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

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AJ Styles VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; no contest.
  • Shelton Benjamin VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins.
  • Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Harper w/ Rowan; Harper wins.
  • Sin Cara VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
  • Charlotte Flair w/ Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; wins.
  • AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan VS Rusev & Aiden English; Styles & Bryan win, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

Shinsuke Nakamura would not give a straight answer as to why he did what he did.

The Dream (Re)Match was both great and full of respect, but the King of Strong Style would besmirch that with a low blow. Then last week on SmackDown, he would do the same thing to the great match between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. Nakamura would smile as he left The Phenomenal One down and out, what will the consequences be for him this week?

 

AJ Styles is here!

The Phenomenal WWE Champion stays on SmackDown amidst the Superstar Shake-Up! Fans are happy to see him as they give him a standing ovation and chant his name. Styles says, “You can tell a lot about a man through his failures.” And we found out everything we need to know about Nakamura. Styles dreamed of their Wrestlemania Match, and Styles won. When Nakamura lost, he showed his true colors. Nakamura isn’t just an Artist, he’s a con artist. Fans duel between Styles and Nakamura. Styles wanted that same ovation, but instead, he wants retribution! At the same time, he was given a true Dream (Re)Match in facing Daniel Bryan. But then Nakamura had to show his true colors again.

Styles won’t let that go. He won’t even leave the ring until he gets Nakamura to face him. Nakamura “forgot” how to speak English, but Styles isn’t here to talk, he’s here to fight! He demands Nakamura get out here to fight! But instead of Nakamura, it’s Aiden English and Rusev! Fans erupt with “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” English knows Styles wanted Shinsuke to make him pay, but sorry to say, that will have to wait because Nakamura is on vacay. But if Styles wants a fight, be the Bulgarian Lion’s prey on this day, known as RUSEV DAAAAAy~! Fans are up for that! Styles doesn’t see why not. Rusev & English head for the ring with a referee, looks like we’re getting this match!

 

AJ Styles VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The bell rings and Rusev brings the fight right to Styles with kicks and haymakers. He scoops Styles but Styles slips out to the ropes. Rusev runs in but into the Calf Crusher!

Rusev endures, reaches, but English clobbers Styles! The match is thrown out as English stomps away on Styles. Rusev joins in, but it’s Daniel Bryan with the save! He fights off English & Rusev, dumping the Bulgarian Lion out. Styles goes after the Drama King with the Phenomenal Blitz! English bails out, Styles and Bryan hold the ring while fans chant “YES! YES!” The Phenomenal One may not have gotten even with the Rockstar, but it’s only a matter of time. When will Styles and Nakamura have their second Dream (Re)Match to truly settle the score?

 

SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon watches backstage.

Shane O’Mac is surprised with what he sees. Then in walks SmackDown’s new General Manager, Paige! The Glampire has also seen what just happened, and has a great idea. She quotes Teddy Long, there’s gonna be a tag team match, playa! Team Rusev Day VS Styles & Bryan! A huge main event once again, she’s off to a great start as GM. Especially when you consider she got The Miz from Raw. That’s just the beginning, she has way more up her sleeve. Holla! What more surprises are up Paige’s sleeves in terms of the Superstar Shake-Up’s second night?

 

Shelton Benjamin heads to the ring.

With Chad Gable sent to Raw by himself, the Gold Standard is back to being a singles competitor. He shares that via Twitter, he said that he sees big things for Gable, and adds that his Twitter account was hacked. Benjamin would never say things like that! He doesn’t need Gable, and never needed him. Gable needed Benjamin. But that’s Gable, this is about Benjamin. Benjamin needs championship opportunities he is owed, and he needs to remind everyone that he is “one of the biggest threats on SmackDown.” Benjamin asked GM Paige to send him some competition, and he means big competition. So who comes out to be his competition? The Viper, Randy Orton!

The former United States Champion heads to the ring, but then someone beats him to the punch: the NEW United States Champion, Jeff Hardy!

The WWE US Championship returns to SmackDown after only being gone 24 hours, and it brings the Charismatic Enigma with it!

 

Shelton Benjamin VS Jeff Hardy!

While non-title, this match may just be the opportunity Benjamin was hoping for. The bell rings and he circles with the US Champion. He throws hands and forearms then stomps and clubs Hardy down. Benjamin brings Hardy up but Hardy jawbreakers back. Hardy runs but Benjamin throws him right out! Benjamin catches his breath while we go picture in picture. Hardy writhes on the ground but Benjamin comes out to stalk him. Benjamin waits for Hardy to stand up to chop block the leg out! Hardy goes down again, then Benjamin drags him up into the ring. Benjamin keeps on Hardy by kicking and stomping the leg, then pulling him up into a corner. He throws forearms then runs adjacent to knee the knee! Hardy falls down while Benjamin enjoys the moment.

Benjamin drags Hardy out for a standing knee wrench, adding a heel hook to it. Hardy kicks Benjamin away with his free leg, then crawls to ropes. Benjamin is on him but Hardy fights back. Hardy trips Benjamin, then goes for the leg-splitting leg drop, only for Benjamin to catch his leg and put it in a Half Crab! Hardy endures again as Benjamin bends him back. He rolls and sends Benjamin into buckles! Hardy tries to run but that leg gives out, so Hardy turns around to dropkick Benjamin in the face. Benjamin is dazed, but he manages to get Hardy with another chop block! Benjamin stands over Hardy as he walks it off. He stands Hardy up but Hardy fights back. Benjamin clubs Hardy down while we go back to single picture. He whips but Hardy reverses into a slingblade!

Both men are down but stirring. Fans rally and the two men stand to throw hands. Hardy whips but Benjamin reverses, Hardy’s leg slows him down. Benjamin runs at Hardy but into Hardy’s punch. Hardy fights back and hits the atomic drop, then the leg-splitting leg drop! He adds the dropkick, covers, TWO! Hardy hobbles but comes back to kick Benjamin. Benjamin denies the Twist but Hardy elbows him away. Hardy hops up but Benjamin shoves him into the post! Benjamin climbs up to join Hardy, but Hardy fights him off. Fans rally as the two fight up there, and it’s Hardy who sends Benjamin down. Hardy adjusts but Benjamin catches him with the step-up knee!

Hardy hangs onto the top rope but Benjamin climbs up again. Benjamin grabs Hardy, but Hardy still fights him off. Hotshot snaps Benjamin down, then Hardy climbs up for the Whisper in the Wind!

Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool as he stands up again. Fans chant for Hardy but Benjamin again denies the Twist, and hits the dragon whip kick! Cover, TWO! Benjamin stalks Hardy again, but Hardy denies Pay Dirt and hits the spinning mule kick. Hardy wants his Hardyac Arrest dropkick, but Benjamin boots him away. Benjamin runs out but into the Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries up top, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Hardy wins!

Winner: Hardy, by pinfall

Hardy wins big two nights in a roll! But with Orton still having the right to challenge the United States Champion at the Greatest Royal Rumble, will Hardy still be the one to then face Jinder Mahal at Backlash?

 

The Miz speaks.

The Hollywood A-Lister is back at special request of Daniel Bryan. Bryan has waited so long to #PunchHisFace, and Providence wants to see it! “Well too bad.” Miz isn’t in Providence, he’s home in LA with his wife and baby girl. Did they think he was going to show up tonight? Miz deserves his own spotlight, so next week will be Miz’s SmackDown premiere. And if Bryan ever trolls Miz again, he will kick his a– Oh, language. But SmackDown will be AWESOME!

 

Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Harper w/ Rowan!

Just days ahead of their SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch at Greatest Royal Rumble, one partner of each team battles 1v1 for momentum! Will Jey be able to survive one Bludgeon Brother? Or will it only take one brother to defeat another?

The bell rings and Harper puts Jey righ tin a corner! Then he throws him out of the corner, but runs into Jey’s uppercut. Harper doesn’t go down so Jey runs, but into Harper’s back elbow! Harper scoops Jey but Jey slips out to mule kick and uppercut Harper back. Rowan distracts but Jimmy goes after him, only for Rowan to rock Jimmy with a right. Jey runs and dodges Harper, then DIVES on Rowan, only to get caught! Rowan trhwos Jey tot he apron but Jimmy SUPERKICKS him. Harper gets Jey with the discus, covers, Harper wins!

Winner: Harper, by pinfall

But the destruction doesn’t end with the bell. Rowan boots Jimmy down, then joins Harper in the ring to drag Jey out. Jimmy fights the Bludgeon Brothers off with their own hammers, but then numbers get the better of him. Harper & Rowan go back to Jey to ram him into the apron, then turn their focus to Jimmy. Harper & Rowan grab their hammers, but Naomi runs out to save her husband! She screams for Harper & Rowan to show mercy. These two leave Jimmy be, not even they are that heartless. While Naomi saves her husband and brother-in-law tonight, will anything save the Usos from destruction at the Greatest Royal Rumble?

 

Sin Cara VS Samoa Joe!

An incredible get for SmackDown via the Shake-Up, the Samoan Destroyer is now Team Blue! He still has a match with Roman Reigns at Backlash in a few weeks, but will he make Sin Cara an appetizer?

The bell rings, they circle, and Sin Cara brings the fight to Joe. Joe gives the fight right back with knees, then he puts Sin Cara in a corner. Sin Cara boots him back, then springboards for the back elbow. He keeps on Joe at the ropes but Joe throws hands right back. Joe jabs and jabs then chops Sin Cara down before dragging him back up. Joe says, “You’re gonna learn tonight!” He scoops but Sin Cara fights out and goes at the leg again. Sin Cara chops, springboards, but into a clubbing clothesline! Joe rams more knees into Sin Cara, and Sin Cara is out on his feet! That doesn’t stop Joe from putting him in the Coquina Clutch! Sin Cara taps, Joe wins!

Winner: Joe, by submission

The Destroyer makes a successful SmackDown debut, and speaks to the crowd. “Well if it isn’t the Land of Opportunity.” But SmackDown seems more like the Land of Handouts to him. His mere absence has allowed SmackDown’s roster to have it easy. SmackDown has been coddled, catered to, and “worst of all, everybody here has been convinced that they are better than the are.” Joe vows to change that, by taking all the opportunities to put Bryan to sleep, de-fang The Viper, and emasculate AJ Styles! “And if any of you are non-believers, then look no further than Saudi Arabia and Backlash!”

Speaking of the Greatest Royal Rumble, Joe vows that whatever is left of Roman Reigns after Lesnar beats him down, Joe will personally shred it and put out to pasture! And if by some miracle Roman wins, then Joe will bring both the Intercontinental and Universal Championships back with him! “Belee Dat!”

 

SAnitY is coming.

And so is chaos. Be ready.

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Why did he help AJ Styles out there tonight? Because he respects Styles. For the three years Bryan fought to come back, he had a list of dream matches to motivate him. Top of that list: AJ Styles, because he’s the best. That’s a match no one thought they’d see in the WWE. Bryan wanted to prove he hasn’t lost a step with that match, but Nakamura ruined it. Bryan proudly fights alongside Styles tonight so they can proudly fight against each other later. However, Big Cass walks in!

The 7 foot tall human tower doesn’t see what the fuss is about. Cass leaves the “little man” behind, but will he learn to respect Bryan in time?

 

The NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion, Carmella, is here!

It’s a #Mellabration for the triumph she pulled off last week, and she doesn’t take the “You Deserve It” chants seriously. None of these fans supported her before, so she doesn’t want them now. She moves on to what she wanted to say: Carmella isn’t just the Princess of Staten Island, she’s now the Moon-Walking, Trash-Talking Princess of SmackDown! Carmella waited 287 days to cash in, and she seized the moment to take her rightful spot atop The SmackDown Women’s Division! Let this sink in: she beat Charlotte Flair! You know, one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history! And all by herself! Carmella beat the woman that beat the undefeated Asuka! But she doesn’t want fans chanting for her, they’re being pathetic.

All Carmella had to do was let Charlotte be blinded by her own ego. Charlotte says herself, “In order to be the Woman, you gotta beat the Woman”, so that makes Carmella THE Woman. It was historic, it was the biggest moment in the Women’s (R)Evolution and Women’s History period! Now for a tribute to, well, Carmella! From the first ever Ms. Money in the Bank match that Carmella won “by herself”, to every moment she made all about herself, to the cash-in just last week. #MellaIsMoney and now #MellaIsGold. She’ll miss Frankie the Briefcase, she had him for 287 days. But now she has Cleopatra the Championship Belt! And she vows to hold it for way longer than 287 days! But wait, here comes The Queen, Charlotte Flair!

Seems Carmella’s memory is as short as she is, because that highlight reel is missing some moments. The briefcase was hers thanks to the chinless freak, James Ellsworth. The championship is hers because of the Iconics, Billie & Peyton. But Charlotte isn’t mad, because as the daughter of the Dirtiest Player in the Game, game respects game. Congratulations, Carmella, but here’s some words of wisdom: “It is much harder to stay on top than to get to the top”. And Carmella has something of Charlotte’s. But speaking of the Iconic Duo, here they come!

Charlotte comes off as pathetic, blaming “little ol’ us” for her failure? Peyton, do your impression! “I’m Charlotte and I’m a big baby~! Someone stole my water bottle and now I’m cranky poo~!” Charlotte needs a nap and wah wah blah blah.

Spot on! Billie wonders what Charlotte is crying about. She wanted magic, she got it, and that title disappeared around her waist. That moment will last forever, all because of them. They’re looking at the future, “and the future is Iconic.” Charlotte doesn’t care about that, she gets ready to fight someone. And that’s the Iconics! She decks Billie then goes after Peyton, but numbers get the better of her again. Except Becky Lynch appears to even those numbers! The Lass Kicker decks Peyton then fights Billie. Charlotte recovers and goes after Peyton while we go to break!

 

Charlotte Flair w/ Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!

SmackDown returns to this match already in progress. Charlotte grabs at Billie while she’s leaving the ring. Charlotte gets her and chops her against the apron, then chops her against the barriers. She clubs Billie, too, then goes to chop again. Billie evades and hits back, but Charlotte decks her with a forearm. They go back into the ring, Charlotte puts Billie in a corner but then Billie turns it around. Billie stomps away on Charlotte, then backs off at the ref’s orders. We see Carmella watching nearby commentary while Charlotte fights back. Charlotte throws Billie with an Exploder then kip-up! Fans “WOO~!” while Charlotte runs in but Billie puts her on the apron. Charlotte hits Billie back then bumps her off buckles, only to slingshot into Billie’s forearm! Billie covers, TWO, so she rains rights down on the Queen.

Billie thrashes out of frustration, then covers again, TWO. She puts Charlotte in an armlock and wrenches back. Becky rallies fans for Charlotte, and Charlotte fights back to her feet. Billie wrangles her back down, and Peyton mocks “baby Charlotte”. The referee reprimands Billie for pulling hair while fans rally again. Charlotte stands up and cartwheels, but into Billie’s clothesline. Matchbook cover, TWO, and the Iconics grow frustrated. Billie kicks Charlotte while she’s down, then puts her back in the armlock. Fans rally again, but Billie claws at Charlotte’s face. The rally continues and Charlotte feeds off it to fight up and out. Billie throws Charlotte down again and lets her get to a corner, Peyton gets a cheap shot! Peyton sneaks away while we go picture in picture.

Charlotte recovers in a corner while Billie enjoys herself. Billie stomps a mudhole into Charlotte, then pushes her against the ropes. She stops at the ref’s count, but Peyton gets another cheap shot in! Billie covers, TWO, and the Iconic Duo is further frustrated. Billie puts Charlotte in a neck wrench but the referee reprimands her for clawing the face. Charlotte stands up but Billie clubs her down again. Billie talks trash while rocking Charlotte with rights, then puts her in a corner to grind a boot into Charlotte’s chin. She backs off to snapmare Charlotte back into the armlock. Becky keeps coaching Charlotte up, Charlotte fights out again then reverses the whip into a forearm. We return to single picture as Charlotte whips. Billie reverses now, but Charlotte boots her down! Billie ducks the chop and throws Charlotte overhead, cover, TWO!

Carmella enjoys what she sees as Charlotte boots Billie from a corner. Charlotte chops and chops Billie back, then whips for another chop on the run! Charlotte struts then drops the knee! She wants Billie to get up. Billie stands, Charlotte spins her, but Billie spins through to make Charlotte Eat Da Feet! Cover, TWO, and the Iconics are further frustrated! Charlotte dodges the boot to scoop Billie but Billie slips out and rolls Charlotte, TWO. Charlotte boots Billie down! Then, Figure Four to Figure Eight!

Billie taps, Charlotte wins!

Winner: Charlotte, by submission

The Queen snaps back from her title loss with this win, but Carmella pounces on her right away! Then Peyton intercepts Becky! Carmella and the Iconics beat down Charlotte and Becky, Carmella even grinding Charlotte’s face into the mat. But then, ASUKA appears! The Empress of Tomorrow officially joines SmackDown thanks to the Shake-Up, and that scares Carmella. She bails out, so Asuka just takes out the Iconics! Charlotte and Becky help out, and Billie goes down to a back heel kick. The Empress stands tall with the Queen and the Lass Kicker, will the Princess be standing at all with this level of competition coming for her title?

 

The Good Brothers are headed for SmackDown!

Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows took care of business on Raw, now they come over to the house that their friend, AJ Styles, built. Will The Club reunite to rule over all of the Blue Brand?

 

The Bar speaks!

The Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg also move from Raw to SmackDown! They heard all the talk about the teams on this show, who have set a high standard of competition. But now Sheamus & Cesaro won’t just set the bar, they ARE the Bar!

The New Day respond.

The Bar sucks! But wait, look who it is! R-Truth! He’s on SmackDown now, too! But the Perfect Ten appears. These two know each other? Yeah, they’ve met. And they’re pals! Super secret and complicated handshake!

But that’s just the beginning. All five of these guys are on Monday Night Raw! Truth, no, it’s Tuesday, aka SmackDown. Oh. My bad. See you tomorrow! No, Truth… Is he gonna be okay? No one knows.

 

Zelina Vega speaks.

She and El Idolo, Andrade “Cien” Almas, are both coming to SmackDown to take it over. El Idolo is here to take full control, leaving NXT behind! What will happen when this duo hits the Blue Brand?

 

AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan VS Rusev & Aiden English!

A dream duo has been created to take on Team Rusev Day in response to what opened the night! Can the Phenomenal One and The Goat defeat the Bulgarian Lion & Artiste? Or will the Artist known as Nakamura ruin another masterpiece?

The bell rings, and English starts against Bryan. They circle while fans duel, then tie up. English puts Bryan in a corner, then tries to cheap shot Bryan, but Bryan sees it coming. Bryan hits first, then wrenches and wrings English’s arm. Bryan bends it back but English stands up and powers out, only for Bryan to run him over. Things speed up and Bryan catches English’s leg! He drags English back into a surfboard, with full extension as he tags in Styles. Styles climbs up, and drops the ax handle on English’s chest!

Rusev protests, but Styles whips English. English holds ropes then rocks Styles with rights. The fans duel while Styles catches English into a pumphandle gutbuster! Rusev runs in but Bryan intercepts, two submissions side by side! English & Rusev escape by the skin of their teeth while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to English in control of Styles as he drops forearms. Cover, TWO, but English keeps on Styles with a snapmare and knee to the back. English wraps Styles in a chinlock, Rusev applauds while Bryan rallies the fans. Styles stands up and fights out, then runs but into a back drop. English covers again, TWO, and he grows frustrated. English drags Styles up and tags in Rusev. Team Rusev Day mugs Styles, then toys with the WWE Champion. Rusev taunts Styles, so Styles hits back! Styles runs for Bryan but Rusev puts Styles in a bearhug! Rusev squeezes Styles but the fans rally again. Styles fights out of the hold and tries again, but Rusev catches Styles again for a shoulder into the corner. Rusev gives more shoulders, then roars like a lion.

Rusev tags in English, and then whips English into Styles. English feeds Styles to Rusev’s lariat, English covers, TWO. English keeps on Styles with stomps, then grinds a knee into Styles against ropes. He backs off at 4, then takes a bow before throwing hands on Styles. Styles ends up in Rusev Day’s corner, English kicks him down. Fans rally again, as does Bryan, and Styles hits a jawbreaker on English. Styles leaps a third time, but has to sunset flip over. English blocks the flip with a fist, but he misses the elbow drop. Both Styles and English are down, crawling for their corners. Hot tag denied, but Styles rolls English up! TWO, PELE! They both go down again, and another rally from the fans gives Styles strength. Hot tags to Rusev and Bryan!

Bryan rallies on Rusev as the fans chant “YES! YES!” Rusev whips but Bryan goes up and over to build speed and hit the leaping lariat! Bryan is all fired up while Rusev gets to a corner. He takes aim, dropkick in the corner! He goes for another but Rusev fireman’s carry, only for Bryan to slip out! Bryan gets the Yes Lock, but English dropkicks in to break it up. English whips but Bryan holds ropes to then dump English out. Rusev tries to kick but Bryan dragon screws it! Bryan fires up again, and starts up the YES Kicks.

He kicks and kicks, and hits the buzzsaw! Bryan powers up again, takes aim at Rusev, KNEE+! But Nakamura low blows Styles on the apron! Bryan sees it, but that only distracts him, from Big Cass’ attack!! The 7 footer just boots Bryan down, and that allows Nakamura to mock Styles.

Interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

An attack last week and then again tonight? What is this? “No speak English.” The champion and the Goat have enemies that show no respect. Will Styles and Bryan be able to make Nakamura and Cass respect them in due time?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown’s half of the Shake-Up was both as good and not as good as I expected. In conjunction with McIntyre showing up on Raw, Almas showing up on SmackDown is only moderately disappointing to me because they don’t get to settle things in NXT. Then Samoa Joe coming over when he’s just starting a new program with Roman Reigns is a bit confusing, too. That aside, Joe and Almas are great talents to be joining this roster to finally give SmackDown some needed star power. The same goes for the eventual addition of SAnitY, that’s great talent coming to the main roster for all three divisions (I assume Nikki Cross is coming with Young, Wolfe & Dain), and at least with SAnitY, they finished up stories to be free for the call-up.

Hardy coming over makes sense, the US Championship has unfinished business with Randy Orton having won a shot down the line. Though, things could easily swap back if Mahal wins the US title back and either Joe or Miz brings the Intercontinental title to SmackDown. Naomi getting the Bludgeon Brothers to spare the Usos was a nice twist to the story, but it probably won’t change the result of Harper & Rowan going over at Greatest Royal Rumble. Adding The Bar and the Good Brothers is going to revive SmackDown’s Tag Team Division again, but clearly Wyatt & Hardy are winning the Raw Tag Team Championships now. Bigger news is that Asuka is officially on SmackDown, and Carmella’s reign may have already met it’s end now that the Empress is here.

That main event tag match was great just on how it featured some of the WWE’s most over stars. The match was really good, but it was a given that Shinsuke would attack in some capacity. I did not see Cass adding on, that was a surprise. Nakamura, Cass, and then Miz and Samoa Joe, the feuds for both Styles and Bryan are lining up. With Anderson & Gallows coming over, I wonder if we’d get an 8-Man Tag with them, Styles and Bryan against Nakamura, Cass, Miz & Joe at some point.

My Score: 8.5/10


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MLW Fusion Ratings and Results: 5/25/2018

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Well the coverage for MLW Fusion goes back to me this week! With the Cavaliers having their backs against the wall, and Christopher Platt being a busy man, I’ll take the hot tag since we all know he’s the workhorse of the duo.

So let’s see what kind of show they build around their first ever televised World Championship match.

Opening segment sees Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland pulling up with Barrington Hughes, Salina de la Renta confronts him, says the car isn’t the only thing rented and walks off. Barrington Hughes scream “Bruja” and explains it means witch, while Strickland jokes and says ” More like b-” cuts off the word and goes to the intro package.

 

Santana Garrett vs Chelsea Green

So apparently Garrett is undefeated since debuting in MLW last October, but you can’t really see why. Chelsea/Laurel Van Ness has some exposure and has proven to be able to put on some solid matches, this wasn’t one of them.

Every transition looked slow and like they were obviously waiting for each other. Even the Laurel Van Ness “transformation” seemed rushed and wasn’t exactly explained well by the announce team.

A few slow transitions, attempts at big looking spots just fell flat. We got a lot of Chelsea getting across her character, but match wise, this was a waste of 10 minutes.

Winner: Garrett via Arm Twist Spike DDT

Rating: * 1/2

Team Filthy promo package explaining what happened two weeks ago with Jimmy Havoc.

 

Prize Fight Open Challenge: Simon Gotch vs Danny Santiago

So apparently it’s if the person lasts 5 minutes, they get…250 – 250 dollars. No extra zeros, just two hundred and fifty dollars.

The Capoeira white belt Santiago, got his first kick caught and countered into an Exploder Suplex. Game over man.

Team Filthy are supposed to be douchey heels and this fits them perfect. In they style of the stereotypical 80s antagonists, they mock Santiago and saunter off.

Winner: Simon via Gotch Piledriver

Rating: N/A (Squash Match)

Kaci Lennox finds MJF for an interview but he finds out that Joey Janela and Aria Blake used his locker room for implied smoking, drinking and sex. So MJF freaks out like a poorly acted typical rich white boy and huffs off saying they’ll hear from his lawyer.

 

MLW Heavyweight Championship: Pentagon Jr w/Salina de la Renta vs Shane Strickland

Holy Christ, Salina has a Mariachi band enter the ring before Shane’s entrance to play the Mexican national anthem.The crowd looks a combination of amused and confused…but it’s definitely unique.

There’s a couple nice spots i the match I’ll go over since it was actually a fairly long match for TV. Pentagon ties Swerve up with the camera cables on the apron, hitting a variety of knife edge and Kobashi style chops. The referee is giving both men a lot of leeway throughout the match, so it’s nice to see the implication that it will end in the ring.

A big Mexican Destroyer on the apron is what we’re greeted with after the second commercial break and the match starts to pick up there. Swerve kicks out of a Pentagon Driver and Feat Factor, but the back half of the match was mostly dominated by Pentagon. Out of frustration, Salina gives Pentagon a chair and it seems like the referee will let it play. It looked like Pentagon was going for a Superplex into the opened chair, but Swerve blocked him and knocked Pentagon down.

They tease the spot that ended their Wrestle Circus match of a Swerve Stomp onto a seated Pentagon, but Pentagon counters it with a Powerbomb. Salina’s usual stoicism finally breaks and she jumps on the apron after Strickland kicks out again. This leads to the “Oops” moment for heels, and Pentagon hits Salina with the Red Mist when Shane moves out of the way, giving Strickland the opening to barely sneak out a win.

Winner: Strickland via Swerve Stomp

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Not a bad show at all, even if the match ratings aren’t through the roof, the storytelling and character development was solid. The main event was hurt by two commercial breaks and the ending sequence went a little too long. But that’s all nit picking.

All in all, as a television product, MLW Fusion is showing every week that they have enough characters to appeal to different demographics. I know personally MLW has already surpassed ROH in my personal book of what I will go out of my way to make time for. Major League of Wrestling baby!


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018!

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AXS TV’s coverage of NJPW takes one step closer to THE Wrestling Dontaku event with the “Land of Fire”. Fittingly, two red hot feuds will burn up the ring with titles on the line! The IWGP Tag Team Champions defend against Killer Elite Squad, while THE Minoru Suzuki looks to teach Tetsuya Naito some respect.

 

This review of Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad; LIJ wins and retains the IWGP Tag Team Championships.
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV and NJPW review the build to tonight’s matches.

Two factions are the focus of two major feuds over two major titles in NJPW! The Man with the Worst Personality finds the Tranquilo Testuya Naito as little more than a nuisance. Suzuki treats the Intercontinental Championship belt far better than Naito did, will he beat Naito down to keep it from him? Meanwhile, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. go after Sanada and the recovered EVIL for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, to finally give the world a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom. Will EVIL & Sanada stay Tranquilo? Or will KES prove that #EverybodyDies?

 

IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad!

We come into this heavyweight tag match part way, as Archer and Davey Boy bring EVIL up and around. They go for Magic Kiler, and hit it! Cover, TWO?! The fans cheer but Davey and Archer are both shocked and furious. They drag EVIL up again, and try for the Killer Bomb, but Sanada springboards and dropkicks for the save. Sanada runs into a tilt-o-whirl, then inverted crucifix lift, but Sanada slips out to put Archer in the dragon sleeper. Archer reverses so that he has the dragon sleeper, but as Archer lifts, Sanada slips out back into his. Davey headbutts Sanada to break the hold, then whips him to a corner. Sanada stops himself from going into exposed buckles, then moonsaults into grabbing Davey in the dragon sleeper!

Sanada feeds Davey to EVIL’s mule kick, then adds a kick while EVIL runs. EVIL runs Davey over with a clothesline, cover, TWO. Sanada dropkicks Archer away, and LIJ fires up with the fans. They lift Davey, and steal Magic Killer!

Cover, but Archer drags the ref out! Archer boots Sanada, but Evil kicks Archer, only to run into the spinning side slam. Red Shoes is slowly recovering, but Archer uses this time to fetch a chair from under the ring. Archer brings it in the ring, wedges it in the bare-buckle corner, then goes to EVIL. He brings EVIL up but Sanada rushes over. Archer goes to double choke slam but they both elbow out. Archer runs but LIJ send him into the chair!

LIJ drag Davey up and they have more chairs now. EVIL puts a chair on Davey’s neck, and uses the other chair to SMACK it! Davey flounders as he gasps, but EVIL lifts him, for the Darkness Falls! Cover and Red Shoes returns to count, TWO! Sanada returns, and he slingshots to take Archer out. EVIL grabs Davey, STO! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA), EVIL pinning; still IWGP Tag Team Champions

The champions retain in what was clearly a brutal contest. Their championship reign continues, what will it take to dethrone the Cold Skull and Prince of Darkness?

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito!

The Most Tranquilo Man in NJPW

The leader of Suzuki-Gun defends his title against the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. While he was champion, Naito did all he could to disrespect the belt itself, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be champion. Will he be able to stay Tranquilo while going up against The Man with the Worst Personality in the World?

And the Meanest Man in NJPW

Red Shoes shows Naito the belt while Naito removes his unnecessary clothing. This undressing in itself annoys Suzuki. Naito finishes, and the bell rings. Fans chant for Naito as he casually walks to test his knees. Naito and Suzuki circle, approach, but then Naito backs off. He circles with Suzuki again, and Suzuki swings test kicks. Naito fakes lunging in, and backs off with a grin. Suzuki goes after Naito with kicks, then whips, but Naito reverses. Naito throws Suzuki out, then runs, to Tranquilo! Suzuki is pissed, and gets in the ring, but Naito slips out. Suzuki builds speed, to copy Tranquilo! Naito brushes the taunting off, but doesn’t enter the ring just yet. He paces around the outside, with Suzuki watching him the entire time. Naito rolls into the ring, to then roll back out.

Naito gets on the apron and Suzuki rushes over, but Naito sweeps the legs. He drags Suzuki out and whips him right into barriers. Naito whips Suzuki to the barriers on the other side, then kicks and clubs away on him. They go back in the ring, and Naito brings Suzuki up for the snapmare and headscissors. Suzuki endures as Naito wrenches his neck. Naito squeezes, but Suzuki keeps it from being a cover. Suzuki won’t quit so Naito covers, TWO. Naito stomps and kicks Suzuki, then toys with him. Naito fakes a punch to then club, but Suzuki just gets mad. He toys with Suzuki more, but Suzuki boots him down. Suzuki dares Naito to get back up as he goes to the ropes. Naito chooses not to, so Suzuki returns the toying kicks.

Naito sits up with every kick, a smile on his face. Suzuki drags Naito up, and Naito goes after the eyes! Naito spits on Suzuki, then throws hands. Suzuki eggs Naito on, so Naito whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in but Suzuki puts him on the apron. Suzuki blocks Naito’s punch and catches it into a hanging triangle! Red Shoes counts, and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki then goes to the apron, and Penalty Kicks Naito down. Fans applaud while Suzuki goes down to drag Naito up, and whip him into barriers! Naito hits hard, and tumbles over to the outside. Suzuki barges through the gate and then rips apart the hard plastic railings to SMACK Naito with it!

Then Suzuki throws a chair down on Naito! Then another! Suzuki apparently takes offense at one of the young lions, and boots said young lion into the crowd! Red Shoes tells Suzuki to bring this back to the ring. Suzuki uncovers Naito, to then wrap and wrench his arm in other railings. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki, then argues with him! Suzuki releases Naito while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to Suzuki prowling outside the ring. Suzuki drags Naito up and over to the ring, but Naito fights back. The 20 count passes 15, but Suzuki knees Naito low to reenter the ring. Naito reenters at 19, saving the match. Suzuki drags Naito up for a kick to the back, then scowls at the fans cheering for Naito. He kicks Naito in the chest, but fans only cheer stronger. Suzuki kicks and kicks, and kicks again. He scowls but Naito still sits up. Suzuki drags Naito up into a cravat hold, then snapmares for another kick tot he back. Cover, TWO, and fans applaud. Suzuki goes after an arm now, twisting the wrist and fingers in all directions, then down to the elbow for a mounted hammerlock. Suzuki grabs a leg to add a Half Crab into it.

Naito is bent in all directions, but doesn’t give up, so Suzuki lets him go to stomp him out. Suzuki toys with Naito, but Naito keeps grinning. Suzuki brings Naito up for a knee to the chin, but Naito keeps smiling. Naito takes another stiff knee, but sits up again. Suzuki actually welcomes that. Naito stands up and chops Suzuki, but Suzuki kicks back. Naito rakes the eyes, and spits, but Suzuki clubs him back. Suzuki knees then whips but Naito reverses and runs Suzuki over. Naito adds a dropkick, brings Suzuki up for a neckbreaker, then poses. Fans rally for “Naito! Naito!” as he brings Suzuki up. He whips Suzuki to a corner then sets the legs sideways, for a draping neckbreaker! Naito keeps going with a standing neckbreaker, then adds another dropkick to the back.

Suzuki clutches his neck and head while Naito stands. Naito digs his heel into Suzuki as he poses. Suzuki swats him away and sits up, eyes wild with anger. Suzuki stands up, and grins with Naito, to then unleash body shots. He whips Naito corner to corner and boots him, then snapmares to Penalty Kick. And another! And another! Cover, TWO, but Suzuki keeps his focus. Now Suzuki grinds his heel into Naito’s face, then stands him up. Naito suddenly hits a tornado DDT! Suzuki clutches his neck again, but both men are down. They slowly stand up, and Suzuki dares Naito to hit him. Naito does, so Suzuki gives back. Naito gives a forearm, so Suzuki winds up for one of his own. Suzuki staggers Naito with that one, but Naito comes back with a chop.

Suzuki gives another strong forearm, and Naito staggers again. Naito chops again, but Suzuki gives another sharp forearm. Suzuki wants Naito to keep hitting him, so Naito chops again. Suzuki rocks Naito with another forearm, and Naito sits down. Naito shakes the cobwebs out while Suzuki trash talks. Naito chops, Suzuki forearms. Suzuki gives more forearms, then whips, but Naito hits a leaping forearm! Naito stands up, runs in, but Suzuki blocks the kick to go after the knee. Suzuki runs but into an atomic drop, and Naito hits the kick. Suzuki sits down, and Naito hits the swinging dropkick!

Naito gets up and drags Suzuki to his feet. Suzuki knows Naito is bringing him to the top rope, so Suzuki grabs Red Shoes! Naito gives up on the lift, and Suzuki shoves Red Shoes away. Naito tries again, and climbs up to the top with Suzuki. Suzuki grabs Naito’s leg for a hanging heel hook!

Naito endures as Suzuki uses gravity to help pull that knee. Red Shoes recovers and counts, Suzuki lets go at 4, but the damage has been done. Naito clutches his knee while Red Shoes checks on him. Suzuki returns and stomps the knee. Red Shoes wants Suzuki to back up, but Suzuki argues with him again. Suzuki won’t let up, he stomps the knee even as Red Shoes checks. Suzuki stands on the bad knee, but Naito won’t give up. Fans rally for Naito, and Red Shoes backs Suzuki up. Naito rolls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him, but Suzuki just grins as he looms over them. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then stomps it, toying with Naito like a cat with a mouse. Naito sits up and Suzuki kicks him more.

Naito crawls but Suzuki moves Red Shoes aside to bring Naito up. Suzuki kicks and kicks, then wraps the leg into a kneebar! Naito endures, but Suzuki has it grape-vined. Suzuki even traps the far leg while twisting the heel. Naito screams in pain but Suzuki only makes it worse. Naito drags himself and Suzuki over, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go, but he comes right back. He kicks Naito’s leg, then drops elbows on it. Suzuki goes into the Figure Four! Naito endures the legendary hold, but fans rally for him. Suzuki puts as much pressure on the legs as he can, but Naito refuses to quit. Naito rolls and drags towards ropes, screaming in pain, and gets another ropebreak. Suzuki lets go again, but he has complete control as we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki throws Naito’s bad leg onto the mat. Suzuki toys with Naito again, but Naito slowly stands. Naito goes to kick, but Suzuki blocks and lifts him, only for Naito to turn it into a DDT! Suzuki and Naito stand, Naito enziguris Suzuki to a corner. Naito hobbles over, climbs up, and turns Suzuki around for the inverted tornado DDT. Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Naito, and Naito drags Suzuki back up. Naito wrenches the arm, and tilt-o-whirls, but Suzuki slams him down and puts the Kneebar back on! Suzuki even manages a headlock in it!

Naito reaches with his one free limb, but Suzuki shifts back to just the kneebar. Naito drags them both around again, but Suzuki breaks to drag him away. Suzuki puts the kneebar back on, and now Naito is stranded. Naito sits up, but Suzuki uses a leg to sit him back down. Naito goes back towards ropes but Suzuki stands with an ankle lock to drag him away. Suzuki drops down to grape-vine, and we’re back to the kneebar. Red Shoes checks on Naito, but Naito keeps conscious. Suzuki laces his legs into a figure four, then goes after the heel hook. Fans rally for Naito as Naito sits up and shouts at Suzuki. Naito drags himself around again, but Suzuki lets go to drag him back! Suzuki returns to the kneebar all over again.

Naito won’t give up, even though Suzuki wrenches and twists his leg in all directions. Naito grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. Suzuki goes for the heel hook, but Naito uses that opening to roll and roll, to the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go again, and fans continue to rally for Naito. Naito slowly stirs, but Suzuki is waiting for him to stand. Suzuki drags Naito up and gives body shots and quick palm strikes even. Then he grabs Naito in a sleeper hold! Naito flails and reaches, but Suzuki keeps him away. Red Shoes checks, and Naito is fading. They sit down, but fans aren’t giving up on Naito. Naito turns a bit purple as Red Shoes checks on him more. Naito revives, and uses that second wind to stand. Suzuki spins him around, but Naito uses that spin to spin Suzuki into a neckbreaker!

Both men are down now, both tired and sore from this battle. Fans rally for Naito again, but Suzuki is stalking him with that sinister grin. Suzuki brings Naito up, but Naito strikes first with slapping palm strikes! Naito staggers Suzuki, but keeps slapping! Sweat flies off Suzuki with every shot, but then Suzuki kicks Naito’s leg out. Suzuki drags Naito up into the sleeper again, then goes to judo throw him. Naito lands on his feet, and lifts Suzuki into a brainbuster! Fans fire up and Naito hobbles over. He brings Suzuki up, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, Destino!

Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Naito, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion

Tranquilo prevails as Naito defeats Suzuki! Naito has the title back, but his body went through so much to do it. Naito’s team comes out to celebrate the night with him. LIJ now has two titles under their possession with EVIL & SANADA retaining their titles. Suzuki is helped out of the ring while we go to break.

Red Shoes raises Naito’s hand.

The new champion is clearly too exhausted and sore to celebrate properly. Suzuki himself is too sore and tired to go past ringside. Hiromu Takahashi helps Naito, and Naito has a proper moment of his hand held up high. Suzuki staggers up to his feet and shoves the young lions away. He doesn’t want their help, even if he’s falling against railings and such. Back in the ring, Naito staggers to his feet, mic in his hand.

“Buenas Noches, Kumamoto!” Naito knows “it’s been about two years and five months since New Japan had an event in Kumamoto.” It’s been a long time since fans here saw LIJ. This premium pro-wrestling experincing was enjoyable, yes? Fans cheer to confirm. Naito knows that two years ago, “something terrible happened here in Kumamoto.” Many people bear the scars. So Naito has to tell them, that it is important to not give up. But the desire and will to change and the courage to take the first step is also important. that’s why LIJ uses pro-wrestling to inspire everyone to have that courage. Fans applaud in appreciation for that.

Naito continues to say that the next time they’re in Kumamoto, they can expect “an even better version of LIJ!” In other words, “until we meet again, Tranquilo! Chill out.” Naito thanks all their fans for their support, and this is the finale of tonight’s event. Furthermore, they will do their victory chant. Please shout with them to your heart’s content! “EVIL, Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, and Naito, we are… Los Ingobernables de Japon!” With more gold in their possession, is it only a matter of time before they are THE top faction in NJPW?

 

Backstage interviews.

Suzuki staggers around, and a young lion still tries to assist him. “Well, well, well…” Suzuki says this is only the beginning for him and Naito. “Don’t think you’ll get off so lightly.” He then staggers back out, knocking part of the set over on purpose.

Naito comments that today’s title match comes about a year after he and the Intercontinental Championship “broke up.” But now, they’re “back together.” Naito’s feelings haven’t changed, he still has “no use for this belt.” And the same goes for the title. But until next time, hasta luego. Is Naito only champion so that he can say he’s better than Suzuki? And will Suzuki come back to take back the belt Naito doesn’t even like?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was another great hour of action, with really only one-and-a-half matches. I do wish we got a bit more of LIJ VS KES, but the ending is naturally the best part. EVIL & SANADA make a great duo, as do Archer & Davey Boy, but LIJ is so strong that it might take more than just 2v2 to defeat them. Hiromu & Bushi have been on the other end of this same LIJ VS Suzuki-Gun battle, but it might only be a matter of time for them to take the Jr. Tag Team Championships. Suzuki VS Naito is rightfully the meat of the show, though, and the story between them was a great part of it. Naito was rebellious as ever, but he shows he has grit and guts. Naito leading LIJ has made it one, if not the, top group, and I’m sure more great things are yet to come.

My Score: 8.7/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (5/19/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 348

Two major matches worthy of Pay-Per-View, but ROH TV brings them to you for free! First, The Franchise, Jay Lethal, looks to settle with Punishment Martinez. Can Lethal make up for his previous loss? Then, a huge Six Man Tag of SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Page & Scurll with possible title implications!

 

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez; Lethal wins.
  • Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego; no contest.
  • Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Bullet Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez!

ROH’s Franchise Player wants to get back to the top, but to do that, he seeks to undo the losses he’s suffered. First up is the Reincarnation of the Purple Mist, the monstrous Martinez. Martinez has heard of Lethal’s “agenda”, but he has one, too. “And that’s to leave you laying at my feet again when I take you South… of Heaven.” Can Lethal avenge his loss and take another step towards the ROH World Championship?

Martinez doesn’t wait for a bell, he rushes right at Lethal! Lethal dodges Martinez’s boot, then the clothesline, to clothesline Martinez out of the ring. The bell sounds, and fans chant for Lethal. Lethal builds speed and Martinez hops up to the apron, but Lethal dropkicks him right back off! Lethal keeps going, and DIVES!

Martinez hits barriers but Lethal gets back in, to DIVE again! Lethal keeps going, he gets the Trinity! But he’s not done, he gets a fourth! And a fifth! And a sixth! The fans in Pittsburgh are thunderous as Lethal returns to the ring once more, for lucky number seven! Fans chant “Lethal! Lethal!” and the Franchise soaks it all up. Martinez clutches his leg on the ground while Lethal catches his breath. Lethal fetches Martinez into the ring, then goes after that bad leg with kicks. Lethal goes after the leg with elbow drops and wrenching, then kicks away at it. Martinez limps to a corner but Lethal bumps him off buckles. Lethal chops Martinez, but Martinez shoves him away to then clobber with a discus clothesline. Martinez evens things up while we go to break.

ROH returns and Lethal goes after Martinez’s leg again. Lethal DDT’s the foot, then covers, ONE. Martinez checks his knee but Lethal puts him in a corner. Lethal uses the ropes to wrench the leg, but backs off at 4. Lethal stomps away on the leg, but Martinez rocks him with a right. Martinez tries to turn things around, but Lethal comes back with haymakers and chops. Martinez glares at Lethal, so Lethal goes after the leg again. Lethal brings Martinez out via that leg, then chops again, but Martinez still glares. Lethal elbows the knee, then goes around, for the Figure Four, but Martinez powers him away. Martinez manages to stand but Lethal is on him again with body shots. Lethal clubs Martinez, but Martinez rocks him back with an uppercut and a stiff right.

Martinez runs in for the back elbow, then hits the spinning clothesline and roaring right. He drags Lethal up, then drops him with a sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO. Fans rally for Lethal, but Martinez drags him up. Martinez whips, but Lethal kicks him away, only for Martinez to fire back with the spinning roundhouse. The bad knee keeps Martinez from making the cover, and fans rally up for Lethal. Martinez gets up and limps over to Lethal, then goes to a corner. He climbs up, but Lethal stands up to trip him up. Lethal clubs that knee while positioning Martinez, then runs to dropkick the knee. Lethal climbs up now, but Martinez resists the superplex. Martinez powers out and ear claps Lethal back. Martinez knocks Lethal down with a right, then slowly adjusts, for the flying windmill kick!

The bad knee makes that move a tad double-edged, but Martinez still covers, TWO! Martinez keeps his cool while he stands up. He drags Lethal up, then whips, but Lethal dodges to then catch Martinez into a facelock. Martinez blocks the suplex, but Lethal keeps trying. Lethal gets Martinez up, up, and over! Fans applaud while both men are down from exhaustion. Martinez stands first while we go to another break.

ROH returns again, and Lethal gets the Figure Four! Martinez endures the pain while fans chant “Tap! Tap!” Martinez reaches, drags himself, and gets the ropebreak. Lethal lets go, but then kick that bad leg. He brings Martinez up, then handsprings, but into a full nelson throw! Martinez runs and curb stomps Lethal down! Cover, TWO! Martinez is surprised, but fans chant for Lethal. Martinez drags Lethal up again, then hoists him to the top rope. He rocks Lethal with a right, then hobbles around before climbing up. Fans rally again, but Martinez grabs Lethal’s throat. Lethal fights back, going after the leg. Martinez tries again, but Lethal keeps fighting back. Lethal bumps Martinez’s head right off the buckle, and fans fire up. Lethal adjusts, and leaps for Hail to the King!

Cover, TWO! Lethal is surprised, but he keeps his cool. Lethal stands up first and kicks Martinez, then again. Martinez kicks back, then lifts Lethal in a torture rack. The leg gives out and Lethal slips off. Lethal trips Martinez, and goes for the Figure Four again! But Martinez clutches Lethal’s throat. Lethal breaks free, and dodges one punch. Martinez spins, but his leg gives out again. SUPERKICK from Lethal! Then, handspring for the Lethal Injection!

Cover, Lethal wins!

Winner: Lethal, by pinfall

The Franchise gets even with Martinez and crosses off one name from his list. Who will Lethal look to go after next on his #RoadBacktoGlory?

 

The WOH Champion has her first challenger.

Sumie Sakai won the inaugural Women of Honor Championship Tournament to then become THE inaugural Women of Honor Champion. However, the returning Jenny Rose made it clear that she wants to be Sumie’s first opponent as champion. Sumie doesn’t want to fight Jenny, because they’re friends, but if it’s over the title, she will. Sumie wants this to be a friendly bout, but Jenny doesn’t seem so concerned about that. The ROH WOHC is on the line next week, will the inaugural champion stay champion by the end?

 

Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego!

Joey D returns to ROH! “Everybody has to get up and go to work everyday. Some of us just work that much harder than everybody else.” And if Joey does that here in ROH, it won’t matter who he’s up against, he can run through them! However, the Notorious Hitman isn’t just anyone. Taylor has made it his mission to expel all the dead weight from ROH so that he can get that money. Which man’s mission will destroy the other’s?

The bell rings and Taylor swings on Joey. Joey ducks, and throws body shots. Joey bobs and weaves on Taylor, but he can’t lift him. Taylor clubs Joey and rocks him with a stiff forearm. Taylor catches Joey, then trash talks him before giving him the sit-out choke slam bomb! He adds on a body splash, then covers, TWO! And Taylor is shocked. Joey gets to a corner, and fans rally up for him. Taylor is slightly amused now, and runs in, but misses the cannonball! Joey gets up, and throws hands on Taylor. Joey shows why he’s a Golden Gloves winner, but Taylor shoves him away. Taylor misses, but Joey connects! Joey tries to lift Taylor again, and does! He slams Taylor with the Daddiego Valley Driver!

Cover, TWO! Taylor rolls away but Joey follows him out. Joey comes running in, but the Drive-by Dropkick is intercepted by the One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Joey up and throws him into barriers. Taylor rocks Joey with another OHQ, then puts Joey into another barrier. The referee checks on Joey, but Taylor dares Joey to get up again. Taylor throws his own body shots and right hands, then sits a chair up. He sits Joey in the chair, then gets another chair. Taylor grins, and sits that other chair down. Taylor says he gave Joey a chance, before ramming forearm after forearm into Joey’s face. He sets Joey across the two chairs, with bad intentions in mind. Taylor backs off, and climbs up onto the apron, for a FLYING SPLASH!

Pittsburgh is thunderous after that. Joey is somehow conscious and moving, but the referees insist Taylor stay back. Taylor takes a ref, and Choke Slams him!!

That’s money down the drain for the Hitman. But Taylor doesn’t seem to care, as he threatens the other ref to keep this match going. The referee seems unwilling, so Taylor threatens him. A security staff rushes out to try and talk Taylor down, but Taylor only takes him and throws him in an exploder. Taylor sees another security staff, and hits him with the choke slam bomb! The third security staff tries but only gets the sit-out driver, the same move Taylor used on Ryan Nova. Taylor is a monster, but this match is over.

No Contest

Is there anyone in ROH who can stop the rampage of the Notorious Shane Taylor?

 

Cody & Brandi Rhodes speak.

Cody’s ready. He is ready for tonight’s main event, as Bullet Club’s “Luxury Trio” take on SoCal Uncensored. And after they win, Cody has some news. It’s a secret, it’s a surprise, and he knows Scurll isn’t around, but… Well maybe Brandi can say what it is. Nevermind, Cody… No, Brandi. Nevermind, Cody goes ahead and says it: “At Best in the World, I am going to be taking my rematch against the ROH World Champion, Dalton Castle.” Cody compliments Brandi on a “good job”. Mr. & Mrs. American Nightmare are smiling now, but will The Villain be smiling when he hears the news?

 

ROH’s Enforcer has gone too far.

Bully Ray came into this company as a welcomed addition, whose experience and wisdom in the business was an asset. However, Bully has let his personal opinion grow into a grudge against all the “young boys” coming in. Bully crossed a line when he assaulted then terminated two young stars last week, and Cheeseburger came out to tell him to his face, “You’re a piece of sh*t.” Cheeseburger would get a choke slam for it, but Joe Koff would step up next. Koff was warned but still kept Bully around, and now he knows. Koff terminated Bully as the Enforcer, but Bully decided to come out of retirement! Will Bully take his grudge into the ring? Will Cheeseburger be able to get retribution?

 

Is the Bullet Club really Fine?

The Young Bucks were almost ROH World Tag Team Champions again, but The Briscoes resorted to chair shots and beat downs to retain. However, the beating went on longer than expected, as Bullet Club members were slow to respond. Hangman Page ran into an ambush, as did Flip Gordon. Scurll was a no show, and Cody showed up too late to be of use, as he also got a beating. #DemBoyz are still champions, will they soon conquer all of ROH?

 

Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

To add to the question “Is Bullet Club Fine?”, the three members of this #LuxuryTrio don’t even arrive together. The American Nightmare, his Problem Solver and his Villain are the more unified combination of Bullet Club, but can they hold it together to defeat a truly cohesive Almighty Daniels, Heavy Metal Rebel and California Closer?

The true ROH World Six Man Tag Champions, despite what The Kingdom thinks

Fans chant for Bullet Club as the teams sort out. Cody and Scorpio Sky start, and they tie up at the bell. Scorpio gets behind but Cody wrenches Scorpio’s arm into a shoulder breaker. Scorpio gets to the ropes, and Cody honors the break with a cartwheel. Fans applaud and Cody grins. Cody and Scorpio tie up again but Scorpio kicks low and snap suplexes Cody down. Fans boo and jeer, and Cody kicks back for the falling uppercut. Cody wrenches the arm, then suplexes Scorpio up. Cody shows off some strength, and fans fire up as he gordbusters Scorpio down. The Bullet Club is doing fine so far while we go to break.

ROH returns, and Daniels has Scurll trapped in the headscissors. However, Scurll headstands, and claps his legs together as fans “Woop! Woop!” for him. Scurll pops out and pats Daniels’ head before strutting away. Daniels is furious but the fans are thunderous for the cheeky Villain. Fans chant “Marty! Marty!” but Daniels doesn’t want ot hear it. Scurll winds up and… Tags to Hangman! Fans chant “Hangman! Hangman!” but Kaz wants in. Daniels tags, and this old grudge returns. Kaz rushes at Hangman but Hangman arm-drags him, then hip tosses him. Hangman goes for legs but Kaz shoves him away. Kaz arm-drags Hangman, then hip tosses him, but now Hangman shoves Kaz away. Hangman gets the headlock takeover, but Kaz the headscissors, Hangman pops out. Kaz gets the takeover, Hangman just misses the headscissors, but the fans applaud this stalemate.

Hangman and Kaz start throwing hands! They speed up, fast and furious, and fans love it. Hangman gets the edge, but turns into a forearm. Kaz runs, but into Hangman’s roaring elbow! Hangman and Kaz run and collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. Kaz runs in but Hangman dodges to take out Scorpio. Hangman then turns Kaz around, scoops him up, but has to drop him as Daniels runs in. Hangman kicks Daniels, then uses him for the Dropsault! TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool. Hangman tags to Cody, Cody springboards in for the missile dropkick. Fans chant “Cody! Cody!” and he teases Kaz. Cody kicks low, then whips but Kaz kicks low. Kaz then hits Hangman just because, and dodges Cody from the corner. Cody puts Kaz on the apron, then back elbows Kaz. Cody goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Kaz ducks and the kick goes into Scurll!

Scurll goes down and Daniels grabs Cody for a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kaz rains down rights, then brings Cody into the SCU corner. Tag to Daniels, and Daniels whips Cody into a calf kick. The one and only ROH Grand Slam Champion chokes Cody on the mat with both hands. He lets up at 4, then tags to Scorpio. Scorpio lifts Cody into a backbreaker, then covers, TWO. Scorpio scrapes Cody’s face then tags back to Daniels. Daniels and Scorpio double whip Cody corner to corner, then Daniels hits the forearm smash. Daniels hoists Cody up to the top rope, then gives a palm strike. Kaz adds a bicycle kick, then Scorpio the SUPER Steiner. Daniels covers, TWO, but puts Cody in a chinlock while we go to one last break.

ROH returns once again, and fans rally for Cody. Daniels has Cody in a facelock, but Cody fights his way over to his corner. Daniels knees low, then hits Hangman for good measure. Scurll hits Daniels back, but Daniels and Cody hit with double clotheslines. Both men are down and fans rally for Cody. Cody and Daniels crawl, hot tags to Scorpio and Scurll! The Villain rallies, throwing hands and stomps in a corner. Scurll stomps a serious mudhole, and the fans are loving it. Kaz comes in, and kicks low. Kaz mocks the wing flaps, but falls for the feint. Scurll kicks Kaz out of the ring, but Scorpio clubs Scurll. Scorpio runs, but into a drop toehold from Cody, Scurll adds a basement dropkick. Hangman adds the standing shooting star, and fans fire up all over again.

Scurll takes aim at Scorpio, goes to the apron, SUPERKICK. Scurll slips into the ring but Daniels tosses him out, to then hit the Arabian Press moonsault. But Cody climbs and FLIES! Cody wipes them out but then Kaz slingshots for the huricanrana. But Hangman hits the Shooting Star tackle! Bullet Club regroups, but Scorpio FLIES! Scorpio wipes them and even Kaz out, but that isn’t the end. Daniels climbs up, but Cody pursues. They brawl up top, and Cody resists Daniels’ attempts, to then SUPERPLEX Daniels onto everyone else!!

Everyone goes down but the fans are thunderous once again. Fans chant “ROH! ROH!” while the Villain crawls after the Fallen Angel. The ring count climbs high, and luckily it’s a 20 count. The count passes 13 but no one is back in the ring. It reaches 18, but only now does anyone stand. They all get in at 19.5! Scurll fires up, and stands with Daniels. Daniels and Scurll go back and forth with haymakers, then Scurll hits a European Uppercut. Scurll takes Daniels’ fingers and… Eye poke from Daniels, then an STO!

Daniels fires up whiel fans jeer, but he ends up in Hangman’s powerbomb. Hangman rushes at Kaz, but Kaz puts him on the apron to then slingshot cutter. Kaz rushes Cody, but Cody goes up and over to then hti the spinning powerslam. Cody spots Scorpio, but runs into a shoulder, and a slingshot cutter of Scorpio’s. Scorpio rocks Scurll with a knee lift, but finds himself reeled into a pumphandle brainbuster. Scurll fires up and calls for the end. He gets the fans worked up, does the spin and “Chicken Wing!” But Scorpio backs Scurll into buckles. Daniels returns, as does Kaz. Hangman tags in before The Addiction double whip Scurll. Scurll dodges The Addiction, and Hangman gets a Double Buckshot!

Scorpio catches Hangman into a cradle, TWO. Scorpio kicks low but misses the other kick, and ends up in Cody’s “Din’s Fire” vertabreaker!

Hangman jackknifes Scorpio up into the Rite of Passage!

Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club (Cody, Scurll & Page), Page pinning

Bullet Club is fine enough to win, but the SCU are sore losers, and they attack from behind with Scurll’s umbrella in a low blow on Page! Daniels clobbers Cody on his own, but Scurll returns to take his umbrella back and use it. However, he swings at Daniels, who dodges, and hits Cody!!

Bullet Club is left in a state of shock as ROH goes off the air. Will Bullet Club be fine after being left speechless?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A great hour of action for ROH, everything was entertaining and important to story. Lethal VS Martinez was a great opening, and definitely had story and action worthy of a PPV. Lethal wins to keep that mission of his alive, and if it’s about making up for losses, I hope that means he goes after Silas Young, and even goes after the ROH World TV title as part of it. Great to see Joey Diesel back, but wow was it to make him a sacrifice to Taylor. Taylor ups his Monster Heel status with everything, but still great for Joey that he was still moving after that chair splash spot. Joey might be Taylor’s true opponent in this story of his, and another go would be fun to watch. Good plugs for Briscoes, Bully and WOH, can’t wait to see what’s next for those.

The Bullet Club is (Not) Fine story continues to grow and evolve between both ROH and NJPW. This tension between Cody and Scurll over wanting the World Championship is great stuff, and the Six Man Tag really played on that. The Six Man Tag was a great match in itself, but adding the story element of Cody accidentally kicking Scurll, paralleled by Scurll accidentally hitting Cody, made it even greater. Hangman continues to rise as a star, but the real story will be whether Cody and Scurll come to blows over challenging Dalton Castle. My guess would be that they do, and winner moves on to challenge Castle. Or it ends up a Triple Threat and that in itself brings Cody and Scurll to blows, which could cost them both the title.

My Score: 8.5/10


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