WWE turns Nashville into Smackville!
Even with SummerSlam on the horizon, SmackDown makes a stop in Music City! Both the WWE World Championship and WWE Intercontinental Championship will be on the line tonight! Who comes out singing their praises, and who leaves singing the blues?
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS ???; Nakamura wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Elias VS Kevin Owens; Owens wins.
- WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Kofi Kingston VS Samoa Joe VS Dolph Ziggler; Kingston wins and retains the WWE World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE reports that Finn Balor is NOT cleared to compete tonight!
Not even the Extraordinary Man can heal at superhuman speeds, so he’ll sadly have to miss out on a title rematch tonight. Who will it be taking his place? We find out, next!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS ???
The King of Strong Style no longer has to worry about a rematch with Finn Balor, but does that only open him up to a tougher form of competition?
Nakamura takes to the mic and says, “No Finn? No match. But I win by forfeit.” Nashville doesn’t like the sound of that. The bell rings and a ten count has to begin. Nakamura smiles smugly as he paces the ring. The count reaches 8, but then out comes… MUSTAFA ALI! The Beacon of Light has wanted at this title, so now he’s taking his chance! “Shin, you did say one thing correctly.” Finn isn’t able to compete tonight. But if anyone knows about missing out on opportunities, it’s Ali. He won’t let one slip past him again. Nakamura defends his title against Ali! The champion takes the challenge, and the title is raised! The introductions are made, the bell rings, and this substitution begins!
Ali and Nakamura approach, but Ali avoids those test kicks. Nakamura headlocks Ali and grinds him down, but Ali fights back. Ali powers out but Nakamura runs him over. Nakamura flexes to show how strong he is, then says “C’MON!” to Ali. Ali takes the bait and gets kicks for it. Nakamura whips Ali corner to corner but Ali goes up and over. Things speed up and Ali handsprings to psych Nakamura uot. Ali gives back the “C’MON!” and now Nakamura falls for the bait! His kick gets blocked, and Ali’s kick wipes him out! Nakamura bails out but Ali slingshots to splash! Ali puts Nakamura in and climbs up, for a flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Ali keeps his cool while keeping on Nakamura.
Nakamura hits back and then puts Ail on the apron. Ali hits back and slingshots, but Nakamura kicks his arms out! Ali crashes and burns on the apron, and Nakamura wrecks him with a dropkick! Nakamura drags Ali up to put him back on the apron, for a knee lift! Nakamura then covers, TWO! Ali checks his teeth but Nakamura puts him in a corner for Bad Vibrations! Nakamura grinds Ali down to the mat, but backs off to soak up the heat from the fans. Ali stands but Nakamura is on him with a suplex to gourd buster. He rams his knees into Ali’s shoulders and ribs! He flips Ali over to cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps on Ali with a facelock and squeezes. Ali endures and fans build to a rally. Ali gets up but Nakamura shifts to a sleeper hold. He fights back but starts to fade.
Fans rally as Ali endures. Ali fights up and out, but Nakamura lifts him. Ali victory rolls, TWO! Flapjack dropkick takes Nakamura down! Fans fire up and Ali has new life! Ali goes at Nakamura with counter punches and CHOPS! He whips Nakamura corner to corner but Nakamura reverses. Ali slips out, roundhouses Nakamura away, then slingshots for the rolling facebuster! Ali fires up and Nashville fires up with him! He whips Nakamura to a corner and runs in for double knees! Then he hoists Nakamura up to climb up with him. Ali stands on the very top but Nakamura fights him off. Ali flips and lands on his feet, to dropkick Nakamura out of the air! Cover, TWO! Ali is shocked but not deterred.
Fans rally up again and Ali brings Nakamura up. He CHOPS Nakamura at the ropes, then whips him across the way. Nakamura breaks free, swings, but comes back with the left heel! Ali boots in the corner but is turned sideways. Roundhouse and sliding German Suplex! Nakamura takes aim from the far side, he wants it! Ali SUPERKICKS the Kinshasa down!! And then he climbs, leaps, and hits a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura shocks Ali again but he’s also in a drop zone! Ali hurries up top, aims, and leaps, 450 but he has to roll through! Nakamura sends Ali into buckles! KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The King of Strong Style got a surprise opponent but still holds on to the title! Who will step to Nakamura when WWE goes to Toronto? Is Finn Balor going to recover to compete at all at SummerSlam? Will Ali find a way to a second chance at a golden opportunity?
Samoa Joe speaks.
Perspective is everything, and tonight is a perfect example. Fans see a Triple Threat as a perilous environment, because you don’t have to lose to lose. But Joe’s perspective is that he’s in a target rich environment. He thrives in Triple Threats because he has more people to beat down. And whoever steps to Joe, he will put them down, take them out, and become the new WWE World Champion. Does Joe have the right perspective of his second chance?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter has come to Nashville, but he needs his microphone turned up so everyone can here his introduction. He plays his new electric guitar, but he’s still not satisfied with the volume. This is a special Smackville performance. Sound check. Elias plays a few bars, gets a little country rock with it, and then finally asks his question: “Who wants to Walk With Elias?!” Nashville seems mostly up for it. Elias wants a standing ovation. But it’s too late, stay in your seats. Nashville has a special place in Elias’ heart. The first time he was here, he went down Broadway and met Johnny Cash. The Man gave Elias words of wisdom, the most memorable of which he whispered to Elias. “There are very few certainties in life. But one thing that remains true is that the Tennessee Titans will never win a Super Bowl.” Who knew he was a football fan?
But to get things started on the Road to SummerSlam, Elias dedicates a song to Shane McMahon. So please, silence your phones, hold your applause and most importantly, shut your mouths! Listen, if the fans aren’t going to do as he said, then Elias will not perform! Fans cheer for that idea! Well fine, if that’s how they feel, he’s leaving. The fans also like that idea! But just as Elias gets up, he decides not to leave. But then he does, but then he doesn’t. Fans boo as he can’t seem to make up his mind. In the light, boo. Out of the light, yay! “Aw shut your mouths, I’m gonna sing my song!” Elias sits down to play again. “Who deserves more TV time? Shane McMahon. Who should be champion~? Shane McMahon. Who’s the Best in the World? Shane McMahon. Who’s skyrocketing my career? Thank you, Shane McMahon.”
Fans boo, but Elias gets a call. Oh it’s Mr. Vince McMahon. He’s watching? “You Suck! You Suck!” How’s Nashville? It’s horrible. Thanks for calling. But great news, Vince says Elias can have as much time as he likes. Elias sings about Shane beating Kevin Owens into quitting, and how Kevin looks like roadkill born and raised in Nashville. But here comes Kevin Owens from the crowd! He sneaks in behind and the lights come up. Kevin grabs the guitar and plays it! Elias is furious now, but Kevin carefully puts the guitar down. Then he DECKS Elias! Elias bails out of the ring, and Kevin grabs a mic. “Elias, I actually have a very special request for you.” Can Elias just shut his stupid face?
Kevin was hoping someone else would cut Elias off, but then Elias made a mistake: mentioning KO. But punching Elias isn’t enough. We need a SummerSlam preview! Kevin VS Elias right here and now! But no one can make it official, so hopefully there’s a referee who can find it in his heart to dramatically slide in, Nashville would be so grateful. Here comes one! And he slides in to signal that this match is happening!
Elias VS Kevin Owens!
The bell rings and Elias immediately goes after Kevin! He stomps and punches Kevin in the corner but lets up at the ref’s count. Kevin turns things around to throw big haymakers! Kevin fires up and Nashville fires up with him! He whips Elias but Elias reverses, only for Kevin to clothesline him down and drop a senton! Kevin sees Elias bail out, then punches him out. Kevin runs, but Elias dodges, only for Kevin to slip out and follow behind. Elias turns around to get a forearm and a CHOP! Kevin puts Elias in but Elias comes back with a big BOOT! Elias catches his breath while Kevin crawls to a corner. Elias is on Kevin with more punches and stomps, then pulls him against the post! The ref counts and Elias lets up to then cover, TWO!
Elias drags Kevin up and bumps him off buckles. Fans rally for Kevin as Elias wrenches and decides to cover Old School with his meteora! Cover, TWO! Elias keeps his cool while he stands Kevin up again. He hoists Kevin up top to CHOP, then climbs up to join Kevin. Fans rally as Kevin resists and fights out. Kevin headbutts Elias but Elias body shots back. Elias climbs again, stands Kevin up, but Kevin fights out again! Kevin headbutts Elias down a second time, then adjusts, for a SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Elias survives but Kevin keeps his cool. Kevin wants a stunner but gets a knee! Elias climbs up top, MACHO ELBOW FLOPS! Kevin gets to his feet as Elias does, and gets the STUNNER! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
It wasn’t quite beating the holy hell out of the Drifter, but Kevin does get a big win! Will he keep things rolling towards his grudge match with Shane O’Mac in Toronto?
Backstage interview with Kofi Kingston!
As the champ loads up on pancakes, he considers his Triple Threat match. He has “insurmountable odds” again, but he’s used to that by now. He knows he’s facing two great superstars #atthesamedamntime is a welcomed challenge! It will make him one of the greatest, W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champions of all time! And winning against both of them on Smackville… In Smackville? At Smackville? Whatever the grammar, he will win, celebrate with the New Day and everyone they meet in #Nashvegas BABYYYY~!
WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Kofi Kingston VS Samoa Joe VS Dolph Ziggler!
#Kofimania called out The Viper for SummerSlam so that he could settle a score from their early days against each other. However, when it comes to being champion, we all know the Show-Off and even the Samoan Submission Machine feel #ItShouldHaveBeenMe! Neither man got it down when it was just 1v1, but now both men get a second shot at crushing the dream. Will Ziggler make up for Money in the Bank and Stomping Grounds? Will Samoa Joe make up for Extreme Rules? Or will Kofi just prove he is worthy of facing the most dangerous letters in pro-wrestling today?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this double trouble rematch!
The three men circle and Kofi dropkicks Ziggler down! Joe goes at Kofi but Kofi is ready with hands. Joe throws Kofi off to run, but Kofi dumps him out. Kofi builds speed, but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler yanks Kofi out to throw him into railing! Ziggler brings Kofi around but Joe finds them! Joe and Ziggler actually work together on Kofi by throwing him down and stomping him out. Ziggler rakes Kofi’s eyes, which Triple Threats are No Disqualifications so that’s allowed. Joe full nelsons Kofi for Ziggler to mug. They then put Kofi back in the ring, but fans rally up. The stomping and mugging continues, but Kofi hits back with big hands and kicks! Ziggler sleeper holds for Joe to body shot back!
Kofi crawls but Ziggler scrapes his laces on his face. Joe and Ziggler say, “We’ll break him, and then we’ll figure it out.” They whip Kofi together, and then double elbow him down. Fans boo this unofficial handicap match but Joe and Ziggler continue to work together. Joe holds Kofi up and Ziggler kicks away at the ribs. But then Kofi fights free! He headbutts Joe away, then goes at Ziggler. Ziggler knees low and whips Kofi, but Kofi slips out to boot Ziggler down! Kofi climbs and leaps, BIG crossbody onto Ziggler! But Joe throws Kofi off the cover, to cover Ziggler! TWO, and Ziggler is immediately upset. They were working together, weren’t they? Joe shrugs it off, Ziggler wasn’t doing his job. They start arguing now, and Ziggler shoves first. Joe comes back, Kofi gets them BOTH with flying clotheslines!
Kofi rallies with double chops and a dropkick for Ziggler! Kofi keeps moving, leaping lariat! And that leads to the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi says it’s over as he goes to a corner, and fans rally with the “New! Day Rocks!” claps. But Ziggler goes to ropes so Kofi has to pursue. Ziggler bails out, and Joe sneaks up for a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool as he drags Kofi up and bumps him off buckles. He hoists Kofi up top and climbs up to join him, but fans rally up for Kofi. Kofi resists and fights back. He clubs away on Joe’s back faster and faster to then headbutt Joe down. But Ziggler hops up, only for Kofi to fight him off, too! Joe adds on, and brings Ziggler out for a bomb. Ziggler hops up to satellite DDT! Kofi crossbodies, but Ziggler rolls through! TWO!!
Ziggler wants Famouser but Kofi blocks for a bomb, only for Ziggler to sunset flip! TWO, and Kofi high stacks, TWO! Ziggler swings, but into SOS! Cover but Joe breaks it! Joe drags Ziggler up to throw him out. Joe goes back to Kofi, throws him out, and then goes out. He drags Kofi up and whips him into steel steps hard! Joe is getting serious as he stalks Ziggler near commentary. Joe grins and says, “Bye, Dolph,” before tossing him across the desk! Then Joe goes back to Kofi on the other side. He puts Kofi back in the ring, but fans are rallying again. Kofi fights back with big hands from all sides! Kofi runs, but into Joe’s elbow! Cover, TWO! Joe grows annoyed with Kofi, but grins as he stalks up behind. Coquina Clutch! But Kofi jawbreakers free!
Kofi runs, but Trouble is blocked into an Ankle Lock! Joe knows Kurt Angle well, but Kofi rolls through to throw Joe off. Joe dodges in the corner, for the Coquina! But Ziggler SUPERKICKS Joe down! Cover on Joe, but Kofi breaks it in time! All three men are down but Nashville is thunderous for Kofi! Kofi and Ziggler are up first and they start brawling. Kofi staggers away and Ziggler eggs him on, so the haymakers keep flying! Fans are on Kofi’s side with every punch, but Ziggler kicks and headbutts, to ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! Kofi survives and Ziggler is shocked. But Ziggler refocuses as he goes to the far corner. Fans chant “New! Day Rocks!” and Ziggler grows further upset. Ziggler stomps to, at this point, mock HBK. But he runs into Joe’s EXPLODER!
Joe staggers up, Kofi rolls him up! TWO, mule kick and Kofi runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Joe is shocked and furious that Kofi still lives! Joe drags Kofi up again, but Kofi drops down to kick him back! Kofi spins Joe around, TROUBLE IN PARADISE!! Cover, Kofi wins!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by pinfall; still WWE World Champion
Both challengers had their second chance, but it wasn’t enough! Kofimania rolls on towards Toronto to face Randy Orton one more time! Will Kofi keep this dream alive though the end of summer? Or will it only take on RKO to end it all?
For the first, and probably only, Smackville special, this was a lot of fun. Again, it was just a one-hour filler house show type special, but that was expected. Honestly, a lot of this felt like a really good SmackDown episode, or at least the good parts of such an episode. But I really hope this Finn Balor injury is just kayfabe, he needs to make it to SummerSlam to see this thing with Fiend Bray Wyatt through to the end. At the same time, Mustafa Ali got to have a really good match to remind fans what he’s capable of. I hope they give him another shot at SummerSlam, because I know both Ali and Nakamura can give way more than this. Elias and Kevin also had a good set of promos and a good match, but there’s still much that can and should be down for Kevin’s story with Shane.
That Triple Threat was also worthy of a higher level SmackDown episode. I feel like there could’ve been even more of that, like Joe body slamming Ziggler through the announce table, but that would be more of a television episode spot than a house show spot. Obviously Kofi retains, he needs to have his match with Orton. But on the records, Kofi will have points for beating two powerful contenders in one match. And I hope social media has something for this #Nashvegas celebration with the New Day Kofi said in his promo, that sounds like a lot of fun just to have a good laugh with.
My Score: 8.1/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.119 ~ 24TH JANUARY 2021
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
Hajime Ohara tests positive for COVID-19
It was announced on the 22nd January that Hajime Ohara had tested positive for Covid after a routine PCR test. The Osaka card was changed with YO-HEY filling in for him. Ohara has not shown any symptoms of fever, cough or loss of taste so far, and temperature taken on the morning of the 24th January was normal. Ohara is isolating at home, and true to form is studying (he was taking an online English class), and and eating nutritiously. He is determined to be back to NOAH for The Budokan.
In Osaka, the roster paid tribute to him, with YO-HEY making the Muy Bien sign, and Naomichi Marufuji finishing his promo (tantrum) with “Muy Bien”.
Kenoh from Murakami to Masakatsu
In a match that lasted only nine minutes and forty seconds, which was really for how long it needed to last, Kenoh defeated Kazunari Masakatsu for the GHC National title in Osaka on the 23rd January 2021. The match started off somewhat MMA style, and went to mat wrestling. Kenoh got his own back on Murakami for felling him with a closed fist, by doing the same, but this seemed to only make Murakami mad and he unleashed a volley of kicks and punches on Kenoh. After a brief loss of temper, Kenoh came to his senses and realized that he was going to have to take Murakami down, and he did it by using the sleeper hold, which caused the referee to stop the match.
Almost immediately after the match had finished, Masakatsu Funaki made his challenge. He simply pointed at the belt and asked Kenoh to be his next challenger. Kenoh accepted the challenge, and set it for the Nippon Budokan (12th February 2021), but backstage rather than scream abuse about his opponent, he actually said that he was it was exciting and he was looking forward to it. Murakami he said he had also enjoyed the match with, although he admitted to being scared by him.
Masakatsu Funaki seemed to have a few different reasons for challenging; he had the image of being a champion alongside Mutoh, Kenoh was not something he had experienced before, and he felt that the time was now to do it. He was also complimentary about Kenoh, saying that he was “in his thirties and riding high”. Funaki makes the third MMA fighter to have challenged Kenoh.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
Post match interviews: HIGHER GROUND 2021 (January 23rd, Edion Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium)
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Atsushi Kotoge admitted some jealousy of Daisuke Harada.
~ Mohammed Yone did some catering for the roster on the way home from Osaka.
~ Naomichi Marufuji won the chop challenge against Go Shiozaki, then got annoyed at it being pointed out that he beat Shiozaki in the challenge, but wasn’t the one to make the pin and win the match. Pointed out that HE was the senior to them, and would take both their belts, “so I can enter last and show them off”. And then walked off.
~ Takashi Sugiura says he aims to create a new record, and become the GHC Heavyweight Champion at the age of 50, however if Keiji Mutoh defeats Go Shiozaki for it, he will do it when he is 60.
ALL the titles, except the GHC Heavyweight Tag, have been challenged for and the matches will take place at The Budokan. Fans are hoping that Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya will challenge, especially as they are teaming together against Takashi Sugiura (Kazushi Sakuraba is absent) on NOAH’s last show before The Budokan, on the 31st January.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
Challenger: Keiji Mutoh (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
Challengers: Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Masakatsu Funaki (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Sunday 31st January: “HIGHER GROUND 2021” (11.30am JST, Korakuen Hall.)
NOAH’s 23rd January show from Osaka will be available to view on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Tuesday 26th January. The GHC National title match, and the main event were streamed live through Periscope.
The 31st January event at Korakuen Hall has not had broadcast details announced yet.
GIF taken from Noah’s Periscope
Match graphic taken from the Official NOAH Twitter
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
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