The NXT Champion dares everyone to step up!
Finn Balor let the roster have their fun in WarGames, but now it’s time for all eyes to be on his throne! Who steps up to the Prince’s challenge?
- Jake Atlas VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Atlas wins.
- Triple Threat Tag: Ever-Rise VS Imperium VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Cameron Grimes; Ciampa wins.
- Killian Dain VS Pete Dunne; Dunne wins.
- Raquel Gonzalez VS Ember Moon; Gonzalez wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
WarGames has come and gone but is there peace?
Tommaso Ciampa showed Timothy Thatcher what “tough” really means, Dexter Lumis gave Cameron Grimes a whipping, and history was made by #JohnnyTakeOver again! Most importantly, the Poison Pixie’s team prevailed and NXT is still Undisputed inside the double-ring double-cage! But now, onward, into the next great chapter of this great brand!
Finn Balor is in the ring!
The NXT Champion has the camera right on him as he says “WarGames is done, and the time for team sports is over. Captains, factions, bragging rights? Pfft. Not interested. It’s Wednesday, and the champion is back!” Fans are fired up as Finn says some people love him, and others hate him. But if you want to know him, come see him in the ring! And answering that call is Pete Dunne! The Bruiserweight doesn’t have, and perhaps doesn’t need, Pat McAfee, Oney Lorcan or Danny Burch with him as he confronts Balor. “Me and you, we’re cut from the same cloth. I came from overseas and I made a name for myself, just like you. So it’s about time we stand face-to-face.”
And y’know what? Dunne’s glad Balor’s back. But Balor better not get used to it. Dunne will put him back on the shelf, and have that title for his own. But wait! The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly is here! Kyle apologizes for being late, but his invitation must’ve gotten lost in the mail. He’ll get in on this conversation. “Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater.” Dunne’s tough, we all know that. Kyle and Dunne went to war, but who won that? The Era proved that this is their era and everyone else is just living in it. And surely Balor hasn’t forgotten the man who broke his jaw and took him to his limit. Yes, Balor won the match, but c’mon. Balor is still champion, but he had to eat meals through a straw. There is unfinished business.
Kyle wants Balor to listen to that inner voice. Who does Balor think is worthy? But then DAMIAN PRIEST appears! The Archer of Infamy says he’s been looking to this for awhile. And no offense to Pete and Kyle, but Balor VS Priest for the NXT Championship is marquee. That’s not just something Priest wants, but something Balor wants. Dunne says, “Aren’t you the geezer who couldn’t beat Leon Ruff?” Hah, good one. Isn’t Dunne who got paid by Pat to shut up? Kyle counters by saying isn’t Priest supposed to get paid to win matches? Hasn’t done that. Priest gets paid, but not to take off six months a year.
Balor goes around and leaves while Dunne counters Kyle, “Shouldn’t you be in the hospital visiting your mate, Bobby?” Kyle counters with a mocking British accent, “Shouldn’n you be in tha ‘ospital, visitin’ your mate, Bobby?” Balor’s already made it to the ramp and Priest asks where he’s going. Balor tells them to learn some manners. He wasn’t done. January 6th, New Year’s Evil, Balor defends the title. But who gets the Balor rub? Not his problem. That’s Regal’s job. Wait. That music. And the smoke! Balor sees what’s going on here. And yes, Scarlett is back! She looks the champion over, and is a clear warning sign to the Prince. “Let me guess.” Tick tock, right? Balor has a message for her man. “When he’s ready, Finn’s ready.” Will the Prince take on the apocalypse?!
Priest asks the “smoke show” on stage, “Do you usually tell your boy to wait in the car while you handle his business?” If he wants to come back for a fight, all he has to do is step to Priest like a man. Scarlett sighs and then turns her attention to Priest. That smile is a sinister one. Will not even Priest #LiveForever when Karrion Kross comes back to NXT?
NXT Media catches up with Pete Dunne backstage.
Making his presence known, what’s he got planned? “I didn’t come back to NXT to just wait for an opportunity. I’m gonna make my own.” But Killian Dain is coming up fast! The Belfast Beast is furious that Dunne tried to end him! Oney and Burch back Dunne up and Drake Maverick runs in to keep this from happening just yet! Dain shouts, “You think this is over!?!” Clearly it isn’t! Will Big Damo get to give back what Dunne did to him?
Jake Atlas VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The rising star of the Cruiserweight Division is aggressive and determined, but that’s what everyone needs to climb the ranks in WWE! Will Atlas carry the weight of the world on his back as he steps into Swerve’s House?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Swerve wrangles Atlas down and has the arm, but Atlas gets up and goes to the ropes. Atlas uses the ropes to flip through, then wrenches, but Swerve still tries to whip. Atlas holds ropes, breaks free and O’Conner rolls, TWO! Swerve avoids the kick, and the moonsault, to trip Atlas up to get the short arm scissor! Atlas kicks and moves around then gets free. Atlas goes out but Swerve goes to the apron, to BOOT Atlas down! Fans fire up as Swerve puts Atlas back in. Swerve sees Atlas go to a corner and runs in but has to block a boot! Atlas breaks free to EuroUpper, and RANA!
Swerve swings but Atlas dodges, Atlas springboards but Swerve gets under! Atlas flops and Swerve kips up, and the fans fire up! Swerve somersaults but into a waistlock! Swerve breaks the hold but Atlas shoves him. Atlas runs into a roll up, but slips out, only for the SOMERSAULT SHOT to hit! Cover, TWO! Swerve keeps his cool as he watches Atlas go to ropes. Swerve CHOPS Atlas right off his feet! He brings Atlas up but Atlas dodges the boot to SUPERKICK! And then a spinning KNEE! Atlas reels Swerve in, but Swerve wrenches free, only for Atlas to waistlock, spin and LARIAT!
Swerve flounders into Atlas’s facelock, suplex to a BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives but Atlas throws CHOPS and KICKS of his own! Swerve blocks the punch to then roll Atlas and HOUSE CALL! Swerve doesn’t cover yet, he drags Atlas up and in, to half nelson, but Atlas fights off the rest. Swerve throws body shots, gets the other arm, but Atlas wheelbarrows to victory roll! ONE, Swerve has the short arm scissor! Atlas makes that a cover, TWO! Swerve gets up, fakes Atlas out and trips him, to hook a leg, turn Atlas and waistlock dead lift! Atlas elbows until he’s free, but Swerve gets the arm! Swerve clubs it, La Magistrol, but Atlas turns it into his own! Cover, Atlas wins!!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall
Atlas swerved Swerve and gets a shocker! Atlas wants to shake hands to show this was all good, but Swerve leaves him hanging! Will Swerve start to sharpen his own edge until he’s back at the top?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“I didn’t expect Sunday to be an easy win. But anything worth fighting for ain’t gonna be easy in this life. So why Thatcher? I had to know. Now, nobody’s safe. It’s time I let the past die in the past, continue to move forward.” Ciampa will be direct because he doesn’t know any other way: Cameron Grimes is the squeakiest whelp in the shed, and it’s time Ciampa changed that. “Loud, brash, ignorant, confident. Maybe. Hell, to be that loud, you’ve gotta be confident. Or maybe, maybe you’re just insecure. Funny thing about insecurity. It often disguises itself as confidence.” Tonight, we find out the truth. Grimes was Silenced at TakeOver, will he be silenced again tonight?
Triple Threat Tag: Ever-Rise VS Imperium VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
Chase Parker and Matt Marthel have been ambushed by both teams the last few weeks, and ended up ambushing them both back to ruin their match against each other! But now to prove Ever-Rise rules, they’ll take on BOTH duos! Will Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner or Zack Gibson & James Drake make sure Parker & Marthel learn a lesson?
The teams sort out and in this style Triple Threat Tag, one man from each team is allowed to be in, meaning three men at once. But Ever-Rise uses a loophole that their guy doesn’t have to stay in the ring. Neither Parker or Marthel is in, despite the ref telling them to choose. Imperium and GYV don’t wait and they all go after Ever-Rise! Ever-Rise tries to get in the ring but they get dragged out for 4v2 beatings! Gibson puts Marthel in and whips into Aichner’s BOOT! Aichner and Gibson tie up and Aichner waistlocks to then slam Gibson down! Aichner facelocks, Gibson wrenches out to a wristlock, but Barthel tags in.
Aichner whips Gibson away, Barthel hits an arm-drag and then stomps Gibson’s face! Gibson flounders, Barthel stomps a mudhole, then shouts, “NEIN!” Barthel throws a EuroUpper and then throws Gibson with a half hatch suplex! Cover, TWO! Ever-Rise again keeps out of this as Gibson fights up. Barthel kicks low, whips Gibson to ropes, but Gibson reverses, only for Barthel to knee Gibson away! Marthel grabs at Barthel’s hair but Barthel beats him down! Gibson grabs Barthel for a headlock, tags Drake as Barthel powers out, and Drake dropkicks legs out for Gibson to basement dropkick! Drake keeps going, MAYEHM IN MOTION for Ever-Rise!
Fans fire up with GYV but Gibson checks his eye. Drake drags Barthel up for haymakers and then forearms. Drake throws forearms on Barthel and he tumbles out, tag to Gibson. Gibson scoops Barthel, Drake slingshots, PLANCHA BACKBREAKER! The GYV are fired up again, and they put Barthel in. Gibson wraps on a chinlock, grinds Barthel but Barthel fights up. Drake tags back in, ripcord and FOREARM combo! Cover, TWO! Drake and Gibson coordinate and Drake drags Barthel. Barthel resists, reaches for Aichner, but SAIDO SUPLEXES Drake first! Marthel hurries in to stomp away on Drake and then on Barthel!
Marthel tags Parker and Ever-Rise have Barthel for a crisscross neckbreaker! Cover, but Drake breaks it! Parker tackles Drake to a corner, tags in Marthel and they whip to send Parker in to forearm Drake! Marthel drop toeholds Drake, Parker uses Marthel as the step for the BOOYAH ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Marthel brags like he’s already winning, but Drake gets up. Drake blocks the kick, Barthel clobbers Marthel! Drake DECKS Barthel, tags to Gibson and Aichner! Aichner dodges, fireman’s carries but Gibson fights out. Gibson swings into Aichner’s waistlock but switches. Aichner switches, Gibson powers him back to the corner and Drake tags in.
Gibson keeps Aichner in for Drake to run and back elbow! Gibson clotheslines, and feeds Aichner to Drake’s windmill kick! But Marthel clobbers Gibson out and LARIATS Drake down! Parker tags in, Ever-Rise brings Drake up, DOUBLE FLAPJACK to the buckle! Cover, but Aichner busts in and breaks it up! Aichner throws Parker to buckles, tags Barthel, and Parker is put in the ropes. Imperium meets in the corner with the double dropkicks! Drake staggers into Aichner’s fireman’s carry, and Aichner hits ROLLING SENTON to MOONSAULT! Barthel covers, TWO! Barthel drags Drake up, tags Aichner, and the feed, but Gibson drags Barthel out!
Aichner WRECKS Gibson with a dropkick, Barthel tops it off with a tilt-o-whirl SLAM! Drake swings but misses, Aichner SPINEBUSTERS Drake, Barthel PENALTY KICKS! Imperium coordinates, Aichner hops up and Barthel wheelbarrow lifts Drake, FLYING WHEELBARROW DDT!! But Parker clobbers Barthel, Marthel gets Aichner out and Parker covers Drake! TWO!! Ever-Rise almost stole that one! Parker keeps Imperium out with forearms, then suplexes Drake, but Drake slips out! Drake gut wrenches, Gibson gets in, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, Gibson and Drake win!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem are riding high in the NXT Tag Division! Will they be the ones to go after the One Two, Oney and Burch?
NXT notes the casualties of WarGames.
As Adam Cole puts it, “One of, if not the most brutal matches.” Danny Burch could never have prepared for what WarGames was. Dakota Kai says it was carnage. Rhea Ripley and Candice LeRae actually agree, it was a “symphony of destruction,” and Toni Storm adds it was chaos. Kyle says it’s literally hell. Roderick Strong says this was the most brutal year yet. They’ve been in it before, but Dunne says it’s different. Shotzi says no one comes out of this match the same. It changes you physically and mentally. You lose parts of yourself. Io Shirai in a trash can coming off the top was unforgettable. Shirai herself says you might think she’s crazy, and you might be right.
Cole says Pat McAfee felt exactly what WarGames gives. McAfee, in a neck brace on his podcast, noted how he could barely get up or walk. No one comes out unscathed. Kyle smashed Oney’s face with a steel chair. That is what Burch will always remember. But Dunne feels good about putting Fish in the hospital. Fish himself notes he had surgery to reattach his tricep. And Oney says after all that, just imagine what a team will have to do to take the NXT Tag Team Championships from them now. Dakota of course remembers the Eclipse into chairs and the hammer attack. They are to blame for why she’ll be out for awhile. Cole says WarGames is UE’s match, and that is Undisputed.
Ember admits her team lost. Raquel knew she had the right team, when Candice sacrificed herself to take Shotzi out in return. Candice says she gave life ‘n’ limb for the win! Shotzi says her team still #TCB, Took Care o’ Business! But Raquel says HER being the one to win it for the team, on Io Shirai, proves Raquel deserves a title match. Rhea hearing the 1-2-3, she just wishes she could’ve helped Shirai. Cole says each year escalates, and yet UE isn’t going to say no to another! Kyle says surviving that turmoil makes it all worth while! But will the UE really go for a fifth WarGames next year?
Backstage interview with Toni Storm!
While Team Candice won at WarGames, what we really want to know is why Toni betrayed Ember in the first place. Oh c’mon! Put it together! Ember was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Toni made the right decision, because look who won! Now Toni made it very clear that her sights are on the NXT Women’s Championship. But all we hear is “Ember Moon~!” Ember stole her thunder! But that’s fine. Because right here is the NEXT NXT-
Io Shirai walks over to cut Toni off. Now that WarGames is over, Shirai says her title is her only focus. She doesn’t have a problem with Toni, but she doesn’t like her! Shirai goes after Toni, security hurries to break this up but Toni shoves Shirai into cameras! They brawl into another room! And then to ringside! They’re at the ramp as Toni CLUBS Shirai but Shira kicks back! Shirai whips but Toni reverses to send Shirai into boards! Toni puts Shirai in the ring, but Shirai SHOTEIS! Toni is in a corner, Shirai runs in with SHINKANSEN! Then Shirai goes up top, but Toni bails out to avoid the moonsault! But then EMBER attacks Toni from behind! And throws Toni into steps!
Ember says this is the receipt! She puts Toni in, Shirai hits OVER THE MOONSAULT! The Evil Genius and Evolved Shenom just showed Toni it isn’t her time just yet! But who will come out of this a contender to the NXT Women’s Championship?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Cameron Grimes!
The Psycho Killer stated his mission of sifting through the locker room to find the real tough guys on NXT. And though the Carolina Caveman got slapped around and silenced by Dexter Lumis, that braggadocios attitude is still alive and well. Will Ciampa make sure all of that ends tonight?
The bell rings and Ciampa circles with Grimes. They tie up, go around, and Ciampa headlocks and grinds Grimes down. Grimes rolls, ONE, Ciampa wrenches to a wristlock and wrangles Grimes back down. Ciampa drops a knee on Grimes’ arm, then wrenches it again. Ciampa digs a knee into Grimes’ shoulder, fish hooks his face, then wrenches. Grimes rolls, trips Ciampa and has a toehold. Grimes floats, but here comes Thatcher to take a seat, parroting what Ciampa did a few weeks ago! Ciampa fireman’s carry throws Grimes to get a chinlock, and he stares Thatcher down. Grimes fights up but Ciampa cravats to keep Grimes down.
Grimes fights up, puts Ciampa on ropes, but Ciampa turns it around. The ref wants a break, Grimes shoves Ciampa and shouts, “You get off the Cameron Grimes!” Ciampa shoves Grimes so Grimes kicks back! And CHOPS! Grimes whips Ciampa corner to corner hard, then whips him to ropes. Ciampa reverses and elbows Grimes down! Grimes flounders out and Ciampa pursues as fans rally up. Grimes goes around to the ramp and Thatcher is there. Thatcher and Ciampa stare down, but Ciampa sees the sucker punch coming! Ciampa punches Grimes first, whips him but Grimes reverses! Ciampa stops from hitting boards and then he ROCKS Grimes!
Ciampa gets in, Thatcher takes his seat, Grimes kitchen sink knees Ciampa down! Cover, TWO! Grimes scowls as NXT goes picture in picture.
Grimes drags Ciampa up, pulls on his ear, then CLUBS him down! Ciampa is in a corner, Grimes stomps him, then digs a knee in! The ref counts, Grimes lets off and swaggers about. Grimes brings Ciampa up but Ciampa CHOPS him! Grimes ROCKS Ciampa with a forearm, then whips him to a corner hard! Cover, TWO! Grimes grows frustrated but Thatcher keeps watching. Grimes chokes Ciampa on ropes, stops at the ref’s count, then has Ciampa in a corner to CHOP! Ciampa puts Grimes in the corner to CHOP back! Grimes puts Ciampa back, misses and Ciampa CHOPS! And CHOPS! And stomps away! The ref counts, backs Ciampa off, but Ciampa keeps his cool.
Ciampa drags Grimes up, reels him in and underhooks, but Grimes slips out and spins Ciampa around to scoop, swing and SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives and Grimes is shocked! Grimes grits his teeth and watches Ciampa while Thatcher watches the match. Grimes drops knees and digs the knee into Ciampa’s head! The ref counts, Grimes lets off and then chinbars Ciampa. Grimes wrenches Ciampa’s neck but Ciampa endures, even as Grimes shifts to add an armlock. Ciampa fights up, moves around, but Grimes CLUBS him on the back! Grimes stands Ciampa back up to KICK him in the back! Grimes then clamps back on with the chinbar and wrenches Ciampa’s head.
Ciampa endures, Grimes sets him down and drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Grimes chinbars again, Ciampa endures again and NXT returns to single picture. Ciampa fights up, Grimes CLUBS him down! Grimes clamps on with a chinlock but Ciampa fights up to fight out! Grimes knees low, whips but Ciampa rolls him up! TWO, and Grimes kicks low! Grimes whips, Ciampa reverses but Grimes reverses only for Ciampa to kick back! Ciampa rallies with clothesline after clothesline, like he did to Thatcher at TakeOver! Ciampa LEAPING LARIATS Grimes down! Fans fire up with Ciampa as he aims at Grimes. Ciampa runs corner to corner to clothesline, then side to side to KNEE! Cover, TWO!
Thatcher stares silently as Ciampa sits Grimes up. Ciampa CHOPS Grimes down, then brings him back up. Ciampa underhooks the arms but Grimes slips out and hurries to ropes. Ciampa grabs Grimes but Grimes BOOTS from below! Grimes gets to the apron but Ciampa drags him through ropes. Grimes steps in, back drops out and sits on Ciampa’s sunset, TWO! Ciampa KNEES Grimes but Grimes SUPER FOREARMS back! Ciampa swings, Grimes dodges, COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO!! Fans are fired up as both men are down, and now Thatcher gets antsy. Grimes sits up and he stalks Ciampa to waistlock.
Ciampa fights off the lift by grabbing ropes then elbows Grimes away. Ciampa walks into a scoop, slips out and shoves Grimes into buckles. Grimes elbows back, hops up, but Ciampa CHOPS first! And CHOPS again! Ciampa CHOPS again, but Grimes kicks him. Ciampa SHOVES Grimes to the floor! Thatcher stands up, but Tyler Rust rushes in! Ciampa intercepts with a KNEE, then has Rust in the ropes! Grimes runs in and BOOTS Ciampa! Grimes whips Ciampa but Ciampa bails out to avoid the Cave-in! Ciampa plays cat ‘n’ mouse and KNEES Grimes in the ropes, to then hit WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Distractions, interference, ambushes. None of it worked on the truly tough! The two stare down as Ciampa makes his way out. Thatcher claims he had nothing to do with Rust showing up, but Ciampa doesn’t believe it. Will the Professor of Pain find a way to break Ciampa down?
Grimes gets mad at Thatcher for coming out here and being ringside! But then Thatcher gets Grimes’ leg and TWISTS it! Grimes writhes and clutches his knee! Will Grimes finally learn to think before he speaks?
Backstage interview with Raquel Gonzalez.
We all saw Raquel get the win for her team at WarGames, but will face Ember Moon 1v1. “WarGames was the biggest night of my career. Not only did we win, but I pinned the NXT Women’s Champion.” As much as Raquel wants to celebrate, the win came at a cost. Dakota Kai is home and hurt because of what Ember did to her! After tonight, Ember will regret ever coming back to NXT. Will Big Mami Cool bring down the Moon before we see another Eclipse?
The brutal training continues.
Xia Li spars with the wooden dummy until her hands and forearms bleed! Shifu demands she hit harder and faster! Boa meanwhile is being hit again and again with kendo sticks. And Shifu demands he take harder and harder hits! She hits, he gets hit, over and over and over. What is going to happen to these two if they continue to endure this torturous training? When will “she” and Shifu be satisfied?
The Johnny Gargano Way is here!
The NEW North American Champion, as well as Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, and the newest addition, Austin Theory, are all here to celebrate! Gargano is dancing with the title around his waist because he is the historic THREE-TIME North American Champion! Gargano gets a mic for him and Candice but leave Indi and Austin hanging. “For months, we told you that we were going to show you the way. Well, you’re looking at it.” Not just the present, but the future of NXT! Indi Hartwell, Austin Theory, “General” Candice and the NEW NXT NAC! “Ladies and gentlemen, open your eyes, because we are the way.”
Sunday was the way it’s done! Sunday, they dominated! Gargano became champion! #ThatIsTheWay! Candice won WarGames! #ThatIsTheWay! Yeah, the milky way! Austin, no… Indi says anyway, Austin is just excited for tonight. Gargano says they overcame a lot. Candice broke her arm, and do you know how many stitches are in Gargano’s mouth right now? A lot. There was blood everywhere like a crime scene! Look at his mouth! That’s barely a cut… But he made history again to be the first-ever three-time, three-time, THREE-TIME North American Champion. And then of course, Candice, in back-to-back years, led her team to victory in WarGames. If Johnny is Mr. TakeOver, Candice is Ms. WarGames! Oh stop~!
Gargano points out to everyone that Candice is very humble. Very humble. Gargano tells fans to shut up and understand Candice is humble, and that this is a special moment for them! Just wait for it! Stop making him yell with his stitched mouth! Gargano says he has a surprise for Candice! Oh really? Wow! Indi, is it ready? Yeah? Go get it for her! This was imported from Italy, it’s so expensive! Especially with overnight shipping. Indi carefully sets it down, and Gargano has her and Austin give us a drum roll. “Drdrdrdrdrdrdr” and dancing pecs- Okay, we should’ve rehearsed. But Tim in production give us a good drum roll. TATATATATATAT! TADA~! A bright green trophy! The doll’s head is Shotzi’s head.
Candice is so honored. Johnny says this is for the greatest WarGames general ever! The fans chant, “The Trophy Sucks! The Trophy Sucks!” and Gargano says they’re ruining the moment. Candice says they shouldn’t have. She does deserve it, but now she feels bad because she didn’t get Gargano something. It’s okay. The only trophy he needs is his NXT North American Championship! And after he beat Leon Ruff and Damian Priest with help from his boy, no look high five~! Ruff and Priest are upset, they want a match with Johnny and Austin next week. That’s totally fine, because he has a theory, another no look high-five, that the result will be the same as WarGames! They’re going to show the whole world that if you’re not in The Way, stay out of their way! Get it?
Priest wants everyone to hold on. He has to congratulate Gargano for what he did. And Theory, congrats for his sweet reveal. Does he have the pipe with him? Cuz Priest is gonna shove it up Theory’s ass! Priest heads to the ring but then KARRION KROSS attacks! Kross throws Priest into boards! He obviously heard what Priest said earlier and now he throws Priest into the GIANT X on the stage! And then into the edge of the LED board! And then he stalks Priest to the edge of the stage, and POWERBOMBS Priest through it!! Fans lose their minds but also boo as Kross scowls and storms off. He joins Scarlett in their car and drives off into the night. Will Priest have to choose who he gets revenge on first?
NXT Media catches up with Tyler Rust.
He and Thatcher attacked Ciampa together a couple weeks ago, are he and Thatcher a team? But before Rust can answer, Malcom Bivens walks in and says it’s been a week since he gave Rust his business card. Clearly, Rust has had time to think. Rust showed initiative, so let’s talk business. Rust and Bivens head out, is Bivens Enterprises adding someone new to the client list?
Killian Dain VS Pete Dunne!
Big Damo said he wasn’t done with Dunne, and he was right! This match is because of their confrontation earlier tonight, and that was because of Dunne trying to CRUSH the Belfast Beast with a car door! Will Dain utterly destroy Dunne in return?
The bell rings and the brawl continues from earlier! Dain throws hands on Dunne in a corner, the ref counts but Dain lets off at 4, to TOSS Dunne away! Dunne comes back, but his kick is blocked and Dain RAMS Dunne into buckles! Dain rams in more, the ref pull shim away and Dunne ROCKS Dain with a right! Dain ducks a kick to BOOT Dunne back! Dain dares Dunne to stand and then BOOTS him out of the ring! Dunne gets up, Dain goes out after him and BOOTS him down again! The ref starts the ring count, Dain looms over Dunne at the ramp. “You want to put me on the shelf, huh!?” Dain puts Dunne on the apron and SLAMS his chest on the edge! Then ROCKS him with a right!
Dain gets up but Dunne kicks him back! Dunne goes out but Dain scoops him! Dunne slips off, Dain stops from being posted, and Dunne KICKS the leg! Dunne fires off hands, but Dain grabs Dunne by his chin! Dain goes to headbutt but Dunne moves, and Dain hits POST! Dunne grins as he KICKS Dain down and gets into the ring! The count is 6 of 10 but Dunne goes back out. Dunne brings Dain to the apron and STOMPS his head! Dain flounders into the ring, Dunne puts him in the corner and rains down forearms! The ref counts, Dunne lets off, but then comes back to bring Dain up into a chinbar and neck wrench. Dunne puts Dain’s head down to STOMP it again!
Dain stirs, Dunne kicks him around, then Kowata kicks him! The ref reprimands the hair pulling but Dunne goes after a hand. Dunne twists the wrist and throws more kicks, but Dain just glares back! Dain powers up, reels Dunne in and OVERHEAD SUPLEXES! Dain gets up, stalks Dunne and puts him in a corner for body shots! Dain whips Dunne to the corner, Dunne goes up and over then comes back to ENZIGURI! Dain staggers, Dunne shoves and SNAP GERMANS! Dunne STOMPS the hands, then BUZZSAWS Dain down! Dain gets to the apron again and Dunne scowls at him. Dain talks trash, “Is that all you got?!” Dunne kicks Dain right as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Dunne stands on Dain’s head in the corner! The ref counts, Dunne hops off at 4 and Dain checks his jaw. Dunne stalks Dain, wraps on a chinlock and leans his weight on Dain’s head and neck. Dain endures, fans rally up, and Dain fights his way up but Dunne hops on! Dunne smothers Dain with the chinlock but Dain pries free, and BACKPACK SENTONS! Dunne clutches his leg, surely a leftover injury from WarGames. Dain goes after Dunne and corner splashes! And then whips Dunne corner to corner, to run in and splash again! Dain rains down fists but the ref counts. Dain stops at 4, walks it off, and Dunne gets up for Dain to run in. Dunne dumps Dain out but Dain gets on the apron to catch Dunne, for an URENAGE! And SLINGSHOT SENTON!
Fans fire up with Dain as he reels Dunne in! POWERBOMB! And ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Dain seethes but keeps his focus as he looms over Dunne. Dain throws hands, drags Dunne into a corner and digs him into buckles now! Dain then Electric Chair lifts Dunne, but Dunne fights out to get the arm! Dain stays up in the triangle hold, dead lifts Dunne, and SIT-OUT BOMBS! But he can’t make the cover from the damage done to him, too! Dain and Dunne slowly rise, Dain runs to SHOTGUN dropkick Dunne to the other corner! Dain runs in to CANNONBALL but into buckles as Dunne dodges!
Dunne drags Dain into Danielson Stomps in the corner! The ref counts, Dunne lets off to climb up top. Dain gets up to ROCK Dunne first! Dain climbs up, SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Dain crawls to a cover, TWO!! Dunne survives and fans are fired up for “NXT! NXT!” Dunne manages to sit up but Dain is right on him. Dain drags Dunne up by his chin, but Dunne ENZIGURIS again! Dain wobbles, Dunne has the fingers! Dain breaks free, shoves and LARIATS Dunne! Dunne sits up in a daze, Dain has wild eyes as he fireman’s carries Dunne for the WASTELAND! Dain drops a back senton and heads for the corner, but here come Oney and Burch!
Dunne’s buddies distract Dain, but Maverick is back! Maverick fights those two off with a chair! Rockstar Spud says he’s got this, but then they come back and blindside him! Dain goes out to fight the NXT Tag Team Champions, and now they leave! Dain goes back to the ring but Dunne KICKS him through the ropes! Dunne drags Dain up, pump handles, and hits the BITTER END! Cover, Dunne wins!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by pinfall
A bitter end indeed! Dunne didn’t do it alone, he had the One Two for the assist! But Dunne just shrugs. Will the Bruiserweight have the brawlers backing him up when he goes after Balor?
Backstage interview with Leon Ruff.
After what we saw Kross do to Priest, earlier, is Ruff concerned about next week’s match against #TJGW? But before he can answer, Gargano and Theory come by to answer it for him. They just saw Priest being taken out of here, “ain’t no way he’s gonna be ready.” Priest should shoot those imaginary arrows from his hospital bed! HAH! But Ruff is a “brave little soldier,” so he’ll surely take them on 2v1, right? But before Ruff can answer again, KUSHIDA comes over to volunteer! Ruff accepts with a fist bump! Will the Timesplitter make this his time against Johnny Wrestling?
Raquel Gonzalez VS Ember Moon!
Coming off the biggest win in her career so far, #RickyDesperado wants to wreck the woman who waylaid Dakota Kai! But will Raquel only be the next to learn what Ember’s Law is all about?
The bell rings, Ember avoids Raquel’s grasp and then CHOPS her! And then dodges again to KICK! Raquel is just getting annoyed and wants Ember to take this seriously. Ember is in the corner and then goes up but Raquel dodges the boot! Ember runs, Raquel denies the rana and pops Ember up but Ember lands on her feet! Ember goes up but the Code Breaker is caught! Raquel TOSSES Ember away and Ember lands hard! Raquel drags Ember up to thrash her about with a chin grip! They end up on ropes and then in a corner but the ref counts. Raquel ELBOWS Ember hard at 3, then TOSSES her again!
Ember flounders to a corner, Raquel drags Ember up and TOSSES her back the other way! Ember writhes after landing hard again. Raquel drags Ember up, whips her to a corner, then runs in to corner splash! Raquel shoves Ember around, drags her up and whips her again, but Ember pops through the hip toss, only for her arm-drag to be blocked! So Ember boots from below then sweeps the legs! Raquel reels Ember in but she breaks free and mule kicks! So Raquel throws Ember down by her hair! Raquel drops elbow after elbow then covers, TWO! Raquel seethes while fans rally for Ember.
Raquel drags Ember up, whips her to ropes, but Ember holds the ropes and dodges the boot! Raquel hobbles and Ember throws forearms! Ember dropkicks but Raquel only wobbles! Ember dropkicks again and Raquel leans on ropes. Ember runs in and dropkicks again! Raquel is still up, but the fourth dropkick drops her to a knee! Ember fires up, runs and SLIDING SHOTS! Raquel rolls out to the apron to deny a cover! Ember grows frustrated, but she fires back up and builds speed, to SPEAR Raquel to the floor! Both women crash down as NXT goes picture in picture!
Ember sits up and grins while the ref comes out to check her and Raquel. They’re both okay to continue so the ref starts a count. Ember is in fast but Raquel staggers up at about 5. Raquel is in but Ember is on her with a facelock! Ember cranks on the hold but Raquel stands up. Raquel powers up and RAMS Ember to a corner! And RAMS her again! And again! Raquel digs Ember deep into the corner, lets off at the ref’s count, and then reels Ember into a lift and toss. Ember lands on her feet but Raquel BOOTS her down! Cover, TWO!
Raquel seethes, drags Ember up by her hair, and then whips Ember to a corner. Raquel hurries over to stomp Ember, then she CLUBS Ember down! Ember crawls but Raquel kicks her over! Raquel looms over Ember, then cranks her head with the chinbar! Ember endures, fights up and throws body shots. Raquel clubs Ember again, gut wrenches her up, and has the Canadian rack to a Gory Especial stretch! Ember endures being bent back with her arms and hair, then a chinbar! NXT returns to single picture as fans are thunderous for Ember! Ember endures as Raquel cranks on the arms again!
Ember powers up, Raquel holds on but Ember sunset flips! Raquel stays up, drags Ember up, but Ember jawbreakers back! Ember runs and leaps, but into another BOOT! Cover, TWO! Raquel clamps onto an arm, grinds Ember down and pulls hair, but the ref reprimands. Raquel gets a chinbar again, cranks on neck and arm at the same time as fans rally and duel. Ember fights up, rolls, and boots Raquel away! Raquel just scowls as she kicks Ember. Ember kicks back and Raquel talks trash. Ember reaches up to headscissor Raquel into buckles! Ember hurries up top, aims at Raquel and BOOTS her, to then reel her in, for a TORNADO SUPLEX!
Both women are down and writhing as fans fire up! Raquel and Ember go to opposite ends, Raquel runs but Ember dodges! Ember dodges the boot, fires off arms and uppercuts, then mule kicks, front kicks and ENZIGURIS! Raquel wobbles while Ember roars! Ember runs in at the corner, handspring FOREARM! Then a bull- No, no bulldog, and Raquel scoops, but Ember tilt-o-whirls to a DDT! Cover, TWO! Raquel goes to ropes, Ember runs in and dropkicks her out! Ember builds speed and DIVES to send Raquel into the announce desk! Ember sees the girders are still here from WarGames, and she climbs them! But Raquel yanks her off them, to LAWN DART POST her!!
Raquel puts Ember in, covers, TWO!?! Raquel is beside herself that Ember is still in this, but the fans are thunderous! Ember stirs, Raquel stalks her, and then runs in at the corner, but into boots! Ember slips out as Raquel runs in, Raquel POSTS herself! Ember KICKS Raquel back in! Roll up, TWO! Raquel is down but still in this and now Ember is thinking what else she must do. Ember goes to a corner, climbs back up, and takes aim… ECLIPSE- NO?! Raquel catches Ember out of the air, thrashes her around, but Ember throws elbows to get free! Ember runs, but Raquel LARIATS!
Raquel drags Ember back up, ready to end this! Fisherman and lift, but Ember victory rolls out of the slam! TWO!! SUPER- NO! DESPERADO BOMB!!! Cover, Raquel wins!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall
Pinning the current NXT Women’s Champion at WarGames, pinning a former NXT Women’s Champion tonight, no one can deny the power of Raquel Gonzalez! Will she be #1 contender sooner rather than later?
But first, Toni Storm returns and says, “What do we have here?” Toni picks Ember up but then Rhea’s entrance music alone scares her! The Nightmare saves Ember, and stares down her old NXT UK rival, as well as her newest rival in Raquel. Raquel says Toni can go so that she and Rhea can stare down. The female titans circle and the fans are loving the idea of another go! But Raquel decides that will be for another time, she already did enough tonight. Will Rhea make sure Raquel has to deal with her before she gets at Io Shirai?
A great NXT to follow WarGames! We get a lot of well done intermingling of stories while developing the overall stories of contenders for titles. Balor’s promo being interrupted by honestly all great contenders was a natural move, and I liked how he handled it. Kross makes his return already by beating up Priest for what he said, so I bet that’s the first feud for Kross’ in-ring return. That’s honestly a great move, as Priest isn’t quite top title material yet, and his style can pair with Kross’ very well. Kyle wanting in is fitting since he came so close last time. Dunne is definitely the singles guy for “The Kings of NXT,” and I like that Dain came back for revenge. Dunne VS Dain was a great match, and was properly overbooked with Maverick, Oney and Burch doing things. I feel like that will shift Dain and Maverick over to going after them as a tag team program for New Year’s Evil.
The Triple Threat Tag we got was great, because it had three great teams, and was the better type of Triple Threat Tag where it’s a triple threat fused with a tag match. Of course, Ever-Rise were clever to let it be more like the other kind of Triple Threat Tag until it suited them to get in. GYV getting the win makes some sense. They came in with more fire and are the team that would make history by having held both NXT UK and prime NXT tag titles in their careers, so they have to be next for Oney and Burch. Atlas VS Swerve was a great match, and clearly Swerve is going to turn Heel soon. Ciampa VS Grimes was a really good follow-up to both of their TakeOver matches, even with Thatcher and Rust getting involved. Ciampa still wins because he’s moving up those ranks, and could easily be the contender to Balor’s title after New Year’s Evil.
Bivens returning to recruit Rust is a nice move, since Indus Sher kinda shot themselves in the foot way back when Keith Lee won both top and North American titles. The new Bivens Enterprises starting with a young hopeful like Rust is a good move, and I’m interested to see who else joins. The Johnny Gargano Way had a good segment, though I hope they don’t go too hard on Austin Theory being a big of a meathead. Their match with Ruff and Kushida is going to be a lot of fun, and that is clearly setting up Kushida VS Gargano for the NAC at some point, maybe even New Year’s Evil.
We got a lot of great stuff out of the NXT Women’s Division. Toni brawling with Shirai only for Ember to get her own payback was good for setting up the very end of the night. Ember VS Raquel was an awesome main event, practically a contender’s match right there. Raquel has the hot hand so her winning was great. Toni coming back for revenge only to be startled by Rhea was pretty good. Rhea and Raquel teasing their rematch was fun, and I imagine a bit of this is improvising since Candice legitimately injured her arm and Dakota needs her own time off. Maybe we get one massive contender’s match to set up a match with Shirai at New Year’s Evil. Or the contender’s match is on New Year’s Evil and then Shirai VS the winner is given a big build to the next TakeOver. Either way, all the praise people give NXT for the women’s division is well deserved.
My Score: 9.2/10
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)
The Elite are on a Rampage!
Is The Elite in for a tune-up or trap game tonight?
Though they plan to defend the AEW World Trios titles on Dynamite, Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks defend the titles against The Firm here on Rampage! Will they overlook Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy and get caught?
- AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy; The Elite win and retain the titles.
- Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr; Swerve wins.
- Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters; Saraya & Storm win.
- Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy!
Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks accepted the challenge of the upstart Top Flight & AR Fox, but then they also accepted the challenge of The Firm’s All Ego! Will The Elite’s ego cost them in their very first defense? Or will they still keep their date with Fox, Dante & Darius for Dynamite?
The bell rings and the trios sort out. Dayton chants, “THE! ELITE! THE THE ELITE!” Nick Jackson starts against Isiah Kassidy, they circle, and they tie up. Nick wrenches to a wristlock, Kassidy rolls and handsprings to wrench and wristlock back. Nick uses ropes to flip through and wrench back to hit a headlock takeover. Kassidy headscissors, Nick kips free, but Kassidy hits a headlock takeover. Nick headscissors, Kassidy kips free, things speed up and Kassidy wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Kassidy kips up, but Nick blocks the chop to knuckle lock. Nick CHOPS, goes up and up, “LUCHA LIBRE~!” and arm-drags!
Kassidy staggers up into another arm-drag, and Nick has the armlock! Fans cheer but Ethan is furious. Nick wrenches Kassidy, tags Matt, and the Bucks double whip to bait Kassidy into a GUTBUSTER, to the NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up with the Bucks, and Matt points to Kenny. Fans fire up, and Matt tags in Omega! Hardy tags in and he circles with Omega. They tie up, break, and then go again. They break, go again, then Hardy headlocks. Omega powers out but Hardy runs him over. Things speed up but Hardy fakes out the hurdle! Hardy kicks low, reels Omega in, TWIST- NO, Omega powers out!
Omega runs in at the corner but Hardy dodges, and the V-Trigger hits buckles! Hardy reels Omega in, but Omega fights the Side Effect! Hardy staggers, Omega runs in but Hardy sends him out! Omega hurries back up but Hardy BLASTS him off the apron! Omega hits railing, Stokely laughs at him, and then Hardy goes up the corner! Omega stands up, but Ethan leaps to CLOBBER Omega! Ethan gives Hardy a thumbs up, he did that so Hardy wouldn’t have to risk himself. Ethan puts Omega in the ring, Ethan apparently snuck a tag that not even Hardy noticed. Ethan drags Omega up to scoop and SLAM him!
Fans boo but Ethan tells the Bucks to kiss this. Ethan drags Omega up, throws haymakers, and then has Omega in the corner. Ethan has Hardy and Kassidy hold Omega in place, then Ethan runs to BLAST the Bucks off the apron! Fans boo more but Ethan runs in, into Omega’s BOOT! Omega is free, he goes up and over Ethan to hot tag Nick! Ethan runs in, Omega dodges and the Bucks DOUBLE GAMANGIRI Ethan back! Nick then tags Matt while Omega RANAS Ethan! The Bucks double kick, Nick runs and Matt gives him the boost to RANA Ethan! Ethan hurries to tag Hardy, he runs in but into DOUBLE DROPKICKS!
Ethan shouts for Kassidy to do something, so Kassidy springboards, but the Bucks get clear to double elbow! They wheelbarrow and lift Kassidy, Omega runs in, WHEELBARROW KOTARO KRUSHER! Kassidy flounders out of the ring while the fans fire up with the Elite. Hardy returns but Omega sets up Ethan and Kassidy. Matt runs in to WRECK Ethan and Kassidy with a dropkick! Matt then holds the ropes for Nick to FLY and take them out! But Matt Hardy kicks Matt Jackson low and reels him in! TWIST- NO, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Matt Jackson starts up the Polar Express, but Ethan saves Hardy!
Ethan swings, but into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Fans fire up with Jackson as he has Hardy for haymakers! And stomps! Jackson runs, Ethan trips him up but Jackson BOOTS Ethan! Hardy catches Jackson for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson over and tags in Ethan. Ethan stomps Matt Jackson, going after the legs. Ethan talks trash on Dayton then brings Matt around for a BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but Ethan soaks up the heat as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Ethan drags Matt up, bumps him off Kassidy’s boot, then tags Kassidy in. Ethan and Kassidy mug Matt, Kassidy stomps away, then lets off as the ref counts. Kassidy drags Matt back up, tags Hardy, and they mug Matt Jackson now. Hardy brings Jackson around to fire forearms and elbows! Then Hardy has Jackson under the bottom rope, for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! Kassidy gives thumbs up as Hardy covers, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off Ethan’s boot, and then tags Ethan in. Ethan and Hardy mug Jackson, abut Jackson fights back with haymakers! Rampage returns to single picture as Jackson backs Ethan down!
Matt Jackson runs but into a BOOT! Ethan BLASTS Omega and taunts Nick. Fans boo but Ethan drags Matt Jackson over to tag Hardy back in. Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off buckles and shouts “DELETE! DELETE!” Fans chant along, and Hardy goes through all three levels! Hardy grabs Jackson’s legs, and YANKS him into a POWERBOMB! Cover, but Nick breaks it! The ref reprimands but Nick backs off. Hardy drags Matt Jackson to the drop zone, goes up the corner, but then Ethan tags in! Fans boo as Ethan ruins Hardy’s good time. Ethan then copies Hardy’s stuff, but leaps into a SUPERKICK!
Fans rally as Ethan and Matt are down! Hot tag to Omega! Fans fire up as Omega goes up top to CROSSBODY Ethan! Kassidy runs in, to get a POLISH HAMMER! POLISH HAMMER for Ethan! Omega spins but Ethan dodges to kick low! Ethan whips, Omega reverses and fireman’s carries! “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” ROLLING SENTON, and the MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Omega drags Ethan up into a half nelson. Ethan fights the full nelson, RAMS Omega into the corner, and Kassidy tags in. Kassidy and Hardy run to BLAST the Bucks while Ethan fires off back elbows on Omega!
Ethan whips Omega corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Kassidy adds a SPLASH, Hardy adds a clothesline! Hardy sets up, Ethan whips Kassidy, FIRM IN MOTION INTO DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!! Ethan is shocked to see what happened, but he runs into a SNAP DRAGON! Hardy runs in, kicks low, but Omega turns Twist into full nelson! Hardy elbows free, runs, and DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Nick goes up, but so does Kassidy! STEREO SWANTON BOMBS!! Nick takes out Hardy while Kassidy takes out Omega! Then Kassidy runs in, dodges Nick and goes up to FLYING COMPLETE SHOT!
Matt Jackson shouts “YOU’RE DEAD!” and he SUPERKICKS Kassidy! Ethan runs in, blocks a kick and spins Jackson to ROUNDHOUSE! and then deadlift POWERSLAM! But V-TRIGGER outta nowhere!! All six men are down and the fans are thunderous! A standing count begins, “This is Awesome!” and Omega crawls to hot tag Nick! Nick storms in to CLUB Kassidy. Kassidy throws a forearm, but Nick hits back! They go back and forth with heavy shots, but Kassidy gets the edge! Nick staggers, but he ROUNDHOUSES back! Nick whips, Kassidy reverses and SPIN KICKS! Nick goes to a corner, Kassidy runs in, but Nick dodges!
SHINING WIZARD! GAMANGIRI! FOREARM! BULLDOG! The Elite regroup and they aim at Kassidy, only for Hardy and Ethan to drag Omega and Matt Jackson out! They’re sent into railing hard, and Kassidy runs to hit a DESTROYER!! Nick flounders to a corner, Hardy sets up again! PARTY IN MOTION! Ethan & Kassidy put Nick up top, DOUBLE ICONOCLASM! And then a feed to the TWIST OF FATE!! Kassidy covers, Matt Jackson breaks it!! Ethan storms in, he gets Matt Jackson up, but he slips off the Ego’s Edge and Omega V-TRIGGERS Ethan down! Hardy throws Omega out!
Hardy runs in, Jackson moves, Hardy BLASTS Ethan! Hardy is shocked and he hurries to check on Ethan. Kassidy TOSSES Matt Jackson out, but Nick springboards in! CUTTER?!? Kassidy covers, TWO!!! Kassidy almost wins this on his own because Hardy and Ethan distracted with Ethan’s jaw. Nick tags Omega while Kassidy calls to his team. Hardy hurries over but Omega V-TRIGGERS Kassidy down!! Omega drags Kassidy away, tags Matt in and then Matt tags Nick. Jackson BLASTS Hardy, Omega Electric Chair Lifts Kassidy! ONE WINGED ANGEL!! Into B T E TRIGGER!!! Cover, The Elite wins!
Winners: The Elite, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Champions)
This was no trap game, but this was far more than a tune-up! The Elite are red hot now, will they melt the Coldest Tag Team in the Game this Wednesday?
Backstage interview with Ricky Starks.
Lexi Nair is with The Absolute, and she brings up the Jericho Appreciation Society throw down the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet challenge. Starks sorta got what he asked for, so what’s the plan? Starks says, “I can tell you it wasn’t a plan for us to match here,” in reference to his shirt and her whole ensemble both being a light khaki. But Starks admits he puts his foot in his mouth, something he’s known to do around here. But that’s okay, because if that is how Starks gets at Chris Jericho, then that is what he’s going to do. If that is the way to beat Jericho, to get out of the “Web of Jericho” that he has entangled himself in, that is what Starks will do.
“I am no stranger to having the deck stacked against me, because I always find a way. Parker, Daddy Magic, Sammy, Danny, it doesn’t matter. Because in El Paso, Texas, I am gonna to prove exactly why I am Absolute. And when I do get my way, Chris, I am going to embarrass you. And I am going to beat you, again.” Starks is ready for everything the JAS is going to throw at him, but will that still get him the win?
Team Triple J speaks.
Jay Lethal tells the others, “Right now, we are riding high. But the Screen Actors Guild and AEW, they’re trying to rain on our parade by distorting on the camera Sonjay’s Golden Globe. I tell you what, just like last week, when we embarrassed the Best Friends and Danhausen, we proved that in the ring, we can’t be matched! And I bet right now, Paul Walter Hauser is sitting at home without a Golden Globe, wishing that he had better friends.” Jeff Jarrett says, “I bet Mr. Walter Hauser wishes he never ever stepped foot in the Kia Forum! Because what happened the last time? I bet he’s wishing he never went on The Late Late Show with James Corden!”
But Best Friends respond!
Danhausen is upset that he got smashed in the head with a Grammy! No, it was a Golden Globe. But keep going, this is good energy. Yes! Danhausen was “decimating” their giant, Satnam Singh, and then he was caught off guard by a GOLDEN GLOBE! That was bad. So YOU will be cursed if it happens again! It shouldn’t happen again, right? It shouldn’t. Danhausen says it WON’T happen again! But when and where will we see the sequel to this showdown of friends and enemies?
Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr!
For whatever reason, second generation wrestlers get on Swerve’s nerves. He can’t get after The Natural just yet, but he’s settling for #FlyinBrian41 here tonight! Will BPJ use his homefield advantage to stop the Mogul? Or will Dayton be “Whose House?” “SWERVE’S HOUSE!”
The bell rings and Swerve circles with BPJ. They tie up, go around, and BPJ powers Swerve to a corner. Swerve pushes back and wrenches to a wristlock. BPJ rolls, cartwheels, handsprings and headstands, but Swerve pushes him down to turn BPJ over to a ghost pin! TWO, BPJ gets up but Swerve is after him. BPJ whips Swerve to a corner, Swerve goes up and over and O’Conner Rolls, then Eddy Gordo RANAS, but BPJ rolls through to stand back up. Fans cheer the technical exchange. BPJ and Swerve tie up again, Swerve pulls BPJ’s hair and puts him in the corner. BPJ turns things around, and he swings, only for Swerve to duck.
Swerve whips BPJ but BPJ rolls, handsprings and kangaroo kicks! Swerve checks his nose while fans rally up. Swerve runs in, BPJ dodges, things speed up and BPJ hurdles to drop. Swerve handsprings over, things keep moving, but BPJ steps on Swerve! Fans fire up as BPJ asks, “Whose House?” “BRIAN’S HOUSE!” But Swerve takes off his necklace to wrap around his fist as he ROCKS BPJ with a sucker punch! Fans boo, Swerve whips, but BPJ reverses and DROPKICKS! Swerve bails out, BPJ builds speed, and fans fire up as BPJ WRECKS Swerve with a dropkick! BPJ hurries away from Trench & Boudreaux while Rampage goes picture in picture.
BPJ grins while Swerve is furious. Boudreaux & Trench help Swerve stand up. BPJ talks some smack but Swerve has his guys stand down. Swerve goes up the steps and into the ring, and he ties up with BPJ. Swerve kicks BPJ, ROCKS him with a right, then swings, but misses in the corner! BPJ CHOPS, ROCKS, and wrenches before he whips corner to corner. BPJ runs in to clothesline, CHOP, and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! BPJ rallies the fans while Swerve grits his teeth. BPJ storms up but Swerve gets around to JAM the leg! BPJ falls over and clutches the knee while Swerve taunts Dayton.
Swerve stands on BPJ’s leg, throws down fists, then kicks him around. Swerve stands BPJ up, BPJ throws hands, but Swerve KICKS the leg out! Swerve goes to the corner, goes up, and he taunts the fans before the FALLING UPPERCUT! Swerve swaggers and smirks at all the fans before he goes back to BPJ. Swerve kicks the leg, grinds an arm, and Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns as BJP and Swerve fire forearm after forearm at each other! BPJ CHOPS, CHOPS, then SLAPS! Swerve staggers, BPJ grabs at him, but Swerve brushes that away to ROCK BPJ with a haymaker! BPJ staggers to a corner, Swerve storms over, but he blocks a boot! Swerve brings BPJ out, slips around that leg and hits a BACKBREAKER! BPJ staggers, Swerve SLAPS him, but BPJ SUPERKICKS! And LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Swerve survives but BPJ fires up! Fans rally as BPJ fireman’s carries. Swerve fights free, and he SLAPS away on BPJ’s back. BPJ snapmares, Swerve blocks the superkick and he mule kicks the bad leg!
Swerve aims from the corner as BPJ clutches his knee. BPJ stands but the bad leg gives out! And then the HOUSE CALL!! Cover, TWO!?! BPJ survives and Swerve is fuming! Dayton fires up but Swerve drags BPJ up. Swerve bumps BPJ off buckles, hoists him up top, then climbs up after him. BPJ throws body shots in return, then climbs up to HOTSHOT Swerve away! Trench distracts BPJ, BPJ runs him off, and the ref is busy with Trench, allowing Boudreaux to trip BPJ up! Fans boo, but Swerve hurries to go out after BPJ and drag him up! Fireman’s carry, APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!!
Swerve hurries up a corner and BPJ sits up, for the KILL STOMPS!! Cover, Swerve wins!
Winner: Swerve Strickland, by pinfall
Mogul Affiliates comes through for their leader, Swerve takes out a second generation star! #HoodiesUp, and the big men stand Swerve up. Trench feeds BPJ to Boudreaux’s LARIAT! Then Swerve brings out the necklace, but here comes DUSTIN RHODES! The Natural has a TURNBUCKLE CROSSBAR! Dustin uses that to run off Mogul Affiliates, but this war has only just begun. Will Dustin prove to Swerve that being second generation doesn’t make him better, but that being better makes him better?
The House of Black speaks.
Malakai says, “There was a saying that reads, ‘Assumptions are a poison that create unrealistic expectations.’ And what is the poison that you people created? The assumption that Eddie Kingston was going to join the House. No, the House does not want Eddie, and Eddie does not want The House. The House did what it always does, and what its mission has been since the beginning: prove that every human being on this planet, no matter how true of heart, is corruptible. And it takes the smallest push into the right direction to peel off the layers of virtue and let that venom of hate grow.
“There is no forgiveness for people like you and me, Eddie. And like Cain did to Abel, you do what you can’t help but do, because it is your nature. It is the balance of who you are in this world. Because no man is ever truly…” The Mad King has begun his descent, will there be no going back now that he has begun to #FadeToBlack?
Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters!
Speaking of a descent, the Revolution and the Lightning have stooped to shocking lows as of late, all in the name of showing the AEW homegrown talent that they, the outsiders, know what is best for business. But will they continue to do whatever they want to the AEW Women’s Division? Or will Charlette & Robyn be just the renegades to fight The Revolution?
The teams sort out and after a rock-paper-scissors game that goes nowhere, Robyn steps up to Storm. Storm doesn’t seem to take Robyn seriously but Robyn eggs her on. Robyn and Storm tie up, go around, and end up against ropes, in a corner, and then to more ropes. Storm lets off to pie face Robyn. Robyn ROCKS Storm! And again, and again, and then she CHOPS! Robyn whips, Storm reverses but Robyn ducks, only to run into Storm’s THESZ PRESS! Storm rains down fists, then she drags Robyn up. Storm puts Robyn in the ropes, CHOKES Robyn, then argues with the ref so Saraya can CHOKE Robyn, too!
The fans boo as Saraya fires off knees on Robyn! Storm sucker punches Charlette! Storm runs to HIP ATTACK Robyn off the apron! Fans are torn while Robyn lands on the floor. Storm and Saraya bring Robyn up to RAM her into steel steps! And then into the railing! The ref has to keep Charlette back, and Saraya says Charlette is crazy! Storm drags Robyn up and puts her in the ring to then drag her over. Tag to Saraya, they mug Robyn, and Saraya short arm LARIATS! And again! And again! Fans boo but Saraya smiles and soaks it all up. Saraya drags Robyn up, tells fans to shut up, but Robyn waistlocks.
Saraya elbows free, whips Robyn to a corner, SHINING WIZARD! Fans boo but Saraya just revels in it. Saraya snapmares and SHINING WIZARDS again! Cover, TWO!! Robyn survives but Saraya drags Robyn up. Robyn RAMS Saraya into a corner, but it’s the enemy corner! Storm tags in, she and Saraya mug Robyn, and then Storm snap suplexes Robyn down! Cover, TWO! Robyn is hanging tough but Storm clamps on a full nelson. Fans rally as Robyn endures and fights up. Storm thrashes Robyn around, but Robyn fights up and breaks the nelson! Only for Storm to throw her down by her hair! Fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Storm just scowls.
Storm kicks Robyn around, toying with her, but Robyn gets mad. Robyn ROCKS Storm! Robyn eggs Storm on so Storm hits back! Robyn ROCKS, CHOPS and repeat! Storm swing, Robyn dodges and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up as both women are down! Storm a nd Robyn crawl, hot tag to Charlette! Charlette rallies on Storm and Saraya! SPLASH in the corner! Charlette rallies the fans with “GET! YOU! SOME!” Charlette runs in, but Storm SHOTGUNS her down! Charlette flounders to a corner, Storm runs in, SWEET HIP MUSIC! Storm brings Charlette up for Saraya to YAKUZA KICK! STORM ZERO!! Cover, Storm & Saraya win!
Winners: Saraya & Toni Storm, by pinfall
The outsiders win, but they’re not done! Saraya brings out cans of spray paint! Toni CLOBBERS Robyn, Saraya chases the ref out of the ring, and they start spraying the Renegades! They put big green L’s on the Renegades, will they continue to hand out those L’s to the AEW Women’s Division?
Adam Cole speaks.
“There is nothing that I love more than professional wrestling. And I have worked harder every single day than I ever have in my entire life. Because for me, I thought my dream was dead. And when your dreams die, your hope dies. I never, ever lost hope, because I refused to let anybody or anything stand in my way of getting back inside that squared circle. And I have no idea who my first opponent will be when I return, but I can promise you this: You are going to get the best damn pro-wrestler on the planet. And his name…” ADAM COLE, BAYBAY! AEW Revolution is the target, will Adam Cole make it all about the boom?
Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.
The World’s Strongest Man says, “Before former ROH Champion, Rush, faces Bryan Danielson this Wednesday, he will face former ROH Champion, Christopher Daniels tonight on Rampage.” The Fallen Angel tells El Toro Blanco, “Your reputation precedes you, but I am not intimidated by reputation. And I’m not a stepping stone for anyone, Rush.” But Rush tells Daniels, “You have never faced anybody like Rush.” Rush continues on in Spanish, then says in English, “Just remember: if you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” Mark Henry then says, “It’s TIME! For the main event!” Will Rush be rolling into El Paso and his battle with the American Dragon? Or will this be the rise of the Fallen Angel?
Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels!
The bell rings and fans rally for the Fallen Angel. Daniels and Rush circle, tie up, and Daniels waistlocks. Rush switches, Daniels switches back but Rush sits. Daniels holds on for a moment but Rush switches back. They stand, Daniels shifts to hit a headlock takeover. Rush headscissors, Daniels pries free to trip Rush to a cover, ONE! The two stand off and fans cheer. Rush and Daniels reset to circle again. They tie up, Rush wrenches and YANKS the arm, then wrenches to CLUB the arm. Rush YANKS the arm but Daniels uses ropes to flip through and arm-drag Rush away! Rush stands up, sidesteps, but Daniels blocks the hip toss!
Daniels tries but now Rush blocks the hip toss. Rush swings but Daniels blocks the haymaker to hit a NECKBREAKER! Daniels then CLOBBERS Rush! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Daniels drags Rush up and CLUBS him. Daniels whips Rush to ropes to calf kick him out! Daniels then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Daniels drags Rush up and into the ring, hurries up the corner, but Jose distracts! Daniels AX HANDLES Jose down! But Rush DECKS Daniels with a sucker punch! Daniels flops out of the ring and Rush distracts the ref so “Perro Peligroso” can attack! Preston Vance holds up the Ingobernables fist, then he POSTS Daniels! Vance even CHOKES Daniels with the stolen masks of luchadors Vance has beaten outside of AEW! Vance gets away with all this as Rush goes out after Daniels. But then Vance distracts the ref so that Rush can beat down Daniels! Rush drags Daniels around the way to throw him into railing!
Rush throws knee after knee into Daniels against the railing while Jose hurries to get the bright green cable! Rush throws down fists, Jose throws the cable over, and Rush holds it up. Rush then gathers some slack, to LASH Daniels! And then CHOKE him with it! Daniels can only cough and sputter because Vance is still in the ref’s face! Rush lets Daniels go, then drags him up to put him in the ring. Jose gives Rush some water to refresh himself, then Jose shows off just one of the many fat stacks MJF gave LFI on Dynamite. Rush uses the fat stack to fan himself off, then gives it to Vance. Rush then gets in the ring to CHOP Daniels!
Rush whips Daniels corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Then he sits Daniels down to rain down forearms! The ref reprimands and counts, Rush lets off at 4. Jose beats the apron like a drum and Rush runs corner to corner, to fake Daniels out on the Bull’s Horns! Daniels lets his guard down, and Rush KICKS him in the face! Daniels clutches his jaw while Rush rolls back to tranquilo. Rush then drags Daniels up to throw him out, and of course Vance is right on Daniels! Vance CHOPS Daniels while Rush distracts the ref. Vance puts Daniels back in, Rush stands on Daniels with a cocky cover, ONE!
Rush is annoyed but he stomps away on Daniels. Rampage returns to single picture as Rush pretends to take Daniels’ head and kicks it into the crowd. But then he KICKS Daniels in the side! Daniels goes to the apron, fans boo, but Rush kicks him to the floor. Rush again distracts the ref, and Vance uses the fat stack of cash to SLAP Daniels! Vance then makes it rain on Daniels, and stands him up to CHOP him down! Fans boo as Jose also makes it rain on Daniels. Vance puts Daniels in the ring, Rush drags Daniels up and throws body shots. Rush tosses Daniels back out, and then “apologizes” to the ref as a way to distract him!
Jose and Vance stand Daniels up, Jose chicken wings Daniels’ arms, and Vance runs in. Daniels moves, the BOOT takes out Jose! Fans fire up, Vance is shocked, and Daniels POSTS Vance! Daniels throws Jose into the ring then goes around the way. Rush is distracted by his assistant being where he shouldn’t be, and Daniels slips in to roll Rush up! TWO!! Rush escapes, but Daniels baits him into the corner. Daniels dodges, ENZIGURIS, and fans fire up! Rush staggers, Daniels runs in and LARIATS Rush! And CHOPS! And wrenches to a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives but Daniels fires back up!
Daniels drags Rush up, CLUBS him again and again, then runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! But Daniels swings! Rush dodge to SUPERKICK! Rush roars, swings, but into a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! But into a KOJI KLUTCH!! Rush endures, Vance drags Rush’s leg to the ROPEBREAK! Fans boo but Daniels lets Rush go all the same. Daniels knows it was that damn dog, but Rush rolls Daniels up! WITH TIGHTS! TWO, and Rush swings again, but into the URENAGE! Daniels points to the corner and fans fire up! Daniels goes up, for the BEST MOONSAULT EVER onto knees!!
Rush OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes Daniels into the corner! Rush makes sure Daniels sits up, and then he stomps away with both feet! Fans boo, Rush stomps around then runs corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
Though it was a valiant effort, Christopher Daniels fought a 3v1 the entire time, he had no chance of winning out. Will Bryan Danielson also have no chance against those odds? Or will the American Dragon find a way to slay El Toro Blanco?
A really good Rampage here. The trios titles opening was quite the surprise, but it was a great match. The Firm looked good, but of course they also had the story of Ethan stealing the spotlight from his own teammates every chance he could. As such, The Elite win, and now we’re going to get a stacked episode of Dynamite. The trios titles, the tag titles, and eliminator matches for the women’s world title and men’s world title. Of those, I’m fairly confident The Elite retain their titles, that would only be their second defense and they have got to be heading to AEW Revolution with these belts. No idea who they’d face then, though.
Plenty of good promos again. Starks responding to the JAS gauntlet didn’t necessarily add anything, he’s of course going to find his way through. Malakai’s promo was equally good but it effectively established what’s going on with the story of House of Black and Eddie Kingston. Triple J and Best Friends are definitely going to have another match, and as I said before, I hope Paul Walter Hauser gets involved to avenge Triple J stealing his Golden Globe. And great new promo from Cole, though it doesn’t necessarily add anything more. Cole is surely going to be part of the Revolution card, and whoever he faces is going to put Cole over but in a very good match.
Really good match out of Swerve VS BPJ, but of course that as a Heel leading a faction, Swerve wins because his guys help out. But it also made sense for Dustin to show up and run the Mogul Affiliates off. As I sensed on Dynamite, Dustin is surely going to team up with BPJ and Brock Anderson against Mogul Affiliates in a Six Man Tag. And as AEW seems to struggle establishing new team names, I’m assuming Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson are gonna be “Lineage” (stylized LineAGE) as a sort of AEW version of Legacy. I say that cuz LineAGE was on BPJ’s tights. Dustin can also join LineAGE if he wants, and maybe LineAGE can get going in the Trios Division.
The Renegade Sisters got a good showing against Storm & Saraya, but of course they also lost to Storm & Saraya. And I suddenly had inspiration seeing Saraya & Storm spray paint big green L’s on the Renegades. Will Saraya & Storm be like The Outsiders, Nash & Hall, and they get an NWO moment at Revolution? The “third woman” will be someone who is currently Face and seems like they’re on AEW’s side. It probably won’t be Shida, she doesn’t seem to like how Saraya & Storm are going. But with Saraya & Storm wearing green and using green paint, and Ruby Soho having green hair, I wonder if Ruby is pushed to the point where she ends up seeing things Saraya’s way.
Still disappointing that Mark Henry’s segment is being trimmed down more and more, but I’m thinking it’s to give more time to the main event match. But this main event was a great main event, even though I just knew Daniels would lose. Rush VS Bryan will be great stuff, and I am sure Bryan will look close to losing because of Jose and Vance getting involved, but surely Bryan will find a way to win.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)
What is the State of the Bloodline?
Roman Reigns responds to what happened at the Royal Rumble.
Though he is still Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the Tribal Chief is without Jey Uso and without the Honorary Uce. What will Roman Reigns do about the Bloodline’s situation?
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium; Braun & Ricochet win and will challenge The Usos for the titles next week.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
- The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla; The Viking Raiders win.
- Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya; Natty wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Bloodline arrives.
Kayla Braxton is already on the scene as Jimmy Usos, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman and the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, exit the vehicle. Kayla wants a word on Jey Usos’ status after what we saw on Saturday, but Roman doesn’t give an answer. Heyman, however, says, “What a cold-blooded question from such a warm-hearted lady.” But at this time, the Bloodline will neither confirm nor deny Jey’s status within the group. But thanks for wearing black and red for them. The Wise Man heads out with the Head of the Table, what will Roman himself have to say later on tonight?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium w/ GUNTHER!
The Monster of All Monsters and the King of Flight were last minute substitutes, but they made the most of their opportunity! Will they take over that SmackDown Tag Division right as the Usos’ partnership is in question? Or will it be Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci secure victory and make Der Ring General proud?
The teams sort out and Braun starts against the Pride of Italy. They circle, tie up, and Braun shoves Vinci away! Braun flexes and roars but Vinci talks strategy with Ludwig. They tag, Ludwig talks some trash but Vinci rushes in! Braun stays up from the chop block, he shoves Ludwig away, kicks Vinci out of the ring, and then DECKS Ludwig on the return! Imperium regroups outside and Braun dares them to bring it. Gunther talks strategy with his soldiers, a ring count starts, and fans rally up for Braun. Braun tags to Ricochet as Ludwig gets back in and they circle. They tie up, Ricochet waistlocks and headlocks.
Ludwig powers up and out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to dropkick him down! Ricochet throws forearms but Ludwig DECKS Ricochet! Ludwig drags Ricochet back up but Ricochet hits a JAWBREAKER! Ricochet brings Ludwig up but Vinci takes a swipe! Ricochet gets distracted and Ludwig CLOBBERS him with a EuroUpper! Braun is upset, he runs in around the way to CLOBBER Vinci! Braun stares Gunther down and Gunther backs away. Braun dares Gunther to try something now, but Ludwig DIVES! Only for Braun to catch him! Ludwig tries to fight free, but Vinci goes up and up and CROSSBODIES to wipe Braun out!
Fans rally for Braun while Gunther has Imperium regroup. The Monster and the high-flyer are in trouble as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Braun CLUBS Vinci. Braun scoops Vinci, Vinci slips free and POSTS Braun! Ludwig tags in, they have Braun stuck in the corner, and they DOUBLE DROPKICK! They push Braun in to cover, TWO! Gunther is frustrated but Ludwig rains down fists. Tag to Vinci, Imperium mugs Braun, and Vinci CLUBS away on Braun’s back. Vinci facelocks and grinds the hold but Braun fights up! Fans rally as Braun powers his way over a step at a time, and he TOSSES Vinci away! Hot tag to Ricochet, he springboards to CROSSBODY Ludwig! Ricochet runs to RANA Vinci, then he runs to RAM him in the corner!
Ricochet bumps Vinci off buckles, kicks him away, and springboards for a FLYING LARIAT! Ricochet keeps moving, STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Gunther is still worried as Ricochet has the fans rallying behind him. Ricochet brings Vinci up, fireman’s carries, but Vinci slips off to CLUB Ricochet and POST him! Ludwig tags in, they set Ricochet up like Braun, but Ricochet dodges! The dropkicks take Vinci out! Ludwig rushes in, Ricochet dodges to handspring and back elbow! Ludwig flounders to the corner, Braun runs in to BLAST Vinci away! Braun has Ricochet build speed, and gives him a boost to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Imperium!
Fans are thunderous, Ricochet is roaring, and Gunther is furious! Ricochet tells Gunther to back off, this is Imperium’s fight. Gunther shoves Ricochet, and the ref saw it! The ref EJECTS Gunther! Fans love it as now this is a fair fight! Gunther is fuming but Braun dares him to try something more. Ricochet gets in the ring but Vinci grabs at him! Ricochet kicks Vinci away but Ludwig is after him in the ropes! Ricochet shoves Ludwig away, but Ludwig and Vinci HIGH-LOW on the rebound! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Braun is shocked, too, as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Ludwig brawls with Ricochet! Ricochet gets the edge, runs, but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Ludwig whips, Ricochet reverses to V-TRIGGER! Ludwig wobbles, Ricochet fires off fists, and the ref counts. Ricochet roars as he lets off at 4, but Ludwig turns things around! Vinci tags in and springboards to CROSSBODY! PENALTY KICK from Ludwig! DOUBLE DROPKICKS to Braun! Vinci covers Ricochet, TWO! Ricochet is hanging tough and Imperium grows frustrated. Vinci drags Ricochet up, Ludwig tags in then climbs the corner, but Ricochet back drops Vinci! Ricochet drags Ludwig down to GAMANGIRI!
Ricochet brings Ludwig back up and reels him in to suplex but Ludwig slips out. Ludwig whips Ricochet to the corner, runs in, but blocks the kick! Tag to Vinci but Ricochet elbows Vinci away! Ricochet ROCKS Ludwig, ENZIGURIS, and goes up! But Ludwig GAMANGIRIS! ROCKET LAUNCH into the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Braun YANKS Vinci outta the ring! Fans are thunderous and Braun fires up! Ricochet stirs as the fans rally up and Braun reaches out. Vinci crawls in, both men go for their corners, hot tags to Ludwig and Ricochet! Braun rallies on Ludwig with big shoulder tackles! And a TOSS across the way!
Vinci runs in, springboards, but bounces off Braun’s body! Braun rips off his shirt but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Braun LARIATS on return! “THAT’S IT!” Braun drags Ludwig up, reels him in, and fans fire up for the MONSTER BOMB!! Tag to Ricochet and he goes up onto Braun’s shoulders! MONSTROUS SWANTON!! Cover, Braun & Ricochet win!
Winners: Braun Strowman & Ricochet, by pinfall (NEW #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
Imperium belittled them as “sideshow circus freaks,” but these freaks are going to challenge the Usos next week! Will this be the perfect time to strike down the historic reign of Jimmy & Jey?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
Kayla is with The Queen, saying the world is buzzing with the Women’s Royal Rumble match winner, Rhea Ripley, choosing her as her WrestleMania opponent. But how does Charlotte feel? Charlotte says Mania will be epic. But tonight, she’s focused on Sonya Deville. “You cannot overlook someone who is as persistent as Sonya.” Sure, she complained to get here, but we’re in Carolina! And- Oh, here comes Sonya now. Sonya says Charlotte must mean they’re in Flair Country! “WOO~!” Yeah? Or more like, Hicksville, No Man’s Land, the middle of nowhere where no one wants to be, including Sonya herself.
But Sonya won’t let that stop her. She’s here for one reason and one reason only: The SmackDown Women’s Championship. And then it’ll be Sonya VS Rhea at Mania. Because Hollywood needs a star, and Sonya is a star! Charlotte chuckles and Sonya asks what’s so funny. Charlotte won’t be laughing when Sonya beats her in the ring. Charlotte says to leave this trash talk for the ring. Sonya says fine, she’ll see her in the ring. Will the Queen still have her crown after taking on the Jersey Deville?
SmackDown shares footage of WWE superstars at the LA Coliseum.
Just last night, in partnership with Fox Sports and NASCAR, The New Day and Rey Mysterio were with Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and the official Clash at the Coliseum branded stock cars. However, The Judgment Day’s Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor & Damian Priest had to crash the fun. Dom says this isn’t about celebrating Rey again, “hanging out with this old guy in pajamas.” Waltrip got upset but the New Day stepped in. Show some respect to the two-time Daytona winner. Finn says that’s the past! They’re with Ross Chastain, the current NASCAR champion! Waltrip tells Dom to be more respectful, but Dom knows what this is about.
Dom says Rey must want to race like they did back in the day when Dom was beating Rey at go-carts! Rey says if Dom wants to get spanked like when he was a kid, sure! Clint said they had two cars right here, so why not race for real? Get on the track and settle this! Everybody got real hyped for that, so Rey and Dom suited up. Waltrip hyped Rey up, and Chastain hyped Dom up. Rey and Dom got in the driver’s seats, put on the steering wheels and helmets, and Waltrip said, “Gentlemen! And the Judgment Day, I guess. Start! Your! Engines!” BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, and they’re off! Dom took an early lead but Rey was hot on his tail!
Dom was even talking trash, asking if anyone had a booster seat for Rey! And where’s the NOS? But Rey says Dom’s driving is as fake as his teardrop tattoo! Dom still had the lead, and said he learned this from his cellmate who was a getaway driver. Rey said the only “getaway driving” Dom’s ever done is in video games! Lap after lap, Dom holds onto the lead, until Rey makes a move! “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” They’re neck and neck, but Rey takes it at the checkered flag! And in the end, that’s what matters! The New Day celebrated with Rey, but Dom says Rey had to have cheated! Things got tense, the pit crews had to break this up! Will nothing but a fight settle this family dysfunction?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville!
The Queen reigns again, but the Pride Fighter says that’s an injustice. Will Sonya bring about her own form of justice and equality to SmackDown? Or will this home game in Flair Country be a big win on the Road to WrestleMania for Charlotte?
SmackDown returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who Rhea faces in Hollywood!
The bell rings and fans rally behind Charlotte already with “WOO~!” after “WOO~!” Sonya and Charlotte circle, feel things out, then tie up. Charlotte arm-drags Sonya, runs her over, then stands over her. Charlotte eggs Sonya on, “Where’s the trash talking now?” Sonya stands up, she and Charlotte tie up, and Charlotte waistlocks to SLAM Sonya down. Charlotte pushes Sonya to a press, ONE! Sonya stands but Charlotte wrenches an arm. Sonya pulls hair but the ref reprimands. Sonya wrenches, wristlocks, but Charlotte cartwheels to wrench back. Charlotte whips, Sonya reverses, but Charlotte goes up and out!
Charlotte BOOTS Sonya from the ropes, goes up top, and fans fire up as Charlotte leaps! CROSSBODY! Cover, ONE!! Sonya is out but Charlotte says that was still close. Charlotte runs in but only gets buckles! Sonya runs in but is put on the apron. Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, stands her up, and wrenches, but Sonya throws Charlotte by her hair! Sonya mocks the “WOO~!” but fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Charlotte sits up, into a KICK from Sonya! And another! Sonya mocks the “WOO~” again, fans boo some more, but Sonya runs in, only for Charlotte to roll her up! TWO, and Sonya ROUNDHOUSES Charlotte back down! Cover, TWO! Charlotte survives but Sonya clamps on a chinlock. Sonya thrashes Charlotte around, says she can do this all day, but fans rally as Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, snapmares free, and then blocks forearms to give forearms! Sonya ROCKS Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks buckle bump to give buckle bump! Sonya staggers away, Charlotte stomps up, but Sonya kicks out a leg!
Sonya runs, Charlotte ducks the lariat and CLOBBERS Sonya! And again! Charlotte CHOPS and CHOPS and CHPOS! Fans “WOO~!” but Sonya swings, into a back suplex! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up! Charlotte runs in at the corner, but blocks boots! Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, climbs up and drops a knee on the knee! Sonya flounders, Charlotte runs to BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya survives but Charlotte is actually amused. Sonya goes to ropes, Charlotte storms up and reels her in. Sonya holds ropes, elbows free, then whips, but Charlotte reverses! Sonya tumbles out to the apron, avoids the boot and HOTSHOTS the leg!
Sonya slides in, runs in and BOOTS Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya can’t believe it! Sonya fumes while Charlotte crawls to a corner. Charlotte drags herself up, Sonya run sin but into a BACKBREAKER! But Sonya avoids the boot! Sonya KCIKS Charlotte, goes up the corner, and FLYING KNEES Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!!! Sonya is furious, but she drags Charlotte to center. Sonya stomps the leg, grins, and goes ‘WOO~!” Sonya steps through, Charlotte turns figure four into cradle! TWO!?!? Sonya escapes by nanoseconds! Fans boo but Charlotte storms up, only for Sonya to send her into buckles!
Sonya runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte drags Sonya to a drop zone, goes up top, and fans fire up for the MOONSAULT! Sonya BOOTS her back! And rolls her up! FEET ON THE ROPES! TWO!!! The ref reprimands but Charlotte still escapes! Sonya steps through, Charlotte kicks free of the figure four! Sonya comes back, sunset flips, but charlotte rolls through! Charlotte has the legs, “WOO~!” Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT!! Sonya taps, Charlotte wins!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)
Sonya was so close and yet so far! But that is how good Charlotte Flair is now that she’s back on top! What will it take for even The Eradicator to take this title off Charlotte at WrestleMania?
The Bloodline sits in their private room.
Roman asks Jimmy, “Where’s your brother?” Jimmy doesn’t know. Jimmy didn’t talk to Jey? Haven’t heard from him. Roman isn’t sure if it’s just him, but don’t you find that disrespectful? Jey not only walks out, but he doesn’t care enough to communicate. It’s one thing to walk away, but to not hear from him for a whole week… Plus, don’t the Usos have a title match next week? “We don’t walk out on our obligations.” Roman can’t understand this. So he asks again: Has Jimmy talked to Jey? And Jimmy will say it again, he hasn’t heard from Jey. But Jey will be there, Jimmy has faith in him. But they all know Jey. He just needs time to cool off.
Roman repeats, “He’ll be there. he’ll be there for you. What about all of us? He gonna be there for the entire Bloodline? Huh? Solo, have you talked to your brother?” Jimmy says if he hasn’t heard from Jey, Jey isn’t talking to nobody, Uce. Nobody has heard from Jey. Roman says they don’t understand the urgency that is needed right now. Roman calls upon the Wise Man. “Yes, My Tribal Chief.” “Is it not WrestleMania season?” “It is WrestleMania Season, My Tribal Chief.” Then you ain’t gonna find Jey on the couch. Go find him now! Jimmy and Solo get up and head out. Will Main Event Jey be found at all tonight?
The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla!
“Butch” and Ridge the Fridge are going to avenge Sheamus against Erik & Ivar! Will the Bruiserweight and Yorkshire Grit be the ones to bring Ragnarök to the Vikings? Or will they end up just like the Celtic Connection?
SmackDown returns and the Vikings make their entrance. The teams sort out and Dunne starts with Ivar. They tie up, Ivar puts Dunne in a corner, but he lets off quickly. Dunne fires forearms but Ivar throws body shots and fast hands! The ref counts, Ivar lets off again, but then Ivar whips Dunne out to send him back into the corner hard! Dunne falls, Ivar drags him to the corner and tags in Erik. Erik whips Dunne into the corner, runs in, but into boots! Dunne brings Erik around, ties him up, and has an abdominal stretch, but he bends the fingers! Dunne powers Erik to the corner, fires forearms, and tags in Ridge.
Ridge runs side to side to forearm smash! Ridge keeps going, and he runs Erik over with a shoulder! Ridge drags Erik up but Erik wrenches out to ROCK him with a forearm! Erik suplexes but Ridge is too big for that! Ridge suplexes Erik up and over! Tag to Dunne, then Ridge clobbers Erik! Dunne BOOTS Ivar, and then the Brutes have Erik for DOUBLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! They go to 7 before Dunne just fires off furiously! Erik flops down, Dunne stomps him off the apron, then he PLANCHAS! Erik gets clear, but Dunne stares “Valhalla” Sarah Logan down. Erik RAMS Dunne into barriers, then CLOBBERS him! Fans boo but SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Dunne pries his way out of a sleeper at the ropes! He SNAPS Erik’s fingers! Valhalla is shocked, Erik runs in, but Dunne goes up and over! Tag to Ridge, and he EXPLODERS Erik! Erik is back up, but he swings into another EXPLODER! Ridge blocks haymakers to throw HEADBUTTS, and then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Ridge roars, “FIGHT NIGHT!” but runs into a KNEE! Tag to Ivar, Ridge CLOBBERS Erik but Ivar kicks low! Ivar reels Ridge in, lifts him up, but Ridge powers up and Alabama Lifts Ivar! ALABAMA SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Valhalla is relieved as the War Beard survives!
Ridge snarls, he waistlocks Ivar but Ivar backs him into a corner. Ivar fires elbow after elbow, but Dunne tags in to ENZIGURI! Dunne runs in to BOOT Ivar! Erik tags in, he runs but into an ENZIGURI! Dunne runs, but into a LARIAT! ACE TEN MAO! Cover, ONE?!?! Tag to Ivar, and Ivar climbs. Erik hands Dunne off to Ivar, but Ridge drags Erik out! Erik RAMS Ridge into barriers! Dunne fights the slam, rains down elbows, and then SUPER STEINERS Ivar away! Cover, TWO!! Ivar survives and Valhalla breathes easy again. Dunne goes up top to MOONSAULT! But Ivar catches Dunne!! Ivar deadlifts Dunne, but Dunne slips into a SLEEPER!
Ivar RAMS Dunne into buckles, Erik tags in and Erik CLOBBERS Dunne! Ivar goes out, Ridge runs in, but into a HEEL KICK! Ivar tags back in, the Vikings have Dunne, and Valhalla nods. RAGNARÖK!! Cover, the Vikings win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
The Brutes could not stop the brutality of Erik & Ivar, the raid continues on! Will the Viking Raiders be waiting on the other side of next week’s tag title showdown?
WAIT! Here comes Drew McIntyre and Sheamus! The Celtic Connection are back on their feet, and they brawl with the Vikings on the stage! Sheamus tackles Erik, McIntyre throws Ivar into railing! The forearms fly, and Sheamus RAMS Erik into a girder! McIntyre runs and RAMS Ivar into the LED screen! Ivar staggers, McIntyre BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Sheamus & McIntyre stand tall! Will they turn the tides in this battle on the Road to WrestleMania?
Bray Wyatt sits in his rocking chair.
Like us, he was surely watching back the highlights of the Pitch Black Match from the Royal Rumble. But then Uncle Howdy walks over! He and Bray look at the camera together, does this mean they’re on the same side after all?
Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya!
As we learned on Raw, there will be a Women’s Elimination Chamber to name Bianca Belair’s WrestleMania opponent! Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Asuka are automatically in given their performance in the Women’s Rumble match. Raw will hold its own Fatal 4 on Monday, but who qualifies for the fifth spot here on Friday Night SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and the Queen of Harts makes her entrance, with the Wild Child, Queen of Spades and La Muneca already waiting. The bell rings and Natty rushes Shayna. Natty dodges Shayna’s haymaker, Shotzi ROCKS Shayna with a right, and then Natty fires off on Shayna. Vega rushes Shotzi but gets a kick. Natty bumps Shayna off buckles and stomps a mudhole! Shotzi throws Vega out, then goes after Shayna, even pushing Natty outta the way! Shotzi has her own bone to pick with Shayna, but then Natty throws Shotzi away. Natty stomps Shayna out of the ring, Shotzi rolls Natty up! TWO, Shotzi headlocks but Natty powers out.
Shotzi runs Natty over, fans fire up and Shotzi runs, but Vega trips her up! Vega drags Shotzi out, THROWS her to the barriers, then laughs as she goes into the ring. Vega and Natty tie up, Vega gets around to roll Natty up, TWO! Vega KICKS from below, covers, TWO! We see Liv and Raquel are here watching backstage, already representing SmackDown in the Elimination Chamber. Vega drags Natty up but Natty ROCKS Vega! Natty scoops Vega but Vega slips off and pushes her away. Vega then tilt-o-whirls, and hits a CODE RED! Cover, Shayna kicks it apart! Shayna gut wrenches Vega to a SLAM!
Shotzi returns, Shayna gets around and hooks Shotzi up, BACKBREAKER! Shayna grabs Shotzi’s arm and stands on her head. Shotzi flails, fans boo, but Natty CLUBS Shayna down! Natty drags Shayna up, throws her to the apron, and runs in. Shayna avoids the shoulder to KICK Natty! Vega trips Shayna but Shayna CLOBBERS her for it! Shayna gets back in, and KNEES Natty down! Shayna grins as she covers, TWO!! Natty survives that nasty knee that once broke her nose, and Shayna soaks up the heat from the fans while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Shayna pulls on Shotzi’s arm in a top wristlock. Shotzi fights up and fires body shots but Shayna DECKS her! Shayna stands on Shotzi’s arm, but she avoids the stomp! Roll up, ONE, but Shotzi BOOTS, KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS Shayna, to then QUESTION MARK KICK! Shayna ends up on ropes, Shotzi runs to SENTON! Shayna bails out, Shotzi DIVES to take her out at the ramp! Fans fire up but Vega goes up top! Vega SUPER MOONSAULTS onto Shotzi and Shayna! All three are down, Natty hurries out to DECK Vega! Natty puts Shotzi in, runs and trips Shotzi, to the SHARPSHOOTER!
Fans fire up as Shotzi endures, but Vega hits a BULLDOG on Natty! Shotzi chicken wings Vega to TIGER SUPLEX! But Shayna reels Shotzi in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Shayna then drags Vega up into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Vega flails, but she’s fading! Natty runs in, Shayna drops Vega to duck the discus! KIRAFUDA for Natty!! But Natty throws Shayna out of the ring! Natty hurries to get Vega for the SHARPSHOOTER!! Vega taps, Natty wins!!
Winner: Natalya, by submission (advances to Elimination Chamber)
The Queen of Harts is going to be the hometown hero in Montreal! But will that help her take the golden ticket to Hollywood?
Roman Reigns still waits in his private room.
Heyman apologizes to the Tribal Chief. Jey’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Heyman wants to say more, but he holds his tongue. Jimmy and Solo return, and they also say they got nothing. A big fat zero. Roman sighs. “I just don’t understand. Of all the times of year for this to happen. We were doing so good. No problems, no hiccups.” Roman says they know how much he has on his plate. That they understand “the stress and the burden of this position.” He feels like he’s being pulled in two different directions, and spread too thin. He loves them, and is sorry for speaking tot hem the way he did.
Jimmy says not to worry about it. Roman says he needs them. He needs them to be as strong as they ever were. Because if they’re not, there is no more #WeTheOnes. Wise Man had catering sent to the bus, it’s a whole bunch of sushi, steaks, etc. It’s good stuff. They can go to the bus and eat up while Roman goes to the ring to handle business. He needs them with him. They understand? Yeet. Then enjoy. He’ll catch up with them later. Jimmy says okay, and has Solo tag along. What will Roman say about Sami, Jey and the Bloodline as a whole? We find out, after the break.
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
On top of the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, we will see a Fatal 4 Way match to name a #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship! Rey Mysterio VS Madcap Moss VS Karrion Kross VS Santos Escobar! Who will win to go after Der Ring General?
Roman Reigns heads to the ring.
Paul Heyman is the only one to accompany the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as his reign now reaches 887 DAYS! Roman lifts the belts for the pyro, then continues to the ring. As it stands, Roman Reigns will headline WrestleMania against the American Nightmare, the Men’s Rumble Winner, Cody Rhodes, but even that seems to be secondary to what is going on within The Bloodline. Roman and Heyman stand in the ring, and Roman lifts the belts again for the second round of pyro. Heyman then hands Roman a mic while fans chant, “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman lets that settle down before he says, “Greenville, South Carolina… ACKNOWLEDGE ME!”
Fans are still rather torn between cheers, jeers, and the chant of “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman was going to ask them who they want him to talk about, but it’s obvious. Roman says he’d rather sit here and talk about Cody Rhodes. “Y’know, the guy that won the Royal Rumble, the #1 contender. Someone who actually deserves my attention. But you simple folks have reduced me to talking about the past.” Fans boo, then start up the “SAMI! SAMI!” again. Roman says fine, if they want to hear about Sami, he’ll talk about Sami. “But remember, there’s two sides to every story, so you’re gonna hear mine.” Fans boo, they already don’t like that.
Roman says that in order to hear his side of the story, “we’ve gotta go all the way back to WarGames.” Heyman remembers when Roman looked Sami in his eyes that Roman saw everything he needed to see. “Would you like to know what I saw that night? I saw greed. I saw the same thing that I see in everybody that I ever interact with in my life nowadays. If a restaurant was lucky enough to have me, when I walk in, the hostess, the people in the kitchen, the waitress, the waiter, they all say the same thing. ‘I want this.’ It’s not, ‘Tribal Chief, it’s great to see you.’ No, it’s ‘What can I do for you, like I haven’t already done enough?'”
So Roman does the same thing for Sami, he gives Sami the opportunity of a lifetime, and Sami just uses him, the Bloodline and the Island of Relevancy! “No different than each and every one of you, because you all want, want, want. You can never give back, huh?” BUT THEN SAMI ATTACKS!! Sami came outta the crowd in a hoodie but it’s clear as day that’s him! Sami rains down furious fists and fans are loving it! Sami tears off the hoodie to reveal his new Sami Zayn shirt! Roman staggers up, Sami fires off, but Roman throws knees in return! Roman stomps Sami down, fans boo, but Roman shakes out the stars.
Roman tells Heyman to get a chair, so Heyman gets a chair. Heyman hands the chair to Roman, but Sami is back up! Sami SPEARS Roman?!?! Fans are thunderous as Sami hits Roman with his own move! And then Sami looks down at the chair. Fans are chanting for “SAMI! SAMI!” and Sami swings! Roman avoids the chair shot and retreats up the ramp! Sami shouts in the mic, “ROMAAAN!! You’re wrong about me. I never wanted anything from you. I never wanted anything from you!! Until now. I want something from you now, and I’m gonna take it. Because I am coming after you and the WWE UNDISPUTED UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!”
Fans are going nuts, and Roman is flabbergasted! But then Jimmy SUPERKICKS Sami down! Solo and Jimmy mug Sami! Fans boo but Roman grins as Solo rains down HEADBUTTS! Solo stands Sami up, SAMOAN SPIKE!! Sami sputters but the Bloodline isn’t done with him! They sit Sami in the corner, rain down fists, and then they put the chair around Sami’s head! They’re gonna Riddle him! Solo runs in, but Roman stops him!? Roman looks down on Sami and says, “You want something, huh? You want something from me?” Roman takes the chair away, and fans are chanting “WE WANT JEY! WE WANT JEY!”
Roman tells Sami to listen to that. The fans want Jey, but Roman doesn’t have Jey because Sami broke up the Bloodline. The Right Hand Man isn’t here because of Sami! Sami was given the keys to the kingdom, the invitation to the Promised Land, and Sami repays them by breaking up the family! Sami will get what he wants, but Roman will get what he wants. Sami and Roman will be in Montreal at the Elimination Chamber! Sami broke up Roman’s family, so Roman will break Sami in front of his family! Sami’s parents, wife, kids, friends, relatives, everyone he’s connected to! They will see what happens when you mess with Roman’s family! “I’ll see you soon!”
Sami is still down, fans still chant for him, but then they boo as Roman takes the belts back. If this is what Sami wants, then this is simple to Roman! This isn’t a dream, this is reality! Sami should’ve just stayed in the Bloodline. Roman lifts the titles over Sami, will this be what we see in Montreal in just two weeks?
This was a great SmackDown to follow the Royal Rumble! For one, it flew by, though that could be because of the recap packages and only the four matches. I did like the bit we got out of Bray and Uncle Howdy, though it was rather short. The NASCAR racing segment was cheesy like a lot of pro-wrestling corporate synergy stuff is, but it continues to further the plot point that Dom will just get in Rey’s face anywhere and everywhere. With Rhea wanting after Charlotte, it is obvious that the rest of Judgment Day will move over to SmackDown with her, they will have a new feud with Rey, and New Day might even back Rey up for some really good Six Man Tags.
Speaking of Charlotte, she and Sonya had a decent promo before their match, which logically wasn’t the main event because it was a given Charlotte would win. Even so, Sonya looked strong in that match, just not strong enough. And great move having the Women’s Fatal 4 be the “main event” as far as matches. Shotzi, Shayna, Vega and Natty are all great talents, and it makes sense to give Montreal their hometown hero of Natty in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. Personally, I would’ve given the nod to Shayna, she would be just as good in the match, and if she were to move over to Raw, she could still have great matches against Bianca Belair and others past Mania.
The Brutes VS Viking Raiders was a really good tag match, but of course the Vikings were gonna win that. And given that, of course Drew & Sheamus were gonna get after them. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in a Donnybrook or a Viking Rules match, but we need one of those at Elimination Chamber for the blow-off of McIntyre & Sheamus VS Erik & Ivar. They need to go wild and just beat each other down. I also like the news of the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4. Rey, Moss, Kross and Escobar is a great field, but I can’t be sure who faces Gunther. Well, outside of Moss. I don’t see him pulling out a win there, but at the same time, Rey and Kross might cancel out. Escobar VS Gunther so that we could get Legado Del Fantasma VS Imperium would be really cool.
Speaking of Imperium, great opening tag to finish the SmackDown Tag Title tournament. Braun and Ricochet getting after Gunther to get him ejected was good stuff, and of course Braun & Ricochet as the Faces win. Their story ties into the Bloodline dysfunction, and the promos from The Bloodline was good stuff. Jey is MIA and radio silent, which is still a big part of things. Roman again had to walk back his anger in order to keep Solo and Jimmy on his side, and then Roman had a great promo to close the night, along with Sami’s blindside attack. Sami wanting the titles is a natural move, but I have a feeling Sami loses in Montreal to really put heat on Roman. As much as we all love Sami, as great as Sami truly is, Roman VS Cody got a really good Mania Hollywood graphic, WWE’s not changing that.
My Score: 8.8/10
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