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 Raw Results & Report! (1/25/21)
Will the Empress still reign?
Raw is revving up towards the Royal Rumble!
The Royal Rumble is this Sunday, but a lot could change right before it! Will Asuka still be Raw Women’s Champion after a rematch with twisted Alexa Bliss?
- Charlotte Flair VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; Charlotte wins, by disqualification.
- Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lacey Evans; Flair, Rose & Brooke win by count out, but restarted, Jax, Baszler & Evans win by pinfall.
- Slapjack w/ Retribution VS Xavier Woods; Woods wins.
- Sheamus VS John Morrison w/ The Miz; Sheamus wins.
- 2v1 Handicap Match: The Miz & John Morrison VS Sheamus; The Miz & Morrison win.
- R-Truth VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins and Truth is NOT in the Royal Rumble match.
- United States Championship Opportunity Gauntlet Match: Matt Riddle VS The Hurt Business; Riddle wins and will challenge Bobby Lashley for the title.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; Bliss wins by disqualification, Asuka retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre is back!
The WWE World Champion is healthy and ready for his match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV! McIntyre has the mic, and he says it feels so good to be back on Raw! McIntyre thanks the fans for their get-well wishes all over social media. The outpouring of support means the world to him. McIntyre was lucky with the COVID symptoms. He’s 100% now and will be for the Rumble, but he’ll dedicate his match to those dealing with COVID. We will get through this together.
But speaking of being sick, McIntyre would have to be out of his mind if he took Goldberg lightly at all. McIntyre watched Goldberg since McIntyre was a teen. Goldberg came out of nowhere and rose to the top, running through opponent after opponent, 173-0 to then defat Hulk Hogan for the championship! Then he went through The Rock, the rest of the WWE, and then just disappeared. The last thing to go in a heavyweight fighter is their power. Goldberg returned the exact same animal he’s always been, set a new streak, and has beaten every new champion he’s faced! But McIntyre vows to END the new streak! This Sunday, McIntyre is STILL going to be WWE World Champion!
McIntyre says he’s fired up and wants to start things right, but here comes The Miz and John Morrison. Miz says this Sunday IS the Royal Rumble, and McIntyre VS Goldberg will be one for the ages! WWE’s Godzilla VS King Kong! Two of the hardest hitting monsters of all time! But when something that big happens, there tends to be consequences… What might those be? Well, at the very least, one or both of them, by the end, could end up injured! Oh no~! Then what would happen? Well we can’t give that away. Oh c’mon! Well okay. “Hey, John~! Whichever superstar is left standing by the end of that match will be?” A sitting duck! CORRECT!
And then these two hit the ring. CORRECT! And then they beat the hell out of whoever is champion! COOOOOORRECT! And then, Mr. Money in the Bank, will cash-in, and all you’ll hear is… “The winner, and NEW WWE World Champion… THEEEE MIIIIIZ~!” But here comes Goldberg! McIntyre waits as the pyro goes off, and out steps the Icon himself! No faking it with Gillberg this time, Goldberg storms his way to the ring with a mic of his own! Challenger stares down champion and says, “You. Me. Sunday. You’re next.” Miz and Morrison like that and then egg the two on. But that only gets Goldberg and McIntyre glaring at them.
McIntyre and Goldberg drag Miz and Morrison into the ring! SPEAR for Miz! CLAYMORE for Morrison! Then back to staring the other down! McIntyre raises the belt, but will Goldberg be raising it after the Rumble?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair!
The Royal Rumble is Sunday, but she’s going 1v1 with Shayna Baszler for the first time! If there’s one thing Charlotte does well, it’s performing under pressure. Shayna should bring that invisible crown, because it’s one thing to say you’re a queen, it’s another to be one. Charlotte loves defying odds, and she’s always willing to bet on herself, #MsWrestleMania. So the “situation” with Lacey Evans and her father won’t cause an issue? Charlotte says she’s seen her dad in a lot of dark places, this might be his darkest. Charlotte knows Lacey’s intentions. It’s one thing to have the last name Flair, it’s another to carry the weight of that name. But for now, Charlotte focuses on Shayna.
Charlotte Flair VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
While the Empress of Tomorrow is busy with Lil’ Ms. Bliss, the Queen will see how ready the Queen of Spades is this close to their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship rematch! Will Shayna be rolling towards the huge Sunday double header she has planned for herself?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Charlotte headlocks, but Shayna pries out to wrench and whip. Charlotte reverses, runs in but blocks a boot to give an elbow! Charlotte spins Shayna around into the ropes, elbows her down, then runs to dropkick Nia down for good measure! Shayna rushes in to get the sleeper! Charlotte rams Shayna into buckles, throws her off, then BOOTS her down! Charlotte gets the legs, Figure Four but Shayna fights it off! They move around, NIA drops a leg!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by disqualification
The challengers mug Charlotte! Charlotte fights back but here come Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose! The Sexy Muscle Friends fight Shayna and Nia off of Charlotte! Shayna kicks Mandy’s leg but Charlotte CLOBBERS Shayna! But here comes LACEY EVANS! Lacey brawls with Charlotte and it is chaos as Raw goes to break!
Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lacey Evans!
Raw returns, and battle lines have been drawn! Will the Queen and Sexy Muscle Friends get payback together against the troublemakers?
Mandy starts with Lacey and the two circle. They tie up, Lacey pulls hair, but lets off as the ref counts. Lacey does the strut but Mandy gets the arm. Mandy wrenches and yanks but Lacey uses a leg to pry free and wrench back. Mandy gets around to headlock, throw Lacey down and keep her down. Lacey pulls hair again, then headscissors free. Lacey copies the “WOO~!” but Mandy kicks free. Mandy headlocks again, Lacey powers out but things speed up. Mandy KICKS Lacey while she’s down! Mandy headlocks again, shifts around, and tags in Dana. They bring Lacey around to double suplex! Dana covers, TWO!
Dana keeps on Lacey with a whip and runs her over with a shoulder! Dana flexes, covers, TWO! Dana keeps Lacey away from her corner with a whip and hip toss! Handspring and stomp! Cover, TWO! Dana grows annoyed, she drags Lacey back over and tags in Charlotte. Lacey scrambles away to tag Shayna! Shayna and Charlotte continue where things left off, Charlotte blocks a kick to run and baits Shayna into buckles! But Shayna dodges the splash to fire off fast hands! Shayna KICKS the leg, but Charlotte avoids the knee to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Charlotte scoops and EXPLODERS Shayna to then kip up! Charlotte swipes at Lacey but goes after Shayna.
Charlotte brings Shayna over, tags in Dana, and Dana tags Mandy. Snapmare and double handspring BOOT! Mandy covers, ONE! Mandy drags Shayna back up, tags Dana in and they stomp away in the corner! Dana CHOPS and Charlotte lets out a “WOO~!” Dana CHOPS again, then tags in Charlotte. Charlotte and Shayna scrap, Charlotte CLUBS Shayna down then whips her to a corner. Shayna reverses but Charlotte tumbles up and out to then hit back with forearms! Charlotte KNEES Shayna through the ropes then drags her to the floor! Shayna hits the steps on the way down and hurries away. Nia checks on her teammate but the ring count is climbing! Shayna shoves Charlotte in at 8 but can’t get in herself, she’s COUNTED OUT!
Winners: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke, by count out
The Queen managed to get in the heads of her opponents and it cost them! Will it be this easy when it’s Charlotte and Asuka VS Shayna and Nia?
Raw returns, and it is NOT over! Adam Pearce had this match restart over commercial, and now Nia is throwing Dana around! Dana BOOTS then kicks low to throw forearms! Dana runs, Nia reels her in but Dana throws elbows! Dana handsprings and headscissors to throw Nia into a corner! Dana runs and handspring sin to back elbow! Dana keeps moving, but Nia CLOBBERS Dana! Cover, TWO! Nia drags Dana over and tags in Lacey. Lacey gets in Dana’s face and knocks her down, but the ref reprimands. Lacey drops down for a cover, TWO! Lacey stomps Dana in frustration, drops knees on Dana’s hand, then digs her into the ropes! The ref counts and Lacey lets off.
Lacey taunts Charlotte, tags Shayna, and they mug Dana in the corner. Shayna fires off body shots, snapmares Dana and KICKS her in the back! Shayna covers, TWO! Shayna has Dana’s arm, twists the wrist and STOMPS the arm! Nia tags in and goes after the arm with a cobra clutch! Dana endures as Nia smothers her then thrashes her around! Nia brings Dana up but Dana throws more elbows! Dana pushes but Nia pushes back, and Nia blocks the huricanrana! Dana manages to sunset flip but Nia breaks free, but Dana avoids the sit down! Hot tag to Mandy and Lacey! Mandy dodges Lacey to DECK Shayna, then Mandy fires off, and FLAPJACKS!
Mandy fires up, picks Lacey up and powers her to a corner! Mandy fires off forearms, the ref counts but Mandy runs to give Lacey a KNEE FROM A ROSE!! Cover, but Shayna breaks it! Charlotte SPEARS Shayna! Nia CLOBBERS Charlotte! Nia drags Lacey to the corner to tag in! Nia aims at Mandy, Lacey drags Charlotte out but Charlotte glares. They run into the empty ringside area and Dana tags in! Nia still runs in but only gets POST! Dana manages to hit the ROLLING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nia survives but Dana heads up top! But Nia drags her off with a ROCKET LAUNCHER TOSS!
Nia snarls and drags Dana up again, into a lift, for a CHOKE SLAM!! And a LEG DROP! Cover, Nia’s team wins!
Winners: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Lacey Evans, by pinfall
Count out, controversy, whatever it is, that’s all the past now! Nia and Shayna are rolling towards the Royal Rumble, will they leave tag team champions as well as a Women’s Rumble winner?
Raw shares a WWE Network Exclusive from last week.
After Retribution’s Mace beat Xavier Woods, Mustafa Ali had a message. “Kofi, Xavier, people love watching you because you are their escape from reality.” But retribution is the reminder of reality! So get well soon, Kofi.
And in a message from earlier today, Ali answers Kofi’s burning question of why Retribution is after The New Day. To have the audacity to ask that! Kofi’s greatest moment came from Ali’s worst! KofiMania happened at Ali’s expense. That was Ali’s spot in the Elimination Chamber and it could’ve been Ali’s moment at WrestleMania! Ali feels the New Day took everything from him, so will he try to take everything from them?
Slapjack w/ Retribution VS Xavier Woods!
Raw returns as Woods makes his entrance. Woods is in no mood after having faced Ali’s allies twice already. The bell rings and Woods shotgun dropkicks Slapjack down! Woods throws hands, CHOPS Slapjack to a corner, then CHOPS him more! Woods whips corner to corner then back drops Slapjack high and hard! Slapjack flounders but Woods is on him. Slapjack throws Woods to the apron but Woods forearms back! Slapjack KNEES Woods, ROCKS him with a right, then slingshots out then in for an ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Slapjack digs Woods’ face into the mat, then stomps him down!
Slapjack stomps Woods more, digs his face into the mat more, then stomps him again! Slapjack goes to a corner, hops up and leaps, but Woods avoids the stomp! Woods shoves Slapjack then blocks punches to give punches! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Woods fires off over and over, whips but Slapjack reverses, only for Woods to tilt-o-whirl to a Russian Leg Sweep! Woods fires up again before he dodges and LEG LARIATS! Woods whips, Slapjack reverses and UPPERCUTS! Woods boots back, and hits the HONOR ROLL! Cover, TWO!! Slapjack survives and Ali has T-Bar make a move.
Woods sees T-Bar coming but Slapjack rolls Woods, only for Woods to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Woods wins!!
Winner: Xavier Woods, by pinfall
Mace chases Woods, but Woods gets out, only for T-Bar to BOOT Woods! T-Bar puts Woods back in and Retribution surrounds him! Ali says to “SHUT HIM DOWN!” T-Bar and Mace give Woods a DOUBLE CHOKE BOMB! Ali gets Slapjack up to get a chair and Slapjack does as ordered. T-Bar and Mace sit Woods up and Slapjack hands the chair to Ali. Ali scowls and demands Woods look at him. Ali raises the chair up, but he smirks as he spares Woods. Ali takes a seat and has Reckoning fetch him a mic.
“All this talk about wanting to be King of the Ring, but man, do you sure look like a peasant right now.” But like a real king, ALI will show mercy. “And for that, you are going to do exactly what I say. You are going to deliver a message to Kofi Kingston.” Tell Kofi that Ali heard the sad news that Kofi won’t make it to this year’s Rumble. But tell Kofi not to fear, “a replacement has been found. And his name is Mustafa Ali!” The tables have turned, and now the Beacon is ready to shine.
Matt Riddle finds R-Truth backstage.
Truth says he heard something. The Hurt Business is throwing a surprise party for him! How does he know that? Well it was Truth’s birthday last week, but he heard about a special VIP Lounge tonight! He’s getting 24 carrots! Well that makes sense as Capricorn, sign of the goat. BAAAH~! Now, don’t spoil the surprise! The secret is safe with Riddle, bro. Wait, someone got their wires crossed. Will Truth be sorely disappointed when the VIP Lounge isn’t what he thinks?
The Hurt Business heads to the ring!
The WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley, is going to be in the Men’s Royal Rumble this year, but his associates will be taking on Matt Riddle later on in a unique contender’s match challenge. But first, the VIP Lounge is decked out in black and gold as MVP says the BIGGEST things are popping, the littlest things are stopping, so relax and enjoy the view because the VIP Lounge is for people better than you. And MVP is stoked to see Bad Bunny is going to be at the Rumble and knows the after party will be lit! Lashley wanted this meeting for something important, MVP addresses the match with Riddle. Riddle may be brain dead but he is crafty. Let us not lose focus on that task in hand, Cedric Alexander.
Now, to Lashley’s business. “Sometimes you have to believe in somebody else’s belief in you.” Look at them! They all look good! Raw Tag Team and United States Championships. They believed! And more importantly, the beauty is that they’ve only just begun. So true. Benjamin says that looking at their individual accomplishments, it is hard to think that only a year ago- Alexander says that the Hurt Business is on a roll, thanks to MVP! Lashley says they collected some “outstanding debts,” to present something to represent their appreciation. It is only fitting that while these three are dripping in gold. MVP should have some gold, too. They present to him… #THB, the Hurt Business gold chain!
MVP tries it on, and loves it! It is not often that MVP is at a loss for words, but he doesn’t have any. Alexander takes credit working with the designer. Benjamin says Alexander doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But here comes R-Truth! PARTY~ TIME~! What?! Why!? Stop the music!! Truth says it is weird that the guest of honor isn’t on the list but sometimes it happens. He is NOT on the list! Truth says it is rude to eavesdrop, but he heard about this surprise party! Truth’s birthday was last week, but better late than never. No, this has NOTHING to do with Truth! This is all about MVP! Really? THB: Truth, Happy Birthday. And where the carrots at?
No, Truth. Just stop. Wait, dance break? Lashley says Truth is right. They’ve been so busy, Lashley forgot it was Truth’s birthday. And to make it up to him, they do have something for him, in the ring. MVP remembers now! Yeah, here we go. Oh wait, the other Raw superstars come out to go after the 24/7 Championship! They bust down the velvet rope, Tucker Knight rolls Truth up but Humberto Carrillo pushes him off. Lashley RAMS Carrillo into barriers! Gulak gets a haymaker, Lashley CLOBBERS Tucker and Benjamin throws Drew Gulak into steel steps! But Matt Riddle gets in to give MVP a FINAL FLASH knee! Riddle gets away but the Hurt Business tells him he’ll still pay! Will the Bro put the hurting on the Hurt Business from top to bottom?
R-Truth talks with Adam Pearce.
Truth “hides” but he asks about Royal Rumble opportunities. Truth wants to prove he can enter the MITB match and win! No, Truth, no… AJ Styles and Omos come over. Styles understands what Truth is really talking about. And being the nice guy Truth is, benevolent even, he’ll help Truth out. Styles is benevolent? Truth is a Capricorn! Sigh… Pearce arranges a match between Truth and Styles, and they accept! Truth says if Styles is benevolent, Truth is a Capricorn, and Omos must be a Taurus. Truth had a Ford Taurus, it broke down and… Well anyway, will Truth be able to prove he is worthy of the Rumble with just days left to get in?
Sheamus VS John Morrison w/ The Miz!
The Fella saw the Guru and A-Lister get blasted by McIntyre and Goldberg earlier, and figured why not get in on the fun? Will Sheamus use Morrison as a great warm-up before entering the Men’s Rumble this Sunday?
Raw returns as the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century make their entrance. The bell rings, Sheamus and Morrison circle and tie up and Sheamus puts Morrison on ropes. The ref counts for the break but Sheamus lets off at 4. Morrison holds his jaw from that Claymore earlier, but gets around to waistlock. Sheamus throws Morrison down to get the arm. Morrison fights around to another waistlock, then shifts up to a chinlock. Sheamus fights up as Morrison moves around, and Morrison knees low! Sheamus blocks the knee to drop Morrison then cover, ONE! Sheamus facelocks but Morrison fights up, only for Sheamus to wrench to a hammerlock.
Sheamus cranks on the arm, wrangles Morrison down, shifts to a double wristlock but Miz cheers Morrison on. Morrison fight sup but Sheamus throws him over to add a headscissor squeeze. Morrison kicks free, shifts to a lateral press, ONE! Sheamus facelocks again, Morrison fights up and powers out, but Sheamus runs Morrison over! Sheamus runs, Morrison goes to hip toss but Sheamus blocks! Morrison avoids the counter clothesline to O’Conner roll, TWO! Sheamus avoids the Penalty Kick to roll Morrison up, TWO! Sheamus clamps back onto the arm, Morrison fights up and puts Sheamus in a corner. The ref counts for the break, Sheamus lets Morrison go but Morrison ROCKS and KICKS Sheamus!
Morrison fires off on Sheamus, KICKS him again, then stalks him to the other corner. Morrison whips, Sheamus reveres but Morrison kicks back! Morrison runs, into a BACK DROP! Sheamus looms over Morrison, kicks him while he’s down, then kicks him again! Sheamus drags Morrison back up, throws a BIG EuroUpper, then keeps on Morrison with heavy body shots! Sheamus clamps onto the arm again, grinds Morrison down, but Miz rallies up with the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” Morrison wrenches, kicks, and shifts around to ROUNDHOUSE! Morrison grounds ‘n’ pounds but Sheamus shoves him away. Morrison deflects the leg guard to spin over Sheamus and and KICK him back down!
Morrison stomps Sheamus around, has him on the ropes, then whips him corner to corner. Sheamus reverses, then shoulders into him at the corner! Sheamus rains down rights, drags Morrison up and hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sheamus keeps his cool as he goes to a corner. Miz gets on the apron, the ref backs him off, but Sheamus stops the sneak attack from Morison! Sheamus goes up, leaps, but Morrison dropkicks him out of the air! Morrison KNEES Sheamus to the apron! Morrison has the leg on the ropes and pulls! The ref counts, Morrison stops at 4, then wrecks Sheamus with a baseball slide!
Miz creeps closer but Morrison KICKS Sheamus in the leg! The ring count climbs, Morrison puts Sheamus back in and has the leg. Morrison DRAGON SCREWS Sheamus, covers, ONE!! Morrison keeps on that leg for elbow drops to the knee! Sheamus fights back but Morrison shifts around again for more ground ‘n’ pound! Then a standing toehold to a KNEEBAR! Sheamus endures, Miz likes the aggression but Sheamus throws haymakers to get Morrison away! Morrison stalks Sheamus to a corner and drops an elbow on the leg! Morrison keeps on the leg and has a toehold to bend the leg!
Sheamus endures again, reaches for ropes but throws elbows into Morrison’s head! And then stomps him! Sheamus stomps until Morrison lets him go! Both men stand slowly, and Sheamus clobbers Morrison with ax handles! Sheamus runs in to clothesline Morrison at the corner, then TOSS him across the way! Sheamus hobbles over, fireman’s carries, but Morrison elbows free! CHOP BLOCK to the leg! Sheamus stays up but Morrison springboards! Sheamus manages to catch Morrison, swing him, and SLAM him! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus grits his teeth as he gets the bad leg moving.
Morrison crawls, Sheamus gets the legs and stomps Morrison’s stomach, to then tie up the legs! Sheamus turns Morrison, Morrison resists but Sheamus kicks him into the CLOVERLEAF! Morrison endures, crawls and gets the ropebreak! Sheamus lets go at 4, Miz checks on Morrison but Sheamus hobbles over. Morrison hotshots back! Morrison hurries back in but into a KNEE! Morrison flops into the fireman’s carry, and WHITE NOISE! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Miz protests! If Sheamus wants to prepare for the Rumble, he has to keep his head on a swivel! Miz challenges Sheamus to a handicap match, and Sheamus ACCEPTS! Will Sheamus be able to beat both members of the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century in one go?
2v1 Handicap Match: The Miz & John Morrison VS Sheamus!
Raw returns and the bell rings. Sheamus brawls with BOTH Miz and Morrison! Sheamus is on Miz but Morrison hops on Sheamus! Sheamus throws Morrison out over the top rope a la the Rumble, but Miz runs in! Sheamus elbows Miz away, fireman’s carries, but Morrison CHOP BLOCKS Sheamus! BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Morrison KNEES Sheamus down, Miz adds stomps, and they mug Sheamus at the ropes! Morrison and Miz double snapmare and then set Sheamus up for the BOOT, SHINING WIZARD and STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Double cover, TWO!
Miz and Morrison stalk Sheamus to ropes, he kicks them back, but Miz stomps Sheamus down! Miz digs his boot in, lets off as the ref counts, but Morrison drags Sheamus up with a chinlock. Sheamus elbows free, ROCKS Miz, but Morrison ROUNDHOUSES and clotheslines Sheamus out! Miz WRECKS Sheamus with a dropkick! Miz stands Sheamus up for Morrison to FLY out and take down! Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus back up, then throw him into the barriers! Morrison adds a HEEL KICK! Miz adds a BOOT! Sheamus flounders back up but Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus around the way to put in the ring. Miz climbs and Morrison sets Sheamus up, FLYING AX HANDLES!
Miz and Morrison put Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus blocks the buckle bump! Sheamus hits Miz back, Morrison KICKS and ROCKS Sheamus! Miz adds a mudhole stomp, then Morrison digs his knee in! The ref reprimands, Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus up and KICK, ROCK and repeat! Miz whips Morrison in but Sheamus throws Morrison out! Sheamus CLOBBERS Miz! Both men are down but Sheamus grits his teeth. Sheamus gets up and glares at Miz. Sheamus rallies with big ax handles on Miz! Morrison returns but gets a scoop SLAM! Miz staggers into a fireman’s carry, ROLLING SENTON onto Morrison!
The Celtic Warrior is seething as he sees Miz go to the apron. Sheamus stands Miz up to give him Beats of the Bodhrain! But Morrison comes over, only to miss! And now Morrison gets Beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus shoves Morrison down, climbs up the corner, and as Miz and Morrison regroup, Sheamus LEAPS! SUPER DOUBLE FLYING CLOTHESLINES!! Sheamus drags Miz back into the ring, aims from a corner, fires himself up, and Miz stands up. Morrison anchors a foot, Miz hits the A-LIST LARIAT! Sheamus throws off the full nelson, ducks the Flying Chuck and BROGUES Morrison! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Miz and Morrison win!!
Winners: The Miz & John Morrison, by pinfall
Beat down as they were to start the night, and as beat up as Sheamus was from his match with Morrison, this battle was much harder than just a normal 2v1! But in the end, the two beat the one just six days from the Royal Rumble! Will Miz leave with the WWE World Championship thanks to his MITB contract? Or will he have double the chances going into WrestleMania?
Lacey Evans “trains” with Ric Flair.
She talks waistlock counters and Ric shows her the ways. Seems innocent enough, but Charlotte Flair walks in and walks over. Lacey, leave. Lacey does, staying away from Charlotte as best she can. Ric says that just because Charlotte is a big star now, doesn’t mean there isn’t room enough in the dressing room for both. If someone wants some tips from Ric, he’ll give it. He’ll always be him. Always be himself, huh? The man who spent all his money on everyone but his family? Charlotte isn’t the villain here. When she was young, this was “cute.” Charlotte is the only one protecting Ric. He’s going from legend to an old man. She isn’t afraid to say it, either.
The tension mounts, but Charlotte takes a step back. But Lacey is still there, and she SUCKER PUNCHES Charlotte! Then kicks her into the wall! Ric hurries over to check on Charlotte, but Lacey wants him to move on. Will Lacey pay for playing father against daughter soon enough?
R-Truth VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
Truth wants to bring the 24/7 Championship to Money in the Bank! Too bad it’s Rumble season first. But will Truth still get in on the big time event when he’s up against a phenomenal gatekeeper?
The bell rings and Styles sees Truth busy with his knee pads, so he stomps and kicks him to a corner! Styles whips Truth corner to corner hard and Truth bounces off buckles! Styles taunts Truth, brings him up and throws haymakers. Truth ROCKS Styles back! Styles kicks Truth’s leg, grabs it to elbow the knee, then kick it! Styles runs in at Truth in the corner but Truth ROCKS him again! Truth runs, but into a BACKBREAKER! Styles says this is what he’ll do to 29 other men in the Rumble! Styles whips but Truth reverses and sends Styles out a la the Rumble! Styles is pissed, he gets in and drop toeholds Truth hard!
Truth checks his nose, but then he looks up to see Omos looming over him! And Omos is still on the floor level! Styles argues with the ref but Truth goes to a corner. Truth puts Styles on the apron, Styles springboards back in but Truth avoids the forearm to hit a SPIN OUT BOMB! A la his “childhood hero,” John Cena! YOU CAN’T SEE ME~! Five Knuckle Shuffle!! And the- No, Styles avoids the scissor kick! Truth fireman’s caries but Truth slips out to get the CALF CRUSHER! Truth taps, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by submission
Another would-be Rumble entrant is denied! Is Styles going to have an even easier time in the Rumble match itself?
Alexa Bliss speaks.
She’s on her swing as she sings “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.” Alexa says last week was so much fun! And did “he” see what Randy Orton’s face looked like after what they did? The fireball that sent Orton writhing and rolling left him burned, and Alexa laughs at the idea that it’s an improvement. “For the record, I just wanted to have some fun with Asuka in my Playground, but she didn’t want to play nice.” Asuka just tried to make Alexa happy by saying “he” is still here, but Alexa didn’t take kindly to that. “But… neither did I.” Alexa pulled some trickery of her own, and became the dark side that Asuka feared we’d see. Alexa won the match, which is why she has her title opportunity tonight.
Did you like the magic trick? “He” taught it to her. And a lot of other things, actually. She can’t wait to see “him” again so she can say thanks. But tonight, Alexa can win herself a shiny new toy in the Raw Women’s Championship. And just like last week, Alexa won’t play nice. Now she sings “Ring Around the Rosies.” Will it be ashes to ashes for Asuka’s title reign tonight?
United States Championship Opportunity Gauntlet Match: Matt Riddle VS The Hurt Business!
The Bro has come close to taking the title off the Chief Hurt Officer, but the chase is never done! Can he get through Shelton Benjamin, “Prime” Alexander and Montel Vontavius Porter to earn another shot at Bobby Lashley’s gold?
Raw returns and the Hurt Business make their entrance. The first one to take Riddle on is… the Gold Standard!
Matt Riddle VS Shelton Benjamin!
The bell rings and Riddle rushes Benjamin only to miss the knee! Riddle fires off hands, kicks and forearms to put Benjamin in a corner! Riddle runs side to side to forearm smash! Then side to side, but Benjamin gets around to waistlock! Riddle throws elbows but Benjamin GERMAN SUPELXES! Riddle lands on his feet! Riddle spins Benjamin around to PELE! Benjamin ducks the Penalty Kick, blocks the Final Flash and SPINEBUSTERS Riddle down! High stack, TWO! Riddle survives an early exit but Benjamin lifts Riddle to the corner! Benjamin clubs away on Riddle then STEP UP KNEES Riddle out of the ring!
The ref counts as Riddle is down on the outside, but Benjamin drags him up and in. Benjamin clinches, throws knees, then scoop slams! Cover, TWO! Benjamin keeps Riddle from ropes with a seated cobra twist. Riddle endures, fights up as MVP taunts him, and he throws body shots! Riddle gets free to throw forearms, then he runs but into a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Benjamin grounds ‘n’ pounds, circles him and KICKS him! Benjamin drags Riddle up, Riddle blocks the suplex and throws more body shots but Benjamin clubs and KNEES Riddle back down! Cover, TWO!! Riddle is still in this and defiantly glares at MVP!
MVP wants Benjamin to stop playing with Riddle and Benjamin brings Riddle into a chinlock. Riddle endures even as Benjamin has a rear bearhug. Riddle fights up, pries free to go after the arm, and gets a GUILLOTINE! Benjamin drops, Riddle shifts around, but Benjamin fights up to suplex free! Riddle knees free of the suplex! Alexander distracts, Riddle swipes at him, but Benjamin runs in! Riddle switches to an O’Conner roll but Alexander distracts! But Benjamin reverses as Alexander argues too long! The plan backfires and Benjamin is furious! MVP tells Alexander to help but doing NOTHING! But Riddle goes up and victory rolls Benjamin, to ELIMINATE him!!
Matt Riddle VS MVP!
MVP tells Alexander to stop and let him handle business. Benjamin and Alexander argue and MVP is busy telling them to stop! The bell rings, Riddle rolls MVP up to a KNEEBAR!! MVP TAPS, Riddle ELIMINATES him!! Alexander and Benjamin blame each other, but now it’s down to “Prime” Alexander to end this! Will the young lion make up for his mistakes by solving the Riddle?
Matt Riddle VS Cedric Alexander!
Raw returns as Alexander RAMS Riddle into the corner! Alexander digs his shoulder in and KICKS Riddle while he’s down, but MVP and Benjamin aren’t happy with him. Alexander snapmares Riddle to a cover, TWO! Alexander and Riddle throw forearms, Riddle ROCKS Alexander but runs into another kitchen sink knee! Alexander fireman’s carries for a GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Alexander keeps on Riddle with an armlock and a knee in Riddle’s back. Riddle endures, fights up and slips free to CHOP! Riddle fires forearms, has Alexander in the corner for KICK after KICK, then he runs to forearm smash! Riddle keeps moving but Alexander dropkicks Riddle down hard! Cover, TWO!
Benjamin and MVP tell Alexander to stay focused and he says he’s got this. Alexander drags Riddle into a standing cobra twist, but Riddle endures again. Riddle moves around, gets to the ropebreak, but Alexander counts along before he lets go at 4. Alexander then digs his knee into Riddle at the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Cover, TWO! Alexander covers again, TWO! Alexander has the rear bearhug and squeezes tight. Riddle endures, throws elbows over and over and is free! Alexander shakes out the cobwebs, but Riddle fireman’s carries him, only for Alexander to make it a DDT! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives and MVP coaches Alexander to finish this.
Alexander drags Riddle into a chinlock but Riddle fights his way over to ropes again. Riddle fights up, fights back with body shots and forearms and fast hands! Alexander boots but Riddle spins him around for a PELE! Riddle kips up, runs in and forearm smashes! Then another! Then a BROSPLODER! Riddle grits his teeth as he runs, but Alexander dodges the PK, the moonsault, and gets knees up for the Broton! MVP tells Alexander to capitalize and Alexander gets up. Alexander brings Riddle up, throws body shots, but Riddle fires off fast hands! Alexander ducks a kick to give a kick, but Riddle gets him taunting, GERMAN SUPLEX!
MVP is annoyed as Riddle drags Alexander up, only for Alexander to BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! MVP is furious as Alexander slowly gets up. Alexander rains down furious fists on Riddle, stomps him down, then grabs an arm to stomp Riddle unguarded! Alexander goes to a corner, climbs up top, and LEAPS, but the Frog Splash misses! Riddle comes back, flying takedown to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Alexander stays up, dad lifts and POWERBOMBS! But Riddle has the Triangle again! Alexander fights up, Riddle slips out, but Alexander pump handles! Riddle makes that a victory roll, RIDDLE WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE US Championship)
The Bro breaks through to get another shot! And Benjamin laughs at Alexander for failing. But as Riddle goes up the ramp, Lashley ATTACKS! Lashley clobbers Riddle then puts Riddle in the HURT LOCK! Riddle is a ragdoll before Lashley finally throws him down! The Hurt Business still stands tall, but will the Rocky Mountain Machine be able to focus on the Men’s Rumble when Riddle awaits on the other side?
Edge is here!
The Rated R Superstar says 2020 taught all of us that you can’t sleep on tomorrow. If you have a dream, you have to fight for it every day. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed.” Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself up and keep walking forward. But bear with him, okay? About 10 years ago, after WrestleMania 27, Edge was the world Heavyweight champion, on top of the world. And within a week, he had to give up the title, and his career, “the only career I’ve ever wanted. My dream.” Edge will never forget when he told his mom that he was going to be a wrestler. She said he should just go do it.
But those simple words were the jet fuel that lit the fire inside to make him fight for nine years to get back to his dream! And then at Backlash 2020, Randy Orton tore Edge’s triceps and gave him another reminder that everything you hold dear can be torn away, just like that. “But you can’t live in that space. You gotta fight.” Edge knows what his mom would say. “Just go do it.” So with that in mind, Edge is entering THIS YEAR’s Royal Rumble! He knows it won’t be like last year, because the stakes are higher! The window closes more and more every day so Edge needs to win, main event WrestleMania, and finally take back what he never lost!
If you have a dream, you need to fight to make it a reality. Edge will fight with every fiber of his being and every breath left in his body, to make the farfetched dream come true. Now, if you’ve been with him on this ride from The Brood to right now, Edge has to try. A world without dreamers and fighters is a much less magical place. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” Edge thinks he can. Will he be right come the Rumble?
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Alexa Bliss!
The Empress of Tomorrow may be an intimidating superstar, but even she was spooked by the darkness on display last week. Will she be able to face her fears as she again faces the Fiend’s best friend? Or are we about to witness a new reign of terror?
The introductions are made, the Raw Women’s title is raised, and this crucial main event begins!
Asuka and Alexa circle, Alexa has fun teasing Asuka, but they approach, only for Asuka to avoid Alexa’s grip. They try again, and Alexa gets around to waistlock. Asuka elbows out hard, throws Alexa to a corner, then throws her across the ring! Asuka stomps Alexa down, the ref counts and Asuka lets off, to go after Alexa’s arm. Asuka grinds Alexa to the mat, Alexa just grins and shakes her head. Alexa fights up as she endures, but Asuka kicks and stomps the arm to keep her down! Alexa gets back up, throws body shots, kicks and CLUBS Asuka back! Alexa whips Asuka to a corner, Asuka goes up to leap and missile dropkick!
Asuka fires up, keeps moving, but the hip attack misses! Alexa KICKS Asuka out of the ring, and the tricks begin again! There’s a rocking horse in the ring and Alexa rides it with a big smile while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and the rocking horse is gone as Asuka stomps and kicks Alexa in a corner. Asuka lets off just a moment before stomping Alexa again! Asuka whips, Alexa reverses but Alexa runs into an elbow! Asuka goes up and leaps but the missile dropkick misses! Alexa hits Insult2Injury! Cover, TWO! Alexa drags Asuka up to bump her off buckles, then stomps away! The ref counts, Alexa stops at 4 to then dig her boot into Asuka. The ref counts, Alexa lets off at 4 again, and she drags Asuka up to snapmare. Alexa wraps on a chinlock and grins as she leans on the hold. Asuka endures, fights up, elbows back but Alexa throws Asuka by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Alexa plays annoyed but she wraps Asuka back into the chinlock. Alexa smiles again as she smothers Asuka but Asuka endures. Asuka fights up, fights free, but Alexa whips her to ropes. Asuka holds ropes and ROUNDHOUSES back! Both women are down as Asuka gasps for air and Alexa shakes out the cobwebs. Alexa smirks as she looks at Asuka, and runs in, only for Asuka to dodge, follow and run Alexa over! POP-UP KNEE! Asuka runs corner to corner to HIP ATTACK! Mule kick and a GERMAN SUPLEX! Alexa flounders up into the SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Asuka grits her teeth while Alexa still smiles on the mat.
Asuka drags Alexa up, bumps her off buckles, and stomps her down! Asuka runs corner to corner but whose music is that? Wait, Alexa has transformed back into… Is this the REAL Alexa?! She cries while clutching her arm and begging for mercy! This is the same trick she used on Nikki Cross, but is it just a trick? Alexa doesn’t seem to understand where she is or why she’s here. Asuka still runs in but Alexa sends her into buckles! Alexa still seems to be herself but she goes to a corner… And the screens start freaking out! And when the lights come up, it’s DARK ALEXA!!! She’s doing the spider walk!! Asuka is at a loss for what’s going on, but she runs back in!
Alexa blocks and deflects, just like last week! POP-UP KNEE hits, but Alexa just shakes it off!! Asuka gets a takedown! ASUKA LOCK! Alexa scrambles up to fight it off! Alexa grabs Asuka’s jaw! MANDIBLE CLAW!!! Asuka endures, but RANDY ORTON is here! He took off the mask to show his burnt face! RKO TO ALEXA!!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by disqualification (Asuka retains the Raw Women’s Championship)
The Viper strikes Alexa down, showing he has no fear and no mercy for The Fiend’s little friend! But will costing Alexa the title be only the beginning of Orton’s revenge?
I really hopes this go-home episode was going to go better, but a lot of this just ended up a bit of a grind. We got a good segment out of McIntyre returning healthy and Goldberg showing up, and beating up Miz ‘n’ Morrison as part of it, and that was about all we could expect out of it since Goldberg and McIntyre aren’t going to get physical with each other. Sheamus VS Morrison was a good match, and so was the Handicap Match, but having both of those tonight just felt like a couple weeks ago with all the doubling up. “Hey, you just had a match, but how about having a match with me now?!” This technically muddies the math for the Rumble and the MITB cash-in, but either way, I don’t see Miz coming away with the title or the Rumble ticket to Mania, perhaps saving his cash-in for Mania.
There was a clumsy restart with the Six Woman Tag that kinda hurt it, but I suppose it still turned out alright. Nia and Shayna go in strong to the Women’s Tag Team Championship match, but that match will determine how strong Nia and Shayna each go into the Women’s Rumble. Charlotte’s better segment was with Ric and Lacey. It escalates the story a bit more, and clearly sets up more Charlotte VS Lacey for post-Rumble, tag titles or not. Asuka had her own part tonight, but she almost seemed more a set piece for setting up the next step in Alexa’s story with The Fiend and Orton. I will say that everything Alexa was doing in that match, from being spunky Alexa to “Goddess” Alexa to extra scary Alexa saved the episode, as did Orton hitting an RKO, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Mustafa Ali had good promos, Woods VS Slapjack was alright, but I’m hoping Kofi can make it back to get things going towards a full New Day VS Retribution feud. The VIP Lounge segment was almost right, but I’m a bit disappointed MVP didn’t get the 24/7 Championship off of R-Truth tonight. It was good for Riddle to get his shot in on MVP but I was still hoping we’d get titles for all the Hurt Business members. The Gauntlet match was alright, definitely better story with the dysfunction in the Hurt Business growing. But the time used to basically replay ALL of Orton’s package last week took from the match being on equal footing with the story. Riddle wins the gauntlet but doesn’t stand tall, all to muddy the math again, but I feel like the third time will be the charm for Riddle to get the US Championship.
Hearing from Edge was great, and his promo was great in itself. And I’m pleasantly surprised that Edge is getting back with another Royal Rumble return. I don’t think he’ll win, but it’d be a great way for him to get back into things if he eliminates a good handful.
My Score: 8/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.119 ~ 24TH JANUARY 2021
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
Hajime Ohara tests positive for COVID-19
It was announced on the 22nd January that Hajime Ohara had tested positive for Covid after a routine PCR test. The Osaka card was changed with YO-HEY filling in for him. Ohara has not shown any symptoms of fever, cough or loss of taste so far, and temperature taken on the morning of the 24th January was normal. Ohara is isolating at home, and true to form is studying (he was taking an online English class), and and eating nutritiously. He is determined to be back to NOAH for The Budokan.
In Osaka, the roster paid tribute to him, with YO-HEY making the Muy Bien sign, and Naomichi Marufuji finishing his promo (tantrum) with “Muy Bien”.
Kenoh from Murakami to Masakatsu
In a match that lasted only nine minutes and forty seconds, which was really for how long it needed to last, Kenoh defeated Kazunari Masakatsu for the GHC National title in Osaka on the 23rd January 2021. The match started off somewhat MMA style, and went to mat wrestling. Kenoh got his own back on Murakami for felling him with a closed fist, by doing the same, but this seemed to only make Murakami mad and he unleashed a volley of kicks and punches on Kenoh. After a brief loss of temper, Kenoh came to his senses and realized that he was going to have to take Murakami down, and he did it by using the sleeper hold, which caused the referee to stop the match.
Almost immediately after the match had finished, Masakatsu Funaki made his challenge. He simply pointed at the belt and asked Kenoh to be his next challenger. Kenoh accepted the challenge, and set it for the Nippon Budokan (12th February 2021), but backstage rather than scream abuse about his opponent, he actually said that he was it was exciting and he was looking forward to it. Murakami he said he had also enjoyed the match with, although he admitted to being scared by him.
Masakatsu Funaki seemed to have a few different reasons for challenging; he had the image of being a champion alongside Mutoh, Kenoh was not something he had experienced before, and he felt that the time was now to do it. He was also complimentary about Kenoh, saying that he was “in his thirties and riding high”. Funaki makes the third MMA fighter to have challenged Kenoh.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
Post match interviews: HIGHER GROUND 2021 (January 23rd, Edion Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium)
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Atsushi Kotoge admitted some jealousy of Daisuke Harada.
~ Mohammed Yone did some catering for the roster on the way home from Osaka.
~ Naomichi Marufuji won the chop challenge against Go Shiozaki, then got annoyed at it being pointed out that he beat Shiozaki in the challenge, but wasn’t the one to make the pin and win the match. Pointed out that HE was the senior to them, and would take both their belts, “so I can enter last and show them off”. And then walked off.
~ Takashi Sugiura says he aims to create a new record, and become the GHC Heavyweight Champion at the age of 50, however if Keiji Mutoh defeats Go Shiozaki for it, he will do it when he is 60.
ALL the titles, except the GHC Heavyweight Tag, have been challenged for and the matches will take place at The Budokan. Fans are hoping that Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya will challenge, especially as they are teaming together against Takashi Sugiura (Kazushi Sakuraba is absent) on NOAH’s last show before The Budokan, on the 31st January.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
Challenger: Keiji Mutoh (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
Challengers: Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Masakatsu Funaki (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Sunday 31st January: “HIGHER GROUND 2021” (11.30am JST, Korakuen Hall.)
NOAH’s 23rd January show from Osaka will be available to view on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Tuesday 26th January. The GHC National title match, and the main event were streamed live through Periscope.
The 31st January event at Korakuen Hall has not had broadcast details announced yet.
GIF taken from Noah’s Periscope
Match graphic taken from the Official NOAH Twitter
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The Royal Rumble is right around the corner, and someone's Diesel Push might be on the way! Steve Cook looks...
Rob: Has Pro Wrestling Become Too Soft?
The Undertaker took the online wrestling community by storm with his comments on the current product, and Rob offers some...
NXT Minus 6: Anatomy of a Wrestling Match
Bradley Jay digs into the HISTORY MAKING night of WWE NXT. HISTORY! (And Timothy Thatcher is the only person to...
Outsider’s Edge: Secure The Bag Episode – Undertaker, NXT, and Tama Tonga
Kyle and Rance talk discuss Undertaker's "video game" comments, NXT possibly moving nights, and much more!
Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/23/21)
DING DONG, HELLO~! Talking Smack!