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?
- 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?
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
Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)
So much more than a dash!
NJPW starts on a new journey!
NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
- Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
- Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
- Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!
It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?
Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.
Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!
Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.
The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!
Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!
Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!
Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!
Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!
Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall
Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?
Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!
The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?
The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!
Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.
Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!
Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!
Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!
Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!
Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall
The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?
8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!
Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?
The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.
Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!
Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.
Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!
Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.
Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!
Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.
Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!
Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?
Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.
Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.
Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!
Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.
Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.
Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.
Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!
Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.
Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!
Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!
Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!
Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!
Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!
Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”
Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.
“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?
A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.
Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.
Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.
There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
- Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
- The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
- The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
- ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
- Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
- Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼
Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green
Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.
After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.
After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.
Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.
The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)
The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.
Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy
The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.
Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.
ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)
Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.
Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.
IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
"We're gonna see ourselves out"
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino
So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.
I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.
Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander
They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.
Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.
Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.
Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.
Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.
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