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Mitchell’s NXT TakeOver 31 Results & Report! (10/4/20)

Will we see everything change in NXT?



NXT TakeOver 31

Will the Johnny Gargano Way take over?

Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling could end up Mr. & Mrs. CHAMPION! Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae both go for titles in NXT’s 31st TakeOver!


  • NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest VS Johnny Gargano; Priest wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.
  • Kushida VS The Velveteen Dream; Kushida wins.
  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai VS Candice LeRae; Shirai wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
  • NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly; Balor wins and retains the NXT Championship.


It’s the TakeOver Preshow!

Join Scott Stanford and Sam Roberts in discussing, analyzing and predicting all the action on this surprisingly historic TakeOver!


TakeOver 31 will be in the Capitol Wrestling Center!

Yes, a brand new arena to usher in what will be a brand new era of NXT! Steel ramp, steel fencing and just a sampling of the ThunderDome screens for fans to watch and be seen! Every match, all the blood, sweat, tears and titles will christen this new venue’s maiden voyage!


McKenzie Mitchell has BREAKING NEWS!

From what she saw, Damian Priest was NOT happy with how NXT ended last Wednesday, and he went to William Regal with a special request. The request was granted, and now the North American Championship match will kick off the night! On the flipside, the Garganos are very happy with themselves, and feel #TheJohnnyGarganoWay will get its way in both the North American and Women’s Championship matches. Will they still be in a good mood after tonight?


NXT takes a look at the NXT Women’s Championship match.

Candice LeRae has us rewind back to April. A #1 contender’s ladder match. What did Io Shirai do as Candice almost had it won? Shirai clawed Candice’s eyes and shoved her down. But Shirai did her a favor. That moment opened Candice’s eyes to all the mistakes. For so long, she was the big sister to every woman in NXT. And she never got a thank you. Just attacked again and again and again. She could only count on Johnny Gargano. They only need each other. And now it’s time to do things their way. The Gargano Way. Candice has confidence in herself. She realized she doesn’t need friends. She has everything she needs, and will have everything to gain.

But Shirai is no stranger to Candice. Now, this is a new Candice. But this is a Candice that takes shortcuts. Candice says Shirai did the same thing to her. So thanks, Shirai, for showing Candice how to do things. Candice will thank Shirai by taking the NXT Women’s Championship. Shirai says she’s already beaten the best, and while Candice is good, the Gargano Way is not enough. Will the Evil Genius be ready for the Poison Pixie’s plans to take over?


NXT shares Rhea Ripley joining Triple H on Facebook Live.

The Aussie Nightmare points out that she still owes Shirai for In Your House. Shirai got the best of her and is the champion, but Rhea wants it back. If Shirai wins, Rhea will be waiting for her. HHH says that Candice might win, and she’ll know the same. HHH looks across the board and asks, “Three years from now, five years from now, what is the layout at the top?” Rhea is his #1 pick. Rhea appreciates that, and hopes to prove herself worthy of that. So if it’s Shirai, Rhea wants Shirai. If it’s Candice, then Candice will have the shortest reign in NXT history. Rhea wants the champion. Who will she get after the TakeOver?


It all started with The Capitol Wrestling Corporation.

Vincent J. McMahon and Phil Zacko founded it in none other than Washington, D.C. in 1977. It brought wrestling to the world from the capital of America. “You’re looking at some of the most remarkable athletes in the world today. Professional wrestlers are a rare breed of athlete, possessing gargantuan proportions, enormous strengths, unique coordinate and agility, a high threshold of physical tolerance, pulverizing power, and the ability to withstand the rigors of one of the most taxing sports known to man, professional wrestling.” – Vincent K. McMahon, 1977. CWC lives again, in NXT!


NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest VS Johnny Gargano!

The Archer of Infamy didn’t appreciate Mrs. Wrestling help her husband by trying to break his “arrow” last Wednesday! He’ll make sure Johnny TakeOver pays for it by being denied his second reign as North American Champion! But will Priest be able to #LiveForever now that the Wednesday Knight is doing things his way?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this incredible opener begins!

Gargano rushes Priest but Priest sees him coming, so Gargano backs down. Gargano dodges priest to fire off hands, and he avoids every kick! Gargano bails out but gets back in as Priest chases after. Priest still chases but Gargano stomps and clubs and punches him to a corner! The ref counts, Gargano lets up to whip, but Priest reverses. Gargano goes up and over and dodges again. Gargano ducks one kick, but not the SPINNING HEEL KICK! The live crowd is fired up as Priest ROCKS Gargano with that right! Gargano flounders, Priest KICKS him in the side then drags him back up. Priest puts Gargano in to throw more haymakers. The ref counts, Priest lets up and whips Gargano corner to corner hard! Gargano staggers into a scoop and tilt-o-whirl, but Gargano lands on his feet!

Gargano wants the arm, Priest powers out, but Gargano escapes the dragon sleeper to CHOP! Priest shrugs it off to BOOT Gargano down! Priest whips Gargano to ropes and leaping back elbows! Cover, TWO! Priest keeps on Gargano with a knuckle lock and keylock. Priest drags Gargano up, twists the wrist and goes up the ropes. Gargano trips Priest up before he could go Old School but Priest lands on his feet. Priest ROCKS Gargano, steps up but Gargano kicks his legs! Gargano swings and slips under but Priest holds on to block the bomb! Priest reaches down for Gargano, but Gargano YANKS him for a twisting fall! Gargano grins as he sits on the apron looking down on Priest. Priest growls as he gets up but Gargano builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit and Priest goes into the fencing!

Gargano also RAMS Priest into the steel steps! Priest is down in a heap and Gargano moves the steps around. Perhaps Gargano wants Priest to relive In Your House in some way, because he brings Priest over. Priest ROCKS Gargano back but both men wobble into the ring. Gargano kicks Priest through the ropes, clubs away and hooks him up to throw forearms! Gargano runs, and dropkicks Priest right in the chest! Priest is stuck, Gargano goes up and CANNONBALLS onto Priest! Cover, TWO! Gargano grows frustrated but he omoplatas an arm to get a leg, modified Half Boston Crab! Priest endures, Gargano pulls on the leg, but Priest powers up and out of the hold! Gargano bails out, comes back but Priest throws body shots! Gargano kicks the leg, Priest throws Gargano into a corner!

Priest runs but into a boot, Gargano hops up but his tornado is denied. Gargano goes after a leg but Priest uses that to STOMP Gargano down! Priest backs off to get his bad leg moving, and he fires himself up. Priest glares at Gargano as he swats away the forearms and elbows! Priest kicks and kicks then BELL CLAPS, to the LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! The crowd is fired up and the fans on screen clap and give thumbs up. Gargano is in a corner, Priest runs to hit a BIG leaping elbow! And then another! Priest has the crowd fire up as he runs to hit a third! BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Gargano survives but he’s a Triple Crown for a reason! Priest gets up, the crowd rallies up and Priest vows to end it. Priest lifts but Gargano slips under.

Gargano elbows back then dodges Priest to roll him up, SCHOOL BO- NO! No kick! Priest DECKS Gargano! Priest hauls Gargano, Full Nelson SLAM! A unique forward slam as opposed to a side, and that helps Priest haul Gargano back up into the crucifix! RAZOR- NO! SUNSET BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Priest survives and Gargano can’t believe it, but the crowd is loving this! Gargano goes after a leg with a splash! A little double-edged but Gargano is willing to do anything to win. Gargano sits Priest up to throw haymakers, then runs, into a RIGHT! Gargano rebounds, DISCUS LARIAT! Priest throws more forearms, Gargano returns them. Gargano enziguris, runs, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Priest runs, springboards, fakes Gargano out to DECK him with a flying forearm!

Priest fires up, takes aim and spins, but Gargano ducks the kick to POST Priest! Gargano clotheslines Priest out of the ring, builds speed again, and DIVES, into Priest’s hands! Priest lifts but Gargano hops onto the apron! SUPERKICK! But Priest spins and SWEEPS Gargano’s legs! Gargano crashes down, Priest catches his breath and the ring count begins. The live crowd is fired up again as Priest drags Gargano up. Priest lifts, Gargano is in the crucifix for an APRON RAZOR’S EDGE! Gargano rolls into the ring, Priest covers, TWO!?!? The superhuman heart is still there, even if there’s no soul! Gargano drags himself to the far corner and Priest is in the other. Priest runs corner to corner but Gargano chop blocks him! Gargano runs, into a LARIAT!

Priest grits his teeth again and roars! But Gargano kicks away at him from below! Gargano gets up, has the arm but Priest resists the takedown. Priest rolls, Gargano BUZZSAWS! Gargano runs, tilt-o-whirls, but Priest spins Gargano through to the dragon sleeper! Gargano escapes the Reckoning to STANDING SLICED BREAD! BLINDSIDE FOREARM! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives, because how else can he #LiveForever? The crowd rallies for “NXT! NXT!” as Gargano goes to a corner. Gargano is frustrated but he powers up and mocks Priest’s bow ‘n’ arrow. Gargano runs in, Priest blocks the superkick! Priest lifts, Gargano wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO!! Priest escapes but Gargano doesn’t slow down! Gargano goes to the apron, aims as Priest hurries over, shoulders in and slingshots up, into a choke grip!

Gargano enziguris free, slingshots again, but Priest blocks One Finial Beat into an Alabama, and SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, TWO?!?! Gargano still lives?! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” at this rate! Priest goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Gargano rolls as far away as he can. Priest hops down as Gargano bails out, but Priest still runs! Priest FLIES over the corner, but onto security staff! Gargano used them as shields! The ref calls for medics, Gargano LOW BLOWS Priest!! Gargano puts Priest in, SUPERKICKS, covers, TWO!?!? Priest survives and Gargano is in shock! Gargano just gets angry now and he runs again, into a tilt-o-whirl takedown! Gargano gets the arm up and over, GargaNO Escape! Priest reaches for ropes, Gargano drags him away, STF GargaNo Escape modification!!

Priest endures, reaches, powers up and gest his leg free! Priest uses all his strength to get the ropebreak! Gargano lets go at 4 and Priest looks out as it is! Gargano drops knees on the bad arm over and over! Gargano smirks as Priest writhes towards the ropes. Because Priest is on the side of the ring where the steps are! Gargano definitely wants Priest to revisit In Your House as he throws haymakers. Priest teeters on the edge, Gargano gets space and runs back in, but Priest ROCKS him back! Priest brings Gargano up, suplexes but Gargano fights free! Gargano hits and runs and hits a big forearm! Priest wobbles, Gargano tries again but runs into a ROUNDHOUSE!

Priest climbs up and leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Gargano SUPERKICKS again! Gargano is on the apron as Priest flounders up, ONE FINAL- NO! Priest puts Gargano in the ropes, for a DRAPING RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!!

Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)

Now THAT is how you live in infamy! Will Priest continue to reign forever as North American Champion?


Kushida VS The Velveteen Dream!

The Timesplitter and the Experience. Two shining stars with bright futures in NXT, but only one can shine in the spotlight tonight! Dream has tried to overshadow Kushida but he has only unleashed Kushida’s aggression! Who takes over the spotlight to shine brightest?

Dream tries to be Doc to Kushida’s Marty, but that’s not gonna fly with the Super Junior! Kushida attacks before the bell! And CLOBBERS Dream with his jacket! The crowd is fired up for Kushida as he whips Dream but Dream reverses. Kushida KICKS Dream down, throws his jacket at him again, and Dream bails out to throw a fit. And a chair, too! Dream puts the chair in the ring, Kushida gets it first and swings on Dream! Dream bails out, is furious all over again and shakes out his left arm. The bell rings to get this all on record and Dream gets in the ring. Kushida gets around him, gets a leg but Dream drags Kushida down. Kushida facelocks, hooks an arm and rains down elbows! Kushida floats all over Dream to get another opening for hammering fists.

Dream resists the armbar and gets a waistlock but Kushida cranks the arm! Dream gets the ropebreak, Kushida lets go at 3, but he avoids the back elbow to ROCK Dream with that right! Dream rushes Kushida, Kushida ducks under and then mocks Dream back with the slither! Dream is furious and he gives chase as Kushida slides out of the ring. The chase goes around the ring, Kushida stops and mule kicks Dream hard! Kushida gets in the ring, builds speed and handspring kicks Dream off the apron! Dream flounders, Kushida drags him in and wrenches the arm as the fans fire up. Kushida hits a bulldog on the bad arm! Dream clutches that arm but Kushida threatens to break it! Dream backs off to a corner and begs for mercy, but he dodges Kushida to get a leg.

Kushida enziguris back, then atomic drops Dream for a whip and drop toehold! Dream resists the takedown but Kushida just gets the bad arm! Kushida rolls to get the hammerlock, traps that arm with a leg, and then uses his body to capture Dream’s other arm! Double omoplata SNAP! Dream writhes, flails but BOOTS Kushida right down! Dream drags Kushida up, throws him out of the ring, then climbs up top. Dream leaps to ax handle Kushida down! Dream poses for just a moment before wincing with pain. Dream drags Kushida back up to throw into boards! Dream returns to the ring just to refresh the count, and he drags Kushida up again. “Get up, Marty!”

Dream puts Kushida in the ring, clubs him on the back with double ax handles, then brings him back up for a European Uppercut! Cover, ONE! Dream is annoyed with Kushida but he stalks Kushida to a corner. Kushida gets up to throws forearms, Dream EuroUppers! Dream sits Kushida up, runs in and hits a BRONCO BUSTER! “Boo me now!” The crowd is fired up while Dream soaks up all the heat. Dream drags Kushida up, puts him back in a corner, but Kushida boots back! Dream blocks it but Kushida throws haymakers! They brawl, Kushida whips, Dream reverses, and Dream catches the handspring into a sleeper hold! Dream leans on Kushida and Kushida fades! The ref checks but Kushida stays awake, only for Dream to squeeze tighter.

Fans rally up for Kushida as he fights up to his feet. Kushida backs Dream to a corner, Dream stays in the ropes but lets go at 4. Kushida ROCKS Dream with that elbow! Dream throws haymakers, Kushida gives back forearms! Kushida rocks Dream, Drema shoves him but Kushida TACKLES Dream! Kushida rains down fists, then hip tosses and handsprings to basement dropkick! Dream flounders, Kushida gives him DANIELSON- NO! Dream rolls Kushida, Kushida rolls through, FAST BALL SPECIAL! Kushida gets both arms as Dream is on his stomach, for INVERTED DANIELSON STOMPS! Kushida flips Dream over to stomp him properly! The ref counts, Kushida lets up fast and Dream flounders to a corner. Kushida fires up, runs in but Dream puts him on the apron.

Kushida gets Dream’s arm, Dream flails but Kushida POSTS him! Fans are thunderous as Kushida gets on the apron. Dream apologizes but the fans want “One More Time!” So Kushida POSTS Dream again! And then BOOTS the steel steps into the arm!! Dream screams in agony as he flounders about. Kushida gets in but Dream SUPERKICKS him down! Dream manages to make it to his corner, climbs up top, and leaps, into an ARMBAR!! Kushida holds on tight as Dream flails and rolls, and Dream gets a ropebreak with a leg! Kushida holds on, Dream throws haymakers, but the ref separates them. Dream thumbs Kushida in the eyes! Then throws haymakers and POWERBOMBS! High stack, TWO, into the ARMBAR! Dream clubs away on Kushida until he’s free!

Dream throws off the gloves, slaps the bad arm to get it working, and he fireman’s carries, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Dream heads up top again, his bad arm slows him down a bit, but he leaps for the PURPLE RAIN MAKER! But his left arm bothers him so bad that he can’t cover right away! TWO!! Kushida survives and Dream is shocked! Dream argues with the ref but Kushida grabs the bad arm. Dream glares at Kushida, drags him up and reels him in for a LARIAT! “Dream Over. Call your mama and tell her about it!” Dream climbs up back up again, takes time to pose, but Kushida is up and after him! Kushida throws forearms, gets the arm, FLYING HOVERBOARD ARMBAR!!

Dream endures, reaches, flails, and gets the ropebreak, but Kushida rolls him away! Kushida cranks on the arm, Dream stands up and fireman’s carries, but Kushida fights to keep the arm! DREAM VALLEY, but the HOVERBOARD is still on! Dream TAPS, Kushida wins!!

Winner: Kushida, by submission

Dream feels the true agony of defeat! Kushida’s new edge shines in the spotlight, but is his future going to be golden? Wait, Kushida keeps going after Dream! Winning wasn’t enough, he wants Dream to feel regret! Kushida puts the bad arm in an armbar, Dream taps but it won’t stop the pain! Kushida bends fingers until more referees rush out to pry him off Dream! Kushida paces, but goes right after him again! OMOPLATA! Dream taps and taps but Kushida holds on until the ref’s pry him off again! Will Dream wish he could travel back in time to stop himself from ever angering Kushida?


NXT Universe beware, you’re in for a scare!

The wild child, Shotzi Blackheart will host a very special NXT on October 28th as NXT brings back HALLOWEEN HAVOC!! Trick or treat, get ready to be on the edge of your seat!


NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!

El Hijo del Fantasma won the title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! But the house still stands and Swerve has a chance at redemption on top of the title! Will he be ready for anything and everything? Or does Escobar have a trick up his proverbial sleeve that no one could expect?

The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!

Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!

Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all! Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues.

Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takeodnw into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists. Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm!

Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him! Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified.

Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner! The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!!

Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes!

Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!! From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric!

Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos! Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar isn’t worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up.

Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up. Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)

So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! Was this Swerve’s last chance at the championship? Will Escobar truly remake the Cruiserweight Division to reflect HIS image?


NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai VS Candice LeRae!

As said time and again, there was a time when these two were on friendly terms. But somewhere along the way, both of them found themselves on darker paths. The Wednesday Knight failed to grab some gold, will the Evil Genius make sure the Poison Pixie’s story also has a bad ending?

The introductions are made with extra special spotlight and a mic lowered from the ceiling! The title is raised and the fans are fired up already as this twisted tale of treachery and woe writes a new chapter!

Fans already cheer for “Women’s Wrestling” at the bell but Candice talks trash. She shoves, Shirai shoves back and Candice gets a headlock. Shirai powers out, follows through and redirects Candice. Candice drops down, Shirai handsprings, hip tosses and basement dropkicks! Candice bails out as Shirai kips up and dares her to come back. Candice takes her time to cool off, and then gets in. Candice waistlocks, Shirai switches but Candice bucks her off. Shirai comes back to crucifix swing but Candice blocks. Candice swings Shirai, Shirai arm-drags her to a corner. Shirai runs, Candice dodges and runs back in to monkey flip, but Shirai lands on her feet! Fans fire up as Shirai runs back in but Candice moves!

Shirai is denied her trip on the Shinkansen, and Candice tells the ref to give her a second to catch her breath. Candice gets on the apron, Shirai rams a shoulder then sunset flips! Candice holds on for dear life, knocks Shirai away and springboard crossbodies Shirai down! Candice brags like she just won the match, and she throws Shirai at the apron. Shirai tiger feints and kicks! Shirai springboards, ASAI MOONSAULT! Down goes Candice and Shirai is fired up! Shirai drags Candice up and in, Candice crawls but Shirai is after her with a cover, ONE! Shirai kicks Candice to a corner, stomps a mudhole into her but lets up at 3. Shirai digs both boots in, swings and double knees! Shirai drags Candice to a cover, TWO! Candice crawls away but Shirai is after her again.

Shirai brings Candice up to whip to a corner, Candice reverses and runs in, but Shirai slips out to the apron. Shirai swings but Candice blocks the kick! Candice pushes Shirai right-side-up to DRAPING BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO!! Shirai survives and Candice is frustrated. Candice drags Shirai around, puts on a chinlock and digs a knee into her back. Shirai endures the modified camel clutch as the fans rally up. Shirai gets to her feet, throws elbows and is free, but Candice clubs her back. Candice runs, tilt-o-whirl headscissors but Shirai lands on her feet again! Only for Candice to CLOBBER her! Cover, TWO! Shirai survives again and Candice is getting angrier. Candice kicks Shirai around, scrapes her face on the ropes, but lets up at the ref’s count. Fans boo but Candice just soaks it all up.

Candice snapmares and neck snaps to a jackknife cover, TWO! Candice keeps her cool this time and she clamps onto Shirai with a high keylock. Shirai endures, fans rally up, but Candice traps the other arm. Shirai reaches with a leg but fights up to her feet, only for Candice to throw her down by her hair! Cover, TWO! Candice gets frustrated again as she stomps Shirai to ropes. Candice scoops Shirai for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Candice drags Shirai back up, rams her into buckles and again, but lets off at the ref’s reprimand. Candice soaks up the heat, then runs in to uppercut at the corner! Shirai flounders against ropes and Candice talks smack, so Shirai SLAPS her! Candice clubs Shirai back, bumps her off buckles and brings her out of that corner to bump her off buckles in another corner.

Candice stomps a mudhole then backs off to soak up more heat. Candice mockingly asks Shirai if she’s okay, then brings her up to throw her by her hair! Shirai flounders to a corner, Candice brings her up to throw her back the other way! Candice clubs Shirai, suplexes to a BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO!! Candice scowls as she sits Shirai up and knees her in the back! And again! Candice clamps on with a neck wrench but Shirai endures. The crowd rallies up, Shirai stands but Candice knees low. Candice shoves Shirai to a corner, runs in but only gets buckles! Shirai is still down, Candice uses her as a step, but Shirai moves and the senton flops! Shirai victory roll STOMPS Candice down! The fans fire up as Shirai and Candice stir.

The ref starts a standing count but Candice and Shirai are up at 4. Shirai runs Candice over with shoulders, and then again! FLAPJACK! Candice flounders to ropes, Shirai runs in to 619! Candice flounders more, Shirai springboards, missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Shirai keeps her cool as Candice survives. Shirai drags Candice up to underhook, but no Tiger Driver as Candice pops out. Candice blocks the wheelbarrow to make it a facebuster! Step-up senton! LIONSAULT, into a BOOT! Shirai underhooks again, TIGER BACKBREAKER! Candice is down in the drop zone and Shirai walks all over her. Shirai is up top but Candice gets up to stop her! Candice brings Shirai off for a POWERBOMB, but Shirai is right back up to hit SHINKANSEN! Shirai Alabama lifts, Candice sunset flips, TWO!

SHOTEI! GERMAN SUPLEX! Candice flounder but dodges a 619 to SNAP GERMAN! Shirai flounders up, into a BACKSTABBER! LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Shirai barely survives and Candice is beside herself! The crowd is thunderous and Candice goes back to Shirai. Candice slaps and pushes Shirai around, but Shirai catches her for a CROSSFACE! Candice flails, reaches, endures but Shirai cranks back! Candice manages to roll Shirai, TWO! Candice gets the GargaNO ESCAPE! Shirai endures now, crawls around, reaches, but Candice cranks as far back as she can! Shirai powers her way forward but Candice digs her heels in to slow her down! Shirai still gest the ropebreak! Candice lets go and CLOBBERS the ref by accident!

Candice tries to take advantage, but she runs into an AIR RAID CRASH! Shirai heads to the corner and up top, for the MOONSAULT onto BOOTS! And Shirai crashes into the ref! The ref is sent out of the ring, Candice BOOTS Shirai! Candice gets the leg, Queen Angelito STOMP!! The Wicked Step Sister hits but the ref is OUT! Candice would’ve won twice over, but here comes… Johnny Referee?! Fast count, TWO!?!? Shirai won’t be screwed out of her title like this! Gargano throws a fit on Candice’s behalf but he gets an idea. Gargano hurries out to get the belt from the timekeeper. As far as Gargano is concerned, it’s Candice’s belt! But the actual ref gets back in and questions what Gargano’s even doing!

Gargano manages to slip the belt to Candice as he argues with the ref! Candice aims at Shirai, BELT SHOT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Gargano is losing his mind but so is Candice! The fans are thunderous as Candice climbs up top. Shirai SHOTEIS her first! Shirai climbs up to get Candice for a SUPER SPANISH FLY!! And then up, up and away for the OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai wins!!

Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Champion)

The Johnny Gargano Way did NOT have its way tonight! Try as they might, Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling could not take over at TakeOver! But with Rhea Ripley waiting on the other side, will the Evil Genius reign for much longer?

But wait! Someone speaks to “Io-chan” via the screen wall! It’s TONI STORM! Good to see you, Shirai. Don’t mind her, she’s just congratulating Shirai on the victory. Oh and also, she wants us all to keep their head on a swivel. Because Toni is BACK in NXT! And it goes without saying she’ll turn the place upside-down and inside out. This always has and always will be #ToniTime. But when will the Lightning Down Under strike the Capitol Wrestling Center? And what does this mean for Rhea’s opportunity at the title?


NXT spots the mystery invader!

They ride in on their motorcycle, night vision helmet still active as they drive around to a side door. They go inside the Capitol Wrestling Center, but who are they? Who are they after? They’re ON STAGE! And it’s… EMBER MOON! The Shenom has returned to NXT and everyone is fired up! Shirai is excited, too, because this just adds on to the fun she and the Women’s Division are going to have! But again, what does this mean for Rhea’s opportunity? Will the Nightmare have to deal with champions of the past and present to be the champion of the future?


Backstage interview with Ashante “Thee” Adonis!

He got involved with Swerve and Legado, but why? He has a lot of respect for Swerve, and just trying to help a brother out. But he is sick and tired of Legado jumping guys, so he jumped them faster than Amazon delivers! But enough about them, this is all about him! You see Adonis’ swagger is 1000, and he is drippin’, drippin’, drippin’! Because this is his #RICHual! When the money speaks, no one checks the grammar! He’s gonna hit you with the hammer! 205 from the 215, you know what time it is! Showtime! Will Adonis show El Legado what happens when you try and hold people down?


NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly!

As the Prince said himself, “Life comes full circle in this business.” At one time, the longest reigning NXT Champion in history was also the inaugural WWE Universal Champion and a bright star on Raw and SmackDown. But he felt the need to go back to his roots in more ways than one. Now he is back on his throne as a TWO-TIME NXT Champion. But his challenger is the only THREE-TIME NXT Tag Team Champion, and that is Undisputed! Will Kyle usher in “the second wave” of the Golden Prophecy? Or is Balor too rrrreeeal for him?

The crowd chants “This is Awesome!” and we’re just at the special spotlight introductions! Then the belt is raised, and the moment of truth for both these long-standing veterans begins!

Kyle and Balor circle, feel things out and Kyle gets a testing kick in. Balor stays up as the fans are thunderous already. They tie up, Balor gets around to a waistlock but Kyle pries free to wrench to a hammerlock. Balor slips out quickly, waistlocks and slams Kyle down, but Kyle scrambles to turn Balor over. Kyle is after Balor with the mount, covers, but Balor headscissors before a count! Kyle pops out and the two stand off as fans cheer again. Balor and Kyle circle, tie up, and Balor headlocks. Kyle endures the grind, powers up but can’t power out as Balor holds tight. Kyle fights up to his feet as Balor grinds the headlock harder. Kyle stomps a foot and power out but Balor runs him over! Cover, ONE, Balor headlocks to a takedown!

Kyle tries to headscissor but Balor shrugs that off as he grinds the headlock. Kyle rolls to a cover, ONE, and then Kyle hits a back suplex! But Balor holds on! Balor grinds Kyle down but Kyle fights his way up. Fans rally as Kyle pries at the hold. Kyle still can’t power out but he stays on his feet. Kyle gets a leg and lifts but Balor anticipates the shin breaker to sunset flip! Kyle drops down on Balor for an ARMBAR! Balor gets up and around to get the ropebreak! Kyle lets go but kicks Balor and clubs the arm. Kyle yanks the arm, reels Balor in for a shoulder to shoulder collision, then he wrenches Balor down to his knees. Balor endures as Kyle grinds the shoulder. Fans rally as Balor gets up but Kyle wrenches. Balor rolls, tries to hook Kyle’s chin but Kyle wrangles Balor down.

Kyle cranks on the arm but Balor kips up! Kyle still gets a hammerlock, spins Balor around and sweeps the legs! Balor lands on the arm, Kyle is after it with another hammerlock and drops knees. Kyle drives elbows into the side, then throws a knee in. Kyle runs to knee Balor hard in the side! Kyle sits Balor up and is after the arm again but Balor clasps hands. Kyle still cranks on the hammerlock but Balor reaches back. Balor spins, trips Kyle and drops on him but Kyle slips right out to get the arm again. Fans continue to rally as Kyle leans on Balor. Balor moves around, gets another ropebreak, and Kyle lets go. Kyle brings Balor up, hammerlock takedown, but Balor knees him over and over to avoid a cover. Kyle cranks on the arm again, but Balor back drops!

Kyle sunset flips through but Balor rolls through that to basement dropkick! The legs still work! Balor shakes out the bad arm before he KICKS Kyle in the back! Cover, TWO! Balor has Kyle’s arm now and he stomps it! Balor has a standing armbar and pulls but Kyle endures. Fans rally again as Kyle endures. Balor mocks Kyle’s air guitar by using Kyle’s arm. Kyle tries to power up but Balor stomps him again! Balor hammerlocks and wrangles Kyle down, and even gives it some snap. Kyle moves around, Balor stands on him and drops knees on the hammerlock. Fans rally, Balor gives another snap, but Kyle endures. Kyle reaches back but Balor cranks the arm to avoid the headlock. Kyle keeps trying so Balor wrenches his arm more. Fans rally, Kyle stands and backs Balor but Balor sends him into buckles!

Balor elbows the arm and CHOPS Kyle in the chest! Balor wraps the arm on the rope to pull it! The ref counts, Balor lets go at 4 to CHOP Kyle again! Kyle leans on the ropes as he goes to another corner, but Balor CHOPS him there, too! Balor stomps Kyle, whips him corner to corner then runs in to CHOP again! Balor whips Kyle the other way for another CHOP! Kyle leans against ropes again but Balor won’t let him rest. Balor whips Kyle again, Kyle comes back with a BIG kitchen sink knee! Kyle and Balor both hobble, but Balor CHOPS again. Balo rruns, into a pop-up KICK! Kyle throws muay thai knees then a strike fest! Leg sweep and down goes Balor! Fans fire up as Kyle catches his breath. Balor gets to a corner, Kyle runs in for a forearm smash!

Kyle has the arm, ELBOW BREAKER! Balor throws forearms, Kyle throws knees, BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Kyle holds on, another BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! And a third! Cover, TWO! Balor survives that underhook hat trick and the fans fire up. Kyle stalks Balor, brings him up and goes for a lift but Balor elbows free. Kyle KICKS the leg and Balor drops to a knee! Balor is on the ropes, Kyle fires off more stirkes! Kyle throws knees, elbows but Balor pushes him away. Balor throws a BIG forearm! Kyle throws another! Balor back kicks HARD and Kyle falls! The ref checks on Kyle but Balor won’t let up! Balor stomps away at the ropes but the ref backs him off. The ref checks Kyle but Balor KICKS Kyle while he’s down!

Balor shows no mercy but the ref counts! Balor stops at 4 and Kyle is still down. Fans rally up for Kyle but Balor drags him up to bump off buckles. Balor rams his shoulder in over and over, then whips corner to corner HARD! Kyle bounces off buckles chest first and he might only be in worse shape! Balor drags Kyle back up and CHOPS him against the ropes! Balor puts Kyle throw the ropes and CLUBS him on the back. Balor goes side to side to kick Kyle in the kidneys! Kyle is down in a heap but he refuses to let this end the match. Balor stomps Kyle as he crawls around then drops down for a chinlock. Not quite a camel clutch but it still stretches the abs! Kyle endures, Balor leaps to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Kyle grits his teeth as he gets to a corner and the fans rally up even harder.

Balor heads after Kyle, CHOPS him again, then whips him corner to corner. Kyle stops himself, tries to get under but Balor KICKS him in the side! Balor brings Kyle up for the cobra twist! Kyle pops right out to hip toss Balor down! Kyle gets up, Balor runs and CHOPS him again! Balor runs but into a KNEE from Kyle! Kyle fishermans, REGAL PLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Balor survives but the fans are still rallying for Kyle! Kyle grits his teeth, drags Balor up and wrenches, but Balor CLUBS him and dragon sleepers! ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO!! Kyle is still in this but Balor grits his teeth now. Balor watches Kyle rise, runs in, SLING BLADE! Kyle flounders as Balor aims from the corner again. Balor wants Kyle to rise, and Kyle does, but Kyle dropkicks Balor’s legs out first!

Balor hobbles up, Kyle kicks his leg from the mat! Balor hobbles up again, Kyle has the leg, but Balor uses that to get the COBRA TWIST! Kyle endures, blood in his mouth! Balor CLUBS Kyle, dragon sleepers, but Kyle slips around, SHIN BREAKER! HEEL HOOK! Balor manages to stay up on one foot but Kyle cranks harder. Balor turns things around, into a SHARPSHOOTER! Kyle endures as his body is stretched again! Balor sits DEEP, drags Kyle from ropes, but Kyle refuses to quit! Kyle grits his teeth and gets the ropebreak! Balor lets go but how much does Kyle even have left?! Balor hobbles up as the fans are thunderous! Kyle gets to a corner, Balor heads over and tells him, “I am Finn Balor!” Balor stomps Kyle as he says, “I do this every night!”

Kyle crawls, Balor follows to stomp him more. Balor KICKS Kyle in the side but Kyle still manages to move. Balor stomps him into the corner and keeps going but the ref backs him off. Fans rally up for Kyle as Kyle grits his teeth. Balor stomps but Kyle grabs the foot! Kyle stands up, and ROCKS Balor! Kyle throws more forearms, Balor kicks the gut! Kyle kicks back! AX ‘N’ SMASH! PELE! YOYO LARIAT!! Both men are down and the fans fire up! “This is Awesome!” but far from over! The fans build to a rally as Balor and Kyle slowly rise. Kyle KICKS Balor in the chest! Kyle wants Balor to get up, he does, and Balor blocks the kick! Balor SLAPS Kyle, half hatch, but Kyle suplexes! Balor fights out of that but Kyle has the GUILLOTINE FACELOCK!

Kyle squeezes tight, Balor fades fast! Kyle lets go to KNEE Balor in the stomach! Then BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, TWO! Short Arm Scissor! Balor clasps hands as Kyle wants the armbar, and is even using Balor’s own leg as leverage against him! Balor’s grip pries apart and Kyle has the ARMBAR! Balor hurries up to stomp away on Kyle’s face! Balor is free, both men are down and the fans are still thunderous! Balor gets up, CLUBS Kyle on the back then CLUBS him again! Balor smothers Kyle into the dragon sleeper, drags him up, BLOODY SUNDAY! Cover, TWO!?! Kyle survives and the crowd is fired up all over again! Balor hobbles up with Kyle in the drop zone, and he climbs up top. Balor grits his teeth as he looks down at Kyle, but Kyle is up top and sweeps the legs!

Balor is stuck, Kyle has the legs for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Balor tumbles down but Kyle drags him up again, for another DRAGON SCREW in the ropes! Kyle hurries to a corner as Balor is stuck again! FLYING KNEE DROP! Balor is down now but Kyle heads up top!? ANOTHER FLYING KNEE! And the KNEEBAR!! Balor endures as Kyle has the Achilles Lock!! Balor hurries to pry the hold apart but Kyle just shifts to another angle! Balor endures, kicks at Kyle, but that leg gets caught! DOUBLE HEEL HOOK!! Fans are electric as Balor punches Kyle! Kyle just wrenches both ankles again! Balor turns over, crawls and reaches, ROPEBREAK! Kyle has no choice but to let go! The crowd chants for “NXT! NXT!” for another incredible main event!

Kyle throws off the wrist tape in frustration as he grits his teeth. Kyle KICKS Balor in the leg and Balor falls over! Kyle hobbles and Balor flounders up, but Balor drops down to avoid another kick! Balor suckers Kyle into a trip up and DOUBLE STOMP! Kyle clutches his stomach, but he still runs in to KNEE Balor in the corner! GERMAN SUPLEX! But Balor’s right up to DOUBLE STOMP again!! Both men are down and the crowd is still fired up! Balor hobbles over to a corner and he drags himself up the ropes. Balor leaps, COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, Balor wins!!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall (still NXT Champion)

You wouldn’t think he won from the blood in his mouth, but the Prince still sits on the throne atop NXT! If Balor survived even this much, what will it take for anyone to take the title from him? As for Kyle, he seems to have won something from Balor: his respect! Balor offers a hand, Kyle takes it, and the champion helps his challenger up. Will Kyle be back for another shot at the title?

Wait, what the hell?! Ridge Holland is at ringside, carrying an unconscious Adam Cole!! And he dumps Cole over the barriers! Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish hurry out to check on Cole and shout for medics to hurry! How did this happen?! Only Cole and Holland know, but Cole’s in no shape to tell his side of the story. Will the Undisputed Era make Holland answer for what he’s done?

My Thoughts:

For this being only a TakeOver with a number, not a subtitle, this TakeOver blew me out of the water! No titles changed but that’s never a reason to complain because all the matches were amazing! Priest VS Gargano opening the show was a great surprise in itself, and it was an incredible match to open with! A lot of new takes on moves, like Priest using his height advantage for more of a full nelson dunk than slam on Gargano, and it really did feel like it could go either way. Priest retains, so it was put on Candice to try and get something. Shirai VS Candice was itself incredible, and with all the screw job attempts, I almost thought that was going to do Shirai in. Shirai finds a way, but wow, the Women’s Division is top loaded again.

Everyone was fairly certain Ember Moon was the mystery return, but it seems almost anticlimactic after they also gave us Toni Storm’s little titantron message. Will Rhea have to compete for the shot she wants? Obviously that’s how things tend to go, but I feel like since she, Shotzi, Dakota and Raquel are all entangled, that story will again quite literally interfere with whatever contenders match Rhea is in. Ember VS Storm is great just saying it, and whether it’s Ember VS Shirai or Storm VS Shirai, those are both great. The latter being a rematch from the second May Young Classic makes it seem like it could wait for a real big stage, like WrestleMania 37 (wherever it ends up), for the second NXT Women’s Championship match to be part of that PPV.

Kushida VS Dream was good but it seemed rather one sided in the end. Given the outside issues that already shot down Dream’s chances of being NXT Champion in that Parking Lot Brawl with Cole, don’t expect Dream to win anything big any time soon. For that matter, Kushida going after him so brutally, he might be off TV entirely to let the heat die down. Kushida should go after a belt after this now, and while we’d hope it’s the North American Championship, it might be the Cruiserweight Championship since he is in the 205 Live intro video. Escobar VS Swerve was a great match, better than their round robin one, and what strong heat with copying Latino Heat. Tehuti/Adonis joining this is interesting, but I did say a month or so ago that he and Swerve would make a great duo, so maybe we see that starts now.

NXT bringing Halloween Havoc back this year is great (and probably just a way to stick it to AEW) and I love that Shotzi Blackheart will be the host. She used to host horror movie drive-in type events, she’ll certainly have a lot of fun with this and make it that much more fun, I can’t wait to see what happens. Balor VS O’Reilly, what an incredible match! They were both going really hard, but maybe too hard, because I’m fairly certain someone was spitting real blood, not just movie effect blood. Hopefully it isn’t so bad that we again have to see the title vacated. But what a twist for Holland to be there with a brutalized Cole. Was that story about him beating the hell out of four bullies foreshadowing for this? Is he going to take on the UE alone? Is this a red herring so we don’t suspect someone within the UE? I’ve said before that mystery and unpredictability is best for wrestling, and that’s where we are right now!

My Score: 9.6/10

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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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