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
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