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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


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Joe’s CMLL Results & Review (9/17/2018)

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CMLL Arena Puebla Show Monday

El Asturiano and Black Tiger vs Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

Maligno and Asturiano start out the match exchanging arm drags. Maligno is bare foot so Asturiano while having him in a hold bites his feet. Not very hygienical. Tiger and Chicana make their way in trading holds. Tags are made briefly and they pick up the pace but Chicana and Tiger come back in soon after to continue the faster pace. Maligno misses a splash and Tiger gets him in a surfboard stretch for the submission, then Asturiano pins Chicana with a hurricanrana pin combo. First Fall: El Asturiano pins Fuerza Chicana with a hurricanrana.

Black Tiger hits a monkey flip on Maligno to start the round and then hits a pose. Asturiano and Chicana are in to follow. He ends up feigning a dive to the outside. Maligno and Chicana start to get heat on the other team by double teaming both guys when they get the chance. Malingo hits a baseball slide to Asturiano in the corner and then they get both of them in submissions. Some elaborate stretches. Second Fall: Espiritu Maligno submits El Asturiano with a submission hold.

Third round starts with Asturiano being double teamed. Maligno hits a drop kick on him sending him out bringing in Black Tiger to get doubled. All four are in the ring now exchanging chops. Maligno gets Asturiano in a Gory Guerrero special into a pinning combination for the pin. The Chicana gets Black Tiger in a single leg boston crab for the win. Third Fall: Fuerza Chicana submits Black Tiger with a single leg boston crab.

Winners: Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs King Rocker Jr, El Malayo, and King Jaguar

King Jaguar and Oro Jr start off with some chain wrestling, exchanging holds. They meet a stale mate and King Rocker come in and continue to exchange holds and chain wrestle. Tigre Rojo and Malayo come in and pick up the pace. Malayo gets Rojo in the corner to get an advantage on him, but it doesn’t work out. Oro Jr and Rojo hit a combo neck breaker on Malayo. Super Astro hits him with a dive for a pin. Tigre Rojo gets King Jaguar in an arm bar for the first fall. First Fall: Tigre Rojo Jr submits King Jaguar with an arm bar.

King Rocker starts the second fall with Oro jr and Oro gets him to the outside and then hits a pose. Astro comes in there next with Malayo. Astro gets him to the outside and then feigns a dive and hits an elaborate pose. After that Rojo and Jaguar come in and he too gets Jaguar to the outside and feigns a dive. Finally Rocker and Malayo are working over Tigre Rojo. Once they dispose of him they start to triple team Astro Jr. Jaguar hits a big baseball slide dive on Astro. Oro Jr gets hit with a basement drop kick to the hit by King Rocker for the second fall. Second Fall: King Rocker pins Oro Jr with a basement drop kick.

Oro and Rocker start out in the third round. This becomes a triple team attack soon. It doesn’t last for long and Oro Jr, Astro, and Rojo go for dives but they get dodged and then it becomes a brawl. They exchange spots and go for pins that get broken up. Astro hits a top rope headbutt on Malayo and pins him. Oro hits a power slam on Rocker and then Tigre and him do a double team move where Rojo flips Oro onto Rocker for the pin. Third Fall: Oro pins Rocker while being flipped by Tigre Rojo.

Winners: Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr

Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma vs El Sagrado, Misterioso, and Tiger

Interesting note, the Arena Puebla is called Temple of Pain in translation. They should do Lucha Underground out of here. Maya and Misterioso start out in the match, and as they exchange holds and perform some mat wrestling, I’d like to point out how hype Fuego’s entrance is. After they go to a stale mate Sagrado and Stigma come in. They don’t last long and Fuego and Tiger get in there and pick up the pace.

Tiger irish whips Fuego into his corner and this causes his teammates to come in and triple team Fuego for a moment. Fuego’s teammates come in to confront. Fuego makes a come back and gets Tiger to the outside and then a brawl breaks out on the outside. After that Maya starts to get triple teamed. Misterioso hits a weak drop kick bringing Maya to the outside then hits a pose, but Fuego rolls him up. First Fall: Fuego rolls up Misterioso.

The second round is started with Stigma getting triple teamed. After they dispose of Stigma to the outside, Maya comes in to try his hand but the numbers are too much. El Sagrado hits an elbow drop for the second fall. Second Fall: El Sagrado hits an elbow drop on Guerrero Maya for the pin.

Maya starts the fall getting triple teamed but made a come back by hitting everyone with a tilt-a-Whirl back breaker. After that Stigma and Fuego came and hit middle rope dives. They all start to exchange spots now, one at a time. Fuego hits his matrix bridge spot and then hits a dive. Stigma hits a big hurricanrana on Misterioso. Tiger and Stigma start to exchange chops.

Eventually Tiger hits a big power bomb. Fuego hits a big victory roll on Misterioso and the ref takes forever to go for the count and Sagrado breaks it up. Misterioso hits a reverse power slam and Fuego breaks up the pin and then he hits a big dive. Stigma hits a pinning combination on on Sagrado and Maya hits a spring board, shoulder block on Tiger for the win. Third Fall: Guerrero Maya hits a shoulder block on Tiger for the win.

Winners: Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma

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Joe’s AAA Results & Review (9/21/2018)

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AAA Twitch Tapings 9/21

Mini Psycho Clown and Mascarita Sagrada vs Cocoa Armarillo and Espectrito

So we have an unannounced mini match so I’ll do my best. Mini Clown hits a dive on Cocoa to start. They’re brawling on the outside. Mini Psycho Clown is the AAA mini’s championship. Mini Psycho is being double teamed. Mini Clown starts to make his come back getting Espectrito out of there while running wild on Cocoa. After Espectrito breaks up a pin they’re back to doubling Mini Psycho Clown. Cocoa goes for a poetry in motion type move and misses. Mascarita goes to the top and hits a hurricanrana on Espectrito. Mini Psycho Clown is actually pretty impressive. He hits a springboard dive to the outside on Cocoa. Mascarita gets Espectrito in a victory roll for the win. Mascarita Sagrada pins Espectrito with a victory roll for the win.

Winners: Mini Psycho Clown and Mascarita Sagrada.

Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani

Keyra starts with La Hiedra and Keyra starts off quick hitting a moonsault for a pin that Shani broke up. Shani drags her around the ring into a pinning combination that’s broken up by Lady Maravilla. Maravilla goes for a top rope arm drag which Shani blocks. She gets her in the corner and then hits a boot to the corner. Shani goes for a pin but Maravilla slips out, then gets Shani against the ropes and hits a drop kick. Attempting another move, she’s blocked by Apache who hits her with a big shot. Starfire hits an arm drag on Apache from the top. Apache counters the next move with a drop toe hold then a leg drop. Crowd is very much behind Apache.

Keyra gets Apache out of there, then they triple team La Hiedra until she rolls out leaving Shani in there. They hit a double spine buster on her and then starfire hits double knees from the top. Shani reverses a move and hits a back stabber. La Hiedra hits a stunner on Maravilla and Hiedra, Shani, and Apache are left in the ring. Shani calls out to Keyra to face her. Keyra obliges. Shani hits a northern lights suplex which is broken up at 2 by Maravilla. Starfire gets in with Hiedra and hits a fisherman suplex but Apache breaks in up. She gets starfire in a pinning combination. Keyra breaks it up.

Keyra hits a front faced tiger driver on Apache but it’s broken up. Starfire and Maravilla hit dives on Shani and Hiedra taking them out leaving Keyra and Apache in the ring. Keyra gets the advantage with a drop kick to the corner. Apache reverses her next move in a torture rack but Keyra reverses that into a pinning combination for the victory. Keyra pins Faby Apache with a roll up.

Keyra grabs the mic after the match. She challenges Apache for the title. Starfire then does the same. Faby accepts and the match is set up for October 28th. On the official card there will be a surprise female in that match. Konnan said he’s talking to a bunch of women. My guess is Scarlett Bordeaux. My speculation.

Winners: Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire

Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa

As always I will call Nino Hamburguesa Hamburger Boy. It’s easier that way. I just hope I’ll be able to keep up with this match. Match starts with Aerostar and Argenis hitting huge dives and Hamburger boy hits a big shoulder block on Demus. Hamburger boy goes for a dive but Demus isn’t having it. Aerostar then hits a hurricanrana on him. Aerostar focuses on Azteca next and hits a big arm drag and then they stare each other down. Azteca reverses him, then hits a hurricanrana of his own. After a few sequences Azteca hits a step up enziguri on Aerostar and then dives over the ref onto Aerostar to the outside. This brings in Ramierz and Argenis. Ramierz goes for a spot which he messes up. In typically 2018 fashion they repeat the spot and he succeeds. Crowd notices of course.

Argenis hits a pop up cutter for a two count. Ramierz gets to the top and hits a big move on Argenis which Aerostar breaks up the count. Aerostar walks the ropes while Ramierz is stuck in the corner for a back stabber. Demus comes in to relieve Ramierz before Aerostar could go for the pin. Demus rips off Aerostars shirt and bites his.. nipples. Aerostar makes a come back hitting an elaborate head scissors, and then goes for a springboard attack but Demus moves. Demus hits a huge jay driller and Hamburger Boy stops the count late but the ref slowed it down before three. Hamburger boy gets the better of Demus which brings Azteca in. He uses his speed to his advantage and hits a code breaker on Hamburger boy in the corner.

Argenis comes in and gets both Azteca and Demus in the corner. Hamburger boy then hits a rolling senton on them. They go for another but they rolled out of the ring. Aerostar then hit a big dive on Demus while Argenis hit a moonsault to the outside on Azteca. Ramierz runs at Hamburger boy and he back drops him to the outside onto everyone. Then Hamburger boy does a middle rope senton on everyone. After the chaos Ramierz is let in the ring with Argenis. Argenis hits a pentagon driver for a close two count. He goes up to the top after but Ramierz is up to follow him and hits a flipping head scissors from the top for the win. Ciclon Ramierz pins Argenis with a top rope flipping head scissors.

Winners: Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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