We’ve reached the last installment of this Fantasy Book “invasion” adventure. It’s been quite a ride and I, for one, am curious how I will wrap it up. Today, we deal with Battleground and an NXT Takeover special and work to SummerSlam, having it be an event for the ages.
Let’s start with the results of the NXT Takeover event. When we last left our General William Regal and the good men and women of NXT, they were fighting off an invasion of their own led by JBL and some WWE main roster wrestlers. The NXT Takeover PPV turned into an NXT versus WWE battle with the matches going down this way:
- NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha defeated The Dudley Boyz in what was basically an extended squash.
- Hideo Itami defeated Jack Swagger with a double foot stomp off the top rope. Itami added two additional double foot stomps before referees pulled him away from an injured Swagger.
- Asuka and Bailey teamed up to defeat Natalya and Tamina. Natalya was able to get some offense in on Asuka early in the match, forcing the NXT Women’s Champion into the face-in-peril role. A hot tag to Bailey a few minutes later swayed the momentum and Tamina ate a Bailey-to-Belly for the pin.
- The New Day lost to The Revival by disqualification. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston were the two wrestlers involved in the match for The New Day. The Revival had control for the majority of this match, wearing down and grounding Woods and Kingston. The finish came when Big E finally had enough of The Revival’s “bending” of the rules and charged the ring, hitting both members of The Revival with big clotheslines. The New Day continued to beat on The Revival until William Regal came out. When Regal got to the ring, Big E signaled to Woods and Kingston and they left the ring.
- The main event saw the NXT Champion Austin Aries taking on Dolph Ziggler. This was an excellent match with JBL and William Regal at ringside to watch. Ziggler got many near falls on Aries, but in the end, Aries got the upper hand and won with the brainbuster. Afterwards, with the WWE main roster wrestlers having all been defeated, JBL entered the ring and hit a Clothesline from Hell on Aries. That brought Regal into the ring to hit JBL with a chop block and then a knee shiver to the temple. The rest of the WWE wrestlers came out and pulled JBL out of the ring. Regal stood in the ring and announced that NXT didn’t need to prove themselves, but they just did, and JBL and his buddies need to leave their house.
Meanwhile, the WWE Battleground occurred with Triple H’s NXT “Rebels” as they were now being branded having a very big role during the evening. Let’s look at those results:
- Paige defended her WWE Women’s Title by defeating Eva Marie. Eva Marie tapped out to the PTO after a shortish match.
- Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family came to the ring and Bray handled commentary for the next match on a live mic which could be heard throughout the arena. The three-way match between Rusev, Sheamus, and Kalisto for a challenge to the US title wound up being won by Sheamus after Rusev attacked the Wyatts outside the ring, allowing Sheamus to hit a Brogue Kick to Kalisto.
- Kevin Owens versus Chris Jericho versus The Miz wound up being one of the matches of the night as Owens retained his Intercontinental title. The finish went down like this – Jericho had The Miz in the Walls of Jericho and Owens hit a frog splash on Miz’s back to break up the hold (and crush Miz). Owens then dispatched of Jericho and hit the pop-up powerbomb on Miz to retain.
- Dean Ambrose hosted an Ambrose Asylum segment with Seth Rollins. Ambrose thanked Rollins for his assistance against Jericho previously. Rollins sucks up to Ambrose saying that is what brothers do. Ambrose starts to question Rollins’ motives, while Rollins evades answering anything directly. Ambrose gets increasingly angered at Rollins, but Rollins ends the interview by complimenting Ambrose’s briefcase and walks out. Reigns comes on stage as Rollins walks up and both men stare each other down. Then Rollins keeps walking and Reigns nods to Ambrose in the ring.
- Enzo and Cass retain the WWE Tag team titles by beating the Shining Stars in a fairly quick match.
- Finn Balor defeated AJ Styles when Balor rolled him up with a handful of tights. During the match, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were outside the ring cheering for both men, but unsure who to side with. They teased Anderson and Gallows looking to help different competitors, but the match ended without any decision made by them. After the match, Triple H came out and addressed Anderson and Gallows as Styles and Balor looked on. Triple H said that he didn’t hire The Club. He wasn’t the one to bring in Anderson, Gallows, or Styles. They weren’t his guys. They weren’t part of this rebellion. Finn Balor was the one he brought to NXT and the WWE and he was the one who was going to succeed here. He told The Club members that this isn’t the Bullet Club, or even the Balor Club; the three of them were the Jobber Club and not to test him.
- Randy Orton defeated Baron Corbin by count out after being physically dominated most of the match. Corbin continues to beat on Orton after the match until Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere to stop the attack.
- The main event for the WWE World Heavyweight title between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe ended in a no-contest/double-disqualification. Joe and Reigns tore into each other all around the arena from the opening bell. The referee could not get any control over the two men and had to call the match. Reigns and Joe continued to fight however. At the end of the PPV, The Club (Styles, Anderson, and Gallows) came back out. They jumped Samoa Joe and triple-teamed him. The PPV ended with AJ Styles putting Samoa Joe through a table with the Styles Clash while Anderson and Gallows screamed into the camera at Triple H.
Some major events go down in the following weeks of Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. First, Triple H gives the World title shot at SummerSlam to Seth Rollins, using the logic that he never lost the belt in the first place. Reigns comes out and ignores Rollins, talking directly to Triple H, saying how he can withstand any challenge he throws at him. Shane and Stephanie then come out and state that Triple H has no right to be making matches as his time is up. Reigns is still the champion, so Triple H needs to keep his end of the bargain and retire and leave WWE. Triple H points out that Reigns didn’t defeat Samoa Joe, so he needs to stay right where he is. Vince McMahon then comes out and announces that the person in charge now is himself, even though he doesn’t want to do it. He rambles about how he wishes he could retire and leave the WWE in someone’s qualified hands, but that doesn’t seem possible.
Shane, Stephanie, and Triple H all try to talk over each other, but Vince shuts them up with a mad scream. At this point, Vince wails that he has had enough, but Roman Reigns interrupts him to say that he doesn’t care who is in charge, because he is the man. Vince lashes back and says, “That’s it. Shane, Stephanie. This is your champion. You made him, you live with him. If he isn’t champion at the end of SummerSlam, both of you are out and Triple H is in. Triple H, I have to wonder if what Roman Reigns says is right and this is a vendetta against him. If he is still on top at the end of SummerSlam, I never want to see your face again!”And then Reigns nails Rollins with a cheap Superman punch and leaves the ring.
Second, Samoa Joe is on the hunt as he goes after AJ Styles, who put him through a table at Battleground. Joe refuses interview attempts and tries to jump AJ every time he sees him, including backstage, during Styles’ matches, during his own matches, etc. AJ Styles does a good job of avoiding him and trolling him during interviews, just making Joe even madder. After a few weeks of this, AJ Styles versus Samoa Joe is announced for SummerSlam.
On NXT, JBL comes out and interrupts William Regal trying to make an announcement. Regal tells JBL to shove off as his crew won NOTHING at the NXT: Takeover event. JBL acknowledges that his main roster guys lost, but he is back with reinforcements. And he will bankroll another NXT: Takeover event the weekend of SummerSlam. Regal agrees and JBL introduces Alberto del Rio, Natalya, Chris Jericho, and the Big Show. Regal laughs and says, “Ok, Sunshine,” and the PPV event is on.
The following week on NXT, Regal comes out and says he is setting the card for the pay-per-view. But before he begins, JBL comes out again with some demands. The two spar verbally before agreeing to Bailey versus Emma versus Natalya, American Alpha versus The New Day (non-title), and Hideo Itami versus Alberto del Rio for the #1 Contendership to the NXT title. Chris Jericho and Big Show come down to the ring at this point and demand to know who they are going to face. Regal smiles and tells Big Show that he worked it out with Triple H to have the NXT title defended at SummerSlam and Austin Aries has demanded to have him as his opponent. Big Show smiles and says that works. Jericho is going a bit nuts now, saying he should be getting that shot, and who do they think can handle him? Regal then announces a that a former champion is going to be returning to NXT and will be Jericho’s opponent at the Takeover event. With that, Neville’s music starts and Neville charges the ring. Neville takes it to Jericho as the crowd goes nuts, but as he goes up to the top rope, Big Show casually punches him down.
The following week on NXT, Regal announces another former champion returning at the PPV. And with that, he declares that Charlotte will challenge Asuka for the NXT Women’s title. As Regal goes to leave, Stephanie and Shane McMahon come out and tell Regal that JBL is here with their full support. However, he forgot to mention one more WWE Superstar who wants to destroy the NXT Rebels. Right then, John Cena comes out through the crowd behind Regal, spins him around, and hits the Attitude Adjustment on him. He then locks in his STFU and the crowd is just booing him mercilessly.
The very next Raw, John Cena comes out with Shane and Stephanie McMahon and says that he is back and is ready to fight for the WWE. He runs down NXT and says they aren’t worthy of his time. He says last week was the ONLY time he will ever appear on an NXT show. But he knows he fired the first shot and that they’ll be coming for him, and they should just bring it on. William Regal comes out and says that John Cena has never been the sharpest tool in the shed. Cena shoots back that he is more of a ruler, who everyone else is measured against. This draws more boos from the crowd. Regal then says, “Okay, sure. But if you aren’t coming to NXT, NXT will be coming to you. I just came from Vince McMahon’s office and we worked out another match on the SummerSlam card. At SummerSlam, John, you won’t be facing someone who is trying to measure up. Instead, you’ll be facing a wrecking ball of a jackhammer, Shinsuke Nakamura!”
Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor for the Intercontinental title is announced as well. Then Vince tells Shane and Stephanie and Triple H to schedule the rest of the matches themselves. Triple H immediately schedules Paige defending her WWE Women’s title against Sasha Banks, who has decided to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase for this shot. Stephanie counters with Randy Orton versus Ryback versus Baron Corbin in a triple threat match. Shane sighs and then says the Usos will get a tag team title match against Enzo and Cass. Triple H adds the Vaudevillains and The Revival to the match. Then Stephanie schedules a #1 Contender match for the WWE World title between Sami Zayn and Cesaro. No one can agree on a stipulation for the “US title” match between Bray Wyatt and Sheamus, so they agree to schedule Rusev versus Luke Harper on the go home Raw. Whomever wins that match chooses the stipulation for their friend’s match at SummerSlam. Bailey versus Nia Jax is also announced.
The week before SummerSlam, Rusev versus Luke Harper comes on at the 10 o’clock hour on Raw. The match is a very hard-hitting match which got the crowd really going (something not always evident in Rusev matches). Luke Harper showcases his skills throughout the match but Rusev ducks a big flying bodypress attempt by Harper and locks on the sick version of the Accolade (where Rusev stretches all the way back and bends his opponent way backwards instead of the camel clutch copy). Harper doesn’t tap, but Bray Wyatt literally throws in the towel. After the match, Harper wonders why he did that, and Bray tells him it doesn’t matter what kind of match he has against Sheamus, he will still beat him. Before a commercial break, Lana announces that the match between Bray Wyatt and Sheamus will be a Lumberjack match. And while that announcement falls a little flat with the crowd, it finalizes the SummerSlam card.
Earlier in the show, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows came out and demanded to talk to Triple H. When Triple H came out, Anderson and Gallows tried to bully him into giving them a match at the PPV. Triple H responded that they didn’t deserve a spot on the PPV, plus, Vince McMahon was the one running the show. Anderson and Gallows storm back up the ramp. They go backstage and find Vince McMahon’s office. They kick down the door, literally, and interrupt a meeting between Vince and William Regal. Vince screams at The Club and they repeat their demand to be part of the pay per view. Vince looks at Regal and back at The Club and says, “I have to say that I agree with Triple H in that you don’t deserve a spot at SummerSlam. But I think Mr. Regal can accommodate you the night before. But not on the main show, because you BROKE MY DOOR! But you’ve got your match on the pre-show of NXT:Takeover.” Anderson and Gallows are shocked and angry and left speechless and they just walk back out.
We will end today with a run-down of the NXT:Takeover card and the SummerSlam card. Next week we will see who comes out on top and where it leaves the company going forward. Thank you all for your indulgence in this Fantasy Book.
NXT: Takeover (the night before SummerSlam)
- Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows versus Tommaso Giampa and Johnny Gargano (pre-show)
- Bailey versus Emma versus Natalya
- American Alpha versus New Day (non-title match)
- Neville versus Chris Jericho
- Hideo Itami versus Alberto Del Rio (NXT #1 Contender match)
- Asuka versus Charlotte (NXT Women’s title match)
- Randy Orton versus Ryback versus Baron Corbin (triple threat match) (pre-show)
- Bailey versus Nia Jax (pre-show)
- Enzo and Cass versus The Usos versus The Vaudevillains versus The Revival (WWE tag team titles match)
- Sami Zayn versus Cesaro (WWE World title #1 Contender match)
- Bray Wyatt versus Sheamus (lumberjack match) (“US title” match)
- Austin Aries versus Big Show (NXT title match)
- Paige versus Sasha Banks (Sasha using her Money in the Bank briefcase) (WWE Women’s title match)
- AJ Styles versus Samoa Joe
- Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor (Intercontinental title match)
- John Cena versus Shinsuke Nakamura
- Roman Reigns versus Seth Rollins (WWE World title match) (control of WWE on the line)
See you next week for the exciting conclusion to this Fantasy Book ride…
Tags: AJ Styles, American Alpha, Asuka, Bailey, Bray Wyatt, dean ambrose, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, jbl, John Cena, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, New Day, Paige, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, sasha banks, seth rollins, shinsuke nakamura, Triple H, William Regal