Sup fellas. I heard this sub loves writeups and long posts SOOOOOOO I played with the Angels until 2100 and here's my story. OOTP is probably my most played game of 2020, and I've been running with this one save this entire time. Any Angels player, or superfreak I'll hyperlink their career for your reading enjoyment. I'm a sim player, the enjoyment for the game is building the team, winning MVPs, and losing in the ALDS when my team wins 108 games. I went through quite a bit of strategies and team build here, and I hope you enjoy reading through my experience making it to the year two thousand and one hundred. First, we're going to start with my rules and settings.
- TCR is 110, all aging is .9, development is 1.1
- Injuries on low until 2040, at 2040 increased to normal.
- Standard rules, standard league
- Universal DH
- Rule 5 and draft pick trading both enabled
- Start with a fantasy snake draft, began with 14th overall pick.
The Beginnings (2020 - 2024)
When I originally started the league, I originally planned on making a team dominant on pitching with a few stud offensive guys. Main goal was to be defense heavy, team ERA around 3, with 2-3 guys that can hit for power. Off the bat, the draft and first few years
had some excellent starting pitching. The 4 headed monster of Cole, Ohtani, Kershaw, and Scherzer
was enough to carry the team to 98 wins in 2021. To get these 4 guys, I obviously had to skimp elsewhere. My only all-star quality player in the field was Pete Alonso, and a soon-to-be Gavin Lux. Defensively, every position carried at minimum a 60 base defense for their position, except catcher (catcher ability was 75, arm was 40).
I was confident with a pitching staff this powerful and a batting core of Alonso-Lux-Ohtani, I'd have an opportunity to make a few runs deep into the playoffs. Did we ever....
Act I: The First Dynasty (2025 - 2029)
Listen, we're covering over 80 years of Angels drafted fantasy drafted baseball here. There's going to be a few different "Acts" throughout. I'll do my best to keep it all looped for ya. Carried off of the arms and bullpen, we manage to squeak out our first World Series Win in 2021! The real story here, was the bats of Pete Alonso and Ohtani. They each hit 7 home runs en route to our first world series win. It wasn't until 2023 that the team's future would be made for the upcoming dynasty.
A budding superstar.... Johnathan Ortiz
got called up to the bigs to see what he's made of. At his peak, he was a 65/45 contact/power hitter, but his speed/stealing was 80/80 for the majority of his career. That bat, that speed in center? How could I resist calling him up during a flopped 2023. With a free agent signing of Cody Bellenger
in 2024, the 4 headed monster finally had the bats they needed to dominate the league. Originally designed to be a defensive pitching unit, this core managed to win 2024, 2025, and 2027. Old Man Gerrit Cole
specifically tortured the league into his 40s. Gotta thank that .9 aging setting.... I remember being absolutely baffled this dude only got one Cy Young, in 2020 no less! With the team's core sneaking one last hurrah in 2027, with the team's core ending with 4 rings. Gerrit Cole ends his Angels career in the all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and walks. Johnathan Ortiz ends up as the Angels all-time leader in stolen bases and hits. The hits record won't last too long....
Act II: The Louis May Era (2029 - 2042)
Listen, if any of you kids reading this are thinking about building a death star like my early dynasty... You gotta know there's GOING to be a crash afterwards. Those contracts kill, and it's even worse when you give someone a 10 year 350 million year deal and their WAR starts dropping (looking at you Johnny...). BUT we managed to draft this young shortstop with an absolute hatred of striking out. Louis May
carried the torch and hated power pitching with his entire heart. After getting bounced from the playoffs in the ALDS the year before, the team came roaring back to win 103 games, and our first rebound ring on the back of some STELLAR pitching
. Oh hey, Gerrit - still throwing? Do you see Kory Boudreaux
? The dude RAKED as a setup/closer for his LAA career, even starting at 1B for our championship run. How could we follow this up? Dynasty? 3 outta 5? Nope, miss the playoffs.
I REALLY hurt myself with some bad contracts here. Like, Cody Bellinger @ 38 years old for 32m bad. 2035 should have been a lost year, but Louis May *cough* ahem, M V P Louis May, simply decided he would hit the ball harder and farther, accumulating 9.5 WAR as a 2B, lone-man carrying this dying team into the WS including a Game 5 walk-off in the ALDS.
We've got to take a second to talk about what's going on in Colorado. They drafted and started this man, Mike "No Nickname" Sick
who just... obliterated the NL. I thought Coors.jpg was a myth.... but cmon. Mike never won a ring, but his name is PLASTERED in the record books. He was a 75 contact, 75 power, 75 avoid K's player until he went to Texas. Avoid K's tanked pretty quickly after that.
To end the Louis May era, the team went back to our roots and reinforced our defensive identity. We had 4 gold glove players, posted at 3B, 2B, C, and RF, with no player under 65 defensive rating for their positions. What's better than good defense? Combining 3 5 star free agent pitchers
to long term deals while I continue to falter to develop pitching talent. The 2041 world series went 7 games against the Phillies, with the Phillies having THREE walkoffs. We prevailed in a blowout in game 7.
Act III: The Golden Age (2042 - 2058)
Welcome to the Golden Age of the Los Angeles Angles. I'm going to preface this part with a LOT of luck was involved, I've always been partial to contact hitters, and have always loved high Avoid K's. You'll see a lot of that later. For now, take a gander at Ben Weinman
. This dude was a 3x triple crown winner, and was signed at a super team friendly deal his entire stint with the Angels. I'll bullet out some of our other key guys
for this ERA:
- Kung-Zheng Yao: 2040 - 2049, .285/.358/.553 @ CF
- Orlando Gastello: 2044 - 2054, .310/.369.411 @ LF, 427 SB
- David Bernal: 2044 - 2057, .302/.356/.571 @ RF
- Leo Segui: 2047 - 2055, won gold glove every year from 2049 - 2054 @ SS
I didn't invest much in pitchers for this entire era. I invested money in defense @ SS, 3B, and in closers. With the outfield being locked down for so long, all we had to do was ensure we gave opportunities for the offense to produce. This resulted in an appearance in the world series 9x from 2040 - 2050 (lost in 3 games in the 2045 ALDS), accumulating SIX RINGS. Highlights here include going 11-2 in winner-take-all games, and Leon Alcaide
winning the Cy Young 5x in 7 years. From 2051 - 2054, we lost in game 5 in the ALDS.... every single year. I can't really complain, can I? After the roaring 2040s, anything that comes afterwards is justified.
2055 - 2060 was the rebirth of The First Great Dynasty
era. Led by a contact hitting outfield, and defense throughout the infield, the team managed to win another 3 outta 5 to win a total of 9 championships between 2042 and 2058. I've been chasing this team success ever since, and I've found it's almost impossible to replicate.
Act IV: The Dark Age (2059 - 2077)
Here's where it gets dark. By the time the 2059 year came around, the only players we had left from the golden age were 2 relievers. I want to be clear here, we made the playoffs in every single season in the Dark Age. HOWEVER, with the statistical monsters we fielded, it should have been absolutely DRIPPING in championship rings. This reminds me of the "where's my ring?" Bryce Harper moment. That was me literally every single spring training trying to figure out who to field.
Enter, Josh James
. Originally drafted as a PITCHER, Josh became a corner outfield and had ratings of... 70 contact, 80 power, 70 eye, 65 avoid Ks. He snagged his first ring in 2058 at the end of the golden era, and didn't win it all again until 2073 when his power had started to vanish. Josh is the best hitter to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles. He holds a MLB record 7 MVPs.
Meet, a cohort I called the Landscaping Crew
, cause all they did was rake. Tim was hitting over.400 all the way deep into September, until a stretch dropped him below. He wouldn't sniff .400 that late into a season ever again. He and Manny Perez never had below 75 contact/Avoid K's for their entire career, continuing to prove that Three Outcome hitters are for suckers. Our 1-4 hitters for the better part of a decade were Tim Sherman, Josh James, Manny Perez/Jose Ramirez, and Ivan Mendoza. Looking at their stats, you'd think we'd have won RINGS ON RINGS ON RINGS. Nope. Outside of our ace
, we had almost no pitching and lacked a bonafide closer to put teams away in the playoffs.
We AVERAGED 100 wins a year during this era. We just couldn't cut it in the playoffs. Running into starters like Urbay
, and those pesky Yankees and Twins, just ruined our chances. The Twins had a hidden dynasty, going 1/3 in 3 straight years to win it all. Contrary to the luck and success of the golden era, here's how our world series hopes were DASHED for two decades...
- 2064 - lose to the Reds in 7. Cincy walks it off in the 12th
- 2072 - Get absolutely manhandled by the D-Backs. I'm talkin they dropped a mf 18 on us in the world series. Unwritten rules unsmitten rules dawg I was ready to flippin fly out there
- THE YEAR IS TWO THOUSAND AND SEVENTY THREE BABYYYYYYYYY. The 15 year between championship drought comes to an END! We only won 91 games, eh? What's up with that? I'LL TELL YA WHAT'S UP WITH THAT IT'S THESE NEW GUYS WINNIN THE MVP AND GETTIN THE PLATINUM STICK AWARD AND WALKIN OFF IN GAME 7 AGAINST THOSE NO GOOD ROTTEN D-BACKS LETS GOOOOO POP THE BUBBLY. JOSH JAMES GETS HIS RING, JOHNNY NUNEZ GETS HIS RING! THEY'VE DONE IT, POOF BAM BOOM GET THEM FIREWORKS READY. Jokes aside, this one felt the absolute best. Literally called my girlfriend when it happened.
- 2074 - Mets out pitch me, we strand 16 on base in game 6. Lose 4-2 in the WS.
This era stunk, dude. I'll do some digging around the league and see if I can find some real outlier players other than Josh James. Normally we get one or two every 20 some odd years. I really tried to make a team of contact guys backed up by superior power hitting, but we just couldn't afford quality pitchers. Once our good closers left, that was it.
Act V: Let's Build a Death Star & The Great Beyond (2078 - 2100)
When all of the superstars and Landscapers had to move on. They either retired with me, or I traded them once their WAR dropped below 3. Thinking about how piss awful the last 20 years were, I decided to refocus on pitching and defense. We've had some real superstars, and the single best pitcher of the MLB during this era. Grab ya lunch, some charcuterie, and load up the kool-aid cause we're boutta get INTO it.
Something I haven't touched on yet is how OOTP just develops the league whenever it wants. Some examples:
- Expanding by 2 teams literally after the first season I play. We had 34 teams in 2021. What the shit game?
- 2027 NL CREATES the DH - LOAD EM UP LETS GET THOSE HITTERS HITTIN
- 2030 AL BANS the DH GET THAT SHIT OUTTA HERE PITCHERS GOTTA HIT BABY
- 2043 AL REINSTATES THE DH GET THOSE HITTIN PITCHERS OUTTA HERE
- 2051 in the middle of this 2 DH MLB and hitters just obliterating baseballs.... OOTP drops the pitching mound lower.
- 2059 NL BANS THE DH no more pitchers hitting, no more "it's a long fly ball ITS OUTTA HERE" greatest moments in the history of baseball. MLB? More like, No Fun LB.
Well, to me none of that made much of an impact UNTIL... say hello to the TRENDSETTER
. Ben Wold here isn't just a pitcher. He's the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young since RA Dickey almost 70 years ago. Within 5 years, knuckleball pitchers start showing up in ever part of the game. The kids above matured into each being MVPs, and Ben Wold's knuckleball carried the team to a 2nd WS ring of the 70s in 2078. A sweep.
Welcome to the 2080s. Let's dance with Greg Vaughn
. Players HATED Greg. I'd get messages saying he got into fights in the locker room. I didn't care, look at that ERA+! WOULD YOU? Cmon, look at his H9 and tell me again. Behind Greg's pitching and some great hitting, we managed to win it all in 2081, 2082, and 2084. Get dynasty'd, OOTP. 2084 specifically deserves a deeper dive...
Let's look at the curious case of Nate Kennedy and Ki-Chun Kim
. Nate Kennedy was a RP that had 50 contact/power and 65 avoid K's, and 60 speed. I figured, what the heck let's throw him in RF. Somehow, in 2084 he ends up with 40 SB, 35 HRs, and only 80 SO. As a RF he finishes the year with 6.5 WAR and wins the MVP, the single lowest WAR of an MVP player during this entire playthrough. Ki-Chum Kim was a 75 defensive shortstop his entire career. See all those gold gloves? Me neither. He never got one.
From 2084 - 2091 the team takes up a new identity. Losing in the ALDS, and I'm talking LOSING. Swept in 5 of those years, missing the playoffs in one, and losing in 5 in the last. The Rockies built their death star, with Coors.jpg
being reincarnated and snipe 2 rings. You might notice Brad ends up an Angel...
Time to assemble the death star. What do we need to just obliterate other teams? Well, everyone mentions the "5 tools" of baseball: contact, power, speed, fielding, and throwing. Each of the skill positions carried at least 4 stars overall, with 6 of the 8 having 5 stars overall containing all 5 tools of the game. Let's look at some players and numbers....
- Okay, we've had some legendary base stealers come through LA. Can any of them be topped? Say hi to Juan. Juan has HELD DOWN a corner outfield spot defensively his entire career.
- It'd take me too long to dig through each of these players individually but look at the absolute absurdity of this offense in 2090 and 2091.
- Remember Ben Wold? Because of him, we were gifted with these two mold breakers. Both of them are knuckleballers. Butch, specifically only knows a splitter and a 100/100 knuckleball. Luis managed to be the first one I've ever seen hit 250 innings, almost entirely because he throws the pitch. Both of them are on this pitching staff, and I have no intention of them going anywhere else. Led by Luis, the entire team's ERA doesn't sniff 4.00 between 2086 and 2095, and instantly going sub 3 in 2096.
So what does this get us? We've got the best offense... ever? Probably not. Best pitching staff ever? Also no. But we do have a 1B that can steal bases and 2 knuckleballers! This leads to 7 straight years of 105+ wins, topping at 117. In 2093, we steal a game 7 from El Paso off of a botched save to win it all in 2093. We win it all 2 outta the next 3, and end our final dynasty of the century.
Epilogue & Recap
This was an absolute blast to write up and play. I've been playing for MONTHS now, and I'd figure I'd share it with this lovely community. OOTP might be my favorite game now, I'll put the team leader statistics and MLB statistics below. Enjoy sorting through them all! Team Batting Stats MLB Records
The HR KING is Jo Adell btw. Good luck Angels fans!
Nobody even got close to Joltin' Joe's 56 game hit streak. Closest was 45 games in 2089.
Nobody got a 20 strikeout game, closest was 19 done by 3 pitchers.
The Angels have 28 retired numbers. 22 of them were players from my sim.
Chapter 1: The Gym
Chapter 2: The Unstoppable Force NXT, April 9th, 2020
Ezekiel Jackson comes out with the rest of Rikishi's Gym and he says that now that he holds both the North American Championship and The NXT Championship he is combining them and will defend both at the same time in his title matches. Adam Cole then walks out and says he is using his rematch clause right now.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rikishi's Gym vs Adam Cole w/The Undisputed Era for the NXT Combined Championship in a Ladder Match
Jackson and Cole have a thriller of a match reminiscent of there Takeover: Tampa match just a few days before as they both hit insane spots and nearly kill each other. We see Cole hit a Panama Sunrise off the ladder only to see Jackson push the ladder down right before Cole grabs the Belts. Jackson at one point sends Cole through a barricade with a Spear. Rikishi's Gym and The Undisputed Era make their way backstage in a huge brawl that is more of a massacre in the favor of Rikishi's Gym. Jackson and Cole's faces have changed in colour to a bloody red as they smash each other with a variety of weapons. The match ends when Jackson throws Cole off the ladder with a Chokeslam when they both stand on top of the ladder. Cole plummets to the ground as Jackson grabs both Belts to remain the NXT Combined Champion!
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Adam Cole to retain the NXT Combined Championship(57:21)
NXT, April 16th, 2020
Jackson comes down to the ring because Keith Lee is now using his rematch clause for a shot at the new Combined Championship.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rikishi's Gym vs Keith Lee for the NXT Combined Championship in a Steel Cage Match
Jackson and Lee have a great match with Lee hanging in with the clearly superior Jackson. They fight for a while and we even see Keith Lee go for a Moonsault off the top of the cage but Jackson somehow kicks out. Jackson wins the match when he Spears Lee through the Cage and walks out for the win.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Keith Lee to retain the NXT Combined Championship(32:11)
NXT, April 25th, 2020 Johnny Gargano w/Candice LeRae vs Joaquin Wilde for the #1 contender status for the NXT Combined Championship
Johnny Gargano and Joaquin Wilde have an awesome match that Gargano wins with the Garga-No Escape.
Johnny Gargano defeats Joaquin Wilde to become the #1 contender for the NXT Combined Championship(11:15)
In the following weeks leading up to Takeover, Jackson cuts a promo after promo tearing down Johnny Gargano.
NXT Takeover: Hartford, May 12th, 2020
Earlier on in the night, other members of Rikishi's Gym compete in a 6 man tag match where we get some interference from Jackson which leads to a brawl between him and Gargano who runs in with a Baseball Bat. There match is set to be in the main event tonight.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rikishi's Gym vs Johnny Gargano w/Candice LeRae for the NXT Combined Championship
Jackson and Gargano have a thriller of a match with Gargano using his vast arsenal of submission moves to wear down Jackson but Jackson uses his size to hit a ton of big slams on Gargano. Gargano eventually locks in the Garga-No Escape but it seems that this time there is an escape route as Jackson reverses it into an Inverted DDT which is soon followed by The Book of Ezekiel for the 1,2,3 for the win.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT Combined Championship(19:18)
After the match, We get a huge celebration as Jackson calls out the whole of The Undisputed Era.
NXT, May 16th, 2020
Ezekial Jackson comes out and he says "`This division needs some new challengers but first I need to deal with a pesty bit of NXT's past, The Undisputed Era. That is why over the next 4 NXT Takeovers I will face each member of the Undisputed Era in a title match. First up on my list is Bobby Fish so Bobby you will be the first to fall at Takeover: eXtreme(but the X is like the X in NXT). So first I would like to prove I am the greatest because I want the Undisputed Era in an 8 man tag match next week with 3 other members of Rikishi's Gym!"
The Undisputed Era come out and accept both the Fish vs Jackson challenge and the 8 man tag match.
NXT, May 23rd, 2020 Rikishi's Gym(Jackson, Young, Cass & Riley) vs The Undisputed Era
Rikishi's Gym dominates the early but The Undisputed Era fight there way back into the match and they take control of the match. Rikishi's Gym fights back near the end as Jackson hits a Spear on Roderick Strong for the win.
Rikishi's Gym defeats The Undisputed Era(17:36)
Over the next few weeks, The Undisputed Era and Rikishi's Gym exchange promos and we have matches between Gym members other than Jackson and the members of the Era. We also get many brawls between the 2 factions.
NXT Takeover: eXtreme, June 24th, 2020 Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rikishi's Gym vs Bobby Fish w/The Undisputed Era for the NXT Combined Championship in a Steel Cage Match
Jackson and Fish have a surprisingly good match. The match ends when Jackson hits a Shooting Star Press off the top of the Steel Cage for the win.
Ezekiel Jackson defeats Bobby Fish to retain the NXT Combined Championship(16:52)
After the match, there is a huge brawl between Rishiki's Gym and The Undisputed Era.
NXT, June 28th, 2020
Rishiki's Gym come out and they celebrate last night's victory and hype up Ezekiel Jackson as an unstoppable machine. The Undisputed Era come out because next week on Wednesday is July 4th so instead of an NXT episode they are going to have an NXT Takeover holiday edition so O'Reilly will get his shot at Jackson then. We then get a huge brawl between the 2 factions. It is later announced that this match will have a special July 4th themed stipulation as it is called a Patriot Match. In a Patriot Match, the 2 men will fight in a Washington D.C around Captial Hill. To win the match the man must climb to the top of the White House and retrieve the American Flag which will have the belt on it. Adam Cole jumps in and says that since it is such a historic match he should compete in it and O'Reilly agrees as he steps aside allowing Cole to take his place(The PPV will be in DC as well)
NXT Takeover: America, July 4th, 2020 Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rikishi's Gym vs Adam Cole w/The Undisputed Era for the NXT Combined Championship in a Patriot Match.
Ezekiel Jackson and Adam Cole begin right in front of the Washington Monument. They battle throughout the Capitol Mall and we see them stumble into the Air & Space Museum. We see a ton of cool moments like Jackson missing a Spear and going flying through the hull of a model spaceship. We also see Jackson Powerbomb Cole through a Space Capsule. After a long fight, they make their way back outside and into the Art Museum. We see Cole smash many paintings over Jackson's head as they fight into the cafeteria where we get a fight that shows both of them using steel plates to batter each other. They then get in a huge fight in the middle of the Capitol Green. Jackson and Cole then make their way up Capitol Hill and inside the Capitol Building. We get some political interference as we see Congress Members like Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders get involved in the match. We then hear a very patriotic song playing and then as they turn the corner they back into Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter who have the Real Americans music playing. They then much later after going through many Museums and buildings along with at one point entering the Washington Monument. They are finally inside The White House and they fight through the halls of The White House. We see them then bust into the Oval Office while fighting and with the President sitting right there Jackson hits Cole with a Spinebuster onto the President's desk. The President then gets up and he hits Jackson over the head with a Glass Bottle as Trump's old WWE theme plays. Someone then taps Trump on the shoulder and he turns around as the crowd sees Stone Cold Steve Austin right there and he hits a Stunner on Trump recreating that spot from a while ago. They keep fighting through the Oval Office and we see many patriotic WWE Superstars. We see Sargent Slaughter(Let's just all forget that terrible Iraqi Sympathizer angle because it was very Islamaphobic and dumb), Hulk Hogan, John Cena, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. We get cameos from former Presidents like Obama, Clinton, and Bush. They then make their way up to the top of the White House with both men bloody and beaten. From there they both stumble towards the flag but then we see Cole reach for the belt before Hogan runs in and Leg Drop's Cole. Hogan basically screws Cole but then Jackson hits The Book of Ezekiel on Hogan and says "The WWE has had enough of you meddling in others affairs, you meddled in Yokozuna vs The Hitman and I will not be the next in the Hogan line of destruction!"
The fans cheer as everyone quickly got tired of Hogan be Mr. immortal. We then see Cole and Jackson have one last big slow fight on top of the White House. Cole hits a Panama Sunrise but when he goes for the flag, Jackson grabs his leg. Jackson then hits a Spear before he hits The Book of Ezekiel which sends Cole off the top of the White House. Jackson then stumbles forward with blood pouring everywhere as he grabs the flag and the belts for the win as the National Anthem of the United States plays. This match was incredible and long as Jackson celebrates with Rishiki's Gym standing below and cheering him on. The match is a long one and takes up most of the night's card(It can't be too long because the main roster has a PPV July 4th special right after this)
Ezekial Jackson(c) defeats Adam Cole to retain the NXT Combined Championship(1:35:58)
NXT, July 11th, 2020
Ezekiel Jackson celebrates his insane match and his victory last week at Takeover. Jackson is so confident that he issues an open challenge and it is answered by Tyler Breeze.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rishiki's Gym vs Tyler Breeze for the NXT Combined Championship
Jackson dominates the match as Jackson beats Breeze in quick fashion hitting a Spear and then a Chokeslam for the 1,2,3.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Tyler Breeze to retain the NXT Combined Championship(4:34)
Over the next few weeks, Jackson hypes up his match at Takeover: Boston against Roderick Strong and he says that 2 members of NXT have fallen and now the other 2 will fall. We do this standard build with tons of brawls that involve a lot of weapon use before we get to Takeover.
NXT Takeover: Boston, August 23rd, 2020 Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rishiki's Gym vs Roderick Strong w/The Undisputed Era for the NXT Combined Championship in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
This match is insane as Jackson batters Strong across the whole arena at different times teaming with other members of Rishiki's Gym and at other points is attacked by the rest of The Undisputed Era. We see Jackson powerbomb Strong onto a Car hood and then Jackson throws Strong through a car windshield. The match ends when they are both on top of a trailer and then Jackson hits The Book of Ezekiel on Strong for the win.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Roderick Strong to retain the NXT Combined Championship(45:16)
NXT, August 27th, 2020
Ezekiel Jackson comes out and says that now O'Reilly is the last man left of the Undisputed Era who has not been conquered by Rishiki's Gym.
NXT, September 3rd, 2020 Rishiki's Gym(Jackson & Riley) vs The Undisputed Era(Strong & Cole)
Jackson uses his strength to dominate the match as he drives Cole into the corner hitting constant Corner Spears on Cole before he and Riley hit a Spinning Samon Drop-Cutter Combo for the win.
Rishiki's Gym defeats The Undisputed Era((9:48)
NXT, September 10th, 2020 Ezekial Jackson w/Rishiki's Gym vs Pete Dunne
Jackson uses his strength to take control but Pete Dunne uses his submission moves especially on the fingers to hinder Jackson. Jackson then hits a Spear and then The Book of Ezekial for the win.
Ezekial Jackson defeats Pete Dunne(8:29)
NXT Takeover: Gold, September 13th, 2020 Ezekial Jackson(c) w/Rishiki's Gym vs Kyle O'Reilly w/The Undisputed Era for the NXT Combined Championship in a Tables match.
Jackson dominates the match using a variety of slams and backbreaker to put O'Reilly in a bad position. O'Reilly uses a Boxing-Style to kind of get back in the match before O'Reilly gets Speared through a Table that is set up in the corner giving Jackson the win.
Ezekial Jackson(c) defeats Kyle O'Reilly for the NXT Combined Championship(16:09)
NXT, September 17th, 2020
Ezekial Jackson says that now that all of the Undisputed Era have been defeated so he needs a new challenger for Takeover: Haloween
NXT, September 24th, 2020
It is announced that there will be an 8 man tournament to crown the new #1 contender for Jackson's title.
Damian Priest vs Fandango in the Quarterfinals of the #1 contenders NXT Combined Championship Tournament
Damian Priest fights with Fandango for a couple of minutes until he sets up for the Swinging Reverse STO(The Sister Abigail like move) but Priest escapes and then hits The Reckoning on Priest for the win.
Damian Priest defeats Fandango in the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament Quarterfinals(11:13)
Bronson Reed vs Zack Gibson in the Quarterfinals of the #1 contenders NXT Combined Championship Tournament
Reed destroys Gibson as Reed is so big that all of Gibson's moves just bounce off of him. Reed then hits The Bronson Bomb for the win.
Bronson Reed defeats Zack Gibson in the Quarterfinals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament(7:36)
NXT, October 1st, 2020 Matt Riddle vs Roderick Strong w/The Undisputed Era in the Quarterfinals of the #1 contenders NXT Combined Championship Tournament
Riddle and Strong have the best match of this tournament so far which only ends when Riddle hits the Bro Derek for the win.
Matt Riddle defeats Roderick Strong in the Quarterfinals of the #1 contenders NXT Combined Championship Tournament(16:23)
Adam Cole w/The Undisputed Era vs Tommaso Ciampa in the Quarterfinals of the #1 contenders NXT Combined Championship Tournament
Adam Cole is beaten down by Ciampa for most of this match but Cole is also very good so he nearly scores a pin with a running knee out of nowhere. The match ends when Fish distracts Ciampa allowing Cole to hit the Last Shot on Ciampa from behind for the win.
Adam Cole defeats Tommaso Ciampa in the Quarterfinals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament(23:21)
NXT, October 8th, 2020 Damian Priest vs Bronson Reed in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament
Damian Priest uses submissions to work down the big guy Bronson Reed. Reed manages to stay on his feet the whole match but Damian Priest uses his deadly finger-lock to force Reed to tap.
Damian Priest defeats Bronson Reed in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament(9:13)
NXT, October 15th, 2020 Matt Riddle vs Adam Cole w/The Undisputed Era in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament
Adam Cole showcases how good of a performer he is here as he sells everything and makes each kick seem to have a bigger impact. Cole plays the heel role to perfection during this match as he slips in and out of the ring and uses a lot of hits from behind. Eventually, Cole hits the Panama Sunrise for the win.
Adam Cole defeats Matt Riddle in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament(33:21)
NXT, October 22nd, 2020
Jackson and the rest of Rikishi's Gym cut a backstage promo saying that Jackson is ready for either Priest or to beat Cole again.
NXT, October 29th, 2020 Adam Cole w/The Undisputed Era vs Damian Priest in the Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 Contenders Tournament in a Steel Cage Match
Adam Cole and Damian Priest have a great match as they both use the cage to brutalize each other. We see Priest hit a Diving Leg Drop which allows him to set up for The Reckoning which he hits on Cole for the win.
Damian Priest defeats Adam Cole in the Finals of the NXT Combined Championship #1 contenders Tournament(25:26)
NXT Takeover: Halloween. October 31st, 2020
The ring is set up to look spooky and scary as this is the first-ever Friday Night Takeover and that it is Halloween. It is announced that Damian Priest vs Ezekiel Jackson will be in a Haunted Match which will take place in a Haunted area(a place that has a collection of spooky stuff like Haunted House's, Graveyards and other spooky stuff.) The goal of this match is to get your opponent in a Casket and then bury them(how you win is a mix of a Casket Match and a Buried Alive Match). This stipulation will also be used later as right after this show we will get a Halloween Havoc main roster PPV.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) w/Rishiki's Gym vs Damian Priest in a Haunted Match for the NXT Combined Championship
Jackson and Priest start in a Graveyard as they battle each other. We see Jackson throw Priest through a Tombstone and he tries to put him in the casket but Priest escapes and throws Jackson in the casket. It looks like we have a new champion as Priest locks the casket and moves towards the grave as he begins to dig. He digs and digs until he is done and then he grabs Jackson and starts to push him in but Jackson punches the lid off the casket and attacks Priest hitting a Spear and then hits The Book of Ezekiel which sends Priest into the hole. He looks down into the grave but Priest is gone. We then see Priest rise up from the grave behind Jackson and he smashes him in the face with a skull. Jackson and Priest then battle until they fall through a door into a Haunted House. They battle through a ton of cobwebs and then they get into the garage which has a ton of Power Tools(like from horror movies) and they hit each other with hammers and other tools. Jackson then grabs a Chainsaw which makes Priest hide and we get a horror movie like scene where Jackson is trying to find Priest calling for him to come out as he Saws through walls and Priest hides before he throws a Vase at Jackson and then hits him with The Reckoning. Priest hits Jackson with tons of Heavy books before they make their way into the woods. They stumble into a cottage that looks like the house of a witch. They battle for a little bit as Priest uses a broom to beat up Jackson and then Jackson smashes Priest in the head with a Caldron. They then make there way back to the graveyard with tons of cool spots like Priest hitting Jackson with a Shovel. Priest then powerslams Jackson onto the metal spiky fence. Jackson is very out of it and it looks like Priest has done it as he drags Jackson to a new casket. Jackson then smashes Priest's head on the Oak Wood of the Casket before Jackson hits him many times with a Shovel. Jackson then hits The Book of Ezekiel dropping Priest into the casket. Jackson closes and locks the casket before he throws him into the grave. Jackson starts filling up the grave and whenever Priest tries to get out, Jackson smashes him with a Shovel again. Jackson finally finishes filling the grave. Jackson then goes over and grabs the Tombstone which says R.IP Damian Priest
and he puts it in the ground winning the match.
Ezekiel Jackson(c) defeats Damian Priest to retain the NXT Combined Championship(46:37)
NXT, November 5th, 2020
The Undisputed Era declare that they want a Wargames match against Rikshi's Gym.
NXT, November 12th, 2020
Rikishi's Gym come out and they accept the challenge of The Undisputed Era and it is announced that Jackson will be in the match and if Rishiki's Gym wins then Jackson retains his NXT Combined Championship and if The Undisputed Era win then Cole will be the champion.
NXT, November 19th Rishiki's Gym(Aires and Cass) vs The Undisputed Era(Fish & O'Reilly) winner gets the advantage in the Wargames Match
Aires and Cass use a ton of big moves that involve a lot of big and little man combos to wear down O'Reilly and Fish. The Undisputed Era keep the match close because of how well Fish & O'Reilly work together. Fish and O'Reilly end up winning the match after Fish hits the Flying Fish Hook on Aires and then Fish & O'Reilly hit the Chasing the Dragon on Aires for the 1,2,3.
The Undisputed Era defeat Rishiki's Gym(18:47)
NXT Takeover: Wargames, November 22nd Rishiki's Gym(Jackson(c), Cass, Young, and Kidd) vs The Undisputed Era in a Wargames Elimination match for the NXT Combined Championship(If Rishiki's Gym wins then Jackson retains, if The Undisputed Era wins the Cole gets the title)
Cole and Jackson start first and for 5 minutes they have an amazing match with both of them hitting their finishers but due to the match rules, they can't pin each other yet. The next man out is Roderick Strong since The Undisputed Era won the advantage. Strong and Cole gang up to wear down Jackson before 3 minutes later Big Cass enters the ring to even the odds. Rishiki's Gym takes control of the match until 3 minutes later Bobby Fish enters to give The Undisputed Era an advantage that allows them to take out Cass by tossing him into the cage many times before they gang up on Jackson in a 3 on 1. Then out comes Darren Young and he starts the match hot taking down all 3 of them before helping Cass & Jackson up as Rishiki's Gym to take control of the match. The next man up is O'Reilly and there is 3 minutes left until a pinfall can happen. Tyson Kidd is the last to enter and he dominates the match using many flips and many kicks. The eliminations don't come in for a while as the Era batter The Gym with many weapons and The Gym do the same to The Era. The first elimination finally comes when Tyson Kid climbs to the top of the Cage and hits a Shooting Star Press onto Roderick Strong for the 1,2,3.
The match continues without elimination for another 20 minutes before Fish hits the Flying Fish Hook when he has climbed halfway up the cage onto Young for the 1,2,3.
The match continues in great fashion in this 3 on 3 brawl. We also see Tyson Kidd hit a Flying Enziguri on Fish but he kicks out. The match continues before Cass is eliminated when Fish & O'Reilly for the Chasing the Dragon and then Cole hits Cass with the Last Shot for the elimination.
Jackson & Kidd are now outnumbered as they continue to fight. Kidd is eventually after 1/2 an hour eliminated with a Panama Sunrise-Total Elimination Combo.
Now it all comes down to Jackson in a 3 on 1 match. Jackson is destroyed but he continues to kick out of moves. Jackson eventually rallies through his tiredness and he hits a Spear on O'Reilly for the 1,2,3.
It is now a 2 on 1 in the favor of The Era. Jackson fights like a Bull slamming and charging Fish & Cole into the Cage and even Spears Fish through the cage. Jackson then hits The Book of Ezekiel on Fish for the pin and the elimination.
Now it all comes down to Cole and Jackson as the 4th match in their saga of a rivalry nears its end. Cole and Jackson go one on one for about another hour. Jackson finally begins to battle Cole on the top of the Cage before Jackson hits The Book of Ezekiel twice, the first time Cole lands on the Steel top of the cage and the second time he crashes down to the ring below. Jackson then does a Frog Splash off the top of the cage onto the nearly Ko'ed Cole for the 1,2,3.
Rishiki's Gym defeats The Undisputed Era to retain Ezekiel Jackson's NXT Combined Championship(2:09:01)
After the match, a bloody and beaten Jackson is greeted by the rest of Rikishi's Gym as he celebrates as the show closes.
STAY TUNED FOR CHAPTER 3: UNDEFEATED