NXT, witness the return of the SHENOM!
TakeOver has come and gone, but someone made their return! Former NXT Women’s Champion, EMBER MOON, is back and wants that title back! What will Io Shirai, Rhea Ripley and even Toni Storm have to say about that?
- KUSHIDA VS Tommaso Ciampa; Ciampa wins, by disqualification.
- Ever-Rise VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick; Dain & Maverick win.
- Austin Theory VS Leon Ruff; Theory wins.
- Austin Theory VS Dexter Lumis; Lumis wins.
- Ridge Holland VS Danny Burch; Holland wins.
- Shotzi Blackheart VS Xia Li; Shotzi wins.
- Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez; Moon & Ripley win.
PLAY BY PLAY
KUSHIDA VS Tommaso Ciampa!
The Timesplitter showed no mercy to Velveteen Dream at TakeOver, because he is finally ready to take over NXT! But someone who knows all about showing no mercy is standing across the ring from him! Will Kushida survive the Psycho Killer in this first ever encounter?
The bell rings and these two tie up right away! They’re in a deadlock so they separate, and Kushida SLAPS Ciampa! Ciampa SLAPS back, Kushida gets a leg and drags Ciampa down to hit and facelock. Ciampa rolls but Kushida holds on. Kushida floats all over Ciampa then pats his head. Ciampa hits a fireman’s carry takeover to the ghost pin, TWO! Ciampa reels Kushida in but Kushida slips under, but the O’Conner roll is denied, so Kushida hip tosses and handspring dropkicks! Kushida pursues as Ciampa bails out to put him back in. Kushida KICKS the arm, wrenches and traps the arm for the BULLDOG! Kushida goes after the arm more as fans rally up.
Ciampa endures as Kushida wrenches, and he ROCKS Kushida with a forearm! Ciampa whips, Kushida ducks and handsprings, into a basement dropkick! Ciampa shakes out the bad arm while he grins, and Kushida writhes as Ciampa looms over him. Ciampa stomps Kushida’s head, clubs him in the back then clamps on with a chinlock. Ciampa grinds Kushida down, fans rally up and Kushida moves around. Kushida fights up, Ciampa cravats and turns him into a backbreaker! Fans rally as Ciampa pats himself on the back. Ciampa drops a leg on Kushida fast, covers, TWO! Ciampa keeps his cool as he stomps Kushida around.
Ciampa brings Kushida up to throw forearms and he DECKS Kushida! Fans rally up as Ciampa looms over Kushida. Kushida gets to a corner, Ciampa throws haymakers but Kushida hits back! Kushida ducks the chop to throw more forearms but the ref counts. The ref has to pull Kushida off Ciampa, but Kushida goes back for more! Kushida whips corner to corner, Ciampa reverses HARD and Kushida bounces off the buckles! Ciampa drags Kushida up into a chinbar and he CLUBS away on Kushida’s chest! Fans rally as Kushida endures, and Kushida fights back. Ciampa stomps Kushida down then drags him back up, for a neckbreaker! Ciampa talks some trash before he drops ax handles.
Ciampa drags Kushida up to put him back in the chinlock and fans rally as Kushida endures. Kushida pulls at Ciampa’s face but Ciampa grabs that arm to lace around the hold. Kushida fights up, gets to his feet and throws elbows but Ciampa knees him. Kushida spins out of the neckbreaker and is after the arm! Ciampa ROCKS Kushida, puts him through ropes, but Kushida resists the DDT to drag Ciampa down. Ciampa boots Kushida into the announce desk! But Kushida gets right into the ring and handspring kicks Ciampa down! Fans fire up as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS Kushida in the corner! The ref counts, Ciampa lets up at 4 but Kushida throws forearms back! Ciampa throat chops Kushida! Ciampa hoists Kushida up top, climbs up to join him and brings him up, but Kushida fights back with elbows! Kushida knocks Ciampa down but Ciampa CHOPS right back! Kushida ends up on the apron, Ciampa has a nasty idea and he ROCKS Kushida with a forearm. Ciampa climbs up, drags Kushida to the top, but Kushida wrenches the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER against the crossbar! Kushida gets Ciampa in the ring to PENALTY KICK the arm! ENZIGURI! Ciampa is down, but he avoids the stomps to roll Kushida and reel him in! Kushida resists the underhooks, gets the bad arm and stomps it!
Kushida baits Ciampa into a BUCKLE SHOT! GERMAN SUPELX! BUZZSAW to the bad arm! Kushida is all over Ciampa with a BIG takedown! Ciampa clasps hands to fight off the armbar but Kushida keeps trying! Ciampa makes it a cover, ONE as Kushida has Ciampa in a triangle hold! Kushida throws elbows but Ciampa dead lifts for a POWERBOMB! Both men are down and the crowd is thunderous! A standing count begins but Kushida rises first, Ciampa follows, they’re up at 5 and throwing forearms! They go back and forth, Ciampa gets the edge but Kushida KICKS the bad arm! Ciampa BOOTS Kushida, fisherman BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Ciampa can’t believe it! Fans rally up as Ciampa looms over Kushida.
Ciampa drags Kushida up, reels him in and wants those underhooks. Kushida resists again, wrenches the bad arm, but Ciampa SLAPS him! Kushida gets around to backslide, ONE, Ciampa kicks Kushida first! Kushida lets go but comes back with the FAST BALL! Kushida stands on Ciampa, gets the bad arm, then the other arm! INVERTED DANIELSON STOMPS!! Kushida has the bad arm, and wrenches to the HOVERBOARD!! Ciampa scrambles around, kicks and flails but Kushida has him! Wait, is that DREAM!? Dream leaps in with flying ax handles!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by disqualification
Dream realizes he missed Kushida and got Ciampa, and now Kushida is after him with haymakers! Kushida throws Dream out then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Dream on his own bad arm! FAST BALL sends Dream flying over the barriers! Dream runs away but Ciampa is upset! He didn’t want to win this way, will he and Kushida get a fair rematch? Will it only be a matter of time before Kushida gets after Dream again?
NXT returns to Ember Moon in the ring!
The Prophecy of Flame is back in the black ‘n’ gold and the crowd is fired up to see her! “Thank you! To be honest, if we’re amongst friends here, I’m a little shocked they let me talk on the mic tonight. It’s been awhile.” But in all seriousness, Ember has been in isolation for 14 long, hard months. It sucks! But she’s back and sees a lot has changed in NXT. But she knows this. She took her bike, drove on a long, long road, miles and miles and miles, and found clarity. She found the REAL Ember Moon. She calls it “Ember’s Law.” It’s corny, yes, but what it is is that no one tells her what she wants to do, she does what she wants to do because she IS Ember Moon! But what stays the same is “momma wants some gold, baby!” And speaking of, here comes Io Shirai!
The NXT Women’s Champion joins Ember in the ring, finally getting to be up close after that surprise at TakeOver. Shirai gets a mic, but then here comes RHEA RIPLEY! The Nightmare told the world she was going to be waiting on the other side of Shirai VS LeRae, but she tells Ember that she loves the new attitude. Yeah, Ember deserves a title shot, but- Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez attack Rhea! Ember backs Rhea up and it is a brawl on the ramp! Referees hurry and so does Mr. Regal! Regal tells the ladies that if they all want to fight, they can do that in a tag team match! Tonight’s main event has been set! Will the Nightmare and the Shenom be able to coexist long enough to put #CobraKai and Raquel in their place?
NXT Media catches up with Drake Maverick.
He and Killian Dain have been gone, but what have they been doing? What great tag teams do, and preparing strategy! Maverick has been sending messages, ideas, from tag team moves to entrances. But Dain shows up and asks Maverick what he’s doing. Maverick says big things are coming for their team. Dain already said, they’re not tag partners and they’re not friends. Well they are. No they’re not. But if Dain had read the messages Maverick was sending, Dain would know they are in a tag match! Dain and Maverick VS Ever-Rise! What? Why!? Because they’re a team! Dain is frustrated mostly that Maverick isn’t getting it! But will he show up for the match since it’s coming up next?
NXT returns with a backstage interview with Io Shirai.
When Ember helped Rhea against Dakota and Raquel, why didn’t she also help? “Ember Moon, not my problem. Rhea Ripley, not my problem. This? This is my problem.” The title is her concern, nothing more. But will one of those four women in tonight’s tag match become her problem?
The Undisputed Era speaks.
“I said a couple of weeks ago that if you mess with the Undisputed Era, we will make you pay.” Ridge Holland didn’t get that memo. Sunday was not the best. The worst even! Kyle O’Reilly is still down on himself but the others tell him he did incredible! Performance of a life time at TakeOver! Kyle has nothing to be ashamed of. Kyle says that’s fine for them to say, but let’s focus on Ridge. Right, right. Ridge, Cole has no idea why you did what you did, and he doesn’t care. Ridge broke Cole’s ribs, so now they will make him a dead man! THAT is Undisputed!
Ever-Rise VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick!
Unlike the Belfast Beast and Rockstar Spud, Chase Parker & Matt Martel are actually friends, which is why they like teaming together as a true tag team. Will Ever-Rise help Dain get that through to Maverick? Or will Dain hate having a loss on his record more?
But as they make their entrance, “Drake & Killian” have a theme song! One clearly chosen by Drake because it’s far too upbeat for Killian. Killian tells Drake needs to stop skipping and whistling already. They get in the ring, teams sort out and Dain tells Maverick to stay in the corner. Parker starts against Dain but Maverick is fired up! Maverick wants in, so Dain tags him in! That hurt Maverick’s hand! Maverick gets in, ties up with Parker, and Parker gets the arm. Parker wrenches, wrenches and knuckle locks to the wristlock. Tag to Martel, Martel takes the hand-off but Maverick throws body shots! Martel knees low, whips Maverick but Maverick holds ropes., Maverick boots Martel, dodges and dropkicks Martel down!
Maverick gives thumbs up but Dain tells him to focus and cover! Maverick does cover, ONE! Martel reaches for Parker but Maverick reaches for Dain. Dain doesn’t try that hard in return and Martel CLOBBERS Maverick! Martel tells Maverick is a loser and Dain doesn’t even like him! Dain agrees, he doesn’t like Maverick. Martel rains down rights and soaks up the heat, then he sucker punches Dain! That was a mistake. Parker tags in, Ever-Rise flapjack Maverick on buckles! Cover, Dain gets in to kick Parker! Martel gets in and is upset, and tells Dain he’s a “Fat bozo.” Another mistake! Dain shoves Martel into Parker, drags Maverick away and tags in!
Dain rallies on Ever-Rise with big clotheslines! Dain whips Martel, and hits the DIVIDE! Parker flounders into a fireman’s carry, for the WASTELAND! BACK SENTON! Dain climbs up top, Maverick tags in! Dain is upset with Maverick because he was going to end it! Maverick wants to climb up but Dain drags him down. Parker rams them into each other, O’Conner roll! Dain BOOTS Parker off! Dain POWERBOMBS Maverick onto Parker! It ends up a cover, Drake and Killian win!!
Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by pinfall
Well, that counts, right? Dain and Maverick are a team because they won a tag match! Dain still isn’t into the song, and he DECKS Maverick! Team? Maybe. Friends? Not at all likely. But he does help Maverick out of the ring. Will these two become the most unlikely of contenders in the tag team division?
NXT chronicles Toni Storm’s journey back.
It was three weeks ago in Cancun, Mexico. “This is the place that I knew I could come to and focus and escape.” It’d be the last place anyone would find her. She was preparing. This was the longest time she’d been off in 10 years, and she’s been doing this since she was 13. Just two years ago, Toni was on top of the world. She won the Mae Young Classic and beat Io Shirai at WWE Evolution. She won the NXT UK Women’s Championship. All those accomplishments, and now look at her. When was the last time someone even mentioned her? This isn’t an accident, it was calculated. She’ll start again, strive for new goals and new opponents. It will be a change of scenery, “and this Toni Storm will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”
NXT returns and catches up with the Garganos.
Candice comes out and says it: “Sunday sucked.” Gargano agrees. Candice had her match won, and Johnny was there. It was meant to be the best night of their lives but it was an embarrassment. Candice says they deserve rematches. Johnny agrees again. They can delay it as much as they want, but destiny is still inevitable. They just need to take a step back and reassess things. Candice agrees, they need to change things. Gargano says they need a plan. But then look! Their brand new 65 inch television is here! From Indi Hartwell? Indi? Whoever even talks about that goof? Well she got them this television. Oh, Indi! Johnny loves Indi, she’s the future! But why did she do this? Who cares? Free TV! Help him get this in! Indi is clearly all for #TheJohnnyGarganoWay, but will they let her join up?
Austin Theory VS Leon Ruff!
#AllDay is hoping to recover from some rough losses. He did still look great up until losing, so will he look even better winning?
The bell rings and Ruff talks trash to Theory but Theory pie faces him. Ruff RANAS and covers, TWO!! Ruff mocks Theory then dodges his lariat! But Theory comes back to BODY CHECK Ruff! Theory drags Ruff up, CHOPS him to a corner, then gets in Ruff’s face. Theory whips Ruff corner to corner, Ruff slips out and throws a forearm! Ruff springboards but fakes Theory out to hop around the corner! Ruff slides under and dropkicks Theory back! Then hits a leaping neckbreaker! The crowd fires up for Ruff as he whips but Theory reverses. Ruff has a unique rebound to then LARIAT Theory down! Cover, TWO!!
Ruff cools off and drags Theory up to wrench the arm. Ruff CHOPS Theory, goes up the corner and jumps around, but has a bit of a stumble! Theory drags Ruff off, ATL!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory proves Ruff wasn’t ready, and he gets a mic to say, “That’s exactly what happens when I’m given the proper time to warm up.” Last week, Cole got Theory cold. But as Cole is with his buddies right now, Theory could be proving why he is the future of NXT. But oh, Cole has broken ribs~! But this is a warning to everyone else! Theory is the FUTURE of NXT! He’ll say it twice: Theory is the FUTURE of NXT! And there ain’t a damn thing anyone can do about it! But wait! Here comes Dexter Lumis! The Tortured Artist walks out and his ankle is much better! Lumis slithers into the ring, and he wants a match?! Theory has no choice but to man up, but can he back up those bold claims?
Austin Theory VS Dexter Lumis!
The bell rings, Theory moves around but Lumis keeps his eyes locked. Theory kicks, Lumis blocks and pushes Theory back to ROCK him with an uppercut! Lumis stomps Theory in the corner, drags him up and bumps him off buckles! Lumis throws body shots but the ref counts. Lumis lets up, drags Theory up but Theory blocks the buckle bump to club Lumis back. Theory drags Lumis up to whip but Lumis reverses. Theory ducks and dodges, but runs into Lumis’ THESZ PRESS! Lumis throws down fast hands but Theory gets away. Lumis pursues and ROCKS Theory again! Theory tumbles, Lumis throws him back in the ring.
Lumis whips Theory corner to corner then follows to BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Lumis stares into the souls of everyone around as NXT goes picture in picture.
Lumis slithers and stalks Theory to a corner, freaking Theory out. Theory wants a timeout but Lumis isn’t giving him one! Lumis stomps away on Theory, drags him up and into a chinlock to then club away with crossface forearms! Lumis paces, brings Theory up again but Theory throws body shots and ofrearms! Lumis knees hard and low and Theory falls! Lumis drags Theory back up to scoop and slam! Lumis runs to drop a leg, brother! Theory gasps but Lumis covers, TWO! Lumis clamps onto Theory’s shoulders with nerve hold claws! Theory endures as Lumis grips harder and leans on him. Theory fights up, Lumis throws him down! Lumis COHKES Theory! The ref counts, Lumis stops at 4 and drags Theory back up to throw him out!
Theory tumbles and Lumis watches him from the ropes. The ring count climbs as Theory stirs. Theory gets to his feet at 5 and up onto the apron at 8, but Lumis joins him. Theory drops down and trips Lumis up! Lumis hits apron then the floor, and Theory RAMS Lumis into steel steps! Theory is frustrated but he paces and drags Lumis up and into the ring. Theory talks trash, kicks Lumis around, but Lumis just glare at him. Theory DECKS Lumis, then stomps an arm. Theory drags Lumis up for forearms, whips him and elbows him down! NXT returns to single picture as Theory stalks Lumis to ropes. Theory brings Lumis up for a back suplex! Cover, TWO!
Theory keeps his cool and his arrogance while he mocks Lumis’ slithering. Theory slaps Lumis around, puts on a chinlock and armlock and he grinds Lumis down. Lumis endures, fans rally up and Lumis pries at the chinbar. Theory shifts to grind his forearm in Lumis’ face, but Lumis fights up to his feet and throws haymakers. Theory lets go, blocks the hip toss and LARIATS! STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Lumis survives but Theory just shrugs. Theory stomps Lumis, kicks him to ropes, but Lumis pushes him away. Theory talks trash but Lumis throws body shots. Theory clubs away on Lumis then clamps on a facelock. Fans rally as Lumis endures and Theory cranks hard on his head.
Lumis gets up, throws body shots but Theory CLUBS him down! Theory brings Lumis back up, suplexes, but Lumis resists! Theory CLUBS Lumis again, snap suplexes and talks trash as he covers, TWO! Lumis gets to a corner and Theory keeps his cool. Theory digs his heels into Lumis’ head but the ref counts. Theory lets off at 4 to KICK Lumis while he’s down! Theory talks trash, brings Lumis up but Lumis ROCKS him with the uppercut! And another! And another! Theory cravats, snapmares and STOMPS Lumis down! Cover, TWO! Theory grows frustrated but he laughs it off as he brings Lumis up. Theory suplexes but Lumis resists again.
Theory throws body shots, Lumis blocks the suplex and suplexes theory. Theory resists, they fight for control, Lumis gets Theory up but Theory slips out. Theory runs, into a SPINE BUSTER! Fans fire up as Lumis gets to a corner. Lumis adjusts the gloves and goes back to Theory. Lumis stalks Theory, and ROCKS him with more uppercuts! Theory flounders, Lumis runs corner to corner for a SOMERSAULT MONKEY FLIP! Lumis drags Theory back up, suplexes him onto the ropes, SLINGSHOT SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Theory still lives but Lumis doesn’t show even a hint of frustration. Lumis walks over but Theory shoulders back! Theory somersault shotgun dropkicks back! Theory has his confidence again as Lumis flounders to ropes. But Lumis turns around and glares at Theory.
Theory is freaked out again, tries to retreat but Lumnis drags Theory back in! Lumis has the foot, reels Theory in but Theory fights off the urenage! Lumis whips and gets Theory for the URENAGE! THE SILENCE!! Theory flails, endures, fades and is OUT! Lumis wins!!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by submission
But Cameron Grimes hits a CAVE-IN!! This is for Lumis looking at him funny last time! “When I ask you a question, you answer me, freak.” The Technical Savage takes his leave and heads “TO~ THE~ MOOOON~!”
Backstage interview with Dakota and Raquel.
They’re preparing for a match, but why attack Rhea in the first place? “As far as we’re concerned, Rhea involved herself in our business last week.” Tonight, Raquel takes care of Rhea once and for all. And as for Ember acting like she owns the place, get in line BEHIND Dakota when it comes to the title! Will these two assert their dominance in the NXT Women’s Division tonight?
NXT returns to a backstage interview with Cameron Grimes.
Why did he attack Lumis right after his match? “When I ask you a question, you answer. You don’t just there and stare at me like some kind of a freak.” Lumis, Holland, and whoever else will learn you do not mess with Cameron Grimes! Now excuse him while he goes, TO THE MOON~! Will someone bring Grimes back down to earth soon enough?
NXT presents Prime Target: TakeOver Epilogue!
The Bump before Sunday had Kyle O’Reilly on as a special guest. Does he feel it is finally his time? Kyle knows this is a huge opportunity for him. Every single moment in the last 15 years have built to this. Adam Cole said Kyle is one of the best in the world, and Wade Barrett on commentary said “This moment will change the trajectory of Kyle O’Reilly’s career and indeed his life.” Finn Balor said 99 times out of 100, TakeOver goes off the air with Kyle being champion. But Balor is that one time he doesn’t.
The match in itself was certainly TakeOver worthy, title worthy, and one for the ages! Kyle says he took his shot at the Prince. He didn’t miss, but he also got hit first. The mule kick to the liver was a definite game changer. He wasn’t going to stop fighting, but he had to admit there wasn’t much hope after. “That’s what makes a champion. Someone who is willing to continue despite there being no hope.” Kyle gritting it out alone made the match so compelling, but even Balor’s possibly broken jaw wasn’t enough to stop him. Blood from the mouths of both men, but respect was won. “Every once in awhile, you come across an opponent in this industry that brings out the best in you.”
Triple H says this exemplified NXT: Balor needing to go to the hospital, Kyle himself needing to recover and be off television. Balor will be able to talk only sparingly, but he is able to tell us that Kyle has that fire. Will this title reign be as good as the last? Just look to this match as the answer.
NXT Media catches up with Ridge Holland.
He attacked Adam Cole unprovoked, but why? “Last week, I didn’t have a Mercedes. This week I do. You can thank Adam Cole for that.” What does that mean? And what damage is the Northern Grit going to do in the ring tonight?
NXT returns with a backstage interview with Damian Priest.
He is still NXT North American Champion, and he has comments on his after party, so they get to that first. McKenzie, you know him too well these days. But yes, Priest’s after party was great. Great drinks, great people, great music, great times. Going into tonight, Priest has talked about his reign and his about living forever. But those aren’t phrases or empty words. Priest burned Gargano’s name into the title. So who’s next? There are plenty who want a shot, but if they want it, they have to come get it. If they want the title, they’ll get a Reckoning. Who steps up next to live in infamy?
Ridge Holland VS Danny Burch!
We’ve seen what Holland can do in the ring, and what he can do out of the ring judging from Adam Cole. But will the Gov’nah show Holland what he can do in the ring?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Holland spins Burch to clamp onto a shoulder and digs his fingers in. Holland then spins Burch to throw European Uppercuts! Holland snapmares Burch but Burch catches the crossface into a wrench! Burch wrenches again and manages to wrangle Holland down! Burch stands on Holland, Holland gets up and breaks free to ROCK Burch with a forearm! Burch throws forearms back, then haymakers! Holland swings into Burch’s EuroUpper! Burch puts Holland in a corner for stomps and haymakers! The ref counts, Burch lets up at 4 to then come back, into Holland’s forearm!
Burch and Holland brawl, Holland puts Burch in a corner but Burch ROCKS him again! Burch hops up, leaps and missile dropkicks! Holland staggers into a waistlock! Holland resists but Burch CLUBS him! Holland elbows Burch, away, swings but into Burch’s GERMAN SUPELX! LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Into a CROSSFACE! Burch holds on as Holland powers up, and Holland pries free to CLOBBER Burch! Holland scoops Burch for NORTHERN GRIT!! Cover, Holland wins!
Winner: Ridge Holland, by pinfall
Now that was a fight! Burch gets up to SLAP Holland! Holland HEADBUTTS and puts Burch in the corner, for MORE headbutts!! The fans boo but Holland won’t let up! Here comes Oney Lorcan, he dodges Holland to BLAST him with a EuroUpper! The Boston Brawler checks on Burch but Holland returns to CLOBBER Oney! Holland rains down furious fists and the ref shouts for help! More refs get in as Holland stomps Oney! Holland stops but tells the refs to stay back. Oney rises?! Oney fires up, runs and FLIES!! Direct hit and down goes Holland! Oney brings Holland up but Holland RAMS Oney into the apron!! Holland throws Oney in, Oney fires off SLAPS! Oney runs, into a LARIAT from Holland!! Holland rains down right hands on Oney then finally leaves!
But Oney still rises up?! Oney PLANCHAS and takes Holland down again! The refs throw up an X, there was something bad in that landing! Has Oney’s fury alone downed the mountainous man from Yorkshire? Oney goes back to Burch. The damage has been done to both sides, what is to come from all of this brutality?
Johnny Gargano tries out the new television.
“Impressive. Most impressive.” He calls Candice in and she sees he got this set up real fast. Wait, is he rewatching the Women’s Battle Royal? Why? There was a USB that came in the mail with the TV, and clearly, Indi is pointing herself out in that match. She was saving Candice a lot in the match. Candice didn’t really pay attention but this is interesting. Gargano knew he liked Indi for a reason. She has a bright future. Candice is starting to see what he means. Has #TJGW just found it’s first follower?
NXT returns to Thatch As Thatch Can.
The Professor of Pain, Timothy Thatcher, tells his students that tonight is a life lesson. They have learned, “Life will grind you down, until you quit.” But it’s also full of peaks and valleys. Just when you think you have the upper hand, it turns on you. So when opportunity presents itself, strike first! Thatcher snatches a student and drags him down to a Fujiwara! A title is like an arm or a leg. You can’t let it slip through your fingers! Victory is always at hand, and he shifts to a crossface. His victim- Er, student, taps out as Thatcher says, “A man is not defined by his losses. He’s defined by the everlasting pain that he inflicts.” Show discipline, this is life! Life grinds you down until you quit. That is why Thatcher will be damned if he lets it do that to him! He refuses to lose the fight, but will he be fighting for a title in the near future?
NXT has a medical update on Ridge Holland.
Oney stopped Holland’s path of destruction because the Plancha got his leg in an awkward position. The leg is wrapped, Holland is on a stretcher, but other than that, Holland is alright. Fans cheer in hopes he will recover. Scary as he is, Holland is still a bright star in NXT, hopefully he will return.
Shotzi Blackheart VS Xia Li!
The Wild Child already has her tank decked out for October 28th, because she’s going to host NXT’s resurrection of Halloween Havoc! But before all the fun, will Shotzi #TCB in the ring tonight?
The bell rings and Shotzi dropkicks Xia down! Xia gets up, Shotzi runs in again for a splash! Shotzi sends Xia out for a SLING DOG! Shotzi howls to the moon and KNEES Xia! Xia stays up and counters the kick to throw hands! Xia BACK HANDS and powers up to fire off knees! Xia back kicks Shotzi to a corner, storms over and rams into her! The ref counts, Xia lets off to bring Shotzi up for more shoulders! Xia is fired up as she puts Shotzi up top. Xia climbs to join Shotzi, fans rally up as Shotzi fights back! Shotzi clubs Xia, sends her down with GOURD BUSTER, then adjusts for the SUPER SENTON!! Cover, Shotzi wins!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall
Shotzi is rolling into Halloween Havoc, but wait. Boa is here and hands Xia a letter? She reads it and… She leaves with Boa, but what for? What is developing behind the scenes for the Spicy One?
Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez!
The Shenom was very cryptic about her return but was far more clear about her intentions. Of course, so was the Nightmare when she crashed Triple H’s Facebook Live preshow before TakeOver 31. At the same time, it’s clear everyone wants after the NXT Women’s Championship, but there can only be ONE #1 contender! Who shows they’re most deserving of being that one here tonight?
The teams sort out and Ember starts against Dakota to make her return official! They tie up, Ember wrenches the wrist and sweeps the legs! Ember runs and BOOTS Dakota down! Then she runs to drop a back senton! Cover, TWO! Ember keeps her cool as she drags Dakota up and suplexes her hard! Ember pushes Dakota around and talks some trash. Ember brings Dakota up, wrenches the arm again with some authority, but Dakota pulls hair to throw her down! Tag to Raquel but Ember gets around to try a sunset flip. Raquel drags Ember right up and shoves her away. Ember comes back, but her huricanrana is blocked! Raquel brings Ember up for a pop up but Ember lands on her feet! Ember dynamic dropkicks Raquel, and then again!
Raquel reverses the whip, corner splashes and tags in Dakota. Dakota clubs away on Ember, trips Ember up and covers, TWO! Dakota grins as she drags Ember up and SLAPS her! Ember scowls and ROCKS Dakota with forearms from all sides! Dakota bails out, Ember runs and DIVES! The LOWPE takes Dakota out at the ramp! Raquel runs over but Rhea CANNONBALLS onto her! Ember and Rhea high five and Ember puts Dakota in the ring. Tag to Rhea, she drags Dakota up and fireman’s carries. Dakota fights out, Raquel tags in but Rhea BOOTS Dakota down! Rhea chases after Dakota but Raquel BOOTS Rhea down to the floor! The ref reprimands as NXT goes picture in picture.
Ember checks on Rhea and coaches her up but that was a rough landing. Raquel fetches Rhea and CLUBS her, then brings her around to RAM her into the barriers! Those are solid and Rhea writhes, but Raquel puts her in the ring to cover. TWO, but Raquel reels Rhea into a chinlock. Raquel thrashes Rhea around but Rhea endures. Rhea fights up, throws body shots but Raquel throws her down by her hair! Raquel tags Dakota, they bring Rhea up and whip her into the corner. Dakota stomps Rhea, tags Raquel and Raquel throws haymakers! Tag back to Dakota, she stomps Rhea more, then smothers Rhea in the corner. Raquel tags in, the mugging cycle continues! Raquel runs in to splash and let Rhea flop down! Cover, TWO!
Rhea sits up but Raquel looms over her. Raquel brings Rhea up but Rhea throws body shots. Raquel CLUBS Rhea, brings her up and gut wrenches to a Canadian rack, then a modified Gory Especial! Rhea endures the stretching and bending as Raquel cranks on the arms! Raquel shifts to a crossface hold within the Especial! Rhea endures more, pushes and elbows Raquel in the face, and then arm-drags free! Dakota panics but Raquel stops Rhea and throws her away from Ember! Raquel and Ember talk smack on each other, Rhea KICKS from below! Raquel wobbles, Rhea dodges her but Raquel reels her in for a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Raquel and Dakota are frustrated but Dakota tags in. Raquel stands on Rhea’s leg and Dakota STMOPS Rhea down! Cover, TWO! Dakota cravats and wrenches the neck! Rhea fights up, arm-drags free again, and caches Dakota, only for Dakota to make it a guillotine facelock! Dakota tries to keep Rhea back but Rhea is powering her way towards the corner! Dakota shoves Rhea away but runs into a FLAPJACK! Both women are down, fans rally up as they crawl! Rhea kicks Dakota away, hot tag to Ember! Ember shotgun dropkicks Dakota! And spins her for a back kick, front kick, and then fires off on Raquel! Dakota goes after Ember but gets an uppercut! Ember sends Dakota into Raquel! Fans fire up as Ember SLIDING COMPETE SHOT on Raquel!
Ember runs at Dakota, dodges and goes around, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Dakota survives Ember’s fury but Ember brings her back up. Ember whips Dakota to a corner, runs in but Raquel gets Dakota out of the way! Dakota BOOTS Ember back, tags Raquel in and Raquel drags Ember up. Dakota runs to BOOT Ember into the POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!! Ember survives and Raquel is frustrated. Raquel drags Ember up, Ember fights out of the scoop and ROUNDHOUSES! Raquel wobbles, Dakota tags in but so does Rhea! Rhea ducks a kick, Electric Chairs Dakota and FACEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Dakota lives but Rhea has the legs! Raquel reaches for Dakota but Rhea kicks her down! Dakota is up and she kicks rhea’s leg out! She hops on, KAI-ROPRACTOR!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous as Dakota loses her cool. Dakota brings Rhea up, Rhea gets around to SUPERKICK! Rhea DECKS Raquel, brings Dakota over and Ember tags in! Rhea feeds Dakota to Ember’s DISCUS LARIAT! Cover, Raquel breaks it! Raquel suplexes Ember, Rhea pushes Ember so that it becomes a DDT! Raquel staggers up, Rhea clotheslines her out! Dakota BOOTS Rhea out, then runs at Ember, but is popped up for a BOMB!! Ember gets to a corner while Dakota rises, but Raquel CLOBBERS her! But Rhea KICKS Raquel back and hauls her off in a fireman’s carry! Dakota BOOTS Rhea and that sends Rhea and Raquel into the announce desk! Ember is back up, aims, ECLIPSE!! Cover, Ember and Rhea win!!
Winners: Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley, by pinfall
Ember’s new energy gives her old finish new impact! The Prophecy of Flame is looking to burn up NXT and make it hers once again, but will the Mosh Pit Kid have something to say about that?
A great episode but there was some rough stuff. It looked like we were about to get some great developments with the Undisputed Era and Holland story, but then things were a little too wild and aggressive with Burch and Lorcan. Lorcan was fine on his timing, but clearly Holland wasn’t ready in his positioning because that leg gets caught under him and squashed. Given the leg brace and stretcher, it does not look good at all, and I’m assuming he’ll be out until WrestleMania season. The story can continue, since Holland teased someone paid him to attack Cole. It can still be revealed as a member inside Undisputed Era who wanted Cole to be hurt, and we can still get whatever rumored split, it’s just a damn shame Holland can’t be part of it as far as in-ring.
According to commentary, Kushida VS Ciampa was moved up because they were brawling in the back before the show began. That’s good kayfabe, since it was advertised Ember would open the show. The match was great as both men have new mean streaks, but I didn’t not expect Dream to interfere. I wouldn’t mind if things shifted to Dream VS Ciampa so that Ciampa could also get a win off a major opponent, and a Triple Threat wouldn’t be bad either. Priest had a good promo putting forth he wants challengers, so maybe the Triple Threat of Dream, Ciampa and Kushida determines that contender. At the same time, Thatcher has a really good promo of his own to keep himself in the running for a title match of some kind. The Prime Target we got was a nice surprise, and it seems Balor will be just fine. Balor VS Thatcher in a prolonged story sounds great to me. Balor and Kyle proved they can get gritty, Thatcher is himself very gritty, so that’d be an incredible match.
Ruff got to have a good showing against Theory in that “warm-up,” and Theory had a really good match with Lumis right after. Grimes attacking out of nowhere was a great way to get his story with Lumis going, and that is going to be a great feud. Shotzi VS Xia was good but quick. I spotted people taking Shotzi’s tank away and I thought that was the new story development, but commentary didn’t say anything about it so I didn’t write anything about it. The real story is Boa apparently notifying Xia of something. That duo might be forming on television for a bigger story, which is great. I also like that there’s follow-up on Indi Hartwell helping Candice in the battle royal, and that she could end up a sidekick of sorts. Dakota has a sidekick, so why not Candice?
Toni Storm has a great vignette to give some context to her time away, and her return to the ring is going to be great. Dakota and Raquel VS Rhea and Ember was great, but of course Ember and Rhea win with Ember getting the pin. It makes Ember the clear frontrunner to challenge Shirai, but there has to be a match. Ember VS Rhea is good on its own, but if you throw Toni in to give us a Triple Threat there, that’d make it amazing! At this rate, and not to be mean to her, but Rhea seems to only be in the story to add some star power since she’s already such a big name in NXT. But in the end, she might be the one taking the Eclipse or Storm Zero to end the contender’s match.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/18/21)
Will Raw be on fire tonight?
Will Alexa Bliss have a twisted surprise for the Raw Women’s Champion?
She gave Randy Orton a taste of his own medicine, but she might be hungry for something more! Will Alexa be ready for Asuka and earn herself a shot at the title?
- Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce; Charlotte wins.
- Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution; Mace wins.
- Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; Baszler wins.
- Ricochet VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins, Ricochet is NOT in the Men’s Royal Rumble.
- Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Matt Riddle & The Lucha House Party; The Hurt Business wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS Jaxson Ryker w/ Elias; Hardy wins, by disqualification.
- Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; Bliss wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
“Now is the time.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s dream lives on, but only if we live it. Do not judge by the color of one’s skin, but by the content of their character. We will reach the promised land together. #LongLiveTheDream.
Randy Orton speaks.
“There is a saying that people who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes. Ashes of the one responsible for their affliction.” Orton wears a mask to cover his burned face. “The voices in my head have never been louder. Encapsulating my every thought, just like this mask encapsulates my face.” Orton held Alexa Bliss’ fate in his hands, yet showed a side of himself he didn’t know he had: compassion. Orton rewatches the footage for himself. The hatred he had for himself needed to be redirected, and he was ready to make Triple H “like a lamb to the slaughter, until she interrupted.”
It was only just last week that HHH was shockingly spirited away so that Alexa could throw a literal FIREBALL at Orton! “And now look at me. LOOK AT ME! This is the damnation I receive for showing compassion? I haven’t been able to sleep because every time I close my eyes, all I see is that ball of fire hurtling towards my face.” Orton seethes as he says “that inescapable feeling of the fire burning my flesh will never go away.” Whatever compassion was in him, it left with that inferno. Orton wears this mask to not only protect himself, but to shield everyone else from the horrors that he endured.
Orton watches himself from last week flail and writhe as he clutched his face in pain. “Despite the agony I felt that would mortify a lesser man, I consider myself… lucky.” Orton came away with just first degree burns and not much worse. He could’ve been disfigured forever! But Orton doesn’t blame Alexa. He blames THE FIEND! Orton already sent him straight to Hell. “There’s no doubt The Fiend is responsible for this. Alexa was merely the vehicle. And I know exactly what The Fiend wants. He wants to stop me from achieving the inevitable.” That is to say, winning the Royal Rumble again, going back to WrestleMania, and becoming a world champion.
Orton is sure everyone else in the locker room loved seeing his face burn, “knowing that their biggest threat may have just been eliminated from competing in the Royal Rumble match. But you could chop off all my limbs and it wouldn’t stop me from winning this year’s Royal Rumble match. Because despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the Royal Rumble match. I can only compete as long as I can tolerate the pain, but the funny thing is… I enjoy the pain. It fuels my every move.” Orton has a match! Orton wants everyone to thank The Fiend when he burns their dreams to ashes and goes on to main event WrestleMania! He lights the match, watches it burn, then blows it out. Will this new, even darker Orton extinguish 29 other lights before going back to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Ric Flair arrives at the ThunderDome, with Lacey Evans!
Lacey wants to hear some Four Horsemen stories but Charly Caruso comes over to ask about this “relationship” first. Lacey says that’s so nasty. This isn’t TMZ. This is beneath Charly! Charly is compelled to ask because Ric helped Lacey beat Charlotte Flair, his own daughter! Lacey says to show respect to the 16-time world champion, and a living legend. But to answer the question, there’s a reason Ric is the Dirtiest Player in the Game. He was just living up to that name. As far as the relationship goes, Lacey is simply learning from the greatest man to ever step in the ring. Now, they are going to go watch Peyton Royce knock the nasty Queen of her throne.
Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce!
But speaking of dirty, Peyton attacks Charlotte from behind at the ramp! They brawl, referees hurry to separate them but this match is going to happen, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings and Charlotte tackles Peyton to a corner! Then stomps away on her! The ref backs Charlotte off but she goes right back for more! She RAMS Peyton, RAMS her again, but Peyton sends Charlotte into buckles to fire stomps back! The ref counts, Peyton stops at 3 and brings Charlotte out to hammer away. Charlotte trips Peyton, gives some ground ‘n’ pound, then tackles her to ropes! They spill out of the ring and Charlotte CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Charlotte puts Peyton in but Peyton rolls out the far side. Charlotte pursues but Peyton kicks back, only for Charlotte to CLUB her, and bounce her off the desk!
Charlotte stalks Peyton around the way, they go back in the ring, then back out the ramp side. Another CHOP, CHOP and CHOP into the post! Peyton shoves Charlotte into the post, then into the ring! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is still in this but Peyton drags her around to drop elbows. Peyton puts on a thrashing chinlock but Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, arm-drags free, and CLOBBERS Peyton! Charlotte looms over Peyton, drags her up and bounces her off buckles. Charlotte bends Peyton against ropes, lets go at 3, and brings Peyton around for another buckle bump! Peyton dodges, Charlotte hits buckles, and Peyton throws Charlotte down by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is frustrated but she kicks Charlotte down and around. She pushes Charlotte to ropes, bumps her off buckles in return, then digs her boot into Charlotte’s face! The ref counts, Peyton lets off and bumps Charlotte off more buckles. Peyton whips corner to corner, Charlotte goes up and out to shoulder back in! Slingshot and roll up, TWO, but Charlotte ROCKS Peyton with a right! Charlotte blocks boots, has Peyton in the ropes, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! But now Ric makes his entrance?! Ric swaggers on stage and Charlotte is annoyed, because here comes Lacey in one of Ric’s robes!
Charlotte is confused as ever, but Peyton catches her with the HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Peyton is furious that Charlotte survives and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Peyton goes to buckle bump but Charlotte blocks to CHOP! And O’Conner roll, TWO! Charlotte goes into buckles but she dodges to send Peyton back into buckles! Both women are down and Peyton crawls away. Charlotte gets up, checks her nose, and then goes after Peyton. Peyton jawbreakers, whips, but Charlotte holds ropes to KICK back! Peyton dodges to HEEL KICK back! Peyton runs but Charlotte puts her on the apron, but Peyton SCORPION KICKS! Peyton goes up, leaps, but Charlotte gets under! Peyton turns around into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Cover, TWO!
Charlotte watches Peyton go to the apron, runs in and BOOTS her down! Charlotte dares Lacey to do something again, but no, Lacey stays in the back this time. Peyton drags herself up as the ring count is 8 and is in at 9, but gets stomped by Charlotte! Charlotte puts Peyton’s leg on the rope, then drops a knee, only to miss! Peyton mule kicks then hobbles away from her back hurting. She dodges Charlotte’s clothesline to elbow, kick and HEEL KICK, to then ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is furious and she drags Charlotte up to suplex. Charlotte slips out to CHOP BLOCK the leg! Knee breaker after knee breaker, Charlotte shows no mercy! Charlotte steps through, Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT! Peyton taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
But she doesn’t let go! She wants Peyton to suffer on behalf of Lacey! Charlotte finally does let Peyton go, will Peyton even be able to team with Lacey now? Will anyone want to?
Matt Riddle crosses paths with The Hurt Business.
Riddle just wants to say hi but MVP doesn’t want to hear it. Does he wear this same lame outfit on the streets? Of course. Riddle lives his life free and untethered. And unkempt, it seems. Uncalled for, bro. But Riddle will take the high road. Of course he will. Riddle just wants to say he admires how nice they all dress. MVP is like Gordy Gecko, then there’s “Ceddy the Cheddy,” and Benjamin spending the Benjamins. And of course, who would ever call Lashley “Slobby Bobby.” Lashley handles this and the others head out.
Lashley tells Riddle that if it were him, he actually likes the flipflops. But he heard they’re bad for your feet. What? No they’re not. Lashley STOMPS one of Riddle’s feet, and says that proves his point. Riddle says Lashley will see this foot later, right up his ass! Will The Bro and his “brochachos” make the Hurt Business pay in their 3v3 later tonight?
Raw returns as Lucha House Party checks with Riddle.
Is he going to be okay for the match? Riddle says when he was in high school, his cousin ran his foot over with his truck, and Riddle was still able to go to prom. He’ll just tape it up. If he says so…
Xavier Woods VS Mace w/ Retribution!
Here he goes again on his own! Mustafa Ali says this is their time to strike. Kofi Kingston at home with a broken jaw isn’t enough, Ali wants to break his spirit, and that’s by breaking one of his most beloved friends! Ali prays Kofi can’t compete or even be in Elimination Chamber or WrestleMania. Then Kofi will feel what Ali did just one year ago! Will this revenge a long time coming be carried out by the menacing monster at Ali’s command?
Ali shouts at Woods about Kofi being a coward. Woods DECKS Ali for that and the ref has to keep Retribution back! Woods is ready for a fight but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and the bell rings! Woods circles with Mace but is cornered! Mace keeps Woods from getting away but Woods CHOPS back, only for Mace to shrug it off. Woods and Mace go again, Woods CHOPS and fires off hands but Mace shoves him away. Woods kicks low, climbs up and throws more hands but Mace shoves him away again. Mace catches Woods with both hands and brings him out to center for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives but Mace choke grips Woods again and dead lifts him to shove him to a corner! Mace runs in to elbow Woods down! Ali mocks Woods’ pain as Mace whips Woods and KNEES him in the back! Mace looms over Woods, covers, TWO!
Mace sits Woods up, pries on fingers and then clamps on for a neck wrench! Woods endures, Mace fish hooks Woods’ mouth, and Ali says Kofi doesn’t need to worry. Woods will break his jaw and be right next to Kofi tomorrow. Woods bites Mace’s hand! Woods mule kicks, CHOPS away, then kicks low to CHOP and CHOP again! Mace ROCKS Woods with the uppercut! Mace whips, Woods dodges and ducks to dropkick a leg out! Woods keeps on Mace with haymakers and elbows! Mace shoves Woods away but Woods CLUBS him! Mace shoves Woods but runs into a boot! HONOR- NO! Choke grip! Woods fights the grip, gets free, and ENZIGURIS!
Mace flops out of the ring but Ali shouts at him to get back in. Mace goes up, but Woods baseball slides under Mace to hit Ali! Woods hits Mace off the apron again but Ali tells them they stop this. They’re going to shut Woods down! Mace gets in, the other members run distraction, Woods SUPERKICKS but runs into a BOOT! Mace drags Woods back up, fireman’s carries, and SWINGING AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, Mace wins!
Winner: Mace, by pinfall
Retribution wins again, and Ali stands over Woods. “Tell Kofi, Retribution says, ‘Get well soon.'” Ali and his cohorts are laughing now, but will Kofi make a comeback to shut them up?
Backstage interview with Asuka.
She’s been invited to Alexa’s Playground, what does she expect? Asuka honestly doesn’t know. But after seeing her set Orton on fire, Asuka hopes it isn’t Alexa’s dark side.
It’s the WrestleMania Report!
It’s Hank E. Panki, totally not Triple H, and Anita Reelman, totally not Stephanie McMahon. Don’t question it. But they’re sending it over to the weatherman, Sunny McCloud. Nope, it’s Roman Reigns, and there is no weatherman. Roman sits at the rightful place as Head of the Table. He’s not going to play along. But if they were, Paul Heyman is sure someone would say, “The extended forecast-” Paul, no. Just give it to them straight. Heyman says Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium will be the home of WrestleMania 37! Wow, big news! It’s going to be buck wild this April! And how great that they get to host WrestleMania again, for the first time.
But some real breaking news in sports, “Hailey Mary” and not Sasha Banks has the exclusive! But then an assistant makes sure she got the report about how WrestleMania is coming back to AT&T Stadium for 2022. Uh, y-yes, now she does! Now shoo. But you heard it here first! WrestleMania 38 will be right here in Texas! It doesn’t get much bigger than that! Dropping exclusives like it’s hot! And what a spectacle! Hank’s a spectacle. Rawr. But now, to Huge Kantseeme for entertainment news! Hugh? Hello? We can’t see him. It’s totally not John Cena! They love it when he does that. And you know what Huge loves? LA!
CUT! When Cena- er, uh, Hugh, says that, it sounds so fake. Um, Hugh, we’re live… Okay, he’ll try again. “Y’know what else I love? LA! That’s right, Hollywood!” Who doesn’t love drama? Cue zoom. Here’s some drama: WrestleMania is going Hollywood in 2023! PLOT TWIST! Thanks, Hugh, but you got a bit carried away. It will be in SoFi Stadium, or as Anita likes to call it, “So FINE Stadium.” Nothing like a good giggle. And that wraps things up for the WrestleMania Report. And we’re good. Phew! HHH and Stephanie take off the “costumes” and are pretty sure no one realized it was them all along. But yes, WrestleMania is all set for the next THREE YEARS! Who will make it to each of them? Will you be there?
Raw presents… Alexa’s Playground…!
Alexa goes to her swing and welcomes us back. She is so excited we’re all here, but before we get started, she wants to address The Viper in the room. “Randy, last week, I was just coming out here to talk to you. Y’know, clear the air. And then, things got a little… heated!” Alexa laughs at her own joke and says if Orton needs some sunblock, just let her know. But either way, good to see he’s feeling okay. Now to tonight’s very special guest! Alexa is so excited to invite her opponent, the Women’s Tag Team and Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA! Asuka makes her entrance, and joins Alexa on the swings. Alexa says no, that’s not her seat. Oh, okay…
Is Asuka okay? Yes, yes! Asuka is okay. Sorry, Alexa wasn’t talking to her. Oh, okay. Asuka says she’ll just stand over here by the slide… They giggle, and Asuka more nervously than Alexa. Alexa knows they have a match tonight but for now, let’s have fun! Alexa has breaking news! It’s big news! Should she tell them or do you want to, invisible friend? Okay, she’ll say it. Alexa is entering the Women’s Rumble! Asuka wishes Alexa good luck. But wait. If Alexa wins the Rumble match and Asuka is still champion, then they might face off at WrestleMania! Asuka says that would be her honor! And Asuka is a big fan of Alexa’s! Really? Yes! Thank you, that’s so sweet! Well of course! YOWIE WOWIE~!
Alexa doesn’t like Asuka saying that. Asuka hopes Alexa still wants to have fun. Let’s dance! It’s Asuka’s theme, but Asuka still dances. Alexa doesn’t want that. Alexa says STOP IT! Asuka’s music stops and Asuka is a bit startled. Alexa’s friend says something and Alexa says they’re right. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. If Alexa had done something differently, he’d still be here… Asuka says it’ll be okay. Asuka tries to explain in Japanese, and then says The Fiend’s still here. “Do NOT say his name!” Alexa then gets a smile as she waves at the rocking horse. Asuka is spooked and leaves the ring. Alexa switches to the rocking horse, but will she flip the switch when the bell rings?
Backstage interview with The Miz and John Morrison.
Can they give us a hint at what they have in store for Goldberg tonight on The Dirt Sheet? Oh, she wants to know? Of course Sarah wants to know! “I WANT THE SCOOP~!” NO! No spoilers. Tune in like everyone else. But what Miz will say is that what is in store will definitely be controversial. Controversy creates cash, much like the Money in the Bank. CHACHING!
Raw hears from Jeff Jarrett!
Double J has a prediction for Drew McIntyre VS Goldberg for the WWE World Championship at the Royal Rumble PPV. Jarrett knows both men, but he quotes his old buddy, Toby Keith. The hook goes, “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m good once as I ever was.” That will be the story of the Rumble, because we’ll see Goldberg’s Spear, Jackhammer and win for a NEW WWE World Champion! Will McIntyre deny that prediction when the match actually happens?
Mandy Rose w/ Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
While the #SexyMuscleFriends go to the ring together, the Queen of Spades gives fair warning backstage. “Last week, I made Mandy Rose tap out, and then I threw Mandy Rose out of the ring like an empty can of White Claw.” She promises to do the same thing tonight, and then everyone the Women’s Rumble better watch out because she’ll do the same to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Charlotte, Bayley, or even her own tag team partner. Nia is surprised by that, but it IS every woman for themselves. Nia says she’s been the one carrying the team, but will Shayna prove she can do bad all by herself after the break?
Raw returns and Nia joins commentary as the bell rings. Mandy and Shayna tie up, Mandy shoves Shayna then trips her up with a leg. Shayna gets up, Mandy waistlocks, rolls Shayna up, ONE! Shayna kicks Mandy’s legs out, KNEES her down then covers, TWO! Shayna drags Mandy around and clamps on with a neck wrench. Mandy endures and Dana coaches her up. Shayna drives an elbow into Mandy’s face! Shayna CLUBS Mandy, Mandy hits back but Shayna CLUBS and KICKS her around! Shayna throws forearms, drags Mandy up for knees, then snapmares to KICK her again! Cover, TWO!
Shayna is back on Mandy with the neck wrench. Mandy fires up, throws body shots but Shayna throws her down by her hair! Shayna clamps onto Mandy again, pulls on arm arm for a half straitjacket, then stands on the arm! It’s a new take on the ARM STOMP! Dana checks on Mandy but Shayna tells her to back off. Mandy rolls Shayna up, TWO!! Mandy runs Shayna over but shakes out the bad arm. Mandy ducks a kick and uses the good arm to lariat over and over! And hit a FLAPJACK! Mandy manages a kip up, runs in and powers Shayna to a corner! Mandy fires off forearms, the ref backs her off but Mandy comes back to throw more forearms and even stomps!
The ref counts, Mandy backs off but Shayna gets around to KICK the bad arm! Shayna wrenches that arm, but Mandy fires off forearms with the other! Mandy pulls Shayna’s hair but Shayna twists the arm! KEYLOCK TAKEDOWN! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Mandy taps, Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by submission
The Queen of Spades took care of this by herself, just as she said she would! Nia says Mandy almost had her, but Shayna argues it wasn’t even close. But Dana sneaks up and dropkicks Nia into Shayna, and they both hit post! The Flex Appeal gets away with Mandy, and they aren’t out of the running yet! Will one of these women win the Women’s Rumble to go after the Raw Women’s Championship?
Shayna and Nia argue backstage.
Shayna says that was Nia’s fault for getting involved but Charly Caruso comes by to ask about them not getting along. Well they’ve never really gotten along, even as champions. But meanwhile, the current champions, Charlotte has her daddy issues and Asuka is being creeped out by Alexa, are they really getting along? In fact, now is the perfect time to get that rematch for the titles! Nia says that’s actually a good idea. They go off to find management, will they regain the gold before getting into the Rumble?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
Before discussing the tag titles, how uncomfortable was it for her to see Lacey wearing one of Ric’s robes? Ever since stepping foot in the ring, people accuse her of living off her family name. Now there is literally a woman draping herself on Ric’s arm, begging for her 15 minutes of fame, and living off the name! Charlotte knows that Lacey is just using Ric to get to her. But Charlotte’s been learning from Ric her entire life. She just never went down that path. Maybe Charlotte needs to rethink things, because one person can only take so much trash. Lacey may have one of Ric’s robes, but she will never has Charlotte’s crown.
Adam Pearce talks with Ricochet.
We know that there are superstars who need to earn their way into the Rumble match. And this match is perfect timing. A win can go a long way towards opportunities. Ricochet is just glad to have this opportunity. Maybe this is the start to his road to WrestleMania. But then AJ Styles comes by and says it’s funny that Pearce is talking about opportunities. Who would take advice from Pearce, who just literally ran away from the Universal Championship? Yes, he would’ve lost, been embarrassed, but at least he’d have his dignity. Look at Ricochet. Ricochet is going to lose, but he’ll lose with dignity.
Ricochet says Styles has selective amnesia, like 50 First Dates. What’s he talking about? Well, Drew Barrymore’s character couldn’t remember a thing past a certain date because- Styles knows the movie! It’s in his top ten, right next to The Notebook. What’s he talking about here tonight? Ricochet’s point is that Styles has forgotten about TLC when he got embarrassed- Hey! That was The Miz’s fault! Well all Ricochet knows is that Styles will need more than a seven foot giant by his side to prove Ricochet doesn’t belong in the Rumble. The One and Only heads out to the ring, but will he be better than Phenomenal once again?
Ricochet VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
Styles hangs back long enough to tell Pearce that he doesn’t like him anymore. And when he doesn’t like someone, Omos doesn’t like someone. Omos literally looks down on Scrap Daddy, but what will Pearce do about it, after the break?
Raw returns and Styles makes his entrance. The bell rings, Styles and Ricochet circle, tie up, and Styles powers Ricochet to a corner. The ref counts, Styles lets off and Ricochet circles with him again. They tie up, Styles headlocks, Ricochet tries to power out but Styles holds on tight. Styles grinds Ricochet down, Ricochet rolls to a cover, ONE and Styles holds on. They get up, Ricochet tries to power out again but Styles still holds on. Ricochet makes it a cover again, ONE! Ricochet throws body shots, powers out this time but blocks Styles’ kick to hit an arm-drag! Ricochet whips, Styles gets around to backslide, but Ricochet rolls through. Styles reels Ricochet in but Ricochet trips him up to jackknife bridge! TWO, and Styles tilt-o-whirls to a sunset flip, TWO!
Styles wants the Clash but Ricochet pops free to get around and roll him up, TWO! Ricochet dodges, runs, and headscissors! Styles pops up but into a RANA! Styles is back again, Ricochet rolls and handsprings to headscissor again! Styles is dizzy and flounders, into a dropkick! Ricochet talks some smack to Omos as Styles flounders out. Ricochet runs, slides, but Styles catches him, only for Ricochet to still headscissor him! Ricochet is getting fired up, but Omos glares at him from around the way. Ricochet puts Styles in and follows, but Styles runs in. Ricochet sends Styles out, slingshots, but Omos catches him!
The ref warns Omos to set Ricochet down, and Omos DROPS Ricochet! Ricochet is down but not out yet, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Styles drags Ricochet up to bump him off buckles. Styles scoops Ricochet for a RUNNING BACKBREAKER! Ricochet writhes but Styles paces around. Styles sits Ricochet up to dig a knee in and clamp on with the chinlock. Ricochet endures, fights his way up and throws body shots. Jawbreaker! Styles staggers, but he dodges to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! Ricochet lands on his feet! Ricochet dodges Styles, runs and tilt-o-whirls for the DDT! Both men are down and Omos stares as fans clap on their screens. Ricochet gets to ropes and uses them to get up, and he counter punches Styles then fires off strikes! DISCUS LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Ricochet is frustrated but Omos is relieved as Styles survives. Ricochet fireman’s carries but Styles fights out. Ricochet mule kicks a leg then back flips into the DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO! Ricochet grows further frustrated but he watches Styles stand. Ricochet runs out from the corner but Styles dodges. Styles runs in, Ricochet elbows back, QUEBRADA into a LARIAT! Styles gets Ricochet up, SNAP BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Styles fireman’s carries Ricochet for USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Omos says it’s alright but Styles is still surprised Ricochet survives!
Styles goes to a corner, goes to the apron, and takes aim. Styles springboards, but Ricochet hits the RECOIL!! Both men are down, Ricochet crawls to the cover, TWO!! Styles survives and Ricochet is beside himself! Ricochet goes to the corner, climbs up top, but Styles trips him up! Ricochet lands hard on his stomach and flops to the apron! Omos coaches Styles as Ricochet drags himself up. Styles goes to the corner, brings Styles up, but Ricochet hotshots! Ricochet aims, slingshots, but into Styles’ suplex, that rebounds off the ropes! Into the STYLES CLASH!!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Now that was a PHENOMENAL way to win a match! But once again, Styles denies another entry into the Rumble, will he continue to eliminate superstars before they ever get in?
Raw presents The Dirt Sheet!
The Miz and John Morrison are in the ring and Morrison welcomes us. When you want to enjoy a top tier steak dinner, you’ve gotta be ready to pay the bill. And Miz says tonight is the biggest edition of Dirt Sheet ever. It will be extra dirty because tonight’s guest is someone who everyone knows and loves, someone who was a childhood hero to many adults, and could be a hero to an entirely new generation if he defeats Drew McIntyre for the WWE World Championship at the Royal Rumble PPV! Welcome the biggest guest in Dirt Sheet history, one of the most intimidating men to ever step inside the wrestling ring, the legendary WWE Hall of Famer, it’s GOLD~ BERG!
Goldberg makes his entrance and both Miz ‘n’ Morrison are excited. Wait a minute, that’s GILLBERG! And he still gets hurt by those sparklers. Morrison and Miz can’t believe “Goldberg” is more massive than before. Now, the Rumble will be one of the most important matches in his career, it’ll be like Godzilla VS King Kong! How has he been preparing? Well first, he bashes his head into the wall because he’s so pumped up. The adrenaline is flowing, the veins are hyped and he’s foaming at the mouth! There’s smoke coming out of his nose and fire out of his ass! Okay just be careful not to hit a ring post. And careful with those chairs, they’re not cheap.
Wait, Drew McIntyre is here?! Miz and Morrison are surprised most of all! Wait, that’s not even close. That’s an impersonator with a wig! And he has a tiny toy sword! “That’s the ‘Clayless,'” says Samoa Joe. Miz and Morrison give Drew “Mockingtire” roll in, and the Dirt Sheet just keeps getting bigger! Mockingtire says he is here to meet his opponent face to face. Let’s not get into fisticuffs, Dirt Sheet is classy. Use your words. Does Mockingtire have anything to say to Gil- er, Goldberg? “I’m gonna kick yer ass back to 1998, and then I’m gonna go home and eat some haggis!”
Whoa, c’mon, the Scottish accent is more like this, mate. Are they going to cut and go again? NO IT’S LIVE! Morrison, where did you find this guy? New Jersey… No, the best actors are from New York, LA and Cleveland! Cleveland?! What? Because of Miz! But now this show is a train wreck! What are they even doing? Gillberg? Really? Miz, you’re making this awkward. Oh HE’s making this awkward?! This was MORRISON’S stupid idea! It’s a GREAT idea! It’s comedy gold! Pff, it’s not even comedy silver! Gillberg speaks up and does his crazy Goldberg face. Oh shut up! And let’s just do the thing.
“Hey, John~!” “Yeah?” “Is Goldberg going to lose at the Royal Rumble?” Of course! CORRECT! But is Drew McIntyre also going to lose at the Rumble? Duh. CORRECT! But how can that be? Because The Miz will cash in his MITB contract. COOOOOOOOOOOORRECT! “You are looking at the future WWE Champion, because I’m the Miz! And III’M! NEXT!” Miz is finally getting serious, but will he make the real Goldberg and McIntyre the butt of his joke?
Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Matt Riddle & The Lucha House Party!
The WWE United States Champion put the hurt on The Bro both last week in their title match, but also earlier tonight just to bully him. But will the Golden Lynx and King of the Ropes help Riddle rebound while also getting themselves an opportunity at the Raw Tag Team Championships?
Raw returns as Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik make their entrance, followed by Riddle. Alexander insists he start and Metalik starts with him. Alexander kicks low, clubs away on Metalik then talks trash. Alexander throws forearms and puts Metalik in a corner to whip corner to corner., Metalik boots back, runs and slings but into a back suplex! Metalik lands on his feet, dodges but Alexander dropkicks! Alexander says that’s how you do it, but MVP says don’t talk about it, just do it. Alexander doesn’t want to tag and he CHOPS Metalik! He scoops Metalik to a backbreaker! Alexander stares Benjamin down as he lifts Metalik again, but Metalik slips out to get to his corner and tag in Lince!
Metalik boots Alexander away, Lince jumps in and gets a boost for the FLYING RANA! Lince clubs away on Alexander, wrenches, but Alexander ROCKS him with a right! Alexander CLUBS Lince, and now he wants a tag, only for Benjamin and Lashley to let him handle this. Alexander turns around into CHOPS! Lince QUEBRADAS! Cover, TWO!! Alexander narrowly escapes but Lince clubs away! Lince gets the arm, Alexander fights up and pulls the mask! Alexander puts Lince on the ropes, throws body shots, and Benjamin tags himself in. The tag champions glare at each other, then Benjamin circles with Lince. Lince rolls Benjamin, TWO, Benjamin CLOBBERS Lince!
Benjamin puts Lince in a corner, whips him corner to corner hard, and storms over to cover, TWO! Tag to Lashley, the Hurt Business whip and double shoulder Lince down! Lashley throws Lince to a corner, fires off haymakers, then bumps Lince off buckles. Alexander tags himself in and drags Lince up for forearms. Benjamin tags himself in and MVP wants his guys to stop arguing. Benjamin keeps Lince in the corner and he fires off haymakers and stomps. Lince tries to fight out but Alexander tags himself back in. Alexander whips, Lince handsprings, GOLDEN REWIND! Both men are down, MVP says this is what happens!
Alexander drags Lince from his corner in time, and tags Benjamin in. The tag champions argue again, and then Benjamin shoves Alexander right out of the ring! MVP keeps Alexander back, Lashley tags in, but Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Alexander is on Lince with an armlock. Metalik and Riddle rally for Lince as he endures and fights up. Lince clubs but Alexander WRINGS his arm out! Cover, TWO! Alexander smothers Lince with a chinlock and reaches out for a tag. Lashley takes it and he drags Lince up to bring him around for a scoop and SLAM! Lashley asks why Alexander has a problem but MVP says to worry about that later. Lashley tags Benjamin, Benjamin drags Lince around and TOSSES him across the way! Benjamin drags Lince back up, snap suplexes, then takes his time looming over Lince. Alexander tags himself back in and Benjamin contains his frustration.
Alexander bumps Lince off buckles, fires off hands, but lets off at the ref’s count of 4. Alexander hoists Lince up top, throws hands, but Lince throws them back! Alexander staggers, Lince adjusts and leaps, BIG crossbody! Lince bounces off the cover but both men are down! The fans clap on their screens, hot tags to Riddle and Benjamin! The Bro spins Benjamin around for a PELE! Kip up and forearm smash! Riddle runs to DECK Lashley, then he forearms Benjamin again! Benjamin holds off the suplex to throw knees, then a powerbomb lift. Riddle fights out, ROUDNHOUSES then Penalty Kicks, only to miss! Benjamin rolls, Riddle rolls through, FINAL FLASH! Cover, TWO!
MVP panics as Riddle goes up, FLOATING BRO FLOPS! MVP shouts as Riddle crawls, hot tag to Metalik! Metalik springboards to crossbody! Then he brings Benjamin up to knuckle lock and CHOP! Metalik goes up, up and RANA! Metalik runs, wheelbarrows but Benjamin SLAMS Metalik down! Alexander tags in again, for a BRAIN BUSTER! Alexander gets fired up but Lashley tags himself in. Lashley runs past Alexander to DECK Riddle, then SPEAR Metalik! But Lashley isn’t done, he puts on the HURT LOCK! Metalik taps, The Hurt Business wins!
Winners: The Hurt Business, by submission
Lashley sees Alexander and Benjamin arguing again, but Riddle CLOBBERS Lashley! Riddle gets away because the Hurt Business isn’t on the same page! Will they be able to pull things together to keep the gold in their possession?
Elias talks with Jaxson Ryker backstage.
After the miscommunication last week, The Drifter hopes he and Ryker don’t misunderstand each other this time. When Elias told Ryker not to help him, he didn’t mean it, he was being subtle. Ryker took it literally, signals got crossed. Signals? This isn’t Thomas the Tank Engine, this is Monday Night Raw! This is the WWE! And WWE stands for #WalkWithElias. That Ryker understands. Now Ryker did not walk with Elias last week. But tonight, when they take on Hardy again, what is Ryker’s mission? To finish what Elias started, embody the Universal Truth, and beat Hardy until he accepts the truth. Good. They head out, and Ryker double checks. Is Elias not helping in the match or “not” helping in the match? Just go…
Drew McIntyre speaks!
He’s still asymptomatic for COVID and is feeling stronger than ever. But he’s still at home. He had a good laugh at Gillberg and the mini-McIntyre “with the body of a melted candle.” But the WWE is like the circus, with a little bit of everything for everyone. There are clowns like Miz ‘n’ Morrison, then the lions like McIntyre. And sometimes, the lions eat the clowns. McIntyre promises to see them again really soon.
But that wasn’t reality. The reality is, the championships aren’t given. But they can be taken, and in McIntyre’s case, it could be at a Spear or Jackhammer’s notice. McIntyre respects Goldberg, but he won’t hold back to keep his title. McIntyre never misses. He will be prepared, focused and intense. That same intensity he saw in Goldberg’s eyes. Not the kind in the delusions he had or the words Goldberg put in McIntyre. McIntyre means the intensity when he insulted Goldberg. That look was the real Goldberg!
McIntyre suggests Goldberg bring that guy to the Rumble because that’s what the title deserves. If he doesn’t, McIntyre will eat him alive in two minutes. But if Goldberg wants to try again, McIntyre will be back on Raw next week! Will there be thunder and lightning from these two titans even before the Rumble?
Jeff Hardy VS Jaxson Ryker w/ Elias!
The Charismatic Enigma knew The Drifter’s thumb was not broken last week, and he made sure Elias did not get away unscathed. But while Elias had a helping hand in Ryker’s win over the living legend, will they not get away with it again?
The bell rings and Ryker runs in but Hardy dodges him! Hardy puts Ryker in a corner, rams his shoulder in over and over, but Ryker turns things around to throw body shots! The ref counts, Ryker bumps Hardy off buckles then watches him flounder around. Ryker toys with Hardy, Hardy hits back but Ryker CLUBS him down! Ryker drags Hardy up, puts him in the corner and whips him corner to corner. Hardy goes up, mule kicks back then headscissors Ryker to ropes! Ryker flounders up but Hardy rallies with forearms! Atomic drop, leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick and a splash added on, cover, ONE!
Hardy keeps his cool and watches Ryker stand. Ryker blocks the kick but not the spinning back kick! Hardy runs in to corner splash, then he whips corner to corner, only to miss. Ryker runs back in and CLOBBERS Hardy! Elias likes that as Ryker covers, TWO! Ryker drops ax handles on Hardy again and again, then rains down right hands! The ref counts, Ryker lets off, and he drags Hardy up to back suplex! Cover, TWO! Ryker drags Hardy into a chinlock and grinds him down! Hardy endures, fights up and throws body shots to then jawbreaker free! Kick and TWIST OF FURY! Hardy throws off his shirt, climbs up top, but Elias again interferes! The ref saw it this time, that’s a disqualification!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification
Ryker is a bit upset, didn’t they agree Elias was not going to help? Elias thought they agreed he was “not” going to help, aka he would. But it doesn’t matter as Hardy WRECKS Elias with a dropkick! Ryker is after Hardy again but gets another Twist! He powers out, Hardy dodges but runs into a SCRAPBUSTER! Elias gets in to stand tall with Ryker, and it looks like this issue is not over. What will it take to finally get Hardy to #WalkWithElias?
Asuka VS Alexa Bliss!
The encounter earlier tonight was eerie and scary, but now the Empress and Lil’ Miss Bliss will battle it out! Will Asuka be able to shrug off the chill up her spine? Or will she be burned by the darkness lurking inside Alexa?
The bell rings and Alexa smiles as she and Asuka circle. They tie up, go around, and Asuka wrenches to a wristlock. Alexa rolls, wrenches back, but Asuka moves around to spin, wrench and wristlock again. Alexa steps through, slips through and headlocks. Asuka fights out, pushes Alexa and then follows to run her over! Asuka has fun now as she dances around, but then she runs, Alexa trips her up, and Alexa Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Alexa sits and smiles and Asuka runs in, but Alexa ducks the kick to roll her up! TWO, and Asuka fires off palm strikes, body shots and a BACK HAND! Asuka shoves, pop-up KNEES Alexa down, then SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!
Asuka keeps cool as Alexa is smiling about getting hit. Asuka sits Alexa up and says no more fun, she wants her lock! Alexa resists the armlock and chinbar, pries free, but Asuka wrangles her back down. Alexa fights again, gets up, and gest to ropes! The ref calls for the break and Asuka lets off fast. Alexa is outside, Asuka runs and slides but Alexa gets under. Alexa gets in the ring, and then the screens start to change? The lights are going down! What is this warped circus music?! Raw goes to break while things get creepier!
Raw returns once more and Alexa is standing there, but has transformed! Her makeup, hair, outfit, it’s all different! Asuka is as confused as we are as to how she did this! Asuka circles but Alexa doesn’t budge. Alexa watches Asuka then finally takes a step. They circle slowly, commentary doesn’t even want to talk too loudly. Asuka swings a back hand but Alexa easily avoids it! And the same for the roundhouse kick! Alexa deflects Asuka’s strikes, ducks one kick but not the mule kick! Asuka runs but into a shoulder! Alexa’s stoic as Asuka rolls out of the ring. Asuka is getting mad and she gets back in the ring. The two circle again, Asuka blocks Alexa’s punch, POP-UP KNEE!
Alexa staggers to a corner, Asuka runs in, but Alexa does the SPIDER WALK! That’s just like Bray Wyatt! Alexa stands upright, wipes some blood from her mouth, and then just stares at her hand. Asuka waits on Alexa, but Alexa wants to grab at Asuka! Asuka fights off the Mandible Claw! Alexa kicks, Asuka blocks, waistlock but Alexa elbows out! And DECKS Asuka! Cover, TWO!! This dark side of Alexa’s that Asuka was talking about is stoic again as she paces about. Asuka shakes out the cobwebs as she sits up, but Alexa walks over to look at her in the eyes. Alexa lifts Asuka up by her chin, Asuka ROUNDHOUSES! And BACK HANDS! ANOTHER ROUNDHOUSE!!
Asuka fires up, drags Alexa up but Alexa grabs Asuka and smirks! SISTER ABIGAIL!! Cover, Alexa wins!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall
Alexa just pinned Asuka!! And then in a flash, she’s back to her bubbly side! “Let me in!” She spoke with The Fiend’s voice!! Maybe Asuka was right, he IS still here! But if she truly #LetHimIn, will there be any stopping her on the road to WrestleMania?
A really good episode tonight! For starters, less strange copy-paste from last week, and they did continue with stories that got started last week to great effect. I am a little saddened that it seems we’re no longer doing Ricochet VS Retribution if only for now, but I do like how they shifted to make Retribution’s story work against The New Day. They had Ali bring back things that happened all the way back in 2019 when #KofiMania happened for WrestleMania 35. I hope we get Ali VS Kofi out of this, on top of New Day VS the various combinations of Retribution. Ricochet VS AJ Styles was a great match, perhaps one of the most creative ways to get someone into the Styles Clash, and it is interesting that Styles is the gatekeeper to the Men’s Rumble on Raw.
Charlotte VS Peyton was a very good showing for Peyton, even though she loses. They aren’t overdoing things with Lacey and Ric just yet, so it isn’t exactly cringeworthy. Though, the endgame is clearly Lacey using Ric just to get at the tag titles. Shayna beats Mandy Rose down again, but it was pretty good for Dana to get the better of her and Nia. Nia and Shayna want a tag title match and that probably happens on the go-home to the Rumble. I can see the distractions for Charlotte getting the better of the #QueensOfTomorrow, and the titles going back to Nia and Shayna, but there could still be dysfunction on the other end that changes that around.
Dysfunction is also growing in the Hurt Business, and while it’s a bit early, they are acting it out very well. Alexander is too fired up and thinking he’s the one winning everything, but it was a good move for Lashley to take over the match and put this away for the team. LHP is doing a lot with also having their part in the Dusty Rhodes Classic on NXT, but I think that means they can fall back on one show if they’re losing in the other. And I would think Riddle is getting another match for the US Championship, but perhaps after the Rumble. Hardy VS Ryker was better than last week, but the story is still something that they’re clearly trying to force more Elias and Hardy stuff.
The Dirt Sheet having Gillberg and a fake McIntyre was actually a great twist. It was goofy in the right way, and it was made even better with Miz getting serious to top it off. I suppose he does have a point that he can cash in again, or rather “actually” this time, against McIntyre and Goldberg, but that seems like an even worse idea than at TLC if you go by Goldberg’s kayfabe rankings. McIntyre had a good response promo, and it’s great to know he’ll be back already. I don’t expect him and Goldberg to throw hands, but I bet there will be a tease of Goldberg getting hit with a Claymore or McIntyre getting hit with a spear. And Goldberg should prioritize Spear so that he doesn’t have to risk lifting then dropping McIntyre.
The related stories of Orton, Fiend and Alexa just got even more interesting. Orton has an apparently medical lucha mask now, adding a new layer to how creepy he’s being lately. It’s like he’s becoming The Fiend after having burned The Fiend alive in a twisted version of the Santa Clause. And at the same time, Alexa has inherited The Fiend’s powers, too. She really creeped Asuka out, and that’s not so bad, because while Asuka can be scary, Alexa is being a different kind of scary. Giving Alexa her own transformation was a great twist, and this Alexa could probably take the Raw Women’s Championship.
And to be fair, it would be better if we got Asuka VS Twisted Bliss Alexa at Rumble because it’d be a lot for Alexa, even this new form of hers, to win the Rumble when there are many great contenders from both Raw and SmackDown. Bayley and Bianca are a strong rivalry from SmackDown and one of them probably deserves to win so they can challenge Sasha Banks.
My Score: 8.3/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill Results & Match Ratings: 1.16.21
Three title matches, the return of Decay, Barbed Wire Massacre and a main event with Kenny Omega. Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill definitely sounds like it’s got a little bit of everything. Check out how it went!
So the news that made many people cry a few days ago, was that Alex Shelley would be out of the main event. He went out of his way to film a response/promo/apology so fans knew it was something non-pandemic related, so that was an effort that wasn’t necessary, though appreciated.
Aside from losing it’s “Dream Match” luster, we get Moose as a replacement, which could really work for the cold calculated persona he’s taken on after his EC3 encounter. We also get to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions for the first time in seven and a half years. Let’s also not forget, this could end up being Taya’s swan song from Impact, so we should expect a good match but no Wera Loca victory.
Let’s see if we get any surprises!
- Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb: Steve wins via King Kill 33 @8:55 – * ½
- Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake: EY wins via Piledriver @9:55 – ** ½
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok: Kiera wins via Face the Music @8:40 – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via DQ @2:30 – N/A
- X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey: Manik retains via Ole Cradle @13:50 – *** ½
- Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay: Deonna retains via Venus de Milo @11:40 – *** ¼
- Ethan Page vs The Karate Man: Karate Man WINS…Fatality – 200 Stars
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards: Eddie wins via Diehard Flowsion @18:50 – *** ¾
- Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows: Kenny Omega wins via One Winged Angel @20:30 – ****
During the last few moments of the Countdown, Madison Rayne officially retired from wrestling and from Impact Wrestling. Not sure how long she’ll stay a house wife, but good for her. She did great to actually prove to people she was a decent wrestler since her run during the WOH tournament, she was a fun commentator, so good for her.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb
The weird thing about this match was the dynamic between who was involved and what went on. Crazzy Steve showed a very high work rate in this match, with his strikes and moves looking fantastic. But Rosemary got exposed a bit on still being less than 100% with the knee and generally sloppy on a lot of spots.
Kaleb and Tenille definitely tried to add comedy and their quirky personalities, but the fact that we saw a lot of sloppiness, Steve working his ass off and just comedy spots or gimmick spots too often; this was a giant mess of a match. It also didn’t help that D’lo and Striker are still getting used to each other, so the announcing was distractingly bad.
It can only get better from here!
Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
This starts the same way every Tommy Dreamer match starts, with a brawl and weapon use. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s really not anything worth going deeply in to. EY did the flair corner to top rope spot, which ended with Dreamer hitting him with a cookie sheet. We had a Tower spot in the corner, with Joe Powerbombing a Suplex, and it landed right into Dreamer’s face.
Doering got to look like a beast when the entire team took the chairs to him, and he still fought back, ending up in control. Dreamer introduced tacks, then we saw the Signature/Finisher spam which ends with EY breaking up the pinfall and hitting Cousin Jake with the Piledriver.
Again, decent enough, but nothing really special.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
Oh, Brian Hebner is back for this match. Slightly surprising.
Kiera and Tasha try to start fast, but the bigger women over power the smaller team and throw them around a little bit. Havok beats up on both of them, Neavaeh comes in to keep up the momentum, but eventually Tasha and Kiera start making a comeback. We see Fire and Flava go for a lot of quick spots, fast tags and trying to spin around the larger women, but they just get taken for a ride more often than not.
It’s not until Kiera hits a High Round Kick, followed by Tasha with the Springboard Neckbreaker actually takes Havok off her feet. Nevaeh tries to make a save and get things back on track, but Tasha picks her leg, Havok gets wiped out after a great Super Kick from Kiera, Tasha and Kiera use some tandem attacks on Nevaeh, then Tasha slows down Havok as Kiera hits Face the Music and we have new Knockouts Tag Team Champions!
Ace Austin comes out to declare himself into the X Division Triple Threat to make it a 4 way! D’Amore comes out, says he can have a match, just not the title match. Matt Cardona comes out.
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona
Ace tries to go at Cardona before the ring jacket is off, but Cardona absorbs some offense and then fires back a bit. Fulton gets in the way quite often during this match, so the finish is a little telegraphed. But right as Cardona starts building momentum; Fulton slides in to cause the DQ.
Decent enough way to protect Ace and give Cardona quick win.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.
Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
Early on all of the seconds get kicked out, with the beauty of the situation being that Susan pulls out her phone and says she’s filming the whole thing. So Susan, really may be a middle aged transformation of Su Yung. Susan might as well be named Karen.
EVERYBODY has been ejected from ringside.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
As we focus on the actual match, Deonna starts slowly picking apart Taya. Going after her left arm, then her left knee and just trying to apply submission and weaken different limbs. Taya was able to push back and have her own submission attempt moment. Taya went for an STF, but the submission game isn’t her wheelhouse.
Deonna was able to pick her apart, counter a pinfall attempt and keep Taya grounded long enough to work in some holds. The normal Fujiwara didn’t get her submit, so Venus de Milo followed up and Taya verbally submitted.
Ethan Page vs The Karate Man
Since this is cinematic or at least green screen, I won’t rate this as a real match. But it was amazingly entertaining. Dragon Ball Z references, Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat references, it was just amazing.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!
Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.
Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!
Eddie hasn’t hit that Flowsion in a long time. I did appreciate Sami paying homage to Cactus Jack and Striker acknowledging Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa on commentary though.
Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
The early onset is interesting. Karl Anderson and Chris Sabin start off and there’s some solid technical counter wrestling, and it’s fast paced action. Moose and Gallows come in to do a big boy showdown which worked fairly well, where Swann and Omega had a brief lockup before the Brothers come in to start heeling it up.
We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
Well this started off pretty bad, but at least it built upwards. The main even had a lot of fun wrinkles which increased the storytelling, psychology and overall enjoyment of the show. Hell even when Callis nearly jumped into the ring to break up a pin on Kenny was a good little nugget.
As I said in the weekly coverage, this is probably Taya’s final match, or at least one of the last, especially since they logically moved Rosemary back to Decay with Crazzy Steve. Eddie and Sami had a hell of blood feud and it was nearly cathartic. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Tasha and Kiera actually won the Knockouts Tag titles. I almost thought they wouldn’t win just because they are so charismatic and attractive without the titles, where Havok and Nevaeh don’t exactly have electric personalities. But I’m ecstatic that Kiera finally has a title in Impact!
With the pretty awful start for the wrestling and the commentary, which put the show behind the eight ball; but it did recover fairly well. Not nearly as good as Genesis, but it managed to keep the stories rolling and end on an interesting note. A pretty good show after all was said and done.
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