Mauro Ranallo: Get ready folks... it's time for Warfare! Tonight, we are live from Houston, Texas and the King of the Ring tournament continues!
Nigel McGuinness: Kicking things off tonight, we've got one half of the Young Bucks, Nick Jackson in action as he goes one on one with Kevin Steen!
Nick Jackson made his way to the ring first, followed by Kevin Steen. When both men were in the ring, the referee called for the bell. Steen immediate charged towards Jackson, hitting him with a series of punches, then whipped him against the ropes. As Scurll ran back towards him, Steen lifted him up, hitting a pop-up powerbomb! He hooked both legs and the referee counted – 1... 2... Jackson kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Kevin Steen almost put Nick Jackson away in record time there!
Although he'd managed to get the shoulder up, Jackson was still feeling the effects of the pop-up powerbomb, and was struggling to get to his feet. Steen stomped on him several times, before dragging him to his feet and whipping him hard into the corner. Steen ran at Jackson, hitting a body avalanche and causing him to fall into a sitting position. Steen took several steps back, then went for the cannonball... but Jackson moved out of the way at the last second! Both men got to their feet and Jackson hit a superkick, then hooked the leg. The referee counted – 1... 2... Steen kicked out! Jackson pulled Steen to his feet and dragged him towards the corner, slamming his head off the top turnbuckle before trapping him in the corner and hitting him with a series of kicks. Steen fell into a sitting position, and Jackson put his foot against Steen's throat, choking him! The referee threatened to disqualify Nick Jackson and began counting – 1... 2... 3... 4... Jackson removed his foot just before the count of 5. The referee ordered Jackson to step back back, allowing Steen time to get to his feet. Steen used the ropes to pull himself up, and Jackson ran at him, going for a clothesline... but Steen reacted quickly, pulling down on the ropes and sending Jackson to the outside. Steen then ran against the ropes, before hitting Jackson with a tope con hilo!
Nigel McGuinness: Kevin Steen might not have looked graceful hitting that tope con hilo... but it sure was impressive!
Both men were down outside the ring, and the referee began counting them out. As he reached the count of 5, Kevin Steen got to his feet and he threw Nick Jackson back into the ring. Upon re-entering the ring himself, Steen lifted Jackson onto his shoulders, setting him up for the package piledriver... but Jackson broke free and rolled Steen up into a small package! The referee counted – 1... 2... Steen kicked out! Both men got to their feet and Jackson went for another superkick, but Steen ducked out of the way before lifting Jackson onto his shoulders and hitting the F-5! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... 3!
Mauro Ranallo: It's over! Kevin Steen advances to the second round, where he will face Matt Riddle or Maven!
Steen celebrated, then made his way to the back as an updated King of the Ring bracket flashed up on the screen.
Mauro Ranallo: There are seven matches remaining in the first round of the King of the Ring tournament, but this next match has been talked about arguably more than any other... the cold-hearted handsome devil Hook will make his EBWF in-ring debut as he takes on Bullet Club's Tanga Loa!
Tanga Loa came out first to boos from the crowd. When Loa was in the ring, "The Chairman's Intent" by Action Bronson hit and the fans inside the arena erupted as Hook headed to the ring, accompanied by Taz. As Hook entered the ring, Taz joined Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness on commentary.
Nigel McGuinness: Well it looks like we're going to have a very special guest commentator for this next match... how are you doing Taz? It's great to have you with us.
Taz: It's great to be here, Nigel, but this isn't about me... this is about Hook making his debut, and pay close attention, because you're about to witness first hand why he's been making waves these past six months.
The referee called for the bell and Tanga Loa went for a lock-up, but Hook got behind him and dragged him down to the mat. Hook immediately went for REDRUM, but Tanga Loa grabbed the ropes before Hook could lock it in. Hook got to his feet and pulled Tanga Loa away from the ropes, then went for a single-leg Boston crab, but Loa kicked him away and got to his feet. Loa then ran at Hook, going for a clothesline, but Hook ducked out of the way and grabbed Tanga Loa from behind, hitting an Olympic Slam.
Mauro Ranallo: What a counter by Hook!
Taz: What'd I tell you? Everything this kid does in the ring is impressive, he's a master technician.
Hook got to his feet and held out his arms as the crowd began chanting "Hook is gonna kill you". As Tanga Loa got back up, Hook set him up for a northern lights suplex, but Loa blocked it and whipped Hook against the ropes. As Hook ran back towards him, Loa went for a big boot, but Hook ducked out of the way, then grabbed Tanga Loa from behind, locking in REDRUM! Loa tried to get to the ropes, then tried to break free, but when he realised he could do neither he quickly tapped out. The referee called for the bell and raised Hook's arm in victory.
Taz: One down, four to go until Hook is King of the Ring!
Nigel McGuinness: He'll face MJF or Kane in the second round... we'll find out who later on tonight!
Taz: I wouldn't be surprised if MJF forfeits that match, Nigel... you know he's terrified of Hook!
Taz left the announce table and headed up the ramp with Hook as the camera cut to the back.
The show cut to the locker room of The Coalition. Alexa Bliss and Liv Morgan were sitting in front of a whiteboard, the kind you would use in school, and written on it was the Queen of The Ring tournament bracket.
Alexa Bliss: Ok for a tournament with a random draw our matches don't seem all that random.
Liv feigned surprise.
Liv Morgan: What, you're telling me that you versus Trish and Becky versus me wasn't random?
The two laughed.
Alexa Bliss: Well random or not one of us is gonna win this damn thing and take the title away from Britt Baker for the sake of the EBWF fans around the world.
Liv Morgan: Yeah and after she betrayed Leva Bates a few weeks ago it's guaranteed that she'll be S.O.L no matter who wins.
Alexa smiled and took a deep breath.
Alexa Bliss: You know with both of us on opposite sides of the bracket we have a chance of facing each other in the finals.
Liv Morgan: Yep and it'll be the third time it's happened.
Alexa held out her hand.
Alexa Bliss: If that happens may the best woman win.
Liv smiled and shook Alexa's hand.
Liv Morgan: Definitely.
The two hugged as Warfare went to commercial break.
When Warfare returned from the commercial break, Kane was on his way to the ring for the next match.
Mauro Ranallo: Welcome back! Still to come, Angelico will take on Alex Shelley in our main event... but first, it's Dynasty versus The Coalition as Kane takes on my least favourite wrestler, Maxwell Jacob Friedman!
Nigel McGuinness: You're not supposed to show bias, Mauro!
Mauro Ranallo: I'm just telling it like it is, Nigel.
When Kane was in the ring, "Better Than You" hit and the crowd booed as they awaited the arrival of MJF. However, instead of coming down the ramp, MJF came through the crowd and attacked Kane from behind! The referee abruptly called for the bell as MJF knocked Kane down and stomped on him several times, trying to keep him grounded. MJF then went for the Salt of the Earth, but Kane shoved him away and got to his feet. Kane hit MJF with an uppercut, then whipped him against the ropes. As MJF ran back towards him, Kane hit a big boot, then followed up with a leg drop. He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... MJF kicked out! As Kane got to his feet, MJF rolled out of the ring and began walking up the ramp.
Mauro Ranallo: This match has barely begun, and it looks like MJF has decided he's had enough!
The referee began counting MJF out, but Kane shook his head and exited the ring, following MJF up the ramp. MJF tried to run, but Kane caught up with him and lifted him over his shoulder, carrying him back to the ring! Kane threw MJF into the ring, then went to re-enter the ring himself, but as he did so MJF grabbed him, hitting the Heat Seeker! He hooked both legs and the referee counted – 1... 2... Kane kicked out!
Nigel McGuinness: MJF outsmarted Kane there, and almost got the 3 count!
Mauro Ranallo: Where you see intelligence, Nigel, I see cowardice...
As MJF got to his feet, he stomped on Kane's knee several times, then applied a kneebar. Kane was able to get to the ropes, but MJF refused to break the hold! The referee began counting – 1... 2... 3... 4... MJF broke the hold just before the 5 count. He then grabbed Kane's leg and put it on the rope, before jumping up and hitting a double foot stomp to the knee! Kane cried out in pain, and the referee tried to check on him, but before he could do so MJF shoved him aside and pulled Kane away from the ropes. MJF then went for a figure four leglock, but before he could lock it in Kane shoved him away and got to his feet. Kane hit MJF with a series of punches, then lifted him up for a Tombstone Piledriver... but MJF countered it into a reverse DDT! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Kane kicked out! MJF began arguing with the referee, accusing him of counting too slowly, then turned his attention back to Kane. As Kane tried to get to his feet, MJF went for a running knee strike... but Kane blocked it, grabbing MJF by the throat! Kane went for the Chokeslam, but before he could lift MJF up, MJF kicked him in the knee! Kane released MJF and clutched his knee, allowing MJF to get behind Kane and hit him with the Double Cross! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... 3!
Nigel McGuinness: It’s over! MJF advances to the second round, where he'll take on Hook! Could Long Island's greatest export be the man to end Hook's undefeated streak?
The referee called for the bell and raised MJF's arm in victory. As MJF celebrated, Hook walked out onto the ramp and sarcastically applauded. Hook and MJF stared each other down as Warfare went to a commercial break.
As Warfare returned from the commercial break, the camera cut to Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness at ringside.
Mauro Ranallo: Next week, Warfare will be held at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, and we will see the final four matches of the King of the Ring first round. Colten Gunn takes on Aiden English... Matt Riddle makes his return to EBWF against Maven... Randy Orton will take on D-Von Dudley... and in our main event, it will be Chris Jericho versus the leader of the Bullet Club, Prince Devitt!
Nigel McGuinness: Four stellar matches to look forward to, but right now it's time for tonight's main event... Angelico versus Alex Shelley!
Angelico made his way to the ring first, followed by Alex Shelley. The crowd were fully behind Shelley, and began chanting his name as the referee called for the bell. Angelico yelled at the crowd to shut up, which made them chant Shelley's name even louder. Shaking his head, Angelico ran at Shelley and went for a clothesline, but Shelley ducked out of the way and grabbed Angelico from behind, hitting a release German suplex. Both men got to their feet and Shelley hit Angelico with a series of backhand chops, but Angelico fought back with a series of punches, then whipped Shelley shoulder first into the ring post. Shelley fell to the mat clutching his shoulder, and Angelico stomped on the injured shoulder several times, before applying an armbar. Shelley was able to grabbed the ropes with his free hand, and the referee ordered Angelico to break the hold. Angelico pulled Shelley to his feet and hit him with some more right hands, before whipping him against the ropes and taking him down with a spinning back elbow smash. Angelico followed up with a double foot stomp to the shoulder, then made the cover. The referee counted – 1... 2... Shelley kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Angelico continuing to target that injured shoulder, but Alex Shelley isn't going down without a fight!
Angelico pulled Shelley to his feet and went to whip him into the corner, but Shelley reversed the Irish whip, sending Angelico into the corner before hitting a running double high knee. As Angelico stumbled out of the corner, Shelley lifted him over his shoulder, then hit the Air Raid Crash! He hooked both legs and the referee counted – 1... 2... Angelico kicked out! Shelley pulled Angelico to his feet and set him up for the Sliced Bread #2, but before he could hit it Angelico shoved him into the corner, then hit him with a kick to the back. Angelico then set Shelley up for the Fall of the Angels... but as he ran across the ring, Shelley wriggled free and grabbed Angelico, hitting a reverse STO into the middle turnbuckle! He rolled Angelico away from the ropes and hooked the leg – 1... 2... Angelico kicked out just before the 3!
Nigel McGuinness: Oh my! I thought Angelico was out cold, but he got his shoulder up just in time!
Shelley pulled Angelico to his feet and hit him with It Came From Japan, then climbed to the top rope. Shelley went for the frog splash... but Angelico got his knees up and blocked it! Both men got to their feet and Angelico hit a full nelson backbreaker, then hooked the leg. The referee counted – 1... 2... Shelley kicked out! Angelico looked frustrated as he got to his feet, and he stomped on Shelley's leg several times, before lifting the leg up and putting Shelley in the Navarro Death Roll! Shelley was unable to get to the ropes, and he tapped out.
Christy Hemme: The winner of this match, advancing to the second round... Angelico!
The crowd booed as the referee raised Angelico's arm in victory, but Angelico didn't seem to care.
Mauro Ranallo: An impressive victory for Angelico, who will face Randy Orton or D-Von Dudley in the next round... we'll find out who next week! See you then!
Angelico celebrated, taunting the crowd as Warfare went off the air.