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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/13/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dolph Ziggler VS Baron Corbin; no contest.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan w/ The Riott Squad; Charlotte wins.
  • Baron Corbin VS Kevin Owens; Corbin wins and enters the WWE Championship match to make it a Fatal 4 Way.
  • WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???; no contest.
  • The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable; The New Day wins.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Sami Zayn; Ziggler wins and enters the WWE Championship match to make it a Fatal 5 Way.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dolph Ziggler VS Baron Corbin!

And after an initial record scratch, The Show-Off’s theme music actually does play. The Show-Off left SmackDown after vacating the United States Championship when he felt the fans weren’t worthy of his presence, but then he returned via the Royal Rumble match. Now he has an opportunity to leap over many other superstars and enter the WWE Championship match here tonight.

As for The Lone Wolf, his music plays from the start, yet he doesn’t come out. That’s because Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn are beating Corbin down to make sure he can’t compete! But Corbin doesn’t go down easy, he rocks both men back with heavy rights, only to be brought down by the 2v1 again. They even throw him into spare bins nearby!

“NOW that’s it!” One down, one to go, #Kami heads for the ring! Ziggler knows full well they’re on their way and gets ready for a fight. The fans boo as #Kami appears at the stage. Kevin sends Sami off to the side, and while Ziggler watches where the Underdog is going, the Prizefighter comes up the ramp. Ziggler intercepts Sami and they brawl in the bleachers! He bounces Saim off trunks but then Kevin comes in and it’s another 2v1 advantage! Sami throws Ziggler into the side of a trash barrel, and then Kevin slams the lid on Ziggler. The best friends clearly don’t want anyone else joining them against AJ Styles at Fastlane. Even so, Ziggler keeps fighting, until he’s pushed into a post. Kevin drags Ziggler up, for Sami’s HELLUVA KICK!

Ziggler goes down in a heap and #Kami stands tall while the fans boo and jeer. The referee backs them off, but the damage is done. However, Corbin returns! He takes them both on, but that’s still not enough with the numbers on #Kami’s side.

Kevin throws Corbin into the side rails, and security comes out to finally get them to stop. The fans boo and jeer harder, what will SmackDown management’s response be to this?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion is on a mission to handle this trouble-making trio herself. She already beat Liv Morgan last week, now she wants #KentuckyStrong tonight. Can Charlotte go 2-0 in this unofficial best of three series? However, to make sure The Squad isn’t a factor, Charlotte has her own back-up in the form of The Lass Kicker and Ms. Glow Time!

The bell rings and both sides cheer on their woman. Sarah backs Charlotte down but Charlotte fires right back out. They tie up, push back and forth, then separate when neither gets anyway. They go again, Sarah with the waistlock and judo throw. Charlotte resists but Sarah maintains the hold. Sarah throws Charlotte down again and keeps back control as Charlotte tries to get free. They stand up, but Sarah brings Charlotte down again. Charlotte keeps working to get out of the hold, but Sarah shirts to a facelock. Sarah backs Charlotte down but Charlotte rolls and reverses into her own facelock. Charlotte throws Sarah now with a hip toss, then boots her down and out of the ring! We go picture in picture as The Squad regroups.

Ruby and Liv coach Sarah back up and into the ring. Charlotte gets Sarah in a waistlock and returns the slam now. Now Sarah works to get free, throwing a back elbow. She puts Charlotte into a headlock, Charlotte powers out and Sarah rolls to run her over. Cover, ONE, then Charlotte runs Sarah over. Charlotte rocks Sarah with a big knee, then styles and profiles like her father. Sarah comes back with forearms but Charlotte gives one of her own. Sarah runs but Charlotte knocks her down again with a back elbow. Charlotte drags Sarah up and to a corner for a buckle bump. She brings Sarah out and tries again but Sarah reverse, bumping Charlotte off the buckles. Sarah whips corner to corner but Charlotte tumbles to the apron. Charlotte shoulders in, slingshot roll-up, TWO. Charlotte rolls Sarah again, ONE, and Sarah hits Charlotte low. Sarah whips and reels Charlotte into another knee, then gives a dropkick that sends Charlotte out of the ring. The Squad troll the Queen but Naomi & Becky back them off. Charlotte climbs back up but Sarah gets her on reentry. Sarah gives forearms and stomps in a corner, only stopping to snapmare and wrap on a straitjacket hold. Sarah thrashes Charlotte around and the Squad likes it. Charlotte gets to her feet but Sarah gets the waistlock. Charlotte works to get out as we go single picture.

Standing switch and a German Suplex puts Charlotte back in control! The Squad panics as Charlotte lifts Sarah, but Sarah sips out to chop Charlotte.

That wasn’t good, because now Charlotte unloads her chops! Charlotte chops Sarah on the ropes, even in the shoulder, then whips to scoop. Sarah slips out and tackles from behind, cover, TWO! Sarah keeps on Charlotte with a rain of rights, then stomps and kicks her around. Charlotte gets up but Sarah throws her with a butterfly suplex. Cover, TWO, the Squad grows frustrated. Sarah puts Charlotte back in the straitjacket stretch while fans rally. The Squad trolls Charlotte again even as the rally builds. Charlotte gets up, Sarah whips her, but Charlotte evades and gives a big knee strike. Sarah staggers but comes back with a shotgun knee! Cover, TWO! Sarah keeps going, kicking and stomping Charlotte again, then rains down forearms. Cover, TWO, but Sarah keeps on Charlotte with an armlock, and even grinds a knee into Charlotte’s shoulder. The fans keep cheering for Charlotte, and Charlotte feeds off that to get up, only for Sarah to lariat her down. Cover, TWO! The Squad can’t believe this. Charlotte kicks and chops back, then goes to boot but Sarah evades! With Charlotte stuck on the rope, Sarah German Suplexes, covers, TWO! Sarah’s frustration reaches an all-time high and she just gives rough shots to Charlotte. Charlotte fires up from it and hits back hard! Charlotte runs in but Sarah sends her face first into buckles! They both stagger up, Charlotte hits a backbreaker and then shot into the buckles, Natural Selection!

Charlotte wins! The Queen goes 2-0 on the Squad, can she beat Ruby to make it a sweep?

 

SmackDown management meets backstage.

Shane McMahon addresses the issue. Kevin & Sami are the guys Daniel Bryan wants to be WWE Champion? “It’s not going down like that.” Shane talked to Corbin and Ziggler before coming in here. Corbin will take on Kevin, Ziggler will take on Sami, and if either of them wins, or even both of them, they’ll each be added. But if Kevin interferes with Sami and Sami interferes with Kevin, they’re thrown out. The Commissioner has spoken, is this going to work in his favor?

 

Baron Corbin VS Kevin Owens!

As Shane McMahon just said, the only way Kevin can keep The Lone Wolf out of Fastlane’s WWE Championship match is to win fair and square in the ring! Can The Prizefighter beat up Corbin without the Underdog helping him?

The bell rings and Kevin goes right at Corbin with body shots and mudhole stomps in a corner. Corbin fires back with heavy rights, but then Kevin slips out of the ring to catch his breath. Corbin shouts for Kevin to get back in the ring, but Kevin doesn’t. So Corbin takes the fight to him on the outside! They brawl back and forth, then Corbin puts Kevin back in the ring. Kevin pounces on reentry, stomping away on Corbin in the ribs he and Sami damaged earlier. He puts Corbin in a corner, whips but Corbin reverses. Corbin runs in but Kevin boots him away, only to get rocked on the ropes with that right hand! Kevin tumbles down and out, but Corbin is a step ahead of him. He comes around the corner to then put Kevin into barriers. Corbin keeps going, rocking Kevin with knees and another barrier bump. The referee orders them to get back in the ring, so Corbin puts Kevin back in. Kevin sips right back out then rams Corbin into the apron, and a post! Kevin brings Corbin up and into the ring now, keeping on those bad ribs. He elbows and stomps Corbin more, then brings him up to put him in a corner. He whips corner to corner, but Corbin slips out then in, into a mule kick to the gut. CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO, and Kevin is upset while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to see Corbin reverse a whip to send Kevin into barriers again!

Kevin staggers away but then evades to send Corbin into steel steps! The referee checks on Corbin while Sami watches backstage. Kevin fetches Corbin to put him back in the ring, then hits the back senton! Cover, TWO! Kevin hurries to put on a chinlock even as he complains, “That was three!” The fans rally for Corbin as he endures the hold. Corbin sits up and then works his way up to his feet. Kevin rams knees into Corbin, then runs, but into a Choke Slam Backbreaker! Both men are down and slowly stirring. Kevin gets himself to the ropes while Corbin stands up and fans rally. Corbin throws forearms, one big forearm knocking Kevin down. He runs in, slides out then in, lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin is too sore to be frustrated as he gets up. Kevin is in a corner again and begging for mercy, but Corbin instead hoists him up to the top rope. Corbin rocks Kevin with another right before climbing up to join him. Kevin fights back, knocking Corbin off the top with headbutts. Kevin slips down, then evades again to send Corbin into a post! Roll up, TWO! Kevin stomps then climbs up top, but Corbin grabs him by the throat! Kevin fights back then hot shots Corbin, only to run into Deep Six! Corbin can’t cover yet, his ribs hurt too much.

Even so, he drags himself up to his feet and brings Kevin in, SUPERKICK instead! Then Kevin throws Kevin to ropes, Corbin holds ropes, then gets End of Days! Corbin WINS! The Lone Wolf adds himself to the championship match to make it a Fatal 4 Way! Can Sami keep it together to keep it at only four?

 

SmackDown Top Ten List!

As of last week the list was:

  1. AJ Styles
  2. Charlotte Flair
  3. Shinsuke Nakamura
  4. Naomi
  5. Bobby Roode
  6. The New Day
  7. The Usos
  8. Becky Lynch
  9. Randy Orton
  10. Tye Dillinger

Everyone from fans to superstars were both congratulatory and confused to at least one entry or another. Can The Perfect Ten remain in the Top Ten? Will he move up? Or will someone completely off the list jump on to bump him off?

 

WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???

The GLORIOUS One is a fighting champion and is open to giving any superstar that wants at him their title opportunity. “From the moment I won this championship, I said I wanted to be the greatest United States Champion.” In order to do that, he had to steal a tradition for a man he wants to surpass, and that man is John Cena. Say what you will but Cena defended the US Championship week in and week out. Now Roode takes great pride in keeping the US Championship Open Challenge alive. Obviously this is for anyone in the back, but Roode hopes a certain someone meets him “face to face, rather than coming out here with an RKO outta nowhere.” We wait for someone to accept, and it IS Randy Orton!

The Viper has never held the United States Championship, and perhaps he will finally become a Grand Slam Champion. However, before the match can begni, the Modern Day Maharaja appears!

Jinder Mahal speaks, “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Viper, Randy Orton!” Mahal knows that at least the WWE Unvierse respects Orton. But it seems the SmackDown roster doesn’t, since they only saw him as 9th out of 10. The 13 time world champion, a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, from Legacy to Evolution to the face of the WWE, but only 9th as voted by his peers. Orton and Mahal have had their ups and downs, wins and losses, but Mahal still respects Orton. The fans chant “RKO!” as if to signal they want him to give one to Mahal. Mahal continues, telling Orton that everyone else on SmackDown thinks Orton’s “already peaked.” Orton responds, “Jinder, I don’t give a damn about any top ten list!” He expects Mahal to believe that? Orton’s been here for 16 years, but he’s only 9th. Yet Roode is 5th after only sixth months. Orton’s life has been dedicated to wrestling, yet he’s outdone by a newcomer. The fans chant “RKO!” even louder now.

Mahal repeats that he respects Orton, but Roode thinks himself the future Legend Killer. Roode responds, “Those are some pretty big words from a man who couldn’t even make the top ten.”

And why is that? “Because nobody here respects you!” And in terms of respect, Roode has nothing but for Orton’s career. But if he were to say why Orton’s only 9th, it’s because everyone in the locker room is getting sick and tired of getting attacked “out of nowhere.” Like, when he does this? RKO to Singh! They brawl, Roode wants his DDT but Orton wants an RKO, both are denied and Mahal gets the KALAS!! Roode goes down, then Mahal grabs Orton, for another Kalas! The Modern Day Maharaja stands tall, proclaiming that he doesn’t need respect. The Open Challenge is cancelled for tonight, but will Mahal be first in line the next time?

 

The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable!

Awwwwwwwwww… CALIFORNIA~!” The Power of Positivity is here with Booty O’s and pancakes a plenty! They even have a table loaded with even more flapjacks!

“Today is a very special day”, it’s “Fat Tuesday”! Or in this case, Pancake Tuesday, “babyyyyy~!” In order to celebrate, Big E will “destroy the record” of eating 113 pancakes in eight minutes. How does he feel? “Good.” Okay. Who wants to see Big E break the record? The WWE Universe does. Xavier Woods counts it down, and Big E begins! He tries to shove fist fulls of pancakes into his mouth, but has he even gotten one down?

Gable & Benjamin come out to ruin the fun.

“Wow. This is great, guys, really.” When Gable was training for the Olympics, this is exactly what he imagined being part of. Good job, guys, really. Benjamin also says this is great. What The New Day has done for pancakes is “astronomical.” They should go on the road, or open up a restaurant. And when they do, they can leave the SmackDown Tag Team Division in the hands of “serious competitors.” “Honey~,” are you saying Kofi isn’t a serious competitor? That Big E isn’t a serious competitor? That Xavier Woods is not a serious competitor? The New Day remind Gable & Benjamin that they set the record for longest reigning W, W, E, tag, team, CHAMPIONS! And who even wants these two as champs? Who who who? “NOBODY!” “SHUSH!” So they have a serious side? What would happen if Gable were to… throw a pancake on the floor? They didn’t ilk that, did they? Then what if Benjamin, tossed a pancake on the floor? Benjamin flapped a jack. Oh, go for the big one. Big E defends his pancakes.. “Don’t you touch our cakes!” Settle down, Big E. They have news for The New Day: “Nobody likes pancakes.” The fans boo, who would ever not like pancakes? Benjamin & Gable say it’s time for waffles! And the pancakes go flying! The New Day have to hold Big E back, until this match officially begins.

We go picture in picture as both teams go to their corners. Big E is still furious, but passes out pancakes while the table is taken away. The official team for The New Day will be Big E and Kofi, with Woods taking over passing out pancakes like Frisbees. Gable and Big E start with the bell, Big E runs Gable over as payback for the flapjacks. Tag to Kofi, and the running low… twerk! Then the kick. Cover, TWO, and Gable powers Kofi into a slam! Cover, ONE, tag to Benjamin. Kofi fights back but gets clubbed down 2v1. Benjamin puts Kofi in a corner for right hands and stomps while we go back to single picture.

Benjamin whips Kofi corner to corner, but Kofi slips out to kick him away. Kofi climbs up, but Gable distracts. Kofi jumps over Benjamin, but runs into a pop-up knee! Cover, TWO, Benjamin drags Kofi up to whip him into the corner. Tag to Gable, they stomp Kofi again. Gable slams Kofi’s arm on the mat, then wrenches it. Cover, TWO, Gable keeps Kofi grounded with an armlock. The fans rally and Kofi gets to his feet. Kofi reaches for Big E while fighting back against Gable. He arm-drags Gable away but Gable comes back with the rolling kick! TWO, but Gable keeps his focus. He tags Benjamin back in and they focus on that arm. Kofi fights back but ends up in the enemy corner. Gable tags in and they both stomp Kofi out. Tag back to Benjamin, double whip but Kofi kicks back. He throws Gable out but Benjamin gets the waistlock. Kaofi escapes, but Gable trips up Big E! Woods calls him out, protesting to the referee. However, Benjamin turns Woods around to rock him with a right! Benjamin returns to embrace the heat while Kofi gets to a corner. Kofi responds with jumping double stomps! The fans rally, both men crawl for their corners, and hot tags to Gable and Big E! Big E throws Gable overhead! Then again! Then, the side belly2belly slam! Big E fires up and swivels those hips before running, Big Splash! He isn’t done there, he rallies the fans again. Big E scoops but Gable slips out, waistlock to Chaos Theory!

Both men are down and crawling for their corners again. Woods distracts so that the tag to Benjamin doesn’t count! Kofi comes in and dropkicks Benjamin out. Gable throws Kofi out, then argues with the ref, but turns into the scoop! Tag to Kofi, Midnight Hour! The New Day wins! Is that serious enough for Gable & Benjamin?

 

Backstage interview with Dolph Ziggler.

Ever since giving up the US Championship, he was gone. Now he’s back, and he admits to be selectively picking his spots. He finds himself primed for another opportunity. Ziggler lives for this, he loves this! Because it’s about doing what he’s been put on this planet to do, and that’s perform in that ring. Ziggler vows no one will outshine him, and that’s why “those cowards” had to attack him together. It’ll take more than just that attack to stop Ziggler. The reason Ziggler is back, the only reason he’s back in the WWE is for one thing only, the thing that eludes him to this day: the main event of Wrestlemania. “And I’ll be damned if I don’t walk in there as WWE Champion.” Can the Show-Off make the most of this opportunity?

 

The Usos speak.

They’ve been telling us for weeks how they have the SmackDown Tag Team Division #OnLock, and how there isn’t a tag team around that can match them. They try to but it’s lights out! Other teams stand up, but they get sat back down. These two are brothers, true brothers from the Samoan Bloodline, “ride or die.” From the womb to the tomb, they welcome you to the “Uso Penitentiary!” But then The Bludgeon Brothers break the screen! Harper & Rowan have made their case, can they break out of the Penitentiary?

 

Kevin finds Sami Zayn at gorilla.

He apologizes to Sami for messing up. Now it’s a Fatal 4 Way, and could become a Fatal 5! Sami can’t lose, don’t let Kevin down! Oh don’t let Kevin down? There is no “we” in the coming match, it’s every man for himself. The music hits, and Sami heads to the ring.

Dolph Ziggler VS Sami Zayn!

This may be the make-or-break match for the returning Show-Off on this Road to Wrestlemania. Can he steal the show from the Underdog to then try and steal the title from the Phenomenal One at Fastlane? They circle even before the bell, but we have to go to break.

SmackDown returns and the bell rings, Ziggler going right at Sami. Sami gets to a corner for safety, and Ziggler is forced to back off. He dares Sami to come out but Sami waits for him to stay back. Ziggler rushes Saim again but sami gets back between the ropes for safety. Fans boo and jeer while Kevin watches backstage. Sami and Ziggler circle, Ziggler gets the waistlock but Sami gets to the ropes. The ropebreak is tense, and Sami tells teh ref to do his job. Sami and Ziggler circle again, Ziggler gets the leg then the facelock, but Sami still gets to ropes. Ziggler lets go but Sami has a hold on him. Cheap shot headbutt to the ribs from Sami, then Sami backs off to a corner again. Ziggler dares Sami to come out again. They tie up, scuffle up to ropes again, and the break is no longer clean as Ziggler rocks Sami with a right. He keeps going, giving Sami a neckbreaker. Sami gets to a corner again, Ziggler hits the corner splash and another neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, Sami rolls all the way out. He walks around the ring to cool off, but fans boo and jeer. Sami takes his time returning into the ring, and circles with Ziggler again. They tie up, Sami puts Ziggler in a corner and clubs away with forearms to the back of Ziggler’s haed. The referee backs him off, but Sami comes back to boot-wash Ziggler right out to the apron. Sami drags Ziggler up and around, for a rope guillotine. Ziggler clutches his neck as he rolls away, Sami trolls him about the bad neck while he grinds a knee into it.

Sami backs off while Ziggler gets himself to a corner. Sami embraces the heat before rocking Ziggler with rights. He stalks Ziggler but Ziggler fights back with haymakers of his own. Sami powers Ziggler to another corner and keeps up the attack. He drags Ziggler up for a chop, then whips corner to corner. Ziggler reverses and runs in but gets a back elbow. Sami hops up, boots Ziggler away, then flies for a dropkick to knock him out of the air!

He clutches his jaw as he spills out of the ring, we go to break.

SmackDown returns again to find Sami holding Ziggler down in a chinlock. The fans rally and Ziggler fights his way up, but Sami whips him to the ropes to run him over with a clothesline. Cover, TWO, and Sami grows frustrated. He toys with Ziggler, kicking him while he’s down. Sami brings Ziggler up, but Ziggler escapes the suplex. Ziggler gets the waistlock but Sami elbows out, only for Ziggler to come back with the satellite DDT! Both men are down and Kevin worries backstage. The two slowly stir, and Ziggler gets running. Sami dodges, rolls, but Ziggler rolls out to hit the Famouser! TWO! Now Ziggler feels the frustration boiling up. Ziggler heads over to a corner, glances at the Wrestlemania sign then climbs up. Sami springs up to anchor him, Ziggler knocks him away, but Sami returns and trips him up! Sami rains rights on Ziggler before climbing up to join him. He prepares a superplex but Ziggler fights back. Ziggler throws haymakers but Sami hits back, getting Ziggler in position, SUPER EXPLODER!!

The impact is too much for Sami to make a cover, the referee starts a ten count. The count reaches 5 before they start standing up. Sami throws a hand but then Ziggler unloads, only for Sami to rock him back. Sami unloads more forearms then runs, but catches Ziggler’s dropkick to catapult him into buckles and post! Ziggler slumps down whiel Saim goes corner to corner, HElluva misses, ZIG ZAG HITS! TWO!! No one can believe Sami survived, but it also seems like Sami is moving on instinct. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while both men slowly stir. Ziggler stalks the dazed Sami, swings a kick but Sami counters to throw him into the post! Sami staggers over and drags Ziggler out of the corner, to then throw him in again! Ziggler slumps to the apron but Sami keeps going, dragging Ziggler up onto his feet. Sami tries but Ziggler resists! Ziggler slips down, victory roll, TWO! Exploder into the buckles! Sami walks to the opposite corner, and takes aim at the battered Ziggler. Sami runs in, SUPERKICK outta nowhere! Ziggler wins!! The WWE Championship is now a Fatal FIVE Way! And Kevin is furious. With the odds shrinking to 1-in-5, who will walk out of Fastlane the champion to then face Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania?!

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown feels good again, at least to me. It looked to open with what I expected to be a main event, but then it takes another swerve and it becomes Kevin & Sami attacking both Corbin & Ziggler. Another swerve was that I thought it was gonna be a Teddy Long moment of “impromptu tag team match”, but with the championship match stipulation. Instead, we get two separate singles matches to fill the card, both with championship implications and both really great matches. But before those matches, there was a lot of other great stuff tonight, and mostly all focused around matches. Charlotte-Sarah was really great, Sarah is a lot more polished than it seemed from her limited time on NXT TV. Charlotte wins because she has to stay strong and it makes for effective story that she’s already the winner of her Riott Squad series. Ruby uses social media to challenge #RoyalGlowFire to a new Six Woman Tag and that match is made for next week, so perhaps they’ll save Charlotte VS Ruby to determine the sweep. Then the Open Challenge turning into a three-way brawl was actually a good segment, too. Mahal stands tall after incorporating the SmackDown Top Ten List results into motivation, so perhaps instead of just Orton VS Roode, it’ll be a triple threat. A triple threat will make a way for Roode to still look strong even if he ends up losing, such as Orton pinning Mahal instead. Personally, from best to worst scenario, it’s: Roode retains; Orton wins to become Grand Slam Champion; Mahal wins to set up a Wrestlemania rematch.

The tag team division also had a great showing with New Day VS Gable-Benjamin, which can be framed as comedy VS seriousness. Comedic entertainment or not, the New Day is still a top tag team in the WWE and win as such to prove their point. They can continue a rivalry with Benjamin & Gable into Fastlane since it will clearly be Usos VS Bludgeon Brothers. The combination promo from those two was brilliant, as Usos show their great abilities on the mic but then Harper & Rowan counter with a proper “no words, just actions” display. Then as I said, both Kevin-Corbin and Sami-Ziggler were great matches, befitting of the motivations behind them. Fans actually cheered for Corbin for once, that alone is something to be impressed by. Then Ziggler had the fans back on his side despite the insistence of his record scratch to open his entrance. Ziggler and Corbin may just be in the match to help keep Kevin & Sami strong in the case where Styles retains, but I’m personally hoping for something else thrown in to really spice things up, given SmackDown has an extra month to build this PPV up.

My Score: 8.5/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!

AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
  • Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
  • Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
  • AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!

A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
  • Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
  • Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?

The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.

Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.

Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.

Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”

Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!

Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.

Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!

Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!

Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!

Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.

Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?

 

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!

It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?

Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!

Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!

Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!

Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!

Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!

Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!

Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!

Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!

Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!

But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!

Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?

As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”

Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.

Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?


My Thoughts:

A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.

But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.

Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.

My Score: 9/10


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