SmackDown has a NEW WWE Universal Champion!
He may not be Brock Lesnar, but Roman Reigns IS the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion once again! And he will know who his Clash of Champions opponent is by the end of the night!
- Heavy Machinery VS The Miz & John Morrison; Heavy Machinery wins.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax VS Bayley & Sasha Banks; Baszler & Jax win and retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin VS Sheamus VS
Big EJey Uso; Uso wins and will challenge Roman Reigns for the title at Clash of Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown opens with Roman Reigns!
The Big Dog and his new Advocate, Paul Heyman, make their way on stage, the Universal Championship held high over Roman’s head. Fans are divided between cheers and jeers as Roman and Heyman head to the ring. Heyman grabs a mic and says, “Just when you thought I was out, he pulled me back in.” And don’t make fools of yourselves pointing accusatory fingers thinking Heyman corrupted Roman. It is Roman “corrupting” Heyman. And why? Why would Heyman and Roman work together when Heyman was “thrown into the shark-infested ocean of obscurity, only to be rescued, saved and pulled onto the island of relevancy by this man?” The reason is that they did the same thing to Roman!
Heyman asks us, “What happened to the ‘thank yous’ and the appreciation?” The selfish executive decisions, the life threatening illnesses, and yet Roman over delivered. No one offered a thank you or appreciation. When he needed even just a little time off, what happened to Roman’s title? The Fiend? A fiend is not born to be champion, a fiend does fiendish things. A monster? A monster is not born to be champion, a monster does monstrous things. Imagine looking to a Fox News asking one of those two, “What’s it like being the biggest star in the WWE?” “Grrr!” Yeah, great choice. Those aren’t champions. “Roman’s reign as your champion has always been defined by what WWE purports itself to be built upon: Family, tradition, legacy, the responsibility of being a champion and the accountability of owning one’s actions as champion.”
Meanwhile, on Raw, they have a big Triple Threat to determine a challenger at Clash of Champions. Everything about Roman will be bigger, badder, better and more sensational and spectacular than anyone before him. Raw has a Triple Threat, so SmackDown will have a Fatal 4 Way! And the winner will be “the sacrificial lamb” to Roman at Clash. The names don’t deserve to be said by Roman or Heyman, the resumes will be ready by WWE’s Anderson Cooper, and “Carmella’s latest boyfriend” on commentary. “It goes like this. I’m gonna tell you this one time so you get it through your thick, unappreciative skulls.” Heyman gives a very slow and intense version to his introduction, as he is now the counsel to the Tribal Chief, the razing, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman. Reigns!
Roman says he is a man of his word. He did what he said he would: he signed the contract, wrecked Fiend and Monster, and then left as THE WWE Universal Champion! And he promises that it doesn’t matter who goes to Clash, “feed ’em in and watch ’em all get slaughtered, because this is MY island! And when you have this kind of power, all you gotta do… Is show up and win.” A new catchphrase for a new Roman. Who will make it to the biggest fight yet?
SmackDown returns to Jey Uso finding Roman and Heyman backstage.
“Yessir!” Welcome back, NEW Universal Champion! The family’s so proud, but he hasn’t responded to their texts and calls. Heyman walks off so family can talk private. What’s the deal with having Paul E? After everything with him and Lesnar? Roman says he has it under control. Well alright. If Roman needs someone to watch is back, Jey is there. Sure thing. Roman has to go, though, so hit him up later. Jey says they should get a steak after. Just what is going on in side Roman’s head?
Heavy Machinery VS The Miz & John Morrison!
Otis and Tucker still have a lot of beef with the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century *look off into distance*, but only ONE can challenge the Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style! Who wins to make a major case towards that title match at Clash of Champions?
SmackDown returns as the Hollywood A-Lister and Guru of Greatness make their entrances. The teams sort out and Otis starts with Miz. They circle, Miz gets a waistlock but Otis standing switches to slam Miz down! Then he picks Miz up to slam him again! Otis has Miz on the ropes but Miz elbows back! Miz throws haymakers and chops, but runs into Otis’ shoulder! Otis tags Tucker, they whip Miz and double shoulder tackle him down! Cover, TWO! Tucker keeps on Miz but Miz jawbreakers back! Tag to Morrison but Morrison runs into a takedown by Tucky! Tucker has Morrison in a waistlock, rolls him around then brings him up to whip for a BIG hip toss!
Tucker has Morrison in the corner, for a splash! Otis tags in, whips Tucker in for another splash, then Morrison is fed to a BIG shoulder tackle! Otis is fired up as Morrison flounders to a corner. Otis brings Morrison up, rams his shoulder in then whips corner to corner. Morrison comes back and Otis back drops him! Miz runs in, Otis dodges, Tucker scoops him! Otis scoops Morrison, they ram Miz and Morrison together, then double SLAM! Miz and Morrison get clothesline’d out and Heavy Machinery stands tall as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and the tables have turned as Miz has Tucker in the corner. Miz starts up the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” but Morrison is really the only one responding. Miz tags Morrison but Tucker fights back! Tucker throws haymakers on Miz but Morrison clobbers him from behind! Miz and Morrison double whip but Tucker leaps over both of them! Tag to Otis! The Dozer bulldozes through Miz and Morrison and back again! Otis has Morrison with a whip and a pop-up flapjack! Otis runs in,Miz pushes Morrison out of the way! FLYING CHUCK CHOP BLOCK! Miz fish hooks Otis’ face, tags Morrison back in, and then Morrison runs to SHINING WIZARD! Miz runs to BOOT! Morrison covers, TWO!
Morrison keeps on Otis with big hands and elbows. Otis hits back but Miz tags in. Miz and Morrison whip Otis to a corner. Morrison whips Miz but Otis dodges! Otis throws Morrison out as Miz hits buckles, then Otis back elbows Miz. Morrison drags Tucker off the apron for a MOONLIGHT DRIVE! “Now what?!” Otis turn around into It Kicks, but they just power Otis up! Otis jiggles and gyrates, then he blocks a kick to scoop Miz for an EXPLODER! Morrison gets in, he gets an EXPLODER! Greatest Sandwich of the 21st Century in the corner! Otis has his target and fires up with the fans, for a CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Otis then goes up top for a VADER BOMB!! Cover, Heavy Machinery wins!
Winners: Heavy Machinery, by pinfall
A huge win over a top tag team, but Morrison STEALS the Money in the Bank contract! That doesn’t make him Mr. MITB, but it does make him a thorn in Otis’ side! Will Otis be able to take back his prize from the Friday Night Delight?
Happy Birthday, but for who?
Big E talks with Drew Gulak, and tells Lucha House Party to be careful. This is a very small, rather sad cake since it doesn’t even have the person’s name on it. But Big E says this is big. Not only is Xavier Woods BACK to host Talking Smack later tonight, it is also his BIRTHDAY! But cakes and balloons aside, it is big for Big E. If, no WHEN, Big E wins tonight, he cashes in a golden ticket for a title match with Roman Reigns! It’s going down, baby! Security comes over and says Woods has arrived. Alright, here we go! Big E brings the cake to the parking lot, but SHEAMUS attacks! Was it just a trap?! These two brawl, the cake is ruined, and Big E gets a BROGUE against the garage door!!
Sheamus pretends to be upset over not being invited to the party, and he bounces Big E’s head off the hood of a Hyundai! Sheamus drags Big E up, but security and refs tell Sheamus to stop! He doesn’t listen, WHITE NOISE to the front windshield!! The Celtic Warrior just crushed Big E’s body, but has he crushed Big E’s spirit? Or will Big E still make it to that Fatal 4 Way to exact revenge AND achieve a dream?
SmackDown returns with medics checking on Big E.
He hasn’t moved since the commercial break and the medics are very careful with him. A stretcher has been brought given the major lacerations and possible internal damage. Sheamus returns to the scene of the crime to say it is difficult to watch, but he can’t take his eyes off this. Did he set Big E up just for losing at Payback? What? Sheamus was doing what any man would do and defended himself. Big E probably did think Woods was here, but maybe it was some misinformation. If you want to be in the main event, to grab the brass ring, then you need to stay focused. Sheamus is already thinking about Riddle’s strikes and Corbin’s power game. Big E was thinking about laughing and dancing with his buddy.
To be honest, it’s sad. This could’ve been the biggest night in Big E’s career, and he lets his friends drag him down again. But y’know what they say? You can’t dwell on the past! Sheamus has a big fight in that Fatal 4 Way for the Clash of Champions match, so he’s gotta go. Well actually, it’s probably just a Triple Threat now. Will the Fella face the consequences before the end of the night?
Backstage interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley!
It has been a tumultuous time for them. Payback saw them lose the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships after Sasha lost the Raw Women’s Championship. What’s her point? Well, tonight is a rematch for those titles before Clash of Champions. How do they feel about their chances? Bayley says that Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax were a brand new team, no one knew what to expect. But now Bayley and Sasha have it all set. They’re getting their own payback and taking those titles back! But Shayna has tapped Bayley out the last three times they’ve been in the same ring together. Do they have-
Who the hell do you think you are?! You are talking to the greatest SmackDown Women’s Champion of all time, the Women’s Grand Slam Winner! That is why Bayley is a role model to millions, and is Sasha’s best friend! No matter what, they’ve changed the game together, and are going to do it again. They’re going to show everyone why they run the whole damn company! That Payback payback happens after the break!
SmackDown returns to Adam Pearce and a medical update on Big E.
Big E is being evaluated, so the extent of his injuries are unknown, but it means he is NOT cleared for tonight’s main event. The Fatal 4 Way will still be a Fatal 4 Way, but with a new fourth man. And it’s at this moment that Heyman appears and wants to talk with Pearce. Will Heyman give his input on who should, or shouldn’t, be in the Fatal 4 Way to determine Roman’s challenger?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax VS Bayley & Sasha Banks!
The Queen of Spades and the Irresistible Force did the impossible at Payback: they got along! But they also managed to do that and take the titles from the Golden Role Models. Will they do it again to deny the return of #BayleyDosStraps?
Cesaro and Nakamura give comments on this match up. Two mac trucks and two sports cars, what happens when they collide? BOOM! CRASH! That’s not nice, given what we just saw with Big E. Pff like they care. But win or lose, Bayley and Banks will always have a place at the Champion’s Lounge. The introductions for this match are made, the Women’s Tag Titles are raised, and Payback’s payback begins!
Shayna starts with Bayley but then Nia tags in quick. They argue, Sasha tags in and the role models attack! They send Shayna and Nia out, then double baseball slide, into double swings into the barriers! Shayna and Nia are unified in swinging and slamming Sasha and Bayley around, and then let them down as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Shayna gut wrenches Bayley to a cover, TWO! Shayna keeps on Bayley and brings her over, tag to Nia. Nia runs in to corner splash, then Shayna adds a KNEE! Nia covers, TWO! Nia drags Bayley up, Bayley hits back with body shots, but Nia scoops and gut busters! Cover, TWO! Nia drags Bayley back up, and TOSSES her to a corner! Nia hits a hip attack! Then another! Sasha tries to save Bayley but too late, Nia brings Bayley into a cobra clutch. Nia leans on Bayley, thrashes her about, then leans on her more. Bayley endures, fights up and fights back with elbows. Nia whips Bayley hard into buckles! Nia drags Bayley to a cover, TWO!
Nia taunts Ssaha as she clubs Bayley. Bayley hits back, pulls hair, but is powered to the corner! Nia brings Bayley out to shove her back in, then tags in Shayna. Shayna hits another KNEE! Shayna half hatch rolls Bayley, and goes after the arm! Bayley flails as she endures the hammerlock. Shayna twists the wrist, clubs the shoulder then SNAPS it back! The ref checks on Bayley and keeps Shayna back. Bayley gets to the rope, Sasha wants to check on her friend but she has to stay at the corner. Shayna sees Bayley sit up on the apron, and Bayley kicks back. Shayna kicks, drags Bayley by a leg and tags in Nia. Nia SMASHES the knee!
Nia drags Bayley up, scoops Bayley but Bayley fights. Sasha gets in, Bayley gets away and Bayley chop blocks a leg! Tag to Sasha and Sasha stomps and hammers away on Nia! Nia gets up, shoves Sasha and scoops her, but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and sends Nia to a corner. Sasha runs in, is put on the apron but knees and KICKS and KICKS Nia back! Sasha climbs up and swings around, METEORA! Then side to side METEORA! Sasha goes up top, FLYING METEORA!! Cover, TWO!! Nia still has power to launch Sasha off her, but Sasha comes back with a sleeper hold. Nia pops Sasha off her back to a fireman’s carry, but Sasha gets to the apron.
Shayna tags in, Sasha kicks her away. Sasha dumps Nia out and KNEES her back. Sasha runs, Bayley tags, Sasha slides under Nia! Bayley hotshots Nia into the POWERBOMB!! But Shayna grabs Bayley, only for Bayley to back suplex her away! Bayley tags Sasha back in, SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Shayna survives and shocks Sasha! Sasha grits her teeth as she gets back to her feet. Sasha drags Shayna up, talks trash, then bumps her off buckles. Sasha stomps away, Bayley tags in and she adds stomps! Sasha tags in, she stomps away! The ref counts, Sasha lets up at 4, and comes back as Bayley talks trash. Tag to Bayley, they double lift but Shayna fights out! Shayna throws Sasha then drags Bayley into a Kirafuda! BACKSTABBER from Sasha!
Bayley hurries up top but Sasha is legal, cover, TWO! Bayley tags back in, Sasha sets Shayna up for her, MACHO ELBOW!! Cover, TWO!! The role models are beside themselves as Shayna survives again! Bayley drags Shayna over, tags Sasha and then sends Shayna on the apron. Sasha baseball slide dropkicks Shayna in the side! Shayna scrambles to the other corner, Sasha runs and METEORAS into the post!! Sasha crashes and burns and Bayley freaks out! A ring count starts, Sasha stands at 3 but Shayna is on her at the apron. Sasha hotshots Shayna, climbs up and swings, but Shayna catches the knees to send them into buckles! CHOP BLOCK! Sasha is down and clutching both knees as Shayna aims. CHOP BLOCK!!
Shayna drags Sasha around by the bad legs, steps through but Sasha cradle counters! TWO, Shayna DECKS Bayley! Shayna has Sasha’s legs again, and stomps away on the bad knee!! Sasha can only scream in pain as Shayna ties the legs up in a Deathlock. Bayley runs in, it’s just like Payback! But Bayley uses the BAYLEY2BELLY to counter!! Shayna is down, Sasha crawls to cover, TWO!! But into a BANK STATEMENT! Nia clobbers Bayley and kicks Sasha! Nia goes back to her corner, Shayna crawls over, and gets the tag! Nia has Sasha in a STRETCH MUFFLER!! Sasha powers up and sunset flips, TWO!! Nia drags Sasha up to a fireman’s carry, then goes to a corner! Nia climbs, Bayley gets in to save Sasha!
Sasha falls but Bayley helps her up. They see Shayna coming, and manage to give her the DOUBLE SLAM! But Nia LEAPS for a double crossbody!! Double cover, Nia and Shayna win!!
Winners: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
The odd couple finds another way to work together, and to win together! What will it take to stop the momentum of the most savage in the Women’s Division?
As for Sasha, medics hurry in to check on Sasha’s legs. Bayley is very concerned about Sasha, is the Boss’ knee going to be okay?
SmackDown returns as medics continue to help Sasha.
Sasha is very emotional and in a lot of pain, but she doesn’t want them to touch her. She shoves the medics away and Bayley is there to help her. Does she want to stand? Slide out? Sasha struggles to do either as Bayley helps her to the apron. And then Bayley attacks her?! Bayley drags Sasha out, dumps her on the ramp and then throws her into steel steps!! Bayley tells booing fans to shut up and tells refs to get away! Bayley brings Sasha up to POST her! Bayley goes after the bad leg and puts it on the steps to SLAM it!! And then stomp away on it!! Sasha cowers against the barriers but Bayley drag her up to throw her into those barriers! Bayley then bumps her off apron sand pushes her back in the ring!
Referees come back but Bayley tells them to shut up. Bayley drags Sasha up and RAMS her into the corner! And then stomps away on her! And hammers her with fists! And goes after the bad leg again with kicks! Sasha can’t defend herself as Bayley drags her up. Bayley asks Michael Cole if it’s Boss Time now, before dribbling Sasha’s head on the mat! Bayley looms over a limp Sasha, slaps her with her own boots, and then tells her, “You deserve all of this! All of this!!” Bayley gives the bad leg a DDT! And then she gets a chair!! Bayley glares at everyone else before she puts the chair in the ring. Bayley puts Sasha’s bad leg in the chair! Sasha kicks with her good leg! Bayley KNEES Sasha down!
Bayley isn’t done with Sasha, either! Fans boo and cheer as Bayley hits Sasha with the FACEPLANT! Then she drags Sasha over to the chair, puts Sasha’s head inside, goes up to the top rope and STOMPS DOWN!! Sasha has been crushed physically and emotionally by someone she thought of as her best friend! Fans boo and jeer as Bayley leaves the ring and medics return. Bayley clutches to the SmackDown Women’s Championship, the only thing she has and the only thing she needs anymore. Will there come a time when she loses even that?
SmackDown returns as Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
The self-proclaimed “Great Liberator” is also the self-proclaimed “rightful WWE Intercontinental Champion.” He returned last week, still holding onto his copy of the championship and wants Greg Hamilton to give a better introduction. He is holding a title, why is he just “Sami Zayn” then? Address him as champion! It wasn’t in the notes… Who’s the stage manager here? Evan? Where are you, Evan? Come here. Sami takes Evan’s headset and tells Marty that things are good, but… During the entrance, with the graphic, put “Intercontinental Champion” in there. Marty apparently says he can’t, because it’s not in the notes.
Sami says no one is taking this seriously! They’re going to redo things and- Here comes Jeff Hardy! Hardy tells Sami he could’ve saved us all some time. He didn’t need to attack Hardy, he just had to ask for a title match. Oh is that so? How generous, and confusing, since SAMI is the champion! If anything, Hardy needs to ask Sami if he has a shot at the title. Hardy says he doesn’t need to ask for anything of Sami, but here comes AJ Styles! “How is it that you two can parade with those titles over your shoulders KNOWING I am the uncrowned Intercontinental Champion?!” Sami is upset. Is everyone crazy? Hardy tells Styles if he’s 100%, they can go again any time. Sami says that’s not how this works, but Styles DECKS Hardy!
Styles stomps away on Hardy, Sami is in the other corner but keeps his distance. Then they work together to stomp Hardy, until Styles KICKS Sami in the head! Styles reels Sami in but Hardy gives Styles a TWIST OF FATE! And then one for Sami, but no! Sami fights out and HELLUVA KICKS!! Fans boo as Sami gets away with whichever belt was his. Will there be a way to settle this come Clash of Champions?
A substitution has been made!
With Big E out because of Sheamus’ attack, and perhaps with some consulting from Paul Heyman, it’s JEY USO in the Fatal 4 Way! Will Roman have to face his own COUSIN come Clash of Champions?! We’re about to find out!!
SmackDown returns, and someone is strutting their stuff.
High heels, a fur coat, but who is it that’s about to make SmackDown more alluring?
Tucker and Otis regroup backstage.
They haven’t found Morrison or the MITB contract. Otis says it’s fine, but Tucky says it’s not! Morrison has the contract! No he doesn’t. It’s not in the briefcase, it’s in the lunch pail! Brilliant! But if that’s in here, what was in the briefcase? Heh heh heh…
Meanwhile, Miz tells Morrison that stealing the briefcase doesn’t make you Mr. MITB. Morison begs to differ. He opens it up, and rummages through a stapler, some Q-tips, and… a ham ‘n’ cheese sandwich. Well… Don’t eat that. Whatever. Will Morrison and Miz ditch the glorified lunchbox to get the real prize?
Jey meets with Roman backstage.
Jey thanks him for getting him into that Fatal 4 Way. Roman says Jey doesn’t owe him. It’s just about time the WWE shows the Usos some respect. Jey is gonna go get it, and then the two of them can “turn up” at Clash. Roman’s not so sure about that. Jimmy’s won things, Roman’s won just about everything, now it’s time for Jey to get something on his own. Good luck.
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin VS Sheamus VS Jey Uso!
Bro… One of these decorated superstars is going to make it to Clash of Champions to go after the Big Dog’s gold! The King of Bros wants to get payback at the Wolf King and vice-versa, the Celtic Warrior claims he’s completely focused, but now they all have to deal with a wildcard! Will Jey be able #LOCKDOWN a singles push and put them all in the Uso Penitentiary?
Corbin wants the music to stop, because this match “has been tainted by blatant nepotism!” He does not accept Jey Uso being in this match just because Roman is his cousin! Riddle doesn’t care about all that, he runs at Corbin and his palanquin! Corbin can’t get down fast enough and Riddle fires off! They brawl on stage, Corbin knees low but turns around into Riddle’s haymakers! Riddle and Corbin bump into LED wall, Corbin throws body shots and here comes Sheamus to knock them both down the ramp! Sheamus throws Riddle into the ring, gets in with him and Jey hurries out to go after Corbin!
There’s brawls all over as Jey has Corbin on barriers and Riddle throws kicks on Sheamus. Corbin throws Jey into barriers, Sheamus clubs Riddle down but Riddle comes back! It’s chaos as SmackDown again goes to break!
SmackDown returns with a new episode of Firefly Fun House!
Bray Wyatt waves hi to the Fireflies and best we’re just like him: “A little down in the dumps because he lost his favorite toy, again.” But don’t worry! Next week, Bray has something special planned to cheer us up! A brand new friend is joining the Fun House! Who could it be?! Wait and see! BYE~! See you then~!
Nikki Cross was watching Firefly Fun House.
Alexa Bliss comes by, hairs still in pigtails and braids. Is that Ramblin’ Rabbit in the back waving?! Alexa apologizes for smashing the mug, she just… Something came over her. Can Nikki forgive her? Of course! Okay! Alexa gives Nikki a hug and then heads off. Is everything (not) fine with Alexa?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin VS Sheamus VS Jey Uso!
Okay, let’s try this again! All four men are in the ring, a corner to themselves, and a referee in the middle. Who moves on to Clash of Champions to face Roman Reigns?
The bell rings and Corbin runs at Riddle to get a SUPERKICK from Jey! Sheamus tackles Jey but Riddle goes after Sheamus. Sheamus throws Riddle off, Jey ROCKS him with an uppercut! Riddle rolls Jey, TWO! Riddle says nothing personal, bro. Riddle KNEES Sheamus out, Jey rolls him up! TWO, Riddle waistlocks and German Suplexes, but Jey lands on his feet! Jey runs, Corbin trips him up, drags him out and RAMS him into barriers! Sheamus gets in, scoops Riddle and hits a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Corbin rushes in and stares down with Sheamus. They decide to stomp Riddle together, drag him up and mug him with body shots! Corbin keeps Jey out and the mugging of Riddle continues.
Corbin ROCKS Riddle with a right, Sheamus drags Riddle up, and they double whip Riddle. Riddle holds ropes, BOOTS Corbin then dumps Sheamus out! But Corbin SPINE BUSTERS Riddle! High stack, Jey breaks the cover! Corbin CLOBBERS Jey, covers, TWO! Sheamus returns, he and Corbin keep their truce as they go after Jey. They each take a turn digging their knees into Jey, then Sheamus ROCKS Jey with that EuroUpper! Corbin DECKS Riddle on the apron, then brings Jey up to ROCK him with a right. Corbin runs in, slides out as Jey dodges, and Riddle ROUNDHOUSES Corbin down! Jey boots Sheamus, rocks him with uppercuts of his own, but Sheamus kicks low.
Sheamus whips, Jey kicks back, Riddle returns to CHOP away with palm strikes! Riddle has Sheamus in a corner, Jey kicks at Corbin but Corbin blocks. Corbin spins Jey but gets the dragon whip enzugiri! Riddle spins Sheamus for a PELE! Corbin and Sheamus are in corners, Jey and Riddle work together to forearm smash back and forth! But they each run into trouble, DEEP SIX and an IRISH CURSE! Covers on both ends, TWO!! Corbin argues with the ref but then Sheamus CLOBBERS Corbin! No more truce, and the Fella stands tall as we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Sheamus brings Jey up. Jey throws uppercuts and CHOPS to back Sheamus down. Sheamus knees low, suplexes Jey hard, but Jey rolls out of the ring. Sheamus sees Corbin and hits him with punches and stomps and then hotshots him down! Sheamus runs side to side to dropkick Corbin to the floor! Sheamus finds Jey on the other apron, brings him up, and gives him beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus gives him all ten beats before he lets him flop down. Sheamus drags Jey back up, fireman’s carries, but Riddle ROUNDHOUSES him down! Riddle dodges Corbin, wristlock, FINAL FLASH!
Sheamus swings but Riddle hits back with palm strikes and a boot! BROSPLODER! PENALTY KICK! BROTON!! Riddle is all fired up! Riddle has Sheamus for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Riddle keeps his focus as he drags Sheamus into a Triangle Hold! Sheamus fights up, Riddle elbows away on Sheamus’ head, but Sheamus keeps fighting up! DEAD LIFT POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO, but Sheamus gets the legs for a CLOVERLEAF! Riddle endures as Sheamus sits deep, and Riddle powers up to head for ropes. Sheamus drags Riddle back to center, but Jey is in to SUPERKICK Sheamus down!
Corbin returns to roll Jey up, TWO!! Corbin choke grips but Jey slips out to mule kick and uppercut! Jey aims, boom for the HIP ATTACK! SUPERKICK for Riddle! SUPERKICK for Sheamus! Corbin runs in, Jey dodges to SUPERKICK him down! Everyone else is on the outside but Jey is fired up! Jey builds speed and DIVES into an elbow from Corbin! Sheamus and Riddle attack Corbin and clothesline him into the “front row!” But then Jey FLIES out onto them both!! All four men are down and out of the ring as the fans fire up! Jey stands, Corbin returns to grab at him! Jey elbows and hotshots Corbin off the barriers! Then LEAPS, into hands! Corbin TOSSES Jey over the LED fan screens!!
Corbin goes back to ringside and tosses Riddle into barriers! Then into the ring! Corbin stalks behind Riddle, reels him in, but no End of Days as Riddle slips out! BROGUE outta nowhere!! But Riddle fireman’s carries Sheamus for a BRO TO SLEEP! Riddle sees Corbin in a drop zone, goes up top, and hits a FLOATING BRO! But Jey outta nowhere with a SPLASH!! Jey wins!?!?
Winner: Jey Uso, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the Universal Championship)
Where the Uce did he come from!? But now, we will get cousin VS cousin at Clash of Champions! Kayla Braxton is there to interview Jey in the ring. How important was this win for him? “YESSIR!! Hey, Big Dog! I made the family proud, too! But guess what?” Roman will be on #LOCKDOWN! Welcome… Well you know the rest! But will either man be able to do what he has to in order to defeat family?
Wow, this episode managed to only have three matches, and yet it still felt really good. Heyman and Heel Roman had a great opening promo, and Roman’s new tone was played really well the entire episode. I like the idea that SmackDown had a Fatal 4 because they wanted to be bigger than Raw to show that’s how big it is that Roman is champion again. The Xavier Woods return swerve was really well executed, as was Sheamus brutalizing Big E. It was quite the elaborate way to keep Big E out of the main event, and it was quite the surprise for Jey to be put in. Though, I have a feeling that this is because Heyman and even Roman feel Jey will be an easy win. Now, obviously Roman will win at Clash, he only just got the title back and he’s not facing either Bray or Braun. But in story, it adds to the Heel turn if Roman doesn’t even respect family anymore, he just expects them to fall in line behind him.
The opening tag match was really good stuff, and it makes a lot of sense for Heavy Machinery to win. They’re the only other Face tag team on SmackDown to face the Heel team of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. I do like the swerve on Morrison stealing the MITB briefcase, and it’s a great way for Otis to technically customize the briefcase in different way than others have, such as Brock’s boombox or Damien Sandow’s leather briefcase. I am pretty sure the confrontation between Hardy, Styles and Sami is bringing us ever closer to the idea of a new “Undisputed Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match” that I was hoping for. And making it Triple Threat can still lighten the load on all three men’s bodies with ladder matches being very punishing.
The random Firefly Fun House segment was good to hype up next week. I really hope we get Puppet Cena, but chances are it could even be Alexa Bliss herself. She and Nikki Cross had their little chat with Ramblin’ Rabbit watching them, so clearly there’s even more about to happen with that story. The random woman strutting in heels thing is interesting. I’m not sure who, new or returning, could be pulling off the umpteenth “glamorous female wrestler” gimmick for WWE this time.
And of course, the biggest thing tonight was the Women’s Tag title match and what happened right after. The match was incredible, much like the Payback one, and it was clear Shayna and Nia were going to retain. I just did NOT see Bayley turning on Sasha! That was BRUTAL! But I also think it means that Sasha is joining the case of The Mandalorian for season 2 as rumored a few months ago, so she needed to be written off. This definitely gives Bayley the Heel heat she needs to stay solo while taking on new challengers. This also gives Sasha a great way to come back when filming for The Mandalorian ins over, as a Face, and attacking Bayley, regardless if Bayley still has the title.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (5/11/21)
To be the best, you gotta BEAT the best!
NXT puts gold back on the line!
Mercedes Martinez challenges Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar must go 2 outta 3 with Kushida, and the NXT Champion looks to END Austin Theory!
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano; Kross wins.
- MSK VS Breezango; MSK wins.
- Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium VS Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick; canceled.
- Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff; Dunne wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez; Gonzalez wins and retains the title.
- Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne; O’Reilly wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma; Kushida wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Austin Theory w/ Johnny Gargano!
In the words of the NXT Champion, “Tick tock, time’s up!” Will it be Doomsday all day for The Way? Or can Johnny Wrestling help his boy get one over on Kross?
Johnny and Theory are both stunned seeing Kross’ entrance, but Johnny snaps Theory out of it and coaches him up. Fans chant “TICK TOCK!” as Theory sheepishly gets in the ring with Kross. The bell rings and Theory circles with Kross, but ends up in a corner. Theory dodges, fires off forearms, then knees. Kross shoves Theory away, Theory dodges to dropkick! Kross stays up! And gets mad… Kross choke grips, puts Theory in a corner and BOOTS him down! Theory sits up in a daze and Kross grins at Gargano. Kross drags Theory up, puts him in another corner and TOSSES him across the way!
Gargano and Kross stare down, but Kross runs corner to corner, only for Theory to dodge! Kross avoids hitting buckles, wags his finger, and Theory lariats, but bounces off! Kross LARIATS and down goes Theory! Scarlett smiles as she watches Kross stalk Theory. Kross looms over Theory, fans rally as he wrenches and keylocks Theory and puts him in another corner for a HEAVY body shot! Kross wrenches, keylocks and ROCKS Theory again! Theory falls to his knees, Kross BOOTS him to the mat! Kross has Theory on ropes, chokes him, but lets off at the ref’s count of 4. Kross grins and dares Theory to reach for Gargano, only to STOMP his fingers!
Kross laughs as he looms over Theory again. Kross gets Theory up, knees him low and hard, then bumps him off buckles. Kross runs in but Theory knees him back! Theory runs, into an EXPLODER! Fans fire up as Kross says this is the end! Kross gets Theory up, brings him in, DOOMS- NO! Theory rakes eyes while Gargano distracts the ref! Scarlett protests but Kross bails out. Gargano tells Theory to take advantage of the bad eyes! Theory gets around all the big strikes, and he RAMS Kross into Plexiglas! And then DDT’s him hard to the floor! Fans boo, Theory leaves Kross behind, but Kross gets in at 9.9!
Kross then slides out, Theory goes out after him, Kross scoops and aims, but Theory slips off to POST Kross first! Gargano is even surprised as Theory puts Kross in! BUZZSAW! Theory rains down fists, stomps away on arms and shoulders, then rains down forearms! Scarlett coaches Kross, fans rally up, and Kross knees Theory low and hard! Theory ends up on the apron, Kross storms over but into a hotshot! Theory slingshot somersaults for a SHOTGUN dropkick! Cover, ONE?! Kross shocks The Way but Gargano coaches Theory to keep focus. Theory stalks Kross, runs in and clotheslines in a corner! Then scoops for a FALL AWAY SLAM!
Theory gives a thumbs up to Gargano, but Kross is back up! DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! And then another DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Kross is winding the hands of time, “TIME’S UP!!” APOCALYPSE ELBOW!! Kross doesn’t cover, either, he rains down forearms of fury on Theory’s head! Kross stares Gargano down as he puts on the KROSSJACKET!! Theory is OUT, Kross wins!!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
This could’ve been called by knockout after what Kross did to Theory! Kross promised to hit harder than life itself, and he may just have! Will Kross do this to everyone on his path? But wait! Finn Balor appears! Fans are going nuts as Prince and Doomsday stare down! Finn says he doesn’t wait in line. He wants his rematch! Kross wants another round, too, so challenge accepted! When and where will these two forces of NXT collide again?
Next week will be COLOSSAL because Bronson Reed is getting his shot! Will Reed crush Johnny Gargano and take the NXT North American Championship away from him?
NXT shares an exclusive from earlier today.
William Regal was talking about tonight’s big title matches, but Leon Ruff walked in. He apologizes for interrupting and says he wants to compete. Regal, however, says that would not be wise after how he was beat up last week. Ruff knew Regal would say that, he checked with the medical team and they said he was cleared. Regal knows that, they report to him. But that doesn’t matter, he won’t allow it. Ruff says that’ snot good enough and he throws things off Regal’s desk! “What do I gotta do?!” Regal says Ruff is NOT competing tonight, and tells him to leave. Ruff storms off, but what will Ruff do to get even with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott?
MSK VS Breezango!
Wes Lee & Nash Carter have made an impact as NXT Tag Team Champions, but they have to be careful with the fashionable and formidable Prince Pretty and Lord of the Dance! Will these #MustSeeKids continue to prove their worth?
The teams sort out and Lee starts with Breeze. They circle, fans rally and the two tie up. They go around, Breeze arm-drags and then backs away to lounge on the top rope. Fandango “makes it rain” on Breeze, Lee rushes in but Breeze waistlocks to a snapmare, only for Lee to return with a shoulder tackle! Things speed up, Breeze hurdles, Lee FLIPS, and fans admit that was good. Lee does a shimmy, then hurdles Breeze, but Breeze whips Lee. Lee stops to suplex but Breeze fights that off. Breeze suplexes, Lee lands to waistlock, but Breeze bucks him away! SUPERKICKS collide, and the two shake out their legs. Breeze seems a bit stunned Lee is this quick, but both he and Lee tag out.
Carter and Dango circle, tie up, and Dango wrenches to a wristlock. Carter rolls, handsprings and flips to arm-drag Dango away. Carter wrenches an arm now, whips Dango to a corner, but Dango goes up and over to arm-drag back! Dango swivels hips, things speed up again, Carter dropkicks Dango down! Carter shows off his own hip swivels, Dango kicks low! Dango headlocks, Breeze tags in as Carter powers out. Carter and Breeze drop, and drop, and then drop, Dango eventually runs into Breeze! Breeze headlocks Carter, Carter powers out, and somehow the ref ends up part of this! The ref hurdles, Carter dropkicks Breeze out of the ring! Fans are rallying for the ref!
Breeze and Carter reset, the ref remembers he’s a ref, but fans still say “That was Awesome!” as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fandango has Lee in a headlock. Lee fights up, Fandango knees low then whips him to a corner. Lee manages to dodge to then ENZIGURI Fandango! Lee snapmares Dango, handsprings back but Dango gets under and JAPANESE ARM-DRAGS Lee into buckles! Fandango gets Lee up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, Carter breaks it! Dango is upset, but he drags Lee up and over to tag Breeze. Breeze has the legs, he and Dango coordinate, but Lee disrupts the Fashion Faux Pas with a shoulder tackle! Lee stomps Breeze then stumbles away to tag in Carter! MSK rallies on Breeze with kick after kick, BUZZSAW to DOUBLE STOMPS! And then, the PUSH-SAULT! Cover, Dango barrels in to break it!
All four men are down, the fans are fired up, and all four rise as the fans rally up. Lee and Breeze are on one side, Dango and Carter on the other. Lee and Breeze punch first, but Dango and Carter respond. They go back and forth, Lee and Breeze, Dango and Carter. The brawl moves to everyone’s feet, Lee ENZIGURIS but Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS! Breeze dodges Carter to SUPER MODEL KICK! MSK is down, Breeze hurries to tag in Dango! Dango climbs and Carter is in a drop zone! Carter gets up fast, though, and SHORYUKENS! Carter climbs to join Dango, but Dango resists the superplex! Dango throws body shots, knocks Carter away, but Carter returns with a JUMPING KNEE!
Carter sees Breezango outside, goes to the corner, SUPER MOONSAULT takes them both down! Fans are thunderous as Carter puts Dango in and tags Lee! MSK coordinates, assisted SHOTGUN dropkick! Breeze tags in as Dango is in the corner, and he gets Lee’s arms! Lee resists the turn, Carter SUPERKICKS! MSK combines, BLOCKBUSTER SPINEBUSTER! Cover, MSK wins!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall
That energy and innovation is why MSK are NXT Tag Team Champions! Breezango show respect to the young champions, but MSK tells Legado that the champs aren’t hard to fine! If they want the titles, come get them! MSK all night and all day!
Alexander Wolfe is showing signs of the stomach flu, so he won’t be competing against Killian Dain tonight! Will Imperium’s Hatchet Man have to try again next week when it comes to settling things with the Belfast Beast?
Johnny Gargano angrily leads NXT Media to William Regal’s office.
Gargano shouts “This sucks!” as he heads for the door. Regal says this is actually rather nice. He doesn’t have a meeting and the door was open this time. Gargano asks if he heard right about next week’s title match. He did hear right! Well that’s real nice, isn’t it? First, Regal feeds Theory to the wolves, then he hates Gargano enough to put him in a match! Regal doesn’t hate Gargano, he respects Gargano’s ability. Then treat him like it! Treat him like the North American Champion! That’s what Regal’s doing! So Gargano’s still facing Reed next week! Good luck.
Gargano grabs for the brass knuckles and Regal tells him not to dare touch that. Gargano takes Regal’s pencil and breaks it! Will Gargano’s anger only cost him when he takes on another huge challenge?
BIG news for the next TakeOver!
As first broken by Barstool Sports’ Rasslin’ podcast with Brandon Walker, NXT is back In Your House! June 13, 2021, NXT brings back the retro tradition to make a new tradition of their own! And Todd Pettengill will be back, too!
Ever-Rise has an impromptu episode of Ever-Rise Live.
Well not really, they’re just behind commentary.
Pete Dunne is in the ring.
“So Karrion Kross has chosen Finn Balor? And y’know what? I don’t blame him. Because we both know I’m the toughest match-up there is. So Karrion, keep ducking me, mate. Cuz sooner or later, that title is mine! Cuz I’m the baddest man in NXT! And see if anyone in the back thinks otherwise, here’s your chance! Try and prove me wrong!” Dunne is issuing an open challenge! But who takes it? LEON RUFF, and from outta nowhere! Ruff fires off hands, Dunne shoves him away, but Ruff comes back with a dropkick! Dunne bails out, Ruff dares him to come back, and it seems Regal’s orders had a loophole! Will this be another rough night for Ruff? Or will he show the Bruiserweight what tough is all about?
Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan VS Leon Ruff!
The bell rings and Ruff fires off on Dunne again! Dunne SPINEBUSTERS Ruff and rains down fists from all sides for that! Dunne goes for an arm, Ruff throws him away and KICKS from the mat! Ruff runs corner to corner but Dunne puts him on the apron. Ruff ROCKS Dunne, goes up and around and under, but Dunne gets the arm to roll Ruff for body scissors. Dunne clamps onto Ruff’s arm, bends the fingers back as far as he can, and Ruff shouts in pain as Dunne tortures the digits! Dunne locks the arm, hammers Ruff in the head, then shifts to twist the wrist. Ruff gets up, fans fire up and Ruff CHOPS! Ruff goes up the corner, on the ropes and SPRINGBOARD RANAS!
Dunne staggers up, but sends Ruff into ropes to then CLOBBER him! Ruff gasps for air, Dunne kicks him in the side then goes after the arm again. Dunne bends the fingers way back, and STOMPS the shoulder! Dunne kicks at Ruff, Ruff crawls to ropes, but Dunne wraps the arm around ropes to bend him back! Dunne chinbars to CHOP Ruff down! The ref reprimands but Dunne drags Ruff up again to SLAP! Ruff CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne shoves Ruff, Ruff dodges to ENZIGURI! Dunne falls into a BACKBREAKER, Ruff pops Dunne up for another ENIGURI! Ruff goes up to hit a missile dropkick! But Dunne ENZIGURIS on return!
Dunne gets Ruff up, whips, but Ruff rebounds to LARIAT! Ruff keeps moving, leaps, but Dunne DECKS him! Dunn has a TRIANGLE HOLD and throws elbows in over and over! Ruff is OUT, the ref calls it!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by referee stoppage
Ruff is tough, but the Bruiserweight is just that brutal. Will Dunne show no mercy until he’s got the title match he wants? Speaking of no mercy, Dunne grabs Ruff’s hand and SNAPS the fingers!! Will Ruff regret going around Regal’s orders?
El Legado del Fantasma speaks.
Raul Mendoza says tonight, we’ll see who the real NXT Cruiserweight Champion is, and that is Santos Escobar. Joaquin Wilde says that while Kushida is champion right now, Escobar brings it home. Escobar himself says that the only reason Kushida is still champion is because Escobar has let him. It stops tonight! Escobar vows that after tonight, he will be Leader of Leaders, Emperor of Lucha Libre, sange y tradicion, and TWO-TIME NXT Cruiserweight Champion! Will the Phantom be able to back up all these words when he must defeat Kushida not once but twice in the same match?
Ladies and gentlemen, you’re cordially invited…
…to the greatest moment of your lives! The in-ring premiere, live on NXT in two weeks, Franky Money! Will Monet live up to the hype when she finally laces up her boots?
MORE BREAKING NEWS!
It has been made official! Two weeks from tonight, Kross VS Balor the epic rematch happens live on NXT! The NXT Championship will be back on the line, but will the Prince take back his throne?
NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai VS Mercedes Martinez!
Big Mami Cool knew Cobra Kai wasn’t going to cut it against Mean Ms. Martinez, so she took matters into her own hands. Raquel respects that Mercedes paved the way, but she won’t show any restraint against her in the ring! Will Mercedes return the favor when she takes away the title?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Ricky Desperado’s first defense puts her to the test!
Mercedes goes right after Raquel with heavy hands! And she clotheslines Raquel up and out of the ring! Mercedes goes to the apron and CANNONBALLS! Raquel goes down, and Mercedes scares Dakota off! Mercedes runs and KNEES Raquel into Plexiglas! The ring count climbs, Mercedes refreshes it, and goes out to fire off on Raquel again! Mercedes puts Raquel in as NXT goes picture in picture.
Raquel hits back and CLUBS Mercedes, then bumps her off buckles! Raquel stomps Mercedes, drags her back up and whips her corner to corner hard! Mercedes hits the mat, Raquel looms over her, and then drags her into a chicken wing and chinbar. Mercedes endures being stretched, fights up to her feet, but Raquel throws her down by her hair! Raquel stalks Mercedes, chokes her on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Raquel brings Mercedes around but Mercedes fires off again! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel with an uppercut then bumps her off buckles! Mercedes stomps a mudhole, digs her boots in, but lets off as the ref counts.
Mercedes gets Raquel up to ROCK with another uppercut, then whips her to ropes. Raquel dodges to DECK Mercedes with one right! Raquel scoops and walks around with Mercedes before the SLAM! Cover, TWO! Raquel grows frustrated but she stands over Mercedes. Raquel gives Mercedes toying kicks before she SNAP SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Raquel is right on Mercedes with a keylock and chinbar! Mercedes endures, fights and gets a ropebreak with a foot. Raquel throws Mercedes down then covers, TWO! Mercedes gets back to the ropes, Raquel storms over but Mercedes throws body shots. Raquel CLUBS Mercedes down and throws elbows. Cover, TWO!
Raquel argues with the ref as Mercedes gets to ropes. Raquel throws haymakers, lets off as the ref counts, and Mercedes hits back! Mercedes CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms and CHOPS as NXT returns to single picture! Mercedes whips, Raquel reverses and LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel is frustrated again, and she drags Mercedes up by her hair. Raquel whips Mercedes to a corner, runs in to SPLASH, then brings Mercedes out to scoop and SLAM again! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Mercedes survives, but Raquel drags her into a chinlock. Mercedes endures and throws punches from below! Mercedes gets free, CLUBS Raquel, then fires off more strikes!
Raquel shoves Mercedes, but Mercedes comes back to go after legs! Mercedes gets Raquel down, fires off hands but Raquel throws her out of the ring! Mercedes returns and clamps on a SLEEPER! Raquel flails and scrambles around, and RAMS Mercedes into buckles! Mercedes holds on, Raquel RAMS her in again! Mercedes is holding on tight, but Raquel powers her through to a lawn dart, only for Mercedes to send her into ropes! Mercedes ROCKS Raquel, runs in but misses in the corner! Mercedes dodges the boot to ROCK Raquel again! Mercedes gets Raquel onto the top rope for a DRAPING SWINGING NECKBREAKER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are fired up as Mercedes and Raquel are down! Raquel gets to an apron, Mercedes joins her and runs in to SPEAR her onto the apron! Fans are thunderous and Dakota panics as both women flop to the floor! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up and in at 7 of 10! Cover, TWO!! Raquel kicks from the mat but so does Mercedes! They kick more, Mercedes gets up to stomp and ROCK Raquel, throwing heavy hand after heavy hand! Mercedes runs, but rolls into an ALLEY-OOP into ropes! Mercedes flops out of the ring but Raquel snarls as she crawls after her. Raquel won’t leave it to the count as she drags Mercedes up and RAMS her into barriers!
Raquel brings Mercedes up to lawn dart into the post! Raquel goes in, drags Mercedes to a cover, TWO!! Mercedes is still in this and Raquel is starting to lose her cool. Dakota coaches Raquel, fans rally and duel, and Raquel drags Mercedes up. Mercedes jawbreakers back! Mercedes kicks a leg, throws haymakers, then runs, but Raquel shields herself from the body check. Mercedes stomps Raquel more, throws EuroUppers, then runs, but Raquel LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Raquel hurries to get Mercedes up for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Raquel is angry, she gets Mercedes up, but Mercedes fights the bomb off to roll up! TWO, and Mercedes KNEES Raquel down!
Mercedes drags Raquel up, fisherman to the BUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Raquel survives and Mercedes can’t believe it! Mercedes hurries to get Raquel up by her wrists, fires off KNEE after KNEE into her head, but Raquel dodges the third to BOOT! Raquel hurries to drag Mercedes back up, hooks the leg, DESPERADO BOMB!! Cover, Raquel wins!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Champion)
Mercedes put up one hell of a fight, but in the end, it was not enough! Will Raquel continue to knock down those that line up to face her?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and crew arrive.
They don’t let the cameramen get in their way and even shove one down! #TopDolla AJ Francis tells him to get up, he wasn’t even pushed that hard. What will Swerve, AJF, Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Briana Brandy have to say to NXT after the break?
NXT returns and Gargano is getting kicked out from somewhere?
Gargano promises to see Reed next week, and we find that he just finished attacking Reed in his locker room! Reed gets up and says, “Johnny’s a dead man!” But Reed is in no shape to do anything about it tonight, will he have 7 days to grow meaner and madder?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott stands on stage.
He has a mic to say, “It’s about to get real spooky here in NXT.” With that, the “Hit Row” make their first official entrance! Brandy, Adonis and #TopDolla stand with Swerve, strike a pose, and then swagger down to the ring. They get Swerve a chair so he can sit, and he admits he made mistakes in NXT. But the biggest mistake was that he was trying to be something that the fans all thought he was. That’s not Swerve! “Whose house? Swerve’s house?” “Swerve is confidence?” That’s not him! But what is Swerve? “Swerve is a savage. Swerve is disrespectful. Swerve is a very dangerous man.” And that’s how he’s been the last six months.
So it only felt right to recruit those who felt just like him! Staring with Top Dolla! Why he Top Dolla? Because from the NFL to A&E to XXL Magazine to NXT on USA, he makes top dolla everyday! He’s nefarious, scariest, make you digest each line like lariats! Anyone want a beef? He gonna bury ya! You don’t know what’ sat stake, you become vegetarian! Quick question? Who hotta than Top Dolla? Not nada! Adonis has three rules. First, details are crucial. Second, don’t try him, proceed with caution. And third, check your energy when you come around them or you gonna get WORLDSTAR’D! Whoa, alright, relax, no one else is out here.
Brandy says you just have to look at her and you’ll understand she’s fab. They see it! Brandy IS fab. But unlucky for everyone else, she’s also legit. She’s been on tour with Juicy J, been overseas and coulda stayed, but Swerve said he needed a mind, so she didn’t mind. She’s the dime who makes the deals, like last week with Leon Ruff. Who? That boy’s a done deal. They put money on Ruff’s head so Dolla dropped him! Swerve says this is fun and all, but look at what’s in the ring right now! “This here is a problem! Together, we produce hits! We are Hit Row! And if you didn’t know, now you know!” Will these four hit the top of the charts and get gold as easy as breathing?
Cameron Grimes went to a local auction today.
The auction was for a beautiful lakefront home with 8 bed, 6 baths, a full Jacuzzi and a deck overlooking the lake. The bidding starts at two MILLION dollars! But Cameron Grimes said, “Hold the phone!” He asks Mr. Alan if it’s for two, then put him down. Yes, sir, please have a seat first. Grimes says no problem. Two million? Two fifty? Three? Grimes can’t keep up, why’s he talking so fast? The numbers climb, Grimes says everyone should just stop now as he goes for four million. Five million! Five and a half! Grimes is getting annoyed. Who is that? Six million! Seven! Eight MILLION! Grimes is confident, but then someone says TWENTY MILLION!?!? Grimes can’t handle that!
Who spends 20 million on a house?! The winner is TED DEBIASE!! Grimes loses his mind again and says Ted is ruining his life! Grimes dares him to bring it on! DeBiase says it again, everyone has a price for the Million Dollar Man. And Grimes is no Million Dollar Man. Grimes shouts, “WHYYYY~!?” But when and where, if at all, will Grimes finally get even with the living legend?
Zoey Stark speaks.
“I was a big fan of Toni Storm before I got here. She is exactly what she says she is: a global superstar.” The problem is, Toni stopped performing and started talking. Toni said Stark was pissing her off as a “flavor of the month” that was losing her taste. Toni does not like Stark, but not because Stark beat her, but because she outworks her. Stark practically lives in the gym, moves around in the weight room, puts in the hard work to be a success, and then beat Storm. We get a rematch next week, and it won’t be an upset but a legit victory because Storm is going to face a wrestling machine! Will Stark ride the lightning and end #ToniTime before it begins again?
Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan w/ Pete Dunne!
While #CoolKyle wants another go at the NXT Championship, but the Boston Brawler says he just can’t get it done! Kyle knows Lorcan is itching for a fight so he’s giving him a fight on live television! Will Kyle use Lorcan as a launching pad back into the top title scene?
The bell rings, Kyle and Lorcan circle, and they tie up. They end up on the ropes, the ref counts and the two reset. Kyle and Lorcan tie up again, Lorcan gets an arm but Kyle gets them to the ropes again. The ref counts, the two back off, and then go again. Lorcan powers Kyle onto ropes, lets off, but swings a chop! Kyle dodges, kicks but Lorcan blocks! Lorcan gets a facelock, floats all around, gets the arm, and drags Kyle down to a headscissor. Kyle moves around, rolls Lorcan over to get the legs then float to a headlock. Kyle shifts his grip to then get an arm. Lorcan fights free, fights up, and puts Kyle in a corner. The ref counts, Lorcan swings but Kyle ducks to hit back! And again!
Kyle headlocks, grinds Lorcan, but Lorcan powers out, only for Kyle to run him over! Things speed up, Lorcan BLASTS Kyle down with that back elbow! Lorcan bumps Kyle off buckles, whips him corner to corner hard, and Kyle hits the mat! Lorcan looms over Kyle, taunts him, and has him at the ropes to shove and CLUBS him in the back! Kyle flops to the apron, Lorcan goes after him through the ropes, but Kyle gets a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Kyle lets off, and Dunne is right there. Kyle stares Dunne down but Lorcan CLBOBERS him from behind! Fans boo and Kyle writhes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Lorcan knocks Kyle down with a straddle attack! Lorcan rains down rights, but lets Kyle get up so he can CHOP him to a corner! Lorcan talks trash right in Kyle’s face before he CHOPS him! Kyle hits back, Lorcan CHOPS again, repeat! Kyle manages to stay up, KICKS back, but Lorcan blocks a kick to elbow the knee! Lorcan runs in to back elbow Kyle in a corner. Lorcan goes corner to corner but into a kitchen sink knee! Kyle gets Lorcan up, clinches and fires off knees, then SLAPS and knees and KICKS! Kyle sweeps the legs, fans fire up! Lorcan goes to a corner, Kyle runs in, and hits a BIG forearm smash! Kyle wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER and BIG back suplex!
Kyle gets a HEEL HOOK! Lorcan goes for his own but rolls to a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kyle lets off fast and KICKS Lorcan’s leg! Lorcan CHOPS back, Kyle KICKS, repeat! Kyle knees low, reels Lorcan in for a facelock but Lorcan fights off the guillotine, only to get a KNEE to the chest! Kyle gets Lorcan up, BRAINBUSTER! Kyle goes to a corner, climbs up top, KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, Kyle wins!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall
Dunne fires off on Kyle! Kyle hits back but Lorcan returns! Lorcan get Kyle down so Dunne can STOMP Kyle’s head! The 2v1 mugging continues, but BOBBY FISH returns! He fires off KICKS on Dunne and Lorcan! Fish DECKS Lorcan, SPLASHES Dunne, but Lorcan comes back. Fish elbows Lorcan away, BOOTS Dunne out, and Kyle KICKS Lorcan down! Fans are fired up as reDRagon has reunited! Well, not quite. Kyle says he is doing his own thing, and Fish respects that, because he has his own scores to settle with Dunne and Lorcan. Will these two finish what the Bruiserweight and Boston Brawler started, but not together?
“In a world…”
“…filled with evil and uncertainty, two women overcame every obstacle and found a way to achieve their destiny.” The NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions are Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae, of The Way! Cheesy superhero movie stuff aside, will Indi & Candice lead the way into the future?
Bronson Reed speaks.
“JOHNNY, GARGANO! I am sick to death of you! I am sick to death of Austin Theory, and I am sick to death of The Way!” Reed talked with William Regal, and he has given Reed what he wants! The North American Championship match is now inside a STEEL CAGE!! Will this already colossal match going full metal be the way Gargano’s reign ends?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: KUSHIDA VS Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma!
The Time Splitter dethroned the undisputed Cruiserweight Champion right after TakeOver: Stand & Deliver because of the arrogance of Escobar’s open challenge. But now, Escobar has returned to take this title away! This will settle things so that there are no excuses! Will the Emperor of Lucha be better than the Super Junior twice to solidify his legacy?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and perhaps the most important match in this division’s history main events NXT!
Escobar kicks and clubs Kushida right away! Then he throws Kushida out! The ref keeps him in the ring but Legado makes a move! Kushida is ready and he hits them first! Then MSK FLIES in from the barriers! Lee & Carter aren’t going to let Wilde & Mendoza ruin this, and also get in some shots before their own inevitable title match! Lee ROUNDHOUSES, Carter KNEES, and the ref has to tell them all they’re EJECTED from ringside! Good enough for MSK! Escobar is pissed, but he doesn’t see Kushida climbing! He turns around, Kushida SUPER SWANTONS! Direct hit and the CWC is thunderous as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Kushida runs but into a dropkick! Escobar catches his breath, drags Kushida from ropes, and has a Half Crab that he gets a side angle on so he can fishhook Kushida’s face! The ref reprimands, Escobar drags Kushida up and puts him in a corner. Escobar CHOPS Kushida down, hoists him up top, and then CHOPS him again! Escobar climbs up to fireman’s carry, for a TOP ROPE GUTBUSTER! Kushida flops to the steel steps below, Escobar goes out after him to throwback to their previous match! Boston Crab into the post! The ref counts, Escobar lets off because he can’t waste a fall, and he goes into the ring. Kushida KICKS, Escobar fires off forearms!
Escobar whips, drop toeholds, then gets the legs to hook them up. Escobar clubs Kushida, gets his arms, and brings Kushida into the ROMERO SPECIAL! Kushida endures the floating surfboard, Escobar throws him down and then reels him into a deep camel clutch! Kushida still endures, Escobar shifts to shoot the half on a cover, TWO! Kushida gets to a corner but Escobar kicks him down! Escobar stands Kushida up, fires forearms, but Kushida fires them back! Escobar BOOTS Kushida, KICKS him, then stalks him back to a corner. Escobar digs his knees in and chokes Kushida on ropes, but the ref counts. Escobar lets off, to then pull Kushida back against ropes!
The ref counts, Escobar lets off, he stomps Kushida and kicks him around. Escobar drags Kushida up, throws more forearms, then runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE Kushida down! Fans rally and duel while Escobar talks trash to Kushida. Escobar gives more kicks, more haymakers, and more CHOPS! Kushida staggers, Escobar puts him back in the corner and ROCKS him! Escobar puts Kushida up top, climbs up to join him, but Kushida shoves him away! Escobar comes back to bring Kushida down for more haymakers! Escobar climbs up so he can rain down punches and he gets 10! The fans duel, Escobar soaks up the heat, and he puts Kushida up top to CHOP!
Escobar climbs again, and SUPER STEINERS, but into a sunset flip! TWO!! Kushida is after an arm, Escobar whips him away, but Kushida handsprings and back elbows! Kushida whips to hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick Escobar down! Kushida fires up but Escobar KNEES him first! Fireman’s carry and PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar scores a fall!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 0
The Emperor has the first point and is now in control! Fans rally up and Escobar runs in, DOUBLE KNEES to Kushida! Escobar runs, but Kushida jumps to get a body scissors! Kushida drags Escobar down, gets the arm and has the ARMBAR!! Escobar knows he’s stuck, so he TAPS!
Escobar: 1; Kushida: 1
In the blink of an eye, we’re back to square one! It all comes down to this, who will be NXT Cruiserweight Champion?! Both men recover as NXT goes picture in picture!
Escobar shakes out the bad arm while Kushida is in a corner. A ring count could still settle this but Escobar gets in. Kushida runs corner to corner to dropkick Escobar down! Kushida stomps and stomps and then rains down fists! Kushida lets off to get Escobar up and wrench the arm. ARMBAR BULLDOG! Kushida stands over Escobar, stands on the arm and hammerlocks it to CRANK it!! Escobar writhes and clutches the elbow but Kushida is after him again. Kushida KICKS the shoulder, Escobar reaches for ropes but Kushida drags him away. Kushida wrenches to another ELBOW BREAKER!
Escobar staggers to a corner, Kushida drags him down and locks the bad arm to then get the good arm and step over. Kushida has the double omoplata and SNAP LOCKS ’em! Escobar writhes, Kushida KICKS him in the leg and the side over and over! Escobar rolls to an apron, Kushida is after him, but Escobar kicks him away. Kushida comes back to KICK the bad arm! Kushida gets the arm, pushes down for a cover, TWO, into a KIMURA! Escobar fights up, Kushida CLUBS the arm and YANKS it! Kushida wants the double wristlock again but Escobar gets up. They go around and around, Kushida stays clamped on and NXT returns to single picture.
They go around and around and Escobar throws Kushida out! Escobar goes out after Kushida but Kushida is right after the arm! Escobar RAMS Kushida into barriers! Escobar hurries inside, Kushida gets him through the ropes! Escobar ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida has the KIMURA again! Escobar HOTSHOTS Kushida down! Escobar builds speed to DIVE!! Direct hit at the ramp with that Arrow from Hell! Escobar puts Kushida in, covers, TWO!! Kushida is still in this but Escobar covers again, TWO! Escobar underhooks the arms, Kushida fights the driver, and he breaks free to wrench and run! Escobar scoops, tilt-o-whirl but Kushida makes it a DDT!!
Both men are down and the CWC is thunderous! Kushida goes to a corner, Escobar slowly gets up. Kushida climbs a corner to AX HANDLE the bad arm! Kushida hits the FAST BALL and the PENALTY KICK! Escobar bails out but Kushida builds speed to slide. Escobar ducks under to waistlock, but Kushida has the arm to ARMBAR BULLDOG again! Fans are fired up as Kushida drags Escobar back up. Kushida puts Escobar in, stalks up behind Escobar, but Escobar avoids the kick! Kushida wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO!! Kushida jumps on to body scissor! Escobar makes the Hoverboard into a small package! TWO!! CALF KICK!
Escobar drags Kushida up into the fireman’s carry, but Kushida fights free! Escobar switches, Kushida blocks to sit, TWO, to a sunset! TWO, high stack! TWO, sunset, TWO! Prawn hold, TWO!!! Things speed up again, DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down!! “This is Awesome!” and still isn’t over yet! Escobar and Kushida slowly stir, Escobar is in a corner and Kushida runs in! Escobar blocks, puts Kushida up top and ENZIGURIS! Escobar climbs up again, fireman’s carries, fans anticipate what’s coming, and Kushida does, too! Kushida elbows free this time! Kushida has Escobar with a double wristlock, SUPER ARM-DRAG!! HOVERBOARD LOCK!!
Escobar endures, reaches, but Kushida drags him away from the ropes!! Kushida cranks as hard as he can but Escobar keeps fighting! ROPEBREAK! Kushida has the arm still, Escobar rams into buckles, and again! Kushida throws knees in return, and HAMMERLOCK SUPLEXES Escobar into buckles! Kushida drags Escobar back up, for another HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Kushida wins!!!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
The Time Splitter outmaneuvers Escobar and holds onto the title! Will this send the Emperor of Lucha to the back of the line? Who is next for Kushida’s growing reign?
What an awesome night! Of course, just about every week of NXT is awesome, but this was especially awesome. I don’t usually note recap packages, but NXT used the small recap of last week’s NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match to transition into hyping up tonight’s matches. That is something Raw and even SmackDown can learn to do with their recent use of opening recaps. And using this one to set up Kross VS Theory opening the show was pretty well done. Theory and Gargano had great character work here, the match itself was perhaps the most intense a squash match could be, and of course Kross wins.
Gargano being mad at Regal is of course a great running gag. Gargano gets mad he has a match next week, reactively attacks Reed and only makes things worse for himself, and I am sure I am going to again be surprised by how well a steel cage match can go. Maybe Gargano wins, maybe Reed wins, who knows. The Way having that quick superhero spot to remind us again that Candice & Indi won the tag titles was fun, but I was hoping for a bit more, like a minute or so showing us how dysfunctional and chaotic it was to get things right for that little bit we got to see. Or at least a reaction from Shotzi and Ember. Maybe we get another The Way superhero video and then a reaction next week.
The next couple of weeks are being built up pretty well, too. Storm VS Stark, the North American Championship Steel Cage match, maybe Wolfe VS Dain that we were supposed to get tonight, just to name a few for next week, are all great matches. Then in two weeks, Franky Monet finally wrestles for NXT, and Kross VS Balor happens on TV! A big match in May before TakeOver: In Your House 2021 in June makes some sense, and will make for awesome television again. But I am thinking Kross finds a way to retain so that he can be the one who faces Kyle at TakeOver. Dunne’s open challenge answered by Ruff was great, Kyle VS Lorcan was great, Fish returning was awesome, and while I like them as reDRagon, it makes a lot of sense for Kyle and Fish to try things as singles stars for right now.
Grimes losing an auction to DeBiase was great, if only because it gives us a general idea of the (kayfabe) amount of money Grimes is making. He was willing to go to eight million but high double digits was too much. “Hit Row” is a good enough name for Swerve’s faction, their promos together were alright, it was the first time #TopDolla, Briana Brandy or even Ashante “Thee” Adonis (Tehuti Miles) have gotten real talking time, but it helped get their personalities and roles in the group across. Give it some time and I’m sure these four will be a top faction in NXT.
I’m a little surprised the women’s title didn’t main event, but I suppose it did give the match time to breathe. I think some booing had to be piped in to convince viewers that Raquel was the Heel, because I am sure the CWC fans love both Raquel and Mercedes. Raquel retaining makes sense, she just got going with this title, and she is definitely heading to TakeOver to face just about anyone NXT wants her to because there are so many good choices. MSK VS Breezango was a very good tag match, and they had the ref getting involved in a way that enhanced the match, and I think started getting some of the more reluctant CWC fans onboard.
MSK calling out Legado is a good move on their part, as was helping fight Legado off during the main event. Kushida VS Escobar is an awesome match, definitely worthy of the main event, but I figured there would be the usual case of WWE and televised wrestling making the second fall happen really quickly. But even then, NXT had a brilliant way of making that work because commentary sold the surprise of that armbar. Escobar took a smart, tactical approach of giving up his lead to save his arm, and then that arm still comes back to bite him because Kushida just kept after it and used that to win. Kushida retaining makes sense, Escobar can move on to whoever or whatever else, Kushida can give us fresh match ups, and surely Jordan Devlin will be putting his name back in the conversation soon enough.
My Score: 9.4/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (5/11/21)
It’s Dark After Blood & Guts!
There’s still more in the aftermath of Blood & Guts!
Things aren’t slowing down in AEW! Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston are after the Young Bucks but they’ll settle for some Milk Chocolate tonight!
- Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston VS Milk Chocolate; Moxley & Kingston win.
- Six Man Tag: The Dark Order VS Spencer Slade, Cole Karter & Andrew Palace; The Dark Order wins.
- Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS Angel Fashion; Archer wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Factory VS RYZIN, Jake Logan & Rick Recon; The Factory win(s).
- Varsity Blonds w/ Julia Hart VS Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan; Varsity Blonds win.
- Diamante VS Willow Nightingale; Diamante wins.
- Dante Martin VS Aaron Frye; Martin wins.
- Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero VS Ashley D’Amboise; Nyla wins.
- Cezar Bononi & Ryan Nemeth w/ The Pretty Picture VS Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis; The Pretty Picture wins.
- Kris Statlander w/ Best Friends VS Julia Hart; Statlander wins.
- Jungle Boy VS Marty Casaus; Jungle Boy wins.
- Big Swole & Red Velvet VS The MK Twins; Swole & Velvet win.
- Preston Vance VS JD Drake w/ The Pretty Picture; Vance wins.
- The Acclaimed VS Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela; The Acclaimed win.
- Bear Bronson VS Brian Cage w/ Hook; Cage wins.
- “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs w/ Hook VS Mike Sydal; Hobbs wins.
Moxley & Kingston starting was a nice twist, and they just destroy Milk Chocolate! That is enough to make it a match to watch, and does make sense since Mox and Kingston already competed on Elevation, and Mox is going to need to be 100% for his IWGP US Championship match with Yuji Nagata on Dynamite. The “Violent Crown,” a lariat Half ‘n’ Half suplex combo, is a great team finisher for them, too. Dark Order does great as always, they had a great promo on the Hardy Family Office to build story, but Preston Vance’s mask becoming more and more The Joker has me torn. Yes, The Joker is iconic, he’s THE Batman villain, but it’s so much so that people wanting to reference him (and Harley Quinn by extension) is overdone.
Vance should try to reference some other masked character(s), like Rorschach or Ghost Face. I get it, Pentagon is running around as Venom on and off, and Venom is another frequently referenced character, but not nearly as much so it’s not grating yet. The “Pretty Picture”/”Wingmen” arguing about the name is hilarious stuff, too. I wonder if there will be a match of Bononi & Avalon VS Nemeth & Drake, winners decide which one is the real name. Nemeth & Bononi get a good win for themselves, Vance VS Drake was great and worthy of the “main event” that is basically the entire latter half of these YouTube shows. It was fourth to last, not a real main event, but still great.
Archer doing a springboard cannonball to start the assault was great. Murderhawk Monster squash matches are always fun, especially now that Jake the Snake is getting on commentary for them. I like the arrogance in The Factory that QT Marshall can just sit on the “throne” that is the steel steps on the ramp while watching his guys fight in a 3v2. At the same time, Comoroto is big and strong enough that he can make up for being down a man. QT’s aggression and using the Figure Four after definitely implies nothing is done between him and Cody, but I still wish he had gotten a grudge match with Dustin first.
Julia Hart joining Varsity Blonds is a good sign that the Blonds are moving up in the ranks in AEW as far as presentation. Best Friends made Kris Statlander an honorary member, Julia can be like the varsity cheerleader or something, and we can start getting some mixed tag/mixed trio matches. Brandyn & Jordan, aka Waves & Curls, got a really good showing for a Dark debut, but naturally the Blonds win and I still think their finisher should be the Varsity Bomb. Statlander of course beats Julia, but perhaps seeds have been planted for Best Friends VS Blonds? Diamante calling out Statlander is an interesting choice, but sometimes you just have to throw people together to get a feud going and see what comes of it.
Dante Martin is doing so well as a singles guy while waiting on brother Darrius to recover, I feel like Dante should get a TNT Championship opportunity. Of course, that’s only if Darby Allin retains on Dynamite, or if Miro chooses to be a workhorse champion like Darby. I just hope there isn’t some story where the brothers disagree and there’s a break-up because Top Flight can be a truly amazing team once they’re both running hot like that. JB VS Casaus was good, Casaus getting a good showing before he of course loses because it’s Jungle Boy! #Swolevet should be considered for whatever women’s tag concept AEW thinks of next, they and KiLynn King make a great group.
Again, the latter part of Dark being the “main event,” that is logically where the strength of the card lies. Vance VS Drake, probably Caster’s funniest rap yet, The Acclaimed VS Jersey’s Finest, and then Team Taz’s muscle closing in the last two matches, all great stuff. I almost feel like the tag match could’ve been the main event over the separate Team Taz matches, it was that damn good. Another surprise was that I thought Brian Cage would main event, because he beat Hangman Page and though the FTW Championship isn’t an official title of AEW, you’d think Cage would still be seen as the frontrunner of Team Taz. He also has a great match with Bear Bronson, who is solo right now with Boulder hurt.
And if multiple Team Taz members were on the card tonight, why didn’t they think to have them all enter together and just wait on their opponents to show up? Ricky Starks could’ve even been on commentary to further the passive aggressiveness he has towards Cage. Just a small thing that would’ve helped build story, so that instead of saying “It’s just AEW’s YouTube show,” fans can start to say, “AEW is genius for putting this on YouTube!”
My Score: 8.4/10
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