Date: January 26, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Shahoz Ali
This is the start of WWE’s latest attempt to make it into India, as we are getting a special (taped in Florida, like everything else) featuring WWE stars in the ring with Indian stars. Eventually we could be seeing an NXT India out of the whole thing so consider this getting the feet wet. Let’s get to it.
This is being broadcast on television in India so there will be some commercials included despite it being a Network special. It is airing on Republic Day, which is the anniversary of the day India became a republic.
HHH narrates a video about WWE’s history in India, showing various wrestlers in the country over the years, including footage of Bret Hart with the Winged Eagle belt to show you how far back things go. Various stars of Indian descent talk about what this means to them and now it is time to start a new future. HHH talks over clips of new Indian wrestlers (complete with name graphics as these people are mostly making their debuts) and we’re ready to go.
The fans on the Thunderdome screens are all from India.
We get a video on Guru Raaj, who is a high flier who came from a rough childhood, including being run over by a tractor.
Finn Balor vs. Guru Raaj
Non-title. Balor armbars him down but Raaj snapmares his way to freedom and puts on an armbar of his own. Back up and we hit the standoff so Balor headlocks him down. Raaj is back up with a headlock takeover of his own but this time Balor rolls out and hits a basement dropkick. We take a break and come back with Raaj fighting out of an abdominal stretch. An elbow to the face sets up a backsplash, with Raaj getting up but then remembering he wanted to nip up instead.
Balor takes him into the corner and unloads with stomps before chopping Raaj into another corner. The Sling Blade connects but the shotgun dropkick is countered with an enziguri for two. A bunch of kicks, capped off by a jumping shot to the head, sets up a high crossbody for two. The shotgun dropkick quiets him down all over again. The Coup de Grace into 1916 finishes Raaj at 10:39.
Result: Finn Balor b. Guru Raaj – 1916 (10:39)
We get a post match handshake.
We meet Giant Zanjeer, who, like many others on this show, was trained by Great Khali. He thinks if he trains hard, he can be champion too.
We meet Dilshar Shanky, who is 7’ tall and wants to do this for his parents.
Rey Mysterio/Giant Zanjeer/Dilshar Shanky/Ricochet vs. Cesaro/King Corbin/Shinsuke Nakamura/Dolph Ziggler
Shanky goes 7’ and is the second tallest member of the team, after the 7’2 Zanjeer. Ziggler goes for Shanky’s leg to start and is tossed into the corner without much trouble. Nakamura tries a cheap shot and is thrown into the corner for the big running splash. Zanjeer comes in, tosses Corbin onto the pile, and adds a chop. Cesaro thinks better of fighting both giants on his own and we take a break.
Back with Cesaro throwing Mysterio back inside and handing it off to Nakamura, who sends Mysterio into the corner. Corbin gets in a few shots and brings Ziggler back in as they take turns on Ziggler. All of the villains get together to knock the giants and Ricochet to the floor but Rey manages to hurricanrana Corbin into the corner. That’s enough for the hot tag off to Ricochet, who grabs a spinning suplex. The standing shooting star gets two on Ziggler, who is right back with the Zig Zag.
Ricochet slips away and brings in Zanjeer, who cleans house with some big shoulders. Shanky comes back in and drops and elbow for two but gets swarmed by everyone else. Everything breaks down and Zanjeer throws Ricochet onto the pile on the floor. Cesaro dumps Zanjeer to the floor but gets booted in the face by Shanky. That sets up the 619 and the splash off of Shanky’s shoulders lets Rey pin Cesaro at 9:58.
Result: Rey Mysterio/Giant Zanjeer/Dilshar Shanky/Ricochet b. Cesaro/King Corbin/Shinsuke Nakamura/Dolph Ziggler – Splash off of Shanky’s shoulders to Cesaro (9:58)
Rey and Ricochet get on the giants’ shoulders to celebrate.
WWE is working with a charity to help girls get scholarships.
Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns aren’t happy but wish us a happy Republic Day.
Video on Jeet Rama, whose grandfather was a wrestler and apparently has been with WWE for a good many years without ever making it to television.
AJ Styles vs. Jeet Rama
Omos is here with AJ. Rama is a multiple time national champion in some form of grappling. AJ goes for the arm to start but gets taken into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. Rama’s armbar is broken up with a shot to the head and AJ knocks him to the floor for the slingshot forearm.
We take a break and come back with AJ holding a chinlock as Cole says Rama is following in the footsteps of stars like Runjin Singh. Rama gets in a pair of suplexes for two but AJ catches him on top for a drop onto the turnbuckle. It’s too early for the Styles Clash so AJ settles for the Calf Crusher. The hold stays on for a good bit until Rama manages to drive AJ’s head into the mat for the break. Rama gets in a belly to belly but Omos breaks up a belly to belly superplex. The Phenomenal Forearm finishes at 11:42.
Result: AJ Styles b. Jeet Rama – Phenomenal Forearm (11:42)
Post match, AJ and Omos give Rama some applause.
Video on Indus Sher, who had a very brief run as a monster team in NXT. One of them was on a popular TV show and the other was a professional baseball player and the subject of the movie Million Dollar Arm.
Big E. and Xavier Woods to introduce a Bollywood dance but here are the Street Profits to help them. The four of them introduce a musical dance troupe for a performance. More men and women dance in the ring with the rest of the troupe joining them.
Great Khali says what sounds like something positive.
Charlotte/Sareena Sandhu vs. Bayley/Natalya
Bayley and Sandhu have the same trainer. Charlotte’s gear is in the colors of the Indian flag and she shrugs off Natalya’s wristlock to start. Bayley comes in so Charlotte sends both of them into the corner. It’s off to Sandhu for a double high crossbody and stereo baseball slides put Bayley and Natalya on the floor as we take a break (with Charlotte and Sandhu dancing a bit).
Back with Charlotte suplexing Bayley and hitting the backbreaker into the Downward Spiral into the corner. Sandhu gets two off a butterfly suplex and a small package gets the same on Natalya. Bayley offers a distraction though and Natalya kicks Sandhu to the floor. The leglock has Sandhu in trouble but she reverses into one of her own. That’s enough to bring Bayley in for the save and she knocks Charlotte off the apron for a bonus. Charlotte kicks Bayley in the face but Natalya clotheslines Sandhu down. The Sharpshooter goes on but Charlotte makes the save with Natural Selection, giving Sandhu the pin at 6:08.
Result: Charlotte/Sareena Sandju b. Bayley/Natalya – Natural Selection to Bayley (6:08)
Video on Kavita Devi, who had to miss the show due to a family emergency in India. She has been in a few battle royals and the Mae Young Classics and wants to be a role model in India.
Here’s Ric Flair to say how cool it is to have this many fans from India here and wishes everyone a happy Republic Day.
Jinder Mahal/Bollywood Boyz vs. Drew McIntyre/Indus Sher
McIntyre’s entrance cuts off Mahal’s usual speech. Drew says he’s glad to have Mahal back but you NEVER interrupt Ric Flair. Mahal has a nice three man team but McIntyre has his own three man band of destruction and introduces Indus Sher, who are about McIntyre’s size. McIntyre and Mahal (now mostly bald) start things off but it’s off to Sunil Singh, who hits McIntyre in the face.
That goes very badly for him and it’s off to Rinku for a big elbow. Saurav comes in for a World’s Strongest Slam so Samir comes in to get beaten up as well. Samir is tossed over the top and onto Sunil and it’s the good guys clearing the ring as we take a break. Back with Samir slipping over Rinku’s back and hammering away before handing it off to Mahal. Rinku goes shoulder first into the post and Sunil gets two off a top rope elbow.
Samir’s armbar doesn’t exactly work so he tries to pull on Rinku’s leg instead. Mahal has some more luck with the armbar but he makes the mistake of going after Saurav, allowing Rinku to get in a shot to the face. The hot tag bring in McIntyre to clean house but a jumping knee cuts off the Claymore. Saurav comes in and wrecks the Boyz, leaving McIntyre to Claymore Mahal. A side slam/middle rope elbow combination finishes Sunil at 9:04.
Result: Indus Sher/Drew McIntyre b. Jinder Mahal/Bollywood Boyz – Side slam/middle rope elbow combination to Sunil (9:04)
A bunch of people and the dance troupe come out to applaud to end the show.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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