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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/6/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Charlotte Flair VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad; Charlotte wins.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS jobbers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Rusev; Roode wins and retains the WWE US Championship.
  • Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS The Ascension; Benjamin & Gable win.
  • WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; thrown out due to interference, both Kevin & Sami and will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane, in a Triple Threat.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, is already in the ring.

Shane O’Mac welcomes Kansas City to the show, and admits that he’s not so excited about tonight’s main event. The reason is that the stakes have “epic implications”, as it is to decide who faces AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. Shane personally feels neither Kevin nor Sami deserve another chance, but he respects the man who does, and that is SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan, who now makes his own entrance.

Kansas City greets Bryan with a “YES! YES!” ovation while he enters the ring. Bryan and Shane hear the cheers before Shane continues. SmackDown is the Land of Opportunity, and that’s what these two agreed to. They vowed to listen to the WWE Universe, and the WWE Universe determines a lot that goes on. It is then Shane’s and Bryan’s responsibility to fulfill those wants. However, Shane doesn’t think Bryan is listening. Fans chant “Rusev Day!” to make their own point. “Duly noted.” That said, Bryan keeps giving the same two superstars opportunities, but maybe the fans want someone else.

Bryan knows that Shane saw the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble, there was a mistake made. Bryan is making a negative into a positive where two of Shane’s least favorites would “rip each other apart” for that opportunity. And honestly, Bryan expected a raise. Let’s not get carried away now, even though fans chant “YES!” Was that also duly noted? Shane counters, by admitting that he looks forward to Kevin & Sami ripping each other’s heads off, but what bothers Shane is the many second chances Bryan keeps giving them. It is difficult to understand why Bryan is constantly giving these opportunities to #Kami. Shane understands that what Bryan has done in the WWE changed the WWE forever. Fans agree to that with more “YES! YES!” And while there are similarities, #Kami is not Bryan. The “Yep Movement” is just a cheap imitation of Bryan’s greatest creation. Think about this, Bryan: do not allow #Kami to manipulate you.

Shane knows Bryan sympathizes, and that more than anything, Bryan would love to compete in the ring for himself. Fans also agree! Bryan speaks up: “What exactly is it that I’m doing?” Everyone sees it: Bryan is living vicariously through #Kami. Now AJ Styles appears!

The fans chants “AJ Styles!” and Styles speaks. In just 2018 alone, Styles has traveled thousands of miles defending his title. He’s been all over the world because that is what he does. Styles was put on this planet to be Phenomenal! And he can deal with bumps and bruises, he can deal with being away from home, “that’s part of the grind” that Styles was built for. But what Styles can’t stand is SmackDown management “obsessing” over #Kami. He doesn’t just mean Bryan, he also means Shane. Every decision about #Kami affects Styles. Styles doesn’t care because SmackDown is “The House that AJ Styles Built”, so just do him a favor: “Stay out of the way tonight.” The champion makes his own luck, and can keep his title to go on to Wrestlemania. The Phenomenal One leaves, message sent. Can management sort this all out and finally put their #KamiConspiracies to rest?

 

The New Day enjoys pancakes.

But they’re also answering questions from the WWE Universe on Twitter. “Do you think Corey Graves has a better jab or left hook?” They’re gonna see! The New Day is spending the night in the Social Media Lounge, just use #AskTheNewDay!

 

AJ Styles walks backstage but encounters Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style again says that he’s going to beat Styles at Wrestlemania. Can Styles hold on through Fastlane to take on another top tier threat to his title reign?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion wants revenge on little Ms. #LivStrong for last week, but she should worry about the Squad being ringside. Is the champion’s pride getting the better of her this far out from Fastlane?

The bell rings and Charlotte goes right at Liv! She puts Liv in the corner and rams in her shoulders while the Squad freaks out. THe referee keeps Ruby and Sarah back, Charlotte stomps a mudhole into Liv. Liv falls out of the ring but Charlotte keeps on her on the outside while we go picture in picture.

Charlotte slaps Liv before putting her back in the ring, but again has to be wary of the Squad. Liv pounces but then Charlotte counters with a takedown. Charlotte drives Liv’s head into the mat again and again! She then drops a knee on Liv, then drags her up into a corner. Liv boots back, but runs into Charlotte’s lariat. Charlotte sees the Squad scramble to Liv’s side, and dares Liv to return. The Squad coaches Liv back up and in, but Charlotte gets a waistlock on Liv. Liv elbows out then whips but Charlotte reverses. Liv dodges and Charlotte hits buckles, but then CHarlotte elbows back. She puts Liv on the apron, but Ruby distracts. Liv takes advantage again, inverted hotshot! She covers, TWO, so Liv hammers away with forearms. Now Liv drives Charlotte’s head into the mat, before wrapping on a seated straitjacket stretch. Charlotte endures the bend, but Liv starts thrashing her around. Liv stays on top of Charlotte, mocking the “WOO~!” She slams Charlotte into the mat elbows first, then sits her up to drive a knee into her back. Charlotte continues to endure, then works her way back up to her feet. Liv grounds her again as we go back to single picture.

The fans boo and jeer while Liv trash talks and mocks the “WOO~” some more. She stalks Charlotte to the ropes and kicks her while she’s down. Liv puts Charlotte in a corner, then brings her to another for a buckle bump. Charlotte knees back and Liv goes down. Liv returns but Charlotte backs her off with chops! Liv falls down and the fans fire up with Charlotte. Charlotte scoops and throws Liv overhead! Then she boots Liv in the face!

Charlotte drags Liv into position then literally walks over her to climb up, but Liv yanks her down to the mat. Both women are down and the referee checks on them. The Squad coaches Liv back up, Liv gives Charlotte the jumping double stomps! Cover, TWO, and Liv grows frustrated. She returns to the straitjacket stretch, sitting right on Charlotte’s back. The fans rally, and Charlotte feeds off the energy. Charlotte lifts Liv up on her shoulders, but Liv rolls through, TWO! Liv swings but gets spun around into the neckbreaker, and the spear! Sarah distracts on the apron but gets tackled off to the floor!

Ruby drags Liv out to save her, and Charlotte gets pissed. However, the referee ejects The Squad! The Squad is furious, and now Liv is all alone! Charlotte fetches Liv back into the ring, Liv misses her enziguri, Charlotte boots her down again! And from there, Charlotte puts Liv in the Figure Four, and then the Figure Eight!

Liv endures, taps, Charlotte wins! The Queen stands tall tonight, can she hold on to her title all the way to Wrestlemania?

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Will the outcome of his match with Sami Zayn affect their friendship? Wow, a great question for once. But she’s asking the wrong person. She should ask Sami and whether he can handle losing to Kevin.

 

The Bludgeon Brothers VS !

Harper & Rowan are back again, set on decimating whatever team is put before them. That sadly seems to be the fate of the two men put before them here, as Harper is upon the legal man the moment the bell rings. He stares down the tag partner as he pump-handle Fall Away Slams his prey! The tag partner hops off the apron, but Harper pursues, and Rowan blindsides him with a body check! Big Red carries “Little Red” up and around, and Harper stacks him and the partner in a corner. He tags in Rowan, slaps him to fire him up, and then whips him in for the corner splash sandwich! Full-nelson lift into the sit-out powerbomb!

And then the legal man gets the Bludgeon Bomb! The Bludgeon Brothers win! Is it only a matter of time until the challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships?

The Usos appear!

Jimmy & Jey walk out with their SmackDown Tag Team titles in hand, and stare right at the Bludgeon Brothers, who stare back just as fiercely. Harper keeps Rowan from making a move, and they let the Usos move past them. Harper & Rowan leave while the Usos take the ring, we go to break.

SmackDown returns and the Usos speak. “So check this out.” They let everyone know what Day One Ish means. Now they’ll explain what #LockDown means. Not getting booked, not orange jumpsuits, not “assume the position” or sleeping on a slab. What the Usos mean is a state of mind. They turn their minds into a prison and run that prison. Lots of cats acting real hungry, but not for cupcakes, but for success. You eat when the Usos say you can eat! Lots of cats are thirsty, but not for lemonade, Kool-aid or the purple stuff, but the thirst for the spotlight. Take a sip from their Holy Grail, but they’ll split you like the Red Sea! Lots of cats sleeping on them, but not bedtimes and bunk beds, but about the Usos stepping up and turning it around. They went from face paint to snap backs! From rainbows to white and black. They went from tights to “all whites”, and from “they ‘aight” to “match of the night!” The Usos went from Samoan Drops to SUPERKICKS, from “Uce-SO Crazy” to “Day One Ish”! You sleep when the Usos say you can sleep! It’s not paranoia, it’s the UCE-O!! Jimmy & Jey are ready to keep those titles #OnLock, will anyone step up to the challenge?

 

Daniel Bryan brings us the premiere of the SmackDown Top 10 List.

This list was compiled by the SmackDown roster, and the management had no input whatsoever. Number 10 is of course Tye Dillinger. Number 9: Randy Orton! At number 8: Becky Lynch! At number 7: The Usos! Number 6: The New Day! Number 5: The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode! Fourth place: Naomi! Third place: Shinsuke Nakamura! Second place: Charlotte Flair! And THE Number One is… AJ STYLES! Who will make it onto the list next week? Who will move up? And what opportunities will some of these superstars get from it?

 

The New Day continue to “enjoy” pancakes…?

Xavier Woods has pancakes massaging his face, and something happened to Big E’s shirt. What other questions will be asked and answered before the night is over?

 

Team Rusev Day speaks.

The ring is covered in canvas because art happens in the ring. Aiden English will give us a musical piece of art, but Rusev “is a very different animal.” The Bulgarian Lion roars, and “Bob Roode” better prepare to lose that United States Championship. Rusev comes for his Magnum Opus, MACHKA!

“Please welcome the melodious voice of Aiden English!”

The Drama King has a sing along, to besmirch the good city of Kansas City. “But there’s no need to worry, there’s no need to fear~! For today is the single greatest day of this or any year~!” This is RUSEV DAYYYY~!

WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Rusev!

The Lion of Bulgaria wants to make his day a GLORIOUS one by defeating the GLORIOUS One! Can Rusev once again become US Champion this early into Roode’s reign?

The bell rings, and the two circle while fans chant “RUSEV DAY!” Rusev and Roode tie up, Rusev backs Roode into a corner. The ref calls for a break, and Rusev honors it cleanly in honor of Rusev Day. Roode and Rusev tie up again, and Roode turns it around to put Rusev in a corner. The break is again clean, and “GLORIOUS!” They circle again, then tie up, Rusev gets the waistlock. He slams Roode down and floats to a facelock. Roode rolls and reverses into a hammerlock. Rusev rolls and gets his waistlock back, but Roode spins around, Rusev snapmares and covers, TWO. Rusev keeps on Roode with another facelock, but Roode stands up. Roode reverses to an arm wrench and headlock, but Rusev powers out. Rusev runs Roode over with a shoulder, Roode gets himself to a corner. The fans cheer for “RUSEV DAY!” while the champion sorts himself out, we go to break.

SmackDown returns to find Roode fighting back out of a corner. He backs Rusev down and whips him corner to corner but is reversed. He still boots Rusev away, then hops up for a GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool, and drags Rusev up for more chops. Rusev reverses the whip again but Roode ducks, only to be caught and thrown in a Fall Away Slam! English and the fans rally for “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” Roode gets to a corner, but Rusev is upon him with big right hands and stomps. Rusev has Roode on the ropes, then kicks him down with a stiff shot to the ribs. The Bulgarian Lion suplexes Roode, Roode clutches his back. Cover, TWO, so Rusev wraps Roode in a chinlock. The fans rally and Roode gets to his feet. However, Roode fades and Rusev sits him back down. The fans keep rallying, and Roode gets his second wind, so Rusev rams elbows into Roode’s shoulder and chest before putting the chinlock back on. The fans duel now, and Roode fires up again. Roode fights back with body shots then haymakers, rocking Rusev on his feet. Roode whips but Rusev reverses, yet Roode rallies with lariats! Rusev gets to a corner, Roode runs in for a corner clothesline and neckbreaker! Roode climbs up top and takes aim, big flying lariat! The fans are loud as Roode winds it up, but English distracts! Rusev gets Roode with a roundhouse!

He covers, TWO! Rusev Day is shocked while we go picture in picture.

Roode stirs while Rusev catches his breath. English watches in shocked frustration while Rusev gets to his feet. Rusev drags Roode up and to a corner to hoist him onto the top rope. A right hand rocks Roode, then another. Rusev positions Roode how he wants him before climbing up. Roode fights back with body shots and haymakers, then headbutts Rusev down, only for Rusev to come right back and rock him with a haymaker of his own. Rusev climbs up again, prepares and hits the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO! The frustration grows as Rusev rests against ropes. English coaches Rusev back into the match while Roode stirs and we return to single picture.

Roode fights back with haymakers, Rusev knees low. Rusev whips Roode, but Roode sees the body drop coming. He wants his DDT but Rusev shoves him away, pop-up knee to the stomach! Rusev runs now, GLORIOUS Spinebuster! TWO! Now Roode can’t believe it, but he won’t slow down. English distracts again, but gets the right hand! Rusev surprises Roode with a roll-up, TWO! Roode boots Rusev, tornado denied, MACHKA KICK! Rusev himself is wobbly, but he has fire in his eyes as he sees Roode is down.

He stands up and fires himself up as the fans chant “RUSEV DAY!” The stomp, then the clutch, but Roode rolls, TWO! Rusev blocks the kick, rolls, TWO! Accolade countered with a snapmare, into the GLORIOUS DDT!! Roode wins and retains! It may have been by the skin of his teeth, but the GLORIOUS One keeps hold of the US Championship, even on Rusev Day!

But RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!!

The Viper strikes again, and fans are going berserk! English tries to shield Rusev, then tries to run away, but even he gets an RKO! Orton feeds off the chaotic energy, and sees Rusev standing up… RKO!! Does Orton want a shot at the US Championship?

 

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin speak.

They’re in Fashion Police HQ, and point out “Exhibit A: Buffoons in costumes”, and “Exhibit B: Clowns solving made-up mysteries.” These two are here to bring back “prestige” to the SmackDown Tag Team Division. The only mystery here is “How are these guys still in our division?” These teams may have jokes but Gable & Benjamin have punchlines! They took out Breezango, now they’re after The Ascension. These #WeaponsofTagDestruction go after the Wasteland!

 

Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS The Ascension!

After being denied the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble, Benjamin & Gable have made it their mission to make the division serious again. They’ve already dealt with the Fashion Police, can they now put away Breezango’s “best friends”?

The match start with Benjamin and Konnor, the two circling before getting in each other’s face. Benjamin hits Konnor with forearms but Konnor doesn’t budge. Konnor hits back then whips back, running Benjamin over with a back elbow. Konnor runs but misses the elbow drop. He blocks the kick but Benjamin comes back around with the dragon whip! Benjamin keeps on Konnor but then gets run down again. Gable hops off the apron to keep from being a target. Konnor runs at Benjamin but Benjamin dodges, Konnor’s leg gets stuck on the top rope off the missed boot. Benjamin goes after him with hands, the referee backs him down but Gable pounces in the distraction by giving that stuck leg a hotshot! Konnor hobbles, Benjamin rock shim with the step-up knee! Cover, TWO, Benjamin tags in Gable. They bring Konnor up for double knees, kicks, and double chop blocks! Gable goes after the wounded legs with the knee-wrenching toehold. He keeps Konnor grounded and yanks on the leg more, covers, ONE. Gable trips Konnor up again and wraps the legs into another toehold. Konnor endures while Viktor coaches him on. Gable stomps the leg, then trash talks Viktor. However, Konnor springs up to flapjack Gable down! The two crawl, Konnor tags in Viktor! Viktor rallies hard on Gable & Benjamin, chopping away on Gable. He whips Gable corner to corner then hits a big running uppercut. Gable dodges the second attack but Viktor hits a flying knee, Benjamin breaks the cover. Konnor returns to rock Benjamin with right hands, but Benjamin counters into a spinebuster! Viktor returns to throw Benjamin out, but Gable pounces with the waistlock. He rolls Viktor as Benjamin tags in for the rolling German Suplex! Then they finish Viktor with Doomsday!

Benjamin & Gable win! With these two cutting out the jokes, will they become a serious threat in the SmackDown Tag Team Division?

 

The New Day continue answering questions.

“Who does The New Day think will win tonight?” Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn? Who cares! It’s not any of them, maybe #Kami can both lose. Yeah, they can fight forever. In traffic! “If you guys ranked 6th, who do you think would rank highest if you were just individuals?” The three of them are all great, but it has to be the smartest. No, it would be the strongest. AKA Kofi! Four time IC Champion, seven time Tag Team Champion, three time US Champion,and in 2018, the W! W! E, World Heavyweight CHAMPION~! Which then makes all three New Day members champion! If Kofi had one vote, he’d break it in half to give half each to Woods and E! They return to eating pancakes, but keep asking them questions!

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Any last comments before the main event? Sami feels tonight is his opportunity to step out of Kevin’s shadow. Kevin’s won all the titles, but that’s fine because they’re best friends. But even as friends they’ve fought each other more than anyone. Sami knows what Kevin is capable of and that Kevin will stop at nothing to win. But neither will Sami. This match of world championship proportions is about to begin!

WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!

The Underdog and the Prizefighter fight for the right to challenge the champ, and the champ even comes out to be on commentary. Styles doesn’t mind which man wins, he’ll be happy to beat the crap out of either of them.

The bell rings, the two friends circle and tie up. Kevin powers Sami to ropes, then honors the break. They go again, Kevin puts Sami on the ropes but Sami turns it around. The break is clean again, and they go again. Kevin gets the waistlock, Sami pries out but Kevin rolls to trip Sami. Kevin floats to the facelock, Sami stands up and they spin around. Sami grabs ropes, Kevin honors the breka but gives a stiff shove. Sami laughs it off, and the two circle again. Kevin gets a headlock, Sami powers out but Kevin runs him over with a shoulder. They speed up, Sami arm-drags Kevin, then spins around to another arm-drag and armlock. Sami wrenches Kevin’s arm but Kevin stands up, Kevin gets to ropes. The break is honored but with a bit of a pie-face from Sami. Kevin shrugs that off, and they tie up again. Kevin gets the waistlock, Sami the standing switch, Kevin’s elbow is very sharp. Sami trips up Kevin and fires off hands! Kevin bails out of the ring, Sami dares him to get back in. The fans jeer and cheer, Kevin doesn’t want to hear it. Sami waits for Kevin but Kevin says Sami should “calm down.”

He gets back in, Sami gets him again! Kevin bails out a second time then comes back up in frustration, only fro Sami to rock him right down! Styles likes what he sees while we go to break.

SmackDown returns again, and both men are slowly rising to their feet. Kevin chops Sami in the corner, then chops again, but Sami fights back with haymakers. Kevin knees low, but Sami springboards up and over to boot Kevin, only for Kevin to boot back. Sami boots back, Kevin clobbers him with a lariat! Both men go down and the fans applaud. Styles also likes what he sees as both men slowly stir. They get up and brawl again with haymakers and chops. Kevin backs Sami down, whips but Sami kicks Kevin away. Sami kicks but Kevin flips him to enziguri him! Then, Fisherman Neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kevin can’t believe it, but Styles likes to hate them. Sami gets to a corner, Kevin takes aim from the other, then runs in for the cannon- Sami catches Kevin but Kevin fights back. Kevin swings but Sami chops, to then acrobatically tornado DDT Kevin down!

TWO! Sami can’t believe it now. He stalks Kevin to the corner then stands him up. Sami tries to lift Kevin but Kevin clubs him down. Sami fires back and gets Kevin up to the top rope. He rocks Kevin with a right before climbing up, then prepares the superplex. Kevin resists, then fights back with body shots and an elbow. Sami falls, Kevin adjusts, SWANTON hits knees! Kevin writhes and rolls but so does Sami. They’re both on the outside now, Sami sees Kevin and gets a running start… Daredevil DDT! The fans are loud for both men while Sami struggles to stand up. “This is Awesome!” Sami puts Kevin in the ring and takes aim from the corner. He runs into a SUPERKICK! Kevin hurries to the top rope, he wants it this time… FROG SPLASH! TWO, and Kevin is shocked. Sami sits up, and the two “friends” glare at each other. Kevin pushes Sami, the fans want them to “Fight Forever!” He tells Sami to stay down, but Sami slaps him! Kevin throws Sami to the ropes, pop-up evaded, Half ‘n’ Half then the Blue Thunder Bomb! TWO!! And Sami cannot believe it. Kevin rolls away to the apron, then falls to the floor. Sami pursues while Kevin makes his way to the announce table. He drags Kevin over then asks Styles if he sees what he’s doing to Kevin. Styles does, and he wants Sami to finish him. Sami keeps talking trash, getting in Styles face, Styles shoves him away.

Then Styles starts swinging on them both! The match is thrown out, and Styles goes after Sami in the ring. He stomps Sami, but then Kevin returns, so Styles rocks him with a right hand. Styles doesn’t regret what he’s done, he just slingshots onto them both! He shouts that he “wanted somebody”, but Daniel Bryan returns to make an announcement. Given this “superlative performance of both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and due to the outside interference of AJ Styles”, Bryan says both Kevin & Sami will face Styles at Fastlane in a Triple Threat!! Kevin & Sami are happy with that, but Styles says this is the same thing all over again. Will this decision stand? Can Styles keep his cool and his title through to Wrestlemania?

 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode of SmackDown here tonight, though nothing too particularly spectacular. The tension between SmackDown management continues to grow, but the only real improvement is that Styles calls them both out for taking this #Kami/#YepMovement thing too far. Styles is still stuck as the proxy for Shane and Bryan to fight out their differences of opinion, and while it hasn’t exactly grown stale it isn’t that exciting right now, either. The match of Sami VS Kevin was still great, up until the almost obvious ending of disqualification. Bryan “logically” chooses to put Sami & Kevin both in the championship match, which would probably go down easier if it was two Faces and one Heel. However, with #Kami as Heels and Styles as the Face, it just seems awkward that this has kept going. Perhaps that’s the point, given Styles’ stated opinion on the matter; we are meant to feel as frustrated and unsure as he is, and in the end hope he comes out on top to keep the Dream Match alive.

The rest of the night was still pretty good. Charlotte puts on a great match against Liv and stands tall to A) Keep Carmella from trying another cash-in attempt and B) establish that she wants to defeat The Riott Squad single-handed. Like Alexa Bliss and the Raw Women’s Championship, Charlotte still has one last PPV to defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship, but there’s no signature match-type to just plug-and-play them into. I would hope Charlotte doesn’t end up against multiple members of the Riott Squad. Perhaps they’ll ban whichever two aren’t in the match from ringside so Charlotte can have a fair shot. The SmackDown Tag Team Division clearly wants Usos VS Bludgeon Brothers without either side directly saying so. Harper & Rowan deal with jobbers again while The Usos give us another fiery promo. Their match will be very physical and a likely Match of the Night, but after this, SmackDown is going to need some new teams to arrive to freshen things up. Maybe the Authors of Pain can come over here instead of over to Raw for that purpose. The US Championship is going really strong, given the great match between Rusev & Roode, and then HOLY CRAP Orton. Orton VS Roode will make for a fun match, but don’t count Rusev (Day) out of the hunt just yet. They and a few others might get a part in a US Championship match at Fastlane, such as Ziggler and Corbin who are having a match next week, and Tye Dillinger who rightfully appears on the SmackDown Top 10. Giving the US Championship a huge match at Fastlane would mean a lot for the title and for Roode as its defending champion.

My Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!

The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!

Published

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2019

NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?

 

Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV

Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
  • Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!

Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!

The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!

Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!

The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.

Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.

ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!

ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!

Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!

Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!

Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round

The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!

This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?

Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.

Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.

Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.

Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.

Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.

Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!

Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!

Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round

It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?

Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.

Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.

My Score: 8.8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Coverage

Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)

Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!

Published

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ROH cover image

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391

It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
  • The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
  • Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!

Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?

The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!

Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.

ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!

Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!

The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!

Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning

The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?

 

Rhett Titus speaks.

“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?

 

The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!

The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?

The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.

Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!

Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!

Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?

 

Madison Rayne speaks.

“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?

 

Willie Mack speaks.

The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!

 

Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!

As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?

Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!

Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.

ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.

The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!

Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall

The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!

The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?

ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.

ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.

Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.

ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.

Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!

Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!

Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission

The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.

In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.

Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.

My Score: 8/10


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