After a low blow got Shinsuke Nakamura the win, SmackDown GM Paige wants to make it right by giving Jeff Hardy his rematch tonight! Will Hardy get revenge?
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter
- AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Styles wins.
- Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Becky wins.
- Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger; Joe wins.
- Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Young wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins by disqualification, Nakamura retains the WWE Untied States Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!
The Charismatic Engima is feeling very, very sore after Extreme Rules in Pittsburgh. He got beat, but not the way he or the WWE Universe would’ve wanted. The King of Strong Style made sure to get a quick low blow while the referee’s back was turned, then gave Hardy a #Knee2Face. Hardy lost his title, but gets a chance to win it back later tonight. But for right now, Hardy speaks to Wilkes-Barre, who is happy to see him.
“I may look like Jeff Hardy. I may make an entrance like Jeff Hardy and wear face paint like Jeff Hardy. But I do not feel like Jeff Hardy. I feel like something’s missing. I feel incomplete. My heart… is BROKEN!” Hardy isn’t United States Champion anymore after what Nakamura did to him. Nakamura continues to prove “he is the embodiment of moral turpitude.” That’s a fancy way of saying he’s just a jackass! Nakamura uses a low blow because that’s the only way he can win. Hardy wasn’t thinking clearly Sunday, but now he’s mega clear. And Hardy wants to make sure Nakamura feels pain, to make Nakamura OBSOLETE, and to take back the United States Championship! But until then, enjoy SmackDown! Hardy is ready for Nakamura, but what about Nakamura being ready for him?
Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.
His response to Hardy is “Jeff Hardy is a sad clown.” He wears the paint to hide his tears. Nakamura cries his own crocodile tears over Hardy losing his title, because now it’s Nakamura’s title! That is a reason to smile. Smile, Renee, smile. Okay… And tonight, Nakamura gives everyone a reason to smile. He’ll make the clown cry. God Bless America.
AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
SmackDown is STILL the House that AJ Styles Built, because The Phenomenal One is STILL WWE Champion after a stellar match with the Bulgarian Brute. But after an encounter with Vega backstage, the Champ that Runs the Camp is willing to give El Idolo a go in the ring. Will Almas shock Styles with a major upset victory? Or will Styles show Almas that he’s not quite phenomenal yet?
The bell rings and we begin. They tie up, and Almas gets a waistlock. Styles works to get out but Almas arm-drags Styles down. Almas eggs Styles on, and they circle again. Styles gets a waistlock now, but Almas pries his way out to a shoulder breaker and standing switch. Almas arm-drags Styles again and confidently dusts himself off. They go again, Styles gets another waistlock. Almas elbows out then puts on a headlock. Fans rally for Styles as he powers Almas to a corner. Almas dirties the break with that kick. Almas gets a headlock again, and Styles can’t power out. Styles rolls it, ONE, and Almas grinds Styles on the mat. They stand up again and Styles fights out. Styles pwoers out of the hold and things speed up. Almas Tranquilo while Styles goes for a dropkick. The mind games begin while we go picture i picture.
Almas stays on the apron to embrace the heat, but Styles gets him with a sweep of the legs. Styles throws Almas into barriers, then puts him back in the ring. Alma sis up and ready, and he gets Styles with the back elbow. Almas runs in for a knee into the corner, then covers. TWO, but Almas keeps his focus. He drags Styles up for a forearm that floors Styles. Almas stomps away as Vega commands. Styles chops back hard, but Almas throws more strikes into him. Almas whips corner to corner, but Styles dodges and Almas tumbles out! El Idolo hits the floor, but Styles hits him with a slingshot forearm! Almas checks his jaw while Styles drags him up. They go into the ring, and Styles brings Almas up. Almas kicks but Styles blocks to dragon screw! Almas rolls out but Styles follows.
Vega stands in Styles’ way, and Almas gets Styles with a sucker punch! Almas chops Styles, then walks off the damage before putting Styles in. Almas chops Styles more, then brings Styles up for an arm-lock. Styles endures while Vega coaches Styles on. Styles gets up, fights out with forearms, then gets Almas with a wheelbarrow facebuster! Both men are down and Vega is upset. Almas and Styles stir, then stand up. Styles throws hands while blocking Almas, then clobbers him as we go single picture. Sliding forearm! Then a corner clothesline! He lifts Almas but Almas dropkicks him down. Both men are down again, and Vega coaches Almas while fans are behind Styles. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Almas stops it short. Almas throws elbows from both sides, then turns Styles sideways for the draping backbreaker and elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO!
Vega grows frustrated for Almas, but Almas keeps his cool. He stomps a mudhole into Styles, then throws more elbows. Almas hoists Styles up top but Styles throws hands back. Almas triangle dropkicks Styles! Then he dumps Styles down, preparing the knees. He runs corner to corner, but into the USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is a bit surprised by Almas, but he gets up again. He brings Almas up for the Clash, but Almas powers Styles to the apron. Styles knocks Almas away, then springboards, but Almas disrupts it with an elbow! Almas gets over to Styles and positions him. He climbs up top while fans rally up for Styles. Almas moonsaults, but Styles rolls, standing moonsault follows through! Cover, TWO!! Vega is beside herself with how close that was.
Fans are fired up as both men slowly stand. Almas grabs Styles, but Styles slips out of the suplex to enziguri! Almas staggers to a corner, but he boots Styles back. He climbs up and drags Styles with him, but Styles PELE! Styles climbs up to join Almas, and quickly adjusts, but Almas trips him up. Tree of Woe STOMPS! Vega wants him to finish, CIEN KNEES!! Cover, TWO!! Almas was that close to pinning the champ! But Almas refocuses as he brings Styles up. styles blocks the DDT, Calf Crusher! Almas taps, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by submission
The Phenomenal One found a fight in El Idolo, but he finds a way to win out! Almas stands back up, but before Styles has a chance to respond, Almas and Vega leave. Is this just the first of many matches between these two? Who will step up to be Styles’ new #1 contender come Summerslam?
Aiden English meets with someone backstage.
MC Artiste apologizes. To Lana. She must be so angry with him for the mistake he made. That was Rusev’s moment, and English ruined it. So please, talk to Rusev for him. Lana confirms Rusev is angry and disappointed, but needs his space. Why did he come to Lana about an apology? English needs to think hard and long if he’s what’s best for Rusev. English says he’s always had Rusev’s best interests in heart. He owes so much to Rusev, so he just wants a second chance. Don’t we all deserve that? Lana will take that into consideration. Will an apology passed on through the Ravishing Russian be enough for Rusev to forgive English?
Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!
The Lass Kicker defeated the Gladiator Gal last time, but can God’s Greatest Creation get even for the duo formerly known as Absolution?
The bell rings and Becky ties up with Mandy. Mandy gets the wristlock but Becky reverses to her own. Mandy gives Becky a right, then runs, but misses the knee. Becky kicks then whips, but Mandy reverses. Becky dodges for the jump kick. Sonya distracts but Becky swipes at her. Mandy runs in and blocks the second jump kick to yank Becky down. Mandy covers, TWO, and she’s shocked. She bounces Becky’s face off the mat, then puts Becky in a corner. Mandy gives Becky stomps, then embraces the heat. She drags Becky up and Becky fights back. Mandy clubs away on Becky, then suplexes her over. Float over to cover, TWO. Mandy drags Becky up and puts Becky in a standing chinbar. Fans rally for Becky as she fights her way out. Mandy whips her then dropkicks her, then hits the big knee! Cover, TWO!
Mandy keeps on Becky with heavy rights, then covers again. TWO, and Mandy grows frustrated. She drags Becky up, and back into that standing chinbar. Fans rally up again, and Becky pries her way out again. Mandy reels Becky in but Becky reverses to roll her up, TWO. Becky boots Mandy, then rolls Mandy up again, TWO. They run, and Becky hits double forearms and a calf kick. Becky fires up with the fans, and throws Mandy with a Becksploder! She grabs the arm, Disarm-Her right away! Mandy taps, Becky wins!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
That’s another win and another arm taken, Becky gets an Absolution Sweep! Becky speaks to Wilkes-Barre and the WWE Universe, thanking them for their support. Winning feels good, it feels “freakin’ great!” Becky says she’s been waiting, patiently and impatiently, but has never stopped working as hard as she can for the fans. But this is her just getting started. Hear that, Carmella? Straight Fire is coming for you. Becky Balboa needs to become SmackDown Women’s Champion again! What do the fans think? “YES! YES!” With Becky burning up the competition like she has, will she be given a Summerslam championship opportunity?
SmackDown GM Paige likes what she sees.
Carmella is with her as they watch Becky. The WWE Universe cheered her, which Carmella doesn’t normally hear. They love Becky! Yeah well people love British accents, but Carmella just finds they give her a headache. Speaking of headaches, how is her boyfriend, James Ellsworth, doing? Ew, he’s not her boyfriend And she doesn’t care, so moving on. Carmella has beaten Carmella and Asuka twice, so she wants another FABULOUS Mellabration. Paige loves parties, and will throw the biggest party of all for her. If she wins against Becky Lynch next week. No, she’s not defending her title already. Don’t worry, it’s not for the title. But if Becky does win, then they’ll have a title match at Summerslam!
R-Truth checks in with Tye Dillinger.
Is he ready? Yeah, he’s good. C’mon, are you ready? Is this one of those motivational speeches? Tye doesn’t need it. Truth can’t hear you. Okay! Yes, Tye gets his shot at Samoa Joe. Good talk! Wait, no, Truth was talking to someone on the phone. He wouldn’t have told Tye to take on Joe! But the Perfect 10 is, next!
Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger!
The Perfect 10 got a perfect blindside from Samoa Joe while cameras were to commercials last week. The Destroyer doesn’t respect Tye much at all, but he’ll have to take this match now. Will Joe come to regret what he did? Or will he put Tye to sleep all over again?
The bell rings and Tye fires off furious hands and feet on Joe! He backs off at 4, and Joe gets out of the ring. Joe drags Tye out to join him but Tye shoves him to the announce desk. Tye barrels Joe into the desk, then into barriers. He fires off more hands, then bares his knee to ram it into Joe’s face. Tye won’t back down, but then Joe throws him into a post! Joe drags Tye up and into the ring, then throws those swift jabs. Joe whips Tye into a corner, hits a back elbow and the Pele! Tye drops while Joe asks him, “Is this what you wanted?” Joe drags Tye up but Tye denies the Coquina. Joe makes him pay with swift kicks, then gets the Coquina Clutch! Tye flails but fades fast! Joe wins!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission
The Destroyer is not someone you want to anger. Tye showed courage but Joe showed everyone what they can expect if they get on his bad side. Will Joe carve a path of destruction to a title in time for Summerslam?
The Miz holds a memorial service for Team Hell No.
Daniel Bryan & Kane failed to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules, but that was mostly because Harper & Rowan attacked backstage before the match. Details aside, pallbearers bring out Kane’s mask on a mannequin head. The four of them quietly go out to the ring, Miz shaking hands of “mourning” fans.
Miz takes the masked mannequin head and sets it on a pedestal. He picks up the mic and speaks. “Thank you all for being here tonight.” Miz is as saddened as they are, but we are all gathered here not to discuss the real news, Miz & Mrs. debuting in a week. No, that’s not what tonight is about, even though Miz was also in the MLB Legends & Celebrities All-Star Game, on the winning American League team and the game’s MVP. Tonight is about paying respects to “two of the worst friends ever”. In the words of N*Sync, Bye Bye Bye Team Hell No. They were polar opposites yet were once tag team champions. That was five years ago. But even so, their unlikely friendship inspired unity around the world, until Kane tombstone’d Bryan three consecutive times.
Any sane person would’ve thought that was the end. But “Hell No” it wasn’t, because Bryan made the same mistake by reuniting with Kane. But then Harper & Rowan destroyed them, and Team Hell No is six feet under. Everyone, please stand up and join Miz in a moment of silence. Miz raises his hand, but fans do not respect the moment of silence. Do they want to be treated like children? Now give him silence. Miz will wait as long as it takes. Fans do not quiet down, they chant “YES! YES!” Okay, that’s a good point, that was a better choice.
But one final note: Miz told you so! Miz told everyone how this would end, in the middle of this ring, and he was proven right! He’s also right about the “bogus hero”, Daniel Bryan! Bryan was never, ever an amazing wrestler, just a glory hound obsessed with impossible goals. Bryan threw a Hail Mary to stay relevant. It wasn’t about tag titles, it was so Bryan could roll out his greatest hits. News flash: no one’s buying the album. And as said as this whole thing has been, Bryan is the saddest. Bryan may not want to accept it, but he knows the truth. The truth: Bryan’s return has been a bust! Every week is another week Bryan destroys his own legacy, and no one will tell him. Miz will tell Bryan that his days of headlining are over! Bryan’s career is as dead as Team Hell No!
But here comes Bryan to respond! From behind! Bryan throws forearms on Miz then on the pallbearers! Miz gets away but Bryan isn’t done. Bryan tips over the pedestal and the pictures, to join in the “YES! YES!” chant. Knee Plus for the pallbearer! Miz smirks at the angry Goat, but will Miz be smiling after Bryan gets done with him?
The New Day is fired up.
SAnitY? More like Unsanitary! Kofi Kingston prepares to get payback on the erratic Eric Young in the ring tonight!
Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!
The power of positivity wasn’t enough in Pittsburgh to keep the high-flying veteran from going through a table. Can positivity do better against the forces of chaos in Wilkes-Barre?
The bell rings and Young circles with Kofi. They tie up, and they push each other around the ring. Kofi gets a waistlock but Young gets the armlock. Kofi rolls and spins around to reverse it, but Young reverses it back. They go to a corner and Kofi dodges Young to kick the leg. Kofi grins at the fuming Young then dropkicks him down. Cover, TWO. Kofi gets a headlock then waistlock, but Young turns him around to club him down. Young drops more elbows, then haymakers. He has Kofi in a corner as he drives in more elbows. Kofi stands but Young runs, but Kofi sweeps the legs. Kofi gets back up, springboards and ax handles Young down. Young flounders up but is clothesline’d out. SAnitY regroups while we go picture in picture.
Kofi and the New Day rally up with the fans, and Woods plays the trombone. Kofi fakes Young out, but Young waits for Kofi to back up. Young returns but bails out again as Kofi draws near. They go again and Young shoulders in then slides under. Kofi throws him back out! Young dodges the baseball slide to bounce Kofi off the apron. He puts Kofi in, then covers, TWO. Young drives more elbows into Kofi then runs him over, then things speed up. Kofi hits a back elbow and covers, TWO! Young gets up and backs Kofi into a corner, then gets a cheap shot as we go single picture again. He runs back in but Kofi dodges. Young hits buckles, but he sweeps Kofi’s legs. The New Day glare at Wolfe & Dain while Young puts Kofi on the apron for clubbing forearms.
The New Day coach Kofi but he gets a kick while he’s down. Young catapult guillotines Kofi on the ropes, then covers, TWO. Young drags Kofi up for a stiff neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Young keeps on Kofi with a neck wrench. Kofi endures the twist, and fans rally up for him. He stands and fights back, then throws haymakers. Young throws a knee, then drags Kofi up for a buckle bump. Young throws a stiff right, then climbs up for a hanging dragon sleeper! He lets go at 4 and embraces the heat before leaping at Kofi. Kofi dropkicks Young down! Woods rallies the fans with his trombone. Kofi stands and rallies with double chops. He dropkicks Young down, then hits the leaping ax handle. He’s all fired up now, for the “New Day~!” Boom Drop!
Kofi calls for the finish, but Young dodges Trouble in Paradise to roll him up! TWO! Young is whipped to a corner but he tumbles up and out, only for Kofi to SUPER Belly2Belly suplex! Cover, TWO!! Young bails out to regroup with SAnitY, but Kofi builds speed to FLY! He leap frogs the ref to wipe out all of SAnitY! Woods coaches Kofi up as he puts Young in. SOS! Cover, TWO! Frustration creeps in a bit but Kofi runs in at Young. Young dodges the splash, but Kofi swing kicks back. Kofi climbs, but Wolfe climbs up. BIg E gets him, but Dain is a distraction. Woods SUPERKICKS Dain while Kofi goes after Young. Young ducks under, but Kofi rolls, TWO! Dain throws Woods into Kofi! Wheelbarrow neckbreaker from Young! Cover, Young wins!
Winner: Eric Young, by pinfall
Give an assist to the anarchy on the outside, but a win is a win. SAnitY won as a team, and their fearless leader won 1v1. Will the trio of turmoil throw the SmackDown Tag Team Division into utter chaos?
WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy!
It was a blow below the belt that brought victory to the King of Strong Style, and the Killer of Legends, Randy Orton, only added insult to injury with his return. But now, the BROKEN Enigma has his rematch courtesy of the Glampire Manager honoring his request. Will the painted visage of Jeff Hardy be smiling with a victory tonight? Or will he fall to more tricks from the nefarious Nakamura?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the bell rings. Hardy unleashes upon Nakamura! Nakamura shoves him away then gets a waistlock. Hardy saw the low blow coming, he won’t let Nakamura get away that easy. Hardy stomps Nakamura in a corner to almost copy Bad Vibrations. Nakamura bails out but Hardy LEAPS onto him and into the barriers! He puts Nakamura back in, then climbs up, but Nakamura scrambles away. No Swantons yet, but Hardy has the champ reeling while we go to break.
SmackDown returns, and Nakamura has Hardy down on the mat. Nakamura toys with Hardy as he slowly stands. Nakamura kicks away on Hardy, but Hardy catches on, only to get the enziguri. Cover, TWO, but Nakamura tires again. TWO, and again, TWO. Nakamura grimaces, but then digs a knee in for a chinlock. He digs his fingers into Hardy’s chin, but Hardy works his way up and out. Hardy elbows out, but Nakamura throws him down by his hair! Nakamura drags Hardy back up, then bumps him off buckles. He mocks the DELETE hands, then gives Hardy truly Bad Vibrations! Nakamura backs off to then come back with stomps. He drags Hardy up while fans rally for Brother Nero. Nakamura squeezes Hardy with the facelock but Hardy fights back. Nakamura denies the lift, then grinds Hardy to the mat.
Fans keep cheering for Hardy, and Hardy fights back with body shots. Nakamura knees and snapmares, but misses the knee drop! Hardy fires up with DELETE, then gives Nakamura buckle bumps in one corner, another corner, and a third corner. He goes for the fourth and completes the set. Hardy brings Nakamura out for a jawbreaker, then runs for a splash. Cover, TWO! Hardy gets the fans going again but Nakamura throat chops! Nakamura back suplexes but Hardy slips out to Russian leg sweep and leg trap cover! TWO, but barely! Hardy gets to ropes and drags himself up. Off comes the shirt, and he ax handles Nakamura. Nakamura denies the Twist, then heel kicks Hardy in the head! Hardy is out, but Nakamura hurries to give him an apron knee strike! Hardy slumps down while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Hardy fights out of a sleeper. Nakamura kicks him then whips him, but Hardy elbows back. Hardy haymakers and boots, then climbs up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool as he and Nakamura stand. He throws hands on Nakamura, then kicks. He whips but Nakamura reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Hardy hits the atomic drop and the leg splitting leg drop, then dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hardy slowly stands up again, DELETE echoing out. He kicks and prepares but Nakamura denies the twist again. Hardy still gets the spinning back kick! He climbs up, Hardyac countered with boots. Nakamura hoists Hardy up, for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura drags Hardy up, but Hardy denies the suplex with elbows. Hardy reaches for ropes but Nakamura gives him a backstabber! Sliding Wizard, TWO!
Nakamura can’t stand it. He is frustrated with Hardy as he rams in knees to shoulders and ribs. Nakamura goes to a corner and takes aim, but Hardy sees it coming! Slingblade! Hardy hurries up top, but Nakamura trips him up. Nakamura kicks Hardy in the face and Hardy drops down. Nakamura takes aim again, fires it up… But Hardy gets the Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries back up, takes aim… SWANTON!! Cover, but RANDY ORTON drags Hardy out!?
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification; Nakamura retains the United States Championship
And Orton isn’t done with Hardy, either! He throws Hardy into steel steps, then asks Hardy “Do you want to know why I’m doing this?!” Orton keeps ramming Hardy into steel steps, then gives him European Uppercuts and forearms. Nakaura is the one most in shock over this turn of events. Orton clears the steps but Hardy fires back! Orton rakes Hardy’s eyes, then throw shim into the other steps! The Viper drags Hardy over to the first set, and stomps Hardy’s head!!
Hardy is down and Nakamura is confused as anyone as to why. Orton asks Hardy again “You wanna know why? You’re gonna have to wait to find out.” Then he pulls at the open earlobe!! Referees try to get Orton to stop, but he won’t! He throws hardy over the announce desk! Security has to come out now to keep Orton back. But Orton won’t stay back! He clears off the top of the desk to drag Hardy onto it. Orton rains down rights, then drags Hardy out for the draping DDT! Referees and security tell Orton get out of the arena. Orton leaves, but not because they told him to. Those voices in Orton’s head are violent as ever, but will there be hell to pay for what he’s done?
SmackDown redeems the main roster after the off-target Extreme Rules and filler Raw. Almas VS Styles was a sudden but amazing opener, and it really helps TV-only fans understand how great Almas is in the ring. Styles still wins because it’s too soon for Almas to defeat the WWE Champion. Joe wins against a very game Tye, which furthers my confusion as to why the advertised this before just to delay it. SmackDown plans to announce what Styles has in store for him at Summerslam, so I’m betting Joe is at least one superstar named as contender. Bryan and The Miz are likely, too, and it can also be part of their own story against each other. That “memorial” was a great segment in itself, too, so this is going to be the summer blockbuster Miz has been looking for.
Becky continues to win, and with her match against Carmella next week, I think we’re getting that championship match we were expecting months ago. If Ellsworth stays out during this time, Becky might actually get that belt back so that she can be the one going up against Asuka and Charlotte down the line. Kofi VS Young was great, and being the Heels, SAnitY wins thanks to distraction and number games, something The New Day were masters of when they were Heels. They already had a Six Man Tag, but maybe another one will decide who challenges the Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam. English groveling to Lana worries me. They were teasing a Rusev Day break-up, and it might be coming back around. Vince can never let us have nice things, can he?
Hardy VS Nakamura was great, so it’s fine we got the six-second screw-job last night. Nakamura’s Heel game is strong, but I’m liking the idea that Hardy is becoming more and more Broken. His promo implied it, and after the beating Orton gave him, I’d love if next week we got the full Brother Nero. Nakamura’s reactions to Orton have also been great, and Orton saying we’re going to learn why he’s doing this is something to look forward to for next week. Hardy is still dealing with leg problems, so this either gives him a few weeks to be away from the ring and recover, or we just turn it up a notch and we get Hardy VS Orton before getting a Triple Threat for the title at Summerslam.
My Score: 8.5/10
Joe’s CMLL Review & Results (12/7/2018)
Another week of CMLL, and another week of Joe’s coverage. Indulge in the Lucha information if you couldn’t find time to watch it yourself.
Arena Puebla Monday
Sonic, Meyer, and Astro vs King Rocker, Sombra Diabolina, and Guerrero Especial
Rocker and Astro start out doing some ground grappling. They do a lot of acrobatic transitions into submission holds. Especial and Meyer are in next and they continue to do grappling as well. Especial hits an arm drag to the outside and feigns a dive. Sonic is in now with Diabolina. They do some freestyle wrestling while exchanging pins. Sonic arm drags him to the outside and in comes Astro and King Rocker again. Especial launches Astro into Diabolina and he hits a hurricanrana for the pin. Sonic victory rolls Rocker and Meyer submits Especial with a neck crank. First Fall: Meyer submits Guerrero Especial with a neck crank.
Sonic and Diabolina start this round off. Sonic goes wild hitting a very elaborate arm drag then feigns a dive. Especial and Meyer are in next and they trade strikes and they start to trade moves. Especial hits a power slam, Diabolina hits a basement drop kick, and then Rocker hits a splash on Meyer for the pin. Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar. Second Fall: Sombra Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar.
Rocker and Astro stare each other down then exchange strikes. Especial and Sonic get in and Especial works him over for a bit. Diabolina and Meyer are in and Diabolina hits an Alabama Slam on him followed by a basement drop kick. Meyer hits a splash off the top on Diabolina and then launches Astro into him and Especial for a double drop kick. He does a hurricanrana off the apron on Rocker. Sonic hits a swanton bomb on Especial while Meyer gets Diabolina in a knee bar. Third Fall: Meyer submits Sombra Diabolina with a knee bar.
Winners: Sonic, Meyer, and Astro
Mellinum, Arkalis, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Police Man and Mellinum start out the match with grappling and submission trading. Tigre Rojo and Espanto come in next and they start to fight for position. Rojo using his speed, Espanto using his size. Espanto sits on his knees frustrated that Rojo won the grappling exchange. Fuerza Chicana and Arkalis are in next. Arkalis does a victory roll, into a basement drop kick. Arkalis does a double splash to Espanto and Chicana. Rojo gets Police Man in an abdominal stretch and Arkalis pins Chicana with a sunset flip. First Fall: Arkalis pins Fuerza Chicana with a sunset flip.
Rojo and Police Man start the round and Rojo uses his quickness, getting him in a back breaker. He feigns a dive and hits a pose. Espanto and Mellinum go at it but Mellinum uses his quickness to his advantage getting Espanto out with an arm drag. His two teammates knock everyone off the apron and get Mellinum in the corner. Espanto kicks him in the groin. Ref doesn’t see it apparently. Espanto pulls on Arkalis’ mask. Police Man splash pins Arkalis for the pin. Chicana hits a back drop on Mellinum the goes for a pinning combination for the fall. Second Fall: Fuerza Chicana hits a back drop then pinning combination on Mellinum for the fall.
Rojo gets teamed on to start the round. When he’s taken care of they move the attack to Mellinum. A come back gets made as Arkalis hits a hurricanrana then a back breaker. Rojo and Mellinum hit arm drags to the outside, then Rojo and Arkalis go for dives but gets their feet pulled to the outside. Espanto and Mellinum are in the ring. Mellinum hits a hurricanrana for a pin but no three. He goes to the top for a move but Espanto gets the feet up. He hits a back stabber for the win on Mellinum. Third Fall: Espanto Jr pins Mellinum with a back stabber.
Winners: Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Titan, Triton, and Stigma vs Kawato San, Okumura, and Tiger
Triton and Okumura start the match out and they lock up and quickly go to the ground. They grapple briefly and Kawato and Titan come in next. Kawato whips Titan to the corner but Stigma replaces him and kicks him. Now everybody is trading big moves. Okumura hits a cross roads on Stigma then Titan comes in and takes care of Kawato. Tiger hits a Canadian destroyer on Triton for the pin. Kawato hits an handspring elbow on Titan followed by Okumura with a clothesline. They do a hangman’s neck breaker for the fall. First Fall: Kawato pins Titan after him and Okumura hit a hangman’s neck breaker.
Tiger is beating on Stuka on the ramp while Okumura and Kawato team on Titan. Stuka is getting teamed on now and he makes the tag to Triton but the ref acts like he doesn’t see it. This ref is either awful or a heel. Triton is standing back on the ramp in protest or disgust. Titan makes a come back hitting some super kicks. Stigma drop kicks Kawato’s inner thigh while he’s tied up on the rope. Triton tries but gets pulled out. ThenTitan and Stigma hit middle rope dives on Kawato and Tiger. In the ring Triton gets Okumura down for a 450 splash and the fall. Second Fall: Triton pins Okumura with a 450 splash.
Stigma and Okumura start out the round and Stigma gets him out and Tiger comes in. Triton answers the call for Tiger. Triton hits an arm drag to the outside then feigns a dive and hits a pose. Titan and Kawato are in next and they trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Titan runs wild, taking out Kawato eventually, and then kicking Tiger off the apron. Okumura catches him with a cutter off the top. Stigma breaks up the pin. Kawato catches him with a splash off the top. He hits him with a 1 percenter but Triton breaks up the pin. He hits a power bomb into a pin but Tiger breaks it up. Triton goes for a handspring attack but is caught in a back stabber. Titan breaks up the pin. He gets him in a pinning combination with a neck bridge but Okumura breaks that up. Sheesh. Triton hits an asai moonsault on Okumura and in the ring Titan gets Tiger in an elaborate neck stretch submission. Stigma hits Kawato with a falcon arrow for the win. Third Fall: Stigma pins Kawato San with a falcon arrow.
Winners: Titan, Triton, and Stigma
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Power Struggle 2018 Part 2!
NJPW Power Struggle continues as Tetsuya Naito once again battles Zack Sabre Jr! Will Tranquilo #JustTapOut? Or will ZSJ lost to The Ungovernable Charisma?
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; RPG3K wins the 2018 Super Junior Tag League.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Los Ingobernables de Japon continues to war with Suzuki-Gun! The leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has lost to the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, twice this year in both the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax! ZSJ angered Naito when he picked the bones of Evil after a vicious attack from Chris Jericho. Naito looks to get back at ZSJ for both Evil and those defeats, but ZSJ talks of retiring Naito himself. Who will win in this third time around in 2018?
Meanwhile, the Super Junior Tag League Tournament bring together familiar foes as the factions of LIJ, Suzuki-Gun and Chaos battle again! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are still Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and they look to show true dominance over the division. However, Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh look to repeat as tournament winners while Bushi has LIJ’s newest member, Shingo Takagi, by his side. Who comes out of this finals match primed to rule over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Division?
Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
The round robin format of this tournament makes it so that the teams with the best records qualify for this tournament climax, and this year it ended up being three! All three teams have a 10-0 record going in, impressive to say the least. And naturally, the winners of this tournament, if they’re not the champions, get a shot to face the champions for the belts in the future. Will Sho & Yoh become back-to-back tournament champs? Will the tag champs come out as supreme rulers of Junior Heavyweight Tag wrestling? Or will this new combination of ungovernable stars be the key to victory?
Suzuki-Gun’s duo bring their belts, and a bottle of whiskey for Kanemaru. Kanemaru tags a swig then spits it to the sky, before attacking Bushi! Desperado goes after Shingo, but Sho & Yoh go after them! The match starts with the bell and Suzuki-Gun throws Yoh out of the ring. Kanemaru keeps on Sho with an eye rake, and Desperado adds a kick. Suzuki-Gun mug Sho then double whip, but he hits back! Desperado kicks Sho and chops him. Desperado runs, Sho ducks and Yoh comes back! They drop toehold and dropkick Desperado, then double dropkick Kanemaru. LIJ returns but they get dropkick’d out. Yoh goes back to Desperado while fans rally up. Sho keeps on Desperado with a big scoop slam. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado rakes eyes.
This kind of Triple Threat Tag, anyone can tag anyone so long as it doesn’t create a match-up of the same team. Therefore, Bushi is allowed to tag in from Desperado. He goes after Sho, then drags him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he tags in Shingo. Shingo hits Yoh for good measure before bringing Sho up. Sho chops, but Shingo chops back. Sho leans against ropes, but Shingo double chops him down! Shingo drags Sho up and whips, follows after and rams his knee into Sho. Then he suplexes Sho up and over, floats to cover, TWO! Tag to Bushi and LIJ double whip. They double hip toss and combine back senton and leg drop. Bushi covers, TWO! Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho, but lets up at 4.
Fans cheer while Bushi clubs Sho. Bushi runs but Sho hits him with the kitchen sink knee! Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on LIJ, ducks the enziguri and dragon screws Shingo. Yoh gives Bushi a backbreaker to necbreaker and kips up! Fans rally up as Yoh back elbows Bushi in a corner. Yoh suplexes but Bushi slips out. Bushi fires off forearms, then runs, but Desperado trips him up. Kanemaru tags in off Bushi and goes after Yoh. Desperado drags Bushi down to beat him up while Kanemaru hits Shingo. Bushi and Shingo go into barriers while Kanemaru whips Yoh. Kanemaru gives Yoh a kitchen sink, then tosses Yoh out. Desperado uses the backing of a chair to SMACK Yoh in the head. Then he whips Yoh into barriers! Desperado feeds Yoh to Kanemaru for a scoop slam.
Kanemaru grinds his foot on Yoh’s face, then tags Desperado. Desperado kicks Yoh down, and taunts Sho to return. Desperado chops Yoh back, but Yoh chops back. Yoh keeps firing strikes but Desperado shrugs it off. They go back and forth, but Desperado rakes eyes. Desperado runs but Shingo gets him to stop. Desperado hits Shingo, but turns around into Yoh’s calf kick! Hot tag to Kanemaru and he stops Sho from tagging in. Suzuki-Gun work together to start a corner train, and then Desperado cradles Yoh for Kanemaru to shotgun dropkick-start the slam! Cover, but LIJ breaks it. LIJ goes after everyone else, and double whip Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes and dumps Shingo out. He puts Bushi on the apron and Desperado knocks him off. Kanemaru helps Desperado build speed to DIVE on LIJ! Desperado ends up safely on the announce desk!
Fans fire up, even if it’s for Suzuki-Gun. Desperado returns as Kanemaru brings Yoh up. Suplex to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru grows frustrated, but he keeps on Yoh. Yoh hits back and they brawl with forearms and European Uppercuts. Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! He drags Yoh up again, but Yoh gets him back with a Falcon Arrow! Yoh is too sore to make the cover, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans rally up. Yoh and Kanemaru stir but Desperado attacks Sho! Desperado comes in but Bushi hits him first. Bushi grabs Yoh and throws him to the LIJ corner. Shingo tags in off Yoh, and then goes after Kanemaru’s inner thigh. Desperado saves Kanemaru by whipping Shingo but Shingo reverses. Shingo then starts up a clothesline train, first hitting Desperado then going corner to corner to hit Kanemaru. Desperado staggers into a shoulder from Shingo! Fans fire up as Shingo grabs Kanemaru. Sho comes in but gets caught, DDT and complete shot! Shingo goes back to Kanemaru for another suplex, but Kanemaru slips out. Kanemaru has a waistlock but Shingo fights out. Shingo whips and pop-up Death Valley Driver on Kanemaru! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru barely survives but Shingo is not bothered.
Muscle Dragon Shingo stalks Kanemaru, but misses in the corner. Kanemaru misses, too, and Bushi hits a knee! Bushi feeds Kanemaru to the spinebuster, adding a backstabber! Cover, but RPG3K break it! RPG3K is thrown out and LIJ coordinates. Shingo lifts Kanemaru in a wheelbarrow, but Desperado intercepts Bushi! Kanemaru victory rolls, TWO! Bushi fights Desperado off to slingshot headscissor Desperado! Shingo runs but to a basement dropkick! Kanemaru staggers into a tag from Sho! Sho then rocks Kanemaru with a right, and throws Kanemaru out. Sho runs at Shingo for a big corner clothesilne. He whips but Shingo reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Shingo runs but into a dropkick!
Sho fires up, as do the fans. He deadlifts Shingo but Shingo fights back. Sho runs, but Shingo rocks him with an elbow and an uppercut! Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, but Sho slips out. Shingo runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh takes out Bushi while Sho brings Shinogo back up. Backstabber feeds into the shotgun dropkick! RPG3K fire up and stalk Shingo. Shingo stands but Bushi stops Yoh with a backstabber of his own. Sho gets Bushi in a deadlift German Suplex! Desperado spears Sho, but can’t spear Shingo! Shingo and Desperado brawl, but Desperado rakes the eyes. Shingo still waistlocks Desperado, Desperado kicks Sho but Shingo shoves Desperado into Sho. Sho and Desperado turn around into Shingo’s clotheslines!
Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, for the Gory Bomb! Shingo gets up and builds speed, to clothesline from hell! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives and Shingo can’t believe it! Shingo roars as he drags Sho back up. He lifts Sho with a wristclutch, but Yoh SUPERKICKS! RPG3K hit 3K!! Cover, but the ref is yanked out! Kanemaru gets in and kicks away on Yoh! He stomps away on Sho, then drags Sho up. Desperado is in with a belt, and he clobbers Sho! Desperado drags Shingo over to a corner and uses him to tag in. Then he goes back to Sho while Kanemaru takes out Bushi. Desperado lifts Sho in the torture rack, for the slam! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives again! Desperado is furious and vows to end this.
Desperado brings Sho up in the double underhook, but Bushi jumps over the ref to use the GREEN MIST! You SUPERKICKS Bushi! Kanemaru goes after Yoh, but Yoh ducks the Whiskey Mist to dropkick Kanemaru out! Yoh builds speed and FLIES onto Bushi and Kanemaru! Sho is up, and clobbers Desperado! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, double knees! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans are thunderous. Sho fires up and wants another, but he tucks the arms this time. Package driver, the Shock Arrow! Cover, RPG3K win!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning
Sho & Yoh win their second Super Junior Tag League! And best of all, it was on the tag team champions! Can Sho & Yoh use this momentum to get the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles back?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Los Ingobernables de Japon and Suzuki-Gun are not through with each other, and these two are far from through with each other on top of it. Will Naito make ZSJ Tranquilo? Or will ZJS make Naito #JustTapOut?
As always, Taka Michinoku takes up the mic before the match. He welcomes everyone to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match between ZSJ and Naito. “Who is gonna win this one?!” ZSJ is the man who can finish you with any lock anytime, anywhere, who has the deadly Zack Driver, and when he locks on, you #JustTapOut! This wrestling master is Zack Sabreeeeee Junior~! So Naito, you will repeat the New Japan Cup and G1 Climax. You can’t beat Zack, so “come on over here!” Naito makes his entrance, and takes his time as always with undressing. ZSJ doesn’t let the mind games get to him, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Fans cheer for Naito as he circles with ZSJ. Naito and ZSJ tie up and ZSJ gets the headlock. ZSJ throws Naito but Naito shrugs it off. He and ZSJ circle again and feel it out. ZSJ gets a wristlock but Naito reverses quick, so ZSJ breaks and slips away. They circle again and tie up. ZSJ gets the arm again and wrenches for a hammerlock. Naito rolls and goes for a leg but ZSJ gets his legs into a deathlock. Naito manages to pop free and get a headlock, but ZSJ headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight as Naito tries to escape. Naito moves around but ZSJ goes for an arm. Naito frees himself from the headscissors to go for an armbar. ZSJ moves around and gets a leg again, Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But Naito pops out to a cover, ONE, Tranquilo!
Naito rolls out to catch his breath but ZSJ stays in the ring. Naito takes his time returning, and circles with ZSJ again. They approach and tie up, and ZSJ brings Naito’s hands down to stand on one and wrench the other. ZSJ shifts to a headlock, then throws to the takeover. Naito endures and rolls ZSJ to a cover, ONE. Naito sits up and gets up, and powers out of the headlock. He arm-drags ZSJ around, then runs him over with an elbow to hit the basement dropkick! Naito poses but ZSJ runs in with a leaping triangle hold takedown! Naito gets a ropebreak but ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath now while Naito bails out again. Naito comes back but ZSJ presses a knee down on him.
ZSJ loops Naito’s arm through the ropes and then a leg and uses them to pull in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ backs off at 4, so he can mock the LIJ posing. Naito sits up but ZSJ is on with the double wristlock, then top wristlock to stomp! Naito writhes but ZSJ circles him like a shark. ZSJ brings Naito up for a EuroUpper, but Naito chops back. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Naito gives back a CHOP. That stuns ZSJ, but ZSJ still kicks and whips Naito. Naito reverses, then run sin. ZSJ puts him on the apron to sweep the legs! ZSJ goes after Naito on the ramp and uses a calf killer! Then he shifts to a modified half crab! ZSJ tortures the legs, then rams the knees on the ramp. ZSJ leaves Naito behind as the 20-count starts.
Naito slowly gets up but the count is at 16! He hurries and gets in at 19! ZSJ is on Naito again with another trapped leg toehold to a half crab! Then a heel hook, then a deep crab! ZSJ just keeps combining holds, such as a trapped arm and another deep crap. But Naito gets the ropes and is freed. Fans rally up as Naito gets to a corner. ZSJ stomps the legs, but Naito hits back. ZSJ kicks the legs but Naito hits back. They continue to go back and forth, a kick for a forearm and back again. Naito goes down after another kick to the leg, but he crawls to a corner. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Naito gives an atomic drop and running headscissors!
Both men are down as Naito tries to get feeling in his legs. Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Naito stands first. Naito hits ZSJ with punches and kicks, then gets the dragon sleeper to backbreaker, and adds a basement dropkick! ZSJ gets to a corner, but Naito hits the jump kick and leg sweep. Naito slingshots but into the cravat! Naito arm-drags out, but ZSJ runs back in. ZSJ is put in a corner, but he boots Naito. Naito spits then spins ZSJ sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Naito then scoops ZSJ into the reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Naito has things back in his favor as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito gives ZSJ elbows in the corner. Naito drives elbows into ZSJ even as ZSJ sits down. Then Naito hoists ZSJ up top and climbs up to join him. Naito drives in more elbows and then stands up for a SUPER STEINER! But ZSJ makes it a cradle into a leg lock, into an STF! ZSJ keeps shifting to modify the crossface, then keeps pushing with his weight. Naito pushes back and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up, and ZSJ slowly stands. ZSJ grabs Naito’s leg for a spinning toehold. Naito clutches that bad leg, but ZSJ does the spinning tweak to his arm! ZSJ stalks Naito as he stands, and gives him a EuroUpper. Naito hits back with a forearm, but ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. Naito CHOPS ZSJ and sits him down.
ZSJ gets up to kick Naito in the leg again. Naito CHOPS, but ZSJ stays standing this time. ZSJ eggs Naito on so Naito fires off forearms until ZSJ sits down. Naito goes side to side for the basement dropkick! He brings ZSJ up but ZSJ gets a full nelson! Naito arm-drags ZSJ away but ZSJ comes back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ tries again but Naito back slides and back elbows to the tornado DDT! Naito keeps going, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches the arm but ZSJ kicks it! Naito kicks back and then whips. ZSJ reveres and catches the lariat into an Octopus! Naito endures as he steps towards ropes. ZSJ shifts to go after the arm, then cradles to a Calf Killer!
Naito endures leg pain, but he rolls. ZSJ keeps him trapped for a calf slicer, but Naito fights with his free leg. But ZSJ grabs it to make it part stretch muffler! Naito gets free and gets another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go but he grows frustrated. Fans rally for Naito again, but ZSJ gets up first. ZSJ EuroUppers Naito again and again and again, then even more in the corner. He throws Naito out to Penalty Kick him! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives, but barely. Michinoku keeps ZSJ focused as he gets up again. ZSJ lifts Naito but Naito slips out to waistlock. ZSJ elbows out and wants the Octopus, but Naito breaks free. Naito runs into an uppercut but enziguris, only for ZSJ to make it an ankle lock! ZSJ then reels Naito in but Naito standing switches, for a German Suplex!
Naito runs, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ barely survives, but Naito keeps on him. Naito wrenches the arm but ZSJ drops down, only for Naito to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ drags Naito into the European Clutch! TWO but barely! ZSJ and Naito go to opposite ends as they stand up. ZSJ kicks but Naito catches it to enziguri back. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into ZSJ’s scoop! But Naito slips out to scoop ZSJ, brainbuster! Fans are thunderous as Naito wrenches and whirls, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
The Ungovernable finally wins against the Submission Master! Naito did not tap out and he didn’t fall to the Zack Driver, but can Naito use this to launch himself back towards a title?
Taka Michinoku explains that Zack only just arrived yesterday. This loss was because of jet lag! He was battling jet lag and an opponent at the same time. But ZSJ dares Naito to come to England and see if this still happens. ZSJ will even fight him in a pub if he wants.
As for Naito, he finally got his revenge. To be precise, Naito won in last year’s G1, but yes he did lose in the 2018 New Japan Cup and G1. Therefore, Naito is 2-2 against ZSJ all-time. Naito appreciates ZSj, because this match had no upside for him and yet he took it. He has Naito’s thanks, “Gracias, amigo.” When and where will there be a tiebreaker for their overall series?
Another great hour version of this event. While there wasn’t a lot of Super Junior Tag League coverage on AXS, this triple threat finals was great to see. It was all an impressive match and I was really impressed to see that RPG3K got to repeat. I really hope this means Sho & Yoh get those titles off of Desperado & Kanemaru, that would be great for them. The evolution of these two from being the Tempura Boyz to the gold ‘n’ silver duo has been great to see, and while they’ve already had the titles, getting the titles again would just add to their great growth. Naito VS ZSJ 4 was also great, just as good as their previous matches. I’m glad to see Naito won this time, it works for his story of coming back around strong towards the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.7/10