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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (6/12/18)

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The SmackDown GM will rally her troops ahead of MITB

Before facing off with Raw in the Money in the Bank Ladder matches, SmackDown GM Paige wants to bring her superstars together for a Women’s MITB Summit! Plus, for the first time ever, Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura, ahead of the Last Man Standing Match with AJ Styles, and a WWE first: Daniel Bryan VS Shelton Benjamin!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shelton Benjamin VS Daniel Bryan; Bryan wins.
  • Rusev w/ Aiden English VS Samoa Joe, Special Guest Referee: Miz; Rusev wins.
  • Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Hardy wins, by disqualification.
  • 10 Woman Tag: Carmella, The IIconics, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Lana, Naomi & Asuka; Asuka, Naomi, Lana, Charlotte & Becky win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown GM Paige starts the show in the ring.

The Glampire in Chief is already with Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Naomi and Lana as she welcomes Memphis to the show. She welcomes the Blue Brand representatives in the Women’s Money in the Bank match, and gets to business. Sunday gives them the opportunity to bring that MITB contract here and change their careers forever. Raw puts up Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Ember Moon and Sasha Banks, so Paige is proud to have the best in this match. She doesn’t really mind which woman wins, so long as they bring the contract back to My House! Lana promises to succeed. Naomi says “Girl please!” Oh, can Naomi climb better than she can dance? Lana better be careful or she’ll get snatched bald! Those two argue, but Naomi reminds everyone she’s the winner of the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal.

Charlotte agrees, that’s true. But she only won because Charlotte wasn’t in the Battle Royal. Charlotte’s done everything from the NXT to the Diva’s to the Raw to the SmackDown Women’s Championships. The only thing left to do now is become the Queen in the Bank, “WOO~!” Becky says if anyone is winning, it’s ya girl, Becky Lynch. And if we’re talkign resumes, she was the #1 draft pick AND inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion. But Becky is tired of “was” and wants to say “am”, as in “I am going to grab that briefcase, I am going to cash it in” and “I am going to be the SmackDown Women’s Champion again.” Charlotte wishes Becky luck.

Becky says luck has nothing to do with it. Becky will risk it all, and go through anyone, even her friend. Like how she did last week when she won. How’s that arm, by the way? Naomi reminds them that there are six others in the match. And Becky will beat them, too. But speaking of two, the IIconics are here! Is Peyton thinking what Billie’s thinking? Yes, that it’d take a miracle to bring the briefcase to SmackDown with those four in the match. Agreed, and also how Memphis smells funny. Okay now what is she thinking? It’s time! “What’s the crack, lads? Anyone got some quinoa? I’m an Irish!” That may amuse Peyton & Billie but not Becky or Memphis.

Memphis boos and jeers, but Billie moves on to imitate Charlotte “the Queen”. She dresses up in her daddy’s robes and drink tea, but she’s really from North Carolina and cries when she loses. But instead of “waa” it’s WOO~! Naomi wants to know if those two are done running their mouths. Oh don’t worry, they didn’t forget about Naomi and Lana. Billie and Peyton show off their “dance moves”, and the Kid ‘n’ Play, word. Again, the IIconics love it but Lana and Naomi are just annoyed. Now out come Mandy & Sonya! The duo formerly known as Absolution look up at Paige, and “hat to break it to you”, but she’ll only be disappointed. The talent outside the ring is far superior to the talent inside. Becky imitates Peyton as she asks the others if they’re thinking what she’s thinking. “Yep!” And all eight women start brawling!!

Referees come out but that’s not enough to keep this 4v4 fight from happening. What will Paige do about this division in the Women’s Division?

 

Daniel Bryan responds to Big Cass’ words.

The Human Skyscraper vowed to break Bryan’s legs and arms? How? Cass hasn’t trained hard enough to know how to wrestle hard enough to do that to Bryan! Bryan promises to make Cass tap out again, whether it’s Yes Lock, the heel hook, or just him kneeing and kicking Cass in the face until he gives up. “And you can’t teach surviving that.” Is Bryan about to bully the big man? Or will Cass prove size trumps skill?

 

Shelton Benjamin VS Daniel Bryan!

The Goat may have a big match at Money in the Bank, but that won’t keep him from answering a challenge. For the first time under WWE, Bryan and the Gold Standard will face off. Will Bryan keep himself going in the birthplace of the #YESMovement? Or will Benjamin prove to everyone that he’s deserving of bigger and better?

The bell rings and the two men circle. They tie up, and Benjamin knees Bryan low. Benjamin puts Bryan in a corner, then throws hands. Bryan staggers to another corner, but Benjamin keeps on him with a corner to corner whip. Bryan goes up and over, then runs, dodges, and hits Benjamin with a forearm. He wants the Yes Lock! But Benjamin gets the takedown and float over to a facelock. Bryan reverses back while fans rally for him. Bryan pulls on Benajmin’s arm, and gets the wristlock. He keeps going, and stands on Benjamin’s arm for a cover. TWO, but Bryan gives Benjamin a European Uppercut. Bryan gives him another, then whips. Benjamin reverses, but Bryan kicks him away. Bryan runs but is sent out to the apron, a mule kick takes Bryan’s leg out. Bryan hits the floor, and Benjamin catches his breath.

Benjamin goes outside to fetch Bryan, for a shinbreaker on the table! Bryan clutches his leg and falls to the floor. Benjamin refreshes the count while we go picture in picture. Benjamin stalks Bryan, then drags him by his leg over to barriers. He slings Bryan’s leg into the barriers! The referee backs Benjamin off, so Benjamin goes in the ring to embrace the heat. Bryan clutches his leg but he refuses to let this stop him. Benjamin taunts Bryan as he crawls over to the ring. Bryan gets up and in, but Benjamin runs over. Bryan side steps Benjamin to send him outside, then takes aim from the apron for the flying knee! Direct hit and Benjamin goes down! Bryan pumps Memphis up with “YES! YES!”, then drags Benjamin up and into the ring. Bryan climbs up, and jumps for the headbutt! He misses!

Benjamin grabs the leg for a Half Crab! Bryan endures the pain as Benjamin bends and stretches him. Bryan fires up and gets to ropes for the ropebreak. Benjamin lets go, then looms over Bryan. Benjamin kicks the leg, then threads Bryan through the ropes to DDT the foot! Bryan writhes on the apron, but Benjamin just smirks. Benjamin taunts Bryan, egging him on. He slaps Bryan around, then throws haymakers. Bryan hits back with haymakers of his own! But then Benjamin brings him back into the Half Crab! We return to single picture as Benjamin pulls back and sits down on the leg. Bryan endures and fires up again. He drags himself towards the ropes, and gets the ropebreak! Benjamin lets go, then lurks behind Bryan. Benjamin gets the German Suplex, but Bryan lands on his feet, only to jam that knee.

Bryan blocks Benjamin’s kick, then dodges the Dragon Whip, to dropkick Benjamin’s knee! Benjamin goes down and things are even in terms of leg pain. Fans rally with “YES! YES!” and Bryan gets himself up. Bryan throws counter punches and kicks, but Benjamin shoves him away. Bryan comes back, Dragon Screw! Fans keep rallying and Bryan fires up again. Bryan starts up the YES Kicks! He kicks Benjamin into the corner, then threads his leg through ropes to wrench it. Bryan runs, to dropkick the leg out! He keeps going, putting Benjamin on the top rope. Bryan climbs up but Benjamin trips him up while escaping, and counters with the step-up knee! Bryan holds on for dear life, but Benjamin climbs up now. Benjamin prepares and hits a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!

Benjamin stalks Bryan again. He throws a haymaker, then tries for Pay Dirt but Bryan denies it with a shove. Bryan spins Benjamin around, and gets the YES LOCK! Benjamin resists, powers up to a cover, TWO, back to the Half Crab! Bryan endures all over again, and crawls for ropes. Benjamin pulls him away but Bryan pops out to get the Heel Hook! Benjamin taps, Bryan wins!

Winner: Bryan, by submission

Bryan shows his grit and determination, and he won the war of submissions. Big Cass awaits The Goat this Sunday, who will prove themselves the better in Chicago?

 

Paige meets Asuka backstage.

The Empress lets her GM know that “I want Carmella tonight.” Tonight’s not good. But what Paige can do, she’ll make it a 10 Woman Tag,a dding her and the champion. Sound good? Yes, good for Asuka, but bad for Carmella. Right, got it. Will Carmella finally come to fear her challenger?

But what is Miz doing being a referee? Preparing for this award season. Really? What movie? The… Ruff Ref. A dog refereeing Wrestlemania. As a method actor, he hones his craft. So could he be special referee for Rusev VS Samoa Joe. Sorry, Miz, you’re not that good. She sees what he’s up to. Mizjitsu? No, eh’s trying to screw over his competition> After everything he taught her on Santa’s Little Helper? When HER hand goes up, his mouth goes shut. She doesn’t care about awards, but she will give Miz his special ruff-eree goal. Thanks! And Miz will put in a good word for her and Fighting with My Family, right? Right. Will Miz succeed in “honing his craft”?

 

WWE and SmackDown review Styles VS Nakamura.

It was at Backlash, the No Disqualification Match, where both men would kick each other square in the crotch! This would lead to a double count out draw, meaning they’d need one more Dream (Re)Match. It was a non-title match on a normal SmackDown that led to Shinsuke Nakamura choosing Last Man Standing! But that would only make things even more heated, as Styles would not be able to control himself during their contract signing. Nakamura would tease and toy with Styles, but Styles would SLAP Nakamura! Styles is ready, as is Nakamura, who will be left standing with the WWE Championship after MITB?

 

Memphis welcomes its own, Jerry “The King” Lawler!

The WWE Hall of Famer is in his hometown, and ready to conduct a phenomenal interview with AJ Styles!

King watched last week when Styles “slapped the taste out of his mouth.”But what was it that made Styles slap Nakamura? “He got under my skin, I lost my cool again.” Styles should apologize. He’s saying he’s sorry? Yes, Styles is sorry, that he didn’t just punch his head off! This isn’t a playground, this is the House that AJ Styles Built! Men have unwritten rules, and if Nakamura won’t follow those rules, he’ll be disciplined. Styles will be a man, THE Last Man Standing. MITB, Styles will walk out the same way he walks in, as champion. Styles throws up the Too Sweet, but will MITB be Too Sweet? Or #Knees2Face.

 

The Miz gets tips from pro referees.

Miz can touch the participants but they can’t touch him, right? Yes. And it’s a DQ if they do? Yes. Miz has all he needs, his debut as special referee is next!

Rusev w/ Aiden English VS Samoa Joe, Special Guest Referee: Miz!

The Hollywood A-Lister was getting along so well with the Bulgarian Lion and the Destroyer in a match against The New Day. However, one miscommunication sent everything into a downward spiral and both Rusev and Joe turned on Miz. Now in this first-ever match-up, will Miz use his new role to get revenge on them both?

MC Artiste says “hello everybody, it’s time for a quiz, our special ref is the Miz, the guy who thinks he’s in ‘Showmiz.’ It won’t take a wiz to determine who the winner is.” The Bulgarian Brute vs Some Average Joe, you already know, it’s Rusev Daaaaaaay~! Will Mr. MACHKA crush Joe on his quest to make himself and wife Lana the first ever Mr. & Mrs. MITB?

The bell rings, and they tie up. Joe powers Rusev into a corner then throws fast jabs. Miz backs Joe up, but reminds him you can’t touch the ref. Rusev goes after Joe and throws hands, but Miz backs him up now. Rusev whips Joe, but Joe kicks Rusev away. Joe runs, but Rusev runs Joe over! Joe rolls out but Rusev pursues. Rusev bounces Joe off the apron then puts him in the ring. Joe hits Rusev back down, then runs to DIVE! Joe takes Rusev down in a heap, we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Joe puts Rusev in a trapped-arm chinlock. Miz asks Rusev how he’s doing, but Rusev refuses to quit. Joe shifts to a neck wrench, but Rusev hits back. Rusev jawbreakers Joe away, then runs, but into Joe’s back elbow! Joe covers, Miz counts, TWO! Rusev gets to ropes, but Joe stays on him. Joe brings Rusev around to wrench the arm. Fans rally for Rusev while Miz gets in close to check on him. We go picture in picture as Rusev endures the hold. Rusev feeds off fan energy but Joe snapmares him back into the chinlock. It’s more like a high headlock with Joe’s forearm over Rusev’s eyes. Rusev keeps feeding off fans as we go single picture, and he throws fast body shots. Joe backs up to a corner, Rusev whips him corner to corner.

Rusev runs in for the splash, then stomps away. He throws hands on Joe but Joe hits back with a clubbing clothesline! Joe drags Rusev back up, Miz watching closely. Joe puts Rusev back in a corner, then runs in but into a boot. He staggers back, and Rusev throws hands as English cheers him on. Rusev ducks a punch to give roundhouses! Joe staggers, Rusev runs in, shoulder tackle! Rusev keeps going, windmill kick! Fans chant “Rusev Day!” while English drums. Rusev takes aim, but the MACHKA Kick misses, and Joe puts on the sleeper hold! English distracts Ref Miz, and Rusev snapmares Joe off. Rusev staggers back, Joe runs at him, but Rusev dodges! Joe hits Miz!! Joe hits English, then throws Rusev down! Miz doesn’t count, he’s still recovering.

Joe gets mad at Miz, Miz gets mad at Joe. Miz reminds Joe he’s the ref, but Joe takes Miz’s finger! MACHKA KICK! Cover, Rusev wins!

Winner: Rusev, by pinfall

The Bulgarian Brute defeats the dangerous Destroyer! Miz actually kept things fair and square, too. English prepares a ladder for Rusev, and Rusev uses it to run Joe over.

Rusev then stands the ladder up, but Miz drags him down for the Skull Crushing Finale! Miz is no longer the fair and square referee, he’s a fellow MITB competitor. And with the ladder still standing, Miz climbs up. Miz won this match before, will Miz win his second MITB contract?

He definitely vows as much to commentary, “read it and weep!” But wait, the briefcase is full of pancakes?! Nothing but pancakes! “NEW DAAAAY!!” Who are laughing backstage, by the way. Will Woods, Kofi & Big E have the last laugh on Sunday?

 

Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

It’s another first-time-ever match, as the Charismatic Enigma and current WWE United States Champion returns to take on the King of Strong Style. With the Last Man Standing Match on the horizon, will Nakamura use Brother Nero to build momentum before facing the Phenomenal WWE (World) Champion?

The bell rings, and “DELETE!” echoes through Memphis. Nakamura and Hardy circle and approach, then tie up. Nakamura powers Hardy to the ropes, but Hardy turns it around, and back again. The ref calls for the break, but Nakamura just does his ab rest. Nakamura laughs, but Hardy kicks and clubs him back. Hardy puts Nakamura in a corner, then bumps him off buckles in another. Hardy whips but Nakamura slides out to mock the V1 hands. And yes, “C’MON!” But Nakamura tires to get around Hardy, only for Hardy to get his hands on Nakamura! Hardy puts Nakamura into barriers, then goes to the apron for the leaping crossbody! Both men go down but the US Champ is in control while we go picture in picture.

Hardy makes sure his arms and legs are okay, then gets up to drag Nakamura up. They go back into the ring, and Hardy drops hands on Nakamura. Hardy puts Nakamura in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Nakamura reverses, and Hardy’s back gives out. Hardy hobbles to the ropes but Nakamura shows no mercy as he stomps Hardy in the back. Nakamura stalks Hardy but the referee backs him off. Nakamura still doesn’t care, he drags Hardy up for a snapmare and knee drop. Cover with the knee, TWO. Nakamura looms over Hardy, then drags him up to knee him low. He puts Hardy in a corner to stomp away, then trips him up for BAD Vibrations. Nakamura walks it off, then drags Hardy out for a cover. TWO, and we’re single picture again.

The referee checks on Hardy, but Hardy won’t quit. Nakamura puts him in a partial clutch. Fans rally and Hardy feeds off the energy. Hardy hits back with elbows, then jawbreakers Nakamura away. Nakamura throws hands but Hardy blocks and counters, then rallies. Hardy atomic drops then hits the leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick added, cover, TWO. Hardy hobbles up while Nakamura stands. Hardy kicks, but Nakamura denies the twist. Nakamura misses in the corner, and Hardy sits him down with the spinning back kick. Hardy swings but Nakamura boots him away. Nakamura takes aim, misses the roundhouse but hits the left heel kick. Nakamura puts Hardy on the top rope, but Hardy dodges the Top Shelf Knee to hotshot Nakamura. Hardy elbows Nakamura away, then hits Whisper in the Wind!

Cover, TWO! Hardy catches his breath, then drops another leg. He climbs back up top, but Nakamura trips him up, for the Top Shelf Knee! Nakamura keeps going, firing himself up. But Hardy counters, Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries up top again, SWANTON BOMB! But that back bothers him! Both men are down, but Hardy rolls over to a cover, ROPEBREAK! Hardy can’t believe it, and Nakamura gets away. Hardy pursues, and puts him back in. Off comes the shirt, and Hardy waits for Nakamura. Nakamura stands, but denies the Twist for the LOW BLOW!

Winner: Hardy, by disqualification

Nakamura doesn’t care about this match’s result, he just goes to a corner and takes aim. KINSHASA!! The King of Cheap Shots gives a #Knee2Face, and starts the 10 count. Nakamura reaches 5 and beyond, Hardy does not stand up at 10. Nakamura gets his Last Man Standing message through to everyone, but will he get his desired result on Sunday?

 

Carmella prepares for her match.

And by that, she gets her makeup touched up. The FABULOUS SmackDown Women’s Champion doesn’t want Renee Young in the shot for her ‘gram. Renee wants to know how Carmella feels about facing Asuka in the 10 Woman Tag. Carmella isn’t worried at all. She left Asuka laying last week. Carmella will say this again: Charlotte beat Asuka, Carmella beat Charlotte twice, so Carmella is better than Asuka. The champion is not concerned about anyone. Not Asuka, not Becky, not Charlotte, not Lana, not Naomi. Carmella is ready for Asuka because #MellaIsMoney. Will the Princess’ tune change after getting in the ring with all five of those women?

Backstage interview with Big Cass.

The Human Skyscraper, in suit and tie, takes over to make this a message to teh WWE Universe. Cass made a rare appearance at the Memphis County Fair. He faked a smile, took some pictures, and took his money. But he also has a souvenir: the height requirement chart. Cass thought about having all of SmackDown ride together. But a certain someone doesn’t meet the height requirement. And that someone is Daniel Bryan. A good big man always beats a good little man. Their match won’t be a roller coaster, it won’t be bumper cars or a Ferris wheel, it’ll be a free fall. If Bryan even tries reaching Cass’ level, he’ll just come crashing right back down. The 7 foot tall bully talks down to Bryan, but will he be the one on the ground after MITB?

 

WWE and SmackDown profile CJ Pianteri.

CJ is a powerlifter for the Special Olympics, and already has over 70 golds! CJ loves competition, but he is also respectful and friendly about it. He is working through a bad shoulder, but he won’t let that stop him! Cheer CJ ad all the Special Olympics athletes at the Seattle Games this summer!

10 Woman Tag: Carmella, The IIconics, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Lana, Naomi & Asuka!

What was a (mostly) peaceful Women’s MITB Summit turned into a chaotic 4v4 brawl. That brawl was made into this main event tag match, but then the Empress’ request was honored to make it into an even bigger main event! Can the Empress lead the Queen of Flair, the Lass Kicker, the Ravishing Russian and Ms. Glow-Time against this FABULOUS Five?

Sonya and Naomi start, and Sonya kicks Naomi right in the arm. Naomi ducks the punch and things speed up, then Naomi headscissors Sonya to ropes. Naomi tags in Lana, and the Ravishing Russian hits Sonya with a running knee. Lana turns Sonya and hits the neckbreaker. Cover, ONE, but Lana keeps on Sonya. “Lana is the Best, Lana Number One!” But Sonya powers Lana into the enemy corner. Carmella tags in for a FABULOUS Mudhole, then she moonwalks before running back in. Lana dodges and that bronco buster hits buckles! Lana crawls, but Carmella grabs her. Carmella gets pushed away, hot tag to Becky! Becky rallies on Carmella, then throws EuroUppers and forearms. Becky kips up, then throws Carmella with the Becksploder! Cover, TWO.

Carmella reaches for her corner but Becky takes Sonya out first. Carmella grabs Becky’s hair, then Peyton tags in. Becky hits Billie but gets that hell kick! Cover, TWO, and Peyton is furious. She tags in Billie, and the IIconics double kick away. Billie covers, TWO. Billie tags in Sonya, and Sonya hits Becky with body shots. The Gladiator Gal embraces the heat while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Billie teams with Carmella to mug Becky. Billie boots Becky in the corner, then tags in Peyton. Peyton stomps, then Sonya tags in so she can stomp. Sonya brings Becky out but Becky counters to a small package, TWO. Sonya SPEARS Becky down! Cover, TWO! Billie tags in, and Becky takes more stomps. Billie snapmares Becky into a cravat. Becky endures the neck wrench while Carmella taunts. Becky’s team cheers her on, and fans rally while we go picture in picture. The Lass Kicker stands up but Billie wrangles her back down. Becky endures the neck wrench while the rally continues. She stands up, hits back with body shots, but Billie knees low. Billie taunts Becky while we go single picture, but Becky slips out of the scoop to enziguri Billie down!

Fans fire up, and both women crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Charlotte and Peyton! The Queen rallies, hitting everyone. Except Carmella, she got clear of those Flair Chops. Charlotte styles and profiles, then scoops Billie for the Fall Away Slam. Charlotte runs into boots, but then SPEARS Peyton! Carmella distracts, but gets kicked away! Charlotte finishes climbing, and MOONSAULT, but into boots! Peyton crawls to her corner, hot tag to Sonya. Sonya tags Mandy, and Mandy hits the Golden Knee! Sonya adds her sliding knee, then Absolution destroys the other team. They both lift Charlotte, but Charlotte slips out of the double suplex. Charlotte hits them both, then tags Asuka! Asuka missile dropkick to Mandy!

The Empress is all fired up, and she goes after Mandy. Mandy elbows her away, then knees her low. Mandy prepares a driver, but Asuka slips out! Armbar takedown, into Asuka Lock! Everyone rushes in to break this up. Chaos ensues, and it’s another brawl. Things spill out, Asuka hits Carmella. She throws Mandy out, then Charlotte climbs up again, MOONSAULT onto the IIconics!

Absolution wreck Becky into barriers, but then Naomi dives on Sonya! Mandy misses her knee and gets a roundhouse. But Carmella is legal! FABULOUS Kick! Lana breaks the cover! Carmella throws Lana out, but Asuka blocks the kick to swing a kick. Carmella dodges, then rolls Asuka up! TWO, ASUKA LOCK OUTTA NOWHERE!

Carmella flails, taps, Asuka and team win!

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

#RavishingRoyalGlowFireofTomorrow is victorious! Carmella was NOT ready for Asuka, will she be ready by this Sunday? Or will the Empress rebuild her empire by taking the gold from the Princess? And even then, who of the four for SmackDown, if any of them, will be Ms. MITB? The four seem to realize that, as they surround Asuka, while looking up at the briefcases. Asuka grins, she welcomes the challenge from any one of them. What match up will we see forming in the aftermath of MITB?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown aces the go-home show even better than Raw. And again, SmackDown proves anything Raw can do, it can do better. They open with an in-ring promo that had some in-fighting, but it sets up a match in an organic way as the IIconics and Absolution get the four MITB women on the same page. And then it escalates in an organic way as Asuka politely asks the GM a favor. That 10 Woman was great, and it had time to breathe in order to make it great. All the women shined on both ends, but especially the Faces. They also tease what I’d been sensing: whether it’s Carmella or Asuka, a SmackDown Ms. MITB could cash-in the same night. And if Raw wins the Women’s MITB to do the same on Ronda and Nia, we still have a fully stocked contenders list for the summer.

Bryan VS Benjamin was a great match for their first time having it in WWE. I’m glad Big Cass didn’t interfere, and he even did a bit better with his promo tonight using a visual aid. Miz’s Rough Ruff Ref or whatever was a good excuses, and Cory did great to run with the gag. Miz stands tall, but that pancake surprise was a nice touch to keep all four men rather even going in. Styles had a pretty simple interview with The King, that was really more for Memphis to cheer Lawler. Hardy VS Nakamura was solid, and came close to a PPV quality match itself. Nakamura does the Heel thing to throw away the match for the sake of his message, and this doesn’t hurt his chances in the Last Man Standing at all. That match could go either way, and is even more open to a cash-in.

My Score: 8.7/10


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.124 ~ 28TH FEBRUARY 2021

Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

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Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

NEWS

“CyberFight Festival 2021”

On the 26th February CyberFight held a surprise press conference, which was broadcast on both the NOAH and the DDT YouTube channels. The purpose oft the conference was to announce that on the 6th June 2021, they would be holding an event they hope will become an annual one each year, at the Saitama Super Arena, which is one of the largest in Japan. The event will feature all the promotions that CyberFight manage (NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro & Ganbare ☆ Pro Wrestling), and will have the major titles defended, plus inter-promotional matches. CyberFight president, Sanshiro Takagi, said that it would be up to individual promotions as to whether they wanted to bring in anyone from outside from another promotion.

The one person who wasn’t excited, or even remotely happy by this news, was naturally and unsurprisingly, Kenoh. Rather than start angrily growling on social media, Kenoh’s reaction to the news when announced on NOAH’s official Twitter was, “….”. Naomichi Marufuji tried to explain to Kenoh that all this was was a festival of wrestling, not a merger or anything else. Kenoh made no response, and has only resurfaced on social media to say grumpily he was at a RISE SHOW.

Katsuhiko Nakajima, however, has taken a different approach by saying, “What is this?”. It should be noted that this was said in the manner of a shark finding wounded prey.

 

Simulacrum Mask

Kendo Kashin was up to his usual tricks, by first of all attacking Kenoh after his match in Sendai on the 21st, by storming the ring dressed as a pirate wearing a Jason hockey mask over a Lion mask, and claiming he was Takashi Sugiura, and then intruding into the ring in Gunma after Kenoh’s match, dressed all in white and with a Lucha style mask. He was beaten down by Kongoh (not Katsuhiko Nakajima, who had walked off and didn’t look back), before Masa Kitamiya threw him out of the ring. Backstage, the mysterious masked man, claimed he was Kazushi Sakuraba and had been sent to do this by Takashi Sugiura. No one was fooled, least of all Kenoh, and Takashi Sugiura said he was weary.

Although Kenoh entered looking around him at Korakuen Hall, he need not have worried, the only strange masked man in the match was Kendo Kashin, who nonetheless tried to blindside him. Kashin was up to usual tricks in the match, kicking Kenoh in the groin, and winding him so badly that they ended up fighting in the lift. Kenoh kept the doors open just long enough for the assembled journalists to take pictures.

 Junta Miyawaki’s return, challenges for GHC Junior Tag Titles

Following the six man tag (STINGER vs Momo No Seishun and Kinya Okada) on the 24th February at Korakuen Hall, and after the usual fight between the assembled Juniors, it took Junta Miyawaki to get in the ring and separate his warring seniors, after which when another fight broke out, he took out all of STINGER by repeated dropkicks. There was a quick consultation in the ring between all three of Momo No Seishun, which ended with Daisuke Harada challenging STINGER for the tag belts on behalf of himself and Junta Miyawaki. Title match has been set for 21st March at Korakuen Hall, but Miyawaki will make his return to the ring on Saturday March 6th at the FULL THROTTLE produce.

Backstage, naturally STINGER made no comment, Miyawaki had plenty to say, and in a loud voice, yelling he would be the “center of the NOAH juniors” and that “I WANT TO GET A BELT”

 Kaito Kiyomiya vs Keiji Mutoh, the first pre match

The first pre-match between Kaito Kiyomiya and Keiji Mutoh ended in frustration for them both, with Mutoh getting the win over Daiki Inaba. Mutoh after the match compared Kiyomiya again to a “low risk” Mahjong move, and said he wanted him to grow faster. Kaito Kiyomiya has made no comment, but he has been seen undertaking MMA training with Kazushi Sakuraba.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Sendai PIT (February 21st)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ NOSAWA Rongai and Tadasuke had a stand off over sunglasses, after which NOSAWA started stalking Tadasuke to ringside, as he thought that with blonde hair and shades, Tadasuke has been stealing his look.

~ Naomichi Marufuji has finally bought the Ghost Busters themed Reebok that he wanted.

~ Following Kazushi Sakuraba’s ankle kick and submission, the “Calf Slicer”, Takashi Sugiura said he asked Sakuraba to explain it, which he did, in detail, when they were both in the shower. Sakuraba asked why he asked then, Sugiura said he was the one who chose to tell him.

~ 5’4 Haoh was almost sent flying over the ropes by the GEKITOZ from Yoshiki Inamura

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight was very funny.

~ YO-HEY has compared the NOAH Juniors to the “Warring States Period

~ “Kongoh” are enjoyable company, except for Kenoh.” NOSAWA Rongai

~ Atsushi Kotoge was thrown a major shade by Go Shiozaki, who in Gunma shook hands with Daisuke Harada as he said he thought he was the champion, then when Harada pointed out it was Kotoge who was challenging for the singles, Shiozaki looked as if to say, “Really? Him?” and then joking refused to shake hands with him.

~ Mohammed Yone says he has made a new a costume for Shuhei Taniguchi, which will make him “Dazzle”.

~ In usual style, Takashi Sugiura wished Masato Tanaka happy birthday, and then asked when The Bullet Yankees are getting back together.

~ NOAH’s official photographer has been taking pictures of the roster set against a spring woodland background or else in a springtime Tokyo. It looks like some new pictures may be coming out.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Seiki Yoshioka
    Challenger: Atsushi Kotoge (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
    Challengers: The Aggression (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Junta Miyawaki) (21st March, “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021”)
  •  GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kendo Kashin (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Tuesday, 2nd March: Kenoh debut anniversary (2nd March)

Friday, 3rd March: Naomichi Marufuji, as tourist ambassador of Saitama, will be making another appearance on the “Love Saitama” YouTube channel.

Saturday, 6th March: Masao Inoue (51)

Saturday, 6th March: FULL THROTTLE Produce (Starts 17:30 JST)

Sunday, 7th March: “Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” (16:00 JST)

BROADCASTS

*Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

Both events will be broadcast via WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

  • NOAH have not yet announced whether the FULL THROTTLE  it will be live or whether it will be broadcast at a later date, only that it will be VOD.
  • Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” will be broadcast live, and with English commentary. If you are not a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE, you can purchase the event through FITE TV for $19.00. This will also have English commentary, but you cannot purchase this if you live in Japan.

LINKS

Affiliated promotions to have all-star matches on the 6.6. at the Saitama Super Arena

Kazushi Sakuraba continues to evolve, victory following submission from calf kick

GIFS taken from ABEMA and WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

 


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament Coverage! (2/28/21)

The finals are so close, we can almost taste it!

Published

on

AEW Women's Title Tournament

AEW is closing in on a Women’s Championship Contender!

AEW Revolution is only one week away and Hikaru Shida still awaits a challenger! Who takes that pivotal step closer to her championship?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Woman Tag: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga VS Emi Sakura, Maki Itoh & Veny; Shida, Kadokura & Suruga win.
  • Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, Japanese Finals: Yuka Sakazaki VS Ryo Mizunami; Mizunami wins and advances.
  • Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, US Bracket Semifinal: Thunder Rosa VS Riho; Rosa wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Woman Tag: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga VS Emi Sakura, Maki Itoh & Veny!

The Full Metal Warrior jumps into the action alongside #Marvelous and the Biggest Smile in the World to take on the Queen of Wrestling, the Fallen Idol and the Genderless Artist! But will Mei be able to fight properly when Emi-sensei is on the other side of the ring?

Shida and her team offer handshakes, but no one from the other side accepts. And then Maki, Emi and Veny ambush Shida’s team! They knock Mei and Rin out and then mug Shida 3v1! Emi underhooks and Veny helps out, ASSISTED FACEBUSTER! Maki fires up that iron head but Shida avoids the Kokeshi! Shida clubs Maki, bumps her off buckles, and whips her corner to corner. Maki reverses, runs in, and back body blocks! Maki fires up and then runs back in, to climb up. Maki asks, “Who is the cutest in the world? Itoh-chan, desu~!” Maki rains down fists and fires up, but Shida carries her off the corner! Maki fights free and fires off forearms, but Shida pie faces her!

Maki and Shida glare, and Maki fires off more forearms! Shida DECKS Maki with one! Maki gets mad now! She bumps her iron head off buckles, and HEADBUTTS Shida! Maki roars, tells Shida BLEH~, then runs, into a GAMANGIRI! Maki’s head is iron but her face is fragile! Maki tags in Emi, and Rin tags in to clobber her! Rin rallies, pushes Emi down, then hits a DOUBLE STOMP! Emi staggers up into Rin’s shotgun dropkick! Rin goes corner to corner CANNONBALL! Rin drags Emi up, wrenches and wristlocks to then crucifix, but Emi fights free to give Rin BACKBREAKER! And then the BUTTERFLY BACKBREAKER!

Tag to Veny, and Veny kicks Rin around. Veny toys with Rin, gives more kicks, and drags Rin up. Rin throws a forearm but Veny brushes that off. Rin forearms over an dover and over, but Veny just SLAPS Rin down! Veny runs, but Mei trips Veny up! Mei is learning much from Emi-sensei! Rin basement dropkicks Veny against ropes! Rin climbs, Veny stands, missile dropkick knocks Veny down! But Veny rolls through and comes back with a SHOTGUN BOOT! Veny hoists Rin up, blocks the rana counter, but Rin slips out to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Veny narrowly escapes but Rin SUPERKICKS! Rin runs, SATELLITE DDT!

Rin and Veny crawl, Mei pushes Shida away to take the hot tag! Mei springboard STOMPS Veny down! Mei full nelsons to the CATTLE MUTILATION! Mei has a high bridge, but Veny gets the ropebreak with a foot! Mei lets Veny go to bring Veny up and whip. Veny reverses, runs in, but Mei boots Veny away! Mei goes up, leaps, but Veny catches Mei and pops her around, only for Mei to wheelbarrow! Veny blocks the victory roll, drags Mei back up, FACEBUSTER! Veny LIONSAULTS, covers, TWO! Mei survives but Veny tags Emi in. Sensei now stomps student around! Emi sucker punches Shida and Rin then brings Mei around for a TOSS!

Mei flounders to a corner, Emi elbows Shida down, and then Emi goes back to Mei. Emi gets the legs, sings and the team echoes it. Emi reels Mei back as Maki sings it loud and proud for her! ROLLING ROMERO as Maki holds out the note! Maki runs and KOKESHIS the surfboard apart! Did she forget Emi was underneath Mei? Emi gets mad at Maki for it, but Maki gets mad at Emi for getting mat at her! Veny tags in to stop all that and then BLASTS Shida’s corner! Veny stands on Mei’s head, digs the heel in, and then drags Mei back up. Mei throws forearms but Veny blocks the suplex! Mei stomps Veny’s foot! And then scoops, only for Veny to scoop back and SLAM Mei down!

Veny drags Mei up, scoops her again and SLAMS her again! Splash down for the cover, TWO! Veny tags Maki, Maki stomps away on Mei. Maki puts Mei through ropes and pulls her back in a rope camel clutch! The ref reprimands, Maki holds on until 4, and then mockingly keeps counting to 8. And then Maki goes after Mei for more stretching! Maki CLUBS Mei on the back, Emi gets a cheap shot in, Maki throws Mei down to cover, TWO! Maki is on the camel clutch again, Rin attacks Maki! Maki ROCKS Rin, stomps Mei, and tags out to Emi. Emi DECKS Rin, hits Shida, and goes back to Mei to throw her down! Emi pulls WAY back on the camel clutch!

Mei endures, Emi pushes Mei away, and then drags her up. Mei breaks free to fake the chops and leg scissor roll Emi! TWO, Mei runs and hops onto Emi’s shoulders for a spinning sunset flip! Emi punches but Mei goes Matrix! Mei runs, Emi spins her to underhook, but Mei fights off the driver to ROCK Emi with a right! Mei reels Emi in, scoop and SLAM! Mei shows her sensei that she has power! Shida pushes Rin aside to tag in from Mei! Shida runs to KNEE Emi in the corner! Maki runs in but Shida scoops her and wedges her above Emi! Veny runs in, Shida kicks Veny and snap suplexes Veny into both Emi and Maki!

Shida sets Emi up on the apron and gets some space. Shida runs back in to KNEE Emi back in! Shida’s fired up and she gets in the ring. Emi stands, Shida runs and reverse wheelbarrows to sunset flip! KNEE DROPS! Cover, TWO! Shida goes to suplex but Emi claws her back! Emi runs, but Shida tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS back! Shida runs but into Emi’s tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Emi and Shida are forehead to forehead as former teacher and student are evenly matched! But then Mei and Veny get in to boot their respective opponents! Mei and Veny run, and they BOTH get tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS!

Shida and Emi go after each other again with forearms and CHOPS! Shida ROCKS Emi, Emi CHOPS back! They keep going back and forth, Shida gets the edge, and she hammers away on Emi! Shida fires up, reels Emi in, but Emi fights to the dragon sleeper, TWISTING REVERSE DDT! Emi sings, “We Will~, We Will~ Rock You!” Maki sings along as Emi runs in and BODY CHECKS Shida! Emi CHOPS and runs, but into Shida’s KNEE! Maki runs in and gives Shida a TORNADO DDT! But Rin SUPERKICKS Maki! Veny SUPERKICKS Rin! Mei fakes Veny out, springboards and SUPER PUNCHES!

Mei shouts to Shida-senpai! They work together on Emi-sensei, SUPER FOREHEAD POKE! Full nelson and… SUPER FOREHEAD POKE! Shida gives Mei a boost, and Mei hits a SPLASH! Shida brings Emi up to whip but Emi holds the ropes! Mei kicks Emi’s arm from the rope, and whips Emi, only for Emi to crisscross them up! Emi uses Mei to sunset flip Shida, and then she traps them both in some kind of double Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Mei tries to get free, Shida gets the ropebreak! Emi lets go, runs, and BODY CHECKS both of them!

Veny tags in and climbs up top! Veny ARIHARA MOONSAULTS Shida down! And then kips up! Veny swaggers about, slaps Shida and drags her up. Veny puts Shida in, drags her up, but Shida breaks free! Shida dodges a heel kick, Veny deflects the knee, Shida ducks another kick but Veny ducks the enziguri! Veny ripcord lariats but Shida dodges, only to run into the WINDMILL! Emi sets Shida up in a drop zone, VADER ELBOW! Veny goes up, MOONSAULT! Cover, Mei breaks it! Emi kicks Mei and Rin back out and Veny drags Shida up. Veny reels Shida in, fisherman but Shida fights out to roll up. Veny rolls through but Shida ROCKS Veny with that right!!

Shida suplexes, Veny slips out and Veny GERMAN SUPLEXES! Maki HEADBUTTS Shida into Veny’s lift, for a SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!?! Shida survives and shocks Veny! Veny climbs up again, Rin intercepts with haymakers! Rin climbs up now, and hits a SUPER STEINER on Veny! Shida gets in as Veny goes to the apron. Shida drags Veny up to bump her off buckles! Shida dead lift SUPERPLEXES! And rolls through, to dead lift suplex! Cover, TWO!! TAMASHI!! Cover, but Maki and Emi break it! Maki and Emi intercept Rin and Mei, but Rin and Mei turn that around! Shida, Rin and Mei throw Emi, Maki and Veny into each other! Mei and Rin crisscross to dropkick Veny and Emi!

Shida drags Veny back up, suplexes, and hits a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!?! Shida is shocked by Veny’s toughness! Shida sits Veny up again, runs and hits the TAMASHI!! Cover, Team Shida wins!

Winners: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga, by pinfall

The AEW Women’s World Champion finishes it off! Mei is so happy for her senpai, and the three stand tall. But Emi-sensei attacks! Mei and Rin go after Emi, shove her out, but Maki goes after them! Shida grabs Maki by her pigtails and bumps her off buckles! Shida throws Maki out hard, Emi stomps Maki?! Emi is upset that Maki failed, it seems. But again, Shida stands tall with her team! Will she be standing tall against whoever it is that faces her at Revolution?

 

Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, Japanese Finals: Yuka Sakazaki VS Ryo Mizunami!

This is it for the Magical Girl and Aneki! It’s win or go home, so who is heading to the overall tournament finals?!

Ryo again gets impatient with the ref and smacks him on the back again. The two shake hands to show there is sportsmanship. But Ryo’s handshake is so strong, Yuka falls to a knee! Ryo lets go, Yuka shakes her hand out, the bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, Ryo powers Yuka right to ropes, but lets off as the ref calls for a break. Yuka composes herself again and circles with Ryo. They tie up, Yuka waistlocks, but Ryo pries free and wrenches to a wristlock. Yuka rolls, handsprings, wrenches again and has another wristlock. Ryo pretends to be worried but she body shots then wrenches through to a wristlock.

Ryo clubs away on Yuka’s arm, wrenches it more, and Yuka drops to her knees again. Yuka gets up but Ryo wrenches the wrist again. Yuka endures, Ryo lifts her up by that arm to then drop her down! Ryo keeps on the hand, Yuka fights back up, and Yuka runs to flip and wrangle Ryo down with a keylock! Ryo fights up, Yuka shifts to a facelock then chinlock. Ryo powers up, powers out, but Yuka dropkicks! But Ryo just fires up! Yuka is a bit put off by that, and tries another dropkick! Ryo still stays up! Yuka gets frustrated now and she runs, but Ryo dodges the dropkick to stomp Yuka down! Ryo clubs Yuka, whips her to a corner, but Yuka goes up and over!

Yuka gets around to waistlock, but Ryo elbows. Yuka avoids the elbows and pokes Ryo in the eye! Yuka giggles but Ryo reels her in! Ryo waistlocks but Yuka slips under to roll Ryo up, TWO! Yuka cradles, TWO! Another roll up, TWO! Yuka is frustrated but so is Ryo, and Ryo bails out. Ryo catches her breath but Yuka builds speed to WRECK Ryo with a dropkick! Yuka fires up, Ryo cools off, and Ryo takes her time returning. Yuka waits as Ryo gets in, and Yuka dropkicks the legs out! Yuka clubs away on Ryo, brings Ryo around, but can’t scoop Ryo up! Ryo scoop slams Yuka down! Ryo drags Yuka up, whips her to ropes, and runs her over with a shoulder!

Ryo drags Yuka back up, ROCKS her with a forearm, then scoop slams her again! LEG DROP! Cover, TWO! Ryo keeps cool as she drags Yuka back up. Ryo whips Yuka to a corner, Yuka dodges, and then Yuka runs back in to back elbow! Ryo catches Yuka to RAM her into the corner! Yuka falls but Ryo drags her up into a DEEP camel clutch! Yuka gets one arm free, reaches and gets the ropebreak! Ryo lets go fast, stomps Yuka, then drags her up again. Ryo CHOPS Yuka to a corner, CHOPS again, and then CHOPS and CHOPS and unleashes the machine gun CHOPS! Satoshi Kojima would be proud! Ryo fires up, does a dance, but Yuka ducks and the chop hits buckles!

Yuka kicks from below, but Ryo boots back! Ryo scoops, Yuka slips out and RANAS Ryo to a corner! Yuka runs to SHINING WIZARD! Yuka hops up, leaps, flying elbow! Ryo is down and Yuka brings her back up! Ryo resists the suplex, Yuka clubs her and rolls her to a CALF KILLER!! Ryo endures, reaches around, Yuka twists the foot, but Ryo gets a ropebreak with a hand! Yuka lets go, runs and hits a SLIDING LARIAT at the ropes! Yuka goes to the corner, goes up top, but cartwheels to avoid Ryo! Yuka runs, but into a POWERSLAM! Both women are down because of the bad leg, but Ryo fires up!

Ryo picks Yuka up, but Yuka wheelbarrows, only for Ryo to block the victory roll! WHEELBARROW GERMAN SUPLEX! Ryo runs and CLOBBERS Yuka at ropes! Then hits a ROUGH RYDER! Cover, TWO, but into the katagatami!! Yuka endures the head-and-arm, but Ryo squeezes tight! Yuka fights up, rolls back, and slips free to get Ryo for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Ryo endures and fights up, but she starts to fade! Yuka pulls even tighter, the ref checks on Ryo, but Ryo gets a second wind! Ryo powers up, dead lifts and POWERBOMBS Yuka down! Yuka flounders to a corner while Ryo catches her breath and fires herself up with slaps to her face!

Ryo runs and CLOBBERS Yuka! Yuka ROCKS Ryo, dodges, and ENZIGURIS! Ryo LARIATS right back!! Ryo fires up, Yuka sits up in a daze, and Ryo brings Yuka in for forearms from all sides! Ryo powers up but Yuka ROCKS her back! Yuka fires forearms from all sides, and ROCKS Ryo again! Yuka cravat rolls Ryo to KICK her down! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ryo survives but Yuka puts her in a drop zone. Yuka goes to the apron, climbs the ropes, MAGICAL GIRL SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Ryo survives but Yuka keeps her focus. Yuka goes to the apron again, goes up the ropes again, and hits the MAGICAL GIRL 450, but has to bail out! Ryo catches Yuka for an URENAGE!!

Both women are down, the ref checks on them, but they’re stirring. Ryo fires herself up, she grabs Yuka’s hair, but Yuka grabs Ryo’s ears! Ryo HEADBUTTS Yuka in the chest! Torture rack and- VICTORY ROLL FROM YUKA! TWO, and Yuka RANAS to a cover, TWO!! Yuka runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, but Yuka rolls it over, TWO!! Ryo gets to a corner, runs and SPEARS Yuka! Then drags Yuka up to SHORT ARM LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! How did Yuka survive!?! Ryo won’t stop to worry about it, she drags Yuka up to fisherman and DRIVER!! Cover, Ryo wins!!

Winner: Ryo Mizunami, by pinfall (advances to the tournament finals)

And Aneki is heading to Dynamite this Wednesday! But will she be able to go from the Crossroads and to Revolution?

 

Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, US Bracket Semifinal: Thunder Rosa VS Riho!

Nyla Rose awaits an opponent for the US Bracket Finals! Will the former NWA Women’s World Champion take one step closer to one of her goals? Or will the inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion end up facing an old foe in the finals?

The bell rings, these two shake hands and then circle. They tie up as fans fire up, and they go around the ring with the collar ‘n’ elbow. Riho wrenches, Rosa wrenches back and then headlocks tight. Riho pries free, headlocks back and hits a takeover. Rosa headscissors, Riho kips out and fans cheer this opening exchange. The two circle, tie up, and Rosa trips Riho to get a facelock. Riho slips out of the facelock but so does Rosa. Rosa drags Riho up to then use a leg to hook Riho and bring her down. Riho fights out of the headscissor, rolls Rosa and runs. Rosa dodges, drops and hurdles, to arm-drag Riho! Riho arm-drags back! Rosa sweeps, covers, Riho goes Matrix to run and basement dropkick!

Fans fire up as Riho drags Rosa back up. Rosa kicks low, reels Riho in and snap suplexes! Una amiga, another snap suplex! Dos amiga, and then she hangs Riho out to dry on ropes! Rosa goes side to side to BOOT Riho down! Cover, TWO! Rosa sits Riho up to throw clubbing elbows, then bumps Riho off buckles. Rosa digs her boot in, lets off as the ref counts, and then CHOPS Riho down! Rosa digs her knee into Riho now, then drags Riho out to a cover, TWO! Rosa keeps cool and brings Riho up for a hanging neckbreaker! And another! Rosa reels Riho into a rack as she hooks a leg! Riho endures but Rosa THROWS Riho over her shoulder! Cover, TWO!

Rosa drags Riho up, bumps her off buckles, then goes corner to corner, only for Riho to dodge! Riho KNEES Rosa, runs and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor Rosa to ropes! Fans fire up, Riho dial sit up, 619 hits! Cover, TWO! Riho runs again, but Rosa catches the crossbody, only for Riho to SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Riho keeps close, drags Rosa up but Rosa hits back! Rosa EuroUppers, and hits another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Rosa grows annoyed but she drags Riho around and stomps her. Rosa kicks but Riho just gets mad! Riho gets up and throws heavy forearms! Fans fire up as Rosa throws a heavy body shot and then a boot! Cover, TWO!

Rosa drags Riho around, hooks up a leg, and then goes after arms! It’s a full nelson STF! Riho endures, but Rosa SLAMS her down! Cover, TWO! Riho also gets a foot on the ropes for good measure, but Rosa pulls that away to cover again. TWO, and Rosa grows frustrated. Rosa snapmares Riho, clamps on a dragon sleeper, but Riho fights up! Fans rally, Riho gets up and throws shots to spin around, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rosa escapes and goes to a corner, but Riho goes to the opposite. Rosa runs in but Riho boots her away! Riho leaps for a FLYING RANA! Riho keeps moving, wheelbarrow, STOMP 182! Fans rally and duel as both women are down!

Riho goes to a corner, climbs up top, and leaps for a BIG crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Riho can’t believe how close that was! Riho drags Rosa up, reels her in, but Rosa blocks the Northern Lights! Rosa clubs away, RAMS Riho into the corner, RAMS her more, then runs corner to corner for an A-LIST LARIAT! And SWINGING METEORA! Rosa isn’t done, she hobbles and then comes back in, to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!!! Riho survives and Rosa can’t believe it! Rosa vows to end this, and she drags Riho up again. Rosa scoops, Riho fights out and full nelsons! Rosa elbows free of that, fireman’s carries Riho and spins, but Riho fights that, too! SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX!!

Fans fire up as Riho gets back up. Riho staggers but makes her way to a corner. Riho climbs but Rosa SHORYUKENS! Rosa climbs up, clubs Riho, but Riho throws body shots and a headbutt! Rosa is in a Tree of Woe, Riho adjusts, WOE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Rosa is still in this but Riho drags her up by her hair. Rosa throws body shots but Riho returns fire! They brawl with slapping palm strikes and heavy forearms! Rosa CHOPS, runs, but Riho CLOBBERS her at ropes! Riho runs but Rosa LARIATS! Cover, TWO!!! Rosa is losing her cool but Riho gets her with a victory roll! TWO, and Riho wheelbarrows again, but Rosa throws her off! Leg hook roll, cradle, ROSA WINS!!

Winner: Thunder Rosa, by pinfall (advances to the US Bracket Finals)

In a blink of an eye, this battle of former champions is over! But Thunder Rosa doesn’t have much time to rest, she’s up against the Native Beast on Monday’s last-minute special! Who makes it through to face Ryo Mizunami on Dynamite?


My Thoughts:

A very good, very fast hour and change for what ended up not being a B/R Live special. B/R Live went down, this ended up on YouTube where it should’ve been anyway, and here we are. The 3v3 was a pretty fun match, a lot of energy and chaos. I’m a little surprised they didn’t play up Mei being Emi’s current protégé, but I did appreciate that they played to the history between Shida and Emi, and likewise Mei being Shida’s “kouhai,” or “junior.” Everyone got to shine, Maki is again a very great character, but naturally Shida wins for her team. Shida needs momentum going into Revolution or else it’ll all be with her challenger.

The Japanese Bracket Final was a great match, though I’m a touch surprised that Ryo won. I suppose it makes some sense, she is a very strong opponent both physically and overall. She’s got a great character, and is a strong contender, but something tells me it’ll be the American finalist that goes to Revolution. Rosa VS Riho was great stuff, fast paced and Riho was not as clunky as last week. But in the end, Rosa wins, a little surprising to me as I thought we’d get a rematch of Riho VS Nyla Rose from over a year ago. Rosa’s story of the goals she’s after is still in play, but Rosa VS Nyla could go either way. Rosa or Nyla facing Shida at Revolution seem the more likely to me, and Nyla VS Shida in a rematch from Double or Nothing 2020 seems even likelier.

My Score: 8.4/10


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