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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco! (7/7/18)

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NJPW G1 Special cover image

NJPW returns to the United States for another G1 Special! So many stars and so many titles will be featured in this massive event, from the Ticking Time Bomb defending his Jr. Heavyweight Championship, to a Dominion rematch for the Tag Team Championships, to the Bullet Club leaders facing off for THE Heavyweight Title!

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens; Bullet Club wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Ishii & Yano win.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Hangman & Scurll win.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi; Okada & Ospreay win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee; Hiromu wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson; Juice wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW is LIVE in the Cow Palace!

The “Madison Square Garden of the West” is host to another amazing G1 Special. Five titles are on the line, from the Junior Heavyweight to THE Heavyweight Championship. Rivalries are renewed and new ones are being born. Will the Superkick Party survive a rematch with SANADA & EVIL? Can Hiromu Takahashi get one over on Dragon Lee? Will The Cleaner’s first ever reign end at the hands of the American Nightmare? Is Bullet Club truly (not) fine?!

 

10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, King Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens!

It’s a MASSIVE showdown between two equally massive factions! Will Chaos conquer the Bullet Club in this opening bout? Or will dysfunction be put aside so that Bullet Club can stand tall?

The teams sort out and while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!”, Yoshi-Hashi starts against King Haku. The bell rings and the two circle. Haku swipes at Gedo while fans chant for the Father of the Guerrillas. He and Hashi tie up, and Haku gets the waistlock. Hashi elbows out and then gets a headlock, but Haku powers out. They collide but neither man falls. Haku runs but that clothesline barely does a thing. Hashi runs again and that dropkick drops Haku. Hashi throws hands and backs Haku down, then whips corner to corner. Haku reverses to then clothesline Hashi in the corner! Haku tags Tonga Loa, but Tama Tonga comes in, at the same time. They triple headbutt Hashi together!

Fans chant “G O D!” for Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. Rocky tags in, but he’s clearly the underdog here. He runs but barely moves Loa. Loa dares him to go again, but the result is the same. Rocky tries a third time, but still nothing. Things speed up on the fourth, and Rocky gets the headscissors! Rocky revs up to start on those endless clotheslines in the corner. He hits five, before Loa picks him up! Loa carries Rocky corner to corner while Tama Tonga comes in, BIG splash in the corner! The rest of Chaos is taken out by the other members of Bullet Club and it’s a brawl on the outside. Haku hits Rocky with a piledriver! Cover, TWO!

Tonga grabs the ref, not standing for the disrespect towards his legendary father. The referee is spared while Loa covers. TWO, but Rocky is alone in the Bullet Club corner. Loa puts Rocky into Chase’s boot, then tags Chase in. Chase hits a body shot, then throws haymakers. Rocky chops back, but Chase knees low. The Crown Jewel lifts Rocky for the pendulum backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Chase keeps on Rocky as he tags in Tokyo Pimp. Yujiro mule kicks then snapmares Rocky, then hits a leg drop. Cover, TWO. Yujiro keeps Rocky in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Rocky. Rocky gets up and fights out, backing Yujiro down. He runs, but Yujiro picks him up while Chase takes out RPG3K.

Yujiro whips and kicks Rocky, Chase adds a kick, then Yujiro back suplexes Rocky. Rocky slips out, so Chae tries. Rocky slips out again, then ducks to double headscissor! Fans rally up while Rocky crawls. Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies with dropkicks, then a dragon screw to Yujiro, then one to Chase. Yoh suplexes Yujiro but Yujiro slips out. Yujiro waistlocks but Yoh backs him down, and Sho tags in. Sho runs, takes out GoD, then hits Yujiro with a clothesline. Yoh hits one, theN Sho, then Poetry in Motion! RPG3K combine, but Yujiro slips out to push them into each other. Inverted DDT to Sho, then hot tag to Tama Tonga! Tonga stomps away on Sho, then scoop slams for the elbow! Fans fire up with him as he whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Tonga, then crawls for his corner. Tag to Gedo, and Gedo stalks Tonga.

Gedo jabs and jabs, but Loa stops his haymaker. Gedo throws hands on Loa, then jawbreaker to Tonga. He aims, but Tonga blocks the kick. Chase bicycle boots, but Hashi blasts him. Yujiro gets Hashi with the basement dropkick, but RPG3K combine for backstabber to shotgun kick! Loa hits both Sho & Yoh down, but Rocky springboards to hit both GoD! Rocky runs, and DIVES on Loa! Gedo SUPERKICKS Tonga, but Haku throat thrusts Gedo! The Samoan King has the throat, and feeds it to the Gun Stun cutter! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Tama Tonga pinning

While there is unrest in the rest of the Bullet Club, it would seem this unit of five is just fine with each other. Will this be the foundation of the faction after things settle down up top?

 

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!

The Stone Pitbull and the Producer have had their run-ins with the Meanest Man in the World and his Submission Master protege. Needless to say, it didn’t go well for the Chaos duo. But in this rematch in the States, will things even out? Or will Ishii & Yano again #JustTapOut?

The Pitbull dares the King of Pancreas to bring it, so at the bell, he does! Suzuki goes right at Ishii with boots, then whips. Suzuki boots in the corner, then whips again. Ishii comes back with a forearm, but now it’s a brawl. Back and forth, fast and furious, neither man backs down but the fans love it! There’s no end to it, but Suzuki gets the edge. He whips Ishii but Ishii runs him over. Ishii eggs Suzuki on, but ZSJ tags in. And now Yano wants in! Ishii tags, but Ishii goes after Suzuki without hesitation. As for Yano, he circles with ZSJ, but he’s very scary. Yano uses the ropes for safety, but then asks for a handshake. ZSJ takes it, only to get the wristlock. Yano grabs the ropes, but ZSJ holds onto the wrist. He lets go at 4, then waits for Yano.

Yano wants another handshake, ZSJ gets another wristlock, but Yano rakes the eyes. Yano gets to the ropes and taunt ZSJ. ZSJ grabs a leg, reels Yano in for several European Uppercuts, but Yano pulls him down by his hair. Yano celebrates, but ZSJ goes after the arms! ZSJ gets double wristlocks but Yano manages to get to the ropes. However, it’s on Suzuki’s side of the ring. Suzuki lets ZSJ Pele Yano’s arm before going after Ishii again! Suzuki puts Ishii into railing while ZSJ stands on Yano’s head. ZSJ wraps Yano up in an Indian deathlock while Suzuki chops away on Ishii. ZSJ bridges to put on leverage, then shifts to adding an armlock. Yano endures being tied up like that, and starts back pedaling for ropes. ZSJ grabs the other arm, but Yano uses a leg.

Fans rally while ZSJ lets go of Yano. ZSJ tags to Suzuki, and together they torture Yano with a Fujiwara armbar and Achilles Lock. Then they switch! Ishii protests, but that only gives the devious duo more time to damage Yano’s limbs. They flip Yano over for both an armbar and a heel hook. The referee finally sees and gets ZSJ to leave. Suzuki tags in ZSJ, and it’s just more of the same anyway. Tag back to Suzuki, and Suzuki throws hands on Yano. Suzuki mocks Yano, toys with him, but fans boo and jeer. Suzuki runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Ishii, and he runs in, but into a boot. It does nothing! Ishii and Suzuki brawl again. Ishii runs, then forearms Suzuki, then corner clotheslines him! He trash talks Suzuki, then toys with him.

Suzuki only grows angry from those toying kicks to the head. Suzuki throws another forearm, but Ishii dares him to give more. Ishii hits Suzuki, then slaps him in the head. Suzuki gives Ishii a stiff forearm, then another. Ishii staggers, but stays standing. So Suzuki just gives him another shot, and another. Suzuki keeps going, and Ishii hits the mat. Ishii is okay to continue, so Suzuki toys with him now. Ishii stands and starts throwing forearms on Suzuki. He slaps Suzuki while trash talking, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue like a wild man. Suzuki throws so many palm strikes, then gets Ishii in a sleeper hold! Ishii throws Suzuki off, then runs, but Suzuki gets around for another hold. Ishii throws Suzuki with a back suplex!

Fans rally up while both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Yano and ZSJ! Yano rakes the eyes, then goes for buckle pads! ZSJ stops him just in time, but Yano throws ZSJ off. Yano sings, but misses, and ends up in an octopus stretch. Suzuki picks up the pad to smack Yano with it. Suzuki throws Ishii out and they brawl on the outside again. ZSJ catches Yano’s low blow, then the haymaker, into the bridging pin, TWO! EuroUpper! ZSJ runs but into bare buckles! Yano shoves him at the ref, but ZSJ stops himself short. Low blow blocked by leg strength! But then Ishii runs ZSJ over! Yano covers, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Chaos, Yano pinning

What a shocking exchange! Yano’s trickery and Ishii’s toughness win out, but that just pisses Suzuki off. Suzuki grabs himself a chair, then rushes the ring. Security and Young Lions work to stop Suzuki, and manage to get him away from the ring. But ZSJ makes one of them pay for it by throwing him to the ground. Then Suzuki SMACKS the other with that chair. This feud is far from over, will Suzuki show any mercy next time?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

The Ace and the Time Splitter have had their issues with the Problem Solver and Villain in their own paths before, but now all four men converge tonight. Can the main unit boys overcome Bullet Club’s proverbial lieutenants tonight?

Fans duel while both teams egg each other on, but things sort out to start with Scurll and Kushida. The junior heavyweights circle and tie up. Kushida gets the waistlock but Scurll reverses, only for Kushida to reverse back. Scurll spins and rolls to reverse back, but Kushida gets a takedown. Kushida grabs the facelock, and holds on as Scurll rolls. Kushida floats all over, then gets a waistlock. Scurll pries his way out but it ends up a full nelson. Scurll breaks it with a bump, then gets a full nelson of his own. Kushida tries to copy but ends up in an octopus! Kushida pries his way out to bring Scurll down but Scurll headscissors. Scurll takedown but Kushida headscissors, so Scurll flaps his wings. Tag to Hangman and Tanahashi!

Now the heavyweights circle, and fans are strongly behind Tanahashi. He and Hangman tie up, and Hangman reverses to a wristlock and headlock. Tanahashi powers out to his own headlock, but Hangman pulls on hair! Kushida protests, but that allows Tanahashi to pull Hangman’s hair. They go into a corner and Tanahashi throws body shots. He whips Hangman but Hangman reverses. Hangman runs in, but into a back elbow, and Tanahashi leaps for a crossbody! Tanahashi air guitars and fans fire up. Tanahashi mocks the wings and Scurll gets upset. Tag to Kushida, and Kushida drops ax handles on the arm. Kushida wrenches Hangman’s arm, then whips, but Hangman holds ropes. Hangman dumps Kushida out while Scurll takes out Tanahashi. They run together, SUPERKICK to SHOOTING STAR from the apron!

Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Hangman & Scurll target Taguchi himself. Taguchi doesn’t want any trouble, but that doesn’t stop them. They club Taguchi down and bring him into the ring. They double whip, he goes to hip attack, but they get clear. Taguchi crashes and burns out of the ring, having hurt his behind. Scurll grabs Kushida, and the Bullet Club double whip, drop toehold, dropkick, then shooting star and fist drop! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps on Kushida and bumps him off Scurll’s bot. Tag to Scurll, and they work together again. Double whip Kushdia corner to corner, and Scurll hits the clothesline. He becomes a step stool but Kushida gives Hangman the Poetry in Motion! Kushida then handsprings to back elbow Scurll down! Fans rally while Kushida crawls. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

Tanahashi rallies on Scurll, whips corner to corner, but Scurll reverses. Tanahashi still comes out with a back elbow, then he wipes Hangman out for good measure. He gives Scurll a Dragon Screw, then fires up. Fans fire up with him as he scoop slams Scurll down. Tanahashi climbs up, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Tanahashi runs, but into Scurll’s crossface chicken wing! Scurll almost has it, but Tanahashi pries his way out. Fans rally for Tanahashi as he keeps those hands apart. Tanahashi breaks free but runs into a palm strike. He knocks Scurll down with one of his own, then tags Kushida. Kushida fires off on Scurll, but Scurll hits the leg. Kushida hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick!

Scurll dodges the Penalty Kick, and Hangman comes in to rock Kushida with a right. Tanahashi returns, but Hangman gets him first. Tanahashi reverses the whip to Slingblade Hangman down! Scurll comes back and fakes Tanahashi out for the mule kick. Scurll stomps Kushida’s hand, then grabs the fingers. Shh! Kushida breaks free but runs into a EuroUpper. Scurll runs into a spinning forearm, then ends up in a takedown, Hoverboard Lock! Tanahashi intercepts Hangman for the Cloverleaf! Double submissions, but Hangman crawls out of the ring. Scurll stands up while Tanahashi misses his slingshot. BUCK SHOT from Hangman! Tag to Hangman, and he jackknifes into Rite, but sunset flip! TWO! Discus forearm meets Pele! Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs, but Hangman blocks the Hoverboard, into RITE OF PASSAGE! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Hangman pinning

A mostly clean win from the devious Villain & Problem Solver, but a win is a win. Will Hangman do the same to Tanahashi in the G1 Climax tournament? Or will the Ace fine a way to win out in the end?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb!

The All-Pro Universal Champion is quite the monster with his strength and speed, but he goes up against the Fierce Warrior for another belt. Will Chaos’ constant be able to conquer Mr. Athletic in this first-ever meeting?

The belt is presented and the bell rings as we begin! Fans are strongly behind Cobb as he circles with Goto. They tie up, and Cobb backs Goto to the ropes. Cobb honors the break, and they circle again. They tie up again, and Cobb again powers Goto to ropes. Goto turns it around, but Goto honors the break, for a moment. Goto kicks and clubs away on Cobb, then stomps. Fans boo and jeer, but Goto tunes them out as he whips Cobb. Cobb reverses, and the two collide. Cobb doesn’t back down, but he does let his hair down while Goto eggs him on. Goto tries to hip toss but ducks the clothesline, but not the flying shoulder!

Cobb drags Goto up and throws forearms and EuroUppers. He whips Goto corner to corner, then grabs Goto for a BIG overhead suplex! Fans rally up but Cobb runs into a boot. Goto goes up, but Cobb yanks him off and to the mat. Cobb drags Goto up, and gives him a stiff chop. Goto chops back, but Cobb chops again. Cobb whips but Goto dodges to bait Cobb over and out! Goto then slingshots, and wipes Cobb out! Goto gets up to club away on Cobb, then puts him into a post! Fans boo and jeer as Goto goes after Cobb more. The 20 count begins, but Goto puts Cobb back in at 8. Goto stalks Cobb with stomps, then brings him up for elbows. He snapmares Cobb, to drop the elbow. Fans boo and jeer more, but Goto just drops another. Cover, TWO!

Goto drags Cobb up for a neck wrench. Fans rally as Cobb endures, but Goto switches to a headscissors hold. Goto squeezes Cobb and props himself up. Cobb endures, then rolls his way to a ropebreak. Goto lets Cobb go, but then drags him up for another snapmare and chinlock. Cobb endures while fans rally again. Goto goes to drive in an elbow but Cobb blocks it! Cobb powers out, then dropkicks Goto down! Both men are down but fans rally up. Cobb staggers to ropes, then waits for Goto. He throws a forearm, then a chop, repeat. Cobb whips Goto corner to corner, and hits a leaping uppercut! Cobb lifts and swings Goto with the Sidewinder! Cover, TWO! Cobb is a bit surprised, but he’s not done yet.

Cobb drags Goto up, then lifts for a torture rack. Running slam! Fans fire up, because Cobb still has more. Standing moonsault, but it misses as Goto rolls away! Both men are down again, but fans rally again. Each man gets to a corner, then Goto runs in for the spinning heel kick! Goto suplexes Cobb, cover, TWO! Goto drags Cobb up, but fans are on Cobb’s side. Cobb resists the fireman’s carry with back elbows, then blocks the boot to give a stiff forearm. Cobb drags Goto up, scoop onto the shoulder to bump off buckles and hit the Oklahoma slam! Cover, TWO! So close but so far from finishing this match. Cobb stands up again, then runs, but the two collide with clotheslines. Neither falls, so they go again. They still stay up, so they go again, and it’s Goto that gets flipped! Standing moonsault hits! TWO!!

Cobb is shocked, but not done yet. He throws Goto, then scoops, but Goto slips out to a sleeper hold! Cobb gasps, reaching for ropes. Fans rally up and Cobb gets a second wind to throw Goto off. Goto and Cobb both stand, but Cobb sees Goto coming. Goto dodges the boot to give the spinning clothesline. Cobb dares him to do more, so Goto headbutts. Goto lifts Cobb, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives and that shocks Goto now. Goto brings Cobb up, but Cobb denies GTR with a suplex. Goto knees out, and tries to turn Cobb again. Cobb resists, so Goto clubs him. Reverse GTR! Cover, Goto wins!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion

The Fierce Warrior manages to hold off the powerful behemoth that is Jeff Cobb. Goto starts over with this first successful defense, will he be able to hold onto it for a long time?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA!

It’s a rematch from Dominion 2018, where “the best tag team in professional wrestling” took those titles from Los Ingobernables de Japon’s heavy hitting duo. Matt & Nick Jackson won in Osaka, but can they throw a victorious Superkick Party in their home state of California?

Fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” for the champions as always. Cold Skull Sanada starts against Nick with the bell. They circle, but Sanada hits Matt. So Nick hits Evil! Nick whips but Sanada reverses, and things speed up. Nick stops himself but Sanada blocks the kick to spin Nick around for the dragon sleeper! Sanada lands on his feet through the snapmare, but Nick dodges the dropkick. Nick drops an elbow but Sanada dodges. Sanada drops an elbow but Nick dodges. Matt drops an elbow, Sanada dodges, then Evil drops a back senton but Matt dodges. Nick grabs Evil in headscissors but Sanada does the same to Nick. Matt comes back and grabs Evil’s legs. Fans sense what’s coming, as does Sanada, Sharpshooter that flips everyone over! A strange chain of submissions there.

But with only two men legal, there’s something illegal about this, so the referee has them all break. Matt regroups with Nick while Evil goes out. They double whip Sanada, hip toss and back-flip dropkicks! Headscissor dropkick for Evil, and fans fire up for The Bucks! The Bucks double whip Sanada again, double kick, then the alley-oop, but into a dropkick from Sanada! Evil blocks Matt’s kick, and feeds it to the ref, to then mule kick Matt in the ass. Matt rolls out from being butt hurt while Sanada grabs Nick. Sanada drags Nick over to a neutral corner, then whips him corner to corner. Sanada hits the corner clothesline, but Nick boots back. The boot is caught, and Sanada drags Nick out into the paradise lock! Nick is a pretzel, so Sanada dropkicks him out of paradise!

Tag to Evil, and LIJ drag Nick up for double whip. Back elbow to back senton, then cover, TWO! Evil grabs Nick into a half surfboard with those arms. Fans rally up and Nick feeds off it. Nick works against the hold but Evil keeps him grounded. Nick powers up again, but still can’t get free. Evil digs in a knee but fans keep rallying for Nick. Nick tries one more time, and manages to turn it around, only for Evil to turn it back around. So Nick dropkicks out! Fans rally again, and Nick crawls, but Sanada trips Matt right off the apron! Fans boo and jeer, but Sanada doesn’t care. Evil attacks Nick, then rakes the eyes. He whips Nick corner to corner but Nick slides out to trip up Sanada. Nick runs into Evil, but slips out of the back suplex to tag Matt!

Matt rallies on LIJ, but they get him with kicks. LIJ double whips, but he dodges to leaping lariat them both! Matt grabs Evil to throw haymakers and chops. Matt whips Evil but Evil holds ropes. Evil throws Matt to the apron, but Matt shoulders back in, then takes out Sanada with a cutter! Matt sunset flips in, legs to the Sharpshooter! The Cease is in, but that back bothers Matt again. Evil gets a ropebreak,  so Matt tags to Nick. Nick kicks Sanada for good measure, then coordinates for the slingshot X-Factor. Nick goes to asai onto Sanada, but Sanada dodges to asai into dragon sleeper! Matt sees his brother in danger, and wrecks Sanada with a dropkick. But then Evil knocks Matt out, to build speed. SUPERKICKS! Sanada springboards, double missile dropkick! All four men are down but the fans are loving it.

Fans duel while all four men stir. Nick tags in Matt, but Evil tags in Sanada. Sanada and Matt trade haymakers back and forth. Matt kicks, then whips Sanada, but Sanada back elbows. Sanada quebradas, dragon sleeper, but Matt slices bread to get it on Sanada. Sanada turns it around again, for the swinging dragon sleeper! He climbs up top, moonsaults, but Matt evades. Sanada tumbles back out to the apron, but Matt gets him with a triangle jump DDT to the apron! Nick climbs up and aims at Sanada, 450 splash! Cover from Matt, TWO! The Bucks can’t believe it, but this isn’t over yet. Matt puts Sanada in the Sharpshooter, but Sanada drags himself towards ropes. Nick hits the swanton! Then he intercepts Evil, to FLY!

Sanada is alone, enduring the Sharpshooter. Sanada drags himself towards ropes, drawing so close to either the break or the tap. He powers up and gets the break! Matt lets Sanada go, thinking of what else to do. He tags in Nick, and Nick climbs up. Matt brings Sanada up for the fireman’s carry. More Bang for- No, knees disrupt that, and Sanada avoids the moonsault! Sanada crawls for his corner, and Evil is back to tag in! Evil German Suplexes Nick, then the same for Matt! Nick fights of another, but Evil still reels him in for another German! Evil fires up and runs in at Nick for a BIG clothesline. Then the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Evil isn’t deterred, he brings Nick up. Nick slips free to back elbow. Nick suplexes but Evil counters. Sanada comes in, MAGIC KILLER! Cover, Matt breaks it!

Sanada throws Matt out but Matt brings him out, too. Evil drags Nick up, but Nick denies the STO. Matt puts Sanada into barriers, then he saves Nick from the slam. Deja vu to Dominion, but Evil dodges the SUPERKICKS, and they go into the ref! Evil double clotheslines both Bucks down! But with no ref to count, there’s no point in covering. Instead, Sanada pulls out some items from under the ring. He gives Evil a chair, but Evil misses. Evil and Nick play hot potato, but then Matt gets up, SUPERKICKS into the chair! SUPERKICKS for Sanada, then Matt prepares the chair on the mat. He brings Evil up as fast as he can with that bad back while Nick waits on the apron. Tombstone position, but Sanada trips up Nick! Evil reverses to the Tombstone, Ungovernable Driver on the chair!

Sanada wakes the ref, Evil covers, but Nick barely breaks it in time! Fans are all fired up, but Sanada throws Nick back out. Evil rises and calls for the finish. “This is Awesome!” as they prepare and hit Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!? How?! Sanada slingshots to take Nick out for good measure, and Evil waits for Matt. Matt reverses to back slide and SUPERKICK! Evil still goes after him, so Matt uses the STO! Sanada flies into SUPERKICKS! The Bucks hurry to get Evil up, then MELTZER DRIVER! Cover, The Bucks win!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

Another thrilling close-call, but the Superkick Party rolls on! Their first heavyweight tag title reign continues, how far can Matt & Nick Jackson go in the Heavyweight Tag Division?

 

NJPW and AXS look at the Bullet Club Civil War.

Kenny Omega saw trouble coming from the very beginning when The American Nightmare used the faction to elevate himself. Cody manipulated the Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page, but Omega has already shown what he does to selfish members of the Club before. On the flip side, Cody saw Omega as too obsessed with his own goals and it was ruining the faction. The other members have been unsure which side to choose, but The Bucks found a way to decide. They chose Kenny. It cost Omega his match against Cody in ROH, but Cody took it as validation. Everyone else has reconciled aside from Cody, who is the “rotten apple” messing up the bunch. Is it hatred? Is it a matter of pride? More importantly, is it going to end with their match tonight?

 

Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi!

The Rainmaker is no longer IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the Aerial Assassin is no longer Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and LIJ’s Tranquilo leader is no longer Intercontinental Champion. Who will come out of this match with renewed vigor towards chasing the titles they lost at Dominion?

Fans are evenly split between Chaos and LIJ, especially Okada and Naito. Okada starts but wonders who is starting against him. Naito hears fans wanting him, so he obliges. Okada and Naito hear the fans fire up for them just being in the ring together. They circle, lunge, but Naito evades to keep things tranquilo. Naito and Okada circle but again Naito dodges. Fans enjoy the mind games, and Okada manages to shrug it off. They tie up finally, and Okada backs Naito to the ropes. Okada backs off, to fake the chop. Naito actually kicks then throws Okada out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo!

Fans love it, but Okada cools off before returning. Okada and Naito circle again, and fans rally up. Then Naito tags out to Bushi. Some fans boo and jeer but others still love the mind games. Okada tags in Ospreay, and now the junior heavyweights circle. Bushi kicks then slides off the back to headscissor, but Ospreay handsprings through to dropkick Bushi down. Bushi rolls out so Ospreay builds speed, to fake him out for the superhero landing. Naito rushes in but gets a kick for it! Bushi returns but Ospreay is ready with a chop. Ospreay whips Bushi to a corner, hits the back elbow, then sweeps the legs. Bushi gets up as Ospreay runs corner to corner, but Ospreay boots him away.

Ospreay runs again, but into a drop toehold, and Naito dropkicks in. Okada comes in, but Naito feeds him to Bushi’s sunset flip, which just feeds Okada back to Naito’s basement dropkick! Okada rolls out while Bushi returns to Ospreay. Bushi chokes and stretches Ospreay at the ropes, but backs off at 4. Meanwhile, Naito keeps on Okada on the outside. Bushi has Ospreay in the corner while fans sing for the Aerial Assassin. Bushi grinds his boot into Ospreay but stops at 4. Naito tags in, then stalks Ospreay to the ropes. He brings Ospreay around to whip to a corner, then jump kicks and sweeps the leg, swinging shotgun kick! Naito spits at Okada, then tags Bushi. Bushi wraps his shirt around Ospreay’s neck to choke him! He drops Ospreay with a neckbreaker, covers, but the ref sees the shirt. No count, and the shirt is tossed away.

Tag to Naito, and he toys with Ospreay. Ospreay fires up and pushes back, then gives forearms. Naito fakes the retaliation, only to kick Ospreay low. Naito whips Ospreay thne turns the boots away. Ospreay hits back from the apron but Naito gets under the springboard. Naito kicks, then runs, but into the flip dropkick and enziguri! Both men are down, but Ospreay is headed for his corner. Fans rally up, hot tag to Okada! Okada rallies on LIJ, then hits Naito. He builds speed and runs Naito over with an elbow! Bushi attacks but runs into a flapjack that splashes onto Naito! Okada kips up, then scoops Naito for the slam. Okada gets to the corner, aims at Naito, and hits the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool while fans fire up.

Okada brings Naito up, but Naito blocks the gutwrench. Okada clubs Naito down then wrenches again, but Naito slips out into the dragon sleeper neckbreaker, and adds the dropkick to the back. Naito catches his breath, then brings Okada up. Okada resists Gloria, but Naito hits an enziguri. Hammerlock lift but Okada slips out to dropkick Naito in the back. Okada whips but Naito holds ropes to dodge the dropkick. Naito whips but Okada reverses, but Naito hits the flying forearm. Naito brings Okada up, tilt-o-whirl, but into the Tombstone, yet Naito slips out. He uses the ropes, but Okada blocks the tornado DDT with power! Okada lifts Naito, Air Raid! Both men are down but the fans applaud. They rally up for Okada as both men crawl. Hot tags to Ospreay and Bushi!

Ospreay and Bushi brawl with forearms back and forth. Bushi swings but Ospreay full nelsons. Bushi breaks free but gets the hook kick. Ospreay dragon sleeper suplex, but Bushi slips out. Bushi hits the swinging boots, then the missile dropkick! It’s a Bushi-rooni into double knees, then the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, but Okada breaks it. Naito throws Okada out, Bushi runs for a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Bushi isn’t done, though, as he climbs back up. He aims at Ospreay as Ospreay slowly stands. But he flies into a roundhouse! Naito baseball slides Ospreay, then dodges the Rainmaker lariat, but not that dropkick! Okada fires up as he pursues Naito. Bushi kicks Ospreay, but runs into a Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay fires up, Robinson Special kick! He drags Bushi up, double underhook to Stormbreaker!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Okada & Ospreay, Ospreay pinning

The former Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Champions combine for a victory tonight, not letting their past defeats drag them down. Can the Rainmaker & Assassin climb back up to take back what they’ve lost?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee!

This rivalry spans both NJPW and CMLL promotions, and sometimes even ROH. Lee is the current CMLL World Lightweight Championship while the Ticking Time Bomb won his belt back at Dominion after also winning Best of the Super Juniors 25. While Hiromu is NJPW’s best Junior, will Lee prove he’s the best in two companies?

But Dragon Lee doesn’t wait for the bell, he just waits for Hiromu to be done putting away his toys, to leap out with a crazy huricanrana! If there was any doubt, this proves there’s no love lost between these two. The bell rings, and we begin outside the ring as Lee whips Hiromu into railings then rams into him. Lee returns to the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! That was a dangerous tope suicida, but Lee still did it. He gets up and puts Hiromu into the ring. Hiromu gets to a corner, but Lee runs in for a dropkick and sweep to swinging dropkick, NAITO’s moves. Lee even mocks Tranquilo! Fans boo and jeer but Lee throws elbow after elbow into Hiromu. The referee backs Lee off, but only long enough for that corner to corner dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Lee keeps his focus as he drags Hiromu up for an ankle lock. Hiromu rolls through but gets stomped out. Lee puts on a chinlock, then rakes the face. Lee lets go, but then kicks Hiromu across the back. He keeps on Hiormu with a whip into a corner. Hiromu comes out with a headscissor, but Lee just handsprings through. They speed up, and Lee gets caught that time. Hiromu hits Lee with a clothesline and baseball slide dropkick! Lee gets out of the ring, but Hiromu doesn’t stop, John Woo from the apron! Hiromu climbs up top now, and aims at Lee, for a SUPER SENTON!! They crash and burn on the ground! Fans lose their minds after that one.

The 20 count begins, but Hiromu gets on the apron at 10. Lee grabs Hiromu, not wanting to end the count. Hiromu fights him off, but they both end up on the apron. They brawl, and the count stops as they go back and forth. Hiromu rocks Lee but Lee rocks Hiromu. Hiromu kicks Lee, then brings him up to the top rope. He climbs up with Lee, and fans fear for the wrestlers’ lives. Lee stops Hiromu’s crazy idea, and fans rally up as they brawl more. Each man fires up, and that headbutt rocks Hiromu into a Tree of Woe. Lee stands up, SUPER WOE STOMPS! Hiromu hits apron and then ground, and fans lose their minds all over again. Both men are down as a new 20 count begins. They stir at 6, but doesn’t stand until 9.

Lee gets on the apron, but Hiromu grabs him for the powerbomb! The count climbs, but Hiromu flounders around. They both get in at 19.5! Hiromu and Lee are already so sore, but somehow both stand up. Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline, then whips. Lee reverses to clothesline, but Hiromu reels him into a wheelbarrow German Suplex! Hiromu keeps going, but runs into a rebound German! Yet he springs up to German Lee back! But so does Lee! Hiromu Germans Lee again, but Lee gets up to give it back! Fans chant “Suplex City!” as Hiromu gives Lee another! Lee flounders, but he still goes towards Hiromu. Lee grabs Hiromu for yet another German suplex! Hiromu clotheslines, but Lee knee strikes into another German Suplex! SUPERKICK from Hiromu, then German! Lee Reverse-ranas, but runs into a massive clothesline!

Both men are down but the fans are loving it all! They chant “New Japan!” to show appreciation to the promotion bringing this to us. Fans rally up as both men stir, but a 10 count begins. Lee gets up with ropes while Hiromu gets up on his own. They go back towards each other, and trade sharp chops. Back and forth they go, sharper and sharper. Hiromu staggers but still comes back with a chop. Then he dares Lee to do the same, so Lee does! Both men drop to a knee from the stinging pain, but they don’t back off for long. They chop more, more, more, faster, harder, sharper! Fans are loving the endless chop fight going on in the ring. They shift to slaps now, then as hove. Hiromu and Lee trade blocks, but Lee gets the knee. Lee runs but into the overhead throw!

Hiromu grins before he lifts Lee, for a fireman’s slam! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lee up again, but Lee slips out. Lee lifts Hiromu for a suplex but Hiromu slips out to SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, but into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion now, but fans rally up. Lee grabs Hiromu, but Hiromu headscissors out of the suplex, into the triangle hold! Lee resists, deadlifts, and powerbombs! But Hiromu holds on! Lee endures as he tries another deadlift, then shifts it to a Dragon Driver!

Fans lose their minds over the impact to Hiromu’s head, but Lee shows no mercy. Lee brings Hiromu up again, for a suplex to sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives while Lee grows frustrated. Fans rally up while Lee brings Hiromu up. Lee knee lifts, then bomb lifts, but Hiromu pops out for a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! But the Time Bomb still has more to give as he brings Lee up, fro THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion

This explosive feud was intense even before the bell. But in the end, the eccentric champion retains against one of his fiercest rivals in the world. Will Hiromu’s second reign last a long time with heart like that?

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson!

The Switchblade snatched the belt from the inaugural champion, Kenny Omega, while the Flamboyant One has tried but failed to grab a title for himself again and again. The Switchblade upped the animosity between him and Juice, vowing Juice will walk away with nothing! Or will the actual American in this match be the first American to finally hold this title?

But there’s a special rule: Juice cannot use his cast as a weapon, on grounds of a disqualification. In other words, Juice might as well be fighting with one less hand. But Juice doesn’t care, he’s confident he’ll win even with just one hand. The belt is presented, both men are checked, and we begin!

White mocks the bad hand, so Juice tackles him and uses the good hand! White turns it around to throw hands of his own, but Juice turns it back again. They separate, and Juice crossbodies White out with him! Fans chant for Juice as he aims from the apron for the flying clothesline! Juice dusts himself off and puts White into railings. White clutches his arm but Juice is back on him. Juice throws White into railings and it crashes into the timekeeper’s area! Juice holds that belt, and says the timekeepers are just holding onto it for him. He then puts White back in the ring, and prepares his good hand. White stands, and Juice jabs away. “Juice! Juice!” echoes out, but he can’t use the left, so he just chops White.

White gets to a corner, and Juice hits a corner clothesline. But then White suplexes Juice out to the floor! Juice clutches his neck while White regroups. White goes out to fetch Juice, and put him into railings in return! The railing almost flies away with that impact. White mocks Juice’s fist pump while fans boo and jeer. White digs Juice out of the wreckage to then chop him across the chest. He then throw Juice into the timekeeper’s area, and practically bowls the table and chairs over! White eggs the fans on as they boo and jeer. The referee, Red Shoes, reprimands White and wants him to put this in the ring. Fans chant “You Suck!” at White as he puts Juice in. White suplexes Juice into buckles, then covers. TWO, but White is only annoyed.

White goes back to Juice with clubbing forearms across that back. He then tortures the bad hand with the wristlock and finger stretching. He even stands on and, while flipping everyone off, stomps said bad hand! Juice crawls, but White is on him. White hammerlocks for the scoop slam to beat up that bad hand. Fans jeer White but White responds with another middle finger. White brings Juice back up for another hammerlock. He tortures the arm while fans rally up for Juice. Juice gets to a corner but White keeps on the arm. Juice reverses and jabs with the good hand. He headbutts, but misses the kick. He elbows out of the waistlock, though, only to end up in a saido suplex! Fans boo White more, but he doesn’t care as he brings Juice over for a Muda Lock. He even uses the bad hand to choke Juice!

Fans rally for Juice as he endures the hold. Juice crawls as best as he can, and reaches for the ropes. White wrenches but Juice gets the ropebreak! White lets go at 3, but goes after Juice on the apron. He has Juice between ropes to throw EuroUpper after EuroUpper, then chops. He chops Juice again, then again, then again. White does not let up on Juice, but Juice tells him to “Eat sh*t!” White chops again, then runs, to EuroUpper Juice right out of the ropes. Fans boo and jeer White more, but White keeps mocking Juice. White waits for Juice to stand, and then copies the jabs. He jabs and jabs, then winds up the right, but Juice chops back! White chops, so Juice chops again. They go again, and White falls to a knee, only to wring out the arm.

White drags Juice back up, but runs into a spinebuster! Fans rally while both men get to corners. Juice runs in for the big clothesline. Juice gives a discus clothesline, then runs, but into a complete shot! White drags Juice up with a German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White goes after the bad arm with the Fujiwara! Juice endures the bend from elbow to fingers, but White makes it a modified Rings of Saturn on top. White tortures both arms, but Juice uses his legs for the ropebreak. Juice slips out of the ring but White pursues. White rams Juice into a post, then snap suplexes him into railing! The impact is so hard, it knocks JR out of his seat at commentary! Not that White cares, he just mocks JR and Josh. Josh is about to get in there himself!

White keeps his distance, and JR just wants to find his hat. Red Shoes tries to calm Josh down, but fans let White know he’s an “As*hole!” Josh returns to commentary, but White keeps on Juice. He yanks Juice into a post, then brings out chairs. White prepares a chair like a vice on Juice’s hand! White swings the other chair, but Juice gets his hand out in time! Juice swings at White, but only SMACKS the post. White goes after Juice with another saido suplex! White returns into the ring to refresh the count, then brings Juice up again. Juice grabs White with a headlock and elbows away on White. White clubs Juice back, then reels Juice in for another suplex. Juice slips out, to SPIENBUSTER White onto the apron! Fans are loving the intensity, and rally up for Juice again.

Red Shoes checks on both men, but somehow both men are okay to continue. Juice gets up and into the ring, but White grabs the bad hand. Fans chant “Juice S A!” while White and Juice end up on the apron. White brings Juice up, but Juice swings, only to end up in a complete shot on the apron. White gets up and deadlifts Juice, but Juice grabs ropes. Juice fights for his life, but White clubs away. White pulls but Juice holds on with all he has. The two keep fighting, but Juice elbows White away. Juice then switches, to a SUPER Russian Leg Sweep!! They crash and burn on the ground, and a 20 count begins. Neither man stirs until about 10, and don’t stand until 17! Juice gets in, but White barely makes it at 19.9.

Both men are crawling while fans rally up. They stand in opposite corners, Juice CANNONBALLS! Juice hoists White onto the top rope, then headbutts before climbing up. Fans fire up while Juice prepares something. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! But Juice is not deterred, he has something left. He brings White up, turns him around, but the Unprettier is countered into an armlock! Juice crawls to the ropes and gets the break. White won’t let go, he just throws elbow after elbow! Red Shoes finally gets him to stop, but that doesn’t stop White’s egotistical posing. White brings Juice up, but Juice slips out of the Blade Runner. Juice goes to punch, but Red Shoes reminds him of using the cast! This distraction allows White to EuroUpper, but backslide counter! TWO, Blade– No, Pulp- No, White shoves Juice at Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!

Juice collapses and Red Shoes saw nothing. White runs in, but Juice dodges. Cast hand punch!! Red Shoes still didn’t see it, so Juice gets away with it. Juice drags White back up, turns him, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, TWO?!!? How!? Juice can’t understand why he’s still so far away from the title. But fans rally up for him, they believe in him. Juice stands and fires up! He brings White up, wants it again, but White hits the bad hand. White grabs Juice in the Half-Nelson Suplex! Then, he dodges the left hand for ANOTHER! White calls for his end, and brings Juice up again. Roll up! JUICE WINS!!

Winner: Juice Robinsin, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion

The first American for the American championship!! White’s ego got the better of him, and now Juice is the third-ever IWGP USHC! Juice is so happy, he hugs Red Shoes. White refuses to accept this, but the referee’s decision is final. Red Shoes officially gives Juice the belt, and the celebration truly begins! Will this title’s first American bring it to new heights?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear!

The Bullet Club has been through many transitions since forming as a faction. From the founding Prince Devitt to the Phenomenal AJ Styles to the current iteration, it has been one of the strongest factions in NJPW. But with The Cleaner having finally climbed the mountain, he is ready to settle things with the would-be leader, The American Nightmare. Omega is the face of pro-wrestling today, but will the Son of the Son of a Plumber ruin the dream already?

The belt is presented while fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Fans are definitely more on Omega’s side than Cody’s. For that matter, The Bucks are on Omega’s side more than Cody’s. The bell rings, and we begin.

Omega and Cody stare down, but Cody is again bothered by so many more people being on Omega’s side than on his. They circle, testing each other. Cody shoots a look at The Bucks, but the Bucks just shrug. What did he expect them to do? Cody and Omega circle again and finally tie up. They go around with waistlocks and standing switches, but Cody goes after the hand. Omega reverses, but Cody thumbs the eyes. Fans boo while Cody gruffly acknowledges the ropebreak. They back off, and fans boo and jeer Cody while Omega checks his eyes. The fans aren’t very nice to Cody, either. But Cody just takes it out on Omega as they tie up again.

They go back to a corner, and Omega honors the break. Cody doesn’t with that shove, but Omega keeps from retaliating. The two circle again, tie up, and Omega gets the headlock. Cody powers out, but Omega knocks him back with a shoulder. Cody pie-faces Omega so Omega kicks back. Now Cody gets the headlock but Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over with the shoulder, and motions that the belt will be his. Things speed up and Omega hip tosses. Cody kicks back then headlock takeover but Omega headscissors. Omega headlocks but Cody reverses. Omega powers out to then chop Cody sharp. Cody slips out of the back suplex, kick to dropping uppercut. Omega ends up outside the ring, but Cody pursues.

Cody punches Omega around the way, then bumps Omega off the apron. Fans still curse out Cody, and that distracts him. Omega hits Cody, but Cody rams Omega into the apron. Cody puts Omega in the ring, then stalks him. Cody chops Omega in a corner, then chops again. Omega turns it around to chop back even sharper. Omega goes to chop a third time but Cody turns it around. Cody whips corner to corner but Omega reverses. Omega runs in but Cody goes up and over to hit the spinning powerslam. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while he gets back up.

Cody brings Omega up for a headlock and punches. Omega’s eye is bugging him, but he still reels Cody into a waistlock. Cody elbows out then runs, to duck the boot. Omega elbows back to dropkick the legs out. Omega runs, Kotaro Crusher bulldog! Cody rolls out of the ring, but the Terminator rises. Brandi coaches Cody up, but Omega builds sped. Cody uses Brandi as a shield! But he still get a dropkick. Omega slingshots but misses, and Brandi taunts him. Cody builds speed, to FLY! His springboard splash takes Omega out.

Cody hears the fans boo and jeer again, but he ends up arguing with The Bucks over putting things back in the ring. Cody instead throws Omega into barriers. He then takes off the weight belt, but simply tosses it to Matt. Cody whips Omega to the barriers near the timekeeper’s area instead. Omega boots back, then throws Cody over into the timekeeper’s area. Cody is on the table, but Omega uses the railings to springboard stomp him through it! Fans lose their minds at that one!

Omega regroups with the Bucks, to bring out another table! The Bucks don’t seem to want this either, but the fans sure do! Cody digs himself out of the wreckage, but Omega has the table set up. Omega puts Cody on it with forearms and chops, then climbs up into the ring. Omega takes aim, springboards, but Cody gets away. Luckily Omega saw it in time and he stops himself. But when he comes over to fetch Cody, Cody shoves the table into the ribs! Those ribs were banged up at Dominion, so Omega is a bit slow to returning to the ring. Cody kicks him on reentry, then clotheslines to complete shot! Cover, TWO!

Cody is frustrated, and he tries again, TWO. Omega gets to ropes but Cody is on him. Cody stretches Omega back against the ropes, then brings Omega over for clubbing forearms. He drives an elbow into Omega’s head, and then big body shots into those ribs. Fans duel while Cody throws Omega with an X-Plex. Cover, TWO, but Cody keeps Omega grounded. Cody shows off with push-ups, which fans boo and jeer. Omega chops Cody, but Cody puts Omega’s leg on the rope to kick the thigh. Cody drags Omega up while shouting at the Bucks. Cody snapmares then cravats Omega on the mat.

Omega endures while fans rally up. Omega pries his way out of the hold, then kicks Cody in the head. He clubs Cody int he back, then throws forearms. Cody knees low and whips, but Omega reverses into fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape”, but Cody does. Even so, Omega gets Cody with headscissors! Cody rolls out and tips over the table for good measure. Omega builds speed, to FLY! He wipes Cody out with the tope conjilo. Omega gets back up and puts Cody in the ring. Fans fire up as Omega climbs. Cody stands, and gets the missile dropkick to the back! Omega drags Cody up, cross-leg fisherman neckbreaker!

But Omega isn’t done there, as he loads up and BANG! Omega runs, but Cody dodges the Vi-Trigger. Waistlock but standing switch, V-Trigger at point blank. Omega tries the wristlock but Cody standing switches. Cody German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet, another point-blank V-Trigger! Omega brings Cody up, Snap Dragon Suplex! Cody is dazed, but Omega is far from done with him. Cody elbows out of the full nelson, but they standing switch around, Cody copies the Snap Dragon! Both men crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms. Cody kicks low, then throws forearms. Omega hits back, but Cody still comes back. Omega fires off three, then a boot. He runs, sunset flip, but Cody rolls through to Figure Four!

Omega endures the legendary hold, and fans rally up. Omega works to roll it over, but Cody holds it in place. Cody throws a haymaker, but so does Omega. They go back and forth, brawling while the leg hold is on. Cody wrenches the Figure Four but Omega starts slapping him. Cody slaps back, but Omega slaps harder. Omega then turns it over! Now Cody endures the pain! Cody gets the ropebreak, and the two separate. Fans rally up again while Cody bails out of the ring. Brandi checks on him, but Omega has since pulled out a ladder! The Bucks are definitely not for this. But Cody has himself a chair! This isn’t a TLC match, but it’s becoming one.

Omega puts the ladder in the ring while Cody has his chair. Red Shoes stops Cody from using the chair, so Cody just scoop slams Omega on that ladder! Cody positions the ladder to his liking, sticking it out from the apron. He goes over to Omega, but Omega resists with body shots. Omega suplexes but Cody fights out. Cody lifts, gordbuster ON the ladder! Matt & Nick check on Omega, but he’s somehow okay to continue. Cody puts the ladder all the way in the ring, then embraces the heat. Red Shoes reprimands him as he brings Omega up and puts him into the timekeeper’s railing. The railing also hits the ring announcer, so it’s not just Omega in pain.

Cody grabs the table and brings it back. The Bucks keep trying to talk sense into these tow, but neither man is listening. Cody stands the ladder up. Omega sees it as he rests against the table. Cody bumps Omega off the table, then sets him on the wood. He shoves the Bucks out of the way, but they take offense to that. Red Shoes keeps Matt from disqualifying this match, though you have to question the TLC element. Cody climbs, but Omega follows! The Bucks shout for them to climb down, but they instead brawl atop the steel. Fans chant “Please Don’t Die!” as both men teeter. Cody slaps, Omega SLAPS. Omega tells the Bucks to get back, because he grabs Cody for a… SUPER SUPERPLEX! But from CODY!

They crash land in the ring rather than through table, but it’s still just as crazy. Cody and Omega crawl for each other, “This is Awesome!” Cody covers, TWO!! But barely, as Omega only gets the one shoulder. Fans rally up for them again, but it’s Cody who rolls out. He asks Brandi for help walking over. She obliges, but he’s not retreating. Cody snatches the belt, and holds it up like it’s already his. The Bucks still try to reason with him, but it’s futile.

Cody brings the belt in, and aims at Omega. Red Shoes stops Cody, and Omega pounces with the Reverse-Rana! Omega stands up, reloads, but then Cody resists the electric chair. Cody shoves Omega into Red Shoes, but Omega shoves Red Shoes out of the way for safety. Beautiful Disaster kick! But no ref means no count, so no point in covering. However, it also means no rules, so Cody picks up the belt. Cody aims at Omega, but the Bucks plead with him not to. Fans boo and jeer, so Cody skips the bet. He wants Cross Rhodes but Omega slips out. Omega swings, full nelson into CROSS RHODES! Red Shoes returns, Cody covers, TWO!!

Everyone is down, and that includes Red Shoes. The Bucks take this time to get that ladder out of the ring, they don’t want this to go overboard any further. Cody stands up and grabs Omega. Omega slips out and whips Cody into a V-Trigger! He loads, BANG, V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, electric chair, but Cody reverses into Di– No, heel kick from Omega to Cody! Then, corner to corner V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, powerbomb lift, Doctor Bomb! TWO, so V-Trigger! Omega shows no mercy as he gives another V-Trigger! And with a running start, Cody blocks that Trigger, but only for a moment. Omega double underhooks but Cody resists. Omega backslides but Cody rolls through, V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down from exhaustion, but fans are loving this. The Terminator drums begin, and Omega stands first. He brings Cody up, but Cody still resists the electric chair. Omega clubs away on the back, then electric chair lifts. He spins Cody around, but Cody resists. Even so, POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! The table didn’t break, but maybe Cody did. The Bucks and Red Shoes check on Cody while Omega catches his breath in the ring. Brandi also checks on Cody, but Omega continues to show no mercy. The 20 count begins, and Omega brings Cody up and over at 8. Fans cheer, because they appreciate Omega wants to win this in the ring.

Omega reloads, BANG, but Brandi becomes Cody’s shield again. It’s her husband, after all, and she doesn’t want him to take any more damage. But even Cody says she needs to exit the ring, this is still a match. Omega BANG, then runs, but into a BIG lariat from Cody! Cody is too far away and too sore for a cover, though, and Omega gets up first. Cody follows, but Omega hits first. They trade forearms back and forth, then shift to chops. Omega brings it back to forearms, but Cody shoves. Cody runs into a V-Trigger, then Omega gives another. Omega double underhooks, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Cody shows heart, but Omega shows his mean-streak, with another V-Trigger. Omega lifts Cody in the electric chair, One-Winged Angel! Cover, Omega wins!

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

The Best Match Machine succeeds in his first ever defense of the top title. He fought so hard to get it, and he fought hard to keep it. Cody himself fought hard in trying to take it, but was just not strong enough. Omega takes Cody’s hand and helps him up to his feet, and the fans applaud the sportsmanship. The two look each other in the eyes, but not a word is said. Brandi helps Cody exit while Omega raises the belt in victory. Does this match mark the end of the Civil War?

Omega speaks.

“This is my first title defense as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I’m proud that I could do it in a legendary building such as the Cow Palace.” But most importantly, he’s proud he could do it in front of these fans. Omega didn’t understand before how a line forms to knock the champion down. But they’re all human, they’re all deserving of second chances. Even Cody deserves one, and this effort tonight was “nothing short of valiant.”

Whether it be a pro-wrestler, an idol, or someone working at the popcorn stand, we all need to be given the very best life possible. Omega promises to give us the very best matches against anyone and everyone on the roster. There was speculation that this show wouldn’t go well, but from what he can tell, this place is full and the fans were lively as Hell. So thank you for everything, but he must now bid you adieu. “Good-bye, mwah, and good-night BANG.” This new chapter for Omega’s NJPW is just beginning. The rest of Bullet Club meets The Elite on the ramp to celebrate and throw up Too Sweets! But then Tama Tonga attacks?!

It’s a coup! The chief of the Tongan sub-faction and his brother and father beat down Omega in the ring!! Gun-Stun Bomb!! The Civil War is far from over, as Haku & GoD beat down the Bucks. But here comes Hangman! Hangman fights off the Tongans, but only for so long. Loa runs him over, then scoops him for a slam. So here comes Scurll! He has his umbrella and he tees off, until Tonga gets him with Gun-Stun. The Bucks are back up, but Haku knocks them back down. Tonga says “You did this!” to Omega, as if it’s his fault.

The other members, Yujiro & Chase Owens, come out to try and sort this out. But it seems not even they are safe! Loa saido suplexes Yujiro, then Chase gets hit with the spinning neckbreaker! The Tongans don’t stop here, as they bring in the chairs from the main event to SMACK anyone that moves. Haku then gives Omega the throat thrust for good measure.

What was meant to be a moment of celebration for all is ruined by this revolting revolution. Fans boo and jeer, but perhaps this is Tama Tonga the OG member bringing The Club back to its roots. Wait, Cody returns! Is he even able to fight in his condition? He hobbles his way to the ring either way, but he’s on Tama Tonga’s side?! NOPE! He attacks the Tongans! Only to get a Stun Gun! Then Omega is fed to Haku, father and sons hit a piledriver on the chair. The Tongan #FiringSquad has just downed the rest of the club without mercy. “This is family! There ain’t no leader!” The silver lining: Cody and Omega are back on the same side. Is this the beginning of a new and even more brutal Civil War?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Simply incredible. NJPW goes for over 4 hours, but all of it was spectacular. As a bonus, their match card went in the order it was advertised where a WWE card feels like it’s on shuffle. The opening 10 Man was a nice opener, and I did not get a hint of foreshadowing towards the end, which makes it even better. Isshi-Yano surprised me, I thought Suzuki-Sabre were going to win again. But I suppose this extends their story, because Ishii VS Suzuki is something I’d watch all the time. Then Hangman & Scurll win, so another point for Bullet Club. It almost resembles Dominion, where that was basically dominated by The Club. I was hoping Cobb would beat Goto, but perhaps it’s too soon for him to win a title in NJPW when he’s just debuted and is unaffiliated.

The Young Bucks score again for Bullet Club, and I loved the parallels and upgrades to the Dominion match. Okada looks odd in gear that isn’t what he was wearing as champion. Good to see him and Ospreay basically bounce back from their losses, but it also makes you wonder where Naito is going from his. At least LIJ still has Hiromu, he and Dragon Lee surprised everyone with all that was going on. Hiromu is definitely best junior right now. That US title match was great, White and Juice brought each other up to new levels. I really thought Josh was gonna beat the crap out of White, but obviously between the kayfabe of commentator and wrestler not being able to get violent, and the result of Juice FINALLY being champion, what we got was the superior choice.

Cody VS Omega was also insane, and the story of the Bucks and even Brandi trying to keep things from going too far was a great touch. In the end, Omega wins because it’d be a shame to end his reign so soon. And of course, that swerve from the Tongans was not expected at all. At least, not here tonight. Tama Tonga hinted at wanting to go against Omega in the past, but to think he’d do it in such riotous fashion with his brother and his father by his side. As I said, great to see Cody is back on the same side with Omega, but I have a feeling that (aside from Bad Luck Fale and possibly Taiji Ishimori) Tama Tonga will bring in more people to his side in order to match who Omega has on his side (The Bucks, Hangman, Scurll, Cody, Chase & Yujiro).

My Score: 9.7/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/15/21)

The Dusty Cup comes to 205 Live!

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Coverage 205 2021

The Dusty Cup features the Cruiserweight Division… and Killian Dain?

For the first time ever, 205 Live gets to be part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! Who will leap out of the sweet sixteen into the second round?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz; El Legado del Fantasma wins and advances.
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; Maverick & Dain win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz!

Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza want to follow in the footsteps of Santos Escobar, and that means getting titles! But Samir & Sunil Singh want the same, so that they can shine even brighter! Will the lights, camera and Bollywood action be left on the cutting room floor by Death From Above and the Technical Assassin?

The teams sort out and Mendoza starts against Sunil. Sunil and Mendoza circle, fans rally up as they tie up, and Mendoza wrenches to a wristlock. Sunil rolls, wrenches back, but Mendoza wrenches again to wristlock. Sunil gets up, trips Mendoza up and gets a headlock. Mendoza gets up, Sunil wrenches and yanks on the arm over and over! Sunil wristlocks, Mendoza knees low and hard, then whips. Sunil reverses, Mendoza goes up and over and things speed up, Mendoza runs Sunil over! Fans fire up with Mendoza and he runs, but Sunil drops to hurdle then monkey flip! Mendoza flounders up but Sunil clotheslines him out!

Sunil dares Mendoza to come back and Mendoza does, into an arm-drag! Sunil has the arm, Mendoza fights up, but Samir tags in. The Bollywood Boyz double whip, double shoulder and double elbow! Cover, ONE, but Samir keeps on Mendoza down with an armlock. Mendoza fights up, whips free but Samir gets around to crucifix takedown! TWO, and Samir wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Another arm-drag and Samir is back on the arm! Mendoza moves around, Samir keeps on the hold, and fans rally as Mendoza fights up. Mendoza pulls hair to put Samir in the corner, Wilde tags in but runs into a drop toehold!

Samir has the arm, Wilde pulls on an ear and whips, but Samir holds on tight to wrangle Wilde down! Tag to Sunil, they whip Wilde and leap frog, to then double hip toss! Cover, TWO! Sunil wrenches, tags Samir back in and Samir hops up to drop ax handles. Wilde knees low, goes to buckle bump but Samir blocks to give the bump first! Samir ducks Mendoza’s sucker punch to punch back, but Wilde gets him for a DDT! Wilde stomps Samir, brings him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Mendoza, he CHOPS Samir then taunts Sunil. Mendoza runs in and clotheslines, tag to Wilde! Wilde clotheslines and tags, then Mendoza repeats the process! Double suplex! Cover, TWO!

Wilde keeps on Samir and throws him out hard! Wilde goes out, Mendoza talks trash, and Wilde bumps Samir off the announce desk! Wilde drags Samir back into the ring as fans rally up. Wilde cravats and cranks on Samir’s neck, but Samir fights up and body shots free! Wilde whips Samir hard into buckles! Tag to Mendoza, El Legado drags Samir up and double whip him to ropes. Samir kicks back, Mendoza clubs him, then a whip, but Samir reverses to send Mendoza into Wilde! Mendoza shoves Samir to the Legado corner but Samir dodges and Mendoza gets POST! Fans rally up as Samir crawls, hot tag to Sunil!

Sunil rallies on Mendoza with forearms and elbows, then a whip! And a BACK DROP on the rebound! Sunil keeps going, atomic drop and a running WINDMILL KICK! Wilde returns but Sunil DECKS him! Sunil goes out to bump Wilde off the 205 Live logo over and over! Mendoza runs out but he gets the same! Sunil puts Mendoza in, climbs up top and leaps, BIG ax handles! Cover, TWO! Escobar is ice cold as Samir tags in. Sunil hoists Mendoza up, FLYING UPPERCUT SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mendoza is still in this but Samir throws haymakers in the corner. Samir hoists Mendoza up top, climbs, but Mendoza fights back! They brawl, Samir clubs Mendoza but Wilde anchors him!

Sunil YANKS Wilde down, tags in and then Samir SUPERPLEXES Mendoza! Sunil add the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, but Wilde breaks it! Not even the Bollywood remake of Power ‘n’ Glory could do it! Samir goes after Wilde with fury, then whips, only for Wilde to send him into steel steps! The ref reprimands but Mendoza gets Sunil with a FLIPPING DRIVER! Tag to Wilde, Electric Chair FLYING CODE BREAKER! Then the ENZIGURI LEG SWEEP! Cover, and Mendoza intercepts Samir, El Legado wins!

Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

Wilde and Mendoza make Escobar very proud, but this was just the opening round. Will Legado del Fantasma grow even stronger as the Dusty Classic continues?

 

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain make final preparations.

Maverick pins up the doodle of him and Dain, only for Dain to pull it back down. Dain puts on his wrist and hand tape, so Maverick does the same. Dain asks why he keeps mirroring him? Maverick says it’s 2021, a new year, a new look as they’re now matching. Look, Maverick’s a denim jeans guy now! Dain wants Maverick to promise him he fixed the music. He did! The new theme has a lot of rock to open, Dain is satisfied. Will Dain do the dance if they win? No. Not even if they win? Maverick quickly pins up the doodle again, will it be a good luck charm for the odd couple?

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!

The Lonestar and #RetroAG did great as a team in their first outing last week, but now it’s the real deal! Will Stallion and Grey ride into the second round with high spirits? Or will they be brought down by Rockstar Spud and the Belfast Beast?

The new music hits, and it’s to Dain’s liking, but then it morphs into a remix of that whistling theme Maverick had in the first place. Well, it’s fitting for their brand of dysfunction. The teams sort out and Stallion starts against Maverick. They circle and tie up, Stallion headlocks but Maverick powers out, only for Stallion to run him over. Stallion stares Maverick down as they reset and start again. They tie up, Stallion headlocks again but Maverick works on an escape. Fans rally, Maverick powers out but Stallion runs him over again. Things speed up, Maverick hurdles then throws Stallion out, to do some skipping.

Stallion runs back in but is sent back out! Maverick does more skip step, but Stallion comes back to tie up. Stallion whips Maverick to a corner, Maverick goes up and over and does his trot. Stallion rushes in, only for Maverick to hip toss and calf kick him down to an armlock! Maverick wrenches the arm, but Stallion pushes free to tag in Grey. Grey is fired up because it’s the Dusty Classic! He dares “big man” Maverick to bring it, and Maverick says one moment. He tags to Dain! Dain is a bit bigger than 205 but Grey still ties up with him. Dain pushes Grey away to a corner! Grey comes back, ties up with Dain again and gets a headlock, but Dain powers out to run Grey over!

Dain runs, Grey ducks and hurdles, but he decides to avoid the punch. Grey leaps but the crossbody bounces off of Dain! Dain tags in Grey, they double whip Grey and Dain uses Maverick to trip Grey up for the back senton! Human weapon, scoop slam senton! Maverick covers, ONE! Maverick clamps onto an arm, wrenches, and Dain tags in. Dain BOOTS Grey down, then fireman’s carries Maverick for the SWINGING BOOTS! Dain even RAMS Stallion with Maverick! Dain lets Maverick go back to the corner so he can CLUB Grey! Dain then fireman’s carries Grey but Grey slips out to tag in Stallion!

The Cruiserweights go after the heavyweight together! Mule kick, front kick, forearm and ROLLING ELBOW! They bring Dain in but Dain DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Grey and Stallion bail out, Maverick tags in and he says Dain is the one to dive?! Fans want to see it and Dain gives it a try, only to pick up Maverick and TOSS him! Maverick topples Stallion and Grey over and fans fire up! Dain goes out to fetch Stallion into the ring and then puts Maverick in. Dain clubs Grey down and Maverick covers, TWO! Maverick hikes up his pants and brings Stallion up, but Stallion hits a REVERSE NECKBREAKER!

Tag to Grey and Grey whips Maverick. Leap frog into HEADBUTT, then the BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Grey clamps on tight with a chinlock and Maverick endures. Fans rally up, Maverick fights up, but Grey keeps him from Dain. Maverick keeps trying but Grey wrangles him away. Fans duel now as Maverick fights up. Maverick throws body shots, backs Grey down, but Grey CLUBS Maverick first! Grey back suplexes, Maverick lands on his feet, and boots Grey away! Maverick hits Stallion for good measure, slides under Grey and hot tags Dain! Dain rallies with big clotheslines, then he TOSSES Stallion in! They both get LARIATS!

Dain brings Grey around for an OVERHEAD suplex! Dain runs in to corner splash Stallion, then does the same to Grey! He whips Grey into Stallion and SHOTGUN DROPKICKS them both down! Stallion staggers, but into an URENAGE! SLINGSHOT SENTON! Dain has the fans fired up as he aims at Grey, but Grey dodges, only to get the DIVIDE! Cover, but Stallion breaks it! Dain grabs Stallion and whips him to a corner, but misses to get buckles! Stallion runs at Maverick but gets double boots! Maverick rolls Stallion to his feet for a JUMPING NECKBREAKER! Grey staggers, blocks a kick and KNEES Maverick! Dragon sleeper to a SPINNING POWERSLAM! But Dain drops a senton on Grey!

Fans fire up as Grey runs but Stallion gets around him to waistlock. Stallion tries to lift, Grey SUPERKICKS Dain into the GERMAN! Bridging cover, ONE! Stallion tries a lateral press, but Maverick breaks it! Grey and Maverick brawl, Maverick hits him and Stallion back and forth! Fast hands and feet, but he gets mugged 2v1! Stallion and Grey stomp Maverick in the corner, CHOP him, then whip him corner to corner. Dain puts Maverick on the outside to BOOT Grey and buckle bump Stallion! Tag to Maverick, BOOTS at the corner! Dain drags Stallion up, Maverick LEAPS to take out Grey!

Dain POWERBOMBS Stallion! Maverick wants a high-five, but he gets used as a human weapon again, POWERBOMB SENTON! Cover, Maverick and Dain win!

Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

One of the more unique combinations in this year’s Dusty Cup gets through to the next round! But they’re going up against a couple of rascals in MSK, will the dysfunction fall apart?


My Thoughts:

A pretty good 205 Live that at least got over half an hour this time. Legado VS Bollywood Boyz was a good opener, and it makes sense for Legado to advance. There is always a good story behind a faction wanting to have title belts for each member, but there’s a good chance they’re facing Imperium next round. Imperium wants to do the same thing between both NXT and NXT UK, and Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner will definitely want to get back to the titles. In the end, I don’t see Legado or Imperium being Dusty Cup winners, though.

Maverick & Dain VS Stallion & Grey was a good match, but with Stallion having the Cruiserweight title shot in his back pocket, and with Maverick & Dain being a fan favorite combo, it makes sense Maverick & Dain won. I just knew that Maverick’s new choice for a theme was really just a swerve. Dain & Maverick are probably losing to MSK, though, as MSK are new and it’d mean a lot more if they got into the semifinals. Though again, I wouldn’t see Dain & Maverick winning the cup, even if there is some story there between them and Lorcan-Burch. Though that would be a great shocker.

My Score: 8.3/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/15/21)

Will Scrap Daddy sign on the dotted line?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

SmackDown sets a contract signing for Roman Reigns VS Adam Pearce!

Despite being furious with the WWE official, the Head of the Table made Adam Pearce the new #1 contender for his WWE Universal Championship! But will Scrap Daddy find that that’s punishment enough?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso; Nakamura wins.
  • Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay; Natalya wins.
  • Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan; Cesaro wins.
  • Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn; Crews wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns sits in his room.

He looks over the contract for the WWE Universal Championship match, and Paul Heyman says it’s the same stuff all the time. Cookie cutter, boiler plate WWE garbage. This one just happens to be for the Royal Rumble 2021. Heyman hates it, too, didn’t like it from the moment he started reading, but the match does need a stipulation. It needs the stipulation of letting Roman be Roman. Heyman can take this off Roman’s hands to bring to Adam Pearce. Roman silently hands the contract over and Heyman says he can consider this handled. But what exactly will Heyman suggest as a stipulation for The Head of the Table VS Scrap Daddy, a man who hasn’t wrestled in roughly six years?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso!

The King of Strong Style’s rise through the gauntlet last week was epic, but also abruptly ended as Roman Reigns and his cousin got involved. Jey welcomes us to SmackDown, and says it’s The Bloodline Show! Because Jey and Cuz Roman run this! Not Adam Pearce! Not Kevin Owens! Not nobody in the WWE Universe! Their family calls the shots, Uce! Pearce, be careful. You’re going to wish you kept that suit on. But if you thought they’re just satisfied with SmackDown, think again! Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, the provider, needs to be thanked by all the talent in the back! The food in catering, “Thank you, Roman!” You being relevant for the first time in your careers, “Thank you, Roman!”

Jey says as far as being the right hand man, he’s trying to get his, too. The family is expanding! Step one, Jey officially declares for the Rumble! Step two, he’ll win the match! Step three, he’ll whoop Drew McIntyre, “Oldberg” and any WWE World Champion so that the Bloodline WILL be the entire WWE! But first, there’s business with Nakamura. Everyone talks about Shinsuke in the gauntlet. He did good, had to survive and advance, facing one man after another, match after match. Nakamura beat Mysterio, he beat Baron “Big Head” Corbin, and even Daniel Bryan! But as soon as they said, “NOPE, not tonight, Uce!” DONE! Out like a light!

So Jey tells Nakamura to thank them! They let him survive! Now he wants to step up and fight? King of Strong Style? Let’s see how strong you really are then, bruh! You know as soon as you cross the family, you leave the ThunderDome on a stretcher! But here comes Nakamura! And Nakamura has a mic to respond, “If your cousin, Roman Reigns, is the Big Dog, that makes you… His little puppy!” And then Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES Jey down! They have their match after the break, will Jey be able to get this for the Bloodline?

SmackDown returns, the bell rings, and the two fire off forearms! Nakamura backs Jey down, Jey shoves but Nakamura knocks him down! Nakamura drags Jey up, snapmares and drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps on Jey with a grinding headlock, but Jey powers up and powers out. Things speed up, Jey drops then knocks Nakamura over with an elbow! Jey drops elbows on Nakamura and Nakamura gets to a corner. Jey is after Nakamura at the ropes, scoops him and slams him! Cover, ONE! Jey drags Nakamura up, throws haymakers, but Nakamura body shots back! Nakamura backs Jey down with forearms but Jey hits and whips hard!

Nakamura writhes on the mat but Jey brings him up to whip again. Nakamura reverses, break frees, misses the roundhouse but not the windmill kick! Nakamura follows up with knees into Jey’s shoulders and ribs! Nakamura bumps Jey off buckles, brings him up and suplexes for a gourd buster! Then he throws in more knees! Nakamura stomps Jey to the corner, the ref has Nakamura let off. Nakamura comes back to stomp Jey again, then lets off for a moment. He brings Jey back up into a sleeper hold! Jey endures as Nakamura shifts to a chinlock and grinds him down. Jey fights his way back up, but Nakamura throws knees.

Nakamura puts Jey in the corner to give some Bad Vibrations! But wait, Cesaro is heading to the ring! Cesaro is Nakamura’s tag team partner so maybe he’s showing support. Nakamura dropkicks Jey then POSTS him! The Swiss Cyborg cheers Nakamura on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Nakamura stomps Jey around at the ropes. Jey goes to a corner, Cesaro is on commentary and Nakamura whips Jey corner to corner. Cesaro knows he has his match with Daniel Bryan later but he wants to cheer his friend and tag partner on. Nakamura runs corner to corner but Jey throws him out! Jey kicks, Nakamura blocks and spins but Jey dragon whips him down! Michael Cole wonders where Cesaro was last week when Nakamura was getting beat up, but Cesaro says Tropicana Field, the new home of the ThunderDome, is very big. He was too late getting here, the cameras cut away and Michael Cole probably left.

Jey puts Nakamura in the ring with some force, then glares at Cesaro before going to Nakamura. Jey ROCKS Nakamura with the uppercut then clubs him down! Jey stomps, Cesaro says HE is entering the Rumble, and Jey stalks Nakamura to a corner. Jey digs his claws in, stomps away, but lets off as the ref counts, only to get around and fire off forearms and stomps! The ref backs Jey off, but Jey comes back to HIP ATTACK in the corner! Jey stomps Nakamura more, the ref counts but Jey stops at 3. Fans give thumbs down on their screens, Jey goes back to a corner, then runs corner to corner again, into the DYNAMIC DROPKICK!

Nakamura fires up as he sees Jey get up. Nakamura KICKS Jey back down, then KICKS away on his legs! Nakamura whips, kitchen sink knees then sliding KNEES to add on! Jey gets up, Nakamura stalks him and runs in but into a boot! Jey boots again but Nakamura spins him into the ropes, SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows frustrated but he drags Jey back up. Jey fights off the exploder and throws forearms. Jey shoves, fireman’s carries, and SAMOAN DROPS! Cover, TWO! Cesaro admits Jey is a great wrestler because of their history in tag team competition, but never underestimate Nakamura. Speaking of, Nakamura fires off a strike fest!

Jey ducks the forearm to mule kick then uppercut! Back suplex to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives but Jey heads for a corner. Jey sees Nakamura get to a corner so he goes back in and runs in, but into buckles! Nakamura KICKS, climbs up, FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura fires up and aims from a corner! “YAO~!” SUPERKICK FROM JEY!! Jey heads to a corner, climbs up top, and USO SPLASHES onto knees! Nakamura saves himself and rises as Jey goes to a corner. Nakamura runs in but only gets post! Jey rolls Nakamura, has his feet on ropes, but the ref sees it just in time!

Jey protests that the ref was already counting three! The ref says it’s at his discretion when the bell rings, but Nakamura rolls Jey to a KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall

The Swiss Cyborg celebrates with the King of Strong Style! Cesaro is in the Men’s Royal Rumble, gunning for Roman Reigns, will Nakamura look to do the same?

 

Sonya Deville talks with Adam Pearce.

They’re going over a copy of the title match contract, and she says she’s looked up his past stuff on YouTube. To her, he’s still got it. Pearce appreciates that, but he hasn’t been that guy in a long time, and even that guy couldn’t handle Roman Reigns. Sonya says he shouldn’t think like that. But then in walks Heyman with his copy of the contract. Heyman presents the agreement from the Tribal Chief. Pearce now holds “the opportunity of a lifetime!” Not only does Pearce get to main event the Royal Rumble PPV, he has the opportunity that was never presented to Scrap Daddy.

This opportunity is not only at the Universal Heavyweight Championship, but against the single biggest star in all of sports entertainment, Roman Reigns. And not only that, but the stipulation, “my GOD,” Sonya’s perfume is effective. But that said, this is actually tilted in Pearce’s favor. This is a match under NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! So this is the part of the pitch that it’s somehow for Pearce’s benefit. He’ll still sign it, even though we all know it’s ridiculous. This only means Pearce gets injured, which is exactly what Heyman wants. But Pearce put his name on the contract, will he be able to prepare now that he knows what’s coming?

 

Jey Uso shouts at referee Charles Robinson backstage!

Three is three! Shoulders were on the mat! How long has he been doing this job?! Yes, Nakamura’s shoulders were on the mat, but Jey’s FEET were on the ROPES! You don’t think Jey knows rules? Charles has to do his job! Didn’t his daughter just get married? He’s about to get fired by The Chief. What? Jey’s veiled threat is clear, is no one safe from Roman’s wrath?

 

Backstage interview with The Street Profits!

Kayla Braxston asks Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins if it was wise to put their SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler only a week after the vicious attack that injured Ford’s leg? Ford says you can call them a lot of things, like playboys, honorary Vikings, and “two dudes who’re dying to get drawn up as Simpsons characters,” but one thing they cannot, will not and shall not be called is scared. “On March 2nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2020,” the Profits became World Tag Team Champions! For 312 historic days, every single team that stepped up got dealt with! So for them not to accept a challenge would be disrespecting the very legacy they’re trying to build!

There are a bunch of names for the new champions. Roode-Dolph. The Two Aces. The Dirty Dawgs. ED. Whoa, whoa, keep it PG. No, it stands for “Entertainment Dysfunction.” That’s good! And now… Champions. But you best believe the Profits will run it back! It ain’t no rerun, fam. What they did to Ford had him limping for a minute. But when the sequel happens, they’ll drop bodies like they’re entering the Blood House. Tell ’em why, fam. Because the Profits are UP, even though they’re down right now. And #WeWantTheSmoke!

 

Roman Reigns talks Apollo Crews!

“You’ve gotta believe it. It’s all about control.” If Apollo doesn’t get it, then who will? Understood? Apollo does believe. Heyman returns and has the contract “sign, sealed and delivered.” Roman allows Apollo to stay and watch this and learn from it. The stipulation is No Disqualifications. Pearce signed? Yes. Well Roman chooses not to sign. He never wanted No DQ, never said he wanted No DQ. He wants it as… a LAST MAN STANDING MATCH.

What?! But Adam Pearce will never go for that! Oh he will. Because Heyman will make him. Heyman needs to tell Pearce that they’re going to sign this in the ring tonight. And then it’ll be considered “Handled.” Roman continues to talk with Apollo about how this is about control. Is Roman going to control this entire situation so it plays out how he wants it?

 

Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay!

The two second-generation superstars ditched the Femme Fatale and became a duo themselves, but now Billie’s hopped on a new bandwagon! Will she be able to help the Riott Squad keep things on track? Or will this mismatched trio fall apart before it gets going?

Billie joins commentary and the bell rings. Liv and Natty tie up, go around, and Natty puts Liv on the ropes. The ref counts, Natty lets off and shoves Liv. Liv pushes back! Liv counters the punch to a headlock, Natty powers out but Liv dodges and huricanranas! Billie cheers Liv on as she runs in and back body blocks Natty in a corner! Liv whips, Natty reverses but Liv stops herself and elbows back. They knuckle lock, Natty pushes and turns Liv, then throws her up and over. Liv lands on her feet to monkey flip! Both women are down but they spring up! Natty trips Liv, Liv pushes back and wheelbarrows, but Natty makes it a STUNGUN!

Billie and Ruby are worried but Billie says to walk it off. Natty fires off on Liv in the corner then tells the ref to shut up. “You think this is a joke, Liv?!” Natty pushes Liv, drags her up, and snap suplexes! And then KICKS Liv in the back! Liv crawls, Natty brings her back up but Liv resists the suplex to cradle counter! TWO, and Natty LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Billie cheers Liv on more but Natty brings Liv up to a Canadian rack and backbreaker stretch! Natty tells Billie to shut up as she jams Liv harder. Liv fights with elbows, gets to ropes and then the apron. Natty throws a haymaker but Liv hits back! Liv slingshots and sunset flips, TWO!

Liv kicks low, front kicks then enziguris! Natty goes to a corner, Billie cheers Liv on again, and Liv runs in to SHINING WIZARD! Liv stomps away on Natty in the corner, the ref counts and Liv lets off at 4. Natty throws Liv into buckles! Then DISCUS LARIAT! Billie panics as Natty covers, TWO! Billie shouts as Natty tries for the Sharpshooter, and Liv cradle counters, TWO!! LIV BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Natty survives and Billie protests. Tamina is there and Billie gets a little too close. Tamina gets after Billie and Billie says she didn’t do anything. Billie gets in the ring?! And in everyone’s way! Natty rolls Liv up!! Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by pinfall

Billie realizes what happened and she apologizes, but still says the ref wasn’t counting right earlier. Will Billie ever get it right on SmackDown?

 

Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

The moment the King of Lucha was eliminated from the gauntlet by the King of Strong Style last week, the Lone Wolf King attacked them both! Corbin added insult to injury but now Rey wants payback! Will Rey trump the King of the Ring on the road to the Royal Rumble?

SmackDown returns as Corbin goes to the ring and Dominik joins commentary. The bell rings, Mysterio and Corbin circle and approach. Rey slides under, Corbin gets him with a choke grip but the choke slam is turned into a huricanrana! Rey rams Corbin in a corner but Corbin whips him away into buckles and then CLOBBERS him! Corbin mocks Dominik on commentary then puts Rey in a corner. Corbin ties an arm up on the ropes, throws body shots then throws haymakers. Rey goes to the other corner, Corbin stalks him and back suplexes high and hard! Cover, ONE! Corbin is annoyed already and he drags Rey up for another back suplex, only for Rey to counter with a BULLDOG!

Rey goes after Corbin but Corbin knees low and slides Rey out! Corbin slides out to then CLOBBER Rey again! Corbin stares Dominik down as the ring count starts. Dominik stands up but Corbin shoves him down! Corbin says Dominik’s not going to do anything to cost Rey and then he puts Rey in to cover, TWO! Corbin keeps Rey in the ring, brings him around to choke on ropes and taunt Dominik at the same time. Dominik say she’s going to let Rey fight his fight because he trusts in him. Corbin drags Rey up, talks some smack, then runs to DECK Rey with a right hand! Corbin says Dominik’s only good as a cheerleader, but then Rey gets up to dropkick the legs out!

Rey goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, seated senton! And then a springboard, but into Corbin’s arms! Corbin pops Rey up to a fireman’s carry but Rey sits up to rain down rights! Rey spins and ranas Corbin onto ropes! Dial it up, DEEP SIX!! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious as Rey survives! Rey crawls to a corner and gets to his feet. Dominik says he’s learned resilience from his father, and Rey dodges Corbin. Corbin slides out, in but into a boot! Rey runs, slides, but Corbin ducks under to throw an elbow! Dominik stands up again and Corbin taunts him again. Corbin puts Rey in then SUCKER PUNCHES Dominik! But Rey 619’s Corbin at the apron!

Rey keeps Dominik calm and out of the ring but then Corbin shoves Rey into Dominik! END OF DAYS!! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: King Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King used father and son against each other quite literally and he took the win from them! Will he continue to play on the “family drama” as the Royal Rumble approaches?

 

Adam Pearce comes across Paul Heyman in the hallway.

Has Roman signed the contract? Heyman says there’s a bit of a wrinkle. No, Roman hasn’t signed the contract. But Heyman says it’s because Roman agreed with Pearce’s concerns. What does that say to the WWE management and the fans to deliver a No DQ match as the main event of the Royal Rumble for the WWE Universal Championship and Adam Pearce’s return to wrestling? No DQ is not enough! Where is Heyman going with this? Roman VS Pearce, at the Royal Rumble, LAST MAN STANDING. What is with these people?! Oh~ Pearce wonders who that favors. Well Heyman isn’t really into spoilers.

Heyman says Pearce can take his time because they can address this in the ring later tonight. Heyman will leave Pearce to his thoughts, and considers this business “handled.” Will Pearce do what Roman wants?

 

Rey and Dominik talk backstage.

Rey wants Dominik to calm down but Dominik says he’s been fighting giants like Corbin his entire career. Now, NOW Rey backs down? Rey didn’t back down, he’s being smart. He suggests Dom do the same. You don’t pick a fight without a plan. Corbin has been a WWE United States Champion, Mr. Money in the Bank and King of the Ring. He’s even a former Golden Gloves boxer! Dom doesn’t care about what Corbin’s done! Well if Dom wants to take care of Corbin, Rey knows just the guy to talk to. Who is it that will give the Mysterios the upper hand on the Wolf King?

 

SmackDown presents Bayley’s brand new talk show!

DING DONG, HELLO~! Bayley walks in through the door, has an arm chair and a plaque commemorating her 380 day reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion. She welcomes us to HER talk show, which is already bigger than Marvel’s WandaVision. Now let’s welcome the EST of WWE, Bayley’s first guEST ever, Bianca Belair! Bianca makes her entrance and joins Bayley in the ring, and Bayley insists she go through the door. Ring the bell, too. DING DONG, who could that be? Bayley, c’mon. Bayley opens the door and lets Bianca in. Bianca then takes the arm chair and Bayley says that’s her. Well she has good taste, this is very comfortable.

Bayley would take the stool meant for guests, but y’know what? With the Women’s Rumble match, Bayley will probably be in it for a full hour so she might as well get her legs stronger now. Bayley congratulates Bianca on her WWE Chronicle premiering on the WWE Network on January 24th! And after everyone sees it, there will be so many Bianca Belair believers. Here’s a special sneak peek! It was when Bayley beat Bianca about a month ago. Oh, sorry, that wasn’t the right footage. Bayley says move on from that and go to the hard hitting questions.

Why does Bianca call herself the EST? It is her nickname based on her accomplishments in various things, such as track & field, sports, school- But those are all things from before the WWE. Isn’t that disrespectful to those that built the division? Bianca asks Bayley why Bianca’s confidence threaten Bayley so much? Bayley is mad at a nickname when Bianca doesn’t even brag, she’s just being herself. So when Bianca says she’s the strongEST, fastEST- Wait, hold on, doesn’t that make Bayley the best now? She beat Bianca in that match! And was a champion for 380 days. Bianca tells Bayley to take her talk show and go put on some dusty go and give Bianca a rematch right now.

Bayley knows Bianca is just trying to play mind games, but she’s not falling for it. She has nothing to prove. But Bayley has an idea! We can figure out who is the superior with an obstacle course! Yes! Imagine it! The Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge! YES! Oh wow, really? Bianca can’t even argue with that, challenge accepted! Bayley has her EST, but there ain’t no way she can whoop Bianca. Now ding dong dat! Will Bianca prove it to Bayley and the world that she is then, now and forever THE E S T?

 

Daniel Bryan continues his training with the Alpha Academy!

It was earlier tonight that Bryan and Otis were backstage, and they got those hips moving left and right! Chad Gable has them explode up to their feet, and Kayla comes by. How has this training helped ahead of the Royal Rumble? It’s going great! “The pursuit of excellence” never ends. That’s what Bryan likes about Chad and Otis. And if training with the Alpha Academy makes Bryan even a little bit better, he’s all in. A great attitude to have, but did Bryan’s loss in the gauntlet hurt his confidence? Chad says no negativity. Nakamura is a former Rumble winner, there is no shame in losing to him. Bryan has a lot of respect for Shinsuke, and surely he has that same respect for Bryan.

But Cesaro barges in and says Bryan cannot speak for Nakamura because Bryan is not Nakamura’s friend. But Cesaro is so he will. Cesaro says Nakamura only shook Bryan’s hand was because he felt sorry. It was more a pity handshake. And Bryan would’ve had more of a chance at winning if he trained with someone who could teach him something more than that stupid hip thrust Macarena stuff. Then how about Bryan show Cesaro how that works firsthand later tonight? That is to say, NOW!

Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan!

The Swiss Cyborg won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but Bryan has never won a battle royal ever! Anywhere! Will Bryan show Cesaro that the Alpha Academy knows what it’s doing?

SmackDown returns and the bell rings! These two tie up, Cesaro headlocks and hits a takeover. Bryan tries to headscissor but Cesaro pushes that off. They stand up, Bryan powers out but Cesaro runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Cesaro keeps Bryan down with another headlock. Bryan fights up, powers out again, and drops to then arm-drag Cesaro to an armlock! Bryan grinds Cesaro down, wrenches to a wristlock, then wrenches more and hits an elbow breaker! Bryan drags Cesaro down to a hammerlock but Cesaro backs him to a corner. The ref counts, Cesaro elbows Bryan with the free arm! Then he throws EuroUppers!

Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner and EuroUppers again! Cesaro pushes Bryan around, drags him up and wrenches to whip corner to corner. Bryan dodges and Cesaro hits buckles, then Bryan fires off kicks from all sides! Bryan runs corner to corner for a dropkick! Armlock BULLDOG! Bryan keeps on that arm, hammerlocks it and drops knees on it! Bryan pulls on the arm and twists the wrist! Cesaro rolls, gets up but Bryan wrenches. Cesaro scoops and SLAMS Bryan down! Cesaro shakes out the bad arm and he brings Bryan up to shove him to ropes, and CLUB him hard in the back! Cesaro stomps Bryan, drags him up, shove shim again but Bryan ROCKS Cesaro back!

Bryan fires forearms but Cesaro hits a standing STO! Knuckle lock cover, TWO as Bryan bridges! Cesaro goes to put his weight on Bryan but Bryan counters to monkey flip Cesaro into ropes! A rough landing and Cesaro tumbles out of the ring! Bryan goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, BIG CROSSBODY! Both men get up and Bryan fires off kicks! The ring count is climbing as Bryan KICKS Cesaro against post! Cesaro ducks the next one and Bryan kicks POST! Bryan goes down, clutching his shin, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Cesaro stomps away on Bryan in a corner. Cesaro is after the leg but Bryan scrambles, so Cesaro double stomps Bryan down! Cesaro stomps Bryan’s leg again! Cesaro drags Bryan up but Bryan throws a EuroUpper! Cesaro EuroUppers, Bryan fires off kicks and uppercuts, only for Cesaro to ROCK him! Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner, Bryan goes up and over but the leg jams! Cesaro runs in but Bryan manages a drop toehold! Bryan PENALTY KICKS Cesaro’s bad arm! Bryan runs back in, tilt-o-whirl and takedown! YES LOCK!! Cesaro endures, moves around, pries free of the hold and stomps Bryan’s legs!

Cesaro gets both legs, for a SWISS SWING! Then a SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures as Cesaro sits deep! Bryan crawls, drags himself and Cesaro over, but Cesaro reaches back to get an arm! CROSSFACE! Bryan rolls it over, and gets the arm again! Cesaro holds off the Yes Lock but Bryan fish hooks Cesaro’s face! Bryan gets the YES LOCK! Cesaro reaches, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets go, but he wrenches to an elbow breaker! Cesaro goes to a corner, Bryan kicks him and puts him up top. Bryan climbs to SUPER- NO! Cesaro blocks the steiner to bring Bryan up and into a TWISTING SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and Cesaro is furious!

Cesaro gives Bryan EuroUppers, then rains down forearms! Cesaro reels Bryan in, Gotch but Bryan back drops out! Bryan boots from a corner, runs, but into a pop-up, only for Bryan to backslide! TWO and Bryan unleashes a Yes Kick and a BUZZSAW! Cesaro already has a cut on his head so the ref checks. Bryan and Cesaro go to opposite corners and Bryan pops up with Yes fingers, only to run into a POP-UP UPPER! GOTCH NEUTRALIZER!! Cover, Cesaro wins!!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Incredible! Cesaro beats a Grand Slam Champion in Bryan and is rolling towards the Royal Rumble! Will Bryan’s dream of finally checking off a battle royal win be only dreams?

 

Backstage interview with Carmella!

The Untouchable and her sommelier, Reginald, are here and Kayla asks her about what she said last week. Mella says she was telling the truth about Sasha Banks. When it comes to natural talent, Sasha can’t touch Mella. Yet here Mella is here, where is Sasha? Why haven’t we seen Sasha back? Oh, of course. It’s because Mella proved she’s better than Sasha in every way. Maybe Sasha’s hiding from Mella. But then Sasha comes out and shoves Mella over! Sasha isn’t hiding from anyone! Reginald keeps this from getting any more physical, and Sasha tells him to tell Mella that they’ll have the title match. So long as Sasha gets at Reggie first! Will Mella agree to this deal at the expense of her assistant?

 

Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn!

Both men want after Big E and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but we saw earlier tonight how Roman Reigns was giving Apollo some pointers. Will Apollo take control and have another shot at the title? Or will he not see the next trip Sami has up his sleeve?

SmackDown returns and Sami makes his entrance, accompanied by his documentary film crew to have evidence of the “Anti-Sami Conspiracy” Sami claims exists in the WWE. Big E is ringside, lounging on a couch and having a fruit salad from is minifridge!? Sami is upset because he never got anything close to that as champion, and as the bell rings, Sami runs into Apollo’s dropkick! Apollo counter punches Sami, whips him to ropes but Sami reverses to knee low. Sami runs, Apollo hits an OVERHEAD THROW! Big E respects that but his version is better. Apollo waistlocks but Sami elbows him away, then dodges to clothesline Apollo out!

Big E says he doesn’t believe in Sami’s conspiracy theories and says he didn’t really need the pep talk Heyman gave him like he gave Apollo on Talking Smack. Sami tells Big E to watch this as he JABS away on Apollo. Sami goes to bump Sami off the desk but Apollo blocks to bump Sami off the desk! Apollo then uses the desk for a MOONSAULT to knock Sami down! Apollo puts Sami in at the count of 8, climbs up top, but Sami trips Apollo up! Apollo hits the mat, Sami stomps Apollo into a corner! Sami digs his boots in, the ref counts and Sami lets off. Apollo staggers, Sami hops up and leaps for a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Sami keeps on Apollo with another cover, TWO! Another, TWO!

Sami tells his personal camera crew to focus on this as he climbs back up. Sami leaps, Apollo gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down but Sami got folded! Sami goes to a corner, Apollo runs in, blocks a boot, and trophy lifts Sami up to throw him into the buckles! ENZIGURI! Apollo STANDING MOONSAULTS, but onto knees! Sami covers, TWO! Sami dodges Apollo and rolls him up, but the ref sees him grabbing tights! Sami is upset with the ref, similar to Jey and Charles Robinson, but Sami still catches Apollo to an EXPLODER into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner, but Apollo rolls Sami, and has TIGHTS! The ref doesn’t see this one, Apollo WINS!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall

Did Sami’s cameras get Sami’s butt crack like WWE cameras did? Apollo walks over to the couch, picks up the belt, and grins as he tosses back to Big E. Big E says Apollo can keep coming for it but he won’t touch it again. They’ll see each other down the line, but who wins when the title is back on the line?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table leads the Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, and #MainEventUso to the table that’s waiting in the ring for this contract signing. And then Adam Pearce quietly makes his way out with the official contract. Pearce takes a seat at the table, Roman takes his time circling around the table, and Heyman moves the chair to the head of the table. Roman doesn’t want that chair. He wants the chair Pearce just sat in. Heyman asks Pearce that he give up the chair, but Jey just takes it from Pearce. Roman takes a seat and Heyman helps Pearce into the chair Roman didn’t want.

Roman says Pearce needs to go ahead and sign. Heyman says this sitting around is not good television. Pearce looks at the contract as he holds the pen, and signs it. Heyman smirks at the passive aggressive behavior as he hands Roman his own pent to sign with. Roman signs his name, gives the pen back, and it is done. Roman says that’ll be the last contract Pearce ever signs. Pearce says, “I’ve waited all night for you to do that.” What’s that supposed to mean? Pearce leaves with the contract in hand, goes up the ramp, and then seems to have a problem walking. Pearce says his knee has been bugging the hell out of him all day. An old injury that just creeps up on you at the worst possible time.

But Pearce says it’ll be fine. After all, we all know that standard contracts say the same things. As a WWE Official, Pearce reserves the right to have a substitute, should he not be medically cleared to compete at the Royal Rumble. In fact, Pearce already has one in mind. It’s KEVIN OWENS! Roman sighs, perhaps disappointed he didn’t see this coming. Kevin signs his name to the contract, and it’s all but a given that the Prizefighter is back in the fight! Will Kevin finally #StunTheWorld and end Roman’s reign as Universal Champion?


My Thoughts:

A really good episode for SmackDown, with some interesting developments in the different stories. The story of Roman Reigns and all those related took an expected yet perfectly executed twist. It was clear Adam Pearce wasn’t really going to compete against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, but how he tricked them into a trap like that was great. We’re getting another Roman VS Kevin, but now Last Man Standing, and if Jey is in the Royal Rumble, he might have to consider not interfering. And even if he does, maybe Pearce gets involved so that Scrap Daddy at least gets one great moment WWE PPV moment? Or maybe it’ll be Bryan or Nakamura, depending on who wins the Rumble.

Jey VS Nakamura was a good opening match and I was worried Cesaro showing up when he did was going to mean he costs Nakamura. But Cesaro stays on commentary, stays Nakamura’s friend, and yet also stays a bit Heelish as he still talks smack on Bryan, Otis and Gable. Bryan VS Cesaro was a great match, and it was a great surprise to see Cesaro win. It works for both men going towards the Rumble. Bryan wants to win so badly but that alone could be why he’ll lose, and Cesaro needs a little something to keep him afloat. Cesaro really is a great talent, we all know that, but who knows when and where he’ll get the world title nod.

The Profits had a good promo and they’ll eventually have that rematch with the Dirty Dawgs, but who knows if they win it. Natty VS Liv was alright, but Billie was a highlight of the whole thing with her wannabe punk rock outfit and behavior. She did more of a Spider-Man web shooter hand than the rock ‘n’ roll fingers, and then she costs Liv the match, adding more tension to the tenuous friendship. Maybe Billie does something big to make it up to the Riott Squad and that’s how she wins them over. Bayley is great, Bianca is great, and maybe Ding Dong, Hello was being awkward on purpose, but it didn’t quite land. And I don’t think their obstacle course challenge will, either, even if Bianca does an amazing job with it. Just give us a 15 to 20 minute NXT level match on SmackDown with them.

Rey VS Corbin with Dom on the side was good, but I almost thought Dom was going to find a way to Eddie Guerrero Corbin out of the win. I’m very curious as to who Rey is talking about when it comes to dealing with Corbin. I’m thinking it’s Cain Velasquez given the established relationship between him and Rey. Though that does bring up the question of what happened to A) the relationship of Murphy & Aalyah, and B) the Knights of the Wolf King. The former is probably one of those many cases where WWE gave up on it because they couldn’t figure it out. The latter is probably COVID concerns, and then some of the former.

Mella and Sasha had a decent segment, and they set up the obvious rematch. But I really like the idea that Sasha is getting a co-ed match against Reginald. I have a feeling Mella will interfere in return to put Sasha behind the 8 ball for their match. Apollo VS Sami was good as a main event match, but we did not need that much Sami butt cheek… I like that Big E now has a couch and fridge, oddly. Apollo is slowly starting that turn to Heel given what Heyman told him on Talking Smack last week, I’m just waiting for that moment when it’s complete. Then we’re really going to see some stuff from the already athletic and charismatic Apollo and Big E for the workhorse title of the WWE.

My Score: 8.3/10


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