Who will challenge THE NXT Champion?
Before going home for the holidays, NXT has some business to sort out! Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne fight for the right to challenge Finn Balor for his title!
- Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff; Gargano & Theory win.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Tyler Rust; Ciampa wins.
- NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Pete Dunne VS Kyle O’Reilly; O’Reilly wins and will challenge Finn Balor for the title at New Year’s Evil.
- Shotzi Blackheart VS Indi Hartwell w/ The Way; Shotzi wins, by disqualification.
- Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS Desmond Troy; Kross wins.
- Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley; Storm wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory w/ Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff!
#TheJohnnyGarganoWay is growing, from having the North American Championship to having a new member in #TheRealSuperstar! But things might not go The Way’s way now that the Time Splitter is Ruff’s tag partner! Will Kushida help NXT’s top underdog get one over on #TheWayAllDay?
The teams sort out, Kushida insists on starting and he wants Gargano! Gargano steps up, circles with Kushida, but then no look tags to Theory. Theory avoids Kushida’s drop toeholds, drops down for a headlock but Kushida facelocks back. Kushida rolls with Theory then floats all over him, and gives him spanks! Kushida still wants Gargano but he dodges Theory to fire off hands! Theory knees, whips but Kushida reverses to atomic drop and knee lift! Kushida wrenches an arm, tags Ruff in, and Ruff kicks Theory’s arm! Ruff wrenches but Theory kicks low and snap suplexes! Ruff writhes, Theory drags him up and DECKS him with a left!
Theory has Ruff in a corner, whips him corner to corner and runs in but Ruff slips out! Ruff throws a forearm back, then springboards, goes all around Theory in the corner and dropkicks! But Ruff stares Gargano down too long and turns around into an ELBOW from Theory! Tag to Gargano and Gargano drops ax handles and rains down fists! Gargano tells Ruff this is HIS world, then he swipes at Kushida! Kushida stays clear but stares Gargano down. Ruff comes back to RANA! And then he arm-drags Gargano around! Roll up, kip up and calf kick! Cover, TWO! Ruff keeps on Gargano with clubbing forearms and a CHOP in the corner!
Ruff stands on Gargano at the ropes to show his rough side, but he lets off as the ref counts. Gargano throws hands but Ruff boots him down! Gargano goes to the corner, hits Ruff back then taunts Kushida. Gargano suplexes Ruff for the gourd buster! Ruff sputters as Gargano looms over him. Gargano drags Ruff up, bumps him off buckles and tags in Theory. Theory CHOPS Ruff, and taunts Kushida with that hand. Theory whips Ruff out to whip him back in hard, then he tags Gargano back in. Theory feeds Ruff to Gargano’s boots! Gargano drags Ruff up and tags Theory back in, and The Way double suplexes, but Kushida makes the save! Double dropkicks sends the Way out!
Ruff whips Kushida and he handspring kicks Theory down! Ruff builds speed to go up, up, but he slips off a rope and has a hard landing! He barely clips Gargano and the ref hurries out to check on him! Theory drags Ruff up and bumps him off the apron! Theory puts Ruff in, Ruff gets up to SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Ruff is okay to continue but Theory fireman’s carries. Ruff slips out and shoves Theory but Gargano tags in! Ruff hits Gargano then tilt-o-whirl headscissors Theory away! Ruff sees Gargano on the apron, but Theory slingshot somersault SHOTGUNS Ruff into Gargano’s slingshot SPEAR! Fans boo but The Way is feeling great as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Theory has Ruff down in a chinbar and armlock. Ruff endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Theory shoves him to ropes. Ruff rebounds to LARIAT! Theory flounders and tags in Gargano! Gargano drags Ruff away but Ruff enziguris! Hot tag to Kushida! Kushida springboard ax handles Gargano down then tackles him for ground ‘n’ pound! Theory gets in but Kushida KICKS away! Kushida whips, Theory reverses but Kushida handspring back elbows Theory away! Gargano whips Kushida but he reverses to hip toss, cartwheel and basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Kushida as he drags Gargano by his arms. Theory saves Gargano from the stomps but Kushida gets Theory’s arm for a BULLDOG!
Kushida runs at the corner but Gargano goes up and over to roll him. Kushida ducks the kick to Penalty KICK Gargano’s arm! Gargano rises, Kushida goes after the arm but Gargano spins through to ROCK Kushida with a right! Kushida still winds up but the enziguri intercepts the fast ball! Ruff tags in, springboards and missile dropkicks Gargano down! Ruff and Kushida run at the corner to ENZIGURI SANDWICH Gargano! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives but Ruff doesn’t lose focus. Ruff drags Gargano up, hops on but Gargano slips out to CLOBBER him!
Tag to Theory and Theory looms over Ruff. Theory reels Ruff in, lifts, but Ruff throws hands to get to a corner! Theory slips out to CLUB Ruff on the back! Theory then torture racks Ruff, spins him, TOWER HACKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Ruff survives and Theory smirks as he shakes his head. Theory drags Ruff back over, tags Gargano back in, and The Way brings Ruff up. Gargano DECKS Kushida but Ruff fights against The Way! That’s 2v1 and they double whip Ruff to ropes. Ruff tries his rebound but he runs into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Cover, Kushida breaks it! Fans fire up as Theory goes after Kushida, but Kushida slips around to FAST BALL Theory down!
Gargano SUPERKICKS Kushida! Theory drags Kushida out to RAM Him into barriers! Ruff drags Gargano down to roll him up, Gargano slips out, but Ruff dodges the superkick to give a SUPERKICK! Gargano staggers to his corner, Theory tags in before Ruff runs in! Ruff dodges Gargano, hops up and DECKS Theory, to then LEAP for the TWISTING CUTTER! Ruff hops on, CRUCIFIX DRIVER! But Theory SUPERKICKS Ruff, reels him in, “This is the Way!” TWISTING COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory’s losing streak from before he “quit” no longer matters now that Theory is with Gargano! Will The Way have their way in NXT?
Dexter Lumis is watching.
He seems to be “inspired” by the match we just saw. What art piece will he create tonight?
NXT hears from Toni Storm.
The Lightning From Down Under says Rhea Ripley VS Toni Storm is nothing new. “Tonight, we renew our rivalry.” Toni makes it clear that she is why Rhea is in the States in the first place. Toni ran “that so-called nightmare” out of the UK when she won the NXT UK Women’s Championship off her! Toni knows Rhea better than anyone in NXT. Toni lets us in on a secret: Rhea uses fear and intimidation to get a leg up. But Rhea knows when she’s in the ring with Toni, “it just doesn’t work like that.”
Last time they were in the ring together, it was Worlds Collide. Rhea won, but she won’t be in the ring with that Toni Storm. That Toni respected Rhea. The new Toni does not care about approval or acceptance. She just care about #ToniTime. And tonight, Toni ends the rivalry on her terms.
Backstage interview with Shotzi Blackheart.
Though her team lost at WarGames, she gets a match with Indi Hartwell tonight. “First of all, McKenzie, I just want to say I am damn proud of my team at WarGames. We gave Team Candice a beating that they barely survived. But now, Candice wants to claim she’s a general? Calling herself ‘Ms. WarGames,’ walking around with a trophy that her husband stole- I mean, ‘imported,’ from a Little League banquet.” WarGames may be over, but Shotzi’s war with Candice is far from done. Shotzi broke Candice’s arm, and now she’ll break he bestie! Shotzi howls to the moon, will she make Indi howl in pain?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Tyler Rust!
The Psycho Killer dealt with the Professor of Pain, but now he wants to teach the student the same lesson! Will Timothy Thatcher’s prized pupil be pummeled to a pulp?
Ciampa sets a chair up on the ramp and puts a Thatch As Thatch Can shirt on it, as if to invited Thatcher to watch up close and personal again. The bell rings and Ciampa hopes Thatcher is at least watching. Fans chant, “Ciampa’s Gonna Kill You!” Ciampa and Rust tie up, Ciampa powers Rust to a corner, but the ref counts. Ciampa pie faces as he backs off but Rust keeps his cool. Rust and Ciampa circle, tie up, and Rust gets the arm for a wrench and wristlock. Rust slips through to wrangle Ciampa down but Ciampa headscissors back. Ciampa squeezes tight, Rust moves around, and Rust pops out to then get Ciampa for a headlock. Ciampa slips out to a facelock and has Rust again.
Fans rally as Rust fights up. Rust wrenches free, leans on the arm and shifts to a cording hold. Ciampa trips Rust up with a leg then gets the headlock back! Fans cheer as Ciampa traps an arm and keeps Rust down. But now Thatcher appears to accept the invitation. Ciampa knew it was a matter of time. Rust gets up and he powers Ciampa to a corner by pulling on an ear. Rust throws a forearm but Ciampa CHOPS back! Ciampa bumps Rust off buckles, CHOPS him down, then drags him up to whip and CLOBBER with an elbow! Ciampa throws Rust out to Thatcher, but Thatcher keeps his distance. Ciampa goes out and DECKS Rust.
Ciampa asks Thatcher what’s up but then Rust shoves Ciampa into Thatcher! Thatcher shows the ref he hasn’t done anything to Ciampa, but then Ciampa moves and Rust’s BOOT hits Thatcher! Rust freaks out and Ciampa puts him in the ring! Ciampa sees Thatcher getting up and the ref hurries to keep Thatcher back. The ref calls for back-up to keep Thatcher away, and Ciampa goes back to the ring. Rust ROCKS Ciampa with a right, goes out to the apron and WRINGS Ciampa’s arm out into the apron! Thatcher ended up a distraction after all, and Ciampa is down as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns as Rust reels Ciampa in for a modified cobra twist. Russ pulls on the arm, fish hooks Ciampa’s face, but lets off as the ref sees. Ciampa powers up and lifts Rust up, for a SAMOAN DROP! Both men are down but fans fire up as the two stir. Ciampa is up first but Rust KICKS the arm! Ciampa CHOPS, Rust wrenches the arm and uppercuts the shoulder! Ciampa throws an elbow then rallies with clotheslines! Ciampa only builds up speed as he clotheslines again and again, then LEAPING LARIATS! Fans fire up with Ciampa as he runs at Rust for a big corner clothesline! Ciampa hoists Rust up for an AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, TWO!!
Ciampa shakes his bad arm out and he brings Rust up for a CHOP! And another CHOP! Rust grits his teeth as Ciampa brings him up, and Rust avoids the suplex to mule kick and SCISSOR KICK! Cover, TWO! To the ARMBAR! Ciampa clasps hands, rolls to a cover, TWO! Rust runs but the kick is blocked, only for Rust to turn Ciampa’s counter punch into a takedown! ARMBAR! Ciampa again clasps hands, sits up and moves around, and then stomp Rust off his arm! Ciampa stalks up behind Rust and KNEES him down! Rust is in a daze but the fans fire up as Ciampa keeps on him. Ciampa reels Rust in, underhooks the arms, but Rust breaks free from the bad arm to BOOT Ciampa!
Rust cravats Ciampa for a FLIPPING CRAVAT SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives whatever Rust calls that and Rust can’t believe it! Rust grabs the bad arm, and pulls back for a Fujiwara! Ciampa reaches with the free arm but Rust grabs that and hooks it with a leg!! Ciampa endures Rust’s take on the Jim Breaks Armbar, reaches out and gets a ropebreak with a foot! Rust holds on until 4 and lets go in frustration. Ciampa clutches both arms and he glares at Rust. Rust KICKS the arm, then KICKS again! Ciampa blocks the next kick, puts the leg on the ropes and uppercuts the thigh! Then he elbows the knee! And CHOPS Rust while he’s stuck in the ropes!
Ciampa fires off until the ref backs him off, but Ciampa BOOTS Rust down, then runs to KNEE Rust through the ropes! He drags Rust back in through them, WILLOW’S BELL!! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Rust was almost on par with “Professor” Thatcher, but that still means he wasn’t enough to stop Ciampa! Ciampa gives a nod of respect as he leaves, but Thatcher comes back wanting more! The refs barely hold him back and Ciampa waves bye. Will Thatcher get a second try at the Psycho Killer?
The Grizzled Young Veterans speak.
“If there is one thing that is important in this job, it is momentum. And no other team had more momentum heading into 2020 than the Grizzled Young Veterans.” Just look at who they’ve beaten! The Time Splitters, Kushida and Alex Shelley! The Undisputed Era’s reDRagon! And they were so close to winning the Dusty Rhodes Classic! A lot has changed these last eight months. New tag teams have emerged, a lot of new faces are on the scene. “But the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The GYV are still the very best tag team of this generation! The very best tag team you will find anywhere in the world! They are still soon to be recognized as NXT’s number one! Who will be added to the list of top tier tag teams Zack Gibson and James Drake put away?
NXT shares footage from the commercial break.
After the match with Ciampa, Malcolm Bivens came out to talk to Tyler Rust. Bivens told Rust, “You’re a star!” He told Rust to pick himself up, and Rust got up. They gave a fist bump, and Rust is officially with Bivens Enterprises!
Dexter Lumis works on his art.
Lumis is drawing the NXT New Year’s Evil logo, but what special changes will he make to it?
NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Pete Dunne VS Kyle O’Reilly!
The Bruiserweight has the NXT Tag Team Champions, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, with him while the Undisputed Era back up the man that pushed The Prince to his limits! This will be a completely uninterrupted broadcast, who comes out of this as Finn Balor’s New Year’s Evil challenger?
Lorcan and Burch talk trash with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong, but Killian Dain and Drake Maverick come out to go after the tag team champions! Big Damo and Rockstar Spud throw hands, Oney throws Maverick away but the UE help out! The tag champs are 3v2, but then TYLER BREEZE wrecks the group with a dropkick, so that FANDANGO can FLY up and out and wipe them all out! Dunne and Kyle don’t even care, they’re staring each other down! The bell rings as referees get the four tag teams away from ringside, and both Dunne and Kyle fire off furious fists!
Fans are fired up already as Kyle bobs ‘n’ weaves then throws kicks. Dunne tackles Kyle, goes for knuckle locks but Kyle wants a double wristlock! Kyle gets around Dunne to have the top and then hooks up legs to roll Dunne to a waistlock. Dunne slips out, wrenches the arm, hammerlocks, but Kyle slips through to waistlock. Dunne hooks a leg, drop toeholds and locks the legs up for part of a Queen Angelito. Kyle endures the deathlock and fans rally for “UNDISPUTED!” but Dunne adds a half straitjacket to this! Dunne puts Kyle to a cover, ONE and Kyle dumps Dunne down. Dunne wants an arm, Kyle has the legs, and Kyle mounts. Dunne slaps and chops at Kyle but Kyle gives those back, for an ARMBAR!
Dunne rolls, gets free, but kicks into a dragon screw, only to roll through and omoplata Kyle! Dunne wants both arms but Kyle resists. Kyle rolls to omoplata, shifts to a headlock, but Dunne powers up to power out. Dunne drops, hurdles and drops again to CLOBBER Kyle with a clothesline! The fans are fired up for “NXT! NXT!” as Kyle bails out. Dunne goes up and out and moonsaults but Kyle moves! Kyle leaps but Dunne dodges to BOOT! A ring count starts as Dunne suplexes, but Kyle slips out to hop on for a sleeper! Dunne pries at Kyle’s fingers to free himself! The count is 5 and the forearms fly again! The count is 9, they get in at 9.9!! And then the forearms fly again!
Dunne fires off from all sides but Kyle clinches to knee and KICK! Kyle KICKS Dunne’s leg out, but Dunne gets to the apron. Kyle runs to PENALTY KICK Dunne off the apron as NXT goes picture in picture!
Kyle watches Dunne writhe and then goes out to fetch him. Kyle throws a forearm, then brings Dunne around to throw into boards! Dunne grabs Kyle’s arm to hammerlock and ram THAT into the boards! Dunne puts Kyle in at 8, and BOOTS Kyle down! Dunne stands on one hand and grabs the other to torture the fingers! Kyle endures but Dunne bends the other arm, and then pulls all the way back on the other. Dunne STOMPS Kyle’s shoulder, but Kyle comes back to tackle Dunne! Kyle throws elbows and knees in, floats around then throws in more elbows and knees! Kyle runs to sliding knee Dunne in the ribs!
Kyle sits Dunne up, ties his legs together and traps an arm to have a modified cobra twist! Dunne hits Kyle as best he can in that position but it isn’t enough! Kyle makes it a cover, TOW! Dunne ties Kyle’s legs up now, chinbars and pulls in him into the Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Kyle endures, Dunne lets him down and drops knees on the legs! Dunne pulls Kyle back into the Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Kyle continues to endure, Dunne even pulls on an arm to add to the stretch, but again Dunne lets Kyle down to drag him to ropes. Dunne wraps an arm around ropes and pulls! The ref reprimands and counts, Dunne lets go at 4 to STOMP Kyle down!
Dunne steps in but Kyle gets his leg in the ropes! Dunne ROCKS Kyle but Kyle forearms back! Kyle throws more forearms, drags Dunne up but Dunne resists the suplex! NXT returns to single picture as Dunne tries to suplex Kyle out! Kyle fights that off to suplex Dunne in but Dunne waistlocks. Kyle switches, Dunne switches, they go around and around, Dunne shoves Kyle to REBOUND GERMAN SUPLEX! Dunne drags Kyle up, pump handles, BITTER- NO! GUILLOTINE! Kyle has Dunne in the facelock but his arms can’t hold on! So Kyle KNEES Dunne down instead! Fans are thunderous as Kyle drags Dunne up, but Dunne X-PLEXES first!
Dunne’s own arms keep him from making a cover, and he’s got blood from his mouth. Dunne just grits his teeth as he digs a knee into Kyle’s hand. And then he STOMPS the entire arm at once! Dunne stands on Kyle’s head, pulls on the arm and even digs knuckles into Kyle’s head! Fans rally as Kyle endures being bent, Dunne STOMPS Kyle’s ribs! Dunne stalks Kyle and basement dropkicks him down! Kyle kicks from the mat but Dunne pulls hair and KICKS Kyle in the back! Dunne drags Kyle up with a facelock, turns Kyle and hits a neckbreaker! Dunne sits Kyle up for a cobra clutch and a grapevine on one leg!
Kyle endures as fans rally. Kyle throws body shots with the free arm but Dunne gives him kicks in the head. Kyle gets up to throw body shots, Dunne JABS and back hands over and over! Dunne whips, Kyle reverses but Dunne goes up and over. Kyle gets under, dodges the kick to KITCHEN SINK KNEE! Fans fire up for Kyle as he staggers back to Dunne. Dunne ROCKS Kyle with a right! Dunne runs, into a pop-up KICK! Kyle fires off muay thai knees and more strikes! Sweep the legs! Dunne goes to a corner and Kyle grits his teeth. Kyle runs in and forearm smashes! Wrench to an elbow breaker! Dunne forearms back, Kyle knees low, BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Kyle holds on, ANOTHER BUTTERFLY! And then, a butterfly TOSS! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives and fans say “This is Awesome!”
Kyle drags Dunne up, reels him in, hooks a leg, but Dunne blocks the suplex! Dunne elbows Kyle over and over, but Kyle KICKS a leg! Kyle whips Dunne corner to corner, Dunne goes up and over but Kyle kicks a leg out! Dunne is stuck on the top rope, Kyle positions him and climbs up behind him, but Dunne bends the fingers! Kyle has the sleeper and sits Dunne down with it! Kyle clubs Dunne, waistlocks again, SUPER GERMAN! But Dunne lands on his feet?! Kyle is in a Tree of Woe and Dunne BUZZSAWS him! Then Dunne grabs the arms for DANIELSON WOE STOMPS! The ref counts, Dunne stops at 4 and then DROPKICKS Kyle out of the Tree! Both men are down as NXT goes picture in picture again!
Dunne and Kyle stir and the ref makes sure Kyle is still okay to continue. Dunne hobbles over, drags Kyle up and sets him on a buckle, to STOMP him! Dunne goes to the apron to STOMP from that side! And stomp and stomp and stomp! The ref counts, Dunne stops at 4, and he goes back into the ring. Kyle crawls but Dunne puts him against ropes to ROCK with a right! And then another! The ref counts for the ropebreak but Kyle eggs Dunne on with a look, so Dunne ROCKS Kyle again! Dunne twists and clubs Kyle’s ear! The ref reprimands again but Kyle still has a defiant look. Kyle shoots at Dunne but Dunne counters with a facelock!
Dunne drags Kyle up, and HALF HATCH SUPLEXES Kyle into buckles! Kyle tumbles down and crawls to the apron, but Dunne climbs up the corner. Kyle gets a leg for a DRAGON SCREW through the ropes! Dunne ends up on the apron on the other side of the corner, and both men slowly climb the corner. Kyle throws hands but Dunne gives them back. They brawl as NXT returns to single picture. Kyle has Dunne’s arms through the ropes and he YANKS Dunne into the buckle. But Dunne does the same and YANKS Kyle back! They go back and forth, a tug of war into the buckle faster and faster and faster! Both men wobble and flop back in through the ropes!
Fans hope these two “Fight Forever!” at this point as Dunne grabs Kyle’s foot. Kyle gets free but runs into a KNEE! Dunne drags Kyle up, SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kyle survives but Dunne has his arm! Dunne gives Danielson Stomps before the ARMBAR!! Kyle’s other arm is caught underneath him! But Kyle rolls, and his legs get the ropebreak! Dunne lets go but he keeps his focus on Kyle. Dunne drags Kyle up and in, Gotch lifts, but Kyle fights off the driver to a back drop, and ARMBAR! Dunne clasps hands but Kyle shifts to get the other arm! Dunne rolls and has an ANKLE LOCK! Kyle rolls to get an ANKLE LOCK!
Dunne gets up, hops on and has a Hoverboard Kimura! Kyle grabs his own trunks to block the wristlock! Kyle throws body shots, clinches Dunne and has an ARM TRIANGLE! Dunne lets go of the body scissors to grab the arms, and he reels Kyle in for a HEADBUTT! Kyle is down but Dunne isn’t done with him! Powerbomb, but Kyle slips out and BRAIN BUSTERS! The fans are thunderous as both men are down! Kyle sits up first but Dunne slowly follows. Fans still want them to “FIGHT FOREVER!” and Kyle knees Dunne low! AX AND SMASH!! Dunne ends up in a corner, Kyle runs in and he SHINING WIZARDS! Dunne’s mouth piece is on the mat, Kyle reels him in for the FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Both men are down again and fans continue to fire up! Dunne finds his mouth piece but Kyle stomps his hand! And Penalty Kicks but Dunne ducks! Dunne kicks but Kyle catches it! Dunne SLAPS Kyle, but Kyle just drops down for the HEEL HOOK! Dunne fights up to get the TRIANGLE HOLD! Kyle stays up, Dunne tips him over and goes after the hand! Kyle resists the finger snap, but he’s just back in the Triangle! Kyle fights up to make it a cover, ONE and Kyle uses a body scissor to pry free! Dunne grabs at a hand, Kyle throws big forearms with the other! Kyle lines it up and PENALTY KICKS! Dunne springs up to STOMP the hands and BUZZSAW! Kyle yoyos but into an ENZIGURI! Kyle rebounds again, but Dunne gets the arm! SNAP go the fingers!
Dunne goes to the apron and he KICKS Kyle in the ropes! Kyle ends up on the apron with Dunne, Dunne pump handles but Kyle shifts out of the Bitter End into a DDT OFF the apron! Kyle gets up, puts Dunne in as fans lose their minds, and he climbs up top! GUILLOTINE KNEE DROP!! Cover, Kyle wins!!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Championship)
A brutal instant classic, and now New Year’s Evil will be a TakeOver: 31 rematch! Will the new year bring with it a new champion?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley.
What are her thoughts on the tense confrontation she and Raquel Gonzalez had as last week’s NXT ended? “Raquel backed down, period.” At WarGames, Raquel had back-up. But Rhea has known Raquel for a lot longer than most people realize, and Raquel is “a whole different animal when she’s all by herself.”
Well speaking of someone she’s known a long time, that brings McKenzie to Toni Storm tonight. “Yeah, Toni and I have a lot of history together.” And while Toni says she’s not the same Toni back then, this isn’t the same Rhea from back then, either. To be honest, Rhea doesn’t care if she’s stepping into the ring with the new Toni or the old Toni. “She’s still the piece of trash that I knew back then.” Rhea vows to be the one to finish this once and for all. What happens when these two forces of nature meet 1v1 once again?
The brutal training continues.
Xia Li is in tears as she begs Shifu to let her stop, but he tells her to do it again! “She” is watching as Xia kicks and hits something. But what is it? As for Boa, he wants his training to stop, too. Shifu refuses, and Boa keeps getting hit with something. “Please… no more!” But Shifu says to just do it “AGAIN!” Xia shouts, and she’s been hitting BOA! She is forced to show no mercy to Boa, no matter how much they both want to stop. But what will “she” do once the training is finally over?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Indi Hartwell w/ The Way!
We heard from the wild child about what she wants to do to the #Impressive addition to The Way! But with Candice LeRae, Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory nearby, will Shotzi be able to #TCB and get the win?
The bell rings and Shotzi ties up with Indi. Indi waistlocks then clubs Shotzi but they tie up again and Shotzi throws Indi. They tie up again, go around, and Shotzi waistlocks but Indi switches for a slam! Indi keeps on Shotzi with another waistlock and slam! Indi floats to a facelock, waistlocks again but Shotzi throws elbows. Indi holds on so Shotzi runs at ropes to hotshot her off! Shotzi rams shoulders, Indi stays up but Shotzi dropkicks her down! Shotzi slams one of Indi’s arms on the mat then stomps a foot! Shotzi grabs the arm to drop a knee on it! Indi only just got over a neck injury and now Shotzi turns her around to get both arms! Indi gets a ropebreak with a leg and Shotzi lets go at 4.
Indi gets up in a huff and shoves Shotzi! Shotzi wrenches Indi and hammerlocks, then ducks the elbow to ROUNDHOUSE! Indi wobbles into the enziguri! Indi goes to a corner, Shotzi runs in to CANNONBALL, but Indi blocks just enough with her boots! Indi gets up and stomps away on Shotzi! Indi drags her to a cover, ONE! Shotzi flounders but Indi looms over her. Indo throws haymakers, whips Shotzi to ropes and elbows her down! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps on Shotzi and drags her up to throw her through roughs for a clubbing forearm! Indi full nelsons, lifts and TOSSES Shotzi down! Cover, TWO!
The Way coaches Indi as she drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws body shots, Indi knees low and fireman’s carries. Shotzi slips out, BOOTS back, then hops up to go over. Shotzi comes back to splash in the corner, and she pushes Indi to another corner for forearms! Shotzi bumps Indi off buckles again, and Indi is down, for Shotzi to CANNONBALL! Direct hit this time! Indi flops out to the apron, Shotzi runs again, and she WRECKS Indi with a dropkick! Shotzi goes out to fetch Indi back into the ring but Candice is creeping around! The ref warns Candice, Shotzi is distracted, Indi has the trophy! The ref turns around just in time to see the TROPHY SHOT! DISQUALIFICATION!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by disqualification
Now the trophy is broken for nothing! But Indi jams Shotzi with it again! And then stomps her down! Gargano and Theory see if the trophy can be fixed while Indi and Candice stomp Shotzi more. They bring Shotzi up for WICKED STEP SISTER! Theory uses the trophy to mock Shotzi, but will Shotzi find a way to turn the tide of this war with The Way?
NXT, prepare for a COLOSSAL return!
Bronson Reed is ready to make a comeback! Will he bulldoze his way back towards the top?
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux VS ???
Tick-tock, time’s up! The apocalypse was merely put on pause, and now Kross is back! Will there be nothing NXT can do but to #FallAndPray?
The bell rings and Desmond Troy ties up with Kross. Troy tries to get a leg but Kross floats to rain down furious forearms! Kross drags Troy up and throws him into a corner to clothesline! And then he whips corner to corner to clothesline and uppercut, and clothesline again! Kross has Troy for an EXPLODER! Troy flounders into a ROUNDHOUSE! Kross hits the DOOMSDAY SAIDO! And then the KROSSJACKET! Troy taps, Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
He was surprisingly merciful at the end by letting Troy go, but Kross wishes not to waste time. Will Kross quickly be back to the top of NXT as champion again? “Priest! Time’s up! January 6th, New Year’s Evil, tuck your chin because your ass is mine!” Kross has called out the Archer of Infamy! Will Priest no longer #LiveForever after facing the one man apocalypse?
Backstage interview with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
After losing to Jake Atlas last week, he refused to shake Atlas’ hand. Why did he blow Atlas off? Swerve asks back, “Why is everyone making a big deal about this?” This is getting blown out of proportion. Swerve lost, he was frustrated, he gets frustrated when he loses, especially to someone like Atlas. Swerve cools off and compliments Atlas as “a hell of an athlete,” and he deserves to be here in NXT. But Swerve has been here longer, and has been working harder, so he let the loss get to him. To show his respect to Atlas, Swerve talked with William Regal and a rematch has been made for next week. And this time, Swerve promises a different result.
But then Ever-Rise walks in and asks McKenzie if she saw what happened to them last week. That Triple Threat Tag was more like a 2v1 situation! But where they’re from, that’s a handicap match, an unfair situation! So what did they do? They went to “corporate” and requested to have that match stricken from the record like it never happened! Ever-Rise is STILL on a winning streak! How do you like that, Goldberg?! Ever-Rise is coming for you! But McKenzie is pretty sure their request won’t be granted, as it was a fair match and a fair loss. Is she trying to say something? Well, does Ever-Rise want a rematch with Grizzled Young Veterans? Rematch?! Does McKenzie have a problem with them?! Does she want to take a swing?! Why is Matt Marthel yelling…?
Chase Parker calms things down and says this isn’t about matches or taking swings. They just want to be heard by management. Thank you. But also, EVER-RISE RULES!!!
Dexter Lumis is almost done with his artwork.
Wait, he has added something to the logo for New Year’s Evil after all. It reads… “Host,” with an arrow pointing to a doodle of HIMSELF! Lumis is going to host New Year’s Evil!? He barely talks, how can he host something?!
NXT hears from Finn Balor.
“NXT TakeOver 31. Kyle, you answered all the questions. You proved you weren’t an underdog. You proved you belong in the main event, you proved you belonged in the ring with Finn Balor. You broke my friggin’ jaw!” And yet, Kyle still lost. So what’s next, Kyle? New Year’s Evil, 1/6/21, this isn’t just Finn VS Kyle 2. It’s Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly, THE END. Will the next chapter be the last chapter for these two?
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
With it being the holidays, Johnny and Candice want us to celebrate with them! It’ll be “A Very Gargano Christmas” on NXT! Will this go down as a timeless Christmas classic?
Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley!
These two went back and forth, defining the first year of NXT UK. Now they clash again in the States in what could just be one of many more matches to come! But will it be the Riptide or the Lightning From Down Under that strikes?
The bell rings and the two stare down and circle slowly. They tie up, Rhea powers Toni to ropes but Toni turns things around. Toni lets off clean but she taunts Rhea. Rhea shrugs that off to circle with Toni again. Fans rally and duel as the two tie up again. Rhea powers Toni to a corner but Toni turns it around again, only for Rhea to turn it right back! Rhea lets off clean but with a sharp pat on the shoulder. Toni and Rhea circle again and there are more Rhea fans than Toni fans right now. They tie up, Toni waistlocks then headlocks and grinds Rhea down. Rhea tries to power out but Toni holds tight. Rhea fights up and throws body shots to then power out and ram shoulders. Toni is surprised Rhea stays up, and then Rhea runs Toni over!
Rhea runs but Toni trips her! Toni Oklahoma Rolls, ONE and Rhea had a cover, ONE! Toni ghost pins, ONE, Rhea ghost pins, ONE! Toni kicks low, whips Rhea to a corner, but Rhea goes up and over and keeps moving. Toni drops, side steps but Rhea rolls and gets a leg to roll Toni. Toni stays up, sits on Rhea, ONE as Rhea sunsets! ONE as Toni sits back up, ONE and the two stand. Rhea kicks low now and fans cheer! Rhea reels Toni in, suplexes, but Toni resists to cradle, TWO! Toni CHOPS Rhea but Rhea CHOPS back! Toni CHOPS, Rhea swings a haymaker! Toni CLAWS Rhea’s back but Rhea CHOPS! Rhea fakes Toni out to DOUBLE CHOP her on the back!
Toni is stinging and Rhea is grinning as she drags Toni by her legs. Toni kicks Rhea away, but runs into a wrench and clothesline! And another! Rhea ripcords to HOOK KICK Toni down! Toni gets to ropes, Rhea Electric Chair lifts her, but Toni wiggles free to shove Rhea out. Rhea gets on the apron, Toni runs in but gets caught! Rhea drags Toni out but Toni POSTS her and BOOTS her! Toni stands tall as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Toni grinds Rhea down in a chinlock. Rhea endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Toni throws her by her hair! Toni drops an elbow but Rhea moves! Toni hurries after Rhea to whip but Rhea reverses, Toni dodges one kick, then the next, but the SUPERKICK hits! Toni wobbles, Rhea cravats and knees her over and over! Rhea snapmares and runs to basement dropkick hard! Fans fire up with Rhea and she drags Toni up for an atomic SLAM! Cover, TWO! Rhea grows frustrated, checks her mouth but no blood. Rhea drags Toni up, pump handles but Toni fights out. Rhea AX KICKS Toni down, then stomps her!
Toni gets up, Rhea runs in but the boot misses! Toni HEADBUTTS! Both women are down but fans fire up again! The standing count climbs to 5 but Toni sits up. Rhea follows, and they both slowly stand at 7. Toni throws a forearm, Rhea throws it back! They brawl back and forth with big hands and clubbing forearms! Rhea gets the edge, runs, but Toni follows to ROCK Rhea t ropes! Toni runs but Rhea returns the forearm! Rhea runs, Toni follows but Rhea dodges to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Rhea grows frustrated but fans rally up. Rhea stomps Toni and gets the legs, for PRISM TRAP!
Toni endures the hanging cloverleaf, crawls for ropes, but then rolls to send Rhea into the ropes! Toni runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Toni drags Rhea up, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rhea survives and Toni can’t believe it! Fans hope these two “Fight Forever!” like they did for Kyle and Dunne! Toni scowls as she drags Rhea up and tosses her to a corner! Then she tosses Rhea the other way! Toni runs in but Rhea avoids the hip attack! Rhea Electric Chair lifts to SLAM Toni on buckles! Cover, TWO!! Toni survives and Rhea is again frustrated! Rhea drags Toni around to drop a leg! And then another! And then a third! Cover, TWO!
Rhea grits her teeth as she drags Toni back up. Pump handle and lift, but Toni flails! And who is this?! Raquel Gonzalez helps Toni stay on the apron!? But Rhea runs and BOOTS Toni onto Raquel! Raquel tumbles over barriers and Rhea drags Toni up and into the ring. Toni distracts the ref and Raquel yanks Rhea down! To LAWN DART her into buckles! HIP ATTACK from Toni!! Toni underhooks and hits STORM ZERO!! Cover, Toni wins!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall
Big Mami Cool laughs as she just screwed Rhea over! Will Rhea make sure Raquel regrets this for a long time to come? As for Toni, a win is a win, will she be heading for a new #ShinyShiny?
A very good NXT with quite a bit set up for New Year’s Evil. For one, Lumis is surprisingly going to be the host. I didn’t think there’d be a host for that but I guess Halloween Havoc was just the first case of a special occasion being given an extra special something. Maybe Lumis speaks for the first time on television? That in itself will be a big moment. Kross puts away Desmond Troy quickly because obviously he was going to. And another obvious choice was that Kross and Priest are going to have a match for New Year’s Evil. That will be a very good match, and I’m fairly confident that Kross will win that.
I’m surprised Dunne VS O’Reilly wasn’t the main event, but there are a lot of reasons why it wasn’t. For one, it gave that match time to breathe, and it was all completely worth it. A bit surprised Kyle won rather than Dunne, but a rematch from TakeOver 31 is a great move. Finn getting to respond tonight rather than waiting a week was also pretty good, but could’ve still been done. And the brawling of many tag teams was a great way to get rid of ringside help so that it’d just be Dunne and Kyle 1v1.
Breezango makes a great return, and it looks like we might end up with a tag team title Fatal 4 Way. Cole and Strong are the one combination that hasn’t really worked together in the UE, and with Bobby Fish recovering from his torn tricep, this would be a great time to give that a try. But I have a feeling Lorcan & Burch find a way to hold onto the titles, as UE and Breezango have already had reigns, and I don’t think Dain & Maverick are quite there yet. I suppose Grizzled Young Veterans haven’t been back long enough to be considered for such a match, but that’s alright, I’m enjoying what’s going on between them and Ever-Rise.
I actually like that “The Johnny Gargano Way” is simplifying the name to “The Way.” This way, it isn’t just about Johnny, it’s about him and Candice. They lead The Way together as equals. Gargano and Theory had a very good tag match with Ruff and Kushida, though I was really scared there for Ruff after his fall from the top rope to the floor. Gargano and Theory win to help build Theory back up, and I like his new finisher, even though it’s hard to describe. Shotzi continuing after Candice is a good move, as WarGames wasn’t as conclusive for them as it probably could’ve have been. Of course, Candice broke her arm so it couldn’t really have ended with the two of them. Shotzi had a good match with Indi but clearly Indi still needs a few reps. The disqualification was a good way of ending that match and propelling the feud forward.
The presentation of the brutal training Xia and Boa are undergoing was done expertly. Keeping half of each part a mystery was great for the reveal of how it has escalated. I’m thinking that something is going to happen on New Year’s Evil with Xia, Boa and “her” (pretty sure it’s still Karen Q) decimating someone or a group of someones to establish themselves as a faction. Even more so if Io Shirai is defending her title, Xia and “her” can both go after Shirai to issue a challenge for whatever TakeOver special is happening next. Rhea VS Toni was a really good match, but I should’ve figured Raquel would get involved. Rhea VS Raquel in a rematch is going to be great stuff while Toni moves on to perhaps feud with Ember Moon or even go after Io Shirai to revisit their Mae Young Classic match as a match for the NXT Women’s Championship.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Royal Quest II Results & Report! (10/1/22)
NJPW returns to the UK!
NJPW + FTR + UK = A classic in the making!
NJPW returns to the UK, and FTR is coming with them! Cash & Dax defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against the NJPW Strong Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open!
- Gabriel Kidd VS Dan Moloney; wins.
- Great-O-Khan & Gideon Gray VS Michael Oku & Ricky Knight Jr; win.
- Kanji & Jazzy Gabbert VS Alex Windsor & Ava White; win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS JONAH & Bad Dude Tito; win.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, Hikuleo & Jado VS Bullet Club; win(s).
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
- Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
[NJPW has scheduled Royal Quest II for “On Demand,” coverage will begin when video is available]
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
This one has been a long time coming! Music City Mayhem saw the United Empire win a Six Man Tag, but they pinned Alex Zayne. Can Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis beat Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood 2v2? Or will the #ForeverTripleReign continue for the joint ROH, AAA & IWGP Tag Team Champions?
Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino
Speaking of title fights, The Commonwealth Kingpin just retained his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against David Finlay, only to find Tetsuya Naito AND Zack Sabre Jr. are after him! Will Ospreay be able to keep his focus tonight? Or will #SHOOTER hit a bull’s eye and add himself to that title picture?
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/30/22)
The Acclaimed are on a Rampage!
Everyone LOVES the NEW AEW World Tag Team Champions, The Acclaimed! Except for the Andrade Family Office! Will Max Caster & Anthony Bowens lose their titles after just getting them?
- AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade; The Acclaimed win and retain the titles.
- Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol; Moriarty wins.
- Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale; Hayter wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade!
The Open Challenge was answered in a big, BIG way! Max Caster & Anthony Bowens aren’t just facing one team, but TWO teams, both under the Andrade Family Office. Will Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy and the menacing mercenaries make El Idolo proud? Or will it be a Mic Drop from the #ForeverChampions?
Justin Roberts makes the introductions before The Acclaimed make their entrance. “Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo! Yo! Everybody loves the new champions. Even Adam Lavine was in our DMs! Philly knows Private Party sucks! Y’all need to hop off Matt Hardy’s nuts. Tonight, yo, our hands go up. Y’all’re losers, and that’s why your band broke up. Y’know Acclaimed been winning. We run your who team into the ground like Ben Simmons!” Bowens takes over to say, “PHILADELPHIAAAA~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And they do! But will Platinum Max & the Five Tool Player stay golden with the odds stacked against them?
In this kind of Triple Threat Tag, only two teams are active at any time, so Bowens steps up against Kassidy. The fans sing “OH~ Scissor Me, Daddy~!” for The Acclaimed. Matt Hardy is watching backstage, quietly cheering on Private Party. Bowens and Kassidy circle, tie up, and Bowens wrenches an arm. Kassidy rolls, kips up, wrenches back, and has a wristlock. Bowens slips through, wrenches back to a hammerlock, spin and snapmare to a ghost pin, TWO! Kassidy gets a backslide, TWO! Bowens runs in but Kassidy sweeps the legs to a cover, ONE! Bowens returns the favor, ONE as Kassidy goes Matrix! But Bowens schoolboys, TWO!
Things speed up, Kassidy RANAS Bowens, and fans are torn while Kassidy talks trash. But Butcher & Blade tell Kassidy to focus and he rushes Bowens, only for Bowens to ELBOW, JAB, CHOP and SUPERK- NO, Kassidy goes Matrix again! Bowens says it was that close. Kassidy offers a handshake, Bowens shakes hands to show respect, but then Butcher & Blade reach out for a tag. Kassidy says no way, homies. He swings on Bowens but Bowens gets around and puts him in the Acclaimed corner! Caster tags in, Bowens feeds Kassidy to a takedown. Caster then shifts to get a leg, he stomps it, and he makes scissor fingers.
Caster drags Kassidy up, ducks his haymaker to CHOP and DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Caster SCISSORS Billy! Caster brings Kassidy up to a headlock but Kassidy powers out. Bowens sneaks a tag, Caster sunsets and Bowens runs in, NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up, Quen runs in but Caster tackles him. Bowens goes up top and Caster drags Quen over. Bowens says it’s scissor time! SCISSOR LEG DROP! Fans fire up while Private Party regroups. But then Butcher & Blade attack! The ref reprimands but they don’t care, they’ve had it with the champs! Blade stomps Bowens, Butcher stomps Cater, then they drag Kassidy over to their corner.
Blade tags in, he drags Kassidy up but Kassidy fires off hands! Blade knees low, he whips Kassidy to the ropes but Quen is there for some SILLY STRING- NO, Blade SHOVES Kassidy down to the floor! And Butcher BLASTS Quen for good measure! But Bowens fires off on them both! Haymakers and CHOPS back and forth, but he runs into a DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Butcher DECKS Caster while fans boo and Billy protests. The mercs mug Bowens while AEW goes picture in picture.
Blade digs his boot in, tags Butcher, and Butcher digs a knee in. The ref counts, Butcher lets off, but he drags Bowens up to CHOP! Bowens staggers away but Butcher stays on him. Cover, TWO! Butcher knees Bowens in the back, tags Blade, but Bowens fights back again. Blade CLAWS Bowens’ eyes! The ref reprimands but Blade whips Bowens to ropes to LARIAT! Blade mocks the scissor fingers, and he SLAMS Bowens’ arm down. Blade taunts Caster then goes back to Bowens. Bowens kicks from below! And fires off haymakers! Blade rakes Bowens’ eyes again! Blade drags Bowens up, reels him in, and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO!
Blade is annoyed but he drags Bowens up again. Rampage returns to single picture as fans rally. Bowens endures a chinlock but he fights his way up. Bowens throws body shots, runs, but Blade hits a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Blade drags Bowens up, scoops him, and he carries him over to tag Butcher. The mercs combine for a LEG DROP SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, TWO! Bowens is still in this and Hardy tries to will Private Party back into this match. Butcher bumps Bowens off buckles, tags Blade, and Blade brings Bowens around. Bowens throws more body shots and forearms, but Blade ROCKS Bowens!
Blade runs, but Bowens ELBOWS, JABS, CHOPS, and SUPERKICKS! The Five Tool Combo finishes and Bowens crawls for his corner! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster first! Bowens dodges Butcher, BOOTS him away, but Caster is down! Bowens ELBOWS Butcher, runs in, but into a back drop! So Quen tags in! Quen GAMANGIRIS Butcher, springboards and CROSSBODIES Blade! Butcher runs in, Quen ducks to go up and up and QUEBRADA! Direct hit on Butcher! Blade pops Quen up but Quen DROPKICKS! Quen kips up and tags Kassidy! Private Party double whips Blade to a corner, Kassidy hurries to triangle jump STUNNER Butcher!
Quen sets up, Kassidy runs in, PARTY IN MOTION! Quen FLIES onto Butcher! Kassidy then feeds Blade to Quen and Kassidy goes up top! HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL!! Cover, Caster breaks it! Fans cheer as The Acclaimed are still in this but Hardy is stressed. Quen rushes Caster but Caster back drops him up and out! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster! Kassidy runs in, but into a fireman’s carry, TOSS to a GUTBUSTER! And then a gut wrench POWERBOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it! Butcher tosses Bowens out now and the mercs drag Kassidy up. They double whip, Kassidy slips around and shoves them into each other!
Butcher falls out, Kassidy sends Blades out then takes aim. Bowens sneaks a tag as Kassidy springboards to PLANCHA! Down go the mercs! Caster climbs up now, to SUPER CROSSBODY everyone!! Fans are thunderous as Caster puts Blade in! Bowens fires up, THE ARRIVAL! The MIC DROP!! Cover, The Acclaimed win!!
Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall (still AEW World Tag Team Champions)
A massive first defense for Caster & Bowens, and they come away the champions! And they SCISSOR~! Will this victory only make the celebration on National Scissors Day that much bigger?
Backstage interview with The Firm.
Lexi Nair is trying to get a word with Stokely Hathaway and the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten. They are talking among themselves but she speaks up. Austin & Colten had some “harsh words” for FTR last week. Oh, you mean Mr. Mustache and Mullet Man? Well, since the Gunn Sons get TV time and they don’t, Colten & Austin will gladly things. Austin wants to know how FTR holds the “Ring of Horror” tag titles- No, the Ring of Honor tag titles. Oh, right. Well, they also have the “Triple A Batteries” titles. No, no, Triple A. And the IWGP R2D2 titles. It’s just IWGP. But speaking of those, FTR is currently in London to defend those.
“Well, regardless,” Colten says, “they don’t have what we want, and that’s the AEW titles.” Austin says that’s right. Also, FTR has been holding on to their #1 contenders status for like eight years now and have yet to make moves! So the Gunns will make the move everyone else in AEW does, and that’s leap frog FTR to go right for the champs! Top Gunns, out! Will Austin & Colten’s need for speed get them to the top? Or will they crash ‘n’ burn against The Acclaimed?
Backstage interview with Jade Cargill & The Baddies.
Lexi Nair says that was an incredible win last week at Rampage: Grand Slam, where even hip hop legend, Trina, anointed Jade as the NEW “Baddest B*tch.” Jade knows that, “Lindsey.” But that’s besides the point. “All you whack ass, fat ass-” Leila Grey says Jade should chill out, but Jade says she’s gonna say what she wants! She’s so bored because AEW hasn’t brought her any kind of competition. But then Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir & Vickie Guerrero walk in. Vickie reminds Jade that the last time she faced Nyla, Jade won but didn’t pin her. That doesn’t matter! Jade beat Nyla! And Marina, too! Vickie has the Problem Solver stand down and Nyla speaks up.
“What’s the matter, Jade? I’m not one of your precious little numbers? Scared of a little one-on-one?” Oh, one on one? Okay, Jade will give Nyla what she wants, but on Jade’s time. Now get outta her face! Vickie takes off her scarf and throws it at Leila, telling her to cover herself up. The Vicious Vixens head out, and the Baddies wonder what’s wrong with how Leila’s dressed. Will the Native Beast be the one that finally ends the undefeated streak?
Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol!
Someone else with title aspirations is #TAIGASTYLE, who ditched Matt Sydal to join Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s faction on retainer. Moriarty wants the ROH Pure Championship around Daniel Garcia’s waist, but will he stomp out the Fire of the Sun first?
The bell rings and fans rally up. The two tie up, Moriarty headlocks and grinds then shifts to a cravat. Fuego endures but Moriarty pushes him down. Fuego keeps himself up, but Moriarty sweeps the arms to then roll Fuego into a snapmare cradle, TWO! Fuego gets up into a CHOP, headbutt and EuroUpper! Moriarty grins, he wrenches Fuego and whips, but Fuego reverses to mule kick! Fuego runs, handsprings over Moriarty’s dropdown, but Moriarty DROPKICKS Fuego down! Moriarty grins again while fans boo. Moriarty stomps Fuego at the ropes again and again until the ref counts. Moriarty lets off, to then stomp away again!
The ref counts, Moriarty lets off and Fuego goes to a corner. Moriarty runs in in to SHINING WIZARD! Moriarty reels Fuego into an arm-trap SAIDO SUPLEX! Moriarty mockingly applauds at the fans, then he looms over Fuego. Fans rally, Moriarty wrenches and hooks Fuego up, for a FACEBUSTER! Stokely likes what he sees as Moriarty clamps on the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Fuego taps, Moriarty wins!
Winner: Lee Moriarty, by submission
The fans boo as Moriarty holds on past the bell, and Moriarty lets go when Fuego stops tapping! Moriarty says this is HIS time, but Fuego’s not done suffering! Morrissey clamps on a claw and deadlifts Fuego by his head! And then holds him up with one arm! For a SKYSCRAPER CHOKE SLAM!!! Fuego just fell from the sky, will The Firm dominate AEW sooner rather than later?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page & The Dark Order.
Lexi Nair stands with The Cowboy, as well as Evil Uno & Preston Vance. She notes that last week on Rampage, Hangman won the Grand Slam Golden Ticket Battle Royal and is now headed to Cincinnati and an AEW World Championship match with Jon Moxley. Hangman says his match with Mox is just a few weeks away, and this is one Hangman has been looking forward to for a very long time. Uno says that everyone will be in Hangman’s corner for this. But wait, here come Andrade and Jose. Jose points out that if you look back, look what happened when Vance got eliminated. Jose uses his tablet to play the footage on the TV.
Jay Lethal triangle jumps, aiming for Hangman, but Hangman ducks and Vance takes the hit. Jose says it’s Hangman who eliminated Vance! Uno says that’s ridiculous logic. Andrade says he just wants to help Vance. This week is a big opportunity for Vance. What does Vance say to a 1v1? If Andrade wins, Vance gives up his mask. Deal? Vance shakes hands, but then he then pulls Andrade in. Vance has his own condition: If Vance beats Andrade, Andrade leaves AEW for good! High stakes between Number Ten and El Idolo, who wins for the Dynamite Anniversary?
But wait, the Firm walks in now? Stokely says they haven’t been snitching cuz they don’t like snitches, but… Jose says if Stokely wants to speak with El Idolo, he has to go through Jose. Oh, so Jose’s the boss? Ethan Page thought the boss was Andrade. And if he is, then maybe pay a little more attention to them. Be more firm with Private Party. Because Ethan knows there’s some “contract tampering” with their new-old friend, Matt Hardy. Stokely says that’s a bit messy. Andrade asks Jose what that’s about, and Jose does admit Hardy’s sniffing around. Will El Idolo crash the #HardyParty before it begins?
Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale!
These two got into it during the Lumberjack match on Dynamite, and now they’ll settle things here on Rampage! Is Hayter gonna hate on the ever energetic Willow? Or will Willow show everyone how to deal with a Hayter?
The bell rings and Hayter rushes Willow, but Willow dodges and hits a THESZ PRESS! Fast hands, but Hayter returns those! Willow gets back on top to rain down HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Fans fire up with Willow, and she waistlocks Hayter. Hayter switches, Willow switches, but Hayter stomps a foot. Hayter elbows Willow, runs and RAMS shoulders, but Willow stays up! Willow shakes her head and Hayter is annoyed. Hayter runs, she RAMS Willow again, but Willow stays up to flex! Fans rally for both Hayter and Willow, Hayter runs again but Willow follows to run her over!
Fans fire up, Willow scoops and SLAMS Hayter, for a SENTON! Willow sits Hayter up to run and BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Willow drags Hayter up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect and Hayter survives. But Willow powers up, runs and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” while Hayter goes to another corner. Willow runs in to CHOP again! Britt protests, the ref does count, and Willow whips. Hayter reverses, only for Willow to handspring through! But Hayter BOOTS Willow down! Rebel & Britt are happy now and Hayter HIP TOSSES Willow to a corner. Willow sits up, for the METEORA!
Hayter lets the ref check Willow while fans rally and duel. Rampage goes picture in picture as Britt talks trash on Willow. Willow swipes at her but Hayter drags Willow away. Hayter snap suplexes, covers, ONE! Hayter clamps on a chinlock and she leans on Willow. Willow endures, but Hayter thrashes her around! Hayter wrangles Willow but Willow fights up. Willow throws body shots, but Hayter throws her down by her hair! The ref reprimands but Hayter soaks up the heat. Hayter stomps Willow around, then drags her up to CLUB back down. Willow goes to ropes and Hayter storms over, but into a back elbow.
Hayter CLUBS Willow again and Willow goes to the corner. Hayter mocks the fans rallying up, then she brings Willow around to bump off buckles. And again! Britt likes what she sees but the ref reprimands. Hayter “apologizes” but it’s just a distraction so Britt can pull Willow’s foot against the crossbar! Willow gets free but Hayter storms up again. Hayter pulls Willow’s hair to grind her head into the ropes! The ref reprimands, Hayter lets off and she whips Willow corner to corner hard! Willow bounces off buckles and hits the mat, but Hayter digs her knee into Willow’s face. The ref reprimands, Willow pushes Hayter but Hayter CLUBS her down.
Hayter stands on Willow’s back to use her like a skateboard! Willow shakes Hayter off but then Hayter straddles Willow to CLUB away on her! Hayter drags Willow up to UPPERCUT against ropes. And CHOP! Hayter has control as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns, and Willow fireman’s carries Hayter! Hayter flails to get free, and she ripcords. Willow ducks the Hate Maker but Hayter elbows Willow away. Hayter then hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and fans fire up! Rebel and Britt are worried, but Hayter drags Willow up. Hayter CLUBS and ROCKS Willow, then gut wrenches. Willow slips off, shoves and POUNCES!! Hayter ends up flopping out of the ring! Britt is there to check Hayter and then claims that is cheating! But fans fire up with Willow and she brings down the straps! Willow goes out after Hayter and puts her in the ring.
Britt & Rebel are creeping, but Willow’s glare scares them away! Willow gets in the ring but Hayter stomps away on her! Hayter tells the booing fans to shut it, and then she drags Willow up. Hayter EuroUppers, then whips Willow. Willow reverses, fireman’s carries, and hits a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hayter survives and Britt breathes easy. Willow stays positive and she goes up a corner. Fans fire up, but Hayter has the ref check her so that Britt can anchor Willow! Willow CLUBS Britt away but Hayter waistlocks! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Hayter holds on, ripcords, HATE MAKER!! Cover, Hayter wins!
Winner: Jamie Hayter, by pinfall
Hayter flexes but give a big assist to Britt Baker, DMD. With their friendship stronger than ever, will Hayter & Baker take over AEW?
Wardlow and Samoa Joe speak.
The AEW TNT Champion says, “Together, the power, and the mayhem, and the chaos is limitless.” The ROH World Television Champion says, “What stands before you is WARDJOE! It is a creed and it is a call, to all that battle, to all who seek to stand before all, that all will fall, and all who think they’re ready for what we will do… will be left wanting.” Will there be no stopping this Two TITAN Power Trip?
Ryan Nemeth is in the ring.
The Hollywood Hunk introduces himself, and he wants to set things straight. First off, Rocky Balboa is not real! Secondly, Ben Franklin was nothing but a two-pump chump who moved here to DIE. He will give Philly credit, they do have a long-standing wrestling tradition. What was it again? Extremely Crappy Wrestling? Is that what it was? Wait! Here comes HOOK! We were expecting to see the FTW Champion, and now he has even more of a reason to show up with someone talking crap on ECW. Hook gets in the ring to CLOBBER Nemeth! And then he drags Nemeth up to bump him off buckles, and then SAYANAGI with authority!
Hook then sits Nemeth up to give him CLUBBING crossface forearms! Nemeth is a ragdoll as it is but Hook puts on REDRUM!! Nemeth taps fast but passes out just as quickly! The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil just showed everyone you do NOT insult Extreme Championship Wrestling with him around. But wait, as Hook heads up the ramp, The Trustbusters walk out. Ari Daivari has Sonny Kiss and “Jeeves Kay” (AKA VSK) with him. And Jeeves, being the butler, has an invitation for Hook on a silver platter. Jeeves leaves it on the ground for Hook and the Trust Busters leave. Hook snatches up the letter and takes his leave, what is Daivari Dinero planning now?
AEW shares footage of Swerve’s visit to Rolling Loud NYC.
As Keith Lee let us know last Wednesday, Swerve had this prior engagement to attend, hence the champs defending against other teams. But despite the good time Swerve had with the hip hop and rap stars of today, he is still furious about that loss at Grand Slam. Will Swerve look to be the rock that smashes National Scissors Day this Wednesday?
AEW looks at Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page.
The Blue Eyed Battler says, “I remember this building. I remember Hangman Page.” That is to say, it was last year’s Dynamite Anniversary that these two did battle in the Casino Ladder Match. “They say he’s the future of AEW. Okay. I’m the present. I am the here and now.” The Cowboy says, “So I’ve won the Golden Ticket Battle Royal on Rampage and I am the #1 contender to the AEW World Championship.” Moxley says, “Cowboy Sh*t, right? Yeah, we’ll see.”
Hangman says, “The one thing that I need almost as much as the AEW World Championship, is the people. The people have always been behind me, they light a fire under me. They keep me going.” The cameraman hates to break this to Hangman, but their title match is in Cincy. “Aw, sh*t.” The Cowboy knows he’ll be walking in as the enemy, but will he find away around homefield advantage? Or will this title stay with the Blackpool Combat Club?
Mark Henry talks with tonight’s main eventers.
The World’s Strongest Man says to the Dark Order that LFI, La Faccion Ingobernables has been trying to poach Vance from them. How do they feel about that? And what is their course of action tonight? Silver says that honestly, LFI’s little man crush on Ten is starting to come off a little bit creepy. Alex Reynolds says that all this stuff, this poaching attempt, will not affect The Dark Order. They’re a real family, and they are one. And because of that, “Mr. Rush,” tonight the Meat Man beats you! Andrade says okay, “piqueno,” calm down. Tonight, LFI shows everyone who they are. They are winners! The Dark Order doesn’t deserve Ten!
Jose points out that Silver can’t ignore that Rush eliminated him from the Battle Royal. Rush tells the “little boy” that all this talk is too much. He’s not here to talk. Rush is here to fight! He’ll see you in the ring, perro! Andrade has Rush tranquilo and Mark Henry says it looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s time for the main event! Will Johnny Hungy prove LFI doesn’t win everything? Or will El Toro Blanco bulldoze through Silver to further damage the Dark Order?
BREAKING NEWS for Battle of the Belts 4!
After the controversial way The Bastard retained the title against Orange Cassidy, he must now defend the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta! And speaking of which, we hear from #JustTrent!
“Something my mom always told me growing up, ‘You never hit a man in the head with a hammer.’ Pac, you broke one of Sue’s rules. Orange, he’s not here. He’s hurt right now. And when you hurt one of our friends, we hurt you.” But legally, cuz they’re good boys. So in DC, Bastard, Trent’s gonna hurt you. “Hands in, boys.” Chuck Taylor, Danhausen and Rocky Romero put their hands in with Trent, this one’s for Orange!
Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds!
LFI wants to grow stronger by making the Dark Order weaker, and while Andrade takes on Vance in a Mask VS AEW Career match, this one is straight up about pride and machismo! Will Rush fire the first salvo in this faction warfare? Or will the Meat Man make ground beef outta El Toro Blanco?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Silver and Rush approach, and Philly cheers for “JOHNNY HUNGY!” Rush shoves Silver but Silver headlocks back. Rush throws hands, powers out, and runs Silver over. Rush stomps away, flexes to mock Silver, then runs. Silver stays low then hurdles to drop again. Rush leaps over, they both run, and Silver UPPERCUTS Rush out of the ring! Fans fire up as Silver flexes now. LFI regroups but Silver builds speed, only to roll and copy Tranquilo! LFI is furious now, and Andrade wants Rush to end Silver! Rush gets in, and he DECKS Silver with that right! Silver sits up in a daze, Rush stomps him back down.
Rush pretends to take something from Silver’s head, either a mask or his actual head, and he “punts” it into the crowd! The kick is good, and Rush goes back to Silver. Rush CHOPS Silver in a corner, CHOPS again, then whips corner to corner. Rush clotheslines then whips again to clothesline the other corner. Rush snapmares and basement dropkicks! Fans boo as Rush kips up to mock the #JoinDarkOrder hand. Silver goes to the apron and Reynolds checks on him, but Rush goes out to drag Silver of and whip him into railing! Rush then brings Silver around to throw hands, and he whips Silver into more railing!
Fans boo but Silver CHOPS and ROCKS Rush! Rush CHOPS back! Rush grabs camera cables but the ref reprimands. Rush snarls but he kicks Silver around. Rush puts Silver in the ring, tells everyone to tranquilo, but fans boo. Rush grits his teeth and gets in, he blocks a kick and he DECKS Silver again. Rush then stomps away on Silver in the corner! Rush runs corner to corner, only to stop short and BOOT Silver instead! Fans boo while Rush Tranquilos, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rush soaks up the heat, drags Silver up, but Silver throws hands. Rush HEADBUTTS Silver, then throws him out! It kinda catches Andrade by surprise, he was watching the crowd. Rush distracts the ref, and Andrade stomps Silver down! Andrade gets away and Rush soaks up more heat. Andrade mocks Silver, dares him to get up, and the ring count climbs. Silver drags himself up but Rush goes out after him, to SMACK him off the timekeeper’s table! And again! Then he CHOPS Silver onto the table! Silver gets up but Rush is after him again, to RAM him into the railing. Rush takes a water bottle to pour it out on his head, he’s getting hot in Philly.
Silver CHOPS back! And ROCKS Rush! Rush pulls Silver’s beard but Silver ROCKS him again. Rush grabs a trash bin and SMASHES Silver with it! Trash goes flying and Silver sputters. Rush stalks Silver back to the ring. The ref reprimands but Rush just shrugs it off. Silver CHOPS! Rush eggs Silver on so Silver CHOPS! Rush SLAPS Silver, then CHOPS him down! Silver sputters again but Rush kicks him around. Rush drags Silver onto the ropes to CHOKE him! The ref reprimands, Rush lets off at 4, and he argues with the ref. Rush drags Silver from ropes to say this is over. Rush goes up the corner, fans rally up, and Rush SUPER SENTONS but FLOPS!
Silver avoids disaster while Rush writhes! A standing count starts, Reynolds rallies the fans up for Silver, and Rampage returns to single picture as the Meat Man rises! Silver runs in to SPLASH Rush! Silver runs but Rush follows to SPLASH! Rush runs corner to corner but Silver follows to SPLASH again! Silver runs, but he suckers Rush in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rush gets up, swings, but into another GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Silver as he has a wild look in his eye! Silver drags Rush up, whips him to ropes but Rush reverses, only to jump into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Silver is seething!
The standing count is back while Rush is down but fans rally. Silver stands, snarls, and drags Rush up to suplex. Rush blocks, throws body shots and then pushes Silver. Silver KICKS! And KICKS! And runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! SUPERKICK! Silver wobbles into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rush can’t believe Silver survives and Andrade looks worried. Andrade tells Rush to finish this but Rush gives toying kicks to Silver. Silver stands and Rush eggs him on. Silver throws a forearm but Rush gives it back! Silver throws another but Rush does, too. Fans rally for Silver as the CHOPS start going back and forth!
Silver CHOPS, Rush DECKS Silver!! Rush snarls as he looms over Silver, then he runs, into a swing! But Rush gets around to backslide. Sliver slips off to KICK, KICK, SUPERKICK and BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Jose gets on the apron! But Reynolds YANKS Jose down! Jose clutches his knee after it bangs off the edge, but now Andrade distracts Silver. The ref reprimands Andrade, Silver tells Andrade to get in the ring then. But Andrade backs down and Rush SUPERMAN FOREARMS Silver down! Silver is sitting in the corner, Rush goes corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
LFI gets the better of the Dark Order here tonight, Jose should get some kind of hazard pay for his assist. But then Andrade and Rush start stomping away on Silver! Reynolds gets in but he gets mugged, too! LFI has 3v2 advantage but here come Uno & Vance! They DECK Jose, fire off on Andrade, but Rush goes after Vance! Uno goes after Rush, but now Butcher & Blade rush out! The AFO are here to help their boss! Now the numbers are back in LFI’s favor! But wait! Here comes Hangman! The Cowboy dodges Andrade, BOOTS Blade, dumps Butcher out, then stares Rush down. They fire off hands, a revisit from how the Golden Ticket Battle Royal finished!
Hangman gets the edge with all his haymakers, then he whips. Rush reverses, Hangman goes up and out and loads up, but Rush bails out! Jose hobbles, Hangman figures what the hell. BUCKSHOT for the assistant! Rush is furious, and it is clear he and Hangman have unfinished business. So THIS JUST IN! Tony Khan makes it official for the Dynamite Anniversary episode! Hangman Page VS Rush 1v1! Will the Cowboy wrangle El Toro Blanco before taking on the AEW World Champion?
A great episode for Rampage to follow up Dynamite and the Grand Slam, as well as to help set up things for the anniversary week. The tag title match was a great opening match, and it did a great job propelling multiple stories. For one, Acclaimed retain, which I figured anyway. They’re surely going to defend against Austin & Colten next, since the Gunns called them out while also calling FTR out. Acclaimed will win there, too, and who knows how it goes with FTR. I don’t wanna say Tony Khan booked himself into a corner, but he’s come close. FTR can’t really lose since they have THREE different tag titles, but The Acclaimed are so popular that it’d be a shame if they lost.
Good segment from The Baddies and the Vixens. Nice character work with Jade; she wants stronger competition yet is hesitant when such a competitor steps up. Nyla VS Jade will be a great match, and with both Marina and Vickie, they’ll be able to cancel out with Kiera and Leila, meaning Nyla will have a fair(er) shot than most. Moriarty gets a quick win off Fuego, but the big thing is Moriarty’s new Heel aggression and Morrissey also getting his in. Assuming Garcia leaves the Jericho Appreciation Society to go full Face, he and Moriarty are gonna have one hell of a feud and match. Also I like that The Firm has to be the one to tell Andrade about Hardy wanting Private Party back, it adds another dimension to that faction’s identity.
Really good promo from #WARDJOE, and I like the idea that they’re going to be some new kind of Two Man Power Trip. They might not go for the ROH tag titles since FTR are technically Wardlow’s pals, but that also adds to the complexities of the AEW tag title picture. Unless Wardlow & Joe each go for other singles titles instead. That could be a way around it, especially with Jericho wanting to bury former ROH World Champions. Jericho VS Joe would be some awesome stuff. Hook whooping Nemeth was also pretty awesome. But I bet with the Trustbusters’ invitation to Hook, the options are A) join the Trustbusters or B) put up the FTW title. And I think we know which one Hook will choose.
Great stuff from Hayter VS Willow, fans love them both and those two can go. Again, there was wasted potential in just doing away with Hayter VS Britt as a feud. But whatever, Britt helps Hayter win, Hayter can have momentum while Britt’s nose heals up, and then we wait and see if they ever/never circle back to a feud. I mean, it could work, with Britt getting jealous of Hayter being just as beloved by the fans and getting opportunities for titles. Glad to see the feud of Death Triangle VS Best Friends continues, as now Trent gets a shot at Pac for Battle of the Belts IV. Not sure Trent wins that one, but it’ll be an awesome match.
And I like what we’re getting out of the LFI VS Dark Order feud. Good promo segment to set up Andrade VS Vance, but I don’t see Andrade leaving AEW so he’ll be taking Vance’s mask. Rush VS Silver was a great main event, but of course Heels win with Heel tactics. Reynolds and Jose should’ve been more careful with that apron trip-up spot, though, that was not a clean drop. Of course we get a brawl, and of course Hangman helps the Dark Order. Hangman VS Rush 1v1 is going to be an awesome match for the anniversary show, and it’ll help Hangman get some momentum going into the title match in Cincy. Great promo from him and Moxley, too, and Hangman was perfectly in character realizing he’s going to be at a disadvantage.
My Score: 8.7/10
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