Mitchell’s NJPW Strong Style Evolved Report! (3/25/18)
This review of NJPW: Strong Style Evolved will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- 6 Man Tag: Roppongi 3K VS SoCal Uncensored; RPG3K wins.
- Taguchi Japan’s Juice Robinson & David Finlay VS Chaos’ Hirooki Goto & Gedo; Robinson & Finlay win.
- Chaos’ Chuck Taylor & Toru Yano VS Killer Elite Squad; Killer Elite Squad wins.
- The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Cody & Marty Scurll; Cody & Scurll win.
- 8 Man Tag: Dragon Lee & Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ win.
- Jyushin Thunder Liger VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins.
- Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Suzuki & ZSJ win.
- IWGP United States Championship: Jay White VS Hangman Page; White wins and retains the IWGP USC.
- Golden☆Lovers VS The Young Bucks; Golden☆Lovers win.
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PLAY BY PLAY
For NJPW, the G1 Special in the USA was only the beginning.
NJPW, as well as their partner in ROH, has ascended to new heights, and have even evolved. The stars are out to outshine each other, from top to bottom of tonight’s match card. Strongest of all, the Switchblade as the new IWGP United States Champion already has a major contender in the Bullet Club’s Problem Solver. And as the Bullet Club Civil War grows stronger, the reunited Golden Lovers wish to show Omega’s other friends, The Young Bucks, who really is the best tag team in the world today. Tonight is about survival of the fittest, tonight is about who has evolved.
6 Man Tag: Roppongi 3K VS SoCal Uncensored!
Rocky Romero helped Sho & Yo evolve from Tempura Boyz into Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Meanwhile, The Addiction adapted and added Scorpio Sky in order to pursue trios titles. Which team will have proven themselves the better adapter here tonight?
The fans chant for “Rocky! Rocky!” as he starts against Scorpio. Rocky and Scorpio circle, tie up, and Rocky gets the arm wrench. Scorpio rolls and rolls then spins to bring Rocky to the mat. Rocky stands back up but can’t grab hair because Scorpio is bald. Rocky hits Scorpio so Scorpio hits back, and they move to chops. Scorpio changes to forearms, Rocky gives a strike fest. Rocky whips but Scorpio reverses to a takedown, roll and neckbreaker! The fans applaud as Scorpio backs off and watches Rocky. Scorpio tags Kaz while Rocky tags in Yo. Kaz kicks low, puts Yo in a headlock, but Yo fights and powers out. Kaz runs Yo over but Yo is right back up, only for Kaz to kick and whip again. Yo runs and whips Kaz, to then run Kaz over with a flying elbow.
Tag to Sho, Yo hits Scorpio and Daniels, then Sho & Yo double whip. Things speed up, drop toehold to dropkick! Daniels runs in but he gets dropkicks, and RPG3K has SCU on the defensive. Kaz rakes Sho’s eyes and tags Scorpio, Scorpio fires of on Sho. Things speed up again, Sho dropkicks Scorpio! Kaz back in but he gets the knee, and the fans chant for “Roppongi! Roppongi!” Yo tags back in, and clubs Kaz down. He snap suplexes, cover, TWO. Kaz wants a time-out but there are none in wrestling. He wants a handshake, Yo kicks him instead. Yo backs Kaz down then whips but Kaz reverses, cheap kick from Daniels! Yo rocks Daniels with a right, then he fights Kaz back. He runs, but Scorpio trips him up, Kaz springboards but doesn’t quite get it, still drops the legs.
Daniels tags in and keeps on Yo, then whips Yo to ropes for the calf kick. Daniels grinds a knee into Yo, then brings Yo over to tag in Kaz. The Addiction double whip while fans rally, Kaz body shots, Scorpio adds double stomps and then Daniels the STO, Kaz the leg drop, cover, TWO! Kaz grinds Yo with the facelock but Yo stands up and fights back. Fans rally again but the referee gets distracted. Rocky tags in, and clubs away on Kaz, but the referee stops that. Kaz brings Yo over and hangs him up on the ropes, to then kick him right in the chest. Daniels takes advantage with the Arabian press! He puts Yo back in the ring, Scorpio slingshots in for the cutter! Cover, TWO! Scorpio can’t believe that, but he tags Kaz back in.
Together, they put Yo in a corner and whip him corner to corner. Yo dodges the splash, then Kaz’s lariat, to tag in Rocky! Rocky springboards for the crossbody! He gets a two-for-one huricanrana on Daniels and Scorpio! He has the Addiction corner to corner for the infinite clotheslines! Kaz dodges but he still gets The Addiction at the same time! Rocky rallies the fans and punches on Kaz. He whips Kaz corner to corner, Kaz slips out but misses his lariat, Rocky knees him then springboards for the dropkick to Kaz’s back! Cover, but Daniels breaks it. Sho & Yo come in and go after Scorpio and Kaz. All six men are in, double whip but Kaz and Scorpio hold ropes. Sho & Yo run over but get dumped out of the ring. Rocky goes for Sliced Bread but Kaz grabs Rocky into tombstone position! Scorpio targets Sho & Yo and FLIES!
Meanwhile, The Addiction hit Best Meltzer Ever! Kaz covers, but Yo manages to break it! The fans are loving this. Yo fights Daniels and Scorpio alone, which doesn’t go his way. They double whip, but Yo dodges, the cutter hits Daniels! Yo enziguris Scorpio down, then regroups with Rocky and Sho. Sho tags in, he goes after Kaz. Yo helps out, they double whip but Scorpio tags in. Sho & Yo see it coming with a kick, then Yo slingshots over!
Sho German Suplexes once, twice, but Scorpio fights off the hat trick. Scorpio runs, but into the double knees! Yo bringS Scorpio up, suplexes for Sho, and together they hit the running dominator cutter! Cover, TWO!! Frustrated, Sho gets Scorpio up for Yo’s elbow. Backstabber to dropkick, but they’re gonna keep going. They rally the fans, then stalk Scorpio. They hit the 3K! Cover, Roppongi 3K wins!
Winners: Roppongi 3K (Romero, Sho & Yo; Yo pins)
Chaos’ flashy trio are victorious here against one of ROH’s top teams, can they find their way back to the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles?
Taguchi Japan’s Juice Robinson & David Finlay VS Chaos’ Hirooki Goto & Gedo!
Juice & Finlay have been on a roll as of late, but they’re going up against veteran stars in the Fierce Warrior and the Rainmaker’s right hand man. Will youth and exuberance finally win out against old age and treachery?
The Flamboyant Juice starts with the NEVER Openweight Champion, who are very familiar with each other. Goto gets the waistlock but Juice pries his way out to the standing switch. Goto gets the reversal, but Juice reverses back. Juice wristlocks but Goto rolls to put on a hammerlock then headlock. Juice powers out, they collide but neither falls. The two stare down, Goto runs again, and Juice again withstands his shoulder. Juice runs now, fans cheering him on, but Goto bounces off his shoulders. Things speed up, Juice runs Goto over with the back elbow! Juice drops the back senton, then covers, TWO. Juice stares Gedo down, then brings Goto up for a chop. He whips Goto corner to corner, Goto reverses the whip but runs into a boot.
Juice runs but he and Goto collide with clotheslines. Juice fires up and runs again, but Goto follows. Goto misses, dodges, then gets Juice on the return. Finlay runs in but Goto catches him into a suplex onto Juice! The fans applaud while Goto stomps on Juice.
Goto bleeds from the mouth but is not bothered by it as he crossface punches Juice against the ropes. He stretches Juice back with a chinlock, knee digging into Juice’s back. The fans rally and Goto elbows Juice in the head. Goto tags to Gedo, Gedo keeps on Juice at the ropes with rakes to the eyes. Gedo stalks Juice while he reaches for Finlay, only to bring Juice back. He bumps Juice off Goto’s boot, then Goto tags in to drop more elbows. Juice fires back, so Goto rocks him with another heavy right.
Goto stalks Juice, tags in Gedo, and together they whip Juice for double shoulders. Gedo taunts Finlay, then rakes Juice’s eyes again. The referee counts and reprimands, Gedo lets up on Juice. Gedo taunts Juice while fans rally, Gedo jabs and jabs but Juice kicks to punch back! The fans chant “Juice! Juice!” with every punch, but then Gedo pokes his eyes. Juice returns the favor, and Gedo staggers over into Finlay’s punch! Hot tag to Finlay, and Goto comes in to intercept. Finlay still rallies on Goto, then whips but Goto reverses. Finaly gose up and over, builds speed and runs Goto over with the leaping elbow! He has Goto and Gedo in opposite corners, so he goes corner to corner for endless back elbows! Finlay pushes Gedo out, hops up, and hits a flying EuroUpper! Cover, TWO, but the fans are rallying for the Son of Fit Finlay.
Finlay goes for a cutter on Gedo, but Gedo pushes him away into Goto’s fireman’s carry and Ushigoroshi! Gedo adds a mule kick, then covers, but Juice breaks it. Goto is right on Juice and they brawl again. Juice runs but into the fireman’s carry, only to slip out for the full nelson slam! Juice is fired up, but Gedo gets him with an uppercut. He gives one right back, then slingshost to take Goto out. Finlay fires up as he stalks Gedo, for the stunner! Cover, Finlay & Juice win!
Winners: Robinson & Finlay
Flamboyant but ferocious, Finlay and Juice make quite the team already. If they found a way to defeat veterans like Goto & Gedo, will they be able to climb up to the top of NJPW’s Heavyweight Tag Team Division?
Chaos’ Chuck Taylor & Toru Yano VS Killer Elite Squad!
The Kentucky Gentleman and the Sublime Master Thief are set to take on some serious hard-hitting and un-apologetically obnoxious bad boys of Suzuki-Gun. Will the jovial and carefree combination be able to best the brutality of Archer & Davey Boy Jr?
Not when KES goes right at them before the bell! Archer beats down Yano outside while Davey Boy beats up Chuckie T in the ring. The fans chant for Chuck even as Davey Boy headbutts him. Chucke gets Sole Food out of a whip reversal, then puts Davey in a standing Octopus! Davey powers out but Chuck slips away. Chuck misses the enziguri but gets a big deadlift German Suplex from Davey. Davey boots Yano down, which fans boo, then he clubs Chuckie T. Tag to Archer, who throws heavy rights and chops. He runs corner to corner, but Chuckie gets a boot up. He goes to powerbomb, but Archer body drop shim up and over, then reels him into a lariat.
Fans boo the bad attitudes, but Archer keeps on Chuckie with a clubbing forearm. He walks up for some Old School, then all the way to tag Davey. Fans admit that was good with their applause. Davey taunts Yano but Chuck fights back with right hands. Davey still picks Chuck up and throws him down. Cover, TWO, but Davey chinlocks Chuck to grind him down. Fans rally for the Kentucky Gentleman, and Chuck feeds off it to fight out. Davey knees low then whips, belly2belly suplex, cover, TWO. Fans keep going for Chuckie but Davey turns him over for a Boston Crab. He adds a leg, that’s almost a Lion Tamer. Chuck endures, and fans rally, but Davey just lets him out to drop an elbow. He rains rights right into Chuck’s head, then tells the fans to shut up when they boo.
Tag to Archer, Archer gets in Yano’s face and Yano backs away from the ring. Archer stalks Chuck, the fans rally but Archer still runs Chuck over with a shoulder. Yano tries to come back but Archer scares him again. Fans try to give Yano courage, but Yano isn’t so sure. Archer tags Davey and KES mug Chuck in their corner. Davey double underhooks, then butterfly suplexes Chuck far. Cover, TWO, but back into a chinlock. The fans chant for “Chuckie T! Chuckie T!” Chuck fights out but ends up in KES’s corner again. Archer tags in and they mug Chuckie more. They go for the spinebuster lariat, but Chuckie ducks and turns it into a DDT on Davey!
Yano returns to his corner, the fans rally, and Chuckie fights off Archer to hot tag Yano! Yano throws forearm after forearm, but Archer hits him back. Archer runs, Yano grabs hair but Archer slaps him away. Archer whips Yano but Yano holds ropes! Yano taunts Archer, and then gets in the ropes for safety. The fans join in on the trolling, which infuriates Archer. Archer runs in, Yano dodges him. Then Yano begs for mercy. He tries the low blow, but Archer saw it coming! Archer whips but Yano reverses into the Atomic Drop. Nothing happens… And Yano freaks out to the ropes. The trolling continues but Archer doesn’t care, he knocks Yano down to the floor.
Fans boo but Archer just mocks Yano. Archer runs, but Yano ducks to deny him a target. Archer exits the ring, Yano trips him up! Then Yano gets out of the way and lets Davey collide with Archer! Chuckie T FLIES in outta nowhere! KES goes down, and Yano realizes he’s still standing. The fans want to see this, and he builds speed, to untie the pad!
Yano grabs the buckle pad, and tosses it to Archer. Archer swats it, then goes in, but Yano is upon him with stomps. That do nothing… Archer roars and grabs Yano’s hair, but so does Yano to Archer. They both want the other to let go, Yano gets the yank. Only to turn back around into an angry Archer.
Tag to Chuckie, then Archer hits those exposed buckles! Chuckie grabs Archer but Archer powers him up and over, sunset flip! TWO! Chuckie gets to a corner and knees back, then tries again. PILEDRIVER! Cover, but Davey breaks it. Yano throws him out, and Chuckie keeps on Archer. Davey hits Yano back, but Chuckie is climbing up high. MOONSAULT! But he lands on his feet when Archer rolls. Chuckie tries the backslide but no go, so he forearms Archer a few times. Chuckie runs, but into the POUNCE! Then CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO, into Crucifix! TWO!!
So close, so the KES want to finish this. Full-nelson lift but Chuckie fights back. He SUPERKICKS Archer, then with fans rallying, he gives Davey and Archer clotheslines in the corner. But archer follows and gets Chuckie with one of his own. Then the full-nelson, KILLER BOMB!! Cover, The Killer Elite Squad win!
Winners: Killer Elite Squad (Archer & Smith, Archer pins)
Being carefree doesn’t do it here. “Everybody dies” when they go up against Archer & Davey Boy, and Archer even calls out the “B Bros”. KES wins matches, they don’t. Are Archer & Davey Boy ready to take out #DemBoyz, the Briscoes, on their road to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Marty Scurll!
The Bullet Club Civil War spreads as now it drags in Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa to go against the would-be Leader and his pal in The Villain. Will the Bullet Club still be fine after yet another rivalry? For that matter, the fans are more on Scurll’s side than they are Cody, so will Cody’s ego be fine after this match?
Cody wishes to speak first, however, and grabs a mic. Fans boo, so he hands the mic to Scurll. The fans cheer, but then boo when Cody takes the mic back. The mic isn’t on, so the fans cheer again. The mic turns on and Cody speaks, insisting “Bullet Club is fine.” What isn’t, is booking this match. Cody says there will be no Bullet Club VS Bullet Club match. But here’s some knowledge as to why: because the members of The Bullet Club are all friends.
Tama Tonga, OG BC! GoD, the three time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Wrestlers like them is what made Bullet Club cool in the first place. And it’s “superstars” like Cody that make it popular today! The fans agree with the former more than the latter, by saying “F*** you, Cody!” Cody mishears that as “Team Cody”. But the studs here and the lovely woman of Brandi, it’s all Team Cody! Right, Tama?
Tama stares at Cody holding the mic out at him. Loa takes it for him, and says that Cody cannot deny Long Beach and the world this match. “Especially the Bullet Club family”, “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Therefore, the scheduled match will happen, and if there is a team the GoD is on, it’s definitely not Team Cody. Cody takes offense and attacks Loa! The bell rings, and Tama gets right in Cody’s face. Tama fires off on Cody, whips him, then arm-drags him! Loa returns to clothesline Cody out, but then Scurll tries to be on their side? Brandi protests as Scurll tells Cody to get out of there! But Scurll isn’t fooling anyone, GoD stare him down and run him over! Scurll regroups with his friend, Cody, giving him an apologetic hug.
The fans chant for “GoD! GoD!” while Scurll returns to face Loa. Scurll wants a handshake? Loa refuses, so Cody tags in. Loa helps Cody with the ropes, and then the two circle. Cody tags back to Scurll. Scurll and Loa circle, fans rally, and they tie up. Loa gets the wristlock, Scrull spins and rolls to reverse. Scurll gets the headlock but Loa lifts him up. Scurll headlock takeovers but Loa headscissors, Scurll pops out to flap his wings. Loa just rock shim with an uppercut. Tag to Tama and Tama headbutts Scurll down. Tama scoop slams and elbow drops, Scurll scurries to a corner. Scurll hits back and tags to Cody. Cody whips but Tama reverses, Cody evades but still gets the splash on the other end!
Tama stalks Cody, then rocks him with an uppercut. He whips Cody to ropes but Cody evades, Brandi bails Cody out. She then holds Tama off while Scurll gets a sneak attack on Loa! Scurll comes over, and apron SUPERKICK! Tama goes down and Scurll wants a kiss. Cody kisses him on the cheek, then puts Tama back in the ring.
Cody stomps Tama while fans rally. He drags Tama up in an arm wrench then tags to Scurll. Scurll throws hands then brings Tama down, for a hammerlock stomp! Tama writhes in pain but Scurll keeps on that arm with another hammerlock stomp. Scurll drags Tama up, Cody tags in and they mug Tama in the corner. Cody drags Tama up for a suplex, and holds him up for a good ten seconds before dropping him on his face.
Cody does push ups to show off, Tama sweeps his arms, Cody kicks Tama then tags to Scurll. Scurll hits Loa before stomping Tama’s arm. Scurll drags Tama up but Tama hts back. Tama runs but fall sfor the fake, Scurll mule kicks his legs out. Scurll calls for it, the fans fire up for it, he spins for it, “CHICKENWING” but Cody tags in. Cross- No, Tama reverses and steals the Cross Rhodes! Both men are down while fans rally, and Tama tags Loa. Loa tanks the chops, but realizes it’s the padding. He unzips and lets Cody go to town on him, but it still doesn’t slow Loa down. Loa rallies with lariats, then whips Cody into the hip toss neckbreaker. Scurll runs in, gest the Samoan Drop! Loa drags Cody up, but Cody slips out of the back suplex to springboard for the Disaster Kick!
Cody climbs up top, Tama stops him with a SUPER PUNCH! Tama climbs up, SUPERPLEX! But that’s not all, Tama climbs up top now, but Scurll rocks him. Scurll climbs up, SUPERPLEX of his own! The fans applaud and Scurll fires himself up. Marty climbs up but Loa intercepts him, for a SUPERPLEX! Scurll and Loa both slip out of the ring, and Cody stands up to hit the Terminator Pose. Fans boo as he copies Kenny Omega, then builds speed, only to run into a SPEAR from Loa! Loa covers, Scurll breaks it. Scurll mule kicks Loa then helps Cody up. They bring Loa up, Cody catches Tama, and then double kicks to complete shot! They return to Loa, but Loa shoves Scurll at Cody. Scurll stops himself, Cody catches Loa, but Loa dodges to let Scurll hit Cody.
Loa catches Scurll, Scurll backs Loa up, Tama runs in but Scurll dodges. Scurll thinks Loa and Tama collide, but Loa catches his brother and gently sets him down. Loa tackles Scurll to a corner and Tama hits a big splash! Tama sees Cody coming, they run around, dropkick from Tama knocks Cody down. Loa returns, fireman’s carry, but Cody slips out and the GoD collide. Cody grabs Loa, Cross Rhodes! Cover, Cody & Scurll win!
Winners: The Bullet Club (Cody & Scurll, Cody pins)
The civil war rages on but that’s one battle in favor of the American Nightmare. Will #TeamCody rack up enough victories to establish himself atop the entire faction?
8 Man Tag: Dragon Lee & Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
This match showcases the relationship of NJPW and their other partner, CMLL, as stars of Japan and Mexico team together to determine faction supremacy. Can Naito lead Bushi, Sanada and Hiromu to victory over Funky Weapon, the Time Splitter, the Ace and The Wonder Boy?
Fans are excited for just about everyone in this match, but it is Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito starting. The fans are thunderous for this IWGP Intercontinental Championship rematch, dueling evenly between the two. Naito and Tanahashi circle, but then Sanada comes in and clobbers Tanahashi. He and Naito both stomp Tanahashi, but then Tanahashi fights back. It’s 2v1 so it doesn’t work. Sanada holds Tanahashi, then Naito spits on him. Naito runs but Tanahashi sends him into Sanada, then throws them both with the headlock-headscissors. Tanahashi tags Dragon Lee but Naito gets away. The fans want Hiromu, and so does Lee! Naito gives fans what they want, tag to Naito. the CMLL rivalry reignites with furious chops back and forth! And it doesn’t slow down! The fans give a standing ovation for this endless chop fight.
Back and forth, back and forth, neither man gives in. Lee gets an edge, then whips but Hiromu reverses. Things speed up, Hiromu headscissors but Lee lands on his feet! They go again, rebound German from Lee to Hiromu! Lee runs and FLIES! He takes out Hiromu, then drags him back in for stomps. Lee kicks something away, then flips off LIJ before all of Taguchi Japan attacks them! They whip Hiromu, then start a train. Taguchi rallies his men for the train as it goes Kushida, Lee and Tanahashi! Taguchi feels good now, they feed Hiromu to his hip attack. Kushida Mahistrols, TWO! Things calm down and Kushida puts Hiromu in an armlock. He shifts to a double chickenwing with a bridge for Cow Mutilation. It becomes a backslide, TWO, but Kushida keeps on Hiromu with an arm wrench and shoulder breaker.
Hiromu gest to a corner and doges, Naito dropkicks the legs and Sanada dropkicks the head. Bushi and Naiot take out Taguchi Japan and then Hiromu keeps on Kushida. Hiromu grinds a boot into Kushida’s throat, then backs off at the count. He brings Kushida into a corner, tags to Bushi. Naito holds Kushida for Bushi’s missile dropkick, Bushi-rooni stands him back up. Tag to Sanada, who drags Kushida up and whips corner to corner. Kushida tries to boot but Sanada blocks and brings Kushida into the Paradise Lock! Fans cheer as Sanada backs up, and dropkicks Kushida out of paradise. Tag back to Bushi, who drags Kushida into a chinlock. The fans rally for Kushida, Kushida fights out, but Bushi uses his shirt as a weapon! Bushi chokes Kushida until the referee sees him. Bushi lets go, then goes after Taguchi Japan. Kushida arm-drags and dropkicks Bushi back!
Kushida crawls to his corner but no one is home. Sanada tags in and brings Kushida up for a whip. Kushida handpsrings and back elbows Sanada, both men go down! The fans rally as Tanahashi returns. Kushida sees him and tags! The Ace rallies on Sanada, then Bushi, then hits Hiromu and Naito. He keeps going, crossbody on Sanada! Hiromu comes in, he and Bushi whip but Tanahashi fights them off. Tanahashi catches both kicks and double dragon screws them away! He then runs, but Sanada dodges. he goes from crossbody to dragon sleeper, but Tanahashi manages to turn it around on him! Sanada breaks out, whips, but Tanahashi reverses. Sanada tumbles to the apron, then springboard missile dropkcisk back in!
Both men are down, and now Naito and Taguchi himself are there. The fans rally, hot tags to Naito and Taguchi! Taguchi rallies with hip attacks all over the place. He hits Naito again and again, then whips to ropes. Naito reverses but Taguchi does it back, into the drop toehold and ankle lock! Kushida comes in, Bushi sunset flips but Kushida gets him into the Hoverboard! Sanada runs in, Tanahashi dropkicks him down for the Texas Cloverleaf! Three submissions side by side but Hiromu breaks them all!
Lee takes Hiromu out, and whips him to barriers! Taguchi and Naito keep fighting, Taguchi goes for a hip attack but Naito dodges. Naito enziguris, runs, but Taguchi rolls to the ankle lock again! He keeps Naito from ropes, but Sanada come sin for the dragon sleeper. Tanahashi runs, Slingblade! Bushi code breaker, but then Kushida the fast ball! Hiromu lariats, Lee bicycle boots, then runs, but overhead suplex into the buckles! Naito atomic drop, SUPERKICK to jackknife, TWO. Naito calls for it, hits Destino! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Naito pins)
LIJ were tranquilo the entire time, and come out the victors. With such charismatic and chaotic unity, will the Ungovernable rule over all of NJPW in the near future?
Rey Mysterio is here!
Though he’s injured, the King of Lucha still appears for the match he wanted with another living legend in Junior Heavyweight wrestling. And he told himself that he’d come out to apologize, because it’s unfortunate that he tore his bicep. The match meant for him and Liger won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen. Mysterio respects Liger too much for it not to. He promises to check this off his bucket list, so as soon as he can, he’ll return and wrestle for NJPW. The fans like the sound of that, and Mysterio gives a “Booyaka from the 619 to the 562!”
Jyushin Thunder Liger VS Will Ospreay!
Injuries or not, the show must go on. Liger may not get the King of Lucha, but he will get the Aerial Assassin of the UK. Can the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion best one of the best in Jr. Heavyweight wrestling ever?
The bell rings and they furious tie up. Liger gets the wristlock, then the takedown, and puts Ospreay in a seated surfboard! He rocks back and gets Ospreay up for the chinlock variant! Ospreay endures, Liger lets go, and prepares the surfboard proper. Liger hoists Opsreay up for the full Mexican Surfboard! Ospreay pops out of it again, but Liger chops away on him. Liger wrenches the arm then whips corner to corner, but Ospreay jumps up and over. Ospreay uppercuts, then runs corner to corner for the hesitation dropkick! Ospreay stalks Liger, then drags him up for another EuroUpper. The fans rally while Ospreay knocks Liger down, and Ospreay turns Liger around for a hammerlock and recliner! Liger gets the ropebreak, so Ospreay lets him go.
Ospreay drags Liger up while the fans sing for him, and puts Liger in a chinlock. Liger endures, stands up and fights out. Ospreay kicks back then whips but Liger reverses. Liger dodges the handspring and hits Ospreay with a backbreaker. Then from the apron, a cannonball flattens Ospreay down! The fans fire up as Liger drags Ospreay up. They go around the railing to the entrance way, brainbuster from Liger to Ospreay! Liger returns to the ring and leaves Ospreay out there, to then pose and embrace the cheers. Ospreay is okay to compete, somehow, but is at the mercy of the 20 count. The count gets to 10 before Ospreay stirs. Ospreay hears the count hit 15, but crawls. At 19, he full sprints to beat the count at 19.5!
Liger is on Ospreay with a BIG corner Shotei, then the Liger Bomb! Cover, TWO, but Liger keeps his cool. He drags Ospreay back up and puts him on the top rope. Liger climbs up, and “OSU”, SUPER Steiner, that Ospreay lands on his feet! His legs jam, yet he still hits a handspring PELE! Liger rolls out, Ospreay hobbles but still builds speed, to FLY! The Sasuke Special hits, but Ospreay takes a moment to recover his breath and the feeling in his leg. He hops over to Liger to put him back in the ring at 7. Ospreay takes aim from a corner, the fans build to a rally, and he springboards for the clothesline! Then standing shooting star, TWO!
Ospreay keeps his cool, and drags Liger up in the dragon sleeper. Liger slips around but Ospreay gets around for the dropkick. Liger’s on the ropes, and maybe… Ospreay calls for it, runs, and 619- No, Liger ducks it! He kicks low and counters the flip kick with the rolling kick. Liger runs, into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay takes aim at Liger from a corner while the fans build to a rally. Robinson Special spinning kick! He isn’t done there, he springboards, OsCutter blocked to another brainbuster! Cover, TWO! Liger won’t slow down, he says it’s over. He drags Ospreay up onto the top rope, then climbs up with him. Liger positions this, for a SUPER BRAINBUSTER!
Ospreay is dazed but Liger can’t make the cover right away. Liger crawls over, ropebreak! It’s all Ospreay could do to survive, but Liger keeps calm.
Liger stands up and calls for it, but Ospreay ducks the Shotei. Hook kick, but SHOTEI on the run! High stack cover, TWO!! And Liger can’t believe it. He just fires up and calls for another. Ospreay counters into a POWERBOMB! TWO!! Ospreay keeps going, buzzsaw to mule kick to OSCUTTER! Cover, Ospreay wins!
Winner: Will Ospreay
The champion proves he’s better than even a legend! He has the respect of Liger, as well as Mysterio. Can the Aerial Assassin carry the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Division to even higher heights?
“Junior Heavyweight wrestling at its best, folks.” Ospreay hopes that when he’s 53, he can still wrestle like Liger. For everything the past, present and future Liger has done, Ospreay cannot thank him enough. The fans agree as they chant “Liger! Liger!” Ospreay knows that he wants to carve out his own legacy. To do that, Ospreay must go through legends. He looks right at Mysterio. Fans can boo, fans can cheer, but Ospreay is no replacement! He is THE Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and “consistently for six years”, he’s been putting on “the damn best wrestling matches” possible! Ospreay will put the title on a new level, so he wants OSPREAY VS MYSTERIO!! And so do the fans! Once Mysterio is healed, let’s do this.
But then Scurll attacks! The Villain smacks his familiar foe, but then Mysterio gets in the ring. Scurll snatches the mask! And puts it on to mock both him, Ospreay, and every fan watching.
Scurll stomps Mysterio but Liger runs him off. The Villain sent his own message to the champion and the legends, when will Scurll get his taste of the title? Mysterio shakes Liger’s hand, and then Ospreay’s. When will these two different yet both equally amazing matches happen?
Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the Stone Pitbull take on Undisputed British Tag Team Champions, as well as the IWGP Intercontinental Champion and 2018 New Japan Cup winner. It is such a star-studded match, will Chaos make it rain? Or will Suzuki and ZSJ make them feel the pain?
After all the belts are put away, ZSJ talks it out with Suzuki and will start against Okada. The bell rings, the two circle but fans are on Okada’s side. ZSJ backs him up and gets the waistlock, but Okada reverses. ZSJ slips away and fans applaud. They tie up again, ZSJ gest around again to a roll and float over to put Okada in a modified headscissors. Okada pops out but ZSJ is ready, and they separate. ZSJ teases Okada as he backs up to a corner.
They circle again, ZSJ gets the hands and bends Okada’s arms back. He digs a fist and elbow into the spine then stands Okada up. Okada tries to power through but ZSJ keeps control of the arms and shoulders. Okada tries again and gets the reverseal! He bends and wrenches ZSJ now, but ZSJ works to turn it back around. No go, Okada wrenches deeper.
ZSJ gives it another go, but Okada turns it all the way through, so ZSJ flisp and kicks. Okada swings him out, ZSJ barely avoids The Rainmaker itself. ZSJ backs to a corner, and Minoru calls him over. Minoru tags in, Ishii tags in. The two toughest men get in each other’s face, then throw forearms! They dare each other to hit harder, and they do! Back and forth they go, neither man backing down. Forearm after forearm, but Suzuki finally gets an edge. He whips but Ishii dodges to run him over! Suzuki boots him away then catches him in the ropes for the hanging armbar! ZSJ gets a cheap shot on Okada, and then Suzuki drags Ishii out. ZSJ flips everyone off as he puts Okada in an abdominal stretch while Suzuki puts Ishii into barriers.
The referee tries to get control but no go, Suzuki has a chair and SMACKS Ishii with it. Suzuki keeps going, putting Ishii into the crowd. He pursues and they fight among the fans. ZSJ EuroUppers Okada on the other end, and laces Okada’s arm through the railings. ZSJ kicks the railing to jam Okada’s arm, then Suzuki comes over to add on a chop. The 20 count is at 10 before Ishii and Suzuki return to the ring, but they keep going. Ishii chops and chops but Suzuki doesn’t seem bothered by them at all. Suzuki laughs and encourages him to chop more, then chops Ishii right back! ZSJ holds Ishii by the nose as Suzuki mugs him.
Tag to ZSJ, and he brings Ishii to a Fujiwara armbar. Okada comes in but that allows Suzuki to get an Ankle lock! Then they switch around! They both Fujiwara and crossface Ishii!
Suzuki gets away without a trace, and ZSJ stands on Ishii’s legs and knees in a figure four.
The fans duel, ZSJ tags to Suzuki. Suzuki mugs Ishii, then snapmares to boot Okada! He returns to Ishii and puts him in a kneebar! Ishii flails as Suzuki heel-hooks it, but manages the ropebreak. Suzuki lets go at 4, then goes at Ishii more. Ishii eggs him on, so Suzuki stomps him out for it. Suzuki slaps Ishii over and over, Ishii slaps back. Suzuki headbutts Ishii then tags ZSJ. ZSJ takes his time as he toys with Ishii’s bad leg. Ishii endures the toying kicks, then fires up. ZSJ kicks harder but Ishii is sturdier than that! He catches a kick, waistlock but ZSJ elbows out. He tries a drop toehold but Ishii deadlifts for the German Suplex!
Okada is back, Ishii tags him in! Okada rallies, even booting Suzuki down for good measure. He runs ZSJ over, then whips him corner to corner. Okada back elbows then DDT’s ZSJ, covers, TWO! He brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ slips out for the front choke. Okada elbows, ZSJ EuroUppers. ZSJ runs in, but Okada catches him, reverse neckbreaker becomes an Octopus! ZSJ brings Okada to the floor, Suzuki intercepts Ishii. Okada gets a ropebreak so ZSJ lets go. ZSJ brings Okada up for the full nelson but Okada slips out. ZSJ slips back around, back to the Octopus. Suzuki keeps Ishii out of the ring, but Okada breaks out into the Tombstone, only for ZSJ to slip to the Hoverboard! He brings Okada to the mat for a Coil Lock and stretches that other arm! Ishii busts in to break the hold!
Suzuki hits Ishii again, then returns to his corner. Fans rally while ZSJ stalks Okada. He stomps Okada, drags him up, and hits him with another EuroUpper. ZSJ toys with Okada more, but Okada hits him with a forearm. ZSJ hits another EuroUpper, and fans duel as the two brawl. Okada forearms, ZSJ EuroUppers, ZSJ runs but Okada hip tosses! Okada cobra clutch but ZSJ breaks out for another EuroUpper. He tries another EuroUpper but Okada backslides it to the Rain- No, ZSJ blocks to kick to the arm! Tag to Suzuki, and now Suzuki goes after the arm. He kicks it, and brings Okada to Sleeper, piledriver, but Okada reverses into the reverse neckbreaker! Both men are down but the fans are applauding, hot tag to Ishii.
Ishii goes after Suzuki with chops, forearms and back to chops. He doesn’t stop, but Suzuki dares him to hit harder. Ishii does, then whips Suzuki corner to corner, but Suzuki botos him back. They brawl again, ferocious as bfore, and the fans love it. Ishii dares Suzuki to keep hitting him, so Suzuki winds up for a stiff one! Somehow Ishii shakes it off, and gives one back. Suzuki stays standing somehow, to load up and hit another. Ishii staggers, is he out? No, he shakes it off again, and the fans fire up! Ishii winds up to hit Suzuki, who staggers back but stays standing. Suzuki puts some stank on this next one, and Ishii staggers again.
Suzuki keeps going, not giving Ishii his turn. He then runs, but into Ishii’s shot. Suzuki resists the suplex, then guillotines, but Ishii suplexes him! The two get up, speed up, Suzuki the sleeper but Ishii breaks out, to run into the kitchen sink! Tag to ZSJ, ZSJ clocks Okada, and then takes his time with Ishii. He drags Ishii up, corner to corner wip, then runs in for teh EuroUpper. Suzuki adds his boot, then snapmare for the double Penalty Kick. Cover, but Okada breaks it! Suzuki throws Okada out, then follows to clobber the champ. ZSJ stalks Ishii, waiting for him to stand. The Penalty Kick is caught, HEADBUTT! Ishii still has life as he powerbombs ZSJ! TWO, and Okada fights off Suzuki on the outside.
ZSJ goes after Ishii with another guillotine, and Ishii fades. He powers out, Okada is there to feed ZSJ to a forearm. Okada dropkicks ZSJ, then dropkicks him again, and Ishii adds the lariat. Suzuki barrels in to break the cover just in time. Okada throws Suzuki out but Suzuki drags him out, too. ZSJ EuroUppers Ishii but Ishii swats that kick away. Ishii runs, but ZSJ grabs him into the Octopus! The takedown to the cross armbreaker, and Okada is too busy with Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ shifts around to a modified ankle lock while Suzuki kneebars Okada. Ishii reaches but ZSJ grabs that free arm. Napalm Death is in! Ishii quits, Suzuki-Gun wins!
Winners: Suzuki-Gun (Suzuki & Sabre Jr, Sabre with the submission)
But the torture doesn’t end here! ZSJ puts Okada in the Octopus! He doesn’t care about ringing bells or respect, he just wants to make the IWGP Heavyweight Champion suffer. Then Suzuki goes after the referee, they wristlock and ankle lock for Double Hell!
The Meanest Man in the World and his young protege show no mercy to anyone. Will either man show remorse as they take on Chaos’ Rainmaker and Pitbull in 1v1 action?
July 7th, 2018, NJPW WILL return to the United States! The G1 Special’s second year will hit the Cow Palace, in Fighting Spirit Unleashed!
IWGP United States Championship: Jay White VS Hangman Page!
The Switchblade is only the second man ever to hold NJPW’s newest title. And he did it by playing a long game against the Cleaner: he got Omega’s attention as a prospective Club member; then betrayed him upon the offer. Omega may have underestimated White while seeking revenge, because somehow, someway, White won in the end.
However, the Problem Solver wouldn’t let anyone ignore his win streak, and got in White’s face. Page wants that title more than anyone has wanted anything in their life, and now fights to prove himself a star in his own right. Which man will survive when they bring a Switchblade to a gun fight?
The belt is shown, Red Shoes does the weapon check. Both men are clear, and we begin. White taunts Page with a handshake, and this sparks a brawl. White gets chops, Page swings but misses, takes another chop. Page puts White in a corner but Whtie still chosp him. White chops again, Page’s chest is already red. Page revesres the whip but White runs him over. White runs but Page dodges, but whti dodges back, Page boots him down. Page rains down rights, then tells Red Shoes to shut up. Red Shoes won’t be intimidated, so Page suplexes Whiet down. Cover, ONE, but Page keeps his cool. He drags White up but White fights back. Page knees low, runs, but into White’s dropkick. White drags Page up, back suplex back, cover, ONE.
White keeps on Page, going for a leg lock. He puts Page in the Deathlock, then tucks it in, for the Muda Lock! Page endures, and even powers up, but White brings him back down. The fans rally, Page powers up but White rakes the nose and eyes. Page still crawls free of the arms and clubs White away to get the ropebreak. The hold is undone and Page slips out, but White follows to chop him again. White chops Page against the barriers, then follows him around the corner. Page kicks and clubs back to finally give White a chop of his own. Now Page stalks White, but White kicks and chops again. They go back in the ring, White dumps Page to the apron and punches him. Page side steps and knees White, then turns him around for the hotshot neckbreaker to the apron!
White tumbles to the floor, Page drags him up, to throw him into railing! Page grinds a foot into White’s head, but Red Shoes insists they go back into the ring. Page lifts White up, fireman’s carry to long dart White at a post! White goes down in a heap, and Page takes a moment to catch his breath before entering the ring. No Champion’s Advantage on the 20 count, but Page doesn’t want it that easy, either. He puts White in the ring, then kicks him while he’s down. Page pumphandles White up in a deadlift Fall Away bridge! TWO, and Page grows frustrated. The fans rally for Hangman, but White hits back. White EuroUppers then forearms, but Page hits back. Page whips White but White reverses. White jumps but Page catches him into a fireman’s carry and flipping backbreaker! Cover, TWO, and the frustration continues.
Fans rally while Page stalks White. He toys with the champ, wanting White to show him something. White stands up and forearms Page, then chops. Page kicks back, then suplexes White up. White slips out and waistlocks, Page fights him, but White still saido suplexes Page down! The fans rally again while both men stir and stand up. White stalks Page, chops him sharply and again. A third chop, then White whips. Page reverses, White dodges then jumps up to knock Page over with a back elbow. White drags Page up, half-hatch and roll through for another. Another roll through, but Page blocks the third as he backs White to a corner. White pushes out, then throws Page into buckles. He runs back in for a EuroUpper, then suplexes Page into the buckles. Cover, TWO!
White keeps his cool as he stands up and stalks Page. He drags Page up, Fisherman but Page resists. White chops Page, then goes for it again, but Page counters to the small package, TWO! They both clothesline and collide, then stagger. Page swings but White Half ‘n’ Half but Page lands on his feet. Page runs, but into the Complete Shot, followed by the deadlift German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White is perhaps too tired to be frustrated. He lifts Page again, but Page slips out, so another chop it is. White whips but Page holds ropes. He chops Page again, then whips but Page reverses to a fireman’s, to hang White up, hanging DDT!
The fans rally again as both men slowly stir. Page slips to the outside, and takes aim from the apron. He punches White away, but not far enough so he hits him again. White staggers, Page wants to slingshot but still has to clobber White. Page hits him again to send him back, then slingshots, into a forearm from White! White brings Page through the ropes for yet another chop, and another EuroUpper. Another chop, and another chop, and Page’s chest is very red. One more chop, and Page falls to the apron.
White goes out to join him, then drags him up, preparing his finisher from up there. Page resists with all his might, fighting White off. Both men sway, Page swings but into the apron Compete Shot! White has the cameras move back as he gets back up, deadlift snap German suplex to the apron!
Fans lose their minds over it while Page slumps to the floor.
White shows no remorse as he drags Page back up and into the ring. He drags Page up backwards onto the top rope. White climbs up, prepares a waistlock, but Page holds on for dear life. White clubs away, but Page won’t let go. Page fights White off, then turns around. They brawl on the top rope with haymakers, then chops. Page eggs White on, and White responds. Page gets the edge with elbows to White’s head. He stands up on the top rope, SUPER SWINGING NECKBREAKER!!
Both men are down from that impact, but Page crawls to a cover, TWO! White slowly stirs, but Page is already staring him down. They brawl on their knees, and White even laughs. The brawl continues as the two make it to their feet. They fire up and fire off faster forearms. Page gets the edge, but White gets another chop. White runs but into a forearm. Page tries to bulldog but White back suplexes Page up and out of the ring! White keeps going, he saido suplexes Page to the floor! White touches his title before dragging Page back up and into the ring. He stalks Page while the fans rally. White drags Page up, for another saido suplex! Page stands up, and fights against another attempt, but White still saido suplexes. White calls for the end, brings him up but Page slips out. Page tilt-o-whirls to the powerbomb!
Page drags White up with the fans rallying. He lifts White, for the PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO, and Page seems at a loss. He goes to a corner, and climbs up top… MOONSAULT but lands on his feet as White evades. Page goes to the apron, Shooting Star Press tackles White down! Page climbs up again, the fans rallying, SUPER MOONSAULT!! He wipes White out again, then puts him back in the ring. Page takes off the elbow pad, takes aim from the apron, slingshot for the Buck Shot! TWO! Page can’t believe it, but the fans love it as they duel for both men.
Hangman stands up and brings White up in position. White resists, clubs Page but Page tries a gain. Sunset flip, high stack, TWO. White body shots and strike fest, Half Nelson suplex! He keeps going, wanting the fisherman. He gets Page up, Kiwi Crusher! TWO! It was just enough, but WHite won’t let that slow him down. He brings Page up, Page SPITS in White’s face. White turns around, into a SUPERKICK! Then the roaring elbow! RITE OF- No, BLADE RUNNER!! Cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White (retains IWGP United States Championship)
The Switchblade is still the second-ever IWGP USC as he successfully defends his title. White celebrates, but not for long! He gets a SPEAR from David Finlay! The former tag team partner of White sarcastically presents the winner to the fans, but about that. Finlay told White they would never be done fighting, so White has one month. On April 24th, Finlay wants his match! The Son of the Man Who Loves to Fight wants a big title fight in Korakuen Hall, will he get one over on his former friend?
Golden☆Lovers VS The Young Bucks!
The #GoldenReunion at Honor Rising was a success, but Matt & Nick Jackson took offense to Kenny Omega’s claims. The REAL greatest tag team in wrestling today might be decided right here, in a true dream match! The Elite were friends, can they still be friends after this?
Matt keeps Nick back while the fans duel. The teams keep cool as Kota Ibushi and Matt start. Fans still chant for “The! Elite! The the Elite!” as Matt says, “I want Kenny!” Kota considers it as the fans chant for Kenny Omega, and the tag is made. Omega comes in and tries to talk with Matt, but Matt just smirks. Matt eggs Omega on, choose your other friend over him again. Matt sucker punches Kota, and fans boo while Matt tags out to Nick. Omega isn’t sure what to make of this, so he tags Kota in. Kota and Nick circle while the fans duel again. They tie up, Nick gets the headlock, but Koata powers out. Things speed up, Nick dodges the kicks and moonsault, and fans are fired up.
Kota and Nick circle again as fans chant “Ibushi! Ibushi!” They tie up, Nick goes to kick but Kota blocks, Nick blocks a kick but Kota hits the next two. Nick tags Matt, Matt gets kicked in that bad back! Matt slumps to the ground while Kota stomps and stomps, but Omega comes in to back Kota off? Omega is torn between friends, but Matt still shoves Omega down! Kota kicks Matt, so Nick comes in and kicks both Golden Lovers. Nick runs, but into double back elbows. The Golden Lovers go after Matt, double whip and double leap frog. Matt stops himself and throws Omega out. He kicks Kota, Nick comes in for a kick and facebuster, then neckbreaker backbreaker! Double hip toss and dropkicks for Omega, the fans fire up for The Bucks!
Matt wrecks Kota with a dropkick, then holds the ropes open, but Omega intercepts Nick to flapjack him onto Matt’s groin! Matt goes down with more than a sore back, and Nick ends up out there with him. Omega goes Terminator and the drums start up. He rises, builds speed, but Nick SUPERKICKS Omega mid-flight!
Omega crashes down, his feathers flying. The Bucks work together, to acrobatically somersault onto the Golden Lovers! Nick puts Kota in the ring while Matt checks under the ring. Nick leg drops on Kota, Matt keeps exploring. Matt finds a TABLE!
Matt makes Omega look at it, the stakes are raised because of The Cleaner. The Bucks dispute what to do, but Matt says it’ll be fine. Omega staggers while Nick keeps on Kota in a corner. Nick whips corner to corner hard, and Kota goes down. Nick brings Kota back up, whips him again, but Kota fights back. Kota tries to boot but Nick spins him around for the draping neckbreaker, and holds it for Matt to slingshot senton on! Nick bumps Kota off the buckle, then tags Matt. Matt whips Kota into the corner, but Kota dodges! Matt hits Nick, Kota kicks Matt in the back! Kota runs, hops up, then over to the other side to jump on Nick!
Fans cheer as Kota slowly enters the ring. He heads for his corner, but Matt grabs his foot. Kota forearms Matt, then keeps crawling, but Nick trips Omega off the apron! Matt drags Kota up again, and puts one out on him, to powerbomb lift. Buckle bomb kick combo! But Matt’s back slows him down again. Nick tells him to cover, he does, Omega breaks it.
Omega coaches Kota up, but Matt is upon him again. Fans rally as Kota kicks Matt away. Kota crawls, but Matt yanks him away. Matt runs, but into the dropkick! Both men are down, and crawl for their corners. Hot tag to Omega! Omega climbs up, and crossbodies on Matt! He rallies on Nick, then swings. Nick dodges and whips, but Omega reverses, only for Nick to reverse into a back elbow. Nick sees Kota coming and stops him with a kick. Matt comes in to alley-oop Nick for the headscissors. Omega hits Nick but Matt handsprings. Kota intercepts Nick with a missile dropkick, then kicks Matt in the back again! Omega enters and Golden Lovers target Nick. They double whip and leap frog, roundhouse to leap frog bulldog! Nick gets out of the ring, and the fans sense what’s coming. Golden Lovers go to corners, run and CROSS SLASH!
Matt stays up but Kota throws Matt to the floor mats. Omega goes over to help Kota and they pursue Matt in the ring. Fireman’s carry, rolling senton, shooting star and both moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Golden Lovers keep going, bringing Matt up to go after his back. Omega ax handles Matt down, then stomps him. Matt asks if that feels good for Kenny to do! Omega doesn’t respond, he just puts Matt in a corner. He whips corner to corner hard, and Nick is worried for his brother. Kota tags in and keeps on Matt’s bad back. Matt grits his teeth and spits in Kota’s face. Kota forearms Matt again and again, then brings him over to tag in Omega. Omega brings Matt up, running backbreaker! Matt screams in pain, and the time warning is given.
Omega brings Matt back, tags in Kota, and Kota snapmares to a chinlock. The fans still duel while Matt endures, and another rally begins. Matt stands up and fights back, then runs to trip Omega up. He shoulders into Kota, slips under, but Kota keeps him from getting to Nick. Kota whips, Matt slips out, but Omega has him with an apron back suplex! Kota drags Matt up, but Matt sips out of the back suplex. Hot tag to Nick!
Nick kicks and elbows on the Golden Lovers, then clotheslines Omega to bulldog-clothesline them both! The fans fire up as Nick puts Kota in a corner. Omega saves Kota and chops Nick. He whips but Nick reverses. Omega goes up and over, headscissors but Nick rolls through to backstabber Kota! Matt baits Omega and dumps him out, for Nick to DIVE! They keep going, Shining Wizard to Kota, assisted Sliced Bread and another Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO!
The Bucks are tired and sore but not frustrated just yet. Nick drags Kota around while fans rally. He climbs up, but Matt tags in. They get an idea, and Matt climbs up to join Nick. The Bucks aim but Kota goes after them both. He dumps Nick down then goes after Matt. Matt resists and fights back, but Omega comes over to help. The Golden Lovers DOUBLE SUPERPLEX!!
Everyone is down but stirring. The Golden Lovers decide on their next move, and drag Matt over to an open corner. Fans fire up as they sense what’s coming. The Golden Lovers climb up together, but Nick trips them up! Matt throws Kota down while Nick German Suplexes Omega to the apron!
Nick brings that table over, turning it into a bridge between ring and barriers. He bumps Omega off it, and Matt climbs up. Matt aims at Kota, but Nick wants him to hit Omega. The Bucks argue out who to hit but Kota springs up to Pele Matt! Matt teeters, Nick gets in and goes at Kota, and clotheslines himself out with Kota! Omega gets up, sees the table and sees Matt, Electric Chair, but Matt fights back furiously! Kota clubs Matt, and springboards up for a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!
Cover, TWO!! Somehow Matt survives, and Kota can’t believe it. But he signals to Omega to finish this. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” as the two drag Matt up. The Golden Lovers want the Trigger but Nick drags Omega out. Omega puts Nick into the barriers, and Kota brawls with Matt.
They go back and forth, then Kota unleashes a strike fest. SUPERKICK from Matt! But he runs into a V-Trigger! Kota’s lariat adds on, then lifts up, for the Last Ride sit-out! TWO!? Kota sits Matt up, V-Trigger again! Cover, Nick breaks it! Omega throws Nick out, then tells Kota to go after Matt. Kota stands up and brings Matt up, kicking that bad back again. He keeps kicking, and Omega dumps Nick into the fans. Matt takes another kick and gets in Kota’s face, but Kota snapmares and kicks him more. Matt dodges a kick and gets knees up for the moonsault, then puts on the Sharpshooter! Kota endures but Omega is back, to haymaker Matt until he lets go. “C’mon, Kenny!!” Kenny gives Matt more, Nick SUPERKICKS outta nowhere! The Bucks stand up, Nick FLIES to take Omega out!
Matt goes back to Kota with the Sharpshooter. The fans cheer while Kota endures. Nick slingshots to facebuster, then cartwheels for the tornado DDT on Omega! Matt sinks the hold in deeper, and endures his own bad back as he bends Kota. But the back gives out, Kota is freed. The fans rally once more while Matt crawls to ropes. He’s on the far side from his brother. Matt walks over and tags Nick, they want to finish this. Nick climbs up while Matt brings Kota up. Matt gives haymakers, then fireman’s carry but the back limits him. Nick helps his brother, then hurries to dropkick Omega away again. Matt rolling senton, Nick 450, but the Matt drops the elbow on Omega through the table!!
Fans lose their minds all over again, but Matt grins because that was apparently worth it.
Nick checks on his brother in the wreckage, and helps him back in. Matt stands and brings Kota back up, to hold him up on the ropes. Nick climbs up again, for the draping 450! Cover, TWO!? Frustration sets in as the Bucks are at a loss for what to do. They stand up while the fans duel once again. Kota revives and fights back with haymakers and chops! He takes Nick’s kick, swings it but Matt avoids, and Nick sweeps Kota’s legs for a double SUPERKICK! Omega SUPERKICKS Nick, then goes after Matt. Matt boots him back but Omega shovels Matt onto his shoulders. Matt slips out, SUPERKICK from Nick, SUPERKICK from Matt! Kota DOUBLE Peles the Bucks! Everyone is down but the fans are thunderous! At this point, the fans hope they “Fight Forever!”
Omega and Matt somehow stand, and they brawl. They go back and forth, haymaker for haymaker, no signs of slowing. Omega Snap Dragon Suplexes Matt, but Matt is up to PILEDRIVER Omega! Matt stands up first and takes off that weight belt, to SMACK Omega with it! SMACK, then SMACK for Kota. Red Shoes tries but fails to stop Matt. Matt swings, Omega ducks and hits him in the back again. Omega takes that belt in his own hand, and throws it away. He V-Triggers Matt point blank, then again. Omega double guns, but Matt SPEARS! Matt drags Omega up and Nick is there. Matt can’t lift Omega, that bad back is stopping him. Nick kicks Kota away and helps Matt get Omega for the Tombstone, but Kota anchors Nick, to then LAST RIDE THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!
Omge reverses the tombstone, Kota flies in for the GOLDEN Indietaker! TWO!? But how?! Omega drags Matt up, Electric Chair and then roundhouse! They’re not done, gut wrench sit-out! TWO, and the Golden Lovers are further shocked. Omega loads up, and though he doesn’t want to, he drags Matt up again. SUPERKICK from Matt! Kota saves Omega and kicks Matt down. Kota says to do it, so “BANG!” V-Trigger!
That won’t be all, he lifts Matt up, but hesitates. Matt shouts for him to do it! ONE WINGED ANGEL!
Cover, Nick breaks it! The fans chant for “New Japan! New Japan!” because this match is that good.
All four men slowly stir, and Nick asks Omega, “What’s your problem?” Nick swears it isn’t over, and begs his brother to get up with him. Kota stands up and tells Omega to finish this. Nick fights them off to protect Matt, haymakers and chops back and forth. He focuses on Kota, but Omega V-Triggers to Kota’s German Suplex! Omega lowers his knee pad as he and Kota drag Matt up. The Golden Lovers take aim, Golden Trigger!
Double cover, The Golden Lovers win!
Winners: The Golden Lovers (Omega & Ibushi)
The victory is theirs, but Omega knows it was at great cost. Whether or not Matt ever recovers, the friendship of The Elite may never come back. And all that aside, will this win lead the Golden Lovers to ascend to the very top of tag team wrestling the world over?
But wait, Cody reappears?
He seems upset with Matt and Nick! Cody seems to be saying something about them having one job to do. Nick tries to back Cody off of Matt, but Cody shoves him down! Matt comes to his brother’s aid, but Cody gets angry. Omega and Kota return to run Cody off! Fans boo the American Nightmare out of the arena, and then Omega turns back to the Bucks. And he offers them a hand. Nick takes it, and then they hug! Omega also goes over to Matt, and offers that same hand. Matt doesn’t accept it. Matt exits the ring, and insists Nick follow. The Bucks leave together, the fractures in Bullet Club still too fresh for healing.
Omega takes a mic, and speaks. “Y’know, sometimes it’s a sad world we live in, where friends have to go to war with one another.” Wars have casualties. This isn’t the usual Kenny Omega. He wishes he could be happy, but there is a silver lining. That is that the Golden Lovers are still back, and here to stay. And before you know it, NJPW will come back to “a backyard near each and every one of you.” Omega assures us, whether NJPW likes it or not, the Golden Lovers will be in a featured match up, because they love to party with the fans. Omega wishes the Bullet Club’s issues could be solved sooner rather than later, but people like Cody only know how to talk. In the end, Omega will beat the “ever-living poop” out of him.
“And if you liked today’s match up, we have no choice but to up the ante” for the Cow Palace! “And so with that”, the banged up Omega and Ibushi wish us ado. “Good bye and good night, BANG!” If this is only the beginning, how monumental will the next NJPW event in America be?!
Hot damn was this a good night of wrestling. Leaving commercials out during matches was a smart move, no sense in breaking up the action with ads and no one misses any action, live audience or at home watching. The matches were all top quality, and some were perhaps even perfect given the stories. Great crossover in RPG3K VS SCU, and while Sho & Yo want the regular tag titles back, this win could also position RPG3K for trios titles in both ROH and NJPW. Robinson & Finlay winning is great for both of them, but we both know now that Finlay also wants singles gold against Jay White. Naturally KES defeat Yano & Chuckie T, mostly because they’re just that big and mean and on a roll. If they’re calling out Chaos’ Briscoes, that will be a great match for the aggression alone.
Cody continues to be a brilliant Heel in the story of “Bullet Club is (Not) Fine”, and it just gets better the more members of Bullet Club are brought into it. Naturally he fails to recruit the Guerillas to his side, they’re likely to be on their own side if it came to it. Cody still wins, though, to keep himself strong ahead of his ROH Supercard of Honor match with Omega to settle the first phase of this massive story. There was so much history in the Taguchi VS LIJ match, it really showcases the partnerships of NJPW, ROH & CMLL. As I said for Honor Rising, LIJ is growing into the faction to watch.
Ospreay VS Liger was great for being a true impromptu match, and NJPW even brilliantly weaves it into Ospreay’s own mission. Ospreay VS Mysterio, Mysterio VS Liger, Ospreay VS Scurll Nth time around, all are going to be great matches to elevate the Jr. Heavyweight title as well as Ospreay himself. Suzuki & ZSJ were brutal to Okada & Ishii, that match perfectly sets up the two separate singles title feuds. ZSJ’s new attitude is so great to make him the Heel against Okada, and Suzuki VS Ishii will truly be an example of iron sharpens iron. And speaking of, wow did Page VS White do the same. Those two will help push NJPW & ROH forward, and then Finlay going after White will also bring up the US title. Page still has his place in the Bullet Club story, so he’ll be fine even in losing.
Golden Lovers VS Young Bucks just raised the bar on any and every kind of match any and all companies put on for big events from this point forward. The Bullet Club story is compounded with the tag team superiority aspect, and it just kept going like they really were going to #FightForever. Matt’s bad back on top of the conflict in Omega’s heart really gave this match a unique story, but Golden Lovers win because their reunion can’t be weakened just yet. Plus, Cody shows up to add on another helping of the Bullet Club story. The uncertainty is so great for everyone involved, especially the fans. I can’t wait to see how they top all of this, if that’s even possible.
My Score: 9/10
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Andrew’s IMPACT Sacrifice Results & Match Ratings: 3.24.2023
Well damn, 24 hours changes everything! Josh is injured and has to vacate the World title! Mickie is also injured but she’s making her announcement during the show. How does IMPACT salvage their two main title pictures at Sacrifice?
Well hot damn, a lot of news popped up in less than 24 hours. So Josh Alexander tore his triceps; so he has to vacate the World Title and he’s being replaced by Steve Maclin in the 6 man match. Mickie James apparently also has an injury, but they are going to turn it into a segment on the show instead of a straight up vacating.
Now from a story perspective this sucks since I loved the Maclin/Alexander segment last night. That’s just me being selfish since I wanted to see that build and Maclin get the big win he deserves. Now he’ll be facing Kushida for the vacated title at Rebellion, and even if Maclin wins it will feel a little flat. Here’s to hoping that when Josh returns from injury they can find a way to bridge the time lost and keep the story going eventually.
.@MeanGiaMiller caught up with @FrankieKazarian and #RichSwann to talk about @Walking_Weapon's unfortunate injury and @SteveMaclin replacing him as their partner TONIGHT at #Sacrifice! #CountdownToSacrifice pic.twitter.com/jdnqk6BLN9
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 24, 2023
- Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham: Bailey wins via Reverse Figure Four – *** 3/4
- Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers: Hendry retains via Standing Ovation – ***
- Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna wins via Venus de Milo – *** 1/4
- Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO: PCO wins via Straight Right Chair Punch – *** 1/4
- X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c): Trey retains via Cradle – *
- IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c): Bullet Club retains via ABC 1-2-Sweet – ****
- Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer: Bully wins – ** 1/2
- Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin: Kushida wins via Hoverboard Lock – ****
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham
With the injuries in the main event, I could definitely see one, or both of these guys; fast tracked into the title scene after Rebellion. And I don’t think anyone would really be mad at that.
A quick tit for tat start, no one really gets any advantage. Just a few quick counters and takeover attempts. They both pause to take in chants from the crowd and then lock up again. Collar and Elbow tie up, they don’t release and both roll one another under the rope and out of the ring. There is an early moment where while he’s against the ropes he pokes Speedball in the eye and then apologizes. So things go back to a technical face vs face, but it could be a precursor.
Technical catch wrestling continues. Wrestling one another down, trying to get positions for small submission picks or limb attacks, but nothing is sticking yet. Gresham does manage to an Indian Deathlock, and then a Reverse Figure Four that Gresham conveniently can’t untangle so the referee has to do it and Bailey is pissed. Gresham tries to explain it, but Bailey lights him up, Gresham falls out of the ring, Golden Triangle Moonsault and now the aggression is starting to pick up. Hamstring Kicks and Chops from Bailey, but Gresham baits the attack and trips up Bailey before attacking the left knee with a grin on his face. Bailey is grounded for a while and Gresham keeps trying to twist off his leg. Eventually some Up Kicks break the submission attempt but Gresham wrestles him down again into a Bow and Arrow Trailer Hitch kind of move. Since Bailey has Tanahashi next week, Gresham must be trying to make Bailey’s knees equal. Good Guy Gresham.
Bailey starts stringing some offense together, but a few Low Dropkicks ruins Bailey’s base and causes him to face plant and the offense is going nowhere. Gresham even goes for the pinfall by trying to hyper extend the leg he’s been working on. Strikes continue to trade, Gresham tries to shoot the half but Bailey kicks off, Hamstring Kick again, Gresham Kips Up but clutches the leg a little, a chance for Speedball but Gresham cradles him to the ground and locks in a Figure Four. Speedball eventually rolls to the apron, Gresham tries to continue the stretching but Bailey kicks him into the post, sweeps the leg and Moonsault Double Knees right on Gresham’s head; Bailey went full Billy Kidman with his offense.
Bailey and Gresham continue to jockey for position on the outside, it looks like it might be a double count out. Gresham gets in at 9, Bailey gets in right at the 10 and the referee allows the match to continue. Some quick offense, Tornado Kicks to the corner, Ultima Weapon misses, Gresham goes for the Figure Four again but Speedball reverses it and Gresham taps pretty quick.
Backstage segment with Brian Myers, Moose joins and says he’ll help him beat Hendry – but then Santino shows up! He tells Moose he’s dumb and just stooged himself out, so he’s banning him from ringside. Who would’ve thunk it, the comedy character brings the logic.
Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers
Myers powders after a few early bumps and then Hendry follows him. Hendry is definitely not fighting with “champion’s advantage”, as is the way for babyfaces. Myers tries to fight back on the floor but a Scoop Slam leaves Myers on the receiving end. Hendry has to roll in to reset the 10 count and Myers catches him.
A few quick attacks, Roster Cut attempt but Hendry gets the goozle on. Standing Ovation attempt but Myers slips it, Chop Block, and continues to hammer down on Hendry. Myers with a Falcon Arrow and a bunch of slightly arrogant offense until he goes for the Crossbody, gets caught again, Sack of Shit, and Hendry is back on the offensive. Pop Up Power – no, slips and a Running Spear from Myers for a 2 count. Myers hits the top rope but Hendry cuts him off, Myers pushes him off, launches and Hendry hits the RKO mid move! Throws Myers into the ropes, Standing Ovation, and Hendry retains!
So Mickie addresses her injury, it seems she broke a rib during the tag match. They are allowing Mickie to hold on to the title until Rebellion. Either she defends it in a 3 way versus Jordynne and the winner of the 4 Way at the Multiverse United show or Jordynne will face the winner of the 4 Way for the vacated title.
Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna starts off angry, Gisele is getting rocked early, they go through a few rope running counter cradles and slides but its just early counter wrestling. Gisele manages to surprise Deonna going for an Armbar, but Deonna counters it, tries the Venus de Milo but Shaw powders. Deonna hits the Baseball Slide, starts beating on Gisele but she slides back in to distract the referee while Savannah clocks Deonna.
Triplicate European Uppercuts from Gisele keep her very comfortably in control. Another distraction to the ref and Savannah swings and connects with Deonna again. Deonna tries to fight from the corner, Gisele grabs Deonna’s feet drapes her across the ropes and drops both knees on Deonna. Gisele drives her knee into Deonna’s shoulder blades and goes for the Chin Lock. Deonna tries to power out, Gisele stifles it a little, but Deonna catches her with a Twisting Neckbreaker. Slow start to the strike exchange but it slowly picks up, Deonna with a beautiful spot of a no look Back Kick right to Gisele’s stomach, Running Knee Lift into the Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Deonna Pump Kick, Gisele Superkick, Deonna bounces off the ropes, Flatliner into Koji Clutch, but Gisele slides back a little to turn it into a pinfall to break the submission.
Both women have wrist control and just swing at each other. Deonna gets the best, one big swing but Gisele ducks it, catches Deonna in Shock and Awe (Backbreaker into Flatliner). Denouement attempt, Deonna grabs at the arm for the Fujiwara attempt but Gisele fights it off. Venus de Milo gets locked in and Deonna holds it a little longer to make a point.
Savannah attacks Deonna afterwards, but Tasha Steelz music hits. Tasha tries to play nice like she’s here to help Savannah, then cheap shots her, fights off Jai with a Tornado DDT kicking off of Savannah. Okurr on Jai and Tasha cleans house and babyfaces herself.
Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO
Kenny comes out in an Honor No More shirt, which is a nice way to play into the story.
Eddie tries to get PCO’s attention and then Kenny attacks him right as the bell rings. PCO turns things around shortly, Eddie keeps trying to find angles to give Kenny ambush spots but PCO keeps fighting back. PCO stalks Eddie on the outside and Kenny hits a beautiful Tornillo, then a Scoop Slam as he mocks the whole Frankenstein gimmick. PCO rolls in and Kenny John Woo’s him into the corner and starts Bootwashing his face to talk smack. PCO fires, goozle and just throws Kenny out of the ring.
PCO kicks Kenny from getting back in the ring, looks to do his Senton but “short circuits”. So PCO does a Senton to the wrong side of the ring, crashing but popping right back up, and it apparently helped correct the issue. So Senton onto Kenny, throws him back in, Kenny tries the Eddy Gordo kick but PCO just barrels over him. PCO drapes Kenny in the corner, Codebreaker, into the back of the head Guillotine Leg Drop and now PCO pulls him to the apron.
Here we go, Deanimator attempt – but Eddie cuts him off, PCO kicks him back into the cameras, Kenny gets up and an Iconoclasm bouncing off the apron of the ring! Kenny throws him into the steps, rolls in, things he’s all but won…yet PCO beats the 10 count. “He’s Not Human” chant starts, Frog Splash from Kenny and PCO kicks out and fires at 2. Eddie throws a Kendo stick in the ring to distract the referee from Kenny using a chair. Kenny hits PCO once, PCO shakes it off and has a gameplan. So he actually helps keep the referee distracted to bait in Kenny for another chairshot attempt, but PCO just punches through the chair and knocks out Kenny.
Maclin, Kaz and Rich have a backstage segment. It perfectly shows the story beats of Maclin being annoyed that he put in all this prep and recon on Josh just for the opponent to be flipped. Typical tumultuous team members vibe, but Maclin gets his story beats across beautifully.
Can #RichSwann and @FrankieKazarian trust @SteveMaclin? #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/TcEZ79IWkC
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c)
Okay Lince comes out in a bathrobe with some cringe ass “Lucha Lit” gimmick. I…hate it. This is probably the first time ever that I want Trey to win. Cause Dorado is cringe as hell. In a game of them both sucking, I’ll pick the style of trash that I can tolerate more…which is Trey.
Lucha counter wrestling with flips over trips and that stupid ass Mirrored Dropkick Spot. I also don’t love the Lince doing the cat mannerisms, but Puma King and a few others have done that…so I guess its more tolerated in Lucha. This whole match has been a little paint by numbers boring Lucha where the moves are done just to pop the crowd but not to actually accomplish anything.
Diving whatever moves they accomplish nothing. Its really hard for me to care about flippy trash matches. Lince hits 2 of the 3 step Moonsaults, but Trey of course no sells and dodges the third, Tiger Wall Kick, but Trey stumbles a little for the Enzuigiri, Trey also hits a sloppy Outside In Tiger Feint…its just sloppy spots for spots sake. I would probably be more entertained if I had Runescape fired up on a different tab. This is just a waste of space, much like both “wrestlers”.
Lince hits a Avalanche Frankensteiner, into a Shooting Star Press but Trey powders. Lince tries that bounce off the corner with his legs spot, but its sloppy. Another sloppy Tiger Feint from Trey, Slingshot Sunset Bomb for 2. These are just stupid moves for stupid sake. Lince tries to cut off Trey from a rope run with a Big Boot but mostly misses, makes the whole cut off exchange look stupid. Trey with a flash cradle during the cut offs for pinfall. Eww…this was garbage.
IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c)
It is nice to see a variation of TMDK back together. I also enjoyed Tito called Ace and Bey the “Mini Bullet Club” since they’re the juniors heavyweights.
Tito and Bey start off, Bey is trying to show off his speed, Tito gets across the power though. Tito kinda looks like a young Scott Steiner, and he literally tosses Bey back into his corner. Ace tags in, tries to do something but Tito is just too strong. Haste gets tagged in for some flashy yet effective offense. Ace finds something with the Triangle Victory Roll, Bey blind tag, cheap shot on Tito, Russian Leg Sweep + Low Sweep combination into some Click Click Boom. So Bullet Club is showing very nice Junior style synergy. Haste is very loud and animated, so he’s a great one to have eating the offense. Especially when they do their Back Rake goof spot.
Haste finally maneuvers things to tag Tito in, and Haste hands off Ace to Tito and Tito hits a Standing Blue Thunder Bomb. Tree of Woe, Bey tries to come in to break up the spot but the referee is distract, Tito steps up and stands on the groin, nice homage to Petey Williams. We are in Canada. Announce team almost sets up too much meme fodder, and then Rehwoldt steers into it. Rehwoldt said Bey was trying to rush into to get Tito off…paused for a second, which you know Hannifan gave him a look. So then they just pivot to everyone in TMDK being like Australian Sex Pistols. Very clever misdirection.
The match is fun, Bey gets the hot tag, clocks everyone, Haste tries a Lariat, Bey ducks that, flies onto Tito on the outside, comes back in, Tornado Fameasser for 2. Bullet Club goes for a Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combo, but Haste gets out of it. Tito gets tagged in and he start to look like Steve Williams with the Doctor Bomb for 2. Tito hits a big battering ram Dive on Bey to clear him out. Haste Falcon Arrow, Tito Froggy Splash, but Bey breaks it up.
Tito starts getting ping ponged between the two Juniors, Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combination, for 1-2-3? – no Haste comes in the referee says it was in time to stop the 3 count. Tito charges and a beautifully times Superkick + Spinning Back Heel Kick on Tito. He’s dazed, ABC 1-2-Sweet! Bullet Club retain!
Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer
This is a First Blood Match for anyone who doesn’t know, and Dreamer comes out with an ECW Championship Belt.
Chair duel to start things, ECW replica belt to the face of Bully Ray. Dreamer grabs a soda from a fan, Muta mist on Bully, tries to shove the can into his skull for early blood but no. Bully crotches Dreamer on the guardrail and then picks a fight with Darren McCarty who’s in the crowd. Darren McCarty was the enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings, so its very old school letting the ex sports guy play. Bully also has a great spot where he pulls out a step ladder, then asks the referee to hold it, does the Jimmy Snuka pose and goes for a Splash and misses. Bully gets to rile up AEW and WWF fans all in one spot. Good old school heat. Corny, but good.
Dreamer gets a bag of tacks, Bully fights off the Piledriver, gets the cheese grater but Dreamer hits the Bionic Elbow as a counter. Cheese grater with Dreamer, Dreamer charges, Bully pulls the referee in the corner, so ref bump. Dreamer eventually makes contact with the cheese grater, but there’s no referee and Bully has his back to the camera, so it slow rolls the result nicely. Good Hands hit the ring, on with a towel to see if he can blot the bleeding before the ref comes to.
Bully hits Tommy with pocket tacks instead of pocket sand. Tries to drive Dreamer’s face into the tacks and then Elbow it further down but Dreamer moves. Dreamer grabs the grater again, Bully tries to beg off, screams he’s sorry and now tries to guilt Tommy with his family is going to see this. Dreamer actually stops and then Bully hits him in the balls. Bully busts open Tommy with the tacks, the Good Hands slide in Tommy as the referee comes to, so the referee only sees Dreamer bleeding. Its a solid old school Hardcore match but it was definitely a little too plodding and corny.
Yuya Uemura tries to make the save, then Darren McCarty jumps the railing. This really has turned into ECW, Bully gets a mic, asks him if he really wants to fight and tells security to let him go. LOL – a literal Hockey Fight. McCarty gets the best of things, Good Hands mug him from behind. Triple Powerbomb McCarty through the table.
Scott D’Amore’s music hits! Scott starts stripping like he’s Ric Flair. Bully calls down Scott, but Scott has backup. He calls Rino, Heath, Gresham, Baily and Joe Hendry. Good Hands try to attack Scott…Scott stops him…and HITS A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Can this lead to a Lethal Lockdown match? Team D’Amore versus Team Bully? Give me that…give me some Lethal Lockdown now!
Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin
Shelley and Swann start off, and its just a bit of chain wrestling. They both have Hammerlocks, Headlocks, and just twist around to try and find an angle. Shelley speeds things up a little, Shoulder Tackle, rope run, Swann goes down and Shelley puts on the brakes to sink in a quick STF but Rich grabs the rope. Kaz and Sabin tag in and we get some Battle of the Futures nostalgia.
Back and forth, Up and Over, Sabin with the Arm Drag into the Top Wristlock. Kaz fights through, a little more quick counters and fun stalemate spots as they are all having fun with each other. Kushida tags in and points to Maclin. Kaz slaps Maclin’s chest and we all know Maclin isn’t a fun loving babyface like Kaz and Swann, so the tone should start to change. Kushida starts by starting Grounded ala Inoki vs Ali, then manages to trip up Maclin and keep the mat wrestling going, but Maclin finally gets back to hit feet and can finally use his size and power to his advantage. Shelley blind tag, Time Splitters PK to the Arm combo.
Shelley keeps on the arm that got kicks with the Arm Wringer and then a few quick shots to the damaged arm. Kaz makes the blind tag after Maclin uses the middle rope into Shelley’s throat. Kaz and Rich with a little Hip Toss tandem stuff for a near fall on Shelley. But the tone of Rich and Kaz is definitely much different. Shelley fights his way out of the enemy corner, Time Machine triple team, Single Leg Crab, Camel Clutch, Sliding Dropkick from Sabin onto Rich. Kaz is trying to police too much of Maclin’s motion, typical team that doesn’t get along stuff. Rich driven into Kaz in the corner, triple Dropkicks from all of Time Machine.
Kushida tags in, stares down Maclin and then Maclin picks up and throws Rich to Time Machine because you can tell he’s frustrated getting policed with all of his moves. MCMG hold Rich, Kushida hits the Baseball Slide on the restrained wrestler and Kushida does the little Liger spin around pose/taunt and stares down Maclin. Shelley starts with the joint manipulation, and Swann is just getting torn apart. Swann in the Tree of Woe, Sliding Dropkick to Swann’s face, and then the Triple Baseball Slide. Sabin tags in with the Octopus Hold on Rich which he rolls into a pinfall, but Rich kicks out. You hear Maclin say “All you have to do is tag me bitch” – which proves that Maclin is trying to be a team player in his own way.
Rich fights out of the triple team, and chooses to tag in Kaz. Kaz hot tag, exchanges with Sabin which turns into the Guillotine Leg Drop through the ropes, Kaz is taking out everyone right now. Two Springboard Leg Drops…and now a third as all of the Time Machine offense is stopped. Sabin blind tag though gives Time Machine some momentum. Rich tries to come in, gets rocked, Maclin charges, Sabin grabs him and Tornado DDT sends Maclin to powder. Missile Dropkick/Flatliner on Kaz for 2.
Cradle Shock counter, rolling tag to Rich. Avalanche Headscissors, Rich goes to the top rope, Maclin tags himself in, but Time Machine gets rolling. Dragon Screw from Kushida with the Mutoh pose afterwards. Maclin and Shelley are legal, and going back and forth. Double Arm Breaker from Shelley after Kaz tries to get involved. Maclin gets some offense back in, Caught in the Crosshairs form Maclin, Maclin tags in Kaz, Kaz tags Rich, tandem attacks, Cutter form Rich into a 450…1-2-Kushida Kicks out! Swann goes for Phoenix Splash but misses. Flying Armbar from Kushida, triple Submission spot, but Maclin gets out of his and breaks Kushida’s submission. Maclin stares down Time Machine, hits the ropes and gets eaten alive by tandem attacks.
Time Machine goes for a Double Shiranui Tower, but it gets broken up. Outatime lands on Kaz. Sliced Bread lands on Swann. Tanaka Punch blocked, Maclin eats Shell Shock, Sabin gives Kushida a rolling start to throw him onto Maclin like a Spider Monkey and sink in the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin taps relatively quick, which is strategic to not risk injury.
Overall Score: 7/10
Talk about a show that no one knew what the hell to expect! Josh vacating the belt means that things had to change with fairly short notice. Mickie’s implications of either a Triple threat or she’ll hand over the belt to the winner if she’s not cleared is something you don’t see too often. But when it comes down to the card, the show was relatively good. Trey & Lince was hot garbage, and Busted Open was what we all kind of expected. Was it a bit more entertaining with some of the ECW nods? Sure. But it was just a spectacle and honestly Scott D’Amore hitting the Canadian Destroyer made that all worth it.
OH CANADA! @ScottDAmore CANADIAN DESTROYERS @TheJasonHotch and Windsor EXPLODES! #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/iqqpiH0tMZ
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
The tag and six man matches were the best stuff on the card, and sets the stage decently well for storylines into Rebellion. I’m not joking though, if we don’t get Team D’Amore vs Team Bully in a Lethal Lockdown…the salt will pour. Don’t let the Canadian Destroyer spot be for naught! Oh – and put the damn belt on Maclin!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/24/23)
It’s a family feud!
Wrestling really does have more than one royal family.
While Cody Rhodes is back on SmackDown to take on Ludwig Kaiser, Dominik Mysterio plans on confronting in his entire family in Las Vegas! Will Rey finally snap on his son?
- Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci; Cody wins.
- Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight; Knight wins.
- WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya; Shotzi & Natalya win and advance to WrestleMania.
- “Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER; Gunther wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci!
The American Nightmare is back on SmackDown, looking to stay razor sharp for his match with the Tribal Chief. But will he get more than just a tune-up from the Impeccable German? Or will Kaiser keep the mat sacred?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up for “CODY! CODY!” Ludwig eggs Cody on, they tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Cody powers Ludwig to a corner but Ludwig turns it around. Ludwig lets off, but throws a body shot! Ludwig whips, Cody reverses and reels Ludwig in to suplex! Fans fire up as Cody keeps Ludwig in the air, before the GOURD BUSTER! But wait, here comes Paul Heyman. Cody is distracted by the Wise Man, Ludwig waistlocks, but Cody trips Ludwig to then SHINING WIZARD! Ludwig bails out while Cody glances back at Heyman. Fans continue to rally for Cody while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cody staggers over to Ludwig. Ludwig UPPERCUTS then COMPLETE SHOTS! Cover, TWO! Ludwig scowls, and he rains down fists in a headlock! Fans boo but Ludwig lets off. Ludwig clamps onto Cody with a chinlock, then CLUBS him down. Fans boo as Ludwig goes outside to drag Cody to the corner, but Cody YANKS Ludwig into the post! Cody goes out to CHOP Ludwig, ROCKS him, and then CHOPS him against the announce desk! Cody rains down fists and fans fire up! Cody puts Ludwig back in the ring, runs and springboards, but Ludwig trips him up and YANKS him down!
Heyman is stoic as Ludwig sits Cody up to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Cody scowls but Ludwig looms over him. Ludwig pie faces Cody, drags him up but Cody ROCKS Ludwig and JABS and throws a body shot. Ludwig throat chops in return! Ludwig CHOKES Cody on the ropes, the ref counts and Ludwig lets off. Fans boo, but Vinci gets a cheap shot! Cover, TWO! Ludwig clamps back on with a chinlock. Cody endures, fans rally up, and Cody fights up to his feet. Ludwig throws Cody down by his hair! Fans boo more as Ludwig paces around and taunts Cody. Ludwig rains down more fists, then scrapes Cody’s face!
Ludwig runs to BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Heyman is still stoic as Cody drags himself to ropes. Ludwig kicks the ropes to jam Cody’s arm! Ludwig drags Cody up to UPPERCUT! Cody ROCKS Ludwig with forearm after forearm! Ludwig JAWBREAKERS! Ludwig throws body shots and stomps in the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Cody puts him on the apron! Cody ROCKS Ludwig, and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICKS Ludwig down! Fans fire up and Heyman is upset now. Ludwig staggers up into a kick, and Cody reels Ludwig in! Cody hooks the arms, but now SOLO SIKOA appears!
Fans boo as the Bloodline approaches, but Ludwig CHOP BLOCKS Cody’s leg! Solo and Heyman stay at the ramp as Ludwig goes out. Cody throws hands, whips, but Ludwig reverses and sends Cody crashing into steel steps! Fans boo but Cody drags himself up, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cody throws hands on Ludwig. Ludwig headlocks, Cody powers out and things speed up, but DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Solo & Heyman are now ringside as fans rally up. Vinci coaches Ludwig but Cody sits up first. They stand, Cody throws a body shot but Ludwig throws a haymaker. Cody throws a forearm, Ludwig gives it back, they go shot for shot, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Ludwig kicks low, whips, but Cody reverses to then follow and CLOBBER Ludwig! Cody kicks, RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then baits Ludwig, goes up and over in a corner, and POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!
Solo is stoic, Heyman smiles, but then Vinci throws in his track jacket. The ref gets that out of the way, but misses the HIGH LOW COMBO from Imperium! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and Ludwig is surprised. Ludwig shouts “NEIN!” and runs in to UPPERCUT, GAMANGIRI and HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Ludwig goes up top, leaps, but into a dragon sleeper! But Ludwig drops to victory roll! TWO, and Cody dodges Ludwig to springboard, CODY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cody stares down Heyman & Solo! Cody waits on Ludwig, reels him back in, CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!
Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall
The Impeccable German was less than perfect, and he loses to the American Nightmare! But Cody watches Solo get up on the apron and Heyman has the mic. Heyman has Solo stand down, and then tells Cody, “You’re owed an apology. And since I’m the Wise Man of the Bloodline, may I? I am going to be the one to deliver that apology to you.” The ring announcer did a lousy job. She must be from Vegas. Fans boo and Heyman acts surprised. But Heyman will do the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen! Your winner… and still challenger for the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns… Cody! RRRRHODES!”
Fans are torn but Heyman says this is the very same Cody Rhodes that sees his Road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday Night Raw, when Cody goes one versus one against… SOLO! And if, and isn’t that a big “if,” IF Cody survives Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be here live on SmackDown next Friday to see Cody one final time face to face. Heyman tosses the mic to Cody and he catches it. “Is that what we’re doing, Mr. Heyman? Are you moving the goal posts for me? Another thing you did, you interrupted them while they were singing the song.
“And now, you wanna move the goal posts and move ’em right here, huh? Am I expected to say ‘No?’ Oh, it’s six days out from the biggest match in the history of my family, I should probably say no, right? WELL, I probably shouldn’t have wrestled with half my body hanging off, and I still beat Seth Rollins! So when it comes to you,” he says as he points at Solo, “undefeated and as good as you are, like I said last week. You’re. Not. Ready!” Fans chant that, then Cody continues.
“And as for the champion, Roman Reigns. After Solo finds out that he’s not ready, at WrestleMania on April 2nd, your boy, Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, will find out the same thing. He is not ready, either!” Cody throws the mic back and Heyman misses it! Will everything about this homestretch to Hollywood be a nightmare for The Bloodline?
BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
The very first match of night one on Saturday, April 1st will be… AUSTIN THEORY VS JOHN CENA! The United States Championship will set the pace for the weekend, will The Now find that he’s not ready, either?
Charlotte Flair is here!
Vegas fires up as The Queen heads to the ring. The SmackDown Women’s Champion has her pyro then gets the mic to tell Las Vegas, “We are just eight days away from WrestleMania! Fourteen times. Fourteen time world champion. And I can tell you, that was not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. The same three things have been used against me by everyone, and I mean everyone, since I started in this business.
“Fear. What is fear? Fear is a lack of understanding. It’s ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. This business was built on respect! Rhea Ripley, I don’t fear you. I respect you! The only thing that I fear is my own potential. I respected Nikki and Brie. I respect Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Trish, Ronda, Asuka, Natty! I respected all of them! Insecurities. Damn right I have insecurities! Are you really ‘whatting’ me? This is important to me so listen. Insecurities, damn right I have them. And I have built this house on every brick that all of you have thrown at me! For the last seven YEARS! Lastly, nepotism.” Fans “WOO~!”
“That’s right, Vegas. I love my dad. And I will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment! And whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it, because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. WOO~!” The Queen is fired up, but will she be able to hold her throne at WrestleMania?
Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight!
The King of Lucha Libre, the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, has been pushed and pushed and pushed by his punk of a son, and the Mega Star was one big mouth too far! Will Rey be able to shut up the obnoxious jerk that isn’t Dominik? Or will things only get worse for Rey on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?
SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Knight chases Rey but Rey dodges and fires off hands! Knight shoves Rey away, but Rey slides under and dropkicks Knight to a corner. Rey runs in but Knight fights off the monkey flip. But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey runs in, and now he MONKEY FLIPS! Knight staggers up,. Rey KICKS Knight to a corner, and then rains down fists! Fans count all the way to TEN, then Rey gives us some Latino Heat. Rey runs, but Knight FLAPJACKS him down! Knight stomps Rey, stomps him to ropes, but the ref counts.
Knight lets off, “YEAH!” Then he bumps Rey off a buckle. Knight throws hands, JABS Rey, then digs his boots in. The ref counts, Knight lets off at 4, and Knight brings Rey up. Knight shoves Rey into the corner, Rey bounces off buckles, and into the NECKBREAKER! Knight spells it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” Cover, ONE!! Knight is annoyed and he throws fists down. Knight keeps on Rey, throws hands, then he bumps Rey off buckles. Fans rally and duel, but Knight whips Rey to ropes. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges then tilt-o-whirls to RANA! Knight flounders out of the ring and fans fire up!
Rey runs, WRECKS Knight with a dropkick, then he builds speed. Rey SLIDES to SPLASH! Fans fire up for that one, and Rey stalks Knight to CLUB him! Rey puts Knight in the ring, climbs up and shoulders in! Then he GAMANGIRIS Knight away, climbs the corner, but here comes Dom! Dom said he’d ruin the fun, and Knight trips Rey up! Rey tumbles to the mat, but Dom doesn’t care. Fans boo as Dom walks down the ramp while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Knight stomps away on Rey again. Knight drags Rey up but Rey throws hands! Rey fires off but Knight knees low! Knight scoops, Rey slips off and rolls Knight up, to then dropkick! Fans fire up while Knight scrambles around. Knight goes after Rey, Rey slips under and runs, but into a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dom paces at ringside, and Knight sits Rey up to KNEE him in the back! Knight drags Rey up, back suplexes high and hard, then dusts off his hands. “YEAH!” Knight grins as he stands over Rey, then he pulls on the mask. The ref reprimands, Knight whips Rey to ropes, but Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges!
Rey CROSSBODIES, but Knight catches him for a POWERSLAM! Dom smirks while Knight spells it out again. “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey and Knight slowly stand up, Rey goes to ropes and Knight storms over, but into an elbow! Rey springboards, wheelbarrows and BULLDOGS! Dom is annoyed but Rey goes to the apron. Rey climbs up, SEATED SENTONS! And Rey keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Rey brings him up to whip him to ropes. Knight reverses, kicks low and back suplexes, but Rey lands on his feet! Tilt-o-whirl, but Knight blocks to a BACKPACK SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Knight grows frustrated but he drags Rey back up. Fans rally for “619! 619!” as Knight scoops, but Rey turns slam into DDT! Rey then dropkicks Knight onto the ropes! Fans fire up, Rey dials it up, 619 BLOCKED by Knight! Knight grins, lifts Rey up, but Rey RANAS free! Rey redials, but Dom trips him up!! Fans boo and Rey is furious! He can’t believe Dom is doing this now, but Knight rolls Rey up! KNIGHT WINS!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall
Dom smiles because he just screwed his dad over. Dom gets the mic and tells, “Jefe… You gonna give me what I want? Huh? C’mon. C’mon Or are you gonna run away? Or are you gonna finally be a man and face me at WrestleMania?” Dom pushes Rey, and Rey brings down the straps. To wag his finger, “No.” Dom says, “That’s right. Walk away like you always do. Hey, mom. How does it feel to be married to such a pathetic loser? A coward who can’t even stand up to his own son?” Fans boo but then Dom points out the rest of the family. He asks if mom knew she married a deadbeat.
She did, because here’s why. She sat there every night while Rey abandoned Dom, sot hat makes her no better! His sister steps up now, and Dom asks Aalyah what she’s gonna do about it. She’s too stupid to understand this. Mom Angie snatches the mic from Dom but Dom snatches it back to tell her to shut up! Rey storms back over and fans fire up! Dom dares Rey to do something, and Rey DECKS Dom!! Dom is shocked but Vegas is thunderous! Rey tells Dom that Dom pushed him to do this. Rey doesn’t wanna do this but Dom gave him no choice! You do not disrespect your mother like that! That is Rey’s wife!
Dom wanted a fight at Mania? Then he’s on!! Fans are thunderous again as Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son.” Dom scurries away, having gotten what he wanted like the brat he is. But will Dom come to regret everything he’s done these past few months?
WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya!
The Model Soldier teams with The Predator to take on the Wild Child and the Queen of Harts! Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez are watching ringside, who will they see join them in this Fatal 4 Way tag team showcase?
The teams sort out, Shotzi and Lacey start. Fans rally as Shotzi and Lacey circle, then Shotzi gets around to a waistlock. Shotzi ripcords, wrenches and wristlocks but Lacey throws Shotzi by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Shotzi up and fans rally as Lacey whips her to the corner. Lacey RAMS into Shotzi, tags Xia, and then mocks the fans. Xia stomps Shotzi, brings her up to CHOP, then taunts Natty. Xia runs in to KNEE and ELBOW Shotzi, then reels her in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Natty rallies the fans behind Shotzi but Lacey tells them to shut up. Xia bumps Shotzi off buckles and tags in Lacey.
Lacey mocks the fans, then runs to headstand and BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey drags Shotzi up, snapmares and then dribbles Shotzi’s face off the mat! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Lacey drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws hands, kicks but Lacey blocks to trip her up! Lacey then sucker punches Natty! Fans boo but Shotzi rolls Lacey up! TWO and Shotzi ENZIGURIS Lacey down! But Natty is still off the corner so Shotzi has to BOOT Lacey away! Shotzi runs but Lacey CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Lacey tags Xia. Lacey & Xia drag Shotzi up, double whip but Shotzi KICKS Xia and JAWBREAKERS Lacey!
Xia waistlocks Shotzi, Lacey storms up, but Shotzi slips free and the WOMAN’S RIGHT takes out Xia!! Lacey is furious, but Shotzi whips her out of the ring! Shotzi swings on Lacey, Lacey counter punches, but Natty is back! Natty BOOTS Lacey, then Shotzi DIVES to take Lacey down! Fans fire up as Shotzi hurries back in and tags Natty! HART ATTACK! And then the SHARPSHOOTER! Xia taps, Natty & Shotzi win!
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya, by pinfall (advance to WrestleMania)
Two hearts and a lot of fire, these two make it through! But wait, here come Ronda & Shayna! Shayna says, “Look at all the history in the ring right now! I mean, each single one of those women has a reason to want to get revenge on us, right? Let’s look. Broken hand, broken nose, broken arm, broken spirit. What do you say we uh… Give them the opportunity tonight?” Fans fire up as the Baddest Women on the Planet step up, but then Ronda says, “Wait, Shay-Bayz. I’ve got a question for you. How many times have we sold out this exact arena?” A couple times. And what about this entire town? A couple more times.
And how much did they appreciate it? ZERO TIMES! These two have given Vegas more than it deserves, so never again! And certainly not tonight. Shayna agrees with that. But lucky for the others, or maybe unlucky, these two are here to let them know, they’re in the tag team showcase! WrestleMania may be taking place in Hollywood, but the stakes just got raised like here in Vegas! Who wins when the odds are not in their favor?
Drew McIntyre heads to the ring.
Vegas fires up as the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Der Ring General are about to converge for a contract signing! The Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship isn’t until WrestleMania, but will things break down on SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and Adam Pearce is in the ring to welcome us to this contract signing. But before he can introduce McIntyre, Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes make their way out! “Las Vegas, what’s the crack?” Sheamus says everyone’s been asking why he’s so mad at McIntyre. Imagine this: imagine working 15 YEARS of your life to achieve a particular goal; now imagine telling your best friend about that goal, only for him to go behind your back to try and steal it away from you. Imagine that friend being someone you let sleep and live on your couch, that you brought to his first training session in this business!
McIntyre rolls his eyes as Sheamus has said a lot of this before. Sheamus says, “Now imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in on the Grandest Stage of Them All, because they’re nothing but a backstabbing-” McIntyre says, “Imagine shutting up for a second. Every week, you run your mouth, you try to give me this guilt trip, trying to make me feel bad. And if it’s not on SmackDown, it’s on social medial with your little gifs and memes you create, blow up my Twitter like a teenage girl. It’s embarrassing, mate!”
McIntyre says last week, they were in this ring, proving why they are the most physical superstars in the WWE! They beat the hell out of each other! And afterwards, they should’ve been in the bar, laughing about it. That’s what they did in the old times. But now, Sheamus is so sensitive, he has this temper, that Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. Sheamus says McIntyre made this personal! McIntyre has a lot he’d love to say but he’ll stick to facts. And the facts are: McIntyre has beaten Sheamus, and he KNOWS he can beat Gunther. And history has shown that Sheamus can’t. Fans fire up as the two stare down.
Pearce has both men stand down because in order to get to WrestleMania, he needs three signatures on the contract. So how about we get the first two taken care of now? McIntyre takes the pen, signs his part, and then hands things over to Sheamus. Sheamus takes another pen, he signs his part, and then McIntyre throws his pen to the crowd as a free souvenir. And here comes GUNTHER! Gunther storms right into the ring, he gets right in Pearce’s face, and he tells Pearce to justify this decision. Justify why Gunther is in a match where the other two can pin or submit the other and Gunther still loses his title. Justify it! JUSTIFY IT!!
Pearce has Gunther calm down now, and Gunther signs his part. Is Pearce happy now? Whatever he has to do to defend HIS title at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat McIntyre. He will beat Sheamus. And if he has to, he’ll beat up Ridge and- What is Dunne looking at him like that for? DUNNE JUMPS THE TABLE TO GET AT GUNTHER!! Fans go wild as Butch goes wild! Ridge drags Dunne away, Gunther TOSSES the table! Gunther gets in Pearce’s face and Gunther wants a match! Pearce says okay, just calm down! Is Der Ring General about to break the Bruiserweight?
“Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER!
SmackDown returns, and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Dunne pulls on Gunther’s ears! Then CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne runs, but into a BOOT! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops and SLAMS him, then sits him up to PENALTY KICK! Dunne kicks back from below! Dunne forearms, CHOPS, SLAPS and then jumps on for a a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Gunther throws body shots and then shifts Dunne around into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Gunther paces around Dunne. Gunther kicks Dunne in the side, he taunts Sheamus, then he stomps Dunne down.
Gunther brings Dunne up but Dunne throws body shots! Dunne forearms, but Gunther CHOPS Dunne off his feet! Even McIntyre is feeling that one. Gunther drags Dunne up, and CHOPS him right back down! But Gunther holds onto the wrist and he brings Dunne up again. Gunther CHOPS Dunne inside-out! Gunther still holds the wrist and he gives toying kicks to Dunne while taunting Sheamus. Gunther ripcords, but Dunne uses that for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Gunther CHOPS Dunne down, into a BOSTON CRAB! Dunne endures, Sheamus and Ridge coach Dunne, and Dunne fights, only for Gunther to shift to an STF!
Dunne still endures, even as Gunther bends him back. Dunne pries free, wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Gunther pulls hair, then CHOPS Dunne down! Gunther drags Dunne back up but Dunne ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Gunther wobbles, blocks the third enziguri and deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Dunne goes to a corner, Gunther hauls him up onto the top rope to CHOP! Gunther climbs up and he STANDS on Dunne! Dunne endures and the ref counts, Gunther lets off and Dunne tumbles to the floor! Sheamus checks on Dunne, Gunther stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Gunther taunts Sheamus, but Dunne catches his Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans fire up as Dunne bends the fingers, and SNAPS them!! Gunther staggers away, Dunne runs in to fire forearms! GAMANGIRI! Gunther staggers, Dunne goes up and fans chant for the “BRUISERWEIGHT! BRUISERWEIGHT!” as Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the arm! Dunne waistlocks, but Gunther switches and puts on a SLEEPER! Dunne drops down, but powers up and he pries at the hold! Gunther holds on tight, Dunne reaches for ropes, and fans rally up, ROPEBREAK!
Gunther SLAPS the arms down, GERMAN SUPLEXEs, but Dunne lands on his feet! BUZZSAW! Gunther bails out and McIntyre smirks. Dunne goes to the apron but Gunther avoids the moonsault! Gunther CHOPS Dunne, and Dunne tumbles onto the desk! Gunther turns around to see Sheamus and McIntyre, but Dunne runs in! Gunther sends him into McIntyre! Gunther BOOTS Dunne into the ring! But Dunne STOMPS the hands and BUZZSAWS Gunther! Fans fire up, but McIntyre is on the apron! Sheamus drags McIntyre down! GLASGOW KISS from McIntyre! Ridge goes after McIntyre but McIntyre POSTS him!
Sheamus KNEES McIntyre down! Dunne runs in at Gunther, into a LARIAT!! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops for the LAST SYMPHONY!! Cover, Gunther wins!!
Winner: Gunther, by pinfall
Der Ring General used his enemies against each other, but The Fella stands back up. They both look at the WrestleMania sign, but Sheamus gets out of the way! CLAYMORE hits Gunther!! Fans fire up as Sheamus and McIntyre stare down now, will either of these men come away the NEW Intercontinental Champion in Hollywood? Or will Gunther use them against each other then like he did tonight?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage.
Montez Ford says that Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat is bound to be a banger. But he says there’s one thing bigger than that. Angelo Dawkins asks what, and Ford says THEIR tag team showcase. Alpha Academy, Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman & Ricochet, but wait. What do they have in common? Ford motions to the top of the head. Oh, right. They’re “smooth operators~.” But then Braun & Ricochet walk in. Real funny, guys. Y’all got jokes, huh? They got a problem with bald men? They don’t have a lot of room to talk, Dawkins is thinning up top. Whoa, fam, c’mon. Just jokes! Just playing. Well no one’s laughing.
Dawkins is just saying, Braun & Ricochet aren’t much of a tag team. Oh, well, we’ll see who’s playing when Ricochet & Braun show up and the other three teams fool around and find out. They want ALL that smoke. Well, okay, okay. Everyone is fired up for WrestleMania, but who wins the tag team showcase at the Showcase of the Immortals?
It’s the SmackDown return of the Kevin Owens Show!
And as such, Kevin Owens himself is headed to the ring. His guest will be Sami Zayn, but what will the Prizefighter and Great Liberator have to say about their coming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match? We’ll see, after the break.
SmackDown returns one more time and Kevin has his set and his mic. He thanks the ring announcer for the introduction, and then welcomes us back to the KO Show. Now please welcome his guest, tag team partner, friend and brother, the one and only Sami Zayn! Sami makes his entrance and the fans fire up again. Sami gets a mic and Kevin says, “Yeah, so I did it right? The way you wanted. It worked out?” Sami asks what Kevin means. Well, he brought Sami out with the big introduction like he wanted. It was good, right? Sami says he didn’t want a big introduction, this is Kevin’s show, and Sami’s the guest.
Yeah, but earlier, Kevin suggested they come out as co-hosts but Sami said they should make separate entrances so the fans can hear both of their songs and cheer for both of them. Which really means Sami wanted his own pop. Sami says he did not, but Kevin says it’s fine, the fans love him! Kevin gets it. Fans do cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin sits, Sami asks if they need to spill more backstage secrets, or can they just get to business? Yeah, of course. Sami says more than anyone, he’s been going non-stop about taking down Roman, the Usos, the Bloodline. And even Sami has lost sight of the fact that, does Kevin realize what they’re on the verge of doing?
“After all these years, from where we started, from nothing, staring together in Montreal all those years ago, we are on the verge of winning the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships! We are on the verge of doing that together, at WrestleMania! And not just any WrestleMania. This year, I don’t know what it is, but WrestleMania feels different this year.” Kevin says that’s right. And it isn’t lost on him. He knows what they can accomplish. But Sami is right, WrestleMania does feel different this year. Which is why Kevin brought Sami out here. Kevin has something for Sami.
Now, remember a few months ago, after Roman gave Sami that Honorary Uce shirt, that Kevin said Sami needed a new one. Kevin has one, it’s a KO-Mania Goes Hollywood shirt. That’s great! Well yes, but this is the back of it. Kevin does KO-Mania every year. But this year is different. This year isn’t about KO-Mania. “This year, there is only one person who took WWE by storm, who caught fire like no one else. There’s only one person that people can look at and say, ‘That guy has been the MVP of the WWE for the last 12 months,’ and that person is you,” Sami. Fans chant “MVP! MVP!” and Sami is rather touched.
Kevin says this year, it isn’t KO-Mania. It’s about the other side of the shirt. Kevin hands it over, Sami turns it around, and he sees… WrestleZAYNIA!! Sami’s all fired up now! Kevin shows that he’s been wearing one the whole time! Sami loves it! He throws off his shirt to put on the new shirt! Sami wants a hug but Kevin says no, one hug a year. Aw what the heck? THEY HUG! But then THE USOS attack!! They blindside KO & Sami from the crowd side, and then Jimmy rains down fists on Kevin while Jey rains down fists on Sami! Fans boo while the Usos clear the ring of the chairs. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS for Kevin!
Jey drags Sami up, whips him to ropes, and the Usos hit ONE AND DONE!! The fans boo more but Kevin gets up with a steel chair! The Usos run for it, telling KO & Sami that they’re going down! Kevin beats an armchair with the steel chair, but Sami tells the Usos that they’re not getting away with this one. Will Jimmy & Jey ruin the first ever WrestleZaynia? Or will KO & Sami be the ones to finally stop the ones?
A great episode for SmackDown here, especially with the story developments. For one, great closing moment we just saw with a great KO Show. I love that we got a positive swerve where Kevin gave Sami a shirt that had a WrestleZaynia logo on it. But I should’ve figured the Bloodline would do something, and the Usos technically stand tall here. That math would suggest the Usos are losing at WrestleMania, and we finally get so much in that moment, from vindication for Sami to the WWE Grand Slam for Kevin. We also got a really good match out of Cody VS Ludwig that Cody of course wins, and a really good promo segment right after for Cody and Heyman. The Bloodline is definitely desperate to hold onto everything, but that could be what brings them down.
Fairly big news with Theory VS Cena opening WrestleMania Night One. I’ve said before that it just feels like Theory is gonna win, since Cena doesn’t need the US title, and isn’t gonna be sticking around long enough to do anything with the US title. So if Theory wins the first match of the weekend, I could see him boasting, bragging and partying the entire weekend until he is just insufferable and annoys someone into challenging him for that title on the Raw After Mania. And then a pretty good promo from Charlotte, and I did like her calling out the “WHAT” chants here. Stone Cold Steve Austin is timeless, but lemming fans throwing out “WHAT” just to throw out ‘WHAT” are what? Stupid, that’s what. A) Show respect and pay attention. B) Come up with something of your own.
Really good match from Rey VS Knight, but of course Dom distracts to cost Rey. But biggest of all from that segment, the moment fans have wanted for the last few weeks now: REY DECKS DOM! And now we’ll get Rey VS Dom, and Dom sold all the emotion after that perfectly. He was upset, but there was also the fear and realization that comes with seeing something he thought would never happen actually happening. His dad is gonna whoop him, because Dom will only have Priest by his side while Finn prepares for Edge and Rhea prepares for Charlotte. And Legado can make a heroic move by countering Priest so that Rey VS Dom has a fair finish.
Good promo from Profits, Braun & Ricochet to put some tension between those teams going into the men’s Fatal 4. Good tag match qualifier for the women’s Fatal 4, and it was good weaving of stories that Shotzi & Natty win. Shayna & Ronda get that “first round bye” right into the match, but it does work because all four Faces want payback on them. It might not even matter who the fourth team is (though I’m sure it’ll be a team from Raw), Ronda & Shayna are probably gonna tear into them all to win and essentially be #1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
And there was just so much great stuff in the Intercontinental Championship contract signing. Sheamus brought back the same stuff he said when he and McIntyre had their 1v1 feud last year but that makes sense, it is how people can be when they argue with friends and family. I feel like McIntyre was tempted to Steiner Math because this is a Triple Threat, and he knows he can beat Sheamus. Gunther was also great, and I love that “Butch” Dunne went right after Gunther over their NXT UK past. Gunther VS Dunne was great stuff to have just for the hell of it, but of course there was the usual misunderstanding shenanigans that helped Gunther win.
If Gunther somehow retains at Mania, can we have HHH get Trent Seven back in WWE so we can have British Strong Style VS Imperium for the Summer? There were fans in Vegas who remembered Dunne for being Dunne and not for being a sidekick, and all fans deserve to see that Dunne alongside Tyler Bate and Trent Seven.
My Score: 8.8/10
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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.195 ~ 22ND MARCH 2023
New champions, All Japan interactions, new debuts and Joshi in NOAH! NOAH is heating up in 2023!
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (3/22/23)
Independence is Dynamite!
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/21/23)
Time for a grudge match!
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/21/23)
It all comes down to this!
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (3/21/23)
Toni Storm gets Dark!