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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (9/30/20)

One last stop before the TakeOver!



NEW NXT Coverage

The NXT North American and Women’s Champions team up against their challengers!

Before TakeOver 31 and their respective title matches, the Evil Genius and Archer of Infamy take on Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling in a Mixed Tag Match! Will Io Shirai and Damian Priest make sure Johnny and Candice don’t get their way?


  • Dakota Kai VS Shotzi Blackheart; Shotzi wins.
  • The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon: Cameron Grimes VS Ariel Dominguez; Grimes wins.
  • Cameron Grimes VS Ridge Holland; Grimes wins, by disqualification.
  • KUSHIDA VS Tony Nese; Kushida wins.
  • Adam Cole VS Austin Theory; Cole wins.
  • Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li; Carter wins.
  • Mixed Tag: Io Shirai & Damian Priest VS Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano; LeRae & Gargano win.


Dakota Kai w/ Raquel Gonzalez VS Shotzi Blackheart!

#CobraKai and the wild child were in the NXT Women’s Championship Contender Battle Royal, but neither won it all. Dakota wants payback on Shotzi for eliminating her, but will Shotzi just welcome her to the ball pit?

The bell rings, Dakota says Shotzi doesn’t need to worry about Raquel at ringside, and then she pie faces her! Shotzi trips Dakota, has the legs, but Dakota pushes her away. Dakota dodges a boot, Shotzi whips but Dakota reverses. Shotzi blocks the monkey flips but runs into a waistlock. Shotzi pries free, waistlocks back but Dakota ducks down to trip Shotzi up. Dakota runs, Shotzi ducks the kick to roll Dakota, TWO! Dakota trips and jackknifes, TWO! Shotzi Oklahoma rolls Dakota, TWO! Dakota gets up, Shotzi atomic drops her, trips her, and has both legs for a Jeff Hardy leg splitting leg drop! Shotzi drags Dakota up, wrenches and arm-drags Dakota around. Shotzi spins Dakota for an armbreaker!

Shotzi holds onto the wrists to kick Dakota from below, then spins to victory roll her! TWO, but Shotzi whips Dakota! Dakota reverses. Shotzi holds ropes and side steps to snap Dakota back and get a takedown! Shotzi laces up the legs for a drop into a modified Muda Lock! Dakota endures this Cattle Muda-lation, and Shotzi bridges up to drop down her weight! Shotzi drops again and keeps the arms hooked, but Dakota rocks and gets free to a Fujiwara! Shotzi endures, clasps hands, fights her way up and she arm-drags Dakota again. Dakota is in the corner, Shotzi storms over to throw forearms, but Dakota counter punches to rock Shotzi! Dakota bumps Shotzi off buckles and digs her boot in. The ref counts, Dakota stops at 4, but Shotzi hits back!

Dakota forearms Shotzi, sweeps the legs and digs her boot in again. The ref counts, Dakota lets up but scrapes Shotzi’s face. Shotzi gets up but Dakota reels her in for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Dakota grows frustrated and Raquel argues the count, too. Dakota throws forearms in the corner, puts Shotzi on ropes and digs her knees in! The ref counts, Dakota stops at 4 to run, but into Shotzi’s drop toehold! Dakota ends up on ropes now, but Raquel saves her from the cannonball! Raquel glares at Shotzi, Shotzi turns around into Dakota’s URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi survives and Dakota is furious as NXT goes picture in picture.

Dakota cools off, stalks Shotzi and mocks her. Dakota chokes Shotzi against ropes, bumps her off buckles, then runs side to side to BOOT her! And then again! Dakota snapmares Shotzi to a cover, TWO! Dakota stands on Shotzi but lets off at the ref’s count. Shotzi staggers away, Dakota clinches but Shotzi throws body shots. Dakota grabs hair but so does Shotzi. Dakota throws Shotzi down, covers, TWO! Dakota drags Shotzi around, turns her over and laces up the legs. Dakota chinbars Shotzi and brings her into the Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Shotzi endures being bent back, pops out to cover, TWO! Dakota escapes and gets up to clobber Shotzi!

Dakota throws forearms on Shotzi in the corner, then runs back in, only for Shotzi to boot her! Shotzi hops up, FLYING SUNSET! Cover, TWO!! Dakota BOOTS Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Shotzi clings to the ropes while Dakota seethes. Dakota drags Shotzi from the ropes, drags her up into a seated cobra twist and stretches her! Shotzi endures as Dakota cranks on the crossface. Shotzi gets her arm free and arm-drags Dakota away! NXT returns to single picture as Shotzi dodges Dakota to bait her into a corner. Shotzi goes up and over Dakota, rolls and comes back to shotgun dropkick Dakota into buckles! Shotzi hits a corner splash, snapmares Dakota and runs for the SLING DOG!

Shotzi fires up but Raquel coaches Dakota. Dakota walks into a KNEE, and a ROLLING ELBOW! ENZIGURI! Dakota is back on the ropes, the ref keeps Raquel back, CANNONBALL! Shotzi brings Dakota up, chicken wing to TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Dakota survives and Shotzi grows frustrated. Raquel coaches Dakota but Shotzi runs in, only to get BOOTS! Dakota staggers, hip tosses Shotzi into a trapped-leg cover, TWO!! Shotzi escapes and Dakota talks things through with Raquel. Dakota drags Shotzi up, fireman’s carries, but Shotzi fights out. Shotzi baits Dakota into another corner to put her on the apron. Shotzi forearms, but her shoulder gets a KICK!

Shotzi ends up on the apron, Dakota goes out to follow, but Shotzi kicks Dakota’s legs out! Dakota even lands on Shotzi’s knees in the process! Shotzi stands up, throws forearms on Dakota, but Dakota counter punches! Shotzi kicks Dakota’s legs, Dakota SCORPION KICKS! Dakota boots but Shotzi blocks to spin and QUESTION MARK KICK! Shotzi has Dakota for SLICED BREAD to the apron!! Shotzi takes herself out, practically! The ref checks on them both, somehow they’re both okay to continue! Shotzi gets in the ring first, builds speed, but Raquel trips her up! So Rhea TACKLES Raquel into steel steps! Referees rush out to get Rhea to leave, but Raquel wants to give chase! Dakota runs Around the World, Shotzi dodges the boot to roll her up! Shotzi wins!!

Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall

A nasty spill could not stop NXT’s Tank Girl, and Shotzi was able to #TCB! Will Shotzi barrel through the rest of the NXT Women’s Division to challenge whoever is champion after Sunday?


NXT holds a dual video interview with Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.

The NXT Cruiserweight Champion and the only man to pin him twice, let alone once, are set to battle for that title at TakeOver: 31. To start, Tom Phillips asks Swerve about how he has Escobar’s number yet falls short in the matches. That’s true. Swerve has had his shots but it’s hard to believe there was fairness to those matches. Swerve is the better competitor, is still the only man to pin Escobar in NXT and all of WWE. So frankly, when they have their rematch, Swerve will come out on top.

Phillips asks Escobar if Swerve is right about things being fair this time around. Escobar laughs but tells Swerve he is a parasite that Escobar just can’t get rid of. It doesn’t matter, Swerve just lingers. And there’s nothing Escobar hates more in life than things that linger. Escobar vows Swerve will lose again and tie up loose ends. Swerve complains about what’s fair and what’s not. But Escobar promises this will be fair. Will it? Swerve can’t believe that. Every time they face off for the title, there’s always something or someone. El Legado del Fantasma interfering, a loaded lucha mask waiting under the ring, there’s always a bag of tricks. Escobar says those are excuses. When it counts, Swerve just can’t deliver.

What Escobar calls excuses are actually reality. And the reality here is that Swerve has adapted to everything in this business, and in life. Swerve is ready for whatever Escobar will throw at him. Good, Escobar is glad Swerve has prepared himself. Swerve isn’t just prepared. He is ready to show us all what he’s truly capable of. And he’ll show how the champion is just a fraud. But that’s the difference between them. Swerve makes things about himself. That is why he will fail. Escobar has built the division back up in his image, and infused it with respect for lucha libre, from which Cruiserweight wrestling was born, a culture that Swerve has no respect for. All that “showcasing” will not be enough. What Swerve claims are a “bag of tricks” is actually a century of tradition. Escobar vows to bury Swerve with it, but Swerve says he can try.


NXT hears from the anonymous alumni.

“I’ve heard them say you can never go back home. Too many roads in life to take. But sometimes, you have to stop and look around you to see that home may not be the same place it was when you left it. And you realize, doing something about it will be your best moment.” Just who or what is returning to NXT at TakeOver?


NXT presents Prime Target: Kyle O’Reilly!

“When I first stepped into a wrestling ring, a small kickboxing gym in British Columbia,” he took to it like a fish takes to water. He felt at home. This is something he has put every once of himself into for his entire adult life. Even if he never made it to NXT, just wrestling for a few dollars every other weekend, he would still be doing it with his everything. “This is my love, my passion.” The Undisputed Era is the best thing that ever happened to him professionally and personally, because these are three guys who are legitimately his best friends.

Adam Cole is so proud of Kyle. They’ve known each other for 12 years, travelled the world together, and Cole has known for a long time that Kyle is one of the best. “Blood on our lips and smiles on our face,” Kyle, Cole, Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish have all gone to war against each other and alongside each other. That’s what’s special about the Undisputed Era, “It is real.” More than anything, Kyle wants to be the NXT Champion. There is nothing more important to him right now. It is cliché, but Kyle has had his sights set on Finn Balor for a long time. As Kyle came to America, Balor was already big in Japan. When Kyle went to japan, Balor was in NXT. When Kyle got to NXT, Balor was on Raw.

“Needless to say, the fact that this match is finally happening is one thing. But to put in the main event of TakeOver and it’s for the NXT Championship, that’s what the last 15 years has been building up for.” Every moment, match, opportunity, country and company, it has all led to this Sunday. Kyle thrives under pressure, and if he wins, the Undisputed Era will be the same as when Cole won. This is just the second wave of the Golden Prophecy. And that is Undisputed.


NXT has an update on Tegan Nox.

As they tweeted out earlier today, NXT informs us that after the attack from Candice LeRae backstage, Tegan has suffered another torn ACL. The Shiniest Wizard again must recover and repair, will she ever get past being the comeback kid?


Backstage interview with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae.

They “feel awful” for Tegan, but this was karma. Tegan broke their TV, Candice tears Tegan’s ACL. Even Stevens now. But moving on from that, their mixed tag match with Io Shirai and Damian Priest- Johnny scoffs at that. He knows Sarah is nervous, but just breathe. NXT’s Power Couple is teaming up tonight, but what are they hoping to accomplish before TakeOver and their respective title matches? Sunday is destiny for them. Gargano said they are destined to be the first married couple to be champions in NXT, and that is already here. It starts tonight, and finishes at TakeOver. The Garganos compliment Sarah, but they don’t really mean it. But will this twisted fairy tale of theirs really have a happily ever after?


Cameron Grimes VS ???

The Technical Savage didn’t win the gauntlet like he wanted, but there’s still time for it to be Grime Time in NXT. Before his match, Grimes gets the mic to say, “To tell you the truth, I’m not in the best mood right now.” Last week, he had all the opportunities, but it was all taken away to a match called the Gauntlet Eliminator! Whose idea was that? Not Regal’s, he’d make something way better! But Grimes can cheer up! Grimes is gonna make a match right now! How about this? The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon match! What you think of that?

To make it better, Grimes has handpicked each of his opponents tonight. Here comes the first opponent: Joey Pistachio! Actually the jacket says Ariel Dominguez but Grimes is right about him being the NCAA Champion in the 85 pound weight class. Ariel is here, all the way from San Diego, California, and he’s here to go to the moon! “Pistachio” gets in the ring and the match begins!

The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon: Cameron Grimes VS Ariel Dominguez!

CAVE-IN!! Cocky cover, Grimes wins!

Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall

The fastest win of Grimes’ career, is against a man quite literally half his size. Grimes feels great about it, but admits that was a little rough. But he wouldn’t be the man he is if he didn’t have more competition lined up. The second opponent is: “Joey Strong.” But whether that’s his real name or not, it doesn’t matter, because RIDGE HOLLAND tosses the guy out to the stage! Holland HEADBUTTS Joey over and over and then throws him off the stage! Also, judging from Joey’s singlet, his real last name is “Lockhart.” Grimes introduces himself to Holland and says that he’s a big fan. Holland is great, really. But he’s not part of this invitational! If Holland is here to shake his hand, that’s fine. But this isn’t a match. Holland HEADBUTTS Grimes instead! This IS a match, and here’s the bell!

Cameron Grimes VS Ridge Holland!

Holland grabs Grimes for more headbutts, and then an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Grimes to a corner and Holland storms over to club away on him! Holland CLUBS and CLUBS and crossface forearms over and over! Grimes scrambles away but Holland stomps him at the ropes! The ref counts, but Holland won’t stop!! The ref rings the bell!

Winner: Cameron Grimes, by disqualification

Holland doesn’t care, he just wants to turn Grimes into Carolina tar! Grimes flops out of the ring, probably thinking he’s on the moon. Will Holland bring him back down to earth next time they meet?


Backstage interview with Austin Theory.

Theory requested this interview time, is it about his recent struggles? Struggles? “Theory” and “Struggles’ do not belong in the same sentence. As for Damian Priest, that should’ve never happened. Theory should’ve been in the gauntlet match Kyle O’Reilly won. Theory saw the Prime Target video, and it is very touching and inspirational to learn it took Kyle 15 years to finally get an NXT Championship match. But that’s a long time. More than half Theory’s life. Theory was already part of WrestleMania at 22, but Kyle is the future? Kyle should try to be catching up to Theory. Will Theory prove he is the one everyone should be putting stock into?


NXT hears from Kushida.

“The migration to this new environment, the United States, has been truly the biggest event that has happened to me and my family. It was a struggle to juggle my work and private life. It was hard to concentrate. But now it’s time! The setup is complete. I can concentrate on the ring.” Now Kushida will show the real him. He hasn’t had many opportunities at titles, injuries set him back, and now he is impatient. He’s changing gears, ramping it up a notch, and will go “ballistic.” Everything has its meaning, and TakeOver will see an explosion. Velveteen Dream will learn HE is the stepping stone, and Kushida will become the core of NXT. “The new Kushida is VICIOUS! Here I come, TakeOver!” But first, we’ll see the Timesplitter tune-up, after the break!



Before taking on The Experience, the Super Junior wants to give us all a sample of the new aggression he is about to unleash! Will the Premier Athlete wish he could go Back to the Future to avoid this?

The bell rings, Nese and Kushida circle, approach, but Nese flexes on Kushida. Kushida enziguris! And Kowata Kicks, and Penalty Kicks the arm out! Kushida whips, Nese holds ropes to throat chop back! Nese hotshot bulldogs Kushida down! And drags him out to whip him, but Kushida reverses to POST Nese! The crowd goes wild as Kushida puts Nese in and kicks the arm again! And again! Kushida whips, Nese slides under to pump handle, but Kushida gets the arm! Kushida wrenches Nese for a bulldog to the arm! Nese gets to a corner, Kushida is after his arm again!  The ref counts as they’re in the ropes, but he just gives Nese another arm bulldog! Kushida gives Nese DANIELSON STOMPS! Kushida doesn’t stop the stomps, then he wraps the arm into the Hoverboard! Nese taps, Kushida wins

Winner: Kushida, by submission

Kushida shows us he wasn’t kidding! This was a faster, meaner and more precise Kushida here tonight. But the lights change purple, and Dream speaks from the titantron. “Will the real Kushida please stand up?” Because it doesn’t matter who shows up, the spotlight will be too bright for Kushida. Dream always puts on his best performances under the brightest lights. See you Sunday. A simple message for simple game plans: win. Who will see that plan through to success at TakeOver?


NXT Media finds Grimes backstage, nursing his eye.

Grimes tells cameras to get out of his face or direct him to William Regal! But then Grimes walks into Dexter Lumis! Lumis is back?! Grimes walks past the “freak,” and storms off down the hall. Between Northern Grit and the Tortured Artist, will the Carolina Caveman have to be much more careful walking around Full Sail these days?


NXT returns to Adam Cole in the ring.

The former champion makes a surprise appearance as he says, “Three years. For three years, the Undisputed Era has been part of NXT. And for three years, we have dominated. We’ve done what we want, when we want, and nobody has been able to stop us.” The prophecy came true! They said they’d win every title and they did! But even more important than that, people in the locker room knew that if you crossed them, you would pay. Then the prophecy ended and they lost their titles. And somewhere along their way, people felt the Era changed. People felt like they could say whatever and there’d be no repercussions.

Cole is telling us here and now, “Nothing has changed! We are the same Undisputed Era that won the first-ever WarGames match in WWE history! We are the same Undisputed Era that has DOMINATED this brand unlike anybody has or anybody will!” So then, Austin Theory, if you want to run your mouth about Kyle, fine. Do Cole a favor and bring your ass down to this ring to say that to Cole’s face! Theory does make his way out to the ring and he wants Cole to calm down. Why is he so mad? Cole dares Theory to get in the ring since he’s so big and bad.

But if not, fine. Cole keeps this simple so even Theory can understand. Two options: bring your stupid face in and fight like a man; stay right there, so that the rest of the Era can beat him where he stands and make him BEG to go back to option one. Theory decides to take option one and heads for the ring. The ref gets in, too, and this is a match!

Adam Cole VS Austin Theory!

Cole dodges Theory to CHOP and forearm and CHOP! Theory staggers, Cole follows to fire off forearms! Cole stomps away on Theory in another corner, lets off as the ref counts, then goes after Theory at the ropes. Cole KICKS Theory, BOOTS him down, then dares him to get up. Theory stands, Cole gives him a neckbreaker! Theory pushes Cole away but Cole stomps him down. Cole drags Theory up, wrenches and whips but Theory grabs ropes to bail out! Theory mocks the UE sign, but Cole goes out to BOOT him down! Theory sits up in a daze, Cole tells him he’s nothing. Cole bumps Theory off the apron, the ring count climbs to 5 but Cole refreshes it. Cole whips Theory into steel steps!

Cole says Theory mocked the wrong people, then he drags Theory up into the ring. Theory gets Cole at the ropes but Cole PELES first! Theory checks his face but Cole is on him with another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Theory survives that Rude Awakening, but then he talks trash about going #AllDay. Cole stomps Theory, drags him back up and snap suplexes him down. “Wrong guy, Austin. Wrong guy.” Cole drags Theory up to club him back down! Theory gets to a corner, Cole laces his leg in the ropes to dropkick him in the stomach! Theory falls with the leg twisted up, and Cole wraps on a chinlock to grind him down. Cole tells Theory to quit but he refuses. Theory tells Cole they’re “Undisputed Crap” but Cole just wrenches harder.

Cole and Theory stand up, Theory fights out but runs into a back elbow! Cole storms back after Theory to knee him down and put him in the corner. Theory hits the buckles hard, Cole throws more forearms then wrenches for a corner to corner whip. Theory reverses, runs in but is put on the apron. Theory shoulders into Cole, slingshot somersaults to shotgun dropkick! “THAT is undisputed!” Cover, TWO!! Theory grows frustrated but the crowd fires up as NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Theory is stomping a mudhole into Cole! Theory talks smack but fans rally up as he drags Cole up to snapmare and stomp! Theory slaps Cole around before clamping on a chinbar armlock combo. Cole endures, Theory digs his elbow into Cole’s face, but Cole fights up. Cole fights back, Theory knees low and hits a backbreaker! Theory hits a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Theory has his arrogance back as Cole gets to a corner. Cole elbows him away, then boots him away! Cole rallies with clotheslines now, and another BOOT! Theory sits up in another daze, but Cole stalks him to ropes. Cole brings Theory into a waistlock, Theory standing switches but Cole PELES and BACKSTABBERS! Cover, TWO!

Cole grows frustrated but he has control again. He gets up while Theory stirs. Cole brings Theory to a fireman’s carry but Theory fights off. Theory whips, Cole reverses and BOOTS again! And then the fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives but Cole smirks. Cole might actually respect Theory now, but he’s not going to take it easy on him. Cole goes to a corner, Theory anchors a foot but Cole stomps him. Cole hops up, takes aim, and leaps, PANAMA-NO! Back drop, and no sunset flip, MULE KICK to the back! Theory drags Cole up, torture rack, for the TOWER HACKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Cole is a Triple Crown winner for a reason!

Theory talks trash on Cole and throws forearms. Cole gives them back. They brawl from mat to their feet, Cole gives as good as he gets, then runs, into Theory’s elbow! Theory runs, into a SUPERKICK!! Theory ends up on the apron from that one! Cole sees him floundering, drags him up, but Theory hotshots! Theory slingshots, into another SUPERKICK! Suplex, UNDISPUTED BRAIN BUSTER! LAST SHOT SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Cole wins!

Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall

And THAT is Undisputed! “Kyle O’Reilly was born ready! Nobody wants this more, nobody has earned an NXT title shot more.” Cole promises Kyle will #ShockTheSystem, but it won’t be a shock to the UE. Will this new Undisputed Prophecy come true this Sunday?


NXT returns with a backstage interview with Io Shirai and Damian Priest.

The champions are teaming for the first time ever against their respective challengers. How confident are they against the Power Couple? Hah, that’s cute. They can keep that nickname, because these two are keeping the titles. Tonight is a preview of TakeOver as the Women’s Champion and North American Champion, “the rockstars of NXT,” take care of business. Shirai says she is on another level than Candice, and Priest is literally on a different level than Gargano. In the end, that is why Johnny and Candice have no chance at becoming champions. She’s ready to rock, and Priest likes that. Will the champs stay golden all the way through Sunday?


Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li!

NXT’s Ninja Warriors are a great tag team, did very well in the Women’s Battle Royal, but things are about to get spicy! Will Xia Li divide and conquer KC Squared?

The bell rings and Xia circles with Kayden. They tie up, Xia rolls Kayden, ONE! Kayden sits on the cover, ONE! Xia sunset flips, ONE, Kayden is up but Xia sweeps the legs! Cover, ONE, Kayden reverses the roles to sweep and cover, ONE! The crowd cheers the fast and furious technical exchange, and both women fist bump out of respect. A bit different compared to the scowling Xia did last time these two faced off in that tag match. But they go again, Kayden waistlocks, Xia standing switches, but Kayden drops down, slides under and waistlocks back. Xia uses ropes but Kayden still O’Conner rolls. TWO, Kayden springboard missile dropkicks! Cover, TWO!

Xia bails out but comes back to trip Kayden up! Xia spins Kayden to ROCK her with that right! And then drags her out more to DUMP her on the ground! Kacy coaches Kayden but Xia gets back in the ring. Xia waits for Kayden to return, Kacy coaches Kayden on but Xia stomps away! Cover, ONE! Kayden gets to a corner, Xia is after her with a CHOP! Xia fires up and fires off knees! And a back kick! Cover, ONE! Xia tries again, ONE! Again, ONE! Xia gets spicy with the ref, Kayden staggers about and into a corner. Xia is after her, Kayden elbows her away. Kayden kicks but Xia blocks and trips. Kayden kicks Xia to a corner, Kacy coaches her up but Xia is after her. Kayden CHOPS, forearms, knees and repeat!

Kayden whips, Xia reverses, Kayden wheelbarrows, victory rolls and MULE KICKS! Cover, TWO!! Kayden is frustrated, Xia shoves her but then sunset flips up and over, TWO! Kayden sits up, brings Xia up, Xia bucks her to a prawn hold but Kayden rolls through to sunset Xia! Kayden wins!!

Winner: Kayden Carter, by pinfall

Xia can’t believe she got caught like that! Kayden still shows respect with her hand held out, but Xia shoves her down! Kacy asks what her problem is, but Xia shakes her off, too. Xia is going from spicy to burning with anger, will she explode soon enough?


NXT returns to Shawn Michaels in the ring.

The NXT Championship sits on a table as HBK says, “This Sunday, on the WWE Network, Finn Balor will be defending his NXT Championship against the #1 contender, Kyle O’Reilly. Gentlemen.” Balor and Kyle step in and we have our face-to-face. There isn’t animosity here, but please shake hands before you sit down. They shake hands and take their seats at the table. Balor wishes Kyle a congrats for winning the gauntlet match. Balor has the utmost respect for Kyle and what he’s done, and looks forward to their match. The feeling is mutual for Kyle, there’s nothing but respect. HBK appreciates all that, but let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Balor has told us all, and HBK agrees, this is the best Balor yet. But Balor is facing someone who HBK has said for a long time, the best kept secret in wrestling today. How does Balor prepare for a guy like Kyle? Balor doesn’t think this is a secret. Maybe a fringe, casual fan doesn’t know Kyle, but the business watches Balor because Balor watches the business. Balor has known how great Kyle is. Kyle has proven himself in the NXT Tag Team Division, but more importantly, Kyle has proven himself around the world as a singles competitor. Balor knows how hard that is.

Kyle likes Balor. He is a fan of Balor. Sitting here and seeing Balor expertly stroke his own ego, thinking he can beat Kyle. Balor is a fighting champion, and this is what a fighting champion does: defends the title, even when defeat is certain. And that’s what this is, Balor. “Absolute certain defeat.” Oh? Well there’s one thing Balor isn’t so sure about. Is Kyle going to show up with Undisputed Era, or be a man? He’ll be a man. But he appreciates the question. See this? One hand, and then the other, watching each other. That is how UE has operated since the beginning. That is the foundation to their success. But this Sunday isn’t about the UE. It is about Kyle’s moment.

HBK says that in regards to that, the elephant in the room is the “apparent conflict” that Kyle could be champion and that could upset Cole. Anything to that? Kyle says this “nonexistent power struggle amongst the Era boys, quite frankly, is laughable.” Yes, ol’ Grimey had a point with his, “You ain’t nothin’ like Adam Cole, hurr hurr,” and that’s true. They’re nothing alike because Cole is a beautiful man! Kyle has mismatched ears, freckles all over, and- Balor vows to slap the freckles off Kyle’s face. Now there’s the Prince! “A good Irish boy, this one.” Kyle welcomes that. Balor can’t say Kyle got lucky or making other excuses. Balor agrees, there’ll be no room for excuse from Kyle. And no room for jokes. Balor has proved himself for 20 years.

Big whoop! Kyle’s been here 15, so what’s another 5 years? Every month since walking in here, it’s been “the biggest match of my career.” This week, next week, and this Sunday. This isn’t the biggest match of Kyle’s career, but of Kyle’s life. Balor explains what “the big whoop” is. It’s understanding the difference between the main event of one night, versus the main event that alters your life. Not just for Kyle, but for everyone watching. Kyle gets it. Balor’s first big title defense. No one ever loses their first defense, right~?

But the truth is, Kyle being considered the underdog is BS! Kyle is not the underdog here, because Balor has never faced Kyle, or anyone like Kyle. Kyle will change Balor’s mind. “There’s something about the sound of a man’s knee caps exploding, tends to say a certain opinion.” And this Sunday, the so-called tag team specialist will do it again.

HBK says Balor is champion, so he gets one final word. “Kyle. You’re witty, you have charisma. You are really, really good in the ring. I believe you have everything it takes to be NXT Champion. And you will be, if this title was on anybody else except for Finn Balor.” HBK thanks them for their time. But who triumphs when it’s time to back up all these words at TakeOver 31?


Mixed Tag: Io Shirai & Damian Priest VS Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano!

The Evil Genius and the Archer of Infamy face their TakeOver contenders together in this special sampler main event! Will the Pint-Sized Poison Pixie and her Wednesday Knight take the first steps toward a historic power couple reign?

The “rockstar” champions fire up and rush the ring to brawl with Johnny and Candice! Things are furious under the strobe lights, but the challengers bail out! The referee hurries in to cool everyone off, Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling complain as they take their corner. Priest starts for his team so Gargano gets in. The bell rings, Gargano fires off a haymaker but Priest kicks. Gargano gets under and uppercuts, but Priest grabs him to throw him to a corner! Gargano dodges to CHOP and forearm but Priest shoves, kicks and swings. Gargano dodges those but not the BOOT! Priest fires off fast hands in the ocrner, Cnadice protests but Priest stops at the ref’s count.

Priest whips Gargano corner to corner, scoops him for a BIG sidewalk slam! Gargano rolls away, Candice tells Priest to back off, and Candice checks on her husband. Priest tags Shirai in so Candice has to come in! The crowd is thunderous as these two step to each other. Candice fires off but Shirai gives it back! Candice knees low, whips Shirai to a corner then runs corner to corner, but Shirai dodge and kicks back! Shirai goes up, leaps, but Candice gets under. Candice comes back, Shirai waistlocks but Candice blocks the German to standing switch and roll up! TWO, SHirai FLAPJACKS Candice! Then basement dropkicks!

Candice gets to a corner as the crowd fires up. Gargano gets in the way of the bullet train, but Priest backs Shirai up. And ROUNDHOUSES Gargano into the corner! Candice gets a bit of hubby’s buns as Priest leaps in to hit the back elbow! Then Shirai runs in, Gargano bails out so that Candice takes the SHINKANSEN alone! Some husband he is. Candice bails out, Priest gives Shirai a boost for an INFAMOUS CROSSBODY! Direct hit on Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling at the ramp, and NXT goes picture in picture!

Shirai drags Candice up and puts her in the ring. Shirai stomps Candice around, and in the corner! The ref counts, Shirai lets off, but then digs her boots in! Shirai swings to meteora! Candice flounders around, Shirai drags her up and throws her! Shirai runs but Gargano redeems himself by taking the tiger feint kick for Candice! Candice hits Shirai with a DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Candice is furious as she clubs away on Shirai! Shirai gets to a corner, Candice slaps her around, then hauls her into another corner to ram her into buckles! Candice snapmares Shirai into a chinlock and grinds her down. Shirai endures, fights back and fights up, but Candice throws her down. Candice talks trash to Priest but he tells the little lady to calm down.

Shirai knees Candice back! Candice rolls Shirai away to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Shirai flounders but Candice drags her away from Priest. Candice has a neck wrench as NXT returns to single picture. Shirai endures, the crowd rallies up but Gargano talks smack. Candice knees Shirai, clubs her, and paces. Gargano is the only one applauding as Candice kicks Shirai. Candice toys with Shirai, tells her the belt will be Candice’s, but Shirai gets up to SHOTEI! Candice wobbles, Shirai counter punches her and waistlocks her for a GERMAN! Both women are down, hot tag to Priest! Gargano gets in but gets clobbered over and over! Priest ROUNDHOUSES Gargano, and LRAIATS him in the rebound!

The crowd fires up as Priest aims and fires the flying back elbow in the corner! And then BROKEN ARROW! Cover off the toss, TWO! Gargano crawls to a corner but Priest brings him back up. Priest reels him in, Canadian racks to a crucifix, but Gargano slips off! Gargano boots Priest back, hops up, TORNADO COMPLETE SHOT! Gargano grits his teeth, fires himself up and kicks, but Priest ducks to kick away! Gargano enziguris, Priest staggers and Shirai tags in! Candice is now legal, but Shirai missile dropkicks Gargano! Shirai rallies on Candice with shoulders, then underhooks, but Candice fights out of the Tiger Driver! Shirai ducks the enziguri and drops down on Candice for the crossface!

Candice flails, reaches, endures, Gargano drags Shirai out of the ring! Priest comes around to choke grip and lift, but Gargano lands on his feet to mule kick from the apron! Shirai SHOTEIS Gargano! Candice cradles Shirai, TWO! Shirai wheelbarrows but Candice turns it into a FACEBUSTER! Step-up senton! Candice grins as she springboards, LIONSAULT flops! Shirai underhooks, TIGER BACKBREAKER! Shirai has Candice in the drop zone and climbs up top, but Gargano gets Candice out of the ring! Shirai shouts at Gargano, but Priest BELL CLAPS and ROUNDHOUSES Gargano! Gargano is down, Shirai still gives him the MOONSAULT!

Tag to Priest, Priest grabs Gargano for the dragon sleeper! The ref is busy telling Shirai to go back to the corner, he doesn’t see Candice LOW BLOW Priest!! Shirai goes after Candice but the damage is done! Shirai stomps Candice down, Gargano slingshots, ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, the Gargano Way wins!!

Winners: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, by pinfall

Mr. Wrestling secures the victory only because Mrs. Wrestling kicked the Archer of Infamy in his arrow! Shirai shouts at Gargano but Candice hits her with a BACKSTABBER! And in a bit of premature celebration, Gargano grabs the belts and hands the Women’s title to Candice. They raise the belts up as if they’ve already won. But if #TheJohnnyGarganoWay only succeeds when they’re both together, do either of them stand a chance on their own?

My Thoughts:

An incredible go-home for NXT! Not much was advertised match-wise, but they were all solid to say the least. A lot of great stuff has also been added to TakeOver 31 given circumstances are clearly keeping the NXT Tag Team Championships off the card. The Cruiserweight Championship getting to be on TakeOver is exactly what I was hoping for, and while the video call interview segment was just a tad awkward, Escobar VS Swerve is going to be great once again. Kushida put a hurting on Nese, Dream had a good promo for keeping it simple, and their match is going to be a lot of fun, too. It is truly a shame Tegan is out of action again, her story with Candice had so much going for it. We can only hope Tegan can recover and still wrestle at all.

Dakota VS Shotzi was really good, and I like that Rhea and Shotzi are basically being teamed together again. I felt like these two meshed very well when going against Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez, they’ll do the same here against Dakota and Raquel, and maybe, just maybe, NXT starts getting properly involved in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship scene. Though, if WWE is keeping their stupid Draft as just Raw and SmackDown, it seems not at all likely. Grimes was hilarious, thinking he could do the same scrub gauntlet Ariya Daivari did on 205 Live, and just hilarious in general as Holland not only mauled that jobber but then mauled Grimes. Lumis returns, too, so maybe what was meant to be Lumis & Dream becomes Lumis & Holland to put some literal heavy hitters in the tag division.

I like that this mysterious return is being kept so secret, it’s not even clear if it’s a male or female superstar. The robot voices are more male and female, the person picked up a TakeOver flyer that had both the men’s and women’s title matches on it, and in the current era, the only difference between the male and female title belts is color, which gets washed away in the night vision green. It cold be Bo Dallas, it could be Ember Moon, it could be… Paige? Maybe not, that’s something that might’ve leaked by now. And while Paige was literally born into wrestling, I feel like she’s fine with where she is in both WWE and in life right now. Though the robot-cyborg gimmick could work for her as much as it does Ember with injuries being the only thing in her way, and the idea of her repairing herself to retake NXT.

I like that the story of Xia Li, and by proxy KC Squared, is getting airtime. They’ve all been around for a good amount of time, really working hard to be notable parts of NXT, and this is it paying off. Xia continues to be a sore loser of sorts, and a full Heel turn would be something interesting to see. The Mixed Tag match was a great main event, and it was a bit out of nowhere to see Priest and Shirai work so well together, but I suppose you credit the fact they have a common enemy in Johnny and Candice. But the math indicates that the #NXTPowerCouple standing tall tonight, touching the belts no less, means they’re not both winning. Maybe Gargano gets the better of Priest, being that Gargano is the Triple Crown winner, I’m not sure about Candice. If Tegan wasn’t actually out with the torn ACL, I could see her interfering with the women’s title, but now it’ll just have to be a clean win for Shirai.

Adam Cole basically being the big brother to Kyle against Theory was unexpected, but that match Cole and Theory had was incredible. It felt on par with a midcard title match, in which case the reputation of Cole being an NXT Triple Crown was itself the prize. The Prime Target for Kyle was incredibly well made, but if he doesn’t win… In the face-to-face, Kyle sure came in with a bit of ego, but he did make some good points. They’re both much more experience than the average fan probably realized, so this isn’t an underdog story but two peers who finally meet to see who is really the better man. It’d be so wild if Kyle won, but this also feels like it’s meant to puff Kyle up so much that he falls that much harder when he loses.

My Score: 9.3/10

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Andrew’s IMPACT Sacrifice Results & Match Ratings: 3.24.2023

Well damn, 24 hours changes everything! Josh is injured and has to vacate the World title! Mickie is also injured but she’s making her announcement during the show. How does IMPACT salvage their two main title pictures at Sacrifice?



Well hot damn, a lot of news popped up in less than 24 hours. So Josh Alexander tore his triceps; so he has to vacate the World Title and he’s being replaced by Steve Maclin in the 6 man match. Mickie James apparently also has an injury, but they are going to turn it into a segment on the show instead of a straight up vacating.

Now from a story perspective this sucks since I loved the Maclin/Alexander segment last night. That’s just me being selfish since I wanted to see that build and Maclin get the big win he deserves. Now he’ll be facing Kushida for the vacated title at Rebellion, and even if Maclin wins it will feel a little flat. Here’s to hoping that when Josh returns from injury they can find a way to bridge the time lost and keep the story going eventually.


  • Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham: Bailey wins via Reverse Figure Four – *** 3/4
  • Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers: Hendry retains via Standing Ovation – ***
  • Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna wins via Venus de Milo – *** 1/4
  • Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO: PCO wins via Straight Right Chair Punch – *** 1/4
  • X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c): Trey retains via Cradle – *
  • IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c): Bullet Club retains via ABC 1-2-Sweet – ****
  • Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer: Bully wins – ** 1/2
  • Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin: Kushida wins via Hoverboard Lock – ****



Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham

With the injuries in the main event, I could definitely see one, or both of these guys; fast tracked into the title scene after Rebellion. And I don’t think anyone would really be mad at that.

A quick tit for tat start, no one really gets any advantage. Just a few quick counters and takeover attempts. They both pause to take in chants from the crowd and then lock up again. Collar and Elbow tie up, they don’t release and both roll one another under the rope and out of the ring. There is an early moment where while he’s against the ropes he pokes Speedball in the eye and then apologizes. So things go back to a technical face vs face, but it could be a precursor.

Technical catch wrestling continues. Wrestling one another down, trying to get positions for small submission picks or limb attacks, but nothing is sticking yet. Gresham does manage to an Indian Deathlock, and then a Reverse Figure Four that Gresham conveniently can’t untangle so the referee has to do it and Bailey is pissed. Gresham tries to explain it, but Bailey lights him up, Gresham falls out of the ring, Golden Triangle Moonsault and now the aggression is starting to pick up. Hamstring Kicks and Chops from Bailey, but Gresham baits the attack and trips up Bailey before attacking the left knee with a grin on his face. Bailey is grounded for a while and Gresham keeps trying to twist off his leg. Eventually some Up Kicks break the submission attempt but Gresham wrestles him down again into a Bow and Arrow Trailer Hitch kind of move. Since Bailey has Tanahashi next week, Gresham must be trying to make Bailey’s knees equal. Good Guy Gresham.

Bailey starts stringing some offense together, but a few Low Dropkicks ruins Bailey’s base and causes him to face plant and the offense is going nowhere. Gresham even goes for the pinfall by trying to hyper extend the leg he’s been working on. Strikes continue to trade, Gresham tries to shoot the half but Bailey kicks off, Hamstring Kick again, Gresham Kips Up but clutches the leg a little, a chance for Speedball but Gresham cradles him to the ground and locks in a Figure Four. Speedball eventually rolls to the apron, Gresham tries to continue the stretching but Bailey kicks him into the post, sweeps the leg and Moonsault Double Knees right on Gresham’s head; Bailey went full Billy Kidman with his offense.

Bailey and Gresham continue to jockey for position on the outside, it looks like it might be a double count out. Gresham gets in at 9, Bailey gets in right at the 10 and the referee allows the match to continue. Some quick offense, Tornado Kicks to the corner, Ultima Weapon misses, Gresham goes for the Figure Four again but Speedball reverses it and Gresham taps pretty quick.

Backstage segment with Brian Myers, Moose joins and says he’ll help him beat Hendry – but then Santino shows up! He tells Moose he’s dumb and just stooged himself out, so he’s banning him from ringside. Who would’ve thunk it, the comedy character brings the logic. 

Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers

Myers powders after a few early bumps and then Hendry follows him. Hendry is definitely not fighting with “champion’s advantage”, as is the way for babyfaces. Myers tries to fight back on the floor but a Scoop Slam leaves Myers on the receiving end. Hendry has to roll in to reset the 10 count and Myers catches him.

A few quick attacks, Roster Cut attempt but Hendry gets the goozle on. Standing Ovation attempt but Myers slips it, Chop Block, and continues to hammer down on Hendry. Myers with a Falcon Arrow and a bunch of slightly arrogant offense until he goes for the Crossbody, gets caught again, Sack of Shit, and Hendry is back on the offensive. Pop Up Power – no, slips and a Running Spear from Myers for a 2 count. Myers hits the top rope but Hendry cuts him off, Myers pushes him off, launches and Hendry hits the RKO mid move! Throws Myers into the ropes, Standing Ovation, and Hendry retains!

So Mickie addresses her injury, it seems she broke a rib during the tag match. They are allowing Mickie to hold on to the title until Rebellion. Either she defends it in a 3 way versus Jordynne and the winner of the 4 Way at the Multiverse United show or Jordynne will face the winner of the 4 Way for the vacated title. 

Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo

Deonna starts off angry, Gisele is getting rocked early, they go through a few rope running counter cradles and slides but its just early counter wrestling. Gisele manages to surprise Deonna going for an Armbar, but Deonna counters it, tries the Venus de Milo but Shaw powders. Deonna hits the Baseball Slide, starts beating on Gisele but she slides back in to distract the referee while Savannah clocks Deonna.

Triplicate European Uppercuts from Gisele keep her very comfortably in control. Another distraction to the ref and Savannah swings and connects with Deonna again. Deonna tries to fight from the corner, Gisele grabs Deonna’s feet drapes her across the ropes and drops both knees on Deonna. Gisele drives her knee into Deonna’s shoulder blades and goes for the Chin Lock. Deonna tries to power out, Gisele stifles it a little, but Deonna catches her with a Twisting Neckbreaker. Slow start to the strike exchange but it slowly picks up, Deonna with a beautiful spot of a no look Back Kick right to Gisele’s stomach, Running Knee Lift into the Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Deonna Pump Kick, Gisele Superkick, Deonna bounces off the ropes, Flatliner into Koji Clutch, but Gisele slides back a little to turn it into a pinfall to break the submission.

Both women have wrist control and just swing at each other. Deonna gets the best, one big swing but Gisele ducks it, catches Deonna in Shock and Awe (Backbreaker into Flatliner). Denouement attempt, Deonna grabs at the arm for the Fujiwara attempt but Gisele fights it off. Venus de Milo gets locked in and Deonna holds it a little longer to make a point.

Savannah attacks Deonna afterwards, but Tasha Steelz music hits. Tasha tries to play nice like she’s here to help Savannah, then cheap shots her, fights off Jai with a Tornado DDT kicking off of Savannah. Okurr on Jai and Tasha cleans house and babyfaces herself. 

Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO

Kenny comes out in an Honor No More shirt, which is a nice way to play into the story. 

Eddie tries to get PCO’s attention and then Kenny attacks him right as the bell rings. PCO turns things around shortly, Eddie keeps trying to find angles to give Kenny ambush spots but PCO keeps fighting back. PCO stalks Eddie on the outside and Kenny hits a beautiful Tornillo, then a Scoop Slam as he mocks the whole Frankenstein gimmick. PCO rolls in and Kenny John Woo’s him into the corner and starts Bootwashing his face to talk smack. PCO fires, goozle and just throws Kenny out of the ring.

PCO kicks Kenny from getting back in the ring, looks to do his Senton but “short circuits”. So PCO does a Senton to the wrong side of the ring, crashing but popping right back up, and it apparently helped correct the issue. So Senton onto Kenny, throws him back in, Kenny tries the Eddy Gordo kick but PCO just barrels over him.  PCO drapes Kenny in the corner, Codebreaker, into the back of the head Guillotine Leg Drop and now PCO pulls him to the apron.

Here we go, Deanimator attempt – but Eddie cuts him off, PCO kicks him back into the cameras, Kenny gets up and an Iconoclasm bouncing off the apron of the ring! Kenny throws him into the steps, rolls in, things he’s all but won…yet PCO beats the 10 count. “He’s Not Human” chant starts, Frog Splash from Kenny and PCO kicks out and fires at 2. Eddie throws a Kendo stick in the ring to distract the referee from Kenny using a chair. Kenny hits PCO once, PCO shakes it off and has a gameplan. So he actually helps keep the referee distracted to bait in Kenny for another chairshot attempt, but PCO just punches through the chair and knocks out Kenny.

Maclin, Kaz and Rich have a backstage segment. It perfectly shows the story beats of Maclin being annoyed that he put in all this prep and recon on Josh just for the opponent to be flipped. Typical tumultuous team members vibe, but Maclin gets his story beats across beautifully.

X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c)

Okay Lince comes out in a bathrobe with some cringe ass “Lucha Lit” gimmick. I…hate it. This is probably the first time ever that I want Trey to win. Cause Dorado is cringe as hell. In a game of them both sucking, I’ll pick the style of trash that I can tolerate more…which is Trey. 

Lucha counter wrestling with flips over trips and that stupid ass Mirrored Dropkick Spot. I also don’t love the Lince doing the cat mannerisms, but Puma King and a few others have done that…so I guess its more tolerated in Lucha. This whole match has been a little paint by numbers boring Lucha where the moves are done just to pop the crowd but not to actually accomplish anything.

Diving whatever moves they accomplish nothing. Its really hard for me to care about flippy trash matches. Lince hits 2 of the 3 step Moonsaults, but Trey of course no sells and dodges the third, Tiger Wall Kick, but Trey stumbles a little for the Enzuigiri, Trey also hits a sloppy Outside In Tiger Feint…its just sloppy spots for spots sake. I would probably be more entertained if I had Runescape fired up on a different tab. This is just a waste of space, much like both “wrestlers”.

Lince hits a Avalanche Frankensteiner, into a Shooting Star Press but Trey powders. Lince tries that bounce off the corner with his legs spot, but its sloppy. Another sloppy Tiger Feint from Trey, Slingshot Sunset Bomb for 2. These are just stupid moves for stupid sake. Lince tries to cut off Trey from a rope run with a Big Boot but mostly misses, makes the whole cut off exchange look stupid. Trey with a flash cradle during the cut offs for pinfall. Eww…this was garbage.

IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c)

It is nice to see a variation of TMDK back together. I also enjoyed Tito called Ace and Bey the “Mini Bullet Club” since they’re the juniors heavyweights.

 Tito and Bey start off, Bey is trying to show off his speed, Tito gets across the power though. Tito kinda looks like a young Scott Steiner, and he literally tosses Bey back into his corner. Ace tags in, tries to do something but Tito is just too strong. Haste gets tagged in for some flashy yet effective offense. Ace finds something with the Triangle Victory Roll, Bey blind tag, cheap shot on Tito, Russian Leg Sweep + Low Sweep combination into some Click Click Boom. So Bullet Club is showing very nice Junior style synergy. Haste is very loud and animated, so he’s a great one to have eating the offense. Especially when they do their Back Rake goof spot.

Haste finally maneuvers things to tag Tito in, and Haste hands off Ace to Tito and Tito hits a Standing Blue Thunder Bomb. Tree of Woe, Bey tries to come in to break up the spot but the referee is distract, Tito steps up and stands on the groin, nice homage to Petey Williams. We are in Canada. Announce team almost sets up too much meme fodder, and then Rehwoldt steers into it. Rehwoldt said Bey was trying to rush into to get Tito off…paused for a second, which you know Hannifan gave him a look. So then they just pivot to everyone in TMDK being like Australian Sex Pistols. Very clever misdirection.

The match is fun, Bey gets the hot tag, clocks everyone, Haste tries a Lariat, Bey ducks that, flies onto Tito on the outside, comes back in, Tornado Fameasser for 2. Bullet Club goes for a Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combo, but Haste gets out of it. Tito gets tagged in and he start to look like Steve Williams with the Doctor Bomb for 2. Tito hits a big battering ram Dive on Bey to clear him out. Haste Falcon Arrow, Tito Froggy Splash, but Bey breaks it up.

Tito starts getting ping ponged between the two Juniors, Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combination, for 1-2-3? – no Haste comes in the referee says it was in time to stop the 3 count. Tito charges and a beautifully times Superkick + Spinning Back Heel Kick on Tito. He’s dazed, ABC 1-2-Sweet! Bullet Club retain!

Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer

This is a First Blood Match for anyone who doesn’t know, and Dreamer comes out with an ECW Championship Belt. 

Chair duel to start things, ECW replica belt to the face of Bully Ray. Dreamer grabs a soda from a fan, Muta mist on Bully, tries to shove the can into his skull for early blood but no. Bully crotches Dreamer on the guardrail and then picks a fight with Darren McCarty who’s in the crowd. Darren McCarty was the enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings, so its very old school letting the ex sports guy play. Bully also has a great spot where he pulls out a step ladder, then asks the referee to hold it, does the Jimmy Snuka pose and goes for a Splash and misses. Bully gets to rile up AEW and WWF fans all in one spot. Good old school heat. Corny, but good.

Dreamer gets a bag of tacks, Bully fights off the Piledriver, gets the cheese grater but Dreamer hits the Bionic Elbow as a counter. Cheese grater with Dreamer, Dreamer charges, Bully pulls the referee in the corner, so ref bump. Dreamer eventually makes contact with the cheese grater, but there’s no referee and Bully has his back to the  camera, so it slow rolls the result nicely. Good Hands hit the ring, on with a towel to see if he can blot the bleeding before the ref comes to.

Bully hits Tommy with pocket tacks instead of pocket sand. Tries to drive Dreamer’s face into the tacks and then Elbow it further down but Dreamer moves. Dreamer grabs the grater again, Bully tries to beg off, screams he’s sorry and now tries to guilt Tommy with his family is going to see this. Dreamer actually stops and then Bully hits him in the balls. Bully busts open Tommy with the tacks, the Good Hands slide in Tommy as the referee comes to, so the referee only sees Dreamer bleeding. Its a solid old school Hardcore match but it was definitely a little too plodding and corny.

Yuya Uemura tries to make the save, then Darren McCarty jumps the railing. This really has turned into ECW, Bully gets a mic, asks him if he really wants to fight and tells security to let him go. LOL – a literal Hockey Fight. McCarty gets the best of things, Good Hands mug him from behind. Triple Powerbomb McCarty through the table. 

Scott D’Amore’s music hits! Scott starts stripping like he’s Ric Flair. Bully calls down Scott, but Scott has backup. He calls Rino, Heath, Gresham, Baily and Joe Hendry.  Good Hands try to attack Scott…Scott stops him…and HITS A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Can this lead to a Lethal Lockdown match? Team D’Amore versus Team Bully? Give me that…give me some Lethal Lockdown now! 

Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin

Shelley and Swann start off, and its just a bit of chain wrestling. They both have Hammerlocks, Headlocks, and just twist around to try and find an angle. Shelley speeds things up a little, Shoulder Tackle, rope run, Swann goes down and Shelley puts on the brakes to sink in a quick STF but Rich grabs the rope. Kaz and Sabin tag in and we get some Battle of the Futures nostalgia.

Back and forth, Up and Over, Sabin with the Arm Drag into the Top Wristlock. Kaz fights through, a little more quick counters and fun stalemate spots as they are all having fun with each other. Kushida tags in and points to Maclin. Kaz slaps Maclin’s chest and we all know Maclin isn’t a fun loving babyface like Kaz and Swann, so the tone should start to change. Kushida starts by starting Grounded ala Inoki vs Ali, then manages to trip up Maclin and keep the mat wrestling going, but Maclin finally gets back to hit feet and can finally use his size and power to  his advantage. Shelley blind tag, Time Splitters PK to the Arm combo.

Shelley keeps on the arm that got kicks with the Arm Wringer and then a few quick shots to the damaged arm. Kaz makes the blind tag after Maclin uses the middle rope into Shelley’s throat. Kaz and Rich with a little Hip Toss tandem stuff for a near fall on Shelley. But the tone of Rich and Kaz is definitely much different. Shelley fights his way out of the enemy corner, Time Machine triple team, Single Leg Crab, Camel Clutch, Sliding Dropkick from Sabin onto Rich. Kaz is trying to police too much of Maclin’s motion, typical team that doesn’t get along stuff. Rich driven into Kaz in the corner, triple Dropkicks from all of Time Machine.

Kushida tags in, stares down Maclin and then Maclin picks up and throws Rich to Time Machine because you can tell he’s frustrated getting policed with all of his moves. MCMG hold Rich, Kushida hits the Baseball Slide on the restrained wrestler and Kushida does the little Liger spin around pose/taunt and stares down Maclin. Shelley starts with the joint manipulation, and Swann is just getting torn apart. Swann in the Tree of Woe, Sliding Dropkick to Swann’s face, and then the Triple Baseball Slide. Sabin tags in with the Octopus Hold on Rich which he rolls into a pinfall, but Rich kicks out. You hear Maclin say “All you have to do is tag me bitch” – which proves that Maclin is trying to be a team player in his own way.

Rich fights out of the triple team, and chooses to tag in Kaz. Kaz hot tag, exchanges with Sabin which turns into the Guillotine Leg Drop through the ropes, Kaz is taking out everyone right now. Two Springboard Leg Drops…and now a third as all of the Time Machine offense is stopped. Sabin blind tag though gives Time Machine some momentum. Rich tries to come in, gets rocked, Maclin charges, Sabin grabs him and Tornado DDT sends Maclin to powder. Missile Dropkick/Flatliner on Kaz for 2.

Cradle Shock counter, rolling tag to Rich. Avalanche Headscissors, Rich goes to the top rope, Maclin tags himself in, but Time Machine gets rolling. Dragon Screw from Kushida with the Mutoh pose afterwards. Maclin and Shelley are legal, and going back and forth. Double Arm Breaker from Shelley after Kaz tries to get involved. Maclin gets some offense back in, Caught in the Crosshairs form Maclin, Maclin tags in Kaz, Kaz tags Rich, tandem attacks, Cutter form Rich into a 450…1-2-Kushida Kicks out! Swann goes for Phoenix Splash but misses. Flying Armbar from Kushida, triple Submission spot, but Maclin gets out of his and breaks Kushida’s submission. Maclin stares down Time Machine, hits the ropes and gets eaten alive by tandem attacks.

Time Machine goes for a Double Shiranui Tower, but it gets broken up. Outatime lands on Kaz. Sliced Bread lands on Swann. Tanaka Punch blocked, Maclin eats Shell Shock, Sabin gives Kushida a rolling start to throw him onto Maclin like a Spider Monkey and sink in the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin taps relatively quick, which is strategic to not risk injury.

Overall Score: 7/10

Talk about a show that no one knew what the hell to expect! Josh vacating the belt means that things had to change with fairly short notice. Mickie’s implications of either a Triple threat or she’ll hand over the belt to the winner if she’s not cleared is something you don’t see too often. But when it comes down to the card, the show was relatively good. Trey & Lince was hot garbage, and Busted Open was what we all kind of expected. Was it a bit more entertaining with some of the ECW nods? Sure. But it was just a spectacle and honestly Scott D’Amore hitting the Canadian Destroyer made that all worth it.

The tag and six man matches were the best stuff on the card, and sets the stage decently well for storylines into Rebellion. I’m not joking though, if we don’t get Team D’Amore vs Team Bully in a Lethal Lockdown…the salt will pour. Don’t let the Canadian Destroyer spot be for naught! Oh – and put the damn belt on Maclin!

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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/24/23)

It’s a family feud!



Wrestling really does have more than one royal family.

While Cody Rhodes is back on SmackDown to take on Ludwig Kaiser, Dominik Mysterio plans on confronting in his entire family in Las Vegas! Will Rey finally snap on his son?


  • Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci; Cody wins.
  • Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight; Knight wins.
  • WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya; Shotzi & Natalya win and advance to WrestleMania.
  • “Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER; Gunther wins.


Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci!

The American Nightmare is back on SmackDown, looking to stay razor sharp for his match with the Tribal Chief. But will he get more than just a tune-up from the Impeccable German? Or will Kaiser keep the mat sacred?

The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up for “CODY! CODY!” Ludwig eggs Cody on, they tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Cody powers Ludwig to a corner but Ludwig turns it around. Ludwig lets off, but throws a body shot! Ludwig whips, Cody reverses and reels Ludwig in to suplex! Fans fire up as Cody keeps Ludwig in the air, before the GOURD BUSTER! But wait, here comes Paul Heyman. Cody is distracted by the Wise Man, Ludwig waistlocks, but Cody trips Ludwig to then SHINING WIZARD! Ludwig bails out while Cody glances back at Heyman. Fans continue to rally for Cody while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Cody staggers over to Ludwig. Ludwig UPPERCUTS then COMPLETE SHOTS! Cover, TWO! Ludwig scowls, and he rains down fists in a headlock! Fans boo but Ludwig lets off. Ludwig clamps onto Cody with a chinlock, then CLUBS him down. Fans boo as Ludwig goes outside to drag Cody to the corner, but Cody YANKS Ludwig into the post! Cody goes out to CHOP Ludwig, ROCKS him, and then CHOPS him against the announce desk! Cody rains down fists and fans fire up! Cody puts Ludwig back in the ring, runs and springboards, but Ludwig trips him up and YANKS him down!

Heyman is stoic as Ludwig sits Cody up to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Cody scowls but Ludwig looms over him. Ludwig pie faces Cody, drags him up but Cody ROCKS Ludwig and JABS and throws a body shot. Ludwig throat chops in return! Ludwig CHOKES Cody on the ropes, the ref counts and Ludwig lets off. Fans boo, but Vinci gets a cheap shot! Cover, TWO! Ludwig clamps back on with a chinlock. Cody endures, fans rally up, and Cody fights up to his feet. Ludwig throws Cody down by his hair! Fans boo more as Ludwig paces around and taunts Cody. Ludwig rains down more fists, then scrapes Cody’s face!

Ludwig runs to BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Heyman is still stoic as Cody drags himself to ropes. Ludwig kicks the ropes to jam Cody’s arm! Ludwig drags Cody up to UPPERCUT! Cody ROCKS Ludwig with forearm after forearm! Ludwig JAWBREAKERS! Ludwig throws body shots and stomps in the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Cody puts him on the apron! Cody ROCKS Ludwig, and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICKS Ludwig down! Fans fire up and Heyman is upset now. Ludwig staggers up into a kick, and Cody reels Ludwig in! Cody hooks the arms, but now SOLO SIKOA appears!

Fans boo as the Bloodline approaches, but Ludwig CHOP BLOCKS Cody’s leg! Solo and Heyman stay at the ramp as Ludwig goes out. Cody throws hands, whips, but Ludwig reverses and sends Cody crashing into steel steps! Fans boo but Cody drags himself up, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Cody throws hands on Ludwig. Ludwig headlocks, Cody powers out and things speed up, but DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Solo & Heyman are now ringside as fans rally up. Vinci coaches Ludwig but Cody sits up first. They stand, Cody throws a body shot but Ludwig throws a haymaker. Cody throws a forearm, Ludwig gives it back, they go shot for shot, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Ludwig kicks low, whips, but Cody reverses to then follow and CLOBBER Ludwig! Cody kicks, RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then baits Ludwig, goes up and over in a corner, and POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!

Solo is stoic, Heyman smiles, but then Vinci throws in his track jacket. The ref gets that out of the way, but misses the HIGH LOW COMBO from Imperium! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and Ludwig is surprised. Ludwig shouts “NEIN!” and runs in to UPPERCUT, GAMANGIRI and HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Ludwig goes up top, leaps, but into a dragon sleeper! But Ludwig drops to victory roll! TWO, and Cody dodges Ludwig to springboard, CODY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cody stares down Heyman & Solo! Cody waits on Ludwig, reels him back in, CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall

The Impeccable German was less than perfect, and he loses to the American Nightmare! But Cody watches Solo get up on the apron and Heyman has the mic. Heyman has Solo stand down, and then tells Cody, “You’re owed an apology. And since I’m the Wise Man of the Bloodline, may I? I am going to be the one to deliver that apology to you.” The ring announcer did a lousy job. She must be from Vegas. Fans boo and Heyman acts surprised. But Heyman will do the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen! Your winner… and still challenger for the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns… Cody! RRRRHODES!”

Fans are torn but Heyman says this is the very same Cody Rhodes that sees his Road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday Night Raw, when Cody goes one versus one against… SOLO! And if, and isn’t that a big “if,” IF Cody survives Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be here live on SmackDown next Friday to see Cody one final time face to face. Heyman tosses the mic to Cody and he catches it. “Is that what we’re doing, Mr. Heyman? Are you moving the goal posts for me? Another thing you did, you interrupted them while they were singing the song.

“And now, you wanna move the goal posts and move ’em right here, huh? Am I expected to say ‘No?’ Oh, it’s six days out from the biggest match in the history of my family, I should probably say no, right? WELL, I probably shouldn’t have wrestled with half my body hanging off, and I still beat Seth Rollins! So when it comes to you,” he says as he points at Solo, “undefeated and as good as you are, like I said last week. You’re. Not. Ready!” Fans chant that, then Cody continues.

“And as for the champion, Roman Reigns. After Solo finds out that he’s not ready, at WrestleMania on April 2nd, your boy, Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, will find out the same thing. He is not ready, either!” Cody throws the mic back and Heyman misses it! Will everything about this homestretch to Hollywood be a nightmare for The Bloodline?


BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!

The very first match of night one on Saturday, April 1st will be… AUSTIN THEORY VS JOHN CENA! The United States Championship will set the pace for the weekend, will The Now find that he’s not ready, either?


Charlotte Flair is here!

Vegas fires up as The Queen heads to the ring. The SmackDown Women’s Champion has her pyro then gets the mic to tell Las Vegas, “We are just eight days away from WrestleMania! Fourteen times. Fourteen time world champion. And I can tell you, that was not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. The same three things have been used against me by everyone, and I mean everyone, since I started in this business.

“Fear. What is fear? Fear is a lack of understanding. It’s ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. This business was built on respect! Rhea Ripley, I don’t fear you. I respect you! The only thing that I fear is my own potential. I respected Nikki and Brie. I respect Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Trish, Ronda, Asuka, Natty! I respected all of them! Insecurities. Damn right I have insecurities! Are you really ‘whatting’ me? This is important to me so listen. Insecurities, damn right I have them. And I have built this house on every brick that all of you have thrown at me! For the last seven YEARS! Lastly, nepotism.” Fans “WOO~!”

“That’s right, Vegas. I love my dad. And I will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment! And whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it, because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. WOO~!” The Queen is fired up, but will she be able to hold her throne at WrestleMania?


Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight!

The King of Lucha Libre, the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, has been pushed and pushed and pushed by his punk of a son, and the Mega Star was one big mouth too far! Will Rey be able to shut up the obnoxious jerk that isn’t Dominik? Or will things only get worse for Rey on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?

SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Knight chases Rey but Rey dodges and fires off hands! Knight shoves Rey away, but Rey slides under and dropkicks Knight to a corner. Rey runs in but Knight fights off the monkey flip. But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey runs in, and now he MONKEY FLIPS! Knight staggers up,. Rey KICKS Knight to a corner, and then rains down fists! Fans count all the way to TEN, then Rey gives us some Latino Heat. Rey runs, but Knight FLAPJACKS him down! Knight stomps Rey, stomps him to ropes, but the ref counts.

Knight lets off, “YEAH!” Then he bumps Rey off a buckle. Knight throws hands, JABS Rey, then digs his boots in. The ref counts, Knight lets off at 4, and Knight brings Rey up. Knight shoves Rey into the corner, Rey bounces off buckles, and into the NECKBREAKER! Knight spells it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” Cover, ONE!! Knight is annoyed and he throws fists down. Knight keeps on Rey, throws hands, then he bumps Rey off buckles. Fans rally and duel, but Knight whips Rey to ropes. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges then tilt-o-whirls to RANA! Knight flounders out of the ring and fans fire up!

Rey runs, WRECKS Knight with a dropkick, then he builds speed. Rey SLIDES to SPLASH! Fans fire up for that one, and Rey stalks Knight to CLUB him! Rey puts Knight in the ring, climbs up and shoulders in! Then he GAMANGIRIS Knight away, climbs the corner, but here comes Dom! Dom said he’d ruin the fun, and Knight trips Rey up! Rey tumbles to the mat, but Dom doesn’t care. Fans boo as Dom walks down the ramp while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Knight stomps away on Rey again. Knight drags Rey up but Rey throws hands! Rey fires off but Knight knees low! Knight scoops, Rey slips off and rolls Knight up, to then dropkick! Fans fire up while Knight scrambles around. Knight goes after Rey, Rey slips under and runs, but into a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dom paces at ringside, and Knight sits Rey up to KNEE him in the back! Knight drags Rey up, back suplexes high and hard, then dusts off his hands. “YEAH!” Knight grins as he stands over Rey, then he pulls on the mask. The ref reprimands, Knight whips Rey to ropes, but Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges!

Rey CROSSBODIES, but Knight catches him for a POWERSLAM! Dom smirks while Knight spells it out again. “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey and Knight slowly stand up, Rey goes to ropes and Knight storms over, but into an elbow! Rey springboards, wheelbarrows and BULLDOGS! Dom is annoyed but Rey goes to the apron. Rey climbs up, SEATED SENTONS! And Rey keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Rey brings him up to whip him to ropes. Knight reverses, kicks low and back suplexes, but Rey lands on his feet! Tilt-o-whirl, but Knight blocks to a BACKPACK SLAM! Cover, TWO!

Knight grows frustrated but he drags Rey back up. Fans rally for “619! 619!” as Knight scoops, but Rey turns slam into DDT! Rey then dropkicks Knight onto the ropes! Fans fire up, Rey dials it up, 619 BLOCKED by Knight! Knight grins, lifts Rey up, but Rey RANAS free! Rey redials, but Dom trips him up!! Fans boo and Rey is furious! He can’t believe Dom is doing this now, but Knight rolls Rey up! KNIGHT WINS!!

Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall

Dom smiles because he just screwed his dad over. Dom gets the mic and tells, “Jefe… You gonna give me what I want? Huh? C’mon. C’mon Or are you gonna run away? Or are you gonna finally be a man and face me at WrestleMania?” Dom pushes Rey, and Rey brings down the straps. To wag his finger, “No.” Dom says, “That’s right. Walk away like you always do. Hey, mom. How does it feel to be married to such a pathetic loser? A coward who can’t even stand up to his own son?” Fans boo but then Dom points out the rest of the family. He asks if mom knew she married a deadbeat.

She did, because here’s why. She sat there every night while Rey abandoned Dom, sot hat makes her no better! His sister steps up now, and Dom asks Aalyah what she’s gonna do about it. She’s too stupid to understand this. Mom Angie snatches the mic from Dom but Dom snatches it back to tell her to shut up! Rey storms back over and fans fire up! Dom dares Rey to do something, and Rey DECKS Dom!! Dom is shocked but Vegas is thunderous! Rey tells Dom that Dom pushed him to do this. Rey doesn’t wanna do this but Dom gave him no choice! You do not disrespect your mother like that! That is Rey’s wife!

Dom wanted a fight at Mania? Then he’s on!! Fans are thunderous again as Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son.” Dom scurries away, having gotten what he wanted like the brat he is. But will Dom come to regret everything he’s done these past few months?


WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya!

The Model Soldier teams with The Predator to take on the Wild Child and the Queen of Harts! Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez are watching ringside, who will they see join them in this Fatal 4 Way tag team showcase?

The teams sort out, Shotzi and Lacey start. Fans rally as Shotzi and Lacey circle, then Shotzi gets around to a waistlock. Shotzi ripcords, wrenches and wristlocks but Lacey throws Shotzi by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Shotzi up and fans rally as Lacey whips her to the corner. Lacey RAMS into Shotzi, tags Xia, and then mocks the fans. Xia stomps Shotzi, brings her up to CHOP, then taunts Natty. Xia runs in to KNEE and ELBOW Shotzi, then reels her in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Natty rallies the fans behind Shotzi but Lacey tells them to shut up. Xia bumps Shotzi off buckles and tags in Lacey.

Lacey mocks the fans, then runs to headstand and BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey drags Shotzi up, snapmares and then dribbles Shotzi’s face off the mat! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Lacey drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws hands, kicks but Lacey blocks to trip her up! Lacey then sucker punches Natty! Fans boo but Shotzi rolls Lacey up! TWO and Shotzi ENZIGURIS Lacey down! But Natty is still off the corner so Shotzi has to BOOT Lacey away! Shotzi runs but Lacey CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Lacey tags Xia. Lacey & Xia drag Shotzi up, double whip but Shotzi KICKS Xia and JAWBREAKERS Lacey!

Xia waistlocks Shotzi, Lacey storms up, but Shotzi slips free and the WOMAN’S RIGHT takes out Xia!! Lacey is furious, but Shotzi whips her out of the ring! Shotzi swings on Lacey, Lacey counter punches, but Natty is back! Natty BOOTS Lacey, then Shotzi DIVES to take Lacey down! Fans fire up as Shotzi hurries back in and tags Natty! HART ATTACK! And then the SHARPSHOOTER! Xia taps, Natty & Shotzi win!

Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya, by pinfall (advance to WrestleMania)

Two hearts and a lot of fire, these two make it through! But wait, here come Ronda & Shayna! Shayna says, “Look at all the history in the ring right now! I mean, each single one of those women has a reason to want to get revenge on us, right? Let’s look. Broken hand, broken nose, broken arm, broken spirit. What do you say we uh… Give them the opportunity tonight?” Fans fire up as the Baddest Women on the Planet step up, but then Ronda says, “Wait, Shay-Bayz. I’ve got a question for you. How many times have we sold out this exact arena?” A couple times. And what about this entire town? A couple more times.

And how much did they appreciate it? ZERO TIMES! These two have given Vegas more than it deserves, so never again! And certainly not tonight. Shayna agrees with that. But lucky for the others, or maybe unlucky, these two are here to let them know, they’re in the tag team showcase! WrestleMania may be taking place in Hollywood, but the stakes just got raised like here in Vegas! Who wins when the odds are not in their favor?


Drew McIntyre heads to the ring.

Vegas fires up as the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Der Ring General are about to converge for a contract signing! The Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship isn’t until WrestleMania, but will things break down on SmackDown?

SmackDown returns and Adam Pearce is in the ring to welcome us to this contract signing. But before he can introduce McIntyre, Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes make their way out! “Las Vegas, what’s the crack?” Sheamus says everyone’s been asking why he’s so mad at McIntyre. Imagine this: imagine working 15 YEARS of your life to achieve a particular goal; now imagine telling your best friend about that goal, only for him to go behind your back to try and steal it away from you. Imagine that friend being someone you let sleep and live on your couch, that you brought to his first training session in this business!

McIntyre rolls his eyes as Sheamus has said a lot of this before. Sheamus says, “Now imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in on the Grandest Stage of Them All, because they’re nothing but a backstabbing-” McIntyre says, “Imagine shutting up for a second. Every week, you run your mouth, you try to give me this guilt trip, trying to make me feel bad. And if it’s not on SmackDown, it’s on social medial with your little gifs and memes you create, blow up my Twitter like a teenage girl. It’s embarrassing, mate!”

McIntyre says last week, they were in this ring, proving why they are the most physical superstars in the WWE! They beat the hell out of each other! And afterwards, they should’ve been in the bar, laughing about it. That’s what they did in the old times. But now, Sheamus is so sensitive, he has this temper, that Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. Sheamus says McIntyre made this personal! McIntyre has a lot he’d love to say but he’ll stick to facts. And the facts are: McIntyre has beaten Sheamus, and he KNOWS he can beat Gunther. And history has shown that Sheamus can’t. Fans fire up as the two stare down.

Pearce has both men stand down because in order to get to WrestleMania, he needs three signatures on the contract. So how about we get the first two taken care of now? McIntyre takes the pen, signs his part, and then hands things over to Sheamus. Sheamus takes another pen, he signs his part, and then McIntyre throws his pen to the crowd as a free souvenir. And here comes GUNTHER! Gunther storms right into the ring, he gets right in Pearce’s face, and he tells Pearce to justify this decision. Justify why Gunther is in a match where the other two can pin or submit the other and Gunther still loses his title. Justify it! JUSTIFY IT!!

Pearce has Gunther calm down now, and Gunther signs his part. Is Pearce happy now? Whatever he has to do to defend HIS title at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat McIntyre. He will beat Sheamus. And if he has to, he’ll beat up Ridge and- What is Dunne looking at him like that for? DUNNE JUMPS THE TABLE TO GET AT GUNTHER!! Fans go wild as Butch goes wild! Ridge drags Dunne away, Gunther TOSSES the table! Gunther gets in Pearce’s face and Gunther wants a match! Pearce says okay, just calm down! Is Der Ring General about to break the Bruiserweight?

“Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER!

SmackDown returns, and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Dunne pulls on Gunther’s ears! Then CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne runs, but into a BOOT! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops and SLAMS him, then sits him up to PENALTY KICK! Dunne kicks back from below! Dunne forearms, CHOPS, SLAPS and then jumps on for a a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Gunther throws body shots and then shifts Dunne around into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Gunther paces around Dunne. Gunther kicks Dunne in the side, he taunts Sheamus, then he stomps Dunne down.

Gunther brings Dunne up but Dunne throws body shots! Dunne forearms, but Gunther CHOPS Dunne off his feet! Even McIntyre is feeling that one. Gunther drags Dunne up, and CHOPS him right back down! But Gunther holds onto the wrist and he brings Dunne up again. Gunther CHOPS Dunne inside-out! Gunther still holds the wrist and he gives toying kicks to Dunne while taunting Sheamus. Gunther ripcords, but Dunne uses that for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Gunther CHOPS Dunne down, into a BOSTON CRAB! Dunne endures, Sheamus and Ridge coach Dunne, and Dunne fights, only for Gunther to shift to an STF!

Dunne still endures, even as Gunther bends him back. Dunne pries free, wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Gunther pulls hair, then CHOPS Dunne down! Gunther drags Dunne back up but Dunne ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Gunther wobbles, blocks the third enziguri and deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Dunne goes to a corner, Gunther hauls him up onto the top rope to CHOP! Gunther climbs up and he STANDS on Dunne! Dunne endures and the ref counts, Gunther lets off and Dunne tumbles to the floor! Sheamus checks on Dunne, Gunther stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Gunther taunts Sheamus, but Dunne catches his Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans fire up as Dunne bends the fingers, and SNAPS them!! Gunther staggers away, Dunne runs in to fire forearms! GAMANGIRI! Gunther staggers, Dunne goes up and fans chant for the “BRUISERWEIGHT! BRUISERWEIGHT!” as Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the arm! Dunne waistlocks, but Gunther switches and puts on a SLEEPER! Dunne drops down, but powers up and he pries at the hold! Gunther holds on tight, Dunne reaches for ropes, and fans rally up, ROPEBREAK!

Gunther SLAPS the arms down, GERMAN SUPLEXEs, but Dunne lands on his feet! BUZZSAW! Gunther bails out and McIntyre smirks. Dunne goes to the apron but Gunther avoids the moonsault! Gunther CHOPS Dunne, and Dunne tumbles onto the desk! Gunther turns around to see Sheamus and McIntyre, but Dunne runs in! Gunther sends him into McIntyre! Gunther BOOTS Dunne into the ring! But Dunne STOMPS the hands and BUZZSAWS Gunther! Fans fire up, but McIntyre is on the apron! Sheamus drags McIntyre down! GLASGOW KISS from McIntyre! Ridge goes after McIntyre but McIntyre POSTS him!

Sheamus KNEES McIntyre down! Dunne runs in at Gunther, into a LARIAT!! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops for the LAST SYMPHONY!! Cover, Gunther wins!!

Winner: Gunther, by pinfall

Der Ring General used his enemies against each other, but The Fella stands back up. They both look at the WrestleMania sign, but Sheamus gets out of the way! CLAYMORE hits Gunther!! Fans fire up as Sheamus and McIntyre stare down now, will either of these men come away the NEW Intercontinental Champion in Hollywood? Or will Gunther use them against each other then like he did tonight?


The Street Profits are fired up backstage.

Montez Ford says that Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat is bound to be a banger. But he says there’s one thing bigger than that. Angelo Dawkins asks what, and Ford says THEIR tag team showcase. Alpha Academy, Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman & Ricochet, but wait. What do they have in common? Ford motions to the top of the head. Oh, right. They’re “smooth operators~.” But then Braun & Ricochet walk in. Real funny, guys. Y’all got jokes, huh? They got a problem with bald men? They don’t have a lot of room to talk, Dawkins is thinning up top. Whoa, fam, c’mon. Just jokes! Just playing. Well no one’s laughing.

Dawkins is just saying, Braun & Ricochet aren’t much of a tag team. Oh, well, we’ll see who’s playing when Ricochet & Braun show up and the other three teams fool around and find out. They want ALL that smoke. Well, okay, okay. Everyone is fired up for WrestleMania, but who wins the tag team showcase at the Showcase of the Immortals?


It’s the SmackDown return of the Kevin Owens Show!

And as such, Kevin Owens himself is headed to the ring. His guest will be Sami Zayn, but what will the Prizefighter and Great Liberator have to say about their coming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match? We’ll see, after the break.

SmackDown returns one more time and Kevin has his set and his mic. He thanks the ring announcer for the introduction, and then welcomes us back to the KO Show. Now please welcome his guest, tag team partner, friend and brother, the one and only Sami Zayn! Sami makes his entrance and the fans fire up again. Sami gets a mic and Kevin says, “Yeah, so I did it right? The way you wanted. It worked out?” Sami asks what Kevin means. Well, he brought Sami out with the big introduction like he wanted. It was good, right? Sami says he didn’t want a big introduction, this is Kevin’s show, and Sami’s the guest.

Yeah, but earlier, Kevin suggested they come out as co-hosts but Sami said they should make separate entrances so the fans can hear both of their songs and cheer for both of them. Which really means Sami wanted his own pop. Sami says he did not, but Kevin says it’s fine, the fans love him! Kevin gets it. Fans do cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin sits, Sami asks if they need to spill more backstage secrets, or can they just get to business? Yeah, of course. Sami says more than anyone, he’s been going non-stop about taking down Roman, the Usos, the Bloodline. And even Sami has lost sight of the fact that, does Kevin realize what they’re on the verge of doing?

“After all these years, from where we started, from nothing, staring together in Montreal all those years ago, we are on the verge of winning the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships! We are on the verge of doing that together, at WrestleMania! And not just any WrestleMania. This year, I don’t know what it is, but WrestleMania feels different this year.” Kevin says that’s right. And it isn’t lost on him. He knows what they can accomplish. But Sami is right, WrestleMania does feel different this year. Which is why Kevin brought Sami out here. Kevin has something for Sami.

Now, remember a few months ago, after Roman gave Sami that Honorary Uce shirt, that Kevin said Sami needed a new one. Kevin has one, it’s a KO-Mania Goes Hollywood shirt. That’s great! Well yes, but this is the back of it. Kevin does KO-Mania every year. But this year is different. This year isn’t about KO-Mania. “This year, there is only one person who took WWE by storm, who caught fire like no one else. There’s only one person that people can look at and say, ‘That guy has been the MVP of the WWE for the last 12 months,’ and that person is you,” Sami. Fans chant “MVP! MVP!” and Sami is rather touched.

Kevin says this year, it isn’t KO-Mania. It’s about the other side of the shirt. Kevin hands it over, Sami turns it around, and he sees… WrestleZAYNIA!! Sami’s all fired up now! Kevin shows that he’s been wearing one the whole time! Sami loves it! He throws off his shirt to put on the new shirt! Sami wants a hug but Kevin says no, one hug a year. Aw what the heck? THEY HUG! But then THE USOS attack!! They blindside KO & Sami from the crowd side, and then Jimmy rains down fists on Kevin while Jey rains down fists on Sami! Fans boo while the Usos clear the ring of the chairs. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS for Kevin!

Jey drags Sami up, whips him to ropes, and the Usos hit ONE AND DONE!! The fans boo more but Kevin gets up with a steel chair! The Usos run for it, telling KO & Sami that they’re going down! Kevin beats an armchair with the steel chair, but Sami tells the Usos that they’re not getting away with this one. Will Jimmy & Jey ruin the first ever WrestleZaynia? Or will KO & Sami be the ones to finally stop the ones?

My Thoughts:

A great episode for SmackDown here, especially with the story developments. For one, great closing moment we just saw with a great KO Show. I love that we got a positive swerve where Kevin gave Sami a shirt that had a WrestleZaynia logo on it. But I should’ve figured the Bloodline would do something, and the Usos technically stand tall here. That math would suggest the Usos are losing at WrestleMania, and we finally get so much in that moment, from vindication for Sami to the WWE Grand Slam for Kevin. We also got a really good match out of Cody VS Ludwig that Cody of course wins, and a really good promo segment right after for Cody and Heyman. The Bloodline is definitely desperate to hold onto everything, but that could be what brings them down.

Fairly big news with Theory VS Cena opening WrestleMania Night One. I’ve said before that it just feels like Theory is gonna win, since Cena doesn’t need the US title, and isn’t gonna be sticking around long enough to do anything with the US title. So if Theory wins the first match of the weekend, I could see him boasting, bragging and partying the entire weekend until he is just insufferable and annoys someone into challenging him for that title on the Raw After Mania. And then a pretty good promo from Charlotte, and I did like her calling out the “WHAT” chants here. Stone Cold Steve Austin is timeless, but lemming fans throwing out “WHAT” just to throw out ‘WHAT” are what? Stupid, that’s what. A) Show respect and pay attention. B) Come up with something of your own.

Really good match from Rey VS Knight, but of course Dom distracts to cost Rey. But biggest of all from that segment, the moment fans have wanted for the last few weeks now: REY DECKS DOM! And now we’ll get Rey VS Dom, and Dom sold all the emotion after that perfectly. He was upset, but there was also the fear and realization that comes with seeing something he thought would never happen actually happening. His dad is gonna whoop him, because Dom will only have Priest by his side while Finn prepares for Edge and Rhea prepares for Charlotte. And Legado can make a heroic move by countering Priest so that Rey VS Dom has a fair finish.

Good promo from Profits, Braun & Ricochet to put some tension between those teams going into the men’s Fatal 4. Good tag match qualifier for the women’s Fatal 4, and it was good weaving of stories that Shotzi & Natty win. Shayna & Ronda get that “first round bye” right into the match, but it does work because all four Faces want payback on them. It might not even matter who the fourth team is (though I’m sure it’ll be a team from Raw), Ronda & Shayna are probably gonna tear into them all to win and essentially be #1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.

And there was just so much great stuff in the Intercontinental Championship contract signing. Sheamus brought back the same stuff he said when he and McIntyre had their 1v1 feud last year but that makes sense, it is how people can be when they argue with friends and family. I feel like McIntyre was tempted to Steiner Math because this is a Triple Threat, and he knows he can beat Sheamus. Gunther was also great, and I love that “Butch” Dunne went right after Gunther over their NXT UK past. Gunther VS Dunne was great stuff to have just for the hell of it, but of course there was the usual misunderstanding shenanigans that helped Gunther win.

If Gunther somehow retains at Mania, can we have HHH get Trent Seven back in WWE so we can have British Strong Style VS Imperium for the Summer? There were fans in Vegas who remembered Dunne for being Dunne and not for being a sidekick, and all fans deserve to see that Dunne alongside Tyler Bate and Trent Seven.

My Score: 8.8/10

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