We are close enough to WrestleMania for every other word out of a WWE commentator or superstar’s mouth to be WrestleMania and if it’s not on the WrestleMania card it’s not on the Road to WrestleMania shows. Even NXT 2.0 have got the WrestleMania weekend show in Stand and Deliver. Only NXT UK have escaped WrestleMania fever, and only by not being considered WrestleMania worthy at this time. They gave us a title match as a WrestleMania palette cleanser… was that enough WrestleManias?
Natalya & Shayna Baszler def. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan
Dana Brooke & Reggie def. Tamina & Akira Tozawa
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are not on the same page. Zelina Vega wants Carmella to focus more on the match and less on her wedding. Carmella disagrees. Vega threw Carmella’s phone and called her a bridezilla. Carmella insulted Vega’s crown and called her a hobbit. They had to be separated by officials.
Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs Natalya & Shayna Baszler
You know the drill by now, if there’s a multi-person or multi-team PPV – sorry, Premium Live Event – match coming up we will have to watch every possible competitor combination fight before and after, usually more than once.
This version was decent enough. Carmella came to ringside to complain to Corey Graves about the fight, which shut Graves up for a while too. Shayna Baszler pinned Liv Morgan off an assisted clothesline double team.
Rhea Ripley chased them off and Queen Zelina attacked her from behind with the sceptre. Carmella attacked Baszler and Natalya at ringside, throwing Natalya into the steps and laying out Baszler with a superkick.
In the ring, Vega and Carmella embraced, laughing, and held their titles up.
Bianca Belair is officially injured at the moment with a fractured hyoid bone and will be out for an unspecified amount of time. There was some speculation she might miss WrestleMania, but she won’t.
Becky Lynch came to the ring to talk about attacking Belair last week and causing the injury. She was in a philosophical mood, asking “What does it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul”. It got very ranty. The title is her world, her everything and when the WWE Universe chose Bianca Belair over her on her return, she knew she would sell her soul to keep it. Belair doesn’t have what it takes to beat her.
Belair didn’t mean to damage her when she got hurt, but she meant to injure her last week. She was planning to take Belair’s hair this week, but she’s not there. Maybe it’s because she put her in the hospital, or maybe it’s because she knows she would lose a piece of her soul if her hair was gone. Belair doesn’t want to lose her soul. Lynch has sold hers already and would do it again every day to keep the title.
And the answer to the philosophy question? She’ll show us all at WrestleMania.
The Bella Twins got a video spotlight for Women’s History Month.
Dana Brooke & Reggie vs Tamina & Akira Tozawa – Tornado Tag Match
WWE listed this as an intergender match as all four competitors were in the ring at the same time. Of course, it was nothing of the sort. It started with Brooke on Reggie’s shoulders and Tozawa on Tamina’s because he couldn’t lift her. Tamina stumbled into the corner, Brooke and Reggie sent Tozawa in after her, and Brooke splashed them. They fell out of the corner with Tamina headbutting him in the balls. Brooke kneed Tamina in the face. Reggie pinned Tozawa.
Tamina took pity on Tozawa and gave him a fireman’s carry out of the arena.
Elektra Lopez def. Fallon Henley
Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray def. Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta are still arguing about who is the hottest couple.
Persia Pirotta took Tony DeAngelo’s crowbar off Indi Hartwell when she tried to stop him using it in his match against Dexter Lumis. DeAngelo grabbed it from Pirotta’s hands and hit Lumis with it as he grabbed it. The ref didn’t see it, and Lumis lost. So that’s another nail in the coffin of that tag team.
Elektra Lopez, with Legado del Fantasma, vs Fallon Henley, with Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen
Elektra Lopez is vicious. She’s bigger and stronger than Henley and didn’t give Henley an in until way into the match. By that time, their companions had started fighting and deserted them. They missed Henley’s comeback, which was fun but sadly brief. And they missed Lopez slamming her into the mat and pinning her.
Dakota Kai seemed to have her head together in her joint interview with Wendy Choo ahead of the Dusty Cup Final. Choo, on the other hand, was a bit rambling and started talking about how Kai and Gonzalez won the Dusty Cup last year but Kai still kicked her in the face. Kai said Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray are great, but she’s going to put her name on the trophy twice and no man or woman can say that.
Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo vs Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
Toxic Attraction were above ringside in their custom area, as they have been for the rest of the tournament.
Wendy Choo took the first stint and was in good shape when she handed over to Dakota Kai. Choo annoyed Shirai by protecting Kai from her tiger feint kick with a big pillow. Io Shirai kicked her in the face. Heading into a break, Shirai assisted Kay Lee Ray in a suicide dive onto Choo, then followed her with one to Kai.
Kai apparently turned things around for her team in the break. The US got picture in picture, the UK just missed it and I have no idea what she did. It wasn’t decisive though, there was a lot of match left.
Shirai had to dropkick Kai into Choo to prevent Ray from being pinned. She took Kai out with a backbreaker after and Kai rolled out of the ring. Kay Lee Ray landed a KLR Bomb to Choo and tagged in Io Shirai for the moonsault and the win, while Ray held Kai back.
Toxic Attraction looked mightily unimpressed. Mandy Rose demanded Io Shirai’s music be cut because she had something to say. She started by congratulating them, but said they’re sadly mistaken if they think they’re going to beat Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne.
Kay Lee Ray said Rose is right, sort of. All she and Io wanted to do was destroy Toxic Attraction and the best way to do that is to take what their leader values most. They’re cashing in their tag title opportunity for the single’s title instead and making the match a fatal four-way.
A brawl ended the show and Cora Jade ran down to even the numbers.
Meiko Satomura def. Isla Dawn
Xia Brookside interrupted Amale’s interview to suggest they had a rematch. Amale said she’d see what she could do and walked away from her. After Brookside told the cameras to go away, she went around the corner and was once again on the phone with her dad.
The match is happening next week.
Meiko Satomura (C) vs Isla Dawn – NXT UK Women’s Championship Match
Isla Dawn has improved significantly since her character alteration, but not enough to carry the women’s division. Actually, no one is in a position to take the title from Satomura without harming the division as a whole, which is something NXT UK should probably try to fix sooner rather than later.
Commentary built up Dawn’s chances by saying every time she’s taken a trinket from an opponent, she’s beaten them in a match, and she stole Satomura’s celebration flowers. The crowd got behind the match, or some of them did. Somehow, a handful of people clapping and chanting sounds sadder than no noise at all, but you can’t fault the enthusiasm of the ones who got involved.
It was a decent match. I’m not sure Meiko Satomura knows how to have a bad one. She was out to teach Dawn a lesson, but Dawn was far more resilient than she’d expected. It might have been the best match Isla Dawn has had on NXT UK. It definitely did her standing the world of good.
Isla Dawn got her knees up as Satomura came off the top and followed up with a dropkick and a fisherman’s suplex. Satomura barely kicked out in time. Close enough to make me wonder for a second. I wondered again after Satomura hurt her ankle and ate a knee to the face, but she tied Dawn up in a neat little package shortly after to retain.
Isla Dawn ripped the title belt out of the ref’s hands and ran off with it.
NXT LVL UP
Ivy Nile def. Kiana James
Ivy Nile vs Kiana James
I quite like the newbie matches. You can go in with zero expectations and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Ivy Nile’s got something, but she risks stagnating instead of improving if she doesn’t get something more than destroying debuts and terrifying newbies to do.
She ruined James’ debut. With the exception of the compulsory comeback bit three-quarters of the way through, Nile dominated the match. Kiana James’ first NXT LVL UP match ended with her tapping out rather than passing out.
Sasha Banks def. Queen Zelina, Rhea Ripley, and Shayna Baszler
Ronda Rousey had some stuff to say about Charlotte Flair putting her through the announce desk last week. She said she’s not going to take Flair’s title next weekend, she’s going to make Flair hand it to her and call her the new SmackDown Champion. She fluffed the line initially then said she doesn’t know why she had to say women’s champion it’s just SmackDown Champion. She called for Flair to come to the ring.
Flair wasn’t in Brooklyn, she appeared by video and said she didn’t answer when Rousey calls because Rousey’s the contender and she’s the champion.
Rousey talked about losing count of how many arms she’s broken. Flair said she’s run out of ways to hurt her and she’d have to throw her off the Brooklyn Bridge if she was there. Rousey ended the segment by telling her that if Flair beats her it will be the biggest victory of her career, but when she beats Flair it’ll just be another one of the lost count.
Sasha Banks, with Naomi, vs Queen Zelina, with Carmella, vs Rhea Ripley, with Liv Morgan, vs Shayna Baszler, with Natalya – Fatal Four-Way
Shayna Baszler and Natalya didn’t get a televised entrance. Baszler and Zelina Vega ended up out of the ring when the bell went. Vega when Ripley charged her, and Baszler courtesy of Banks and Ripley. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan is the match I would have liked to see at Mania, but sadly, we got a big mess instead. Heading into the break, we got to see how messy it’s likely to get next weekend, when everyone started brawling in the ring.
Back from the ads it was back to the actual competitors, and all of the tag partners had disappeared. Baszler interfered with Banks’ Bank Statement on Vega, so Banks put them both in the hold. Rhea Ripley dropkicked them out of it. Banks broke up Baszler’s Kirifuda Clutch on Ripley with a backstabber. Baszler stopped Vega pinning Banks off a code red.
Vega was the only one standing after Ripley took down Baszler and she took down Ripley. Banks was down in the ring and Vega took too long posing. As she approached, Sasha Banks locked in the Bank Statement and tapped her out.
Naomi joined her partner to celebrate.
The RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships are both being defended on WrestleMania Saturday. The tag title four-way will be on WrestleMania Sunday. It’s worth noting that there isn’t a single non-title feud in the women’s division that could have turned into a WrestleMania match. That said, the men’s division have their own issues as it looks like they couldn’t find space for a US title match on a two-night WrestleMania card. US Champion, Finn Balor, is listed for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal next Friday.
Still, three women’s matches on a two-night card isn’t enough.
Join us next week for WrestleMania go-home week when there are bound to be shenanigans galore.