Shotzi Blackheart fights for her team’s advantage at TakeOver!
Before the teams go head to head, Captain Shotzi Blackheart will battle #BigMamiCool to gain advantage for her, Ember, Rhea and…? Who is the fourth woman for Team Shotzi?
- Damian Priest & Leon Ruff VS El Legado del Fantasma; Priest & Ruff win.
- Cameron Grimes VS August Grey; Grimes wins.
- Jake Atlas VS Tony Nese; Atlas wins.
- Grizzled Young Veterans VS
Ever-RiseImperium; Imperium wins, by disqualification.
- WarGames Advantage Ladder Match: Shotzi Blackheart VS Raquel Gonzalez; Shotzi wins and her team will have advantage in the WarGames match.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT mourn the loss of Pat Patterson.
“From San Francisco, California,” and with Frank Sinatra singing, we see a highlight reel of moments from Pat Patterson, and then transition to Pat’s karaoke cover of “I Did It My Way.” Because that’s exactly how he did it. The inaugural WWF/WWE Intercontinental Champion, the inventor of the Royal Rumble match, and the architect of countless memories in pro-wrestling history, we will never forget him. Thank you, Pat, for everything.
Damian Priest & Leon Ruff VS El Legado del Fantasma!
Johnny Gargano is on commentary and talking trash on the Archer of Infamy as he teams up with the ultimate underdog North American Champion! Priest is taking Curt Stallion’s place here because he wants to make sure the North American Champion makes it to TakeOver. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde have been getting at Ruff on social media, and they tried getting at Priest before the show, but Priest doesn’t sweat Santos Escobar’s “little idiots.” Will Priest and Ruff make sure the NXT Cruiserweight Champion and his right hand man are in for a rough night?
The teams sort out, Ruff wants to start to show he can do this, so Priest agrees. Ruff starts against Escobar and we have a champion VS champion sampler here! Escobar and Ruff circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Escobar throws Ruff down! Ruff gets to ropes and Escobar talks trash, “This is your champ?” Escobar and Ruff tie up, Escobar rolls Ruff up, ONE! Escobar keeps Ruff down, then pushes him. Escobar doesn’t take Ruff seriously, and tags Mendoza in. Mendoza doesn’t take Ruff serious either, but he wrenches and knees low to whip Ruff to a corner. Ruff slips out, forearms and goes around the ropes to slide under and dropkick Mendoza down! Cover, ONE!
Ruff drags Mendoza up but Mendoza knees low! Tag to Escobar, Escobar pulls hair but Ruff breaks free, only for Escobar to KNEE him down! Priest tags in and now Priest dares Escobar to do something. Escobar reconsiders and tags out again. Mendoza and Priest tie up, Mendoza waistlocks but Priest breaks free and wrenches. Priest wrenches more, whips Mendoza corner to corner but Mendoza slips out to slingshot in and run, into a tilt-o-whirl. Mendoza lands on his feet, speeds things up and dodges to club away and KICK Priest! Mendoza runs but into Priest’s leaping back elbow! Fans fire up for Priest as he goes out after Mendoza and scoops him. Priest gives Mendoza snake eyes to the apron!
Priest dares Escobar to do something before he ROCKS Mendoza! And RAMS him into boards! Priest gets in at 8 but goes back out. Mendoza CHOPS but Priest just scowls. Priest BELL CLAPS and ROUNDHOUSES Mendoza down. But Gargano’s friend, Ghost Face is watching! Gargano pretends it’s just some fan cosplaying, and Priest throws Mendoza in to glare at Ghost Face. Escobar tags in and DIVES! Direct hit from Escobar to Priest, the Arrow from Hell was sure more than the Archer of Infamy was expecting! Escobar grins and fans are fired up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Escobar stomps Priest, drags him up and instead of putting him, he hits a DDT to the floor! Escobar rains down rights, drags Priest up and puts him back in. Priest hits back but Escobar tags Mendoza in. El Legado mugs Priest, Mendoza clubs away on Priest, then taunts Ruff. Mendoza stomps Priest, tags Escobar, but Priest throws body shots! Escobar elbows and mule kicks Priest to then enziguri! Escobar CHOPS Ruff off the apron! Then Penalty Kicks Priest down! Tag back to Mendoza, who runs, and coordinates with Escobar, for the hip toss rebound splash! Mendoza keeps moving to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Mendoza keeps close to Priest, and kicks him back down! Mendoza clubs Priest, drags him up, but Priest powers up, only to end up in the Fantasma corner! Escobar tags in and KICKS Priest’s leg! Escobar kicks Priest around, stomps him down, but the ref counts. Escobar lets off at 4, Priest flounders and sputters, but Escobar stomps him again. Escobar drags Priest by a leg, stomps the knee, then kicks Priest more. Escobar wraps up the legs for a Trailer Hitch! Priest endures as Escobar cranks on the legs, then he power sup to hammer Escobar! Escobar lets go of the legs but he clubs Priest down! Tag to Mendoza and they mug Priest. Mendoza watches Priest get up to dropkick him back down!
Mendoza aims at Priest, but then sucker punches Ruff! NXT returns to single picture as Mendoza runs in to clothesline Priest! Tag to Escobar, and Escobar runs corner to corner for his own clothesline! Tag back to Mendoza for another clothesline! Escobar tags in again, but Priest choke grips Mendoza! Escobar dropkicks Priest hard! Escobar brings Priest up to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Escobar tries again, TWO! Gargano denies that the Ghost Face in the crowd is his Ghost Face, or that he’s as bad as people say. Escobar drags Priest up to knee him down, then drags him by his legs. Escobar drops an elbow on the leg and pulls on the foot!
Priest tries to fight back with a chinbar but Escobar cranks on the foot. Priest throws elbows into Escobar’s head but Escobar just shifts to drop an elbow on the knee! Tag to Mendoza, Mendoza digs his knee into Priest’s knee, then pulls Priest’s hair. Gargano says this serves Priest right, he had no business stepping in. Priest kicks Mendoza away, but Mendoza comes back to kick Priest down! Mendoza drags Priest around to hit another spinning toehold. Mendoza throws forearms, Priest shoves Mendoza then catches him for a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up as Priest crawls, and tags in Ruff!
Escobar tags in, but Ruff dodges to dropkick Mendoza! Then he elbows Escobar, goes up and leaps to FLYING RANA! Cover, ONE!! Escobar gets up, Ruff runs in but Mendoza tags. Escobar reverses the whip but Ruff kicks, kicks, enziguris and neckbreakers! But Mendoza dropkicks Ruff down! Mendoza drags Ruff up, CLUBS him down, then brings Ruff up for a back suplex. Ruff lands on his feet, slides under and tags Priest back in! Priest rallies on El Legado now, FLAPJACK for Mendoza! Kick and kick and ROLLING ELBOW for Escobar! Gargano can’t believe Priest is still going. “I hate when he does this! I hate that stupid arrow!” Priest hits the leaping back elbow!
Escobar distracts so Priest DECKS him! Mendoza enziguris back and goes up top! Mendoza walks the tight rope, but Priest DECKS him out of the air! Priest roars, drags Mendoza up, but Ruff tags in!? Priest still hits THE RECKONING! Ruff goes up and hits a FROG SPLASH! Cover, Priest and Ruff win!
Winners: Leon Ruff & Damian Priest, by pinfall
Gargano says none of this will be how it is Sunday at TakeOver. That’s true, as it will be a Triple Threat. But will that North American Championship match go #TheJohnnyGarganoWay? Or will one of the two men who won here win again?
Team Shotzi is putting in work in the NXT garage.
Shotzi has Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley on her team now, and they’re helping put things back together. Ember has to shout over the noise of the power tools to tell her about this “gift” they got her. Rhea says every war machine needs an engine. And they have show Shotzi what they got. “What do you think?” “I think I’m in love.” Time to go to war! But there’s still a piece missing to the team! Who will be the final member of Team Shotzi? And bigger still, who gets the advantage with tonight’s ladder match?
NXT takes a look at the Men’s WarGames match!
The Kings of NXT boasted to Finn Balor about what they’ve done in his absence. But he said “it’s easy for the mice to play when the cat’s away.” And this cat wasn’t alone! The Undisputed Era made their triumphant return and took the fight to McAfee, Dunne, Oney and Danny! And what else was Mr. Regal to do but put this in… WARGAMES!! This match has proven to be brutal as ever, but also has been a major claim to fame for the Undispute Era, having been in every single NXT WarGames, and having won a couple while they were at it.
“It’s really good, it’s really important, to just get out and reflect sometimes.” Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong are all dressed up, hoping to use a night out on the town to make up for the last few weeks. Kyle lost his NXT Championship match, Cole was brutalized by Ridge Holland, Bobby and Roddy were both attacked backstage by who knows from the Kings of NXT, and Pete Dunne blindsided and betrayed Kyle over a years-old grudge. Not to mention, a certain masked man (probably Pat) screwed Kyle out of WarGames Advantage last week. Cole says “we have been running this for years,” Kyle says they’ve been “top dogs since basically we stepped foot here.”
They made an impact when attacking Drew McIntyre, when winning all the gold, and whatever else they decided to do in NXT. The four ride in style as they go out for a meal. Cole isn’t sure if they’ve ever been tested like this before. Their backs are against the wall here. “It’s making me think about everything.” Strong agrees, because they’ve yet to “fight from underneath” like this. Kyle says this might be good for them. They can remind themselves of what got them all here. Bobby feels he’s reflected enough. It’s time to whoop some ass.
Cole told McAfee and his crew will realize they’re in over their heads, being trapped inside two rings and two cages against four of the baddest men to ever be in the WWE. And four guys as pissed off as them, this will end McAfee. This isn’t about embarrassing or hurting the “Kings,” but about making them the Bitches of NXT! So Cole makes a toast to McAfee, “for being so incredibly smart, and also so incredibly stupid.” The wars the UE have gone to are only a sample of what’s coming. Will they take things to an entirely new level to prove they are still the top of the mountain?
Backstage interview with Team Candice.
Candice LeRae has Indi Hartwell as well as her WarGames teammates, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez and Toni Storm, with her, but what are their thoughts on Shotzi’s team? You call that a team? Candice and cohorts have a laugh, and Candice says Shotzi only has two people, “and they’re damaged goods!” Indi took a bullet for the team last week, and yet the team is still stacked! Toni’s unpredictability, Dakota’s resilience and Raquel’s strength are everything Candice needs to win. And we will see that strength on full display. Raquel says that after tonight, this team goes home with the advantage. And Shotzi will feel like she got run over, by a tank. Candice likes the reference there. Team Poison Pixie heads out, but will Shotzi and her team be the antidote?
Cameron Grimes VS August Grey!
Before being strapped in to the Strap Match with Dexter Lumis, the Carolina Caveman is here with a burlap sack of his own. Will Grimes have this match with #RetroAG in the bag as he heads for TakeOver?
Turns out, what was in the bag was a leather strap! Grimes is showing us all that he isn’t afraid of the strap, but the leather isn’t Lumis. The bell rings, Grimes and Grey tie up and Grimes waistlocks to CLUB and CLOBBER Grey down! Grimes kicks Grey, stalks him along ropes and KICKS him again! Grimes whips corner to corner hard and Grey bounces off buckles! Grimes drags Grey up, whips him and kitchen sink knees him! Grimes wants Lumis to watch this as he rakes Grey’s face and hooks the mouth! Grimes CLUBS Grey, brings him up, but Grey throws hands! Grey haymakers but Grimes knees low! Grimes whips but Grey kicks back!
Grey runs but Grimes scoops, only for Grey to slip out an dropkick! Grimes runs in but into a jawbreaker! And neckbreaker! Fans rally as Grey baits Grimes into a corner! Grimes puts Grey on the apron but Grey throws haymakers! Grimes flounders, Grey climbs and tightrope walks for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Grey keeps his cool as he drags Grimes up. Grimes shoves Grey, Grey rolls Grimes up, TWO! Grimes spins Grey, scoops him and swings him for the SIDEWALK SLAM! Grimes whips Grey to CAVE-IN! Cover, Grimes wins!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall
The Technical Savage stomps out Grey’s red hot momentum, and then takes the strap in hand. “Lumis, you wanna be strapped up to me? Cameron Grimes, a real man! Well I’m afraid you made a mistake.” Grimes uses Grey as an example as he straps him in and pulls him up for a LARIAT! Grimes says that’ll happen to Lumis, but maybe he doesn’t understand. So he LASHES Grey on the back! And LASHES Grey again! “Here’s the best part! He can run, but he’s still strapped up! And I can pull him right back in!” But now LUMIS is on the other end!
Grimes turns around and is spooked! Lumis gets to reel Grimes in and throw hands on him, then LASHES him on the back! And again! Grimes runs like a scalded dog, but will Lumis get to whip him like a government mule at TakeOver?
Jake Atlas VS Tony Nese!
Though the NXT Cruiserweight Championship is spoken for by the Lonestar, these two stars of the Cruiserweight Division know there’s always another chance! Will Atlas shrug the Premier Athlete off? Or will Nese show the new wave why this 205 Live OG is still here?
The bell rings and they tie up. Nese arm-drags and armlocks Atlas, and then messes Atlas’ hair up. Atlas keeps his cool as Nese flexes on him, but then rushes Atlas and goes after him at the ropes! The ref backs Atlas off, Nese goes after a leg but Atlas steps over to arm-drag Nese down! Atlas has the armlock and grinds the shoulder but Nese fights up. Atlas messes Nese’s hair and Nese gets mad. But Nese backs down as Atlas gets in his face again. The two speed up, Atlas O’Conner rolls, TWO! Nese avoids the kick, and the moonsault, but Atlas cartwheels and dropkicks Nese out! Atlas DIVES and sends Nese into the desk! The young star is fired up with the fans as he puts Nese in the ring.
Atlas goes up to the corner and to the top rope, but Nese SHORYUKENS Atlas down! Nese stomps Atlas down at the ropes, but cameras cut to the parking lot, as the Kings of NXT arrive in a bright yellow H2! McAfee is fired up because “the show is here!” Nese whips Atlas to knee him at the ropes, then whips him the other way to knee him again! Nese snap suplexes Atlas to a cover, TWO! Nese drags Atlas back up, cravats and throws in knees! Nese torture racks Atlas, bends him, but Atlas endures to fight out with elbows! Atlas then ROCKS Nese with a right! And another! Nese back kicks before the third, but runs into a chicken wing, spin and DISCUS!
Fans fire up with Atlas as he back drops Nese! Atlas blocks a punch, fires off forearms on Nese, then GERMAN SUPLEXES! Nese gets up for Atlas to DECK him! Cover, TWO! Atlas keeps his cool as Nese survives. Atlas then fires himself up with slapping his own face! Fans fire up, too, and Atlas drags Nese up, but Nese gets to ropes! The ref counts, Atlas lets go at 3, and Nese SLAPS him! Nese reels Atlas in, “You think you’re better than me?!” Hotshot bulldog! And PREMIER TRIANGLE but he has to land out as Atlas moves! Atlas sunset flips, Nese slips out to spinning KICK! Cover, TWO!! Atlas survives and Nese is shocked!
Nese glares as Atlas goes to a corner. Nese stomps him down, pulls down the knee pad, and runs side to side, but Atlas moves! The knee gets buckles, Atlas hits a LEAPING JAWBREAKER! Atlas goes up, sees Nese and hits the CARTWHEEL DDT! Cover, Atlas wins!!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall
The new wave just washed away a former Cruiserweight Champion! McKenzie is ringside to interview Atlas and asks about his rough couple of weeks. Atlas is fired up, but he knows the pattern. One step forward, three steps back. But Atlas has fought through the bad things in life. As soon as he wants to give up, he turns it around. Atlas knows being at the top is no joke. Atlas isn’t champion, but he just picked himself back up. “This is just the beginning.” Atlas wants to keep this momentum going until he gets back to that Cruiserweight title! Will Atlas climb the mountaintop once more to finally plant his flag and put himself on the map?
The Kings of NXT head to the ring!
Pat McAfee leads the Bruiserweight and the NXT Tag Team Champions to the ring, and of course he gets the mic. “Shut up, Vic Joseph. You suck.” But first of all, McAfee wants to say RIP Pat Patterson, a man he has the utmost respect for, and he appreciates everything that man has done for the business. For once, McAfee said something fans cheer for. But now, on the complete opposite end of the respect spectrum, i.e. those he has ZERO respect for: every loser wrestling fan at home or in the Capitol Wrestling Center, and especially the Undisputed Era. “They’re not worth it. A bunch of punks.”
McAfee is upset that we were “forced to watch a night out with the Undisputed Era.” As expected, it was the lamest night on the town McAfee has ever seen! Rented tuxedos that didn’t fit, drinking boxed wine in glasses, and they were in a low level pizza shop, out back by the kitchen, because the establishment was so embarrassed to have the UE there. “And we’re talking, reflecting, nostalgia was running wild, brother!” But how about these four do that? It’s no secret that this team was put together by money!
And like every good team, you invest in greatness, and that is what McAfee did with these three men! And that isn’t counting the Mercedes he gave to a man who isn’t even able to be here. That’s more money than “any of you losers will ever see or have in your entire life, COMBINED, to make the greatness that you see in front of you!” McAfee says they have run NXT since they got here! And this Sunday at WarGames, it will be about Pete Dunne, the longest reigning UK Champion of all time! “A man who has ended careers! A man who just one week ago, maybe with the help of a masked man, who I assume was very attractive under that mask,” but totally NOT McAfee, no. But Dunne beat the hell out of Kyle and won the team advantage! “Atta boy, Pete Dunne!”
Sunday will not be another main event for the ungrateful Undisputed Era. This will be about two main event players, 30 years combined experience, finally getting the opportunity to seize the spotlight and main event the biggest wrestling PPV in history! Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch will not squander this opportunity, right? “HELL NO!” Is there any ounce of fear in them? “HELL NO!” Are these two the greatest tag team ever? Wait, yes, of course they are. McAfee knows they’re the absolute best.
But McAfee says those at home, this is what he wants us to do: Sunday, WWE Network, TakeOver: WarGames, in your tiny basements of your dumb mom’s house, “envision yourself as a member of the Undisputed Era.” Feel every single kick in the mouth that McAfee gives Adam Cole. Feel every single punch, every single time the Kings bounce UE off the steel, put them through tables, hit them with chairs, hit them with kendo sticks, whatever else happens! Feel every single part of it!
Because McAfee knows when we tune in this Sunday, we want to see him get ripped apart. We want to see McAfee “get his.” But McAfee has three badasses behind him. “Two rings, two cages, two teams, one brutal truth: the boys broke the Undisputed Era’s spirit last week.” And Dunne says they will END the Undisputed Era! Damn right! Dunne doesn’t talk until he has to. This isn’t just undisputed, it’s a promise. “We’re the greatest, you all suck. Cheers.” The war of words is over, but who wins the WarGames?
Xia Li and Boa endure harsh training.
But “Shifu” is not satisfied with how long they’re holding their breaths under freezing water. He has them keep going, again and again and again. They’re being pushed past their limits, but “she” is very demanding. The training concludes for the night, and Xia and Boa both stand before her. They bow, but she is not satisfied. Xia and Boa get kendo stick SMACKS to their backs! Will they break under the pressure before they ever have a chance to prove themselves worthy?
Grizzled Young Veterans VS Ever-Rise!
Zack Gibson and James Drake made their return to NXT at the expense of Chase Parker and Matt Marthel last week, which is why they’re having this match! Will Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem climb towards the NXT Tag Team Championships at Ever-Rise’s expense, too?
But before GYV can hit the ring, IMPERIUM strikes down Ever-Rise?! So much for returning to NXT UK! Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner are beating down Marthel and Parker! Aichner gives Marthel a back suplex over the barriers! Then Parker is TOSSED out to join Marthel! Barthel gets the mic to shout, “Grizzled Young Veterans, who do you think you are?!” The tag team division belongs to IMPERIUM! Teams like Danny & Oney and Breezango had their fun, but Imperium is here to put them back in their places. But for now, they will put GYV in their place. Well GYV will accept this change of plans! Who from NXT UK proves they’re the top team in ALL of NXT?
Grizzled Young Veterans VS Imperium!
Teams sort out and Gibson starts against the Pride of Italy. Fans fire up as Aichner and Gibson tie up and go around. Gibson keeps away from the Imperium corner but Aichner waistlocks. Gibson switches, Aichner pries free to get the arm and wrench. Gibson gest to ropes but Barthel tags in. Imperium whips Gibson, Barthel arm-drags then scrapes Gibson’s face! Barthel mocks Gibson, runs in and European Uppercuts hard! Barthel whips the other way, Drake saves Gibson from hitting buckles and Gibson CLOBBERS Barthel! Gibson drags Barthel up, elbows him to the ropes then brings him over. Tag to Drake and GYV mugs Barthel!
Drake stalks Barthel, CHOPS him, then throws forearms. Barthel EuroUppers, Drake CHOPS! Barthel EuroUppers, Drake throws a forearm! Drake whips corner to corner, Barthel reveres but Drake goes out and shoulders in! Drake slingshot sunset flips, TWO! Barthel ROCKS Drake with a right! Barthel talks trash in German, brings Drake to his knees and pulls on hair. Barthel clubs away, bumps Drake off buckles, then tags Aichner. Aichner brings Drake around to whip into Barthel’s enziguri! Then Aichner hits a high and hard back suplex! Aichner poses as fans boo but he scuffs Drake with his foot.
Aichner puts Drake on ropes and CHOPS him! Drake hits back, they brawl but Aichner stomps away in the corner! The ref counts, Aichner lets off at 4, then drags Drake back up. Aichner reels Drake in, suplexes, but Drake slips out and tumbles. Aichner CLUBS Drake, CHOPS him, but Drake forearms. Aichner knees low, Drake tries to wrench out of the facelock, but he slips out of the suplex! Gibson tags in, GYV leap frog and CLOBBER Aichner! Gibson DECKS Barthel and shouts, “Back of the line!” Aichner BOOTS Gibson, elbows Drake, then drags Gibson into the double wristlock!
Gibson fights up, whips Aichner and swings, but Aichner ducks to fireman’s carry and standing Death Valley! Gibson boots Aichner away and arm-drags him down! Aichner headscissors but Gibson pops out, Aichner CHOPS! Gibson headlocks, Aichner powers out but Gibson reverses, only for Aichner to reverse. They both go back and forth, and end up tumbling out of the ring together! Drake and Marthel back up their tag partners but the ref keeps this from breaking down as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns as Drake denies a roll up to tag in Gibson. Gibson waistlocks, Aichner switches but Drake helps Gibson back Aichner into a corner! Gibson then moves for Drake to elbow Aichner, then adds a clothesline! Feed to the windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Gibson drags Aichner up to club him down, then brings him up to tag in Drake. Gibson ripcords Aichner for Drake’s forearm to DECK him! Cover, TWO! Drake grows frustrated but he throws forearms to keep Aichner from Barthel. Drake brings Aichner up but Aichner suplexes to hang Drake out to dry! Drake flops down, Aichner crawls, hot tag to Gibson! Aichner trips Gibson to catapult into the corner!
Barthel tags in, Barthel puts Gibson in the ropes, Imperium meets with the dropkick sandwich! Barthel then scoops Gibson for a RUNNING AIR RAID! Cover, TWO!! Gibson survives but Barthel grits his teeth. Barthel stalks Gibson to a corner and throws haymakers. Barthel whips Gibson, Gibson reverses but Barthel stops himself to enziguri! Barthel runs in but Gibson boots, only for Barthel to shout “NEIN!” Butterfly suplex! Barthel goes up, poses for a moment, but leaps into a throat chop! But he throat chops back! Both men gasps for air, scowl at each other and pull each other’s ears. The ref reprimands, Barthel stops and tags in Aichner.
Aichner waistlocks Gibson, reels him in but Gibson runs into Barthel! Aichner hits a SPINEBUSTER, Barthel hits the PENALTY KICK! Then the GUT WRENCH, and Aichner covers, TWO! Aichner drags Gibson up to a fireman’s carry, ROLLING SENTON! And then MOONSAULT onto knees! Hot tag to Drake! Gibson holds Aichner in place for Drake’s ENZIGURI! Drake scowls as he drags Aichner up in the corner, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS him! Drake hoists Aichner up top, climbs up to join him but Aichner fights back! Aichner slips under, Drake fights back now, and Aichner says he got hit in the nose. Barthel shoves Drake into Aichner’s arms for the SUPLEX! Cover, Gibson breaks it!
Fans are thunderous as Barthel goes after Gibson. Gibson throws Barthel out then rams Aichner in, GRIT YOUR TEETH DROPKICK! MAYHEM IN MOTION for Barthel! GYV fire up and Gibson goes out, only for Barthel go after him! Aichner rolls Drake, TWO! Aichner throws Drake out to where Gibson and Barthel brawl, and then Aichner builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes everyone out at the ramp!! Fans are thunderous but Marthel returns to RAM Aichner into steel steps!!
Winners: Imperium, by disqualification
But then Parker POSTS Gibson! Ever-Rise is getting revenge on both teams! They RAM Barthel into boards, and then bring Drake up to FLAPJACK off the apron!! Ever-Rise will not be left out of the NXT Tag Team Championship race, but they do realize they’re now outnumbered 4v2. Parker and Marthel get away, but will they have to face both teams eventually?
Backstage interview with Ever-Rise.
At least, it would be if they’d stay. Parker and Marthel say “they got a taste,” and “Ever-Rise rules!” Then they get in the car and pull off into the night.
NXT presents another Thatch As Thatch Can!
Timothy Thatcher welcomes us back to another live session. “Today’s lesson: distractions. Apparently here in NXT, a lot of people lose matches via distractions.” Music plays, lights go out, people jump up on the apron, or people take seats at ringside. Tonight, Thatcher and his new student show us how to deal with distractions. Tonight- TOMMASO CIAMPA?! Thatcher tells him to out, he has a student already. No, Ciampa isn’t here to learn. He’s here to teach. “Class is in session.”
Thatcher says he has no beef with Ciampa. Thatcher goes to leave, but then Ciampa says, “Timothy Thatcher, everybody! Such a disappointment.” Thatcher takes offense, but he knows Ciampa is trying to goad him. Then Thatcher tackles Ciampa! They scramble, Ciampa gets up and DECKS Thatcher! “Lesson one: Don’t be an ass!” But then Thatcher’s student attacks Ciampa! They go after Ciampa 2v1 and Thatcher DECKS Ciampa! Thatcher throws knees and “student” Tyler Russ takes his leave. But Ciampa drags Thatcher out, only for Thatcher to RAM him into boards! And then into more boards!
Thatcher puts Ciampa back in the ring while fans boo, and Ciampa gets up! Thatcher has the facelock and makes it a grommet! Ciampa endures but faces, and is OUT! Thatcher grins as he looms over Ciampa. Thatcher did teach us what he can do when he has help, but will learn that the Psycho Killer doesn’t give up so easily?
Backstage interview with Timothy Thatcher.
It would appear he and his student tonight were just setting Ciampa up. Seems like it? No, Thatcher had no idea Russ would do that! But Thatcher is impressed to see a student taking initiative. Tonight, Ciampa learned about “distraction.” Sunday at TakeOver, Ciampa learns about respect. So another match has been added to WarGames! Will this one be as knockdown, drag out brutal as all the rest?
WarGames Advantage Ladder Match: Shotzi Blackheart VS Raquel Gonzalez!
While Shotzi’s army is missing a necessary unit, the tactical advantage is still very important! Will the wild child win big and worry about the missing piece later? Or will the situation only become more dire after facing #RickyDesperado?
The rest of Team Candice watches from one of the perches, as do Rhea and Ember from the other. The bell rings, Shotzi shotgun dropkicks Raquel but she stays up! Shotzi fires off forearms, Raquel shoves her, but Shotzi dodges the forearm to kick away on a leg! Raquel shoves Shotzi again, blocks the code breaker and throws her to a corner. Shotzi dodges again but Raquel blocks the kick! Raquel shoves Shotzi down, Shotzi kicks her away, then Shotzi runs in, only to get buckles! Raquel runs in, gets under the boots and Canadian racks Shotzi, to make it a torture rack by pulling Shotzi’s hair!
Raquel throws Shotzi then throws her into ropes! Shotzi lands safe and throws forearms back! Raquel DECKS Shotzi, then goes out to get a ladder! Shotzi stops Raquel but Raquel elbows her away. Raquel scoops Shotzi, but Shotzi slips out to shove Raquel into the ladder! Raquel falls, Shotzi gets in and builds speed, to dropkick the ladder into Raquel! Fans fire up as Shotzi gets that ladder back up and puts it in the ring. But Raquel grabs Shotzi, only for Shotzi to kick her away. Shotzi leaps, but Raquel catches her, to SLAM her onto the ladder! Raquel gets the ladder up, but Shotzi returns to hop on as a backpack! Raquel rams Shotzi into buckles, but Shotzi holds on!
Raquel rolls out, RAMS Shotzi into the apron, then goes up the steel steps! Shotzi still holds on as Raquel gets to the apron, to RAM Shotzi into the post! Shotzi falls to the floor, Raquel gasps for air and goes back after Shotzi, to haul her up and RAM her into boards! And then toss her away! Shotzi lands on her feet, baits Raquel in and lets the boot hit rungs! Shotzi throws the foot into the steps, then goes to the apron to dropkick Raquel back into those steps! Raquel still pushes back, and tosses Shotzi at the fencing! But Shotzi leaps up and clings to it like a cat! Shotzi mule kicks Raquel away, then TRUST FALLS! Down goes Raquel and fans are fired up!
Fans fire up as Shotzi drags herself to the ring. Shotzi gets up but Raquel kicks her into the steps! Shotzi gets up again but Raquel kicks her again! And again! Shotzi finally goes down as NXT goes picture in pnicture.
Raquel seethes, gets up, and drags Shotzi up to throw her into boards! Raquel hobbles while Shotzi slumps down. Raquel drags Shotzi up, and throws her into more boards! Shotzi flops back down while Raquel gets another ladder into the ring. Shotzi hurries after Raquel to club her from behind! And again! And again! Shotzi CHOPS Raquel, fires up, then goes after her again. But Raquel rakes Shotzi’s eyes! Raquel goes around the way, looks under the ring, and brings out another ladder! She puts that in the ring, but Shotzi is there to tug-o-war with her! Raquel lets go of the ladder to CLOBBER Shotzi!
Raquel picks a ladder up to JAM it into Shotzi again and again! Raquel brings Shotzi up, Shotzi keeps fighting, and then rolls Raquel out of the ring! Raquel drags Shotzi out but Shotzi kicks her away! Shotzi gets the ladder, and RAMS Raquel at the apron! And again! Raquel grabs the ladder this time and shoves Shotzi down with it, only for Shotzi to ROUNDHOUSE back! Shotzi has the ladder, sets it up beside Raquel and then goes up. Shotzi reels Raquel in, for a TORNADO DDT onto the ladder and apron!! Both women crash down but are still okay to continue. Shotzi cravats but no Sliced Bread as Raquel SLAMS Shotzi into the apron!
Both teams are watching intently as Raquel pulls steel steps apart. Raquel RAMS Shotzi down! Raquel gets in the ring, stands a ladder up, and starts to climb. Shotzi returns to hurry up the other side! Shotzi grabs one of Raquel’s arms and yanks it through the rungs! Raquel fights back but Shotzi bumps her head off the top! Both women fall off the ladder but the ladder stays up. Shotzi clutches an ankle but she gets her bad leg moving. Shotzi hobbles over, climbs up but Raquel grabs her to yank her down! Shotzi returns the favor, but Raquel shoves her! Raquel climbs, Shotzi tips the ladder over!
Raquel and Shotzi hobble around to fight over the same ladder. Shotzi ROCKS Raquel, grabs the other ladder, but Raquel BOOTS it out of Shotzi’s hand! Raquel grabs the ladder, but Shotzi goes up an dover! The ladder is in the ropes, Shotzi headscissors Raquel into it! Shotzi then aims and runs, to CANNONBALL Raquel into the ladder!! Raquel flounders and sputters as fans go nuts for “NXT! NXT!” Raquel flops out, Shotzi climbs up and aims, for a FLYING SEATED SENTON! Both women hit the floor and their teams are both worried. Wait, who is putting a ladder next to the platform? Indi Hartwell is helping Team Candice make a jailbreaker! The refs say this isn’t fair, but the team is just worried about Raquel.
Wait, someone did the same thing for Rhea and Ember? Who…? But Rhea and Ember go after Team Candice, while also checking on Shotzi. But now Indi is setting up a ladder in the ring? Shotzi gets in to stop her from winning this for Raquel! ROUNDHOUSE! Raquel rushes in, and she CLOBBERS Shotzi! Raquel climbs, the teams brawl ringside and officials have to stop that! But wait, IO SHIRAI literally jumps in! She is a backpack on Raquel to keep her down! Raquel is stuck in a sleeper, but she throws Shirai off to the apron! Shirai baits Raquel in and dumps her out! Then Shirai lines up her shot as she climbs up top, for a SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT!! Everyone goes down!!
Shotzi is back in the ring! She’s climbing all alone! Shotzi gets the briefcase and wins!!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart (Team Shotzi has the advantage)
Not only does Shotzi’s team have the edge, they have an Evil Genius on their side! Will those two important factors be all the difference against Team Candice?
A really good episode for the go-home to WarGames! I feel a bit bad for Curt Stallion being replaced in at least kayfabe. It does make sense for Priest to feel he has to protect Ruff, but I would’ve liked if Stallion finally got some time on NXT to interact with the Cruiserweight Champion. The match was good, but with Priest and Ruff standing tall, the math would dictate Gargano winning the title back to become a historic three-time North American Champion. I’m hoping they defy the math and find a way for Ruff to retain, because I wouldn’t mind seeing North American VS Cruiserweight Champion, #WinnerTakesAll. What better way for Escobar to “mold” the Cruiserweight Division in his image than to establish that Cruiserweights can win more than just one title?
Cameron Grimes had a very good segment tonight, with beating Grey to then beat Grey, only for Lumis to give him his comeuppance. This likely means Grimes finds a way to win at TakeOver to tie the series at 1-1. But I do have to say that Grimes is already becoming a master of blending serious and comedic wrestling within his character. We know he can win and be a strong threat, but he’s also able to bring charisma and an over-the-top nature so that it’s fun to see him get shown-up. We also got a great match out of Atlas VS Nese, in a way giving us great blending of NXT and 205 Live, but also just building Atlas back up, as we heard him say in that promo.
The Undisputed Era had a really good pseudo Prime Target, and McAfee had a great promo running it down. I also like that he easily utilized an honest, out of character moment of praising Pat Patterson to then double down on UE. McAfee’s character definitely talks a big game, but this has to mean he and his team lose big at WarGames. Though, with the UE having done everything, and a lot of new tag teams getting in the mix, this could be the moment UE pass the torch so to speak and head on to Raw or SmackDown (preferably SmackDown). And speaking of, GYV VS Imperium was great, and I’m fine that Ever-Rise caused the DQ. GYV and Imperium both stay strong, and this could become a Triple Threat to determine the first challengers for Oney & Danny.
Ciampa and Thatcher had a good segment to give us a good brawl, and their match being added last minute is whatever, the match itself should be very good. I have a feeling we’re also going to see the results of this new story for Boa, Xia Li and I believe it’s Karen Q who NXT casted as “her” this Sunday. Depending on who wins what, Xia might be sent after Io Shirai to try and jump the line towards the title. And speaking of Shirai, she was a shoe-in for joining Team Shotzi after what Team Candice did to her. I like how they introduced it, though. The almost Pulp Fiction briefcase moment with the “engine,” then the mysterious ladders scooting up to the perches, it was great stuff.
I was afraid for Shotzi there with her ankle, I thought she was going to end up sidelined right as she is going in as the team leader of WarGames. In a vacuum, it’s a bit worrisome in the math that the Faces went over, since they would then lose at WarGames. But since the UE are Faces in their match, and are the underdogs because of The Kings having advantage, you can’t just copy and paste that. Maybe Shotzi’s team still somehow end up against the wall since Indi likes helping Candice, and there are still somehow multiple Ghost Faces running around. All I know is, Shotzi and team need to be riding in on a tank and it’ll be a success.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (2/7/23)
Konosuke Takeshita gets Dark!
The future of wrestling could be defined in the Dark!
Konosuke Takeshita is going strong in AEW, but he takes on MLW’s EJ Nduka! Will Konosuke still be The Future? Or will The Judge bring down the law?
- Slim J VS Mascara Dorada; wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Aiden Park; wins.
- The Outrunners VS Logan Cruz & Tyshaun Perez; wins.
- Baliyan Akki VS Rico Gonzalez; wins.
- Blake Christian VS Serpentico w/ Luther; wins.
- Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Dante Casanova; wins.
- Kiera Hogan VS Megan Meyers; wins.
- Konosuke Takeshita VS EJ Nduka; wins.
Another pretty good line-up, but the highlight is of course Konosuke VS Nduka. Both are great, having been champions outside of AEW. In fact, Nduka will be featured on tonight’s debut edition of MLW Underground on the Reelz channel. Nduka is challenging Alex Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. Between AEW Dark on YouTube and the MLW television debut, Nduka is going to get noticed by a lot of wrestling fans, and he very well could be the new MLW Champion the next time he’s in AEW.
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/6/23)
Time to rage in the cage!
Will it end where it all began?
Damage CTRL denied us and Becky Lynch the cage match with Bayley before, but now that Raw is in Orlando, The Man VS The Role Model WILL happen! Will this all come full circle for both these Horsewomen?
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins; Priest wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano; Lumis wins.
- Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella; Carmella wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
- Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy; Alexander & Benjamin win.
- Chelsea Green VS ???; Asuka wins.
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford; Ford wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Edge and Beth Phoenix are here!
Orlando goes nuts as the Rated R Superstar and the Glamazon make their way to the ring! Edge even takes some selfies with fans in the front row before he stands with Beth in the ring. The Grit Couple is of course here for revenge on the Judgment Day, a grudge that goes back to last year and Extreme Rules. They get the mic, and Edge says, “Oh, Orlando…! I gotta try and bring my heart rate down after watching that video, and just say it is so damn good to be back.” Orlando is happy to have them back, and Edge says he’s “The King of Comebacks as this point, it’s getting silly.” But we all know why they’re here this time: The Judgment Day.
Fans boo and Edge agrees. But the Judgment Day is his fault. The idea was to try and elevate talent he felt deserved it. And to be honest, it worked. All of them are at a better place now than they were a year ago. Finn Balor is on a level Edge has never seen before and that is saying something. Damian Priest has proven he’s a workhorse that come out week after week against the very best. Rhea Ripley, well… Fans do cheer Rhea, and Rhea went from number one to outlast everyone, and has punched her ticket to WrestleMania. Edge makes sure everyone sees him point at the sign. Oh, and Dom’s there, too.
“For the last year, we have battled back and forth. From Cardiff to Portland to Toronto, all leading up to Extreme Rules. And I knew that Finn Balor didn’t have what it takes to physically hurt me enough to make me say, ‘I Quit.’ But as you saw in the video, the minute I saw Rhea Ripley bash Beth in the back of the head with brass knuckles and hold that chair in her hand, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was helpless to stop it. And I am the kind of man, and I know a lot of you can relate out there, I am the kind of man that is not used to feeling helpless.” Fans cheer, and Edge “congratulates” Judgment Day with a sarcastic clap.
Fans chant “You Still Got It!” and Edge says, “I never lost it.” Fans cheer that! Edge continues to say, “But here’s the thing, guys. You just made a bad problem even worse. Because I am a cruel, vindictive, sick bastard, who will sink to any level to get my pound of flesh!” Beth calms Edge and says she’ll cut to the chase. “If you’ve got the stones, Ripley, Balor, my husband and I are here to finish this.” But speaking of, here comes the Judgment Day! Finn, Priest and Dom have the mics but Rhea isn’t here. Finn asks if he’s the only one who notices a pattern. Edge makes his triumphant return, only for the Judgment Day to beat him down again and again and again!
Finn tells Edge, “It might be time for you to say ‘I quit.’ HAHAHA!” Dom says word on the street travels fast. Fans boo Dom but Finn tells them to let Dom talk. Dom says since Edge & Beth have been gone, he has served hard time! Fans continue to boo, Finn again says to let Dom talk! Dom tells Edge & Beth to run along, before he does something to them he learned “on the inside.” Just like he did to his deadbeat dad! Rey didn’t even make it into the Rumble match! Priest says Dom’s right. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Priest says it doesn’t matter. Edge and Rey are “something else.” Every time they come back, Judgment Day beats them down, but they come back for more.
So next time they beat Edge down, Extreme Rules will look like child’s play. And speaking of child’s play, after Dawkins gets cooked and Priest enters the Money… Wait, no, Edge has him so flustered. Finn says it’s alright, Edge has Finn all mad, too. Priest promises Edge that he hates him that he can’t even speak right. Priest is getting inside the Elimination Chamber to be the United States Champion! Dom wishes Rhea was here, she could see what they’re about to do to Edge. But Rhea is busy promoting WrestleMania. Edge tells Dom to shut up! Fans cheer that! Edge says he was right, but they all confuse him! They don’t know what they really want!
Priest, the night he clotheslined Edge’s head off, he claimed he didn’t want a leader. And yet, he’s following Finn around like a giant labradoodle. He’s better than that! As for Finn, he’s a Dollar Store Jamiroquai! It’s insanity. Google Jamiroquai, kids. But the difference between Judgment Day and The Grit Couple is that Edge and Beth have each other’s backs. But they all just drop each other quicker than “Ex Con Dom” did his drawers in the clink! “Which is fitting, considering how many times you screwed your dad over.” And by the way, Edge can’t wait until Rey snaps and 619s Dom’s teeth down his stupid throat! It’s coming!
Beth says Rhea’s not here cuz she’s doing promotional appearances? We all know it’s because Beth speared Rhea’s soul out of her body. But listen to her very closely: she didn’t come here to talk. She came to beat Rhea’s ass!! But if she’s not here tonight, how about this? The Rated R Superstar, Edge and the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix VS Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley at Elimination Chamber! Oh, oh, really? Does Dom think Rhea’s in? Dom says Mami is totally in. Finn is in, so they accept! That is, if Edge & Beth make it to Elimination Chamber. The Judgment Day surrounds the ring, Edge & Beth stand their ground, and the fight is on!
Beth runs off Dom, Priest & Finn go after Edge, but here comes ANGELO DAWKINS! Dawkins BLASTS Dom, then fires off on Priest! Dawkins clotheslines Dawkins out, Edge SPEARS Finn down! Dom is freaking out, and Ford creeps up behind him. Ford spooks Dom, puts him in the ring, and Dom wants mercy! He gets chicken wings and a GLAM SLAM instead! Orlando is all fired up, but will the Curse of Greatness be able to take down Damian? Or will Punishment be heading for Montreal?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins!
Raw returns as Priest stomps away on Dawkins, this match already underway. But it is also truly 1v1 as Adam Pearce made sure during the break to say no one else is allowed ringside! Priest stands Dawkins up to ROCK him with a right, then whips him to ropes. Dawkins handsprings over and DROPKCIKS Priest! Dawkins fireman’s carries for a FLAPJACK! Priest bails out, Dawkins builds speed, but Priest moves. Dawkins stops, slides out the side, and runs in to POUNCE Priest onto the announce desk!! Fans are thunderous as Priest flops to the floor! Dawkins puts Priest in the ring, sees him go to the corner, and runs in to CYCLONE- FOREARM!
Priest snarls as he stomps away on Dawkins again. Priest drags Dawkins up, rams him into a corner and fires off hands! Priest whips corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Priest brings Dawkins up for a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest snarls, he sits Dawkins up and pulls on the arms for a motorcycle stretch. Dawkins endures, Orlando rallies up, and Dawkins fights but Priest CLUBS him down! Cover, TWO! Priest clamps on with a chinlock now, and he bends Dawkins against his knee. Dawkins endures, fans rally up, and Dawkins fights up. Priest swings, Dawkins blocks to ROCK back! And again! And again! Anda gain!
Priest shoves, Dawkins bobs ‘n’ weaves then ROCKS Priest again! Dawkins dodges Priest’s boot to ENZIGURI! Priest runs in again but Dawkins dumps him out! Fans fire up as Dawkins goes out and runs in again, but into a LARIAT! Priest glares at Dawkins as he storms up on him. Priest drags Dawkins up, BIG suplex to the floor! Priest slides in the ring but just to refresh the count. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps and FLYING KCIKS Dawkins down! Fans boo but Priest is in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and both men are down after a collision. Fans rally up, Dawkins and Priest go to opposite ends, and Dawkins runs in to rally with clotheslines! Priest hits low, whips, but Dawkins hurdles and FLYING UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up with Dawkins, he runs corner to corner to CYCLONE! And ENZIGURI! And facelock, but Priest wrenches out, Dawkins ducks the lariat, to clinch and EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Dawkins grows a little frustrated but fans rally up. Dawkins brings Priest up, ROCKS him with a right, then climbs a corner. Priest choke grips first! Priest then climbs up to join Dawkins, but Dawkins HOTSHOTS him back!
Dawkins hurries in, but into a SUPERKICK! Clinch and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins survives and Priest is growing frustrated now. Priest holds up his hand and fans boo. Dawkins rises, Priest clamps on, SOUTH OF- NO, Dawkins pops free for the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Dawkins hurries to a corner and climbs back up! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Priest survives and Dawkins is beside himself! But Orlando fires up as he drags Priest back up. Priest clamps onto a leg, Dawkins throws hands! Dawkins brings Priest up again, but Priest ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest staggers, into a RIGHT from Dawkins!
Priest goes to a corner, Dawkins runs in, but into a SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
The Punisher pulverizes Dawkins, and now he’s taking aim at the US Championship! Will Priest hit his mark and take that title back?
The United States Champion pulls into the arena.
Austin Theory drives a black Lamborghini, showing that The Now rides in style. Will he have anything to say about the Elimination Chamber field as it fills out tonight?
Adam Pearce meets with Maximum Males Models.
Maxxine Dupri finishes signing the contract, she, Maçé & Mansöôr are now officially part of Monday Night Raw. Pearce is happy to have them here, and is sure they have big WrestleMania plans. Maxxine confirms, she has big, BIG plans. But then Chelsea Green walks in and asks, “Are you the manager?” Chelsea, you know Pearce is the manager, they spoke last week. Pearce has MMM excuse themselves, and Chelsea says that, as they spoke last week, she is supposed to have a private room, with Swiss chocolates and fresh spring water. He took care of that. Oh, well, that was Belgian chocolate. She’s been to Belgium, she knows the difference.
Anyway, while she has him, she wants to talk about how she’s NOT in the Elimination Chamber match. But Liv is, Raquel is, Nikki is, all of who she could be. With all due respect, Chelsea, you didn’t even last five seconds in the Women’s Rumble, so- Uh, sorry, does she need to call his manager? All she wants is an opportunity. her family is in attendance, so she deserves a match. And in that match, she deserves to be presented as the big star she is. So he either makes this right, or… One call could cost him his job. Okay, thanks, bye. Chelsea heads out, but will Pearce bend to her demands?
Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano!
The Modern Day Wrestling God didn’t last all that long in the Men’s Rumble, and he didn’t get a win over Johnny Wrestling last week. The Rumble was because of Lesnar, that match with Gargano was because of Lumis. Can Corbin even the score with the Tortured Artist? Or will JBL start to question his investment into Baron?
Raw returns and Lumis makes his entrance. Corbin attacks Lumis as soon as he’s in the ring! The ref reprimands and fans boo, but Corbin lets off. The bell rings and Corbin hits a SPLASH in the corner! Corbin throws Lumis down, elbows him down, then clamps on a chinlock. Corbin grinds Lumis down but fans chant, “Corbin Sucks!” Lumis endures, fights up and fights free of the hold. Lumis then headlocks, but Corbin powers out. Corbin CLOBBERS Lumis, then rains down more elbows! Corbin clamps the chinlock on again, and insults the fans. JBL coaches Corbin, Lumis still endures and fights his way back up.
Corbin knees low, he puts Lumis in a corner and fires off forearms. Corbin whips corner to corner hard and Lumis bounces off buckles! Cover, TWO! Corbin says Lumis is nothing and Gargano isn’t anything, either. Gargano says he still got a win off Corbin. Corbin grinds forearms into Lumis’ face, then twists Lumis’ head in a neck wrench. Fans rally and Lumis fights up again. Lumis throws hands, dodges Corbin’s, then DECKS him! And DECKS him again! Pop-up UPPERCUT! Lumis runs to clothesline in the corner, then BULLDOG! Fans fire up as Lumis catches Corbin for a BIG back suplex! Kip up to LEG DROP!
Fans fire up as Corbin flounders up. Lumis clinches, but Corbin RAMS him into a corner. Corbin fires off elbows, then runs in, but only gets buckles! Lumis clinches for the SIDE EFFECT! Cover, Lumis wins!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by pinfall
JBL is speechless as Gargano stands with Lumis. Gargano is headed to the Elimination Chamber for the US title, but will Lumis find himself in title talks soon enough?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
Byron Saxton says The Man finally has Bayley inside that Steel Cage. What does tonight mean to her? “Orlando, Florida! Orlando, where it all began. Ten years ago, when I got off the plane with my bags to chase this WWE dream. When I first met you, Byron Saxton. A lot has happened in Orlando in those ten years, but ten years ago, I first met Bayley. In the weight room in the NXT Performance Center. And she seemed sweet and she seemed kind, and she wanted to be great. And her way of being great was high-fiving people and hugging people, and attaching herself to whoever she thought would be her meal ticket to the top.
“But I, too, Byron, I wanted to be great. And my way of being great was smashing faces, kicking down doors and changing the game so that I could become The Man of this industry! And Bayley… Bayley didn’t like that. No, she didn’t like that. So she’s attacked me and hit me with chairs and separated my shoulder. And she brought my family into this. And Bayley, I’m gonna learn you to not talk about my family. But all that aside, I had a plan. And tonight, I got what I want, and that is a Steel Cage Match.
“And so Bayley, you can bring your little friends, and you can bring your little tricks. Well, there is one hand that I haven’t played yet, and I’m thinking… I’m thinking, Byron, tonight might be the night.” What does Big Time Becks have planned for the Role Model in tonight’s main event?
Brock Lesnar is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as The Beast walks out to the ring and tips his cowboy hat with a feather in it. Lesnar gets the mic to say, “I appreciate ya. Thank you very much. Good evening, Orlando. Did y’all by chance catch the Royal Rumble? I did, too. I thought it sucked. At least, I had a sucky experience. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar got his ass thrown out over the top rope. That’s not the worst of it. I got my ass thrown over the top rope, by Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Now I apologize. I wasn’t on Raw last week, I had to get my head together a little bit. Bobby, you finally struck a chord in Brock Lesnar.”
All last week, Lesnar could not get Lashley out of his head. Lesnar tried to go hunting, and all he could think about was Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Next day, Lesnar wakes up, wants to go ice fishing. He likes coastal fishing, too, but he tries to go, but all he can think of is Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! He sits down for a big ol’ steak dinner, and all he can think about is Bobby Lashley! He gets into bed at night with his wife, and… Well, four or five hours later, all Lesnar could think about is Bobby Lashley! So for a whole week, Lesnar thought about what he’s gonna do with Lashley. Lesnar has a resolution. A violent resolution, but still.
You see, within Lesnar’s “five dollar denim jacket, is a multi-million dollar contract.” Fans like the sound of that. Lesnar reads the contract: “Bobby Lashley VS Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber.” Now Lashley, if you’ve got balls, you’ll get down here and sign the contract! Well here comes Lashley! Lashley is in shades and a nice suit as he heads down the ramp and to the ring. Lashley gets himself a mic, and he says, “Well nice of you to grace us with your presence, Brock. I didn’t even know you were gonna be here. But since you are, let’s take a little walk down memory lane.”
Match number one, what happened? Lashley pinned Lesnar. Match number two, Lesnar won. But if memory serves, Lashley laid Lesnar out cold as he walked out of the ring. And the third meeting was at the Royal Rumble, and Lashley threw Lesnar out without a problem. Lesnar steps closer and hands Lashley the contract. Lashley takes it, and again says that if memory serves, Lashley will be done under his terms. Lashley is going to take Lesnar’s contract and let his agent look at it, and his manager, and his lawyer, then Lashley will get back to Lesnar. This will be under consideration.
Oh, is Lesnar surprised? Surprised that Bobby Who has one up on you? Lashley emphasizes that with a poke of the finger. Lesnar smirks, and he reels Lashley in! F5!! Lesnar puts the contract in Lashley’s pocket, but fans chant “ONE MORE TIME!” Lesnar figures why not! Fireman’s carry, F5!! The Beast puts his hat back on, takes his leave, and the ball is now in the All Mighty’s court. Will this all but guarantee Lashley will want that match with Lesnar in Montreal?
Johnny Gargano finds Candice LeRae backstage.
Mr. Wrestling says hello to Mrs. Wrestling, tonight is big, right? How is she feeling? Luck hasn’t been on her side but she feels good. Lumis has a picture for good luck. Wow, the whole family! Gargano, Candice, little Quill and their dog, Pawdme, and… Who is that in the back? Nikki Cross? Cuz she’s SPYING on them! Nikki laughs and runs off! Candice isn’t sure what to make of that, but will she worry more about it once she’s in the chamber with crazy Cross?
Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella!
Raquel Gonzalez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Asuka and Natalya are waiting, and there’s just one spot left in the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match! Will it be Michin, Mrs. Wrestling, the Scottish Viper, or the FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island going all the way to Montreal for that golden opportunity?
Raw returns, Candice is already in the ring as Mia makes her entrance. Then, last but not least, Piper Niven! She’s dropped the nickname, will she make a name for herself on the Road to WrestleMania? The bell rings and Piper CLOBBERS Mia and Candice! Piper and Mella stare down, Mella talking trash even though this is her return match. Piper scares Mella with a growl and Mella bails out to hang by hubby Corey Graves. Piper whips Candice into Mia at a corner, then runs in to SANDWICH them! Candice and Mia both fall, and Piper grins. Mella hops on for a SLEEPER! Piper throws her right off!
Mella bails out again, but Mia and Candice fire off on Piper! Piper shoves them away, runs, but into a double drop toehold! She ends up on ropes, DOUBLE DROPKICKS send her out! Fans fire up with Mia and Candice, but then the two friends circle. They fist bump, and then Mia rushes in. Candice avoids the clothesline but Mia jumps over the leg sweep. Candice deflects a boot to waistlock, but Mia switches. Candice elbows free, Mia blocks a kick, and Mia slips under to pick Candice up! BUCKLE BOMB! Mia hoists Candice up top, CHOPS her, then blocks another kick! Mia has Candice in an Electric Chair, but Candice POISON-RANAS!
Mella scurries in to cover Candice, TWO! Cover on Mia, TWO! Cover back on Candice, TWO! Another cover on Mia, TWO! Piper TRIPLE SPLASHES them all!! Cover on Mia, TWO!! Piper drags Mia up to throw her out, then she kicks Candice out. Piper covers Mella, TWO!! Piper drags Mella up, throws her right out, and Piper is all fired up! Orlando is fired up with her, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Piper has everyone in corners. Piper SPLASHES Mia, SPLASHES Candice, but Mella dodges! FABULOUS KICK! Piper rebounds to CLOBBER Mella! Candice CROSSBODIES, but Piper catches her! Mia runs in to hit a NECKBREAKER that takes Piper down! All four women are down but Piper bails out of the ring! Orlando fires up while the others stir. Mella shouts, “This is MY match!” But Mia says no it ain’t! Mella throws a forearm, but Mia ROCKS Mella! Mella throws another, but Mia fires off a flurry! Mia BOOTS, then wrenches to hit EAT DA FEET!! Cover, Piper drags Mella away!
Fans are torn but Mia is shocked! Piper storms in, Mia throws body shots and haymakers! Piper ducks a roundhouse to HEADBUTT! Mia wobbles, Piper reels her in but Candice is up top! MISSILE DROPKICK! Piper is down, Candice LIONSAULTS! cover, Mia breaks it! Friends or not, this is every woman for herself! Mia says sorry, but then Piper shoves Mia into Candice! Candice falls, but Mia runs, but into a SCRAPBUSTER! Cover, Candice breaks it! Piper pulls at her hair and bites her fingers in frustration, but she has Candice to herself now. Candice fires off haymakers, but Piper shoves her down. SENTON FLOPS as Candice moves!
Candice STEP-UP SENTONS! But Mella rolls Candice up! TWO!! Candice escapes, DEKCS Mella, and Mella goes to a corner. Candice runs in but is sent into buckles! Mella shouts at Candice and stomps a fabulous mudhole in! Fans boo as Mella moonwalks and says, “Mella! Is! Money!” FABULOUS BRONCO BUSTER! But Piper runs in! Mella dodges, CANNONBALL for Candice! FABULOUS KICK for Piper! Mella stacks Candice, and WINS!
Winner: Carmella, by pinfall (advances to the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match)
The Princess of Staten Island took advantage, and she is heading to Montreal! But will she be the one heading to WrestleMania with that golden ticket?
Baron Corbin regroups with JBL backstage.
Corbin laughs it off. “That didn’t go as planned, did it?” But where are they going to eat? Maybe get some drinks or something? JBL asks, “We? There ain’t no ‘we’. I headlined WrestleMania, I sold out arenas all over the world, I was must-watch television. You are channel changing television. That sound you hear when you get the ring, that’s the sound of remote controls around the world changing the channel to watch anything but you. And I don’t give a damn about you. I give a damn about the fact that MY Hall of Fame legacy, my CHAMPIONSHIP career, has lost all credibility, because of YOU!”
Corbin frowns but JBL continues. “Modern Day Wrestling God? I’ll tell you what you need. Not some cute little shirt, but a red nose and floppy shoes. Because you are a clown. You do not belong near me.” Corbin asks where this is coming from. He can do better! He’ll do better! JBL says, “You can’t polish a turd. I tried.” JBL storms off, did Corbin blow another major opportunity?
Meanwhile, we can see in the background that MVP is talking with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. They shake hands, having a much better talk than JBL and Corbin just did. As the Wrestling God partnership falls apart, are we seeing the return of the Hurt Business?
Piper Niven finds Candice LeRae backstage!
Piper blames Candice for that loss! Piper should be going to WrestleMania! Mia storms in and makes Piper back off. Piper says they’re both very luck. If either of them get in the way of her and the title again, she will not be forgiving. Mia and Candice stick together, but will they both have to worry about the angry Scottish Viper slithering around?
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy!
Speaking of, PRIME Alexander and the Gold Standard are going up against “Master” Chad Gable and his number one guy, Otis! It’s a battle of former Raw Tag Team Champions, will one of these teams make a big impression on the Road to WrestleMania?
Raw returns and MVP is with Cedric & Shelton in their entrance! The teams sort out and Gable circles with Cedric. They tie up, Gable waistlocks and SLAMS Cedric, but Cedric gets up, only for Gable to snapmare. Gable rolls with Cedric, has a waistlock again, but Cedric pries free, only for Gable to headlock for the takeover. Cedric headscissors, Gable kips free, but Cedric arm-drags Gable. Gable arm-drags back, then blocks Cedric’s arm-drag to say, “SHOOSH!” Gable stands Cedric up but Cedric mule kicks back. Cedric runs, handsprings, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cedric flounders and Gable shouts, “A THANK YEW~!”
Gable tags Otis, the fans fire up and Otis struts. Gable cravats Cedric, Otis runs and CLOBBERS Cedric! Fans fire up but MVP protests. Cedric tags Shelton and he fires forearms on Otis! Shelton whips but Otis blocks! Otis whips, Shelton LARIATS, but Otis stays up! Shelton runs but Otis scoops! Shelton slips free to ROUNDHOUSE! Otis staggers, Shelton runs in to STEP- UP- NO!! Otis carries Shelton out for a WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Fans fire up with the tree trunk and he runs, to SPLASH! Fans rally while Shelton sputters, but Otis CLUBS him on the back. Otis whips Shelton corner to corner hard and Shelton falls to the mat!
Fans rally behind Otis and he brings Shelton up. Shelton kicks but Otis blocks, and Otis spins Shelton around, only for the DRAGON WHIP to hit! Otis staggers around, Shelton runs in but into another SLAM! Otis drags Shelton up, puts him in a corner, and then runs in, only to get buckles! MVP coaches Shelton and he crawls, but so does Otis! Hot tags to Gable and Cedric! Cedric rallies on Gable, runs in to forearm smash int he corner, then snapmare and BASEMENT DROPKICK! MVP is fired up with Cedric and Cedric whips. Gable reverses, Cedric goes up and over. Things keep moving, NEURALIZER!
Gable flops out of the ring, Cedric builds speed! Cedric DIVES, but into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Gable puts Cedric in while MVP shouts to shake it off! Gable is up top, for the DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, Shelton breaks it! Otis CLUBS Shelton, throws him to a corner, and then runs in, only to get more buckles! STEP-UP KNEE! And then another STEP-UP KNEE! And a SAMOAN DROP!?! Fans are thunderous after that, but Gable KNEES Shelton out! Cedric is up, Gable CLOBBERS him! Gable goes up top, to MOONSAULT! Cedric avoids it, back suplex, LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Cedric & Shelton win!
Winners: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall
MVP is all fired up! He celebrates with his guys, is this the revival of the Hurt Business?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Cathy Kelley knows The A-Lister was caught off guard last week by Rick Boogs, but what is his reaction to that return? His reaction? Miz will gladly give it to Pearce, along with a bill for the damages to his $10,000 suit that Maryse bought Miz! Who makes someone compete in a suit?! And as far as “Boogs” goes, what? He’s supposed to be impressed that Boogs can bench press 500 pounds and play the electric guitar? But speaking of, here comes Boogs! Uh, how did he get a meeting before The Miz? Oh, of course, he’s special, right? Wow, Boogs is special? Thanks, Miz.
But Boogs is just excited to be reunited with the Boogs Crew in the WWE Universe. The Boogs Crew? Oh, cut the humble crap. Miz would’ve won easily, if he was dressed and ready. Boogs got luck and he knows it, but he’s also lucky that Pearce is a lazy and incompetent official. Because if it was different and Miz was ready, it would’ve been a different story! Pearce walks up behind Miz and says, “Tell me how you really feel.” Miz sighs and smiles at Pearce. Pearce says that if Miz wants a rematch with Boogs, all he had to do was ask. In fact, how about next week? Boogs says that is righteous! THICK RICK VS The Miz, he’s so excited! Rick “Boogs out” on his exercise bar!
Miz looks at Pearce, then frowns as he walks away. But then Chelsea walks back in. She’s about to go to the ring, so she wants him to find an opponent, or she will call his boss. Okay thanks, bye~! The Hot Mess heads out, but who will Pearce send out to face her?
Chelsea Green VS ???
“Shh… It’s Chelsea.” Orlando has mixed feelings as The Hot Mess struts her way to the ring in her first singles match since coming back to the WWE. She’s already got an ego over the fact that she is back, but is she going to be ready for her opponent tonight? Because her opponent is ASUKA!!
Wait, is that Raquel Rodriguez in the crowd? Big Mami Cool snuck in from SmackDown to watch Raw in person, and she’s distracting Asuka! The bell rings and Chelsea SHOTGUNS Asuka down! Chelsea CLUBS away on Asuka, but now we see Natalya sneaking in from the other side! And Liv Morgan! Chelsea dribbles Asuka off the mat, brings her up, and shushes her, before she SLAPS her! Mella struts her way back out, since all the Chamber entrants are here. Chelsea BOOTS Asuka into buckles! Chelsea drags Asuka up, clinches, picks her up, COMPLETE SHOT! Chelsea sees everyone else and asks if they all watched that.
Chelsea says SHE should be in the Chamber, not “whatever this is,” in reference to Mella. Chelsea goes back to Asuka, kicks dirt, and also talks trash on Natty. Wait, Nikki sneaks out here now? Nikki laughs at Chelsea. Chelsea says if Nikki wants crazy, she’ll give her crazy! Chelsea also talks trash on Liv and Raquel. But Asuka gest back up! Chelsea senses something is wrong, and Asuka eggs her on in Japanese! Chelsea swings, misses, and Asuka fires off a strike fest! URAKEN! URAKEN! SOBAT! FRONT KICK! URAKEN and HEEL KICK! GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW! Chelsea wants a time-out!
Chelsea gets to a corner, Asuka runs in, but Chelsea BOOTS her! Chelsea runs in, into a CODE BREAKER, which Asuka then turns into a DOUBLE ARMBAR!!! Chelsea verbally quits, Asuka wins!
Winner: Asuka, by submission
The Empress of Tomorrow stands tall tonight, and she makes sure to look her future opponents in the eye. But then BIANCA BELAIR appears! The RawEST Women’s Champion is here, and she tells them all, “I want all of y’all to take a good look at each other and tell me what you see. Cuz I’ll tell you what I see. I see six top tier women in the WWE.” Fans cheer that. “But… Who has what it takes to win the Elimination Chamber match? Who has what it takes to go one on one with the EST of WWE? Because last year, I was in your position. I know what it’s like to be in an Elimination Chamber match, and I know what it takes to win. That’s how I got this.”
Bianca holds up the title, and says, “I want to wish each and every one of you good luck. Because whoever makes it out… I’ll be ready to see you at WrestleMania.” The EST has sent her message to all her potential contenders, but just who will survive the Chamber to meet Bianca in Hollywood?
Cody Rhodes is here!
Orlando goes nuts again as the American Nightmare makes his way to the ring. Fans chant Cody’s name as he gets the mic. “So, what do you guys wanna talk about? Hmm… Last week, I used my interview time to come out here and talk to you with respect about my current WrestleMania opponent, The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the biggest superstar in the world, the Best in the World, Roman Reigns.” Fans boo Roman, then chant for “SAMI! SAMI!” So they just read Cody’s mind. Cody did say “current.” Cody’s path to WrestleMania is straight and clear, but the destination is foggy.
The reason being, Roman is putting the titles on the line at Elimination Chamber, “against a guy who has kicked up all the dust, a guy who has all the momentum, a guy that’s walking into his hometown, and that is Sami Zayn.” Fans cheer and chant for Sami and Cody continues. “You guys seem like a perfect judge for my next question. It looks more and more like at WrestleMania, it’s going to be me standing there, challenging for the championship against Sami Zayn.” Fans like the sound of that! Cody says this with the utmost respect. “I have respect for anyone avenging an injustice done to them. I have respect for my friend, Sami Zayn. I wish you the best of luck, may the best man win.”
But wait! “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman. And I serve as Special Counsel, and The Wise Man, to YOUR Tribal Chief, the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman…! Reigns!” Fans boo as Heyman continues into the ring. Fans chant “E C DUB!” and Heyman steps into the ring. Heyman tells Cody that something he may one day find out in life, “hopefully not at my expense, but one day, is that life at the very top in this industry requires an understanding that the only week busier than the week leading into a major event like the Royal Rumble, or watch the point, WrestleMania…
“Is the week coming out of a major event, like the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. And I’m sure you know that the Tribal Chief and I have had a lot on our plates in the last week. And a few things fell through the cracks, admittedly, on the Island of Relevancy. One of which is the Tribal Chief and I, in front of the entire world, want to congratulate you on winning the 2023 WWE Men’s Royal Rumble match.” Cody and Heyman shake hands and Heyman says Cody earned it and that he’s very proud of Cody. Fans cheer that, and chant, “You Deserve It!”
Cody knows that his father had a nickname for Heyman, his brother had a nickname for Heyman. But if you’ll indulge Cody, Cody will go with “Mr. Heyman.” It is because Cody has “unparalleled respect” for Heyman and Heyman knows why. But if they’re going to pull back the curtain here, might as well pull it back for everyone here in the crowd and watching at home. This is a story that should’ve been told a long time ago. The year was 2000. The till in Cody’s family dried up a bit, and Hard Times was more than a famous promo. “Simply put, my family went broke.” $100 in a checking account for all of them.
To put a visual on it, Cody’s dad was doing local car commercials and not for money. Just so he could keep a car. Fans chant for Dusty now and Heyman gets emotional. “But then he got a phone call,” Cody continues. Heyman called Dusty. Heyman told Dusty that ECW as in town, that Steve Corino was gonna talk some smack, and that if Dusty would just agree to appear on camera, that if Dusty would be on ECW TV, Heyman “would pay him and pay him well.” Fans again chant for “E C DUB!” Cody says Heyman kept his word. In addition to the money that the Rhodes family sorely needed, ECW gave Dusty his confidence back, and Cody can never repay Heyman for that.
Flash forward a bit, and they might talk about it, but before coming back here, Cody was somewhere else, “causing a little bit of trouble.” From one disruptor in sports entertainment to another, Heyman showed Cody the way, so thank you again. Fans applaud that, and Heyman again gets emotional. Fans chant, “Thank You, Paul! Thank You, Paul!” Heyman says Cody is good. Cody really got Heyman there. Heyman was here to schmooze business with him, and Cody got him personally. Heyman sighs, fans cheer, and if we’re peeling back and shooting from the hip, let’s go all the way.
Heyman says this isn’t about him, and with all due respect and love and admiration and even acknowledgement, this isn’t about Dusty. This is about Cody, about everything Cody has fought for from the bottom to the top, out the door, back in, to winning the Rumble to main-eventing WrestleMania! “And winning WrestleMania is a whole different story. Just getting there is a long, long road.” And that’s Cody’s story. That’s Cody’s story that he needs to finish to find out if this is a dream come true, or if he must “suffer the nightmare of coming just this close.”
Because Cody isn’t just main-eventing WrestleMania, he’s trying to “take away from the greatest box office attraction and greatest champion of all time, Roman… Reigns.” Fans boo but Heyman says that’s no easy task for any mere mortal, let alone someone that has no idea what it’s like under that spotlight. Will Cody crumble and wither? Will he self-destruct under that pressure because no one ever prepared him for it? Heyman says down the road is the WWE Performance Center. At that very place, Cody’s father, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, trained and prepped the biggest stars of this generation.
Cody’s father, Dusty, trained and prepped Seth Rollins, trained and prepped Becky Lynch, trained and prepped Bayley, trained and prepped Kevin Owens, trained and prepped for the highest level of success, the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. But do you know who Dusty didn’t train and prep? Dusty did not train nor prepare Cody. Cody tries to smile through that but Heyman says he could counsel Cody that maybe, just maybe, Dusty wanted Cody to make it on his own. That’s how much love Dusty had for him. That Dusty wanted Cody to step out of the shadow of a national monument such as the American Dream himself.
Perhaps Dusty didn’t want Cody going through life as “Dusty’s son,” but as Cody Rhodes, “WrestleMania Main Eventer Who Stopped the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.” Maybe. But Cody, Heyman can’t convey in words how much he loved Dusty. But he can say to Cody’s face that Dusty loved Cody. To share this personally, in Heyman’s last conversation with Dusty, Dusty told Heyman… “You, Cody, were his favorite son.” Cody and the fans aren’t sure what to make of that, but then Heyman adds, “But Roman Reigns was the son he always wanted.” Heyman drops the mic and fans cannot believe he just said that!
Cody rushes up on Heyman but Heyman backs away. Fans want Cody to go after Heyman but Heyman wants him to reconsider. Cody offers a handshake, then makes Heyman take it. “I’m just trying to win a wrestling championship, and everybody, everybody, wants to make it personal. And that’s what you just did, and you’re not gonna pay for it, Mr. Heyman. Your boy, Roman Reigns, is going to pay for it. At WrestleMania, when I take those titles, personally.” Cody pushes the mic into Heyman then heads out. Will Cody ironically be hoping Roman beats Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber so he can be the one to tear the Tribal Chief down?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford!
There is just ONE spot left in the United States Championship match, and it comes down to The Drifter and the flyest high flyer WWE has seen in a long time! Will all of Montreal #WalkWithElias? Or will this Profit be up, looking for gold?
Raw returns and Elias makes his entrance while Austin Theory is on commentary. The bell rings and Elias circles with Ford. They tie up, and they are in a deadlock. They go around, Ford puts Elias in a corner but Elias turns it around. The ref counts, both men let off, and they reset. Ford and Elias tie up again, Elias headlocks and he grinds Ford down. Ford powers up but Elias holds tight. Ford tries again, but Elias still holds tight. Theory isn’t concerned about Elias’ level of aggression, because the person with aggression is him. Ford powers up and out, but Elias runs him over! Cover, TWO!
Elias stands Ford up but Ford rolls Elias up, TWO! Ford cradles, TWO! Elias headlocks again and he hits a takeover. Ford keeps his shoulder up, moves around, and fans rally. Theory likes Ford’s athleticism, and the move on his regimen, but he’s intrigued to face Elias since they’ve never met in a match. Ford fights up, powers out, and things speed up. Ford hurdles then runs Elias over! Ford DROPKICKS Elisa, and then Ford snarls as he whips. Elias reverses but Ford KICKS back! Ford runs in, but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Ford sputters to a corner and Elias storms up to CHOP, UPPERCUT and repeat!
Elias fires off, the ref counts, and Elias lets off. Elias then stomps Ford again, CHOPS him, and whips to back drop Ford! Ford bails out, Elias pursues, and Elias RAMS Ford into barriers! Elias then brings Ford up to STEEL STEPS BACK SUPLEX! Elias roars and fans are torn as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Elias has Ford in a motorcycle stretch. Ford endures, turns, but Elias drags him up into a waistlock. BACKBREAKER! Elias then goes to a corner and climbs up top, but Ford hops up after him! Ford fires haymakers, Elias throws body shots, and Elias CLUBS Ford down. Elias SUNSET FLIPS, but Ford holds onto the ropes! Fans fire up as Ford fights his way back up, and he ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias turns things into an Electric Chair Lift! SPINNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Theory says he thought that would end it, though he sounds a bit sarcastic.
Ford crawls to the apron and Elias storms over. Ford GAMANGIRIS Elias, ducks a haymaker, then bumps Elias off buckles to GAMANGIRI again! Ford goes back up, CROSSBODIES, and says “SUCK IT!” Ford rallies with clotheslines, then runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Elias staggers, Ford pumps up and hits a BIG back suplex! Kip up but Ford’s back tightens up. Ford powers through to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Theory likes that Elias is still in this, but Ford brings Elias up. Elias CHOPS! ford ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias ROCKS Ford, but Ford ENZIGURIS! Ford runs, into the SYMPHO-KNEE!
Elias fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ford survives and Elias grows frustrated. Theory doesn’t worry about the match, and goes on to talk trash on the other entrants. Theory thinks Johnny Gargano will be a stay-at-home dad, Bronson Reed probably can’t fit in a pod, but then gets mad at Kevin Patrick for bringing up the loss to Bronson back in their NXT days. Elias meanwhile RAMS Ford into a corner, RAMS him again, and again, and again! Elias backs off, runs in again, but Ford puts him on the apron! Elias shoulders in, slingshots, but into a HAYMAKER!
Elias flounders away, Ford goes corner to corner to FLY!! Direct hit and down goes Elias! Ford puts Elias in the ring and fans fire up! Ford goes up top, and leaps in FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, Ford wins!
Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)
Ford takes the last spot, but Theory stands on the desk to hold up the title. Will Theory still have that title after the Elimination Chamber? Wait! SETH ROLLINS CLIPS THEROY! Theory hits the desk and Rollins laughs! Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” before the CURB STOMP to the floor! The Now didn’t see The Visionary coming, will nothing and no one stop Rollins from winning in the Chamber?
Bayley talks with Damage CTRL backstage.
Dakota Kai is in crutches given what Becky Lynch did to her last week, but Bayley isn’t worry. She tells Kai & Sky the plan and prepares for the main event, which is up next!
Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch!
The Role Model used Damage CTRL to take control away from The Man and deny us all this match on the Raw 30th Anniversary episode. But now, there’s no running from this, there’s no hiding from this, and there’s no getting around this! Will Bayley survive Becky’s Big Time wrath? Or will Becky leave Bayley behind just like when they were in NXT?
The bell rings, fans fire up, but Bayley smirks. Fans rally for Becky as she and Bayley circle. They feel things out, Bayley ROCKS Becky then climbs the wall! Becky yanks her down, she won’t let Bayley just run away like a coward. They talk trash, Bayley says Becky doesn’t tell her what to do or when to do it. Bayley shoves Becky, so Becky ROCKS Bayley! They go back and forth, Becky gets the edge, but Bayley kicks a leg out! Becky trips Bayley! Becky says she was going for the door, but that’s not how this is going down. Becky whips but Bayley turns it around, only for Becky to stop from hitting the steel.
Becky hits Bayley back, but Bayley also blocks hitting steel. Bayley elbows Becky away but Becky goes for an arm! Bayley and Becky go around, but Bayley throws Becky into the steel! Kai & Sky like what they see as Bayley sends Becky into more steel! Bayley stomps away on Becky, then digs her boots in! She also digs Becky into the frame of the cage! Fans boo but Bayley covers, ONE!! Becky is hanging tough, so Bayley decides to climb. Becky hurries over and dropkicks the cage to shake Bayley loose! Bayley falls to the mat, then Becky drags her up to RAM her into the steel! Becky drags Bayley up again to RAM her into more steel!
Becky runs to basement dropkick Bayley into the steel! And again! Becky stomps away on Bayley now, then pushes her face into the steel! “You think you can talk about my husband?! You think you can talk about my husband now, Bayley?!” Becky lets off, then drags Bayley up. Fans rally and Becky throws Bayley into more steel! Bayley drags herself out while Becky climbs the cage. Bayley hurries to anchor Becky, but Becky kicks her away. Bayley climbs up after Becky, but Becky kicks her again. Bayley anchors a foot, but Becky dribbles Bayley’s face off steel! Becky then adjusts, brings Bayley around, but Bayley RAMS Becky into steel!
Bayley dribbles Becky now, throws her off the ropes, then adjusts to MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kai & Sky coach Bayley on as she has control, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns just as Becky kicks out of a cover! And she wants the arm! Bayley hurries to push Becky away, but Becky hits a FLYING FOREARM! Both women are down and Orlando fires up! Kai & Sky coaches Bayley as she and Becky both stand. The forearms go back and forth again! Fans rally behind Becky as she gets the edge, uppercuts and SOBATS! Becky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and JUMP KICKS Bayley down! Becky whips Bayley to a corner, but Bayley uses that to get up the wall! Becky grabs Bayley’s legs to SLAM them against the steel! And again! Bayley holds on with her hands but Becky RAMS her into the steel again and again! SUPER JUMP KICK!
Bayley ends up slumped on the ropes, for Becky’s SUPER GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally and Becky fires up. Kai & Sky plead with Bayley as she gets up, but Becky clinches. Bayley slips out of the slam to SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Becky is still in this and fans fire up again! Bayley drags herself to ropes, climbs the cage, but Becky rises! Becky drags Bayley back down, has her draped on the ropes and TOSSES her into the steel! Becky runs, to drop a leg, brother! But Bayley turns it into a HEEL HOOK!! Becky flails, reaches out, and crawls her way to the door! Becky grabs the frame but Bayley drags her away!
Bayley stands Becky up but Becky rolls to send Bayley into buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Back to the HEEL HOOK! Becky still crawls, they roll to ropes, and Becky SMACKS Bayley off steel! And again! And again! Bayley is dazed but Becky hobbles back up. Becky climbs a corner but Bayley anchors her foot. Becky kicks her away, but Bayley tries again. Becky kicks Bayley again, but Bayley hurries up after her! They brawl, Becky shoves Bayley away! Becky is on the top rope but Bayley CLUBS her! Bayley clubs after and they braw on the top rope! Bayley RAMS Becky into the steel, SUPER BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, TWO!?!
Kai & Sky can’t believe it, and neither can Orlando! Bayley stalks Becky, but then decides to climb the wall! Bayley reaches the top! Becky hurries up after Bayley, catches up to Bayley, and they brawl up top now! Fans rally as the haymakers go back and forth! Bayley SMACKS Becky off the top! But Becky grabs an arm! Becky uses that to drag herself back up, DISARM-HER ON TOP OF THE CAGE!!! Bayley slips free, gets caught up on the ropes, and flops to the mat! But Becky just adjusts, only for Sky to climb up after her! The Evil Genius brawls with Becky, and then she kicks Becky down into the ring! Kai sneaks a crutch to Bayley!
Bayley JAMS Becky with the crutch! But wait, is that LITA?!? The living legend is here and she goes up after Sky! Lita YANKS Sky right off the cage! Lita storms up on Kai and uses her other crutch to YANK her into steel steps! Lita JAMS Sky, reels her in, TWIST OF FATE to the floor!! Bayley is flabbergasted, but she hurries for the door! Fans are losing their minds as Lita SLAMS the door shut! Bayley staggers into a MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Becky had Big Time back-up, was this the ace in the hole she talked about? Did Lita help Becky put behind her Damage CTRL once and for all?
A great Raw, and full to the brim at that. Great opening segment with Edge, Beth and Judgment Day. I am glad they’re giving us that Mixed Tag for Elimination Chamber, but I was hoping they would make it Edge & Beth VS Rhea & Dom. But at the same time, if Dom was involved, it’d be obvious Dom would take the loss just so The Grit Couple can win without really hurting Rhea’s momentum. With Finn in that match instead, it could go either way. Rhea could beat Beth to win it while we see Edge and Finn set up a 1v1 rematch for WrestleMania. That’s two birds, one stone, so perhaps WWE will go with that.
I also like that they used the brawl that broke out to bring in the Profits. Dom taking the Glam Slam was beloved by all, and of course we go right into Dawkins VS Priest. Priest winning makes sense, he really is the workhorse Edge said he is, Priest will have a great showing in the Elimination Chamber. Elias VS Ford was great stuff, even with Theory on commentary. Theory wasn’t bad, but what does he really add talking himself up? At the same time, it was great for Rollins to drive-by Theory to get himself some momentum while not in the ring. And as I’d hoped, Ford is in the Chamber now, so get ready for a From the Heavens off a pod.
Corbin VS Lumis being a comparative squash was a bit of a surprise, but it leading to JBL dumping Corbin was also quite surprising. At the same time, something had to give. The WWE never books Corbin strong forever, which is why Corbin has been through more changes to his character these last few years than anyone else. I’m not sure what’ll get Corbin to the next level, if WWE even cares to do that. I still think they skipped through the Bum Ass Corbin stuff too soon, but that’s on Vince. Maybe Corbin will start trying to earn JBL’s respect like he needs it as validation for who he is.
And because HHH’s team is really clever, they gave us another “Easter egg” in a promo, with MVP talking with Cedric & Shelton before their match. Their match against Alpha Academy was pretty good, though it seemed clunky at the start. Commentary touched on it, I think Shelton was just not quite ready for how big and strong Otis was gonna run in there. But Shelton & Cedric win because clearly, the Hurt Business is on its way back. Lesnar and Lashley had a good promo together, and I’m a little surprised we’re getting that match at the Chamber. Maybe there will be something crazy that happens, compelling a WrestleMania match. Plus, from Lashley’s promo, he’s counting their Rumble match confrontation as part of the record, so the Chamber match would be round 4, making Mania round 5 and a tiebreaker of sorts.
Good backstage promos with Adam Pearce. Miz putting his foot in his mouth and ending up in a rematch with Boogs was good stuff. Officially signing MMM to Raw was a nice detail to help give us a reason we’re even watching Pearce, which sets up Chelsea “Karen Joke Punchline” Green complaining to him and getting a match. And seeing as how Chelsea avoided bringing Asuka up, it was perfect that she had to fight Asuka. It was a logical surprise to have the other women in the Elimination Chamber match show up, though I feel like Chelsea could’ve been faster about talking trash. Asuka wins, of course, and Bianca had a great promo calling out all the contenders.
Speaking of, the Fatal 4 was great stuff, and I suppose Mella winning is a good choice. She’s returning, she’s got momentum just on that, but she’ll surely be used to build up Asuka in that match. Mella had that segment with Asuka last week, Asuka will definitely mist and eliminate Mella. Asuka is definitely a frontrunner to win the Chamber, and this return to Kana in presentation has to mean Asuka’s going to WrestleMania. Piper threatening Candice and Mia was good stuff. Piper might get a partner to take them on at some point, but we can get some great 1v1 matches out of Piper VS Candice and Piper VS Mia.
Cody’s promo segment with Heyman was so good. I just knew Heyman was setting up that insult on Cody about Dusty wanting someone like Roman as a son, and it was still powerful. And while Sami Zayn is great, it of course gave the idea that WrestleMania’s main event will stay Roman VS Cody. Then we got a great main event in the Steel Cage match. Granted, it was the usual Steel Cage formula: throw each other into steel; keep each other from climbing up and out multiple times; Heel still has minions interfere. But I did like that Lita showed up to help Becky in a callback to their Crown Jewel match. Lita helping Becky win was good stuff cuz it was DMG CTRL facing karma, and fans got to see the legendary Lita celebrate with the iconic Becky. Hell, maybe we get some kind of tag match now so Lita can return to WrestleMania.
My Score: 8.7/10
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