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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (6/19/18)

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Money in the Bank has come and gone, and SmackDown is STILL the House that AJ Styles Built! But that means he needs a new #1 contender. Therefore, GM Paige has decided to give The Miz, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan & The New Day’s Big E a chance in a Gauntlet Match! Who will move on to face Styles at Extreme Rules?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Becky Lynch wins.
  • SAnitY VS The Usos; no contest.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Club; win and
  • WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match: Rusev wins and will challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown GM Paige opens the show.

The Glampire recaps the explosive action and cunning victories from Money in the Bank, including the Phenomenal Last Man Standing, AJ Styles! But that’s just the beginning. The next PPV, Extreme Rules, is fast approaching already. So tonight, we must determine a #1 Contender via a FIVE MAN GAUNTLET! Two superstars start, one will be eliminated by pinfall or submission, and it doesn’t end until there’s only one superstar left! Will Big E, Rusev, The Miz, Samoa Joe or Daniel Bryan stand tall to face the WWE Champion?

 

Carmella heads to the ring!

The FABULOUS SmackDown Women’s Champion is still money as the Princess of Staten Island retains against the Empress of Tomorrow. Of course, there is controversy as an old friend of hers returned to distract Asuka at the most opportune time. She wants to be real for a second, because believe it or not, she used to have self-confidence issues. Carmella never felt special or even good enough, and that was really hard for her. But she didn’t just sit back, she wrote her own story through hard work. Carmella saw beauty in herself before anyone else did, and because of that, she’s champion. So what she’s really trying to say is, “I just want every young boy or girl out there” that doubts themselves, to say these words: #MellaIsMoney!

PSYCH! Carmella? No confidence? As if! She’s been moon-walking and trash-talking since she was in diapers. So the real lesson is: just give up! You can work twice as hard but only be half as good as her. Carmella was Ms. MITB, cashed in to become champion, and in case you missed it, she beat Charlotte Flair twice! And then she did the unthinkable: she beat Asuka. And the best part of it is… Carmella did it all by herself! Carmella again revises history, leaving James Ellsworth out of the story. But speaking of Asuka, here she comes! Wait, that’s not Asuka. That’s James Ellsworth himself!

He’s all dressed up the way he was in order to distract Asuka from the match! Carmella hugs her partner in crime. “No one was ready for Ellsworth!” Especially not Asuka. Now shut up, because Jamie L has something to say to his Princess. “When you love someone, let them go,” and whatever else it is. But now Ellsworth is back! And he’s serving “the greatest woman in history”. Carmella is better than: Charlotte; Lita; Trish Stratus; Mother Teresa; Beyonce; and Ronda Rousey! But last but certainly least, she’s better than ASUKA. Okay, THIS time it’s Asuka coming out.

The Empress of Tomorrow storms her way right down the ring, and Ellsworth shields Carmella. Asuka is raring for a fight, so Carmella’s guard dog gets ready, too. They trash talk in Japanese and English, Asuka back kicks Ellsworth! But then Carmella knocks Asuka down! Carmella picks up her title, and her lackey, and heads out. Fans boo and jeer but Asuka gets up. Carmella waves good-bye, but will she be able to avoid the angry Empress for long?

 

Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!

The Lass Kicker didn’t grab the Ms. MITB contract for her own, but it’s not like the IIconics were in that match to try. Can Becky burn up Billie to get back on track in the title hunt?

Before the match, Billie wants to know where they are. Toledo? What does one do in Toledo? Oh, the zoo! Yes, that explains the smelly animals here. The IIconics have a laugh, then turn to mocking Becky. They could talk about her, or talk to her. “Becky, how did your Money in the Bank ladder match go on Sunday?” “It’s finally time to stop saying ‘I was’, it’s time to start saying ‘I am.’ As in, ‘I am a loser! I am never going to amount to anything. And I am so much better off as Charlotte Flair’s troll of a sidekick.'” Some advice: keep living in the past, because your present is abysmal, and the Future is IIconic. But Becky makes her entrance, because presently, it’s time for this match!

The bell rings, Billie still taunts Becky, so Becky takes her down! Becky throws fast hands, then grabs a leg. Billie grabs ropes but Becky drags her away for more hands. Then she picks Billie up, Becksploder! Billie slips out of the ring, but Becky wrecks her with a dropkick. Becky pursues Billie and hits European Uppercuts. They go back in the ring but Billie slips out again. Becky is on Billie with more EuroUppers, then puts Billie back in. Peyton comes over but Becky swipes at her. Billie capitalizes and puts Becky into the post! We go picture in picture while Becky is down and out.

Billie fetches Becky and brings her back up and in. She then kicks and stomps Becky at the ropes before putting her in a corner. Billie kicks and punches Becky more, but the referee backs her off. Becky hits back, but Billie tosses her out of the ring. Peyton does her best to behave, then Billie drags Becky up for an apron bump. Billie stalks Becky around the corner to bump her again. She goes for a third but Becky turns it around on her! Becky bumps Billie off the apron, then puts her in the ring, but runs into Billie’s knee. Billie keeps on Becky with an overhead throw, cover, TWO. Billie puts her in a chinlock, and Peyton likes what she sees. Becky endures, reaches for ropes, but Billie wrangles and thrashes her back down.

Becky endures as Billie rakes her face. Billie tights her grip, but Becky feeds off fan energy. Becky stands, fights back, and rolls Billie up! TWO, and Becky goes after the Disarm-her. Billie get tor opes but Becky won’t stop trying. Billie makes Becky Eat DaFeet! Cover, TWO, and the IIconics are frustrated. Becky gets to a corner, but Billie throws more hands. Billie stomps, but Becky hits back. Billie hits Becky again, then snapmares. We return to single picture as the chinlock is put back on.

Becky endures while fans rally up again. Becky stands, fights back with body shots, then scoops, but Billie powers out. Billie pushes then roaring elbows Becky down! Billie stomps and grinds Becky, then Peyton gets a cheap shot knee! Cover, TWO, and the IIconics are furious all over again. Billie puts Becky back in a chinlock. Becky has fans rallying up again. Becky stands, but Billie hops on. They go into a corner, then again, but Becky has to throw Billie off. Becky boots Billie, then hops up for a flying shoulder! Fans fire up and so does Becky. Becky rallies with lariats, then the calf kick. Becky stands, kicks, and throws Billie with a Becksploder! Cover, TWO!

This won’t stop Becky, she just fires up again. She takes aim, but Billie puts her on the apron. Becky hits Billie away, then climbs, but Peyton distracts. Peyton scurries away, and Becky still hits Billie back. Billie ends up outside, too, and Becky LEAPS! She tackles Peyton with the crossbody!

Billie gets in the ring, and then grabs Becky, but Becky counters to a roll, and Disarm-her! Billie taps, Becky wins!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

The Lass Kicker gets back a win, and it was #IIconic in its own way. Becky wants to take back the SmackDown Women’s Championship, will this win allow her to say “I am the #1 contender”?

 

Jeff Hardy speaks.

Shinsuke Nakamura failed to become WWE Champion, and AJ Styles was victorious. Styles can move on, but Hardy cannot. This memory is lodged in his mind, over what Nakamura did last week. Nakamura’s knee collided with Hardy’s face, sending shock waves through his entire body and even his soul. “But his actions had an unintended consequence.” Those actions didn’t break Hardy, they only made him stronger. Hardy’s eyes were closed, but now they are open. “Shinsuke, I see you.” Will the Charismatic Enigma make Nakamura pay for that #Knee2Face?

 

The madness has come to SmackDown.

Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain. “The Chaos has arrived!” Prepare for anarchy, because SAnitY is finally in their new home.

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

He won against Big Cass at Money in the Bank, but he moves on to an even more monumental challenge. He is just one of five men in the WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet, the winner going on to face AJ Styles at Extreme Rules. How does he feel about being the FIRST man up? Bryan won’t just survive, he’ll win. At MITB, Bryan proved size doesn’t matter, and tonight he goes up against three of the best on SmackDown: Rusev, Samoa Joe & Big E. The MIz is not one of the best. But if anyone doubts Bryan’s stamina, just look at his Greatest Royal Rumble performance. He has legs, lungs, and heart, and those three things will bring him to the WWE Championship.

Now, may he ask Renee a question? Uh, sure. “Renee, do you think I am ready to take on the biggest and baddest in WWE?” Certainly. C’mon, Renee, you know what he’s after. He asks her again, and her answer is… “Yes.” YES YES YES!

 

SAnitY VS The Usos!

Jimmy & Jey have locked up many tag teams in the #UsoPenitentiary, but they’ve yet to face a team as truly unruly as this trio. The Usos hear the fans chanting for them, and wish to say “It looks like we gotta whole new tag team here on SmackDown.” These three want to make names for themselves? Remember when the Usos did that? They ran around with face plant like a pair of Ultimate Warriors or something from Sesame Street. But they figured it out, and it takes a lot more than moves and paint. You gotta show heart, be 100, have some screws loose. SAnitY wants to do chaos? Chaos goes Uso Crazy!

SAnitY arrives and hits the ring, and then try to hit the Usos! The Usos were ready, though, and we have a brawl! However, that leaves things at 3v2, and Big Damo easily lariats Jey down. Eric and Wolfe stomp out Jimmy, then all three do the same to Jey. Big Damo squashes Jimmy in the corner, then squashes him again with the Vader Bomb! Eric made Jey watch, and then Damo makes Jimmy watch as Jey takes the SAnitY neckbreaker suplex combo from Eric & Wolfe! SAnitY’s chaos just ran roughshod over one of the best tag teams in WWE. Did the Uso Penitentiary just become the SAnitY Asylum?

 

The Club pumps themselves up.

Abs Anderson shows off that six pack. Even Big LG has some big guns to flex. But Harper & Rowan have big mean streaks and mallets. Which pair of brothers in arms will win this MITB Kickoff rematch?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

Nakamura requested this time to explain his loss to Styles. “What is a loss?” And he’s not pretending to forget English, but he just wants to know how he lost. He is still standing, but Styles only won because that count was fast, or in Japanese. “Very, very unfair” in Nakamura’s eyes. Then what is his reaction to Hardy’s comments? Who? Jeff Hardy. No, he knows English, he just doesn’t care who Hardy is. Hardy is all made up, but if he crosses Nakamura again, he’ll pay for it. Does the King of Strong Style have more in store for both United States and WWE Champions?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Club!

The duo of doom defeated the Good Brothers by mere moments at MITB. But the Glampire in Chief felt it fair to give Gallows & Anderson a second chance. Can the Machine Gun & Big LG get the belts this time around? Or will Harper & Rowan dismantle and destroy them once again?

SmackDown returns and Gallows is in with Rowan. Rowan whips Gallows into a corner but Gallows boots out. Gallows throws big body shots on Rowan, but Harper comes in. Gallows sends Harper out, then Anderson slingshots, but is caught! Anderson is tossed into steel steps and Rowan runs Gallows over with the heel kick! Rowan drags Gallows up and over to a corner, hoisting Gallows to the top rope. Rowan throws more hands, then climbs up. Gallows resists, but still gets brought down with a SUPERPLEX! Cover, but Anderson stops it. Harper throws Anderson back out, then Rowan joins him, to throw him at the apron!

Rowan returns, and gives Gallows the big splash! Cover, TWO! Gallows lives, and the Bludgeon Brothers seem a bit surprised. Harper tags in and he chops Gallows in a corner. He gives an uppercut, then rakes the eyes of Gallows. Gallows falls, then Harper tags in Rowan. Rowan drops an elbow, then a knee. He puts Gallows in a chinlock, then shifts to a fist vice. Fans rally up for Gallows and Gallows fights back, only for Rowan to run him over. Rowan sits Gallows up for another fist vice, but fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” for The Club. Gallows endures the painful vice, then gets up to fight back again. Rowan clubs Gallows then tags Harper. Rowan clubs Gallows, then Harper adds on his own forearms.

Harper uppercuts Gallows, then whips him in, but gallows boots Rowan down! Gallows hits Harper away, but Harper kicks low. Harper prepares a bomb, but Gallows slips out to uppercut him back. Harper staggers into a YAKUZA Kick! Anderson returns! And he gets the tag! The Machine Gun flies for a crossbody! Then things speed up, SPINEBUSTER!

Cover, TWO! Anderson keeps focus, but Rowan comes in! Rowan suplexes, but Anderson slips out to throw him out! Harper is up, and gets Anderson with a Scrapbuster! Cover, TWO!! Harper is shocked, and shakes his head. Rowan returns to the corner, and Harper tags Rowan. But Gallows trips Rowan and they fight! Rowan boots Gallows into the timekeeper’s area, but Anderson rolls Harper! TWO! So close! Anderson dodges, but Rowan tags in, Alley-oop into KILLER BOMB!! Cover, Bludgeon Brothers win!

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers, Rowan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions

Another close call, but in the end, The Good Brothers still fall. Will Harper & Rowan ever even be slowed down in their tag team reign of terror?

Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!

The Goat crosses paths with some familiar foes from his past. Harper & Rowan look Bryan up and down, but they leave him be. Bryan is ready for his chance at glory and gold in the SmackDown Gauntlet!

WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match!

We know Daniel Bryan is one half of the opening match up. The other competitor will be… Awwwwwww Toledo~! Don’t you dare be sour, clap for your famous four-time champs, and feel~ the power~!

Daniel Bryan VS Big E!

Yes, the powerhouse of positive energy is here, and showers the fans in pancakes along with The New Day. Can Big E make a big move and head for a big title match? Or will Bryan remind us all why he was a WWE Champion in his own right?

The bell rings, the two circle and tie up. Bryan gets an arm, then a headlock, but Big E tosses him off. Big E and Bryan circle again, with fans chanting “New! Day Rocks!” They tie up again, and go shoulder to shoulder. Big E powers Bryan down with the wristlocks, but Bryan rolls and spins to a waistlock. Big E swivels hips and tosses Bryan again! Things speed up, and Big E runs Bryan over. They keep going, but now Bryan trips E into a leglock. Bryan shifts, to a surfboard! He gets the legs, then the arms, and starts pulling, to bring Big E up. Big E is too big, so Bryan shifts to a dragon sleeper!

Big E fights out, so Bryan kicks away! Bryan gives a shoulder breaker, then a hammerlock and takedown. Bryan rams knees into that arm, then pulls back on the other. Big E resists and stands up, to back elbow Bryan. Big E runs, but things speed up again. Bryan goes for a hip toss, which Big E denies, and Big E shovels Bryan but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan runs into a belly2belly! Big E stalks Bryan to ropes, and positions him on the apron. Big E joins Bryan out there, and leaps for the Big Splash! Bryan is squashed on the apron while we go picture in picture.

Big E tells Bryan this is his match. Then E brings Bryan up, and carries him around, to then run all the way into the timekeeper’s barriers! Bryan writhes again, but Big E leaves him at the mercy of the count. Bryan crawls at 5, stands at 7, but collapses at 8! But he hurries back up and beats the count at 9.9! Big E can’t believe it, but he does cover, TWO. Bryan gets to a corner, but Big E is on him with a buckle bump. Big E follows Bryan across the way, and gives a big body shot. Bryan gets to another corner, and Big E hoists him up top. Big E joins him up there, but Bryan hits back. Bryan fights Big E off, and we go single picture as Bryan leaps! The headbutt misses! E covers, TWO!

Big E stands while Bryan clutches his gut. Big E stands Bryan up, gut wrench lift, into the Canadian Torture Rack! Bryan endures being bent and stretched against Big E’s shoulder. He then sits up and out, then runs to run Big E over with a leaping lariat! Big E gets to a corner, but Bryan fires up with the fans. Bryan gets himself to a corner, and Big E runs in, but into a drop toehold! E hits buckles, and Bryan kicks away on him! Bryan hoists Big E up now, then joins him, for a SUPER STEINER! But Bryan fires up again, as does Toledo. Bryan runs in, and hits the dropkick! And another! And, then runs into a BIG lariat! Gut wrench, Canadian Backbreaker! Cover, TWO!!

Bryan is down while Big E catches his breath. Big E stands and grabs a leg, to lift Bryan with a stretch muffler! He bends Bryan, letting gravity do a lot of damage to that leg. But Bryan drags Big E down, into the YES LOCK! Big E resists, powers out, but ends up in a triangle hold! Big E powers up again, to deadlift Bryan! But Bryan shifts again, to a knee smash! Then he goes after the leg, but Big E gets a ropebreak. Bryan lets go, then stands up to give European Uppercuts! Big E throws big hands, then whips Bryan corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, then builds speed, but is put on the apron. Big E SPEARS Bryan right off the apron!!

Big E himself can barely stand after that collision. But he still gets Bryan in the ring, and stalks Bryan while fans declare “This is Awesome!” Big E lifts, but Bryan slips out, and sends Big E into a post! KNEE PLUS! Cover, Bryan ELIMINATES Big E! Bryan advances and faces…

Daniel Bryan VS Samoa Joe!

The worst possible opponent to face after all of that. The Destroyer barrels down the ramp while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Joe chops away on Bryan in a corner. Bryan keeps getting up but Joe just keeps chopping him back. Joe looms over Bryan, then drags him up again while fans duel. AJ Styles watches this backstage as Joe headbutts Bryan to ropes. Joe whips but Bryan kicks back and then chops back! Bryan also kicks back, then chops, then kicks, repeat. Bryan runs, but into a spinning powerslam!

Cover, TWO! Joe backs off while the referee checks on Bryan. Bryan is apparently okay to continue, so Joe drags him back up. Joe chops Bryan again, but Bryan still comes back. Joe kicks Bryan, then chops him, then jabs, then more chops and more jabs. He knees Bryan down, then lets the referee check on Bryan. Bryan is okay, so it’s back to the fight.

Joe drags Bryan back up for a headbutt, but Bryan won’t stay down. Joe suplexes but Bryan slips out and chops back! Bryan kicks and chops again, then runs again, but into bomb position! Powerbomb, high stack, cover, TWO, to Boston Crab! Bryan endures, so Joe just shifts to an STF. Bryan endures more, and drags himself around, so Joe goes to a pure crossface! Joe wrenches back but Bryan still mores, so Joe changes it to Napalm Death! Bryan gets the ropebreak, so Joe lets him go. The Samoan Submission Machine glares down at Bryan, then brings him up for another headbutt. Joe kicks Bryan, but then Bryan blocks, to dragon screw! Joe ends up in a corner, but Bryan goes out to throw that leg into the post! Flashbacks to MITB and Big Cass!

Bryan won’t let up, either, he throws Joe’s leg into the post again. Joe staggers away but Bryan is on him with a EuroUpper. Bryan runs, but into the atomic drop. Joe boots, then adds the back senton! Cover, TWO! This match continues while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Joe is toying with Bryan. Then Joe chops Bryan again, and again. Bryan’s chest is as red as his tights but he still chops back against Joe. They have a chop fight, and Bryan gets the edge. Bryan runs, but into the sleeper! Joe wants Coquina, but Bryan tosses him out! Bryan gets himself to the apron, takes aim, and leaps for the flying knee! He hits just enough, then puts Joe in the ring. Bryan climbs up again, leaps again, and hits the missile dropkick! Both men are down, but Bryan keeps himself moving. Fans chant “YES! YES!” to give him strength. He stands, and begins the YES Kicks!

Bryan kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and… Joe blocks the buzzsaw! But not the enziguri! Joe goes into a corner, and Bryan fires up again. Bryan runs in, but Joe gets out. Bryan changes plans, and slides, but into a sleeper! Joe brings Bryan down, and watches the count. Joe waits for the count to climb, but Bryan uses barriers for leverage! He brings Joe down, then scrambles to the ring! The count reaches 10, and Bryan ELIMINATES Joe! Joe is in disbelief, but those are the rules. Bryan advances on again, but what’re the Bludgeon Brothers doing back in the ring!? Harper & Rowan circle Bryan like sharks smelling blood, KILLER BOMB! But why!? The match rolls on, and now…

Daniel Bryan VS The Miz!

The A-Lister takes advantage, Skull Crushing Finale! Cover, Miz ELIMINATES Bryan!! And he doesn’t even give Bryan the courtesy of exiting on his own, he tosses Bryan to the floor.

Miz has an easy win here, but that means he faces…

The Miz VS Rusev!

The Bulgarian Lion, with MC Artiste by his side, prepares to face the opportunistic Miz, but we go to one more break.

SmackDown returns and Rusev dropkicks Miz! Cover, TWO, and Miz asks for mercy. Rusev does not show it, he just stomps Miz out. Rusev drags Miz up but Miz jawbreakers him away. Miz runs, but his A-List clothesline was caught! Rusev brings Miz out, for a Fall Away Slam! Cover, TWO! Styles is still watching, and Rusev throws hands on Miz. Rusev runs, but Miz dumps him out! Miz runs, and hits a wrecking ball dropkick. Miz has English stay back, but English still cheers Rusev on. Fans chant “Rusev Day!” but Miz puts Rusev into barriers. Miz then puts Rusev in the ring, and hits the low boot. Cover, TWO!

Miz puts Rusev in a chinlock, but Rusev moves around against the hold. Fans rally for Rusev, and Rusev feeds off that to get up. Rusev stands, fights out, but Miz counters for the A-list combination! Cover, TWO! Miz stalks Rusev in a corner, then grinds his boot in. The referee backs Miz off, and Miz takes aim from the corner. Miz runs in and hits the A-List lariat, then climbs up. Miz aims, leaps and hits ax handles. Cover, TWO, but it’s right back to the chinlock. Miz rakes Rusev’s face a bit, but fans keep rallying for Rusev. Rusev stands, but Miz wrangles him back down by grabbing hair. Miz squeezes tight, but Rusev endures. Rusev reaches for ropes, but Miz uses a leg to block the ropebreak. Rusev powers through, and gets the break!

Miz lets go then backs off. Ohio still supports Miz, but they also chant for Rusev. Rusev boots Miz, and now they brawl with haymakers. They go back and forth, but Miz knees low. Miz runs, but into a roundhouse! And another! Rusev runs in, big shoulder into the corner, then running heel kick! “Rusev Day!” echoes through the crowd as Rusev prepares. Miz stands, MACHKA- No, Miz dodges the kick and goes for the full nelson. Rusev resists, and powers out! Rusev backs Miz into a corner, then runs in, but into a knee. Miz runs out, but into another roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Rusev catches his breath while Miz rolls out of the ring.

Rusev spots Miz and pursues. He puts Miz back in the ring, but Miz hotshots Rusev, then trips him up, before putting him into steel steps! Then back into the ring, cover, TWO! English is relieved, but Miz is frustrated. Miz stands up and gives IT Kicks. Fans say “NO! NO!” with every kick that Miz parodies. Miz prepares the buzzsaw, but misses! Rusev trips him, but Miz slips out of the Accolade to kick low and DDT! Cover, TWO!! Miz can’t believe it, but he isn’t done, either. He glares at Rusev as Rusev gets to a corner. Fans still rally for Rusev, but Miz mocks the Yes fingers. “No! No!” but Miz runs, MACHKA KICK! ACCOLADE!! Miz taps, Rusev wins!!

Winner: Rusev, by submission; will face the WWE Champion at Extreme Rules

For the first time in his career, Rusev will face a world champion 1v1! And speaking of, AJ Styles comes out to look at his #1 contender. The Phenomenal One and the Bulgarian Brute are set for an extreme collision course, and Styles lays down a gauntlet of his own. He and Rusev stare down while the fans are thunderous. Both men shake hands, and even English wants one of those. But then he pulls it away to mock the champ. Bad idea, because Styles clocks English with a haymaker!

Even Rusev can’t believe his pal did that to Styles. Will this feud be more respectful than Styles’ previous one?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown is back on top! Everything was in a proper order in order to escalate the show to a great high point. Carmella gets to brag, as does Ellsworth, and Asuka is denied her retribution for now. I’m honestly surprised Paige didn’t decide on an Extreme Rules rematch for them, but perhaps she is going to wait to see how the other women do first. Speaking of, Becky does great getting a win on Billie, and this can help her build a case towards challenging Carmella. Peyton herself has a chance, but she’ll probably be used to put Charlotte or even Naomi over.

I’m not as familiar with Jeff Hardy’s Willow persona, but as long as he and Nakamura have a program, I’m good with seeing it in WWE. SAnitY finally arrives, though the main roster fans didn’t seem to think much of it. Them wrecking the Usos was surprising, but it probably is the best thing given their characters. They’ll likely have their real match later on, and that could probably go either way. The Club getting a rematch was surprising, but it’s what Paige wanted. I was disappointed The Club lost, but again, it probably just isn’t time. Harper & Rowan going after Bryan was also confusing, but it gives them some serious Heel Heat. I wonder if Bryan will call on any old friends to take those titles from them…

But even with Harper & Rowan interfering to give Miz his easy win, the SmackDown Gauntlet was equal with the Raw Gauntlet, give or take. Bryan does amazing, as does Big E. That opening match-up alone was good enough for a PPV. Then Bryan shows how lungs and heart play into his fight with Samoa Joe, and it was brilliant for it to be a ring count elimination. Joe doesn’t look weak, just that he got outsmarted for a moment. Miz shares in the Heel Heat with Harper & Rowan, but then he and Rusev themselves put on a great match of their own. What a great thing for Rusev to win, he really deserves it. He’s been over ever since Rusev Day started, and now he’s #1 contender. Nice touch with English still being at least Tweener and then paying for it. This dynamic will really make the Styles-Rusev build unique.

My Score: 8.8/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!

It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.

ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.

Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.

Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop.  Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!

Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!

Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!

Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?

ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0

The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?

The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!

Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.

Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!

Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!

Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!

The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!

Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!

Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0

The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.

Ibushi speaks.

“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.

The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.

CMLL Friday Show/Future

The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.

In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.

There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.

AAA

AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.

Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.

AAA on Twitch 9/21

We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.

The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.

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