SmackDown arrives at its new home!
SmackDown’s Fox premiere is finally here and it is as big as you’d expect! The Rock, The Four Horsewomen, Brock Lesnar VS Kofi Kingston and more!
- Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch; Flair & Lynch win.
- Champion VS Champion: Seth Rollins VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn; No Contest.
- Ladder Match: Kevin Owens VS Shane McMahon; Owens wins and Shane McMahon is fired from the WWE.
- 8 Man Tag: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery VS Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler; Strowman, Miz & Heavy Machinery win.
- Lumberjack Match: Roman Reigns VS Erick Rowan; Roman wins.
- WWE World Championship: Kofi Kingston VS Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman; Lesnar wins and becomes the new WWE World Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Vince McMahon is here!
The Chairman and CBO, Stephanie McMahon, walk out to open the first SmackDown on Fox! Welcome to history! Welcome to Fox! Welcome to Friday Night SmackDown!!
Are you ready for a good time?
The Man is on Fox!
Becky Lynch may be Raw Women’s Champion, but she’s more than ready to bring the Straight Fire to SmackDown! Fans are just as fired up as Becky takes the mic. “It feels so good to be kicking off the very first episode.” Because SmackDown is in Becky’s blood. She smashed the glass ceiling and changed the game here. This is where all the fans used their voices to raise her up, and she thanks them for that. But how about repaying the favor by kicking some lass? Let’s start tonight off right! With King Corbin? The Lone Wolf King grins as he walks out on stage with a mic. “Yes, yes, The King is here!”
Corbin says Becky needs to listen to herself. Based on what she said, what should be kicking the show off is the King of the Ring. Does she think she’s still The Man? Step in the ring and we’ll find out. He does, but here comes THE ROCK! The Staples Center erupts for the Most Electrifying Man in ALL of Sports Entertainment! The Rock takes off his jacket, tosses it at the camera, then heads down to the ring to strike his iconic pose on the corners. Fans cheer for “Rocky! Rocky!” as he stands before The Man and the Lone Wolf King. “Many, many moons ago, The Rock uttered a phrase to some jabroni that changed the WWE landscape forever.” The Rock told that guy he would Lay the Smack Down! And now SmackDown has become a show, an institution, a global phenomenon in front of the millions (and MILLIONS) of fans around the world, and is now in front of Becky and a “broke ass Burger King on crack.” Because “FINALLY, The Rock has come back…” Wait for it. Fans chant “Rocky! Rocky!” as they do. “…home!”
But Corbin cuts Rock off there, and fans boo. Corbin is correcting something: this isn’t The Rock’s home. The Rock is no longer the Great One. No, the Great One is the Most Electrifying King in Sports Entertainment! And King Corbin says to know your role and shut your mouth. Clever. But Rock will take this and Becky obliges. Rock has to correct Corbin on something. Just because he won, that doesn’t make him a king, or wanna be walking around like a 35 year old virgin at ComicCon. Becky is The Man. Becky isn’t walking around with testicles, now is she? Well if she did, they’d be bigger than Corbin’s. Corbin’s testicles are perfectly fine! And King Corbin will dress and do whatever he wants! He is superior to Becky, to Rock, and to the fans! So the way Corbin sees it, there is only one King and it ain’t LeBron!
Well just so we’re clear, Corbin thinks he’s better? He thinks he’s better than the fans? And he thinks he’s better than LeBron? Becky says “It doesn’t matter what you think!” Corbin fell for that one. But Rock knows Corbin. Corbin is a legit competitor, even a badass. So he’s a “super tough dude?” Actually, yes. Corbin is a super tough dude. But since this is The Rock’s show, this is going to be an inclusive and engaging show. They’ll make Corbin feel good. In three seconds, the fans will chant what they think. “STD! STD!” That’ll stick for life. All around the world, they’ll chant that for Corbin. But live on Fox, Rock sees Corbin is upset. But that’s what happens when you insult The Man, you insult the fans, and you insult the Jabroni Beating, Pie Eating, Trailblazing, Eyebrow Raising, People’s Champion, The Rock! They both punch away on Corbin with haymakers!
The People’s Fist knocks Corbin down, then Becky drops the leg! And LA explodes over The People’s Elbow!! Becky back kicks, front kicks and Corbin staggers into a Rock Bottom! Rock loves SmackDown, if you SMELLLLL, what The Rock is cooking! The Man and the People’s Champion stand tall over the Lone Wolf King! If this is just the beginning, what more are we going to see as the night goes on?
Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch!
The Boss challenges The Man for the Raw Women’s Championship this Sunday at Hell in a Cell, but they’ll team up with their fellow Four Horsewomen to build some last minute momentum! Who gains an edge on the way into the most sinister structure in the WWE?
The teams sort out, and we begin with The Queen and the SmckDown Women’s Champion. Bayley shoves Becky but Charlotte decks Bayley. The ref keeps Becky from getting in while Charlotte CHOPS Bayley and stomps her in a corner. Charlotte lets up to scoop but Bayley slips out to throw Charlotte down! Bayley bumps Charlotte on buckles and tags in Sasha. The Boss & Hug crisscross Charlotte to then snapmare and basement meteora! Cover, ONE, and Sasha is upset already. Charlotte gets up and CHOPS Sasha to an open corner. And then she keeps up the CHOPS! Sasha slips out but shoulders into a knee. Charlotte runs to BOOT Sasha off the apron! Bayley coaches Sasha up but Charlotte soaks up the cheers and “WOO~!” Charlotte climbs but Bayley runs over. Becky intercepts with forearms, but that doesn’t keep her down! The ref brings Becky away while Bayley gets up and yanks Charlotte down anyway! Sasha kicks Charlotte against barriers while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Bayley has Charlotte in a waistlock. Charlotte elbows out and gets to a corner, but Bayley runs in. Charlotte knees her back down, then hurries to tag in Becky! The Man rallies on the Hugger but the Boss dodges. Becky jump kicks and fires off on Bayley to then snapmare and forearm! Fans fire up more as Bayley wobbles up, into a Becksploder! Becky makes sure Sasha is watching as she goes after an arm. Bayley gets up, Sasha distracts and Bayley whips Becky to a corner. Becky boots Bayley down then hops up to hit a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! Sasha distracts again, Bayley rolls Becky up, TWO! Becky dropkicks Bayley down, but then Bayley hotshots Becky. Tag to Charlotte and the Queen gives Bayley a backbraeker, NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, but Sasha breaks it with a kick to Charlotte’s face!
But now Becky gets in, and the preview begins with a brawl! Bayley tackles Becky and helps Ssaha, but Charlotte goes after Bayley! It is a brawl of all four Horsewomen! Becky and Charlotte get the advantage, exploder for Bayley! Becky is put on the apron but she kicks Sasha back. Becky forearms then hops up as Sasha stands, missile dropkick hits! The Boss & Hug bail out but Charlotte climbs up top! The Queen’s Moonsault hits them both! Fans are thunderous as Charlotte puts Bayley in. Bayley flounders up but Charlotte trips her to the Figure Four! Then bridges to the FIGURE EIGHT! Bayley taps, Charlotte and Becky win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch, Flair by submission
The Queen beats the SmackDown Women’s Champion, is she going to be in line for another title match? As for Becky will she be able to bankrupt The Boss this Sunday? Or will going through Hell in a Cell be too much, even for The Man?
Erin Andrews has a backstage interview with The New Day!
Big E, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston join Erin and are pumped for tonight. Kofi defends his title against Brock Lesnar, and is an underdog to many. But if they’ve seen his matches, he’s always the underdog! Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, but Kofi finds a way to win! Lesnar is the next mountain to climb but Kofi climbs mountains and overcomes every time. Will he have the “posse” ringside? They’re many things, but they’re “ya bois” the NEW~ DAY~! But Kofi has asked to do this alone, because he wants to prove everyone in the arena, watching at home and to Lesnar himself why Kofi is the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~! The Power of Positivity is strong tonight, but is it enough to survive The Beast?
Champion VS Champion: Seth Rollins VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn!
The Architect may have The Fiend waiting for him in Hell in a Cell, but the Universal Champion doesn’t back down from a fight. Will he get that and more out of the Intercontinental Champion? Or will he #BurnItDown even against the King of Strong Style?
But before the match begins, Firefly Fun House interrupts! Bray glares at the camera, but then cheers up as he says hi. Welcome to Firefly Fun House! Since we’re all being introduced to SmackDown’s new home, let’s introduce everyone to his home, and all his special friends! Abby the Witch is grumpy, Mercy the Buzzard is surly, Huskis the Pig is hungry, and Ramblin’ Rabbit is a Rollins cosplayer? He wants to #BurnItDown too! But he’s also warning Rollins to NOT go to Hell in a Cell. It won’t end well. Just walk away!
What’s this poppycock all about? Who knew Ramblin’ was such a big fan? Bray now has a fantastic idea! Instead of telling Rollins what’ll happen, let’s show him! “In this corner, playing the role of Seth Rollins, we have the Squealer, Ramblin’ Rabbit!” Dude let him out of the red cage! But playing the role of “him,” here is “No Mercy” the Buzzard! Seth, turn away. This could get ugly. Mercy attacks Ramblin’ with his vicious beak! Stuffing is flying everywhere! So much stuffing. Bray reaches in. Mercy, no. Ramblin’ Rabbit is literally in pieces! And Bray just laughs. Rollins is not as amused. But history has a horrible way of repeating itself. They’ve all hurt for so long. But now, it’s Rollins’ turn. See you in Hell! Bye~! Rollins keeps calm, and Nakamura makes his entrance so this match can begin.
SmackDown returns and the bell rings. Nakamura gets Rollins right down in an armbar! Rollins scrambles up to deadlift buckle bomb Nakamura! Nakamura bails out, Rollins runs and DIVES! Direct hit but Rollins isn’t done there, he DIVES again! Another hit and now Rollins gets Nakamura in the ring. Sami is ringside barking but Rollins runs him off. Rollins goes back to Nakamura but gets a strike fest! The knee misses but Rollins hits a Slingblade! Rollins runs in at Nakamura in a corner but Nkaamura puts him on the apron. Rollins blocks the kick to give a kick, then springboards for a flying knee! SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Rollins stomps, “Burn It Down!” Rollins aims at Nakamura from a corner, but the lights start going out! First a surprise Firefly Fun House, and now this?!
Rollins has gotten to the stage. Nakamura is also worried, but The Fiend… attacks from the stage!! He gets Rollins again! Rollins tries to fight but the Mandible Claw is in deep! The Fiend shouts and laughs as he smothers Rollins, then throws him off the stage!! Rollins lands hard on the ground and The Fiend looks down at him, before disappearing again. Bray’s laugh echoes out, but will we hear this laugh again in Hell in a Cell?
Ladder Match: Kevin Owens VS Shane McMahon!
After everything they’ve put each other through, it finally escalates to this! The man who brings down the briefcase wins, and the loser is GONE from the WWE! Who will literally take their own fate, and their opponent’s, in their hands?
Kevin won’t let Shane even get to the ring, he goes right at him on the ramp! They brawl back into the ring and this match begins with fists! Kevin clotheslines Shane out but pursues to throw him into steel steps! Kevin then grabs a ladder and carefully makes a bridge between ring and barriers. He throws Shane into the side of the ladder! Then again! Shane falls but Kevin goes under to grab another ladder. Kevin takes that one and puts it in the ring. Kevin stands this ladder up, wanting to end this already. Kevin climbs but Shane catches up to pull him down! Shane Russian Leg Sweeps Kevin down then stomps away! Shane climbs up fast but Kevin stops him now. Kevin throws haymakers then headbutts to rock Shane. Kevin decides to use this ladder as a weapon, throwing it! Shane gets out of the way and the ladder lands outside. Kevin wants a stunner but is denied, but he still hits Shane with a lariat!
Kevin fetches that ladder and brings it back over, but Shane dropkicks the ladder into Kevin’s face! Shane has the ladder now, and SMACKS Kevin on the back! Shane clears off the announce desk now and puts Kevin on it. This is classic crazy Shane as he also goes back to the ring. The referee advises him not to be so reckless, but Shane comes back to club away on Kevin. Kevin fights back with clawing hands but Shane rains down rights and elbows! Shane then takes the desk hood to SMACK Kevin in the head! And again! Kevin stays put but Shane is on his guard. Kevin sits up to get another SMACK from the hood! Shane now heads back to the ring and up to the top rope. Fans know what’s coming as Shane takes aim. Shane LEAPS for the elbow through the desk!! Both men are wrecked and fans lose their minds! SmackDown goes to break as both men are down.
SmackDown returns and Kevin has risen! Kevin has Shane on the ladder bridge and goes up to the top rope himself now! Kevin FROG SPLASHES on Shane, and they crash through the ladder! The ladder is broken but so is Shane, and the fans lose their minds again! Kevin manages to drag himself away as fans declare, “This is Awesome!” Kevin gets a good ladder into the ring and goes as fast as he can to set it up. It’s also of note that another ladder had been set in a corner across the ropes, during the break. Shane somehow rises with a chair and he SMACKS Kevin’s legs! Kevin falls and so does the ladder! Shane SMACKS Kevin with the chair again! Kevin backs off to a corner but Shane jabs the chair into his ribs. Shane thinks about using the chair more but he tosses it aside, to bring the ladder over.
Shane positions the ladder in Kevin’s face and then goes across the way. Shane climbs up and fans anticipate this new COAST2COAST!! The ladder is kicked into Kevin’s face! Kevin slumps out of the ring but Shane is down from his part in that impact. Shane gets up and brings the ladder up. He stands it under the briefcase, and fans boo as he looks moments away from ending Kevin’s WWE career. Shane climbs, but Kevin rises again! Kevin grabs at Shane, yanks him off, POWERBOMB to the ladder in the corner!! Shane is down, Kevin climbs up, Kevin grabs the briefcase! Kevin takes it down, Kevin wins!!
Winner: Kevin Owens; Shane McMahon is FIRED
The Prizefighter grabs the sweetest prize he’s ever held! He has the briefcase that has the lawsuit that says Shane is GONE Kevin grabs a mic and looks down at Shane. Kevin makes it official as he tells Shane, “YOU’RE! FIIIIRED!” Kevin tops it off with a STUNNER! Shane is no longer part of SmackDown, and this truly begins a new era! What will this mean for the WWE as a whole?
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
Kayla Braxton asks the Advocate to the Beast what he thinks about tonight’s main event. Heyman doesn’t care what Kofi has to say, just show the relevant footage. A video package plays, and it’s of the assault on Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominick. Heyman wants to make this so easy that even as simple as Dominick can understand. Rey was in Lesnar’s way and Lesnar got rid of Rey. Kofi is in Lesnar’s way, so do the math. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a prediction, this is a spoiler.” Once again, the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion of the World, BROCK. LESNAR.
8 Man Tag: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery VS Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler!
The Monster Among Men and Hollywood A-Lister are on a truly massive team alongside Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, and against a star-studded team of The Viper, the Phenomenal One and the GLORIOUS Raw Tag Team Champions. Which side takes a big win on this big night?
The teams sort out and Miz starts against Ziggler. They circle but Miz hits Roode. Ziggler gets after Miz with fists and taunts Strowman. ZIGZAG! But Ziggler doesn’t cover, he dares Miz to stand. Miz blocks the superkick to DDT Ziggler instead! Fans rally as Ziggler and Miz crawl, hot tag to Strowman! Strowman runs Ziggler over and the others just run away. Strowman whip Ziggler corner to corner for a big splash! Then a clubbing forearm! Cover, but Roode breaks it. Miz gets Roode with a Finale, Orton gives Miz an RKO! Otis gets in and runs Orton over, but STyles hits a Phenomenal Forearm! Tucker clotheslines Styles and himself out, so Ziggler and Strowman are the two that remain. But Strowman sees all the bodies on the outside, and decides to take a lap!
Strowman runs Orton over! He runs Roode over! Then Styles! Fans fire up with Strowman, but he nods to Tyson Fury at ringside. He and Fury put up their dukes, but then Ziggler attacks from behind! Strowman throws Ziggler into a post for that! And then at the barriers! That bumps Fury, but Strowman puts Ziggler in the ring. Fury is a little annoyed but Strowman says it was nothing serious. Ziggler SUPERKICKS Strowman! But he runs into a MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman’s team wins!
Winners: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery, Strowman pinning
But Fury hops the rails! The security rushes Fury to keep him from Strowman! Is the undefeated heavyweight boxer going to test the hands of the Monster Among Men?
Lumberjack Match: Roman Reigns VS Erick Rowan!
Twenty superstars surround the ring as the Big Dog and the Redwood prepare for a big rematch from Clash of Champions, all ahead of their tag team grudge match at Hell in a Cell. Will Roman or Rowan take momentum before teaming with Daniel Bryan and Luke Harper?
Speaking of Daniel Bryan, he’s on commentary to watch this at a slightly safer distance. The bell rings and Roman circles with Rowan. They tie up and Rowan puts Roman in a corner to throw big hands. The Lumberjacks watch closely as Rowan stomps away on Roman. Rowan backs off at the ref’s call, then he throws big forearms. Rowan runs and runs Roman over! Roman bails out and the Lumberjacks stomp Roman for a moment. They all put Roman in, but Rowan is on Roman. Roman slips out of the scoop and then clotheslines Rowan out! Now it’s Rowan’s turn! Rowan fights the Lumberjacks but Roman comes around to run at Rowan! Rowan catches Roman to throw him into barriers! Rowan glares and no one comes close, so Rowan goes back into the ring. Some Lumberjacks go after Roman but others back them off. Those Lumberjacks get Roman in, but Rowan hits him with the big heel kick! Cover, TWO, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Rowan has Roman in the knuckle vice! Lumberjacks rally as Roman endures the fists squeezing his head. Rowan grinds harder and Bryan will give Rowan that he has might. But Bryan disagrees with “Might equals right,” and Roman fights out! Roman uppercuts Rowan hard, then runs, to kick Rowan and uppercut him again! Rowan kicks back then whips, but Roman stops himself to elbow Rowan away. Roman dodges in the corner and throws point-blank lariats! Roman goes all the way to 10, then runs to leaping lariat! Rowan rebounds into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rowan survives and even the Lumberjacks are surprised. Roman rises but so does Rowan, and everyone rallies up. Roman locks ‘n’ loads, runs but into Rowan’s arms! Roman elbows free but Rowan boots him back! Roman rebounds to SUPERMAN PUNCH!
Both men are down and Bryan spots something. Harper is here, so Bryan hurries off commentary. Harper blasts his way through Lumberjacks but Bryan is on him! Harper shoves Bryan off and now the Lumberjacks fight whoever is around! Roman LEAPS onto them all! Roman bowls the Lumberjacks over, but Harper gets up and hurries away. Rowan takes Ali up as a weapon to throw at Roman! Then Rowan puts Roman back in the ring, runs and body checks! Cover, TWO!? Roman survives and shocks Rowan! Rowan keeps his focus as he dares Roman to stand again. The claw is ready, clamps on, but Roman elbows out! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Harper runs in, to LARIAT Roman! Bryan gives Harper the Planet’s knee! Roman SPEARS Rowan! Cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall
The Goat helps the Big Dog survive the towering trees tonight! Bryan offers a handshake, fans chant “YES! YES!” and Roman takes it! They’re united against common enemies, but will that be enough to win?
WWE World Championship: Kofi Kingston VS Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman!
Kofimania has been “the underdog champion” this whole time, but perhaps never more than now! Will the Power of Positivity stay the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~!? Or will he fall as we see the return of the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, The Beast, BRRROCK, LESNARRR?
The introductions are made, and Heyman takes care of Lesnar’s. The belt is raised, and we begin Fox’s first WWE main event!
Kofi rushes Lesarn, but gets caught!! F5!! Cover, Lesnar wins?!?
Winner: Brock Lesnar, by pinfall; NEW WWE World Champion
Go back with your DVR if you have to, it was THAT fast! Lesnar ends Kofi’s dream, and now begins a FIFTH world title reign! But wait! Here comes Rey Mysterio! The King of Lucha Libre, and a truly furious father, is here! And so is… CAIN VELASQUEZ!? Seems Rey has some incredibly scary friends! Lesnar is sweating bullets seeing the one man to truly beat him. Cain goes to the ring, Lesnar looks worried, but fans are loving this! Cain TACKLES Lesnar and fires off!! Lesnar actually RUNS AWAY! Cain dares Lesnar to man up and fight, and even Heyman wants Lesnar to show everyone who he is. But Lesnar holds onto his world title and backs away. Cain glares and Lesnar finds the courage to head to the ring again.
But Lesnar stops at the end of the ramp, takes his title belt back, and backs away again. LA is loving that someone is finally making Lesnar feel like the victim! Lesnar has Heyman hold up the world title high, then leaves. Fans boo and Cain looks disappointed. When and where will Cain get his chance to beat Lesnar down again?
For the first SmackDown on Fox, and the first on Fridays in years, this started off so well, then fell off somewhere in the middle. Becky and The Rock getting the better of Corbin in that opening segment was so much fun, because Corbin was the perfect one to do that to. Then we got a pretty good Four Horsewomen Tag II, and it makes a lot of sense for Charlotte and Bayley to be the finish. This keeps us guessing on Becky and Sasha, and perhaps will give us another SmackDown Women’s Championship match for Hell in a Cell since there’s barely anything announced for the PPV at this point. The imbalance of a Fox premiere checklist and available time on a two hour SmackDown started showing itself at this point with Champion VS Champion, Rollins VS Nakamura. They had a good half a match before The Fiend showed up and attacked. It might’ve worked better if this had time to breathe, but at least we got that fun Firefly Fun House segment.
The Ladder Match for the fate of Kevin and Shane was incredible! Something still felt rushed, but if TV audiences got to see it all like live fans did, it definitely would’ve felt even better. But the favorites were hit, like Shane’s leap to the desk, Shane’s Coast 2 Coast, and several other ladder spots. And of course, the right result was taken as Kevin wins and “fires” Shane. Next week, Kevin and the entire WWE can start fresh, and there will be a WWE Draft to help with that. Knowing what we know now, maybe Kevin can get in on the World/Universal Championship. Kevin can have a great program with just about anyone, and his feud with Shane proves that. That 8 Man Tag was not needed. At least, it wasn’t needed as an 8 Man Tag. Boil that down to the essentials: Strowman is starting a “celebrity” feud with Tyson Fury. Strowman VS just Ziggler, or 2v2 of Stroman and Miz VS Roode-Dolph would’ve gotten the same end result but with less chaos.
Rowan VS Roman, which was apparently No Disqualification because of Lumberjacks, was more rushed madness. In this case, it works, but after all the other rushed material, it just makes things worse. Roman and Bryan stand tall tonight, so maybe Rowan & Harper win. It doesn’t have to be clean, and it probably won’t be. And it probably gets Harper & Rowan back into at least tag title contention. Maybe these two can recreate a Brothers of Destruction run, going for everything they possibly can, which sadly now won’t included the WWE World Championship. I think Vince’s brain stopped working when Fox shoved money in his face. He and Fox did Kofi dirty tonight. Just dirrrrty. That wasn’t even ONE minute! Kofi should’ve had much more than that, but apparently a man living the 11 year dream means nothing compared to shoving MMA into WWE.
In a vacuum, bringing a ghost from Lesnar’s past is great, but not when it costs Kofi a dream he fought so hard for, both in real-life and kayfabe. Kofi stuck by WWE all that time, and now he’s just the longest reigning transitional champion. But Vince won’t be ashamed of his decision, he’ll just be taking money showers before taking a dip in his golden swimming pool.
My Score: 8/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 2.2.2023
Impact has a new number one contender, a few new signings and setting up for No Surrender. Lets see what happens tonight!
We’re coming off of Rich Swann becoming the number one contender, Joe Hendry creating another banger of a parody song and Bully Ray…being more like Bitchy Ray.
Also lets not overlook the fact that Dirty Dango officially signed with IMPACT as well. Which may not be huge, but with the current addition of Santino Marella, Dango being involved in storylines for the foreseeable; there could be some good comedy in store.
There we go, a bunch of stuff got set in motion; but we could always see some interesting wrinkles or just straight forward boredom. Only one way to find out! BUT FIRST! Raven is getting The Flock back together…maybe?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 3, 2023
- Bullet Club (Ace & Bey) vs Kevin Knight & Kushida: Ace & Bey win via 1-2-Sweet – ***
- Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal vs Savannah Evans: Gisele wins via Denouement – ** 1/4
- Crazzy Steve w/ Black Taurus vs Sheldon Jean: Steve wins via King Kill 33 – N/A
- Johnny Swinger w/Zicky Dice vs Kenny King: Kenny wins via Royal Flush – N/A
- The Design (Kon, Deaner, Angels & Callihan) vs Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Yuya Uemura & Rich Swann: Callihan wins via Cactus Driver ’97 – ** 1/2
Bullet Club (Ace & Bey) vs Kevin Knight & Kushida
As much as I like Ace & Bey, a part of me would like MCMG versus Kushida and his new partner.
Early on its just counters, posing to the crowd and getting themselves over until Bey manages to sweep the leg, slingshot over the top rope for a stomp and take over a little. Knight manages to avoid a corner move, one legged Springboard Body Press, Jumping Frog Splash, and then a quick tag to Kushida. Some tandem moves from Kushida and Knight as Knight continues to mix it up with Bey.
Ace distracts Knight before the Springboard and Bey meets him in midair with a Dropkick and gets Ace in for some tandem offense and then Ace starts setting the pace. Double Arm Wringer into a tandem Back Rake. Then they wrestle Knight to the ground and keep him down for another Back Rake. Ace continues to set the pace and keep Knight mostly on the receiving end, until Knight rolls out of a lift, Ricky to Robert roll, Kushida gets the hot tag and starts clearing the ring. Bey tries Art of Finesse, Kushida catches him in a Flying Armbar but Bey turns it into a Cradle to get Kushida to break.
Electric Chair from Kushida, but before Knight can hit his Dropkick, Ace slides in and catches Knight on his back. Chicken Fight before Kushida and Knight finally hit their Tandem move but Ace makes the save. Ace wipes out Kushida, Knight forces Ace out, tries to go for a Plancha, but Bey was crotched on the top rope. As Knight tries to Plancha, Bey hits a Cutter out of nowhere on the apron. Ace sees the opening, 1-2-Sweet for the win!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 3, 2023
Steph De Lander video package…that’s a pretty decent grab for IMPACT.
Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal vs Savannah Evans
Gisele faces off with Savannah and slaps her in the face a few times and refuses to back down. Savannah of course fires back, but when Gisele gets violent is when she’s at her best. After a big toss, Gisele powders, confers with Jai and the commercial kicks in. When we get back, Gisele has the advantage. But Savannah takes the short arm pull in, Side Slam for effect and distance.
Now they start trading strikes, that Savannah wins that war. A few short Lariats, Samoan Drop, and Gisele is reeling. Retreats to the corner, tries to stop Savannah with the Back Elbow, but eats a Spinebuster when she tries to continue. Fisherman’s Suplex Hold from Savannah for 2, Full Nelson Slam attempt, but Jai hits the apron and tries to seduce the referee as a distraction. Gisele hits the Denouement (Knee Strike) for the win.
The crowd is actively booing Gisele, but she powers through for her promo. It wasn’t great, but I’ll give her some credit for pushing through.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 3, 2023
Crazzy Steve w/ Black Taurus vs Sheldon Jean
Sheldon Jean continues the arrogance, though he’s a nobody enhancement talent. It would be nice if some of these enhancement talent wrestlers didn’t all have that same arrogant persona. We all know Steve is going to win, this is just a storytelling tool to probably add to the Trey Miguel stuff.
Steve is entertaining, but this match is more predictable than most things. He hits King Kill 33, but apparently it’s called Belladonna’s Kiss now. Trey jumps Taurus, tries to spray paint Steve, but Steve bites him and spray paints himself causing Trey to powder out of confusion/fear.
Bully comes out to complain as has been his thing the last few weeks. But thankfully Mickie returns the favor from last week and interrupts Bully. Verbal jabs, Bully Ray insults Mickie, Mickie slaps him, Bully slams her and calls in the Good Hands to get the tables. Tommy Dreamer makes a save with a kendo stick. Good Hands vs Mickie & Tommy next week.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 3, 2023
Oh good, this is exactly what I wanted from a few weeks ago! Kelly and Taylor will be a great team.
Johnny Swinger w/Zicky Dice vs Kenny King
Some goofy posturing and general Swinger antics. Eddy Gordo kick into Royal Flush, and Kenny gets the obvious win.
Bully has a segment in the back with Masha, and it seems like he’s a little smitten while he was trying to just manipulate her emotions to pick up the pieces after or during the tag match next week.
Cardona and Myers try to make their own diss track song…and it was awful. It was supposed to be bad, and yes, it achieved that. It was like Miz and Morrison, without comedic talent.
The Design (Kon, Deaner, Angels & Callihan) vs Josh Alexander, Frankie Kazarian, Yuya Uemura & Rich Swann
Deaner barks at Callihan to start against Swann, then commands him to tag out, and a multi-man match is always a little bit of everyone gets moments. So its just odd that the heel team will be dictated by Deaner to a degree. Uemura comes in second and he reminds me so much of a young Tanahashi its crazy. Deaner calls for the tag and squares off against Josh now.
An attempted jumping in the corner, but Josh gets space and it turns into all 8 men in at once. Josh goes right after Kon and tries to assert his dominance on the “power” of The Design. After the commercial, Uemura gets rocked but Kaz saves him with a blind tag and hits some of his classic moves on Angels and Callihan. Swann comes in but Deaner and Kon manage to ground Swann and put the momentum back in the hands on The Design.
Some stupid spots take away a little from the match while Swann is getting worked over. Swann slaps his leg when he eats a Dropkick from Angels, then tries to Leapfrog Deaner and jump to his corner, Deaner grabs him away but it just looks silly and like it was never going to work to begin with. Its the optime of doing too much and hurting the match. Josh eventually gets a hot tag, tags a square off with Kon, throws him around and King Kong Knee drops Kon. Ankle Lock gives the near fall but Kon kicks off, Uemura tags himself in, Callihan gets the tag, is about to finish off Uemura; but Deaner stops the Thumbs Up – so Josh breaks up the offense and we get all 8 men pulls off high impact moves.
Cactus Driver attempt, Uemura hits the Enzuigiri to stun Callihan. Goes to the top, Deaner trips Uemura, Cactus Driver ’97 wins the match.
Overall Score: 5/10
This was a weird episode. The only match worth watching was the opening tag match, the rest were predictable, boring or just had dumb spots in them. Backstage segments however, those were pretty great. The problem though, is they built off of either inside jokes, old WCW knowledge or not shutting off cringe immediately.
So while I loved the Raven & Reese segment, Kelly & Taylor, and found some amusement in the Cardona stuff…its really subjective and not exactly friendly to an uninitiated viewer. We got an episode that catered to already existing fans, which isn’t how to grow a brand.
Even though I enjoyed things for the most part, this was a lame episode from the perspective of retaining new eyes.
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (2/1/23)
Dynamite is No Holds Barred!
Will Darby Allin still be the Relentless TNT Champion?
Samoa Joe wants the AEW TNT Championship back, but he knows Darby Allin is relentless. Tonight on Dynamite, they go NO HOLDS BARRED for the gold! Will Joe once again be the King of Television?
- Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page; Moxley wins.
- The Acclaimed w/ Billy Gunn VS Truth Magnum & Turbo Floyd; The Acclaimed wins.
- Brian Cage w/ Prince Nana VS Konosuke Takeshita; Takeshita wins.
- Bryan Danielson VS Timothy Thatcher; Bryan wins.
- AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Leila Grey VS Red Velvet; Cargill wins and retains the title.
- AEW TNT Championship No Holds Barred: Darby Allin w/ Sting VS Samoa Joe; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
Jon Moxley w/ Wheeler Yuta VS Hangman Page!
The Maniac and the Cowboy go for their tiebreaker as Dynamite is in Dayton, Ohio! Will Ohio’s own knock this one out of the park like he did before? Or will there be some serious #CowboySh*t going down in Dayton?
Not only does Moxley have the Decoder by his side, he has his dad, Dan! Hangman makes his entrance next, and Moxley goes right after him! Moxley throws hands then whips Hangman into railing! The ref reprimands but Moxley sends Hangman into steel steps! Moxley throws hands, whips Hangman again and Hangman hits more railing hard! Fans fire up and the ref reprimands. Moxley just takes off his hoodie to CHOKE Hangman with it! Moxley TOSSES Hangman over the railing, and then he hops onto the railing! Dayton fires up, gives Moxley a hand, and Moxley FLYING AX HANDLES Hangman down!
Moxley brings Hangman up but Hangman throws hands! Hangman sits Moxley down, fires off more shots, then backs up. Hangman runs in to BOOT Moxley against railing! The ref reprimands, he wants this in the ring, but it isn’t a match yet so there’s no real repercussions. Hangman stalks Moxley along the way but Moxley kicks back. And CHOPS! Moxley trips Hangman then ties him up, FIGURE FOUR on the floor! Moxley and Hangman flip each other off but the ref still wants this in the ring. Hangman grabs someone’s beer and splashes Moxley with it! Moxley lets Hangman out of the hold, and then Hangman ROCKS Mox!
They go back to ringside, Moxley grabs a chair but Hangman CLUBS Moxley. But Moxley JAMS Hangman, tris him, and then drops an elbow on the leg! Moxley has a toehold, then he puts the chair around the leg! The ref reprimands but Moxley goes up the apron. The ref shouts at Moxley to not jump, but then Hangman gets free! Hangman CHUCKS the chair at Moxley’s head!! Moxley goes down and fans fire up! The ref reprimands again and wants this to get in the ring. Moxley is dazed, but Hangman drags him around, to suplex onto the chair! Hangman drags Moxley up and puts him in the ring, but he also brings the chair!
The ref stops Hangman, so Hangman leaves the chair behind. The bell finally rings, and Hangman runs in to forearm Moxley! Moxley hits back, they go back and forth! Moxley’s eyebrow is already busted open, but he keeps throwing shots. Hangman gets the edge, HEADBUTTS, then whips. Moxley reverses to dropkick the legs out! Moxley looms over Hangman, drags him into the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Hangman endures, keeps his shoulders off the mat, but fans rally behind Moxley. Hangman drags himself back, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Moxley lets Hangman go at 3.
Moxley brings Hangman up but Hangman gets around to GERMAN SUPLEXES! Moxley snarls but the blood is getting into his eye. Hangman DECKS Moxley and has him at the ropes. Hangman brings Moxley up, fans boo but Hangman CHOPS! Moxley flounders and falls and fans start dueling. Hangman stalks Moxley, sits him up, and he starts raining down fists right on the bloody eyebrow! Mox fans boo but Hangman fans are fired up for the “COWBOY SH*T!” Hangman wipes Moxley’s blood off on his chest, but then turns around into a CHOP! Moxley eggs Hangman on and Hangman CHOPS back!
Moxley CHOPS, Hangman CHOPS, fans “WOO~!” for the CHOP fight! Moxley shifts to boxing elbows, then runs, but Hangman catches the crossbody! FALL AWAY SLAM! Fans are torn while Moxley goes to the apron. Hangman runs, triangle jumps, but Moxley LARIATS first! Moxley drags Hangman up and to the apron, then turns Hangman, for a SLEEPER! The ref reprimands and wants this in the ring, but Hangman claws the bloody eyebrow! Moxley turns Hangman around, reels him in, but Hangman resists the lift! Hangman tries to lift, Moxley resists, and then Moxley lifts! Hangman fights that and lifts again, but Moxley still fights!
Both men are fighting for control, and Hangman fireman’s carries! To SNAKE EYES Moxley off the post! Moxley falls to the floor and Dynamite goes picture in picture!
The ref checks Moxley but he’s somehow okay to continue. Hangman goes over to fetch Moxley, and whips him into railing! Hangman ROCKS Moxley with haymakers as the bloody eyebrow becomes a crimson mask. Hangman refreshes the count, goes back to Moxley and CHOPS him! Moxley gets in Hangman’s face so Hangman CHOPS again! Moxley CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Hangman DECKS him! Hangman snarls, looms over Moxley, and then drags him back up. Hangman puts Moxley in the ring, and rains down more fists on that bloody eyebrow! Moxley falls over, but Hangman gets the wrists!
Hangman sits Moxley up, for a DRAGON STOMP, but Moxley blocks! Moxley throws Hangman to a corner and fires off forearms and CHOPS on repeat! Moxley then hoists Hangman up top, climbs up after him, and CLAWS Hangman’s back, painfully slow! Then he CLAWS and BITES Hangman’s back, before blowing a kiss to the fans. But Hangman throws body shots in return! Dynamite returns to single picture as Hangman BITES Moxley’s forehead! Hangman then slips under Moxley to fireman’s carry him on the second rope! SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Moxley survives and fans are fired up!
Fans duel as Hangman sits up. Hangman scowls while Moxley sits up. Moxley eggs Hangman on so Hangman kicks him! And BOOTS him! Hangman tells Moxley to stay down but he refuses. Moxley sits up, so Hangman BOOTS him! Moxley sits up to SLAP Hangman, and flips him off! Hangman is fuming, but he runs into a CUTTER! A standing count starts, fans count along as Moxley and Hangman stir. They sit up at 5 of 10, and Moxley throws a haymaker. Hangman throws it back, so Moxley gives another,. They go back and forth, Hangman wobbles but he CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS! Hangman forearms! Moxley forearms back!
Moxley eggs Hangman on, Hangman staggers over and CHOPS again! Moxley KICKS a leg, KICKS Hangman’s arm, then KICKS him again! Moxley ducks the haymaker to get the SLEEPER! Hangman shifts to SAIDO! But Moxley’s right up! SAIDO!! Hangman ends up in a corner and fans say “This is Awesome!” Moxley puts Hangman up top, climbs up after him, and hits a SUPER HALF HATCH SUPLEX!! Cover, TWO!! Moxley immediately rains down the HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Then he clamps on a SLEEPER! Hangman endures as Moxley shifts to a BULLY CHOKE! Hangman pushes around, so Moxley shifts to get the wrists! DRAGON STOMPS!!
Moxley then drags Hangman up into the underhooks! But Hangman fights Death Rider! So Moxley rolls Hangman to an ARMBAR! Hangman endures, moves around, and reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts and Moxley lets go at 4. Hangman crawls to a corner, fans rally up, and Moxley says this is it! Moxley runs in but Hangman TOSSES him up and out! Moxley staggers up, Hangman goes up top! ARIHARA MOONSAULT but Moxley moves! And LARIATS!! Both men are down at the ramp and fans are thunderous! The ref checks both men, Moxley is up first while fans lose their minds.
Moxley goes to the timekeeper’s area and he clears off the table! Moxley drags Hangman over, reels him in, but Hangman resists the lift! Hangman Alabama Lifts but Moxley fights that. DOUBLE LARIATS hit! And again! Moxley runs in, POP-UP POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! Fans lose their minds again while Hangman leaves Moxley behind in the ring. The ring count climbs to 5 of 10 before Moxley sits up. The count is 7! Then “OCHO!” Moxley stands at 9, and springs in at 9.9!! But into a LARIAT!! And then Alabama Lift, DEADEYE!!! Cover, TWO?!?! Moxley survives and no one can believe it!
Hangman kicks at Moxley, almost taunting him. Hangman goes to a corner while Moxley’s fans boo. Hangman runs in, but Moxley dodges the stomp to KING KONG LARIAT!! Fans are thunderous as both men stand again. Moxley eggs Hangman on, and Hangman stands. Moxley throws a forearm, so Hangman hits back! Moxley forearms again, but so does Hangman! Fans duel, the forearms fly faster, and then Hangman gets the edge! SUPERKICK! Hangman reels Moxley in, fisherman’s a leg, but Moxley fights the suplex! Hangman powers it through, FISHERMAN CRADLE DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!?!?
Hangman’s wild eyes say he can’t believe Moxley survived! Hangman goes to the apron, he aims at Moxley, slingshot for the BUCK- NO! DEATH- NO, Hangman blocks to scoop! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!! But Hangman doesn’t cover, he goes to the apron! Hangman loads up, for the BUCKSHOT!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?! Moxley has survived all of Hangman’s best, but Hangman has the BULLY CHOKE!! Hangman pulls back on Moxley’s favorite hold! Moxley shifts, fights back up, and he snapmares into a cradle! MOXLEY WINS!!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall
Moxley just taught Hangman not to play games! Hangman is furious that he got caught like that, but the Blackpool Combat Club steps into the ring. Yuta and Claudio keep Hangman back but Moxley stands up. Moxley and Hangman get in each other’s face but the BCC keep them apart. Hangman flips Moxley off, and fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” Moxley and Hangman keep jawing, they get close but Claudio keeps them separate. Moxley mocks Hangman by lying down, giving Hangman a chance. Hangman mocks Moxley back by doing a quick burpie push-up. Claudio tells Hangman to go and cool off.
Moxley flips Hangman off as he leaves, and fans celebrate their home state hero. Will there be a fourth round out of these two to truly settle things?
AEW takes a look at tonight’s TNT Championship No Holds Barred main event!
Darby Allin tells Samoa Joe, “I knew when I took this from you in Seattle that you’d want it back. And I know you’d stop at nothing to have it back. Well, I’m gonna make things fair. You beat me in Texas, and you granted me my rematch in Seattle. So I’m granting you your rematch in Ohio. But I want it under one condition: No Holds Barred.” Samoa Joe told the “Little Dead Boy” that Joe is “coming to take back what’s mine. The King will not be usurped by a man like you.” Darby says if he walks out the winner, Joe doesn’t get another rematch. If Joe walks out the winner, Darby won’t get a rematch. This will be the final chapter of their feud! So who writes their happily ever after?
Backstage interview with Jamie Hayter, The Bunny, The Butcher & The Blade.
Renee Paquette is with the AEW Women’s World Champion, as well as the mercenary trio. Renee thanks them for agreeing to no physicality, and understands that Allie the Bunny requested this time. Bunny tells Hayter, they’re all very impressed by Hayter’s win over Emi Sakura on Rampage last Friday. Now, Bunny feels like Sakura outshined Hayter, but great win nonetheless. And Bunny knows Hayter isn’t the type to back down from a challenge, right? Right. So here’s a challenge: next week on Dynamite, Hayter VS Bunny in a Title Eliminator Match! What does Hayter say? Hayter says absolutely! She bloody loves a challenge, and next week, she’s free.
Renee says there’s something happening as we speak! They get it on the television screen nearby, and it’s Britt Baker being mugged by Saraya and Toni Storm!! Bunny is shocked and Hayter is furious! Hayter hurries off, Saraya talks right into the camera, “AEW is OUR house!” Storm drags Britt up to RAM her into a garage door! Bunny more or less expresses exasperation, but will Hayter be able to save the Doctor?
The Acclaimed w/ Billy Gunn VS Truth Magnum & Turbo Floyd!
The AEW World Tag Team Champions have been reigning for 133 days, but they know the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten, are gunning for them. But first, they tune up against “The Outrunners.” As always, Platinum Max has a diss track ready! “Acclaimed on the mic, you know we the nicest. Fighting two guys in their midlife crisis! I bet you have sex with each other. How we gonna fight the bootleg Beverly Brothers? C’mon, it’s not the 80s! Acclaimed gonna make you call it quits like you Tom Brady! ‘Ey, y’all should be ashamed. In Ohio, everybody loves The Acclaimed.”
Fans cheer, and Bowens gets the mic to say, “NNNUTTER CENTERRR~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And he does~! But while Caster & Bowens just embarrassed Truth & Turbo, are they walking into a trap game before taking on the Ass Boys?
The teams sort out, the Outrunners decide they’ll scissor finger! They mock the Mega Powers at the same time, but then Bowens SUPERKICKS Truth out of the ring! The bell rings, Caster CHOPS Turbo and scoops him to SLAM him! Tag to Bowens and Bowens goes up top! Caster holds open the legs, SCISSOR ME TURBO! Daddy Ass gets in the ring so that he and the boys can TRIPLE SCISSOR~! Bowens waits on Turbo, mule kicks and hits the ARRIVAL! Tag to Caster and he goes up top, MIC DROP! Cover, The Acclaimed win!
Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall
But wait! Raining on the parade are Austin & Colten! Fans taunt the “ASS~ BOYS~!” But they tune that out. They go to the ring, and Colten has a mic. “Hey, good match, guys. But we’re here to talk about something serious. Last week, what we said would make us happy are your belts. And we want a shot at those belts, and we want an answer right now.” Fans boo but Caster has the mic to say, “Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Listen.” Bowens says, “You two Rod ‘n’ Todd lookin’ asses want an answer. You do realize you are interrupting the most popular tag team in all of wrestling, right?” Caster adds, “That’s right!”
“The winningest tag team in AEW history!” “That’s right!” “The FOREVER champs, the Acclaimed!” “That’s right!” “And not to mention, EVERYONE! LOVES! THE ACCLAIMED!” But they are the People’s Choice, and the People’s Voice, they will ask the people. Colten says these fans can’t even read! But Bowens still asks Dayton’s opinion: Do the Ass Boys deserve a shot at the tag titles? “NOOO~!” Well, the people have spoken, so NO. Austin & Colten get in Caster’s & Bowens’ faces, but Billy tells them all to stop! Isn’t it enough already? Billy is so sick of this, he is just done! Billy says this is too much, so go ahead, beat the sh*t out of each other!
Daddy Ass steps aside, fans fire up, but Austin says, “There you go. Do exactly what you did our entire childhoods and turn your back on us.” Billy stops walking up the ramp, but then chuckles as he keeps going. Austin says Billy should do what he used to do, and drown his sorrows at the bottom of a PILL BOTTLE! That gets Billy to turn around! Billy storms up on his sons and The Acclaimed, as well as the fans, tell the Ass Boys that they F’d up. Billy is up in Austin’s face and says, “So you two think you just put your big boy pants on? Then you just step up, and you just made the biggest mistake…”
The mic is wonky so Billy throws it down. Bowens gives Billy the good one. Billy wants Austin to look at him after what he just said. Austin looks up at his father’s eyes. Billy says if they’ve got their big boy pants on, if they think they got what it takes, if they think they have what Billy had, then we’ll see next week. They’ve got their title shots! The Acclaimed is surprised but the Ass Boys smile that they’re getting their way. Will Austin & Colten get what they want? Or just what they deserve?
Backstage interview with Jack Perry.
Alex Marvez is with Jungle Boy and notes that he and Hook are 2-0 as a team, having beaten The Firm’s Ethan Page & Matt Hardy. The question is: What’s next for #JungleHook? JB says that he had an amazing time teaming with Hook, and Hook has had JB’s back when no one else did. But JB’s done the tag team thing before. In fact, JB has been all the way to the top of that mountain, and fallen all the way down. But this year isn’t about that. What JB will say is that he’ll be a champion again, but all by himself. Then just what title will Jack Perry aim for in this Tarzan Life?
Brian Cage w/ Prince Nana VS Konosuke Takeshita!
Speaking of having people’s backs, just as The Machine and MJF were about to destroy Bryan Danielson, The Future of Wrestling rushed out to run them off! But now, Cage and Konosuke go toe to toe, will Cage make Konosuke pay for interfering?
The bell rings and Konosuke BOOTS Cage! Cage BOOTS Konosuke, then DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Cage swings but Konosuke swats it to ROLLING ELBOW! Cage wobbles, Konosuke runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and then TAKESHITA LINES! Cage bails out and fans fire up! Konosuke runs to BOOT Cage off the apron! Konosuke then PLANCHAS and takes Cage down at the ramp! Fans fire up, Konosuke winks at the camera, and then goes back to the apron. But Cage grabs a foot! Konosuke kicks and stomps Cage but Cage yanks Konosuke into a POST BOMB! Konosuke tumbles down and fans boo but Nana cheers.
Cage drags Konosuke up, puts him in, and runs to basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Konosuke but Cage drags him back up. Cage reels Konosuke in, puts one out, but Konosuke wrenches out! Konosuke throws a forearm, but Cage gives it back! They go forearm for forearm, and Konosuke throws boxing elbows into the ROLLING ELBOW! Cage fights the back suplex, KNEES low, and brags, “Who betta than Cage?” But he runs into a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Cage survives and Konosuke is surprised! Nana coaches Cage up but Konosuke aims from a corner. Konosuke runs in to JUMP KNEE, but Cage dodges!
Konosuke tumbles to the apron, Cage ROUNDHOUSES him! Cage climbs the ropes, and he stands Konosuke up. DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX! Fans boo but Cage flexes while Dynamite goes picture in picture.
Cage drops a knee on Konosuke, sits him up to KNEE him in the back again and again, then he stomps Konosuke back down. Cage paces, drags Konosuke up, and bumps him off buckles. Cage RAMS into Konosuke, RAMS him again, and then CHOPS him! Cage soaks up the heat, but Konosuke CHOPS back! Konosuke fires forearms, then another CHOP! And another CHOP! But Cage BOOTS Konosuke down! Cage grabs the legs, stomps Konosuke in the stomach, then paces around. Cage stands Konosuke up, wrenches and YANKS the arm, then RAMS shoulders. Cage wrenches, pump handles, and lifts, but Konosuke slips out!
Konosuke runs in but Cage ducks the boot to roll Konosuke up! Konosuke slips out, but runs into a drop toehold! Konosuke’s on ropes, Cage dials it up, TIGER FEINT KICK! Konosuke staggers to a corner, Cage runs in and UPPERCUTS, GAMANGIRIS, and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!! Cage and Nana are annoyed, but Cage looms over Konosuke. Cage hears the fans rally for Konosuke, but Cage drags him up. Cage reels Konosuke in, puts out another one, and Dynamite returns to single picture as Cage lifts, only for Konosuke to RANA Cage into buckles! BLINDSIDE JUMP KNEE! Cage staggers, Konosuke goes up, FLYING KNEE!
Both men are down and fans fire up! Konosuke and Cage stir as the ring count starts. Konosuke sits up and feeds off the energy. Konosuke drags Cage up into a waistlock, but Cage elbows free! Cage whips, Konosuke LARIATS on the return! Konosuke drags Cage up, waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fans rally while Konosuke fires up. Konosuke aims from the corner as Cage stands, and Konosuke runs in, JUMP- NO! Cage blocks the knee to BUCKLE BOMB! And then fireman’s carry, to an F- NO! Konosuke lands out, lifts and LIGER BOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Cage survives but fans fire up behind Konosuke!
Konosuke aims again while Nana shouts to Cage. Cage stands, Konosuke runs in but the knee is blocked! Cage spins, Konosuke ducks! Konosuke spins, ROLLING ELBOW!! Konosuke reels Cage in, but Cage wrenches out to HEADBUTT! And then SAIDO!! But Konosuke is right up?! Into a DISCUS LARIAT from Cage!! Cover, TWO!?! Konosuke survives and Nana is furious! Cage says he’s gonna end this, and he suplexes, only for Konosuke to slip out! Konosuke suplexes, SHEER DROP BRAINBUSTER!! Cage roars as he rises up, but Konosuke ROCKS him with another elbow! And then another suplex, for another BRAINBUSTER!!! Cover, TWO!?!?
Cage survives, he must truly be a machine! But Dayton rallies behind Konosuke. Konosuke runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Cage fireman’s carries, for the F10!! Nana says no prisoners! Cage drags Konosuke up again, puts him in the corner and hoists him to the top. Cage then goes to the outside and climbs up after Konosuke. But Konosuke throws forearms in return! Konosuke suplexes for a SUPER BRAINBUSTER!!! Fans are thunderous and Konosuke aims again! KNOCKOUT KNEE!!! Cover, Konosuke wins!!
Winner: Konosuke Takeshita, by pinfall
Cage may be a machine, but the machine just broke down against the bullet train! Will Konosuke continue to prove why he IS The Future of Wrestling?
Backstage interview with the Jericho Appreciation Society.
Renee is with Matthew Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, Sammy Guevara, and of course, Chris Jericho himself. Renee says that we heard Ricky Starks’ comments from last week, addressing how the JAS cheated to win. What is their reaction? Jericho says, “Cheated? We haven’t worked together in five years, and you’re accusing us of cheating? Let me say this, Renee. Ricky Starks, he didn’t lose to a baseball bat, no. Did you see a baseball bat in there?” Of course the JAS says no. Jericho says Starks lost to the JAS. And now Starks challenges them, “How can I get another match with Chris Jericho?”
Jericho says the JAS has an idea how Starks can do that. Right, Sammy? Sammy says yes. Garcia and Sammy put their heads together, and they came up with a great idea: The Guevara-Garcia… No, wait, the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet! Danny thanks Sammy for the top billing on that name. Renee asks what kind of gauntlet they have in mind. Garcia says it’s a rather simple concept. “Ricky, first you’re gonna have to beat Cool Hand Ange. And if that happens, you’re gonna have to beat Daddy Magic.” Menard adds, “Beat Daddy Magic? I DON’T THINK SO!” Garcia says that if Starks somehow does that, then he beats either Garcia or Guevara, but they’ll reveal that the night of.
And then, if somehow, by the skin of his teeth, Starks makes it past all that, only then does Starks get his hands on Jericho. Jericho tells Starks, “You don’t call the shots around here, the Jericho Appreciation Society does. So if you can get through the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet, I’ll be ready to rip your ass!” Will the Absolute survive three matches in one go to finally have another shot at The Ocho?
The Elite speak.
Matt Jackson asks Brandon Cutler if the camera is rolling as he, brother Nick, Kenny Omega, Michael Nakazawa and Don Callis are on the basketball court. Cutler says yes, they’re live, while Nakazawa and Callis are oiling Omega up. Matt says, “Ladies and gentlemen, check it out who it is! It’s the first-ever, two-time Trios Champions, The Elite.” Omega says that’s right, and he tells Top Flight, “I watched what you guys did. After a Best of 7 Series in a ladder match, you got one up on our boys. Well how ’bout next week, you bring your friend, AR Fox, next week and we’ll put these belts on the line, and you guys can shoot your shot.
“But hey, when you shoot that shot, you best not miss. Because The Elite never miss. Nick, if you will.” Nick takes the rock and shoots it, THREE POINTER! Oh, but wait! The Firm’s Stokely Hathaway, Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy walk in. Callis has Cutler keep rolling, and Omega mockingly asks where Stokely is, he can’t see him. Oh haha, Stokely knows you see him, he’s right here. But listen, you three are doing NOTHING all week? No wrestling, nothing? Just a week off? Ethan thinks that’s funny. The Firm’s employees don’t have that luxury, they work every single week, and Ethan wants that streak to continue.
So Ethan says how about this: The Elite VS Ethan, Matt & “Zay,” Friday on Rampage. Omega tells Callis he isn’t so sure, but Callis says this is Matt Hardy. If they get footage of Hardy taking a One Winged Angel, they could sell that NFT for a lot of money. Hardy says, “What about an NFT with Matt Hardy Twist-Of-Fating Omega?” Ethan likes that better! Well, as far as a match, it’s done. The Elite VS The Whatever They Are. Kassidy says he hopes the Elite is ready, cuz they sure are. Kassidy unsettles Kenny with an arm around his shoulders and a moan, and Ethan says this is good business. Hey, Brandon, is it? Cut the camera!
Matt Jackson tells Ethan Page that he doesn’t tell Brandon what to do! THEY tell him! Turn off the camera, ya damn dumbass! And get off the court, they’re trying to play. But will this 3v3 pick-up game go The Elite’s way? Or is it a trap game before taking on Fox, Dante & Darius?
Bryan Danielson VS Timothy Thatcher!
In the American Dragon’s quest to be #1 contender, he has defeated Tony Nese, Konosuke Takeshita, Bandido and Brian Cage, an undefeated streak of 4-0 in 2023! But now, Maxwell Jacob Friedman has enlisted a fighter very much like Bryan in his savage technical ability. Will Bryan make it to the deadline still on top? Or is this where MJF wins before Revolution even begins?
The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, but Bryan’s shoulder is an obvious target. They grapple, Bryan puts Thatcher on ropes but Thatcher shifts to get the arm. Thatcher wrangles Bryan but Bryan scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Thatcher lets off, and then smirks as he watches Bryan get up. Bryan and Thatcher feel out another grapple, Thatcher puts him in the corner, and then European Uppercuts! And again! And again! Bryan sits down and Thatcher goes after the arm! Thatcher twists the elbow and wrist, isolates the arm, and stands on the hand! Thatcher KNEES the arm!
Bryan scrambles away but Thatcher is right on him with a double wristlock! Bryan powers Thatcher to ropes, and clasps his hands behind his back. The ref counts, the two let off, but then Bryan fires off body shots and kicks! Bryan grabs a leg to DRAGON SCREW! Bryan holds onto the leg, turns Thatcher over and ties those legs up, to get a Deathlock! Fans rally as Bryan sits on the hold, then SNAPS it! Bryan then shifts to a BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Thatcher pries the fingers away! Bryan shouts in pain but Thatcher twists the arm! And STOMPS it down! Fans boo but Thatcher grins with that missing-tooth smile.
Thatcher KNEES Bryan in the back, stalks him to a corner, but Bryan puts Thatcher in the corner to CHOP and CHOP and KICK and KICK! Fans rally, Bryan runs corner to corner, and DROPKICKS! Bryan facelocks but Thatcher wrenches and WRINGS Bryan’s arm! Fans boo more but Thatcher drags Bryan up with a double wristlock! Thatcher uses his height to lift Bryan off the mat! Then Thatcher pushes Bryan down, but Bryan keeps his shoulders up. Bryan crawls around, ROPEBREAK! Thatcher lets go at 4 while fans rally up. Bryan clutches his arm but Thatcher goes after it again as Dynamite goes picture in picture.
Bryan endures but they’re also in the ropes so the ref counts. Thatcher lets off at 4, then digs his boot into Bryan at the corner. The ref counts, Thatcher lets off, only to stand on Bryan’s chest! The ref counts, Thatcher steps away, and he grins as he soaks up the heat. Thatcher mocks Bryan’s pain, then KNEES the bad shoulder! Thatcher KNEES Bryan again, goes out to drag Bryan tot he apron, and he SLAMS the arm on the edge! Bryan clutches his bicep and shoulder while the ref reprimands. Thatcher slides into the ring and stands Bryan up by his ears! Thatcher CLUBS Bryan on the chest! Thatcher fishhooks Bryan to stand him up, and CLUBS him again!
Bryan sits down, Thatcher stands him back up, and he hammerlocks the bad arm. Thatcher then back suplexes Bryan up and into the ring! Thatcher dusts off his hands while crawling to the cover, but Bryan wrangles him into the LEBELL LOCK!! Thatcher got cocky and got caught! But he scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off quickly, but Thatcher is right on him! Thatcher UPPERCUTS the arm! Bryan goes to a corner, Thatcher KNEES him down, then drags Bryan back up. Thatcher EuroUppers Bryan, taunts the fans, then EuroUppers Bryan again. Bryan leans against ropes, Thatcher snarls at the fans, then gets in Bryan’s face.
Dynamite returns to single picture as Thatcher traps Bryan’s bad arm behind his back and throws hard body shots to that side. The ref counts but Thatcher grins as he throws more shots. Bryan fights back with HEADBUTTS! Fans fire up as Bryan backs Thatcher down, but Thatcher fires off body shot after body shot! Thatcher drags Bryan out to a hammerlock GROVIT, and then hits a GROVIT-PLEX! Cover, TWO!! Bryan is still in this but Thatcher snarls. Thatcher stalks Bryan at the ropes, bumps him off buckles, then reels Bryan in to hoist him up top. Thatcher UPPERCUTS, climbs up after Bryan, and he underhooks the arms!
Bryan resists and fans fire up! Bryan breaks free, throws body shot after body shot in return, and then HEADBUTTS Thatcher down! Thatcher growls and gets right back up! But Bryan throws more body shots! Fans rally “YES! YES! YES!” and Bryan HEADBUTTS again! Thatcher stays down this time, and Bryan stands up! Thatcher stands in time for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Both men are down as Bryan clutches his bad arm, but Dayton rallies up behind him! Bryan and Thatcher sit up, both snarl, and Thatcher EuroUppers! Bryan EuroUppers in return! They go uppercut for uppercut, but Thatcher gets the edge!
Bryan fires up to KICK! And KICK! Bryan KICKS away on Thatcher’s chest, “YES! YES! YES!” Bryan powers up but Thatcher blocks the Buzzsaw! Thatcher goes for the bad arm, wrangles Bryan down, but Bryan rolls through and gets around to waistlock. Thatcher bucks the O’Conner but runs into a backslide! TWO, FUJIWARA! No, Bryan rolls through to BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! But Bryan clamps on for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans rally again, but Thatcher blocks the arm! Bryan claws Thatcher’s face to get free, and get a SLEEPER! But Thatcher wants that bad arm! Bryan has to shift his grip, but Thatcher stands!
Thatcher pries the sleeper open because he can get the bad arm, but Bryan powers up! Bryan has the hold on tight, so Thatcher backs Bryan down! They end up ramming the ref into the corner! Bryan still holds on, but Thatcher hits a BIG back suplex! All three men are down and fans fire up! But here comes MJF! The AEW World Champion tells Dayton to shush, and he puts on the Dynamite Diamond Ring! MJF says, “It’s too damn easy. This is done! This is done!” MJF goes to the ring, but KONOSUKE flies in outta nowhere!! Konosuke won’t let MJF screw Bryan over! Konosuke attacks MJF, RAMS him into railing, and chases him to the back!
Bryan has Thatcher but Thatcher snatches the arm! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!! The ref is up, he asks Bryan, but Bryan endures! Thatcher pushes way back on the arm, but Bryan pushes his way forward with his legs! ROPEBREAK!! Fans fire up as Bryan survives by a literal foot! Thatcher lets go in frustration and he scowls as he throws hands on the bad arm. Thatcher drags Bryan up, clinches, BELLY2BELLY SUPLEX! Bryan flounders but Thatcher runs in, clinches, but Bryan switches! GERMAN SUPLEX! Thatcher fumes as he gets back up! Bryan dodges him, runs back in, BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, Bryan wins!
Winner: Bryan Danielson, by pinfall
Now 5-0 on the year, the quest continues! The American Dragon is not yet slain, but wait! MJF and Konosuke continue brawling backstage! MJF turns things around to send MJF into a road case! MJF gets a chair to CHUCK it at Konosuke’s head! And then he throws a trash bin! MJF says if Konosuke wants after him, this is what he gets! But Konosuke turns things back around to SMACK MJF off a table! MJF comes back, the hands fly, and security rushes in! Referees and management try to stop this, too! MJF says he’ll kill Konosuke but Konosuke says about the same in Japanese! Renee runs in to be on the scene, and she tells everyone to stop!
Renee informs everyone, “Per Tony Khan, next week on Dynamite in an Eliminator match, it will be Takeshita VS MJF!” MJF is pissed, he doesn’t agree to that, but he MUST! Will the Devil of AEW find that the Future of Wrestling is better than him?
Mogul Affiliates speak.
Swerve Strickland says, “It’s been a real relaxing last couple of weeks for Swerve and the Mogul Affiliates and all, since getting rid of some dead weight and all this. Until I was like, retriggered.” Dustin Rhodes returning to stand in front of Swerve’s camera, in front of Swerve’s lights, and with Swerve’s interviewer! “The Rhodes Family legacy really gets under my skin, with your father, Dusty Rhodes, giving Keith Lee the ‘Limitless’ moniker. So, since he’s not here, Dustin’s not here, either, let’s find some other nepotism, second generation punk boy to get rid of Friday night on Rampage. That means you, Brian Pillman. Ain’t that right, Parker?”
Parker Boudreaux says that’s right. “Ain’t that right, Trench?” The tattooed man says, “Yeah, that’s right.” Hoodies up, but will they put Bulletproof BPJ down?
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
February 8th, the deadline for Bryan Danielson becoming #1 contender, will see The American Dragon taking on La Faccion Ingobernable’s El Toro Blanco, RUSH!! And speaking of…
Backstage interview with LFI.
Lexi Nair is with El Toro Blanco, but also Jose the Assistant and “Perro Peligroso,” Preston Vance. She notes the announcement of Rush VS Bryan, but then there’s a knock at the door. MJF walks in and says, “Hola, mi hermanos! Senor Vance, Senor Jose, Senor Rrrrrush.” Rush asks what the hell this “perro” wants. MJF double checks, “perro” is dog, right? Well, there’s a little thing called personal space, so he’s just gonna take a step back. “But here’s the deal: my, uh, Spanish is come se dice… Mid. But I know one language, my friend, that is mucho, mucho universal.” And that is MONEY! A huge briefcase full of it!
MJF snaps the case shut and smiles. This first one is free of charge. But he has FIVE MORE filled to the brim with dinero. All Rush has to do is beat Bryan Danielson “by any means necessary.” All Rush needs to do is rip Bryan’s arm off and beat him over the head with it. Can Rush pull that off for him? Jose, translate. Jose translates, but Rush seems to understand explicitly. Rush tells MJF in Spanish, and MJF asks “dipsh*t” Jose to translate. Jose sums it up by saying they have a deal. Oh, is that right? That sounded a bit longer than that. But Rush, you don’t have to like MJF. He just has to get the job done. Pleasure doing business with you, perro.
MJF leaves, but Rush has his mission. Will Rush be raking in the money with one match? Or will nothing stop Bryan Danielson from earning his title match?
AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill w/ Leila Grey VS Red Velvet!
Finally, the biggest, fastest-rising star has reached her FIFTIETH match! But while the streak started with The Chef, will it end with her, too? Or will #ThatBitch not be stopped by even the person who knows her best?
The introductions are made, but Velvet attacks while Jade is strutting around! The bell rings, Velvet fires off forearms but Jade knees her low. Jade whips Velvet to a corner but Velvet boots her back! THESZ PRESS! Velvet rains down hands but Jade shoves her away. Velvet ducks but runs into an elbow! Jade drags Velvet up, but Velvet fires off forearms! Velvet whips, Jade blocks to reverse, but Velvet holds ropes. Jade runs in but Velvet sends her out! Leila hurries to Jade’s side but Velvet builds speed! Velvet WRECKS Jade with a dropkick! Velvet tells Leila to back off, then she storms up on Jade.
Jade elbows Velvet away, but Velvet comes back to ROCK Jade! Velvet CHOPS Jade right in front of her family! Velvet then puts Jade in the ring, storms up on her and Oklahoma Rolls! TWO! Jade staggers up, blocks a superkick, and she spins Velvet around. Velvet ducks the haymaker and runs the ropes, then wheelbarrows, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Jade drags Velvet over to a cover, TWO! Velvet is toughing it out but Jade is getting frustrated. Jade scoops Velvet to SLAM her, then drops a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO, and Dynamite goes picture in picture.
Leila is annoyed and Jade frowns while Velvet sputters. Jade drags Velvet up, CLUBS her down, and Leila applauds. Jade bumps Velvet off top buckles, then middle buckles, then bottom buckles! Jade stands on Velvet in the corner and soaks up the cheers and jeers, but lets off at 4. Jade and the ref argue, but Leila gets cheap shots in! Leila scurries away and Jade hauls Velvet up for a FALL AWAY SLAM! And then kips up! Jade holds up both hands to say 50, and then flexes. Velvet bails out, Leila talks trash, and Jade storms over. Jade walks up but Velvet sends her into railing! Jade is getting mad, but Velvet avoids one haymaker to PENALTY KICK from the apron!
Velvet CROSSBODIES, but Jade catches her! Jade POSTS Velvet, then carries her around the way. Jade trophy lifts Velvet, goes up the steel steps, and then TOSSES Velvet at the ropes! Velvet falls, Jade covers, TWO!!! Velvet survives and Jade is getting real mad. Leila rallies the Baddie cheering section, and Jade stalks Velvet to a corner. Jade drags Velvet up, and TOSSES her across the way! Jade says that’s 50 right there, and then she does push-ups as Dynamite returns to single picture. But Velvet CHOPS! Jade CLUBS Velvet, then TOSSES her across the way again! Jade swaggers, dribbles, but Velvet dodges the dunk!
Velvet DROPKICKS Jade, then hits a CODE BREAKER! Jade staggers around, Velvet KICKS and KICKS and mule kicks! Velvet runs, but Jade BOOTS her down! Cover, TWO!! Velvet is still in this and wait! Kiera Hogan RAMS Leila into steel steps! The other former Baddie is here, but other refs come out to have her leave. This all distracts Jade, and Velvet rolls her up! Jade rolls through, but the STIR IT UP hits!! Cover, but the refs aren’t paying attention!! Fans count, Velvet would’ve won twice over by now! Aubrey Edwards finally notices and counts, TWO!! Jade survives and fans can’t believe it!!
Velvet is furious, she drags Jade around and hooks an arm, short arm scissor, and then the INVERSION! Jade endures, fights, but Velvet kicks at her! Jade endures as Velvet pulls on the arm, and she deadlifts Velvet! But Velvet sunset flips! Jade stays up, drags Velvet up with both hands, and pops her around! Chicken wings for JADED!!! Cover, Jade wins!!
Winner: Jade Cargill, by pinfall (still AEW TBS Champion)
FIFTY AND OH! Velvet came the closest of all, but will anyone ever stop Jade’s undefeated streak?
Backstage interview with Britt Baker.
Renee is with The Doctor, as well as Jamie Hayter, as they are with Doc Sampson. We only caught a glimpse of what happened to her earlier at the hands of Saraya & Storm, how is Britt feeling? Britt says this is fine. She’s fine, and if that’s how Storm & Saraya wanna play, that’s fine, too. Because Britt & Hayter can play that game, too. But wait, in walks Ruby Soho! Ruby just wants to talk. She heard what happened, is Britt good? Uh, Ruby, weren’t those your girls? Ruby has Britt hold on there. Ruby has nothing to do with Saraya & Storm, she doesn’t know what Britt’s talking about.
Britt says Ruby’s known Saraya & Storm a lot longer than she’s known the AEW originals, so sorry if it’s strange that Ruby only now shows up. But yeah, Britt is good. Hayter says Britt is great, actually. Ruby says she’s glad to hear it and walks off. There are battle lines being drawn, which side is the Runaway on?
BREAKING NEWS for Rampage!
Not only are The Elite and The Firm having it out, it is for the AEW World Trios Championships! Will Kenny & The Young Bucks make it through All Ego, Hardy & Kassidy to then take on Fox & Top Flight? Or will there be a change of plans for Dynamite? And speaking of Saraya & Storm, they are in tag team action once again, but will they continue to beat down All Elite homegrown talent? Plus, before taking on Bryan Danielson, Rush will take on the Fallen Angel, Christopher Daniels, in an epic match of former ROH World Heavyweight Champions! Will El Toro Blanco build momentum going into his battle with The American Dragon?
AEW TNT Championship No Holds Barred: Darby Allin w/ Sting VS Samoa Joe!
The series is tied at 1-1, with the Samoan Submission Specialist winning in Texas, but the Relentless One winning in his hometown of Seattle. Dynamite in Dayton is throwing out all the rules except one: win! Will Darby continue to be the fighting champion? Or will Joe return to being the One True King of Wrestling Television?
The introductions are made, the TNT title is raised, and one way or another, this is the series finale of Darby VS Joe!
Darby takes off his trench coat to reveal he, uh, customized his Hoodlum hoodie. He’s covered it in thumbtacks!! And as soon as he’s in the ring, he rushes in to COFFIN SPLASH Joe! Joe is reeling from the tack attack but Darby fires off tack-covered forearms! Fans fire up as Darby runs corner to corner, but Joe dodges the splash to GAMANGIRI! Joe then wraps up an arm in his towel, to LARIAT Darby down! Fans rally, Joe pulls Darby’s tack hoodie off and throws it away. Joe drags Darby up to CHOP him! Darby goes to a corner, but Darby kicks back. Joe stomps Darby, stomps him down, then storms off.
Joe goes out to look under the ring, and he brings out a TABLE! Dayton fires up, Joe picks the table up, but Darby DIVES into the table and Joe! The table doesn’t break but it, Joe and Darby all hit the floor! Joe is busted open on his forehead and fans fire up! Darby hurries to stand the table up, to then drop it on Joe! Darby then brings the steel steps around into the corner of the railing. Darby whips, Joe reverses, and Darby not only clips steel steps, he clips railing! Darby lands on his feet just from momentum, but he soon falls to his knees, clutching his back! Fans lose their minds while Joe stalks out after Darby.
Joe stands Darby up, throws knees into him, and then throws him into railing. Joe drags Darby up and they go up the bleachers. Joe SMACKS Darby off the handrail, then brings him up further. Joe smacks Darby off more railing, then keeps him going up. But Darby fights back! Darby CLUBS and CLAWS Joe’s back! Fans fire up but Joe DUMPS Darby down the steps! Fans are going nuts while Joe glares through his crimson mask, and Dynamite goes picture in picture.
Joe drags Darby up again, grinds him against the handrail, then SMACKS him off a fan’s chair! They go back to the lower level as Darby kicks Joe and crawls away. Joe keeps after Darby, drags him up, and brings him around the way to TOSS back to ringside! Darby narrowly misses hitting steel steps head first! Joe stalks Darby, drags Darby back up, then scoop SLAMS him on the steps! Darby writhes, flounders away, but Joe follows him to the corner. Darby throws Joe’s ROH World TV title at him, but that only upsets Joe. Joe storms in after Darby, stalks him to a corner, and waits on Darby to stand before he DECKS him!
Joe eggs Darby on as he stands over him. Darby doesn’t stand so Joe makes him. Joe snapmares to CHOP Darby on the back! And PENALTY KICK him in the chest! And then drops a fist on his head! Joe watches Darby writhe and the ref checks on him. Joe grins through the crimson mask, then stomps Darby down. Joe kicks Darby, then clamps on a neck wrench! Joe leans all his weight on Darby but Darby throws body shots. Joe doesn’t budge, and he CLUBS Darby down. Joe grins as Darby tires to sit back up. Joe clamps the neck wrench back on and he twists even harder! Darby endures, and Dynamite returns to single picture as Darby throws more body shots.
Joe lets go of the neck wrench, Darby hobbles and runs, but into an ELBOW! Darby falls over and Joe covers, TWO! Joe keeps focus as he looms over Darby. Joe KICKS Darby to a corner, and then stomps him. Fans rally and duel, but Joe is annoyed by that. Joe drags Darby up, DECKS him with a forearm, then clamps on another neck wrench! It’s practically a vice on Darby’s head, squeezing his skull! Darby endures, fights up, and he RAMS Joe into buckles! Darby fires off forearms and SLAPS! Darby runs corner to corner, but into the URENAGE! Cover, TWO!! Darby survives the #STJOE, but Joe stands Darby up to CHOP him!
Darby staggers, Joe CHOPS him again! Darby flops to the apron, Joe builds speed and he BOOTS Darby to the floor! Joe then storms out and looks under the ring. Joe brings out another TABLE! Fans fire up again but Joe has fans move aside. Fans oblige and Joe rests the table against railing. Darby is in the ring, Joe goes in and brings Darby up, but Darby JAWBREAKERS before the sleeper could lock in! Darby runs in at the corner to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Darby CHOPS away on Joe, but Joe TOSSES Darby right out of the ring! Joe has been treating Darby like a throw pillow, emphasis on the “throw!”
Darby flounders up, but Joe goes back over to bring him back in. Joe suplexes high and hard! Joe then goes out to fetch chairs! Joe puts a handful of chairs in the ring, then sets them up together. Fans fire up as they’re back to back to make a wedge! Joe stands Darby up, brings him over, BIG back suplex on the chair wedge!! Darby writhes and Joe has a sadistic smile. “Joe is gonna kill~ you!” Joe turns the chairs around to face each other, then brings Darby back up. But Darby uses POCKET SAND to stop the bomb! CODE RED!! Cover, TWO!! Joe survives but Darby hurries to hop on! THROWBACK STUNNER!
Joe falls into a drop zone, and Darby hurries to get his hoodie back! Darby puts that back on, climbs up the corner, and COFFIN DROPS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Joe survives the tack-enhanced senton and fans can’t believe it! Darby hurries outside and goes looking. Darby uses a knife to cut the strings that hold down the canvas! Some are tough but they all give way, and Darby pulls the canvas away. Darby then drags off the foam padding to expose bare wood! Darby is deconstructing the ring in order to better destroy Joe! Darby sees Joe outside, builds speed and DIVES, but Joe walks away! Darby CRASHES THROUGH THE TABLE!!!
Dayton is losing their minds as Joe puts Darby back in! Joe sets Darby’s tack covered jacket down, he picks Darby up, and he POWERBOMBS him on the tacks! AND THEN HE SMOTHERS DARBY WITH THE TACK JACKET!! Darby DIGS at Joe’s eyes!! Joe lets Darby go, but he staggers around blindly! Joe stands up into a CHAIR SHOT! And another! And another! Darby has Joe on the hard wood, climbs up top, but Joe pushes the ref into the ropes to trip Darby up!! Joe climbs up after Darby, tucks him in, and hits a SUPER MUSCLE BUSTER TO THE WOOD!!!! Cover, JOE WINS!!!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by pinfall (NEW AEW TNT Champion)
Darby’s relentless streak is over! Samoa Joe is now a TWO-TIME TWO BELT CHAMPION! But wait! “THIS IS WAAAR~!” Fans go nuts for Wardlow as he storms down to the ring! Joe is just as shocked as Wardlow runs in! SPEAR!! Wardlow rains down fists on the man who took his title and his top knot! Wardlow rips his shirt off, drags Joe up, but Joe scrambles away! Fans boo but Joe isn’t going to fight again so soon after the war he just went through. Security rushes out but Wardlow CLOBBERS them all! Then he hauls one up to POWERBOMB out onto all the others!! Wardlow will not be denied, when and where will he get his hands on Joe?
This was an awesome Dynamite! Same balance of action and talking, but the action was all on a different level this week. Of the talking, we got good stuff out of this AEW Originals VS Imports in the Women’s Division. Saraya & Storm really up their Heel heat by just attacking Britt unprovoked, and then Ruby checking in on Britt was an interesting turnaround from her telling she didn’t want Britt’s help. But we’re getting closer and closer to that big tag(?) match. Hell, make it a Blood & Guts match but with the women rather than the men. Saraya leads a team, Britt leads a team, Ruby will choose Britt’s side and there could even be a twist of Shida betraying Saraya during the match to cost the anti-AEW team.
Good promo from the JAS to set up things with Starks. I just knew Starks would have to beat everyone in the JAS eventually, so it’s clever for them to get it all done in one gauntlet match. Starks will of course make it past Menard and Parker, and I bet that just as it looks like Garcia is stepping up to face Starks, Guevara takes the spotlight from him. Starks will still get through the final opponent, and he’ll get his match with Jericho. Good promo from Mogul Affiliates, because one: it establishes that their group doesn’t like multigenerational wrestlers, and two: it gave Granden Goetzman his wrestler name, “Trench.” Swerve will surely beat BPJ, but I bet Dustin teams up with BPJ and Brock Anderson as a sort of AEW take on WWE’s Legacy faction to take on Mogul Affiliates.
Good promo from Jack Perry, but I’m surprised he waited until now to establish that he’s done with tag teams. But I suppose he’s done with The Firm, too, so he’s done needing reinforcements. As it stands, if he wants a singles title, he could start with the All-Atlantic Championship, but I could see JB making a move for THE AEW World title. Speaking of The Firm, good promo from them and The Elite. I wonder if this was really live or just the take where Nick actually made that shot. Anyway, I’m also surprised the trios match for Rampage is for the titles when the titles are going to be on the line for Dynamite. But I suppose if Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin are fighting champions, then so should the Elite. Which of course means The Elite win on Rampage to go on to face Fox & Flight.
We got an awesome match from Bryan VS Thatcher, but of course Bryan wins to keep his story going. Even after he had that awesome match with Brian Cage, Konosuke going after MJF was a great move. And getting himself an Eliminator match is a good, too, but I feel like MJF finds a way to stand tall. He’ll either cheat to win, or just get himself disqualified quickly so his night will be over quickly. MJF also had a really good promo with LFI. Rush is a great choice to take on Bryan Danielson, and Rush is also going to have a great match with Christopher Daniels on Rampage. I’m sure Bryan will still find a way to win and we’ll still get that Ironman match, it just has to be how this goes.
It’s mostly because I don’t even know who is the #2 contender, since AEW still hasn’t kept up with rankings in this new year. AEW bringing out a sudden twist of MJF still having that One Hour Ironman match against someone other than Bryan would be great stuff, since MJF has been so focused on Bryan, but I feel like getting MJF VS Bryan is still the thing everyone wants to see. Great opening match out of Hangman VS Moxley, and of course Moxley bleeds. It’s practically in his contract. But Hangman losing by a roll-up was a great surprise, and them still being after each other after, this has to continue until Revolution.
The Acclaimed winning a squash was a bit surprising, but obviously that was to make room for the promo that set up things with The Gunn Sons. But Billy suddenly saying his sons can have a title match with The Acclaimed? I hope there isn’t a turn coming where Billy is suddenly on his sons’ side again. It just feels like something is fishy, but who knows. Really good TBS title match from Jade and Velvet, but I guess since this wasn’t at a PPV, Jade wasn’t about to lose. Kiera trying to help Velvet only to mess things up was at least a good detail to protect Jade. But at this rate, who is even going to beat Jade when she’s gotten through even some great established names.
And of course, an awesome No Holds Barred match for the TNT title. Great innovation, such as Darby’s tack covered jacket and the different table spots. I was actually rather surprised to see Joe win this to once again be dual champion. But at the same time, Wardlow returning to continue his story with Joe is a logical reason as to why Joe needs to have the TNT title again. Perhaps Wardlow gets the TNT title back to have a second chance with that, and Darby can move up into the world title scene. And assuming MJF retains at Revolution, it works for Darby to be next as they have history in AEW.
My Score: 9/10
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King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the...