Inside Pulse 12

The Fantasy Book on The NXT Invasion We Never Saw Coming (Part 3 – Reveal – Roman Reigns, Austin Aries, Baron Corbin, Randy Orton))

Let’s get right to it and find out the results of this fantasy-booked Money in the Bank card:

On the pre-show, Baron Corbin will defeat Mark Henry and look pretty strong in the process. The quick squashes of guys seems to be getting Corbin over with the crowd. Also on the pre-show, the Usos will steal a victory over the Vaudevillains, thus angering the defeated team and having them attack the referee after the match.

Onto the main show:

  • Seth Rollins will defeat Chris Jericho cleanly in a good match, showcasing both men.
  • Paige will defeat Charlotte for the Woman’s title and announce an open challenge to anyone in the back.
  • Sasha Banks will win the Woman’s Money in the Bank match over Emma, Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox, Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Summer Rae.
  • Kevin Owens will defend the Intercontinental title against Alberto del Rio. Del Rio will get some face pops during the match, but Owens’ victory will still draw a big cheer from the crowd.
  • Enzo and Cass will retain the Tag Team titles against the New Day. After the match, the New Day says it might be time to focus on something else, like what Triple H is up to.
  • The Men’s Money in the Bank match will be won by Dean Ambrose over AJ Styles, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and Apollo Crews. Ambrose will collapse heading to the back after the match.
  • The NXT title will be on the line between the champion Samoa Joe and Austin Aries. Aries will win this match and the NXT title when Roman Reigns interferes in the match and spears Joe. Reigns leaves with a grin on his face.
  • Before the main event, Triple H will come out and say the show is running late and to turn in to Raw tomorrow for him to explain everything to everyone. Then he laughs and leaves the ring.
  • Roman Reigns will defeat a returning Randy Orton to defend his World title after kicking out of an RKO. Orton will set him up for the punt, but Reigns will hit a Superman punch and spear to get the three count.

With Money in the Bank in the books, Raw takes the air the next night. Triple H starts off the show in the ring. He says that he is sorry for making everyone wait, but there were some legalities he needed to straighten out and the timing wasn’t right. He calls out Stephanie and Shane and tells Vince to watch back in Titan Towers. As Stephanie and Shane make their way into the ring, Triple H presents them both with papers that he says they need to sign. Stephanie starts screaming and Shane says that these papers give control of all of WWE to Triple H. Why would he sign these? Triple H says that signing them is “best for business” because until they do, there is no business without him.

Triple H then announces that he has control of Raw between Money in the Bank and Battleground, per his last negotiated contract. Shane looks at Stephanie and she sheepishly nods that it is true. Triple H then turns and says that the “New Era” is dead before it even started. He says it is time for to reveal all. With that comment, the NXT theme song hits and the following wrestlers come out onto the stage: Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Baron Corbin, Enzo and Cass, Kevin Owens, The Vaudevillains, Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Emma, Dana Brooke, Paige, and the new NXT champion Austin Aries. Triple H welcomes them to witness history.

Then Triple H turns to the announce table and fires Michael Cole and JBL. He tells them their might be a place for them somewhere, but not at that announce table. He then announces Byron Saxton will be the new play-by-play announcer for Raw with the color commentary provided by Corey Graves and Renee Young. Graves and Young make their way to the announcer’s desk to applause from the wrestlers on the stage. Kevin Owens gives Michael Cole a little shove as he and JBL walk out. JBL turns and shoves Owens back, and the other wrestlers on the stage surround JBL and force him and Cole backstage.

Triple H then turns his attention back to Shane and Stephanie. “Look at that stage. The Intercontinental Champion is on that stage. The Tag Team Champions are on that stage. The Woman’s Champion is on that stage. The NXT Champion is on that stage. Who are we missing…” and the lights go out. When they come back on, the Wyatt family is on the stage with Bray Wyatt holding the United States Championship high above his head. “Oh yeah, the US Champion is on that stage.” Shane interrupts to say that Bray is not the acknowledged champion, to which Triple H says, “Try telling him that. Good luck.”

“Look at everyone who is part of this. Who do you have left?” Stephanie grabs the microphone and says, “I never thought I would say this, but we have the World Champion, Roman Reigns.” The crowd boos the mention of Reigns’ name and Triple H laughs. Taking back the mic, Triple H says, “Yes, you do. But for how long? He’s pissed off Samoa Joe. And you do not stick your nose into NXT business. Plus, there is this…” and Dean Ambrose’s music hits. Ambrose comes out with the Money in the Bank briefcase to huge cheers.

Turning to Shane, Triple H says, “I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my General in charge down in NXT, Steven Regal.” Regal steps from the back and gets a nice ovation from the wrestlers on the stage. “He has helped me from the beginning to train these men and women, hone their skills, and instill a desire for glory in them. He is running a hell of a ship down there and you know he does not take kindly to those who cross him. Plus, we have Austin Aries here as NXT champion to make sure we stay strong there. And don’t even get me started on the rest of the talent down there showing up the washed-up, overpaid superstars you have up here.”

“All of the talent up there, we don’t all get along all the time, but we had a vision from the start. One that you (Shane), you (Stephanie), Vince, and everyone never even recognized as possible. But we all felt it and we knew we could build it. A fresh start in the wrestling world. Not a false “New Era” hope which relied on a lot of the same old same old. But a thorough shake up with people who were talented enough to take it to three or four levels above anything ever seen before. That is this group. That is the group down in Florida. We’ve already infiltrated ‘your’ WWE. We’re already here. This isn’t an invasion. This is what a takeover looks like.”

The NXT group walks to the ring and everyone climbs in. Shane and Stephanie are surrounded and Triple H tells them to leave and return when those papers are signed. This is going to be their best offer, so not to delay.

The crowd is energized by this, and the rest of Raw is filled with excitement. Some of the existing WWE wrestlers try to talk to Stephanie or Shane or even Triple H backstage, but Shane and Stephanie are talking on their phones to lawyers, etc throughout the night. Triple H is set up at the gorilla position and whenever someone comes to talk to him, he immediately books them into a match against a NXT-affiliated member of his choice. With the exception of Randy Orton defeating Baron Corbin, the NXT crew win each of their matches. And after Orton’s win, he escaped through the crowd when Corbin tried to jump him.

The next few weeks continued with WWE Superstars and NXT-affiliated wrestlers challenging each other and going after one another. Sheamus tried to appeal to his friendship with Triple H, but Triple H said this isn’t about friendship, it’s about evolution (with a wink to the camera). He then said since they have been friends, Sheamus will be booked in a number one contender match for the US Championship against another old friend, Rusev. The crowd turns on this match in short order, but the Wyatts attack and lay out both competitors.

The weeks go on and a few feuds start to take shape. Baron Corbin becomes obsessed with getting back at Randy Orton and the two have a few skirmishes with Orton always getting the upper hand. Rusev, Sheamus, and Kalisto all are after the Wyatt Family. And Roman Reigns keeps clashing with Samoa Joe. But the biggest feud leading up to Battleground seems to be AJ Styles and Finn Balor. The two collide multiple times, cutting promos on each other as well as attacking each other. Anderson and Gallows do not get involved however. They have several conversations backstage with Styles and Balor separately, but can’t decide which one to side with. And Triple H sets up a match for Battleground between Balor and Styles.

Meanwhile, on another front, some WWE wrestlers have made it their mission to attack NXT in their home base. Wrestlers like New Day, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Natalya, Tamina, and the Dudley Boys charge into NXT under the leadership of JBL. They are met there by William Regal who turns the tables on the WWE contingent quickly. Regal announces that since they are on NXT turf, they get the NXT treatment. When JBL asks what that means, the NXT locker room comes out led by Austin Aries and Asuka. Regal asks JBL if he wants this, and JBL screams “Bring it!” back at him. Regal says fine and sends the NXT wrestlers to the ring where they clean house. Regal then announces matches for the next NXT Takeover show to include Austin Aries versus Dolph Ziggler, Asuka and Bailey versus Natalya and Tamina, Jack Swagger versus Hideo Itami, New Day versus The Revival, and the Dudleys versus American Alpha.

Meanwhile, on Raw and Smackdown, Shane and Stephanie continue to try to find a way around Triple H’s demands. With Triple H still running the show through Battleground, we see Vince trying to maneuver with his children to retake the reigns. Once Vince is back on screen, Triple H comes out and offers a deal to the McMahons. He says that they still have “their” champion in Roman Reigns. And they should have faith in him. In fact, if they have faith in him, they should put all their eggs in his basket. If Reigns can withstand his challenge at Battleground and walk out with the world title, then Triple H will back down and retire from WWE entirely. But if Reigns loses, Triple H gains full control over the WWE. The McMahons, while never being fans of Reigns but knowing Triple H has the backing of most of the current locker room since it is full of NXT people, reluctantly agree. At this point, Triple H announces that Reigns will be defending his title against Samoa Joe.

With the battle being fought on two fronts, the entirety of WWE/NXT appears to be in chaos. But the match for the WWE title now has the added pressure of deciding who has the power going forward. Battleground also has a couple other big matches scheduled, most notably AJ Styles versus Finn Balor. Here is what the Battleground card looks like:

  • Samoa Joe challenges Roman Reigns for the WWE World title
  • AJ Styles versus Finn Balor (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows will be at ringside)
  • Baron Corbin versus Randy Orton
  • Enzo and Cass versus The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico) for the Tag Team titles
  • Kevin Owens defends the Intercontinental title in a three-way battle against The Miz and Chris Jericho
  • Rusev, Sheamus, and Kalisto battle in a #1 contender match for the US title (held by Bray Wyatt, but all three competitors argue that it is for the actual US championship which Kalisto still holds)
  • Dean Ambrose hosts an episode of the Ambrose Asylum with special guest Seth Rollins
  • Paige is challenged by Eva Marie for the WWE Woman’s title

Stay tuned as next week this Fantasy-booked world ramps up to Summerslam. Plus, we get to see the new landscape of the WWE after the fallout of this month of Triple H’s control.

Until next time…

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