On last night’s episode of NXT, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly continued their fallout from TakeOver: Vengeance Day, with Cole doubling down on his betrayal and attacking O’Reilly again. But after a brutal brainbuster onto the steel steps, fans started to become concerned for O’Reilly’s actual condition, rather than just the heartbreak of the Undisputed Era fighting.
Some fans in attendance said online that it looked like O’Reilly was knocked out by the move, with him needing to be woken up by doctors. Referee Drake Younger can be seen frantically calling down for more personnel as the episode went off air. And then O’Reilly was stretchered out of the Capitol Wrestling Center, with Triple H and NXT Champion Finn Balor checking on Kyle’s condition.
Pictures of the angle were then shared on social media by crowd members at the show, which further fuelled rumours of a legitimate injury. And Renee Paquette tweeted with concern:
I really hope @KORcombat is ok.
— Renee Paquette (@ReneePaquette) February 18, 2021
Breaking news though: Pro wrestler is really good at pro wrestling.
Rumours and speculation spread across social media, with some concerned he’d suffered a seizure, potentially linked to his real life Type 1 diabetes.
But thankfully according to Ryan Satin of WWE on Fox:
“From what I’m being told, Kyle O’Reilly did not suffer a real seizure after NXT tonight and did not suffer a medical episode. According to WWE sources, it was all just part of storyline. Happy to hear he’s okay.”
“I’m also told that there was no intent to make it look like he was suffering a seizure. That just spread due to what was reported back from the few fans in attendance.”
Further supporting the report, Adam Cole then tweeted in character “What needed to be done.” less than an hour after the show ended, which he almost certainly wouldn’t have if O’Reilly really was injured.
Were you worked by Kyle’s selling? Let me know in the comments down below. I sure was, and it was great. I love when pro wrestling does an angle so convincing, you think it’s real.
Maybe that’s what’s also happening with Natalya vs the WWE on Fox Twitter account, then?
WWE Star Shoots On WWE Twitter Account
Yesterday, the WWE On Fox Twitter account posted a “build your dream team” game using the the WWE women’s division – with several of the women’s roster being separated into tiers ranging from $5 to $1, with the idea being you had $15 to spend to build your dream team.
But Natalya did not appreciate being listed for a cost of $1.
“I have struggled for years to figure out exactly what my worth is, but I won’t allow anyone to pick that number for me. As hurtful as seeing this is, I want it to be known, that if I ever find myself under all of these wonderful women it’s because I am a pillar and a foundation of what we’re doing. So please keep the $1, because anyone who knows anything, knows how priceless I am.”
Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce and Alexa Bliss tweeted their support of Nattie, Matt Cardona called the post “an asshole thing to tweet”, and Shelton Benjamin told WWE On Fox they should “erase this insulting post and apologize to every woman on the roster”.
The tweet was deleted soon after.
AEW Dynamite Review
But it’s Thursday, you know what that means – my review of last night’s Dynamite… in about 5 minutes!
Dynamite opened with Hangman Page tagging again with Matt Hardy against Hybrid 2. It was a really fun match, with Jack Evans and Angelico’s incredible high-flying and submission wrestling blend, along with the Hardy/Page dramatic irony bubbling throughout.
Hardy let Page do all the hard work, stole the pin to win, and then revealed the contract Hangman signed last week now gives him 30% of all Page’s Q1 earnings!
But in some great booking of babyface smarts, Page was one step ahead of Matt, and we were in on it with him – seeing him switch the contracts out behind Hardy’s back last week. Page revealed it was for a match between then at Revolution, where if Hangman won, he’d get 100% of Matt’s earnings. But because he’s an honourable face, Hardy got Page to put his money on the line too.
It adds some really solid stakes to a pay-per-view match I’m not sure I would’ve been that into otherwise.
Private Party and the Hybrid 2 beat down Page for a bounty, but in an incredibly heartwarming touch, the Dark Order ran down to save Hangman – even though he’d turned them down last month. They smiled at each other, hopefully building to Page eventually genuinely joining the Dark Order.
AEW’s version of Brock Lesnar, Riho, is back! In how often she appears for the company, that is. Not in physical size. She’s tiny.
That played into her first round Women’s Eliminator match against Serena Deeb, where she sold for 95% of the time, to burst into a thrilling comeback and series of pinning combinations for the win, where she’ll take on Thunder Rosa in the semis.
This was a terrific match, potentially the best on a night of very good in-ring wrestling, which smartly protected NWA Champion Deeb by putting over a leg injury.
There was a video package of Shaq training Jade Cargill how to play basketball. This isn’t Viking Raiders vs Street Prophets from last May. You’re having an actual wrestling match, Shaq. You need to practice the wrestling.
Orange Cassidy beat Luthor in a squash match, refreshingly doing something that didn’t involve Miro or Kip Sabian.
And you’d never guess what happened next in the advertised Sting segment.
No, but actually you won’t. Because the 61 year old Sting took a massive powerbomb from Brian Cage.
Changing up the same segment we’ve had for the last two months, Sting actually got physical with Team Taz’s Brian Cage and Hook – who were down a few men because of the weather. But Sting was down a Darby Allin after last week’s injury angle, meaning he got laid out.
It was a shocking and much needed development in the Sting run, who feels nowhere near as special as when he debuted back in December. My only criticism is that this kind of felt lost in the middle of the show, without much follow-up.
Santana and Ortiz then got their first ever shots at the AEW Tag Titles. It should’ve come a lot sooner, but that’s also a testament to the strength of AEW’s tag division. The idea was for the Inner Circle to win the belts here, and then keep it in the family by facing Jericho and MJF at Revolution. But MJF screwed them over again.
Jericho blamed MJF for making Sammy Guevarra quit last week, but he blamed Sammy more – saying it’s unforgivable to turn your back on him, and Sammy is dead to Jericho. It was a great character beat, putting over how Jericho is so ego-driven, the ultimate crime is going against him.
But his patience does seem to be wearing thin with MJF, who got the entire Inner Circle ejected from ringside early on. It was a great move, as it put the focus on how amazing Santana and Ortiz are, rather than any interference spots.
Ultimately, though, they beat themselves. Ortiz got cocky while chanting, and walked right into a Nick Jackson rollup.
The Inner Circle immediately hit the ring for Jericho and MJF to put in a dual submission hold on the Bucks, building their Revolution match, and to trash talk the Bucks’ mum and dad in the crowd.
But this is AEW, where there are layers upon layers upon layers. Because the Inner Circle isn’t the only self destructing heel faction. There’s also the Super Elite – with Kenny Omega, Don Callis and the Good Brothers watching a monitor backstage in the most WWE-parodying angle possible, taking their sweet time to run down for the save. To put that over even more, Brandon Cutler was out to help the Bucks almost immediately – but he got taken out by Jake Hager, setting up a match next week.
Cody and a very pregnant Brandi did a gender reveal of their baby, where Tony Schiavone screamed ‘it’s a girl’ as though he was talking about Sting. Tony’s genuine emotion is one of the sweetest parts of AEW.
Cody was on commentary for the following tag match of FTR beating the Sydal brothers. Dax Harwood went to cut off Mike Sydal’s hair afterwards, but Luchasaurus, back to his horny best [AUSTIN POWERS SCREEN], made the save with Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. It was later announced that Tully Blanchard will be joining FTR in a six man against Jurassic Express on the March 3rd episode.
And as for Cody, he’ll compete in a three way ladder match at Revolution to decide the TNT title No. 1 contender with Pentagon Jr and Scorpio Sky. It should always be Pentagon, of course. And I reckon that will be a way to write Cody off for paternity leave.
Well Jon Moxley sees you leaving for fatherhood with a ladder bump, Cody, and raises you: explosions.
The main event was a typically exciting six man between The Family and Lance Archer, Moxley and Rey Fenix. Moxley pinned Eddie Kingston with a Paradigm Shift to win, after Eddie cut a promo earlier saying he can’t quit his Moxley addiction until he’s beaten him, while Jon teased he’d welcome him back as a friend. I really hope this leads to them teaming up down the line, in a ‘can’t beat him, join him’ dynamic.
It’s almost like we need a crazy way to write Moxley off TV to build that storyline…
After Jim Ross introduced Kenny Omega as the WWE Champion – JR, we’re all excited about interpromotional matches but calm down! – AEW Champion Omega did a really funny skit of reading the Young Bucks’ autobiography to a class of school children. It was all a PR exercise to make Kenny seem like a good person and face of AEW – which was exposed as hypocritical in the show closing angle, where the Good Brothers held down Moxley, and Omega said he needs to put Jon away for good, so at Revolution, they’ll have their rematch… in an Exploding Barbwire Deathmatch.
If you’re a bit younger and unfamiliar with an Exploding Barbwire Deathmatch, it’s exactly what it sounds like. They were popular in 90s Japanese promotions like FMW and IWA, one of the most famous being between Cactus Jack and Terry Funk. The ring ropes are replaced by barbwire and there’s C4 explosives on barbwire boards in the corners.
Which led to Moxley’s currently pregnant wife tweeting: “Exploding. Barbed wire. Death match.”
Are you excited to see the Death Match? Or do you think it’s too much? Let me know in the comments down below, because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA EXPLOSIONS WEEEEE.
And head over to our Poll on a Pole match on the Community tab, where 72% of you have indeed rated this episode: EXPLODING BARBWIRE DEATHMATCH?!!?
It’s crazy that an episode with that announcement, Sting taking a full on powerbomb, and some great wrestling from Riho and Deeb feels pretty average by AEW standards. They’re a victim of their own quality. This week’s Dynamite is 3 out of 5.
Thank you to everyone who watched and donated on last night’s QuizzleMania, which hosted special guest, former WWE star Melina! You all helped raise an amazing £4,000 for the NSPCC’s Childline service, as part of WWE’s Call Out Bullying campaign. We did have a total of £5,000 to reach though… so all of us here at WrestleTalk are going to top that figure up by an extra grand.