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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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Coverage

MLW Fusion Ratings and Results: 5/25/2018

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

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

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

 

Santana Garrett vs Chelsea Green

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

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

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

Winner: Garrett via Arm Twist Spike DDT

Rating: * 1/2

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

 

Prize Fight Open Challenge: Simon Gotch vs Danny Santiago

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

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

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

Winner: Simon via Gotch Piledriver

Rating: N/A (Squash Match)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Strickland via Swerve Stomp

Rating: *** 1/2

 

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

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


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

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

 

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito!

The Most Tranquilo Man in NJPW

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

And the Meanest Man in NJPW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Naito, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion

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

Red Shoes raises Naito’s hand.

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

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

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

 

Backstage interviews.

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

My Score: 8.7/10


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

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 348

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

 

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cover, Lethal wins!

Winner: Lethal, by pinfall

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

 

The WOH Champion has her first challenger.

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

 

Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego!

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

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

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

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

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

No Contest

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

 

Cody & Brandi Rhodes speak.

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

 

ROH’s Enforcer has gone too far.

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

 

Is the Bullet Club really Fine?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hangman jackknifes Scorpio up into the Rite of Passage!

Cover, Bullet Club wins!

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.5/10


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