World Tag League starts round six!
As World Tag League starts its second half, only ONE team stands at 4-1! Will LIJ be able to beat the 2019 WTL winners to keep things rolling?
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.
- World Tag League 2020: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii VS The Empire; Yano & Ishii win.
- World Tag League 2020: HenarACE VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; Fale & Owens win.
- World Tag League 2020: Dangerous Tekkers VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- World Tag League 2020: FinJuice VS SANADA & Shingo Takagi; FinJuice wins.
- World Tag League 2020: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Guerrillas of Destiny; Goto & Hashi win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current World Tag League standings!
SANADA & Shingo Takagi: 4-1
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 3-2
The Dangerous Tekkers: 3-2
Guerrillas of Destiny: 3-2
The Empire: 3-2
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi: 3-2
YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto: 2-3
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens: 1-4
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii VS The Empire!
The Producer and the Stone Pitbull are still in this, but so are the Dominator and the Hawaiian Hulk! Will Chaos conquer the Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb on behalf of the Rainmaker?
By the way, Yano fixed up the broken KOPW trophy, and has made it look a little more like him now. It even wears a little red and gold robe like he does. That aside, as soon as the introductions are done being given, the Empire attacks! Khan goes after Ishii and Cobb goes after Yano and the bell rings. The Empire puts Chaos against the ropes to choke, then forearm! And then DOUBLE BELLY2BELLY SUPLEX! Fans cheer the show of strength while Khan kicks Ishii out. Cobb drags Yano up to headbutt and whip. Yano holds ropes, dodges Cobb and then goes for the buckle pad! Yano has it loose and then dodges Cobb, but Cobb keeps from running into the buckles.
Ishii whips Khan into railing while Yano SMACKS Cobb with the pad! But it’s just a pad, and it’s Jeff Cobb, so Cobb doesn’t even flinch. Yano curses his bad luck and runs, only for Cobb to run him over! Ishii runs in but Cobb runs him over, too! Cobb runs but Chaos kicks low and double suplex, but Cobb is too big for that! Cobb DOUBLE SUPLEXES Chaos! Ishii and Yano tumble out, and Khan gets Yano with the iron claw! Khan rams Yano into railing then drags him back up. Ishii storms over and clubs Khan. Khan uppercuts Ishii and kicks him at railing. Yano stumbles, Khan puts Yano in, and Cobb stands on him for a cocky cover. TWO, and fans cheer.
Khan stomps Ishii while Cobb drags Yano up. Cobb scoops and then carries him to the corner. Khan tags in and Cobb gives Yano a BACKBREAKER! Khan stomps Yano over and over, then clamps on the iron claw! Yano flails and kicks but Khan lets off, to drag Yano back up and waistlock. Khan RAMS Yano into the corner, then climbs up to sit on Yano’s head! Ishii protests but the ref keeps him back. Khan pulls on Yano’s arms and Cobb keeps his eyes on Ishii. The ref counts, Khan jumps off at 4, and he taunts Ishii. Fans rally for Yano but Khan digs his boots into Yano’s head. The ref counts, Khan stops, to sucker punch Ishii!
Khan tags Cobb in and Cobb gives toying kicks to Yano. Yano stirs and Cobb drags him up. Cobb whips Yano but Yano tries to reverse, only for Cobb to send him the other way! Tag to Khan and the Empire mugs Yano. Khan clamps onto Yano with a chinlock but fans rally up. Yano endures, Khan shifts to have more leverage, and even pulls on Yano’s hair to keep him up. Yano fights his way up but Khan drags him to the corner. Cobb tags in and he headbutts Yano in the ribs! Yano fires back forearms, but Cobb ROCKS him with one! Cobb runs but Yano pulls hair! Cobb whips, Yano reverses and pulls hair to throw Cobb down! Tag to Ishii!
Ishii rams Cobb, and again, and again! Ishii staggers and Cobb whips him, but Ishii comes back to ram again! Ishii suplexes but Cobb fights it off. Cobb suplexes, Ishii slips out but Khan gets in to ROCK Ishii with a right! The Empire whips Ishii to a corner, Ishii dodges Khan but not Cobb! Cobb grabs Ishii and Khan runs in but Ishii boots Khan away. Ishii whips Cobb into Khan then runs Khan over! Fans fire up as Ishii drop toeholds Cobb onto Khan! Ishii keeps moving and he runs Cobb over! Ishii drags Cobb up to waistlock but Cobb resists the lift. Cobb elbows but Ishii ducks to forearm. Ishii runs but into Cobb’s dropkick!
Fans cheer the athleticism, and Cobb drags Ishii back up in a dead lift waistlock! Ishii elbows and elbows, but spins into the OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Cobb aims from a corner as Ishii gets up. Fans fire up, Cobb runs corner to corner but Ishii dodges! Ishii suplexes but Cobb resists! Cobb wrenches out but Ishii throws forearms. Cobb swings into Ishii’s suplex, but it takes a second try, and Ishii gets Cobb up and over! Cover, TWO! Cobb rolls and scoops Ishii up, for a pop up SUPLEX! Fans fire up as both men are down! Cobb sits up first and he aims at Ishii. Ishii avoids the kick, Cobb swats the clothesline away but so does Ishii! Cobb SUPERKICKS! Ishii staggers but stays up, he ducks a clothesline and GERMANS Cobb down! Fans rally and Ishii crawls, but so does Cobb. Hot tags to Yano and Khan!
Yano dodges Khan and slaps him on the head! Yano runs, but Khan BOOTS him down! Khan drags Yano back up, to Mongolian CHOP! And again! And again! Yano ends up in the exposed corner, but he dodges! Khan stops himself from hitting buckles, then dodges Yano to send him into the buckles! Mongolian CHOP! Ishii gets in, dodges the boot but gets caught in a sleeper! Khan feeds Ishii to Cobb’s ATHLETIC PLEX! Khan drags Yano up and the Empire whips him to the safe corner. Cobb runs in and hits the leaping uppercut! Cobb gut wrenches and SUPLEXES Yano, for Khan to gut wrench and SUPLEX back the other way! ARM TRIANGLE!!
Yano fades but Ishii makes the save! Cobb kicks Ishii out of the ring and Khan looms over Yano. Fans fire up but Khan grabs at Yano. Khan blocks the low blow! But Yano sends Khan into bare buckles! Roll up, TWO!! Yano hurries to get the takedown for the M U! TWO! Khan hits a judo throw! Khan looms over Yano and clamps on the iron claw! He drags Yano up, for the ELIMI- NO! Yano grabs Khan’s beard! Ishii runs in to waistlock Khan but Khan elbows free. Yano shoves Khan into Ishii and then shoves the ref away! Ishii ROCKS Khan, Yano LOW BLOWS! Roll up, CHAOS WINS!!
Winners: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; now 4-2, The Empire is now 3-3
Khan is furious! But he also can’t do much from the pain Yano inflicted. Cobb and Ishii egg each other on because this battle is far from over. Will the Empire get their revenge on Chaos one way or another?
HenarACE VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens!
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare finally got on the board, but so did the Bullet Club’s third stringers! Will the Once in a Century Talent and the Hammerhead keep the roll going? Or will they be trumped by the Rogue General and Crown Jewel?
After HenarACE shows off the muscles and Bullet Club Low Sweets, Owens calls out Tanahashi and these two start. Fans rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” and Tanahashi circles with Owens. They approach, tie up, and Tanahashi waistlocks. Owens wrenches free to a wristlock but Tanahashi spins through to wristlock back. Owens spins, steps through and gets the wristlock again. Tanahashi drop toeholds and gets the legs for a deathlock. Tanahashi shifts to the headlock and takeover but Owens headscissors. Tanahashi pops out and he strums the air guitar. Owens applauds and offers a handshake.
Tanahashi isn’t sure but fans cheer, and Tanahashi shakes hands. But he blocks the cheap shot kick! Owens apologizes but Tanahashi throws forearms! Tanahashi whips Owens corner to corner but Owens reverses, only to run into an elbow! Tanahashi leaps off the corner for the crossbody! Fans fire up as Tanahashi strums the air guitar, passes it to Henare, then tags him in. HenarACE double whip and double elbow Owens, for the Tomahawk elbow drop combo! And flex! Fans cheer as HenarACE gives Owens the Double Half Crab! Fale gets in but they attack first! Fale blocks the double whip but HenarACE kick low and whip. Fale runs them both over!
Fans cheer the power on display, and Owens stomps Henare. Owens clubs Henare, kicks him in the side, and has Henare on the ropes as he brings him up. Owens whips Henare to a corner, runs in to forearm, then reels Henare in to clothesline! Cover, TWO! Owens tags Fale, Owens stands on Henare’s head and Fale stands on Henare’s back! The ref counts, Bullet Club lets off at 4, and Owens jokes, “That’s how you give a message.” Fale drops an elbow on Henare’s back, then digs his elbow in! Henare endures the sadistic “shiatsu” and Owens tags in. Owens looms over Henare but fans rally up. Owens CLAWS Henare’s back!
Henare swings but Owens catches him for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Owens keeps his cool as he mocks the applause for Henare. Owens slaps Henare around, kicks him, but Henare leans into the taunting! Owens throws forearms as fans rally up but Henare doesn’t budge! Henare fires up but Owens pokes his eye! Owens whips Henare to ropes but Henare shoulder tackles him down! Fans fire up as Henare crawls and Tanahashi reaches out! Owens anchors a foot but Henare still gets the hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Owens, whips but Owens reverses, only for Tanahashi to come back with flying forearms!
Tanahashi dropkicks Fale down, then catches Owens’ kick to a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he scoops and slams Owens to a drop zone! Tanahashi goes up, second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool as he watches Owens rise. Fans rally up, Tanahashi runs, but Owens gets around to a waistlock. Tanahashi elbows free but Owens unleashes a strike fest! Tanahashi still ROCKS him with a palm strike! Owens returns to LARIAT! Both men are down, Owens flounders to his corner and tags in Fale. Fale drags Tanahashi up while fans rally, and Tanahashi fires off forearms! Tanahashi tries to scoop but Fale is too big for that!
Fale clubs away on Tanahashi’s back and scoops him! Tanahashi slips out, kicks low and tries again, and manages to get Fale up! But then he topples over! Fale has the cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Fale runs, and drops an elbow, only to miss! Tanahashi crawls, hot tag to Henare! Fans rally as Henare aims at Fale. Henare fires off forearms over and over, but again Fale blocks the whip. Fale whips, Henare dodges and ducks to flying shoulder tackle! Henare runs in at the corner to clothesline! Henare fires up but he still can’t suplex Fale up. Fans rally for Henare, and Tanahashi returns! HenarACE DOUBLE SUPLEXES Fale!
Fans fire up with HenarACE, Tanahashi runs, SLING SWEEP! Cover, but Owens breaks it! Owens goes after Henare with hammering fists and stomps, but Tanahashi goes after him! Tanahashi blocks a kick but Owens breaks free. Owens blocks a kick and hits a DRAGON SCREW! Owens drags Tanahashi to a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi bails out and Bullet Club regroups. Bullet Club has Henare but Henare throws forearms and CHOPS! Henare blocks a kick to elbow and HEEL KICK Owens down! Fans fire up but Fale grabs Henare! Henare breaks free, bobs ‘n’ weaves to HAMMERHEADBUTT!
Henare fires up and fans do, too, as he LARIATS Fale down! Cover, TWO! Fale survives but Henare fires up more! Henare brings Fale up but Owens shoves the ref before he hits JEWEL TRIGGER! Henare is down and Bullet Club coordinates. Fale runs, Owens has Henare, STRAITJACKET GRENADE! Cover, Bullet Club wins!
Winners: Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens, by pinfall; now 2-4, HenarACE is now 1-5
Fortunes went the other way for Tanahashi and Henare! The Rogue General and Crown Jewel have just spoiled everything for them! Will Fale and Owens be spoilers for the rest of the teams they’re set to face?
Dangerous Tekkers VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi w/ Dick Togo!
The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions may only be 3-2, but they’re determined to take the block by any means necessary! Of course, the King of Darkness and Tokyo Pimp know a bit about sly tricks. Will the Sliest Wrestler and the Submission Master learn a thing or two about bending the rules?
Before ZSJ can make his entrance, Evil and Yujiro jump Taichi! ZSJ hurries and the bell rings to get this on the record! Yujiro goes after ZSJ while Evil has Taichi on the outside. ZSJ throws Yujiro aside to go after Evil with European Uppercuts! The jackets are finally taken off and ZSJ digs his boots into Evil’s head. ZSJ drags Evil up and in while Taichi goes after Yujiro. Taichi whips Yujiro into railing then goes after Evil. Taichi claws Evil’s face and ZSJ adds his boot. The ref counts, the Tekkers put up their hands, but that’s not the problem! The ref keeps counting, Taichi laughs as he finally lets off. Evil protests but Taichi tags ZSJ. They stomp Evil then ZSJ goes after an arm.
ZSJ wrenches the arm around, Taichi pulls hair and ZSJ wrangles Evil down to STOMP the arm! ZSJ brings Evil around to wrench the arm and wrench it again, then again, to wristlock. ZSJ tortures the limb but Evil pulls on ZSJ’s nose! Evil whips ZSJ to the corner, and Yujiro pulls the pad away! ZSJ hits bare steel! Taichi gets in but Evil whips Taichi in! Taichi also gets bare buckles! The ref reprimands Bullet Club but the damage is done. Yujiro drags ZSJ up while Evil stomps Taichi. The ref has his hands full as Yujiro stomps ZSJ and Evil whips Taichi into railing. Yujiro RAMS ZSJ into railing, Evil gets in the ring, and Yujiro puts ZSJ in.
Evil drags ZSJ to a cover, but the ref won’t count because he saw everything. ZSJ reaches for his corner but Taichi is still down. Evil wrenches ZSJ and whips him back into bare buckles! ZSJ writhes, Yujiro tags in, and Yujiro taunts ZSJ. Yujiro drags ZSJ up, snapmares and runs, to basement boot! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for ZSJ and Taichi is finally back but Yujiro brings ZSJ away, to whip into bare buckles! Tag to Evil and Evil has ZSJ on the outside. Evil drags ZSJ up to RAM Into the timekeeper’s area! What does Evil have against Abe?! Evil kicks ZSJ and clubs Taichi, and then Evil RAMS Taichi into the timekeeper’s area! Yujiro and Dick add on while the ref is busy helping Abe-san.
Evil taunts ZSJ as he mockingly kicks at him. The ref reprimands and tells them to get this in the ring. Evil ignores that to dig his boots in, and rake ZSJ’s eyes! The ref starts a ring count, Evil stops clawing ZSJ’s face to drag him up and in at 9 of 20. ZSJ scrambles but Evil keeps him from Taichi! Evil wrenches and brings ZSJ into the cobra twist! ZSJ resists but Evil pulls hair to complete the hold! Fans rally as ZSJ endures, but Bullet Club use their newest trick of being a chain! Evil holds Yujiro’s hand, Yujiro holds Dick’s hand and Dick holds railing! ZSJ shouts to the ref and the ref sees that! The ref counts, Yujiro and Dick let go, and Evil drops ZSJ.
Evil looms over ZSJ, slaps him around, but ZSJ throws EuroUppers! Fans fire up as ZSJ throws more! Evil rakes ZSJ’s eyes! The ref counts, Evil stops and runs, but ZSJ catches him to a cobra twist of his own! Fans fire up but Evil hip tosses free! ZSJ reaches up to snapmare and NECK TWIST! Fans cheer as ZSJ rolls away and tags Taichi! Taichi chokes Evil into the corner! Yujiro gets in, Taichi chokes Yujiro! Evil grabs Taichi, Taichi chokes Evil! The ref reprimands but Taichi sees Dick get on the apron! Taichi chokes Dick! Evil and Yujiro attack Taichi but he chokes them both! The ref reprimands, Bullet Club rakes eyes, and Taichi is in the corner.
Bullet Club whip him corner to corner, Evil runs in but misses! GAMANGIRI for Evil, AX BOMBER for Yujiro! Fans fire up for Taichi as OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi aims at Evil as he powers up, but Evil grabs at the ref. Dick anchors Taichi then Evil corner clotheslines! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Tag to Yujiro and Yujiro drags Taichi up to whip him to the corner. Yujiro runs in and BOOTS! Yujiro runs to BOOT again, but Taichi just gets pissed! Taichi chokes Yujiro, the ref reprimands but Taichi lets off. Just to CHOKE Yujiro more! ZSJ adds his boot, tags in, and ZSJ brings Yujiro around for EuroUpper after EuroUpper!
Yuijro counters, backslides but ZSJ slips out! Yujiro runs but ZSJ dodges the basement dropkick. Yujiro avoids the Penalty Kick, ducks the roundhouse but ZSJ hits the leg sweep! Fans fire up with ZSJ as he goes to the corner. Yujiro sits up, but he blocks the PK! Yujiro throws ZSJ down and hits the basement boot! Yujiro brings ZSJ up, ZSJ throws a punch but into Yujiro’s reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up for ZSJ but Yujiro drags him back up. Yujiro hooks the leg but ZSJ fights the fisherman off to PELE the arm! ZSJ runs but Dick trips him! Yujiro aims at ZSJ, runs in, but ZSJ dodges! Taichi runs into corner AX BOMBER! Taichi snapmares Yujiro for ZSJ’s PK! Cover, Evil breaks it!
Taichi goes after Evil, DANGEROUS- No, Evil fights that off! Evil ducks Ax Bomber, but ZSJ blocks Everything is Evil! ZSJ has the guillotine, swings Evil around, but Evil fights out of the scoop to shove ZSJ into the ref! Evil LARIATS ZSJ, but Taichi BOOTS Evil! Yujiro has the pimp cane! Taichi ducks that to sobat! Taichi has the pimp cane and CHOKES Yujiro with it! Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Taichi! ZSJ puts Dick in a sleeper! Evil LOW BLOWS ZSJ! Evil glares at Taichi while fans rally up. Evil runs but Taichi blocks the boot to LOW BLOW back! Yujiro uses Taichi’s MIC STAND!!
Yujiro drags ZSJ up while Taichi flops out. INCOLLE SLAM! Yujiro tells the ref to get up and he brings ZSJ around. PIMP- NO! ZSJ turns around, trips Yujiro, leg roll and EUROCLUTCH! TWO!! Yujiro escapes, Taichi returns to Alabama lift! ZACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, the Tekkers win!
Winners: The Dangerous Tekkers, by pinfall; now 4-2, Evil & Yujiro are now 3-3
The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions win again! But they still have a ways to go, can they take the World Tag League?
FinJuice VS SANADA & Shingo Takagi!
The 2019 World Tag League winners are just as determined to win again as the Cold Skull! But will the flamboyant friends find the fury and the calm is too hot to handle and too cold to hold?
The entrance attires are set aside, the teams sort out, and Juice steps up against Sanada. Fans rally and clap “L I J!” as Sanada and Juice circle. Sanada and Juice tie up, Juice gets the arm and wrenches. Sanada spins through, wrenches back, and has the wristlock. Juice drop steps to waistlock but Sanada switches out to hammerlock. Sanada holds off Juice’s reach attempts, then shifts to a headlock. Juice powers up and powers out as he tags in Finlay. Finlay scoops and slams Sanada, then Juice scoop slam sentons Finlay onto Sanada! Cover, TWO! Finlay wrenches the arm, tags Juice and Juice climbs to drop ax handles on the arm.
Juice brings Sanada up, snap suplex and float to the cover, TWO! Juice brings Sanada back up, wrenches again, and tags Finlay. Finlay goes up to drop an ax handle. FinJuice whip Sanada, double kick and run to double BULLDOG! Juice DECKS Takagi while Finlay covers, TWO! Finlay keeps on Sanada with a rear bearhug while fans cheer. Sanada endures the squeeze, fights up, Finlay German Suplexes but Sanada lands on his feet! Finlay runs at Sanada but Sanada dodges, Takagi hits a corner clothesline! Takagi snapmares Finlay and Sanada basement dropkicks! Takagi DECKS Juice in return and heads out after him while Sanada stays with Finlay.
Red Shoes reprimands but Takagi whips Juice into railing! And then JABS him down! Sanada stomps Finlay, stalks him to the corner, and brings him up for haymakers! Tag to Takagi, LIJ double whip Finlay and double elbow him down! Takagi drops another elbow, then the back senton! Finlay gets to ropes but Takagi stands on his chest! Red Shoes counts, Takagi lets off, and he tells Juice to shut up. Takagi brings Finlay up, wrenches to a wristlock then tags Sanada. Sanada climbs up and LIJ copies FinJuice with the ax handles to the arm! Sanada brings Finlay up, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, then runs in to back elbow. Sanada snap suplexes Finlay, covers, TWO!
Fans cheer as Sanada drags Finlay back to the LIJ corner. Takagi tags in, he climbs up and again copies FinJuice with dropping ax handles! Juice taunts Takagi that he only did the second rope, not the top. Takagi tells Juice to shut up again as he whips Finlay and runs him over! Takagi drags Finlay back up, suplexes him high and hard, then covers, TWO! Fans cheer and Takagi talks more trash with Juice. Takagi drags Finlay from Juice and has a cravat. Fans rally with “L I J!” as Takagi snapmares, runs and hits Juice! Juice seethes, gets in, but Red Shoes reprimands! Sanada goes after Juice in return, LIJ whip and knee Juice down to basement dropkick!
Juice bails out and Sanada follows as Takagi goes to Finlay. Takagi grabs Finlay for a facelock, pulls hard, but Finlay fights up. Fans rally for Finlay as he throws body shots. Takagi lets go to throw forearms with Finlay! They go back and forth, Finlay gets the edge, but Takagi JABS! And JABS! Takagi is copying Juice more as he winds up the left, but Finlay ducks the lariat to waistlock. Takagi holds off the suplex and throws punches. Takagi whips, Finlay holds ropes and kicks back! Finlay hurries to Juice but Takagi back suplexes! Finlay lands on his feet, dodges Takagi and hot tags Juice! Juice rallies on LIJ but Takagi kicks and whips. Juice reverses to SPINEBUSTER! Sanada runs in to get a LEG LARIAT!
Fans fire up with Juice as he aims at Takagi in a corner. Juice runs in to clothesline! Juice keeps going to LEAPING LARIAT! Fans fire up with Juice more as he reels Takagi in. Takagi fights off the full nelson slam, but Juice CLUBS him on the back. Juice runs into an elbow! Juice JABS! JABS! JABS! Juice powers up but Takagi JABS and LARIATS! Fans fire up as both men are down! Takagi tags Sanada in, Sanada runs at Juice in the corner but blocks the boot. Juice boots Sanada away to sunset flip but Sanada slips out! Sanada gets Juice’s limbs to put him in Paradise! Fans cheer and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans get louder, Sanada wants more! The fans get even louder, and Sanada dropkicks Juice out of Paradise! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool as he drags Juice up and fireman’s carries. Juice slips off to shove Sanada to a corner. Sanada Quebrada to get the dragon sleeper! Juice flails, Finlay gets in but Takagi intercepts! Takagi gets Finlay for a normal sleeper, then shifts to dragon sleeper! FinJuice endures Double Dragon Sleepers! Finlay fights free but Sanada kicks him and throws him out. Sanada goes back to Juice and drags him up. Sanada whips, Juice reverses but Sanada tumbles out to springboard in. Juice gets clear and blocks the rana to a POWERBOMB! Fans fire up as both men are down! Juice and Sanada stir and fans rally up. They both crawl, hot tags to Finlay and Takagi!
Finlay dodges to fire off forearms! Finlay whips, Takagi reverses but Finlay hits a leaping uppercut! And then a corner uppercut! Finlay goe sup to hit a flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay drags Takagi up but Takagi fights off the exploder. Finlay runs but his spear is blocked to a facelock! Takagi throws knees, then suplexes, but Finlay slips out. Takagi elbows, into the URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Takagi survives but Juice returns. Finlay hits a corner uppercut, Juice hits a corner clothesline! Electric Chair lift and Finlay goes up!
Takagi fights out, Juice switches to full nelson! Takagi boots Finlay away, breaks the nelson and then DOUBLE LARIATS FinJuice down! Fans fire up again as Takagi shouts, “OI! OI! OI!” Sanada returns and LIJ coordinates. LIJ double whip Finlay to a corner, Sanada hits a back elbow and Takagi hits a clohtesline. Boot, lariat and dropkick, to the PUMPING BOMBER! Cover but Juice breaks it! Sanada throws Juice out as Takagi powers up! Takagi has the Gory Especial, Sanada comes over, NOSHIGAMI CUTTER! LIJ calls that the #SkullCrusher! Sanada sits Finlay up for Takagi’s SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Takagi keeps his focus.
Fans rally up and Takagi brings Finlay into the pump handle and torture rack. But Juice saves Finlay, and full nelson SLAMS Sanada! Takagi and Juice collide with clotheslines! Neither falls so they go again! Takagi swats Juice’s lariat away then fires off forearms from all sides! Takagi runs, into Finlay’s SPEAR! FinJuice coordinates and Finlay hoists Takagi up top. Finlay climbs up, so does Juice, SUPERPLEX and FROG SPLASH! Cover, Sanada breaks it! Juice goes after Sanada with a whip, then the DOUBLE FLAPJACK from FinJuice! They bring Sanada back up, SHOTGUN LEG SWEEP! Finlay slashes the throat to say this is it! But Takagi shoves him away, only for Finlay to knee him back.
Finlay wants to try again but Takagi still holds off Sliced Bread. Finlay elbows out of the waistlock, runs, but Takagi clotheslines him at ropes! Takagi runs but Finlay LARIATS! But Takagi is right up to LARIAT back! Takagi pump handles and lifts but Finlay fights out to roll Takagi to a cover, TWO!! Finlay and Takagi hurry up, Finlay gets around to shove Takagi into Juice’s LEFT HAND O’ GOD! Finlay hits a STUNNER, Juice chicken wings Takagi for the PULP FRICTION!! Juice DECKS Sanada and then apron CANNONBALLS! Direct hit and down goes Sanada! Finlay vows to end it now, with PRIMA NOCTA!! Cover, FinJuice wins!!
Winner: FinJuice, by pinfall; now 3-3, LIJ is now 4-2
The 2019 WTL winners are still alive in this year’s tournament! Do they still have a chance at going back-to-back? As for Sanada and Takagi, is this bad start to the second half going to completely cool them off?
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Guerrillas of Destiny!
The Fierce Warrior and Head Hunter could not #GetBackUp after facing Los Ingobernables de Japon, and are now the bottom of the block! Will Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa only grind them back down to put a pin in round six?
After GOD and Jado Low Sweet, the teams sort out and fans rally as Goto starts against Loa. Loa and Goto circle and Goto is wary of Tama. Goto and Loa tie up, Goto waistlocks but Loa blocks the lift. Loa wrenches out to a wristlock and then hammerlock. Goto slips around to put the hammerlock on Loa, then shifts to a headlock. Loa powers out to headlock Goto but Goto puts Loa on ropes. Red Shoes counts and Goto lets off cleanly. Loa swings on Goto but Goto kicks low. Goto headlocks, Loa powers out and things speed up. Loa hurdles but Goto counters the hip toss to a hip toss! Goto runs to run Loa over with a shoulder!
Tag to Hashi and Chaos double whips Loa, to double shoulder! Hashi runs, hip toss senton! Hashi and Goto see Tama coming and they double kick him. They hammer away on Tama, then go after Loa to hammer away on his back! Fans fire up with Chaos as Hashi stomps Loa down. Hashi brings Loa up with a cravat, snapmares him down then brings him into a chinlock. Loa endures the knee in his back and pries free of the chinlock. Loa bridges up to his feet and elbows low. Hashi CHOPS but Loa doesn’t budge. Hashi throws forearms and elbows then whips, but Loa reverses. Tama gets in to body shot, Loa uppercuts, Tama neckbreakers! Loa DECKS Goto and Tama drags Hashi up to throw him out!
Red Shoes is busy with GOD while Jado whips Hashi into railing! Tama lets off Goto and argues with Red Shoes while Jado stomps Hashi down! Jado and Tama Low Sweet and Loa fetches Hashi. Loa bumps Hashi off the apron, CLUBS him, then puts him in at the ring count of 17 of 20. Loa drags Hashi back up, tags in Tama then scoop slams Hashi! Tama slingshot sentons, Loa adds his own slingshot senton, then Tama drags Hashi back up. Tama throws clubbing forearms over and over then tops it off with an elbow. Goto coaches Hashi as Tama covers, TWO! Fans cheer and rally for Hashi but Tama drags him up.
Tag to Loa, GOD double whip and double elbow for double elbow drops! Loa covers, Goto breaks but Loa shoves him! Loa throws hands on Goto then kicks him out of the ring. Loa drags Hashi back up and RAMS him back into the corner! GOD mug Hashi, then Tama tags in just to club Hashi more! Fans rally for Hashi while Tama takes his time entering. Tama is annoyed at the clapping for “YO-SHI-HASH!” and he snap suplexes Hashi down! Cover, TWO! Hashi roars and fans fire up with him but Tama tags Loa back in. GOD mug Hashi more, Jado has his kendo stick just in case, but Loa snapmares to a cover, TWO!
Loa keeps Hashi down with a tight chinlock but Goto and the fans rally up. Hashi fights up, fights out but Loa pulls hair. Hashi swings into the backbreaker and Complete Shot, to CROSSFACE! #OGK! Hashi endures, crawls for ropes but Jado is there to taunt him. Fans rally and Hashi keeps fighting, to get the ropebreak! Loa lets off but Jado gets in Hashi’s face. Loa stomps Hashi, then taunts him, “Why you not quit?!” Loa whips, Hashi dodges and WRECKS Jado with a dropkick! Tama grabs at Hashi but he gets kicked into railing! Loa drags Hashi up, Hashi slips out of the suplex to waistlock. Loa elbows free, powers up and swings, but Hashi dodges to hit the HEAD HUNTER!
Fans fire up and Hashi crawls, hot tag to Goto! Goto sees Tama and runs him over! Goto fires forearms back and forth with Loa, Loa gets the edge but he runs only for Goto to follow and LARIAT! Fans fire up with Goto as he throws more forearms on Loa. Goto whips corner to corner, runs in and MURAMASA! Then BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps on Loa with a fireman’s carry. Loa slips out to waistlock, but Goto throws elbows. Loa keeps hold, Goto bucks him off, but Goto runs into a spin, kicks and an enziguri! But Goto fires up to LARIAT! Loa stays up!? They collide with clotheslines. Loa shakes it off and they collide again! Both men fire up, run and DOUBLE LARIAT!! Fans fire up as both men are down!
Loa stirs, Goto crawls, hot tags to Hashi and Tama! Hashi dodges and throws forearms and body shots and a CHOP! Hashi runs to CHOP Tama in the corner! Then whip and CHOP! Mule kick, suplex, and he hangs Tama out to dry! Hashi runs to dropkick Tama down! Hashi keeps going, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tama survives the onslaught but Hashi has the fans rallying behind him. Hashi brings Tama up, suplexes and turns but Tama fights out of Head Buster to throw furious fists! Tama whips Hashi to a corner and hits a big splash! Tama stalks Hashi with a grin and pulls hair to reel him in. Hasih slips out to suplex but Tama slips out.
Hashi ducks the forearm to hit the spinning back kick! Goto is in fast, fireman’s carry, SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI! Hashi hits Jado then runs, for METEORA! Cover, TWO! Goto and Hashi stay fired up as they drag Tama back up. Dragon sleeper and lift, but Tama fights free! Tama spins Goto around, Loa distracts Red Shoes and Jado SMACKS Hashi with the kendo stick! Loa slips in, helps Tama give Goto the TONGAN TWIST!! Hashi staggers into the back suplex neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and shocks GOD! Jado calls for the finish and GOD drags Hashi up. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, Goto breaks it!
Loa goes after Goto and throws him out, they brawl and fans rally for Hashi as Tama stalks him. Tama waits for Hashi to rise, loads up and GUN- NO! Hashi slips around to get the arm for a La Magistrol! CHAOS WINS!!
Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall; now 3-3, GOD is now 3-3
A shocker for sure! Tama argues with Red Shoes but that was a full three! Is this a sign Tama and Loa aren’t going to make it to the finals? Hashi gets the mic to say that “You all just saw it. It only takes an instant to pull off a victory from the brink. And, me and Goto will win World Tag League 2020!” About those WTL 2020 trophies, it’ll only take an instant for he and Goto to take them! Hashi and Goto are ready to #TurnItAllAround, but is there still time for them to #GetBackUp?
Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 4-2
The Dangerous Tekkers: 4-2
SANADA & Shingo Takagi: 4-2
Guerrillas of Destiny: 3-3
The Empire: 3-3
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi: 3-3
YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto: 3-3
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens: 2-4
A really good round for World Tag League, though perhaps with some rather odd upsets. For one, I continue to be surprised that HenarACE is in last place, but perhaps it is to lend to a bigger story for Tanahashi. Having a hard time holding onto the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships with Kota Ibushi, a fairly tough time in the G1, and then this run in the WTL, is he going to have some kind of crisis of confidence story going into WrestleKingdom? Will he even have a match for WrestleKingdom?
Then, I find it a bit strange they’re trying to keep the block so close together by having three 4-2 teams and four 3-3 teams. I suppose FinJuice winning helps keep the possibility of them going back-to-back from 2019 to 2020 alive, but I felt like LIJ having the hot hand works out better. Tekkers VS Bullet Club was a great match, especially given it was Heels VS Heels. But the champs needed to win so that they wouldn’t owe more matches. At the same time, Taichi and ZSJ seem to be winning fans over to where they’re Tweeners on their way to being Faces. It’d be great if the Tekkers had an Eddie Guerrero style “Faces that cheat” way of doing things.
Goto and Hashi all but spoiling GOD’s run was wild, and that could start something for a NEVER Openweight Six Man Championship, if GOD got someone to team with them. That itself could be telling as to how this new Bullet Club Civil War turns out.
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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