Will Johnny Gargano find a way to stay NXT North American Champion?
The Colossal Bronson Reed, Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling, a steel cage, and the NXT North American Champion! Will Gargano be washed away by a Tsunami?
- Toni Storm VS Zoey Stark; Storm wins.
- Cameron Grimes VS Jake Atlas; Atlas wins.
- Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium VS Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick; Dain wins.
- El Legado del Fantasma VS Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher; El Legado wins.
- Sarray VS Aliyah w/ The Robert Stone Brand; Sarray wins.
- Hit Row VS Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari; Hit Row wins.
- NXT North American Championship Steel Cage Match: Johnny Gargano VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins and becomes the new NXT North American Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Toni Storm VS Zoey Stark!
The Lightning From Down Under couldn’t handle the fact that she got shown up at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, and has been talking down to the “rookie” ever since! But will #ToniTime be canceled in favor of #ZoeyTime?
The bell rings and fans are on Stark’s side. Storm shrugs that off and circles with Stark. They approach, Storm SLAPS Stark, and Stark fires off! Stark stomps and punches away in a corner, Storm shoves but Stark pushes her back into the corner! Stark CLUBS Storm, brings her out and dropkicks her down! Storm bails out, Stark PLANCHAS out onto her! Stark is fired up and so is the Capitol Wrestling Center! Stark puts Storm in the ring, springboards and missile dropkicks Storm right back out! Storm gets up, Stark is on the apron but her kick is blocked! Storm trips Stark and Stark hits her tailbone on the apron! Storm gets Stark up and RAMS her into steel steps!
Fans fire up, Storm runs in and HIP ATTACKS Stark into the steps! The ref goes out to check Stark and Storm says, “That’s what happens!” Storm goes into the ring to soak up the heat, and the ring count is up to 5 of 10! Stark drags herself up, gets in at 8, and Storm is annoyed. Storm kicks Stark around, brings her up just to throw hands, then stomps her to a corner. The ref counts, Storm lets off, then comes back to bring Stark up. Stark throws forearms but Storm snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Storm keeps on Stark with a chinlock, trapping an arm while shifting to a neck wrench. Storm digs elbows into Stark’s head, then brings her up to whip and BOOT Stark down! Cover, TWO!
Storm pushes Stark around, Stark elbows back, but Storm SLAPS her again! Storm bumps Stark off buckles, TOSSES her across the ring, then storms over. Stark kicks back but Storm scoops her for a BACKBREAKER! Storm pushes Stark against her knee, but fans rally as Stark endures the rack. Stark throws body shots, Storm pushes her down to cover, TWO! Storm brings Stark up to ROCK her with a right, but Stark throws body shots! Storm throws EuroUppers, but Stark turns one into a backslide! TWO, and Stark fires off! Storm shoves, Stark returns to ENZIGURI! Both women are down and fans fire up as NXT goes picture in picture!
Stark and Storm stir, slowly stand, and Stark CLOBBERS Storm! Stark starts to rally, she runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Stark keeps her cool and stomps Storm around. Storm goes to a corner, Stark bumps her off buckles, and then stalks her to another corner for more stomps. Stark CHOPS Storm and Storm drops to her knees! Storm gets up to ATOMIC DROP Stark! Storm throws more EuroUppers, Stark goes to a corner, but Storm snapmares her to a cover, TWO! Storm grows frustrated but Stark CHOPS her! Storm throws Stark out of the ring! Storm shouts at the fans and paces about while the ring count climbs.
Stark gets in at 5 of 10, Storm is frustrated again, but Stark knees her low! Stark trips her up, jackknife covers, TWO! Storm has Stark in a facelock, grinds her down, then shifts to a chinlock. Storm leans on the hold and squeezes tight, but Stark endures. Stark moves around, gets up, but Storm throws her down by her hair! Cover, TWO! Storm drags Stark up to throw more forearms, but Stark gives them back! Storm headbutts, Stark forearms again, but Storm headbutts and kicks! Stark kicks, CHOPS, forearms, but Storm hits back! They brawl, NXT returns to single picture, and fans fire up as Stark gets the edge! Stark fires up, whips, but Storm reverses. Stark dodges, Storm gets buckles, Stark SUPERKICKS!
Stark snapmares Storm, runs, and SLIDING LARIATS! Storm gets up, Stark keeps moving, BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Stark grows frustrated but the fans rally behind her. Stark waistlocks, Storm fights out with elbows and kicks low. Underhooks, but Stark counters Storm Zero to a RANA! Cover, TWO! SUPERKICK! HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO!! Storm survives and Stark is frustrated, but the fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” Stark knees Storm, drags her up, and reels her in for a flip, but Storm lands on her feet! Storm gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Storm reels Stark in, underhooks, and STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO?!?!
The CWC is thunderous and Storm can’t believe her best shot failed to finish this! Storm paces, drags Stark up and reels her in for a judo hip toss to DDT!?! Cover, Storm wins!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall
Whatever Storm calls that move, it just struck down the bright new star! Is #ToniTime back on the clock? Wait, the lights go down! “Aw, were you expecting someone else? It’s me, Franky!” Franky Monet and Preston the Pomeranian are here to steal Storm’s thunder by reminding us that next week, Franky has her in-ring debut! Will Monet put her money where her mouth is?
Backstage interview with El Legado del Fantasma.
Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza are here, but where is Santos Escobar? Don’t worry about Escobar, this is about MSK. Legado challenged them to an NXT Tag Team Championship match two weeks ago, they beat and embarrassed them, but when is the title match? Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher walk in and say Legado is looking good. A couple #1 contenders here. But don’t get ahead of yourselves. Last Ciampa checked, MSK didn’t beat him and Thatcher, and Legado sure didn’t, either. Well they can change that tonight. Legado’s beaten everyone else, they might as well add these two to the list.
Thatcher tells Wilde in both Spanish and English, “The cat has no shoes.” What? That makes no sense. It makes perfect sense! Ciampa translates for #ToothlessTimmy by saying, “Challenge accepted.” Will Legado be forced to wait on their tag title aspirations when Thatcher and #OldManCiampa get through with them?
Someone drives up to the CWC in a Rolls-Royce!
It’s Cameron Grimes! He pays Jake Atlas to park this out front for him, but Atlas corrects him. Ted DeBiase took that spot. OH~! Grimes says if they thought that was funny, then it’ll be real funny when he whoops Atlas in the ring! Grimes is on! Oh he’s always on, baby! But will Atlas give Grimes a run for his money tonight?
Indi Hartwell & Candice LeRae have a spa day.
The NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions relax. “Look at us now: champions. We deserve this. The titles, the praise, all of it.” And they’re taking care of themselves today, Johnny Gargano will take care of Bronson Reed tonight, this is a great day for The Way. Candice is so right. Just like she is about Dexter Lumis. All he ever does is pop up where she is, and then stares at her. Lumis took the place of one of the masseuses! Dexter’s such a freak, and a loser! The biggest loser. Indi thanks Candice for realizing this. What would she do without Candice? They’re a family, and they have each other’s best interests at heart. And they did this their way. No look high-five! Lumis leaves, will he finally give up on Indi Wrestling?
NXT presents Prime Target: Kross VS Balor, THE REMATCH!
Both men sat down to watch back their match at Stand & Deliver. Balor says he didn’t underestimate Kross, he knew exactly who he was stepping into the ring with. Balor pushed Kross’ buttons on purpose and took advantage of his emotions again and again. Kross admits that Coup de Grace did some real damage, even though he did kick out. Kross couldn’t get the hold right. NXT analyst, Jimmy Smith, says that the problem for Finn Balor was, when the stuff that normally works doesn’t work, he starts wearing down and wondering what he has to do. Kross’ conviction would be his biggest strength. Balor felt all that first hand.
Kross vowed to put his arm through Balor’s head. It’s what you have to do to win. Kill or be killed. And in the end, Kross won because of that killer instinct. Balor says falling down is how you grow. Staying down is how you die. And Balor isn’t dead yet. Pat McAfee says that Tuesday, May 25th, the two-time and REIGNING NXT Champion, Kross, with Scarlett by his side, will battle against Balor again. Kross is a man, who upon arriving, looked like dominance and intimidation personified. And he’s against The Prince, who has been champion everywhere he’s been! NJPW, Raw, SmackDown, NXT. The fact we’re getting this on television is a dream come true.
McAfee says Balor will be champion again after an epic battle. Paul Heyman is surprised they want his opinion on Kross VS Balor. Everyone on SmackDown has an interest, even the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Heyman is known for giving not predictions but spoilers. So here’s a spoiler: Kross VS Balor II is too close to call. Smith says if Balor wins again, that is a redemption story like none other. If he loses again, that’s a tragedy. And Balor isn’t here for tragedies. Balor has proven himself the best, Kross says that’s BS. The rematch is coming, are you ready?
Cameron Grimes VS Jake Atlas!
The Carolina Cash Money Caveman couldn’t get even with the Million Dollar Man, so maybe the muscle of El Monte will make up for that? Grimes says everyone thinks its funny that DeBiase keeps embarrassing him. “But wait ’til you see the REAL Ted DeBiase! Hit it!” Grimes has a video package of DeBiase getting beat, embarrassed, and literally stepping in it. Grimes laughs at DeBiase for once, but fans cheer for the Million Dollar Man. Grimes is upset by that, and he rushes Atlas, only to get a dropkick! Grimes flounders out of the ring, Atlas dares him to get back in. Grimes checks his teeth as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Grimes stomps Atlas to a corner and throws EuroUppers. Atlas hits back, fans rally and duel, Grimes ROCKS then whips Atlas. Atlas kicks back, keeps him in the ring, but Grimes elbows back. Grimes runs into a BOOT, then Atlas goes up and around to arm-drag! GAMANGIRI in a corner, then Atlas goes up top. Grimes stands and Atlas RANAS him down! Cover, TWO! Atlas grits his teeth, grabs at Grimes’ legs but Grimes BOOTS him from below! Grimes gets to ropes, Atlas runs in but Grimes gets him up and over. Atlas shoulders back in, slingshots up and over and builds speed, but into a kitchen sink! Grimes LARIATS, covers, TWO!
Grimes frowns and he digs his knuckles into Atlas’ head. Grimes lets off, Atlas gets to ropes, but Grimes is after him with KICKS in the corner! Grimes stands Atlas up to dig elbows into his chest. Grimes whips corner to corner hard and Atlas bounces off buckles! The ref checks on Atlas, he won’t let this stop here, and Grimes says he’s the man! Grimes gets Atlas up, Atlas elbows him back! Atlas ROCKS Grimes, CHOPS him, but Grimes KICKS back! Atlas blocks a kick, SLAPS Grimes, then whips him to a corner, Grimes reverses, Atlas reverses back and Grimes hits buckles hard! Atlas throws more hands, but Grimes spins and scoops, only for Atlas to slip out, GERMAN SUPLEX!
A limousine pulls up as Grimes ROCKS Atlas! The stretch parks, Atlas gets around Grimes to calf kick and forearm! Atlas spins Grimes for a DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Grimes survives but Atlas goes up top! Fans rally up, Grimes hurries to go after Atlas but Atlas knocks him back down! Atlas adjusts, but Grimes grabs at him! Atlas goes up and over and returns, into COLLISION COURSE! Grimes shouts, “TO! THE!” DeBiase’s intro interrupts! The Million Dollar Man is live and in person! Atlas springboards to sunset flip, Atlas wins!!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall
Grimes is furious and DeBiase has the last laugh again! Grimes rushes Atlas but Atlas ROCKS him! Grimes flounders out of the ring, and chases after DeBiase! “Where’d he go?!” Grimes goes outside, sees the super stretch limo, and knocks on the window. DeBiase says, “Not bad, kid. But you’re no Million Dollar Man.” The limo drives away and Grimes curses DeBiase’s name! What will it cost Grimes to finally get one over on Ted DeBiase?
Bronson Reed reflects on his career.
“May 18th, 2007, my very first match. I was excited, nervous, and now 14 years later, May 18th, 2021, the biggest match of my life!” Reed VS Gargano, Steel Cage for the North American Champion. Reed has to go through Austin Theory, but even before that, he had to get through Australia, Japan, the UK, and match after match in NXT. Gargano will not deny Reed his destiny any longer. Reed will walk out of the cage THE NXT North American Champion, go to his wife and say, after 14 years, “We did it!” Will this Colossal Rocky story have its happy ending once and for all?
Arash Markazi interviews Pete Dunne.
Markazi thanks the Bruiserweight for this time. “Now normally, when someone calls out a champion, or someone, it’s one specific person. You called out basically the entire roster. Is there someone in particular you would like to face next?” Dunne says there are different reasons for each one. He beat Kushida, so that’s done, but he could always go for that Cruiserweight title. There’s Walter, the NXT UK Championship, that’s unfinished business. Johnny Gargano, we’ve already seen that and how did that end? Dunne won, so he’ll do it again. And of course, Karrion Kross, obviously Dunne wants THE NXT title, something that’s eluded him.
There was a tinge of “put respect on my name” when Dunne spoke. Is there a sense that he isn’t getting the respect he deserves? He doesn’t really care, to be honest. The body of his work speaks for itself. Find a bad match Dunne has had. He hasn’t. Not even the loses are bad. Everyone leaves different facing him. Describe your style. When Markazi watches Dunne, it’s almost a UFC fight. Obviously there isn’t a cage, but it is aggressive. Where does that come from. Dunne takes inspiration from British wrestling, his own style he’s made over the year in America and Japan, all put together. People like Fit Finlay, but more violent.
How important is the connection he has with the fans? It does bring a different element. Seeing someone react to how he’s bending a finger or joint adds something. But we all know how it hurts to have a finger or arm bent the wrong way. Does Dunne set goes for himself? What does he want to have a year from now? Or even five years? Dunne used to set goals, but now he’s just someone who takes opportunities as they come. At this point, it’s just time to go after the NXT Champion. Dunne conquered the UK, now he’s ready to conquer the US. Markazi thanks Dunne for his time. Will we see the Bruiserweight look to take over NXT prime in the near future?
Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium VS Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick!
The Dresden Hatchet Man was not medically cleared before, but he has the greenlight now! Will he and the Belfast Beast be able to settle their differences once and for all?
The bell rings, Wolfe and Dain tie up, Dain waistlocks but Wolfe switches and shoves Dain. Dain throws hands, ROCKS Wolfe, but Wolfe kicks and knees back! Wolfe BOOT Dain, stomps him down and then rains down rights! Wolfe stomps Dain more, gets him up and throws EuroUppers. Wolfe reels Dain in for more EuroUppers, kicks, and back again. Dain just gets mad and he grabs Wolfe for a EuroUpper of his own! And more EuroUppers! Dain throws body shots in a corner, then forearms, Dain whips corner to corner to SPLASH Wolfe, then rams him all the way to the opposite end! Dain CLOBBERS Wolfe and roars!
Imperium gets on the apron, Maverick goes after them but they knock him down! Dain BOOTS Fabian Aichner, but Wolfe GERMAN SUPLEXES Dain! Marcel Barthel says to use the chair. This isn’t about the win but about sending a message! The ref gets the chair, but Wolfe takes it from him! Dain DIVIDES Wolfe, covers, and WINS!
Winner: Killian Dain, by pinfall
Dian and Maverick regroup and celebrate the win! Wolfe hesitated, does this have to do with his past with Dain? Imperium helps Wolfe up to his feet, and assure him it’ll be alright. Wolfe strikes the Imperium pose, but Imperium strikes him down! Barthel & Aichner stomp and kick Wolfe, then drag him up for the EUROBOMB!! Failure is not an option in Imperium, but will this only hurt their global expansion plans?
Backstage interview with Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai.
McKenzie congratulates the NXT Women’s Champion on defeating Mercedes Martinez last week, but what about the altercation in the trainer’s room later? Mack, they have Twitter accounts, they saw the comments. Yeah, Mack! Stop trying to start things! Raquel won like she said she would, and has no problem in respecting Mercedes. Dakota, on the other hand, would’ve kicked Mercedes’ head off. Agree to disagree. They’re friends, they do that, but they are going after the tag titles again! The Way may-
Whoa, tag titles? Ever-Rise is here, and they say that everyone knows Shotzi & Ember are first in line. Here’s the thing. You don’t need to be greedy! Raquel is a champ, definitely. Dakota, not so much. Wait, who are these two? Ever-Rise! The best team ever! And cohosts of the smash hit Saturday morning social media show, Ever-Rise Live! Sign pops in outta somewhere. Never seen it. What?! Do they have a problem? Wanna take a swing? Sounds like she wants to. She DOES! She SLAMS Matt Marthel off his feet and he spills his coffee! Chase Parker helps him back up and explains he got sucker punched. Is the mug okay? Which one?
El Legado del Fantasma VS Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher!
Speaking of tag titles, MSK has the men’s titles, and that means targets on their back! But before either Wilde & Mendoza or Ciampa & Thatcher can go after them, they’re going to go after each other! Will Legado learn that #OldManCiampa and #ToothlessDoubleT have different definitions for “blood and tradition?”
The teams sort out, Wilde and Ciampa start, and Wilde rushes in but misses wide right. Ciampa and Wilde circle, approach, and Wilde dodges to do a dance. But then Wilde bails out and leads Ciampa on a cat ‘n’ mouse game. Ciampa dodges the elbow drop, drags Wilde back out and whips him hard into the boards! Wilde writhes, Ciampa claps and pats himself on the back. Ciampa waves to Mendoza, puts Wilde in and headlocks. Wilde powers out, Ciampa runs him over! Cover, ONE! Ciampa gets Wilde in a facelock and grinds him down. Ciampa floats to a headlock, cranks back, but Wilde endures.
Wilde fights up, Ciampa cranks the headlock, and then wrenches to tag Thatcher. Ciampa hands off Wilde to Thatcher’s cravat, and Thatcher throws close-range shoulders. Wilde powers Thatcher to a corner, Mendoza tags in but Thatcher swats Legado away. Thatcher and Mendoza tie up, Thatcher headlocks and hits a trip to an ARMBAR! Mendoza fights, Thatcher shifts to a short arm scissor to a double wristlock. Mendoza fights up, gets the ropes, but Thatcher tags Ciampa. Ciampa and Thatcher mug Mendoza, Ciampa CHOPS Mendoza off his feet then goes from headlock to headscissors. Mendoza flails around, Ciampa CHOPS him, covers, TWO!
Ciampa bumps Mendoza off buckles, wrenches, and whips him corner to corner. Ciampa runs in to forearm smash! Ciampa whips the other way, runs but into a boot! Mendoza stomps Ciampa, rains down rights over and over, then spits the blood in his mouth. Mendoza lets off and Ciampa BOOTS him! Tag to Thatcher, he cravats. Mendoza endures, is still spitting blood from the mouth, but Thatcher shifts to a cording hold. Mendoza claws Thatcher’s face, headlocks back, but Thatcher pops out the back to have the armlock. Thatcher grinds Mendoza, chinbars, the ref checks Mendoza’s mouth and nose, but Mendoza refuses to stop. Mendoza wrenches, knees low and headlocks.
Thatcher powers out, Mendoza slides under and dropkicks legs out! Mendoza just shrugs off the bad nose to KICK and KICK! Thatcher blocks a kick, and twists the foot in an ANKLE LOCK! Thatcher grins but Wilde grabs at Mendoza. Thatcher drags them both in! Ciampa gets Wilde for an ANKLE LOCK! Legado endures double holds, but they both roll to victory roll! The ref refuses to count, this isn’t tornado rules! Mendoza somersault ENZIGURIS, Wilde JAWBREAKERS! Ciampa CLOBBERS Wilde, Mendoza ENZIGURIS Ciampa! Thatcher returns to ENZIGURI Mendoza! Fans are fired up, all four men are down and Thatcher checks his own arm as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Ciampa is unleashing endless corner clotheslines on Legado! Mendoza, Wilde, and back again, Ciampa is not slowing down! Fans are fired up as he tops this off at at least a dozen! Ciampa dodges the double to give a DOUBLE LARIAT! Legado falls out of the ring, Thatcher is fired up for Ciampa as he gets Mendoza. Wilde saves Mendoza from Willow’s Bell but Ciampa DECKS Wilde! Mendoza attacks Ciampa, stomps him down and tags Wilde back in. Legado double whip, double SPINEBUSTER, and then split the wishbone before a basement dropkick sandwich! Cover, TWO! Ciampa is showing why he’s a former NXT Tag Team Champion and top NXT Champion!
Wilde clamps onto Ciampa with a chinlock, Mendoza tags in and Legado mugs Ciampa. Mendoza throws hands, CHOPS Ciampa in a corner, then fires off SLAPS! Ciampa gives those SLAPS back, Mendoza knees low and BITES Ciampa’s forehead! Mendoza wants blood, but he runs corner to corner to RAM into Ciampa! Mendoza goes again, but Ciampa dodges and Mendoza POSTS himself! Ciampa tags in Thatcher! Thatcher gets Mendoza for a Belly2Belly! Wilde runs in, for a Belly2Belly! Thatcher DECKS Mendoza, gets him up and throws EuroUppers! Thatcher reels Mendoza into a HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!
Thatcher bumps Mendoza off buckles, fires off more EuroUppers, then tags in Ciampa. Ciampa fires off forearms and CHOPS, and then steps back to tag in Thatcher. Thatcher grins as he brings Mendoza up for more forearms! Tag to Ciampa, they get Mendoza up to EuroUpper, KNEE, and DOUBLE CHOP! Mendoza drops to his knees, Ciampa runs to PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa gets Mendoza up, wrenches and whips, but Mendoza goes up and out and GAMANGIRIS back! Mendoza leaps in up and over, Ciampa CHOPS! Mendoza kicks, CHOPS, but runs into a forearm! Ciampa whips, Mendoza reverses but Ciampa ROCKS him! Underhooks but no Fairy Tail Ending!
Mendoza back drops, Ciampa sunset flips, but Mendoza rolls through to SHINING WIZARD! Ciampa gets to a corner, Mendoza runs in and corner clotheslines while tagging Wilde! Wilde snap suplexes Ciampa, tags Mendoza back in, and Legado hits the hip toss splash! Mendoza adds a LIONSAULT! Cover, Thatcher breaks it! Thatcher fires forearms on Mendoza but Mendoza knocks him off the apron! Mendoza stomps Ciampa, tags Wilde, and Legado coordinates! Thatcher trips Mendoza up and throws EuroUppers! Wilde FLIES and takes Thatcher out! Ciampa gets Wilde for WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Mendoza dropkicks it outta nowhere!!
The CWC is thunderous as Thatcher goes after Mendoza. But The Grizzled Young Veterans pop in outta nowhere! They gut wrench Ciampa and give him an APRON TICKET TO RIDE!! The GYV feed Ciampa to Legado! Wilde gets Ciampa up, Mendoza runs, GAMANGIRI LEG SWEEP! Cover, El Legado wins!
Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall
GYV are satisfied with how they screwed over the grizzled old veterans, and now Legado has cleared their path to the titles! Will Legado finally take over the tag division?
Backstage interview with Bobby Fish.
McKenzie welcomes him back and congratulates him on his recovery from injury. But she does have to bring up how he came to help his former tag partner, Kyle O’Reilly. Fish apologizes but this is where he must cut her off. Last week had very little to do with Kyle and everything to do with Dunne and Oney. “Those two gentlemen, they put me out at WarGames. Triceps surgery. It’s a long recovery. Long enough that it put me on the sidelines to watch along with the rest of the world as The UE imploded.” Fish is back, and that means there is a debt to be paid, and he can’t think of a better place to start than with Pete Dunne.
Dunne walks around claiming he’s the match-up here no one wants. That’s funny to Fish, because that’s the only match he wants! Dunne started this at WarGames! Now he and Fish have unfinished business, so Fish calls Dunne out! Next week, Dunne better show up, because Fish vows to finish this!
The Way’s spa day continues.
Indi and Candice feel great. But they’re informed that Candice’s credit card has been declined. That can’t be right. Run it again. There’s no way it can be, Candice is a tag team champion now. They already tried running it a few times, and even contacted the company. There was an “unpaid expense.” Austin… He does this all the time, like with pizzas and stuff. No, it said it was a purchase made three weeks ago at a local florist. Does that ring a bell? Uh… No… Did anyone buy any flowers, chocolates, or other things? Nope, Candice has no idea- Wait, three weeks ago. Wasn’t that when Shotzi & Ember got all those gifts from Lumis? Or was it from Candice?!
Candice avoids the question but Indi puts it together for herself. Lumis still loves Indi Wrestling~! She runs off excitedly and Candice is at a loss for words. Shippers rejoice, for #InDex LIVES!
Johnny Gargano speaks.
“Bronson Reed, tonight, inside of a Steel Cage, I show you you are NOT on Johnny Gargano’s level!” Gargano is THE top champion on this brand, and he did something no one has been able to do: He left Karrion Kross laying! It doesn’t matter how big you are, or what hype you have! Austin, who beats the unbeatable? Gargano does! Who stops the unstoppable? Gargano does! And tonight, inside that cage, Gargano will show us all why he is UNTOUCHABLE! But will things really go Gargano’s way?
Sarray VS Aliyah w/ The Robert Stone Brand!
The Warrior of the Sun is still shining, and her future is bright! Will she blind #BornBougie with her bright smile and fiery intensity?
The bell rings and Sarray offers a handshake, but Aliyah just kicks her down! Aliyah fires off hands, drags Sarray up and whips her to ropes. Sarray reverses, gets around and arm-drags! And again! And then basement dropkicks Aliyah down! Fans fire up with Sarray as she runs but Jessi Kamea swipes at her! Aliyah attacks, fires forearms and uppercuts! Aliyah whips and CLOBBERS Sarray! Cover, TWO as Sarray goes Matrix! But Aliyah throws Sarray down by her hair! Aliyah gets Sarray up to throw her again! Aliyah runs corner to corner to BOOT her down! Cover, TWO! Aliyah sighs and smiles as she gets Sarray back up. Sarray ROCKS Aliyah, Aliyah hits back!
The two brawl, Sarray HEEL KICKS and covers, TWO! Sarray gets Aliyah up for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Aliyah staggers up as Sarray climbs, missile dropkick! Fans fire up with Sarray again and she runs to basement dropkick Aliyah against ropes! And then T-BONE SUPLEX!! Cover, Sarray wins!
Winner: Sarray, by pinfall
The Warrior of the Sun just burned Aliyah to a crisp! Will it only be a matter of time before Sarray shines with gold around her waist?
Shotzi & Ember speak.
“Indi, Candice, you hussies are already looking past us, but this is far from over! And Dakota and Raquel, you think you can just skip the line? But don’t forget who took the titles off you in the first place. Even a well-oiled machine needs a little bit of fine tuning. But it’s time to get gritty. It’s time to get wild!” Shotzi & Ember are stripping this down to get back on track and #TCB with Ember’s Law! Shotzi howls to the Moon, will these two hunt down the champions and take back what was theirs?
The Diamond Mine is coming.
Will NXT be ready for these diamonds in the rough?
Hit Row VS Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari!
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and “B-Fab” Briana Brandy accompany their boys to the ring, and are ready to hit the top of the charts in NXT. Will #PremierDinero will look like chump change against Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Top Dolla?
Adonis and Nese start, they know each other from 205 Live. The bell rings and he fires off on the Premier Athlete! Adonis whips, Nese stops himself in the corner and elbows back. Nese goes up and leaps over, then things speed up. Nese runs into a FLAPJACK! Adonis kips up, tags Dolla, and Dolla drags Nese up with a one-arm TOSS! Daivari tags in but gets BODIED! Dolla gets Nese back up to pop him up! Daivari runs but into a scoop! “Who hotta than Top Dolla?!” WASTELAND POWERSLAM COMBO! “Not NADA!” Dolla drags Daivari up, reels him in for a short-arm LARIAT, and then drags him back up to tag in Adonis.
Adonis talks trash, slaps Daivari around, and then gets Daivari up, but Daivari forearms and CHOPS on repeat! Adonis reverses the whip to AirDROP Daivari in the head! Adonis fires off forearms on the mat, gets Daivari in a corner, but Dolla tags in before the ref counts 5! Adonis keeps firing off on Daivari, Dolla pushes him aside, Nese gets in to get the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! The superkick floors Nese, Dolla keeps Adonis contained, so he can SPLASH Daivari in a corner! Fireman’s carry, throw to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, Hit Row wins!
Winners: Hit Row, by pinfall
Adonis and Dolla dominated the 205 Live OG, and then Dolla has B put ’em on notice! “B-Fab knows you be mad. Just another on the hit list.” They’re taking shots, taking spots, and doing ’em like connect the dots! They’re hot, and heat rises. Tonight’s main event, two competitors going for the North American title in a cage. Swerve doesn’t care who wins, just know he’ll be going after who shines in the end. And if you didn’t know, now you know! Will Gargano and Reed have to worry about who’s coming for them on the other side?
Backstage interview with William Regal.
Tonight’s main event is moments away, but he has updates on the other divisions. He isn’t quite happy with how they got there, but El Legado del Fantasma are the #1 contenders to the NXT Tag Team Champions. They will face MSK in two weeks for the titles! There are a lot of opportunities in NXT, and the greatest women’s division in the world is only getting more heated. Regal wants to see who is ready to step up to Raquel Gonzalez. There are also a lot of new faces in the Cruiserweight Division, and he wants to see who wants after Kushida more. And when it comes to the NXT Women’s Tag Division, we will see a rematch of Dakota & Raquel VS Shotzi & Ember next week!
Big moves in all divisions, what will the landscape look like on the road to In Your House 2021?
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
After weeks and weeks of Grimes being a step behind the Million Dollar Man, the two high rollers will finally have a face-off! A MILLION DOLLAR Face-Off, that is! What will that even look like?!
NXT North American Championship Steel Cage Match: Johnny Gargano VS Bronson Reed!
The cage is ready, and so are the two men that are stepping inside! The Way’s “fearless” leader and the Colossal Auszilla face off once again for this title, and it will finally be 1v1! Will there be no way Gargano survives with his reign still intact?
Gargano gets in Reed’s face before the bell, Reed shoves him down for it! The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle of gold and steel closes out NXT!
Gargano hurries for the door! Reed drags Gargano back, and Theory can only watch as Reed gets Gargano up and TOSSES him into a corner! Reed runs in, Gargano boots him, then climbs the wall! Reed drags Gargano back down, throws hands, then whips him corner to corner. Gargano goes up and over and rolls away, but Reed blocks the door! Gargano goes up a wall, Reed drags him back down and scoops. Gargano slips out, shoves Reed but Reed blocks the wall bump! Reed elbows Gargano away, Reed runs through a clotheslines and then BODIES Gargano! Gargano flounders, Reed drags him up, and TOSSES him into the steel! Gargano scrapes down and writhes in pain!
Reed looms over Gargano, gets him back up and TOSSES him into more steel! Gargano flounders, Reed looms over him and fans are loving this! Reed gets Gargano back up, scoops him, and LAWN DARTS him into steel! Gargano checks his face, the fans are loving this, and Reed drags him up between steel and ropes. Reed then joins him in that gap, to PRESS him against the ropes! Gargano feels like cheese being grated! Reed then steps through ropes, runs, but Gargano drops! Reed hits just steel! Gargano takes aim, slingshots, but his spear is stopped by the steel being too close! Gargano is stuck, Reed drags him up, DRAPING DDT!
Gargano flounders and fans fire up. Reed drags Gargano up, suplexes him, but Gargano slips out to CHOP BLOCK a leg! Gargano hurries to the wall, climbs up, and MOONSAULTS Reed down! Gargano rains down rights, Theory fires up, and Gargano crawls back to walls. Gargano climbs, Reed yanks him back and has a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives, reminding us why he was NXT’s first Triple Crown! Reed climbs a corner, Theory is there to distract him! Gargano SUPERKICKS a leg out! Reed gets crotched as NXT goes picture in picture!
Gargano climbs up, and bounces the ropes to mess with Reed’s King Gidorah! Gargano SUPERKICKS Reed off the ropes! Reed flounders, Gargano throws hands, then has Reed in a corner! Gargano climbs, throws down hands over and over, then climbs over Reed to get up. Reed grabs at Gargano’s feet to anchor him! Reed brings Gargano down, Gargano kicks and stomps him back! Gargano hops down and runs in to back body block Reed into buckles! Reed ends up between ropes and steel while Gargano gloats. Gargano dribbles Reed’s head off steel over and over, then runs side to side, but Reed ROCKS him! Reed steps through ropes, but Gargano kicks the rope!
Reed flops over, Gargano gets his legs, and he STOMPS right on Reed’s kaiju! No disqualifications in a cage match! Gargano covers, TWO! Gargano throws down hands, Reed shoves him away! Gargano puts Reed on ropes and chokes him! Again, no disqualifications, so Gargano can hold this way past 5! Gargano lets off at about 11, then DECKS Reed. Gargano throws more hands on Reed, but Reed hits back. They brawl, NXT returns to single picture and fans are fired up for “NXT! NXT!” as Gargano and Theory coordinate to SANDWICH Reed through steel! Cover, TWO!! Gargano is frustrated, so he just climbs a wall. Gargano leaps, but into a POWERSLAM!
Reed slaps himself to get back in this. Gargano turns around, Reed DECKS him! And again! Atomic drop and a COLOSSAL CATAPULT into the steel!! Gargano flounders, Theory panics, and Reed fireman’s carries Gargano to climb a corner with him! Theory shouts to Gargano, Gargano fights, but Reed hits a SUPER SAMOAN DROP!! Reed crawls but Gargano rolls away to avoid a cover! Reed keeps crawling, pushes Gargano over and gets that cover, TWO!! Gargano may have saved himself with those extra seconds! Reed gets up, climbs up a wall of the cage, but Gargano goes after his feet! Reed clubs Gargano, Gargano CLUBS the leg!
Gargano climbs up, dribbles Reed off steel again, and then springboards to SUNSET POWERBOMB!! Fans are thunderous and Theory is relieved as Gargano drags himself to cover Reed! TWO!!! Reed is showing he has superhuman endurance, just like Gargano! Gargano crawls to the door, Theory opens it and reaches for Gargano, but the ref reprimands him. Reed anchors Gargano! Theory and Reed play tug o’ war with Gargano! Theory lets go and Reed SITS DOWN on Gargano! Reed goes for the door, but Theory slams it shut! Reed shoves the door and sends Theory swinging into the side of the cage!! Theory is down, but Gargano SUPERKICKS Reed!
Reed ROCKS Gargano! Reed reels Gargano in, lifts, but Gargano fights the bomb by grabbing steel! Gargano hops back to POISON-RANA!! Both men are down, the door is open and the CWC fans are electric! Gargano goes to a wall of the cage, climbs up, but Reed crawls after him. Gargano changes his idea, slingshot, but no final beat as Reed SLAMS Gargano into steel! Reed goes to the door! Gargano is so far away, but Theory SLAMS the door on Reed’s head!! Gargano leaps, TORNADO DDT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Gargano can’t believe Reed survives! Gargano goes to a corner while Reed sits up in a daze, and Gargano climbs!
Gargano is already at the top, but Reed grabs his feet! Gargano kicks at Reed, Reed climbs up, and Gargano throws hands on Reed! Gargano climbs to step on Reed, but Reed gets Gargano for a COLOSSAL POWERBOMB!! CWC is rumbling with “NXT! THIS IS AWESOME! NXT!” Reed stands first, he climbs a wall, but Theory again gets involved! Reed swipes at him, Gargano climbs up now, and now it is a handicap cage match! Reed DECKS Gargano, BOPS Theory, and finishes climbing! Gargano sees the door, Reed sees Gargano, SPRINGBOARD TSUNAMI!?! Reed doesn’t want the door, he slams it shut! ANOTHER TSUNAMI!! Cover, Reed wins!!!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall (NEW NXT North American Champion)
That was an epic! Fourteen years to the day of Reed’s wrestling debut, and he is a champion in the WWE! Will Reed prove he is the king of kaiju now that he has gold around his waist?
An awesome episode and so much is being set up on the road to TakeOver: In Your House 2021. A brief hype package helps bring us right into Storm VS Stark rematch, and that was like a TakeOver match in itself. Stark won last time, it makes sense Storm wins this time, and we’re definitely getting a tiebreaker at the next TakeOver. Storm’s new move is unique, I wonder what it’ll be called. The spa day for Indi & Candice was an interesting way for Indi to find out about the trick Candice played. Though her being happy that Lumis was still her guy canceling out the anger she had for Candice seemed a little too easy. I suppose it’ll take more than that to break up The Way.
While Ever-Rise said it was being greedy, it makes a lot of sense for Raquel & Dakota to go after the tag belts since their reign was literally just minutes long. Raquel & Dakota VS Shotzi & Ember to name contenders to The Way is going to be a very good match, but Raquel having a title to defend surely means she and Dakota lose. Then we get Shotzi & Ember VS The Way rematch at TakeOver, and maybe in something even bigger than a Street Fight so that it’ll feel a bit more definitive. Though, that was a pretty extreme match already, so I’m not sure how they could go harder, unless they make it elimination or Falls Count Anywhere. Actually, I hope they do that.
Sarray VS Aliyah was alright, but of course Sarray wins. She’ll be growing stronger in the background of the title scene but will certainly get her shot once Raquel’s had a few defenses under her belt. Grimes getting so upset with DeBiase that he picks a fight with someone else is great, and I love that DeBiase showed up to the CWC to distract Grimes. The Million Dollar Face-Off is probably not a match, but maybe some kind of showdown in regards to their possessions and wealth. Maybe this sets up the match of Grimes VS the million dollar proxy, maybe as something big for the go-home to TakeOver.
Legado VS Ciampa & Thatcher as an unofficial contender’s match was great stuff, even with the scare of Mendoza’s nose and Thatcher’s left arm. But I should’ve guessed GYV would get involved and screw Ciampa & Thatcher over. MSK VS Legado in two weeks, Ciampa & Thatcher VS GYV at some point, all great stuff, and maybe the winners of each meet at TakeOver. I feel like if we get MSK VS Ciampa & Thatcher at TakeOver, that could be the make-or-break moment for Ciampa & Thatcher as a team. Maybe Thatcher joins Imperium after all now that they’ve kicked out Wolfe? And maybe Wolfe joins Dain & Maverick in a weird SAnitY offshoot?
Hit Row had a good match, though I’m curious as to Adonis just suddenly having all this aggression when he wasn’t that way at all as a solo act. Maybe Swerve being the smooth operator of the group means Adonis has to be the opposite now to contrast. Adonis and Top Dolla are going to be very good tag team already, they had good chemistry here, and Swerve stakes his claim to the North American Championship already. I can’t be sure if B-Fab is going to stay manager or will try to get in the ring, but she’s coming into her role very well so I think she’ll be fine either way. Hit Row could even take on Legado in a Six Man Tag, and works with the history between Swerve and Escobar.
Prime Target: Kross VS Balor II was good, but not quite on the level I would’ve expected. Granted, they probably didn’t have time to do on-location shots like for other Prime Targets. But the match is definitely going to be TakeOver worthy, and I feel like Kross will win out since this second reign is meant to make up for the ill-fated first. Balor won’t be as hurt as Jimmy Smith’s part of Prime Target makes it seem. I think Balor should consider all his options the way Pete Dunne is. Fish is calling Dunne out but I’m thinking Dunne gets this win, even if it’s just because Oney gets involved. Dunne mentioned all but the tag titles, so Balor should think the same. Balor VS Kushida, Balor VS Walter, and maybe even Balor VS Reed at some point.
And of course, Gargano VS Reed was a great cage match. NXT always finds ways to make these cage matches work while RawDown struggles. With Reed’s promo looking back to his first match ever, of course he wins tonight. Reed has definitely worked hard and earned this moment, and maybe this frees Gargano up to get into another title hunt. THE NXT Championship makes the most sense, especially with Gargano bragging he did what no one has in knocking Kross down. But I would love if Gargano wanted the Cruiserweight Championship. Gargano VS Kushida would be an awesome match, Gargano was in the Cruiserweight Classic, aka the other CWC, and if Gargano won that belt, he’d be NXT’s first-ever GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, something he has definitely earned the right to be.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.156 ~ 12TH JANUARY 2022