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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (8/3/21)

NXT’s first ever… Love Her or Lose Her match?

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NXT Coverage 2021

And you thought NXT was innovative before!

In another historic… adjacent move from NXT, we will see Johnny Gargano VS Dexter Lumis, to determine the fate of Indi Hartwell…’s dating life!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • El Legado del Fantasma VS Hit Row; Hit Row wins, by disqualification.
  • Ridge Holland w/ Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan VS Ikemen Jiro; Holland wins.
  • Bobby Fish VS Roderick Strong w/ The Diamond Mine; Strong wins.
  • LA Knight & Cameron Grimes VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
  • NXT Breakout Tournament Opening Round, Final Match: Trey Baxter VS Joe Gacy; Baxter wins and advances to the second round.
  • Love Her or Lose Her: Johnny Gargano VS Dexter Lumis; Gargano wins and #InDex must be no more.

PLAY BY PLAY

El Legado del Fantasma VS Hit Row!

Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde made sure to mess up Ashante THEE Adonis and Top Dolla by going after Swerve, but now they might be the ones getting messed up! Will Legado be checked off the Hit Row hit list?

The teams don’t sort out before firing off hands! Dolla throws Mendoza around then clotheslines him out! Adonis fires off hands on Wilde and tosses him out! The CWC fires up for both teams as Hit Row holds the ring. Santos Escobar cools off his hermanos, Mendoza gets in, but Adonis is all over him! Adonis fires off forearms, whips and RAMS Mendoza, then whips him the other way to RAM him again! Adonis whips Mendoza again and hard, Mendoza bounces off the buckles! Adonis gets Mendoza up but Mendoza hits back! And CHOPS! Mendoza whips Adonis but Adonis reverses to kick and DDT! Adonis climbs a corner, leaps an FLOPS as Mendoza moves!

Mendoza stomps Adonis, drags him away and tags in Wilde. Wilde stomps Adonis, drags him up and throws EuroUppers! Escobar revels in the fans dueling as Wilde kicks and whips Adonis. Adonis stops to get Wilde with a NECKBREAKER! Adonis gets Wilde up, rams him into the Hit Row corner, and tags in Top Dolla! Dolla gets Wilde up, knuckle locks and wrenches the writ. Dolla talks trash, Wilde CHOPS, but Dolla just lifts him with one arm! Dolla dares Wilde to do something, and Wilde throws hands. Dolla lets him down, to run him over! Dolla taunts Escobar, “This your man?!” Knuckle lock and a lift to the corner! And then a wrench to a SUPER HIP TOSS!

“What you got, huh?!” Dolla puts Wilde in a corner to CHOP him down. Dolla shoves Wilde, tags Adonis, and Dolla whips Adonis in, only for Wilde to elbow back! Wilde dodges Dolla, goes up top and leaps, but Adonis dropkicks Wilde’s rana down! Cover, TWO! Adonis gets Wilde up, Wilde throws body shots and runs, but into a lariat! Adonis rallies, blocks a kick and DECKS Wilde to then whip and FLAPJACK! Adonis kips up but Escobar gets on the apron! B-Fab gets there, too, as does Swerve! Adonis runs but Mendoza dumps him out! The ref didn’t see that with the others arguing, and Wilde RAMS Adonis into boards! Legado’s fans fire up as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Legado double whip Adonis for a DOUBLE SPINEBUSTER! Then they split the wishbone! And a double basement dropkick sandwich! Wilde covers, TWO! B-Fab talks smack to Escobar while Adonis hits back on Wilde, but Wilde drives in forearms! Fans rally up as Wilde wraps on a chinlock. Adonis fights up, fights back, but Wilde RAMS him into the Legado corner. Wilde taunts Dolla then runs in to clothesline and tag! Mendoza repeats the clothesline and tag! Wilde repeats the clothesline and tag! Mendoza repeats the clothesline and tag, and then Wilde again! Legado then double snap suplex Adonis down! Mendoza LIONSAULTS, covers, TWO!!

Mendoza wraps on a chinlock to grind Adonis, then adds a chinbar. Adonis endures as the fans duel, “HIT~ ROW~!” “LE-GA-DO!” Adonis fights up, throws body shots, Mendoza throws knees and shoves, but Adonis sunset flips! Mendoza rolls through, but Adonis ducks the shining wizard! Adonis hurries but Mendoza keeps him from the corner! Adonis breaks free to AIRDROP! Hot tag to Dolla! Wilde tags in but Dolla clobbers, him, splashes Mendoza, fires off on Wilde, then kicks to KNEE LIFT! Wilde flounders about, Dolla fire sup and runs in to SPLASH! Then scoop to a one-hand SIDEWALK SLAM! And a roll back to stand tall! “Who hotta than Top Dolla?” #NotNada!

Dolla runs, but Escobar BLATANTLY SMACKS HIM WITH A CHAIR!!

Winners: Hit Row, by disqualification

Escobar doesn’t care about winning but hurting Hit Row, and he drags Dolla out to SMACK again, and then RAM into steps! But then Swerve goes after Wilde, only to get mugged by Mendoza! B-Fab panics as Escobar kicks away on Swerve! Escobar gets the chair while Wilde and Mendoza hold him, and Escobar says he’s going to silence Swerve. He JAMS the chair into the ribs! And then he pulls out the GRILL! The CWC is rabid as they put Swerve’s head through the chair and Escobar goes up top! But Dolla drags Swerve to safety and scowls at Escobar. Escobar grins and laughs but doesn’t see B-Fab sneaking up! She SMACKS Wilde down with the chair!!

Escobar is furious but then Dolla gets in to DOUBLE SHOTGUN Escobar and Mendoza! And then Adonis gives Wilde a SPINEBUSTER! Adonis fires off furious fists, Swerve gets back in. Adonis gives Wilde the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! Wilde flies out of the ring from the superkick, and Dolla feeds Mendoza to Swerve’s JML DRIVER!! “What else you got?!” Escobar struck a chord and is still cocky because he has Swerve’s grill. But will Swerve grill Escobar, chop him up, and eat him for dinner?

 

Samoa Joe paces backstage.

William Regal finds him, and brings in security. Now that Joe is a competitor, Regal has to do his job. These men will stick with Joe so that nothing happens between him and Karrion Kross until TakeOver: 36. Regal leaves it to the security guards, but can they really keep Joe and Kross contained?

 

Dexter Lumis is in his… “private studio.”

He looks back at all the artwork he’s done, and works on a new one to commemorate #InDex. He also looks at the art that’s chronicled his battles with The Way. It’s all or nothing tonight, will Lumis give the newest sketch as a gift? Or simply as a memento of what could’ve been?

 

Ridge Holland w/ Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan VS Ikemen Jiro!

Northern Grit made a shock return last week, and used that moment to devastate Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa! Will he only do worse to the Handsome Face of 205 Live?

The bell rings and fans fire up with Jiro as he and Ridge tie up. Ridge puts Jiro on ropes, headlocks him, then grinds him down with those big arms. Jiro throws body shots but Ridge DECKS him with a EuroUpper! Ridge snapmares and drops a Regal style knee! Ridge puts Jiro in a chinlock but fans rally up, and Jiro JAWBREAKERS! JACKET PUNCH! JACKET PUNCH! JACKET DISCUS! Jiro runs, but into a lift! Ridge puts Jiro on ropes, to DECK him! Jiro lands hard to the floor, and Ridge goes out to stalk him around the way! Ridge POUNCES Jiro into the boards! Then Ridge gets Jiro up to ROCK him, and shove him into the ring!

Ridge drags Jiro up, reels him in, for a head ‘n’ arm BELLY2BELLY! And he tears off the jacket!! Fans boo as Ridge clobbers away on Jiro with crossface forearms! Ridge revels in the jeers as he scrapes his knee off Jiro’s face! Ridge tosses the jacket to the crowd but they boo harder! Ridge dares Jiro to get up and Jiro throws hands! But Ridge catches his arms for another OVERHEAD Suplex! Fans chant “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” but Ridge gets Jiro for another trapped arm OVERHEAD Suplex! Ridge shouts, “TEN MONTHS! TEN MONTHS!” The time he was gone with the damaged legs, and he is taking it out on Jiro! HEADBUTT!!

Jiro wobbles, Ridge scoops him, NORTHERN GRIT!! Cover, Ridge wins!

Winner: Ridge Holland, by pinfall

Oney and Dunne join Ridge in the ring to stand over Jiro as he flounders and sputters. Ridge throws Jiro out hard and Dunne calls for a mic. “Everyone thinks they’re bad, until a REAL bad man steps in the room! Tommaso Ciampa thought he was bad, until Ridge Holland, Oney Lorcan and The Bruiserweight stepped in the room.” As for Thatcher, Ridge is back and he will smash the rest of Thatcher’s teeth out! And how do you plan to pick them up when Dunne breaks your fingers? This is what happens when you step to them! They’re the three most dangerous men in NXT! Try and prove Dunne wrong, he dares you! Will this trio of bruisers break the roster to take over the brand?

 

Backstage interview with the Robert Stone Brand and Franky Monet.

Franky is clearly not the happiest after the “collaboration” didn’t work out last week. And she cuts off Stone before he can justify what happened. What happened last week, that “loss,” a word Franky really hates, was all because of Stone’s interference. Yes, she gets it, he and Jessi Kamea are used to losing because they’re losers. Franky doesn’t know what being a loser means, because she is NOT a loser! Stone gets it, but then if this group is gonna work, it has to be rebuilt in Franky’s image, Franky’s way, and under Franky’s rule! Stone agrees! Then take it or leave it. Stone can take it. Is Jessi taking it? Stone says this is crystal clear, but he sounds a bit desperate…

 

NXT hears from Trey Baxter.

The 23-year-old superstar is “born to do this,” and the Breakout Tournament is just another chance for him to show what #AllHeart is all about. All Heart is his lifestyle to always keep fighting and pushing forward. He’ll show it through in this tournament. No matter what, he’ll emerge as a star.

 

Bobby Fish VS Roderick Strong w/ The Diamond Mine!

While Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole are far from done, the Infamous One looks to reel in the Savior of the Backbreaker. But with Strong having moved on from the Undisputed Era to lead his own stable, will he prove Malcolm Bivens right? Is Roddy the new number one around here?

The bell rings and the two tie up right away. They go around, end up in a corner, Strong gets an arm and wrenches to a wristlock. Fish endures, slips through, and wrenches Strong back. Strong slips into the clinch and they end up on ropes. The ref calls for the break, Strong lets off clean, but they tie up again! Fish puts Strong in a corner, knees him, snapmares, but Strong avoids the kick! Strong knows Fish’s moves well, and he gets Fish’s leg. Fish headlocks back to grind Strong, but Strong endures. Fish knees, grinds the headlock, but Strong powers up to power out. Fish runs Strong over with a shoulder but things speed up! Strong KNEES Fish right back!

Strong headlocks to the takeover but Fish rolls through. Fans rally behind Fish as he powers his way out to RAM Strong into a corner. Fish throws big body shots and kicks, and Strong falls down! Fish gets Strong up to snap suplex! And right to a chinlock! Fish shifts to a facelock, Strong rolls and gets free to CLUB Fish. Strong facelocks, hooks arms, but Fish throws elbows. They end up on ropes again, the ref calls for the break, but Fish snapmares Strong to KICK him after all! Strong gets away but Fish is after him in the corner with forearms. Strong kicks back, knees and CHOPS, but Fish ROCKS Strong! They’re brawling with big forearms but Fish kicks a leg out!

Fish digs his knee into Strong in a corner but lets off as the ref counts. Strong staggers about, Bivens is worried as Fish throws body shots. Fish whips corner to corner, Strong goes up and over but runs into a KICK! Fish stalks Strong to the apron and grabs at him as NXT goes picture in picture.

The ref has Fish stay back a moment, and Bivens check son Strong. Fish gets Strong up but Strong hotshots him! Fish ends up on the apron, Strong kicks at him, then throws knees. Strong CHOPS, Fish forearms, and they brawl on the edge. Strong mule kicks, Fish shoulders, but Strong CHOPS! Fish resists the back breaker left, throws knees, but Strong elbows Fish to the floor! Fish SWEEPS the legs! Strong hits apron then floor, and clutches his knee! Fish backs Tyler Rust off to put Strong in the ring, and then cover. TWO, but Fish keeps on Strong with knees into the side. Fish drags Strong up, throws knees and haymakers and has Strong in a corner.

Fish brings Strong around to back suplex high and hard! Strong blocks a kick and gets around to cradle BACKBREAKER! Both men are down but Strong crawls to a cover, TWO! Strong throws elbows into Fish over and over, digs his knee into Fish’s back, and has a partial Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch. Fish endures as Strong shifts to a chinlock but he fights up to throw body shots. Strong CLUBS Fish but Fish mule kicks! Fish has Strong in a corner,  again, fires off big forearms and elbows, then drives in knees! The ref backs Fish off and Strong BOOTS him in the chest! Strong fires off forearms and CHOPS but Fish DECKS him! And KICKS him down!

Fish gets Strong in a corner again and throws back elbows. Fish fires off more body shots, but Strong gets past him as NXT returns to single picture. Strong and Fish throw shots back and forth, Fish KICKS a leg and Strong scrambles away. The ref has Fish stay back as he checks Strong, but Strong SUCKER PUNCHES Fish! Diamond Mine loves it as Strong stomps Fish. The ref reprimands and has Strong let off. Strong KICKS Fish in the back, covers, ONE!! Strong gets Fish up but Fish throws body shots. Strong snap suplexes Fish then covers, ONE!! Strong keeps Fish down with a head ‘n’ arm, then shifts to a sleeper.

Fish fights up as fans rally and Fish throw elbows and body shots. But Strong gets him for an URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fish is hanging tough and that annoys Tyler Rust but Bivens taunts Fish. Strong gets Fish up for another BACKBREAKER! Strong keeps on Fish with a chinlock, trapped arm, and even a toehold! It’s a very unique cobra twist but Fish fights back by pulling on Strong’s ear! And then he fish hooks Strong’s face! Strong lets Fish out and they brawl with body shots and forearms! Strong swings but into a body shot and a back elbow! And a KICK! Strong staggers, Fish runs in to KNEE Strong at the corner!

Fish whips, Strong reverses but Fish fires off more kicks! Strong dodges one kick but not that mule kick! Fish runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Bivens, Rust and Hideki coach Strong on but Fish gets Strong up for a knee and a sweep of the legs. Fish ROCKS Strong, wraps on a sleeper, but Strong resists and RAMS Fish into a corner. Strong elbows Fish in the ribs, then hits a back suplex slam! Strong and Fish slowly rise, Strong CHOPS Fish then fires off fast hands! Strong runs side to side to forearm smash over and over! Fish staggers but Strong running SLAMS him down! Cover, TWO! Bivens is starting to get annoyed but Strong drags Fish up.

Strong clinches, but Fish WHEEL KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fish stomps Strong, goes to a corner, but Diamond Mine distracts him. Strong shoves Fish off the top and to the floor! Strong gets Fish back in, drags him up, but Fish rolls Strong! TWO!! JUMPING KNEE!! To END OF HEARTACHE!! Cover, Strong wins!

Winner: Roderick Strong, by pinfall

Diamond Mine celebrates that slug fest going their way! Strong vowed this would be the last time he and Fish faced off, is Strong going after Kushida’s Crusierweight gold next?

 

LA Knight and Cameron Grimes meet backstage.

Butler Grimes has Mr. Knight’s elastic bands, and asks that if Knight is done preparing, that he has his turn to get ready for tonight’s tag match. Grimes looks ready to Knight in the suit. But instead of worrying about his looks, Grimes needs to worry about GYV. Those guys have been a team for years, these two have only been spending time together, what? A few weeks? GYV has each other’s backs, so Knight needs to know he can trust Grimes. Grimes is a man of his word, or else he wouldn’t still be waring this outfit. So if Knight’s worried if Grimes has his back, just know Grimes is there for him.

But the real concern tonight, Mr. Knight, is will Knight have Grimes’ back? Knight says he’s a man of his word, too. He wouldn’t make the Million Dollar Championship look bad, so if Grimes has Knight’s back, Knight has Grimes’ back. That is a guarantee. But since Grimes is a man of his word, he needs to shine this spot on Knight’s boot for him. Yes, sir, Mr. Knight. Grimes brings out his shoeshine rag and polishes the boot right up. Will both men be men of their word against Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem?

 

LA Knight & Cameron Grimes VS Grizzled Young Veterans!

The Million Dollar Megastar and the Cash Money Carolina Caveman currently working as a butler had a bit of a run-in with Zack Gibson & James Drake on a golf course last week. Despite Grimes hitting Knight’s two balls with one club, GYV are the ones Knight is after! But as GYV make their entrance, Drake has a mic to say, “Can you believe these morons cheer this? Cameron, you are living proof that you simply can’t polish a turd.”

Gibson says that he doesn’t know what role playing game this is, but here’s some friendly advice: In or out of the ring, stay out of their way! They are Grizzled Young Veterans, SSSSOOON to be recognized as NXT Tag Team Champions! Will GYV prove themselves worthy of that golden opportunity with MSK at the expense of Knight & Grimes?

Grimes starts against Gibson, stuck in his butler suit. Fans still chant, “TO THE MOON!” as Grimes and Gibson circle. Grimes gets a leg, then an arm, and wrenches to a wristlock. Knight wants in and Grimes heads over. Tag and Knight fires off hands. Knight whips Gibson to CLOBBER him! Knight wants fans to chant for him as he bumps Gibson off buckles, but the fans don’t care. Knight whips Gibson, Drake is the buffer and Gibson KNEES Knight back! Gibson rakes Knight’s eyes, then gets him up as he tags Drake. Drake jumps in to take the hand-off and short arm clothesline Knight down! Cover, TWO! Fans want Grimes in but Drake ROCKS Knight!

Drake gets Knight for a suplex, but Knight lands on his feet to hit a NECKBREAKER! Knight crawls, fans fire up, and hot tag to Grimes! Grimes climbs, leaps, and CROSSBODIES! Grimes struts and laughs then gets Drake up. Drake headlocks, Gibson tags in as Grimes powers out. Gibson KNEES Grimes into the ropes! Knight gets mad but Gibson DECKS him! Gibson gets Grimes up to throw hands. Drake tags back in, GYV double whip Grimes to CLOBBER him! Drake drags Grimes to a cover, ONE! Drake gets Grimes up, wrenches, tags Gibson, and GYV double whip again. Grimes holds ropes, throws Drake out but Gibson uses a sleeper to keep Grimes from Knight!

Grimes endures and fans rally up. Grimes snapmares free to BACK DROP Gibson away! Grimes reaches, but Knight ditches him at the corner! Knight’s not a man of his word at all! Grimes scowls and fans chant, “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” Grimes throws the suit off and dares Gibson to bring it! Drake tags in, but Grimes rallies on GYV! Drake and Gibson whip him again but Grimes gets around to shove Drake into Gibson! DOUBLE RANA! Fans fire up as Grimes PENALTY KICKS Gibson from the apron, and HOTSHOTS Drake! Grimes goes up, leaps, Drake gets under but comes back into the COLLISION COURSE!! Cover, TWO!!

Grimes rips the suit shirt, shouts “TOOOO THEEEE MOOOOON!” but Gibson distracts! Grimes swipes at Gibson, Drake waistlocks but Grimes headlocks. Gibson tags in as Drake powers out, leap frog and tilt-o-whirl, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV win!

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall

Knight turned this into a Handicap Match by stooping to another low, and GYV’s teamwork was too much for one man! Will Grimes make the Million Dollar Megastar pay for leaving him behind?

Wait, Ted DeBiase is here! THE Million Dollar Man checks on Grimes, and says he tried to tell Grimes. He knows Grimes is a man of his word, but Grimes has to figure something out about this situation. Grimes agrees and DeBiase helps Grimes to the back. Can they figure out a way to make Knight put his money where his massive mouth is?

 

NXT hears from Dakota Kai.

#CapKota says, “18 months ago, I needed someone I could trust. And then I saw her. This beast, Raquel Gonzalez, crushing combine records. But she was stuck in the shadows.” Raquel had gone as far as she could go, and Dakota says without her, Raquel would still be nothing. It was simple: stand behind Dakota, watch, learn, and be there when she needed her. Raquel ran through everyone in Dakota’s way for her, from Tegan Nox to Shotzi Blackheart to Mia Yim to Rhea Ripley. And then Raquel became a star in her own right, crushing Io Shirai in the Women’s WarGames. Dakota “let” Raquel get that success. Because to be real here, everyone knew who the leader was.

Stand & Deliver, the biggest TakeOver of all time, and Shirai goes to Raquel. Raquel didn’t think to give Dakota that opportunity! She didn’t think Dakota wanted that spot just as much! After giving Raquel everything, plucking her from obscurity and putting her in the spotlight, Raquel stole Dakota’s opportunity! With Dakota’s help, Raquel beat Io and became the NEW NXT Women’s Champion. That should’ve been Dakota! Dakota should’ve had her hand raised, in the ring with Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley in that triple brand title moment! Dakota wanted Raquel to return the favor, help Dakota regain the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.

But Raquel didn’t care. She didn’t put her heart or soul into anything other than what she had. From that point out, Dakota was known as Raquel’s sidekick! “I am no one’s sidekick!” And hence, why Dakota kicked Raquel in the face! The only person’s back Dakota will have now, is her own. And the funniest thing about all this is that Raquel didn’t see it coming! Raquel’s so oblivious to the person right next to her was going to kick her head off. BANG! There’s no one left? How about Dakota?! Dakota brought Raquel into the spotlight, and will take her out of it by becoming NXT Women’s Champion! Stinging words from #CobraKai, but how will Big Mami Cool respond?

 

Backstage interview with The Way.

McKenzie asks Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano about the huge night tonight as Johnny faces Lumis in the Love Her or Lose Her match. What’s going through their minds right now? Johnny says he and Candice have both been champions, been in TakeOver main events, and the biggest matches in this company’s history. Tonight ranks right up there. Candice asks McKenzie something: Who knows what’s best for Indi? The Way does. They know what’s best for her! And tonight, the fate of the family rests in Gargano’s hands! He must do whatever it takes to protect Indi at all costs! And though it won’t be popular, Gargano ENDS #InDex for good!

 

NXT hears from Joe Gacy.

From Batsto, New Jersey, the hard-hitting bruiser knows “people don’t like what they can’t control.” Him having this opportunity in the Breakout Tournament, he won’t be controlled until his hand is raised as THE winner of the whole thing. Baxter VS Gacy happens after the break!

 

Medical update on Adam Cole.

Given last week, Kyle O’Reilly got him with both a chair, and a brain buster to steel steps, Cole has a spinal compression, neck compression and secondary neck injury. Cole is not medically cleared to compete at the moment, much the flipside of when Cole did this to Kyle. But next week, Regal will preside over a face-to-face between these two as NXT returns to the USA Network.

 

NXT Breakout Tournament Opening Round, Final Match: Trey Baxter VS Joe Gacy!

#AllHeart will collide with all frenzy as the opening round is almost over! Baxter impressed against Cruiserweight Champion, Kushida, and Gacy fought his way into the bracket at the expense of Desmond Troy. But who advances to take on Odyssey Jones in the second round?

The bell rings and the two tie right up. Gacy puts Baxter on ropes, Baxter gets around to waistlock but Gacy headlocks and throws Baxter to a corner. Gacy eggs Baxter on, Baxter comes back and get around for another waistlock. He spins into the sunset flip but Gacy drags him right up to TOSS to a corner! Baxter gets up and Gacy runs in, but Baxter boots him! Baxter runs and forearms but Gacy stays up. Baxter keeps moving, only for Gacy to CHOP him off his feet! Cover, ONE! Gacy drags Baxter up but Baxter throws hands. Gacy runs Baxter over but Baxter anchors a foot. Baxter avoids Gacy’s stomp and kips up to ENZIGURI! Gacy staggers and fans fire up!

Gacy comes back, scoops Baxter, Baxter slips out and dropkicks Gacy out of the ring! Baxter builds speed to DIVE, into Gacy’s arms! Gacy pops Baxter up, tosses him to the ropes, then DECKS him on the rebound! Fans fire up as Gacy paces around, and Gacy gets Baxter into the ring at 6 of 10. Gacy clamps onto Baxter with a chinbar but fans rally as Baxter endures. Baxter fights up, Gacy CLUBS him down! Cover but Baxter resists, so Gacy grinds him down to get both shoulders. ONE, and Gacy drags Baxter back up. Gacy scoops but Baxter slips around to a SLEEPER! Baxter is a backpack but Gacy throws him off and stomps him down! But Baxter kicks from below!

Gacy stomps, Baxter kicks, and Baxter headlocks. But Gacy breaks free to HEADBUTT, then ROCKS Baxter with a forearm! And point-blank clotheslines against the ropes! Gacy hits one last one to top it off! Baxter flops to the apron but Gacy gets him up. Gacy suplexes Baxter into the ring high and hard! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and duel as Gacy clamps on with the chinbar again. Baxter fights and hits a JAWBREAKER! But Gacy choke grips, tosses Baxter to another corner, only for Baxter to slip out! Gacy hits buckles, Baxter springboards in, missile dropkick! Baxter builds speed to DIVE! The Low-pe knocks Gacy down but Baxter goes again for another DIVE!

The tope suicida hits but Baxter keeps going again, to FLY! The Fosbury Flop takes Gacy down! Gacy gets to the ring as fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” Baxter grabs at Gacy but Gacy kicks him away. Baxter steps in for a TORNILLO SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Baxter gets Gacy up to throw body shots, then slips around to sleeper hold. Gacy RAMS Baxter into buckles, then runs corner to corner to CANNONBALL into buckles! Gacy gets Baxter up top, climbs up to join him, fireman’s carries but Baxter fights! He bumps Gacy off buckles! Gacy is down, Baxter is up, 450 DOUBLE STOMPS?!? Cover, Baxter wins!!

Winner: Trey Baxter, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

And the semifinals are set! Baxter will bring #AllHeart on a journey, but can he conquer the Odyssey?

 

Zoey Stark and Io Shirai try “hanging out” together.

They went to Izziban Sushi & BBQ, and this is what Stark feels they needed to be doing. This is so exciting and fun. They needed to get together and form a bond. Like how Shirai and Kairi Sane were friends! They had each other’s backs, they knew everything about each other. That’s what these two need. The waitress comes by and Shirai orders in Japanese and Stark is lost. She just goes with what Shirai is having. The menus are taken and it turns out Shirai ordered a lot. It all looks great! Well, Stark isn’t sure about the squid, though. Isn’t she going to eat? Y-Yeah, of course! Just… she’s not good with chopsticks so she goes with fork and spoon.

Stark braves the squid, and nope nope, not for her. She waits until Shirai is checking her phone to spit it out into a napkin and then throw that napkin under the table. She likes it, right? Y-Yeah, she loves sushi! What’s that green stuff? It’s good, try it. Wait, is it like guacamole or…? No, it’s WASABI! She puts a little too much and it really hits her hard! Again, she has to hide what she spits out under the table. And as Shirai talks the check with the waitress, Stark CHUCKS the rest of the squid. She would like a to-go box, by the way. But see, look? They’re bonding. Shirai hugs it out with the waitress and takes the check.

Stark says she had a great time and wants to hug it out. No, Stark, thank you. She’s the one paying the check. Shirai leaves and Stark asks the waitress if she and Shirai know each other. No, but they just speak the same language. Oh, so the waitress was also born and raised in Japan? Nope, Kansas. Oh. Huh. Stark reconsiders the to-go box. Will she and Shirai be able to find common ground outside of food?

 

Backstage interview with Indi Hartwell.

Her emotional state must be all over the place. Her love-life is on the line, but who is she pulling for tonight? Well, it’s complicated. On one hand, there’s family. The other, true love. Indi isn’t pulling for him, but if Lumis did win, and The Way gave him a chance, they’d finally see Lumis isn’t bad, just misunderstood. But we’ll find out of it’s meant to be. That will be the main event tonight, which way will the heart break?

 

Karrion Kross hijacks commentary!

“HEY JOE! You quit your job because you think you can make a change around here?! You can’t control this place! You couldn’t then, and you can’t now!” So then, who provoked who?! Samoa Joe storms his way to the ring! Security does its best to hold him back but he swats them all down! Joe gets in the ring but Kross has disappeared! So Joe throws around one security guard, CLOBBERS another, and then gives the third an URENAGE! Joe drags that same guard around as he shouts for Kross, and he puts on the COQUINA CLUTCH!! The guard flails, taps, but Joe is almost foaming at the mouth! “KROSS! I’m coming for you…!” Will TakeOver 36 see Joe 86 Mr. Apocalypse once and for all?

 

NXT presents Prime Target: Walter VS Dragunov II.

Triple H starts us off by saying, “Walter, the longest reigning champion in modern WWE. For over 800 days, has dominated this brand. Ilja Dragunov, one of the most dedicated and intense individuals to ever enter the squared circle.” Sheamus says he saw the first, and it was fantastic. Nigel McGuiness says that it was one of the most brutal matches he’s ever witnessed. Drew McIntyre says it was probably the best match. Riddle says it has heart and determination, while Regal says it was sheer violence. The fierceness is unmatched. It shows how far British and European wrestling has come. Fit Finlay says it was brutal! And that’s what this is all about.

Dragunov speaks on how the whole world was talking about the level of brutality they put on at this stage. People couldn’t believe what they saw. Dragunov appreciates that the fans recognize his performance, but fans cheer for those who win, and forget those who lose. Dragunov felt broken after. He was so focused on how he could be like Walter, the champion, a cold-blooded person. Dragunov went on that path of violence for a chance to fight Walter again. This fierce rivalry and this epic rematch has been added to TakeOver 36! Walter says that is a big stage, and it is where he belongs. For Ilja, this is the match of his life.

Dragunov promises that we will see why it is a mistake to underestimate him. Walter says that when he’s on his best day, he is unbeatable. Dragunov says Walter doesn’t have the soul to win. Dragunov has more strength and more stamina, but Walter says he doesn’t have the mental ability. The only reason Dragunov will be at TakeOver is because Walter forged him. Walter says we will know what Dragunov really is: all show, full of doubt and fear. Dragunov says Walter is wrong! This isn’t just a battle for the belt, or a war for the top spot on NXT UK. This is going to be a fight to see who is fighting for the right reasons!

 

Kushida speaks.

“Roderick Strong. I respect your win over Bobby Fish. You fought hard and came out victorious. You keep saying my name, and I hear you! You want a title shot at the NXT Cruiserweight Championship? You got it!” The Time Splitter is ready to take on the Savior of the Backbreaker, but will the face of the Diamond Mine crack under the pressure?

 

Love Her or Lose Her: Johnny Gargano VS Dexter Lumis!

Johnny Wrestling, Papa John, leader of The Way, has been against the Tortured Artist and #IndiWrestling being together since day one. But now he can end it here if he defeats Lumis in a 1v1 match! Will this be the last night #InDex has on NXT?

The bell rings and Gargano shows Lumis his The Way shirt. Gargano points out that “This is my family! And you don’t mess with my family.” Fans rally and duel as Gargano says if Lumis wants Indi, he has to get through Gargano. Gargano eggs Lumis on, but Lumis is a statue. They tie up, Gargano headlocks but Lumis powers up, only for Gargano to hold on. Gargano also holds on as Lumis tires to power out. Gargano grinds Lumis down, fans rally up, and Lumis fights to his feet. Lumis powers out this time but Gargano goes up and over in the corner then arm-drags Lumis around! Gargano has the armlock but Lumis fights up.

Gargano wrenches, wristlocks, but Lumis rolls and kips up to wrench and club Gargano’s arm. Lumis arm-drags Gargano around now and dropkicks him down! Then he slithers up to Gargano to get in his face! Gargano is creeped out and slithers out but Lumis slithers after, and Gargano fires off haymakers! Gargano has Lumis on the apron and drags him to the ramp, for a snap suplex! Lumis clutches his back and fans fire up, but here comes Indi herself! Gargano puts Lumis in at 7 of 10, fans cheer on “IN DEX! *clap clap* IN DEX!” Gargano tells Indi that she shouldn’t listen to the fans. She has The Way. Gargano gets in and Lumis hits a THESZ PRESS and fast hands!

Lumis has Gargano in a corner, stomps him, throws hands over and over, but Gargano staggers away. Lumis keeps on him with a whip to ropes then clobbers him with an elbow! Fans chant, “WE WANT INDEX!” as Lumis whips Gargano corner to corner. Gargano boots back, throws forearms, then ROCKS him! Gargano whips, Lumis dodges, slides under and then plays peekaboo with Gargano at the apron. Wait, where’d Lumis go? Gargano can’t see where he is, but Indi hurries after Lumis? And now Candice hurries out. She and Johnny drag Indi out from under the ring, but she’s holding hands with Lumis! But Gargano KICKS Lumis in the side! And RAMS him into steps! And then boards!

NXT is picture in picture as Candice has Indi stay back. Gargano gets Lumis up, throws haymakers, stalks him around the way, and then puts him back in the ring. Gargano gets on the apron but Lumis ROCKS Gargano with a right! But Gargano SLINGSHOT SPEARS Lumis down! Gargano goes outside to get his headband back, goes back into the ring and puts the headband back on. Indi reaches out to Lumis but Candice tries to drag her away. Gargano sits Lumis up just to knock him down! Gargano knocks Lumis down again, but Lumis gets up to throw haymakers! Lumis has Gargano in a corner but Gargano kicks back.

Gargano snapmares Lumis down, for a basement dropkick! Gargano covers, TWO! Lumis is still in this but Gargano taunts the #InDex fans. Gargano gets Lumis up, wrenches and hooks him up for a headlock and stretch. NXT returns to single picture as Lumis endures and fans rally up. Lumis fights with elbows and body shots but Gargano CLUBS him on the back. Gargano throws hands, spins but into an uppercut! Gargano spins again but into a SPINEBUSTER! Gargano and Lumis get up, and Lumis rallies with big haymakers! And CHOPS! Lumis tightens the glove as he runs in to clothesline and BULLDOG! Then a BIG back suplex! And a LEAPING leg drop! Cover, TWO!

Fans argue the count while Candice is stressing out. Lumis stalks Gargano as he gets up, and Gargano turns around into the clinch. Gargano elbows free, throws Lumis out, and then runs to DIVE! Direct hit and Lumis is sent into the desk! Gargano puts Lumis back in the ring and then starts yelling at Beth Phoenix for getting this InDex stuff started! Beth says the heart wants what the heart wants, Johnny! Gargano goes back to the apron, slingshot but into an uppercut! Lumis slingshot suplex FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Gargano’s heart is still superhuman but Lumis climbs up top. Lumis leaps but Gargano moves! Lumis rolls through but into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!!

Fans rally up behind Lumis as he gets up. Gargano is after him with forearms but Lumis gives them back! They go back and forth, shot for shot, over and over! Gargano fires off a flurry, runs, but into a pop-up UPPERCUT! But he SUPERKICKS right back! But then Lumis SUPERKICKS! Gargano is down, fans are thunderous, and Lumis looks to Indi. Lumis goes out, he and Indi both signal the elbow. Lumis springboards, SAVAGE ELBOW FLOPS!! Gargano avoids it, and jumps onto the GargaNO Escape!! Indi shouts for Lumis to hold on, and he fights to the ropes! Indi is there and touches Indi’s face gently for the ropebreak! Indi swoons but Gargano is furious!

The ref counts the break, Gargano lets go at 4 because a disqualification is still a valid loss. Gargano tells Indi to stop it already, and Candice does, too. But Lumis rolls Gargano up!! TWO!! And Lumis is sent into Indi! Lumis DECKS Gargano and then hurries to go check on Indi. Candice says Lumis is a monster, and Gargano TOPE DDT’S!! Gargano gets Lumis up and in the ring, and says this is for Indi’s own good. ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, Gargano wins!!

Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall

Indi is devastated! Lumis lost the match, and has lost his chance to be with her and The Way! Indi looks back at Lumis with a forlorn look, but then she runs to him anyway! She tackles him and gives him a huge kiss!! She’s defying the stipulation of the match!! No one can stand in the way of love! #InDex now, then and forever!!


My Thoughts:

What a great episode! We got a really good opening tag from Legado and Hit Row, and Escobar “ruining” it with the chair attack really just helped raise things up a level. The chaotic brawl was fun, Hit Row stands tall, but Escobar taking Swerve’s grill is also a unique way to escalate things. Obviously that North American Championship match is coming, but I’m hoping for that Six Man Tag as the go-home. Then, we all knew Regal giving Samoa Joe security was just so he could beat up those guys when he can’t get his hands on Kross. While Kross VS Keith Lee last night on Raw was great, obviously Kross’ segment here was prerecorded. They still get the point across perfectly, and the title match for TakeOver 36 is going to be epic.

Of course Ridge Holland makes quick work of Ikemen Jiro but it was still a good first match back for him. Dunne also has a good promo to plug the feud with them and Thatcher-Ciampa. Ridge VS Thatcher, Ridge VS Ciampa, Ridge & Dunne VS Thatcher & Ciampa, all those matches are going to be badass. Speaking of badass, that’s exactly what Fish VS Strong was. Just like with Kyle VS Cole and Kyle VS Strong, the familiarity from working together for years really lent itself to Fish and Strong taking this to a higher level. Strong winning makes sense, he was going for Kushida and Kushida had a good response to essentially confirm that title match.

LA Knight and Cameron Grimes getting into a tag match made sense given last week, and of course Knight ditches Grimes. Grimes loses because GYV needs to stay strong in the tag division, and this sets up Knight VS Grimes III, the Million Dollar Championship back on the line. Prime Target: Walter VS Dragunov II was another epic Prime Target video, we got a lot of great soundbites from wrestlers from the UK as well have gone through NXT. The NXT UK Championship could easily steal the show, and hopefully it gets more people who watch NXT prime to consider NXT UK.

Franky had a good promo to officially establish that she’s taking over the Robert Stone Brand, just as we all knew she would. I wonder if we get a new member that Franky “recruits.” Shirai and Stark had a pretty good little skit for their teammate dinner date. I feel like Shirai was trolling Stark on some level with the food order after Stark brought up Kairi. I’m thinking with the line about “speaking the same language,” Stark tries to learn Japanese, and then there are hilarious misunderstandings from Stark getting things wrong. And we got a very good promo from Dakota that perfectly summarizes everything that has happened to this point.

Baxter VS Gacy was a great Breakout Tournament match, and another upset in a sense with Baxter going over. Carmelo Hayes VS Duke Hudson, Trey Baxter VS Odyssey Jones, we’ve got two battles of Cruiserweight VS Heavyweight, we could end up with any kind of combination for the tournament finals, and if a Cruiserweight wins the tournament, then the options for a title story are very open. And lastly, Gargano VS Lumis was a great match, especially with the “overbooking” of Indi and Candice being ringside and getting involved in the character work. I was surprised Gargano won, but then that made it even better when Indi didn’t care about the result and ran to Lumis. I totally want this to be a Mixed Tag, The Way VS InDex, possibly at TakeOver.

My Score: 9.3/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)

Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?

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WWE Raw 2022

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?

 

Veer Mahaan.

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?


My Thoughts:

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


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)

Raleigh gets Elevated!

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AEW Elevation Coverage

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!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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.

QUICK NOTES

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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