Tonight, The Queen, The Empress and The Man converge on a contract signing, for the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!!
- Asuka & Charlotte VS Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville; Rose & Deville win.
- Triple Threat: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Jey Uso wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton; Orton wins.
- AJ Styles VS The Miz; Styles wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The SmackDown Women’s Division has never been more competitive!
Last week, Paige announced a TLC Match for the title between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, but the rest of the roster wanted their own shot. All nine women battled it out in a battle royal, and in the end, it would be ASUKA who stood tall! The Empress of Tomorrow gets another shot at the title, will she be ready The Man and The Queen be ready for her?
Paige is in the ring!
“SmackDown isn’t just the land of opportunity, it is the brand that makes history.” She is proud to be the GM in charge of the first-ever Women’s TLC Match in the WWE. And not just any TLC match but a triple threat. So with that said, she introduces the woman who earned her shot, Asuka! The Empress makes her way out to the ring, then Paige introduces The Queen, Charlotte! These two are familiar foes from their Wrestlemania SmackDown Women’s Championship match where Charlotte retained the title while ending Asuka’s Streak. And last but certainly not least, the champ herself, Becky Lynch! The Relent-Lass Lass Kicker, The Man comes out, her title already hanging from the hook. Fans are fired up for Becky as she joins the others in the ring.
Becky knows they’re making history, but she always makes history when she’s in the ring. And she plans on making some history at TLC. Going through a table, being hit with a ladder or a chair, none of that compares to her journey here. So it doesn’t matter if it was earned or handed to you, Becky will do anything it takes to win, unlike these two “dopes.” Charlotte says Becky needs to change the song, because she’s a broken record. Charlotte says she picked up the ball Becky dropped, and destroyed Ronda with a kendo stick. And all it took from Nia was one punch to bust Becky open. Becky speaks up but Charlotte tells her to shut it. Imagine what she’ll do with tables, ladders and chairs.
Asuka speaks up now, and says Becky already beat Charlotte. But, Becky’s never beat Asuka. Becky chose wrong for Survivor Series. Asuka would have beaten Ronda in the match. And now, Asuka will beat both of them at TLC! Charlotte is confused. Asuka could’ve beaten Ronda? Because Charlotte didn’t, and she broke Asuka’s streak! That was luck. The three competitors bicker but Paige calms them down. Becky says Asuka and Charlotte couldn’t beat Ronda and they won’t beat her. The Man signs the contract and takes her leave. Charlotte is fine with that, Becky’s a lot of talk anyway. Charlotte will beat Becky and Asuka, again. “WOO~!” Asuka resorts to Japanese for this one. Charlotte says the mystique is gone, and now she finishes Asuka at TLC.
Paige keeps the peace again, and gets Charlotte to sign her part of the contract. Asuka signs her part, and then wants to see if she can break Charlotte tonight! But wait, here come Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. “Really, Paige? This is how you want to make history? With these two women?” Two undeserving women, instead of two women Paige herself groomed for the main roster. Charlotte lost at Survivor Series, regardless of what she did to Ronda. And Asuka only won the battle royal by a fluke. Sonya was dominant but made one tiny mistake. But Sonya promises that won’t happen again. These two are driven to action. If you want to see fire and desire, you’re looking at it. Now, Charlotte and Asuka already signed the contract, but what happens if they don’t make it?
Paige doesn’t want idle threats from them. Have a tag team match instead, against Asuka and Charlotte, tonight! This match up happens after the break.
Shane McMahon meets with The Miz, again.
And The Miz is confused why he’s hosting Miz TV with Daniel Bryan as a guest. Because Miz TV is his show, it has his name in it. Miz would laugh on any other night, but he was hoping Shane would be up for doing the job they were both born to do: #BestTagTeamintheWorld! Shane reminds Miz they’re not a team. But use that sharp mind to get answers from this “New” Daniel Bryan. Fine. But Shane owes him. Shane doesn’t owe Miz anything. Not in front of the trophy, Shane! Miz heads off to prepare, but what favor will he insist Shane honor?
Asuka & Charlotte VS Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville!
Everyone knows The Empress and the Queen have history, but it’s not like the duo formerly known as Absolution are perfectly united. The Golden Gift screwed the Gladiator Gal over at WWE Evolution, and questioned Sonya being chosen for Survivor Series over her. However, they seem united in trying to get opportunities wherever and however they can. Can Mandy & Sonya surprise everyone against two of the best women in the WWE today? Or are they still not ready to #DoItWithFlair?
SmackDown returns as the teams sort out, and we start with Asuka and Sonya as an honorary rematch from last week’s battle royal finish. The two circle and dodge each other. They tie up and Asuka gets an arm and the waistlock. Sonay gets the standing switch but Asuka reverses to a wristlock. Asuka wrenches but Sonya reverses to her own wristlock. Asuka spins through to reverse back then whips. Sonya reverses and things speed up. They collide shoulders but neither woman falls. Asuka gets the arm and the takedown but Sonya reverses to her own takedown Sonya gets a headlock but Asuka headscissors. Sonya pops up but Asuka ducks a kick. Asuka kicks but Sonya ducks it, only to end up in Asuka’s Fujiwara armbar. Asuka grinds her knee on the shoulder then stomps away.
Sonya gets up and knees out of the hold, then drags Asuka over to tag Mandy. Absolution whip and kick Asuka, then drive in knees and throw Asuka down by her hair. Mandy covers, TWO! Mandy soaks up the heat as fans boo and jeer. She toys with Asuka and mocks her pain. She stands Asuka up but Asuka fires off palm strikes! Asuka goes for the pop-up knee but Mandy forearms out. Mandy whips Asuka but Asuka goes up to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Asuka taunts Sonya and tags in Charlotte. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte’s snapmare and kick to Mandy’s back. Charlotte brings Mandy up to whip into a corner. Mandy elbows back but runs into a scoop. Mandy slips out and shoves Charlotte into buckles! She drags Charlotte up but still gets thrown with an exploder!
Sonya runs in but into Charlotte’s boot. Charlotte throws Sonya, too! Then Charlotte slingshots onto both Sonya and Mandy! Fans fire up as Charlotte struts. But wait, here comes Becky, belt back in hand. The Man wants a front row look at her challengers while we go picture in picture.
Charlotte puts Mandy in the ring and covers, TWO. She keeps on Mandy with a facelock, and she tags to Asuka. Asuka kicks Mandy in the leg while Charlotte holds her up. Asuka then gives Mandy knees while Becky takes a seat near commentary. Mandy gets kicks to the back, and then Asuka hits the sliding kick! Cover, TWO! Asuka makes sure Becky’s watching as she brings Mandy around. Mandy tags out and arm-drags. She misses the knee but Sonay SPEARS Asuka for her! Cover, TWO! Becky seems unimpressed either way. Sonya kicks Asuka around and drives in a knee. She drags Becky into her own chinlock and body scissors to grind her down. Becky is still nonplussed. Asuka endures and makes it a cover, TWO! Sonya kicks Asuka right down!
Sonya hits Charlotte for good measure, then drags Asuka over to her corner. She kicks and kicks and kicks, Mandy keeping Asuka up. Tag to Mandy and Absolution choke Asuka on the ropes. Sonya scuffs Asuka with a knee before Mandy brings her up. Mandy wrenches Asuka into a standing abdominal stretch. Asuka endures the bend and even the elbow in her ribs as fans rally. Mandy practically dribbles Asuka’s head in the hold, but Asuka still endures. Asuka fights her way out and kicks Mandy as we return to single picture. Fans fire up but Mandy throws Asuka down! High stack cover, TWO! Charlotte is relieved but Mandy bounces Asuka’s head off the mat. Becky is still unimpressed. Cover, TWO!
Mandy drags Asuka around and tags in Sonya. They stomp away on Asuka as fans boo and jeer. Sonya drives in knees on Asuka then snapmares her. Sonya hits the sliding knee! Cover, TWO!! Absolution is furious but Sonya keeps on Asuka. Tag to Mandy and they stomp Asuka more. Fans rally up for Asuka and Asuka fights Mandy. Mandy shoves Asuka for that golden knee! Cover, TWO! Mandy is shocked, but she drags Asuka back over. She kicks Asuka then tags Sonya. They mug Asuka and tag back for more. Mandy brings Asuka up but Asuka fires off body shots. Mandy shoves her and runs her over again. Wheelbarrow but Asuka makes it a bulldog! Fans fire up as Asuka and Mandy crawl, hot tags to Charlotte and Sonya!
The Queen rallies and uses those Flair Chops! Charlotte chops and chops on Sonya, then whips. Charlotte hits a big back suplex and kips right up! Fans are thunderous but Charlotte runs into a boot. Charlotte still SPEARS Sonya! Mandy comes in but gets a knee and thrown right out. Charlotte kicks Sonya down, but Mandy trips Asuka up. Mandy rocks Charlotte with a right but Asuka trips her up. Charlotte boots but hits Asuka by mistake! Sonya rolls Charlotte but Charlotte turns it around! Asuka boots Charlotte!! Sonya covers, Absolution wins!!
Winners: Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, Deville pinning
Dysfunction downs the Empress and Queen, which is actually to Becky’s liking. But it doesn’t really matter when TLC will be every woman for herself. Will Becky stay The Man after taking on such fierce competition? Or will there be a new champion going into the New Year?
Triple Threat: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!
Awwwww~ Austin~! The Women’s Championship won’t be the only Triple Threat at the TLC Pay-Per-View. The SmackDown Tag Team Champions have lost to both The New Day and The Usos in recent weeks, so all three teams will compete for the titles. Therefore, one member each directly competes tonight to represent! Who will take some crucial momentum with just weeks left before the PPV?
The bell rings and the three men circle. Cesaro hits the others first, but end sup caught the second time. HE gets uppercuts from both Woods and Jey and then they throw him out of the ring. Fans want pancakes as Kofi and Big E are on commentary, and Kofi and Big E oblige! Flapjacks fly as Woods and Jey tie up. Woods powers out of a headlock but Jey runs him over. Jey runs but things speed up. Woods leaps again but Jey shoves and things continue to speed up. The Bar talk strategy while Woods goes to suplex Jey. Jey fights out and back suplexes but Woods slips out. Woods dodges and slides but Jey ducks and rolls up! TWO, Woods rolls Jey, TWO! Jey runs Woods over and covers, TWO, Woods returns the favor, TWO! Woods kips up and the two shake hands.
Cesaro runs in but gets a double punch! Woods and Jey double clothesline Cesaro out and we go to break.
SmackDown returns as Woods and Jey are both stuck on the top rope. Cesaro dropkicks Woods down but Jey shoves him away. Jey adjusts and leaps, but into a European Uppercut! Cover, TWO! The Swiss Cyborg goes for his Neutralizer but Woods returns. Cesaro runs over but gets a kick! Jey uppercuts Cesaro, and then Woods runs at Jey. Jey dodges for the pop-up Samoan Drop! Cesaro and Woods are each in corners, so Jey starts a hip attack train! First stop is Woods, but Cesaro bails out. Jey changes plans to FLY onto Cesaro! But then Woods leaps for a tornado DDT on Jey! All three men are down while Sheamus and Jimmy coach them up. Cesaro gets in the ring but Woods follows. Things speed up again, wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO!
Woods grits his teeth while he and Cesaro crawl. Fans rally up as Woods stands. Woods aims at Cesaro and rolls, but into a push. Cesaro leaps but gets a swing kick! Jey climbs and leaps, but his splash meets knees! Cesaro small packages, TWO! Woods leaps in with the Limit Breaker elbow! Cover, Jey breaks it! The New Day admit on commentary that it was super closer. All three men are down, hurting from this battle, but Woods is up first. “Woodsy” uses the power of positivity and pancakes. He swings on Jey but Jey hits back. They brawl while Sheamus checks on Cesaro. Woods gets an edge and backs Jey down. He runs but into Jey’s body check! Jey runs but into Woods’ forearm! Woods runs but into another body check! Cesaro returns to grab Jey. He also gets Woods, combination airplane spin and Swiss swing!
Cesaro shows his strength as he tosses Jey aside, then gets Woods in the Sharpshooter! Woods is stuck but he doesn’t give up. Jey comes in, Cesaro blocks the superkick only to get the dragon whip! Woods rolls Cesaro up, TWO!! Cesaro throws Woods out but SUPERKICK! Jey covers, Jey wins!
Winner: Jey Uso, by pinfall
The Usos gain ground in this battle of three teams, but how will it go down when it’s three teams at once?
Backstage interview with Rusev & Lana.
The Bulgarian Brute was going to have a match with The King of Strong Style, but Shinsuke Nakamura chose to attack Rusev before there was a bell. Nakamura would give Rusev two Kinshasa knees before leaving Rusev alone. Rusev says Nakamura did that because he’s afraid. Rusev shows off his muscles, and knows he’s both strong and relentless and… Hungry. Not for chicken, yogurt, cheese or any food. He’s hungry for that United States Championship! Nakamura holds onto that title like a child does their favorite toy. But that title is no toy, that title represents honor and tradition. Nakamura has no honor, but he won’t have any excuses. Rusev will get his hands on Nakamura and… Feast! A feast fit for Rusev Daaaay~! Will that particular Rusev Day happen to land on TLC Sunday?
Lars Sullivan speaks.
“It doesn’t matter which brand I choose to go to. I will wreak havoc the magnitude of which you’ve never seen.” No one has seen a freak like the Leviathan. Which brand will get this Mile High Monster on their roster? And which roster will regret it?
It’s time for Miz TV!
But wait, before Miz can finish his introduction, it’s the FABULOUS Truth! What do they want? A DANCE BREAK~! Truth and Carmella floss and twerk, and that’s it. “As you were.” Miz can’t believe the fans like that. Continuing on, the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show once again makes history. For the first time ever on Miz TV is the NEW Daniel Bryan! This new and more sinister side of the Goat is also the WWE Champion after what he did to AJ Styles weeks ago. This new and more sinister Bryan declared that The Beast, Brock Lesnar, beat the weakness out of him. And this new and more sinister Bryan declared that the Yes Movement, his movement, is DEAD. But he’ll also have to face AJ Styles again at TLC for the title.
Miz sits with “The New Daniel Bryan”, but how does he want to be addressed? Miz sticks to Daniel, because he doesn’t really look different. But there is a little something that is different. Bryan is confident, isn’t pandering to the fans, and knows that there’s no such thing as an honorable victory. It’s either winning or losing, no matter how you do it. Meaning Miz was right all along! Fans actually agree with that. But this Bryan says people thought the “old” Bryan was smart, but how smart was he if he catered to the people? That Bryan allowed them to subvert his dreams. But this Bryan doesn’t care about the people, and his dreams are in control. This Bryan doesn’t have many intellectual peers, including The Miz, but he has plenty of books written by great minds like Alexander Hamilton.
Bryan notices the fans booing, and calls them “Fickle.” These “sheep” all go “What?”, something stupid from 20 years ago. But as Hamilton once said, “Giving power to the mindless masses is dangerous, both for the individual and the society.” These sheep are proof. But even more dangerous is that old Daniel Bryan with the “practical wisdom and brutality of the new Daniel Bryan.” Miz hears what Bryan is saying, but it sounds less like Hamilton and more like Miz. Doesn’t Bryan see that the only reason Bryan has that title is because he did whatever it took, just like what Miz told him.
Bryan says Miz’s problem is that he never gets to the point. Bryan kicked Styles in the balls. But it was one man in the groin on one day. The people harm the earth every single day with their needless consumption! “If you want to count sins, I kicked one man in the groin on one day. These people commit countless atrocities against the earth and future generations” every moment of their lives! Wait, Miz is confused. This isn’t about any of that. Bryan has painted Miz as the bad guy for eight years, and had everyone fooled. But not Miz. Miz saw Bryan’s truth the entire time, and now Bryan owes him an explanation. Is Bryan champion because he did what Miz told him to? Yes or no. Fans say “Yes! Yes!” And so does Bryan.
But then he says “No”, and then “yes” and back again. Because it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Old Bryan is dead. That Yes Movement with these old logos, dead. And most importantly, the one thing that no one here, let alone AJ Styles or Miz, can do about… “Here is your WWE Champion, the NEW Daniel Bryan.” Fans boo and Bryan calls them fickle, but here comes the old WWE Champion, the Phenomenal AJ Styles! Styles heads right at the ring but Bryan shoves Miz into him! Styles kicks Miz away then chases Bryan! He catches Bryan and drags him back to ringside. Bryan runs away, but Miz gets involved again. Styles goes after Miz AND Bryan! Miz saves Bryan with a Skull Crushing Finale to Styles! Fans boo as Bryan gets away with manipulating Miz. Will Bryan continue to get away with it at TLC?
Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton!
The Charismatic Enigma and Viper have already gone to Hell and back against each other this year, but nothing is over between them. At the same time, Hardy is hunted by a new Destroyer in Samoa Joe, and Orton hunts new prey in Rey Mysterio. Who will move on to be better prepared for new grudges on the way to the New Year?
Before the match, we see Orton’s message for Mysterio. Orton says Mysterio should have stayed away, but he didn’t and now he’s been hurt and humiliated all over again. Hardy won’t stay away either, so Orton is more than happy to crush him again.
The bell rings, and Hardy goes right at Orton! Hardy throws hands and kicks, but then Orton kicks back. Orton goes after the ear gauge hole, but Hardy fights him off. Hardy hits a jawbreaker then clotheslines Orton out of the ring! Orton goes running as Hardy says “DELETE! DELETE!” Hardy clobbers Orton and throws him into the post. Orton kicks back then bounces Hardy off the announce desk. Orton lifts Hardy but Hardy fights out! Hardy bounces Orton off the desk, and again! Hardy gives Orton the back suplex onto the desk! “DELETE!” echoes while we go picture in picture.
Hardy goes back out to fetch Orton, dragging him off the desk and bumping him off the apron edge. He puts Orton back in but Orton is on him during reentry. Orton hangs Hardy out to dry on the ropes! Orton stalks Hardy around the ring and stomps away on the limbs as only he does. Then he stomps Hardy right in the stomach before covering. TWO, but Orton keeps his cool. Orton grins as he sits Hardy up for a chinlock. We return to single picture as Hardy endures the squeeze. Fans rally for Hardy and Hardy fights his way up, but Orton forces him back down. Orton pulls back on Hardy’s head but Hardy gets up again. Hardy fights out and kicks for the spinning back kick! Both men go down but Hardy gets to a corner.
Fans rally with “Delete! Delete!” as Orton runs into Hardy’s boots. Hardy goes up, Whisper in the Wind! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but Orton stalks Hardy again. They brawl and Hardy counters punches Orton. Hardy whips but Orton reverses, only for Hardy to hit back! Hardy gets the atomic drop and leg splitting leg drop, dropkick on top! Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool as he stands back up. He kicks but the Twist is denied. Orton back elbows Hardy into the ropes, and Hardy ends up on the apron. Hardy shoulders back in but Orton catches him, for the draping DDT! Orton gets up again and enjoys the moment as he hears the voices in his head. He stalks Hardy as fans fire up.
Hardy denies the RKO to go for the Twist. Orton slips out but is still denied his RKO, Hardy runs Orton over with forearms! Hardy hurries up top while Orton is down. Orton springs up to stop Hardy with fists. Orton climbs up but Hardy resists. Hardy slips out to trip Orton up! Then Twist of Fate! Orton is down and the shirt comes off as Hardy heads back up. Hardy aims, but Orton rolls away. So Hardy wrecks him with a dropkick! Hardy goes out to clear the announce desk! He drags Orton over and bounces him off the desk again. Then another back suplex onto the table top! Orton writhes, but Hardy is far from done with Orton. Hardy goes to the top rope, but Samoa Joe has a message from the titantron.
Joe is at a bar, enjoying himself while watching the show. And then he orders a round for the bar. RKO from Orton! Cover, Orton wins!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
“Tough break, Jeff, tough break.” Joe then goes into PSA mode to warn us about the “dangers of excess.” Moderation is key. You can make good choices, like having a drink with friends. Or having 14 and waking up in jail. Assuming you wake up at all. Drink responsibly. Cheers, Hardy. Samoa Joe uses Hardy’s past as a weapon, but will Joe’s future be rendered OBSOLETE?
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.
He was running from Styles earlier, but why is he still here? The New Bryan doesn’t run. Everything he does is done with purpose. And now, he’s joining commentary for the main event!
AJ Styles VS The Miz!
The New Daniel Bryan dodged The Miz’s questions and dodged AJ Styles’ revenge, and even pitted them against each other. While The Phenomenal One will get at Bryan at TLC, he and the Hollywood A-Lister look to settle things with each other tonight! Will Styles roll towards his WWE Championship rematch at TLC? Will The Miz gain some momentum before tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge Playoffs?
SmackDown returns and Bryan has appeared on commentary as promised. The bell rings and Styles puts Miz in a corner for shoulders to the stomach. Styles CHOPS Miz then bumps him off buckles, then chops him again. He whips Miz but redirects him back into the same corner. Styles pushes Miz into buckles but the ref backs him off. Miz kicks Styles and puts on a headlock. Styles powers out but Miz runs him over. Miz says he’s the phenomenal one but things speed up, and Styles dropkicks Miz down! Styles glares at Bryan while Miz rolls out. Styles chases after Miz and they go back into the ring. Miz stomps but Styles sees it coming, and trips Miz up. Styles then slingshots in for a senton! Cover, TWO! Miz jawbreakers Styles back while Bryan mocks Styles on commentary.
Styles chops Miz then whips. Miz reverses and hits the kitchen sink knee. Miz brings Styles around and chokes him on the ropes. The ref counts and Miz lets up at 4, to hit his rope attack! Bryan calls out the “corruption” of Byron Saxton while Miz puts Styles in a camel clutch. Styles endures while fans rally. He pries his way out and fights back, but Miz counters Styles into the A-List combination! Cover, TWO! Miz keeps his cool as he rains lefts down on Styles. Miz stalks Styles to a corner and whips him corner to corner. Fans boo and jeer as Miz mocks Bryan’s Yes chant. Miz runs into a SUPERKICK! Styles runs at Miz, but Miz puts him on the apron. Styles hits Miz away but Miz boots Styles down! Miz has control while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once more, and both men are down. Fans rally up as a ten count begins. Both men stand at 4 and start brawling. Styles hits the Phenomenal Blitz! And sliding forearm! Miz scrambles to a corner while Styles fires up. Styles runs in for a big clothesline, then fireman’s carry for the Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Miz lives and Styles is surprised. Styles keeps focus as he brings Miz up for the Clash, but Miz counters with a catapult! Styles hits buckles, and then Miz gets the full nelson. But Styles counters with a victory roll! TWO and Miz kicks low for the basement DDT! Cover, TWO! Now Miz is the one surprised, but fans know “This is Awesome!”
Miz runs but Styles dodges to throw Miz out. Styles aims and slingshots for the forearm! Bryan gets up and Styles locks eyes with him. Bryan says he’s not going to attack, and offers a handshake. But this is so Miz can throw Styles into steps! Miz puts Styles in the ring, gets him up, Finale! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives!! Miz and Bryan are both shocked. Miz keeps on Styles with knees dropped on knees. He wants the Figure Four but Styles shoves him away to the post! Styles gets up but Bryan drags him out! Styles shoves Bryan down and then sees Miz coming, Calf Crusher! Miz flails, taps, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by submission
The Phenomenal One gets the win with two enemies after him, but then Bryan goes after Styles again! Bryan chop blocks Styles’ leg, then slams it into the post over and over again! The new and sadistic Bryan throws Styles’ body into the post! And then he throws Styles into the announce desk, and into the ring. Fans boo and jeer while Bryan aims at Styles. Bryan runs to chop block Styles again! Bryan still goes after the leg with a Heel Hook! Styles writhes and shouts in pain but Bryan won’t let go even as more refs rush the ring. Bryan lets go when he’s satisfied, but fans still boo and jeer. Bryan takes off his jacket to buzzsaw kick Styles down! And then he stomps Styles out like he did the night he changed into this Bryan. Bryan does a victory lap, but still comes back for more!
The New Bryan grabs his belt and forces the ring announcer to make the same declaration as before: “Ladies and gentlemen, here is your WWE Champion, the New Daniel Bryan.” Do the fans not approve? “Fickle!” The entire WWE Universe is fickle in the eyes of this new and sadistic Daniel Bryan! Styles stands up in the ring, and Bryan chop blocks him again!! And back to the Heel Hook as we go off the air! Will this new and sadistic Bryan ever stop? Can this new and sadistic Bryan ever be stopped?
SmackDown continues to be great! And with only FOUR matches! The stories on SmackDown are better, for one, so that’s a major part of it. For example, they consolidated the Women’s Division into one story that branches from the title. I am glad to see they didn’t go the general route of a contract signing turning into a brawl, those happen too much. Sonya and Mandy looked great in their match with Asuka and Charlotte, and the falling apart of the Face team was well-done given how late in the match it happened. The battle lines are drawn and the TLC Triple Threat is going to be great, so long as Becky or Asuka win out. Charlotte’s had her time, and she’ll just end up being a female John Cena with yet another big win like this.
The Tag Team Division is another stronger point. The Triple Threat Tag Title match is going to be great, but even tonight’s triple threat of 1v1v1 was impressive! The Bar, The New Day & The Usos are the best teams in the WWE, so I really hope their match is announced to be something more, like a Ladder or Tables match. That kind of No DQ physicality will be great for all three teams, but I’m thinking Big Show shows up to do something. The best thing would be if he helps The Usos and is a Face again, just for a good laugh. Then while we got Orton VS Hardy again, they made it worth watching, as did Samoa Joe’s part via titantron. PSA’s by Joe would definitely get people to listen. That said, I’m still hoping we get a mash-up of Joe-Hardy, Orton-Mysterio and Nakamura-Rusev in one massive match.
Miz’s moment with Shane still makes me think something with them is coming for Wrestlemania, either as Miz VS Shane or as Miz hopes, Miz & Shane VS tag champions. Either way, Miz will make it worth watching. The Miz’s part with Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles was also really great. The New Bryan being this evil eco-warrior is a weird choice, maybe Vince’s, but the rest of how the New Bryan behaves is still great. Especially him using his two biggest rivals against each other. Miz VS Styles was a great match, and then Bryan ending the show with that brutal attack was perfect. I really, really hope this match more than any of the others gets a stipulation like a Chairs Match. Even with other feuds like Becky and Charlotte on the block, Bryan and Styles has gotten extremely personal, so their match needs to fit accordingly.
My Score: 8.8/10
Joe’s CMLL Review & Results (12/7/2018)
Another week of CMLL, and another week of Joe’s coverage. Indulge in the Lucha information if you couldn’t find time to watch it yourself.
Arena Puebla Monday
Sonic, Meyer, and Astro vs King Rocker, Sombra Diabolina, and Guerrero Especial
Rocker and Astro start out doing some ground grappling. They do a lot of acrobatic transitions into submission holds. Especial and Meyer are in next and they continue to do grappling as well. Especial hits an arm drag to the outside and feigns a dive. Sonic is in now with Diabolina. They do some freestyle wrestling while exchanging pins. Sonic arm drags him to the outside and in comes Astro and King Rocker again. Especial launches Astro into Diabolina and he hits a hurricanrana for the pin. Sonic victory rolls Rocker and Meyer submits Especial with a neck crank. First Fall: Meyer submits Guerrero Especial with a neck crank.
Sonic and Diabolina start this round off. Sonic goes wild hitting a very elaborate arm drag then feigns a dive. Especial and Meyer are in next and they trade strikes and they start to trade moves. Especial hits a power slam, Diabolina hits a basement drop kick, and then Rocker hits a splash on Meyer for the pin. Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar. Second Fall: Sombra Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar.
Rocker and Astro stare each other down then exchange strikes. Especial and Sonic get in and Especial works him over for a bit. Diabolina and Meyer are in and Diabolina hits an Alabama Slam on him followed by a basement drop kick. Meyer hits a splash off the top on Diabolina and then launches Astro into him and Especial for a double drop kick. He does a hurricanrana off the apron on Rocker. Sonic hits a swanton bomb on Especial while Meyer gets Diabolina in a knee bar. Third Fall: Meyer submits Sombra Diabolina with a knee bar.
Winners: Sonic, Meyer, and Astro
Mellinum, Arkalis, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Police Man and Mellinum start out the match with grappling and submission trading. Tigre Rojo and Espanto come in next and they start to fight for position. Rojo using his speed, Espanto using his size. Espanto sits on his knees frustrated that Rojo won the grappling exchange. Fuerza Chicana and Arkalis are in next. Arkalis does a victory roll, into a basement drop kick. Arkalis does a double splash to Espanto and Chicana. Rojo gets Police Man in an abdominal stretch and Arkalis pins Chicana with a sunset flip. First Fall: Arkalis pins Fuerza Chicana with a sunset flip.
Rojo and Police Man start the round and Rojo uses his quickness, getting him in a back breaker. He feigns a dive and hits a pose. Espanto and Mellinum go at it but Mellinum uses his quickness to his advantage getting Espanto out with an arm drag. His two teammates knock everyone off the apron and get Mellinum in the corner. Espanto kicks him in the groin. Ref doesn’t see it apparently. Espanto pulls on Arkalis’ mask. Police Man splash pins Arkalis for the pin. Chicana hits a back drop on Mellinum the goes for a pinning combination for the fall. Second Fall: Fuerza Chicana hits a back drop then pinning combination on Mellinum for the fall.
Rojo gets teamed on to start the round. When he’s taken care of they move the attack to Mellinum. A come back gets made as Arkalis hits a hurricanrana then a back breaker. Rojo and Mellinum hit arm drags to the outside, then Rojo and Arkalis go for dives but gets their feet pulled to the outside. Espanto and Mellinum are in the ring. Mellinum hits a hurricanrana for a pin but no three. He goes to the top for a move but Espanto gets the feet up. He hits a back stabber for the win on Mellinum. Third Fall: Espanto Jr pins Mellinum with a back stabber.
Winners: Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Titan, Triton, and Stigma vs Kawato San, Okumura, and Tiger
Triton and Okumura start the match out and they lock up and quickly go to the ground. They grapple briefly and Kawato and Titan come in next. Kawato whips Titan to the corner but Stigma replaces him and kicks him. Now everybody is trading big moves. Okumura hits a cross roads on Stigma then Titan comes in and takes care of Kawato. Tiger hits a Canadian destroyer on Triton for the pin. Kawato hits an handspring elbow on Titan followed by Okumura with a clothesline. They do a hangman’s neck breaker for the fall. First Fall: Kawato pins Titan after him and Okumura hit a hangman’s neck breaker.
Tiger is beating on Stuka on the ramp while Okumura and Kawato team on Titan. Stuka is getting teamed on now and he makes the tag to Triton but the ref acts like he doesn’t see it. This ref is either awful or a heel. Triton is standing back on the ramp in protest or disgust. Titan makes a come back hitting some super kicks. Stigma drop kicks Kawato’s inner thigh while he’s tied up on the rope. Triton tries but gets pulled out. ThenTitan and Stigma hit middle rope dives on Kawato and Tiger. In the ring Triton gets Okumura down for a 450 splash and the fall. Second Fall: Triton pins Okumura with a 450 splash.
Stigma and Okumura start out the round and Stigma gets him out and Tiger comes in. Triton answers the call for Tiger. Triton hits an arm drag to the outside then feigns a dive and hits a pose. Titan and Kawato are in next and they trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Titan runs wild, taking out Kawato eventually, and then kicking Tiger off the apron. Okumura catches him with a cutter off the top. Stigma breaks up the pin. Kawato catches him with a splash off the top. He hits him with a 1 percenter but Triton breaks up the pin. He hits a power bomb into a pin but Tiger breaks it up. Triton goes for a handspring attack but is caught in a back stabber. Titan breaks up the pin. He gets him in a pinning combination with a neck bridge but Okumura breaks that up. Sheesh. Triton hits an asai moonsault on Okumura and in the ring Titan gets Tiger in an elaborate neck stretch submission. Stigma hits Kawato with a falcon arrow for the win. Third Fall: Stigma pins Kawato San with a falcon arrow.
Winners: Titan, Triton, and Stigma
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Power Struggle 2018 Part 2!
NJPW Power Struggle continues as Tetsuya Naito once again battles Zack Sabre Jr! Will Tranquilo #JustTapOut? Or will ZSJ lost to The Ungovernable Charisma?
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; RPG3K wins the 2018 Super Junior Tag League.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Los Ingobernables de Japon continues to war with Suzuki-Gun! The leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has lost to the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, twice this year in both the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax! ZSJ angered Naito when he picked the bones of Evil after a vicious attack from Chris Jericho. Naito looks to get back at ZSJ for both Evil and those defeats, but ZSJ talks of retiring Naito himself. Who will win in this third time around in 2018?
Meanwhile, the Super Junior Tag League Tournament bring together familiar foes as the factions of LIJ, Suzuki-Gun and Chaos battle again! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are still Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and they look to show true dominance over the division. However, Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh look to repeat as tournament winners while Bushi has LIJ’s newest member, Shingo Takagi, by his side. Who comes out of this finals match primed to rule over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Division?
Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
The round robin format of this tournament makes it so that the teams with the best records qualify for this tournament climax, and this year it ended up being three! All three teams have a 10-0 record going in, impressive to say the least. And naturally, the winners of this tournament, if they’re not the champions, get a shot to face the champions for the belts in the future. Will Sho & Yoh become back-to-back tournament champs? Will the tag champs come out as supreme rulers of Junior Heavyweight Tag wrestling? Or will this new combination of ungovernable stars be the key to victory?
Suzuki-Gun’s duo bring their belts, and a bottle of whiskey for Kanemaru. Kanemaru tags a swig then spits it to the sky, before attacking Bushi! Desperado goes after Shingo, but Sho & Yoh go after them! The match starts with the bell and Suzuki-Gun throws Yoh out of the ring. Kanemaru keeps on Sho with an eye rake, and Desperado adds a kick. Suzuki-Gun mug Sho then double whip, but he hits back! Desperado kicks Sho and chops him. Desperado runs, Sho ducks and Yoh comes back! They drop toehold and dropkick Desperado, then double dropkick Kanemaru. LIJ returns but they get dropkick’d out. Yoh goes back to Desperado while fans rally up. Sho keeps on Desperado with a big scoop slam. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado rakes eyes.
This kind of Triple Threat Tag, anyone can tag anyone so long as it doesn’t create a match-up of the same team. Therefore, Bushi is allowed to tag in from Desperado. He goes after Sho, then drags him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he tags in Shingo. Shingo hits Yoh for good measure before bringing Sho up. Sho chops, but Shingo chops back. Sho leans against ropes, but Shingo double chops him down! Shingo drags Sho up and whips, follows after and rams his knee into Sho. Then he suplexes Sho up and over, floats to cover, TWO! Tag to Bushi and LIJ double whip. They double hip toss and combine back senton and leg drop. Bushi covers, TWO! Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho, but lets up at 4.
Fans cheer while Bushi clubs Sho. Bushi runs but Sho hits him with the kitchen sink knee! Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on LIJ, ducks the enziguri and dragon screws Shingo. Yoh gives Bushi a backbreaker to necbreaker and kips up! Fans rally up as Yoh back elbows Bushi in a corner. Yoh suplexes but Bushi slips out. Bushi fires off forearms, then runs, but Desperado trips him up. Kanemaru tags in off Bushi and goes after Yoh. Desperado drags Bushi down to beat him up while Kanemaru hits Shingo. Bushi and Shingo go into barriers while Kanemaru whips Yoh. Kanemaru gives Yoh a kitchen sink, then tosses Yoh out. Desperado uses the backing of a chair to SMACK Yoh in the head. Then he whips Yoh into barriers! Desperado feeds Yoh to Kanemaru for a scoop slam.
Kanemaru grinds his foot on Yoh’s face, then tags Desperado. Desperado kicks Yoh down, and taunts Sho to return. Desperado chops Yoh back, but Yoh chops back. Yoh keeps firing strikes but Desperado shrugs it off. They go back and forth, but Desperado rakes eyes. Desperado runs but Shingo gets him to stop. Desperado hits Shingo, but turns around into Yoh’s calf kick! Hot tag to Kanemaru and he stops Sho from tagging in. Suzuki-Gun work together to start a corner train, and then Desperado cradles Yoh for Kanemaru to shotgun dropkick-start the slam! Cover, but LIJ breaks it. LIJ goes after everyone else, and double whip Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes and dumps Shingo out. He puts Bushi on the apron and Desperado knocks him off. Kanemaru helps Desperado build speed to DIVE on LIJ! Desperado ends up safely on the announce desk!
Fans fire up, even if it’s for Suzuki-Gun. Desperado returns as Kanemaru brings Yoh up. Suplex to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru grows frustrated, but he keeps on Yoh. Yoh hits back and they brawl with forearms and European Uppercuts. Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! He drags Yoh up again, but Yoh gets him back with a Falcon Arrow! Yoh is too sore to make the cover, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans rally up. Yoh and Kanemaru stir but Desperado attacks Sho! Desperado comes in but Bushi hits him first. Bushi grabs Yoh and throws him to the LIJ corner. Shingo tags in off Yoh, and then goes after Kanemaru’s inner thigh. Desperado saves Kanemaru by whipping Shingo but Shingo reverses. Shingo then starts up a clothesline train, first hitting Desperado then going corner to corner to hit Kanemaru. Desperado staggers into a shoulder from Shingo! Fans fire up as Shingo grabs Kanemaru. Sho comes in but gets caught, DDT and complete shot! Shingo goes back to Kanemaru for another suplex, but Kanemaru slips out. Kanemaru has a waistlock but Shingo fights out. Shingo whips and pop-up Death Valley Driver on Kanemaru! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru barely survives but Shingo is not bothered.
Muscle Dragon Shingo stalks Kanemaru, but misses in the corner. Kanemaru misses, too, and Bushi hits a knee! Bushi feeds Kanemaru to the spinebuster, adding a backstabber! Cover, but RPG3K break it! RPG3K is thrown out and LIJ coordinates. Shingo lifts Kanemaru in a wheelbarrow, but Desperado intercepts Bushi! Kanemaru victory rolls, TWO! Bushi fights Desperado off to slingshot headscissor Desperado! Shingo runs but to a basement dropkick! Kanemaru staggers into a tag from Sho! Sho then rocks Kanemaru with a right, and throws Kanemaru out. Sho runs at Shingo for a big corner clothesilne. He whips but Shingo reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Shingo runs but into a dropkick!
Sho fires up, as do the fans. He deadlifts Shingo but Shingo fights back. Sho runs, but Shingo rocks him with an elbow and an uppercut! Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, but Sho slips out. Shingo runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh takes out Bushi while Sho brings Shinogo back up. Backstabber feeds into the shotgun dropkick! RPG3K fire up and stalk Shingo. Shingo stands but Bushi stops Yoh with a backstabber of his own. Sho gets Bushi in a deadlift German Suplex! Desperado spears Sho, but can’t spear Shingo! Shingo and Desperado brawl, but Desperado rakes the eyes. Shingo still waistlocks Desperado, Desperado kicks Sho but Shingo shoves Desperado into Sho. Sho and Desperado turn around into Shingo’s clotheslines!
Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, for the Gory Bomb! Shingo gets up and builds speed, to clothesline from hell! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives and Shingo can’t believe it! Shingo roars as he drags Sho back up. He lifts Sho with a wristclutch, but Yoh SUPERKICKS! RPG3K hit 3K!! Cover, but the ref is yanked out! Kanemaru gets in and kicks away on Yoh! He stomps away on Sho, then drags Sho up. Desperado is in with a belt, and he clobbers Sho! Desperado drags Shingo over to a corner and uses him to tag in. Then he goes back to Sho while Kanemaru takes out Bushi. Desperado lifts Sho in the torture rack, for the slam! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives again! Desperado is furious and vows to end this.
Desperado brings Sho up in the double underhook, but Bushi jumps over the ref to use the GREEN MIST! You SUPERKICKS Bushi! Kanemaru goes after Yoh, but Yoh ducks the Whiskey Mist to dropkick Kanemaru out! Yoh builds speed and FLIES onto Bushi and Kanemaru! Sho is up, and clobbers Desperado! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, double knees! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans are thunderous. Sho fires up and wants another, but he tucks the arms this time. Package driver, the Shock Arrow! Cover, RPG3K win!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning
Sho & Yoh win their second Super Junior Tag League! And best of all, it was on the tag team champions! Can Sho & Yoh use this momentum to get the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles back?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Los Ingobernables de Japon and Suzuki-Gun are not through with each other, and these two are far from through with each other on top of it. Will Naito make ZSJ Tranquilo? Or will ZJS make Naito #JustTapOut?
As always, Taka Michinoku takes up the mic before the match. He welcomes everyone to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match between ZSJ and Naito. “Who is gonna win this one?!” ZSJ is the man who can finish you with any lock anytime, anywhere, who has the deadly Zack Driver, and when he locks on, you #JustTapOut! This wrestling master is Zack Sabreeeeee Junior~! So Naito, you will repeat the New Japan Cup and G1 Climax. You can’t beat Zack, so “come on over here!” Naito makes his entrance, and takes his time as always with undressing. ZSJ doesn’t let the mind games get to him, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Fans cheer for Naito as he circles with ZSJ. Naito and ZSJ tie up and ZSJ gets the headlock. ZSJ throws Naito but Naito shrugs it off. He and ZSJ circle again and feel it out. ZSJ gets a wristlock but Naito reverses quick, so ZSJ breaks and slips away. They circle again and tie up. ZSJ gets the arm again and wrenches for a hammerlock. Naito rolls and goes for a leg but ZSJ gets his legs into a deathlock. Naito manages to pop free and get a headlock, but ZSJ headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight as Naito tries to escape. Naito moves around but ZSJ goes for an arm. Naito frees himself from the headscissors to go for an armbar. ZSJ moves around and gets a leg again, Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But Naito pops out to a cover, ONE, Tranquilo!
Naito rolls out to catch his breath but ZSJ stays in the ring. Naito takes his time returning, and circles with ZSJ again. They approach and tie up, and ZSJ brings Naito’s hands down to stand on one and wrench the other. ZSJ shifts to a headlock, then throws to the takeover. Naito endures and rolls ZSJ to a cover, ONE. Naito sits up and gets up, and powers out of the headlock. He arm-drags ZSJ around, then runs him over with an elbow to hit the basement dropkick! Naito poses but ZSJ runs in with a leaping triangle hold takedown! Naito gets a ropebreak but ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath now while Naito bails out again. Naito comes back but ZSJ presses a knee down on him.
ZSJ loops Naito’s arm through the ropes and then a leg and uses them to pull in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ backs off at 4, so he can mock the LIJ posing. Naito sits up but ZSJ is on with the double wristlock, then top wristlock to stomp! Naito writhes but ZSJ circles him like a shark. ZSJ brings Naito up for a EuroUpper, but Naito chops back. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Naito gives back a CHOP. That stuns ZSJ, but ZSJ still kicks and whips Naito. Naito reverses, then run sin. ZSJ puts him on the apron to sweep the legs! ZSJ goes after Naito on the ramp and uses a calf killer! Then he shifts to a modified half crab! ZSJ tortures the legs, then rams the knees on the ramp. ZSJ leaves Naito behind as the 20-count starts.
Naito slowly gets up but the count is at 16! He hurries and gets in at 19! ZSJ is on Naito again with another trapped leg toehold to a half crab! Then a heel hook, then a deep crab! ZSJ just keeps combining holds, such as a trapped arm and another deep crap. But Naito gets the ropes and is freed. Fans rally up as Naito gets to a corner. ZSJ stomps the legs, but Naito hits back. ZSJ kicks the legs but Naito hits back. They continue to go back and forth, a kick for a forearm and back again. Naito goes down after another kick to the leg, but he crawls to a corner. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Naito gives an atomic drop and running headscissors!
Both men are down as Naito tries to get feeling in his legs. Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Naito stands first. Naito hits ZSJ with punches and kicks, then gets the dragon sleeper to backbreaker, and adds a basement dropkick! ZSJ gets to a corner, but Naito hits the jump kick and leg sweep. Naito slingshots but into the cravat! Naito arm-drags out, but ZSJ runs back in. ZSJ is put in a corner, but he boots Naito. Naito spits then spins ZSJ sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Naito then scoops ZSJ into the reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Naito has things back in his favor as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito gives ZSJ elbows in the corner. Naito drives elbows into ZSJ even as ZSJ sits down. Then Naito hoists ZSJ up top and climbs up to join him. Naito drives in more elbows and then stands up for a SUPER STEINER! But ZSJ makes it a cradle into a leg lock, into an STF! ZSJ keeps shifting to modify the crossface, then keeps pushing with his weight. Naito pushes back and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up, and ZSJ slowly stands. ZSJ grabs Naito’s leg for a spinning toehold. Naito clutches that bad leg, but ZSJ does the spinning tweak to his arm! ZSJ stalks Naito as he stands, and gives him a EuroUpper. Naito hits back with a forearm, but ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. Naito CHOPS ZSJ and sits him down.
ZSJ gets up to kick Naito in the leg again. Naito CHOPS, but ZSJ stays standing this time. ZSJ eggs Naito on so Naito fires off forearms until ZSJ sits down. Naito goes side to side for the basement dropkick! He brings ZSJ up but ZSJ gets a full nelson! Naito arm-drags ZSJ away but ZSJ comes back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ tries again but Naito back slides and back elbows to the tornado DDT! Naito keeps going, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches the arm but ZSJ kicks it! Naito kicks back and then whips. ZSJ reveres and catches the lariat into an Octopus! Naito endures as he steps towards ropes. ZSJ shifts to go after the arm, then cradles to a Calf Killer!
Naito endures leg pain, but he rolls. ZSJ keeps him trapped for a calf slicer, but Naito fights with his free leg. But ZSJ grabs it to make it part stretch muffler! Naito gets free and gets another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go but he grows frustrated. Fans rally for Naito again, but ZSJ gets up first. ZSJ EuroUppers Naito again and again and again, then even more in the corner. He throws Naito out to Penalty Kick him! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives, but barely. Michinoku keeps ZSJ focused as he gets up again. ZSJ lifts Naito but Naito slips out to waistlock. ZSJ elbows out and wants the Octopus, but Naito breaks free. Naito runs into an uppercut but enziguris, only for ZSJ to make it an ankle lock! ZSJ then reels Naito in but Naito standing switches, for a German Suplex!
Naito runs, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ barely survives, but Naito keeps on him. Naito wrenches the arm but ZSJ drops down, only for Naito to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ drags Naito into the European Clutch! TWO but barely! ZSJ and Naito go to opposite ends as they stand up. ZSJ kicks but Naito catches it to enziguri back. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into ZSJ’s scoop! But Naito slips out to scoop ZSJ, brainbuster! Fans are thunderous as Naito wrenches and whirls, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
The Ungovernable finally wins against the Submission Master! Naito did not tap out and he didn’t fall to the Zack Driver, but can Naito use this to launch himself back towards a title?
Taka Michinoku explains that Zack only just arrived yesterday. This loss was because of jet lag! He was battling jet lag and an opponent at the same time. But ZSJ dares Naito to come to England and see if this still happens. ZSJ will even fight him in a pub if he wants.
As for Naito, he finally got his revenge. To be precise, Naito won in last year’s G1, but yes he did lose in the 2018 New Japan Cup and G1. Therefore, Naito is 2-2 against ZSJ all-time. Naito appreciates ZSj, because this match had no upside for him and yet he took it. He has Naito’s thanks, “Gracias, amigo.” When and where will there be a tiebreaker for their overall series?
Another great hour version of this event. While there wasn’t a lot of Super Junior Tag League coverage on AXS, this triple threat finals was great to see. It was all an impressive match and I was really impressed to see that RPG3K got to repeat. I really hope this means Sho & Yoh get those titles off of Desperado & Kanemaru, that would be great for them. The evolution of these two from being the Tempura Boyz to the gold ‘n’ silver duo has been great to see, and while they’ve already had the titles, getting the titles again would just add to their great growth. Naito VS ZSJ 4 was also great, just as good as their previous matches. I’m glad to see Naito won this time, it works for his story of coming back around strong towards the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.7/10