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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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More From Japan

(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.10 ~16TH NOVEMBER 2018

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Another wonderfully in depth recap of this week in Pro Wrestling NOAH. How is the Global League going? Let’s see what else has been going on in NOAH.





CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH were in Hiroshima on the 12th November; Hiroshima is a city of mixed emotion for NOAH, for some it is home, but for the promotion as a whole it has sad associations, as Mitsuharu Misawa died there in 2009.

Hitoshi Kumano, (a local bear), took charge of fundraising for the Heavy Rain Fund (Hiroshima was hit badly earlier in the year by floods, and the mascot got yelled at by Mitsuya Nagai). Nagai was wound up by Naomichi Marufuji as well, who held the ropes open for him, a tactic which served to wind Kenoh up too. It was also the event where Kotaro Suzuki got his win over HAYATA, and sat on the ropes holding the belt up to both Daisuke Harada and HAYATA. Kotaro Suzuki later said that HAYATA bought out his trump card in the previous match (“the Headache”), and so he bought out his too, and that he would be no match for him with his own number of various maneuvers which he would bring out in the title match. They had their final match before the championship match on the 17th in Osaka, and they will both go into the match with one victory each over the other in the build up for the challenge.

Fan support is very much on the side of HAYATA (who is not NOAH born unlike Suzuki who is seen as an outsider, despite being NOAH born) to bring the championship home.

Mitsuya Nagai clashed with Naomichi Marufuji, and was chopped to shreds. Marufuji said he looked like a “boiled octopus” afterwards. Katsuhiko Nakajima would dismiss Nagai as “small fish” on the 14th, but Nagai would break through the dark cloud on the 16th when he ended the winning streak of Kohei Sato.

Despite his fluke win and spazz out victory celebration against Takashi Sugiura, Kaito Kiyomiya suffered two defeats in a row; the first being against Atsushi Kotoge on the 14th and Cody Hall on the 16th. Kotoge, however, has been on a roll and defeated Go Shiozaki on the 16th.

In a rare moment on the 14th, Masa Kitamiya and Kenoh shook hands. Kitamiya said that he did it to acknowledge that he and Kenoh (who lost to him) had practically fought to the death for the win, and that he didn’t trust wrestlers who had no ambition. Speaking of Kenoh, during the huge tag on the 16th November, his victory over

Marufuji seemingly wasn’t enough, and he decided to get his face again.

Marufuji (now with both shoulders needing athletic support) just looked tired and like he’d had enough.

The show on the 16th November was a shift in the league; Kohei Sato, Kazusada Higuchi and Go Shiozaki had their perfect records beaten by Mitsuya Nagai, Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge, and Nakajima avenged his loss against Quiet Storm in Global League 2017.

As Global League is beginning to heat up, everyone is talking about not letting anymore victories slip through their fingers, but of course, not all matches can go to a draw, and someone has to lose. There can only be two finalists, and ultimately one winner.

Full recap of Global League 2018 so far, can be found here.

Noah will be back on Saturday 17th November at the Edion Arena in Osaka, (gong sounds at 18.30).

NEWS

THE EVOLUTION OF KENOH 
The upcoming “Wrestlers Directory” 2018 (basically a guide to who is who, what, and where in 2018) was previewed and Naomichi Marufuji and Kenoh were profiled with their changing looks over the years. 

Kenoh made the following comments about his entry:

  • His 2009 picture is ugly
  • Like all trainees, he debuted with a shaved head. Says he didn’t used to cut it, and its awkward to look at it, says he didn’t think he had any money to cut it.
  • It doesn’t really translate well, but Kenoh says he cut his hair in 2012 because it had been long for long enough. In another rough translation he says that he looks like a child of badboy parents, who has been forced to pose.
  • Kenoh said about his expression that it doesn’t change, because in his every day life, he does not laugh a lot.
  • In 2015, Kenoh says that “I admired him and went blonde, but I can no longer say I have the aspiration to be like him” (he is talking about Morishima, who very sadly, has let a lot of people down, including Kenoh).

YOSHIKI INAMURA ADDED TO THE NOAH ROSTER PAGE 
At the moment there is not too much information on him apart from his birthday (November 18th 1992), his height and weight, blood type and birthplace (Otawara City in Tochigi Prefecture), date of debut and finisher. His finisher isn’t anything special at the moment, and doesn’t have a special name, being listed only as a “tackle”.

He doesn’t have a Twitter account yet.

CHRISTMAS AT MUSCLE GRILL
Naomichi Marufuji’s current restaurant MUSCLE GRILL in Tokyo will be having a Christmas party on the 22nd December. Naomichi Marufuji, Hi69, Tadasuke, Atsushi Kotoge and Junta Miyawaki will be attending, but obviously this depends on whether or not they manage to stay injury free.

Event is now full.

HAJIME OHARA IN CHINA
Hajime Ohara has missed some Noah dates as he is training the Eastern Hero Athletes in Shanghai, and also when they visit the Noah dojo in Saitama. Ohara is known to be a very strict trainer with a lot of emphasis on health and well-being, which goes further than working out as he is a big advocate for healthy eating and avoiding alcohol (although he does seem to have a weakness for cake); he has banned smoking during training sessions, forbidding his students to smoke while on breaks.

NOAH IN 2019 
Noah have announced the dates for “Navigation for The Future 2019”. The tour will run from January 6th to Friday, February 1st. They have also announced their (provisional) Korakuen Hall schedule for 2019.

TAKESHI MORISHIMA UPDATE
There has been no real news following Morishima’s arrest earlier in the month, but further sad details have come to light about his behavior prior to the arrest and his living circumstances.

Morishima it seems was (and is) homeless and without any form of income, and was begging for drinks, even using the tactic of asking to drink with the bar staff as it meant he would be given free drinks.

The management company who were sponsoring his return had originally put him up in an apartment, which they paid the rent for. The deal was that Morishima would concentrate on his return, however, Morishima didn’t do this, and preferred alcohol to training. The President of the company, seeing that Morishima wasn’t giving anything in return despite repeated requests for him to change his ways, eventually lost his patience and told Morishima to pack up and leave.

Morishima, seemingly unconcerned about this, told him flippantly that he was drinking in Shinjuku, and if he wanted the keys, he should come and get them.

GHC BELT NEWS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The winner of Global League 2018 will earn the right to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight title, if he himself wins, Sugiura says that he will nominate Masato Tanaka as his challenger.

Kotaro Suzuki will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight title against HAYATA on the 17th November at Edion Arena, Osaka.

The GHC Heavyweight Tag titles have not had a challenger as of yet, and probably won’t until after Global League wraps up. Mitsuya Nagai has hinted that he may challenge, but Saito said that he will not be granted a title shot. Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he was going to challenge after the Global League match with Saito, and said cryptically, he was “in the mood for shopping” (i.e., shopping around to see what deal is best).

The GHC Junior Tag Championship will be challenged for by Koji Kanemoto and Hiroshi Yamato on the 25th November at Korakuen Hall. Seiya Morohashi has also challenged for them, his partner at this time is as yet unknown, but it is thought it will either be TAMURA or Kouki Iwasaki.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Atsushi Kotoge drinks “Revolutionary Coffee”
  • Naomichi Marufuji sat on a wet bench wearing thin grey pants…
  • There was a cat at the hotel in Ehime, much to YO-HEY’s delight
  • Kaito Kiyomiya appears to be being fitted for tailored suits (long gone are the days of the oversize one thank god)
  • Daisuke Harada celebrated his 32nd birthday on the 13th November (President Uchida did not even know it was his birthday!), and Yoshiki Inamura will celebrate his 26th birthday on November 18th, Takashi Sugiura bought him an early birthday cake and a small party was held at a restaurant Inamura had been taken out to by his seniors.
  • Shu Nishinaga said Ally (the ring announcer) “whined like a child” for udon noodles.
  • Naomichi Marufuji says he was disturbed by mosquitoes, in November, which woke him up at 2.30am
  • Kenoh apparently went jogging in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Kyoto (a fan who saw him, thought he was a blonde delinquent fleeing the law before it was discovered it was Kenoh)

KING SHAMELESS CORNER 
After weeks of silence. Takashi Sugiura is back, posting a picture of Masao Inoue holding an ice cream cone with white foam in it and labeling it “mood” and photographing erotic looking food.

I’ll leave it to your (and his) dirty imagination as to what exactly he meant by oysters being “erotic”…

BROADCASTS
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 12th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December

This is more than usual, and all seem to be going out on a weekly basis. This makes me wonder if the network are trying something out.

LINKS
K-FORCE: music inspired by Katsuhiko Nakajima
ARTICLE: “Traces to Nowhere: the tragic story behind the Takeshi Morishima arrest”
News article on Takeshi Morishima’s drunken and chaotic life
Enjoy what I do? Help me do it full time.
IPW are the official vendors of Noah merchandise, please click here for shop
English translation of “Heir to the Ark” (Naomichi Marufuji’s biography) ~ work in progress





Enjoy the Pro Wrestling NOAH content? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 3!

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NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling continues with an epic Triple Threat for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! Can Kenny Omega defeat both Kota Ibushi AND Cody?




This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.




PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!

The Golden Lovers reunited and it feels so good. But Kenny Omega felt even better after finally becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! Omega promised his best friend a shot at the title. Omega and Kota Ibushi battled in the G1 Climax 28, and it would be the Golden Star who shined bright. However, The American Nightmare suggested something even more epic than just Golden Lover VS Golden Lover. Cody interjects himself into this match for a Triple Threat for the top title in NJPW. Will this match make the Golden Elite stronger? Or only serve to tear them apart all over again?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody!

The Best Bout Machine, the Golden Star and the American Nightmare have all had their differences, but now they’re all on the same side. Or are they? Cody already has the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, on top of the NWA Worlds Championship and even a part in the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. Perhaps Cody is just adding to his collection. Of course, he’ll have to get through both Golden Lovers to do it. Who will come out of this epic match as the best heavyweight in all of NJPW?

The three men make their entrances, the introductions are made and the belt is presented. Red Shoes does his check, and the match begins after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns as the three friends shake hands and hug to prove this is respectful. The bell rings and the three circle. They keep their eyes on each other, and Omega ties up with Cody first. Cody ties up with Ibushi at the same time, but he fights both Golden Lovers. Cody throws Ibushi out hard and focuses on Omega. He gets a headlock and Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over, then things speed up. Cody slides under, kicks and drops for the uppercut. Omega bails out as Ibushi comes in. Ibushi and Cody tie up, and Cody gets a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Cody runs him over but Ibushi kips right up. Things speed up again and Ibushi dropkicks Cody down. Cody bails out and Ibushi builds up with the fans. Ibushi runs but Omega stands in his way.

The Golden Lovers talk but Cody goes after them both! Cody throws hands on Ibushi, then whips. Ibushi reverses and the Golden Lovers work together, roundhouse to Kotaro Krusher. Ibushi covers but Omega yanks him off. Omega covers but Ibushi yanks him off. Omega apologizes and says “Dozo (go ahead)”. Ibushi covers, TWO! Omega knew that would happen. He and Ibushi stand up but Cody knocks them into each other! Cody suplexes Omega and tosses him! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Cody fetches Ibushi on the outside. Cody suplexes Ibushi for the gordbuster! Cody goes back to Omega in the ring but Omega throws body shots. Omega runs but into the kitchen sink knee! Cody covers, ONE! Cody goes back to Ibushi, and suplexes Ibushi. Ibushi slips out and fires forearms. Ibushi whips Cody into railing, then runs in, only to be tossed up and over!

Cody leaves Ibushi behind, but Omega is ready with a kick and haymakers. Omega backs Cody to a corner, then chops. Omega whips corner to corner but Cody reverses and back drops Omega. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while fans rally up. Ibushi stirs in among the chairs while Cody springboards at Omega. Omega ducks under then huricanranas Cody on the return! Cody bails out and Omega fires up. The Terminator Drums begin, and Omega builds speed, to FLY! Omega gets just enough of Cody, and then puts him back in the ring. Fans rally for everyone as Ibushi returns. The Golden Lovers work together again. Omega says Cody, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, Ibushi shooting star, Omega moonsault, but then Omega grabs Ibushi for an electric chair! Ibushi slips out, and is just disappointed in his friend.

Cody watches as Omega apologizes, but this time Ibushi is ready. Ibushi elbows Cody away, but then Omega kicks Ibushi low. Omega whips Ibushi but Ibushi reverses. Ibushi runs in, but Omega goes up and over. Omega runs at Cody but Cody goes up and over, to then get Omega in the spinning powerslam! Cody runs at Ibushi but Ibushi goes up and over to hit Cody with a powerslam! Then the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, focusing on Ibushi. All three men slowly sit up, and Ibushi brings Cody up. Cody pokes Ibushi’s eyes, then kicks Omega. Cody wants to work together with Omega, “We’re friends, too!” Omega admits that’s true, and they double suplex Ibushi. But then Cody rolls Omega up, TWO! Omega gets mad and the two start shoving. Then they start brawling! Cody SUPERKICKS, but runs into a chop!



Omega wants a snap dragon but Cody breaks free. Cody trips Omega and puts on a Figure Four! Omega slaps Cody, so Cody punches back. It’s a brawl inside the Figure Four, but Cody gets an edge. Omega gives it back, but here comes Ibushi! He kicks Omega, but Omega makes it an ankle lock! The submissions are linked, but Ibushi gets free. Ibushi then kicks Cody. He kicks at Omega, Omega ducks but Ibushi moonsaults! Cover, Cody breaks it while breaking his lock. The three men are still very even while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Ibushi is the first to stand. Cody is next so Ibushi goes after him. Ibushi whips Cody corner to corner but Cody goes up and over to roll up. Ibushi rolls through, misses the kick but moonsaults, onto knees! But then Cody walks into a Snap Dragon Suplex! OMega brings Ibushi up, Aoi Shoudou! Cody comes back but misses the Beautiful Disaster. Omega gives Cody another Snap Dragon, then he takes aim. BANG, Omega runs, but Ibushi intercepts with a missile dropkick! Cody hits Ibushi with one of his own, then he drags Ibushi up. Cody gives Ibushi an arm wrench and DDT, covers, TWO! Fans rally up again but Cody keeps his cool. Cody shows off his stamina by doing push-ups and flexing. He then drags Ibushi up again and clubs away on the arm.

Cody whips but Ibushi counters. Cody dodges to DIVE onto Omega! But then Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle stopped by Cody’s clubbing forearm. Cody drags Ibushi out, but Omega stops the Cross Rhodes. Cody shoves Omega away, then goes back to Ibushi. Ibushi kicks Cody away, Omega grabs Cody to powerbomb through the announce desk! Cody writhes amid the wreckage, but Ibushi jumps on Omega with a corkscrew moonsault! All three men are down on the outside! Ibushi is up first and he brings Omega up with him. Cody crawls out of the wreckage but Ibushi puts Omega in the ring. Ibushi takes aim, but he sees his friend can barely stand. He ditches the springboard, to look Omega in the eyes. Ibushi dares Omega to bring it on, and Omega fires himself up. The Golden Lovers tie up!

They break, they tie up again, then it’s a brawl of forearms! Omega hits, Ibushi hits, repeat. Omega staggers a bit but he still hits back. Ibushi staggers a bit but he hits back. Omega boots back, and Ibushi takes a moment to wipe his mouth. Ibushi boots, and Omega boots back. Ibushi boots again, and Omega checks his ear. Omega runs in but gets a boot, then a strike fest! Ibushi kicks but Omega blocks to CHOP. Omega then hits a Snap Dragon! Ibushi sits up but Omega is on him. BANG, but Ibushi is ready, only for Omega to kick away his clothesline. Omega wants another Kotaro Krusher but Ibushi slips out the back. Ibushi wants a German Suplex but Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger blocked, but it comes back!

Ibushi still swings on Omega but Omega dodges. Ibushi dodges back, only to run into another V-Trigger! POISON-RANA! But Ibushi pops right up! To CLOBBER Omega! Both Golden Lovers are down, sore and dazed. Cody has returned to the apron while The Young Bucks can only watch on with intense focus. Ibushi stirs, and fans rally up. He says he’ll end it, and he climbs up top. Cody comes over to shove Ibushi down! Cody climbs up now but has to kick Omega away. Omega staggers, Cody hops, and hits a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, and now Cody grows frustrated. Cody stands again, and waits for Omega to stand. Omega does, and Cody wants Dinn’s Fire. Omega slips out of it, heel kick tot he back of Cody’s head! Cody slumps in a corner, and Omega runs in, V-Trigger to the back!

Cody is hurting but Omega doesn’t stop. Omega hauls Cody up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega wants a full nelson, but Ibushi can be seen crawling in. Cody resists and fights back, but Omega clubs him back. Ibushi gets in and creeps over. Cody sends Omega down, but Ibushi’s right up! Omega pulls Ibushi down, climbs up, but Ibushi kicks Omega in the back! Ibushi drags Omega up, scoops, and goes to lawn dart, but Omega slips out. Omega kicks, powerbomb lift, and buckle bumps him into Cody’s back! Cody ends up in a Tree of Woe now, as Omega gives Ibushi a Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives, but Cody’s still stuck. Omega says BANG, and gives Ibushi a V-Trigger. Then electric chair, but Ibushi slips out to inverted suplex, Lawn Dart into Cody! Everyone’s down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again as the three men finally stir. Cody gets to the apron while Ibushi stands. Ibushi goes after Cody, wanting to German Suplex him back in. Omega sees this, hops up the other side, to then springboard to add a powerbomb to Ibushi’s German Suplex! Omega gets up while the other two are down, and he has two targets now. Fans rally up as he double guns, double BANG! He goes for Ibushi first, V-Trigger hits! Then to Cody, V-Trigger hits! Omega keeps on Cody with the electric chair, but Cody spins around and out, and he powerbomb lifts Omega. Cody throws Omega, and Ibushi uses that for his German Suplex! That’s usually a Golden Lovers move! Ibushi covers, but Cody breaks. Omega rolls away while Cody keeps on Ibushi with right hands. Cody then hits Omega with the Beautiful Disaster!

Cody fires up, and he goes outside to search under the ring. He doesn’t find what he wants on that end, though. He goes around the other side, and he finds a table! Cody brings it out and sets it up, but Omega has come after him. Omega clubs Cody but Cody bounces him off the wood. Cody goes back to Ibushi in the ring, and brings Ibushi up. He clubs away on Ibushi, and prepares a powerbomb. Ibushi resists, so Cody clubs him more. Cody gets Ibushi up for a Canadian rack, but Ibushi slips out. Omega returns to springboard, but Cody shoves him down! Omega falls through the table! At least it broke…

As for Cody, he just grins. He goes to a corner and climbs up. Cody aims at Ibushi, but Ibushi stops him with a forearm. Ibushi climbs up and has fans on his side. Ibushi hits the SUPERPLEX! But small cradle from Cody! TWO, and Cody springboards, only to get Ibushi’s kick! Ibushi brings Cody up, powerbomb lift, Golden Star sit-out! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus, but now Omega emerges from the wreckage. Cody resists as Ibushi brings up his wrists, then he dodges Kamigoye! Cody reels Ibushi in, but ends up in a straitjacket suplex! Bridging cover, but Cody keeps one shoulder off. Ibushi rolls around and brings Cody up, Kamigoye!! Cover, but Omega blocks Red Shoes’ hand! Omega keeps this match going, to Ibushi’s frustration. Omega tries to reason with him, but Ibushi just tunes him out. And then chops him!



Ibushi fires off palm strikes from all sides, so Omega has no choice but to hit back. Cody returns, but his chop doesn’t bother Ibushi at all. Ibushi CHOPS Cody and he’s down and out again! Omega fires off on Ibushi, but Ibushi just needs one strike to get back. They go back and forth with those palm strikes, but Ibushi kicks. Omega grabs the other leg, but Ibushi brings Omega around for a mount. Ibushi makes it a cover but Omega keeps his shoulders up. So Ibushi just starts the ground ‘n’ pound! Omega does his best to cover up but Ibushi finds openings. Omega hits back but Ibushi keeps hitting harder. Now Ibushi uses closed fists, Red Shoes reprimands that. Ibushi keeps going but Red Shoes brings Ibushi away. Red Shoes tries to talk sense into Ibushi, but Ibushi just gives Omega a knee! Ibushi covers, TWO!!

Omega survives, and Ibushi grows frustrated. Ibushi drags Omega up, but Cody drags Ibushi out! Cody goes after Omega now, Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO as Cody gets out the way of those flying double stomps! Ibushi crushes Omega, and Cody throws Ibushi out. Cody goes back to Omega, waiting for him to stand. Omega does, Cody hits another Cross Rhodes!! Cover, TWO?! Omega survives by some sheer force of will! Ibushi slowly return, but Cody stands first. Cody kicks Ibushi down, then drags him up and in. Cody lifts Ibushi, and hits Dinn’s Fire!! Cover, but Omega breaks it just in time! Cody’s infuriated now, and he decides to “borrow” a chair! He realizes what he’s doing, and drops the chair. Fans applaud that, but then Omega decides to use his IWGP US title belt! But then he reconsiders it again.

Cody tosses the belt to Nick Jackson, and picks up the chair again! He brings the chair in and aims at Ibushi, but Omega shields his friend. Cody stomps Omega instead, and prepares the chair! Ibushi grabs it and takes it away. Then he roundhouses Cody down! Omega gives Ibushi a POISON-RANA! And the Butterfly Wings!! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi survives and flounders about, but Omega reloads. BANG, V-Trigger! Electric chair lift, ONE-WINGED ANGEL!! Cover, Cody is too late, Omega wins!!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Omega apologizes profusely to his friend he did the most damage to. The Best Bout Machine still has his belt, but what of his best friends? We’ll see after the break.



NJPW on AXS returns…

Matt & Nick Jackson help check on Ibushi. Omega signals for water while ice packs are brought in. Matt fetches the water and helps refresh Ibushi. Omega holds Ibushi’s hand, in hopes Ibushi is okay. Ibushi finally stirs, which is a huge relief to Omega. Cody helps Omega bring Ibushi up slowly and carefully. Omega also signals for the mic. He receives the mic and his belt, and Red Shoes raises his hand to make the victory official. Cody leaves the ring for the moment while Omega speaks. “Just a moment. I’ll wait until Ibushi can stand up.” Fans applaud such honor, respect and compassion from the champion. Omega tells Cody that he should be in here, too. They’re all a team, so stand with them.

Cody, though reluctant, knows Omega won’t “talk on the mic until all the Elite members can stand together,” so he joins them again. “Okay, Ibushi, whenever you’re ready, we’ll stand up and close it out.” Ibushi sits up, and Omega takes that to mean he’s good. “Everyone, let’s all stand, not as the Bullet Club, but as The Elite.” Was this the first time the fans here have seen a triple threat? Perhaps for some. Well he won’t ask individually, but did they like it? Were they entertained? Yes, they were. It is thanks to the fans that this match became a reality. And thanks to NJPW, for that matter.

Of course, any other organization could try, but they can’t do it like them, in Elite Style. So he again expresses his appreciation. And finally, the Tokyo Dome main event is set, huh? There’ll be a press conference soon enough, so there isn’t much else to say. Therefore, “I must bid you adieu.” Omega hugs Ibushi, who now stands on his feet. Omega hugs Cody, because he also loves Cody and his dog. And of course, Omega hugs the Bucks, he loves them, too. And not to forget the Elite who aren’t here, he loves them, too. So good bye, and good night- Wait, Hiroshi Tanahashi is here?! The Ace and his Wrestle Kingdom 13 contract now stand ringside. Tanahashi joins Omega in the ring.

Omega tells Tanahashi, “we’re both pretty tired. So if you have something to say, this is your chance.” Omega hands Tanahashi the mic as fans chant “Go Ace!” Tanahashi tells Omega, “Kenny-kun, I’m angry.” About what? “Everyone was clapping, but don’t forget this is NJPW.” Guess he’ll be the one to tell Kenny, “your time is up.” This will be settled at the Tokyo Dome. Tanahashi drops the mic but Omega picks it up. Omega is sure that the Tokyo Dome would chant “Go Ace”, but this is still Ryogoku. And here, it’s good bye and good night, BANG! Omega shrugs off Tanahashi’s cryptic ultimatum, but will he be able to shrug off Tanahashi’s wrestling? Or is Tanahashi predicting an end to start the New Year?

Backstage interviews.

Cody notes that last year, Cody surprised Ibushi with a challenge for the Dome. No one likes to lose, but Cody swallowed his pride for friendship. It still leaves a bad taste, but Cody is excited for the future. You’re not supposed to make friends in wrestling, but here they are. Is Ibushi okay? Yeah, just sore. They’ll get him ice. Ibushi shakes Cody’s hand then the Bucks’. The Elite will support their leader. “Then after that, buckle up.” No one in the Elite knows what the future holds, but they know they’ll face it together. Omega has his match for Wrestle Kingdom, but where will the rest of The Elite end up?



My Thoughts:

An incredible hour for NJPW and AXS, and it’s great that it was just the Triple Threat. There is so much of wrestling today where The Bullet Club’s Elite are the center of it, from what stories they all have in NJPW and ROH to who WWE eagerly wants to have for themselves. It was very fitting for Cody after all the action to say that 2019 could be a wild ride that still isn’t 100% certain, and we’re seeing that now in real-time with talks of all the contracts for The Elite. Whatever this insanely over collection of wrestlers chooses, I know their fans will follow, regardless of reaction.

As for the match in question tonight, it truly was epic. This probably gives whatever was the best triple threat ever a run for its money. It went the distance of 43 minutes, and it made everything count. The Golden Lovers working together, Cody using them against each other physically, and then eventually Omega and Ibushi having no choice but to fight each other, just brilliant stuff. And what makes it all even better is that at the end of the match, they’re all still friends. They remember the point of the match, they understand each other’s positions, and they know to stick together because they’re stronger together. Omega wins and now Omega VS Tanahashi is pretty much finalized. If Tanahashi ends up winning, then his line tonight will be true because it likely means Omega is going elsewhere. Only time will tell.

My Score: 8.8/10



Did Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Cody Rhodes deliver for NJPW? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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