Preview by Josh Nason
WWE will present their first-ever Superstar Spectacle today on the WWE Network -- an event designed to celebrate and recognize India's Republic Day, a holiday that honors when the country's Constitution was officially put into action in 1950.
Taped last Friday in the Thunderdome in Tampa, Florida,, the show features current WWE talent in matches with developmental wrestlers of Indian descent.
In the main event, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre returns for the first time since his COVID-19 diagnosis, teaming with Indus Sher against the returning Jinder Mahal and the Bollywood Boyz. NXT Champion Finn Balor is also in action against Guru Raaj while AJ Styles takes on Jeet Rama. Charlotte Flair is also on the card teaming with Sareena Sandhu against Bayley and Natalya. Ricochet, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ric Flair and more are also scheduled for the show.
Our live coverage starts at 9:30 AM Eastern.
The show began with a video package showcasing both WWE’s history in India and the success of Indian superstars in the company and a sweeping camera shot showed off the digital crowd made up of Indian fans on their Republic Day.
Shahroz Ali joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. Throughout the show, video packages ran before the matches that highlighted the Indian stars' path into WWE.
NXT Champion Finn Bálor defeated Guru Raaj in a non-title match
Bálor and Raaj traded the advantage in the early moments and a hip toss allowed Raaj to pull away from the NXT Champion. Raaj connected with a high elbow and a dropkick before celebrating. Bálor later took advantage and took control.
Bálor connected with a sling blade but was interrupted by a resilient Raaj before he could follow up. Raaj unloaded with high kicks and a crossbody resulting in a near fall. An elbow from Bálor stopped Raaj’s momentum. Bálor connected with a Coup de Grâce followed by 1916 to pick up the win.
Ricochet, Rey Mysterio, Giant Zanjeer & Dilsher Shanky defeated Dolph Ziggler, King Corbin, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
Shanky started the match by successfully taking on both Nakamura and Ziggler. Zanjeer tagged and added Corbin to the list of controlled competitors.
The screen faded to black before the match picked back up with Cesaro in control over Mysterio. The entire heel squadron hit the ring to force everyone but Ricochet off the apron. Mysterio succeeded in getting a hot tag to his one remaining partner.
Ricochet connected with some offense, but a zig-zag left Ziggler still in control. Ricochet was forced to tag Zanjeer into the match who took back the advantage with the help of Shanky. The heels hit the ring again, but Zanjeer disposed of them all by himself. Zanjeer then hoisted Ricochet over his head before launching him into the heels regrouping outside of the ring.
Back inside, Cesaro was struck by Shanky, falling into perfect position for the 619. After hitting the move, Mysterio climbed onto the shoulders of Shanky and jumped to deliver a splash. Mysterio then pinned Cesaro for the win.
-- A short backstage Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns promo played a quick backstage where they celebrated Reigns’ success as Universal Champion and wished everyone a happy Republic Day.
AJ Styles (w/ Omos) defeated Jeet Rama
Rama took control in the early moments, working Styles on the mat for some time. Styles gained some advantage for himself by sending Rama to the outside and connecting with a forearm. After a commercial, Styles had full control in the middle of the ring. Rama powered through Styles, connecting with a triad of suplexes. Styles broke up the pin that followed with a rope grab.
A boot from Styles created some separation, allowing Styles to scale to the top rope. Rama met Styles at the top, only to fall after Styles pulled out his legs. A backbreaker left Styles with a two count. Styles then locked Rama in the calf crusher which Rama eventually forced a break on by slamming Styles into the mat.
Back standing, Rama’s strength overwhelmed Styles as he connecting with a throw. Rama set Styles on the top rope, aiming for a finishing throw but Omos grabbed Styles’ tights, saving him from sure disaster. Styles then jumped from the top rope, connecting with the phenomenal forearm for the pin and win.
-- The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E) and the Street Profits welcomed Indian dance company Spinning Canvas, who performed a song and dance number in the ring.
-- The Great Khali cut a short promo, wishing everyone a happy Republic Day.
Sareena Sandhu & Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley & Natalya
Flair, dressed in the colors of the flag of India, took on both Bayley and Natalya in the opening moments. Sandhu tagged in to deliver a crossbody before celebrating in the center of the ring with Flair.
After a fade to black, the match picked back up with Natalya in control. Flair and Natalya both tagged out following a Flair exploder. Sandhu took advantage and Bayley was forced to tag Natalya back into the match.
Natalya took advantage of the debuting Sandhu. The action spilled to the outside where Bayley dropped Sandhu by targeting her leg. Back in the ring, Natalya locked in a sharpshooter. Flair hit the ring to break the hold with Natural Selection, leadimg to Sandhu pinning Natalya in the center of the ring. She celebrated her colossal debut victory with a Flair strut.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre & Indus Sher (Rinku & Saurav) defeated Jinder Mahal & The Bollywood Boyz (Sunil Singh and Samir Singh)
Before the match, Ric Flair cut a promo in the center of the ring. He declared the WWE brings the world together like no one else. After wishing everyone a happy Republic Day, he was interrupted by Mahal and the Boyz. Playing the heel, Mahal declared all of Inda’s population tuned in to see him. McIntyre then interrupted Mahal before introducing Rinku and Saurav of Indus Sher.
McIntyre started the match, but none of the intimidated heels wanted to face the WWE Champion. Eventually, Samir began as the legal man. McIntyre and Indus Sher dominated both Singh brothers leading up to a commercial break.
As the break concluded, Rinku was being overwhelmed in the heel corner. Mahal, now legal, began clubbing Rinku, setting him up for a flying elbow from Sunil. Both the Bollywood Boyz kept Rinku grounded long enough for Mahal to target his arm. Rinku overpowered Mahal and tagged in McIntyre.
McIntyre unloaded on Mahal. Mahal was able to stick out a knee to block the spear. Saurav tagged in, taking out both Singh brothers. At the same time, McIntyre connected with a claymore kick to lay out Mahal. Rinku tagged in and in tandem with Saurav, landed a combination slam and elbow drop. Rinku hooked the leg before successfully pinning Sunil.
After the final bell, the spotlighted Indian talent and Triple H shared the ring for the closing shot.