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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/8/18)

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SmackDown will address the Backlash low blows!

The first SmackDown after Backlash promises to address the double count-out draw between the Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style in their WWE Championship match. What will GM Paige have to say about the double low blows? Plus, THREE Money in the Bank Qualifiers, featuring The Miz, Daniel Bryan, and Charlotte Flair!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy VS The Miz; Miz wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Cesaro w/ Sheamus VS Xavier Woods w/ The New Day; Cesaro wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose; Mandy wins.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Rusev wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown General Manager, Paige, heads to the ring!

The Glampire believes Backlash was a smashing success where we witnessed the first singles victory for the returning Daniel Bryan! Fans agree, that was good. We saw the surprise victory from Carmella the SmackDown Women’s Champion. And then there’s the WWE Championship and what happened between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles. The match was going to be an instant classic until both men started using low blows that neither could recover from. Paige didn’t foresee that happening, but she says we’ll hear from both men later on.

As for Money in the Bank, there will be two ladder matches: one for the men, and one for the women, with superstars from both brands. Those who climb up the ladder to grab the briefcases will bring those contracts back to their brands. Therefore, SmackDown needs to put up the best, which brings us to the qualifying matches, starting right now!

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy VS The Miz!

The Charismatic Enigma is still WWE United States Champion after vanquishing The Viper, while the A-Lister is NOT the Intercontinental Champion after losing to The Architect. Both are decorated champions, but only one great superstar will make it into the Ladder Match!

The bell rings and the fans are rallying with Hardy. He and Miz circle, tie up, and Hardy gets the headlock. Miz powers out but Hardy runs him over. Miz backs off to a corner while fans cheer for Hardy. Hardy and Miz circle again, fans rallying, and they tie up for Miz to get the waistlock. Hardy gets the standing switch, but Miz switches back to a wristlock. Miz wrenches but Hardy reverses the hold. MIz powers out, but Hardy runs him over and splashes down, TWO. Hardy runs but Miz trips him up. Hardy clubs away on Miz but Miz gets out of the ring. However, Hardy follows for Poetry in Motion! Deja vu to Backlash, and Hardy puts Miz into the ring. Hardy climbs up, takes aim, but Miz scrambles to the opposite corner. Miz catches his breath while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Hardy is in control of Miz with arm-drags, into an armlock. Miz gets to his feet and pulls Hardy’s hair. Miz backs Hardy tot he ropes then whips, then arm-drags, but Hardy arm-drags Miz through to an armbar. Hardy wrenches the arm but Miz stands up. Fans rally for Hardy but Miz punches his way out of the hold. Miz punches Hardy more, then whpis again, but Hardy kicks him away. Jawbreaker countered by a knee, then Miz drops Hardy with a boot. Cover, TWO, but Miz keeps his cool. Miz sits Hardy up and drives in a knee, then puts on a chinlock. Fans continue to rally for Hardy, and Hardy stands up. Hardy fights out then throws a hand but Miz counters with the A-List combination! Cover, TWO.

Miz looks up at the briefcase, the goal he is after for a second time. He keeps on Hardy with punches, then back to the knee in the back. Miz pulls on Hardy’s arms while fans duel between them. Hardy endures the half-surfboard, and fights his way out. Miz throws back, but then slips out of the back suplex. Hardy denies the Finale, then runs but Miz throws him out. Miz runs but misses the wrecking ball. Hardy swings again, but Miz lifts and sits Hardy on the barriers. Miz catches his breath while mocking the fans. He swings on Hardy but misses, Hardy headbutts Miz back. Hardy stands, then LEAPS off the barriers!

Both men go down while the ring count climbs up. The count reaches 6 by the time Hardy stands. He put Miz in at 7, then counters punches with punches. Hardy kicks, whips but Miz reverses, only for Hardy to run him over. Atomic drop to takedown, then a leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick on top, cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool, then gets to his feet. He calls for the Twist, then waits for Miz to stand. Hardy kicks, but Miz denies the Twist. Miz goes for a backslide, but Hardy resists. They stand back up, Hardy tries to bring Miz over, but then flips over MIz to hit the Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries to climb up top, but Miz rolls away again. Hardy runs over but Miz kicks him back, then gives him the neckbreaker to the apron!

The referee checks on Hardy while we go picture in picture. Miz catches his breath in the ring, but Hardy is okay to continue. A ten count begins, and reaches five before Hardy stirs. Hardy drags himself up but the count’s at 8. He beats it at 9, and it surprises Miz. Miz thought he had this, so he boots Hardy out of frustration. Cover, TWO, and Miz argues with the ref. Miz runs and boots Hardy again, then again! Cover, TWO, and Miz is furious.

Miz thinks on what to do next while Hardy stands up. Miz runs, misses the third boot, Hardy rolls him pu, TWO, A-Lister lariat in the corner! Now Miz climbs up, jumps and hits the ax handle. He wants his finish, and circles Hardy on the mat. Hardy stirs and slowly stands, but denies the Finale! Miz goes after the legs, but Hardy counters with a small package, TWO! Miz grabs Hardy in a sleeper hold! Hardy fades to a knee while Miz squeezes tight. Hardy feeds off the fans’ energy while we go single picture, and hits the jawbreaker!

Both men are sitting down, catching their breath. Miz hits Hardy, Hardy hits back. They brawl up to their feet, and Hardy gets an edge. Miz swings but misses, into the Russian leg sweep and leg pin, TWO. Miz crawls to ropes but Hardy is upon him. He gets a cheap shot in, then back to the sleeper, but Hardy runs around to pull Miz into buckles. Hardy elbows back, then climbs up, Whisper in the Wind! Cover, TWO! Hardy checks his teeth while Miz stirs. The champion gets the fans fired up, then goes for the twist, but Miz denies it again. Miz ends up on the apron, grabs for the hair, but Hardy hotshots him back. Hardy baseball slide dropkicks Miz to the barriers, then takes aim to slingshots over for a senton!

Fans fire up with Hardy again as he puts Miz back in the ring. Hardy climbs up top, taking off his shirt. He takes aim, but Miz trips him up! Miz climbs up now, but Hardy resists. Hardy hits back with clubbing forearms and sends Miz down with a sunset flip powerbomb! TWO!! Hardy can’t beileve Miz survived that one. Miz rolls his way to a corner again, but fans are loving this match. Hrady comes over, but Miz boots the Hardiac away. Miz runs in, TWIST– Fin– roll up! TWO, but the mule kick from Hardy puts Miz in a corner. Hardy hits the Hardiac Arrest! Hardy keeps going, Twist of Fate! He climbs up once again, with fans firing up with him. Hardy aims, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!? GHOST PIN, MIZ WINS!!

Winner: The Miz, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB

What a twist ending from the A-Lister! Miz returns to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which he has won before. Will the sequel be better than the original with a win over Finn Balor, Braun Strowman and five other top superstars?

 

The Bar meets backstage.

Sheamus is eating Lucky Charms to cheer him up after his loss last week. Cesaro thought he had him, too, but then Xavier Woods slipped through his claws. It was those darn Muppets, Kofi and Big E, outside the ring. It’s always 3v2 with The New Day. Though Cesaro feels he would’ve done better. Really? Really? Then try facing Woods tonight and see! Cesaro accepts, because no one makes the fool out of The Bar. Wait, waht’s in Cesaro’s bags? PANCAKES!? That’s not funny, Sheamus. Because now there’s pancakes in HIS bag! Will the New Day pay for this pancake prank?

 

SAnitY is coming.

And they’re bring CHAOS!! Will SmackDown be prepared for the Merchant of Mayhem, the Beast of Belfast and the Ax Man?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style is not cleared for competition after last night’s match. Is the issue between him and Styles over? “No. Speak English.” We all know he speaks English, that’s not going to work. Yes he did speak English, but he forgot how. Then is there anything he would like to say while he IS speaking English? “AJ Styles nuts. But so am I. We are not finished.” In that case, when will he and the champion settle this championship grudge?

 

Carmella speaks.

“I beat Charlotte Flair!” She beat Charlotte Flair, again! Now it’s party time! But, not in a city like Baltimore, ew. Carmella will go to London, and next week it’ll be a #RoyalMellabration. And the Royal Family isn’t invited. And neither is Ric Flair, or his daughter, who she beat!

 

Superstars speak on MITB.

Imagine this: seven superstars down, one ladder, one man standing and one MITB briefcase. Tye Dillinger knows that may not add up to a championship, but that does add up to a perfect 10. Naomi meanwhile says that she won the inaugural Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal and was a former champion. She vows to climb up and snatch down the contract to then snatch the champion bald, whoever she may be.

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!

While The Princess of Staten Island did beat The Queen of Flair fair and square, the former champion has a chance here tonight to make her way back. Can Charlotte get payback on the IIconics who cost her the title in the first place, and then climb a ladder to be the #QueenintheBank?

Billie & Peyton say that while Charlotte loss, she is still an inspiration. Billie’s uncle has always had a horrible stutter, but seeing the look on Charlotte’s face after losing, it sent him into hysterical laughter! He laughed an hour straight, tears streaming down his face while he fell off the couch. But it also cured his stutter! So Billie thanks Charlotte for that. Because that look, “the pain, the agony”, they want to bottle it and make it a fragrance. “Disappointed by Charlotte.” Peyton can imitate that. Oh come on, she’s not that good. Peyton tries, but it’s only funny when Charlotte does it. Then how about Peyton makes Charlotte do that face again now! That MITB contract belongs to the future, and #TheFutureisIIconic.

Peyton enters the ring, the match begins, and she circles with Charlotte. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte as she ties up with the Venus Flytrap, then powers her to a corner. Charlotte gives Peyton a swift shot, then dares Peyton to come back for more. Peyton goes from one corner to another while Billie checks on her. Charlotte catches Peyton into a waistlock and slam, then brings her up for another. Peyton elbows her way out, then kicks, but Charlotte spins her around for a chop! Charlotte scoops Peyton for the exploder! Fans rally for Charlotte while she throws Peyton out and we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and now Charlotte is down on the ground outside the ring. Peyton drags Charlotte up and into the ring while Billie cheers her own. Peyton puts Charlotte in a chinlock and thrashes about. Fans rally for Charlotte as she endures. Charlotte works her way up and jawbreakers out of the hold. Peyton blocks the chop, then slips out of the suplex, to throw Charlotte head first into buckles! She then drags Charlotte to a cover, TWO, and Billie is furious for her. Peyton hammers away on Charlotte, then bumps her off a buckle before grinding her boot right into Charlotte’s chin. Billie cheers while Peyton uses ropes for her modified motorcycle stretch. Peyton lets go at 4, then stalks Charlotte. She drives in a knee, then bounces Charlotte off the mat. Peyton drops elbows, then puts on another chinlock.

Fans rally for Charlotte again while she endures. Charlotte stands up but Peyton hits her first. Peyton whips but Charlotte kicks her back, then hits a neckbreaker. Charlotte catches her breath while Peyton holds her head. Both women slowly stand, then Peyton swings but Charlotte counters with foerarms. Charlotte gives more and more forearms, but Peyton knees low. Peyton whips but Charlotte reverses, then chops Peyton! Charlotte chops and chops again, and again, and again, dropping Peyton down.

The fans fire up while Chalrotte struts and chops Peyton down again. Charlotte stalks Peyton, then goes to boot, but Peyton dodges. Peyton kicks but misses, Charlotte rolls her up with the bridge, TWO. Charlotte gives Peyton a big back suplex, then kips up! Charlotte grabs the legs but Billie saves Peyton, only for Charlotte to slingshot down on Billie! Peyton hits a neckbreaker on Charlotte! A ring count begins, and Peyton drags Charlotte up and in. Peyton covers, TWO, and she’s furious. Charlotte elbows her away, then again. Billie hotshots Charlotte, Peyton heel kicks! Cover, TWO!? The IIconics are furious, and Billie argues with the referee. Peyton stands up and goes after Charlotte with a knee, but Charlotte rolls her up, TWO. Charlotte dodges in the corner, and boots Peyton down!

Fans fire up while Charlotte climbs. Charlotte MOONSAULTS, but onto Peyton’s knees! Small package, TWO! Peyton hits a knee, covers, TWO! The IIconics are at a loss for how Charlotte is still in this. Peyton glances at the briefcase while standing up. She stalks Charlotte, then brings her up. Fans rally for Charlotte, and Charlote reverses into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO, and now Charlotte grows frustrated. She goes for the legs, but Peyton rolls her, TWO. Charlotte rolls again, TWO, into the Figure Four! And Figure Eight! Peyton taps out, Charlotte wins!

Winner: Charlotte, by submission; qualifies for the Women’s MITB

The Queen gets back on track with this win, and enters the second-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. Can Charlotte take that contract and get sweet revenge on the inaugural Ms. MITB with her own cash-in?

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Has he had time to recover from Big Cass’ sore loser attack? Well let’s not forget why Cass attacked him: Bryan made Cass tap out. But as for tonight, Bryan is a former Mr. MITB, and he cashed in here in Baltimore. Bryan will fight, will climb up, and prove that the bigger they are, the faster they tap. Can Bryan beat the Bulgarian Lion to enter this year’s Money in the Bank match?

 

More superstars speak on MITB.

The Gold Standard, Shelton Benjamin, made this match famous, so he vows to finally win the opportunity no one is giving him. His highlights are all over this match type, and the best is yet to come. As for the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka wants to climb up, grab the contract, and cash in on Carmella. “No one is ready for Asuka”, and certainly not armed with that briefcase.

 

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

Awwwww, Baltimore~! The brains of the outfit beat the Celtic Gladiator last week, with some help from his friends. Will the Swiss Cyborg have better luck that his teammate? Or will The Bar be swept by the Power of Positivity?

The bell rings and Woods circles with Cesaro. They tie up, Woods gets the waistlock and headlock, but Cesaro reverses Woods to toy with him. The fans chant “We Want Pancakes!” which only annoys Sheamus & Cesaro. Big E makes it rain flapjacks, but then Cesaro swipes at him to stop. Woods goes after Cesaro but the ropes are in the way. Cesaro then slips around to tie up with Woods. Woods still gets a headlock but Cesaro reverses it. Woods powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Cesaro says “No Pancakes!” then runs, but Woods leaps up. Cesaro catches him but Woods slips around to a waistlock. Woods is bucked off but runs back, dodges, then tilt-o-whirl headscissors Cesaro down!

Woods goes after Cesaro in a corner with body shots, but Cesaro turns things around. Cesaro honors the break, for a second. Woods fires back on him, but Cesaro shoves him at the ref to clobber him in the back! The Bar boast while Woods writhes at the ropes. Cesaro deadlift gutwrenches Woods and throws him! We go picture in picture while Cesaro stalks Woods. The New Day coach Woods up, but Cesaro is upon him. Cesaro grabs some pancakes that were lying around, and crumbles them up! He tosses the crumbs, but WOods fires back with haymakers. Woods runs, but into a big flapjack from Cesaro! Cesaro covers, TWO, so he drags Woods over to choke him on the ropes. Sheamus takes a selfie with that, but Big E backs him off.

Cesaro keeps on woods, but Woods chops and body shots back. Cesaro knees low, then gives body shots of his own. He brings Woods out for more, then wrenches the arm. Cesaro whips and catches Woods into an abdominal stretch. He grinds an elbow into Woods’ ribs, but Woods endures. We return to single picture as fans rally for Woods. Woods fights out, but Cesaro hits back. They brawl with chops back and forth, then Cesaro hits a right jab. Woods kicks back, then kicks a leg out to knee Cesaro in the head. Woods runs in but Cesaro puts him on the apron. A kick sends Cesaro reeling, then Woods slingshots for a springboard kick!

Cover, TWO, and Sheamus is relieved. The fans rally again, and Woods powers up. He runs but Cesaro rolls to the apron. Cesaro hotshots WOods away, then lifts, but Woods slips out. Woods hops for the wheelbarrow, but Cesaro shove shim away. Woods keeps moving, wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO! The New Day keep coaching Woods, and Woods makes his way to a corner. Woods climbs up but Sheamus distracts. Woods chases him off, but Cesaro rolls up! Feet on the ropes but Kofi stops that! Woods rolls, TWO, Shining Wizard! Sheamus protests while Woods climbs, but Big E uses pancakes to get Sheamus’ attention. Sheamus jumps at Big E, misses, Kofi LEAPS and takes Sheamus out! Woods finally takes aim and springboards, but into a big European Uppercut! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

The numbers game goes the wrong way for the New Day, and now they’re even with The Bar in singles competition. Woods is 1-1, how will Kofi and Big E fair against Cesaro & Sheamus?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One still has a major welt from Backlash’s championship match. He’s not cleared to compete, either, and knows Nakamura said they’re not done. Styles admits he sank to Nakamura’s level. He doesn’t want to fight like that, but he will if the title is on the line. How convenient Nakamue now speaks English again. Styles doesn’t’ care when, why or where, but if Nakamura has the… guts to fight him again, Styles will finish him. This is the House that AJ Styles Built, what will he do to defend it?

 

A twisted scene of broken WWE action figures…

The teams of the SmackDown Tag Team Division, namely. The Bludgeon Brothers say they have their own toys. “So please, come play with us.” “We’re waiting.” TO DESTROY! Who will step up to the SmackDown Tag Team Champions and face their own personal doomsday?

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose!

The duo formerly with Paige in Absolution must now strike out on their own without her help. Mandy says that she and Sonya can be in the MITB match, but then the Glampire comes over. Remember, Absolution is dead. Yes, they know, but they realize that Paige isn’t their mommy. She can desert them, but they will never break up. Then that’s awkward to bring this up… Sonya, you’re barred from ringside. What?! Does God’s Greatest Creation have what it takes to take on the Lass Kicker alone?

The bell rings, and Mandy ties up with Becky. She gets the waistlock but Becky throws her off. Becky dares the rookie to bring it, then arm-drags Mandy out of the ring. Mandy takes her time regrouping, but Becky is right on her. Mandy rocks Becky with a right, then puts Becky in a corner for a mudhole stomp. She whips Becky corner to corner then drops her with a dropkick. Mandy stalks Becky and hits the big knee strike, cover, TWO. Mandy keeps on Becky with a thrashing chinlock, but fans rally for the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion. Becky stands up and fights out, but Mandy throws her down by her hair.

Mandy taunts Becky then gives another strong right, but Becky gives as good as she gets. Becky gets an edge, then brings Mandy to the mat. Mandy slips away to the ropes, but still gets thrown with a Becksploder! Becky hits the jump kick but Mandy throws her into the ropes, roll up, Mandy wins?!

Winner: Mandy, by pinfall

Whether that was beginner’s luck, Becky being in a slump, or a legitimate upset, a win is a win. Can the golden half of the duo formerly known as Absolution earn herself a chance at the MITB match?

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The Goat won his return-to-PPV match at Backlash, but Big “bully” Cass beat him down for it. Will the Goat still have enough to defeat the Bulgarian Lion and make his return to Money in the Bank?

MC Artiste, Aiden English, already has the fans chanting for “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” Baltimore~, more like Balti-less, cuz Orioles and Ravens don’t impress. But don’t stress, will Bryan win? No, DB will wish he was still GM, and when the Lion climbs the ladder, you’ll know that today is… RUSEV DAAAAAAY~~!

The bell rings and Rusev circles with Bryan. They tie up while fans duel, and Bryan rolls to wristlock Rusev. Bryan wrenches the arm into a hammerlock, but Rusev elbows out. Rusev runs to run Bryan over, but then things speed up and Bryan toeholds Rusev into half the surfboard. Bryan goes for the arms, but instead stomps those knees. Bryan kicks out an arm, then starts up kicks on the shoulder. Rusev is reeling while Bryan grabs his arm again. Bryan wrenches but Rusev scoops and slams! Rusev kicks Bryan but Bryan gets to ropes. Bryan dumps Rusev out of the ring, then builds speed, to DIVE! But Rusev catches and tosses Bryan over the desk! The Bulgarian Brute is in control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Rusev suplexes Bryan up and over. Rusev takes his time while the fans duel between “Rusev Day!” and “Let’s go Bryan!” He even toys with Bryan in a corner. He whips Bryan corner to corner, but Bryan goes up and over to then build speed and run Rusev over with a lariat! Bryan fires up while Rusev gets to a corner. Fans chant “YES! YES!” while he runs in for a dropkick. He keeps going, for a second dropkick. Bryan kicks away on Rusev, then lifts him up to the top. Bryan climbs up, throws punches, then hits a SUPER Steiner! Fans continue to chant “YES! YES!” while Bryan stands back up.

Bryan goes over to Rusev and gives his YES Kicks. Kick after kick, then the buzzsaw misses. Rusev trips Bryan but Bryan slips away, only to be caught. Rusev swings but Bryan rolls him up, TWO. Roundhouse from Rusev! Cover, TWO, and English is frustrated for Rusev. Fans duel again, but Rusev stands up and says, “Rusev! MACHKA!” He stomps Bryan, then prepares the Accolade, but his bad wrists stop him. He can’t put on his hold, but Bryan brings him down for his! YES Lock, but ropebreak. Bryan lets go, and the two stand up. Rusev swings, misses, and Bryan retaliates with a kick. Bryan kicks and kicks, but Rusev kicks back. Rusev German Suplex but Bryan lands on his feet for the buzzsaw! Rusev goes down, and Bryan fires up with “YES! YES!”

English bails Rusev out, but Bryan just runs and wrecks them both with the dropkick! Then he aims at Rusev, Meteora off the apron! Bryan puts Rusev in the ring, then climbs up top, for the missile dropkick! Bryan is sore himself, but he still kips up. He takes aim at Rusev from the corner, everyone chanting “YES! YES!” with him. Bryan runs, but into a pop-up knee! Rusev MACHKA Kick! Cover, Rusev wins!!

Winner: Rusev, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB

The Lion slays the Goat, and is now going to make the match a RUSEV in the Bank Ladder Match! Will Rusev Day triumph and grab that contract? And who else will join him, Jeff Hardy, Finn Balor and Braun Strowman as the weeks go by? As for Bryan, fans still love him, even if he lost. Bryan hoped he’d make another great run towards the top, so where does he go from here?

 


 

My Thoughts:

As Raw did last night, SmackDown did great in making up for Backlash while transitioning to MITB. Though I’m a little disappointed we still haven’t seen SAnitY or Almas yet, but maybe their debuts next week will have major impact on the PPV. We do get a great opener in Hardy VS Miz, and that was an amazing surprise for Miz to win that way. Miz is proving that while he isn’t the best technical wrestler, he is definitely deserving of the world title scene. Carmella’s celebration next week will surely be interrupted by any number of the women who will join the MITB match. And Charlotte-IIconics is a great match in itself, and Charlotte winning could set up a great story of karma, with Carmella losing the title because of Charlotte cashing in.

Woods-Cesaro is a great match, and they did great to book Cesaro winning as a surprise. Now we get a tag team match where the winning team sends one person to the Men’s MITB match. New Day winning would be crazy if they somehow decide to Free Bird Rules the briefcase to then Free Bird Rules the singles title they take. At the same time, The Bar might not be so willing to do that, and this could lead to a potential break up. I did NOT see Becky losing so quickly to Mandy. This losing streak of hers could be a way to turn her without any particular superstar to go after.

Rusev winning was another big surprise, but it makes sense when A) he’s super over, and B) Bryan can’t risk a concussion in that ladder match. Plus, Bryan might still have Cass to worry about, the same way Styles still has Nakamura to get through. They have time to build the WWE Championship match up even more, which is good because Nakamura is a genius for “not knowing English.” I hope that when the time comes, the decision is either a Last Man Standing match or a Ladder match of their own, so that there is one true winner in the end.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/3/22)

Is World Tag League tranquilo?

Published

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NJPW WTL X Super Jr.

Can Naito & Sanada win back-to-back main events?

We just saw Los Ingobernables de Japon conquer Aussie Open, but can they trump The Joker & The Ace in NJPW World Tag League’s sixth round?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bad Luck Fale VS Ryohei Oiwa; Fale wins.
  • Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls VS Kosei Fujita & Oskar Leube; Shane & Mikey win.
  • Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Suzuki-Gun wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato, KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
  • World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Aussie Open; Aussie Open wins.
  • World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare; Goto & Hashi win.
  • World Tag League 2022: Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Evil & Yujiro win.
  • World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA; Naito & Sanada win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current World Tag League standings!

Aussie Open: 5-1, 10 points
The Mighty: 5-1, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 4-2, 8 points
Khan & Henare: 4-2, 8 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-2, 6 points
Yano & Tanahashi: 3-2, 6 points
Goto & Hashi: 3-2, 6 points
Evil & Yujiro: 0-5, 0 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-5, 0 points [ELIMINATED]

Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]

 

World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Aussie Open!

The Mechanical Bulls are in the exact opposite spot as Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher, but that won’t stop them! Can Coughlin & Kidd ruin the All United Empire Finals? Or will Dunk-Zilla & The Aussie Arrow turn things around from their first loss this league?

The Orchestrator, Gideon Grey, is here, and he says it is Coughlin’s birthday. Gideon was going to get Coughlin a birthday present, and then he heard how horribly Coughlin’s first WTL run is going. Kidd gets impatient and Gideon says this is what he’s getting at. This is his present to them: an opportunity to win their first two points against his team, “representing the United Empire…!” Gideon gives the introductions and Aussie Open makes their entrance.  And Aussie Open is so fired up, they don’t sort out, they just go after Coughlin & Kidd! Davis is after Kidd, Kyle has Coughlin, and Davis knees Kidd low to send him out of the ring!

The bell rings, Aussie Open double whip Coughlin, but he ducks their double clothesline to shove Kyle into Davis. Coughlin goes to ropes, Davis runs in but Coughlin dumps him out. Kyle runs in but Coughlin TOSSES him out onto Davis! Kidd is up top and fans cheer for the ARIHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit and fans cheer as Kidd fires up! Kidd puts Kyle back in for Coughlin, and Coughlin deadlift gut wrench suplexes! And then deadlift back suplexes! Cover, TWO! Tag to Kidd and he runs to BLAST Davis! Coughlin runs in to clothesline Kidd at the corner, then feeds him to Kidd’s EXPLODER!

The Mechanical Bulls flex and the fans fire up again. Coughlin hauls Kyle up, he and Kidd double suplex but Davis saves Kyle! Aussie Open dodge the Mechanical Bulls, Kyle SUPERKICKS Coughlin while Davis BOOTS Kidd! Fans fire up as Davis goes to the corner to tag in. Davis storms up on Kidd, he brings Kidd up but Kidd CHOPS back. Kidd eggs Davis on but Davis CHOPS Kidd! Kidd CHOPS, CHOPS and eggs Davis on. Davis CHOPS Kidd and fans fire up for that one. Kidd CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS, then roars at Davis, but Davis knees low then throws Kidd out. Kyle BLASTS Coughlin off the apron!

Aussie Open coordinate, Kyle picks up Coughlin and Davis picks up Kidd, and they run around the way to SANDWICH the Mechanical Bulls! And then, DOUBLE APRON BACK SUPLEXES! And then, DOUBLE SCOOP SLAMS to the floor! Fans fire up as Kyle gets in the ring. The ring count starts, Coughlin and Kidd writhe as the count passes 5 of 20. Kidd sits up at 10, drags himself up with the railing, and fans rally up. The count is 15, Kidd flounders and staggers about, but Coughlin helps him up at 18 to get in at 19! Davis tags Kyle, Aussie Open double whip and double ELBOW Kidd, PENALTY KICK to SENTON! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally up as Kyle looms over Kidd. Kyle sits Kidd up to ELBOW him in the head! Kyle clamps on a chinlock and grinds Kidd down. Kidd endures as Coughlin and the fans rally up. Kyle shifts to a BULLY CHOKE! Kidd endures, fights up, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and Kyle cranks more, until the ref counts 4. Kyle “apologizes” then tags in Davis. Davis drags Kidd up but Kidd CHOPS! Davis scoops Kidd to SLAM him! Kidd grits his teeth as he gets back up to CHOP and CHOP! Davis scoop SLAMS again, but Kidd is right up! Kidd CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Davis whips Kidd right out, BOOTS Coughlin, and Kyle goes after Kidd!

Kyle scoops Kidd but Kidd slips off to scoop Kyle! Kidd SLAMS Kyle on the floor! Fans fire up as Kidd gets back in, dodges Davis, but Davis blocks the kick. Kidd gets free to ROCK Davis with a haymaker! Davis drops to a knee and fans fire up! Kidd roars and tags in Coughlin! The Android fires off forearms, but Davis blocks the chop. Coughlin avoids the clothesline to kick low to UPPERCUT then CHOP! Fans fire up with Coughlin and he whips Davis to a corner. Davis reverses, runs in and SPLASHES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up with Coughlin and he drags Davis up, short arm LARIAT! Cover, Kyle breaks it!

Coughlin kicks Kyle then throws him out. Fans rally and Coughlin drags Davis up. Coughlin scoops Davis but Davis fights with elbows. Coughlin still powers out but Davis slips off to ENZIGURI! Kyle tags in while Coughlin staggers to an open corner. Kyle runs in to BOOT Coughlin, then he suplexes. Coughlin slips out to scoop Kyle, INVERTED SLAM! Fans fire up and Coughlin tags Kidd. Kidd fires up, Coughlin whips him in at Kyle for a clothesline! And then another whip for a CHOP! Kidd SUPERKICKS Kyle, feeds him to Coughlin’s scoop, and Coughlin pops Kyle around for a POWERBOMB! Kidd covers, TWO!

Fans rally again as Kidd tags Coughlin. Kidd whips Coughlin in now but Coughlin blocks Kyle’s boot. Kyle SUPERKICKS instead and Coughlin goes down! Kidd runs in but Kyle puts him on the apron to SUPERKICK! Davis is there to catch Kidd, Kyle goes out, POP-UP ROUNDHOUSE! Aussie Open goes after Coughlin, scoop for the LAWN DART CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Coughlin survives and fans fire up again! Kyle is frustrated but he tags Davis back in. Aussie Open haul Coughlin up, double wrench, but he blocks the double pump handles! The Android shows his full power as he RAMS Aussie Open into each other!

Coughlin then reels them both in, for a DOUBLE BACK SUPLEX! Fans are thunderous as all three men are down! Kidd returns and calls to Coughlin! Fans rally as Coughlin crawls that way, hot tag to Kidd! Kidd CHOPS Davis, but Davis just frowns. Kidd eggs Davis on, and Davis CHOPS Kidd! Davis eggs Kidd so Kidd CHOPS Davis! Davis CHOPS Kidd, but Kidd CHOPS Davis! Fans rally up as the CHOPS keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Davis CHOPS and CHOPS, and CHOPS! But Kidd CHOPS Davis down!! Fans are thunderous as Coughlin slides back in. The Mechanical Bulls pinball Davis with forearm after forearm!

Davis SLAPS Kidd, SLAPS Coughlin, so they DOUBLE HEADBUTT him! Coughlin & Kidd go to opposite corners, they’re looking to copy Aussie Open! They both run in but Davis drops out of the way! Kidd & Coughlin stop short of hitting each other, but then Kyle gets in. Kyle SUPERKICKS Coughlin, dodges Kidd and Davis BOOTS Kidd! Aussie Open throw off the elbow pads but Kidd roars. But he stands up into the DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Double pump handles, for COREALIS!! Cover, Aussie Open wins!

Winners: Aussie Open, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Coughlin & Kidd earn 0)

Well, that’ll be a birthday present Coughlin wishes he could return. Aussie Open bounce back from their first loss, are they still future winners of the World Tag League?

 

World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare!

Bishamon is just outside the top of this block, but they vow to #GetBackUp! However, the Dominator & Ultimate Weapon are determined to keep that All United Empire Finals dream alive! Will it be Lights Out for Khan & Henare? Or will they be able to conquer the Chaos?

Naturally, Gideon Grey is still here from last match to give his other team their introductions. The teams sort out and fans rally for Khan already. Khan starts against the Fierce Warrior and fans fire up already. Khan and Goto circle, feel out the grapple, each trying for a leg. Goto facelocks but Khan slips free and fans applaud. The two go again, clinch, and end up on ropes. The ref calls the break, Goto lets off with a pat of the shoulders. Fans applaud and Khan comes back. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, and Khan powers Goto back to ropes. The ref calls the break again, and Khan lets off with pats on the shoulder. Then an IRON CLAW on the ear!

Khan laughs while the ref reprimands, and Khan CLUBS the ear! Hashi protests but Khan UPPERCUTS him down! Khan CLUBS Goto, runs, but Hashi slides in so Bishamon can run Khan over! HIP TOSS SENTON! Henare runs in but he gets double kicks, and the drums! Goto & Hashi drag Khan up and fans fire up for the drums! Goto stomps Khan around, then drags him back up. Khan shots around and has the PONYTAIL SLEEPER! The ref reprimands, Khan lets go at 4, then CHOKES Goto with his hands! The ref reprimands again, Khan lets off, but he misses Henare sending Hashi into railing! Khan CHOKES Goto more!

The ref reprimands again and Khan lets off. Henare leaves Hashi alone, and fans rally up both ways. Khan stands Goto up for Mongolian Chops! Goto staggers, Khan has him against ropes, and he Mongolian Chops again! Khan brings Goto out to Mongolian Chop him down! Kneeling cover, TWO! Khan tags Henare, the Empire mugs Goto, and Henare stalks Goto to ropes. Henare bends Goto back against the ropes while Khan distracts the ref. Henare bangs the war drums! Fans rally, Henare lets off and Goto flops back. Henare snapmares and KICKS, then SENTONS! Cover, TWO! Henare clamps onto Goto’s arm to keep him down.

Henare digs his elbow into Goto’s forehead, then JAMS Goto with the elbow. Tag to Khan and he drags Goto around. Goto CHOPS Khan! And CHOPS! But Khan knees low, then whips Goto into the corner. Khan CLUBS Goto on the back, then sits up on his throne! Henare BLASTS Hashi for good measure, and then Khan pulls Goto’s arms back. Henare KNEES Goto in the back! The ref reprimands and counts, Khan hops off at 4. Cover, TWO! Khan tells everyone to shut up but they rally for Goto anyway. Khan says Goto’s gonna kiss his foot! Goto resists as Khan pushes him down, and Goto fights up to his feet!

Goto CHOPS and CHPS and CHOPS, but Khan knees low and CLUBS Goto. Khan runs, Goto follows and LARIATS! Fans fire up as both men are down! Goto crawls, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter rallies on The Empire! Fans fire up as Hashi runs in to CHOP Khan in a corner! Hashi whips and CHOPS again, then mule kicks! Khan fights the neckbreaker, but Hashi dodges the haymaker to hit the HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up as Khan staggers about. Hashi runs in to CHOP again! Hashi suplexes to hang Khan out to dry. Hashi runs side to side to dropkick Khan down! Hashi keeps moving, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Hashi keeps cool and fans rally up. Hashi drags Khan up, fisherman’s a leg, but Khan fights with body shots. Khan pulls on Hashi’s ears! Khan whips Hashi into Henare’s haymaker, then Khan hits the PANCAKE PLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Hashi escapes but Henare tags in. Henare stomps the mat and waits on Hashi to stand. Henare runs in, RAMP- NO, Hashi fights off the Rampage with forearms! Hashi throws more forearms, but Henare DECKS Hashi with just one! Henare whips Hashi, but Hashi dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi crawls over, hot tag to Goto!

Goto fires off on Henare with forearms! Goto whips corner to corner, runs in, MURAMASA! And then the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Goto drags Henare back up. Goto fireman’s carries but Henare fights that off with forearms. Goto ROCKS Henare, but Henare snarls. Henare ROCKS Goto, but Goto ROCKS Henare! The forearms go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally up. Henare eggs Goto on so Goto fires off a flurry! Then an ELBOW JAB! Goto runs, but into Khan’s cheap shot! ELBOW JAB, and then the Empire coordinates, BOOT ROUNDHOUSE SANDWICH!

Hashi runs in, but into an IRON CLAW SLEEPER! Henare drags Goto up, into the ULTIMA NELSON! Bishamon fights against these submissions, so Henare spins to BODY SHOT Goto! And then the fisherman to the torture rack! Khan has Hashi in the Iron Claw, but Bishamon escapes both Streets of Rage and Eliminator! They shove Khan and Henare into each other, then Hashi SUPERKICKS Khan! Fans fire up as Hashi calls to Goto. Forearm and feed to the fireman’s carry, but Henare slips off. Goto powers Henare back into a corner, then moves aside as Hashi runs in to clothesline! Hashi feeds to the kick and hook-up!

Hashi runs, GOTO GOTO HUNTER! Cover, TWO! Henare survives the Russian Leg Sweep Blockbuster, but Hashi says it’s lights out! Goto drags Henare up to the dragon sleeper, Hashi has the legs, but Khan PONYTAIL SLEEPERS Hashi! Goto lets Henare go but Khan shoves Hashi into him! Then HITSUJIGOROSHI for Hashi! Henare gets the legs for the FUBUKI! And then MARINE!! Fans rally up as Henare & Khan drag Goto up. Khan Mongolian Chops Goto, then whips him corner to corner. Khan whips Henare in but Goto avoids the knee! Goto fires off forearms on Khan, then whips, only for Khan to reverse! RAMPAGE!! Cover, TWO?!?

Fans fire up again as Goto survives! Khan knocks Hashi down, and then the Monster Rage boils over! Henare drags Goto back up as fans rally. Fireman’s carry, and Khan runs, but Hashi LARIATS Khan down! SUPERKICK for Henare! Fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH into SHOUTO!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!

Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Khan & Henare earn 0)

The Dominator & Ultimate Weapon fall! Are the dreams of an All United Empire Finals finally shattered? Will Goto & Hashi head for back-to-back World Tag League wins?

 

World Tag League 2022: Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi!

The Meanest Tag Team in the World Tag League is still alive in the block, but if #EverybodyDies, can the King of Darkness and Tokyo Pimp spoil things for them? Or will the House of Torture learn not Everything is Evil?

Dick Togo accompanies the House of Torture out this time, but surely Sho is lurking. As always, Archer CLOBBERS a Young Lion in his entrance, and this time it’s Oskar Leube. And Archer again storms over to commentary to intimidate Milano Collection AT. Suzuki then makes his entrance, and fans get to shout along with, “KAZE NI NARE!” But as soon as introductions are done, Yujiro and Evil attack! Yujiro goes after Suzuki while Evil is after Archer! But Archer turns that around to send Evil out! The bell rings just before Suzuki throws Yujiro out, and then the brawling continues outside!

Fans rally as Suzuki knees Yujiro, then headlocks. Yujiro throws body shots then shoves Suzuki into railing! Evil throws his shirt at Archer to distract him, then he hits down low! Evil brings Archer around to ram into railing, then brings him into No Man’s Land. But Archer turns that around by raking Evil’s eyes! Fans cheer as The House of Torture is getting a taste of their own medicine! Speaking of, Suzuki is storming up to Yujiro with a chair! But Yujiro uses his pimp cane to fight back! CANE SHOT to the gut, then CANE SHOT to the head! But Archer goes after Yujiro now and snatches the cane away.

The ref tries to restore order but Archer JAMS Yujiro with his own cane. Suzuki gets in the ring but Yujiro is after him. Evil gets a chair, but so does Archer! Evil complains but the ref reprimands them both. Yujiro clamps a chinlock onto Suzuki, but Suzuki gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts that, Yujiro lets off, and then Yujiro slaps Suzuki around. Suzuki shoves Yujiro but Yujiro kicks low. Suzuki fires forearms but Yujiro knee slow. Evil holds Suzuki in the corner and Yujiro BOOTS Suzuki down! Evil tags in but fans rally up for Suzuki. Evil digs his boots in but the ref counts. Evil lets off at 4 and fans continue to rally.

Evil taunts Suzuki as he sits up. Evil CHOPS Suzuki, but Suzuki says that’s nothing! Suzuki eggs Evil on so Evil CHOPS again. Still not enough for Minoru, so Evil winds up, to claw Suzuki’s eyes! Fans boo but Yujiro tags in. Yujiro kicks Suzuki, SLAPS him, but Suzuki fights back with kicks! Yujiro claws Suzuki’s eyes more, then brings him around to snapmare. Yujiro runs to basement boot! Cover, ONE!! Fans fire up as Suzuki snarls and eggs Yujiro on. Yujiro brings Suzuki over with a headlock, Evil tags in. Evil throws his shirt at Archer again, but Suzuki CHOKES Yujiro! Evil claws Suzuki’s eyes!

The ref is busy with an angry Archer, Evil gets away with all this. Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but then Suzuki sits up with a scowl. Evil talks trash while Archer throws his shirt back. Evil gives toying kicks but Suzuki slowly stands up. Evil keeps taunting Suzuki, but Suzuki throws a body shot! Evil rakes the eyes again, but Suzuki avoids the lariat to BOOT Evil down! Fans fire up and Suzuki tags in Archer! The Murderhawk Monster storms up to Evil, knees him low, then whips him hard into a corner! Yujiro runs in and clubs Archer, but Archer doesn’t budge! Archer knees Yujiro low, then whips him hard into a corner!

Fans fire up, but then Dick slides in! Archer turns around and Dick stops in his tracks. Dick bows and offers a handshake. Fans say not to trust that but Archer still accepts. To then whip Dick into Yujiro! And back elbow them both! Archer whips Dick into Evil, then back elbows them both! Archer whips Dick back at Yujiro, for another back elbow! And then back at Evil for another back elbow! Fans fire up with Archer while Dick flops down. Archer brings Evil around, runs and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Archer tags Suzuki. Evil begs for mercy and he apologizes, but Suzuki-Gun doesn’t trust that. Evil goes to double low blow, but gets blocked!

Archer & Suzuki kick and stomp Evil, then whip him to the corner. Suzuki runs in, Evil BOOTS him! Evil avoids Archer and Archer hits buckles. Evil hurries to reach out to Yujiro, but Archer runs in! Evil dumps Archer out! Hot tag to Yujiro! Yujiro brings Suzuki up, blocks his kick, rakes the eyes and throws Suzuki down for a SLIDING BOOT! Yujiro stands Suzuki up to throw knees and forearms. Yujiro puts Suzuki on ropes to BOOT him! Yujiro runs, but Suzuki knees low! Suzuki has the GUILLOTINE! But Yujiro BITES the hand! Suzuki kicks low, shoots around, but Yujiro grabs the ref to stop the sleeper!

Suzuki KICKS Yujiro’s arm! Suzuki argues with the ref but then Yujiro shoves Suzuki into the ref! The ref goes down, Evil slides in and BLASTS Archer! Dick slides in to stomp away on Suzuki! Fans boo as Evil and Dick stomp Suzuki, but Archer attacks them and Yujiro! Archer throws Dick and Evil out, then he goes out to CLUB Evil down. Suzuki and Yujiro stand, Yujiro throws forearm after forearm, but Suzuki just laughs those off! Yujiro kicks low, runs, but Suzuki follows, shoots around, and has the SLEEPER! Fans fire up as Suzuki spins Yujiro around, Gotch PILEDRIVER!! Cover, SHO drags the ref out!!

The Murder Machine stomps Suzuki as fans boo hard as ever! Archer gets in to grab both of them, but Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Archer! Archer still choke grips Sho! But Evil LOW BLOWS Archer! Evil then clotheslines Archer out of the ring! Suzuki fights back but gets the SPOILER CHOKER, and the WRENCH SHOT! And then EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Evil drags Yujiro onto the cover and Dick fetches the ref. Fans boo the cover, but the House of Torture wins!

Winners: Evil & Yujiro Takahashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Suzuki & Archer earn 0)

The Murderhawk Monster rises and is furious, and same for Suzuki! They chase off the House of Torture, beat up on Young Lions and even the railing. Suzuki snatches the chairs from the timekeeper’s area to throw at Evil and Sho as they run away! The House of Torture ruined their run, but will Suzuki & Archer look to ruin Evil’s life?

 

World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA!

The Joker & The Ace have found a way to stay alive in the block, but the Uncontrollable Charisma & Cold Skull are coming off a huge win just yesterday. Will Naito & Sanada keep this tournament tranquilo? Or will love, energy and comedy win out?

Naito mocks the bad boy squat as he makes his entrance. Maybe Naito was a “Yankee” in his school days, too? Yano grows impatient as Naito takes his time entering the ring. But Yano still says Tanahashi’s muscles are “SUGOI~!” Naito takes his time with his entrance attire while fans rally up, and Yano is again impatient. Naito taunts Yano with the tearaway pants, then throws them away. The teams sort out and Tanahashi starts for his team. LIJ slowly fist bumps, and  Yano is annoyed again. The fist bump finally happens, and Yano gets further impatient waiting on LIJ to choose a starter. LIJ is taking their time on purpose at this point.

Finally, Naito steps up, and fans applaud. The bell rings and fans rally both ways. Tanahashi and Naito circle, Naito approaches but then backs away. They finally do tie up, and Tanahashi headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes but Naito pries the hold open. Tanahashi clamps it on tighter and fans rally up. Naito powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight! Fans applaud and Naito fights back up. Naito pries at the hold, but ends up pulling hair! Red Shoes reprimands, but then Tanahashi pulls hair! Red Shoes counts, both men let go at 4, but then Naito pulls hair again! Tanahasih breaks free, but swings into a shove.

Naito arm-drags Tanahashi, kicks him and whips him out of the ring. Naito builds speed, but he fakes Tanahashi out to tranquilo! Fans fire up and Tanahashi storms in, only for Naito to roll out. Naito takes his time returning, and he circles with Tanahashi again. They feel out a knuckle lock, but then Naito tags in Sanada. Fans applaud as Yano calls to Tanahashi. Tanahashi tags Yano and fans fire up with him. Yano and Sanada circle, and then Yano squats! Is Sanada Yankee enough to squat with him? Sanada just stares at Yano stone faced. Yano eggs Sanada on and fans rally up, but Sanada isn’t sure.

Yano gets the fans to chant for it, so Sanada steps up to squat! But then Yano shoves him over! Yano ties Sanada up?! But he can’t figure out Paradise! Sanada kicks him away and Yano ends up in a corner. Yano says, “Lucky!” and he starts untying a buckle pad! Sanada runs over to CLUB Yano, then he whips Yano corner to corner. Yano reverses, then finishes untying the pad. Yano says here goes, but Sanada kicks Yano! But the pad takes the hit! Yano throws the pad to Sanada, but Sanada just throws it down! Yano is astonished and yells… at the pad? Sanada rolls Yano for a ROLLING CRADLE!

They go around and around and around, and around and around, then cover, but Tanahashi tips it! Yano has the cover, TWO! Tanahashi BLASTS Naito, Yano staggers around, but so does Sanada. Tanahashi kicks Sanada to ropes, then Yano staggers over. Yano & Tanahashi double whip, double shoulder Sanada down, and then they both squat. Fans fire up, Yano talks some trash, and then he and Tanahashi drag Sanada up. They double whip him to a corner, then Yano whips Tanahashi in. Sanada dodges Tanahashi to dropkick Yano down! Sanada then trips Tanahashi up, and ties him up in Paradise!

Fans fire up as Sanada gets Yano, too! Sanada ties Yano up in Paradise! Fans fire up for Double Paradise! Yano and Tanahashi both call to each other but neither can do anything! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans do get louder, and Sanada runs to dropkick Tanahashi out of Paradise! And then Naito distracts Red Shoes so Sanada can get the buckle pad. Fans rally up as Sanada SMACKS Yano out of Paradise! Sanada goes out after Yano and stomps him down while Naito SMACKS Tanahashi with the buckle pad! Naito then sends Tanahashi into railing while Sanada drags Yano up. Sanada POSTS Yano, then stalks him around the way.

Sanada drags Yano back up, puts him back in the ring, and covers, TWO! Yano is still in this and fans rally up. Sanada tags Naito, Naito drags Yano up, and LIJ double whips Yano to ropes. They double ELBOW, then split the wishbone before DOUBLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Naito squats so he can slap Yano around. Naito drags Yano up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he grinds Yano down. Fans rally, Yano endures, but Sanada tags in. Sanada ELBOWS Yano down, then stalks him. Sanada brings Yano up, CLUBS him down, then paces around. Tanahashi coaches Yano but Sanada stays on him.

Yano pulls Sanada’s hair! Sanada breaks free, knees low and whips, but Yano reverses to throw Sanada down! Fans rally and Yano crawls over, hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace runs and forearms Sanada down! Tanahashi BLASTS Naito for good measure, then runs in at Sanada. Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! Naito runs in, but Tanahashi blocks the kick! Tanahashi waves bye before he DRAGON SCREWS Naito! Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he storms over to Sanada. Tanahashi scoops and SLAMS Sanada into a drop zone, then he goes up the corner. SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO!

Tanahashi stays focused and fans rally again. Sanada slowly rises, Tanahashi runs, but Sanada dropkicks Tanahashi’s legs, then DROPKICKS Tanahashi out! Sanada hurries over to the ropes, to PLANCHA, but Tanahashi slides in! Sanada lands safe on the apron, he ROCKS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi gets a leg! DRAPING DRAGON SCREW, a dropkick to the legs, then another DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi drags Sanada around by the legs, and ties him up in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Naito BOOTS Tanahashi, CLUBS him, but Tanahashi hits back. Tanahashi sends Naito out, and fans fire up again.

Tanahashi waits on Sanada to stand and he runs the ropes, but Sanada ducks the slingblade! Sanada blocks the kick, to DRAGON SCREW back! Fans fire up and both men crawl. Sanada heads for his corner, hot tag to Naito! Naito storms up on Tanahashi to kick his legs. Naito whips corner to corner, runs in and JUMP KICKS! Leg sweep, COMBINACION feint, and a squat! Tanahashi lets his guard down, and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans fire up and Naito brings Tanahashi around into a FIGURE FOUR! But Yano stomps Naito down! Tanahashi is free and Yano coaches him up. Naito drags Tanahashi up instead.

Naito has a leg but Tanahashi fights with elbows. Naito ROCKS Tanahashi, whips him to ropes, but Tanahashi reverses to SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tanahashi and Naito crawl, hot tag to Yano! Yano brings Naito up, ducks Naito’s haymaker and clinches to Belly2Belly! Fans fire up more and Yano whips Naito at the bare corner. Naito reverses but Yano stops himself. Yano dodges and Naito hits bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Naito survives but Yano fires back up. Yano runs in at the corner but Naito dodges, and Sanada runs in to elbow Yano! Sanada feeds Yano to Naito’s ELBOW, then Sanada back suplexes!

ROLLING JACKKNIFE BRIDGE, TWO!! Yano escapes! Fans fire up and Naito drags Yano back up. Naito throws ELBOW after ELBOW into Yano, but Yano gets around! Tanahashi gets in, Yano feeds Naito to the DRAGON PALM! Yano runs to CHOP BLOCK! Roll-up, Sanada breaks it in time!! Fans fire up again and Tanahashi drags Sanada up to throw him out. Yano hauls Naito up, but Naito fights free. Sanada drags Tanahashi out and sends him into railing. Naito feeds Yano to Sanada’s low dropkick! Tanahashi returns and gets around Sanada, but Sanada turns Twist ‘n’ Shout into MAGIC SCREW!

Fans fire up as Sanada DROPKICKS Yano, and Naito atomic drops! ENZIGURI to ROLLING ELBOWS! Then assisted TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up as Naito drags Yano back up. Naito wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Tetsuya Naito & Sanada, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Yano & Tanahashi earn 0)

The Joker & The Ace bust! Their run at the top is out of the question, but can they shift into spoiler mode after this?

As for LIJ, the rest of the faction joins Naito & Sanada, including Shingo Takagi who’s been on commentary. Naito gets the mic to say, “Buenas noches, KAKOGAWA~!” Naito notes this is the first Kakogawa event for NJPW in four YEARS, so there’s surely some fans seeing them live for the first time ever. He asks if everyone enjoyed seeing the World Tag League tonight, and the fans cheer because they certainly did. Naito notes that he and Sanada have now moved up to 5-2 for 10 points. “We will win out and take the trophies? Or not? Keep watching World Tag League, enjoy the drama, and… Actually… I got nothing.”

Fans have a good laugh, but Naito does continue with, “Keep watching World Tag League to the end. By the way, now today, some of you can only clap but the rest can cheer, right?” Those fans cheer to confirm! “So let’s end this right for the first time ever in Kakogawa.” Fans cheer, liking the sound of that. “For those of you in the clapping sections, please yell out in your hearts. For those who can cheer, please yell out with me! Everyone, are you ready?” Fans cheer to say yes, they are! “There’s only one way to close out the first NJPW show in Kakogawa in four years. Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Titan! Y Naito! Nosotros! LOS! INGOBERRRNABLEEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!”

Fans are fired up to even have this much cheering back. Will they all be able to cheer the next time NJPW is in Kakogawa? Will they be cheering on LIJ as the World Tag League winners and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions?

 

Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!

Aussie Open: 6-1, 12 points
The Mighty: 5-1, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 5-2, 10 points
Goto & Hashi: 4-2, 8 points
Khan & Henare: 4-3, 8 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Yano & Tanahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Evil & Yujiro: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-6, 0 points [ELIMINATED]

Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]


My Thoughts:

Another great round for World Tag League, and a couple more teams are mathematically eliminated. House of Torture get their first win ruining the run for Suzuki & Archer, and I kinda want a feud of Suzuki-Gun VS House of Torture now so Suzuki can beat the crap outta Evil and Dick. Coughlin & Kidd are a great looking team despite that 0-6 record, but sometimes great looking teams don’t get the round robin run you’d expect. Aussie Open are certainly shoe-ins for the finals, and they’re up against Khan & Henare next to give us that All United Empire match since I don’t see the All United Empire Finals happening.

Bishamon looked great in their win over Khan & Henare, keeping their hopes of going back-to-back alive. But there has to be something that spoils that, because I’m still seeing LIJ making it. As I figured yesterday, Yano & Tanahashi VS Naito & Sanada was hilarious but also really competitive, and back-to-back main event wins is great for LIJ. And it’d be fitting that Aussie Open gets a second chance at LIJ for giving them that loss.

My Score: 8.7/10


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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022

NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!

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NEWS

Masa Kitamiya challenges Masato Tanaka

Following the tag match against Masato Tanaka and Shoki Kitamura in ZERO-ONE on the 20th November, Masa Kitamiya challenged Masato Tanaka for the ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight. Kitamiya said he wanted the belt for two reasons – one was because Masato Tanaka had the belt, and secondly because he felt that his eleventh year in wrestling had been a sad one. The match will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 1st January, the same day that NOAH at the Nippon Budokan, so Kitamiya will be wrestling two matches that day with ZERO-ONE taking place before NOAH. Kitamiya is determined to enter The Nippon Budokan as champion.

Akitoshi Saito remembers Bison Smith

Akitoshi Saito made a touching tribute to his old partner on the anniversary of his passing, by winning the match with the Iron Claw slam. Backstage he remembered “the blue eyed samurai” by recalling their last conversation, and saying that he felt Bison was with him and had given his approval for Saito to team with Yone.

Perros Del Mal De Japon Farewell

Perros Del Mal De Japon made their final appearance as a unit in Yoyogi on November 23rd. They were accompanied to the ring by Kotaro Suzuki (who may not be appearing in NOAH following The Tokyo Gurentai produce due to his contract expiring) and Ikuto Hidaka. Neither of them got involved too much in the match.

Yoshinari Ogawa came to the ring with a Singapore cane slung over his shoulder, while his partners also brandished weapons, Kai Fujimura had a baseball bat and Yasutaka Yano carried a trash can. The match was as you would expect; the first time everyone got counted out, the second time ended in a count out when the young boys got Perros counted out (Ogawa had left in disgust by this time) and when he came back, the match lasted 11 minutes and 36 seconds, and ended when NOSAWA decided to assault the referee. Ogawa took everyone out with a trash can lid before leaving. He had also managed to hit Kotaro on the head earlier, but concentrated his attack on NOSAWA and Eita. When Ogawa had gone, Perros bade farewell to each other, but their war with Ogawa wasn’t over as both Eita and NOSAWA will have singles match with him. NOSAWA’S match will be on the 14th in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, while Eita’s will be on the 23rd at the N-INNOVATION. Kotaro Suzuki was a little irritated that he didn’t get a singles match, which NOSAWA completely ignored, but he will have a singles match himself against Eita on the 20th.

MaruKen reunite to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Naomichi Marufuji pinned Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi and therefore won the right to challenge the tag champions. With Masakatsu Funaki and Masaaki Mochizuki hanging over the ropes offering their hands as partners, Marufuji announced to the uproar of the crowd and the disbelief of Takashi Sugiura (whose reaction was akin to “Who? Are you fucking kidding me?”) that he would be challenging with KENTA. Backstage, Marufuji was not too sure that KENTA would accept the offer, but he did and the match has been set for the Nippon Budokan on New Year’s Day.

To explain for the newer fans, during their NOAH Junior days, KENTA and Marufuji were in a much beloved junior tag team known as MaruKen, they hold the record for the longest title reign as a junior team and they also broke down the rules for juniors fighting heavyweights as Misawa allowed them to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. As a team they never had a falling out that led to their split, they just drifted apart as Marufuji noted in “Heir To The Ark” and went to do their own things and over time they became rivals. Now they reunite as heavyweights.

AMAKUSA challenges Dante Leon

AMAKUSA made a silent challenge to Dante Leon for the GHC Junior Heavyweight following their match in Yoyogi. The way the match went gave fans the impression that Alejandro might be the one to challenge, but in the end it was Amakusa who pointed silently at the belt. Title challenge will main event the N-Innovation on the 23rd December.

Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Kenoh in their second pre match, and taking the microphone he stood over him and said that Kenoh had just been overcome by the guy who he was saying “was just trying his best”, and what did that say about Kenoh? Kiyomiya told him it meant he “was all mouth”. Their next pre match is on the 14th December.

Darby Allin

It has been announced that the team of Great Muta, Sting and Darby Allin will team together at Great Muta’s final match on the 22nd January at the Yokohama Arena. Allin had been tagging with Sting when Muta materialized on the 23rd September to save Sting from Buddy Matthews. There has been no mention as to who will be their opponents, but it is thought that Matthews may be involved as he has a score to settle.

YO-HEY & Kzy challenge for the GHC Junior Tag Titles

Tag championships can be volatile belts and tend to suffer more backwards and forwards than singles belts do at times. This was the story when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiji Yoshioka managed to take the belts back from The Kongoh Juniors in Yoyogi. This was the Kongoh Junior’s first defense, and Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo, had only held the belts for thirteen days. Following their title win, the next threat came from their own unit, as YO-HEY challenged for the belts with DragonGate’s Kzy as his partner.

“I’m in a disappointing situation with no results to speak of at all. To overcome this situation, I want the belt. With the belt in hand, I can reach even higher heights. I want to do this, so please let me challenge for the tag belt next”.

Title match will take place on the 23rd December at the N-Innovation.

Yoshiki Inamura fails to capture his first singles belt, but succeeds in other ways

Yoshiki Inamura failed to win his first singles gold when El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior used his experience (the part which he and Inamura were not well matched in, and I doubt Wagner Jnr has ever had anyone throw him around after catching him following a dive) to retain the gold. Inamura had wanted to win this belt to usher in his own era of NOAH, which would be separate to Kiyomiya’s (yet I think would also rival his, as Inamura would kind of be more the leader of the younger generation, which Kiyomiya knows is rising up to threaten him), and he would stand next to him and not below him as champion. Inamura might have failed in his attempt to win his first singles belt, but as Tokyo Sports said, he most definitely gave birth to his era.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Shuhei Taniguchi had his best match in a long time when he and Hideki Suzuki fought to a referee stop in Yoyogi. Fans want to see a round two.

– For some reason the wrestling promotions (and not the MMA companies) were told to come to Antonio Inoki’s memorial on the 24th November at 11am instead of 1pm, someone said this could be a prank that Inoki had set up. Prank or not, in something practically unheard of NOAH (Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura, Satoshi Kojima, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Takashi Sugiura), New Japan and All Japan, plus some staff members, went to have something eat and drink and all sat down and talked for two hours. Inoki’s final wake will be held on March 7th at Ryogoku Kokugikan, what form this will take has not been announced, but it will be a fan event. In Shinto, the deceased are mourned and funeral services are held for forty-nine days following death, the final day is a day of celebration and farewells, when the mourning period is over and the deceased can finally leave earth and cross to the afterlife. It has been said that Inoki will be sharing a beer with Giant Baba.

– Takashi Sugiura’s pants stayed on when he met up with Kenta Kobashi and had some drinks…which is more than can be said about when he visited Akira Taue’s restaurant, and got drunk with Go Shiozaki.

– Kazuyuki Fujita said in his Weekly Pro yearbook profile, that he liked drinking highballs on the Shinkansen.

– Yoshiki Inamura and Kaito Kiyomiya summon Alejandro 

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

NOAH THE BEST 2022 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23RD, NATIONAL YOYOGI STADIUM 2ND GYMNASIUM

Event Recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kenoh, ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Dante Leon
    Challenger: AMAKUSA, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: MaruKen (Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA), ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: YO-HEY & Kzy, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr 
    Challenger: TBA, NOAH the BEST 2022 (Wednesday November 23rd National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium)

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(December 2022 schedule)

Wednesday, December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (4 years)

ARTICLES

“Inside of me there is a “good” Keiji Mutoh and a “bad” Keiji Mutoh” – enthusiasm and conflict for Keiji Mutoh’s last run

“It was a sad eleventh year…” momentum to seize the belt in the Zero-One New Year’s Day title match

“We can make it a connection”, Kondo is “Marmalade brother?!” – Interview with Hajime Ohara just before the Junior Tag Defense match

GHC Junior Tag Match Signing: Ohara “Thigh Raise & Anya Words”. Yoshioka emphasizes that, “If I lose, hit rock bottom”

GHC National Match Signing: Japan-Mexico same generation clash: Wagner Jnr “Create A New History”, Inamura “Create A New NOAH”

“Take the belt and stand in the same position as Kiyomiya!” – Interview with Yoshiki Inamura before his challenge for the GHC National Championship 

Recapture for the first time in two weeks with “Baggio Spirit”, Interview with Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka ahead of the Yoyogi Junior Tag Match

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Coach points out! What is the current situation of young people as seen by Ogawa through the “Mauritius Cup?”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH


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