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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/31/21)

NXT prepares to set sail!

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NXT Coverage 2021

NXT pushes off for WrestleMania WEEK!

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver is just a week away! But before that, there’s a HUGE Battle Royal to see who makes it to night one!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Roderick Strong VS Cameron Grimes; Grimes wins.
  • Santos Escobar w/ Legado del Fantasma VS Tyler Breeze; Escobar wins.
  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Zayda Ramier; LeRae & Hartwell win.
  • Zoey Stark VS Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai; Gonzalez wins.
  • Tian Sha & Xia Li VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter; Tian Sha & Xia Li win.
  • NXT North American Championship Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal: LA Knight, Bronson Reed, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Leon Ruff, Cameron Grimes & Dexter Lumis move on to TakeOver Night One.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roderick Strong VS Cameron Grimes!

Before these two battle in tonight’s massive battle royal, the Savior of the Backbreaker wants to make The #GameStonks Caveman pay for taking the Undisputed Break-Up so flippantly. But will Strong be going strong into tonight’s golden opportunity? Or is Grimes going #ToTheMoon~?

As Grimes makes his entrance, he has a mic to say, “Roddy, Roddy, Roddy. Listen, last week, I know you were frustrated. And maybe, maybe, I didn’t come at the right time. But you see, there’s a lot of money we’re leaving on that table with that intellectual property with the Undisputed Era.” And without Grimes. the UE might be done for. But Grimes says these two can keep it going! Grimes wasn’t fully prepared last time, but he has something that will change Strong’s mind! #GrimesTheSystem! Strong is not amused. Alright, well, get a load of this one! The entrance has even been changed! Strong goes to the ramp to CLOBBER Grimes!

Strong fires off, Grimes hits back and they brawl around ringside! Strong puts Grimes in, the bell rings, and Strong dumps Grimes down for knees and hammering fists! Grimes scrambles, Strong holds on with a facelock then shifts to go after arms. Grimes resists, Strong hammers away again, then knees Grimes against ropes! The ref counts, Strong lets off and Grimes DECKS him! Grimes CLOBBERS Strong, drops knees, and clamps on with a thrashing facelock! Strong fights up, fans rally, and Strong wrenches an arm to then CHOP Grimes! Grimes turns things around to RAM into Strong, and throws Strong around. Grimes facelocks again but they end up in ropes.

The ref counts, Grimes claws at Strong then lets off at 4. Grimes stomps Strong in a corner, and tells him he should’ve made the deal. Strong kicks Grimes away, then gets up to KNEE Grimes down! Fans fire up as Strong kicks Grimes around, CLUBS him on the back and ROCKS him with a right. Grimes ROCKS Strong back but Strong KNEES low. Strong has Grimes on the ropes and CHOPS him! Grimes sputters but Strong pushes him around. Strong tells Grimes to shut up and then brings him up, but Grimes throws him into buckles! Fans rally as Grimes stomps Strong and has him in the corner. Grimes CHOPS, Strong CHOPS, Grimes claws Strong’s face!

The ref counts, Grimes lets off at 4 to stomp away on Strong. Fans rally, Strong reverses the whip and CLOBBERS Grimes again! Grimes flounders up and stumbles around, into Strong’s clothesline! Grimes is outside, Strong runs to WRECK Grimes with a dropkick! Fans fire up more as Strong drags Grimes up for more CHOPS! Strong rains down rights as the ring count climbs. Strong sees the fans wearing UE merch and hesitates. Grimes RAMS Strong into a girder! Strong slumps down as NXT goes picture in picture.

Grimes and Strong are both down, catching their breath. Grimes drags Strong up, and RAMS him into the Plexiglas! Strong staggers, Grimes puts him in the ring  and EuroUppers him on the apron! Grimes gets in, stalks Strong, and digs his knee into Strong at the ropes. The ref counts but Grimes lets off fast. Grimes mocks the UE hands, but Strong kicks Grimes in the legs! Strong gets up in a corner, but Grimes clotheslines him right away! Grimes brings Strong up to whip him corner to corner hard, then digs his knuckles into Strong’s face! The ref counts, Grimes lets off, and Grimes stalks Strong to get him for an armlock. Grimes grinds his knee into Strong but Strong endures.

Strong fights up, powers Grimes to a corner, and hooks Grimes into ropes to CHOP him again! Strong whips, Grimes reverses and Strong hits buckles hard! Grimes clamps onto Strong, goes after the arm but Strong resists. Grimes stomps Strong, goes after the arm with the double wristlock and works to turn the arm. Strong still resists, rolls, fights up as Grimes cranks the arm and Strong throws body shots and CHOPS! Strong whips, Grimes reverses again and spins Strong to a SWINGING SIDE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Grimes can’t believe Strong survives but he clamps on with a chinlock. Grimes wants the arms but Strong resists the chicken wings.

NXT returns to single picture as Strong fights up. Grimes clubs him, almost has a cobra twist but Strong throws more body shots. Grimes CLUBS Strong down, clamps onto an arm and grinds his forearm into Strong’s face, but Strong fights up again. Strong fireman’s carries, Grime flails and gets free, but Strong reverses the whip. Grimes KICKS Strong back, then hurries over, only for Strong to BOOT him! Strong CHOPS, forearms, but Grimes shoves, only for Strong to come back with a lariat! Strong runs, Grimes dodges, Grimes LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Both men are slowly rising as fans rally up again.

Grimes clamps onto a waistlock and squeezes tight for a rear bearhug. Strong pries at the hold, gets a NORTHERN LIGHTS, and the two get up slowly again. Grimes staggers into a low headbutt, then swings into a clinch, URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Grimes survives but that was just one backbreaker. Strong hauls Grimes up, puts him in a corner and CHOPS him again! And ROCKS him, CHOPS him, then hoists him up top. Strong climbs, hits Grimes more, and reels him in, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Grimes survives but Strong is too sore to be frustrated. Fans fire up as Strong grabs at Grimes’ foot. Grimes gets to ropes, Strong goes side to side for endless forearms!

But then Grimes hits a COLLISION COURSE outta nowhere!! Cover, TWO!! Strong survives but Grimes reaches down his trunks for a secret weapon, but he turns around into an OLYMPIC SLAM! Strong grabs the secret weapon, and it turns out to be an Undisputed Era armband!! Fans chant “Undisputed!” and Strong turns around into a CAVE-IN!! Cover, Grimes wins!

Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall

Advantage: Grimes! He used the UE against Strong and gets a big win before tonight’s bigger match! Will Strong look to redeem himself by ruining Grimes’ TakeOver plans?

 

NXT checks in with Karrion Kross’ TakeOver preparations.

“My greatest strength going into NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver is my conviction. The training prep for this match was very simple: train to create maximum damage.” Kross isn’t wasting time with “conventional” training, he’s going “back to basics.” Catch wrestling, judo, striking, his strengths. He’s been trained to hurt people. Balor will try to run out the clock, tire Kross out. But he can’t run forever. Kross will cut the ring off. Every time he hits Balor, Balor will see a white flash, and Kross will “light his ass up with shots that he is going to carry with him for the rest of his life.” “At TakeOver, the fans can expect to see a Prince dethroned.” Scarlett says Balor only has once choice: Fall & Pray.

 

NXT hears from Walter.

“Tommaso Ciampa. I’m aware you consider yourself a wrestling veteran, a locker room leader. This great sport was the number one priority above everything else. You were a dominant and ruthless champion. But now you have other priorities in life. It’s not the most important thing in your life anymore. Tommaso, you’re not a leader. You’re just a shell of what you once were. And that’s the difference between you and me. Because my commitment for this sport is unreached. I’m the longest reigning NXT UK Champion in history. I’m the one who respects this sport like nobody else. And come TakeOver, I’m going to prove it. I’m going to prove what it means when I say the mat is sacred.”

 

BREAKING NEWS!

NXT is on the move! On April 13th, the first Tuesday after WrestleMania, the black ‘n’ gold will be there! Will you be?

 

El Legado del Fantasma is in the ring!

Santos Escobar says tonight, he wants to issue an OPEN CHALLENGE! “Why? Because I run the bingo around here. Because I want to show Jordan Devlin what he’s in for. I was born a champion, and that is the difference between me and you, Jordan Devlin. I AM the Emperor of Lucha Libre. That’s not a nickname. That’s not a catchphrase. 100 years of tradition is what I represent. The very Cruiserweight title was born out of what I represent. This Division will forever belong to me, as long as I want to! Because it’s in my blood, and it runs through my veins!” This is blood and tradition, as HE is the greatest Cruiserweight in the history of NXT! But here comes Tyler Breeze!

“Santos, Santos, Santos. You know what the differences is between you and me? You think the Cruiserweight Division is yours because you’re entitled. Me, on the other hand. I have had to work my ass off to be here! So open challenge accepted.” Will Prince Pretty show the Emperor of Lucha that Cruiserweight wrestling belongs to one and all? Or will he be used as an example for the Irish Ace?

Santos Escobar w/ Legado del Fantasma VS Tyler Breeze!

The bell rings, Escobar kicks low and fires off on Breeze! Escobar stomps him to a corner, talks trash, then stomps him more! Escobar stomps but the ref reprimands and counts. Escobar says Breeze is a joke, then runs corner to corner to basement dropkick! Wilde & Mendoza add to the trash talk as Escobar fireman’s carries Breeze. Breeze fights free and shoves Escobar to dropkick him down! Breeze stomps Escobar in return now, but lets off at the ref’s count. Breeze whips corner to corner, Escobar goes up and over and rolls but into another dropkick! Fans fire up as Breeze digs his boots in! Breeze drags Escobar up, throws him out hard, but the ref keeps him in the ring.

Breeze still goes out the side and gets Escobar in, but Escobar dropkicks him down! Escobar stomps Breeze more, drags him up and whips him to ropes. Fans duel as Breeze jumps over but runs into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Escobar kicks Breeze to a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Breeze goes up and out and GAMANGIRIS! Breeze drags Escobar to the corner and swings the leg into the post! Then he DECKS Wilde and ROCKS Mendoza to POST him! Escobar runs in but gets another GAMANGIRI! The Emperor is being made a fool as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Escobar has Breeze in a leg lock but Breeze gets the ropebreak. Escobar holds until the ref counts 4, and he kicks Breeze to then put him in a corner. Escobar digs his palms in then CHOPS Breeze. Escobar fires off knees, throws body shots and then backs off to run back in and DOUBLE KNEE Breeze down! Cover, TWO! Escobar grins, laughing at Breeze as he slaps him around. Escobar stomps Breeze, drags him up, and fireman’s carries to then GUTBUSTER! Legado cheers Escobar on as he turns Breeze over to hook up the legs. Breeze resists but Escobar pulls him back into the ROMERO SPECIAL! Breeze endures the surfboard, but Escobar brings him into a chinlock formation!

Escobar lets Breeze go, covers, TWO! Breeze gasps for air but Escobar clubs him down. Escobar slaps Breeze around, talks more trash, and CHOPS him! “That’s how you run the bingo!” Escobar whips Breeze corner to corner, then runs in, but blocks boots, only for Breeze to still push him away! RANA and a rain of fists! Breeze drags Escobar around to go after the leg with elbow drops, and a KNEE JAMMER! Escobar hobbles, Breeze runs in and forearm smashes! Breeze puts the leg on ropes to drop a knee on the knee! Legado panics as Breeze SPINEBUSTERS Escobar, to then step through and SHARPSHOOTER! Escobar endures as Breeze sits on the hold!

Escobar powers up, crawls over and reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Breeze lets off fast, but he stalks Escobar to get the chicken wings. Escobar powers out of the Unprettier to ENZIGURI! Escobar drags Breeze right up to the PHANTOM DRIVER! Cover, Escobar wins!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

That ripcord was a message to Devlin! And though this was fair and square, it was a bit more than a tune-up. Will Escobar have to do much better when he’s in a Ladder match with the Irish Ace?

Legado grabs Breeze, but here comes MSK! Nash Carter & Wes Lee are going after Mendoza & Wilde because of the coming NXT Tag Team Championship match, but Legado slips away. But then on the titantron, it’s the Grizzled Young Veterans! Zack Gibson tells the production crew to turn off the “garbage music” so we can hear him. Gibson tells Legado that they are so distracted trying to earn brownie points with Escobar, and he tells MSK that they are so distracted by the bright lights and funny memes, and pretty much anything.

Meanwhile, he and James Drake are laser focused on one thing only: SOON to be recognized as the next NXT Tag Team Champions! With the titles up in the air, we will have new champions, but will it be with the former NXT UK Tag Team Champions? The Dusty Cup winners? Or will Legado be golden after TakeOver?

 

Backstage interview with The Way.

Firstly, Johnny Gargano knows there is the Eliminator Gauntlet Battle Royal relating to his NXT North American Championship, and he’s thought about it. It’s still the stupidest idea ever! Don’t you think Johnny TakeOver, the man who put this brand on his back for YEARS, should get the courtesy of knowing who his TakeOver opponent is weeks in advance. NO! Mr. Cuckoo Bananas Regal goes and proves he is not fit to run NXT! But Austin Theory thinks this is a great idea. Wait, why is he even in that match? Is he getting back at Johnny for the therapy sessions? No! But haven’t you ever heard of the Finger Poke of Doom? Of course he had!

But, wait… That killed the business, though. It did? Well we’re still here. True, so screw it! Let’s do it! Theory wins tonight, then again at Night One! Then on Night Two, TakeOver: Stand & Deliver becomes Lay Down & Let Johnny Pin You! Now Gargano is all for this idea! Indi Hartwell still bets on Lumis. What?! Candice tells Indi to shush. But tonight, Shotzi & Ember better watch to see what real tag team champions look like. The Way heads out, but will they soon be the Golden Way?

 

A Pomeranian trots up to the Performance Center?

Whose pup is this? And what does the pup have planned for NXT?

 

NXT shares interview footage from after last week’s episode.

Io Shirai was getting ice for her back after Raquel Gonzalez gave her a Desperado Bomb to the announce desk. McKenzie asked if Shirai was concerned about “biting off more than she can chew” with challenging Raquel to a match. “That’s why I picked her.” So then, does the Evil Genius have a plan for Big Mami Cool come Stand & Deliver?

 

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Zayda Ramier!

The Poison Pixie and Impressive Indi are ready to show the NXT Women’s Tag Division the way to success! But will they overlook the opponents in their way tonight?

The teams sort out, Indi Wrestling and Gigi start. They tie up, go around, and Indi puts Gigi in a corner. The ref counts, Gigi pushes her away but Indi brushes that off. They tie up again, Gigi gets around to full nelson then spin and wrench to a hammerlock. Gigi spins to cravat Indi and crank the neck. Indi pulls at the arms, Gigi snapmares and KICKS Indi in the back! Gigi CLUBS Indi, swaggers and rocks out, but the boot misses! Indi fireman’s carries for a SNAKE EYES to a SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Gigi saves herself but Indi is right after her. Gigi shoves Indi away. Candice tags in but Gigi throws her down.

Candice boots Gigi away, runs into the corner but is sent into buckles! Gigi hurries but Indi tags in first to get her. Gigi elbows Indi and tags Zadya! Zayda runs to SUPER PUNCH, and SUPER PUNCH and SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up with Zayda as she runs in to clothesline Indi! And then uppercut! Zayda heel kicks but misses, only to come back with an ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO! Indi grits her teeth but Zayda is on her first. Zayda drags Indi up, Indi shoves and SPINEBUSTERS Zayda down! Fans rally as both women crawl, hot tag to Candice! Candice CLOBBERS Gigi, then looms over Zayda. Zayda gets the inside cradle, TWO! Candice KICKS Zayda down!

Tag to Indi, The Way coordinate, WICKED STEP SISTER to Indi’s SPRINGBOARD MACHO ELBOW! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: Indi Hartwell & Candice LeRae, by pinfall

Now that was impressive! But Candice gets a music so she can talk to everyone in the back. “There is not a woman in that locker room that deserves to be a champion more than I do! Which means that Indi and I deserve to be NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions!” Fans boo but Candice tells Shotzi & Ember, “I’m coming for what’s mine! And as I said before, it will be on our time and it will be on our stage, and it will be in our way!” And that means it will be at TakeOver!

But speaking of the champs, here they come! Shotzi & Ember ride out Tank Mk II and have mics of their own. “Excuse you, Candice. But did you say you deserve our titles?” And that those titles are theirs? These two have done lost their damn minds! But Shotzi & Ember would be lying if they say they didn’t expect this. What does Shotzi say? Shotzi says at Stand & Deliver, they’ll #TCB with Ember’s Law! Challenge ACCEPTED!! But in the meantime, how about they knock some sense into the Way? NOW! Nerf missile, fire! It hits Indi in the stomach! Will that just be a sample of the gut check Indi & Candice are in for at TakeOver?

 

Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai head for gorilla position.

But on the way, they encounter Io Shirai. Shirai tells Raquel, “You cannot kill me!” They brawl!! Referees and Dakota hurry in to stop this, but Raquel SLAMS Shirai off road cases! Raquel storms off, will she give even worse to Zoey Stark?

 

The Pomeranian gets inside the Performance Center!

Seriously, whose pupper is this? He’s going into the CWC!? Is he here to see someone?

 

NXT Media catches up with Roderick Strong.

Where is he going? He has the Battle Royal tonight. He says he’s done. What? Done how? Just all of it. Is Strong… quitting NXT?!

 

Zoey Stark VS Raquel Gonzalez w/ Dakota Kai!

We just saw Io Shirai go after Raquel and get thrown around. Stark was Shirai’s tag partner last week, can she avenge the NXT Women’s Championship just days before TakeOver?

The bell rings and Stark circles with Gonzalez. Gonzalez rushes in but Stark rolls to evade. They circle, Gonzalez works to corner Stark, and then puts her in the corner for haymakers and elbows! Stark dodges to kick and kick but Gonzalez gets her with both hands! Stark slips free to RANA and elbow Raquel in a corner! Stark runs, returns but is put on the apron! She counter punches then shoulders into Gonzalez to slingshot up and over and SHOTGUN back! Stark runs in but the monkey flip is blocked to a FLAPJACK! Cover, TWO! Stark survives and Gonzalez seethes. Gonzalez pushes Stark around, drops an elbow then another, and then another! Cover, TWO!

Gonzalez clamps onto Stark with a thrashing chinlock, then shifts to a high wristlock and chinbar! Stark endures, Gonzalez thrashes her around more, but Stark fights up. Stark fires forearms and knees, whips but Gonzalez blocks! Gonzalez whips Stark to a corner, Stark dodges the corner attack and comes back with a SUPERKICK and SHINING WIZARD! Gonzalez shoves Stark away, runs at her but is dumped outside! Gonzalez staggers on her feet, Stark PLANCHAS, but is caught! Gonzalez powers up but Stark slips off to POST Gonzalez! Dakota ROCKS Stark while the ref is distracted, only to get CLOBBERED! Fans fire up as Stark hurries after Gonzalez in the ring, spin for the KNEE!

Stark fires a forearm, more elbows, then a mule kick to legs! Stark runs for a SLIDING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Gonzalez shocks Stark but fans fire up! Stark hurries to a corner and climbs up top, but Gonzalez CLUBS her first, to then get the choke grip! Stark holds ropes, fights back, and kicks Gonzalez away! FLYING BLOCKBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Gonzalez survives again and Stark is losing her mind! Fans are thunderous as Stark drags Gonzalez up and reels her in, but Gonzalez back drops! Stark avoids the elbow drop, goes to heel kick but swings into the DESPERADO BOMB!! Cover, Gonzalez wins!!

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall

Impressive is not the same as victorious, but Gonzalez was both right here! Will Gonzalez do that even more at TakeOver? But here comes Shirai! She’s back for more and they brawl in the ring! Shirai dodges, SHOTGUNS and Gonzalez tumbles out! Shirai is still after her with clubbing forearms! Gonzalez TOSSES Shirai into the boards!! The refs back Gonzalez off but Gonzalez says this is just the beginning! Will the Evil Genius even make it to Stand & Deliver Night One? Is her reign over one way or another?

 

The Pomeranian is on a mission!

He goes up the stairs, walks along the “WE ARE NXT” slogan, but where is he going?

 

Backstage interview with Kushida.

The Time Splitter is part of the Eliminator Gauntlet Battle Royal and can win his way to TakeOver. What are his thoughts? “Tonight, nothing will stop me from-” Pete Dunne shows up, and says he finally heard about Kushida calling himself the best technical wrestler in the world. Dunne tells Kushida that DUNNE holds that crown. So in case you misheard the first time, Dunne dares Kushida to prove him wrong! Kushida did hear Dunne. The battle royal comes first. Will the best technical wrestler in the world today be one of the final six tonight?

 

NXT presents Prime Target: Cole VS O’Reilly.

Cole’s words from last week repeat: Imagine you were born blind, couldn’t see a thing, then one day you wake up and you can see everything. That’s called a revelation, and Cole had one. Cole realized that he didn’t need the UE, the UE was holding him back! And the one who made him realize was KYLE O’REILLY. Cole sits down for a video interview, but says they get no more than 15 minutes.

Kyle says the first time he met Cole was about 11 years ago. They met backstage at a show, hit it off, and little did Kyle know that Cole would become both the biggest blessing, and the biggest curse, to his career. Cole says it was 2009, and from that moment forward, he and Kyle were someway, shape or form were attached. As friends, as rivals, tag partners, all over the world, Cole & Kyle were attached at the hip. Now Kyle’s words repeat. “We’ve known each other for a long time. At least I thought we did.” When the UE first got here, they didn’t care who they stepped on to succeed. They were determined to take the top of the card!

They were shocking the system, making a statement, and didn’t give a damn who was footing the bill! They’ve become better wrestlers, better fighters, champions and stars. But only one became a better man. A better human. “Adam Cole is just the same asshole that walked in this place three and a half years ago!” Kyle forces himself to believe that the last three and a half years meant nothing. That the UE meant nothing. Because if any part of Kyle thinks that for a second, one day these two could be friends again, Kyle can’t put Cole down for good! Cole bought into the UE BS, but it was never about brotherhood.

Cole saw Kyle fail not once but twice, and then wanted Balor to join the team?! Did he lose his mind? But it’s because deep down,. Kyle is nothing more than a lapdog, sidekick, someone comfortable being on the side, and that is NOT Cole! And then things got brutal. Career endangering injuries, legal action and assaults. Regal put it in the only way he could for this boiling point. He won’t let them embarrass the brand SO MANY have worked hard to create. So the solution is Cole VS O’Reilly, Stand & Deliver, UNSANCTIONED!! Cole says Kyle is jealous of him, and is going to remind him who the better man is!

Kyle says Cole is the psycho who tried to end his friend’s career! Kyle sold his soul to the UE and now he wants a refund! “I will not rest until I end you.” No rules, no restraints. Who will win this Undisputed Unsanctioned FIGHT!?

 

Tian Sha VS Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter!

Speaking of friends turned against friends, Xia Li has become the weapon of the warrior of legend, and has attempted to cut ties with KC Squared to the point of trying to cut them off at the knees, literally! But Kacy’s leg is game ready, and they will be the first team to take on Xia and Tian Sha herself as a team! Will KC Squared be subtracted from the equation as Tian Sha looks to “purge” NXT of weakness?

NXT returns and Tian Sha (the team) makes their entrance. Xia starts, Kacy rushes her but Xia throws her! Kacy comes back to get around and hop on as a backpack, and Tian Sha hasn’t gotten up from her throne. Is Xia supposed to do this as a handicap match? Kacy hammers Xia but Xia throws her down hard! Kayden tags in, and she dropkicks Xia down! Kayden bumps Xia off buckles, stomps away but Xia blocks. Kayden ROCKS Xia with a right, tags Kacy and she fires off! Kacy tags Kayden, KC Squared keep on Xia and tag again. Kacy runs in to A-List Lariat! Kacy dumps Xia down for the FLIPPING AX KICK! Cover, TWO!

Xia bails out, Kacy pursues, but Xia RAMS Kacy into the apron, then throws her into barriers! The ring count climbs, Xia puts Kacy in, and fans rally as Xia pushes Kacy around. Xia drags Kacy up to suplex, but Kacy counters to a cradle, ONE!! Kacy spins to CODE BREAKER!! Both women are down, Kayden reaches out but Tian Sha has started to move! Kacy crawls, but Kayden decides to intercept Tian Sha! She eggs Tian on but gets caught in a choke grip! Tian is choking the life out of Kayden on the stage!! Kayden fades out and Tian Sha blows smoke in her face! Now we’ve gone from an unofficial handicap match to an unofficial singles match!

Kacy kicks Xia, runs but into a JUMPING KNEE! Xia hits the SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, Tian Sha wins!!

Winners: Tian Sha, by pinfall

Xia DID win this all by herself, as far as who was in the ring goes! Kacy and Kayden are both out cold, is this only the beginning of Tian Sha’s conquest of NXT?

 

Backstage interview with Raquel Gonzalez.

She seems to have dominated Shirai again tonight, but how will she carry this into TakeOver? “The same way I do every night, McKenzie.” But Shirai attacks again! Shirai is a backpack but Raquel RAMS her into lockers! The brawl is on again, Raquel knees Shirai low, CLUBS her on the back, and then picks her up with body hands to SMASH her through a wall!! Raquel snarls and says Shirai won’t beat her. “STAY! DOWN!!” Raquel has issued an ultimatum, but will she have to put Shirai down again at Stand & Deliver?

 

The Pomeranian has found his master.

“See you April 13th! <3” – Franky. But who is this? And what does she have in store for the NXT Women’s Division?

 

Tommaso Ciampa speaks.

“Walter, I know you’re watching. Now I need you to listen. The day I went in for neck surgery, my wife and my baby girl gave me this necklace. Now you didn’t know that. And that’s okay. But you reminded me. You reminded me of my journey, reminded me of my story. Sometimes in life, we need to be reminded of who we are. Now I’ve heard what you have to say. Seems like everybody has a lot to say nowadays. It’s all stuff I’ve heard before. ‘He’s old, he’s broken, he hasn’t been the same since the neck surgery, since becoming a dad. He ain’t the 2018 Ciampa! He’s changed.'” But now Ciampa sits here and asks himself, “Are they right?” Has he changed? Yes, in some ways, he has.

But then Ciampa shifts the mindset, blocks out the hate, and thinks of those who believe in him. Danny, Brodie, Kelvin and Kalen. Ja Ray and Bo. His wife and his little girl, Willow. Ciampa hears those voices, sees them, and feels them. At TakeOver, they will remind the world. Ciampa will chase the dragon, climb that mountain, look him in the eye, and CHOP the dragon’s head off! Walter, understand this! Ciampa’s been on top, held the title close to his chest and knows what it is like to fall to the bottom and pick himself back up! To make the climb again! “It changes a man.”

So yeah, Walter, Ciampa’s changed, But he’ll tell you what he’s learned over these past two years. Ciampa would rather be a man who fights for something, than a man who fights with nothing to lose any day of the week and twice on Wednesdays. Is the Blackheart still beating? Is the Psycho Killer still here? In seven days, Stand & Deliver, Walter gets his answer at the cost of his UK Championship! “It’s a long, long fall from the top of the mountain. Buckle up!” Will THAT Ciampa be what ends Walter’s insanely dominant reign?

 

Finn Balor speaks.

“I’ve been expecting Kross for a long time. It was never a case of if, it was always a case of when. It’s TakeOver. The ring may look the same, but the energy is different. When the pressure’s on, it becomes hard to breathe. And the nerves make your legs heavy.” But those rules don’t apply to Balor. Balor’s stamina has always been his strength. Balor doesn’t get gassed out. Kross may try to dictate the pace but that’s just fine with Balor. The longer this goes, the deeper you get into the match, that deep water will drown Kross. There won’t be a fairy tale ending. At TakeOver, Kross chokes, and Balor is still NXT Champion.

 

NXT North American Championship Gauntlet Eliminator Battle Royal!

A long name for a somewhat complex process. It was meant to be a dirty dozen but it might just be down to an excellent 11 with Roderick Strong dropping out. This battle only needs to drop to six to know who is moving on to Stand & Deliver, but that’s only part of it! From the final six to THE last man in the ring, we will learn the entry order for the gauntlet match that sends a man to Night Two! Point is, win it all, and you have the best chance at getting that golden ticket! Will Austin Theory turn out to be Johnny Gargano’s insurance policy in all this?

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott makes his way out first, and Leon Ruff CLOBBERS him! These two have been after each other for a long time, and they’re having it out on the outside first! Ruff rocks Swerve and RAMS him into barriers! Ruff keeps going, Swerve hits back and sends Ruff into barriers now! Swerve puts Ruff in the ring, they keep brawling, the refs warn them to stop because the others have to get in! Ruff clotheslines Swerve out then runs, only for Swerve to scramble to commentary for defense! Ruff is fired up and so is the CWC as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns, Dunne makes his entrance but Tyler Rust, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis, LA Knight, Austin Theory, Cameron Grimes, Jake Atlas and Kushida have already gotten in the ring. Ruff is in, Swerve is waiting on the outside, and the bell rings. Swerve slides in to blindside Ruff! Kushida hits Theory, and everyone else pairs off with whoever, except for Lumis who stoically watches the chaos. Atlas fights Rust off, Knight and Dunne brawl, Grimes is after Reed. Reed shoves Grimes away, hits him down, Knight tries to get Atlas out while Atlas is after Rust. Dunne and Swerve brawl but Ruff returns to go after Swerve. Greed resists, Theory is after Reed, but Reed CLUBS Theory!

Grimes drops ax handles on Reed, Rust blocks a tornado DDT to put Atlas on the apron! Bivens gets involved, SWERVE dropkicks and ELIMINATES Atlas! Bivens likes that! But Ruff dumps Swerve to the apron! Ruff fires off but Swerve holds on. Rust CLOBBERS Ruff, but Ruff throws Rust at Swerve! Swerve back drops and ELIMINATES Rust! Bivens doesn’t like that. Meanwhile, Kushida is after Knight, Grimes hits Reed, and Lumis still stares at everyone. Theory keeps Dunne down, Swerve and Ruff go to opposite corners, but Knight stomps Ruff. Swerve gets in to drag Knight off Ruff because he wants Ruff for himself. Reed hits Dunne, Theory hits Reed, Lumis still stares.

Theory whips but Reed blocks to whip and CLOBBER Theory! Kushida has Grimes on the apron but can’t scrape him off. Dunne has Ruff’s arm wrapped around rope and PULLS! No disqualifications in a battle royal! Reed has Theory on the apron and uses a HIP ATTACK to knock him off! But wait! Theory’s feet are in the air! He’s not out of this yet! Theory is a little unsure what to do, and he decides to KIP UP! No, Theory, your feet touch the floor that way! Theory ELIMINATES himself! So much for the Finger Poke of Doom 2021. Kushida brawls with Reed, Reed throws Kushida up but Kushida clings to ropes! Knight is after Reed, he and Grimes work together to dump Reed to the apron!

Reed stays on the apron, ROCKS Grimes but Knight hits back! Reed ROCKS Knight, Kushida handspring heel kicks Reed! Knight hits Kushida, whips but Kushida handsprings to elbow Knight and Grimes down! Swerve boots Dunne, somersaults but into the forearm! Dunne DROPKICKS Ruff then throws him, only for Ruff to rebound, into a wrench! Kushida FAST BALLS Grimes, to PENALTY KICK the arm! Dunne STOMPS Ruff’s arm, and the two best technical wrestlers stare down! Oh, and Lumis stills tares in general. Dunne and Kushida fire off forearms in a brawl as the fans are thunderous! Dunne whips, Kushida reverses but Dunne elbows back!

Kushida hip tosses, cartwheels, into a TRIANGLE! Submissions don’t count in this match, and Kushida cartwheels free anyway! Kushida leaps at Dunne to get the HOVERBOARD! Dunne endures, puts Kushida into ropes and dumps him to the apron! Kushida drags Dunne out and holds onto the Hoverboard! Kushida ELIMINATES Dunne AND HIMSELF!! That means we have our final six!!

Qualified for Gauntlet Eliminator: LA Knight, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, Leon Ruff, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott & Dexter Lumis

Kushida shows no mercy to Dunne, though, as he cranks the Hoverboard on the ramp! Referees pry him off, and things go picture in picture as the battle royal continues!

Knight goes after Reed, Swerve stomps Grimes and stalks Ruff, but Lumis just stays put. Ruff and Swerve brawl again, Ruff throws JABS but Grimes CLOBBERS Ruff! Grimes and Swerve work together to mug Ruff while Knight fights off Reed’s power lift. Ruff flounders, Swerve and Grimes drag him back up. Grimes whips but Ruff rebounds to LARIAT! Swerve goes after Ruff now with body shots. Knight nods to Lumis before going back to Reed. Ruff elbows Swerve away, Knight fires off on Reed, but Reed TOSSES Knight into a corner then clotheslines! Ruff puts Swerve up top but Swerve pulls Ruff’s hair! Grimes get in as Swerve lets Ruff go and Grimes keeps on Ruff with uppercuts!

Reed stands on Knight’s chest, lets off, and Grimes CLUBS Reed. Reed glares at Grimes, Grimes forearms but Reed ROCKS him! Reed throws haymakers, Swerve rains down fists on Ruff in the corner, and Reed throws Grimes at a corner! Knight goes after Reed, Swerve talks trash in Ruff’s face, and NXT returns to single picture. Fans are thunderous as Grimes fights Reed off and Swerve stalks Ruff. Knight talks trash all over, and BREAKING NEWS given what we just saw earlier: Kushida and Dunne look to prove who is truly THE best technical wrestler today as they go 1v1 on Night One of Stand & Deliver!

Swerve stand son Ruff, Reed throws Grimes at a corner and has him upside-down. Grimes holds on but Reed throws endless headbutts into Grimes’ back! Knight looks at Lumis, who is still a statue, and goes after Reed again. Swerve goes to throw Ruff but Ruff slips around to be a sleeper hold! Gargano joins commentary to complain about Regal. Swerve puts Ruff on the ropes, Ruff clings to it, Grimes bails out from the bottom rope for a breather. Grimes has that big brain energy while Reed headbutts Knight! Gargano gets upset with Beth Phoenix calling him out so he mockingly says, “You think you know me.”

Swerve kicks at Ruff but Ruff holds on tight! Reed ROCKS Knight, Swerve SLAPS Ruff then fireman’s carries. Ruff fights that, slips around and sleeper holds. Reed gets Swerve and Ruff for a double stacked fireman’s carry! Reed pops and TOSSES Ruff to ELIMINATE him!

Leon Ruff to enter the Gauntlet Eliminator first

Reed still has Swerve and TOSSES him onto Ruff, and ELIMINATES him!

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott to enter the Gauntlet Eliminator second

First and second are tantamount to the same in a gauntlet, but at least it means Ruff and Swerve can try to settle the score at TakeOver! As for Reed, he snarls but Knight CHOP BLOCKS him! Knight fires off then reminds us who he is before he ROCKS Reed again. Knight wants Grimes to help and they mug Reed at the ropes. Reed DECKS Grimes, ROCKS Knight and HEADBUTTS him down! Reed throws Knight to the apron but Knight throat chops back! Knight slingshots, into a fireman’s carry! Reed wants to throw Knight but Grimes helps Knight out! They both lift Reed, Lumis finally moves! He helps ELIMINATE Reed!!

Bronson Reed to enter the Gauntlet Eliminator third

That was a colossal shift in the dynamic of both this match and next week’s! But now Lumis, Knight and Grimes are the final three! Knight laughs at Reed but he turns around into Lumis’ icy stare. Grimes wants Knight to help him out, and will even pay him some fat stacks if he just throws himself out! The same goes for Lumis! Who’s buying? Lumis ROCKS Grimes, the money goes flying and someone’s getting to know Benjamin Franklin up close and personal as Knight and Lumis throw Grimes out and ELIMINATE him!

Cameron Grimes to enter the Gauntlet Eliminator fourth

Knight brags but it’s going to be either him of the Tortured Artist as the last man in the gauntlet! Knight comes to grips with that, stares back at Lumis, and fans are clearly on Lumis’ side. Knight squares up but Lumis ROCKS him with the uppercut, then DECKS him with that right! Lumis whips, and back drops Knight high and hard! Gargano doesn’t care, his pick was out early. Lumis whips, Knight reverses and Lumis is on the apron! Knight runs over but into a shoulder! Lumis wants to suplex Knight out?! Knight fights that off and hotshots Lumis! Lumis flops down, Knight runs back in, but Lumis dumps him out! Wait, that was a second rope! Knight is in, he TRIPS Lumis and gets back in, Knight wins!!

Winner: LA Knight (enters the Gauntlet Eliminator last)

Gargano is fine with that. LA Knight snatches victory from the jaws of defeat, grabs up some of Grimes’ money, and lets Gargano have it because he’s coming for the gold! Knight says there’s eight days left on Johnny’s reign, and then it’ll be LA Knight’s game! Gargano tells Knight he can’t hang with him, “dummy!” But will it even be Gargano VS Knight? Will one of the other five come up with a TakeOver shocker?

Wait, Io Shirai is on her way to the ring! She gets a mic and shouts, “RAQUEL GONZALEZ!” And in Japanese, she essentially tells Gonzalez to get her ass back out to the ring so they can finish this! This will never be over until Shirai says it will be! Gonzalez storms right out, referees trying to keep her back, and the brawl is on again! Gonzalez throws body shots, Shirai kicks back, and now the Women’s Roster rushes out to stop this! That’s not so easy as Gonzalez gets free and puts Shirai in the ring! But then Gonzalez has to push the other superstars away! Shirai breaks free to ROCK Gonzalez, but she just shoves Shirai back down!

Gonzalez storms in, throws superstars aside, only for Shirai to dropkick her down! Shirai SHOTEIS those in her way, to then SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY the entire roster over!! The fans are thunderous and Shirai is fired up more than ever before! Will the NXT Women’s Champion still be the NXT Women’s Champion?! Will NXT still belong to the Evil Genius?!


My Thoughts:

An awesome go-home to TakeOver! We got a great Prime Target for Cole VS Kyle, and apparently there is a longer version that will play on Peacock TV (or I suppose WWE Network for those outside the US) next week. What we got was still awesome, this is one of the things no one can beat WWE in, and Cole VS Kyle is feeling that much more awesome, and it already felt top tier to begin with. The Pomeranian bit to plug a new recruit to NXT was unique. Is the Pomeranian going to be part of Franky’s (Taya Valkyrie’s?) character. Promos with the pupper, but a pet sitter at ringside? Who knows, but seeing Taya in WWE is going to be great, and maybe one day, she teams up with John Morrison on Raw or SmackDown.

Strong VS Grimes was an oddly placed match to begin with given the battle royal, but I do like that the UE was being used against him. Cole and Kyle are busy, Bobby Fish is still out injured, so an indirect feud with Grimes and basically any person wearing UE merch. Strong “quitting” was interesting. I like that they rolled through the battle royal without him, and I like that Swerve and Ruff brawled beforehand. There was also good promos from Kushida and Dunne before to set their battle in this match up and of course their TakeOver match, that is going to be awesome. I am starting to hope that match determines a challenger for whoever is NXT Champion after TakeOver.

The Way was great all night. Candice & Indi of course won tonight and are getting a title match, but I can’t be sure they dethrone Shotzi & Ember, even at TakeOver. Theory eliminating himself was hilarious. Theory is nailing his role as The Way’s goofball. The final six in the battle royal, aka the Gauntlet Eliminator entries, are quite the surprise. I didn’t think Swerve and Ruff were in, but it’s great that they are, they can just tear it up to start that match. Reed will probably be what eliminates one or both of them, saving a proper blow-off of Ruff VS Swerve for later on. It’s going to be really hard to choose between Reed and Lumis, but I feel Reed and Knight cancel out, and it really should be Lumis that takes on Gargano again.

Kross and Balor had good promos, but I can’t say it really took away or added to their match hype. It was still good that we heard from them, it’s just a logical move, but this match was already at its best possible hype. Escobar had a bit of a rambling promo, but had a really good match with Tyler Breeze. I am thinking Escobar wins the ladder match ONLY because he lives in the States, the majority of the Cruiserweight Division is in the States, and COVID is still getting in everyone’s way. I still defend that Devlin is the better character, Heel or otherwise, but it’s just the circumstances that are ending his reign.

Tian Sha (team and individual) had a really good night against Kacy & Kayden. A little disappointed Tian Sha/Karen Q didn’t get in the ring, but it is good character development to show she isn’t just scary looking, but has scary strength and that scary smoke breath. Xia Li wins it for the team, and I hope she and Tian Sha move up the Women’s Tag Division roster. Shirai going after Raquel again and again was actually awesome stuff, because Raquel got to throw Shirai around to show her strength but Shirai got to show her toughness and aggression. Shirai getting the last laugh was great, but now I can’t be sure what the math says! Raquel might win since Shirai stood tall, but Shirai is proving she is still an awesome champion and asset to NXT, I can’t wait to see what happens.

My Score: 9.6/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (4/19/24)

Prepare for Backlash!

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Did you know that challenger in French is still “challenger?”

In a WrestleMania rematch, AJ Styles takes on LA Knight in a #1 contender’s match, to challenge WWE Champion Cody Rhodes at Backlash in France!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight; Styles wins and will challenge Cody Rhodes for the title at Backlash.
  • SmackDown/WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma; The Profits win and will challenge A-Town Down Under for the titles.
  • Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez; Santos wins.
  • WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi; Bayley wins, by disqualification, and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight!

After fighting their way through Triple Threats, the Phenomenal One and the Mega Star meet again, YEAH! It’s a WrestleMania Rematch, the winner moving on to Backlash, YEAH! Will AJ Styles avenge his loss at the biggest WrestleMania ever? Or will everyone from here to France know whose game it is?

The bell rings and the two step to each other. The fans in Pittsburgh “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” and Knight lets Styles know it. Styles snarls, they tie up, and they go around. Knight puts Styles in a corner, the ref counts, but Knight lets off slowly. Styles kicks low! The fans boo but Styles headlocks. Knight pulls hair, throws body shots, then headlocks in return. Styles pushes Knight to ropes, powers up and out, then hurdles, drops and DROP- NO, Knight avoids the dropkick to BOOT, and LARIAT! Knight then TOSSES Styles out of the ring, storms out after him, and brings him to commentary. Knight SMACKS Styles off the desk! And again! And again!

The fans chant “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” with every SMACK, then Knight tops it off with one last SMACK! Knight drags Styles up and into the ring, storms in, but Styles KICKS Knight in the ropes! Styles reels Knight in, but Knight back drops Styles up and out! Styles flounders on the floor, Knight runs to WRECK him with a dropkick! Styles hits desk again and Steel City is loving “L! A! KNIGHT, YEAH!” as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles soaks up the heat as he taunts Knight. Styles brings Knight up, but Knight fires haymakers! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight backs Styles down, whips, but Styles ducks ‘n dodges! Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges, then DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Both men are down and the fans fire up. Both men slowly sit up, crawl around, and then stand. Styles fires a shot, but Knight gives it back! The haymakers go back and forth, “YEAH! BOO! YEAH!” Styles staggers but he still ROCKS Knight! Knight ROCKS Styles again and again, but Styles throat chops! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Knight ducks the lariat!

Knight JABS, JABS, JABS, and DECKS Styles! Knight stomps a mudhole in at the corner, “YEAH!” Knight then runs corner to corner to KNEE Styles down! The fans fire up, Knight puts Styles up, and Knight ROCKS Styles. Knight climbs, but Styles ROCKS him back! Knight staggers away, but returns to spring right up! SUPER DUPER PLEX! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives that crash but both men are down again. The fans rally as Knight rises, and he brings Styles around. Knight reels Styles in, suplexes, but Styles slips free! Styles goes to a corner, ELBOWS Knight away, then goes up to QUEBRADA DDT! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up as Knight stays in this and Styles starts losing his cool. The fans rally for Knight but Styles looms over him. Styles brings Knight up and in, but Knight RAMS him into a corner! Knight then scoops Styles, but Styles slips free to roll up, TWO!! Knight escapes, swings, but Styles dodges to PELE! Knight ends up in a corner, Styles runs in, but Knight puts Styles on the apron! Styles ROCKS Knight, springboards, but Knight gets under! Styles comes back, into a scoop and POWERSLAM! Then JUMP ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up with with Knight as he storms around. Styles rises, Knight winds up, B F- NO, Styles bails out!

The fans boo but Knight storms over. Knight drags Styles up but Styles HOTSHOTS him! And pokes him in the eyes! Then ROCKS him! And springboards, to PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the Undisputed WWE Championship)

Styles bent the rules, but a win is a win! He will get his shot at the American Nightmare in Lyon, France, will this year’s Backlash be phenomenal?

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

The car pulls up, Solo Sikoa steps out in a suit, and Paul Heyman is there to greet him. Nice threads, Solo. Tama Tonga walks over and Solo says meet the newest member of The Bloodline, Solo’s MFT. The Wise Man is stunned. But Solo cuts him off to ask if Kevin Owens is here. Heyman hesitates and Solo asks again, is Kevin here? If he is, he’s probably already in the locker room. Then take them to him. Heyman obeys and leads on. There have already been changes to the chain of command, is there about to be a change to the landscape of SmackDown, too?

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

In a familiar scene to Monday Night Raw, there is a podium with something under a satin sheet. The SmackDown General Manager welcomes to Pittsburgh the Chief Content Officer, Paul “Triple H” Levesque! The fans fire up as The Game makes his way to the ring! HHH joins Aldis in the ring, gets a mic, looks around at the crowd as he revels in the cheers, then says, “On the heels of the biggest, most epic, history making, record breaking, epic, unbelievable WrestleMania of all time, we are here tonight, sold out, 15 thousand strong, Pittsburgh, PA! So let me say, welcome to SmackDown!” The fans cheer that!

HHH wants to take a moment to say that he thinks Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis are both doing great jobs at leading their respective brands into the future. Thank you to both of them. And when we talk about the future, we have to talk about the history made coming into the future. So when history is made, HHH wants it to be represented here befitting of those that make it. So Aldis, if we could, let us bring the… champions out here. Aldis says without further ado, the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Austin Theory & Grayson Waller. The fans boo as A-Town Down Under make their way, blue belts in hand.

Theory & Waller join Aldis and HHH in the ring, mics already in hand, and they soak up the heat from Steel City. Waller says this is huge. Monday, we saw the second place champions get new belts. And now A-Town Down Under will be presented new titles! Theory says speaking of truth, didn’t Truth think HHH was a magician? Well, who knows what magic trick HHH has to make these guys look better than they already do, but hey, give it a try. HHH says congratulations on becoming tag team champions, so he will show them what they will wear going forward. From now on, they will be the WWE Tag Team Champions.

Reveal! In the style of the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era belts, the solid gold shines. HHH offers a handshake, but Waller leaves him hanging to shake Theory’s hand! Aldis makes it clear to them. They ever pop off and disrespect HHH like that, here’s a real magic trick: A-Clown Down Under will disappear, permanently! The fans like the sound of that! Aldis snatches the blue belts away since they won’t need them, and speaking of disappearing, there’s a chance one of the following four teams will make their title reign disappear. That #1 contenders match starts right now! The fans fire up, but which team defies the odds to get some golden tickets to France?

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

Kayla Braxton is with The Glow and says last week, she beat Tiffany Stratton to get this title opportunity tonight. Will the friendship with Bayley get in the way of this match? Naomi says no, of course not. Bayley’s her sister, and she needed help against Damage CTRL, so Naomi was more than happy to help. But in no way will friendship get in the way of this opportunity. It has been over two YEARS since Naomi’s last WWE singles championship match, and there is nothing that will get in the way of making the most of this moment. Now last week, Tiffy Time felt the glow, so that same energy keeps going tonight.

Naomi is also looking forward to next week’s WWE Draft, where she will walk in the NEW WWE Women’s Champion. Naomi is ready, but will she be able to best Bayley in Bayley’s first title defense?

 

WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma!

SmackDown returns as Legado makes their entrance, followed by Akam & Rezar with the Final Testament. Waller & Theory are on commentary, Waller admitting he wants any team but AOP, and Theory saying these teams are fortunate to have real superstars leading their division. In this form of Fatal 4 Way, only two teams are active, so the Big Strong Boi, Tyler Bate, starts against Montez Ford. They circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Bate powers up to pry at the hold but Ford clamps on tighter. Bate powers up and out, drops, but Ford leaps over! The fans cheer, things keep moving, Bate feints high to drop low!

Bate shows knuckle lock, Ford obliges, but Bate wrenches, baits and double pump handles to FLIP Ford! Cover, TWO! Ford gets up to sweep and cover, TWO! Bate steps over, La Magistrol, TWO! Ford gets up, dropkicks cancel out, and both men kip up! The fans fire up and the two reset. But then Humberto Carrillo sneaks a tag, before he DECKS Bate with a sucker punch! Ford dodges Humberto but Angel Garza holds the ropes open! Ford tumbles out,  Garza tags in, and Humberto sits Ford up. Garza runs in to KNEE Ford down! The fans boo, Garza drags Ford to a cover, TWO! Garza back suplexes, Ford lands out!

Ford tags Dawkins and he dodges Garza to FLYING ELBOW! Garza tags out to Akam, but then the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, tags in off Dawkins! Rezar tags, Dunne runs up but Akam LARIATS him down! Rezar DECKS Dawkins, then the AOP start clearing the corners! But Ford goes up to leap, but into an URENAGE! The fans boo but the AOP roar and soak up the heat. Waller’s worst case scenario might end up reality, but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and the fans rally as Ford endures a facelock. Ford fights up, pries at the hold, but Rezar shoves him to ELBOW him down! Rezar talks trash, Waller taunts the Steelers players sitting in the front row that they don’t really know what championships are, and then Rezar sucker punches Dawkins down! Rezar stands Ford up, Canadian Racks and bends him! Ford endures, the fans rally, but Rezar thrashes Ford around! Ford kicks and flails, he gets free, hot tag to Dunne! Bate sneaks a tag, Dunne GAMANGIRIS Akam and then NCR fire off on Rezar! The fans fire up, Humberto runs in, but Dunne dodges to SNAP GERMAN!

Bate & Dunne STOMP Humberto’s hands! Then BASEMENT DROPKICK! Garza runs up, but into the REBOUNDER GERMAN COMBO!! The fans fire up with NCR, but Rezar runs up! He grabs Dunne, but Bate says Bop up, BANG! Bate fireman’s carries Rezar?! But Rezar ELBOWS right free! Dunne GAMANGIRIS, Ford SUPERKICKS, and Dawkins ENZIGIRIS! Rezar wobbles, and everyone helps Bate gets Rezar up! BIG STRONG AIRPLANE SPINE! But then Legado CLOBBER Bate and Rezar! They BOOT Dunne, whip the Profits but the Profits reverse to TOSS Legado out! Ellering coaches Rezar while the Profits regroup.

Bate gets up, Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins brings Bate to the very top, but Dunne CLUBS Dawkins! NCR mug Dawkins but Ford joins in! They brawl, but AOP add on! Humberto finds Rezar to tag in, before the DOUBLE TOWER OF DOOM!! Bate’s the only one left up top, so Legado mug him! They double trophy lift Bate, to DOUBLE ROCKET LAUNCH him onto everyone!! Humberto then finds Bate, sunset flips and rewinds, Garza jumps, MISSILE DROPKICK DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! “This is Awesome!” as all eight men are down around ringside, and Waller says this is gonna be easy pickings for A-Town Down Under now.

Dunne grabs Garza, Bate has Humberto, STEREO ANKLE LOCKS!! Grapevine for Garza! But Humberto BOOTS Bate onto Dunne! Legado is free, Ellering has AOP regroup, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Rezar CLUBS Dawkins down. Rezar soaks up heat, taunts the other teams, then CLUBS Dawkins again. Rezar brings Dawkins up again, but Dawkins fires off body shots! Rezar KNEES low, reels Dawkins in, talks more trash, and lifts Dawkins up, to POWERBOMB! But then Dunne runs up to ROCK Rezar! Akam gets in to scoop Dunne and SLAM him on Dawkins! Cover, TWO! Rezar looks to Ellering and he coaches AOP. Rezar HAMMERS Dawkins, Akam tags, and AOP get NCR up! The fans boo but NCR RANA free to send AOP into each other! Ford jumps in, as does Garza.

All the teams realize, they gotta do something about AOP. So they all mug AOP! The fans fire up as AOP tumble out, but now who strikes first? Dunne runs up but Garza SUPERKICKS him first! Bate waistlocks Garza and Ford winds up, but Garza ducks so the BACKHAND hits Bate! Garza SUPERKICKS Ford, but Dawkins DECKS Garza! Humberto springboards to FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO!! Theory says if A-Town Down Under were in this match, he’d knock everyone out and Waller could just sneak in to cover. Humberto and Dawkins rise and go to corners. Humberto runs up, but Dawkins POUNCES him away!

Dawkins gets Humberto up, Ford returns and tags in! Dawkins Electric Chair Lifts Humberto and Ford climbs! The stars are out for the BLOCKBUSTER DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! Another save from the Bruiserweight and Ford is frustrated. Dunne drags Dawkins up to CHOP, but Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins whips Dunne out of the ring, but Dunne grabs the arm! And he pulls off the glove so he can SNAP fingers! The fans fire up, but Ford ENZIGIRIS Dunne down! Ford brings Humberto up, Humberto JAWBREAKERS! Bate tags in off Ford, BOOTS Garza, then runs up, but into a POP-UP! But Bate RANAS Humberto!!

Bate then DUMPS Garza out, goes to the apron, and Dunne lines up targets. Bate and Dunne climb, Ford runs in, NCR DOUBLE ARIHARA MOONSAULT while Ford FLIES over the corner post!! Down goes Legado and AOP!! The fans are losing their minds as Bate hurries to get Humberto up. Bate puts Humberto in, reels him in, underhooks, but Humberto fights it! Humberto back drops but Bate lands on his feet! Humberto cradles, TWO! Humberto LARIATS Bate, tag to Garza! Legado gets Bate up, feed to the POP-UP KICK!! #FTY! Humberto then DIVES to take out Dunne! Garza goes up the ropes to LIONSAULT!!

But Ford flies in FROM THE HEAVENS!! The fans are thunderous as everyone is down again! Bate flounders, Dawkins tags in! Dawkins whips Legado, Ford joins in, THE REVELATION!! Cover, PROFITS WIN!

Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships)

Waller & Theory are relieved it isn’t AOP, but they still look a bit annoyed that it is Ford & Dawkins. The Profits are Triple Crown Tag Team Champions from Raw to SmackDown to NXT, but will they soon add the WWE Tag Team Championships to make it a grand slam?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

Byron Saxton is with The Role Model, and brings up the emotional moment from Monday Night Raw where Rhea Ripley had to relinquish her title. But let us focus on Bayley’s title, as she defends it for the first time against Naomi. Where is her head at ahead of the main event? Bayley says after seeing Rhea vacate the Women’s World Championship on Raw, Bayley appreciates her reign more. She is focused, and she has realized she’s THE Women’s Champion in WWE right now, something she does not take for granted. Because we all know that with the WWE Draft, things are bound to change.

And as excited as Bayley is to face her friend, Naomi, one thing that won’t change is her as THE WWE Women’s Champion. Bayley is just as confident at Naomi, so something’s gotta give! Will The Role Model #FeelTheGlow? Or will she still be shining with gold after tonight?

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

The Wise Man apologizes that they haven’t found Kevin Owens, but he has to be here somewhere. Just look at the time. They will find him, somewhere. Solo stops listening and heads to gorilla. Heyman follows after, but Solo gives him a look. Heyman says he isn’t trying to upset Solo. Please believe him. The last person on this planet Heyman wants to piss off is Solo. But respectfully, Solo is making decisions that are not his to make, yet. One day, these will all be Solo’s decisions. But not now, not here! These are decisions that can only be made by one man. Solo asks Heyman if he’s done talking. Heyman asks if MFT is coming with Solo.

Solo just gives a thumbs up, with that taped thumb. The music hits and Solo makes his entrance, Heyman still following all the way into the ring. What does the Enforcer have planned? We’ll find out, after the break.

SmackDown returns and Heyman has the mic to give his usual introduction. And he doesn’t know if there is a list of the most brilliant backstage maneuvering politicians int he history of the WWE, but if there were, Heyman would have to think that he personally is in the top… Well, permit Heyman, with Solo’s permission, to explain what’s going on right now within The Bloodline, “the premier act in the history of WWE.” The fans chant, “We Want Roman!” but Solo shrugs that off. Heyman assures us that as The Wise Man for… Heyman gets emotional, so Solo just snatches the mic! The fans boo but Solo paces.

Solo tries to talk but the fans boo. Solo says last week, he had to lose a brother! He had to! It was in order for him to find a new one! His MFT, Tama Tonga! And with that, a bloodied Kevin Owens is tossed out, by the Good Bad Guy! Tama shoves Kevin down the ramp, stalks behind him, and referees rush out to stop him from doing anything further! Kevin can’t even sit up, but Tama steps over him to go to the ring. The fans boo as Tama joins Solo in the ring while the refs help Kevin to his feet and to the back. Tama raises his finger to the sky, because he acknowledges Solo! Heyman has no choice but to go along, but wait! Kevin is heading back down the ramp!?

The fans fire up as Kevin shows his grit and defiance! He drags Tama out to fire off hands!! The fans cheer but then Solo whips Kevin into steel steps! Solo drags Kevin back up, puts him in the ring, but now security rushes in! Tama storms in after Kevin but Kevin TACKLES Tama! The security gets Kevin away from Tama, but Solo SAMOAN SPIKES Kevin down!! The fans boo but then Tama SPLASHES Kevin! Tama rains down fists on that bloody wound, then he DECKS guard after guard! Producers try but Tama is a madman! Tama shoves everyone away so he can slip out of the ring, to grab a chair!!

The fans boo as Tama storms back in, but now Aldis steps up! Aldis warns The Bloodline here, and Solo has Tama stand down. Solo takes the chair from Tama to show they’re done here. The fans chant “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” but the damage is done. Solo & Tama are a dangerous duo, will nothing and no one stop them from taking over SmackDown?

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

He’s in shock, but Aldis finds him and pulls him along. Was Heyman aware of this? Aldis shows Heyman the aftermath of one car T-boning another! And in case Heyman can’t guess, the struck car was Kevin’s. The attacking car was Tama’s! Heyman says this wasn’t authorized! No, Heyman, Aldis is speaking now. He gets this is a conflict within The Bloodline, but on his show, things are settle din the ring. Next week is the Draft, a lot of eyeballs on it, and a lot top brass are gonna be here. So Aldis will not tolerate this behavior. So make sure The Bloodline understands. Because, Heyman, if you don’t, the repercussions will be equally savage.

Aldis brings Heyman in close to tell him losing isn’t the only thing that has consequences. Will the Wise Man be able to rein in such an unruly force as Solo and Tama?

 

Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez!

The LWO still doesn’t believe Legado’s claims that they had nothing to do with Dragon Lee going down before WrestleMania, so they’re going to get to the bottom of this one themselves! Will Caribbean Cool make the Emperor of Lucha confess his crimes? Or will Santos prove he was right all along?

The bell rings and the two talk trash. Then they start throwing hands! Carlito backs Santos down but Santos gets around to whisper something in Carlito’s ear. Carlito ELBOWS Santos away, runs up and hits a THESZ PRESS! Carlito then bumps Santos off buckles, fires hands, then has him in another corner. Carlito whips corner to corner, runs up, but Santos BOOTS him! Santos runs up, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Vega coaches Carlito to stay on Santos and he brings Santos up. Carlito ROCKS Santos, whips, but Santos KICKS him! Santos runs, but into a DROPKICK! Carlito kips up and the fans fire up!

Santos is on the outside, the ref won’t let Carlito go after him, but then Carlito WRECKS Santos with a dropkick! Carlito loads up to PLANCHA! Direct hit on Santos and Carlito hoists Vega up to celebrate! The fans cheer the LWO on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Santos whips Carlito hard into buckles. Carlito falls over, Santos soaks up the heat, then Santos HEADBUTTS Carlito to a corner. Santos then CHOPS, gets space and runs in, to DOUBLE KNEE! Carlito slumps in the corner but Santos puts him up top! Santos GAMANGIRIS then climbs up! SUPER STEINER! Carlito flounders, Santos pushes him to a cover, TWO! Vega is relieved but Santos huffs and puffs. Santos rains down fists on Carlito, then clamps on a top wristlock. Carlito endures and Vega coaches him while the fans rally. Carlito rises, throws body shots, then LARIATS!

The fans rally as Carlito starts to rally with more clotheslines, and an ELBOW! Carlito kicks, runs, and KNEE LIFTS! Santos wobbles, Carlito LARIATS again! Cover, TWO! Santos is tougher than that but Carlito says he’s going up! Carlito climbs, but then Lopez gets on the apron! Vega storms right over to YANK her down! The fans fire up as Vega goes up, and RANAS, only for Lopez to block! Lopez SWINGS Vega into barriers! Carlito ROCKS Santos, steps in, but the ref is reprimanding Lopez so he misses Santos KICK ropes to jam Carlito low! Santos reels Carlito in to POST him, then brings him back for the fireman’s carry! PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Santos wins!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

La Madrina helps The Emperor steal this victory, them taking down the Caribbean Cool and La Muneca! Whether or not Legado beat down Dragon Lee, will nothing stop them from conquering SmackDown?

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

Kayla is with Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Kairi Sane & Asuka as they sit way up in the back. What made the former WWE Women’s Champion and crew want a special view of this main event? Dakota takes offense for Iyo with the use of “former” there. Is Kayla trying to disrespect them? Iyo will take that title back when they’re good and ready. But for now, they’re here to watch two people they can’t stand tear each other apart! Does Dakota need to remind everyone here that DMG CTRL is still the most dominant force in the WWE!? The fans boo but Dakota says the Kabuki Warriors are STILL the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and that will not change-

WAID! Jade Cargill is here! She makes her entrance from the other skybox, with Bianca Belair alongside her! The strongEST duo argues with DMG CTRL, their own title intentions clear. But for now, it’s time for the main event! Who shines with gold here in the Steel City? We find out, after the break!

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

The American Nightmare is in the UK as part of Raw’s tour, but he still took time to say, “What is the task? Run up the score, leave no doubt, right? Formerly, the task was ‘win the big belt, in the big place.’ We’ve done that. Now, it’s a whole new frontier for us, undiscovered country.” There’s an old expression: the title can make the man, or the man makes the title. Which will it be for Cody? He’s in London tonight, the O2, 16 THOUSAND, then it’s on to Belfast, Ireland. Cody is keeping his promise to bring this title all around the world. Back home, AJ Styles has emerged the #1 contender to this championship.

So then, it will be two Georgia boys duking it out in Lyon, France. The first time ever, at that. Styles has an unprecedented reputation in pro-wrestling. The modern day Excellence of Execution, if you will. Styles rarely misses. But the same goes for Cody. So Backlash in France, Cody looks forward to it. The contract signing is next week, even as the WWE Draft is going on! Will things be explosive when American Nightmare and Phenomenal One meet face to face?

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

SmackDown returns and Bayley makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and either we shine or we glow!

The bell rings, the fans rally, and the two circle. The two tie up, go around, and Bayley headlocks. Naomi powers up but Bayley wrenches to wristlock. Naomi slips through, rolls Bayley up, ONE!! The fans rally as the two go again. Naomi waistlocks, Bayley headlocks to hit a takeover, and she makes it a cover, TWO! Naomi fights up to her feet, powers up but Bayley wrenches gain. Naomi waistlocks, O’Conner Rolls, ONE! Both women get up, Naomi ducks the boot but Bayley arm-drags her around! Bayley has the cording hold, the fans rally up, and Naomi fights to her feet. Naomi whips Bayley away, but Bayley runs her over!

The fans cheer and Bayley tells DMG CTRL she’s watching them, too. Things speed up, Naomi does the splits to duck under, then she comes back to kick from below! She drags Bayley into a cradle, ONE!! Bayley hurries to step over, LA MAGISTROL! ONE!! Naomi and Bayley get up, Naomi trips Bayley to jackknife, ONE!! Ghost pin, TWO! Both women hurry up, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! The fans rally while both women are down, evenly matched in this chess game so far. Both women rise, and Naomi SHOTGUNS first! Then she runs up, uses the ropes to slingshot and BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Naomi is frustrated but keeps her focus.

Naomi drags Bayley up, Bayley shoves her away. Naomi dodges the lariat to hit REAR VIEW! Cover, TWO!! Bayley survives but Naomi lets her know it was that close, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Bayley whips Naomi to a corner, runs in, but into a BOOT! Bayley gets up, Naomi runs up, JAWBREAKER! Bayley ends up in a corner now, Naomi runs in, and she forearm SMASHES! Naomi then runs Bayley corner to corner for a BUCKLE BULLDOG! Naomi slips out to the apron while Bayley flounders, and Naomi climbs. The fans duel as Naomi CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Bayley is tougher than that but Naomi knows that. Naomi keeps her focus while DMG CTRL, Bianca & Jade all focus on them. Naomi ROCKS Bayley, tries the ropes again, but Bayley stops the bulldog to SMACK Naomi off buckles!

Bayley then reels Naomi in, SAIDO! High stack, TWO! Naomi is still in this and Bayley remembers Naomi’s tougher than that, too. Bayley drags Naomi into a drop zone, then goes up the corner! Bayley aims, to MACHO ELBOW onto knees! Bayley writhes, Naomi goes to the apron. Bayley stands, runs up, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Naomi slingshots, for a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Bayley survives and Naomi is stunned! Naomi refocuses, goes to the corner, and goes up to SPLIT LEG MOONSAULT onto knees! Bayley returns the favor and both women are down. Bayley shakes out the leg, stands and runs, to KNEE Naomi down!

Bayley hurries to put Naomi back in a drop zone, and then hobbles her way to a corner. Bayley climbs, to MACHO ELBOW!! Direct hit this time and Bayley covers, TWO!! Naomi survives and Bayley is frustrated. Bayley hobbles on the bad leg, leans on ropes while she catches her breath, and the fans duel even more. Bayley stalks Naomi, hooks her up, but Naomi PELES free! Naomi hurries to a corner, Bayley runs up, but Naomi goes up to sunset flip! TWO!! But into the BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Bayley endures, reaches out with her legs, but then she tucks to a cover, TWO!! Naomi gets up, both women throw forearms!

They both wobble, storm up, and Bayley eggs Naomi on. Naomi wants this, right? So hit her! Naomi fires a forearm, Bayley hits back! Naomi winds up to forearm, Bayley comes back with another! The fans fire up as the forearms go harder and faster! Bayley gets the edge, but Naomi SWATS one, to SCORPION KICK, and then JUMP KNEE! Bayley tumbles out of the ring, Naomi PLANCHAS! Direct hit and a hard one, both women are down on the floor! The ring count starts, Naomi stirs at 3 of 10. Naomi brings Bayley up, but BAYLEY2BELLY onto the desk!! The count is 7! Naomi flounders on the desk, but then TIFFANY ATTACKS BAYLEY!!!

Winner: Bayley, by disqualification (still WWE Women’s Champion)

Tiffany makes herself the center of attention as always as she ruins this main event! She dribbles Naomi off the desk, then RAMS Bayley into steel steps! Then she drags Naomi off the desk to POST her! Tiff storms back over to Bayley, puts her in the ring, then adds Naomi in, too. Tiff says sorry not sorry, but it’s Tiffy Time! Tiffy goes to the corner, for the PRETTIEST MOONSAULT EVER! Tiff flexes over both champion and challenger, having upset Bianca & Jade but having entertained DMG CTRL. But will Wrestling Barbie pay for pissing off the Role Model?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that also acted as a WWE Draft go-home. Great match from Styles and Knight to open the night but also follow-up their WrestleMania match. Naturally, Styles wins because then he and Knight are 1-1 in 1v1 matches, and also natural Face VS Heel right there. Good promo from Cody Rhodes, that title match is going to be awesome. Awesome new looks for the WWE Tag Team Championships, though maybe too much gold. Nothing really pops when it’s all the same color, so they should’ve had silver on the WWE logo and the words, “Tag Team Champions,” but it’s still a great redesign.

We also got an awesome Fatal 4 Way tag match, with Theory & Waller decent on commentary. And pieces are falling into place for what I was thinking: Profits win the right to face Theory & Waller, we’ll surely get Lashley wanting the US Championship, we’ll get a good faction feud there as we approach those title matches. Also good continuation of the LWO VS Legado feud with Carlito VS Santos, and distractions of course helped Santos win. There’s gotta come a point where Carlito reveals it was him, Dragon Lee, it was him all along! Now, that would make like the third turn since the start of this rivalry (Santos to Heel, Andrade to Face and Carlito to Heel) but hey, the drama is heightened each time, and maybe Dragon Lee will actually get a win in this feud.

Great stuff in Bayley VS Naomi, as well as all the promos. DMG CTRL watching from the skybox, same as Bianca & Jade, was good stuff. The tag title match is definitely coming for Backlash, that will be great stuff. But I should’ve figured Tiffany would “ruin” the main event so that there won’t really be a choice between Bayley and Naomi. The Draft is coming, hopefully they think to keep all three on the same brand, and probably here on SmackDown, so that those three can have it out. I don’t know the chances of a Triple Threat for Backlash but it still feels possible. Though  at the same time, I don’t think they’d take the title off Bayley after only a month, so she’d probably use Tiffany against Naomi to retain.

And what wild stuff with this new, more vicious Bloodline. Solo is in a suit because he certainly thinks he is Tribal Chief already, given Roman Reigns did give him the nod as “Tribal Heir” a few months ago. And while Tama is the MFT, which everyone is already wondering what that even means, it’s clear he’s also the right hand man and a loose cannon at that. Without the Draft, it’d be pretty wild for Jimmy to come back and help Kevin against this new Bloodline. With the Draft, we could get Jey back on the same brand as his family and then he and Jimmy stand against Solo and Tama. But either way, it’ll be a wild ride in this new chapter and I’m all for it.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Andrew’s TNA iMPACT! Results & Match Ratings: 4.18.2024

Motor City Machine Guns either go out on their backs, or head to Rebellion as champs! Lets see how they finish their current run in TNA!

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No burying the lead here! The Main Event is The System versus Motor City Machine Guns, and it’s the Go Home episode before Rebellion! So we’re guaranteed a damn good tag match, and we should get either new wrinkles, or ways to keep the storylines cooking going into the Pay-per-View.

With all the rumors and innuendo about the Guns being on their way out, I think we all assume that MCMG is losing, but my inner fanboy is still excited.

Ratings:

  • Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone: Hammerstone wins via Torture Rack – SQUASH
  • LSG vs Joe Hendry: Hendry wins via Standing Ovation – SQUASH
  • Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno: Ali wins via 450 Splash – ** 3/4
  • Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna: Rosemary wins via Spear – ***
  • Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards: System wins via Roster Cut + Knee Party – *** 1/4

 

Results:

So we kick off the match with Josh coming out to commentary again to watch Hammerstone’s match. They really need a new way to try and keep heat without reusing the same tired gimmick of “ring side seat” to a Squash match.

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

Guido tries to shoot the half, but Hammerstone shrugs him off, lifts him like a child and runs him into a corner, few short shots and then just tosses him across the ring. Hammer gets a little distracted talking smack to Josh and eats a foot, but then tosses Guido with the ole Sack of Shit move and keeps working over Guido.

Hammer shoves Clayton, and provokes him to push him back right in front of the referee. She ejects them, Guido tries to take advantage but when he goes for the pinfall Hammer kicks out immediately and presses Guido out of thing through the ropes. Continues to dog walk Guido, puts the head gear on the ECW Original and then Torture Racks him while staring directly at Josh, and of course picks up the submission victory.

LSG vs Joe Hendry

Hendry cuts a little promo, mentioning the Fat Uncle Phil joke…something about shopping at the TOP Dollar Store. Solid mic work.

LSG is a damn good local talent, he’s been seen in ROH and AEW in the past (perhaps others, but that’s what comes to mind immediately for me), but we all know this is an enhancement match. A few nice chain wrestling spots early, but Hendry uses his power to stop the smaller wrestler, Sack of Shit into Standing Ovation and the match is over quickly.

Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno

Well okay, having Deaner ask the crowd if they wanted a 3v2 or their third member…RHYNO…is pretty much a no brainer in Philly. But at least the gimmick isn’t quite as cringe as I expected.

Jake starts with Zack Gibson and throws him around. Jake goes for the tag and Deaner asks the crowd who Jake should tag, and the crowd picks Rhyno. Rhyno Whips Gibson into a corner, Drake actually softens the impact, allowing Gibson to fire back, tag out, but Rhyno levels both GYV members and then even knocks Ali off the apron. Rhyno tries to call to the crowd to tag in Deaner and that goes over like a fart in church. He tags him in anyway, and the crowd is kinda dead and doing whatever it wants after the obvious ECW chants when Rhyno tagged in.

GYV take a couple lumps but they of course start to work over Deaner and capture some momentum. Solid tandem work from GYV, they cut off Deaner from making a tag and goad Jake a little to cause the ref to block off the babyfaces so the heels can take a few shortcuts. Cody eventually makes the tag to Rhyno, hot tag, he tries to set up the Gore but the GYV manage to stop him in his tracks and hit an Enzuigiri to daze the Man Beast, he falls to his corner and Jake tags himself in. Jake literally runs them all over, tags in Cody and Launches him from the Top Rope into Zack Gibson. Ali makes the save and Jake tries to get his hands on Ali, but the GYV keep throwing themselves at him, literally. The triple team finally gets the best of Jake, they hit 3 Dives and then post Jake, so they gather around Cody like hyenas.

They forgot about Rhyno, he’s set up for a Gore, he Gores Drake, Gibson and Ali take out Rhyno, but then Cody starts to fight back. Ali stops Deaner’s offense with an Avalanche Sunset Bomb, then hits his 450 Splash. Jake barely misses being able to break up the pin.

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

Jody tries to start quickly with Shoulder Tackles, Lariats and Scoop Slams, and it does seem somewhat effective. Rosemary is having trouble finding offense against the intensity, but she keeps kicking out. Shotgun Dropkick finally gives Rosemary an opening, she goes into full mount and rains down strikes. Rosemary shoves Jody into a corner and Bites her in the corner. Jody tries to fight out, they go across and Rosemary catches her with the legs and puts her in the Upside Down. Splash in the corner from Rosemary, Exploder Suplex and Jody is eating a lot of offense.

Rosemary looks like she’s caught after she gets tripped up into the ropes and Jody goes for her Rope Knee into the German, but Rosemary dodges. Rosemary hits her own suplex and pulls out a beautiful Last Chancery! I haven’t seen her do that in a long time. Jody manages to fight to the ropes, Rosemary is a little slow to capitalize and eats a Pump Kick. Rosemary goes flying into the ropes, Jody hits the Double Knees into the German this time for 2, and they trade a few haymakers after that. Jody folds Rosemary with a low Lariat, Zombie rise spot a few times, Jody goes for a pinfall and Rosemary kicks out.

Havok jumps up on the apron, Dani meets her and they decide to step down, but the distraction was enough. Jody turns around and eats a Spear. Rosemary wins!

Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards

Eddie and Shelley start off, and its a very simple slow start. Mostly an early stalemate, the typical Japanese style the TNA seem to love to employ. Starters tag out, but then Shelley with the blind tag, Sabin Baseball Slides out, picks Eddie’s ankle and sends his face bouncing off the apron, while Shelley sneaks up being Myers and they hit a tandem move before we cut to commercial. Off of the commercial it looks like Eddie and Myers regained control. But a nice Jawbreaker from Shelley sends Eddie falling back into the MCMG corner. Dragon Screws to both legs from Sabin and Shelley, and we get the Dragon Screw dissection spot for the Guns.

Myers gets sick of things, tries to get involved, but Simultaneous Figure Fours from the MCMG makes The System look silly. Alisha does the classic “push the rope forward” gimmick to assist Eddie in breaking the hold. She keeps chirping at Shelley until she finally grabs his foot. Shelley doesn’t take kindly, tries to grab her by the hair but she gets away, Shelley eats a strike and falls back to the ropes so Lish can just throttle him with the rope, Sabin walks over and acts like he’s going to PK her and the look of disgust on her face is hilarious, like “how dare he threaten to kick her”. Would I be mad is Masha decides to team with Lish and they win the Knockouts Tag titles? No, because the Knockouts Tags are trash. But I still prefer Lish as valet/manager.

Shelley starts fighting back after another commercial break, Eddie tries to cut him off, but Sabin clocks Eddie and Shelley manages to make the tag and Sabin comes in. Lights up both System members, Kick off Tornado DDT, into a Running Gamengiri. Eddie tries to counter but Shelley assists, tandem strikes, Double Baseball Slide into the classic MCMG spot 5 Hole Dive! Keeping up with the classics Shelley stacks the System members on each other and hit the Missile Dropkick/Flatliner spot. As the Guns are rolling, Sabin accidentally catches Sabin with his foot and The System take control! They hit their pieces of the System Overload spot, but Sabin kicks out. Roster Cut attempt from Myers, but Shelley is back. High Speed Dirt, Machine Gun Sandwich, but Lish grabs Shelley’s foot when they’re setting up Skull and Bones. Shelley gets dropped on the turnbuckle and thrown out, Sabin eats the Roster Cut followed up with Boston Knee Party and System retains!

Its a little weird to have had the two commercial cuts and the fact there’s still Nic Nemeth to follow. So it feels a little flat, I hope this wasn’t their swan song match, because it was nice to see some classic spots, but it was entirely too abbreviated. 

Nemeth comes out, goes into the crowd and finds a kid with a kendo stick and borrows a beer from someone, so he does a bit of a Sandman tribute. Moose cuts off his promo basically immediately. He throws out the “can’t beat the system” line again, and Nic rolls with the punches well. Moose uses a few cute analogies about Nic having a failure laden past, but Nemeth bites back and its really damn good. He says he can see it in Moose’s eyes that he thinks he’s getting in the ring with Dolph Ziggler, but no, there is no more old Dolph Ziggler, just the new Nic Nemeth. And Moose’s cool seems to be slightly shaken after those words. Good promo.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

So this was okay, if it didn’t end as strongly as it did, I would’ve rated this much lower. Two squash matches in the beginning, reusing the Josh comes out to the announce table to watch trope is boring, hell even Clayton’s shove to Hammerstone was super lame looking. The Deaner match was luke warm at best, but things picked up around the Rosemary match.

Lets also not overlook the segments with ASH & Xia, Jonathan Gresham’s whole deal and EY having to return to the violence/sickness/world class maniac, whatever you want to call it, were all great building blocks. This definitely wasn’t what I would call a strong Go Home, but it didn’t hurt things for Rebellion. The whole injury of Cardona was addressed, which honestly sounded weird since Jordynne basically said she was expecting them to have a backup plan so she has a backup plan. I don’t really like how that video package came across.

But who knows, all I know is, this wasn’t an awful episode, it just wasn’t really strong either.  Here’s to hoping Rebellion Saturday is still strong.


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