Best of the Super Juniors hits the halfway point!
World Tag League hit halftime, now so does Best of the Super Juniors! Will we see another shocker? Or will Hiromu and Ishimori stay on pace?
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.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Yuya Uemura VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Master Wato VS DOUKI; Wato wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Ryusuke Taguchi VS BUSHI; Bushi wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: SHO VS El Desperado; Desperado wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current Best of the Super Juniors 27 standings!
Hiromu Takahashi: 3-1
Taiji Ishimori: 3-1
Master Wato: 3-1
Ryusuke Taguchi: 2-2
El Desperado: 2-2
Robbie Eagles: 2-2
Yuya Uemura: 0-4
Yuya Uemura VS Hiromu Takahashi!
This Young Lion gave the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion quite the fight but still fell short. Will the Ticking Timebomb do even better than that to keep from having another loss?
The bell rings and fans cheer as Uemura is fired up. Hiromu takes it easy as he circles with Uemura. They tie up, Hiromu headlocks but Uemura powers out. They collide shoulders and Hiromu eggs the Young Lion on. They collide again, Uemura runs but Hiromu elbows him at the ropes. Hiromu runs and the two collide again! Neither falls and fans cheer! Uemura roars, runs but Hiromu follows, only for Uemura to run him over! Hiromu bails out, Uemura pursues, dodges, and scoops to SLAM him! Fans cheer Uemura as he goes to the apron. Uemura leaps to crossbody! Direct hit and Uemura fires up more! Uemura drags Hiromu up and puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO!
Uemura keeps his focus as he stomps Hiromu and goes after the legs. Hiromu scrambles around and gets the ropebreak. Uemura lets off to stomp away on Hiromu’s back, then brings him up for forearms and an uppercut. Uemura runs, Hiromu trips him and drags him out, to ram into railing! And more railing! Hiromu clutches his back before he shotgun dropkicks Uemura back into the railing! The ref checks but Uemura is okay to continue. Hiromu drags Uemura up, fans cheer as he puts Uemura back in. Hiromu has a cocky cover, ONE!
Hiromu grins as he grabs Uemura’s legs and ties them up, Cloverleaf BACKBREAKER! A unique combination and Hiromu brings Uemura back up for a scoop slam! Cover, TWO! Uemura clutches his back but fans cheer. Hiromu stomps Uemura, gets the legs again and has another Cloverleaf! For another backbreaker! Uemura writhes but Hiromu grins as he grabs the legs again. Fans rally but Hiromu gets Uemura for a Half Crab! Hiromu sits deep but Uemura crawls. Fans rally as Uemura endures, and Uemura gets the ropebreak! Hiromu lets off and talks some trash. Uemura gets up to throw a forearm but Hiromu eggs him on.
Uemura throws more forearms, but Hiromu avoids the dropkick! Uemura flounders because of his back but Hiromu gives him toying kicks. Fans rally up as Hiromu runs, and fakes out another dropkick! Uemura is down but fans rally up. Hiromu brings Uemura up, and CHOPS him to a corner! And whips him corner to corner, to run in, only for Uemura to boot! Uemura runs, but into an elbow! Hiromu runs, into the dropkick! Fans fire up as Uemura gets himself to a corner. Hiromu is in the opposite corner, Uemura fires up and runs corner to corner, back elbow! Uemura fires off furious forearms over and over and fans rally up!
Uemura whips corner to corner, runs in again, big dropkick! Cover, TWO! Uemura keeps on a leg but Hiromu kicks, into the FULL BOSTON CRAB! Uemura sits deep on Hiromu as fans rally again! Hiromu endures, powers up and reaches, but Uemura drags him from the ropes! Hiromu tries again, and gets the ropebreak! Uemura lets go and grits his teeth. Hiromu sits up but Uemura waistlocks! Hiromu elbows free, but swings into the waistlock! Hiromu holds off the lift, throws more elbows but Uemura lets him spin through, to a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO, to an ARMBAR! Hiromu clasps hands, Uemura keeps pulling, and gets the hands apart!
Hiromu gets the ropebreak, Uemura holds until the count of 4! Uemura drags Hiromu up, traps the arms, but Hiromu drops to block. Uemura powers up to still lift him, but Hiromu slips out! Hiromu suplexes but Uemura fights that off, to suplex! Hiromu slips out again, waistlocks, but avoids a back elbow, only for Uemura to ROCK him with a right! Uemura fires up as fans rally, and he runs, into a SUPERKICK! Both men are down but fans rally again. Hiromu checks his jaw while stalking up behind Uemura. Hiromu drags Uemura around but Uemura crosses legs for a victory roll, TWO!! Hiromu mule kicks, but he runs into the TRAPPED ARM SUPLEX!
Uemura is fired up and the fans are thunderous! Uemura drags Hiromu up, wrenches and clamps on, but Hiromu ROCKS him! Uemura ROCKS Hiromu, roars and runs again, but into a LARIAT! Fans fire up again as Hiromu glares at Uemura. Hiromu drags Uemura up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Uemura survives and Hiromu is surprised! Hiromu drags Uemura around to use the BOSTON CRAB on him! Hiromu sits deep, Uemura TAPS, Hiromu wins!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by submission; now 4-1, Uemura is now 0-5
A rare way for the Timebomb to win, but he perhaps did it to teach Uemura a lesson. Will the Young Lion learn much from this fifth loss? As for Hiromu, he’s leading the way into the second half, will he lead all the way until the end?
Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS DOUKI!
The Way of the Grandmaster shocked El Desperado last round, and vows to be THE Best of the Super Juniors! But he now faces the other Suzuki-Gun member in this tournament! Will Wato sweep the most sadistic faction in NJPW on his way to the mountaintop?
As part of his entrance, Wato goes to the corner, but Douki attacks with his pipe! The ref reprimands, Douki tosses the pop and the bell rings. Douki clubs Wato, drags him up and CHOPS him! Douki whips, Wato reverses and drops but Douki brings him up to whip again. Douki hurdles, Wato leaps over the monkey flip, then comes back. Wato huricanranas and fans fire up! Wato dropkicks Douki out of the ring! Fans rally up as Wato builds speed, but Douki ducks. So Wato slingshots, but Douki feeds a Young Lion to the PLANCHA! Douki whips Wato into railing! Douki fetches his pipe, but the ref reprimands and stops him. Douki pushes the ref away but Tenzan steps in, so he gets jammed with the pipe! Douki then jams Wato anyway!
And uses the pipe to choke Wato! Douki stops before the ref returns, and he puts the pipe aside. Douki goes to the ring, Wato slowly gets up and the ring count starts. Tenzan coaches Wato up and Wato gets in. Douki drags Wato up to club him down, but fans rally. Douki clubs Wato again, but Wato hits back with body shots and forearms! Douki kicks low to DDT! Cover, TWO! Douki keeps his cool while he drags Wato back up. Douki scoops and slams Wato, to then run and double stomp! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Wato but Douki drags him up first. Douki CHOPS Wato down, then drags him back up. Douki bumps Wato off buckles but Wato hits back. Douki fires off forearms and digs his boot into Wato’s face.
The ref counts, Douki lets off at 4, then he brings Wato up to whip corner to corner. Douki runs in but Wato dodges and then ROUNDHOUSES Douki down! Fans cheer and Tenzan coaches Wato up. Wato drags Douki up but Douki rakes eyes! Douki suplexes but Wato slips out to waistlock. Douki elbows out then runs, but Wato hurdles, back elbows, back hands and sobats! Douki bails out and fans fire up as Wato aims. Wato slingshots but Douki moves, and Wato lands on the apron, to then FLYING RANA! Fans fire up with Wato and he gets back in the ring. Douki staggers up and around, Wato TORNILLOS! Fans fire up more as Wato drags Douki back up.
Wato clubs Douki then puts him in the ring at 9 of 20. Fans rally as Wato aims and springboards, for the flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Wato drags Douki around, wrenches and reels him in, but Douki fights off the Mouse Trap. Wato KICKS Douki, then runs, but Douki uses the ref as as shield! Douki grabs Wato for the ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Wato endures and fans rally up, but Douki drags Wato down more! Wato scrambles and gets the ropebreak! Douki lets go at 3, and slashes his throat because he wants to end this. Douki goes to the apron, aims at Wato, and slingshots, DAY- NO! Wato blocks to scoop, but Douki slips out! Wato elbows the waistlock away but Douki kicks low.
Douki whips but Wato avoids the kick in the corner. Wato fires off forerams and elbows but Douki forearms back! They throw forearms back and forth, Douki enziguris! Knuckle lock cover, TWO! ITALIAN STRETCH! Fans rally as Wato struggles and moves around, to get another ropebreak! The ref counts, Douki lets go at 4, and he goes back to the apron. Douki aims, slingshots, DAYBREAK! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives but Douki keeps his focus. Douki brings Wato into the wheelbarrow, but Wato slips out to go for a suplex. Douki knees low then runs, but into a waistlock! Douki resists the lift, elbows then rakes eyes! The ref reprimands, Douki goes to a corner to run out and kick Wato down.
Douki brings Wato up, runs but Wato gets around to hook him up! Douki arm-drags free of the Mouse Trap but runs into a boot. Wato runs, crucifix takedown, to the MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Douki survives but fans rally up. Wato drags Douki up and scoops him, but Douki slips out to shove Wato at the ref! And then dropkicks him into the ref! The ref is down, and Douki gets his pipe! Douki aims and swings, but Wato sobats first! Wato runs, but into the PIPE! And then Douki PIPE SHOTS Wato down! Douki gets the ref, covers, TWO!! Wato survives and Douki is furious! Douki drags Wato around, into the wheelbarrow, but Wato victory rolls! TWO!
Wato and Douki flounder up, Douki uppercuts! Douki runs, into a ROUNDHOUSE! Douki fires up again, but he runs into TENZAN TOMBSTONE DRIVER! But the TTD isn’t enough for Wato, he goes up top! R P P!! Cover, Wato wins!
Winner: Master Wato, by pinfall; now 4-1, Douki is now 0-5
The Grandmaster wins and stays strong in the round robin! Will he become the Best of the Super Juniors after all?
Ryusuke Taguchi VS BUSHI!
The Funky Weapon was on the receiving end of a shocking defeat when Sho literally kicked his ass then shot him down with the Shock Arrow. Will Taguchi rise again, stronger than ever?
The bell rings and Taguchi seems to be playing the copycat game with Bushi. From being on the corner to stretching his arms the same way as they cricle, Taguchi does what Bushi does. Fans rally up and now Taguchi does his dance. Taguchi and Bushi approach and Taguchi tests the waters with spinning hip attacks. Bushi kicks and clubs Taguchi down, then stomps him! Bushi brings Taguchi up, whips but Taguchi reverses. Things speed up and Taguchi keeps side stepping and passing Bushi by. Bushi basement dropkicks but Taguchi avoids it! Fans cheer and Taguchi smirks as he wags his finger at Bushi. Taguchi sits Bushi up for a point blank hip attack. And then another!
Bushi goes to a corner, Taguchi whips him corner to corner, then runs in. Bushi dodges the corner attack to hit a back elbow. Bushi drags Taguchi to the corner and pulls him against the post! The ref reprimands but the damage has been done to the Funky Weapon! Bushi drags Taguchi out and whips him into railing! Taguchi writhes and the ref reprimands, but Bushi fetches Taguchi to put him in the ring. Fans cheer while Taguchi slow rolls. Bushi stomps Taguchi on the way out but follows him. Bushi stomps Taguchi at the railing, then drags Taguchi up to put him in. Taguchi slow rolls again, Bushi kicks him the rest of the way out. The ring count begins while Taguchi clutches a leg.
The count is 8 of 20 before Taguchi sits up, and then Taguchi slowly stands. The count is 13, then 14, but Taguchi takes his time until 19.5! Bushi stomps Taguchi down, digs his boot in, but the ref counts. Bushi lets off and Taguchi claims his leg hurts. Bushi drags Taguchi up and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but then Bushi grinds his boot into Taguchi’s guchi! The ref counts, Bushi stops at 3, and the ref checks on Taguchi. Bushi turns Taguchi over for an STF! Taguchi endures, moves around, and fans rally up as he reaches for ropes. Taguchi crawls and gets the ropebreak! Bushi claws Taguchi’s face but stops at 4.
Bushi stomps Taguchi, drags him up, but Taguchi hits back with body shots! Bushi kicks low, clubs Taguchi on the back, then whips him to ropes. Taguchi reverses but Bushi sunset flips. Taguchi stays up and pants himself! Bushi avoids the booty drop! Bushi stomps Taguchi then runs, but into the BARE ASS ATTACK! Bushi bails out, Taguchi runs and BARE ASS ATTACKS Bushi off the apron! Taguchi fires up and TRIANGLE PLANCHAS! A ring count starts, Taguchi walks off the landing but goes back to Bushi at 8 of 20. Taguchi puts Bushi back in and still keeps some of his butt bare, as he SPRINGBOARD HIP ATTACKS! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Taguchi drags Bushi up. Taguchi suplexes but Bushi slips out to waistlock. Taguchi switches, dragon sleepers for reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Bushi scrambles to get the ropebreak! Taguchi holds on until the ref counts, and then he rubs his butt in Bushi’s face! Is he twerking? The ref counts and Taguchi lets off to run and hip attack! And then again, only for Bushi to dump him out! Taguchi takes a tumble and Bushi builds speed, but Taguchi dropkicks the legs out! LA MAGISTROL! TWO! Fans rally up and Taguchi drags Bushi back up. Taguchi whips Bushi corner to corner, runs in but Bushi slips out to swing kick!
Bushi climbs up and leaps to missile dropkick! And Bushirooni! Taguchi ends up in the other corner but he dodges Bushi. Bushi puts Taguchi on the top rope! The Funky Weapon suffers major damage! The ref counts and Bushi lets off, but kicks the rope! Taguchi falls and Bushi goes out to the apron. Bushi drags Taguchi through ropes, DRAPING DDT to the arpon! Taguchi is hanging out of the ropes like his butt is out of his tights! Bushi drags Taguchi in, fireman’s carries, but Taguchi slips off. Bushi kicks low but runs into a sobat. Taguchi runs but into an enzugiri! Bushi runs but the Code Breaker is countered to OH MY ANKLE LOCK!
Taguchi cranks on the ankle, drags Bushi away but Bushi rolls! Taguchi holds on! Fans rally as Bushi endures more! Bushi crawls but Taguchi reels him into chicken wings! DODON- Victory roll! TWO and Taguchi sits on the cover, TWO! OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Taguchi cranks on the foot but Bushi still endures. Bushi stands up to enziguri, Taguchi ducks but Bushi mule kicks! Taguchi enziguris back! DODON- NO! Bushi hits the FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Taguchi survives, gets to a corner, but Bushi brings him up to put him in the ropes. DRAPING BACKSTABBER! Bushi gets up again as fans rally.
Bushi aims at Taguchi from a corner, runs in, CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Taguchi survives but Bushi goes to the corner! Bushi fires up and climbs, then aims at Taguchi, for M X!! Cover, Bushi wins!!
Winner: Bushi, by pinfall; now 3-2, Taguchi is now 2-3
The Death Mask was the death of Taguchi’s hot streak! But is there still time for the Funky Weapon to reload? Or is Bushi going to beat him to the top of the BOSJ?
Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori!
Last round, the Sniper of the Sky was shot down while the Bone Soldier stood tall. Will Eagles be able to reload and hit a new target? Or will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion make sure he still only owes one person a title match from this tournament?
The bell rings and Ishimori wants Eagles to Low Sweet him? But Eagles isn’t Bullet Club. Eagles kicks the Low Sweet away and the bell rings. Eagles dropkicks Ishimori down, then dropkicks him down again! Eagles knuckle locks Ishimori, cranks on the fingers, then CHOPS! Eagles goes up and around to arm-drag then dodges and ducks to huricanrana! Ishimori gets up but Eagles windmill kicks him down! Ishimori bails out, dodges the baseball slide and gets back in the ring. Eagles follows but Ishimori stomps him down. Ishimori throws hands, whips Eagles and goes to hip toss but Eagles rolls him to basement dropkick him! Fans cheer while Ishimori writhes.
Eagles KICKS Ishimori, and KICKS him again. Ishimori blocks th ekick to elbow th eleg then club Eagles’ back. Ishimori bumps Eagles off buckles, throws more haymakers, then brings him up to whip corner to conrre. Egales reverses, Ishimori slips out, around, and shoulders in. Springboard seated senton! Fans fire up and Ishimori drags Eagles up for a cravat. Eagles endures, even as Ishimori rams his shoulder in again and again. Ishimori snapmares and neck TWISTS! Eagles clutches his neck but Ishimori covers, ONE! Ishimori drags Eagles up to a chinlock, digs his knee in, and pulls Eagles back. Eagles endures and reaches but Ishimori puts him in a headscissor squeeze.
Fans rally as Eagles endures and moves around. Eagles turns and rolls and gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Ishimori gives one last jam as he lets go at 4. Ishimori brings Eagles up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Ishimori wraps Eagles up in a chinlock but fans rally as Eagles endures the grind. Ishimori shifts to a cover, ONE! He tries again, TWO! And again, TWO! And again, TWO! Eagles shakes his head as he gets out again. Ishimori brings Eagles up but Eagles throws body shots. Eagles CHOPS but Ishimori knees low! Ishimori CHOPS Eagles off his feet! Eagles gets to a corner but Ishimori CHOPS him again!
Ishimori wrenches and whips Eagles corner to corner, then runs in, but Eagles goes to boot. Ishimori blocks, turns Eagles sideways and kicks, before he runs side to side, for the SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Fans rally while Eagles stirs. Ishimori takes his time to check his knee pads as Eagles gets to a corner. Ishimori runs in but Eagles elbows him away. Ishimori returns, Eagles drops down and slides to a sunset, but ishimori slips out. Ishimori swings into the roll up with bridge! TWO and Ishimori kicks low. Ishimori runs, Eagles gets around to rolling chop block! And blinside lariat! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Fans rally as the two stir, and Eagles sits up first. Eagles KICKS Ishimori, and KICKS, and KICKS! Eagles runs to SLIDING LEG LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Eagles keeps his cool and drags Ishimori up to CHOP! Eagles throws forearms, whips IShimori but Ishimori reverses. Ishimori runs into the corner but is put on the apron. Eagles enziguris Ishimori down then builds speed, to SOMERSAULT TOPE! Fans fire up with Eagles and he goes back to Ishimori. Eagles puts Ishimori in, covers, TWO! Ishimori goes to a corner but Eagles runs in to DOUBLE KNEES! Eagles rolls back and returns, into a BOOT! But Eagles Sweep-1-9’s, to METEORA! Cover, TWO!
Eagles keeps his focus as he goes out to the apron. Fans rally up, Eagles aims and springboards, to missile dropkick the legs out! Eagles grabs the legs, steps through but Ishimori cradle counters, TWO! Eagles kicks and whips Ishimori but Ishimori handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Both men are down but fans rally up again. Ishimori gets his bad leg moving and he kicks at Eagles. Ishimori rakes eyes, goes to a corner and runs back out, to shotgun dropkick Eagles to the other corner! Ishimori runs corner to corner, Eagles tries to dodge, the METEORA still gets his arm! Eagles clutches his elbow, Ishimori runs and tilt-o-whirls to the takedown! YES LOCK!
Eagles endures, crawls, but Ishimori pulls him away! Eagles still endures, Ishimori cranks on the crossface harder, but Eagles keeps moving around! Eagles is so close, and he gets the ropebreak with a foot! Ishimori lets go reluctantly but he slowly gets up. Ishimori says BANG and drags Eagles back up. But Eagles fights off Bloody Cross, bobs ‘n’ weaves to then block the clothesline with knees! ROUNDHOUSE, HEEL KICK, PELE! Eagles drags Ishimori back up, cravats, but no Sliced Bread! CIPHER- NO! Eagles counters to the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Ishimori flails, reaches, crawls for ropes but Eagles cranks harder! Fans rally, Ishimori keeps crawling, but Eagles brings him away!
Eagles kicks away on Ishimori’s back, but Ishimori refuses to give in! Ishimori drags himself and Eagles over to the ROPEBREAK! Eagles lets go right away, but he’s frustrated. Eagles goes after Ishimori at the ropes for a SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO! SUPERKICK! Eagles goes up fast, WARP 4.5, ONTO KNEES! Fans rally as Eagles staggers up. Ishimori gut wrenches him, for a SHOULDER BUSTER! Ishimori goes to the corner and gets his leg moving. Fans rally as Ishimori climbs. Ishimori 450’s onto Eagles’ knees!! Fans fire up as Eagles evens things with Ishimori! Fans rally up now and both men stir.
Eagles sits up first but Ishimori follows. Eagles throws a forearm from the mat, Ishimori forearms back. They go back and forth, fight their way up and throw more forearms! Fans rally up as they pick up speed! Eagles CHOPS and forearms, then kicks, kicks and sobats! Front kick, dropkick takes the legs out! Eagles runs, dodges but Ishimori JUMPING KNEES! Ishimori hops up, but Eagles throws him off! Ishimori elbows but his boot is blocked to a kick, body shot and grab, TURBO BACKPACK! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Eagles rises first and he drags Ishimori up. Eagles turns Ishimori and runs the corner, but no reverse sliced bread! Ishimori slams Eagles down and puts on the BONE LOCK!! Eagles reaches for ropes, Ishimori rolls him away, BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Ishimori wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall; now 4-1, Eagles is now 2-3
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion dodges a bullet to shoot Eagles down! But will he be able to keep this up in the BOSJ’s second half? As for Eagles, is he all but done in the round robin?
SHO VS El Desperado!
When he beat Taguchi, High Voltage beat the man who beat the man who beat the man who beat the champion! That is to say, Taguchi has also beaten Desperado in BOSJ 27, and Sho beat Taguchi. Will Sho double down and beat both the man who beat the man who beat the man who beat the champion and the man who beat the man who beat the champion?
The bell rings and fans cheer as the two circle. Sho and Desperado approach, feel out the grapple, but Desperado backs up to a corner. Sho backs off and the two go again. They knuckle lock but then Desperado pokes Sho’s eyes! Desperado clubs Sho on the back while laughs at him for being an idiot. Desperado turns around into Sho’s tackle! Sho ground ‘n’ pounds to then get the arm! Desperado clasps hands and moves around, Sho rolls to get a leg but Desperado resists. Sho pushes through to facelock then back mount then roll for the arm! Desperado holds the armbar off, rolls and gets Sho’s legs. Desperado goes after a leg but Sho trips him up again!
Sho has the heel hook but Desperado gets the ropes! The fans cheer as Sho lets off and resets. Desperado and Sho circle, Desperado shoots in for a foot but Sho holds off the takedown. Sho slips around to waistlock, half nelson, chinlock, then roll Desperado for the arm! Desperado gets the ropes just as Sho gets the armbar! Sho lets go and fans cheer as he stomps Desperado. Desperado gets to a corner, Sho knuckle locks then wrenches. Sho wrenches both arms for the pretzel keylock. Desperado talks trash but Sho sweeps the legs! Fans cheer as Sho stands tall over Desperado. Sho stomps Desperado more, KICKS him in the chest, then digs his boots in at the ropes.
Red Shoes reprimands, Sho lets off at 3, then taunts Desperado now as he throws forearms! Desperado ends up in a corner, Sho whips him corner to corner, but Desperado reverses. Desperado runs in but is put on the apron! Sho sweeps legs, runs but Desperado ducks the baseball slide! Desperado RAMS Sho into railing, then whips him into more railing! Sho flops down while fans cheer the aggression. Desperado drags Sho up as fans rally, then puts him in the corner to pull him against the post! Desperado SLAMS a leg against the steel! Sho flops out of the ring, Desperado SMASHES the knee on the floor!
Red Shoes checks on Sho while Desperado sneaks the ring bell hammer! Desperado also fetches himself a chair from under the ring. The chair hides the hammer but Red Shoes reprimands. Desperado gives Red Shoes the chair, to HAMMER Sho! And then HAMMER Sho’s leg! Desperado threatens Young Lions with the hammer before throwing it away. Desperado puts Sho in the ring, stalks him, then stomps him. Fans rally up for Sho but Desperado brings him up. Sho throws forearms but Desperado kicks the leg out! Desperado puts the leg on the ropes to springboard straddle attack it! Sho scrambles away and Desperado mockingly asks how he’s doing.
Desperado stands on the bad leg while fans rally, and Desperado keeps asking what’s wrong. Sho throws a forearm! Desperado eggs him on so Sho throws another forearm! Desperado rakes Sho’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, Desperado throws Sho down then knee breakers the leg! Then he drops down on it! Desperado has the butterfly deathlock on! Fans rally and Sho endures but Desperado bridges back to add pressure. Sho has Desperado sit up and CHOPS him! But that only causes Desperado to fall back! Sho sits Desperado up again and CHOPS, but again Desperado just falls back! Sho falls back but sits up to keep his shoulders off.
Desperado adds pressure to the legs, Sho endures and fights towards ropes. Fans rally up, Sho reaches but Desperado adds pressure. Sho reaches and gets the ropebreak! Desperado says he needs help undoing the hold and Red Shoes works to untie it. Desperado drops a knee on Sho’s knee, and “apologizes” about that. Desperado taunts Sho and then brings him back up. Desperado suplexes but Sho resists! Sho suplexes but the bad leg limits him! Desperado kicks the bad leg then drags Sho back up. Desperado brings Sho up but Sho suplexes him up and over after all! Fans rally up for Sho and Sho gets his bad leg moving.
Sho aims from a corner, runs corner to corner and clotheslines! Sho whips, wrenches but Desperado breaks free! Sho blocks the kick to give some kicks! And more kicks! Desperado covers up but Sho kicks him from behind! Sho kicks Desperado down then covers, TWO! Fans rally and Sho dead lifts Desperado in the waistlock but Desperado kicks and flails! Desperado elbows free, Sho forearms back. Sho runs, Desperado goes the other way but the spear is blocked! Sho knees then runs, but Desperado dropkicks the legs out! Desperado grabs the bad leg for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! And then he splashes on the leg! And puts on STRETCH MUFFLER!
Sho endures and fans rally up, but Desperado drags Sho from the ropes! Desperado cranks on the leg, gets the arm, NUMERO DOS! Sho still crawls with his one arm, but Desperado tries to grab it! Sho gets the ropes first! Red Shoes counts and Desperado lets go reluctantly. Fans rally up and Desperado stands up. Desperado drags Sho up, reels him in, but Sho slips out of Guitarra to waistlock! Desperado kicks the bad leg then talks more trash. Desperado throws a forearm then another. Sho gets mad and eggs Desperado on. Fans rally as the forearms fly! Sho dares Desperado to bring it on and they start going back and forth! They go faster and faster, harder and harder!
Sho ROCKS Desperado then fires forearms from all sides! Now Sho mockingly asks what’s wrong, but Desperado kicks the bad leg! Desperado taunts Sho back and drags him up. Sho swings but into a spin and GUITARRA DE ANGEL! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives and fans fire up! Desperado grits his teeth and fires himself up as he drags Sho around. Desperado underhooks but Sho blocks the lift! Sho powers out to back drop Desperado away! Fans fire up again as Sho gets up. Desperado kicks the bad leg then whips Sho. Sho reverses and kitchen sink knees! But that was the bad leg!
Both men flounder about and Sho gets to a corner. Sho aims at Desperado, for a PENALTY KICK to the arm! And then a rolling takedown to the double wristlock! Desperado holds on but Sho gets the KIMURA! Sho taunts Desperado with “How do you like that?!” Desperado kicks and flails and gets the ropebreak! Sho lets off just long enough, and he drags Desperado up. Sho wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! And another! And another! Sho runs, but Desperado SPINEBUSTERS! STRETCH MUFFLER, but Sho turns over to get an inverted ARMBAR! A Disarmer even! Desperado endures, rolls, and covers, TWO! ARMBAR!
Desperado flails and gets another ropebreak! Sho holds until 4, and fans rally up. Sho taunts Desperado and kicks at him. Desperado stays on ropes so Sho just scrapes his boot off his head. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado kicks the bad leg! Sho kicks the bad arm! BACKSTABBER! Sho pushes Desperado up to then run corner to corner for a BIG corner clothesline! Sho keeps moving, LARIAT! Fans fire up with Sho as he drags Desperado back up! Sho lifts for the POWER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans fire up for Sho!
Sho flounders over, aims his bow and brings Desperado back up. Desperado gets around, he and Sho dosido and Desperado grabs at Red Shoes! Sho dodges the low blow to KNEE! Sho reels Desperado in, double pump handles but Desperado lands out of Shock Arrow! Sho HEADBUTTS! Sho drags Desperado around but Desperado spins to victory roll! TWO!! Sho scrambles up, Desperado shoves him at Red Shoes, then turns him around for the RIGHT HAND! Desperado drags Sho in, PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, Desperado wins!!
Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall; now 3-2, Sho is now 3-2
Sho may have beaten Taguchi, who beat Desperado, but now Desperado has beaten Sho! Will this be the loss that short circuits Sho’s chances? As for Desperado, he gets the mic to speak. “Oi, oi, hold on. The champion, albeit the tag champion, is going to give you some praise here. Why leave so quickly? Don’t be an idiot.” Desperado says Sho isn’t weak, not at all. Sho stayed on the attack until the very end.
But y’know what? It’s not about strength, it’s about who wins! That’s why Desperado is a champion now! “You don’t get to talk about strength, because you didn’t have enough in the end.” Desperado will be winning the BOSJ, and Sho, with his bad leg, will lose the rest of his matches. “Too bad.” Desperado leaves with both his and Yoshinobu Kanemaru’s tag titles, but will he be adding the BOSJ trophy to the collection?
Here are the NEW Best of the Super Juniors 27 standings!
Hiromu Takahashi: 4-1
Taiji Ishimori: 4-1
Master Wato: 4-1
El Desperado: 3-2
Ryusuke Taguchi: 2-3
Robbie Eagles: 2-3
Yuya Uemura: 0-5
A really good fifth round, but not much more than what we got last round. Uemura looked good again but Hiromu of course wins. I was surprised Hiromu debuted a new move like the Cloverleaf backbreaker here but it’s still a very clever combination. Wato as top three is a surprise in itself, and I feel like with Douki, he would’ve completed a sweep of Suzuki-Gun had Kanemaru not gotten injured. Ishimori of course stays up near the top, the champion can’t have more than two title matches owed with only WrestleKingdom left. Taguchi again weaponizes his bare ass but it backfires this time and Bushi stays in the middle of the block.
Sho VS Desperado was a great match, and it works out that Desperado wins here. Desperado stays just outside the top, but I bet this also sets up a Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship story, maybe Yoh and Kanemaru will both be back in time for WK15 to give us RPG3K VS Suzuki-Gun. That would be a great moment, especially for Sho & Yoh, and especially if they won the titles back. RPG3K’s reign got cut short, so starting the next one off with a WK15 victory to start 2021 would be perfect.
My Score: 8.9/10
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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