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Mitchell’s NJPW Summer Struggle Results & Report! (8/9/20)

One way or another, Chaos reigns!

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NJPW Summer Struggle

The NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships already belong to Chaos!

On one side, the Rainmaker leads Toru Yano and Sho in conquering another division. On the other, YOSHI-HASHI vows he, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii will be champions! Chaos will reign, but through whose power?

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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shingo Takagi & SANADA VS Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI; Shingo & Sanada win.
  • Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI VS EVIL & Taiji Ishimori; EVIL & Ishimori win, by disqualification.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament Finals: Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada, Sho & Toru Yano VS Chaos’ YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto; Hashi, Ishii & Goto win and become the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

Shingo Takagi & SANADA VS Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI!

The Dragon is still the NEVER Openweight (singles) Championship, and the Man with the Worst Personality wants to crush the Dragon’s bones and take his gold! Will the Cold Skull by Shingo’s side and Japones de Mal by Suzuki’s, which side gets the edge towards the coming title match?

As introductions are made, Shingo taunts Suzuki with the NEVER Openweight Championship, and Suzuki kicks him! Douki goes right after Sanada and the bell rings to at least get this on the record! Suzuki dumps Shingo out and Douki has Sanada in a corner. Douki grinds his boot in as Suzuki whips Shingo into railing! Douki whips corner to corner, Sanada reverses but Douki boots back. Sanada catches it, trips Douki up but Douki kicks out of Paradise. Douki knees low, runs but Sanada dumps him out! Sanada aims and PLANCHAS! The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them. Suzuki and Shingo talk trash from across the way as Sanada drags Douki back up. Sanada puts Douki in the ring, drags him up to a facelock, and tags in Shingo.

LIJ mug Douki in the corner and Shingo scoop slams Douki down. Shingo drags Douki back up, cravats, snapmares and runs, to hit Suzuki! Fans cheer as Shingo runs and back sentons on Douki! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Shingo has Douki’s leg. Shingo drags Douki over, tags Sanada, and LIJ splits the wishbone! Douki is stinging from that one but Suzuki is sneering as he returns to his corner. Sanada clubs Douki then whips but Douki reverses and Suzuki kicks Sanada! Douki knocks Shingo down as Suzuki catches Sanada into a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref reprimands but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki BOOTS Shingo while Douki dumps Sanada out. Suzuki whips Shingo into railing, then into more railing! Douki whips Sanada into railing on the other side!

Suzuki brings Shingo to the timekeeper’s table and bounces him off it! Suzuki grinds Shingo’s face into the table before leaving him behind. Suzuki starts searching under the ring, and finds a chair! Douki and Sanada brawl while Suzuki JAMS and SMACKS Shingo with the chair! Shingo writhes while Suzuki grins and the ring count begins. Suzuki kicks Shingo as we reach 10 of 20, and then digs his foot in. The ref has the count end since Douki and Sanada are legal. Douki chokes Sanada but the ref reprimands. Douki stops at the count of 3, then tags in Suzuki. Suzuki drags Sanada up, CHOPS him, then CHOPS him again! Sanada CHOPS back, but Suzuki CHOPS. We have a CHOP fight, until Suzuki slaps Sanada, and knees Sanada low!

Suzuki drags Sanada down into a partial camel clutch but Sanada endures. Fans rally up, Shingo gets in and Shingo attacks Suzuki! Suzuki forearms back, sending Shingo out of the ring! Douki chokes Sanada behind the ref’s back but Suzuki brings Sanada up. Tag to Douki, they mug Sanada, then Douki goes to suplex. Sanada blocks, fans rally up, and Sanada suplexes Douki. Douki flails out and rakes the eyes! Douki runs into boots at the corner, Sanada hops up and leaps over to huricanrana Douki down! Fans cheer as Sanada crawls. Suzuki tags in first and stomps Sanada down. Suzuki whips Sanada away but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Hot tag to Shingo! The Dragon roars as he rallies on Suzuki with big shoulders! The fans fire up with Shingo as he blocks Suzuki’s boot to clothesline! Shingo whips corner to corner to clothesline and suplex! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up again as Shingo scrapes his foot on Suzuki’s face. Suzuki just laughs as he forearms and knees back. Suzuki runs corner to corner to boot Shingo! Suzuki snapmares and runs to Penalty Kick! Cocky cover, TWO! Suzuki is still focused as he kicks Shingo around. Shingo gets mad and CHOPS Suzuki. Suzuki shrugs it off to CHOP back. Shingo CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, repeat! The chop fight turns into a forearm brawl! Shingo eggs Suzuki on and Suzuki hits back. Shingo forearms again, Suzuki returns it, and the two are fast and furious! The fans fire up with every shot, but Shingo gets the edge. Suzuki comes back to ROCK Shingo! But Shingo rises! Shingo swings, Suzuki ducks it to get a sleeper hold, but Shingo fireman’s carries out of it! Suzuki slips down, knees away, then gets the sleeper again!

Shingo flails, Suzuki spins him to the Gotch, but Shingo back drops out! Shingo runs, Suzuki ducks the lariat, boots and runs, into an uppercut! Shingo suplexes, Suzuki fights out to guillotine facelock! Douki tags in and clubs Shingo down! Douki drags Shingo up but Shingo is like dead weight. Douki keeps trying, calls for his shot, but his clothesline doesn’t knock Shingo over! Douki tries again, but Shingo JABS and LARIATS! The fans fire up as Shingo tags Sanada! LIJ double whip Douki while SUzuki talks smack to commentary. Sanada back elbows, Shingo corner clotheslines and clubs Douki into Sanada’s kick. Double kick back drop combo! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Sanada brings Douki up but Suzuki distracts the ref.

Douki slips out of the fireman’s carry, shoves Sanada but Suzuki shoves the ref at Sanada! Douki enziguris Sanada and Suzuki hits Shingo! Suzuki and Douki double whip Sanada, Douki back elbows and Suzuki boots! Suzuki snapmares for Douki’s basement dropkick! Then the Penalty Kick! Springboard double stomps! Cover, Shingo breaks it! Suzuki and Shingo brawl with forearms again and the fans fire up! Shingo eggs Suzuki on, Suzuk hits harder, but Shingo fires off from all sides! Suzuki ROCKS Shingo and runs but Shingo clotheslines him at the rope! Shingo runs but Suzuki follows. Shingo swings on him but Suzuki slips around to get the sleeper! But it won’t matter with Shingo not legal!

Suzuki makes Shingo fade out as Douki gives Sanada a SLINGSHOT DDT! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and the fans fire up! Shingo is all but out as Douki wheelbarrow lifts. Sanada arm-drags out of the suplex, Shingo gets a second wind! Sanada scoops Douki into the dragon sleeper, but Douki cradles out of Skull End! Cover, TWO!! Sanada narrowly escapes, O’Conner roll to the bridge! LIJ wins!!

Winner: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

Suzuki still chokes Shingo out! He sacrifices a tag match to damage the Dragon! Suzuki grabs a mic to tell Shingo that Suzuki wants the NEVER Openweight Champion in Jingu! “And when your real weakness is revealed, hand that title over, without any complaints.” Suzuki laughs and leaves the ring, but Shingo takes the mic to shout at Suzuki. He thinks Shingo will just hand the belt over? Just like, “Here ya go!” No.

Suzuki called this title “a treasure,” and that’s exactly how Shingo feels about it! So if Suzuki wants the treasure, he’ll have to knock Shingo out to get it! “There’s nobody worth fighting more than Minoru Suzuki!” Shingo shouts for the NJPW management to make this match! Shingo figures one of them might get knocked out, or even sent to the hospital! Suzuki and Shingo are going to collide in three weeks! Will either of them survive it?

 

Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI VS EVIL & Taiji Ishimori w/ Dick Togo!

Speaking of coming title matches, Los Ingobernables de Japon has two others on the horizon! There are still concerns over Hiromu Takahashi, but the Bone Soldier Reborn still wants to keep his teeth sharp. And of course, there is THE rematch of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Championship match from Dominion! Will Bushi be able to help his charismatic leader finally get the edge on the Bullet Club?

There’s no time for teams to sort out as Bullet Club jumps Naito and Bushi! Taiji throws Bushi out and Evil throws Naito, and the bell rings to get this on record! Naito kicks back but Evil catches it to elbow the leg! Evil stomps Naito against the railing while Taiji keeps Bushi down on the other side. Evil drags Naito up to whip, but Naito reverses and sends Evil HARD into railing! Naito glares at Dick but he sees Evil’s sneak attack coming! Naito kicks and whips Evil back into railing! Naito again glares at Dick but Dick backs off. Taiji keeps Bushi down but Naito brings Evil up. Naito whips Evil into railing a third time! Fans cheer as Naito puts Evil in the ring and stomps him down. Naito stomps Evil at the ropes, the ref reprimands, but Taiji comes in.

Naito glares at Taiji and whips Evil. Naito elbows Evil down and runs but Dick trips him up! Evil keeps Bushi out and stomps Naito now. Evil puts Naito’s leg on the ropes to wrench it! The ref reprimands and counts but also has to worry about Taiji. Evil gets to wrench the leg longer that way, but lets go as the ref finally counts. Evil stomps Naito, tags Taiji, and Dick gets a cheap shot in. Taiji stomps Naito now, then drags him by his leg for a snap toehold! Taiji cranks the leg, Naito fights back but Taiji adds the other leg for a deathlock! Naito endures, Taiji lets go of the leglock to cover, TWO! Tag to Evil, and Evil stomps away on Naito’s leg! Evil drops an elbow on the knee then cranks back! Naito fights back again but Evil cranks harder.

Naito gets a ropebreak, Taiji kicks at the hand but Evil lets go of the leg. The fans rally up as Evil toys with Naito. Evil eggs Naito on and Naito stands up to throw forearms. Naito chops and chops and CHOPS, but Evil kicks the bad leg! Evil fisherman suplexes but Naito fights it off! Naito spins but into Evil’s forearm. Evil runs but into the dropkick! Both men are down, the fans rally up, hot tags to Taiji and Bushi! Bushi dodges and huricanranas Taiji to a corner, but Taiji dodges as Bushi runs in. Bushi slips out to swing kick Taiji away. Bushi climbs up to missile dropkick Taiji down! Bushirooni! Bushi stomps Taiji, drags him up and fisherman, but Taiji escapes the swinging neckbreaker to throw forearms! Bushi gives them back and we have a forearm brawl!

Bushi hits, Taiji hits, and they go faster and faster. Bushi gets an edge but he runs into a boot! Taiji whips, Bushi reverses, but Taiji handsprings to the NEURALIZER! Both men are down but fans rally up. Taiji crawls to tag Evil back in. Evil runs corner to corner at Bushi to clothesline! Evil fireman’s carries but Bushi slips out to spin Evil to a DDT! Both men are down again as the fans rally. Bushi crawls and tags in Naito! Naito throws forearms, kicks and more on Evil. Naito whips, boots, sweeps, COMBINACIAN CABRON! Naito stomps a mudhole into Evil, the ref reprimands but Naito pushes him away! Naito stomps more, the ref comes back and pulls Naito away. Naito pushes the ref away again to basement dropkick Evil!

Fans cheer as Naito brings Evil up for the neckbreaker only for Evil to spin through and suplex. Naito slips out, backbreaker! KOJI KLUTCH! Bushi keeps Taiji out as Evil is caught! Evil kicks and flails, starts to fade, but Dick distracts! Naito lets Evil go to swing on Dick! Naito drags Evil up, hammerlocks but Evil pulls hair! Naito kicks, Evil blocks and hands it to the ref, and then kicks Naito low. Fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Naito lives and the fans rally up. Evil keeps his cool as he drags Naito. Evil slashes the throat, drags Naito up to spin him around, but no STO as Bushi enziguris! Bushi catches Taiji to a BACKSTABBER! Bushi grabs Evil but Evil rakes his eyes! Evil runs, into Naito’s atomic drop! Enziguri and code breaker, jackknife cover, TWO!!

Bushi goes out and whips Taiji, but Taiji whips Bushi into railing! Naito calls for the end, wrenches Evil but Evil shoves Naito into the ref! The ref is down but Naito sees Dick and his choke rope coming! But he doesn’t see Evil LOW BLOW! And then Dick still chokes Naito! Naito fades out fast as Bullet Club regroups. Evil and Taiji stomps Naito down, Dick helping out. But here comes HIROMU!! The Ticking Timebomb BOOTS Dick, SUPERKICKS Evil, but Taiji kicks him! Taiji whips but Hiromu shotgun dropkicks in return! Hiromu rains down furious fists on Taiji! The ref returns, sees Hiromu beating Taiji up, and throws the match out!

Winners: Bullet Club, by disqualification

Hiromu gets his revenge at the expense of the match! But Hiromu grabs a mic to say, “OI OI OI OI!” What the heck? A DQ? Bullet Club cheats all the time and never get disqualified! But the ref’s gotta come down hard on Hiromu? “Should I apologize for coming out here? Then, sorry.” He also apologizes for making Taiji wait. And he heard everything Taiji was saying. But Taiji, you don’t need to worry, Hiromu is perfectly fine! “Come hit me as much as you want!” Will Hiromu make Summer Struggle in Jingu even more fun than before?

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament Finals: Chaos VS Chaos!

The faction has these titles no matter who wins, so consider this the most intense friendly competition ever! Will The Rainmaker and The Producer help Sho become a two belt Junior Heavyweight? Or will the Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull show that even the great Kazuchika Okada doesn’t win everything?

The introductions are made and the titles are raised. Chaos sorts out, and we begin with the Hashi, who wants to face Okada! Fans cheer for it, too, and Okada accepts the challenge! The fans rally with the bell as Head Hunter and Rainmaker circle. They test the grapple but back away. Then they tie up with collar and elbow in a deadlock! Okada digs in his heels but Hashi manages to push him back. Okada pushes Hashi back, puts Hashi on the ropes, and gives the fake chop, only for Hashi to throw an actual forearm! Hashi knows Okada’s tricks and he throws elbows! Hashi CHOPS Okada, then CHOPS again! Okada staggers around but Hashi is on him with a third CHOP! Hashi runs, Okada boots and snapmares! Okada runs to basement dropkick Hashi down!

Hashi checks his face while Sho tags in. Yano also comes in, and this part of Chaos clubs away on Hashi, just like Hashi’s team would do! Sho brings Hashi up to ROCK with a forearm, then whip to ropes. Hashi holds ropes, boots Sho back then bumps Sho off the corner. Tag to Goto but Sho gets away. Goto and Sho circle as fans rally up. Sho and Goto tie up, Sho headlocks, but Goto pries at the hold. Sho cranks harder, Goto powers out to get his own headlock and grinds Sho in return. Sho powers out of the hold but Goto rams him with a shoulder. Sho rebounds, shoulders back, but Goto rebounds. Goto counters Sho’s hip toss with a hip toss but Sho blocks it! Sho knees low, runs and runs Goto over! Sho waistlocks and dead lifts Goto, but Goto elbows the suplex down.

Things speed up, Sho ducks then dropkicks, but Goto stays up. Goto chases Sho down and runs him over! Hashi and Ishii hit Okada and Yano, then they go after Sho. Sho fights them all but that’s 3v1. And then they give Sho the triple clubbing! Goto whips Sho to a corner, hits a clothesline, then feeds Sho to the double shoulders! Penalty Kick sandwich and a SUPERKICK! Fans cheer while Goto stomps Sho. Goto brings Sho up to elbow him back down then stomp him again. Goto bumps Sho off buckles and tags Ishii in. Sho fires forearms on Ishii first but Goto clubs Sho down. Ishii CHOPS away on Sho over and over! Sho starts to sit down but then he powers up, only for Ishii to CHOP more. Sho hits back and Ishii eggs him on. Sho throws more forearms but Ishii just CHOPS and forearms back!

Ishii fires off CHOPS and forearms over and over, drags Sho back up to keep it going! Red Shoes reprimands Ishii but Ishii is just a machine! Ishii finally stops and eggs Sho on. Sho flounders as Ishii looms over him. The fans rally up and Okada shouts to Sho, and Sho fights back. Ishii doesn’t flinch from the chop, but Sho throws forearms again. Ishii still isn’t bothered, and he tags in Hashi. Ishii toys with Sho but Red Shoes reprimands him. Okada gets in but Red Shoes keeps him back. Sho pushes Hashi and forearms Ishii, but Ishii DECKS Sho for it! Hashi drags Sho up, suplexes him onto the ropes, and Ishii holds Sho for Hashi’s running dropkick! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer Sho’s toughness as Hashi tags Goto.

Goto and Hashi drag Sho up, double whip and double shoulder Sho down. Goto covers, TWO! Sho clutches his shoulder but Goto is on him with a chinlock. The fans rally as Sho endures, fights up, and fights out. Goto knees Sho in return, then KICKS him right down! Goto stomps Sho, puts him in a corner and stomps him more. Goto throws in elbows and more stomps, then digs his boot in. Red Shoes counts, Goto stops to whip Sho corner to corner. Sho dodges, waistlocks, but Goto elbows the German Suplex away. Sho ducks, tries a standard suplex, but Goto resists. The fans rally as both men fight for suplex control. Goto lifts, Sho flails, and then Sho powers through to suplex Goto! Both men are down but Hashi and Ishii blast Okada and Yano again. They double whip Sho but Sho DOUBLE SPEARS!

Hot tag to Yano! Yano fires up, and goes to his favorite corner! Yano unties the buckle pad, dodges Goto and then tosses him the pad! Red Shoes reprimands Goto, so Goto hands the pad over, and Yano rolls Goto up! TWO!! Yano has the pad back and swears he’ll use it! Goto doesn’t care, so Yano swings, Goto dodges and kicks Yano back. Goto whips Yano but Yano stops himself before hitting bare buckles. Goto kicks and whips Yano to ropes but Yano holds ropes. Yano taunts Goto, Hashi spooks Yano, and Goto attacks! Goto whips again, Yano hits the safe corner but gets the windmill kick! SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Goto grows frustrated but the fans rally up. Goto has Yano in the fireman’s carry but Yano fights free. Yano kicks, runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT!

Both men are down and the fans rally up again. Hot tag to Hashi! Yano gets to the bare corner, Hashi hits a back elbow! Hashi keeps moving, Yano gets around to waistlock but Hashi elbows free. Hashi goes to run but Yano pulls his hair! Hashi breaks free, throws forearms and whips. Yano reverse sto then hit a hair pulling neckbreaker! Tag to Okada! Okada brings Hashi up but Hashi forearms. Okada forearms back and we have a brawl! The fans rally up as they hit faster and faster! Hashi fires off body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Okada ducks and elbows back! Okada fires up as he clobbers Ishii off the corner! Okada whips Hashi to a corner, hits a back elbow, then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally again as Okada brings Hashi up to the gut wrench. Hashi fights out of the piledriver to waistlock. Okada elbows out, uppercuts and whips, but Hashi hits a BLOCKBUSTER! Goto and Ishii blast Sho and Yano! Hashi’s team double whips Okada to a corner. Goto whips Hashi in for the elbow and Ishii in for the clothesline! Goto clotheslines, feeds Okada to the mule kick! Blindside lariat, code breaker and GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up as Hashi climbs up top! Okada stands, FLYING HEAD HUNTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi keeps his focus, drags Okada back up, and full nelsons to pump handle. Sho dropkicks Hashi down first! Ishii runs Sho over! Yano sends Ishii into bare buckles! Goto LARIATS Yano! Okada FLAPJACKS Goto! Hashi SUPERKICKS Okada!!

All six Chaos are down but the fans are thunderous! Hashi and Okada sit up first, and Hashi powers up his arm. Hashi runs into Okada’s dropkick! Okada drags Hashi up fast, gut wrenches, TOMBSTONE! DEEP IN DEBT!! Okada has Hashi in his new cobra clutch, Hashi kicks and flails but his team is being kept out! Red Shoes checks but Hashi is still moving! Hashi inches his way over with his feet, but Okada drags him away! Okada sinks it in deeper!! Yano keeps Goto down, Sho has Ishii, Hashi is turning purple! Hashi tries, but Ishii gets loose and hits Okada! Sho hits Ishii but Hashi is saved! The fans rally up again as Okada drags Hashi up. Okada reels Hashi in to LARIAT! Okada drags Hashi back up, for HASHI to LARIAT!! Hashi has his second wind as the fans keep rallying!

Hashi fires up, runs but into a boot! Okada runs, Hashi dodges, Hashi LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Hashi won’t slow down, he puts on the Butterfly Lock! Okada endures now as Ishii and Goto keep Sho and Yano down! Okada moves around, Hashi cranks harder, but Okada still endures. Okada starts to fade but he fights towards ropes! Sho and Yano keep trying to get in but Okada grabs at Red Shoes. Sho RAMS Ishii into railing, Okada gets to the ropebreak! Hashi lets go but brings Okada back up. Hashi full nelsons, pump handles, but Okada fights Karma. Okada spins, but Hashi CHOPS! Hashi runs, into the dropkick! Both men are down and the fans are loving this! Hot tags to Sho and Ishii! Sho and Ishii collide, and again! Ishii stays up as Sho clotheslines, but now they brawl with forearms.

Sho fires off many but Ishii ROCKS him with one! Sho fires off even more, then dodges the lariat, but his Spear is tanked! To the BRAIN BUSTER! But Sho rises to Spear!! Sho fires up with the fans as he drags Ishii up again. Sho wrenches, kicks away from all sides and then SUPERKICKS! Ishii is down but Sho waistlocks and dead lifts! Goto runs in so Sho fires off forearms with him first! Yano returns to grab Goto’s hair, but Goto fires off on him! Goto whips but Yano reverses, Goto gets the bare buckles! Yano atomic drops Ishii, and catapults Ishii into the bare buckles! Sho waistlocks and GERMANS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives but Sho is just fired up more!

Sho drags Ishii up, reels him in, and tries to lift. Ishii resists, slips out but Sho hits an armbar takedown! Ishii clasps hands, but Sho breaks the grip! Sho cranks back on the armbreaker but Ishii rolls over. Ishii stomps Sho’s face and is free, to KICK Sho in the back! Sho KICKS back! And again! Ishii eggs him on so Sho KICKS. Ishii CHOPS Sho, Okada BOOTS Ishii, Hashi elbows Okada and Sho runs at Hashi. Hashi gets around to BACKSTABBER! Ishii lifts and POWERBOMBS Sho! Matchbook cover, TWO!?! Sho survives and the fans are fired up all over again! Ishii focuses as he aims from a corner. Sho slowly rises, Ishii runs the ropes, but Sho swats the lariat away to super forearm! Ishii headbutts, Sho KNEES! Sho runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, Yano breaks it!

Goto kicks Yano back out and tells Ishii to finish this! Ishii fires up and drags Sho into the suplex, but Sho breaks free! Ishii swats Sho’s punch and HEADBUTTS! Sho is in a daze as Ishii suplexes again. Sho slips out and pops Ishii up for the ARMBAR!! Hashi and Okada fight on one side while Goto and Yano are on the other! Sho has the armbreaker in deep but Ishii kicks around. Goto gets back in to stomp Sho but Yano throws Goto out. Sho grits his teeth as he drags Ishii up with a wristlock. Sho wrenches to a shoulder breaker! And another! And another! Sho ripcords Ishii, ducks Ishii’s clothesline, and hits a STRAITJACKET GERMAN!! Briding cover, TWO!?! Ishii escapes but Sho just powers up more! Sho runs, LARIAT!!

Fans are thunderous again while Okada keeps Hashi down. Sho aims his bow and drags Ishii up. Sho underhooks for the double pump handle, but Ishii resists and back drops free. Sho is up, runs at Ishii to clothesline him at the ropes. Sho keeps going, but Goto returns! SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI!! METEORA! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, but Okada breaks it in time!! Goto and Hashi kick Okada and Yano back out and Ishii takes aim again. Ishii runs, to LARIAT Sho down! Cover, TWO?!? Sho survives but Ishii just suplexes, for the BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, Hashi anchors Okada, Hashi’s team wins!!

Winners: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

An incredible battle within the faction! And in the end, Hashi keeps his word! He, Goto and Ishii were able to #GetBackUp and get those titles! And because it’s all Chaos, Okada and Yano applaud their friends. Hashi checks on Sho, and High Voltage is alright. Chaos stands victorious together! Okada wants a hand in handing the belts over to the winners, namely to Hashi. Okada even helps Hashi put the belt on! A great sign of respect between the faction members. It brings a tear to Milano’s eye. Chaos poses together for pictures, the champions up front. And after Sho, Yano and Okada give them the ring, Hashi takes the mic.

“Finally! Finally… Finally, I’ve won a belt!” Many guys have some idea of what they’ll say after a win, all their thoughts collected beforehand. But for Hashi, he had NO PLAN! But as he said, things can change in an instant. Things haven’t really worked out for him, but it also wouldn’t be any fun if it was easy. “Life is full of ups and downs. That’s what makes it so damn interesting.” He feels relieved that he was able to come through on his promise. He finally made a dream come true. It’s overwhelming, really.

This is for anyone going through a hard time. He hopes things change in an instant for them, too! Even if you fall, you just gotta #GetBackUp! Hashi hopes tomorrow brings great things for everyone. No matter what gets you down, it can all change in an instant! Mic drop! Where will Hashi, Ishii and Goto take these NEVER Openweight Six Man titles next?


My Thoughts:

An incredible event! I feel a bit bad for the 8 Man Tag I skipped, but given the previous match up of Golden Aces & Wato VS Suzuki-Gun, it made sense they’d raise it to 4v4 again. I believe Golden Aces, Wato and Tenzan won, which also makes sense to finally stick it to the Dangerous Tekkers. That IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match is coming, probably at Jingu, and I feel like it’d make a lot of sense for Golden Aces to win them back. I did want to cover the LIJ related matches given the story beats for Jingu. It was good math for Shingo and Suzuki to stay out of the decision, as it gives Sanada the finish and keeps Shingo and Suzuki even in the math. That NEVER Openweight Championship match is going to be incredible and could go either way.

The newest LIJ VS Bullet Club tag match was pretty good, but the best part is of course Hiromu’s return! He gets even with Taiji ahead of their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match and it is going to be a lot of fun when they have it out at Jingu. The disqualification finish also keeps things even between Naito and Evil so we can’t be sure who has the edge going into the Double Championship rematch. If you add Shingo VS Suzuki into the calculations, I feel like LIJ has to lose one of the three so they’re not too powerful. I feel like Naito loses his, and Evil holds onto the Double Championships and interim Bullet Club leadership role until Jay White can come back and we get a new Bullet Club Civil War.

The Chaos VS Chaos Six Man was great stuff. All of them knew the others’ moves so well that it totally worked for the numerous counters and blocks as well as false finishes. And while Hashi’s trio seemed like the underdogs, it makes a lot of sense for them to win the belts. Okada has Yujiro and the KOPW 2020 to worry about, while Sho still has his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. It’s just a matter of Yoh returning to Roppongi 3K can ride again. And as Hashi said himself, this was a long time coming after pretty much his entire 12 year career. There are also plenty of fresh match-ups for Hashi, Ishii and Goto to give us once more NJPW stars can return as things get better for Japan in regards to COVID.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Coverage

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

And you thought last week was big!

Published

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Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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

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

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.5/10


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