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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (7/10/20)

AWWW~ Chairshot Followers~!

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WWE SmackDown Coverage 3.0

The SmackDown Tag Team Championships are on the line!

Don’t you dare be sour! Watch The New Day defend their titles against Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura! Plus, a special encore of WWE Money in the Bank’s Universal Championship match!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Miz w/ John Morrison VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins.
  • Bliss-Cross VS Bayley and Sasha Banks; Bayley & Banks win.
  • WWE Money in the Bank 2020 – WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman VS Bray Wyatt; Strowman wins and retains the WWE Universal Champion.
  • Karaoke Showdown: Dana Brooke VS Naomi VS Lacey Evans VS Tamina; Naomi wins.
  • Lacey Evans VS Naomi w/ Jey Uso; Evans wins, by disqualification.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro; No Contest, The New Day retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

PLAY BY PLAY

Miz TV opens SmackDown!

John Morrison and The Miz are jamming out in the ring as the introductions are made. Miz welcomes us back to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, and says tonight’s guest has inspired generations of superstars to reach for the stars. A man with better face paint than Doink the Clown, a daredevil that battles his inner demons one day at a time but has a hard time remembering the night before, and a true trailblazer. Emphasis on “blaze.” Is Morrison taking this seriously? This is a serious episode of Miz TV? Every episode is a serious episode! Tonight’s guest is one of the most decorate WWE superstars and a shoe-in Hall of Fame! A man who pioneered the Dougie, the Whip and the Nene! what? Y’know! That move he does. It is the Charismatic Enigma, Jeff Hardy!

Hardy joins Miz and Morrison in the ring and takes a seat. Miz apologizes for Morrison’s jokes. Morrison apologizes for Miz misunderstanding Morrison’s enthusiasm. And speaking of enthusiasm, Hardy has a clip to share, right? What? No, he doesn’t have a clip. He doesn’t have a clip? Does Morrison have a clip? No. Does Miz have a clip? No, he has a different clip. Well we gotta show a clip. Wanna show a clip? Hardy says it’s fine. So they roll an edited version of Hardy’s interview from a few weeks ago, speaking to Sheamus constantly reminding him of his painful past. Hardy says Sheamus is an obstacle, Sheamus says Hardy is a disappointment.

Hardy wants to turn things around, but as the video shows, he lost at Backlash. Sheamus rubbed it in with the “toast” to Hardy and tempting him with a huge selection of alcohol. Sheamus claimed it was a form of helping Hardy to just get the next failure out of the way. Hardy’s response? Dump the drink on the bartender’s head, and then smash the bottle on him, too!

Back in the present, Miz and Morrison are wowed by that clip. Normally when a hero overcomes things, they come back a winner. But Hardy has always been a rule breaker. Well if they keep this up, he’s about the break something. The crowd loves that burn! Miz and Morrison want Hardy to stay calm, they’re having a friendly conversation to figure out what makes him tick. And Miz’s daughter loves Hardy. It’s mostly for his bright colors. But she’s too young to know the darkness that’s gone on in Hardy’s life. As a father, Miz doesn’t want Monroe to put faith in someone who will self destruct and let her down. Okay where was the question in that? “Jeff, are you okay?” Sheamus has been taunting Hardy, and then he won at Backlash. That has to eat away at Hardy.

Yes, Hardy has been to dark places no one else can imagine. But it’ll take more than taunting to drive him back there? Really? Sheamus isn’t in Hardy’s head? The loss isn’t eating away at him? Hardy would be lying if he said Sheamus didn’t get under his skin and that loss doesn’t bother him. It all does. The crowd cheers their support as Hardy says he will do everything in his power to destroy Sheamus and put his past behind him. Hardy is going to be a beacon of light to anyone that watches him, struggles with addiction, and help them through those hard times. Change is possible, and hope is real, and there is a life beyond their wildest dreams waiting for them if they can stay sober. Morrison is getting goosebumps. Miz is so glad Hardy came on the show, they’ve really made progress.

Miz and Morrison want to help Hardy redeem himself in a rematch! And not in a WWE ring! He needs to be somewhere where he has home field advantage! Somewhere he can do his best work! He needs to face Sheamus… IN A BAR FIGHT!! Think of the symbolism! He’ll be fighting both the physical enemy, Sheamus, and the metaphorical enemy, alcohol! Hardy does love that, it’s a Handicap Match, Hardy against beer and the Celtic Butthole. This is why he’s here, right? Sheamus put them up to this? Hardy is destined to crumble. WRONG! Hardy is never going back to what he was. And Hardy will take Sheamus out IN that Bar Fight! He will prove he’s on the right path, on the way to success once more, and never letting any of us down again! So go ahead and tell Sheamus he accepts the challenge.

And since we’re throwing out challenges, let’s have another one. Who is it going to face Hardy between Miz and Morrison. Morrison and Miz point to the other, but Hardy isn’t going to let them mock him to his face and not get hit in theirs. Well they kinda did. Hardy apologizes to disappoint them. He attacks them both! Morrison takes off his jacket at Hardy and throws forearms! Morrison whips, Hardy reverses, Morrison holds ropes but Hardy clotheslines him out! Hardy throws the set of Miz TV out, is it going to go down to start SmackDown?

 

The Miz w/ John Morrison VS Jeff Hardy!

It does! SmackDown returns as the bell rings, Hardy rushes Miz but Miz bails out to regroup with Morrison. They talk, Miz returns but Hardy goes after him in a corner. The ref backs Hardy off, Miz kicks low and headlocks. Hardy powers out, Miz runs him over, and Morrison cheers. Things speed up, Hardy hip tosses Miz down! Hardy headlocks and takes over, but Miz fights his way up. Miz pulls hair, powers out and throws Hardy to the apron. Hardy comes back, shoulders in but then Miz knees him back. Miz slides out, trips Hardy and Hardy crashes on the apron! The crowd boos but Miz taunts them back. Miz puts Hardy in and kicks him while he’s down. Morrison says it’s good!

Miz knocks Hardy down and soaks up the heat. Miz glares at the crowd getting attitude with him, but he whips Hardy. Hardy kicks back, throws haymakers, then whips. Miz reverses and hits a kitchen sink knee! Then the basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Miz drags Hardy up and jams his knee into the back. The crowd rallies, Miz hooks Hardy’s nose then wraps him in a chinlock. Hardy fights up, fights back, and runs, but into a low kick. Miz whips, kitchen sink but Hardy uses that to roll him up! TWO and Hardy gets to a corner. Miz runs in, Hardy puts him on the apron but Miz ROCKS Hardy with haymakers. Miz springboards but into a kick! TWIST OF FURY!

Hardy goes up top but Morrison gets Miz out of the ring. So Hardy LEAPS onto them both! The crowd is fired up as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Hardy bumps Miz off buckles! And more buckles! And more buckles! Hardy whips Miz corner to corner then runs in, but Miz puts him on the apron. Hardy rocks Miz but Morrison trips him up! The ref was busy with Miz, Miz runs to dropkick Hardy into the announce desk! Miz bounces Hardy off the desk, then throws him into Plexiglas! Hardy flounders and Miz refreshes the ring count. Miz puts Hardy in the ring, has him on the apron and bounces him off the edge. Miz runs to knee lift Hardy back into the ring! “Hey Hey! Ho ho!” Miz catapult guillotines Hardy down!

Hardy sputters but Miz stomps him down. Miz hears the crowd booing and he gives It Kicks to Hardy in the corner. Miz runs corner to corner for a big knee! And then another! Miz goes one more time, A-List Lariat! He dumps Hardy down while Morrison cheers. “All day, all night!” Miz springboards but into another kick! But no Twist this time, Miz kicks to basement DDT! Cover, TWO! Hardy still lives but Morrison says it’s fine. The crowd rallies up as Hardy sits up but Miz is on him. “Hey! Hey hey! Ho~ ho~!” It Kicks to the rhythm! Miz powers up, BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! Hardy survives and gets to a corner but Miz brings him up. Miz chokes Hardy on the ropes but lets up at 4. Miz runs, for the straddle attack!

The crowd boos but Miz soaks it up. Miz drags Hardy up to throw haymakers. Hardy hits back and the crowd rallies behind him. Miz throws hands but Hardy ducks to jawbreaker! Both men are down but the crowd fires up! Morrison coaches Miz up as Miz and Hardy slowly stand. Hardy counter punches Miz, backs him down, whips but Miz reverses. Hardy runs Miz over with forearms, then hits the atomic drop to leg splitter leg drop! Basement dropkick added, splash down! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies up as Hardy waits for Miz to stand. Hardy kicks low, but still no Twist! Full nelson but Hardy drops down to victory roll, TWO! Hardy kicks, Miz blocks but Hardy spin back kicks! Hardy has Miz in the corner, swinging dropkick!

Morrison gets on the apron but Hardy knocks him down! Hardy hurries up top while Miz is still in a drop zone. But Sheamus interrupts via titantron. Sheamus is having a pint, enjoying the match, the hops and barley rolls off the tongue. And top entertainment, fella! Hardy can have one on him. Miz rolls Hardy, TWO, Hardy sits on it! Hardy wins!

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall

So much for a screw job via satellite! Hardy wins and is ready for that Extreme Rules Bar Fight! Sheamus “congratulates” Hardy on the win but will it be bottoms up in just over a week?

 

Backstage interview with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.

The Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style are poised for a tag team title match tonight. Nakamura got the win on Kofi Kingston last week, will there be another upset this week? Upset? Cesaro can’t believe the idea that them winning tonight is an upset. That would be ridiculous! They beat the New Day once, so why think that? Is it because they don’t compromise their integrity to sell cereal and ice cream? Can you believe this? Nakamura says they all need to know who they are. Cesaro is sick of The New Day and has been sick for a long time! He’s sick of their antics, gyrating and always being happy, while representing their Tag Team Division. Tonight, that all changes.

But don’t worry! The New Day will still be here, because they never change. But you will also have NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Well these two sure sound upset, will they use that to win those titles?

 

Bliss-Cross VS Bayley and Sasha Banks!

Alexa and Nikki have had their problems with the #GoldenRoleModels but the feeling is mutual. Will the Loony Lass get a huge advantage over the SmackDown Women’s Champion before their match at Extreme Rules? Or will #BayleyDosStraps and The Boss roll into #GrudgeMatchMonday Raw and their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship defense?

Speaking of getting an advantage, Nikki jumps on Bayley at the ramp! Sasha helps Bayley fight her off, but here comes Alexa! They brawl down the ramp and the crowd is loving it! SmackDown goes to break as the chaos continues!

SmackDown returns and Nikki starts against Sasha. Nikki rushes Sasha, she hurries to the ropes for defense, then comes back to throw Nikki down by her hair! Sasha wraps Nikki up in a chinlock, clubs away then covers, TWO! Sasha drags Nikki up to club her back down and then tags in Bayley. They mug Nikki and Bayley covers, ONE! Bayley drags Nikki up to jam her knee into Nikki’s back! Bayley pushes Nikki around, bumps her off buckles and throws elbows, then tags Sasha. Sasha stomps a mudhole into Nikki, then walks it off. Sasha mocks Alexa’s posing but Nikki hits back. Bayley tags in, the best friends both stomp a mudhole in, then Bayley digs her boot into Nikki’s neck. Bayley lets up, mocks the booing crowd, then throws Nikki to the apron.

Bayley taunts Alexa with how close she is, but Nikki shoves her down! Nikki drags Bayley into the apron skirt and fires off! The ref counts, Nikki stops at 4 but brings Bayley back up into the ring. Cover, TWO! Nikki drags Bayley over, tag to Alexa, and Nikki whips Bayley into the corner. Alexa whips Nikki in for the corner splash! Alexa runs and Bayley knows the slap is coming. Bayley covers her face, but Alexa body shots first. Then she SLAPS Bayley! Cover, ONE! Bayley knees low, brings Alexa up and tackles her into the corner. Tag to Sasha but Alexa dodges to drop toehold! Alexa wrings Sasha’s arm out, then tags Nikki! Basement dropkick and an arm wringing neckbreaker! The crowd fires up with Nikki as she tags Alexa in.

Alexa hits Bayley off the apron but Sasha swings on Nikki. Nikki ducks, shoves, but Bayley bails Sasha out. Nikki hurries out after them to grab the title belt! Bayley notices and is furious, but she and Sasha run into Alexa’s dropkick! Nikki climbs up the desk to crossbody Bayley down! Nikki holds the title up and the crowd cheers as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Alexa brawls with Sasha. Alexa gets the edge, dodges Sasha, but Bayley tags in. Alexa tilt-o-whirl headscissors Sasha out, but Bayley gives her a hotshot at the apron! Bayley laughs as she goes in and covers, TWO! Bayley taunts Alexa as she stomps like her “Good friend” Stone Cold. Bayley chokes Alexa on the ropes, lets up at 4, Nikki is furious but the ref keeps her back. Bayley fisherman but Alexa cradle counters! TWO, but Bayley keeps Alexa from getting away. Sasha tags in and she drops an elbow on Alexa. Cover, TWO! Sasha drags Alexa up, puts her through the ropes and kicks her down. Alexa flounders, Sasha rolls her up, TWO!

Sasha thrashes Alexa around in a chinlock but Nikki and the crowd rally up. Alexa fights up, throws body shots but Sasha bumps her off buckles. Tag to Bayley, they crisscross Alexa to throw her into buckles. Bayley drags Alexa to a cover, TWO! Bayley taunts Nikki and hits a sliding lariat! The ref is busy with Nikki so Bayley calls him a dummy. Alexa hits Bayley back with back elbows, but Bayley carries her all the way back to the corner. Tag to Sasha, Bayley throws Sasha down to catapult her into Sasha’s SLAP! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies again but Sasha keeps Alexa down with an armlock. Alexa fights up but Sasha kicks Nikki down! Sasha whips Alexa to the corner, taunts Nikki, and Bayley chokes Alexa!

Sasha tags Bayley, Bayley suplexes Alexa down and covers, TWO! Bayley grows annoyed with Alexa but she keeps close. The crowd rallies up as Bayley taunts Alexa, Alexa SLAPS and DECKS Bayley! Knee drop and hot tag! Nikki crossbodies and fires off fast hands! Nikki goes after Sasha, then Bayley. Sasha tag sin, she gets both best friends! Clothesline and bulldog! Nikki runs but Sasha puts her on the apron. Nikki counter punches then bumps Sasha off buckles! Nikki hits Bayley down, climbs up and brings Sasha in, but Bayley tags in. Tornado DDT but Bayley jackknife covers! TWO, and Nikki headbutts low! Nikki runs to corner splash, then uses the corner, but no DDT this time, THE PURGE! Cover, Sasha breaks it in time!

Alexa drags Sasha out and whips, but Sasha reverses to send Alexa into barriers! Nikki wrecks her with a dropkick! Bayley rolls Nikki up, and uses the ropes! Bayley and Sasha win!

Winners: Bayley & Sasha Banks, by pinfall

The Golden Role Models find a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat! Will they do this again on Monday against the Kabuki Warriors? Can they both do it at Extreme Rules to become #DoubleDoubleChampChamps?

 

WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman VS Bray Wyatt!

The Monster Among Men must revisit his past with the Eater of Worlds. Bray wants to rewrite the story between him and The Black Sheep, just as he did with John Cena. The introductions are made and this is indeed Firefly Fun House Bray that takes on Braun tonight. The belt is raised, and this horror story turned fantasy finally comes full circle!

Bray laughs but Braun just stares him down. Bray wants Braun to take it easy, but Braun shoves him to a corner! The time for talk is over. “Well somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” The two tie up and Braun backs Bray down to ROCK him with that right. Braun whips and runs Bray over but Bray just laughs as he goes back to a corner. Bray forgot how strong Braun is. Braun says he’s not the boy he was when they met. The two circle and tie up again. Bray kicks low, uppercuts and headlocks. Braun powers out and runs Bray over again! Bray winces as he bails out. Braun shows no mercy as he goes out and throws BIG hands! Braun bumps Bray off the steel steps and Bray is dazed, but still laughing. But then Braun POSTS Bray hard!

Braun looms over Bray as the ring count climbs. Braun drags Bray up and puts him in the ring at 6. He follows and runs corner to corner, for a big corner splash! Braun roars as Bray flops and flounders back out of the ring. Bray crawls but Braun goes back out. The Strowman Express is on the tracks, but Bray sends him crashing over the announce desk! Bray used Strowman’s strength against him! Bray goes back to the ring to refresh the count and catch his breath. Braun drags himself up and back to ringside but Bray is watching with a big smile on his face. Wait, Huskis the pig boy is here?! Huskis is cheering Bray on as Bray gives Braun a DDT to the floor! Bray drags Braun up and into the ring, and runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Bray drops a back senton fast!

Braun flounders out of the ring now and Bray smiles again. Bray pursues Braun now and hammers him at the timekeeper’s area. Bray RAMS Braun into steel steps! Braun is in a daze and Bray is emotional. “Look what you made me do!” Bray doesn’t want to hurt Braun but he puts him in the ring. “I’m sorry.” The spider walk returns! Bray drags Braun up but Braun CHOPS him! Braun runs into a boot and Bray hops up. Bray reels Braun in, for a tornado DDT! He drags Braun up fast, for SISTER ABIGAIL! Cover, TWO!?! Braun survives and Bray is stunned! SmackDown takes a break as Bray also manages to smile and laugh in disbelief.

SmackDown returns as Bray watches Braun stand up, and he has an evil glare on his face. A kiss good night, but Braun clamps on! CHOKE SLAM!! Bray is writhing again and Braun is floundering about. Bray gets to a corner and Braun runs in for a big corner splash! Braun keeps moving, and hits another splash! Then he throws Bray out of the ring! The Strowman Express is on the tracks again, and he RAMS Bray into barriers! Braun is furious as he drags Bray up again. Braun puts Bray in the ring, but Bray BOOTS Braun back out! Both men are down but it’s Braun on the outside. Champion’s Advantage means this count will only help Braun. But Braun has put on the black sheep mask?!

Bray is so happy to see THIS Braun is back! “I told them!” Bray asks if Braun understands what this means. Braun tears off his shirt, and Bray says this time will be “perfect.” Braun kneels beside Bray and they both praise the buzzards. Bray stands, laughing all the way. “I told them, Braun. I told them.” Braun stands with Bray, and they hug it out. Mercy, Abby and the other puppets show themselves. But wait, Braun takes off the mask?! Did he not fall for the trick? Braun STOMPS the mask, scoops Bray up, and hits the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins!!

Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall (still WWE Universal Champion)

Braun says he told Bray that he wasn’t getting in Braun’s head! Bray didn’t create Braun, Braun did this all on his own! After defying his inner demons, will the Monster Among Men ever be slain? Or will the Swamp Fight at Extreme Rules be the end of the story?

 

Backstage interview with The New Day!

Kofi Kingston and Big E pop up and are fired up. They heard that Cesaro and Nakamura were offended by the idea tonight would be an upset. Their response? “Here we go again!” They’ve been telling the same story for six stories. Whenever they lose, someone has to ask, “Did you underestimate your opponents~? Did you take them too lightly~?” It really is as if people forget who these guys are! It’s Shinsuke Nakamura, former Royal Rumble winner, former WWE United States and WWE Intercontinental Champion! Cesaro, former and multiple time Tag Team Champion, former United States Champion, and his nickname is the Swiss Superman! The New Day has never forgotten! “They are who we thought they were!” Big E won’t let them off the hook!

Speaking of hooks, there is a song they’ve known forever. Facing the rising sun of the new day begun! Let us march on to victory! And they’re going to pump their knees, stomp their feet, and march ALL NIGHT to ensure they remain your, W! W! E! World! Tag Team Champions~! Why? Becaaaause~! NEW! DAY ROCKS! Sarah joins in clapping, but will the New Day be celebrating at the end of the night?

 

Naomi finds Lacey Evans warming up backstage.

And not for a match. The Sassy Southern Belle is tuning up for tonight’s SmackDown Karaoke Showdown! Naomi gets herself ready for a dance number. Who will thrill the WWE Universe in song tonight?

 

Karaoke Showdown: Dana Brooke VS Naomi VS Lacey Evans VS Tamina!

SmackDown returns and Jey Uso is in the ring as our host for this special moment. Welcome to the first-ever SmackDown Karaoke Showdown! Our contestants are already here, and American Idol ain’t got nothing on this! Each contestant gets to sing 45 seconds of their favorite WWE theme song, and the crowd here votes for the winner. With that said, first up tonight is someone with the voice of an angel. We might even shed a tear! The Sassy Southern Bell will be singing With My Baby Tonight by Jeff Jarrett/Road Dogg. Hit the music! Lacey’s fine, but maybe it’s Jarrett who was out of tune.

Next up, usually about that #FlexAppeal but has turned sex appeal, singing Honky Tonk Man’s theme, it’s Dana Brooke! Dana does her best Honky Tonk meets Elvis dance moves, but she isn’t really keeping up with the lyrics. Jey cuts her off a bit early. Next, the real definition of Day One. Usually 100% about her business, but tonight, Tamina is going to PLAY THE GAME! She’s singing Motorhead’s theme for HHH! She’s also a little late on the lyrics but she can head bang. Jey has her calm down and stop already. Last but certainly not least, do we really need an intro? The American Dream is gonna #FeelTheGlow! Naomi sings Dusty Rhodes’ theme and has plenty of soul! But isn’t that longer than 45 seconds? Is there some bias here?

Time for a round of applause vote. Lacey Evans? Decent reaction. Dana Brooke? Less so. Tamina? A good reaction. Naomi? GREAT reaction! Well okay then! Naomi wins!

Winner: Naomi

Love you, Dusty! We miss you! But then Lacey is a sore loser and knocks her over! Naomi pushes back and is ready to throw down! They start throwing shoes! Jey tries to keep the peace but it’s no good! SmackDown goes to break, are we about to go from singing to swinging?

 

Lacey Evans VS Naomi w/ Jey Uso!

SmackDown returns with the bell and this match is going down! Lacey shoves, Naomi Thesz Presses! Naomi throws hands, Lacey turns it over to rain down hands, then she drags Naomi up to bump her off buckles! Dana and Tamina watch, also upset but Lacey stomps mudholes into Naomi. Oh they’re barefoot, too. Lacey stands Naomi up to bump her off buckles but Naomi ROCKS her with a right! Lacey drop toeholds then uses her dress skirt to smother Naomi! The ref counts, Lacey lets up but Naomi KICKS back! Naomi gets up and ROUNDHOUSES Lacey down! Naomi KICKS Lacey while she’s down and Lacey falls out of the ring. Tamina and Dana walk over and check on Lacey, but Lacey shoves Dana!

Dana gets up in a huff, she’s trying to be a friend but Lacey’s being a sore loser. Lacey tells Dana to get out of her face, Tamina tries to keep the peace but Lacey shoves her, too! So Dana and Tamina get in! They attack Lacey, and then each other!

Winner: Lacey Evans, by disqualification

Tamina throws Dana out and helps Naomi go after Lacey! Dana returns and hits Tamina! Naomi chases Lacey off while Dana and Tamina scrap! More refs come out to stop this fighting, but the crowd boos. Will these four settle the score in the near future?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles!

The WWE Intercontinental Champion gets a Too Sweet and doesn’t want to gloss over how greatly embarrassed Drew Gulak got. That’s Daniel Bryan’s coach! If that’s the level of competition Styles is getting, then it’s all a waste of his time! No one is worthy of the Phenomenal One, so he’s going to keep this title for a long, LONG time. Is that all? No more questions? Well actually, the title will be on the line next week. Against who!? Matt Riddle. What?! Why!? Who has he ever beat? Well, he beat Styles in the debut. He was being rhetorical! That was a fluke! And what will Riddle do without Bryan there to pat him on the back? Or without the entire SmackDown roster there rubbing his gross feet? Styles says what happens is Riddle is going to get beat! But will it really go that way, bro?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro!

The EIGHT-TIME tag team champions haven’t changed, but why would they? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Will Kofi and Big E keep their reign going knowing how great their opponents are? Or does the Artist Collective have the keys to defeating such incredible champions?

SmackDown returns and the challengers make their entrance. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and our television main event begins!

Kofi rushes Nakamura but Nakamura dodges and fires strikes back! Nakamura knees Kofi, brings him out and drag shim down for more knees! Nakamura stomps Kofi then brings him up to tag in Cesaro. Cesaro stomps Kofi, throws European Uppercuts and more stomps. Cesaro fireman’s carries and then puts Kofi on the top rope! Tag to Nakamura, for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura looms over Kofi, brings him up and wrenches, but Kofi throws haymakers! Kofi reaches for Big E but Nakamura kicks low and wrenches him away. Tag to Cesaro and he easily gut wrench suplexes Kofi! Cover, TWO!

Cesaro drops an elbow, covers, TWO! Tag to Nakamura, they mug Kofi then Nakamura puts him through ropes. Kofi fights back with haymakers and kicks but Nakamura knees and clubs him down. Tag to Cesaro, the Artists double whip but Kofi ducks the boots. Kofi and Big E bait their challengers in, Cesaro runs into Kofi’s elbow while Nakamura runs into Big E’s shoulder! Big E shovels Nakamura up and out, Kofi runs but Cesaro dodges. Kofi goes up and leaps to missile dropkick Cesaro down! Kofi fires off on Cesaro in the corner, and stomps a mudhole! Big E tags in and adds his stomps. The New Day brings back the Unicorn Stampede! They go around a few more times, then Big E whips Kofi in for a big basement dropkick!

Cesaro bails out to regroup with Nakamura but Kofi runs. Big E boosts Kofi to fly, into a EUROUPPER! Kofi goes down and SmackDown goes to another break!

SmackDown returns again and Nakamura digs his boot into Kofi for Bad Vibrations! Nakamura taunts Big E, Cesaro gets a cheap shot, and Nakamura clamps on with a facelock. Kofi endures as the crowd rallies. Kofi fights up, fights back, but Nakamura shifts to a sleeper! Nakamura squeezes, Kofi reaches and flails, but Nakamura clubs him down. Nakamura brings Kofi back up, trapping a leg and arm. Kofi fights off the Exploder to hit SOS! Both men are down but the crowd rallies up! Nakamura and Kofi crawl, hot tags to Cesaro and Big E! Big E powers into Cesaro for an OVERHEAD suplex! Then another! Then the belly2belly! The crowd is thunderous for the hip swivels! Big E runs and splashes only to FLOP!

Cesaro gets up but Big E hits Nakamura away! Cesaro rolls Big E, TWO! EUROUPPER! Big E wobbles to a corner, Cesaro hits another EuroUpper! Cesaro adds elbows and body shots over and over! The ref counts, Cesaro backs off but comes back to pie face and boot scrape Big E. Cesaro climbs, rains down fights, but Kofi tags in and enziguris Cesaro! Big E brings Cesaro out, Kofi goes up, DOUBLE STOMP DOOMSDAY! Cover, but Nakamura breaks it! Nakamura stomps Kofi and ROUNDHOUSES Big E! The ref has Nakamura go back to his corner and Cesaro crawls over. Kofi Oklahoma Rolls him first, TWO! Cesaro puts Kofi on the ropes, lets go at 4, Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES from behind! LARIAT from Cesaro! Tag to Nakamura as the crowd boos.

Nakamura drags Kofi up, reels him in, INVERTED EXPLODER! Cover, but Big E breaks it now! Cesaro runs in and brawls with Big E! Nakamura adds on for 2v1, and they throw Big E out together. Nakamura goes back to Kofi but Kofi hits back with body shots! Cesaro tags in, Kofi fights him off, too! Kofi backs Cesaro down but it’s still 2v1. Big E returns, it’s chaos and the ref throws this out!

No Contest; The New Day are still SmackDown Tag Team Champions

Things spill out of the ring, Big E clotheslines Cesaro down! Nakamura rams Kofi into barriers while Big E drags Cesaro out. Cesaro knees low and bounces Big E off the desk! The crowd boos but here comes a table! The Artists want to do what they couldn’t last week! The table is put in the ring, Big E is RAMMED into steel steps. Kofi leaps and takes them down! Nakamura and Kofi brawl more, Cesaro adds on again. They RAM Kofi into the apron! The table is finally all the way in the ring, set it up, and Nakamura puts Big E in. Cesaro SLAPS Big E for costing them the titles. Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES Big E onto the table!

Cesaro goes to the corner, Nakamura brings Kofi up to suplex into Cesaro’s SUPER POWERBOMB through Big E AND the table!! The Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style will no longer be overlooked! Will they make sure the New Day are no longer champions in the Summer heat?


My Thoughts:

A really good SmackDown, though there was a little something that makes no sense. Why did we get SmackDown Karaoke? Why was karaoke the vehicle used to get us to a match between Lacey and Naomi? Shouldn’t it be, “Nikki may be getting her shot at Extreme Rules, but who’s up after?” Because that’s literally how it should be! And we didn’t even get that much of a match in the end since Tamina and Dana got involved. I suppose next week gives us a tag team match, which is fine because that also falls under, “Kabuki Warriors get their tag title shot Monday, but who’s up after?” And then there you go, Tamina and Naomi reform 2/3 of Team BAD to go against Bayley and Sasha on the road to SummerSlam.

Speaking of Bayley and Sasha, they had a really good tag match with Bliss-Cross, but naturally the Golden Role Models find a way to win. Their match with Kabuki Warriors on this Monday’s Raw is going to be great, too, especially as a go home to Extreme Rules. Sadly, Kairi is probably taking the pin in the loss to give Sasha momentum, only for Sasha to lose to Asuka. Hardy on Miz TV and his match with Miz was all pretty good, but they kinda buried the lead of setting up Hardy VS Sheamus tiebreaker in a Bar Fight. Will it be a themed Street Fight? Or a second theatrical match alongside the Swamp Fight? Honestly, I’m hoping it’s the former because one theatrical match per PPV is enough for me. And clearly, Hardy wins that for a truly heroic triumph.

Reliving MITB’s Universal Championship was fine. Seeing it again, I kinda wish they did more with the puppets. Have them constantly be present to “cheer” Bray, especially since there was no one in the crowd that time. Getting Styles VS Riddle next week is going to be amazing, especially for a go home episode. I suppose it could go either way, but with how Corbin’s had beef with Riddle, there’s a good chance Corbin dirties up the finish. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship match was great stuff, too, but I knew this since last week that this wasn’t going to finish cleanly. Tables match for the titles is surely coming at Extreme Rules, and will probably be announced next week. That will be an incredible match, especially if it’s elimination, not sudden death. No less than two table spots will really bump the quality up.

My Score: 8.4/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?

 


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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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