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
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Power Struggle 2018 Part 2!
NJPW Power Struggle continues as Tetsuya Naito once again battles Zack Sabre Jr! Will Tranquilo #JustTapOut? Or will ZSJ lost to The Ungovernable Charisma?
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; RPG3K wins the 2018 Super Junior Tag League.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Los Ingobernables de Japon continues to war with Suzuki-Gun! The leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has lost to the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, twice this year in both the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax! ZSJ angered Naito when he picked the bones of Evil after a vicious attack from Chris Jericho. Naito looks to get back at ZSJ for both Evil and those defeats, but ZSJ talks of retiring Naito himself. Who will win in this third time around in 2018?
Meanwhile, the Super Junior Tag League Tournament bring together familiar foes as the factions of LIJ, Suzuki-Gun and Chaos battle again! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are still Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and they look to show true dominance over the division. However, Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh look to repeat as tournament winners while Bushi has LIJ’s newest member, Shingo Takagi, by his side. Who comes out of this finals match primed to rule over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Division?
Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
The round robin format of this tournament makes it so that the teams with the best records qualify for this tournament climax, and this year it ended up being three! All three teams have a 10-0 record going in, impressive to say the least. And naturally, the winners of this tournament, if they’re not the champions, get a shot to face the champions for the belts in the future. Will Sho & Yoh become back-to-back tournament champs? Will the tag champs come out as supreme rulers of Junior Heavyweight Tag wrestling? Or will this new combination of ungovernable stars be the key to victory?
Suzuki-Gun’s duo bring their belts, and a bottle of whiskey for Kanemaru. Kanemaru tags a swig then spits it to the sky, before attacking Bushi! Desperado goes after Shingo, but Sho & Yoh go after them! The match starts with the bell and Suzuki-Gun throws Yoh out of the ring. Kanemaru keeps on Sho with an eye rake, and Desperado adds a kick. Suzuki-Gun mug Sho then double whip, but he hits back! Desperado kicks Sho and chops him. Desperado runs, Sho ducks and Yoh comes back! They drop toehold and dropkick Desperado, then double dropkick Kanemaru. LIJ returns but they get dropkick’d out. Yoh goes back to Desperado while fans rally up. Sho keeps on Desperado with a big scoop slam. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado rakes eyes.
This kind of Triple Threat Tag, anyone can tag anyone so long as it doesn’t create a match-up of the same team. Therefore, Bushi is allowed to tag in from Desperado. He goes after Sho, then drags him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he tags in Shingo. Shingo hits Yoh for good measure before bringing Sho up. Sho chops, but Shingo chops back. Sho leans against ropes, but Shingo double chops him down! Shingo drags Sho up and whips, follows after and rams his knee into Sho. Then he suplexes Sho up and over, floats to cover, TWO! Tag to Bushi and LIJ double whip. They double hip toss and combine back senton and leg drop. Bushi covers, TWO! Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho, but lets up at 4.
Fans cheer while Bushi clubs Sho. Bushi runs but Sho hits him with the kitchen sink knee! Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on LIJ, ducks the enziguri and dragon screws Shingo. Yoh gives Bushi a backbreaker to necbreaker and kips up! Fans rally up as Yoh back elbows Bushi in a corner. Yoh suplexes but Bushi slips out. Bushi fires off forearms, then runs, but Desperado trips him up. Kanemaru tags in off Bushi and goes after Yoh. Desperado drags Bushi down to beat him up while Kanemaru hits Shingo. Bushi and Shingo go into barriers while Kanemaru whips Yoh. Kanemaru gives Yoh a kitchen sink, then tosses Yoh out. Desperado uses the backing of a chair to SMACK Yoh in the head. Then he whips Yoh into barriers! Desperado feeds Yoh to Kanemaru for a scoop slam.
Kanemaru grinds his foot on Yoh’s face, then tags Desperado. Desperado kicks Yoh down, and taunts Sho to return. Desperado chops Yoh back, but Yoh chops back. Yoh keeps firing strikes but Desperado shrugs it off. They go back and forth, but Desperado rakes eyes. Desperado runs but Shingo gets him to stop. Desperado hits Shingo, but turns around into Yoh’s calf kick! Hot tag to Kanemaru and he stops Sho from tagging in. Suzuki-Gun work together to start a corner train, and then Desperado cradles Yoh for Kanemaru to shotgun dropkick-start the slam! Cover, but LIJ breaks it. LIJ goes after everyone else, and double whip Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes and dumps Shingo out. He puts Bushi on the apron and Desperado knocks him off. Kanemaru helps Desperado build speed to DIVE on LIJ! Desperado ends up safely on the announce desk!
Fans fire up, even if it’s for Suzuki-Gun. Desperado returns as Kanemaru brings Yoh up. Suplex to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru grows frustrated, but he keeps on Yoh. Yoh hits back and they brawl with forearms and European Uppercuts. Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! He drags Yoh up again, but Yoh gets him back with a Falcon Arrow! Yoh is too sore to make the cover, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans rally up. Yoh and Kanemaru stir but Desperado attacks Sho! Desperado comes in but Bushi hits him first. Bushi grabs Yoh and throws him to the LIJ corner. Shingo tags in off Yoh, and then goes after Kanemaru’s inner thigh. Desperado saves Kanemaru by whipping Shingo but Shingo reverses. Shingo then starts up a clothesline train, first hitting Desperado then going corner to corner to hit Kanemaru. Desperado staggers into a shoulder from Shingo! Fans fire up as Shingo grabs Kanemaru. Sho comes in but gets caught, DDT and complete shot! Shingo goes back to Kanemaru for another suplex, but Kanemaru slips out. Kanemaru has a waistlock but Shingo fights out. Shingo whips and pop-up Death Valley Driver on Kanemaru! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru barely survives but Shingo is not bothered.
Muscle Dragon Shingo stalks Kanemaru, but misses in the corner. Kanemaru misses, too, and Bushi hits a knee! Bushi feeds Kanemaru to the spinebuster, adding a backstabber! Cover, but RPG3K break it! RPG3K is thrown out and LIJ coordinates. Shingo lifts Kanemaru in a wheelbarrow, but Desperado intercepts Bushi! Kanemaru victory rolls, TWO! Bushi fights Desperado off to slingshot headscissor Desperado! Shingo runs but to a basement dropkick! Kanemaru staggers into a tag from Sho! Sho then rocks Kanemaru with a right, and throws Kanemaru out. Sho runs at Shingo for a big corner clothesilne. He whips but Shingo reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Shingo runs but into a dropkick!
Sho fires up, as do the fans. He deadlifts Shingo but Shingo fights back. Sho runs, but Shingo rocks him with an elbow and an uppercut! Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, but Sho slips out. Shingo runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh takes out Bushi while Sho brings Shinogo back up. Backstabber feeds into the shotgun dropkick! RPG3K fire up and stalk Shingo. Shingo stands but Bushi stops Yoh with a backstabber of his own. Sho gets Bushi in a deadlift German Suplex! Desperado spears Sho, but can’t spear Shingo! Shingo and Desperado brawl, but Desperado rakes the eyes. Shingo still waistlocks Desperado, Desperado kicks Sho but Shingo shoves Desperado into Sho. Sho and Desperado turn around into Shingo’s clotheslines!
Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, for the Gory Bomb! Shingo gets up and builds speed, to clothesline from hell! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives and Shingo can’t believe it! Shingo roars as he drags Sho back up. He lifts Sho with a wristclutch, but Yoh SUPERKICKS! RPG3K hit 3K!! Cover, but the ref is yanked out! Kanemaru gets in and kicks away on Yoh! He stomps away on Sho, then drags Sho up. Desperado is in with a belt, and he clobbers Sho! Desperado drags Shingo over to a corner and uses him to tag in. Then he goes back to Sho while Kanemaru takes out Bushi. Desperado lifts Sho in the torture rack, for the slam! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives again! Desperado is furious and vows to end this.
Desperado brings Sho up in the double underhook, but Bushi jumps over the ref to use the GREEN MIST! You SUPERKICKS Bushi! Kanemaru goes after Yoh, but Yoh ducks the Whiskey Mist to dropkick Kanemaru out! Yoh builds speed and FLIES onto Bushi and Kanemaru! Sho is up, and clobbers Desperado! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, double knees! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans are thunderous. Sho fires up and wants another, but he tucks the arms this time. Package driver, the Shock Arrow! Cover, RPG3K win!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning
Sho & Yoh win their second Super Junior Tag League! And best of all, it was on the tag team champions! Can Sho & Yoh use this momentum to get the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles back?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Los Ingobernables de Japon and Suzuki-Gun are not through with each other, and these two are far from through with each other on top of it. Will Naito make ZSJ Tranquilo? Or will ZJS make Naito #JustTapOut?
As always, Taka Michinoku takes up the mic before the match. He welcomes everyone to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match between ZSJ and Naito. “Who is gonna win this one?!” ZSJ is the man who can finish you with any lock anytime, anywhere, who has the deadly Zack Driver, and when he locks on, you #JustTapOut! This wrestling master is Zack Sabreeeeee Junior~! So Naito, you will repeat the New Japan Cup and G1 Climax. You can’t beat Zack, so “come on over here!” Naito makes his entrance, and takes his time as always with undressing. ZSJ doesn’t let the mind games get to him, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Fans cheer for Naito as he circles with ZSJ. Naito and ZSJ tie up and ZSJ gets the headlock. ZSJ throws Naito but Naito shrugs it off. He and ZSJ circle again and feel it out. ZSJ gets a wristlock but Naito reverses quick, so ZSJ breaks and slips away. They circle again and tie up. ZSJ gets the arm again and wrenches for a hammerlock. Naito rolls and goes for a leg but ZSJ gets his legs into a deathlock. Naito manages to pop free and get a headlock, but ZSJ headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight as Naito tries to escape. Naito moves around but ZSJ goes for an arm. Naito frees himself from the headscissors to go for an armbar. ZSJ moves around and gets a leg again, Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But Naito pops out to a cover, ONE, Tranquilo!
Naito rolls out to catch his breath but ZSJ stays in the ring. Naito takes his time returning, and circles with ZSJ again. They approach and tie up, and ZSJ brings Naito’s hands down to stand on one and wrench the other. ZSJ shifts to a headlock, then throws to the takeover. Naito endures and rolls ZSJ to a cover, ONE. Naito sits up and gets up, and powers out of the headlock. He arm-drags ZSJ around, then runs him over with an elbow to hit the basement dropkick! Naito poses but ZSJ runs in with a leaping triangle hold takedown! Naito gets a ropebreak but ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath now while Naito bails out again. Naito comes back but ZSJ presses a knee down on him.
ZSJ loops Naito’s arm through the ropes and then a leg and uses them to pull in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ backs off at 4, so he can mock the LIJ posing. Naito sits up but ZSJ is on with the double wristlock, then top wristlock to stomp! Naito writhes but ZSJ circles him like a shark. ZSJ brings Naito up for a EuroUpper, but Naito chops back. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Naito gives back a CHOP. That stuns ZSJ, but ZSJ still kicks and whips Naito. Naito reverses, then run sin. ZSJ puts him on the apron to sweep the legs! ZSJ goes after Naito on the ramp and uses a calf killer! Then he shifts to a modified half crab! ZSJ tortures the legs, then rams the knees on the ramp. ZSJ leaves Naito behind as the 20-count starts.
Naito slowly gets up but the count is at 16! He hurries and gets in at 19! ZSJ is on Naito again with another trapped leg toehold to a half crab! Then a heel hook, then a deep crab! ZSJ just keeps combining holds, such as a trapped arm and another deep crap. But Naito gets the ropes and is freed. Fans rally up as Naito gets to a corner. ZSJ stomps the legs, but Naito hits back. ZSJ kicks the legs but Naito hits back. They continue to go back and forth, a kick for a forearm and back again. Naito goes down after another kick to the leg, but he crawls to a corner. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Naito gives an atomic drop and running headscissors!
Both men are down as Naito tries to get feeling in his legs. Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Naito stands first. Naito hits ZSJ with punches and kicks, then gets the dragon sleeper to backbreaker, and adds a basement dropkick! ZSJ gets to a corner, but Naito hits the jump kick and leg sweep. Naito slingshots but into the cravat! Naito arm-drags out, but ZSJ runs back in. ZSJ is put in a corner, but he boots Naito. Naito spits then spins ZSJ sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Naito then scoops ZSJ into the reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Naito has things back in his favor as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito gives ZSJ elbows in the corner. Naito drives elbows into ZSJ even as ZSJ sits down. Then Naito hoists ZSJ up top and climbs up to join him. Naito drives in more elbows and then stands up for a SUPER STEINER! But ZSJ makes it a cradle into a leg lock, into an STF! ZSJ keeps shifting to modify the crossface, then keeps pushing with his weight. Naito pushes back and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up, and ZSJ slowly stands. ZSJ grabs Naito’s leg for a spinning toehold. Naito clutches that bad leg, but ZSJ does the spinning tweak to his arm! ZSJ stalks Naito as he stands, and gives him a EuroUpper. Naito hits back with a forearm, but ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. Naito CHOPS ZSJ and sits him down.
ZSJ gets up to kick Naito in the leg again. Naito CHOPS, but ZSJ stays standing this time. ZSJ eggs Naito on so Naito fires off forearms until ZSJ sits down. Naito goes side to side for the basement dropkick! He brings ZSJ up but ZSJ gets a full nelson! Naito arm-drags ZSJ away but ZSJ comes back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ tries again but Naito back slides and back elbows to the tornado DDT! Naito keeps going, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches the arm but ZSJ kicks it! Naito kicks back and then whips. ZSJ reveres and catches the lariat into an Octopus! Naito endures as he steps towards ropes. ZSJ shifts to go after the arm, then cradles to a Calf Killer!
Naito endures leg pain, but he rolls. ZSJ keeps him trapped for a calf slicer, but Naito fights with his free leg. But ZSJ grabs it to make it part stretch muffler! Naito gets free and gets another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go but he grows frustrated. Fans rally for Naito again, but ZSJ gets up first. ZSJ EuroUppers Naito again and again and again, then even more in the corner. He throws Naito out to Penalty Kick him! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives, but barely. Michinoku keeps ZSJ focused as he gets up again. ZSJ lifts Naito but Naito slips out to waistlock. ZSJ elbows out and wants the Octopus, but Naito breaks free. Naito runs into an uppercut but enziguris, only for ZSJ to make it an ankle lock! ZSJ then reels Naito in but Naito standing switches, for a German Suplex!
Naito runs, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ barely survives, but Naito keeps on him. Naito wrenches the arm but ZSJ drops down, only for Naito to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ drags Naito into the European Clutch! TWO but barely! ZSJ and Naito go to opposite ends as they stand up. ZSJ kicks but Naito catches it to enziguri back. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into ZSJ’s scoop! But Naito slips out to scoop ZSJ, brainbuster! Fans are thunderous as Naito wrenches and whirls, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
The Ungovernable finally wins against the Submission Master! Naito did not tap out and he didn’t fall to the Zack Driver, but can Naito use this to launch himself back towards a title?
Taka Michinoku explains that Zack only just arrived yesterday. This loss was because of jet lag! He was battling jet lag and an opponent at the same time. But ZSJ dares Naito to come to England and see if this still happens. ZSJ will even fight him in a pub if he wants.
As for Naito, he finally got his revenge. To be precise, Naito won in last year’s G1, but yes he did lose in the 2018 New Japan Cup and G1. Therefore, Naito is 2-2 against ZSJ all-time. Naito appreciates ZSj, because this match had no upside for him and yet he took it. He has Naito’s thanks, “Gracias, amigo.” When and where will there be a tiebreaker for their overall series?
Another great hour version of this event. While there wasn’t a lot of Super Junior Tag League coverage on AXS, this triple threat finals was great to see. It was all an impressive match and I was really impressed to see that RPG3K got to repeat. I really hope this means Sho & Yoh get those titles off of Desperado & Kanemaru, that would be great for them. The evolution of these two from being the Tempura Boyz to the gold ‘n’ silver duo has been great to see, and while they’ve already had the titles, getting the titles again would just add to their great growth. Naito VS ZSJ 4 was also great, just as good as their previous matches. I’m glad to see Naito won this time, it works for his story of coming back around strong towards the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (12/1/18)
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 376
The ROH World Tag Team Championships are on the line this close to Final Battle! Will SoCal Uncensored even make it to the Ladder Wars they declared?
- Kenny King VS Christopher Daniels; King wins.
- Jeff Cobb VS Josh Woods; Cobb wins.
- Hangman Adam Page VS Facade w/ Danni; Page wins.
- ROH World Tag Team Championships: SoCal Uncensored VS Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr; SoCal Uncensored wins and advances to Final Battle’s Ladder War ROH World Tag Team Championship match.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last time on ROH…
The Briscoes and The Young Bucks battled to determine #1 contenders to the World Tag Team Championships, and it was another instant classic. However, the ending was marred by double disqualifications, so there is no one challenger for the titles. SoCal Uncensored’s Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky wouldn’t accept that, they want to settle the scores with both the Bucks and #DemBoyz. And the only way to do that is to wage war! Final Battle will have a LADDER WAR for the titles!
Kenny King VS Christopher Daniels!
The K I N G takes a break from being the #BulletClubSilencer to prove himself against the Almighty former ROH World Champion. However, on commentary, Marty Scurll watches and scouts his Final Battle opponent. The Villain knows Daniels wants to make SCU the top trio in the business, but he prefers “S C U R double L.” Will the Fallen Angel gain some last minute momentum going into his match with Marty?
Before the match, Kenny King speaks to Daniels. “You are, homey, a timeless talent.” Kenny uses “timeless” because there’s no one here who knows how old Daniels really is. But it turns out Daniels doesn’t have a lot of time left in ROH. So Kenny figures it’d look real good on his resume if he was one of Daniels’ last losses in ROH “as we boot you out the door.” But Kenny will be nice enough to “haul you back to SCU”, as in the Senior Citizens Unit at the hospital! Daniels gets riled up with that one, and he starts swinging with the bell!
Daniels jabs and jabs on Kenny, then whips. He knocks Kenny down with a calf kick, but he stays on him with chops. Daniels bumps Kenny off buckles then chops him more. Kenny knees back and throws forearms. Daniels ducks the heel kick and hits the quebrada! Cover, TWO! Kenny apologizes for the “joke” but Daniels doesn’t accept it. Daniels bumps him off more buckles, then gets the “SCU!” going. He whips and elbows Kenny out of the ring. Daniels builds speed and hits a baseball slide. Fans fire up and high-five Daniels. Daniels clears some fans out to whip Kenny at barriers! Kenny writhes as fans chant for the Fallen Angel. Kenny hits back but Daniels bumps Kenny off the apron. Daniels climbs up and ducks another kick, and even the Eddy Gordo kick. But then Kenny sweeps the legs! Daniels crashes and burns, and we go to break.
ROH returns as Daniels fights out of Kenny’s chinlock. Daniels swings but Kenny spins him around with a full nelson into a backbreaker, then runs Daniels over with a clothesline. Kenny grins as he reminds us all he’s the K I N G Kiiing~! Then he mocks old man Daniels before stomping him. Scurll admits this change in Kenny is working for him. Daniels gets up but Kenny runs him over with a shoulder. Kenny then does his dance before covering, TWO! Kenny keeps on Daniels with a chinlock, but fans rally up. Daniels feeds off the power and gets up to fight out again. Daniels throws forearms and chops. He runs but into Kenny’s chin checker and Eddy Gordo kick. Kenny hotshots Daniels then goes back to the apron. He springboards but Daniesl gets under. Kenny comes back but Daniels catches him into a Blue Thunder Bomb!
Both men are down but fans rally up again. Daniels gets to a corner and drags himself up. Kenny gets to another corner but Daniels runs out to rally. Daniels whips but Kenny reverses, only for Daniels to slide under and hit the STO! Fans fire up with Daniels as Kenny gets to a corner. Daniels tells Scurll he’s watching him, then he hits Kenny with a corner clothesline. Daniels brings Kenny up for a wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO! Daniels points to a corner and brings Kenny up. Kenny fights back, and gets Daniels into a spinebuster! Cover and Kenny grabs the ropes, TWO! Scurll reprimands Kenny’s cheating. Kenny brings Daniels up in the fireman’s carry but Daniels fights out and runs. Kenny elbows him but runs into Daniels’ uppercut. Daniels runs and counters Kenny’s counter into an urenage!
Daniels wants to go to the corner but Kenny grabs his feet and kicks him down! The ref gets knocked over, too, and Kenny kicks Daniels in the balls! Kenny blows a kiss good-bye, to hit the Royal Flush! Cover, Kenny wins!
Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall
The #BulletClubSilencer turns into a #FallenAngelSlayer as we head for the New Year. Will the K I N G use this to get back towards a title? Can Daniels turn things around and be ready for The Villain at Final Battle? For that matter, can Daniels do anything about his contract countdown?
Dalton Castle speaks.
“Three months. Three months is how long I was out with an injury, with one thing in mind: to regain the ROH World Championship.” The Peacock didn’t lose his focus, but he is being distracted. Castle didn’t have doctors stick needles in his spine just so he could face Matt Taven. That belt Matt wears is just a ruse! A fake! However, the rage ignited within Castle is real. Will that rage burn The Kingdom down?
Jeff Cobb VS Josh Woods!
The Hawaiian Hulk and current ROH World Television Champion also considers himself Mr. Top Prospect 2018 after he destroyed the field without ever competing. However, The Goods became Mr. Top Prospect 2017 the old fashion way: by winning the tournament. Who will prove themselves the true Top Prospect of ROH tonight?
The Code of Honor is upheld and the two approach. Cobb gets a leg and then the waistlock, but Woods drops down to reverse. Cobb gets a ropebreak and Woods honors it. They go again, but as Cobb gets the facelock, Hangman Page appears! Hangman has a chair to take a seat, and a mic for later. Cobb rolls Woods in a waistlock but Woods breaks out to roll Cobb. Woods has a leg but Cobb gets up and to the ropes. They break clean and even Hangman applauds. Woods lunges and gets Cobb down, and goes for the armbar! Cobb moves around and gets the ropebreak again, so Woods lets him go. Woods keeps after the arm and traps it to get Cobb down again. Woods still wants an armbar but Cobb powers off. They go around but Woods keeps control as he goes after the elbow and wrist.
Fans rally up and Cobb powers up. Woods spins Cobb but Cobb blocks the belly2belly. Cobb suplexes Woods back but Woods slips out. Woods goes for a sleeper but Cobb blocks and arm-drags Woods off. Woods comes back but is caught into a trap-leg exploder! Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Woods throws him down! Woods goes for the armbar again, but Cobb clasps hands! Cobb puts Woods in a cover, TWO! Woods goes to use his legs but Cobb moves around. Fans rally and Cobb deadlifts Woods! Cobb catapults Woods at buckles, and Hangman seems mildly impressed. Fans rally as both Woods and Cobb stand up. Cobb runs at Woods but Woods boots him back. Woods runs for a big knee strike! Woods keeps moving, and springboards but into Tour of the Islands!! Cover, Cobb wins!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall
Mr. 2018 beats Mr. 2017 and rolls on towards Final Battle. Hangman gets up with his mic and heads to the ring. He stands face to face with Cobb and says “Pretty impressive, huh, guys? Jeff Cobb, TV Champion!” But Cobb should get out of the ring so Hangman can show him “how a real ass whooping is done.” Bring out Hangman’s opponent!
Hangman Adam Page VS Facade w/ Danni!
The Problem Solver won’t let the ROH World TV Champion get ahead of him, and looks to use the Neon Ninja as a tune-up. Will Hangman be able to focus on the opponent in front of him? Or will he be too busy thinking about the opponent ahead of him at Final Battle?
ROH returns as Hangman stomps a mudhole into Facade. He backs off at 4 but then clotheslines Facade out of the ring. By the way, Cobb has taken Hangman’s seat on stage so he can watch up close just as Hangman did. And Hangman makes sure Cobb saw what he just did, too. Hangman then gets on the apron and htis the shooting star shoulder! Fans fire up as Hangman puts Facade back in. Hangman enjoys the cheers a moment before going back in the ring. Hangman pumphandle deadlifts Facade to show off his strength, and then Fall Away slams to a bridge! TWO, and Danni is relieved for her Neon Ninja. She and fans rally up for Facade and Facade chops Hangman. Hangman haymakers back, so Facade chops back. Hangman rocks Facade with a right, then whips.
Facade reverses but Hangman holds ropes. Facade runs in but is put on the apron. He shoulders into Hangman then slingshots up and over. Facade runs and waistlocks but Hangman bucks him off. Facade comes back and baits Hangman. Hangman runs but Facade goes up and moonsaults over! Facade goes Matrix and then cartwheel kicks Hangman to a corner! Fans fire up as Facade runs in corner to corner. Hangman dodges but runs into boots. Facade climbs up and prepares himself. He walks the ropes but gets booted out of the sky! Scurll laughs it up on commentary while Hangman stalks Facade to a corner. Facade gets on the apron but Hangman drags him up. They fight as Hangman drags Facade to the top rope.
Hangman holds Facade, and throws him with a SUPER Fall Away Slam! Facade ends up in the opposite corner and Danni is concerned. Hangman trash talks Cobb but Cobb tells Hangman to focus. Hangman toys with Facade but Facade chops back! It does nothing, and Hangman rocks Facade with a right. Facade chops and chops and forearms, but Hangman still shrugs it all off. Facade keeps throwing strikes but gets rocked with a roaring elbow! Hangman kicks Facade around, then runs, but Facade follows for a springboard enziguri! Hangman ends up outside and Facade builds speed to double jump springboard somersault ax handle! The fans are thunderous and Danni is running laps as Facade puts Hangman in the ring. Facade springboards but has to roll through. He turns around into the Buckshot! Then the Rite of Passage! Cover, Hangman wins!
Winner: Hangman Adam Page, by pinfall
Hangman turns the Neon Ninja’s lights out while he keeps pace with Cobb. Cobb returns to the ring to stand face to face with Hangman again. The two are raring for this fight, who will win when it all goes down?
ROH revisits Survival of the Fittest 2018.
The finals came down to Marty Scurll and Christopher Daniels, and Scurll won! The Villain has a future ROH World Championship match in his back pocket, but Daniels says Scurll only won because of the gauntlet format. Hangman Page did all the work and Scurll capitalized on a tired Daniels. Scurll wouldn’t let Daniels make such excuses, which brings us to their 1v1 Final Battle match. Daniels wants Scurll to put his Survival of the Fittest shot on the line, so Scurll put it on the line. Scurll thinks Daniels’ desperation is sad, but he’s confident he’ll win and keep his shot. This first-time ever match has huge stakes on it, especially for Daniels. Can the Fallen Angel turn his luck around all in one night?
Jay Lethal speaks on his coming match with Cody.
The Franchise’s first match with The American Nightmare, Cody was here to “prove that he could hang.” Cody failed because he had to cheat. Lethal wondered when that exact moment was that Cody realized he couldn’t hang with the best in the world. But then fast forward to a rematch in the Bull Rope Match and Lethal evened the score. Lethal won’t take away from Cody’s resume, from his wins to his lineage. Deep down, Lethal likes Cody. They may not always agree or get along, Cody is still great, but Lethal also knows how Cody is. This year’s Final Battle, Cody can use all the tricks in the book, but Lethal vows to leave still ROH World Champion. Lethal vows that he will not lose to Cody, but can he keep his word?
Matt Taven speaks.
“Remember? Do you remember? Or does that memory hurt so bad that you have to bury it deep down inside?” Because Taven remembers Castle crumbling under the pressure of being top champion. But not Taven. Taven is a diamond formed by such pressure. Taven’s worked harder than anyone else to get his spotlight. Castle was a one hit wonder, but Taven is building a legacy. The Peacock will be chapter one. At Final Battle, everyone will remember Taven is the real ROH WHC, because he is Matt Taven.
The pulse quickens.
Something is coming to ROH. Something that will get hearts pounding. But what is it? When and where will it appear?
ROH World Tag Team Championships: SoCal Uncensored VS Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr!
The Briscoes did everything they could to keep their title, such as injuring Christopher Daniels’ neck so that he couldn’t compete alongside Frankie Kazarian. However, Scorpio Sky stepped up, and he helped Kaz dethrone Jay & Mark in the star-studded Triple Threat Tag Match. The Heavy Metal Rebel and Closer have their contracts, but are they risking too much putting their titles on the line against two CMLL stars?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the Code of Honor is upheld. The teams sort out and Scorpio starts against Maya. They circle and tie up, and Scorpio gets the wristlock. Maya reverses to a hammerlock, but Scorpio uses a drop toehold to trip him up. Scorpio gets the facelock, but Maya reverses to a Fujiwara armbar. Maya brings Scorpio up for an arm wrench but Scorpio reverses back. Scorpio puts on a headlock but Maya brings him down to a cradle cover. TWO as Scorpio lets Maya go. The two stand up but stand off as Scorpio nears a corner. Fans applaud as Scorpio and Maya circle again.
Scorpio and Maya tie up and Scorpio gets a headlock. Maya counters with a wristlock but Scorpio uses the ropes to flip through. Scorpio gets the headlock again, but Maya fights back. Maya powers out of the hold and things speed up, Scorpio runs into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Maya tags out to Stuka, and Stuka stomps Scorpio. Stuka whips and gives Scorpio a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker of his own! Stuka stomps more, then drags Scorpio up for punches right to the head. Scorpio fights back and then runs, with Kaz tagging in. Scorpio dodges Stuka’s swing to whip. Things speed up, Kaz comes in with a windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Kaz brings Stuka up for a scoop but Stuka slips out. Stuka waistlocks but Kaz bucks him off to dropkick him down! Cover, TWO!
Stuka barely gets out but he doesn’t get away as Kaz tags Scorpio. SCU grab a leg each and use that to throw Stuka! Scorpio covers, TWO, and we go to one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Stuka catches Scorpio into an atomic lift. Maya runs in and Team CMLL combines for a flapjack bulldog! Stuka runs and Maya gives him a tilt-o-whirl for a splash on Scorpio! Cover as Maya intercepts Kaz with a kick, TWO! Maya and Stuka coordinate to grab a leg each, and they give Scorpio a 2v1 Mexican Surfboard! But Kaz tags from the neutral corner, which apparently is legal? Kaz runs and double covers on Team CMLL! TWO as they let Scorpio go! The fans love it, though, and the match continues. Kaz swings on Stuka but ends up in a full nelson. Kaz fights off Maya a moment, but can’t break free of Stuka. Maya comes back and gets Kaz’s leg, and Team CMLL twists Kaz in both directions!
Kaz endures and Scorpio saves him. Team CMLL double whip Kaz but Kaz sends them into each other. Hot tag to Scorpio, and the Closer rallies! Scorpio baits Maya into the corner and then slingshot headscissors him down! He gets Stuka but Stuka reverses the whip, only to get dumdum stomps! Scorpio hits Maya with a corner kick, then sweeps the legs. Kaz runs in for the swinging dropkick! Maya bails out but Stuka comes back to rally on SCU. Stuka whips but Kaz reverses. Kaz runs in but Stuka dodges to send him into the post! Stuka grabs Scorpio for a spinebuster, then hurries up top! SUPER ASAI onto Kaz! Maya goes after Scorpio and returns the headscissors. Scorpio bails out while Maya fires up. Maya DIVES to somersault tope onto Scorpio! They crash and burn into barriers but Stuka helps Maya up and in.
Team CMLL are fired up as Kaz returns. Kaz shoulders in and slingshots to DDT Maya. Stuka elbows Kaz and then kicks Scorpio. Stuka whips but Scorpio reverses and Kaz boots Stuka. SCU combine for a urenage backstabber, Burning Heart! Cover, SCU wins!
Winner: SoCal Uncensored, Scorpio Sky pinning; still ROH World Tag Team Champions
Hearts on fire, strong desire, Kaz and Scorpio win! Daniels returns to the ring to celebrate, but also to speak. “First of all, let me say, SCU. Second of all, two weeks ago, these two gentlemen walked into the ring and walked out the world tag team champions.” The first thing SCU did was negotiate their new contracts! But only for Kaz and Scorpio. That means the Fallen Angel is behind the 8 ball. He has one match remaining on his ROH contract at Final Battle, against The Villain, Marty Scurll. As we saw, Daniels challenged Scurll to put his shot on the line, and now Daniels is in position to get a “new lease on life in ROH.” If he has to go through Scurll to stay in the company he helped built and put on the map, then he will!
Scurll moves from commentary to respond to SCU directly. Fans duel as Scurll tells Daniels he’s right. Daniels did help build ROH. But does Daniels want to be known as a legend? The first-ever ROH main eventer and Grand Slam Champion. Or does he want to be remembered for a “stupid three letter catchphrase”? It would be Scurll’s pleasure to give Daniels the match of his career. But a warning: “this will be your final battle.” Daniels is a man with his back against the wall, will he stay standing in his company?
A pretty great episode, but perhaps with some issues in organizing a very important story. Firstly, the build between Jeff Cobb and Hangman Page is pretty good because it focuses on matches and action to do it. Cobb looks great against Woods and Hangman looks great against Facade, but both Woods and Facade still looked strong in return. The matches were in no way squashes, so that the midcard isn’t hurt for the sake of the champion and challenger. Cobb VS Hangman is going to be really good, really physical, and I’m sure Hangman will have a shocking moment of strength somewhere in there, but it’ll still be Cobb winning to retain. The promos this week to hype the real and “real” ROH World Championship matches were pretty good, and I’m looking forward to next week’s Six Man of The Kingdom VS Cody, Castle & Lethal.
Now, the issue I speak of is this story for Christopher Daniels. His match with Kenny King to open was great, and it works that Scurll was on commentary to talk it all up. However, I don’t know why they waited to air the Survival of the Fittest backstage scene until after another story took place, then still had Daniels come out at the end to officially inform fans. Daniels VS King should’ve been next week for the actual go-home show and have a stare down of Daniels and Scurll close the night, instead of piggybacking on tonight’s main event. SoCal Uncensored VS Team CMLL was a great tag match, perhaps with some miscues like Kaz’s weird neutral corner tag, but still great. Daniels and Scurll kinda took their spotlight, tonight should’ve ended with The Bucks or Briscoes coming out for a stare down on the way to Ladder War.
My Score: 8.5/10