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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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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8

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We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.

Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!

via GIPHY

 

So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.

Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.

I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.

Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.

We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.

Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.

After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.

Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?

Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.

Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.

Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.

Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.

However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.

The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.

As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.


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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8

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So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.

This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?

Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?

Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.

This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)

Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
  • Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Here is how these four can win.

Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein

If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.


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Joe’s CMLL Results & Review (9/17/2018)

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CMLL Coverage
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CMLL Arena Puebla Show Monday

El Asturiano and Black Tiger vs Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

Maligno and Asturiano start out the match exchanging arm drags. Maligno is bare foot so Asturiano while having him in a hold bites his feet. Not very hygienical. Tiger and Chicana make their way in trading holds. Tags are made briefly and they pick up the pace but Chicana and Tiger come back in soon after to continue the faster pace. Maligno misses a splash and Tiger gets him in a surfboard stretch for the submission, then Asturiano pins Chicana with a hurricanrana pin combo. First Fall: El Asturiano pins Fuerza Chicana with a hurricanrana.

Black Tiger hits a monkey flip on Maligno to start the round and then hits a pose. Asturiano and Chicana are in to follow. He ends up feigning a dive to the outside. Maligno and Chicana start to get heat on the other team by double teaming both guys when they get the chance. Malingo hits a baseball slide to Asturiano in the corner and then they get both of them in submissions. Some elaborate stretches. Second Fall: Espiritu Maligno submits El Asturiano with a submission hold.

Third round starts with Asturiano being double teamed. Maligno hits a drop kick on him sending him out bringing in Black Tiger to get doubled. All four are in the ring now exchanging chops. Maligno gets Asturiano in a Gory Guerrero special into a pinning combination for the pin. The Chicana gets Black Tiger in a single leg boston crab for the win. Third Fall: Fuerza Chicana submits Black Tiger with a single leg boston crab.

Winners: Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs King Rocker Jr, El Malayo, and King Jaguar

King Jaguar and Oro Jr start off with some chain wrestling, exchanging holds. They meet a stale mate and King Rocker come in and continue to exchange holds and chain wrestle. Tigre Rojo and Malayo come in and pick up the pace. Malayo gets Rojo in the corner to get an advantage on him, but it doesn’t work out. Oro Jr and Rojo hit a combo neck breaker on Malayo. Super Astro hits him with a dive for a pin. Tigre Rojo gets King Jaguar in an arm bar for the first fall. First Fall: Tigre Rojo Jr submits King Jaguar with an arm bar.

King Rocker starts the second fall with Oro jr and Oro gets him to the outside and then hits a pose. Astro comes in there next with Malayo. Astro gets him to the outside and then feigns a dive and hits an elaborate pose. After that Rojo and Jaguar come in and he too gets Jaguar to the outside and feigns a dive. Finally Rocker and Malayo are working over Tigre Rojo. Once they dispose of him they start to triple team Astro Jr. Jaguar hits a big baseball slide dive on Astro. Oro Jr gets hit with a basement drop kick to the hit by King Rocker for the second fall. Second Fall: King Rocker pins Oro Jr with a basement drop kick.

Oro and Rocker start out in the third round. This becomes a triple team attack soon. It doesn’t last for long and Oro Jr, Astro, and Rojo go for dives but they get dodged and then it becomes a brawl. They exchange spots and go for pins that get broken up. Astro hits a top rope headbutt on Malayo and pins him. Oro hits a power slam on Rocker and then Tigre and him do a double team move where Rojo flips Oro onto Rocker for the pin. Third Fall: Oro pins Rocker while being flipped by Tigre Rojo.

Winners: Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr

Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma vs El Sagrado, Misterioso, and Tiger

Interesting note, the Arena Puebla is called Temple of Pain in translation. They should do Lucha Underground out of here. Maya and Misterioso start out in the match, and as they exchange holds and perform some mat wrestling, I’d like to point out how hype Fuego’s entrance is. After they go to a stale mate Sagrado and Stigma come in. They don’t last long and Fuego and Tiger get in there and pick up the pace.

Tiger irish whips Fuego into his corner and this causes his teammates to come in and triple team Fuego for a moment. Fuego’s teammates come in to confront. Fuego makes a come back and gets Tiger to the outside and then a brawl breaks out on the outside. After that Maya starts to get triple teamed. Misterioso hits a weak drop kick bringing Maya to the outside then hits a pose, but Fuego rolls him up. First Fall: Fuego rolls up Misterioso.

The second round is started with Stigma getting triple teamed. After they dispose of Stigma to the outside, Maya comes in to try his hand but the numbers are too much. El Sagrado hits an elbow drop for the second fall. Second Fall: El Sagrado hits an elbow drop on Guerrero Maya for the pin.

Maya starts the fall getting triple teamed but made a come back by hitting everyone with a tilt-a-Whirl back breaker. After that Stigma and Fuego came and hit middle rope dives. They all start to exchange spots now, one at a time. Fuego hits his matrix bridge spot and then hits a dive. Stigma hits a big hurricanrana on Misterioso. Tiger and Stigma start to exchange chops.

Eventually Tiger hits a big power bomb. Fuego hits a big victory roll on Misterioso and the ref takes forever to go for the count and Sagrado breaks it up. Misterioso hits a reverse power slam and Fuego breaks up the pin and then he hits a big dive. Stigma hits a pinning combination on on Sagrado and Maya hits a spring board, shoulder block on Tiger for the win. Third Fall: Guerrero Maya hits a shoulder block on Tiger for the win.

Winners: Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma

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