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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/1/18)

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After the low blow at Wrestlemania, the several low blows on SmackDown thereafter, and even a low blow at the Greatest Royal Rumble, Shinsuke Nakamura demands an apology from AJ Styles?! Will the King of Strong Style get his apology from the WWE Champion? Or just a Phenomenal Forearm? Plus, Miz TV with Jeff Hardy!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy VS The Miz & Shelton Benjamin; Orton & Hardy win.
  • Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro; Woods wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Carmella & The IIconics VS Charlotte Flair, Asuka & Becky Lynch; Charlotte, Asuka & Becky win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown General Manager Paige opens the show.

As shown by the replay from last Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble match itself, Commissioner Shane McMahon cannot be here tonight. Meanwhile, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura fought to a draw for the WWE Championship. Nakamura used a low blow while Styles attacked Nakamura after. Therefore, their third match at Backlash will be No Disqualifications! Will either Phenomenal One or King of Strong Style survive when there are no rules?

 

It’s time for Miz TV!

The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show comes to Montreal and gives us a programming note. Last week’s “no show” by Daniel Bryan is an offense to both him and the fans. Therefore, Miz bans Bryan from Miz TV. Fans boo that decision. But Miz sends a message over to Seth Rollins on “The B Show”, Raw. “You have something of mine.” Rollins may have hid behind Finn and Samoa Joe at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, but it’ll be 1v1 at Backlash for THE most prestigious title in WWE! And Sunday, an “A-Freakin-Lister” will be champion again! Speaking of champions, tonight’s guest is the United States Champion, Jeff Hardy!

The Charismatic Enigma appears, and is still champion after defeating Jinder Mahal. However, Hardy will have to defend that title all over again against The Viper, Randy Orton. Hardy enters the ring, and Miz refuses to shake his hand since he just gave high-fives to all the dirty fans. Miz asks Hardy if Miz is a better IC Champion than Rollins. Only if by better you mean “obnoxious, annoying, overbearing, wannabe Hollywood movie star”. But if Miz was better, he would’ve won at GRR. Y’know, like Hardy did. “What arrogance.” Hardy’s first night disrespected a future hall of famer in Randy Orton. Miz shows footage from a couple weeks ago. Orton answered Shelton Benjamin’s open challenge, only for Hardy to swoop in and take it instead.

Miz wonders what Orton has to say about that. Let’s find out! Yes, there’s a second surprise guest, and it IS Randy Orton! Who doesn’t wait for the complete introduction. Orton enters the ring and fans chant for “RKO”, but Miz brings up the minor interruption. So? Miz can see those voices in Orton’s head screaming about Hardy disrespecting him. No, Orton isn’t that mad. Hardy took advantage of a situation, but Orton got even. These two are cool with each other. Oh so the fans are okay with that? “Oui! Oui!” Miz puts up his hand to hush the fans. Orton doesn’t play well with others. This is only one of many times the other superstars disrespected him. Orton was only ninth on the SmackDown Top Ten months ago. That doesn’t get you a medal! But who cares about that list? Miz thinks Orton does care.

But how about when Hardy cost Orton his match with Benjamin? No, that was Sunil Singh. Wrong! Hardy’s issues with Mahal became Orton’s issues, so there should be an RKO with Hardy’s name on it! Doesn’t Orton want to teach Hardy a lesson? Miz forgets who he’s talking to. Miz doesn’t tell Orton when he strikes. Orton strikes when he wants to. Orton earned his rematch to the US Championship, so no matter how cool they are with each other, Orton vows to take the title back. Hardy says he can try. Miz can’t believe he’s seeing a “mutual agreement”. Are they going to hug? What happened to the Viper? The Gold Standard comes out to add on!

“No, Randy! You can’t try!” Orton doesn’t deserve to try, nor does he deserve a damn thing. Benjamin beat Orton, so Benjamin gets that US Championship opportunity! But Orton kicks Benjamin on the way in. Miz goes after Orton but Hardy goes after Miz, Whisper in the Wind!

The Viper and the Enigma stand tall, but who will stand tall at the end this upcoming match?

 

Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy VS The Miz & Shelton Benjamin!

SmackDown returns to this match in progress, and Orton whips Benjamin corner to corner. He runs into Benjamin’s elbow and Benjamin hits back with rights and kicks. Benjamin whips Orton but Orton elbows him back. Orton throws European Uppercuts and stomps away on Benjamin in a corner. He drags Benjamin up and brings him over to tag in Hardy. Hardy hops up and gives a double ax handle to Benjamin’s arm. Hardy snapmares and dropkicks Benjamin, cover, TWO. Tag back to Orton, and they double whip Benjamin for double elbows. Orton covers, ONE, but Orton keeps on Benjamin. Benjamin hits back and stomps on Orton. He whips Orton corner to corner but misses the splash, yet denies the RKO. Orton falls for the Dragon Whip! Cover, TWO!

Benjamin drags Orton in and tags in Miz. Miz stomps on Orton, then chokes him against the ropes. Benjamin gets a cheap shot, then another. The referee reprimands him, but Miz covers, TWO. Miz keeps Orton down in the chinlock, but fans rally for The Viper. Orton fights up and throws Miz with a back suplex! Both men are down and fans rally as they crawl. Hot tag to Hardy! Hardy rallies on Miz, whips but Miz reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Leg-splitting leg drop! Then the dropkick and cover, TWO. Hardy gets the fans fired up, kicks but Miz denies the Twist. Hardy hits Benjamin and still rolls Miz up, TWO. Miz wants but can’t get the Finale as Hardy rolls him up again, TWO, but Miz hits a back elbow. Benjamin tags in, Hardy dumps Miz out and still hits Twist of Fate on Benjamin!

Hardy climbs, but Miz slow shim down, Benjamin hits that knee! Then Miz dumps Hardy all the way down to the ground! The A-Lister turns things around for his team while we go picture in picture. Hardy checks his head while Miz grins. Orton also checks on Hardy, but the count still begins. Hardy slowly stirs while Benjamin patiently waits. Hardy stands and beats the count, but Benjamin is upon him with stomps. Benjamin brings Hardy up, suplex to cover, TWO. Benjamin rains rights and lefts down on Hardy, then drags him over to tag in The Miz. Miz and Benjamin mug Hardy, then Miz runs to boot Hardy down. Cover, TWO, but Miz keeps Hardy down with a chinlock. Hardy fights his way up and out, but Miz pulls hair to deny the tag. Miz plays dumb, then tags in Benjamin.

Benjamin stomps Hardy, then brings him up into a corner. He drives elbows into Hardy, and Hardy bursts out towards Orton! Benjamin stops him at the ropes, and gut wrenches Hardy up and around to then tag in Miz. Benjamin keeps hold of Hardy for Miz’s dropkick! Miz drags Hardy up and drives in knees into Hardy’s back. Miz puts the chinlock on again, but Hardy gets up. Hardy reaches for Orton, but Miz holds Hardy back. Miz wrangles Hardy down to the mat while we return to single picture. Fans rally while Hardy endures the squeeze. Hardy fires up and fights out, but Miz kicks low and hits the DDT! Cover, TWO! Miz grows annoyed, but he drags Hardy up and over to tag in Benjamin.

Benjamin stomps Hardy, and talks trash as he brings Hardy up by his hair. Fans rally and Hardy hits a jawbreaker! Benjamin is dazed, but he heads for his corner. Tag to Miz, and Miz stops Hardy from reaching Orton. Miz puts Hardy in a corner and stomps away. The fans tell Miz he sucks, but he just hits corner dropkicks a la Bryan. Miz embraces the heat, but Hardy dropkicks him! Both men crawl for their corners, and hot tags to Benjamin and Orton! Orton rallies with clotheslines, then the spinning powerslam! He kicks Miz and tosses him out before throwing him onto the announce desk!

Orton goes back into the ring and dropkicks Benjamin. Benjamin ends up on the apron, but Miz comes back. Orton gets them both, for double draping DDTs! The fans fire up with Orton as he hears those voices. Orton targets Benjamin, RKO! Tag to Hardy, for the Swanton Bomb! Cover, Hardy & Orton win!

Winners: Hardy & Orton, Hardy pinning

RKO TO HARDY!! Orton takes out his competition ahead of Backlash. Like he said, The Viper strikes when he wants to. Will he strike again and regain the United States Championship?

 

Backstage interview with The IIconics & Carmella.

Peyton Royce & Billie Kay walk in without the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but they now Renee knows why the FABULOUS Princess isn’t here. In fact, Peyton shows off her “spot on” Renee impression. That’s not even close! She sounded like she was from Minnesota. Well whatever, it’s all garbage anyway. The IIconics are of course good enough to be interviewed, they’re better than Asuka! Well, that was one tag team match. Shoo, go chase a moose. Renee leaves and the IIconics interview Carmella. She thanks them for teh respectful introduction. She’s honored to team with them tonight, as they’ve all beaten their opponents tonight. They’re invincible! And they’ll show everyone why #MellaIsMoney, and why #TheFutureisIIconic. Will Carmella be trash talking and moon walking after tonight’s Six Woman Tag?

 

The Bar are officially SmackDown Superstars!

That’s because they lost the Raw Tag Team Championship match against WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt. And then they encounter The New Day. Who do we have here? Who who who? The two guys who said they were going to go back to Raw. But what happened? What? They’ve always wanted to be on SmackDown. Now they can flatten all thre NEw Day members every week, like pancakes. Speaking of pancakes, Mr. Bootyworth brings some in. They’re fresh, too. These are welcome pancakes for Sheamus & Cesaro. Is there laxatives in here? No, not this batch. Even so, The Bar TOSS the pancakes! They want a real welcome: Sheamus against any of them tonight. Big E steps up to avenge the flapjacks! No, not him, Sheamus wants the “short stack” Xavier Woods. Woods says Sheamus’ soul. Is. HIS.

 

Rusev Day rehearses a new song.

But Lana is here too! The Ravishing Russian would like a word with her husband. Aiden English leaves them be. Lana knows Rusev Day is bigger than ever, and he was in that great match against The Undertaker. But Rusev lost. Something is holding him back. But he has a holiday every day. What’s holding him back? English returns to fetch his jacket. That’s who she means…

 

Big Cass heads to the ring!

The Human Skyscraper is in Montreal, but he wasn’t scheduled to appear. He has a match with Bryan this Sunday at Backlash, so he’s here to remind us that he’s from New York City. New York has negative stereotypes, but many of them are true. Like not being friendly to others, and that they are better than everyone else. Cass knows he’s better than all of Montreal! And he’s better than Daniel Bryan! Bryan is the same size as any other person. A WWE Superstar shouldn’t be someone who looks normal, a real Superstar is 7 foot tall and super strong. After all, might makes right. But Bryan is small and weak. When they face off Sunday, it won’t be some five star match, it’ll be five seconds! Cass doesn’t need armbars or wristlocks or Yes Locks, or even time to prepare.

Why wait? Daniel Bryan should come out here right now so Cass can kick his teeth in! Bryan’s music hits, but that’s not Bryan.

Bryan isn’t medically cleared to compete this week, he’s not even in Montreal. The tiny impostor heads to the ring, copying Bryan’s entrance part for part, and Cass is “afraid” of him! Wait, Bryan looks different. He looks a bit taller. Are those lifts? He has a short temper. Is Bryan mad that Cass ambushed him or that he eliminated him during the Greatset Royal Rumble? Bryan’s so short sighted, look at the bigger picture. They have a lot in common. Cass used to be Bryan’s size, when he was five years old.

“And scene.” Welcome Montreal’s own Pierre LeFlour! Applaud for him! Take a bow, Pierre, wave to your fans! He’s available for bookings, just call his agent. Soak it in, Pierre. Because it won’t last long. Cass turns sour, and when Pierre turns around, he gets a boot right to the face! Fans boo and jeer but Cass keeps going by raining rights down on Pierre. Cass stands tall while he stands on Pierre.

Cass taunts Pierre while fans disapprove of the “Cass-Hole”. Referees stop him from toying with Pierre, but Pierre is not Daniel Bryan. Will Bryan gets sweet revenge on Cass at Backlash?

 

Renee Young interviews AJ Styles in the ring.

The Phenomenal One is still WWE Champion through the Double Count Out draw at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. We already know SmackDown GM Paige has made their newest rematch a No DQ’s match, which will only let this already intense feud go all out. With Montreal giving him a standing ovation, Styles responds to that decision. Will he retain his title? Depends: is he going up against the Con Artist, or the King of Cheap shots? Either way, that’s how Shinsuke Nakamura has been while Styles is simply trying to defend the gold. Nakamura keeps going after the wrong jewels with all those low blows. Yet Nakamura wants an apology? Styles should’ve left Nakamura sucking sand in the desert! Nakamura ruined Wrestlemania, ruined Bryan VS Styles, and tried to ruin The Club reunion.

This is far more than just Nakamura wanting to be champion. “Nakamura is a coward.” He attacks from behind and below. But Sunday will be different. The rules are gone, so Styles can do anything he wants, too. It will be eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and low blows will be the least of Nakamura’s worries. Pieces of Nakamura will be all over the place, and the look on Nakamura’s face will be torture, courtesy of AJ Styles. So there’s no apology? If Nakamura wants an apology, he should come out here. But that isn’t Nakamura heading out to the ring, that’s Samoa Joe!

The Samoan Destroyer has Roman Reigns to destroy this Sunday, but he’s no stranger to the Phenomenal One. “Oh AJ, look at you out here making a spectacle out of yourself.” Styles is so full of anger that he’s lost focus. Styles isn’t focused on the right match at all, he should be focused on Joe proving Roman Reigns is a failure! Roman makes excuses, but Lesnar is still champions, “end of story, period.” Which brings us to tonight. Styles must make peace with his destiny. After Joe puts Roman to sleep, he’s coming after whoever has that WWE Championship! “Believe THAT!” The man who has never made an idle threat in his life makes a threat here tonight. But Nakamura’s music hits! Joe’s ready to face this other old foe, but Nakamura again gets Styles from behind, and below the belt!

The Cheap Shot Artist leaves Styles gasping for air all over again, and mocks him right in his face. Fans duel while Styles tries to stand. Nakamura hovers all around Styles, toying with his prey. Nakamura slaps Styles in the head, then walks circles around him. He fires himself up, to run right past him. But wait, is he going to do it this time? YES, KINSHASA!! Whether the King of Cheap Shots or Strong Style, Nakamura is ready to give Styles one last #Knee2Face to win the title. What won’t these two do to each other in their No Disqualification match at Backlash?

 

Becky Lynch is frustrated backstage.

The Lass Kicker knows she lost and cost Asuka her first SmackDown match. The Empress says to forget last week. Focus on tonight, because they’ll hit back three times harder. The Queen of Flair agrees, because Carmella & The IIconics are not invincible, they’re just annoying. Charlotte vows to use tonight to teach those three a lesson in respect. Okay but don’t be a hero. Those three are shady. Well with the Queen, the Empress some Straight Fire, they’re SmackDown’s Avengers! Becky and Charlotte won’t argue with that. Can these three assemble to take out the FABULOUSLY frustrating trio tonight?

 

Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro!

Awwwww, Montreal~! Now that the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg are official SmackDown superstars, they want to be properly welcomed with a match. Sheamus is confident he can win against the shortest of the pancake-serving positive-thinking trio, but will he be surprised that height doesn’t matter when New! Day Rocks?

The bell rings and Woods circles with Sheamus. Sheamus shoves Woods down and straightens the Mowhawk. He shoves Woods again and then puts him in a corner. Sheamus whips Woods out then in, but Woods drives in a knee. Woods backs Sheamus with haymakers and chops, but Sheamus whips him back into the corner. Woods goes up and over and speeds up, to dropkick a knee out! Sheamus gets to a corner, but he catches Woods’ splash. He tosses Woods but Woods keeps going for a roaring elbow and dropkick! Woods takes aim as he builds speed, to FLY!

He wipes Sheamus out while the New Day give a shout out on commentary. However, Cesaro distracts with his black market flapjacks, and Sheamus knees Woods down! Cover, TWO.

Sheamus keeps his cool while Woods checks his jaw. Sheamus sits Woods up to club with forearms, then he throws him at the bottom rope! Woods is dazed while Sheamus is in control, we go picture in picture while fans rally for Woods to recover. The referee checks on Woods, but somehow he’s okay to continue. Sheamus stands on Woods’ head, then brings him up for a clubbing clothesline. Sheamus embraces the heat while he drops the knee, then drives in a knee before putting on the keylock. He even holds it with one arm while flexing. Woods fights his way back up while fans rally. Woods punches Sheamus away, but Sheamus puts him on the apron. Sheamus swings but Woods counters with one of his own, but Sheamus still gets Woods in position for the Bodhrain. He starts drumming, but stops part way to shove Woods down.

Sheamus brings Woods back up, but Woods gets him with the hotshot! Woods then steps in, but into a forearm. Sheamus drops another knee then puts the keylock back on while we return to single picture. Fans rally again while Woods endures. Woods stands up and fights back, but Sheaus shoves him and scoops him. Sheamus blocks the arm-drag counter and gives Woods an Irish Curse backbreaker instead! Sheamus keeps on Woods by hooking the nose and pulling hair. Woods fights back again, haymakers and chops backing Sheamus down. Sheamus hits back but Woods slips out of the suplex to mule kick. Woods kicks again, then gives a knee! Woods fires up and slips out of the scoop to then power Sheamus to a corner. Sheamus turns it around then runs in, but into the post! Woods hits the leg drop! Cover, TWO!

Cesaro coaches Sheamus while Woods climbs up. Fans rally for Woods, but he has to jump over Sheamus. Sheamus rolls him up, TWO, Shining Wizard outta nowhere!

Sheamus is rocked, but Woods climbs up again. That’s very far away, and Cesaro distracts Woods anyway. Big E scoops Cesaro but gets put into a post. Kofi flies in but Cesaro dodges and struts. But Woods wrecks him with a dropkick! Only for Sheamus to shove Woods into barriers! They go back in the ring, Kofi distracts, Woods inside cradle! Woods wins!

Winner: Woods, by pinfall

Sheamus can’t believe it! But when you have brains and numbers, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you still lose to the New Day! Will The Bar get payback while they’re here on the Blue Brand?

 

Paige meets with Absolution.

Her girls are here and they’re all happy to see each other again. Madame General Manager, Absolution is reporting for duty. This is so great for the Glampire, really. But they’re pretty sure they know why she called them in. So who is it going to be? It’s going to be Mandy Rose! Really? Wow! Mandy fighting for the title! No, no, you have to earn the title match. This was to decide who faces Becky Lynch next week. But they’re friends, right? No special treatment? They’re Absolution! No, Absolution is dead. What? Since when? Will God’s Greatest Creation be okay after facing the Lass Kicker next week?

 

Andrade “Cien” Almas speaks.

Or, Zelina Vega does. “When is Andrade going to appear on SmackDown”? You don’t get to know. You only know it will. Very soon, SmackDown will be changed forever, by El Idolo. Stay Tranquilo, WWE Universe.

 

Six Woman Tag: Carmella & The IIconics VS Charlotte Flair, Asuka & Becky Lynch!

The Queen could tie the great Trish Stratus with seven championship reigns, but that’s if she takes her throne back from the FABULOUS Princess this Sunday. Can Charlotte count on the Empress and Lass Kicker to help her teach Peyton, Billie and the SmackDown Women’s Champion something about respect?

Charlotte and Carmella start, but Carmella plays keep away to then tag in Peyton. Becky wants in so Charlotte gives her the tag. Peyton taunts Becky while fans chant for the Lass Kicker. Becky gets Peyton in a takedown, but Peyton elbows out and throws Becky down. Peyton covers but Becky slides out to dropkick Peyton down. Becky runs but Billie takes a cheap shot! Becky swings on Billie but misses, then misses her leg drop. Peyton tags Billie and the Iconic Duo go after Becky together. Becky reverses the whip and knocks Billie down, cover, TWO. Becky keeps on Billie with an armlock, then tags in Asuka. The fans fire up as Billie cowers in fear. Asuka cuts Billie off from her IIconic friend, but Billie gets in a shot! Which only makes Asuka grin. Asuka unleashes on Billie, then runs to run her over with a hip attack!

The Empress tags in The Queen, and “WOO~!” she drops an ax handle on Billie. Charlotte rolls Billie up, TWO, but Charlotte chops Billie down. Billie dodges in a corner and hurries to tag in Carmella. Carmella is opportunistic as ever, but Charlotte takes her down to go for the legs. Carmella panics and the IIconics save her, but Charlotte slingshots over!

Charlotte takes out the IIconics with that plancha, but Carmella runs away while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Peyton has control of Becky in a chinlock. The fans rally and Becky fights out, but Peyton tags in Carmella. They double whip but Becky kicks the champ away. She elbows Peyton then boots Carmella, and even gets Billie with a forearm. Becky throws Peyton out but Carmella takes out Charlotte. Becky dropkicks Carmella, and crawls for the corner, only for the IIconics to wipe out Asuka and throw her into barriers and steel steps. The referee reprimands them, but Caremlla takes care of Becky. Becky shoves her away, hot tag to Charlotte! Charlotte rallies on Carmella with Flair chops over and over. Charlotte styles and profiles, then throws Billie with an exploder. Peyton comes in, she gets one, too!

Charlotte fires up and hits Carmella with a back suplex. Carmella gets to a corner then dodges, but Charlotte climbs up. Charlotte fights off Billie but Carmella trips her up! Charlotte hits the post with her face, then Carmella tags in Peyton. Peyton tags in Billie, and they hotshot and heel kick Charlotte down. Billie covers, Becky breaks it up! Billie rushes Becky and throws her out, then tags in Peyton. They mug Charlotte, then set her up on the top rope. Carmella tags in and flips to FABULOUS Steiner Charlotte down. Cover, TWO, and Carmella can’t believe it. Cover, TWO, and now she’s losing her temper. Another cover, TWO! Carmella clubs away on Charlotte in frustration, then grinds Charlotte’s face into the mat.

Carmella tags in Peyton, and Peyton kicks Charlotte while she’s down. Peyton drives in elbows and wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally while we go picture in picture for a Backlash plug. Charlotte tries to fight her way out but Peyton puts on body scissors to keep her grounded. Charlotte reaches for the ropes, then fights her way up as we go single picture. She throws Peyton off then rolls her up, to the Figure four! Peyton shoves Charlotte away, but Asuka tags in! Asuka rallies at high speed, pop-up knee and a strike fest! She’s still going, sliding enziguri to Peyton’s face! Fans fire up with her as she deadlifts Peyton. Billie tries to save Peyton, as does Carmella, so Asuka just blasts them all with the hip attack. Peyton avoided it and covers, TWO, into Peyton’s knee! TWO, and now Peyton can’t believe it!

The Aussie Venus brings Asuka up but Asuka ducks a kick to give a kick! Billie breaks the cover with her boot. Becky flies in with a missile dropkick! FABULOUS Kick from Carmella, SPEAR from Charlotte! Charlotte keeps going, climbing up high to SUPER MOONSAULT on Carmella and Billie!!

Asuka and Peyton stagger, and the Empress is ready. She deadlifts Peyton but Peyton standing switch and roll up, only for Asuka to get her Asuka Lock!! It’s in, Peyton taps! Asuka and her team win!

Winners: Asuka, Becky & Charlotte, Asuka with the submission

Asuka’s first win since her first loss is a big 3v3 match. Can the Empress rebuild her empire with this? Can Charlotte take that title back from Carmella?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was both the first SmackDown-After-GRR and the go-home SmackDown for Backlash, but it fell short of being as great as that sounds. Only three matches on the night, and only one in that entire first hour? Given the amount of talent SmackDown now has after the Superstar Shake-Up, that is a horrible ratio. Making that Big Cass segment into a match, as bogus as it would have been, still would’ve been better than what we got. Cass still does alright on the mic, but not as good as last week. And him using a fake Bryan to send a message was rather cliche in hindsight. Orton-Hardy VS Benjamin-Miz was itself formed from a SmackDown cliche, but at least the match and the ending were good. Hardy VS Orton at Backlash can go either way to me, but with Miz and the IC title, I expect Rollins to retain, again.

Making Styles VS Nakamura a No DQ match could easily turn into an endless string of nut shots, but I’m sure chairs or even a table will make an appearance. Joe appearing was a nice surprise, and good to know that win or lose against Roman and regardless of who is champion, Joe wants his turn. Joe VS Styles in WWE would be great, and is the likely choice as we’ve seen Joe VS Nakamura in NXT, and they’re both Heels right now. Woods VS Sheamus was pretty good, and seeing The Bar VS New Day again on SmackDown isn’t so bad. The Absolution segment was good in that it immediately establishes that group is no longer a group. Mandy and Sonya might stick together under a new name, and might be bitter towards Paige now.

The main event saved the show, though. All six women are so good, and they really turned it up as the ending drew closer. The Faces win for many good reasons: Asuka needed her first win back from losing her Streak; Charlotte needs to look strong ahead of her match with Carmella; and Becky needs to stay strong as she works on getting back to the top. There’s a good chance Charlotte regains the title, but Carmella could easily use Champion’s Advantage to weasel her way out of that. Becky has her match with Mandy next week, her moving from one duo to another is just to tide her over. Asuka could still easily go after the title again, she literally only has one singles loss ever in the WWE. And both Becky and Asuka could make major moves at this year’s Money in the Bank.

My Score: 8/10


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

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

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

via GIPHY

 

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

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

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

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

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

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

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

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

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

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

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

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

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

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

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

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

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

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

 

Thoughts:

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

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


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

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

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

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

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

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

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

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

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

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

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

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

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

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

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

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

Here is how these four can win.

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

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

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

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

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


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

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CMLL Coverage
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CMLL Arena Puebla Show Monday

El Asturiano and Black Tiger vs Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

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

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

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

Winners: Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma

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