SmackDown’s Road to WrestleMania has a huge return!
After some time away, the Architect and Savior of SmackDown returns to Friday nights! What will Seth Rollins have planned for “the greater good” going forward?
- Elimination Chamber Qualifier Tag: Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Sami Zayn & King Corbin; Zayn & Corbin win and qualify for the WWE Universal Championship Elimination Chamber match.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Big E wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- Bayley VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott; Bayley wins.
- The Street Profits VS Chad Gable & Otis; The Street Profits win.
- Elimination Chamber Qualifier Tag: Cesaro & Daniel Bryan VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro & Bryan win and qualify for the WWE Universal Championship Elimination Chamber match.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table leads the way as he, his Special Counsel and his cousin walk down the ramp. Roman, just like everyone, is waiting on the Rated R Superstar’s decision for a WrestleMania main event challenge. But waiting in the ring is Adam Pearce, with a very formal looking folder. Roman now leads the way up the steel steps and into the ring. Pearce has a mic, and while fans boo and give thumbs down on their ThunderDome screens, Heyman fetches a mic for Roman. Roman speaks first, “What you standing back there for? Don’t be scared. Hurry up! I don’t wait on you, you wait on me.” Get this through your head, Pearce: You don’t do anything around here. You don’t call the shots. Pearce is here to wait on Roman, the sun of the WWE Universe. Pearce is here because of Roman. Roman doesn’t wait on Pearce or on Edge.
And speaking of Edge, Roman saw him last week, in this ring. “He don’t want it. He got nervous.” Edge is scared. And why? Because Edge knows what Roman will do to him. Roman will beat Edge so bad, he’ll be on a legends contract. Edge will just be an ambassador for the WWE! Roman says Edge waiting on Elimination Chamber is just a play, a game plan so that someone will take the title off Roman. That ain’t happening. Roman isn’t dropping the title until he wants to, he will have the title as long as he wants it.
Now to why Pearce is here. Pearce is here to talk Elimination Chamber. Pearce says Heyman wanted him to come up with something and insisted on doing it this way. The contract says Roman will defend his title inside the Elimination Chamber, just like Drew McIntyre will defend his. Roman grins and lets Heyman handle this one. Heyman tells “Mr. Pearce” that as Special Counsel to the Reigns-ing, Defending, Undisputed and Uncontroverted Universal Champion, he and Pearce have an agreement to look the contract in regards to the Elimination Chamber PPV and the Chamber match for the title.
Heyman explains Roman’s overall agreement with the WWE stipulates that he will appear on “certain mega events, including the Elimination Chamber,” and of course that means it is built around the Universal Championship. But that doesn’t mean it has to see Roman defend the title inside the Chamber, just that he has to defend the title at Elimination Chamber. Put whoever you want in the match, live out some fantasies, and whomever is the last person left after the brutality, that man will get the opportunity of a lifetime, because the winner will receive a Universal Championship opportunity on the spot against Roman.
Heyman can tell Pearce isn’t happy with Heyman’s alternative, but here’s the thing. “The hell you gonna do about it?” Is Pearce going to fire Roman before WrestleMania? How did Mania do last year without him? It was the lowest attended WrestleMania EVER! Well, there are circumstances Heyman is ignoring but… Heyman asks Pearce if they’re going to do the same dance as last year. Pearce’s opinion isn’t relevant, only Roman’s is! So just look to the cameras and tell the fans that Elimination Chamber will have a Chamber match full of amazing SmackDown superstars, and they will immediately face Roman! “You’re welcome, kid.”
Pearce says he has some work to do. There will be qualifying matches tonight, but while we’re all here, Pearce already has two names worthy of that opportunity without qualifying. Heyman asks if he means Bianca Belair. Pearce asks if Heyman ever shuts up. But Roman knows these two men. One took Roman to the limit in the past, and that is JEY USO. And after what happened at the Royal Rumble, the other man who doesn’t need to qualify is… KEVIN OWENS! Roman is not happy and he storms up to Pearce. “You don’t understand, do you?” Roman doesn’t care about Jey or KO, he cares about Pearce right now. Roman gets right up in Pearce’s face and has him cornered.
Heyman has Roman calm down, they still have things on their terms. Heyman says Roman calls the shots, but they can’t tip their hand. Roman spares Pearce for now, but will Pearce have to tread lightly with the other four choices for the Chamber?
Sonya Deville finds Adam Pearce backstage.
That was incredible how he stood up to Roman! Pearce has dealt with consequences before but they only have tonight to figure out participants. Sonya is already on it. This might be outside the box, but while the Chamber is every man for themselves, what about a tag team match to determine things? Sami Zayn & Baron Corbin VS Rey & Dominik Mysterio, both men on winning team is in. Pearce likes that idea, and Sonya says it’s already in motion. Thank goodness for that! And that very match, is NEXT!
Elimination Chamber Qualifier Tag: Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Sami Zayn & King Corbin!
Father and son take on a common enemy, and also the obnoxious “Great Liberator,” all for a chance at gold! Will the King and Prince of Lucha Libre enter a very dangerous situation after getting through this one? Or will Sami finally stop shouting conspiracy with help from the Wolf King?
“It wouldn’t be Friday Night if WWE wasn’t trying to stick it to Sami Zayn somehow!” Sami says WWE is still helping Big E steal the Intercontinental Championship, and now he must earn his way into the Chamber! Against Rey and Dom, and with someone he usually doesn’t team with. But Sami and Corbin are united in their goal of wanting the Universal Championship. But luckily Sami has his film crew watching the ref like a hawk so no one “accidentally” hands the Mysterios this win. They’re the poster boys for the Latin American market! The WWE may want that but they aren’t getting it! Sami and Corbin are going to the PPV! But then Dom DECKS Sami and Rey fires off on Corbin!
The bell rings, Rey rams into Corbin but Corbin knees back. Corbin scoops but Rey slips out to dropkick Corbin to ropes! Rey dials it up, but Sami trips him up! Sami talks trash, Dom DIVES on Sami but also wrecks into the table! Corbin drags Rey up, but Rey fights the bomb to RANA Corbin out of the ring! The Mysterios regroup in the ring and SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Corbin bends Rey back against a knee while also grinding him down in a chinbar half nelson. Rey endures, fights up and fights free, but Corbin knees low and hard! Corbin choke grips, but Rey uses the lift to RANA Corbin into the buckles! Sami tags in and he goes after Rey, but Rey tags Dom! Dom ROCKS Sami, somersaults and CLOBBERS him! Dom whips, Sami reverses but Dom ducks and wheelbarrows to throw Sami! Dom runs corner to corner to elbow him in the corner! Dom whips, Sami reverses but Dom boots back from a corner. Dom goes up, walks the ropes and hits a TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Sami goes to a corner, Dom is after him with shoulders, then stands up top. Dom rains down rights, Sami puts Dom on the apron but Dom shoulders into Sami. Dom bumps Sami off buckles, slingshots and sentons! Dom sees Corbin and DECKS him! Dom gives Corbin a slingshot senton, too! Rey coaches Dom but Sami rolls Dom up, TWO! BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Dom survives and Sami is furious! Rey coaches Dom more and he rises, but Sami is on him first. Sami whips, Dom reverses and reels Sami in, for a straitjacket swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Corbin breaks it! Corbin DECKS Rey, too, then drags Dom up. Corbin reels Dom in but no End of Days! Rey SEATED SENTONS!
Rey puts Corbin on ropes, Rey and Dom dial it up for DOUBLE 619!! Sami is in a corner, Dom runs in but gets an EXPLODER into buckles! Sami runs corner to corner, to hit a HELLUVA KICK! Cover, Sami and Corbin win!
Winners: Sami Zayn & King Corbin, by pinfall (advance to the Elimination Chamber match)
It wasn’t a conspiracy, it was a victory for “The Champion of the People” and the King of the Ring! Will one of these two men make it an even bigger win at the PPV?
Sonya and Pearce like what they see.
That first match was a good one, but now the SmackDown Tag Team Champions come in. Obviously Pearce and Sonya are both very busy with the Elimination Chamber match, but… What’s their third wish? Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode want the officials to imagine the overwhelming global response to the tag team champions being in that match! Two true pro Dirty Dawgs! There would be parades in their honor from Tampa to Thunder Bay! Sonya says they want to be in that match together? Two in one pod? No, no, no. Two Dirty Dawgs, two champions, two pods! Oh okay.
Well, Sonya and Pearce were thinking of something like this. They can earn spots in the Chamber match, but against… Cesaro and Daniel Bryan. Whoa, seriously? Well, pfft, the Dirty Dawgs are tag champs, they’re going to win this. Are they? Or will these Glorious Show-Offs be shown up by the Swiss Cyborg and the GOAT?
Reginald the sommelier has a drink.
He finds Sasha Banks talking with Kalisto, and interrupts. Sasha doesn’t want to hear it. Whatever Carmella lets him do is her problem. Sasha is The Boss, so he will show her some respect. She’s right, and Reggie is very sorry for what he did. He was out of line. But he will not do it again. So he meant what he said when he said she could beat Bianca? Of course! Well, just send Mella her regards. Reggie still serves her the drink and takes his leave. Is Reggie looking for a change of employer?
Big E VS ???
The WWE Intercontinental Champion has said he wants to be a fighting champion, emphasis on fighting! Who will the Powerhouse of Positivity be taking on? We’ll see after the break!
SmackDown returns and Big E has a mic to say, “Last week, I defended my Intercontinental Championship, and the odds were against me as I stood in the ring with Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews.” But much like Tom Brady on a celebratory float, Big E is still standing! When Big E won this title, he made a vow to be a fighting champion! A vow much like the bond between hair and Gorilla Glue, it is STRONG! And as Big E puts Sami and Apollo behind him- Apollo heads out! It seems there is no getting past this. Apollo says he can read Big E. Big E is going to issue an open challenge for the title, and as Apollo took Big E to the limit time and time again, who better to accept?
Big E says Apollo was close. Big E was going to offer an open challenge, but to anyone on SmackDown or even in Tropicana Field from Michael Cole to the cameraman, just not Apollo or Sami. Apollo says Big E is a locker room leader, a man everyone looks up to. Be a fighting champion! Big E says Apollo has had his chances, and now he’s whining to get another chance? Go back to catering, take the paycheck- Apollo and Big E argue about the hard work that went into this, and Apollo says Big E would do the same if the tables were turned. Big E says they’re done, go to the back. Bring out a new challenger!
And that new challenger is… SHINSUKE NAKAMURA! Will the King of Strong Style take that title back from a distracted Big E?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
SmackDown returns and the match is already going! Nakamura KICKS Big E, then hits a running KICK! Cover, ONE!! Apollo is still ringside to either cheer Nakamura on or get in Big E’s head. Nakamura has Big E in the corner, stomps away, then gives him Bad Vibrations! Nakamura lets off as the ref counts, goes corner to corner and runs back in, but Big E CLOBBERS Nakamura with an elbow! Big E puts Nakamura on the apron, clubs away on his chest, then goes back up to aim. Big E hits an APRON SPLASH! Big E puts Nakamura in and covers, TWO!
Apollo is on the apron, Big E tells him to go away, and the ref reprimands Apollo. Apollo hops down, Big E turns around and blocks Nakamura’s kick, but gets the enziguri! Nakamura drags Big E up but Big E is too much for an exploder! Big E elbows Nakamura away but Nakamura knees low! Nakamura puts Big E on the top rope, for the TOP SHELF KNEE! Nakamura pushes Big E down and takes aim as he goes up top. Big E stands, Nakamura leaps for a FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Big E lives and Nakamura is furious! Nakamura rams knees into Big E from both sides, then powers up again! “YAO~!” But Big E scoops! Nakamura slips out, Big E ducks one kick but not the other!
Nakamura aims again, Big E stands, and catches Nakamura for the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO!! Big E claps it up, Nakamura slowly rises, and Big E scoops, but Apollo dropkicks in!!
Winner: Big E, by disqualification (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Apollo grins as he gets the better of the champion, but not the title match like he wanted. Will Apollo keep getting in Big E’s business until he gets what he wants?
The SmackDown roster heads to the ring.
It seems for the return of the Savior of SmackDown, every single superstar is supposed to be in attendance. Will they have something to say about Seth Rollins’ major return after the break?
WWE celebrates Black History Month.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Be the light and the love, and keep the dream alive.
Seth Rollins returns!
And surprisingly, he’s back to #BurnItDown! At least, as far as his theme song goes. But if you look at the titantron, he wants SmackDown to #EmbraceTheVision. Rollins goes to the ring in his leather suit jacket, leather pants, leather shirt and leather tie…? And he gets a mic. “Man, it feels good to be back!” Back in the ThunderDome, back in the ring, and just right to be where he belongs! “Now, a lot has changed since I sacrificed myself at Survivor Series. I knew it would. But in my absence, the thing that has changed the most has actually been a surprise.” That one thing has been himself.
As pretty much everyone knows, he is a parent for the very first time. Yes, he is the proud father of “a beautiful, perfect baby girl,” and she has changed Rollins in ways he never could have dreamed. That change has given Rollins a new perception, and that perception gave him a new vision. Looking around the ring, he sees some of the most talented performers in the history of the industry! Rollins sees SmackDown and how amazing it is and wonders, “Where do I fit in?” After self-reflection, the answer is very clear: “I am the great leader that SmackDown needs to push it into the future and make it greater than it already is!”
Success and leadership are not about what they can do for him, but what he can do for them! And the roster is fading away already. Rollins wants to be their leader, their teacher, their father figure and mentor! All they have to do for that better tomorrow, that better SmackDown, is #EmbraceTheVision. But then Rollins sees that no one is around. Cesaro stayed but maybe more out of pity than respect. Rollins says that is his guy! He knew Cesaro would get it! Of all the people! Cesaro sighs and shakes his head. Cesaro finally leaves, and now Rollins is truly alone. So he goes after Cesaro! CHOP BLOCK to the leg! And then hammering fists at the ramp!!
Rollins shouts at Cesaro that he will NEVER live up to his potential without Rollins! Referees rush over to stop Rollins and he backs off, only to jump on Cesaro again! Daniel Bryan hits Rollins and sends him scrambling away! Bryan and Cesaro are supposed to team up against the Dirty Dawgs for the last two spots in the Chamber! But will Rollins’ attack change that? Is Rollins’ return already impacting SmackDown for the worst, not the better?
Bayley VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott!
“DING DONG, HELLO~! SmackDown is MY show!” At least, that’s what the Role Model says. Will she prove it when she gets a sweep on the Squad?
SmackDown returns as the Squad makes their entrance. The bell rings and Liv shotgun dropkicks Bayley right down! Liv fires off but Bayley puts her in a corner for stomps and haymakers! Bayley whips Liv out then in, but Liv goes up and over. Bayley elbows Liv away but Liv goes Matrix to dodge! Liv drop toeholds Bayley into buckles, then hits a shotgun dropkick into her back! Liv hops up, leaps and missile dropkicks Bayley down! Cover, TWO! Liv chases Bayley but she gets out of the ring. Bayley sneers and paces around while Natalya and Tamina watch backstage. Bayley goes up onto the apron but Liv knocks her back down!
Liv goes out, and LEAPS, but into barriers as Bayley moves! Bayley laughs at Liv and then taunts Ruby. Bayley drags Liv up, puts her in the ring, covers, TWO! Bayley stomps Liv in frustration, drags her onto ropes and wraps the arm! The ref counts, Bayley lets off, and Liv hits Bayley with the good arm! Bayley CLUBS Liv down, Liv keeps hitting back from below. Liv goes to a corner, Bayley runs in but misses! LIv runs up to springboard FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Bayley is still in this but Liv shakes out the bad arm. Liv drags Bayley up, whips her to a corner but Bayley reverses. Liv goes up but Bayley knocks her down!
Bayley drags Liv up to a dragon sleeper, BACKBREAKER, but focused on the arm! Cover, TWO!! Liv still lives but she’s writhing in pain. Bayley taunts Ruby, whips but Liv blocks and enziguris back! Bayley staggers, Liv gets up, LIV BREAKER! Cover, TWO!?! Bayley survives and Ruby is shocked! Billie shows up and wants to apologize to Ruby but Ruby says she doesn’t have time for this. Billie says she has presents, but Ruby throws those away. The ref has to clean up after them, Liv turns around into Bayley’s eye rake! Bayley hits a ROSE PLANT!! Cover, Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall
Billie screws the Squad up again! Ruby checks on Liv, and Bayley taunts Billie with, “I don’t think they like you very much.” Bayley is laughing now, but will the Squad find a way to have the last laugh?
Backstage interview with Cesaro and Daniel Bryan.
We all saw the attack from Rollins, is Cesaro going to be able to compete tonight? Yes, he is. After Rollins wasted all of our time about his non-existent change, Cesaro and Bryan are going to make the best of their time and qualify. Bryan has Cesaro’s back, and says Cesaro is super tough. Will they prove they’re tougher than the Dirty Dawgs and take those final two spots in the Elimination Chamber match?
SmackDown shares The Street Profits’ visit to Daytona Speedway!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford were excited to be on Team Napa, and to give a special WWE Championship belt to “the man that rocks number 9,” Chase Elliot! One of the fastest up-and-coming racers of all time! A number 9 side plate, and Chase gives them gifts back! Steel Solo cups and some racer helmets! The Profits are all revved up and ready to go!
The Street Profits VS Chad Gable & Otis!
The cups are raining down, Ford & Dawkins are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke! They’re ready~, ready~, but while they can’t expect an immediate chance at those SmackDown Tag Team Championships, can they prove they’re always entertaining?
SmackDown returns and the Alpha Academy makes their entrance. The teams sort out and Dawkins starts with Gable. They circle, Gable gets around but Dawkins switches. Gable rolls to drop toehold and then waistlocks again. Dawkins switches, Gable switches back, but Dawkins does it again. Gable gets free but Dawkins CLOBBERS him right down to a cover! TWO, and Gable has the waistlock then facelock. Gable holds tight as Dawkins rolls, and they stand up. Gable gets a waistlock, he rolls Dawkins but Dawkins gets up to run the ropes. Dawkins hurdles, but he runs into an arm-drag! He gives one back but so does Gable! Dawkins arm-drags again and the two stand off!
Dawkins and Gable circle, Ford and Otis are fired up, and Dawkins tags Ford in. Ford shows off by slingshot’ing in, and then he circles with Gable. Ford wrenches an arm, Gable wrenches back and drags Ford down. Gable whips, Ford goes up and over and handsprings around to show off again. “I’m back~!” Things speed up, Ford hurdles and hurdles, but into a throw! Gable body scissors to clutch, TWO! Gable arm-drags Ford down to an armlock! Gable grinds Ford down but Ford endures. Gable steps over to wrench the arm into another armlock! Fans clap on the ThunderDome screens and Ford fights up to arm-drag, but Gable arm-drags back!
Ford gets up, tags Dawkins, powers out and Dawkins runs Gable over! Profits combine for the back suplex splash! Cover, TWO! Otis tells Gable to dig deep, Gable fights up and he arm-drags free! Gable manages to belly2belly Dawkins away, then tags in Otis! Otis rolls and then runs Dawkins over! Otis is rallying and Ford runs in, into a FLAPJACK! Otis whips Ford way out, then sees Dawkins coming! EXPLODER! Dawkins goes to a corner, Otis runs in to splash! Dawkins is down, Otis fires up and Caterpillars over for the “SHAKA LOO!” Elbow! Gable tags in, they’re going to use the new move they’ve practiced!
Otis runs, Gable waistlocks, but Ford dumps Otis out! Dawkins gets free, runs to sunset flip but Gable sits on it! TWO, and Dawkins gets up, but misses the cyclone! Ford tags in and Dawkins fights off Chaos Theory, THE ANOINTMENT! Ford FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall
That was entertaining and impressive! The Profits are back up, but will they be back after those tag titles?
As the Profits take their leave, Sasha Banks makes her entrance! The Profits are feeling the beat and cheer The Boss on, but will she be calling out the EST? We find out after the break!
SmackDown returns with Sasha Banks in the ring.
The pyro goes off for the SmackDown Women’s Champion and she has a big smile on her face. “Everybody is talking about Bianca Belair and her decision, because we are on the Road to WrestleMania!” Now, Bianca, Sasha likes you. Bianca is like a big strong little sister. Bianca knows there is only choice for The EST to make here! And that is M E, Sasha! But wait, here she comes! The Women’s Royal Rumble winner struts her stuff and has her own mic as she joins Sasha. “Sasha, gurl, I see you.” The title and all her accomplishments, of course Bianca sees her. And Bianca is hearing what Sasha is saying, and she likes Sasha, too.
But girl, uh-uh. Sasha ain’t the Boss of Bianca. This is Bianca’s time and she’s enjoying ever second! And everyone IS thinking about Bianca’s decision. Wait, why are the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, here? Yes, the tag titles allow them to go to any part of the WWE, but why now? Nia says these two are insufferable. How do they fit in that ring with both their egos? And why is everyone talking about who Bianca is going to choose? Who cares? They don’t!
Shayna says on the same night that Bianca won the Rumble, Nia and Shayna beat Charlotte Flair and Asuka to become two-time tag team champions! Why is that being ignored? They’re the most dominant force in the Women’s Division! They are on a roll! Sasha says is that what that is? There were rumors these two would show so Sasha came prepared. Footage plays of Monday, where Shayna was after Naomi but then went after Lana! Shayna did take Lana down but Naomi got her in return and won the match! Wait, that wasn’t even what Sasha wanted to share! NO! Don’t even! Oh yes, even!
It was the match before, where Nia and Lana were in a Tables Match! Lana was on the apron, Nia went to drop a leg, but Lana moved! Nia hurt herself so bad she shouted, “MY HOLE!” and then got shoved into a table!! Nia gets mad and hits Bianca! Shayna goes after Sasha but Sasha KNEES her first! Bianca dumps Nia out and then Sasha trips Nia up! Oh no, not her hole! Nia contains her pain, but Bianca gets Shayna in chicken wings! Sasha helps out, GlamEST knee! The Boss and the EST just turned things around on the bullies, but what about Bianca’s title decision?
Elimination Chamber Qualifier Tag: Cesaro & Daniel Bryan VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler!
The Swiss Cyborg may be sore from what Seth Rollins did to him, but he isn’t going to use that as an excuse! Will he and Bryan say “YES! YES! YES!” to getting in on the Universal Championship Chamber match? Or will the Dirty Dawgs do them both dirty and take that opportunity for themselves?
SmackDown returns as Cesaro makes his entrance, followed by Daniel Bryan’s. The teams sort out, Bryan and Ziggler start and tie right up. Ziggler headlocks, grinds him down, but Bryan powers out. Ziggler runs Bryan over, covers, ONE! Ziggler is back to the headlock, but Bryan powers out again. Things speed up as Bryan drops then hurdles, and KICKS Ziggler down! Bryan drags Ziggler over, tags in Cesaro, and they work together to double scoop slam! Cover, TWO! Cesaro stays on Ziggler but he kicks the bad leg and dropkicks Cesaro down! Cover, ONE! Ziggler keeps on Cesaro with a headlock then tags Roode.
The Dirty Dawgs mug Cesaro, Roode whips but Cesaro EuroUppers! Tag to Bryan, Bryan KICKS Roode down, then kicks him from all sides! Bryan aims, Roode ducks the buzzsaw, Roode rolls Bryan up! ONE, and Bryan has the omoplata! Bryan wants the rest but Roode gets the ropebreak before the Yes Lock locks on. Bryan lets go, Roode knees Bryan then DECKS Cesaro! Roode throws hands on Bryan, whips him, but Bryan holds ropes. Bryan dumps Roode out, Bryan builds speed, but Roode dodges and Bryan DIVES into Cesaro! Roode RAMS Bryan into steps, Ziggler RAMS Cesaro into the other steps! The Dirty Dawgs have the advantage, and Sami and Corbin start walking to ringside as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Ziggler is a sleeper hold backpack on Bryan! Bryan reaches but he fades, but then gets a second wind! Bryan heads over, Roode distracts the ref and Cesaro, and Ziggler gets Bryan away to the Dirty Dawg corner! Roode tags in, he stomps away on Bryan, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Ziggler gets a cheap shot in! Corbin and Sami applaud that as Roode drags Bryan up for a suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Roman is also watching from his VIP room as Roode slams Bryan and tags in Ziggler. Ziggler drops an elbow, covers, TWO! Ziggler keeps his focus and he drags Bryan back up.
Ziggler puts Bryan in a corner, throws forearms, then hoists Bryan up top. Ziggler climbs up, brings Bryan up, but Bryan throws body shots! Bryan headbutts Ziggler off the top, then adjusts. Ziggler stands, Bryan hits a missile dropkick! Both men are down, Roode and Cesaro fire up! Ziggler and Bryan crawl as fans give Yes Fingers on the ThunderDome screens. Hot tag to Roode and he DECKS Cesaro! But Bryan rolls Roode up! TWO, and Bryan throws EuroUppers! Bryan runs but into the GLORIOUS SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode scowls but tags in Ziggler. They want to finish this, and they double whip Bryan to double hip toss, for the NECKBREAKER BOMB COMBO! Cover, TWO!!
Ziggler is furious as Bryan survives, and Bryan gets away to a corner. Bryan stands up, dodges Ziggler’s A-List Lariat and Ziggler hits only buckles! Hot tag to Cesaro! Cesaro rallies, clobbers Ziggler with EuroUppers and fires off in the corner! Cesaro whips Ziggler corner to corner to run and hit him again! Whip and EuroUpper, repeat! Roode is up, Cesaro DECKS him! Ziggler runs, into a POP-UP UPPER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler survives, Sami and Corbin are impressed, but Cesaro gets the legs! Roode gets in and CHOP BLOCKS the leg! The same leg Rollins hit! Bryan hits Roode with the KNEE PLUS! Ziggler hits Cesaro with a FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!!
Ziggler and Cesaro are down, but they rise. Cesaro blocks the superkick to torture rack, and BACKBREAKER DROP! Then the SWISS SWING! Ziggler goes around 10 times, Cesaro steps through to the SHARPSHOOTER! Ziggler endures but taps, Cesaro and Bryan win!!
Winners: Cesaro & Daniel Bryan, by submission (advance to the Elimination Chamber match)
But just as Cesaro and Bryan start to celebrate, JEY USO CHAIR SHOTS Cesaro from behind! Sami and Corbin mug Bryan! Corbin rams Bryan into the LED apron, Sami goes after Jey! After all, he’s an enemy in the Chamber match, too! But then Sami POSTS Corbin! Bryan gives Sami a KNEE PLUS! Corbin LARIATS Bryan while Cesaro EuroUppers Jey! And here comes Kevin Owens!! The Prizefighter is back, he dodges Corbin to give him a STUNNER! STUNNER for Bryan! STUNNER for Cesaro! Jey kicks, misses, Kevin hits a STUNNER!!
Kevin stares the camera down and Roman is seething. Kevin takes a seat and hopes Roman is watching, because Kevin is still coming for him! “We’re not done! I’m not going away!” But getting after Roman means surviving the Elimination Chamber and then facing him immediately! Can anyone withstand such a stacked deck?
A very good SmackDown to establish more of the Elimination Chamber card. It was good story to “intend” to parallel Raw and the WWE World Championship here, and for Roman to not want that at all. It is actually some evil genius for them to make a double header of sorts, where the Chamber winner will then have to face Roman Reigns that same night, not wait for SmackDown or Fastlane. Jey Uso and Kevin Owens being automatically nominated was a great move for Pearce to stick it to Roman. At this point, Jey will try to be a gatekeeper, going after the others to ensure that at the very least, they are in no condition to take on Roman. Kevin being in and standing tall at the end of tonight could foreshadow that he again gets very close, only to fall short.
I like that for the sake of saving time in story, we got tag team qualifiers. Though, to be fair, that made some results rather obvious. Rey and Dominik were not winning, the Chamber match is a bit much for Dom to take on this soon. I do think they need to start being considered for a tag team championship story, though. If we’re not getting a resolution on the story with Corbin that involves referencing Eddie Guerrero, then at least Dom can lean on his dad as they take on the Dirty Dawgs. Speaking of, Dirty Dawgs VS Cesaro & Bryan was a lot of fun, too, and Cesaro continues to build up.
I like that Cesaro and Bryan are in, it helps to have a balance of Faces and Heels in the Chamber match, and it could work to muddy up certain possibilities, such as Kevin getting to the end. It’d be quite the welcomed twist if Cesaro was given the nod, so that he can get his title shot at Roman. If it’s meant to be an automatic win for Roman, at least Cesaro can look strong by making it through a Chamber match and then still giving Roman a fight. Then, it’s also very clear that Cesaro VS Rollins is the first thing for Rollins now that he’s back. Rollins’ speech faking us out on his Face turn was a bit obvious, but he and Cesaro are going to put on a killer match or two.
Profits VS Otis & Gable was good, and obviously it is to help build the Profits back up, but also perhaps put a little bit back into the dysfunction of the Alpha Academy. Sasha and Bianca being interrupted by the tag champs is more than foreshadowing that they’ll have a tag title shot against Nia and Shayna at, say, Fastlane, it almost gives it away. Though I did laugh at them bringing up “MY HOLE!!” from Raw, but let’s not make this Nia’s thing for the rest of the year. It’s funny now because it’s new, maybe joke about it again on next Monday, and then let that be the last of it. And as for Reggie flirting with Sasha, I’m thinking this is a way into her head ahead of yet another rematch with Carmella, or at least a Mixed Tag since Kalisto seems to be hanging around Sasha, too. Like I said, one way or another, Reggie should be considered for 205 Live because he has some great acrobatic skill.
Of course Billie got involved with Bayley VS Liv this week, this is how the story is going to go. Maybe Billie gets a partner, maybe she has to do a series, who knows, but this is definitely turning into a rematch of months ago. It could even be written as an elaborate plan Billie had to get back at the Squad, though that might be too much for the Billie character to pull of. Big E, Apollo and Nakamura had a good segment tonight, but of course Apollo screws over Nakamura by going after Big E. We might get another Triple Threat, and that is how Apollo wins. Just as Apollo dealt with Sami only for Big E to capitalize, Apollo could do the same to Big E once he’s handled Nakamura or whoever else will be in the match.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/31/23)
NXTag Team Tuesday!
Will tonight be a TEACHABLE MOMENT?
NXT is planning a Fatal 4 Way tag title match for Vengeance Day, and a Triple Threat will decide that fourth team! Who punches a golden ticket to Charlotte, North Carolina?
- The Creed Brothers VS Indus Sher w/ Jinder Mahal; Indus Sher wins.
- Zoey Stark VS Indi Hartwell; Stark wins.
- DIJAK VS Von Wagner w/ Robert Stone; Dijak wins.
- Tyler Bate VS Axiom; Bate wins.
- Stevie Turner VS Dani Palmer; Stevie wins.
- Charlie Dempsey VS Drew Gulak w/ Hank Walker; Gulak wins.
- Triple Threat Tag: The Dyad VS Malik Blade & Edris Enofe VS Chase U; Chase U wins and joins the Vengeance Day NXT Tag Team Championship match.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Creed Brothers VS Indus Sher w/ Jinder Mahal!
Julius & Brutus were denied a New Year’s Evil showdown with Sanga & Veer, but they get their moment just days before Vengeance Day! Will the Diamond Mine finally shine? Or will they be slain by the tigers hunting them down?
The teams sort out, Julius starts against Veer and they tie up. They go around as fans chant for the Creeds, and the two break. They go again, Julius waistlocks then shoves Veer. Veer nods, eggs Julius on, but then avoids Julius’ takedown. Julius waistlocks, Veer elbows free then runs, but Julius drops and Veer rolls. They keep moving, Julius ducks then jumps but Veer blocks the hip toss! Julius blocks a hip toss, and the hand start flying! Veer knees low, TOSSES Julius to the corner, then storms up. Julius slips away but gets clipped. Tag to Sanga, and tag to Brutus. Fans rally up as Brutus and Sanga circle.
The two tie up, Brutus waistlocks but Sanga THROWS him away! Sanga and Brutus go again, and Brutus tries to lift Sanga! Sanga CLUBS Brutus, whips him to a corner, then runs in. Brutus dodges, fires hands from all sides but Sanga shoves back. Brutus blocks a boot! Brutus has a leg but Veer tags in! Veer ROCKS Brutus, Sanga whips Brutus, and Sanga runs Brutus over! Veer drops a BIG elbow! Jinder applauds while fans are torn. Veer stalks Brutus, stomps him down, then stomps him again. Brutus gets up to RAM Veer into the corner! Tag to Julius, the Creeds mug Veer, and then Julius runs to forearm smash!
The Creeds DOUBLE HIP TOSS Veer! Fans fire up as Julius KNEES Veer in the side! Brutus KNEES Veer, then Julius gut wrench SLAMS Brutus on Veer! Cover, TWO! Jinder talks trash, Julius swipes at him, then goes back for Veer. Veer elbows Julius away, tags in Sanga, and they FLAPJACK HOTSHOT Julius down! Sanga throws knees, puts Julius in the ropes and bends him back! The ref counts, Sanga lets off, but Jinder hits a cheap shot! Ivy Nile protests but Sanga stands on Julius’ chest! Tag to Veer, Sanga has the legs and drapes Julius out, for Veer to LEAP FROG ATTACK! Fans are torn while Indus Sher stands over Julius.
Veer throws body shots on Julius at the ropes, then he reaches out for Sanga. Julius throws hands but Veer ROCKS and CLUBS Julius! Tag to Sanga but Julius tackles Veer! Sanga BOOTS Julius for that, then scoops him. Sanga gives Julius SNAKE EYES, and then waits on Julius before he stomps him back down! Tag to Veer, Sanga throws knees, CLUBS Julius down, but Julius TACKLES Sanga! Veer stomps Julius, stomps him more, and then has him at the ropes. Tag back to Sanga, Indus Sher mugs Julius, then double whip. They run Julius over with double shoulders! Sanga stalks Julius, and clamps on a SLEEPER!
Fans rally for Julius as he fights up. Julius stands but Sanga wrangles him back down! Julius fights up, but Sanga knees him in the back! Sanga puts Julius against ropes, kicks him and whips him to a corner. Sanga runs in to SPLASH! Sanga reels Julius in, for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO! Julius is hanging tough but Sanga throws off his armbands. Sanga drags Julius up but Julius powers Sanga back. Sanga CLUBS Julius in the corner, throws knees, then drags Julius over. But Julius shoves free! Sanga CLOBBERS Julius and smother shim into the mat! Sanga drags Julius back, tags Veer, and they hand off the leg.
Veer has a lock on the leg but Julius uses his other foot to pry at the hold! Julius hops up and ENZIGURIS! Hot tag to Brutus! Fans fire up as BRUTUS SMASH! And SMASH! And back body block for Sanga! BIG back suplex for Veer! Fans are thunderous as Brutus goes out to SMASH Sanga! Brutus drags Veer up to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Brutus roars, and he hammers away with fists! Sanga returns but Brutus DECKS him! Tag to Julius and Brutus STANDING MOONSAULTS! Julius STANDING SHOOTING STARS! Cover, TWO!! Sanga was almost there but Veer survives on his own. Fans rally, Brutus runs in and TACKLES Sanga out of the ring!
Julius drags Veer up, gut wrenches, and he double clutches to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!?! Veer survives and fans are thunderous again! Jinder panics but he coaches Veer up. Fans rally for “NXT!” as Julius hits the ROLLING SPINEBUSTER! The elbow pad comes off, but Jinder grabs Julius! Ivy storms over and fans rally for her! Veer ROCKS Julius, whips him, but Julius dodges! Only to BLAST Ivy off the apron by accident!! Julius can’t believe what happened, but he turns around into the MILLION DOLLAR LARIAT!! Tag to Sanga, choke grip and CHOKE SLAM! Cover, Indus Sher wins!!
Winner: Indus Sher, by pinfall
Jinder grins as he celebrates with his team, because a win is a win! Will Indus Sher look to take over the NXT Tag Division after Vengeance Day?
Axiom watches NXT UK episodes on Peacock.
Tyler Bate walks over to see it’s Tyler Bate VS A-Kid for the Heritage Cup. Bate was always a big fan of A-Kid’s. They had some excellent matches in NXT. Axiom agrees, A-Kid’s the best. What ever happened to him? Bate says Axiom reminds him of A-Kid. He isn’t sure what it is, he can’t put his finger on it. Axiom says he gets that a lot. But Bate, that Heritage Cup match was very unique, a real masterpiece. How about they create a masterpiece of their own tonight? Bate loves that idea! But then in walks Damon Kemp with sarcastic applause.
Kemp says he was walking around, and overhead them. Friendly competition makes him sick! “I respect your work a lot! I respect your work to infinity!” When Kemp was in NXT UK, he learned that all the Limeys are soft! And the European wrestling style is overrated! And if you ever see A-Kid personally, tell him that Kemp says he’s hot garbage! Well, if Axiom does see A-Kid around, he’ll tell him. Kemp walks off, but Bate says Kemp is a “right wazzock.” A what? A pendejo. Oh! Okay. Bate heads out, will Axiom get that friendly competition? Or will he first take care of Kemp’s attitude first?
Zoey Stark VS Indi Hartwell!
These two had an impressive showing in this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble match, though neither won their ticket to WrestleMania. But Indi also wants to get to the bottom of who attacked Nikkita Lyons in the parking lot. All signs point to The Hunter, will Indi get her to confess?
The bell rings and fans sing, “OH~ Zoey is angry~!” Zoey gets mad hearing that, and then ties up with Indi. They go around, Indi puts Zoey in a corner, and the ref counts. Indi lets off at 4, but Zoey shoves her back. Indi shoves back, then dodges to CHOP! And ROCK! Indi fires off and fans cheer her on. Indi whips, Zoey holds ropes, then Zoey bails out. Fans boo while Zoey throws a tantrum. Indi slips out after Zoey, they go around the way, and Indi avoids the elbow drop! Indi drags Zoey out to RAM Her into the apron, and again! Indi gets in the ring, drags Zoey up by her hair, and into the ropes for an UPPERCUT! And BOOT!
Zoey flops down, Indi drags her to a cover, TWO! Indi drags Zoey up for a short arm LARIAT! And then another! Fans rally but Zoey gets around and claws Indi’s eyes! Zoey snapmares Indi, runs and SLIDING LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Indi sits up, Zoey stomps her on the back. Zoey tells fans that THEY suck, and she clamps onto an armlock and chinbar. Indi endures, fans rally up, and Indi fights up. “OH~ Zoey is angry~!” Indi stands, arm-drags free, but Zoey comes back to CHOP! Indi CHOPS, Zoey CHOPS, repeat! Zoey kicks low, whips Indi hard into a corner, then whips her in again! Zoey soaks up heat and whips corner to corner.
Indi reverses, Zoey bounces off buckles and into a SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, TWO! Indi gives a thumbs up and fans cheer. Indi puts Zoey in the ropes again, but Zoey avoids the uppercut to HOTSHOT! Indi falls, Zoey slingshots for the ARABIAN SENTON! Cover, TWO! Zoey snarls and she rains down fists on Indi! Indi gets up and flounders to a corner but Zoey snapmares her down. Zoey cravats for a neck wrench but Indi endures. Fans rally, Indi fights up, but Zoey wrangles her back down! Zoey cranks the cravat but Indi still endures. Fans rally up again, Indi fights up again, but Zoey shifts to a facelock. Indi still powers Zoey to a corner!
Zoey powers Indi back, but Indi RAMS Zoey into the corner! Zoey BOOTS Indi back! And then fires forearms! Indi hits back, they go shot for shot, but Indi kicks, JABS and DECKS Zoey! Zoey staggers up and Indi rallies with clotheslines! Indi dodges to SPINEBUSTER! Highs tack, TWO! Zoey is still in this but Indi keeps her cool. Zoey goes to a corner, Indi runs in but Zoey dodges! HEEL KICK! Zoey waistlocks, to GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Indi is still in this but Zoey is frustrated. Zoey waistlocks and drags Indi up, but Indi arm-drags out of the half nelson. Indi scoops but Zoey slips out to fireman’s carry! But Indi flights free!
Indi shoves Zoey away, runs in but is put on the apron. Indi ROCKS Zoey first, then springboards, but Zoey trips her up! Indi crashes down, Zoey drags her back up! Z 360!! Cover, Zoey wins!
Winner: Zoey Stark, by pinfall
Whether innocent or guilty in the whodunnit, Zoey Stark is still the winner here! But then Zoey attacks Indi! Sol Ruca rushes out and chases Zoey off! The Hunter has a target on her own back, will karma catch up to her one way or another?
The Schism speaks.
Joe Gacy says, “A day of vengeance is on the horizon for The Schism.” Rip Fowley says, “We seek vengeance for something that has been owed to us for far too long.” Jagger Reed says, “The NXT Tag Team Championships have been kept from us since The Dyad’s inception.” Gacy says, “Tonight, Rip and Jagger change their destiny by altering others’ reality.” Ava Raine tells Edris Enofe & Malik Blade, “We know who you are. But everyone at Chase University, you worship a false idol. You are not a family. You are abusive, devious, and delusional. School spirit will not help you tonight, because Chase University will fail. There is no unit stronger than the Schism.”
They are four roots, one tree, but will they be the final team to enter the Fatal 4 Way?
Apollo Crews speaks.
“The city of Charlotte. Packed restaurants, tons of foot traffic, bars with lines out the door. Cars flying down I-85. I came out early to feel Charlotte’s energy, and I feel the city’s excitement all the way up here. NXT’s coming, and I’m coming. I need two falls, two pinfalls, two submissions, or one each. I’ve visualized this match a hundred times. Money Melo is gonna be fast, he’s gonna be flashy, but I am ready for Melo’s handprint. My best will always be better than his best. And if Trick Williams wants to get involved, well Trick’s gonna get handled. Melo wants to call me the past and him the future? At Vengeance Day, the past will dictate the future!”
Apollo has spoken, but will he speak his vision into existence? And just who did Apollo see having his back against Trick Melo Gang?
Wes Lee heads to the ring.
The North American Champion is here, ready for his fight with #HardJustice this Saturday! Wes gets the mic to say, “Yo~! We are T-minus four days from NXT back on the road, and we are swangin’ through Charlotte, North Cackalacky, for Vengeance Day.” And it’ll be a big day for Wes literally because he has his biggest test in Dijak. Dijak is back and claims to be serving justice, but ultimately he just wants what’s shining on Wes’s shoulder. Saturday will be tough, Wes will probably take an ass-whooping. But just like Wes did with Tony and Carmelo, the Cardiac Kid will rise as your North American Champion!
But wait! Here comes DIJAK! “Mr. Lee, I want you to soak this in. I want you to soak it all in. Enjoy these moments, because these are your final days as NXT North American Champion. That was a real impassioned speech you gave, really powerful and motivating. But the reality is, it’s not gonna make a damn bit of difference. You had EVERY opportunity to hand me that championship, but you were too stupid to take it, weren’t you? And now… On Saturday, you’re gonna be standing across the ring, staring down the biggest and baddest man in the ENTIRE NXT locker room! And when that happens, I’m gonna rip that championship from your cold hands.”
Wes says that is exactly what Dijak will have to do! You will have to pry this title from Wes’s cold, dead hands! But understand that it’s much easier said than done. Wes didn’t win by accident. Every minute of training, every risk Wes took in and out of the ring, and every trial and tribulation, Wes has FOUGHT! When Wes felt like he couldn’t anymore, the chaotic support from every single one of the fans showed him that he can reach levels he had only dreamt of! So Saturday, Dijak isn’t just fighting Wes. He is fighting everyone on the #WesSide. Fans cheer Wes on! But Dijak says Wes might be fighting for the fans, but they won’t be fighting for Wes!
Wait! Von Wagner is here? He and Robert Stone walk out and Stone “apologizes.” But maybe his ears aren’t working properly. Dijak said HE’S the biggest and baddest? Have they forgotten about Von? Von tells Dijak, “Take those stupid sunglasses off, we’re inside. and I’m right here. And the only injustice is me getting overlooked.” Dijak tells Von that his eyes are focused on championship gold. Dijak has no issue with Von whatsoever. Wes says he isn’t sure about that. Fans chant “WAGNER SUCKS!” Wes says Dijak claims to be the biggest and baddest, but Von claims HE is the biggest and baddest, so Dijak is basically calling Von a liar.
Dijak tells Wes to shut up, and he knows what he’s up top. What? Wes just sees an injustice that needs to be fixed! Wes hears Von and Stone loud and clear about being overlooked. Come Tuesday… We may need to have a new #1 contender to the North American title. So uh… If Von happens to beat Dijak tonight, then Von will no longer be overlooked. Von will be looked at as a contender. And Stone says that is why they’re here! Right, right. So let’s please, PLEASE solve this injustice. Or Dijak can just give Von his jacket now. Dijak throws hands on Von! Von hits back, and fans fire up as the brawl is on!
Von clotheslines Dijak up and out! Refs rush out to stop this, but fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” Will we see this brawl turn into a match? WE WILL! Wes gets out of the way, who wins this battle of behemoths?
DIJAK VS Von Wagner w/ Robert Stone!
The bell rings, the haymakers fly again, and Dijak kicks low! Dijak whips, Von reverses and KNEES Dijak down! Stone fires up, Von scoops Dijak to FALL AWAY SLAM! Fans fire up while NXT goes picture in picture!
Von drags Dijak up to reel him in. Von suplexes but DIjak blocks! Von CLUBS Dijak, tries again, but Dijak still blocks! Dijak throws body shots, then suplexes, TIME TO FLY! Von crashes, writhes, and goes to a corner. Dijak runs in to kick Von and stomp aw mudhole in! Dijak CLUBS Von, Von kicks back and puts Dijak in a corner for elbows! Von whips corner to corner, Dijak reverses hard and Von falls to the mat! Dijak storms up, drags Von up and turns him to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Von is still in this but Dijak grits his teeth. Dijak clamps on a cravat and grinds Von with a neck wrench.
Von endures, fans rally up, and Von fights up. Von throws body shots, then haymakers! Von whips Dijak to a corner, then lifts Dijak for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Von is annoyed but he watches Dijak stand. Von CLUBS Dijak, HEADBUTTS him, then ROCKS him with a right. Von whips, Dijak ducks ‘n’ dodges, then holds ropes! Von runs in but is sent into ropes! Von sputters, Dijak stomps him down, and then rains down fists! Stone protests but Dijak lets off to have the neck wrench again. Von endures, fights up, and he throws body shots. NXT returns to single picture as Von throws hands, but Dijak throws elbows and knees!
Dijak SMASHES then DISCUS LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Wes is on commentary and says it was only right that we find out who is truly the biggest and baddest in NXT. Dijak choke grips but Von fights free! Dijak wrenches, mule kicks, then back elbows hard! Dijak reels Von in but Von suplexes Dijak into buckles!! Fans lose their minds while Dijak flops down. Dijak stands up, Von runs in, and Von clotheslines! Von whips corner to corner, but Dijak BOOTS back! Von still fireman’s carries, but Dijak slips off! Dijak shoves Von away and ROCKS him at the ropes! Dijak runs but Von KNEES him low! Von runs, to RAM Dijak!
Dijak rebounds to RAM Von, then he ELBOWS, ELBOWS and CLUBS Von! Then he SUPERKICKS! Dijak runs, into a BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Dijak survives and Stone can’t believe it! Fans rally for “NXT! NXT!” and Von waits on Dijak. Dijak slowly rises, Von choke grips, but Dijak flips through the lift! To choke grip and HIGH JUSTICE!! Cover, TWO?!! Von survives and the fans are thunderous! Von goes to a corner, Dijak storms up, “This is Awesome!” as Dijak throws elbows. Dijak hoists Von up top, CLUBS him in the chest, then climbs up after him. Dijak choke grips again, but Von elbows Dijak over and over and over!
Von CLUBS away on Dijak, roars, and hits a SUPER BUTTERFLY SLAM!! Cover, TWO!?!? Fans are thunderous, Stone is beside himself, and Wes is loving this! Von gets Dijak up, OLYMIPC- NO, Dijak slips out to have the HAMMERLOCK SLEEPER! Von flails, reaches out, Stone coaches him, but Dijak says this is gonna be Wes’s future! Von is fading out, then Dijak torture racks! FEAST YOUR EYES!! Cover, Dijak wins!
Winner: DIJAK, by pinfall
Hard Justice has proven to be THE biggest and baddest man in NXT! But will he prove he is championship material? Or will Wes Lee prove he is must-see?
Tony D’Angelo and Channing Lorenzo are watching backstage.
Stacks says he can’t stand that Dijak. He’ll probably win the title on Saturday now. But The Don says not to worry about Dijak. “Street justice has no expiration date.” But what was this big impact Stacks was gonna have? Stacks has to take care of a few things. The first or the second? Both. Wow, really? Yeah, he’s the Underboss! That’s what they do. So next week, Stacks gets it done. Tremendous. Now let’s take care of that other thing. They head out, just what is Stacks going to do to handle his business?
Nikkita Lyons tweets out her status.
“Surgery was a success. Thank you deeply to the WWE universe, my Lyon Pride, for all the love and support you show. I’ll be back stronger than I’ve ever been. #ReadyToPounce Also, a big thank you to the wonderful surgeons, doctors and nurses.” It may be another setback, but will Lyons use that to set up a huge comeback?
McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with more.
McKenzie Mitchell says there are many questions surrounding the attack on Lyons in the NXT parking lot, so she has prepared some footage so that we can get a better idea of what happened. Among those on scene at the time of the attack are Valentina Feroz walking away, Dani Palmer, Arianna Grace and Alexis Leddy walking together going inside, and an unidentified woman driving away. There is also Elektra Lopez walking and talking with newcomer Lola Vice, closest to Nikkita but going on their own path. Freeze here, and you see Tiffany Stratton just going through her bag, but maybe she’s hiding the evidence.
And of course, Zoey Stark is spotted walking away, and even Tatum Paxley and Lash Legend at the very end of the lot. Indi Hartwell and Lyra Valkyria come to Lyons’ aid, and we then spot Wendy Choo peeking out of a car window. Did Wendy witness anything? McKenzie says no one is taking credit for this attack, but she will keep us informed if anyone comes forward with information. Who is behind NXT’s newest whodunnit mystery, and why did they do it?
NXT looks closer at Bron Breakker VS Grayson Waller.
The Big Booty Nephew’s NXT record is already golden, but the 21st Century Success Story isn’t impressed. In fact, he’s sick and tired of it. Waller has been running this for the last eight months, and now he’s made the decision that he needs to be champion. New Year’s Evil was going well until a freak accident took Waller out. So at Vengeance Day, their rematch will be inside a STEEL CAGE! Waller says Bron is a wild dog, and Bron admits his temper has gotten the better of him. But no one has taken advantage of it like Waller. Waller is living rent free in Bron’s brain. Bron says his temper has led to both is biggest wins and most crushing losses.
Waller says Bron will beat himself this time. Bron thought he needed to control the anger, but then he realized, with the steel cage all around them, there’s no need to hold back. Bron will beat Waller within an inch of his life, and pin what’s left! But Waller says he can read Bron like a book. And Waller has read that book, so he’ll past this test. Waller will not just beat Bron but he’ll embarrass him! Bron promises to break Waller inside the steel, but Waller went viral the last time he was inside a cage. This is what Waller wanted, but it’ll be Bron’s Vengeance Day. Who survives the steel to bring home the gold?
Tyler Bate VS Axiom!
Even with Kemp being a right wanker, the Big Strong Boy and the Undeniable Truth are going to focus on friendly competition! Will Bate continue to get A-Kid vibes from Axiom? Or will Axiom be even better than that?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Bate powers Axiom to ropes. The ref counts, Bate lets off, and fans applaud the sportsmanship. They reset, tie up again, and Bate has a cording hold. Axiom whips Bate away, Bate goes up and under and then knuckle locks. Bate steps over, headlocks, waistlocks, trips and body scissors to a clutch, TWO! They tie up, Bate cravats and snapmares, but Axiom is right up. Axiom sidesteps but Bate blocks the arm-drag to hit an arm-drag! Bate has the armlock and fans applaud the exchange. Axiom fights up, facelocks, but Bate powers out to keep on the armlock.
Axiom endures, fans duel, and Axiom goes up and around to whip Bate! Bate reverses to hit the arm-drag again! Fans cheer as Bate keeps on the arm but Axiom fights up. Axiom facelocks, Bate fights that, but Axiom goes up and around again. Bate still has the arm, he turns another whip into another arm-drag, but Axiom fights up. Axiom uses the ref for an assist to flip through! But again Bate reverses a whip! And again! Axiom is frustrated as Bate keeps on the arm. Axiom fights up, goes up and headscissors! Bate throws Axiom away, Axiom avoids the elbow to springboard arm-drag, kip up and ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO!
Axiom keeps on Bate with a facelock, fans rally up, and Bate rolls. Axiom rolls with Bate, covers, TWO! The two stand off, Bate SOBATS! Axiom staggers away, Bate runs in, but Axiom arm-drags Bate and himself up and out of the ring! Fans fire up while NXT goes picture in picture.
Both men stir, and Bate stands up first. Bate follows Axiom, UPPERCUTS him, then puts him in the ring. Bate stalks Axiom, brings him up and headlocks, to bop him with a boot! Bate hits the headlock takeover, but Axiom headscissors in return. Axiom pushes up to put on pressure, but Bate moves around. Bate headstands, pops free and has Axiom’s legs tied up. Bate goes back to the headlock but Axiom goes back to the headscissor! Bate kips free, but Axiom holds onto an arm to drag Bate back down! Axiom headscissors again, but Bate moves around again. Bate headstands, pops free and basement dropkicks!
Bate drags Axiom up by an arm and wraps Axiom up in a straitjacket stretch. Axiom endures, arm-drags free, and runs in at the corner. Axiom blocks a boot but not the KNEE! Bate goes up to FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Bate keeps cool and he keeps his eyes on Axiom. Bate UPPERCUTS again and Axiom goes to rpoes. Bate whips Axiom to ropes, then catches him to a COBRA TWIST! Axiom endures the stretch, pops free and hip tosses Bate down! Axiom waistlocks, they go to ropes but Bate bucks the O’Conner, only to turn around into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Axiom floats to get the arm, but Bate stacks him, TWO!
Axiom has Bate in a Triangle Hold, and NXT returns to single picture. Fans chant, “This is Wrestling!” as Bate deadlifts Axiom to a fireman’s carry! AIRPLANE SPIN! Fans fire up as Bate goes around and around and around, fifteen times! Bate slows down, staggers a bit, squats, and then powers up to spin MORE!! And then POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Axiom survives and Bate has to catch his breath but fans rally back up. Axiom and Bate rise, Bate spins a few more times before he throws a forearm! Axiom throws a forearm back! Bate fires forearm after forearm but Axiom hits back! Axiom kicks, Bate blocks but Axiom hops the sweep to ENZIGURI!
Bate falls over, Axiom keeps moving, PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Bate goes to a corner, Axiom runs in, he blocks the boot but gets another knee! Bate goes up and leaps, into an SLEEPER!! Axiom has the body scissors and fans rally up! Bate endures, fights the hold, turns over, but Axiom squeezes tighter! Bate stands, pries at the hold, opens it up, but Axiom waistlocks. Bate bucks the O’Conner again but Axiom kips up, into a RIGHT! But he SUPERKICKS right back! Axiom rolls Bate up but Bate sits on the cover, TWO!!! Axiom escapes and fans are thunderous! Both men slowly rise and fans rally up.
Axiom ROCKS Bate! Bate rebounds, but Axiom avoids the rolling kick! Bate avoids the Penalty Kick, Axiom slips through the roll-up. Bate blocks the Superkick to spin Axiom, Bop up and BANG in! Axiom wobbles, Bate runs and REBOUND LARIATS! Bate underhooks, but Axiom NORTHERN LIGHTS out! Bridging cover, TWO as Bate bridges up! Axiom pushes Bate back down, TWO as Bate gets back up! Underhooks, TYLER- RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Bate has the arms again! TYLER DRIVER 97!!! Cover, Bate wins!!!
Winner: Tyler Bate, by pinfall
A big strong win for the Big Strong Boy! “That was Awesome!” but will this earn Bate a title match on the other side of this Saturday? But Bate and the fans show Axiom respect. But then Kemp CLBOBBERS them both! And he hits Axiom with an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Kemp says he told them before, but then Bate chases Kemp off! Will Bate make sure Kemp learns European wrestling is anything but soft?
Isla Dawn speaks.
“In my land, Imbolc is the beginning of Spring. It is a time to exhale all that is behind us, and to mark new beginnings. Tonight, on the Eve of Imbolc, we purge the constraints of the past. We purify the negative energy surrounding us, and we transfigure the uninitiated into members of this house. There has always been a rage inside of you,” Alba Fyre. And she just needed a nudge to reveal it. “Shall we?” Fyre nods, and Isla says they are letting go of their unbridled passions, shed their egos, and relinquish their need for control. “These emotions no longer serve us.” Fyre repeats that, and throws water on the fire. With this, the initiation process has begun.
Isla and Fyre smile as they walk into the night. Will the darkness within Fyre grow stronger with the Wicked Witch’s influence?
Backstage interview with Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams.
McKenzie is with Trick Melo Gang, and Trick is shaking. But he’s just joking. He’s “shaking like booty meat on a Friday night.” Not because he’s scared, but because it’s cold out. “But Trick Willy can’t lie. This whole Apollo thing, I mean, I don’t know. Should I even go to Vengeance Day? He looks, he sees in the future, that’s some Cleo stuff, man!” Melo has Trick calm down. Of course Trick’s going to Vengeance Day. Apollo can stay daydreaming, but they stay scheming. McKenzie notes the match is Best 2 out of 3, so how does Melo see this playing out? Melo says everyone knows him by now, so we know how Melo sees this playing.
“Apollo needs to realize that this ain’t Jackson, that this ain’t Jordan, that these shots I take don’t ever jam.” Melo is of a different caliber! Melo took Apollo from the sidelines to the headlines. Apollo could have a top combine vertical, and his fingertips still wouldn’t reach Melo’s level. Melo tells Apollo that you can be this or that, but until you beat Melo, you can never be HIM. That’s all it is, and that’s all it’s gonna be. But is Melo overlooking the wild cards in the equation?
Roxanne Perez and Toxic Attraction sit down for video interviews.
The NXT Women’s Champion is far, far away from Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne for this final interview before Vengeance Day. Vic Joseph notes Roxie is the youngest woman to ever compete in the Royal Rumble match. How did that feel for her? She was overwhelmed, and so grateful to hear her music hit in front of over 50 THSOUAND people, and make the run down the ramp she’s dreamed of for so long. It was so incredible! Jacy says, “Incredible? More like incredibly pathetic! RoXaNnE~, cOnGrAtUlAtIoNs~! YoU wErE iN tHe RoYaL rUmBlE~!” But you didn’t win! And you’re not going to WrestleMania, but to Vengeance Day, to lose your title.
Gigi says the reason Roxie lost the Rumble was cuz she got put through a table! That look on her face when she realized she got tricked was great. But it’ll all be over for Lil’ Miss Perfect real soon. Roxie says Gigi & Jacy act like they’re best friends, but Roxie knows there is a lot of truth behind what they said to each other last week. Gigi says the truth is that Roxie stands no chance at Vengeance Day. How is Roxie gonna beat them both? She has the same percent chance of winning the Triple Threat as she did winning the Rumble: ZERO! Roxie is good and all, but going against the two baddest women in NXT at the same time, she has NO chance.
Actually, Roxie says she has more of a chance- Jacy cuts her off to say that Roxie had a good run. Eight months in NXT is like a little jog. Good for her! But Roxie peaked at 21 years old. That sucks. But this Saturday, it’s all coming to an end. Roxie says it’s not. But Gigi says it is. At least Roxie can go home to Texas and tell everyone she had a “cup of coffee” in the big time. She just made one critical mistake: messing with Toxic Attraction. And look on the bright side! She can play the “What If” game! What if Roxie stayed in her lane and didn’t punch up? Roxie starts to speak but Jacy cuts her off again, telling her to shut up.
Jacy says “What if” Roxie was a good little girl and didn’t make any waves. Whether Roxie likes it or not, it’s 2v1. Gigi says Roxie’s ride is over, the 15 minutes of fame are over. Roxie storms out, and Toxic Attraction make fun of her for not being able to handle it. Vic says Toxic Attraction weren’t being fair, but Jacy says, “Who cares? After Saturday, she’ll be old news. You’re looking at the next NXT Women’s Champion right here.” Then which one will it be? Gigi says you’re looking at her! Gigi knows everyone, especially Booker, is a big fan of Roxie, and is just trying to find a crack between Toxic Attraction, but there isn’t one.
For almost two years, Toxic Attraction has controlled the NXT Women’s Division. But for the last six weeks, everyone’s been on a vacation from it. That changes on Saturday, as order will be restored when Jacy & Gigi take their rightful spot. This day has been a long time coming, Roxie is just the first one to push it to the edge. But at Vengeance Day, they course correct things back to Gigi- Er, they become NXT Women’s Champion. Jacy notices that “flub,” but before she can respond, ROXANNE POUNCES!! Roxie fires off with all the pent up anger on both of them! She TACKLES Jacy through the set!!
Fans fire up as security rushes in to stop Roxie from tearing into Toxic Attraction more! Will nothing, not even two opponents at once, stop The Prodigy from proving why she IS NXT Women’s Champion?
Stevie Turner VS Dani Palmer!
Updated, online and ready to play, the Fourth Dimensional Superstar is finally back in action! Will Stevie prove that she is always two steps ahead and two levels above? Or will Dani delete Stevie before she even gets started?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Stevie has an armlock, then wrenches Dani to wrangle her to the mat. Dani fights up, rolls, backflips and wrenches, but Stevie gets away. They go again, Stevie waistlocks but Dani switches, only for Stevie to elbow free. Stevie headlocks, Dani brings her down to a knee and handstands to slip free! Stevie avoids Dani’s headlock to BOOT, BOOT and then scrape Dani on ropes! Fans boo, Stevie runs side to side to BOOT WASH! Stevie laughs like mad and she pushes Dani down. Stevie then brings Dani up, but Dani pushes her away. Stevie kicks low, CLUBS Dani, then turns her for a HANGING NECKBREAKER!
Dani staggers to ropes, Stevie snapmares her and clamps on a chinlock. Fans rally, Dani fights up, and arm-drags free! Stevie runs back but into an elbow! Dani dodges to LEAPING LARIAT! And again! Dani keeps moving but Stevie kicks low! But Dani JAWBREAKERS back! Dani runs to THESZ PRESS! Dani rains down wild hands, thrashes Stevie around, and then drags Stevie up. Dani runs, but Stevie reels her in by her tights! Stevie whips Dani away, and BOOTS her down! Stevie hauls Dani up, TWISTING DDT!! Stevie isn’t done there, she drags Dani up, for the SIDE EFFECT! Cover, Stevie wins!
Winner: Stevie Turner, by pinfall
Stevie just rerouted Dani’s connection and has her first win in NXT! Will Stevie soon be the number one trend in wrestling?
Kiana James is on the phone.
She promises to see “Zack” there, and says, “Love you, too.” Fallon Henley then walks over and asks who she was talking to. No one, don’t worry about it. Fallon knew it! She KNEW Kiana would break Jensen’s heart!! Fallon, calm down, it’s not what you think. You don’t even know why you’re upset right now! Oh? Then who is Zack?! But then in walk the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Kayden Carter points out the #1 contenders, and how they’re not talking about their upcoming match. Katana Chance says that sounds like trouble. Kiana says sound travels fast around here. But the only sound the champs will hear on Saturday is, “And NEW…!”
Has Fallon been giving Kiana a lot to drink lately? They’ve been a team for like a week while KC Squared has been a team for over a year! Fallon says with all due respect, we all know, we all get it, Katana & Kayden are BFFs. But Saturday is the biggest match of Fallon’s life, so she is going all out. Kiana says they are going all out. Well, we’ll see about that. But either way, the titles are staying with KC Squared. Katana & Kayden head out, and Fallon gets Kiana’s attention. Stay focused for Saturday, but just know this conversation isn’t over. Fallon heads out, is she making a mountain out of a mole hill?
Charlie Dempsey VS Drew Gulak w/ Hank Walker!
The Son of the Gentleman Villain cost the Philly Stretcher and his blue collar protégé last week, so this is all about vengeance before Vengeance Day! Will Gulak lock Dempsey down? Or will the Philly Stretcher be the one getting stretched?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Gulak headlocks for a takeover. Dempsey fights up, hits a back suplex, but Gulak holds on! Gulak has control again but Dempsey headscissors. Gulak moves around, has the legs, but Dempsey keeps shoulders up in the stack. Dempsey pushes Gulak away, they stand, and Gulak facelocks. Dempsey wrenches out, wristlocks, but Gulak grinds forearms. Dempsey wrenches, Gulak gets away, and fans rally up as NXT goes picture in picture.
The two circle, knuckle lock, and go shoulder to shoulder for a test of strength. Dempsey powers Gulak down to his knees, but Gulak powers back up. They go shoulder to shoulder again and now Gulak powers Dempsey back. Dempsey bridges, but Gulak has the cover! TWO as Dempsey gets an arm up! Gulak puts that arm down, TWO as the other arm comes up! Gulak has both arms, TWO as Dempsey bridges back up! Gulak stands over Dempsey, brings him up, but Dempsey monkey flips! Dempsey rolls back to a cover, TWO as Gulak sunset flips! TWO, and Dempsey headlocks to keep Gulak down! Fans applaud as the technical exchange continues.
Gulak fights up to his feet, powers his way to a facelock, but Dempsey snap suplexes to a cover, TWO! Gulak has the facelock but Dempsey stands up again. Dempsey goes for a trip but Gulak uses that to get a cover, TWO! Dempsey fights up, Gulak facelocks, then scoops and SLAMS Dempsey into ropes! Dempsey clutches his legs but Gulak storms up. Dempsey throws body shots and uppercuts! Gulak DECKS Dempsey in return! Gulak hurries to a cover, TWO! Gulak grabs Dempsey’s legs and steps through, but Dempsey resists. Gulak still pushes through to get the deathlock, and then he gets the chinlock for a REGAL STRETCH!!
Dempsey endures, reaches out, but Gulak keeps the pressure on the hold! Dempsey still moves forward, NXT returns to single picture, and Dempsey pries the facelock away! Dempsey turns to trip Gulak into a HEEL HOOK! Gulak kicks away to get free! Dempsey UPPERCUTS, has the leg, DRAGON SCREW! Gulak clutches his knee and fans rally up again. Dempsey covers, TWO! Dempsey underhooks the arm, BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Bridge, and then roll into the BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Gulak endures, fights up, but Dempsey shifts to have a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Gulak endures, Dempsey turns it to a ghost pin, TWO!
ANOTHER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Dempsey keeps on Gulak with a deadlift GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! “This is Wrestling!” as Dempsey brings Gulak up. Gulak wrenches the arm, CLUBS it, and then has the CROSSFACE CHICKEN WING! Dempsey pries free, arm-drags Gulak away, and storms up, to get the leg! Gulak slips out of the Dragon Screw, but Dempsey gets the leg again! DRAGON SCREW! And then Dempsey has the leg for a HEEL HOOK! Gulak kicks with his free leg, and he gets away! Both men rush in, Gulak blocks the forearm to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Gulak clutches his leg and Dempsey goes to ropes. Fans rally up, Gulak headlocks, but Dempsey hits a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Gulak is hanging tough and Hank coaches him up. Fans rally, Gulak and Dempsey slowly rise. Dempsehy runs in, into a SLAP!! Gulak just pissed Dempsey off! Dempsey BOOTS, but Gulak TACKLES Dempsey! Cover, TWO, but Dempsey has a SLEEPER! Gulak rolls out to get the arms! But Dempsey rolls, stands, but Gulak spins. Into Dempsey’s CROSSFACE CHICKEN WING! Gulak moves around, but Dempsey pushes on the bad leg! Dempsey drags Gulak down, body scissors are on!
Gulak fights, gets free of the body scissors, and Hank coaches Dempsey! Gulak runs to ropes and Dempsey is sent into Hank!! Gulak rolls Dempsey up, Gulak wins!
Winner: Drew Gulak, by pinfall
Hank is dazed, did he just get used as a pawn? Is Gulak using his own student to help him cut corners?
Von is fuming backstage.
He throws a chair at the wall, and Stone says it ain’t working. This is not working. Von throws a locker room bench, and shouts, “YA THINK?!” Stone asks a question: Why does Von have Stone managing him? Stone has been managing Von for over a year now, yet he knows nothing about Von! Who IS Von Wagner? He’s big, he growls, but so do a lot of other guys. If Von wants to get to the next level, then he has to show Stone who he is! He has to show us who he is INSIDE! Help Stone help Von! Stone storms off, will these words help unlock Von’s true potential?
Triple Threat Tag: The Dyad VS Malik Blade & Edris Enofe VS Chase U!
The New Day, Pretty Deadly and Gallus are waiting as there’s still room for one more for Vengeance Day! Will Rip Fowler & Jagger Reed plant the roots of The Schism in Charlotte? Will the underestimated underdogs finally unlock their potential? Or will Andre Chase & Duke Hudson share this #TeachableMoment with everyone? We find out, after the break!
NXT returns as Malik & Edris make their entrance, followed by Chase U’s entrance. In this kind of Triple Threat Tag, only two teams are legal at any given time, so Malik & Edris agree to let the other teams start. Duke and Rip circle as fans rally behind Chase U. Duke and Rip tie up, Rip knees low and whips Duke, but Duke blocks! Duke glares at Rip, reels him in and scoops to SLAM! Tag to Chase, Duke whips Rip and Chase drop toeholds for the “LET’S GO~!” ELBOW! Chase covers, TWO! Chase drags Rip up but Rip gets away to the third corner. Rip CHOPS Edris as part of the tag! Edris steps in and he circles with Chase.
Chase and Edris shake hands, then tie up. Edris wrenches, steps over, then arm-drags, but Chase blocks to step over and La Magistrol! ONE, but Edris wrangles Chase for a La Magi- NO, Chase blocks it to have a cover, TWO! Edris and Chase stand off, and Chase says that was a teachable moment! Fans cheer but Edris rushes in. They go around, Chase bucks the O’Conner, and things speed up! Edris jumps then DROPKICKS Chase down! Chase staggers up, Edris runs in and rolls off Chase’s back to tag Malik before the arm-drag! Malik hurries in, he and Edris double whip, to trip, BOOT and LARIAT! Malik covers, TWO!
Malik facelocks but Chase JAWBREAKERS free! Reed sneaks a tag before Chase whips. Malik reverses, Chase ducks ‘n’ dodges but Reed trips Chase up! Malik realizes what happened, the ref has him exit, and Reed keeps after Chase. Reed fires forearms and DECKS Chase! Chase bails out, Rip drags him up, and The Dyad coordinates, PLANCHA SHOULDER BREAKER! Chase clutches his arm while Rip pushes him around. Fans boo and Duke storms over but the ref has everyone stay back. Rip drags Chase up and puts him on the apron, to SLAM him on the edge! Chase sputters but Rip drags him around.
Fans rally, but Rip hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Rip clamps onto Chase with a cobra clutch but Chase endures. Fans rally for Chase U as Chase fights up. Rip ripcords to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Rip smothers Chase, has another cover, TWO! Rip and Reed are upset but the ref says his count is fair. Rip UPPERCUTS Chase in the back, then clamps on with another clutch. Fans rally, Chase fights up, but Rip ripcords to back elbow! Rip then suplexes, but Chase blocks it! Rip CLUBS Chase down, taunts Duke, but Chase fights up. Chase suplexes Rip! Fans fire up while both men are down! Reed tags in to run and DROPKICK Duke!
Reed turns around, into a BIG back drop! But no Duke means no tag! Thea Hail coaches Duke up but Rip tags back in. Rip goes after Chase but Chase throws him out! Malik & Edris call to Chase, they’re his only option! Chase runs over, but then The Dyad trips Malik & Edris up! Chase has no one, and turns around into a throat chop! Tag to Reed, the Dyad sets Chase up for a POWERBOMB BACKSTABBER!! Cover, TWO!?! Chase survives and everyone is shocked! Fans are thunderous for Chase U, but Rip says Chase is a hypocrite, a joke and a fool! Thea is furious on Chase’s behalf, and Reed runs in, but Chase goes up and over!
Hot tag to Duke! Duke rallies on The Dyad with big hands! Scoop for Rip, SIDEWALK SLAM! JAB after JAB for Reed! Rip rushes in, so he gets JAB after JAB! Flip, flop and U~! ELBOW! Then a SENTON! SPLASH for Reed, a whip corner to corner, and Reed tumbles up and out! Duke runs in to BOOT Reed down! Fans are thunderous as Duke fetches Reed back into the ring. Duke shoulders into Reed, slingshots and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!! Reed survives but the student section fires up! Duke tunes up the band, but Malik tags in! Malik GAMANGIRIS Duke, springboards and CROSSBODIES Reed!
Malik goes back to ropes, to SLINGSHOT RANA Duke!! Malik is fired up and fans can’t help but fire up with him! Tag to Edris, Malik goes up a corner, FROG SPLASH onto Reed! Edris goes up, MACHO ELBOW!! Edris drags Reed up, fireman’s carries, and Malik runs! ROLLING NECKBREAKER! Cover, Rip AND Chase break it! Fans are electric as “NXT! NXT!” gives them this amazing main event! Thea is also all pumped up as all six men start brawling! Reed tumbles out but Chase and Duke throw Rip out to join him. Malik & Edris DOUBLE DROPKICK Chase U out! Then they build speed, to DOUBLE TOPE CONJILO!!
“This is Awesome!” as Edris puts Reed in! Edris goes back up top, but Reed hits ropes! Edris lands bad up top, and Reed ROCKS him! Reed climbs up after Edris, but Malik CLUBS Reed! Malik climbs up but then Rip YANKS him down! Rip RAMS Malik into steel steps! The Dyad has Edris together now, but Chase sneaks a tag! Chase joins in, and using his physics knowledge, hits a TOWER OF DOOM!! Fans are thunderous as Chase fires up! Spell it out! C! H! A! S! E! U! What’s that spell?! “CHASE U!!” But Ava Raine distracts Chase! Reed CLOBBERS Chase! But Thea YANKS Ava down! Reed is shocked!
Reed runs at Chase, GRIT YOUR- NO, Chase dodges! Hot tag to Duke, and Duke turns Reed! Gory Especial, and Chase adds on, ROLLING COMPLETE SHOT!! Cover, Chase U wins!!!
Winners: Chase U, by pinfall (join the NXT Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 Way)
Thea is the most excited of all as the red ‘n’ black now get to compete for some gold! But then we see Gallus appear in the perch and Pretty Deadly appear on stage, with the New Day on the tron! Gimme a C! H! A! S! Well, we know the rest. Congrats to Chase U! This wins means they’re going to Vengeance Day! So then, New Day will see Chase U, and Gallus, and Pretty Deadly of course. Put it together for all these teams! But will this road game be a big win for Chase U? Will Pretty Deadly redo the #SidePlateCheck? Will Gallus Boys be on top? Or will ya bois the NEW~ DAY~, still be your W, W, E, N, X, T, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~?
Now this was a go-home episode! No need for filling/wasting time with recaps, just give us promos, action and other stuff to hype up what’s coming. Good promo from Apollo Crews, and good response from Trick & Melo. Apollo’s vision seems to foreshadow Oro Mensah being his back-up, as I’m pretty sure I saw his dreadlocks in that silhouette. At the same time, even if someone were to cancel out Trick, that doesn’t guarantee Apollo wins. Melo could win one fall cuz of Trick, Apollo could win one fall cuz Oro cancels out Trick, and then the third fall is truly 1v1. I’m leaning towards Melo since he makes sense as the next challenger to THE NXT Championship.
Speaking of, we got a pretty good promo vignette for Bron VS Waller in the steel cage. And from how they’re talking about it, this is going to be a No Escape Steel Cage match, where the door isn’t an option and climbing the walls won’t win it for you. I am all for that, and I think all Steel Cage matches should be like that to get rid of some of the more overused tropes of a Steel Cage match. Good interview promos from Roxie, Gigi & Jacy, and while part of me wanted Roxie to explode on Toxic Attraction verbally, her going after them directly was just as good. Roxie really should show she has grit, but I feel like her initiating the brawl is tantamount to her standing tall. I hope this doesn’t put the go-home math against her, she only just got that belt.
Stevie Turner’s first match back was pretty good, and I’m actually happy to see they came up with a completely kayfabed chat box for her entrance, as I imagined last week. Good promo from Isla & Fyre to establish that they’re a team now. I was sensing there’d be something building towards Valentine’s Day in a couple weeks, and I think this whole “Who is Zack and what is he to Kiana?” is gonna be the thing. Kiana is gonna reveal that’s like her brother and Fallon’s gonna feel dumb for getting protective of Jensen’s feelings. But with that, I don’t think they win the tag titles at Vengeance Day. That should probably be Isla & Fyre.
We also got a real good “NXT Investigates” promo from McKenzie to point out just how many suspects there really are in the Whodunnit of Lyons’ parking lot attack. Indi VS Stark was a good match to play off that, but I’m starting to wonder if Valentina Feroz did it. Feroz seems like the least likely, so that’d be quite the twist. Given her talk with Elektra Lopez about doing underhanded things, Feroz said she couldn’t do anything to Wendy Choo because Wendy’s a friend. But Feroz and Lyons have no connections, so Feroz could attack her from behind with no problems.
Good promo from Wes Lee, Dijak, Von and Stone to set up Dijak VS Von. That was a good match, but of course Dijak won to have momentum going into the North American title match. I still think Wes wins, but what was really interesting to come out of this was Stone getting fired up telling Von to bring out some personality. Is Von going to suddenly have a gimmick? I can’t even be sure what that’d be. Also, good promo from Tony D and Stacks. I thought Von was gonna be the big guy Stacks went after but then this happened, so maybe Stacks calls out Odyssey Jones or Quincy Elliot to give one of those guys some screen time. And also a win, because I feel like Stacks is gonna bite off more than he can chew.
We also got some great technical wrestling singles matches. Gulak VS Dempsey was not as good as Bate VS Axiom, but I like the detail that Hank takes the hit to tip things in Gulak’s favor. Hank might confront Gulak on that move, and we get closer to Heel Gulak. Then we got just a hilarious and very meta promo out of Bate and Axiom referencing A-Kid. Kemp sticking his nose in things is fine, he needs something to do and honestly should’ve had more time in NXT UK. Bate winning makes sense, he’s also back and needs some momentum. Kemp’s blindside attack definitely earns him a match with both of them in turn, probably winning against Axiom but losing to Bate.
Really good stuff out of the NXT Tag Division tonight, too. The opener of Creeds VS Indus Sher was good, though I feel like maybe they’re going for too real of a fight feel. Julius just came off like he forgot the match flow they discussed. But it was a clever move to have Indus Sher win because of the mishap with Ivy. This will add something more to the Diamond Mine story, and Indus Sher really should be climbing up the rankings. Especially with everything going on in the title story.
Great Triple Threat main event, and as great as all three teams are, it makes sense Chase U won. New Day is Face, Gallus and Pretty Deadly are Heel, so there needed to be another Face team. There’s intrigue in the Chase U story and it can play out in the Fatal 4. And Indus Sher being Heels, if New Day retains (or even if Chase U wins), that’d be a great program going to Stand & Deliver.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (1/31/23)
Orlando stays Dark!
Universal Studios is still the AEW Dark Arena!
As they prepare to go after the AEW World Trios Championships, AR Fox & Top Flight reunite to take on The Wingmen: Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth & Cezar Bononi!
- Six Man Tag: AR Fox & Top Flight VS The Wingmen; Fox & Top Flight win.
- Red Velvet VS Sofia Castillo; Velvet wins.
- Zack Clayton VS Fulton; Clayton wins.
- Brock Anderson & Brian Pillman Jr. w/ Arn Anderson VS Rosario Grillo & Dean Alexander; Anderson & Pillman win.
- Skye Blue VS Renee Michelle; Skye wins.
- Shane Taylor Promotions VS Mr. G & Dante Casanova; Shane Taylor Promotions wins.
- Yuka Sakazaki VS Avery Breaux; Yuka wins.
- The Workhorsemen VS Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis; The Workhorsemen win.
- Angelico w/ Serpentico & Luther VS Konosuke Takeshita; Konosuke wins.
A solid line-up, and I like that we’re getting to see Brock Anderson & Brian Pillman Jr. in action together after a backstage promo on Elevation not too long ago. Not sure what the team name is but two second generation stars together is a logical combination. Angelico VS Konosuke, that is going to be a great match, but I give the win to Konosuke. Red Velvet is in action again after also being on Elevation, she’s definitely building momentum towards taking on Jade Cargill for Jade’s 50th match. And good to see Shane Taylor Promotions in action here. They’ll be a strong part of the ROH Tag Team Division, even after having lost to Keith Lee after Swerve abandoned Keith.
And good to see AR Fox & Top Flight in action, and against The Wingmen. For one, good to see Avalon, Nemeth & Bononi teaming all together again. And this will be a good match to build momentum for Fox & Flight.
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