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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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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4!

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NXT takes over Brooklyn for a fourth time! With Aleister Black out of action, will this FINALLY settle things between Ciampa and Gargano?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EC3 VS Velveteen Dream; wins.
  • NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain; wins and
  • NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet; wins and
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; wins and
  • NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; wins and

PLAY BY PLAY

Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts & Pat McAfee are your NXT Kickoff Show panel!

 


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, part 4!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!

 

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!

Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?

But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?

 

NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.

Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!

Jay White VS Michael Elgin!

The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.

Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0

The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!

The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?

Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.

Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!

Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.

Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!

Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!

Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!

Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!

And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0

The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!

The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?

The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!

Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.

Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.

Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!

Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!

Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0

Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?

Okada speaks.

“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?

 

Backstage interviews.

Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.

Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?

 


 

My Thoughts:

I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.

Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.

My Score: 8.2/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (8/11/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 360

The 9-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay & Mark Briscoe, plan to show why they’re the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet by taking on The Bouncers!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Briscoes VS The Bouncers; The Briscoes win.
  • WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein; Madison wins and will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship.
  • Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; rescheduled as…
  • 3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; Bully, Taylor & Martinez win.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Briscoes VS The Bouncers!

The Baddest Tag Team in ROH takes on the literally biggest team in a non-title match. Tonight turns Sandy Fork VS Everybody into #DemBoys VS Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, but will Jay & Mark turn them into two more notches on their belts?

Fans chant “Man Up!” as the bell rings. Mark starts against the Mastadon, and tie up. Milonas shoves Mark back to a corner, but Mark comes back with chops and haymakers. Mark tries but fails to whip, Milonas runs him over with a shoulder. Milonas fires body shots on Mark in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Mark goes to the apron, counter punches Milonas, then climbs up for a crossbody. Milonas catches Mark but Mark fights back with palm strikes. Mark runs, but into Milona’s big body, and big overhead suplex! Jay tags in and boots Milonas. Milonas stays up so Jay rams a shoulder in. He still can’t topple Milonas, so he tries again. Milonas still stays up, so Jay rocks him with a European Uppercut. Jay runs and Mark tags in.

Milonas lifts Jay but Jay slips out to hold Milonas’ arms back. Mark comes in to mug Milonas with body shots to his belly. Jay hits BCB for good measure, then the Briscoes double whip. Milonas stays up after double shoulders, and BCB comes in. The Briscoes duck his double clotheslines and now they all brawl. The Briscoes rock the Bouncers, then run, but into double bellies! Fans boo and jeer while the Briscoes crawl to corners. The Bouncers coordinate but while BCB squashes Mark, Milonas misses Jay. Jay stomps a mudhole into Milonas while BCB does the same to Mark. BCB calls Jay out and they start shoving. They start brawling with big forearms, but BCB knees low. BCB runs but into a dropkick! Jay builds speed, but Milonas intercepts with a Bouncer Pounce!

Mark fires off Redneck Fu on Milonas, but Milonas reverses the whip. Mark uses that to wreck BCB with a dropkick. Milonas walks over but Jay dumps him over! Mark groups up the Bouncers for Jay to FLY! Fans fire up as Mark climbs up now for a SUPER corkscrew senton! The Briscoes have control while we go to break.

ROH returns and the Bouncers have control. BCB drops Mark with a Samoan Drop, and Milonas brings the straps down for his running back senton! Cover, TWO! Milonas tags BCB in and the Bouncers bring Mark up. They whip him into their corner, then BCB whips Milonas in. Mark dodges to then hit and chop BCB. Milonas boots Mark, and BCB holds Mark up while Milonas climbs. Mark fights back but he still gets the draping Mastadon leg drop! Cover, but Jay breaks it in time! Jay goes after both Bouncers with fast hands and elbows, then kicks to the guts. He runs, but into double body shots. The Bouncers sandwich Jay between their guts!

BCB throws Jay out, to then CANNONBALL! But Jay dodges, and BCB hits the floor! Jay hotshots Milonas, Mark flies in with a crossbody. Milonas still catches him, but Jay comes in to help. The Briscoes club and clobber Milonas to a corner. Mark runs corner to corner for a big clothesline, then Jay adds his own. Mark goes again, then they both stomp a mudhole into Milonas. BCB returns, but he ends up giving Milonas that hip attack! Jay manages to lift BCB in a fireman’s carry, for the Death Valley Driver! Mark covers, TWO! Jay kicks Milonas out, but BCB sends Mark to the apron. Mark gives Milonas an apron blockbuster while Jay rocks BCB. Jay gives BCB the neckbreaker, and Mark adds his Froggy-Bow! Cover, The Briscoes win!

Winners: The Briscoes, Mark pinning

The champions get a literally big win. The titles will be on the line at Honor Reunited in the UK, will #DemBoyz bring those titles back home to the States with them?

The Briscoes speak.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Briscoes. And we are the Baddest Tag Team on the Planet!” Fans agree with that. Jay says they’re the 9-time ROH Tag Team Champions, and ain’t no team in the world taking the belts from them. Especially not “those bums from California”, SoCal Uncensored. The SCU don’t want none. But wait, here they come!

Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky eye the Briscoes from the ramp. Scorpio asks if somebody said “SCU”. The fans echo “SCU!” Be careful what you wish for, because the odds are in SCU’s favor. Dem Boyz see that, 3 against 2. But they don’t need odds. Scorpio can let The Addiction handle this. Bring it on then! ANd it’s a brawl! Security rushes the ring to keep this chaos at a minimum. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and fight they do, but we go to break.

 

WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein!

The Ray of Sunshine is still the inaugural reigning and defending Women’s Champion of ROH, and she has a line of eager challengers forming. The Queen of Queens, The Dancing Queen, the Queen Bee and the Gatekeeper all want that shot, but only one woman can get it!

The Code of Honor is upheld between Tenille, Madison and even Karen. Kelly doesn’t care, she’s just ready for the bell. Karen ducks out, she’s too smart for that. Kelly clobbers Tenille and Madison, then keeps on them with more clubbing forearms. Madison and Tenille work together to fight back and whip Kelly, but Kelly dodges them. But then she gets clothesline’d out of the ring by both of them. Tenille and Madison now circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Tenille rolls Madison, ONE. Madison rolls Tenille, TWO. Madison trips Tenille for a cover, ONE. Tenille returns the favor, ONE. The two stand off and fans applaud. Tenille and Madison shake hands again, but Karen rushes in. Karen gets kicked, then a double suplex. Karen rolls back out, and Tenille sucker punches Madison. She whips Madison, but Madison tilt-o-whirl headscissors.

Madison whips but Tenille reverses to forearm. Tenille runs but Kelly drags her out. Karen ambushes Madison and gives her a buckle bump. Karen bumps Madison on another buckle, then gives her a facelock to neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Karen grows frustrated already, and she whips Madison corner to corner. Karen hits a runing forearm, then a back elbow. She keeps going but her boot misses. Tenille throws Kelly into barriers while Madison runs at Karen. Karen dodges to snap suplex Madison. Cover, but Tenille breaks it. Tenille brings Karen up to whip her, but Karen reverses. Karen runs in but into a boot. Tenille grabs Karen with body scissors, for her Tarantula! She lets go at 4, then she climbs up top. Karen stands and trips Tenille up.

Karen climbs up to join Tenille, but Tenille resists. Madison joins in from the other side, but here comes Kelly! It’s a TOWER OF DOOM! The double superplex powerbomb gives the Pretty Badass control, and we go to break.

ROH returns as Tenille is in a corner. She runs at Karen and rallies with lariats. Madison returns but Tenille puts her in a corner. Kelly runs in but misses Tenille to instead hit Madison. Tenille puts Kelly in another corner while Karen crawls to a third. Fans anticipate what’s coming, and Tenille gives Kelly a Taste of Tenille. She gives a Taste of Tenille to Karen, then a third serving to Madison! Tenille kicks Karen, double underhook for a butterfly suplex. Cover, but Kelly breaks it. Kelly drags Tenille up and tosses her out. Karen and Kelly brawl but Kelly lifts Karen up. Madison runs but Kelly catches her! Fall Away Slam and Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!! Kelly is furious that Karen survived.

Tenille returns as fans rally up. Tenille gets to Kelly first, but Kelly blocks the suplex. Kelly hoists Tenille up but Tenille fights back. She knocks Kelly away, then adjusts, for a flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Tenille gets up and wants Kelly to stand. Spotlight Kick! But Karen tosses Tenille! Cover on Kelly, TWO!? Karen is furious that she didn’t succeed. Madison kicks Karen, for the Rayne Check! High stack cover, Madison wins!

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall; will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship

The Queen Bee capitalizes on Karen Q, and now she gets her first shot at Sumie Sakai’s title. Sumie is there to lock eyes with her new contender. Will Sumie keep her reign going? Or will Rayne reign as the second-ever champion?

 

The American Nightmare, Cody, is here!

He, along with lovely wife, Brandi Rhodes, heads to the ring to speak. ROH takes a quick break, but comes back once Cody has mic in hand. Cody says he’s been rather “unlucky” as of late. “In both of my ROH Championship rematches, I have not been successful.” Cody noticed it, though. In both rematches, not a single one was one-on-one. He feels he’s created too much of a bad mood, he wants to bring our spirits up. Cody needs a certain someone that’s all business. Cody needs someone that is the top of the food chain, that doesn’t sing or dance, yes, drum roll please. Fans oblige and… Nick Aldis appears?

Yes, it’s the National Treasure, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion himself! Cody made the challenge for that very belt at All In, but Aldis is here to talk about that very match. They stood together in London and made history. The agreement to have a match at “the most iconic and history-making event” in modern wrestling was dependent on Cody providing an upside. Aldis needs something in return for the title that he stands for. But Cody wants to take it just because he wants it? No. Cody needs the ROH World Championship to put up, but he doesn’t have it, so what does he have instead? Because to Aldis, he has everything to lose and nothing to gain. “That sounds like bad business to me.”

Cody asks Aldis hold out his hand. He does, and Cody offers the literal Ring of Honor as collateral. Aldis should consider All In and their match. Aldis starts to leave, but Cody adds that “while you’re thinking about it,” Cody wants Aldis to consider how he’d like to move up from “the penny slots tot he high roller table.” Yes, the NWA World Title in front of 10451 people. Think of how Cody was defeating both Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi while Aldis was “beating up a 53-year-old history teacher”!

Aldis is mad now, and he gets back in the ring. He shows Cody that ring, on his finger. Aldis wants Cody to kiss the ring. But here comes the Bullet Club to keep the peace. Marty Scurll is also a good friend of Aldis, so he’s trying to talk reason into the NWA champ. Things cool down while we go to break.

 

Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!

After months of the Hall of Fame legend of ECW belittling and, well, bullying the younger generation, it’s time for that younger generation to stand up! Bully has called Burger and Flip entitled and lazy millennials, but they and The Goods are anything but. Can this rag tag trio defeat Bully and the enlisted Hitman and Purple Mist?

But as Flip Gordon makes his way out, Bully Ray blindsides him, and puts him into a post! Burger and Woods defend the fallen Flip, but Bully waits for back-up. We go to break while medics check on Flip.

ROH returns again, and fans cheer for Flip while medics help him walk to the back. Bully’s team are already in the ring as Bully speaks. “What’re we gonna do now?” This was meant to be a Six Man Tag. If you don’t have a partner, throw the match out and give Bully’s team the win so he can go home. Fans cheer for various alternates, especially for Colt Cabana. What’s Colt’s answer? He’s not dressed, but then who? Burger speaks up, and says if the “big bastards” want to fight 3v2, he and Woods are up for it! A handicap match? Well, Bully doesn’t mind that, so that’s what we’re getting. Do Burger and The Goods stand a chance being down a man?

3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!

Mr. Top Prospect 2018 faces off against the Notorious Hitman while fans boo Bully. Taylor looks ready, but then he tags out to the ROH World Television Champion. Bully trash talks for Martinez as he stares Woods down. Woods isn’t scared as he ties up with Martinez. Fans rally while Martinez puts Woods in a corner. Woods shoves Martinez, then ducks to fire off body shots. He ducks again to give more shots, but Martinez knees low. Martinez whips but Woods reverses and ducks to German Suplex! Martinez gets to an open corner, then boots Woods down. Bully likes what he sees, and now Taylor tags in. Taylor brings Woods up for a big right forearm. He trash talks then swings Woods out, but Woods counters with a T-Bone!

Taylor is reeling, and he tags Bully in. Burger wants at Bully, and fans want him to try. Woods tells Bully to hush as he listens to the fans. Woods tags in Burger, and Burger stares Bully down. Burger isn’t scared, but Bully kicks him low. Bully brings Burger in, and lifts, but Burger pops out to fire off! Bully shoves Burger, then runs in, but misses in the corner. Burger hurries up top, but Martinez comes in. The ref is busy with Martinez, so Taylor runs over and pushes Burger down! Bully comes back to drag Burger up. He puts Burger in the corner and gets ready to stomp while we go to break.

ROH returns once more, and Bully trash talks Burger as he stalks behind him. Burger crawls for his corner but gets crossface forearms from Bully. Bully asks how that tastes. He then chooses Taylor and tags him in. Taylor brings Burger up into a corner, for a strong overhand chop. Fans rally up for “Cheese! Burger!” Burger fights back, but eats another right from Taylor. Taylor puts Burger in a corner, then stands on his face. The ref counts and Taylor backs off at 4. Fans continue to cheer, but then Taylor blasts Woods off the apron! Woods almost wipes out a camera man at the same time. Burger boots Taylor back, then hops up. Flying tornado DDT! But Burger has no one to tag in! Colt Cabana has had enough, he gets to the corner! This is back to a Six Man as Cabana gets the tag!

Cabana fires off on Taylor with both hands, then dodges Martinez. Martinez hits Taylor, then Cabana hits Martinez with the back elbow. Woods clotheslines Martinez out. Taylor returns but Cabana springboards for the quebrada while Woods leaps onto Martinez! Fans fire up as Bully runs into Cabana’s SPEAR! Cabana rains down rights, but then Burger tags in. Burger climbs up, Cabana keeps the way clear for his double stomps! Cabana slingshots out onto Bully! Burger fires up, but Taylor comes in for a tilt-o-whirl into a side slam! Cover, Team Bully wins!

Winners: Bully Ray, Punishment Martinez & Shane Taylor, Taylor pinning

Cabana’s heroic efforts were for naught as Bully’s team wins. And then to pile on, Bully tackles Woods while Taylor fires off on Woods. Martinez comes in to stomp Burger while Bully gets his chain. Bully punches Woods, then lashes Cabana while Taylor holds Burger down. Bully and his bullies keep the underdogs down, but here comes Flip Gordon! He has a chair and SMACKS Martinez with it! He SMACKS Taylor, too, then glares at Bully. They circle, but Bully runs! Bullies are cowards, but when will this Bully get what he deserves?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode right here that smartly takes into account other events ROH is involved in. Opening with Briscoes VS Bounces was good, it helped give Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas a good showing while making Jay & Mark even more impressive by defeating two men bigger than both of them. Great brawl with SCU to give us more in their story. I feel the Addiction should win, they can only chase titles to keep the countdown at bay for so long. Them winning changes things so that every title defense they have could be their last. Then nice bit of drama going towards All In as Aldis points out Cody doesn’t have the ROH WHC. I’ll just assume Cody gets the belt so that All In’s match still happens.

I was surprised it was Madison Rayne and not the Heels, Kelly Klein and Karen Q, who won. I think the reason is that Madison should at least get a shot at the WOH Championship, assuming she leaves Impact and ROH to be in WWE/NXT after the 2018 Mae Young Classic. Therefore, Sumie retains but it’ll probably be a fun match. That Six Man turned Handicap turned Six Man again was pretty good stuff. In light of what’s happening with CM Punk, Cabana gets even more Face power now that he’s helping Burger against Bully Ray. Flip Gordon does great coming back from being taken out to run off Bully’s team. I expect a rematch, with Burger, Flip and Cabana from the start to take on Bully and at least Taylor. Martinez might opt out to defend his ROH WTV title.

My Score: 8/10


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