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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (7/31/18)

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Tonight’s SmackDown promises to be BIG with Lana VS Zelina Vega for the first time ever, and The Usos VS The Bar in the tag title contenders tournament!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament: The Usos VS The Bar; The Bar wins and advances to the finals.
  • Zelina Vega w/ Andrade “Cien” Almas VS Lana; Zelina wins.
  • Carmella VS Charlotte Flair; Charlotte wins and joins the SmackDown Women’s Championship match at Summerslam.

PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young introduces Becky Lynch!

The Lass Kicker is the new #1 Contender to the SmackDown Women’s Champion after pinning the champ herself last week. Now the inaugural champion has a chance to become champion once again at Summerslam! Renee interviews Becky about finally being back in the title scene. “When you wait so long for something, sometimes you doubt that it’s ever gonna happen.” Becky had those doubts, but knew that if she kept going, she’d get back. She has some disheartening facts, though: she hasn’t been champion since September 2016, and hasn’t had a match for the title since Wrestlemania 33. Becky kept thinking what it means to be SmackDown Women’s Champion, and it is the honor and excitement and pressure of having a target on your back. Becky wasn’t born to be champoin, she earned becoming a champion.

Come Summerslam, it will be Becky’s honor to win, and then go to WWE Evolution as THE SmackDown Women’s Champion! But speaking of, here comes the current champion, Carmella! She wants everyone to stay calm, this isn’t what they think. Normally Carmella makes excuses, like how James Ellsworth getting fired distracted her. But that’s not the case this time. Carmella admits Becky won fair and square to earn her chance. In fact, Carmella was so focused that she only just got to think about WWE Evolution. Carmella was thinking how to win, and then she was hit by a tidal wave: they’ll be part of the All Women’s PPV. They’ll represent every woman who has ever been in the WWE. That made Carmella’s skin crawl, because she’s failed as a representative. They need to build each other up. She was just jealous, because Becky’s always been a step ahead.

From NXT where they said Carmella was only ever going to be a valet, but Becky encouraged her to keep going. Then Becky was SmackDown’s #1 female draft pick! And Carmella was The last pick. Carmella was the afterthought. The fans have always loved Becky. Fans cheer Becky even now. But the WWE Universe doesn’t think Carmella is deserving. Carmella is close to crying, because she tries so hard to tune it all out. Fans still chant “You Suck!” at her even now. There’re legends who even think she should just go away! Carmella is exhausted from it all.

But she puts on a brave face and tells herself she’s as deserving as anyone. Becky is deserving. Carmella having this match with someone she’s looked up to, she can’t be more excited. She is ready to kill it and prove everyone wrong with Becky. So Carmella simply wishes Becky good luck. She offers her hand, but out comes James Ellsworth!? Not! Carmella attacks in the distraction with a blindside attack and a FABULOUS Kick! Carmella even fetches a chair! She drags Becky over, but here comes Charlotte! The Queen of Flair returns to save her friend! She boots the chair away, then throws Carmella with an exploder! The Princess is down while the Queen helps Becky up. Charlotte shouts at Carmella as she retreats. No more crocodile tears or underhanded tricks, will Carmella survive the Straight Fire?

 

The Usos speak.

Jimmy & Jey has everything from top to bottom coming through them. Usos, Bar, the thumbs. They have an idea: shine up the thumbs, turn them sideways again, and stick them straight up yo’ candy– Whoa, hold on, PG13. They were just trying to get their ROck on. Well time to get their Uso on, because the Uso Penitentiary is open, and next!

 

Carmella complains to Paige.

Did the GM not see what Charlotte did to her?! Carmella has beaten Charlotte twice, and yet she has no respect for Carmella! But Paige tells her how Carmella actually fooled her into thinking she was respectful. Carmella should be ashamed. Sorry for not being a role model like Paige. But there is one thing Carmella is that Paige won’t ever be again: champion! This title isn’t going anywhere. Fine, let’s go there. Paige will teach Carmella what it’s like to be a real champ. The odds are always stacked against a champ, but a champ finds a way to overcome them. Carmella will face Charlotte tonight, and if Charlotte wins, the title match becomes a TRIPLE THREAT! Now go get ready, and “good luck”. Will Carmella have anything but that tonight?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament: The Usos VS The Bar!

Both teams are former tag team champions, but must go through this tournament for a shot at the Bludgeon Brothers. Who will advance to face the awaiting New Day in the final round?

Awwwww Tampa! Don’t you dare be sour, because the New Day joins commentary, and feel~, the power~! Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods want to be front row to see who their competition will be. In fact, they have their own announce desk, stacked with pancakes!

The bell rings and Sheamus starts against Jey. Jey gets a waistlock but Sheamus fights out with elbows. Sheamus gives European Uppercuts then whips Jey corner to corner. Jey stops himself then gives Uso uppercuts. Jey runs and dropkicks Sheamus out. Cesaro keeps Sheamus from rushing back into the ring while we go picture in picture.

The Usos wait while Cesaro calms Sheamus down. The New Day seem to be taunting The Bar from commentary. Sheamus tags Cesaro and Cesaro circles with Jey. They tie up, and Cesaro gets a headlock. Cesaro grinds Jey’s head, but Jey powers out. Things speed up, and Jey runs Cesaro over with a back elbow. Jey powers Cesaro to the corner and Jimmy tags in. Jimmy taunts Sheamus before giving Cesaro a forearm smash. Jimmy brings Cesaro up into an armlock, then a shoulder breaker. Tag to Jey, who flies in for double ax handles. Jey wrenches but Cesaro pulls hair. Cesaro has Jey on the ropes, but Sheamus gets a cheap shot in. Cesaro tags Sheamus, and Sheamus drops a knee on Jey. Sheamus drags Jey up into the Bar’s corner for body shots and EuroUppers.

Tag to Cesaro for Super Saiyan Kicks! Cover, TWO, so it’s back to the chinlock. Fans rally and Jey gets up. He reaches but Cesaro brings him over. Tag to Sheamus and The Bar stomps away on Jey. Sheamus drags Jey up for beats of the Bodhrain. He then shoves Jey down, and tags Cesaro. Cesaro fetches Jey and puts him back in. Cesaro climbs up and hits ax handles as we return to single picture. Cover, TWO!

Cesaro puts the chinlock back on. Fans rally up for the Usos, New Day admit either team would be a great opponent next week. Jey fights out but Cesaro keeps him from Jimmy. Jey throws hands, but Cesaro won’t let go. Cesaro tags Sheamus and Sheamus kicks Jey down. The Bar whip for the Bar lariat, then cover. TWO, but Sheamus drops another knee. He drops another knee, then wraps Jey up in a keylock. The New Day like the look of that move. Fans rally up for Usos, and Jey fights his way up. Sheamus rams in knees to keep him down. Jey gets up again, but Sheamus throws him down by his hair. Sheamus puts more weight on Jey. The fans rally up, “Uce! O!”

Jey fights up with haymakers and uppercuts! Sheamus knees low then brings Jey up. Jey slips out, dodges from the corner and Sheamus hits post! Fans rally again, hot tags to Jimmy and Cesaro! Jimmy rallies, mule kick to uppercut. Jimmy dodges Cesaro for the Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Cesaro blocks a kick but gets a dragon whip enziguri! Jimmy fires the fans up, then runs corner to corner, but Cearo bails out. Jimmy changes plans and FLIES! Sheamus saves Csesaro, but Cesaro still gets a SUPERKICK! Jimmy climbs up while Cesaro enters the ring, crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jimmy is surprised, but he keeps on Cesaro. He drags Cesaro up but Cesaro shoves him away. Jimmy uppercuts Cesaro, then climbs up, but Cesaro shoves him down! Jimmy hits barriers while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and The Bar climb up to the top rope. Jey saves Jimmy by dragging Sheamus down. Jimmy fights Cesaro off with headbutts, then adjusts for a corkscrew senton! Both men are down while the New Day are having so much fun watching. Fans rally up as Cesaro and Jimmy brawl with uppercuts. Jimmy chops, but his kick is blocked. Cesaro rocks him with a EuroUppercut, and Sheamus tags in. Sheamus picks Jimmy up in White Noise position, and Cesaro springboards, but Jey SUPERKICKS him down! Sheamus shoves Jey out but Jimmy rolls him up. TWO, SUPERKICK! Tag to Jey, Uso Splash! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it just in time! That was so close, the New Day are shocked for everyone.

All four men are down, but Jey and Cesaro get up. Cesaro runs at Jey but gets hip tossed out! Jey tags Jimmy, and they each take a corner. They both aim at Sheamus, but Cesaro UPPERCUTS Jey! Jimmy gets knees! Cover, THE BAR WINS!!

Winners: The Bar, by pinfall; advance to the tournament finals

What a way to return to the ring! The Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator survive the Uso Penitentiary! Now they will face The New Day next round for THE #1 contender spot. The Bar dare The New Day to meet them in the ring now, and the New Day obliges. All five men stand in the ring and trash talk, but the Bar decides to wait a week. Will Cesaro & Sheamus set the bar against the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history?

 

Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.

How does it feel to have a chance back into the title scene? This wild night gets wilder. Charlotte was just covering Becky’s back, but Carmella’s mouth gives Charlotte this chance. Charlotte didn’t even think she’d be going to Summerslam this year. Carmella rubs it in that she’s “won” twice. Charlotte vows that she’s going to take back the throne, WOO~!

 

Samoa Joe heads to the ring.

The Destroyer faces the Phenomenal One at Summerslam for the WWE Championship. He made it official when he signed the contract after ambushing AJ Styles in the ring. Granted, Paige still had him planned as the #1 contender, but he wanted to prove just how dangerous he can be. Joe takes a seat and a mic to call out Styles. What Joe did last week was just a message, and Styles is more than familiar with Joe’s way of communicating. No hard feelings, because truth be told, Joe respects Styles. Truth be told, Joe respects this House AJ Styles Built, and that Styles made the WWE Championship THE championship in WWE. Joe respects the grind and sacrifice Styles has made. Styles puts everything behind being champion. He put it in front of even being with his family.

Joe finds that funny, because of how Styles talked about looking his daughter in his eyes and encouraging her to be anything she wants to be. But Joe has known Styles a long, long time. The fact is, Styles is barely home long enough to hug his daughter, let alone look her in the eyes. The truth is, Styles feels much more comfortable on the road than being a husband to his wife. Joe understands the sacrifices. Styles put being champion in front of everything, even if it means failing as a father. Joe knows it hurts, but he’ll make Styles’ sacrifice worth it when Joe takes it all away! The fans will be chanting for Styles, but his family will be cheering for Joe. Because after Joe tears this house down and puts Styles to sleep, the family will have daddy back, but Joe will be champion.

 

Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!

The Charismatic Enigma has become the target of the returning Viper, from the low blow stomp at Extreme Rules to the gruesome ear gauge attack. “The US Championship is more than a title to me.” It’s part of Hardy’s life force, his fifth eye that revitalizes him and heightens his sense of purpose. It also strengthens his bond with the WWE Universe. When Shinsuke Nakamura took it, a part of Hardy went with it. Hardy wants to beat Nakamura and take it back. However, there’s something almost as important: beating the hell out of Orton! Hardy calls out The Viper, because it’s time to fight! And Orton appears!

The Apex Predator steadily makes his way to the ring and Hardy is ready to DELETE! But Nakamura gets him from behind! Nakamura throws knee after knee into Hardy while Orton stalks around them. Nakamura takes aim, Hardy stands, KIN- No, Orton stops Nakamura in his tracks. The Viper stares the King of Strong Style down, and fans chant “RKO! RKO!” But then Orton gives Nakamura permission? KINSHASA! Then Orton gets in Nakamura’s face again. This rivalry is indirectly renewed but Hardy is the one taking the hits. And speaking of Hardy, Orton locks eyes on him now. Orton hypes up the fans and prepares to strike. Hardy slowly stands up, but Orton instead trips him. Orton trolls the fans more than anything as he instead stomps every bit of Hardy into the mat.

Hardy is gasping and groaning but Orton drags him up from the apron. Orton pulls him through the ropes, for the draping DDT! The referees try to get Orton to stop, but he doesn’t. He drags Hardy out on the apron, and gives a draping DDT to the floor! Orton still isn’t done! He clears the announce desk and drags Hardy up and over there. The vicious Viper of old has returned as he rams Hardy’s head into the table top, then rains down rights. The referees can’t stop Orton as he tears Hardy’s arm sleeves and shirt away. Orton even takes his Team Extreme necklace!

Orton adds one last insult to injury as he pours water all over Hardy’s face, rains down more rights, then wipes away the paint Hardy painstakingly applied. “Enigma? You’re a waste.” Orton glares at the WWE Universe, who he blames for putting Hardy above him. He leaves Hardy gasping and sputtering. What more will the Legend Killer turned Killer Legend do to finally end the Enigma?

 

Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.

How does the Lass Kicker feel about her best friend, Charlotte, possibly being added to the SmackDown Women’s Championship match? Becky’s happy that Charlotte is back and knows Charlotte has a big opportunity. If Charlotte wins, the match becomes a Triple Threat. The math calls for Becky to shift from emotion to logic. Becky is excited Charlotte’s back, but not for this. She knows she can win against anyone 1v1, but what does that mean about tonight’s match? Becky never roots against her best friend, but will her best friend get in her way?

 

Zelina Vega w/ Andrade “Cien” Almas VS Lana!

La Muneca and the Ravishing Russian got into it both in an argument and in a cat fight last week, but the distraction would coast the Bulgarian Brute against El Idolo. The arguments would continue online, and that forced GM Paige to give these women a chance to settle things in the ring. Will Lana be the best, Lana Number One? Or will Vega be as Trainquilo as her client and keep the duo undefeated?

The bell rings and the two circle. Vega rolls and Tranquilos already. Lana dares her to fight, but Vega fights when she’s ready to fight. In the meantime, Lana shows off her flexibility, but Vega shoves her. Lana shoves back, so Vega shoves her again. Now it’s a scrap! Vega gets away, but Lana dares her to return. El Idolo coaches Vega up while we go picture in picture.

Lana waits while Vega calms herself down. Vega slowly returns, and ties up with Lana agani. Lana gets a wristlock and whips but Vega reverses. Vega runs into headscissors and a heel kick. Lana bulldogs Vega down! Cover, TWO, and Vega scrambles away again. Lana stalks her to ropes but ends up in the ropes with a yank. Vega chokes Lana but backs off at the ref’s count. Vega yanks Lana back, then embraces the heat. She even pats herself on the back. She drags Lana up for a seated dragon sleeper. Lana endures and powers up, but Vega wrangles her back down. Lana refuses to quit as she works against the hold. We return to single picture as Vega holds on. Lana stands up but is thrown down again. Vega goes back to her dragon sleeper while fans rally for Lana.

The two stand up and Lana fights out with body shots. Vega throws her down again, then sits her up for a new chinlock. Lana stands so Vega hops on for a backpack sleeper. Lana backs Vega into buckles but Vega holds on. Another bump gets he r to let go, but then Vega throws Lana into buckles. Vega pump kicks Lana, then copies Almas with the CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO! Vega is furious, but Almas tells her to keep it together. She brings Lana back up, and wants the hammerlock DDT, but Lana back drops Vega off! Lana rallies and fans fire up! She kicks low, Machka Neckbreaker! Lana-roonie! Then knees to the back on the ropes! Cover, TWO!

Lana grimaces down at Vega, and brings her up to whip her in a corner. She hits a back elbow, then whips again. Vega reverses but runs into another elbow. Lana hops up but Almas copies Vega by distracting. Lana still kicks Vega away, so Almas tries again. Aiden English gets Almas! But Vega rolls Lana up with tights! Vega wins!!

Winner: Zelina Vega, by pinfall

Now English has messed Lana up! Whether it’s Mr. or Mrs. Machka, it’s always MC Artiste trying too hard to help. Will Aiden English ever get it right on Rusev Day?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers speak.

Harper & Rowan are all smiles. If Cesaro & Sheamus want to set The Bar, they’ll gladly break it. And they’ll positively shatter The New Day. No one escapes at Summerslam, because no one can. Who will face the bludgeoning in Brooklyn?

 

Aiden English apologizes to Lana.

She wants to be left alone. Rusev needs his space but English thought he was doing the right thing. The right thing is to leave. Rusev comes storming by, and English disappears. Rusev asks if Lana is okay. He should’ve been out there instead. Lana knows Rusev needs to figure out his problem, but yeah, Lana could’ve used him out there. Now everyone is mad at everyone else. Will the Machka household be okay after this?

 

Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!

The Goat got one over on The Miz last week with his edited Miz & Mrs trailer, but the Miz got one over on Bryan with the fake baby. Now Bryan is here to address his long-standing archenemy in the WWE. Bryan makes sure to plug WWE Evolution, and lets us know he’s proud of his wife, Brie Bella. Brie was in the ring in that infamous 30 second match when #GiveDivasAChance. Both Bryan & Brie have fought for the respect of themselves and their peers, so this PPV is a “huge step forward.” But that said, when taking two step forwards, it seems like there’s one step back. And yes, he means that baby doll fake-out.

Watching that back, Bryan is bothered. For two years, Miz taunted, trolled and baited Bryan all because Bryan couldn’t compete. Miz thought he was safe, but then Bryan was cleared. That wall came crumbling down around Miz, so what did he do to further protect himself? He brought his wife, and what we thought was Miz’s own child. Why? To build one last line of defense, because if they were to ever get in a real fight, Bryan would destroy Miz. Fans agree with that. Bryan calls The Miz out to prove him wrong. Bryan would love nothing more than to punch Miz right in the face!

But Miz communicates via titantron. Miz thought Bryan would’ve learned as GM that this isn’t the indies or a high school gym. Miz is an elite talent, you have to earn a match. Call his manager, because he’s on location for more Miz & Mrs, the highest rated reality show in seven years! Just wait to see tonight’s second episode where they throw the best baby shower ever. And if there’s any doubt, Miz has security to keep fans from getting near him. Who cares about his pretentious lifestyle? Bryan wants a fight, but Miz just being somewhere else only proves Bryan right: Miz is “nothing more than a coward.”

Miz is a coward? He’s a coward? “YES! YES!” The last time Bryan said that, Miz was on Talking Smack, and what did Bryan do when Miz countered him? Bryan walked away! All Bryan really wants is an endless conflict to further Bryan’s career! Miz has carried Bryan ever since the original NXT reality show! But that’s the difference: Bryan is about passion, Miz is about fame. But Miz’s dream of sports entertainer to movie star, has been done by better men than Miz. Miz is not going to be The Rock. Heck, he won’t even be John Cena! And no one will remember Miz is a great wrestler, because he’s too soft. But if Miz insists on a big stage, talk to that manager, walk off the set and fight Bryan… at Summerslam!

This cycle continues. Bryan creates sympathy, get people to cry, repeat. When is Bryan going to accept reality? The Yes Movement is over, Team Hell No is over, everyone has moved on so why can’t Bryan? Let the contract expire so that you can go entertain everyone in gymnasiums. Everyone is annoyed with Bryan. Why can’t he quietly go away? All people see when they look at Bryan is a crying baby. Many crying babies. Miz has the final word, but who will be the one crying like a baby should these two have that grudge match?

 

Carmella VS Charlotte Flair!

The Queen of Flair kept the Princess of Staten Island from beating up Becky, so Carmella ran her mouth to the Glampire Manager. Paige didn’t take too kindly to anything Carmella did or said, so she upped the ante on her SmackDown Women’s Championship match. Can Charlotte turn this first night back into a golden opportunity?

Before the match, Renee interviews Carmella. Carmella is obviously aware of the situation she’s in, but her math and fashion sense are both Fabulous. Carmella wants Becky 1v1 because Carmella knows she can win. And despite what Becky says, Carmella knows she is cheering against Charlotte tonight.

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and Charlotte powers Carmella to a corner. She honors the break but Carmella turns it around. Carmella ducks the chop to then moonwalk away. Becky watches backstage as the two tie up again. Carmella gets a headlock but Charlotte lifts her up. Carmella gets a headlock takedown but Charlotte goes for a Figure Four. The champ gets away and Charlotte says it was close. Carmella disagrees as they circle again. They tie up and Charlotte gets a headlock. Carmella powers out but Charlotte runs her over. Fans “WOO~” as Charlotte styles and profiles. Carmella swings but gets rolled up into Charlotte’s Web, TWO. Charlotte throws Carmella up and over, and Carmella rolls out of the ring. Charlotte slingshots but misses! Carmella throws her into the LED apron then into barriers! The Princess has control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Charlotte hits ax handles on Carmella. Now she chops away as only a Flair can! Carmella runs into a back suplex! Charlotte kips up and walks over Carmella. She goes up top, but her Moonsault gets boots! Carmella gets on Charlotte to throw her out! Carmella shouts for a count out and the ref counts. Charlotte stirs at about 4 but Carmella kicks her back out at 6. The count restarts, but Carmella uses that to kick. Charlotte blocks it but misses her boot, and gets tilt-o-whirl headscissor’d into the barriers! Carmella throws Charlotte into the timekeepers area! She returns to the ring and shouts for a count! The ref counts and Charlotte slowly crawls out of the timekeeper’s area. She gets to the ring at 9! Carmella is on her with furious hands, going after the ribs!

Becky continues to watch backstage. Carmella wraps a chinlock on Charlotte, but fans rally up. Charlotte feeds off the energy, but Carmella throws and thrashes her back to the mat. Charlotte reaches as fans rally up again. Carmella hops on as a backpack but is powered into buckles. Charlotte frees herself, but Carmella throws her into buckles in return. Carmella glares at Charlotte as she stalks her. Carmella boots Charlotte, but Charlotte boots back! Cover, TWO! Charlotte grows frustrated, but she easily brings Carmella up. Carmella slips out but Charlotte rolls her up, ONE! Figure Four, but Carmella gets a quick ropebreak. Charlotte baseball slides Carmella into barriers. Charlotte climbs a barrier, for an ASAI moonsault! She hits Carmella then fires back up.

Charlotte puts Carmella in, then stalks her for NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, TWO!! Becky can’t be sure what she feels with that one. Charlotte herself is shocked Carmella survived, but that’s what a 1v1 match means. Charlotte runs but into a kick! She still gets Carmella down, but Carmella package counters! TWO, FABULOUS KICK!! Cover, TWO!? Carmella can’t believe that didn’t do it! The champ thinks on what else she can do. She steals the Figure Four! But gets caught into Charlotte’s Figure EIGHT! Carmella taps, Charlotte wins!!

Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission; joins the SmackDown Women’s championship match at Summerslam

Becky is again conflicted, but Charlotte is elated! Three women fight over one title, who makes the best of it in Brooklyn?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This isn’t saying much, but SmackDown was much better than last night’s Raw. There was more talking than wrestling but almost everything had something important to contribute and was entertaining. Opening with Becky and Carmella was great. Carmella may not be the best in the ring, but she did really good on the mic with that fake emotional confession of her insecurities and all that. Using Ellsworth’s theme as a distraction was clever, too. Great to see Charlotte back, and WWE is doing great setting up their own “friends on the rocks” story with her and Becky now that they’re both going after the title. However, I am sensing it will cost them both the title and Carmella holds it until Hell in a Cell in September. But as I’ve been saying. I’d love to see #TeaGenerationX VS #LegitHuggable at WWE Evolution for the Women’s Tag Titles.

That tag team match of Usos VS The Bar was incredible. That was approaching the level of a tag team championship match already. The Bar winning was done well with a sudden reversal of things, and The Bar VS New Day will be a nice, fresh match-up. We didn’t get enough of this match up before The Bar inexplicably disappeared from TV. I actually hope The Bar wins so that we get a completely fresh match for Summerslam, and I hope both The Bar and Bludgeon Brothers stay Heel so that WWE will actually do something else that’s fresh. Samoa Joe’s message to AJ Styles was definitely personal, and pure gold. I thought we were getting Orton VS Hardy tonight, but Orton and Nakamura beating down Hardy was actually better. I’m still sensing a Triple Threat for the US Championship.

Vega VS Lana was pretty fun, and I hope this means Vega will throw her name into the Women’s Division full time so that there’ll be more women to fight for the singles title. At the same time, it does a great job of feeding the overall Rusev Day story. I still don’t want Team Rusev Day to break up, but it’s much more organic to have it happen because English is failing to of help rather than Lana driving a wedge between them. Also I want a Mixed Tag of Rusev-Lana VS Almas-Vega before then. And while Joe’s promo was gold, so was the back and forth between Bryan and Miz. They both got great shots in (especially Bryan’s lines about Rock & Cena), but it really means a lot for Miz to get the last word because Bryan likely gets the win.

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!

AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!

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NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019

It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!

AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!

 

Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!

“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?

Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!

The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?

The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!

Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!

Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.

Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.

Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!

Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!

Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!

Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!

Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!

Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion

For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?

 

EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!

Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?

NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!

Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!

Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.

Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.

Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!

Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.

NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.

Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!

Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.

Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!

But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall

Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?

 

NJPW Media Backstage Interviews

Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.

But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.

But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!

The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.

“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.

Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?

But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.

Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?

 

NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!

Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!

The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?

The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!

Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.

Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!

Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.

Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!

Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!

Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.

NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.

Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!

Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.

Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.

Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!

Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!

Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!

Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.

Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!

Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?

Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.

NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”

Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!

Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.

For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.

NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.

Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.

My Score: 9.1/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)

It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!

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ROH cover image

ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399

Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
  • Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
  • Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!

Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?

The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!

Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!

The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.

ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!

Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!

BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!

Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?

 

ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!

Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?

But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?

 

ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!

Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!

 

Kenny King is here!

The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.

And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”

The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?

 

Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.

It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?

 

Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!

An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?

The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!

Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall

Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?

 

ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.

The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?

 

Bandido VS Shane Taylor!

Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?

Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!

Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.

ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.

Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!

Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!

ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.

Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!

Winner: Bandido, by pinfall

The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.

Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.

Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.

It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.

My Score: 8.3/10


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