Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29 FINALE!
Only one can win the 29th G1 Climax!
The 29th G1 Climax finally comes to an end!
Switchblade! Golden Star! Only one can win the G1 Climax and that Wrestle Kingdom 14 contract for an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match!
- Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Kenta, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI; Bullet Club wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- G1 Climax 29 Finals: Kota Ibushi VS Jay White; Ibushi wins and earns the Wrestle Kingdom 14 title match contract.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic G1 Climax Finals!
A new chapter will be written! Five weeks brings 20 down to two! The Golden Star returns to the finals, fueled by his commitment to NJPW! Kota Ibushi would drop to Kenta to a shocking 0-2 start, but would rally back with seven straight wins, including defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in a G1 Climax 28 rematch and the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, to take the A Block! Meanwhile, Jay White would struggle in his own run, going 0-3. But The Switchblade would still take six straight, becoming Jon Moxley’s first defeat in NJPW and denying Tetsuya Naito his destiny. Ibushi and White meet 1v1 for the first time ever, but White took a cheap shot on Ibushi’s bad ankle. Does Ibushi stand a chance of winning the G1? Can he even stand at all?
Six Man Tag: Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale VS Kenta, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI!
Mr. Takeover joins Chaos’ Stone Pitbull and Headhunter against Bullet Club’s Firing Squad! Will Kenta be a wild card in helping Ishii and Hashi defeat the Rogue General and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions?
There’s a lot of trash talking as the referee tries to get the teams to sort out. Hashi calms Kenta and Ishii down and volunteers. Bullet Club gives a Low Sweet and Fale steps up. The bell rings and the match begins!
Fale and Hashi circle and tie up. Fale knees low fast, then puts Hashi in an open corner. Fale climbs up but the ref reprimands him. Fale backs off, but tries a sucker punch! Hashi ducks and throws forearms in return! Hashi whips but Fale blocks with pure strength! Fale whips Hashi into the corner but Hashi dodges. Hashi comes back to hit a corner clothesline, then he whips Fale to ropes. Fale reverses but Hashi dropkicks and blockbusters! Fans cheer as Hashi clubs Fale and throws forearms. Hashi runs but Tama Tonga gets cheap shots in. Tama grabs Hashi and Fale runs in, but Hashi dodges to send Fale into Tama! Hashi then runs, only to get run over! Fale sucker punches Ishii before he stomps Hashi.
Fale drags Hashi up and to the Bullet Club corner. Tag to Tonga Loa, and Bullet Club mugs Hashi. The referee reprimands them, he sees Tama holding Hashi down. Loa SLAPS Hashi before he scoop slams him. Tama tags in and slingshot elbows in and is feeling good! Tama taunts Kenta then drags Hashi up. Tama snap suplexes Hashi to a corner, TWO! Tama drags Hashi up to tag Fale back in. Bullet Club mugs Hashi then Fale steps on Hashi. And again! And again, as he runs the ropes for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives that super heavyweight elbow, but Loa tags in. Loa and Fale stand on Hashi’s ribs! Bullet Club is having fun hurting Hashi while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to Hashi being let back up. Loa tags Tama before lifting Hashi high in a waistlock. Tama springboards, flying foraerm German Suplex! Cover, TWO! Ishii rushes in and coaches Hashi up but Tama tells him to get back. Tama turns around into Hashi’s forearms! Tama punches low but Hashi breaks free. Hashi kicks, Tama catches it, and then Tama ducks the spinning heel kick! Tama laughs at Hashi before dragging Hashi up. Tama calls for the brain buster, but Hashi counters with his own suplex, into a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans rally up. Hashi hot tags to Ishii, Tama gets to Loa. Loa and Ishii collide again and again, but Ishii staggers. Loa runs and rams Ishii but Ishii comes back on the rebound. Loa rebounds to get run over!
Ishii runs at Fale with a leaping forearm, but bounces off! Ishii is shocked while Fale is just mad. Fale storms in and throws hands. Ishii ducks, kicks and tries to suplex. But Fale is too big! Fale scoops and slams Ishii down, then bails out. Loa tackles Ishii to a corner! Then runs corner to corner for a big clothesline! Loa keeps moving and hits another clothesline! Loa mocks the Pitbull, but fans rally up. Loa drags Ishii up, scoops, and hits a running slam! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives but Loa just smirks. Tag to Tama and GoD double whip Ishii. Body shot, uppercut, but Gun Stun is denied! Ishii gives Loa a German Suplex! Ishii is down but crawling towards the corner. But Kenta doesn’t want the tag!? Kenta hops off the apron and Ishii is angry. But Tama hits a corner splash! Then feeds Ishii to a double SPEAR from Fale and Loa!
Tama climbs up high and leaps with a splash! Hashi gets in and braeks the cover! Loa attacks Hashi while Kenta just watches. Hashi reverses the whip and lariats Loa down! GUN STUN gets a glancing blow and Tama throws Hashi out. Ishii is up, GUN STUN countered into a slam! Fale runs at Ishii and whips him to a corner. Ishii dodges and kicks, and suplexes Fale! Fale rolls out of the ring and fans are thunderous. Ishii LARIATS Tama! Kenta runs in to attack Ishii!? The Psycho Knee hits the Stone Pitbull square! As does GO TO SLEEP! Kenta betrays Chaos and lets Tama cover. Bullet Club wins!
Winners: Bullet Club, Tama Tonga pinning
Hashi goes after Kenta, but he’s got Fale and the Guerrillas on him right away! Bullet Club even fights off the LA Dojo Young Lions! Kenta grabs a mic to speak, even as fans boo. But wait, Shibata runs in! And DECKS Kenta! Shibata rams and BOOTS Kenta in the corner! Fans are losing their minds as The Wrestler is throwing forearms on Kenta! Shibata forearms Tama away to then hammer away on Kneta. Loa runs in but even he gets a big forearm! BOOT for Fale! Shibata runs corner to corner for the basement dropkick! Then he drags Kenta into the sleeper hold! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Jado SMACKS Shibata! And Kenta gets Shibata with his own sleeper! Jado SMACKS Shibata in the stomach!
Shibata fades out and Kenta runs to Penalty Kick!! Despite everything Shibata was just doing, he’s NOT an active wrestler, nor cleared to compete! But Tama SMACKS away with Jado’s kendo stick and chokes Shibata out! Kenta adds insult to injury as he sits on Shibata with Shibata’s own signature cross-legged pose. Bullet Club has a new member in #FangRevived! Tama’s cryptic Tweet is confirmed! What happens to NJPW now that Bullet Club has added this treacherous snake to the arsenal?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Bullet Club is feeling good as they arrive. This is a beautiful day, because it is Bullet Club Day! Actually, every day is Bullet Club Day, but this is an extra special day. They told the world they had recruited a “high caliber athlete.” Who is that? It’s “one of the greatest, if not the best” in this generation, KENTA! When Tama came to Japan, Kenta was dominant. Tama respects Kenta, who was brave enough to “go abroad and try something new.” But now Kenta is back, so thank God he’s back on Bullet Club’s side! They can use his energy, his vengeance, and the determination to prove Kenta wasn’t a fluke. Bullet Club is going to help Kenta reach the very top of his game! They closed out the G1 with a bang, huh? What a feeling. To think the fans were booing that. Shibata must’ve been happy he got cheered like that. He should thank Kenta for that. But today is a new beginning. Keep your eyes on Kenta, he’s just getting started.
As for Shibata, he wants to know what Kenta was saying. The reporters inform him, and Shibata’s response: “Do you know what I went through for that guy?” How much it took to get Kenta into NJPW? Kenta doesn’t understand a thing. But whatever. Shibata will let Kenta find his own path with his new buddies. When and where will Kenta face the consequences of turning on The Wrestler?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!
The all-star duo of the century reunites once more to take on the meanest tag team in the world! Will Rainmaker and Ace make up for their losses in the G1 against the King of Pancrase and the Submission Master? Or will they #JustTapOut?
The teams sort out and Tanahashi starts against ZSJ. Fans are already on Tanahashi’s side with the bell. They circle and feel out the grapple. ZSJ waistlocks but Tanahashi standing switches to a full nelson. ZSJ slips out and spins around but Tanahashi switches with him to get the headlock. ZSJ spins through to a keylock but Tanahashi resists and actually bridges ZSJ. ZSJ spins and reverses to a double wristlock to bring Tanahashi down for headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight and pushes up to crank the neck. Then he drops back down to keep Tanahashi grounded. Tanahashi works his way up to a headstand, and bridges, only for ZSJ to dig knuckles into ribs. The referee reprimands ZSJ but Tanahashi works around to roll ZSJ over. Tanahashi pops out to get the Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But ZSJ pops out to a cover, ONE!
Tanahashi throws ZSJ with a headlock takeover, but ZSJ works up and around to his feet. ZSJ powers out and runs in, but gets an elbow. Tanahashi hops up for a second rope crossbody! Fans fire up as Tanahashi hits Suzuki for good measure. Okada comes in to help Tanahashi whip ZSJ and elbow him down. Suzuki protests but Okada just punches him off the apron. Tanahashi leaps to drop an elbow, but ZSJ catches it into an armbar! Suzuki has Okada in a hanging armbar, but the ref counts him. Suzuki lets go while Tanahashi gets a ropebreak. ZSJ holds on as Suzuki sends Okada into barriers! ZSJ drags Tanahashi up while Suzuki laces Okada’s arm through the rails! ZSJ drags Tanahashi out to do the same on the other side! Red Shoes has a hard time keeping up with both crafty wrestlers.
ZSJ gives Tanahashi a European Uppercut and gets back in the ring while Okada starts brawling with Suzuki. The ring count begins on Tanahashi, and Suzuki ROCKS Okada. Tanahashi climbs up at 10 of 20 and in at 11. ZSJ is on Tanahashi with a hammerlock stomp! Suzuki returns to the corner to tag in. Suzuki stands on Tanahashi’s head until Tanahashi pushes him away. These familiar foes start throwing forearms, and Suzuki ROCKS Tanahashi. Suzuki kicks Tanahashi over then kicks Okada off the apron! Suzuki sneers before going back to Tanahashi with a snapmare. Suzuki digs his knee into Tanahashi’s back while pulling the arms back. ZSJ tags in and he grabs a leg! Armbar and leglock on Tanahashi, then switch so that they keep the holds! And then switch to opposite sides! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki-Gun finally lets up on Tanahashi. Tanahashi crawls for his corner while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as ZSJ drags Tanahashi up by the arm. ZSJ wrenches deep but Tanahashi forearms free! Tanahashi keeps throwing forearms but ZSJ hits back. ZSJ whips but Tanahashi reverses into a standing abdominal stretch! ZSJ switches and they go around, ZSJ getting the stretch on Tanahashi now. Fans rally as Tanahashi endures. Tanahashi slips around to reverse the hold back on ZSJ! ZSJ pries free and gets a leg, but so does Tanahashi! Tanahashi Dragon Screws ZSJ’s leg! Both men are down and fans rally up. Hot tag to Okada! Okada throws forearms then whips, but ZSJ reverses. Okada dodges the boot to elbow ZSJ down! Budokan fires up with Okada as he elbows Suzuki off the apron. Okada goes to ZSJ in the corner with a whip. He hits a big back elbow, then drops ZSJ with a DDT! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Okada drags ZSJ to his feet. Okada scoops and slams ZSJ to then go up top. Okada leaps, but has to roll through as ZSJ dodges. ZSJ runs in but is caught in the Alabama lift. But ZSJ reverses it into an Octopus! Only for Okada to power through back to Alabama position. But ZSJ fights free to wrench and Pele the arm! Tag to Suzuki, and he runs at Okada in a corner for a helluva boot. Then he snapmares Okada down for a Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO! Suzuki sits Okada up for a basement boot! Suzuki grabs an arm and hammerlocks it to grab the other arm! Suzuki wrenches the arm but Tanahashi runs in to kick at Suzuki. Suzuki just takes the shots as he tortures Okada’s arm. Tanahashi keeps kicking but Suzuki just gets annoyed. Suzuki leans into Tanahashi’s forearms before giving back a knee!
Suzuki returns to Okada while Tanahashi slumps away. Okada fires off forearms and uppercuts, but Suzuki knees him, too. Suzuki has a front guillotine, then spins Okada around into piledriver position. But Okada counters into Alabama position, Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Fans rally up as both men are down. Both men crawl for their corners, hot tags to Tanahashi and ZSJ! Tanahashi blocks another kick but ZSJ fights off the dragon screw. They start throwing hands but Tanahashi has the edge. ZSJ dodges to EuroUpper, but Tanahashi throws a big palm strike! Tanahashi runs, but into the Iron Octopus! Tanahashi endures as ZSJ pulls on the arms. Tanahashi powers out and has the leg, but ZSJ gets the arm again! Tanahashi still fights, and turns it into Twist ‘n’ Shout! Tanahashi runs and hits a big Slingblade! Cover, but Suzuki breaks it!
Okada goes after Suzuki and tosses him out. Tanahashi heads up top while Okada keeps Suzuki against barriers. Tanahashi is up top, High Fly Flow gets knees! And ZSJ has a Triangle Hold! Tanahashi flails and reaches, and bridges to a cover! TWO as ZSJ lets go! ZSJ hits a stiff Penalty kick! Fans are fired up as both men are down. Okada and Suzuki return to their corners, hot tags to Okada and Suzuki! Okada shotgun dropkicks Suzuki into the corner! Then he brings Suzuki out for a scoop slam! Okada heads up top, keeping to his formula. Macho Elbow hits! Fans fire up with the RAINMAKER POSE~! Okada drags Suzuki up, wristlocks but Suzuki elbows free. Okada just stares Suzuki down and they start brawling with big forearms! Neither backs down. In fact, Okada dares Suzuki to give him another.
Suzuki obliges and then dares Okada to do the same. Okada hits back but Suzuki hits harder! Okada returns the forearm but Suzuki keeps egging him on. Suzuki has a wild grin as Okada’s forearms do nothing to him. Suzuki’s one forearm ROCKS Okada again. Okada falls to his knees but fans rally up for him. Okada stands, Suzuki whips but Okada reverses. Suzuki holds ropes to deny Okada his dropkick! Okada sits up to get the Penalty Kick! Suzuki drags Okada up in a sleeper hold! Then spins him around, Gotch, but Tanahshi hits a Slingblade! Then a Slingblade for ZSJ! Tanahashi slingshots out to take down ZSJ! Okada has Suzuki with a dropkick to the back! Okada drags Suzuki back up, whips but Suzuki reverses. Suzuki follows, slides around, sleeper hold! But Okada spins out to ripcord, but Suzuki dodges to get the sleeper back!
Suzuki has the Gotch hold, but Okada manages a back drop! But Suzuki is right up to boot Okada! Okada rebounds but his boot is countered. Tilt-o-whirl from Suzuki?! Into the sleeper hold! ZSJ intercepts Tanahashi with a flying guillotine! Suzuki has Okada fading out! Then spins him for the Gotch, PILEDRIVER! Cover, Suzuki-Gun wins!!
Winners: Suzuki-Gun, Minoru Suzuki pinning
The Meanest Man in the World pins the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! And ZSJ chokes Tanahashi out just because! Is the G1 snub not going to matter now? Suzuki grabs a mic to tell Okada, “They wouldn’t even let me into the G1, and you lost to me? How embarrassing.” Suzuki stomps Okada until he’s out of the ring, and ZSJ shoves Tanahashi out, too. “I’ll put it simply for all of you.” If you put Suzuki in a match with “that group of playmates,” this is what happens. Okada, listen to this next part before you run home. To Okada and ALL of NJPW! “The IWGP Heavyweight Belt… GIVE IT TO ME!” Don’t try to wriggle out of it this time, either! Suzuki will never run away. He is the KING of pro-wrestling. Suzuki tells Budokan, “Suzuki-Gun, Ichiban!” Will the King of Pancrase be number one in NJPW?
G1 Climax 29 Finals: Kota Ibushi VS Jay White!
Both men struggled, but both men found a way to overcome and become the best in their respective blocks. A Block and B Block finally collide! Ibushi has already beaten Okada in their G1 encounter, but White has already proven he can be IWGP Heavyweight Champion once. Whose determination will carry them through to the very end?
Despite White promising he wouldn’t bring Gedo out, it was all a sham. That, and he now has all of Bullet Club ringside! But Ibushi has the fans solidly on his side. Red Shoes says that even before the match, Bullet Club is EJECTED!! White and Gedo try to reason with him, but Red Shoes has had enough of Bullet Club’s antics as of late. Gedo negotiates, and he is allowed to stay, so long as he stays strictly by the blue corner. But the rest of Bullet Club is gone from ringside. White’s plan is foiled, the bell finally rings, and the G1 Climax Finals truly begins!
White dares Ibushi to do something, knowing full well what he did to Ibushi’s ankle. But then White bails out to talk with Gedo, specifically staying by the blue corner as promised. White dares Ibushi to come out and get him but Ibushi stays inside, daring White to fight. White returns and the two circle. Fans are of course still on Ibushi’s side and it annoys White. White and Ibushi stare down then tie up. Ibushi manages to push White to ropes, but he honors the ropebreak with pats on the shoulder. But then he avoids White’s sucker punch kick! Only for Gedo to swipe at him! White gets Ibushi’s bad leg but Ibushi has the ropes, so Red Shoes backs White right off. Red Shoes confronts Gedo, and finally EJECTS Gedo! White and Gedo try to reason with Red Shoes again but Red Shoes has drawn the line. Ibushi grabs White and puts him back in the ring!
Ibushi dodges, kicks and whips White. White reverses but Ibushi comes back with a flying enziguri! White bails out but Ibushi gets him right back in, for a dropkick! Fans fire up with Ibushi while White bails out again. Ibushi takes aim, runs to the corner, but White stops the Golden Triangle with a chop block! Ibushi is caught in the corner, and White pulls the bad leg against the crossbars! Red Shoes reprimands White and White lets up. White drags Ibushi up to whip him into railing! White stomps Ibushi and puts his leg through railing to pull on the bad ankle! Fans boo and Red Shoes again reprimands White. White lets up, then drags Ibushi to the ring. White puts Ibushi in, only to swing Ibushi’s leg into the post! Fans boo again as White slams Ibushi’s leg on the apron. White gets in the ring and flexes but fans still boo.
White drags Ibushi up and snap suplexes him down. Ibushi clutches the bad leg but White is on it with a grounded dragon screw. Cover, ONE! Fans rally but White is on Ibushi. Ibushi fires forearms first, but White CHOPS him down. White drags Ibushi up for another snap suplex. Ibushi’s bad leg continues to take the worse landing, but then White Half Hatch suplexes Ibushi into buckles! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Ibushi guts it out. White toys with Ibushi, wanting him to stand up. Ibushi slowly stands, and throws forearms on White. White knees low then runs, Ibushi leaps up, but White counters the huricanrana into a takedown and grounded dragon screw! White says, “No, no, no,” he’s too smart for Ibushi. White watches as Ibushi rolls and crawls to the corner. White runs in, but blocks the good leg’s boot. He grabs the bad leg, but Ibushi enziguris with the good leg!
Ibushi hobbles after White but White kicks the bad leg. Ibushi still jumps for a Snap-Rana! Fans rally up as White goes to a corner now. Ibushi grits his teeth and runs back in, only to get a boot. White runs, but into a powerslam! Ibushi hops on one leg for a moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally and Ibushi continues to fight through the pain. White slowly gets up but Ibushi drags him up. Ibushi fires off a strike fest, and manages a roundhouse to standing moonsault! Now Ibushi says, “No, no, no,” he’s too tough for White. Ibushi flips again, but White gets clear of the moonsault knee drop! Ibushi’s knees smash ring mat! White catches his breath while Ibushi clutches his legs. White stands and grins before he drags Ibushi up for a fast DDT!
Ibushi goes to a corner and White runs in, big EuroUpper! Knee-jammer! White shoves Ibushi out for a Blade Buster twisting suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Ibushi but White is on him first. White wants the inverted figure four but Ibushi pushes him away. Ibushi kicks from the mat and gets away from White. Ibushi jumps over the chop block to double stomp White’s back! Fans continue to give Ibushi life as he goes back to White. Ibushi scoops but White resists. White fights back, stomping the bad foot! Ibushi still kicks with the good foot! Only to walk into the Complete Shot and deadlift German! But White can’t bridge, so Ibushi is spared for the moment. White hobbles over to Ibushi and drags him up to the top rope. White goes after the bad leg again then he CHOPS Ibushi back.
White climbs up, but Ibushi fights White off! White hammers away on Ibushi’s leg and even rakes the eyes! White tries again, from the very top rope, for SUPERPLEX! The Switchblade drags Ibushi up and wants the fisherman, but Ibushi manages to counter to a PACKAGE TOMBSTONE! Both men are down but the fans are loving this! Ibushi rises first, and throws a forearm from his knees. White sits up to return the favor. Ibushi forearms again, but White again returns it. They continue to go back and forth, even as they stand up. Ibushi rocks White, but gives him more forearms. White falls to the mat, and fans fire up as Ibushi sits White up. White hits big body shots and a strike fest! BIG lariat! But Ibushi sits up!? Only to run into a massive urenage! White drags Ibushi up, fisherman lift, KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi survives but White grabs his arm. White slashes the throat and drags Ibushi up, but Ibushi slips around to a roll-up. White rolls out and blocks the knee! Half nelson but Ibushi standing switches to use the Half ‘n’ Half first! Both men are down but Ibushi is rising. Fans fire up as Ibushi drags White up. Ibushi scoops White again but White fights free, only to get a mule kick. But White throws Ibushi into Red Shoes! And a low blow uppercut! Typical Jay White. And with no referee to keep order, Gedo comes out with a big smile on his face. Gedo throws a chair to white! White chop blocks Ibushi back down before he gets the chair. Gedo holds Ibushi’s leg for White to SMACK it! And SMACK it! Ibushi is clutching his ankle while Gedo gets away with the chair. White grabs the leg for another grounded dragon screw! And then, the inverted figure four, #TTO!
Ibushi endures as Gedo puts Red Shoes in the ring! Red Shoes slowly revives as White has Ibushi trapped! But fans rally up and Ibushi crawls towards ropes! White wrenches and bridges as hard as he can but Ibushi holds onto Red Shoes to avoid tapping out. Ibushi powers his way forward, even with White’s weight on his legs, for the ROPEBREAK! White holds on until Red Shoes counts, and fans boo again. Ibushi clutches his leg while Gedo is hiding from Red Shoes. White drags Ibushi up but Ibushi keeps hold of the rope. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi, but Ibushi refuses to quit over this. Ibushi drags himself up and White is right on him! Ibushi resists the sleeper suplex and hits a PELE on one good leg! Both men are down again, but Ibushi sits up first. Ibushi roars and fans fire up with him. Ibushi scoops White, and heads for a corner, to LONG DART! White crashes down and is dazed while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Ibushi drags White up from the apron. Fans know what Ibushi wants here, but so does White. White resists the waistlock but Ibushi still lifts him up! DEADLIFT SUPER GERMAN! Cover, TWO!! White survives but Ibushi won’t give up here. Ibushi stands and drags White back up. White resists the powerbomb lift, even as Ibushi tries again and again. White clubs away at the bad ankle, then throws a SLAPPING palm strike! That just flipped Ibushi’s switch! White starts to laugh but Ibushi SLAPS him back! And SLAPS and SLAPS and SLAPS! Ibushi kicks White to a corner then throws more slapping strikes! White can only cover up as Ibushi kicks him. Red Shoes backs Ibushi off, but Ibushi dares White to man up!
White gets up and hobbles up to Ibushi. They go forehead to forehead, and White slaps, only for Ibushi to immediately SLAP him down! Fans are thunderous for Ibushi as he drags White back up. But White dragon screws outta nowhere! White drags Ibushi back up, but Ibushi point-blank LARIATS! Ibushi has White up in the powerbomb, sit-out LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! White still lives but Ibushi has more to give. Ibushi goes to the corner, “YAO~!” But White drops down to avoid Ibushi’s shout out to the King of Strong Style. Ibushi tries but White is dead weight on purpose. Red Shoes reprimands White but White laughs and eggs Ibushi on. White uses Red Shoes as a shield, so that Red Shoes doesn’t see Gedo run in! But Ibushi ducks Gedo’s attack to ROUNDHOUSE Gedo back out! But then White hits the SLEEPER SUPLEX! Only for Ibushi to stand right up! BOMAYE to the back!
White and Ibushi are both down, and Red Shoes realizes Gedo is here. Red Shoes tells Rocky Romero to help get Gedo out. Rocky does as asked and Ibushi sits up! Ibushi aims at White, “YAO~” for another BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?! White survives but barely! Ibushi still has one more move up his proverbial sleeve. He stands White up with the wristlocks but White kicks the ankle. Ibushi kicks back but White knocks Ibushi over. Ibushi throws forearms from the floor, then roars. White just kicks the leg more, but he gets a ROUNDHOUSE from the good leg! Ibushi has wild eyes as he ROUNDHOUSES White again! Ibushi drags White up, wristlocks, but White counters to BLADE RUNNER!! But he can’t cover, he’s too exhausted! White crawls over, but he doesn’t cover?! White has Ibushi’s arm, drags him up, reels Ibush in cross-armed, but Ibushi resists! Ibushi headbutts White!
Ibushi still has the wrists, straitjacket German Suplex! But he holds on and turns White over, KAMIG- SNAP HALF ‘N’ HALF! White has Ibushi again, for another Sleeper Suplex! And then another cross-arm lift, BRAINBUSTER! But White won’t end it there, he drags Ibushi right back up, but Ibushi spins out of Blade Runner for a V-Trigger! Then he tries again, but White slips out! White wants Blade Runner but Ibushi standing switches and hits another V-Trigger! And another! And finally, with both wrists, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?!? Just what helped White do that?! But Ibushi shows no mercy, KAMIGOYE AGAIN!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; wins the G1 Climax 29
The Golden Star makes a dream come true! It took so much out of him, but Ibushi has completed a historic Triple Crown. Ibushi has won Best of the Super Juniors, the New Japan Cup, and now the G1 Climax! He is presented with the G1 trophy and banner, and then the microphone to speak to Budokan.
“The G1 tournament has made this the most important month of my life.” Last year, he lost in the finals. But a year later, he would still make it to the finals. And this time, he won, so he is very happy. Ibushi says it is thanks to the efforts of all 20 wrestlers in the G1. He may be repeating himself, but avenging his loss is awesome! Fans cheer and chant his name once again. Ibushi wants to continue building NJPW to be bigger and bigger, together with everyone. It may not be his place, but he earned this closing speech, so he wants to say this now. NJPW and all of pro-wrestling will be huge! This is a new era for NJPW! Please come along with them, and thank you for everything! See you again at the next G1!
With that, Ibushi walks around the ring to reach a hand out to all the fans cheering. He shakes hands with commentary, the timekeepers, then returns to the ring to once again hold up the trophy and banner as streamers fly! Is the Golden Star Era going to truly take over NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom? Will Ibushi still meet The Rainmaker for the title? Or will someone else take Okada’s place in Tokyo?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
As tired as Ibushi is, he is able to celebrate. “How brutal the G1 would be…” Ibushi was waiting for it for a whole year. “And somehow, I managed to seize it.” Ibushi worked so hard to take the cup. Now he understands. Ibushi thought he knew, but he was just pretending. He is incredibly happy. Can they tell? “It is the absolute best.” Ibushi repeats “the best” as he hands out beers for a toast. He makes sure everyone has one. “Okay, let’s do this!” All together, CHEERS! Ibushi chugs down the Miller and again says he’s incredibly happy. He thanks the fans for their support. Will Ibushi take this win all the way to the top of NJPW?
It may be a couple weeks late, but what a great end to the G1 Climax on AXS! We got the major plot points from the finale event, too. Kenta joining Bullet Club was a big surprise, even though it was clear something was up from him not starting and then ditching the tag. While Guerrillas of Destiny and Jay White have had a good run coming out of the lackluster non-end to the feud with The Elite, the rest of the Bullet Club hasn’t done much. With Kenta in there, and Fale looking legit again, they could make another run for having a lot of gold in their ranks. Meanwhile, Okada’s dance card before Wrestle Kingdom grows even longer. Sanada has a shot because he finally beat The Rainmaker, Ibushi would’ve had a claim whether or not he won tonight, and now Minoru Suzuki is after him!
Okada-Tanahashi VS Suzuki-Gun was a great match! Suzuki winning while ZSJ went after Tanahashi sets up some great title feuds with ZSJ perhaps putting his Rev-Pro title on the line out of arrogance. Suzuki’s story comes full circle, having not been in the G1 but earning a shot the old fashioned way, and it works as a replacement since Ibushi is going to have his shot because of the G1 Climax win. Sanada also has history with Suzuki, so the insane chance of Cold Skull taking the title off Okada to then defend it against Suzuki would make for an interesting lead into Wrestle Kingdom. Ibushi VS White was also a great match, and Ibushi winning was just the right call on so many levels. White has such Heel Heat, the fans would not want him to win. Ibushi is so over the fans would not want him to lose. And Ibushi dedicated himself to NJPW and that’s legit, so NJPW is giving him the push for that reason. It all came together for the Golden Star tonight.
At the same time, Ibushi will have to defend his contract like a title in itself, and you can imagine Bullet Club will want that. Kenta beat Ibushi in the very first round, so there is grounds for Kenta to want a shot. That would make for a great match, and another great test for Ibushi’s character to make it through his own string of challengers to parallel Okada. As for White, he beat both Moxley and Naito, who are both champions right now. Sadly we heard Moxley has an elbow infection, but hopefully it isn’t so serious as to keep him out of action in NJPW. Naito can still defend his title against White to keep his story of his dual championship destiny going. And of course, Naito VS Ibushi for the third time in 2019 can still happen somehow, perhaps even contract for title so that somehow someone potentially could become dual Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion.
My Score: 9.5/10
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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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