This week in WWE: 6/13-6/19

NXT Takeover: In Your House

NXT Takeover: In Your House Results

  • Bronson Reed © & MSK © def Legado del Fantasma (NXT North American & Tag Team Championship) – ***½ 
  • Xia Li w/ Tian Sha def Mercedes Martinez – **½ 
  • LA Knight def Cameron Grimes (Million Dollar Championship – Ladder Match) – ***¼ 
  • Raquel Gonzalez © w/ Dakota Kai def Ember Moon (NXT Women’s Championship) – ***¼ 
  • Karrion Kross © def Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne, Adam Cole, & Johnny Gargano (NXT Championship) – ****¼  

I thought this Takeover was good like they all are but it was far from one of the best they have had as other than the main event the rest of the matches were good but nothing really put this show over the top. I did enjoy the Todd Pettengill appearances where he tried to use 1990s technology in 2021. 

I thought the 6-man tag match was fine but I feel like if all the titles weren’t on the line to make this match more important then this is a match they could’ve saved for TV as that is pretty much what it felt like. I liked how MSK and Reed thought of a couple of triple-team moves to mix into their offense. We did get the payoff of Reed repeatedly showing the video of him splashing Escobar into the barricade a couple of weeks ago as we saw him splash Escobar through the barricade on this occasion. This was overall a fun match but nothing you couldn’t see on NXT TV on any random week. 

I liked how in the video package for Xia vs Mercedes they went all the way back to when Mercedes beat Xia in the 2017 Mae Young Classic as I had even forgotten that happened. The Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li was a nice showcase for Xia in her first-ever Takeover match as she got in most of the offense. I noticed early in the match that after Xia would perform a move she would stand there for a second as if she didn’t remember what to do next which is something that she probably needs work on. I did think Xia did a good job of selling the leg after she kicked the ring post. I thought the finish came out of nowhere but the kick Xia used looked really good. The post-match beatdown of Boa and Xia by Mercedes was great and Boa comes off as the worst and most incompetent person you would ever want to be in your corner. I liked Mei Ling using the Tongan Death Grip (which will obviously be renamed) as that is something we haven’t seen since Haku stepped away from the ring and the fact that she used it to throw Mercedes into the cage wall made it look even more devastating. I look forward to seeing where the Mercedes vs Tian Sha story goes next. 

The ladder match between LA Knight and Cameron Grimes was good but felt lacking for a ladder match as there weren’t really innovative spots in the match using the ladder other than the neckbreaker on the side of the ladder which looked like it hurt. Given that we just had a ladder match on the last Takeover I think this match may have worked better under a different stipulation match. There was a spot right before the big spot at the end where it was clearly visible that Knight and Grimes were talking and it was pretty ironic how in a company where there are 100 camera cuts per match they chose that time to delay a camera cut. I’m ready for babyface Cameron Grimes to move on from LA Knight and feud with someone who can go in the ring just like he can, I personally think a feud between Grimes and Gargano could be a lot of fun.  

I thought the Ember Moon vs Raquel match was good as Ember is the best she has ever been in her entire WWE career and Raquel is doing a great job as NXT Women’s Champion. If I had one complaint I would’ve had Shotzi come out to run off Dakota earlier in the match as her interference was starting to take away from the match and I would’ve liked to see more of Ember vs Raquel without her involvement. Ember had some really nice reversal spots to counter the power of Raquel as the victory roll out of the one-armed powerbomb and the Stundog Millionaire out of the suplex were nice. I hope the feud between Raquel and Dakota against Ember and Shotzi continues and next time it’s Shotzi getting the title shot because I am an even bigger fan of Shotzi than I am of Ember. 

I complained after the last Takeover about the main event being way too long and self-indulgent but thankfully the main event for Takeover: In Your House was neither of those things and I enjoyed it a lot as this match was action-packed from start to finish. I thought there were more creative spots in this match than there were in the ladder match and some of the double team moves were a nice surprise. I was surprised to see O’Reilly be the one to take the fall as I thought they would want to keep him strong as I would expect him to stay in the title picture. Now that Kross has beaten all four of these top-tier challengers it will be interesting to see who his next challenger will be as he beat the entire main event division in one match. This was by far the match of the night for me. 

Over the past few weeks, things in NXT have been a lot more chaotic than usual and that chaos would continue throughout Takeover as Willam Regal was having to have fights broken up left and right and when interviewed at the end of the night Regal says he has been GM for seven years and he has never seen so much chaos and then he suggests it’s time for a change as he walks off looking defeated. It is expected that this will lead to Samoa Joe taking his place (you will probably know if that comes true or not by the time you read this) which is going to be bittersweet as I really enjoy Regal as GM and I hope that if he is done as GM he is on TV in some other capacity as he is always a delight to watch, on the flip side Joe being an authority figure could be a lot of fun as nobody is going to want to mess with him as he is not going to be one to sit back and take any kind of abuse, while I would be sad to see Regal go I would also welcome the GM Joe era with open arms. 


Raw

Raw Results

  • Nikki Cross def Charlotte Flair via Count Out – *¾ 
  • John Morrison def Jeff Hardy – **
  • Jeff Hardy def Cedric Alexander – **¼ 
  • Piper Niven w/ Eva Marie def Naomi – ½ *
  • RK-Bro def New Day – ***½ 
  • Rhea Ripley def Asuka – ***
  • Alexa Bliss def Nia Jax via DQ – *¾ 
  • Jaxson Ryker def Elias via Count Out – **
  • Drew McIntyre def AJ Styles via DQ – **½
  • Drew McIntyre & Viking Raiders def Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, & Omos w/ MVP – **½ 

Alexa Bliss opens up the show by welcoming us to her playground and she says that what happened with Shayna last week wasn’t supposed to happen and things got out of hand, due to those events Alexa has decided to put Lilly in time out even though Shayna deserved everything that happened to her. Nia walks up to confront Alexa as she tells her Shayna will see her Sunday at Hell in a Cell. Nia wants to know what has happened to her former best friend and tells Alexa she needs to stop messing with her friends but Alexa tells her they were never friends. Nia challenges Alexa to a match for tonight and after fake crying Alexa starts laughing and then accepts the match. Nia and Alexa have a quick little match that ends in a disqualification when Reginald interferes because Nia Jax who currently isn’t involved in anything can’t take a clean loss to someone who hasn’t had a match in four months. After the match, Alexa stares at Reginald and it seems like she has hypnotized him but she breaks her trance when Nia Jax gets back to her feet. It was nice to see Alexa back in the ring, it seemed like she was a bit more aggressive than usual which fits the character nicely, I just wish she could’ve gotten a clean win against someone like Nia who is currently doing nothing and I wouldn’t doubt if they have Shayna lose cleanly this Sunday because they seem to protect Nia all the time while they could care less about having Shayna lose cleanly. 

We get a rematch between Charlotte and Nikki Cross but this time it is an actual match rather than a beat-the-clock scenario. This match ends with yet another fluke win for Nikki as Charlotte becomes the dumbest person in the building as she gets herself counted out as she is too busy arguing with Rhea Ripley at ringside. After the match, Charlotte looks to take her frustrations out on Nikki but as she goes to put on the Figure Eight Rhea comes in and hits her with the Riptide. 

Later in the night, we get what feels like the 50th match between Rhea Ripley and Asuka since WrestleMania and they have a pretty lengthy match that actually has a clean finish as Rhea beats Asuka after hitting the Riptide. After the match, Charlotte hits the ring and we get a brawl between the two competitors in this Sunday’s match for the Raw Women’s Championship. This would be a lengthy brawl as referees and agents run out to break it up and sometime during the melee Charlotte gets her nose busted open, Why couldn’t we have gotten more interactions between Charlotte and Rhea like this brawl to build up their match rather than having them both look dumb while losing to Nikki Cross, This is the only thing worthy enough to put in the video package before the match on Sunday as everything else is them looking like complete idiots. 

We get a match between Jeff Hardy and John Morrison with The Miz on commentary, this match was nothing special and was just used to kill time. Cedric Alexander came out to watch the match and after it was over Alexander got on the mic and cut a promo on Hardy talking about how he is a sore winner and how he should’ve kicked his ass into a retirement home. Hardy says that since Alexander wants to talk about retirement if Alexander can beat him tonight then he will retire. We get another quick match between Hardy which results in Hardy picking up the win as you would expect. I thought the whole thing with Alexander screaming during his promo and his voice cracking during it was a one-time thing as the promo he was cutting at the time was very passionate, but that seems to be his thing now as he did the same thing during this promo. 

It’s now time for the moment we have been waiting for since I started taking over This Week in WWE and that is the debut of Eva Marie as she was scheduled to take on Naomi, but there was a swerve as Eva Marie brings with her straight from NXT UK the lovely Piper Niven and not only is she aligned with Eva but she is going to be wrestling this match for her. Piper makes really short work of Naomi before she finishes her off with the Michinoku Driver. Eva then takes the mic and declares herself the winner of the match. 

I was really expecting Eva’s return to be a bigger deal on the show seeing as they had built it up for weeks but it wasn’t talked up at the start of the show when they hype up what is on the show nor was it talked about much afterward. I like the idea of Piper being with Eva as it is a great way to get heat for Eva while also giving Piper a push and making her a prominent part of the show. I know some people were complaining about the announcers not recognizing or acknowledging Piper by name but let’s be honest who in America (or any non-UK country) watches NXT UK except the most hardcore of the hardcore fans like myself (your welcome), I can’t blame them for not acknowledging her by name because most likely someone in management doesn’t know even know who she is. Speaking of NXT UK I feel sorry for poor Jack Starz as his friend and training partner has abandoned him for greener pastures. The only part I would’ve changed about this is having Naomi be the victim of this squash as this poor girl doesn’t need this as her career and booking is already in the toilet and didn’t need this to make it worse, couldn’t they have found a local worker to use as a jobber instead? 

We get a video of Mandy and Dana getting into an argument and brawl with Natalya and Tamina and it also seems like Mandy and Dana have now become self-absorbed heels out of nowhere. Get ready for 6 months of matches between these two teams because this is all that is left in the division. 

We get one of our best matches of the night as RK-Bro takes on New Day with RK-Bro picking up the win after Orton hits the RKO on Woods. Later on, MVP has another lecture with Kofi Kingston trying to convince him that his friends are holding him back but Kingston disagrees with this as he says his friends are the reason for all of his success. 

We also get a rematch from last week between Elias and Jaxson Ryker in the feud nobody cares about and this match ends with Elias getting himself counted out just like last week, so that feud is progressing nicely. 

The main event match between Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles was a good match once again ruined by interference as this time Bobby Lashley interfered to cause the DQ, but the match would be restarted as a 6-man tag as McIntyre would team with the Viking Raiders and Styles would team with Omos and Bobby Lashley. This match was really good as well and ended with McIntyre picking up the win for his team when he hit Lashley with the Claymore and pinned him clean. 

I thought this episode of Raw was a bit better than last week as we got a few more matches that were given time and the final build to Hell in a Cell was done pretty well as the brawl between Charlotte and Rhea finally got me hyped for the match and McIntyre pinning Lashley clean was a pleasant surprise and I am looking forward to that match a bit more than I had been. The one thing I definitely enjoyed about Raw is that there were 4 segments involving the women and none of them were as bad as the ending segment last week.


NXT

NXT Results

  • Breezango def Imperium (Barthel & Aichner) – **¼ 
  • Kushida © def Trey Baxter (NXT Cruiserweight Championship) – ***½
  • Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez def Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter – **½ 
  • Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher def Grizzled Young Veterans (Tornado Tag Match) – ***¼ 

Coming out of Takeover the biggest question going into this week’s show was what did William Regal mean at the end of Takeover when he meant it was time for a change, well we wouldn’t have to wait for long as the General Manager of NXT opened up the show by giving a very emotional speech about his time in NXT from the beginning and the vision he and Triple H had for the brand when it first began and then he talked about how much the brand has grown in the past 7 years. Regal talked about how he has given everything within himself to NXT and he thinks he has reached a point where he no longer gives as much as we deserve and just when he is fixing to reach the main point of his promo he is cut off by the NXT Champion Karrion Kross. 

Kross comes out and mocks Regal for crying during his promo and he says he always knew this day would come and he even told Regal last week that he had lost control of his roster. Kross said at Takeover he punched a hole through the Mount Rushmore of NXT and Regal now knows that Kross can control NXT with violence and chaos. Kross wants to hear Regal tell these people he is leaving and then he gets in Regal’s face and demands he tell the people that he was right and Kross conquers all. Before Regal can get a word out we hear the music of Samoa Joe who comes down to the ring and he asks Regal if he wanted to speak with him and Regal said he did but not under these circumstances, but since he is there Regal suggests that Joe become the new General Manager as he would hold the position with integrity and respect. Joe declines the offer and then he talks up everything Regal has done for NXT over the past 7 years including bringing himself into NXT and because of that Regal would leave big shoes to fill. Joe realizes this job has taken its toll on Regal, so Joe gives him an offer which is that if Regal remains GM Joe will ensure that Regal receives the respect he deserves from everyone and as he says this he gets in the face of Karrion Kross. 

Regal ponders the offer made by Joe and says that if he accepts that offer there will be conditions which Joe must follow, the first is that Joe cannot be a competitor and the second is he cannot be physical with anyone…unless provoked. Joe accepts those conditions and then steps up to Kross and asks him what he is still doing in the ring and tells him “Tik Tok, young champion”. Kross and Scarlet slowly leave the ring as the fans chant “Joe is gonna kill you” and the segment comes to an end with Regal and Joe shaking hands. 

This was one of the longer talking opening segments for NXT but I thought it was all done very well especially the promo by Regal as the emotion he was showing was fantastic and probably some of the best acting we have seen in quite some time. I thought Kross coming out to interrupt and mock Regal was the best heel work he has done since he debuted as I was actually like screw this guy while watching rather than thinking about how corny he was like I usually do when he cuts a promo. It’s nice that we get Joe back in NXT and still don’t have to say goodbye to Regal as I would’ve been bummed if this was the end for Regal on TV as I have really enjoyed him as GM. The role of Regal’s enforcer is a perfect fit for Joe right now especially since they don’t want him in the ring right now due to past concussion issues, but I have to imagine it has to eventually lead to him returning to the ring as we will see later they are already teasing possible matches for him down the road. 

We move on from that fantastic opening segment to our opening match which sees Imperium take on the team of Breezango, I didn’t really think this match was anything special and felt like a cool down after everything that happened at the beginning of the show. Breezango ends up getting the win when Breeze gets the hot tag and catches Aichner in a small package for the surprise 3 count. After the match, Imperium takes their frustrations out on Breezango as they continue to attack them and then they lay the Imperium flag on top of a prone Fandango. 

In the back we see Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly have gotten into a brawl and security is trying to separate them as is Regal but they are having no luck, but while this is happening Regal screams that Cole and O’Reilly fill face each other in 3 weeks at Great American Bash, but next week they can pick their opponents to face in a match. Cole and O’Reilly continue to fight until Joe runs up and as he tries to break them up Cole shoves Joe and that is enough for Joe to rip off his coat and lock in the Rear Naked Choke on Cole until he passes out. Well, it didn’t take long before Joe had to get physically involved and he quickly dealt with the situation and got the brawl broken up in the process. I knew it was too good that we were just going to get that one match between Cole and O’Reilly, get ready for a 30+ minute match on TV in a few weeks with tons of kicking out of finishers and going longer than it should. 

Santos Escobar cuts a promo in the back on Bronson Reed and how he plans on coming for him one-on-one and becoming the NXT North American Champion. 

It’s now time for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship open challenge and this week Kushida is putting his title on the line against Trey Baxter who is formerly known as Blake Christian. Kushida ends up retaining after a hard-fought match when he makes Baxter tap to the Hoverboard Lock, but this was a very impressive showing for Baxter and I’m sure this is not the last we will see of him on NXT. During the match, Kyle O’Reilly would come out to watch the match from the top of the ramp, and throughout we would see him nodding in approval when he saw something he liked. After the match, O’Reilly gets in the ring and says he wants to fight the best just like Kushida wants to fight the best and then proposes a match between the two of them for next week and Kushida accepts.
Take my money right now as these two can put on one hell of a match as we saw during the 2015 Best of the Super Juniors Finals and I am now really looking forward to their match next week. If those in charge are smart they will make this the main event of the show. 

We see Franky Monet in the back and she tells us next week we will see the encore performance of her world premiere match. Franky then sees Aliyah and Jessi Kamea and starts talking about how Robert Stone is doing nothing to help their career and if anything he is hurting them. Robert Stone comes out of a room and Franky fakes being nice to him and tells the girls they should listen to him. 

We get a promo from Mercedes Martinez where she talks about what happened at Takeover with Tian Sha and how she promises next time they won’t get the best of her as she is the wrong person to mess with. 

Ted Dibiase comes down to the ring as it is time for LA Knight’s coronation ceremony as Million Dollar Champion, Knight rolls up to the building in a sports car and has a cigar in his mouth looking like a total big shot. Knight gets in the ring and instead of doing his usual schtick he actually has a sincere tone in his voice as he tells Dibiase how much this means to him and how he has always looked up to Dibiase and he talks about how the bumps and bruises he got from the ladder match was worth it. Knight continues on praising Dibiase and says it would be an honor for Dibiase to crown him as Million Dollar Champion and we get some pyro without any kind of shenanigans so far. Knight says now that he is Million Dollar Champion he has everything he needs and now it’s time to drop what he doesn’t need and then he decks Dibiase and starts putting the boots to him until Cameron Grimes runs down to make the save as he clotheslines Knight out of the ring and then goes over to check on Dibiase. 

Although I am not the biggest LA Knight fan this was very well done and I liked how Knight changed his tone of voice to be more sincere and just when we thought he was legit in everything he was saying he does the dastardly move of putting his hands on Dibiase. I am completely fine with the Grimes and Knight feud continuing as I still think there is more they can do with this story. 

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai are interviewed in the back about their tag match tonight and they tell Candice and Indi they better hang on to those tag titles because Dakota wants some gold and Raquel wants to become a double champion as they are looking to become 2x NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. 

We then get a confrontation between Dakota & Raquel and Shotzi & Ember as security, Regal, and Joe try to separate them so that Dakota and Raquel can make their way to the ring as they are in action next. I guess Mr. Regal should think about enlisting the help of a female enforcer as well, seeing as Joe can’t choke out any of the women. 

Dakota and Raquel are facing my favorite team in NXT Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter (but I could be biased since Kacy Catanzaro gave me a like on Twitter twice this week) and this match was a lot of fun as all matches involving Kacy and Kayden seem to be as they are always coming up with fun and creative double team moves. I like that this match got some time as it feels like Kacy and Kayden matches are always criminally too short (I looked up the match times on Cagematch and their last two matches prior to this have also got some time). I also like that Kacy and Kayden weren’t completely squashed during the match just to put over Raquel as they got in a lot of offense and even got the best of Raquel early on in the match. Raquel and Dakota eventually come out the winners when Dakota knocks Kacy off the top and hits her with the GTK. Even though Kacy and Kayden took the loss here I do hope they bounce back and start getting some wins under their belt as I would love to see them in the women’s tag title picture as they could have some really fun matches with Candice & Indi. 

Ever-Rise are upset at Hit Row for destroying their set for their Takeover pre pre-show and say if they try to do that again they’ll get more than they bargained for. It was later announced that Ever-Rise will take on Hit Row members Ashante and Top Dolla next week. 

Io Shirai comes out and says that she is back and feeling good and then starts to announce who she has her sights set on but she is interrupted by Candice LeRae who tells Io that a lost has changed since she has been gone as now she is no longer a uncrowned champion and Io is no longer an unbeatable champion. Candice says one thing that hasn’t changed is that she still can’t stand Io and she has picked the wrong time to screw with her. Indi then attacks Io from behind and we get a two-on-one beatdown until Io fights back and hits Indi with the Tiger Feint Kick. Candice pulls Io out of the ring and continues to beat her down and then clears the announce table and tells Indi to go up to hit an elbow, but as Indi climbs up she is stopped by Zoey Stark who has come to the rescue and the babyfaces end up clearing the ring and send the champions on the run. 

I am definitely down for a Io & Zoey vs The Way tag match as that could be a really good match. I’m so happy to see that despite the fact that the main roster women’s tag division is in shambles the women’s tag division down in NXT is still thriving as we have seen on this show as we have The Way, Ember & Shotzi, Raquel & Dakota, Kacy & Kayden, Aliyah & Jessi, and  Zoey & Io, that is one heck of a tag division and it’s a shame we can’t have a division this strong on the main roster.   

It looks like we are going to get an interview with William Regal and Samoa Joe as they head out of the arena, but as Regal goes to talk the video cuts to Ciampa and Thatcher in the back where they run into MSK who are eating popcorn and wish the two men luck and Thatcher grabs a handful of popcorn and eats it. 

We then go to the Regal and Joe interview but they are back in the building and before they have a chance to answer a question Johnny Gargano comes into the room along with Austin Theory and is chanting Joe! Joe! Joe! as he is happy about Joe’s return but Joe quickly gets tired of Gargano and tells him to get out which Gargano does without any fuss. We then see Pete Dunne walk in and this leads to a staredown between Dunne and Joe and I really want to see this match and wish WWE would stop teasing everyone if Joe isn’t going to get back in the ring anytime soon. 

Before we get to the main event I have to mention that we got a video that tells us the Diamond Mine will finally be revealed next week so it will be interesting to see what that turns out to be. As the Diamond Mine mystery comes to an end another begins as a couple of times during the show we see a video that has a little charge icon on it and each time the charge increases just a little bit and by the end of the night the charge was at 11%, who or what does this mean could it be a return for Finn Balor or maybe it’s Tegan Nox returning under a new bionic woman gimmick and she is charging up for her big return as the poor girl has enough hardware in her knees after all her injuries to set off all metal detectors in the surrounding Florida area. 

It’s now time for the main event as Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher take on the Grizzled Young Veterans under tornado tag rules and as you would expect from these two teams this match was chaotic and very hard-hitting as both teams beat the snot out of each other, but in the end it would be Ciampa and Thatcher picking up the win as Ciampa would take out Gibson by hitting him with the Air Raid Crash onto the announce table and then Ciampa hit Drake with the Fairy Tale Ending and if that wasn’t enough Ciampa locks in a Fujiwara armbar while Thatcher locks in an ankle lock and this leaves Drake no choice but to tap out. 

At the very end of the show Regal and Joe are interviewed once again and this time they are back outside and they are asked about their first night working together, Regal says he thinks things are going to start being different around here and Joe follows up by saying this was night one of many. Joe and Regal get into a vehicle and ride off as the show comes to a close. 

I thought this was a very good episode of NXT following a mediocre Takeover as the show flowed very well from start to finish and everything made sense. The Samoa Joe return was a big moment and the entire segment surrounding his return was fantastic as Regal did an amazing job with his promo, and although it may be a while I like how they are already teasing matches for Joe if or when he steps back into the ring as a competitor, however, I must say one match that they didn’t tease that I would love to see is Joe vs Walter. I would definitely recommend this entire episode of NXT to anybody who may have missed it and I have to say that after tonight it feels like NXT is starting to pick its momentum back up and I’m just glad they moved to Tuesdays so that I don’t have to decide what to watch live once this upcoming season of Big Brother premieres in 3 weeks. 


NXT UK

NXT UK Results

  • Wolfgang def Sam Gradwell – **½ 
  • Kenny Williams def Danny Jones – ** 
  • Nathan Frazer def Rohan Raja – ***¼ 
  • Subculture w/ Mark Andrews def Jinny & Joseph Conners – **½ 

The show opens with a recap of Meiko Satomura becoming NXT UK Women’s Champion last week after she ended the historic reign of Kay Lee Ray. We then go into the BT Sports studio and go straight into our first match of the night.

Our first match is between Wolfgang and Sam Gradwell and Gradwell comes to the ring running his mouth like he always does. We get some basic holds to start the match as they feel each other out. Gradwell gets control of the first portion of the match when he knocks Wolfgang to the floor when Wolfie tries to go up top and then Gradwell hits him with a flying clothesline off the apron. Once back in the ring Gradwell locks in a cobra clutch, but Wolfgang fights out and hits Gradwell with a backdrop and this starts the Wolfgang come back as he splashes Gradwell in the corner and hits him with the senton splash before going up top and connecting with an ax handle. Gradwell is selling the ribs but is able to hit a quick STO to take down Wolfgang but is unable to make the cover.  

We get some action on the outside and then when Gradwell tries to suplex Wolfgang back into the ring it is blocked and Gradwell is pulled throat first into the ropes. Wolfgang connects with a headbutt from the apron and then he slingshots over the top rope and connects with a spear and that is enough to pick up the win. After the match, Gradwell is still running his mouth even in defeat as we see that Wolfgang got busted open above his eye sometime during the match. 

I thought this was a good match between two bruisers and now it’s Mark Coffey’s turn to see if he can pick up a win on his own just like his fellow Gallus partner. 

We get a video package with several different women giving their thoughts of Meiko Satomura winning the NXT Women’s Championship last week. Amale wants a shot at Meiko as she claims that Meiko took her spot in the gauntlet match a couple of months ago. Raquel Gonzalez hopes that for Survivor Series they do an NXT vs NXT UK match as she wants to face Meiko as well.

We get some trash talking in the back between Subculture and Jinny & Joseph Conners until Pretty Deadly walk up and let them know they will be on commentary during their match later tonight. 

Our next match is between Kenny Williams and Danny Jones, Williams kicks Jones in the leg early on and then rolls to the outside where he lures in Jones so he can pull him into the top rope throat-first. Once they get back in the ring Williams keeps Jones down with stomps and punches in the ropes and then he connects with a running dropkick to the back of Jones as he is tied up in the ropes. Jones would eventually make a comeback with an enziguri and big boot as he is fried up, but Williams hits him with a chop block from the front and then hits the headlock driver to pick up the win.  This was pretty much just a showcase for Williams as he continues to impress. 

It was announced that next week there will be a triple threat between Joe Coffey, Rampage Brown, & Ilja Dragunov to find out who the toughest man in NXT UK is. We get a sit down between the three participants in the match where they talk about a variety of subjects before they all start screaming over each other and the segment comes to an end. I’m surprised they didn’t make this a #1 contender match as these were Walter’s three toughest title defenses and I’m sure any of them would be fitting as Walter’s next challenger. 

Mark Coffey is in the UK PC looking for someone to challenge so he can one-up Wolfgang in singles action, and he finds Sha Samuels who he starts mocking and this gets Samuels upset, so we will most likely have that match next week. 

We then go to our newest edition of Supernova Sessions and this week’s guest is Jordan Devlin, but before we get there Dar announces that the first-ever Noam Dar shirt is now on sale and he has one framed. We then get Devlin coming out and Dar compliments him on his clothes and then he gifts Devlin with one of his shirts and they pose for cameras. Dar continues to praise Devlin and how he was robbed of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and Devlin said he came back to the UK because America sucks. Dar then allows Devlin to make an exclusive announcement that he is back in NXT UK and is putting everyone on notice. Wow that was a waste of a Supernova Sessions as nothing really happened. 

We go back to the NXT UK PC where Dave Mastiff is being interviewed but he is distracted by Tyler Bate and Jack Starz training in the ring behind him. Once they finish Bate and Starz start talking and Mastiff becomes nosey and wants to know what they are saying, Tyler Bate has been impressed with Jack Starz so much that he offers Starz a Heritage Cup Championship opportunity, but surprisingly Starz rejects the offer as he feels he isn’t worthy. Mastiff tells Starz to reconsider as you never give up an opportunity for a title shot, the segment ends with Starz deep in thought. 

We go to the next match which would be the match of the show as Nathan Frazer takes on Rohan Raja who has recovered from the dislocated shoulder he suffered at the hands of Teoman a month ago. This was a fast-paced match that is really hard to call but some of the highlights include Frazer seeing Raja moving out of the way of a top rope moonsault so he landed on his feet and hit Raja with a standing moonsault and Raja catching Frazer in a triangle which he transitions into an attempted armbar but Frazer rolls out of it only to run into a sky-high for a 2 count. The finish sees Frazer going up top with Raja continuing to try and stop him but Frazer headbutts him down to the mat and hits the Frog Splash to pick up the win. This was a really fun match and is my NXT UK match recommendation of the week. After the match, an eye pops up on the screen and the announcers freak out about it being the eye of Teoman and are baffled as to who he could be having his eye on. 

We get a segment with A-Kid in Jordan Devlin’s dressing room and they have words and this is obviously setting up a match between the two in the future. 

It’s now time for the main event as Dani Luna & Flash Morgan Webster of Subculture take on Jinny and Joseph Conners with Pretty Deadly on commentary. Webster and Conners start off with some chain wrestling and then Conners drops a knee onto Webster but Webster avoids a second one and makes a tag to bring the ladies into the match. Jinny and Dani trade holds until Dani sends Jinny flying with an exploder suplex and as Conners tries to come to the rescue he is taken down by Webster. Jinny takes a couple of cheap shots to turn the match around as she works Dani over in the corner and then she locks her in an octopus hold, but Dani breaks free and makes a hot tag to Webster. 

Conners tries to come in but is sent back out to the apron and then Webster hits him with a springboard dropkick to send him to the floor where Dani backdrops Webster over the top rope sending him flying onto Conners on the floor. As Jinny comes in she is overpowered by Dani who throws her around with suplexes and a clothesline for a 2 count. Webster hits Conners with a running knee and then each person takes their turn to hit a move which leads to Jinny planting Dani with a DDT for a 2 count. Conners is tagged back in and he is in control of Webster as he hits a backbreaker and a flapjack for a 2 count. Jinny tries to take a cheap shot on Webster but it doesn’t work as Webster hits Conners with a headbutt that takes them both down. Dani chases Jinny around the ring and when Jinny runs into the ring she distracts the referee which ends up backfiring as Dani powerbombs Conners off the ropes as he was trying to superplex Webster. Webster then hits Conners with a 630 splash to pick up the win for Subculture. The show ends with Subculture and Pretty Deadly having a staredown from across the studio. This was a fun match but will be very forgettable by next week. I thought Dani got to shine a lot during the match as she really got to show off just how powerful she is. I guess we’re setting up for a Pretty Deadly vs Subculture feud for the titles which I guess is a fine feud for the tag titles. 

Given the hot main event we got last week this week was going to feel like a let down no matter what they did, but at least they did have one match that really delivered on this show and should’ve been the main event from a quality standpoint. They did set up some potential matches between A-Kid and Devlin, Bate and Starz, Coffey and Samuels, & Pretty Deadly and Subculture so they have themselves set up for the next few weeks. I do think next week’s triple threat main event is going to be really good. 


SmackDown

SmackDown Results

  • Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez def Kevin Owens & Big E – **¼  
  • Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs def King Corbin (Winner gets the KOTR Crown) – **¼ 
  • Roman Reigns © w/ Paul Heyman def Rey Mysterio (WWE Universal Championship – Hell in a Cell Match) – ****

We get a video package showing the feud between Rey Mysterio and Roman Reigns over the past few weeks and then we enter the Thunderdome for what will be a historic episode of SmackDown as for the first time in history we will have a Hell in a Cell match on network TV as Roman Reigns will defend his Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio. 

Rey Mysterio comes out and cuts a promo talking about how much it hurt to see what Reigns did to Dominik and says that Dominik is fine but it will be a while before he is cleared to go back in the ring. Mysterio then talks about how he wants the Hell in a Cell match to happen tonight and although he knows Reigns accepted the challenge on Twitter he wants to hear it come out of his mouth. The cell lowers around Mysterio and then Reigns makes his entrance and tells Mysterio that what he did to Dominik was PG compared to what he plans to do to him. Reigns gives Mysterio one last chance to back out but Mysterio refuses to back out and Reigns says he tried to do it Heyman’s way and be diplomatic but now he is gonna have to do it his way. The promo that Rey Mysterio cut was very good as he showed a lot of passion when talking about Dominik. 

Our first match of the night sees Kevin Owens and Big E take on Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez who is making his in-ring debut. Before the match can begin Sami Zayn comes out as he will be on commentary during the match. This match was used to showcase Azeez and I thought he did a very good job as everything he did looked good and if I’m being honest he had a better showing than Omos did in his first match. I do think it would have benefited Azeez more if they gave him a more dominant win rather than hitting the Nigerian Nail as KO slid in the ring after arguing with Sami Zayn at ringside. After the match, Zayn would start dancing as Azeez hits another Nigerian Nail on KO. Later on in the night, KO goes to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, and amidst him gasping and choking he demands a match against Zayn. Pearce says he can face him at Hell in a Cell. I get that Zayn distracted KO, but shouldn’t KO be more upset at Azeez seeing as he was the one that hit him with two Nigerian Nails? 

Up next is a video to hype the upcoming “Battle for the Crown” match between Shinsuke Nakamura and King Corbin as that is our next match. They have the crown placed on a nice little spinning stand that looks like a lamp. This was a fine match but nothing we haven’t seen in their last four matches against each other and now that Nakamura has the crown I have to imagine this feud is over. I wonder if Nakamura winning the crown has anything to do with the rumored King of the Ring tournament that could be happening soon, perhaps Pearce makes it where the only way Corbin can reclaim his crown is by winning the tournament for a second time. 

Bianca Belair comes to the ring and she talks about what she did last week during Ding Dong, Hello and then she calls Bayley to the ring but Bayley doesn’t come out/ Bianca continues with her promo saying Bayley’s laughing took her back to her childhood when she used to get bullied but now she doesn’t let anyone define her as she is unapologetically her. She had something she wanted to say to Bayley’s face but since she won’t come out she will just let her know that on Sunday she doesn’t just want her in a match she wants her inside Hell in a Cell. Bayley finally comes to the ring after hearing about the Hell in a Cell match and without saying a word she goes to attack Bianca but she ducks and the two women brawl to the floor, Bianca sends Bayley over the barricade but Bayley grabs the braid and pulls Bianca into the barricade. Bayley gets Bianca back in the ring and hits her with the Roseplant before raising the SmackDown Women’s Championship high in the air. 

I thought the promo Bianca cut here was really good and the brawl was also done very well, especially the spot where Bayley pulled Bianca into the barricade by her braid. I get wanting to have a Hell in a Cell match for both the women and the men but I just don’t feel like this Bianca vs Bayley feud has been strong enough for the cell as all we have seen for weeks is Bayley laughing at Bianca and that is all the feud has been if they wanted to go with another cell match for SmackDown it should’ve been given to Cesaro vs Rollins. The Cesaro vs Rollins feud has a lot more heat to it and after what Rollins did to Cesaro he should want a match with Rollins so he can really get his revenge on Rollins. 

We see a recap of everything that has happened between Reigns and the Usos over the past few weeks and then we cut to the locker room of Reigns where he is getting ready for his match when Jimmy Uso walks in, Jimmy tells Reigns that he thought about what Reigns said last week about representing the family and Reigns was right in everything he said. Jimmy says that even though he may not agree with everything Reigns says or does, they are family. Reigns asks Jimmy if he has seen Jey and Jimmy says he has called him repeatedly and even went by his house and there was no sign of him. Jimmy offers Reigns backup for tonight since Jey is not at the show but Reigns says he doesn’t need Jimmy’s help but he does need him to go find Jey because he needs Jey. Reigns notices Jimmy wasn’t happy with that so he changes up his tune to tell Jimmy that They need Jey because they are at their best when the family is complete and Jimmy needs to look out for his brother. 

If this was any other situation of someone changing their mind as quickly as Jimmy did about Reigns I would question it, but since they are family it makes perfect sense as that is real life, everyone has family members they don’t agree with because of the things they do or believe in but you still would have their back because you love them and they are family, so it makes perfect sense that Jimmy would have a change of heart. The ongoing saga between Reigns and the Usos continues to be one of the best things on SmackDown and is probably the best-told storylines involving family members since Bret vs Owen all the way back in the mid-90s. 

We are set to have Angelo Dawkins face Otis after Otis attacked him in the back last week, but before the match starts Chad Gable blindsides Dawkins which leads to a chase around the ring where he is run over by Otis. Alpha Academy put a beating on Dawkins as they target the shoulder that was injured during last week’s attack. They throw Dawkins back in the ring and hit him with their German suplex and discus clothesline finisher which sends Dawkins flying across the ring and he rolls to the floor in pain and that ends the segment. I thought this Alpha Academy thing was going to be a complete joke at first but they are really becoming a pretty badass heel team and I loved the demeanor of Otis during this beatdown as there were no over-the-top theatrics he was just a monster with no emotion. 

Cesaro is set to be interviewed backstage and when asked if this feud has gone too far he says it hasn’t gone far enough as Rollins stomped his head into the ramp, put him on a stretcher, and tried to take his career away from him and all because Rollins thinks he doesn’t deserve to be there. Seth Rollins walks up and tells Kayla to hit the bricks as he wants to have a conversation with Cesaro before their match on Sunday. Rollins then berates Cesaro and says he disgusts him and is a disgrace and on Sunday he will put him in his place. Cesaro says he is glad to see that Rollins is man enough to talk to him face to face and he respects him as a competitor and he will see him on Sunday. As Rollins goes to stand Cesaro stops him and then pushes him over in the chair which doesn’t sit well with Rollins. I’ll just reiterate once again that this feud needed the Hell in a Cell match way more than Bianca vs Bayley. 

It’s now time for our historic Hell in a Cell main event between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio. When the bell rings Mysterio immediately goes under the ring looking for weapons and he pulls out a chair that he hits Reigns in the gut with but then Reigns easily jerks it out of his hand and then he stalks Mysterio on the outside but Mysterio is ready for him as he blows a fire extinguisher in his face and then hits him with it and to follow that up Mysterio tosses a toolbox into the head of Reigns. Mysterio then grabs the chair and starts jabbing it into the midsection of Reigns and as Reigns rolls out to sit on the apron Mysterio baseball slides the chair into the lower back of Reigns. Mysterio chokes Reigns with the chair and then places it around his head and rams him into the wall of the cell repeatedly. 

Reigns finally pulls the chair off and headbutts Mysterio to create some distance as he is feeling the beating Mysterio has given him thus far. Reigns looks to finish things early as he sees Mysterio standing in front of a table and he looks to Spear him through it, but Mysterio gets out of the way sending Reigns crashing through the table. Mysterio slowly picks Reigns up but when he gets to his feet Reigns fights back and sends Mysterio back into the ring, but when Reigns goes to get into the ring he is stopped as Mysterio goes for the sunset flip powerbomb to the outside, Reigns blocks it and tries to powerbomb Mysterio but Mysterio fights back and tries to hit a hurricanrana but Reigns blocks that and swings Mysterio into the cell repeatedly and then he picks Mysterio up and launches him into the side of the cell wall. 

We come back from a commercial break and Reigns is in full control as he beats down Mysterio in the corner and then he hits Mysterio with the Superman Punch. Reigns looks to hit the Spear, but as he charges in he is met with a dropkick from Mysterio. Reigns tries to go for a powerbomb but Mysterio counters it into a frankensteiner which sets Reigns up perfectly for the 619 but when Rey goes for it he runs into a big right hand from Reigns. Reigns charges in again for the Spear but Mysterio moves out of the way sending Reigns into the ring post shoulder-first and then Mysterio successfully hits the 619. Mysterio repeatedly hits Reigns with the chair and then goes up top and hits the Frog Splash which only gets a 2 count. Mysterio hits a second splash but Reigns still has life in him as he kicks out at 2. 

Mysterio goes up top for the third time and as Reigns gets to his feet Mysterio goes for a diving hurricanrana, but Reigns catches him, and just like he did to Dominik last week he powerbombs Mysterio over the top rope and into the cell wall. Reigns throws Mysterio back in the ring and locks in the guillotine choke and immediately the referee calls for the bell to end the match. After the match, the cell is lifted up and Jimmy Uso runs out to the ring and raises the hand of Reigns. Reigns sees Mysterio trying to get back to his feet so he locks in the guillotine choke once again to make sure he stays down. SmackDown comes to a close with Reigns standing tall as Jimmy Uso looks on from the background. 

This was a really good match as Mysterio is so good at being the underdog babyface and is the master of making matches with guys who are bigger than him look good. Reigns dominated once again and it will be interesting to see who is next in line to face “The Tribal Chief” 

I thought this was a really good go-home show for Hell in a Cell as they did a good job of putting the final touches on each match for Sunday to make you want to see the show. . 


In the News

It seems that Vince McMahon isn’t as blind or tone-deaf as we all think as reports have come out this week that he is aware that the WWE product has grown quite stale and very repetitive and he plans on changing that in the coming weeks and months. Andrew Zarian of The Man Men Podcast who has become a pretty reliable source lately stated that WWE has a lot of exciting stuff in the works going into the second half of the year and although it is too early to give any particular details he is very optimistic that there will be a massive improvement to the quality of the product in the upcoming months. This coincides with the report about WWE pulling out all the stops for SummerSlam as they plan to bring back quite a few big names such as John Cena, Edge, Sasha Banks, etc. 

One aspect of this new and exciting WWE could come in the form of the return of King of the Ring as Adam Pearce hinted this could be a reality and King Corbin (or King Nakamura, depending on who wins the crown on SmackDown) would be forced to defend his crown. WrestleVotes over on Twitter says that WWE is looking into doing several themed shows once they return to being in front of fans. Other themed shows that could potentially happen are another Old School Raw and a Viewers Choice show similar to a Taboo Tuesday or Cyber Sunday. 

It was reported by Mike Johnson of PWInsider that Becky Lynch was at the WWE Performance Center preparing for her eventual return to the company The news was also later confirmed by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com

As WWE gets ready to go back on the road it seems like they are ready for a new look for their shows as WWE’s Lead Production Designer Jason Robinson said in an interview with Below The Line that they are looking at new sets and staging. In addition, Mr. Robinson says they are also planning to continue using augmented reality to further enhance the entrances of the WWE superstars. To read more about this check out this article on Fightful.com 

I usually only cover news having to do with WWE, but I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to former TNA announcer Don West and his family as he announced this week that he has been diagnosed with brain lymphoma and will begin immediate treatment. For those who may have never watched TNA while Don West was announcing (2002-2012) I suggest going back and checking him out because his excitement for what he was watching happen in the ring was very infectious and that is because West had no prior experience in the wrestling business so everything he saw was brand new to him so he would react just as any other fan would, he was truly a treasure in the early days of TNA. 

In some miscellaneous WWE news one of my favorites Liv Morgan gave praise to another one of my favorites Alexa Bliss during an interview she did with Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy as she states she loves the current character that Alexa has as it is creative and dark which are two things she is really drawn to. Liv even calls it inspirational as she shows those in WWE they can think out of the box a little more than they would’ve anticipated. It’s always cool to see the women in wrestling supporting each other but even more so when it’s two of my favorite ladies in the WWE. 


Coming up this Week

Hell in a Cell

  • Bobby Lashley © w/ MVP vs Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship – Hell in a Cell Match)
  • Bianca Belair © vs Bayley (SmackDown Women’s Championship – Hell in a Cell Match)
  • Rhea Ripley © vs Charlotte Flair (Raw Women’s Championship)
  • Seth Rollins vs Cesaro
  • Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
  • Alexa Bliss vs Shayna Baszler

Raw:

  • Fallout from Hell in a Cell

NXT:

  • Kyle O’Reilly vs Kushida
  • Hit Row vs Ever-Rise
  • Franky Monet World Premiere encore
  • Diamond Mine debut
  • Adam Cole in action

NXT UK

  • Joe Coffey vs Ilja Dragunov vs Rampage Brown 
  • Teoman vs Oliver Carter

SmackDown:

  • Fallout from Hell in a Cell


As always if you have any feedback to give whether it be positive or negative please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MTW3589.