Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/27/21)
Can rivals become teammates tonight?
Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly take on the NXT Tag Team Champions, together!
Though the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Cups continue, the Prince looks to cut down Pete Dunne’s back-up! Will Finn and Kyle hold together long enough to settle things with Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch?
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: MSK VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; MSK wins and advances.
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai VS Aliyah & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone; Gonzalez & Kai win and advance.
- Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Dante Rios; Rust wins.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Grizzled Young Veterans VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff; Grizzled Young Veterans win and advance.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado Del Fantasma VS Curt Stallion; canceled.
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; Balor & O’Reilly win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: MSK VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!
The quarterfinals begin and the newest team in Nash Carter & Wes Lee takes on perhaps the most functionally dysfunctional one in the Rockstar Spud and Belfast Beast! Will MSK get another big win to follow up their shocking debut?
The teams sort out, Dain lets Maverick start against Lee. They tie up, Maverick waistlock slams Lee down and flips him over for a cover, TWO! Maverick headlocks, grinds Lee down, but Lee fights up. Lee puts Maverick on ropes, the ref calls for the break, and it is clean. Dain’s a little disappointed, he wanted Maverick to show some aggression there. Maverick and Lee circle, approach, Lee waistlocks now and slams Maverick back. Maverick slips around to facelock but Lee fights up. Maverick cranks on the facelock, Lee wrenches out and clamps onto the arm, but Maverick fights up. Lee whips Maverick to a corner, runs in but is put on the apron!
Carter tags in, Lee swings in, and it’s a fake-out to a BRONCO BUSTER! Carter bounces around, lets off and drags Maverick to a cover, ONE! Carter keeps Maverick down, tags Lee back in, slingshot senton! Lee tags Carter back in for another slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Carter keeps his cool, brings Maverick up, and ROCKS him! Maverick fires back but Carter ROCKS Maverick again! Carter whips, Maverick holds ropes to deny the dropkick, but Carter trips Maverick as he heads for his corner! Maverick gets away and tags Dain in anyway! Dain throws Maverick at Carter! Then Dain DECKS Lee, and goes after Carter with fast hands in the corner!
Dain CLUBS Carter to the corner, tags Maverick in, and then whips Carter to use Maverick as a speed bump! Carter falls, Dain drops the back senton! Dain scoops Maverick to SLAM him on Carter! Cover, TWO! Maverick clamps onto Carter with a chinlock and grinds him down. Dain tags in, taunts Lee, then runs in to back elbow Carter! Dain puts Maverick on the apron, and they meet in the corner with the enziguri BOOT combo! Cover, TWO! Lee was ready to break the cover but Dain glares at him. Dain drags Carter up, fireman’s carries, but Carter slips out to tag in Lee! MSK go after Dain with fast strikes, enziguri to DOUBLE STOMPS!
Fans fire up but Dain is furious! Lee throws haymakers but Dain just tanks them! Lee goes up but Dain shoves him down! Lee crashes down and Carter checks on him! Maverick keeps Dain calm, or at least tries to, as NXT goes picture in picture.
Dain refuses to stay away and he pursues Lee outside. Carter backs off, Dain drags Lee up and CHOPS him against barriers! Dain puts Lee in the ring, stalks him, then drags him back up to bring him to the corner. Tag to Maverick, Dain digs his knee into Lee but Maverick wants him to let off. Maverick drags Lee to a cover, TWO! Maverick keeps Lee at the ropes, Dain tags in but Lee rams Maverick back. Dain kicks Lee in the ribs, brings him around but Lee throws body shots! Dain shoves Lee, Lee hits Maverick but Dain splashes Lee! Maverick tags in and he drops elbows on Lee, then a leg drop! Cover, TWO!
Maverick drags Lee back up, wraps on a chinlock and thrashes Lee around. Lee endures, Maverick cranks harder on the hold, but Lee fights his way up. Maverick headbutts low, throws elbows and puts Lee in the corner. Tag to Dain, Dain stomps Lee, then drags Lee up only for Lee to jawbreaker back! Lee leaps but Dain catches him! Carter can’t reach before Dain RAMS Lee into the other corner! Dain glares at Carter, goes back to Lee and drags him up. Tag to Maverick, and they mug Lee in the corner. Maverick brings Lee up for body shots, then snapmares him to a back senton of his own! Cover, TWO!
Maverick tags Dain and keeps Lee down for Dain to step on him! Dain drags Lee up to clamp on a neck wrench! Lee endures, NXT returns to single picture, and fans rally up. Dain shoves Lee to an open corner and hits a corner splash! Dain drags Lee up but Lee throws a haymaker! Dain DECKS Lee for it! Dain scoops Lee to SLAM him and drop another BACK SENTON! Tag to Maverick, Maverick covers Lee, TWO! Maverick keeps Lee down with a facelock but Lee works towards the MSK corner. Maverick shifts position to a headlock but Lee keeps fighting! Maverick kicks Carter’s hand away, shifts position again but Lee tosses him! Tag to Carter!
Carter rallies on Maverick, fires up and throws knees and a kick! Maverick switches the waistlock to shove Carter to a corner but Dain wants in! The ref keeps Dain back as Carter hits a GAMANGIRI on Maverick! Carter snapmare rolls Maverick and PENALTY KICKS! Carter dropkicks Dain down and fires up! Tag to Lee and fans fire up with MSK as they focus on Maverick! PUSHING MOONSAULT! Cover, but Dain breaks it! Dain drags Carter out to throw him out, but Carter kicks back! Lee dropkicks Dain out! Carter goes up to MOONSAULT onto Dain at the ramp! Lee sees that but Maverick rolls him up! TWO!!
Maverick keeps on Lee but Lee slips under and UPPERCUTS! Tag to Carter, he scoops Maverick, BLOCKBUSTER HART ATTACK! Cover, MSK wins!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
Carter and Lee are bringing the fight to the NXT Tag Division, and will meet Lucha House Party or El Legado del Fantasma in the next round! Will MSK shock even those experienced teams in the Dusty Cup?
The Kings of NXT arrive.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan are fired up but Pete Dunne is stone cold as always. Will the One Two represent for the team tonight?
NXT profiles tonight’s Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic match-up!
For Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, “One year ago, an unbreakable bond was created.” And a trail of broken bodies have been left in its wake. History is just three victories away as one team looks to win the first-ever Women’s Dusty Cup! But Robert Stone speaks for his brand, saying Aliyah and Jessi Kamea have been waiting for a breakout opportunity. That starts tonight, then ends at TakeOver when they win this historic tournament. Will #CobraKai and #BigMamiCool crush the dreams of the newly redesigned Robert Stone Brand?
NXT shares an exclusive interview with Curt Stallion.
McKenzie Mitchell sits with the Lonestar and asks what the fans need to know about him. “You ever drive 19 hours straight one way by yourself?” She has not. Well that’s fine. Stallion has more times than he cares to remember. But the reason why was because he had to make it from West Texas to Chicago, Illinois. He looked outside his window to see tumbleweeds blowing around so he looked up at the sky to see shooting stars. He followed those stars with his eyes, and at the end of the skyline is the brightest star he’s ever seen. And that was when he realized he is THE Lonestar Stallion.
“That road I’m traveling down, it represents the life that I want to live. It represents freedom, and to maintain that freedom here in the WWE, I’m gonna strap the proverbial rocket to my back.” That rocket is the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. When he straps that bad boy on, the Lonestar becomes a super star. Then best of luck tonight. Stallion finally gets his shot at Santos Escobar, will he hit his target?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai VS Aliyah & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone!
Ricky Desperado crushed Rhea Ripley in their New Year’s Evil Last Woman Standing match, but with a little help from Captain Kota. Now the devious duo looks to take the Women’s Dusty Cup for their own! Will the Robert Stone Brand be a mere stepping stone to history?
The teams sort out, Raquel starts with Aliyah. Raquel dares Aliyah to bring it, they tie up, and Aliyah can’t even push Raquel back! Raquel swings and TOSSES Aliyah away! Aliyah scrambles up, Jessi tags in, and she goes after a leg. Raquel pries Jessi up to a Canadian rack and even pulls hair! Jessi fights free, sunset flips but Raquel breaks that. Jessi avoids the elbow drop to then dropkick Raquel to a corner! Jessi runs in and hits a BIG forearm! Jessi cravats, Raquel powers out and Dakota takes a swing, but Jessi avoids that only to get CLOBBERED! Tag to Dakota, she throws hands on Jessi and CLUBS her, then pushes her around.
Dakota pie faces but Jessi dodges the clothesline to scoop and SLAM! And springboard elbow drops! Cover, ONE! Jessi scowls, tags in Aliyah, and the Brand drags Dakota up to double whip. They both do the splits, Jessi hurdles Dakota for Aliyah to ROCK her, then Aliyah talks some smack. Aliyah runs to BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps on Dakota, drags her up and whips her to a corner but Dakota reverses. Aliyah goes up and over and runs back in to BOOT Dakota down! Aliyah talks more smack but Dakota gets out of the ring. Aliyah builds speed to slide but Raquel saves Dakota, and Dakota BOOTS Aliyah! Dakota puts Aliyah in, covers, TWO!
Dakota drags Aliyah up, tags in Raquel, and they mug Aliyah in the corner. Raquel drags Aliyah around to CLUB her down, then taunts her and Jessi to tag. Raquel KICKS Aliyah down, brings her up to scoop and swing for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Raquel drags Dakota up, whips her to a corner hard then tags in Dakota. Dakota runs in to BOOT WASH! Cover, TWO! Dakota snarls, clubs Aliyah down, then brings her up. Aliyah hits back, Dakota clubs her again, then bumps her off buckles. Dakota digs her boot in as Raquel tags in, and Raquel stomps then RAMS into Aliyah! Raquel lets off to taunt Jessi, then she bumps Aliyah off more buckles.
Raquel throws hands, tags Dakota back in, and whips Aliyah for a BIG hip toss! Then Raquel gives Dakota a boost on the DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO! Aliyah survives but Dakota cravats to grind Aliyah down. Stone coaches Aliyah as she fights up, and Aliyah throws body shots. Dakota kicks but Aliyah blocks, only for Dakota to throw Aliyah down by her hair! Aliyah gets up, runs and hits a SATELLITE DDT! Both women are down, Aliyah and Dakota crawl, hot tags to Jessi and Raquel! Raquel CLOBBERS Jessi! Raquel drags Jessi up, fisherman and DESPERADO BOMB! Cover, Raquel & Dakota win!
Winners: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
The unbreakable bond might’ve just broken The Brand! Will Dakota and Raquel do the same to KC Squared in next week’s semifinal?
Backstage interview with The Way.
McKenzie congratulates Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell on their win in the Women’s Dusty Cup. As if there was any doubt! Ever since William Regal announced this tournament, Candice knew the cup was as good as theirs. And Indi says they do not care who they face, they always find a way to succeed. Nice. Meanwhile, does Johnny Gargano have any comments on Regal discussing the North American Championship with the man who has beaten Gargano twice in Kushida? NO! Don’t say his name! Someone else talk to her. Gargano storms off, Candice follows, and Austin Theory says we do not say “Kushida” around Gargano. It’s like The Curse.
Gargano comes back having cooled off, and Theory lets him know he talked to McKenzie about Kushida. STOP! Don’t you know now to say that! About Kushida or The Curse? SHH! Both! All of it! It doesn’t matter if he has two fluke victories over Gargano, he is not getting the title. And most importantly, you don’t say his name! Gargano storms off again and Theory apologizes again about Kushida. DON’T SAY THE NAME!! The Way leaves, and WOOSH! Dexter Lumis appears from behind the curtain!! Does the Tortured Artist have his eyes on a new subject?
Scarlett Bordeaux reads the tarot cards.
“Foolishness tempts the course of fate. The Hierophant’s goal: pass on his wisdom, elevate his followers. Such conviction leads to… obliteration. Stay on your journey, or he will alter his.” #FallAndPray.
NXT shares Brie Larson’s workout, as coached by Tegan Nox!
Captain Marvel has the Shiniest Wizard guiding her fitness journey with upper body exercises! Check out the full routine on Brie Larson’s official YouTube channel, under the series, “Training Captain Marvel!”
Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Dante Rios!
Bivens says last week’s loss to Bronson Reed was the smallest speedbump on the journey to the top. This week, Rust has an opponent more his own size. Will Rust get back on track against an opponent Bivens picked personally?
The bell rings, they circle and tie up. Rust waistlocks and slams Rios, brings him back up to slam him again, then step all over him. Rust isn’t so sure Bivens chose a worthy opponent but Rios sneaks up to waistlock! Rust switches, Rios pries at the hold but elbows free! Rios runs, sunset flips, ONE! Rust runs into an arm-drag but then fakes Rios out! Rust headlocks, Rios powers out and hurdles then drops, but Rust fakes out the next hurdle to DECK Rios! Rust shakes out his arm, drags Rios back up and wrenches the arm from wrist to elbow to KICK! And KICK! Rust drags Rios up to stomp him down, then he hammerlocks the arm to STOMP it!
Rios writhes and shakes out his bad arm, but Rust is after the arm with a wristlock. Rust brings Rios up, clubs the arm, then wrenches to an elbow breaker! Rust hoists Rios up with the arm and spins around to then WRING Rios out! The ref checks on Rios but he’s okay to continue, and Bivens cheers Rust on. Rios throws body shots and forearms but Rust DECKS him! Rust snarls as Rios goes to a corner, and Rust runs in, only for Rios to get around and roll him up! TWO, Rios CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Rust shoves, Rios gets around to backslide, TWO! BACK HAND! Rios fires up, runs, ducks and tilt-o-whirls, to a GUILLOTINE!
Rust endures, powers up by going after the bad arm and he RAMS Rios into a corner. Rios BOOTS Rust, hops up and leaps, into an UPPERCUT! Rios wobbles into a BOOT! Cravat, for the FLIPPING SLAM! And then the roll into short arm scissor, omoplata, DOUBLE ARM BUTTERFLY!! Rios verbally taps, Rust wins!
Winner: Tyler Rust, by submission
Bivens made the right call, and he takes his phone out for a celebratory selfie standing over the fallen Dante Rios! Will the Diamond in the Rust start to shine soon enough?
NXT profiles tonight’s other Men’s Dusty Rhodes Classic match-up!
The Grizzled Young Veterans say they’re not here to be a runner up again. They’re here to win the whole damn thing! Leon Ruff and Kushida are two excellent singles competitors, but they won’t stand in the way of GYV proving they are THE BEST tag team of this generation. But Ruff responds by saying the game plan is simple: survive and advance. Both he and Kushida believe they can compete with any team in the tournament. Kushida says, in Japanese, that “The Dusty Cup represents everything great and prestigious about our business.” He vows that he and Ruff punch their tickets to the semifinals tonight! Who will SSSOON be recognized as the next team into the next round?
Backstage interview with Finn Balor!
What are his thoughts about tonight’s tag team match with Kyle O’Reilly? Before he can answer, in walks Kyle himself. Is Finn ready? Always ready. Then can Kyle trust him? What does Kyle think? Well, Kyle doesn’t have to trust Finn so long as they’re on the same page. Then see you out there. Will these two men, who put each other through Hell, stay united and put Lorcan & Burch through even worse?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Grizzled Young Veterans VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff!
Zack Gibson & James Drake were the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions, and they want their shot at THE NXT Tag Team Championships! Gibson has the mic and says, “Another wannabe team who want to take a shot at the GYV.” Kushida in jeans and the “One Hit Wonder” in Ruff! “Lads, what makes you think your five MINUTES of tag experience can match up with our 15 YEARS?! At the end of this tournament, the nameplate on that trophy will read one thing and one thing only: The Grizzled Young Veterans, SSSSOON to be recognized as Dusty Classic winners!” Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem hit the ring, but will they have to hit the brakes against the Super Junior and NXT’s ultimate underdog?
The teams sort out, Kushida starts with Gibson and they circle. They tie up, Gibson gets Kushida in a cobra twist, drags him down to a body scissor clutch and rolls him around. Kushida slips out the back, drags Gibson down to an armbar but Gibson uses legs to hook legs and shift to a headlock. Kushida slips out the back again to hammerlock an arm, but Gibson slips around to trip Kushida, only for Kushida to headscissor back. The two stand off and fans cheer. Gibson swings, Kushida dodges to kick, CHOP and CHOP! Kushida throws haymakers, kicks Gibson to the corner and throws elbows. Kushida whips corner to corner but Drake saves Gibson from buckles, and Gibson knees Kushida low!
Gibson puts Kushida in the corner, tags in Drake, and Drake runs in to back elbow! Gibson hits a clothesline and feeds Kushida to Drake’s windmill kick! Cover, ONE, but Drake keeps on Kushida with haymakers! Drake brings Kushida around, suplexes but Kushida blocks! Kushida wrenches out, headlocks, and Ruff tags in as Drake powers out. Drake ducks but Kushida hurdles and Ruff sweeps the legs! Ruff KICKS the leg and Drake hobbles, but Ruff KICKS him to a corner. Ruff runs but is put on the apron, to ROCK Drake! Ruff goes up and around and under to then dropkick again! Ruff grabs Drake to wrench the arm and tag in Kushida.
Kushida and Ruff double wrench and double elbow breaker! And double knee smash! And double basement dropkick! Cover, TWO Kushida keeps on Drake’s arm and wrenches it, then tags in Ruff. Ruff climbs up to DUMDUM STOMP the arm! Ruff wrenches, steps over and jams Drake’s arm, then wrenches again to another elbow breaker! And another! And another! Ruff brings Drake up again to PELE the arm, then knuckle locks to CHOP! Ruff goes up the corner, hops around and HURICANRANAS! Drake flounders, Ruff headlocks then facelocks and keeps Drake from Gibson. Ruff throws knees, Drake blocks the suplex and wrenches out to WRING Ruff’s arm!
Drake DECKS Kushida, then tags in Gibson. GYV coordinate on Ruff with a double suplex, but Kushida saves Ruff to ROCK Drake! Kushida dodges Gibson, Ruff goes up for a FLYING CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! GYV almost got caught there as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Drake has Ruff’s arm but Ruff fights back! Ruff reaches for Kushida, throws more forearms on Drake, but Drake hauls Ruff up! Ruff sunset flips, Drake flails but eventually topples over, TWO! Drake CLOBBERS Ruff! Ruff gasps but Drake drags him up by his hair to ROCK him with a forearm! Drake tells Ruff to #GritYourTeeth and then DECKS him! Tag to Gibson, GYV coordinate for the PLANCHA BACKBREAKER! GYV taunt the fans then Gibson puts Ruff back in the ring. Gibson stays between Ruff and Kushida, drags him up, and scoops him, but Ruff slips out to hit a neckbreaker! Fans fire up as both men are down!
Gibson and Ruff crawl for their corners, hot tag to Drake and he drags Ruff away. Drake taunts Kushida but Ruff slips under! Drake gets the leg and anchors Ruff, then drags him back into a waistlock. Ruff elbows out hard, and tags in Kushida! Kushida goes up, leap sand ax handles! Kushida rallies with more forearms, then atomic drops to a whip and hip toss! Handspring basement dropkick! Fans fire up for Kushida as he aims at Drake and runs in to dropkick the arm! Kushida drags Drake back up, reels him in, hammerlock and underhook but Drake blocks! Gibson tags in, GYV mugs Kushida in the corner!
Gibson brings Kushida up, but Kushida slips out of Helter Skelter to ROCK Gibson! Kushida clamps on for an IRON OCTOPUS! Gibson endures, pries free and rolls Kushida to then throat chop! The ref reprimands but Gibson tags Drake. GYV coordinate again, Electric Chair and Drake climbs, GRIZZLED DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and shocks GYV! Drake drags Kushida up to rain down fists, then tags in Gibson. Gibson drags Kushida up, whips him to Drake for a scoop but Kushida fights out! Gibson and Drake keep Kushida away from Ruff, double whip but Kushida handsprings for double back elbows! Hot tag to Ruff!
Ruff climbs and leaps to missile dropkick Gibson! Ruff builds speed to DIVE onto Drake! Drake hits announce desk, Ruff gets back in and runs to go up, up and FLIES onto Gibson! Fans fire up for Ruff as he puts Gibson back in! Kushida coaches Ruff on as Ruff runs, twists and rebounds to LARIAT! Ruff keeps going, goes back up top, and leaps for a SWANTON FLOP! Drake saves Gibson again! Tag and Drake DROPKICKS Kushida down hard! GYV coordinate, gut wrench and TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV win!!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
The Ticket to Mayhem is also the ticket to the semifinals for Gibson & Drake! Will GYV repeat as Dusty Cup finalists? Will they break through to be the tournament winners and then contenders to the titles?
And to add insult to injury on Kushida and Ruff, Gargano and Theory rush out to attack them! Gargano stomps Kushida while Theory tosses Ruff! Kushida fights back with haymakers! Gargano SUPERKICKS Kushida down! Ruff gets up but Theory DECKS him, then goes out after him to DECK him again! Gargano stomps Kushida more as Theory drags Ruff up. Theory makes Ruff watch as Gargano gives Kushida ONE FINAL BEAT! Gargano holds his NXT North American Championship up in Kushida’s face, but what Theory doesn’t see is that Lumis has appeared behind him!! Theory looks over and freaks out!
Theory gets in the ring to warn Gargano, but Gargano says they have nothing to fear from “the freak.” Johnny Wrestling may not have to worry about the Timesplitter, but what about the Tortured Artist?
NXT finds Curt Stallion down backstage!
Someone attacked the Lonestar right before his title match! He knows it’s Legado, but what does this mean for the Cruiserweight Championship match tonight?
Backstage interview with El Legado del Fantasma.
It was decided over commercial that, given Stallion is in no shape to compete tonight, the Cruiserweight Championship match has been canceled. Santos Escobar says that’s really, really unfortunate, because he was going to teach “that punk” a lesson. But then Regal barges in and is just as adamant that Legado did this! Escobar says that’s not true, he has been in his room all night. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza confirm the alibi, but that isn’t good enough for Regal. Next week, Escobar will defend his title against Stallion. And if Stallion “mysteriously” gets attacked again, all three members of Legado will face serious consequences. The ultimatum has been issued, but Legado just laughs it off.
Wait, what’s this in Escobar’s bag? The Hierophant tarot card…?! Scarlett dealt that earlier tonight! Escobar, Wilde and Mendoza are all a bit spooked, this is a bad omen. The end is near? The end is near?! Not! Legado doesn’t take any of these threats seriously, but will they have no choice when time is up?
Toni Storm is here!
The Lightning from Down Under gets the mic and she calls out Io Shirai! “When I want something, I don’t just wait my turn. I make it happen.” When Toni wanted to be NXT UK Women’s Champion, she took it from Rhea Ripley. When Toni wanted to win the Mae Young Classic, she did, and it was against Shirai that she did it! Now, Toni wanted to be one of the first women to win the Women’s Dusty Cup, but Shirai took that from her. So now, Toni wants to hurt Shirai and ruin her. But more than anything else in the world, Toni wants to take the NXT Women’s Championship from Shirai! Toni doesn’t have to wait any longer, Shirai is here!
The Evil Genius storms right to the ring, Toni eggs her on, but Shirai snatches the mic away! “I’ll fight you anywhere. I already made it clear. Toni, I don’t like you!” Toni trips Shirai and throws down fists! Shirai turns things around to give those fists back! They scrap back up to their feet, Toni shoves Shirai but Shirai dropkicks Toni down! Toni flounders out of the ring and Shirai eggs her on! But Mercedes Martinez BLINDSIDES Shirai! And then hits the TWO HAND CHOKE SLAM! Mercedes grins as she picks up the NXT Women’s title, but Toni gets in to take it from her. They argue over who gets it first, but Shirai dropkicks them both out! SHOTEI for Mercedes!
Shirai runs in, SHIKANSEN for Mercedes! And then Shirai goes up, only for Toni to trip her up! Toni drags Mercedes out, just so she can RAM her into the apron! Then Toni looks at the title before she HIP ATTACKS Shirai, and then HIP ATTACKS again! And again! Toni gets the hat trick, and then she picks up the belt. Toni wants a new #ShinyShiny, will she get what she wants?
Backstage interview with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
Why did Swerve get in Bronson Reed’s minutes before his match last week? Get in his face? Are we pointing fingers now? Swerve had a “conversation” with Jake Atlas, Bronson got in Swerve’s face about it. But when Swerve decides to get in Bronson’s face, he’s the bad guy. Swerve is starting to understand how things go in NXT, but also how things always go. Everyone’s always blaming Swerve. So here’s an experiment: Point the finger, McKenzie. She does, at Swerve, and then he looks at the hand. How many fingers is she pointing back at herself? Get it? But no more putting the blame on anyone, Swerve’s House has a Colossal visitor, after the break!
Alexander Wolfe begins by saying “Imperium stood together on American soil,” and at Worlds Collide, they showed everyone that they are a force to be reckoned with. “Then everything changed.” Marcel Barthel says they were isolated in different parts of the world for the last year! And while they’ve been apart, Walter still rules as NXT UK Champion. Barthel and Fabian Aichner held the NXT Tag Team Championships, but that was not enough. Aichner says “Imperium’s power is in its unity.” Their unity will restore global domination. Wolfe’s return to NXT is only the beginning. Will a refocused and reunited Imperium regain the gold?
Backstage interview with The Undisputed Era.
What are Adam Cole’s and Roderick Strong’s thoughts on their quarterfinal Dusty Cup match against the newly formed team of Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher? Nobody knows Ciampa like the Era does. They’ve gone to war with him more times than they can count, and they know how tough Ciampa is. As for Thatcher, if the tag match is anything like the Fight Pit, they have their hands full. But they’ve had their hands full ever since they came to NXT. Ciampa and Thatcher are experienced, tough men, but as a team, Cole & Strong are tougher. And as a team, Cole & Strong have more experience. There is no way “those two dorks” are going to stop the UE from becoming two-time Dusty Cup champions. And you know what that is? That is Undisputed.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed!
The issues between Swerve and Atlas were spilling over backstage so Auszilla thought he’d put an end to it. But instead of squashing the beef, he just redirected Swerve’s attention to himself. Will Reed squash this beef by crushing Swerve’s House underneath him?
The bell rings and Swerve circles with Reed. Reed gets Swerve to a corner, the ref counts and Reed lets off, but Swerve KNEE TRIGGERS back! Swerve fires off hands but Reed powers Swerve to a corner! Reed gives those fists back, then tosses Swerve out! Swerve handsprings off the apron to land on his feet! Reed grabs Swerve and drags him back up! Swerve body shots and BOOTS Reed off the apron, the BOOTS him from the apron! Swerve drags Reed up and lines up another shot, but Reed blocks the boot to FLIP Swerve! Swerve tumbles hard and Reed drags him up into the ring. Reed stalks Swerve to a corner, runs in and SPLASHES!
Swerve flounders to ropes, Reed clotheslines him back out, then Reed DIVES?!?! Direct hit at the ramp and fans are going nuts as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Swerve has Reed down with an armlock. Swerve throws down forearms as he cranks on the shoulder, but Reed fights up. Swerve knees low, wrenches to a hammerlock and he RAMS Reed into buckles! Swerve keeps on the arm, hooking it with his leg. Swerve drives elbows into Reed’s head and then he pulls on the fingers. Reed fights up, Swerve headlocks, but Reed reaches out to get the ropebreak! Swerve holds on as the ref counts, and he even sneaks in some claws to Reed’s face! Swerve brings Reed up for heavy body shots and then pushes him to slingshot and somersault, only for Reed to SWAT him down!
Swerve staggers up, Reed runs him over! And again! Reed whips, and he uses a FULL BODY ATTACK! Then he drops a back senton! Swerve is gasping for air as he crawls to ropes! Reed drags him up, suplexes him, and holds Swerve up to then shift to a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives but Reed keeps his focus. Reed drags Swerve up, choke grips, and lifts, but the bad arm gives up! Swerve smirks as he runs in at Reed in a corner but Reed BOOTS him! The legs still work as Reed hops up, but Swerve EDDY GORDO KICKS! Swerve CHOPS Reed, climbs up, goes after the arm but throws more elbows.
Swerve cranks on the arm, for a SUPER ARMBAR DDT! HOUSE CALL! Swerve goes up, up and 450 SPLASHES! Cover, TWO!! Reed survives and Swerve is furious! Swerve sits Reed up and tells him to his face, “Never get in my business ever again!” Reed gets up, Swerve SLAPS him, and SLAPS him, so Reed HEADBUTTS! And LARIATS! Reed goes right up top, TSUNAMI!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Reed crushes Swerve’s House again, will it be Swerve who never gets in Reed’s face again?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“I’ve been doing this thing for 16 years now. There are the fights you win, the fights you lose, but then there’s the fights you remember.” Timothy Thatcher pulls up a seat next to Ciampa as Ciampa says there are the fights that command respect. Thatcher says the Fight Pit changes a man both physically, mentally, and even changes his vision going forward. “Out of anguish and struggle, respect grows. That’s why I accepted the offer.” The Dusty Cup represents opportunity. Next week, against the Undisputed Era, “it’s gonna be a war.” Will this tandem of tough as nails superstars tear down even the strong combination of Cole & Strong?
Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
William Regal told The Prince to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. But with no friends to turn to anymore, the NXT Champion had no choice but to turn to a rival. Will the fact they have a common enemy in the Kings of NXT help Balor and O’Reilly stay on the same page?
NXT returns as Balor makes his entrance. He and Kyle stare down but they have to remember their teammates tonight, not opponents. The NXT Tag Team Champions make their entrance now, and they hold their belts up to remind us who they are. The team sort out, Oney starts against Balor and fans fire up as they tie up! Balor headlocks, Oney powers out but Balor runs him over! Cover, ONE! Balor arm-drags Oney right to an armlock! Oney gets up but Balor wrenches and tags in Kyle. Oney gets away and Burch tags in. Fans rally as Kyle and Burch circle, tie up, and Kyle headlocks. Kyle grinds Burch but Burch keeps off the mat. Burch powers out, but Kyle runs him over!
Kyle arm-drags Burch around, has the armlock, and fans fire up as Kyle shows no pain in his jaw. Kyle wrenches Burch, reaches out to Balor but Burch brings Kyle away with a headlock. Oney tags in, the One Two double wrench and double CHOP! Kyle throws a forearm but Oney EuroUppers Kyle off his feet! Tag to Burch, they hand off the wrench and Burch throws a EuroUpper of his won! Burch hits a headlock takeover and maybe now Kyle feels pain in his jaw. Burch throws short palm strikes, but Kyle rolls to a cover, ONE! Fans rally up, Kyle tries to headscissor but Burch shrugs that off.
Kyle fights up, Burch holds onto the headlock, but Kyle throws body shots. Burch scoops Kyle, Kyle slips off and wrenches to tag in Balor. Balor kicks the arm, clubs away on it, wrenches again and tags Kyle back in. Kyle CLUBS the arm, YANKS on it, then rams shoulders with Burch! Kyle wrenches, tags Balor and Balor hops up to drop ax handles! Balor wrenches, clamps on, Kyle tags back in and Kyle goes up to drop an ax handle of his own! Oney runs in but gets double back elbows from Balor and Kyle! Kyle and Balor double whip Burch to double elbow! Balor and Kyle stare down again as NXT goes picture in picture.
Oney and Burch regroup outside, Kyle waits in the ring for them to come back. The tag champs take their time returning and Burch gets in. Burch ties up with Kyle but kicks low! Burch headlocks, Oney tags in, Kyle powers out but Burch dodges the roundhouse and Oney BLASTS Kyle with the running EuroUpper! Oney rains down fists on Kyle, taunts Balor, then drags Kyle up to ROCK him with a EuroUpper! Tag to Burch, the champs mug Kyle in their corner, then Burch pushes Kyle against ropes and chokes him! Burch even fish hooks the jaw! The ref counts, Burch lets off and Kyle clutches his chin.
Burch brings Kyle up to ROCK him with another EuroUpper! Burch snapmares, drops knees, then covers, TWO! Burch keeps Kyle from Balor with a facelock, tags in Oney, and Oney wrenches to snapmare Kyle into a keylock. Kyle endures as Oney thrashes him around, then fights his way up. Oney cranks on the hold, Kyle throws forearms and NXT returns to single picture as Oney ROCKS Kyle with another EuroUpper! Oney half nelsons but Kyle snapmares out of the Half ‘n’ Half, hot tag to Balor! Balor rallies on Oney, hits Burch for good measure, then trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Oney down! Fans fire up as Balor stomps away on Oney at the ropes!
The ref counts, Balor stops at 4, and he sees Burch slide in so he stomps Burch down! Oney runs up to half nelson but Balor swings, only for Oney to put him in the corner! Burch tags in, Balor fights back but the One Two mugs him. Burch wrenches the arm but Balor throws forearms back! Oney tags back in, he gets Balor’s arm for an armbar DDT! Oney rains down rights, fans boo but Oney looms over Balor. Oney drags Balor up, CHOPS him, and Burch taunts Balor as he tags in. Burch ROCKS Balor, drags him up to wrench and YANK the arm, then ROCKS him with a right. Burch keeps on the arm but fans rally as Balor endures.
Balor fights up, throws more forearms, but Burch wrenches and YANKS the arm again! Balor goes to a corner, Burch runs in to clothesline! Cover, TWO! Burch drags Balor up and chinbars to then tag in Oney. Balor fights back again with forearms and CHOPS but Oney ROCKS Balor! The tag champs double atomic drop, to a Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, TWO! Oney keeps Balor down with a half nelson and then shifts to a keylock. Fans rally and Balor endures as Oney leans on the hold. Balor fights up, Oney knees him low and drags him back down! Oney keeps the arm hooked with a leg then pulls on the other! Balor endures but Oney YANKS on the arm!
Fans rally but Oney drags Balor up for another EuroUpper! Balor wobbles, Oney eggs him on, then throws another EuroUpper! Balor reaches for Kyle but Oney EuroUppers, Balor PELES! Both men are down and fans are thunderous as the two crawl! Oney grabs at Balor to keep him away but Balor throws forearms! Balor keeps reaching, as does Kyle, but Oney whips Balor to the corner! Balor BOOTS back, elbows Burch then SLINGBLADES Oney! Fans fire up as Balor rises and tags in Kyle! Burch tags in but Kyle BOOTS him down! And ROUNDHOUSES! And again! KNEE for Oney! Kicks and palm strikes and knees for Burch! Leg sweep and Kyle fires up!
Burch gets to a corner, Kyle runs in to forearm smash! Kyle wrenches to an elbow breaker, then goes after a leg, but Burch SMACKS Kyle in the jaw! Kyle just fights through that to trip the leg! Burch BOOTS the jaw! Kyle runs in but into another boot! Burch goes up, missile dropkick caught to a KNEEBAR! Burch taps, Kyle and Balor win!!
Winners: Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly, by submission
The Undisputed Era’s three-time tag team champion helps the two-time NXT Champion put away the current tag team champions! But wait, here comes Pete Dunne! But while they’re distracted, Oney drags Kyle out to RAM him into the boards! The Bruiserweight and Balor brawl! But Oney gets in and goes after Balor, too! Kyle returns to fight but Burch is in, the 3v2 advantage goes the way of the Kings of NXT! Oney and Burch grab Balor for Dunne to BOOT down! The Kings stomps away, then drag Balor back up, so Dunne can bend the fingers! But here come Strong & Cole! Dunne SNAPS and runs!
The UE run off the Kings of NXT but the damage has been done! Balor and the Era boys stand together against Dunn, Lorcan & Burch! But what will it take to finally settle things between the warring factions?
A great episode for NXT on the road to TakeOver: Valentine’s Day. One thing that’s a bit disappointing but in a way intriguing is what happened with the Cruiserweight Championship. Just as we think Stallion is going to finally get his time on NXT, we get a bait ‘n’ switch and it’s somehow a way to shift things to Escobar VS Kross. Escobar namedropping Kross was a subtle indication this could happen, but I’m still surprised it has. Will Kross cost Escobar his title next week so they can feud without it? I was also genuinely surprised by Lumis popping out of the curtain after The Way had a promo. I have a feeling that with Kushida & Ruff out of the Dusty Cup, Lumis becomes Kushida’s new tag partner to go after The Way, leading into Gargano VS Kushida at TakeOver.
Speaking of, GYV VS Kushida & Ruff was a great match, but it seems a tradition now for Kushida’s team to put the other team over. Last year when Kushida & Alex Shelley reunited, they lost to GYV to send GYV into the finals, now it’s happened for the semifinals. At the same time, GYV is up against either Undisputed Era or Thatcher-Ciampa so maybe GYV does even worse this year. And with Ciampa’s promo, I just knew Thatcher would pull up a chair to join in. UE VS Thatcher-Ciampa could go either way, because there are many story reasons. Thatcher and Ciampa did well against Daivari & Nese on 205 Live but that could fall apart. But at the same time, we know UE has story still with The Kings of NXT, so Oney and Burch could try to screw UE over.
Balor & O’Reilly VS Lorcan & Burch was a great main event. I’m glad there was no dysfunction in Balor and Kyle, they were focused on the opponents, but I do find it odd that NXT continues the WWE trend where two great singles guys still beat a great tag team. The great tag team should’ve still found a way to win, but I suppose that would’ve made Kyle the fall guy, and they can’t do that if Kyle is still to be rolling towards a potential third NXT Championship match. The episode closing with Balor and the UE standing together was a really great image, but perhaps this adds to the math that UE loses the Dusty Cup match.
Imperium had a great promo, but don’t expect Walter to show up. I’m still surprised they got Wolfe out of the UK to the US but maybe the time he was gone on NXT UK was used for quarantine protocol. Depending on how things go with the North American and Tag Team Championships, I feel like Wolfe will go after the former while Barthel & Aichner obviously go after the latter. Swerve has a good promo but he still loses to Reed, so I’m not sure the point yet. Will Sore Loser Swerve return and he goes after Reed like he did Atlas? We got a great segment with Toni, Shirai and Mercedes, I’m starting to think we’re getting a Triple Threat at TakeOver: Valentine’s, just to help get through the amazing contender’s list.
MSK beats Maverick & Dain because MSK is the hot hand coming in debuting in the tournament. Lucha House Party VS El Legado could go either way, and either will make a great match-up with MSK, but does that make MSK a finalist? That’d be surprising, but perhaps in a good way. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez VS Robert Stone Brand 3.0(?) was good but naturally Kai & Gonzalez win. And while Kai & Gonzalez look like the favorites against Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, I feel like that’s reason enough for KC Squared to make it to the finals. Gonzalez is herself waiting in the wings to face Shirai, and it makes for great story if KC Squared are one match away, only to lose to The Way, Candice & Indi.
My Score: 9.3/10
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Andrew’s IMPACT Sacrifice Results & Match Ratings: 3.24.2023
Well damn, 24 hours changes everything! Josh is injured and has to vacate the World title! Mickie is also injured but she’s making her announcement during the show. How does IMPACT salvage their two main title pictures at Sacrifice?
Well hot damn, a lot of news popped up in less than 24 hours. So Josh Alexander tore his triceps; so he has to vacate the World Title and he’s being replaced by Steve Maclin in the 6 man match. Mickie James apparently also has an injury, but they are going to turn it into a segment on the show instead of a straight up vacating.
Now from a story perspective this sucks since I loved the Maclin/Alexander segment last night. That’s just me being selfish since I wanted to see that build and Maclin get the big win he deserves. Now he’ll be facing Kushida for the vacated title at Rebellion, and even if Maclin wins it will feel a little flat. Here’s to hoping that when Josh returns from injury they can find a way to bridge the time lost and keep the story going eventually.
.@MeanGiaMiller caught up with @FrankieKazarian and #RichSwann to talk about @Walking_Weapon's unfortunate injury and @SteveMaclin replacing him as their partner TONIGHT at #Sacrifice! #CountdownToSacrifice pic.twitter.com/jdnqk6BLN9
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 24, 2023
- Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham: Bailey wins via Reverse Figure Four – *** 3/4
- Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers: Hendry retains via Standing Ovation – ***
- Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna wins via Venus de Milo – *** 1/4
- Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO: PCO wins via Straight Right Chair Punch – *** 1/4
- X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c): Trey retains via Cradle – *
- IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c): Bullet Club retains via ABC 1-2-Sweet – ****
- Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer: Bully wins – ** 1/2
- Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin: Kushida wins via Hoverboard Lock – ****
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham
With the injuries in the main event, I could definitely see one, or both of these guys; fast tracked into the title scene after Rebellion. And I don’t think anyone would really be mad at that.
A quick tit for tat start, no one really gets any advantage. Just a few quick counters and takeover attempts. They both pause to take in chants from the crowd and then lock up again. Collar and Elbow tie up, they don’t release and both roll one another under the rope and out of the ring. There is an early moment where while he’s against the ropes he pokes Speedball in the eye and then apologizes. So things go back to a technical face vs face, but it could be a precursor.
Technical catch wrestling continues. Wrestling one another down, trying to get positions for small submission picks or limb attacks, but nothing is sticking yet. Gresham does manage to an Indian Deathlock, and then a Reverse Figure Four that Gresham conveniently can’t untangle so the referee has to do it and Bailey is pissed. Gresham tries to explain it, but Bailey lights him up, Gresham falls out of the ring, Golden Triangle Moonsault and now the aggression is starting to pick up. Hamstring Kicks and Chops from Bailey, but Gresham baits the attack and trips up Bailey before attacking the left knee with a grin on his face. Bailey is grounded for a while and Gresham keeps trying to twist off his leg. Eventually some Up Kicks break the submission attempt but Gresham wrestles him down again into a Bow and Arrow Trailer Hitch kind of move. Since Bailey has Tanahashi next week, Gresham must be trying to make Bailey’s knees equal. Good Guy Gresham.
Bailey starts stringing some offense together, but a few Low Dropkicks ruins Bailey’s base and causes him to face plant and the offense is going nowhere. Gresham even goes for the pinfall by trying to hyper extend the leg he’s been working on. Strikes continue to trade, Gresham tries to shoot the half but Bailey kicks off, Hamstring Kick again, Gresham Kips Up but clutches the leg a little, a chance for Speedball but Gresham cradles him to the ground and locks in a Figure Four. Speedball eventually rolls to the apron, Gresham tries to continue the stretching but Bailey kicks him into the post, sweeps the leg and Moonsault Double Knees right on Gresham’s head; Bailey went full Billy Kidman with his offense.
Bailey and Gresham continue to jockey for position on the outside, it looks like it might be a double count out. Gresham gets in at 9, Bailey gets in right at the 10 and the referee allows the match to continue. Some quick offense, Tornado Kicks to the corner, Ultima Weapon misses, Gresham goes for the Figure Four again but Speedball reverses it and Gresham taps pretty quick.
Backstage segment with Brian Myers, Moose joins and says he’ll help him beat Hendry – but then Santino shows up! He tells Moose he’s dumb and just stooged himself out, so he’s banning him from ringside. Who would’ve thunk it, the comedy character brings the logic.
Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers
Myers powders after a few early bumps and then Hendry follows him. Hendry is definitely not fighting with “champion’s advantage”, as is the way for babyfaces. Myers tries to fight back on the floor but a Scoop Slam leaves Myers on the receiving end. Hendry has to roll in to reset the 10 count and Myers catches him.
A few quick attacks, Roster Cut attempt but Hendry gets the goozle on. Standing Ovation attempt but Myers slips it, Chop Block, and continues to hammer down on Hendry. Myers with a Falcon Arrow and a bunch of slightly arrogant offense until he goes for the Crossbody, gets caught again, Sack of Shit, and Hendry is back on the offensive. Pop Up Power – no, slips and a Running Spear from Myers for a 2 count. Myers hits the top rope but Hendry cuts him off, Myers pushes him off, launches and Hendry hits the RKO mid move! Throws Myers into the ropes, Standing Ovation, and Hendry retains!
So Mickie addresses her injury, it seems she broke a rib during the tag match. They are allowing Mickie to hold on to the title until Rebellion. Either she defends it in a 3 way versus Jordynne and the winner of the 4 Way at the Multiverse United show or Jordynne will face the winner of the 4 Way for the vacated title.
Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna starts off angry, Gisele is getting rocked early, they go through a few rope running counter cradles and slides but its just early counter wrestling. Gisele manages to surprise Deonna going for an Armbar, but Deonna counters it, tries the Venus de Milo but Shaw powders. Deonna hits the Baseball Slide, starts beating on Gisele but she slides back in to distract the referee while Savannah clocks Deonna.
Triplicate European Uppercuts from Gisele keep her very comfortably in control. Another distraction to the ref and Savannah swings and connects with Deonna again. Deonna tries to fight from the corner, Gisele grabs Deonna’s feet drapes her across the ropes and drops both knees on Deonna. Gisele drives her knee into Deonna’s shoulder blades and goes for the Chin Lock. Deonna tries to power out, Gisele stifles it a little, but Deonna catches her with a Twisting Neckbreaker. Slow start to the strike exchange but it slowly picks up, Deonna with a beautiful spot of a no look Back Kick right to Gisele’s stomach, Running Knee Lift into the Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Deonna Pump Kick, Gisele Superkick, Deonna bounces off the ropes, Flatliner into Koji Clutch, but Gisele slides back a little to turn it into a pinfall to break the submission.
Both women have wrist control and just swing at each other. Deonna gets the best, one big swing but Gisele ducks it, catches Deonna in Shock and Awe (Backbreaker into Flatliner). Denouement attempt, Deonna grabs at the arm for the Fujiwara attempt but Gisele fights it off. Venus de Milo gets locked in and Deonna holds it a little longer to make a point.
Savannah attacks Deonna afterwards, but Tasha Steelz music hits. Tasha tries to play nice like she’s here to help Savannah, then cheap shots her, fights off Jai with a Tornado DDT kicking off of Savannah. Okurr on Jai and Tasha cleans house and babyfaces herself.
Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO
Kenny comes out in an Honor No More shirt, which is a nice way to play into the story.
Eddie tries to get PCO’s attention and then Kenny attacks him right as the bell rings. PCO turns things around shortly, Eddie keeps trying to find angles to give Kenny ambush spots but PCO keeps fighting back. PCO stalks Eddie on the outside and Kenny hits a beautiful Tornillo, then a Scoop Slam as he mocks the whole Frankenstein gimmick. PCO rolls in and Kenny John Woo’s him into the corner and starts Bootwashing his face to talk smack. PCO fires, goozle and just throws Kenny out of the ring.
PCO kicks Kenny from getting back in the ring, looks to do his Senton but “short circuits”. So PCO does a Senton to the wrong side of the ring, crashing but popping right back up, and it apparently helped correct the issue. So Senton onto Kenny, throws him back in, Kenny tries the Eddy Gordo kick but PCO just barrels over him. PCO drapes Kenny in the corner, Codebreaker, into the back of the head Guillotine Leg Drop and now PCO pulls him to the apron.
Here we go, Deanimator attempt – but Eddie cuts him off, PCO kicks him back into the cameras, Kenny gets up and an Iconoclasm bouncing off the apron of the ring! Kenny throws him into the steps, rolls in, things he’s all but won…yet PCO beats the 10 count. “He’s Not Human” chant starts, Frog Splash from Kenny and PCO kicks out and fires at 2. Eddie throws a Kendo stick in the ring to distract the referee from Kenny using a chair. Kenny hits PCO once, PCO shakes it off and has a gameplan. So he actually helps keep the referee distracted to bait in Kenny for another chairshot attempt, but PCO just punches through the chair and knocks out Kenny.
Maclin, Kaz and Rich have a backstage segment. It perfectly shows the story beats of Maclin being annoyed that he put in all this prep and recon on Josh just for the opponent to be flipped. Typical tumultuous team members vibe, but Maclin gets his story beats across beautifully.
Can #RichSwann and @FrankieKazarian trust @SteveMaclin? #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/TcEZ79IWkC
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c)
Okay Lince comes out in a bathrobe with some cringe ass “Lucha Lit” gimmick. I…hate it. This is probably the first time ever that I want Trey to win. Cause Dorado is cringe as hell. In a game of them both sucking, I’ll pick the style of trash that I can tolerate more…which is Trey.
Lucha counter wrestling with flips over trips and that stupid ass Mirrored Dropkick Spot. I also don’t love the Lince doing the cat mannerisms, but Puma King and a few others have done that…so I guess its more tolerated in Lucha. This whole match has been a little paint by numbers boring Lucha where the moves are done just to pop the crowd but not to actually accomplish anything.
Diving whatever moves they accomplish nothing. Its really hard for me to care about flippy trash matches. Lince hits 2 of the 3 step Moonsaults, but Trey of course no sells and dodges the third, Tiger Wall Kick, but Trey stumbles a little for the Enzuigiri, Trey also hits a sloppy Outside In Tiger Feint…its just sloppy spots for spots sake. I would probably be more entertained if I had Runescape fired up on a different tab. This is just a waste of space, much like both “wrestlers”.
Lince hits a Avalanche Frankensteiner, into a Shooting Star Press but Trey powders. Lince tries that bounce off the corner with his legs spot, but its sloppy. Another sloppy Tiger Feint from Trey, Slingshot Sunset Bomb for 2. These are just stupid moves for stupid sake. Lince tries to cut off Trey from a rope run with a Big Boot but mostly misses, makes the whole cut off exchange look stupid. Trey with a flash cradle during the cut offs for pinfall. Eww…this was garbage.
IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c)
It is nice to see a variation of TMDK back together. I also enjoyed Tito called Ace and Bey the “Mini Bullet Club” since they’re the juniors heavyweights.
Tito and Bey start off, Bey is trying to show off his speed, Tito gets across the power though. Tito kinda looks like a young Scott Steiner, and he literally tosses Bey back into his corner. Ace tags in, tries to do something but Tito is just too strong. Haste gets tagged in for some flashy yet effective offense. Ace finds something with the Triangle Victory Roll, Bey blind tag, cheap shot on Tito, Russian Leg Sweep + Low Sweep combination into some Click Click Boom. So Bullet Club is showing very nice Junior style synergy. Haste is very loud and animated, so he’s a great one to have eating the offense. Especially when they do their Back Rake goof spot.
Haste finally maneuvers things to tag Tito in, and Haste hands off Ace to Tito and Tito hits a Standing Blue Thunder Bomb. Tree of Woe, Bey tries to come in to break up the spot but the referee is distract, Tito steps up and stands on the groin, nice homage to Petey Williams. We are in Canada. Announce team almost sets up too much meme fodder, and then Rehwoldt steers into it. Rehwoldt said Bey was trying to rush into to get Tito off…paused for a second, which you know Hannifan gave him a look. So then they just pivot to everyone in TMDK being like Australian Sex Pistols. Very clever misdirection.
The match is fun, Bey gets the hot tag, clocks everyone, Haste tries a Lariat, Bey ducks that, flies onto Tito on the outside, comes back in, Tornado Fameasser for 2. Bullet Club goes for a Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combo, but Haste gets out of it. Tito gets tagged in and he start to look like Steve Williams with the Doctor Bomb for 2. Tito hits a big battering ram Dive on Bey to clear him out. Haste Falcon Arrow, Tito Froggy Splash, but Bey breaks it up.
Tito starts getting ping ponged between the two Juniors, Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combination, for 1-2-3? – no Haste comes in the referee says it was in time to stop the 3 count. Tito charges and a beautifully times Superkick + Spinning Back Heel Kick on Tito. He’s dazed, ABC 1-2-Sweet! Bullet Club retain!
Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer
This is a First Blood Match for anyone who doesn’t know, and Dreamer comes out with an ECW Championship Belt.
Chair duel to start things, ECW replica belt to the face of Bully Ray. Dreamer grabs a soda from a fan, Muta mist on Bully, tries to shove the can into his skull for early blood but no. Bully crotches Dreamer on the guardrail and then picks a fight with Darren McCarty who’s in the crowd. Darren McCarty was the enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings, so its very old school letting the ex sports guy play. Bully also has a great spot where he pulls out a step ladder, then asks the referee to hold it, does the Jimmy Snuka pose and goes for a Splash and misses. Bully gets to rile up AEW and WWF fans all in one spot. Good old school heat. Corny, but good.
Dreamer gets a bag of tacks, Bully fights off the Piledriver, gets the cheese grater but Dreamer hits the Bionic Elbow as a counter. Cheese grater with Dreamer, Dreamer charges, Bully pulls the referee in the corner, so ref bump. Dreamer eventually makes contact with the cheese grater, but there’s no referee and Bully has his back to the camera, so it slow rolls the result nicely. Good Hands hit the ring, on with a towel to see if he can blot the bleeding before the ref comes to.
Bully hits Tommy with pocket tacks instead of pocket sand. Tries to drive Dreamer’s face into the tacks and then Elbow it further down but Dreamer moves. Dreamer grabs the grater again, Bully tries to beg off, screams he’s sorry and now tries to guilt Tommy with his family is going to see this. Dreamer actually stops and then Bully hits him in the balls. Bully busts open Tommy with the tacks, the Good Hands slide in Tommy as the referee comes to, so the referee only sees Dreamer bleeding. Its a solid old school Hardcore match but it was definitely a little too plodding and corny.
Yuya Uemura tries to make the save, then Darren McCarty jumps the railing. This really has turned into ECW, Bully gets a mic, asks him if he really wants to fight and tells security to let him go. LOL – a literal Hockey Fight. McCarty gets the best of things, Good Hands mug him from behind. Triple Powerbomb McCarty through the table.
Scott D’Amore’s music hits! Scott starts stripping like he’s Ric Flair. Bully calls down Scott, but Scott has backup. He calls Rino, Heath, Gresham, Baily and Joe Hendry. Good Hands try to attack Scott…Scott stops him…and HITS A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Can this lead to a Lethal Lockdown match? Team D’Amore versus Team Bully? Give me that…give me some Lethal Lockdown now!
Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin
Shelley and Swann start off, and its just a bit of chain wrestling. They both have Hammerlocks, Headlocks, and just twist around to try and find an angle. Shelley speeds things up a little, Shoulder Tackle, rope run, Swann goes down and Shelley puts on the brakes to sink in a quick STF but Rich grabs the rope. Kaz and Sabin tag in and we get some Battle of the Futures nostalgia.
Back and forth, Up and Over, Sabin with the Arm Drag into the Top Wristlock. Kaz fights through, a little more quick counters and fun stalemate spots as they are all having fun with each other. Kushida tags in and points to Maclin. Kaz slaps Maclin’s chest and we all know Maclin isn’t a fun loving babyface like Kaz and Swann, so the tone should start to change. Kushida starts by starting Grounded ala Inoki vs Ali, then manages to trip up Maclin and keep the mat wrestling going, but Maclin finally gets back to hit feet and can finally use his size and power to his advantage. Shelley blind tag, Time Splitters PK to the Arm combo.
Shelley keeps on the arm that got kicks with the Arm Wringer and then a few quick shots to the damaged arm. Kaz makes the blind tag after Maclin uses the middle rope into Shelley’s throat. Kaz and Rich with a little Hip Toss tandem stuff for a near fall on Shelley. But the tone of Rich and Kaz is definitely much different. Shelley fights his way out of the enemy corner, Time Machine triple team, Single Leg Crab, Camel Clutch, Sliding Dropkick from Sabin onto Rich. Kaz is trying to police too much of Maclin’s motion, typical team that doesn’t get along stuff. Rich driven into Kaz in the corner, triple Dropkicks from all of Time Machine.
Kushida tags in, stares down Maclin and then Maclin picks up and throws Rich to Time Machine because you can tell he’s frustrated getting policed with all of his moves. MCMG hold Rich, Kushida hits the Baseball Slide on the restrained wrestler and Kushida does the little Liger spin around pose/taunt and stares down Maclin. Shelley starts with the joint manipulation, and Swann is just getting torn apart. Swann in the Tree of Woe, Sliding Dropkick to Swann’s face, and then the Triple Baseball Slide. Sabin tags in with the Octopus Hold on Rich which he rolls into a pinfall, but Rich kicks out. You hear Maclin say “All you have to do is tag me bitch” – which proves that Maclin is trying to be a team player in his own way.
Rich fights out of the triple team, and chooses to tag in Kaz. Kaz hot tag, exchanges with Sabin which turns into the Guillotine Leg Drop through the ropes, Kaz is taking out everyone right now. Two Springboard Leg Drops…and now a third as all of the Time Machine offense is stopped. Sabin blind tag though gives Time Machine some momentum. Rich tries to come in, gets rocked, Maclin charges, Sabin grabs him and Tornado DDT sends Maclin to powder. Missile Dropkick/Flatliner on Kaz for 2.
Cradle Shock counter, rolling tag to Rich. Avalanche Headscissors, Rich goes to the top rope, Maclin tags himself in, but Time Machine gets rolling. Dragon Screw from Kushida with the Mutoh pose afterwards. Maclin and Shelley are legal, and going back and forth. Double Arm Breaker from Shelley after Kaz tries to get involved. Maclin gets some offense back in, Caught in the Crosshairs form Maclin, Maclin tags in Kaz, Kaz tags Rich, tandem attacks, Cutter form Rich into a 450…1-2-Kushida Kicks out! Swann goes for Phoenix Splash but misses. Flying Armbar from Kushida, triple Submission spot, but Maclin gets out of his and breaks Kushida’s submission. Maclin stares down Time Machine, hits the ropes and gets eaten alive by tandem attacks.
Time Machine goes for a Double Shiranui Tower, but it gets broken up. Outatime lands on Kaz. Sliced Bread lands on Swann. Tanaka Punch blocked, Maclin eats Shell Shock, Sabin gives Kushida a rolling start to throw him onto Maclin like a Spider Monkey and sink in the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin taps relatively quick, which is strategic to not risk injury.
Overall Score: 7/10
Talk about a show that no one knew what the hell to expect! Josh vacating the belt means that things had to change with fairly short notice. Mickie’s implications of either a Triple threat or she’ll hand over the belt to the winner if she’s not cleared is something you don’t see too often. But when it comes down to the card, the show was relatively good. Trey & Lince was hot garbage, and Busted Open was what we all kind of expected. Was it a bit more entertaining with some of the ECW nods? Sure. But it was just a spectacle and honestly Scott D’Amore hitting the Canadian Destroyer made that all worth it.
OH CANADA! @ScottDAmore CANADIAN DESTROYERS @TheJasonHotch and Windsor EXPLODES! #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/iqqpiH0tMZ
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
The tag and six man matches were the best stuff on the card, and sets the stage decently well for storylines into Rebellion. I’m not joking though, if we don’t get Team D’Amore vs Team Bully in a Lethal Lockdown…the salt will pour. Don’t let the Canadian Destroyer spot be for naught! Oh – and put the damn belt on Maclin!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/24/23)
It’s a family feud!
Wrestling really does have more than one royal family.
While Cody Rhodes is back on SmackDown to take on Ludwig Kaiser, Dominik Mysterio plans on confronting in his entire family in Las Vegas! Will Rey finally snap on his son?
- Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci; Cody wins.
- Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight; Knight wins.
- WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya; Shotzi & Natalya win and advance to WrestleMania.
- “Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER; Gunther wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci!
The American Nightmare is back on SmackDown, looking to stay razor sharp for his match with the Tribal Chief. But will he get more than just a tune-up from the Impeccable German? Or will Kaiser keep the mat sacred?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up for “CODY! CODY!” Ludwig eggs Cody on, they tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Cody powers Ludwig to a corner but Ludwig turns it around. Ludwig lets off, but throws a body shot! Ludwig whips, Cody reverses and reels Ludwig in to suplex! Fans fire up as Cody keeps Ludwig in the air, before the GOURD BUSTER! But wait, here comes Paul Heyman. Cody is distracted by the Wise Man, Ludwig waistlocks, but Cody trips Ludwig to then SHINING WIZARD! Ludwig bails out while Cody glances back at Heyman. Fans continue to rally for Cody while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cody staggers over to Ludwig. Ludwig UPPERCUTS then COMPLETE SHOTS! Cover, TWO! Ludwig scowls, and he rains down fists in a headlock! Fans boo but Ludwig lets off. Ludwig clamps onto Cody with a chinlock, then CLUBS him down. Fans boo as Ludwig goes outside to drag Cody to the corner, but Cody YANKS Ludwig into the post! Cody goes out to CHOP Ludwig, ROCKS him, and then CHOPS him against the announce desk! Cody rains down fists and fans fire up! Cody puts Ludwig back in the ring, runs and springboards, but Ludwig trips him up and YANKS him down!
Heyman is stoic as Ludwig sits Cody up to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Cody scowls but Ludwig looms over him. Ludwig pie faces Cody, drags him up but Cody ROCKS Ludwig and JABS and throws a body shot. Ludwig throat chops in return! Ludwig CHOKES Cody on the ropes, the ref counts and Ludwig lets off. Fans boo, but Vinci gets a cheap shot! Cover, TWO! Ludwig clamps back on with a chinlock. Cody endures, fans rally up, and Cody fights up to his feet. Ludwig throws Cody down by his hair! Fans boo more as Ludwig paces around and taunts Cody. Ludwig rains down more fists, then scrapes Cody’s face!
Ludwig runs to BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Heyman is still stoic as Cody drags himself to ropes. Ludwig kicks the ropes to jam Cody’s arm! Ludwig drags Cody up to UPPERCUT! Cody ROCKS Ludwig with forearm after forearm! Ludwig JAWBREAKERS! Ludwig throws body shots and stomps in the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Cody puts him on the apron! Cody ROCKS Ludwig, and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICKS Ludwig down! Fans fire up and Heyman is upset now. Ludwig staggers up into a kick, and Cody reels Ludwig in! Cody hooks the arms, but now SOLO SIKOA appears!
Fans boo as the Bloodline approaches, but Ludwig CHOP BLOCKS Cody’s leg! Solo and Heyman stay at the ramp as Ludwig goes out. Cody throws hands, whips, but Ludwig reverses and sends Cody crashing into steel steps! Fans boo but Cody drags himself up, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cody throws hands on Ludwig. Ludwig headlocks, Cody powers out and things speed up, but DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Solo & Heyman are now ringside as fans rally up. Vinci coaches Ludwig but Cody sits up first. They stand, Cody throws a body shot but Ludwig throws a haymaker. Cody throws a forearm, Ludwig gives it back, they go shot for shot, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Ludwig kicks low, whips, but Cody reverses to then follow and CLOBBER Ludwig! Cody kicks, RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then baits Ludwig, goes up and over in a corner, and POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!
Solo is stoic, Heyman smiles, but then Vinci throws in his track jacket. The ref gets that out of the way, but misses the HIGH LOW COMBO from Imperium! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and Ludwig is surprised. Ludwig shouts “NEIN!” and runs in to UPPERCUT, GAMANGIRI and HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Ludwig goes up top, leaps, but into a dragon sleeper! But Ludwig drops to victory roll! TWO, and Cody dodges Ludwig to springboard, CODY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cody stares down Heyman & Solo! Cody waits on Ludwig, reels him back in, CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!
Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall
The Impeccable German was less than perfect, and he loses to the American Nightmare! But Cody watches Solo get up on the apron and Heyman has the mic. Heyman has Solo stand down, and then tells Cody, “You’re owed an apology. And since I’m the Wise Man of the Bloodline, may I? I am going to be the one to deliver that apology to you.” The ring announcer did a lousy job. She must be from Vegas. Fans boo and Heyman acts surprised. But Heyman will do the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen! Your winner… and still challenger for the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns… Cody! RRRRHODES!”
Fans are torn but Heyman says this is the very same Cody Rhodes that sees his Road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday Night Raw, when Cody goes one versus one against… SOLO! And if, and isn’t that a big “if,” IF Cody survives Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be here live on SmackDown next Friday to see Cody one final time face to face. Heyman tosses the mic to Cody and he catches it. “Is that what we’re doing, Mr. Heyman? Are you moving the goal posts for me? Another thing you did, you interrupted them while they were singing the song.
“And now, you wanna move the goal posts and move ’em right here, huh? Am I expected to say ‘No?’ Oh, it’s six days out from the biggest match in the history of my family, I should probably say no, right? WELL, I probably shouldn’t have wrestled with half my body hanging off, and I still beat Seth Rollins! So when it comes to you,” he says as he points at Solo, “undefeated and as good as you are, like I said last week. You’re. Not. Ready!” Fans chant that, then Cody continues.
“And as for the champion, Roman Reigns. After Solo finds out that he’s not ready, at WrestleMania on April 2nd, your boy, Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, will find out the same thing. He is not ready, either!” Cody throws the mic back and Heyman misses it! Will everything about this homestretch to Hollywood be a nightmare for The Bloodline?
BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
The very first match of night one on Saturday, April 1st will be… AUSTIN THEORY VS JOHN CENA! The United States Championship will set the pace for the weekend, will The Now find that he’s not ready, either?
Charlotte Flair is here!
Vegas fires up as The Queen heads to the ring. The SmackDown Women’s Champion has her pyro then gets the mic to tell Las Vegas, “We are just eight days away from WrestleMania! Fourteen times. Fourteen time world champion. And I can tell you, that was not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. The same three things have been used against me by everyone, and I mean everyone, since I started in this business.
“Fear. What is fear? Fear is a lack of understanding. It’s ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. This business was built on respect! Rhea Ripley, I don’t fear you. I respect you! The only thing that I fear is my own potential. I respected Nikki and Brie. I respect Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Trish, Ronda, Asuka, Natty! I respected all of them! Insecurities. Damn right I have insecurities! Are you really ‘whatting’ me? This is important to me so listen. Insecurities, damn right I have them. And I have built this house on every brick that all of you have thrown at me! For the last seven YEARS! Lastly, nepotism.” Fans “WOO~!”
“That’s right, Vegas. I love my dad. And I will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment! And whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it, because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. WOO~!” The Queen is fired up, but will she be able to hold her throne at WrestleMania?
Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight!
The King of Lucha Libre, the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, has been pushed and pushed and pushed by his punk of a son, and the Mega Star was one big mouth too far! Will Rey be able to shut up the obnoxious jerk that isn’t Dominik? Or will things only get worse for Rey on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?
SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Knight chases Rey but Rey dodges and fires off hands! Knight shoves Rey away, but Rey slides under and dropkicks Knight to a corner. Rey runs in but Knight fights off the monkey flip. But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey runs in, and now he MONKEY FLIPS! Knight staggers up,. Rey KICKS Knight to a corner, and then rains down fists! Fans count all the way to TEN, then Rey gives us some Latino Heat. Rey runs, but Knight FLAPJACKS him down! Knight stomps Rey, stomps him to ropes, but the ref counts.
Knight lets off, “YEAH!” Then he bumps Rey off a buckle. Knight throws hands, JABS Rey, then digs his boots in. The ref counts, Knight lets off at 4, and Knight brings Rey up. Knight shoves Rey into the corner, Rey bounces off buckles, and into the NECKBREAKER! Knight spells it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” Cover, ONE!! Knight is annoyed and he throws fists down. Knight keeps on Rey, throws hands, then he bumps Rey off buckles. Fans rally and duel, but Knight whips Rey to ropes. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges then tilt-o-whirls to RANA! Knight flounders out of the ring and fans fire up!
Rey runs, WRECKS Knight with a dropkick, then he builds speed. Rey SLIDES to SPLASH! Fans fire up for that one, and Rey stalks Knight to CLUB him! Rey puts Knight in the ring, climbs up and shoulders in! Then he GAMANGIRIS Knight away, climbs the corner, but here comes Dom! Dom said he’d ruin the fun, and Knight trips Rey up! Rey tumbles to the mat, but Dom doesn’t care. Fans boo as Dom walks down the ramp while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Knight stomps away on Rey again. Knight drags Rey up but Rey throws hands! Rey fires off but Knight knees low! Knight scoops, Rey slips off and rolls Knight up, to then dropkick! Fans fire up while Knight scrambles around. Knight goes after Rey, Rey slips under and runs, but into a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dom paces at ringside, and Knight sits Rey up to KNEE him in the back! Knight drags Rey up, back suplexes high and hard, then dusts off his hands. “YEAH!” Knight grins as he stands over Rey, then he pulls on the mask. The ref reprimands, Knight whips Rey to ropes, but Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges!
Rey CROSSBODIES, but Knight catches him for a POWERSLAM! Dom smirks while Knight spells it out again. “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey and Knight slowly stand up, Rey goes to ropes and Knight storms over, but into an elbow! Rey springboards, wheelbarrows and BULLDOGS! Dom is annoyed but Rey goes to the apron. Rey climbs up, SEATED SENTONS! And Rey keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Rey brings him up to whip him to ropes. Knight reverses, kicks low and back suplexes, but Rey lands on his feet! Tilt-o-whirl, but Knight blocks to a BACKPACK SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Knight grows frustrated but he drags Rey back up. Fans rally for “619! 619!” as Knight scoops, but Rey turns slam into DDT! Rey then dropkicks Knight onto the ropes! Fans fire up, Rey dials it up, 619 BLOCKED by Knight! Knight grins, lifts Rey up, but Rey RANAS free! Rey redials, but Dom trips him up!! Fans boo and Rey is furious! He can’t believe Dom is doing this now, but Knight rolls Rey up! KNIGHT WINS!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall
Dom smiles because he just screwed his dad over. Dom gets the mic and tells, “Jefe… You gonna give me what I want? Huh? C’mon. C’mon Or are you gonna run away? Or are you gonna finally be a man and face me at WrestleMania?” Dom pushes Rey, and Rey brings down the straps. To wag his finger, “No.” Dom says, “That’s right. Walk away like you always do. Hey, mom. How does it feel to be married to such a pathetic loser? A coward who can’t even stand up to his own son?” Fans boo but then Dom points out the rest of the family. He asks if mom knew she married a deadbeat.
She did, because here’s why. She sat there every night while Rey abandoned Dom, sot hat makes her no better! His sister steps up now, and Dom asks Aalyah what she’s gonna do about it. She’s too stupid to understand this. Mom Angie snatches the mic from Dom but Dom snatches it back to tell her to shut up! Rey storms back over and fans fire up! Dom dares Rey to do something, and Rey DECKS Dom!! Dom is shocked but Vegas is thunderous! Rey tells Dom that Dom pushed him to do this. Rey doesn’t wanna do this but Dom gave him no choice! You do not disrespect your mother like that! That is Rey’s wife!
Dom wanted a fight at Mania? Then he’s on!! Fans are thunderous again as Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son.” Dom scurries away, having gotten what he wanted like the brat he is. But will Dom come to regret everything he’s done these past few months?
WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya!
The Model Soldier teams with The Predator to take on the Wild Child and the Queen of Harts! Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez are watching ringside, who will they see join them in this Fatal 4 Way tag team showcase?
The teams sort out, Shotzi and Lacey start. Fans rally as Shotzi and Lacey circle, then Shotzi gets around to a waistlock. Shotzi ripcords, wrenches and wristlocks but Lacey throws Shotzi by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Shotzi up and fans rally as Lacey whips her to the corner. Lacey RAMS into Shotzi, tags Xia, and then mocks the fans. Xia stomps Shotzi, brings her up to CHOP, then taunts Natty. Xia runs in to KNEE and ELBOW Shotzi, then reels her in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Natty rallies the fans behind Shotzi but Lacey tells them to shut up. Xia bumps Shotzi off buckles and tags in Lacey.
Lacey mocks the fans, then runs to headstand and BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey drags Shotzi up, snapmares and then dribbles Shotzi’s face off the mat! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Lacey drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws hands, kicks but Lacey blocks to trip her up! Lacey then sucker punches Natty! Fans boo but Shotzi rolls Lacey up! TWO and Shotzi ENZIGURIS Lacey down! But Natty is still off the corner so Shotzi has to BOOT Lacey away! Shotzi runs but Lacey CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Lacey tags Xia. Lacey & Xia drag Shotzi up, double whip but Shotzi KICKS Xia and JAWBREAKERS Lacey!
Xia waistlocks Shotzi, Lacey storms up, but Shotzi slips free and the WOMAN’S RIGHT takes out Xia!! Lacey is furious, but Shotzi whips her out of the ring! Shotzi swings on Lacey, Lacey counter punches, but Natty is back! Natty BOOTS Lacey, then Shotzi DIVES to take Lacey down! Fans fire up as Shotzi hurries back in and tags Natty! HART ATTACK! And then the SHARPSHOOTER! Xia taps, Natty & Shotzi win!
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya, by pinfall (advance to WrestleMania)
Two hearts and a lot of fire, these two make it through! But wait, here come Ronda & Shayna! Shayna says, “Look at all the history in the ring right now! I mean, each single one of those women has a reason to want to get revenge on us, right? Let’s look. Broken hand, broken nose, broken arm, broken spirit. What do you say we uh… Give them the opportunity tonight?” Fans fire up as the Baddest Women on the Planet step up, but then Ronda says, “Wait, Shay-Bayz. I’ve got a question for you. How many times have we sold out this exact arena?” A couple times. And what about this entire town? A couple more times.
And how much did they appreciate it? ZERO TIMES! These two have given Vegas more than it deserves, so never again! And certainly not tonight. Shayna agrees with that. But lucky for the others, or maybe unlucky, these two are here to let them know, they’re in the tag team showcase! WrestleMania may be taking place in Hollywood, but the stakes just got raised like here in Vegas! Who wins when the odds are not in their favor?
Drew McIntyre heads to the ring.
Vegas fires up as the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Der Ring General are about to converge for a contract signing! The Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship isn’t until WrestleMania, but will things break down on SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and Adam Pearce is in the ring to welcome us to this contract signing. But before he can introduce McIntyre, Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes make their way out! “Las Vegas, what’s the crack?” Sheamus says everyone’s been asking why he’s so mad at McIntyre. Imagine this: imagine working 15 YEARS of your life to achieve a particular goal; now imagine telling your best friend about that goal, only for him to go behind your back to try and steal it away from you. Imagine that friend being someone you let sleep and live on your couch, that you brought to his first training session in this business!
McIntyre rolls his eyes as Sheamus has said a lot of this before. Sheamus says, “Now imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in on the Grandest Stage of Them All, because they’re nothing but a backstabbing-” McIntyre says, “Imagine shutting up for a second. Every week, you run your mouth, you try to give me this guilt trip, trying to make me feel bad. And if it’s not on SmackDown, it’s on social medial with your little gifs and memes you create, blow up my Twitter like a teenage girl. It’s embarrassing, mate!”
McIntyre says last week, they were in this ring, proving why they are the most physical superstars in the WWE! They beat the hell out of each other! And afterwards, they should’ve been in the bar, laughing about it. That’s what they did in the old times. But now, Sheamus is so sensitive, he has this temper, that Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. Sheamus says McIntyre made this personal! McIntyre has a lot he’d love to say but he’ll stick to facts. And the facts are: McIntyre has beaten Sheamus, and he KNOWS he can beat Gunther. And history has shown that Sheamus can’t. Fans fire up as the two stare down.
Pearce has both men stand down because in order to get to WrestleMania, he needs three signatures on the contract. So how about we get the first two taken care of now? McIntyre takes the pen, signs his part, and then hands things over to Sheamus. Sheamus takes another pen, he signs his part, and then McIntyre throws his pen to the crowd as a free souvenir. And here comes GUNTHER! Gunther storms right into the ring, he gets right in Pearce’s face, and he tells Pearce to justify this decision. Justify why Gunther is in a match where the other two can pin or submit the other and Gunther still loses his title. Justify it! JUSTIFY IT!!
Pearce has Gunther calm down now, and Gunther signs his part. Is Pearce happy now? Whatever he has to do to defend HIS title at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat McIntyre. He will beat Sheamus. And if he has to, he’ll beat up Ridge and- What is Dunne looking at him like that for? DUNNE JUMPS THE TABLE TO GET AT GUNTHER!! Fans go wild as Butch goes wild! Ridge drags Dunne away, Gunther TOSSES the table! Gunther gets in Pearce’s face and Gunther wants a match! Pearce says okay, just calm down! Is Der Ring General about to break the Bruiserweight?
“Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER!
SmackDown returns, and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Dunne pulls on Gunther’s ears! Then CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne runs, but into a BOOT! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops and SLAMS him, then sits him up to PENALTY KICK! Dunne kicks back from below! Dunne forearms, CHOPS, SLAPS and then jumps on for a a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Gunther throws body shots and then shifts Dunne around into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Gunther paces around Dunne. Gunther kicks Dunne in the side, he taunts Sheamus, then he stomps Dunne down.
Gunther brings Dunne up but Dunne throws body shots! Dunne forearms, but Gunther CHOPS Dunne off his feet! Even McIntyre is feeling that one. Gunther drags Dunne up, and CHOPS him right back down! But Gunther holds onto the wrist and he brings Dunne up again. Gunther CHOPS Dunne inside-out! Gunther still holds the wrist and he gives toying kicks to Dunne while taunting Sheamus. Gunther ripcords, but Dunne uses that for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Gunther CHOPS Dunne down, into a BOSTON CRAB! Dunne endures, Sheamus and Ridge coach Dunne, and Dunne fights, only for Gunther to shift to an STF!
Dunne still endures, even as Gunther bends him back. Dunne pries free, wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Gunther pulls hair, then CHOPS Dunne down! Gunther drags Dunne back up but Dunne ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Gunther wobbles, blocks the third enziguri and deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Dunne goes to a corner, Gunther hauls him up onto the top rope to CHOP! Gunther climbs up and he STANDS on Dunne! Dunne endures and the ref counts, Gunther lets off and Dunne tumbles to the floor! Sheamus checks on Dunne, Gunther stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Gunther taunts Sheamus, but Dunne catches his Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans fire up as Dunne bends the fingers, and SNAPS them!! Gunther staggers away, Dunne runs in to fire forearms! GAMANGIRI! Gunther staggers, Dunne goes up and fans chant for the “BRUISERWEIGHT! BRUISERWEIGHT!” as Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the arm! Dunne waistlocks, but Gunther switches and puts on a SLEEPER! Dunne drops down, but powers up and he pries at the hold! Gunther holds on tight, Dunne reaches for ropes, and fans rally up, ROPEBREAK!
Gunther SLAPS the arms down, GERMAN SUPLEXEs, but Dunne lands on his feet! BUZZSAW! Gunther bails out and McIntyre smirks. Dunne goes to the apron but Gunther avoids the moonsault! Gunther CHOPS Dunne, and Dunne tumbles onto the desk! Gunther turns around to see Sheamus and McIntyre, but Dunne runs in! Gunther sends him into McIntyre! Gunther BOOTS Dunne into the ring! But Dunne STOMPS the hands and BUZZSAWS Gunther! Fans fire up, but McIntyre is on the apron! Sheamus drags McIntyre down! GLASGOW KISS from McIntyre! Ridge goes after McIntyre but McIntyre POSTS him!
Sheamus KNEES McIntyre down! Dunne runs in at Gunther, into a LARIAT!! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops for the LAST SYMPHONY!! Cover, Gunther wins!!
Winner: Gunther, by pinfall
Der Ring General used his enemies against each other, but The Fella stands back up. They both look at the WrestleMania sign, but Sheamus gets out of the way! CLAYMORE hits Gunther!! Fans fire up as Sheamus and McIntyre stare down now, will either of these men come away the NEW Intercontinental Champion in Hollywood? Or will Gunther use them against each other then like he did tonight?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage.
Montez Ford says that Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat is bound to be a banger. But he says there’s one thing bigger than that. Angelo Dawkins asks what, and Ford says THEIR tag team showcase. Alpha Academy, Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman & Ricochet, but wait. What do they have in common? Ford motions to the top of the head. Oh, right. They’re “smooth operators~.” But then Braun & Ricochet walk in. Real funny, guys. Y’all got jokes, huh? They got a problem with bald men? They don’t have a lot of room to talk, Dawkins is thinning up top. Whoa, fam, c’mon. Just jokes! Just playing. Well no one’s laughing.
Dawkins is just saying, Braun & Ricochet aren’t much of a tag team. Oh, well, we’ll see who’s playing when Ricochet & Braun show up and the other three teams fool around and find out. They want ALL that smoke. Well, okay, okay. Everyone is fired up for WrestleMania, but who wins the tag team showcase at the Showcase of the Immortals?
It’s the SmackDown return of the Kevin Owens Show!
And as such, Kevin Owens himself is headed to the ring. His guest will be Sami Zayn, but what will the Prizefighter and Great Liberator have to say about their coming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match? We’ll see, after the break.
SmackDown returns one more time and Kevin has his set and his mic. He thanks the ring announcer for the introduction, and then welcomes us back to the KO Show. Now please welcome his guest, tag team partner, friend and brother, the one and only Sami Zayn! Sami makes his entrance and the fans fire up again. Sami gets a mic and Kevin says, “Yeah, so I did it right? The way you wanted. It worked out?” Sami asks what Kevin means. Well, he brought Sami out with the big introduction like he wanted. It was good, right? Sami says he didn’t want a big introduction, this is Kevin’s show, and Sami’s the guest.
Yeah, but earlier, Kevin suggested they come out as co-hosts but Sami said they should make separate entrances so the fans can hear both of their songs and cheer for both of them. Which really means Sami wanted his own pop. Sami says he did not, but Kevin says it’s fine, the fans love him! Kevin gets it. Fans do cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin sits, Sami asks if they need to spill more backstage secrets, or can they just get to business? Yeah, of course. Sami says more than anyone, he’s been going non-stop about taking down Roman, the Usos, the Bloodline. And even Sami has lost sight of the fact that, does Kevin realize what they’re on the verge of doing?
“After all these years, from where we started, from nothing, staring together in Montreal all those years ago, we are on the verge of winning the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships! We are on the verge of doing that together, at WrestleMania! And not just any WrestleMania. This year, I don’t know what it is, but WrestleMania feels different this year.” Kevin says that’s right. And it isn’t lost on him. He knows what they can accomplish. But Sami is right, WrestleMania does feel different this year. Which is why Kevin brought Sami out here. Kevin has something for Sami.
Now, remember a few months ago, after Roman gave Sami that Honorary Uce shirt, that Kevin said Sami needed a new one. Kevin has one, it’s a KO-Mania Goes Hollywood shirt. That’s great! Well yes, but this is the back of it. Kevin does KO-Mania every year. But this year is different. This year isn’t about KO-Mania. “This year, there is only one person who took WWE by storm, who caught fire like no one else. There’s only one person that people can look at and say, ‘That guy has been the MVP of the WWE for the last 12 months,’ and that person is you,” Sami. Fans chant “MVP! MVP!” and Sami is rather touched.
Kevin says this year, it isn’t KO-Mania. It’s about the other side of the shirt. Kevin hands it over, Sami turns it around, and he sees… WrestleZAYNIA!! Sami’s all fired up now! Kevin shows that he’s been wearing one the whole time! Sami loves it! He throws off his shirt to put on the new shirt! Sami wants a hug but Kevin says no, one hug a year. Aw what the heck? THEY HUG! But then THE USOS attack!! They blindside KO & Sami from the crowd side, and then Jimmy rains down fists on Kevin while Jey rains down fists on Sami! Fans boo while the Usos clear the ring of the chairs. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS for Kevin!
Jey drags Sami up, whips him to ropes, and the Usos hit ONE AND DONE!! The fans boo more but Kevin gets up with a steel chair! The Usos run for it, telling KO & Sami that they’re going down! Kevin beats an armchair with the steel chair, but Sami tells the Usos that they’re not getting away with this one. Will Jimmy & Jey ruin the first ever WrestleZaynia? Or will KO & Sami be the ones to finally stop the ones?
A great episode for SmackDown here, especially with the story developments. For one, great closing moment we just saw with a great KO Show. I love that we got a positive swerve where Kevin gave Sami a shirt that had a WrestleZaynia logo on it. But I should’ve figured the Bloodline would do something, and the Usos technically stand tall here. That math would suggest the Usos are losing at WrestleMania, and we finally get so much in that moment, from vindication for Sami to the WWE Grand Slam for Kevin. We also got a really good match out of Cody VS Ludwig that Cody of course wins, and a really good promo segment right after for Cody and Heyman. The Bloodline is definitely desperate to hold onto everything, but that could be what brings them down.
Fairly big news with Theory VS Cena opening WrestleMania Night One. I’ve said before that it just feels like Theory is gonna win, since Cena doesn’t need the US title, and isn’t gonna be sticking around long enough to do anything with the US title. So if Theory wins the first match of the weekend, I could see him boasting, bragging and partying the entire weekend until he is just insufferable and annoys someone into challenging him for that title on the Raw After Mania. And then a pretty good promo from Charlotte, and I did like her calling out the “WHAT” chants here. Stone Cold Steve Austin is timeless, but lemming fans throwing out “WHAT” just to throw out ‘WHAT” are what? Stupid, that’s what. A) Show respect and pay attention. B) Come up with something of your own.
Really good match from Rey VS Knight, but of course Dom distracts to cost Rey. But biggest of all from that segment, the moment fans have wanted for the last few weeks now: REY DECKS DOM! And now we’ll get Rey VS Dom, and Dom sold all the emotion after that perfectly. He was upset, but there was also the fear and realization that comes with seeing something he thought would never happen actually happening. His dad is gonna whoop him, because Dom will only have Priest by his side while Finn prepares for Edge and Rhea prepares for Charlotte. And Legado can make a heroic move by countering Priest so that Rey VS Dom has a fair finish.
Good promo from Profits, Braun & Ricochet to put some tension between those teams going into the men’s Fatal 4. Good tag match qualifier for the women’s Fatal 4, and it was good weaving of stories that Shotzi & Natty win. Shayna & Ronda get that “first round bye” right into the match, but it does work because all four Faces want payback on them. It might not even matter who the fourth team is (though I’m sure it’ll be a team from Raw), Ronda & Shayna are probably gonna tear into them all to win and essentially be #1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
And there was just so much great stuff in the Intercontinental Championship contract signing. Sheamus brought back the same stuff he said when he and McIntyre had their 1v1 feud last year but that makes sense, it is how people can be when they argue with friends and family. I feel like McIntyre was tempted to Steiner Math because this is a Triple Threat, and he knows he can beat Sheamus. Gunther was also great, and I love that “Butch” Dunne went right after Gunther over their NXT UK past. Gunther VS Dunne was great stuff to have just for the hell of it, but of course there was the usual misunderstanding shenanigans that helped Gunther win.
If Gunther somehow retains at Mania, can we have HHH get Trent Seven back in WWE so we can have British Strong Style VS Imperium for the Summer? There were fans in Vegas who remembered Dunne for being Dunne and not for being a sidekick, and all fans deserve to see that Dunne alongside Tyler Bate and Trent Seven.
My Score: 8.8/10
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