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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


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Coverage

Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 2.2.2023

Impact has a new number one contender, a few new signings and setting up for No Surrender. Lets see what happens tonight!

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We’re coming off of Rich Swann becoming the number one contender, Joe Hendry creating another banger of a parody song and Bully Ray…being more like Bitchy Ray.

Also lets not overlook the fact that Dirty Dango officially signed with IMPACT as well. Which may not be huge, but with the current addition of Santino Marella, Dango being involved in storylines for the foreseeable; there could be some good comedy in store.

There we go, a bunch of stuff got set in motion; but we could always see some interesting wrinkles or just straight forward boredom. Only one way to find out! BUT FIRST! Raven is getting The Flock back together…maybe?

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Ace & Bey) vs Kevin Knight & Kushida: Ace & Bey win via 1-2-Sweet – ***
  • Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal vs Savannah Evans: Gisele wins via Denouement – ** 1/4
  • Crazzy Steve w/ Black Taurus vs Sheldon Jean: Steve wins via King Kill 33 – N/A
  • Johnny Swinger w/Zicky Dice vs Kenny King: Kenny wins via Royal Flush – N/A
  • The Design (Kon, Deaner, Angels & Callihan) vs Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Yuya Uemura & Rich Swann: Callihan wins via Cactus Driver ’97 – ** 1/2

 

Results:

Bullet Club (Ace & Bey) vs Kevin Knight & Kushida

As much as I like Ace & Bey, a part of me would like MCMG versus Kushida and his new partner.

Early on its just counters, posing to the crowd and getting themselves over until Bey manages to sweep the leg, slingshot over the top rope for a stomp and take over a little. Knight manages to avoid a corner move, one legged Springboard Body Press, Jumping Frog Splash, and then a quick tag to Kushida. Some tandem moves from Kushida and Knight as Knight continues to mix it up with Bey.

Ace distracts Knight before the Springboard and Bey meets him in midair with a Dropkick and gets Ace in for some tandem offense and then Ace starts setting the pace. Double Arm Wringer into a tandem Back Rake. Then they wrestle Knight to the ground and keep him down for another Back Rake. Ace continues to set the pace and keep Knight mostly on the receiving end, until Knight rolls out of a lift, Ricky to Robert roll, Kushida gets the hot tag and starts clearing the ring. Bey tries Art of Finesse, Kushida catches him in a Flying Armbar but Bey turns it into a Cradle to get Kushida to break.

Electric Chair from Kushida, but before Knight can hit his Dropkick, Ace slides in and catches Knight on his back. Chicken Fight before Kushida and Knight finally hit their Tandem move but Ace makes the save. Ace wipes out Kushida, Knight forces Ace out, tries to go for a Plancha, but Bey was crotched on the top rope. As Knight tries to Plancha, Bey hits a Cutter out of nowhere on the apron. Ace sees the opening, 1-2-Sweet for the win!

Steph De Lander video package…that’s a pretty decent grab for IMPACT.

Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal vs Savannah Evans

Gisele faces off with Savannah and slaps her in the face a few times and refuses to back down. Savannah of course fires back, but when Gisele gets violent is when she’s at her best. After a big toss, Gisele powders, confers with Jai and the commercial kicks in. When we get back, Gisele has the advantage. But Savannah takes the short arm pull in, Side Slam for effect and distance.

Now they start trading strikes, that Savannah wins that war. A few short Lariats, Samoan Drop, and Gisele is reeling. Retreats to the corner, tries to stop Savannah with the Back Elbow, but eats a Spinebuster when she tries to continue. Fisherman’s Suplex Hold from Savannah for 2, Full Nelson Slam attempt, but Jai hits the apron and tries to seduce the referee as a distraction. Gisele hits the Denouement (Knee Strike) for the win.

The crowd is actively booing Gisele, but she powers through for her promo. It wasn’t great, but I’ll give her some credit for pushing through. 

Crazzy Steve w/ Black Taurus vs Sheldon Jean

Sheldon Jean continues the arrogance, though he’s a nobody enhancement talent. It would be nice if some of these enhancement talent wrestlers didn’t all have that same arrogant persona. We all know Steve is going to win, this is just a storytelling tool to probably add to the Trey Miguel stuff.

Steve is entertaining, but this match is more predictable than most things. He hits King Kill 33, but apparently it’s called Belladonna’s Kiss now. Trey jumps Taurus, tries to spray paint Steve, but Steve bites him and spray paints himself causing Trey to powder out of confusion/fear.

Bully comes out to complain as has been his thing the last few weeks. But thankfully Mickie returns the favor from last week and interrupts Bully. Verbal jabs, Bully Ray insults Mickie, Mickie slaps him, Bully slams her and calls in the Good Hands to get the tables. Tommy Dreamer makes a save with a kendo stick. Good Hands vs Mickie & Tommy next week. 

Oh good, this is exactly what I wanted from a few weeks ago! Kelly and Taylor will be a great team.

Johnny Swinger w/Zicky Dice vs Kenny King

Some goofy posturing and general Swinger antics. Eddy Gordo kick into Royal Flush, and Kenny gets the obvious win.

Bully has a segment in the back with Masha, and it seems like he’s a little smitten while he was trying to just manipulate her emotions to pick up the pieces after or during the tag match next week. 

Cardona and Myers try to make their own diss track song…and it was awful. It was supposed to be bad, and yes, it achieved that. It was like Miz and Morrison, without comedic talent.

The Design (Kon, Deaner, Angels & Callihan) vs Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Yuya Uemura & Rich Swann

Deaner barks at Callihan to start against Swann, then commands him to tag out, and a multi-man match is always a little bit of everyone gets moments. So its just odd that the heel team will be dictated by Deaner to a degree. Uemura comes in second and he reminds me so much of a young Tanahashi its crazy. Deaner calls for the tag and squares off against Josh now.

An attempted jumping in the corner, but Josh gets space and it turns into all 8 men in at once. Josh goes right after Kon and tries to assert his dominance on the “power” of The Design. After the commercial, Uemura gets rocked but Kaz saves him with a blind tag and hits some of his classic moves on Angels and Callihan. Swann comes in but Deaner and Kon manage to ground Swann and put the momentum back in the hands on The Design.

Some stupid spots take away a little from the match while Swann is getting worked over. Swann slaps his leg when he eats a Dropkick from Angels, then tries to Leapfrog Deaner and jump to his corner, Deaner grabs him away but it just looks silly and like it was never going to work to begin with. Its the optime of doing too much and hurting the match. Josh eventually gets a hot tag, tags a square off with Kon, throws him around and King Kong Knee drops Kon. Ankle Lock gives the near fall but Kon kicks off, Uemura tags himself in, Callihan gets the tag, is about to finish off Uemura; but Deaner stops the Thumbs Up – so Josh breaks up the offense and we get all 8 men pulls off high impact moves.

Cactus Driver attempt, Uemura hits the Enzuigiri to stun Callihan. Goes to the top, Deaner trips Uemura, Cactus Driver ’97 wins the match.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

This was a weird episode. The only match worth watching was the opening tag match, the rest were predictable, boring or just had dumb spots in them. Backstage segments however, those were pretty great. The problem though, is they built off of either inside jokes, old WCW knowledge or not shutting off cringe immediately.

So while I loved the Raven & Reese segment, Kelly & Taylor, and found some amusement in the Cardona stuff…its really subjective and not exactly friendly to an uninitiated viewer. We got an episode that catered to already existing fans, which isn’t how to grow a brand.

Even though I enjoyed things for the most part, this was a lame episode from the perspective of retaining new eyes.


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (2/1/23)

Dynamite is No Holds Barred!

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Will Darby Allin still be the Relentless TNT Champion?

Samoa Joe wants the AEW TNT Championship back, but he knows Darby Allin is relentless. Tonight on Dynamite, they go NO HOLDS BARRED for the gold! Will Joe once again be the King of Television?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page; Moxley wins.
  • The Acclaimed w/ Billy Gunn VS Truth Magnum & Turbo Floyd; The Acclaimed wins.
  • Brian Cage w/ Prince Nana VS Konosuke Takeshita; Takeshita wins.
  • Bryan Danielson VS Timothy Thatcher; Bryan wins.
  • AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Leila Grey VS Red Velvet; Cargill wins and retains the title.
  • AEW TNT Championship No Holds Barred: Darby Allin w/ Sting VS Samoa Joe; wins and

PLAY BY PLAY

Jon Moxley w/ Wheeler Yuta VS Hangman Page!

The Maniac and the Cowboy go for their tiebreaker as Dynamite is in Dayton, Ohio! Will Ohio’s own knock this one out of the park like he did before? Or will there be some serious #CowboySh*t going down in Dayton?

Not only does Moxley have the Decoder by his side, he has his dad, Dan! Hangman makes his entrance next, and Moxley goes right after him! Moxley throws hands then whips Hangman into railing! The ref reprimands but Moxley sends Hangman into steel steps! Moxley throws hands, whips Hangman again and Hangman hits more railing hard! Fans fire up and the ref reprimands. Moxley just takes off his hoodie to CHOKE Hangman with it! Moxley TOSSES Hangman over the railing, and then he hops onto the railing! Dayton fires up, gives Moxley a hand, and Moxley FLYING AX HANDLES Hangman down!

Moxley brings Hangman up but Hangman throws hands! Hangman sits Moxley down, fires off more shots, then backs up. Hangman runs in to BOOT Moxley against railing! The ref reprimands, he wants this in the ring, but it isn’t a match yet so there’s no real repercussions. Hangman stalks Moxley along the way but Moxley kicks back. And CHOPS! Moxley trips Hangman then ties him up, FIGURE FOUR on the floor! Moxley and Hangman flip each other off but the ref still wants this in the ring. Hangman grabs someone’s beer and splashes Moxley with it! Moxley lets Hangman out of the hold, and then Hangman ROCKS Mox!

They go back to ringside, Moxley grabs a chair but Hangman CLUBS Moxley. But Moxley JAMS Hangman, tris him, and then drops an elbow on the leg! Moxley has a toehold, then he puts the chair around the leg! The ref reprimands but Moxley goes up the apron. The ref shouts at Moxley to not jump, but then Hangman gets free! Hangman CHUCKS the chair at Moxley’s head!! Moxley goes down and fans fire up! The ref reprimands again and wants this to get in the ring. Moxley is dazed, but Hangman drags him around, to suplex onto the chair! Hangman drags Moxley up and puts him in the ring, but he also brings the chair!

The ref stops Hangman, so Hangman leaves the chair behind. The bell finally rings, and Hangman runs in to forearm Moxley! Moxley hits back, they go back and forth! Moxley’s eyebrow is already busted open, but he keeps throwing shots. Hangman gets the edge, HEADBUTTS, then whips. Moxley reverses to dropkick the legs out! Moxley looms over Hangman, drags him into the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Hangman endures, keeps his shoulders off the mat, but fans rally behind Moxley. Hangman drags himself back, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Moxley lets Hangman go at 3.

Moxley brings Hangman up but Hangman gets around to GERMAN SUPLEXES! Moxley snarls but the blood is getting into his eye. Hangman DECKS Moxley and has him at the ropes. Hangman brings Moxley up, fans boo but Hangman CHOPS! Moxley flounders and falls and fans start dueling. Hangman stalks Moxley, sits him up, and he starts raining down fists right on the bloody eyebrow! Mox fans boo but Hangman fans are fired up for the “COWBOY SH*T!” Hangman wipes Moxley’s blood off on his chest, but then turns around into a CHOP! Moxley eggs Hangman on and Hangman CHOPS back!

Moxley CHOPS, Hangman CHOPS, fans “WOO~!” for the CHOP fight! Moxley shifts to boxing elbows, then runs, but Hangman catches the crossbody! FALL AWAY SLAM! Fans are torn while Moxley goes to the apron. Hangman runs, triangle jumps, but Moxley LARIATS first! Moxley drags Hangman up and to the apron, then turns Hangman, for a SLEEPER! The ref reprimands and wants this in the ring, but Hangman claws the bloody eyebrow! Moxley turns Hangman around, reels him in, but Hangman resists the lift! Hangman tries to lift, Moxley resists, and then Moxley lifts! Hangman fights that and lifts again, but Moxley still fights!

Both men are fighting for control, and Hangman fireman’s carries! To SNAKE EYES Moxley off the post! Moxley falls to the floor and Dynamite goes picture in picture!

The ref checks Moxley but he’s somehow okay to continue. Hangman goes over to fetch Moxley, and whips him into railing! Hangman ROCKS Moxley with haymakers as the bloody eyebrow becomes a crimson mask. Hangman refreshes the count, goes back to Moxley and CHOPS him! Moxley gets in Hangman’s face so Hangman CHOPS again! Moxley CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Hangman DECKS him! Hangman snarls, looms over Moxley, and then drags him back up. Hangman puts Moxley in the ring, and rains down more fists on that bloody eyebrow! Moxley falls over, but Hangman gets the wrists!

Hangman sits Moxley up, for a DRAGON STOMP, but Moxley blocks! Moxley throws Hangman to a corner and fires off forearms and CHOPS on repeat! Moxley then hoists Hangman up top, climbs up after him, and CLAWS Hangman’s back, painfully slow! Then he CLAWS and BITES Hangman’s back, before blowing a kiss to the fans. But Hangman throws body shots in return! Dynamite returns to single picture as Hangman BITES Moxley’s forehead! Hangman then slips under Moxley to fireman’s carry him on the second rope! SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Moxley survives and fans are fired up!

Fans duel as Hangman sits up. Hangman scowls while Moxley sits up. Moxley eggs Hangman on so Hangman kicks him! And BOOTS him! Hangman tells Moxley to stay down but he refuses. Moxley sits up, so Hangman BOOTS him! Moxley sits up to SLAP Hangman, and flips him off! Hangman is fuming, but he runs into a CUTTER! A standing count starts, fans count along as Moxley and Hangman stir. They sit up at 5 of 10, and Moxley throws a haymaker. Hangman throws it back, so Moxley gives another,. They go back and forth, Hangman wobbles but he CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS! Hangman forearms! Moxley forearms back!

Moxley eggs Hangman on, Hangman staggers over and CHOPS again! Moxley KICKS a leg, KICKS Hangman’s arm, then KICKS him again! Moxley ducks the haymaker to get the SLEEPER! Hangman shifts to SAIDO! But Moxley’s right up! SAIDO!! Hangman ends up in a corner and fans say “This is Awesome!” Moxley puts Hangman up top, climbs up after him, and hits a SUPER HALF HATCH SUPLEX!! Cover, TWO!! Moxley immediately rains down the HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Then he clamps on a SLEEPER! Hangman endures as Moxley shifts to a BULLY CHOKE! Hangman pushes around, so Moxley shifts to get the wrists! DRAGON STOMPS!!

Moxley then drags Hangman up into the underhooks! But Hangman fights Death Rider! So Moxley rolls Hangman to an ARMBAR! Hangman endures, moves around, and reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts and Moxley lets go at 4. Hangman crawls to a corner, fans rally up, and Moxley says this is it! Moxley runs in but Hangman TOSSES him up and out! Moxley staggers up, Hangman goes up top! ARIHARA MOONSAULT but Moxley moves! And LARIATS!! Both men are down at the ramp and fans are thunderous! The ref checks both men, Moxley is up first while fans lose their minds.

Moxley goes to the timekeeper’s area and he clears off the table! Moxley drags Hangman over, reels him in, but Hangman resists the lift! Hangman Alabama Lifts but Moxley fights that. DOUBLE LARIATS hit! And again! Moxley runs in, POP-UP POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! Fans lose their minds again while Hangman leaves Moxley behind in the ring. The ring count climbs to 5 of 10 before Moxley sits up. The count is 7! Then “OCHO!” Moxley stands at 9, and springs in at 9.9!! But into a LARIAT!! And then Alabama Lift, DEADEYE!!! Cover, TWO?!?! Moxley survives and no one can believe it!

Hangman kicks at Moxley, almost taunting him. Hangman goes to a corner while Moxley’s fans boo. Hangman runs in, but Moxley dodges the stomp to KING KONG LARIAT!! Fans are thunderous as both men stand again. Moxley eggs Hangman on, and Hangman stands. Moxley throws a forearm, so Hangman hits back! Moxley forearms again, but so does Hangman! Fans duel, the forearms fly faster, and then Hangman gets the edge! SUPERKICK! Hangman reels Moxley in, fisherman’s a leg, but Moxley fights the suplex! Hangman powers it through, FISHERMAN CRADLE DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!?!?

Hangman’s wild eyes say he can’t believe Moxley survived! Hangman goes to the apron, he aims at Moxley, slingshot for the BUCK- NO! DEATH- NO, Hangman blocks to scoop! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!! But Hangman doesn’t cover, he goes to the apron! Hangman loads up, for the BUCKSHOT!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?! Moxley has survived all of Hangman’s best, but Hangman has the BULLY CHOKE!! Hangman pulls back on Moxley’s favorite hold! Moxley shifts, fights back up, and he snapmares into a cradle! MOXLEY WINS!!

Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall

Moxley just taught Hangman not to play games! Hangman is furious that he got caught like that, but the Blackpool Combat Club steps into the ring. Yuta and Claudio keep Hangman back but Moxley stands up. Moxley and Hangman get in each other’s face but the BCC keep them apart. Hangman flips Moxley off, and fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” Moxley and Hangman keep jawing, they get close but Claudio keeps them separate. Moxley mocks Hangman by lying down, giving Hangman a chance. Hangman mocks Moxley back by doing a quick burpie push-up. Claudio tells Hangman to go and cool off.

Moxley flips Hangman off as he leaves, and fans celebrate their home state hero. Will there be a fourth round out of these two to truly settle things?

 

AEW takes a look at tonight’s TNT Championship No Holds Barred main event!

Darby Allin tells Samoa Joe, “I knew when I took this from you in Seattle that you’d want it back. And I know you’d stop at nothing to have it back. Well, I’m gonna make things fair. You beat me in Texas, and you granted me my rematch in Seattle. So I’m granting you your rematch in Ohio. But I want it under one condition: No Holds Barred.” Samoa Joe told the “Little Dead Boy” that Joe is “coming to take back what’s mine. The King will not be usurped by a man like you.” Darby says if he walks out the winner, Joe doesn’t get another rematch. If Joe walks out the winner, Darby won’t get a rematch. This will be the final chapter of their feud! So who writes their happily ever after?

 

Backstage interview with Jamie Hayter, The Bunny, The Butcher & The Blade.

Renee Paquette is with the AEW Women’s World Champion, as well as the mercenary trio. Renee thanks them for agreeing to no physicality, and understands that Allie the Bunny requested this time. Bunny tells Hayter, they’re all very impressed by Hayter’s win over Emi Sakura on Rampage last Friday. Now, Bunny feels like Sakura outshined Hayter, but great win nonetheless. And Bunny knows Hayter isn’t the type to back down from a challenge, right? Right. So here’s a challenge: next week on Dynamite, Hayter VS Bunny in a Title Eliminator Match! What does Hayter say? Hayter says absolutely! She bloody loves a challenge, and next week, she’s free.

Renee says there’s something happening as we speak! They get it on the television screen nearby, and it’s Britt Baker being mugged by Saraya and Toni Storm!! Bunny is shocked and Hayter is furious! Hayter hurries off, Saraya talks right into the camera, “AEW is OUR house!” Storm drags Britt up to RAM her into a garage door! Bunny more or less expresses exasperation, but will Hayter be able to save the Doctor?

 

The Acclaimed w/ Billy Gunn VS Truth Magnum & Turbo Floyd!

The AEW World Tag Team Champions have been reigning for 133 days, but they know the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten, are gunning for them. But first, they tune up against “The Outrunners.” As always, Platinum Max has a diss track ready! “Acclaimed on the mic, you know we the nicest. Fighting two guys in their midlife crisis! I bet you have sex with each other. How we gonna fight the bootleg Beverly Brothers? C’mon, it’s not the 80s! Acclaimed gonna make you call it quits like you Tom Brady! ‘Ey, y’all should be ashamed. In Ohio, everybody loves The Acclaimed.”

Fans cheer, and Bowens gets the mic to say, “NNNUTTER CENTERRR~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And he does~! But while Caster & Bowens just embarrassed Truth & Turbo, are they walking into a trap game before taking on the Ass Boys?

The teams sort out, the Outrunners decide they’ll scissor finger! They mock the Mega Powers at the same time, but then Bowens SUPERKICKS Truth out of the ring! The bell rings, Caster CHOPS Turbo and scoops him to SLAM him! Tag to Bowens and Bowens goes up top! Caster holds open the legs, SCISSOR ME TURBO! Daddy Ass gets in the ring so that he and the boys can TRIPLE SCISSOR~! Bowens waits on Turbo, mule kicks and hits the ARRIVAL! Tag to Caster and he goes up top, MIC DROP! Cover, The Acclaimed win!

Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall

But wait! Raining on the parade are Austin & Colten! Fans taunt the “ASS~ BOYS~!” But they tune that out. They go to the ring, and Colten has a mic. “Hey, good match, guys. But we’re here to talk about something serious. Last week, what we said would make us happy are your belts. And we want a shot at those belts, and we want an answer right now.” Fans boo but Caster has the mic to say, “Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Listen.” Bowens says, “You two Rod ‘n’ Todd lookin’ asses want an answer. You do realize you are interrupting the most popular tag team in all of wrestling, right?” Caster adds, “That’s right!”

“The winningest tag team in AEW history!” “That’s right!” “The FOREVER champs, the Acclaimed!” “That’s right!” “And not to mention, EVERYONE! LOVES! THE ACCLAIMED!” But they are the People’s Choice, and the People’s Voice, they will ask the people. Colten says these fans can’t even read! But Bowens still asks Dayton’s opinion: Do the Ass Boys deserve a shot at the tag titles? “NOOO~!” Well, the people have spoken, so NO. Austin & Colten get in Caster’s & Bowens’ faces, but Billy tells them all to stop! Isn’t it enough already? Billy is so sick of this, he is just done! Billy says this is too much, so go ahead, beat the sh*t out of each other!

Daddy Ass steps aside, fans fire up, but Austin says, “There you go. Do exactly what you did our entire childhoods and turn your back on us.” Billy stops walking up the ramp, but then chuckles as he keeps going. Austin says Billy should do what he used to do, and drown his sorrows at the bottom of a PILL BOTTLE! That gets Billy to turn around! Billy storms up on his sons and The Acclaimed, as well as the fans, tell the Ass Boys that they F’d up. Billy is up in Austin’s face and says, “So you two think you just put your big boy pants on? Then you just step up, and you just made the biggest mistake…”

The mic is wonky so Billy throws it down. Bowens gives Billy the good one. Billy wants Austin to look at him after what he just said. Austin looks up at his father’s eyes. Billy says if they’ve got their big boy pants on, if they think they got what it takes, if they think they have what Billy had, then we’ll see next week. They’ve got their title shots! The Acclaimed is surprised but the Ass Boys smile that they’re getting their way. Will Austin & Colten get what they want? Or just what they deserve?

 

Backstage interview with Jack Perry.

Alex Marvez is with Jungle Boy and notes that he and Hook are 2-0 as a team, having beaten The Firm’s Ethan Page & Matt Hardy. The question is: What’s next for #JungleHook? JB says that he had an amazing time teaming with Hook, and Hook has had JB’s back when no one else did. But JB’s done the tag team thing before. In fact, JB has been all the way to the top of that mountain, and fallen all the way down. But this year isn’t about that. What JB will say is that he’ll be a champion again, but all by himself. Then just what title will Jack Perry aim for in this Tarzan Life?

 

Brian Cage w/ Prince Nana VS Konosuke Takeshita!

Speaking of having people’s backs, just as The Machine and MJF were about to destroy Bryan Danielson, The Future of Wrestling rushed out to run them off! But now, Cage and Konosuke go toe to toe, will Cage make Konosuke pay for interfering?

The bell rings and Konosuke BOOTS Cage! Cage BOOTS Konosuke, then DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Cage swings but Konosuke swats it to ROLLING ELBOW! Cage wobbles, Konosuke runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and then TAKESHITA LINES! Cage bails out and fans fire up! Konosuke runs to BOOT Cage off the apron! Konosuke then PLANCHAS and takes Cage down at the ramp! Fans fire up, Konosuke winks at the camera, and then goes back to the apron. But Cage grabs a foot! Konosuke kicks and stomps Cage but Cage yanks Konosuke into a POST BOMB! Konosuke tumbles down and fans boo but Nana cheers.

Cage drags Konosuke up, puts him in, and runs to basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Konosuke but Cage drags him back up. Cage reels Konosuke in, puts one out, but Konosuke wrenches out! Konosuke throws a forearm, but Cage gives it back! They go forearm for forearm, and Konosuke throws boxing elbows into the ROLLING ELBOW! Cage fights the back suplex, KNEES low, and brags, “Who betta than Cage?” But he runs into a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Cage survives and Konosuke is surprised! Nana coaches Cage up but Konosuke aims from a corner. Konosuke runs in to JUMP KNEE, but Cage dodges!

Konosuke tumbles to the apron, Cage ROUNDHOUSES him! Cage climbs the ropes, and he stands Konosuke up. DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX! Fans boo but Cage flexes while Dynamite goes picture in picture.

Cage drops a knee on Konosuke, sits him up to KNEE him in the back again and again, then he stomps Konosuke back down. Cage paces, drags Konosuke up, and bumps him off buckles. Cage RAMS into Konosuke, RAMS him again, and then CHOPS him! Cage soaks up the heat, but Konosuke CHOPS back! Konosuke fires forearms, then another CHOP! And another CHOP! But Cage BOOTS Konosuke down! Cage grabs the legs, stomps Konosuke in the stomach, then paces around. Cage stands Konosuke up, wrenches and YANKS the arm, then RAMS shoulders. Cage wrenches, pump handles, and lifts, but Konosuke slips out!

Konosuke runs in but Cage ducks the boot to roll Konosuke up! Konosuke slips out, but runs into a drop toehold! Konosuke’s on ropes, Cage dials it up, TIGER FEINT KICK! Konosuke staggers to a corner, Cage runs in and UPPERCUTS, GAMANGIRIS, and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!! Cage and Nana are annoyed, but Cage looms over Konosuke. Cage hears the fans rally for Konosuke, but Cage drags him up. Cage reels Konosuke in, puts out another one, and Dynamite returns to single picture as Cage lifts, only for Konosuke to RANA Cage into buckles! BLINDSIDE JUMP KNEE! Cage staggers, Konosuke goes up, FLYING KNEE!

Both men are down and fans fire up! Konosuke and Cage stir as the ring count starts. Konosuke sits up and feeds off the energy. Konosuke drags Cage up into a waistlock, but Cage elbows free! Cage whips, Konosuke LARIATS on the return! Konosuke drags Cage up, waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fans rally while Konosuke fires up. Konosuke aims from the corner as Cage stands, and Konosuke runs in, JUMP- NO! Cage blocks the knee to BUCKLE BOMB! And then fireman’s carry, to an F- NO! Konosuke lands out, lifts and LIGER BOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Cage survives but fans fire up behind Konosuke!

Konosuke aims again while Nana shouts to Cage. Cage stands, Konosuke runs in but the knee is blocked! Cage spins, Konosuke ducks! Konosuke spins, ROLLING ELBOW!! Konosuke reels Cage in, but Cage wrenches out to HEADBUTT! And then SAIDO!! But Konosuke is right up?! Into a DISCUS LARIAT from Cage!! Cover, TWO!?! Konosuke survives and Nana is furious! Cage says he’s gonna end this, and he suplexes, only for Konosuke to slip out! Konosuke suplexes, SHEER DROP BRAINBUSTER!! Cage roars as he rises up, but Konosuke ROCKS him with another elbow! And then another suplex, for another BRAINBUSTER!!! Cover, TWO!?!?

Cage survives, he must truly be a machine! But Dayton rallies behind Konosuke. Konosuke runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Cage fireman’s carries, for the F10!! Nana says no prisoners! Cage drags Konosuke up again, puts him in the corner and hoists him to the top. Cage then goes to the outside and climbs up after Konosuke. But Konosuke throws forearms in return! Konosuke suplexes for a SUPER BRAINBUSTER!!! Fans are thunderous and Konosuke aims again! KNOCKOUT KNEE!!! Cover, Konosuke wins!!

Winner: Konosuke Takeshita, by pinfall

Cage may be a machine, but the machine just broke down against the bullet train! Will Konosuke continue to prove why he IS The Future of Wrestling?

 

Backstage interview with the Jericho Appreciation Society.

Renee is with Matthew Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, Sammy Guevara, and of course, Chris Jericho himself. Renee says that we heard Ricky Starks’ comments from last week, addressing how the JAS cheated to win. What is their reaction? Jericho says, “Cheated? We haven’t worked together in five years, and you’re accusing us of cheating? Let me say this, Renee. Ricky Starks, he didn’t lose to a baseball bat, no. Did you see a baseball bat in there?” Of course the JAS says no. Jericho says Starks lost to the JAS. And now Starks challenges them, “How can I get another match with Chris Jericho?”

Jericho says the JAS has an idea how Starks can do that. Right, Sammy? Sammy says yes. Garcia and Sammy put their heads together, and they came up with a great idea: The Guevara-Garcia… No, wait, the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet! Danny thanks Sammy for the top billing on that name. Renee asks what kind of gauntlet they have in mind. Garcia says it’s a rather simple concept. “Ricky, first you’re gonna have to beat Cool Hand Ange. And if that happens, you’re gonna have to beat Daddy Magic.” Menard adds, “Beat Daddy Magic? I DON’T THINK SO!” Garcia says that if Starks somehow does that, then he beats either Garcia or Guevara, but they’ll reveal that the night of.

And then, if somehow, by the skin of his teeth, Starks makes it past all that, only then does Starks get his hands on Jericho. Jericho tells Starks, “You don’t call the shots around here, the Jericho Appreciation Society does. So if you can get through the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet, I’ll be ready to rip your ass!” Will the Absolute survive three matches in one go to finally have another shot at The Ocho?

 

The Elite speak.

Matt Jackson asks Brandon Cutler if the camera is rolling as he, brother Nick, Kenny Omega, Michael Nakazawa and Don Callis are on the basketball court. Cutler says yes, they’re live, while Nakazawa and Callis are oiling Omega up. Matt says, “Ladies and gentlemen, check it out who it is! It’s the first-ever, two-time Trios Champions, The Elite.” Omega says that’s right, and he tells Top Flight, “I watched what you guys did. After a Best of 7 Series in a ladder match, you got one up on our boys. Well how ’bout next week, you bring your friend, AR Fox, next week and we’ll put these belts on the line, and you guys can shoot your shot.

“But hey, when you shoot that shot, you best not miss. Because The Elite never miss. Nick, if you will.” Nick takes the rock and shoots it, THREE POINTER! Oh, but wait! The Firm’s Stokely Hathaway, Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy walk in. Callis has Cutler keep rolling, and Omega mockingly asks where Stokely is, he can’t see him. Oh haha, Stokely knows you see him, he’s right here. But listen, you three are doing NOTHING all week? No wrestling, nothing? Just a week off? Ethan thinks that’s funny. The Firm’s employees don’t have that luxury, they work every single week, and Ethan wants that streak to continue.

So Ethan says how about this: The Elite VS Ethan, Matt & “Zay,” Friday on Rampage. Omega tells Callis he isn’t so sure, but Callis says this is Matt Hardy. If they get footage of Hardy taking a One Winged Angel, they could sell that NFT for a lot of money. Hardy says, “What about an NFT with Matt Hardy Twist-Of-Fating Omega?” Ethan likes that better! Well, as far as a match, it’s done. The Elite VS The Whatever They Are. Kassidy says he hopes the Elite is ready, cuz they sure are. Kassidy unsettles Kenny with an arm around his shoulders and a moan, and Ethan says this is good business. Hey, Brandon, is it? Cut the camera!

Matt Jackson tells Ethan Page that he doesn’t tell Brandon what to do! THEY tell him! Turn off the camera, ya damn dumbass! And get off the court, they’re trying to play. But will this 3v3 pick-up game go The Elite’s way? Or is it a trap game before taking on Fox, Dante & Darius?

 

Bryan Danielson VS Timothy Thatcher!

In the American Dragon’s quest to be #1 contender, he has defeated Tony Nese, Konosuke Takeshita, Bandido and Brian Cage, an undefeated streak of 4-0 in 2023! But now, Maxwell Jacob Friedman has enlisted a fighter very much like Bryan in his savage technical ability. Will Bryan make it to the deadline still on top? Or is this where MJF wins before Revolution even begins?

The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, but Bryan’s shoulder is an obvious target. They grapple, Bryan puts Thatcher on ropes but Thatcher shifts to get the arm. Thatcher wrangles Bryan but Bryan scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Thatcher lets off, and then smirks as he watches Bryan get up. Bryan and Thatcher feel out another grapple, Thatcher puts him in the corner, and then European Uppercuts! And again! And again! Bryan sits down and Thatcher goes after the arm! Thatcher twists the elbow and wrist, isolates the arm, and stands on the hand! Thatcher KNEES the arm!

Bryan scrambles away but Thatcher is right on him with a double wristlock! Bryan powers Thatcher to ropes, and clasps his hands behind his back. The ref counts, the two let off, but then Bryan fires off body shots and kicks! Bryan grabs a leg to DRAGON SCREW! Bryan holds onto the leg, turns Thatcher over and ties those legs up, to get a Deathlock! Fans rally as Bryan sits on the hold, then SNAPS it! Bryan then shifts to a BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Thatcher pries the fingers away! Bryan shouts in pain but Thatcher twists the arm! And STOMPS it down! Fans boo but Thatcher grins with that missing-tooth smile.

Thatcher KNEES Bryan in the back, stalks him to a corner, but Bryan puts Thatcher in the corner to CHOP and CHOP and KICK and KICK! Fans rally, Bryan runs corner to corner, and DROPKICKS! Bryan facelocks but Thatcher wrenches and WRINGS Bryan’s arm! Fans boo more but Thatcher drags Bryan up with a double wristlock! Thatcher uses his height to lift Bryan off the mat! Then Thatcher pushes Bryan down, but Bryan keeps his shoulders up. Bryan crawls around, ROPEBREAK! Thatcher lets go at 4 while fans rally up. Bryan clutches his arm but Thatcher goes after it again as Dynamite goes picture in picture.

Bryan endures but they’re also in the ropes so the ref counts. Thatcher lets off at 4, then digs his boot into Bryan at the corner. The ref counts, Thatcher lets off, only to stand on Bryan’s chest! The ref counts, Thatcher steps away, and he grins as he soaks up the heat. Thatcher mocks Bryan’s pain, then KNEES the bad shoulder! Thatcher KNEES Bryan again, goes out to drag Bryan tot he apron, and he SLAMS the arm on the edge! Bryan clutches his bicep and shoulder while the ref reprimands. Thatcher slides into the ring and stands Bryan up by his ears! Thatcher CLUBS Bryan on the chest! Thatcher fishhooks Bryan to stand him up, and CLUBS him again!

Bryan sits down, Thatcher stands him back up, and he hammerlocks the bad arm. Thatcher then back suplexes Bryan up and into the ring! Thatcher dusts off his hands while crawling to the cover, but Bryan wrangles him into the LEBELL LOCK!! Thatcher got cocky and got caught! But he scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off quickly, but Thatcher is right on him! Thatcher UPPERCUTS the arm! Bryan goes to a corner, Thatcher KNEES him down, then drags Bryan back up. Thatcher EuroUppers Bryan, taunts the fans, then EuroUppers Bryan again. Bryan leans against ropes, Thatcher snarls at the fans, then gets in Bryan’s face.

Dynamite returns to single picture as Thatcher traps Bryan’s bad arm behind his back and throws hard body shots to that side. The ref counts but Thatcher grins as he throws more shots. Bryan fights back with HEADBUTTS! Fans fire up as Bryan backs Thatcher down, but Thatcher fires off body shot after body shot! Thatcher drags Bryan out to a hammerlock GROVIT, and then hits a GROVIT-PLEX! Cover, TWO!! Bryan is still in this but Thatcher snarls. Thatcher stalks Bryan at the ropes, bumps him off buckles, then reels Bryan in to hoist him up top. Thatcher UPPERCUTS, climbs up after Bryan, and he underhooks the arms!

Bryan resists and fans fire up! Bryan breaks free, throws body shot after body shot in return, and then HEADBUTTS Thatcher down! Thatcher growls and gets right back up! But Bryan throws more body shots! Fans rally “YES! YES! YES!” and Bryan HEADBUTTS again! Thatcher stays down this time, and Bryan stands up! Thatcher stands in time for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Both men are down as Bryan clutches his bad arm, but Dayton rallies up behind him! Bryan and Thatcher sit up, both snarl, and Thatcher EuroUppers! Bryan EuroUppers in return! They go uppercut for uppercut, but Thatcher gets the edge!

Bryan fires up to KICK! And KICK! Bryan KICKS away on Thatcher’s chest, “YES! YES! YES!” Bryan powers up but Thatcher blocks the Buzzsaw! Thatcher goes for the bad arm, wrangles Bryan down, but Bryan rolls through and gets around to waistlock. Thatcher bucks the O’Conner but runs into a backslide! TWO, FUJIWARA! No, Bryan rolls through to BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! But Bryan clamps on for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans rally again, but Thatcher blocks the arm! Bryan claws Thatcher’s face to get free, and get a SLEEPER! But Thatcher wants that bad arm! Bryan has to shift his grip, but Thatcher stands!

Thatcher pries the sleeper open because he can get the bad arm, but Bryan powers up! Bryan has the hold on tight, so Thatcher backs Bryan down! They end up ramming the ref into the corner! Bryan still holds on, but Thatcher hits a BIG back suplex! All three men are down and fans fire up! But here comes MJF! The AEW World Champion tells Dayton to shush, and he puts on the Dynamite Diamond Ring! MJF says, “It’s too damn easy. This is done! This is done!” MJF goes to the ring, but KONOSUKE flies in outta nowhere!! Konosuke won’t let MJF screw Bryan over! Konosuke attacks MJF, RAMS him into railing, and chases him to the back!

Bryan has Thatcher but Thatcher snatches the arm! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!! The ref is up, he asks Bryan, but Bryan endures! Thatcher pushes way back on the arm, but Bryan pushes his way forward with his legs! ROPEBREAK!! Fans fire up as Bryan survives by a literal foot! Thatcher lets go in frustration and he scowls as he throws hands on the bad arm. Thatcher drags Bryan up, clinches, BELLY2BELLY SUPLEX! Bryan flounders but Thatcher runs in, clinches, but Bryan switches! GERMAN SUPLEX! Thatcher fumes as he gets back up! Bryan dodges him, runs back in, BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, Bryan wins!

Winner: Bryan Danielson, by pinfall

Now 5-0 on the year, the quest continues! The American Dragon is not yet slain, but wait! MJF and Konosuke continue brawling backstage! MJF turns things around to send MJF into a road case! MJF gets a chair to CHUCK it at Konosuke’s head! And then he throws a trash bin! MJF says if Konosuke wants after him, this is what he gets! But Konosuke turns things back around to SMACK MJF off a table! MJF comes back, the hands fly, and security rushes in! Referees and management try to stop this, too! MJF says he’ll kill Konosuke but Konosuke says about the same in Japanese! Renee runs in to be on the scene, and she tells everyone to stop!

Renee informs everyone, “Per Tony Khan, next week on Dynamite in an Eliminator match, it will be Takeshita VS MJF!” MJF is pissed, he doesn’t agree to that, but he MUST! Will the Devil of AEW find that the Future of Wrestling is better than him?

 

Mogul Affiliates speak.

Swerve Strickland says, “It’s been a real relaxing last couple of weeks for Swerve and the Mogul Affiliates and all, since getting rid of some dead weight and all this. Until I was like, retriggered.” Dustin Rhodes returning to stand in front of Swerve’s camera, in front of Swerve’s lights, and with Swerve’s interviewer! “The Rhodes Family legacy really gets under my skin, with your father, Dusty Rhodes, giving Keith Lee the ‘Limitless’ moniker. So, since he’s not here, Dustin’s not here, either, let’s find some other nepotism, second generation punk boy to get rid of Friday night on Rampage. That means you, Brian Pillman. Ain’t that right, Parker?”

Parker Boudreaux says that’s right. “Ain’t that right, Trench?” The tattooed man says, “Yeah, that’s right.” Hoodies up, but will they put Bulletproof BPJ down?

 

BREAKING NEWS for next week!

February 8th, the deadline for Bryan Danielson becoming #1 contender, will see The American Dragon taking on La Faccion Ingobernable’s El Toro Blanco, RUSH!! And speaking of…

Backstage interview with LFI.

Lexi Nair is with El Toro Blanco, but also Jose the Assistant and “Perro Peligroso,” Preston Vance. She notes the announcement of Rush VS Bryan, but then there’s a knock at the door. MJF walks in and says, “Hola, mi hermanos! Senor Vance, Senor Jose, Senor Rrrrrush.” Rush asks what the hell this “perro” wants. MJF double checks, “perro” is dog, right? Well, there’s a little thing called personal space, so he’s just gonna take a step back. “But here’s the deal: my, uh, Spanish is come se dice… Mid. But I know one language, my friend, that is mucho, mucho universal.” And that is MONEY! A huge briefcase full of it!

MJF snaps the case shut and smiles. This first one is free of charge. But he has FIVE MORE filled to the brim with dinero. All Rush has to do is beat Bryan Danielson “by any means necessary.” All Rush needs to do is rip Bryan’s arm off and beat him over the head with it. Can Rush pull that off for him? Jose, translate. Jose translates, but Rush seems to understand explicitly. Rush tells MJF in Spanish, and MJF asks “dipsh*t” Jose to translate. Jose sums it up by saying they have a deal. Oh, is that right? That sounded a bit longer than that. But Rush, you don’t have to like MJF. He just has to get the job done. Pleasure doing business with you, perro.

MJF leaves, but Rush has his mission. Will Rush be raking in the money with one match? Or will nothing stop Bryan Danielson from earning his title match?

 

AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Leila Grey VS Red Velvet!

Finally, the biggest, fastest-rising star has reached her FIFTIETH match! But while the streak started with The Chef, will it end with her, too? Or will #ThatBitch not be stopped by even the person who knows her best?

The introductions are made, but Velvet attacks while Jade is strutting around! The bell rings, Velvet fires off forearms but Jade knees her low. Jade whips Velvet to a corner but Velvet boots her back! THESZ PRESS! Velvet rains down hands but Jade shoves her away. Velvet ducks but runs into an elbow! Jade drags Velvet up, but Velvet fires off forearms! Velvet whips, Jade blocks to reverse, but Velvet holds ropes. Jade runs in but Velvet sends her out! Leila hurries to Jade’s side but Velvet builds speed! Velvet WRECKS Jade with a dropkick! Velvet tells Leila to back off, then she storms up on Jade.

Jade elbows Velvet away, but Velvet comes back to ROCK Jade! Velvet CHOPS Jade right in front of her family! Velvet then puts Jade in the ring, storms up on her and Oklahoma Rolls! TWO! Jade staggers up, blocks a superkick, and she spins Velvet around. Velvet ducks the haymaker and runs the ropes, then wheelbarrows, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Jade drags Velvet over to a cover, TWO! Velvet is toughing it out but Jade is getting frustrated. Jade scoops Velvet to SLAM her, then drops a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO, and Dynamite goes picture in picture.

Leila is annoyed and Jade frowns while Velvet sputters. Jade drags Velvet up, CLUBS her down, and Leila applauds. Jade bumps Velvet off top buckles, then middle buckles, then bottom buckles! Jade stands on Velvet in the corner and soaks up the cheers and jeers, but lets off at 4. Jade and the ref argue, but Leila gets cheap shots in! Leila scurries away and Jade hauls Velvet up for a FALL AWAY SLAM! And then kips up! Jade holds up both hands to say 50, and then flexes. Velvet bails out, Leila talks trash, and Jade storms over. Jade walks up but Velvet sends her into railing! Jade is getting mad, but Velvet avoids one haymaker to PENALTY KICK from the apron!

Velvet CROSSBODIES, but Jade catches her! Jade POSTS Velvet, then carries her around the way. Jade trophy lifts Velvet, goes up the steel steps, and then TOSSES Velvet at the ropes! Velvet falls, Jade covers, TWO!!! Velvet survives and Jade is getting real mad. Leila rallies the Baddie cheering section, and Jade stalks Velvet to a corner. Jade drags Velvet up, and TOSSES her across the way! Jade says that’s 50 right there, and then she does push-ups as Dynamite returns to single picture. But Velvet CHOPS! Jade CLUBS Velvet, then TOSSES her across the way again! Jade swaggers, dribbles, but Velvet dodges the dunk!

Velvet DROPKICKS Jade, then hits a CODE BREAKER! Jade staggers around, Velvet KICKS and KICKS and mule kicks! Velvet runs, but Jade BOOTS her down! Cover, TWO!! Velvet is still in this and wait! Kiera Hogan RAMS Leila into steel steps! The other former Baddie is here, but other refs come out to have her leave. This all distracts Jade, and Velvet rolls her up! Jade rolls through, but the STIR IT UP hits!! Cover, but the refs aren’t paying attention!! Fans count, Velvet would’ve won twice over by now! Aubrey Edwards finally notices and counts, TWO!! Jade survives and fans can’t believe it!!

Velvet is furious, she drags Jade around and hooks an arm, short arm scissor, and then the INVERSION! Jade endures, fights, but Velvet kicks at her! Jade endures as Velvet pulls on the arm, and she deadlifts Velvet! But Velvet sunset flips! Jade stays up, drags Velvet up with both hands, and pops her around! Chicken wings for JADED!!! Cover, Jade wins!!

Winner: Jade Cargill, by pinfall (still AEW TBS Champion)

FIFTY AND OH! Velvet came the closest of all, but will anyone ever stop Jade’s undefeated streak?

 

Backstage interview with Britt Baker.

Renee is with The Doctor, as well as Jamie Hayter, as they are with Doc Sampson. We only caught a glimpse of what happened to her earlier at the hands of Saraya & Storm, how is Britt feeling? Britt says this is fine. She’s fine, and if that’s how Storm & Saraya wanna play, that’s fine, too. Because Britt & Hayter can play that game, too. But wait, in walks Ruby Soho! Ruby just wants to talk. She heard what happened, is Britt good? Uh, Ruby, weren’t those your girls? Ruby has Britt hold on there. Ruby has nothing to do with Saraya & Storm, she doesn’t know what Britt’s talking about.

Britt says Ruby’s known Saraya & Storm a lot longer than she’s known the AEW originals, so sorry if it’s strange that Ruby only now shows up. But yeah, Britt is good. Hayter says Britt is great, actually. Ruby says she’s glad to hear it and walks off. There are battle lines being drawn, which side is the Runaway on?

 

BREAKING NEWS for Rampage!

Not only are The Elite and The Firm having it out, it is for the AEW World Trios Championships! Will Kenny & The Young Bucks make it through All Ego, Hardy & Kassidy to then take on Fox & Top Flight? Or will there be a change of plans for Dynamite? And speaking of Saraya & Storm, they are in tag team action once again, but will they continue to beat down All Elite homegrown talent? Plus, before taking on Bryan Danielson, Rush will take on the Fallen Angel, Christopher Daniels, in an epic match of former ROH World Heavyweight Champions! Will El Toro Blanco build momentum going into his battle with The American Dragon?

 

AEW TNT Championship No Holds Barred: Darby Allin w/ Sting VS Samoa Joe!

The series is tied at 1-1, with the Samoan Submission Specialist winning in Texas, but the Relentless One winning in his hometown of Seattle. Dynamite in Dayton is throwing out all the rules except one: win! Will Darby continue to be the fighting champion? Or will Joe return to being the One True King of Wrestling Television?

The introductions are made, the TNT title is raised, and one way or another, this is the series finale of Darby VS Joe!

Darby takes off his trench coat to reveal he, uh, customized his Hoodlum hoodie. He’s covered it in thumbtacks!! And as soon as he’s in the ring, he rushes in to COFFIN SPLASH Joe! Joe is reeling from the tack attack but Darby fires off tack-covered forearms! Fans fire up as Darby runs corner to corner, but Joe dodges the splash to GAMANGIRI! Joe then wraps up an arm in his towel, to LARIAT Darby down! Fans rally, Joe pulls Darby’s tack hoodie off and throws it away. Joe drags Darby up to CHOP him! Darby goes to a corner, but Darby kicks back. Joe stomps Darby, stomps him down, then storms off.

Joe goes out to look under the ring, and he brings out a TABLE! Dayton fires up, Joe picks the table up, but Darby DIVES into the table and Joe! The table doesn’t break but it, Joe and Darby all hit the floor! Joe is busted open on his forehead and fans fire up! Darby hurries to stand the table up, to then drop it on Joe! Darby then brings the steel steps around into the corner of the railing. Darby whips, Joe reverses, and Darby not only clips steel steps, he clips railing! Darby lands on his feet just from momentum, but he soon falls to his knees, clutching his back! Fans lose their minds while Joe stalks out after Darby.

Joe stands Darby up, throws knees into him, and then throws him into railing. Joe drags Darby up and they go up the bleachers. Joe SMACKS Darby off the handrail, then brings him up further. Joe smacks Darby off more railing, then keeps him going up. But Darby fights back! Darby CLUBS and CLAWS Joe’s back! Fans fire up but Joe DUMPS Darby down the steps! Fans are going nuts while Joe glares through his crimson mask, and Dynamite goes picture in picture.

Joe drags Darby up again, grinds him against the handrail, then SMACKS him off a fan’s chair! They go back to the lower level as Darby kicks Joe and crawls away. Joe keeps after Darby, drags him up, and brings him around the way to TOSS back to ringside! Darby narrowly misses hitting steel steps head first! Joe stalks Darby, drags Darby back up, then scoop SLAMS him on the steps! Darby writhes, flounders away, but Joe follows him to the corner. Darby throws Joe’s ROH World TV title at him, but that only upsets Joe. Joe storms in after Darby, stalks him to a corner, and waits on Darby to stand before he DECKS him!

Joe eggs Darby on as he stands over him. Darby doesn’t stand so Joe makes him. Joe snapmares to CHOP Darby on the back! And PENALTY KICK him in the chest! And then drops a fist on his head! Joe watches Darby writhe and the ref checks on him. Joe grins through the crimson mask, then stomps Darby down. Joe kicks Darby, then clamps on a neck wrench! Joe leans all his weight on Darby but Darby throws body shots. Joe doesn’t budge, and he CLUBS Darby down. Joe grins as Darby tires to sit back up. Joe clamps the neck wrench back on and he twists even harder! Darby endures, and Dynamite returns to single picture as Darby throws more body shots.

Joe lets go of the neck wrench, Darby hobbles and runs, but into an ELBOW! Darby falls over and Joe covers, TWO! Joe keeps focus as he looms over Darby. Joe KICKS Darby to a corner, and then stomps him. Fans rally and duel, but Joe is annoyed by that. Joe drags Darby up, DECKS him with a forearm, then clamps on another neck wrench! It’s practically a vice on Darby’s head, squeezing his skull! Darby endures, fights up, and he RAMS Joe into buckles! Darby fires off forearms and SLAPS! Darby runs corner to corner, but into the URENAGE! Cover, TWO!! Darby survives the #STJOE, but Joe stands Darby up to CHOP him!

Darby staggers, Joe CHOPS him again! Darby flops to the apron, Joe builds speed and he BOOTS Darby to the floor! Joe then storms out and looks under the ring. Joe brings out another TABLE! Fans fire up again but Joe has fans move aside. Fans oblige and Joe rests the table against railing. Darby is in the ring, Joe goes in and brings Darby up, but Darby JAWBREAKERS before the sleeper could lock in! Darby runs in at the corner to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Darby CHOPS away on Joe, but Joe TOSSES Darby right out of the ring! Joe has been treating Darby like a throw pillow, emphasis on the “throw!”

Darby flounders up, but Joe goes back over to bring him back in. Joe suplexes high and hard! Joe then goes out to fetch chairs! Joe puts a handful of chairs in the ring, then sets them up together. Fans fire up as they’re back to back to make a wedge! Joe stands Darby up, brings him over, BIG back suplex on the chair wedge!! Darby writhes and Joe has a sadistic smile. “Joe is gonna kill~ you!” Joe turns the chairs around to face each other, then brings Darby back up. But Darby uses POCKET SAND to stop the bomb! CODE RED!! Cover, TWO!! Joe survives but Darby hurries to hop on! THROWBACK STUNNER!

Joe falls into a drop zone, and Darby hurries to get his hoodie back! Darby puts that back on, climbs up the corner, and COFFIN DROPS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Joe survives the tack-enhanced senton and fans can’t believe it! Darby hurries outside and goes looking. Darby uses a knife to cut the strings that hold down the canvas! Some are tough but they all give way, and Darby pulls the canvas away. Darby then drags off the foam padding to expose bare wood! Darby is deconstructing the ring in order to better destroy Joe! Darby sees Joe outside, builds speed and DIVES, but Joe walks away! Darby CRASHES THROUGH THE TABLE!!!

Dayton is losing their minds as Joe puts Darby back in! Joe sets Darby’s tack covered jacket down, he picks Darby up, and he POWERBOMBS him on the tacks! AND THEN HE SMOTHERS DARBY WITH THE TACK JACKET!! Darby DIGS at Joe’s eyes!! Joe lets Darby go, but he staggers around blindly! Joe stands up into a CHAIR SHOT! And another! And another! Darby has Joe on the hard wood, climbs up top, but Joe pushes the ref into the ropes to trip Darby up!! Joe climbs up after Darby, tucks him in, and hits a SUPER MUSCLE BUSTER TO THE WOOD!!!! Cover, JOE WINS!!!

Winner: Samoa Joe, by pinfall (NEW AEW TNT Champion)

Darby’s relentless streak is over! Samoa Joe is now a TWO-TIME TWO BELT CHAMPION! But wait! “THIS IS WAAAR~!” Fans go nuts for Wardlow as he storms down to the ring! Joe is just as shocked as Wardlow runs in! SPEAR!! Wardlow rains down fists on the man who took his title and his top knot! Wardlow rips his shirt off, drags Joe up, but Joe scrambles away! Fans boo but Joe isn’t going to fight again so soon after the war he just went through. Security rushes out but Wardlow CLOBBERS them all! Then he hauls one up to POWERBOMB out onto all the others!! Wardlow will not be denied, when and where will he get his hands on Joe?


My Thoughts:

This was an awesome Dynamite! Same balance of action and talking, but the action was all on a different level this week. Of the talking, we got good stuff out of this AEW Originals VS Imports in the Women’s Division. Saraya & Storm really up their Heel heat by just attacking Britt unprovoked, and then Ruby checking in on Britt was an interesting turnaround from her telling she didn’t want Britt’s help. But we’re getting closer and closer to that big tag(?) match. Hell, make it a Blood & Guts match but with the women rather than the men. Saraya leads a team, Britt leads a team, Ruby will choose Britt’s side and there could even be a twist of Shida betraying Saraya during the match to cost the anti-AEW team.

Good promo from the JAS to set up things with Starks. I just knew Starks would have to beat everyone in the JAS eventually, so it’s clever for them to get it all done in one gauntlet match. Starks will of course make it past Menard and Parker, and I bet that just as it looks like Garcia is stepping up to face Starks, Guevara takes the spotlight from him. Starks will still get through the final opponent, and he’ll get his match with Jericho. Good promo from Mogul Affiliates, because one: it establishes that their group doesn’t like multigenerational wrestlers, and two: it gave Granden Goetzman his wrestler name, “Trench.” Swerve will surely beat BPJ, but I bet Dustin teams up with BPJ and Brock Anderson as a sort of AEW take on WWE’s Legacy faction to take on Mogul Affiliates.

Good promo from Jack Perry, but I’m surprised he waited until now to establish that he’s done with tag teams. But I suppose he’s done with The Firm, too, so he’s done needing reinforcements. As it stands, if he wants a singles title, he could start with the All-Atlantic Championship, but I could see JB making a move for THE AEW World title. Speaking of The Firm, good promo from them and The Elite. I wonder if this was really live or just the take where Nick actually made that shot. Anyway, I’m also surprised the trios match for Rampage is for the titles when the titles are going to be on the line for Dynamite. But I suppose if Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin are fighting champions, then so should the Elite. Which of course means The Elite win on Rampage to go on to face Fox & Flight.

We got an awesome match from Bryan VS Thatcher, but of course Bryan wins to keep his story going. Even after he had that awesome match with Brian Cage, Konosuke going after MJF was a great move. And getting himself an Eliminator match is a good, too, but I feel like MJF finds a way to stand tall. He’ll either cheat to win, or just get himself disqualified quickly so his night will be over quickly. MJF also had a really good promo with LFI. Rush is a great choice to take on Bryan Danielson, and Rush is also going to have a great match with Christopher Daniels on Rampage. I’m sure Bryan will still find a way to win and we’ll still get that Ironman match, it just has to be how this goes.

It’s mostly because I don’t even know who is the #2 contender, since AEW still hasn’t kept up with rankings in this new year. AEW bringing out a sudden twist of MJF still having that One Hour Ironman match against someone other than Bryan would be great stuff, since MJF has been so focused on Bryan, but I feel like getting MJF VS Bryan is still the thing everyone wants to see. Great opening match out of Hangman VS Moxley, and of course Moxley bleeds. It’s practically in his contract. But Hangman losing by a roll-up was a great surprise, and them still being after each other after, this has to continue until Revolution.

The Acclaimed winning a squash was a bit surprising, but obviously that was to make room for the promo that set up things with The Gunn Sons. But Billy suddenly saying his sons can have a title match with The Acclaimed? I hope there isn’t a turn coming where Billy is suddenly on his sons’ side again. It just feels like something is fishy, but who knows. Really good TBS title match from Jade and Velvet, but I guess since this wasn’t at a PPV, Jade wasn’t about to lose. Kiera trying to help Velvet only to mess things up was at least a good detail to protect Jade. But at this rate, who is even going to beat Jade when she’s gotten through even some great established names.

And of course, an awesome No Holds Barred match for the TNT title. Great innovation, such as Darby’s tack covered jacket and the different table spots. I was actually rather surprised to see Joe win this to once again be dual champion. But at the same time, Wardlow returning to continue his story with Joe is a logical reason as to why Joe needs to have the TNT title again. Perhaps Wardlow gets the TNT title back to have a second chance with that, and Darby can move up into the world title scene. And assuming MJF retains at Revolution, it works for Darby to be next as they have history in AEW.

My Score: 9/10


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