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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (7/3/20)

A toast to Jeff Hardy!

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WWE SmackDown Coverage 3.0

Sheamus wants SmackDown to celebrate!

The Celtic Warrior wants us all to raise a glass to the legacy of Jeff Hardy! Will tonight be the toast or the roast of the Charismatic Enigma?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • John Morrison w/ The Miz VS Matt Riddle; Riddle wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Drew Gulak; Styles wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Champion.
  • Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Bayley wins, by disqualification.
  • Kofi Kingston w/ Big E VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro; Nakamura wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown opens with Michael Cole in the ring.

He welcomes to the show, The Original Bro, Matt Riddle! Riddle heads to the ring, still feeling good after his defeat of AJ Styles in his “debutt.” Riddle picks up a mic and Cole talks about that “auspicious beginning” when he defeated a former WWE World and United States Champion and current Intercontinental Champion. Can he put into words what that moment meant to him? “Not really.” To go from NXT to SmackDown, that’s pretty awesome. To stand in this ring, it’s the love child of a lot of work and a lot of dreams, bro. Then, to have Styles hitting him in the face, like bro, Riddle respects you! But at the same time, it might be more Riddle liking AJ than AJ liking him.

After that victory, celebrating with the SmackDown roster, from Daniel Bryan to Drew Gulak to Otis and the New Day, bro, like, Riddle could get used to this. The crowd likes the sound of that. Speaking of getting used to things, Riddle competes barefoot! Why? Well Cole, that is a great question. He is sure everyone is wondering. Riddle warns us, it’s a long story. But as a child, he would go on vacation to Wisconsin during the winter. There was a sweet indoor pool, then he’d go in the snow. He went back and forth, back and forth, but stayed out too long once and his feet felt on fire.

They went to the hospital, they confirmed he had frostbite, they almost amputated them, bro. Luckily, he recovered, so it didn’t come to that. But he never wears shoes now because he gets that burning sensation. It could be a wedding, a bar mitzah, or a hanging with bear, Riddle doesn’t wear shoes. Riddle learned that you can lose everything in a single moment. And even though Riddle can’t feel his feet, his feet allow him to feel everything much more. Cole encourages Riddle to stay barefoot and would love to see what comes next for Riddle. Well here comes Baron Corbin! The Lone Wolf King heads right to the ring, grabs a mic of his own, and tells Riddle that he could’ve saved us all a bunch of time by saying, “When I was a little kid, I was an idiot. And I still am to this very day.”

As for Cole, Cole embarrassed himself by praising a “bag of bones” that can’t even carry Corbin’s crown! And now he’s interviewing this guy? Cole should know better than that. Get out of the ring! Cole does go back to commentary as Corbin wants to talk that stunt Riddle pulled last week. Riddle added on as Corbin was being beat up by Jeff Hardy, The New Day and Braun Strowman. They should all know better than that! They should BOW DOWN to the king! This will not be tolerated! Corbin doesn’t like Riddle, no one is happy Riddle is here and no one wants Riddle here. So Corbin personally wants to ruin Riddle’s time here. Well you do you, bro.

What? What does that even mean?! But Corbin says it means that here on SmackDown, Riddle better be ready at any moment. Especially since someone needs to teach him respect and put him in his place. Then lets go, bro! No! Riddle doesn’t get a shot at the king just like that! Instead, Riddle’s opponent is… John Morrison! The Guru of Greatness, accompanied by The Miz, heads to the ring to do the king’s bidding. “Hey hey! Ho ho! The bro has got to go!” Will we see things go Corbin’s way? Or will his knew “knight” find out what the “new guy” can do?

 

John Morrison w/ The Miz VS Matt Riddle!

SmackDown returns with Corbin on commentary as the bell rings. Riddle kicks his sandals off and they fly over the Plexiglas. Riddle and Morrison tie up, Riddle waistlocks but Morrison bridges and switches. Riddle switches back, Morrison pries free and gets to ropes. Morrison bucks Riddle away, the two fight for control, Riddle waistlocks and slams! The crowed cheers the exchange while Morrison and Riddle reset. They approach, Morrison blocks the takedown and gets a leg. Morrison floats all around, but Riddle uses legs to trip Morrison up. Morrison gets the ropebreak and Riddle lets off. Miz coaches Morrison and Morrison approaches Riddle. Morrison gets through the guard to ROCK Riddle with that forearm!

Morrison fires off more, but Riddle jumps the sweep to jump on for a guillotine! Morrison powers up and slams Riddle down! Riddle gets up again, gut wrenches Morrison and slams him! Riddle keeps on and gut wrenches again! He still holds on, brings Morrison on again, but Morrison Alabama lifts to ROLLING Alabama Slam! Shining Wizard CAUGHT to an ANKLE LOCK! Morrison rolls but Riddle holds on! Riddle twists tight but Morrison gets help from Miz. The ref sees that, Riddle brings Morrison back, but Morrison lands out of the German Suplex! FLYING CHUCK! The crowd boos Morrison as he rains down rights on Riddle. Morrison brings Riddle up, MOONLIGHT DRIVE! Cover, TWO!!

The Miz is frustrated for Morrison but Morrison keeps on Riddle with stomps at the ropes. Riddle stirs while Miz and Morrison start up “Hey Hey! Ho Ho!” Morrison clubs away on Riddle then wraps him up in a chinlock. Riddle endures as Morrison cranks on the hold, then fights his way up to throw body shots. Morrison knees and forearms back to put Riddle in a corner. Riddle counter punches and backs Morrison down! Riddle whips but Morrison goes out to the apron. Morrison spins and slides and handsprings to enziguri Riddle away! Springboard SPINNING PLANCHA! Cover, TWO! Riddle survives as Morrison brings out a twist on that crossbody.

The crowd rallies up as Morrison brings Riddle into a facelock. Corbin says Morrison knows what he’s doing, but Riddle pries free and has a leg. Morrison throws body shots, clubs Riddle down, then KNEES him to the face! Morrison SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Riddle still lives and Morrison, Miz and Corbin are all frustrated. Morrison wraps on another chinlock but Riddle endures. The crowd rallies up, Riddle fights his way up, but Morrison hits him back. Morrison KICKS, but Riddle shrugs it off?! Riddle eggs Morrison on, Morrison kicks, but Riddle CHOPS! Riddle still eggs Morrison on so Morrison fires himself up. Off comes the elbow pad, and Morrison eye pokes! Miz applauds as Morrison brings Riddle up. But Riddle counters with a FISHERMAN BUSTER!

Both men are down but the crowd is thunderous! The standing count begins but Morrison goes to a corner. Riddle runs in, but Morrison puts him on the apron. Both men hit each other and Riddle hits the floor! Corbin coaches Morrison, but Riddle throws a sandal at him!? One of those stayed at ringside?! Riddle gets away into the ring, the ref keeps Corbin back, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Riddle fires off hands with Morrison. Riddle backs Morrison then runs side to side for a forearm! BROSPLODER! Morrison dodges the Penalty Kick and the moonsault, but not the BROTON! Fireman’s carry, BRO TO SLEEP! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Riddle fires up, the crowd rallies behind him as he climbs up, FLOATING BRO gets knees! Corbin cheers Morrison and taunts Riddle at the same time. Morrison spins but sweeps the legs, then cartwheels to gut wrench Riddle up! SPINNING CRUCIFIX SLAM! Cover, TWO! Morrison can’t believe it, and he gets caught in the BROMISSION! Morrison fights his way up, gets to a corner and he climbs up. The ref calls for a break, Riddle lets go to get a waistlock.

Morrison elbows Riddle away, but Riddle comes back! Morrison dumps Riddle to the outside but Riddle rocks him with a right. Riddle CHOPS, then climbs back up, for Morrison’s SUPER SPANISH FLY! Then a STANDING Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO!?! Corbin is furious on behalf of Morrison but the ref tells him to keep back. Morrison and Riddle slowly rise, brawl on their knees, then brawl as they stand. Riddle fires off palms strikes, Morrison ducks a kick but Riddle counters a kick to a PELE! Morrison wobbles into the FINAL FLASH! Riddle reels Morrison in for a bomb lift but Morrison gets out to dropkick! Riddle slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to POWERBOMB, flip and KAMI-BRO-YE!! Cover, TWO!?

Riddle grits his teeth, fires up and brings Morrison back up. Riddle gut wrenches but Miz distracts now. Riddle decks Miz, then he swings on Corbin. Morrison rolls Riddle, TWO! Morrison goes for the leg, Riddle cradle counters, Riddle wins!!

Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall

Bro! Riddle gets away from Corbin and his new buddies, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat! But then AJ Styles attacks Riddle on the ramp! The Phenomenal One is furious over his loss but then Drew Gulak goes after him! It’s chaos and referees work to sort it out! Will the bros formerly known as Catch Point sweep the night? Or can Styles keep hold of the Intercontinental title?

 

Corbin, Miz and Morrison regroup backstage.

Riddle is fixing to wake up in Slam Town! But then Sarah walks over to interview them about what just happened, and gets a lot of attitude from the upset Miz and Morrison. Corbin says he knows how things work around here, and he will talk with some people. Riddle may not have had his feet cut off as a kid, but he will have his legs cut out from under his career. Solid burn, King! These three head out, just what pull does Corbin have to ruin Riddle’s good times?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Drew Gulak!

After that confrontation before the break, this main event caliber match is happening right now! The Philly Stretcher earned a shot at the Phenomenal One’s title when he beat him 1v1, fair and square. But can lightning strike twice for Gulak? Or is SmackDown always going to be the House That AJ Styles Built?

The bell rings and Gulak rushes Styles! Styles dodge,s throat chops and kicks Gulak along the ropes. Styles stomps Gulak in a corner but lets off at the ref’s count. Styles brings Gulak up, bumps him off buckles and throws more punches and stomps. He does it again in another corner, then rams a shoulder and CHOPS! Styles brings Gulak out, throws him out of the ring, and leaves him to the count. Gulak stands so Styles wrecks him with a dropkick! Styles goes out to fetch Gulak as the fans boo. Styles bumps Gulak off the apron, then digs his face into the edge of it! He lets up at the ref’s reprimand, then stomps Gulak at the ramp.

Styles puts Gulak in, stalks him, but Gulak grabs a leg. Styles elbows Gulak away then brings him up to throw forearms in the corner. Styles brings Gulak out but Gulak throws forearms and kicks back! Bryan joins commentary via Zoom to say how great Gulak is looking and how their training is going. Gulak whips Styles corner to corner, Styles reverses, but Gulak goes up and over! Gulak is on Styles’ shoulders in an Electric Chair and victory rolls! Cover, TWO! Styles CLOBBERS Gulak down! Gulak isn’t looking that good right now but he does sit up. Styles brings Gulak back into a chinlock, the crowd rallies and Gulak gets to ropes. The ref calls for the break but Styles elbows Gulak in the neck.

Styles KICKS a leg out then stomps him around. Styles stands on Gulak’s face but lets off as the ref reprimands. Styles brings Gulak up to snap suplex! Cover, ONE! Styles keeps on Gulak, drags him to a corner and throws haymakers. Gulak tries to fight back but Styles keeps punching him down. Styles brings Gulak out to snapmare and drop a knee! Cover, TWO! Bryan talks to Styles not having many holes in his game but Gulak knows much about Styles’ style and what to expect. Styles brings Gulak up and Gulak breaks free to ROCK and CHOP Styles back! Gulak scoops but Styles slips out and ducks a chop. Styles has a leg, to Dragon Screw! Gulak is down and Styles catches his breath.

Styles stalks Gulak to ropes, grabs the leg and jams it with his own knee. Gulak crawls while clutching the leg but Styles gives it a leg DDT! Styles puts the leg on the rope to stand on it! The ref counts, Styles lets up at 4, then stomps the knee! Gulak tries to get out but Styles drags him back up. Styles has the leg again but Gulak throws forearms back! Gulak backs Styles down again, but hobbles into the hook! Gulak holds the ropes, Styles breaks his grip, but Gulak rolls out of the roll, to a modified chinbar! Styles is stuck as Gulak has an arm trapped! Styles uses his legs and gets to the ropebreak! Gulak holds on until 4 to do as much damage as he can. Styles bails out to walk it off. He gets frustrated, especially as the crowd jeers.

Styles goes back to the ring but Gulak WRECKS him with that baseball slide! Gulak eggs Styles on while he’s down at the ramp and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles brings Gulak up, only for Gulak to power him to a corner! Gulak rams his shoulder in again and again, then backs off at the ref’s count. Styles kicks back and POSTS Gulak! Styles brings Gulak around to snap BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Gulak survives and Bryan speaks to Gulak’s similarities to himself. In fact, Gulak is even more technically sound than Bryan is, which he learned firsthand in their match against each other. Styles brings Gulak up and clubs him on the neck. Gulak crawls to ropes but gets back up, only for Styles to STOMP him down! Styles drags Gulak up again, for an STO BACKBREAKER! Styles drags Gulak up again, puts him in a corner and rams his shoulder in.

Styles scoops Gulak for a running backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Styles just grins, because he actually seems to be enjoying this. Gulak sits up, Styles elbows him in the face! But Gulak gut wrenches Styles from the mat like a low sunset flip! Cover, TWO! Styles pries free and has a wristlock. Styles sneaks a rake of the eyes! Gulak flounders to the corner and Styles looms over him. Styles stomps a mudhole into Gulak then lets off. Styles brings Gulak up, Gulak fights back with big fists, and he stomps and elbows Styles in return! The ref counts and Gulak lets up, to then go out to the apron and drag Styles up. Styles hotshots Gulak down! Bryan isn’t losing hope in Gulak’s chances in this match, because he knows that Gulak has the same “heart that just doesn’t quit.”

Styles drags Gulak up and in to cravat and crank. Gulak throws body shots, but Styles snapmares for a chinlock. Gulak endures, the crowd rallies, but Styles shifts into a facelock. But Gulak flapjacks Styles off buckles! Both men are down but the crowd is firing up! Gulak drags Styles up, whips him to ropes, and then shotgun dropkicks him down! And again! Styles gets up for a third! And a fourth! Gulak just keeps hitting Styles, and then he brings Styles up into a scoop and DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives that snap Michinoku, if you will, but Gulak won’t let himself be deterred.

Gulak has Styles in the corner, hoists him up top and throws forearms. Gulak climbs to join Styles, then goes all the way up. Styles slips out and trips Gulak up! Gulak hits buckles on the way down and is dazed. Styles runs back in but misses! Gulak runs in but the headscissors are caught for a POWERBOMB! To STYLES CLASH!! But Styles doesn’t cover?! The crowd boos as Styles wants to add on. Styles drags Gulak up and around, standing him against the ropes. Styles takes his time going to the apron and preparing the elbow. Styles springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Phenomenal and brutal, Styles is sending a message to the entire roster! Who in SmackDown steps up and earns a phenomenal fight with the champ that runs the camp?

 

Bayley and Sasha Banks return to SmackDown!

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions have been on all the brands this week, with the contract signing and Mixed Tag Match on Raw and The Boss taking the fight to the Evil Genius on NXT. These two have title matches at Extreme Rules as Sasha goes after Asuka’s Raw Women’s Championship and Bayley defends her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Nikki Cross. But that’s in a few weeks, as tonight is about who else? Themselves.

“Do you know the week that we’ve had?” The #GoldenRoleModels have rolled through everyone! The Empress of Yesterday lost to Sasha. But they won’t mention what happened in Full Sail themselves, since Asuka made sure Sasha lost to Io Shirai. But now they’re home! The crowd should be calling them #Sasha3Shows and #Bayley3Brands! They’re everywhere! And still, they get no respect working their tails off! But there is someone who respects them. Ding dong! Hello? THE UNDERTAKER! Wait, what? Yes, “Taker,” the Phenom, called Bayley after the show last week and said, “Bayley Dos Straps…! I’m quite frankly embarrassed at all the fuss and tribute that you guys paid to me last week, when clearly, you are the greatest champion in WWE history!” Goosebumps! He said Bayley and Banks are redefining what it means to be a champion!

But there’s more! He also said that at Extreme Rules, he is excited to see them win the titles and hold all the gold! He knows what’s up! Taker implores the WWE to pay these two the proper respect, with a tribute to them! Who are Bayley and Banks to NOT grant Taker his wish? Did no one watch The Last Ride? Bayley did and finally we can move on! But why wait for after Extreme Rules? Let’s do the tribute TONIGHT! Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the tribute to Sasha and Bayley!

“Unstoppable, unbeatable, first-ever women’s tag team champions, the Golden Role Models. Bayley and Banks have dominated everybody that’s stepped in their path.” Two-time WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are each once in a generation talent! Sasha was a headliner for Hell in a Cell, and is one half of the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions. They’re not alone on the top, because they have each other! The greatest tag team of all time, the Blueprint and the Role Model! Belt clink. What makes Bayley so great is that she carried the division on her back for over a year. The first ever Women’s Grand Slam! No one else can even dream about that! The closest thing they’ll get to a Grand Slam is a greasy breakfast at Denny’s.

Better than Trish Stratus? YES. Better than John Cena? Without a doubt! Lita? Absolutely! And no one else comes even close. “Damn we’re good!” The titles represent their friendship, and are without a doubt the best ever. Unstoppable, unbeatable, unconquerable!

Back to present, Sasha chants, “Thank You, Bayley!” and Bayley responds with, “Thank You, Sasha!” The crowd boos them both. But then here comes Bliss-Cross! Alexa and Nikki have mics to respond. “Wow, that was really, um… Inspirational.” But it was pretty truthful, as they accomplished so much. But there were some details left out, so Nikki and Alexa have a list of their own. Did you know that Nikki is not only a WWE superstar but the Queen of Scotland! And is 325th in line to the throne in England. Fancy! As for Alexa, she is the epitome of a champion, and is the first woman to drive and cross Antarctica in a go-cart! Nikki and Alexa trade off saying, “You’re the best!” but then glare at the tag champs.

In seriousness, we all know how this is ridiculous. Oh yeah right. Did they not watch that video? Many have tried, including Alexa multiple times, but no one can touch Sasha’s bestie for the past YEAR. And Sasha will be damned if that hyper little runt does different. Alexa says we’ve heard this song and dance before. Sasha and Bayley claim to be best friends, blah blah blah. Nikki speaks up and says Byaley’s accomplishment have brought her success. But Nikki’s journey has been about heart. If she puts her entirety into this, she can take that title and become the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! The crowd likes the sound of that but Sasha and Bayley mock her. So Alexa SLAPS Bayley off her feet!

Sasha will not stand for this! Bayley will fight you in a preview! What? Challenge accepted. What?!? It seems this time, Sasha’s mouth has written a check. Can Bayley cash it?

 

Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross!

SmackDown returns but Bayley has to fight in street clothes! The bell rings and Bayley is still stinging from that slap, but she still powers Alexa to a corner. Bayley goes to slap back but Alexa dodges to drop toehold! Bayley flounders up but into another drop toehold that bounces her off ropes. Alexa basement dropkicks and then stands on Bayley’s back. Alexa brings back the skateboard stomps! Alexa backs off at the ref’s count and Bayley flounders to a corner. Alexa puts her in that corner, runs in and SLAP- No! Bayley blocks it, but then Alexa flicks her forehead! And SLAPS her again! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps holding her chin but Alexa gives her a standing STO! And then Insult2Injury! Cover, TWO!

Bayey gets to a corner, Alexa runs in but Bayley flapjacks her off buckles! Bayley brings Alexa up to throw her to the apron. Alexa drops down to trip Bayley up! Alexa strikes a pose and then shoos Sasha. Bayley comes back and kicks Alexa’s hand! Sasha taunts Alexa as Bayley drags Alexa in and throws the hand down on the mat. Bayley stands on the fingers to STOMP the arm! Sasha mocks Alexa’s pose, then Bayley gives Alexa shoulder breaker after shoulder breaker in the corner! Bayley brings Alexa around and pulls on the fingers in an almost Disarm-Her position. Bayley jams the arm then covers, TWO!

Bayley keeps on Alexa’s bad hand and makes Alexa slap herself! Sasha taunts Alexa as Bayley puts her in a keylock. Nikki and the crowd rallies up, Alexa fights to her feet, but Bayley throws her down by her hair. Bayley mocks Nikki but then Alexa rolls her! TWO, and Bayley clobbers Alexa! Cover, TWO! Bayley grows annoyed with Alexa, and with Nikki rallying the crowd. Bayley runs and elbows Alexa in the corner! She snapmares, stomps the hand again, then knuckle locks. Alexa handsprings through, breaks free and ROCKS Bayley! But that bad hand is bothering her now. She drags Bayley up but Bayley throws her down and drags her out, to SLAM the arm on the apron! Bayley gets back in, covers, TWO!

Alexa gets to a corner, Bayley fires herself up and mocks Nikki again. Bayley runs in to corner splash and then bulldog! Nikki snarls at Bayley taking her moves. Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley drags Alexa around and stands on the bad hand. Bayley mocks the rallying but lets up on Alexa’s hand. Nikki genuinely rallies the crowd for “Lexi! Lexi!” but Bayley swipes at her. Nikki gets on the apron, but this distracts the ref! Bayley throws Alexa into Sasha’s knee! But then Nikki BLASTS Sasha! Bayley dares Nikki to do something, and so Nikki DECKS her!

Winner: Bayley, by disqualification

Nikki did something, and now she TACKLES Bayley! Nikki rains down rights, clubs her but Bayley pushes her away. Nikki corner splashes Bayley, but Sasha saves Bayley from the bulldog! Will anything save Bayley from Nikki’s wrath? Or will Nikki’s rage cost her at Extreme Rules?

 

SmackDown looks back on the relationship of Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt.

It all started years ago in a swamp. It was there that the Monster Among Men first met “the split-tongue Father of Lies, the Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt.” Bray told us all that we were lying to ourselves. The ones that were meant to protect us were the ones we should truly fear. The Black Sheep, a horseman of pain and pestilence in the apocalypse, admits he enjoyed it all. But Braun has broken that spell and has locked that side away. That’s not to say he wasn’t still as dominant and destructive. But then, the Firefly Fun House brought him back. “In order for us to move forward, we must first take a step back.” Which brings us “home.” To destroy him, Braun must become him. Braun must drown the serpent in his own swamp. Braun will go home. But will he go back to being that monster?

 

Kofi Kingston w/ Big E VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro!

AWWWW~ people at hooome~! The SmackDown Tag Team Champions are ready to take on the Artist Collective 2v2, but for now they’re testing things 1v1. Will Kofi be ready for the King of Strong Style? Or will the power of positivity only get Bad Vibrations?

SmackDown returns as Cesaro and Nakamura make their entrances. Things get tense and the ref has to back Nakamura off. Cesaro and Big E exit, the bell rings, and Kofi dropkicks Nakamura to a corner immediately! Kofi throws hands and stomps, then lets up at the ref’s count. Nakamura gets up but gets another dropkick! Kofi brings Nakamura around, but Nakamura blocks the bump to give knees to the body. Nakamura whips, Kofi goes up and around to dropkick again! The crowd cheers as Nakamura gets to the apron. Kofi builds speed and dropkicks Nakamura to the floor! Cesaro checks on Nakamura but Kofi stays back.

Kofi builds speed but Nakamura moves to deny his flight. Kofi goes out but Nakamura kicks him back. Kofi throws body shots but Nakamura throws body shots back. Nakamura whips but Kofi reverses to send him into barriers! Big E laughs at Nakamura and Kofi puts Nakamura into the ring. Kofi climbs up top but Cesaro lurks. Nakamura kicks Kofi down! Nakamura drags Kofi up, puts him in a corner, and chokes him on the ropes with Bad Vibrations! The ref counts, Nakamura backs off, and Cesaro ROCKS Kofi! Big E gets Cesaro from behind! Cesaro runs into the ring but Big E drags him back out! Nakamura chokes Kofi with a knee while the ref is busy with Big E. The ref EJECTS Big E, AND Cesaro! Things are truly 1v1 now as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Nakamura has Kofi in a chinlock. The crowd rallies as Kofi endures. Kofi fights up, fights back, but Nakamrua knees low and snapmares him down for a knee drop! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps his cool as he stalks Kofi to ropes. Nakamura drags Kofi up, knees him in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Nakamura corner clotheslines, kicks and hoists Kofi up and sideways. Nakamura kicks, runs and SLIDING GERMANS! Cover, but they’re both in the ropes. Nakamura kicks Kofi along the way, drags Kofi up and kicks away in the corner. The crowd rallies and Kofi hits back. Nakamura throws body shots, Kofi throws haymakers. The two brawl, Kofi backs Nakamura down but Nakamura whips him away and runs him over with an elbow!

Nakamura toys with Kofi as he kicks him around the way. Nakamura goes out, drags Kofi to the apron, and he clubs away on Kofi’s back. Nakamura runs to KNEE Kofi back in! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps on Kofi with a chinlock. Kofi endures, fights his way up and fights back again. Kofi throws forearms, Nakamura throws fast hands. Nakamura whips, Kofi comes back with a flying forearm! Both men are down, the crowd rallies up, and Kofi starts to rally with CHOPS! Kofi dropkicks Nakamura down, then runs for the leaping lariat. Nakamura dodges to throw strikes! Kofi goes to a corner but slips out to kick back! Kofi climbs, leaps, into a KNEE! Cover, TWO! And Kofi has the cover now, TWO! Kofi sends Nakamura through but Nakamura ducks Trouble in Paradise! Kofi ducks one kick but not the second! Cover, TWO!!

Nakamura wastes no time going to a corner and taking aim. “YAO~!” But Kofi jumps over Kinshasa, only to get caught into the Inverted Exploder! Kofi lands on his feet, SOS!! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura lives again and Kofi can’t believe it! Kofi cools off and drags Nakamura up. The crowd rallies, Kofi sets Nakamura up again but Nakamura blocks SOS. Kofi ducks the knee to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura is still in this! Kofi keeps his focus as he aims from a corner. Nakamura sits up, but he blocks Trouble in Paradise with a sleeper hold! Kofi pries at the hold but Nakamura rakes the eyes! KINSHASA!! Cover, Nakamura wins!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall

The Swiss Cyborg returns to celebrate with the King of Strong Style, but that’s not all. Cesaro brings out a table! The Artist Collective has an idea, but Big E comes back! Big E scoops Cesaro but Cesaro gets free! Big E goes after Nakamura but Nakamura gets away. Will Cesaro and Nakamura get their way and go to the extremes to get the SmackDown Tag Team Championships?

 

SmackDown has a special treat for next week!

For the first time on TV, it will be the WWE Universal Championship match from Money in the Bank! Relive Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman meeting in the ring again and understand why this coming rematch is so crucial! But that’s not all, as Bliss-Cross will take on the #GoldenRoleModels in a tag team match! Will Nikki and Alexa score big against Bayley and Banks? Or will the role models stay on a roll? And with what we just saw, the SmackDown Tag Team Champions are on the line! Will Cesaro and Nakamura take those titles by any means necessary?

 

SmackDown returns to Jeff Hardy heading to the ring!

The Charismatic Enigma has been on a roller coaster, all thanks to the Celtic Warrior pushing his buttons. There is a minibar in the ring with champagne, beer and any number of other alcoholic drinks. Hardy dares Sheamus to come out here and do whatever he has planned to embarrass, humiliate and/or break him. But Sheamus shows up via Titantron. Welcome to Sheamy’s Bar! Sheamus knows how hotheaded Hardy can be so that’s why Sheamus is giving him this much space. And what about last week? Hardy must’ve felt great defending Taker’s honor and being given such a warmhearted applause.

But here’s the thing: that adrenaline rush is just Hardy slipping back to his old ways. Hardy will just fall into that vicious cycle again. Hardy has a problem. And not with drugs or alcohol and all the money wasted on rehab as he disappoints his family and friends, or even the best years of his career. It’s Hardy’s problem with facing reality. Hardy was moping after losing at Backlash, and then he sticks his nose in someone else’s business as a quick pick-me-up. In Hardy’s mind, everything is right in the world again. The way Sheamus sees it, it’s sad, pathetic and heartbreaking. We’ve seen this all before. But it has to be different, right? Hardy’s gonna show up when it matters most! But the truth is, that’s all a lie. Sheamus can’t bear to see it.

So being the “kind-hearted” man Sheamus is, here’s the solution! Just open a bottle. Here’s to a proper toast. “May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, as you drink yourself blind and pass out on the floor. Your wife and kids cry as you enter their thoughts, because your life has been nothing but a series of DUI’s and mugshots. Jeff, with a drink in your hand, you’ll never walk alone. Please never change, you beautiful, beautiful junkie.” Bottoms up for Sheamus. Hardy says they’re taught to never take another’s inventory, but Sheamus has to be the sickest person he’s ever met. Is this funny to him? Making fun of people’s day-to-day struggles? Is it funny to rub their noses in the pain he’s caused?!

Whoa, Jeff, brother. Sheamus isn’t here to hurt, but to help! All Sheamus is saying is that Hardy doesn’t have to live the lie anymore. Sheamus knows there’s nothing Hardy would rather do but jump into the gutter in with both feet. That’s why the bar is set up. As friends, bomb’s away! The bartender offers Hardy some champagne, Sheamus tells him to take it. We’ve seen the pain in Hardy’s eyes, and felt the pressure on his shoulders. Don’t pretend to be strong for the crowds. Do what you’ve always done: follow your instincts. Hardy says Sheamus has a point. What’s the worst that could happen? There’s that Hardy Sheamus remembers! Hardy brings the glass up, but pours it on the bartender’s head. The crowd cheers as Hardy SMASHES a bottle on the bartender’s head, too!

Sheamus can’t believe what he’s seeing as Hardy gives the bartender a SWANTON BOMB! The crowd cheers loud and proud for the Enigma’s self-control! Hardy swears to show Sheamus just how strong he truly is, but just how far will he have to go to do just that?


My Thoughts:

A pretty good episode here, though I might’ve rearranged some things. For one, the Sheamus and Hardy segment closing the show was fine, it shows they want to make that story feel bigger, but the way it played out, I would’ve actually had it start the second hour. The main event could’ve been the women’s segment with that very well made but also very cheesy self-praising tribute for Bayley and Banks, as supposedly made by Bayley and Banks. Bayley’s attempt at sounding like Taker was clearly meant to be bad, because Bayley’s gimmick now is to do things she thinks works and mock things that don’t. Bayley and Alexa had a pretty good match, too, and I actually like that Nikki ended up interfering. Nikki’s anger could be a good part of the story for the SmackDown Women’s Championship match.

While I wanted Mandy VS Sonya to get the Extreme Rules match type, I don’t know how much they’re going to put into that story with how things are going in reality with the health concerns. Bayley VS Nikki becoming at least No Disqualifications could add layers to how Bayley and Banks are getting involved in something on all three brands. If Bayley is in a No DQ situation, she might try and get Sasha to help her, even though Sasha has to worry about challenging Asuka. Also hearing that Bayley VS Asuka in a Champion VS Champion match is happening is great stuff. I am really curious to see if Io Shirai gets involved to return the favor from NXT.

Riddle had a decent interview segment with Cole, but I figured Corbin was going to show up. Also it is apparently WWE law that Heels become friends with other Heels just because they’re Heels. Corbin has Miz and Morrison hanging around him now with Ziggler and Roode now on Raw. It’s probably why Corbin stopped being the Lone Wolf and is now the King of the Ring. Can’t be the loner if you keep getting help. Morrison VS Riddle was an incredible opener and a great win for Riddle. Styles attacking Riddle made sense given two weeks ago, and Gulak going after Styles made sense on both tonight and on Gulak and Riddle once being Team Catch Point in Evolve Wrestling. Styles VS Gulak was also incredible, but naturally Styles finds a way to win to keep the title. I’m definitely looking forward to Styles VS Riddle in the future, but it feels like Riddle and possibly Heavy Machinery taking on Corbin, Miz and Morrison for a really good Six Man Tag.

We got a really good vignette for Braun VS Bray II: The Swamp Fight. That match could easily be great but it could also be the new House of Horrors. Replaying their MITB match next week is obviously a move to fill time while stars specifically on SmackDown are dealing with COVID concerns. That’ll be an easy copy-paste for me, that’s for sure. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship story is going good, but I’m disappointed they’re putting that right on TV. Nakamura VS Kofi tonight was great, so I was kinda hoping we were getting Cesaro VS Big E as the flip side. Perhaps something happens to add controversy to the tag match’s ending, and then we get a tag title match for Extreme Rules, where a table can be used, as Cesaro heavily implied.

My Score: 8.2/10


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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

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]


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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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