Mauro Ranallo: Get ready folks… it’s time for Warfare! Tonight, we are live from the home of the Cavs, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio! This is the final stop before Fanniversary, which takes place this Sunday!
Nigel McGuinness: At Fanniversary, the EBWF World Champion Xavier Woods will make his first title defense against Edge, and we’ll see Xavier in action later on tonight, as he takes on Adam Cole in our main event!
Mauro Ranallo: Kicking things off though, we’ll see Veer Mahaan make his EBWF debut as he goes one on one with former Breakout Champion, Christian Cage!
Veer made his way to the ring first, followed by Christian Cage. When both men were in the ring, the referee called for the bell. Christian hit Veer with a series of punches, then went to whip him against the ropes, but Veer reversed it, whipping Christian into the ropes before taking him down with a shoulder tackle. As Christian got to his feet, Veer threw him into the corner, then hit a corner splash. Christian stumbled out of the corner, and Veer took him down with a clothesline, then went for a leaping elbow drop… but Christian moved out of the way! Both men got to their feet and Christian hit a dropkick, then followed up with a falling inverted DDT. Christian hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… Veer kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Mamma Mia! That was barely even a one count!
Christian pulled Veer to his feet and hit him with a series of punches, but Veer fought back with some right hands of his own before hitting Christian with a knee strike to the midsection. Veer then lifted Christian up, hitting a gutwrench powerbomb. He hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… Christian kicked out! Veer got to his feet and stomped on Christian several times, before turning him over and setting him up for the Cervical Clutch… but Christian rolled out of the ring before Veer could lock it in.
Nigel McGuinness: Smart move by Christian there, getting himself out of harm’s way… if Veer had managed to get Christian locked in the Cervical Clutch, the co-leader of The Coalition would have been in real trouble!
Veer rolled Christian out of the ring and hit him with a series of punches, before lifting him up and dropping him onto the ringside barrier. Veer then threw Christian back into the ring and climbed to the top rope, hitting Christian with a diving elbow drop! He hooked the leg once more and the referee counted - 1… 2… Christian kicked out! Veer pulled Christian to his feet and whipped him into the corner, then charged towards him, going for a spear in the corner… but Christian moved out of the way, causing Veer to collide shoulder first into the ring post! As Veer moved away from the corner, clutching his shoulder, Christian grabbed him from behind, hitting him with the Unprettier! Christian then climbed to the top rope and hit a Frog Splash, before hooking the leg. The referee counted - 1… 2… 3!
Mauro Ranallo: It’s over! An impressive performance from Veer Mahaan in his debut match, but it’s Christian Cage that gets the victory!
Christian celebrated as Warfare went to a commercial break.
When Warfare came back from the commercial break, Alexa Bliss was standing in the ring with a binder in one hand and a microphone in the other.
Alexa Bliss: This Sunday is Fanniversary where we all celebrate twenty one years of EBWF.
The crowd cheered.
Alexa Bliss: Of course you can't have an EBWF pay-per-view without the Goddess and at Fanniversary I will finally go one on one with everyone's favorite bitch queen, Utami Hayashishita.
The crowd booed the mention of Utami's name which caused Alexa to chuckle a bit.
Alexa Bliss: For the last three months Utami has done everything to make my life a living hell whether it be injuring my ribs, turning someone against me, or just being annoying. So I have to say it will be a pleasure to finally get my hands on the Crimson Queen one on one. Now there's a big thing I haven't mentioned yet and that's the stipulation of the match which is Hell in a Cell. Now as everyone knows I was the one that wanted a Hell in a Cell match at Fanniversary and since then some people have questioned my decision, bringing up things like my health, not being at one hundred percent and the fact that this is the most dangerous match in professional wrestling and both of these things are true. I realize that this match is extremely dangerous, I realize that my career could end, I realize that I'm probably putting my life at risk by stepping into the cell but I am willing to sacrifice my well-being to put an end to this war and show Utami Hayashishita who is BETTER.
Alexa opened the binder which contained the contract and a pen, Alexa signed the contract to cheers from the crowd.
Alexa Bliss: Utami…See you in hell.
Alexa dropped the mic and left the ring as "Papercut" began to play.
Mauro Ranallo: It looks like Alexa Bliss is ready to step into hell this Sunday.
Nigel McGuinness: This match will definitely be a brutal affair that perhaps neither woman will come back from.
Alexa had a smirk on her face as she walked to the back.
“The Chairman’s Intent” by Action Bronson hit, and the crowd cheered as Hook made his way to the ring, accompanied by his father Taz.
Mauro Ranallo: Well here we go, this is sure to be an interesting contest… having defeated Ace Austin, Alex Kane and KC Navarro in recent weeks, Hook takes on Richard Holliday tonight, and if he wins he gets a match with MJF at Fanniversary!
Nigel McGuinness: Not only that, Mauro… if Hook beats Richard Holliday, then Holliday will be kicked out of Dynasty, and apart from MJF, Richard Holliday is the last remaining member! A victory for Hook tonight will mean the end of Dynasty!
Mauro Ranallo: What a shame that would be…
Upon entering the ring, Hook stood in the center of the ring, staring at the stage as he awaited the arrival of his opponent. Hook’s music was cut, and suddenly “Better Than You” began to play. The crowd booed as MJF stepped out onto the stage, a wide cocky grin on his face.
Mauro Ranallo: Where is Richard Holliday? Don’t tell me MJF is going to try and weasel his way out of this…
Nigel McGuinness: It’s a diversion tactic, Mauro! Look!
While Hook stared down MJF, Richard Holliday entered through the crowd, slid into the ring and attacked Hook from behind! The referee abruptly called for the bell as Holliday knocked Hook down and began stomping on him. The camera cut back to MJF, who was walking down the ramp towards the ring. Back in the ring, Holliday pulled Hook to his feet and dragged him towards the corner, slamming his head off the top turnbuckle before trapping him in the corner and hitting a series of punches and kicks. Hook fell into a sitting position, and Holliday pushed his foot against Hook’s throat, choking him! The referee threatened to disqualify Holliday, and began the 5 count, but Holliday retracted his foot at the count of 4. The referee then ordered Holliday to take a step back, allowing Hook time to get to his feet. When Hook was up, he moved out of the corner and Holliday ran towards him, going for a clothesline. Hook reacted quickly, ducking underneath it and getting behind Holliday before lifting him up, hitting a release German suplex! Both men got to their feet and Hook grabbed Holliday again, this time hitting an overhead belly-to-belly suplex! He hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… Holliday kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Hook is such an impressive talent… he was at a disadvantage due to the underhanded tactics of Richard Holliday, but he’s quickly managed to swing the momentum in his favor!
As Hook got to his feet, he grabbed Holliday by the leg, going for a kneebar, but Holliday kicked Hook away and got back to his feet. Holliday hit Hook with a series of punches, then went to whip him against the ropes… but Hook reversed the Irish whip, sending Holliday towards the ropes. As Holliday hit the ropes, Hook caught him with a clothesline, sending him to the outside! As Holliday landed on the floor, he cried out, then began clutching his ankle. MJF immediately yelled “get a medic!” and the crowd booed, clearly not buying that Holliday was legitimately injured.
Mauro Ranallo: Oh come on… MJF and Holliday are trying to get this match thrown out on a technicality!
Nigel McGuinness: Do you have any proof of that, Mauro? Richard Holliday might be legitimately hurt!
Mauro Ranallo: Yeah right!
Sure enough, as the referee and a medic checked on Richard Holliday, MJF could be seen trying to suppress a smirk. Hook paced back and forth in the ring, looking frustrated. Suddenly, “Crank It Up” by Brand New Sin hit, and both Hook and MJF turned their attention to the stage.
“Weeeellllllll… it’s the Big Show!”
Mauro Ranallo: What is the Big Show doing here, Nigel? Has Richard Holliday managed to recruit him for Dynasty?
The fans inside the arena popped, then gave a mixed reaction as Al Snow stepped out onto the stage, wearing a black singlet and a bald cap. Nigel McGuinness could be heard laughing on commentary.
Nigel McGuinness: This isn’t the Big Show, Mauro… it’s the Big Snow!
MJF looked furious at seeing Al Snow again, and he shoved the medic away from Richard Holliday before dragging him to his feet. MJF told Holliday “let’s get out of here, we aren’t putting up with this horseshit” and Holliday’s ankle made a miraculous recovery as he followed MJF up the ramp. As MJF walked past Al Snow, he barged into him with his shoulder, but Al Snow carried on walking towards the ring. He stood at the bottom of the ramp, looking up at Hook in the ring as the referee began counting Richard Holliday out.
1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10!
The referee called for the bell and raised Hook’s arm in victory. At this point, Al Snow entered the ring and raised his arm up, mimicking Big Show’s taunt. Hook challenged Snow to fight him, and Snow grabbed him by the throat, going for the Chokeslam… but Hook slapped Snow’s hand away and put him in Redrum! As Hook choked Al Snow out, MJF got himself a microphone and began to speak.
MJF: Hey Hook! First of all, thank you. Al Snow is more on your level than me, but I really appreciate you taking him out. Hopefully this will be the last time any of us have to see that washed up piece of garbage! Second of all, I’ve got some bad news buddy. Your so-called “victory” over Richard Holliday? It doesn’t count. You didn’t beat him, he got counted out. And that was our choice, not yours! So Richard stays in Dynasty with me, and the rematch with me you so badly wanted? Not happening!
The crowd booed and MJF mocked them by pretending to cry. In the ring, Hook grabbed a microphone and began to speak.
Hook: At the risk of getting fined…
Whatever Hook said next was bleeped out for the audience at home. The camera cut back to MJF, who was feigning shock.
MJF: Language, Tyler! If you’re not careful, daddy’s going to ground you! I ought to wash your mouth out…
Hook: I’d like to see you try Max. I’m angry, but I’m not surprised, because I knew you’d try and pull a stunt like this. Funny how all of a sudden, count out victories don’t count… are you forgetting how you beat me?
MJF: I’ve beaten a lot of guys, Tyler. I can’t remember how I beat most of them, I just remember the Ws. That’s what happens when you’re a generational talent… but that’s not something you or your father would know anything about! The fact of the matter is, I’m better than you, and you know it. So if you want a match at Fanniversary, I suggest you go backstage and beg someone to make you relevant, because you’re just. Not. On my level.
At this point, Taz entered the ring and took the microphone from Hook, then addressed MJF.
Taz: Hey Maxwell. As you love to point out, I’ve been in this business a long time. So I’ve seen a lot of guys like you… assholes who think they’re smarter than everyone else, and can do whatever they want without facing consequences. But I’m pretty smart too… not book smart, but I’m sure as hell street smart. So I had a conversation with Wes Ikeda earlier, and I asked him, what would happen if Hook beat Richard Holliday and MJF tried to get out of the match with Hook on a technicality? Wes told me two things, Max. He said first of all, that you would definitely try and get out of it, because you’re just that predictable. And second of all, he makes the matches… so whether you like it or not, “buddy”, this Sunday you’re going to be facing Hook. And since suddenly you’re convinced that a count out isn’t a legitimate way to win, why don’t we make it so the only way to win that match is via pinfall or submission? Are you cool with that, Hook?
Hook nodded, grinning as he did so. Hook and Taz then turned to MJF, awaiting his response.
MJF: If there’s no count outs, I guess that means there’s no disqualifications either… so yeah alright, count me in! But be warned Tyler, this Sunday I’m not just going to beat you, I’m going to embarrass you!
Hook shrugged and started laughing.
Hook: Well here’s a warning for you, Max… Richard Holliday is the only friend you’ve got left, and I just proved I can handle him. So whatever shenanigans you try and pull at Fanniversary, I’ll be ready.
Hook dropped the microphone and MJF exited to the back as Warfare went to a commercial break.
When Warfare returned back from commercial Riddle was already in the ring, with Alex Riley on the outside. Riddle had a dazed smirk on his face and was nodding to signify that he was ready to go! After several beats the familiar music of 'The Acclaimed' was heard over the PA System and Max Caster and Anthony Bowens emerged from the big. Caster per usual, had a microphone in his right hand.
Max Caster: LISTEN... LISTEN...
Max Caster tough as nails, he never even learned fear.
The only Riddle with Matt.. is how he still works here.
A victory is coming, this here ain’t new swag.
Riddle w/ Alex Riley who does nothin but pick up his crap in a poop bag.
The crowd OHHH'd and Alex Riley shook his head in anger.
Max Caster: You little gopher.. you mad? Come on, let's fight.
Pissed because you "come and go" like me with Riddle's mom last night.
The camera cut to Riddle who was laughing at the dig. Bowens and Caster had made their way to the ring. Bowens now had the mic.
Anthony Bowens: CLEVELAND, OHIOOOOO! THE ACCLAIMED HAVE ARRIVED.
Bowens took his spot on the side and immediately he and Alex Riley were jawing at each other as the bell rang.
Mauro Ranallo: Well some choice words from Caster to kick things off on what should be a great matchup.
Nigel McGuinness: Away we go!
Riddle and Caster circled each other before a hard lock up in the middle of the ring. Riddle gained the advantage getting Caster in a side headlock. Caster reversed by shoving Riddle into the ropes. On the rebound Caster hit a flying calf kick, and earned an early 2 count. Both men popped up with good pace as Riddle went for a right hand that was blocked by Caster. Caster then hit a couple of knife edge chops that earned "Woo's" from the crowd and sent Riddle stumbling back towards the ropes. Caster then ran the ropes on the other side, only to be back body dropped over the ropes to the floor below. Alex Riley started to make his way over to Caster, which immediately led Bowens over there to instruct Riley to stay the hell away from him. Riddle quickly followed the fallen Caster and grabbed him by the head, and rolled him back into the ring. Riddle picked Caster up to a vertical base and went to whip him into the corner. Caster reversed and sent Riddle into the corner instead. Caster charged looking for a splash, but Riddle moved and sent Caster belly first into the turnbuckle. Max caught himself and turned around just in time for 4 Kicks in which the crowd chanted "bro" on each one.
Mauro Ranallo: Tremendous action so far Nigel, Riddle starting to gain some momentum here.
Nigel McGuinness: Indeed, two rising stars in this business going at it!
Riddle backed up a few steps and went for a knee to Caster's face, but Caster wisely rolled out of harm's way causing Riddle to smash his knee on the turnbuckle. He yelled out "brooooo" in pain which caused some snickers from the crowd in the front row. Caster made his way to his feet and helped Riddle up to his. He planted Riddle with a DDT and then signaled to the crowd that he was going to end things. He went to the top rope and flew off looking to hit "A Claim to Fame" off the top rope, but Riddle moved out of the way much to the delight of the Cleveland Crowd. Sensing trouble, Anthony Bowens got up on the ring apron which caused the referee to turn his back to the action to deal with Bowens. Riddle got distracted by this as well and turned his back towards the referee to talk trash to Bowens. As this was all going on, Caster had made his way to his feet and dropkicked Riddle in the back of the head which caused a domino effect into the referee and Bowens, who was sent to the floor on the outside. Caster was slow to get to his feet as well as he was sitting on one knee.
Mauro Ranallo: Everyone down here.
Nigel McGuinness: Wait a minute! NOT AGAIN.
From the crowd was the same masked man, who had been screwing with Riddle over the past few weeks. He carried a steel chair and he entered the ring. Quickly Alex Riley was in behind the Masked Man. The Masked Man lifted the chair to hit Riddle with it who was slowly making his way to his feet. Riley grabbed the chair on the man's back swing , which caused the man to swing around. Riddle hit a flying forearm which sent the masked man into Riley. As this was happening Max Caster hit a bulldog on Riddle and went for the cover, but the referee was still down. Caster noticed the rest of the scene and grabbed the steel chair that had fallen on the ground. He picked it up and, similar to the masked man, lifted it above his head to hit Riddle. The masked man similar to Riley caught it on his back swing, and hit Caster square in the face with it. Riddle had made his way to his feet as well and The masked man met Riddle with the same fate. Finally Riley made his way to his feet, and the masked man completed the trifecta and smashed the chair over Riley's face as well. As the referee was coming to, the masked man assessed the situation and put Caster on top of Riddle before exiting the ring. The referee slowly counted.. ONE.. TWO.. THREE.. and the bell rang.
Mauro Ranallo: What the heck have we just witnessed? This masked man has come in here and laid waste to everybody, and then helped Caster pick up a big victory over Matt Riddle.
Nigel McGuinness: I don't think he's done yet either.
Bowens was able to grab Caster and pull him out of the ring, as the masked man re-entered and began assaulting both Riley and Riddle with the steel chair. The crowd was tense as two fan favorites were getting decimated. Finally after the assault was seemingly complete, the masked man dropped the chair. He then slowly with his hands went to his face mask. The crowd was buzzing and the mask came off slowly.
Mauro Ranallo: Who is it Nigel?!
Nigel McGuinness: It looks like we're about to find out.
As the mask came off, the crowd in Cleveland, Ohio exploded with a thunderous ovation.
Mauro Ranallo: It can't be..
Nigel McGuinness: IT IS!! THE MIZ! THE MIZ! THE MIZ IS BACK.
Mauro Ranallo: Listen to this place, they love their hometown kid, even despite what he just did to Matt Riddle and Alex Riley.
I CAME TO PLAY
"I Came to Play" by Downstait bellowed from the PA System as The Miz smiled maniacally at what he had just done. He exited the ring and back pedaled up the ramp laughing and smiling at the decimation of the two superstars that remained in the ring being tended to by medical staff.
Mauro Ranallo: The 6 time World Champion is back.. but the question is.. what is his issue with Matt Riddle.. and what does this mean going forward?!
Nigel McGuinness: I have a feeling answers will not be too far behind Mauro! We'll be right back folks.
Warfare went to a commercial.
When Warfare returned from the commercial break, the cameras cut away from the stage and we saw not the backstage area but the finely decorated hallway of a clearly expensive hotel. Its carpet, lighting and overall atmosphere screamed elegance to the fans watching the scene unfold live. A few floral paintings lined the hall as well, which granted a false sense of tranquility. After a moment a suited figure - perhaps Michael Cole or some other member of the EBWF administration stepped up and knocked on an off white door with a golden handle. As he’s seen from behind it’s unclear who that man is; it’s not made any clearer as the door was opened abruptly by Himeka Arita. She looked down at the binder the man held out, smirked and forcefully took the binder away from him.
With the door open the cameraman followed Himeka as she walked down a red carpet which had been added to the lavish suite’s decor. Within the suite proper was a large three segmented sofa upon which sat Utami Hayashishita. Boos rang out from the live crowd watching on the arena video screens as Himeka handed the binder over. The Crimson Queen flipped the binder open and laughed derisively at the contract within.
Utami Hayashishita: And there it is, the single worst decision Alexa Bliss has ever made in her entire life. After three months of denying the truth that I am the superior wrestler in every conceivable category, the idiotic fallen ‘goddess’ has signed away her very career. By putting pen to paper she has committed herself to the most agony, suffering and torment she has ever endured in that career. Alexa, I have many things to do between now and Fanniversary so I will be brief.
She held out her hand, into which Himeka handed a pen. With an incredibly satisfied smile on her lips, Utami signed the contract and closed the binder. When she looked up that smugness began to diminish as pure, unadulterated anger filled her expression.
Utami Hayashishita: You have wasted three months of my time with your idiotic defiance. You have insulted me by ignoring the facts themselves. You and your pathetic minion earned my fury with your horrendous attack on dear Himeka. When we go to hell together, I will ensure you never step back into a ring again. I may walk out of hell with injuries, but I will walk out. You will not have that luxury. At Fanniversary I will end you.
She sneered into the camera as the fans booed. With that she handed the binder to Himeka, who in turn forcefully shoved it into the cameraman’s hand.
Utami Hayashishita: Be gone! I have wasted enough time with you.
Arisa Hoshiki stepped into the frame at this time with an icy killer’s look on her face. She backed the cameraman out the door into the hallway, then slammed the door in his face. After this we transitioned back to a panning shot of the crowd at the arena.
Mauro Ranallo: The Crimson Queen is hell bent on destroying Alexa Bliss once and for all at Fanniversary in what’s shaping up to be the climactic battle of a red hot rivalry.
Nigel McGuiness: At Fanniversary these two women are going to engage in an all-out war the likes of which I’m not sure we’ve ever seen in EBWF!
The crowd got to their feet as "All About the Boom" came over the loudspeaker and Adam Cole came to the ring. He did his usual entrance and turned toward the entry way watching the arrival of the EBWF World Champion to "New Day, New Way". Xavier proceeded to the ring and Christy Hemme did the introductions.
Mauro Ranallo: In just six days, King Xavier will take on Edge in a match that will be the finale to what has become a rather personal feud, Nigel.
Nigel McGuinness: I said before this is who Edge has always been. Xavier has to be careful when dealing with the Ultimate Opportunist.
Mauro Ranallo: Tonight he takes on Adam Cole, but you have to know Edge is on his mind.
Cole and Woods exchanged some mat wrestling early on. Woods hit a hip toss into a dropkick for a quick one count before putting Cole in a waistlock. Cole countered into a waistlock of his own and then hit an Enziguri only for Woods to come back with a DDT. Woods went for a Springboard Dropkick but Cole ducked out of the way only for Woods to dropkick him off the apron. Woods hit three straight Tope Suicidas.
Nigel McGuinness: Xavier Woods wants this!
Woods hit a slingshot sunset glip and then went for a figure four but Cole rolled him up for two. They exchanged rollups and cradles for a series of near falls until Woods finally locked him in the figure four. Cole got to the ropes to break the hold. Cole quickly rolled him up for two. Cole hit a superkick and went for the BOOM but Woods caught him with a diamond cutter. Woods went for Into the Woods but Cole hit the superkick in midair! Cole hits the Panama Sunrise!
Nigel McGuinness: That's got to do... no!
Woods kicked out! Cole picked Woods up and went for the BOOM but...
Mauro Ranallo: What the hell?
Nigel McGuiness: That's Edge! Edge just hopped the barricade and...
Mauro Ranallo: No!
Edge speared Adam Cole flat to the mat. He whirled around as the referee rang the bell, but Woods had already bailed out under the bottom rope. Edge got out of the ring too.
Christy Hemme: Your winner via disqualification, Adam...
Edge snatched the mic out of Christy's hand and cleared his throat into it.
Edge: It's beneath me to be out here doing this again. I don't want to be the kind of guy who interferes in matches, Woods. I just don't. I didn't save you because I like you, or even respect you, because I do not. I saved you because when I beat you on Sunday, I don’t want you to say it’s because you weren’t 100% or whatever bullshit excuse you wanna come up with. When that gold is finally around my waist? The only thing you're going to be is sorry you've even gone here with me. You're not ready, Woods. I can't wait to say I told you so.
Edge tossed down the mic as Metalingus hit. The crowd gave a mixed reaction and Edge stalked back toward the exit as Warfare went off the air.