SmackDown is FUN-NOMENAL!
YOWIE WOWIE! Bray Wyatt returns to SmackDown for an all new Firefly Fun House! Plus, AJ Styles celebrates becoming WWE Intercontinental Champion!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle; Riddle wins.
- Chad Gable VS Mojo Rawley; Gable wins.
- The New Day VS Lucha House Party; The New Day wins.
- Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Nikki Cross w/ Alexa Bliss; Banks wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown opens with an Intercontinental Championship Presentation!
SmackDown superstars surround the ring to witness this special occasion. Renee Young is in the ring with the title belt as she introduces the preeminent star of this and any generation. The Face that Runs the Place, AJ Styles, makes his way to the ring! The New Day copies Styles’ posing while there is a mixed reaction from the crowd. Styles says he loves this. Renee did perfect in listing his accolades, he’s like an achievement machine. And why wouldn’t he be? He’s back int he House That AJ Styles Built! That’s why he invited everyone here to see this historic moment. He wants them to know that this is as close as they’re going to get to the Intercontinental Championship!
Renee brings up that this is the one title Styles had yet o win, so what does this milestone mean? A lot of things. Vindication. That what he has always said was right. Cream rises to the top! Life’s rewards are for those who climb up and grab it, not those who sit back and want hand outs. But Styles could go on and on about himself, but he wants to give the people what they want. Wait, hold on! Styles says Renee is great at this and all, but she’s not right for this honor. There is only one person qualified to present the title to him. Where is he? Not Baron Corbin, not Cesaro… Daniel Bryan! “Come give the champ his title.” Aw c’mon, Bryan. Styles won fair and square. Just have a little respect for a championship that he said means so much to him.
Bryan does climb into the ring and walks over to the pedestal. All he has to do is put the belt around Styles’ waist and congratulate him. The crowd chants, “NO! NO!” but Styles says it is the respectful thing to do. Styles beat Bryan to get this belt, after all. Just don’t do anything stupid. Bryan picks the belt up, but Styles senses the hesitation. Is it that Styles undermines everything Bryan has said about being champion? “That’s despicable.” Bryan’s better than that, so put the title on Styles’ waist already. Be a man about it. He is a man, isn’t he? Prove it. Bryan looks at the belt long and hard, but Styles changes his mind. If Bryan is a coward, that’s fine. Bryan has Styles turn around to put the belt on him. Make sure it’s on tight.
The belt is secure, Styles feels good, but he doesn’t like Bryan’s mumbled congratulations. No one heard it! Do it like a man! Bryan grabs a mic and is willing to give a speech. “Congratulations, AJ Styles. Last week, you were the better man.” They may disagree about a lot, Bryan infinitely respects his in-ring ability. To add to that, Bryan thinks Styles is going to be a great Intercontinental Champion> In fact, he could be the greatest IC Champion EVER! What about that? If Styles shows up every week, pushes himself, and defends the title against the amazing talent around the ring that are hungry for it. Imagine that legacy! Styles VS Chad Gable! Styles VS Gran Metalik! Imagine Styles VS Big E! WOW!
Styles puts a stop to that. Styles is sorry Bryan said anything. Bryan’s vision is not Styles’ vision. A select few, those on Styles’ level, get their opportunities at this title. And Bryan is the bottom of the list. Well if Styles likes people earning things, then he should be more than happy to defend the title against Drew Gulak, given he pinned Styles two weeks ago! Gulak EARNED it, so defend it! The crowd now chants “YES! YES!” because they want Styles to back up his words. Styles says he is NOT Daniel Bryan. He is NOT giving hand outs. If someone wants their opportunity, they need to earn it by becoming #1 contender. The next person that wants to stand up and run their mouth will deal with the consequences.
“Bro…” MATT RIDDLE is here! The Original Bro joins Styles in the ring as the crowd chants for him. “What’s up, bro?” Matt Riddle introduces himself but Styles says he knows who he is. The talk of the town is just some dude with no shoes in Styles’ ring. Riddle never wears shoes, bro. Not the point. Styles just sees another human wanting a hand out. They come in different shapes and sizes. Bro, Riddle doesn’t want to be given something. He’s giving Styles advice. Styles is the Face that Runs the Place? Riddle is here to inform Styles that he’s the Bro That’s Gonna Run the Show. Styles puts the belt on the pedestal to fire off haymakers! But Riddle comes back with knees and a KICK! Styles is stuck in the ropes, Riddle dumps him out! Corbin and Cesaro ask Styles what’s up with that, and Riddle is ready to fight! Styles demands a referee to give Riddle a fight! Is SmackDown about to get BRONOMENAL?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle!
SmackDown returns and it’s time to #brodown! And Riddle’s debutt is going to be for the workhorse title! Will Riddle become a golden bro? Or will Styles kick him to the back of the line?
But wait! As the introductions are made, Styles scratches out that championship detail! He is pretty sure Riddle didn’t see the sign: “No shirt, no shoes, no championship title match for you!” Well that’s not cool, bro. But Riddle just shrugs it off and looks ready to earn a victory!
AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle!
The bell rings, the crowd and ringside superstars are already fired up, and Riddle blocks a kick to spin Styles into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Riddle knees Styles then dead lift gut wrench suplexes! Float over and another dead lift, to another gut wrench! Styles writhes, Riddle covers, ONE! Riddle kicks Styles while he’s down and stomps him, to then ground ‘n’ pound. Styles gets the ropes but Riddle backs off. Riddle brings Styles up but Styles jawbreakers back. Styles whips Riddle but Riddle holds ropes. Riddle breaks free, kicks, but Styles ducks to waitlock. Riddle standing switches but Styles backs him to a corner. The ref counts, Styles elbows Riddle, but walks into a ROUNDHOUSE! Cover, TWO!
Riddle keeps his cool as the crowd and fellow superstars cheer him on. BROTON! Cover, ONE, but Riddle clamps on with a facelock. Riddle grinds Styles down, goes after the arm and gets a double wristlock. Styles fights up, pulls hair and rakes eyes to put Riddle in a corner. Styles rams his shoulder in again and again, then CHOPS! Riddle CHOPS back! And again! Riddle rams into Styles and fires off body shots! Riddle clubs away on Styles and the crowd is all fired up. But Styles dropkicks Riddle down! Styles catches his breath as he stalks Riddle. Styles puts Riddle in the corner to fire off punches and stomps. Styles drags Riddle up to bump off other buckles, then brings him out. Riddle fires off heavy hands and backs Styles into a corner for kicks! Riddle lets off, and Styles throat chops!
Styles clotheslines Riddle out to the apron! He drags Riddle up by his hair but Riddle forearms back! Riddle trips and drags Styles but Styles kicks him into Corbin! Corbin shoves Riddle and now the Wolf King and Bro have beef! Things are red hot as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Riddle endures a chinlock. The crowd and superstars rally up as Riddle fights to his feet. Riddle pries at the hold but Styles throws him down! The ref reprimands about the hair pulling but Styles just shrugs it off to bring Riddle up. Styles ROCKS Riddle with forearms then scoops him for a running backbreaker! Riddle writhes while Styles looms over him. Styles brings Riddle up for elbows and kicks! Riddle just glares at Styles but Styles keeps kicking. Styles SWATS Riddle down then brings him up for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Riddle gets up but Styles throws hands. Riddle CHOPS, Styles forearms, then bumps Riddle off buckles. Styles rakes Riddle’s face on the ropes! The ref reprimands but Styles just grins.
Styles brings Riddle up to snapmare him, and runs for a knee drop! The crowd boos while Styles brings Riddle back up. Riddle throws hands, forearms, palm strikes and kicks. Styles blocks one to DRAGON SCREW! Riddle goes to a corner but Styles KICKS the bad leg out! Riddle gets to another corner but Styles is on him. Riddle hits back, but Styles wrenches, only for Riddle to ROCK him! Riddle grabs a leg but the ref counts for the ropebreak. Styles turns things around, hits low and whips. Riddle blocks again, but his roundhouse misses and Styles CHOP BLOCKS! Riddle falls and Corbin talks trash as Styles stomps him to a corner. Styles grabs the leg but Riddle KNEES out! Riddle throws hands, but Styles hits the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles grabs Riddle but Riddle fisherman suplexes out!
Both men are down but the crowd and superstars rally up. Riddle goes to a corner, Styles goes to the other. Styles runs in but Riddle dodges, to come back with a forearm! And then another! Riddle BROSPLODERS Styles away, runs to Penalty Kick. Styles dodges, and he dodges the standing moonsault, but not the BROTON! Cover, TWO! Riddle drags Styles right into a BROMISSION!! Styles endures, flails, bridges back to a cover, TWO! Styles gasps for air, but Riddle fireman’s carries for a pop-up. Styles slips through to get the CALF CRUSHER!! Riddle endures as Styles cranks back, but Riddle crawls around to the ROPEBREAK! Styles holds on until 4 and Bryan coaches Riddle up. The crowd is thunderous as Styles sits up. Styles sees Riddle on the apron and goes to the outside. Styles pushes Bryan out of the way!
Bryan is heated but Gable and Gulak keep him back. Styles pushes Riddle into the ring then climbs up. Styles goes back out to get in Bryan’s face about going after him. The Lucha House Party also keeps Bryan back, and Styles takes aim at Riddle. Springboard, but into the gut wrench, tuck, BRO DEREK!! Cover, Riddle wins!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
INCREDI-BRO! The debutt isn’t golden, but it’s almost as good! Riddle beat the Intercontinental Champion fair and square, did he just earn his title op-bro-tunity?
SmackDown returns to an exclusive interview with Jeff Hardy.
The Charismatic Enigma confronted the Celtic Warrior head on with everything he had at Backlash, but it wasn’t enough to win. Renee Young thanks Hardy for taking this time to speak. How has he been this past week? A bit of a roller coast, physically and emotionally. He just came back from injury two months ago. He’s 42 years old, trying to turn his life around, though it’s felt that way for his entire adult life. The bad times haunt him if he lets them. He’s doing what’s best for his family. Just when it looks like he’s turning things around, as he extinguish one fire, another fire springs up. The struggle is real.
The rivalry with Sheamus is rather uncomfortable as he targets Hardy’s struggles. Hardy’s redemption came up short at Backlash, how has he been dealing with that loss? Hardy’s lost a lot and will surely lose more. But Sheamus is a constant reminder about what hardy doesn’t like about himself. It creates a negative mindset that makes him just want to beat the holy hell out of Sheamus and shut him up. It’ll prove that Hardy’s spirit is resilient and he can overcome. But there’s another part in losing that the doubts creep in. “Am I good enough anymore? Am I bad performer? A bad husband? A bad father?” The darkness comes back, but the bottom line is, the one thing he’s learned in life is that he has to catch himself before the train of thought spirals out of control.
Sheamus may call him a junkie, Hardy may start to believe it, but it isn’t true. Hardy needs to step back and see things for what they are. Yes, he is a junkie, for adrenaline. He’s a recovering alcoholic but he’s recovering. Sheamus’ problem isn’t with Hardy, it’s with Sheamus. Sheamus is a bully that sees vulnerability as weakness. Hardy’s overcome worse, so Sheamus is just another obstacle on the road to redemption. Hardy is a “humanomaly,” and is far from done.
Backstage interview with Shorty G, Chad Gable.
He is moments away from a match with Mojo Rawley, a man who stands an extra 8 inches tall and weighs an extra 80 pounds more. Is Gable worried? It’s on his mind, but fotrutnatley, it isn’t about height, weight or that you’re friends with Gronk. Speaking of Mojo, he walks up behind Gable to mock his height with hand gestures. Gable has wrestled heavyweights all his life, and they’re all the same. The best thing about wrestling a bigger opponent is that they don’t know what it’s like to have eyes in the back of their head. Gable DECKS Mojo, then makes his entrance. Will Gable show Mojo that having a big ego isn’t an advantage?
Chad Gable VS Mojo Rawley!
SmackDown returns as the bell rings, and Mojo tackles Gable to the corner! Mojo rams his shoulders in then throws Gable to another corner. Mojo stomps a mudhole and toys with Gable. “You’re real funny!” Mojo whips Gable corner to corner hard, then looms over him on the mat. He drags Gable up, Gable sunset flips, then rolls to get the Ankle Lock! Mojo swats Gable off, but runs into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Gable keeps moving but Mojo flapjack hotshots him down! Mojo runs to POUNCE Gable off his feet! Cover, TWO!! Mojo is all over Gable with ground ‘n’ pound and trash talk. The crowd boos as Mojo looms over Gable. Mojo drags Gable up into the chinbar half nelson and leans on the hold. Gable endures as the crowd rallies up. Mojo whips, Gable ducks and tilt-o-whirls to a SLEEPER! But Mojo throws him off, only for Gable to throw him out.
Gable gets to a corner, Mojo leaps into the ring and corner splashes him! Mojo looms over Gable again, brings him back up, and then runs corner to corner. Gable dodges and Mojo hits buckles! GERMAN SUPLEX! Mojo is down but Gable heads to a corner. Gable climbs up, Mojo stands, Gable LEAPS! Mojo catches him, but Gable shifts to a cradle! GABLE WINS!
Winner: Chad Gable, by pinfall
Shorty G just got the best of Mojo! Gable feels on top of the world, but will he be able to stay on top?
SmackDown returns to Miz TV!
The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century welcome us back to the Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE history. Before getting to their guest, they need to address the elephant in the room. Otis? No, their Backlash defeat. John Morrison had the champion pinned but Miz dragged him off. Yes, Miz got caught up in the moment, but what’s most interesting about that is why it happened? And why did it happen? They changed the rules! They were preparing to be co-champions, and yet are told last minute that the man to pin Braun Strowman is the sole champion. They don’t change the rules so suddenly like that anywhere else! World Series? NO! Super Bowl? NO! NBA Finals? NO! Because you just don’t.
And then there was the “canned ham covered in body hair,” Otis! Mr. Money in the Bank took their focus off the ball because he teased the cash-in. They were constantly looking over their shoulder for Otis and his buddy, Tucky. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fight for a title when you’re basically outnumbered? If it weren’t of Otis, one of these two would be champion. But speaking of Otis, that brings them to their guest. She is involved in one of the most “intriguing” romances in WWE history, as well as one of the most vicious rivalries in SmackDown history. Give it up for Mandy Rose! The sweet peach heads to the ring and takes a seat.
Now before getting to that “relationship,” let’s talk what’s going on with her best friend- Former best friend. Right, right, right. How long were they bets friends for? Five years. Five, whole, years! And did Mandy ever notice she was upstaging Sonya Deville? Stealing the spotlight? Being a terrible friend? And that Sonya was the better fighter anyway? Sorry, what? Guys, c’mon, she didn’t come out here to be insulted. She’s leaving. Aw, no, wait! They’re just joking around. They aren’t taking her seriously, so Miz will be serious when he says he has a surprise for her! “Hit the music!” It’s SONYA! Figures. Sonya asks Mandy what’s wrong. Didn’t think she’d be invited to the party? Sorry but here she is. Wow, really? Still on this? Mandy can get Sonya being mad, but Sonya is the one who tried to sabotage Mandy’s career and personal life! So whatever it is she thinks Mandy did to her, she’s DONE playing the game.
Done? Mandy thinks they’re done? Sonya wishes they could be done! But y’know what? Sonya just can’t, because week after week, she watches MANDY get the spotlight! And then she thinks, “What has Mandy done to deserve that?!” If it wasn’t for Miz & Morrison, Sonya probably wouldn’t even be out here tonight! Sonya would be stuck in catering twiddling her thumbs. Did she not see the promotions for tonight’s show? Of course Mandy hasn’t, because she doesn’t care. But it was “Mandy Rose on Miz TV.” Yeah, but where’s Sonya? The thing Sonya keeps asking is, “What is it you’ve done with these opportunities, Mandy?” Won matches? Nope. Said anything of any value or interest? Nope. Hold on, Sonya will come up with something. Oh, right! She made out with Otis in the pool so everyone can see it. Congrats! 2020 is a great year for you!
Mandy just wants this to stop! What does Sonya even want? Yes, okay, Sonya can hurt her physically, but she’s still here. Sonya can hurt Mandy emotionally, or at least try. But unlike Sonya, Mandy has people by her side. Otis has been there for her! He was loyal from day one! So Mandy asks Sonya: What is it that Sonya has besides being a fighter? She’s alone. So how much longer is Sonya going to hold on to her petty resentment? Oof, she want there? Sonya says she’ll break this down simply for even Mandy to understand. It isn’t anger anymore. It’s confusion! Sonya can’t figure out what she has to do to get the Mandy Rose treatment here! Sonya is here, trying to figure out the differences between them. She looks at herself, then Mandy, and back again. And all she sees is this. Her outfit? Her body? If this is why, when Sonya is superior in literally every other single way…! Well, then Sonya is done, too.
Mandy thinks she’s better than her? Sonya vows to take the one thing that matters to Mandy. Sonya will rip Mandy apart piece, by piece, by piece, until her outside is just as hideous as her inside. And then Sonya DECKS Mandy and rains down furious rights! Miz and Morrison clear some space while cheering on the scrap! Mandy tries to hit back but Sonya shoves her away. Sonya takes off the jacket and the brawling continues! Mandy actually gets Sonya down, but they get back up. Miz and Morrison stand in Mandy’s way for Sonya to bail out. “YOU’RE GONNA RESPECT ME, MANDY!” Miz says he didn’t mean to get in the way, but Mandy SLAPS him! Is the melt down of Fire & Desire only going to become an inferno before the Summer is over?
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions return to SmackDown!
The Boss and #BayleyDosStraps are still holding up those tag titles after getting through NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox last Wednesday. They join commentary as part of Bayley’s birthday week. They’re feeling so good, they might even take Corey Graves’ and Michael Cole’s jobs! What will the #GoldenRoleModels say and do as they watch whatever match is up next?
The New Day VS Lucha House Party!
Awwww~ people at hooome~! SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston and Big E bring their tag team championships to the ring, and throw their jackets at Graves again. Bayley is taking notes on how to improve her own sass. But Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado want to make sure everyone takes note of what they can do 2v2 with the champs! Will it finally be #LuchaLit in the SmackDown Tag Division?
The teams sort out and Kofi starts with the Golden Lynx. They circle, approach, tie up, and Lince wrenches to a wirstlock. Lince kicks, wrenches, but Kofi handsprings and wrenches back. Kofi clamps down on the shoulder, but Lince handsprings, cartwheels and rolls to headscissor and throw Kofi to a cover, ONE! Kofi backs off and the crowd cheers. Lince and Kofi tie up, Kofi waistlocks, Lince switches, but Kofi breaks free to wrench and whip Lince to a corner. Lince goes up and over but Kofi does, too! Double dropkicks cancel out and the crowd fires up. Kofi and Lince tie up again and Kofi waistlocks. They go around, Kofi whips, Lince rolls off the back to tag in Metalik. Metalik enziguris Kofi away and springboards up to use Lince for the elevated splash! Cover, TWO!
Metalik keeps on Kofi with clubbing forearms but Kofi hits back. Kofi whips, Metalik reverses, but Kofi tags Big E and dodges to boot Metalik back! Big E grabs Metalik for the belly2belly slam! Bayley claims credit for that move, but then Kofi leap frogs Big E to leg drop Metalik! Lince runs in, but Big E uses an OVERHEAD belly2belly to throw him out of the ring! Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are watching backstage as Kofi tags in. Kofi builds speed but Metalik pulls down ropes to dump Kofi out! Lince enziguris Big E then Metalik springboard missile dropkicks! Big E bails out, Metalik springboard PLANCHAS onto Kofi! Lince does the same to Big E! LHP has control and the Golden Role Models are fired up as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as the crowd rallies up. Big E has Lince in a camel clutch but Lince fights his way out. Lince throws hands, Big E shoves him away but he runs into a boot! Lince elbows then goes up top, to leap into Big E’s arms! Big E shifts but Lince slips out, only to run into Big E’s elbow! Big E runs and runs to BIG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Lince survives but Big E drags him up to put on the cobra twist! The crowd claps along as Big E bends Lince and clamp son a hand. Lince fights free but Big E whips him away, only to get the GOLDEN REWIND! Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Metalik and Kofi! Kofi springboards to clobber Metalik! Kofi throws chops and a dropkick! Kofi runs, Metalik dodges and mul ekicks to then CHOP! Metalik whips, Kofi reverss, but Metalik boots and SLING-DOGS!
Metalik fires up, runs the ropes in the corner, but springboards into Kofi’s dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives but Kofi takes aim. Kofi spins but Metalik dodges Trouble in Paradise to fireman’s carry. Lince tags in, climbs up and leaps over to huricanrana Big E! METALIK DRIVER to Kofi! Lince is up top, FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Big E barrels through Metalik to break it! LHP goes after Big E and kicks him out. They dodge Kofi, DOUBLE SUPERKICK! Lince and Metalik each go up top, but Big E shoves Metalik down! Kofi avoids Lince, to DOUBLE STOMP!! Tag to Big E, MIDNIGHT HOUR!! Cover, New Day wins!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall
But KINSHASA from Nakamura outta nowhere! Cesaro fireman’s carries Kofi for a TOSS to the corner! The Artist Collective drags Big E up, Gotch Neutralizer! The crowd boos but this isn’t all! Cesaro swings Kofi into the KINSHASA!! Bayley and Sasha give the Collective their headsets to speak. “We are sick and tired of being overlooked!” They beat the New Day last week but aren’t even mentioned tonight! This an international heavy-hitting team, the last of a dying breed, and yet they’re treated like this? They’re sick and tired of it! Cesaro and Nakamura dare Cole to say otherwise. Will the Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style finally get the respect they demand?
The rest of the SmackDown Women’s Division meets backstage.
Alexa Bliss can’t take this any more. Sasha and Bayley are “insufferable.” She and Nikki Cross- Naomi speaks up, “What you mean you and Nikki?” Last time we checked, they had their chance and they lost. Lacey Evans says the last time she was in the ring with Sasha, Sasha was done with a fist print on her face. Lacey will do the same to Bayley. Tamina isn’t going to let Lacey just declare herself Bayley’s next challenger. Well she did, ya nasty. Dana Brooke says those two are disrespecting them all! They all deserve a chance to knock some sense into Bayley and Sasha and show that they are not just filler. But hold on. Where IS Nikki? They all wonder that. Is Nikki even in the building?
SmackDown returns to a backstage interview with Sheamus.
The Celtic Warrior responds to Jeff Hardy’s interview. “Watching the interview, I realized things have become pretty serious between me and Jeff. Lines have been crossed and… When Jeff came out and said I was a bully, it really made me think.” It made him proud to be a bully! Hardy deserves to be bullied for being so pathetic and weak! And Sheamus enjoyed Brogue kicking Hardy’s head at Backlash. Sheamus’ only regret is that he didn’t crush Hardy’s voice box so that we wouldn’t have to listen to that “mopey, depressing garbage that came out of his filthy junkie mouth.” What was it Hardy said? He’s resilient, strong and turned his life around. But you don’t have to be a genius to see that deep down, Hardy doesn’t believe it.
That’s where Sheamus comes in. If Hardy can’t lift himself up, then Sheamus will gladly do it for him. And with a smile on his face, in a way only a true Irishman can! So everyone, have a pint as we toast the one and only Jeff Hardy! Bayley and Sasha are still on commentary, they definitely want in on that. But will Sheamus’ “toast” to Hardy be anything but respectful?
Nikki Cross attacks Bayley and Sasha!
She springs up from behind and throws Bayley’s chair over! Then she grabs Sasha and throws her onto the desk! Nikki clubs away and bumps Sasha off the desk, but she’s 2v1 as Bayley comes back. Nikki elbows Bayley away and clobbers Sasha more! Alexa hurries out to get Nikki off the champions. Bayley shouts for Alexa to handle her “little mutt friend,” but Alexa says Nikki is no mutt. Nikki demands Sasha face her 1v1 because “I want some action!” The Boss doesn’t want to, but Bayley accepts the challenge on her behalf?! Bayley is putting Sasha into another sticky situation, is she finally writing a check Banks can’t cash?
Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Nikki Cross w/ Alexa Bliss!
SmackDown reutrns as Sasha stomps away on Nikki but lets up at the ref’s count. The crowd rallies for Nikki while Sasha taunts her. Nikki hits back and dropkicks Sasha down! Nikki runs in but Sasha begs for mercy. Sasha apologizes, but Nikki doesn’t care. Nikki runs but is sent out of the ring. Sasha runs but the baseball slide ends up in the apron skirt! Nikki hammers away on Sasha until the ref counts. Nikki goes wild as ever, brings Sasha up and into the ring at 6 to then climb up top at 7. Sasha bails out but Nikki just hops to the apron, to CROSSBODY! Nikki is all fired up and Bayley is panicked as Nikki puts Sasha back in. Sasha gets to a corner, Nikki runs corner to corner, corner splash! But the bulldog is denied with a whip to BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Another try, TWO!
Sasha and Bayley are both furious but the crowd rallies up for Nikki. Sasha grinds her boot into Nikki but lets up at 4. She stalks Nikki to a corner and brings her up to snapmare for a thrashing chinlock. Nikki endures and fights her way up. But Sasha knees her down and pulls on the arms. Sasha taunts Nikki that she’ll never be a contender, but Nikki fights out! Nikki throws elbows and then a throat chop! Sasha flounders into a low headbutt! Nikki sips to the apron, shoulders in and swings to dropkick Sasha down! Nikki bangs her head before climbing up, but Sasha trips her up! Sasha climbs up but Nikki bumps her into the buckle over and over and over! Nikki stops at the ref’s count, then adjusts for a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Sasha survives but Nikki keeps on her.
Nikki brings Sasha up, drapes her on ropes, but Sasha springs out to bring her around. Sasha shoulder sin then knees from the apron, to roll her into the CROSSFACE! Nikki pops out and bounces Sasha off the mat! Nikki ghost pins, TWO!! Sasha gets up, spins Nikki around, but Nikki drops down to victory roll! TWO, Sasha has the cover, TWO! Nikki runs, Sasha follows, back drop becomes a sunset flip but Sasha slips out to METEORA! Cover, Sasha wins!!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by pinfall
The Boss survives the loony lass, but she and Bayley are headed for a rematch with the IIconics. Will the Golden Role Models stay golden on a title-filled Monday Night Raw?
The WWE congratulate Titus O’Neil for being a Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award Finalist!
The Real Deal is certainly that when it comes to his role as a community outreach ambassador. Titus has been a major player in both the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Special Olympics. Through his own foundation, he has used his platform to raise millions for local charities, such as The Joy of Giving, Tampa Bay’s annual holiday event for underprivileged children. Titus’ tireless efforts has earned him much recognition, and is the 2020 South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Titus authored his first book, There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid. He wants the world better in every way possible. If it is done with love, respect and truth, positive change is inevitable. Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders. As a dedicated father and philanthropist, the WWE congratulates him on this newest accomplishment.
Braun Strowman sees the Firefly Fun House is coming.
The Monster Among Men is seething. Will he have something to say in response to tonight’s return episode?
Next week, the WWE Intercontinental Championship will be on the line!
But not against The Bro, Matt Riddle. AJ Styles is actually taking Daniel Bryan’s challenge to let Drew Gulak have his shot! Will the Philly Stretcher be able to break the Phenomenal Reign already? Or will Styles prove Gulak is not on his level?
SmackDown presents a new Firefly Fun House!
Bray Wyatt waves hi and says bonjour! It has been way too long! Did they miss him? He can’t wait to tell us what he’s been up to. He joined a book club, he learned the latest Tiktok moves, and mastered the dark art of resurrecting the dead! But oh, and he learned how to knit, and infiltrated a Reptilian stronghold. “I see you…” Ramblin’ Rabbit appears and says Bray was actually just sitting in a corner, muttering to himself about how he lost to Braun at Money in the Bank. Strowman pulled the wool over Bray’s eyes and kept the Universal Championship that night. Remember? Thanks for the reminder, rabbit… But yes, Bray did lose. In defeat, Bray realized he want about this all wrong. Braun is someone he’s known for a long, long time.
Speaking of, BRAUN heads to the ring! No more talk from Bray as the WWE Universal Champion goes to the ring. Strowman roars and the crowd roars with him. Bray is not pleased to see this. Strowman grabs a mic to say, “Look, Bray. Before you even get started, just don’t.” Bray had his opportunity and failed! “There are no more games. This story between me and you? It’s over.” Bray laughs really hard at that. That chapter may be over, but Bray wasn’t lying about resurrecting the dead. “Our story is just gettin’ started.” The Bray Wyatt of old is back! “What’s wrong, brother? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Well, in order for us all to move forward, we must first take a step back, to where it all began. Bray Wyatt created Braun Strowman. Therefore, it is Bray’s duty to destroy him. You know where to find him, Braun. Just follow the buzzards. “RUN.” The Eater of Worlds has returned!! What does this mean for the future of SmackDown and ALL of the WWE?!
What a great SmackDown! Matt Riddle still has his SmackDown debut despite accusations coming out about him and others. Covering #SpeakingOut is for a different article, but the reason it doesn’t affect this week’s episode is because this week was another pretaped one. Riddle and Styles have an incredible match for their first time, but sadly this might be all Riddle gets, should the facts reflect poorly on Riddle. Styles giving Gulak his shot next week is actually a great move, because it’s two birds with one stone. Gulak did pin Styles, and now that Styles is champion, that means Gulak pinned the champion and has a legit argument. At the same time, Styles is avoiding Riddle, who clearly was more than Styles expected. I don’t think Gulak wins, but we’ll have to wait and see if Styles VS Riddle for the title happens.
Gable gets a great win over Mojo, but I’m not sure where it goes. It would be great if Gable keeps winning to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship, and even Shorty G could be used as a way for Styles to avoid facing Riddle. And given how Riddle was sent into Corbin, those two could have a part in the story while Riddle fights to “earn” the rank of #1 contender, so that Styles VS Riddle isn’t at Extreme Rules in a month but at SummerSlam for a huge match. But again, time will tell. I like that there’s interweaving of stories between Miz, Morrison, Mandy and Sonya. I would love to see a Six Person Tag, Mandy and Heavy Machinery VS Sonya and The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century before having payoffs at Extreme Rules. I still hope the Women’s Extreme Rules goes to Sonya VS Mandy for this one, that’d be awesome.
I liked that the Women’s Tag Champions were ringside to watch the Men’s Tag Champions. While they probably won’t ever have a match against each other, it was nice to tease that Bayley & Banks want to prove they’re a better tag team than The New Day. New Day have a really good match with Lucha House Party but it also worked as a great segue to Cesaro and Nakamura attacking. That tag title match should be for Extreme Rules to have them go all out in some form of No Disqualifications match. Nikki Cross going after Sasha and Bayley was great, but obviously Sasha won tonight so she and Bayley can roll strong into Raw to face The IIconics. I sense something big brewing to determine a contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, so I really hope it somehow circles back to pitting Sasha and Bayley against each other.
Sheamus is doubling down on Hardy while he’s ahead. That “toast” will probably become a roast and bring us towards the tiebreaker between Sheamus and Hardy. A No Disqualifications match at Extreme Rules would be pretty fitting of the story they’ve built, and the result would have more finality to it. And though almost barely fit in for the show, Braun and Bray coming back around for another go is great! Especially after Bray “resurrected” his Eater of Worlds gimmick! Bray going deeper into a Faces of Foley mode is great stuff, and being able to shuffle between Firefly Bray, Face of Fear Bray and Fiend Bray will allow for some freshness in his feuds. This probably doesn’t end at Extreme Rules, so that SummerSlam will finally give us Strowman VS Fiend for something really big.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
- Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
- Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
CM Punk is here!
The Best of the World is back and the fans in Charleston, West Virginia are fired up to see him! Especially since he has THE AEW World Championship belt on his shoulder. No stage diving this time, though, he’s being a bit more careful this time. Punk goes to the ring and gets the mic as fans chant his name. “I’m trying to put my tough guy game face on before I came out here, and you guys just ruined it all by making me smile. I don’t got the prettiest smile. What I do have is the prettiest belt! Haven’t been here in some time, and I’ve got some business to attend to. Some things very, very important. Some things not so important.
“I want to get the not so important things outta the way. Where are we? Where are wee tonight? There’s somebody from around these parts that I would like to challenge to a rematch and I would like to do it right here, right now, for you beautiful people.” Fans cheer for that, they wanna see it, too! Punk sits down cross-legged and tells Hangman Adam Page, “You want that rematch, you got it right here, right now. Let’s go!” Fans are fired up for the “Cowboy Sh*t” that could go down, but where is he? Punk checks his mic, but no Hangman, and fans boo. Punk says that’s why this isn’t important. That isn’t Cowboy Sh*t, that’s Coward Sh*t!
“A little bit of advice that I suggest you take: The apology must as loud and as public as the disrespect!” And if anyone else has a problem with THE CHAMPION, Punk suggests they come on down! “Everyone wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ sh*t!” Fans agree with that as they chant Punk’s name. “Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that Jon Moxley’s got a lot of fans. And he can be number one in your heart, but he’s not number one in this ring. I am THE AEW Champion!!” Punk knows what it takes to be the best, to talk a big game and say you’re the best, and to breathe that into existence.
He also knows what it is like to lose. Punk has lost big, but Moxley has always been number two, there has always been someone who has Mox’s number, and it’s Punk! Boo if you want, but let him know when he’s lying. “Jon Moxley is the third best guy in his own group, and that seems to be a reoccurring theme in his career.” Fans are stunned to hear that. Punk says, “That doesn’t make him a bad guy, but that doesn’t make him the best either.” Punk is the best, but yes, Mox has been carrying the torch when Punk broke his foot. Moxley talks about breaking bones and drinking blood, but between the two of them, the only one’s who has broken bones is Punk! It was his own, but still!
So again, tell Punk when he’s telling lies. Moxley has been INTERIM AEW Champion. Look that word up, it means “temporary.” And Punk is willing to test himself against Moxley, but is Moxley willing to test himself against his best friends? Let’s talk about those friends. Mox’s best friend is the third best Eddie that Punk’s ever faced. And the second best Kingston! These people aren’t number one at anything! Tell Punk when he’s telling a lie! Fans have to admit, he’s got a point. Punk says he’s missed the fans, and he’s missed competing in the ring. He’s been wanting to defend this title on a PPV, and that will be All Out, September 4th, Chicago, Illinois!
Punk is ready to test his belt against Moxley’s “number two with a bullet.” Punk is willing to test his foot! The funny thing is, heading into Chicago, Moxley isn’t even the first Jon/John that Punk beats in Chicago for a title! And he’s certainly not number one there, either. But say his name enough and here he comes! Jon Moxley is heading to the ring but Punk taunts Moxley over the time he takes to make it to the ring. Punk does “mat angels” as Moxley and his AEW World Championship belt go through the crowd. Moxley does make it to ringside, he does get a mic and he does get in the ring to stand there across from Punk.
Fans cheer for Moxley, and Moxley says, “Look out, ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk is dropping pipe bombs! Doing what he does best: writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t cash.” Moxley makes sure to point at Punk’s foot with that. And Moxley tells Punk he’s living in a fantasy land! In Punk’s mind, he’s the best wrestler in the world. But most times, Punk’s not even the best wrestler in catering. Punk thinks his mic in his hand is power. But this is the real world, and that’s just a microphone. And all the words Punk says into it don’t mean sh*t. That belt on Punk’s shoulder don’t mean sh*t. Punk says, “Who’s living in a fantasy world now?”
Moxley says, “To be fair, right now, this belt don’t mean sh*t. Not until I beat you!” Moxley says he IS the heart and soul of AEW, and every time they call him “Interim,” he thinks of Punk and that makes him sick! Punks says, “Good! You can be the ‘heart and soul’, I’ll bet he dollars and the cents!” Both men throw the belts down and inch a bit closer. Punk asks Mox if he’s done talking. Mox says we all know Punk only came to AEW because he ran out of money, so don’t give Mox that. “Being the best is about heart and soul and guts and fighting spirit, and we both know that you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago.”
Now both men are face to face! Mox says if Punk wants to prove him wrong, then do something about it. But Mox doesn’t think Punk’s gonna do sh*t. Punk says they have a match at the PPV, which Punk will soundly defeat Moxley in. But if Punk touches Moxley now, Punk’s afraid Moxley will just start bleeding all over him. They get forehead to forehead, Moxley puts his hands back behind him to give Punk an open shot. Punk pushes Moxley away, but Moxley comes back with a peck on the cheek! AND A SLAP! The haymakers start flying and fans are fired up for it! Moxley and Punk scrap, security and officials rush in, and fans boo!
Moxley and Punk are separated but Moxley throws off his shirt! Punk eggs Moxley on, security is a wall between them, and fans boo more. Moxley tosses his belt out of the ring, then eggs Punk on! Punk tries to get after Moxley, and Moxley LEAPS onto the pile! The scrum continues but is quickly broken up. Fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” and Moxley gets a chair! Moxley tosses it into the ring, and Punk uses it to take a seat! Punk eggs Mox on again, and Mox slides in! They make contact, but the security pulls them apart again! Fans boo some more, but Moxley finds an opening on the other side of the ring! The brawl is back on!
Wait, security just pulls them apart again. Fans boo as the ebb and flow just keeps going, but it seems we’ll all have to wait until Sunday, September 4th. What happens when Punk and Moxley go all out to determine an UNDISPUTED AEW World Champion?
Backstage interview with “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs.
Tony Schiavone is with Hobbs and references what we saw last week concerning himself, Ricky Starks and The Factory. Schiavone thought Starks & Hobbs were friends, so why did Hobbs betray Starks? Hobbs says he doesn’t need friends! “Ricky Starks, you proved to the whole world, your true colors came out, you told the world that you were okay with losing. I’m not okay with losing, Ricky! For two years, you got to walk around here and parade around like you’re some God’s gift to this business. You got to hide behind Powerhouse Hobbs’ back, because you knew I would get the job done.”
Hobbs was hired for one thing: make sure Starks stayed champion. And Starks couldn’t do it! Now Ricky, Hobbs not only breaks backs, he also breaks necks. And as far as The Factory goes, Hobbs has something for them, too! Will the Powerhouse turn into a juggernaut and demolish everyone in his way?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia!
The American Dragon fought hard against Red Death, but was screwed over by The Wizard! Sounds like Game of Thrones, but it’s pro-wrestling! Or as the Jericho Appreciation Society calls it, “Sports Entertainment.” However, Bryan dares Garcia to look inside himself and decide: Is he the Best Technical Sports Entertainer? Or is he the Best Technical Pro-Wrestler? With Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest timekeeper, will the Dragonslayer slay the American Dragon? Or will he JOIN the American Dragon in the Blackpool Combat Club?
But first, Chris Jericho joins commentary! Fans sing Judas for him as he joins Excalibur, Taz, and Good ol’ JR, then Bryan makes his entrance. Bryan shakes hands with Steamboat, then Garcia makes his entrance, complete with a new Dragonslayer logo on his tron. The bell rings on the first fall and fans rally up. The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Bryan shoots in to get a leg. Bryan trips Garcia but Garcia fights back and trips Bryan. Garcia goes for a leg, but Bryan trips him back and rains down forearms! Garcia guards but Bryan moves around. Garcia slips out, back mounts, but Bryan stands up.
Garcia is a backpack but Bryan snapmares and rolls! It’s a rough landing but Garcia holds on, then he drags Bryan around. Bryan slips out, throws body shots from above, then has a KNEEBAR! Garcia moves around to stand up, and he has a HEEL HOOK! Bryan endures, stomps at Garcia’s face but Garcia gives those back! They stomp and kick each other back and forth, but Bryan puts on a HEEL HOOK of his own! Fans cheer this technical exchange and the two end up in the ropes! The ref counts, the two let each other go, but then Garcia BOOTS Bryan into a corner! Garcia eggs Bryan on while fans boo.
Bryan stands up, they reset, tie up, and Garcia puts Bryan in a corner. Fans rally for Bryan as Garcia smothers him, but the ref counts. Garcia lets off to SLAP Bryan! Bryan keeps cool as AEW goes picture in picture.
Garcia taunts Bryan but Bryan puts his dukes up. Bryan KICKS Garcia’s leg, then eggs Garcia on. Garcia returns but Bryan KICKS the leg again! They tie up, Bryan SLAPS Garcia now, and Garcia wobbles a bit. Garcia throws some testing jabs but Bryan shrugs those off. Bryan throws body shots, then SMACKS Garcia! Bryan suplexes high and hard, covers, TWO! Bryan drags Garcia around by a leg, turns him over and hooks up the legs. Bryan reaches for the arms, brings them back, and then up and up and ROMERO SPECIAL! Garcia endures being held overhead, then Bryan sets him down to fishhook the nose!
The ref reprimands but Bryan throws haymakers onto Garcia’s head, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Garcia falls forward, out of the leg hooks, and fans rally up. Bryan paces, watches Garcia get up, and then KICKS him in the chest! Garcia is right up to CHOP! Bryan smirks and Garcia eggs him on. Bryan CHOPS back, so Garcia CHOPS again. Bryan smirks, dusts that off, and fans rally up more. Bryan and Garcia talk some trash, Garcia SLAPS Bryan! Bryan squats and Garcia kicks at him. Garcia eggs Bryan on, Bryan snarls and stands back up. Bryan stares Garcia down as AEW returns to single picture, and the forearms fire off! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia in the corner!
Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” with every shot! Bryan goes corner to corner to DROPKICK! Bryan puts Garcia up top, climbs up after him, then SUPER STEINERS, but Garcia rolls it to a sunset flip! TWO! Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan EuroUppers again! Garcia CHOPS, Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia kicks low then EuroUppers back. Garcia whips Bryan to a corner, Bryan goes up and over, then keeps moving! Bryan ducks and dodges but Garcia spins him for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX into the ARMBAR! Bryan sits up, fans rally up, and Bryan clasps hands. Bryan fights but Garcia pushes him down!
Bryan rolls through, leg capture and BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Garcia escapes but Bryan goes for the legs! Bryan ties the legs up, rains down forearms, and then hooks an arm! REGAL STRETCH!! Bryan makes his mentor proud while Garcia endures to make his mentor proud! Garcia crawls, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off, Garcia bails out, and Bryan builds speed! Bryan WRECKS Garcia with a dropkick! Then he goes to the apron to FLYING- NO, Garcia dodges the knee to SAIDO to the floor! Fans are torn as Garcia stands back up. Garcia drags Bryan up with a facelock and he puts Bryan in the ring.
Fans rally and Garcia looms over Bryan. Garcia sits Bryan up for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! That’s a very BCC move! Fans boo but Jericho loves it! Garcia gets the legs, SHARP- NO, Bryan spins it through! Bryan kicks Garcia down into the TRIANGLE HOLD! Garcia is caught but he stands up. Bryan throws hands but Garcia hooks Bryan up! PILEDRIVER!! Omoplata and DRAGON SLEEPER!!! Bryan is fading, the fans rally, but he’s OUT! That’s the first fall to Garcia!
Bryan: 0; Garcia: 1
The ref checks if Bryan is okay to continue, but Garcia says this is just the first fall! This isn’t over until he has his second! The ref starts a standing count, if Bryan can’t answer it, he’s lost! Garcia backs off to watch Bryan, and we’re past 5 of 10! Bryan crawls and stands at 8, so Garcia CLOBBERS him! Garcia stomps a mudhole while fans boo! Garcia lets off at the ref’s count to soak up the heat, then he storms back up on Bryan. Garcia stands Bryan up, EuroUppers, and CHOPS! Bryan looks dazed but Garcia brings him up to CHOP again! Garcia soaks up more heat while fans boo and he goes corner to corner. Garcia runs in to SHOTGUN Bryan, and AEW goes to break!
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!
A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.
Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.
Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.
Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”
Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!
Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.
Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!
Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!
Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!
Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.
Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!
It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?
Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!
Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!
Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!
Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!
Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!
Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!
Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!
Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!
But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!
Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?
As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”
Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.
Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?
A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.
But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.
Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.
My Score: 9/10
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