circle, tie up, and Thatcher gets a cording hold on the arm. Priest endures, powers up but Thatcher knees low and cranks on adding a half nelson to the hold. Priest throws body shots, Thatcher knees again, but Priest keeps trying. Thatcher shifts to a headlock, Priest powers him off and then arm-drags him around! Thatcher sits up and Priest smirks as Thatcher has to back off to a corner. The crowd is fired up as the two reset. They tie up, Priest headlocks now, shifts to the other side, hammerlocks and rolls Thatcher up, ONE! Priest arm-drags Thatcher and clamps on this time for an armlock of his own!
Thatcher gets up, grinds his forearm into Priest’s face, and chinbars Priest around to get a headlock. Priest endures the grind, Thatcher hits the takeover, but Priest keeps his shoulders up. Priest moves around, gets to his feet, and pushes Thatcher to ropes. Priest powers out, Thatcher bumps shoulders but Priest rebounds to run him over! The crowd is fired up as Thatcher gets o to EuroUpper hard! Priest throws a big forearm, but Thatcher manages to block it! Priest shakes out his arm, throws another forearm shot, but still has to shake his arm out. Priest runs at Thatcher but is put on the apron. Thatcher runs into a ROUNDHOUSE! Priest climbs the ropes, but Thatcher EuroUppers Priest down!
Priest goes to the ramp and checks his teeth but Thatcher pursues. Priest mule kicks, throws more forearms but it continues to be double-edged. Priest reels Thatcher in, Thatcher resists the bomb lift, and then Thatcher RAMS Priest into steel steps! Thatcher uses a butterfly suplex to the floor! Priest writhes, the ring count climbs, and NXT goes picture in picture.
Thatcher refreshes the count to keep this going, and he drags Priest up. Thatcher puts Priest in, stalks behind him, and clamps on to drive in a knee! Thatcher wants after the left arm with the double wristlock but Priest resists. Priest clasps hands, Thatcher uses both arms to pull at the grip, and the two stand up. Thatcher throws more EuroUppers, Priest ROCKS him with a jab! Thatcher gets the foot, trips Priest and goes after the arms! Priest clasps hands again, but Thatcher digs a forearm into Priest’s chin. The two get up again, Thatcher knees low and pushes Priest to a corner. Priest boots Thatcher away, knees him low, then throws haymakers! Priest fires off on Thatcher, the ref backs him off but Priest comes back to drag Thatcher up.
Priest whips Thatcher corner to corner hard, then runs in, only for Thatcher to uppercut his back elbow away! Thatcher belly2belly suplexes Priest down! Cover, TWO! Thatcher doesn’t waste time being upset, he just goes for the half nelson. Thatcher has Priest in a modified twist but Priest tries to fish hook him. Thatcher shakes that off, Priest hammers away with is one arm, but Thatcher gets the leg for a cover, TWO! Thatcher still has the modified hold, and even smothers Priest’s face! The ref counts, Thatcher stops but continues to crank to a cover. TWO but Priest is still stuck. Thatcher knees Priest in the side, covers, ONE!
The crowd rallies for Priest as Thatcher brings him up for another EuroUpper. Priest fires body shots and backs Thatcher down! Thatcher grabs Priest by the face and SLAPS him! Priest staggers but is seething now! Thatcher glares, Priest glares, and Thatcher grabs Priest by the face again! Priest forearms Thatcher’s arm away! Priest counter punches Thatcher in his other arm! Priest fires off kick after kick and DECKS Thatcher! Thatcher gets up, Priest powers up and CLOBBERS him! The crowd is thunderous as Priest fires himself up in a corner. Priest tunes up the band as it were, aims at Thatcher and runs, FLYING BACK ELBOW! Priest suplex TOSSES Thatcher into the Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!!
Priest keeps his focus as he watches Thatcher sit up. Priest choke grips but Thatcher grabs it! Thatcher tries to wrangle Priest down, but Priest rolls and gets up to JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE! Thatcher wobbles, Priest ROUNDHOUSES him again! Priest aims as Thatcher rises, springboard but Thatcher dodges the senton! Studying film pays off, and Thatcher wants the arm! Priest resists, Thatcher uses legs for leverage but Priest gets up to his feet. Thatcher knee slow, throws forearms and uppercuts, but Priest gives forearms and knees in return! And kicks and another BIG forearm! Thatcher wobbles again, Priest kicks but Thatcher blocks! Priest JABS but Thatcher withstands it! Thatcher sweeps the leg, shifts, heel hook!
Priest endures, boots with his good leg and is free. Priest is up, but Thatcher wants the other leg again! Thatcher gets Priest down again, kicks away on Priest’s back and has the Half Crab! It’s in deep, but Priest refuses to quit! Priest powers up, reaches, turns over and KICKS Thatcher away! Thatcher wobbles but hurries after, only to get an elbow! Priest swings into the FUJIWARA!! Thatcher cranks back hard as he can, Priest bites his fingers to ignore his bad arm, and uses his legs to get the ROPEBREAK! Thatcher holds on until 3, but grimaces as Priest survives. Thatcher drags Priest up, underhooks both arms, but Priest slips out to choke grip! But that arm is in no shape to lift, and Thatcher choke grips back! But Priest ducks the slap to COMPLETE SHOT!!
Priest gets up, aims and uses both hands to SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO!?! Thatcher survives but “This is Awesome!” Priest uses his good arm to drag Thatcher up, but Thatcher goes after it, too! Thatcher tries to drag Priest down, Priest hops over to the other side and SPINNING ROUNDHOUSES Thatcher! Priest hurries as Thatcher wobbles, TOP ROPE WINDMILL KICK! Priest roar,s dragon sleeper, RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
The Archer of Infamy survives the painful precision and focused aggression to live on as champion! But with TakeOver on the horizon, who will take aim at his title reign next?
A great NXT with a lot set up for the road to TakeOver 31, which has yet to be given any special name since it’ll probably just be in Full Sail again. I would love if NXT got to be in the ThunderDome just once while WWE is using it, so maybe they’ll think about it? Opening with Shirai VS Shotzi was great, as it was an incredible match, especially for Shotzi. The #1 Contender’s Battle Royal next week doesn’t have a very big field, but it is hard to say who wins it. Tegan and Candice, with Johnny, had great promos tonight, but this all clearly means they’re not winning, so that TakeOver can be their grudge match. Rhea Ripley might win it, with her big win over Mercedes Martinez last week possibly signaling the end of that feud. At the same time, Aliyah is in the match so Robert Stone Brand might still come back around.
I’m thinking Raquel Gonzalez wins, for similar reasons to why I thought she would get the nod a few weeks ago. Sure, Dakota Kai is in there and the match can be booked to where she and Raquel work together, but there could come a point where Dakota is eliminated and Raquel can actually think about her own opportunities for once. Kacy and Kayden had a good match with Xia and Jessi, though I think that combo finisher needs some work. Kacy’s running boot isn’t enough to kick start the crucifix takedown, maybe try a shotgun dropkick instead. As much as I would like NXT to actually be included in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship scene, it feels like WWE doesn’t care to try. Of course, I don’t think KC Squared would win right now with Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax as champs, Nia could pick up both KC and KC and Samoan Drop them at the same time.
Ciampa obviously wins tonight, and I’m surprised Altas is back already. Ciampa’s attack on Atlas in the parking lot being interrupted by Kyle O’Reilly is interesting. I’m again intrigued by how Kyle is slowly turning Face while Strong and Fish are staying firmly Heel. Maverick gets a lot of Face points for facing Fish and Strong alone, and Dain reluctantly helping him is a good touch to the story. I do like that they’re taking it a bit slowly, and I’m sure at some point, Dain at least tolerates Maverick being around. The tag title match was great stuff, especially for Breezango, but as I said before, it just makes sense Breezango wins. NXT UK is coming back, so Imperium will regroup to focus on taking that brand over.
Speaking of NXT UK, I like that Balor’s promo was done to include Walter. The inclusion of Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre was also a good tease to suggest both they and Balor are going to be the top champions come Survivor Series, should we get another Triple Brand Warfare. I sure hope so, because that would be a great match, and maybe Walter shows up to get in Balor’s face at some point so that we can finally see that match happen. Also, Regal’s idea for the men’s contender’s match is basically Lucha Underground’s Aztec Warfare, but with far less entrants. Either way, that field shown was a great one, but I don’t see the Undisputed Era guys, Kushida or Dream winning. Kushida’s new edge is great, as he showed with Theory, but Kushida VS Dream is definitely going to be another TakeOver grudge match.
Depending on what Escobar’s plans looks like, I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Balor have a match. Best possible version is Winner Takes All, Balor gets to be Cruiserweight Champion at the same time as NXT Champion for his own bit of unique history. But that might also be unfair to the Cruiserweight Division as a whole, given WWE barely tries with it anymore as it is. And Priest VS Thatcher was also incredible stuff, especially with Priest lowkey swerving Thatcher on his game plan. Priest did use a lot of strikes, but he also did very well keeping up with Thatcher’s technical style. Priest definitely needed to retain, or else all the build for him would’ve been for nothing. There’s a good chance that whoever doesn’t win the Gauntlet Eliminator gets a chance at being Priest’s TakeOver opponent.
My Score: 9.2/10
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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