It’s a Valentine’s Friday Night SmackDown!
Valentine’s Day coincides with SmackDown, and tonight, Otis “Dozer” Dozovic will see if he can win a prize better than a title: Mandy Rose’s heart.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Carmella; Bayley wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- 2v1 Handicap Match: Sheamus VS Apollo Crews & Chad Gable; Sheamus wins.
- The Miz & John Morrison VS Roman Reigns & ???; Reigns & Daniel Bryan win.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown presents A Moment of Bliss!
Alexa and Nikki Cross have matching mugs and leather pants as they take their seats on stage. Alexa welcomes Vancouver to the first Moment of Bliss of 2020. Nikki wishes everyone a happy Valentine’s Day. And speaking of, let’s talk celebrity crushes! Wait, really? Yeah! Alexa, you first. Well, Alexa’s current crush is… Should she say it? Yes, say it! Okay, okay. Wait, Nikki knows who it is. It’s Brad Pitt! Yeah, exactly! Cheers! But who’s Nikki’s crush? Oh don’t be naughty.
But the guest of tonight’s Moment of Bliss is tonight’s challenger to the SmackDown Women’s Championship. The moon-walking, trash talking Princess of Staten Island, Carmella! The FABULOUS #1 Contender does indeed moonwalk out and takes her seat. Alexa congratulates Carmella on the win. Alexa was one of the three to lose but she’s not bitter at all. Though, others might say this was surprising, because we haven’t heard much from Mella lately. Well everyone loves surprises, right? Mella promises to surprise us all again when she becomes a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion! And then everyone will remember why #MellaIsMoney!
Speaking of Bayley, she and Mella had a verbal confrontation online. Those who remember #BayMella, they were best friends up until recently. Alexa shares pictures from those happier days. Instagram, specifically. What happened to that friendship? Mella says Sasha Banks happened. Fans boo The Boss, who clearly changed Bayley for the worse. Bayley trashes the Women’s Division and calls others “sheep,” which sucks when they were such good friends. Now Bayley acts like that never happened. Alexa gets that. Many people didn’t- But before Alexa can continue, Bayley appears in person!
“Oh my God, that’s enough, Carmella.” Bayley is sick listening to this. Fans boo but Bayley tunes out the “sheep.” This is not about Sasha, this is about Mella. Ever since NXT, Bayley pitied Mella. They were friends, sure, because Bayley wanted to lead Mella and teach her how to do things. But Mella is a loser and Bayley is a dominant champion! Alexa wants to stop Bayley there but Bayley mocks the “pipsqueak.” Bayley beat Alexa AND Nikki in a Handicap match! That is how Bayley knows that no one can touch her! Not Nikki, not Alexa, and definitely not Mella. Then maybe we put our money where our mouths are, and do this match NOW! Mella storms her way to the ring, and she’s about to get her way. But will she also get that title off of Bayley to open the show?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Carmella!
SmackDown returns with the bell and this #BayMella break-up match begins!
The two tie up, Mella powers Bayley towards a corner but Bayley puts Mella in. Bayley pie faces Mella then swings on her, but Mella dodges the punch! Bayley tells fans to shut up as she circles with Mella again. Mella waistlocks but Bayley elbows out. Bayley headlocks but Mella powers out, only for Bayley to run her over. Fans boo but Bayley mocks them as things speed up. Bayley rolls but Mella hip tosses and runs her over! Cover, ONE, but Mella is right on an arm. Mella cranks the armlock and grinds a knee in. Bayley rolls but Mella holds on. Bayley grabs for ropes but Mella wrangles her down. Mella drops knees on the arm then cranks on it harder.
Fans rally for Mella but Bayley powers up to get the ropebreak. Bayley brings Mella through the ropes to hammerlock her within them! Bayley pie faces Mella but the ref backs her off. Fans boo as Bayley knees and elbows Mella down. Bayley eggs Mella on while pushing her around. “You gotta step up!” Mella SLAPS Bayley! Then dropkicks! And again! Cover, TWO! Mella keeps hold of Bayley but Bayley kicks low and throws Mella by her hair! Bayley shrugs off the ref reprimanding her as she pushes Mella down to cover. ONE, another try, ONE! Bayley grows annoyed with Mella and bumps her off buckles. Bayley stomps a mudhole then brings Mella out for more elbows.
Fans boo harder as Bayley hops up the ropes. Mella anchors a foot so Bayley forearms her back! SAIDO Suplex! Bayley heads up top again and leaps, but her crossbody FLOPS! FABULOUS KICK! Cover, TWO!! Mella almost had Bayley but she keeps moving. Mella-go-round headscissors throws Bayley, and then Mella dropkicks Bayley down! Bayley bails out of the ring but Mella gambles with a DIVE! Direct hit and down goes Bayley! Mella drags Bayley up and in then climbs up top herself. Mella leaps, her crossbody hits! Cover, TWO! Bayley flounders out of the ring and ends up by the announce desk. Mella pursues but Bayley flapjacks her off the desk! Both women are down on the outside but Bayley is grinning while Mella is dazed and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Bayley grinds Mella down with a chinlock. Mella endures as fans rally up. Bayley rams her knees into Mella’s back, but Mella still fights her way up. Mella jawbreakers free! Bayley scoops, Mella slips out for an Edge o’matic neckbreaker! Mella gets to a corner as Bayley flounders up to her feet. Bayley runs in but gets a boot! Bayley tires again but Mella clotheslines out! Mella rallies then atomic drops! Buckle bulldog boot, and then a Mella-rana! Bayley is dizzy but fans are fired up for Mella as she moonwalks! Mella runs corner to corner, FABULOUS Bronco Buster! Bayley stirs as Mella aims, but Bayley uses the ref as a shield! To then sucker punch Mella!
Mella hits Bayley back with big forearms! Mella runs and DECKS Bayley! And again! Bayley staggers about as fans fire up again. Mella clobbers Bayley a third time, but runs into a BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, TWO!! Mella survives and Bayley can’t believe it! Bayley argues the count but that was a two. She runs in at Mella in the corner but misses! Bayley knees buckles then Mella dumps her out! Bayley hurries back up and hotshots Mella. Mella leans on the ropes as Bayley goes up, but then Mella trips her! FABULOUS KICK! Bayley is stuck upside down, Mella drags her back up and climbs up to join her. Mella stands on the very top, SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!!
Vancouver can’t believe Bayley survives! But Mella ghost pins, TWO! Oklahoma roll, TWO! Bayley grabs for a leg but Mella blocks. Mella wants a backslide, Bayley cradle counters, TWO! Mella school girls Bayley, TWO, FABULOUS KICK! But Bayley flops out of the ring just in time! Fans boo Bayley’s luck but Mella pursues. Mella brings Bayley up, but Bayley shoves her into a post! Bayley puts Mella in then hooks up, but Mella fights out. Fabulous Kick misses, but drop toehold to CODE OF SILENCE! Bayley endures the modified triangle, but trips up Mella’s arms! Mella lets go of the hold. Bayley prawn holds, TWO! Mella wants the Code again but Bayley uses ropes for leverage!! Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)
Bayley just stole one from Mella! And then she DECKS Mella, and PLANTS her with the headlock driver! Fans boo the cheating, bullying Bayley, but here comes Naomi! Naomi stands face to face with Bayley, but Mella shoves Bayley into Naomi! Mella fires off on Bayley, Bayley pushes Mella away, but Naomi enziguris! FABULOUS Kick from Mella! The Glow and the Princess leave Bayley down and out, but Bayley is still champion. Will one or both of these women get a title opportunity as WrestleMania draws closer?
SmackDown shares WWE’s decree regarding King Baron Corbin.
“Per WWE Management, due to unprofessional conduct displayed by WWE Superstar King Corbin last Friday night on SmackDown,” Corbin has been heavily fined and barred from competing tonight. But will losing money and being left at home really teach the Lone Wolf tyrant anything?
SmackDown returns to Bayley fuming backstage.
Kayla Braxton ask her about the “controversial” finish, will Carmella get a rematch? What controversy? The ref raised her hand! Bayley has beaten everyone there is to beat! So the next time Bayley defends this title, it will be at WWE Super Showdown! And it could be anyone, because no one can touch her! So not to bury the lead, but WWE Super Showdown will have a SmackDown Women’s Championship match! Who steps up to travel to Saudi Arabia?
SmackDown takes a special look at Lacey Evans’ Royal Rumble journey.
Just before the Royal Rumble event began, the Sassy Southern Belle prepared by putting very special fan letters into her boots. One letter in particular was a girl who lost her parents to addiction, but worked her butt off to not go down that same path. Lacey’s story and stance kept that young woman on the right path. Lacey vows to continue to use this platform to inspire that strength. She carries those letters to remind her why she does what she does. We’ll hear more from Lacey next week in an exclusive sit-down interview!
Otis prepares for his Valentine’s SmackDown date!
He combs his hair, and his beard, before seeing he has a text. His reply: “Sounds great, Mandy (winky face emoji). See you there (heart emoji, heart eyes emoji).” Tucky checks on his boy and Otis says Mandy’s running a little late. Otis has more time to prepare, but more time to be nervous. Tucky encourages Otis and is so proud of him. Is Otis crazy to think Mandy might actually like-like him? If Mandy truly deserves Otis, she will like him for all he has to offer. Tonight’s the night, big man! Will Otis get the girl?
2v1 Handicap Match: Sheamus VS Apollo Crews & Chad Gable!
The Celtic Warrior continues his crusade to rid SmackDown of the “vermin” and weakness that has infected it! But will he be able to take down two men at once?
Before the bell even rings, Crews and Gable go after Sheamus first! The ref shoults for them to stop but they won’t let up! They mug Sheamus in the corner, then finally let up. Gable throws his shirt at Sheamus then the bell rings. Sheamus puts Gable in a corner but Gable gets around him to fire off forearms and a rolling heel kick! And another! Sheamus staggers, Gable runs corner to corner and Crwes tags in. A third heel kick hits, then Crews dropkicks! Crews wrenches Sheamus’ arm then tags Gable back in. Gable goes up to drop ax handles! But then Sheamus ax handles Gable back!
Fans cheer even as Sheamus stomps Gable down. Sheamus throws a STIFF European Uppercut then pulls Gable against the ropes. Sheamus gives Gable Beats of the Bodhrain! He goes past 10 to about 20 before Gable just flops to the apron! Sheamus stares Crews down but Gable gets back in. Gable throws hands but Sheamus back drops. Gable sunset flips to get the ANKLE LOCK! Sheamus scrambles around, kicks Gable off, but Crews tags in! Crews fires off, whips but Sheamus reverses. Crews kicks back but Sheamus back drops. Gable tags in, Crews kicks Sheamus in the back, Gable runs and crossbodies Sheamus over and out of the ring! Sheamus staggers into Crews’ MOONSAULT! Direct hit and Crews puts Sheamus in.
Gable climbs up top and Crews tags back in, before Gable hits a missile dropkick! Crews adds a standing shooting star! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survives but Crews drags Sheamus up. Sheamus powers out, BROGUES Gable but Crews rolls him up! TWO, and Sheamus sends Crews into a post! Sheamus grits his teeth as Crews drags himself out. Fans want to see it, and Sheamus fires up, to BROGUE Crews down! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Fella falls two men in one match! Will Sheamus continue to conquer opponents on his way back to championship gold?
Backstage interview with Carmella.
She was so close to the title, but we all saw what Bayley did. Bayley dares to brag about all that, but Carmella demands a rematch! WWE, Fox, just name the time and the place, because Mella promises to be the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion!
Mandy Rose arrives at the fancy restaurant.
And it isn’t good to make a lady wait. Will Otis make it there before she gets bored?
SmackDown gives us a refresher course on Goldberg.
A man who “appeared outta nowhere” and dominated WCW in an incredible undefeated streak that led him right to the World Heavyweight Championship. Then coming out of retirement after 12 years, he continued where he left off to become WWE Universal Champion! It didn’t last long but it sure made an impact. However, he wants another try with the title. So The Fiend, Bray Wyatt, “YOU’RE NEXT!” Will the Super Showdown super showdown go Goldberg’s way?
SmackDown talks with Hulk Hogan via satellite!
The Immortal Hulkster is about to become a two-time Hall of Fame inductee as he joins the nWo in the HoF! That’s strong stuff! Hulkamania set the business on fire and then the nWo raised it to a new level. Being inducted, that’s #4Life. Speaking of the nWo, Goldberg was among their biggest rivals. Does Hogan feel Goldberg stands a chance against The Fiend? Well the young guys with their titles and aspirations, Hogan has already been. He’s felt that power in his own hands, and he knows the power of Goldberg firsthand. But he’s felt the energy from The Fiend coming off the dressing room door. Hogan isn’t sure what to say, but The Fiend will have to dig deep if he wants to survive Goldberg.
“The following announcement has been paid for by the Firefly Fun House.” The fFh!? Hollywood Bray Wyatt strums on his title belt guitar a la the Hulkster, and even tears off his sweater to reveal those pythons! And tattoos. Bray is following Hogan’s classic advice: saying his prayers, eating his vitamins, and now look what he has! The Universal Championship #4Life. Huskis asks what’s going on. Not much, brother. Just hanging out with Hogan, talking about muscles. Not anything Huskins knows about. But he tries so hard! Really? Then want some chocolate? Well yeah! Happy Valentine’s Day! Is it #TooSweet? Oof.
Hogan thinks that’s pretty funny. But when he gets in the ring with Goldberg, that wont’ be a joke. So good luck. Oh silly Hogan. Bray doesn’t need luck. He has The Fiend. And if Hogan isn’t careful, brother, then please remember there can always be one more picture on the Wall of Friends. Nah, Hogan will be in the Hall of Fame instead. Well bye, Hulk! See you around! And see you soon, Goldberg! Bye~!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Cesaro and Sami Zayn…?
This is normally Elias’ shtick, and clearly the Swiss Cyborg and his Great Liberator are doing this in response to last week’s verbal and physical confrontations. Sami introduces himself and thanks Vancouver for being her at the “protest concert.” Cesaro, Shinsuke and Sami have been “victims of injustice” at the hands of Elias and Braun Strowman, not to mention the rest of the WWE who did nothing to help. So in the tradition of great protest musicians, here is a song for everyone here tonight. Silence, please.
Sami strums his ukulele while Cesaro plays cowbell. Sami takes a moment to tune up first. He finds the note and begins. But Elias interrupts! Fans cheer as The Drifter walks out on stage and introduces himself. Elias was napping when he got a call from good friend and fellow Elias, Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks. Elias told Elias that Elias has to stop Sami, so here Elias is. And Elias knows what Sami is doing: he’s trying to make his name off Elias. With WrestleMania on the way, we all know it is happening again. Elias knows that Sami knows the universal truth that Vancouver knows: WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!”
Sami says Elias should shut his mouth! Same for the fans. Sami and Cesaro know who Elias is and what he stands for, but who they hell does he think he is? He’s interrupting the highly anticipated protest concert! Well that’s why Elias is here. Elias is staging his counter protest concert. Oh, really? On any other night, Sami would use his security guards throw Elias out, and roughly. But if Elias wants to get something off his chest, then fine! Security lets Elias pass so that he can join Sami in the ring. Sami is a fan of free speech, he wants Elias close enough to hear this song, because the song is about Elias. Well in that case, okay.
Sami strums his ukulele and Cesaro drums on the cowbell but fans sing for Elias instead. Classic Seven Nation Army style, too. Elias likes it. Sami tells them to shut up but the fans boo instead. This is a protest, so show some respect! Okay try again. From the top. Sami and Cesaro play, but Cesaro pushes the tempo a bit. Way less cowbell, man, sorry. Fans chant for cowbell as Sami strums. Cesaro tosses the cowbell away instead. Sami focuses on his ukulele and Cesaro gently claps along. But Vancouver continues to sing for Elias instead. Sami says that if they don’t shut up, the concert is over. Fans like that! Oh you think this is a joke?! “YES! YES!” The only joke are the Canucks numbers hanging in the rafters!
Elias steps up to defend the hometown hockey team, but Cesaro attacks! Elias and Cesaro brawl, but Sami has the mic stand! The distraction gives Cesaro an opening! But here comes BRAUN! Braun Strowman storms his way out and BARRELS through security! Cesaro and Sami bail out and run away, and more security gets steamrolled! Sami gets caught! A guard goes after Strowman and Cesaro gets Sami to safety. The guard runs but Elias is there to clobber him! Elias gives Strowman a hand in TOSSING the guard onto everyone else! The Monster Among Men and The Drifter shut down the Great Liberator’s whining, but will Team Sami #GetTheseHands and #WalkWithElias?
Backstage interview with Naomi.
She gets this off her chest: she is sick and tired of Bayley’s mess! What happened to Mella is on Bayley. But Naomi wants her own shot, because the Glow is real, and SHE is the next SmackDown Women’s Champion. Will both Mella and Naomi make a date for Super Showdown?
Mandy is waiting.
Where is Otis? Hopefully he makes it before the show is over!
BREAKING NEWS for Super Showdown!
History will be made when one woman faces Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in Saudi Arabia! But with two worthy challengers, next week’s SmackDown will have a #1 Contender’s match! Will the FABULOUS Princess #FeelTheGlow? Or will Naomi learn why #MellaIsMoney?
SmackDown quickly recaps the timeline of Otis x Mandy.
A Christmas ham and a kiss on the cheek led to a New Year’s fruitcake with real fruit, and a longing for more. Otis would save Mandy from bad landings on more than one occasion, such as during the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Friends couldn’t understand it, and foes hated on it, but Dozer is the one having a Valentine’s Day Date with God’s Greatest Creation tonight. Otis has trained both physically and mentally. He’s ready for love, but is the world ready?
Otis finally arrives at the restaurant.
He asks if the concierge has seen a “beautiful peach.” He’s directed right inside. Otis does one last breath check and it’s good to go. He slicks his hair back, but still hesitates. Mandy checks her menu, but the man who finds her first isn’t Otis, but Dolph Ziggler! Otis turns the corner to see Ziggler sitting with Mandy and ordering wine! Otis drops the roses as his heart drops in his chest. Will Mandy be able to explain the misunderstanding? Or will she choose the Show-Off in the end instead?
The Miz & John Morrison VS Roman Reigns & ???
The Hollywood A-Lister and Guru of Greatness egged on The Big Dog online, and they have mics to talk smack on The Usos. What did Jimmy & Jey say? “Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary!” Fast forward and the wardens aren’t here. How long were they back? A month tops, and now their big cousin has to fight their battles for them. Love him or hate him, The Miz has been here! Don’t boo Miz! Morrison is also here every night since he’s been back for a month, but he’s showing everyone what they were missing these last 8 years. Everyone finds out again that Miz and Morrison are the greatest tag team of the 21st Century! Cue dramatic look off in the distance.
But here comes The Big Dog himself! Who did Roman get to be his partner tonight? It’s… Daniel Bryan! The Goat has teamed with Roman before, and still generally dislikes The Miz, so this makes a lot of sense! But wait, Baron Corbin is here?! As a fan, since he has a ticket in his hand. There was nothing the WWE management said about him being barred from the crowd. Will Corbin cause any problems for Roman when SmackDown returns?
SmackDown returns as the match is already underway. Morrison has Roman in a headlock as fans rally and duel. Roman powers out and runs Morrison over with a shoulder! Morrison gets back up and the two circle. They tie up but Morrison kicks away on Roman’s leg. Morrison wrenches to a wristlock but Roman LARIATS his way out! Corbin is not impressed as he sits front row. Roman headbutts Morrison to the corner and rams his shoulder in! Roman ROCKS Morrison with an uppercut then tags in Bryan. Fans love Bryan as Roman whips him in for a dropkick! Bryan drags Morrison out for European Uppercuts, then he decks Miz just because!
Bryan goes after Morrison again with big haymakers then whips corner to corner. Morrison reverses, Bryan goes up and over then keeps moving. Bryan ducks to DIVE out onto Miz! Then he hits Morrison with a forearm and climbs up top. Bryan leaps for a missile dropkick! And a kip up! Fans fire up with Bryan and he feeds off the “YES! YES!” to give Yes Kicks! Morrison keeps sitting up, Bryan keeps kicking him. BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO! Morrison crawls away to his corner but Bryan throws EuroUppers. Bryan bumps Morrison on buckles then puts him up top. Fans rally as Bryan climbs and SUPER STEINERS! Morrison writhes to his corner, Bryan runs in but Morrison slides out then in then around to body scissor Bryan out!
Morrison distracts the ref so Miz can RAM Bryan into barriers! Fans boo and Roman comes around to get at Miz but Miz stays back. Corbin talks trash at Roman, and Miz clobbers Roman down! Morrison FLIES out and over the post onto Roman and Bryan! Corbin talks trash again as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns once again as Miz keeps Bryan away from the tag! Morrison tags in, instead, and a classic combo returns as Miz catapults Bryan into Morrison’s BIG forearm! Morrison then slingshots to elbow drop Bryan across Miz’s knees! Cover, TWO! Roman is ready but Morrison keeps on Bryan with a grounded cobra clutch. Corbin applauds Morrison as he grinds Bryan down and throws punches. Bryan fights his way up and jawbreakers free! Morrison BOOTS Bryan down! Tag to Miz, and they double whip Bryan. Bryan holds ropes and dumps Morrison out! Bryan throws hands on Miz but Miz knees low to throw Bryan over. But Bryan lands on his feet to climb up top! Miz trips Bryan in time, and then taunts Roman.
Miz goes back to Bryan and climbs up top. Bryan resists the superplex and slips under to trip Miz up! Miz falls backwards but Morrison tags in. Miz holds Bryan even while in the Tree of Woe. Morrison sucker punches Roman then fireman’s carries Bryan. Morrison pops Bryan around for a SPINE BUSTER to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Morrison keeps his cool as he stays between Bryan and Roman. Morrison drags Bryan to a drop zone and climbs up top. Fans boo as Morrison poses and leaps, but the 450 FLOPS! Both men are down and crawling for their corners as fans rally up. Hot tags to Miz and Roman!
Roman rallies on Miz with big lariats! Roman whips, Miz reverses but Roman hits the leaping lariat! An uppercut ROCKS Morrison, then Miz runs in to get point-blank clotheslines! Roman goes all the way up to 10, then runs to BOOT Miz down! Fans fire up as Roman goes to a corner. Roman locks ‘n’ loads, takes aim as Miz rises, but Miz gets around! Full nelson but Roman throws Miz off! Morrison tags in, Roman uppercuts Miz, FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO! Corbin is getting frustrated watching this but Morrison runs to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Morrison drags Roman to a drop zone and goes up, but Roman school boys! TWO and a dead lift, but Morrison fights free! Morrison springboards, into a SUPERMAN PUNCH!
Fans fire up again as Roman fires up in the corner. Roman lets out the battle cry, but runs into a kick! Miz tags in and full nelsons, SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Cover, but Bryan breaks it! Bryan runs to dropkick Morrison out! Bryan builds speed but runs into Miz’s BOOT! Miz parodies the Yes Movement, fans chant “NO! NO!” but Miz runs corner to corner, to get a SUPERMAN PUNCH! “OOAH~!” SPEAR!! Cover, Roman & Bryan win!!
Winners: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan, by pinfall
But Baron Corbin attacks, and with his scepter! The Lone Wolf King defies WWE’s decree, but chances are all he’ll have to pay is another fine. But will Roman make him pay in interest when they have a Super Showdown Steel Cage match?
This was a very interesting episode of SmackDown, mostly when you consider there were only THREE MATCHES on the card! The show still passed by rather quickly, but I’m just surprised they only gave us this much on what felt like a pretty big night. A Moment of Bliss and the SmackDown Women’s Championship match were great openings, but I was pretty sure Bayley was going to retain. What is pretty big is that we’re getting another women’s match in Saudi Arabia, and for the title. Next week’s Carmella VS Naomi match should be a lot of fun, but it is very interesting that they might get Naomi VS Bayley out of the way with Super Showdown. It makes me wonder what the SmackDown title plan for WrestleMania will be now.
Sheamus gets a Face reaction from Vancouver, but that’s usually what you get when even a Heel faces two men that aren’t actually that much smaller than him. If it was Gable and someone else Gable’s size, or the Lucha House Party, Sheamus wouldn’t look as Face. The segment Elias had with Sami and Cesaro went a little long, but some of that is because they were reveling in the Vancouver fans singing. I almost thought we were going to get a tag match of Elias & Strowman VS Cesaro & Shinsuke, but maybe that’s next week in the go-home to Super Showdown that could even set up an Intercontinental Championship story for Elimination Chamber. I still want the midcard titles to be in that Chamber, so just throw Gable and Sheamus in on top of Strowman, Elias, Cesaro and Shinsuke, and there you go.
The development with Otis and Mandy tonight was actually how I expected this to go, but Otis does a good job playing up the emotion so that it makes you feel for him. Otis VS Ziggler is going to happen, and win or lose the match, Otis has to win the girl. It’ll be the most heartwarming story WWE has done in a long time if it happens. Bray interrupting Hogan this week like he did Goldberg last week, this is some good stuff. And for a moment, I thought Roman’s mystery partner was going to be Cena to completely bust the announcement, but no. Bryan made a great choice overall, for in-ring ability and story with Miz, and we should’ve guessed Corbin would be here somehow. Corbin still gets Heel heat as we head for Super Showdown, but I’m just waiting for this to be over.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/26/21)
Round three, A Block!
The G1 Climax rolls on!
The G1 Climax rolls on deeper into the Fall! Zack Sabre Jr. has defeated two top names in NJPW in a row, will he make it a third?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter; Khan wins.
- Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado; Yano wins.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA: Kenta wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current A Block standings! (Adjusted for Naito’s absence)
Great-O-Khan: 3-0, 6 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 2-0, 4 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [has special singles bye]
Kenta: 2-1, 4 points
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-1, 4 points
Toru Yano: 2-1, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-1, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-1, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-2, 2 points
BONUS CONTENT: Takagi speaks after his win over Yuji Nagata.
“I’m HERE! I’ve returned to Kobe. Unfortunately, the scheduled main event, Takagi VS Naito, couldn’t happen as planned. But I’ll do my part to make sure that we get to see Shingo Takagi VS Tetsuya Naito very soon!” In order to do that, Takagi promises to win the G1! And that’s all he has to say about that. So now, the Dragon’s mission to make history has even more fuel for the fire! Will Takagi take the block, take the G1 trophy and name Naito as his Wrestle Kingdom challenger?
Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Dominator technically leads the block given the allotted Naito points, but he still has to earn the other victories! Will the Tokyo Pimp get back up in the G1 with another shocking win?
The bell rings and Khan stares Yujiro down. Then he drops to dare Yujiro to take on his leg guard. Pieter thinks this is a trick but Yujiro walks up to try it. Yujiro gives kicks but Khan keeps his guard up. Yujiro kicks again but gets caught to a KNEEBAR! Yujiro scrambles to the ropebreak and Khan lets go. Khan waits on Yujiro and they reset. They feel out the grapple, Khan gets a leg then a waistlock then drags Yujiro down. Khan shifts to an arm but Yujiro wrenches. The two separate, tie up again, and Khan waistlocks for another takedown. Khan rolls but Yujiro prevents the cover. Yujiro gets a facelock but Khan counters with a takedown. Cover, ONE, and fans cheer the exchange.
Khan and Yujiro reset again, feel out a new grapple, and Khan has a facelock. Khan throws Yujiro over to a lateral press, ONE, but Khan keeps on with the facelock. Yujiro fights up, and BITES Khan’s hand! The ref counts, Khan grabs Yujiro’s ear with the claw! Khan CLUBS Yujiro’s ear, then kicks. Yujiro blocks to throw Khan down and he basement boots Khan away! Yujiro kicks Khan out of the ring then goes out to bring him up for a low knee. Yujiro CLUBS Khan, has Pieter bring him his cane, and then Pieter distracts the ref while Yujiro brings Khan up the ramp. Yujiro gets space to CANE SHOT Khan back down the ramp! Khan tumbles all the way to ringside!
Yujiro struts his way back and tosses the cane aside. Yujiro goes into the ring to let the ring count take care of Khan. Khan clutches his back as the count climbs all the way to 10 of 20. Khan manages to stand at 14 but with help of railing. Khan crawls and gets in at 19.5! Fans cheer but Yujiro drags Khan up by his beard. Yujiro snapmares Khan and then throws haymakers. Pieter’s almost dancing as Yujiro runs and basement boots Khan back down! Cover, TWO! Yujiro smirks while Khan tries to get feeling in his lower back. Yujiro drops a leg, drops an elbow and drops a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Yujiro grows annoyed but he gives toying kicks and head slaps.
Khan throws body shots and forearms but Yujiro SLAPS him! Yujiro scoops and SLAMS Khan, then runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Yujiro is again annoyed but he stomps Khan down. Fans rally up for Khan but Yujiro stomps him at the ropes. Yujiro brings Khan up but Khan CHOPS him! And CHOPS! And then throws forearms! Yujiro knees low, whips Khan to a corner and runs in to BOOT him! Yujiro runs but Khan kicks. Yujiro blocks, throws Khan down again but Khan avoids the basement boot! Khan returns the favor with the kick block and throw! Dead lift gut wrench suplex! Both men are down and fans rally up!
Khan and Yujiro slowly rise, and Khan reels Yujiro in. Yujiro throws forearms in return, but Khan RAMS Yujiro into a corner! Khan fires himself up and whips Yujiro corner to corner to then clothesline from behind! Khan hoists Yujiro up top, puts some stank on his hands and MONGOLIAN CHOPS Yujiro in the back! Yujiro falls into the Tree of Woe and then Khan makes sure Pieter is watching as he toys with Tokyo Pimp. Khan goes to the far corner, hits a three point stance and runs in to SLIDING BOOT Yujiro out of the Tree! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps his cool, and he starts taunting Yujiro back with toying kicks.
Khan asks Pieter what’s up with Yujiro but Yujiro springs up to CHOP! Khan CHOPS back! Khan eggs Yujiro on, Yujiro CHOPS back! They CHOP and CHOP, then Yujiro mule kicks! MONGOLIAN CHOPS and an URENAGE from Khan! Cover, TWO! KATAGATAMI! The head ‘n’ arm triangle squeeze the air out of Yujiro as Khan pushes up! Yujiro reaches out and gets a ROPEBREAK with a foot! Khan holds until the ref counts 4, and fans rally up as Khan slashes his throat! Khan drags Yujiro up, dragon sleepers and suplexes but Yujiro slips out! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Yujiro stirs as fans build to another rally and Khan slowly rises.
Yujiro runs at Khan to BOOT, then he runs to dodge a boot! Yujiro reels Khan in, INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Khan is still in this but Yujiro still has tricks to try. Khan flounders to ropes, Yujiro storms over and brings him up. Yujiro has Khan lean on the ropes for his BOOT! Yujiro then reels Khan in for a fireman’s carry, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO!! Khan still lives and Yujiro grows frustrated! Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, but no Pimp Juice! IRON CLAW SLEEPER!! Khan then spins Yujiro around but Yujiro slips out of the Eliminator to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Khan again survives, but Yujiro roars! Fans fire up with Yujiro as he goes back to Khan!
Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, IMP- NO! No Impaler as Khan whips, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls so Yujiro roars again! But he runs into the KITSUJIGOROSHI!! And ELIMINATOR SLAM!! Cover, Khan wins!!
Winner: Great-O-Khan, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yujiro earns 0)
The Dominator IS dominating the block! With the Naito forfeit giving him bonus points, he’s already at 8! Will Khan continue to run away with the lead? As for Yujiro, will he be able to get another win as good as his first?
Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado!
The Clown Prince was dominated by Great-O-Khan while the Silverback got a Blue Justice bye. Who gets back into the swing of things with round three?
Yano’s long introduction finishes and Loa Low Sweets with Jado. But Yano again gets impatient as the ref checks him for things. What is that bag that is suspiciously labeled as if it weren’t suspicious? It’s Yano’s stash of extra wrist tape AND handcuffs! Yano claims those are harmless but the ref gathers them all up and confiscates them. The bell rings and Loa still wants to make sure Yano has nothing else. Yano says it’s fine, they’ll wrestle. They tie up, Loa powers Yano to ropes and Yano calls for the ropebreak. Loa frisks Yano for himself, then lets off as he’s satisfied there are no tricks up Yano’s tights. Loa then dares Yano to bring the fight. Yano throws a forearm, Loa gives one back!
Fans like the serious look on Yano’s face as he and Loa keep throwing forearms back and forth! They pick up speed, Yano gets the edge but Loa DECKS him! Loa gets Yano up to DECK him again but he’s not satisfied. Loa ROCKS Yano again, “This is the G1!” He wants to see that fight! Yano rakes Loa’s eyes! Yano runs but Loa runs him over! Yano bails out but Loa goes out after him. Loa CLUBS Yano on the back, follows him around the way then CLUBS him again. Loa whips Yano but Yano reverses to send Loa into railing! Yano paces, the ring count starts, Yano goes after Loa’s shirt! Loa stops Yano from making this a hockey scrum, only to do the same to Yano!
Yano can’t see and Loa leaves him floundering around as the count climbs! We’re past 15, Loa shoves a Young Lion into Yano for good measure! Loa gets in at 17, Yano keeps floundering, but he gets his shirt down at 19 to get in at 19.9! Loa applauds then stomps Yano at the ropes. Loa drags Yano up, RAMS him into a corner, and then RAMS into him more and more. The ref counts, Loa lets off and fans rally up. Loa takes a few bows then drags Yano back up. Snapmare and run for a basement boot! Cover, TWO! Loa argues the count but the ref says it is fair. Loa pulls on an arm but Yano is dead weight. So Loa CHOKES Yano! The ref counts, Loa stops at 4, and “apologizes.”
Loa drags Yano up, whips him corner to corner and clotheslines! Then whip and redirect into the corner for another clothesline! Loa then reels Yano in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Yano stays in this but Loa is annoyed. Loa CHOKES Yano again! the ref counts, Loa lets off and he sits Yano up for a chinlock. Yano endures as Loa leans on the hold. Yano throws elbows and gets free! But Loa headbutts Yano back! Loa whips, Yano holds ropes and taunts Loa, to then dodge and SLAP him! Loa runs at Yano but Yano dodges to clinch and BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up and rally behind Yano as he gets up. Yano goes to a corner to untie the buckle pad!
Yano has the liberated pad but the ref grabs at him. Yano shoves the ref away to PAD SMACK Loa! Loa just grimaces so Yano SMACKS him again! Loa flexes, Yano SMACKS again but Loa roars. Yano freaks out, Loa kicks and whips, but Yano stops himself from running into bare buckles. Loa runs in, Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Fireman’s Carry Takeover! Fans fire up with Yano and he drags Loa up. Yano reels Loa in but Loa blocks the suplex. Loa wrenches, kicks and knees to ENZIGURI! Yano wobbles, Loa reels him in for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but Loa is right on him with a CROSSFACE!
Yano endures the #OGKiller even as Loa cranks way back! Yano moves around, reaches out, but Loa thrashes him around! Yano keeps moving and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Loa lets off but he asks Yano, “Why!? I want the two points!” Loa drags Yano up, reels him in, but Yano turns it into a gator roll! TWO, and Yano hurries up! Loa runs at him to SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Loa hurries to get Yano up, scoops him but Yano fights free! Yano hits an atomic drop then a trip to a CATAPULT into the bare buckles! Loa staggers, Yano goes to low blow but the ref stops him! The ref won’t let Yano cheat right in front of him!
But then Loa shoves Yano into the ref! And LARIATS Yano down! Jado gets in because the ref is down! He drags Yano up, holds him for Loa, and Loa has the kendo stick! Yano fights free, dodges the stick and shoves Jado into the buckles! KENDO SMACK on Loa, then Yano plays dead like Jado hit him! Loa acts like he had no idea what Jado was doing, but the ref is distracted and Yano LOW BLOWS Loa! Schoolboy, Yano wins!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Loa earns 0)
#YTRFTW! He keeps his chances alive while Loa flounders near the bottom! If not for those Naito points, Loa wouldn’t have anything! Can the Silverback rebound and finally earn his first two G1 points?
Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA!
The Stone Pitbull is the one NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion with points, but only because Naito is out. As for Fang Revived, he defeated a fellow Bullet Club member without ruining the team dynamics. Will Ishii scratch the itch and earn himself a win? Or will Kenta take a bite out of him and keep his own chances alive?
Kenta taunts Ishii, waving his shirt like a bullfighter. The bell rings and Ishii stares Kenta down. Kenta mocks Ishii’s hunched posture and then bails out of the ring. Ishii stays patient as Kenta paces on the outside. Kenta takes his time returning, then again mocks the raging bull before he bails out again, “Ole~!” Kenta paces around again, slowly returns, then bails out as Ishii storms over. “Ole~” but then Ishii drags Kenta in from the apron! Ishii throws haymakers then whips, but Kenta holds ropes. Ishii runs in to clothesline, then keeps going to run Kenta over! Kenta bails out but Ishii is right out after him! Ishii drags Kenta up and whips him into railing!
Kenta flounders around and Ishii stalks him. Ishii drags Kenta up as fans rally, and Ishii whips Kenta into more railing! Kenta staggers closer to the timekeeper’s area and he grabs the ring bell! Ishii storms over to get a RING BELL SHOT! Kenta then POSTS Ishii, bad arm first! The ref reprimands and checks on Ishii, but what about the bell? Kenta drags Ishii up, wrenches the arm to an ELBOW BREAKER, then hammerlocks to RAM Ishii into railing! The ref wants this to get back in the ring but now he has to check on Ishii again. Kenta stomps Ishii, the ref tells him to back off, and Kenta smooths his hair. Kenta drags Ishii up and into the ring and fans cheer that this continues.
Kenta stomps Ishii around, but Ishii gets up as he snarls. Kenta KICKS the bad arm and Ishii falls over. Ishii kicks from below but Kenta stomps him down. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Ishii clutches his arm but Kenta grabs it for an armlock. Kenta pulls it into a Fujiwara but Ishii endures, even as Kenta talks trash. Kenta keeps on the arm but Ishii crawls his way over to get a ropebreak. The ref counts, Kenta lets go with one hand but still uses leverage to crank the arm. The ref counts again, Kenta lets off to stomp Ishii. Kenta kicks the bad arm again but Ishii keeps getting up. Ishii even eggs him on!
Kenta KICKS more but Ishii fires forearms! Kenta gets the arm again, ELBOW BREAKER! Kenta rains down forearms but the ref has him back off. The ref checks on Ishii but Kenta copies Yano by undoing a buckle pad. Kenta drags Ishii up, whips him over but Ishii reverses! Kenta hits bare buckles and falls in a heap! Fans rally again as Ishii stands. Ishii gives toying kicks to Kenta and Kenta end up in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS, fighting through the pain in his bad arm to hit Kenta again and again. Ishii then CHOPS and forearms again and again and again! Kenta falls down, Ishii only stops because his arm finally hurts too much.
Ishii goes back to Kenta, drags him up and whips him corner to corner. Kenta reverses but Ishii bounces off the corner to CLOBBER Kenta! Ishii drags Kenta up and reels him in but Kenta fights the lift. Kenta standing switches but Ishii elbows him away. Kenta BOOTS from the corner, climbs up and TORNADO HOTSHOTS Ishii! Kenta climbs, for the FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta snarls but he kicks at Ishii. Ishii gets mad, swings on Kenta but Kenta catches the arm for a takedown! Kenta wants the Fujiwara again but Ishii gets a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kenta lets go, and Ishii gets to the apron.
Fans rally up but Kenta stomps Ishii down. Kenta then drags Ishii up through the ropes but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii suplexes but Kenta fights it! Kenta throws body shots then HOTSHOTS the arm! Kenta has Ishii through ropes, DRAPING DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Kenta is annoyed but he slithers away to the far corner. Ishii gets up, Kenta runs in to BOOT Ishii down! Then he goes corner to corner again, HESITATION DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Kenta climbs up top! Ishii avoids the double stomps, then avoids the boot to waistlock and CORNER GERMAN! Fans cheer as both men are down again. They rally up for “I-SHI-I!” as he and Kenta stir.
Ishii fires himself up as he stands, and he runs back in at Kenta to clothesline! Kenta growls and throws a forearm! Ishii growls and they brawl with forearm after forearm! They each egg the other on as they go, no guard and no slowing down! Ishii ROCKS Kenta, and again, but Kenta LARIATS! Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii gives boxing elbows, Kenta BACK HANDS, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Kenta DISCUS LARIATS! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Kenta drags himself over to ropes and then to the apron. Kenta climbs up the corner, leaps, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta drags Ishii back up.
Ishii gives low headbutts but Kenta KNEES him right back down. Kenta runs the ropes to KNEE Ishii against them! Kenta runs again but into a BIG shoulder tackle! Fans fire up as Ishii growls and roars! Ishii shakes out the bad arm, brings Kenta back up and reels him in. Ishii lifts, but Kenta fights out to KICK the bad arm! Kenta drags Ishii down into the omoplata and the crossface, GAME OVER! Ishii endures and fans rally up as Kenta pulls back harder! Ishii moves around, trying to find ropes while Kenta’s hands are in his eyes and blinding him! Kenta pulls back even harder and Ishii flails! Ishii kicks around and gets a ropebreak with a foot!
Fans cheer but Kenta shoves the ref away as he drives elbow after elbow into Ishii! Kenta sits Ishii up and runs to PENALTY KICK! But Ishii blocks it! Ishii gets up, Kenta fires off hands, but Ishii spins Kenta around for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans still rally. Ishii gets up, slaps feeling into his bad arm, and then drags Kenta back up. Kenta throws forearm after forearm but Ishii DECKS him with one! It was the bad arm, though, so Ishii is again clutching it in pain. Ishii drags Kenta back up, puts him on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii gets Kenta up for the STALLING SUPERPELX! Ishii crawls to the cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up and build to another rally as Kenta survives. Ishii goes to a corner and watches Kenta rise. Ishii runs corner to corner but Kenta gets around for a sleeper! Ishii back suplexes but Kenta slips free! Kenta runs but Ishii LARIATS him down! Ishii roars and shakes the bad arm out before he runs again. BUSAIKU KNEE!! Kenta fires up and aims from a corner, runs in and BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives two running knees but Kenta doesn’t get frustrated just yet. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry but Ishii throws elbows to hold it off. Kenta cross counters and fires off slapping palm strikes! Ishii falls and Kenta takes down his knee pad!
Kenta fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Ishii lands on his feet to HEADBUTT! Both men fall over and fans are thunderous! Ishii crawls his way over to Kenta to sit him up. Ishii builds speed for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta lives and Ishii roars in frustration! Ishii powers up, drags Kenta up but Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO- NO! Ishii facelocks but Kenta slips out of the suplex to SUPERKICK! Ishii swats the roundhouse to ENZIGURI! Kenta falls and Ishii fires up with the fans! Ishii runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and fans are thunderous again as Ishii gets him back up! Suplex to-
No, Kenta knees free then bumps Ishii off bare buckles! Roll up, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ishii earns 0)
Did Fang Revive just pick up something from a Yano-esque tactic? Kenta also rubs in that he just seems to have Ishii’s number. Will Kenta keep things going until he’s number one with a bullet? As for Ishii, are his G1 chances already up in smoke?
Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The Golden Star is shining bright again after his win in round two, but he’s going against the Submission Master! ZSJ made Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi #JustTapOut, will he make it a hat trick to start his G1 run?
The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, Ibushi shoots in to waistlock but ZSJ switches to then go for arms. Ibushi moves around, ZSJ stays on top of him with a facelock but they end up in ropes. ZSJ lets off cleanly and fans cheer the sportsmanship. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, feel out this exchange, and Ibushi drops down. ZSJ is ready again and goes for arms. Ibushi flips over, ZSJ gets a lateral press but no cover as Ibushi keeps moving around. ZSJ goes for an arm, Ibushi headscissors and pushes up for leverage. ZSJ bridges back, moves around and pops free to then pat Ibushi and back off. Ibushi keeps cool as he and ZSJ reset again.
They approach, feel out a new grapple and Ibushi puts ZSJ on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, ZSJ unhooks and Ibushi backs off with a pat of his own. But then ZSJ pie faces Ibushi, and ducks the roundhouse! ZSJ bails out and wants Ibushi to calm down. Ibushi waits and ZSJ slides back in to circle with him again. They knuckle lock, ZSJ steps over to trap the arm and then has a cravat. He shifts to a headlock, grinds Ibushi down, but Ibushi fights up to power out. Things speed up, ZSJ turns hip toss into a spin but Ibushi fights the backslide! Ibushi avoids the arm Pele and ZSJ avoids kick after kick! The fans cheer as even Red Shoes has to get out of the way when ZSJ goes to ropes for safety.
Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he waits on ZSJ. They reset and feel out another grapple. Ibushi then KICKS ZSJ in the leg, and ZSJ walks it off. ZSJ comes back, he and Ibushi again feel things out, but again Ibushi KICKS his leg. ZSJ shrugs it off as he and Ibushi go again. ZSJ gives a kick but Ibushi KICKS his leg out! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on but ZSJ circles around, guarding that left leg. ZSJ knuckle locks, rolls, wrangles Ibushi down but Ibushi kips up to KICK the leg! ZSJ eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi gives more kicks. ZSJ pays for egging Ibushi on but he gives back forearms. Ibushi KICKS the leg! ZSJ crumples but Ibushi runs in to BOOT him out of the ring!
Ibushi waits for ZSJ to stand and slingshots but ZSJ slides in. Ibushi forearms, but slingshots into a DRAPING GUILLOTINE! ZSJ then makes it a HANGING ARMBAR, but lets off as Red Shoes counts! ZSJ then wrenches and PELES the arm! Ibushi falls over as he clutches his arm, but ZSJ goes out after him, ZSJ twists the wrist and bends the fingers before he traps the arm and STOMPS it! Ibushi clutches his wrist while ZSJ goes into the ring. The ring count begins and Ibushi gets up at 5 of 20. ZSJ is after Ibushi as soon as he’ sin, but they’re in the ropes so Red Shoes calls for the break. ZSJ still tortures Ibushi’s arm to STOMP it again!
Fans rally up as ZSJ paces around. ZSJ kicks Ibushi’s bad arm but Ibushi dares him to keep going. ZSJ traps the arm for a TWIST! Now Ibushi’s the one for egging ZSJ on. Fans rally up as ZSJ says Ibushi’s arm is suffering for ZSJ’s leg. ZSJ gives little hip bumps and swift kicks, so Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! And again! And again! ZSJ gets the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER and a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! ZSJ drags Ibushi down into body scissors as he keeps on the Kimura but Ibushi gets a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go to drag Ibushi back towards center. ZSJ wrenches the arm, twists elbow, wrist and fingers as he pushes towards the top wristlock! And he STOMPS it!
Fans cheer the technical savagery as ZSJ drags Ibushi up again. ZSJ wrenches but Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! ZSJ holds on to wrench again, so Ibushi forearms again! Ibushi fires off more forearms then whips but ZSJ reverses to wrench and ARM SNAP! ZSJ runs but into Ibushi’s FLYING KICK! Ibushi rallies the fans and he gets up. Ibushi dares ZSJ to stand, and then he fires off a strike fest! KICK to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps the fans going as he drags ZSJ up in a half nelson. ZSJ uses a leg to break free then he KICKS Ibushi’s bad arm! ZSJ whips, Ibushi goes up and over and rolls to RANA!
ZSJ bails out, Ibushi fires fans up and he PLANCHAS! Both men are down on the outside but fans fire up! Ibushi gets ZSJ into the ring and then aims from the apron. ZSJ stands, Ibushi springboards and missile dropkicks ZSJ down! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus as he gets back up. Ibushi stands ZSJ up and reels him in but ZSJ blocks the bomb lift. ZSJ wrenches the bad arm to WRING it out into the mat! “There we go! Now we’ve got Ibushi going!” ZSJ drags Ibushi up as fans rally. ZSJ half nelsons then full nelsons but Ibushi powers out with an arm-drag. ZSJ EuroUppers, runs but fakes out the dropkick to then roll Ibushi to a headscissors ARMBAR! But Ibushi gets a ROPEBREAK!
ZSJ lets go but gives Ibushi toying kicks. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ gives him more. ZSJ stands up and dares Ibushi to follow. Ibushi sits up but ZSJ gives more swift kicks. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ off his feet! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on now and ZSJ gets up. ZSJ KICKS but Ibushi doesn’t seem bothered. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ and he staggers away to the corner! ZSJ comes back to KICK, but Ibushi shakes his head. Ibushi KICKS, ZSJ staggers but stays up this time. ZSJ KICKS, Ibushi KICKS! ZSJ still gets up and they go forehead to forehead. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but into a backslide! ZSJ slips through but into a short arm LARIAT!
Fans are thunderous as ZSJ gets to ropes. Ibushi runs but ZSJ hits a FLYING KICK! Almost like Ibushi’s earlier! ZSJ gets Ibushi up, SIT OUT BOMB! Also like Ibushi! Cover, TWO, but into a leg hook nelson and armlock! Ibushi endures partial Clarky Cat and moves around to get a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go quickly and is too tired to be frustrated. ZSJ isolates Ibushi’s arm and STOMPS it again! Fans rally up hard as ever as ZSJ drags Ibushi up. ZSJ reels Ibushi in, scoops but Ibushi slips out to HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEX! ZSJ flounders away and Ibushi gets up as fans rally again. Ibushi roars and runs into the corner but ZSJ BOOTS him! ZSJ runs but into a POWERSLAM!
Ibushi rolls to the corner but ZSJ SHOTGUNS his legs out before the moonsault! Ibushi falls in a heap but ZSJ is also down, catching his breath. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” “Z S J!” as ZSJ watches Ibushi sit up. PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO, into an ANKLE LOCK! ZSJ stands up but Ibushi turns to stand. Ibushi fires forearms but ZSJ CRANKS the ankle! ZSJ leans on the hold but Ibushi still endures. Ibushi fights up again to DECK ZSJ with a straight shot! ZSJ sputters away and Ibushi crawls over that way. Ibushi powers up, runs, but ZSJ BOOTS the lariat away to wrench and PELE the other arm! BOOT but Ibushi V-TRIGGERS!! KENNY~!
ZSJ sits up slowly as Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi calls upon the powers of Nakamura to BOMAYE! Cover, TWO! But Ibushi gets the wrists, only for ZSJ to pop him into an armbar! Ibushi clasps hands, ZSJ fights for control, they roll and Ibushi has a wrist for a BUZZSAW! Ibushi sits ZSJ up with double wrists, but ZSJ tilt-o-whirls around to an IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ drags Ibushi down to the floor and gets the leg, a triangle modification of Napalm Death! Ibushi shifts around but he’s caught!! Ibushi VERBALLY quits, ZSJ wins!!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (gains 2 points; Ibushi earns 0)
INCREDIBLE! The Submission Master sidelines Naito, slays the Dragon, and even makes the back-to-back G1 winner #JustTapOut!! And since he earned his points off Naito, you could even say he’s the REAL leader of A Block! And he makes sure Ibushi knows it, too! Is there any chance the Golden Star can still make it back to a fourth G1 finals in a row? Or is this just not his year?
As for ZSJ, he of course gets on the mic. “Oi. Everyone, good evening. Thank you so much for today. In this G1, I will do my very best!” ZSJ takes a bow before saying he’s OF COURSE joking with them. Bunch o’ idiots! He’s takin’ a piss, obviously. “Do your best? I don’t need to do my best, I’m beating these pricks on autopilot!” A Block is the one that needs to do their best! No one has an answer for the Soy Boy Tekker! “14 stone, Vegan technical wizard, smashing everyone in this bloody tournament. My word.” The G1 Climax is Zack’s! Take the bracket and throw it in the bin with Naito’s knees.
Oh and speaking of Naito, too bad for him. He was supposed to be in tonight’s main event. ZSJ looks right in the camera to talk to Naito cuz he knows he’s watching. Como estas, amigo? How you doing? Bien? Yeah? Well ZSJ’s MUY BIEN! Y’wanna know why? Cuz ZSJ will win the G1 while Naito’s ass is stuck on the couch! And while on the subject of dickheads, three down and six to go, “as you were.” ZSJ had perhaps the toughest opening schedule in the block, is it smooth sailing from here on out? Or will running into the Dominator next round change ZSJ’s tune?
Here are the current A Block standings!
Great-O-Khan: 4-0, 8 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 3-0, 6 points
Kenta: 3-1, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-1, 6 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [won special singles bye]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-2, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-2, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-3, 2 points
Another great night for NJPW here. For one, Takagi adjusting his mission statement is pretty cool. Takagi VS Naito is definitely one we were all hoping to see but can’t with Naito’s knee injury. Looking ahead to Wrestle Kingdom in January is a positive sign since that gives a four month time table, but that’s all dependent on the plan being Takagi winning. Khan VS Yujiro was a good match but naturally Khan wins to keep his streak going. Yano VS Loa was a lot of fun and I like that Loa even brought up that he’s growing desperate for points. Yano stays strong so he perhaps could be a strong runner-up that makes things tricky for the block leaders.
Ishii VS Kenta was really good stuff, and I’m really surprised Kenta won with the dirty finish. Kenta is also in the same spot as Yano where his win-loss record could put pressure on one of the others in the final round. And the adjusted main event, Ibushi VS ZSJ, was awesome stuff, especially given the stories going into it. Ibushi’s record may say 2-2 but he’s been up and down in the G1, with tonight being a drop back down. This was the story I was expecting them to go with and it’s working out well, putting pressure on each match for him to get back up. ZSJ’s own story is that he is reminding everyone of his singles skills. ZSJ VS Khan in the next round is THE one to watch, that is going to say a lot about where A Block is going.
My Score: 9.1/10
Lucha Central Weekly: Garza & Carrillo Team Up On WWE RAW, Laredo Kid Wins, and MLW Alpha Fusion Debuts
Miranda, Dusty, and Brendan discuss Raw’s newest (lucha) pairing, Laredo Kid’s Impact Wrestling success, MLW’s lucha infused Alpha Fusion, and more!
Miranda, Dusty, and Brendan discuss Raw’s newest (lucha) pairing, Laredo Kid’s Impact Wrestling success, MLW’s lucha infused Alpha Fusion, and more!
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Join hosts Miranda Morales, Brandan Barr, and Dusty Murphy as they present an all new edition of Lucha Central Weekly! This week your lucha trio digs into Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo (finally) forming a tag team on WWE RAW, Laerdo Kid picking up more victories on Impact Wrestling, and the debut of MLW Alpha Fusion! All this plus a look around the world of lucha libre, this week in lucha history, and much more!
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Your one-podcast stop for all of the week’s top stories from around the world of lucha libre and lucha libre around the world. Join hosts Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy along with special guests as they cover Lucha Libre AAA, CMLL, top Mexico indies as well as lucha related matches in WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor and beyond. Whether you are trying to dive deeper into the world of masked mayhem or you’ve been following for decades, you are going to find things here you won’t find on any other airwaves!
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