WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW airs every Monday night from 8/7 CT, live on the USA Network. WWE MAIN EVENT airs every Thursday on the WWE Network.
BROCK LESNAR 
def. Kofi Kingston
(SmackDown #1050, Oct 4, 2020)
RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
THE STREET PROFITS 
def. Seth Rollins and Murphy
(RAW #1397, Mar 2, 2020)
UNITED STATES CHAMPION
def. Rey Mysterio
(WWE Live, Dec 26, 2019)
RAW WOMEN'S CHAMPION
BECKY LYNCH 
def. Charlotte Flair & Ronda Rousey
(WrestleMania, Apr 8, 2019)
WOMEN'S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
KABUKI WARRIORS 
def. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
(Hell in a Cell, Oct 6, 2019)
RIDDICK MOSS 
def. Mojo Rawley
(RAW #1394, Feb 10, 2020)
AJ STYLES The O.C.
AKAM AOP The Church of Rollins
ANDRADE with Zelina Vega United States Champion
ANGEL GARZA with Zelina Vega
ANGELO DAWKINS The Street Profits RAW Tag Team Champion
ASUKA The Kabuki Warriors Women's Tag Team Champion
BECKY LYNCH RAW Women's Champion
BIG SHOW Star of 'The Big Show Show'
BILLIE KAY The Iiconics
BOBBY LASHLEY with Lana
BROCK LESNAR with Paul Heyman WWE Champion
CHARLOTTE FLAIR 2020 Royal Rumble winner Also working on NXT
CURT HAWKINS Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
DREW MCINTYRE 2020 Royal Rumble winner
EC3 [Inactive since October 2019] Concussion
EDGE Hosts 'The Cutting Edge' WWE Hall of Famer
ERIK The Viking Raiders
IVAR The Viking Raiders
JINDER MAHAL [Inactive since Jun 2020] Ruptured patella tendon
KAIRI SANE The Kabuki Warriors Women's Tag Team Champion
KARL ANDERSON The O.C. Best Tag Team in the World
KEVIN OWENS Hosts 'The Kevin Owens Show'
LUKE GALLOWS The O.C. Best Tag Team in the World
MIKE KANELLIS with Maria Kanellis Also working on 205 Live
MONTEZ FORD The Street Profits RAW Tag Team Champion
MURPHY The Church of Rollins
MVP Hosts 'The VIP Lounge' [Inactive since Mar 2020] Head contusion
NIA JAX [Inactive since Apr 2019] Rehabbing double ACL surgery
NO WAY JOSE
PEYTON ROYCE The Iiconics
REZAR AOP The Church of Rollins
RIDDICK MOSS 24/7 Champion
RUSEV [Inactive since Feb 2020]
SAMOA JOE [Inactive since Feb 2020] Wellness Policy failure
SETH ROLLINS The Church of Rollins
TITUS O'NEIL WWE Ambassador
ZACK RYDER Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
RAW color commentator Main Event lead analyst
RAW color commentator
Manages Bobby Lashley [Inactive since Feb 2020] Filming in Hollywood
Manages Mike Kanellis Also working on 205 Live
RAW ring announcer
Advocate for Brock Lesnar
RAW lead analyst
Manages Angel Garza
WWE Elimination Chamber – March 8, 2020 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center WWE Monday Night RAW – March 9, 2020 – Washington, DC – Capitol One Arena WWE Monday Night RAW – March 16, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Monday Night RAW – March 23, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Monday Night RAW – March 30, 2020 – Orlando, FL - WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 1 – April 4, 2020 – Orlando, FL - WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 2 – April 5, 2020 - Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Monday Night RAW - April 6, 2020 - Orlando, FL - WWE Performance Center WWE Monday Night RAW - April 13, 2020 - Providence, RI - Dunkin' Donuts Center(?) WWE Monday Night RAW - April 20, 2020 - Columbia, SC - Colonial Life Arena(?) WWE Monday Night RAW - April 27, 2020 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena(?) ︾︾︾
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN broadcasts live every Friday from 8/7 CT on FOX.
def. The Fiend
(Crown Jewel, Feb 27, 2020)
SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
JOHN MORRISON AND THE MIZ [1, 2]
def. The New Day
(Crown Jewel, Feb 27, 2020)
SAMI ZAYN 
def. Braun Strowman (with Shinsuke
Nakamura and Cesaro)
(Elimination Chamber, Mar 8, 2020)
SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPION
def. Charlotte Flair
(SmackDown #1051, Oct 11, 2019)
ALEXA BLISS Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross Hosts 'A Moment of Bliss'
BAYLEY SmackDown Women's Champion
BIG E The New Day
BO DALLAS The B-Team Inactive since Nov 2019
BRAY WYATT Also known as The Fiend
CESARO The Artist Collective
CURTIS AXEL The B-Team
DASH WILDER The Revival [Inactive since Feb 2020]
DOLPH ZIGGLER Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
EMBER MOON [Inactive since Sept 2019] Ruptured achilles
THE FIEND Also known as Bray Wyatt
GOLDBERG WWE Hall of Famer WWE Universal Champion
GRAN METALIK Lucha House Party
JEY USO The Usos The Bloodline
JIMMY USO The Usos The Bloodline
JOHN MORRISON The Miz and John Morrison Co-hosts 'the Dirt Sheet' SmackDown Tag Team Champion
KALISTO Lucha House Party [Inactive since Dec 2019] Separated shoulder
KING CORBIN 2019 King of the Ring
KOFI KINGSTON The New Day
LARS SULLIVAN [Inactive since Jun 2019] Torn ACL
LINCE DORADO Lucha House Party
MANDY ROSE Manages Dolph Ziggler Fire and Desire
MICKIE JAMES [Inactive since Jun 2019] Torn ACL Main Event color commentator
THE MIZ The Miz and John Morrison Co-hosts 'The Dirt Sheet' Star of 'Miz and Mrs.' SmackDown Tag Team Champion
MUSTAFA ALI [Inactive since Dec 2019]
NIKKI CROSS Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
OTIS Heavy Machinery
ROBERT ROODE Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler [Inactive since Mar 2020] Out of the country
ROMAN REIGNS The Bloodline
SAMI ZAYN The Artist Collective Intercontinental Champion
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA The Artist Collective
SCOTT DAWSON The Revival [Inactive since Feb 2020]
SONYA DEVILLE Fire and Desire
TUCKER Heavy Machinery
XAVIER WOODS The New Day [Inactive since Sep 2019] Torn achilles
SmackDown color commentator
General Manager of 205 Live
SmackDown ring announcer 205 Live ring announcer
SmackDown lead analyst
Backstage correspondent Co-host of 'WWE Backstage'
WWE Elimination Chamber – March 8, 2020 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Wells Fargo Center WWE Friday Night SmackDown - March 13, 2020 - Orlando, Florida - WWE Performance Center WWE Friday Night SmackDown – March 20, 2020 - Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Friday Night SmackDown – March 27, 2020 - Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Friday Night SmackDown – April 3, 2020 - Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 1 – April 4, 2020 - Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 2 – April 5, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Friday Night SmackDown – April 10, 2020 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center(?) WWE Friday Night SmackDown – April 17, 2020 – Cleveland, OH – Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse(?) WWE Live – April 18, 2020 - Kalamazoo, MI – Wings Event Center(?) WWE Live – April 19, 2020 – Rockford, IL – BMO Harris Bank Center(?) WWE Friday Night SmackDown - April 24, 2020 - Omaha, NE - CHI Health Center(?) ▆▆▆
WWE NXT broadcasts live every Wednesday from 9/8 CT on the USA Network. WWE 205 Live broadcasts live every Friday from 10/9 CT on the WWE Network.
ADAM COLE 
def. Johnny Gargano
(NXT TakeOver XXV, Jun 1, 2019)
NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
THE BROSERWEIGHTS 
def. Undisputed Era
(NXT TakeOver: Portland, Feb 16, 2020)
NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION
KEITH LEE 
def. Roderick Strong
(NXT #388, Jan 22, 2020)
NXT WOMEN'S CHAMPION
RHEA RIPLEY 
def. Shayna Baszler
(NXT #383, Dec 18, 2019)
ADAM COLE Undisputed Era NXT Champion
ARIYA DAIVARI 205 Live Original Also works on 205 Live
BOA [Inactive since Nov 2019] Shoulder surgery
BOBBY FISH Undisputed Era
BRIAN KENDRICK 205 Live Original
CHASE PARKER Ever-Rise
CHELSEA GREEN The Robert Stone Brand
DAKOTA KAI Dakota Kai and Raquel González
DANNY BURCH Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch Also works on 205 Live
FANDANGO Breezango [Inactive since Dec 2019] Dislocated elbow
FINN BÁLOR [Inactive since Mar 2020] Out of the country Also works on NXT UK
JACK GALLAGHER 205 Live Original Also works on 205 Live
JAXSON RYKER The Forgotten Sons
KEITH LEE NXT North American Champion
KYLE O'REILLY Undisputed Era [Inactive since Mar 2020]
LIO RUSH [Inactive since Mar 2020]
MANSOOR [Inactive since Mar 2020] Out of the country
MATT MARTEL Ever-Rise
MATT RIDDLE The BroserWeights 2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic NXT Tag Team Champion
ONEY LORCAN Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch Also works on 205 Live
PETE DUNNE The BroserWeights 2020 Dusty Rhodes Classic NXT Tag Team Champion [Inactive since Mar 2020] Out of the country
RAQUEL GONZÁLEZ Dakota Kai and Raquel González
RHEA RIPLEY NXT Women's Champion
RINKU SINGH Bivens Enterprise
RODERICK STRONG Undisputed Era
SAMIR SINGH The Singh Brothers
SAURAV GURJAR Bivens Enterprise
SHOTZI BLACKHEART Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox
STEVE CUTLER The Forgotten Sons
SUNIL SINGH The Singh Brothers
TONY NESE 205 Live Original Also works on 205 Live
TYLER BREEZE Breezango
WESLEY BLAKE The Forgotten Sons
AIDEN ENGLISH 205 Live color commentator
ALICIA TAYLOR NXT ring announcer
BETH PHOENIX NXT color commentator WWE Hall of Famer
DENNIS ARNELL NXT ring announcer
JON QUASTO 205 Live analyst
JOSIAH WILLIAMS NXT personality NXT UK backstage correspondent
MAURO RANALLO NXT lead analyst
MALCOLM BIVENS Bivens Enterprise
MCKENZIE MITCHELL NXT backstage correspondent
NIGEL MCGUINNESS NXT color commentator NXT UK color commentator
PAT MCAFEE NXT personality
ROBERT STONE The Robert Stone Brand
VIC JOSEPH NXT analyst
WILLIAM REGAL General Manager of NXT
NXT Live – March 5, 2020 – Columbus, Ohio – Express Live NXT Live – March 6, 2020 – Cleveland, Ohio – Agora Theatre NXT Live – March 6, 2020 – Melbourne, Florida – Melbourne Auditorium NXT Live – March 7, 2020 – Detroit, Michigan – Royal Oak Music Theatre NXT Live – March 7, 2020 – Orlando, Florida – Orlando Live Events Center WWE NXT – March 11, 2020 – Orlando, Florida – WWE Performance Center WWE NXT – March 18, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE NXT – March 25, 2020 – Winter Park, FL – Full Sail University(?) WWE NXT – April 1, 2020 – Winter Park, FL – Full Sail University(?) WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 1 – April 4, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 2 – April 5, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE NXT – April 8, 2020 – Winter Park, FL – Full Sail University(?) WWE NXT – April 15, 2020 – Winter Park, FL – Full Sail University(?) WWE NXT – April 22, 2020 – Winter Park, FL – Full Sail University(?) WWE NXT – April 29, 2020 - Winter Park, FL - Full Sail University(?) ✕✕✕
WWE NXT UK broadcasts every Thursday from 3/2 CT, on the WWE Network.
NXT UNITED KINGDOM CHAMPION
def. Pete Dunne
(NXT TakeOver: New York, Apr 5, 2019)
NXT UK TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
def. Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews
(NXT UK #64, Oct 17, 2019)
NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION
JORDAN DEVLIN 
def. Angel Garza, Travis Banks & Isaiah Scott
(NXT Worlds Collide 2020, Jan 25, 2020)
NXT UK WOMEN'S CHAMPION
KAY LEE RAY 
def. Toni Storm
(NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, Aug 31, 2019)
ALEXANDER WOLFE Imperium
AMIR JORDAN Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams
ASHTON SMITH Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter
EDDIE DENNIS [Inactive since Jan 2020] Separated shoulder
FABIAN AICHNER Imperium
FLASH MORGAN WEBSTER
JAMES DRAKE Grizzled Young Veterans
JOE COFFEY Gallus
JORDAN DEVLIN Cruiserweight Champion
KAY LEE RAY NXT UK Women's Champion
KENNY WILLIAMS Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams
LEWIS HOWLEY Pretty Deadly
MARCEL BARTHEL Imperium
MARK ANDREWS [Inactive since Mar 2020] [Injured knee]
MARK COFFEY Gallus NXT UK Tag Team Champion
OLIVER CARTER Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter
PRIMATE The Hunt
SAM STOKER Pretty Deadly
TRENT SEVEN Moustache Mountain
TYLER BATE Moustache Mountain
WALTER Imperium NXT United Kingdom Champion
WILD BOAR The Hunt
WOLFGANG Gallus NXT UK Tag Team Champion
ZACK GIBSON Grizzled Young Veterans
ANDY SHEPHERD NXT UK lead analyst
FRANCESCA BROWN NXT UK ring announcer
JOHNNY SAINT General Manager of NXT UK
RADZI CHINYANGANYA Backstage correspondent
SID SCALA Assistant to the General Manager
NXT UK Taping: Coventry – March 6, 2020 – Coventry, England – Coventry Skydome NXT UK Taping: Coventry – March 7, 2020 – Coventry, England – Coventry Skydome NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin – April 25, 2020 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena(?) NXT UK Taping: Bournemouth – May 1, 2020 - Bournemouth, England – Bournemouth International Centre NXT UK Taping: Bournemouth – May 3, 2020 - Bournemouth, England - Bournemouth International Center ☗☗☗
BOOKER T Co-host of 'WWE Backstage' WWE Hall of Famer
BRIE BELLA The Bella Twins Star of 'Total Bellas' 2020 Hall of Fame inductee
CAIN VELASQUEZ Free agent
CHRISTIAN Contributor on 'WWE Backstage'
DAVID OTUNGA Kickoff Show panelist
HULK HOGAN WWE Hall of Famer 2020 Hall of Fame inductee
JBL Kickoff Show panelist 2020 Hall of Fame inductee
JONATHAN COACHMAN Kickoff Show panelist
KANE Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee
KURT ANGLE WWE Hall of Famer
MARK HENRY WWE Ambassador WWE Hall of Famer
MARYSE Wife of The Miz Star of 'Miz and Mrs.'
NIKKI BELLA The Bella Twins Star of 'Total Bellas' 2020 Hall of Fame inductee
PAIGE WWE Ambassador Contributor on 'WWE Backstage'
PETER ROSENBERG Kickoff Show panelist
RIC FLAIR Father of Charlotte Flair WWE Hall of Famer
ROB GRONKOWSKI SuperBowl Champion
RONDA ROUSEY Free agent
SAM ROBERTS Kickoff Show panelist SiriusXM radio host
SCOTT STANFORD Host of 'This Week in WWE' Host of 'WWE Bottom Line' Host of 'WWE Afterburn'
SHANE MCMAHON The Authority Banished from WWE The Best in the World
SHAWN MICHAELS NXT trainer WWE Hall of Famer
STEPHANIE MCMAHON The Authority WWE Chief Brand Officer
STEVE AUSTIN Host of 'Broken Skull Sessions' Host of 'Straight Up Steve Austin'
TRIPLE H The Authority Executive Producer of NXT WWE Executive Vice President
TYSON FURY WBC Heavyweight Champion The Ring Heavyweight Champion
VINCE MCMAHON The Authority WWE Chairman
WWE Elimination Chamber – March 8, 2020 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 1 – April 4, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE WrestleMania 36: Part 2 – April 5, 2020 – Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center WWE Money in the Bank – May 10, 2020 – Baltimore, MD – Royal Farms Arena(?) WWE Backlash - June 14, 2020 – Kansas City, MO - TBA(?) WWE Extreme Rules – July 19, 2020 – San Jose, CA – SAP Arena(?) WWE SummerSlam – August 23, 2020 – Boston, MA – TD Garden(?) WWE Clash of the Champions – September 20, 2020 – Newark, NJ - TBA(?) WWE Hell in a Cell – October 18, 2020 – Atlanta, GA – TBA(?) TBA - November 5, 2020 – TBA, Saudi Arabia – TBA(?) WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs – December 20, 2020 – Chicago, IL - TBA(?) WWE WrestleMania 37 – March 28, 2021 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium(?)
Elimination Chamber 2020 – March 8, 2020 Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show - March 8, 2020
The Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show panel was hosted by Charly Caruso, with Jonathan Coachman, David Otunga and Peter Rosenberg.
0) The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) def. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins in 4:50. On the WWE Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show, Erik and Ivar took care of the brash best friends in swift fashion. Together, the vikings put Ryder away with the Viking Experience.
1) Daniel Bryan def. Drew Gulak in 14:20. After the invitation bestowed to Drew two nights ago on Friday Night SmackDown, the two technical wizards jostled for position in a ground-based affair. Bryan grew frustrated at times by Gulak's gifted proficience and brought the physicality, but ultimately the Gu-Lock would go reversed into the Yes Lock that spelled the end for "the Militant Mat-Mite". Following the match, Bryan would give Gulak the props he deserved for an impressive outing.
2) Andrade (with Zelina Vega) (c) def. Humberto Carrillo in 12:20 to retain the WWE United States Championship. Two months following the Hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete that sidelined the newcomer, Humberto got a taste of revenge by serving a similar fate to the United States Champion just over one month ago. "El Idolo" brought the aggression, but the challenger remained game and strived to knock the champ off his perch. It was a battle that could have gone either way, including the interference of Andrade's business associate Zelina Vega. In the end, it boiled down to a sequence of pinning attempts that led to Andrade using the ropes to retain the title.
3) John Morrison and The Miz (c) def. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso), The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) & Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) in 32:55 in a Tag Team Elimination Chamber match to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Fresh off their ill-deserved Tag Turmoil victory on SmackDown this past week, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode took pleasure in waiting the longest for their arrival into the Chamber match. The Usos and the New Day drew the shortest straws and would revisit their multi-year rivalry in the opening minutes, until the Lucha House Party entered the fray. Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado would bring the match into a high-altitude affair, when the SmackDown Tag Team Champions would enter the bout. Dorado stunned Philadelphia with a Shooting Star Press from the highest peak of the Chamber's structure, in which he used the structure as a pull-up bar! Heavy Machinery came after the luchadors, with Otis having his sights set on Dolph Ziggler.
After "the Show Off" pried Otis's love interest Mandy Rose away from him after a miscommunication on Valentine's Day, Otis would charge Ziggler as soon as he and Roode exited their pod. Otis took out his anger on Dolph, but would find himself smashing through the plexiglass and crashing to the outside of the Chamber, after Ziggler dodged the Otis-sized bullet! The match would come down to the Usos and the champs, with "the A-Lister" and "the Shaman of Sexy" stealing the victory by piling on top of Jimmy Uso with their feet on the ropes. 'The Dirt Sheet' co-stars continued to reign on top of the SmackDown Tag Team division.
4) Aleister Black def. AJ Styles (with The O.C.) in 23:15 in a No-Disqualification match. The frustration was inset in "the Phenomenal One", less than two weeks removed from the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy Gauntlet at Super ShowDown. AJ Styles was cleaning house of the competition, when confronted by one last hurdle - the return of The Undertaker. "The Phenom" would leave Saudi Arabia as the victor after decimating all three members of the O.C. Aleister Black also sought for revenge for the Gauntlet loss six days prior on Monday Night RAW. Having endured Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in singles matches, AJ had the O.C.'s outside interference to defeat him with ease. Under No-Disqualification rules, "the Anti-Hero" brought the pain to AJ with a kendo stick and a steel chair, yet the presence of the Best Tag Team in the World would find Black in position for the Phenomenal Forearm. The lights would go out and return with the Undertaker emerging from the shadows. Delivering a mighty Chokeslam to Styles, "the Deadman" would disappear into the dark. Aleister Black would then seize the moment with the Black Mass. 5) The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) (c) def. Seth Rollins and Murphy (with AOP) in 18:30 to retain the RAW Tag Team Championship. History was made last week on RAW, where in the Last Chance match for Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, they would finally win the gold that had eluded them from Seth Rollins, and his most loyal disciple Murphy. It came with the help of Kevin Owens, whose disdain for "the Monday Night Messiah" and his cult-like following had been developing for months. The former RAW Tag Team Champions looked to regain their titles, using all the help they could get from Akam and Rezar. In the midst of things Kevin Owens daudled out to ringside with a big bag of popcorn. Making himself comfortable with a front row seat, KO drew the ire of Rollins. AOP soon found themselves in combat with the Viking Raiders, and when all was said and done, Montez would hit the Frog Splash on Murphy to capitalize on retaining the gold. Rollins was beside himself with the loss and voiced his disappointment in Murphy. In spite of this, Seth would blame Kevin Owens for the loss. After taking out his rage verbally on the relaxed Owens, a Stunner would add salt to Seth's wounds!
6) The Artist Collective (Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro) def. Braun Strowman (c) in 8:30 in a three-on-one Handicap match, with Sami Zayn becoming the new WWE Intercontinental Champion. Weeks of running from "the Monster Among Men" had caught up with Sami Zayn. "The Great Liberator" had outsmarted the Intercontinental Champion in a contract signing nine days ago on SmackDown, with Zayn having Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro added to the match. In spite of the numbers advantage, Braun Strowman powered through "the Artist" and "the Swiss Cyborg". Coming close to getting his hands on Sami, Cesaro and Nakamura would restrain and set Strowman up for a happenstance Helluva Kick in the corner! Far from single-handedly, Sami Zayn achieved his first WWE championship victory with help from his Artist Collective teammates. Sami celebrated as though he did it all alone, but what price would Sami have to pay once the giant came back for revenge?
7) Shayna Baszler def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka, Liv Morgan, Natalya, Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan in 21:00 in a Women's Elimination Chamber match to earn the opportunity to challenge for the RAW Women's Championship at WrestleMania. Becky Lynch watched on from a backstage monitor with a close eye on the competition. About to find out who her challenger would be in four weeks at WrestleMania, the Riott Squad showed that they could not possibly be more distant from a reunion before the match. Harsh words went exchanged between Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan, when Riott started with Natalya. Sarah Logan entered third, but Shayna Baszler's arrival would change the landscape of the match completely. Weeks after her shocking debut on Monday Night RAW, where she barbarically bloodied the face of Becky Lynch with a bite, "the Cage Fighter" sauntered into the Chamber and choked Logan, Riott and Natalya out in the span of two minutes, each with the Kirifuda Clutch!
An expert in MMA, Shayna Baszler cockily awaited her next foe, when Liv resiliently hoped to slow down Shayna. Unfortunately, the brutalist would slam her skull against the Chamber pod from a powerbomb position, before choking her out with the Kirifuda Clutch as well. One-half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions remained, and a buzz in the air in Philadelphia would see Asuka enter to positive fanfare. "The Empress of Tomorrow" fought valiantly in a dream match of sorts, only to be choked out much like the other four women! Shayna Baszler had dominated the entire field, the first person in Elimination Chamber history to single-handedly eliminate all opposition. With WrestleMania now set in her sights, "the Queen of Spades" saw the RAW Women's Championship in her future. How would "The Man" respond?
Monday Night RAW #1398 – March 9, 2020 Capital One Arena in Washington, DC LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AWAY FROM WRESTLEMANIA
WWE Main Event #389 – March 12, 2020 - Ricochet def. Eric Young with the Recoil. (5:28) - Shelton Benjamin def. Mike Kanellis (with Maria Kanellis) with the Paydirt. (5:12)
A video package aired, recapping the outcome of last night's WWE Elimination Chamber match. Shayna Baszler dominated the field, resulting in her becoming the number one contender to Becky Lynch's RAW Women's Championship.
The opening video package aired, bringing us to the Nation's Capitol in Washington, DC for Monday Night RAW. In the fallout of Elimination Chamber, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler welcomed everybody to RAW with the announcement that Edge would make his return to RAW for the first time in three months - and AJ Styles would be meeting Kevin Owens!
Outside in the parking lot of the Capitol One Arena, cameras were on standby awaiting the arrival of "the Rated R Superstar" - if he should show up tonight.
"The Man" addresses "The Cage Fighter" The RAW Women's Champion kicked off Monday Night RAW with plenty on her mind regarding her new top challenger. Becky Lynch reminisced about Shayna Baszler chomping down on her neck three weeks ago. She made a statement, with the blood of "the Man" dripping from her mouth. Becky recapped 'the Cage Fighter's rampant path of destruction with a video package, illustrating how much damage Baszler was capable of. But Becky asserted she was not afraid, and she had known all about Shayna. She knew the type of NXT Women's Champion she had been, and how no matter what, all she could think about was when Becky humiliated the MMA fighter's b*tch-buddy Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania two years ago. Lynch remembered Baszler refusing to shake her hand that night, which truly told her all she needed to know. "The Queen of Spades" came waltzing out to the aisleway, but stood still with her sights set on the RAW Women's Champion.
Shayna Baszler mouthed off to Becky Lynch, as "The Man" implored her to step into the ring. Abruptly, Shayna was ambushed from behind by the WWE Women's Tag Team Champion, Asuka! Not finished after their exchange last night, "the Empress of Tomorrow" faced off with Shayna with a distance between them.
Rey Mysterio set off down the hallway to the ring backstage. He had been taken out of action by Angel Garza last month with a hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete, but tonight, he had a shot at payback up next!
1) Rey Mysterio def. Angel Garza (with Zelina Vega) (8:57) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - Angel Garza tried to put up a fight and was effective in slowing Rey Mysterio down. Zelina Vega provided the distraction on a handful of occasions, but "the Legendary Luchador" evaded the Wingclipper and scored the victory with the 619 and the springboard splash.
Rey Mysterio was able to get one over on Angel Garza and took to celebrating after the bell, when Zelina Vega got in the face of the veteran luchador. Vega shoved Rey, when Garza recovered and jumped Rey from behind! Mysterio tried to make a comeback just to receive the Wingclipper, when Humberto Carrillo hit the ring. Chasing his cousin Angel from the ring, Garza and Zelina regrouped as Humberto helped the Legend to his feet.
Charly Caruso was standing by with Kevin Owens, who continued to eat the bag of popcorn. When asked about last night, Kevin talked frankly about just doing what felt right: and that was knocking Seth Rollins down a peg or two. Owens acknowledged "the Monday Night Messiah" being a martyr for himself of late, so he took matters into his own hands to remind him that this is not Monday Night Rollins - this was the Kevin Owens Show. Kevin began to talk about tonight's main event with AJ Styles, when suddenly AOP confronted him. Owens threw his popcorn at Akam and Rezar's way and began to slug against the two behemoths. With the assistance of Murphy, the disciples of Seth Rollins put the boots to Owens! With the match against AJ Styles tonight, Rollins laughed at the sight of a maimed KO.
A graphic aired, advertising "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as appearing live next week on 3:16 Day in Pittsburgh, on Monday Night RAW.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler discussed the unfolding of events that led to Charlotte Flair choosing to challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship at WrestleMania. A video package aired showing clips of Rhea Ripley walking the football field in an empty Raymond James Stadium. With the WrestleMania graphic on the gigantic screen in the stadium, Ripley spoke about coming from Adelaide, Australia to compete on "the Grandest Stage of Them All". This was the culmination of her journey, and it would be everything she dreamed about. When addressing Charlotte Flair, the NXT Women's Champion said she planned to beat "the Queen", and she wanted to be nothing like the challenger.
"The Queen" runs her mouth Coming straight after the video package of the champion, Charlotte Flair walked to the ring in high heels with an incredulous look on her face. Climbing into the ring, the black-dressed beauty sarcastically called Rhea Ripley the "next big thing". What a journey it had been for the small child from the Land Down Under, to make it to the big leagues and have the opportunity to stand across the ring from "the Queen" Charlotte. She considered herself royalty for a reason, because there was no competitor man or woman that was like her. Rhea said she wanted to be nothing like Flair, which was flattering to Charlotte - because she was out of Ripley's league. The 2020 Royal Rumble winner considered Rhea the new shiny toy from NXT, and how she had worked her ass off to make it to the NXT Women's Championship. With that said, Charlotte urged Ripley to understand the importance of the fact that if it wasn't for her, Ripley would remain defending her title like the big fish in a small pond she was.
To beat the best, you had to beat the best, and Charlotte claimed she was that best: and at WrestleMania in three weeks, "the Queen" vowed to ruin Rhea Ripley's hopes and dreams for good. To the surprise of many, Rhea Ripley made her way out to the ring! The NXT Women's Champion was red hot as she climbed into the ring, but as Charlotte explained how Monday Night RAW was her kingdom, Ripley slapped the taste out of Charlotte's mouth! Leaving without a word said, Charlotte enjoyed the poise of the champion!
An advertisement aired, promoting AJ Styles as appearing tomorrow night on WWE Backstage with co-hosts Renee Young and Booker T, only on FS1.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler discussed the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, showing a replay of the tenacity of the challenger. While Brock Lesnar had never been challenged to such an extent before, last week Drew McIntyre not only struck with a Claymore Kick in the ring; but twice more on the rampway. In surprising "the Beast Incarnate", McIntyre was proving not to be afraid of the WWE Champion!
2) Drew McIntyre def. Erick Rowan (3:15) - With his pet tarantula caged atop the steel steps, Erick Rowan looked to derail the 2020 Royal Rumble winner's momentum heading into WrestleMania. "The Scottish Warrior's" popularity was unparalleled, as he overcame the overbearing strikes of Rowan with the Claymore Kick in swift fashion.
With guns ablazing, Drew McIntyre was heading into WrestleMania not to be denied. "The Scottish Warrior" stood proudly in victory, when Paul Heyman's voice was heard. Coming out to the stage, the Advocate for "the Beast Incarnate" spoke bombastically of how proud he was. Drew McIntyre was every bit a warrior as he had let on, and he had proven that last week. Stunning Brock Lesnar with not one, not two, but three Claymore Kicks, Drew was not like most men Brock Lesnar had challenged. Heyman warned however, that Lesnar was not taking Drew lightly. As dominant and destructive as Drew was, destroying anything in his path, Brock wanted it to be known that now, Drew was the one with the target on his back! Finally McIntyre took to the mic from the ring. Wishing Heyman would shut up for a change, he knew Brock Lesnar's confidence was rocked after last week - but why couldn't he come tell him this himself?
"The Scottish Warrior" said he was counting down the days, hours and minutes until their confrontation at WrestleMania. But when he brings the fight to the WWE Champion, he expects 'the Beast Incarnate' to want to come out and play - not run and hide, and wait out the countdown to "the Grandaddy of Them All!" Heyman warned McIntyre that Brock Lesnar would be here on Monday Night RAW next week, and there would be hell to pay. Drew welcomed the challenge, reiterating that he was not afraid of Brock Lesnar: and at WrestleMania, he would kick his teeth down his throat one more time!
Backstage, the Viking Raiders were geared up and ready to go. Erik and Ivar spoke about Akam and Rezar as two big bad dudes about to find out what it was like to feel the Viking Experience. The Street Profits arrived to thank them for their help last night, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins pleased to still stand here as RAW Tag Team Champions. Erik told them it was no problem, but teased that as far as favors go, they might have to ask for one of their own soon enough - and challenge them for their titles. The champs played it cool, assuring them to bring the noise anytime anyplace. The Viking Raiders were glad, leaving to meet AOP - up next.
A vignette aired, showing Aleister Black sat at the dinner table in a dark, decrepid mansion. Drinking from a chalice, he spoke about the fight of a man like AJ Styles. A man with friends, "the Phenomenal One" discovered the hard way that Aleister was not as alone as he thought, last night at Elimination Chamber. In spite of that, Black took pity on AJ for feeling so cheated. Aleister wanted to right that wrong, telling AJ to name his date - he was willing to give him another chance to knock on his door, so long as AJ didn't invite his friends, Aleister wouldn't invite his.
An advertisement aired for Friday Night SmackDown, scheduled to see Paige confront the SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley; plus, the return of Jeff Hardy after eleven months out following knee surgery.
3) AOP def. The Viking Raiders (6:27) - As AOP and the Viking Raiders prepared for war, Seth Rollins made his arrival, electing to join commentary and run Kevin Owens' name through the mud. - AOP were overwhelmed by Erik and Ivar's proficiency as a unit, until Akam and Rezar took control sending Erik into the baricade. AOP isolated him from Ivar until the tag was made. The Viking Raiders fired back, but Murphy hit the ring. Off the distraction, AOP chopped Ivar down with the Last Chapter for the win.
Seth Rollins cackled from the announce position at AOP's win over the Viking Raiders, made possible by his disciple Murphy. "The Monday Night Messiah" was having a great night, having taken Kevin Owens out earlier tonight and now, looked to gather the troops to give Erik and Ivar a similar beating. The four began putting the boots to the Viking Raiders, when the Street Profits came racing to the ring! The RAW Tag Team Champions duked it out with Murphy, Akam and Rezar, when Seth evacuated the ring and ordered his men fall back! Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins helped Erik and Ivar to their feet, daring Rollins' army to come back and fight.
The O.C. were not in great spirits, after Aleister Black beat AJ Styles in the No-Disqualification match at last night's Elimination Chamber. "The Phenomenal One" led Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson down the hall, looking to surely address the Undertaker - up next.
A graphic aired, celebrating the WWE YouTube channel for reaching 40-billion views.
The O.C. give a deadline to "The Deadman" Twenty-four hours after the O.C. were vanquished a second time in three weeks by the Undertaker, AJ Styles led his men Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson out to the ring to talk. With his match tonight against Kevin Owens in a state of purgatory, "the Phenomenal One" thanked Seth Rollins for granting him the opportunity to find peace of mind and not have to worry about the Kevin Owens problem. Instead, AJ wanted to discuss "the Deadman's" obsession with the O.C. It was two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia where the Undertaker first took it upon himself to use his ego to take the Tuwaiq Cup and steal the win in the gauntlet match. He used all the supernatural powers he could to pry that trophy out of the rightful winner's hands - and that rightful winner was AJ Styles. Last night, the Undertaker again crept out of the shadows. This time he cost him his match against Aleister Black. Enough was enough! Styles complained about "the Deadman" only showing up for work whenever it suited him.
It was unsurprising to the O.C. why the old man only ever popped up when he wanted: and that's to collect a payday, and to collect his gigantic ego. The crowd booed as AJ spoke on how Undertaker had enjoyed thirty years of infamy as a WWE Superstar. He'd been "the Phenom" for so long, and he'd hung on for too long. He believed he should have retired ten years ago, and he wasn't sure why he kept coming back - but maybe it was because of his wife, Michelle McCool. AJ revealed to the world that the Undertaker and the former WWE Women's Champion were married, and that McCool was the most conniving person he'd ever had the misfortune of meeting! Styles continued to run down "the Deadman", exposing his legacy and claiming him to be an egotist - one that didn't know how to quit, but would when they met next. His body was tired and broken, he had already lost his pride, dignity and mystique. If anybody was going to finish the job, it was going to be him.
AJ Styles threw out the challenge, giving a deadline for the end of the night. Pronouncing his foe a coward, "the Phenomenal One" further goaded the Undertaker into showing himself and saying yes. He didn't want some haggered old fool named Mark Calaway answering his challenge. He wanted the same Undertaker that meant half-a-damn, until he lost the WrestleMania Streak all of those years ago. He dared Undertaker to accept his challenge, because at WrestleMania, AJ Styles vowed to be the one to finally do the business a favor: and kill the Undertaker in this very ring!
Randy Orton stood patiently in a dark room backstage. Biding time and awaiting the arrival of his absentee rival Edge, "the Apex Predator" was approached by Charly Caruso. The broadcast journalist wanted to get Randy's thoughts on "the Rated R Superstar's" big return tonight after three months away, and what was going through his mind following the RKO he handed Beth Phoenix last week. Randy would not even make eye contact with Charly, simply walking away.
4) Riddick Moss (c) def. Cedric Alexander to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship (3:55) - Much like Ricochet last week, Riddick Moss tried to make short work of Cedric Alexander. Mojo Rawley came out looking for retribution when R-Truth dashed out for a fight with Mojo. Alexander's Lumbar Check went reversed into a neckbreaker, granting Moss another title retention.
The newcomer was successful once again in retaining the WWE 24/7 Championship, albeit with assistance from distractions at ringside. Riddick Moss was on track to becoming the longest-reigning 24/7 Champion in the title's short history, but suddenly Mojo Rawley hit the ring causing Moss to flee. R-Truth hammered away at Moss at ringside, when Riddick was finally able to flee over the barricade. The rookie had a long way to respecting the lineage of the 24/7 gold.
Asuka threw some shadow-punches in the backstage area, when Kairi Sane approached her partner. The Kabuki Warriors spoke in Japanese about Shayna Baszler, with Sane expressing her disdain for "the Queen of Spades". "The Empress of Tomorrow" declared Shayna would face her wrath tonight, because nobody was ready for Asuka. Kairi screamed to Asuka that Shayna was going down tonight.
Elsewhere, Shayna Baszler waltzed the hall with the towel around her neck. "The Queen of Spades" was twenty-four hours off of her Elimination Chamber domination against Asuka among five others - but tonight, the singles match many had waited for was moments away.
The parking lot area remained desolate and empty, as Charly Caruso reported that there was still not a single sign of "the Rated R Superstar" Edge.
5) WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka def. Shayna Baszler by disqualification (9:15) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - "The Queen of Spades" and "The Empress of Tomorrow" went to war in a gripping match that saw plenty of mat-based holds and submission attempts attempted. The Asuka Lock was attempted twice yet both times Shayna would make the ropes. A knee strike was the difference-maker, and the WWE Women's Tag Team Champion would be massacred. Asuka fought back, but Shayna grabbed the Kirifuda Clutch - and hung Asuka from the top rope with it applied, forcing the referee to call for the bell!
The violence of "the Queen of Spades" was proving too much for even the WWE Women's Tag Team Champion, as Asuka tried to fight for dear life. Gasping for air, Shayna Baszler finally relinquished the hold. Asuka fell to the canvas, out on her knees. Suddenly, Shayna applied the Kirifuda Clutch a second time! The referee rushed in to drag Shayna off, when finally Kairi Sane came to her Kabuki Warriors partner's aid. "The Pirate Princess" struck with rights and lefts, but Shayna would take her out with a catching powerbomb. The Kirifuda Clutch was now applied on Kairi, when Becky Lynch came storming out to the ring! The RAW Women's Champion was held back by producers and backstage staff, all not wanting "the Man" to meet Baszler, who wished for her to bring it. Held back at ringside, Baszler ran her mouth - counting down the days until WrestleMania.
A video package aired, showing footage of Triple H accepting the award for Lifetime Achievement at the Arnold Classic, with kind words mentioned by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Outside the trainer's office, Charly Caruso was standing by with Chris the trainer. She wanted to get a medical update on the condition of Kevin Owens after the attack from Seth Rollins and his disiciples earlier tonight. The trainer simply said that KO was banged up pretty badly, and his main event match with AJ Styles was in jeopardy.
"R" stands for "Revenge" Returning to the ring, MVP had taken to the ring to try and win himself over in the hearts of the Washington, DC crowd. Instead met with loud boos, Montel Vontavious Porter could not understand the hostility, but understand why a bunch of idiots in the Nation's Capitol would detest a guy like him considering they supported the Washington Wizards! As someone transitioning from the role of an in-ring competitor to something of a brainiac, he wanted to build a stable and needed a strong and solid foundation. Since he came back at the Royal Rumble in January, he'd been scouting the very best the WWE had to offer - but of all the people around, the guy for the job in his mind was Edge. After all, the two of them went way back - to the good old days, over ten years ago! And now, they were both back in the ring after such lengthy sabbaticals.
MVP spoke about Edge lacking in focus since returning to the squared-circle, but if he was in "the Franchise Playa's" stable - Edge would be a champion again in no time. As Montel Vontavious Porter argued with the people, a black SUV was shown pulling to the arena. Out stepped Edge, who wasted no time stepping out of the vehicle and making a dash for the arena. A caged animal unleashed, "the Rated R Superstar" arrived in front of the people, storming the ring and snatching the microphone. Demanding Randy Orton grow a set and show himself, MVP tried to calm him down. Once again claiming Edge was focusing on the wrong things that got him down, he again tried selling Edge on becoming the foundation of MVP's enterprise faction. MVP made the mistake of asking how his wife was doing, bringing Edge to strike with the Spear! Full of hate, Edge paced the ring when finally Randy Orton stepped out to the stage. Edge spotted him immediately and came straight after him - Orton leaving immediately!
"The Rated R Superstar" chased "the Viper" to the backstage area, where in the Gorilla Position behind the curtain, Edge grabbed WWE producer Jamie Noble by the collar and demanding to know where his arch rival had disappeared to. Noble professed not having a clue, and Edge groaned in frustration. With Orton AWOL, Edge spotted MVP slowly recovering in the ring on the monitor. Deciding to return to the ring, Edge slipped inside and struck an unsuspecting MVP with a second Spear! Leaving the ring, he wished to send a message to Orton now - grabbing two steel chairs and slipping inside, Edge rested MVP's head on one chair and stood tall over him with another. Much like Randy had done two months ago, Edge struck with a brutal One-Man Conchairto! It was a sign of things to come in Orton's future, come WrestleMania.
A replay showed the brutal beating that Edge had unleashed in MVP, frustrated that he was again unable to get his hands on Randy Orton.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler recapped everything that Randy Orton had done to Edge and his family in recent months, dating back to the night after the Royal Rumble. Orton stabbed Edge in the heart with a One-Man Conchairto; he'd wiped out Matt Hardy, and last week he'd given "the Rated R Superstar's" own wife Beth Phoenix an RKO.
Angel Garza and Zelina Vega continued to regroup in the locker room after Humberto Carrillo made the save for Rey Mysterio earlier tonight. Angel said how much he despised his younger cousin. Not only was he less talented, he was less charismatic and far less attractive. Garza called Humberto jealous, when Zelina tried to focus Angel when it came to the task of taking the legendary Rey Mysterio out for good. Andrade swaggered into the scene, the WWE United States Champion dressed to the nines asking his familia if they were ready to go out and hit the town. Zelina was unimpressed, asking him where his head was. "El Idolo" spoke truthfully - he retained the gold last night at Elimination Chamber, beating Humberto Carrillo. He'd also already beaten Rey, to win the title months ago. But if it pleased Zelina and Angel, Andrade proposed they team up for a tag team match next week to really show them who ran Monday nights.
The announcers ran down the line-up for WrestleMania in less than four weeks, live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on April 5, 2020.
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) (c) vs Drew McIntyre
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs Roman Reigns
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
A video package aired providing a brief history on the dominance of Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman narrated, as "the Beast Incarnate" dominated the likes of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, John Cena and the Undertaker. The Advocate said nobody had dominated for this long, and noted Brock as the undisputed, reigning, defending WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World. The video then turned to show Drew McIntyre's journey to the top of the card at WrestleMania. From "the Chosen One" to "the Scottish Warrior", McIntyre claimed he would kick Lesnar in the face, knock him on his ass, and become the WWE Champion for the first time in his life.
Time was up for "the Phenom", as AJ Styles headed for the ring. Accompanied by The O.C., "the Phenomenal One" was supposed to meet Kevin Owens tonight, though KO was apparently too hurt to meet him! Would the Undertaker respond to The O.C.'s deadline? We would find out - up next!
Becky Lynch was in a foul mood in the backstage hall, when approached by the sheepish Charly Caruso. She asked the RAW Women's Champion where her head was at after the exchange with Shayna Baszler tonight. "The Man" declared Shayna was a dead woman come WrestleMania, and said how normally, regular people like her don't beat trained killers such as Shayna. Except Becky does, she did, and she will again! Lynch vowed to smash "the Cage Fighter's" face in at "the Grandaddy of Them All".
Will The O.C. get their answer? Time was ticking, as the O.C. made their way down the rampway for the second time tonight. To loud boos, AJ Styles was joined by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson as the trio climbed into the ring. "The Phenomenal One" heard chants for the Undertaker, and AJ said he was looking forward to hearing from him too. Styles reminded everybody of how he gave "the Phenom" until the end of the night to go ahead and admit he was too afraid to go one-on-one with AJ Styles at WrestleMania. AJ repeated how he was going to do what Michelle McCool wanted somebody to do to her husband, and kill him for real at WrestleMania. He noted that Undertaker doesn't know when to quit when he should, because he's too selfish - but if he was smart, even he'd know to avoid "the Phenomenal One" in less than four weeks.
AJ Styles called out for the Undertaker - but instead of "the Phenom", the O.C. were met by Kevin Owens - a taped-up shoulder and all!
6) AJ Styles (with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) def. Kevin Owens (17:29) [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - Against the better judgment of the trainer, Kevin Owens combatted AJ Styles after the attack from Seth Rollins and his disciples earlier tonight. A hard-fought battle saw Owens fight with all his might. The O.C.'s cheap tactics came into play early, leading to them getting ejected from ringside. Owens rallied back despite "the Phenomenal One's" work on the shoulder, when Owens used a referee bump to his advantage. The apron powerbomb saw Owens make a comeback when Seth Rollins, Murphy and AOP arrived at ringside. With no referee in sight, the faction circled the ring. KO tried to fight them all off only to be outnumbered. Rollins hit the Stomp, when AJ opportunistically got the win with the springboard 450 splash!
Seth Rollins applauded AJ Styles on a successful victory, as himself, Murphy and AOP backed away up the aisleway. Just revenge for costing "the Monday Night Messiah" and Murphy the RAW Tag Team Championship last night at Elimination Chamber, Kevin Owens was down and hurting. Meanwhile, AJ Styles stood tall on top of the world. Talking trash once again, suddenly the lights went out. When they returned, with a gong, the Undertaker stood face-to-face with "the Phenomenal One" in the ring! Time stood still, as "the Phenom" slowly turned and pointed to the screen - showing a graphic reading "At WrestleMania, you will Rest In Peace". Styles had his answer!
NXT: Fan Appreciation Night #395 – March 11, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AWAY FROM NXT TAKEOVER: TAMPA BAY
0) Mia Yim def. Santana Garrett with the Seoul Food. (5:31) 0) Isaiah Scott def. Raúl Mendoza with the House Call. (6:27)
A video package aired, recapping last week's events from NXT. Two Steel-Cage matches saw seeing Dakota Kai weasel away from Tegan Nox with help from Raquel González; Johnny Gargano was interviewed by Mauro Ranallo; and Roderick Strong cheated Velveteen Dream with help from the Undisputed Era. Dream would get his own back against Adam Cole, and end the night raising the NXT Championship high atop the cage.
We were not live from Full Sail University tonight - but the WWE Performance Center! Mauro Ranallo stood atop the Perch inside the WWEPC, as he welcomed us to a very special edition of WWE NXT. It was Fan Appreciation Night, hosting two NXT Championship matches!
The opening video package aired, bringing us to the WWE Performance Center, where a crowd of over a thousand stood in attendance from the WWE's state-of-the-art training facility. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Beth Phoenix welcomed everybody to NXT, on a night where both Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa would be in the same house; plus, the BroserWeights would defend their newly won NXT Tag Team Championship against Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly.
1) Keith Lee (c) def. Cameron Grimes to retain the NXT North American Championship (10:47) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - "The Carolina Caveman" had been in hot pursuit of the new NXT North American Champion for weeks, and tonight was his chance to try take it. Grimes struck fast and hard, but the impressive size, power and agility would see "Limitless" Keith Lee claim victory with the Big Bang Catastrophe to retain the gold.
The NXT North American Championship had been successfully defended, but Keith Lee would not have long to celebrate. Damien Priest struck from behind with repeated shots to the leg with his baton! Lee went down like a tonne of bricks, when Dominic Dijakovic rushed to the ring to his previous rival's aid. Dijakovic and Priest brawled it out, before Priest was able to escape from the ring. Dijakovic confiscated the baton and tossed it Priest's way up the rampway, as Keith Lee came to his feet. A show of respect was shared between the two giants that had met at NXT TakeOver: Portland several weeks ago - as Dijakovic made eyes at "the Archer of Infamy".
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Beth Phoenix discussed NXT Fan Appreciation Night, and talked about the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay. They recapped Robert Stone accompanying Chelsea Green to qualifying last week, defeating Shotzi Blackheart. Up next, Kacy Catanzaro had a huge opportunity against Dakota Kai!
A graphic aired, noting that tonight's NXT was broadcasting live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
Feeling scorched earth ever since his #DIY soulmate Johnny Gargano turned on him back at NXT TakeOver: Portland, Tommaso Ciampa walked with purpose when arriving at the WWE Performance Center earlier today. "The Blackheart" was approached for comment by Alicia Taylor who asked what his business was. Knowing Gargano would be here tonight, Ciampa told Alicia simply that he was going to force Gargano to eat his own heart in front of the world!
2) Dakota Kai (with Raquel González) def. Kacy Catanzaro (with Kayden Carter) to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay (7:00) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - After cheating longtime rival Tegan Nox out of victory in the Steel Cage last week, Dakota Kai set their sights on the Women's Ladder match. Kacy Catanzaro had back-up from her frequent tag partner Kayden Carter to match Raquel González. Despite the athleticism of the youngster, Kai qualified with the GTK.
Dakota Kai was brash in her victory over Kacy Catanzaro, the second woman qualified into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match at NXT TakeOver - joining Chelsea Green. Kayden Carter slipped into the ring to check on her partner after the bell, when Dakota set Raquez González on her! Carter tried putting up a fight, only to be thrown from the ring with an astonishing military press slam!
It was the night for action in the Undisputed Era camp. It was back at NXT TakeOver: Portland three weeks ago where Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne of the BroserWeights dethroned Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly, becoming NXT Tag Team Champions. Roderick Strong talked the challengers up in the dressing room, as Fish and O'Reilly would get their rematch tonight!
Earlier today, a pre-taped interviewed aired with Tyler Breeze hanging out at the WWE Performance Center. When asked about being back in the WWEPC in which he became a WWE Superstar out of, "Prince Pretty" was proud of all of the black-and-yellow brand's accomplishments - when interrupted by Austin Theory. Now Theory was the one with the iPhone in hand, introducing himself to Breeze with obnoxious intentions. Austin forgot who Tyler even was, bringing up how much of a star he had been - having come up through EVOLVE to make it here. Austin planned to blast through NXT and continued running his mouth, when Tyler suddenly snapped a picture of Austin on his phone! Breeze said he'd taken it as a reminder of the nobody Breeze would beat next week on NXT. Theory snarled in abandon.
3) Kushida def. Tony Nese (6:22) - Ahead of the ten-man elimination tag team match on 205 Live this Friday, Team NXT battled a 205 Original in singles competition. It was fast-paced, mat-based action with Nese turning things aerial, but Kushida reversed a superplex into a cross-armbreaker off the top rope, forcing Nese into submission.
Kushida got the victory headed into Friday's huge match, which would see the NXT Cruiserweights consisting of Kushida himself, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Tyler Breeze, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan battle the 205 Live Originals - Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari, The Brian Kendrick, Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Mike Kanellis.
The NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley had delivered a harsh slap to the face of Charlotte Flair last night on Monday Night RAW. Up next, she was planning on addressing the 2020 Royal Rumble winner in front of the WWE Performance Center crowd.
Coming after the altercation with Damien Priest, following the NXT North American Championship match Keith Lee sat down in a chair nursing the back of his leg. Dominic Dijakovic approached his on-again, off-again rival telling him not to get things twisted: he did what he did for himself, not for "the Limitless One". Keith wouldn't put it any other way, but told Dominic that he wished he would pick his own fights. Dijakovic smiled, telling Keith they were destined to fight forever - however for right now, his business was with "the Archer of Infamy" who he is challenging to a match next week. Cordially, the champ wished him luck.
"The Queen" makes NXT her palace once more The NXT Women's Champion made a resounding impression on "the Queen" of Monday Night RAW last night, slapping Charlotte Flair down to the mat before leaving without any further explanation. With WrestleMania weeks away, Rhea Ripley addressed Charlotte in the ring to discuss what Flair had to say about her last night. While acknowledging the fact that because she had the NXT Women's Championship in her hand, it made her the new shiny toy, she was not to be underestimated. Rhea said while this journey of a young kid coming from Adelaide, Australia getting to live her dream as a full-fledged WWE Superstars at "the Showcase of the Immortals" was absolutely true, she was not making it her personality. When she told Charlotte that she wanted to be nothing like her, she meant that she didn't want to be anything that Flair embodied. She didn't want to be Flair, not only for what she represented, but for how she presented herself.
Rhea talked about Charlotte regarding herself as "Wrestling Royalty", but as impressive as winning the 2020 Royal Rumble match was - there had to be reasons why Flair chose to challenge her over Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship; or Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship. Ripley stated Charlotte saw her as the easy target, believing WrestleMania to be another field day for her to come one step closer to following in her father's footsteps: becoming a sixteen-time Women's Champion someday. Ripley repeated that she would not be beaten, and she would not be denied this moment she had dreamed of for her entire life! This was her home, her palace, and now that she was the champ, Charlotte would need to try everything in her power to take the title away from her. Charlotte Flair returned to her roots on NXT, with no notice given to the NXT Universe. The WWE Performance Center were stunned, but still chanted "go back to RAW" at the challenger.
Flair smiled, basking in the reception before questioning if that was any way to speak to the next NXT Women's Champion. Flair told Rhea that she was making quite the impression. Impressed, Flair enjoyed the slap she received last night on RAW...but that wasn't to say she wasn't going to humble, humiliate and drown the fastest rising star in NXT. Flair struck first, the fight on inside the WWEPC! Ripley fired back, but Charlotte struck with a chop block with the champ's back turned. Kicking at the leg, Flair looked to apply the Figure-8 Leglock but Ripley fought off. Charlotte's back-up plan came into effect by slamming Rhea's legs against the ring post - soon applying the Figure-4 Leglock around the ring post! Producers scrambled to break Charlotte away, as Rhea rived in pain for relief!
A replay aired, recapping the brutality of the 2020 Royal Rumble winner on show moments ago. Charlotte Flair liked the slap received last night on Monday Night RAW so much, that she assaulted the NXT Women's Champion in front of the NXT Universe - locking Rhea Ripley in the Figure-4 Leglock against the ring post!
4) Tegan Nox def. Mercedes Martinez to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay (5:02) - As tensions flared surrounding the NXT Women's Championship, these two women vyed for the chance to join Chelsea Green and Dakota Kai in the Ladder match at NXT TakeOver. Mercedes Martinez targeted the braced leg of Nox, but "the Girl With the Shiniest Wizard" scored the win with a bridging pin!
Three women had qualified for the Ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay, with Tegan Nox now joining her arch rival Dakota Kai alongside Chelsea Green, of the Robert Stone Brand. Tegan was overjoyed at the victory sensing the opportunities, when Mercedes Martinez uncharacteristically ambushed Nox from behind! Bitter and enraged, Mercedes sent Nox out to the ringside floor where she hung Nox up in a tree of woe against the ringside guardrail! Mercedes grabbed a Singapore cane and bashed it across her knee repeatedly, finally being ordered away by the official. Something had gotten into Martinez!
A video package aired, highlighting the reign of domination in which WALTER had brought to NXT UK. Since becoming NXT United Kingdom Champion one year ago, "The Ring General" had been unmatched and unbeaten. With Imperium by his side however, a beating from Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner two weeks ago had awoken something within Finn Bálor. "The Prince" said last week he'd told WALTER that they'd be seeing each other sooner than later - and that much will be true. Finn presented a plane ticket to England, telling WALTER that he could expect to see him tomorrow on the WWE Network...on NXT UK!
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
An Undisputed reign called into question With his teammates in the Undisputed Era out to recapture the NXT Tag Team Championships in mere moments, Adam Cole pranced out to the ring to a mixed ovation from the WWE Performance Center faithful. The NXT Champion proudly showcased the gold on his shoulder as he took to the mic to speak on how great it felt to be the champion the Universe needed. Where great men such as Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre and Johnny Gargano had held this very title - none of them were anywhere close to being on the same level as he was. Adam Cole recapped how he had been the NXT Champion since June 1, 2019: and next week would mark the date that made Adam Cole bay-bay the longest-reigning champion in NXT history! The fans booed more as Adam Cole gloated and basked in his own excellence, talking about the men he had beaten: from Johnny Gargano to Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Bálor to Dominic Dijakovic.
Nobody came close, and nobody was in contention to his NXT Championship. Velveteen Dream begged to differ: his voice softly speaking about the gradiosity of Adam Cole and his Undisputed chipmunks. The Dream regarded Cole as undeniable, but refuted the fact he was untouchable, speaking soundly of last week when he took the fight to the NXT Champion. Adam joked that Dream wasn't victorious in his Steel Cage match - that was Roderick Strong. Cole told Velveteen to get in at the back of the line, because if the Dream was in contention - this title was a joke! The Dream told Adam the joke around NXT was him and his boyfriends running around like they owned this house. If Cole wasn't going to answer his challenge, Dream was simply going to have to keep poking and prodding until the NXT Champion was man enough to change his mind. Cole mouthed off, telling Dream he wouldn't accept his challenge in a million years: he wasn't worthy! Dream walked away, getting under the champion's skin.
Backstage, the BroserWeights formed an unlikely combination. Matt Riddle grinned from ear to ear, Pete Dunne sulking. Both with the NXT Tag Team Championships, up next the winners of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic would defend their gold against the former champions, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. The Undisputed Era walked with Roderick Strong behind them, poised and ready for the rematch from NXT TakeOver: Portland.
Footage aired from moments ago during the commercial break, showing Raúl Mendoza in the middle of a fight with a mysterious figure wearing a ski-mask in the WWE Performance Center parking lot! Mendoza fought with all the might he had, when snatched by a second masked assailant. Tossed into the back of a black SUV, Mendoza had been kidnapped - but by whom?
5) The BroserWeights (c) def. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly (with Roderick Strong) to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (16:36) [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - The odd couple dethroned Undisputed Era at NXT TakeOver: Portland, but the BroserWeights had tough work coming their way. Grizzled Young Veterans involved themselves after comments made last week, but Zack Gibson and James Drake would be taken out by a big back body drop from Pete Dunne to Fish. Strong interfered just to be taken out by Velveteen Dream, when a double knee strike to O'Reilly allowed the champs to retain the gold!
All parties involved in this chart-busting match for the NXT Tag Team Championships were dismayed by the outcome. Roderick Strong clutched his jaw after the attack launched by Velveteen Dream, who had to have Adam Cole and the NXT Championship playing on his mind. Grizzled Young Veterans retreated up the rampway meanwhile, scowling all the while at the BroserWeights who celebrated inside the ring. After beating Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly a second time in a month, Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne welcomed the challenge of James Drake and Zack Gibson!
Tommaso Ciampa walked slowly, having vowed to force Johnny Gargano to eat his own heart before the NXT faithful in WWE Performance Center. "The Blackheart" was coming to the ring to order out his former friend - up next.
Coming after her heinous ambush on Tegan Nox, after losing out on the opportunity to qualify for the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay, Mercedes Martinez was seen pacing back and forth. In the corridor of the WWE Performance Center, she stopped upon being approached by Raquel González. The two colossal ladies stared one another down, when Dakota Kai walked up smiling. Handing her money and shaking hands with Martinez, Kai told Mercedes there was more where that came from: if next time she made sure Nox couldn't walk again. Mercedes smiled, a gun for hire!
#DIY destroy the WWE Performance Center It was on February 16 at NXT TakeOver: Portland where Tommaso Ciampa was screwed out of the NXT Championship against Adam Cole, thanks to the betrayal of his thought-to-be good friend Johnny Gargano. Tommaso Ciampa made his way to the ring to address Gargano, making it short and sweet. They all knew why he was here: to demand Gargano show himself. "The Blackheart" waited patiently, when Johnny Gargano appeared on the big screen. Situated in a backstage office, Johnny told Tommaso that this is what they were going to do. It was going to be done his way, because his way was the right way. After all they had been through together, Gargano was coming to him from this office because these walls are where it all began for the two of them. It was in the WWE Performance Center where their bond developed and grew - where the two of them were offered their first NXT contracts. And where #DIY was born.
Tommaso Ciampa visibly had had enough of Johnny Gargano's speech and took off on a hunt for him, as Gargano reeled off how the entire world had seemingly forgotten it was "the Blackheart" who had stabbed him in the heart. It was Ciampa who maimed him and did despicable acts to him, but was all of that to go forgotten simply because they had reunited? Gargano said old wounds never healed, when Ciampa burst into the office that Gargano sat in! The two #DIY partners brawled immediately, going back and forth wasting no time. It became a brawl that encompassed the WWE Performance Center, as Ciampa sent Gargano crashing through a drywall into the trainer's room. The two battled with Gargano using a low blow to his advantage. Into the gym room, the two tussled over weights as weapons - culminating with Gargano smashing a full-length mirror, having tossed a weight in Ciampa's way!
Tommaso Ciampa battled "Johnny Wrestling" into the arena, the NXT Universe loud for "the Blackheart" as they brawled through the sea of people in attendance. Johnny Gargano used a low blow to begin his escape, climbing to the top of the perch overlooking the WWEPC. Ciampa followed suit, with Gargano gaining an opening and having Ciampa cling to the edge of the perch over the announce position. Ciampa fought back, but it was a trap designed for the Gargano Escape to go locked in - until Ciampa brawled to freedom. Gargano teased dumping his old best friend off the Perch, but Ciampa would surprise him with an Air Raid Crash: both men exploding through the announce table some ten feet below! The WWE Performance Center chanted "NXT!" while there was no sign of life from the two rivals.
WWE NXT UK #84 – March 12, 2020 Coventry Skydome in Coventry, England LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AWAY FROM NXT TAKEOVER: TAMPA BAY
The opening video package aired, bringing us to Coventry Skydome for another exciting edition of WWE NXT UK. Nigel McGuinness stood ringside with his new broadcast colleague and play-by-play announcer Andy Shepherd, who was the former ring announcer for NXT UK! They talked about seeing Noam Dar battle Ligero tonight; plus, Pretty Deadly and Dani Luna would be in competition.
Finn Bálor wants "The Ring General" He had warned of his presence last night on NXT, and Coventry Skydome were treated by the unexpected arrival of "the Prince". Finn Bálor had returned across the pond to respond to a beating received from the hands of Imperium's underlings last month in Full Sail University. Bálor received a hero's welcome home to the United Kingdom, as he got down to business. Everybody wanted to know Finn's next move, but he had waited long enough to announce what that was going to be. He made it known he wasn't here to move the needle, to rock the boat or boost the ratings. Simply put, Finn was here to call out and challenge the NXT United Kingdom Champion - WALTER! The champion wasted no time in responding to the call, as WALTER marched down the aisle to confront Finn Bálor. The NXT United Kingdom Champion stared a hole through Finn from ringside, as Bálor removed his leather jacket and challenged him to fight, just the two of them!
Predictably, "the Ring General's" minions would arrive, Imperium walking out to join their leader. Alexander Wolfe had a microphone in hand, welcoming Bálor to NXT UK: Imperium's domain. Wolfe proposed he, Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner give Bálor the greeting he deseved, WALTER watched as his men hit the ring just for "the Prince" to evade an ambush! Wolfe attempted the German suplex, but Finn struck with the Sling Blade! WALTER entered with a clothesline attempt, but Bálor was able to escape to ringside. What would WALTER's response be?
Two weeks removed from the heinous I Quit match for the NXT Women's Championship, Piper Niven was interviewed by Josiah Williams regarding her reaction to Kay Lee Ray forcing Toni Storm to surrender with a super kick into a steel chair, wrapped around her neck. She spoke about her and Toni being like sisters, and sometimes sisters fought. She came out during the I Quit match to try and talk some sense into the former champ, before she got herself crippled. She could have interfered in the match, but Toni would have never spoken to her again. And when she comforted her sister, she looked up to Kay Lee Ray and saw how evil she truly was. Piper proposed maybe she needed to do something about her.
A video package aired, highlighting Tyler Bate.
1) Noam Dar def. Ligero (6:10) - "The Scottish Supernova" had become jaded since becoming a permanent member of the NXT UK brand. Against Ligero tonight, "the Prestigious Mexican Sensation" worked hard athletically to take Dar off his game, but an abrupt Nova Roller would give the Scotsman the win.
Noam Dar celebrated his win after the match, racking up the victories with another win tonight against Ligero.
NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint and his assistant Sid Scala chatted in the backstage corridor when Alexander Wolfe appeared. Aggravated after the altercation with Finn Bálor, Wolfe wanted a match with "the Prince" in which the GM accepted! Wolfe left, when NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin walked through. Greeting the British Legend cordially, Saint and Scala complimented "the Irish Ace" on doing the NXT UK brand proud. Saint soon informed Devlin of his first defense of the title, in two weeks time against Travis Banks. Devlin scoffed, thanking Saint, though it was clear Devlin felt threatened by "the Kiwi Buzzsaw".
Dave Mastiff, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster were seen hanging out at the UK Performance Center when they were confronted by Gallus. The trio of Joe and Mark Coffey along with Wolfgang confronted the trio, talking trash about the jokes that stood before them. Mastiff, Andrews and Webster acted pally with the three hard-nosed bruisers, when Gallus issued the challenge to a six-man tag team match next week. The banter led to the challenge accepted.
2) Pretty Deadly def. Dan Moloney and Dereiss Gordon (6:05) - The two prettyboys were primed for some NXT UK gold, being number one contenders to the NXT UK Tag Team Champions Gallus. They threw their shirts in the faces of Dan Moloney and Dereiss Gordon and made relatively short work of them, scoring the win with the Deadly Pretty on Moloney.
Oliver Howley and Sam Stoker of Pretty Deadly posed in triumph after their win against Dan Moloney and Dereiss Gordon. They had to be keeping an eye on the outcome of next week's six-man tag team match between the NXT UK Tag Team Champions Gallus, and the trio of Dave Mastiff, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
Josiah Williams was standing by with Travis Banks, after the announcement from NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint that he would challenge Jordan Devlin in two weeks. "The Kiwi Buzzsaw" made it known that he had no problems with "the Irish Ace", who made it a testament of how good he was when he captured the NXT Cruiserweight Championship at Worlds Collide in January. But Banks wasn't going to let this opportunity slip: vowing to become the first Kiwi to win an NXT title.
3) Dani Luna vs Amale ended in a no contest (2:00) - The young, alternative powerhouse from Croydon had to have seen what the NXT Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray did to Toni Storm a few weeks ago in their I Quit match. Up against Amale, Dani Luna showed her power until Kay Lee Ray inexplicably hit the ring and attacked both women!
The NXT UK Universe groaned as the NXT UK Women's Champion stood tall after taking care of both Dani Luna, as well as Amale. Kay Lee Ray joked that nobody wanted to see a match like that after they had seen what this division was capable of a few weeks ago. KLR said now she had successfully gotten rid of Toni Storm, she was here to let every girl in NXT UK know that this division belonged to her. Suddenly, Dani Luna showed fight in standing up for herself only to be laid out moments after with the Gory Bomb. The champ repeated her point, a statement to the entire division.
A vignette aired, highlighting the unbeaten record of NXT UK newcomer Aoife Valkyrie. Hailing from Northern Ireland, Aoife had beaten Amale and Isla Dawn in recent weeks, and explained that every feather she wore stood for a battle she won to become who she was.
4) Finn Bálor def. Alexander Wolfe (8:25) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - Approved by Johnny Saint after Alexander Wolfe demanded it, "the Prince" got the chance to get even from the beating received by Imperium on NXT across the pond, just shy of a month ago. With WALTER on his mind, Finn Bálor worked hard when Imperium came down the aisle to spectate. Much like earlier, Finn took out Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner, when the referee ejected the group from ringside. Finn struck with the basement dropkick, the Coup de Grâce and the 1916 for a decisive win.
"The Prince" had taken care of Alexander Wolfe in the main event of NXT UK tonight, but after the challenge had been issued by Finn Bálor earlier tonight, he had still yet to hear from "the Ring General" himself. Finn would not have long to wait, as WALTER marched out and posed with his arms folded behind his back. The NXT United Kingdom Champion watched Finn from the aisle, with Bálor here refusing to be denied!
WWE announced Thursday that this week's episode of "SmackDown Live" will not take place in Detroit as planned and will not have a live audience.
"Friday Night SmackDown" on March 13 will air live as regularly scheduled and emanate from WWE's training facility in Orlando, Florida with only essential personnel in attendance," WWE said in a statement. "The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan".
"We are putting contingnency plans in place in the event that upcoming WWE shows are cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues," the statement continued. "We are monitoring the situation closely and as always we will take the necessary precautions to protect the health and wellness of our fans, performers and employees."
- VARIETY'S JOE OTTERSON
Do you remember where you were on that fateful day in March 2020, when the world stood still?
It seemed to have spread like wildfire. From Wuhan, China in December where this virus first originated, to the United States of America merely weeks later. Within three months, this infection was revealed to have spread to 110 countries worldwide. The World Health Organization declared it to be a "pandemic", yet the Trump Administration continued to dig their heels. It felt like End Times; like something inspired from Naughty Dog's 'The Last of Us'. Life continued to go on, day by day. It felt like borrowed time, as sports and entertainment continued as though nothing was wrong. But everything was wrong.
In a shocking announced on March 11, 2020, the National Basketball Association declared the suspension of its season for at least 30 days after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for Coronavirus. Not even hours later, the National Hockey League similarly followed suit.
Perhaps it was overly ambitious, or simply ignorant on the part of the WWE to be convinced of their own ability to present Friday Night SmackDown live to a sell-out crowd in Detroit on March 13, 2020. Merely five days after WWE Elimination Chamber, a night in Philadelphia which spoke nothing about a virus encompassing the event. Four days prior, Monday Night RAW emanated from the Nation's Capitol in Washington, DC - and again, there was no indication that anything was amiss.
Yet interestingly, one night prior to the announcement from FOX 2 Detroit, WWE NXT tellingly would present Fan Appreciation Night from the WWE Performance Center facility in Orlando, Florida. It was a sign of things to come, albeit coincidental. After all, Full Sail University was booked that Wednesday evening. Unintentionally, it was a trial for what would become the new norm.
“While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues," WWE said. "The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay."
Things changed hour-by-hour, abruptly and suddenly. The Mayor of Tampa Bay, the home of this year's WrestleMania 36 spectacular from Raymond James Stadium, is convinced that there is still time to consider a decision regarding 'the Showcase of the Immortals'. As though this pandemic is anything like a fever or a cold. Much like President Trump, the WWE are dragging their heels, too stubborn to admit that WrestleMania is in jeopardy of actually happening as advertised.
Yet, who is to say that this will be a long-term, documented series of events? Who is to say that this will be a new permanence? Maybe with the correct conditions, we will be able to go back to the way things were. Where colds, sicknesses and flus come and go without any provocation. Who is to say that we are unable to see our friends and loved ones again for a while, so long as we obide by the newly introduced restrictions set by governmental authorities around the world?
Across the board, the WWE have called all bets off for the next few weeks. All events have been moved to the WWE Performance Center, restricted to closed-set essential personnel, for the foreseeable. What will become of WrestleMania? What ramifications are there to be had for the landscape of this business?
One thing is for certain. Without fans, without audiences - this becomes an entirely different game. Sports entertainment is one that has always thrived on the enthusiasm of the viewing people. With every spectator's cheer or boo, it serves as motivation and inspiration to each and every Superstar competing within the squared-circle. They do it to entertain us fans, they do it to make us feel emotion whether good, or bad.
What becomes of sports entertainment when that is cast aside and 14,853 people from a mere few days ago in Philly's Wells Fargo Center, are eliminated from the equation. When a multibillion franchise such as the WWE is reduced to producing shows based in warehouses such as the WWEPC, like some common indy?
Without those fans, creative liberty can run wild. Without those fans, technical innovation can be roam free. Without those fans, great care must be taken; but great pride must be undergone.
The bottom line is, these talents are sacrificing our lives. As the world dots up like stars, with authorities worldwide enforcing stay-at-home orders to citizens, civilians and pedestrians, the WWE is truly the last show in town. The talent are doing this not only for the money, but the drive and the passion of the performing arts that this business is built upon.
Welcome to the new decade, the new era that was never to be expected in a million years.
Welcome to the New Normal, where anything can happen and anything goes.
Welcome to the Pandemic Project: Keep Your Distance.
Friday Night SmackDown #1073 – March 13, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida Presented by LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AWAY FROM WRESTLEMANIA
Friday Night SmackDown went on the air live, not from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit - but the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. WWE executive Triple H stood on the perch inside the arena, welcoming the fans to the show from the state-of-the-art training facility. Clips aired of the WWEPC, as "The Game" told how the facility was built to create the future of the WWE. From Roman Reigns to Sasha Banks, Baron Corbin to Asuka, Bayley to Bray Wyatt - many WWE Superstar made their start in the Performance Center. "The Cerebral Assassin" declared that tonight, the men and women are here to do what they do best and entertain the people watching from home. Declaring tonight to be a show unlike anything any fan has ever seen before, tonight, HHH said, the Superstars would return to the Performance Center - but not to train.
The camera panned to show the entirety of the WWE Performance Center. With nothing but empty seats in the audience, a lightshow paved the way for Michael Cole's introduction to Friday Night SmackDown. A unique show scheduled, tonight would mark the return of John Cena; SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross; and a sit-down in-ring interview with Roman Reigns.
At ringside joining the "Voice of the WWE", Michael Cole was joined by "The Game" Triple H. Poking fun at Cole, HHH promised to give Friday Night SmackDown's play-by-play commentary a shot in the arm tonight with his presence.
An unexpected audience with "The King" Silence fell over the WWE Performance Center, as King Corbin came out in his crown and robe. Demanding the respect of his subjects, he heard no response from the empty chairs in attendance. Climbing into the ring, Corbin took the microphone and spoke about how finally the King was receiving the dignity he deserved. Sanctuary from all of the peasants that didn't deserve to be in the same building as him - let alone the same room. Finally, King Corbin could think and speak clearly without being interrupted. Corbin was about to continue, when interrupted by an audible guitar strum. It was none other than Elias, who appeared atop the perch overlooking the WWE Performance Center! Greeting the rows of empty seats, "the Drifter" introduced himself and questioned who wanted to Walk With Elias. Corbin was less than impressed, having expected better things from Triple H's state-of-the-art facility than to allow housing to the homeless.
Elias compared King Corbin to a jester, but spoke about how the difference between the two of them was that Elias was actually entertaining. The musician brandished his acoustic guitar in hand, as he addressed the King as though he were actual royalty. Noting that he had a song dedicated to Baron, he would begin playing - all the while insulting him! Comparing him to paint drying, Corbin finally lost his patience and told Elias whether there were people in the house or at home watching, Elias was finally going to get a royal beating tonight courtesy of "Wrestling Royalty!"
In the backstage corridor of the WWEPC, the SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and her best friend Sasha Banks walked the hall. Heading for the arena to meet Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, we would be joined by the Boss 'n' Hug Connection - next!
Michael Cole welcomed us back to Friday Night SmackDown from the empty WWE Performance Center, when he asked Triple H what he thought he was doing. Triple H was revealed to be the man operating the camera at ringside, exclaiming that they were operating with a short staff tonight!
The SmackDown Women's Champion wants an explanation Having waited the past week for an appearance from the former three-time Women's Champion Paige, the SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and her best friend Sasha Banks walked down the rampway to confront Michael Cole and Triple H on commentary. Talking trash about former General Manager of SmackDown Live, Bayley questioned the whereabouts of "the Anti-Diva". Asking Cole and "The Game" if Paige had run with her tail between her legs, "The Boss" accused her of being afraid of the both of them. HHH sided with the angry women, accusing Cole of holding back sensitive information! Cole informed them that Paige had travel issues, prompting the champ and Banks to mock Cole - as did Triple H.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross made their arrival, walking down the rampway with "The Goddess" suggesting Bayley take a hint from the dead crowd and shut her mouth! Bliss told Bayley and Sasha Banks that this was the reason she had a talk show - "A Moment of Bliss" - and Bayley and Sasha did not. Banks took offense asking who invited the Odd Couple to the Performance Center, prompting the Scotswoman to implore "The Boss" to not say a single ill-word about her or her best friend. Cross called Sasha as fake as her and Bayley's friendship, and believed Nikki and Alexa were the best of friends that WWE had to offer. Banks argued back and forth with her, when Alexa finally harped up - suggesting they get it on right away!
1) SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (10:37) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - In a match about who the better best friend tag team duo was, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross showed their chemistry against Bayley and Sasha Banks. Bliss was on a roll when "the Goddess" was struck with the SmackDown Women's Championship courtesy of Banks - allowing Bayley to take the win.
- The SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley played emotional after her emphatic victory against Alexa Bliss. Seeing Sasha Banks with a twinkle in her eye, she hugged "The Boss" who proudly handed her the SmackDown Women's Championship. Nikki Cross chased them from the ring, but Bayley and Banks had proven why they made such good friends again tonight.
A replay aired, taking us back to two weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown. Days after winning the WWE Universal Championship from "The Fiend" at Super ShowDown, Goldberg took to the ring and was met with a challenge - by Roman Reigns. At WrestleMania they would meet in a dream match - "Spear vs Spear" - but up next, Michael Cole would interview "the Big Dog" in the ring.
Friday Night SmackDown on FOX was sponsored tonight by Progressive - the first-round choice for auto insurance.
"The Big Dog" chats to Michael Cole Michael Cole sat in a chair in the ring, as he discussed the confrontation from two weeks ago in Boston between Goldberg and Roman Reigns. With the WWE Universal Championship match announced for WrestleMania, Cole welcomed out Roman Reigns to speak his mind. It felt bizarre watching "the Big Dog" walk to the ring with no fanfare, as he joined Cole inside with a handshake. Welcoming him to the show, Michael asked what Roman made of the "Bizarroworld" atmosphere in the Performance Center tonight. Reigns admitted this week had been like nothing he had ever known, but he was here in-person tonight - unlike a certain WWE Universal Champion. Cole discussed Goldberg's victory over The Fiend at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia, and how Reigns had wasted little time jumping in and looking for a challenge. Roman confessed to having seen Bill Goldberg coming from a mile off. He witnessed his rise through the ranks in WCW when he was growing up on the football field.
Roman saw this unstoppable monster who made a career playing defensive tackle in the NFL, and saw himself wanting to pursue similar. Little did he know years later, he would challenge him to a match on "The Grandest Stage of Them All". Cole called it a dream match, "Spear vs Spear", and questioned if Reigns respected the champ. Controversially, Reigns answered admitting once upon a time, but after seeing the real Bill Goldberg in all his glory inside a WWE ring in 2020 - that respect waded. He didn't feel starry-eyed, instead seeing another mountain to be conquered. When Reigns told Goldberg it was he who was next in Boston, Roman actually meant that he would be the last - because once the dust settled on April 5, there would be a new WWE Universal Champion. Cole brought up Goldberg appearing next week, and the two making it official with the contract signing. In parting, Roman declared at WrestleMania he would show he was not part-time, and not just one move: he would beat Bill Goldberg.
Kayla Braxton was standing by backstage with the trio of Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and the new WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn. Over the moon with the biggest victory of his career last Sunday at Elimination Chamber, Sami had beaten "the Monster Among Men" fairly and squarely! Nobody could discount him as being unworthy any longer, after he beat Braun Strowman out of town all by himself. Kayla brought up the assist from Nakamura and Cesaro, but the threesome's attention was diverted.
Racing after somebody, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura all caught up with Daniel Bryan. Asking him where he was headed, the new WWE Intercontinental Champion gloated in how he had offered Bryan a chance to join the Artist Collective - but he had passed them up. Just for "the Yes Man" himself, Sami offered Bryan one last chance to join them - having all the talent in the world. Bryan smirked telling Sami as much as he wanted to, he couldn't respect a man who hid behind real talents like "the Swiss Cyborg" or "the King of Strong Style". Sami was mad, asking Daniel what made him so high and mighty. Telling Daniel his chance to become an Artist was over, Zayn instead offered Bryan to face Cesaro in the ring tonight! Bryan smiled at the three of them, telling them that very three-lettered word.
A graphic aired, showing that Friday Night SmackDown was emanating tonight live from the WWE Performance Center, in Orlando, Florida.
A replay aired from WWE Backstage this past Tuesday on FS1, where Renee Young and Booker T reported the news that former NFL tight-end for the New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski was in negotiations with the WWE.
Mojo Rawley made his way out to the stage inside the empty arena. "The Hype Man" was dressed to the nines, as he jumped up and down energetically. Welcomed by Michael Cole with Triple H in attendance, Mojo took great pleasure in roughing up the veteran broadcast journalist! Even "The Game" got in on it, as Cole asked about a certain speculation that had been buzzing around the sports media world all week long. Mojo confirmed what many had been talking about and announced that next week they would all get the inside scoop and nothing but - because his good friend Rob Gronkowski would be here live next week on Friday Night SmackDown to discuss his future! Mojo once again roughed Cole up in excitement, with HHH telling Cole to lighten up and Get Hype!
- John Morrison and The Miz (c) def. The Usos, The New Day, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Heavy Machinery & The Lucha House Party in a Tag Team Elimination Chamber match to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (32:55) [ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2020 - MAR 8, 2020] [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - A replay of the match from this past Sunday at WWE Elimination Chamber aired in its entirety. Otis suffered another devastating setback in his quest for revenge on Dolph Ziggler for stealing the heart of Mandy Rose when he was sent through the Chamber pod and structure. Meanwhile, John Morrison and The Miz stole it overcoming the Usos to walk out SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
"The Dirt Sheet", live from the WWE Performance Center Returning live to Orlando, Florida, the reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions basked in their own aura from the ring. Having watched the Tag Team Elimination Chamber match from seats in the ring, John Morrison and The Miz considered that to be the television premiere of a lifetime. Introducing themselves, "The A-Lister" ran down each of 'The Marine' movies, calling them criticially acclaimed. In a moment of playful competitivity, "the Friday Night Delight" implied there was a reason his movies all went straight to DVD. In jest of the duo's banter, Miz and Morrison took satisfaction in bragging about being the A-List tag team on the block that nobody could ever beat in the ring because they were Awesome! Morrison encouraged the people watching from their parents' basements; their Papa's television set or their Momma's iPad to all be jealous. The two began to chant their own theme tune in obnoxious fashion, as Triple H on commentary joked they sounded so much better without crowd noise.
Daniel Bryan was backstage heading to the ring for his match with Cesaro, when he came across his opponent from Elimination Chamber - Drew Gulak. Gulak was dismissive of Bryan, who wanted to thank him for the match last Sunday. Drew refused to acknowledge him, although Bryan mentioned how Gulak had found a reversal to everything thrown his way. Bryan admitted that he had holes in his game but was willing to learn. Gulak bit his lip and turned his back to Bryan, who feebly hoped that Drew could find it in himself to at least watch his match with Cesaro tonight - any feedback would be appreciated. Bryan set off for singles action with "the Swiss Cyborg" - up next.
An advertisement aired, promoting WrestleMania - live on pay-per-view from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida on Sunday, April 5.
2) Daniel Bryan def. Cesaro (with Shinsuke Nakamura) (7:25) - The new WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn would prove loud and obnoxious, joining Michael Cole and Triple H on commentary. - A technical battle between two of WWE's finest all-rounders, Daniel Bryan took the fight to "the Swiss Cyborg", who manipulated with help from Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan proved resilient, when Sami Zayn jumped atop the announce table. The Neutralizer was reversed into a bridge - granting Bryan the win.
With the victory taken from Cesaro, Daniel Bryan barely had time to even have his hand raised, as Shinsuke Nakamura hit the ring with a wheel kick knocking "the Submission Specialist" down! "The King of Strong Style" cornered Bryan with strikes when Daniel kicked back - thwarted when Sami Zayn ambushed Bryan from behind!
Cesaro joined in the fray, striking with a Neutralizer for the lone Bryan...until finally, Drew Gulak hit the ring. Preparing to engage with "the Swiss Cyborg", Gulak went in on a collegiate tackle on Cesaro but Zayn and Nakamura jumped in. Shinsuke struck with the Kinshasa, but Bryan would return once more! Delivering a suicide dive to Nakamura through the ropes, the Artist Collective ran for the hills by this new combination of Bryan and Gulak.
An advertisement aired, promoting 3:16 Day on Monday Night RAW. Live this Monday night from the WWE Performance Center, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin would be live and in-person!
Michael Cole welcomed us back to Friday Night SmackDown from the WWEPC, when the camera panned to reveal his broadcast partner for the evening, Triple H wiping his forehead of sweat! Cole questioned what "The Game" was doing, when the executive pretended to color Cole's grey hairs in black with his pen. HHH was having a lot of fun at the expense of his partner!
King Corbin made his way to the ring for action against Elias, climbing into the ring and disrobing of his royal gown. "Wrestling Royalty" himself removed his crown and ordered his opponent to come out, sick and tired of "The Drifter's" antics of late. Elias came out with a strum of guitar, but stepped out solemnly with his guitar in hand. Confessing how he would be unable to perform tonight, playing the song for Baron earlier tonight had caused him to break a string on his guitar. But he had a little help from a friend, who was also a musician. That man had elected to step up and face Corbin for him - and that man was "the Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy! Hopping out to the stage, Jeff high-fived Elias before heading to the ring. The King was beside himself!
3) Jeff Hardy (with Elias) def. King Corbin (3:48) - Elias had replaced himself with the returning Jeff Hardy, in "the Rainbow-Haired Warrior's" first match back from a torn ACL injury, in nearly eleven months. King Corbin didn't know what hit him, as Jeff went through the motions in putting him away. Deep Six allowed Corbin to fight back, but in constantly calling out Elias and cursing his name, it left him open for the Twist of Hate followed by the Swanton Bomb!
In his in-ring return to the ring, Jeff Hardy had beaten King Corbin in a surprise encounter. Elias watched on gladly from the stands of the WWE Performance Center, as "the Charismatic Enigma" celebrated in the ring. The King would not let Elias get away with this!
John Cena had arrived to Friday Night SmackDown, seen chatting to essential members of WWE's personnel in attendance backstage. With his match with Bray Wyatt scheduled for WrestleMania in less than four weeks, Cena would speak out on his opponent up next!
From the perch inside of the WWE Performance Center, Triple H returned. Overlooking the arena on Friday Night SmackDown, the WWE executive said how he hoped the WWE Universe had enjoyed tonight's show, a first of its' kind in sports entertainment history. "The Game" wished that the fans could be there with them, but for now he hoped that the WWE Superstars accomplished their jobs of entertaining the people, and putting smiles on their faces. Tonight, HHH said that the WWE had proven why the words "Then", "Now" and "Forever" applied to them like no other.
John Cena enters the House of Fun Michael Cole was standing in the ring, talking about a match that had been made official for WrestleMania. A rematch of their encounter in 2014, he would be joined momentarily by a former sixteen-time World Champion - John Cena! "The Franchise Player" had returned to the WWE, coming out and addressing the fans on his way down to the ring. Acknowledging the bizarre atmosphere surrounding the building tonight, Cena joked that he had not known anything like this since Michael had attempted stand-up comedy. Cena said maybe it was because he was weeks away from meeting "The Fiend" at WrestleMania, or maybe because he was standing in an empty building whilst simultaneously being seen by millions of people live on FOX - but tonight was without a doubt the strangest night he could ever remember! Cena said it felt as though he was stuck in the Firefly Funhouse with Bray Wyatt.
Michael brought up the bizarre meeting the two had several weeks ago, pulling up a replay. Cena was prepared to say that WrestleMania didn't need him this year, when "The Fiend" appeared right behind him. When asked for his thoughts back live, Cena declared he knew exactly where Bray was coming from. Wyatt had had a bitterness for him ever since he beat his ass badly back at WrestleMania XXX - but recently there had been a change greater than anybody had ever seen before. To understand theory and Bray Wyatt was an impossible feat, but one thing John believed for certain was that with his loss in 2014, Bray had become lazy and complacent. When Cena beat him, he became dishevelled and lost the will. In his mind, Bray was not the man deserving of the WWE Universe's energy - and that they should not support somebody like Wyatt; instead, they should support guys such as Drew McIntyre, Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa or Velveteen Dream.
Bray Wyatt's laughter cut John Cena off, as the camera panned to the ringside area. From behind the barricade, Wyatt stood in his burgundy sweater. Cracking up over John's trash talk, he mocked him for his fine speech. Hopping the wall, Bray joined Cena in the ring and told him that his guess was not such a bad one. He thought about the events of WrestleMania XXX all the time, even six years on. The voices wouldn't stop, and no matter how much he tried, they just wouldn't go away. Finally he started to listen, and did him a world of good. It had turned his broken world into a funhouse, and he couldn't wait to share this with John - just as he had the rest of the world! Wyatt told Cena that he'd broken him, but he was about to find himself again yet. WrestleMania would be a slaughter, but Cena just didn't know it yet. Wyatt glared Cena in the eyes, before speaking the words: "Let Me In". The camera cut, flashing an image of "The Fiend" - a sign of things to come at WrestleMania.
WWE 205 Live #170 – March 13, 2020 - Team NXT (Isaiah Scott, Tyler Breeze, Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan and Kushida) def. Team 205 Originals (Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari, Brian Kendrick, Jack Gallagher and Mike Kanellis) in an elimination ten-man tag team match. Kushida and Isaiah Scott were the sole survivors for Team NXT, as Kushida last eliminated Jack Gallagher with the cross-armbreaker. (20:22)
Report: Rob Gronkowski Signs With WWE, Will Appear at ‘WrestleMania’
March 11, 2020
Rob Gronkowski is making a comeback, just not to the NFL.
Gronk has signed with WWE, The Wrap’s Tony Maglio reports, and will appear on the March 20 edition of SmackDown Live. The current plan is for Gronkowski to begin a feud building toward an appearance at WrestleMania 36 on April 5 and a match that will occur after WrestleMania, according to Maglio.
- SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S BEN PICKMAN
MARCH 23, 2020 OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: SWEEPING CHANGES DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, MORE.
- The spreading of the coronavirus has the entire sports, entertainment, travel and tourism economies in at least short-term jeopardy, along with the far more serious aspects of a rapidly-spreading disease that will seemingly greatly affect all of our lives in some form. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recommended but did not issue an order for a ban on all mass gatherings for the next 30 days. That would apply to WrestleMania. At press time, the WWE has not made a statement regarding WrestleMania or events scheduled going forward. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said on 3/12 that they have several weeks until WrestleMania and didn’t need to make a decision just yet. They said that if WWE doesn’t cancel the show on their own, they will reconvene and address the issue next week.
- WWE has moved the 3/13 Smackdown tapings in Detroit at the Little Caesar Arena to the Performance Center in Orlando. Fans will not be allowed at the show, with the only people there the talent and people essential to the broadcast of the show. Nothing has been said regarding the planned 3/16 Raw for Pittsburgh.
- It looks like the Walter vs Finn Balor match at NXT Takeover on 4/4 is off, if the show even happens. One of the travel ramifications is that if a non-U.S. citizen or resident has been to EU's Schengen area in the past 14 days, they can’t come to the U.S. regardless of the airport they are flying into. So anyone who was in Germany last week, which includes Walter and Alexander Wolfe, wouldn’t be allowed in, unless somehow they find a way around those regulations.
- Rob Gronkowski, the former New England Patriots tight end who is considered one of the greatest NFL players in history, has apparently inked a deal with WWE. The story was first released on WWE Backstage on 3/10 that Gronkowski, 30, who is best friends with WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley, is in talks with the company and could be appearing on the 3/20 Smackdown show in New Orleans. As to be expected with FOX and Gronk being a football analyst there, Rawley has been moved to the SmackDown brand.
- It was announced via WWE's official podcast 'After the Bell' that Davey Boy Smith will officially be inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame. The family had been heavily pushing him for years. He joins nWo's Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Syxx; John Bradshaw Layfield and the Bella Twins.
- Snickers will be the presenting sponsor at WrestleMania. WWE and Mars, Inc., announced an expansion of their longstanding partnership. Snickers will have new WWE themed commercials airing on 3/23 and 3/27 during Raw and SmackDown. It’s the fifth consecutive year they are the presenting sponsor for WrestleMania.
- Nia Jax has been medically cleared to return after reconstructive surgery on both knees. It's just a question of when they want to start her back and where. Right now she's earmarked for Raw.
- It’s expected The Revival is done, and they aren't going to do a comedy gimmick mimicking tag teams of the past, intended to bury them. With the injuries both had, it was speculated their deals would be up in April however the company is now saying Scott Dawson's contract expires in April whereas Dash Wilder's comes up in mid-June.
TV Ratings: RAW - 2.16 million viewers NXT - 0.69 million viewers SmackDown - 2.5 million viewers
TV Attendance: Elimination Chamber (Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA) - 14,853 RAW (Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C.) - 8,700 NXT (WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL) - 285 SmackDown (WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL) - 0
Elimination Chamber WON Ratings: Viking Raiders vs Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins - *¼ Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak - **** Andrade vs Humberto Carrillo - ***¾ Tag Team Elimination Chamber match - **** Aleister Black vs AJ Styles - ***½ Street Profits vs Seth Rollins and Murphy - *** Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro vs Braun Strowman - *¾ Women's Elimination Chamber match - **¼
Monday Night RAW #1399 – March 16, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY FROM WRESTLEMANIA
WWE Main Event #390 – March 19, 2020 - Shelton Benjamin def. Zack Ryder with the Paydirt. (6:18) - Ricochet def. Akira Tozawa with the 630 Senton. (7:49)
The opening video package aired, bringing us to the bizarre scene inside the WWE's state-of-the-art training facility - the WWE Performance Center. The arena was set, with Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler standing in the center of the ring. They welcomed us to Monday Night RAW on 3:16 Day - where tonight, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin makes his return for a big celebration. The WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were also in Orlando, coming after being embarrassed by three Claymore Kicks two weeks ago by Drew McIntyre!
The three announcers talked about the return shown last week by an emotionally-charged "Rated R Superstar" Edge. Showing a video package of the WWE Hall of Famer sending a message to Randy Orton with a one-man Conchairto delivered to MVP, the announcers would introduce the Canadian to the arena.
Rated R Grit Through the smoke came Edge in a leather jacket and jeans, "the Rated R Superstar" still not in a great mood following what Randy Orton did to his wife Beth Phoenix two weeks ago. Climbing into the ring, he spoke over the microphone about the strange few months he and his wife had shared. It was all Randy Orton's responsibility, and he should have known that this prophecy would come true. The WWE Hall of Famer knew when "Cowboy" Bob Orton introduced him to his son that their careers would intertwine, how twenty-one years of them first meeting would lead to their journeys crossing paths and conflicting with one another. Edge reminisced about their history, about their WWE Intercontinental Championship matches in 2004; their Rated-RKO tag team in 2006; their wars in 2010. When comparing he and Orton, the one thing that "the Rated R Superstar" and "the Viper" had in common was the fact they both didn't like a lot of the same people, and both owed credit to one man for believing in them - Mick Foley.
Edge said he took a lesson from Mick Foley in which Randy Orton didn't, and that was grit. That grit had allowed him to fight back and make a comeback after nine years separated from his passion and pride in life: life inside of the squared-circle. In contrast, "the Rated R Superstar" proclaimed Orton an entitled brat, how he was a third-generation WWE Superstar that was raised with wrestling on his blood. Orton was one of the best to ever grace a WWE ring - but he had had everything handed to him! And yet, Edge came from nothing but hopes and dreams. It bothered Randy and he knew it, that Edge had to work for everything in his career, and how he had still managed to accomplish each and every goal and accolade he had set out to do. That was in part to his mother, who broke her back helping him. Because of that, Edge believed "the Apex Predator" to be jealous.
Peeling back the curtain, Edge revealed that two weeks ago when Beth Phoenix made her return to Monday Night RAW, it was for her to retire him again. She didn't think it was fair that Edge had to say those words again on his own - but Randy didn't let finish. Years ago, Edge pulled Randy Orton out of a hole, and now Orton had done the same for him. He wasn't angry that Orton interrupted Beth two weeksa go - instead, he was grateful. Because now, with WrestleMania around the corner, Edge's purpose is to dismantle "the Apex Predator" - and he wanted to do it in a No Holds Barred match! Edge said Orton wouldn't write this story, that it would not be a story of tragedy; instead a story of redemption. At WrestleMania, Randy Orton will not leave standing.
A video package aired, taking us back to Monday Night RAW on September 28, 1998. With the WWE Championship vacated by Mr. McMahon, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin disrupted a ceremony by the Chairman by crashing into the arena driving a Zamboni. Austin raised hell on the boss before being arrested. Tonight, "the Texas Rattlesnake" returns to celebrate 3:16 Day!
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler welcomed us back to Monday Night RAW, reviewing the emotional speech delivered by Edge, challenging Randy Orton to a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania. They hoped to hear from "the Apex Predator" tonight.
1) Bobby Lashley def. No Way Jose (0:47) - With Lana still absent shooting a movie in Hollywood, her husband Bobby Lashley came to fight No Way Jose. The Dominican tried to knock Lashley off his feet with the ¡Toma! but Lashley would not budge. Not one but two Spears would give the former WWE Intercontinental Champion dominant victory.
"The Destroyer" had made short work of No Way Jose, but Bobby Lashley was not yet finished. Powering Jose up atop his shoulder, Lashley struck with the Dominator before flexing in the middle of the ring. Tom Phillips climbed into the ring looking for comments from Lashley, asking what his plans were. Lashley explained he would continue dominating the competition. Nobody on Monday Night RAW could match his size, nobody in WWE could match his strength - and when it came to intensity, there wasn't a soul walking the planet that could take him down. Phillips asked for an update on his wife Lana, asking how filming was going. Lashley refused to answer any questions about her, saying he was focusing on himself. Lashley left as Jose remained unconscious on the canvas.
Two weeks on from being left laying from not two, but three Claymore Kicks courtesy of the 2020 Royal Rumble winner, the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar walked with Paul Heyman in the backstage area. The Advocate for "the Beast Incarnate" looked concerned as to what was going through the champ's mind, as he would speak on "the Scottish Warrior" tonight.
A graphic aired, promoting the television premiere of the 2020 Royal Rumble match - to be shown in its' entirety, up next!
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler talked about the words spoken by Edge at the start of RAW tonight, challenging Randy Orton to a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania in three weeks. They were joined on video call from Randy Orton, who sat in his car with a frown on his face. "The Apex Predator" talked about having the time to compose himself and think about what "the Rated R Superstar" had said and done over the past week. Whether it was destroying MVP to send a message, or giving a long spiel about "grit", he knew and understood exactly the kind of mindset Edge was in. But he was not MVP, and the entire time he spewed lies about jealousy and coming from nothing, and having "grit", it riled him up. Randy took himself off to the store to blow off some steam and think - and as he scanned the shelves, he came to the realization that he could do whatever he wanted. Orton vowed to make Edge wish he never came out of retirement, accepting his match for WrestleMania!
-) Drew McIntyre def. Roman Reigns, Edge, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Aleister Black, Dolph Ziggler, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, King Corbin, Matt Riddle, AJ Styles, The Miz, Ricochet, Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, MVP, Shinsuke Nakamura, Shelton Benjamin, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, Robert Roode, Erick Rowan & Elias to win the 2020 Royal Rumble match (1:00:50) [JAN 27, 2020 - ROYAL RUMBLE 2020] [THROUGH SEVEN BREAKS] - With the WWE Championship match set in stone for "the Grandest Stage of Them All", the 2020 Royal Rumble match was shown in its entirety to show how Drew McIntyre earned the right to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. - Brock Lesnar dominated his way through the Royal Rumble match from the #1 entry, eliminating thirteen men - including NXT's Keith Lee. McIntyre shocked the WWE Universe with his elimination of "the Beast Incarnate" at entry #16, and the field opened up to any possible WWE Superstar. - That is until the return of "the Rated R Superstar" Edge at #21, making his in-ring return for the first time since WrestleMania in 2011! - Seth Rollins would come to battle at #30, flanked with his disciples Murphy and AOP but the faction would find themselves in the heat of battle with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. In spite of this, "the Monday Night Messiah" would eliminate both men with the help of his followers. - The match boiled down to four men - Edge, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre. After a brief reunion of Rated-RKO between "the Rated R Superstar" and "the Apex Predator, Edge would outsmart his once-tag team partner by blocking an RKO and eliminating Orton. Edge was eliminated by Roman Reigns, when Drew McIntyre prevailed with a Claymore Kick to "the Big Dog" - throwing him out.
The Fearless Scotsman meets The Beast Back live on Monday Night RAW, Paul Heyman stood in the center of the ring at the WWE Performance Center with the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Microphone in hand, the Advocate spoke on behalf of "the Beast Incarnate", wishing to tell the tale of Daedalas and Icarus. While Daedalas fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for he and his son, he warned his son not to fly too close to the sun. So what Icarus did was feel froggy, and he decided to disobey his father. Overcome with the giddiness, Icarus soared into the sky and came too close. So near to the sun, the heat melted the wax that held his feathers together. His wings crumbled like slowflakes - and no matter how much Icarus flapped his wings, he was left to flap with his bare arms. He fell to the sea below, and he drowned. Heyman compared the legend to "the Scottish Warrior", who would surely meet a similar fate come WrestleMania.
The WWE Champion appeared more confident than he did two weeks ago, as Paul Heyman admitted that Drew McIntyre showed no fear when he eliminated Brock Lesnar from the 2020 Royal Rumble match. There was no fear shown when he challenged Brock Lesnar to the match at WrestleMania - but what he did two weeks ago was not fearlessness, but sheer naivete on the part of the Scotsman. Paul claimed Lesnar would strike down on Drew come WrestleMania, because nobody did WrestleMania like "the Beast!" Heyman told the WWE Universe to ask the likes of Kurt Angle, Goldberg, Roman Reigns and even the Undertaker - who had all felt the wrath of "the Beast" at "the Grandaddy of Them All". Finally Drew McIntyre made his way out to the stage. With a cunning smile, the challenger explained how there wasn't a single word spoken by Paul Heyman that was a lie.
He built a convincing case, but noted how tough it was to track a monster like Brock Lesnar down...but now he had a shot to get in the ring with him, and beat him like no mortal man had ever done to be crowned the first Scottish-born WWE Champion. Drew stressed the importance of this match, how he had chased it for fifteen long years. To become the WWE Champion in the main event of WrestleMania was his lifelong goal - and so it should be. But why wait until then? McIntyre brought up leaving Lesnar laying from three Claymore Kicks two weeks ago, but now there was no crowd there. There was nobody to keep them apart now! Drew came bounding down to ringside, but Paul Heyman pleaded him to not get in the ring. McIntyre exchanged words atop the steel steps, when Brock snatched the mic and told Drew that his dreams would die at WrestleMania - and that was no prediction, but a spoiler! As McIntyre entered the ring, Lesnar took his merry time leaving with a knowing smirk on his face.
A video package aired, taking us back to Monday Night RAW on October 5, 1998. Having been hospitalized with a broken leg after a plot backfired on him courtesy of the Brothers of Destruction, Mr. McMahon was greeted in the hospital by none other than Dr. Austin - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin assaulting the Chairman with the use of a bedpan!
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler talked about the dramatic scenes before the commercial break between Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre. That's when Tom Phillips delivered some breaking news: that after conferring with government officials in Tampa Bay, the decision had been made for the first time ever to deliver WrestleMania in all of its' glory: for the first time ever from the empty arena in the WWE Performance Center!
2) Sarah Logan vs Liv Morgan - ended in a double count-out (3:34) - The former Riott Squad members had collided in the Elimination Chamber match, with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan showing hostilities. Morgan fought tenaciously with "the Gritty Southern Belle". The action spilled to ringside, when a suplex from Logan connected on the rampway. The two were counted out!
Sarah Logan favored her back as Liv Morgan was down on the WWE Performance Center rampway. The aggressive Southerner was not finished dispensing punishment on her former partner, when Ruby Riott came out looking to stop any further brutality! The Riott Squad looked to be coming together again, as Ruby stared down Logan; protecting Morgan - but Riott drastically clotheslined Morgan to the ground! Riott laughed with Sarah, as Logan held poor Liv by the arms for a series of drilling blows from Ruby. Smash talk spoken to a devastated Liv, Riott claimed she would never be anything in "their" WWE!
AJ Styles and The O.C. stood hanging out beside a training ring in the backstage area of the WWE Performance Center, when joined by Byron Saxton. He asked about the harsh words that "the Phenomenal One" had to say about the Undertaker last week, and the staredown he had with him. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson joked neurotically about how it didn't matter what hijinks "the Deadman" could muster up - nobody was afraid of him anymore. Everybody knew Undertaker was a fraud and a softie. AJ told Byron he had a whole lot more to say about it tonight, but he was going to say it in the ring.
A video package aired, recapping Charlotte Flair's sinister attack on the leg of the NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley last week on NXT. Tomorrow night, "the Queen" would make another appearance on NXT from the WWE Performance Center!
The Phenom - A Fraud? The O.C. made their way out to the ring in Orlando, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson accompanying their leader "the Phenomenal" AJ Styles. Standing in the ring, the trio oozed confidence as AJ talked about how he had finally gotten through to the Undertaker. Finally, after all this time they would have their day in the sun at WrestleMania, but he still wasn't convinced that they had the Undertaker's complete and total attention. The Best Tag Team in the World agreed with AJ, with Gallows joking that "the Deadman" probably doesn't even understand the sincerity of AJ's remarks. Anderson teased pushing and prodding AJ to tell some more hardships of truth about "the Phenom", bringing AJ to finally agree. Styles claimed that at WrestleMania he would meet a living Legend, but he would not be the same man that had gone 20-0 at "the Grandest Stage of Them All" - instead, it would be against a shell of his former self.
AJ reminisced about beining mesmerised by the thought of ever sharing a ring with "the Deadman". The same man that had been regarded as one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of boots was sadly the same man that had fallen so far from that same mantle. It was pure arrogance and egotism that had brought Undertaker to this point. He was not the same larger-than-life character who was known to be "the Best Pure Striker" in the business; nor the former multiple-time WWE Champion and World Champion the world knew him to be. All that came to AJ's mind was the guy that stunk the joint up in Saudi Arabia against Goldberg; the same man that used backstage politics to cling to his position as the judge, jury and executioner of all those that walked the halls of the WWE locker room. At WrestleMania, he will kill the Legend that started nearly thirty years ago - and when it came to next week, he could not wait to stare Undertaker in the face and sign the contract, and say these words to his face!
Seth Rollins was backstage with his disciples, Murphy and AOP. With a smile, "the Monday Night Messiah" spoke about the defeat Kevin Owens suffered last week on Monday Night RAW. The truth was, he was sick and tired of the constant charades of KO - and he wanted to end this. Seth brought up KO-Mania, and how Owens liked to consider every week the Kevin Owens Show - but at WrestleMania, it would be the night for the Church of Rollins. When he saw Kev there, he vowed that the Church of Rollins would burn the KO Show down. The faction were suddenly confronted by the War Raiders and the RAW Tag Team Champions the Street Profits! Rollins, Murphy, Akam and Rezar exchanged words with the two teams, when Rollins ordered silence. Backing his disciples away, Rollins presented himself to Montez Ford, Erik, Angelo Dawkins and Ivar with arms wide open. Seth wished for them to do their worst, when Ivar growled that next week the only thing burning would be the Church of Rollins.
A video package aired, taking us back to WrestleMania XIV. On March 29, 1998 the Austin Era was born when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin dethroned Shawn Michaels to capture his first WWE Championship, with "Iron" Mike Tyson being the man to count the three. What was "the Texas Rattlesnake" capable of tonight, on 3:16 Day?
3) Shayna Baszler def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Kairi Sane (5:11) - Not cleared for competition after the beating from Shayna Baszler last week, Kairi Sane's tag team partner Asuka joined commentary. - Coming after the merciless assault on her tag team partner last week, Kairi Sane looked to stand up for Asuka against "the Cage Fighter". "The Pirate Princess" fought resiliently, but Shayna Baszler tortured Kairi. She showed resilience, but the Insane Elbow missed. The Kirifuda Clutch would force Kairi to tap!
Asuka was beside herself on commentary, squealing in Japanese and English about the path that Shayna Baszler was on! "The Queen of Spades" refused to relinquish the Kirifuda Clutch on Kairi Sane, much like last week, when the video screen showed a tractor-trailer truck pull up in the parking lot of the WWE Performance Center. Black and with her face airbrushed all over it, out stepped Becky Lynch with the RAW Women's Championship in hand! "The Man" wasted no time storming into the WWEPC, where Shayna grinned patiently.
"The Man" arrived in the empty building, screaming at "the Cage Fighter" to go ahead and bring what she had! Baszler looked ready to fight, but instead of confronting Becky head-on, the woman to challenge for the RAW Women's Championship at WrestleMania would instead roll out of the ring! Becky nodded in acceptance, telling Shayna without a mic that she might be a b*tch, but she was the b*tch that was going to make Shayna her b*tch at WrestleMania! Baszler was cocky in leaving, but Becky was ready to go.
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler talked about how heated the meeting between Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler would be at WrestleMania in less than three weeks - but this Friday on SmackDown was sure to be an unforgettable night. Not only was Rob Gronkowski set to make his first appearance on FOX to announce his future plans; but Roman Reigns and WWE Universal Champion Goldberg would share the same ring as they signed the contract for "the Grandest Stage of Them All".
Backstage, Rey Mysterio walked with Humberto Carrillo by his side. After coming to "the Legendary Luchador's" aid last week from Angel Garza, the match had been signed for tag team action - Mysterio and Carrillo set to meet Garza and WWE United States Champion Andrade, up next!
4) Rey Mysterio and Humberto Carrillo def. WWE United States Champion Andrade and Angel Garza (with Zelina Vega) (7:11) - Humberto Carrillo aided Rey Mysterio from an attack by Angel Garza last week, and reluctantly the tranquilo WWE United States Champion Andrade was dragged into it by Zelina Vega. Andrade and Zelina dictated the pace in isolating Humberto from Rey, when "the Legendary Luchador" made the hot tag and cleaned house. A double-619 executed, Rey Dropped the Dime on Angel when "El Idolo" cut him off. Rey would reverse a powerbomb into a Destroyer, and a roll-up would see Rey pin the champion!
Rey Mysterio celebrated his win triumphantly, when Zelina Vega climbed into the ring. Vega scowled at Rey and began to insult "the Legendary Luchador", suddenly slapping him! Distracted, it provided the WWE United States Champion Andrade time to strike with a big boot to the face. Andrade began to put the beating on Rey when once again Humberto Carrillo tried coming to the veteran's aid. Instead, Humberto was taken out handily by his cousin Angel Garza! Andrade and Angel had their hands raised by Zelina, who then instructed Andrade to take Rey Mysterio out of the equation. Dumping him to the ringside floor, Angel raised the concrete and Andrade prepared to plant him with the Hammerlock DDT - but out ran Rey's son Dominik Mysterio wielding a steel chair! Andrade and Angel hopped the barricade, as Dominik stood up for his father!
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler stood in awe at Dominik Mysterio's rescue of his father Rey Mysterio, before talking about what a show next Monday night was shaping up to be. Scheduled for next week on RAW, the Undertaker and AJ Styles would sign the contract for their match at WrestleMania; Randy Orton would be present in the WWE Performance Center live; and the RAW Tag Team Champions the Street Profits would meet AOP in a match with championship implications!
One last video package aired, taking us back to Monday Night RAW on March 22, 1999. With his first of three iconic WrestleMania battles with The Rock mere days away, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin invaded a speech delivered by the Corporation. Driving a beer truck, "the Texas Rattlesnake" gave Mr. McMahon's faction a beer bath they would never, ever forget!
Steve Austin was seen watching the video back by the television monitor. Soon, "Stone Cold" came marching toward the arena. On 3:16 Day, "the Texas Rattlesnake" would grace the WWE Universe with his presence - live on RAW, up next!
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler discussed WrestleMania and how it was coming together to look like one of the biggest WrestleManias in its thirty-six year history. They ran down the line-up for "the Grandaddy of Them All" - twenty days away from tonight, live from the WWE Performance Center!
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) (c) vs Drew McIntyre
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs John Cena
The Undertaker vs AJ Styles
No Holds Barred – Edge vs Randy Orton
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
3:16 meets 24/7!? The glass shattered, bringing out "the Texas Rattlesnake". Pacing down to the ring, Steve Austin glanced around at the hundreds of empty seats in the WWE Performance Center before taking to each of the four turnbuckles to pose - to nobody in attendance. "Stone Cold" appeared incredulous as he immediately caught two cans of beer and cracked them open; swilling the both of them and taking the microphone. Steve admitted to blowing himself up on his entrance, before taking out a cue card. Declaring March 16th a national holiday, Austin asked the WWE Universe to give him a "hell yeah". There was no reaction, and the empty chairs illustrated that fact. Austin demanded a "hell yeah" a second time, and this time Byron Saxton gave him one with great enthusiasm!
"Stone Cold" glanced at the RAW announce team at the top of the rampway, irked but appreciative of Byron's support. Steve began to run down aspects of 3:16 Day that needed to be remembered - the ability to greet people with the one-finger salute; the speed limit only being a suggestion; your boss working for you; four-letter words always being acceptable; the power to whoop anybody's ass and get away with it; and happy hour lasting for 24-hours! "The Texas Rattlesnake" declared it official, and that was the bottom line 'cause "Stone Cold" said so - when Riddick Moss unexpectedly walked out. The WWE 24/7 Champion grinned from ear to ear, apologizing to the WWE Hall of Famer for the rude interruption. Riddick walked down to the ring about how he had grown up a huge fan of his work. He revolutionized this business, and more importantly - he had influenced the man standing before him. Riddick told Steve he didn't expect him to know him, but he wanted him to remember him.
Riddick said since he had made his debut on Monday Night RAW one month ago, he had cleaned house of the competition! He had beaten everybody in his way, and thanks to the drive instilled in him by "the Texas Rattlesnake's" influence growing up, Riddick stood in the ring as the longest-reigning WWE 24/7 Champion of all-time! Steve was baffled, but grilled Riddick with questions and responded with "What!?" each and every time. Moss claimed he knew this was an initiation, and Steve suddenly laughed and told Riddick he was too smart for ol' "Stone Cold!" Austin shook Riddick's hand and told him he had a heck of a physique, and a heck of a future ahead of him before stating this called for a celebration. Asking if Moss liked beer, the champ confessed he did not - but because he was a fan of Steve's growing up, he would indulge tonight. Steve Austin shrugged and caught four beers, passing two to Riddick Moss as his theme music played.
"The Texas Rattlesnake" downed two more beers, whereas the WWE 24/7 Champion put one beer can down and politely sipped the other. "Stone Cold" stared a hole through Riddick and ordered him to pick up the second can and swill those beers - and with reluctance, the sheepish Moss decided to comply. Austin's frown turned to a smile, as the two men clinked their cans and downed their beers - but Austin would drop Riddick Moss with the Stone Cold Stunner! Austin continued to drink beer, soon dropping to the canvas and pretending to swim in it. A second Stunner caught the groggy, tipsy Riddick Moss - when Becky Lynch made her way down to the ring! The RAW Women's Champion was back with her title and a beer cooler in hand. "The Man" would meet "the Rattlesnake" face to face in the ring, with Becky clinking cans with Austin. It had been a 3:16 Day that Moss would never forget, as Becky shared the ring with Steve Austin!
WWE NXT #396 – March 18, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY FROM NXT TAKEOVER: TAMPA BAY
A video package aired, recapping events from NXT: Fan Appreciation Night last week. Charlotte Flair would brutalize the leg of NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley mere weeks from WrestleMania; Keith Lee would retain the NXT North American Championship against Cameron Grimes when Damien Priest and Dominik Dijakovic both made their presence felt; and Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano would wind up destroying the WWE Performance Center together, with neither man left standing!
The opening video package aired, cutting to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Hosted by Mauro Ranallo, "the Bipolar Rock 'n' Roller" alone in welcoming the NXT Universe watching from home to the most bizarre edition of WWE NXT in history. One week removed from Fan Appreciation Night, Ranallo ran down what the fans watching around the world from the comfort of their couches could look to enjoy - as Adam Cole would celebrate his reign as the longest-running NXT Champion in history. NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle would meet Bobby Fish; and Charlotte Flair would appear live in-person!
1) Tyler Breeze def. Austin Theory (9:28) - Following their backstage meeting last week, two self-admirers collided in an evenly-contested battle. Theory appeared to best "the Supermodel" at every turn, but his arrogance took over. Recording a video of himself using Breeze's iPhone, Theory was caught with a Beauty Shot to take the win!
Tyler Breeze had his hand raised, having been underestimated by the egotistical newcomer, Austin Theory! Theory rolled out of the ring in a daze, as "the Supermodel" retrieved his iPhone from the corner of the ring and began to take a video of himself - standing tall over Theory.
The NXT General Manager carried out paperwork in his office at the WWE Performance Center backstage. With real-life events having launched the WWE into disarray while on the Road to WrestleMania, William Regal had been hard at work - but had a groundbreaking announcement to make, up next!
The NXT General Manager William Regal welcomed us to a highly unconventional edition of NXT. Unlike last week at Fan Appreciation Night, there was only a handful of essential crew members here to work for the NXT Universe tonight - as the Superstars of NXT risked their lives in the name of competing for their fans and followers. The Englishman soon delivered some bad news, noting that with the announcement made last night on Monday Night RAW that WrestleMania would no longer be held from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, this meant that NXT TakeOver would no longer be taking place in Tampa. With great misfortune, Regal announced the cancellation of NXT TakeOver on April 4. Instead, however, Regal declared that the matches would still in fact take place - on NXT only on the USA Network, starting April 1!
A video package aired, taking a deep-dive into the history of #DIY. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa had each hustled, worked and bled on the independent circuit for years, until one fateful day in the year 2015. Both hungry, looking to make an impact, they were paired up during their WWE tryout five years ago. Both were confused why they were often paired together, whether sharing a rental car or competing against each other in their tryout match together. Both were told they were not good enough to become WWE Superstars, but in this shortcoming their friendship began. In 2016, the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tourrnament took place, and while Gargano was in, Ciampa was not. Tommaso would be added after a conversation with Triple H, meeting Gargano in a first round match. In the end, it was Johnny who progressed to the second round. In interviews with each man, "Johnny Wrestling" believed he was the better wrestler out of the pair.
Mauro Ranallo narrated what happened last week, where a replay showed Tegan Nox defeating Mercedes Martinez to qualify for the Women's Ladder match in three weeks - but by disqualification. Later it was revealed that Mercedes had been hired by Nox's former tag team partner and arch rival Dakota Kai to remove her from the equation.
Dennis Arnell was backstage at the WWE Performance Center with Tegan Nox. He asked her for her thoughts on the continued lengths that Dakota Kai was taking in her rivalry with her. Nox groaned, about to talk about how sick and tired she was of having Dakota try to take her out of the picture - when Mercedes Martinez jumped Nox from behind! Nox fired back in a continuation of their Women's Ladder Qualifying match from last week, when Martinez would drop her with a big clothesline knocking her down hard. "The Latina Sensation" sent Tegan face-first into a shutter door, soon raising it and driving it down into the ribcage of Nox! Martinez walked away, presumably to collect payment from Dakota Kai.
2) Candice LeRae def. Mia Yim to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match (4:30) - With Chelsea Green, Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox qualified for the Ladder match in three weeks, Candice LeRae and Mia Yim met with a handshake to be the fourth woman to enter the field. Mia looked for Seoul Food but Candice hung to the ropes - and with her hand grasping it, she would steal the match.
Candice LeRae rolled out of the ring in disbelief at her own actions, her hand raised. Mia Yim was left in frustration with the loss, arguing over it with the referee. LeRae would show remorse for winning the manner in which she did - but nonetheless, she was heading to the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match.
A graphic aired, with Mauro Ranallo promoting that up next we would see the next part of the deep-dive into the history of #DIY: this time exploring their run as a tag team in NXT.
A video package aired, featuring interviews from Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Exploring their history, following the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, both men were stunned to find themselves work as a tag team in NXT heading to NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 2. The biggest match of their careers, #DIY was born when they challenged the Revival unsuccessfully for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Johnny spoke about how inseparable the two became following this, by becoming champs they became the best of friends. Not only was Ciampa roommates with Gargano and Candice LeRae, but Ciampa was a part of Gargano's wedding to LeRae. With everything in motion, the rematch was signed for NXT TakeOver: Toronto, where this time #DIY would finally win the gold from Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder.
3) Damien Priest def. Dominik Dijakovic (5:49) - Dominic Dijakovic came to his on-and-off again rival Keith Lee's aid last week, when Damien Priest struck with the baton. This week, a clash of the titans saw Dijakovic look to score a landmark win against "the Archer of Infamy". Priest tried using his baton when Keith Lee equalized and confiscated it - but it only served as a distraction for Dijakovic to receive Reckoning, giving Priest the three.
The NXT North American Champion Keith Lee raced into the ring to see Damien Priest off, but "the Archer of Infamy" simply smiled back at "the Limitless One", knowingly. Dominik Dijakovic was helped to his feet by the champ, but did not want any part of Lee - instead drilling him with Time to Fly! Dijakovic was stunned in the aftermath, but frustration had set in - and his differences with Keith Lee were seemingly neverending.
Following her actions in taking out and injuring the NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley last week on NXT, Charlotte Flair walked the halls in her high heel shoes. Full of confidence, "the Queen" was heading to the ring to speak out on her WrestleMania opponent - up next!
"The EST of NXT" will not stand down to "The Queen" Charlotte Flair made her way out to the ring, the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble match winner twirling on the rampway. Motioning that the NXT Women's Championship would soon be coming to her waist again, "the Queen" climbed into the ring and graced the microphone. Charlotte told the NXT Universe watching from home that before anything else could be assumed, she wanted to set the record clear that she showed no remorse for her actions last week on NXT. The truth was that Rhea Ripley got exactly what she knew was coming - she was a big girl. The little girl from Adelaide had waited her entire life not only to make it to the WWE, but to make it to WrestleMania...and in her actions last week, Charlotte had shown how what they do for a living is not always for everybody. Flair expressed her disappointment in Rhea for not bothering to show up tonight, and how last she heard, Ripley was actually hospitalized after the Figure-4 Leglock around the ring post last week.
"The Queen" believed that she should be the NXT Women's Champion defacto, and how even if Rhea Ripley was 100% - she surely did not deserve to be champion after the humiliation she suffered last week. In a way, it was all so funny. After watching Rhea talk and brag in her little video eight days ago on RAW, about her journey from Australia as a little girl to Raymond James Stadium - not only would they not be going to Tampa Bay after all, but Rhea would not even be heading to "the Grandest Stage of Them All". Charlotte continued to talk about her track record in high-pressure situations, and how she was a ten-time Women's Champion in the WWE since storming down the doors via NXT in 2013. Where Ripley was concerned, when it came down to sinking or swimming - Rhea could do nothing but drown!
To "the Queen's" surprise, Bianca Belair graced the WWE Performance Center! For the first time since Charlotte Flair had beaten her last month, "the EST of NXT" climbed into the ring and told her how nobody wanted to hear her talk. This was NXT and not Monday Night RAW, and Bianca questioned if that meant Charlotte was colorblind. Flair reminded Bianca of how she was to leave WrestleMania as the NXT Women's Champion...whether Rhea showed up or not. Bianca knew loud and clear, but told Charlotte she had stolen from her too. If Rhea wasn't recovered in time for WrestleMania, Belair nominated to take her place. Flair however, made fun of Bianca, ordering her to the back of the line. She proved in their last meeting she was not good enough to be in the same ring as her - but as a betting woman, she was giving her a chance with a match next week on NXT. If she won, she got her WrestleMania shot. But if she lost, then Charlotte would take the night off at "the Grandest Stage of Them All!"
With the NXT Champion Adam Cole and Roderick Strong behind him, Bobby Fish prepared for singles competition against the new NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle. It came on the same night that Cole would be celebrating being the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history, but up next, Fish would fight Riddle!
A video package aired, continuing the documentary covering the history of #DIY. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa each talked about capturing the NXT Tag Team Championship gold, and how they took the titles everywhere with them. The two toured Japan and Australia together with their friendship finding them growing closer and closer together. Where it went wrong came when Ciampa's injuries caught up with him. Gargano regarded Ciampa's needs as changing, all while AOP emerged as contenders to their titles. #DIY battled AOP where Akam and Rezar captured the titles at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio. The friendship suffered a "championship hangover" following the loss, and Ciampa even confessed how "Johnny Wrestling's" star was shining that night in Toronto, where they won the titles. Gargano theorized Ciampa developing resentment for him following the reaction at Toronto.
4) Bobby Fish (with Roderick Strong) def. NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle (6:28) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - With the BroserWeights victorious over Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly last week, Bobby Fish had a shot at redemption. He and Matt Riddle were both without their tag partner, and without Pete Dunne, "the King of Bros" had his leg worked over. Riddle fought hard, but the distraction from Strong led to Riddle knocking him off the apron with a knee strike! Fish caught him with the Fish Hook, forcing Riddle to tap out.
The Undisputed Era was all but eliminated from the race to the NXT Tag Team Championships, though Bobby Fish's victory was in part thanks to Roderick Strong's presence. Strong was not yet finished with Matt Riddle however, mounting him with lefts and rights in the ring. Fish re-applied the Fish Hook on the foot of the NXT Tag Team Champion - but Pete Dunne was not in the WWE Performance Center tonight! With the chips down, Velveteen Dream would be the man to answer the call. Hitting the ring and striking Strong with a steel chair, Dream lit Fish up with a series of punches before striking with the Dream Valley Driver! Velveteen helped Riddle to his feet, all the while Adam Cole watched in dissatisfaction from his own private dressing room.
Tyler Breeze drank a bottle of water backstage at the WWE Performance Center, content with his win over Austin Theory tonight - when Austin Theory came from behind, hammering "the Supermodel" in the back of the head! Furious at the loss, the newcomer grabbed the bottle of water and doused Breeze in it. Verbally trash-talking Tyler for not being good enough to beat him, Theory tossed Breeze into one of the training rings present in the WWEPC. With the Ataxia, Theory covered and counted his own three count before posing over Breeze's body with his iPhone - taking a selfie for Tyler to remember!
Cameras caught up to Candice LeRae as she walked the backstage halls of the WWE Performance Center, barging into the trainer's room to find the physician checking on Mia Yim. Candice was apologetic toward "the Blasian Baddie", wanting to make it known how she never intended to cheat her out of the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match. Yim did not want to even talk to LeRae, icing her shoulder and giving her the cold shoulder simultaneously. Candice vowed to not let it happen again - offering her a rematch next week on NXT! Mia looked at Candice like she was crazy, but accepted. LeRae put her spot in the Ladder match at stake to show she was serious.
5) Cameron Grimes def. Leon Ruff (3:15) - Despite not walking out of last week as the NXT North American Champion, Cameron Grimes was not about to let the loss to Keith Lee get him down. In singles competition against Leon Ruff, the WWE Performance Center prospect would get in some offense just to fall to the Cave-In.
Cameron Grimes was obnoxious in celebrating his victory in the empty WWEPC. "The Carolina Caveman" ran his mouth after the bell, hollering about how good he was and that nobody would ever be better than his truly. Interestingly, Kushida would make his way out to the rampway, much to the annoyance of Grimes. "The Japanese Sensation" climbed into the ring and raised his index finger, perhaps implying that he disagreed with Grimes' verdict. Cameron left the ring frustrated, while "the Time Splitter" would help Ruff back to his feet.
Dominik Dijakovic was backstage stewing in the loss suffered earlier tonight against Damien Priest. NXT North American Champion Keith Lee caught up with him, staring Dijakovic down fiercely. Understanding at what ticked him off, Dominik made it known he wasn't that easy to be figured out. What happened tonight was not how things were supposed to go - this was his night, and he was holding Lee responsible for costing him. Dijakovic blamed Keith for taking dinner off of his family's table, soon bringing up how Keith Lee had gotten lucky at NXT TakeOver: Portland. Dijakovic demanded a rematch at the NXT North American Championship. Stoically, "the Limitless One" told Dijakovic that he never backed down from a fight.
A video package aired, continuing the Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa story. At NXT TakeOver: Chicago, both men remarked at #DIY receiving their last shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships. Their first main event against AOP in the Ladder match, Johnny believed this was the night that changed their lives forever. The challengers risked everything to recapture the titles, only to come up short. In defeat, the two received a standing ovation when Ciampa drove Gargano face-first into the stage. Ciampa assaulted Gargano to the shock of the NXT Universe, when he would drive "Johnny Wrestling" off the announce table through two tables with the Air Raid Crash. Ciampa watched, sat from the edge of the table, witnessing Gargano being taken away on a stretcher.
6) Io Shirai def. Kayden Carter to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match (1:22) - Kayden Carter came to the ring tonight vying for an opportunity to enter the Ladder match in three weeks, only to be met with the surprise return of Io Shirai. In her first appearance since suffering an injury in January, "the Genius of the Sky" made short work of Carter, qualifying with the Moonsault.
Io Shirai would join Chelsea Green, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox and either Candice LeRae or Mia Yim in the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match on NXT in three weeks, and "the Genius of the Sky" appeared thrilled to be back on "the Black and Gold Brand!"
Mauro Ranallo continued to narrate the groundbreaking announcement made earlier tonight by NXT General Manager William Regal, discussing that NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay had been cancelled. In its' place, the matches would instead take place on NXT in the weeks to come; starting from April 1! "The Voice of NXT" ran down what was coming up next week, including Charlotte Flair against Bianca Belair for the right to challenge for the NXT Women's Championship at WrestleMania; Mia Yim against Candice LeRae in a Qualifying rematch for the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match; and a special appearance by the Creator of NXT, Triple H, as he planned to moderate a meeting between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa!
The NXT Champion Adam Cole walked the backstage area of the WWE Performance Center. In a tuxedo and flanked by the similarly-dressed members of Undisputed Era, Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish; the UE were on top of the world, as Cole prepared to celebrate being the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history - up next!
An Undisputed Celebration Tarnished The NXT Championship sat in the center of the ring inside the WWE Performance Center, sat within a glass case atop a yellow velveting. The Undisputed Era soon made their grandiose entrance, with Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong having recovered following their ambush of NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle earlier tonight. Adam Cole soon joined his friends, all three dressed in tuxedos for the celebration of a lifetime. Climbing into the ring, Roddy proudly took to the microphone and talked about gathering today to bare witness living proof of greatness in "the Black and Gold Brand". Calling him the collector of five-star classics, and the God among mortal men in NXT, Strong told the world how he could not be prouder than to call Adam Cole his best friend. Bobby Fish joined in with some touching words, speaking about knowing the man to his left for years and years. Nobody had worked harder than the man to his left, to stand in the ring today as the longest reigning NXT Champion: than Adam Cole.
The Undisputed Era clapped and applauded Adam Cole as he took the microphone and pointed to the NXT Championship within the glass casing. Asking the NXT Universe at home how beautiful the gold was, Adam reminded everybody of how he captured it on June 1, 2019, and how the past 291 days had been one hell of an emotional journey. Full of trials and tribulations, Adam reeled off the names of men he had beaten: from Johnny Gargano to Tommaso Ciampa, from Daniel Bryan to Seth Rollins - there was nobody that Adam could not beat, and he had proven that time after time after time again! Cole told the world that tomorrow would mark the day he overtakes Finn Bálor as the longest reigning NXT Champion in history at 292 days, and how he was going to sit back, relax and enjoy it with his feet up exactly like he deserved. Cole claimed there was not a damn soul deserving of a shot at the NXT Championship...when suddenly, the lights went out.
The lights returned, and the NXT Championship had vanished from the glass casing inside the ring. The Undisputed Era took immediate note, furious at the gold's whereabouts! Adam Cole claimed it wasn't funny, and demanded Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish help him find it. The arrival of the NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle irritated the UE, as "the King of Bros" laughed and joked about how they really got one over on him last week. Unluckily for them, what came around went around. Riddle introduced the rightful number one contender to "the Big One", Velveteen Dream! Walking out with flamboyance and presence, Dream looked provocative in a fully-gold ensemble...but Velveteen was dripping in gold, with the NXT Championship around his waist! Cole was furious and demanded the title back, but Dream vowed to not even offer him the gold back until he granted him a shot at the NXT Championship around his waist right now. Cole was prepared to blow a gasket, as Dream and Riddle left with the title!
A video package aired, recapping the aftermath of Tommaso Ciampa's betrayal of Johnny Gargano following NXT TakeOver: Chicago. "The Blackheart" took nine months out as Johnny Gargano scratched and clawed, haunted by the past. "Johnny Wrestling" strived to challenge for the NXT Championship against Andrade, but it was all thanks to Ciampa that he was not only unsuccessful; but he lost his career as an NXT Superstar. Gargano would torture Ciampa to the point of accepting a match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, where the #DIY members would meet in an Unsanctioned match. With Gargano's career at stake, 322 days of pent-up rage would see the two tear each other a part. Crutches came into play when Gargano unleashed hell on Ciampa. Gargano had the chance of using the crutch on his former best friend, but instead he would evade Tommaso's use of a knee brace to lock in an STF. With the brace wrapped around Ciampa's neck, Gargano could be reinstated as an NXT Superstar!
Mauro Ranallo advertised the final part of the history of #DIY documentary - coming up next.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
#DIY's Last Stand A video package aired, showing Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano discussing the aftermath of their Unsanctioned bout at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. Ciampa would capture the NXT Championship from Aleister Black thanks to the unintended help of Johnny Gargano. "The Blackheart" would escape again, though Ciampa would be forced to relinquish the NXT Championship due to neck injury. His entire career derailed, Gargano would meet Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: New York - in a match for the vacant NXT Championship, originally set to be Gargano against Ciampa. They went to war in an instant classic, but with his back against the wall down a fall, Gargano's career-long goal of becoming NXT Champion was achieved in two straight falls against all odds. Gargano would celebrate, when joined by Ciampa in a neck brace. #DIY reunited beside Candice LeRae, the two best friends seemingly harmonized to end the blood feud.
Tommaso Ciampa revealed that he was prepared to leave it all behind them, finally proud that "Goldie" was in the right hands of his once-best friend. Then, Ciampa went away to have neck surgery. Under the knife, "the Blackheart" watched in rehabilitation as Johnny Gargano would lose the NXT Championship to Adam Cole in his first title defense at NXT TakeOver XXV. "Johnny Wrestling" spoke about Ciampa coming back to Full Sail University, and hearing the NXT Universe chant "Daddy's Home". In reuniting at Worlds Collide 2020, #DIY reunited to defeat Moustache Mountain, and Ciampa believed himself to be back at the center of "the Black and Gold Brand". In recapturing the NXT Championship he had never lost, Ciampa set out to reclaim it at NXT TakeOver: Portland - but Gargano would get even on Ciampa, three years after the betrayal in Chicago. Johnny stabbed Ciampa in the black heart by striking him with "Goldie" straight between the eyes, allowing Cole to retain the title.
From breaking the heart of every member of the NXT Universe, Johnny Gargano explained that his intention was to support his best friend. Gargano said he saw the same look that Tommaso Ciampa had on his face three years ago in Chicago. "The Blackheart" said when Gargano won the NXT Championship in New York, he'd let him have his moment. Gargano called Ciampa a snake - and he was smarter than anyone to see it. Ciampa believed this rivalry had gone far beyond the NXT Championship, and believed it was a war that only one man could come out of on top. Ciampa claimed the war at the WWE Performance Center last week to be "just business", although "Johnny Wrestling" believed Ciampa to have intended it this way all along. As both men laid in the remains of the announce table after the Air Raid Crash through the announce table last week, Ciampa believed that they might well fight forever - and it might well only end when one man dies. Gargano begged to differ, believing that this would be #DIY's Last Stand.
WWE NXT UK #85 – March 19, 2020 Coventry Skydome in Coventry, England UNDER SIX WEEKS AWAY FROM NXT UK TAKEOVER: DUBLIN
A video package aired, recapping the arrival of Finn Bálor to NXT UK last week. Coventry Skydome was rocked to its very core, as "the Prince" would make a challenge to the NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER only to have Imperium sicced on him. Bálor would evade them, and Alexander Wolfe would go to NXT General Manager Johnny Saint looking to make Finn pay. Despite Imperium's onslaught, it was Finn who conquered Wolfe - and now, with "the Ring General's" complete and undivided attention, Bálor was out to hunt the champion!
The opening video package aired, bringing us to Coventry Skydome for another rousing week of NXT UK from the Coventry Skydome. Nigel McGuinness stood ringside alongside his new broadcast colleague Andy Shepherd, as they talked about what was coming up in the hour: Gallus set for six-man tag team action against Dave Mastiff, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster; Kassius Ohno set for action, as well as Ridge Holland!
1) Kay Lee Ray (c) def. Dani Luna to retain the NXT UK Women's Championship (2:55) - Following the confident NXT UK Women's Champion's domination in Dani Luna's match against Amale last week, "The Inevitable" Dani Luna used her power as an advantage, rolling Kay Lee Ray up for a close fall. The champ scored a missile dropkick when the challenger caught her in a deadlift suplex, but KLR was able to capitalize on Dani's inexperience, scoring the Gory Bomb to retain the title.
The NXT UK Women's Champion had claimed another victim in her reign, though Kay Lee Ray had determined enough was not enough. Dani Luna had the boots brought to her, when KLR planted the unsuccessful challenger with a second Gory Bomb. Raising the title high, Kay Lee Ray was confronted by none other than Piper Niven! Out for revenge after Toni Storm's loss in the I Quit match two months ago, Niven ran KLR from the ring. Piper grabbed the NXT UK Women's Championship: her sights firmly set on the gold.
"The Prince" makes a bold impression In an exclusive video taken from WWE.com, last week footage aired of Finn Bálor preparing to leave the Coventry Skydome. With comments made about putting WALTER's NXT United Kingdom Championship on notice, "the Prince" would find all eyes on him. NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint, Sid Scala, Ashton Smith, Eddie Dennis, Trent Seven and Saxon Huxley were merely some of the faces seen staring at him. Soon, he came face to face with Tyler Bate. The first-ever NXT United Kingdom Champion stared straight through Finn, not intimidated in the least.
Earlier today, Tyler Bate was seen tracking down NXT UK Johnny Saint and Sid Scala in their office. Asking for a favor, he talked about Finn Bálor walking around like he owned the place. Bate said he would love to knock "the Prince" down a peg sooner than later, but Scala informed Bate there would be opportunities to have that happen - but first, the Assistant to the GM informed him that in two weeks there would be another opportunity. One to be named the number one contender to the NXT United Kingdom Championship at NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin, "the World of Sport Legend" declared it would be determined in a 20-man Battle Royal! Bate walked away pleased with the possibility.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the NXT UK merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
A vignette aired, showing the recent comments made by the ambitious newcomer Aoife Valkyrie. Cutting to Nina Samuels snobbily ordering her make-up artist time to speak, she talked about her chance to take full advantage of the ever-growing NXT UK Women's division. She talked about this new girl stealing her spotlight, and declared that next week she would show Ms. Valkyrie who the true "Leading Lady" of NXT UK was. She said the only name on anybody's lips would be "Nina Samuels".
2) Ridge Holland def. Joseph Conners (7:19) - The Yorkshireman was prepared for his toughest test to date, as Ridge Holland took on Joseph Conners. Conners put up a strong showing against the former Rugby Super League player, but after a tough, hard-hitting test, Holland would impressively put Conners away with Northern Grit!
With another victory under his belt, Ridge Holland was roaring into the 20-man Number One Contender's Battle Royal in two weeks. Joseph Conners had been devastated despite having some luck against the former Hull Rovers player, while Holland celebrated in dominance. Lead pipe in hand and hat on his head - Holland was yet to be defeated.
Cameras cut back urgently, as Mark Andrews was seen laying on the ground in agony. Dave Mastiff and Flash Morgan Webster were by his side, as Andrews rived in pain with his leg. Gallus arrived at the scene of the crime prompting Mastiff and Webster to question if they were responsible. Wolfgang, Mark and Joe Coffey insisted they had nothing to do with it but warned them they'd better have a back-up tonight in the ring!
An advertisement aired, promoting WrestleMania as emanating from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Under three weeks away, we were 17 days away from "the Grandest Stage of Them All!"
A vignette aired, showing the physical prowess of "the Moscow Madman" known as Ilja Dragunov. One of the hardest hitters in NXT UK, Ilja regarded himself as "Invincible" because he didn't go into fights with a chance - he went IN. With red eyes, the Russian mauler declared that he was "Unbesiegbar" - set for action next week.
3) Kassius Ohno def. Kenny Williams via stoppage (6:58) - "The Wrestling Genius" continued to tear up the competition, but found himself in a technical encounter with "the Lucky Yin". Kassius Ohno was a crafty veteran, working the arm of Kenny Williams when the youngster turned it around. The rolling elbow and Kassius Clutch forced the bell to be called.
With reluctance, the mean-spirited Kassius Ohno hesitated in relinquishing the Kassius Clutch on Kenny Williams. With confidence, "the Wrestling Genius" raised his own hand with the referee's hand - who was going to put Ohno in his place, with the NXT Superstar surely being a threat heading into the 20-man Battle Royal.
Josiah Williams was backstage standing by with the fast rising newcomer to NXT UK, A-Kid. When asked to rate his time in WWE so far, A-Kid was interrupted before he had a chance to answer. "The Spanish Sensation" was joined by Noam Dar, who complained about not wanting to do another interview. With sarcasm, "the Scottish Supernova" overshadowed A-Kid and granted Josiah forty seconds for any questions. A-Kid told Noam off in Spanish, when Dar responded in fluent French. Noam explained the difference between the two of them - while A-Kid was just "a kid", Noam Dar was A-Legend! Dar told A-Kid to try his best next week, because they were booked for a match. Dar departed, telling "El Daftie" he'd see him next week.
A video package aired, recapping Jordan Devlin capturing the NXT Cruiserweight Championship back in January at NXT Worlds Collide 2020. Overcoming Angel Garza, Travis Banks and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott in a Fatal 4-Way match, nobody in San Antonio, Texas had seen "the Irish Ace" coming. In comments, Jordan Devlin bragged about taking NXT UK to being a global brand, and bringing the title back to the United Kingdom with him. Last week, Sid Scala declared that Devlin would make his first defense on UK soil against Travis Banks. In comments from "the Kiwi Buzzsaw", Travis spoke about Devlin never pinning him to win the title, and that beating him would be poetic given their history. It was back at NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool when Devlin took Banks out of action. Their rematch weeks later ended in a double count-out prompting a Falls Count Anywhere match seeing Banks victorious. Next week, Banks was not to be denied, vowing to become the first Kiwi NXT Cruiserweight Champion!
4) Gallus def. Dave Mastiff, Flash Morgan Webster and Trent Seven (9:27) - Following a row at the UK Performance Center last week, the six-man tag team match was signed for tonight. When Mark Andrews was found injured with a knee injury earlier today however, Trent Seven decided to step up to fight. Flash Morgan Webster was the man in peril when Dave Mastiff made the tag, all the while Seven and Joe Coffey brawled on the floor. Webster was caught with the NXT UK Tag Team Champions - allowing All the Best for the Bells by Mark Coffey and Wolfgang to give Gallus the win.
Gallus showed their dominance, despite not being prepared for the arrival of Trent Seven. Seven would hit the ring after the match, clearing Mark Coffey and Wolfgang from the fallen body of Flash Morgan Webster. Seven would stare the trio down, as the NXT Tag Team Champions and Mark Coffey regathered on the aisleway. With the 20-man Battle Royal coming up in two weeks, Gallus were out to make a big impression - the shot at NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER on the line!
Friday Night SmackDown #1074 – March 20, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY FROM WRESTLEMANIA
The opening video package aired, bringing us to inside the WWE Performance Center. Friday Night SmackDown was on the air on FOX, with Michael Cole welcoming us to the show standing in the center of the ring. With less than three weeks until WrestleMania, tonight would see Roman Reigns and the WWE Universal Champion Goldberg sign the contract to make it official for their match at WrestleMania. Drew Gulak would meet Cesaro one-on-one. Plus, Paige would appear live tonight via Skype!
Gronk's in Charge Firstly, Michael Cole brought it upon himself to talk about the news broken last week on Friday Night SmackDown - how it was official that Rob Gronkowski would be joining "the WWE Family" to be the official Host of WrestleMania! Cole reported that "Gronk" had news, and welcomed out Mojo Rawley. Dressed in a maroon suit, "the Hype Man" jolted down to the ring and roughed Cole up - exactly like he had done last week. Mojo was excited, and how couldn't anybody? His man had come to hang out and join them at "the Grandaddy of Them All" - and it was going to be Hype! Welcoming out his good friend for his Friday Night SmackDown debut, Mojo formally rolled out the welcome carpet for Rob Gronkowski himself. The newly-named Host of WrestleMania walked with presence down to the ring, cordially shaking Cole's hand before breaking out into a spontaneous jumping spree with his best friend Mojo!
"Gronk" was already having the time of his life, as he took the microphone and was pleased to announce his joining "the WWE Family". The former New England Patriot revealed he had been a longtime fan of the WWE, ever since his buddy Mojo Rawley was training in FCW. As "the Hype Man" promised to have his back because things ran differently in the WWE than the NFL - Rob Gronkowski declared that he had some huge news. As Host of WrestleMania, he had been granted the power of authority by WWE's Board of Directors. With that said, "Gronk" looked at his plans for WrestleMania laid out...and it all looked like way too much for one night. WrestleMania was too big for one night, which was why for the first time ever...it would take place across two nights! The official theme song for WrestleMania, "Blinding Light" by The Weeknd blasted over the WWE Performance Center, as confetti began to fall from the rafters. Abruptly, King Corbin would interrupt the party uninvited!
Crashing the blockbuster announcement, the King waltzed slowly down the rampway to the ring where he congratulated Rob Gronkowski on becoming the Host of WrestleMania. Corbin made note of how Mojo Rawley alluded to how differently things operated in the WWE, telling "Gronk" that this wasn't the NFL anymore. The grid-iron was a long way away, and in the WWE all bowed down and showed respect to the man standing before them: King Corbin! Corbin ordered Gronkowski to his knees to kiss his feet, but "Gronk" told him he didn't bow down to anybody. Mojo told Corbin he was only the King of the men's room, and told him Gronkowski was the real royalty to arrive in WWE. Rawley told Corbin he'd teach him a lesson in respect tonight in this ring! Corbin claimed "the Hype Man" was nothing but a peasant, telling him he was on - but when Mojo went down for the count, Gronk would be forced to kiss his feet!
Daniel Bryan psyched his new training mentor Drew Gulak up in the backstage area. Warming up for competition, Gulak was set to take on Cesaro of the Artist Collective - up next!
Echoing the words of the Host of WrestleMania Rob Gronkowski moments ago, Michael Cole remarked that for the first time in thirty-six years, WrestleMania would be taking place across both nights! Emanating from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this year's extravaganza would take place on April 4 and 5!
1) Drew Gulak def. Cesaro by disqualification (4:22) - Following the altercation between the Artist Collective and Daniel Bryan last week, WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn joined commentary for this match. Zayn denounced Gulak repeatedly as a "nobody", and took offense at Bryan not joining the Artist Collective. - "The Militant Mat Mite" took on "the Swiss Cyborg" in a physical encounter between the two world-class all-rounders. Cesaro underestimated Gulak until his Big Swing was reversed into the Gu-Lock. A big upset was about to take place, when Shinsuke Nakamura hit the ring to cause the disqualification!
Shinsuke Nakamura drove his knees into the cranium of Drew Gulak, who tried to fight it only to be hurled into the air for a European uppercut from Cesaro! The WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn remarked in joy at his Artist Collective's precision on commentary, when Daniel Bryan rushed down to the ring with a missile dropkick for "the Swiss Cyborg!" Bryan ducked the Kinshasa and struck Shin with the dropkick in the corner. With Nakamura and Cesaro bailing to the floor, Bryan helped Gulak to his feet.
An advertisement aired, promoting the next three Sundays, where ESPN would be airing past WrestleManias in their entirety. It would begin with WrestleMania XXX this Sunday from 7/6 CT!
2) Daniel Bryan (with Drew Gulak) def. Shinsuke Nakamura (with Cesaro) (5:28) - WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn remained on commentary following the previous match between Drew Gulak and Cesaro. - In impromptu action, "the King of Strong Style" met "the Submission Specialist" with Gulak and Cesaro acting as their cornermen. Shinsuke Nakamura punished Daniel Bryan after the break, but Bryan fought back! The Kinshasa went missed, when Bryan caught him in a crucifix pin to get the win.
Drew Gulak jumped for joy as Daniel Bryan had his hand raised, but Cesaro would clamber into the ring with a charging European uppercut in the corner. The Neutralizer followed, when Gulak hit the ring. Drew unloaded on "the Swiss Cyborg" in the corner - but Shinsuke Nakamura would come back with the Kinshasa! The WWE Intercontinental Champion watched obnoxiously, Sami Zayn marching from commentary and joining his Artist Collective in the ring. "The Great Liberator" stood tall, when Braun Strowman's music erupted. Making his first appearance since Elimination Chamber, "the Monster Among Men" looked for his title back, as Sami ran for the hills! Braun delivered the running powerslam to Nakamura, before staring a hole through Zayn from afar.
Backstage, Heavy Machinery were seen. Otis sat on the edge of a training ring feeling sorry for himself, as Tucker voiced his concern for his best buddy. Wanting to try and cheer Otis up, all "the Dozer" wanted was the heart of his sweet peach, Mandy Rose. Tucker cursed Dolph Ziggler for being so cunning, before thinking up a great idea. Otis wondered what Tucky had cooking up, when Tucker urged Otis to follow him!
Friday Night SmackDown on FOX was sponsored tonight by Progressive - the first-round choice for auto insurance.
Paige lays down the law Michael Cole stood in the middle of the ring, as he began to talk about how last week they were scheduled to be joined in-person by a former multiple-time champion in Paige - however real-life events prevented her from appearing. This week however, she was to appear on Friday Night SmackDown via Skype - but before Cole had the chance to welcome "the Anti-Diva", out walked the SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley! With Sasha Banks beside her, the champ could not believe how Paige could lie to the whole world. Not only was she a liar for failing to show up last week, but she was a coward for daring to do it over Skype. Bayley got in the ring and reminded Sasha of how this whole thing was ridiculous. Since becoming SmackDown Women's Champion in October, Bayley had beaten everybody in her way! "The Boss" agreed that Bayley was unbeatable, bringing up their win last week against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.
The women contested the decision of last week's match with Michael Cole, when Paige would appear via Skype from Los Angeles! "The Anti-Diva" was unhappy to see Bayley or Sasha Banks, but told them she would make it worth their while. Bayley pondered how, soon questioning if Paige herself wanted a shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship. Sasha then piped up, reminding Bayley she couldn't - she was retired! While true, Paige claimed she had the next best thing for the champ. With permission from FOX, Paige had the chance to give Bayley the luxury of competing in a first-of-its-kind match. With the SmackDown Women's Championship up for grabs, she would defend the title against not one, not two, not three, not four - but five other women! It would be a six-pack challenge match with elimination rules - and elimination could occur by pinfall, submission or being thrown over the top rope! Bayley was furious and demanded to know her opponents - but Paige told her she'd have to wait and see.
A replay aired, recapping what went down last week when John Cena arrived at the WWE Performance Center. In speaking about Bray Wyatt's challenge from the week prior, the twisted tenant of the Firefly Funhouse would respond. With the match made for WrestleMania, Wyatt warned John that it would be a slaughter at "the Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment". Up next, a look back at their match at WrestleMania XXX!
Daniel Bryan had a notebook in hand backstage, as Drew Gulak provided feedback to what he saw in his match moments ago with Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan responded positively to the lecture, when the Artist Collective arrived. A showdown ensued as the WWE Intercontinental Champion could not believe the audacity of Bryan for joining with a "nobody" like Drew Gulak. Gulak was ready for a fight, but Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura would protect "the Great Liberator". Zayn believed Bryan was reducing himself to a joke by this new pairing, when suddenly Braun Strowman entered the scene! "The Monster Among Men" growled that he wanted his title back, but "the King of Strong Style" and "the Swiss Cyborg" protected Sami well. Bryan and Gulak restrained the giant, when Sami came up with a solution: next week, a six-man tag team match pitting Strowman, Bryan and Gulak against the Artist Collective. If their team won, they'd get a title shot - but if Sami, Shinsuke and Cesaro won - Braun could kiss his title chances goodbye!
-) John Cena def. Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) (22:25) [APRIL 6, 2014 - WRESTLEMANIA XXX] [THROUGH 2 BREAKS] - In a replay from the match that Bray Wyatt believed started his downward spiral toward debuting "the Fiend", the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome in New Orleans provided a unique atmosphere. Singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", John Cena was baffled by the support for the Wyatt Family leader. - Nothing would keep Bray Wyatt down, as "the Eater of Worlds" resiliently came back from each of John Cena's attacks. With Luke Harper and Erick Rowan's help, Wyatt maintained control until Cena took them out. - Bray Wyatt's aim was to corrupt John Cena into violence. He encouraged him to use the steel steps, yet Cena refused. Removing Harper and Rowan from the equation, Wyatt had Cena conflicted, to use a steel chair. He knelt, daring John to use it. Instead Cena struck Rowan with it! Sister Abigail was reversed into the Attitude Adjustment, and Cena came out on top!
A graphic aired, promoting next week's edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX - where Bray Wyatt would be back with a brand new edition of the Firefly Fun House, with less than two weeks until WrestleMania.
3) Mojo Rawley def. King Corbin (3:26) - As his best buddy Mojo Rawley looked to stick up for him, the Host of WrestleMania Rob Gronkowski would join commentary to further discuss his admiration for the WWE. Per the stipulation made earlier tonight, "Gronk" would have to kiss Corbin's feet if Mojo could not beat him! - King Corbin was appalled by "the Hype Man's" insubordination, but Mojo Rawley brought the fight with all his heart. Corbin slowed the pace with Deep Six, talking trash to Rob Gronkowski. Elias arrived, playing another insulting song about Corbin. Mojo dropped him with the Killer Instinct for a huge upset!
The distraction from "the Drifter" worked, granting Mojo Rawley the win! Rob Gronkowski jumped for joy at the announce table at ringside, soon roughing up Michael Cole with delight. King Corbin sat up in devastation, as Elias smiled with his guitar in hand at ringside. Eye contact made, the King rolled out and immediately confronted a pleased Elias face-to-face. With "Gronk" no longer compelled to kiss Corbin's feet per the stipulation, the New England Patriot believed there was some hostilities between the two - and as Host of WrestleMania, he was giving them a match at "the Grandaddy of Them All!" Corbin and Elias trash-talked, when Elias shoved Corbin - who would trip over Mojo knelt behind him!
Kayla Braxton was backstage with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross."The Goddess" reminded Kayla of how the loss to Bayley and Sasha Banks last week occurred; how the SmackDown Women's Champion used her title to get the victory. If a rematch happened, the outcome would be very different. The Scotswoman affirmed the result would differ because Bayley and Sasha were not the friends that the two of them were. Nikki claimed that there was no two friends greater than they were in the entirety of the WWE, and their bond was living proof! Bayley and Sasha Banks soon arrived, the SmackDown Women's Champion being held back by "the Legit Boss". Banks told Alexa and Nikki if they were the best friends, they'd have fought harder last week. Bayley told Alexa she was a sore loser, but Alexa reminded Bayley of when she beat her in her hometown three years ago to become the champ! Alexa bet that could happen again, challenging her to a singles match next week. Agitated, Bayley accepted!
Michael Cole welcomed the WWE Universe back to Friday Night SmackDown on FOX, where just signed for next week would see the New Day challenge career rivals the Usos in a championship opportunity match - where the winning team would go on to challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania!
The Dirt Sheet Crashed In response to the announcement by Michael Cole, the SmackDown Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz were sat in the middle of the ring in protest! Miz was furious to hear Cole try to usurp them as they prepared to deliver the Dirt Sheet: but in all honesty, how they didn't even feel like hosting it. "The Friday Night Delight" spoke about Cole ruining it for the entire WWE Universe, before questioning if anybody had even seen their performance at Elimination Chamber. They defeated not only the Usos and the New Day - but they had beaten each team that SmackDown had to offer! Suddenly, Miz and Morrison appeared in the crowd dressed as The New Day. Complete with a unicorn outfit, Miz and Morrison also imitated the Usos in full hood-wear! They mimed an argument between the New Day and the Usos, when Heavy Machinery arrived! Noting how Miz and Morrison may have walked out of the Tag Team Elimination Chamber match victorious, they never beat Heavy Machinery.
John Morrison and The Miz argued this point, when Tucker claimed that that was not how he nor Otis remembered things. A replay aired, showing how Otis charged at Dolph Ziggler outside the ring. "The Show Off" would move, and "the Dozer" would crash through the Chamber pod and fall out of the structure to the floor! Back in the WWE Performance Center, Otis concurred with Tucky that Miz and Morrison weren't winners: they were sorry, sad dum-dum losers! The SmackDown Tag Team Champions took great offense to this accusation, with Miz claiming Otis nor Tucker were worthy of sharing the ring with them - let alone holding the gold. Morrison then suggested they prove that right now with a tag team match! Tucker questioned if the titles would be on the line - and "the Shaman of Sexy" allowed it! Miz was fuming at his partner's confidence, as Otis and Tucker hit the ring to get it on!
4) John Morrison and The Miz (c) def. Heavy Machinery to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (7:31) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - Tucker planned to cheer Otis up by leaving tonight as SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Heavy Machinery bested the champions initially, when the veteran instincts of John Morrison and The Miz allowed them to work over Tucker. He was about to tag Otis, when Dolph Ziggler strolled out! - "The Show Off" lounged in a chair at ringside through the commercial break, as the SmackDown Tag Team Champions continued to work on Tucker until he finally made the tag to Otis. He ran wild and delivered the Caterpillar to Miz when Ziggler ran his mouth on the microphone. Insulting Otis, the Skull Crushing Finale allowed the champs to retain the titles!
"The Show Off" had once again gotten under the skin of Otis, as Dolph Ziggler rolled on the ringside floor in hysterics at Heavy Machinery making buffoons of themselves again! John Morrison and The Miz celebrated with the SmackDown Tag Team Championships as Tucker helped console his buddy. Otis sat in despondence in the ring, when Dolph told Otis he had a present for him. Diverting attention to the big screen, Otis was mortified to see photos of Mandy Rose - and Dolph Ziggler - together! Raging mad with anger, Tucky tried to keep him calm. Instead, Otis let out a roar and let loose on the Miz and Morrison! Ziggler watched in horror as Otis sent Morrison out to the floor, before tackling him through the barricade. Ziggler hopped the barricade the other side, as a furious Otis regained his composure. Heavy Machinery were not through with Ziggler - especially Otis!
Backstage, a splitscreen showed the WWE Universal Champion Goldberg and Roman Reigns each walking the hall. With their battle coming up at WrestleMania in less than three weeks, the two gladiators would share the ring and sign the contract to make it official - up next!
Michael Cole repeated what had been learned by the Host of WrestleMania Rob Gronkowski earlier tonight - that for the first time ever, WrestleMania was "Too Big for One Night". On April 4 and 5, WrestleMania would take place live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida! He ran down the updated line-up as of tonight.
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs Roman Reigns
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
The Undertaker vs AJ Styles
No Holds Barred – Edge vs Randy Orton
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
Elias vs King Corbin
SmackDown Women's Championship – Elimination 6-Pack Challenge –Bayley (c) vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA
An Intense Contract Signing Michael Cole stood in the ring prepared to make it official. It was a challenge accepted two weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown for WrestleMania - the WWE Universal Championship at stake when Goldberg defended against Roman Reigns - the match pitting Spear against Spear. Cole spoke about the words the challenger told him last week, but right now the time had arrived for the two gladiators to sign the contract. He introduced Goldberg to the ring first, and the WWE Universal Champion came stomping out. With the glitz and glamor of white sparks flying, the WWE Hall of Famer climbed into the ring and immediately picked up his office chair and sent it hurdling to the ringside floor! Pacing back and forth, the table separated he and Michael Cole, as "the Voice of SmackDown" understood how pent-up the champ could get. Goldberg told Michael that while he respected Roman Reigns, he felt the words that had come out of his mouth the past few months were childish and stupid.
Goldberg spoke about how everybody called Roman "the Big Dog" because of his victories against Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker. But how big could Roman be, when Goldberg had beaten those same men too! As happy as he was to see Roman accept his challenge for WrestleMania - with all due respect, Goldberg declared that Reigns was next! Roman Reigns then came stomping out to the stage, climbing into the ring and showing no fear either as he picked up his office chair and tossed it outside the ring! "The Big Dog" had had enough talking and signed the contract, ignoring Cole's question for response. Goldberg smirked as Roman looked up to stare him in the soul. The two exchanged words, as Goldberg pointed at the gold over his shoulder. Also signing the contract, Goldberg would clear the table with his hands. Roman picked the table up and flipped it aside as Goldberg dropped his belt. Cole braced for collision, as these two fierce men went face-to-face. They could not wait for WrestleMania!
WWE 205 Live #171 – March 20, 2020 - Danny Burch def. Joaquin Wilde with the Crossface. (8:03) - Isaiah Scott def. Oney Lorcan with the Swerve Stomp. (9:54)
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WrestleMania, for the first time ever, will be held as a two-night event streaming on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and available on pay-per-view.
The two-night pop culture extravaganza will be hosted by three-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski. Tune in to SmackDown this Friday at 8 pm ET on FOX to see what Gronk has in store for WrestleMania.
As previously announced, only essential personnel will be on the closed set during the production of WrestleMania.
- WWE Corporate
Mar 16, 2020
BREAKING: @liger_NJPW is the latest inductee in the @ WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020, as first reported by Tokyo Sports! #WWEHOF
- WWE on Twitter
MARCH 23, 2020 OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: SWEEPING CHANGES DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, MORE.
- Following days of back-and-forth hourly decisions and changes made, the final decision was made for this year's WrestleMania in a press release the WWE sent out on 3/18:
“In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place. However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWEs training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.”
There was talk last week of delaying the show until 6/7 and while that may be earlier than everything is contained and there is no guarantee that date would be viable, delaying the show until you can have a large gathering seemed like the obvious solution.
At this point you really have to question Vince McMahon with the idea of giving up revenue of $20 million or more and allowing fans to see the biggest event of the year live. Many have. We’re told that with so much uncertainty, and the fact there would be no for sure timetable, he made the call that he did. It was a shocking call because it removes the fans and the spectacle from the show, which is really what WrestleMania is about.
- Lio Rush was the first wrestler to go public, telling Forbes that he didn’t want to wrestle until the situation is cleared up. He explained that due to how the situation flared up, and with the little amount of time it flared up, he didn't think it was smart to perform and did not feel comfortable coming into contact with wrestlers, production staff, and travelling across the country.
- While they continued to advertise the 3/22 show at Madison Square Garden on the 3/16 Raw, with MSG shut down due to the virus, the show has been canceled. This past week, WWE shows in Toronto, ONT, Youngstown, OH and Pittsburgh were never announced as being canceled until the decision was first made by local governments or the buildings. It seems WWE is not going to acknowledge shows being off until local authorities make it clear that they are not going to be allowed to do these events. Similarly, due to rules placed by the cities, the NXT shows on 3/13 in Venice, FL and 3/14 in Daytona didn't take place.
- As reported by Fightful, The Revival have been taken off all bookings. Because both have already earned more than their contractual downside over the course of the contract, they are no longer being paid, in this case Scott Dawson through early April and Wilder through mid-June. Both have asked for releases multiple times. Notably, Dash Wilder, whose real name is Dan Wheeler, has applied for a trademark of the name Cash Wheeler.
- With the cancelation of the 3/23 Raw TV shoot in Fort Worth, TX, the WWE sent word that Fort Worth will now host a SmackDown TV shoot on the rescheduled date of 7/31.
TV Ratings: RAW - 2.32 million viewers NXT - 0.58 million viewers SmackDown - 2.47 million viewers
Monday Night RAW #1400 – March 23, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida "Legendary" - Skillet WRESTLEMANIA: ONE WEEK FROM SATURDAY
WWE Main Event #391 – March 26, 2020 - WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka def. Kacy Catanzaro with the Asuka Lock. (3:29) - Ricochet and Cedric Alexander def. Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne with the 630 Senton from Ricochet to Vink. (6:18)
A video package aired, narrated by Paul Heyman. Speaking from a place of knowing the Advocate like no one else had for the past eighteen years, Heyman spoke of the dominance that Brock Lesnar had brought sports entertainment. Nobody had decimated the WWE in a fashion like "the Beast Incarnate", and in listing Lesnar's most legendary victims, he claimed that Drew McIntyre would merely be the latest. Lesnar had destroyed everybody in his path, from The Rock, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker and Ric Flair - all the way to Triple H, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Heyman claimed "the Scottish Warrior" had better fight for his life come WrestleMania, but no matter what, Drew McIntyre's legacy in generations to come would be as a trivia note: "who did Brock Lesnar defeat at WrestleMania 2020?"
"The Scottish Warrior" Believes Monday Night RAW kicked off from the WWE Performance Center, where Drew McIntyre was already stood in street clothes in the center of the ring. A microphone in hand, "the Scottish Warrior" talked about having enjoyed that video package so much, it gave him chills. It gave his goosebumps goosebumps, much like the sensation that came over him when he won the 2020 Men's Royal Rumble match. That night, January 26, 2020, it all came together for him. He accomplished one of his lifelong goals when he overcame twenty-nine other WWE Superstars to earn the opportunity ahead of him. And in one week from Saturday, he would fulfil another one. Win, loss or draw, there was no turning back for him. But that's the thing - if Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman even remotely believed that it didn't matter on the match's outcome, they both had another thing coming. This was about more than a dream that he had, and more than a destiny.
He brought up being starstruck when he signed with WWE in 2007. Bright-eyed and mesmerized, he first navigated the sports entertainment landscape. A part of him remained starstruck when Vince McMahon introduced him to be "the Future" of the company - "the Chosen One", he called him. McIntyre said he wasn't yet, but he got there. That starstruck little boy was long gone, replaced by not a man - but a warrior. McIntyre talked about "the Chosen One" being he, and Brock had asked and received that threat when Drew arrived at #16 and eliminated him from the Royal Rumble. "The Beast" asked and received that threat when Drew demolished him with three Claymore Kicks a few weeks ago. Much would be the same in under two weeks. McIntyre stated he wasn't doing this for his own benefit, but to prove a point. He believed anybody could accomplish anything, and dedicated WrestleMania to everybody who believed anything was possible. At WrestleMania, he vowed not to be a footnote - but Brock would receive his.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the landmark 1,400th edition of Monday Night RAW from the WWE Performance Center! Talking about the remarks made by both Paul Heyman and Drew McIntyre, they spoke of what was coming up tonight - as AJ Styles and the Undertaker were under the same roof to sign the contract for their WrestleMania match. We would hear from Randy Orton, in response from Edge's challenge last week. Plus, Rey Mysterio would meet Andrade in singles competition; and the RAW Tag Team Champions the Street Profits would meet AOP! Coming up next, Phillips and Saxton hyped a look back on one of Brock Lesnar's most destructive displays - facing Daniel Bryan in Champion vs Champion, from the 2018 Survivor Series!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton recapped the Friday Night SmackDown debut of SuperBowl Champion Rob Gronkowski last week. Showing a recap of his introduction as the Host of WrestleMania, and his face-off with King Corbin, Phillips remarked that for the first time ever, WrestleMania was "Too Big for One Night!" With more details coming soon on what matches would take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5 respectively, the two set the scene for the 2018 Survivor Series battle between Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan.
-) RAW's Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) def. SmackDown's Daniel Bryan in a Champion vs Champion match (18:50) [SURVIVOR SERIES 2018 - NOV 18, 2018] [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - For the first time on television history, the main event of the 2018 Survivor Series was broadcast in its' entirety. Brock Lesnar reigned as WWE Universal Champion heading into the show of brand supremacy, whereas Daniel Bryan had recently dethroned AJ Styles just five days prior. - Daniel Bryan taunted Brock Lesnar earlier, only to receive a rapid succession of German suplexes. With Bryan's well-documented history of neck injuries, Lesnar toyed with him until Bryan revealed he was playing possum. Using leg kicks, Brock could not capitalize on an F-5. - Strategically "the Planet's Champion" focused on submissions to dissect "the Beast Incarnate", but turned to using a low blow and a referee bump to take control by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Brock Lesnar would dominate with the F-5 to conquer Daniel Bryan!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked about the challenge made by Edge last week, for a No Holds Barred match come WrestleMania against Randy Orton. They recapped footage from "the Rated R Superstar's" legendary monologue about grit, before showing "the Apex Predator's" response via video call. Backstage, Randy Orton was shown composing himself ahead of heading to the arena.
Monday Night RAW tonight was sponsored by CarMax: the way it should be.
1) Rey Mysterio def. WWE United States Champion Andrade (with Zelina Vega) (14:23) [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - "The Legendary Luchador" pinned the WWE United States Champion last week, so "El Idolo" challenged Rey Mysterio to a singles match. Rey seized the opportunity knocking Andrade off his guard, but the constant interference from Zelina Vega would see her ejected from ringside. - Andrade capitalized and punished Rey Mysterio. Rey made a comeback when Angel Garza hit the ring for the distraction, but Humberto Carrillo met and fought his cousin! Inside, Andrade's powerbomb was reversed into a hurricanrana for the 619, and Dropping the Dime saw him beat the champ again!
Humberto Carrillo watched on proudly after making his cousin Angel Garza run for the hills to the top of the rampway, as Rey Mysterio had his hand raised inside the ring. "The Legendary Luchador" had twice pinned the WWE United States Champion Andrade, who slammed his fist against the canvas in frustration. Rey would then meet and embrace Humberto after the match.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton recapped 3:16 Day that took place last week on Monday Night RAW. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin returned to the WWE to celebrate the big day with a beer bash when WWE 24/7 Champion Riddick Moss interrupted. Unfortunately for him, the newcomer would wind up swilling in beer after suffering the brunt of the Stunner.
Footage aired taken earlier today. Riddick Moss was enjoying a morning run through his neighborhood wearing an Austin 3:16 shirt. The WWE 24/7 Champion was training hard while enjoying the Florida suburbs in the morning, when R-Truth came darting from out of nowhere with a roll-up attempt on the champ! Moss and Truth exchanged blows in the middle of the road, when Moss would shove the challenger away - a car almost colliding with R-Truth! It bought Moss valuable time to run away. Truth apologized to the driver, but cursed Moss for his quickness.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked about Friday Night SmackDown this coming week.
A brand new edition of the Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt.
The Artist Collective's WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak, with championship implications for "the Monster Among Men".
The Usos vs The New Day with the winners going to WrestleMania to challenge John Morrison and The Miz for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley vs Alexa Bliss.
2) Bobby Lashley def. Leon Ruff (0:37) - After defeating No Way Jose in under a minute last week, Bobby Lashley was in singles competition again - this time dismantling Leon Ruff. Ruff didn't stand a chance, as Lashley brutalized him before the bell and would put him down with not one but two Spears for the three count.
The dominance of Bobby Lashley was once again on display, as he had his arm raised in victory after the match. The music of Aleister Black suddenly hit, and out stalked "the Anti-Hero" - rising up from the coffin on the stage. Black would make a theatrical entrance to the ring inside the WWE Performance Center, where he glared a hole through a perturbed Lashley! Bobby didn't know what to make of it, when Black struck with a flinch-worthy Black Mass to poor Leon Ruff. Lashley backed away, unsure what to make of this interaction.
Much like last week, "The Man" had arrived at Monday Night RAW in her trailer truck! Becky Lynch came driving through the parking lot of the WWE Performance Center, before climbing out and jumping down. In confident spirits headed into WrestleMania against Shayna Baszler, we would hear from the RAW Women's Champion - up next!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton recapped clips from the past couple of weeks between AJ Styles and The Undertaker, and how they had made it to tonight. After "the Deadman" defeated AJ to win the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy Gauntlet at Super ShowDown, "the Phenomenal One" and the O.C. had enjoyed slandering the WWE Legend's name. First bringing up his wife Michelle McCool, Styles assassinated Undertaker's mystique and character, referring to him as "washed up". With the match scheduled for WrestleMania, tonight AJ anticipated the ability to confront "the Phenom" man to man!
"The Man" is Manhandled The RAW Women's Champion came walking down the rampway to the ring, where Becky Lynch looked around and smiled at her surroundings. With not a fan in the WWE Performance Center, "The Man" gave a shout-out to the essential personnel present tonight, before telling the WWE Universe how much they were missed. Becky was here tonight to further talk about Shayna Baszler, wishing to talk more about her path of destruction. It was no mistake that "the Cage Fighter" was a force to be reckoned with, as Becky listed her accolades: a former FCF Women's Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion, and a former two-time NXT Women's Champion - with which she held for a record-setting 549 days in total. As a mixed martial-artist, "the Queen of Spades" had a win-loss record of 15-11 - but the truth was, none of that impressed her. Becky talked about caring about only what happened in "The Man's" world, and in this world, all Becky cared about was what she saw.
What she had seen was Shayna Baszler at her most brutal: decimating the entire field in the Elimination Chamber match, and not twenty-four hours later defeating Asuka. Better yet, Lynch watched as Baszler annihilated Kairi Sane last week - both members of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions! But Becky knew that this all came down to intimidation tactics by the gutless challenger. With no mistake to be made, Becky brought up the bites that busted her open one month ago, an impression to be made: but that impression was about to come straight back and bite her on the arse! Becky explained why Shayna never shook her hand at last year's WrestleMania, knowing that "the Cage Fighter's" loyalty was with Ronda Rousey, and their little Four Horsewomen faction. Lynch knew that she was a b*tch - but she was the b*tch that ran the RAW women's division! Come WrestleMania, "The Man" vowed to find a way to defeat Shayna Baszler.
The RAW Women's Champion raised her title high in the air before taking a leave from the ring. Becky Lynch was prepared for WrestleMania, as she backed up the rampway and again raised the gold high. What "The Man" did not see coming however, was the arrival of Shayna Baszler! "The Queen of Spades" locked the Kirifuda Clutch on Becky at the top of the rampway, with the champ desperately trying to escape. Despite her struggle, Baszler would ground and grapevine the legs, forcing Becky to go to sleep in the lethal submission hold! WWE Producers rushed out to separate "the Cage Fighter" from Lynch. WrestleMania looked to be a physical affair bound to happen!
An advertisement aired, promoting WWE NXT this Wednesday night. After all that had transpired between them over the past month, they had been summoned to attend a meeting in the middle of Full Sail University - in the presence of the Creator of NXT: Triple H!
Rey Mysterio and Humberto Carrillo were in the locker room at the WWE Performance Center, where the two high-fived as Rey thanked Humberto for his help. Carrillo called him one of his idols before "the Legendary Luchador" was approached by his son Dominik. Humberto left as the father and son embraced with a hug; Dominik complimenting his old man on the win. Rey was modest, but Dominik lit a fire in his old man. Reminding him of the disrespect that "El Idolo" had shown, how he'd beaten him on a WWE Live event four months ago for that title. Dominik proposed that it was about time Rey choose to pursue that title one more time, but Mysterio would look Dominik in the eyes and tell him that although he'd beaten Andrade twice in two consecutive weeks: he wasn't championship material anymore. Rey left, with Dominik left disappointed.
3) Natalya def. Sarah Logan (4:28) - Natalya aided Liv Morgan from Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan's attack last week, and Logan wanted revenge. Natalya used technical prowess to take Logan down but "the Gritty Southern Belle" used power to battle her. Logan's missile dropkick went caught into the Sharpshooter; forcing Logan to tap out!
"The Anvilette" celebrated her win against Sarah Logan, when Ruby Riott unexpectedly came from behind and dropped the veteran with the Riott Kick! Riott continued to hammer on the defenseless Natalya, when her Riott Squad cohort reluctantly joined in. That's when Liv Morgan raced to the ring, ducking Riott and back body dropping her over the top rope to the floor! "The Gritty Southern Belle" backed off on her own accord, leaving Natalya and Morgan to unite in the ring.
A video package aired, recapping the bad blood between Edge and Randy Orton. It started with "the Rated R Superstar's" shocking return at the Royal Rumble, when "the Apex Predator" bitterly sent the WWE Hall of Famer back into retirement. Edge's return came after Orton had RKO'd his wife Beth Phoenix, and last week in a passionate speech about the grit he possessed, Edge challenged Orton to a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania.
Randy Orton made his way out to the ring inside the WWE Performance Center. After appearing via video call to accept the No Holds Barred challenge last week, tonight "the Apex Predator" walked with an all-knowing smirk to the ring live and in living color. Up next, "the Viper" would address his rival Edge!
A graphic aired, thanking The Weeknd for contributing "Blinding Lights" to be the official theme song of this year's WrestleMania - available now on Apple and Spotify.
The grit shared by "the Apex Predator" Randy Orton stood in the center of the ring, looking directly into the lens of the camera. With a message of his own to deliver to Edge, he spoke of thinking about something that pushed the boundaries of his curiosity two weeks ago. As he witnessed "the Rated R Superstar" crush MVP's skull between two steel chairs with the one-man Conchairto, he got thinking about the ego of his mentor. Over the past several months, Orton admitted that he had done some despicable things. They were done out of love, but they were treated like an act of violence. "The Viper" unexpectedly apologized to Edge for lying to his wife Beth Phoenix three weeks ago. When he called Edge a junkie, he was stood corrected by the WWE Hall of Famer's chair shots to an innocent bystander like MVP: Edge was not a junkie for the roar of the crowd, but a junkie for his own ego!
"The Apex Predator" claimed Adam Copeland was a junkie for the persona of Edge. Last week, as Edge stood in the ring and talked about Randy not having to pay his dues to enter this industry, and not having to scratch and claw like he had for opportunities - he was right, but being handed an opportunity did not guarantee a Hall of Fame career. One year after debuting he captured the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and one year after that he became the youngest ever World Heavyweight Champion - but they were not handed to him. Edge claimed that Mick Foley deserved credit for what "the Viper" had become - but Foley did not hand him anything. While "the Hardcore Legend" handed the torch to Edge on a silver platter, Foley threw Orton through thumbtacks and barbwire - so Orton had to spit in his face and beat him to take that torch. Yet from being the third-generation prospect to becoming the most dangerous three letters in the WWE; it all came from something Edge claimed he didn't possess - grit!
Randy Orton believed that grit wasn't sitting on his couch for nine years, but longevity: being the one constant in the dressing rooms for the better part of eighteen years. "The Viper" looked around the locker room and didn't see anybody who had accomplished anything close to what he had - and that made him think he possessed more grit than anybody, especially Edge. Orton pondered what "the Rated R Superstar" would have done with the same opportunities, how the WWE Hall of Famer was "the Ultimate Opportunist". While Randy was "a spoiled brat", would Edge have said no if Triple H had offered him a spot in Evolution? Orton claimed everything he had said and done over the last few months, he had done because he loved him. He loved Edge, his family and his daughters, and was trying to send him home for them. Yet now Edge wanted a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania. While Orton would allow Edge to write his story, "the Viper" declared he would write the last chapter and end it.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton discussed the sinister words spoken by Randy Orton about Edge, before providing a medical update on the condition of Becky Lynch. After being choked out by Shayna Baszler's Kirifuda Clutch, "The Man" was conscious and highly motivated for her RAW Women's Championship defense against "the Cage Fighter" at WrestleMania: one week from Saturday!
4) RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits def. AOP (with Murphy) by disqualification (6:39) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - Following last week's altercation between the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders with the Church of Rollins, Seth Rollins joined commentary to spectate as AOP battled the Street Profits. "The Monday Night Messiah" spoke derogative remarks about Kevin Owens, who he had taken out two weeks ago. - Murphy provided Akam and Rezar the early assist , and the RAW Tag Team Champions found themselves at the expense of the two militants. The Viking Raiders finally came down to equalize the "Best Kept Secret". As the Last Chapter connected, Rollins was attacked on commentary by Kevin Owens! KO battled Rollins at the top of the stage, as Montez caught Rezar with an inside cradle!
As Kevin Owens returned to unleash a fury of haymakers on Seth Rollins, the Street Profits' upset victory against AOP saw Akam hit the ring to attack the RAW Tag Team Champions. Murphy helped out, when the Viking Raiders entered the ring and went at it with the Church of Rollins members! All hell broke loose, when Erik, Ivar, Akam, Rezar, Angelo Dawkins and Murphy found themselves outside the ring. Montez Ford soared over the top rope with a magnificent topé - as this war would continue!
Charly Caruso was standing by backstage with the WWE United States Champion Andrade, Angel Garza and Zelina Vega. As Charly narrated how Rey Mysterio had beaten "El Idolo" a second week in a row, Andrade cursed "the Legendary Luchador's" name. Talking about how for so long, so many talented young luchadores had dedicated themselves in idolizing somebody as pathetic as Rey Mysterio. Andrade was sick of Rey's name, calling him a nobody and citing the amount of times he had beaten him. Zelina claimed Andrade was the most decorated champion in the WWE and reminded Charly of Andrade beating Rey in December to become WWE United States Champion. Andrade demanded a rematch with Rey, willing to put the title up for grabs at WrestleMania. There, Andrade vowed to cement his own legacy - and his son Dominik could watch as it happened. The trio departed, when Angel Garza would return with a seductive eye on Charly. Flustered, Caruso smiled back at "the Loverboy".
Bobby Lashley was backstage on a cell phone conversation with his wife, Lana. Furiously, Lashley was frustrated with the fact that he was again having to take care of everything while she got to live this imaginary Hollywood lifestyle on his dime. Bobby claimed he was taking care of business in WWE and did not have time, but would be made to listen as Lana tongue-lashed down the phone at him. Suddenly, Aleister Black appeared once again before "the Dominator". Lashley finally hung up on Lana, before pointing the finger at Aleister and asking if he wanted to be dominated. If so, he could meet him in the ring at WrestleMania. Black told Lashley he should have come to his door - but since he wasn't knocking, Aleister had decided to knock on his. Black told Lashley he would see him at "the Grandaddy of Them All".
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked about the bolstered line-up for WrestleMania, which this year was "Too Big for One Night!" They ran down the contract signing between AJ Styles and The Undertaker still to come, before introducing another match replay. Taking us back to WrestleMania 34, "The Queen" Charlotte Flair would battle Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship.
-) Charlotte Flair def. Asuka to win the SmackDown Women's Championship (13:05) [WRESTLEMANIA 34 - APR 8, 2018] [THROUGH THE BREAK] - In another match shown in its entirety, we went back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where "the Queen" met "the Empress of Tomorrow" for the SmackDown Women's Championship. A tense battle pitting the 2018 Women's Royal Rumble winner against Charlotte Flair. - Charlotte Flair's SmackDown Women's Championship was at stake against Asuka's unbeaten streak since joining the RAW brand a year prior. A fierce battle saw Flair would make Asuka submit for the first time in her career - ending her undefeated streak at 914 days!
Returning to the present, backstage at the WWE Performance Center Charly Caruso stood by with Charlotte Flair. Noting "the Queen's" confrontation with Bianca Belair last week, the challenger to the NXT Women's Championship brushed off "the EST of NXT" as not being on her level. She vowed to prove that by beating this Wednesday night. Meanwhile, she found it incredibly disappointing that Rhea Ripley was nowhere to be seen. For somebody who had cried her whole life for this opportunity to go to "the Showcase of the Immortals", that young girl from Adelaide, Australia was a coward with a bad leg - and last week proved it. Charlotte expected more from Rhea, but she let her down. And since Ripley wasn't going to make it to WrestleMania, that was fine. Unlike Becky Lynch, Flair's ego was in check. She didn't need WrestleMania - WrestleMania needed Charlotte Flair. Unfortunately for "the Grandaddy of Them All", "the Queen" deserved better than a WrestleMania in the cruddy WWEPC!
A graphic aired, promoting the main event. With their match coming up in one week from Saturday at WrestleMania, up next The Undertaker and AJ Styles would sign the contract in the same ring!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton discussed WrestleMania, and how for the first time ever it would take place from the WWE Performance Center over the course of two nights: Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5. With more details to be released about which matches would take place on which night, they ran down the line-up match by match.
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs Roman Reigns
The Undertaker vs AJ Styles
No Holds Barred – Edge vs Randy Orton
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (?)
SmackDown Women's Championship – Elimination Six Pack Challenge –Bayley (c) vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA vs TBA
King Corbin vs Elias
Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley
The camera cut to the parking lot of the WWE Performance Center, where the war raged on between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins! The two would not let up on one another, as they battled back and forth with KO attempting to Powerbomb "the Monday Night Messiah" on the hood of a parked car! Seth was without his disciples for the first time in a long time, when Seth would use a low blow to escape Owens' clutches. A car rode up to the scene, where Rollins would jump head-first into the back seat! The car drove away with Owens in hot pursuit on foot - but who was driving the vehicle? Owens claimed he would see him at WrestleMania.
Nobody Mentions The Undertaker's Wife Returning inside the WWE Performance Center, The Undertaker came bounding down the rampway. In his ring gear, the thirty-year veteran of the WWE walked with his straps lowered. A beanie on his head and his hair long and braided, "the Phenom" wasted no time climbing into the ring and pacing around the ring. Grabbing a microphone, he called out for the soul of AJ Styles! Nobody mentioned his personal life, and he wasn't here to mess around. Undertaker demanded "the Phenomenal One" to show himself, because he didn't want to have to wait for WrestleMania to kick his ass. "The Deadman" continued to walk back and forth in the ring, claiming he had all night! Having been pushed to insurmountable limits by the golden tongue of AJ, Undertaker was not waiting for "the Grandest Stage of Them All" to get his hands on his opponent! Finally, The O.C. appeared - but on the video screen. From the comfort of the backstage area, AJ Styles with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson greeted Undertaker merrily.
"The Phenomenal One" told The Undertaker he hoped he wasn't expecting things to go his way. This was his house, the house that AJ Styles had built - and that meant things were going to go his way, and his way only. AJ told Undertaker that as he had been living a part-timer's dream, showing up once a year to steal the spotlight of those better and primer than him, Styles had been carving out his own legacy. He refused to let this measely old man hog his fortune and claim his WrestleMania Moment. Super ShowDown was one thing, but now "the Deadman" was old - it was just pathetic to the three of them. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows talked about the Undertaker not being the same guy he was: posting photos on Instagram and giving shoutouts on Twitter. Now, he and his wife Michelle McCool were on YouTube saving the tigers! AJ Styles joked that he did not hold it past "Big Money Michelle", but stated this was the problem he had with Undertaker: it wasn't who he was.
AJ Styles said that in one week from Saturday at WrestleMania, the two of them were going to have a fight. It would be no match, but a fight through and through! The only problem was, AJ didn't want boring, old, over-the-hill Mark Calaway - the same geezer that stunk out the stadium in Saudi Arabia with Goldberg last summer. He wanted the Undertaker...and if he had to put it all on the line and sacrifice everything to finally and mercifully bring an end to the stale, ancient and deceased thirty year career of "the Phenom"...he was willing to do it in a Buried Alive match. Anderson and Gallows supported AJ as he signed his contract, before telling his boys to go to the ring and deliver the contract for Undertaker to sign! Both were reluctant, but AJ forced the documents and assured them Undertaker was an old man and wouldn't do a thing. They agreed to do it, as Undertaker paced in the ring still. The O.C. sheepishly came out to ringside, trying to enter the ring just for "the Deadman" to fend them off!
The Undertaker was not playing around, as Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson tried to calm down the intensity of "the Phenom". Anderson slid the contract into the ring under the ropes before running, leaving Undertaker to sign the contract and slam it down. But suddenly, as Anderson and Gallows watched from the rampway - the lights went out! Returning, The Undertaker had teleported behind the O.C! Hammering both with uppercuts, "the Deadman" gave Anderson a big boot before sending Gallows into the steel steps. Picking them up, Undertaker nearly decapitated Gallows with the steps - as AJ Styles was shown watching on the video screen! Karl Anderson was cast into the ring, where Undertaker would finitely drop him with one last Tombstone Piledriver. Hands pinned to his chest, Undertaker glared a hole through the image of a discontent AJ Styles. WrestleMania would see one of these men Buried Alive!
WWE NXT #397 – March 25, 2020 Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida "All Out Life" - Slipknot
A video package aired, recapping the bad blood that had been sizzling since NXT TakeOver: Portland. For years, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa had been the best of friends; the most bitter of enemies - and after their ups and downs, tonight they would stand in the center of the ring - with the Creator of NXT present, Triple H!
The lights were on in the Full Sail University, as the arena was shown made up as Mauro Ranallo's voice ushered us back in to Full Sail after several weeks away at the WWE Performance Center! Joined by regular Kickoff Show panelist Sam Roberts of SiriusXM as his broadcast colleague, the two discussed #DIY's hangups leading to the confrontation tonight with Triple H present. Plus, Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair would go head-to-head!
1) NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle def. Roderick Strong (with Bobby Fish) (9:48) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - With Pete Dunne still stranded in the United Kingdom, "the King of Bros" went up against Roderick Strong after Strong cost him his match last week with Bobby Fish. Fish would prove to be a distraction for Matt Riddle until Velveteen Dream arrived wearing the NXT Championship, to counter-act Fish! The End of Heartache went reversed into Riddle's BroMission, forcing Strong to sleep!
An Undisputed Proposition The NXT Tag Team Champion was overjoyed after the victory, as Velveteen Dream joined him in the ring. The two stood tall, while at ringside Bobby Fish tried to wake Roderick Strong up from the BroMission. That's when the Dream took to the microphone and addressed the running and hiding of the NXT Champion Adam Cole. Congratulating him on becoming the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history, Dream hoped that Undisputed Era had one wail of a party to celebrate it - without the gold! Dream stroked the title around his waist as he told Adam he knew what to do if he wanted to wear the luscious belt again - and that was beg the Dream for a match with the title on the line. Adam Cole would come storming out to the aisle, calling this absolutely ridiculous! Without the NXT Championship, Cole told Velveteen Dream that he was making a sick joke out of the crown jewel of NXT - that title belonged to him. Dream again stressed what Cole had to do if he wanted to get it back - he looked naked without it.
Adam shook his head in denial, refusing. Believing the Dream was not worthy of a championship opportunity, Adam came up with another solution. In two weeks, it would be he and Roderick Strong - and the two of them were going to meet the Dream and Matt Riddle in a tag team match...for the NXT Tag Team Championship! Cole negotiated that if Dream wanted the title shot, he would have to accept. Riddle looked at Dream in confusion, knowing how Dream wasn't even his partner. Riddle told the UE they were on, dedicating the match to his BroserWeight Pete Dunne. The Dream confirmed that Cole and Strong had themselves a deal - soon dumping the NXT Championship to the canvas for the desperate champion to grab. Holding it closely, Cole was furious at Dream's disrespect!
A replay aired, taking us back three weeks ago to NXT: Fan Appreciation Night. Where fans were present inside the WWE Performance Center, Tommaso Ciampa would gatecrash Johnny Gargano's explanation for his betrayal at NXT TakeOver: Portland, and the two former #DIY members would go on to destroy the WWEPC. Next week, as announced by NXT General Manager William Regal - Ciampa and Gargano would collide.
Mauro Ranallo and Sam Roberts talked about the article shared in Sports Illustrated yesterday - how with NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay's untimely cancellation, throughout the month of April would instead see the scheduled matches take place on WWE NXT on the USA Network! That went for the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match; the match just announced pitting Matt Riddle and Velveteen Dream against NXT Champion Adam Cole and Roderick Strong for the NXT Tag Team Championship; and Johnny Gargano against Tommaso Ciampa. Sam compared it to one month-long edition of NXT TakeOver, free of charge.
2) Killian Dain def. Joaquin Wilde (3:18) - He had spent weeks dissecting and decimating his victims, and tonight "the Beast of Belfast" looked to add another notch to his belt of victories. Up against the young Joaquin Wilde, Killian Dain showed no mercy on Joaquin and would put him away decisively with the Vader Bomb.
Killian Dain crawled from the fallen body of Joaquin Wilde after the match, but before leaving the ring - "the Beast of Belfast" thought better of it deciding to deliver a second Vader Bomb, and then a third! Who would stop Dain?
Following a replay showing the ambush on Tegan Nox last week, Mercedes Martinez stood backstage for an interview with McKenzie Mitchell, when confronted by Raquel González. The two fierce women stared each other down, when Dakota Kai arrived to present Mercedes with payment. Claiming she was good for her word, Kai offered Martinez a wad of cash that "the Latina Sensation" silently counted. Responding in disgust, Dakota and Raquel departed, leaving Mercedes to count her cash. Suddenly, from behind came Tegan Nox! Striking with a kendo stick, "the Girl with the Shiniest Wizard" mounted Mercedes before chasing her away. Throwing Dakota's dirty money after her, Tegan told Mercedes that she would see her next week for a rematch!
A vignette aired, showing the sinister and downright disturbing face of Dexter Lumis creeping from the darkness. After making an impression in the NXT Breakout Tournament last summer, next week Dexter Lumis would make his return to an NXT ring.
3) Aliyah def. Xia Li to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match via referee stoppage (5:27) - During the match, Robert Stone and his client Chelsea Green were seen walking out to the barricade to get a closer look at the potential competition in the Women's Number One Contender's Lader match in two weeks. - Xia Li was against the returning Aliyah, whom she had taken out of action last November. Aliyah pursued revenge but Li showed her martial arts expertise. Aliyah dragged her from the apron to the floor and she cradled her foot in agony. She laid in some stomps, but the referee called the match off!
Aliyah grinned as Xia Li wept on the ringside area. Clutching her foot in agony, Xia was too injured to continue, meaning the returning Aliyah had qualified into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match! Behind the barricade, Chelsea Green whispered to Robert Stone, who clapped in favor of Aliyah. Were they scouting the competition, or scouting for potential recruits to the Robert Stone Brand?
Kushida spoke on the cell phone in the backstage locker room in his native language, when in waltzed the obnoxious Cameron Grimes. Impressed by the sight of "the Time Splitter", Cameron noted how he too was a fan of the Back To The Future series. Kushida hung up and listened as "the Carolina Caveman" questioned who he thought he was for interrupting his celebration last week. Nobody interrupted Cameron Grimes - not even an out-of-this-world guy like him! Cameron asked if he understood, and Kushida bowed and nodded. Cameron took this as sarcasm, and questioned if he thought he was smarter than him. Grimes said nobody was more intelligent than he was, and if he wasn't careful he would wind up on his wrong side. Kushida responded affirmatively and apologetically, as Cameron departed.
A graphic aired, showing the NXT North American Champion Keith Lee. With one week until his NXT TakeOver: Portland rematch against Dominic Dijakovic, up next "the Limitless One" would be in action!
An advertisement aired, promoting the latest episode of 'WWE Ruthless Aggression' - the new series available for streaming now on the WWE Network.
4) NXT North American Champion Keith Lee def. Cezar Bononi (3:14) - Following a choice interaction with Dominic Dijakovic last week that set up the NXT North American Championship match next week, Keith Lee took on another tall competitor in the Brazillian Cezar Bononi. Bononi got in some offense, but incredibly "the Limitless One" picked up the win with the Spirit Bomb.
Keith Lee stood in dominance over the fallen Cezar Bononi as he was bestowed with his NXT North American Championship by the referee. Raising it high, "the Limitless One" mouthed words to the surely watchful Dominic Dijakovic - whom he meets next week in a rematch from NXT TakeOver: Portland. Suddenly, Damien Priest struck again - his baton nailing Keith Lee in the back of the leg! Much like two weeks ago, "the Archer in Infamy" went to work on the champ when Dominik Dijakovic hit the ring. With rights and lefts, Dijakovic sent Priest to the floor before clotheslining him over the guardrail! He wanted Keith Lee in prime condition for their title meeting next week. Dijakovic returned to the ring and spoke out to Priest - before turning around and being the recipient of the Spirit Bomb himself! Lee left with the title in hand, with eyes in the back of his head.
A video package aired, taking us back to the arrival of Charlotte Flair last week. Claiming to have expected more from the NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley, "the Queen" was interrupted by none other than Bianca Belair! "The EST of NXT" challenged Flair to a match tonight with major title implications - and as confirmed by NXT General Manager William Regal, up next, should Bianca win - she would be added to the NXT Women's Championship Triple Threat match at WrestleMania!
An advertisement aired, promoting Friday Night SmackDown this week. An all-new edition of the Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt would air, while the Usos and the New Day would re-enact their tag team rivalry with an opportunity at facing John Morrison and The Miz at WrestleMania at stake. Plus, Alexa Bliss would battle the SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley!
5) Charlotte Flair def. Bianca Belair (11:16) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - There was a lot at stake in this one, as Charlotte Flair had promised Bianca Belair last week that if she beat her tonight, then she would be added to the NXT Women's Championship match at WrestleMania. "The EST of NXT" knew how important it was and gave "the Queen" the fight of her career - but the more experienced former champ began to work on her knee. Belair used her power and looked for the KOD, when her knee gave out! Flair used the Natural Selection to take advantage for the three count.
Charlotte Flair smiled as she stood tall after the bell, with another injury looking to have occurred tonight. "The Queen" found delight in seeing Bianca Belair clutch her leg no differently than Xia Li earlier tonight, but the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble winner decided she was not done with "the EST of NXT!" Dragging her by the legs to the ring post, Flair swung the bad knee against the steel, before preparing to slap on the Figure-4 Leglock much like she did the NXT Women's Champion two weeks ago!
Suddenly, Rhea Ripley came storming out to her music; "The Nightmare" meeting Charlotte Flair with rights and lefts on the floor! The NXT Women's Champion fought the knife-edged chops and sent Charlotte inside, soon scoring with the Riptide! Ripley warned Flair that NXT belonged to her now, as she angrily told Flair that she would see her come WrestleMania.
Footage aired from moments ago, showing Joaquin Wilde after his unsuccessful match with Killian Dain earlier tonight, having to fend himself off from the clutches of those same masked assailants who kidnapped Raúl Mendoza two weeks ago! Wilde tried his earnest, but the masked men would outnumber Wilde before sending him into the back of their black SUV. It drove away into the night - another victim disappearing!
6) Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan def. Ever-Rise (4:41) - Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan battled Chase Parker and Matt Martel in a hard-hitting affair. Ever-Rise worked on Lorcan, but an electric chair into a European uppercut saw the two hard-nosed fighters take another win in the NXT tag team division.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan stood in victory after the bell, both raising their fingers after taking care of Ever-Rise in a competitive tag team affair. Suddenly, two giants hit the ring jumping the NXT Superstars from behind! Ever-Rise elected to slip away from the scene undetected, as the two Indian brutes dropped Burch with a sit-out double suplex! Both sporting long hair with warpaint on their foreheads, out to the aisle walked a bald, bearded African-American man in a suit. Introducing himself as Malcolm Bivens, he welcomed the world to the men in the ring: Rinku Singh andSaurav Gurjar - together forming Bivens Enterprise! For a long time, they sat and they waited to make their mark and allow pandemonium to unfold in NXT - but finally they figured that there was no time like the present. Bivens declared they were here to do just that - because Indu Sher were the future of NXT's tag team division.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
A replay aired, showing the assault moments ago on Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan - responsible by Rinku and Saurav Gurjar of Bivens Enterprise. Indu Sher were under the command of Malcolm Bivens, it seemed, after a powerful impact was made.
7) Candice LeRae def. Mia Yim in a Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match (6:31) - A rematch from last week, Candice LeRae was not pleased with the manner in which she defeated Mia Yim to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match. "The Blasian Baddie" fought hard to win this second opportunity in a hotly-contested match for the final spot - when a series of near falls saw LeRae grab a blatant handful of tights to steal the win!
Sinching the final spot in the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match in two weeks, Candice LeRae rolled out to the floor and celebrated with her fists raised high. Mia Yim was devastated to have been not only bested by Candice, but played by "the Pint-Sized Pixie" as well! LeRae shrugged her shoulders at Yim and mimicked crocodile tears on Mia, who argued the result to the official. What had gotten into LeRae?
Aliyah watched the television screen backstage at Candice LeRae's rounding out of the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match, when up walked Chelsea Green with Robert Stone. Chelsea looked at Aliyah as well as the screen, telling her that what she did tonight was awfully impressive. Taking out a skilled martial artist like Xia Li was something they had taken note of. Robert Stone then proceeded to deliver a hardsell to Aliyah, allowing her to understand what the Robert Stone Brand could do for her. Promising bundles of opportunities and luxuries, and chances to connect with celebrities and powerful people worldwide, Chelsea then proposed they were women above and beyond their fellow four opponents in the Ladder match. Asked for her thoughts, Aliyah appeared flattered: but urged the two to give her a week to consider. Robert and Chelsea grinned, telling her they looked forward to hearing from her.
A graphic aired, showing the final six women who would officially enter the Ladder match in two weeks on NXT on USA - Chelsea Green, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Io Shirai, Aliyah and Candice LeRae would all vy for a future opportunity at the NXT Women's Championship!
Backstage, Triple H was seen drinking a bottle of water and chatting to a member of backstage personnel. Up next, the Creator of NXT would make a rare appearance - as "the King of Kings" would stand before and moderate a choice encounter between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa!
A vignette aired, images flashing across the screen of a city in ruin; the bones of man; vultures watching over wastelands. A female's voice foreshadowed that end times were near, as a bald, goateed man's face was shown.
Mauro Ranallo and Sam Roberts audibly ran down what was coming up next week on NXT, including an alteration to the NXT North American Championship match. After Damien Priest's constant meddling with their feud, he had now been added to the title match pitting Keith Lee against Dominic Dijakovic!
Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
NXT North American Championship – Triple Threat match – Keith Lee (c) vs Dominic Dijakovic vs Damien Priest
SmackDown's Alexa Bliss hosts 'A Moment of Bliss' with Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley
Tegan Nox vs Mercedes Martinez
Austin Theory vs Isaiah Scott
The return of Dexter Lumis
A Meeting with The Creator Triple H stood in the middle of the ring in Full Sail University, a microphone in hand. Providing context to their heated rivalry, "The King of Kings" talked about how this had gone on far, far too long. The two were former NXT Tag Team Champions, and had both been NXT Champions as well. From the independents, to the heights of NXT TakeOver, they were once #DIY but now, they were rivals and had exemplified that over and over again. The Creator of NXT was about to order both men out to the ring, when Tommaso Ciampa abruptly came stepping down the aisleway. HHH cut Ciampa's music for him, telling him that he should've known he did not tolerate interruptions. "The Blackheart" however did not care, instead understanding the levity of Triple H coming out to Full Sail University on account of this. That said, Ciampa wasted no time wanting Johnny Gargano to get his ass down to the ring so they could settle this!
"The Game" warned Tommaso Ciampa that there would be no violence in this meeting, bringing up the charges both men had paid on account of the damages done to the WWE Performance Center two weeks ago. That said, HHH also ordered Gargano out. With that, Johnny Gargano answered the call. Reluctant to enter the same ring as Ciampa, "Johnny Wrestling" hoped to deflect blame on Ciampa - who had attacked him, who had shattered the weight room mirror with a dumbbell, and who had driven him off the Perch with an Air Raid Crash through the announce table. Gargano blamed it on Ciampa, but HHH laid down the law. If he had it his way, Ciampa and Gargano would have found themselves out on the street without jobs - but thanks to NXT General Manager William Regal, they were still here. Triple H repeated that this rivalry had gone on long enough, when Gargano again blamed Ciampa for all of it. Reminding Hunter of how this was meant to end last year, when Ciampa went and broke his neck.
Johnny Gargano claimed he wished he was the one who broke Tommaso Ciampa's neck. Ciampa was held back by Triple H, agreeing that this needed to end. Looking his former #DIY partner in the eye, Tommaso questioned what was stopping them. HHH again stated it would not happened here tonight. Gargano knew the match was scheduled for next week, but argued that they didn't need any of the frills that the WWE Performance Center or Full Sail University had to offer. All they needed was a building, a referee and a camera. Eyeing up both men, "the Game" told them if that's what it would take, to consider it done. He promised to find an empty building and to put a ring in it. In one week's time, it would go on until a present referee was there to tell them it was over, and a camera to show that it was over. When that happened - it would be over for good! HHH declared One Last Beat would see it all end, and if NXT wasn't big enough for the both of them - then one man would just have to leave, forever.
WWE NXT UK #86 – March 26, 2020 Coventry Skydome in Coventry, England "Dusted" by Astroid Boys UNDER FIVE WEEKS AWAY FROM NXT UK TAKEOVER: DUBLIN
A video package aired, promoting the main event. With so much beef in their past, tonight two nemeses will meet again for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Since capturing the gold at Worlds Collide back in January, "the Irish Ace" had used the gold as proof that he was the best Cruiserweight in the world today - but when he was faced by NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint two weeks ago with this match announcement, the demeanor of Jordan Devlin changed from confidence to concern. Tonight, for the first time on British soil, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship will be defended as Jordan Devlin takes on Travis Banks.
The opening video package aired, cutting to the Coventry Skydome for another smashing edition of NXT UK. With the 20-Man Battle Royal next week, Andy Shepherd and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show. Things were sure to heat up between A-Kid and Noam Dar; on the very night Jordan Devlin would defend the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against his old rival Travis Banks.
1) Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel def. Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter (7:29) - As they awaited a new challenger to WALTER's NXT United Kingdom Championship, Imperium's Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel battled Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter, who showed great fire against the Europeans. In the end, Aichner and Barthel would get the win with the European Bomb on Carter.
Imperium folded their arms behind their backs after the match, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel once again dominant in disposing of Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter. One week away from the 20-Man Contender's Battle Royal, who would be WALTER's next challenger?
A vignette aired, showing members of Gallus sitting in a pub playing a game of cards. As a hesitant fourth member of the group watched the three burly blokes gamble, Wolfgang, Joe and Mark Coffey each discussed the NXT UK brand and mused the ease in which they went to make it their own kingdom. With the NXT UK Tag Team Championships laid on the table, the trio decided to take off - leaving behind three cards: three Kings.
An advertisement aired, promoting the Broken Skull Sessions with Bret "Hitman" Hart. Hosted by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the podcast is now available for streaming exclusively on the WWE Network.
Moustache Mountain chatted backstage about the impending 20-Man Battle Royal coming up next week on NXT UK. Trent Seven and Tyler Bate each made a case for winning and going on to challenge WALTER for the NXT United Kingdom Championship at NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin - coming to a joint agreement: may the best boi win.
Elsewhere, Alexander Wolfe talked about the 20-Man Battle Royal next week. Declaring that he would enter to win it, he made it known that he would do so in the best interest of Imperium on top of the NXT UK brand. "The Hatchetman" vowed to keep the mat sacred.
2) Aoife Valkyrie def. Nina Samuels (4:49) - Thus far undefeated on the NXT UK brand, Aoife Valkyrie now went up against her latest threat in "the Primadonna" Nina Samuels. Samuels took control, but an insulting slap started a fire in "the Lady of the Opera". Picking up the win swiftly, Valkyrie scored the fall with the Peripeteia - a guillotine legdrop.
Aoife Valkyrie bided her time in wait, posing for the Coventry crowd. The newcomer was taking the NXT UK women's division by storm.
A replay aired, taking us back to last week where Piper Niven would make the save for Dani Luna last week from a post-match beatdown courtesy of NXT UK Women's Champion, Kay Lee Ray. Josiah Williams interviewed Piper Niven earlier today, asking for her interest in what happened. Piper talked about how Dani was a big enough and strong enough girl to be able to take someone like KLR, but she wasn't sure she knew how devious and sly KLR was. Piper brought up Toni Storm, how she had already seen Kay Lee Ray destroy one of her friends. She'd already had to send one 'get well soon' letter, and wasn't planning to send a second. Next week, Piper and Dani Luna planned to take on Kay Lee Ray and Jinny - and Piper planned to get her hands on the champ.
An advertisement aired, promoting the final edition of Monday Night RAW, six days from WrestleMania: "Too Big For One Night". It would be all hands on deck when "the Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar would be in the house, and a six-man tag team battle would see Kevin Owens team with the Street Profits to take on Murphy and AOP. The Road to WrestleMania ran through RAW, live this Monday night on the USA Network.
Footage aired from during the break, where Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter were interviewed by Josiah Williams about their shortcoming against Imperium's Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. The two began to talk their strategy when Pretty Deadly showed up. Sam Stoker and Lewis Howley congratulated the team on another loss, which led to Smith having to restrain Carter! Pretty Deadly claimed they were only joking. The prettyboys left as Carter hoped to console Smith, urging him to focus on the 20-Man Battle Royal next week. Smith agreed, the team reminding each other of their motto: "always forward".
3) A-Kid def. Noam Dar (6:57) - Following the cunning smack-talk from "the Scottish Supernova" last week towards the Spanish high-flyer, A-Kid wished to make Noam Dar put his money where his mouth was. The wiser, more experienced Dar used technical precision to ground A-Kid, but he would pull off a huge upset with a running enzuigiri!
To the shock of everyone in Coventry, A-Kid had knocked off a victory against one of NXT UK's senior members! Noam Dar was in a daze as the young Spaniard had his hand raised, but once he got to his feet, "the Scottish Supernova" would strike with a low blow to the newcomer. The Nova Roller would follow, with Noam Dar claiming that it was a fluke! Dar took to the microphone and said he was going to win the 20-Man Battle Royal match next week just to prove that he could. He was better than A-Daftie a dozen times over, and he was going to be the one to challenge WALTER for the NXT United Kingdom Championship! The mean-spirited side of the Scotsman had reared his ugly head.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
A video package aired, showing off the dominance of the reigning NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER. The leader of Imperium, "the Ring General" had led the NXT UK brand for a year, since ending Pete Dunne's reign at NXT TakeOver: New York. Since then, he had defended the gold against Travis Banks, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Joe Coffey and Dave Mastiff. Who could possibly dethrone him? Who would be his next challenger, after next week's 20-Man Battle Royal?
Following a replay showing the injury sustained to Mark Andrews last week before six-man tag team action against Gallus, Flash Morgan Webster provided an update on his tag team partner's condition earlier today at the NXT UK Performance Center. He said Mark was still undergoing testing, but whomever injured him last week, Webster vowed to find out. For now, his sole priority was winning next week's 20-Man Battle Royal and dedicating it to Andrews.
Dave Mastiff had some similar words to say regarding the 20-Man Battle Royal. After his hard-hitting clinic with WALTER several weeks ago, Mastiff called himself the most powerful man in NXT UK. He believed there was nobody in the Battle Royal who could throw a proper British heavyweight over the top rope.
Kassius Ohno talked about "the Wrestling Genius" being put in the ring with nineteen mongrels. He claimed that technique, skill and acumen would propel that "Wrestling Genius" to win the Battle Royal.
Ilja Dragunov spoke of men simply relying on training hard, but he dedicated himself to preparing for war. The "Invincible" Dragunov said he would just go in next week, while his nineteen opponents in the Battle Royal would just go out. Ilja said there were a lot of excellent competitors in the field next week, but there was only one person who was "Unbesiegbar".
4) Jordan Devlin (c) def. Travis Banks to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship (14:35) [THROUGH TWO BREAKS] - These two men had had a serious rivalry in the past, but now it was about who was worthy of being the NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Jordan Devlin took as many shortcuts as possible, but "the Kiwi Buzzsaw" would keep firing until he took "the Irish Ace" down. Banks delivered the Kiwi Crusher, but Devlin would get his foot on the bottom rope. The Lion's Clutch would go applied moments later, but the champ would roll Banks over and put his feet on the ropes for leverage - to steal the match!
Jordan Devlin was able to escape as the NXT Cruiserweight Champion, overcoming Travis Banks once again in their re-ignited rivalry! "The Irish Ace" slipped free to safety, leaving "the Kiwi Buzzsaw" to plead his case with the referee. To no avail, Devlin's reign as the leader of the Cruiserweight division was to continue moving forward!
Friday Night SmackDown #1075 – March 27, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida "Are You Ready" by AC/DC | Sponsored by Progressive WRESTLEMANIA: ONE WEEK FROM SATURDAY
WWE 205 Live #172 – March 27, 2020 - Tony Nese def. Tehuti Miles with the Running Nese. (7:23)
- Tyler Breeze def. Mike Bennett with the Beauty Shot. (8:44)
The opening video package aired, bringing us to the WWE Performance Center for Friday Night SmackDown. A light show ensued, with eight days remaining until the first two-night WrestleMania in sports entertainment history. Michael Cole greeted us to Orlando, Florida, sponsored by Progressive! Tonight we would see new number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships named when the Usos and the New Day renew their rivalry. Plus, the Artist Collective would meet Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak in a six-man tag team match with title implications; and an all-new edition of Bray Wyatt's Firefly Fun House would premiere!
1) SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley def. Alexa Bliss (4:41) - Bayley's best friend Sasha Banks joined commentary for this match, where she declared no matter who Bayley's challengers would be at WrestleMania - there was no doubt she would walk out still SmackDown Women's Champion. - Her challengers in the Six-Pack Challenge elimination match yet to be announced, Bayley battled longtime rival Alexa Bliss, who strived to knock off the SmackDown Women's Champion. Bayley grounded "the Goddess" until Bliss made a comeback. Suddenly Asuka came dancing out to the rampway in her mask! The RAW Superstar provided the distraction, when Bayley landed the Headlock Driver to steal another win!
"The Empress of Tomorrow" took joy in costing Alexa Bliss the match, but for what reason was the RAW Superstar here on SmackDown? Sasha Banks refused to consider why on commentary, when Alexa Bliss's BFF Nikki Cross came storming to ringside! The Scotswoman got in Asuka's face, when Kairi Sane snuck up from behind - cracking her spiral umbrella in half over Cross's spine. The WWE Women's Tag Team Champions hollered in Japanese over her fallen body, as "the Goddess" reached out on the canvas - looking to help her friend out.
A recap aired, taking us back to one month ago where Bray Wyatt would answer the challenge made by John Cena for a match at WrestleMania. Two weeks ago from the WWE Performance Center, John Cena would address the former WWE Universal Champion, when Wyatt would answer with some demented words. Tonight, an all-new edition of the Firefly Fun House premieres!
Friday Night SmackDown on FOX was sponsored tonight by Progressive - the first-round choice for auto insurance.
Bayley Has a Big, Big Problem Following the controversial match before the commercial break against Alexa Bliss, SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley pretended to be pleased with the outcome of her match. With Sasha Banks beside her, the two mused to each other that the champ didn't need Asuka's help one bit - the outcome was always going to be the same. Bayley then addressed the interaction last week with Paige, and how the "former WWE Diva" had really put the scare in her with her claims of a Six-Pack Challenge elimination match at WrestleMania. Yet, that lazy part-timer hadn't even named her challengers! Bayley claimed she wasn't scared, when "the Legit Boss" brought up Paige wasn't scaring anybody these days, just herself. The Boss 'n' Hug Connection laughed at her being unable to challenge for the title because of her neck - when Paige suddenly showed up on the video screen! "The Anti-Diva" was back on SmackDown via Skype, fully prepared that this would happen.
"The Anti-Diva" joked while she was prepared to believe Bayley would play nice and patiently for her challengers to be named, everybody knew Bayley and Sasha Banks would run their mouths and spoil it. Paige said she would love to be there herself to watch the SmackDown Women's Champion's jaw drop in person. Paige ushered the five challengers to make themselves known! One by one, Bayley's challengers appeared. Lacey Evans strutted out first, prompting Bayley and Sasha to laugh. Following her came Naomi, which caused Bayley to bring up how she'd already beaten her! Tamina came out, prompting major laughter from the Boss 'n' Hug Connection - they had no idea she still worked at WWE! Next came Carmella, as Paige told Bayley to have fun at WrestleMania. The champ noted she was a loser short. That's when Paige dropped the big bombshell: Bayley's fifth and final opponent would be Sasha Banks! The champ was floored, as Sasha's expression deflated. How would their friendship survive?
Alyse Ashton was backstage with the Usos, as she made note of the many times in which Jimmy and Jey Uso had met with their opponents tonight - the New Day. The Usos talked about how it wouldn't be the Road to WrestleMania if they weren't up against the New Day. Alyse was right, they had been to hell and back over the years, but tonight would be no exception. WrestleMania may be "Too Big For One Night", but WrestleMania was too big for the Usos and the New Day in their mind! Tonight, all the respect they had for Big E and Kofi Kingston would take a backseat, because the Usos wanted the SmackDown Tag Team Championship back around their waists. Come WrestleMania, John Morrison and The Miz were going to the Uso Penitentiary, and there would be nothing personal against the New Day.
Michael Cole welcomed us back to Friday Night SmackDown, talking about the situation that had led us to tonight's six-man tag team match. After taking the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Braun Strowman in a three-on-one handicap match back at Elimination Chamber, Sami Zayn and his Artist Collective unsuccessfully tried to recruit Daniel Bryan. Too loyal toward his training partner Drew Gulak, the two had their fair share of issues with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. But "the Monster Among Men" would return last week, prompting tonight's big match.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak performed a pre-match warmup ritual. Bumping chests and flexing arms, Drew asked Daniel how prepared he felt for tonight. Bryan was psyched to bust some heads against the Artist Collective, when "the Militant Mat-Mite" asked Daniel a personal question - was he a nobody? Bryan chuckled, telling Gulak he might not be a celebrity, but he sure as hell possessed the makings of one! Bryan told Gulak he didn't need to be, that he was his training partner and how in just a few short weeks, Daniel had come a long way. There were so many gaps in his game until they fought at Elimination Chamber! Up walked Braun Strowman, slapping his arms in anticipation. Tonight, "the Monster Among Men" declared there was no losing: and whether tonight or next week, Sami Zayn would definitely get those hands!
Back in the WWE Performance Center, Michael Cole looked to segue into conversation about the Host of WrestleMania Rob Gronkowski's massive announcement last week - how for the first time ever, WrestleMania was "Too Big for One Night". Abruptly, a guitar strummed. Elias was seen fiddling with his acoustic guitar atop the Perch overlooking the empty training facility. Treating it like a stage, he greeted the WWEPC as though it was a packed house, introducing himself. With WrestleMania around the corner, "the Drifter" had worked on yet another special song for his opponent. It was no mistake he had no regard for King Corbin, especially after the last few weeks. But after one week from Saturday, Elias vowed to shut Corbin's stupid mouth for good. He performed his song, before urging a baffled Cole to clap in response. Reluctantly, Michael complied.
Kayla Braxton was backstage with the New Day. Moments to wait until their SmackDown Tag Team Championship Contender's match with the Usos, Big E and Kofi Kingston remarked with enthusiasm how ready they felt! WrestleMania Season was upon them, and it meant a whole 'nother year of butting heads with Jimmy and Jey, the Usos. Kofi stressed that there were no greetings cards at Christmas exchanged between the two teams, but there was an unspoken bond between them. Big E noted when they met in the Tag Team Elimination Chamber match weeks ago, all four of them knew it was back on. The New Day were still reeling after losing the gold to "the Booty Brothers" John Morrison and The Miz back at Super ShowDown - but tonight was a good night and they had a good feeling! Back on track, they were prepared to go to WrestleMania and become six-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions of the World! Kingston led a chant of "New Day rocks", as Big E thrust his hips. The match was next!
Michael Cole talked about Monday Night RAW coming up this week, in which we will be only six days away from WrestleMania. With all hands on deck, not only would the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar be in attendance; but both Edge and Randy Orton would be in the same house at the WWE Performance Center. Plus, Murphy and AOP of the Church of Rollins would meet Kevin Owens and RAW Tag Team Champions the Street Profits in six-man tag team action.
2) The Usos vs The New Day ended in a no-contest in a Number One Contender's match (9:44) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - SmackDown Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz had had a lot of fun over the weeks mocking the rest of the tag team division. Tonight they had similar plans in mind, as they joined commentary. - These two teams had met countless times. With a SmackDown Tag Team Championship opportunity at WrestleMania up for grabs, they went all-out. Big E took Jimmy and Jey Uso out of the ring going into the commercial, but back from the break saw the Usos take control. Big E finally tagged in Kofi Kingston, who set up the Boom Drop until the Usos bailed. The match spread outside, where the New Day ducked stereo-super kicks from the Samoans - knocking Miz and Morrison out of their chairs! Back inside, the Midnight Hour connected on Jey when Miz and Morrison attacked both teams in rage!
The bitter SmackDown Tag Team Champions showboated with the gold as they continued putting the boots to Big E and Jey Uso. John Morrison held Jimmy Uso up for the Miz to strike with a title shot to the jaw, when suddenly Rob Gronkowski danced his way out to the stage! The SuperBowl Champion greeted 'The Dirt Sheet' co-stars jokingly, introducing himself as a New England Patriot. Miz cut Gronk off and corrected him: he used to be! Rob laughed, but reminded Miz he was assigned to be the Host of WrestleMania. That gave him matchmaking privileges! In the interest of entertainment, the draw outcome would not sit with Gronk - and instead, Gronk named the Usos...and the New Day as Miz and Morrison's challenge in eight days!
Rob Gronkowski was not finished, adding that it would be in a Triple Threat Tag Team Ladder match! Stunned, the SmackDown Tag Team Champions did not register their foes' recovery. The Usos dropped both men with another round of super kicks; setting John Morrison up for the Midnight Hour from the New Day! Left laying, Jimmy and Jey Usos squared off with Big E and Kofi Kingston. Words exchanged, only one team could leave WrestleMania as the champs!
Michael Cole repeated the revelation made by Rob Gronkowski that the SmackDown Tag Team Championships would be up for grabs in a Triple Threat Ladder match at WrestleMania, but coming up next - a look back at the WrestleMania 32 encounter seeing Roman Reigns challenge Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
Michael Cole welcomed the watching WWE Universe back to Friday Night SmackDown, before being about to introduce the look back at WrestleMania 32. Instead, the Kabuki Warriors appeared to loudly explain why they were here on SmackDown tonight! The WWE Women's Tag Team Champions were intolerable as they ranted about Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross not being the best friends that they were. Asuka and Kairi Sane pointed out the titles around their waist and reminded everybody that they beat "the Goddess" and the Scotswoman for the gold. "The Empress of Tomorrow" and "the Pirate Princess" each tugged at Cole's suit jacket irritatingly, bringing Cole to quickly introduce a look back at Roman Reigns' meeting with Triple H.
-) Roman Reigns def. Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (27:11) [WRESTLEMANIA 32 - April 3, 2016] [THROUGH THREE BREAKS] - WrestleMania 32 historically was recognised for boasting the greatest attendance in WWE history. 101,763 piled into the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas to witness "the Big Dog" challenge "the King of Kings" for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. - Stephanie McMahon watched like an eagle as her husband Triple H defended the Authority's honor against Roman Reigns. "The Big Dog" fought hard but would find himself debilitated by the champion's wife's presence. With a low blow, "The Game" targeted the nose of the challenger, when Roman fought back - just for Stephanie to once again involve herself. Reigns would power out of the Pedigree and take Stephanie McMahon out with the Spear. Dodging the WWE World Heavyweight Champion's patented sledgehammer, Reigns struck with two Superman Punches and nailed the Spear to regain the biggest prize in the business for a third time!
A recap of Dolph Ziggler's antics last week was shown, involving "the Show Off" intentionally getting a rise out of the dejected and heartbroken Otis. As Ziggler showed off photos of himself and Mandy Rose together, Otis would blow up in a furious fit of rage!
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler leant against a training ring with a smirk on his face. His cell phone in hand, he appeared to browse social media. Having discussed what happened with his girlfriend, Mandy Rose had ordered her boyfriend to apologize to Otis in person about last week. "The Show Off" was heading to the ring, up next.
Also tonight - a graphic aired, previewing an all-new edition of the Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt - still to come tonight.
The Show Skipper Dolph Ziggler came prancing down the rampway in the WWE Performance Center, as Friday Night SmackDown returned. In smart casual, "the Show Off" got into the ring while texting on his cell phone. Disinterested, all the while he continued to smirk in response to some of the messages he was receiving. As his music finished, he continued to text with the sound effects blasting. Startled, Dolph remembered where he was - live on FOX, like a guy like him deserved to be! Ziggler talked about how it had been a hot minute since he had last been in the eyes of the adoring public, but to get the WWE Universe up to speed: everything was going swimmingly between he and his babe, Mandy Rose! Ever since they locked eyes for the first time several months ago, he knew it was destiny calling his name. And who could blame her? After all, he was Dolph Ziggler. But, it wasn't all fun and hotness while he was out there. Taking care of some "housekeeping", Ziggler brought up last week where he apparently upset Otis.
On the big screen, a video package recapped Otis losing his temper at the distractions prompted by Dolph Ziggler last week, which would cost Heavy Machinery their shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against John Morrison and The Miz. Back on SmackDown, Dolph mocked shedding a tear for the heartbroken Otis, before reading off an insincere apology from his phone. Heavy Machinery finally made their way out to the rampway, with Tucker holding back an emotionally charged Otis. Dolph told him this was perfect - now he could apologize in person to the "big lug!" Dolph began to talk about how sorry he was to have saddened him, but allegedly tapped the wrong button. On the big screen showed a ravishing photo of Mandy Rose in lingerie, and Otis's eyes popped out of his head in astonishment! Dolph snickered, clearly doing so intentionally. It was however, enough to set Otis off again!
Tucker tried to restrain his best friend, but Otis stormed past him and slipped into the ring. Dolph Ziggler snuck out from beneath a clothesline and quickly evaded the onslaught of the demolisher - but Otis was an emotionally fuelled beast! Slipping through the ropes after him, "the Show Off" would receive some right hands against the ring apron. That's when Otis missed a clothesline, and Dolph would send Otis crashing knees-first over the steel steps! Ziggler backed away from an inbound Tucker, scurrying up the rampway. Thrusting his hips, Ziggler had the audacity to tell Otis that he'd tell Mandy he said "hi!" Tucker checked on Otis, who heartbrokenly clutched his knees on the ringside floor.
Michael Cole voiced his disgust in Dolph Ziggler's actions, before turning to discuss WrestleMania in eight days time. "Too Big for One Night", WrestleMania would emanate from right there inside the WWE Performance Center!
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs Roman Reigns
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
Buried Alive match – The Undertaker vs AJ Styles
No Holds Barred – Edge vs Randy Orton
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Triple Threat Tag Team Ladder match – John Morrison and The Miz (c) vs The Usos vs The New Day
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
SmackDown Women's Championship – Six-Pack Challenge Elimination match – Bayley (c) vs Carmella vs Tamina vs Lacey Evans vs Naomi vs Sasha Banks
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
King Corbin vs Elias
A video package aired, highlighting the career accolades of the two men that would meet in the Spear vs Spear match at WrestleMania. Bill Goldberg made his name as a member of the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers. Roman Reigns competed for the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Goldberg went to the University of Georgia, Roman attended George Tech. Goldberg would plow through the competition like no other, garnering a 173-0 undefeated streak in his rookie year in WCW. A former WCW World Heavyweight and United States Champion, Goldberg would continue to smash the competition for years to come. Meanwhile, "the Big Dog" made himself a Legend after earning his stripes in the brotherhood known as The Shield. A former three-time WWE Champion and WWE Universal Champion, now Roman was in for a dream match. Both men were in the prime of their lives, but only one man could leave WrestleMania on top of the WWE. Would it be Goldberg or Reigns?
In the locker room, the Artist Collective were seen putting all hands in. WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn appeared to be more focused than we'd seen him in weeks, as he alongside Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro took off to the ring to meet Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak - up next!
A recap from moments ago aired, showing Dolph Ziggler once again trifle with the emotions of Otis before ducking him and making it out alive. Back from the commercial break, the taunting of Dolph Ziggler had left him cracking up in laughter at the expense of Heavy Machinery. That's when Sonya Deville showed up, disapproving of the way he used Mandy Rose to toy with Otis. Dolph questioned what Sonya's deal was, when Deville reminded him about Fire & Desire. She said she didn't approve of the two of them, before telling Ziggler how creepy it was to see him show the world such a private and intimate photo of her in lingerie! "The Show Off" scoffed, telling Sonya that Mandy was mad now, but just to wait until he arrived later tonight. That's when Sonya revealed that she'd just got off the phone with his girlfriend: and Mandy was sick and tired of being objectified by the both of them. Mandy had told Dolph not to call - because next week, she was coming back to SmackDown. Dolph was stunned.
Returning to the WWE Performance Center, Michael Cole discussed Mandy Rose making her return to Friday Night SmackDown next week, where we will be one day away from "the Grandest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment" - WrestleMania. Cole talked about the final edition of SmackDown on FOX next week.
WWE Universal Champion Goldberg and Roman Reigns will meet one day prior to WrestleMania.
John Cena will be in the WWE Performance Center.
Mandy Rose will address Dolph Ziggler and Otis.
3) Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak def. The Artist Collective (6:18) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - "The Monster Among Men" resurfaced from his loss at Elimination Chamber last week, and was hot on the heels of the man who took the WWE Intercontinental Championship from him, Sami Zayn. Braun Strowman chased "the Great Liberator" from the ring before the bell, when Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura targeted the giant. Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak came to his aid, and Bryan went on the attack against "the Swiss Cyborg". "The Militant Mat-Mite" gave Bryan feedback following a surfboard stretch to "the Artist", when Sami Zayn snuck in to jump Bryan from behind. - Following the break, Drew Gulak found himself at the mercy of the Artist Collective, with Sami Zayn particularly demeaning the technical expert. Slapping him around, Gulak fired back with a stiff clothesline to the WWE Intercontinental Champion, when Daniel Bryan made the hot tag. A six-man melee would round off the match, when Shinsuke came off the second rope looking for a diving Kinshasa - but Strowman caught him with the Running Powerbomb for the three count!
Braun Strowman let out a war cry as he came to his feet, having beaten Shinsuke Nakamura with the assistance from Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak. Per the match stipulations, "the Monster Among Men" had earned himself a rematch with WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn at WrestleMania, but "the Great Liberator" would snatch the microphone from Greg Hamilton at ringside. With the title in hand, Sami congratulated Strowman on his grand victory - but clearly nobody was paying attention to him last week. Braun would not be the one getting the chance to fight him for the title. Zayn had kept things open because he was the champion - so he got to decide his opponent. Sami told a furious Braun, Daniel and Drew from the rampway that his opponent next week would be...that pathetic lowlife nobody, Drew Gulak! Sami laughed, telling Drew he wasn't even good enough to go on to WrestleMania. Braun was left livid, while Bryan celebrated the major opportunity for his training buddy - who could not believe it!
Bray Wyatt Invites John Cena to the Firefly Fun House The graphic interrupted the feed from the WWE Performance Center, prematurely bringing us from Orlando, Florida to Bray Wyatt's Firefly Fun House. Laughing maniacally, Bray entered the house to the theme music of his arch rival, John Cena. Dressed in the veteran's threads, Wyatt mimed the well-known taunts of "the Greatest of All-Time" to the amusement of Ramblin' Rabbit and Huskus the Pig Boy. Rabbit chanted "let's go Cena, Cena sucks" as Wyatt danced and pretended to be Cena - before inexplicably grabbing the Rabbit by the head and football punting him off-screen! Turning to the camera, Wyatt removed his Cena baseball cap and hurled it at the screen. Now appearing in his usual clothes, Bray stood before the camera and addressed how John Cena was such a silly guy. For so many years, he had been "the man" around the WWE. With flashy colored shirts and a catchy beat of a theme song: he was the franchise! There was no taking away from that.
But Bray Wyatt did take issue in the fact that while nobody could take that away from John Cena...John Cena had taken everything away from him. But it went a lot deeper than some silly little loss at WrestleMania seven years ago. Bray talked about karma, and what came around went around. You reaped what you sowed, and after so many years on top, finally John Cena was going to get his. Chuckling to himself, Bray wanted to meet John Cena in a lot more personally a way than anybody anticipated. He didn't want to hurt John and beat him up, but he wanted to witness him Rise Above Hate one more time - not just physically, but mentally and psychologically. He wanted to share this haven that he had created with John, so that John could see what kind of sick, twisted soul he was down deep. Bowing beneath the scene, Bray popped back up to reveal himself in Muscle Man attire. A funky workout track played as Bray commented how hard he had been training for WrestleMania.
Everybody wanted to be on top of their game, and he was no exception! Huskus flexed and danced with Bray Wyatt, as he spoke about everything changing since 2014 - the entire landscape was different, and now freaks like him ran the asylum known as the WWE. Cena had kept busy, taking time out from competing to dedicate himself to Hollywood and television...yet Cena always claimed he would never be like The Rock! Wyatt told Cena this was the only way to bring him back to reality to keep him humble. Taking his giant mallet and golf swinging Huskus from the scene, Wyatt's demeanor changed as he invited John to the Firefly Fun House at WrestleMania. Bray asked John if he wanted to be a manly man and play psychological head games with him - and two could play at that game. One week from this weekend, John, it would be a slaughter - he just didn't know it yet. The Fiend unexpectedly flashed across the screen and the feed cut to black - how might Cena respond to this madman?
WWE offers free access to WWE Network, including past WrestleMania 3/23/20
WWE is pleased to present a vast portion of the WWE Network library and extend free access to thousands of hours of on-demand content, including every WrestleMania in history, countless pay-per-view spectaculars, original documentaries and more, for a limited time.
This unprecedented offering to members of the WWE Universe worldwide includes each epic installment to date of WrestleMania, plus, every Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series event; every NXT TakeOver and NXT UK TakeOver; and groundbreaking originals such as the entire WWE 24 docuseries, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions interview show, the recent five-episode hit, WWE Ruthless Aggression, and its 20-episode predecessor, The Monday Night War series.
Also included: - Recent episodes of Monday Night RAW
- Recent episodes of Friday Night SmackDown
- Recent episodes of WWE NXT
- Recent episodes of WWE NXT UK
- Recent episodes of WWE 205 Live
- Every WWE Worlds Collide special
- Complete Mae Young Classic tournament special
- Every episode of WWE Untold
- Every episode of WWE Chronicle
- A Future WWE: The FCW Story
- Much, much more
We’ve already doubled down with an historic WrestleMania this year that’s Too Big for Just One Night, streaming on WWE Network next Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5, at 7 ET/4 PT. (The two-night WrestleMania event is only available to WWE Network subscribers.)
Now, in the lead-up to The Show of Shows, you can relive classic matches, re-experience sports-entertainment’s defining moments and celebrate WWE’s greatest Superstars, past and present. Just create your account and stream on your favorite device!
- WWE .com Staff
MARCH 30, 2020 OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: CORONA VIRUS CHANGES CONTINUE, MORE.
- WWE have finished all its tapings through the 4/6 Raw after WrestleMania as of this past week, with empty arena shows taped at both the Performance Center in Orlando and Full Sail University in Winter Park. Whether coincidence or not, the tapings were already underway when the county announced a stay-at-home order going into effect at 11 p.m. on 3/26, through 4/9. The first TV show that would not be covered at this point would be either NXT on 4/8 or Smackdown on 4/10.
Included in the taping was most if not all of WrestleMania, which was taped on 3/25 and 3/26 at the Performance Center. There are a few WrestleMania bouts that will be done on location, notably Undertaker vs. A.J. Styles.
- At least two WWE talents were pulled from the tapings due to what were described as symptoms, Dana Brooke and MVP. Brooke was supposed to be in the 6-Pack Challenge match for the Smackdown Women’s title. She arrived for the 3/20 taping at the Performance Center and after being checked medically was asked to quarantine herself. MVP had symptoms and stayed in Miami and quarantined himself. There is no indication either has the coronavirus and it was just a matter of being cautious. We’re told that as of 3/26 nobody in the company has tested positive. Jerry Lawler was not used due to his age, and the heightened risk involved for older members of the roster to be in contact with those with coronavirus symptoms.
- At this point we know of 18 scheduled matches for WrestleMania, with the elimination of both the men’s André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the women’s Battle Royal.
- With the shutdown affecting Hollywood, Lana is available earlier than expected. That could have led to the decision to put Lashley on the show against Black.
- Even though Full Sail University was shut down, WWE was able to tape multiple episodes of NXT there on 3/22. So there are weeks of shows in the can. The decision was made for the scheduled and already announced Takeover matches to air on the regular Wednesday night shows starting on 4/1.
- The 4/26 NXT UK Takeover show at the 3A Arena in Dublin has been moved to 10/25.
- WWE stock during the past week has had its ups and down. WWE was better equipped to handle an economic downturn because of guaranteed money as the key part of its revenue. Also, as the market started to rebound when it appeared short-term business was politically winning over doctors and science, the stock rose to $39.04 per share.
- Daniel Bryan, 38, who doesn't live an expensive existence and has had a number of huge money years, openly talked about retiring very soon. He noted he really loves being a dad. He signed a three-year contract that ends in the fall of 2021. He said that WWE was giving him six weeks off when his wife, Brie, gives birth to their second child.
- Regarding The Revival, Scott Dawson's tweet reading "free at last" led to speculation that his contract had expired, but officially it has not. But it is a few weeks from expiring.
- I will tell you one thing under these situations of duress that we’ve learned is who are really the guys worth cheering in this industry, who are the real frauds in politics, who are the people in power who can adapt under pressure and so many other things. When the shelter-in-place act was put into effect in Illinois, canceling the empty arena shows that Freelance Wrestling was going to put on, Mustafa Ali still donated money he had pledged to the wrestlers who were going to work the first show. Rusev pledged $20,000 for those involved in production or security if they need money since they are without income.
- Saree is moving to the United States to start in NXT. Trained by Kyoko Hamiguchi, Kaoru Ito and Kyoke Inoue, she debuted in 2011 and has spent the last decade working the womens indies in Japan where she is a former Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana World Champion and a Junior Champion from the former JWP Joshi Puroresu promotion. She announced on February 22 after a match for the Diana promotion she had signed a deal, but now the question is will she be able to make the move to the U.S. during a pandemic.
- While it is noteworthy that NXT talent such as Kacy Catanzaro, Brendan Vink, Shane Thorne and Leon Ruff have been called up to take part in Raw and Main Event tapings of late, there is nothing confirming this to be a permanent decision. It is simply a move where the talent have been available for ring-time.
TV Ratings: RAW - 2.09 million viewers NXT - 0.66 million viewers SmackDown - 2.32 million viewers
Monday Night RAW #1401 – March 30, 2020 WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida "Legendary" - Skillet WRESTLEMANIA: THIS SATURDAY & SUNDAY!
WWE Main Event #392 – April 2, 2020 - Ricochet and Cedric Alexander def. Ever-Rise with the Recoil into the Lumbar Check on Chase Parker. (5:29) - Angel Garza (with Zelina Vega) def. No Way Jose with the Wingclipper. (6:16)
A video package aired, looking back at the comments in which AJ Styles had to say about The Undertaker. Over the past few weeks, The O.C. had been making fun at the expense of "the Deadman", bringing his personal life into things in order to get a rise out of the Undertaker. Finally last week, a furious Undertaker came storming to the ring for his contract signing - but Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson all refused to get lose to "the Phenom!" Styles continued to poke the bear, and would have the contract moderated to include a stipulation: their match at WrestleMania would now be a Buried Alive match. AJ signed his soul away, but ordered Gallows and Anderson to go to the ring and hand-deliver the contract. Undertaker would respond furiously and although the O.C. kept their distance, "the Deadman" would destroy Gallows with the steel steps and drive Anderson into the canvas with the Tombstone Piledriver.
The Undertaker will make AJ Styles famous The Undertaker addressed AJ Styles, talking about how "Allen Jones" had really done it now. Asking if AJ even knew what he was getting himself in for at WrestleMania, "the Deadman" claimed that he had to be the ballsiest human being walking the planet, or the dumbest son of a b*tch he had ever heard of! He had heard worse from better people than "the Phenomenal One", but as much as he hated to admit it: Undertaker confessed that some of what AJ had to say was true. "The Phenom" spoke about AJ Styles not wanting to call the Undertaker out to a fight ten years ago, because while AJ was happy being the big fish in a small pond, Undertaker saw through AJ like a hole. Deep down, AJ knew he couldn't hang with the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, Booker T or Edge. But AJ wasn't born yesterday - he waited until each and every one of those men were gone before he decided to come and make a splash!
But now his ego was running on an all-time high, the Undertaker claimed AJ Styles was wanting to call him out because he knew there was no match bigger than "the Phenom" at WrestleMania. Undertaker saw through the sound logic of AJ coming for him, but criticized Styles for foolishly crossing the line. When he mentioned "her", it was enough for him to come for AJ - and he sure as hell didn't need to make it a Buried Alive match to entice Undertaker to stomp his ass out! Telling AJ to keep his wife's name out of his mouth, Undertaker said he hoped AJ would bring his dumbass friends Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson along too, because he planned on giving them theirs too. Vowing to make Allen Jones famous, he told AJ that at WrestleMania he would hurt, he would suffer...and he would rest in peace. Staring into the camera, it would pan out to reveal a tombstone: "AJ Styles: 1977 - 2020".
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton welcomed the WWE Universe watching at home to Monday Night RAW. Five days from the start of a WrestleMania "Too Big For One Night", it would take place this Saturday and Sunday - but tonight, the WWE Performance Center was prepared for appearances from the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar; and Edge! Plus, in what was sure to be chaotic six-man Tornado Tag Team match, Kevin Owens and the RAW Tag Team Champions the Street Projects would do battle with Murphy and AOP!
Suddenly, Seth Rollins came sauntering out to the rampway. "The Monday Night Messiah" called out to the announcers in the ring that his ears were burning! The leader of the Church of Rollins looked to be heading to the ring to make a speech - as RAW continued to get underway.
Earlier today, the truck trailer with "The Man" Becky Lynch's likeness all over it was seen parked in the parking lot of the WWE Performance Center. Despite being choked out last week by Shayna Baszler, the RAW Women's Champion was showing she was not afraid of "the Cage Fighter".
"There is No Performance Center Without Seth Rollins" Seth Rollins stood in the ring watching the video screen with a smile. Lounged across the top ropes, "the Monday Night Messiah" talked about how he had had a wonderful couple of weeks getting ready for WrestleMania. He and his boys in the Church of Rollins were getting ready for "the Grandaddy of Them All:" it was "Too Big for One Night!", and that was because the WWE had to make room for Seth "Freakin'" Rollins! Seth laughed, admiring the WWE Performance Center around him. Kevin Owens had heard enough, however. Coming out to the rampway, he told Seth that he didn't have to hear this. He didn't answer to preachers on his doorstep, so there was no reason he came to work tonight to listen to Seth Rollins preach his propaganda to the WWE Universe - whom Kevin didn't think really gave a damn! All the WWE Universe wanted, in his mind, was to see him drop Seth with another Stunner. Kev told Seth he can run all he wants, but there is no more hiding at WrestleMania - no getaway drivers to save the day.
Kevin Owens had his match, and it would happen this weekend at "the Grandaddy of Them All" - in the place that made him the man he is today: the WWE Performance Center. Seth yawned, explaining that wasn't the first time he'd heard him sing the praises of the training facility that made him. It was like this building was a laboratory that made Kevin from nothing. Looking around, Rollins had to admit the WWEPC was a nice building. Seth wanted to tell a story, about the day he walked into the WWE. When he started on his first day in developmental, there was no Performance Center. It wasn't even a thought yet. On his first day, he had to go to some warehouse in Tampa, Florida. Instead of sellout crowds in Full Sail University like Kev, Seth Rollins made his name in front of thirty people in a little hole in the wall called the FCW Arena. When the WWEPC was opened, its foundations were built on his blood, sweat and tears. Rollins suffered, not only for himself - but for people like Kevin Owens.
"The Monday Night Messiah" built the system from scratch. He was trying to do the same on RAW, yet KO continued to push back. Without Seth Rollins, there was no WWE Performance Center - no Johnny Gargano, no Tommaso Ciampa, no Undisputed Era, no NXT TakeOver, no Women's Revolution! Most importantly, Rollins claimed without him, there was no Kevin Owens. Accepting the match at WrestleMania, Seth noted his track record was superb, whilst Owens spoke only one word: "failure". He was at his best on "the Grandest Stage", because when the pressure was on, he was a God! Kevin said he was full of bullsh*t. Nobody could stand him - but nobody could stand him like Kevin. One thing he took pride knowing was he was not delusional like him. He could claim to be a God, and Owens a disappointment; but KO planned on looking God in the face and flipping him the bird. This Saturday, the talking would stop when he proved that Seth was no messiah or God. If anybody was going to burn it down: it was Kevin Owens.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked up WrestleMania this Saturday and Sunday night, live exclusively on the WWE Network. With the match made for Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, a replay aired taking us back to last week. As hostilities between the Street Profits and AOP transpired, an out of control brawl saw the action break out all across the WWE Performance Center. And while KO would chase "the Monday Night Messiah" to the parking lot, where a mystery assailant would pick Seth up in a getaway, WrestleMania would spell the end of the rivalry. Meanwhile tonight, there would be no limitations for Kevin Owens or the Street Profits, when they took on the Church of Rollins' Murphy and AOP - Akam and Rezar!
A Snickers Satisfies moment aired, bringing us back to WrestleMania XXIV. On March 30, 2008, a legacy would come to an end as the thirty-six year career of "the Nature Boy" Ric Flair sat on the line. After an iconic clash with his longtime friend Shawn Michaels, "the Heartbreak Kid" would proclaim he was sorry, and that he loved the sixteen-time World Champion, before putting Flair to rest with Sweet Chin Music.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked about Shayna Baszler's assault on the RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch last week, discussing how "The Man" had never been manhandled the manner in which she was by "the Cage Fighter". While WrestleMania would see the title on the line between Lynch and her toughest test to date, Shayna Baszler, Phillips and Saxton would take us back to last year's WrestleMania, where history was made.
-) Becky Lynch def. RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey & SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair in a Winner Takes All Triple Threat match to capture both Women's Championships (21:30) [WRESTLEMANIA 35 - APR 7, 2019] [THROUGH THREE BREAKS] - 82,265 members of the WWE Universe piled into the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to witness the first time ever that women was to headline "the Grandest Stage of Them All" WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey had her good friend, rock 'n' roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett perform "Bad Reputation" for her big arrival while Charlotte Flair received a fireworks display. "The Man" had no fanfare but the fans in attendance, as she entered with nothing and fought from underneath. - Ronda Rousey found herself the target of the WWE homegrown Superstars, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch both able to powerbomb "the Rowdy One" from a double armbar attempt to both women. A table was introduced, as all three women pulled out all the stops in this historic main event on the thirty-fifth anniversary of WrestleMania. A Becksploder through a table in the corner would remove "the Queen" from the equation, when Rousey's attempt at Piper's Pit saw Becky reverse into the crucifix to claim both RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships!
A Sit-Down Session with Shayna Baszler Charly Caruso sat in the training ring at the WWE Performance Center with Shayna Baszler. Noting her acts of brutality since arriving on the RAW brand, "the Cage Fighter" had been undeniable in her onslaught of the entire women's division. Clips of the Women's Elimination Chamber match aired, where Shayna victimized the other five women, then went on to annihilate the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions the Kabuki Warriors. Last week, she added "The Man" herself to the list. Shayna told Charly she didn't need to explain her actions. All anybody needed to know was that this was only just the beginning. Her whole life, she had committed to making others feel pain. She let it be known she showed no remorse for any actions, and at WrestleMania she would leave as RAW Women's Champion - because Becky was too gutless to do anything to stop her. The challenger was struck in the spine with a steel chair! From the shadows emerged Becky Lynch, who stood tall and watched Shayna's suffering with a blank expression on her face!
Liv Morgan and Natalya were backstage at the WWE Performance Center talking, as Liv noted she had a big match tonight against Asuka. Nattie assured Liv that she could do this: she had the potential to knock off a major victory against one-half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. Morgan then thanked Natalya for mentoring her, when her former friends Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan arrived. Chortling and laughing at the sight of Liv with Natalya, they joked that Morgan had gone running to "mommy" for help! Discontent, Liv told them to take a hike, but Ruby came to thank her for giving them the motivation to suck it up and reunite the Riott Squad. After so much time apart, finally the band was back together...it was just a shame Liv wasn't invited! Logan laughed at Morgan as the reformed Riott Squad departed, Liv fired up. Nattie urged her to let this fuel her headed into action with Asuka.
1) Aleister Black def. Jason Cade (0:45) - This weekend, WrestleMania would see two of RAW's most dominant Superstars collide one-on-one. After interrupting Bobby Lashley's one-sided victory last week, "the Anti-Hero" made his ever-impressive entry before swiftly putting down New York City talent Jason Cade with the Black Mass.
The Black Mass had claimed another culprit, as the brooding "Anti-Hero" assumed a seat in the ring. Sat cross-legged, Aleister Black basked in another win against Jason Cade, when suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Bobby Lashley! Much like Black did last week, Lashley made a slow walk out to the ring flexing the whole way. Finally, he climbed into the ring and met Black face-to-face. Talking trash, Lashley claimed he was the alpha male of Monday nights. That's when Lashley would effortlessly hoist a semi-conscious Jason Cade to his feet, drilling him with the Dominator! All Black did was watch, expressionless. As Lashley left, he remarked that at WrestleMania they would see who the top dog truly was.
Following her surprise attack on Shayna Baszler during her interview with Charly Caruso, Becky Lynch was followed by the broadcast journalist for her side of the story. She apologized to Charly for sabotaging her little exclusive scoop, but "The Man" waited for no one and nothing. Shayna Baszler should have expected it what with her huge truck trailer sat waiting in the parking lot outside the building. The RAW Women's Champion claimed "the Cage Fighter" could consider it retribution for last week; or she could consider it a warning shot fired. Becky claimed she had been maimed and held down before, and it used to happen time and time again. But the truth was, it kept her hungry. Without the title, Becky claimed she wasn't sure who she was. Admitting how much she was willing to sacrifice for the gold in her hands, Lynch told Shayna that WrestleMania would be a fight to a finish - and when it was done, Baszler was getting what was coming to her.
Footage aired from earlier today, where the WWE 24/7 Champion Riddick Moss was spotted hanging out at a local park. Sat on a bench, he wore the gold around his waist and revealed a brown bag. Scanning the surroundings for potential interference, Moss unbagged his sandwich and was about to take a bite when an old man hobbled up. Using a cane, he elder asked him for the time, but Moss got in his face - he wasn't going to tell him! Moss knew this was a distraction and called out to Mojo Rawley that he wasn't going to fool him. The gentleman claimed innocence, but Moss was convinced the old man was R-Truth in disguise. Claiming the man's cane, the old man refused to let go - when Akira Tozawa came from behind! With a sequence of blows, Tozawa would pick the old man up and use his feet to dropkick Moss! The old man was furious and waved his cane in his direction; all the while, the WWE 24/7 Champion was able to get away - snatching his sandwich from the bench as he crawled.
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton moved on to discuss the upcoming appearance by Edge. They noted how Randy Orton was also here in the WWE Performance Center tonight, and with less than a week until the No Holds Barred match between two former confidantes, it was expected to be catastrophic.
The announcers were interrupted by WWE 24/7 Champion Riddick Moss, who came out swaggering with the gold on his shoulder. Moss told Tom and Byron at the announce table not to be worried: this wouldn't take long. Moss bragged about being the longest-reigning champion in the title's history, and how nobody else could do what he's done. Riddick claimed no matter who tried to stand in his way, who snuck up behind him or chased after him - he was just "Too Smooth". Moss claimed he was going to prove it, because this weekend was WrestleMania: where legends are made in an instant! Moss claimed it would be his crowning achievement to be the first champion to not have a match - and yet still enter unchartered territories, and walk out the other side. He was walking into WrestleMania on Satuday as WWE 24/7 Champion - and would leave WrestleMania on Sunday as WWE 24/7 Champion: because he Riddick Moss was "Too Smooth".
A video package aired recapping the past several weeks between Edge and Randy Orton. Much animosity lingered between the two former Rated-RKO members. It came from the 2020 Men's Royal Rumble match where the WWE Hall of Famer made his in-ring return following a nine-year absence. Edge eliminated "the Viper", and Randy would respond by taking him out with a lethal Conchairto the following night. It removed Edge from WWE screens for two months, as Orton would set out on a path of destruction. He took Matt Hardy and put him out of the picture indefinitely, and had the audacity to hit the RKO on Edge's own wife Beth Phoenix. Finally Edge returned with a deathwish: challenging Orton to a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania. Edge claimed he was a junkie for the roar of the crowd, but last week, "the Apex Predator" responded that he was only a junkie for his own ego.
Kevin Owens was backstage stretching for the six-man Tornado Tag match scheduled tonight, when he was joined by the RAW Tag Team Champions. With red cups in hand, the ever-energetic Street Profits hollered at KO, hyping him up for action! Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were stoked, set out to give Murphy, Akam and Rezar a whooping they'd never forget. Tonight, with no disqualifications and no limitations, Street Profits claimed they would take AOP to the parking lot for an IRL Street Fight. Angelo declared the Church of Rollins would get the Smoke, as the trio headed for the ring. The match was next!
An advertisement aired, promoting the release of 'the Big Show Show'. A sitcom about WWE Superstar the Big Show tackling the tough challenge of raising three daughters with his wife, the entire first season is available for streaming on Netflix from April 6.
2) Kevin Owens and RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits def. Murphy and AOP in a six-man tornado tag team match (7:48) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - Following the out of control brawl between Kevin Owens, the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders with the Church of Rollins last week, there would be no disqualifications, no count-outs and no tags necessary in this six-man brawl. Seth Rollins had to be scouting ahead of their WrestleMania match, as Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins teamed up to try and bring the fight to Akam and Rezar. The fight splintered into thirds, with each man targeting an opponent and brawling across a section of the WWE Performance Center! - When Kevin Owens was tackled into the barricade by the beastly Rezar, Angelo Dawkins was similar incapacitated. In the ring, Murphy led AOP into taking down Montez Ford. Having to fend for himself, the lone RAW Tag Team Champion tried using his agility. Murphy cut him off with a knee strike, when Kevin Owens came to his aid. With Angelo Dawkins out of the picture, the Viking Raiders would come to battle AOP - and it would prove to be what KO needed. A Stunner to Murphy would allow Owens the win!
Clutching his ribs, Kevin Owens celebrated his win in this chaotic six-man Tornado tag team match. The Viking Raiders and AOP were separated by the referee, when Akam and Rezar suddenly targeted Erik and Ivar again! Owens checked on Angelo Dawkins with Montez Ford at ringside, when Seth Rollins appeared at the top of the rampway. Imploring Kevin to come after him, "the Monday Night Messiah" lured his WrestleMania opponent into following him to the backstage area!
As the Church of Rollins' fight with the Viking Raiders continued in the WWE Performance Center, backstage Seth Rollins continued to back away from Kevin Owens. Kev demanded he fight him, asking what was stopping them from going at it tonight - why wait until WrestleMania? The two were about to come to blows when a man struck Owens in the back of the head using a baseball bat! Wearing a hooded black cloak, Seth smiled upon seeing the mystery assailant. Apparently the same man as last week, Rollins made another getaway - but not before telling KO he'd see him at "the Grandaddy of Them All!"
A replay aired, taking us back to during the commercial break. As hostilities continued between the Viking Raiders and the Church of Rollins, the battle between Erik, Ivar, Akam and Rezar expanded to include Murphy and the Street Profits. The fight spilled out to the floor, with hands thrown between six of the seven men. That's when Montez Ford came vaulting over the top rope with an astonishing vertical leap - the dive catching all of the other men on the way down! Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton discussed the issues having brewed for weeks - and it would reach an apex at WrestleMania this weekend. The Street Profits and the Viking Raiders would team up in an eight-man tag team match to battle Murphy, AOP and whomever Seth Rollins' mystery assailant was!
Family Matters In the ring, WWE United States Champion Andrade and his business associate Zelina Vega stood in the middle of the ring at the WWE Performance Center. As always, lavishly dressed, "El Idolo" stood in an expensive grey suit, while Zelina began to talk about how her client Andrade was looking forward to WrestleMania until all plans changed. First, to learn the size of the venue would be downgraded from Raymond James Stadium, all the way to this shoddy training facility? Zelina claimed Andrade deserved better. But now, to learn that her client would not even be having a match at "the Grandest Stage of Them All?" That idea was preposterous! Zelina questioned how big WrestleMania was if it was "Just Too Big for One Night" - and was without their WWE United States Champion! Andrade graced the microphone, making note of Rey Mysterio. An adorned luchador in their fateful country of Mexico, for over thirty years this "Legendary Luchador" had been an institution in this ring.
People had looked up to Rey Mysterio for his heroism and his bravado; his heart and agility. Yet, in Andrade's opinion - he thought Rey was spineless for refusing to challenge him at WrestleMania. Asking Rey if he was too big to fight him, Andrade spoke about Mysterio failing to stand true as the WWE Legend he claimed to be. He believed Mysterio was overrated: a gutless coward afraid of failing again. If anybody was the pride of Mexico, it wasn't Rey - it was Andrade! But he understood, Rey was too afraid. The jaded WWE United States Champion said "never meet your heroes", finally bringing Rey Mysterio to the ring. Coming to the ring, he told Andrade to his face that if it made him feel big, then he would fight him at WrestleMania. He wasn't doing this for himself, nor his legacy, nor his will to become WWE United States Champion again. Rey Mysterio claimed he was going to do this to do one thing - and that was shut Andade's mouth!
"The Legendary Luchador" admitted his best years might be behind him, and while he wasn't yet finished being "the Human Highlight Reel", he was holding out on somebody deserving of the spotlight to take his place. Clearly, that man was not Andrade. The champ smirked, admitting surprise at the fact Rey had accepted his challenge. He had a feeling that Mysterio would be a lot more stubborn to turn around. "El Idolo"confessed Rey called his bluff. Andrade then clapped, when on the stage Dominik Mysterio flew out onto the rampway! Angel Garza followed, punching Rey's son to the ground! Furious at the sight, Rey targeted Angel and pursued him. Garza ran, when Andrade slipped out to jump him from behind. Andrade and Angel had the Mysterio Family where they wanted them, but Humberto Carrillo dashed out with a steel chair! Chasing them to ringside, Humberto stood his ground for the Mysterios! Fuel had been added to the fire, as Rey would meet Andrade at WrestleMania.
The WWE Women's Tag Team Champions the Kabuki Warriors walked the hall backstage at the WWE Performance Center. Following Asuka's attack on Alexa Bliss this past Friday night on SmackDown, "the Empress of Tomorrow" laughed and walked with Kairi Sane - as Asuka was set to meet Liv Morgan, next!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton discussed Friday Night SmackDown this coming week. With twenty-four hours before the start of WrestleMania, WWE Universal Champion Goldberg and Roman Reigns would meet in a face-to-face confrontation; John Cena would make his return to answer Bray Wyatt's challenge for the Firefly Fun House match; and Sami Zayn would defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak.
3) WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka (with Kairi Sane) def. Liv Morgan (with Natalya) (4:10) - The Kabuki Warriors had done a number on Alexa Bliss this past Friday night on SmackDown, Asuka furious at the idea of Alexa and Nikki Cross being greater friends than the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. Kairi Sane and Natalya played cornerwomen, as Liv Morgan used heart to keep in the fight, but "the Empress of Tomorrow" would hit hard and toy with her prey. Nattie rooted for Liv to the point Morgan surprised Asuka with a second wind. With a DDT, Liv got a near fall, before succumbing to the sudden Asuka Lock - forcing her to tap.
Kairi Sane irritably screeched in victory at the top of her lungs following the bell. With Asuka victorious, "the Empress of Tomorrow" refused to relinquish the Asuka Lock on poor Liv Morgan, when Natalya climbed into the ring. Nattie got in Asuka's face, but Kairi came from behind with a dropkick to the back! The Kabuki Warriors began to put the boots to Nattie and Liv, when Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross came out of nowhere with a surprise attack for the champions! Asuka and "the Pirate Princess" evacuated the scene, when Alexa took to the microphone to verbalize their invasion of Monday Night RAW. Talking about who the better BFFs were, "the Goddess" laid out the challenge - a match at WrestleMania this weekend, with the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at stake. Asuka and Kairi accepted the SmackDown Superstars' challenge.
A graphic aired, showing that coming up next, WWE Hall of Famer Edge would be live and in person. With Randy Orton also known to be present at the WWE Performance Center tonight, how intense would things be between the No Holds Barred rivals - just days before WrestleMania?
An advertisement aired, promoting this Wednesday's special edition of NXT. With NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay's untimely cancellation, the bad blood had ran for too long between former #DIY members Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. This week, in an empty arena, "the Rebel Heart" and "the Blackheart" would fight to a finish one final time with the loser leaving NXT for good.
Before the Sky Falls... Metalingus rushed through the WWE Performance Center, as Edge emerged from the smoke machines on the rampway. Making his way to the ring, the WWE Hall of Famer was mere days away from putting everything on the line against Randy Orton: his health, his pride, his dignity and his respect all dependent on the outcome of the No Holds Barred match in several days, Edge got on the microphone and talked about knowing Randy Orton was back there. Inviting him out to the ring, Edge stressed that he wasn't here to fight Randy - he was simply out there to talk. Days before the sky fell and cracks appeared to take the ground from beneath them both, Edge wanted to say some things to Randy that he simply could not do as "the Rated R Superstar". Edge urged Orton to know it as coming from Adam Copeland - the man who was allegedly a junkie for Edge. Randy Orton shockingly responded, walking out cautiously. "The Apex Predator" bided his time walking down to the ring, but maintained distance.
Edge told Randy not to get it twisted: that he was able to admit that Adam Copeland was a junkie for the persona he'd created called Edge. But it wasn't like he thought it was - believe it or not, it wasn't about ego. The truth was he loved the feeling and reaction of the crowd when his music hit. He shared a connection with the fans, which he loved, because he was one of those fans. Edge brought back memories of being there live in Toronto SkyDome for WrestleMania VI: the place he witnessed Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior meet that started his passion and drive for this sport. The truth was that they were both junkies for this - and if he was wrong about Randy being a junkie, then he was simply taking up space. Orton nodded, but told Edge that when as eloquently put as that was, he might be right. But if he was - who cared? What did it matter? Orton claimed his passion was greater than Edge's, noting that their upbringings meant nothing compared to their motivation to be the absolute best.
"The Viper" brought up memories about how excited he was to team with one of his idols. A starry-eyed man that had already been World Heavyweight Champion was asked to team with his idol - by his idol. And they even held the Tag Team Championships tonight. Rated-RKO may have saved his career because Edge had saved him from himself - but what Adam failed to realize was that he was doing that all over again, here in the year 2020. Orton said he was tired of people on the Internet saying he was the best he'd ever been, and that was all thanks to Edge. The truth was, he was at his best now because he wasn't just a junkie for this business: but a junkie for the way Edge made him feel! The voices in his head had made Orton do some things he wasn't proud to admit, and that Royal Rumble may have been enough for Randy to wake up and smell the coffee. Perhaps this will be the end, but right here and now, he wanted Edge to look him in the eyes one last time.
Before the world changed as they knew it, Randy wanted to shake Edge's hand. Edge looked Randy in the eye and told him that they can agree to disagree, but the one thing he will do - ill-advised - was shake hands with a snake like him. Come WrestleMania, the No Holds Barred match - all bets were off. Edge told Randy he'd tried to end his career again, and take away his livelihood. This weekend, he'd claim it all back and become "the Ultimate Opportunist" again. "May the best man win", Edge said, as he and Randy shook hands. The WWE Hall of Famer suddenly turned his back to Orton, with Randy teasing an RKO - but ultimately, Orton resisted! Choosing to wait until WrestleMania, Randy powdered out to the floor. The world was going to end at WrestleMania when these two collided at last.
Still to come tonight on Monday Night RAW, we would be joined by the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman - but first, a look back at the all-out war between two current champions - "the Beast Incarnate" and the phenomenon known as Goldberg. Up next, we would go back to WrestleMania 33!
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton talked about the stakes being heightened even higher for WrestleMania. "Too Big for One Night", they ran down each of the matches announced for this weekend's spectacular. With new matches added, they urged the WWE Universe to keep an eye on WWE's social media accounts over the coming days - as line-ups would be revealed for both Day 1 on Saturday, and Day 2 on Sunday!
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre
WWE Universal Championship – Goldberg (c) vs Roman Reigns
Buried Alive – The Undertaker vs AJ Styles
No Holds Barred – Edge vs Randy Orton
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
RAW Women's Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
NXT Women's Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (?)
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Triple Threat Ladder match – John Morrison and The Miz (c) vs vs The Usos vs The New Day
WWE United States Championship – Andrade (c) vs Rey Mysterio
SmackDown Women's Championship – Elimination Six Pack Challenge –Bayley (c) vs Carmella vs Tamina vs Lacey Evans vs Naomi vs Sasha Banks
King Corbin vs Elias
RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits and the Viking Raiders vs Murphy, AOP and the Church of Rollins' mystery assailant
Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley
WWE Women's Tag Team Championship – The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
Riddick Moss presents "The WrestleMania Dash" - can he make it out of WrestleMania Weekend as WWE 24/7 Champion?
-) Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) def. Goldberg (c) to capture the WWE Universal Championship (4:45) [WRESTLEMANIA 33 - Apr 2, 2017] [THROUGH THE BREAK] - WrestleMania 33 saw a climactic war ensue between two gladiators who had previously fought at the 2016 Survivor Series. Goldberg had shocked the world by overcoming Brock Lesnar in his first match back in a WWE ring in over twelve years, and later became WWE Universal Champion. "The Beast Incarnate" came back for more at "the Ultimate Thrillride", walking the Camping Ground Stadium in Orlando fueled by the WWE Universe's reception. - It was all-action as Goldberg and Brock Lesnar clashed, with German suplexes, Spears, press slams and F5s galore. Goldberg tackled Lesnar through the barricade with a Spear as his advocate Paul Heyman watched on in fear. Ultimately, Lesnar became the first man in history to survive the Spear and Jackhammer, before leapfrogging his way back into control; taking Goldberg to Suplex City! Brock then shockingly put Goldberg away decisively with one final F5 to become WWE Universal Champion.
The Warning Shots Fired From the Camping Ground Stadium to the WWE Performance Center, Paul Heyman stood alone in the ring as he talked about what the WWE World Heavyweight Champion was capable of. "The Advocate" discussed how Drew McIntyre had all the right in the world to ignore and deny what Brock Lesnar could do in this squared circle, but questioned if "the Scottish Warrior" had any idea what he was getting himself into after witnessing that footage. Heyman urged Drew to look at himself in the mirror before WrestleMania, and question what made him different from men such as Randy Couture, of Shane Carwin, John Cena, the Undertaker, Goldberg and Roman Reigns. Drew needed to ask those people what it was like to go up against "the Beast Incarnate" - because the truth was, he had no idea. Heyman claimed when there was a big fight feel, it was time to go down or throw down, and there was no Claymore Kick that could put Brock away.
Like no Rock Bottom, Tombstone Piledriver or Leg Drop could beat him, Paul Heyman claimed Drew McIntyre would have no clue what happened until he was taken to Suplex City and beaten with a ferocious F-5. Finally, Drew McIntyre interrupted. The 2020 Men's Royal Rumble winner heard enough from "the Twisted Genius", asking him if he'd ever considered going into podcasting. McIntyre walked down to the ring, telling Paul he had been watching Brock Lesnar for years, and when the gloves came off this weekend - he knew exactly what kind of animal "the Beast" was. There was a big fight feel in the air, all week long he was to be salivating at the idea of meeting Brock Lesnar in a ring, with the WWE Championship on the line. But now, he had to wonder - where was the WWE World Champion hiding? Win, lose or draw WrestleMania would see Brock get the very best of him, but the last few weeks, ever since he embarrassed Brock Lesnar - he'd seen a new side to "the Beast" and "the Conqueror"...that being his scared side!
The determined challenger told Paul Heyman that Brock Lesnar was the unstoppable dragon who had made the WWE his house for the past decade, maybe more - but when it came to put-up or shut-up, Drew McIntyre was going to take his sword and slay that dragon at "the Grandaddy of Them All", because this house belonged to him now. Paul's face turned to a smirk, as McIntyre questioned "the Advocate's" demeanor. Brock Lesnar soon appeared at the top of the rampway, and Drew would drop his microphone. Challenging the WWE Champion to go at it, Lesnar licked his lips and walked to ringside where McIntyre met him with haymakers! The fight was on five days ahead of WrestleMania, with Drew headbutting Brock and pounding into him by the barricade - until Lesnar tackled Drew into the steel steps! Heyman watched anxiously, as Lesnar throttled McIntyre and sent him into the ring. Tossing the steel steps into the ring over the top rope, Lesnar emerged inside - to see McIntyre narrowly miss the Claymore Kick!
Brock Lesnar delivered the F-5 atop the steel steps, before picking up the WWE Championship. With Heyman beside him, Lesnar raised the title high and placed a boot on the chest of his challenger. With the title raised high, would this be the outcome in the main event of WrestleMania?
NXT: One Final Beat #398 – April 1, 2020 Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida WRESTLEMANIA: THIS SATURDAY & SUNDAY!
A video package aired, recapping the five year story between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Once the best of friends, a part of one of the most gifted tag teams in WWE history, #DIY drifted apart and went their separate ways when "the Blackheart" stabbed "Rebel Heart" in the back. It became a chase surrounding the NXT Championship, but after the heated dispute was thought to be over, #DIY reunited - until Gargano cost Ciampa "Goldie" back at NXT TakeOver: Portland. In recent weeks, they had wrecked the WWE Performance Center and tried to kill one another. After meeting with Triple H last week, "the Creator of NXT" would declare that tonight: it would be "the Blackheart" against "Rebel Heart": One Final Beat. One man would be forced to leave NXT forever, tonight!
In the Full Sail University, Mauro Ranallo was joined audibly by Sam Roberts on commentary. They discussed how it had all come down to this. A Loser Leaves NXT fight to a finish tonight in an undisclosed location - "the Blackheart" against "Rebel Heart" in One Final Beat! Plus, with WrestleMania merely days away, Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair met earlier today for a sit-down interview with "the Voice of WWE", Michael Cole.
1) Damien Priest def. Dominik Dijakovic & Keith Lee (c) in a Triple Threat match to capture the NXT North American Championship (10:23) [THROUGH THE BREAK] - In what had become the biggest three-way rivalry in NXT history, three bad dudes mixed it up in a Triple Threat match with the NXT North American Championship hanging in the balance. The three gargantuans battled for supremacy, with Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic removing "the Archer of Infamy" from the equation before going at it themselves. "The Limitless One" and his career rival Dijakovic collided with feats of agility, when Damien Priest re-emerged with his nightstick in hand! - Damien Priest and Dominik Dijakovic worked to take the NXT North American Champion out of the mix with a double suplex - but Keith Lee responded with an amazing double suplex! Lee attempted the Spriit Bomb on Dijakovic, who was somehow able to power Lee up for Feast Your Eyes. With the titles inches away, Damien Priest snuck in and stole it from him: Reckoning dropping Dijakovic, allowing him to win the title!
A new NXT North American Champion had been crowned, and Damien Priest wasting no time slipping out of the ring and snatching the gold from the referee. "The Archer of Infamy" had achieved his first major accolade since walking into "the Black and Gold Brand", and Keith Lee sat up in shock. Priest posed at the top of the aisle, pleased with this monumental victory. Without being beaten for it, "the Limitless One" had lost the the NXT North American Championship!
Following a replay from last week's domination of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, earlier today Malcolm Bivens stood between the two colossals known as Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar with some comments to be made for NXT's tag team division. Having kept a close eye on NXT over the past couple of months, Malcolm had scoured the planet in search of untapped talent. It was what he did - discovering new talent to putting new eyes on them. Now, Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar had arrived from India, and were about to do what they did last week - and multiply it tenfold. They saw the NXT Tag Team Championship in their future, and Malcolm warned anybody in their way to watch their step.
An Undisputed Prediction The NXT Champion Adam Cole soaked up the rays in his backyard, talking about how kind of NXT General Manager William Regal it was to offer him the night off. The sun shining, Cole lounged with his sunglasses on, and the gold on his arm, claiming how care-free he was knowing that there was nobody in NXT on his level. While he was looking forward to watching Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano tearing each other apart tonight, Adam claimed how well-deserved it was to be officially recognized as the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history! And next week, Adam Cole was about to make history again, when he and Roderick Strong planned to take the NXT Tag Team Championships from Matt Riddle, and that inconsiderable goof Velveteen Dream! Cole had been a double-champion before, and he was going to do it again next week. The champ discussed Dream's advances made in recent weeks, but Cole considered him to be an unproven challenger.
With the immaturity of Dream, Adam Cole believed it was no surprise to see him clinging to a joke like "the King of Bros". Cole called Riddle a manchild, whose partner Pete Dunne couldn't even stand enough to travel this side of the planet, to help him defend the titles! Adam Cole said the Undisputed Era was all about making history, and next week history would be realized when he becomes a two-time double champion.
2) Dexter Lumis def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher (2:25) - It had been a long time since NXT had last been graced by the presence of Dexter Lumis. With a thousand-mile stare, his wide eyes played psychological warfare with Gentleman Jack Gallagher, who took it upon himself to strike before Lumis even stepped foot in the ring. Lumis used a spinebuster to take down the Englishman, when a side slam transitioned into a side-sleeper chokehold forcing Gallagher to sleep!
The man from "an undisclosed location" continued to cradle the unconscious Jack Gallagher in his arms, the eyes of Dexter Lumis still wide open. Finally releasing him, Dexter crawled from the ring slowly. It had been a long time since the NXT Universe had been introduced to somebody as intimidating as this newcomer!
Johnny Gargano prepared in his locker room earlier today, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. With five years of history shared with Tommaso Ciampa, tonight one man would vanish from the landscape of the NXT Universe. It was "Blackheart" against "Rebel Heart" tonight, in One Last Beat.
McKenzie Mitchell was backstage in the Full Sail University with the newly-crowned NXT North American Champion Damien Priest. Talking about how unexpected "the Archer of Infamy's" victory came, Priest told McKenzie to believe the hype because he was the hype. It was no surprise to anybody that he was better than Keith Lee or Dominik Dijakovic, and the win in the Triple Threat match confirmed it. He was the shot-caller in NXT, and he was putting the entire locker room of blast. With his nightstick in hand, Damien declared this his time. McKenzie questioned how confident in his abilities Priest could be, when he had failed to defeat the champ. Priest declared the interview over.
3) Tegan Nox def. Mercedes Martinez (7:22) - She had been a gun for hire by Dakota Kai of late, and tonight she was tasked with removing Tegan Nox from the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match next week. Nox fought from underneath as the fight saw both women brawl around ringside and up the aisleway. Martinez would take the upper hand with a side slam into the ring post, before systematically aiming to ground Nox. Dakota Kai and Raquel González arrived to spectate from the aisleway, which put pressure on Martinez. - As Dakota Kai and Raquel González watched, Tegan Nox fought back against Mercedes Martinez. Using the fire that had willed her toward next week's Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match, Tegan soon met eyes with her arch rival, when Martinez got a near fall from a big boot. Nox would reverse Bull Run into the Shiniest Wizard, to give Tegan the victory.
Dakota Kai and Raquel González watched in dissatisfaction, as Tegan Nox had her hand raised. No matter how hard Mercedes Martinez tried, she had failed to live up to her end of the bargain. Nox again locked eyes with her arch rival, daring her former tag team partner to come face her in the ring. The two women approached ringside, when Dakota sent Raquel in to fight Tegan on her behalf! Nox caught the imposing González with a flurry of strikes, when Kai struck with a swift kick to cut Nox off! Nox looked for the GTK, when Io Shirai unexpectedly darted down to the ring! Kai and González bailed to the ringside floor, as "the Genius of the Sky" helped Nox to her feet. But Tegan would grab Io by the wrist and share some choice words with her. Next week, Dakota, Tegan and Io would be three of six women to compete in the Ladder match to determine a Number One Contender!
Chelsea Green sat on the couch texting, while Robert Stone watched in disgust at the sight of Io Shirai and Tegan Nox teasing a partnership. Stone argued there would be no collusion in the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match next week, while Green confidently said it wouldn't matter - she was coming out on top. Into the room walked Aliyah, who asked Robert why he wanted to see her. Robert marvelled in the damage done to Xia Li last week, and how amazing she looked. Green continued texting while Stone theorized the impact the two could make as a unit together. Not only could they work together to make sure the other four women don't win, but they had great potential as the star attractions of the Robert Stone Brand! Chelsea ceased texting and told him that sounded great, and proposed Aliyah helping her win. Aliyah told them that was a great pitch - but she'd be the one winning next week. The two faced off with Chelsea questioning who Aliyah was, while Stone tried to interject.
A vignette aired, images flashing across the screen of a city in ruin; the bones of man; vultures watching over wastelands. A female's voice foreshadowed that end times were near, as a bald, goateed man's face was shown.
Tommaso Ciampa stood in his dressing room. With fists taped, camoflage pants on and the look of disdain on his face, "the Blackheart" was prepared for One Last Beat - when a piece of paper showed Johnny Gargano's face on it. Ciampa used it to psychologically motivate himself. One man would be ousted from NXT for good tonight, in the fight to a finish!
A video package aired, recapping the Road to WrestleMania that Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair had endured. While she made her mark in NXT years ago, "the Queen" had gone on to become a future WWE Hall of Famer on the RAW and SmackDown brands when she became the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble winner. But Charlotte wasn't interested in the gold Becky Lynch or Bayley had - she chose Rhea Ripley and the NXT Women's Championship. Ripley showed she was not about to be pushed around by slapping Charlotte to the mat. But the veteran would respond by fiercely attempting to dash the youngster's dreams of leaving WrestleMania on top of the world, by locking in the Figure-4 Leglock around the ring post. Flair had underestimated Ripley for long enough, and was to be in for a shock at "the Grandaddy of Them All!"
A Big Fish in a Small Pond Filling in for Mauro Ranallo, earlier today Michael Cole took a seat between the NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley and the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair. With WrestleMania merely seventy-two hours away, Cole ran down the history that Charlotte had had at "the Grandest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment". Charlotte smiled to Rhea, asking her to know what she was getting herself in for, because in three days she was going to be bowing down at feet of "the Queen" - a woman who had been to the top of the mountain and headlined WrestleMania before. In case Rhea was confused, Charlotte added that was a lot different than headlining at Full Sail University on Wednesdays, or some strip mall on Saturdays! The NXT Women's Champion chuckled it off, telling Charlotte that she deserved that. It was no mistake she was new here. Making her WrestleMania debut, she enjoyed the fact that she walked in as champion - and in her first impression, vowed to walk out champion.
Remarking at the long journey she had taken to get to WrestleMania, she was a long way from home. From Adelaide, Australia to the 2017 Mae Young Classics, she cannot fathom ever wanting to be like her opponent this Sunday. And that's why she decided to forge her own path. Charlotte cut her off, telling Rhea how bored she was of hearing about this Australian little girl's wild journey to "the Showcase of the Immortals". Bringing her rival back to reality, Charlotte reminded her that this was no fairytale, and how this match would not see a happy ending for Ripley. Flair brought up how the NXT Women's Championship was the first title she had ever held, and how she was sad to see it go to the likes of Busch League talents like her. Flair noted Rhea seemed to enjoy hiding in the shadows and jumping her from behind, because she knew she wasn't in the same league as "the Queen". Rhea smiled again, as Flair spoke of how rich the "kids" of NXT had it - coming after founders like herself, Paige and Bayley.
Rhea Ripley fired back, telling Charlotte Flair how it had been so long, she had forgotten how ill-informed she was. It had been a long time since "the Queen" had been here on "the Black and Gold Brand" - how it was not the same NXT that she put on the map five years ago. In case Charlotte had forgotten, they weren't struggling to sell out Full Sail University anymore; they were selling out the Barclays Center at every NXT TakeOver without Charlotte's doing. Rhea reminded Flair how she was the one who chose NXT, no doubt because she hoped for an easy target. But news flash: Rhea Ripley was no easy target. Ripley said she was allowing Charlotte here to fight for her relevancy, but told her to consider the fact that at WrestleMania, she'd find out the hard way that when she's a big fish in a small pond, she's still got nothing on the brutality of Rhea Ripley. Flair was shunned by the words of the champion, as Michael Cole commented how excited he was to witness their match at WrestleMania.
An advertisement aired, promoting all of the merchandise available on WWEShop.com.
A video package aired, promoting this coming Friday night on SmackDown on FOX. With twenty-four hours remaining until WrestleMania goes on the air, WWE Universal Champion Goldberg and Roman Reigns would meet one last time with a confrontation in the center of the ring; John Cena would address the challenge of a Firefly Fun House match from Bray Wyatt; plus, Sami Zayn would defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak.
Dennis Arnell was standing by Cameron Grimes. Grimes took satisfaction in asking what Dennis wanted to discuss. Arnell was made to feel awkward by the enthusiastic Carolinian, who rattled off about how good he was until Kushida appeared. Silently, Kushida greeted Cameron with a nod. Furious, Grimes claimed he had warned Kushida once enough to stay out of his way! He questioned Dennis if he had anything he wanted to ask Kushida, because he could get his own damn talk time! Better yet, Cameron refused to believe anybody cared about what Kushida had to say. Responding softly in basic English, he told Grimes his breath smelled like a swamp. It infuriated him enough to call him out to a match next week, and how when he was done it would teach Kushida never to interrupt a star like him ever again!
Mauro Ranallo and Sam Roberts spoke about WrestleMania this coming weekend being "Too Big For One Night", before talking about what was coming up next week.
NXT Tag Team Championship - Matt Riddle and Velveteen Dream (c) vs NXT Champion Adam Cole and Roderick Strong
Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match - Chelsea Green vs Dakota Kai vs Tegan Nox vs Aliyah vs Candice LeRae
Kushida vs Cameron Grimes
A graphic aired, promoting the main event. The time had arrived for the big match pitting "Blackheart" against "Rebel Heart". After their meeting with Triple H last week, "the Creator of NXT" had announced this would be the final encounter in this storied five-year rivalry. In an undisclosed building, a ring had been placed inside and Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano had both been given the location. In mere moments, Gargano and Ciampa would fight to a finish in Anything Goes, Loser Leaves NXT - 'One Final Beat!'
A vignette aired, showing close ups of Io Shirai. Her exile ended last week when she returned two weeks ago and handily defeated Kayden Carter to qualify into the Women's Number One Contender's Ladder match. She spoke about needing the time to set herself right and reset - and now, reset was what she would do. Discussing her opponents next week, whether Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Aliyah or Chelsea Green, there was only one "Genius of the Sky", and that "genius" was destined to become NXT Women's Champion. Whether Rhea Ripley or Charlotte Flair - she had her eyes on WrestleMania.
4) "Blackheart vs Rebel Heart: One Final Beat" Loser Leaves NXT - Anything Goes Fight To A Finish Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa [THROUGH FOUR BREAKS]
Stepping out of a black SUV, Johnny Gargano arrived at the unmarked building in jeans and a white T-shirt. He looked around cautiously, when his wife Candice LeRae told him to be careful - and to finally end this with the man he loathed. Gargano kissed her goodbye, and as "the Pint-Sized Pixie" began to drive away, "Rebel Heart" looked around cautiously in the event of a blindsight from Tommaso Ciampa. Cut to inside the unmarked building, and Gargano stumbled across "the Creater of NXT" Triple H, sat backwards on a steel chair inside an NXT ring. Much like was discussed last week, "the Game" greeted Gargano with a silent nod, when a second door slammed shut. From the shadows crept Tommaso Ciampa, who already had his eyes locked on his arch rival. HHH told both men either side of the ring that this was to be the final chapter in their rivalry. With no disqualifications and no count-outs, there was only to be pinfalls or submissions counted.
Triple H stressed not caring what the #DIY members wished to do to one another, but there would be a referee present to count falls and check on submissions. Drake Wuertz appeared from the corner, as Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa stared one another down inside the ring. HHH reminded them there would only be one winner, and the loser would be banished from NXT for good. Wishing them both luck, he urged this would be the end of it - finitely and completely. "The Game" soon took a leave. Wuertz began to lay out the rules as Gargano and Ciampa eyeballed one another, when Johnny prematurely tackled Ciampa! Ciampa reversed on the ropes and began laying into him with body shots. A rising knee strike saw Johnny side-step, but "the Blackheart" caught him off the ropes and draped him throat-first across the top rope with a stungun! Ciampa continued to lay into Gargano in the corner with punches, when an eye poke saw Johnny attempt a slingshot. Instead, Ciampa caught Gargano with the knee strike, sending him to the floor.
The battle continued out to ringside, where "Johnny Wrestling" seemingly hoped to evade Tommaso Ciampa's extended beatdown. Crawling away, Johnny Gargano would kick the leg out from under "the Blackheart" and follow with a suplex onto the concrete floor of the building! Ciampa rived in agony, as Gargano grabbed his foot and pressed it harshly into the floor. Bad-mouthing him to his face, Johnny knelt on the shinbone and clubbed Ciampa with forearm strikes before slamming his leg into the floor further! Gargano was targeting the well-documented leg of his arch rival, when Ciampa surprised Gargano with a shot from a trash can lid! Ciampa retaliated, a snap suplex seeing Gargano compacted into the surface of the ring post! Back from the commercial break, Johnny Gargano sought out a steel chair from beneath the ring, when Tommaso Ciampa surprised him with a kendo stick shot across the spine. Holding it against his neck, Tommaso was not expecting for Gargano to clock him with the chair!
Johnny Gargano gloated in the face of the dazed Tommaso Ciampa, as "the Blackheart" knelt before him. "Rebel Heart" looked for the killing blow, arching back with the steel chair just for Ciampa to respond with a low blow! With no rules to be concerned with, Ciampa stunned Gargano with a lariat before wedging the steel chair between the top and middle turnbuckles. Tommaso hammered him across the back of the head before looking to whip "Johnny Wrestling" into it - but Gargano switched it up and hit a drop toe hold - Ciampa going head-first into the chair! Gargano stepped out to the apron again looking for the slingshot, when Ciampa cut him off with a big right hand sending him off the apron. Taking the steel chair with him, Ciampa rolled out to ringside and choked Gargano with the edge to his jaw. He told Johnny he deserved all of this, when Johnny kicked him away. Tommaso responded with a chair shot to the spine, when looking for the Fairy Tale Ending on the floor.
Johnny Gargano backdropped out of it, with Ciampa landing spine-first onto the concrete. With the steel chair, "Rebel Heart" wrapped it around the documented neck of "the Blackheart" before asking him how he liked it. Gargano went to heinous lengths, sending Ciampa into the ring post - the chair surely crushing the larynx of Ciampa! Gargano told Tommaso to give up, as he gasped for air clutching his throat. Covering him, Ciampa miraculously powered out at two. Refusing to leave "the Black and Gold Brand", Gargano was in disbelief. Covering a second and third time, Ciampa refused to stay down and let Gargano have his moment. Johnny argued with Drake Wuertz about the decision, when Ciampa gave Gargano a taste of his own medicine - striking him in the spine with a crutch! A callback to the original demise of #DIY at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, Ciampa struck Gargano in the spine again as he fell to the concrete.
Repeatedly using it to throttle "Johnny Wrestling", Tommaso Ciampa was a man possessed as he covered Johnny Gargano for a close call. Defiantly, Johnny was not allowing Ciampa to take NXT from him a second time in two consecutive years. "The Blackheart" turned his back to prepare a table inside the ring, when Gargano surprised him with the spraying of a fire extinguisher! Blasting it into his face, Gargano connected with an enzuigiri, but a hurricanrana saw Ciampa reverse into a powerbomb through the wood! Collapsing on top of him, Ciampa only found a two-count. Returning from the commercial break, the fight had extended away from the sight of the ring. Johnny Gargano tried to escape Tommaso Ciampa's wrath, when "Rebel Heart" found a ladder. Climbing it, he kicked "the Blackheart" in the jaw and began to climb away. But Ciampa was hot on his heels, climbing up after him. The two men jockeyed for position on top of a scaffold, when Gargano found himself at a dead end.
Tommaso Ciampa had Johnny Gargano trapped atop a heightened platform in the abandoned warehouse. "Rebel Heart" begged for forgiveness before aiming low - but Ciampa would block a low blow with a big boot to the face! Hoisting him up, Ciampa teased the Air Raid Crash. Much like they did weeks ago from the Perch in the WWE Performance Center, "the Blackheart" was willing to risk his life to end "Johnny Wrestling" - when Gargano escaped, and slapped on the Gargano Escape out of pure desperation! Ciampa faded as referee Drake Wuertz climbed the scaffolding and checked on his wellfare. That's when Tommaso began to rotate his body - now hanging off the side of the scaffolding. Rather endanger himself than tap to the Gargano Escape, Ciampa would cling to the edge of the platform's beam forcing Johnny to break it. Gargano looked to stamp the fingers of Ciampa from the beam, but Ciampa would grab the ankle and use it to bring him back up to safety.
"Johnny Wrestling" low blowed Tommaso Ciampa to escape his reach, before cowering back down the ladder of the scaffold. Back from the commercial break, "the Blackheart" returned to the ringside area of the warehouse. Calling out, he appeared to have lost Johnny Gargano - when "Rebel Heart" struck from behind using the crutch! Blaming his former partner for everything, Gargano hit the ring and connected with a suicide dive through the ropes - the crossbody putting Ciampa through a second table! Both men refused to lose, as Johnny covered Tommaso just to get a kickout at two. Gargano picked Ciampa's carcass up and dumped him back inside the ring, finally connecting with the slingshot DDT for another near fall. Gargano grew agitated, but decided to resort to barbaric tactics. Using a pair of scissors from beneath the ring, he bought time with a stomp to the head of Ciampa. Slicing the canvas up, Gargano ripped at the ring mat before pulling up the ring and exposing bare wooden boards beneath.
Johnny Gargano exposed a quarter of the ring's wooden boards, when Ciampa came alive. Fighting back, another rake of the eyes saw "Rebel Heart" super kick him to his knees. A second super kick rocked "the Blackheart", who was positioned on the top rope. Gargano looked for a superplex up top, clubbing at Ciampa with forearm strikes. Instead, Ciampa now raked the eyes and dug his teeth into the forehead of "Johnny Wrestling" - when a Code Red from the top saw Gargano land spine-first onto the wooden boards! With the cover made, Gargano once again powered out at two. Ever-resilient, Ciampa urged Gargano not to think he was the hero of the story. Ciampa held Johnny's face up to look him in the eyes. Dazed, Ciampa told Gargano this was where it ended - when Gargano rolled Ciampa up before connecting with a superkick! Again, the Gargano Escape went applied but Ciampa would respond with a trash can lid shot to the face of his former tag team partner.
Firing up, Tommaso Ciampa grabbed the crutch and broke it down. Stepping, standing and tugging at the crutch saw it become nothing more than an edged spike, which "the Blackheart" looked to gouge the face of Johnny Gargano with. Drake Wuertz had seen enough brutality and pressed Ciampa not to go through with it, which prompted a tug-of-war between "the Blackheart" and the official. Johnny Gargano would come from behind, sending Ciampa into the corner - but a superkick saw Gargano take Wuertz out clean from the ring! Ciampa sent Gargano to the apron before delivering the Willow's Bell - the draping DDT atop the wooden boards surely spelling the end. Yet Drake was still down at ringside, and both men slowly stirred. To their knees, the two gladiators battled blow for blow. Back and forth, they were beaten, tired and broken physically and mentally. Gargano got the advantage with double knees to the face of Ciampa, when he yelled at Ciampa calling him a failure!
Picking up the spike created from the crutch, Johnny Gargano called "Whitney" pathetic; a "Johnny Wrestling wannabe!" Now kneeling atop him, Gargano threatened taking Ciampa's eyes out with the spike, but Ciampa would bite the fingers in desperation. The spike was dropped, but Gargano executed a slingshot spear through the top and middle ropes. Johnny chuckled on his knees, again running his mouth to a pained Ciampa. Calling his entire life a misery, he told him he should have never let him into his life. Gargano even insulted his wife Jessie, and slapped him repeatedly. This only willed Ciampa on, as he came to his feet and brushed forehead-to-forehead with Gargano. Hammering him with a series of right hands, Gargano fought back with hockey-fight punches - when a low blow saw Gargano drop him to his knees! Johnny told Tommaso he'd love to say he was sorry - but he deserved this. It was to end here.
Johnny Gargano picked up the spike and looked to sink it into "the Blackheart's" skull, when Tommaso Ciampa used a half-Nelson to toss the spike from the ring! Ciampa took "Rebel Heart" with a kick to the gut, and with the Fairy Tale Ending proceeded to spike Gargano on top of his head with a piledriver variation - right on top of the boards! The dust simmered, as referee Drake Wuertz slowly crawled back inside the ring. Ciampa hesitated as he leant over Gargano's fallen body. Lifeless, Ciampa told Gargano it was to end here - covering him for One Final Beat.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa (36:27) Johnny Gargano must leave NXT.
The match was over, as was the career of "the Heart of Soul of NXT" on "the Black and Gold Brand". Silence fell over the undisclosed location, as Tommaso Ciampa buried his forehead into the motionless body of Johnny Gargano. Emotionally, "the Blackheart" still succumbed to confliction over the end of perhaps the greatest rivalry in NXT history. The end of an era, Ciampa raised Gargano's head and clenched his forehead to Gargano's before letting it flop to the canvas. Rolling out of the ring, Tommaso walked out as a shocked and disturbed Candice LeRae entered. Her face covering her mouth, she raced to attend to her husband, when Ciampa tried to stop her. Apologizing to LeRae, Candice told him to go to hell with a slap to the face! "The Blackheart" exited the abandoned warehouse that Triple H had chosen, all the while passing a car containing a watchful Karrion Kross and Scarlett. With one last look back at the undisclosed location, Tommaso Ciampa gulped back his emotions and bit his tongue as his car left the building never to return.