Another Triple Threat will see The Usos, SAnitY and Rusev Day compete in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders tournament! Winners face The Bar!
- Daniel Bryan w/ Brie Bella VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Bryan wins.
- Naomi VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Naomi wins.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament Triple Threat: The Usos VS SAnitY VS Rusev Day; Rusev Day wins and will face The Bar in the finals.
- The Miz w/ Maryse VS R-Truth w/ Carmella; Truth wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Renee Young opens SmackDown Live with Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan!
Mr. & Mrs. YES are in Detroit! They’re here ahead of their Hell in a Cell Mixed Tag Match with Miz. & Maryse. Before forecasting what’s to come, we must look back to last week. Bryan was facing Andrade “Cien” Almas and was moments away from winning, and Brie made sure Zelina Vega didn’t interfere. However, Miz & Maryse would, and then work together with El Idolo & La Muneca to brutalize Brie & Bryan. Bryan is so “grateful” Renee lowered the mood with that review package. But Renee points out new footage relating to Miz & Maryse themselves. The It Couple were in the arena earlier today and vowed to finish things before Hell in a Cell. Of course, no one was around to hear the two call out Brie & Bryan. Yet the It Couple used that as reason enough to say Brie & Bryan are afraid.
Bryan says that’s perfect. That is a perfect encapsulation of those two as people. They attack from behind, make them watch each other get hurt, then call people out when they know those people are not here. The It Couple are actually a couple of cowards. Brie agrees, because cowards talk. Bryan & Brie aren’t here to just talk. They’re here because they don’t want to wait for Hell in a Cell either. SmackDown is live on the USA Network, let’s fight! Unfortunately, Miz & Maryse left before the show.
However, Almas & Vega are here! And they see Bryan & Brie are “crying in the ring yet again” over how unfair it all is. The stars of hit reality show, “Total Bores.” Vega & Almas thank Renee for that footage, because it reminds them how much fun it was to walk all over “the great Daniel Bryan.” Almas is ready to do it all again. Almas wants to finish what he started right here and now! Vega & Almas head to the ring, Bryan is ready! This match begins after the break.
Daniel Bryan w/ Brie Bella VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
SmackDown returns as the bell rings and the two men circle. The fans are on Bryan’s side as he ties up with Almas. Almas gets a waistlock but Bryan gets the wristlock. Bryan shifts to a headlock and takeover but Amlas gets the head scissors. Bryan rolls around and works his way out, to get the wristlock back. He turns it into an arm wrench but Almas kicks low. Almas has a headlock now, but Bryan powers out. Almas runs Bryan over, then gets moving. Things speed up and Bryan flips over to wrench and arm-snap! He kicks Almas to a corner, then wrenches Almas’ arm to a shoulder breaker!
Bryan drags Almas into the Yes Lock but Almas gets the ropebreak quickly. Almas comes back but into another shoulder breaker! Almas throws forearms but Bryan give shim a European Uppercut. Bryan runs, but into the boot feint and elbow! Cover, TWO! Vega coaches Almas on while Bryan rolls to a corner. Almas stalks Bryan and drags him up, for a hanging armbar! He lets go at 4, then runs to blast Bryan off with an elbow! Bryan hist barriers and Brie checks on him, but Vega is all smiles. Almas goes out to chop Bryan, then slam his arm on the apron. They go back in, cover, TWO! Fans rally and Bryan dodges, sending Almas crashing and burning to the outside! Bryan recovers while the referee counts Almas. Bryan runs on the apron, but jumps into a dropkick!
Both men are down while the referee checks on them. Almas puts Bryan in and covers, TWO! Almas keeps on Bryan and that arm, but Bryan whips him away. Bryan gets a kick for it, but then dumps Almas up and over. Bryan DIVES and sends Almas into barriers! Fans fire up while we go picture in picture. Both men are down again but Brie rallies the fans for Bryan. Vega is panicking while both men drag themselves in before the 10 count. Bryan sits up but Almas follows. They brawl on their knees then up to their feet. Bryan gets an edge but Almas comes back with a wicked chop! Almas then stomps Bryan out at the ropes, firing himself up. Almas drags Bryan up for another chop in the corner. Bryan chops back! Bryan backs Almas down but Almas hits back with a knee and forearm.
Almas throws more forearms then whips Bryan corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, runs and hits Almas with a leaping lariat! Fans fire up with Bryan as he runs in corner to corner for the dropkick! Then Yes Kicks! Bryan hoists Almas up, then climbs up to join him, but Almas counters the Super Steiner into a Sunset flip! TWO, but Almas gets a Fujiwara armbbar! Bryan endures as Almas pulls back on the arm. Bryan reaches for ropes, drags himself over with his legs, and gets the ropebreak. Almas lets go and is frustrated. He scoop slams Bryan, then climbs up top. Bryan trips him up! Bryan sets Almas in the Tree of Woe, for Yes Kicks! He runs corner to corner, for the basement dropkick!
Fans fire up again as Bryan brings Almas up. Bryan climbs to join Almas, but Almas fights back. Almas sends Bryan down, then adjusts, MOOONSAULT! He lands on his feet when he misses to moonsault again! TWO!! Almas adapts but Bryan survives, and fans declare “This is Awesome!” Almas and Bryan brawl again, giving kick for kick. Bryan gets an edge, then manages the buzzsaw! He kicks more, but Almas ducks that buzzsaw to school boy Bryna into buckles! Vega calls for it, Almas hits Cien Knees! Brie is worried now as Almas drags Bryan up. Hammerlock, but no DDT! Bryan sees the feint coming and kicks Almas down! Bryan aims and fans echo “YES! YES!” Knee Plus!! Cover, Bryan wins!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by pinfall
Brie celebrates with her hubby as he gets even with El Idolo. Brie gets even with Vega by rocking her with a kick, then the Brie Mode Knee! However, they really want after Miz & Maryse, who now appear via titantron. The It Couple hopes they’re having a lovely evening. These reality stars always have lovely evenings. They’re having date night by renting out an entire Italian restaurant so they wouldn’t have to dine with people from Detroit. But if Brie & Bryan are looking for them, they’ll just have to wait for Hell in a Cell. Until then, arrivederci, Bellas.
WWE and SmackDown unite with the V Foundation to again fund the Connor’s Cure.
Join the fight against pediatric cancer today by buying Connor’s Cure merchandise.
Backstage interview with Brie & Bryan on their way out.
Why are they leaving now? Well it’s no big deal, they’re just getting some dinner. Maybe Italian? Hopefully there’s no strict dress code. Are they going to give Miz & Maryse some just desserts?
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch are interviewed simultaneously via titantron.
The Queen of Flair and Relent-Lass Lass Kicker are former friends turned bitter enemies over the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Is the champion, Charlotte, at all able to comprehend the breakdown of their bond? Charlotte won the title at Summerslam, but lost her best friend. Becky felt it was her night and that she deserves it, but what could Charlotte do? Charlotte wasn’t going to lie down for her, and thought Becky would do the same. Becky said it herself, may the best woman win. Oh is Charlotte down? Or does she want more of Becky’s spotlight? No, if anyone knows about growing up in a shadow, it’s Charlotte. Becky is an equal, a pioneer, who put herself in someone else’s shadow! All Becky had to do was ask for a chance!
Oh, she could ask “Her Majesty?” “Screw you!” Becky should be the one holding up the title. Like she did when she ambushed Charlotte? Do it face to face. Becky will. Becky’s done playing, she’ll start taking. It was a full-time job being a friend to someone so insecure. The only thing Becky cares about now is being back on top where she belongs! But Charlotte is in her way. So it doesn’t matter how many times she has to throw Charlotte around, Becky will win.
Charlotte “applauds” seeing the Straight Fire is back. They’re getting what they both want at Hell in a Cell. It won’t be a friend who she traveled the world with. Charlotte knows Becky is second best and just can’t handle it. Becky says Charlotte should shine the belt up real nice, because it’ll be the last time she’ll ever see it. And what will Becky’s excuse be when she wins this time? There won’t be any love lost here, but who comes out the one having lost more than just a match?
Naomi VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!
#GlowTime wants one more go at the IIconics, and it will be against the Venus Flytrap a second time. Billie and Peyton are so amused by how Naomi loves to get beat by them. But which one does she get beat up by more? Billie and Peyton both insist it’s them, “No, me!”, but then they realize they’ve been saying “Naomi”. But every woman has to understand that they are the future of the Women’s Division! Can Naomi turn it up and show the BFFs that the future is NOT IIconic? Or will Peyton shut down the glow once again?
The bell rings and Naomi rocks Peyton with forearms! She has Peyton in the corner, but has to back off at 4. Peyton slaps Naomi back, then clobbers her down. Peyton rains rights, still stinging from Naomi’s strikes. She drags Naomi up and gives body shots. She gives a forearm but fans rally for Naomi. Peyton chokes Naomi at the ropes, and Billie gets in her own shot. Peyton has Naomi in a corner as she trash talks how Naomi has no friends. But Naomi swings kicks and connects. Naomi runs to slide and hit Billie! She then trips up Peyton, shoulders in and slingshot sunset flips! Cover, Naomi wins!
Winner: Naomi, by pinfall
But Billie ruins the celebration with an attack! The Iconic Duo have Naomi and they throw her into the post! They yank her back out, and then set her up for the wheelbarrow boot! But here comes ASUKA! The Empress of Tomorrow may not be the closest friend to Naomi, but she definitely doesn’t like the IIconics. She rallies on them both with swift kicks and German Suplexes! Asuka slides and kicks Peyton out, and the IIconics regroup as they retreat. Asuka checks on Naomi, and it seems Naomi has someone on her side in this fight. Will Peyton & Billie regret running their mouths with someone so dangerous on the roster?
WWE and SmackDown look at the coming Hell in a Cell grudge match.
Jeff Hardy has done many great things, but he’s yet to step into the sadistic steel. But Randy Orton’s obsession with erasing the Enigma’s identity has pushed Hardy to push his limits further than ever before. Hardy fights for family and honor for the first time inside the Cell. He will soar higher than the Heavens and his depravity will reach the depths of Hell. Then Orton will have brought about his own destruction.
On the flip side, Orton promised to make everyone squirm, and that his actions would not be for the faint of heart. He promised to erase heroes and destroy idols. “But Jeff Hardy refuses to go quietly. Good.” Orton wants to feel Hardy take his last gasp before being stomped out. He’s no stranger to the cruelty that is the Cell. It changes you, inside and out. “What I do to Jeff Hardy will be sickening.” It will be perverse and disgusting, but it will make Orton smile. Orton vows to erase the Enigma for good. Will Hardy overcome the Legend Killer’s mission to kill his legacy? Or will The Apex Predator succeed in eliminating his target?
GM Paige meets with Miz & Maryse.
Seems they’re no longer at the restaurant. Partly because the restaurant served food he wouldn’t even serve his dog. But also because they want to confront Bryan & Brie once again. But Brie & Bryan left. Oh of course, they’re still running scared of the hardest hitting couple in WWE today. Hold on, Paige still has something for them: Miz is in a match. Against who? Whoever wants at him. Miz isn’t even ready! Paige should stop being a bad GM and start being a good GM. Right, fine, you two are free to leave again. But if you do, never come back. In other words, Miz better suit up. Who will accept this Punch Miz in the Face Open Challenge?
R-Truth thinks he’s found Carmella.
But it’s just Maryse. But Maryse is shocked he mistook her for that Staten Island trash. What’s Truth up to? He’s booking a match with Carmella. But she can’t handle the Truth. Don’t talk to his wife like that. Miz married Maryse? When did they last team up again? Seven years ago. Right, that was the last time Truth was relevant. Truth has become a joke. Well. Truth has no idea what Carmella sees in him. Truth storms off, but maybe he needs more than just his eyes checked…
Samoa Joe heads to the ring!
The Destroyer has been using the Phenomenal One’s own family as fodder for his mind games, including last week’s promise to visit the Styles family home. However, that’s definitely not here in Detroit. Joe takes up the mic to say, “Ooooh, Weeendyyy~!” Joe has walked the building back and forth, up and down, but it seems the Styles Family took him seriously. Last week, Joe said he’d stop by, and surely somewhere in Gainesville, Georgia, the Styles Family is watching. Little Annie must be trembling in fear over the stories of “Uncle Joe”, but surely is “hubby” AJ Styles, watching the door and windows, armed with a baseball bat. Maybe Joe will come through the back?
But that’s not happening, because Joe is not some monster. Joe only said things like that to keep his promise to Wendy. Look at your husband to see what Joe’s done for you. Joe has forced Styles to actually care about his family. Joe has forced Styles to come home and look after his family. Samoa Joe has kept his promise, so the Styles Family should enjoy it. Annie should enjoy Styles tucking her in for the night, because there will be many more nights just like this. “Because, Annie, at Hell in a Cell, a very, very bad man is coming to take your daddy’s championship.” Then daddy goes night-night! But wait, AJ Styles is on the titantron! “Threatening another man, Joe? I get that. Threatening another man’s family?” That’s when talking stops. Joe just smirks and shrugs it off, but AJ Styles is HERE!
Joe looks around, but Styles comes right down the ramp to do this face to face. Both men are ready to fight, so it’s a fight we get! They brawl in the ring, Joe rocking Styles and punching away at the ropes. Styles dodges to fire off body shots in return! Fans are fired up for Styles as he bobs ‘n’ weaves and sends Joe reeling. Joe drags Styles out to throw him into steel steps! Styles tumbles over the side, but Joe isn’t done. Joe grabs a chair, but Styles FLIES with the Phenomenal Forearm! Styles has Joe down, and with fury in his eyes, takes that chair for his own! Styles SMACKS, but only gets LED post. Joe scurries away while referees rush out to keep them apart.
Fans boo, they want to “Let Them Fight!” So Styles takes a detour, to slingshot and springboard! He wipes out Joe and more refs! Paige and more refs rush out to stop this but Styles won’t listen. Fans still want ot “Let Them Fight!” but referees force Styles to the back. Styles showed Joe what happens when you mouth off, but what happens when they
R-Truth and Tye Dillinger search for Carmella.
The FABULOUS Princess has to be around here somewhere, Truth just knows it. And there she is! Truth asks Carmella if she’s seen Carmella. Uh, this IS Carmella. Just leave her alone already! Well sorry. Truth wants a quick truce to have Carmella ringside to counter Miz’s Carmella. No that was Maryse. No, Maryse is his cousin. Miz’s Carmella called this Carmella “Staten Island trash.” What now?! If Maryse wasn’t married to Miz, she’d be back in Montreal bagging groceries. Carmella has more talent in her one pinkie than Maryse does in her entire body. Carmella vows to feed Maryse her own bleach blonde hair. Is that a yes? Possibly. Tye wants to know what’s going on. Truth is teaching him something. And what is that? How to get into a SmackDown main event! Oh… Truth is accepting that open challenge, but will he make the best of it?
SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament Triple Threat: The Usos VS SAnitY VS Rusev Day!
Cesaro & Sheamus won last week’s Triple Threat to be one half of the finals, it’s time to determine the other half! Will The Bar end up in the Uso Penitentiary, in utter anarchy, or part of the most popular WWE holiday ever?
MC Artiste, Aiden English, says the Shakespeare of Song, the Bulgarian Brute and Ravishing Russian are stronger than ever before, to take tag title gold and kick down the door. All others better stay out of the way, because in Detroit Rock City, they only celebrate RUSEV DAAAY~!
We go picture in picture as the teams sort themselves out. SAnitY represents themselves with big Killian Dain and wily Eric Young. Eric starts with Jimmy Uso, leaving Rusev Day to wait it out. Eric kicks and clubs away on Jimmy, then whips him to a corner, Jimmy goes up and over to arm-drag Eric into an armlock. They get up, and Jimmy whips. Eric holds ropes and Rusev tags in. Eric has no choice but to exit, and Rusev circles with Jimmy. But then Eric tags back in. Rusev throws Eric and Jimmy covers, TWO. Jimmy wrenches Eric’s arm but Eric forearms him down. Eric shouts then runs, btu English tags in. English rocks Eric then whips Jimmy. Rusev tags in and Rusev Day works together for the whip, elbow and clothesline. Cover, TWO and we return to single picture.
Rusev tags English back in and they stomp a machka hole into Jimmy. English whips Jimmy but jimmy slides to a stop to rock English with an uppercut! Jimmy chops English then tags in Jey. Jey runs in for a big forearm smash, then covers. TWO, but Jey keeps on English with a scoop slam. Cover, TWO, but Jey chops English. Jey whips but Big Damo tags in. Jey dodges English but Damo drags Jey out to run him over! The Beast of Belfast glares at Jey before putting him in. Tag to Eric and SAnitY work together for the gutbuster and ax handle. Cover, TWO, but Rusev Day was ready to break it. Eric stomps Jey then tags Damo back in. Damo stomps Jey, then keeps him cornered. He clubs Jey on the back, then brings him around for a fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO!
Damo wrenches Jey’s neck while fans rally. Jey endures and powers up but Damo throws him back down. Damo goes back to the neck wrench, but fans rally up again. Jey feeds off the energy and heads for Jimmy, but Damo clubs him back down. Damo splashes then covers, TWO. SAnitY grows frustrated but Damo goes back to the neck wrench. Jey endures again while Rusev Day talks strategy. Fans rally up for Lana Day, and Rusev even coaches Jey up. Jey gets up and fights back with haymakers! Jey runs, but into a shotgun dropkick from Damo! It sends Jey right out, and Eric tags in. Eric aims for Jey, and hits a flying elbow! The men of madness have control while we go to break.
SmackDown returns as both Damo and Jey Uso are down! Hot tags to Jimmy and Eric! Jimmy rallies and gets the reverse dragon whip kick! Eric ends up in a corner and Jimmy runs for the hip attack! Jimmy scoops but Eric slips out. Rusev tags in via Jimmy just before Eric whips Jimmy into the ropes! Rusev rallies with roundhouse kicks and a big shoulder tackle, then the spinning heel kick on the run! The Bulgarian Lion has Detroit fired up as he stomps the mat. Rusev has to kick Alexander Wolfe first, but then goes at Eric. Eric dodges, Jey tags in and Eric gives Rusev a neckbreaker. Jey USO SPLASH on Eric, but English breaks it! Damo returns to give English the Divide, then stops Jimmy’s kick with a lariat. Jey SUPERKICKS Damo, then builds speed. Rusev tags in and Jey FLIES onto SAnitY!
Fans chant “Rusev Day!” and Rusev builds speed, to run into Jimmy’s punch, English gives Jimmy a DDT on the apron! Rusev recovers, but Eric rolls him up! Cover, with ropes, but English stops that! Eric argues with English but gets a MACHKA KICK! Cover, Rusev Day wins!!
Winners: Rusev Day, Rusev pinning; advance to the finals
Rusev Day is victorious! But The Bar appears to remind them who they’re up against next. Can the Bulgarian Brute & Drama King overcome the Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator?
WWE and SmackDown profile a new cast of Connor’s Cure Superstars.
Super Messiah tells cancer, “You Can’t See Me!” Can You Smell What Messiah’s cooking? Support the mighty Messiah and many more children dealing with pediatric cancer as part of cancer awareness this Fall.
The Miz w/ Maryse VS R-Truth w/ Carmella!
The It Couple has been playing cat ‘n’ mouse with Brie & Bryan, but they’ve fallen into a trap of their own making. The Hollywood A-Lister talked down to his former #AwesomeTruth tag partner, and Mrs. A-Lister talked trash about the Princess of Staten Island. Will Truth and Carmella show Miz what’s up in the Motor City? Or will Miz & Maryse actually back up all their talk for once?
Miz & Maryse speak before the match. And Miz puts his hand up as always. But after eight years, Miz must continue to prove he’s superior to Daniel Bryan. He has the footage from earlier replay, showing how Miz & Maryse got the better of Bryan & Brie from behind. The It Couple are so sick of chasing Brie & Bryan across this city. They will drop them faster than a defense drops Matthew Stafford. For the last time tonight, they call Brie & Bryan out. But Maryse knows Bryan & Brie are so afraid of them. Right, Bryan tucked his tail and ran like he always has against The Miz. And now he has Brie fighting his battles for him! Wherever Bryan is, Miz asks him, “Who’s the coward now?” Detroit says it’s Miz.
Miz says it’s one thing to have little regard for your own body, but it’s another to drag your family into it. Bryan dragged Brie into this, but Miz & Maryse will put the blame for what happens on Bryan. But enough with the trash talk, Carmella & Truth head out to moonwalk! The #FABULOUSTruth are already in sync ahead of Mixed Match Challenge, will this be a preview of a future MMC match-up?
SmackDown returns and as Truth has Miz on the ropes! Truth hip tosses Miz down, then with Carmella moonwalking on the apron, Truth hits a boogie and spin leg drop! Cover, TWO! Truth has Miz in the corner to throw hands whiel fans chant “Cleveland sucks!” Miz fires out but mises, Truth gives him a spinebuster! Truth rains down rights, then whips Miz. Miz reverses and gives Truth the kitchen sink knee! Miz sits Truth up to boot him back down, then covers, TWO. Maryse is frustrated but Miz has Truth in a chinlock. Fans rally up for Truth and Truth gets up to fight back. But Miz gives him the A-Lister combo! Cover, TWO!
Miz mocks the moonwalk, mostly because he isn’t very good at it. He stomps Truth then drives in knees. Miz puts Truth in a chinlock, but Truth endures. Fans rally again and Truth gets up. Truth fights back once more, and rocks Miz with a haymaker. Truth whips but Miz reverses, and then uses the “It Kicks”! Fans prefer the “NO! NO!” kicks. Carmella and Maryse trash talk, but Miz still hits a corner to corner dropkick. Fans boo and jeer while Miz soaks up the heat. Miz runs in and hits the A-list lariat in the corner. Miz climbs up top, and hits ax handles. He takes his time with Truth as he mocks the Yes pose, and the Yes Kicks. Miz takes aim but Truth ducks the buzzsaw to roll Miz up! TWO!! Truth staggers but boots Miz from a corner.
Fans rally up again and Truth rallies! He whips but Miz reverses again, only to get the Lie Detector elbow. Miz avoids the leg drop but not the big corner splash! Truth kicks low then runs, but Miz dodges the scissor kick. Miz kicks low and hits the DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans chant “Let’s go, Truth!” but Miz again parodies the Yes pose. Miz runs but into the calf kick! Cover, TWO! Truth is close but it’s not enough. Truth stalks Miz and suplexes, but Miz slips out. Miz chop blocks the left leg! And then puts on the Figure Four, only to get caught in a cradle! TWO and Miz boots Truth right down! Miz again soaks in the heat as he stalks Truth. But Daniel Bryan’s music hits! Is he here? Yes, he and Brie have returned! Truth rolls Miz, Truth wins!!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall
And now Bryan gets his own punches on Miz! Bryan is adding injury to insult with a Yes Lock! Brie stalks Maryse and runs her down to put her in the ring! Brie kicks Maryse down, and now Miz must watch as Brie fires up. But Vega and Almas help out! It’s a swap from last week! Maryse and Miz get away while Almas and Vega put Brie and Bryan in.
Fans boo and jeer while these two ungovernables drag up Brie & Bryan, to end up in DOUBLE YES LOCKS! Almas and Vega endure what will surely be the future for Miz & Maryse, and tap out! Miz and Maryse decide to rush Brie & Bryan while they’re busy, but then the Yes Locks come off. Bryan & Brie scare Miz & Maryse back to have full control of the ring! Will the It Couple be put in their place come Hell in a Cell?
SmackDown again does things much smarter than Raw. While the Mixed Match Challenge was announced earlier today, they did not let that detract from the show. The opening segment leading into the opening match was great, we finally got a real ending to Almas VS Bryan. Almas still looked great even in defeat, but of course Bryan goes over. Miz & Maryse pretending to be tough when they’re the ones staying away adds to their Heel points, and the segments with Truth and Carmella were great as a somewhat subtle nod to that they’re going to be MMC partners this time. It was great that Bryan helped Truth win, and then it was a nice reversal from last week that Bryan & Brie get the better of Miz, Maryse, Almas & Vega to stand tall. I just fear this means Miz & Maryse win at HiaC because of how the math works out.
That interview/debate/argument between Charlotte and Becky was pretty great, and they stuck to their guns for why they’re doing this. Their match is going to be one to watch at Hell in a Cell, even without the Cell. Naomi going against the IIconics again clearly was to set up a tag team feud, but as great as it is for Asuka to be doing something, this was a missed opportunity for Tamina to come back. Maybe Tamina isn’t ready for in-ring action, but she was a logical choice over being in-laws with Naomi via Jimmy Uso. Asuka is going to be a big part of this feud, though, and will probably be the one collecting pinfalls.
I liked the video package promos for Hardy and Orton. Their Hell in a Cell really will be great, and Orton probably will do something vile while Hardy does something wild. I have no idea who will win, but I would think the winner moves on to at least a US Championship match. Styles and Joe had a great exchange, verbally and physically, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more of this happens next week to force Paige to make this the third Cell match for the PPV. SmackDown is full of stories that deserve a Cell, so why not escalate this one accordingly? Then that Triple Threat Tag was great, just like last week’s. I knew Rusev Day was gonna win it and I love that they did. Rusev Day VS The Bar is going to be great, but I can still see it going both ways.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!
AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!
It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!
AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!
“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!
Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!
Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.
Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.
Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!
Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!
Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!
Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?
EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!
Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?
NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!
Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!
Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.
Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.
Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.
NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.
Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!
Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!
But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.
But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.
But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?
Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!
The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.
“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.
Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?
But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.
Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?
NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!
Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?
The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!
Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.
Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!
Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.
Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!
Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.
NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.
Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!
Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.
Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.
Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!
Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!
Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!
Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.
Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!
Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?
Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.
NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”
Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!
Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?
One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.
For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.
NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.
Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)
It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399
Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?
- Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
- Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!
Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?
The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!
Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!
The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.
ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!
Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!
BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?
ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!
Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?
But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?
ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!
Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!
Kenny King is here!
The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.
And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”
The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?
Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.
It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?
Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!
An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?
The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?
ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.
The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?
Bandido VS Shane Taylor!
Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?
Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!
Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.
ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.
Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!
Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!
ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.
Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!
Winner: Bandido, by pinfall
The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?
A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.
Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.
Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.
It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.
My Score: 8.3/10
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