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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (3/20/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Nakamura wins.
  • Baron Corbin VS Tye Dillinger; Corbin wins.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Natalya; Natalya wins.
  • Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Harper w/ Rowan; Harper wins.
  • Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad; Naomi & Becky win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown flashbacks to the night Daniel Bryan retired.

He wrestled for 16 years, and was grateful to the WWE. “It is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness” that he had to officially announce his retirement. But now, Bryan is medically cleared for competition! And an outpouring of love, support and excitement came from everyone, ranging from superstars to celebrities to fans.

Daniel Bryan is here!

Dallas greets the SmackDown General Manager with an incredible ovation of “YES! YES!” and even “Welcome Back! Welcome Back!” Bryan hears their chants, and thanks them all. But he moves things from joy to sadness, as Shane McMahon was attacked. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn aren’t here yet, so for now, Bryan will talk about something else. Two years ago, Bryan’s forced retirement was one of the toughest days of his life. But Bryan focused on gratefulness. He admits he was depressed, that he was angry, that he was being kept from doing what he loves, but he stayed focus on being grateful. He has much to be grateful for. From his family, to friends, to “the best fans in the world”, but especially his “beautiful wife”.

Through all his struggles, Brie was there supporting him. She let him know it was okay to fight for a dream. Brie encouraged him to see specialists, and Bryan did. Each new review encouraged them to see another, and another. Fans chant, “Thank You, Brie!” Every specialist that cleared Bryan encouraged him to keep going. Bryan fought his way back, even when he wanted to quit. Brie kept him in the fight for his dreams, because if you fight for your dreams, you dreams will fight for you! “Every hard thing seems impossible until it becomes real.” Bryan got the WWE to review his case, and they sent him all over the country to meet the best of the best. And every specialist said one thing: “You are cleared.” Fans chant “YES! YES!” once again in hearing this great news.

“There was a time when being cleared to compete in a WWE ring seemed impossible. But now it is real.” Bryan has many thanks, such as to the WWE and the doctors. They looked at him as a person and not a wrestler. They gave Bryan that second look and cleared him. Bryan thanks the WWE Universe, in Dallas or at home, for the support through all of this. Every week, all the “YES!” Chants, or “Daniel Bryan!” or “You Deserve It!”, Bryan thanks them for that. And lastly, Bryan thanks Brie, because she’s supported him more than anyone else can imagine.

Now to the fun stuff. Bryan doesn’t know when or where it’ll be that he returns to the ring– Fans want Wrestlemania!

Is that a good idea? “YES! YES!” Bryan vows that even if it isn’t Wrestlemania, he will return to the WWE ring for competition! It’s only a matter of time, where and who against will it be?

 

Daniel Bryan talks with Charles Robinson backstage.

Robinson congratulates Daniel Bryan, but reports that Kevin & Sami aren’t here yet. When they arrive, let Bryan know. Dolph Ziggler comes over to congratulate Bryan, and to say he can’t wait to beat him. Bryan says Ziggler can try. Is the Show-Off a potential return opponent for the Goat?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The King of Strong Style beat the Bulgarian Brute back at Fastlane, but Rusev is back for more! Can Nakamura maintain momentum this close to his WWE Championship match with AJ Styles? Speaking of Styles, he’s ringside on commentary to keep an eye on things.

The bell rings and the two circle. Rusev gets the arm wrench and wristlock while fans duel back and forth. Nakamura uses the ropes to flip and reverse the hold, but Rusev turns that around into a headlock takeover. Nakamura headscissors back, but Rusev pops out. They circle again, feeling each other out, but Nakamura gets a quick kick in on Rusev. Nakamura laughs, then dodges to say “C’MON!”

Rusev runs in but into the knee. Nakamura kicks, Rusev kicks, then Nakamura forearms and Rusev forearms. Nakamura fires off but Rusev put shim in a corner. Rusev kicks the inner thighs, whips and then knocks Nakamura over with the heel kick. Cover, TWO, but Rusev keeps his cool while we go picture in picture.

Rusev stalks Nakamura, dragging him up to stomp his ribs. Rusev reels Nakamura into a clothesline, then drives an elbow into Nakamura’s shoulders. He backs up to kick Nakamura stiff in the back, then cover, TWO. Rusev keeps his cool but Nakamura fires back, only to run into Rusev’s back elbow. Rusev wags a finger “No no no” before wrapping Nakamura in a chinlock. Nakamura endures the squeeze on the mat, and slowly works his way up. Rusev squeezes and stretches Nakamura, but Nakamura responds with a jawbreaker! Nakamura runs but into Rusev’s boot, then Rusev stomps Nakamura’s head. Rusev drops an elbow, then another elbow, then another, and covers, TWO. Rusev glares at Nakamura, then drags him up to the ropes to choke him. He backs off at the ref’s count, then brings Nakamura up for a back suplex. Cover, TWO, so back to the chinlock it is.

Nakamura endures more squeeze while we go single picture again. He fights out with elbows, but Rusev responds with a knee. Rusev whips, but Nakamura dodges, to hit the dynamic dropkick! The fans rally while Styles looks on intently. Nakamura strike fests and kicks Rusev in the chest. Rusev blocks one but gets the other, and gets to a corner. Nakamura gives an elevated Good Vibrations, then sets Rusev up top for the Top Shelf knee! Nakamura fires up and aims at Rusev, but Rusev drop toeholds! Accolade barely escaped, but that roundhouse! Cover, TWO! English is furious in Rusev’s place, but Rusev himself keeps his cool. Rusev stomps the mat and prepares himself. He thrusts in but Nakamura swings, swings, but brings Rusev into a takedown! Cover, TWO, and Rusev tries his own, TWO. Nakamura gets another cover, Nakamura wins! Even Styles grins there.

But English attacks! Team Rusev Day stomp and stomp Nakamura, like they did to Styles last week. Styles watches, like Nakamura did last week, then slowly prepares to help. However, Nakamura fights Rusev Day off by himself! Seems Nakamura didn’t need Styles to help him out. Will the Rockstar be in better shape then the Phenomenal One come Wrestlemania?

 

SmackDown looks at Championship VS Streak.

The Queen of Flair is the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but the Empress has a streak as long as it is dominant. “No one is ready for Asuka!” Charlotte herself is preparing backstage when Natalya comes along. Natty knows Charlotte is scared. What is she babbling about? The clock is ticking, it is only a matter of time the Queen bows down. No, Charlotte is excited because this will be her biggest challenge yet. Natty is better than both of them! She should be the one facing Charlotte! Asuka is only undefeated because she hasn’t faced Natty. Well if Natty wants to prove that, they’ll have a match tonight. Fine by the Queen of Harts. Will Natty put her money where her mouth is? Or will Charlotte get some easy momentum headed towards Wrestlemania?

 

AJ Styles find Nakamura backstage.

Nakamura assures Styles he didn’t need his help. Styles saw that. Okay but one more thing. Styles knows, Nakamura says he’ll beat Styles at Wrestlemania. Styles needs to be more confident. But yes, Nakamura will win, with a #Knee2Face.

 

Baron Corbin VS Tye Dillinger!

The Lone Wolf and Perfect 10 have both declared for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, but who will gain momentum towards it here 1v1?

The bell rings, Tye gets a waistlock but Corbin backs him to a corner. Tye gets a headlock and holds on even as Corbin tries to power out. Corbin lifts but Tye holds on. Tye tries to snapmare but Corbin won’t go down, so Tye gives forearms. He whips but evades Corbin’s kick to chop, Corbin clobbers Tye down! Corbin drags Tye up and rock him with a right forearm, and Tye staggers to ropes. Corbin throws Tye into a buckle, then backs off to run back in. Tye evades, Corbin slides out and in but into Tye’s boot!

Tye clotheslines Corbin out, and then goes to the apron to jump. Corbin catches him by the throat, lifts but Tye slips out. Tye mule kicks Corbin then puts him back in the ring. Tye hops up, flies, but the crossbody turns into End of- No, Tye manages to counter by going limp and slipping out. Corbin throws Tye all the way out of the ring, then goes out to rock him with a right. Corbin reels Tye in, NOW End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins! Can the Lone Wolf finally take advantage of opportunities by becoming a two-time Battle Royal winner?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Natalya!

SmackDown’s Queen of Flair and Queen of Harts do battle once again to see if catty Natty really can beat the Women’s Champion.

The bell rings and Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” before tying up with Natty. Natty gets the wristlock but Charlotte arm-drags her, and meow, those claws come out. They tie up again as fans rally, and Natty gets the wristlock again, but Charlotte spins around and puts the lock back on Natty. Natty shows her agility to reverse and then get he takedown. She rolls over Charlotte but Charlotte reverses to a headlock. Natty goes back to the wristlock, then rolls up, TWO. Natty tells the fans to shut up, they just “WOO~!” at her. Charlotte lunges in and get a waistlock slam, cover, TWO. Charlotte gets another takedown, cover, TWO, and Natty kicks low. Natty clubs Charlotte, then whips her to a corner, but Charlotte goes up and over to roll Natty back with a bridge, TWO!

Things are still technical and scrappy as Charlotte pushes Natty for another cover, TWO. Charlotte drives in an elbow, then goes to a neck wrench before shifting to a headscissors hold. She throws Natty around in that hold three times before covering, TWO. Natty kicks low again, then tells the fans to shut up. She whips Charlotte but Charlotte goes up and over to shoulder in and dive for a roll, TWO. Stiff neckbreaker to big boot, and Natty bails out of the ring. Charlotte styles and profiles while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Natty now in control with an abdominal stretch. The fans rally and Charlotte works her way out, but Natty turns that to a backslide. Charlotte slides off and boots Natty down again. She runs at Natty in a corner but Natty elbows back. Natty tries to boot back but Charlotte takes that leg and puts it on the ropes. Charlotte springboards to drop a knee on it, but Natty evades and Charlotte’s knee goes into the mat. Natty throws Charlotte against the buckles, then embraces the heat. She stomps a mudhole into Charlotte, then tells the ref to shut up about the count. Natty drags Charlotte up and out for a snapmare, then runs over her, but Charlotte kip-up to lariat! Both women are down from exhaustion, but Charlotte drags herself up to her feet.

The fans rally, and both women approach each other. Charlotte gives out those Flair chops! She whips Natty to the corner, then chops again! Charlotte’s exploder suplex throws Natty at the ropes, and she walks over, but Natty yanks her into the buckles! Natty spins, but into another boot! Charlotte goes for the legs but Natty scrambles away, then evades in a corner. Natty runs in but is caught into backbreaker and buckle shot! Natty gasps while Charlotte brings herself up to her feet. Charlotte climbs up, but Natty springs up to trip her up! Natty carries Charlotte, for a spinning powerbomb!

Cover, TWO! Both women are down again, barely moving. Natty finally gets up, and she goes for the legs, for the Sharpshooter! Charlotte endures, reaches and crawls for ropes, to get the ropebreak. Natty kicks her to the apron, then guillotine catapults her into the ropes.

Natty staggers up, as does Charlotte, Natty discus lariats Charlotte down! Cover, TWO! Natty brings Charlotte up, Charlotte cradle counters, TWO. Charlotte gets the takedown, but Natty shoves Charlotte out. Natty comes out running but Charlotte runs her over with a SPEAR! Charlotte brings Natty up and in, and finally into the Figure Four! Natty endures, slapping Charlotte. Natty rolls things but Charlotte keeps it going, and then Charlotte brings Natty tot he apron for a hanging Figure Four! The referee has them break it up, but Charlotte isn’t done yet. She climbs up, but Natty intercepts again. They brawl while Natty climbs up, and Natty grabs Charlotte, for a SUPERPLEX! Natty can’t move for the cover, out comes CARMELLA!!

Ms. Money in the Bank brings her own ref, and the briefcase! But Charlotte revives! She boots Carmella down! Natty rolls Charlotte, Natty wins!! No cash in for Carmella, but no win for the SmackDown Women’s Champion, either! Was this a conspiracy or just perfect timing for Natty? And all that aside, can Charlotte refocus to be ready for Asuka?

 

Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Harper w/ Rowan!

After the utter devastation The Bludgeon Brothers brought upon The New Day and the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, obviously the Usos would want some semblance of revenge. Can Jimmy do it when it’s just him and just Harper? Or will the story be the same for the stoic behemoths of the Blue Brand?

Before the match, the Usos speak. “Check this out.” At Fastlane, Usos VS New Day, battling it out to be the champions. “One of the hottest rivalries renewed.” Another instant classic to determine who goes on to Wrestlemania. Until the Bludgeon Brothers got involved. Harper & Rowan weren’t just after titles, but they were out to give out beatings. Jey is all banged up, but it’s okay because the Usos still have the belts. The Usos don’t know how to back down, they only know how to survive. They only know is how to go hard and be “the best damn tag team the WWE has ever seen!”

Three weeks away, they’re not standing down. Nine years in the game, and you think you can take just take away what they’ve worked so hard to get? It doesn’t matter if the Usos are 100%, 90%, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20. It doesn’t matter, you get in the ring, it’s #LockDown! Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! Harper & Rowan appear while we go picture in picture.

The Bludgeon Brothers take their time entering the ring. Harper hops up onto the apron and stares Jimmy down. The two circle, but Jimmy slips out of the ring. Harper follows, with Rowan behind him, and they stalk Jimmy regroups with Jey to lead them around. Jimmy reenters the ring, to hit Harper as he hops up. Jimmy runs, but Harper knocks him back, to then get in the ring and throw Jimmy out. Harper leaves the ring again to rock Jimmy with a stiff chop and uppercut. He rips Jimmy’s shirt off before giving him another uppercut, then another. Jimmy gets to a corner but Harper is upon him, a palm grinding into Jimmy’s jaw. Harper chops Jimmy, then chops him again, but Jimmy hits back with an uppercut and chop of his own.

Jimmy backs Harper down, then whips but Harper reverses to hit a corner uppercut. Harper throws Jimmy down, then stalks him to a corner. Fans rally, but Harper chops Jimmy again. Harper runs in for a side splash, but fans keep rallying for the Usos. Harper runs but Jimmy ducks and Harper tumbles down and out. Jey stays clear while Jimmy comes out, but Harper shoves him back. Harper runs but a drop toehold sends him face first into the LED, breaking a panel! Jimmy builds speed but Rowan is on the apron to stop him.

Harper returns, but Jimmy kicks Rowan and dragon whips Harper. Rowan is incensed, but Jey SUPERKICKS Harper, Jimmy SUPERKICKS, cover, TWO!? Jimmy is shocked but he doesn’t lose focus. He runs but into Harper’s SUPERKICK. Harper lifts Jimmy but Jimmy slips out, and boots Harper away. Jimmy climbs up, Harper sweeps his legs, and then climbs up to smack Jimmy’s face off the top of the post. Harper backs away to take aim from the corner, big spinning lariat! Harper covers, Harper wins for the Bludgeon Brothers. With great dominance and durability even 1v1, who can hope to defeat Harper & Rowan as a team?

 

Sunil Singh introduces Jinder Mahal.

Or in other words, the “next United States Champion” and Modern Day Maharaja. The WWE announced a United States Championship Triple Threat with Mahal, former champion Bobby Roode, and current Champion, Randy Orton. The fans boo and jeer, but Mahal says they’re just hypocrites. Mahal has sacrificed everything for a moment on the Grandest Stage. He reminds us that “a man of my wealth” could be vacationing anywhere in the world. And a “man of my looks and physique” could be the biggest star in Bollywood. Yet, Mahal chose to restore the WWE Championship to prestige and make SmackDown the show. People should worship him! Americans claim to want change, yet all they care about is the status quo with men like Randy Orton and… Bobby Roode appears!

The GLORIOUS Roode says the only hypocrite here is Mahal. As for no respect, “respect is a two way street.” And Mahal doesn’t deserve any respect. What Mahal deserves come Wrestlemania is Roode beating him and winning back the United States title. And when Roode does, “it’s going to be absolutely–” Randy Orton appears!

Yes, the Grand slam Champion! Mahal, shut up. He doesn’t understand why no one respects him, or why when people think of the greatest champions, he’s not included. It’s actually rather obvious, really: without the help of his stooges, Mahal sucks. The fans agree, they chant “You Suck! You Suck!” at Mahal. Mahal takes off his coat, but throws Sunil Singh at Orton! Mahal runs away, Orton gives Sunil the draping DDT! Orton prepares those voices, but Roode takes Sunil for the GLORIOUS DDT! He tries one for Orton, Orton tries to reverse to the RKO but Roode pushes away. Mahal slinks near the ring but they’re both ready for him. The fans chant “RKO! RKO!” but this will wait for Wrestlemania. Who will be THE United States Champion after these three meet on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad w/ Ruby Riott!

The Glow and the Fire look to get back on track after a few defeats as of late. Meanwhile, Ruby’s #KentuckyStrong and #LivStrong compatriots want to look strong going into the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal. Who will get the edge here tonight?

The bell rings and Sarah Logan starts against Naomi. They tie up and Sarah picks Naomi up to bring her to the Squad’s corner. She tags in Liv Morgan and they double whip Naomi, only for Naomi to slide under and kick them both. Liv ducks a kick and a kick and a kick, but not that knee. Naomi covers, TWO, so Naomi tags in Becky. They double whip and double hip toss Liv down. Becky mule kicks and European Uppercuts Liv to then go after her at the ropes. Liv kicks back then whips but Becky reverses. Liv yanks Becky into buckles and tags in Sarah, Ruby looking on with a grin as Becky’s head is bumped off Sarah’s boot. The Squad mudhole stomp Becky, then Sarah runs to hit Becky with a stiff sliding knee. Cover, TWO, but Sarah stays on her with a half straitjacket.

The fans rally for Becky, even as Sarah thrashes her around. Becky fights up to her feet and arm-drags out, but Sarah intercepts her tag to slam Becky down. Sarah brings Becky up but Becky throws Sarah out over the top rope. Becky crawls but Ruby helps Sarah get back in, and Sarah runs to knock Naomi off the apron. Sarah drags Becky back, then single leg deadlift, but Becky reverses into the Disarm-her!

Liv comes in, Rear View from Naomi! Sarah taps, Becky & Naomi win! The Fire and the Glow light up, can one of them carve their names in history at Wrestlemania?

 

Daniel Bryan learns of Kevin & Sami arriving.

He has his assistant tell them to meet him in the ring. What will happen on the other side of the break?

 

Daniel Bryan returns to the ring.

The SmackDown GM waited all night for this. They’re here, so he asks Kevin & Sami come to the ring to join him. Sami & Kevin do come out, and are excited from knowing the news of the day.

They weren’t sure about coming, since Shane McMahon wasn’t. Then they got the news! Daniel Bryan is cleared for competition! Kevin & Sami raced here, but got pulled over by Walker Texas Ranger for speeding. They talked their way out of it, because “everyone’s dumber in Texas.” But they’re here now to share the moment and it feels great. Sami & Kevin wouldn’t miss this for the world. He supported them day one. He understood them when no one else did. When the rest of SmackDown’s roster hated them, he stood up for them. When Shane had a grudge against them, he was fair. And now, Bryan gets to return to in-ring competition! Good things happen to good people.

Raw VS SmackDown, A-Show VS B-Show? The show that has Kevin, Sami and Bryan is the DREAM Show! In fact, that sounds like a dream team. The fans say “NO! NO!” and Bryan appreciates the idea, but that’s not what this meeting is for. It’s about the assault they committed on Shane last week after Shane said he would take an indefinite leave of absence and step down from being Commissioner.

Sami & Kevin can’t help but laugh. They think that was funny? Kevin admits they got carried away, and Sami admits that looks extreme, but we all know Shane deserves it, right? Bryan says they can’t act like this is something small. That attack was a big deal. They understand what they did, right? Bryan knows they’re the very best of this generation, and when Shane said Bryan lived vicariously through them, he was right. They’ve known each other for 15 years. But they assaulted their boss.

And the one thing Bryan really can’t understand is, they’d won. Shane admitted to everything, and gave them a 1v1 match at Wrestlemania! Imagine back to ten years ago, if they were told this was going to happen. Not only did Shane do that, but also, he was leaving! Bryan was in their corner to run this show, yet they still went and did that. Shane was right, and Bryan doesn’t want to do this but… Bryan was fired twice, and came back better. Sami & Kevin can learn and grow, so as much as Bryan hates having to do this, but… “You’re Fired.”

The fans chant “YES! YES!” as Kevin & Sami get what they deserve. Bryan says they won’t be gone forever, just for now. He’s sorry, but he has to. He offers a handshake good-bye, which Sami accepts. Bryan offers it to Kevin, Kevin accepts it. They go to leave, but Kevin attacks!! Kevin roars as Sami rains down rights and lefts! Deja vu to last week, #Kami goes after Bryan, but Bryan fights back! He pushes Kevin to a corner and unloads kicks! Then Sami comes in for a sleeper, but Bryan slips around for a German Suplex! Dropkick fro Kevin! Dropkick for Sami!

Another for Kevin! Another for Sami! Bryan is back! And fans chant “YES! YES!” as Kevin takes the YES Kicks!

Sami returns to clobber Bryan, and fans boo. Referees try to stop this but Sami keeps going. He drags Bryan up,  SUPERKICK from Kevin. Kevin holds Bryan up, and shouts for Sami to “DO IT!” Sami runs in, HELLUVA KICK! Bryan goes down, the fans say “You Suck! You Suck!” Kevin and Sami look down at Bryan as he tries to stand, and Kevin punches him down again. They bring Bryan out of the ring and to the floor, and Sami feeds Bryan to the APRON POWERBOMB!! Bryan goes down in a heap, and the fans boo and jeer while Kevin roars in rage. Kevin & Sami finally leave while a stretcher comes out. The fans remind them “You’re Still Fired!” but will there be consequences beyond that for them? And what will this mean for Bryan’s in-ring return after taking all that damage?

 

My Thoughts:

This was quite the episode of SmackDown. Things were a bit copy & paste of last week with some edits, but it was all in good taste of the stories building. Nakamura taking on Rusev, winning, then actually fighting them off, all without Styles, was a great flip from last week when he bailed Styles out. There should be a Styles-Nakamura VS Rusev Day tag match before we get to ‘Mania, it’s completely logical. Corbin VS Dillinger was a bit filler, but still great to see Dillinger back on TV. Clearly WWE wants us to anticipate a possible repeat win for Corbin, which will likely mean he doesn’t repeat. Would be great if Dillinger wins, battle royals are perfect for giving someone a big boost in the card.

The Women’s Division did pretty good tonight. Charlotte VS Natty was incredible, but their matches always are. Carmella pulling off a cash-in swerve not-swerve was incredible. I’d like to think Carmella was being in it for herself and Natty took advantage as opposed to a plan between the two. Carmella still has chances, but this could foreshadow how she tries it again at ‘Mania. As for the tag match, that was a bit weaker, but good for Becky to get the win. Maybe Becky can use the Women’s Battle Royal to boost her back up to the top. The Tag Team and US Championship segments were also good, helping set up some great stuff for ‘Mania, and especially next week’s tag team of Orton-Roode VS Mahal-Singh. Given how Orton pointed out Mahal sucks when he’s without the Singhs, I’d hope they win to prove it.

Great to hear the news reported again on air, and Bryan was genuinely emotional sharing the reality of it all. There was so much speculation in the hours leading up to tonight, and Ziggler gave a nice tease. However, it’s clear the first thing for Bryan in-ring has to do with Kevin & Sami. I did not expect Bryan to “fire” them, and I really didn’t expect them to attack like that. They did almost as much as they did to Shane, but obviously they couldn’t go that hard on someone who just got cleared. This does kinda make you wonder just how long he really was cleared, or why he was finally cleared. But chances are, Bryan & Shane VS Kevin & Sami is where this is heading. After that, the sky’s the limit for Bryan because of how red hot over he still is with fans.

My Score: 8/10


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

AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)

Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

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Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.

We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?

Let’s find out as we…dive right in.

Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)

Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?

As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?

Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter

 

Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)

Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?

It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira

Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?

Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?

Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.

Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?

Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.

Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura

Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?

Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.

Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.

Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!

Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/20/19)

Triple H addresses an NXT Championship dilemma!

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NXT cover image

NXT sees the return of HHH, but under sad circumstances. The Game will address Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, and what happens with his precious championship!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle; Cole wins and will face Johnny Gargano for the vacated NXT Championship at TakeOver: New York.

PLAY BY PLAY

Triple H opens NXT!

Full Sail is happy to see The Game, but he comes out holding the NXT Championship. HHH goes to the ring and also picks up a mic. He takes a moment to hear the fans chant for him and NXT before getting to business. “From those cheers, I don’t have to remind you of just how special this place is.” The building, the environment, the fans. “NXT is something special.” It is here in NXT and the ring that “dreams can become possibilities.” For some, the dream starts in NXT. For others, it takes a long time, maybe years of scratching and clawing, going up and down a road, just to get to this ring. But in reality, for every superstar, their dream can end at any moment.

HHH was going to announce the main event of TakeOver: New York, an epic years in the making, of Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano VS Psycho Killer, Tommaso Ciampa. But the reality has made that impossible now. Ciampa’s dream is on hold, because he needs neck surgery. That surgery has taken place, and now Ciampa must relinquish the title. But the beauty of NXT is that when one dream ends, another begins. And that new dream begins right here! Gargano continues his dream and he WILL compete for the NXT Championship! But against who? We find that out tonight! Five men step into this ring! Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!

Those five men fight for an opportunity to live a dream in New York, on the biggest stage yet, and compete for the title against Gargano. It will be decisive in New York, 2 Out of 3 Falls! The winner will walk out the NEW NXT Champion! A major match of former, current and future champions, but who will have a match with Gargano to determine NXT’s future?

 

Backstage interview with various superstars.

The Finest thinks Cathy Kelly was waiting for him. But since he showed up, what is his reaction to the big news tonight? Well tonight’s main event will be great, but Kona Reeves knows it won’t be The Finest. The Forgotten Sons appear next, and they don’t care about tonight’s main event. They are more concerned with next week’s main event, because in case people have already forgotten, they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic FINALS! Aleister Black & Ricochet need to not forget Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake are coming. They hope one of those two win, so that they’ll be too focused on something else. Then it’ll be that much easier for the Forgotten Sons to go on and win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Then no one will forget them ever again.

 

NXT Media shares Tommaso Ciampa’s trip to Birmingham, Alabama.

This is not the first time Ciampa has been to the WWE’s preferred surgical facility. Ciampa has had one knee and both shoulders, but now the neck leaves him no choice but to have another surgery. The pressure on his spinal cord could paralyze Ciampa, so this is not just for his career, but for his life as he knows it. There are various bone graftings and now it’s just about time. When and where will the greatest sports entertainer in NXT make another return?

 

NXT’s contenders speak.

The King of Flight and the Embodiment of the End are one of the most unexpected duos in the tag team division. They work together because they expect the best from each other. But there’s no misunderstanding, it will be every man for himself tonight.

Velveteen Dream is already the NXT North American Champion, but he wants the biggest spotlight possible. The way he sees it, tonight’s Fatal 5 Way will be #DreamOver. And when Dream wins it all, then Dream will just be the first ever dual champion, on the grandest stage in NXT history.

The Original King of Bros is still undefeated, and is stoked to have such a big opportunity so soon. Riddle worked his ace off to get here, and nothing will stop him from going to NXT TakeOver: New York and becoming the new NXT Champion, bro.

Adam Cole says he is the one who makes history in NXT, and no one is more deserving! The inaugural North American Champion wants to be the first to also have the top title. He takes on four of the best to then go to the Barclays Center. That’s the very place Cole made his debut and held that title high above his head. He’ll do it again, when the announcement is made that he is the new NXT Champion! And that is Undisputed!

 

Backstage interviews with The Sky Pirates.

Io Shirai & Kairi Sane are very excited for tonight’s main event to see who goes to TakeOver. And speaking of, they’re both going, too, because they’re in a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Women’s Championship. Are they concerned the title and their friendship will get in the way? Not at all! May the best woman win! Io and Kairi both want the title, and will fight each other if they need to. “Gurl, uh-uh!”

Bianca Belair knows this isn’t her business, but this shouldn’t be a Fatal 4. Shayna got in the way and kept Bianca from beating Io. And this doesn’t have anything to do with the little pirate! But now it does, so in New York, The EST will run through both of them to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. No one can do anything about it, because she still feels Un-De-Fea-Ted. Io holds Kairi back while Bianca takes her leave. Whether it’s Bianca, Kairi or Io, will there be a new Women’s Champion alongside a new NXT Champion in New York?

 

NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!

The One and Only, Panama City Playboy, Dutch Destroyer, Patrick Clark Experience and Original Bro wage war like NXT has never seen! Johnny Wrestling awaits, who moves on to challenge him for the vacant throne?

The fans are already fired up for “All These Guys!” as the bell rings. Cole goes after Aleister than Ricochet while Riddle chases Dream. Riddle originally wanted after Dream for the North American title, so why not have that out here? Dream has other ideas as he throws Riddle into barriers then gets back in the ring. Aleister and Ricochet work together against Cole then Dream. Ricochet clotheslines Cole out but Cole drags Ricochet out. Dream rolls ALeister, TWO! Riddle returns but Dream throws him back out. Aleister waistlocks but Dream throws him off. Dream runs into Aleister’s boots then Aleister hops up. Aleister leaps but Dream gets under. Dream lifts Aleister but Aleister slips out. Aleister sweeps but Dream jumps over and rolls through! Aleister slips out again to cradle, TWO!

Dream runs into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs but Cole trips and drags him out. Cole swings but gets Aleister’s kick! Aleister clibms up but Dream sends him back down. Ricochet mule kicks and whips Dream but Dream reverses. Ricochet rolls off the back and handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Dream bails out but Riddle’s back. Riddle gut wrenches Ricochet, then holds on to do it again! And again! Full Sail is thunderous for the “Bro!” but Cole is after him. Riddle standing switches but gets an enziguri from Cole. Cole stomps a mudhole, then hits his pose BAYBAY! ALeister attacks but Cole reverses. The Unexpected Duo work together, leg sweep and standing moonsault! Cole gets away, and now the tag team phenomenons face each other. They shake hands and circle. But Cole disrupts it by shoving Ricochet into Aleister!

Aleister falls out and Cole stomps away on Ricochet. Cole hits a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Cole keeps Riddle out with a right hand then goes after Ricochet. He snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Ricochet just escapes, but Cole boots Aleister back out! Cole drags Ricochet up for a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Another close call but Cole can’t put Ricochet away. Cole goes after Dream but Dream shoulders in. Ricochet somersault shotgun dropkicks Cole! Dream knees Ricochet out then throws heavy hands on Cole. Dream whips but Cole reverses, only for Dream to slide out. Cole runs over but gets an uppercut! Dream climbs up and ax handles Alesiter out.

Dream tosses Cole out then climbs, to LEAP for a big ax handle! He puts Cole in fast and climbs back up. Purple Rain- Riddle gets Dream with a German! Aleister kicks but Riddle reverses! Riddle wants and gets the BroMission!! But Dream breaks it with a falling elbow! Dream stalks Riddle as fans fire up again. Dream tosses Riddle out and turns his attention to Aleister. Aleister fires off a strike fest, sweep to knee! Cole returns but Aleister is ready, two-for-one quebrada! Aleister roundhouses Dream, covers, TWO! Dream survives but Aleister keeps going. Aleister lifts Dream with his foot, but Cole drags Aleister out by the other foot. Cole sends Aleister into steel steps! Cole returns to the ring, only to meet Riddle. They were going to fight to see who contends for the North American title, so now they have it out!

Riddle gets the edge with open palm CHOP after CHOP! Cole stomps Riddle’s bare foot! But his superkick is caught, Riddle gets Cole in a Bromission! But again Dream breaks it up with a leaping ax handle! Dream haymakers Riddle but Riddle ROCKS Dream with that right! Cole hits Riddle now, but Riddle hits back. Dream, Riddle and Cole brawl on their knees in a triangle of strikes. They slowly stand, throwing big hands, forearms and uppercuts. Riddle CHOPS Dream, Cole BOOTS Riddle, Dream SUPERKICKS Cole! Ricochet returns, rolls and PELES Dream down! Cole SUPERKICKS Ricochet but Riddle KNEES Cole! Aleister returns and fires off with Riddle, double roundhouses take them both out! All five men are down and Full Sail reaches a fever pitch!

Ricochet staggers up and goes after Riddle. He puts the Bro in the drop zone then climbs up. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Cole intercepts Ricochet. Cole climbs up to join Ricochet, but Ricochet resists. Dream adds on, climbing up to join them. They brawl and Aleister staggers over. Riddle follows, and they’re all on the second rope! It’s a Double Russian Leg Sweep SUPERPLEX! All five men are down again and fans know “This is Awesome!” The referee checks on everyone in turn and they’re all okay to continue. Fans build to a rally as the five slowly stir. Cole, Riddle and Ricochet bail out while Dream meets Aleister. Dream and Aleister trade haymakers on their knees. Aleister fires off hand after hand but Dream powers him to a corner. Aleister boots Dream away then hops up, Meteora!

Dream’s up but gets a roundhouse and a German! But Riddle sentons the bridge! Riddle drags Aleister up in a deadlift Fisherman Buster! Cradle, but Cole breaks it! Cole drags Riddle up but Riddle fires off fast hands! Riddle misses, gets a SUPERKICK, and Last Ride brainbuster! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Ricochet drags Cole up but Cole breaks free. Ricochet fakes Cole out for a boot and an ax kick! He keeps going, fireman’s carry but Cole rakes eyes! SUPERKICK to the front, SUPERKICK to the back! Cole brings the knee pad down but misses the Last Shot Wizard to get a Reverse-Rrana! Cole rolls all the way out and Ricochet can’t believe it. But Ricochet also sees a prime target, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Ricochet wipes Cole out but hurries to get back up.

Dream returns to the ring but so does Riddle. The would-be North American Championship showdown happens as Riddle throws chops. Riddle swings up and around Dream’s clothesline to powerbomb, but Dream slips out! Dream wants but Riddle denies the Sidewinder, to wring Dream out for a Bro Trigger! Riddle reels Dream into the BroMission! Dream flails but Cole yanks the ref out! No Disqualifications, but plenty of consequences as Riddle BOOTS Cole! Riddle turns around into BLACK MASS! Aleister turns around into Dream Valley Driver! Dream hurries to the top rope, but Ricochet’s right up for a SUPER STEINER onto Aleister and Cole! Ricochet hurries up for his own, SHOOTING STAR onto Riddle! Cover, but LAST SHOT!! Cole covers, Cole wins!!

Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall; will face Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship

You never see the shot that takes you down! Cole came outta nowhere, and now he’s going to New York City! Will Cole finally make the NXT Championship #Undisputed? Or will Gargano once again become Johnny Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

I’m going to call this episode a one match classic, because how else would you describe it? First it is unfortunate for Ciampa to again be out with an injury, and an injury as serious as the neck, so I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying get well soon, Psycho Killer. But HHH had such a great speech to open the night, and it is very true, this became a massive opportunity for another superstar to move up. The five men chosen were the right choices, and this made for an amazing Fatal 5 Way.

However, it makes a lot of sense for this to be Adam Cole’s night. Aleister & Ricochet are not only busy on the main roster, but they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, where I would think they defeat the Forgotten Sons and move on to the War Raiders. It wouldn’t be very good to give those two double duty on TakeOver Friday and possibly something on Mania Sunday. Then Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle can and will still happen, and that is going to be great. It would’ve been too epic if Dream was trying for both titles, even if it’s Wrestlemania Weekend. Gargano VS Cole is going to be great and really could go either way, but I feel that since Gargano VS Ciampa was the plan, Gargano might’ve won that title to have his triumphant victory on the biggest WWE weekend of the year.

My Score: 8.6/10


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