This week in pro wrestling, Drake Maverick’s journey ends. Will it end in triumph or defeat? The Kairi Sane injury from Nia Jax is aired. R-Truth searches for his baby. Cody Rhodes defends the TNT title for the first time. Le Champion takes on Colt Cabana for the first time ever! As surprise tag team return in NXT! Titles changes hands on SmackDown! Let’s get started, right now!
Heated rivalries picks up steam as Raw heads towards Backlash.
The WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL brought us this week’s broadcast with a live crowd, featuring developmental and NXT talent, on 6/1/20.
“The Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollins, along with his stablemates, Austin Theory and Murphy, presented a mock retirement celebration for the legendary Rey Mysterio. Highlights of his storied career and references to his recent martyrdom were mentioned.
Rollins states that Rey is a first ballot hall of famer and he personally would be honored to induct him. Aleister Black, who would do business with Rollins shortly, took offense and helped Rollins out of the ring the hard way. A fantastic job by a trans-formative heel, Rollins is exceptional in this role.
Aleister Black defeats Seth Rollins via pin fall with a rollup.
What a match! This is how you kick off a broadcast! Rollins and Black had natural chemistry and I fully expected Black to take a loss here due to outside interference. Theory and Murphy were kept at bay by Rollins, who eventually succumbed to a rollup and a surprise victory.
Black was assaulted after the match, which led to some needed character development for Humberto Carrillo, who cleared the ring with a steel chair. Mysterio’s imminent return can lead to all facets of tag team action and singles battles, so we’ll see what happens. Great opening action here.
Angel Garza and Zelina Vega talked about his match with Kevin Owens last ring as he continues his flirtation with Charly Caruso. He gave her a rose, which Vega then tore asunder. Heels will do heel things.
Shawn Michaels helped promote Randy Orton and Edge, and then MVP and Lana had a backstage segment where MVP once again dominated on the mic. Lana called him a leech and he said if he’s a leech, what does that make you? She slapped him and took her leave.
Kayla Braxton held an in-ring interview with Apollo Crews. He cut a great promo and then it was advertised that he would pick his challenger tonight and he picked Kevin Owens. I won’t delve too far into what was turning into a solid match, because it was marred by outside interference from Garza and Andrade, which led to a tag team match.
Apollo Crews/Kevin Owens defeated Angel Garza/Andrade via pin fall after a Tigerbomb from Crews on Andrade.
Wow, they are going full force ahead with this Crews push and it’s fantastic. The heels gave a good account of themselves, as you arguably have two of the hottest performers on Raw right now with Garza and Andrade.
Kevin Owens was fantastic, getting in many of his signature spots, but for the second week in a row, it was Crews who beat the now former champ with his tigerbomb. Angel Garza and Kevin Owens continued their story and Andrade is either headed to a main event story or an eventual face turn which could lead to matches with Garza. We shall see.
The Raw Women’s Champion, Asuka, cut an excellent promo backstage about her match tonight with Charlotte Flair, the NXT Champ. Asuka states that an Empress will never bow down to a Queen.
The Viking Raiders beat the Street Profits at bowling this week. I’m not gonna lie, this was great. I’m starting to warm up to these segments more and more each week.
Billie Kay defeated Nikki Cross via pin fall with a uranage variation.
Kay gets a needed win against one half of the champions, a classic WWE story line, to keep the feud going between the Iiconics and Bliss and Cross. This is very interesting considering what would happen Friday Night, I’ll led my Scrum cohorts recap that for you later.
Rey Mysterio cut a heartfelt promo about his eye and stated there was no timetable for his return. He didn’t say he was retiring and he stayed positive, hoping to get back in the ring to settle the score with Seth Rollins.
Mysterio stepped out of frame and his son, Dominic, stepped into frame and stated that you know what they say, an eye for an eye. Dominic has been training to get into the ring and this might be how it gets done. Very interesting stuff here.
Rob Gronkowski is no longer the 24/7 champion. They did a segment where he was shooting a Tik-Tok video, trying to get a new dance over when he was rolled up by his gardener. It was revealed that his camera man was the referee and of course, it was the great R-Truth. Gronk’s buddy told his to focus on Bucs football. The belt is back where it belongs!
Nia Jax cut one of the most scripted and cringy promos in a while. She’ll face Kairi Sane next.
Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane via pin fall with a leg drop.
This is just going to get me angry and it just needs to stop before someone gets seriously hurt. Jax once again injured Kairi Sane. Sane was set to take a bump where she was tossed into the ring steps, but Jax didn’t give her time to set and ran her face first into it, causing a huge gash which they couldn’t show.
Jax is becoming careless and flat out reckless at this point and somebody really needs to sit her down and have a serious conversation with her about ring safety. Heck, if it takes getting back to basics, then I’m all for it. She has a major title match at Backlash and they need to end that quick, fast and in a hurry. It’s not funny at this point.
Greatest wrestling match ever?
Randy Orton cuts a magnificent promo directed at Edge and their upcoming match. Will it be the greatest wrestling match of all time? No. Will it be a classic battle between two of the best to ever do it? Probably. Looking forward to this one quite a bit.
Charlotte Flair is ready to do business with Asuka and she runs down both Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley and her title defense this coming Sunday evening. Flair then ran down Asuka and is ready for action.
Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka via count-out after a distraction from Nia Jax.
This was the right call as it protects both Women and Charlotte has a title match coming up first. These two always put together quality matches in the ring and this was no different.
Asuka was outside the ring at one point and her music played and Nia Jax was dressed like Asuka with her mask and everything, mocking the Empress. Asuka took exception and lost control of the count, leading to the end of the match, which was unclear at first.
Drew McIntyre defeats MVP via pin fall with the Claymore Kick.
The champ continues his winning ways in the main event with a win over the veteran MVP, hitting several unique spots including a somersault plancha over the top rope onto Bobby Lashley and MVP. That was impressive.
He then did his countdown and hit the Claymore getting the three count. He barely had a chance to celebrate before Lashley locked him in the dreaded full nelson he’s been using lately as the broadcast went off the air.
They did a great job again this week, building stories and moving full force towards Backlash. Good job again this week.-Joel M.
This week on Dynamite, the TNT title is defended for the first time! Kenny Omega and Adam page defend their tag titles. Chris Jericho vs Colt Cabana for the first time ever! Shawn Spears is gifted his missing piece. Moxley and Cage confront each other. FTR finds their first match, Matt Hardy and Private Party form a team. Let’s get started, because this is DYNAMITE!
Tag team title match. The missing piece. Jon isn’t imitated.
Kenny Omega/Adam Page vs Kip Sabian/Jimmie Havoc. Omega/Page retain via Last Call in fall.
A fire of a match to start things off. Kip and Jimmie isolated Omega early on, as FTR scouts from the audience. Page finally gets the hot tag and wrecks shop, hitting huge clotheslines on Jimmie. Kenny gets back in and the duo chop away on Havoc’s chest. Kenny and Jimmie are sent outside and Penelope Ford attempt a diving Hurricanrana. Hangman catches Ford in mid swing and asks ref Rick Knox on what to do. The Rick say let her go and Page comically dumps Ford on the mat. Rick Knox finally throws out Penelope for the interference.
With all the distraction from the trow out, Jimmie grabs a wrench clocks both Omega and Page. Now with Havoc and Kip with the momentum, they attempt to grab the gold. However, all four men are visibly tired. Even with that being said, the pace picks up and a back forth ensues. Omega hits a You Can’t Escape on Jimmie to a Backstabber on Sabian. Adam now back in attempts a Suplex on Kip, but he flips out. Havoc then attempts homicide with a hacksaw, but misses. After many big shots, Omega is reeling but ends up hitting a Snap Dragon Suplex on Sabian. Hot tag to Adam leads to the Last Call, the V-Trigger/Buckshot Lariat combo. Finally! The move gets a name!
This was great on many levels, Kip and Jimmie looked great against the champs. Now with FTR in AEW, one can only hope to see Page/Omega and FTR throw down! I think with that reason alone, the champs are going to be holding on to their titles for awhile now. Cash/Dax vs Adam/Kenny, needs to be a PPV bout.
Changes are coming.
AEW recapped Tully Blanchard chastising Shawn Spears last week. It was a verbal beating that Spears endured and he took every word of it. This week, Tully meets Shawn in a limo and has a gift. That gift is what Blanchard thinks is the missing piece for Spears, and it is a single black glove. “What?”you say? Well, that glove so happens to have a long history in the squared circle. The glove has been worn by legendary wrestlers like Ted Dibiase, Blackjack Mulligan, and Barry Windham. All legendary heels in pro wrestling, now it is time for Shawn Spears to show us what he has with this new motivation.
Brain Cage vs Shawn Dean. Cage wins via Drill Claw pin fall.
The Machine quickly squashes Dean with the Drill Claw. However, the true reasoning for this spot was for Taz to call out Jon Moxley. Taz was not happy about Jon laughing through his promo last week and go on about Cage taking Jon’s head off. The champ’s music hits and gets into the ring after a warning from Taz. Jon gets on the mic to say the reason he was smiling, was because he can’t wait to fight a talented Brian Cage.
For the most part, Jon really built up Brian, giving the man respect. Yet Moxley gave his own warning that Cage is swimming with a different breed a shark now. Jon asks them to stop trying to intimidate him, it isn’t going to work and that’s the end. This promo works for what it is. AEW most likely want Jon to be taking much bumps until the match, because Moxley has a really bad tailbone injury. Also, AEW needs to build up the Swolverine and make him a viable threat to the champ. So this works, not stellar, but on par.
First time ever. Two strong ladies duke it out. An interview with FTR.
Chris Jericho vs Colt Cabana. Jericho wins via Judas Effect pin fall.
It is hard to believe that these two veterans never locked up, but here we are. The first confrontation between the duo was really good, not great, but good. Colt comes out swinging after a horrible karaoke job by Sammy Guevara. The fun loving vet has Le Champion on his heels and Jericho slides outside. Cabana then lands a Moonsault on Jericho and Jake Hagar. Colt then comes up with a bloodied mouth, I’m not sure if it happened from the Moonsault or beforehand. The match then cuts to a break.
After the break, Chris is in charge now, due to some of Jake’s shenanigans. However, Colt fires back with a Bionic Elbow (an homage to Dusty Rhodes), The Flying Apple, and a Body Splash. This only gets a two, so Colt goes for the Superman pin. Le Champion was ready for the move and rolled it up to the Walls of Jericho. Cabana inches towards the ropes and Jericho thinks he has won. Ref Aubrey tells Chris otherwise and Colt fires back. Cabana hits a Hurricanrana, Clothesline, and an Avalanche Hurricanrana, but only gets a two again. Jericho sends Colt in to the corner, where Cabana attempts a misdirection. That was the final mistake, as Chris nails Colt with the Judas Effect for the win.
Jericho gets on the mic and wants to fight the “Baddest man on the planet”. Did Mike Tyson answer the call? Nope, the “baddest man on the planet” was Orange Cassidy! Cassidy comically makes Jericho put his hands in what would be his pockets, if he had ones. Jake had enough and went to tackle Orange, but the slacker side steps and rolls out the ring. Leading to Best Friends/Cassidy vs The Inner Circle’s Jake Hager/Santana/Ortiz. Backstage Colt is interviewed by Marvez about coming up short, but looking impressive. Brodie Lee interrupts and again attempts to recruit Colt. The Exalted One tells Colt it’s not about losing, it’s what you do after the loss, and he can help with that. Colt says he doesn’t want any part of that, but his facial expression tells otherwise. Great post match segment for both of the two guys!
Nyla Rose vs Big Swole. Rose wins via BeastBomb.
Well now, this was way better than I expected. These two ladies of power clashed and neither of them barley budged. This is one of the few times Rose has had this match up, an other is Kris Statlander. Before the match we got a montage of Britt Baker’s progress in her injury, it was great and sets up the post match. The current champ Shida, Riho, Anna Jay, and Britt are all watching from the crowd. Baker of course is her new “Role’s Royce” field cart, bless you Britt. Now let’s to the match!
Swole takes down the Native Beast witha big headlock, but Rose throws her to the mat. Nyla then charges at Big Swole, but misses and is sent out the ring. Outside the Aerial goes for a punt kick, but Rose dodges it and plants her. The match starts to pick up as Rose hits a Backbreaker, and Big Swole gets in vicious Pump Kick. The duo go at like they stole each others pet. Swole attempts a Dirty Dancing, but goes right into a Pop-Up Powerbomb, as Rose claims the win.
Post match segement.
Tony Schiavone talks to Big Swole and said it was great to see her back after two months. Baker starts the trash talking, but Swole is not having it. Britt has Rebel ram the barriers with Role’s Royce. Swole grabs a steel chair and goes to attack Baker, but the DMD speeds away to safety. I know you are a Doctor, Britt. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to piss off Big Swole.
New Hardy stable.
At the bar, Matt Hardy V.1 goes to check up on Marc Quen and his injury. One half of Private Party states that he is ok and is cleared to wrestle again. Hardy call them the future of AEW’s tag division and offers advice, if they ever need it. Kassidy then asks Matt about forming a team, and Hardy obliges. Team HARDY PARTY! Matt walks out and passes Sammy Guevara and tells him “it’s cool man.. respect.”. That bewildered Sammy to great comedic effect. With that being said, I can’t wait to see Matt and Private Party team up.
FTR’s first match confirmed!
Tony interviews Cash and Dax, with them explaining what FTR means. FTR can mean many things, explained Cash. It can be For The Revolution, or it can be other things, but it is a lifestyle for them. When asked about who they want to face in AEW, they gave a list. From Butcher and Blade, the “kids” Private Party, to Santana and Ortiz. FTR list has more names like the exact opposites of FTR, The Lucha Bros.
Dax even goes on to mock their style and lack of tagging, which was hilarious. Also, setting their sights and mocking Omega and Page, calling them not a real tag team. Young Bucks are mentioned, but they don’t want to fight them until they are completely healthy. So there is no excuse when they beat them in three seconds. The Butcher and Blade storm the set and the two teams are restrained. There match will be next week’s show.
Cody vs Jack Jungle Boy Perry for the TNT Championship title. Cody wins via Cross Rhodes pin fall.
This a good match, Jungle Boy proves that he is the future and Cody will help him have great pushes, but still keep the title. Jack takes on Cody with his speed like usual. The American Nightmare, has had problems in the past with speedy wrestlers, like Darby Allin, so it’s a sound strategy. However, speed is not all you need to beat Cody. Rhodes catches Jungle Boy in mid air and Powerslams him. A Figure-Four is next for the young competitor. Jack eventually gets to the ropes. Cody now outsides gets clocked by a Tope Suicida by JB, Perry goes for a second one, but is thrown into the Gunn Club. This is where you start to see a more villainous Rhodes. The fight spills to the other side of the ring. Cody goes to headbutt JB, but Perry dodges and Cody is sent into the wall.
MJF starts talking trash to Jungle Boy, and the camera cuts back to a busted open Cody. I really do not think it was blading, more like capsules. However, I do question the move. It is not like Cody and Jungle Boy have this heated rivalry or hate each other, so why the blood? Anyways, Jungle Boy targets the new open wound, hits a dropkick for two. The theme continues with the targeting the cut and Cody kicking out at two. Eventually, the duo find there way atop of the ring post. Outside is a table, you guess it right, the two men fall onto the table smashing it into pieces. Cody is first up, sends JB into the ring and hits the Cross Rhodes for the win.
The Rhodes family and Jurassic Express run out to check up on their family and friends. Cody offers an extended hand to congratulate Jungle Boy for making him work this hard to keep the title. Fun, intense, fast paced match. It was just the blading that got to me for some reason, just because you can, doesn’t mean it is needed.
Fun show! Almost everything hits it’s spot. However, there was a bit more recapping within the show. In which, I recall that it never was a thing until this week. Did AEW not have enough matches and segments booked? I doubt that… also the was no PIP commercial breaks. What the hell? We didn’t get to see what Jericho did to be in command of his match. A little irritating for me, especially when the viewers have been accustomed to it. Stories moved along, great wrestling, and Britt Baker you area Role Model.-David G.
The go home show for In Your House featured an emotional end to Drake Maverick’s journey. A scrap between all the ladies in the six -women PPV match. Isaiah Swerve Scott takes on Tony Neese. A surprise tag team return! Aliyah takes on Santana, with Robert Stone watching on. Karrion Kross sets his sights. Time to get this going, as it all leads to In Your House this Sunday!
Unfinished business lead to mix tag action. Random match, big action. Triple tag team action!
Mia Yim vs Candice LeRae. Double Count out.
Candice has really embraced her heel turn lately, and in convincing fashion. Considering LeRae has been a babyface almost her entire career, it’s a nice touch. With that being said, Candice starts off with a cheap shot attempt, but Mia was ready. The two go at it with strikes, chokes, and forearm strikes. Mia is struck by a Step-Up Senton by LeRae and she hits another. After the two go back and forth, Yim sends Candice outside the ring. The duo battle it out and Yim slams Candice into the barriers. The ref continues to count them out and gets to the final 10 count. Both are counted out.
After the bell rings, the two ladies brawl up the ramp. LeRae gets the Scissors take down and sends Yim into the LED backround, smashing it. Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, Shotzi Blackheart, and Tegan Nox all make it out there the both fight and separate Candice and Mia. After Yim takes it to Candice with a forearm, Johnny Gargano runs out to check on his wife. This leads to Keith Lee to make his way out, him and Yim storm the ring. Yet, Johnny and Candice retreat and taunt the two. NXT GM William Regal does his best Teddy Long impersonation and makes a mixed tag team match, right now…playa.
Johnny Gargano/Candice LeRae vs Keith Lee/Mia Yim. Candice wins via roll up pin fall.
The first match felt like it was supposed to go on even shorter then it was. Yim, Candice benefited with the extra time in this match, while Lee and Johnny built up for their match. Most of the action was from Yim and LeRae, with Mia quickly taking it to Candice. After a big dropkick from Mia, she hits the Sole Food for a near fall. Gargano then taunts Yim and Candice takes advantage for a two count.
Mia hits a great Dragon Suplex, but Johnny breaks up the count. This gets Lee furious and the Glorious One sends Johnny across the ring like a rag doll. Keith then launches Johnny again, hits a big Press Slam. Lee goes for a Powerbomb, but the not dressed to wrestle Gargano, pulls out his car keys and stabs Lee’s eye. Mia goes to check on Keith and that is all Candice needed to roll her up for the win.
After the match, the power couple stand tall. The Limitless one crawls towards the couple and hand is near the steel steps, Johnny smashes Lee’s hand between the step and ring. Gargano then grabs the North American title, poses with it and lays it on the ground. Nice touch with the hand injury, we all know this will be exploited at the In Your House match and it’s going to be great.
Isaiah Swerve Scott vs Tony Nese. Swerve wins via Sunset Flip pin fall.
In an action packed, but lacking in story match, these two went at it. Scott was the more aggressive then usual and it it served him well. The Premier Athlete had to resort to heel tactics to gain an advantage, a rake in the eyes. Neese now has full control for most of the match. Stuck in a Scissors from Nese, Swerve powers out and lands a BrainBuster! Tony is sent oustside and Isaiah launches Nese into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Jack Gallagher makes an appearance, distracting Nese. This allows Swerve to lock in the Sunset Roll up for the win. Really good match, but the Gallagher distraction was unneeded. For a match that was seemingly thrown together, it was spot on.
The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish/Roderick Strong) vs Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs BREEZANGO! Winner becomes number one contender for the NXT Tag Team titles. Fandango wins via Last Dance pin fall.
Yup, you read that right.. BREEZANGO IS BACK! Fandango has finally recovered from his Tommy John injury and the lovable duo came out with an astronaut theme. If there was a real crowd, the place would’ve erupted. This match was a match that I am not even going to attempt to fully recap. If I did, it would be many pages long. Fish, Burch, and Breeze start off the match. With Fish getting doubled teamed and sent to Spinebuster town, for only a two count. Burch and Tyler get into it now, resulting in Bobby Fish getting planted. The trio argue as Strong is sent is sent outside, Brezeango, Lorcan and Burch go at it to commercial break.
After the break, Tyler Breeze is in a beating and Strong cut off Burch. what follows is an any team for themselves fight, as the trio duke it out. Fish sends Burch onto the floor and goes to work on Breeze. Strong gets tagged in and chops Tyler’s chest into mince meat. Burch comes to and wallops Roderick and Bobby. Now there is some chaos in the ring, but Fandango enters and cleans house. Fandango hits a Tornado DDT and Suplex to the Undisputed Era. Lorcan is tagged in and unloads on Fandango.
The closing moments had Burch and Breeze trade shots as Dexter Lumis watches on. Tyler lands the Beauty Shot on Roderick Strong. Fandango follows it up with the Last Dance and for the win. Fantastic match, fast paced, a crowd favorite won it, and great performance from all six guys.
The bathroom break. Big slabs of meat collide. The most emotional match from WWE in awhile.
Santana Garrett vs Aliyah. Garrett wins via Handspring Moonsault pin fall.
Ok, this was a fluff match. Considering what happened before this match, the audience need a breather and to build up to tonight’s main event. So this is what we got. Not to say it was a horrible match, but it was booked to be the filler. Robert Stone turned down Aliyah weeks ago, only to be fired by Chelsea Green last week. So now the promoter without someone to promote goes back to the one that wanted him.
Yep, basic male soap opera stuff. The match was ok, nothing stellar and worth remembering. However, I do like the newly aggressive Aliyah. While Aliyah gets the early edge on Santana, Stone walks out to applaud her work.. desperate much Bob? Garrett mounts a comeback and the two trade slaps. Yet, Santana lands a Handstand Hurricanrana, then unloads a Handspring Moonsault for the win. A rough looking is devastated, Aliyah attempts to approach him, but Bob retreats. The story is there, let’s hope it’s a good one.
Cameron Grimes vs Bronson Reed. Grimes wins via Cave In pin fall.
Following up Grimes big win over Finn Balor, he now has to face Thicc Boi. This slab of beef is not going to be pushed over easily. Reed dominated most of the match, with Grimes pulling out some quick survival skills. Big Boi makes the camera shake while stomping to the ring.. because he’s big. After a flurry of strikes, Grimes catches Reed off guard with a leaping forearm.
Reed counters with a Standing Thesz Press and a big Hip Attack. While Cameron misses a Flying Splash, he hits The Cave In ala’ Randy Orton… FROM OUTTA NOWHERE! This was enough to pin the big brute. After the match, Grimes exits the Performance Center as Karrion Kross enters. This is not good… Kross plants the big guy with a Doomsday Saito Suplex. What a display of strength! Them warns Tommaso Ciampa about their match at In Your House. “Tick Tock” Karrion said and that was a statement.
El Hijo del Fantasma vs Drake Maverick for the Cruiserweight Championship.
We all know what is going to happen, right? Why would WWE invest in a fired wrestler, only to have him lose the title match? Drake is going to win this all and have a fantastic ending and new title, right? Well.. let’s just get into this amazing match and go from there. First off, NXT has dropped the term “interim”, it is now just the Cruiserweight Champion. Interesting, maybe the winner will be more than just a fill in. The bell rings for this emotional match up, Drake and Fantasma give sportsmanship handshake. However, El Hijo attemmpts to roll up Drake for a quick win. The opening minutes of this match had Fantasma attempting to end this quick.
However, this is MF’N Drake Maverick! He will not go down easily, as the past weeks have taught us. A slow start to the match, but the pace quickens after the break. Drke now in control works over Fantasma with a Dropkick to the knee, a kick to the face, and a Missile Dropkick. El Hijo counters with a big Sit Down PowerBomb and almost had the title with a close pin fall. The Performance Center crowd is really rooting for Drake. Fantasma hits a a very stiff forearm shot to Drake’s lower back, then follows with a Back-Drop Driver, for a two count.
Drake will not give up.
The frustration sets in for El Hijo, and that is when Maverick springs back! Although only for a moment, after a flurry of strikes by Drake, Fantasma catches Drake in a Boston Crab. Let me say this, at this point of the match, Drake selling the moves on him are Oscar worthy. Maverick screams in pain and tells the ref not to ask if he will give up. Drake tells the ref, he will never give up. The move is broken and Drake receives another Sit-Down Powerbomb, but for only a two count. El Hijo is clearly frustrated by Drake’s heart and screams at him while unloading big shots on to each other. Maverick hits a Bulldog and a Flying Elbow, only for a one count.
The end is here.
The duo brawl back and forth, with Fantasma landing outside. All of the sudden, the mysterious masked men arrive and stare down El Hijo. Drake wanting to win cleanly, hits a Tope Suicida on the two men and drive them back to the locker room! Maverick brings Fantasma back in to the ring, but is met with a Super Kick. Fantsma then hits the Phantom Driver, as Beth Phoenix cries out “NO!!!!!!!”, like the rest of the audience.. Drake Maverick is pinned. El Hijo del Fantasma is the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Drake Maverick’s journey has ended, not as a title holder, but as a champion to the people’s heart.
The send off.
A broken Drake Maverick is seen in the ring, he tells the audience that he is sorry. Sorry, he could not win the title and sorry, this was his last match. The Performance Center crowd made up from his peers, bang the plexi-glass barrier and chant “THANK YOU DRAKE!”. How can this happen? Drake Maverick put on stellar performances after performances!
As the distraught and disappointed Maverick walks up the ramp for the final time, he is greeted by HHH. The two hug it out and HHH thanked Drake for his work. HHH thanked Maverick with a BRAND NEW NXT CONTRACT!!!!! HHH told the Rockstar Spud, that he deserved it and damn right he did. Drake quickly signs the contract with tears in his eyes and I wager, the audiences eyes as well. DRAKE MAVERICK MADE IT BACK! Not as a title holder, but as a champion of the people’s heart.
This was a really ggod show to lead up to In Your House. It had brawls, fast paced action, and most importantly.. a good story. Look, there are many smarks out there that say the whole Drake Maverick story was a work. Here is what I say….. shaddup. Who the hell knows what goes on behind the curtains aside from Vince and HHH. I belive that Drake was really fired, but through the power of his video post, and fan reaction. WWE had no choice but to keep and book him right.
The WWE is not too egotistical to ignore a money maker and I believe that is what happened. Maverick was fired, he made a heartbreaking video during when a lot of talent was fired, his stood out, and WWE brought him back. Is it good taste for WWE to capitalize on the misery that they put their former workers through? Well, that’s a another debate. The story we got from them was a great rise from the ashes story with Drake. I bet that there was many tears among fans at that ending. I allegedly had something in my eyes.– David G.
Friday Night SmackDown:
This week on SnackDown, a big title change! Otis is the King and pranks drives Braun to his old self. Lacey Evans and Sonya Deville square off again! Will the WWE keep exploiting Jeff Hardy’s past? A better then expected Six-Man tag team match. Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles confront each other! Let’s get down to SmackDown!
Jeff Hardy’s side. New King vs current King. A feud that deserves more.
Hardy recalls on what happened.
Jeff Hardy came to the ring to explain what he recalled last week. Before all that, the commentators give a list of what Elias has suffered from the incident. The Drifter suffered a torn pectoral and broken ribs, the torn pectoral is a real life injury, the broken ribs… nope. So Hardy comes out and explains that he was in store for a normal day and was hit from behind. The next thing he remembers is that the cops are arresting him, smelling of alcohol, and in handcuffs. Hardy was afraid that he relapsed, but remembers that he was sober and did not slip.
Apparently, an eyewitness gave a description of the driver. A man with red hair and a red beard, hmm.. guess whi that is? Of course Sheamus came out and the two got into it, with the Celtic Warrior standing tall after a Brogue Kick. Using Jeff’s struggles with substance abuse is a polarizing view. Some say “let some real life in the story”. Others say “ok, this is pushing too far and let’s scale it back”. Then there is that grey area that laughed it off and then condemned it. Whether it is your cup of tea or not. There is no denying that fans are talking about this, for better or worse. At least this weeks take was in better taste, than last weeks.
Otis vs King Corbin. Otis wins via disqualification.
Before the match, Otis finds King Corbin’s crown, tries it on, and takes it. Now, if Otis wasn’t so lovable.. this can be a fair enough reason for a fight. Alas, it’s Corbin and the fans love to hate him, so it’s all good. Otis starts off strong with big strikes, but Corbin regains rather quickly. What follows is that the Lone Wolf is in control for most of the match. Otis finally regains control, only for the fight to spill outside. Baron being the heel that he is, grabs a steel chair and strikes Otis. Earning a DQ loss, but the fight continues in the ring.
This time, Otis is able to land the Caterpillar and stand tall with his peach, Mandy Rose. Eh, could’ve been worse.. there is no story to latch on to. This felt like an one off, if becomes something bigger… Otis and Mandy deserve better. Such organic love should not be squandered on the matrix of mid-card, known as King Corbin.
Lacey Evans vs Sonya Deville. Evans wins via Women’s Right pin fall.
Let just say this, the last time these two faced off, it was a feud that I didn’t know that I wanted. Now we get another match. The optimistic me wants to enjoy this to the fullest, the pessimistic me is waiting for WWE to screw this up. Guess which side won? Not to be overly critical, but the ending was bullocks. The two put on a showing not as great as the first encounter, but still great. Sonya used her MMA skills to turn the tables on Lacey. However, after an ref replacement and a “surprise” video taunt from Mandy Rose, left Sonya vulnerable. In which Evans capitalized with a Women’s Right for the win. Sloppy? Yes. This could’ve been Lacey and Sonya’s exciting rubber match, but it was soiled by a not needed Mandy interference.
AJ and Daniel confrontation leads to a surprise match. Braun is back.
Build to a bigger story.
AJ Styles and Daniel Bryant clash on their views in what makes a WWE champion. Bryant wants to defend the title every week and see who can step up. AJ only wants those who deserve to be in the ring with the Phenomenal One. Both make good points, I want to see new up and comers. I also, want to see two savvy vets put on a clinic. HOwever, Styles surprised everyone and offered Drew Gulak a bout against him. The newly understudy to Bryan rused the ring and planted AJ. This leads to…
Drew Gulak vs AJ Styles. Gulak wins via Jackknife Cover pin fall.
Wow, talk about outta nowhere! Drew gets one of his biggest wins in his WWE career! It wasn’t easy as Styles wrecked havoc on Drew’s body. Gulak being the mat specialist, attempted to ground the high flying ways of Styles. The duo di have a fairly short but sweet exchange in the ring. It makes one wonder if these two men had 30 mins to work with, what classic spots we could see. Alas, a distracted AJ attempts the Styles Clash, only for Gulak to wiggle out and lock in a Jackknife cover for the win! A huge upset, especially in the middle of a build towards the AJ vs Daniel battle. Great to see Drew get over for the night.
Braun hates pranks.
Throughout the night Miz and Morrison pranked The Universal Champion, Braun Strowman. From adding fizzy stuff to his drink, to almost giving him a green slime, but got Kayla Braxton, to smashing his car. The Dirt Sheets tandem where on a roll, to making a monster angry. The Monster finally caught up to the van that Miz and Morrison were hiding out in. This was old and over Braun, as he attempted homicide again. Strowman grabbed the van in a Hulk like state, and flipped it over! Two years ago, this was fantastic! Now, it is like WWE missed it’s opportunity to capitalize on Braun’s ability to be funny and down right scary.
Six-Man tag action! Main event time!
New Day/Shorty G vs Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro/Mojo Rawley. New Day wins via Body Splash Big Ending combo pin fall.
This was a good short match, displaying Shorty G and Mojo Rawley. The face team quickly took control and hot quick tags left and right to stay in control. However, the heels will not go away so easily. Cesaro punishes Shorty G with knees and stretches. Nak and Big E trade blows and splashes, while Kofi sells a knee injury. Near the end moments, Shorty G is getting punished by a furious Mojo.
Yet that anger is what will be the downfall of Mojo. As Gable kicks out of the Hyper Drive, gets a blind tag, and takes out Shin and Cesaro with a body splash. This all lead to Kofi and Big E hitting a new tag move that has yet to named. So I dub it the The Positive Big Ending, for the win. Hey New Day, you are welcome to take my branding of the move. I just want 1 percent of merchandise sells and a lifetime supply of Bootie O’s.
Sasha Banks/Bayley vs Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross. Banks wins via Crucifix pin fall.
This match was teetering on average and great. If there is two people that rose their stock during COVID-19 pandemic, it is Asuka and Nikki Cross. WWE has a power packed bundle of energy in Cross and it showed tonight. As soon as the bell rang, Nikki went flying at Bayley and gain the advantage. Cross and Bliss took turns on working over the SamckDown champion, until the Boss distracted the tag champs and Bayley capitalized on it. After the break, the Role Model is in firm control over the Goddess. Bliss eventually hot tags Nikki as she lands ham bone punches on Banks and Bayley.
The Boss distracts a now legal Bliss and it leads to a Bayley To Belly from the current champ.. only a two count! In the closing moments is the real meat of this match. Banks is facing off against Cross, the Boss blocks Nikki’s Slingshot Neckbreaker, hits a Backstabber and cinches in the Bank Statement. However, Bayley blind tag herself in during all of that. The Role Model shoves Banks out so they will not be disqualified and applies her version of the Bank Statement. Nikki Cross gets out of Bayley’s Bank Statement and drops Bayley.
Sasha is understandably confused, runs in for the save and drags her partner into the corner for a tag. Sasha locks in the Bank Statement again, Bliss goes to break up the hold, but Bayley stops her. Cross some how powers out of the hold, but Banks rolls it up for a Crucifix Pin and winning the SmackDown tag team titles!
Afterthoughts and aftermath.
Let’s start with the main event post match segments. Bayley over celebrating was just fantastic, I couldn’t count on how many times I chuckled. Also, if you viewed WWE’s YouTube channel and saw the obligatory champion photo shoot. You were gifted a rip to a certain journalist, that reported that Banks and Bayley were crying on the floor after learning that will drop the belts to the IIconics. In which was denied, so the new tag champs decided to cry on the floor in celebration, while getting their pictures taken. Bayley and Sasha Banks.. you two are brilliant.
The rest of the show was really good. Not an unanimous “FIRE” show, but a really good one. SmackDown continues to provide a good show despite the restrictions of COVID-19. Hopefully, the world will get back to pre-COVID times. So we can get back to enjoying the little things that we took for granted.-David G.
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