The Summer Struggle is in the home stretch!
NJPW is still on the road to Jingu Stadium! And before all of the epic action, we have multiple tag team tune-ups to keep everyone sharp! Who gets last minute momentum before the summer blowout?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
- Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Mater Wato & The Golden Aces; Wato & The Golden Aces win.
- Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi VS EVIL & Taiji Ishimori; EVIL & Ishimori win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun!
Shingo Takagi, Bushi and Sanada go up against Douki, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki himself! The Dragon will defend his NEVER Openweight Championship against the Man with the Worst Personality, while Cold Skull and the lethal luchador are part of KOPW 2020! Which side gets a leg up on the competition before arriving in Jingu Stadium?
Shingo gets in Suzuki’s face with the NEVER Openweight Championship, and Suzuki throws forearms! It explodes into a brawl! Desperado attacks Sanada for KOPW, and Douki goes after Bushi to keep him in the ring! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell so this is on record. Suzuki keeps after Shingo and they brawl. Suzuki whips, Shingo reverses and sends Suzuki into railing! Shingo elbows and stomps away while Bushi huricanranas Douki! LIJ has turned things around and Bushi stomps Douki in a corner. Bushi brings Douki up, Douki enziguris but misses! Bushi whips, Douki reverses and Desperado gets a cheap shot in!
Douki hits his enziguri this time and Desperado makes sure Sanada stays down. Douki knocks Shingo off the apron then goes back to Bushi. Douki throws Bushi out and that brawl of Shingo and Suzuki keeps going. Suzuki has Shingo on the rails and clubs, but Shingo CHOPS back! They go back and forth, chop for chop and forearm for forearm! Suzuki ROCKS Shingo then clubs him down. Douki returns to the ring while Suzuki stomps Shingo into railing! Desperado tags in and he double whips Bushi with Douki for double shoulders! Desperado drags Bushi up, scoops and slams him, then covers, TWO! Fans rally for Bushi but Desperado drags Bushi up to bump off Douki’s boot.
Tag to Suzuki and he stomps and forearms Bushi down. Suzuki has the arm and pulls on it for a mounted hammerlock! Bushi endures as Suzuki has the other arm. Shingo gets in to attack Suzuki! Shingo brings Suzuki up but Suzuki DECKS him! Suzuki tags Douki, Douki drags Bushi up and CHOPS! Douki has Bushi in a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Bushi boots back. Bushi hops up for a FLYING RANA! Fans fire up as Bushi and Douki crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Shingo and Suzuki! Suzuki kicks and fires off forearms, but runs into Shingo’s back elbow! JAB and LARIAT! Shingo drags Suzuki up for a BIG suplex! Shingo eggs Suzuki on while kicking at him.
Suzuki gets up as Shingo eggs him on, and Suzuki laughs as he fires off knees and elbows. Suzuki whips corner to corner to BOOT Shingo, then snapmare and run for the Penalty Kick! Cover, ONE! Now Suzuki toys with Shingo and eggs him on. Shingo gets up to throw forearms but Suzuki gives them back. Shingo rocks Suzuki, Suzuki throws forearms back. They brawl back and forth, faster and faster, and Shingo just eggs Suzuki on. Suzuki fires off several, but Shingo gives them back from all sides! Suzuki comes back with a HARD shot, then runs, but into another elbow! Shingo runs bu tinto Suzuki’s boot. Suzuki runs but Shingo follows to clothesline him at the ropes. Shingo runs, Suzuki follows, and Suzuki gets around to get the sleeper!
Suzuki doesn’t wait long before he spins Shingo around for the piledriver, but Shingo back drops out! Shingo runs and sliding laritas, only for Suzuki to duck! Suzuki boots, spins Shingo back for the sleeper! Shingo flails, fades but gets his second wind! Fans rally up, Suzuki spins Shingo around but Shingo fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Shingo and Suzuki crawl, hot tags to Desperado and Sanada! One half of KOPW fights as Sanada kicks and whips Desperado. Desperado boots back, runs out but into the fireman’s carry! Desperado slips off, Sanada catches the boot but Desperado pokes him in the eye! Desperado runs but Sanada trips him up! Sanada has the legs, then the arms, Desperado kicks out of Paradise.
Sanada elbows Desperado back, Quebradas but Desperado gets under. Desperado uses the ref as a shield, then DECKS Sanada with that right! Tag to Douki and they drag Sanada up. Desperado throws a stiff uppercut, then they double wihp Sanada. Douki back elbows, feeds Sanada to Desperado’s SPINE BUSTER, and then springboard DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives but Suzuki-Gun keeps on him. Desperado brings Sanada up for Douki’s SLINGSHOT DDT! Cover, but Bushi and Shingo break it! Suzuki joins in and he brawls with Shingo while Desperado throws Bushi out. Suzuki and Shingo throws forearms, Shingo gets the edge but swings into a FUJIWARA! Douki keeps on Sanada, Gory Especial for backslide! Cover, TWO!!
Douki vows to end this, Bushi is sent into railing, and Douki wheelbarrows Sanada. but Sanada arm-drags free! Sanada baits Douki into a corner and a back elbow. Quebrada to dragon sleeper! Douki tries to spin out but Sanada holds on and SWINGS Douki around! SKULL END!! Douki taps, LIJ wins!!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by submission
The edge goes to LIJ! But that’s not going to stop Suzuki! Suzuki looks under the ring and brings out a chair! Shingo dares Suzuki to try something, and after some consideration, Suzuki gets on the apron to SWING on Shingo! Shingo manages to shield his head and Young Lions hurry to stop this from getting any wilder! Shingo still gets forearms and headbutts in before Suzuki gets away. Suzuki BOOTS the one Young Lion for holding him back, and uses them as an excuse as to why he and Shingo didn’t settle this now. But this will be settled at Jingu one way or another! Will Shingo survive the biggest fight of his career? As for Sanada, will he be standing tall at the end of the KOPW Fatal 4 Way?
Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Mater Wato & The Golden Aces!
The Dangerous Tekkers, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi, want to crush the spirits of Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi even before having it out over the IWGP Heavyweight Championships! The same goes for Yoshinobu Kanemaru wanting to end the Way of the Grand Master! Will all of that go the other way this close to the Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium?
Wait, Kanemaru attacks Wato during his entrance! Where did he come from!? The Aces hurry out but get jumped by Taichi and ZSJ! The Tekkers stomp and grind Ibushi and Tanahashi down, so Red Shoes rings the bell. Taichi bumps Tanahashi off the tag belts! And then the same for Ibushi! Kanemaru has Wato down in the corner and stomps away! Kanemaru digs his knee in, Red Shoes reprimands and Kanemaru lets up. Kanemaru drags Wato to the apron, lines up the shot and dropkicks Wato in the head! Taichi drags Wato back up to whip into railing! ZSJ digs his boot into Wato and pulls on a leg while Taichi whips Tenzan into railing!
Tanahashi protests but Red Shoes can only do so much. The Aces help Tenzan but Taichi stands on Wat’s head. Ibushi rushes over but Taichi gets him first! ZSJ stands on Wato’s head but Tanahashi goes after him. But Kanemaru comes out to club Tanahashi and rake his eyes! ZSJ EuroUppers Tanahashi down, Taichi whips Ibushi to railing, and Kanemaru finally puts Wato back in the ring. Kanemaru toys with Wato but Wato chops back. Kanemaru doesn’t flinch and he rakes Wato’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kanemaru tags Taichi. Taichi headlocks Wato and chokes him! Red Shoes sees and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi scoops Wato to lawn dart hotshot him on the ropes!
Tag to ZSJ and ZSJ stands on Wato’s head! ZSJ lets up as the Aces protest. Red Shoes keep them from getting in and ZSJ cravats Wato hard. ZSJ snapmares to CRANK the neck! Tag to Kanemaru and Kanemaru stands on Wato’s head. Taichi and ZSJ also stand on Wato but the Golden Aces get back in. Red Shoes tells everyone that isn’t Wato or Kanemaru to get out. Taichi gets in some more stomps before he leaves. Kanemaru brings Wato up, Wato CHOPS and Kanemaru feels that one! Kanemaru rakes eyes, whips but Wato holds ropes! Wato hits back, kicks, but Kanemaru blocks! Kanemaru elbows the knee, kicks the leg, but runs into a HUGE dropkick! Both men are down, the fans rally up, and hot tags to Taichi and Ibushi!
Ibushi dodges Taichi to elbow ZSJ down, then he goes up and over to ROUNDHOUSE Taichi down! STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as the fans fire up again. Ibushi drags Taichi up, waistlocks but Taichi elbows free. Ibushi forearms, Taichi mule KICKS! Taichi cools off, runs and boots Ibushi, but Ibushi boots back. Taichi boots again, Ibushi boots again! Taichi tries a third time but is caught! Ibushi spin kicks, but misses in the corner. Ibushi dodges the enziguri to SNAP-RANA! Tanahashi wants in and Ibushi tags him in! Tanahashi fires up with the fans, runs and forearms Taichi down! Elbow drop, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his focus as he drags Taichi in.
Tanahashi scoops and slams Taichi down, hops up and leaps, but the second rope senton misses! Taichi tags ZSJ in, ZSJ grabs Tanahashi by his ears for EuroUpper after EuroUpper! Tanahashi fires off forearms, but uppercuts into a backslide! They fight for control, ZSJ gets Tanahashi up but Tanahashi pulls back. Tanahashi spins around, gets ZSJ in the facelock, but ZSJ slips out. ZSJ goes to Pele the arm but Tanahashi blocks it! ZSJ uses his other leg to reel Tanahashi in for a headlock. Tanahashi powers out, catches ZSJ, they go around and it’s Tanahashi who puts on the cobra twist! But ZSJ grabs the arm, slips around and has the Iron Octopus! Taichi and Kanemaru boot Wato and Ibushi off the apron!
ZSJ holds on tight, he might be going for Hurrah! Another Year etc etc. Wato gets in to club ZSJ but Taichi throws Wato back out. Taichi intimidates and pushes Red Shoes down, and the Tekkers both go after Tanahashi. They want that brutal double chicken wing dragon screw, but Ibushi attacks the Tekkers first! Ibushi DECKS Kanemaru, too, and calls to Tanahashi. They go to give ZSJ the same treatment! Full nelson DRAGON SCREW!! The fans fire up as things are even now! Red Shoes returns, both ZSJ and Tanahashi are down. ZSJ and Tanahashi crawl, Kanemaru tags in and Taichi trips up Ibushi! Kanemaru boots Wato, he and Taichi go after Tanahashi together. Corner elbow, feed to the KICK to the bad leg! BUZZSAW DROPKICK SANDWICH! Cover, TWO!!
Kanemaru goes up top, Taichi drags Tanahashi up. Kanemaru leaps for the FLYING DDT! Cover, Wato breaks it! Taichi chokes Wato and throws him out. Ibushi springboards to missile dropkick Taichi! Kanemaru shotgun dropkicks Ibushi out! Kanemaru grabs his whiskey and shoves Red Shoes away. But Wato grabs the bottle! Tanahashi SHOTEIS, Wato springboard uppercuts! Wato drags Kanemaru up, hooks the arms for a MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Ibushi fires up with Tanahashi and they sit Kanemaru up. KAMI-GOYE!! Tanahashi heads up top, Wato is in the drop zone, but the Tekkers attack! Ibushi and Wato drag them away, Tanahashi leaps for HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Golden Aces and Wato win!!
Winners: Master Wato & The Golden Aces, by pinfall
ZSJ and Taichi are furious! Their challengers just keep building momentum! Will they stand a chance of holding onto the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships at this rate? Taichi brings those belts up to hang them in front of Tanahashi and Ibushi. Taichi says that they need to be ready for what happens after they lose on Saturday. He dares the “two guppies” to do their best. The Tekkers vow they’re going to wear The Golden Aces out, but Tanahashi says he and Ibushi are never tired. Taichi tells them they’re not wrestling gods, and are going to “face the grim reaper soon enough.” Tanahashi counters by saying Taichi better enjoy his last two days as champion. Who outlasts who to leave Jingu with those belts? As for Kanemaru, can he rebound before he has to face the young Grand Master 1v1?
Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi VS EVIL & Taiji Ishimori w/ Dick Togo!
There’s so much gold in this grudge, it’s 24 karat! The Uncontrollable Charisma wants revenge on the traitor and both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships back, while the Ticking Timebomb wants to blow up the Bone Soldier! Will LIJ take the lead on Bullet Club going into the two major matches in Jingu?
The teams sort out and after a Low Sweet and the LIJ fist bump, it’s Evil and Naito starting! The fans rally already as we get this preview of the Double Championship rematch. Naito and Evil stare down, circle, and Naito sucker punches Taiji! Hiromu gets in and LIJ mugs Evil! They double whip the traitor, Hiromu dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks Evil in the head! Naito drags Evil around by his hair, bends him back against his knee, and Hiromu attacks Taiji on the outside. Hiromu whips, Taiji reverses and Hiromu is sent into railing! Naito clubs and cravats Evil in the corner, Taiji gets up and protests but Naito stomps Evil down. Taiji keeps messing with Red Shoes as Naito whips Evil corner to corner.
Evil boots back, dumps Naito out, but Naito hits back. Dick makes a move and anchors Naito’s feet so Evil can DECK Naito! Evil baseball slide dropkicks Hiromu while Dick stomps Naito at railing. Red Shoes gets out to reprimand Dick but Taiji CHOPS and kicks Hiromu! Taiji rakes Hiromu’s eyes while Evil uses camera cables to choke Naito! Red Shoes still has to keep Dick away, Evil whips Naito into railing! Evil stands on Naito’s head but the ring count starts. Taiji chokes Hiromu while Evil soaks up the heat. Evil toys with Naito as the ring count passes 10 of 20. Evil drags Naito and into the ring at 17, then tags Taiji. Taiji stomps Naito, drags him up, and Bullet Club has exposed a corner, as is their favorite trick. Taiji whips Naito into the bare buckles!
Tag to Evil, Evil stalks Naito as he writhes, and toys with him now. Fans rally up for Naito, Evil eggs Naito on, and drags Naito up. Naito throws body shots and forearms but Evil whips him back into bare buckles! Tag to Taiji, Dick and Evil choke Naito while Taiji BLASTS Hiromu off the apron! Taiji goes over to Naito, drags him up and clubs him down. Fans still rally for Naito but Taiji drags him up to wrench and whip to a neutral corner. Taiji hits double knees, but runs into a back elbow! Naito atomic drops and enziguris Taiji down! Fans rally up, Taiji and Naito crawl, hot tag to Hiromu! Hiromu dodges Taiji to DECK Evil! Hiromu boots and whips Taiji, Taiji reverses but Hiromu huricanranas!
Taiji bails out, fans fire up and Hiromu is on the apron. Hiromu leaps and shotgun dropkicks Taiji into Evil, sending Evil into railing! Hiromu runs Dick off before putting Taiji back in the ring. Hiromu suplexes, Taiji slips out and baits Hiromu into a corner. Hiromu boots but Taiji blocks to spin Hiromu around. Taiji runs side to side, and hits Hiromu with a SLIDING GERMAN! Fans rally up but Taiji drags Hiromu around for a gut wrench. Hiromu fights out, gut wrenches Taiji, but Taiji resists to get a facelock. Hiromu pushes out of the DDT, Taiji KNEES him, but Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Taiji staggers, both men clothesline but neither falls! Taiji runs into a POP-UP BOMB!
Hiromu and Taiji are down, the fans rally up, hot tags to Evil and Naito! Naito spins Evil around to whip and arm-drag! Naito elbows Evil down then basement dropkicks! Naito drags Evil up, backbreaker to Pluma Blanca, his version of the Koji Klutch! Evil endures, Dick distracts Red Shoes but Naito goes after Dick. Dick gets away, Naito goes back to Evil. Evil goes to poke Naito’s eyes but Naito blocks and rakes Evil’s eyes! Naito elbows Evil over and over, Evil stumbles into a corner, Naito basement dropkicks! Naito hoists Evil up top, climbs up top, Evil slips out to get in Red Shoes’ face as Dick trips Naito! Evil runs back in to clothesline Naito, then FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and fans cheer!
Evil keeps his cool as he drags Naito back up. Evil fireman’s carry, but Naito fights free! Naito waistlocks, Evil elbows and whips but Naito reverses to use ropes in the TORNADO DDT! Naito tags Hiromu and Hiromu whips Evil. Hiromu forearms Evil, puts him on ropes, kicks the ropes then runs to shotgun dropkick Evil down! Fans fire up with Hiromu as he drags Evil back up. Hiromu fireman’s carries but Evil slips out. Hiromu SUPERKICKS, then LARIATS! Hiromu DECKS Taiji off the apron and goes back to Evil. He drags Evil up again for a whip to the corner. Hiromu corner clotheslines, he and Naito basement dropkick sandwich! Cover, Taiji breaks it!
Naito throws Taiji out, then stomps him at railing. Hiromu fires up again and fans rally. Hiromu brings Evil up in a dragon sleeper, lifts but Evil slips out to waistlock. Hiromu standing switches, shoves Evil into Naito’s back elbow, then Naito holds Evil up. Hiromu runs, but Evil pulls Naito into the path of the shotgun dropkick!! Naito goes down hard and Taiji gets back in. Taiji dodges Hiromu, tilt-o-whirls over and over for the LA MYSTICA! DARK ARMBAR!! Hiromu writhes, Red Shoes is busy with Taiji as Evil gets a chair! Evil aims at Hiromu, for a CHAIR SHOT!! Hiromu writhes even more as Evil slashes the throat. Evil drags Hiromu up, Taiji leaves Red Shoes alone for EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Bullet Club wins!!
Winners: EVIL & Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall
The King of Darkness and his Bone Soldier have just devastated the Ticking Timebomb all over again! Hiromu’s arm may be in horrible shape all over again, will he be able to fight in Jingu? Can Naito make Evil pay for everything he’s done to LIJ? Naito doesn’t back down from Evil, but he forgets about Dick! Dick uses the #SpoilerChoker to take Naito down!! Now Evil gets the mic to speak.
“I knew it! Los Ingos are just a bunch of losers!” Evil asks Naito, “Who represents ‘justice’ now?” Who is “real” now? Who is stronger now? Does he get it now?! Evil tells Naito that in Jingu, “You’ll taste this same pain.” Make sure you remember! “Everything is Evil! It’s rrrrreeeal!” A shout out to the great Prince who founded Bullet Club! Will Evil be what helps bring Bullet Club back to such prominence?
Another great event to act as a go-home to the huge Jingu Stadium event this Saturday. As far as the factions go, everyone breaks even. I skipped Chaos VS Bullet Club, it was obvious Okada’s side was going to win when both he and Toru Yano are in KOPW Fatal 4 Way. Those two go in strong, while Desperado is the only one going in a little weaker when Suzuki-Gun loses. Of course, classic NJPW Six Man formula, involve someone who isn’t doing anything in the finish. Sanada beats Douki, so Desperado isn’t really hurt. Neither is Suzuki himself going into what will definitely be a slug fest with Shingo. But then Suzuki-Gun loses to Wato and Golden Aces, but I wonder if that means ZSJ and Taichi retain. I feel like NJPW will want some finishes fans will like, so maybe Ibushi and Tanahashi getting the belts back is one of those.
But even LIJ and Bullet Club break even after a really great main event for the Double Champion and Junior Heavyweight title stories. It’s a good story beat for Hiromu’s arm to be targeted at the end, it’s what (kayfabe?) kept him out of much of Summer Struggle at the start of August. Now it’s in question again, but could be something Hiromu overcomes to retain his title. And while Evil stands tall tonight with Taiji and Dick, I don’t know if the math is affected. Evil could still retain so that Bullet Club stays strong while we still wait on bringing all parts back together, such as Jay White’s return to Japan. Also, I definitely like Evil saying “real” like Finn Balor back in the day.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)
Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?
Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!
SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!
- Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
- Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
- Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
- Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.
But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!
But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.
But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.
Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?
Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?
SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!
Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!
The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?
As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.
Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.
Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!
Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall
Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?
Billie finds the Squad backstage.
She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?
Daniel Bryan is here!
And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!
“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!
Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!
The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?
Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!
SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!
Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”
Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?
Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!
It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?
SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!
Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!
Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission
Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?
Roman Reigns sits in his private room.
Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!
Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.
Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!
Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!
Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)
And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?
Kevin Owens speaks.
“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.
And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.
But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.
The Street Profits have a basket.
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!
Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?
Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!
The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!
But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?
Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!
Winner: Bianca Belair
Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.
Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.
Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?
Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!
SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.
Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?
Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!
Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?
Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?
Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!
Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!
Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!
Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?
A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.
But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.
The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.
Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.
And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.
My Score: 8.5/10
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