The Queen and the Princess battle 1v1 in Carmella’s rematch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship! Plus, a new tag team title contender tournament begins!
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Triple Threat: The Bar VS The Club VS The Colons; The Bar wins and advance to the next round.
- Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Billie wins.
- Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Daniel Bryan w/ Brie Bella; Bryan wins, by disqualification.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Carmella; Charlotte wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Don’t be sour, clap for the FIVE-time champs and FEEL~! The POWER~! Yes, the NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions have a Stanley Cup of Pancakes to celebrate this momentous occasion. They won after an instant classic No Disqualification Tag Team match against the Bludgeon Brothers, Harper & Rowan. And with Toronto giving them a standing ovation, Xavier Woods and “ya boys” have some words to say. They did what they do best and became W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~! Harper & Rowan are ferocious no doubt, but The New Day put them out like a light (like a light!) and there’s no place they’d rather celebrate than in Toronto! Big E has waited to finally do this. They are not just one-time, two-time, three-time or four-time, they are– Wait, is that…? It’s KING BOOKAH!!
Yes, the Five-Time WCW World Heavyweight Champion honors us with his presence! Booker T heads to the ring, and The New Day is speechless with excitement. “Hear ye, hear ye,” King Bookah, Ruler of SmackDown, is here. Doth our eyes deceive us? Is it he, the WWE Hall of Fame Master of the Spinarooni?! The New Day kneel before their king, and Booker has a royal decree that he is proud to give in front of Toronto and the WWE Universe. Booker grants Lord Xavier the Wise, Sir Kofi the Brave, and… Big E, access to the most royal club of them all!
Wait, wait, where is Big E’s regal title? Umm… Well he already has it. It’s “Big”! But King, you just went Full Saxton! You did not just say that. Be on your knees and kiss his feet. There is only one man in the five-time five-time etc. club. “Until now.” Welcome to the Five Timers of All Time Club! Now Can You Dig that, SUCKAAAA!?!? The New Day help Booker T with his royal scepter, cape and crown because he’s about to give us… The SPINAROONI! Xavier hits one, too! So does Kofi! But wait, let’s see if Big E can do it. Big E is given space, gets on his knee, but only flops and flails. The New Day help him spin through it. All Hail King Bookah! All Hail The New Day!
But The New Day aren’t done out here, because they get their own commentary table! They’ll want to watch this very important tag team match that’s coming up next!
SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Triple Threat: The Bar VS The Club VS The Colons!
While The New Day took the titles from The Bludgeon Brothers, Harper & Rowan are in no shape for an immediate rematch. Therefore, GM Paige decided on a massive tag team tournament, as inspired by Cesaro & Sheamus accepting the challenge from Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. However, she added Primo & Epico to the mix, which duo will move on towards becoming the new challengers to the newly crowned Five-Time Tag Champs?
SmackDown returns with all three teams in the ring and sorting out who starts. Sheamus and Anderson start, and the Celtic Gladiator gets a headlock takeover. Machine Gun headscissors but Sheamus pops out. Sheamus powers out of a headlock then runs Anderson over. Things speed up and Anderson dropkicks Sheamus’ leg out. Anderson adds another dropkick then covers, TWO. Anderson keeps on Sheamus while the New Day adds their comments. Sheamus tags in Cesaro and Cesaro gives a European Uppercut to Anderson. Anderson reverses the whip but runs into a bout, to give back a back elbow! Cover, TWO, but Anderson wrenches the arm. He tags to Gallows and Gallows kicks Cesaro. Gallows bumps and body shots Cesaro in the corner, the uppercut drops Cesaro off his feet. Gallows suplexes then covers, TWO.
Cesaro is put back in the Club’s corner, and Anderson tags in. The Club mug Cesaro then Anderson gives a EuroUpper. Cesaro gives one back, but Primo tags in. Primo walks into an arm-drag, and Anderson makes it an armlock. Anderson brings Primo up but Primo knees. Primo chops, then whips. Anderson sunset flips but Primo stays up to tag Epico. The Colons double kick then cover, TWO. Epico argues with the ref while he drags Anderson up. Epico gives Anderson punches and elbows, then tries to suplex. Anderson reverses to a cradle, TWO. Anderson runs Epico over then whips, but Epico reverses. Epico misses in the corner and gets the jump kick! Abs Anderson hops up but Primo distracts. Epico shoves Anderson down, then tags Primo.
Primo runs Anderson over on the outside, then grins while we go picture in picture. He stomps away on Anderson, then puts him in the ring. Primo slingshot sentons then dropkicks Anderson down. He drags Anderson into body scissors and a cobra clutch. Anderson endures as Primo shifts to just the cobra clutch, but fans rally up. Anderson gets up and reaches, but Epico tags in. Epico kicks Anderson down, then drives punches into the ear and cheek of Anderson. Gallows protests but the ref keeps him bakc. Epico drags Anderson up, and then holds Anderson up for the suplex, maybe even a brainbuster. Cover, TWO, and the Colons are frustrated. Epico keeps on Anderson, but Sheamus tags in! Sheamus gets Epico to go back to his corner, then kicks Anderson. Tag to Cesaro for Super Saiyan Kicks. Cover, TWO!
Cesaro grinds Anderson down with a chinlock. Fans rally up again and Anderson endures. They stand up, and Anderson back suplexes Cesaro down! Both men crawl for any corner, so Primo tags in via Cesaro. Cesaro reluctantly returns to The Bar’s corner while Primo throws hands. Anderson counters and rocks Primo with forearms. Anderson backs Primo up, but is given a quick takedown slam. Primo drags Anderson to a cover, TWO. He puts Anderson on the ropes, runs, and misses the colon rope attack! Cesaro tags in but Primo shoves him. Epico and Sheamus come in and the four start brawling! The Bar throw the Colons out, then Cesaro hits Gallows Anderson ducks and goes for a tag but Gallows ins’t there. Sheamus tags in and then tackles Anderson. Cesaro climbs up, elbow drop bakcbreaker! Cover, TWO!
The New Day like what they see, but can tell Anderson is in both good shape and rough shape as Sheamus lifts Anderson. Sheamus uses the Canadian backbreaker rack to bend Anderson. Anderosn slips out to give Sheamus a neckbreaker! Both men crawl as fans rally up. Hot tags to Cesaro and Gallows! Big Doc Gallows rallies on Cesaro and then hits a corner splash! He roundhouses Cesaro off his feet! Gallows boots Epico, too, then brings Cesaro up for the pumphandle slam! Gallows runs, for the big splash! Cover, TWO! Gallows runs at Cesaro but gets boots. Primo tags in, takes Cesaro up, but leaps into a YAKUZA Kick! Cover, Sheamus breaks it! Anderson gives Sheamus a Spienbuster! Gallows and Anderson give Cesaro the back suplex neckbreaker! The Club fires up, as does Toronto!
The Club grabs Primo, but Epico backstabs Anderson! Gallows misses Epico and hits Sheamus. Cesaro tags from Primo just as The Colons hit a DOUBLE Backstabber! Cesaro uppercuts Epico while Sheamus BROGUES Primo! Cover on Gallows, The Bar WINS!
Winners: The Bar, Sheamus pinning; advance to the next round
The New Day is pumped up, they know one possible challenger for their titles. Will The Bar get through whoever meets them next time? Tensions mount already between them and The New Day!
Paige brings in Team Rusev Day.
Rusev & Aiden English, along with Lana, are all on the same page these days. They want in the tag title scene, and Paige agrees. Therefore, Rusev & English VS The Usos VS SAnitY, winners move on to face The Bar for the #1 contender’s match. Wow! What a great present for Rusev & Lana Day! Mr. Machka thanks his wife, but it wasn’t even Lana who asked for this. It was his best buddy, English! Save the celebration for later, it’s time to focus and win on Rusev Daaaay~!
Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!
The Charismatic Enigma got a modicum of revenge on The Viper last week as the two went out and around the arena. Randy Orton wants to erase Hardy’s identity, but Hardy has words for the Legend Killer. “Since returning to SmackDown Live, Randy Orton has had this strange obsession with me.” Orton has beaten his body and gotten in his head. In fact, Orton made Hardy believe he could fly, which is why last week, he used his Swanton Bomb off the upper level! Orton make think Hardy is a stepping stone, but he’s wrong. Hardy felt alive after what he did! He felt like the Jeff Hardy of old, Re-broken by fate! “And this is just the beginning.” Orton must hear Hardy’s words, so let Hardy finish what Orton started!
Randy Orton appears! He stares at Hardy from the stage. The high-flying Hardy reborn, congratulations. And Orton appreciates being given credit for that. But the truth is, Orton isn’t finished working on Hardy. This version of Jeff Hardy that everyone adores will be what Orton takes away. This is the career he’s looking to end with broken bones in the middle of the ring. Orton approaches the ring and Hardy is ready for a fight, but Orton isn’t getting in on Hardy’s terms. Hardy isn’t as dumb as these Canadians. But Orton leaves them with this: Apex Predator, Viper, Legend Killer, those don’t matter compared to the three most destructive letters ever. R, K–
NO!! Orton is going to Hell and Hardy’s taking him there, with Hell in a Cell! Hardy mocks Orton’s signature pose, but what does Orton say to that challenge? He simply drops the mic. Is that a yes? And if so, will Orton get exactly what he wants inside that sinister steel structure? Or will Jeff Hardy render The Viper OBSOLETE?
Backstage interview with Carmella.
The FABULOUS Princess prepares for her title rematch, but is she worried about Becky’s buzz? The buzz is with the title, and that means Carmella was the hottest woman for the last four months. She brought attention to the Women’s Division, not Becky or Charlotte. Charlotte didn’t pin Crmella while Carmella’s beaten Charlotte twice. Carmella promises a third, and then the BFF’s can have their Best Friend Fight somewhere else. Those two are chump change but #MellaIsMoney. She leaves, but R-Truth is on the hunt? Tye Dillinger comes by and tries to talk reason into him. Let Carmella have her match. Right, the timing. Soon enough, the Truth shall set her free! The Perfect 10 sighs for his own burden. But will Carmella really defeat Charlotte a third time?
Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!
The IIconics are 1-0 against #FeelTheGlow, and are going for the sweep. Will Naomi turn things around? Or will Billie prove #TheFutureIsIIconic?
The IIconics share a secret: Billie is clairvoyant. No one here knows what that means. Oh right. That means Billie sees the future. She predicted Peyton would win last week, and she did! What does Billie see now? Toronto Raptors have a dismal season. And Naomi having nightmares over losing again. She’s frozen with fear! No, that’s just how she always looks. Fans retaliate with “Let’s go Raptors!” chants, but wait, Peyton sees the future! The Future is IIconic! The bell rings and we begin!
Naomi dropkicks then leg drops! TWO, and Billie grabs Naomi’s hair. Naomi drags Billie all the way around, some hair comes out, and Billie kicks Naomi down. Billie rains rights then covers, TWO. She argues with the ref, but then taunts Lil’ Miss Glow not being IIconic. Naomi jawbreakers then roundhouses Billie for that. Then Naomi rallies with lariats and elbows. She tops it off with a corner buckle bulldog, then hits back with another roundhouse. Naomi brings Billie up but Billie knees low. Billie whips but Naomi reverses, and the IIconcis almost collide. Naomi rolls Billie, TWO, and Naomi is at the ropes. She kicks Billie away, but then as the ref checks on Billie, Peyton kicks Naomi! Roll up, Billie wins!
Winner: Billie Kay, by pinfall
There’s the sweep! The “prediction” comes true, but it wasn’t without an assist. Will Naomi ever turn her luck around? Or are the IIconics headed up and up to bigger and better?
Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella head to the ring!
Mr. & Mrs. Yes Movement are ready to give Miz & Mrs. a taste of their own medicine at Hell in a Cell for their Mixed Tag Match, and get a great ovation from Toronto. Last week, Miz & Maryse mocked Bryan’s retirement speech, but it was all an act. Everything is an act for them, like Miz acts like he has the strongest punch in WWE. But Miz is a very poor actor. Because Bryan got Miz to use Maryse as a shield, so that’s when Brie came out to punch him right in the face! Brie knows she doesn’t have to fight Bryan’s battles, but a wife can only take so much before going off.
Brie is sick that Maryse helps Miz win, and they always run their mouths. She wanted Maryse, but it felt so good to hit Miz! Bryan isn’t acting when he says, “it was also really hot.” Brie is a butt-kicking, diaper-changing hot mama! And Maryse can’t hide behind Miz, because–
El Idolo & La Muneca interrupt. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega counter Brie & Bryan by saying it’s an “honor” to be next to two legends. Brie Bella and Andrade Almas. Oh, sorry, Bryan. Zelina formally introduces herself as the breath-taking, deal-making Doll to El Idolo. And since arriving, Almas has successfully put Sin Cara on the shelf, taken AJ Styles to the limit, and even pinned Rusev. Therefore, it’s time for Almas to show he can out-wrestle Bryan. Almas says that Bryan can have his battle with Miz, but the reality star is the one in this ring: Almas! Bryan would love to make this match official right now, but he’s not the SmackDown GM. “If only there was someone in the back” who could make this a match. Well, this is embarrassing, Paige doesn’t show up right away. Oh wait there she is!
The Glampire is out of breath. She had to run from her office to gorilla. But yes, the SmackDown GM is on the scene, and she’s going to give the WWE Universe what we want. Do the fans want Bryan VS Almas? “YES!” In that case, what are we waiting for? Get a ref!
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Daniel Bryan w/ Brie Bella!
The challenge is accepted, the match is made, but will El Idolo make good on his word to out-wrestle and out-shine The Goat?
SmackDown returns as this first-time-ever match begins. Bryan has the fans on his side as he ties up with Almas. They go around and Bryan brings Almas in for a wristlock takedown. Almas gets up quick for a quick takedown, but Bryan gets loose. They circle again and tie up. Almas gets a headlock, but Bryan powers out. Almas runs Bryan over, then runs. Things speed up and Almas goes Tranquilo. Bryan dropkicks him out of it! Bryan brings Almas back into the ring but Almas tackles him on the return. Almas gives an uppercut and a corner to corner whip. Bryan tries to boot Almas but Almas gives him the draping backbreaker and elbow drop while Miz & Maryse watch. Cover, TWO.
Almas keeps on Bryan with knees and a whip, but Bryan reverses. Almas gets Bryan up in a modified Gory Especial! Byran endures, pops his way up and around to a sunset flip! TWO, and Almas gives Bryan a LOUD chop! Almas puts Bryan in the corner for more chops. Bryan turns it around to chop Almas, but Almas dares him to give more. Bryan obliges, then shifts to kicks. “YES! YES!” with every kick, and then Bryan whips Almas corner to corner. Bryan runs in and hits the dropkick! He keeps going, but gets a big knee from Almas! Almas keeps going, but misses! He crashes and burns while Bryan recovers in the ring.
Vega coaches Almas up but Bryan is on the apron. Bryan hits a flying knee! Vega panics but Toronto echoes “YES! YES!” Bryan puts Almas back in, then climbs up top. Bryan jumps but Almas gets under, to use the boot feint for the back elbow! Cover, TWO! Miz & Maryse continue to watch, and whisper strategy. Maryse & Miz head somewhere while we go picture in picture.
Bryan and Almas slowly get back up, but Almas stomps Bryan first. Almas embraces the heat while he backs off. Vega applauds while Almas brings Bryan back up. Almas suplexes then covers, TWO. Almas rains down rights out of frustration, then mocks the Yes chant. Fans don’t take too kindly to that, but Vega has Almas ignore it. Almas brings Bryan up with an arm wrench, then back down with an armlock. Bryan endures as he gets up, but he gets a knee. Almas whips but Bryan goes up and over to speed up and hit Almas with a leaipng lariat! Bryan fires up while Vega panics. Bryan gives more Yes Kicks! Almas ducks but is sent to the apron. We go single picture as Almas gest teh hanging armbar! He lets go at 4, then covers, TWO!
Brie grows worried for Bryan as Almas climbs up top. Bryan stands and hurries over to dropkick Almas! He then climbs up to join Almas, for a SUPER butterfly suplex! But now Miz & Maryse appear! The Hollywood A-Lister swaggers out, but where did his wife go? Bryan is distracted, Almas pounces, but Bryan DIVES on Miz! Bryan throws hands, but then Almas FLIES onto Bryan! Almas puts Bryan back in, inverted tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Bryan isn’t screwed out yet, but “This is Awesome!” Almas positions Bryan while going to the corner. He climbs up, but Bryan boots the moonsault! YES LOCK! Vega distracts but Brie trips her up and knocks her out! But wait, Maryse pushes Brie into a post! Then Miz goes after Bryan!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by disqualification
The Miz feeds Bryan to Almas’s Idolo Hammerlock DDT! Mr. & Mrs. Awesome get one over on Mr. & Mrs. Yes Movement, with Miz putting a Yes Lock on Bryan while Brie watches. Then Vega gives Brie Cien Knees! Maryse taunts Bryan as she gives Brie a DDT! Bryan crawls to his wife, but then gets a Skull-Crushing Finale! Miz & Maryse are so proud of themselves for this, and celebrate with a kiss. Hell in a Cell will be must-see, but will it be a happy ending for the Hollywood couple?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
The Queen has been on an emotional roller coaster. She gained the title but lost a friend. Becky Lynch thinks she deserves a title. No one deserves something they don’t win. Charlotte couldn’t let Becky win, and wouldn’t have blamed Becky if tables were turned. Becky blames Charlotte for not winning the big one. Charlotte won’t apologize for working hard and busting her ass to win. She won’t let anyone take this away from her, even a former friend. If Becky wants center stage, then maybe after Charlotte runs through Carmella, that’s what Becky will get. What does Charlotte mean by that? Perhaps we’ll see after tonight.
AJ Styles heads to the ring!
The Phenomenal WWE Champion has had his troubles with Samoa Joe all month, and after the No DQ finish at Summerslam, there will be a rematch at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Styles promises to end Joe’s harassment, and will speak after the break.
SmackDown returns and Styles has his mic. Styles sees the review footage of what Joe did to him last week, and he’s angry all over again. He calms down to say “It’s official. Samoa Joe VS AJ Styles at Hell in a Cell”, for the WWE Championship. Good work, Joe, really. He’s great with mind games, he has Styles where he wants him. Joe brought Styles’ wife and daughter into this, but isn’t man enough to actually get the title. But why play games? Why not just face Styles like a man? “Because you’re not, Joe. You’re not a man.” Styles vows to end the games right here and now. Styles IS WWE Champion, and makes the rules around here. He doesn’t need to wait, he wants to face Joe NOW! It isn’t’ a threat, this is a demand by the champion to knock Joe’s teeth down his throat!
Styles waits, but Joe laughs on the titantron. “Oh, AJ~!” Joe isn’t going to come out there, just look at Styles proving his point. Styles acts like a hero, but who is there for his kids? Joe isn’t done playing daddy yet, it’s just too much fun. Joe calls someone? “Hello, Wendy.” She knows who this is. How is little Annie? Easy now, Wendy, just listen. Joe will keep a promise Styles never did: Styles is headed home. Are they on for the back-to-school BBQ? Save Joe a plate for next Tuesday. Joe laughs more, which only pisses Styles off! Styles rushes to the back to find Joe, but is this only Joe’s game going to the next level?
AJ Styles searches for Samoa Joe.
He runs through the backstage area, but Joe is nowhere to be found. Styles is furious all over again, and almost hits an event staffer. He works to cool off, but will he just seethe all the way to Hell in a Cell?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Carmella!
Controversies aside, the FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island does have two wins over The Queen of Queen City. Of course, Charlotte got one win back to then earn a spot in the title match at Summerslam, which is how she’s champion again at all. Will Carmella make it 3-1 and get the belt back? Or will Charlotte block her out to then turn her full attention to Straight Fire Becky Lynch?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Carmella and Charlotte circle and tie up. Carmella gets a waistlock but Charlotte standing switches. Charlotte throws Carmella down, then they stand back up. Carmella fights out of the waistlock to roll Charlotte, TWO. Fans chant “We Want Becky!” while Charlotte rolls Carmella. TWO and Carmella kicks Charlotte to then throw her down by her hair. Carmella wraps on a headlock and mocks the “WOO~!” Charlotte powers out and things speed up, but Carmella gets the headlock again. Charlotte lifts but Carmella gets a takedown. Carmella taunts as she makes it a cover, ONE. They stand up but Carmella bumps Charlotte off buckles. She puts the headlock back on, then repeats.
Fans still want Becky as Charlotte powers out and rolls Carmella again. TWO, but Charlotte throws Carmella with the exploder. Charlotte kips up and fans “WOO~”. Charlotte walks on Carmella then climbs up top, but Carmella knows this too well. She shoves Charlotte all the way off and Charlotte hits barriers! Carmella catches her breath while Charlotte stirs. Carmella aims, runs, and DIVES! Air Fabulous connects! She puts Charlotte back in, covers, TWO! The match continues while we take one last break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Carmella thrashes Charlotte around in a chinlock. Carmella mocks the “WOO~” again as she puts her weight on Charlotte. Fans rally and Charlotte powers up. Charlotte throws Carmella off, then gets her up for a back suplex. She can’t make the cover, but she does recover and catch her breath. The two stand and Carmella throws forearms. Charlotte gives those Flair chops in return! Carmella runs, wheelbarrows and arm-drags. She dropkicks Charlotte down, then grins. Fans fire up as Charlotte drags herself up in a corner. Carmella trash talks and runs in, but is put on the apron. She hits Charlotte away, then counters the shoulder with a kick! Carmella climbs and flies fora crossbody! Charlotte rolls through, TWO!
Charlotte goes to spear but gets a kick to the leg. Carmella gives a Fabulous Flat Liner, cover, TWO! She grows frustrated even though Charlotte looks exhausted. Carmella throws hammer hands, then goes after Charlotte in a corner. She misses, tries for her Fabulous Steiner, but Charlotte works to counter! Carmella sits up and pulls hair, but Charlotte tries to use that for a bomb. Carmella STILL Fabulous Steiners! Cover, TWO!! That was so close and Carmella can feel it. Fans rally up as Carmella drags Charlotte up again. She throws more furious hammer hands. She and Charlotte brawl as Carmella shrieks. Carmella brings Charlotte up again, sunset flips, but Charlotte rolls through. Carmella pushes her away, FABULOUS Kick, and another! Cover, TWO!! Another cover, TWO! High stack, TWO!!
Carmella can’t explain why she hasn’t won yet. She stands up while Charlotte stirs. Charlotte blocks the kick, SPEAR! Then Natural Selection! But she’s not done, Figure Four, to Figure EIGHT! Carmella endures, reaches, shrieks, but taps! Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission; still WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion
The Queen takes care of the Princess, but here comes Becky! Becky won’t let Charlotte enjoy her moment, and fans are okay with that! She gives Charlotte a kick down, then demands a mic! Fans chant “Let’s Go Becky!” Becky holds up the belt and then tells Charlotte, “When I get my way come Hell in a Cell, I’m taking my title back, you bitch!” Fans are thunderous for the Lass Kicker. Will Becky kick some serious lass in three weeks?
What a great SmackDown! They didn’t bother with Super Showdown build, they didn’t put too much on Evolution, they just focused on Hell in a Cell, which really helped. We started with a bang, too, as New Day celebrated with KING BOOKAH! It was great to “formally” induct them into the Five-Time Club, this fifth run is going to be great. Then the truly surprise Triple Threat was great. The Colons haven’t gotten much TV play but man they didn’t show any rust on them. They were a nice X-factor in the match, but in the end The Bar wins by taking advantage of their work. Rusev Day VS Usos VS SAnitY is the next triple threat, and I really hope Rusev Day wins that one. I don’t want that team breaking up, but if it must happen, then let it happen when The Bar likely beats them later.
I like that Jeff Hardy wants Randy Orton for THE Hell in a Cell match, and we finally get to see him give it a try, but now I fear he’s going to Swanton off the very top. Last we knew, Jeff had to worry about his back, so hopefully he doesn’t put himself through too much in this grudge match. I’m surprised Styles VS Joe wasn’t automatically a Cell match, too, but after what Joe has said, said tonight and what might say next week to get on Styles’ nerves, I hope something happens to make their rematch a Cell match. Almas VS Bryan was pretty solid, even with Miz & Maryse getting involved. The feud is intensifying, so that Mixed Tag Match is going to be really good now.
That SmackDown Women’s Championship match was pretty great, too. Carmella really has improved in the ring for being the Last Real Diva in WWE. That suicide dive of hers is pretty solid, but naturally Charlotte wins because we’re moving on to Charlotte VS Becky. If Hardy VS Orton and Styles VS Joe weren’t already so heated to deserve a Cell match, I’d love for another Women’s Cell match. Becky is still being written as the Heel but adored as the Face, so her winning the title back and doing it in extreme fashion would be all the better. Of course, Charlotte will likely win again, but I hope in that scenario, Becky wins at WWE Evolution because that’s another great venue for her crowning moment.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10