WrestleMania: Backlash Results
- Sheamus def Ricochet – Pre Show – **
- Rhea Ripley © def Charlotte Flair & Asuka (Raw Women’s Championship) – ***¼
- The Mysterios def Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode © (SmackDown Tag Team Championship) – **¾
- Damian Priest def The Miz w/ John Morrison – *¼
- Bianca Belair © def Bayley (SmackDown Women’s Championship) – ***¾
- Bobby Lashley © w/ MVP def Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman (WWE Championship) – ***¾
- Roman Reigns © w/ Paul Heyman def Cesaro (WWE Universal Championship) – ****¼
We were so close to this being a really good show, however, we had to have one really shitty match to screw everything up as the lumberjack match between The Miz and Damian Priest turned into an episode of the Walking Dead as zombies were used as the lumberjacks. The reason WWE did this was that they wanted to give some extra promotion to the main sponsor of the show which was the new Army of the Dead movie starring former WWE star Dave Bautista.
I really do mean it when I say had it not been for this one match this show could be looked at as one of WWE’s best as every match delivered including the pre-show bout between Sheamus and Ricochet who I’m guessing will be taking Humberto Carrillo’s place in this feud as he was most likely injured last week on Raw. I’m glad WWE remembered that they had Ricochet on their roster and decided to put him in this match as it was nice to see him once again seeing as I don’t watch Main Event which seems to be his home brand as of late. After the match Ricochet took Sheamus’s coat and hat and did a little dance before Sheamus chased after him and he threw the clothes back at Sheamus and left the ring saying he wants another run with the US Championship.
I like Charlotte’s Cruella De Vil inspired gear she had on this show. I thought all three women in the triple threat did a great job in their match and they worked in some really nice spots that involved all three of them and they had a really nice finishing sequence to the match. Glad to see Rhea pick up the win and retain her title and I guess they are going to go into a singles feud between Rhea and Charlotte since Asuka was the one who took the pin.
I like how they had the tag match start as a handicap match (due to the Dirty Dawgz attacking Dominik during the pre-show) as it was a nice story to tell with Rey getting worked over for the first part of the match but not staying down despite the beatdown from the Dirty Dawgz (including a nice looking double team where Roode sends Rey sliding under the bottom rope right into a Superkick from Ziggler) and then Dominik eventually coming out to save the day for this father and in the end, being the one to pick up the pin to win the titles. This week seems to be the week of emotional tag title wins as we had Tamina winning her first title this past Friday on SmackDown and now we have the first-ever father and son tag team champions in WWE history. This was a really fun match.
I’m not even going to go into any detail about the lumberjack match because it was horrible and hopefully this feud between The Miz and Damian Priest is over and we can move on to better things.
The show went to the next level with these last three matches as they were the main reason why this show should be remembered as being a great show. First, we have Bianca Belair facing off against Bayley and these two started the match on fire as they were going full speed countering and evading attacks from the other. Bianca takes control for the first portion of the match with Bayley having to go to the floor several times for a breather, but then Bayley takes control after she hits Bianca with a front suplex on the steps. Bayley’s control wouldn’t last too long as Bianca hits her with a backhand and regains control of the match. Bianca sidesteps a dive attempt from Bayley sending her crashing to the floor and then hits her with a Glam Slam onto the apron but Bayley kicks out of a pin attempt. Bayley resorts to raking the eyes of Bianca and then she grabs her braid and uses it to pull Bianca in for a Bayley to Belly which only gets a 2 count. Bayley then tries to use the braid to assist her in hitting the Roseplant, but Bianca counters it into a rollup and Bianca uses her braid to hold the leg of Bayley and that is enough to pick up the win. This was a really fun back and forth match and I liked the usage of Bianca’s braid in the match as there are so many creative spots you could use it for. I hope we see these two face off again soon as they have very good chemistry in the ring.
Next up was the battle of the goliaths as Bobby Lashley put his WWE Championship on the line against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman, these three men beat the crap out of each other and put on a match that I will say exceeded my expectations because this was not the slow and plodding match I was expecting, these three were working their butts off the entire time. McIntyre got to show off his strength as he hit Strowman with a belly to belly on the floor but minutes later Strowman makes a comeback as he takes out McIntyre and Lashley with a diving clothesline off the apron which almost turned into a cannonball as Strowman flipped in mid-air and almost landed directly on his head. McIntyre throws Lashley into the LED boards which produces sparks and takes Lashley out of the match for a while. Strowman and McIntyre would fight it out in the ring and McIntyre shocks everyone when he hits a Michinoku Driver on Strowman. McIntyre goes for the Claymore on the outside only for Strowman to catch him and put him through the announce table with a powerbomb. Strowman looks to hit Powerslam on McIntyre in the ring but McIntyre slides out and hits the Claymore but before he can make the pin Lashley reemerges and throws McIntyre to the outside and then hits Strowman with a Spear to pick up the win. This was a really fun train wreck match and it’s good to see Lashley retain the title as he is doing a really good job as champion.
Before the main event, Reigns decides that he doesn’t want Uso coming to the ring with him and tells him he is starting to sound like his brother Jimmy. The story of this Universal Championship match between Reigns and Cesaro was Reigns working over the arm of Cesaro which started when Cesaro landed awkwardly on the floor when Reigns sent him out of the ring. After Cesaro gets in a bit of offense, Reigns really starts to go to work on the arm with some arm wringers and arm breakers. Cesaro makes a comeback despite his arm giving him trouble as he hits a deadlift superplex and a double stomp and minutes later Cesaro goes for the springboard uppercut, but Reigns catches him with a Superman Punch in mid-air. Reigns then starts putting on the guillotine but Cesaro keeps getting out of the hold so Reigns pummels him with forearms and elbows and then does a beautiful transition from a gator roll into the guillotine and this would be all Cesaro could handle as moments later his body would go limp and the referee would call for the bell. This was such a damn good match and there were so many little things in this match that I didn’t even recap that need to be seen, so if there is one match you need to watch on this show this would be it as these two put on one hell of a showing.
I want to give some props to Pat McAfee as I thought he did a fantastic job on his first PPV as a part of the SmackDown announce team, it really is surprising just how quick he has picked up on this commentary job because clearly, it isn’t as easy as it looks especially when you have Vince McMahon screaming in your ear. McAfee comes off as a very knowledgeable fan on commentary as he knows what is going on in the ring while at the same time he shows great enthusiasm and has great reactions to what he is watching, needless to say, he is a much better addition to the announce team than Adnan Virk is over on Raw.
- AJ Styles w/ Omos def Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker via DQ – **¼
- Angel Garza def Drew Gulak – *¾
- Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods def Randy Orton w/ Riddle – **¼
- Natalya & Tamina © def Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship) – *½
- Sheamus def Ricochet – ***½
- Asuka def Charlotte Flair – ***½
- Damian Priest def John Morrison (Lumberjack Match) – **½
- Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods def Bobby Lashley w/ MVP – **¾
The show starts with MVP and Bobby Lashley coming out for a promo and they are in a good mood after WrestleMania: Backlash to the point where MVP has even brought in some lovely ladies to celebrate with them. MVP issues an open challenge to face Bobby Lashley tonight and as you would expect Drew McIntyre comes out looking to accept that challenge, but MVP tells him he isn’t finished and says the challenge is open to anyone except McIntyre and Braun Strowman. Throughout the night numerous people say they are going to accept the challenge but in the end, it would be Kofi Kingston who accepts the challenge, however, despite what everyone was thinking the open challenge was not for the WWE Championship and MVP says that he never stated that it was for the title. The finish sees MVP trying to hit Kingston with his cane, but McIntyre comes from behind and grabs the cane from MVP, and then with the referees back turned McIntyre hits Lashley with the cane and this leads to Kingston rolling up Lashley for the win.
I think WWE is trying to turn me against McIntyre because when I saw him come out at the beginning of the show to try and accept the challenge I rolled my eyes because I’m starting to get annoyed at seeing McIntyre go against Lashley especially since he has lost his last two title matches against Lashley. They really need to push another babyface to the top because I need to see someone else against Lashley besides McIntyre.
There was a really funny backstage segment involving New Day and RK-Bro where Riddle did the whole sitcom trope of giving two people different reasons to meet at the same place so they can meet face to face to settle their differences and in this case, it was New Day and Randy Orton. New Day said they were there because Riddle told them there was a two-headed snake which Orton thinks is an insult aimed at him. Riddle wants Orton to apologize to New Day for hitting them with an RKO last week after their match, but Orton refuses and New Day calls that ereptile dysfunction and tells him they wouldn’t accept his apology anyway and this leads to Kingston challenging Orton for later in the night and Orton agrees and thus Riddle’s plan ends up being a major failure. The finish sees Woods distract Orton by playing the trombone and Kingston rolls him up to pick up the win. After the match, Riddle is not happy with how New Day went about picking up the win and he shoves Woods to the mat and storms off.
I would absolutely love if this team with Orton turns Riddle into a serious badass and they become this world-beating team and then after a lengthy run as a team when everyone least expects it we get Riddle turning on Orton because everyone expects Orton to turn on Riddle so if they did it the other way it would be a total shocker.
As you would expect Charlotte wants a one-on-one match with Rhea Ripley since she wasn’t pinned in the triple threat but Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville aren’t going to make her work for that title shot as he is making her face Asuka and if she wins that then she can have Rhea. Rhea doesn’t want to face Charlotte again as she considers Charlotte yesterday’s news and she wants new competition. Asuka and Charlotte have a very competitive back and forth match, but surprisingly Asuka ends up winning the match after a distraction from Rhea leads to a small package from Asuka. I’m sure despite this loss we will get Charlotte vs Rhea at Hell in a Cell as Charlotte will complain that Rhea cost her the match against Asuka.
We got a really good rematch of the WrestleMania: Backlash pre-show as Sheamus and Ricochet went at it once again and this time they got plenty of time to really put on a show and it’s so nice to see Ricochet get put back into the spotlight and have the ability to put on these fantastic matches for a much bigger audience.
We got another lumberjack match as John Morrison took on Damian Priest and thankfully this time the lumberjacks were normal living people which led to a much better match than what we got the previous night, but just like in all lumberjack matches with living people they start fighting each other and moments later Priest hits a superplex on Morrison to the outside onto all of the lumberjacks. Priest gets Morrison back in and hits a top rope hurricanrana and then hits the Lights Out to pick up the win. If you’re wondering where The Miz was tonight, well it appears that when the zombies were attacking him one of them bit so deep into his leg that it tore his ACL and he will be out of action for a while. I doubt they will do it but it would be cool if they call an audible and instead of having Franky Monet in NXT they go ahead and put her with Morrison as they could be a really fun duo.
In other happenings on Raw we saw AJ Styles face Elias in a match where I’m not sure who we are supposed to cheer for, but since Elias is teaming with Ryker I guess we should cheer for AJ Styles & Omos. Garza and Gulak had a rematch from a couple of weeks ago and this time after Garza beat him Gulak got a rose shoved down his throat. R-Truth made his return to Raw since WrestleMania and got beat by ninja Tozawa for the 24/7 Championship.
We get an edition of Alexa’s Playground where Alexa interviews the new Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya and Tamina who are uncomfortable being at the playground and want to leave but Alexa says she hasn’t even gotten to ask them the tough questions. Alexa asks them what their favorite color is and after an extended awkward pause Natalya says Pink (of course she did) and Tamina says black and blue which will look good on Alexa if she tries any kind of crazy stuff. Bliss says that wasn’t nice but luckily Lilly likes them, she especially liked how Tamina beat up Reginald last week and Tamina says she will swat him again if he gets involved tonight. Alexa starts rambling about how Lilly likes to squish bugs and this gives Natalya and Tamina a chance to leave and once Alexa snaps back into reality and realizes they have left she wishes them luck and says that she and Lilly will be watching. We get a WrestleMania: Backlash rematch for the Women’s Tag Team Championship because WWE has a very short memory and have forgotten about how they said a while back that there would no longer be immediate title rematches. The match was what it was but as it is going on Alexa comes out on the stage and minutes later when Reginald gets on the apron to interfere a blast of fire comes out of the corner knocking Reginald to the floor and the champions hit the Hart Attack to pick up the win. After the match, we hear Lilly laughing over the PA system.
I am glad to see that Lilly finally let Alexa get some sleep as she no longer has the black circles around her eyes. While I thought Alexa did a great job in Alexa’s playground I felt the chemistry between her and the champs was off and it made the segment come off very awkward. It looks like Alexa is looking to get back into the tag division as she has been involved with the women’s tag matches two weeks in a row which is very interesting considering the fact that over the past week Sasha Banks tweeted about wanting to be shown the power of darkness to which Alexa replied there is plenty of room on the playground and Sasha replied “Let me in”. A team of Alexa and Sasha would be very surprising given the fact that it is pretty well known that Alexa isn’t Sasha’s favorite person backstage, but maybe they have patched up their issues or they realize that they can learn to work together if it is for the sake of being professional. While the idea of Alexa teaming with Sasha seems really cool I wouldn’t put it past WWE to just have Alexa actually team with Lilly and no I don’t mean a person named Lilly I mean the actual doll, I mean after all they did have Al Snow team up with Head in a match before.
This episode of Raw was very good when it came to in-ring action as the Sheamus vs Ricochet and Charlotte vs Asuka matches really delivered and I also liked everything involving RKO-Bro and New Day, but what I don’t like is the fact we are getting Lashley vs McIntyre once again as I’m ready for a new face in the WWE Championship picture other than McIntyre..Hopefully, they give me a reason within the next few weeks to give me a reason to want to see the match which will most likely be inside the Hell in a Cell.
- Toni Storm def Zoey Stark – **¾
- Jake Atlas def Cameron Grimes – **¼
- Killian Dain w/ Drake Maverick def Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium – *¼
- Legado del Fantasma def Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher – ***½
- Sarray def Aliyah w/ Robert Stone Brand – **
- Hit Row (Top Dolla & Ashante) w/ Isaiah Scott & B-Fab def Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari – **
- Bronson Reed def Johnny Gargano © (NXT North American Championship – Steel Cage Match) – ***¾
This week’s episode starts out with a rematch from the Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 1 Pre Show as Zoey Stark takes on Toni Storm and these two had another really good match as Zoey Stark continues to impress me every time I see her in the ring as she has such a diverse arsenal of moves which this week included a nice springboard dropkick that nails Toni right in the face. Toni goes for the Storm Zero at one point and Zoey counters it into a hurricanrana and then later on Toni hits the Storm Zero, but Zoey is able to kick out at the last second. Seeing that the Storm Zero won’t put Zoey away Toni decides to bust out a new finisher as she throws Zoey over her hip and hits her with a DDT to pick up the win. These two work really well together and I wouldn’t mind getting one more match between them. As a side note, I was very sad during this match as it seems like Toni has changed her gear from the shorts to long tights which is very unfortunate for me and every other male fan of hers. After the match, Franky Monet comes out on the stage to cut Toni’s post-win celebration short as she will be making her in-ring debut next week.
We get a confrontation between Legado del Fantasma and the team of Ciampa and Thatcher which leads to a match later in the night. The match between these two teams was really good and even included Raul Mendoza getting busted open the hard way. The finish saw Grizzled Young Veterans run out and hit Ticket to Mayhem on Ciampa which led to Legado del Fantasma picking up the win.
Earlier in the night Cameron Grimes arrives at the arena and throws his keys to Jake Atlas and tells him to park his car, but Atlas refuses and tells Grimes the only person who gets valet service is Ted Dibiase and this of course leads to a match between Atlas and Grimes later tonight. Before the match Grimes throws to a video montage of Ted Dibiase getting his ass kicked in old WWE footage. The fans are chanting for Dibiase as Atlas encourages them and then he sends Grimes to the floor. Atlas and Grimes are having a good match when Dibiase’s music hits and he comes out which distracts Grimes and leads to Atlas hitting a springboard sunset flip to get the win. After the match, Grimes chases after Dibiase who gets in his limo and drives off as Grimes screams “That damn Ted Dibiase!”.
Pete Dunne is interviewed by Arash Markazi about him calling out the entire NXT locker room and he says there is a reason as to why he would want to go after each of the champions in NXT whether it be to take back his NXT UK Championship from Walter or win the NXT Championship from Karrion Kross since he has never held that championship. Markazi asks Dunne if he feels that he is not respected sometimes and Dunne says he doesn’t really care if they do or they don’t because his work speaks for itself as he always has the best match and whether he wins or loses his opponent always leaves different after they have faced him. Dunne also talks about his style of wrestling and how he blends MMA with different styles he has learned from working in numerous countries. Dunne says his next goal is to go for the NXT Championship as he conquered the UK and now he wants to conquer the US.
We get a really quick match between Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe which was originally supposed to happen last week. The finish sees Barthel try to slide a chair into the ring for Wolfe but the referee takes it away and this distraction allows Dain to hit Wolfe with a crossbody to pick up the win. After the match, Barthel and Aichner turn on Wolfe as they attack him from behind and hit him with the Imperium Bomb.
We get an interview with Bobby Fish who returned last week and he wants a piece of Pete Dunne as he finds it funny that Dunne claims that nobody wants to face him when he is the only person Fish wants to face as he wants revenge for Dunne putting him on the shelf.
We get a couple of segments of The Way’s Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell at the spa relaxing after their big NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship win. The first video shows them getting a massage while wearing facials and Candice talks crap about Dexter Lumis and Indi agrees that he is a loser, the camera pans up to show that Lumis is the one giving Indi her massage but she can’t see him because she has cucumbers over her eyes, Dexter sadly walks off after hearing this news. In the second video, one of the girls who works at the spa says Candice’s credit card is declined and she tries to blame it on Austin Theory ordering pizza but is then told it is declined because of an unpaid charge to a florist three weeks ago. Indi starts to put things together and finally realizes it was Candice who sent those flowers and chocolates to Shotzi and Ember, but instead of being mad at Candice she hops up excitedly saying that Lumis still loves her and then she runs off as Candice looks annoyed.
We saw another showcase match for Sarray as she won a squash match against Aliyah when she hit her with the deadly running dropkick to the face and then hit her with a suplex. We also got a showcase match for the new Hit Row stable as Top Dolla and Ashante Adonis squashed Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari with Top Dolla doing most of the work as they were no match for this massive individual. Hit Row cut a promo after the match with Isaiah saying he has his sights set on the winner of tonight’s main event.
We then go to our main event which sees Johnny Gargano putting his NXT North American Championship on the line against Bronson Reed inside of a steel cage. Gargano does everything he can to escape the cage but Reed stops him and uses his power to punish Gargano. Theory tries to interfere multiple times but Reed is able to fight off both men and as he has Gargano down on the mat he hits him with the Tsunami to pick up the win and become the new NXT North American Champion. Glad to see Reed finally win some gold as Gargano doesn’t really need a title right now as he is over in his role as the “father” of Theory and Indi in The Way.
I enjoyed this episode of NXT as I thought the Legado del Fantasma vs Ciampa and Thatcher match was really good and the main event delivered as well with the right man coming out as the champion. I thought the Cameron Grimes and Ted Dibiase stuff was great as usual as was the interview with Pete Dunne. I also thought the opener between Toni and Zoey was a lot of fun and I hope this feud isn’t over as they have really good matches against each other. We have a big episode of NXT next week as there are a lot of things already scheduled including a big NXT Championship match, you can check out everything in store for next week below in the Coming Up this Week section.
NXT UK Results
- Rampage Brown def Wolfgang – **½
- Amale def Xia Brookside – **
- Tyler Bate w/ Trent Seven def A-Kid © (NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship) – ***¾
The show opens with a video package hyping tonight’s main event between Tyler Bate and A-Kid showing highlights from their two previous matches.
We go into our first match of the night which sees Rampage Brown face off against Wolfgang who comes out with Gallus but they quickly go to the back to let Wolfgang handle this on his own. Brown and Wolfgang fight it out in the ring until Wolfgang misses a splash in the corner and is sent to the floor where he sends Brown into the ring post before rolling him back into the ring. Wolfgang locks in a bodyscissors to weaken Brown but he fights out only to be hit with a splash from Wolfgang for a 2 count. A spear by Wolfgang takes Brown back down to the mat where he locks in a rest hold which is fought out of with a hip toss. Brown sends Wolfgang into the corner and hits him with a clothesline which is followed by the Dr. Bomb and that is enough to pick up the win. Later we get a backstage segment between Brown and Joe Coffey where Coffey still wants to face Brown, but only once Brown is healed up.
We get a segment at the UK PC where Ashton Smith is interviewed and asked about being a new father, Teoman walks up and starts talking about family and then asks about the whereabouts of Oliver Carter and says that he has forgotten about his family.
We get a nice vignette of Aoife Valkyrie running through the woods training as she is rebuilding herself after the loss to Meiko Satomura a few weeks ago.
We go to the second match of the night which sees Amale take on Xia Brookside and as Xia wants revenge for being taken out of the gauntlet match last week. Xia charges at Amale and is in control for the first couple of minutes until Amale sends her to the outside where she rams her into the barricade. Amale throws Xia back in the ring where she stays in control as she stomps a mudhole into Xia and then tries to take her head off with a running face-wash into the corner. Xia makes a comeback dodging a charge from Amale and then Xia connects with a dropkick. Xia continues her punishment on Amale with a headscissors and a running neckbreaker. Amale is able to make a comeback long enough to hit a northern light suplex for a 2 count. Xia gets her boots up on a charge from Amale and then goes up to the middle rope, but Amale pulls her down and then hits Xia with a spinebuster to pick up the win.
Nathan Frazer and Sha Samuels have words in the back and it looks like we will get those two in a match next week. Sam Gradwell looks around the BT Sports Arena for Sid Scala as he wants a match with Trent Seven.
It’s time for Supernova Sessions and this week Noam Dar welcomes Ilja Dragunov to the show but Dragunov doesn’t look to be in the best mood. Dar tries to make things a little more calm and serene with tealights and a waterfall. Dar tries to be a psychologist as he wants to get into why Dragunov is such an angry person. Dragunov says that after he lost to Walter he was hurting and was taking that out on everyone who got in his way, but then claims he is no longer that kind of person. Dar presents Dragunov with a stuffed therapy dog with a personalized name tag. Dragunov laughs at this and says he could hurt Dar which leads to Dar calling Dragunov a fake and then pokes Dragunov before signing off. Dragunov goes to walk off but then walks back up to Dar so he can take his stuffed dog with him.
Sid Scala makes an announcement that in 2 weeks we will see Noam Dar vs Ilja Dragunov and Joe Coffey vs Rampage Brown.
It is now time for the main event that has been hyped up for several weeks as A-Kid will put his Heritage Cup Championship on the line against Tyler Bate, going into this match both men have a win over the other and now it’s time to see who will win the rubber match. Both competitors feel each other out for the first two rounds which includes a lot of chain wrestling and it seems like we are going to get the same in the third round, but A-Kid takes the match to the next gear when he connects with a punch and this leads to a strike exchange which knocked A-Kid out to the floor. Once back in the ring A-Kid goes for an O’Connor roll but it is blocked so A-Kid falls back to the mat and then kip ups right into a punch from Bate. A-Kid tries to hip toss a charging Bate but they both end up tumbling to the outside and as the referee (who looks like a skinnier Prince William from afar) starts his count the 3rd round comes to an end.
The 4th Round starts with Bate charging right at A-Kid with an uppercut and then we get another strike exchange which Bate gets the better of but then he runs into a kick and is hit with a fisherman suplex for a 2 count. There is a really innovative spot where Bate looks to come off the middle rope with a European uppercut and A-Kid catches him in a backslide for a 2 count. Bate powers A-Kid off the mat and gets him into an airplane spin only for A-Kid to transition into a rear-naked choke and when it seems like Bate is going limp the hold is released and A-Kid hits him with a PK for a 2 count. A-Kid reapplies the choke and hops on the back of Bate who ends up breaking the hold by backing A-Kid into the corner which allows A-Kid to attempt to come off the middle rope where he is met with an uppercut from Bate. Bate tries for a suplex but A-Kid counters it into a guillotine only for Bate to use his power to get A-Kid up for a brainbuster and as he is crawling over to make a cover the round comes to an end.
We get a double knuckle lock to start the 5th round which Bate gains control of as he tries to pin A-Kid’s shoulders to the mat but he keeps raising a shoulder up. A-Kid pulls himself to his feet while still in the knuckle lock and looks to hit a springboard move but Bate pulls him down and hits a bridging German suplex for a 2 count. Bate looks to set up the Tyler Driver but A-Kid falls back into a pin for another 2 count and then Bate bridges up and once he gets back to his feet he hits the Tyler Driver on A-Kid but A-Kid is able to kick once again. Bate looks to hit the Spiral Tap but crashes to the mat when A-Kid moves out of the way and immediately A-Kid locks in an armbar but Bate rolls toward A-Kid and punches his way out of the hold. Bate tries to dive toward A-Kid but gets caught in an omoplata and as Bate is getting his arm pulled back Trent Seven contemplates throwing in the towel, but Bate hangs on until the round comes to an end.
Going into the final round we are still scoreless, but since this is the last round the first person to pick up a fall will win the match. During the break between rounds, Bate pleads with Trent Seven that no matter what, don’t throw in the towel. A-Kid misses on two running kicks to start out the round but he is able to pick the leg of Bate to get him down but is kicked off and then Bate leapfrogs over A-Kid and rebounds off the ropes to hit a big clothesline. Bate looks to hit the Tyler Driver once again but A-Kid reverses it into a hurricanrana for a very close 2 count. A-Kid sidesteps a Koppo kick from Bate but then walks right into a big punch only to retaliate with a superkick. A-Kid attempts a schoolboy but Bate spins around and drops to his knees in order to get A-Kid in a very deep cover and this would be enough to allow Bate to pick up the win. After the match, A-Kid hands the trophy to Bate and the show goes off the air with Bate celebrating his win along with Trent Seven.
Outside of the main event I thought this was a pretty dull episode of NXT but given that the main event was the main reason people were tuning in then I guess this episode was a success. I will say I didn’t think this was the strongest Heritage Cup match as I thought the one last week between Dar and Frazer was a little bit better. It’s nice to see Bate with some gold once again and I look forward to watching him defend his championship.
- Bayley, Nia Jax, & Shayna Baszler def Bianca Belair, Natalya, & Tamina – **
- King Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs def Baron Corbin – **¼
- Dominic Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio def Robert Roode w/ Dolph Ziggler – **
- Apollo Crews © w/ Commander Azeez def Big E, Kevin Owens, & Sami Zayn (WWE Intercontinental Championship) – ***¾
SmackDown opens with the champions of SmackDown standing on the stage (minus Roman Reigns) and Sonya Deville is in the ring to make the announcement on-air of the WWE going back on the road starting July 16 with fans in attendance and this announcement has Pat McAfee really hyped up. Sonya then introduces the champions one by one but when she gets to Apollo Crews he decides it’s the perfect time to cut a promo on his match later tonight. Sonya introduces Roman Reigns but instead, Paul Heyman comes out to the stage (he comes out to Reigns’ old music) where he cuts a promo about everyone being a titleholder but Reigns is a champion and he will come out later to represent himself when he doesn’t have to share the spotlight with these other titleholders. Sonya tries to move on but Bayley comes from behind her and gets into the ring to cut a promo as she runs down all of the babyface champions and says they should all thank her for being champion. Bayley then calls Bianca a criminal as she stole the win on Sunday by using her hair and wants Sonya to strip Bianca of the title, Bianca has heard enough as she walks to the ring but Bayley says this isn’t the right time and then goes to leave but when Bianca turns her back she is attacked by Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax and Bayley joins in on the beatdown until Natalya and Tamina run down to even the odds.
We got into our first match which was made during the commercial featuring the six women who were brawling prior to the commercial. The match was nothing special but the heels came out the winners when Shayna made Natalya tap out to the Kirifuda Clutch. It would be announced later in the show that there will be yet another tag title match between Natalya and Tamina vs Nia and Shayna because God forbid we find another team for Natalya and Tamina to go against.
Baron Corbin comes to the ring and he isn’t happy about Shinsuke Nakamura stealing his crown and parading around with it and then vows to beat Nakamura and take his crown back. We then get the debut of Rick Boogs (formerly Eric Bugenhagen) who is playing electric guitar and says he came to rock with the real king of SmackDown and he then proceeds to play Nakamura’s theme, Pat McAfee was fantastic during this as the camera pans over and he is on his feet playing air guitar while being all up in Michael Cole’s personal space . This was a fine match but once again nothing too special, the finish comes when Boogs starts playing his guitar which distracts Corbin momentarily allowing Nakamura to recover, Corbin goes for the End of Days but Nakamura flips through it and rolls Corbin up in a small package to get the win.
Jimmy Uso is in the office of Sonya Deville (Adam Pearce is absent tonight as he is scouting locations for SmackDown to go once they start touring again in July) and he wants a tag match for him and his brother against the Street Profits, but Sonya questions if Jey wants the same thing and Jimmy says of course because his brother has his back. Sonya says a match that big needs to be advertised so she tells him he can have the match next week. Later on in the night Jimmy runs into Jey and tells him about the match but Jey is upset he didn’t ask him first and says he has to tell Reigns about this match. Jimmy tells Jey this isn’t about Reigns this is about them, but Jey won’t listen and still persists he must tell Reigns. We go further into the show and Jey finally gets a chance to tell Reigns but Reigns has a problem with this and accuses Jey of being selfish. Reigns tells Jey that the two of them represent their family and then hugs him.
Roman Reigns gets his time to cut a promo and talks about how he is a humble man and doesn’t want to brag on national TV so he will let Paul Heyman celebrate his accomplishments and this leads to Heyman running down everyone that Reigns has beaten since he returned at SummerSlam last year. Heyman then asks Reigns if he wants him to do anything else and Reigns tells him to bring him Jimmy Uso, Heyman tells the people at ringside to hit Jimmy’s music but instead, we get Cesaro’s music and he makes his way out as he has the arm that was injured at WrestleMania: Backlash in a sling. Cesaro says he has been looking for Seth Rollins but has had no luck, so when he heard Reigns running his mouth he decided he would come out to address him.
Reigns jokingly asks Cesaro if he wants him to break the other arm but Cesaro says it is only a flesh wound and he could beat Reigns one-handed on any day and then he challenges Reigns to a rematch at Hell in a Cell, but before Reigns can give an answer Rollins attacks Cesaro from behind. Rollins targets the injured arm until referees and agents try to pull him off but he keeps going back on the attack and even hits Cesaro with two Curb Stomps on the ramp. A stretcher comes out to take Cesaro to the back, after a commercial break Rollins is interviewed about what he just did and he says he has no clue what happened as he blacked out. As the stretcher is rolled past Rollins he freaks out again as he grabs Cesaro and starts screaming at him until the paramedics wheel him into the ambulance.
Robert Roode cuts a promo on Dominik Mysterio ahead of their match where he says that Dominic can’t lean on his dad tonight and he is going to prove Dominik doesn’t belong. The match between Roode and Dominic is pretty short and the finish comes when Dominic goes for the 619 but Ziggler interferes until Rey takes care of him. Dominic sidesteps Roode who is charging at him and he runs shoulder-first into the ring post and this allows Dominic to hit the 619 followed by the Frog Splash to pick up the win.
It’s time for the main event as Apollo Crews is putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line against Big E, Kevin Owens, & Sami Zayn. This match was 20 minutes and was action-packed the entire time some of the highlights include Big E hitting the apron splash on Zayn and Crews, Zayn hits a moonsault off the barricade, KO hits the avalanche fisherman buster, Crews hitting an apron DVD on KO, Big E hits a German suplex on both Zayn and Crews, & Zayn hitting KO with a half-and-half on the floor, The finish comes when Big E hits the Big Ending on Crews but Commander Azeez pulls him out of the ring so Big E sends him into the ring post. Big E gets back in the ring but the lights start messing up and out comes Aleister Black, Crews grabs the leg of Big E to hold him in place so that Black can hit him with the Black Mass and that is enough for Crews to pin him and get the win. This was a really good match with an unexpected ending and I look forward to seeing Big E take on Aleister Black.
Had it not been for the main event match and everything involving Reigns and The Usos this would not be a good episode of SmackDown as everything else on the show was pretty boring and paint by numbers, although the debut of Rick Boogs was nice as well and McAfee’s reaction to him put it over the top. It will be interesting to see what happens next week when The Usos team up for the first time in over a year.
In Other News
On Wednesday WWE had another slew of roster cuts, but this time the cuts only affected NXT as the following talents were released:
- Alexander Wolfe – Really good hand who was a good enforcer for both Sanity and Imperium, his best showing in WWE was during the first WarGames match.
- Vanessa Borne – Was rumored to be getting a call up to Raw or SmackDown but nothing ever came of it and she will best be known as Aliyah’s tag partner.
- Jessamyn Duke – Really sad about this one as it means we are probably never getting that Horsewoman vs Horsewoman match.
- Kavita Devi – The first female from India to be signed to WWE, really surprised they released her given how important their Indian market is.
- Skyler Story (Brandi Lauren) – What was the point in even signing this girl in the first place if you are going to release her without doing anything with her.
- Jake Clemons – NXT referee who was involved in an angle involving Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in February of 2020.
- Ezra Judge
There was one more release on Wednesday which is a lot more noteworthy and that is of NXT referee Drake Wuertz. Wuertz has been in the headlines recently due to him being very outspoken about his extreme far-right conspiracy-driven views and now that he has been released even more is coming out about Wuertz’s time in NXT and the massive amount of nuclear heat he brought onto himself. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com reported that many in NXT were very uncomfortable around Wuertz and believed him to be racist. It has also been reported that Wuertz’s views almost got him into a physical altercation with Ezra Judge, Wuertz would get into confrontational situations with the minorities down in NXT on multiple occasions. Outside of his issues with race Wuertz would publically and loudly criticize wrestlers for getting vaccinated against Covid-19 or even just getting a flu shot. There is another story where last year during NXT Takeover; In Your House, there was a meeting held by Triple H (during the time when tensions about race relations in America were boiling over) where he spoke about inclusivity and being accepting of all races and religions in the NXT locker room and during this speech, Wuertz attitude changed as he aggressively grabbed his belongings and left the meeting.
I imagine it was the meeting at Takeover where management became aware of Wuertz’s views and started to take notice but they wanted to give him a chance as at the time he was highly thought of by everyone, but as the months went on Wuertz’s behavior got more and more aggressive and bizarre, to the point where he started stating his views publicly outside of the WWE as he would video call into local government meetings and spout conspiracy-driven nonsense and he would do this during the time when he was supposed to be working. Eventually, he gave WWE management no choice but to let him go as they can’t have someone who works for them going out publicly and spewing all this hate-filled nonsense nor can they have an entire locker room unhappy with one guy and have an uncomfortable working environment. I would say it’s a good thing he is gone from NXT, but unfortunately, that means he has even more time on his hands to spread whatever kind of hate-filled conspiracy theory shit that comes into his mind and that is a very scary thought. It is now being rumored that Wuertz has contacted indie promoters that he is available to be booked and to that, I say good luck because I don’t see him getting booked ever again.
On Thursday afternoon it was reported the WWE has cut yet another controversial member of its roster as Velveteen Dream has been released. Dream has not wrestled since December 2020 when he lost to Adam Cole on an episode of NXT but prior to that, he was sparingly used throughout 2020. The reason for Dream’s sudden fall from stardom was that he was accused multiple times of being sexually inappropriate with underage fans which he would deny. In August of 2020 Triple H would go on to say that WWE looked into the allegations, but nothing was found against him.
While it took much longer than it should it’s nice to see WWE getting rid of the trashy people on their roster as people like Drake Wuertz and Patrick “Velveteen Dream” Clark don’t deserve the honor or privilege of being in the wrestling business, let alone the biggest and most prominent company in the business.
It was announced during the WrestleMania: Backlash show that the next PPV event will be Hell in a Cell which was a surprise to many as the Hell in a Cell PPV has always taken place in October so to have it happening in the summer is quite a shift in WWE’s PPV schedule. It would be reported that the reason why Hell in a Cell was pushed up to June was that they want to hold off Money in the Bank (which was originally scheduled for June) for one more month due to the fact that they want to have fans at the Money in the Bank show as they consider that one of their big 5 shows of the year. The exact date for Money in the Bank will be July 18 and it will be a part of a 4 day weekend where WWE will welcome fans back into the arena for the first time since WrestleMania 37 and it is being reported that Money in the Bank will take place in Texas. With Hell in a Cell moving to June that leaves a spot open for a show in October which could be when the Extreme Rules PPV takes place. In addition, it has been confirmed that SummerSlam will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It has officially been announced by WWE that they will return to having fans in attendance on July 16 in Houston, TX and from there will go on a 25 city schedule through Labor Day. The first three stops once WWE returns to going live will be SmackDown in Houston, TX, Money in the Bank in Fort Worth, TX, and Raw in Dallas, TX future dates on the tour will be announced in the coming weeks.
Coming up this Week
- Natalya & Tamina © vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
- Karrion Kross © w/ Scarlett vs Finn Balor (NXT Championship)
- Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
- Bobby Fish vs Pete Dunne
- In-Ring Debut of Franky Monet
- Cameron Grimes & Ted Dibiase Face-to-Face
NXT UK: N/A
- Usos vs Street Profits
As always if you have any feedback to give whether it be positive or negative please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MTW3589.