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Raquel Gonzalez Upsets Io Shirai To Win NXT Women’s Championship

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Photo: WWE

Io Shirai has finally been defeated.

Raquel Gonzalez pulled off the biggest upset and the biggest win of her career simultaneously tonight at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, defeating Io Shirai to become the new NXT Women’s Champion.


Shirai won the title from Charlotte Flair at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in a triple threat match also involving Rhea Ripley. She went on to hold the belt for 304 days, with successful defenses over Tegan Nox, Dakota Kai, Candice LeRae, Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm.

This marks Shirai’s first straight up loss in a one-on-one match since her program with Shayna Baszler in 2019.

Gonzalez has come a long way since her first appearance in the original Mae Young Classic tournament, where she lost to Nicole Savoy in less than five minutes.

Gonzalez and Dakota Kai won the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Women’s Tag Team Classic earlier this year, but were screwed out of a title match against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. This led to the creation of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. The titles were awarded to the duo, but they were quickly defeated by Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart.

AEW

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #14)

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Break It Down

It has been one of the most important weeks of the wrestling calendar year, with plenty going on as WWE WrestleMania 37 takes place. All the final build-up took place throughout what has been one of the busiest weeks of the year for the industry.

But even the non-WWE shows stepped up and really delivered this week, making the most of all the hype and excitement that was surrounding the wrestling world. But which show was the strongest from the week overall?


6. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

To say it was the go-home episode of WWE Raw for WWE WrestleMania, this was not a good show in the slightest.  There was just a total lack of thrill to this show, with very little really building towards WWE WrestleMania in a positive manner.

The pointless match between Xavier Woods and AJ Styles with a classic distraction finish after around a minute was an example of how poor elements of the show were. The handicap match with Braun Strowman squashing Elias and Jaxson Ryker was another example.

However, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre did impress, with the Scotsman having a really solid match with King Corbin, showcasing how talented Corbin can be. Plus, Bad Bunny was an impressive part of the show, with his promo showing his passion and adding fire to his character. But overall, this didn’t feel like a big go-home show, which was a shame as people wanted more from this episode.

5. IMPACT Wrestling

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/IMPACT

It certainly wasn’t a bad episode of IMPACT Wrestling this week, but there were a few matches that didn’t quite connect which let the show down a little in comparison to such an action-packed week of wrestling elsewhere across the board.

The opening knockouts division match was messy and didn’t work at all, which is quite a surprise for such a talented division. Chris Sabin and Deaner was also a match that didn’t really deliver, which was a similar tone for Matt Cardona and Jake Something, which felt more like an angle than a match.

However, the work between Sami Callihan and Trey Miguel continued to be entertaining and the main event more than lived up to its hype, with Kenny Omega’s appearance on the show being a fun one overall.

4. WWE SmackDown

There were elements of WWE SmackDown that did feel like a clip show, simply being used to promote WWE WrestleMania 37. However, while some elements of the show did drag on because of that, the actual content on the night was all good to great.

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal was fun, as always, and the match did well in highlighting the right people who have worked hard throughout the year, from Shinsuke Nakamura to King Corbin and the eventual winner, Jey Uso.

The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match was a lot of fun and allowed everyone to look great, and it is a shame that this couldn’t have been featured over WWE WrestleMania at some point. However, it was the three promos from the Universal Championship competitors that really made this show what it was, with the work of all three men being absolutely sublime in selling their individual perspectives.

3. AEW Dynamite

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/AEW

AEW was in a tough spot this week, surrounded by so much WWE hype. However, the company did what it does best, and that’s putting together an interesting and enjoyable show. Hangman Page’s singles victory started the show well, and Jurassic Express and Bear Country had a really nice contest together.

AEW must stop bringing Sting and Tony Schiavone out together for every segment, but the work of Lance Archer was excellent. Death Triangle and Best Friends feuding feels like a bit of filler, and the TNT Championship match, while solid, feels like is needs more story to help cement Darby Allin’s title run.

However, Tay Conti and The Bunny impressed, and the main event match and Young Bucks heel turn was a great hook to end the show. But the highlight was Chris Jericho’s amazing promo and having Mike Tyson pop up just added a lot of fun. It was an exciting show with a lot going on, and it led to an enjoyable show that continued pushing forward a lot of great content.

2. WWE NXT UK

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

WWE NXT UK put together a massive card for WWE WrestleMania week, and all of the matches delivered, as well as some great backstage segments only adding to the show. The Heritage Rules match between Noam Dar and Tyler Bate was a nice way to start the show, with this stipulation match being a lot of fun to watch.

The development with Amir Jordan, no longer being about fun and dancing was great to see as he desperately sought out his former tag team partner to fight him, setting up a big match next week. Meanwhile, the women’s tag team match was an absolutely fantastic match.

They were given tons of time to put together a thrilling match and it was one that was only topped by the main event. WALTER battling Rampage Brown has a big fight feel about it and the two heavyweights created a real clash to bring the show to an end in style.

1. WWE NXT

Bronson Reed WWE NXT

Considering that the final-ever episode of WWE NXT on a Wednesday night was night one of the two-night Takeover event, it always had a high chance of being the best show of the week. Night one saw some unbelievable matches take place, in a show that delivered from start to finish.

From the excellent technical encounter between Pete Dunne and Kushida to the brilliant, hard-hitting main event between Raquel Gonzalez and Io Shirai, every match brought something different. The NXT Tag Team Championship match was fast-paced and full of energy, being one of the highlights of the night.

The gauntlet match was also a ton of fun, while the match of the night certainly ended up being WALTER and Tommaso Ciampa really living up to the idea of a dream match. While night two was also a tremendous show, this was the better of the two, and it was comfortably the show of the week.

Sixth place= 1 point
Fifth place= 2 points
Fourth place= 3 points
Third place= 4 points
Second place=5 points
First place= 6 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 26
IMPACT Wrestling- 42
WWE NXT- 65
AEW Dynamite- 72
WWE NXT UK- 39
WWE SmackDown- 45

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Wrestling News

The Undertaker Is Taking A “Detox From Wrestling” While Assessing What Is Next

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The Undertaker

The Undertaker has revealed he is taking a “detox from wrestling” at the moment, while he makes a decision on his next step.

The Deadman wrapped up his career at WWE Survivor Series 2020, and since that point he hasn’t been seen in WWE. When speaking to ESPN’s Arda Ocal The Undertaker stated he’s currently enjoying working out what will be next for him.


“I’m just enjoying the fruits of a 34-year career and trying to, I don’t know if this is the right word, but kind of detox from wrestling a little bit because it’s been my life. It’s consumed my life for many years. All my whole thought process is about, ‘What is Undertaker going to do? What is Undertaker going to do next?’ So, it’s kind of interesting and fun trying to figure out what Mark Calaway does.” (H/T to SportsKeeda.com for the transcriptions)

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Kevin Owens Reflects On His “Rock And Rollercoaster” 2017

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Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens recently looked back at his 2017, reflecting on some of the low points that took place throughout that year for him.

Vince McMahon notoriously didn’t like his WWE WrestleMania 33 match with Chris Jericho, and when speaking with the ‘My Mom’s Basement’ show, Owens reflected on that match, his feud with AJ Styles and being sent home from a European tour.


“And the match [with Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 33], I thought the match was good but in our minds, we went into the match thinking like, ‘Well we’re gonna do more after this. This is the first chapter.’ But ultimately, that doesn’t seem to be what Vince [McMahon] had in mind and it didn’t vibe with what his vision was, and you know, like you said, it’s been documented, it’s on the [WWE] Network, that [WWE] 365, Vince wasn’t happy with it but you know, Vince and I had a lot of dialogue after which obviously you don’t see in the documentary, right? So it wasn’t as dark and depressing as it came off in that moment. It was just kind of an opportunity to kind of like, okay, go back to the drawing board and now we have to build from here positively. But that whole year was a bit rocky for me. After WrestleMania, I went into this feud with AJ [Styles] which I don’t think was that good to be honest. I think we both could’ve done better. Then I went into the thing with Shane [McMahon] which was cool then I beat Vince up on SmackDown, that was wild and then like three weeks later, me and Sami [Zayn] got sent home from a Europe tour because we were having issues so like, it was a real rock and rollercoaster year for sure, and it all kinda started with WrestleMania so, yeah.”

Owens also spoke about not being part of WWE WrestleMania 35, revealing that he had suggested several ideas to Vince McMahon at the time.

“And then as it was getting closer to the show, I kept getting in more and more disbelief that I’m really not gonna be on WrestleMania? And then I thought, ‘Oh maybe that night –’ Alexa Bliss was the host, maybe I could do something with her. The Kevin Owens Show, she’s like, ‘That’s my –’ at least I’d be there.

Well I didn’t wanna be in the Andre Battle Royal simply because I had already talked to Vince [McMahon] about it and he had told me he didn’t feel it was the right spot for me. So once he tells me that, okay fine. But I still thought doing something on the show would’ve been fun. Just have me go out there and Stun someone for whatever reason, or let me do something with Alexa, the host and then just for whatever reason, none of it was connecting with them.”

Tonight, Owens will be going one on one with Sami Zayn at WWE WrestleMania 37, a man he’s competed against plenty of times throughout his career. One highlight was their WWE Battleground match, which he admits is a favorite of his.

“Yeah, so Battleground in WWE is a clear favorite for me because it’s underrated, but it’s also really appreciated so people will go back and I’ll get it every week where they’ll randomly go back and watch that match and be like, ‘Man, I forgot how good that match was,’ and I think the reason this match is not hailed as one of the best matches in WWE, it’s simply because the day after it was done, everybody just moved on but like, I wanna say if two other people had the same match basically, depending on who they were, people would have been talking, commentators would’ve been talking, ‘This match last Sunday, a match for the ages,’ blah, blah, blah and we didn’t get that treatment but it’s kind of cool because we still get people going, ‘Man, how did this match not get talked about more?’ And man, personally I have — I’m not the kind of guy who comes through the curtain after a match whether I did good or bad, I’m not the kind of guy to let it show. But man I couldn’t help it. Like when I got through the curtain and it was just Gorilla, I just screamed several expletives because I was so pumped and even Vince [McMahon] was standing up, pretty pumped himself so, that was a special one.” (H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions)

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