WWE shifts gears after the Superstar Shake-Up with a co-branded Backlash! Will The Big Dog, Roman Reigns, keep Samoa Joe from putting him to sleep? Can Daniel Bryan stand up to the 7 foot tall bully, Big Cass? Will No Disqualifications for the WWE Championship help or hinder AJ Styles against Shinsuke Nakamura?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Kickoff Match: Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS The Miz; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss; Nia wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton; Hardy wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- Daniel Bryan VS Big Cass; Bryan wins.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella VS Charlotte Flair; wins and
- WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Double Count Out, Styles retains the WWE Championship.
- Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Strowman & Lashley win.
- Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe; Roman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Miztourage go through a list of possible new bosses.
Baron Corbin? No, Bo has heard he’s a Lone Wolf. But what abuot Jinder Mahal? He needs two men, right? Just then, The Miz walks in.
“Daddy’s home.” And he is so proud of his “sons”. The mind games they were playing were great. Miz remembers when he knew they were destined to be the Miztourage. That was when they made Marine 5, and Bo & Axel got back at the stage hands for taking the last two seats. The good times these there have shared. Which is why Miz is so happy that they’re all back together to do it again to Seth Rollins! They should get going, their match is first on the main card. But Bo says no? They’re not supporting cast anymore. The duo formerly known as the Miztourage leaves, who will they find to be their new leading man?
The IIconics join the kickoff panel.
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay don’t want anymore chit chat about the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair is “so 2000-NEVER.” Billie reminds everyone that they beat Asuka in her first SmackDown match. Yes, they beat Asuka on her first SmackDown match. “We’re better than Asuka!” Renee Young asks for any insight on tonight’s match. The IIconics ignore that. Where have they met Peter Rosenberg? Or no, heard him. Peyton imitates Peter, that’s spot on! But Peyton and Billie admit they’re interested in tonight’s match. Carmella is “maj”, but Peter is “repug”. Backlash maybe could, possible become #IIconic. They sing their theme song while prancing their way out.
Bayley and Sasha Banks talk backstage.
The Hugger invited The Boss to discuss The Riott Squad. Bayley doesn’t want to fight with her anymore. Sasha can be in her corner for her match. Oh now Bayley wants Sasha around? What happened when Sasha needed Bayley? Is Bayley afraid things will happen to her? Bayley can’t believe how full Sasha is of herself. Bayley can handle Ruby Riott like she handled Sasha. She was trying to help Sasha, but if Sasha is too stubborn, then that’s her problem. Sasha says Bayley can spin it however she wants, she’s still on her own. Will these two ever be back to being friends?
Both Raw and SmackDown GMs are in the Social Media Lounge.
Kurt Angle and Paige are both here for WWE’s first co-branded event since the Superstar Shake-Up to answer the questions fans submitted under #AskTheGMs. The Gold Medalist and Glampire are excited for this crossover night.
“Angle, who is your dream opponent in today’s generation?” There’s a lot of great choices from both shows, but Angle would love Daniel Bryan in a match. It could still happen. “Two questions: What is the hardest part about being a GM? And what was Paige’s reaction to Absolution coming to SmackDown?” Paige is a new GM, but the hard part is not helping your friends. Absolution has to earn what they get, and will get a title shot when they deserve it. Angle agrees, it’s about equal opportunity within the time they have.
“For both GMs: which match will steal the show?” Paige says Styles VS Nakamura with No Disqualifications, but also the SmackDown Women’s Championship because she adores and respects Charlotte. Angle says the Raw Women’s Championship, as well as the grudge match of Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe.
Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!
The Huggable One couldn’t convince her on-again-off-again friend to be in her corner, but The Squad is always behind their leader. Can Bayley get even all by herself? Or will Ruby #StartaRiott?
The bell rings and Ruby circles with Bayley. They tie up, and Bayley gets the arm wrench. Ruby stomps on Bayley’s foot then reverses the hold, but Bayley reverses it back. Bayley brings Ruby down with a headlock takeover, but Ruby stands up to throw Bayley down by her headband. Ruby puts on a headlock, but Bayley powers out, only for Ruby to run her over. Ruby says Bayley is weak, like Sasha. She then runs, but Bayley evades and O’Conner roll, TWO. Ghost pin, TWO, School Girl, TWO. Bayley whips but Ruby reverses, only to run into Bayley’s elbow. Bayley flies with an arm-drag to cover, TWO. Ruby rocks Bayley with a right! Ruby drags Bayley up and puts her in a corner with a buckle bump. Bayley staggers away, but Ruby brings her back for another.
Ruby stalks Bayley while Sasha watches backstage. Bayley reverses the whip and hits the corner clothesline, to then whip Ruby corner to corner. Bayley runs in but Ruby hangs her up on the top rope. But that doesn’t stop Bayley, she bumps Ruby off buckles. The Squad distracts Bayley, Ruby hits the STO! Bayley rolls out of the ring and the Squad taunt her while we go to break.
WWE Backlash returns with Bayley fighting out of a chinlock. She gives elbows to Ruby, and breaks free, only to run into a Complete Shot! Ruby drags Bayley up for vicious elbows and knees. Now she covers, TWO, and Ruby grows frustrated. Ruby grabs Bayley in a new chinlock, and digs her knee into Bayley’s back. Fans rally for Bayley while she endures. Bayley fights her way up again, and throws more elbows. Ruby bumps Bayley off buckles again, the referee reprimands Ruby. Ruby drags Bayley up and bumps her off another buckle, then stalks Bayley along the ropes. She chokes Bayley against the ropes while The Squad taunts her. Ruby lets go, Sarah Logan gets a cheapshot! Cover, TWO, and Sasha is still watching backstage.
Ruby bumps Bayley off more buckles, but then Bayley fights back. Bayley gives Ruby Snake Eyes, then goes up and over, only to get caught in Deadly Nightshade!
The Squad cheers while Ruby covers, TWO. Ruby is furious, but she calms down and works on her next move. She toys with Bayley, but Bayley hits back. Ruby grabs her in a cravat to wrench the neck. Bayley keeps fighting, and arm-drags Ruby off. Ruby runs in but Bayley dodges. Bayley gives a back elbow, then tries boots, but Ruby spins her to the apron. Bayley rocks Ruby with a right, then hops in for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Both women are reeling, but standing. Bayley starts rallying with clotheslines. She saido suplexes Ruby down! Ruby rolls to ropes but Bayley is on her. Ruby holds on to deny the whip, then reverses the whip, but Bayley dodges to dropkick at Sarah. Sarah catches her, but Bayley counters that into a headscissor!
Bayley staggers but Ruby goes after her hair. Bayley hits Ruby with the hotshot! Ruby goes down, Bayley climbs up, for the Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! Both women are down, but the fans are liking this. Bayley stirs, then crawls to a corner. Ruby stirs while Bayley drags herself up. Bayley checks the pony tail, then waits for Ruby to get up. Liv gest on the apron, Bayley goes to throw Ruby inot her but Ruby throws Bayley into Liv! Ruby then boots Bayley, and hits the Riott Kick!
Cover, Ruby wins!
Winner: Ruby, by pinfall
The Squad helps their leader out again thanks to numbers. The riotous and reckless trio gets away with a win, can anyone beat their number games?
Backlash means many things, but tonight, it means change.
Rivalries renewed with rematches all around. A new take on David and Goliath. Legacies defined by wins and losses. And a vendetta to be settled in a match with no rules. Both Raw and SmackDown bring #TheBestofBothWorlds, but who will feel the backlash?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS The Miz!
The Hollywood A-Lister lost his most prized possession in the prestigious IC title when The Architect overcame him and Finn Balor at Wrestlemania. The same happened when The Architect jumped ahead of Finn at The Greatest Royal Rumble. Can Miz use his 1v1 contractual rematch to get back the title and return to making history?
The bell rings and Rollins gets the bigger ovation from the fans. And Rollins rubs it in a bit on Miz. The two circle and tie up, Rollins shifts through holds and settles on the hammerlock. Miz tries but can’t reverse, and Rollins brings him to the mat. Miz rolls but Rollins wrangles him down, so Miz grabs the ropes. Rollins honors the break, then smirks as he and Miz circle again. They approach but Miz kicks low and stomps away on Rollins. Fans boo and jeer while Miz keeps going. Miz backs off at the referee’s count, then comes back to bump Rollins off buckles. Miz pulls on Rollins’ hair then whips Rollins. Rollins reverses and dropkicks Miz down. Rollins chops Miz to a corner, then chops more. He follows Miz then whips him corner to corner.
Fans fire up as Rollins runs in for the forearm smash. Rollins whips Miz again, then runs in but Miz puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Miz away but Miz boots Rollins down! Miz checks his jaw while Rollins crashes and burns. Miz goes out to fetch Rollins, he needs to finish this in the ring. But he bounces Rollins off the announce desk first. Then Miz rams Rollins into the apron edge before putting him in the ring. Miz mocks the “Burn It Down” stomps before hitting a low boot. Cover, TWO, Miz puts on a chinlock. Fans rally while Rollins endures. Rollins fights his way up and fights out of the hold. Rollins chops Miz again, then whips, but Miz reverses to hit Rollins with the kitchen sink knee.
Miz rams knees into Rollins’ back, then throws in an elbow to add onto the chinlock. Fans keep it up for Rollins, and Rollins gets up again. Miz knees low then whips, but Rollins turns the knee into a roll up, TWO. Muel kick deflected, Miz hits the low DDT! COver, TWO! Miz grows frustrated but keeps it together. He stomps Rollins down, but he hears the fans supporting Rollins. Miz puts Rollins on the ropes to choke him, then backs off to hit the running rope attack! Miz embraces the heat and declares he’s the better champ. Rollins fights back with haymakers and chops, then whips, but Miz reverses, only for Rollins to hit a facebuster!
Both men are down but Rollins brings himself to a corner. Fans rally while he aims at Miz. Miz runs in but into the buckle shot. Rollins then stands up again, Miz following. Rollins boots him away, then hops up and over to run and Slingblade! Miz flounders, Rollins runs and clotheslines Miz out! Fans fire up with Rollins, Rollins builds speed, then DIVES!
Down goes Miz! Rollins brings Miz up and into the ring, then takes aim from the apron. Springboard but Miz catches Rollins! Miz wants the Finale but Rollins rolls through to a cover, TWO! Miz runs into another boot, Rollins hops up and hits a blockbuster. Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps his cool. Fans rally as he stalks Miz. Rollisn grabs Miz but Miz grabs ropes, for a cheap shot elbow. Miz trips up Rollins but Rollins kicks him away. Miz puts Rollins on the apron but Rollins hits back, then hits a springboard flying clothesline! Rollins runs but is put back on the apron, Miz slips under to trip Rollins up! Rollins hits the apron then the floor, but Miz needs to catch his breath.
Miz puts Rollins back in at the count of 3, then decides to climb up top himself. Miz flies in, but is caught, roll through to a swinging side slam! Cover, TWO! But Rollins won’t let that slow him down, he hurries back up to climb to the top rope. Rollins takes aim at Miz from far away, and leaps for a frog splash!
TWO!! And Rollins is too tired to be shocked. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Rollins stands up. Rollins stomps, “Burn It Down!” Rollins takes aim, Miz stirs, but then realizes he needs to get away. Miz escapes to the outside, but Rollins pursues. They go back in the ring, Rollins dodges to clothesline Miz back out. Rollins builds speed again, to run into a clobbering left hand! Miz catches his breath while Rollins slumps out of the ring. They both stand up on the apron, Miz’s DDT denied, but he boots Rollins back. Rollins forearms back, then chops, then another forearm. Rollins rocks Miz, then wring him out, but that Revolution Knee goes into a post! Miz goes after the leg with the Figure Four!
Rollins endures, flails, reaches but Miz just elevates himself more. Rollins drags himself around towards ropes, but Miz drags him back the other way. Miz wants Rollins to tap, but Rollins refuses. Rollins glares at Miz and it scares Miz! Rollins rolls it over and reverses the pressure! Now Miz feels the pain, enduring but reaching. Miz wills himself not to give up, and roll it back on Rollins! But now they’re closer to ropes, Rollins gets the ropebreak. Miz lets go reluctantly, but the damage has been done to each man’s legs. Miz slowly stands, then hobbles over to Rollins. He wants it again, but Rollins pushes Miz away.
Rollins chops Miz, so Miz punches back. Rollins punches back, so Miz hits back. They go again and again, Miz kicks out the leg, then full nelson, but Rollins arm-drags him away. Rollins rocks Miz with a roaring elbow, but Miz boots right back. Pele from Rollins! Miz is dizzy, but he still goes for the full nelson. Rollins rolls but Miz wheelbarrow lifts him back up! Skull Crushing Finale!
Cover, TWO!? No one can believe Rollins survived! Rollins manages to get to a corner, but that leg won’t let him stand. Miz runs in, and hits the A-List lariat in the corner. Miz then climbs up, his own legs slowing him down. He takes aim at Rollins, but Rollins springs up to stop him! Rollins climbs up, even with that bad leg. Rollins wants the superplex, but Miz resists. Miz hits back, then kicks out the bad leg. Rollins goes down, Miz stands up but Rollins returns to hit the SUPERPLEX! Rollins rolls it through, but the bad leg! Miz slips out for another Finale!! TWO!?!? How?! Miz is losing his mind from frustration. Both men are down but “This is Awesome!”
Miz sits up while fans rally. Miz drags Rollins up and into a corner, then up onto the top rope. He climbs up now, positioning himself for the full nelson. Rollins elbows and forearms his way out, then leaps for the Curb Stomp! Miz evades, then O’Conner rolls! TWO, to Rollins’, TWO, Miz but the CURB STOMP! Rollins crawls and covers, Rollisn wins!
Winner: Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Architect retains, and it took another superhuman effort to do it. What will it take to take that title from Mr. #MondayNightRollins?
Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss!
The Goddess manipulated the Irresistible Force the entire time they were “friends”, but was exposed by a hot mic. At the same time, Nia won’t let Alexa get away with spinning stories to make it seem as if Alexa was the victim all along. Who will win more than just the title in this Wrestlemania Rematch?
The bell rings, and Alexa dropkicks a leg out! She then hops on for a sleeper, but Nia slings her off. Nia swings but Alexa dodges to kick away at the leg. Alexa hops up again then rakes the eyes. Nia grabs Alexa’s hair, and blocks the slap, to make Alexa pay with a torturous wristlock. Nia headbutts Alexa, then flattens her in a corner before tossing her across the way, for another corner splash and toss. Alexa escapes outside of the ring but the champ waits for her. Alexa gets on the apron, but Nia is upon her, only to get her legs kicked out. Nia holds on to Alexa’s hair, so Alexa kicks her in the face. Alexa runs in to rock Nia with a right, then covers, ONE.
Alexa grows frustrated, and she goes after Nia with a choke on the ropes. She backs off at the count of 3, then stomps right on Nia with the skateboard stomps. Alexa taunts Nia while bumping the “bully” off the apron. She slaps Nia, then reenters the ring. Alexa gives knees, then runs, for another slap! “Bullies never win, Nia.” Alexa wants her DDT but Nia powers out! Alexa gets out of the fireman’s carry, then gets run over! Nia runs, but misses the rolling senton. Both women slowly stand, and Alexa goes after the legs before giving another right hand. Alexa bounces Nia’s face off the mat, then throws elbows and knees. She keeps Nia reeling, then runs, but Nia catches her!
Nia carries Alexa in the fireman’s carry and climbs up the corner. This is like Wrestlemania, but Alexa knows htat. Alexa uses the ropes to help her escape, but the referee reprimands her for the hanging sleeper. Alexa lets go, then leaps, but Nia powers her up. Nia gets caught in a guillotine, but then rams Alexa into buckles. Alexa holds on but Nia sits her back up top. Alexa and Nia scrap, then Nia throws Alexa to the mat! Nia stands over Alexa, but ALexa kicks her back. Nia brings Alexa up to clobber her, then powers her into the corner again. She throws ALexa down and around, then flattens her again before another toss. Nia drags Alexa aruond like a rag doll! Nia positions Alexa, then climbs up with fans firing up. She prepares the Vader Bomb, but Alexa dumps her down!
Nia crashes and burns while Alexa catches her breath in the ring. However, Champion’s Advantage means Alexa has to win this in the ring. Nia stirs and Alexa goes out to fetch her. Alexa takes the time to bring Nia to steps, for a DDT! Alexa has to drag Nia into the ring, but she’s nowhere near strong enough for that. She sits Nia up, but Alexa has to refresh the count before she runs out of time. She tries again, and gets Nia up a bit more. Nia crawls into the ring herself, Alexa covers, TWO. Alexa throws a tantrum, but goes after Nia with more forearms. She runs, but into Nia’s arms!
Nia hurries back up a corner, but Alexa slips out. Alexa tries the powerbomb, but Nia holds onto the ropes. Nia punches Alexa away, but Alexa kicks out a leg! Nia falls down, Alexa covers, TWO! Alexa is running out of ideas, but she’s still furious as ever. She runs and dropkicks Nia into buckles face first! Alexa then climbs up top, and jumps for Twisted Bliss, but Nia catches her! And Nia pops Alexa up, Samoan Drop! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia, by pinfall; still Raw Women’s Champion
Alexa was right, bullies don’t win. Nia overcomes Alexa again, and now has an in-ring interview with Renee Young.
Congratulations are in order. What does this mean to her? “It means everything.” Alexa’s Moment of Bliss is over, and Nia dedicates this victory to those who have always felt less than. This is for the victims of bullies! “You’re not alone.” Who wants to be ordinary? Be extraordinary! No one should change for anyone, “this IS me!” Be who you are, Be A Star, and in the end, “a bully always gets their ass kicked.” Fans agree with every word. Now that Nia has gotten past her bully, who will be the next woman to step up to the champion?
Backstage interview with Samoa Joe.
The Destroyer says Roman Reigns is more than “rattled.” Roman is losing his confidence, speed, power, but tonight, he loses to Joe. Joe wants Roman to feel pain. Joe wants Roman to close his eyes and see Joe’s face. Most importantly, Joe vows that tonight, The Big Dog turns into a whimpering puppy!
WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton!
The Viper was United States Champion, but won back the right to challenge whoever was champion for the title. Fortunately for him, the Superstar Shake-Up didn’t rob him of that right. Can the Charismatic Enigma hold on to the title he took from Jinder Mahal when faced with a Grand Slam Champion like Orton?
The bell rings and after ten years, these two finally match up again. Fans already rally as they circle and tie up. Hardy gets a headlock but Orton pulls hair to power out. Hardy runs Orton over with a shoulder but Orton springs right back up. They both back to a corner while checking those shoulders. Hardy gets a waistlock but Orton elbows out. Orton puts on a headlock, but Hardy powers out, only for Orton to run him over. Cover, TWO, but Orton grabs Hardy’s hair. They stand up, Hardy jawbreakers back. Hardy runs, and dropkicks Orton out, to then swing for a wrecking ball dropkick. Hardy keeps going, and takes Orton down with a flying clothesline. Fans cheer as Hardy brings Orton up and into the ring. Orton stands up and dropkicks Hardy back! Cover, TWO, and Orton brings Hardy up.
Hardy goes for but Orton denies the Twist with a shove. Hardy elbows Orton away, then climbs, but Orton shoves him onto the post. Orton catches his breath while Hardy is doubled over. Hardy falls backward into a Tree of Woe, and Orton stomps a mudhole into him. Orton grinds a boot into Hardy, then backs off. The referee helps Hardy out of the Tree, but Orton is right back on him with hands. Orton drags Hardy up again, then rocks him with a European Uppercut. Orton gives another and Hardy drops all the way out of the ring. The referee has Orton stay back, but Orton just slithers out the other side. Hardy flies out of nowhere, steel steps help for Poetry in Motion! Orton crashes against the barriers while Hardy crashes on the floor.
Hardy stands up first and gives back stomps and hammering hands. Hardy takes off his shirt, then drags Orton over to bounce him off steel steps. They go back in the ring, but Orton dropkicks Hardy mid-slingshot! Hardy drops down to the ground, then Orton exits the ring to fetch him. Orton bounces Hardy off the steel steps in return, then back suplexes him on the barriers. And then a second time! And a third! Orton is ruthless as he puts Hardy in the ring. Cover, TWO, but Orton keeps his focus. Orton stomps away on Hardy’s joins just as he does. He drags Hardy up, then hangs him up on the top rope. Orton covers again, TWO, but he still keeps his cool. He sits Hardy up for a chinlock, but fans rally for Hardy.
Hardy fights to get up but Orton keeps squeezing tighter. He brings Hardy into a body scissors for even more squeezing. Hardy endures and fans rally again. Hardy fights his way up but Orton keeps him grounded. Orton sits Hardy up for the chinlock, but Hardy gets a second wind with the fans’ chants. Hardy stands and fights, whips, and clobbers Orton with a clothesline. Atomic drop to leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick added, cover, TWO. Orton and Hardy slowly stand up and get to opposite corners. Hardy runs in but Orton dodges. Hardy climbs up, for Whisper in the Wind!
Orton goes down, Hardy covers, TWO. Hardy isn’t done, he kicks and goes for the Twist, but Orton reverses! No RKO, but Orton hist the powerslam! Cover, TWO! The Viper is calm as he stalks Hardy to the apron. He drags Hardy up, then drags Hardy through the ropes, but Hardy slips out and kicks Orton away. Hardy hobbles over and swings, but misses the Hardiac! Orton tries again as he puts Hardy back on the apron. He drags Hardy back up and in through the ropes, and hits the draping DDT. Fans know where this is headed. Orton hears them and the voices in his head. Orton wants Hardy to stand, but Hardy rolls him up! TWO, Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries up top, SWANTON BOMB!
Winner: Hardy, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
The Enigma is #ImmunetoFear, and was able to avoid being bitten by the Viper. Now that Hardy has made it through one of the best in SmackDown and all of the WWE, who will he move on to next?
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
The Drifter has made it to New Jersey, and New Jersey is happy to see him. As always, he plays his guitar and asks, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Elias is good friends with Springsteen, they party and talk about music, life. He gives Springsteen advice, making Elias the real Boss. The only regret Bruce has is being from New Jersey. And Elias gets it, “this place is toilet!” Elias texted Springsteen to get him to watch this new song. So please, silence cell phones, hold applause–nope, they give some, so Elias threatens to NOT perform. Fans chant “Yes! Yes!” In that case, he’s going to leave. On second thought… No, he’s leaving. No, he’s staying. Leaving? Staying? “Yay! Boo!” No, Bruce needs to– Awwwwwww Newark~! Feel~ the powah of The New Day!
The New Day bring positivity, instruments, and of course, pancakes! Raw’s Elias is not happy being interrupted by SmackDown’s Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. The New Day actually like Elias’ work. Elias thanks them, but he knows they’re a bit intimidated. They want autographs or what? No, not that. They want to know if he’d jam with yo boys, NEW~ DAY~. Yes, a one-time-only, co-branded Backlash Concert babyyyy~! They want to play with Elias? No, they want to WALK with Elias! Sorry but Elias is a solo act. That’s fine, they do love solos. They play their drum, trombone and cymbals. Elias has them cut the music. Kofi, stop! He can tell they have something, they might one day open for him. Just not tonight. Play somewhere else, and let’s start this over.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
But wait, is that…?
Yes, it’s MC Artiste, Aiden English! And fans know what that means: “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” English knows New Day should just stick to flapjacks while Elias’ guitar is great, but do you know what day it is today? Rusev Daaaaaaaay~!
Elias is growing further upset. “What the Hell are you two doing here?” Fans chant “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” while Rusev and English head down the ramp. They’re doing whatever they want. Because there’s one man who celebrates his own holiday every day. It’s not Bootleg Bob Dylan nor the Booty Boys. Bootleg? Bob Dylan wishes he was a bootleg Elias. This isn’t abuot Rusev Day or New Day, this is about Elias’ night.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
No Way Jose!
And he’s got Titus Worldwide with him! Elias is getting a migraine just looking at the conga line. Wait, the Fashion Police bring up the rear!
That migraine just got worse. Jose leads the line all the way around the ring and towards the announce desks. Elias demands the fiesta stop! Cut the music! No more dancing! Elias doesn’t want a collection of freaks. No more Rusev Day, no more New Day, and no more interruptions!
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
GLORIOUS ROODE! GLORIOUS DDT!!
Bobby Roode drops the party-pooping Elias and everyone celebrates. Because now the party is GLORIOUS! Roode signals to Jose, and the Fighting Fiesta leads the way back out. Elias didn’t have his moment, but Roode does join in on the conga line twerking. Rusev has to keep English serious or else he’d be lost to the infectious fiesta. Did we mention it’s GLORIOUS?
Daniel Bryan VS Big Cass!
Both the Goat and the Human Skyscraper were medically cleared on the same day almost two months ago. However, the 7 Foot Tall powerhouse hated being overshadowed by the much smaller superstar. Can Bryan show Cass it isn’t about size but skill in the ring?
The bell rings and Cass glares at Bryan. Bryan glares back, and the fans are on Bryan’s side. This only upsets Cass more. He lunges at Bryan but Bryan evades and kicks the leg. Bryan evades again and kicks at that leg more. Cass walks it off then corners Bryan, but Bryan slips past and fires off body shots and kicks. Bryan goes after that leg, the leg that Cass injured, but Cass clubs Bryan off of him. Cass rocks Bryan with a right hand, but fans taunt Cass with “We Want Enzo!” Cass keeps on Bryan with body shots, then whips but Bryan dumps Cass out. Bryan runs and blasts Cass with a wrecking ball dropkick. Then from the apron, a flying knee! Cass staggers around from that impact, and Bryan climbs up top, for a missile dropkick. Bryan kips up and fires up, as does New Jersey.
Bryan goes after Cass with the YES Kicks! “YES! YES!” He winds up, but Cass powers up and choke slams Bryan! Fans boo and jeer while Cass embraces the heat. Cass walks around, hand in the air, while Bryan recovers. Cass chops Bryan with an overhand then clubs him on the back. He stands Bryan up again for another, and Bryan doubles over from that massive palm’s impact. Cass drags Bryan up once again, for a third overhand chop. Bryan doesn’t stay down, he hits back with a body shot. Cass clubs him again, then scoops him up for the slam. Cass runs, for a big elbow drop. Cover, TWO. Big Cass keeps his cool while driving in fists to Bryan’s head. He stands up again to pose, then lifts Bryan up for the over-the-shoulder backbreaker rack.
Bryan endures, and pries his way out of the hold. Cass runs in, but a drop toehold sends him face first into buckles. Bryan YES kicks away in the corner, then runs for the dropkick! He keeps going, for a second! But then runs into the flapjack toss! Cass stalks Bryan and clobbers him with a clothesline. Cover, TWO, and now Cass grows frustrated. Cass steps on Bryan, then drags him up. He reels Bryan in for another clothesline, but holds on to the wrist to bring him up again. Fans boo and jeer but Cass embraces it all as he clobbers Bryan again. Cass mocks the fans and their disdain, then clobbers Bryan with yet another clothesline.
Bryan flounders while Cass takes aim from across the way. Cass runs, but Bryan ducks to roundhouse Cass in the head! Bryan brings Cass down by his arm, and traps one arm. He wants the other, but Cass resists, so Bryan gives crossface punch after punch to beat the bigger man down. Then Bryan sinks in the YES Lock!
Cass taps, Bryan wins!
Winner: Bryan, by submission
Size didn’t matter, but skill and grit did. Bryan wins his first PPV 1v1 match since his return, and it’s like he never missed a day. Can Bryan bring the second coming of his #YESMovement? But Cass attacks Bryan while he celebrates!!
Cass is a sore loser as he knocks Bryan down off the top rope. He goes out and throws Bryan across the floor, then back the other way! The referee tries to stop Cass and the fans taunt Cass with “You Tapped Out!” Cass can’t handle the truth, but he does manhandle Bryan back into the ring. He takse aim at Bryan again, for the BIG BOOT!
Cass stands over Bryan, proud of what he’s done. Cass still lost the match, but will Bryan lose much more?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella VS Charlotte Flair!
The FABULOUS Princess was the inaugural Ms. Money in the Bank, and held onto her contract longer than any of the Mr. MITB’s in history. But it was well worth it, as the IIconics would beat up The Queen 2v1, giving Carmella the perfect moment to cash-in. #MellaisMoney but will she stay champion now that Charlotte has her all to herself?
The bell rings and the two circle. Charlotte lets out a “WOO~!”, so Carmella copies and parodies it. Charlotte boots her down! Then shows Carmella how it’s done. Charlotte invites Carmella back into the ring, then backs off. Carmella stands up, and decides to take her title and quit? Champion’s Advantage, but Charlotte isn’t letting Carmella leave so easily. Carmella keeps saying she’s the champ, but now she’s prey! Charlotte runs her down and throws her down by her hair. Then she puts Carmella in the ring, covers, TWO. Carmella tries to escape again but Charlotte kicks her and rolls her with an inside cradle, TWO. Charlotte rolls Carmella up with the special bridge, ONE.
Carmella scrambles, but grabs the apron skirt as Charlotte drags her back in. The referee is busy with the skirt while Charlotte goes for the Figure Four. Carmella shoves her away, then stands up, only to get run over by a clothesline. Carmella rolls out of the ring, but Charlotte heads her way. Charlotte slingshots, but Carmella dodges and hits a FABULOUS Kick! She takes Charlotte down, then acts like that was the plan all along. She puts Charlotte back in the ring, covers, TWO. Carmella hammers away on Charlotte, then covers, TWO. Carmella drives in elbows then puts Charlotte in a chinlock, saying “I’m the champion!” She mocks the WOO then thrashes Charlotte around.
Charlotte endures, even with Carmella shouting in her ear. Carmella is willing to wait as long as it takes for Charlotte to quit. Charlotte reaches while fans build to a rally, and Charlotte gets her second wind. She throws Carmella off but another FABULOUS Kick! Cover, TWO, so it’s back to the chinlock. Carmella says she has all day to do this. Charlotte endures the squeeze again while fans “WOO~” in support. Charlotte powers up again, for a backpack stunner! Then a scoop, but Carmella slips back to bring Charlotte down by her hair. Carmella hammers away, then grinds Charlotte’s face into the mat.
Carmella pulls on Charlotte’s arms while pushing her face into the mat more. She wants Charlotte to give up, but Charlotte refuses. Charlotte sits up, but Carmella keeps pulling on the arms. Charlotte grows angry and she stands up to dropkick Carmella away. Both women slowly stand up, Charlotte hits Carmella with the backbreaker and STO. Charlotte chops and chops away on Carmella, the last chop dropping Carmella. Charlotte styles and profiles to hit a saido suplex! Carmella gets to the apron but Charlotte kips up to rock her with a knee, then a knee drop. Charlotte joins her on the apron, but Carmella deflects the boot to yank Charlotte down by her hair again. Carmella pushes Charlotte back into the ring to then drag her over to a corner. She uses the post to bend Charlotte back Bow ‘n’ Arrow style.
Carmella lets go at the count of 4, then clubs away on Charlotte. She reenters the ring and slaps Charlotte over and over while bringing up that she’s the champ. Carmella stomps Charlotte, then moonwalks back. However, Charlotte stands up and SPEARS Carmella down! Charlotte grins as she grabs the legs. She wants the Figure Four but Carmella shoves her away again. Charlotte holds on, jackknife cover, TWO, into the Code of Silence!
Carmella bends Charlotte back, but fans rally for Charlotte. Charlotte powers her way up and lifts Carmella, into piledriver position, but Carmella rolls through! TWO, boot from Charlotte! Cover, TWO! Charlotte can’t quite believe it, but she goes back for the Figure Four. Carmella shoves her away again, but Charlotte uses that to climb right up to the top. Carmella tries to trip her up, but Charlotte shoves her away now. Charlotte adjusts, MOONSAULT, but Carmella gets out of the way. Charlotte’s leg buckles, Carmella FABULOUS Kicks that leg out! Cover, Carmella wins!?
Winner: Carmella, by pinfall
The Princess of Staten Island wins by the skin of her teeth, but it’s still a win. Now that the Queen has no right to her throne, who will Carmella be challenged by next?
WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The Phenomenal One thought the King of Strong Style respected him. Styles thought Nakamura would accept defeat with class. Styles thought he knew Nakamura. But he thought wrong. And now, the Con Artist has become a tormentor for Styles in all of their encounters. With the rules thrown out the window, can Styles make Nakamura respect him again? Or will Nakamura just use this to his advantage and finally take that title for his own?
Things get chippy even before the proper introductions, and that only makes them both more eager to fight. The moment the bell rings, Nakamura slips out of the ring. The Rockstar is playing with Styles, but Styles isn’t going to let him. Styles chases Nakamura back into the ring, where he dares Styles to “C’MON!” Styles does but he fakes Nakamura out to throw him into a barrier. He puts Nakamura into more barriers, then even more barriers. Styles drags Nakamura up and throws him into the German announce desk! Styles doesn’t let up, he bumps Nakamura off the apron before shoving him back in the ring. He puts Nakamura in a corner, then throws more hands and even stomps.
Styles snapmares then kicks Nakamura again. He watches Nakamura writhe, then drags him back up. Styles snap suplexes Nakamura over, covers, ONE. Styles takes his time bringing Nakamura up to then whip him into a corner. Nakamura boots Styles back, then gives a back elbow. Nakamura runs but into a backbreaker. Styles stalks Nakamura, then brings him up, but Nakamura throat chops him! Nakamura digs fingers into Styles’ face, then gives knee shots before running. Things speed up, but Nakamura fakes out the dropkick, only to run into a different dropkick. Nakamura slips out of the ring again but Styles follows.
Styles puts Nakamura into more barriers, then into the barriers across the away. Styles runs in, for a big splash against those same barriers. Nakamura topples down, but Styles brings him up again. Styles gets plenty of space, but misses the second splash. Nakamura throws forearms on styles, then puts Styles into barriers now. Nakamura drags Styles over and throws him right into steel steps! Styles hits knees first and flips over the steps. Nakamura won’t give him time to recover, he pushes Styles into the ring, to then give him a knee lift against the apron. Nakamura isn’t done, he gets elevation for a knee drop guillotine! He puts Styles in, covers, TWO. Again, TWO. Nakamura keeps his cool, but fans are dueling.
Nakamura toys with Styles while he crawls to a corner. He drags Styles up for body shots, then gives him round houses and straight kicks to every part of Styles’ body. Nakamura puts him in another corner to grind a boot into Styles’ chin. He has no reason to back off, this is No DQs, so he gives Styles some BAD Vibrations. Nakamura snapmares and drops a knee, then covers, TWO. Again, TWO, and Nakamura grows further frustrated. He stalks Styles, but Styles chops back. Nakamura brushes it off, then drives in knees and a kick. Styles drops to the mat, but Nakamura just toys with him again. Styles stands but staggers, so Nakamura clubs and whips him.
Nakamura throws Styles with a back drop, then stands on him for a cover. ONE, but Nakamura keeps on Styles with knees to the ribs, shoulders and head. Nakamura drags Styles up with a facelock, but Styles endures. Fans rally for Styles but they let Styles and Nakamura know “We Want Tables.” Styles back drops Nakamura but Nakamura lands on his feet. Nakamura runs at Styles and hits the dynamic dropkick! Styles is sent out of the ring, and Nakamura goes out to fetch him. Nakamura throws Styles into the barriers, then stomps him more. Nakamura brings Styles up and throws him into the time keeper’s area, but Styles lands on his feet!
Styles rocks Nakamura back, then jumps up, only for Nakamura to sweep the legs! Styles crashes on the barriers, then Nakamura drags him up into the ring. Nakamura keeps going, dragging Styles up for a sleeper hold. Styles endures the squeeze, so Nakamura turns it into a dragon sleeper. Styles endures again and stands up, but Nakamura shifts for the inverted exploder. Nakamura throws Styles, but Styles lands on his feet to rock Nakamura with a right. Nakamura staggers back, Styles runs in but is put on the apron. Styles hits Nakamura away, springboards, but Nakamura catches him to put him on the top rope. Nakamura steps back to run in, for the Top Shelf knee!
Nakamura tosses Styles down, then fires himself up. He climbs up the corner, flying knee! Cover, TWO, but Nakamura isn’t done. He lifts Styles in the fireman’s carry, for Landslide! Cover TWO! Nakamura glares at Styles, he wants this over with. He keeps stomping Styles, even at the ropes and apron. Nakamura stomps and stomps and stomps, then leaves Styles limp on the edge. Nakamura starts looking for something to use, and confiscates a chair. He returns to the ring with it while Styles crawls to a corner.
Nakamura waits for Styles to stand, and takes a swing, but Styles ducks under to get Nakamura in a fireman’s carry! Nakamura slips down, but his strike fest is disrupted by Styles’ Phenomenal Blitz! Styles misses his backhand, Nakamura misses the roundhouse, but Nakamura hits the back heel kick! Styles wobbles, Nakamura brings the chair back, and uses the inverted exploder to throw Styles onto the chair!
Cover, TWO! And Nakamura is furious. He goes to the corner, and prepares his ace move. He runs, but Styles throws the chair at him!! Nakamura clutches his knee after hitting steel. Styles is BLOODY, as the chair ricocheted back onto his face. Styles doesn’t care, though, he goes back to Nakamura. Nakamura enziguris! Then runs, but into a Calf Crusher!
Styles pulls back as hard as he can on Nakamura’s banged up leg. Nakamura endures, Nakamura flails, but Nakamura can’t get near any ropes. Instead, Nakamura rolls it over, TWO, but into a Triangle Hold! Styles deadlifts Nakamura into Clash position but Nakamura scrambles towards ropes. Nakamura holds on, so Styles dumps him over, to then knock him off with a forearm. Styles takes aim, and springboards, but he knew Nakamura would slip back into the ring! He gives Nakamura a forearm to the back of the head! Then, Ushigoroshi!
Cover, TWO! Styles stands up while fans duel again. He drags Nakamura up, but Nakamura revives, only for Styles to evade and hit a PELE! Styles goes for the Clash, but Nakamura slips out and LOW BLOWS!
The move Nakamura has been using the most, and it’s legal. In which case, STYLES uses a Low Blow!
Fans applaud, because Styles is finally even with Nakamura in some respect. But both men are down, so the referee starts a 10 count. Nakamura and Styles slowly stir but the count is at 7. Nakamura grabs Styles but Styles pushes him away. They sluggishly brawl while standing. Styles rocks Nakamura, but Nakamura hits back. Styles hits again, but Nakamura comes back. Another from Styles, another from Nakamura, and they start speeding up. Styles gets the edge, then brings Nakamura up for one more elbow. Nakamura headbutts, then they BOTH low block kick each other! They both fall again, clutching their groins in pain. The 10 count returns and reaches 7. Then it hits 9… Double count out?!
Double Count Out; Styles retains
It’s a draw, which fans boo with good reason. But the result is, that neither Styles nor Nakamura stood up. Therefore, STILL the WWE Champion, AJ Styles!
This isn’t how anyone wanted the match to end, especially the two men in the ring. But since this is how the match ends, will the feud never end between Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style?
Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
The #YEPMovement burned all the bridges on SmackDown, right to the point where Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan beat them in a Wrestlemania tag team match to fire them! However, Stephanie McMahon let her grudge with Kurt Angle trump her disdain for Kevin & Sami, so now they’re back. Though, they’ve also gotten on the wrong side of Angle, hence why they’re up against a Monster Among Men and Alpha Male. Can Sami & Kevin hope to survive such a dominant duo?
The bell rings and we start with the Underdog Sami and Bobby Lashley, the man who supposedly gave him vertigo. Sami is wary of Lashley, but Lashley powers him to a corner. Sami turns it around, then taunts Lashley as he honors the break. Lashley backs Sami up into another cover, so Sami uses the ropes as a defense. Sami grins as he circles with Lashley. Sami gets the waistlock and the headlock, but Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Sami over with a shoulder, then brings Sami to a facelock. Sami scrambles away, fearing the vertigo suplex. He tags out to Kevin, and now Kevin circles with Lashley. Lashley gets a waistlock slam, then whips Kevin corner to corner. Lashley tackles Kevin, then whips him again, but Kevin boots him. Kevin runs out, but into a neckbreaker.
Lashley brings Kevin up, but Kevin escapes to tag out to Sami. Sami runs in and things speed up, but Lashley lariats Sami down. Lashley whips Sami corner to corner now for a big corner clothesline. Lashley drives elbows into Sami and Sami staggers around. Another whip, but Sami bails out of the ring. Lashley waits for Sami to catch his breath, but then follows him out there. Sami kicks back, then whips, but Lashley reverses to send Sami into barriers. Lashley stalks Sami to the announce desks and bounces him off the lid. Lashley just leaps up and fights off Kevin, but Sami hotshots Lashley down. Sami tags Kevin and Kevin goes right after Lashley with the back senton. Kevin puts Lashley in the ring and stomps away, then tags Sami back in.
Sami rains right hands down on Lashley, taking that headband off. Sami drags Lashley up for more right hands, then wraps Lashley in a chinlock. Kevin coaches his best friend on while Sami taunts Strowman. Lashley endures the squeeze, and fights out with body shots. Sami keeps Lashley from reaching Strowman, but Lashley reels Sami into a complete shot. Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Sami tags in Kevin, and Kevin intercepts Lashley. Kevin drops a senton but onto Lashley’s knees. Strowman and the fans rally, hot tag! Strowman rallies on Kevin with clubbing clotheslines, then the corner crash! Sami thinks about returning, but reconsiders. Strowman doesn’t care, he chases Sami down, running Kevin over in the process!
Sami is still sent into barriers, and now fans fire up. Strowman runs Kevin over again! Strowman puts Kevin in the ring, but Kevins scrambles to a corner. Kevin dodges and Strowman runs into the post! Sami tags in, and aims at Strowman. Sami runs in, but Strowman catches him! Strowman scoops but Sami slips out and runs away again. Sami wants to retreat, but Kevin wants to stand and fight. Kevin convinces Sami to stay, or rather Sami tricks Kevin. Sami puts Kevin in the ring while he retreats, leaving Kevin to suffer the clubbing forearm!
Strowman roars, then brings Kevin up. Kevin bails out, and puts Sami in the ring. Sami drags Kevin up, Kevin shoves Sami so Sami slaps Kevin! Sami apologizes, but Kevin is angry. Kevin backs Sami down, and Sami realizes he’s surrounded. Sami manages to slip away while Kevin still yells at him, but Lashley tags in. Strowman squashes Kevin, then SPINEBUSTER from Lashley. Lashley lifts Kevin back up, for the vertigo suplex! He slam Kevin down, then covers, Lashley & Strowman win!
Winners: Lashley & Strowman, Lashley pinning
The best friends might be back on the rocks, but if Strowman and Lashley stay together, could they completely dominate the Raw Tag Team Division?
However, just because they won, doesn’t mean the domination is over. Sami finds himself running away from Strowman, only to be flanked by Lashley. Strowman brings Kevin back in, for the Monster Slam!
Fans roar with Strowman while Sami protests. But then Sami reconsiders when Strowman looks at him. Strowman still chases Sami down, and puts him in the ring. Sami begs for mercy, but instead, he receives his own Monster Slam!
The domination is over for tonight, but will the rest of Raw soon feel what Sami & Kevin just felt?
Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe!
This grudge match goes back several months, as The Big Dog has always been a prime target for the Destroyer. Lately, all Joe has seen from Roman is failure, so he wants to put Roman out of his misery. With Roman on Raw and Joe on SmackDown, how will this potentially final showdown go?
From the moment Roman appears, Joe taunts and trash talks him. And the very second Roman gets in, the talk intensifies, until Joe just unleashes jabs and knees on the Big Dog! Joe won’t let up, he throws Roman out of the ring and then stalks him. Roman fires off with right hands, but Joe gets him with body shots. Joe throws Roman into barriers, then stalks him as he staggers over to announce desks. Roman swings on Joe, but Joe counters with a yurinagi into the tables!
The table explodes under the impact! And fans are thunderous for “Joe! Joe!” There’s no rest for Roman, Joe drags him up to throw him across the other announce desk. Then Joe hits the hat trick, throwing Roman over the third table. Joe backs off while the referee checks on Roman. But then seeing Roman getting up, Joe goes after him again. He puts Roman in the ring, but the referee has Joe stay back. Fans sing the familiar “Joe is gonna kill~ you~!” while Roman slowly stands up. Roman wants this match to happen no matter what, so the referee rings the bell. Joe goes at Roman again with jabs, then backs off at the referee’s count. Joe brings Roman up for more jabs, then snapmares him for a chop to the back of the neck and kick to the front. He drops a knee, then covers, TWO.
Joe won’t let up, he puts Roman’s arm in a keylock. Roman endures while fans duel on whether or not “Roman Sucks!” Roman stands up but Joe throws him back down. Joe stands over Roman, then sits him up for a neck wrench. Roman endures the twist, and Joe says, “This is the pain I was talking about.” Joe drives his elbows in then twists even harder. He shifts to a chinbar, but Roman resists. Joe kicks Roman’s arm, then goes back to the neck wrench. Roman endures again, but Joe tells him this will end if Roman just goes away. Roman refuses to quit, he pries Joe’s fingers off. He starts firing off shots, then whips, but Joe reverses to hit the back elbow and Pele! Cover, TWO.
Joe keeps his cool while glaring down at Roman. He lights Roman up with more jabs, then a knee, and back to the neck wrench. Joe traps an arm while pulling back on the chinlock. Roman works on the hold, then fights out with body shots. He rocks Joe to a corner, but Joe puts him on the apron. Joe gives Roman a hotshot, then builds speed to DIVE!
Joe wipes Roman out into the barriers, and the referee checks on Roman after that impact. Roman stirs, but Joe is upon him. They go back into the ring, cover for Joe, TWO. Joe keeps on Roman with elbows to the shoulders and neck, then goes back to the keylock. Joe grins, he can do this all night long. He brings Roman down to the mat, but Roman doesn’t give in. Roman endures a long time, then finally stands back up. Roman punches Joe off, but Joe punches back. They go back and forth with big forearm shots. Roman gets the edge, but Joe shoves him for a forearm on the rebound. Joe runs, Roman boots him down! Joe slumps out of the ring, so Roman decides to follow.
Roman is a bit slow, sore from everything Joe’s down. He comes around the corner, for the Drive-By Dropkick! Joe goes down again, but Roman drags him up and in. Roman rallies with lariats, then has Joe in a corner for the close-range clotheslines. He gives all ten, then runs, but into an atomic drop and boot from Joe. Joe adds the senton, covers, TWO. Now Joe grows a bit annoyed with Roman, and drags him back up. Roman fights off the yurinagi but Joe knees low, only for Roman to elbow him away. Roman runs into Joe’s boot, but gives Joe a spinebuster! TWO, and both men are exhausted.
They slowly stand, clearing out the cobwebs. Roman locks and loads, but Joe dodges! Joe gets the sleeper but Roman hotshots him on the top rope. Roman walks off to catch his breath, and sees Joe in position again. He runs, but the Drive-By is caught! Joe drags Roman into the ring but Roman slips out to roll Joe up, TWO. SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO. Roman and Joe stand up, and Roman lets out the howl. He runs in, to a kick! But he keeps going, SPEAR!
Cover, ROPEBREAK! Joe’s ring awareness saves him! And Roman is at a loss for what to do. Roman sits up, and so does Joe. Roman runs, builds speed, but runs into a boot. Joe wraps him in the sleeper! Roman paws and claws at the hold, Joe pulls him back, but Roman rolls through to a cover! TWO as Joe lets go of the hold. Joe runs in, but misses, then Roman shoves Joe. Roman rolls Joe, TWO, into the Coquina Clutch!
Joe has the body scissors added, and even traps an arm. Roman starts fading, the referee checks on him. Roman sparks to life and gets the ropebreak! Fans aren’t happy, they thought he was out already. Joe himself is angry, but then he gets an idea. He drags Roman up and over to a corner. He puts Roman on the top rope, then prepares the Muscle Buster! Roman fights back and punches him away, to then leap over and SPEAR! Cover, Roman wins!
Winner: Roman, by pinfall
Roman wins with resiliency that proved just a little more than Joe could destroy. When will there be another opportunity against The Beast and the Universal Championship?
Despite what the music video commercial says, this co-branded Backlash didn’t really have the best of both worlds. There was so much that was really good with this PPV, but then so much that wasn’t. The kickoff match was surprisingly good, Ruby is making a name for herself, even with the Squad helping. The Bayley-Sasha story also grows without even having matches against each other, which will make for a great blow-off at one of the bigger PPVs. Rollins-Miz truly burned it down, and it was just the opener. Nia-Alexa 2 had great story, and it shows Alexa has the great ability to adapt. Nia herself might be going up against The Squad now, as Bayley and Sasha are set aside in their own story.
Even Hardy-Orton was good, given Orton’s slow and cerebral style going against Hardy’s faster pace. I was a bit surprised Hardy retained, but at the same time, it wouldn’t benefit Orton much to get the belt back at this point. That Elias segment that just escalated in interruptions and silliness was actually really fun, in my opinion. It was like the most elaborate smokescreen for Roode to get his revenge on Elias while implying anything can happen with both shows together on one PPV. Bryan-Cass went as expected, Bryan winning but Cass being a bully and beating him down anyway. This is a good way to extend the feud a bit so we don’t get to Bryan-Miz too soon, but I’m not sure what else Bryan can do to Cass. He could win in a more intense match, but that isn’t something they can risk given Bryan’s past injuries.
And it was around here that the status quo looked to be more of a lock than Roman winning. No titles changed hand, not even in the match I was most certain it’d happen. Carmella retaining was a surprise, but not necessarily in the good way. The match didn’t seem much better than anything on the usual SmackDown. Money in the Bank is coming next, so maybe the plan is to have the second ever Ms. MITB to be the one to take it from her. The WWE Championship No DQ should have been full speed from the start. The second half was good, that chair spot was scary, but then to end on a draw wasn’t very fun. Strowman-Lashley VS Kevin-Sami was fun, though. Roman-Joe wasn’t. If Lesnar is boring for being too #SuplexCity, what makes Vince think #RestHoldCity would be any better?
My Score: 8.0/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)
Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!
NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!
NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?
- Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
- KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!
The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?
As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!
Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!
Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.
Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.
Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!
Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!
Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!
Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?
The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.
Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!
Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!
Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!
Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!
Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!
Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!
Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!
Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall
Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!
Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.
Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!
Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!
But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?
KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!
Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?
The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!
Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!
Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!
Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!
Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!
Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.
Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!
Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!
Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)
And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?
White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.
White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!
Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.
White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.
White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.
White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.
Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!
Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!
The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!
The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!
White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!
Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.
White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.
White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.
Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!
White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?
The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!
Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!
Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.
Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!
Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!
Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!
Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!
Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.
Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.
Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!
Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!
Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!
Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!
Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”
Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!
The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?
A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.
In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.
White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.
We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?
- The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
- Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
- Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
- KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
- Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
- Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.
Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.
Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI
Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.
Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.
So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!
Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto
A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!
When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.
I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.
KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens
Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.
We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.
The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!
Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.
Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.
A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 27, 2021
THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.
Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.
All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.
Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.
Overall Score: 4.25/10
At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.
I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.
Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:
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