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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


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Coverage

Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (7/13/19)

The Kingdom, Jay Lethal and The Bouncers in a big Six Man main event!

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ROH cover image

ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 408

Manhattan Mayhem is on the horizon, and so is a major ROH World Championship match! But before Matt Taven and Jay Lethal face off 1v1, they bring allies to the ring for a truly massive Six Man Tag match!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor; Taylor wins.
  • WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love VS Tasha Steelz; Steelz wins and will challenge Kelly Klein for the title at Summer Supercard.
  • Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers; Lethal & The Bouncers win.

PLAY BY PLAY

ROH looks back to Best in the World.

The Peacock faced Rush’s brother, Dragon Lee, and beat him using Rush’s moves! The Best of 3 Series’ third match saw the K I N G topple the Franchise Player! And the Villain Enterprises expanded to include an army! A FLIP Army! The Allure used every trick up their sleeves to beat the Pretty Badass and American Joshi, but were confronted by Maria Manic! Manic didn’t get her hands on Mandy Leon or the Beautiful People, so she ran roughshod over security! And most shocking of all, Matt Taven didn’t need to resort to anything underhanded to down the Hawaiian Juggernaut!! How can anyone hope to stop Taven’s #PurpleReign now?

 

Kenny King joins ROH commentary for this opening contest.

Coming off a big victory over THE Jay Lethal, the K I N G wants to see what his old friends are up to.

 

Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor!

The Fittest returns to in-ring action to show that Strong Beach physique. But will physique be enough to survive the Notorious Hitman and ROH World Television Champion?

Rhett wants to shake hands with his former Rebellion brother, but Taylor SPITS on the Code of Honor! Rhett just uses it as body oil. The bell rings and the 10 minute time limit starts counting down. All Rhett has to do is survive the 10 minutes, and he gets a future shot at the title!

Fans rally as the two circle. Taylor shoves Rhett down and taunts him as he stands up. Rhett comes back to waistlock, but Taylor standing switches. Rhett powers his way out, but gets caught in a full nelson! Taylor grins but Rhett powers out of the nelson! Taylor headlocks but Rhett powers out to headlock back. Rhett grinds but Taylor powers out and runs Rhett over! Taylor wants Rhett to stop playing, and scoops him up. Rhett slips out and dropkicks Taylor back! Rhett grins and flexes, but then he tries to fireman’s carry, and Taylor is too much. Taylor spins Rhett, misses one way but hits the clothesline on the other! ROH goes to break as Taylor dares Rhett to get up.

ROH returns and Rhett wrecks Taylor with a dropkick. Rhett shows off his core strength with leg raises, but Taylor pulls him down to ROCK him with that One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Rhett up and into the ring to put him on the apron. Taylor climbs up, to drop the leg! He laughs and taunts Rhett as he CHOPS the chest! Rhett gasps for air while he crawls to a corner. Taylor climbs in and throws another big right! Rhett forearms Taylor back! Rhett backs Taylor down but Taylor blocks and reverses the whip to rock him again! Taylor yanks Rhett up but Rhett lands on his feet! Rhett rocks Taylor back with a JAB!

Rhett is in the corner again, and dodges Taylor as he runs in, to give him back a splash! And a BOOT! Then side to side for another! Rhett keeps moving to boot again! Fans fire up with The Fittest as he fireman’s carries Taylor again! For a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rhett keeps his cool as Taylor goes to a corner. Rhett runs corner to corner but his boot is blocked! Taylor shoves Rhett back to KNEE him in the face! Cover, TWO!! Rhett survives and now Taylor is frustrated. Taylor toys with Rhett but Rhett SLAPS him back! Taylor pie faces but Rhett CHOPS and forearms away! Rhett fires off forearm after forearm but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to HEADBUTT! Cover, Taylor wins!

Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall

Rhett fell short of proving himself worthy, and the ROH World TV Champion continues rolling on. Kenny gives Taylor his due props, but goes to check on Rhett in the ring.

“I’m searching for the words, man, to describe what I just saw out of you right now.” The word is, “disgusting.” King is disgusted by Rhett. What happened to him? ROH stuck them together and they fought, they scratched and they clawed and became one of the best teams ever, the All Night Express. They beat The Briscoes, the Young Bucks, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, you name them. “What the hell happened to you?!” Rhett fails a Proving Ground match because he only proved that while he has the body of a god, he has the “heart of a b*tch.” There’s no fight left in Rhett! If Kenny was Joe Koff, he’d rip up Rhett’s contract on the spot!

Rhett’s family and pregnant wife are here, yet he embarrasses them!? Does Rhett think it’s okay that the reason his son won’t look him in the eyes is because daddy’s a coward?! Rhett gets mad, and that’s what Kenny wants to see! Show him something! But when Rhett doesn’t, Kenny is the one who gets mad. Is the Titus family really proud of that?! Because the Rhett Kenny King knew was a man, not this “punk ass b*tch.” Will these fighting words light a fire in the Fittest? Or does the K I N G have a point?

 

ROH hears from Kelly Klein.

“Women of Honor has some of the best women wrestling has to offer right now, and I love it.” That means the Gatekeeper will defend her title against some of the best women around. Maria Manic has Kelly’s attention, and Kelly is ready for that match. Kelly’s even excited to fight Tasha Steelz, the Allure, Stella Grey or Jenny Rose as she defends her world title. Who makes it out of the contender’s match first in line for a fight with the Pretty Badass?

 

ROH looks back to June 29th.

Jay Lethal vowed to work twice as hard as before, “whip the crap out of Matt Taven,” and become a THREE-TIME ROH World Champion! But Taven told him that in New York City, July 20th, we will all finally see that we are living in “The Time of Matt Taven.” Taven is the King of ROH, because heee’s Matt Taven, and he was #BorntoRule! But then, Alex Shelley returned!

Shelley was careful not to say he retired from ROH. Let’s pretend he has a card in his hand that is known as the “veteran’s card.” And let’s say there’s a hole punched for every year he’s contributed to the industry. That’s 17 holes. Shelley’s fingerprints are all over the world of wrestling, so now he plays his card. Shelley expects to be respected! And it won’t matter who walks out of Manhattan, Shelley just wants his shot to prove to them, him, and the world that he still has #TalentonLoanfromGod! Who will the returning revolutionary meet after mayhem goes down in Manhattan?

 

WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love w/ The Allure VS Tasha Steelz!

While only one of the Beautiful People is in this match, it is no surprise that she still has her friends by her side. Angelina Love leads the way as Velvet Sky helps Mandy Leon and their fluffy mascot, Foxxy, into the ring. But the spotlight quickly moves to the Garden State Goddess, little gritty Grey, and the American Joshi. With Kelly Klein watching on commentary, who grabs a huge victory and earns a Summer Supercard showdown?

But before the bell rings, Velvet grabs a mic to tell Jenny she doesn’t belong here, that Stella doesn’t belong here, and Tasha- She doesn’t even know who Tasha is, actually, but she doesn’t belong here, either. The only woman in the ring that matters is the Allure’s Bada$$, Angelina Love, the TRUE #1 Contender! Angelina proved herself already when she pinned Kelly at Best in the World. Win-loss records leave out a lot, and Kelly knows Angelina didn’t need to cheat that night to win. But talking aside, the other three competitors uphold the Code of Honor, but don’t even worry about Angelina. The bell finally rings, and Jenny goes right at her!

Stella and Tasha fight while Jenny rains down rights on Angelina! Angelina and Jenny roll out of the ring and Angelina kicks back. Jenny forearms but Angelina kicks again. Stella whips Tasha but Tasha runs Stella over. Tasha brushes herself off and runs, but Stella keeps up. Tasha and Stella trade hip toss blocks while Angelina and Jenny trade apron bumps. Stella rolls Tasha but Tasha arm-drags back. Stella arm-drags Tasha now, but Angelina kicks Jenny away. Angelina is on Stella with a sleeper, but Stella kicks Tasha away. Angelina throws Stella down by her hair, and The Allure cheers her on as she whips Stella into a corner. Stella runs into Tasha, then Angelina dropkicks them into each other. Angelina throws Stella out and runs, but into Jenny’s SPEAR! Cover, TWO!

Tasha throws Jenny out fast and stares down with Angelina. Tasha flexes but it doesn’t impress Angelina. Angelina ties up with Tasha to a headlock. Tasha powers out but Angelina runs her over. Things speed up and Tasha shows agility to hip toss Angelina down! Fans fire up as Tasha whips. Angelina reverses and scoops to a spinning sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Tasha fires forearms back and whips, but Angelina reverses. Tasha goes up and over and rolls, to drop toehold Angelina down. Angelina gets clear of the basement dropkick but Tasha gets clear of the elbow drop. The two stare down as fans cheer.

Tasha eggs Angelina on, and the two start trading forearms. Tasha gets an edge and fires off! She runs but Mandy trips her up! A Fatal 4 Way means no disqualifications, but the referee tells the Allure they’re EJECTED! Mandy is upset and Velvet just shrugs it off as they take Foxxy with them. Angelina is a bit more concerned now that she’s all alone as ROH goes to break.

ROH returns and Tasha waistlocks Angelina. They roll to a cover, TWO! Stella throws Tasha out to roll Angelina, but Jenny breaks it. Jenny kicks Stella out to then La Magistrol Angelina, TWO! Jenny stays on Angelina in a corner for a back elbow and whip. Angelina reverses but Jenny dodges to send Angelina into the post! Jenny dropkicks Stella back out and goes out to join her. They start trading hands, but Tasha slingshots out to take them both down! Fans fire up but now Angelina climbs up top. Angelina LEAPS to crossbody them all down! This is the top tier talent Kelly has wanted to see. But speaking of, Angelina dares Kelly to come closer. Kelly heads closer to the ring, and stares Angelina down the whole way. But this keeps Angelina seeing Jenny, Stella and Tasha all get back in the ring.

Jenny clubs Angelina, and has help from Stella! They DOUBLE POWERBOMB Angelina down! But then Tasha double clotheslines Jenny and Stella down! Fans fire up behind the Boricua Badass as she fireman’s carries Stella. Stella fights out and drags Tasha into a sleeper hold clutch! Angelina kicks Jenny then hits a complete shot, to the Koji Klutch! Side-by-side submissions, but which one puts their victim out first!? Jenny and Tasha endures, and Jenny reaches for a ropebreak! The ref counts and Angelina lets her go. Meanwhile, Tasha sits up, and Angelina kicks Stella off her! Jenny kicks Angelina down, then goes to Tasha for a German Suplex! Jenny kicks Stella for a snap suplex! She runs at Angelina but gets the Botox Injection! Angelina covers, but Stella breaks it!

Stella scoops but Angelina slips out and shoves, Botox Injection for Stella! Tasha throws Angelina out to get Stella with a CUTTER! Cover, Tasha wins!!

Winner: Tasha Steelz, by pinfall; NEW #1 Contender to the WOH World Championship

Angelina ain’t happy about it, but the Boricua Badass got the better of her fair and square, okurrr? Can Tasha make it a one and done when it comes to title matches? Or will Kelly still be the champion when she leaves Toronto?

But wait, the lights drop down. And a rather creepy little video plays. Dolls sit in a line, but a hand reaches out to take the man. To chew him up and spit him out! Because the MANEATER is here! And Maria Manic has appeared behind Tasha and Angelina! Angelina saw this once before, she gets away again. But Tasha shows no fear! Security hurries to keep this fight from happening, but Maria just manhandles them like she did at Best in the World! She takes one and tosses him from the ring, then clotheslines another! But she slaps the third around to then put him in the torture rack! And then she dumps him out onto the other two! The fourth man gets the double hand choke slam! Maria Manic made mince meat of five grown men, but is she going to devour the entire WOH Division?

 

ROH hears from Rush.

El Toro Blanco is “sick and tired” of Dalton Castle. Rush whooped The Peacock in 15 seconds. But if Castle wants to mess with his familia, well perro, the bull is going to end him for good! Rush didn’t come to ROH to play, he came to become the best! “Nothing happens unless I say so.” When and where will this grudge match happen? Mass Hyteria on July 21st! A wild weekend is coming for ROH, who survives the mayhem and hysteria on the way to the Summer Supercard?

 

Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers!

Matt Taven vows to prove he’s the king, while TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia vow to show who are the real elite tag team wrestlers in ROH. But they’ll have to prove it with actions, not words, as they take on their rivals all at once! Will the Franchise Player gain major momentum towards Manhattan when he sides with former foes in Brian Milonas & The Beer City Bruiser?

But given the apparent collusion involving Kenny King and timekeeper Amy Rose, Jay Lethal asks that she take her leave. Amy obliges, not wanting to be a source of controversy for this main event. The Kingdom then make their entrance, and ROH takes another break.

ROH returns and Lethal starts against the Horror King. The bell rings and they tie up right away! Vinnie powers Lethal to a corner but the ref backs him off. Vinnie throws a forearm but Lethal gives it back and we have a brawl! Lethal starts backing Vinnie down but Vinnie knees low and puts Lethal in a corner. Vinnie chops but Lethal CHOPS right back. They trade more CHOPS, and Vinnie wants Lethal to give him more. Lethal CHOPS Vinnie like he wants, but Vinnie just trash talks and knees low. Vinnie runs but misses in the corner, Lethal hip tosses and cartwheels to dropkick! Vinnie hurries to the Kingdom’s corner and tags to TK. Brian “Brawler” Milonas tags in and ties up with the Sassy Wild Horse.

Milonas shoves TK all the way back to his corner! TK runs back out but skids to a stop as Milonas towers over him. TK says he wants Lethal? Milonas gives TK what he wants, but he does tag Lethal a bit hard. Lethal shakes it off and ties up with TK. TK headlocks but Lethal powers out, only for TK to run him over. TK runs and runs Lethal over again, but things speed up. Lethal hurdles but his hip toss is blocked to TK’s own hip toss. Lethal boots TK back but runs into an elbow. TK runs but into that hip toss and cartwheel dropkick! Lethal has gotten two Kingdom members with that, and then tags in Bruiser. Taven tags in and Bruiser dares him to bring the fight. Taven has Bruiser calm down, and fans chant “Melvin! Melvin!” But again, The Kingdom wants Lethal.

Taven wants Lethal and even offers a free shot. Bruiser says Taven’s too scared to fight a real man. Taven just wants Lethal, and again gives a free shot. Lethal tags in but he sees the sucker punch coming. The two fire off haymakers and CHOPS on each other! Lethal whips but Taven reverses, but Lethal gets under TK at the ropes. Vinnie rushes at Lethal on the outside but Lethal dodges to CHOP! TK jumps but Lethal punches him out of the air, only for Taven to wreck Lethal with a dropkick! Taven drags Lethal up and throws him into railing, then The Kingdom attacks like piranha! The Bouncers protest but The Kingdom put Lethal in. Taven stomps and chokes Lethal to then tag in Vinnie. The Kingdom mugs Lethal with stomps then Vinnie rains rights down. Fans duel as ROH goes to one more break.

ROH returns once again, and The Kingdom continues to mug Lethal. Taven stomps Lethal down then drags him up to put in the Kingdom’s corner. Taven CHOPS Lethal then tags in Vinnie. Vinnie tags in TK, and the two whip Lethal. Lethal reverses to whip Vinnie, but TK waistlocks him. Lethal boots Vinnie then slips out of TK’s suplex. He ducks them both to tag in Bruiser! Bruiser rallies with the power of “BEER! BEER!” He punches Taven, uppercuts Vinnie, and uppercuts TK! Bruiser brings TK in for the sidewinder DDT! Cover but Vinnie breaks it! Vinnie fish hooks Bruiser but Bruiser bites the fingers. Oh but wait, Bruiser can’t bite, “I ain’t got no teef!” Bruiser brings TK up but TK CHOPS! TK kicks low and DDT’s Bruiser! But Milonas tags in to rally on The Kingdom! He even back drops Taven!

Milonas falls back to senton on Taven! Vinnie runs but gets flattened with a crossbody! Cover, but Taven breaks it! Taven fires off strikes on Milonas, but Milonas powers Taven to a fireman’s carry. TK leaps but into Milonas’ arms! Milonas gives them a Fall Away Samoan Drop combo! Fans fire up with the Mastodon, but also for Lethal as he DIVES onto Vinnie! Lethal gets back in to DIVE onto TK! And of course, he runs and DIVES onto Taven! The trifecta has been completed! Vinnie runs in to fight with the Bouncers, and whips Bruiser, but Bruiser reverses. TK tags in before Vinnie gets fed to the Scrapbuster! TK climbs and leaps, but into Bruiser’s arms. Milonas sandwiches TK with Bruiser, and it even sends Bruiser stumbling. But Bruiser comes back while Milonas climbs, and it’s the Last Call leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers and Lethal win!

Winners: Jay Lethal & The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

The winner of Guerrillas of Destiny VS The Briscoes in the ROH World Tag Team Championship match at Manhattan Mayhem better watch out, because some big competition is meeting them at Mass Hysteria. Who will The Bouncers get to toast with on the 21st?

But wait, Taven doesn’t let Lethal go, and gives him CLIMAX to the floor!! The Bouncers hurry to Lethal’s side as The Kingdom retreats. Taven raises the title, but will he still be holding onto the gold after Manhattan Mayhem?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty good go-home with major developments for a busy weekend coming up for ROH. Not only is Manhattan Mayhem on Saturday, July 20th, but now there’s another event on July 21st with this “Mass Hysteria” in Lowell, Massachusetts. Of course, this is all on top of ROH TV finally referencing Best in the World, but the usual mess was mostly ironed out. Rush has a solid promo, and his grudge match with Castle will surely be longer and better than the shocking 15 second squash at G1 Supercard. What’s odd is that while Kenny King beat Lethal at BitW in their Best of 3, he’s doing a story with Rhett Titus next? Lethal’s using his contractual rematch, sure, but is this story with Rhett going to delay Kenny’s shot at Taven more? Is Rhett going to turn so that we more or less get an All Night Express reunion? It is both intriguing yet confusing as to what is going on here.

The Women’s Fatal 4 was a great match, and what a great surprise to see the younger Tasha Steelz getting this chance. I thought it was going to be Angelina Love, but at the same time, even Angelina Love seems like an odd choice from out of The Allure. But I suppose with now women’s tag titles in ROH (yet?) all three could try going after Kelly in turn. And then we got to see Maria Manic at the same time tonight, that was a great way to debut! The Maneater will surely be a contender, and a monster for the Allure to worry about while they’re each taking turns against Kelly Klein. Kelly’s promo is obviously to put the company over, but for just the WOH Division in a vacuum, it is definitely heating up now with an addition like Manic.

And to end the show, we get a really good Six Man Tag, and obviously the goal for The Kingdom was to do as much as they could to Lethal so it’ll be easier for Taven in Manhattan. I am still disappointed the timing kept Jeff Cobb from becoming ROH’s top guy, but I again reference that the G1 Climax and Cobb going back and forth just wouldn’t be good for him or ROH. Lethal might as well dethrone Taven, joining Adam Cole as the only other three-time champ. Then we could get Lethal VS King 4 within a span of a few months, and maybe that story (which has an interesting twist with how it involves timekeeper Amy Rose) is what gives King his first world title reign, and makes him an ROH Triple Crown winner. Then we can circle back to King VS K I N G, Grand Slam Taven VS Triple Crown Kenny for the One True King of Honor!

My Score: 8.2/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 5 A Block

KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?

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KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?

Shmoxley in the opening tag team match means we should start off fun. Tanahashi and Sabre are in the battle of, well, someone needs to get at least a point out of that.

Then we’ve got Ospreay and Ibushi who are banged up but most likely still going to be psychopaths in the ring. Let’s get ready for the carnage, I mean, no…I meant carnage.

Ratings:

  • Shota Umino & Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura: Shooter wins via Fisherman Suplex Hold @5:45 – ***
  • Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb & YOSHI-HASHI vs Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson: YOSHI wins via Butterfly Lock @9:30 – ** 1/4
  • Tomoaki Honma, Ren Narita & Toru Yano vs Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @8:50 – ** 1/2
  • BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi vs Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @8:35 – ** 1/2
  • A Block: KENTA vs Lance Archer: Kenta wins via Game Over @12:00 – *** 
  • A Block: SANADA vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @18:10 – **** 1/4
  • A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Double Legged Cradle @10:15 – ** 1/2
  • A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Triangle Counter Pin @13:55 – *** 3/4
  • A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye Knee @27:15 – **** 3/4

 

Analysis:

Moxley and Ishii start off trying to kill one another. This is a great opener and the respective Young Lions have to pull their veteran off as to not incur a disqualification. The Young Lions then take the bulk of the match and Shota has definitely picked up a few mannerisms from Moxley that we slowly see him unlocking. This may be our evolution of Shooter, but for an opening match this was very fun and the fact Moxley and Ishii just want to fight added for a neat dynamic.

Juice and Cobb are both respectful Gaijin faces, so not a lot of heat for this match. Plus YOSHI-HASHI was in it, so I could’ve downed a few Valium and been more invested in staring at a wall. Pork Chop Sandwiches later, and YOSHI-HASHI wins with that awful Butterfly Lock. Great…I can now taste colors.

So Yano wanted to get him a piece of the Jay White on the down turn, but Jay tried to still play the calculating heel. Honma put in a bit of decent work but Narita was obviously the one sent out to eat the pin. Narita held his own against Yujiro and Chase, but Chase eventually stopped playing with his feud and hit the Package Piledriver to tie things up in a nice little bow.

Shingo took a hell of a beating in this match. Kanemaru played random interference and Taichi took Shingo to the woodshed. Naito also continued his distaste of Taichi and Suzuki while being a little protective of Shingo at points. Now being the unabashed fanboy of Shingo, yet also a subscriber to Holy Emperor weekly, I’m very torn about this whole thing. The match played up the G1 tensions and the LIJ vs Suzuki-Gun tensions very well, but my heart knows not which to root for.

Lance is a good foot taller than KENTA and that was the story of the first 75% of this match. Lance was shrugging off the strikes of our returning striker. KENTA was getting effectively crushed, until Lance pushed the anime comeback button and said “You’re fucking Hideo! That’s who you are! HIDEO!” – which prompted the anime comeback in KENTA. KENTA managed to even lift Lance for a few things, but relied heavily on the dropkicks and strikes. He couldn’t quite pull off the Go 2 Sleep, so he went to his Crossface submission, Game Over. And boy howdy, it was game over! (I will see myself out after that)

EVIL and SANADA have this brotherly rivalry in LIJ. Being former 2 time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, familiarity is obvious. SANADA starts off the match quickly and this is definitely a match of quick bursts when the one gets an advantage. I guess they are transitioning SANADA away from the Paradise Lock since this is the second match where he had it mostly on, but “something happened” and the opponent gets out of the move. We get a bunch of great back and forth, but something that continues to plague SANADA is his limited moveset when it gets down to crunch time. EVIL pulled out a plethora of tricks, including using the referee as an anchor for the Magic Killer. Whereas, SANADA sticks to Dragon Sleeper variants, into Skull End attempt or a Moonsault. With how over SANADA is, I really expect him to start getting more crunch time maneuvers. EVIL wins and quickly wants to bury the hatchet by extending the LIJ fist bump. SANADA bumps fists, and all is fine in our ungovernable world.

Fale tends to have Okada’s number in tournaments, and he starts off by attacking him in the back and dragging him out. So we get a typical Bullet Club brawl with heel tactics and ref bumps, but Okada perseveres. Okada is able to lift Fale a few times, but can’t hit the Rainmaker, and wins via the wrestling move he tends to fall back on, the Double Legged Cradle.

Well both Tanahashi and Sabre come into this match 0-2, so there’s a level of desperation that both bring to the table. Sabre wrestled circles around Tanahashi, and Tanahashi just tried to keep up for most of the match. After countering the High Fly Flow, Sabre locks in a Triangle Arm Bar, but Tanahashi floats over for the bridging pin counter. The Ace finally has 2 points!

There have been well known injuries for both of these men, and they played into the story of the match well. Focusing on each other’s injuries, calling back to their Wrestle Kingdom match and just a generally high energy and high impact match. Watching this match, you have to assume one of them will die with their style, but it is damn entertaining. Everyone expected this to be a great match and it delivered.

Overall Score: 8/10

Well we had a lot of good storylines and matches that mostly paid off. Lance Archer has been doing great work, Fale and Okada was at least somewhat entertaining and the cripple fight in the main event was fantastic. The inner faction turmoil was now squashed, so we can have a nice tournament while The Ace gets a few points over the petulant British child.

So great show, great entertainment, and generally a good time. I can only hope the B Block carries equal weight.

Block A Standings:

  • Kazuchika Okada: 3-0 (6 Points)
  • KENTA: 3-0 (6 Points)
  • Lance Archer: 2-1 (4 Points)
  • EVIL: 2-1 (4 Points)
  • SANADA: 1-2 (2 Points)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-2 (2 Points)
  • Will Ospreay: 1-2 (2 Points)
  • Bad Luck Fale: 1-2 (2 Points)
  • Kota Ibushi: 1-2 (2 Points)
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 0-3 (0 Points)


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