SmackDown is packed just days from Hell in a Cell: The Bar VS Rusev Day, Jeff Hardy VS Nakamura, Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville, and Brie Bella VS Maryse!
- Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Hardy wins, by disqualification.
- Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose; Flair wins.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Match: Rusev Day VS The Bar; Rusev Day wins and will face The New Day for the titles at Hell in a Cell.
- Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS R-Truth w/ Carmella; Almas wins.
- Brie Bella w/ Daniel Bryan VS Maryse w/ The Miz; Bella wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and SmackDown toll the bell 11 times to remember the tragedy of 9/11.
Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The Charismatic Enigma may have the Viper to worry about at Hell in a Cell in the Cell, but he wants to wrap things up with The King of Strong Style first. Can Hardy make the United States Champion OBSOLETE this close to Sunday? Or will Hardy get a #Knee2Face as a parting gift before Randy Orton drags Hardy to Hell?
Before the match, Hardy speaks to Lafayette, Louisiana. “Demons are all around us. Tempting us, taunting us, tearing us apart at times.” Hardy has dealt with demons and has overcome them all, standing before us a better man. Demons will always come around, but you have to face them head on. Hardy does that this Sunday against his “most venomous demon”. They will fight in the sinister paradise that is the Cell.
Hardy knows Orton wants to inflict pain and torment, but Orton doesn’t know what it’s like to fight someone who has fought back through their own personal Hell. Orton forgets that Hardy is a daredevil! Hardy is #ImmuneToFear, and has prepared for such a moment. He vows to unleash a lifetime of torment, pain and suffering upon Orton until he’s classified as OBSOLETE. But tonight, Hardy cleanses himself of another demon in Nakamura. Then Hardy will go straight to Hell one way or another! “Enjoy the show!” Nakamura makes his entrance, and we begin!
Fans rally already as Hardy circles with Nakamura. Nakamura slides out of the ring, wanting to get in some last preparations. He slowly returns, wanting Hardy to stay back. Hardy lets Nakamura enter, and they circle again. Hardy kicks low then gives Nakamura a jawbreaker! Nakamura rolls out but gets a wrecking ball dropkick, then double ax handles off the apron. Hardy whips Nakamura into barriers, then runs all the way over for a LEAPING splash! They collide with each other, and then the barrier. Both men are down while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Nakamura has Hardy in a chinlock. Nakamura grinds Hardy to the mat but fans rally up. Nakamura shifts to a bearhug, but Hardy resists the shift to a full nelson. Hardy fights out and clubs Nakamura down. Hardy drags Nakamura up to a corner and bumps him off buckles. He throws hands then bumps Nakamura off another corner’s buckles. Then another, and then the fourth for the full set. Hardy goes around another lap, but Nakamura stops the second jawbreaker with a knee! Nakamura fires off strikes, then kicks Hardy down. Nakamura circles Hardy, then brings him up in a cravat. He twists and pulls on the neck, but Hardy fights back as fans continue to chant. Nakamura shifts to a facelock and pulls harder.
Hardy rallies the fans more, and feeds off their energy. He fights back again, but Nakamura knees low. Nakamura drives in more knees and has Hardy down. He kicks Hardy as he sits up, but Hrady catches one! Hardy kicks back and throws more hands. Hardy whips but Nakamura reverses into a knee and the spin kick! Nakamura runs in at Hardy, but gets a slingblade! Both men are down again, but Hardy drags himself away. Hardy stands and drags Nakamura back up, but Nakamura knees out of the suplex! Nakamura aims, runs, but gets a back elbow. Hardy up, Whisper in the Wind! But he can’t cover because of those ribs! Both men are down and the referee starts a 10 count. Hardy stands at 4, then climbs up top. Nakamura stops him with a kick! Then the Top Shelf Knee!
Hardy tumbles down but Nakamura blasts him off with the Dynamic Dropkick! Hardy is down and out whiel we go picture in picture. Nakamura drags Hardy back up and around to throw him into barriers! Nakamura drags Hardy back up to throw him in the ring. Hardy winces while Nakamura takes his time returning. Nakamura kicks and stomps Hardy, toying with him whiel still doing serious damage to those ribs. Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps his cool, and sits Hardy up for a seated abdominal stretch. Hardy endures, but Nakamura throws in swift elbows! He also adds knees, then covers, TWO. Nakamuar is more annoyed than anything as he brings Hardy back up. He kicks but Hardy catches it! Haryd kicks back and goes for the Twist! Nakamura gets him down into an armbar!
Hardy clasps his hands together to avoid the hold, but Nakamura just changes that to a triangle! Hardy uses power to get Nakamura up and kick his face! Nakamura lets go, but runs into a throat chop! Cover, ONE! Hardy hurries to add on with a splash, cover, TWO! Hardy is frustrated and his ribs are in pain, only making it worse. The referee starts another 10 count but Hardy forces himself to stand. We return to single picture as Hardy hits back with haymakers. Nakamura reverses the whip but Hardy counters. Hardy hits the atomic drop, takedown and leg splitting leg drop. Dropkick added, cover, TWO! Hardy isn’t deterred, he says “DELETE! DELETE!” But he misses in the corner, only to get Nakamura’s kick and BAD Vibrations! Nakamura backs off at the count of 4, but then gives Hardy a sliding knee into the post!
The referee backs Nakamura off whiel checking on Hardy, but Nakamura just fires up. Nakamura runs, but into a school boy! ONE, but Hardy ducks all the kicks to hit the Twist of Fate!! Nakamura down, Hardy throws off the shirt and climbs up! Hardy aims, but Orton attacks!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification
The Viper didn’t use his RKO but that was still outta nowhere. Hardy wins, but now his prize is Orton adding on by banging Hardy’s head against steel steps! Orton won’t wait for Sunday, he wants to erase Hardy now. Orton grabs a chair and brings it over. He stalks his prey, then SMACKS Hardy on the back! Then he jabs it into those bad ribs, before another SMACK! Orton embraces all the heat from the fans while he hears those voices in his head. He waits for Hardy to stand up again, but Hardy denies the RKO! Hardy wants teh Twist but is denied, so he gets the chair! Hardy SMACKS, SMACKS, SMACKS and SMACKS! Orton is reeling but Hardy still smacks him. Orton flounders, and into the Twist of Fate!
But Hardy isn’t done there! He climbs up top, SWANTON BOMB! Hardy didn’t get it on Nakamura but he gets it on Orton here. Orton is gasping as he retreats, and the Enigma stands tall. Will Hardy avoid being erased by the bitter bite of The Viper? Or will he make Orton OBSOLETE once and for all?
Backstage interview with The Miz & Maryse.
But Miz wants Kayla to give them the proper respect. Maryse is in the spotlight, so this is the interview with Maryse and Miz. They will face Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella in mixed tag action this Sunday, but tonight’s main event will see the singles return of Maryse, something we haven’t seen in roughly 7 years. Is she ready? Are you kidding? It took Bryan three years to return to the ring, but it took Maryse five months after giving birth to return. She’s ready. Maryse vows to make Miz proud, and show little Monroe Sky how great mommy is when she punches Brie in the face.
Miz adds on by saying that there’s a reason these two are called the hardest hitting couple in WWE today. Do you know what Bryan & Brie are called? The Yes Couple? Is it? No, they’re the “Sure Couple”. As in they say, “Sure, I’ll settle for them.” Their marriage was one of convenience. But they aren’t very convenient, Bryan needs his wife to pay the bills and fight his battles. And if Bryan tries something, Maryse will slap the taste out of his mouth. “And that will be… AWESOME!” Will the It Couple make tonight’s main event must-see? Or will we see Maryse get shown up by #BrieMode?
AJ Styles was in the arena alone earlier today.
The Phenomenal One admits Samoa Joe knows his weakness is his temper. And Styles loses his temper quickest when it comes to his family. Joe brought both Styles’ wife and daughter into this. Joe thinks he has the advantage. Maybe he does. But after almost 20 years of friendship, Styles knows things about Joe. Joe has his own family. The difference is, Styles would never mess with Joe’s family. Styles has integrity, which is a strength. Joe’s strength is running his mouth and intimidating, as well as being a piece of… garbage. But all of Joe’s strength will become his weakness. When the bell rings, no one has the upper-hand on AJ Styles.
At Hell in a Cell, the talk stops, the intimidation ends, and Joe will get a reminder of what happens when someone talks about Styles’ family. Styles gave Joe a taste last week, and in five days, Joe will see how Phenomenal Styles really is. SmackDown is still the House that AJ Styles Built! “And it’s not for rent. And it damn sure isn’t for sale.”
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
She has a huge match with Becky Lynch at Hell in a Cell, but why is she having a match here tonight? Because she thrives on competition. Charlotte is competitive, but not Becky. Becky complains about Charlotte holding everyone back, yet Charlotte is insecure? Becky gets her opportunity, and if there’s one person Charlotte is willing to bet on, it’s herself. Charlotte will show that it’s easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk. She sure hopes Becky is watching this.
Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose!
The Queen wanted this match, but will she regret giving the Gladiator Gal a chance to shine this close to PPV Sunday?
The bell rings and the two circle. Charlotte avoids Sonya lunging in a couple times, but can’t get away the third time. She counters with a facelock but Sonya gets a facelock back. They trade and roll around, but Charlotte gets a takedown to a headlock. Fans “WOO~!” for Charlotte but Sonya throws her off the hold. They circle again and now Sonya gets the takedown and jackknife. TWO as Charlotte bridges out and goes for a backslide. Sonya counters and bends Charlotte back with a neckbreaker. Sonya kicks away on Charlotte in a corner, then snapmares Charlotte to the center. She hits a stiff sliding knee, covers, TWO! Sonya stalks Charlotte and brings her up, but Charlotte small packages. TWO, and Sonya knees low.
Sonya keeps on Charlotte with a whip but Charlotte reverses. Sonya sunset flips but Charlotte counters with the Flair knee drop! Charlotte runs but Mandy swipes at her! Sonya capitalizes with a strong forearm, but Charlotte boots her back! Charlotte recovers while Sonya flounders, we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Sonya has Charlotte in a standing abdominal stretch. Sonya hammers away on CHarlotte’s ribs, but fans rally up for Charlotte. CHarlotte slips out but gets shoulders and a shove. Charlotte suneset flips but Sonya silps out, so Charlotte gives her a big back suplex! Both women slowly stand, and it’s Sonya who hits first with forearms. Charlotte chops with those Flair chops, and backs Sonya down to a corner. She chops and chops, but then Sonya dodges. SOnya swings but gets the backbreaker and STO! Charlotte holds herself up, then slowly climbs up top. She MOONSAULTS, but gets knees! Spinebuster added, cover, TWO! Sonya can’t believe it! She drags Charlotte up again, and throws muay thai knees. She whips but Charlotte reverses, only for Sonya to reverse it back to a triangle!
Charlotte holds on, and then deadlifts Sony up! Rebound of the ropes then the sit-out! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Sonya survives, but now Charlotte has the Figure Four! Charlotte bridges, Figure Eight! Sonya taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
The Queen made Sonya tap out tonight, but it took so much to get there. Will Charlotte be good to go for Hell in a Cell against the Relent-Lass Lynch? Or is this finally Becky’s time to take back the spotlight?
Wait, someone from the stands attacks! It’s Becky in disguise!! The Straight Fire comes for Charlotte with a kick at the ramp! Becky stalks Charlotte, and puts her in the Disarm-Her! Fans are divided as Becky pulls Charlotte’s arm all the way back. Referees appear and get Becky to back off, but the message has been sent. “It’s been two years too long”, but will it only be five days more before she’s champion again?
Samoa Joe has a message for everyone.
“Gather ’round, everyone, and quiet down. I’m going to read you a bedtime story.” Joe has just the tale, but don’t worry, it has a happy ending. It’s called, “Night Night, AJ – by Samoa Joe.” There once was a man who lived in a house, that he built for his kids and his house. Styles defended against one and against all, and felt 10 feet tall. His head in the clouds, high above all, he forgot his own family, not even a call. Until a man appeared, the Submission Machine. Joe heard of the “house of broken promises and lies.” The child was frightened, the wife distraught, and hoped and prayed that a lesson would be taught. Things were terrible, horribly bad, but the Warrior had a solution by becoming their new dad.
The arrogant fool drew battle lines, but to emerge victorious, it wouldn’t take much. Just a snatch and a drag, and a Coquina Clutch. Styles’ ego is no more, he was a fool asleep on the floor. A new champion stands as the man of the house, while that 10 foot tall man is small as a mouse. The hero conquered the day, good night to Wendy, Annie, and especially AJ. Joe says this is “The End” of their story, but will Styles make sure the ending is rewritten at Hell in a Cell?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
But she doesn’t care about questions. She promised to break Charlotte’s arm, and she still will, after taking the title back. Becky has never been this ruthless. Is this what she needs to finally become champion again?
SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Match: Rusev Day VS The Bar!
The New Day were the team to finally stop the Bludgeon Brothers and take those belts away, but it took a No Disqualification match to do it. It also took Harper & Rowan out of action for a time, so in the meantime, the champions need contenders. That’s where the contenders tournament came in, pitting six teams in two separate triple threats to then determine finalists! Will the Bulgarian Brute & Drama King overcome the Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator? Or will Rusev Day fail to be better than the team that doesn’t just set the bar, but ARE the Bar?!
Speakng of the New Day, “ya bois” have their own announce desk again! They’re getting word that “Kramer Kingsman” is getting word with The Bar backstage. And somehow someway, Kramer is backstage watching The Bar finish preparations. The Bar in their natural habitat, but will they be like bad milk and spoil things for Rusev & English? Back to you, Kofi! Wow, what a great professional he is. Shenanigans aside, both teams make their entrance. English sings says they’ll steal the spotlight, win the fight and earn the right to take on the champs. Everybody watch as The Bar gives way, so that the titles will be won on… RUSEV DAAAAAAY~! With that, both teams are in the ring, and we begin!
SmackDown shifts to picture in picture as Cesaro starts with English. They tie up and go aruond, but English bails out before he can be isolated. English gets back in and ties up with Cesaro. English gets a headlock but Cesaro reverses to his own. They go to ropes and Engilsh powers out, but Cesaro runs him over. Cesaro runs but things speed up, English arm-drags Cesaro overhead! He puts Cesoar int he corner and tags in Rusev! Rusev whips ENglish in for the back elbow, then English feeds Cesaro tot he lariat. Cover, TWO! Rusev keeps on Cesaro with haymakers, then shoulders in the corner. He wrenches but Cesaro knees and clubs him back. Tag to Sheamus and Sheamus kicks Rusev. Sheamus suplexes but Rusev resists. Rusev cuonters and gets Sheamus up and over! Cover, TWO, but Rusev drops elbows.
Rusev grabs Sheamus in a facelock, and we return to single picture. Sheamus powers Rusev back to ropes, and they separate. Rusev senses Cesaro lurking and hits him first, only to get run over by Sheamus. Cover, ONE, but Sheamus keeps on Rusev with an arm wrench. Tag to Cesaro as New Day comments on the action. Cesaro gives a European Uppercut and a scoop slam. He wraps Rusv in a chinlock, and the New Day cannot predict who faces them. Fans rally up for “Rusev Day!” as Rusev stands up. Cesaro tags to Sheamus and hands the headlock off. Sheamus grinds Rusev but Rusev stays standing. Rusev arm-drags Sheamus off, and boots Sheamus away. English tags in, climbs up and leaps! Crossbody connects, and he fires off hands.
Sheamus reverses the whip but gets a mule kick. English runs for the swinging neckbreaker! English swings on Cesaro and manages to slip out of the saido suplex. HE dumps Sheamus otu then dumps Cesaro out. Rusev comes in and helps English FLY! English wipes out The Bar and feeds Sheamus in. English puts Sheamus in, falling DDT! Cover, TWO! The New Day enjoy what they see while Sheamus rolls out. English pursues and puts him back inside, but Cesaro goes after him. Rusev backs Cesaro off but Sheamus knees English down! English rolls back out, Sheamus tags Cesaro, and Cesaro gives English a BIG EuroUpper. Cesaro then throws pancakes around before putting English back in.
Cesaro gives English more EuroUppers, then tag Sheamus. They give him double mudhole stomps, then Sheamus clobbers with a clothesline. Cover, TWO! Tag back to Cesaro, and they mug English. Cesaro wrap on a chinlock, but fans rally up for Rusev Day while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Sheamus has English in the Canadian torture rack. English fights out and jawbreakers Sheamus away. Sheamus runs back in but only gets post! English crawls for his corner but Rusev is still down. Cesaro checks on Sheamus but Rusev returns! Fans fire up as Sheamus tags Cesaro, but English tags Rusev! Rusev rallies on Cesaro, and hits a big shoulder. Rusev keeps moving for the leaping spin kick! THe Bulgarian Lion roars as he stalks the Swiss Cyborg. Rusev stomps and aims, but misses the Machka kick. Cesaro runs but into a pop-up knee and roundhouse! Cover, TWO! But Rusev is not deterred, he is only determined. The New Day see that determination, and respect the “CRUSH!” Accolade is on! Cesaro endures, but Sheamus slips in to clobber Rusev. Sheamus is pushed back out, but Rusev runs into a EuroUpper!
Tag to Sheamus, and they double DDT! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus can’t believe it but Lafayette is fired up for Rusev. Sheamus puts Rusev in his corner but Rusev fights ought! He bounces Ceasro off the post and rolls Sheamus up, TWO! Sheamus hits a tilt-o-whirl slam! Cover, TWO! The Bar cannot believe the resilience of Rusev, but Lana and teh fans keep cheering him on. Sheamus calls for his own kick, and he watches Rusev slowly stir. Sheamus runs at Rusev, but English intercepts to take the Brogue! Rusev MACHKA KICK! Cover, Rusev Day wins!!
Winners: Team Rusev Day, Rusev pinning; #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Even The New Day celebrate this one! This is a great Rusev Day for Rusev Day, but this is only the beginning. Can Hell in a Cell Sunday be an even greater Rusev Day when they bring home the gold? Or will the titles stay with the Five-Time champions?
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS R-Truth w/ Carmella!
El Idolo & La Muneca have been on a short downtrend while the newly created #FABULOUSTruth have been on the rise already! Will Truth show Almas #WhatsUp just a week before the Mixed Match Challenge begins again? Or will Truth only be #CienKnees?
SmackDown returns as Almas & Vega make their entrance. Fans echo “What’s Up?!” with Truth as the bell rings. Truth and Almas circle, but Almas kicks and chops Truth to a corner. Truth fires back but Almas stops that quick. Almas runs but into the headscissors! Truth rocks Almas with a haymaker, then whips corner to corner. Almas reverses but Truth goes up and over to handspring. Almas handsprings to PELE Truth! Cover, TWO! Almas stomps Truth then throws forearms. Vega wants Almas to finish Truth, but Truth fights back. Almas rocks Truth with a knee, then wraps on a facelock. Carmella rallies fans and Truth resists the suplex. Truth blocks then counters to gordbuster Almas down!
Vega tells Almas to shake it off quick, but Carmella coaches Truth up. Truth throws hands on Almas, then splits to hit teh calf kick! Fans fire up with Truth as he does mroe splits. Truth runs corner to corner for the splash! He kicks low, then runs, but Almas dodges the scissor kick. Truth shoves Almas, but he and Vega double Tranquilo. Carmella comes around to change that as she drags Vega to the floor! Almas doesn’t like that, but he manages to standing switch and roll up. Almas has hold of the pants, and Almas wins!
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas, by pinfall
Carmella was trying to help, but she couldn’t have expected Almas to cheat like that. El Idolo gets away with the win, but will he be reaching new heights if that’s what ti ta
Backstage interview with Asuka.
The Empress of Tomorrow helped Naomi out against The IIconics. Why? Naomi pops in to thank Asuka, and also wants to know why. Well the IIconics are so mean, and their accents make it hard to understand them. But they’re also fun to hit. Naomi likes Asuka’s attitude, and the glow. Go? No, glow. Oh! Yes, glow! Asuka loves teriyaki. Teriyaki? Wanna get some? Sure! This pair is eccentric to say the least, but will they be able to keep the future from being IIconic?
Brie Bella w/ Daniel Bryan VS Maryse w/ The Miz!
Bryan VS Miz was “Eight Years in the Making”, but so was this! Maryse returns to action after so long, but will she be ready for #BriMode?
The bell rings and Brie circles with Maryse. These former Diva’s Champions circle, but then Maryse ducks out the second Brie rushes her. Miz has Brie stay back while Maryse just grins and laughs. Miz applauds his wife and gives her a quick pep talk. Maryse returns to the ring, then circles with Brie. Brie rushes Maryse again but Maryse uses the ropes for shelter. Brie grows annoyed but Maryse tosses her hair. Maryse ducks out again, but Brie got really close that time. The It Couple talk, but Brie calls Maryse out as a coward. Maryse is angry now, but not so much that she won’t duck back out when Brie goes after her.
Miz talks back. “You think we’re cowards?!” Lafayette says “YES! YES!” Miz says Brie doesn’t even deserve to be in the same ring as Maryse! Maryse is the two times Diva’s Champ and one of the longest reigning champs ever! Five months after giving birth and Maryse is back in the ring, but neither Brie nor this city deserves her! He is calling this main event match off. The It Couple plan to wait until Hell in a Cell and start walking. But Bryan and Brie decide to give chase! Brie gets Maryse from behind by her hair! And she brings her all the way back to bump her off the apron! Twice! Three times! Four times, and then into the ring. Brie has the fans fired up, but Miz distracts. Bryan runs Miz off, but Maryse SUPERKICKS! Cover, TWO!
Miz and Maryse keep their cool, and they mock the “YES! YES!” chants. Maryse prepares her “hardest punch”, but Bryan rallies the fans for Brie. Maryse gets caught into Brie’s Yes Lock! But Miz drags Brie right out!
Winner: Brie Bella, by disqualification
But Bryan just goes after Miz! He unleashes on Miz against he barriers, and then into the ring! Brie gets back up but Bryan is thrown out onto her! Bryan realizes what happens and checks on Brie. Brie is hurting, and Bryan calls for medics to check on her. However, Miz goes after Bryan and throws him into steel steps! Then Maryse stomps away on Brie! Maryse bumps Brie off the apron in return for earlier, even as the referee orders her to stop. Maryse has Brie in the ring, but Brie Thezs Presses!
Miz gets in but Brie scares him with a glare. But this is so Maryse can snatch hair. But Brie slips out of the DDT. Bryan returns and goes after Miz more! He fires off the YES KICKS! Bryan vows to punch Miz out, but Miz turns around, to get a punch from Brie first! Then Bryan clotheslines Miz out! The YES Couple are in control, but will things go their way at Hell in a Cell? Or will they get to punch the It Couple in their smug faces to settle this once and for all?
SmackDown did much better than Raw, again. For one, they’re not bogging themselves down with build outside of Hell in a Cell, but they also didn’t give us more review than new action. Hardy VS Nakamura was a great opening match, and of course Orton appears to screw the match. But it was also great that Hardy stands tall in the fight after. We can all just feel Hardy jumping off the Cell for the Super Swanton he’s always wanted, but I can’t be sure he wins. It’d be odd for Orton’s mission to erase the heroes of the WWE Universe to fail the first time out. Though, just look at Bray Wyatt’s entire main roster run…
Charlotte VS Sonya was really good, Sonya looks strong even in losing. Becky’s surprise attack was so great, she’s really embracing this Heel Not Heel turn and fans are eating it up. This match is going to be great, but it’s so hard to call. Becky winning would be great, because the iron is hot and fans would go nuts. At the same time, winning at Hell in a Cell could end up making Becky only a transitional champion given Super Show Down and Evolution coming up next. At the same time, delaying Becky becoming champ again runs the risk of things cooling off, so I’d just pull the trigger now and figure things out. Speaking of, WWE needs to figure Asuka and Naomi out. Asuka shouldn’t be dragged into some kind of tag team story, she should be at Evolution in a singles title match.
Styles and Joe have really great promos going into their match, but especially Joe’s storybook. It is a shame we’re only getting one Cell match per brand because Styles VS Joe already has a build worthy of one. Of course, this feud could easily be used for the next few PPV’s, so let’s just hope the action in this match is already levels higher than the Styles VS Nakamura series. Speaking of Nakamura, he needs a challenger some time soon, so maybe some kind of Open Challenge and anyone from R-Truth to Tye Dillinger to even Almas for just some great wrestling. Almas and Truth have a decent match, but it’s a shame Almas won with a cheat. Though, that does help keep Truth strong, he deserves to have something again.
Rusev also deserves something, so he and English getting the contenders spot is great. I would love if they surprised us by having Rusev Day win at Hell in a Cell. Granted, New Day are a strong team, but it’s not like their fifth reign needs to be a long one. New Day already has the record and achieved the Five-Time threshold, so they can let this one go. The match will still be great, but the ones who need the win are Rusev Day, not New Day. Meanwhile, Brie VS Maryse was not a good main event match. Granted, it was never going to be just about them, and in a vacuum, that fight between the two couples was good. The mixed tag could go either away, but I doubt this will really end Bryan VS Miz as a feud. I think it’d take a title to do that.
My Score: 8/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10