- Charlotte Flair def Shayna Baszler – **¾
- Drew McIntyre & Viking Raiders def Jinder Mahal, Veer, & Shanky – **
- Damian Priest (c) def Jeff Hardy (WWE United States Championship) – ***
- Nikki A.S.H. w/ Rhea Ripley def Tamina w/ Natalya – **¼
- Rhea Ripley w/ NIkki A.S.H. def Natalya w/ Tamina – **½
- AJ Styles, Omos, T-Bar, & Mace def New Day, Mansoor, & Mustafa Ali – **¾
- Doudrop def Eva Marie – ½*
- Bobby Lashley © w/ MVP def Randy Orton w/ Riddle – ***½
- Big E def Bobby Lashley © w/ MVP (WWE Championship – MITB Cash-In) – **
We open the show with RK-Bro, Bobby Lashley, MVP, & Big E coming to the ring where Big E says he is going to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase against the winner of tonight’s Randy Orton vs Bobby Lashley WWE Championship match, but Riddle doesn’t want Big E to cash in on his best bro Randy Orton. MVP assures Riddle that Big E won’t be cashing in on Orton as Orton won’t survive his WWE Championship match against Bobby Lashley. MVP then tells Big E that he is usually glad to see Big E as he makes him laugh, but tonight he and Lashley aren’t in a laughing mood. MVP talks about how they were supposed to have a match for the Raw Tag Team Championship due to winning Tag Turmoil last week, but somehow Orton used his political power to move up the WWE Championship match to tonight.
Orton says there was no politicking as all he had to do was ask because he is Randy Orton and that was the only way he could figure out to get Lashley off his game. Big E is excited to see Orton and Lashley tonight as it will be two meaty men slapping meat and this leads to MVP insulting Big E for running away from SmackDown because he is scared of Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Orton says he is going to win the WWE Championship tonight because all he needs is one RKO and Lashley says Orton is making the biggest mistake of his life as he is going to enjoy pummeling Orton’s weak body around the ring. Lashley says if Big E tries to cash in he’ll shove the contract so far up his ass he will be able to taste the fine print and while Lashley is distracted Orton hits him with the RKO as the segment comes to an end.
I thought this was a good opening segment as it did a good job of setting up the massive main event for the night and laying out all the stakes that are on the line and I thought everyone involved did a great job on the mic.
Charlotte Flair is interviewed ahead of her match against Shayna Baszler tonight and she says that Shayna and Nia get in each other’s way and Shayna will never be on her level if she keeps getting dragged down by the dead weight that is Nia Jax. We then get an inset promo during Shayna’s entrance where Nia wants an explanation for why Shayna cost her the match last week and Shayna says she just did what Nia would’ve done to her and then says she can beat Charlotte which is where Nia failed. Shayna walks off when Nia asks for them to get back on the same page. Charlotte and Shayna have a really good match which you would come to expect from these two, but we get yet another distraction finish as Nia comes down to the ring and gets on the apron and when Shayna turns around she is met with a big boot from Charlotte which is enough to pick up the win. We are told that next week Nia and Shayna will have a match against each other.
Alexa Bliss comes out with Lilly and a gift for Charlotte as she wanted to thank Charlotte for accepting her challenge. Charlotte declines the present at first saying that she collects championships and not dolls and Alexa needs to grow up, but Alexa keeps nagging her to open the gift as she tells Charlotte she needs to have some fun and everyone loves gifts. Charlotte continues to refuse to open the gift but finally gives in and when she does she pulls out another Lilly doll who looks like Charlotte as she is even wearing a robe and the Raw Women’s Championship, Alexa says the dolls name is Charly but Charlotte is not even the slightest bit amused. Alexa said she heard Charlotte talking about how she doesn’t need friends but Alexa says everyone needs friends, even a stuck-up narcissistic bitch like Charlotte. Charlotte says Alexa is crazy if she thinks she wants this doll and then says she is crazy if she thinks she is going to take the Raw Women’s Championship from her and then tells Alexa she will send her a Charlotte action figure when Alexa ends up in a padded cell. Charlotte throws Charly at Alexa which pisses her off as she attacks Charlotte and then dodges a boot sending Charlotte out to the floor and when she tries to come back in the ring, Alexa hits her with the Code Red. Later in the night, we see Charlotte walk up to the Charly doll and she throws it in the trash.
I thought that Charlotte had a really good match with Shayna and it’s disappointing we haven’t seen Shayna in more high profile single matches like that as she should always be one of the top contenders for the title, but instead, she has been stuck in a tag team with the dead weight that is Nia Jax that should’ve ended months ago. I hope they have their match next week and then probably a rematch at Extreme Rules and then go their separate ways for good, to the point where they are drafted to separate shows.
I loved the interaction between Charlotte and Alexa as it was better than I expected it to be as I wasn’t sure how Charlotte was going to do interacting with a character like Alexa Bliss, but she did great and of course, Alexa was fantastic as she always is in these kinds of segments. I like the idea of her having different versions of Lilly that look like her opponents and wish she had started last month in her feud with Eva Marie. It’s amazing that Charlotte and Alexa have both been on the main roster since 2016 but they only have three singles matches against each other and two of those were at house shows and the third was at the 2017 Survivor Series, so this is surprisingly a fresh feud and I look forward to seeing what they can do in the ring, hopefully, they will keep the spooky shenanigans at a minimum.
We get a six-man tag match where Drew McIntyre teamed with the Viking Raiders against Jinder Mahal, Veer, & Shanky. The heels beatdown McIntyre before the match until the Raiders run down and make the save, but they would hardly be needed as McIntyre worked the majority of the match and puts Shanky away with Claymore in a very quick match.
We get a New Day reunion backstage and when Big E asks Kingston for advice Kingston tells him he doesn’t need his advice as he has always had what it takes to be WWE Champion.
We get a Reggie running away segment and when it ends R-Truth and Tozawa blame Drake Maverick for his plan not working, but he says it was their execution that didn’t work, and that leads to R-Truth and Tozawa blaming each other for the poor execution.
It’s time for Damian Priest’s United States Championship open challenge where we found out earlier in the day that Jeff Hardy would be accepting his challenge. Priest’s opponent for Extreme Rules Sheamus is on commentary during the match. Priest and Hardy have a really good match which I was not expecting as Hardy hasn’t been putting out great matches lately whenever we get a chance to see him on TV, but Hardy must have been really motivated for this match as he gave a great showing, but in the end, Priest retains the title after hitting Hardy with The Reckoning. After the match, Sheamus attacks Priest and knocks Hardy to the floor with a Brogue Kick only to be hit with one of his own from Priest.
Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley are talking about focussing on the tag titles when the tag champions Natalya and Tamina walk up and Natalya calls them freaks who will never win the tag titles (has she looked in a mirror). Rhea says she has been called a freak before and has gotten used to it, but Natalya and Tamina should get used to being former champions. Tamina puts her two cents in and we get a brawl which is broken up and Sonya says that before Rhea takes on Natalya as scheduled we will have Nikki A.S.H. against Tamina.
Nikki and Tamina have a fine match that sees Nikki pick up the win after a tornado DDT although it looks like Tamina was supposed to get her shoulder up but was too late and the referee counted it. After the match, Tamina throws Nikki into the barricade. We go straight into the Rhea vs Natalya match and this match was much better and despite Tamina trying to interfere Rhea picks up the win as she makes Natalya tap out to the inverted cloverleaf. Glad to see the challengers go 2-0 against the champions in singles matches and hopefully that means we are set for new tag champions in the near future, however, I am still bummed out that Nikki and Rhea are getting this spot when it should’ve gone to Shotzi and Nox after they beat the champions three times and have yet to be awarded a title match.
We get an 8-man tag match between four of the teams that competed in the tag turmoil match last week as it’s New Day, Mansoor, & Mustafa Ali taking on AJ Styles, Omos, T-Bar, & Mace. This was yet another good match which is a common theme for this show and in the end, the babyfaces are unable to overcome the size of Omos, as he wrecks everyone and then hits Mustafa Ali with the Chokebomb to pick up the win for his team. Omos got a nice pop when he was tagged in as he is starting to get over with the fans.
It’s time for the highly anticipated rematch between Eva Marie and Doudrop and this week we actually get a match with no kind of shenanigans by Eva Marie. Eva actually gets the best of Doudrop early on in the match but messes up when she attempts a schoolgirl as Doudrop doesn’t move and instead lands a senton followed by the crossbody to pick up an easy win over Eva Marie. I wonder if this means the feud is over since Doudrop picked up the win?
We get a backstage promo from Karrion Kross who is wearing a suit and he tells us he isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know and deep down nobody knows who they truly are as most don’t find that out until they have either suffered or inflicted the suffering and his list of victims on Raw continues to grow. Kross promises to hurt everyone until there is nobody left and he gets everything he wants. Kross says he will not get lost in the shuffle as he is going to pulverize people until everyone learns to fall and pray.
Why in the world didn’t we get this Karrion Kross from the beginning of his time on Raw as this was a lot better than anything we have seen from him over the past month, I hope this means they are changing his look and he no longer has to wear the helmet and suspender looking things. The fact that he said the “I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know” line makes me wonder if he is getting the devil’s advocate gimmick that Sean O’Haire had back in the day during his short stint in WWE as that would be the line O’Haire would use at the end of all of his promos.
It’s time for the main event as “The Almighty WWE Champion” Bobby Lashley puts his title on the line against Randy Orton and they have a very physical match with a finish that sees Orton hitting the RKO, but MVP pulls Lashley out of the ring so Orton lays him out with an RKO as well but when Orton gets back in the ring he is met with a Spear and that is enough for Lashley to pick up the win. Lashley continues to attack Orton after the match as he sends him through the announce table with a spinebuster, but then he starts to favor his leg as he seems to have injured it, but he is able to limp his way back into the ring.
As promised Big E runs to the ring and is officially cashing in his Money in the Bank Briefcase on Bobby Lashley. Lashley is refusing to face Big E at first but a nice slap to the face changes his mind as he beats down Big E and even hits a Spear, but Big E kicks out and moments later he escapes the Dominator and hits the Big Ending which is enough to pick up the win and with that Big E is the NEW WWE CHAMPION!!!!!!!! New Day rush to the ring to celebrate with Big E as pyro goes off and that is how the show comes to an end.
I am so happy for Big E as this is long past due as he has been ready to be the top guy for quite a while and if I’m being honest I think he should’ve got it before Kofi Kingston. It shows just how great of a person Big E is when everyone who has had the chance to work with him is sending him congratulations and are talking about just how much seeing him win the WWE Championship means to them. As great as this moment was and as happy as I am to finally see him win the championship I can’t help but think of how much better it would’ve been if they had saved this for a big PPV and perhaps made it a complete surprise instead of him calling his shot.
I hope they have plans for Big E as champion and didn’t just choose to do this on a whim for reasons having to do with ratings. I also hope he doesn’t end up dropping the title to Goldberg just so they can do the Goldberg vs Lashley rematch for the title as that match doesn’t need the title involved. I would love to see them build to a match between Lashley and Sheamus at WrestleMania as they had a really good feud last year and I would definitely be down for them redoing it for the WWE Championship as Sheamus has earned it after the year he has had in the ring. A big congratulations to Big E and I can’t wait to see what happens next, but I know one thing it is nice to see New Day reunited once again.
This was another pretty solid episode of Raw as we had a couple of really good matches, some good buildup of feuds going into Extreme Rules, and a big moment to close the show with Big E winning the WWE Championship, I just hope they have a good follow up next week as we have had two good episodes of Raw in a row so hopefully, next week will be three in a row.
NXT 2.0 Results
- Bron Breakker def LA Knight – **½
- Imperium def Josh Briggs & Brooks Jansen – **¼
- B-Fab w/ Hit Row def Katrina Cortez – ¼ *
- Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter def Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne via DQ – *¼
- Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, & Jacy Jayne def Sarray, Kacy Catanzaro, & Kayden Carter – **½
- Ridge Holland def Drake Maverick w/ Grayson Waller – *½
- The Creed Brothers w/ The Diamond Mine def Dan Jarmon & Trevor Skelly – **
- Tommaso Ciampa def LA Knight, Pete Dunne, & Von Wagner (NXT Championship) – ***½
We open the show with a video hyping the four-way match for the NXT Championship as Samoa Joe had to relinquish the title due to injury over the weekend and Regal made the announcement that the four-way match that was already scheduled would crown a new NXT Champion. We then hear from the participants in the four-way, but once LA Knight finishes talking about the match he goes to walk off but runs into Bronson Rechsteiner who is the son of Rick Steiner and is now going by the name Bron Breakker for some reason. Breakker wants a chance to prove himself on the debut of NXT 2.0 and LA Knight says this is also the LA Knight show as he is going to become the new NXT Champion, but before that he is going to go out there and beat the breaks of Breakker. If you didn’t already know Breakker was a Steiner before all you have to do is listen to him for a couple of minutes and you would figure it out as he sounds just like his dad and uncle Scott.
We then get our first look into what was the CWC but is now “the home of NXT 2.0” and I have to say that I don’t mind it, in fact, I like it better than the setup we had for the CWC as it is a lot brighter. I like the new cylinder-looking entrance screen as it sets the show apart from the rectangular screen that we have for Raw and SmackDown, and the arching lighting grid over the entrance is a nice touch as well. I think the new setup for the crowd is nice as the fencing is gone so we can see the crowd better and the way they have the seats on either side of the entrance gives me vibes of the short entrance at Madison Square Garden. I am also glad they changed the theme music for the show as this new song is a lot better than the screaming heavy metal themes we have got for the past few years. I really have to applaud this new look and feel of the show as I think it is a major improvement from what we had, to the point where it’s going to seem strange to go back to the old black look when I watch NXT UK.
Now that I have talked about all the aesthetics surrounding the show let’s get to the action as we kick off with the LA Knight vs Bron Breakker match.
Knight goes right on the offense with a kick to the gut and then he brings Breakker into the corner for a couple of kicks and then he sends Breakker into the opposite corner, but Breakker explodes out with a clothesline and that is followed by a shoulder block. Knight drops down but Breakker doesn’t jump over him, instead, he grabs a waistlock and rolls Knight across the ring before hitting him with a couple of waistlock takedowns as Knight looks shocked at what is happening. Breakker reverses a whip attempt only to duck his head too early and he is taken down with a clothesline from Knight. Knight chokes Breakker with his boot, Breakker eventually reverses a whip into the corner but Knight is able to avoid an avalanche and hit Breakker with a jumping neckbreaker. Breakker tries to make a comeback as Knight continues to work him over but Breakker finally lands a back elbow and hits a couple of flying shoulder blocks followed by a belly-to-belly suplex. Knight makes one last comeback as he nails Breakker with a knee to the face, but is then grabbed by the throat and Breakker lifts him over his head before dropping him with a powerslam for the win.
This was a nice first showing for Bron Breakker and the fact that he got a quick win over an established star like Knight who is one of the contenders for the NXT Championship shows that they are very high on him and I have a feeling he is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I didn’t think Knight had much of a chance of winning the four-way to begin with, but given the fact that he lost to someone in their first match, I knew for sure he wasn’t walking out as the new NXT Champion.
After a quick look backstage at the other NXT 2.0 hopefuls congratulating Breakker we go back into the arena for our second match of the night as Imperium will be taking on Josh Briggs and our next newcomer of the night Brooks Jensen aka Ben Buchanan the son of Bull Buchanan. We get an inset promo from JB & BJ where they talk about being the new team in the tag division and how any team looking for a fight can find one with them as it seems their gimmick is going to be two badass country boys who love a good fight.
Jensen escapes a waistlock from Aichner and lands a couple of punches before being sent into the corner where he gets a boot up which is caught by Aichner as he uses it to pull Jansen out of the corner for a big clothesline. Aichner lands a couple of clubbing blows to the back and then ducks his head off a whip into the ropes which allows Jansen to roll over his back and then he catches Aichner with a big powerslam. Jansen tags in Briggs and they take Aichner down with a double shoulder block, but moments later Aichner grabs Briggs and backs him into the ropes where Barthel tags himself in and Aichner drops down so that Barthel can take Briggs over with an arm drag. Barthel targets the arm of Briggs and then sends him into the ropes but Briggs comes back with a clubbing blow to the back and a headbutt followed by a release side slam and a big splash for a 2 count.
Barthel catches Briggs with a kick and then fires away with a flurry of strikes before taking Briggs down and hitting him with a penalty kick. Barthel tags in Aichner and they hit Briggs with their double dropkick sandwich. Briggs blocks a back suplex attempt and then hits Aichner with his own back suplex before making a tag to Jansen. Jansen comes in with a couple of running back elbows and a big slam to the mat, Jansen ducks a clothesline from Barthel and then clotheslines him to the outside. Jansen wants to tag Briggs in but Barthel pulls Briggs off the apron and sends him into the stairs. Aichner tries for a suplex but Jansen floats over and goes for a schoolboy for a 2 count and then drops him with a running back elbow. Jansen goes up top only to get distracted by Barthel on the apron and this allows Aichner to leap up to the top and hit Jansen with a butterfly suplex for the win.
This was another good showcase of more new talent as Briggs and Jansen are a solid hoss team that is going to be a great addition to the tag division and pretty likely to become future NXT Tag Team Champions.
It’s time for a Hit Row promo and it seems like they have taken some of their equipment from the studio and brought it backstage as they are clearly not in their usual location. The guys of Hit Row put over B-Fab as they say she is just as badass as she is beautiful and she has trained with Olympians and champions. B-Fab says the time for talking is over as she will be in action next as she will be taking on the masked luchadora Katrina Cortez.
Katrina tumbles around the ring until B-Fab sweeps her leg in order to take control of the match as she fires away with a series of forearms and then puts the boots to her in the corner and then tries for some kind of submission hold, but Katrina fights out only to be bieled across the ring. Katrina tries to create some distance so she can climb up to the middle rope, and when she does she gently hops off into a boot from B-Fab. B-Fab hits a neckbreaker on Katrina to pick up the win.
Woof, this was not good at all and that finish looked really bad both of these ladies need some more work in the ring especially Katrina as she was the worst of the two.
After the match, B-Fab cuts a promo where she talks about how Legado del Fantasma didn’t think she could be a badass because she hasn’t been in the ring but they need to know that all of them can go in the ring. B-Fab starts talking about how Elektra Lopez put her nose in their business and this brings Legado del Fantasma out to the stage. Elektra Lopez says she guesses that B-Fab didn’t learn her lesson last time, but they can do it again and this time she won’t need a pipe to shut her mouth. B-Fab said she would love to do it again, in fact, they can do it right now. Elektra takes off her sunglasses and hat but Santos Escobar holds her back as B-Fab says he saved her life by holding her back.
We go to the back where we see Dexter Lumis’ best men getting ready and they are all dressed like him, there is a knock on the door, and surprise it’s Austin Theory who has returned after running away. Austin Theory says he has a surprise and since this is a wedding they need a priest and he brings in Damian Priest, but Gargano has to inform Theory that he isn’t an actual priest that is just his name and Priest confirms this and says he just came for the open bar. Theory goes for the no-look high five but Gargano says that tonight is not the time for that and then he hugs Theory.
NXT Breakout Tournament winner Carmelo Hayes comes to the ring along with our next newcomer Trick Williams for a promo as my new favorite NXT interviewer Samantha Irvin is in the ring to conduct an interview. Hayes talks about how ever since he won the NXT Breakout Tournament he has had a target on his back, but from now on nobody is going to catch him off guard as he has realized that in NXT it’s all a numbers game and that is why he has brought in Trick Williams to watch his back and wherever he goes Trick goes. Trick Williams says that he was born with the gift of gab and the gift of jab and he is proud of Hayes for being the golden child of NXT, but he doesn’t like this new humble Carmelo Hayes and then he says something that I honestly couldn’t understand and neither could the crowd in attendance as they didn’t react to it. Hayes agrees with Trick saying that it is hard to be as good as he is and still be humble, Hayes then calls himself the golden child and the chosen one and says that Melo doesn’t miss and if he chooses to pass it then Trick will receive it. Trick says that is all it is and that is all it is going to be.
Hayes and Trick walk up the ramp as Duke Hudson makes his entrance and he talks trash to Hayes which doesn’t sit well with Trick as he follows Hudson to the ring and lays him out with a discus boot, Hayes and Trick put the boots to him before Trick picks him up and Hayes hits him with a springboard clothesline.
I’m not sure that this segment needed to be quite as long as it was and felt like it would’ve been fine as a shorter backstage interview rather than a longer in-ring promo, I did like the promo for what its worth and like the idea of Trick being the one that brings out the true Carmelo Hayes. I guess we will see Hudson take on either Hayes or Trick next week.
We go backstage where Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne are talking about how good Mandy looks and how this is her true self, but we can’t see her as she is wearing a hood. Gigi and Jacy are in our next match as they will be taking on Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter after they attacked last week.
Kayden starts out the match on fire as she knocks Jacy off the apron and takes Gigi down with a double leg and reigns down with punches and when Jacy tries to make the save for Gigi we see Kacy come in and she hits Jacy with a dropkick sending her back out to the floor. Kayden sends Gigi into the corner and hits her with an avalanche and then connects with a running dropkick before tagging in Kacy. Kacy hits Gigi with a flipping kick to the back and then tries for a crucifix but Gigi won’t go down so she looks to turn it into a submission hold. Gigi finally throws Kacy off but gets hit with an arm drag sending her into the corner where she tags in Jacy. Kacy sidesteps a boot from Jacy but gets a whip into the ropes reversed only for Kacy to stop herself by grabbing the ropes and Kayden tags herself in. Kayden looks to set up for their tag finisher, but as Kacy gets on the top rope Mandy Rose runs down and trips her up to cause the disqualification.
We get a brawl after the match and Mandy finally removes her hood to reveal she is now a brunette and has a new look. Sarray runs to the ring to make the save as she attacks Gigi and Jacy while Mandy leaves the ring but after a commercial break we find ourselves in the middle of a 6-woman tag match.
Kayden and Gigi are in the ring but Kayden quickly rolls under a clothesline and makes a tag to Sarray who catches Gigi with a spin kick and then knocks Mandy and Jacy off the apron. Sarray hits Gigi with a missile dropkick and a bridging fisherman’s suplex for a 2 count and then she sends Gigi into the corner where she hits a running dropkick. Sarray tags in Kayden who immediately tags in Kacy and Kacy hits a tope atomico for a 2 count. After a distraction from Jacy we see Kacy walk into a kick from Gigi and then she makes a tag to Mandy who puts the boots to Kacy in the corner and then chokes her across the middle rope. We then get a series of quick tags by the heels as they isolate Kacy, Mandy comes in and locks in a bodyscissors and at one point you can clearly see and hear her calling a spot. Mandy releases the hold and Kacy tries to fight back but Mandy catches her off a crossbody and hits a fallaway slam and then tags in Jacy who hits Kacy with a suplex and a senton splash for a 2 count. Jacy tags Mandy back in and Mandy goes for a slam, but Kacy slides out and crawls through her legs finally making the hot tag to Kayden.
Kayden comes in on fire as she takes down Jacy and Mandy and then catches Mandy with a running dropkick which knocks her into the corner where Kayden hits her running dropkick and splash combo. Mandy reverses a whip into the ropes but Kayden comes back with a victory roll takedown and a kick to the head for a 2 count when Jacy breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as all 6 women get involved and we get an exchange between Mandy and Sarray where Mandy counters a wheelbarrow with a sitout slam, but this allows Kayden to kick her in the head for a 2 count. Kayden has a tough time lifting Mandy and then Mandy pushes Kayden into the ropes but Kayden hangs on causing Mandy to roll back and when Kayden turns around Mandy nails her with a bicycle knee strike for the win.
This was a really fun match and I am so glad to see Kacy and Kayden getting so much time on TV as they always deliver and this match was no different. I am also liking this new group led by Mandy as female factions are few and far between in wrestling, but when they do have them they usually are a lot of fun to watch. I had never imagined what Mandy would look like with dark hair but it looks really good on her, but then again this is Mandy Rose she would look good with any kind of hair color or style.
I guess I will mention it here since I don’t know where else to put it, but as announced last week there was supposed to be an NXT Women’s Championship match between Raquel Gonzalez and Franky Monet, well that obviously got cut from the show and it was explained on a WWE Digital exclusive video that Robert Stone was lying to Monet and Kamea about the match being made as he apparently never talked to Regal and instead was just trying to gain the favor of Franky. While the match didn’t happen this week I am sure we will get it in the near future as that seems to be the next feud for the title.
We go backstage to the bridal party where Cora Jade talks about how Indi is so pretty and she hopes she looks that good at her wedding and Candice tells her she is off to a bad start wearing that beanie, so Cora sadly takes it off.
During the women’s tag match we had a split-screen that showed Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland attacking Kyle O’Reilly in the locker room until some guy makes the save. We go to William Regal in the back and he informs us that due to that attack Kyle O’Reilly is unable to compete in tonight’s NXT Championship match, but the match will still be a four-way match as taking O’Reilly’s place will be the man who came to his rescue Von Wagner. Von Wagner is actually Cal Bloom who is the son of former Beverly Brothers member Beau Beverly aka Wayne Bloom, but if I am being honest this first look at him makes him look more like Great Khali than Beau Beverly.
We then go to our next match which will have Ridge Holland taking on Drake Maverick who looks to be doing double duty on both Raw and NXT 2.0.
Maverick goes for a leg pick but nothing happens for him as Holland lands a clubbing blow followed by a backbreaker and a big suplex which Maverick does a great sell job for. Holland nails a short-arm clothesline and then stands over Maverick as he lands a blow to the face, Maverick makes a mistake when he slaps Holland as Holland nails him with a headbutt and the Emerald Flowsion (which he calls Northern Grit) for the win. This match went exactly as you would expect it to.
Ciampa is interviewed about the changes to the NXT Championship match and he says NXT 2.0 is crazy as all of these young talents are stepping up and he respects that, but when it comes to the NXT Championship that is all about him and says it has been 908 days since he last held Goldy and tonight he gets his redemption.
We get a vignette of an Italian-American man walking down the street and he says she is from Chicago and talks about how his family is involved in different businesses but he found his success as an amateur wrestler at the University of Buffalo where he was named an All-American in Greco Roman Wrestling, but his family smartened him up that the real money is in NXT and not in amateur wrestling/ We then see a graphic that Tony D’Angelo is coming soon.
It’s time for the Diamond Mine as The Creed Brothers are in action for the second week in a row and this week their victims are Dan Jarmon and Trevor Skelly.
Brutus goes low and then gator rolls Jarmon around the ring and then hits a headbutt as he has Jarmon up against the ropes and then throws him out of the ring and as he is outside he decides to sweep the leg of Skelly just for the hell of it and then throws Jarmon back into the ring. Brutus puts Jarmon on his shoulders and rams him into his partner in the corner, Julius gets tired of waiting for a tag and comes in on his own and the brothers slam their opponents into each other. Brutus grabs a waistlock on Jarmon and rolls him across the ring and then lifts him up so he can powerbomb Jarmon onto the top rope. The Creed Brothers slap each other and then Julius comes in and hits Jarmon with a half-hatch suplex. Julius takes the arm of Jamron and forces him to tag in Skelly who he biels into the ring. Skelly gets in some shots and even takes Julius off his feet with a dropkick which fires up Julius as he throws Skelly into the ropes and hits him with a powerslam and then hits the rolling spinebuster followed by the basement clothesline and with that Julius is satisfied as he pins Skelly for the win.
After the match, Malcolm Bivens introduces the newest Diamond Mine member Ivy Nile and he asks her to flex which she does and she is quite impressive. Bivens says she hasn’t had a carb since 2005 and was on the NBC show Titan Games. Kushida then comes out after being gone for a couple of months and he says they talk too much and then calls out Roderick Strong as he is now ready to face him and Bivens says the match will happen next week.
I am officially in love with The Creed Brothers after just two weeks as their style is so much fun to watch and I am begging WWE to have Bron Breakker join up with them in the future as that would be one badass trio. I love that we are getting new members to the Diamond Mine every week and it gives the group credibility that all of these legit athletes and badasses want to be a part of their group. I am looking forward to the Kushida vs Strong match next week as that is sure to be a classic.
We go to the announce table where Vic Joseph asks Beth Phoenix for an update on the condition of Edge after the attack from Rollins on SmackDown, Beth says Edge is at home recovering and that is all she wants to say on the matter.
It’s time for our main event four-way match for the NXT Championship between Tommaso Ciampa, Von Wagner, Pete Dunne, & LA Knight.
All four men pair up and start brawling and then we get a staredown between Wagner and Ciampa with a bit of shoving but Dunne hits Ciampa and Wanger knocks Dunne off the apron. Knight is unsuccessful on a schoolboy attempt but is able to hit a DDT and then he kicks Dunne off the apron before hitting Ciampa with a powerslam as he is in full control until he is dropped with a back elbow and a back suplex from Wagner. Dunne grabs the arm of Wagner and hits the bicep stomp. Dunne and Ciampa trade punches until Dunne grabs the arm and looks to hit the bicep stomp on him but Ciampa is able to move out of the way and he takes Dunne to the mat and starts delivering clubbing blows to the chest. Knight tries to take on Ciampa but ends up being clotheslined out to the floor. Dunne and Ciampa have a drop-down and leapfrog spot that ends with Dunne nailing Ciampa with a clothesline. Dunne looks to go for some joint manipulation on Ciampa but Wagner breaks it up Dunne and Wagner fight it out as Dunne lights his chest up with chops but Wanger lands a big forearm which sends Dunne into the ropes and he comes back with a running dropkick that dazes Wagner but he comes back with a big clothesline and Dunne finally rolls out to the floor. Wagner then catches Knight and hits him with an elevated flatliner, Wagner is fired up as the show goes to a commercial break.
We come back to Knight grounding Ciampa with a chinlock as we see that Knight threw Wanger into the steps during the commercial. Ciampa fights back to his feet and fights off both Knight and Dunne hitting them both with repeated clotheslines in the corner and then takes them down with a jumping double clothesline. Wagner is back in the ring and Ciampa looks to hit him with the Fairy Tale Ending but Wagner backdrops him. Dunne sees an opportunity and stomps on the hands of Wagner and then nails him with a kick to the head and then he hits Ciampa with a kick to the head as well. Knight hits Blunt Force Trauma on Dunne for a 2 count when Wanger breaks up the pin so Knight hits him with one as well and then tries for a third on Ciampa, but Ciampa blocks it and uses a schoolboy to roll Knight through to the apron where he hits Willow’s Bell for a 2 count when Dunne pulls Knight out of the ring and then Ciampa hits a tornillo to the outside taking out all three of his opponents.
Ciampa throws Dunne back in the ring where he hits a running knee strike and then looks for the Fairy Tale Ending once again, but Dunne grabs the fingers of Ciampa and snaps them, Dunne then hits the Bitter End but before he can make a cover Knight comes in and throws him out of the ring and then Wagner hits Knight (who has somehow been busted open) with an Olympic slam for a 2 count. Ciampa and Dunne beat down Wagner to where he is on his knees and they sandwich him with a running knee and forearm strike. Ciampa and Dunne trade forearms and then Dunne grabs the beard of Ciampa and slaps him only for Ciampa to come back with a knee strike. Dunne passes Ciampa into the ropes and hits him with a German suplex and Ciampa rolls out of the ring, Dunne goes up top looking for a moonsault to the outside, but Knight leaps up to the top and brings Dunne back into the ring with a superplex. Wagner comes in and hits Knight with a spinning butterfly slam for a 2 count when Ciampa breaks the count. Ciampa then hits Knight with the Fairy Tale Ending to pick up the win and to become the new NXT Champion for the 2nd time.
I am glad to see Ciampa finally reunited with Goldy as it has been a long time coming and had Samoa Joe not gotten injured I doubt he would’ve won the title anytime soon as it didn’t seem like he was anywhere near the title picture. I think Ciampa is a good choice to be the champion as he is going to work great as the grizzled veteran trying to keep his spot at the top of the card while all of these new and fresh talents are coming for him as we saw at the end of the show that Bron Breakker already has his sights sets on the NXT Championship. I have to imagine that if Joe were still champion they would’ve had Dunne win this match as it seemed like they were heading toward a Joe vs Dunne match, but with Joe injured they probably changed directions for where they wanted to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if when Joe gets closer to coming back they switch the title over to Dunne and do the Dunne vs Joe feud with Joe chasing for the title rather than being the champion. I still can’t figure out why they needed to take O’Reilly out of the match as his inclusion would’ve put this match over the top and if they were going to replace him why was it with Von Wagner rather than Bron Breakker as Breakker is the one who got the win over one of the other participants earlier in the night, whereas we had never seen Wagner and he did absolutely jack shit to earn his way into a title match. Congratulations to Tommaso Ciampa on finally getting Goldy back after 908 days.
It’s now time for the moment we have been waiting for several months as it’s time for the wedding of Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis. We first get a video recapping their entire relationship and then we see some of the guests starting to come out as the crew puts the finishing touches on the wedding set. After a commercial break, everyone has arrived and they stand as Johnny Gargano walks Indi down the aisle. The priest starts the ceremony and reveals that Indi’s middle name is Ophelia and Lumis’ is Gaylord and then he asks who gives Indi away and Gargano says he does and starts listing all of his nicknames until Candice speaks up and tells him to knock it off and then he wants to make very sure that Indi wants to still go through with this to the point where Candice has to get up and pull him over to his seat. The priest wants to know who has the rings and Gargano looks to Austin Theory but he doesn’t have them and then Ikeman Jiro stands up and reveals the ring box is in the pocket of his blazer. The priest then asks anyone if they object and everyone raises their hand but Lumis opens up his jacket and turns towards the guests as he reveals he has an ax and they quickly put their hands back down.
It’s now time for the vows and Indi goes first as she talks about how most people find him to be a creep and a stalker but sees him as a caring man with a well-groomed mustache that never takes his eyes off of her and she finds it sweet how he is always watching her every move and when people call him a freak she says DAMN right he is a freak, he is her freak. Indi will always remember that one time when Lumis snuck in her bed late at night when Johnny and Candice were in the bed and this gets Lumis to cover her mic before she can say anymore and this freaks out both Johnny and Candice, but Lumis shakes his head as if it didn’t happen. Indi finishes up her vows by saying Lumis would never lose a staring contest and that they understand each other and she can’t wait to spend the rest of her life with him. Now we go to Lumis’ vows and he gives a thumbs up but that is not enough for the priest as he thinks Indi deserves more than a thumbs up and starts criticizing Lumis, so Lumis takes care of him by choking him out.
We take a minute to find someone new to preside over the ceremony as the fans want Regal to do it and as the camera pans over to him he gives a hilarious facial expression as he is always great in comedic situations like this. We see that sitting behind Regal is the zombie referee and at this point that has become a tired joke and is no longer funny. Beth Phoenix eventually leaves commentary and walks up as she knew something like this might happen so she went online and got ordained as a minster and then she wants to cut to the chase and that leads to Andre Chase standing up and asking if someone said Andre Chase but clearly nobody did and Odyssey Jones gets up and applies a nerve hold which makes Chase sit back down and then Odyssey gives Lumis a thumbs up. Gargano gives Indi and Lumis the rings and then we get to the part where each person is supposed to say “I do” and Indi says it first and when she goes over to Lumis he is silent, but Beth takes that as a yes but then Lumis covers her mic and after a second of silence he finally speaks as he says I do and the pop from both the crowd and the fellow wrestlers was both incredible and hilarious. Beth pronounces them husband and wife and they kiss and then Lumis picks up Indi to bring the wedding to an end.
This was such a fun wrestling wedding and it was a nice change of pace that the biggest thing to happen during it was Dexter Lumis speaking for the first time. For fans who have been watching NXT for the past few years, Lumis speaking got over more than anything else could have and the fact that the one thing that finally got him to speak was saying “I do” to Indi was a nice way to end the segment. I thought all the comedy throughout the wedding landed as well as the Jiro having the rings, Indi’s story about Lumis sneaking into her bed, Lumis threatening people with an ax, and the priest not understanding that Lumis doesn’t speak jokes all made me laugh. I thought the crowd’s reactions to everything was great as well as they were playing along to make the segment even better like when they would all go silent right before Lumis would have the chance to say something and then when he did the thumbs up they reacted as if he had just said the most beautiful vows ever written and then once he does speak their cheer is so loud that it matches reactions you would hear for a returning star. I thought all of this was very well done and I can’t wait to see what happens next with the newlyweds.
I could be in the minority but I thought the debut of NXT 2.0 was a lot of fun and although I had my doubts going into the show I am looking forward to seeing what happens next as there is so much new talent and I wouldn’t doubt if we are introduced to even more new talent next week. If I had to pick out one thing I didn’t like about the show it would be throwing Von Wagner into the NXT Championship match on his first night without him having to do anything to earn it. I also like the new brighter and more colorful look as it is a nice change from the moody black and gold we had grown used to and I also like the new entrance and crowd arrangement inside the PC as it gives me major vibes of the old WCW at Disney/MGM studios shows. I am actually anticipating next week to see if they can keep my interest because they definitely got it after this show.
NXT UK Results
- Noam Dar def Kenny Williams (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Final Match) – ***¼
- Emilia McKenzie def Stevie Turner – **¼
- Pretty Deadly © def Gallus (NXT UK Tag Team Championship) – ***
We go right into the action on this episode of NXT UK as we kick things off with Kenny Williams vs Noam Dar in our first Semi-Final match in the Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament.
Round 1: We get quite an extended feeling out process a these two know each other pretty well and then Williams grabs a headlock and when Dar tries to get away he is grabbed by the hair and pulled back in. Dar eventually escapes and goes to work on the arm of Williams with some arm wringers and a wristlock but Williams steps on the foot of Dar to break that up. The round comes to an end with Dar going back to the arm but then they each land a punch on each other to finish the round.
Round 2: Williams lures Dar in as he teases wanting a test of strength but when Dar goes in Williams tries for a kick only for Dar to catch the leg and spin Williams around into a waistlock which is broken and then Williams hits Dar with a running elbow. Williams stomps on the face of Dar and then delivers some crossface strikes. Williams ties up the arm of Dar in the ropes and hits it with a dropkick, Williams stands on the head of Dar and pulls on the arm but Dar eventually gets to his feet and trips up Williams. Dar charges at Williams who leapfrogs over him but he can’t get out of the way in time and Dar crashes into him. Williams fakes a leg injury to lure Dar in and when he does Williams passes him into the ropes and catches him in a schoolboy and with the pull of the tights, Williams is able to pick up the first fall to make the match 1-0.
Round 3: William tricks Dar to slide out of the ring and then he slides back in and when Dar slides in Williams takes advantage and puts the boots to him and then Dar tries for a wild punch but Williams avoids it and grabs a waistlock but Dar grabs a leg to prevent Williams from hitting him with anything, so Williams rakes his nails across Dar’s back. Williams then looks to go to work on the arm of Dar, but he blocks and takes Williams down with a series of kicks for a 2 count. Dar is in control as he hits Williams with a release back suplex and then he stomps on the legs and arms of Williams. Dar snapmares Williams into the middle of the ring and hits him with a basement uppercut to the back. Williams tries to make a comeback with a couple of desperation headbutts to the gut but Dar drops him with an uppercut for a 2 count. Williams counters a suplex attempt into a small package and then nails Dar with a boot to the face only for Dar to hit him with an elbow to the head and Williams rebounds off the ropes only to be caught in a kneebar as the round comes to an end.
Round 4: Dar charges in right as the round starts but WIlliams is able to move out of the way only for Dar to come back with a knee to the gut and then he tries for a spinning back elbow but Williams blocks it and lands a kick to Dar’s arm. Dar rolls into the corner and catches Williams with a boot and then stacks him up for a pin as he has his feet on the ropes for extra leverage but the referee catches him and we get an argument between Dar and the referee which takes Dar’s focus off Williams and allows him to hit Dar with a running tackle to the knee. Williams starts to take the pads off the turnbuckles in order to distract the referee but while he is doing this Dar grabs the water bottle and when the referee turns around Dar tosses the bottle to Williams making it look like he hit Dar, this distraction allows Dar to roll Williams into the kneebar and moments later Williams is tapping out to tie up the match 1-1.
Dar didn’t release the hold right as the last round came to an end and that is taking a toll on Williams as his leg is really bothering him.
Round 5: Dar and Williams trade strikes in the middle of the ring and then Dar tries to go for the leg but Williams blocks and looks to lock in a crossface chicken wing only for Dar to throw him off and then he lands the spinning back elbow for a 2 count. Williams lands a kick to Dar’s arm to create some space between them and when Dar walks over he pulls him into the corner and then Williams hits a rebound clothesline for a very close 2 count. Williams mocks Dar and then goes over to the corner looking perhaps for the Nova Roller, but Dar rolls out of the ring and Williams goes out after him so he can throw him back into the ring. Williams then tries to slap some feeling into his leg and when it looks like he is going to get back in the ring we see Sha Samuels grab his leg from under the ring and Dar is able to hit Williams with a running kick followed by a running enziguri and that is enough to pick up the win and with that Noam Dar advances to the finals of the tournament.
This was a fun match as I enjoyed both of these guys trying every cheap and dirty trick in the book to get an advantage or to pick up a surprise fall and in the end, Dar’s dirty work won out with help from his buddy Sha Samuels. I also have to mention that for some reason Noam Dar’s chest hair really stuck out to me during this match, has it always been that thick?
We see Gallus getting ready for their tag title match when Jordan Devlin walks up and sarcastically wishes them good luck.
Sid Scala is in the ring and he talks about the monumental victory by Ilja Dragunov over Walter and then introduces Dragunov who appears on the video screen. Dragunov says that for the first time in a long time he is happy and says he made the impossible possible and stuck to his word of ending Walter’s reign as champion. Dragunov looks forward to getting back to NXT UK and is curious who is going to be the first person to try and take the NXT UK Championship from him. Nathan Frazer, Rampage Brown, & A-Kid all come to the ring as they want to throw their names in the hat to become the first man to challenge Dragunov, Scala makes the predictable triple threat match where the winner will face Dragunov down the road for the NXT UK Championship. Once Scala leaves the ring we get a brawl between the three men and Rampage ends up laying out both Frazer and A-Kid.
We see Jinny and Joseph Conners go into their locker room where Isla Dawn is sitting in front of her makeup area and has drawn a pentagram on the mirror, Jinny demands she get out and says someone needs to clean up the drawing on her mirror.
We get an interview with Moustache Mountain where Bate talks about how there is a new NXT UK Champion and he is watching to see who the next contender will be for his Heritage Cup Championship, but then Seven interrupts him and says more importantly tonight Pretty Deadly takes on Gallus for the tag titles and then says those are the titles he (and then corrects himself) we need around their waist. I like this subtle frustration from Seven toward Bate as he is tired of hearing him talk about his accolades when he has yet to win a title in NXT UK, I’m sure this frustration will grow over the next few months, and perhaps it leads to a split of Moustache Mountain.
It’s time for some more action as Emilia McKenzie takes on Stevie Turner as Stevie looks to go through Meiko Satomura’s protege in order to get another shot at the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
We get a couple of lockups and both women push the other into the corner and are forced to break and then we get some shoving until Emilia goes to work on the arm, but Stevie is able to grab a headlock until Emilia rolls Stevie across the ring and then takes her down with a running elbow followed by a dropkick and a spinning neckbreaker for a 2 count. Stevie elbows out of a waistlock and then nails a knee lift for a 2 count. Stevie sends Emilia into the corner and hits her with a running elbow and then stomps a mudhole into her. Stevie throws Emilia out to the apron and hits her with another knee lift and a boot to the head for another 2 count. Stevie grounds Emilia with an arm submission but Emilia fights out and rolls Stevie up in a schoolgirl for a 2 count and then she catches Stevie with a couple of clotheslines and a big spear that gets her a very close near fall. Stevie ducks a forearm and catches Emilia with a sitout uranage for a 2 count. Emilia dodges a charging Stevie and hits her with a German suplex and that is followed by a running knee which is enough to get her the win.
This was a fine match but nothing too special, but Emilia once again beats someone who threatens Meiko Satomura.
We get a video hyping up the Wolfgang vs Teoman tournament Semi-Final match next week.
We then get a vignette for the soon-to-be debuting Charlie Demspey who is better known as Bailey Matthews the son of William Regal.
We see that during our commercial break the suspended Blair Davenport jumps out of the crowd area to attack Stevie Turner after the match as she lays her out with the falcon arrow in the ring and then leaves the ring as the referees run down. Blair looks into the camera and tells Sid Scala that bad things are going to keep happening so he should reinstate her. This Blair Davenport story is the most interesting story going on in NXT UK.
It’s time for the main event as the Coffey brothers of Gallus challenge Pretty Deadly for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship.
Mark starts things out with Howley and they trade strikes and then Mark takes Howley down with a shoulder block and after a dropdown and leapfrog spot, Howley tries for a hip toss but Mark blocks and hits Howley with one instead. Howley reverses a whip into the corner and then runs into a back elbow which sends him rolling to the floor and he walks over to his corner so he can make an easy tag to Stoker. Stoker comes in with a couple of strikes but Mark fights back and makes the tag to Joe who grabs the arm of Stoker but he escapes and grabs a headlock only to be sent into the ropes, but when Joe tries for a leapfrog Stoker lays on the mat and sticks his foot up so Joe will come down to a boot in the face. Stoker then catches Joe with a jawbreaker only to be sent into the ropes and taken down with a big running crossbody for a 2 count.
Joe sends Stoker into the corner where he tags Mark and they take Stoker down with a double chop. Mark takes Stoker over with a big arm drag but Stoker lands a big forearm and tags in Howley who gets the same treatment. Howley tries to make a comeback but Mark chop blocks him and tries to go to work on the leg, but Stoker causes a referee distraction and when Howley kicks Mark, Stoker holds down the ropes and Coffey falls out to the floor. Stoker throws Mark back in the ring and works him over with strikes and then tries to make a tag but Coffey lands some punches and then dives over Stoker and then makes the tag to Joe. Joe hits a flying shoulder block and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a 2 count. Stoker reverses a whip into the corner, but Joe stops himself and nails Stoker with an uppercut and then goes to work on the arm as Stoker tries to make the tag and after slamming Joe down by his hair he makes the tag to Howley. Stoker pics Howley up in a fireman’s carry and drops him onto the knees of Howley for a 2 count.
Howley hits Joe with a series of knees to the gut and then takes him down with a dropkick, Howley tries for a suplex but he can’t get it so he decides to make a blind tag to Stoker and then gets hit with a suplex. Stoker takes control of Joe and sends him hard into the corner before tagging back out to Howley who continues where Stoker left off as he also sends Joe hard into the corner for a 2 count. Joe gets sent into the corner for the third time but this time he explodes with a clothesline on Howley and tries to make a tag, but Howley grabs his foot and makes a tag to Stoker who tries to knock Mark off the apron but he drops to the floor and then Joe backdrops Stoker and makes the hot tag to Mark while Stoker makes the tag to Howley.
Mark is on fire as he takes Howley down with shoulder blocks and then hits Stoker with a backdrop. Mark hits Howley with a clothesline in the corner and then comes off the middle rope with a bulldog for a 2 count. Mark hits a back suplex and then goes for a waistlock but Howley elbows out of it and tries to switch it around but Mark switches once again and pushes Howley into the ropes where Stoker makes a blind tag and we get Stoker holding down the ropes and Mark flying back out to the floor, Mark gets back in the ring and Howley leapfrogs over him but Stoker hits him with a DDT for a 2 count. Stoker clotheslines Mark against the ropes and ten PRetty Deadly tries for their propel double team move, but Mark swats Stoker out of the way.
Mark sends Howley into the ropes and catches him with a jumping kick and then makes the tag to Joe who trips as he comes into the ring but he catches Stoker with the double jump crossbody but Howley is the legal man and he rolls Joe up for a 2 count when Mark breaks up the pin. Mark chases Stoker around the ring and trips him up sending him into the ring post but then Howley takes Mark out with a running elbow, sending him into the barricade, and then Joe sends Howley into the barricade with a pounce leaving all four men down on the outside. Joe throws Howley back in the ring and hits him with a missile dropkick off the top, but is slow to make the cover and this allows Howley to kick out at 2.
Joe knocks Howley into the corner with the Glasgow Send-Off and then Gallus hits him with the high-low for a 2 count when Stoker breaks up the pin. Joe charges at Stoker in the corner but ends up being sent shoulder-first into the ring post. Howley hits Mark with a clothesline and goes for the cover but Mark rolls Howley over into a pin but only gets a 2 count. Howley hits Mark with an uppercut and then Pretty Deadly hits their finisher to pick up the win and retain their tag titles.
I thought this was an underwhelming episode of NXT UK as outside of the Blair Davenport attack and the announcement of next week’s triple threat nothing on the show really did anything for me as everything was good and solid but nothing really made me jump out of my seat.
- Big E & Finn Balor def The Usos – **¾
- Rick Boogs w/ King Nakamura def Robert Roode w/ Dolph Ziggler – **¼
- Liv Morgan & Toni Storm def Carmella & Zelina Vega via Count Out – *¼
- Sami Zayn def Dominik Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio
The Bloodline comes out to kick off the show and Reigns wants Knoxville to acknowledge him and then turns things over to Heyman who asks why Finn Balor needs to bring out the Demon persona if he doesn’t fear Reigns. Heyman then says that he has known Brock Lesnar personally and never before had he seen fear in his eyes like he saw last week when he was standing in the ring across from the Tribal Chief. The new WWE Champion Big E comes out and we get a staredown between him and Reigns which is cut off by the entrance of Finn Balor.
We come back and we have a tag match with The Usos taking on the team of Big E and Finn Balor and we are told this is a championship contender match which is bizarre considering these are two singles guys who have major things going on, so I doubt they are going to go for the tag titles. In the end, Balor and Big E pick up the win when they both hit their finishers simultaneously in a really fun match.
We go backstage where it’s clear that Reigns isn’t happy and he asks Heyman if there is something he wants to tell him and Heyman tells him there isn’t but Reigns continues to persist and eventually Heyman reiterates that he had no idea Lesnar was going to be at SummerSlam and then says that Lesnar is scared of Reigns. Reigns then ask if Lesnar is going to show up at Extreme Rules and Heyman assures him he won’t be and Reigns wants to know how he knows and Heyman says he is under the impression Lesnar is scared of him, but Reigns tells him he doesn’t pay for impressions he pays him to know in advance.
Later in the night, Heyman gets the shit scared out of him by Kayla Braxton and then accuses her of having a sapiosexual lust in her heart for an intelligent man like him and then screams at her to leave him alone. Heyman turns around and is met by Big E who he congratulates but then says he is glad Big E realized that he’d never beat Reigns and thus went after a champion he knew would be vulnerable. Big E says we’ll find out when he faces Reigns at Survivor Series or perhaps it could be Heyman’s other boy Brock Lesnar, or perhaps Finn Balor will win at Extreme Rules and ruin all of Heyman’s plans. Big E turns around into a superkick from The Usos and they beat him down throwing him into road cases and then putting the boots to him. Roman Reigns walks by very calmly and The Usos follow him.
We get a video where Finn Balor explains the origins of The Demon persona comes from as he wasn’t born into this business as his parents were railroad workers and he wasn’t supposed to make it this far in the business, but he got there by scratching and clawing. Balor says The Demon is a manifestation of anyone who has ever doubted or disrespected him and as The Demon he has a rage that can’t be controlled and he makes it clear that he doesn’t summon The Demon, The Demon summons him. We then see normal Balor morph into Demon Balor.
I thought everything involving The Bloodline and Heyman tonight was great as usual but nothing really special happened as this week just felt like a bit of a holdover until we get to the go-home show next week for Extreme Rules. I do like that we actually got Big E and Reigns having a standoff finally and I look forward to Survivor Series where we will hopefully get that match but even if Lesnar beats Reigns at Crown Jewel I would be down for a Big E vs Lesnar match as well. I get they want to drum up some interest for this Balor vs Reigns match, but I don’t think they needed to bring back Demon Balor in a match where it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t have a chance of winning. I also love our weekly interactions between Heyman and Kayla Braxton as they never fail to make me smile at how Kayla just stands there smiling while Heyman is ranting and raving at her as she knows her not saying anything gets to Heyman more than if she talked back to him.
We get a match between Rick Boogs and Robert Roode where Boogs picks up a quick win after hitting his pumphandle slam. After the match, Nakamura and Boogs are celebrating with Pat McAfee when they get attacked out of nowhere by Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez. Crews gets on the mic and wants a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship and he will get just that next week on SmackDown.
We were set to have a Kevin Owens vs Happy Corbin match as KO was interviewed in the Gorilla position and he is mad at himself for trying to help Corbin a few weeks ago by giving him some money and it’s clear that Happy Corbin is just as much of an ass as Broke Corbin. KO says he is going to use his anger as fuel and will turn his frown upside down and turn Corbin’s smile upside down. KO makes his way to the ring but is attacked by Happy Corbin in the aisle, Corbin lays KO out and this match is not happening tonight.
We get a long promo by Seth Rollins who talks about what he did to Edge last week and says when he hit the Curb Stomp on Edge he could feel a crunch like as if he was stepping on a cockroach and then he throws to a video package of the events that took place last week. Rollins then asks what did we expect to happen last week and says that the greatest win of his career has been ruined because everywhere he went everyone was looking at him like he was a monster, and even WWE said he was wrong in what he did. Rollins says that he just did what he always does and has been doing for his entire career and it was Edge that went too far. Rollins then says he isn’t done with Edge as he can’t stand feeling sorry for him, so now either Edge stays in his little cabin and Rollins hunts him down and beats him there or Edge crawls back in the ring and they go one more time for Rollins’s own sanity.
I am not kidding when I say this promo was long as it felt like it would never end and that sucks because that time could’ve been used for some of the matches on this show as this was a heavy talking show and very light wrestling show. It is clear that we are getting a future Edge vs Rollins match, but I think it will happen at Crown Jewel instead of Extreme Rules as seems like Edge is going to take a few weeks off, which is a shame as this feud would fit perfectly on a show that currently needs an Extreme Rules match.
We get the women’s tag match that was supposed to happen last week as Carmella and Zelina Vega take on my dream team of Liv Morgan and Toni Storm, but unfortunately, there wasn’t much to this match as it was over as quick as it started when Liv sends Carmella into the turnbuckle face-first and she rolls out of the ring claiming her nose is broke and as Zelina tries to console her they get counted out. Liv gets on the mic and sarcastically apologizes to Carmella and then says she is not sorry at all as she is tired of Carmella running her mouth and then running away so she is going to challenge her to a match at Extreme Rules and after the match is over she will leave Carmella looking as ugly on the outside a she is on the inside. We later see that Carmella’s nose is fine and she accepts Live’s challenge. Zelina then chimes in that Liv is going to have to go through her before she gets to Carmella and that match is made for next week.
This is the match that I wish would’ve gotten more time as I wanted to see Liv and Toni as a team for longer than 2 minutes. I thought that when Carmella was playing up her nose being broken that we were fixing to get our third person in WWE this year wearing a face mask as Sheamus is wearing one on Raw and Mandy Rose wore one for a week on NXT. I was surprised when Liv said she was challenging Carmella to a match at Extreme Rules as I didn’t expect this match to be deemed important enough to get a PPV match, but I am happy we are getting it as the more women’s matches on the card the better. I find it strange when a beautiful woman like Zelina Vega just stands there and nods in agreement when Carmella calls herself the most beautiful woman in the WWE, I feel a fiery and feisty Latina like Zelina should at least be correcting Carmella and saying that both of them are beautiful because they both are stunning in their own unique ways.
We are informed of a big match happening on Raw as The Bloodline will be facing The New Day as I guess The Bloodline is using their quarterly brand invitational.
We see Sonya Deville talking on the phone when Naomi walks up and she is pissed that she has yet to have a match on SmackDown and after Sonya tries to brush her off once again she gets in her face and says she has been here longer than Sonya and has accomplished a lot more than Sonya ever has and she will never quit. Naomi then gets right up in Sonya’s face and backs her up as she tells her that she will have a match one way or another. We would later be told that Naomi had been “suspended” due to insubordination. I hope this leads to Jimmy asking Reigns to use his influence to get her unsuspended and that leads to her joining The Bloodline.
It’s time for our weekly Sami Zayn vs Dominik Mysterio match and this week Rey Mysterio is on commentary, but that doesn’t change anything as Dominik comes out on the losing end for the third straight week. Can Dominik just turn on Rey already this story is getting old?
We go to our main event segment which sees Mayor Glen Jacobs come out (complete with pyro) to introduce Bianca. Bianca cuts a promo about how great it is to be back in Knoxville and then thanks her family and friends that came out to see her. Bianca says everything in your past shapes the future you will have and Knoxville made her into the EST. Bianca then says her daddy told her one time that if someone starts something with her she better finish it and that is exactly what she plans to do with Becky Lynch as she is going to take back her SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Mayor Jacobs presents Bianca with the key to the city and she holds it high and then leads the crowd in a rendition of Rocky Top, but that is of course interrupted by Becky Lynch who says that is nice that she got a key and Bianca asks why she came out seeing as she doesn’t even go there. Becky says that SummerSlam was her night and Extreme Rules will also probably be her night, but tonight is Bianca’s night and she just wanted to come out and show her some respect. Becky offers to shake her hand and Bianca takes her up on it and when Becky went to walk off Bianca kept a grip on her hand and Becky knew what was fixing to happen so she took the first swing, but Bianca ducked and looked for the K.O.D. only for Becky to escape and hit Bianca with the Manhandle Slam. The show goes off the air with Becky holding the title high while Bianca recovers.
This segment is just another example of just how different WWE and AEW are as WWE had Bianca get beat up in her hometown to close out a show because they think that is what gets good heat, while AEW had both Jon Moxley and Brian Pillman Jr. looking like heroes last week when Dynamite and Rampage were in Cincinnati, OH and that is why AEW is currently the hottest wrestling promotion in the world as they give fans what they want.
I thought this was a pretty underwhelming episode of SmackDown as there isn’t a big talking point coming out of the show and there isn’t anything to make me look forward to next week’s show as I am already looking ahead to Extreme Rules.
In the News
The Wrestling Observer has released the latest list of words and phrases that are banned by WWE and they are: Blood, choke, belt, strap, diva, headshot, trauma, kayfabe, Mofos, house show, DQ, The Anti-Diva, spinal injuries, victim, violence, violent, wrestling, wrestlers, WWF, wifebeater, curb stomp, phrases including the word “push” and “being over,” babyface, heel, job, jobber, card, strangle, kill and murder.
Fightful is reporting that the contract of yet another major star in WWE is set to expire before the end of the year as Johnny Gargano’s contract is due to expire on December 3. They are also reporting that Candice’s contract lasts a little bit longer than her husband’s and no time has been added due to her pregnancy as she plans on showing up to work for as long as she possibly can. In other Gargano family news, the couple announced that they will be having a baby boy.
Andrew Zarian reports that the original plan for Big E’s cash-in and WWE Championship win was for him to cash in during the original date for the WWE Draft which would’ve been right after SummerSlam as Big E was slated to switch to Raw the whole time, but with the draft being delayed by a month they decided to pull the trigger and have the title change happen on a regular episode of Raw. Big E is now a full-time member of the Raw roster.
Ringside News reports that the decision to move the WWE Championship match to Raw was made shortly after Raw last week and the Big E cash-in was decided around the time of SmackDown.
Andrew Zarian reports that there is pressure on WWE from the networks to make both Raw and SmackDown equally important which is why Big E’s cash-in and title win was moved up to this past Monday as they wanted to give the USA Network something big coming off the big MSG show that SmackDown had on Fox. He also reports that the decision for Big E to win the title was not in a response to AEW Dynamite beating Raw in the key demo rating, however, according to people at the networks if AEW continues to close the gap on Raw’s numbers then there could be a big problem for WWE.
Mike Johnson of PWI Insider reports that there was lots of stress and concern going into Tuesday’s big premiere of NXT 2.0 as the recent cuts of talent who always did what they were supposed to do leaves the other talents fearful for their own jobs. There is also worry as to who exactly is running the show due to Triple H’s recent medical issues. NXT is expected to remain live for the rest of September as well as for October.
WWE has made the Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar match official for the October 21 Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia, as of right now they are not advertising the match as a Universal Championship match as Reigns still has to defend his championship against Finn Balor at Extreme Rules before then, but it would not be surprising if the title does end up being on the line in this big-time match.
WWE has announced that MVP will be out of action indefinitely due to the RKO he suffered at the hands of Randy Orton on this past Monday’s Raw, it is unclear if this is all kayfabe or if they are using it as a way to write MVP off of TV for a while. MVP & Lashley had earned themselves a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship held by RK-Bro but with MVP being put on the bench it will be interesting to see if Lashley finds a new member (or perhaps a former member) of the Hurt Business to help him win tag team gold.
Samoa Joe is not expected to be out of action for a long time, but the exact timeline for his return is unknown.
People are saying that the script for the NXT 2.0 debut show was changed multiple times throughout the day and it should be noted that Kevin Dunn was in attendance and was personally overseeing the show. Wrestling Observer is also reporting that Shawn Michaels had a big role during the show seeing as Triple H won’t be back for quite a while. They also said that while he wasn’t the sole person involved in the creative on the show Vince was involved in some aspect even though he wasn’t actually there the night of the show.
Andrew Zarian reports the NXT 2.0 name will continue to be pushed by WWE as they want people to know this is an all-new NXT.
According to Dave Meltzer, the announcers are not allowed to mention some of these new NXT talent’s famous fathers despite the fact that guys like Bron Breakker look and sound just like their father. If this is true then this is such a dumb WWE thing especially for someone like Breakker whose father and uncle are beloved by everyone and should be in the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Wrestling Observer is saying that Triple H is doing well after his heart surgery and the talent have been told they are allowed to call Triple H and wish him well but are not allowed to talk business. What a strange company where the employees have to get permission to call their boss to wish him well.
Wrestling Observer reports that WWE is already thinking about doing a passing of the torch type moment between Brock Lesnar and Gable Stevenson at a future WrestleMania. Wait, shouldn’t the passing of the torch be between Kurt Angle and Gable Stevenson since he is the first Olympic gold medalist to come to WWE since Angle?
Coming up this Week
- The New Day vs The Bloodline
- Nia Jax vs Shayna Baszler
- Kushida © vs Roderick Strong (NXT Cruiserweight Championship)
- Nathan Frazer vs Rampage Brown vs A-Kid (NXT UK Championship #1 Contender Match)
- Wolfgang vs Teoman (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Final Match)
- King Nakamura © vs Apollo Crews (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
- Zelina Vega vs Liv Morgan