Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Sengoku Lord in Nagoya!
NJPW’s newest event has a golden debut!
NJPW brings a new event to life with Sengoku Lord! The IWGP Intercontinental AND United States Championships are on the line in Nagoya!
Coverage of this event will be as broadcasted on AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Bad Luck Fale; Robinson wins and retains the IWGP United States Championship.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; Ibushi wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this inaugural event in Nagoya!
The Golden Star follows in the footsteps of The Ace and the King of Strong Style as he finally becomes Intercontinental Champion at G1 Supercard. But just as he begins his ascent, another wants to drag him back down. The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion has gone back and forth with Kota Ibushi between the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax. Will Ibushi break the tie and retain his new title? Or will Zack Sabre Jr. become a champion between two promotions?
But first, the Flamboyant Juice Robinson has been proudly building up his second reign, and was almost screwed by some Bullet Club foul play. The Rogue General took out Juice and vows to make that title his own. Will Bad Luck Fale be too big and too bad for Juice? Or will the United States Champion find a way to survive?
IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Bad Luck Fale!
AXS jumps right into the action as Fale has Juice down on the mat. Fale stalks Juice to a corner and drags him up to his feet. Fale pushes and forearms Juice hard in the back! Juice falls to his knee but Fale doesn’t let up. Fale shoves and forearms Juice again, then drags him up again. He shoves Juice a third time for a third forearm to the back. Fans cheer Juice on but Fale toys with him. Fale brings Juice up for a fourth shove, but Juice throws a big left! Juice fires up to throw more forearms, but Fale stays on his feet. Fale swings but Juice ducks and chicken wings Fale around. Fale spins through and breaks free, but Juice waistlocks, so Fale backs Juice to a corner. Fale’s free again but misses in the corner!
Juice grits his teeth as he gets up and runs back in for a clothesline! Juice gives point-blank lariats over and over, then fires up with Nagoya. He hobbles to the other end, and runs back in for one more clothesline! Juice sweeps the legs out to sit Fale down. Juice holds his bad back but powers through the pain for the cannonball! Fale is down but Juice’s back keeps him from covering. Juice goes to the apron and then up top. Fale stands and staggers, but he catches Juice out if the air! Juice fights out of the grip and manages a scoop, but Fale’s too big. Fale scoops but Juice slips out to chop block! Nagoya fires up again as Juice pumps up. Juice aims at Fale but Fale denies the Left Hand of God!
Fale lifts but Juice denies the Grenade, to get the scoop! But Fale’s weight topples Juice over to a cover! TWO, but barely! Fale and Juice slowly sit up. Juice rolls and crawls to a corner while Fale stands. Fale runs in corner to corner, for a big corner splash! He throws Juice down for a falling splash! Cover, TWO!! Juice escapes and fans cheer but Fale grows frustrated. Fale drags Juice up but he’s dead weight. Fale gets Juice up but Juice breaks free to jab! And jab, and jab, then bob ‘n’ weave to jab some more! Juice ducks again to dropkick Fale! Fale stays on his feet but Juice fires up again. Fans rally behind him as he runs, but into a SPEAR! Fale drags Juice up and loads up, GRENADE! Cover, TWO!? Juice lives and Fale can’t believe it!
Fale drags Juice up again but he’s dead weight like before. Fale prepares a bomb but Juice falls to the mat. Red Shoes checks on Juice but Fale drags Juice up. Fale has Juice up in the crucifix, but Juice escapes and boots. Fale blocks and pulls Juice in for the fireman’s carry. Juice fights out, LEFT HAND OF GOD! Fale flounders to the ropes and Juice climbs up top. Fans rally as Juice LEAPS for the crossbody! But Juice isn’t done there, he pumps up and throws another Left Hand of God! Juice scoop slams Fale!! Juice keeps going and hooks Fale for PULP FRICTION! Cover, Juice wins!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; still IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
And the Flamboyant reign continues! Juice shows incredible strength and endurance as he fells Fale! Is this the end of Bullet Club coming after Juice? Or will another one be gunning for Juice’s gold?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
It is once again #ZackSabreTime in NJPW. As always, Taka Michinoku wants to know who fans think will win. Ibushi is an amazing wrestler, but he is up against “the man who will become champion with a win today, the British Heavyweight Champion,” the Submission Master, Zack Sabrrrre, JUNIORRR~! Will one of ZSJ’s infinite holds make Ibushi #JustTapOut? Or will Ibushi keep ZSJ from going up to three belts at one time?
Ibushi makes his entrance, the belt is presented, and we begin this fifth-time-around tiebreaker, after the break!
NJPW on AXS returns with the ring of the bell. Fans are strongly behind Ibushi but ZSJ shrugs it off. Ibushi and ZSJ circle and Ibushi keeps his distance. ZSJ keeps pressing and gets Ibushi on the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break and SJ gives Ibushi a pie face. Ibushi kicks ZSJ right in the leg! ZSJ backs off quick but Ibushi waits for him to return. They circle again and ZSJ reels Ibushi in for a shoulder hold. Ibushi slips out and around but ZSJ slips back onto him. ZSJ flips Ibushi to the mat but Ibushi slips through. They go around and ZSJ keeps on top of Ibushi. ZSJ ghost pins, ONE, but ZSJ keeps on Ibushi to get a toehold.
ZSJ reaches for an STF but Ibushi resists so ZSJ goes full after the legs. He comes up over the top but Ibushi backs out. ZSJ wants the arms now and gets them to bring Ibushi into a stretch. Ibushi stands and works to turn ZSJ around. He gets the stretch on ZSJ but ZSJ pries free to throw a European Uppercut! Ibushi responds with another swift and sharp kick! ZSJ hurries away and out of the ring. Taka checks on ZSJ while Ibushi dares him to come back. ZSJ takes his time to stretch and walk it off before returning. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, then tie up. ZSJ gets around but Ibushi works against him. ZSJ has the wristlock and flips Ibushi down to a headscissor. Ibushi blocks with a leg but ZSJ floats on top while keeping the wristlock.
ZSJ hooks Ibushi’s head as he holds onto the Kimura, but Ibushi reaches back with his legs for a ropebreak. Fans applaud while ZSJ lets go. Ibushi checks his arms as he gets back up. He and ZSJ go again, and ZSJ reels Ibushi in for a wristlock to vicious wrenching. Ibushi gets up to spin, flip and kick ZSJ again! Ibushi kicks but gets caught into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but he pops out to huricanrana ZSJ down! ZSJ bails out and fans fire up with Ibushi. Ibushi slingshots but ZSJ gets clear to knee him low. ZSJ whips but Ibushi reverses to send him into railing. Ibushi runs in but ZSJ tosses him over, and Ibushi hits the second row of barriers. Fans are almost bowled over, but ZSJ boots Ibushi back. ZSJ has Ibushi in a hanging triangle on the railing!
Ibushi ends up tumbling back to ringside with ZSJ’s weight, and ZSJ holds on tight. Red Shoes tells him to get this back in the ring, so ZSJ lets Ibushi go. ZSJ puts Ibushi’s head through railing to pull him back against the top bar! He also hooks Ibushi’s face and makes it part abdominal stretch! Red Shoes reprimands then counts and ZSJ lets Ibushi go at 4. ZSJ puts Ibushi in the ring only to neck crank him on the apron! ZSJ holds onto Ibushi’s neck to use his feet for a cravat, that drags Ibushi off the apron! Ibushi is down while ZSJ is in the ring. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi but Ibushi is okay to continue. Red Shoes begins his 20 count and it climbs to 10 before Ibushi stands. Ibushi slowly gets in at 14 but ZSJ is on him again.
ZSJ grinds his knee in, then traps Ibushi’s arm while cranking the head and neck. ZSJ stomps Ibushi’s head into the mat! Ibushi still sits up and punches back, sitting ZSJ down! ZSJ grits his teeth and quickly half hatch suplexes Ibushi down! ZSJ grabs an arm and drags Ibushi up for EuroUppers and kicks against the ropes. Ibushi just gets mad and throws more body shots. ZSJ kicks Ibushi but that stomach shot still hurts. ZSJ drags Ibushi around for an Indian Deathlock, then sits up for the butterfly stretch. Ibushi endures, but ZSJ grabs the arms to make it a double stretch and cover! TWO, and ZSJ can’t believe Ibushi escapes. He toys with Ibushi but Ibushi only gets mad again. ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, but Ibushi fires forearms. ZSJ headbutts and snapmares Ibushi to a cravat.
Ibushi fights and endures as ZSJ cranks the neck. ZSJ even traps an arm in the cravat, but fans rally up for Ibushi. Ibushi scoops and slams ZSJ! Then kicks him right in the back! ZSJ scrambles to a corner but Ibushi runs in, only to get caught into an abdominal stretch! Ibushi falls to a knee and then the mat as ZSJ wraps him up. But they’re in the ropes so ZSJ lets go. Ibushi crawls while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ digs his elbow and knuckles into Ibushi’s neck and spine. ZSJ grabs a leg and twists the foot before pulling all the way back! Ibushi endures the modified Half Crab as ZSJ also traps one arm. ZSJ has Ibushi in the Crab deep but fans give Ibushi strength. Ibushi crawls and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go in frustration while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and ZSJ stalks Ibushi. ZSJ drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fires off hands. Ibushi forearms away but ZSJ wrenches and PELES the arm! ZSJ roundhouses and runs, but into Ibushi’s dropkick! Fans fire up while both men are down. ZSJ bails out but Ibushi slingshots to wipe ZSJ out! Ibushi grits his teeth and drags ZSJ up into the ring. Ibushi aims from the apron and springboards to missile dropkick ZSJ down! Fans fire up while Ibushi whips ZSJ corner to corner. ZSJ reverses but Ibushi goes up and over to get ZSJ with the powerslam! Then he moonsaults, but onto knees! ZSJ reels Ibushi into the triangle! Ibushi powers up and deadlifts ZSJ, but ZSJ grabs a foot! ZSJ sits up and reels Ibushi in deeper with a double armbar!
Ibushi endures as fans fire up. Ibushi reaches with a foot for another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Ibushi go again but stalks behind him. ZSJ drags Ibushi up in a full nelson, but Ibushi breaks free to arm-drag ZSJ. Ibushi deflects the boot to fire off a strike fest! Ibushi waits for ZSJ to sit up before he swings another kick. ZSJ ducks it to try a school boy, but Ibushi spins to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ has the European Clutch! TWO and Ibushi bridges back for a Japanese Clutch, TWO, into a straitjacket! But Ibushi rolls back to reverse it onto ZSJ! ZSJ wiggles it down but Ibushi uses that for a straitjacket German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! But Ibushi still has the wrists! ZSJ uses that to reel Ibushi in for a sunset! TWO, into a butterfly neck crank!
Ibushi endures all over again as ZSJ slips a foot under the throat. But Ibushi again uses his own feet for a ropebreak! ZSJ holds on until Red Shoes starts counting. Red Shoes reprimands ZSJ while Ibushi makes it to the corner. ZSJ runs in for a big EuroUpper, then snapmares Ibushi down. ZSJ aims at a groggy Ibushi, Penalty Kick misses! Ibushi boots ZSJ then swings another kick, but ZSJ catches it into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ uses that to waistlock Ibushi into the Half ‘n ‘Half! Bridging, TWO!! Ibushi escapes again and ZSJ is furious. ZSJ Penalty Kicks Ibushi down! Cover, TWO! ZSJ can’t believe Ibushi stays alive but fans are behind the Golden Star!
Ibushi crawls towards ZSJ but ZSJ slaps him away. ZSJ toys with Ibushi again, then kicks him in the chest. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ kicks him back down. Ibushi sits up with a smile on his face so ZSJ kicks him down again. But Ibushi sits up again, with grit teeth. ZSJ kicks but Ibushi sits right up! ZSJ bops and boops Ibushi with his foot but then boots, only for Ibushi to catch it. Ibushi stands and ZSJ just slaps him over and over. Ibushi puts the foot down, and ZSJ gets cocky. CHOP and ZSJ falls off his feet! ZSJ flounders and now Ibushi toys with him. Ibushi sits ZSJ up for forearm after forearm into his face. Ibushi starts kicking ZSJ right in the face but Red Shoes pulls him away. Red Shoes reprimands Ibushi but Ibushi is kicking ZSJ all the while!
Red Shoes gets Ibushi to stop, but then ZSJ gets up to SLAP Ibushi. Ibushi SLAPS ZSJ back and ZSJ wobbles. ZSJ slaps but Ibushi SLAPS. Ibushi fires off slap after slap, and ZSJ does his best to keep up. ZSJ catches Ibushi and then gets mores shots in, only to run into a CLUBBING clothesline! Ibushi fires up and drags ZSJ into the bomb. ZSJ slips out to guillotine then drops down a triangle hold! Ibushi stays on his feet and deadlifts ZSJ into the Last Ride! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives and Ibushi grows frustrated. But he still goes for another, but ZSJ escapes to scoop into the Zack Driver! But ZSJ can’t cover, he’s too exhausted! Fans are thunderous as Red Shoes checks on both men.
Ibushi and ZSJ slowly stir and head for each other. ZSJ grabs Ibushi and cranks the neck! But Ibushi roars and sits up. ZSJ throws EuroUppers but Ibushi throws forearms! They trade shots while on their knees. Ibushi guards his bad arm while throwing with his good arm. ZSJ matches him and they go faster and faster. Ibushi gets the edge and dares ZSJ to sit up again. ZSJ throws EuroUppers again but Ibushi evades to Snap Half ‘n’ Half! ZSJ ends up under the bottom rope but Ibushi crawls over. Ibushi drags ZSJ up on the apron, waistlock and deadlift, but ZSJ slips out to bring Ibushi around in the facelock! ZSJ climbs but Ibushi drops, so ZSJ has a hanging guillotine! Red Shoes counts and ZSJ lets go at 4, only to get a PELE!
Ibushi crawls away while Taka coaches up ZSJ. Ibushi shouts out the King of Strong Style, but ZSJ dodges! ZSJ rolls up and bridges, TWO!! But he quickly hooks and rolls, but Ibushi blocks the EuroClutch! ROUNDHOUSE! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi drags ZSJ up, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ is gasping for air but Ibushi brings down the knee pads as he gets back up. Ibushi drags ZSJ up by his wrists, but ZSJ dodges Kamigoye to crucifix into the Octopus! Ibushi reaches but ZSJ shifts, only for Ibushi to power out to a tilt-o-whirl, GTS! He sits ZSJ up, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; still IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The first defense is successful for the Golden Star! Will Ibushi continue to rise to the level of his wrestling idols, Tanahashi and Nakamura?
NJPW on AXS returns once more as Red Shoes helps Ibushi put on the belt. Ibushi celebrates, but here comes Tetsuya Naito! The former champion and one of Ibushi’s greatest rivals returns and joins Ibushi in the ring. “The next challenger for the IWGP Intercontinental title… I’m here to throw my hat in the ring.” Fans like the sound of that. Naito notes that if he doesn’t say what he’s thinking, then no one will know. “If there is any other wrestler out there that wants that belt, he should climb into the ring right now.” Naito waits to see if anyone else steps up. No one? Well that’s too bad. But then it’s decided: Naito is next! To all the people gathered in Aichi, what is Ibushi’s answer?
Ibushi takes up the mic, and as fans cheer him on, he says “TRANQUILO~!” Just stop talking. But Ibushi’s real answer: “Si! Let’s do it!” Naito eyes the belt then stands face to face with Ibushi. Naito then takes his leave while Ibushi addresses the fans. “Sorry about that.” Ibushi follows the two men he refers to as wrestling gods, and vows to surpass them! He has an announcement to make. Ibushi has officially signed full-time with NJPW! Nagoya is excited to hear that! He hopes they continue to support him in his quest. Ibushi assures his fans he’s here to stay, and the streamers fly for the true celebration! But with a rematch with Naito coming, will Ibushi’s reign last much longer?
A pretty great premiere for this new NJPW event, and NJPW knew to do it up big with two big title matches. We didn’t get to see as much of the IWGP United States Championship, but what we got was still good story telling of Fale the bigger man being a challenge for Juice. Great to see Juice pull off the victory, that grows both his power level but also the title’s. I wonder if there’s even anyone else in Bullet Club to challenge Juice. Perhaps their newest member, El Phantasmo, will make his debut soon and step up to Juice. Then the Intercontinental Championship match, in full, was incredible! But what else would we get from Ibushi VS ZSJ? Between Ibushi being fully signed to NJPW and it being too much for even ZSJ to have the Intercontinental and two different British titles at once, of course Ibushi wins.
Ibushi VS Naito again so soon sounds great, because again, they’re not going to have a bad match. It was a good touch for Naito to expect someone else to get in their way, and it made for a comical moment when no one did. I would think Ibushi wins again because he’s too big to lose in his second defense, and Naito’s already had the Intercontinental title enough lately. Maybe Naito should go for his dream of having both belts by starting from the top and go after Jay White and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Then he can circle back around to the Intercontinental Championship and bring us a big Winner Takes All title for title match, since that’s all the rage these days.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Champions are on a Rampage!
Four championships on one Friday night!
AEW Rampage hosts FOUR (non AEW) championship matches on one night! Will the champions make it through with their titles?
- AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico; Vikingo wins and retains the title.
- NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti; ZSJ wins and retains the title.
- NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura; Willow wins and retains the title.
- ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty; Shibata wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico w/ Jose!
Two of these men teamed up just last night on ROH to win a Six Man Tag, but now they are opponents for the top title in AAA Lucha Libre. Meanwhile, La Faccion Ingobernable’s Prince of Silver and Gold is hungry for gold, will he take it away from Vikingo?
The bell rings and the three circle. Fans rally up for “LUCHA! LUCHA!” and “LUCHA LIBRE!” Dralistico swings, Vikingo dodges, but then Komander ducks Vikingo’s kick! Dralistico picks Vikingo up, throws him at Komander, but Komander throws Vikingo back. Vikingo wheelbarrows and arm-drags Dralistico but handsprings through. Vikingo dodges Komander now, shoves him to ropes, but Komander springboards! Vikingo gets under the crossbody, Komander tumbles and rolls but Dralistico jumps over, and then Vikingo jumps over Dralistico. Komander jumps over Vikingo, Dralistico jumps over Komander again, and they cycle continues!
Fans fire up for jump after jump, and then the three stand off. Dralistico raises the LFI fist and the three circle. Dralistico shoves the other two to then DOUBLE SHOTGUN! They bail out, Dralistico runs to FLY! Dralistico wipes both men out and fans fire up! Dralistico RAMS Komander into steel steps, and then he runs and RAMS Vikingo into railing! Fans cheer, Jose pats Dralistico on the shoulder and Dralistico goes back to BOOT Komander down. Dralistico puts Komander in, aims and springboards, to SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Dralistico wants a faster count but the ref says his count was fair.
Dralistico stomps Komander but fans taunt him. Dralistico bails out, tells the fans he’s done with them, but then they boo. Dralistico goes back to the ring, brings Komander up and tells everyone to hush. Dralistico CHOPS and Komander sits right down! Fans cheer as Dralistico says one more time, and he CHOPS, and CHOPS, and whips Komander. Komander reverses, runs in but is put on the apron. Dralistico swings, Komander blocks, and then Komander CHOPS! Komander slingshots up but Dralistico trips him! Dralistico ROCKS Komander, puts him in the ropes, and then goes up the corner.
Fans fire up as Dralistico WOE STOMPS Komander to the apron!! Fans fire up but then Vikingo gets in to go up and up and AIRHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit on Dralistico and the fans are thunderous! Vikingo gets Dralistico and Komander in the ring, and then runs in at the corner. Dralistico stands up into the GAMANGIRI! Vikingo goes up the corner, to IMPLODER DRAGON RANA!! Fans fire up as Vikingo keeps Dralistico in the ring to then go up the ropes, OUTSIDE-IN PHOENIX SPLASH!! Cover, Komander breaks it! Fans fire up as this continues, they love “LUCHA! LUCHA!”
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Dralistico, Komander adds a knee, and they double whip corner to corner. Vikingo sends Komander in but Dralistico TOSSES him out! Vikingo and Dralistico step up face to face, and Vikingo CHOPS! Dralistico CHOPS! Vikingo CHOPS again! Dralistico drops to a knee, and fans rally up. Vikingo throws forearms but Dralistico gives them back. Dralistico then SOBATS, KNEES, and runs, but into a SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, TWO! Dralistico survives and Vikingo is a bit surprised. Fans continue to rally as Vikingo sees Komander on the apron. Vikingo storms up to throw forearms on Komander while Rampage goes picture in picture.
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Komander down to the floor, then he fires forearms on Dralistico. Vikingo gets the fans fired up as he whips corner to corner. Dralistico reverses, runs in, but Vikingo puts him on the apron. Dralistico bumps Viking off buckles, ROUNDHOUSES him, then springboards, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Vikingo is still in this and Jose is upset. Dralistico drags Vikingo up, pushes him to ropes, then goes out to look under the ring. He brings out a TABLE! Jose helps Dralistico set that up at ringside, then Dralistico goes to fetch Vikingo. Komander is there but Dralistico ROCKS him and RAMS him into railing.
Dralistico CHOKES Vikingo against the railing, Rampage returns to single picture, and Dralistico puts Vikingo in the ring. Fans rally up, Dralistico runs to SUPERKICK Komander in the corner! Dralistico tranquilos on the top rope and fans are torn. Dralistico runs side to side again but Komander avoids the boot wash to GAMANGIRI! Komander springboards and double jumps, FLYING RANA!! Not the cleanest but fans fire up. Vikingo returns, Komander goes Matrix to then arm-drag Vikingo around! And dropkick! Fans fire up again as Vikingo brawls with Dralistico on the outside, and Komander climbs the far corner!
Komander tightrope walks to double jump MOONSAULT! “This is Awesome!” as Komander puts Dralistico in the ring. Komander goes up the corner again, tightrope walks again, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, but Vikingo DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS it apart! Fans fire up as Dralistico flops out onto the table. Vikingo whips Komander, Komander reverses, but Vikingo goes up and Komander hits buckles! Vikingo then springboards to FLYING POISON-RANA Komander down!! Vikingo puts Komander out on the table with Dralistico, and then runs the ropes! Fans fire up as Vikingo goes up and 630 SENTONS through the senton!!
“This is Awesome!” but Dralistico avoided disaster! Dralistico puts Vikingo in, slashes his throat, POWER- RANA!! Cover, VIKINGO WINS!!
Winner: El Hijo del Vikingo, by pinfall (still AAA Mega Champion)
Dralistico is furious that victory was snatched away from him in an instant! But this is why you cannot underestimate El Hijo del Vikingo! Will his AAA Mega reign continue through the summer?
Backstage interview with Team Triple J.
Lexi Nair is with Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh, as well as Jeff & Karen Jarrett, “and the talk all week has been that you, Sonjay Dutt, and your group will be suspended.” WHAT?! Fined? Suspended? The only ones who should be facing that is AEW itself! They backed Triple J into a corner and they came out swinging like any real fighters would! Lethal feels that there should be consequences for Aubrey Edwards! She’s been against Triple J since the dawn of time! Something needs to be done about her! Jeff adds that there’s been enough talk these past five days. Should the heat go on the promotion? Should the heat go on Briscoe? On Aubrey?
The reality of the fact is, these five people are walking, talking, fire-breathing heat! But wait, here comes Mark Briscoe! He wants everyone to simmer down. There will be no suspensions, he assures us that. Mark talked with Tony Khan, Tony promised them there would be no suspensions. Because if Triple J is suspended, then they can’t be here. Because if they aren’t here, then they can’t get the ass whooping they deserve! Lethal wants Mark to hold on but Mark tells Lethal to shut up! We ain’t talking about Lethal! We’re talking about Jeff and KAREN! What?! “We?” Who is “we?!” AUBREY EDWARDS!!
Triple J cannot believe this. Aubrey wants Karen? Then there’s nothing but air and opportunity between them. So then Aubrey CHOKES Karen!! Karen and Aubrey start scrapping and Triple J, other refs and security rush in to stop this! When and where will Double J & the one true Karen have to face off with the Sussex County Chicken and one pissed off zebra?
NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti!
Speaking of just last night on ROH, the Frontman of TMDK just defended this belt against Rocky Romero to prove a point to “Samoan Joseph” about who is the better, harder working Television Champion. And here he is again as part of this championship edition of Rampage! Will the ZSJ Show continue on into the summer block? Or will NJPW have some #LightsCameraAction?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Action gets his 15 minutes of fame!
The bell rings and we’re on the clock. The two circle, fans rally, feel things out, and ZSJ shoots in to waistlock and full nelson. Then he spins Action to a cravat, but Action pries at the hold. ZSJ facelocks now, Action wrenches out of that but ZSJ rolls and slips away. Fans cheer this opening exchange and the two reset. Action shoots in but ZSJ avoids him. They tie up with knuckle locks, ZSJ bridges back and wrenches around to then wrangle Action with a top wristlock. Fans cheer and ZSJ digs a knee into the shoulder. Action rolls, cartwheels, arm-drags, but fans cheer as ZSJ holds onto the wrist!
ZSJ twists the wrist, bends the fingers, drags Action up and wrenches the arm to wrangle him again. Action keeps his shoulders up, fans rally, and Action kips up to wrench and MONKEY FLIP! But ZSJ still holds onto the wrist! Fans rally, ZSJ bends the fingers and he tortures Action’s arm. Action fights up but ZSJ keeps after the fingers. ZSJ flexes but Action stands. Action spins, flips and arm-drags free! Action then CHOPS ZSJ, then knuckle locks to go up and up and FLYING ARM-DRAG! ZSJ flounders up, Action DROPKICKS him down! Fans fire up as Action runs to IMPLODER TORNILLO! Cover, TWO!
ZSJ is still in this but he goes to a corner. Action runs in, but ZSJ dodges. Action goes up, leaps, and FLYING RANAS! ZSJ bails out, fans fire up and Action builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit into the railing! Fans are fired up with Action and he brings ZSJ back up. Action puts ZSJ in, slingshots, but ZSJ shoves him! Action lands safe but swings into body scissors, which ZSJ makes into a HANGING TRIANGLE! ZSJ did this to Rocky last night! The ref counts, ZSJ lets go at 4 and he drags Action back in, to WRING the arm out! Fans sing “OH~ Zack Sabre Junior~” as he stalks Action. ZSJ sits on the arm, hammerlocks it, and TWISTS!
Action writhes while fans are torn over the savagery. ZSJ gets Action’s leg, steps over to get the arm, and he STOMPS the arm! “OI! TV Tekkers, mates!” ZSJ stalks Action to a corner, brings him up and UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! “This is Awesome!” and ZSJ knuckle locks to wrench Action. Action endures as ZSJ twists the wrist more, and then ZSJ KICKS a leg. Action stays up so ZSJ wrenches and twists the wrist. Action throws body shots and CHOPS! ZSJ jumps on to drag Action down to a DISARMER! Action endures, reaches out, and fans rally. Action kicks around, ZSJ pulls on the arm, but Action gets the ROPEBREAK!
ZSJ lets go in frustration but he storms up to drag Action up. ZSJ has a double wristlock but Action endures. Fans rally, ZSJ jumps on to body scissor! Action stays up but ZSJ keeps on that arm. Action throws body shots, then suplexes high and HARD! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Action roars, runs, springboards, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives and fans rally up again. Action brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ fights the torture rack to wrench and PELE the arm! And then he drop toeholds Action so he can STOMP the arm again! Fans are torn while Action clutches the bad shoulder.
ZSJ drags Action up, but Action blocks the Pele to ENZIGURI! Action puts ZSJ up top, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. But ZSJ gets the bad arm to twist it! And YANK it! Action throws body shots, forearms, but ZSJ DECKS Action! ZSJ eggs on the fans, the fans cheer, and Action kips up! PELE!! Action runs corner to corner and jumps up to SUPER STEINER!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Action can’t believe it! Action drags ZSJ up, torture racks, but ZSJ has a SLEEPER! Action sputters, he starts fading! But Action powers up! ZSJ lets go, slips free, but Action drops to victory roll! TWO!!!
ZSJ KICKS Action in the leg! And then KICKS him in the arm! ZSJ is mad now, but he runs into a SUPERKICK! Action goes up, POISON-RANA!! ZSJ flops around, Action runs in again, “This is Awesome!” as Action SHOTGUNS ZSJ down! ZSJ is in the drop zone, Action goes up, SPLIT-LEG MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives again but Action goes right to the apron. Action springboards, but flies into a TAKEDOWN! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!!! Action flails around, but ZSJ gets the other arm! Modified Rings of Saturn, into JIM BREAKS ARMBAR!! Action verbally quits, ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (still NJPW World TV Champion)
Action’s 15 minutes of fame were really just over 10 minutes as The Frontman does it again! But now he moves on to defend this title at NJPW Dominion on Sunday against Jeff Cobb in a highly anticipated rematch. The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will ZSJ get crushed by the Imperial Unit?
NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura!
The Babe with the Power, too sweet to be sour, is the very-first NJPW Strong Women’s Champion after a powerful run at Resurgence. But will Willow make it through her first defense? Or will the Queen of Joshi take Willow’s throne already?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, we witness a historic first defense!
The bell rings and the two RAM each other! Fans rally up as Emi and Willow RAM shoulders again! And again! Emi eggs Willow on so she says okay! Willow runs, RAMS Emi, but Emi roars! Emi runs, Willow follows and runs Emi over! Fans fire up and Willow waves. Willow brings Emi up to snap suplex! Willow runs up to CHOP Emi in the corner, then follows her along the ropes. Willow CHOPS Emi in the other corner and fans rally up. Willow puts Emi in the third corner, CHOPS, CHOPS and MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Fans fire up but Emi avoids the big chop. Emi runs in but Willow goes out to the apron.
Emi stops from hitting buckles, but Willow still counter punches her! Willow then brings Emi up, and fans fire up as they go up the ropes! Emi fights the suplex, tries to suplex Willow, but Willow fights to try again. But Emi rakes the eyes! Emi runs to BODY CHECK Willow off the apron! Emi goes out, signals to media to move, and laughs before she TOSSES Willow at railing! Fans rally as Emi runs in to SPLASH Willow against the railing! The ring count climbs as Emi drags Willow up and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Emi puts Willow in the ring, taunts the fans a bit, soaks up some heat, and then takes her time going up the steel steps. Willow sits up, Emi steps in, but Willow throws body shots! Emi CHOPS Willow, Willow goes to ropes, and Emi CHOPS her again! Willow goes to a corner, Emi soaks up the heat, and she storms up to CHOP again! And again! And again! Emi swaggers around, storms back up, but Willow CHOPS! And CHOPS! And ROCKS! Willow CHOPS again! Willow falls, Emi hurries to sit her up into a DRAGON SLEEPER! Willow endures, fights around, but Emi cranks the hold!
Fans rally, Willow fights but Emi pushes her to a cover, TWO! Willow is free of the hold, but Emi CHOPS her! And CHOPS her again! Willow eggs Emi on but Emi pokes her in the eye! The ref reprimands but Emi just grins. Emi brings Willow up to HEADBUTT! Willow staggers but she throws body shots. Emi eggs Willow on and SLAPS her! Emi brings Willow around to reel her in and hook the arms. But Willow fights with body shots! Willow fires off but Emi CLUBS her down as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns and Willow has Emi in a corner. Willow goes corner to corner to back body block! And clothesline! And snapmare to then go up. Emi stands, Willow MISSILE DROPKICKS! Cover, TWO! Emi survives, maybe even got Willow’s eyes again, but Willow comes back. Willow fireman’s carries but Emi slips fere to the DRAGON SLEEPER! Emi laughs, to TWISTING DDT! Willow staggers to a corner, Emi grins and runs in, BODY CHECK in the corner! Emi goes up top to TWISTING VADER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and Emi is frustrated. Emi reels Willow in, hooks the arms, but Willow fights again!
Willow Alabama Lifts but Emi sunset flips! Willow rolls through to BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Emi survives but Willow just runs in, only for Emi to sidestep and roll-up! TWO, but Emi steps over. Willow powers out of La Magistrol, and DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Willow fires up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Willow fires up again, swings, but Emi gets around to CHOP LARIAT!! Both women are down and the fans fire back up! The ref checks and both women are still in this. Emi drags Willow up, fans rally, but Emi underhooks the arms. BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER!! Emi fires up, she’s not done here!
Fans are thunderous as Emi waits on Willow to rise. Emi then CHOPS, CHOPS, and CHOPS again! MACHINE GUN CHOPS, but Willow shoves her away. Emi CHOP LARIATS, then whips corner to corner. Willow comes back to POUNCE Emi into the corner! Fans fire up as Willow runs to CANNONBALL! And then she drags Emi out to high stack, TWO!! Emi is still in this and fans fire up! But the straps come down and Willow fires up! Fans fire up with her, she reels Emi in to gut wrench, but Emi fights the lift! Emi slips free to SLAP! SLAP! And SLAP! Emi runs, but Willow CLOBBERS her!
Gut wrench, and BABE WITH THE POWER BOMB!! Cover, Willow wins!
Winner: Willow Nightingale, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Women’s Champion)
Now that’s a first defense for the history books! How much better will Willow make this inaugural reign if this is just the beginning?
BREAKING NEWS for Dynamite!
After their encounter with Dralistico and Preston Vance last Wednesday, #JungleHook reunites for a TEXAS TORNADO TAG MATCH! Will Jack Perry & The FTW Champion tear apart La Faccion Ingobernable?
BIG news for ROH!
On Friday, July 21st in Trenton, New Jersey, ROH returns to PPV with Death Before Dishonor! Tickets go on sale next Friday, June 9th!
Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.
“Tonight, two technical masters go face to face when Lee Moriarty takes on Shibata for the ROH Pure Championship.” Nigel McGuiness says a competitor like Shibata can pick you apart, one body part by another. But Tony Schiavone and Taz say not enough is said about just how talented Moriarty is for such a young wrestler. It looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s TIME for the main event!
ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty!
The Wrestler defended this title just last night on ROH against his student, Alex “The Android” Coughlin. But now he faces #TAIGASTYLE, who has come close to snatching this title for his own not too long ago. Will tonight be Moriarty’s night? Or will Shibata make it through this Pure Wrestling Double Header?
The introductions are made, our judges are BJ Whitmer, Christopher Daniels & Jerry Lynn, and the belt is raised as we see who is truly THE Wrestler!
The bell rings and the clock is ticking on this 60 minute time limit. The two feel things out, Moriarty shoots in but Shibata holds him off with a sprawl. They clinch on the mat, Shibata slips to a waistlock and then a chinlock. Moriarty slips free but Shibata pushes him to a cover, ONE! Shibata wraps Moriarty up with his own arm and then goes for the armbar! Moriarty clasps hands but ends up in a TRIANGLE! Moriarty falls onto the ROPEBREAK, that is his first of three. Shibata even lets Moriarty know it as they reset. They knuckle lock, go shoulder to shoulder, clinch, and Moriarty tries for a leg.
Shibata powers Moriarty down, gets around to a waistlock, and they stand up. Moriarty pries the hold, fans cheer this technical exchange, but then Moriarty elbows free! Moriarty stomps Shibata into a corner, the ref counts, but Moriarty digs his boot in. Fans boo, but Shibata powers up to back Moriarty down! Shibata throws the foot down but Shibata ROCKS him! Moriarty runs to dropkick the legs out! Fans boo while Moriarty grits his teeth, and then the fans rally up for Shibata as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Moriarty mocks the applause as he stands over Shibata. Moriarty then says they can stop all that, and he grabs a leg to DDT the foot! Moriarty kips up, air guitars, and he ties up Shibata’s legs into a unique crisscross toehold. Then he sits with it for a modified stump puller! Shibata’s shoulders are down, Moriarty is practically stealing Darby Allin’s Last Supper! TWO as Shibata kicks out and Moriarty argues the count. Moriarty drags Shibata around, stomps a leg, then stomps it more and more before another DDT to the foot! Moriarty mocks the clapping from the fans, and then he drags Shibata around for a spinning toehold!
Shibata endures as Moriarty ties up the legs into another cross toehold. Moriarty puts Shibata into an Indian Deathlock, then he knuckle locks Shibata for a cover. TWO as Shibata gets an arm up! Moriarty pushes the arm back down, TWO as Shibata gets the other arm up! Moriarty pushes that arm down, TWO as Shibata gets both arms up! Moriarty CHOPS Shibata, pushes on the legs, then lets Shibata go. Moriarty gets a leg, hooks it, and ties Shibata up in another cross toehold, only for Shibata to trip him! Shibata gets Moriarty’s legs, steps through, but Moriarty fights the figure four! Shibata powers through to sync it in!
Moriarty endures, reaches out, but his shoulders are down. TWO as Moriarty sits up, Shibata keeps on the pressure, and Moriarty falls back onto his shoulders. TWO as he sits up again! Shibata has the extended leg caught in a heel hook behind his back! Moriarty falls back again, shoulders are down, TWO as he sits back up! Moriarty endures, reaches out, claws at the hold, and he pries it open. Shibata works to keep it on tight, Moriarty is down again, TWO! Moriarty sits up, Shibata thrashes around, and Rampage returns to single picture. Fans rally, Moriarty drags Shibata along as he reaches back, but Shibata drags him from the ropes!
Moriarty scrambles and goes to the opposite side, ROPEBREAK! That’s his second, he has one left, and we’ve only just past six minutes! Shibata stomps Moriarty’s bad leg, has him in a corner, and he fires off forearms! The ref counts, Shibata fires again and again, but lets off at 4. Shibata runs corner to corner but Moriarty follows to KNEE him in the corner! And then HALF HATCH BRIDGE! TWO as Shibata fights out of the “pancake.” Moriarty HAMMERS away on the back of Shibata’s head! Fans rally, Moriarty suplexes, but Shibata blocks! Shibata powers out but Moriarty kicks low!
Moriarty runs but into a kitchen sink knee! Fans rally, Shibata stomps his legs into working, and he storms up on Moriarty. Shibata drags Moriarty up to whip him to a corner and BOOT! And he fires off more forearms! The ref counts, Shibata runs corner to corner, HYDRAULIC DROPKICK! Fans fire up for that Shibata signature and he drags Moriarty up. HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO! Moriarty is still in this but Shibata clamps right on with a chinlock! Moriarty fights to the ROPEBREAK, but that’s his last! Shibata waistlocks. Moriarty switches to roll up, TWO! But Moriarty rolls with to get the BORDER CITY STRETCH!!
Shibata endures, Moriarty pulls him back, but fans rally up. Shibata rolls things to a cover, TWO! Moriarty ROCKS Shibata, winds up, but Shibata ROCKS Moriarty! And then SLEEPER!! Shibata sits Moriarty down, runs, PENALTY KICK!! Cover, Shibata wins!!
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata, by pinfall (still ROH Pure Champion)
Just past nine minutes and Shibata finishes things off, but wait! Daniel Garcia is here! The Dragonslayer is a former ROH Pure Champion, and he’s walking out right to the ring! Garcia steps in, he swaggers up to Shibata, and it is clear this is what’s next for Shibata. Shibata raises the belt to signal his accepting the challenge, will The Wrestler put down this sports… enner-tay-ner?
A great Rampage here, though I’m surprised this wasn’t just a Battle of the Belts special. Excalibur said it himself on commentary in the main event, but it was great to start off with the epitome of lucha libre and finish on Strong Style technical wrestling. The AAA Mega Championship was a great opener, and was definitely another instance where I’m grateful we can pause things because they were going fast and furious. Or maybe at Flash speeds, since that’s a Warner Brothers movie they could plug. But as I figured going into this, all the champions retained, since none of these were AEW titles (directly, since ROH is a subsidiary of AEW now).
The NJPW World Television Championship continues to be a great title to watch because of the 15 minute time limit speeding things up. Likewise, ZSJ is always a great wrestler to watch, but so hard to write for cuz he has the biggest collection of named signature moves/holds of any wrestler I’ve seen. I had to double check what he was using to make Action tap, because I keep thinking things are Clarky Cat when they’re not Clarky Cat. ZSJ is setting a very high bar for this title, maybe he retains against Cobb at Dominion or maybe he loses, but it’s going to be hard for the second-ever NJPW World TV Champion to match what ZSJ has done.
Great first title defense for Willow and this title, she and Emi put on a great match. I wonder when Willow has her first defense on NJPW Strong, and who she’ll be facing. And we got a great Pure Championship match to finish, and I’m surprised it was so quick, even compared to the NJPW World TV Championship match. But great win for Shibata, I like that Garcia is stepping up, and that’s going to be an awesome match. I don’t know if they’re going to wait until Death Before Dishonor in July for that match, but knowing AEW and ROH, they can find a way to stretch things out. Especially with Garcia also busy being part of JAS and doing JAS things.
My Score: 8.7/10
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Is the Bloodline finished?
SmackDown celebrates The Tribal Chief!
Roman Reigns celebrates 1000 DAYS as WWE Universal Champion, but what does it matter after Jimmy Uso betrayed him at Night of Champions?
- Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly; Theory & Pretty Deadly win.
- The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab; The Good Brothers win.
- Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans; Vega wins and advances to MITB.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford; Knight wins and advances to MITB.
PLAY BY PLAY
Paul Heyman speaks.
“Roman Reigns, your Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, stands at the apex of sports entertainment. Nearly three years ago, Your Tribal Chief reclaimed his Universal Championship. And as time passed, Roman’s title reign has surpassed legends, icons, hall of famers. On the Grandest Stage of Them All, the Head of the Table smashed and stacked his competition. Then humbled a Hall of Famer, and sent a 16-time world champion into the Ocean of Obscurity. Every contender, unable to withstand Roman’s sheer dominance and forced to…” ACKNOWLEDGE him.
“Challenger after challenger, crumble at his feet. And at his second Showcase of the Immortals as your reigning champion, Roman Reigns conquered The Beast, unifying the WWE and Universal titles on his 581st day as the champion in WWE. His power persisted. His Bloodline strengthened. His legacy flourished. Greatness on a different level. And on his 945th day, the greatest champion of any era made history by retaining his championship for the third straight WrestleMania. And now, it’s time to acknowledge the longest reign in over 35 years, over 1000 days. Roman. Reigns…!”
Austin Theory is in the ring.
The Now may not have reached even half of what Roman has achieved, but he is the United States Champion. He welcomes us to Austin Theory Live but the fans boo. Theory says they don’t need to have an attitude. Tonight is a very special night. “Tonight is the celebration of your Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns’ historical title reign. But you know what’s even better than that? If you took Roman’s title reign, and you combined it with the greatest United States Champion of all time… wait for it… Austin Theory’s reign, and you’d have… What is that? A total of 1,209 days! That is impressive. And not only that, it is very inspiring.
“It is almost as inspiring as being the guy who beat John Cena at WrestleMania.” Fans boo but Theory says we should face it. Let’s not be idiots! We all know Theory will have his 1000th day celebration for his title, and a 2000th, and maybe even a 3000th. Probably a 4000th. But if they just keep giving him guys like Sheamus, he’ll be the US Champion forever! “Guys, you really can’t boo me because I’m 25 and I’m the greatest to ever do this. And when you’re this great, everybody wants to gravitate towards you, they wanna be a part of it.” That brings Theory to the guys he wants to bring out.
These two guys did what was right! Theory presents none other than Pretty Deadly! Kit Wilson & Elton Prince make their entrance, and their theme song has a new remix, and they join Theory in the ring. They get mics, and Kit tells Theory, “We came here to tell you, that it was a pleasure destroying those ugly gremlins, the Brawling Brutes.” Elton says that unlike Sheamus, Theory is a champion the people deserve. They wanna show Theory their appreciation for such a good champion, in a way that only they can! “YES BOY~!” And they point to him! Feels good, right? But wait, here come the Brawling Brutes!
Fans fire up as Sheamus leads Ridge Holland & Pete Dunne out to the ring, ready for Fight Night! The ref hurries in to keep the peace, but will Theory & Pretty Deadly be leaving in pieces?
Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly!
The trios sort out, Ridge starts against Elton. Elton headlocks, Ridge powers out and he CLOBBERS Elton! Fans fire up as Ridge UPPERCUTS Elton, then HEADBUTTS him to a corner. Ridge adds a clothesline, then bumps Elton off the buckle, KICKS him in the back and CLOBBERS him again! Ridge drags Elton up, tags in “Butch,” and they coordinate, suplex dropkick combo! Dunne drags Elton up, wrenches, but Elton throws body shots. Elton RAMS Dunne into the corner, tags in Kit, and Kit runs in to UPPERCUT! Dunne clutches his jaw while fans boo. Kit drops elbows, rains down hands, then covers, TWO!
Kit sits Dunne into a chinlock. Dunne endures, fans rally for Sheamus, and Dunne fights up. Dunne powers out, drops then hurdles to then drop and CLOBBER Kit! Fans fire up, Dunne stands on Kit’s hands, then STOMPS them! Kit ducks the buzzsaw and scrambles away. Tag to Theory, fans boo, and Theory tells Dunne he wants Sheamus! Fans fire up because they want that, too! Dunne tags Sheamus in and the Mohegan Sun Arena are fired up! These two circle, but then Theory bails out, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Elton has Dunne down with a top wristlock. Fans rally, Dunne endures and he fights up to his feet. But Elton throws him down by his hair! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Elton grabs at Dunne. Dunne grabs Elton’s fingers! Dunne bends the fingers, Elton screams, but Elton CLUBS Dunne down! Tag to Theory and he runs to BLAST Ridge! Theory taunts Sheamus, stomps Dunne, then brings Dunne up to CLUB him down. Fans rally for Dunne but Theory flexes on him. Theory drags Dunne over, tags in Kit, but Dunne kicks at Theory. Kit stomps Dunne, stands him up and UPPERCUTS him down!
Tag to Elton and Theory CHOKES Dunne behind the ref’s back! Pretty Deadly stomp while the ref is busy with Sheamus. Elton drags Dunne up but Dunne CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Elton ROCKS Dunne, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Dunne goes up, leaps, FLYING DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Dunne and Elton crawl, hot tags to Theory and Sheamus! The Fella rallies on Theory! And clotheslines in the corner! Whip corner to corner for another clothesline! Scoop and POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as Sheamus ROCKS Pretty Deadly and has them both on the ropes!
But Theory rolls Sheamus up! TWO!! Sheamus gets Theory with an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Then an IRISH CURSE for Kit! And then an IRISH CURSE for Elton! Fans fire up and the Brutes return. Everyone fireman’s carries someone, for a TRIPLE WHITE NOISE! Fans are thunderous and Sheamus has Theory all alone! BROGUE!!! Cover, but Pretty Deadly drag Theory out! Sheamus hurries up top!? Ridge BLASTS Pretty Deadly, Sheamus steadies himself, and he FLYING LARIATS Pretty Deadly back down! Dunne goes up, everyone gathers, ASAI MOONSAULT onto Theory & Pretty Deadly!
Fans are thunderous as the Brutes prove they can fly! Sheamus commends Butch for topping things off, and SmackDown goes to break.
Elton stomps Dunne. Elton brings Dunn up but Dunne gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Kit runs in but into an ENZIGURI! ENZIGURI for Theory! GAMANGIRI for Kit in a corner! GAMANGIRI for Elton in a corner! Tag to Ridge and SPLASHES Elton! Then Ridge brings Elton up, Dunne joins in, BACK SUPLEX BOMB COMBO! Sheamus tags in and goes up for a KING KONG KNEE DROP! Cover, TWO!! Elton survives but Sheamus keeps his cool. Sheamus drags Elton up, reels him in, Canadian rack but Elton fights free of the crucifix! Elton BOOTS Sheamus, tags Kit, then gives Kit the boost, CRY MARTINI!
Theory tags in, drags Sheamus up to ROCK him and torture rack him! TOWER HACKER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Theory is furious and he rains down fists! Fans boo while Theory seethes and looms over Sheamus. Theory talks trash, brings Sheamus up, but Sheamus blocks a body shot to LARIAT point blank! Elton gets in but Ridge gives him an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Kit DROPKICKS Ridge but Dunne ENZIGURIS Kit! Dunne runs at Theory but Theory shovels him up and out! Theory somersaults, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives and Sheamus is too tired to be upset. Both men crawl and fans rally up.
Sheamus and Theory reach out, hot tags to Elton and Ridge! Kit tags in, but The Fridge picks Elton up! Kit saves Elton, but then Ridge picks them both up! DOUBLE back drop! Fans fire up as Ridge kicks Kit to the apron. Sheamus has Theory, and Dunne has Elton! Fans fire up for the TRIPLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN!! The Brutes all go to 10, though Dunne gets a little extra. Ridge then scoops for NORTHERN GRIT! Cover, but Theory breaks it! Dunne swings on Theory but into A-TOWN DOWN! Sheamus clotheslines Theory out! Sheamus pursues Theory, but Theory POSTS Sheamus!
Kit and Elton coordinate, they pull a sneaky move by hiding Elton under the apron skirt. The matching outfits make Ridge think that’s still Kit! Ridge drags Elton in, and surprise! Kit CHOP BLOCKS Ridge! Kit tags Elton, they get Ridge up for SPILT MILK!! And tag to Theory so he can cover, Theory & Pretty Deadly win!
Winners: Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly, by pinfall
The three of them hurry away before Dunne returns, having pulled another fast one. Will Kit & Elton be heading towards the tag titles? Will anyone be able to take the US Championship from Theory?
Paul Heyman is backstage.
The Wise Man is holding onto both the black WWE Championship and blue Universal Championship belts for the Tribal Chief as he walks up to the private suite. Heyman walks inside, is he going to discuss the celebration plans with Roman Reigns during the break?
SmackDown returns, and Heyman’s talking with Solo Sikoa. The magnitude that has never been accomplished before in the WWE. This needs to be special for the Tribal Chief, especially given what happened at Night of Champions. Heyman wants this to be special for Roman Reigns. And he knows Solo feels the same way. Heyman will go talk with Adam Pearce to make sure that Solo’s brothers, The Usos, are nowhere to be found tonight so that this is the night that we acknowledge Roman… Reigns! Heyman smiles and heads out, how does Solo really feel about what Jimmy did to Roman?
The OC talk backstage.
The Good Brothers are worried but Mia Yim says it’s fine, tonight is his birthday. AJ Styles walks in and they say happy birthday! Yes, it IS his birthday! And he apologizes for losing at Night of Champions, he ruined their night. No, no, it is not his fault. But you take the L, keep it moving. The OC has their back. But did anyone else see the “diss” track by Hit Row? Yeah, but Styles would rather see the Good Brothers drop Hit Row. Too Sweet, baby! And that match is happening next! Will Top Dolla & Ashante THEE Adonis think twice before opening their mouths next time?
The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab!
SmackDown returns as Hit Row makes their entrance. The teams sort out, but Adonis ambushes Karl Anderson! Fans boo and the ref counts while Adonis stomps away, but then he lets off at 4. Adonis whips to CLOBBER Anderson, then he taunts Luke Gallows. Anderson goes to a corner, Adonis drags him out and tags Dolla. Hit Row whip Anderson to a corner, then Dolla whips Adonis in to RAM Anderson! Dolla talks trash on The Machine Gun, then reels him in for an ELBOW! Dolla talks more trash, drags Anderson to the ropes, and he CHOPKES him! The ref counts, Dolla lets off and tags Adonis.
Adonis runs to STRADDLE ATTACK! Adonis sits on Anderson while smoothing his hair, but lets off as the ref counts. The ref argues with Adonis and B-Fab sucker punches Anderson! Michin storms up and B-Fab backs off. Adonis covers, TWO, but he clamps onto a chinlock. The ref has Michin and B-Fab back off, and fans rally as Anderson fights up. Anderson throws body shots but Adonis CLUBS him! Adonis whips, Anderson reverses, SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down. Fans rally, Anderson hot tags Gallows! Doc BOOTS Adonis, BOOTS Dolla, then DECKS Adonis!
Gallows ROUNDHOUSES Adonis to a corner, runs in and back elbows! Then he keeps moving, FLYING UPPERCUT on Adonis! Fans fire up as Gallows scoops to AK 47! Tag to Anderson, the Good Brothers get Adonis up, MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, Good Brothers win!
Winners: The Good Brothers, by pinfall
But Dolla BOOTS Anderson! And CLOBBERS Gallows! But Styles springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Fans fire up as the birthday boy gets him some, and The Hit Row? They don’t want none! Will The OC be too sweet all the way to some gold?
Adam Pearce is on the phone.
Yes, he is very excited, this is perhaps one of the biggest nights in SmackDown history. He excuses himself and ends the call as he sees Heyman walking in. Pearce tells Heyman right now that the Usos’ travel was canceled, they were told they weren’t needed tonight. And as requested, should The Usos want to show up, security has been doubled. The Usos are NOT getting inside the building. Heyman smiles and puts a call into Roman Reigns. Will nothing go wrong during the 1000 Day Acknowledgment?
BREAKING NEWS for Raw!
Seth Rollins put out the open challenge for his NEW World Heavyweight Championships on social media and it was quickly accepted by Damian Priest! Will the Judgment Day add more gold when the Punisher brings down The Visionary?
SmackDown presents an all new Grayson Waller Effect.
The 21st Century Success Story, “The Dynamite from Down Under, the Moment Maker, the Aussie Icon,” gets the big introduction once again as he’s already in the ring. And he says, “What a week it has been here in the WWE, and we’re gonna keep it rolling with the most honest talk show in WWE history.” Waller brings us the biggest and the best, and he’s done it again tonight. So please welcome the NEW Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA~! The fans do like that as the Empress of Tomorrow walks out with the belt on her shoulder. She joins Waller in the ring and at the desk as he welcomes her to the show.
Waller says, “Congratulations, what an incredible performance against Bianca at Night of Champions. In fact, let’s see exactly how you got it done.” Waller and Asuka look to the tron as we all see a Progressive Match Flo recap video of that match. Asuka used blue mist fingers to finish Bianca, and Waller says wow. Asuka laughs and smiles, and in Japanese, she says “I told you saw! I’m the Raw Women’s Champion!” Waller says he could not have put it better himself! But he can’t help but notice the briefcases above the ring. There’s no shortage of people who think they’re ready for Asuka. They’re gonna climb the ladder, win the briefcase to be Miss MITB, and maybe cash in on her?
Waller says Asuka’s gotta keep her head on a swivel. Nevermind that Bianca’s gonna come looking for a rematch. Asuka is amused there. She reenacts how she spat mist on her finger, got Bianca in the eyes and made Bianca cry. Waller is amused, too! He says that was so true. And so smart! He can’t imagine the pain and suffering Bianca went through. Asuka’s even drooling some blue mist right now. Waller looks a bit worried, but also maybe excited. But then IYO SKY shows up! She tells Asuka in Japanese that she’s nothing special for what she did. And Iyo won’t even need MITB to take that title from! But she’s still gonna win it, and then Iyo will be the new champion!
Asuka laughs, and tells Iyo she’s a child, the way she’s storming up in here. Iyo tells Asuka to shut up, dammit! Asuka calls Iyo an idiot, Iyo calls Asuka a scumbag, and they go back and forth like that. Waller has them stop, this is HIS show, he did not approve a second guest! But wait, here comes BAYLEY! The Role Model says Iyo said that after both Iyo and Bayley qualify for the MITB, one of them is winning the MITB briefcase. Though it is every woman for themselves, and Bayley’s won it before, so either way, DMG CTRL will win the title- Wait! Here comes Shotzi!
Fans fire up as the Wild Child says, “Awww, Bayley! There is NOTHING that I would love more than to crush your dreams with the help of some cold, hard steel! Because, if there is anyone made for the pure chaos of the Money in the Bank Ladder match, it’s me!” Wait, here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier is embodying Sergeant Slaughter and she tells Shotzi to shut up and salute her! Fans boo but Lacey says none of these nasty things are taking the briefcase anywhere, it’s coming home with her. But first, she’ll take her Cobra Clutch, wrap it around that “shrimp,” Zelina Vega, and-
Wait! Here comes Zelina! Fans fire up as La Muneca says there is only one problem with everyone’s plans. They are all underestimating Zelina. And y’know who else did that? Rhea Ripley at Backlash. Because Zelina was this close to becoming champion! So “Shrimp?” Keep that energy, Lacey. Because to be honest, even if Lacey got her hair done, her nails done and traded in those “piss soaked boots” for red bottoms, you still wouldn’t be half the woman Zelina is. So please, underestimate her. Everyone do that. Because it will be that much sweeter when she wins. Because that is how she is going to become Miss MITB!
Bayley laughs and says they’re all idiots. Waller says this is the best day of his life. Bayley asks him what kind of show he’s running here, and he’s hoping for more ladies to show up. Asuka slips away to say, “Hey hey hey hey! NO ONE is ready for Asuka!!” But then Bianca storms up to ROCK Asuka with a forearm! They brawl on the stage and fans fire up! Referees rush out to stop that scrap, only for Bianca to break lose and hit Asuka again! The refs and even some producers get in to separate them again, but fans wanna “Let Them Fight!” Will the angriEST Bianca be coming after the Empress?
Cameron Grimes talks with Adam Pearce backstage.
They watch a replay of Baron Corbin ruining Carmelo Hayes’ moment just last Tuesday on NXT, and Grimes said that’s exactly what Corbin did to him last week. Is Corbin even here? No, and with his free agency status, the next time we see him will be next Tuesday on NXT. Grimes says Melo will handle that. But the next time Corbin shows his face on SmackDown, Grimes will handle that. Pearce nods, will the Carolina Caveman crush Baron Corbin?
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans!
Since everyone was already at ringside, this match is happening now! And Vega is already clutching her jaw, it seems the Model Soldier got a cheap shot in while everyone was watching Asuka and Bianca. Will Vega still be able to humble Lacey for underestimating her? Or will another Woman’s Right simply take Vega out?
The bell rings and Lacey stomps Vega into the corner! The ref counts, fans boo, but Lacey lets off at 4. Lacey stands on Vega’s hair and salutes, then lets off to SWINGING BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey pushes Vega around, covers, TWO! Lacey sits Vega up, and clamps on the COBRA CLUTCH! And she SWINGS Vega around! Fans rally for Vega but Lacey TOSSES her away! Lacey dusts off her hands, runs in, but Vega goes up and over and rolls Lacey, Schoolgirl Kick! Cover, TWO! Vega whips, Lacey reverses but Vega KICKS her! Only for Lacey to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Lacey dribbles Vega off the mat, then smirks as fans boo.
Lacey salutes but fans boo, and Vega hits low. Lacey BOOTS Vega, drags her from ropes and stands on her for a cocky cover. The ref says it’s on the throat! Lacey steps off to argue with him, and then Lacey clamps onto Vega with a chinlock. Fans rally but Lacey throws knees into Vega’s side! Vega still endures, fans rally up, and Vega kicks from below! Lacey drags Vega up but Vega RAMS her into a corner! And again! Vega smacks Lacey off buckles, headlocks and springboards for a headlock takeover! Lacey runs in but into the tilt-o-whirl and CODE RED!! Cover, VEGA WINS!
Winner: Zelina Vega, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
What did she just say about underestimating her? Because there’s the proof! Lacey toyed with Zelina but got played, will Zelina soon be La Muneca en el Banco?
The LWO celebrates backstage.
They are so proud of Vega! Latinos around the world are going to gather in celebration! And next week, when Escobar wins his qualifier and win the MITB contract, oh he can see it now. She can see it, too. Rey Mysterio can see it, too! It is only a matter of time before the entire locker room refers to them as Santos y Zelina, Mr. and Mrs. Money in the Bank! Will the LWO soon take over London?
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford!
The Mega Star told the Street Profits that if they want the smoke, he’ll be the one to burn ’em! Is that not an insult but just a fact of life? Or will #KingTez be the one saying “YEAH!” on the way to London?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up, the two tie up, and Knight wrenches to a hammerlock, and he slaps Ford around. Fans rally for “L A KNIGHT! L A KNIGHT!” The two circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Knight powers out the back to hammerlock, but Ford switches it onto him. Knight switches back, Ford switches again, Knight switches again. They keep going, Knight gest the ROPEBREAK, but Ford slaps him around now. Fans are a bit torn but Knight gets heated. Knight shoves, Ford shoves, repeat! Fans are on Knight’s side as the two tie up again but Ford headlocks. Knight powers out but Ford runs him over!
Ford actually seems to enjoy upsetting the Knight fans, and things speed up. Knight hurdles, but Ford whips him away to keep things moving. Ford hurdles, Knight hurdles, but Ford DROPKICKS! Fans are salty as Ford clotheslines Knight in the corner. And then in another corner! Ford whips Knight into the corner, runs in but Knight puts Ford on the apron. Ford ROCKS Knight back! But Knight BLASTS Ford! Fans cheer Knight while Ford crawls and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and both men collide! Fans rally up while both men are down, and then Knight stands. Knight throws haymakers but Ford gives them back! They go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford gets the edge, whips, but Knight reverses, only for Ford to LARIAT! Ford rallies on Knight, ducks ‘n’ dodges to LARIAT again! Knight gets up, Ford hits a BIG back suplex! Ford kips up, fans fire up, and Ford flexes to MOONSAULT, but Knight moves! Ford lands on his feet, swings but misses, and Knight torture racks! SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up, Knight stalks Ford and fans duel. Knight stands Ford up but Ford elbows him! Ford runs in but into an elbow! Ford falls over, Knight tries a springboard, LIONSAULT FLOPS as Ford moves! Ford ENZIGURIS Knight, then fires up to clinch and ROCK BOTTOM! Cover, TWO!! Knight survives and Ford is seething. Fans fire up as Ford drags Knight up. Ford whips, Knight KICKS back! Ford doges the lariat, both men run, DOUBLE LARIATS take them down! Fans fire up again while the ref checks both men. Knight and Ford crawl to each other, and Knight throws a haymaker. Ford gives it back!
Fans rally as the hands go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford CHOPS, then DECKS Knight! Knight stands at the ropes, Ford runs in but is put back on the apron. Ford GAMANGIRIS Knight then goes up a corner! But Knight ROCKS Ford first! Knight climbs, Ford throws body shots then shoves Knight away. Knight returns and springs right up! But Ford shoves him back down! Fans fire up as Ford comes in, FROM THE- NO, Knight moves! Knight kicks low, BF- NO, Ford O’Conner Rolls, TWO! Knight O’Conner Rolls with ropes!! Knight wins!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
The Mega Star snatches that one away from Ford, but the fans still love it! Knight then brings a ladder out and sets it up under the briefcases. Knight climbs, says this is what we’ll see, because whose game is it? Will this really be what happens when LA arrives in the UK?
Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn speak.
“Sanguis rubeus luna et exponentia exitio.” That phrase repeats as we travel through a snow covered forest. Translation: “The perfect moon will spell your doom.” The Unholy Union is here, what will they do to the landscape of SmackDown?
SmackDown sets the rest of the qualifiers!
For the Men’s MITB, Baron Corbin returns from NXT to take on “Butch” Pete Dunne, and Mustafa Ali returns from NXT to take on Santos Escobar! And then, as announced during the Grayson Waller Effect, DMG CTRL is in the mix as Bayley takes on Mia Yim and Iyo Sky takes on Shotzi! Will DMG CTRL look to take control of that briefcase one way or another?
Triple H is here!
Fans fire up for The Game as he heads to the ring! It seems even he is here to celebrate Roman Reigns’ 1000+ days as Universal Champion! What will HHH have to add to the occasion? We find out, after the break.
SmackDown returns and HHH is in the ring with a pedestal and a familiar looking cloth. HHH has the mic to say, “On rare occasions, an athlete comes along that is so dominant that they change the entire face of their chosen sport. And when it happens, they will be talked about for generations to come. In boxing, it was the Great One, Muhammad Ali. In basketball, Michael Jordan. In the WWE, right now, we have the privilege of witnessing that greatness live. Believe me, you will talk about this for generations, so please help me welcome a man who has passed 1000 days as champion. Please help me welcome a man that you will tell your children and your grandchildren about.
“Please help me welcome the Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.” The Head of the Table makes his entrance with fans torn between boos and throwing up the ones. Roman has Solo and Heyman with him, the brand new “1000 Days” branded jacket and shirt on as he holds up the belts for the pyro. The Bloodline, if this group even still counts as that, continues on into the ring. Roman then shakes HHH’s hand and Heyman fetches a mic. Heyman also shakes HHH’s hand, and then HHH tells Roman, “On behalf of the WWE, and on behalf of the entire WWE Universe, I would like to congratulate you on surpassing 1000 days as champion.”
That is something that hasn’t been accomplished in the WWE in almost forty years! Truly an epic accomplishment. So to congratulate Roman and celebrate this historic achievement, it is HHH’s honor to present him with a brand new Undisputed WWE Universal Championship belt. HHH takes the cover off to reveal the same home base design, but with a GOLDEN face plate! Heyman removes the belt Roman is wearing on his waist so that he can hold up the new belt, for more pyro! HHH then helps Roman put that belt on, then Heyman hands Roman the mic. Roman smiles while fans are torn between cheers and jeers.
Roman says, “Pennsyl- No, no, no. I mean, c’mon! That’s not good enough anymore. The entire universe…! ACKNOWLEDGE ME!!” Wait, the USOS are here?!? How?! Heyman heard from Pearce that this wasn’t supposed to happen! But Jimmy & Jey do walk out and Roman glares at Heyman. Heyman defends he was assured this wouldn’t happen, but it is! And we see what the Usos are going to do, after the break.
SmackDown returns and the Usos are now in the ring with Roman, Solo & Heyman. And Jimmy’s staring Roman down. He even glances at the brand new Universal Championship blet. Jimmy has the mic, but Roman speaks first, telling Jey to kick Jimmy in the face! Fans boo but Roman says it again, kick Jimmy in the face. He didn’t stutter, do it now! That’s what Jimmy did to Roman. Jimmy took Roman’s tag team titles away from him, so Jey has to fix this. Jey has to kick his brother in the face! Fans boo more, and Jey just paces. Roman is not happy about that, and he tells Jey this is the last time: KICK HIM IN THE FACE AND FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!
Jimmy speaks up to that the only one who needs fixing is ROMAN. Fans cheer that! Roman scowls but Jimmy says Jey can’t fix this. Jimmy kicked Roman in the face, “The Kick Heard Worldwide.” And Jimmy did what he did in Saudi not to be the Tribal Chief, not to lead the Bloodline, but because Jimmy was being a brother. Brothers treat each other with love and respect, and as of lately, you ain’t been such a good brother, Roman. What kind of brother manipulates, betrays and hurts his own family? What kind of brother does that, Uce? Roman has gone crazy! CRAZY! This right here is Jimmy’s brother! It is embedded in Jimmy to protect Jey.
In fact, SOLO is Jimmy’s brother! He’ll protect Solo, and he’s gonna tell Solo right now, that after Roman’s done using you, he’s gonna abuse you, betray you, kick you to the side, and put you in the dirt! Jimmy IS Solo’s brother, that’s why he’s saying this. Fans cheer that, too! Roman tries to laugh it off but Jimmy tells Solo to listen to him. Fans rally for the “USOS! USOS!” and Roman says that’s because of ROMAN! Roman is the Tribal Chief! You see him? Tribal Chief. This here is an imposter! Jimmy talking like he’s the leader, like Solo don’t have a voice. Let’s hear it from Solo who Solo is loyal to!
Roman hands the mic to Solo and fans boo. Solo looks at the mic, thinks about it, and fans chant for “SOLO! SOLO!” Solo says, “I acknowledge you, My Tribal Chief.” Fans boo and Roman smiles. But then Solo says, “But these two right here… They’re my brothers.” UH OH~! Roman is shocked and the Usos smile! Solo hands the mic back, to stand with his brothers!! Roman can’t believe what he’s seeing! Jimmy says hey, hey, so what’s it gonna be, Uce? Does Roman wanna run this thing together with respect? Or just end up on the Island of Relevancy all by himself? Roman tells Jimmy to shut up, but Jimmy pie faces him!!
Heyman is shocked and cowering in the corner! Fans fire up as Jey and Solo are both tense. Roman registers what just happened, then gets up in Jimmy’s face. Jey stops them both, and he wants to keep the peace. It’s not going like this. Jey needs them both, they cannot start fighting! They’re better than that, okay? Jey gets Jimmy to understand, and Jimmy cools off. Stronger together, Uce. But see, Jey is Jimmy’s brother, and Solo is Jimmy’s brother. But so is Roman. Roman’s always been family. So be a brother, have respect, and run this place like they’ve been doing! But TOGETHER! Bloodline, right? Family, right? They are still the ones, right?
Roman wipes sweat from his brow and takes a breath. Fans want Roman to accept what the Usos are saying, but he seems unsure what to do. Roman and Jimmy HUG!! Fans cheer, and Jey is relieved. Roman then says, “No.” WHAT?! Heyman is shocked all over again! Roman lets go and Jey is upset again! How could Roman say that?! And then Solo SAMOAN SPIKES JIMMY!?!? Jey is even more devastated!! Roman takes his leave, Heyman and Solo following behind. Is the Tribal Chief’s iron grip that powerful? Heyman then asks Roman, “What about Jey?” Roman says Jey will do what he always does and fall in line. Just give it time.
Fans boo as Roman refuses to share love and respect with his family. What will it take for The Usos to change that?
An awesome episode to follow Night of Champions with! Granted, a lot of that comes from the Bloodline story, which once again continues to be the top story. And with this story already having set a high bar, they find a way to raise the bar again. Great video package narrated by Heyman to open the show, good promos backstage to expertly set up what we got in the closing segment. I did appreciate that since they’re not undoing the unification, Roman now just has one actual belt to hold onto and he can just keep the other two at home. Naturally, they just kept the cookie cutter shape they’ve been using, but I like the gold backing on the logo there, it really stands out.
And naturally, the Usos DID show up, and what an amazing emotional rollercoaster there. After all that, we are definitely getting Usos VS Roman & Solo, and that will be the moment of truth where I would think Solo really does side with his brothers. Then it’s on Roman to either “fall in line” and accept his family as family, or he ends up all alone with just Heyman. Either way, this is all great stuff that can carry the story into the Summer, maybe even to SummerSlam. And what would really put a cherry on top: if Roman, no more pawns to get in the way, gets beat by a Mr. MITB cash-in.
Great opening Six Man from Theory & Pretty Deadly VS Brawling Brutes, and I figured the Heels would find a way to win. I would think Pretty Deadly finds a way into the Undisputed Tag Team Championship scene for the summer, as those titles are meant to be on both Raw and SmackDown. And who wouldn’t love seeing a promo between Kevin, Sami and Pretty Deadly? At the same time, The Good Brothers should also get in on some of that, they got a really good win off Hit Row. Happy birthday to AJ Styles, maybe he can find his way to a title match of some kind. Him and Theory wouldn’t be half bad for MITB.
Really good Grayson Waller Effect segment, though not really because of Waller. If this same stuff happened with The Miz and MizTV, it’d amount to about the same great stuff. Asuka and Iyo getting at each other and then arguing in Japanese seems to be their thing, but I would love if we got Iyo to turn Face. Between her and Asuka being longtime rivals, and DMG CTRL about to fall apart at a moment’s notice, Iyo could come out a top Face for the SmackDown Women’s Division. But I also do like that Bianca went after Asuka, that was a logical move. I just wish we got to see the sucker punch from Lacey live and not in a replay.
The MITB qualifiers were both good matches, but Zelina was a very obvious winner given Lacey’s attitude and how Zelina seems to be on a great push. Ford VS Knight was a bit closer, but the fans are just loving Knight, so it makes sense Knight won here. We’re also going to get great stuff out of next week’s matches, and I’m thinking Bayley, Iyo, Escobar and Dunne win. Bayley and Iyo because of the DMG CTRL breakup story they’re giving us, Escobar because the LWO tease they gave us, and Dunne because it won’t be Corbin since he’s got stuff brewing in NXT and Grimes just isn’t gonna let him win.
And what a spooky vignette from Fyre & Dawn. Just as it isn’t clear what they’re planning with having the Smackdown Women’s Championship on Raw and vice-versa, I’m not sure what’s going on with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships still being up here on main roster. I don’t think they’d unify, nor do I want them to unify, mostly because Fyre & Dawn probably wouldn’t beat Ronda & Shayna. Well, Shayna didn’t do well against spooky given Twisted Alexa during pandemic era, but I still don’t think using supernatural elements would be enough to take out Ronda. Though it would be pretty funny to see.
My Score: 8.8/10
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