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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (4/24/18)

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Daniel Bryan and The Miz are finally on the same brand again! As such, the Hollywood A-Lister will have the Goat on the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV. Will these two be able to keep from fighting this close to the Greatest Royal Rumble? Plus, Charlotte and Carmella will sign the contract for their Backlash rematch!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics; The IIconics win.
  • Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper; Jimmy Uso wins.
  • Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin; rescheduled as…
  • Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin; Benjamin wins.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers; Nakamura, Rusev & English win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and SmackDown dedicate tonight to Bruno Sammartino.

 

It’s the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV!

The Hollywood A-Lister comes to the Blue Brand because of the Superstar Shake-Up and special request of former General Manager, Daniel Bryan. Miz also looks to take back the Intercontinental Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble this Friday in the Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match. But as for tonight in Louisville, he shushes them before demanding they welcome him back! Then he begins the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show properly and declares he makes SmackDown THE Show, but “there’s something missing.” That’s the title he held, that his guest gave up three years ago and Miz vows to win for a record ninth time when he defeats Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. That title is THE most coveted title in all of the WWE thanks to Miz!

But that’s Friday. Tonight is Tuesday, and this is the moment the world’s been waiting for. Tonight’s guest is a man who threatened to punch Miz in the face. Fans like the sound of that. Miz blames this man for getting Talking Smack cancelled, and then demanded Miz be brought to SmackDown just to get his hands on him. “And quite frankly, I’m surprised.” Miz welcomed his first child into the world, and locking eyes with her for the first time, he knew he had to be a better man. All of Miz’s anger and bitterness towards Daniel Bryan “melted away”. Odd that Bryan isn’t the same after his daughter was born.

But Bryan and Miz still have a lot in common, from being fathers to being television stars to being “masterful, in-ring technicians”. But a major difference: Miz has changed to be a better man. If Bryan still wants to punch him, then he can come on out and do it. Miz and Louisville both want Bryan to come out and do it, but Bryan doesn’t appear. Instead, Big Cass appears!

The Human Skyscraper walks out, dressed in a fresh new suit, and enters the ring. Miz asks what Cass is here for. There’s no guest, so Cass volunteered to be the guest. They take a seat, and Miz says he was going to interview Daniel Bryan. Cass says no one cares about Bryan. Cass got injured and worked 24-7 to get back asap. The day he does, so does Daniel Bryan. But all anyone cares about is “Daniel Bryan this, Daniel Bryan that.” No one cared about Cass! Cass lives in the shadow of an “ordinary little man”. Miz understands Cass is mad, but if he’s trying to help with Bryan, Miz doesn’t need it. Cass tells Miz that “not everything is about you”.

Miz takes offense to that. Does Cass know who he is? Miz is a Grand Slam Champion, first-ballot Hall of Famer, and has main-evented ‘Mania! Wrestling is a what-have-you-done-lately business, and all Cass has done is hobble around! Then maybe Cass should shut Miz’s mouth. Fans would like to see that. Miz says this isn’t about them, this is about Dnaiel Bryan. Damn right! That average Joe who should be laying tile or taking out trash, Bryan is out here spewing trash to the fans. Reach for the stars, achieve dreams, but too bad, because “you are all a bunch of Joe Schmoes.” Cass used to be small and pathetic and weak, “it sucks!” He was bullied and pushed around, until he got sick and tired of it. Cass grew and grew, to be 7 foot tall and someone who beat up those who got him.

Bryan reminds Cass of his weak former self, that’s why Cass hates him! But Cass didn’t need to go to indies, to Japan, to Europe, and you know why? Because Cass is tall, smart and handsome. That makes Cass valuable, a star, and makes him money! Yet, he’s in the shadow of Daniel Bryan? “Not for long.” Cass will make sure Bryan goes back to where he belongs: “on the shelf, beaten, battered, bruised, and retired.” Bryan will never cast a shadow over anyone again. Cass mocks “Yes! Yes!” then drops the mic. The big man had big words for the little Goat, will he be able to back it up should he and Bryan meet in the ring?

 

Speaking of Daniel Bryan…

He’s been attacked! The former GM and champion is down, in need of medics and trainers. Will he be okay to compete? And who attacked him? Though, it might not be that hard to guess…

 

Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics!

Peyton Royce & Billie Kay may have cost Charlotte Flair her SmackDown Women’s Championship, but the Queen is busy going after her throne. That leaves the Empress and the Lass Kicker to take care of the Iconic Duo for her. Will Peyton & Billie have a #TrulyIIconic in-ring debut? Or are they not ready for Asuka and Straight Fire?

Before the match, the IIconics praise themselves for their looks. The camera loves Billie. No it loves Peyton. It loves both of them! But Becky stuck her nose where it doesn’t belong. Peyton impersonates Becky now, “Where are my lucky charms?” Spot on again! But then she teams with the nosy Empress of Tomorrow. Tomorrow? Fact check: if Charlotte beat Asuka and took the Undefeated Streak, and then the IIconics ended the Queen’s title reign, that makes them better than Asuka!

Science and math, it just makes sense. Empress of Tomorrow is now the Empress of Yesterday. Peyton & Billie are the future, but the future is interrupted!

The match begins with picture in picture as Asuka starts against Billie. Asuka has the fans on her side as they circle and tie up. Asuka wrenches Billie’s arm but Billie stomps a foot to then reverse the wrench. However, Asuka uses the ropes to acrobatically reverse back. Billie pulls Asuka’s hair but Asuka snapmares. Billie gest away, but narrowly avoids the roundhouse! Asuka teases her, to then hip attack! Asuka taunts Peyton then yansk on Billie’s arm. She brings Billie over and tags in Becky, Becky climbs up for teh ax handle. Becky kicks Billie then knocks her down with a calf kick. Billie bails out while Becky and Asuka fire up. Becky goes to the apron and hits Billie with a forearm, but Peyton comes over to attack. Becky bounces her off the apron, and then Asuka adds a sliding knee!

Asuka high fives Becky before Becky puts Billie back in the ring. Billie drops an elbow but misses, Becky waistlocks. Billie bucks Becky off and runs her over, but Becky arm-drags her back. Becky has Billie in the armlock, and even gives her a noogey. Tag to Asuka and Asuka kicks away at the leg. Asuka mule kicks but Billie grabs shorts to then yank Asuka down by her hair! Billie tags Peyton and Peyton keeps on Asuka. She slaps Asuka but that only riles Asuka up. Asuka grins but Peyton is afraid, and she should be, as Asuka unleashes strikes. Peyton reverses the whip but Asuka hits with the hip attack! We return to single picture as Asuka tags Becky back in.

Becky grabs Peyton but Peyton throws her down by her hair. Cover but Becky slips uot for teh Oklahoma roll, TWO. Becky kicks Peyton and whips but Peyton reverses again. Becky dodges to knock Peyton down with a forearm. Fans fire up for Becky, Becky misses her forearm in the corner but still gets the jump kick. She throws Peyton with a Becksploder! Peyton tags Billie but Billie runs into the drop toehold. Becky drags Billie up but Billie throws Becky down with an arm wringer. Billie chokes Becky at the ropes, then Peyton gets a cheap shot! Cover, ONE, but BIllie tags in. The IIconics work together on Becky’s arm, using the ref’s count to their advantage. Tag back to Billie while fans rally for Becky. The IIconics isolate Becky and put her in an armlock, but fans rally for the former champion.

Becky reaches while enduring a new armlock. She gets up but Billie knees low to whip her back into the IIconic corner. Billie taunts Asuka, but Becky boots her away. Becky fights out of the corner, double clotheslines bring Becky and Billie down. Fans rally again, hot tags to Peyton and Asuka! Asuka rallies with hip attack to Billie then a dropkick Peyton! She keeps going, blocking Peyton’s kick into an ankle lock! Peyton hops to Billie, but Becky breaks them up, then Asuka throws Peyton with a German Suplex!

Asuka runs to hip attack Peyton again. Tag to Becky, Becky and Asuka double whip Peyton for double hip toss, sliding enziguri and leg drop! Billie returns but then runs away, so Becky brings Peyton up. Peyton shoves Becky into Asuka, but Becky fights back with forearms and uppercuts. Becky whips corner to corner but Peyton puts her on the apron. Becky fights both IIconics off, but Peyton still sends her into the post. Roll up AND ropes, the IIconcis win!

Winners: The IIconics (Peyton & Billie), Peyton pinning

An #IIconicUpset with this win! The best friends from down under bring down two great former champions, will there be something great in the future for “the future”?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Renee Young sees he’s in a good mood. Well why wouldn’t he be? Three days from The Greatest Royal Rumble and a rematch with Shinsuke Nakamura. But for right now, he’s happy because Shane McMahon gave him the chance to soften Nakamura up. Though, the con artist has Rusev Day backing him up. Is it a handicap match? No, Styles is lucky to have back-up of his own. Who? Oh, it’ll be #TooSweet. A major main event has been made, and it shouldn’t be too hard to guess who the Phenomenal One will have on his side.

 

Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas speak.

“This is the only brand we’re worried about.” El Idolo, a third generation superstar and a former NXT Champion, Almas has the talent while Vega has the schemes. And Vega vows he will show the world why he deserves the spotlight.

 

The Usos talk backstage.

They’re preparing for a return from last week, but Naomi comes in to talk with her husband. Before she says anything, Jimmy wants her to promise she won’t end up ringside like last week. She is not, and she will not apologize, either. She was genuinely concerned. But does she trust him? Yes, of course. She loves him, but she saw “nothing” in the eyes of Harper & Rowan.

This may be their life, but Naomi has a bad feeling, and wants him to trust her. He knows, but don’t worry, Jey has his back both tonight and Friday. Jimmy says he’ll take care of Rowan, and gives Naomi a kiss for good luck. Will luck be enough going up against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper!

As Jimmy told Naomi, he and his brother will take on these Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in Saudi Arabia. Tonight is about gaining momentum towards that match, but will Jimmy end up coming to a screeching halt running into the Red Lamb of Doom?

The bell rings and Rowan dropkicks Jimmy down! Rowan clubs him down, then headbutts him down. Rowan chokes Jimmy against the ropes, Harper gets a cheap shot in! Jimmy is thrown to the apron while Jey goes after Harper, but misses his flying attack. Harper boots Jey down, but Jimmy dumps Rowan out. Jimmy builds speed and DIVES, but Rowan catches him to then scoop him. Jimmy slips out to put Rowan into the post! Rowan staggers and Jimmy climbs up, flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jimmy mule kicks and climbs up again, but Rowan shoves him off! Jimmy hits barriers face first. Rowan rolls out and comes around the corner to run Jimmy over! Rowan roars while fans boo and jeer.

The ref counts, Rowan puts Jimmy in the ring at 4. Rowan himself returns and drags Jimmy up. Fans rally for the Usos, but Rowan scoops Jimmy again. Naomi comes out in full entrance! Her #GlowTime distracts Harper & Rowan, SUPERKICK from Jey to Harper! Jey puts Harper into steel steps, and Jimmy dropkicks Rowan! Jimmy rolls him up, Jimmy wins!

Winner: Jimmy Uso by pinfall

Now the Usos can thank Naomi for helping even the score! However, Naomi won’t be in Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble. Will the Usos be able to survive when they have only themselves against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Renee Young presides over the SmackDown Women’s Championship contract signing.

Backlash will be where the title is defended in a rematch from Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank cash-in. The champion is introduced, but she snatches the mic to delay Charlotte’s introduction. “That is so disrespectful.” Fans echo “WOO~!”, to which Carmella also takes offense. Carmella is being introduced first? “In what world is it acceptable” to bring out champion before challenger? This isn’t Charlotte’s kingdom, it’s Carmella’s. So before it gets boring out here, Carmella has something to address: “I’m your champion. You’re booing me because none of you will ever know what it’s like to be a champion”. Carmella gave us a #Mellabration, played a FABULOUS highlight reel, but no one gave her an ovation.

But since she’s the champ, she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, she demands they show her the respect she deserves! That means they will stand up and cheer for her. Play it!!

The same highlight reel does play, recapping Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank victory she managed “all by herself”. When it ends, the only one standing up to applaud is Corey Graves. Everyone else boos and jeers. Carmella is not accepting that, so she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, the WWE Universe better stand up and cheer! The highlight reel plays again, but Charlotte interrupts with her entrance.

The former champion sits down while the current champion runs the title in her face. Renee wants Carmella to be professional but that’s not happening. Now that they’re both present, they can sign the contract. Fans “WOO~!” while Carmella continues to taunt Charlotte from across the table.

Charlotte keeps her cool, takes the pen, and signs her name. Then she gives out a proper “WOO~!” Carmella stands up and sticks the belt in her face again, so Charlotte slams Carmella’s face on the table! Then kicks the table over on Carmella! Renee leaves the ring while Charlotte brushes herself off. The Queen dumps the Princess down, but can she take the throne back at Backlash?

 

Backstage interview with…

Well, it was supposed to be Shinsuke Nakamura, but Aiden English answers the knock on the door. The Drama King says they’re not doing interviews. The trio of Rusev Day and the Rockstar are hush-hush about their Six-Man Tag, will they be able to work together against The Club?

 

Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin!

The Charismatic Enigma defeated the Gold Standard last week, in Hardy’s return to SmackDown. However, one match is not enough for Benjamin, who is a former United States Champion himself. Will Benjamin tie things up this close to Hardy’s title defense against Jinder Mahal? Or will Hardy go 2-0 already?

But wait, in return for the surprise last week, The Viper arrives while Hardy makes his entrance. Randy Orton, who is still promised a United States Championship match in his own right, decides to return the favor in full by taking this match from Hardy, too.

Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin!

The bell rings and Orton circles with Benjamin. They tie up, Benjamin powers Orton to a corner, but honors the break. Hardy watches ringside now as Benjamin goes for Orton’s leg. Orton gets to a corner for the break, and Benjamin backs off. The two circle again, tie up, and Benjamin gets a headlock. Orton powers out but Benjamin shoulders him down. Benjamin runs but Orton jumps over. Orton kicks but Benjamin blocks, Benjamin kicks but Orton blocks, and Orton ducks the dragon whip kick. Benjamin denies the RKO just in time, and the two circle again. Benjamin knees low then throws haymakers and stomps. The referee backs him off, Orton kicks back and throws European Uppercuts. Orton rocks Benjamin but drags him through the ropes, but Benjamin hotshots Orton back!

Benjamin brings Orton through ropes now, for a kick after kick after kick. He tops it off with a knee strike while we go picture in picture. Orton slowly stirs, but Benjamin fetches him. Benjamin bounces Orton’s head off the table, then stares Hardy down before throwing haymakers. Benjamin resets the count but Orton climbs up, only to get rocked with another knee! Orton falls to the floor, and Benjamin lets him be at the count’s mercy. Orton slowly drags himself up again, beating the count at 8. Benjamin is right on him with stomps, then drags Orton up into a chinlock. Orton endures the squeeze, slowly working his way up to his feet.

We go single picture again as Benjamin keeps on the squeeze. Fans rally for Orton and he fights back with body shots and headbutts, but Benjamin gets the dragon whip kick! Cover, TWO, but Benjamin keeps on Orton with a new chinlock. Orton works his way up again, reaching for ropes. He stands up and back suplexes Benjamin down! Orton is free of the hold and catches his breath while Benjamin rolls to ropes. They both stand up, Orton begins to rally with clotheslines. He dodges Benjamin and hits the spinning powerslam! Benjamin rolls to ropes, Orton brings him out, and hits the draping DDT!

Orton hears the voices in his head while fans fire up. Benjamin slips out of the ring, and Orton comes out to fetch him, bouncing him off the table. Hardy sees where Orton is going with Benjamin and clears out, not wanting trouble. Orton back suplexes Benjamin on the table instead!

They return into the ring, and Hardy watches a bit closer now, but a masked man chop blocks Hardy’s bad leg! Orton sees that man running away, but that man ends up cornered by security. The masked man goes into the ring, and Orton pulls the mask off to reveal Sunil Singh! Orton knows what to do with him: RKO! But Benjamin creeps up on Orton, PAY DIRT! Cover, Benjamin wins!

Winner: Benjamin, by pinfall

The Gold Standard pins the #1 Contender, while the current champion is limping. Will Hardy be ready for Mahal in Arabia? Will Benjamin find himself in line for that title should it stay on SmackDown?

 

The New Day feasts backstage.

They celebrate the launch of The Book of Booty, and toast with a glass of Booty-O’s! But then The Bar interrupts… Cesaro & Sheamus ruin the New Day’s appetites. But don’t worry, The Bar will win the Raw Tag Team Championships and go back to Raw. The New Day celebrate that! Well because obviously, the SmackDown Tag Division doesn’t stack up. They don’t just set the bar– No! Go away! Stop! “WE ARE THE BAR!” And they take pancakes away!

 

AJ Styles reunites with the Good Brothers.

The Club is back together! And it’s #TooSweet!

 

SAnitY is coming.

They vow to bring chaos and pain. “Fighting it is useless.” Who will fall to the anarchy Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain bring to SmackDown?

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Any update on his injury? Just some precautions for his shoulder, but he’ll be good to go for the Greatest Royal Rumble. He’s come back from worse. What happened? He got blindsided by a cowardly 7 foot man. But Paige made it official, Bryan VS Cass at Backlash. Bryan’s going to take everything on head-on, and after winning the Greatest Royal Rumble itself, he’ll show Cass that “everyone is the same size when you’re on the mat and tapping out.”

 

Samoa Joe speaks.

“Nothing and no one is safe.” That goes for the Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins. Joe will use ladders to end “Seth Freakin’ Rollins”, The Miz, and Finn Balor. The title is already his, and then he’ll enjoy watching Brock Lesnar massacre Roman Reigns in a cage. And if by a miracle, Roman survives to become Universal Champion, Joe will take that title, too.

 

Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers!

A reunion that’s #TooSweet goes up against a tough team in the King of Strong Style, the Bulgarian Lion & The Artiste. Can the Phenomenal One lead The Club in a victory for their SmackDown return?

The bell rings and Styles starts with Nakamura as a preview of their rematch. But after circling with Styles, Nakamura tags out to English. Styles just rocks Nakamura anyway before throwing English in. He tags Gallows and Gallows fires body shots on English. Gallows tags in Anderson and he keeps up the mugging, then tag to Styles for the low forearm. Styles tags in Gallows and Gallows gives a big back elbow to English before tagging Anderson back in for the jump kick. Rusev runs in but into a mule kick, then the boot! The Club controls the ring already, #TooSweet while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Rusev runs into Anderson’s uppercut. Anderson tags in Styles and Styles gives Rusev the Phenomenal Blitz! He hits English but Nakamura avoids it. Styles slingshots but Nakamura evades, Rusev hits the MACHKA Kick! Rusev tags English in and English stomps on Styles. The referee backs English off and Styles flounders, but English is on him again with knees and stomps. English puts Styles in a chinlock, but fans duel while we go picture in picture. Styles stands up but English throws him down for more stomps. English brings him up and tags in Nakamura, Nakamura gives a body shot to the ribs. Nakamura puts Styles in a corner for knees to ribs, then Good Vibrations. Nakamura then snapmares to a cover, TWO.

We return single picture as Nakamura goes after the legs. He sits Styles up and kicks him back down, then drags him over to tag in Rusev. Rusev kicks Styles in the ribs, then scoops Styles and slams him down. Rusev runs for the elbow drop, cover, TWO. Fans rally for The Club, Rusev tags in English to whip him in for the back elbow. English feeds Styles to Rusev’s kick, English covers, TWO. English keeps on Styles with a chinlock, and sings mockingly that “He’s not going anywhere~!” The fans still rally for The Club and Styles fights his way up and out. English clubs Styles back, but runs into a dropkick! Both men are down, crawlign for their corners, hot tag to Rusev but he runs into the PELE! Styles crawls and tags in Gallows!

Gallows rallies on Engilsh with big lariats, then fires up for a big corner splash. Roundhouse rocks English, then Gallows pumphandle slams him down. Headbutt drop on top, cover, but Rusev breaks that. Anderson comes in but is sent into the post! Gallows clothesliens Rusev out but English tags in Nakamura. YAKUZA Kick for English but Nakamura chop blocks and KINSHASA to Gallows!

Cover, Nakamura wins for his team!

Winners: Nakamura, Rusev & English; Nakamura pinning.

But Styles finally gets at Nakamura! They brawl, the Phenomenal Blitz is blocked by a LOW BLOW! Nakamura takes aim at Styles, but Anderson jumps into the KINSHASA for Styles! The Machine Gun bites the proverbial bullet, but Nakamura kicks Styles back down before adding insult to injury. Nakamura drags Anderson up while Styles watches, and Nakamura shouts “C’MON!” He backs up, takes aim, and hits Anderson with another KINSHASA!! Nakamura mocks Styles’ concern for his friend, and has sent a vicious message to the champion. The Rockstar wants that WWE Championship, and he will give anyone and everyone a #Knee2Face to get it. Can Styles get revenge on Nakamura at the Greatest Royal Rumble?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty good SmackDown, but holy crap there were too many commercial breaks. Ignoring that, this was itself a good go-home for Greatest Royal Rumble. Opening with Miz TV and the surprise guest of Big Cass was pretty good, and Cass seems to have improved in his promo skills. Finding Bryan beat up already was no surprise, and this Bryan VS Cass feud is already gearing up to be good. The IIconics give another great promo, and they have a really good match with Becky & Asuka. Their win was a nice surprise, and at least it was dirty so that Becky & Asuka aren’t really weakened by it. Between the various teams on both shows, it feels like WWE is gearing up to bring us that Women’s Tag Team Division and Championships. It’d probably have to be co-branded, but that works since all PPV’s are being co-branded now.

I like Naomi further involving herself in the story between Usos and Bludgeon Brothers, it is logical given the real life relationship of her and Jimmy. However, we know she won’t be able to help in the tag title match in Arabia, mostly because it’s in Arabia. Bludgeon Brothers will likely retain, and then they can move on to The New Day, or a new addition to SmackDown like SAnitY or the Good Brothers. Carmella was brilliant as a Heel in the contract signing segment, and Charlotte’s response was perfect. Whether or not there was more to be had, this still worked out for both sides.

It was pretty clever for Orton to return the favor on Hardy and snipe his match, and that match was pretty good. I didn’t think Sunil Singh would show up to go after Hardy but it makes sense given Mahal’s MO. Like Gable on Raw, Benjamin gets a someone surprise win, so either one is set up for a US Title shot once we all know which show has it. I like Nakamura’s new take on his theme, and the backstory that he had it done because he was sick of fans singing along. The Six Man Tag was a great main event, The Club finally looks capable in the ring. Nakamura stands tall in strong Heel fashion, he might get that belt at GRR.

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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