- Big E & Riddle def The Usos via DQ – **
- Seth Rollins & The Usos def RK-Bro & Big E – **¼
- Bianca Belair def Tamina – **
- Street Profits def Alpha Academy – **½
- Queen Zelina Vega def Nikki A.S.H. – **
- Rhea Ripley def Carmella – **½
- Kevin Owens def Finn Balor – **¾
- AJ Styles & Omos def The Dirty Dawgz – **¼
- Bobby Lashley def Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio – **¾
After a video recapping the heel turn by Kevin Owens last week we go into the arena where Big E comes to the ring. Big E says that he realizes that he has a target on his back, but when you start messing with his family he is going beat your ass and he hopes there are extra hospital beds in Brooklyn. Kevin Owens comes out to explain why he turned on Big E last week and he sums it up to Big E costing him his match last week which is his third straight loss since returning to Raw. KO talks about how he just snapped and Big E doubting his sincerity didn’t help. KO then says anyone who judges him for what he did last week can go to hell including Big E. KO talks about how everyone’s perception of him is that he is a scumbag, so why try to act any different. KO says that he is not going to just be bad he is going to be worse and he will break bad on everyone in the locker room and around the world, but especially Big E because this is all his fault.
Big E goes to chase after KO when he is attacked by The Usos and they bring him back to the ring and start talking trash and then they say that RK-Bro can get some as they run both Friday and Monday nights. Riddle finally runs down to make the save and eventually the babyfaces stand tall. Sonya Deville comes out to make a tag match between the two duos. Seth Rollins would come down to be on commentary for the match.
The tag match would not last long before Seth Rollins runs in to cause a DQ and as he helps The Usos beatdown Big E and Riddle we see Randy Orton finally run down to make the save with an RKO on Jey Uso and this would of course lead to a six-man tag match which goes on a lot longer than the previous one and was a decent match that saw the heels pick up the win after Rollins rolled up Riddle in a schoolboy. The Usos go after Riddle post-match, but Orton drops them with an RKO and then Big E grabs one of the Usos and starts yelling into the camera telling Reigns he got his message, but he is going to send a message back and that leads to him hitting one of the Usos with a Big E. Later in the night, Adam Pearce would request that Big E not show up in the Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor matches
Outside of the unneeded quick match that ended in a DQ as well as The Usos showing up on Raw just a few weeks after the draft I thought this was a good few segments to open Raw as I like how they blended all of Big E’s feuds throughout the segments while also hyping up the Usos vs RK-Bro match at Survivor Series.
We get a recap of the issues between Bianca Belair and Doudrop that started last week and then go to an interview with Bianca who realizes that Doudrop doesn’t respect her and if she wants to fight then she can do just that. Bianca then says she isn’t going to take anything away from Doudrop as she is very talented, but she keeps getting in her business. We then see Tamina walk up as she is Bianca’s opponent for tonight and she tells tonight she will be in Bianca’s business which is fine with Bianca.
We get the Bianca vs Tamina match which is nothing great and Bianca picks up the win with the KOD. After the match, Doudrop comes out and she says after Survivor Series she has her eye on Bianca.
Up next we are graced by the presence of the Raw Women’s Champion “The Man” Becky Lynch who throws to a video of Charlotte’s promo from SmackDown. Becky says that Charlotte acts like she doesn’t know who she is, but she will be glad to remind her. She is Charlotte’s former friend who she used to ride with and was there for her in both the good and bad times but eventually, she wised up and realized there are conditions with being Charlotte Flair’s friend such as having to step back so that Charlotte can be in the spotlight but she has removed herself from that and has stepped into the spotlight herself and at Survivor Series she will make Charlotte face all of those insecure demons. Becky says that for her this isn’t about brand supremacy it’s about beating the piss out of Charlotte.
Liv Morgan then comes out saying that she let Becky walk away last week, but that won’t happen again and then she throws to a clip from months ago where she talks about how Becky told her to win the title before she left on her maternity leave and while she hasn’t done it yet she will win the title. Becky says the reason she told her that was because that was the only chance she had to get the title as there is no way she is getting her hands on it now that she is back. Liv says that Big Time Bex is really just a big-time bitch and this leads to Becky trying to attack Liv as she sets up for the Manhandle Slam only for Liv to reverse it sending Becky out of the ring. Becky left her title in the ring and Liv goes over and picks it up and then she raises it high while Becky screams at her not to touch it as the segment comes to an end.
It still doesn’t seem real that Liv is finally being given a chance to go back and forth with someone like Becky as I have been a fan of hers ever since she was in NXT wearing the jerseys and snapbacks, so to finally see her getting her time to shine alongside one of the hottest acts in the company makes me very happy. I thought the promo that Becky cut about Charlotte was really good as well.
We go to the back where Orton is pissed at Riddle for once again trying to be a hero earlier tonight when he came to help Big E, Riddle admits that Orton is right and then Orton tells him that all he cares about is their team and the tag titles and then Orton storms off. Riddle is smiling from ear to ear as he finally got Orton to admit that he cares. The Street Profits walk up and they have a chat about how Orton still doesn’t like them but Riddle assures them that he does, but he just shows it in a funny way.
The Street Profits face the Alpha Academy where The Street Profits pick up the win after Ford catches Gable in a cradle pin.
We get a couple of singles matches involving the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions as Nikki A.S.H. loses to Queen Zelina Vega after a distraction from Carmella and then in a match between the other two members of the tag teams we see Rhea beat Carmella after hitting her with the Riptide. After the match, Zelina gets on the mic and congratulates Rhea on her victory and then congratulates Nikki on being friends with a winner. Queen Zelina says that Rhea’s fluke win means nothing as she and Carmella will lead Team Raw to victory at Survivor Series while Nikki is sitting at home with the losers.
Up next is the Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens match which is the best match of the night that sees KO pick up the win with a Stunner, and surprisingly after everything that happened at the beginning of the show there was no interference by anyone in this match.
We get a video package to hype up the Damian Priest vs Shinsuke Nakamura match happening at Survivor Series and bravo to WWE for remembering to mention this match as there hasn’t been a peep about it until the go-home show.
We get an AJ Styles and Omos vs The Dirty Dawgz match stemming from the eight-man tag last week where they started arguing with each other and led to Omos laying out Roode. Before the match, we get backstage promos from both teams where they each make dated movie references as Styles and Omos reference The Avengers while The Dirty Dawgz reach back to the 80s with a reference to the Twins. This was pretty much a squash match as Styles and Omos pick up the win after Styles hits a Phenomenal Forearm on Ziggler.
We see Rey Mysterio storms into the office of Adam Pearce as he is not happy with how things went down last week when Pearce made Dominik face Bobby Lashley to keep his spot on the team, Pearce starts acting more heelish than we have seen before as he tells Rey to stay in his lane and then he puts Rey in a match against Lashley. Mysterio vs Lashley would be the main event of the night and after a really fun David vs Goliath match (Rey works better than anyone else in these types of matches), we see Lashley get the win after he sits up from a splash with Mysterio in his hands and then he ragdolls him around until he has the Hurt Lock applied leading to the referee calling for the bell.
After the match, Adam Pearce comes out and rules that for the well-being of both Team Raw and Rey Mysterio he is officially removing him from the team with a replacement to be named later. We then see Austin Theory attack, Dominik, from behind as he hits him with the TKO and then he grabs his phone looking to take a selfie, but before he can Adam Pearce comes back out and says that he likes Theory’s style and for that reason, he is replacing Rey with Theory on the Raw Survivor Series team. The show ends with Theory taking selfies with the Mysterios laid out in the background.
While it sucks that Mysterio is off the team as he makes any match he is in better, it is nice to see them putting Theory in a prominent position on the show and making his addition to the team feel like a big deal and if it wasn’t clear by now it was absolutely clear that WWE is high on Theory and I wouldn’t doubt that in 3-5 years he is one of the biggest stars in the company.
Raw continues to be a lot more watchable than it has been in quite a while as I thought they did a decent job of furthering future feuds while also hyping up Survivor Series this Sunday, especially when it came to Big E as he currently has three different feuds going on with Rollins, KO, and Reigns. I thought the promo by Becky on Charlotte as well as the confrontation between her and Liv Morgan was one of the highlights of this show as Becky was fire on the mic as usual and Liv was able to hang in there with her on the mic. With all of that being said I am ready for Survivor Series to be over so that we can fully start these new feuds that have been set up.
NXT 2.0 Results
- Tony D’Angelo def Dexter Lumis – *¾
- Odyssey Jones & Jacket Time def Roderick Strong & The Creed Brothers w/ The Diamond Mine – **½
- Xyon Quinn def Andre Chase – **
- Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner def Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs – **¼
- Persia Pirotta def Gabby Stephens & Jenna Levy – *¼
- Raquel Gonzalez def Dakota Kai via DQ – ***
We open this week’s show with some action as Tony D’Angelo is set to take on Dexter Lumis, during his entrance Lumis decides to reveal his latest artwork which is a cartoon of D’Angelo sleeping with the fishes.
D’Angelo bails from the ring as soon as the bell rings but Lumis chases after him which allows D’Angelo to catch Lumis when he slides back in the ring as he puts the boots to him, but Lumis reverses a whip into the ropes and after missing a couple of clotheslines he nails D’Angelo with an uppercut to the throat followed by a Thesz press. Lumis works D’Angelo over in the corner and then sends him into the opposite corner, but when Lumis charges in D’Angelo moves out of the way and then hits Lumis with a side belly-to-belly suplex and then he locks in a chinlock which Lumis eventually fights out of only to be slammed to the mat. D’Angelo takes his time talking trash and ends up getting caught in The Silencer but he is able to elbow out of the hold and then walks into a right hand from Lumis. Lumis hits the corner clothesline and then goes for the bulldog, but D’Angelo slips out and then bails out to the floor where he grabs the easel of Lumis and throws it into the ring for a distraction as he pokes Lumis in the eye and then hits the twisting fisherman’s suplex for the win.
This was the most basic paint by numbers match you will ever watch and I still have yet to find the appeal of Tony D’Angelo in the ring as there is nothing about him that impresses me.
After the match, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams hit the ring to attack Lumis and after they beat him down for a minute they grab a chair and place Lumis’ hand inside it and Hayes comes off the middle rope to Pillmanize the hand of Lumis. Johnny Gargano finally runs down to chase off Hayes and Williams, but he is a little bit too late.
We see that during the commercial Lumis is helped to the back by the referees and his wife Indi. Gargano is in the ring and he says that at first, he was just going to beat Hayes for the title to prove he was better than him, but now he has made it personal after what he did to his son in law and now he is going to kick Hayes’ teeth down his throat. Gargano calls out Hayes but instead, Pete Dunne comes to the ring as he isn’t about to let Gargano takes his shot at the North American Championship which he earned after beating Hayes last week, but Gargano reminds Dunne that he helped him win last week. We then get Hayes and Williams appearing from a balcony and after Williams mocks the back and forth between Gargano and Dunne. Hayes says that if it weren’t for him and the A Championship they wouldn’t be relevant and this pisses off Dunne as he tells Hayes they are the same age and he has ten years more experience and a win over Hayes. Eventually, Hayes suggests a triple threat match next week for the North American Championship which both Gargano and Dunne agree to.
I guess the parties involved in all of this must be making up the men’s WarGames match as that triple threat match seems like something they would want to save for that show, but regardless of where or when it happens I’m sure it’s going to be a great match.
Malcolm Bivens cuts a promo in the locker room about how Diamond Mine is a solid team under the direction of Roderick Strong. Joe Gacy then walks up as he likes what he is seeing as he likes when a group of people comes together for a common cause and then he tells Strong that he has an obligation to keep the door open to opportunities. Malcolm Bivens finally steps in and tells Gacy if he wants to join the group they have tryouts in a few weeks and he can just pay just like everyone else and then he hands Gacy his card.
LA Knight gets a vignette where he talks about how Grayson Waller derailed his path to the NXT Championship and he plans to beat the brakes off of him.
It’s time for our next match which sees Roderick Strong and The Creed Brothers take on Odyssey Jones and Jacket Time.
Roderick Strong and Ikeman Jiro start the match with a lockup and Strong powers Jiro down to the mat and then takes a shot at Odyssey Jones on the apron which leads to Jiro tagging in the big man, but Strong doesn’t want any part of him as he tags out to Julius Creed. Julius picks the leg and then jumps on the back of Jones only to be thrown off very quickly and then Jones drags Julius to the corner where we get a few quick tags between the babyfaces as they come off the ropes with shots to the arm, but when Jiro tries he is caught and hit with the facelock suplex and then Julius tags in Brutus.
Brutus looks for a slam, but Jiro escapes and lands some punches before trying to send Brutus into the corner only for Brutus to block and then he sends Jiro into the corner and that is followed by a big gutwrench slam and a knee drop. Roderick Strong is tagged into the match and he lifts Jiro up into a fireman’s carry but once again Jiro escapes and this time he makes the tag to Kushida. Kushida is on fire against Strong as he takes him down a couple of times and then catches him with a hip toss followed by the cartwheel dropkick. Kushida catches Brutus coming in with an overhead kick and that is followed by a handspring elbow for Julius, but Strong eventually hits Kushida from behind to stop his momentum and that sends us to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
During the commercial, Strong stomps a mudhole into Kushida and then brings him over to the corner where he makes a tag to Brutus who takes Kushida down with a fireman’s carry and that is followed by a double underhook suplex. We get some quick tags by Diamond Mine and then Strong hits Kushida with a gutbuster and the Creed brothers follow up by driving their knees into the ribs of Kushida. Julius throws Kushida across the ring with a gutwrench suplex and then tags in Strong who grounds Kushida with a chinlock which he fights out of and then he tries to make a comeback with repeated strikes, but Strong takes back control when he lands a kick to the gut and then he tags Brutus back into the match. Brutus continues to work over Kushida and then he makes the tag to Julius who slams Kushida and then locks in a rest hold which Kushida fights out of and as Julius charges in to grab Kushida he dodges sending Julius throat-first into the middle rope and then he does the same when Brutus comes in and finally we get the hot tag to Jiro. Jiro hits Julius with repeated jacket punches and as Julius sends him into the corner he jumps up and over him.
The show finally comes back from the commercial as Jiro begs for Julius to come after him and when he does Jiro trips him up and literally kicks him in the ass, Strong tries to come in the ring but is taken to the floor with a dropkick, but that distraction allows Julius time to get to his feet and slam Jiro. The Creed Brothers then work Jiro over with some ground and pound until Jiro dodges a knee drop from Brutus which leads to Brutus tagging in Strong and after kicking Strong away Jiro finally makes the hot tag to Jones. Jones runs wild on Strong with clotheslines and a flapjack and then he sends Brutus into Julius knocking him off the apron, but when he goes back to Strong he is met with several kicks, and then Strong shows off his strength by hitting Jones with an Olympic slam for a 2 count when Jacket Time break up the pin. Jacket Time dropkicks The Creed Brothers off the apron and then hit Strong with a punch combo and that is followed by a big running crossbody by Jones and that is enough to pick up the win for the babyface trio.
This was a good match but I still don’t get why Strong is feuding with Jones and why Jones needed to pin Strong in this match as that is usually done to set up that person as the next challenger, but Jones is not a cruiserweight so it makes absolutely zero sense.
We go backstage where the Grizzled Young Veterans are up to some shenanigans once again and this time they call Gibson’s granny to make her think they won the tag titles as they have the women’s tag titles over their shoulders and their reason for doing this is to make sure Gibson gets the lion’s share of her inheritance. They then say they have to return the titles to Toxic Attraction.
One of the major negatives to this new rebrand of NXT is that most everyone has to have an over the top gimmick and while that may work for some of these new guys who have never been seen before, but it doesn’t work for guys like GYV as we already know what they are all about and it’s not being goofy con men. This gimmick is going to end up making the fans not take GYV seriously the next time they are in the ring nor will they generate the amount of heat they used to get when they were in NXT UK, which sucks as GYV are a great team and were the perfect example of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The one thing that was very noticeable during this little skit was that someone was sleeping on a couch in the background wearing pajamas and I have to wonder if this was just a stupid joke for this skit or if it will come back into play later on down the road?
We get a video of MSK still on their journey to meet the mystery guru and this week they are at the airport and after worrying about their “supplies” getting through the scanners safely (which they do) Wes Lee screws things up by switching their flights which means they have to take separate flights, but they find each other at their destination and then hug before continuing their journey to find the guru.
The next match sees Xyon Quinn taking on Mr. Andre Chase.
Chase grabs control of Quinn’s arm for a moment until he reverses, but Chase comes back with some nice technical wrestling as he takes Quinn down to the mat and spins around on top of him before paint brushing the back of his head. Quinn catches the leg of Chase and spins him around for an atomic drop and that is followed by a clothesline and a shoulder block. Quinn looks to charge into the corner but Chase moves out of the way and this allows Chase to hit a running neckbreaker for a 2 count. Chase stomps the shit out of Quinn and then applies a chinlock only for Quinn to power out of it. Chase stops Quinn from making a comeback with elbows to the shoulder, but Quinn sends Chase into the ropes and hits the twisting Samoan drop followed by the Jackhammer for the win.
After the match, Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza attack Quinn but he fights them off and sends them to the floor, but they drag him out to the floor with them and as they are brawling Santos Escobar hits Quinn from behind laying him out, and then all three put the boots to Quinn. Wilde and Mendoza grab Quinn and hold him up as Elektra Lopez walks over and tells him that nobody says no to her and then they slam the back of Quinn’s head onto a steel grating. The men walk off while Elektra lingers behind satisfied with what just happened.
Nothing too notable about the match as Quinn picks up another win to continue his winning streak. It seemed that from what happened after the match that Elektra could be the new leader of Legado del Fantasma as the focus seemed to revolve around her more than Escobar, but since she can’t wrestle Quinn she will use Escobar to do her dirty work.
Raquel is interviewed and she talks about how she hasn’t gotten a good night’s sleep since losing her NXT Women’s Championship at Halloween Havoc and tonight she gets the chance to finally get revenge on the one person who ripped that title away from her and she is going to bury Dakota with her own shovel.
It’s time for the Poker Showdown and to anyone who complains about concerts that happen during wrestling shows I have to say at least those are more exciting than this game of poker between Duke Hudson and Cameron Grimes. I have never played poker or even cared to, so everything that happened for the majority of this segment might as well have been spoken in a foreign language. In the Hudson gets played by Grimes once again and this time he attacks him and sends him through the poker table with a powerbomb, but that isn’t enough as he goes under the ring and pulls out a toolbox and at first, he grabs a hammer but then he drops it and picks up a pair of scissors which he uses to cut the hair and beard of Grimes.
I really hope that every feud that Hudson ends up in doesn’t result in us having to watch a poker match because this was really boring and felt like it took forever before Hudson attacked Grimes. At least we did get a big moment with Hudson cutting the hair of Grimes at the end which somewhat makes up for the near ten minutes of boredom we had to sit through and hopefully that will take the feud to the next level.
Kyle O’Reilly walks up to Von Wagner and mentions seeing him on SmackDown serving as Adam Pearce’s bodyguard but tells him he is not worried about that nor is he worried about their loss to Legado del Fantasma as he only cares about tonight. O’Reilly says they got to work on Tuesday nights and Wagner says it’s time to take care of business.
Out next match sees O’Reilly and Wagner taking on the team of Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs.
O’Reilly and Jensen start out the match with a lockup and Jensen powers him down to the mat, but O’Reilly suckers him and lands a kick to the leg, and then tries to grab a headlock only to be sent into the ropes where he is hit with a shoulder block. O’Reilly lands a few kicks to the leg and chest but Jensen eventually catches the leg and hits O’Reilly with a big slam only to miss an elbow drop immediately after. O’Reilly goes back to the headlock, but Jensen backs him into the ropes where Briggs makes a blind tag and they take O’Reilly down with a double shoulder block and then they slide out of the ring and hit O’Reilly with a punch and we then see Imperium watching the match from backstage. O’Reilly grabs the arm of Briggs and uses it to drag him over to the corner so that Wagner can tag himself in and then we get a lockup between the two big men as they jockey for control and then Briggs is sent into the ropes where he tries to knock Wagner down but he doesn’t budge.
Briggs fires away with punches and then he sends Wagner into the ropes and follows him in, but Wagner takes Briggs down with a jumping shoulder block. Wagner tags in O’Reilly and they work Briggs over in the corner with kicks and headbutts and then O’Reilly hits an over-the-shoulder armbreaker and then lands a few kicks, Briggs reverses a whip into the ropes and O’Reilly uses this as an opportunity to boot Jensen off the apron but he is paid back as Briggs immediately hits him with a big boot as well. Jensen fires away with some grounded forearms and then puts O’Reilly in the corner, O’Reilly slaps Jensen which fires him up as he hits O’Reilly with a chop and clothesline combination in the corner. Jensen hits O’Reilly with an elbow drop for a 2 count and then he locks him in a bear hug which he uses to drive O’Reilly into the corner and this same sequence happens a couple more times until O’Reilly finally starts to fight back and makes the hot tag to Wagner.
Wagner comes in and batters Jensen with forearms and then he hits a short-arm clothesline followed by a gutwrench suplex and then Jensen walks into an elevated flatliner. Briggs comes in to help his partner but Wagner sidesteps him and O’Reilly pulls down the top rope sending Briggs out to the floor and then O’Reilly hits him with a diving knee off the apron. Wagner hits Jensen with the spinning double underhook slam for the win.
After the match, we go to the back where Imperium is talking and they say that Wagner and O’Reilly are getting better but they are still not on their level and would never beat them for the titles.
This was a fine match but once again nothing that special which is the common theme for most matches on NXT every week outside of the main event as most of the matches aren’t given enough time to reach the next level to have a good match. I thought Briggs and Jensen had another good showing and I definitely think they have a bright future as a team. It looks like the tag title match for WarGames will be Imperium vs O’Reilly and Wagner which should be a pretty good match.
Indi Hartwell-Lumis and Perisa Pirotta are standing in front of the door to the trainer’s room where Dexter Lumis is still being treated for his injured hand and Indi says she knows they have a match coming up but they are fixing to take Lumis to a medical facility (not to be confused with a hospital) and while she knows Gargano is there, she wants to be there too because she is his wife. Persia tells her to go ahead and be with her man as she can handle the match on her own.
It’s time for another edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend and she starts the show talking about Kay Lee Ray interrupting the celebration of Toxic Attraction as she reminds her that there are three of them and only one of her. Lash is then interrupted by Grayson Waller who has some tea to spill and then he craps on the indies because LA Knight said he didn’t pay his dues, he talks about how all the veterans had to miss birthdays, anniversaries, etc to get where they are now but all he had to do was go on reality TV (Australian Survivor) and put out a video before WWE came calling him. Waller says the business is no longer about wins and losses nor is it about the DIY journeymen story it’s about the likes and shares you get. Waller says that Knight and other veterans ask who’s game it is, well the game has changed and it’s his game now.
The next match sees Persia Pirotta facing the team of Gabby Stephens and Jenna Levy on her own.
Persia locks up with Gabby and then shoves her down to the mat and then she turns around to see Robert Stone standing near the entrance and the distraction allows Gabby and Jenna to attack from behind, but Perisa fights them off as she sends Gabby out of the ring and then hits Jenna with snake eyes. Jenna tags Gabby back into the match and Persia drops her with a clothesline and that is followed by a clothesline in the corner and an avalanche. Persia hits Gabby with a running kick and then drags her into the center of the ring, but Gabby catches her with a kick to the gut and then crawls over to make the tag to Jenna. Jenna tries to go up top but gets cut off and then Perisa lifts both women up in a fireman’s carry and hits them both with a Samoan drop and then she hits Jenna with a sitout version of an F-5 for the win. This was a complete squash, nothing more and nothing less.
We go to an interview with Dakota Kai who says she hasn’t been herself since she faced Raquel at Takeover as her mind has been cloudy and the only way to end that is to purge the past. Toxic Attraction walks up and Dakota says they owe her twice for having their back against Raquel. The Grizzled Young Veterans then show up to give back the tag title belts and say they found them with a couple of tech guys who were calling their granny to tell her they were the tag champions, but Toxic Attraction isn’t buying their bullshit as they walk off disgusted.
We get a backstage promo from Tommaso Ciampa where he talks about winning the NXT Championship and how he carries the title with respect and prestige, but when he looks around the locker room he sees a lack of those qualities in the new crop of talent. Ciampa stops talking and then says as wants to call them out from the ring.
We get a video on my favorite NXT tag team Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter where they talk about their love for music festivals as they talk about how fun it is and how it lets you get away from your worries for a few hours and they want to share that kind of experience with the NXT fans as they are the life of the party and they are bringing the party to everyone.
While this EDM thing is a fun and unique gimmick this video did nothing to tell the fans why they should care about them from a wrestling viewpoint, honestly, they are one of the acts that didn’t need an over the top gimmick as they already had the whole white meat babyface underdogs thing going for them which made the fans care about them more than this gimmick ever will.
Tommaso Ciampa comes out in front of the audience as promised and cuts a promo on all the new talent in NXT and calls out both Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller by name as he says that Hayes would indeed miss if he takes a shot in his direction and as far as Waller goes he doesn’t appreciate his comments towards those who worked the indies and he tells Waller what he can do with his hot dog. He starts to move on to Tony D’Angelo but is cut off by Bron Breakker who tells Ciampa that he shouldn’t be worried about guys like Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller all he should be worried about is him because he is going to run through him and take the NXT Championship. Ciampa says that perhaps a guy somewhere in a truck can roll some footage from Halloween Havoc because Breakker needs a reminder and that leads to the footage being shown. Ciampa counts to 3 and then says he isn’t a math major, but the way he sees it Breakker has a 33 and ⅓ % chance of ever taking the NXT Championship from him. Ciampa says that Breakker can bark up the tree all he wants but at the end of the day he is just a puppy while Ciampa is the NXT Champion.
I really liked Ciampa in both the backstage promo and the one in the ring as he fits perfectly as the grizzled veteran who is making sure all the young talent stay in line and don’t get a big head and if they do he is there to knock them back down to earth. While I was expecting the Steiner match line to eventually come from Breakker I still popped when Ciampa said it. I am looking forward to their match at WarGames as their first encounter was solid and this one will hopefully be even better. I expect that now the match is happening on PPV we could see a title change, although I wouldn’t be mad at Ciampa retaining once again and moving on to the next rookie in line.
It’s time for the main event as Raquel Gonzalez looks for revenge as she takes on her former best friend Dakota Kai.
Dakota runs right into a clothesline and then Raquel stomps a mudhole into her in the corner and then sends her into the opposite corner, but Dakota takes a strange bump that came out of nowhere, and then she bails from the ring. Raquel follows her out the floor and sends her into the barricade before throwing her back into the ring where she catches a charging Dakota and pounces her across the ring. Raquel tries to get her hands on Dakota to continue the punishment but Dakota bails out once again which frustrates Raquel but she goes after her once again and catches her and hits her with another pounce on the floor and she follows that up with a press slam on the apron, but surprisingly Dakota continues to fight as she kicks Raquel away and then hits her with a kick to the head from the apron.
The action goes back in the ring as Raquel catches Dakota with a back elbow and then grabs her by the face and slams the back of her head into the turnbuckle. Dakota blocks a suplex attempt but Raquel hits her with clubbing blows to the ribs and looks to continue her attack in the corner, but Dakota comes back with kicks to the gut only for Raquel to come back and slam Dakota’s head into the top turnbuckle. Dakota tries to escape to the floor once again but this time Raquel stops her and then lifts her up for an over-the-shoulder backbreaker which she uses to drive Dakota into the corner and then she sits her up on the top only to knock her back down with an uppercut. Raquel charges at Dakota in the corner but she moves out of the way and Raquel goes shoulder-first into the ring post and then falls out to the floor, Raquel is slow to get to her feet but once she does she turns around into a running kick from Dakota and this sends us to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
During the commercial, Dakota continues her attack on Raquel as she targets the arm slamming it on the ring apron and once the action gets back in the ring she hits Raquel with an armbreaker, and then she wraps it around the top rope. Dakota gets Raquel down and locks in a kneeling armbar which Raquel eventually escapes from by bridging back into a pin which Dakota kicks out of. Raquel tries to fight back as she sends Dakota into the ropes but is taken right back down with a boot from Dakota and then Dakota locks in a top wristlock, but Raquel uses her power to get back to her feet and she drives Dakota into the corner to break the hold as the commercial break comes to an end.
Raquel charges at Dakota but gets hit with a drop toe hold across the middle rope and then Dakota hits her with a vicious kick to the face for a 2 count. Raquel rolls out to the apron and Dakota grabs her arm and then kicks Raquel in the face repeatedly. Dakota goes up top and pulls Raquel up with her and this leads to Raquel hitting Dakota with repeated headbutts and then she teases suplexing Dakota out to the floor, but Dakota slips out and jumps to the floor causing Raquel to fall sternum first onto the top rope. Raquel crawls over to the corner as Dakota gets back on the apron and she nails Raquel with yet another kick to the face for a 2 count. Dakota starts screaming at Raquel to stay down but Raquel grabs Dakota by the throat and hits her with a chokebomb and that starts the comeback for Raquel as she drops Dakota with a clothesline and a big boot. Dakota quickly crawls to the corner where she starts removing the bottom turnbuckle pad as Raquel tries her best to pull Dakota back into the center of the ring and eventually she hits her with a fallaway slam and that is followed by the twisting Vader Bomb out of the corner for a 2 count.
Raquel looks to hit Dakota with the Chingona Bomb, but Dakota counters into a sunset flip attempt but she can’t take Raquel over and when Raquel tries to hit her with a punch Dakota avoids it by bridging under Raquel. Dakota tries to go for the Scorpion kick but Raquel catches her foot and looks for a stretch muffler, but Dakota immediately raises up and causes Raquel to get off balance and she falls into the middle rope. Raquel and Dakota fight over a suplex attempt by Raquel but eventually Dakota grabs the arm and hits an arm wringer which sends Raquel falling into the exposed bottom turnbuckle. We get a closeup of Raquel who is struggling to get back to her feet and as the camera pans out we see that Dakota is standing outside the ring with the shovel in her hand. Dakota slides in the ring with the shovel and looks to hit Raquel with it, but Raquel kicks her in the gut causing Dakota to drop the shovel, and as the referee looks to take the shovel out of the ring Raquel yanks it out of his hand and starts stalking Dakota as she is looking to hit her with it, Dakota backs up into the corner and at that time Toxic Attraction run in to attack Raquel which leads to a DQ.
After the match, Toxic Attraction and Dakota Kai continue to beatdown Raquel until Cora Jade makes the save as she takes down Gigi and Jacy with her skateboard, and then she throws it at Dakota. Mandy takes Cora down with a clothesline and then Toxic Attraction beat her down until Zoey Stark comes out in a leg brace and on crutches which leads to her getting mocked, but then Io comes out and takes one of Zoey’s crutches to even the odds and eventually the babyfaces make a comeback with the help of Io with the crutch and Cora with the skateboard and they clear the ring. Io grabs the mic and screams WarGames and that is how the show comes to an end.
I really liked the Raquel vs Dakota match and the DQ finish didn’t bother me with this match as it made sense given the finish of Halloween Havoc and what happened earlier in the night. I am looking forward to the women’s WarGames match but I have to wonder who will be the fourth woman on the babyface team as it’s clear from tonight that Zoey is nowhere near ready to go and with three people already on the team there is no room for Kacy and Kayden on the team, so I’m not sure who takes that final spot.
Outside of the main event and the interaction between Ciampa and Breakker I didn’t think this was a strong episode of NXT and the boring poker showdown really dropped the quality of the show for me as it felt like it went on forever.
NXT UK Results
- A-Kid def Sam Gradwell – ***¼
- Aleah James def Nina Samuels – *
- Kenny Williams def Saxon Huxley – **
- Teoman & Rohan Raja def Gallus w/ Joe Coffey – **½
We kick off this week’s show with A-Kid vs Sam Gradwell.
Gradwell talks some trash like he is known to do and then goes for a lockup but A-Kid goes behind only for Gradwell to hit an over-the-shoulder armbreaker and then A-Kid rolls away before any more damage can be done. A-Kid takes Gradwell down with a headlock takeover only for Gradwell to escape with a headscissors and then A-Kid springs back to his feet. Gradwell goes back to work on the arm as he grounds A-Kid with a wristlock but A-Kid hits a kip-up and then back bridges to reverse the hold and breaks the grip of Gradwell, A-Kid tries for a dropkick but Gradwell is able to get out of the way. Gradwell grabs a headlock on the mat which he isn’t letting go of easily, but A-Kid eventually cartwheels out of the headlock and grabs a cravate which Gradwell tries to reverse but A-Kid keeps it locked in as they go back to the mat. Gradwell rakes the face of A-Kid to break the hold and then hits him with a big slam.
Both men trade pinfalls and then A-Kid goes back to the cravate and as Gradwell lifts him up A-Kid rolls through and ends up on top of Gradwell who raises his leg and scrubs the face of A-Kid into his boot to get A-Kid to release the hold. Gradwell throws A-Kid into the top rope throat-first and then levels him with a clothesline for a 2 count. Gradwell chokes A-Kid in the corner with his boot and then takes time to posture for the crowd and then he follows that up with clubbing blows to the back and a neck vice but he releases that fairly quickly. Gradwell goes to send A-Kid into the corner but A-Kid stops himself and takes Gradwell down with an arm drag which is followed by a dropkick that has Gradwell stumbling around, but he then explodes out of the corner with a running forearm to A-Kid.
A-Kid tries to make a comeback as he takes Gradwell down with a single leg but Gradwell kicks him away and then chokes A-Kid with his boot once again. Gradwell hits A-Kid with a big butterfly suplex for a 2 count and then grabs a chinlock but then he releases it and pulls A-Kid back up to his feet where he hits A-Kid with a big chop to the chest. Gradwell locks in a Boston crab but A-Kid raises up the toes of Gradwell to take him off balance and this allows A-Kid to roll him up for a 2 count. A-Kid then goes for a Boston crab of his own but Gradwell shifts his hips to throw him off but A-Kid is able to cartwheel back to his feet and he catches Gradwell with an enziguri and then looks to hit a superkick, but Gradwell bails out to the floor where he is taken down by A-Kid with a tope suicida.
A-Kid throws Gradwell back in the ring and goes up top where he comes off with a big crossbody for a very close 2 count. A-Kid lands a couple of forearms and when he goes for a third forearm Gradwell covers his face, but when A-Kid looks to take advantage Gradwell grabs him by the ear and looks for a chop but A-Kid ducks and runs off the ropes looking for a tilt-a-whirl move but Gradwell just tosses him away and A-Kid lands on his feet only to have his head taken off by a clothesline from Gradwell. Both men are slow to get to their feet but once they do get up Gradwell drops A-Kid with a couple of big forearms. Gradwell winds up for a discus forearm but A-Kid ducks and catches Gradwell in a flying armbar which he tries to transition into the omoplata, but Gradwell uses his power to lift A-Kid off the mat and slam him to the mat to break the hold.
Both men once again slowly get back to their feet and Gradwell hits A-Kid with the discus forearm to the back of the head which knocks A-Kid out of the ring. Gradwell goes out to the apron and dives off the apron looking for a clothesline, but A-Kid sidesteps and grabs the arm which allows him to immediately jump on top of Gradwell, but Gradwell gets back to his feet with A-Kid on his back and then switches into a guillotine choke, but Gradwell counters that with a butterfly suplex on the floor. Gradwell rolls back into the ring and looks to win by count-out, but A-Kid gets back in the ring at the very last second and then runs into a discus forearm for a 2 count.
Gradwell gets A-Kid up in a fireman’s carry but A-Kid elbows out of it and charges towards Gradwell only to be taken down with an STO for a very close near fall. Gradwell hits A-Kid with several strikes and then hits him with some mounted punches until A-Kid catches his arm and tries to roll into an arm submission, but Gradwell rolls through to deliver more mounted punches. A-Kid catches the arm of Gradwell once again, and when Gradwell tries to power out of it A-Kid pulls back on the arm which takes Gradwell down to the mat, and A-Kid locks on an armbar which forces Gradwell to tap out.
This was a really good match and while everyone knows just how good A-Kid is, I think Sam Gradwell is one of the more underrated guys on NXT UK and I really wish that he was used as much as some of the other guys on the brand and I would like to see him eventually pushed into the NXT UK Championship picture. That armbar finish came out of nowhere which was nice as I always like when matches end without a finisher needing to be used as it makes the match feel more realistic. I give this match two thumbs up and definitely a must-watch match.
We get footage of the Rampage Brown vs Flash Morgan Webster match from two weeks ago and are informed that during that match Webster suffered a shoulder injury.
We get footage from earlier in the day where Ilja Dragunov is informed his NXT UK Championship match against Rampage Brown has been made official for two weeks from now. Dragunov says that Rampage Brown is a monster and while most people would be scared, but he is not like most people as he is the NXT UK Champion, he is Unbesiegbar, he is Ilja Dragunov. Dragunov says that Brown may have knocked him out when he offered him respect but that is fine because he embraces the pain and then he says that myths and legends weren’t written about the giants, they were written about the heroes who made them fall. Long live the Czar!
I really liked this promo by Dragunov and am hyped for his match against Brown in a couple of weeks.
Our second match of the night sees Aleah James take on Nina Samuels.
We get a lockup and the much larger Nina backs Aleah into the corner and pats her on the head which would be a mistake as Aleah grabs a headlock and then takes her to the mat with a headlock takeover, Nina gets back to her feet and grabs a wristlock which Aleah cartwheels out of and then grabs a wristlock on Nina. Nina does her own cartwheel and she tries to take Aleah down only for Aleah to keep the wristlock on, but Nina gets back to her feet and goes back to the wristlock only for Aleah to use the ropes to backflip out of the hold and then she takes Nina to the mat and hits her with a kick to the chest. Aleah charges at Nina and gets backdropped to the apron and then Aleah jumps over the top rope in a split and catches Nina with a hurricanrana. Nina rolls out to the apron and when Aleah goes over to grab her she is dropped throat-first across the middle rope.
Nina stands on the hair of Aleah and then hits her with a backbreaker, Nina picks up Aleah who tries to make a comeback but is cut off with a knee to the gut, and then she sends Aleah into the corner where she jumps up and over Nina and then dropkicks her into the corner. Aleah goes for a crossbody but Nina turns it into repeated tilt-a-whirl backbreakers and then we get the old Melina spot where Nina bends back the leg of Aleah making it touch the back of her head. Aleah reverses a fireman’s carry into a rollup for a very close 2 count and then escapes a slam attempt with another rollup for another near fall. Aleah catches Nina with a couple of flying shoulder blocks and a dropkick and then she connects with the running crossbody for a 2 count. Aleah looks to continue her attack, but Nina hits her with a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle and that is followed by an inverted suplex which gets a 2 count as Aleah rolls her into a crucifix pin for yet another 2 count. Nina biels Aleah across the ring and then sends her into the ropes where she looks for another backbreaker, but Aleah counters it into a small package for the win.
This was not a great match as I thought a lot of Aleah’s strikes looked bad and while Nina is fine with her talk show gimmick she doesn’t do anything for me in the ring, the one highlight of the match was that nice split into a hurricanrana by Aleah.
We go backstage where Gradwell is taking off his boots when Noam Dar and Sha Samuels come into the locker room being loud which doesn’t sit well with Gradwell who is still sour after his loss and when he goes to confront them they mock him for continuing to lose and then leave to continue their celebration of Dar’s Heritage Cup Championship win. I guess we are getting Gradwell against Dar or Samuels next week.
We see Aleah walking down the hall after her big win and she is elated and speechless about the win, Aleah walks into a room and we hear a commotion and we see that Isla Dawn has attacked Aleah and taken her scrunchie to put in her box, and then something happened that I really liked and found surprising as they actually had the cameraman and the lighting guy drop their gear to go check on Aleah. It would be nice to get some kind of idea of where this Isla Dawn box of goodies story is going, but I have a feeling even those in charge have no clue.
It looks like we are getting one of our four-match NXT UK cards rather than the usual three-match cards as Saxon Huxley is set to take on Kenny Williams (whose entrance video now has a bright white cockroach on it) in the next match.
We get a lockup and Huxley throws Williams across the ring and as Williams tries for a leg pick he is caught and thrown across the ring for a second time. Williams hits Huxley with multiple strikes which have no effect on Huxley as he throws Williams back into the corner, Huxley charges in with a boot, but Williams dodges and lands a kick to the thigh of Huxley. Williams grabs a headlock but when he tries to take the big man to the mat it is blocked and then Huxley sends Williams into the ropes and takes him down with a shoulder block, Huxley sends Willaims into the ropes and follows him in with knees to the gut for a 2 count. Huxley drags Williams into the center of the ring and grabs Williams by the throat where he repeatedly slams him into the mat.
Huxley picks up Williams by the throat and then just throws him through the ropes and to the floor. Huxley goes out of the ring but Williams slides back in and as Huxley slides back in it allows Williams to take advantage as he jumps up and repeatedly stomps on the back of Huxley and then he catches Huxley with a chop block to the front of the knee and then he rakes the back of Huxley. Williams takes Huxley into the corner where he ties his leg up in the ropes and hits it with a running dropkick, but Huxley still has life left in him as he kicks out of a pin. Williams jumps on the back of Huxley and then applies a surfboard until Huxley gets back to his feet and then he takes Huxley back down with a chop block and then goes for a running kick, but Huxley catches him and drives him into the corner where Williams is facing backward and is stuck between the top and middle rope and then Huxley clobbers Williams with a blow to the back of the head.
Williams gets back to his feet and is taken right back down with a running boot and then he throws Williams into the corner and hits him with an avalanche followed by a running knee strike to a seated Williams. Huxley picks up Williams and throws him across the ring with a big slam and then as Williams is leaning up against the ropes Huxley hits him with a running crossbody which causes Williams to fall through the ropes and to the floor. The referee prevents Huxley from going after Williams and while this is happening Williams rolls under the ring and when Huxley finally goes out to the floor we see Williams reappear and he shoves Huxley head-first into the ring post and then rolls him back into the ring where Williams hits the headlock driver for the win.
This match was all Huxley for the majority, but Williams being a scumbag found a way to outsmart the wild man and pick up the win despite getting his ass kicked all over the ring. Nothing much to the match but the finish keeps Williams’ scumbag character strong.
We go to footage from earlier today where Xia Brookside enters the UK PC and she is asked by an interviewer about what happened last week in the office of Sid Scala, but before she can answer one of the NXT UK referees runs up and tells her she is 15 minutes late for training, but Xia tells her she doesn’t have to train with everyone else as she has her own private one-on-one classes and then hands her a note as if she is a kid who gives their teacher a letter from their parents.
Earlier this week Mark Andrews is interviewed about his win over Nathan Frazer last week and he talks about how that was a big win for him, but he wants to talk about Frazer as he puts him over as having tons of potential. Jordan Devlin walks up and can’t figure out why Andrews wants to spend the little amount of screen time that he gets talking about someone else and tells him to start acting like an Ace instead of a bit player. That match will be taking place next week.
It’s time for the main event as Mark Coffey and Wolfgang of Gallus will be taking on Teoman and Rohan Raja as the feud between the two families continues.
Wolfgang and Raja start the match and right away Wolfgang drops Raja with an uppercut and then tags in Coffey who locks in a cravate which Raja arm drags out of, but Coffey takes him back down with an arm drag and a kneeling armbar as he stares down Teoman. Coffey applies a cobra clutch and then tags in Wolfgang who hammers Raja with a forearm to the back and then goes for a wristlock, but Raja breaks the grip and nails, Wolfgang, with a forearm so he can make the tag to Teoman. Wolfgang catches Teoman coming in with a knuckle lock arm drag and then he sends Teoman hard into the corner before tagging in Coffey and then we get Gallus hitting Teoman with a two-man monkey flip which sends Teoman bailing to the floor and as Raja comes in the ring he is taken down with a double shoulder block.
Coffey catches Teoman with a baseball slide and then throws him back into the ring only for Teoman to roll right back out to the floor and this time when Coffey goes for a baseball slide, Teoman traps him in the ring skirt and this leads to both Teoman and Raja firing away with punches as Wolfgang has the referee distracted. Teoman throws Coffey back in the ring and then he comes off the middle rope with a missile dropkick to the back of Coffey and then he tags Raja back into the match. Raja and Teoman work over Coffey on their side of the ring while making frequent tags. Coffey tries to make a comeback but Teoman kicks the arm to stay in control of the match and then he knocks Wolfgang off the apron.
Teoman tags in Raja and sends him toward the corner to clothesline Coffey, but Coffey backdrops Raja to the floor and then takes down Raja with an ax handle and then he finally makes the hot tag to Wolfgang who comes in on fire as he drops Raja with a shoulder block and then fires away with punches. Wolfgang sends Raja into the ropes and hits him with a big backdrop and then hits the crossbody avalanche in the corner and then comes off the top with the ax handle. Wolfgang knocks Teoman off the apron and as Raja charges in Wolfgang drops him with a back elbow and then goes up to the middle rope where he hits a splash to the back of Raja for a 2 count.
Raja escapes a slam attempt and backs into the corner where Teoman tags himself into the match but Wolfgang hits him with a hip toss and that is followed up by the big senton splash. Teoman stumbles over to the corner where Wolfgang hits him with the crossbody avalanche, but when he comes off the top he is hit with a punch to the gut and then he sends Wolfgang face-first into the turnbuckles before making the tag to Raja. Teoman and Raja hit Wolfgang with a forearm, enziguri, and backstabber combination for a very close 2 count and then we get an assisted DDT which gets another near fall when Coffey breaks up the pin. Raja throws Coffey back out of the ring and then Raja holds Wolfgang so that Teoman can hit a handspring elbow, but Wolfgang dodges it and then runs off the ropes where he takes down both opponents with a double clothesline.
Wolfgang tags in Coffey who hits Teoman with a half-nelson slam for a very close 2 count and then we get Wolfgang tagged back in who looks to hit Teoman with a slam, but he slides out the back and pushes Wolfgang into the ropes and they end up clanking heads. Charlie Dempsey then runs in from the crowd and attacks Joe Coffey at ringside which gets the attention of Mark Coffey who goes out to help his brother, but Raja throws him into the barricade and then we get Raja and Dempsey nodding at each other confirming they are now aligned. Raja is tagged back into the match and after Teoman hits the flipping inverted DDT we see Raja hit the jumping flatliner for the win.
After the match, Teoman and his boys continue to beat down Gallus until Joe slides in the ring to try and fight them off, but Dempsey hits him with a chop block and then chokes him out across the middle rope. Teoman, Rohan Raja, and Charlie Dempsey stand tall as the show comes to an end.
I think Charlie Dempsey joining Teoman’s family is going to help the Teoman stable more than it is Dempsey as he is instantly the most interesting member of the group. I thought the match itself was just fine but nothing out of this world and was nowhere near as good as the opening match of this episode.
I thought that outside of the Gradwell vs A-Kid match and the surprise of Dempsey turning heel and joining Teoman’s stable this was a completely skippable episode as the women’s match was pretty bad and the Huxley vs Williams match was pretty underwhelming.
- Sheamus def Cesaro, Ricochet, & Jinder Mahal w/ Shanky – **½
- Natalya & Shayna Baszler def Aliyah & Naomi – ¼*
- Jeff Hardy def Madcap Moss w/ Happy Corbin – *¼
- Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs def Angel w/ Humberto – *½
- Sasha Banks def Shotzi – **¾
We get a recap video of last week when The Bloodline beatdown King Xavier Woods and then placed the crown on the head of Roman Reigns. We then go into the arena where The Usos are already in the ring and they talk some trash to RK-Bro ahead of their match this Sunday and then they introduce the one true king who runs WWE Roman Reigns.
Once Reigns and Heyman get to the ring we get a promo from Heyman where he talks about how Reigns is the only deserving enough to be crowned king and that title never belonged to Xavier Woods and it sure as hell doesn’t belong to Brock Lesnar. Heyman hypes up everything that Reigns is going to do to Big E at Survivor Series. Roman Reigns takes the mic and asks whose idea all of this was (to have the throne, scepter, and crown in the ring) and then says he doesn’t need all of this stuff to be acknowledged as he has put in the hard work to be acknowledged and the only reason he allowed the crown to be placed on his head last week was that he could.
King Xavier Woods comes out and says that none of that stuff in the ring makes you a king and if Reigns is really a king then he would look him in the eye and they would settle this, but he knows that is not how Reigns does business. King Woods wants Reigns to come out to the ring later tonight without The Usos and he will show him what a real king is made of. Reigns tells The Usos to step on the cloak and then smash the scepter and although it is evident this is hurting Woods he stands tall and doesn’t run to the ring. Jey Uso looks to smash the crown, but Reigns stops him and tells him to hand the crown to him, and then Reigns asks Woods if he is sure that crown doesn’t mean anything to him but Woods doesn’t say anything so Reigns teases stomping the crown and that is finally the breaking point for Woods as he runs to the ring, but is unable to overcome the numbers advantage as The Usos grab him and make him watch Reigns smash the crown to end the segment.
Really? We have to put up with heels like Wade Barrett, Sheamus, and Baron Corbin going around in that stupid king garb for an entire year or longer, but the moment we get a babyface king who has wanted to become King of the Ring for the longest time and that we all love he gets his stuff broken in less than a month, that is complete nonsense. In all seriousness, I thought this was a really good segment and I love that Xavier Woods is finally the one getting to mix it up at the top of the card and is not playing the part of the side piece. Reigns was fantastic in this segment just being a complete and total dick to Woods.
King Woods would be interviewed in the back after the commercial break and he says that he is still going to call out Reigns at the end of the night and says that the Roman empire may not have been built in a day, but it will fall tonight.
Our first match of the night is a four-way match to determine the last member of the men’s SmackDown Survivor Series team as it will be Ricochet, Cesaro, Jinder Mahal, and Sheamus vying for that last spot. This was a good match but felt like these four (well at least 3 out of the 4) are capable of better. The finish saw former tag partners Sheamus and Cesaro facing off against each other and as Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer we see Ridge Holland run down for a distraction only for Cesaro to duck the Brogue Kick, Holland distracts once again and this time Sheamus connects with the Brogue Kick to pick up the win.
Seeing as this match was no DQ it doesn’t make sense that Holland didn’t just get involved from the beginning of the match and what prevented Shanky from interfering as he stood outside with his hands in his pockets for the majority of the match. Sheamus is a solid choice as the final choice for the team, but it sucks that guys like Ricochet and Cesaro are once again going to be relegated to just being in a battle royal.
Jeff Hardy is interviewed backstage about being on the SmackDown Survivor Series team and he talks about how he has been on teams with all kinds of legends in the past, but he is just as honored to be on this team as it is just as stacked as some of the previous teams he has been on. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss walk up and Moss makes a bad joke and then Adam Pearce walks up and makes a match between Hardy and Madcap Moss for later tonight.
We get a video to hype up the Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair match.
We go back to the ring for our next match of the night which will see Aliyah teaming with Naomi to face the team of Natalya and Shayna Baszler.
This match doesn’t last long and what we got was nothing to write home about as the finish consisted of Shayna slamming the back of Naomi’s head into the mat and then the referee makes a quick count, I guess she was paid off or promised something by Sonya Deville.
After a commercial break, we go backstage to Sami Zayn annoying Sonya Deville about being kicked off the Survivor Series team, but she finally shuts him up when she tells him that on Sunday it will be the 25th Anniversary of The Rock’s debut and to celebrate that she is making a 25-man battle royal and she is putting Zayn in that match so he can reach the millions and millions of The Rock’s fans. We then get referee Aja Perera coming up to Sonya asking if she did a good job but Sonya acts like she has no clue who she is and then gets pissed when Aja tries to suggest she had something to do with it saying she doesn’t associate with crooked referees.
Up next is the Jeff Hardy vs Madcap Moss match and to counter Corbin being in the corner of Moss we see Hardy bring out Drew McIntyre to be in his corner and McIntyre hands McAfee his sword to hold during the match.
This was another quick match that saw Moss get in some basic offense until Hardy made a comeback and hit the Twist of Fate and then went up top for the Swanton, but Corbin causes a distraction which gets McIntyre involved as he throws Corbin across the announce table. Hardy then blocks a suplex with a small package for the win. After the match, McIntyre hits a Claymore on Corbin and then Hardy comes off the top with the Swanton Bomb onto Moss.
It’s time for our weekly Paul Heyman and Kayla Braxton interaction and Heyman tells her that Reigns doesn’t need anyone’s help to succeed he just keeps The Usos and himself around because he loves them and then says Reigns accepts Woods’ challenge.
The next match sees Shinsuke Nakamura take on Angel and the theme of short matches continues for the third straight match, but I will say that this was the best of the three short matches which is odd to say as how can any match be considered good when it lasts less than two minutes. The finish sees Boogs throw Humberto around on the outside after trying to interfere and then Nakamura dodges a charging Angel and after a schoolboy roll through he hits the Kinshasa for the win.
After a recap of Shotzi turning heel a few weeks ago we go to Gorilla where Sasha and Shotzi are standing and then Sonya walks up and says that while they may not like each other she wants to make sure they work together on Sunday and then we get some bickering between Shotzi and Sasha which ends when Sonya raises her voice and tells them that after their match tonight she wants them to shake hands.
We go to the Sasha vs Shotzi match next and thankfully this match gets some time and they have a pretty good match and I feel this match proved that Shotzi can hang with the top-tier girls and should be given more opportunities after this feud with Sasha. The finish of the match saw Shotzi hit the Ball Pit senton but Sasha rolls out of the ring, Shotzi gets her back in the ring and goes for the TKO only for it to get countered into the Bank Statement and after a bit of fighting Shotzi taps out.
After the match, Sasha picks up Shotzi (as she sees Sonya at the top of the ramp) and extends her hand which Shotzi accepts, but then Sasha uses the handshake to spin Shotzi around and hit the Backstabber.
I have to mention that during the Shotzi vs Sasha match they show a graphic for the women’s Survivor Series match and despite the fact that Michael Cole mentioned her being a part of the team, they had yet to have Toni’s picture on the graphic. How do you forget to put someone’s picture up on the graphic?
We go into the Bloodline locker room where Reigns asks if it’s time and Heyman tells him it is and as he goes to walk off The Usos follow, but Reigns stops and tells them he has this one by himself.
We get a really cool vignette for Xia Li which is done in the style of a comic book and it tells some of her backstory and how she became the woman she is today.
We go to an interview with Toni Storm who talks about how she was a part of Survivor Series a couple of years ago as part of NXT, but now she is on Team SmackDown and is excited about it. Toni says that Charlotte is going to be coming after her with all guns blazing after she loses to Becky as Charlotte will be vulnerable and her ego will be bruised, but she is ready for Charlotte to take all her frustration out on her because all she wants is a title match. Charlotte walks up and says she will give Toni her match and she will do the same to her that she does to Becky. I have to say that this may have been one of the first times we have seen Toni on TV not wearing her wrestling gear and she looked quite lovely.
It’s time for the main event segment as King Xavier Woods calls out Roman Reigns as he wants to see if Reigns is a man seeing as he needed The Usos to interfere last week to prevent him losing which means that Reigns can’t win on his own. So now is Reigns’ chance to prove him wrong. Reigns and Heyman come down the ramp, but as they get halfway Heyman signals for The Usos but they don’t come out. A few moments later we see The Usos being thrown across the stage and then we get the entrance of Big E and the fight is on between Reigns and Big E.
Big E throws Reigns around the ringside area and then into the ring where Woods and Big E put the boots to Reigns until The Usos recover. The Usos try to make the rescue only to be hit with a couple of Big Endings and as they roll out of the ring Woods takes them out with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Reigns has recovered as he hits Big E with a Superman Punch but when he goes for the Spear Big E catches him and looks to hit the Big Ending, but Reigns escapes and bails to the floor. The show ends with Reigns and Big E having a staredown. I liked this closing segment a lot as it did a great job of giving a final push to the Big E vs Reigns match on Sunday.
In the news
It feels like I am having to write about this every week which is unfortunate, but yet again WWE has decided to cut more people from the roster, and this time those on the chopping block included:
John Morrison – His run with The Miz was fun but it sucks that he never got a run on his own during this return as he is so damn talented in the ring and has even improved on the mic, he could’ve easily been a solid upper mid-card guy. It also sucks how he was going to be feuding with The Miz and then that got put to a stop when The Miz went on Dancing with the Stars and instead of finding other ways to use him they just had him sitting in the back meditating.
Hit Row – These guys as well as B-Fab were dealt such a shitty deal as they were the hottest thing in NXT just a few months ago and were the main reason to watch the show for a few weeks, but for some reason Vince and his bitches decided to call them up and then without even giving them a chance to succeed he cuts them and as I am writing this my blood is boiling all over again. What makes their release even more frustrating is that they were doing good numbers when it came to selling merchandise, so clearly they were still over. It looked like as of last week they were going to have them feud with Jinder and Shanky, but now with Hit Row gone that means Jinder and Shanky have nothing to do and will probably be released in the near future. I will say that it would be cool if Hit Row were brought into AEW just for the fact that we already have a feud set up between them and the Young Bucks after the Twitter beef between the Jacksons and Top Dolla.
Tegan Nox – I feel so sorry for Tegan the most as the poor girl worked her ass off to recover from numerous knee injuries only to come back and never be used to her full potential on both NXT and the main roster, which is a shame as she could’ve been a great loveable underdog that the fans could get behind, but WWE doesn’t know how to book babyfaces so instead they just decide to release her. I am still salty that Tegan and Shotzi were split apart before getting a shot at the tag titles that they earned by beating the champions on two or three occasions.
Drake Maverick – I have never been as big of a fan of Drake Maverick as some people are, but with that said I can’t deny his talent as he is someone that can fill pretty much any role whether it be in the ring, as a manager, on commentary, or as an authority figure and anything he is given he makes it work. Drake released a very well-produced video after being released and as I watched it at 3 AM it had me on the verge of tears as it was so uplifting and while I’m not his biggest fan I hope he kicks ass wherever he goes next. You can check out the video I mentioned here.
Shane Thorne – It looks like his buddy Mikey Nicholls had the right idea as he jumped ship a long time ago and it probably would’ve been best for Thorne if he had joined him as they did nothing with Thorne for the longest time and then they throw him in Retribution under a hockey mask and give him the name of Slapjack and then they still do nothing with him. Hopefully, Thorne can join back up with Nicholls and reform TMDK.
Jaxson Ryker – If there was any kind of good to come out of these set of releases it’s that they finally let this void of charisma go and if I were a betting man I would say the reason for his release is because he refuses to get vaccinated.
What makes these releases even sadder is that a lot of the talent getting released as well as their co-workers find out the news through Twitter rather than being notified first. There is a clip of Xavier Woods on the set of the G4’s “Attack of the Show” where he is looking at his phone during a commercial break and he storms off and once he comes back he says he is heated and it’s best if he just leaves it at that. I feel for the talent still with WWE just as much as those released as not only are they seeing their friends get let go from what a lot of them would call their dream job but at the same time their own job status is unknown as they could just as easily be cut at any time and that is very scary.
PWInsider reports that WALTER is more open to moving to the US than he was when he first signed with the company and we are told that is because of changes in his personal life. It is rumored that WALTER is now dating fellow NXT UK star Jinny.
Riddle said in an interview with Metro that Randy Orton wanted to ride one of the camels to the ring at Crown Jewel, but Vince refused to let him as he said it didn’t fit his character.
WresteVotes says that USA Network is on board with NXT becoming a TV-14 rated show rather than a TV-PG rated show.
The Stamford Advocate says that WWE is planning to move their headquarters from Titan Towers into their new office across town in last 2022.
2K released a video this week where they give a broad overview of some of the new changes coming to the game scheduled to come out in March. While I am excited about the game and the new changes I can’t help but feel worried about the roster as they have to continue to change the game as more releases come to the point where the only people who will make the roster will be those we have had on the game for years as it seems like all the new exciting names keep getting released. Here is a link where you can watch the video with all of the new features.
Coming up this Week
- Roman Reigns (Universal Champion) w/ Paul Heyman vs Big E (WWE Champion)
- Becky Lynch (Raw Women’s Champion) vs Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Champion)
- The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Champions) vs RK-Bro (Raw Tag Team Champions)
- Damian Priest (United States Champion) vs Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs (Intercontinental Champion)
- Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Toni Storm, Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, & Natalya)
Team Raw (Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, Queen Zelina Vega, & Carmella)
- Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley, & Austin Theory)
Team SmackDown (Drew McIntyre, King Xavier Woods, Jeff Hardy, Happy Corbin, & Sheamus)
- 25-Man Battle Royal (Viking Raiders, AJ Styles & Omos, Los Lotharios, Street Profits, Dirty Dawgz, Hurt Business, Alpha Academy, Jinder Mahal, Shanky, Cesaro, Drew Gulak, Mansoor, R-Truth, Ricochet, T-Bar, Sami Zayn, Apollo Crews, & Commander Azeez)
- The fallout of Survivor Series
- Carmelo Hayes © vs Johnny Gargano vs Pete Dunne (NXT North American Championship)
- Tommaso Ciampa vs Grayson Waller
- Mark Andrews vs Jordan Devlin
- The fallout of Survivor Series