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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (4/10/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • SmackDown Tag Team Champion #1 Contender’s Match: The Usos VS The New Day; Usos win and will face the Bludgeon Brothers for the titles at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
  • Naomi VS Natalya; Naomi wins.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship, MITB Cash-In: Charlotte VS Carmella; Carmella wins and becomes the new SmackDown Women’s Champion
  • WWE United States Championship #1 Contenders Triple Threat: Randy Orton VS Bobby Roode VS Rusev; Orton wins and will face Jinder Mahal for the title at Backlash.
  • AJ Styles VS Daniel Bryan; Bryan wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, heads to the ring!

Shane O’Mac literally showed he had the guts to fight Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania. He and SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, were victorious to completely ban Kevin & Sami from the Blue Brand, and now he’s here to thank New Orleans for the support. Shane welcomes everyone to the show, and “first and foremost”, on behalf of the entire organization from the Hall of Fame to NXT and the main roster, he thanks the WWE Universe for being part of the greatest weekend and making Wrestlemania a huge success. The fans thank him back.

Shane has been fortuante to have a lot of great Wrestlemania moments, but this year’s was the best, because it had the return of Daniel Bryan! Fans agree with that. Shane had the privilege of teaming with Bryan, but also, because of Bryan’s passion and resolve, they won! Everyone can agree, Bryan was born for this business, and he is now a full-time WWE superstar! But because of that, Bryan has graciously resigned as SmackDown GM, and the Land of Opportunity opens the door to the¬†new GM: PAIGE!

The Glampire had her own emotional retirement just last night on Raw, but now she’s here on SmackDown! She herself is born for this business, and now she’s running an entire show! When Paige gave her speech last night and walked tot he back for what could’ve been the last time, she was met by Shane. This means the world to her, and she thanks him for the opportunity. Fans cheer, “This is YOUR House!” for her, and she thanks them. But to business. The Superstar Shake-Up is coming, but that’s next week! As her first act as GM, Paige will make this night truly special for the WWE Universe. That brings us to Daniel Bryan! “YES! YES!” He hasn’t had a televised match in over three years, so who wants to see that tonight?! Everyone in New Orleans, that’s for sure. Therefore, Bryan will face… Who? Who who who?

Fans chant, “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!”, “AJ Styles! AJ Styles!” and Paige goes with Styles! Bryan takes on the WWE Champion in his first match back! What an incredible decision on her first night! Will Paige flip SmackDown upside-down? Will Daniel Bryan defeat a Phenomenal opponent his first night back to wrestling on television?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Champion #1 Contender’s Match: The Usos VS The New Day!

While the Bludgeon Brothers bested both of these two great tag teams in their Wrestlemania Triple Threat, that was only the beginning of their post-apocalyptic reign. Will this match be another instant classic that leads one team to challenge Harper & Rowan in Saudi Arabia?

The bell rings and we begin with Woods and Jimmy. Woods punches Jimmy back then whips corner to corner, but Jimmy goes up and over. Things speed up and Jimmy runs woods over. Jimmy shoves Woods to a corner but Woods puts him on the apron. Jey tags in at that moment, and rocks Woods with a right hand. Each Uso backs up then hits Woods with a double kick combo in the corner. Cover, TWO, but Jey keeps his cool. He brings Woods up, whips but Woods dodges. Big E tags in, Woods whips Jey, then feeds Jey to Big E’s bearhug! Big E squeezes Jey then throws him overhead! Kofi is fired up for his team while Big E swivels. Woods comes in and somehow shovels Big E up, human weapon: Big E Splash!

Cover, TWO! Woods keeps on Jey in the corner, “Time to Turn Up!” The stomping stampede begins! Big E tags, stomps, Woods tags, stomps, back to Big E, stomps. Kofi makes it rain pancakes while Woods tags in, Big E whips him in for the dropkick. Jey spills out of the ring and Jimmy checks on his twin while we go picture-in-picture. Woods goes out to fetch Jey, then chops him back into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Woods keeps Jey down with double ax handles. Woods rocks Jey with a right, then another, but Jey throws hands of his own! Jey backs Woods down but Woods kicks him back into the New Day corner.

Big E tags in, Woods rams shoulders. Woods holds him for Big E’s running tackle. Big E then feeds Jey to Woods’ fireman’s carry and gutbuster, Big E covers, TWO. Big E keeps on Jey, bringing him up for the abdominal stretch. He swivels while stretching and bending Jey, but Jey fights out. Jey headbutts back, Big E staggers, but Big E shoves Jey back to shoulder him down on the rebound. Cover, TWO, but Big E just moves into the Big Splash! Cover again, TWO! Woods tags in, Big E positions Jey, and Woods hits a flying elbow drop. Cover, TWO, but Woods keeps Jey down with a rear bearhug. Jey works his way up to his feet and gets to the ropes, but Woods moves him back into the New Day’s corner. Big E tags in and throws Jey with the belly2belly, cover, TWO!

Big E goes to the apron and starts up the “New! Day Rocks!” clap. He turns back to Jey and swivels, we go back to single picture while Big E jumps! But Jey moves, the Big Splash hits the apron edge! Big E crashes and burns while Jey crawls for his corner. Woods helps Big E up into the ring, then tags in, but so does Jimmy! Jimmy rallies on Woods with uppercuts and a mule kick to uppercut. Big E returns but gets the dragon whip kick. Woods runs but Jimmy throws him out, to then FLY!

Down goes Big E, but Woods got in the ring. Jimmy hits him before he can jump, but then Woods boots Jimmy back. Honor R- Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!

Jimmy tags Jey, and the Usos both stalk Woods. Pop up but Woods counters with a DDT! Woods shoves Jimmy away, Big E SPEARS Jimmy through the ropes! Woods hurries to the corner, leg drop on Jey! Cover, TWO! The fans rally for both teams, dueling with chants. Woods stands up, glares down at Jey, then brings him up. Woods tears Jey’s shirt away, then throws body shots. He shouts for Jey to get up again, but Woods takes care of that for him and gives another body shot. He runs, but into Jey’s forearm. Jey runs, but into Woods’ forearm. Woods runs, but into another forearm from Jey! Jey runs again, but into the roaring elbow from Woods, to the stomach! Woods puts Jey on the ropes, then runs, but into a mule kick from Jey. Big E and Jimmy tag in, Jimmy gets the yurinagi backstabber! Cover, TWO!

Big E is shocked, but the fans are loving this. He brings those straps down and starts up the clap. He stalks Jimmy, tags in Woods, then lifts Jimmy, but Jey saves his brother. SUPERKICKS to Big E! Woods missile dropkick to Jey, but Jimmy rolls him up, TWO. Woods rolls Jimmy, TWO. They both run, SUPERKICK from Jimmy, then tag to Jey! Jey climbs up, USO SPLASH! Cover, Usos wins!

Winners: The Usos, Jey pinning; will face the Bludgeon Brothers at Greatest Royal Rumble

Another instant classic to be sure, and this was only to get back to the titles. When the Uso Penitentiary comes to Saudi Arabia, will they be able to get the SmackDown Tag Team Division #LockDown? Speaking of, here come the champions, Harper & Rowan! They simply stare the Usos down, hammers at the ready. Will the Bludgeon Brothers be the ones to finally break the Uso Penitentiary?

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

She was enjoying her Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal trophy, but Natalya had to get catty about how Naomi was “the disappointment of the night.” Neon is so 7th Grade, and Natty hopes Naomi gets shipped off to Raw. So then it’s Naomi’s last chance to beat up Natty? That’s not what Natty said. Stop whining, Natty, it’s “so 7th Grade”.

 

Naomi VS Natalya!

It’s #GlowTime for what might be the last time on SmackDown. But if it is, Naomi plans to go out big by giving one last loss to the Queen of Harts!

The bell rings and the two circle and tie up. Natty gets the headlock takeover but Naomi puts on headscissors. Natty pops out and poses, but Naomi is bored of her. Naomi gets the headlock takeover but now Natty puts headscissors, so Naomi pops out and mocks the posing. Natty is “amused” so she slaps Naomi, then kicks and snapmares her. Natty runs, runs on Naomi, but runs into Naomi’s kick. Naomi whips but Natty reverses, only for Naomi to hit a flying headscissors! Naomi brings Natty up and sits her on the ropes, to then kick her in the back. She goes to the apron, and slingshots over for a leg drop! Natty gets clear, not giving Naomi a chance to cover. Naomi taunts Natty while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Natty has Naomi in the abdominal stretch. She hammers Naomi’s ribs, but fans rally for Naomi. Naomi fights out with a hip toss, but Natty throws her down by her hair. Natty poses and embraces the heat before bringing Naomi up. Natty snap suplexes Naomi, then kicks her while she’s down. She drags Naomi up by her hair to then put her back in the abdominal stretch, adding a leg to make it part Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Naomi endures and works her way out. She fights but Natty clubs her down. Fans duel while Naomi slips out of a back suplex, to then hit a wheelbarrow stunner! Naomi gets space from Natty while fans build to a rally. Natty is on Naomi first but Naomi kicks back! Naomi lights Natty up, scorpion kick, but Natty counters the springboard into the spinning sit-out powerbomb! TWO!

Natty gets up, and puts Naomi in the Sharpshooter, but Naomi pushes her away. Naomi stands up but Natty’s discus lariat takes her down. Cover, TWO, and Natty gets frustrated. She brings Naomi up again, but Naomi sips to the sunset flip. They both stand up, but Natty ducks the roundhouse to shove Naomi to a corner. Naomi puts her boots up, Natty deflects them, but Naomi comes back with the enziguri! Naomi then hops up, split leg moonsault! Cover, Naomi wins!

Winner: Naomi, by pinfall

#GlowTime trumps Hart, as expected of the inaugural Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal winner! Will the glow continue to shine on SmackDown? Or will the Shake-Up send her to bring that light to Raw?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style didn’t win the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania, and he didn’t accept it with humility. Instead, he fooled AJ Styles into a trap to give him a low blow and a Kinshasa! Now Renee Young asks on behalf of everyone, “Why would you tarnish your Dream Match?” Nakamura isn’t sure what came over him. Maybe he was too emotional? He’s very sorry for what he did, wink.

Nakamura is clearly being disingenuous, so what is the reason why he did it? “Sorry, no speak English.” Nakamura walks away from this interview, will he be able to walk away when AJ Styles finds him?

 

Charlotte Flair heads to the ring.

The Queen is¬†still the SmackDown Women’s Champion, and she did it by being the first woman to break The Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak! Charlotte says Asuka was the toughest challenge in her career, and she had to dig deeper than ever before. “And for that, I say, ‘Thank you.'” But the Queen left Wrestlemania¬†still champion! She and Asuka left all of their energy and emotion in that arena. Wrestlemania aside, that was a special night, “it was magical.” So, who will she make magic with next? THE ICONIC DUO appears!

Billie Kay & Peyton Royce make their main roster debuts as they head down the ring. Fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Peyton hears Charlotte wants to make magic. Well they know a couple of wizards! They’ll make the title disappear from around Charlotte’s waist. They introduce each other to everyone, and they admit Charlotte’s match was “good”. But it wasn’t Iconic. “Nobody wants to hear you yak-yak-yak away.” Peyton mocks Charlotte’s acceptance speech, thanking everyone from Charlotte’s Uber driver to air, “for letting me breathe.” But Billie wants Charlotte to stop talking about the past when they’re all looking at the future. Out with the old, in with the Iconic. Charlotte fights with Peyton & Billie but that’s 2v1! They get her robe, but she gets a takedown! Except Peyton saves Billie. Charlotte manages to throw Peyton out, but Billie hits her #ShadesofKay boot!

Now the Iconic Duo have control, and they drag Charlotte out of the ring to throw her over the announce desk!

But they’re not done there. They bring Charlotte back up to throw her back over the other way. Then they stomp and kick and club away on Charlotte before dragging her back up, to put her into a post! Charlotte is down and fans chant for “Carmella! Carmella!” Ms. Money in the Bank doesn’t appear yet, because the Iconic Duo isn’t done. They put Charlotte shoulder first into steel steps! Charlotte writhes in pain, but that’s still not enough for them. They say this is their division now, and lift Charlotte up for an ICONIC BOMB! Somehow that¬†still isn’t enough, they drag the limp Charlotte into the ring, and leave her down in the very middle as they stand over her. With such a beat down,¬†will this division be their’s soon enough?

Here comes Carmella!

NOW Ms. MITB cashes in! She has a referee, she has her briefcase, but the referee takes some time to understand the situation. She shrieks for him to do it, but Charlotte is recovering. The announcement is made, Carmella has her match!

SmackDown Women’s Championship, MITB Cash-In: Charlotte VS Carmella!

The champ is barely on her feet, the bell rings, FABULOUS KICK!! Cover, Carmella wins!!

Winner: Carmella, by pinfall;¬†NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion

The Princess of Staten Island dethrones the Queen! And she celebrates this incredible moment as she should. She should thank the Iconic Duo, but that’s besides the point, because the inaugural Ms. MITB is successful! Will Money ‘Mella go on to create even more FABULOUS history from here on out? And what will happen to the Queen now that she’s not on top?

 

WWE United States Championship #1 Contenders Triple Threat: Randy Orton VS Bobby Roode VS Rusev!

The Modern Day Maharaja took the title off the Viper at Wrestlemania in a Fatal 4 Way. Now it’ll take a match between the Viper, the GLORIOUS One and the Bulgarian Lion to decide who steps up to Jinder Mahal at the Greatest Royal Rumble!

Speaking of Jinder, he’s ringside to watch this up close and personal. Will he like what he sees? Or will he and Sunil Singh get a bit more involved than just spectating?

This match begins with picture in picture. All three contenders glare at Mahal as the bell rings, but then turn on each other. Specifically, Orton and Roode go after Rusev! They stomp a mudhole into him, then Roode turns on Orton. He gets Orton to a corner for chops, but Orton htis back. Roode boots Orton but Orton powers out of the headlock, only for Roode to run him over. They both run, Orton runs Roode over to then go after Rusev on the outside. Orton puts Rusev into barriers, then backs Aiden English down, before returning to Roode. HE stomps Roode then gives him European Uppercuts. Orton suplexes and hangs Roode up on the top rope, covers, TWO. He keeps on Roode with a chinlock, but Roode fights his way up to power Orton to a corner.

Roode throws in shoulders, then gives Orton a chop while we go single picture. Fans chant for Rusev while ROode whips Orton corner to corner. Orton comes out, dodges the lariat but Roode denies the RKO. Rusev returns and he rallies on Roode! Rusev stomps a mudhole into Roode, then drags him up for a corner to corner whip. Roode boots back, hops up and hits the blockbuster! Cover, but Orton breaks it. Orton throws Roode out, then stalks Rusev. He brings Rusev up but Rusev revives to roundhouse Orton down! Cover, TWO, and Orton gets out of the ring. Rusev pursues, passes by Mahal, and bumps Orton off the apron and the announce desk. Rusev goes to bump Orton again, but Orton reverses to back suplex Rusev onto the announce desk!

Roode returns and chops Orton, then gets him back in the ring. Roode rallies, corner clothesline to neckbreaker. He then climbs up top while Orton staggers, for the flying clothesline! Roode fires up, and Mahal grins whiel Roode winds up… GLORIOUS Pose! Orton rolls out of the DDT, TWO, Orton starts rallying with clotheslines. He ducks Roode to then hit the powerslam. Roode rolls to the apron, Orton follows him over and pulls him out across the ropes. Roode dumps Orton out, Orton hotshots Roode back, but Rusev returns to back suplex Orton on the announce desk!

Rusev hurries back into the ring, stalks Roode, and with fans chanting “RUSEV DAY!”, he rallies with roundhouses. He barrels into Roode, hits the flying windmill kick, and then fires up with the fans again. Rusev stomps the mat, MACHKA KICK! But that’s not all! Rusev prepares to CRUSH! He stomps Roode, for the Accolade! Roode is in it deep, but Orton kicks Rusev and throws him into a post. Roode rolls Orton, TWO, RKO!! Orton covers, Orton wins!

Winner: Orton, by pinfall; faces Jinder Mahal at Backlash

The Viper only needs one to win, can he win the US Championship back in less than four weeks time?

 

Backstage interview with Carmella.

The¬†new Women’s Champion is beaming. What made tonight the right time? “When a Queen overstays her welcome, there’s always a Princess waiting to end her reign.” This Moon-Walking, Trash-Takling princess just kicked Charlotte off the throne. Carmella was so patient in waiting for her moment, and now look. She tries to not cry, but she needs to thank someone really important to her. She thanks… HERSELF! Carmella made history by becoming Ms. MITB on her own, and made history again on her own. But the Iconic Duo– Who? The point is, ‘Mella is Money, and now ‘Mella is Gold!

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Styles heard about the “apology”, but he doesn’t want one. He’ll just stick his fist down his throat. But that’s later. Tonight, he’s finally facing Daniel Bryan in a WWE ring. Bryan has a long list of accomplishments, one of the greats even, but he’s not Phenomenal.

 

AJ Styles VS Daniel Bryan!

It’s a Dream Match for the WWE, especially since it looked like it was never going to happen. The Phenomenal One held onto his title against the King of Strong Style, but can he best the leader of the Yes Movement?

The bell rings, and this #FantasyMatch begins! Fans love “Both These Guys!” as they tie up. Styles gets the waistlock and slam but Bryan keeps moving and gets free. They circle and tie up again, Styles gets a headlock. Fans move to dueling now as Bryan powers out. Styles runs him over with a shoulder, then they speed up. Styles slides off Bryan’s back and gets a takedown, cover, TWO. Bryan fights with Styles and bridges before kip-up. They push each other back but then Bryan slips around and snaps the arm! Styles gets to ropes but Bryan is on him with those kicks. Bryan kicks and kicks Styles until he ends up in a corner, then he goes after Styles’ arm.

Bryan wrenches Styles’ arm, then gives it a shoulder breaker into the hammerlock. He grabs Styles’ free arm, but Styles endures the hold. Fans rally while Bryan rolls Styles but Styles rolls out of the cover. Bryan keeps a hammerlock on while fans duel. Styles hits Bryan with a back elbow, Bryan hits back with a European Uppercut. Bryan runs, things speed up, and Styles hits Bryan with a dropkick! Bryan ends up outside the ring, and Styles takes his time going over there, then hits a slingshot forearm!

Styles is in control but still pretty sore while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles suplexes Bryan, but Bryan knees out. Bryan speeds up, and hits Styles with a leaping elbow! Bryan fires up while Styles gets to a corner. He takes aim at Styles, runs in corner to corner for a big dropkick!

Then he gives Styles those YES Kicks! He kicks and kicks, but Styles blocks the buzzsaw into the dragon screw! Bryan gets to a corner now, and Styles runs in corner to corner for the leaping clothesline. Styles whips Bryan but Bryan goes up and over. That leg slows him down, Styles hits Bryan with a moonsault DDT! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but stirring. Bryan crawls to ropes but Styles sits up while fans declare “This is Awesome!”

Styles brings Bryan up but Bryan fights him back. Styles kicks the bad leg, then starts up the Phenomenal Blitz, but Bryan ducks the back hand to butterfly suplex Styles¬†into an armbar!¬†Bryan can’t complete it with Styles locking his hands, and Styles rolls around to his feet. Styles pops out and goes for the Calf Crusher!

He goes right at the bad leg! Bryan endures as he rolls, he goes for the arm, and gets the YES LOCK! Styles resists, rolls it back, TWO! Both men get up, Styles dodges to PELE Bryan! Bryan stays up, but Styles clobbers him with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Styles gets to the apron while Bryan stirs. Fans duel while he takes aim, springboard but into a kick! Roundhouse rocks Styles!

Bryan is in a corner, and he starts up “YES! YES!” while taking aim at Styles. He runs out, but Styles evades the knee to get him into the Clash! Bryan saw that at Wrestelmania, he gets Styles down into the YES LOCK! Styles reaches back, for the ropebreak! Bryan lets go but brings Styles back up. He hoists Styles onto the top rope, then into the Tree of Woe, for YES Kicks while Styles is upside-down! The bad leg slows Bryan down, but only for a moment. He then sits Styles back up, climbs up to join him, and brings Styles up for… a SUPER BACK SUPELX! But Styles rolled halfway to crossbody Bryan! And then NAKAMURA appears!?

He gives Bryan a KINSHASA!

Winner: Bryan, by disqualification

But Nakamura isn’t done there, he gives Styles a strike fest¬†and a low blow. Then he takes aim from the corner, fires up for it… KINSHASA!! The King of Strong Style still won’t leave Styles alone, he gives him yet another low blow. Nakamura no longer respects the Phenomenal One, or anyone else. Will he give everyone a #Knee2Face in order to get the WWE Championship?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown After ‘Mania is a success! Such a great opening with introducing PAIGE as the new General Manager. I’m so glad she’s sticking around. Plus, as she announced, it means Bryan is back as a competitor! Then we go right into another great tag match of Usos VS New Day. What’s confusing is that this is so the Usos can save their rematch clause for Backlash and go to Greatest Royal Rumble instead. Does that already foreshadow that they aren’t winning? Then Naomi VS Natty was framed as “could be the last time”, which might foreshadow that one of them is going to Raw via the Shake-Up next week. Between the two, I’d imagine Natty is going to Raw, because WWE won’t separate the married couple of Naomi & Jimmy Uso.

The entire thing with Charlotte, the Iconic Duo and Carmella was amazing. Billie & Peyton immediately impress as Heels both on the mic and as fighters, and then finally, we get that FABULOUS Cash-in. Carmella is the new champion, but I wonder if it’ll be great or evil to send her to Raw via the Shake-Up. She’s such a great Heel that she can make it work if that happens, but it’d just be a shame as far as her career to have such a short reign. Also, did anyone else notice how they emphasized Peyton & Billie are “The Iconics” instead of The Iconic Duo? Does this mean they’ll be open to adding a third or even fourth woman to their team? Or is it just Vince being weird about names like the dozens of times he’s removed someone’s first/last name?

As for the US Championship scene, it was another great match, but with the ending fans didn’t want. It almost feels like they’re taunting fans with letting Rusev get close, only to yank it away and give it to someone we’ve already seen have their moments. Orton VS Mahal happens at Backlash instead of #WWEGRR, which is just as confusing as when Usos had to win their rematch this time. What isn’t confusing is how amazing Bryan VS Styles was, and then how great this new Heel Nakamura has been in just the last 48 hours. He has a new attitude towards interviews, and then goes the extra mile to attack both Bryan and Styles. If any superstars are exempt from the Shake-Up, it’s gonna be Nakamura and Styles, this is the silver lining to SmackDown and they need this to go all the way to SummerSlam.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (4/18/18)

Published

on

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner; Ricochet wins.
  • War Raiders VS The Metro Brothers; War Raiders win.
  • No Disqualifications: Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain; Sullivan wins.
  • Candice LeRae VS Zelina Vega; Candice wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and NXT dedicate tonight to Bruno Sammartino.

The Living Legend, the Italian Superman, and the longest reigning champion in WWE history, truly one of the greats will be remembered for all time.

 

Johnny Gargano returns to NXT!

Yes, Johnny Wrestling won his job back by defeating Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: New Orleans! And of course, he brings Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, with him.¬†The two head to the ring together while fans chant for “Johnny Wrestling!” and “Welcome Back! Welcome Back!” Gargano grabs a mic to say, “Going into TakeOver: New Orleans, I dreamt of this moment.” And now that he’s here covered in goosebumps, he doesn’t have the words. “It’s just really good to be home.”

Gargano was defined by two words for too long, and those words were “Tommaso Ciampa”. His best friend broke his heart while costing him both NXT title and career. For the longest time, Gargano couldn’t even say his name. “But after 37 of the most intense minutes I have ever spent inside a professional wrestling ring”, Gargano stands here proudly, and he has his life back! Fans agree with that as they again chant, “Johnny Wrestling!” Gargano confirms, Johnny Wrestling is back in NXT.

Gargano admits these have been some of the toughest months in his life, but he loves the fans for shoving the Gargano emojis in Ciampa’s face while chanting his name. The fans chant again, and Gargano thanks each and every person in the NXT Universe that had his back. He also directs thanks to his wife, Candice. Fans chant for Candice, and she gets a bit bashful, as he knows this was as tough on her as it was on him. But Gargano would not have made it through without her. They hug, but then move on from the “mushy crap”. Gargano is back, and both Johnny and Candice Wrestling have some unfinished business.

Candice takes the mic herself, because tonight, she’s handling her business with Zelina Vega! And if Almas tries anything, Gargano will drop Almas like he’s Ciampa. Then, once they get past Almas & Vega, there’s still one more thing. There’s a NEW NXT Champion, “and you’re looking at his first challenger!” Gargano is ready to go for gold again, will he and Candice put their grudges behind them to start fresh?

 

SAnitY’s Killian Dain speaks.

“New Orleans. Lars Sullivan took something from me. He took my chance to write history.” But tonight, Big Damo will use No Disqualification to take everything from Lars! It won’t be Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe or Nikki Cross bring the chaos, but just Big Damo alone! Will the Leviathan survive the wrath of the Beast of Belfast?

 

Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner!

The #OneAndOnly was also part of TakeOver’s historic ladder match, but was also unsuccessful in winning NXT’s newest title. However, he is here now for his Full Sail in-ring debut to carve his path to the top! How will he fair against the man who wants to go to the #NXTLVL in his own right?

The bell rings and the two circle while fans chant for Ricochet. They tie up, Ricochet gets the waistlock then headlock. Aichner hits back and powers out but Ricochet rolls off his back, under the clothesline, then backwards to headscissor Aichner down. Ricochet kip-up and dropkicks Aichner and fans are fired up. Aichner chops Ricochet back, then whips him to a corner. Ricochet goes up and over then handsprings and jumps, but Aichner catches him into a fireman’s carry! Aichner tosses Ricochet up to bring him down into a gutbuster! Ricochet flounders from the big knee to stomach, but Aichner keeps on him with a mudhole stomp in the corner.

Aichner backs off at the ref’s count, but comes back to stand Ricochet up. Ricochet turns things around and gives back a sharp chop of his own! Ricochet chops again, then whips Aichner at the ropes. Aichner reverses the whip and catches Ricochet into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Aichner keeps his cool. Aichner sits Ricochet up for a rear bearhug. Ricochet endures while fans rally. Ricochet stands up and fights out but Aichner rams a knee into Ricochet’s ribs. Aichner brings Ricochet up into bomb position, and shouts, “Next Level!” He lifts Ricochet but Ricochet slips out the back.

Ricochet rocks Aichner with a back elbow, then goes to boot, but Aichner blocks. Aichner retaliates with a hard European Uppercut, then whips Ricochet corner to corner. Ricochet manages to boot Aichner this time, then somersaults for a dropkick! Aichner goes down and fans fire up for Ricochet again. Ricochet drags himself up while Aichner stands. Ricochet blocks punches to give punches then rallies with forearms. He runs in at a corner for a big uppercut, then whips corner to corner. Aichner reverses but Ricochet dodges, corner 619 and springboard EuroUpper!

But Ricochet isn’t done there! He hits a standing shooting star, cover, TWO! Ricochet is surprised but keeps his cool. He goes to a corner and climbs up top. Aichner revives and trips Ricochet up, then climbs up to join him. Aichner tries but Ricochet resists the superplex. Ricochet fights Aichner off with body shots then a sharp uppercut. Ricochet adjusts, and hits the 630 senton!!

Cover, Ricochet wins!

Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall

The King of Speed wins his first 1v1 match in NXT! With speed, strength and style, can Ricochet reach the highest heights imaginable?

Ringside interview with Ricochet.

An incredible start to his NXT career, so how does it feel to get his first 1v1 win? It feels great, and fans agree. He likes hearing the chants, and he has watched a lot of today’s top stars in WWE make their start here at Full Sail. Stars like Bayley, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins to name a few, “but now it’s my turn.” Ricochet came to NXT to turn things up and make a name for himself. He will prove to everyone why there is #OneAndOnly Ricochet. The King of Speed is ready to be a star, who will he encounter on his path to the top?

 

Lars Sullivan speaks.

“Tonight, I get Killian Dain in a No Disqualification match.” Which means Lars gets to do whatever he wants to Dain. Whatever comes to mind will happen. Everyone will see exactly why Lars Sullivan is “a real-life Freak of Nature!” Will the Beast of Belfast be able to even leave Full Sail to make a main roster debut after tonight?

 

War Raiders VS The Metro Brothers!

Ray Rowe & “War Beard” Hanson made a riotous debut last week when they wrecked the match between Heavy Machinery and the Blue Chip Boys. They look to continue on that warpath tonight, do JC & Chris stand a chance?

Rowe starts against JC and the bell rings, Rowe immediately hits JC with shotgun knees!

Chris can’t believe what happened to his brother right before his eyes. He tags in and tries but Rowe throws him right down. Rowe drags Chris up, Hanson tags in, and the Raiders mug Chris with knees. Hanson gives another big knee, then drags Chris up. Chris chops back but hurts his hand! He runs but Hanson cartwheels and lariats Chris down! Hanson roars and the fans fire up. Tag to Rowe, and Hanson feeds Rowe for Rowe to toss Chris up for the pop-up powerslam, Thor’s Hammer! JC returns but Roew gives him Ace Ten Mao! Rowe tags Hanson in before dragging Chris up. Hanson climbs as Rowe lifts Chris, and War Raiders hit FALLOUT!

Hanson covers, Raiders win!

Winners: War Raiders (Rowe & Hanson), Hanson pinning

These bearded behemoths will not be stopped now that they’re in NXT, are the Undisputed Era’s days as tag team champions numbered?

 

Shayna Baszler speaks.

The new NXT Women’s Champion knows a meeting is going on and she’s late to it. But she doesn’t care, she plays by her own rules. Shayna walks into the locker room to interrupt that meeting, as well as Serena Deeb’s pep talk to the other women of the NXT roster. The Queen of Spades lets them all know she runs the locker room now, and makes it even clearer by ripping down Ember Moon’s locker label. Shayna uses a playing card for her label, and tells everyone that there’s no one who can stop the change. She suggests they either get in line or get out of the division. But when Dakota Kai wants to go out and refill her thermos, Shayna gets in her face. Bully Baszler reigns over NXT with an iron fist, who will rise up to lead a revolution?

 

NXT, meet NXT’s Finest.

“The Finest Smile, the Finest Jewelry, the Finest Hair.” He’s on his way back, so get ready, for The Finest Kona Reeves. Reinvented and returning, can Kona Reeves reignite his NXT career?

 

NXT & WWE Media caught up with Pete Dunne.

The reporters ask the British Bruiserweight about the betrayal suffered at TakeOver: New Orleans. Dunne promises to return in a few weeks, and will show us what he thinks of Roderick Strong the moment he gets his hansd on him. “I’m gonna rip his head off.” The WWE UK Champion kept it short but not so sweet, will he get sweet revenge on the Undisputed Era’s newest recruit?

 

No Disqualifications: Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain!

King Kong VS Godzilla? All the destruction in Rampage the movie? None of that will compare to what’s about to happen between the Leviathan and the Beast of Belfast when there are no rules but to win! With SAnitY headed to SmackDown, will Big Damo’s good-bye match be a violent victory? Or a decimating defeat?

The bell rings and the fans chant, “Hoss Fight! Hoss Fight!” Damo and Lars step to each other, Damo being very vocal, then he suddenly headbutts Lars! Lars staggers but Damo keeps on him with forearms. Lars powers Damo to a corner and rams in a shoulder, but Damo hits back with another forearm. Damo keeps Lars on the ropes, then clotheslines him out of the ring. Lars stays on his feet, he drags Damo out to join him. They brawl at ringside and around corners, all the way to the ramp-side of the ring, with the referee following at a safe distance. Lars knees low and whips but Damo reverses to send Lars into steel steps! The referee checks on Lars and determines he’s okay to continue. Damo goes back into the ring, takes aim, and DIVES!

But Lars catches him, to then ram Damo into a post! Lars continues by suplexing Damo to the ground! It takes a bit out of both monsters, but Lars is first to stand up. He drags Damo up and into the ring, then rolls him over for clubbing crossface forearms! Lars throws hammering hand after hand into Damo’s face, but Damo still stirs. Lars deadlifts Damo up for a German Suplex! Damo rolls out of the ring and slumps to the floor. Lars exits the ring to climb up to the top! The Leviathan LEAPS for a lethal lariat!

The monsters crash and burn, and fans chant “NXT! NXT!” while the referee checks on them both. Both men are somehow okay to continue, though Lars has given Damo a bloody nose. Lars stands up first again, and he puts Damo back in the ring. Lars hops up again, for the monster diving headbutt! Cover, TWO! Lars grows frustrated, so he goes outside the ring to fetch something from underneath: a chair! Then another chair, and another chair. Fans want tables, but Lars settles for these. He picks up one chair, aims at Damo, and jams it into Damo’s ribs. Damo staggers into a corner and Lars goes after him, trying to press the chair into Damo’s head like a vice. Damo fights him off, but Lars runs corner to corner, only to run into Damo’s dropkick!

Both behemoths are down, but the fans rally for “Killian! Killian!” With blood dripping from his nose, Damo stands, followed by Lars. Damo throws a forearm, but Lars gives one back. The behemoths brawl, Damo gets the edge but dares Lars to give it back. Lars swings but Damo ducks under to then lift Lars up in a fireman’s carry. Slam and back senton, the Belfast Blitz! But Damo keeps moving, and climbs up the ropes for a Belfast Vader Bomb!

Cover, TWO! Frustration grows for Damo, he goes out to search for something under the ring. Fans want a table, so Damo gives them a table! Damo picks the table up and puts it in the ring. Lars stirs while Damo picks up a chair. Damo drives that chair into Lars’ back! Damo then takes the table and props it up in a corner. Lars crawls over, but Damo SMACKS him with that third chair. Damo brings him up and prepares to throw Lars at the table, but Lars fights back. Lars picks Damo up and drops him with a side slam! Lars grabs a chair and presses it into Damo’s chest, then goes to a corner. The Leviathan climbs up again, but Damo moves, and Lars falls on only the chair!

Damo fires himself up while Lars writhes and flounders, then lines up the shot. He waits for Lars to stand, then runs out, but Lars catches the Divide crossbody to turn it into a powerslam! Cover, ONE!? Lars is shocked! But he keeps going, bringing Damo up for a scoop. Damo slips out and bicycle boots Lars. Lars staggers and Damo goes back to the corner. Damo runs out again, and the Divide brings them both crashing through the table!

Fans chant “NXT! NXT!” while Damo rolls out of the wreckage, leaving Lars amidst the debris. Damo isn’t done, he picks up a chair while the referee digs Lars out. Damo puts the chair on Lars’ chest before stomping a mudhole into him! He then wedges it in front of Lars’ face, and fans anticipate what’s coming. Damo goes to the adjacent corner and climbs up to the top. But Lars revives and goes after Damo with a chair, only for Damo to punch that chair into Lars’ face!¬†Lars staggers around again and Damo adjusts. Damo leaps but Lars thrusts the chair into his ribs! Then Lars SMACKS Damo across the back! Lars stacks chairs and drags Damo up, for a FREAK ACCIDENT!

Cover, Lars wins!

Winner: Lars, by pinfall

Destructive and dominant, the Leviathan beats the Beast of Belfast! Lars made Damo bleed and he made him fall before Damo leaves for SmackDown. Now that Lars is THE Monster of NXT, is there any hope of stopping him?

 

NXT looks back on the grudge between Andrade Almas, Zelina Vega, and Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling.

Johnny Gargano thought 2018 was going to be his year after his wife joined him at Full Sail and the Performance Center. He was so proud to have his favorite wrestler finally make it “where she rightfully belongs” after years of hard work. However, we know things didn’t go Gargano’s way, as Zelina Vega would interfere during his matches with El Idolo. Candice LeRae would get her own shots in on Vega,¬†but in the end, Almas would go¬†4-0 against Johnny Wrestling. Gargano’s grudge with Tommaso Ciampa aside, Mrs. Wrestling “is just getting started” with La Gerente. They settle things here tonight, will Candice finish it with a win or a loss?

 

The Undisputed Era arrives for their photo shoot.

While Bobby Fish is out with his ACL injury, Roderick Strong steps up to be one of the NXT Tag Team Champions. Adam Cole has his own belt now that he’s the inaugural NXT North American Champion, so one thing that is undisputed, is that the Undisputed Era is golden. Will Cole, Fish, O’Reilly and Strong continue to #ShockTheSystem and gather up championships?

 

Candice LeRae VS Zelina Vega!

Finally, after a handful of fights that accompanied other superstars’ matches, Mrs. Wrestling and La Gerente del Idolo will fight in their own match! Vega will join Andrade Almas in joining SmackDown, will her good-bye match go her way? Or will karma catch up to her for all she did to Johnny and Candice?

The fans are on the side of “Candice Wrestling” even before the bell. Zelina talks trash at the bell and shoves Candice, so Candice shoves back! Zelina runs but Candice blocks her kick. Candice reels Zelina in for a pendulum gutbuster! Candice then goes to the top rope already, but Almas appears out from the crowd!

Almas’ distraction repays Zelina for all of hers as Zelina throws Candice to the mat by her hair! Candice flounders while Almas grins and applauds Zelina. But as he promised at the start, Gargano appears! Zelina throws Candice out right as Gargano approaches, so Mr. Wrestling checks on Mrs. Wrestling first.

Zelina hops out of the ring to taunt Gargano while she bounces Candice off the apron. Almas applauds while Zelina puts Candice in the ring and covers, TWO. Zelina keeps on Candice with a dragon sleeper, but Gargano and the fans rally. Candice fights up and backs Zelina into a corner and buckles. Candice breaks free but runs into buckles as Zelina side-steps. Zelina jump kicks Candice down, then a la Almas, she runs in for Cien Knees!

Cover, TWO! Gargano applauds but Zelina and Almas are frustrated. Zelina brings Candice up for another page from Almas’ book, but Candice counters the hammerlock DDT into a small package! TWO, and Zelina swings on Candice, but Candice blocks and counters. Candice chops and haymakers Zelina into a corner then fast and furious! The referee backs Candice off but Candice runs in for the back elbow. She lets Zelina fall to then climb up, for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Candice keeps her cool as Gargano and teh fans rally. Zelina throws a forearm then whips, but Candice ducks to tilt-o-whirl Zelina into a takedown! Candice borrows something from Johnny, it’s the GargaNO Escape! Almas runs into the ring, but Gargano intercepts, and now it’s double GargaNO Escapes!!

Zelina taps, Candice wins!

Winner: Candice, by submission

A triumphant return for Mr. Wrestling and a triumphant debut for Mrs. Wrestling, Johnny & Candice are here to stay! They send Almas & Vega packing with that loss, will El Idolo & La Gerente be able to move past it with their fresh start on SmackDown?

Gargano speaks.

“First of all, that was awesome!” Fans agree, “That was Awesome!” Second of all, Gargano says that with Almas & Vega taken care of once and for all, “Aleister Black, I am challenging you!” Gargano wants Aleister and the NXT Championship! Speak of the devil, the Embodiment of the End appears.

Aleister stands on stage with the title in one hand and a microphone in the other. Gargano is excited but Candice is a bit worried. Aleister speaks, “You want it? Then next week, you shall have it.” An NXT Championship match, already!? The Dutch Destroyer and Johnny Wrestling are already going 1v1 over the title! Will Gargano achieve his dream so soon after being hired back? Or will he simply #FadeToBlack?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode here tonight. After knowing who is going and who is staying from this recent round of call-ups, this was a great way to shift things to fit the new landscape. Gargano even frames it as much as he promotes Candice VS Zelina for the first time ever as the last time, too. Ricochet and Aichner have a great opening match, and I personally feel a competitive match was better for Ricochet to showcase himself than squashing a jobber. On the other hand, War Raiders squashing the Metro Brothers was actually pretty fun. With SAnitY and Authors of Pain both out, Hanson & Rowe will move right in as the powerhouse team. The Undisputed Era is riding high, but with Pete Dunne preparing his revenge and the War Raiders easily a choice for contenders, they’ve got their hands full.

Shayna Baszler continues great character work, setting the new ground rules for her vision of the NXT Women’s Division. Something to note is that Nikki Cross is not yet included in SAnitY’s call-up, perhaps she will hang back long enough to challenge Shayna for the title. Meanwhile, it is interesting to see Kona Reeves gets a repackaging as a new superficial and narcissist character. I’m just not sure that’ll be enough to get him going, though. Damo VS Lars was great, and with Damo on his way out, it makes sense for Lars to win. Candice VS Zelina felt like it could have used more time, the spots that happened all felt rushed. But even so, great to see side-by-side submissions as Candice gets her first victory in NXT. And what a great closing moment! Aleister VS Gargano 1v1 will be another instant classic, no matter who wins.

My Score: 8/10


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Stardom Dream Slam in Osaka Results & Review (3/31/2018)

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We continue our Dream Slam tour with the penultimate show. April 1st is where the big matches will be taking place, including that Exploding Death Match.

Today however, we get Io Shirai and Odeo Tai defending their Stardom titles before the big show. So let’s not waste any more time and….dive right in.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Starlight Kid, Hanan & Natsumi vs Ruaka, Nao Yamaguchi & Leo Onozaki

Review: Our opener is of course a trios match with the Future of Stardom division here as both teams are looking to get a win for one of their partners that haven’t won a match yet aka Leo and Natsumi, so let’s see which team wins it. This is also Starlight Kid’s first match since winning the Future of Stardom Championship at the last show too and looks to win and gain momentum before her match as AZM the next day. The match starts off the usual mess with where everyone would be in the ring to do something and just comes off a bit too sloppy for me here. However, some have been starting to show some progress such as Hanan and Natsumi and hopefully they show more of their growth this year. Starlight Kid though is the only good thing about the match as the rest was still sloppy up until the end where Starlight would win with her Rounding Moonsault on Nao to pick up the win.

Recommended: If you like Starlight Kid, then yes otherwise just skip.

 

Three Way Match
Saki Kashima vs Shiki Shibusawa vs Natsu Sumire

Review: We get a three way match this time and I really hope that this is much better than the previous one we had with Xia and if you follow my articles and have read that one or watched it, you’ll know why. We have Sumire getting involved this time and I guess it’s to give her something while Kagetsu and Hana have a title match, and Tam already booked for later. We also got Saki having her second match back after she lost in her return match and hoping to pick up a win this time. And then there’s Shiki who lost in the finals of the Future of Stardom Championship tournament and looks to get back on the saddle. Before the match in one of the pre match interviews, Sumire said she’ll win due to her professional make-up while the both of them are cheap with their make-up and when she wins, she’ll dump them into the Dontobori River…the monster. Also Sumire coming out with the whip equals nice.

Damn, Starlight Kid is super quick with taking out the streamers compared to the guys at ROH, then again not hard to top ROH in things recently. Okay, stay on target now. Sumire would cut ANOTHER promo in the ring this time before the match start to insult their make-up and call them ‘country side Yankii’s!”, then she would tell them to go to the river before they had enough of her shit and start beating her up as the match finally starts. We get a good mixture of decent wrestling and some entertainment as they would have humor in the match with Sumire trying to dictate how they all punch each other, even though it doesn’t go in her favor, but the Joe Doering punches take a bit away from the match (Sorry Joe). Shiki and Saki would get payback on Sumire as Shiki would have her in a Camel Clutch and Saki pours water on Sumire to smear the make-up off of her face, the humiliation! Saki would get the win over Shiki by hitting the Killswitch for the win!

Recommended: Much better match.

 

Tag Team Elimination Match
Jungle Kyona, Natsuko Tora, Kaori Yoneyama & Konami vs Viper, HZK, Momo Watanabe & AZM

Review: We have a battle between Team Jungle and Queen’s Quest in a regular elimination match very similar to how NJPW does them with being able to win by pinfall, submission, or throwing them over the top rope. Which unit will establish dominance?

Team Jungle’s pre match interview is well..weird, they would talk about how they’ll win since they have the most body weight and Kaori would shout out ‘we’re fat!’, random. This match is mostly to give a little preview before Viper and Kyona have their SWA Championship bout on the next show. HZM would try to give Natsuko her lolipop and she didn’t want it, rude. The match would start off with Team Jungle being thrown into a corner while everyone but Viper hits their moves on all four as Viper missed her Cannonball, AZM almost got eliminated quickly til Queen’s Quest would catch her before elimination. Kaori would be in the ring to outsmart both Momo and Viper til it would bite her in the ass as Viper reversed a rollup to hold her down to pin and eliminate Kaori. Natsuko would get in the ring next to try and eliminate Viper, but she failed a minute later as Viper would hit the Avalanche to get rid of her too, leaving Team Jungle with two people left while Queen’s Quest still has all four.

Queen’s Quest would have the advantage for a moment until Konami and Kyona reverse their double teaming as Kyona and Viper were alone in the ring together wrestling back and forth til Viper attempts to throw her out of the ring, but Jungle hangs on until Viper attempts to run towards her, only to both of them being eliminated via over the top rope, leaving Konami alone against HZK, AZM, and Momo. Konami would valiantly try to fight them off, but the numbers game is too much for her, HZK would toss AZM over her shoulders to make her land a nasty Double Stomp which looked awesome, but Konami would outsmart them once again and would eliminate AZM with a nice Roundhouse Kick. Konami would last for another minute until Momo would pick up the win with her B Driver, giving Queen’s Quest the victory.

Recommended: Slow start, but picks up and is entertaining.

 

Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano vs Toni Storm & Xia Brookside

Review: I know when I first started covering Stardom I said that Kagetsu was the next contender due to how she was teasing the championship match, but it actually is Mayu who has a shot against Toni Storm finally and I apologize for the mix-up. Toni right now isn’t in the best mood for losing her SWA Championship and now has to worry if she’ll lose her World of Stardom Championship against Mayu. Mayu and Tam wasting no time as they attack Toni and Xia.

We are underway here with Tam showing more of her in-ring work outside of Oedo Tai and she’s actually not bad at all, I’m liking what I’m see and Xia is also showing improvement as well. We also get a little preview between Toni and Mayu and all I gotta say is that Mayu is back, baby! I’m finally seeing her getting into the groove of things again and I hope she takes that belt away from Toni to reclaim her top spot as the new ace of Stardom. Very entertaining match, nice offense from all four of these women and we have Mayu getting the win with a beautiful Dragon Suplex Hold on Xia to get the pin and this is just me, but Mayu has the best Dragon Suplex that I’ve seen in the business currently, just her arch and everything is gorgeous. Looking forward to this match.

Recommended: Very good match, definitely worth a watch.

 

Wonder of Stardom Title Match
Io Shirai (c) vs. Bea Priestley

Review: So this will be my first time seeing Bea Priestley in a one on one match, so I’m hoping she impresses me here because so far I am just not into her work right now and still has the worst Curb Stomp I’ve ever seen, so let’s see if she can win me over when she fights Io. For Io, this will be her 7th title defense as Wonder of Stardom Champion and I heard the belt will be given a little makeover with some nice new white leather, so the winner will be getting a shiny new belt on top of it. This match showed me that Bea does have some potential, but still wasn’t a lot to impress me in this match I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong, some of her stuff was good and has a very nice Superkick, but other stuff from her was also sloppy at the same time and her selling is not so good, but I will let it slide for now. Io as always does a fantastic job working with her opponents and can give us a solid match with almost anyone and that is what we see here. Both do well at some spots and Io would pull an Okada and hit a Tombstone before hitting her finisher which is a Moonsault Press, and retaining her title while getting the newly redone one.

Recommended: Not great, but still pretty solid. Give it a watch

 

Goddesses of Stardom Title Match
Kagetsu & Hana Kimura (c) vs. Mary & Faby Apache

Review: Due to the Apache Sisters getting a pinfall on Kagetsu during one of their previous matches, we’re able to have this title match taking place here and this is also Oedo Tai’s 7th title defense here like how it was with Io also. So let’s see if Kagetsu can get some momentum before her Exploding Death Match or if Oedo Tai can get derailed and the Apache Sisters can claim the Goddesses of Stardom Championships. Come to think of it, those are the only belts in the company that have the black leather while the rest are in different colors, weird but neat. Very nice sequences between Kagetsu and Faby to start us off and a outside spot where Kagetsu would throw Mary into the chairs and she does a front flip going pretty far with it also. Apache Sisters really do work well as a tag team and I can see why they’re considered legends in Mexico and nice to see them working with Stardom to help out some of the younger talent while also giving them their daughter, Natsumi. The tag match itself was solid and both teams do very well here as we see the teamwork with just Hana and Kagetsu to see why they won the titles in the first place. Oedo Tai would retain their championships with Kagetsu hitting the Oedo Coaster on Mary Apache and they’ve successfully defended their championship seven times as we now have one show left which is sure to be a great one.

Recommended: Fun match, loved the tag teams.

Overall: Solid show for show and a great way to get it hyped up for the last Dream Slam show where we will have our first ever Exploding Death Match in Stardom along with the World of Stardom Championship match between Toni and Mayu. I’m looking forward to it and be sure to find it when it’s up in about a week.

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano vs Toni Storm & Xia Brookside

Least Favorite Match: Starlight Kid, Hanan & Natsumi vs Ruaka, Nao Yamaguchi & Leo Onozaki

Score: 7/10

See you all for Dream Slam in Nagoya and be sure to check out my coverage for Champion Carnival if you want more puroresu content.


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (4/17/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Mustafa Ali VS Ariya Daivari; Ali wins.
  • Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS ???; Gallagher & Kendrick win.
  • Tornado Tag: Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa VS Lucha House Party; Lucha House Party wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Tag team action in the Cruiserweight Division is getting intense.

Over the last month, the duo of Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami have gone back and forth with the Lucha House Party trio of Kalisto, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik. From 2v2 to 1v1, what were meant to be matches of respectful competition turned chippy, heated, and eventually, outright disdainful. Things grow more and more aggressive with each encounter, which brings us to tonight’s Tornado Tag Team match. With no need for tags nor restraint, which team will rise as the superior duo?

 

Mustafa Ali VS Ariya Daivari!

The Beacon of Light and the Heart of the Cruiserweight Division, Ali is back to in-ring action after his defeat at Wrestlemania. Meanwhile, Daivari Dinero¬†requested this match because Ali failed, then had the nerve to speak for the entire locker room while begging for a rematch. “It was pathetic.” Ali had his chance, so tonight, Daivari wants to prove why all Ali deserves is to go to the back of the line.

The bell rings and Daivari rushes right at Ali! He throws hands and stomps away until the referee backs him off. Daivari talks trash in Farsi, but then turns around into forearms from Ali. He knees low then whips Ali corner to corner, but Ali jumps up and over. Ali runs and headscissors Daivari then covers, ONE. Ali keeps on Daivari but Daivari knees low again. Daivari runs in but into Ali’s boot, Ali hops up but Daivari sweeps the legs! Ali sits on the second rope, Daivari hits him with a draping backstabber. Daivari drags Ali up to his feet for a pendulum backbreaker, then talks more trash in Farsi. Daivari keeps on Ali with another backbreaker, he remembers all the damage Ali’s back took in both his match with Cedric Alexander at Wrestlemania.

He stalks Ali at the ropes, then dares him to get up. He drags Ali up for a third backbreaker, then covers, TWO. Daivari grimaces at Ali as he drags him up again. He pushes Ali to the ropes to give him a forearm to the back on the rebound. He drags Ali up for another but Ali gives Daivari a forearm of his own. Ali chops but then Daivari ducks the clothesline to hit an inverted DDT. Cover, TWO, but Daivari keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Daivari squeezes that aching back while mocking fans in Farsi. Ali endures while fans build to a rally. Ali gets to his feet, fights out with elbows and forearms. Daivari scoops but Ali slips out to shove him into buckles. Daivari staggers into Ali’s lariat, and Ali starts rallying.

Ali chops Daivari again, then again, then whips, but Daivari blocks. Daivari reverses but Ali slips out to the apron and roundhouses Daivari away. Ali fires up the fans then slingshots in, but Daivari denies the facebuster to SUPERKICK Ali down! Cover, TWO, and Daivari is again frustrated.¬†He takes his time recovering before dragging Ali up again. Daivari shouts into Ali’s face, “You blew it at Wrestlemania!” then throws Ali to ropes. He pops Ali up but Ali dropkicks him away. Daivari exits the ring but Ali slips out, too. Ali grits his teeth as he runs around the corner, but he runs into Daivari’s big spinebuster!

Ali writhes in pain and the referee comes out to check on him. The ref tells Daivari to get this back in the ring, and Daivari gets Ali up and in. Daivari climbs up to the top rope, takes aim, and hits the Persian Frog Splash! TWO, and Daivari can’t believe it! Daivari glares at Ali, who shakes his head. Ali won’t give up, but Daivari is upon him again. Daivari puts on the hammerlock, but Ali ducks the lariat. Ali rolls Daivair up, TWO! Daivari clobbers Ali with a different lariat, covers, TWO!

Daivari grits his teeth while his fist bleeds, but fans build to a rally for Ali. Ali slowly stirs, but Daivari drags him up onto the top rope. Daivari clubs Ali’s back, then climbs up to join him. Daivari stands Ali up onto the very top rope, and lifts for the SUPER Back Suplex, but Ali slips out and lands on his feet! Ali sees Daivari is down so he hustles back up top, for the 0-5-4!

Ali wins!

Winner: Ali, by pinfall

The Heart of 205 Live shows how much heart he has here tonight, much to the chagrin of the Privileged Persian Lion. Can Ali use that grit and determination to prove he’s deserving of a rematch for Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship?

 

205 Live looks back to last week’s Cruiserweight Championship Celebration.

Just as Ariya Daivari referenced, Mustafa Ali met Cedric Alexander in the ring to congratulate him on his Wrestlemania victory. But despite what Daivari said, Ali wasn’t begging for another shot, but simply reminding Alexander that the long line of contenders included him. However, one contender who wanted to jump the line was the Best Kept Secret, Buddy Murphy. Murphy would appear out of nowhere and attack Alexander with his spinning pumphandle slam, aka Murphy’s Law. Drake Maverick would reprimand Murphy, but Murphy didn’t care, he just wants at the title.

The Cruiserweight Champion himself would respond to Murphy’s ambush via Twitter.

The champion and his would-be challenger have gone statement for statement, but with more on the matter is the 205 Live GM himself, Drake Maverick.

“Buddy Murphy’s actions last week on 205 Live were inexcuseable.” He ruined the moment for Alexander, the Cruiserweight Division, and all of the WWE Universe. Despite that, Murphy’s in-ring performances are worthy of a title match. Therefore, at the Greatest Royal Rumble, it will be Cedric Alexander VS Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship. Or it would have been, if not for the results of the most recent Cruiserweight Division weigh-in. Buddy Murphy would step up to the scales, but the scales would say he was over 205.

Murphy wants time to cut the weight, but the rules are the rules. He will be weighed in again at a later date, but Murphy’s loss will be another’s gain. Alexander still needs a contender for the title at Greatest Royal Rumble, so next week, it will be a Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet match! The last man standing will challenge Alexander for the title in Saudi Arabia! “May the best man win!”

 

Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Vinnie & Kevin!

The Ungentlemanly Alliance makes their in-ring return now that The Man with a Plan returns from injury! Will there be any ring rust of concern to the former Cruiserweight Champion? Or will he and Gentleman Jack get back on track as if they were never apart?

Gallagher starts against Vinnie, they circle and tie up, and Gallagher gets Vinnie against the ropes. The referee calls for the break, and Gallagher honors it, but with an ice cold stare. He then grabs Vinnie’s ear and throws him down into a wristlock. Gallagher keeps Vinnie grounded, then bends Vinnie’s arm back. He puts Vinnie’s arm in a hammerlock while giving him a body shot and a European Uppercut. Gallagher drags Vinnie back up into a fireman’s carry then tags in Kendrick. Gallagher tosses Vinnie to the ropes for a hotshot, then Kendrick boots Vinnie down! Kendrick drags Vinnie up and hooks the nose to then bend the arm back and drive elbows into Vinnie’s head. Kendrick shouts for Vinnie to say his name!

Fans rally for Vinnie and Vinnie gets up to arm-drag Kendrick away. Vinnie kicks and punches but Kendrick clobbers him down. Kendrick back suplexes Vinnie but Vinnie slips out and tags in Kevin! Vinnie boots Kendrick away, Kevine runs in but into Kendrick’s calf kick. Kendrick takes his time to soak in all the cheers and jeers before hooking Kevin’s nose. He whips Kevin corner to corner, then grabs the ears to whip Kevin back the other way. Kendrick won’t let up, he gives Kevin forearms and chops in a corner. Kendrick mocks Vinnie but Kevin rocks Kendrick with a right! That only pisses Kendrick off, and he grabs Kevin in a cravat to drive his face right into buckles. He shoves Kevin onto the mat then tags in Gallagher.

Gallagher drags Kevin to the apron to ram his chest into the edge a couple times, then takes his time returning into the ring. Kevin pounces with kicks and forearms, but Kendrick tags in. Kevin whips Gallagher but Gallagher headbutts him in return! Then Kendrick throws Kevin down into the Captain’s Hook while Gallagher takes out Vinnie!

Kevin endures, Kevin taps, the Ungentle Men win!

Winners: Gallagher & Kendrick, Kendrick by submission

The Man with a Plan looks as good as he did before the orbital bone break. And now that he and Gallagher are back on the scene, will Spring give way to their “cruel Winter”?

 

Backstage interview with Mustafa Ali.

Dasha Fuentes first congratulates Ali on his victory tonight, then shifts things to Buddy Murphy not making weight for the Cruiserweight Division. He’s more than glad to talk about Buddy Murphy after what he did last week, ruining the celebration. That moment was something Cedric Alexander worked his entire career for. Murphy better hope he can cut weight so that he’ll face the consequences directly from Alexander. But at the same time, there’s opportunity in the form of the Cruiserweight Gauntlet next week. The winner goes on to the Greatest Royal Rumble to face Alexander for that title. Ali knows he let the title slip through his fingers once, he won’t let it slip away again. The Beacon of Light is ready for the Gauntlet, who will join him in a fight for the right to challenge the champ?

 

Drew Gulak speaks.

The Cruiserweight Crusader once again proved his “ground-based superiority prevails over aerial delinquency” by bringing Mark Andrews “crashing down”. Gulak is the best submission specialist in the WWE, so he warns Tony Nese now, who is on his own “silly quest for retribution” all because he’s jealous of Gulak. Nese wants a rematch. Why? Because of washboard abs? No, Gulak is moving on to bigger and better, starting with next week’s Gauntlet match. If you step to Gulak, you will tap out. Will Gulak make every Cruiserweight in the Gauntlet tap out to then challenge the Age of Alexander?

 

Drake Maverick joins commentary for the main event.

The 205 Live GM put this match together, so he wants to see it up close and personal.¬† However, he keeps his plans for 205 Live’s first ever Gauntlet match under wraps, saying it’ll be revealed “all in due time”.

 

Tornado Tag: Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa VS Lucha House Party!

For the first time on 205 Live, it is a Tornado Tag Team match! No tags needed and no holding back, who will prove themselves the better team in the Cruiserweight Division?

Forget the bell, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik go after Itami & Tozawa as they head down the ramp!

The brawl brings all four men back to ringside as Tozawa & Itami hit Lince & Metalik back. Tozawa & Itami put Lince & Metalik back in the ring, but get double SUPERKICKS as they try to enter. Lince & Metalik then build speed for double DIVES!

Dos Tope Suicida and they’re both direct hits! All four men go down, but Lucha House Party get up first. They bring Itami & Tozawa back into the ring, and the bell finally rings to officially start this match.

Lince & Metalik stomp away on Tozawa & Itami. Tozawa slips out of the ring so Lucha House Party focuses on Itami. They double whip and double hip toss Itami down, then combine for a flying headscissor splash. Tozawa slips back into the ring as Lince covers to break it up. Metalik is on Tozawa with a sharp overhand chop! Lince walks over to give a chop of his own. They double whip Tozawa corner to corner, then work together again to whip Lince in for a big corner splash! Metalik gets the alley-oop, and we see Kalisto watch as he hits the dropkick on Tozawa.

Lince keeps moving, and hits a planking splash onto Tozawa. TWO, but Lucha House Party keeps calm. Metalik sees Itami returning and dropkicks him away, then starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants with Lince. Fans duel with “Lucha!” and “AH! AH!” while Lince & Metalik focus on Tozawa against the ropes. Lucha House Party whip Tozawa but he holds ropes. Metalik whips Lince at him but Tozawa jumps over, then side-steps Metalik to send him out to the apron. Tozawa runs but Metalik is ready, he shovels Tozawa out onto the apron. Tozawa lands on his feet to immediately boot Metalik in the head! Metalik tumbles to the floor while Tozawa mule kicks Lince away, and Itami returns to give Lince a flying knee! Itami groups them together for Tozawa as he runs to the corner and jumps for a trust fall senton!

All four men go down, but now it’s Tozawa & Itami who stand back up. Fans “AH! AH!” for the Strong Style duo while Itami stomps Metalik. Tozawa puts Lince back in the ring, then into a corner to give “AH! AH!” mudhole stomps.¬†Itami adds on and they double mudhole stomp the Golden Lynx. Fans “AH!” with Tozawa but Lince surprises him with a roll up! TWO, and Itami is back on Lince with more stomps. Metalik returns but Tozawa kicks him back out to then kick him on the outside. Itami gives Lince a neckbreaker, covers, ONE. Itami keeps on Lince with more stomps while Tozawa keeps Metalik down on the outside.

Team Strong Style stomp Lince together again, then whip him corner to corner. Tozawa runs in for the forearm smash, then he feeds Lince to Itami’s kick. Itami feeds Lince to Tozawa’s drop toehold, and Lince hits face first into buckles, followed by a hesitation dropkick from Itami! Tozawa drags Lince to a cover while Itami kicks Metalik out again, TWO. Tozawa & Itami focus on Lince together, whipping him corner to corner again. Lince boots back this time, then clubs Tozawa down with a clothesline! He swings on Itami but Itami brings him into a Fujiwara armbar! Itami shifts through to the other side, then into a modified Rings of Saturn! Tozawa intercepts Metalik’s return with an Octopus Stretch, for simultaneous submissions!

Both men of Lucha House Party endure the holds. Metalik manages to walk forward and fall on Itami, breaking both holds at once! Tozawa gets up to kick and stomp Metalik, then throw him out with a thud. Itami goes after Lince but Lince slaps Itami. Itami slaps Lince harder, then pulls on the mask! The ultimate disrespect to a luchador, and Itami won’t stop! Lince fights back furiously, but Tozawa goes after him to make it 2v1. Lince keeps fighting but numbers are too much for him. Tozawa brings Lince up, but Lince surprises him with a small package! Itami breaks that up, then drags Lince up for Tozawa to chop. Lince dares them to hit harder, so Tozawa does.

Itami goes outside to keep on Metalik while Tozawa scoop slams and back sentons onto Lince! Metalik bounces off the announce desk while Tozawa covers, TWO. Team Strong Style grows frustrated with the luchadors, but they still have control. They chop and kick Lince, then fake the chop to hit the swift right jab! Lince drops, and Tozawa grins as fans echo “AH! AH!” The stomping continues but Lince won’t stop. Itami grinds in his boot, then brings Lince up for more tearing at the mask. Tozawa & Itami double whip Lince, but Lince slips under as Metalik springboards in for a double missile dropkick!

Metalik rallies now, clothesline to Tozawa, then a handspring at Itami. Itami dodges that but runs right into Metalik’s tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Tozawa runs in but gets one tilt-o-whirl, too! Fans fire up with Lucha House Party as Metalik gives Lince the alley-oop for a dropkick of his own! Tozawa & Itami bail out of the ring, but Lucha House Party go to the apron for double Asai Moonsaults!

Two more direct hits wipe Itami & Tozawa out again! Metalik puts Tozawa in the ring while Lince bounces Itami off the announce desk not once but twice! Lince whips Itami but Itami reverses to send Lince tumbling over the steel steps! Metalik SUPERKICKS Itami, but Tozawa DIVES on Metalik!

The Tozawa Torpedo takes out the King of the Ropes and sends him into the announce desk! Fans are all fired up for this, but Tozawa plans to take it to another level. He leaves Metalik on the table and climbs up to the top. Maverick, Percy and Vic sense what’s coming and clear out. Lince also guesses what Tozawa is up to, and climbs up to stop him. They brawl on the very top and Lince manages to crotch Tozawa up on the top rope. Itami jumps up to go after Lince, but Lince works to fight him off, too. Lince bumps Itami off a buckle but Tozawa fights back now. Itami & Tozawa adjusts but Metalik comes in and hits Itami with a sharp swing kick! Metalik climbs up and then sunset flips over all of them for an insane Tower of Doom!!

Metalik powerbombs both Itami & Tozawa while they double SUPERPLEX Lince! The fans love what they see, even with all four men down in the ring. All four men start to stir, Metalik and Itami rolling out of the ring. Fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he and Lince brawl from knees to feet. Tozawa gets an edge and kicks, swings but slips under, only for Lince to get the standing switch. Tozawa bucks Lince off but runs into the huricanrana pin! TWO, rolling roundhouse! Lince is down and Tozawa climbs up! He jumps for the SUPER Senton!

Cover, but Metalik breaks it with double stomps! Metalik vows to finish this, fireman’s carry but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa gets the waistlock but Metalik back elbows him away. Metalik handsprings but into Tozawa’s dropkick! Itami returns, he drags Metalik up for the GTS Mk.II!

Cover, but Lince breaks it with a dropkick! Itami stomps Metalik out of frustration before he and Tozawa go after Lince together again. Itami wants respect, he and Tozawa double whip, but Lince handsprings for a DOUBLE Golden Rewind!

Double cover, TWO!! Both men kick out at the same time! Fans declare “This is Awesome!” All four men slowly stir again, and it’s Lince and Itami brawling back and forth. They give double haymakers, then again, but Itami gets the edge with spinning back hands. Lince sits down, Itami hits a hesitation dropkick. Metalik returns to roll him up, TWO! Fireman’s carry, but Itami claws at the mask like he did to Lince! Tozawa runs in but Metalik moves, that boot goes into Itami’s face!

Tozawa checks on Itami, then runs at Metalik. Metalik moves again, Lince hits Tozawa with a swing kick. With both Itami & Tozawa down, Lucha House Party climbs up top together. They count it out, and hit both the Golden Shooting Star AND springboard elbow!

Double cover, Lucha House Party wins!!

Winners: Lucha House Party; double pinfall

The King of the Ropes and Golden Lynx are victorious together over both the Don from Nihon and the Stamina Monster, at the same time! And Kalisto comes back out to celebrate with them! With a win this big, will it lead to amazing opportunities for the Lucha House Party in the near future?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What a really great episode tonight. Daivari and Ali put on a pretty good match, perhaps with some slower pacing than we’ve been used to lately. Ali wins to keep up in the Cruiserweight Division ahead of next week’s announced Gauntlet match. That match is going to be amazing, I really hope it goes the entire episode. It was a big surprise to hear Buddy Murphy is temporarily¬†not a Cruiserweight, but it makes total sense given the many weigh-in segments for him. It’s especially brilliant when you consider that it helps save Murphy for Backlash rather than wasting him on Greatest Royal Rumble. Gallagher & Kendrick win their return match, no surprise there, but I was actually glad to see they didn’t interfere in the main event or even after.

Because hot damn, that main event. Why don’t they just give Lucha House Party the Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships now? It’s gonna take a lot for the eventual title match to outdo this match right here, unless they throw Gallager & Kendrick and maybe one other team right in, or make it a Ladder Match, or all of that together. For that matter, the Cruiserweight Tag Team Division will need a few more teams to join or form to give it depth. But even going with the three teams 205 Live has right now, that tag team title match will still be incredible.

My Score: 8.5/10


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