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
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.44 ~ 21ST JULY 2019
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH started the long trek to the finals (and the GHC Heavyweight Tag match championship) at Korakuen Hall on 15th July on Japan’s “Marine Day” National Holiday. By the 16th they had moved up to Japan’s North to the Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded “Demon Staircase from Hell”. 19th July in Morioka, 20th in Akita and the 21st in Aomori.
Kenoh debuted his new ring wear (its all red) and Kongoh got their first win over The Sugiura Army (who all came out wearing the “Company Dog T-shirts”)
Kenoh has vowed to enter the N-1, win it, win the GHC Heavyweight at Sumo Hall, and then return to the provinces with the belt.
Naomichi Marufuji also debuted new ring wear. He said he changed it from red as red was Kongoh’s colors, and he has gone with a black and metallic silver. Black and silver are LIDET’S colors, but Kenoh seems not to have picked up on that yet.
RATELS continued with their periodic squabble (which happens in leagues, and when one of them has a belt which another one challenges for) in a match that one fan termed “speed vs power” with Tadasuke taking on YO-HEY, and defeating him within ten minutes. Elsewhere for RATELS that evening, Daisuke Harada was bloodied by Yoshinari Ogawa, who in turn was bloodied by Harada when he threw him into a table. As YO-HEY said about the match (which he watched on the monitor), that Harada is known for bleeding, but for Ogawa, its very rare.
There was blood everywhere by the end of the match, all over the mat, the mats outside (in pools), and senior Referee Nishinaga’s shirt was smeared with it. Yoshinari Ogawa won with a sneak roll up (see “Rat Boy” in dictionary), and Harada threw one of his famous tantrums and had to be pulled off Ogawa. Ogawa said afterwards that if you think what he did to Harada was bad then he was going to do worse to YO-HEY (who is “not on Harada’s level”). YO-HEY gave a nonsensical confused and rambling promo (please DO NOT GET ME STARTED on it) about hitting Ogawa’s nose on the right side. However, in the event of things, neither bled and it was YO-HEY who took the victory.
The bloodshed resolved nothing between Harada & Ogawa as on the 16th when Harada came out to second RATELS, friction once again rose between them, with a fight breaking out at the end of the match as Harada got into the ring to attack Ogawa.
In the main event at Korakuen when AXIZ clashed with the challengers to their GHC Heavyweight tag titles, Kaito Kiyomiya aimed a missile dropkick to Go Shiozaki’s knee (despite promising that he wouldn’t as he felt that a champion should be “emphatic” at times). Also in the match sparks flew between Chris Ridgeway and Naomichi Marufuji, who had a kick\chop war. After the match they both made the “single match” signal to each other, which is something that fans very much want to see.
After the match (and Go Shiozaki tapping out to Taniguchi), NOAH announced that Shiozaki would be missing time due to a shoulder dislocation. During this time, which was a time of worry for fans and Nakajima, Nakajima came out holding both the tag belts and to AXIZ theme music. Taniguchi made him tap out on the 16th to his modified camel clutch.
Kaito Kiyomiya has now turned 23 (17th July) and fans have started detecting a change of vibe him in, he seemingly has gone from the nice young (slightly naive) boy of 22, to more steely and less sympathetic person. This was seen when talking about Shiozaki’s injury he said something to the effect of, “yeah, we all get injured, and while I sympathize, we are trying to have a title match here”, and in the title match he attacked Shiozaki’s damaged neck and shoulder. In Morioka, he was seen to have slight smirk on his lips (as opposed to his usual worried expression) when he held the belt up to Kenoh at the end of the main event, and Kenoh stalked off.
Go Shiozaki returned to action on the 20th July. He doesn’t seem to have had any further problems, and he says he is fine, but fans think that he is probably a lot worse than he is making it out to be.
The afternoon at Korakuen belonged to the juniors with HAYATA vs Kotaro Suzuki putting on a stellar match, with HAYATA wearing Kotaro Suzuki down by letting him wear himself out. HAYATA wouldn’t quit, he took everything that Suzuki threw at him, and likewise with Suzuki taking everything that HAYATA threw at him. The audience were firmly on the side of HAYATA (as opposed to NOAH’s first born son), and just as Suzuki hit the Tiger Driver, the time ran out.
Hajime Ohara, it must be said, was not in a good way during the closing stages of Global Junior League as the problem with his neck and shoulder flared up again (it had plagued him during Global Tag League 2018 too), so while fans wanted to see him win, it was probably better that he didn’t, especially as he is responsible pretty much for the planning of NOAH’s Kawasaki event. During the match on the 16th, the referee was concerned and asked him if he was fit to continue.
The semi final night of Global Junior League 2019 and the GHC Heavyweight title match came on the 21st July 2019 in the Mutsu Grand Hotel in Aomori. It is a small venue, a hotel, which NOAH created a “big match” atmosphere at.
Takashi Sugiura & NOSAWA Rongai teamed up to take on Minoru Tanaka & Kinya Okada. After the match, which Sugiura naturally won, he said that he wanted Kinya Okada to enter The Sugiura Army. Kinya Okada did (and how could he refuse after being commanded by Takashi Sugiura), and he will have his first match as one of them on the 27th July at Kawasaki when they fight Kongoh. His joining The Sugiura Army is a good move as not only does it mean that he has the chance to be mentored by Takashi Sugiura, it also brings him into conflict with Yoshiki Inamura, who is in Kongoh, and calls him “my rival”.
Global Junior League 2019 came down to HAYATA vs Tadasuke, following their wins over Hajime Ohara & Kotaro Suzuki (HAYATA, who was seconded by YO-HEY) and Tadasuke (who defeated Daisuke Harada earlier in the evening). When they met in the ring later, Tadasuke gave HAYATA the finger.
Daisuke Harada commented, “RATEL’S showdown in the final, I have nothing but jealousy.”
AXIZ defended the GHC Heavyweight tag titles successfully against Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi, with Go Shiozaki getting the win with the lariat on Shuhei Taniguchi. They were challenged for the titles by The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).
Title match will take place at NOAH’s anniversary show on the 4th August.
All Japan announced this week that the memorial for Atsushi Aoki will take place on the 11th August at Korakuen Hall. NOAH wrestlers have been announced to be participating in the event (although he was an All Japan wrestler, Aoki was NOAH born) with Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Shuhei Taniguchi and Hitoshi Kumano in attendance.
The main event will see Naomichi Marufuji team with Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyogi against Shuji Ishikawa, Shuhei Taniguchi and Suwama. Suwama has wanted a singles match with Marufuji since the Tokyo Sports Award in January, and says that he doesn’t care about the other opponents, he wants Marufuji.
In the semi, Jun Akiyama will tag with Takashi Sugiura against Naoya Nomura and Hitoshu Kumano.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ NOAH have released a Sugiura Army “Company Dog” towel, which features both of Takashi Sugiura’s dogs with his little toy poodle at one end and his beloved Shiba Inu at the other, both barking “Yip! Yip!”
~ HAYATA gave Kotaro Suzuki a slight black eye
~ Kenoh has said that HE will enter the N-1, and if LIDET don’t let him, he will go ahead and do it anyway.
~ Yoshiki Inamura turned on Junta Miyawaki when Miyawaki came in to try and help him after the match in Morioka
~ Minoru Tanaka stole Rocky Kawamura’s apples and ate one in the ring, and posted that the other one was for his lunch. When asked how they were by Rocky, he said they were tasty.
~ Kenoh’s latest bout of paranoia is to claim that LIDET turned the microphone down on him during a promo.
~ Naomichi Marufuji scooped up the white and black feathers left in the ring from Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ’S jackets, and putting them in the palm of his hand, blew them into the crowd.
~ Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge did the Disco Fever vs Revolutionary Pose stand off. This hasn’t happened for a while.
~ RATELS went on a wander while in Akita, and came across a fenced off area because Bears were in the forest. YO-HEY joked that it was Hitoshi Kumano (who’s surname means “Bear”, and also incorporates bears into his persona\merchandise), doing a private autograph session. In one picture, in the background, HAYATA had his back to the camera while he stood by some bushes…
~ Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji will be their first match since the Suzuki Gun invasion of NOAH in summer 2016, although the match at TAKAYAMANIA 2 when this takes place, will not be a singles match.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya turned 23 on the 17th July
~ “The Tadasuke Women” were seen again in force at the Shin-Yuri Twenty One Hall. These middle aged to elderly women I believe are family and friends of Mohammed Yone, but they were given the name “The Tadasuke Women” after he played up to them last year. Minoru Tanaka, who sprained his ankle during the match, said that he had been distracted by them, hence the reason for his injury. Tadasuke behaved himself this year.
~ Masao Inoue suffered the usual sneak videos from Naomichi Marufuji on NOAH’s long bus journey (they have a twelve hour trip on the 22nd back to Tokyo), and then Marufuji bought out his new toy, “FaceApp” and made him into a woman (who looked a little like Betty Boop) and an old man. Marufuji also made himself into an old man, and then into woman. A photograph of himself and Takashi Sugiura as old grey men (looking like they where hosts of a daytime or direct to video art series) made Sugiura remark that they should challenge for the tag titles.
~ Referee Ben, who was kneeling at ringside, was knocked over by a dueling Chris Ridgeway and Tadasuke
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST
NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah.co.jp, Daisuke Harada, Naomichi Marufuji, Battle Sports
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 3!
The G1 rages on in the summer heat!
AXS TV brings us NJPW G1 Climax 29, Night 7!
A week into the annual summer blockbuster, and the standings are coming into focus. Who in A Block gets some much needed momentum? And who SPOILS it for the rest of them?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Bad Luck Fale VS Zack Sabre Jr; Zack Sabre Jr wins.
- Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins.
- EVIL VS KENTA; KENTA wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS SANADA; Ibushi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this critical night of action!
The A Block enters its fourth round, and only newcomer Kenta and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion himself, Kazuchika Okada, have perfect scores! But the Aerial Assassin is still in the running. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion lost to the Killer Elite, Lance Archer, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, but there is still time for a comeback! However, he’ll have to do it against the Rainmaker! Okada has had Ospreay’s number every time, but the clash of champions may prove who is truly the BEST in NJPW!
But then there are the highly anticipated match-ups of the fastest rising stars! Ibushi was a finalist of G1 Climax 28 while the Cold Skull was a New Japan Cup 2019 finalist! Each has come close to the title, but their standings are at a make-or-break point with tonight! Sanada got the best of Ibushi last time, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for the former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. With only so much time left, who survives and who is out of the running as the G1 reaches its climax?!
Bad Luck Fale w/ Jado & Chase Owens VS Zack Sabre Jr!
But even before all of that, the Bullet Club’s Rogue General enters #ZackSabreTime! Will bad luck fall on the Submission Master? Or will Fale #JustTapOut?
The bell rings and ZSJ jumps right at Fale! He has a guillotine and body scissors but his weight is not enough to drag Fale all the way down. Fale endures and powers out, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper! ZSJ squeezes tight and uses his own shoulder as a way to keep the lock. But Fale just powers out and throws him down! Fale catches his breath but ZSJ dodges to wheelbarrow to a kneebar! But again, ZSJ is just not enough weight to make Fale fall. Fale pries at the leg scissors, and drags ZSJ over as he heads for ropes. ZSJ bends and twists the leg but the ropebreak makes him let go. After the ref counts to 4, that is.
ZSJ unties himself and avoids Fale’s angry stomp. He wrenches the arm and again, but Fale blocks the whip. Fale whips ZSJ to a corner hard, then runs in to squash him! ZSJ flops over and Fale drops an elbow. Into an armbar! ZSJ has Fale down but Fale has a tight grip. Fale shifts his weight, and deadlifts ZSJ up! ZSJ lets Fale go, but gets run over with a clothesline! Fale goes to the writhing ZSJ and brings him in for a Canadian rack. ZSJ fights out of Bad Luck Fall to get the sleeper, to the Iron Octopus! Fale endures as ZSJ twists the arm and pulls on fingers! ZSJ twists that arm all sorts of ways, but Fale backs into a ropebreak. And Jado SMACKS ZSJ with his kendo stick! Fale “falls” into the ref, so that he doesn’t see ZSJ get mugged by Chase Owens!
The Crown Jewel is becoming an ace in the hole as he gets away with beating down ZSJ. Sadly, Taka Michinoku can’t watch ZSJ’s back with his own injury keeping him out. Fale fetches ZSJ to then whip him into railing. Fale throws body shots as he brings ZSJ out into the crowd. Chase keeps the ref back as Fale dumps ZSJ onto chairs. Fans back out of the way as Fale throws things onto ZSJ. Fale brings ZSJ deeper into the crowd to throw him into more chairs. They go into the bleachers! Fale shoves the ref away and Chase helps back people off. Fale drags ZSJ up for the crucifix, but ZSJ escapes! ZSJ standing switches with Chase, Fale runs in, Fale only gets Chase! Fale grabs ZSJ for the Grenade! But ZSJ traps him in a hanging armbar!
The ring count finally begins as ZSJ manages to drag Fale down! Fale has to work with ZSJ’s dead weight, but the count is past 10! ZSJ lets go at 14 to scramble to the ring! He gets in at 17, Fale is still outside! The count hits 20!! ZSJ gets his first win of the tournament!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by count-out; earns 2 points
The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion wins by the seat of his pants, but a win is a win for the G1! Will ZSJ be able to use this for a comeback? Or is even this count-out victory just not in time?
Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
#EverybodyDies, but The Ace won’t do so without a fight! Tanahashi wants to make this his strongest comeback yet, but he’s up against another strong and returning heavyweight. Will Tanahashi survive the Killer Elite? Or will it be #GoAce as A Block keeps rocking?
Just like on night one, and every night, Archer DECKS Young Lions on his way out to the ring! It seems nothing can put out the raging fire inside of him. But then Tanahashi makes his entrance, and this fight begins as he dropkicks Archer’s legs before the bell! The bell does ring as Tanahashi keeps going at those legs with dropkicks and chop blocks! Archer bails out while Tanahashi takes off his jacket. Tanahashi then slingshots and topples Archer over! Tanahashi kicks Archer but Archer shoves him back. Archer reverses a whip but then Tanahashi reverses it back to send Archer into railing! Tanahashi catches his breath before pursuing Archer around the corner. Archer choke slams Tanahashi onto the apron!
Tanahashi crumbles to the floor while Archer grits his teeth. Archer shouts at the fans cheering for Tanahashi to shut up, then he glares as he goes back to the ring. Tanahashi anchors Archer’s feet on the apron! Archer kicks him away with ease, then apron CANNONBALLS to bowl Tanahashi over! Fans have to cheer for that, but then he tells them to shut up anyway. Archer drags Tanahashi up to ram him into the railing, then into the apron. Archer CHOPS Tanahashi while the count climbs. He puts Tanahashi in at 15 to finish this in the ring. Fans rally while Archer grinds his knee into Tanahashi’s face. Archer lets up as the ref counts, and fans actually start to duel!
Tanahashi throws forearms but they do nothing. Archer CLUBS Tanahashi ones, but then Tanahashi is up again. So Archer CHOPS Tanahashi off his feet! But Tanahashi is back again! He kicks the leg then whips, but Archer reverses for a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO! Archer is furious with the ref and scares him out of the ring. The referee reprimands Archer for a bad attitude, but then Archer intimidates Young Lions. Fans duel as Archer drags Tanahashi up. He reels Tanahashi in for a BIG lariat! He stands on Tanahashi for a cover, TWO! Archer is on Tanahashi with an armlock and chinbar. Fans duel as Tanahashi endures.
Tanahashi fights his way up but Archer throws him down by his hair. Archer tells Tanahashi, “This is MY house now! I’m the Ace now!” He then grabs the legs to tie them up, and the Texan wants to give Tanahashi a Texas Cloverleaf! But Tanahashi resists and fights free! Tanahashi blocks the boot to spin Archer, but he can’t get Archer up for a German Suplex. Archer elbows free and then runs at Tanahashi, big back elbow and again. He gets a third, then goes again, but gets a Slingblade! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Tanahashi and Archer slowly stir, but Tanahashi gets up to get the legs, for a grounded dragon screw! And then he laces them up, for the Cloverleaf! Archer resists, grabs some of Tanahashi’s hair, but then Tanahashi stops him with another dragon screw!
Fans continue to duel as Tanahashi is up first. Tanahashi runs but into a choke grip! He breaks free to palm strike! Tanahashi runs again, but Archer goes sideways to POUNCE! Archer has a wild look in his eyes as he looms over Tanahashi. He drags Tanahashi up into a corner, then to the top rope. Tanahashi fights back and has an arm, only for Archer to yank him down with it. Archer won’t let Tanahashi steal something from him. Archer has Tanahashi’s arm now, and climbs up the corner. Fans cheer as Archer goes Old School! And then extends it to another corner, for the ax handle, into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi fires up, runs and Slingblades again! Cover, TWO! But Tanahshi doesn’t slow down, he goes up top! High Fly Flow-body! But is deflected into a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Archer doesn’t care Tanahashi survived, he’ll just add on! Twisting Vader SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! But Archer still has that wild look in his eyes. He prepares the claw, drags Tanahashi up, but the #EBD is blocked! Tanahashi tries his hardest to hold off that claw, but he and Archer go back and forth! The claw clamps on!! Archer powers Tanahashi back to the ropes, but holds on until the ref pulls him off! Archer drags Tanahashi back up and up top again to CHOP! Fans reach a fever pitch as they duel. Archer has Tanahashi’s legs and drags him off top for an Electric Chair. VICTORY ROLL! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Ace had something up his sleeve and he pulls this win out of nowhere! Archer is furious because he was just moments away! And he takes it out on the ref with a toss! Is Tanahashi going to make it back to the top? Is Archer’s next opponent going to pay for what Tanahashi did?
EVIL VS KENTA!
The King of Darkness wants to prove #EverythingIsEvil, but he has to end the winstreak of the man who wants to #Takeover NJPW! Will Evil spoil Kenta’s perfect debut run? Or does the “return to the original Kenta” only end with the G1 Climax 29 Finals?
The bell rings and the two stare down while fans cheer already. Evil and Kenta approach, and then Kenta runs into Evil’s kick. Evil headlocks and holds on as Kenta tries to power out. Kenta tries again but Evil holds on tight. Evil brings Kenta down to the mat but Kenta powers up and fights back. Kenta finally powers out but Evil runs him over with a shoulder! But Kenta is up quick to boot and whip Evil back. Kenta boots Evil again, but Evil’s right up! The two grind foreheads, but Evil pushes Kenta to the ropes. Kenta turns that around and lets up, but with a cold stare. Kenta rubs Evil’s eye shadow! He dare smudges the King of Darkness’ warpaint!? Evil grabs Kenta by the face, but Kenta kicks free and snapmares him down for a SWIFT kick!
Kenta circles Evil while he writhes. He positions Evil and jumps, only to scuff Evil’s face. Fans are divided by Kenta’s attitude as he smirks at Evil. Evil sits up but Kenta kicks him. Evil shakes his head, that doesn’t seem enough. So Kenta kicks him harder! Still not enough, and then Evil catches the kick, to give to Red Shoes, to mule kick Kenta down! Fans cheer as Evil throws Kenta out and follows after. Evil whips Kenta to railing, and then follows him around the way. Evil whips Kenta back into railing, then starts looking under the ring. He brings out chairs and jabs one into Kenta’s ribs. That chair’s not in good shape for what Evil wants, so he grabs another. Evil puts that chair around Kenta’s head! However, that broken chair still works for the HOMERUN!
Kenta falls from that chair shot, but fans fire up. Red Shoes reprimands Evil and tells him to get this back in the ring. Evil mostly ignores him to drag Kenta to the crowd! Anything Fale can do, Evil can do better, by throwing Kenta into the hallway! They brawl as they head backstage! Red Shoes follows to insist they go back to the ring. Evil brings Kenta around behind commentary and to the front row! The special VIP section clears out as Evil throws Kenta down! Evil clears some space by stacking chairs. Evil then drags Kenta over for a suplex, but Kenta resists! Kenta turns things around, but now Evil resists the suplex! Evil fights with body shots, and then suplexes Kenta again. Kenta fights back, too, and switches again, to suplex Evil onto the chair pile!
Evil writhes again while Kenta rises. Fans have a mixed reaction to the Pro-Wrestling NOAH and WWE alumni, but Kenta doesn’t care. He drags Evil back up and back to ringside as the ring count climbs to 10. Kenta gets Evil in at 13, then climbs up top. Kenta leaps to clothesline Evil down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Evil but Kenta is on him again with stiff kicks in the corner. Then he scrapes his boot on Evil’s face over and over. Kenta wants to hear the fans so they boo. He runs, but Evil follows to clothesline him in the corner. But then Kenta returns the favor with a hell of a kick! But then Evil gets the clothesline again! And then baits Kenta into another clothesline! Evil drags Kenta up, fisherman buster! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up for Evil again as he stalks Kenta to the ropes. Evil kicks and scrapes Kenta back for just a moment ago. But Kenta grabs the foot and stands, to put the foot down. But Evil intercepts the slap with a forearm! Evil runs, but into a powerslam! Kenta catches his breath then heads for a corner. Kenta springboards to missile dropkick Evil to a corner! Then runs in to flying BOOT! Evil sits down, and Kenta gives him the hesitation dropkick! Kenta fires up and fans have to give him credit where credit is due. Kenta climbs up top again, leaps, double stomps! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta slashes the throat. He drags Evil up but Evil resists the fireman’s carry. Evil spins Kenta but Kenta slips to a sleeper, then the fireman’s!
But Evil escapes, to German Suplex Kenta down! Both men are down but stirring as fans rally and duel. The two grind foreheads to start throwing forearms. Evil hits first then Kenta hits back, and repeat! They do not stop, they only speed up! Evil gets an edge but Kenta counter punches! Then clotheslines, but Evil stays up! Kenta pins but is blocked, Evil headbutts Kenta down! Evil grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. Evil fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Kenta just manages to survive, but Evil keeps his cool. Evil slashes his throat now, and drags Kenta up. He spins, but Kenta slips out to a backslide! TWO, and now a small package, TWO! Kenta runs but into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Evil falls back, exhausted and frustrated from Kenta’s resilience. But the fans do not give up, so neither does he. Evil stands, and pulls off the armbands. Evil watches Kenta stand, then runs, but Kenta dodges to PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Kenta keeps his cool. Kenta runs to hit a second Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives twice, but Kenta won’t let there be another. Kenta gets himself up then watches Evil sit up. Kenta runs but the Penalty Kick is blocked! He tries fighting free of Evil’s grip, but Evil holds on through many, many forearms! But then Kenta kicks the headbutt away! PENALTY KICK! Kenta slashes his throat again, drags Evil up, and fireman’s carry, to GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The one true #GTS does it again! Kenta is undefeated, 4-0, in both a NJPW and G1 Climax debut! Kenta has 8 points, and for the moment, he leads A Block! Will he remain the one and only block leader? Or does The Rainmaker keep pace with the newcomer?
Kota Ibushi VS SANADA!
The Golden Star and the Cold Skull are not dead in the block yet! However, one man could end up in dire straits if they drop to 1-3. Which rising star rises above the other as we go deeper into the G1?
The bell rings and fans are already thunderous for these fan favorites. Sanada and Ibushi stare down then circle. They approach with caution, then tie up. Ibushi gets an arm but Sanada the waistlock. Ibushi wristlocks free, but Sanada spins through to wrench Ibushi back. They go around as Ibushi rolls and trips Sanada to a toehold. Sanada works to counter with a chinlock, but Ibushi keeps him off while wrenching the foot. Sanada uses a leg to bring Ibushi down, but Ibushi sits back up before an armbar can be applied. Ibushi works his way out to get Sanada’s legs and lace them, and then he shifts to a chinlock. Sanada stands up but Ibushi just shifts to a cravat. Sanada still endures, and handsprings through the snapmare!
Things speed up right away as they each hurdle the other. Sanada dodges to throw Ibushi but Ibushi sweeps the legs. Sanada kicks out to sweep Ibushi back, but Ibushi kicks out just as fast. The two go again, Sanada headlock takeovers but Ibushi headscissors back. Sanada pops out and ducks under a roundhouse! Ibushi ducks the rolling sabat and then just leaves Sanada hanging on the dropkick. Fans cheer as Ibushi smirks at Sanada. Sanada has to smirk at that, too, while Ibushi catches his breath in the corner. Fans cheer and duel as the two men reset.
Sanada points out the crowd is rather even between them. So each man goes to a corner to get the fans cheering. The fans are so thunderous, it really is hard to tell which way it’s going. The two climb back down, and they circle again. They tie up and are deadlocked for a moment. Ibushi powers Sanada back to the ropes but he lets up with a pat of the shoulders. Sanada rushes with a kick but is blocked, and Ibushi looks to steal Paradise!? Sanada powers out of that, and then baits Ibushi into going out of the ring. He fakes Ibushi out to then tumble back in with his insane agility! But Ibushi missile dropkicks Sanada down for that! Fans still duel as Ibushi watches Sanada. Ibushi also makes sure his legs are okay before bringing Sanada up in a mounted chinlock. He grabs the arm and make sit a half camel clutch.
Sanada endures and reaches for ropes, but Ibushi pulls him away. They roll away from the ropes and Ibushi body scissors Sanada. Sanada works against the hold while fans continue to cheer, and he gets a ropebreak. Ibushi lets go but doesn’t lose his cool. Ibushi wants to see Sanada fight, so he gives him stomps. He eggs Sanada on, and Sanada sits up. Sanada gives Ibushi what he wants, with a CHOP! Ibushi eggs him on more, so Sanada CHOPS more. Ibushi KICKS Sanada down, then moonsaults, but onto knees! The fans continue their own duel while Ibushi winces. Ibushi stands first to kick Sanada more. He whips but Sanada reverses, and we see those infamous hurdles and dropkick! Sanada slingshots to splash down on Ibushi!
Sanada leaves Ibushi behind to check on some Los Ingobernables de Japon fans. They have a Sanada bear, so he holds it up proudly! Then he goes back to Ibushi while encouraging fans to get loud. Sanada drags Ibushi up and into the ring, then slowly follows after. He drags Ibushi up and wants a saido, but Ibushi blocks with a headlock and elbows. Sanada knees Ibushi to a corner, then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles and springboards. Ibushi gets under and Sanada rolls through, and Sanada runs into Ibushi’s powerslam! Then a roll and moonsault! Cover, TWO! The fans are thunderous all over again while both men are down. Ibushi sits up with a smirk while Sanada slowly sits up.
Ibushi fires off a strike fest on Sanada, topping it off with that back kick. Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but Ibushi counters the roll-up by sitting down! Cover, TWO and Sanada has Ibushi upside-down! TWO, Sanada blocks the kick to dropkick the other leg! Ibushi staggers while Sanada runs, but then Ibushi gets clear of the dropkick to double stomp Sanada down! Both men are writhing from stinging pain in their limbs but the fans rally again. Sanada sits up but Ibushi follows, and the two go forehead to forehead. Ibushi throws the first forearm but Sanada throws one back. Ibushi hits Sanada again, but Sanada still gives it back. Now they stand as they throw forearms back and forth! And they pick up speed! Ibushi wobbles! But he comes back with a kick!
Sanada catches his breath from that impact, to come back with a stiff European Uppercut. Ibushi shakes it off to kick again. So Sanada gives another EuroUpper. Another kick, another EuroUpper! Kick, upper, kick, upper, and then Sanada gives more forearms. He boots Ibushi’s away to rolling elbow, but Ibushi LARIATS on the return! Ibushi is up first as fans still duel. Powerbomb, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and both men are exhausted. Yet Ibushi sits up again, and wants those wrists. Ibushi drags Sanada up, but narrowly misses Kamigoye. He still has hold of Sanada to try again, but Sanada again dodges, back slide. Sanada rolls and pump handles Ibushi, to steal Kamigoye!! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi survives his own move but Sanada keeps moving. Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT but he FLOPS! BOMAYE! The King of Strong Style would be proud! But Ibushi clutches his knee and can’t make a cover! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi slowly sits up. Ibushi forces himself to stand and then drags Sanada up again. He scoops but Sanada escapes, to dragon sleeper! But Ibushi slips around to suplex, only for Sanada to get him again! Ibushi steals the dragon sleeper, but Sanada blocks that stolen Skull End, only for Ibushi to escape the stolen long dart! Ibushi again lifts Sanada to LONG DART! Both men are down in the corner and Red Shoes checks on Sanada. Somehow both men are okay to continue, and fans still rally.
Sanada clutches his shoulder while Ibushi holds his knee. Ibushi still rises first and brings Sanada up in a waistlock. He wants the full nelson but Sanada resists. Sanada breaks free of the nelson, but Ibushi German Suplexes! Only for Sanada to land on his feet! Ibushi ducks the clothesline to PELE, but Sanad still hits a sabat! Sanada whips but Ibushi reverses, only to get caught into the dragon sleeper! Sanada takes Ibushi for a swing! Then he drops down, but Ibushi rolls out! Double wrist control, but Sanada dodges Kamigoye again, to spin and Sliced Bread for his dragon sleeper, only for Ibushi to slip out and ROUNDHOUSE him down! Sanada is down but Ibushi wants to end this like a rockstar! BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?!
Ibushi won’t stop just because Sanada lives. He brings a knee pad down and drags Sanada up in the wristlocks. Kamigoye!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
After missing it time and again, the Golden Star finally hits his best move to end this match! Ibushi keeps himself alive in this tournament while Sanada stagnates. But Ibushi does go over to Sanada, to show that he still respects the Cold Skull. Sanada leaves without a word. Will either of these men make it to the end of A Block?
Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!
Once again, it is Chaos VS Chaos, Champion VS Champion, Mentor VS Student! The number 4 is considered bad luck in Japan, but will it be the Aerial Assassin’s lucky number? Or will the Rainmaker’s run remain unstained towards a collision course with Kenta?
The bell rings and the fans are already thunderous, with a lot of fans going for Ospreay! Okada and Ospreay circle and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Ospreay standing switches. Ospreay floats to a facelock but Okada switches that around. Ospreay switches it back, but Okada powers his way up to a wristlock. Okada wrenches but Ospreay spins through, reverses and snapmares to get a chinlock. Okada endures and works his way out the back. He hammerlocks Ospreay and snaps back to tweak it. Ospreay endures and works his way back up, to then hook and reverse the hammerlock onto Okada. Okada drop toeholds back to then waistlock to headlock. Okada throws Ospreay with a takeover, but Ospreay headscissors, only for Okada to pop out. Fans cheer as Ospreay and Okada stand off.
Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight champions back away to corners while fans duel. They come back and tie up again. Okada and Ospreay have a test of strength and go shoulder to shoulder. Okada rolls back to put the pressure on Ospreay’s knuckles. He then spins Ospreay to a hammerlock then the headlock. Ospreay powers out but Okada runs him over with a shoulder. Fans cheer as Okada poses, but then things speed up, and Ospreay monkey flips Okada down! Okada bails out and Ospreay builds speed, but when Okada moves, Ospreay adjusts to handspring and superhero land! Fans are fired up behind the Aerial Assassin while he stares Okada down. Ospreay even offers Okada an easy entry. Okada politely refuses and Ospreay gives him space. Until Okada gets back in!
Ospreay is on Okada with big forearms in the corner, and a CHOP! Okada staggers to another corner, but Ospreay kicks him to CHOP him. Ospreay wrenches and whips corner to corner but Okada reverses. Okada runs into an elbow, but dropkicks Ospreay off the top! Ospreay is down on the outside and Okada is willing to wait. The ring count begins, but Okada offers that easy entry back. Ospreay also declines, so Okada gives him space to get in. Okada brings the sore Ospreay up for a big elbow to that bad shoulder! Ospreay winces as he goes to the ropes, but Okada keeps on him. Okada elbows the shoulder more, then scoop slams Ospreay fast, for an even faster slingshot senton!
Okada goes back to Ospreay and stands him back up. He bumps Ospreay off buckles hard, then throws a big back elbow. Ospreay winces but Okada just gives him another. Okada backs off for Red Shoes to check on Ospreay. Ospreay comes back with a CHOP! But Okada doesn’t flinch. Ospreay gives more CHOPS, but they still do nothing. Okada DECKS Ospreay with that forearm! Okada whips Ospreay corner to corner but Ospreay reverses, only to miss and get Okada’s elbow again. But then Ospreay scoops Okada for a sudden suplex! Okada looks both shocked and in pain while fans rally up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he gets to his feet. Okada walks into forearms, then a whip. But he dodges only to miss his elbow. He avoids the handspring once, but not on the return! Ospreay takes Okada down with the flipping enziguri!
Fans return to a thunderous rally as Ospreay fires himself up. Okada gets to a corner and Ospreay runs in, but Okada puts him on the apron. Ospreay forearms back, then Pip Pip Cheerio, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Okada is dazed but he does survive. Ospreay drags Okada up and into the underhooks, but Okada resists the Stormbreaker. Ospreay throws forearms and another CHOP, and that one gets through to Okada. Fans rally up again as Ospreay stalks Okada in the corner. Ospreay brings Okada up and whips him corner to corner, only for Okada to reverse. Okada blocks the boot but not the enziguri! Tiger feint caught, into Alabama position, Air Raid Crash! Now things are even again as both men are down.
Fans cheer as Okada kips right up! Then shotgun dropkick! Ospreay hits buckles then hits the mat! Okada drags Ospreay back up and scoops for another slam. Then he heads up top, and fans cheer as Okada takes aim. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! Fans fire up as Okada gives us the Rainmaker Pose! Okada reels Ospreay in but Ospreay backs him to a corner. Okada boots Ospreay then runs, but into Ospreay’s dropkick-flip! But Okada ducks the enziguri that follows, to reel Ospreay into a German Suplex! But Ospreay lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay whips but Okada still reverses, only for his dropkick to be left hanging! Ospreay’s shooting star gets knees! Okada whips and the dropkick hits this time!
Fans are thunderous once more as Okada gut wrenches, Tombstone Piledriver! Okada gives another pose, then reels Ospreay in, but Ospreay wheelbarrows and victory rolls! TWO, ROBINSON SPECIAL! The falling spin kick hits, and now Ospreay calls for his own. Ospreay springboards but the dropkick clips him enough to send him out! Okada has time to catch his breath now. He goes to the apron and drags Ospreay up. Okada fireman’s carries but Ospreay resists. Ospreay fights back with elbows and forearms. Okada hits back, and the two teeter on the apron’s edge. They keep hitting each other with forearms and they pick up speed. Ospreay gets the edge and sits Okada down! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands Okada up, only for Okada to uppercut! Fireman’s carry but Ospreay slips out to ROUNDHOUSE!
Okada staggers to the floor and Ospreay climbs, but Okada yanks him down! Ospreay is in a Tree of Woe on the outside, and Okada hauls him off for a Tombstone position, only for Ospreay to shove out. HOOK KICK! OSCUTTER!! Ospreay uses railing for a springboard to drop Okada to the floor! Fans rally again while Red Shoes checks on both champions. They’re still okay so a ring count begins. Ospreay sits up at 8 and stands at 11 to get in at 12. But Okada is still outside as the count passes 15! Okada staggers at 18 and hops in at 19.5! Ospreay flies in with a Coast 2 Coast missile dropkick!! Cover, TWO!! Okada lives and Ospreay can’t believe it. Ospreay keeps moving, springboard to OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO!?
The fans are back at a thunderous level as Ospreay can’t believe Okada survives! Ospreay refocuses with a wild look in his eyes. He drags Okada over to a corner, and he uses said corner to leap, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Okada holds on and wristlocks, but Ospreay escapes only to run into another dropkick! Okada fires up, stands Ospreay up for the wristlock, Rain-SPANISH FLY!? Cover, TWO!! Ospreay scrambles to a corner and the top rope, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives by the skin of his teeth and the fans are at that fever pitch! Ospreay still has one thing left to try and he vows to do it! He drags Okada up, underhooks, and lifts… STORM- Gut wrench, but Ospreay turns that around! Ospreay throws in knees before stealing the TOMBSTONE!!
But Ospreay won’t end it with Okada’s move! He stands Okada up, spins him around, HOOK KICK! Underhooks, lift, but Okada slips out to point-blank RAINMAKER! But Okada holds onto the wrist, too! Ospreay and Okada both have looks in their eyes like they’re in another space, as Okada drags Ospreay up for another RAINMAKER! Okada isn’t done there, either! He drags Ospreay up, wristlocks, but Ospreay slips through! Underhooks, lift, but Okada still escapes Stormbreaker! Ospreay tries to steal Rainmaker at the last second, but Okada ducks and spins Ospreay for a DISCUS RAINMAKER!! And as Okada himself reaches a fever pitch, TRUE RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; earns 2 points
4-0 is a magic number! Okada is 4-0 against Ospreay all-time, and is 4-0 in G1 Climax 29! The Rainmaker will stay even with Kenta, and now it comes down to them! When these two top A Block contenders meet, there can only be one!
NJPW returns as Okada has the mic.
He counts his wins, and says he has “Number four~!” The G1 Climax isn’t even halfway over though, huh? But clearly, Okada still has life yet. Okada vows that the next time he’s in Tokyo, it will be for the Budokan three-day event. And he looks forward to closing out this tournament with another win here. Fans like the sound of that! Okada continues to say, “Let’s keep this thing rolling, folks!” When the G1 Climax returns to Tokyo, NJPW and Okada will #MakeItRain! A short but sweet statement by THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion!
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Okada admits “Ospreay was really strong.” And that’s all there is to that, “because it’s already in the past.” But now on to Nagoya, and Kenta. “As the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the top of the food chain in the pro-wrestling world,” he’ll make sure Kenta will get “a taste of my power.” Another short and sweet statement for the champion. With plenty of Climax left, who will be the very top of A Block after the next round? And who else will start the hard climb up to join them at this whole ‘nother level?
Another great, great night for AXS’s coverage of NJPW. There’s just so much of the G1 Climax going on, it is all AXS can do to cover Night 7 the same day as it happened in Japan. But it doesn’t matter what night, all the action is great! Nobody lets up just because they’re down, since they can also spoil things for their opponents. And that’s clear with ZSJ and Fale. A similar strategy used against Fale last year, ZSJ strands him outside and lets the ring count take care of him. Tanahashi winning with a victory roll on Archer was great, because it really frames how dangerous Archer has become. This will be great for Archer coming out of the tournament as he looks for targets for feuds. His first feud might even be Tanahashi so we get a decisive finish between them.
Both of A Block’s LIJ members did great tonight, even in defeat. Evil and Kenta was a great match, with Evil slowly but surely proving he can be a singles contender like Sanada. But obviously given Kenta and Okada are next, it just makes sense to have Kenta be undefeated to hype that match. Sanada VS Ibushi was a great match, and it felt like it could’ve gone either way. But it is a great choice to have Ibushi win because it will force Sanada to rethink things just a bit, while Ibushi grows stronger as a reward for his dedication to NJPW. Ospreay’s story was incredible for being twofold: he wants to get wins in the tournament, but he also wants to show he finally can beat Okada. And him losing is a double-down on his long journey of rising up. And again, Okada staying undefeated to go against undefeated Kenta, that just makes the next round even more critical to watch.
My Score: 9.1/10
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