After Samoa Joe got truly and brutally personal in his message to the WWE Champion, what will the Phenomenal One himself say in his return to SmackDown?
- Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics; Charlotte & Becky win.
- Zelina Vega w/ Andrade “Cien” Almas VS Lana w/ Rusev; Zelina wins.
- R-Truth VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins.
- 3v2 Handicap: The Bludgeon Brothers VS 3SK; The Bludgeon Brothers win.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship Contenders Tournament: The New Day VS The Bar; The New Day wins and will face The Bludgeon Brothers for the titles at Summerslam.
PLAY BY PLAY
Randy Orton heads to the ring!
The Viper is back with even more venom in his veins, as he’s made it his mission to destroy any and all superstars the WWE Universe puts above him and his decade of hard work. Jeff Hardy is his first target, who Orton beat and battered all over ringside last week. Fans let him know “You Suck!” Orton speaks on how Jeff Hardy called him out, and reviews footage to show that new and vicious attack. From t-shirt to necklace to the paint on his face, Hardy was humiliated and stripped bare. Fans boo and jeer but Orton wonders, “Do you still believe?” Orton could’ve warned the squeamish, but making the fans squirm is why he did all that. Orton vows to end careers and dismantle identities. He will become so violent, fans will want to change the channel.
But, fans won’t change the channel because they still believe. They believe in superheroes, in hope, and they even hope the hero, Hardy, will save the day. He won’t, because Orton “erased the Enigma.” Hardy is lost, searching for himself that Orton stole and erased! Orton will erase every superstar the fans respect, because they don’t respect Orton! Let’s have a history lesson on Randy Orton. He started as the youngest man in the locker room, and became the youngest world champion ever! Orton is a 13-time world champion, a multi-time Royal Rumble Winner, Mr. Money in the Bank and Survivor Series winner, but the fans still don’t respect him!
“Sometimes in life, when you’re not given respect, you have to take it.” People make their choices, and so has Orton. Orton has chosen to wipe out those the fans chose to believe in. Orton will pick Hardy apart “piece by piece by piece”, but it is on each and every member of the WWE Universe. Say what you want. Apex Predator, Viper, Legend Killer, but just remember the three most devastating letters in sports entertainment: R, K, O! Orton drops the mic again and takes his leave. Who will the Viper choose to strike next?
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair talk backstage.
The two good friends aren’t sure where to start. Charlotte wasn’t trying to ruin Becky’s moment, but GM Paige gave her the opportunity so she had to take it. Becky understands, because they both want the title. Becky just finds herself in a tough position. She wants to be happy for Charlotte, but she wanted a 1v1 match. But now it’s a Triple Threat and that makes the challenge a bit bigger, because that hill she was climbing now has a “tall blonde boulder” in the way. Boulder? But it’s Summerslam, so you prove you’re the best by beating the best. Charlotte wouldn’t have it any other way. So they’re good for facing the IIconics? Of course! They’re not Sasha & Bayley. #TeaGenerationX is ready to go, will they be the more stable half of the WWE Four Horsewomen?
Carmella heads to the ring!
The FABULOUS SmackDown Women’s Champion wants to be front row and on commentary for the upcoming tag match featuring her two challengers.
Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics!
The Queen of Flair and the Lass Kicker both get a shot at the Princess of Staten Island in Brooklyn, but can they first prove they can beat Peyton Royce & Billie Kay in Orlando?
The Iconic Duo play some word association on the way out. “Orlando.” “The saddest place on Earth!” “Charlotte Flair.” “Overrated. Bad dancer. And lost to Carmella twice!” “Becky Lynch.” “Um… Nothing comes to mind.” Nothing at all? Yeah, is she even here? Fans tell the IIconics they’re “BORING~!” The IIconics ignore that to point out that Becky’s where she always is and always will be: in Charlotte’s shadow. Always a bridesmaid, but never the champ. Carmella says the truth hurts, but it’s time for the match.
Becky starts against Billie and gets a waistlock to headlock to wristlock. Tag to Charlotte, and she adds an ax handle. Charlotte chops Billy with those Flair backhands. Tag to Becky and they double whip Billie. Double hip toss, then double hip tosses for Peyton! Becky goes for the submission but Peyton saves Billie. Becky tags Charlotte, and Charlotte slingshots onto the IIconics! Tea Generation X controls the ring while we go picture in picture.
Charlotte styles and profiles, then clinks tea cups with Becky. She chases down Billie and puts her in the ring. Peyton distracts and Billie boots! Charlotte goes down, and Peyton tags to get in some stomps. She puts Charlotte in the ring, covers, TWO. The IIconics argue with the ref, but then tag to Billie. They double wrench and kick both sides of Charlotte. Cover, TWO, but Billie keeps on Charlotte with a chinlock. She grinds Charlotte but Charlotte powers up and out to chop! Billie throws Charlotte by her hair, then rains down rights. Cover, TWO! Tag to Peyton, and the IIconics grind their boots into Charlotte’s chin. Peyton mocks the styling and profiling, but Charlotte fights back. Peyton runs her over, cover, TWO! The IIconics are getting mad now, but they calm down. Peyton chokes Charlotte on the ropes, then backs off at 4.
Peyton keeps Charlotte down with knees to her back. She drives elbows into the shoulders, then thrashes Charlotte around in a chinlock. Charlotte endures while fans rally up. She stands and power Peyton to the corner. Charlotte throws Peyton off but Billie hotshots her into Peyton’s heel kick! Cover, but Becky breaks it in time! Billie throws Becky out, then argues with the ref. She drags Charlotte over while we go single picture. Small package from Charlotte, TWO, double boots! Both women go down and the fans fire up. Carmella, however, is not impressed. Hot tags to Peyton & Becky! Becky rallies with lariats and a calf kick. She kicks and European Uppercuts, then throws Peyton with a Becksploder! She kip-up, then hops up top for flying forearms! Cover, TWO!
Becky goes for the Disarm-her! She has it, but Billie kicks her down. Charlotte tags in, and shoulders into Billie. She climbs up top, MOONSAULT! she takes both IIconics out! Charlotte grabs Peyton, Figure Eight! Peyton taps, Charlotte & Becky win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch, Charlotte with the submission
The best friends win together, but it seems bittersweet for the Lass Kicker. At the same time, Carmella reminds them both that she is champion. Can Becky and Charlotte stay friends with a common enemy in their sights? Or will that greed for gold blind them in Brooklyn?
Backstage interview with The New Day!
The longest reigning team in WWE History blew up the internet just being on commentary. They were dynamite, but now they’re trying something different. Kofi reveals the suit and tie, as well as a wig. “I’m Kramer Kingdom, reporting here from SmackDown Live with two guys who have a very unique opportunity here for the SmackDown Tag Team titles!” They’re facing the fierce Cesaro & Sheamus. How are you gonna spar with The Bar? Fierce as in the rancid milk smell that follows them. They’ve beaten Cesaro & Sheamus before, they’ll do it again. “B-b-b-b-b-but what about the B-b-bludgeon Brothers?” Well, they’re no strangers to dangers. Ya bois, the New~ Day~ will make Harper & Rowan bow down to the power of positivity! The New Day can do anything, but can they win tonight and in Brooklyn?
The Miz has an announcement.
He’s on the set of his hit reality show, Miz And Mrs. He gives and gives, from access to his life and the greatest entertainment imaginable. After weeks of negotiations, Miz gives Daniel Bryan a gift. “The gift of relevancy.” It WILL be Bryan VS Miz at Summerslam! This war of words will finally be settled in the ring! Will the A-Lister kick Bryan back down to the B-List? Or will Bryan show Miz is just too soft to be a superstar?
Charlotte and Becky are fired up!
They love tagging together! They’re so good together. That was today, though, and in two weeks, it’ll be every woman for herself. Well, they can be great against each other, too. Tea Generation X for life, but will it survive a match for gold?
SmackDown reviews Samoa Joe’s message to AJ Styles.
The Destroyer went a step too far claiming the Phenomenal One puts titles and matches before family and friends. Joe claims Styles is barely home long enough to hold his children, and is a failure as a father. Styles may have the fans on his side, but Joe will have Styles’ own family on his.
AJ Styles heads to the ring!
The WWE Champion heard everything his cruel #1 contender had to say last week. With fans chanting his name, Styles picks up a mic to respond. “A lot goes on between these ropes. A lot of trash talking, a lot of manhood being tested. And usually when that happens, it gets personal.” Samoa Joe made it personal bringing up Styles’ family. Styles vows to be the greatest WWE superstar for his family. That doesn’t make him special. All parents make sacrifices, that’s just what you’re supposed to do as both a father and “a real man.”
Styles is away for over 200 days out of the year, so he misses Little League, birthdays, and anniversaries. He and his wife have been together 18 years, but the reality is that she lives like a single parent while he’s gone. But parents are meant to sacrifice to give their kids what they need, and sometimes what they want. Just like everyone else, when his kids fall and cry, he wants to be there to pick them up and comfort them.
But that’s what angers Styles the most! Joe knows his family, and long before SmackDown was the House That AJ Styles Built, they both shared “a cockroach infested apartment” and stale pizza. Joe threw that decade of friendship all away in a matter of seconds. Styles vows that Joe’s hands won’t touch the title. “Screw that!” Styles vows that Joe won’t walk out champion, or even walk out at all. Joe was watching that entire speech backstage, and is laughing? Did Joe bait Styles into being fired up for their match? Or will Joe’s master plan backfire in Brooklyn?
Rusev and Lana meet backstage.
Mr. & Mrs. Machka talk about the miscommunication. Rusev will be with Lana for her rematch with Zelina Vega, for a Happy Lana Day. Lana thanks her Bulgarian Brute hsuband for being so considerate. But now Aiden English walks over. He just wants to apologize, and will let Rusev hit him if he wants. English didn’t mean to cost any of them their matches. It’s not fair to any of them, but he has the best intentions at heart. He just wants to say he’s sorry. Lana nods, and Rusev forgives English. They shake on it, but Rusev keeps English from joining them at ringside.
Zelina Vega w/ Andrade “Cien” Almas VS Lana w/ Rusev!
La Muneca got a win in her SmackDown in-ring debut thanks to both El Idolo and MC Artiste getting involved at ringside. Can she quickly go 2-0 against the Ravishing Russian? Or will Lana prove she’s the best, Lana number one?
The bell rings and Lana tackles Vega to a corner! She throws in shoulders, then backs off at 4. Lana whips but Vega breaks free to discus forearm. Vega runs awy from the anger Lana, but gets a wrecking balld ropkcik! Lana puts her in the ring and goes after the feet. Vega kicks Lana, then hammers away with both fists. Vega covers, ONE. She puts Lana in a chinlock while fans sing for Lana. Lana powers up and works against the hold. She fights back with body shots, but Vega throws her down by her hair. Vega ax kicks Lana, then pats herself on the back. Lana gets to ropes but Veaga whips. Lana reverses and knees low. She reels Vega in, Fisherman Suplex! Cover, ONE, but Lana drops an elbow.
Lana drops more elbows, then kicks Vega while she’s down. She puts Vega in a corner, then another corner. Vega reverses to bump Lana off buckles. Lana kicks back, then bulldogs! Cover, TWO! Lana gets fans singing again, then suplexes Vega again. She gets a third suplex, but keeps going. Almas gets on the apron, and Vega hits a code breaker! Rusev runs over and runs Almas over! Rusev throws Almas into barriers! The fans fire up, but Vega kicks Rusev in the head. Almas hits Rusev, then puts him into a post. Vega blows a kiss, but Lana hits a Machka Kick! Lana climbs up but Rusev and Almas keep fighting. English flies in from the ramp! He tackles into the ring, but that shakes Lana off the top! Vega grins as she pounces with CIEN KNEES! Cover, Vega wins!
Winner: Zelina Vega, by pinfall
English couldn’t help himself, and he’s cost Team Rusev Day again! He was told to stay back, and is furious with himself for disobeying. What can he possibly do to make it up to them now?
Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.
The WWE United States Champion officially defends his title against Jeff Hardy at Summerslam. But Nakamura thins we’re mistaken. Hardy was erased. No, that wasn’t literal. Nakamura knows that, but he’s just facing “what’s left”, to leave nothing left at all for Orton to destroy. But wait, R-Truth comes storming over, and Tye Dillinger does his best to stop him. Truth calls Nakamura out for the title, at Summerslam. How? The same way everyone else does: he’ll pin Carmella. No, that’s not how that works, Truth. You gotta deal with a certain someone here. Truth isn’t going to wrestle Renee. Nakamura mocks Truth in Japanese, and somehow Truth understands. Truth doesn’t want Carmella or a match at Summerslam, he wants Shinsuke tonight! Will Paige give Truth what he wants? Will Truth regret asking for it after?
Byron Saxton interviews The Miz via titantron.
It is official that The Miz VS Daniel Bryan is happening at Summerslam, but why isn’t Miz here tonight? Is he afraid of Bryan? This is why Byron is just a second-rate commentator. Well, then, with Total Bellas renewed for a fourth season, does he feel Miz And Mrs make it that long? Their first two episodes had more views than all of Total Bellas season 3! Miz And Mrs is meme-worthy! No bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, too. Miz isn’t on SmackDown is because he’s too big a star right now. But with that match coming, what does he have to say to the WWE Universe? Make sure to watch episode 3 as Miz learns CPR! Bryan needs CPR to revive his career.
But what about their match? Their history goes back to 2010, the original form of NXT! Things have only intensified over these years, is Miz concerned about not backing up his talk? How much do you think Miz has been worried about Bryan these last eight years? Miz has become the biggest superstar, and should be THE WWE Champion! He doesn’t need this match, but Bryan needs this match. This will settle it once and for all. Miz is done sharing the spotlight with someone who hasn’t earned it! Bryan’s called Miz soft for the last time, when Miz was the one wrestling while Bryan was home crying. Miz is sick of fans saying he’s hiding. Miz will expose Bryan for what he is and always will be: beneath Miz.
Speaking of, why is he talking to Byron? Where’s Bryan? Grazing on kale while talking about how great he is? BRYAN ATTACKS!! Bryan is on the set and bashing Miz into the couch! He even fights off the security guards, until Miz smashes him with a glass vase! Miz leaves Bryan down and out, but Bryan gets back up. The Goat is on the hunt, will Bryan finally break Miz in Brooklyn?
R-Truth VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The King of Strong Style pretends not to understand English, but many times it seems “Pretty Ricky” doesn’t understand much of anything. Truth may not get a title shot at Summerslam, but can he prove he’s worthy of a shot down the line? Or will he just get a #Knee2Face for his troubles?
The bell rings and Truth circles with Nakamura. THey tie up but nakamuar knees low and throws more knees into Truth. He has Truth in a corner for Bad Vibrations! Nakamura then dares Truth, “C’MON!” Truth runs in but school boys! ONE, so Truth breaks it down with dance moves. Truth copies “C’MON!” then gets Nakamura with headscissors. Truth hits the calf kick, and shouts “WHAT’S UP!?” Splits to running splash! He hip tosses Nakamura high and hard, his body still works at great levels. Truth runs but misses the scissor kick. He ducks the roundhosue but gets the heel kick. Both men are slow to getting back up, but Nakamura grabs Truth into the armbar, then the Triangle Hold! Truth rolls around to get away, with fans rallying behind him. He reaches for ropes, and gets teh break! Nakamura lets go, but is growing frustrated.
Nakamura kicks Truth while he’s down, then rams in knees to the ribs and shoulders. He toys with Truth, then drags Truth up for a facelock. Nakamura brings Truth around, for the inverted exploder! He then aims from the corner… KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall
The champion is still rolling towards Summerslam with another victory. Will Hardy be in any shape to challenge for the title in Brooklyn?
The Bludgeon Brothers speak.
Harper & Rowan know that two teams have survived, one having escaped the prison while the other having survived a plunge into madness. But the winner here will face a new test tonight, and then will still have to face the mental and physical torture at Summerslam. “This is going to be fun.”
3v2 Handicap: The Bludgeon Brothers VS 3SK!
Harper & Rowan won’t rest easily in the back while their challengers battle it out. They’ve come to Orlando to obliterate. The trio of local competitors fires themselves up, ready to face the champions. They rush out to the ring where 2B wait as patiently as they can. We return to single picture and the bell rings. Rowan tags in right away, and both Brothers dropkick the men on the apron off the apron! The man left gets a SUPERKICK, then a deadlift to a scoop slam on the apron. Harper sets up the other two, for Rowan to run them over! Harper & Rowan take the other two, for suplex stacking! Then a human weapon senton! Rowan goes back to bring up the odd man out, and tags in Harper, for the Bludgeoning! Cover, Bludgeon Brothers win!
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers, Harper pinning
As if there was ever any doubt. 3SK was SOL the moment they signed up for this match. However, will the winner of tonight’s tournament finals be the team to finally halt their path of destruction?
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Contenders Tournament: The New Day VS The Bar!
GM Paige set up this four-team tournament to determine who faces the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, and it has come down to positivity against power. Will it be the fun-loving, flapjack-flipping Big E & Kofi Kingston or the Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator taking on the duo of doom in Brooklyn?
The fans chant “We Want Pancakes!” while Big E circles with Cesaro. Woods serves them up by air mail while Big E and Cesaro tie up. Cesaro gets a waistlock, but Big E switches. Cesaro turns around to switch again, but Big E powers out and throws Cesaro off. He swivels those hips and it keeps Cesaro on the defensive. Fans rally “New! Day Rocks!” but Cesaro kicks low and puts on a headlock. Cesaro gives Big E a noogie, but Big E powers out. Things speed up and Big E elbows Cesaro down. Tag to Kofi, and Kofi runs to kick Cesaro. Cover, ONE, but Kofi keeps on Cesaro with an arm wrench. Kofi whips but Cesaro reverses. Cesaro runs in and monkey flips Kofi, but Kofi lands on his feet! Kofi dropkicks Cesaro down, covers, TWO.
Kofi wrenches Cesaro’s arm again but Cesaro punches him out. Tag to Sheamus and Sheamus gives a EuroUpper. Sheamus lifts but Kofi slips out. Kofi dropkicks then goes to monkey flip, but Sheamus powers it away. He turns things around and forearms Kofi all the way to the floor! Woods and Big E check on their teammate while Sheamus just grimaces down from the ring. Sheamus fetches Kofi up for a bump off the apron, then a EuroUpper that rocks him to the floor! Fans are a mix of cheers and jeers while Sheamus puts Kofi in the ring. Tag to Cesaro, and Cesaro brings Kofi up into a chinlock.
Kofi endures while fans rally up. Kofi feeds off their energy and fights out. Cesaro whips Kofi but Kofi slides under to try a roll. Cesaro denies it, and manages to tag Sheamus. Kofi can’t get away, The Bar whips for the Bar Lariat. cover, TWO! Sheamus keeps Kofi down in a half-nelson clutch while we go to break.
SmackDown returns, and Cesaro argues with the ref over a count. But he and Sheamus are still confident they’ve got this in the bag. Cesaro keeps Kofi down and in The Bar’s corner. Fans rally and Kofi fights back! Kofi tries but can’t escape, he ends up caught by Cesaro. He grabs the rope, then tosses Cesaro out! Kofi crawls for the New Day corner, but Cesaro returns to intercept. Tag to Sheamus, then Sheamus whips Kofi to a corner. Kofi dodges, Sheamus hits post, hto tag to Big E! Big E throws Sheamus overhead, then to the side with belly2belly suplexes! He fires up and swivels his hips , but has to clothesline Cesaro first. Sheamus rolls up, TWO, so he knees Big E. But he runs into an urenage! Cover, TWO!
Big E and the fans rally up with “New! Day Rocks!” Tag to Kofi, and scoop for Sheamus. Sheamus lips out and shoves Big E. They collide, tag to Cesaro! Alley-oop sends Kofi at Sheamus! SOS for Cesaro! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro hits Kofi but Big E tags in. Ceasro whips Kofi but Kofi catches Cearo for a reversal and trip! Kofi drags Cearo tot he apron, Big E hits the apron splash! Wait, Cesaro moved! Big E hits the apron itself, so Kofi leaps at Sheamus! But Sheamus has Kofi, for the rolling senton. Sheamus gets back to his corner, tags in, then The Bar double DDT’s! Cover, TWO!! How?! The Bar can’t believe it, and the fans are still with The New Day.
Sheamus puts Big E back in the corner and stomps him out. Tag to Cesaro, and The Bar split the wishbone. Tag back to Sheamus, for another wishbone. Sheamus tags Cesaro back again, for a hat trick of wishbones! They toy with Big E as they cover, TWO. The Bar is in control while we go to one more break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Big E endures a Half Crab. He turns himself over but Sheamus stomps his stomach. Sheamus drags Big E up and over to the corner, then hoists him up top. Sheamus climbs up to throw hands on Big E, but Big E clubs back. Big E pushes Sheamus down, but Cesaro tags in to boot Big E back! Tag back to Sheamus, and he goes across the way. Cesaro SUPERPLEXES Big E! Sheamus adds a flying knee drop! Cover, TWO!! Another shocking survival, and The Bar is again furious. Sheamus stomps Big E, then goes for a Cloverleaf. The fans know “This is Awesome!” while Big E prevents the roll. Big E shoves Sheamus all the way out! He crawls for Kofi, but Cesaro helps Sheamus back in. Hot tags!
Kofi flies in to hit Cesaro, then Sheamus! He hits Cesaro again and is all fired up! New Day Boom Drop! But Sheamus drags Cesaro out. Kofi sees this, builds speed, and FLIES! He bowls them both over! Kofi puts Cesaro in, then climbs up top. Kofi leaps, flying double stomps! Cover, but Sheamus breaks it. Sheamus runs but is tossed out. Cesaro stalks Kofi, for a back suplex. Kofi lands on his feet, but ends up in a cradle. Tag to Sheamus, hand-off into a double backbreaker! Cover, TWO!! The New Day is tougher than The Bar remembers, but Cesaro coaches Sheamus up.
Sheamus gets to a corner, and powers up for the Brogue. Kofi slowly stands, Sheamus runs at him, but misses! Kofi runs into an elbow. Cesaro tags in, but Kofi takes him out. Kofi hits Sheamus with a dropkick, tag to Big E! Scoop, Kofi climbs, but Cesaro intercepts! Sheamus switches it up, A-Swiss-ted White Noise! Cover, KOFI BREAKS IT! Sheamus throws Kofi to barriers, but Woods knows there’s still life for his team. Big E and Cesaro brawl with haymakers and EuroUppers. Cesaro kicks low, then swings Big E around! Then, Sharpshooter! Big E endures, but he’s stuck in the middle of the ring. Woods gets the fans fired up again, and Kofi comes in. Sheamus intercepts Kofi, but ends up in a tornado DDT!
Woods helps Kofi, and Big E drags himself around towards ropes. But Cesaro shifts to a crossface! Big E rolls, but is still in the hold! Cesoar pulls back hard, but Big E won’t give up. Big E powers up and out, and lifts Cearo at the same time! Tag to Kofi! Kofi climbs, Cearo is scooped, MIDNIGHT HOUR!! Cover, The New Day wins!!
Winners: The New Day, Kofi pinning; will face The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at Summerslam
This match in itself was worthy of a PPV event! The New Day put so much into this match, can they hope to put even more into their rematch with Harper & Rowan? Or will positivity be pummeled into the dirt?
Summer is SmackDown’s time to shine it seems, because they again outdid Raw without having to do much. SmackDown is again doing a “Raw, but better” format with Charlotte and Becky paralleling Sasha and Bayley. The missing element with Bayley and Sasha was a title, or just fighting it out in a match. Charlotte and Becky will get their match, and that could be a catalyst for the dysfunction. At the same time, they could tenuously remain friends, until something else makes Becky snap and turn Heel. My best guess would be the compounding of not winning the title at Summerslam or at Hell in a Cell, not winning the inevitable Women’s Tag Titles at WWE Evolution, and then not winning what I expect to be Four Horsewomen VS Four Horsewomen at Survivor Series. And it will be Becky turning, we’ve already had Heel Charlotte in the past.
Hooray! We’re getting Miz VS Bryan! Miz’s promo and the following attack from Bryan were both great, and I can’t wait for the actual match. Orton gives a very similar promo to what he said last week, but he still delivered it with great motivation. His story with Hardy and Nakamura is still pretty creative for WWE, but I’m still waiting for something to make it a triple threat. Truth has a great moment being his goofy, loopy self, but I really do wonder if he’ll get one more go at a title. Maybe it’ll be by luck that he gets a shot. I would love to see him become Mr. Money in the Bank, and then cash in on every title it doesn’t apply to. AJ Styles does pretty good with his response promo, but Samoa Joe also does good with simply laughing it off.
Vega VS Lana rematch was good mostly to further this breakdown of Team Rusev Day. Almas & Vega move up the ranks for their own purposes, but it saddens me that Rusev Day the team is falling apart. I wish SmackDown had timed things better with their picture to picture, I totally missed the last words of Team 3SK. I also didn’t catch their names, Harper & Rowan decimated them too fast. It was an interesting juxtaposition to the amazing tag team main event with so many near falls. This match could’ve gone either way, but New Day wins for one more go at Harper & Rowan. The story of this rematch could make this another instant classic, and I really do hope New Day wins to freshen things up again.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!
AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!
It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!
AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!
“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!
Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!
Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.
Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.
Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!
Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!
Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!
Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?
EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!
Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?
NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!
Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!
Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.
Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.
Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.
NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.
Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!
Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!
But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.
But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.
But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?
Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!
The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.
“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.
Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?
But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.
Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?
NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!
Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?
The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!
Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.
Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!
Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.
Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!
Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.
NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.
Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!
Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.
Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.
Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!
Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!
Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!
Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.
Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!
Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?
Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.
NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”
Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!
Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?
One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.
For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.
NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.
Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)
It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399
Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?
- Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
- Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!
Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?
The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!
Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!
The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.
ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!
Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!
BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?
ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!
Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?
But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?
ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!
Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!
Kenny King is here!
The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.
And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”
The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?
Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.
It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?
Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!
An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?
The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?
ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.
The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?
Bandido VS Shane Taylor!
Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?
Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!
Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.
ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.
Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!
Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!
ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.
Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!
Winner: Bandido, by pinfall
The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?
A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.
Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.
Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.
It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.
My Score: 8.3/10
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