It’s the SmackDown After Hell in a Cell! Rusev Day failed to capture the tag titles, but can the Bulgarian Brute defeat Shinsuke Nakamura for the US title?
- Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Cesaro wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Lana & Aiden English; Nakamura wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Styles wins.
- Asuka w/ Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Asuka wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Miz TV opens SmackDown!
The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show is back, and Miz ignores the boos as he begins. Before getting to his special surprise guest, there is some big breaking news! Super Show Down, it will be Daniel Bryan VS The Miz once again, but in a #1 Contender’s match! Fans chant “YES! YES!” because they are happy to see Bryan getting this opportunity. Miz is excited to have this opportunity for himself, because as he’s said all along, Bryan is not on his level. He is superior to Bryan. If you don’t believe him, Miz has won at Summerslam, at Hell in a Cell, and will finish it off 3-0 at Super Show Down! Then Miz will have something more deserving of his talents: facing either Samoa Joe or AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.
But tonight, Miz called in a lot of favors to get this very special guest who is rarely on SmackDown, but they make headlines when they do. Miz admits he’s a bit nervous to introduce and welcome back… his wife, Maryse! Yes, the Most Must-See Mother in WWE “returns” victorious with Miz after cheating to win their mixed tag match on Sunday. Not that these two would ever admit it, of course. They take their seats and thank each other for being here. Maryse is a mega star, overcome stereotypes and gave birth to a future star, but how was it to defeat Bryan & Brie Bella? Well Maryse is a much better athlete, it’s the truth, so Brie never stood a chance. Maryse says motherhood changes you. Brie’s heart wasn’t in the match. Miz agrees, Brie’s heart isn’t in loving Bryan, either.
Bryan has Brie because Brie hitched herself on the bandwagon and wanted to stay relevant. And then Bryan uses Brie to fight his battles for him. The marriage of convenience backfired because they faced a couple with real love and talent between them. And now that Maryse conquered Brie, what’s next? More breaking news! Tonight is Maryse’s last night on SmackDown. The fans LOVE hearing that. But why is it her last night? She has to go back to being mother of the century. Five months after giving birth and Maryse looks wonderful. Some women have had children 30 years ago and still don’t look this good. Miz insists fans not boo his wife, the mother of his child, but then he decides to treat fans like children. Here’s something to boo: Miz vows to destroy Bryan right here and now!
Miz is raring to go and he clears the ring of chairs. Here comes Bryan! Bryan has his own mic and tells Miz that he can talk about Bryan as much as he wants, but talking about Brie gets you beat up! The brawl is on! Bryan has Miz down and throws hands! Miz gets lose, but then gets dropkick’d into Maryse! Both Miz and Bryan are devastated by what happened. Medics bring out a stretcher, and Bryan wants to apologize. Miz gets a bottle of water for his wife while Maryse crawls to the apron. Fans aren’t sure what to make of this, but then Maryse grins and laughs.
Miz gets Bryan in the full nelson! But Bryan fights out! Maryse grabs his hair, but then Bryan dodges and Miz actually knocks Maryse down! Miz freaks out, and gets clothesline’d out! Fans chant “YES! YES!” with Bryan, will they be saying “YES!” down in Melbourne?
The New Day are on the hunt.
They carefully go through the backstage area, observing all the staff in their natural habitat. However, their real prey is The Bar, as Kofi Kingston and Cesaro go 1v1 next!
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan
He managed to thwart the plans of the A-Listers, but how? It’s because when Miz calls Bryan out, it’s a scheme. Miz is a coward, so calling Bryan out meant something “disgusting” was going to happen. But not even Bryan expected Miz to fake his wife getting hurt. But in Australia, no tricks will work, because Bryan won’t just punch Miz in the face, he’ll punch his ticket to a title match!
Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!
Awwww~ Tulsa~! Don’t you dare be sour, clap for your still five-time champs, and feel~, the power~! The New Day proved there’s only room for one day. It wasn’t Rusev Day, oh no~. And what’s next is a defense of the W, W, E, world, tag, team, championships! Against The Bar in Melbourne. Everyone knows, crikey mate! What? Big E, stop. That was a terrible Australian accent. And maybe offensive. But the IIconics gave him permission. Oh okay then. But it’s the Celtic Warrius, and the Superior Manus. The latter is the alpha, given the size of his enormous a– Cesaro snags a mic, but Big E borrows Woods’. The word was “areola”.
The Bar mocks the New Day in their natural habitats: dressing up like clowns and recycling stupid jokes. But The Bar will finally elevate the SmackDown Tag Team Division, because these two don’t just set the bar, they ARE the bar! We go picture in picture as this match begins.
Kofi rushes Cesaro at the bell with a dropkick, then whips him corner to corner. Cesaro reverses but Kofi counters with a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Kofi speeds things up to lariat Cesaro down. He fires up with the fans as he tosses his shirt. Cesaro bails out to avoid the boom drop. He regroups with Sheamus, but Kofi builds speed to fake them out! Kofi enjoys himself in the ring, but then Cesaro grabs a pancake! And he tears it up with his hands! The Swiss Cyborg dares offend the flapjack, so Kofi wrecks him with a dropkick. Kofi puts Cesaro in the ring but gets a chop block! Cesaro stomps Kofi then wraps his leg around the ropes. Cesaro stops at 4 but stomps the trapped leg. He embraces the heat while he drags Kofi out for more stomps, and a leg whip.
Kofi crawls to a corner while clutching his leg. Cesaro stalks him, and rocks him with a European Uppercut. Cesaro puts the leg around more ropes but Kofi fights him off. Kofi sunset flips and gets the ocver, TWO! Cesaro boots Kofi right back down! Cesaro drags Kofi back out to drop an elbow on the knee. He wrenches Kofi’s leg in a toehold, but Kofi resists. Cesaro grabs one of Kofi’s arm, but Kofi uses his free leg to fight out. Kofi backs Cesaro off but onlya moment before Cesaro scoop slams Kofi. Kofi’s legs hit ropes, adding more damage. Cesaro drags Kofi up but Kofi slpis around to roll him up. TWO, and Cesaro dropkicks the leg out! We return to single picture as Cesaro drags Kofi to a Half Crab!
Kofi endures while Sheamus gest a selfie. Fans rally up and Kofi turns himself over. Kofi fights back, stands up, and hops onto Cesaro’s shoulders. Victory roll, TWO! Kofi rolls Cearo again, TWO! Cesaro blasts Kofi with a EuroUpper! Cover, TWO! The Bar keeps their cool because Cesaro still has control. Cesaro headbutts Kofi’s back, then drops a knee on Kofi’s knee. Fans rally for Kofi while he endures the knee wrench. Kofi fights back again, but Cesaro has the leg still. Kofi enziguris and gets free! Cesaro is dazed but he runs in, only to get boots. Kofi chops back with both hands, but Cesaro puts him to a corner. Kofi slips out to the apron to kick Cesaro back. He climbs up, but Cesaro dropkicks him down!
Cesaro climbs up to join Kofi, and goes for a super gut wrench. Kofi fights out and knocks Cesaro away, and jumps for the Tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Both men stand up and Ceasro runs in, but is dumped right out. Kofi takes aim, bounces and slingshots to hit the senton! The New Day are so excited as Kofi gets Cesaro back in. SOS!! Cover, TWO!? Koif keeps on Cesaro, counters the EuroUpper into a backslide, TWO! Cesaro kicks out the bad leg! Cesaro Gotch lifts, Neutralizer! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
The Bar gains big points in this newest battle between the two teams! If Cesaro & Sheamus can maintain momentum, can they make Melbourne the city where the New Day’s fifth reign ends?
Rusev and Lana talk backstage.
The Bulgarian Brute is ready to once again become WWE United States Champion with his match against Shinsuke Nakamura tonight. But then Aiden English comes along, and says he has a good feeling about tonight. That’s right, because English won’t be wrestling. Wait, how was Sunday English’s fault? Everyone has to pull their weight, and if that was his best, then it’s not good enough. Team Rusev Day is back on the rocks, and English is furious. English made this holiday what it was! This is all their fault, not English’s!! Oh, Lana heard all that… English tries to apologize, but Lana tells him to stop. Lana is telling Rusev everything. English panics, will he be able to mend this mistake?
Breaking News: Randy Orton is in the production truck!
He’s reliving all that he’s done to Jeff Hardy via replay footage. BUt what’s taking so long? Well it takes time to call up this much footage. And Orton reminds the staffer what happens if he messes up. The message is loud and clear. Orton has the video stop on the moment he slipped the screwdriver through Hardy’s ear gauge hole, and twisted it! Orton revels in the moment, but he’s clamping a little tightly on the staffer. He clamps around the man’s throat instead. Continue playing. Yes, there’s the twisting. Orton wants to know: “What do you feel when you see that?” Uneasy? Sick? It’s disturbing, yes? Yes… Do you know what’s more disturbing? Everything here will pale in comparison to what Orton does to his next “victim”. Something worse than a screwdriver twisting an ear?!
Backstage interview with AJ Styles.
The Phenomenal One is still WWE Champion, if by a technicality. Can he wrap his mind around how he almost lost the title? “After everything that Samoa Joe put me through, the worst thing that could’ve happened was that Samoa Joe walk out of the Hell in a Cell Pay-per-view as WWE Champion.” Styles admits that he got lucky, and a referee’s decision stands. Joe feels cheated, and maybe he was. But maybe it was karma. They’ll go one more time at Super Show Down, in a No Holds Barred Match! Anything goes, there must be a winner, and Styles realizes he got ahead of himself.
Tonight Styles faces Almas. Almas is good enough to win. The last time they were in the ring together, Almas pushed Styles to his limit. Styles goes to get his mind right, so that he can win tonight. Will El idolo capitalize on a distracted champion?
WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Lana & Aiden English!
The Drama King’s comments aside, the Bulgarian Lion hopes to reclaim former glory by taking back the title he held when he was on the most dominant streak of his WWE career. Can Mr. Machka turn things around in this match against the King of Strong Style? Or will the United States of Nakamerica continue on through Oklahoma?
But before Rusev makes his way out, Lana catches up. She wants to tell him what English said, but Rusev just wants to keep focus. He even asks English to do the honors for his intro. English accepts, but Lana insists. Later. For now, the match is more important. English hears the fans chant and he begins. “There’s no time to waste, so let’s make haste. Say good-bye to the US Title, Shinsuke. Because there will be a new champion, and it’ll be on, Rusev Daaay~!” Rusev makes his entrance, the introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin!
Rusev manages to block a kick, but so does Nakamura. They circle, feeling things out. They tie up and Nakamura gets a waistlock. Rusev gets the standing switch while fans duel. Nakamura gets a wristlock, but Rusev reverses. Rusev reels Nakamura in for a shoulder, then another shoulder. Rusev kicks low then scoops, but Nakamura slips out. Nakamura kicks at Rusev’s leg, then dares him to “C’mon!” Rusev falls for it and runs into that knee. Nakamura has Rusev in the corner for BAD Vibrations. Nakamura whips Rusev but Rusev reverses to Northern Lights suplex! He doesn’t bridge, but he does gut wrench Nakamura overhead. Cover, ONE, but English and Lana are confident in Rusev.
Rusev pushes Nakamura out of the ring, and fans rally behind “Rusev Day!” Nakamura returns but Rusev is on him, only to get a hotshot! Nakamura slips back in to dynamic dropkick! Cover, TWO! We go to break while the champion has taken control.
SmackDown returns and Nakamura has Rusev in a facelock. Rusev endures while English and Lana bicker. Fans duel for Rusev and Rusev fights up. Nakamura knees out of the suplex and has the facelock. English gets on the mic to get the Rusev Day chants going stronger. Rusev scoop slams Nakamura down! Rusev catches his breath while Nakmaura slowly stirs. Nakamura runs in but Rusev boots him. Rusev blocks and counter punches on Nakamura. Nakamura dodges the hit body shots, but he runs into the pop-up knee! Then Rusev roundhouses and clotheslines Nakamura. Rusev rallies and roundhouses again! He runs in for the back shoulder, then the spinning heel kick! Everyone fires up with Rusev as he stomps the mat. Rusev aims, but his kick misses. Nakamura swings, misses, and gets a roundhouse! Cover, TWO!!
Rusev knows he’s close but it’s still frustrating. English and Lana keep the faith as Rusev fires back up. Rusev rams his shoulder into Nakamura’s body, then whips corner to corner. Nakamura dodges and roundhouses Rusev in the back. Nakamura stomps away at the ropes, scraping his heel off Rusev’s head. He hoists Rusev onto the top rope, for the Top Shelf Knee! But it hits buckles as Rusev dodges! Rusev goes to suplex Nakamura out of the ring, but Nakamura holds on and lands on the apron. They brawl out there now, and Rusev wants a back suplex. Nakamura holds ropes for dear life, then rakes the eyes! Nakamura hops up, for a flying knee!
They both hit the floor but Nakamura puts Rusev into barriers. Nakamura puts Rusev in, and takes aim from the corner. Fans fire up both ways, but MAHCKA KICK outta nowhere! Lana and English are at a fever pitch, but Rusev is too tired to cover. Rusev stirs as the fans are thunderous. Rusev stands, English tells Rusev to “CRUSH!!” Seriously? Calm down, English. But wait, Nakamura rolls Rusev up! Nakamura wins!!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
English had the right idea, but it backfired in the worst possible way! But then English CLOBBERS Rusev! The Drama King batters Rusev with the mic over and over and over again! Fans boo and jeer, and Lana shouts for him to leave. English wishes everyone a “Happy, Rusev, Daaay~!” one last time before leaving. Has English just killed the most popular holiday in WWE history?
AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The House that AJ Styles built survived another go with the Destroyer at Hell in a Cell, but there will be a third match in three weeks down under. Until then, can Styles keep focus on his opponent tonight? Or will El Idolo score a title match down the line with a major upset?
Almas doesn’t wait for the bell, he goes after Styles as he enters the ring! The referee tries to get him to stop but Vega tells him to keep going. Almas dares Styles to get up, because he still wants to win. Styles drags himself up and though he staggers about, he also demands this match still happen. The bell rings, and Almas runs at Styles again! Almas throws hands and knees, then backs off at the referee’s orders. Styles throws hands back! And stomps, and knees! Styles is furious, but he backs off at 4. Almas gets him with a boot! Styles staggers again, but Vega wants this to keep going. Almas keeps on Styles with a whip then a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Almas has control while we go picture in picture.
Styles is down so Almas just stomps him out. Almas drags Styles up for a shoulder breaker then hammerlock. Almas throws Styles shoulder first into buckles! He drags Styles to the apron to put him in a hanging armbar! Almas stops at the count of 4, but he keeps on Styles by hammerlock throwing him into barriers! Styles is down and Vega likes what she sees from her client. Almas drags Styles up again and puts him in the ring. Cover, ONE, but Almas puts that bad arm in a grounded armlock. Almas wrenches on that shoulders and has Styles all the way down on the mat. Styles endures, fights his way up, and then fights his way back. Almas wrenches harder and brings Styles back down while we return to single picture.
Almas puts Styles in a corner then throws in more knees. Fans rally as Almas whips Styles. Styles spins through the tilt-o-whirl for a DDT! Both men are down and Vega panics. The ref starts a 10 count, and Styles sits up first. Almas follows but both men are slow to their feet. Styles hits the Phenomenal Blitz but gets that elbow! Cover, TWO! Vega coaches Almas back up while Styles flounders to ropes. Almas is on the champ with a knee, grinding him into that bottom rope. Vega comes by to SLAP Styles! Almas returns, whips Styles, but Styles reverses into the Ushigoroshi! Both men are down again and Vega panics for Almas. Fans rally and Styles stands. Styles runs corner to corner at Almas, for the big clothesline! Styles snapmares, for the sliding forearm!
Both men are down but Styles kips right up! He finally takes his shirt off, and drags Almas up for the Clash. Almas back drops out of it, then goes to the top rope. Almas moonsaults, misses but then moonsaults again, into knees! Styles knew of that double-sault from before, and was ready this time. Almas gets to a corner while Styles stands up. Styles runs in again, but Almas puts him on the apron. Styles knocks Almas away, then prepares the arm. Springboard, but Almas trips him up! Almas rocks Styles with a forearm, then hurries up top. Styles is teetering between the ropes, and Almas gives him WOE STOMPS! Both men are down from that one, but are okay to continue.
Almas drags himself into the ring, leaving Styles to the mercy of the ring count. Fans rally for Styles as he crawls. The count passes 5 as Styles finally stands. Styles gets in at 8, but Almas boots him all the way back out! Almas has control again while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Almas runs in but misses in the corner! HE crashes and burns to the outside, and now Styles rests while he’s at the mercy of the count. Vega coaches Almas up as the count reaches 5. Styles won’t let him get in, he sliding knees from the apron! Styles puts Almas in the ring, then takes aim from the apron. He slingshots for another forearm! Cover, TWO! Vega is relieved but furious. Styles drags Almas back up and again wants the Clash. Almas grabs ropes so Styles dumps him over. Almas hits back, then hotshots Styles! Now Almas takes aim from the outside, springboard for a missile dropkick! Almas’ leg is sore from a Calf Crusher during commercial, but he still hits CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO!!
Vega is furious while Almas is shocked. She tells him to finish this, so Almas gets up to go after Styles. Almas hammerlocks but Styles resists! Styles gets a taekdown, jackknife, TWO but STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
The Phenomenal One toughs it out again, but here comes Joe! Samoa Joe throws Styles out and picks the bones. “You know the truth!” Joe shouts in Styles’ face. “You will never be safe!” But Styles reverses and sends Joe into steps! Styles throws hands but Joe rakes his eyes! Joe hops the barrier to make his escape, but this is far from over. Melbourne, Australia will be the No Holds Barred episode of this saga. Will it be the finale? Or only a new beginning?
Asuka w/ Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!
The Empress of Tomorrow and Mrs. Uce-GLOW have each had their problems with The IIconics in the past. Now they will team together to take them both on at Super Show Down, in the Iconic Duo’s home turf. But that’s in three weeks. Tonight in Tulsa, will Billie prove the future is IIconic? Or will we again see that no one is ready for Asuka?!
But “ew, gross!” Tulsa is the worst in the IIconics’ opnion. But Billie was also talking about the new BFF’s. What an odd couple. Really? Peyton thinks they’re cute together. Oh right because Asuka’s hair matches the glow. And they’re both fantastic dancers. The IIconics mock such dancing, and Peyton looks to be doing the Floss. Either way, the new friends appear and it’s time to fight!
The bell rings and Asuka circles with Billie. Fans are on Asuka’s side as she throws hands. Billie runs to ropes, but Peyton distracts. Asuka swings on her but she backs off, but Billie pounces. Billie stomps then covers, TWO. Billie mocks Naomi while she puts Asuka in a cravat. Asuka endures as fans rally up. Asuka arm-drags to a cover, TWO. Billie hits Asuka with a forearm, then runs, but into the hip attack! Asuka runs, but into Billie’s boot! Cover, TWO! The IIconics are both furious immediately. Billie drags Asuka back up and prepares an exploder, but Asuka counters into the ASUKA LOCK! Billie taps, Asuka wins!
Winner: Asuka, by submission
Once again, no one is ready for the Empress! The IIconics regroup while Naomi celebrates with Asuka. Will they celebrate at Super Show Down, too? Or will home field advantage help Billie & Peyton turn things around?
WWE and SmackDown wish those in the range of Hurricane Florence well.
They also hope the WWE Universe will team with them and the American Red Cross. Visit the Red Cross’ official site to find out how you can help.
SmackDown GM Paige is in the ring!
The Glampire in Chief introduces the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch! The Lass Kicker finally has that belt back after beating her former friend, Charlotte Flair, at Hell in a Cell on Sunday. Call it stabbing her in the back, call it being jaded, but you have to call it the fire Becky needed to win. Charlotte wanted to be friends again and celebrate together, but Becky refused. Now Becky is here for a proper coronation and congratulations. Her side plates make their return, and fans chant “You Deserve It!” It’s so nice, isn’t it? It took two long years, but Becky’s back on top. “From now on, this is my show, and this is my title, and there will be no more being left off the magazine covers or PPV posters”. Now Becky gets what she deserves.
Becky thanks Paige for going all out here. Becky doesn’t need balloons or the whole locker room, she just wants Charlotte. Does Charlotte not want Becky’s spotlight for once? Charlotte does appear, and heads right for the ring. Charlotte has her own mic but Paige keeps the peace. Paige won’t let this fight happen here tonight. Charlotte promises not to fight. Team PCB has known each other for years, this won’t be for fighting. And Charlotte isn’t here to steal spotlight. She is here to give Becky the respect Becky refused to give her.
Charlotte knows how much that belt means to Becky, but Charlotte wanted to say this woman to woman that Becky was better. She congratulates Becky, but she also says it cost a steep price. Charlotte hopes Becky soaks it all in, because Charlotte is ready to have the moment where she stands back over Becky as the new champion. Charlotte gets her rematch at Super Show Down. Becky won that belt in two years, but Charlotte promises she’ll lose it in one night. Becky tuned everything out after Charlotte admit she was the best. This belt proves Becky can win when it matters. This belt proves Charlotte was wrong about Hell in a Cell.
And the reason Becky didn’t let Charlotte shake her hand was because it would’ve taken the spotlight. But tonight, Becky will allow it. Is that how this works? Guess not. But that’s fine, Becky didn’t want her to raise her hand. She wants Charlotte to put the belt around her waist. Charlotte has always shown Becky respect, and meant to do so tonight. But she also wished Becky was still her friend, and not what this is. So “congratulations”, champ. Right, Becky was kidding around. Becky just wants Charlotte to call her Queen, “bitch.”
That’s it! Charlotte swings on Becky and the fight is on! Becky throws Charlotte into steps, then throws her across the announce desk! And Becky isn’t done, she puts Charlotte into barriers! Then back into the ring, for the Disarm-Her! Becky spares Charlotte to pick up her belt and hold it high. Tulsa loves Becky, and Becky loves Becky. But Becky hates Charlotte, as she throws her overhead with the Becksploder! The Bad-Lass takes her leave, but will she be leaving Melbourne still the champion?
A great episode of SmackDown here, with a proper shift in builds to Super Show Down. The opening with Miz TV was totally as expected. Miz was just hyping up Maryse, as I knew. He and Maryse were baiting Bryan into a trap, which he knew. And now we get Bryan VS Miz one more time, winner gets a title match. I’m betting this is how Bryan ends things with Miz for now. Now Bryan going against either Joe or Styles makes for a great match and I would hope for once WWE could get away from their insistence on Face VS Heel. However, with a No Holds Barred match (though WWE refuses to call it that), Joe might win this time. Joe VS Bryan will be great wherever and whenever it is, but then up the ante and make it a Triple Threat and that would be PPV worthy.
Styles VS Almas was another great match, and clearly Almas is being booked strong, as he should be. He may be close to getting the WWE Championship, but I feel he could easily go after Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Championship. Nakamura was Heel last time he got a real story, but fans still like him enough that he could end up the Face. Again, WWE could actually ditch their need for Face VS Heel and just let Almas and Nakamura give us the best match possible. Nakamura VS Rusev was so great, too, and that English turn was inevitable given that rant Lana caught him in. English VS Rusev will be great, especially on story, and I think this could be another resurgence for English. He can sing his own Heel entrances that insult his opponents, like an operatic Elias. English might even win this feud for more heat.
The New Day VS The Bar will be a great match, just like Kofi VS Cesaro was here tonight. But chances are, if not even the red hot Rusev Day didn’t win, I don’t think Cesaro & Sheamus will. It’d be a great shock, but not a likely one. Then Asuka gets some of her old self back when she taps Billie out quickly. Asuka & Naomi VS IIconics will be fun, but the reactions will be mixed with Billie & Peyton as the hometown heroes. I bet they win, since this match isn’t for anything that important, but hopefully Asuka stays strong throughout. Asuka still has a ways to climb to truly be back where she is, so the least WWE can do is keep her from taking the pin.
The Women’s Championship story heats up even more and it is going great for Becky. WWE likely still wants Becky to be the Heel but fans will never see her that way. It’s a good move for them to have her focus her Heel attitude at Charlotte, though, because obviously hating on fans is both played out and just not Becky’s way. Becky rubbing in the win was great, the brawl was great, and Becky standing tall despite being the instigator is great for her, too. I said it after Hell in a Cell, but Becky could and now should retain all the way to Royal Rumble just to rub it in on Charlotte more. She and Ronda are the different takes on that female Stone Cold that fans are loving, so they both should have parallel reigns in terms of length.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10