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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 Results & Report Part 6!

The Best Eight do battle!



NJPW New Japan Cup 2020

The quarterfinals start and end all on one day!

NJPW wraps up the round of eight all at once! Does Los Ingobernables de Japon dominate the semifinals?

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.


  • Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomohiro Ishii; Hiromu wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • EVIL VS YOSHI-HASHI; Evil wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Taiji Ishimori; Okada wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • SANADA VS Taichi; Sanada wins and advances to the semifinals.


Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Ticking Timebomb has been having a lot of fun in the New Japan Cup, while the Stone Pitbull has been all business. Will Hiromu be able to break through the wall that is Ishii?

The bell rings and Hiromu rams Ishii with a shoulder! Ishii stays up so Hiromu runs again, rams Ishii, but Ishii stays up. Ishii stays up the third time, then things speed up! Hiromu hurdles, dodges but Ishii runs him over! Hiromu is right up but Ishii kicks and whips him away. Hiromu comes back from the corner to ram shoulders with Ishii again, and again, and again! Hiromu corner clotheslines Ishii then runs, only to get run over! Ishii stalks Hiromu to ropes, brings him up and CHOPS him! Ishii CHOPS again, and Hiromu goes to a corner. Ishii throws forearms over and over and dares Hiromu to get up. Hiromu does stand, and he goes forehead to forehead with Ishii. Ishii CHOPS, Hiromu CHOPS, and this starts to look familiar.

Hiromu chops but Ishii CHOPS, and then Ishii dares Hiromu to keep going. The CHOP fight continues back and forth, until Hiromu wobbles. Ishii CHOPS him at the ropes again, and again, and again! Hiromu falls over and Ishii kicks him while he’s down. Ishii drags Hiromu up and slaps him around. Hiromu goes forehead to forehead again, pushes Ishii, but Ishii throws forearms back. Hiromu takes them but the CHOP knocks him back down! Ishii stomps Hiromu at the ropes, the ref reprimands, but Hiromu is up to pie face and CHOP! And CHOP, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP! Ishii headbutts and Hiromu falls again! Hiromu bails out of the ring, Ishii hurries right after, and puts him back in the ring. There’s no rest with the Pitbull after you!

Ishii sits Hiromu up to KICK in the back! And then kick while he’s down! Ishii toys with Hiromu again, wanting to see what the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion still has. Ishii puts Hiromu in a corner, slaps him around, but Hiromu gets in Ishii’s face again. Hiromu throws forearms but they barely make Ishii flinch. Ishii CHOPS and Hiromu falls down again. Ishii stands Hiromu up, whips him corner to corner, then runs in. Hiromu boots back, runs and rams Ishii, but still nothing. Ishii whips, Hiromu reverses and hits a corner clotheslines! Hiromu rolls Ishii and runs to hit a basement dropkick! Ishii is finally down and Hiromu can finally catch his breath. Hiromu brings Ishii up, whips but reels him in to forearm and put on the ropes. Hiromu kicks the ropes to jam Ishii, then runs, ducks and huricanranas! Ishii is down and now Hiromu eggs him on.

Hiromu drags Ishii up, suplexes, but Ishii resists. Ishii suplexes but Hiromu resists. The two fight for suplex control, and Ishii powers Hiromu up and over! Ishii looms over Hiromu then brings him up for headbutt after headbutt. Ishii whips Hiromu into the corner but Hiromu comes back to run him over! Hiromu drags Ishii up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Hiromu keeps his cool as he gets up and brings Ishii into the fireman’s carry. Ishii slips out, shoves Hiromu into a corner, but Hiromu comes right back with the shotgun dropkick! But Ishii comes right back to BLAST Hiromu with a shoulder! Hiromu ends up in the corner but both men are down. Ishii sits up while the ref checks on Hiromu. Hiromu is okay to continue so Ishii drags him up. Hiromu resists the back suplex, clubs Ishii on the back and gets free.

Hiromu swings, Ishii ducks, Ishii swings but Hiromu ducks. Hiromu waistlocks, Ishii elbows but Hiromu ducks. Hiromu swings but into Ishii’s waistlock. Ishii spins Hiromu around, but Hiromu tries to suplex! Ishii resists, spins out, ducks another clothesline and back suplexes Hiromu down! Ishii takes his time returning to Hiromu, and eggs Hiromu on. Hiromu sits up, Ishii reels him in, but Hiromu counters the bomb into a huricanrana! And TRIANGLE HOLD! Ishii endures, stays on his feet, but Hiromu squeezes tight! Ishii starts to fade, the ref checks on him, but Ishii stays awake! Ishii gets a second wind, to dead lift! BUCKLE BOMB! Both men are down from that one!

Ishii stands, runs back in and corner clotheslines Hiromu! He hoists Hiromu up top, climbs up to join him, but Hiromu hits back. Ishii headbutts, brings Hiromu up, but Hiromu resists. Ishii still powers Hiromu for the SUPERPLEX! He has to crawl to the cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives but Ishii is waiting. Hiromu stands, Ishii runs, Hiromu swats the clothesline away! Hiromu SLAPS Ishii, but Ishii enziguris Hiromu! Hiromu falls but Ishii fires up! Ishii dares Hiromu to stand, then runs, to LARIAT Hiromu inside out! Hiromu gets up?! Hiromu roars as he flounders about the ropes. Ishii watches as Hiromu stands and heads over.

Hiromu throws forearm after forearm but there’s not enough power. Ishii DECKS Hiromu with one! Ishii sits Hiromu, SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu still lives! Ishii drags Hiromu up, suplexes, but Hiromu cradle counters! TWO, Hiromu leaps and catches Ishii for a triangle, but Ishii POWERBOMBS him again! Cover, TWO and Hiromu sits on Ishii! Cover, TWO!! Ishii and Hiromu go to opposite corners, run in, and LARIATS Hiromu again! Ishii drags Hiromu back up, suplexes again, but Hiromu fights out! SUPERKICK, fireman’s carry, DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives but Hiromu is too tired to be frustrated. Hiromu shouts at Ishii, gets up and runs, LARIAT! But Ishii just wobbles!

Hiromu tries again, LARIAT, but still Ishii wobbles. Hiromu tries again, but Ishii swats it away! SUPERKICK! Ishii topples over, but this isn’t over yet! Hiromu drags Ishii up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley into the corner! Hiromu still isn’t done with Ishii, and he drags him up to another fireman’s carry. But Ishii slips out, suplexes, only for Hiromu to pop out and pop up. But Ishii escapes the rana to GERMAN SUPLEX! Hiromu stands?! LARIAT, but Ishii just powers through, to headbutt! Hiromu stays up to heabutt back!! Ishii falls over!! Hiromu grins as he powers up and runs, ducks and LARIATS ISHII!! Hiromu still has energy to give and he drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ishii will not be demolished so easily!

Hiromu is frustrated, what must he do to win? Hiromu shouts at Ishii, brings him back up, reels him into a dragon sleepr, but Ishii spins through! Hiromu resists the suplex but Ishii headbutts! Ishii runs, into the spin, Hiromu hits a BRAIN BUSTER!! Hiromu takes Ishii’s move but that’s not all! Dragon sleeper, lift, TIMEBOMB 2!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall

Incredible! After so much explosive offense, Hiromu is in the Final Four! Will Hiromu win his way to giving us the dream match meant for the anniversary?



The King of Darkness showed us just how evil he can be with how he defeated Hirooki Goto, and vows to keep going by any means necessary. The Head Hunter has already taken out the Black Mask, will he add another LIJ member? Or is Evil joining Hiromu in the Final Four?

Hashi didn’t learn a thing from his match with Bushi, because while he’s getting on the corner, Evil is getting a chair! Evil SMACKS Hashi in the back! Hashi writhes, clutching his leg, but Evil has another chair! Evil puts the chair around the knee and stomps it! Then CON-CHAIR-TO to the leg!! And again!! Hashi screams as Evil hits a THIRD!! The ref backs Evil off but what good does it do Hashi?! Evil lets Hashi alone as the ref gets the chair off the leg. Hashi still wants to fight?! Hashi stands up, the bell rings, and Hashi throws forearms on Evil. Evil doesn’t even sweat it, and he kicks the bad leg! Hashi still stands back up, throws more forearms, and a CHOP! Evil feels that one but he kicks the leg again.

Evil reels Hashi in, trips him up and stomps away on the leg! Then he steps through, laces the legs, SHARPSHOOTER! Hashi endures the leg lock as Evil sits deep! Hashi refuses to lose like this, and he crawls for the ropes! But Evil sits even deeper! Evil tries to rip the legs off but Hashi refuses to give in! Evil drags him from the ropes, sits deep again, but the ref calls it!! Evil wins!!

Winner: Evil, by referee stoppage

Brutal! The King of Darkness did just as he promised, and the Head Hunter is done for! The ref and the Young Lions have to get Evil to stop, but he’s going to keep going into the semifinals. Hashi tries to #GetBackUp, but Evil just stands over him. Evil STOMPS the leg!! The Young Lions get Evil away from Hashi, and Evil finally leaves. Will Evil be this evil if he has to face a fellow LIJ member?


Kazuchika Okada VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Rainmaker wants to get back to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and the Intercontinental Championship is a cherry on top. The Bone Soldier Reborn just wants to have a taste of that golden feast. Will Okada deny Ishimori that opportunity?

The bell rings the two circle. Okada and Ishimori approach, and then Ishimori rakes Okada’s eyes! Ishimori throws forearms then runs, but into Okada’s BOOT! Ishimori flounders about but Okada calmly walks over and brings him up. Okada elbows Ishimori in the neck, scoops him and slams him, then goes to the apron for a slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Okada isn’t at all worried as he brings Ishimori up again. Okada elbows Ishimori’s neck, then again, but Ishimori throws chops. Okada doesn’t flinch and he rocks Ishimori with a right forearm. Okada snapmares and runs to basement dropkick Ishimori out of the ring! Ishimori winces as he clutches his neck. Ishimori sits up but wait! Gedo appears! Okada glares at Gedo and he stays back, but Ishimori attacks from behind!

Ishimori dumps Okada out then goes after him, to wrench and whip into barriers! Okada topples over as the referee reprimands the Bullet Club, but Gedo gets away with a wrench shot! Gedo is continuing from his failure to screw Okada over! And Ishimori is keeping the ref from seeing all of this! Gedo leaves Okada alone and Ishimori stomps Okada down. Ishimori brings Okada up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Ishimori wraps Okada up in a chinlock and digs his knee in. Ishimori jams his knee in again and again, but Okada endures. Okada reaches for ropes, Ishimori cranks harder, then drops a leg! Cover, TWO! Ishimori is upset with the count and so is Gedo, but the count is the count. Ishimori looms over Okada now as he stomps him to the ropes.

Ishimori cranks Okada’s neck with a cravat and headbutts away! Okada goes to a corner, Ishimori CHOPS! Ishimori whips Okada corner to corner, blocks the boots and turns Okada sideways. Ishimori enziguris then runs side to side, SLIDING GERMAN! Gedo cheers but he’s literally the only one. Ishimori covers, TWO! Ishimori and Gedo are both upset with the count again, but Ishimori wraps on a chinlock. Okada endures as Ishimori grinds him down and cranks him around. Okada fights up, fights back, and fights free. But Ishimori elbows Okada on the neck! Ishimori whips, Okada reverses, and Okada runs in, but into Ishimori’s boot! Ishimori runs, but into a BIG flapjack! Ishimori flounders and writhes but Okada is down, too.

Okada kips up! And he starts to rally with forearms! Okada whips, Ishimori reverses, but Okada elbows him down! Okada fires up and goes after Ishimori in the corner. Okada whips corner to corner, hits a back elbow, then kicks for a spike DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he paces about. Okada drags Ishimori up, gut wrenches, but Ishimori fights free. Okada elbows, whips, Ishimori handsprings to hit a neuralizer enziguri! Both men are down again and Gedo cheers Ishimori. Okada and Ishimori to go opposite corners and stand up. Ishimori runs in, and double knees! He snapmares Okada and runs again, but Okada ducks the Shining Wizard! Okada rolls Ishimori, TWO! Ishimori gets a Yes Lock! But Okada gets the ropebreak!

Ishimori lets go fast and is very frustrated. Gedo coaches Ishimori up, Ishimori drags Okada up, but Okada resists the gut wrench! Okada clubs Ishimori but Ishimori hits a heavy body shot. Ishimori runs in but is popped up to the Alabama lift, REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Both men are down again but Okada sits up. Okada goes to Ishimori, brings him up, scoops and slams, and per the formula, heads to a corner. Okada climbs up top but Gedo creeps closer. Okada hops down to run him off, but Ishimori handspring heel kicks Okada down! Okada crashes into barriers, staggers up, and Ishimori TRIANGLE MOONSAULTS! Direct hit and Okada goes down! Ishimori is also down but Gedo coaches him up.

The ring count begins, Ishimori sits up at 4 of 20 and stands at 6. Ishimori brings Okada up at 10 and puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Gedo and Ishimori are upset again, but Ishimori stays focused. Okada slowly rises, Ishimori runs from a corner, shotgun dropkick blasts him to a corner! Then corner METEORA! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Ishimori can’t believe it! Gedo argues with the ref but Ishimori takes aim again. BANG, and he brings Okada up. Ishimori underhooks but Okada blocks! Ishimori knees, runs, dodges Okada’s boot, and tilt-o-whirls into a takedown! YES LOCK! Okada endures, powers up, reaches, but Ishimori cranks harder! Okada refuses to give up, and uses his legs for the ropebreak! Ishimori lets go and is frustrated all over again.

Ishimori fires himself up and Gedo says this is his chance. Ishimori brings Okada up, but Okada fights out of Bloody Sunday to uppercut! Ishimori jumps and knees! Ishimori runs, into a dropkick! Okada drags Ishimori up, gut wrenches, but Ishimori fights and reverses the gut wrench! CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives and Gedo argues that was three! It wasn’t, and Ishimori is furious! Ishimori drags Okada up, underhooks, but Okada slips out to gut wrench! JUMPING TOMBSTONE! Okada has the arm, DEEP IN DEBT! Gedo gets up on the apron and Okada lets Ishimori go to run him off again. Okada turns back to Ishimori, wrenches, DEEP IN DEBT!

Ishimori endures, reaches, so Okada arm-drags Ishimori. But Ishimori grabs the ref to bring him along! Ishimori is Deep In Debt again, but Gedo attacks Okada! Gedo has the brass knuckles! Okada gets up, but he ducks the punch to shotgun dropkick Gedo down! Ishimori kicks and whips but Okada reverses to dropkick again! DEEP IN DEBT!! Okada is determined to win this way, and Ishimori starts to fade out! Okada cranks, Ishimori taps, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by submission

The Rainmaker keeps winning without even needing his iconic signature! Does Hiromu stand a chance against this transformed Okada?



The Timebomb and the King of Darkness are into the semifinals, but what about the Cold Skull? Is the hot streak going to get hotter? The Sliest Wrestler in the World swept the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, will beating a former one solidify his chances of taking those titles?

The bell rings and the two stare down from across the way. Sanada and Taichi circle slowly, but then Taichi backs off. He seems more concerned about his hair than Sanada’s presence. The two circle again, but again Taichi backs off. Sanada keeps his cool and circles with Taichi again. Finally, Taichi ties up with Sanada, Sanada wrenches, and Taichi gets to the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, Sanada lets go, and they reset again. Another tie up, and Sanada rolls to then wrench to a hammerlock. Taichi hurries to a corner, but he’s untying the tag rope without anyone seeing. Sanada lets go, Taichi circles with him, but he’s hiding the tag rope. Sanada kicks low, headlocks, but Taichi uses the rope to choke him! Taichi chokes Sanada like he did Ibushi!

Red Shoes tries to stop him but Taichi is hiding the rope even as he smothers Sanada! Taichi stops as Red Shoes counts, and the trick has been exposed. Red Shoes takes the rope away, Taichi pushes Sanada out of the ring, then whips Sanada into barriers! Taichi drags Sanada up, through the gate, and bounces him off bleachers. Those bleachers sure get a lot of attention. Taichi brings Sanada across railing to choke him more! Red Shoes reprimands Taichi and he eventually lets up. Taichi borrows an idea from Minoru Suzuki and drags the railing over. He stands it on Sanada’s neck to choke him that way! Red Shoes reprimands and counts again, but Taichi lets up, just to do it again! Taichi lets up to argue with Red Shoes but Red Shoes stands up for himself.

Taichi brings Sanada up and POSTS him! Sanada staggers away but Taichi puts him back into the ring. Taichi kneels on Sanada but Red Shoes won’t call that a cover. Taichi lets up, and tries to hide a choke as a cover again! Red Shoes counts the penalty, so Taichi stops. Just to choke Sanada again! Red Shoes has Taichi stop again, but Taichi stands on Sanada now. Sanada gets up and Taichi toys with him. Taichi drags Sanada up but Sanada fires off forearms! Taichi chokes again, Sanada breaks free, so Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada standing moonsaults, Taichi moves, but Sanada lands on his feet to basement dropkick! Sanada and Taichi are both down, but Sanada can finally catch his breath.

Sanada brings Taichi up, fires forearm after forearm then whips. Taichi reverses, Sanada dodges and dropkicks the legs out! Taichi bails out, Sanada takes aim, slingshot PLANCHA! Sanada wants to hear the fans watching at home, and someone in the crew applauds him at least. Sanada brings Taichi up, puts him in the ring, but Taichi rolls out the far side. Sanada follows and clubs Taichi at the railing! And again! Taichi pulls himself up but Sanada is on him to put back in the ring. Taichi springs up to kick away at Sanada! Taichi uses the ropes as part of stealing Paradise, but Sanada drags him down! Sanada shows Taichi how this is really done! Taichi is stuck in a rope Paradise! Sanada leaves Taichi there while he catches his breath. Then Sanada runs in to basement dropkick Taichi out of Paradise! Cover, ROPEBREAK!

Sanada forgot how close he was, but he keeps his cool. Sanada brings Taichi up, fireman’s carries, but Taichi fights out and rakes the eyes. Taichi gets to a corner, dodges Sanada and GAMANGIRI! Sanada flops down and Taichi manages to walk off the bad leg. Taichi toys with Sanada, kicking him while he’s down. Sanada gets up and throws forearms back! Taichi stays up to KICK the leg! Sanada walks it off to throw a big forearm! Taichi kicks again, but Sanada comes back to forearm again. Taichi kicks, Sanada forearms, and they pick up speed! Sanada European Uppercuts, Taichi boots! Sanada boots, Taichi boots, only to be blocked! Sanada EuroUppers but Taichi back kicks! Sanada goes down but Taichi brings him back up. Sanada fires off forearms but spins into the GAMANGIRI! Down goes Sanada!

Taichi is also down, but he gets back up. Taichi fires up and off come the pants! Sanada rises as Taichi builds power. Taichi SUP- No! The kick is blocked! Sanada fireman’s carries, throws Taichi into the dragon sleeper! Taichi resists, clubbing and clawing, then turns around to HOOK KICK! Sanada swings, but into a SAIDO SUPLEX! Both men are down again, but Taichi sits up. Taichi slashes the throat, vowing to end this. Taichi drags Sanada back up, reels him in, Alabama Lift, but Sanada fights out to dropkick! Taichi ROCKS Sanada with a right, Alabama Lifts, but Sanada fights out again! Sanada and Taichi struggle for control, Sanada clubs away on Taichi’s back. Taichi staggers, swings into a suplex, DRAPING MAGIC KILLER! Both men are down again but stirring.

Sanada stands up and grabs at Taichi. Taichi resists but Sanada still stands him up to whip corner to corner. Taichi reverses, Sanada goes up and out but the springboard is intercepted! Taichi has Sanada in the Alabama but Sanada sunset flips through! TWO!! Taichi staggers up but boots Sanada! Taichi whips Sanada to a corner but runs into an elbow! Sanada QUEBRADA to the dragon sleeper! Body scissors, SKULL END!! Yoshinobu Kanemaru jumps off commentary to get on the apron! Red Shoes stops him there, but that means he misses Taichi tapping out like there’s no tomorrow! Sanada lets Taichi go to confront Kanemaru, but Taichi sneaks up to SAIDO SUPLEX! Taichi STEALS SKULL END!!

Sanada is caught in the dragon sleeper and body scissors! He flails and reaches, endures the crank, but starts to fade! Red Shoes checks on Sanada, the arm drops once. Sanada springs to life and gets the ropebreak! Taichi lets go and has to reset. Taichi drags Sanada up but he’s dead weight. Red Shoes checks on Sanada but he’s somehow okay. Taichi drags Sanada up by his hair, but then drops him. Is Sanada really still able to continue? Taichi drags Sanada up, reels him in, lifts, but Sanada resists! Sanada back drops Taichi! Taichi gets up, but walks into a big forearm! Sanada runs into a ROUNDHOUSE! Taichi blindside ax bombers, then GAMANGIRIS! Sanada is down again but so is Taichi! Taichi dusts his hands off and calls for the finish! SAIDO SUPLEX BRIDGE!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada survives and Taichi can’t believe it!

Taichi roars, powers up the arm, and waits for Sanada to stand. Taichi runs, into a SNAP-RANA! Cover, TWO!! Sanada and Taichi hurry back up, Sanada fireman’s carries, T K O!! But Sanada can’t capitalize with a cover! Sanada grits his teeth as he gets up and goes to Taichi. Sanada slashes the throat and drags Taichi into the dragon sleeper! SKULL SWING! Sanada drops Taichi and heads for a corner, but Taichi grabs Red Shoes and drags him down! Kanemaru goes after Sanada again! Sanada hops down and swings on Kanemaru, but Kanemaru rakes his eyes! Taichi LOW BLOW KICKS! Red Shoes returns, Taichi hooks the arms, but Sanada pops out to shove Taichi into Kanemaru! O’Conner roll, JAPAN CLUTCH! SANADA WINS!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall

The Holy Emperor’s tricks got the better of him! Taichi takes his frustrations out on Red Shoes as he shoves him down, but he still lost. Will this defeat doom his chances of taking the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships? As for Sanada, we’re getting an LIJ VS LIJ Semifinal match! Sanada takes to the mic to address Evil. Evil says he’s the number one, but Sanada looks to test that. “See you tomorrow.” Will the Cold Skull be ready for whatever the King of Darkness tries?

My Thoughts:

Another great bit of the New Japan Cup! I nailed all these results, and you can read the previous article to see that. Hiromu had an incredible opener and an amazing overcoming victory against Ishii. Evil destroys Hashi from even before the bell, but I just felt an LIJ VS LIJ match happening so it had to happen. I’m surprised Okada wasn’t the main event, but he and Ishimori still had a great match that admittedly wasn’t quite main event level. No offense to Ishimori but obviously Okada wins, he’s Okada. And Okada really is putting a lot behind the submission hold, and as I said before, that could be the key to him making an already amazing career last even longer. Sanada and Taichi have the best match, hence why they’re the main event. Sanada seems to be daring Evil to try something, and that match could be main event for tomorrow, too. The semifinals are going to be insane!

My Score: 9.3/10

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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)

And you thought last week was big!



Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!


  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.


205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.

It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.

The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?


Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!

How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?

The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!

Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!

Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!

Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?


Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!

The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?

The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!

Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.

Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.

Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!

Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!

Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?

My Thoughts:

A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.

Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.

My Score: 8/10

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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)

Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?



Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!


  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
  • Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
  • Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.


Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.

But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!

But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.

But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.

Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?

Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.


Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?

SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!

The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?

As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.

Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.

Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!

Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?


Billie finds the Squad backstage.

She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?


Daniel Bryan is here!

And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!

“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!

Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!

The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!

Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”

Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?


Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?

SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!

Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!

Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?


Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?


WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!

Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.

Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!

Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!

Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)

And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?


Kevin Owens speaks.

“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.

And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.

But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.


The Street Profits have a basket.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!

Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?


Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?

SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!

But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?

Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!

Winner: Bianca Belair

Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.


Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?


Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.

Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?


Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?

Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!

Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!

Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?

My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.

But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.

The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.

Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.

And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.

My Score: 8.5/10

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