Who will rock round six of the BOSJ?
As the round robin continues, three men stand at 4-1! Will Time Bomb, Bone Soldier or Grandmaster be leading the block after tonight?
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: Ryusuke Taguchi VS Yuya Uemura; Taguchi wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: El Desperado VS DOUKI; Desperado wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Master Wato VS SHO; Sho wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Robbie Eagles VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current 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
Ryusuke Taguchi VS Yuya Uemura!
The Funky Weapon is on the low end of the block now, but the Young Lion is still worse off. Will that change as the BSOJ enters the second half?
The fans cheer as Taguchi and Uemura show respect. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Uemura gets a waistlock. Taguchi gets to ropes, the ref calls for the break, but Taguchi turns things around on Uemura. Taguchi shows haymaker, but he lets off. Uemura tackles him, goes after an arm, but Taguchi uses his legs to get free. Taguchi gets the ropes and Uemura lets go. Taguchi bails out and takes a moment to refocus. Taguchi returns, gets Uemura’s leg, but Uemura flips around to get the leg for a takedown. Uemura covers, ONE, but he keeps on an arm. Taguchi again uses his legs against Uemura and turns him to a cover, ONE.
Uemura flips Taguchi over and has the arms, but Taguchi fights free of that to get legs. High stack cover, but Uemura keeps a shoulder up. Taguchi wants the ankle but Uemura gets one of Taguchi’s. Taguchi goes right up to chicken wing but Uemura turns it over. They both end up in ropes and fans cheer as the two break. Fans rally as Taguchi and Uemura reset. Uemura gets a leg, drags Taguchi down but Taguchi scrambles away to the ropes. Uemura drags Taguchi from ropes, has the leg, passes through the guard and goes after an arm. Taguchi moves around but Uemura adds a headlock. Taguchi makes it a cover, TWO and Uemura stays on the headlock.
Uemura grinds, Taguchi powers up and pries free to a wristlock. Taguchi goes to hook a leg but Uemura stays up. Taguchi manages the takedown, and gets OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Uemura gets ropes while fans cheer, and Taguchi lets go at 3. Taguchi rubs the Funky Weapon in Uemura’s face, and even takes a breather as he sits on Uemura. Taguchi runs to hip attack at the ropes! And again! But Uemura dropkicks Taguchi down on the third! Fans cheer as both men are down! Taguchi gets to a corner, Uemura hurries over and stomps away. Uemura throws forearms, then whips Taguchi corner to corner for a back elbow! Uemura keeps going, corner to corner again for a dropkick! Taguchi flops down, Uemura stack covers, TWO!
Fans rally as Uemura fires up. Uemura gets the legs but Taguchi scrambles to the ropebreak! Uemura lets go to stomp away! Fans rally, Uemura drags Taguchi up, Taguchi CHOPS back! Taguchi dropkicks the leg out, OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Uemura scrambles, Taguchi drags him back but Uemura reverses to an ANKLE LOCK! Taguchi rolls, but into the BOSTON CRAB! Fans cheer as Uemura sits back deep! Taguchi endures, powers up, crawls, but Uemura drags him away! Taguchi tries again and gets the ropebreak! Uemura lets go fast to catch his breath. Fans rally as Uemura drags Taguchi up in a waistlock. Taguchi fights out with elbows then switches, but Uemura switches. Taguchi switches and hits a reverse DDT! Cover, TWO!
Taguchi drags Uemura up, suplexes, uno amigo! Dos amigos! THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Taguchi manages a kip up! Taguchi goes to a corner, powers up and takes aim, “ORAYO!” But Uemura rolls the Bumaye up to a cover! TWO!! Taguchi kicks low but runs into Uemura’s arm-drag! Taguchi headscissors to drag Uemura down, OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Uemura reaches as fans rally, but Taguchi cranks harder on the ankle! Taguchi drags Uemura away but Uemura hits an ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Taguchi rolls and makes it a cover, TWO!! Uemura still has the arm but Taguchi gets another ropebreak!
Uemura lets go, fires up and drags Taguchi up to wrench. Uemura clamps on an arm but Taguchi throws forearms. Uemura throws a forearm, Taguchi gives it back! Uemura throws another forearm, Taguchi again gives it back. They go back and forth, fans build up to a rally as they pick up speed! Taguchi gets the edge, Uemura fires up to give it all back! Uemura roars and runs, but Taguchi follows, only for the hip attack to be caught! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Uemura keeps on Taguchi as he traps the arms. Taguchi rolls to get OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Uemura scrambles, reaches, but Taguchi drags him back!
Uemura still moves around, but Taguchi reels him in to chicken wing! DODON- No, victory roll! TWO! Taguchi has the cover, TWO!! OH MY ANKLE! Uemura scrambles, reaches, Taguchi drags him to drop an elbow on the leg! Taguchi ties up Uemura’s legs, OH MY GOD ANKLE DEATHLOCK!! Uemura taps, Taguchi wins!
Winner: Ryusuke Taguchi, by submission; now 3-3, Uemura is now 0-6
Needless to say, the Young Lion is out of the running. But will the Funky Weapon still have what it takes to take the block?
El Desperado VS DOUKI!
Suzuki-Gun VS Suzuki-Gun? How will this go when Desperado still has an outside shot at the finals?
Desperado and Douki stare down even before the bell, and fans rally up with the bell. Desperado and Douki circle, tie up, and Douki waistlocks. Desperado switches, slams Douki then flips him but Douki arm-drags back. Desperado sweeps, covers, ONE! Douki moves around but Desperado facelocks. Desperado flips Douki around again but Douki arm-drags again. Desperado sunset filps, pops it to a prawn hold, TWO! Desperado keeps Douki down with floating and rear mount, then he gets an arm. Douki avoids the chinlock but Desperado headlocks. Douki pushes on the mask and facelocks but Desperado slips out to wrench the arm.
Desperado has the wristlock to knuckle lock, and he whips to wring Douki out. They ram shoulders, things speed up, and Douki hurdles to arm-drag! Fans cheer as Douki dropkicks Desperado out! Douki runs and fakes Desperado out with a handspring! Fans cheer as Desperado realizes what happened. Desperado kicks railing in frustration and then he talks some trash on Douki. Douki waits in the ring but Desperado dares him to try that again. Douki rushes outside and the two start brawling! The ref reprimands and tells them to get in the ring but Douki gets the edge. Desperado pokes Douki in the eye! Desperado has Douki’s pipe, shoves the ref aside, but Douki kicks low!
Douki has the pipe now and Desperado tells him no! Douki SMACKS Desperado with the pipe! Fans cheer as Douki chokes Desperado with the pipe! The ref returns and reprimands, and Douki lets go of the pipe. Douki stalks Desperado and stomps him! Douki wrenches and whips Desperado into railing! Fans cheer while Desperado goes down in a heap. A ring count starts and Douki stalks Desperado. Douki drags Desperado up at 10 of 20, puts him in at 14, and fans cheer as this continues in the ring. Douki stomps Desperado, talks trash back, but Desperado throws forearms! Douki rakes Desperado’s eyes! Fans cheer as Douki looms over Desperado.
Douki stands on Desperado’s head and taunts him! The ref counts, Douki lets off at 3, then drags Desperado up. Douki whips Desperado to ropes, elbows him down then covers, ONE! Douki keeps his cool as he drags Desperado back up. Douki reels Desperado in, suplexes, but Desperado fights it off. Douki keeps trying but Desperado keeps resisting. Douki rakes Desperado’s eyes again! But Desperado suplexes Douki! Fans fire up as both men go to opposite corners. Desperado runs in corner to corner, blocks a boot and puts the leg on the ropes, to dropkick the other leg! Desperado grabs the other leg, for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Douki hobbles and falls, Desperado gets the leg for a STRETCH MUFFLER! Douki flails and reaches to get the ropebreak! Desperado cranks harder but lets go at the ref’s order. Fans rally up but Desperado stands on Douki’s head to scrape his face. Desperado reels Douki in, Guitarra, but Douki slips out! Desperado CHOPS Douki, talks trash, but Douki CHOPS back! Fans cheer but Desperado throws a forearm. Douki throws the forearm back! They go back and forth and fans rally up! Douki gets the edge, Desperado kicks the bad leg! Douki uppercuts and doubles Desperado over! Douki runs but Desperado SPINEBUSTERS! To the STRETCH MUFFLER!
Desperado gets the arm for NUMERO DOS! And he leans HARD on the hold! Douki endures, moves around, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! The fans cheer as Douki survives, but Desperado doesn’t let up. Desperadop drops knees on the leg, then drags him away for another knee drop. Douki clutches the knee, fans rally up, but Desperado splashes down on the leg! Stretch Muffler, but Douki rolls to a cradle, TWO!! Desperado kicks the bad leg, but Douki jumps the dropkick! ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Desperado endures while fans rally up and Douki pulls on the arms! Desperado gets to his feet, Douki drags him back down to put the Italian Stretch on again!
Desperado endures but Douki has him down on the mat. Desperado fights his way up, and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Douki lets go at 4, and fans rally up. Douki stalks Desperado and slashes the throat. Douki goes to the apron, aims as Desperado rises, and slingshots for DAY- NO! Desperado holds Douki up to then put him back on the apron! Desperado rushes in but Douki dumps him to the apron! They both sand, Douki ENZIGURIS! Desperado wobbles, holding onto the ropes. Douki hits an APRON MONKEY FLIP! Desperado crashes down and the fans fire up!
The ref checks and Desperado is okay to continue, but Douki climbs up the corner?! Douki LEAPS, DOUKI BOMB!! Both men are down and fans fire up! The ring count begins and reaches 5 of 20 before either stirs. The count is 10 of 20 as Douki gets up and Douki drags himself in at 14. Desperado hears 15 and gets up, hurries over and is in at 18! Douki goes back to the apron to aim again. Slingshot for DAYBREAK! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives and fans fire up again! Douki fires up and he reels Desperado into the wheelbarrow. Full nelson but Desperado victory rolls, to STRETCH MUFFLER! And NUMERO DOS! Douki flails, reaches, but Desperado rolls him away to get BOTH arms! Douki verbally quits, Desperado wins!
Winner: El Desperado, by submission; now 4-2, Douki is now 0-6
Douki is eliminated from the running while Desperado is moving up! Will he be able to break away from the pack and be THE Best of the Super Juniors?
Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS SHO!
The two young, bright stars of the Junior Heavyweight Division finally face off, and at a very pivotal moment in this round robin! Will the Way of the Grandmaster be the one to shock High Voltage?
The bell rings and Sho circles with Wato. Wato tests the waters with kicks, but Sho stays back. Sho tries kicks of his own but Wato evades. Sho shoots in, uses a leg guard while going for a leg but Wato avoids the takedown. Fans cheer as the two reset. Wato deflects a boot, Sho ducks a kick, they each block a kick. Wato avoids the sweep and Sho avoids the Dreamcast Kick! Fans cheer as the two reset again and circle. Sho blocks a kick to waistlock but Wato elbows free. Wato runs, Sho ducks down and things speed up. Wato hurdles, back elbows and back hands, to KICK Sho down! Sho bails out, Wato runs but Sho gets away.
Wato redirects, slingshots but lands on the apron when Sho slides in. Wato kicks Sho away, springboards but Sho gets under! Sho is in the corner, he puts Wato on the apron to sweep the leg! Sho runs side to side to dropkick Wato down! Fans fire up, Sho goes to the apron and he Penalty Kicks Wato’s arm! Sho lets things cool off before he fetches Wato. Sho wristlocks and wrenches Wato to put him in the ring. Fans cheer as Sho stomps Wato down then brings him up to whip to ropes and elbow him down! Sho KICKS Wato in the back, then drags him up to wrench the arm again. Sho hammerlocks, then throws Wato down to keylock the arm into the mat. Sho stands on the arm to then stomp it!
Fans rally up and Sho drags Wato back into an armlock and wrench. Sho has the cording hold but Wato throws hands. Sho wrenches that arm to have the arm pretzel and STO! Cover, TWO! Sho still has the arm for a double wristlock! Wato endures and fans rally up but Sho keeps cranking the Kimura! Wato gets a ropebreak with a leg and Sho lets off fast. Sho taunts Wato and Wato CHOPS! Sho eggs him on, Wato CHOPS more! Wato throws forearms but Sho KICKS the bad arm! Sho drags Wato up, suplexes but Wato slips out to waistloick. Sho blocks another kick then whips Wato to the corner. Wato boots Sho, runs and huricanranas!
Sho bails out and fans fire up as Wato builds speed. Wato TORNILLO! Fans fire up as they crash down at railing! Wato gets up and fans rally behind him. The ring count starts but Wato gets in Sho in at 5 of 20. Wato aims, springboards and flying uppercuts! Cover, TWO! Wato drags Sho up and wrenches to hook him up, but Sho powers out of the Mouse Trap! Wato sunset flips, Sho slips out to kick but Wato ducks! Wato rolls Sho to KICK him down! Wato runs and things speed up, Sho goes the other way to SPEAR Wato down! Fans rally up as both men stir. Sho gets up first and he drags Wato around to wrench, kick, kick and KICK!
Wato blocks the next kick but Sho drags him down to an ARMBAR! Wato endures, moves around, and gets the ropebreak with a leg. Sho lets go, drags Wato up, and hits an elbow breaker! Then another! And another! Sho KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Wato from all sides, but Wato glares at him to egg him on. Sho KICKS the bad arm but Wato grits his teeth. Wato blocks another kick, elbows the leg then fires off KICKS of his own! Wato boots Sho to ropes, then runs, but into a LARIAT! Sho runs but Wato DYNAMIC DROPKICKS! Fans fire up as Wato wrenches Sho and reels him in, but Sho pops Wato into the ARMBAR! Wato rolls to cover, TWO, DISARMER!
Wato endures the inverted armbar, moves around and gets the ropebreak again! Sho drags Wato up, crossarm but Wato huricanranas out! Cover, TWO! Sho runs but Wato dodges the knee, DREAMCAST KICK! Wato drags Sho up, wrenches and reels him in, MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives and fans fire up but Wato puts Sho in a drop zone. Wato climbs up, aims, R P P FLOPS! Sho gets to the corner while fans rally up. Sho goes back to Wato, throws forearms but Wato throws forearms back. Sho forearms, Wato wobbles but forearms back. They go back and forth more as they stand up. Wato fires off more forearms, but Sho gives forearms from all sides! Fans fire up as Wato wobbles again!
Sho drags Wato up but Wato BACK HANDS! Wato runs, into Sho’s JUMPING KNEE! Sho runs, into a ROUNDHOUSE! But he comes back, only to get another ROUNDHOUSE! Sho goes down, Wato wobbles but fans fire up! Wato reels Sho in, scoops, TENZAN TOMB- NO! Sho slips out and shoves to CLOBBER Wato from behind! Sho runs, but Wato boots his lariat away. Wato dodges the next lariat, but not the THIRD LARIAT! Sho fires up and drags Wato around to reel him in! POWER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives but Sho takes aim with the bow! Sho drags Wato back up, reels him back in and double pump handles, for SHOCK ARROW!! Cover, Sho wins!!
Winner: Sho, by pinfall; now 4-2, Wato is now 4-2
Water loses to electricity! Sho brings Wato down and they’re both 4-2, will this tiebreaker come into play down the line?
BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Death Mask goes up against THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, still poised for a run at the top of the block! But will Bone Soldier Reborn make sure Bushi’s chances die right here?
Taiji takes aim at Bushi, and Bushi dropkicks Taiji down! Fans fire up as Bushi builds speed, the bell rings, but Taiji intercepts the dive with a kick! Bushi tumbles down, Taiji finally takes off his entrance gear, and he stomps Bushi down. Taiji drags Bushi up by his mask, wraps his arm around the railing and pulls! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Taiji lets go to BOOT the arm! Bushi tumbles down while fans cheer and Taiji stalks over. Taiji drags Bushi up, wrenches the bad arm then POSTS the shoulder! The ring count starts, Taiji goes back to Bushi and drags him up at 9 of 20. Taiji puts Bushi in at 14 and fans cheer that this continues in the ring. Cover but Red Shoes refuses because he saw everything.
Taiji stomps Bushi, pulls his shirt off and chokes him with it! That’s usually Bushi’s move! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Taiji stops at 3. Taiji uses the shirt in the armbar but Red Shoes counts, so Taiji lets go at 3. Taiji clubs Bushi then wrenches to snapmare, and ground wring out! Bushi clutches the elbow while fans cheer the creativity. Taiji traps the arm, and drops a knee on the elbow! And another! Taiji pulls on the arm, fans rally up and Bushi endures. Bushi moves around, Taiji pulls harder on the arm but Bushi refuses to quit. Bushi reaches, Taiji drops another knee, then stalks Bushi to ropes.
Taiji throws elbows, brings Bushi up in a cravat, then hooks a leg before he throws in shoulder after shoulder! Taiji snapmares Bushi and NECK TWISTS! Bushi writhes, Taiji covers, TWO! Bushi gets to a corner, Taiji drags him back up and rams him into the buckle pad! And again! And again! Bushi falls but Taiji covers, TWO! Fans rally up as Taiji looms over Bushi. Taiji drags Bushi up to whip but Bushi sunset flips! Taiji pops him up and around to a sunset flip, TWO! Taiji gets the crucifix pin, TWO! Taiji’s right on Bushi’s bad arm as fans rally up, and Taiji YANKS back on the arm! Bushi writhes but fans rally up again.
Taiji drags Bushi up but Bushi throws body shots. Taiji CHOPS Bushi to the corner and CHOPS again! Bushi flounders on the ropes but Bushi whips him corner to corner. Taiji runs in but Bushi boots him away! Bushi huricanranas Taiji down and fans fire up! Bushi drags Taiji up and throws fast forearms! Taiji throws one back then wrenches the bad arm to an elbow breaker! Bushi staggers to a corner, Taiji runs in but Bushi slips out to swing kick! Bushi goes up top and leaps, missile dropkick! And a Bushirooni, too! Taiji bails out, Bushi DIVES! Direct hit into railing! Fans fire up as Bushi rises.
Bushi drags Taiji up, puts him in and then takes aim from the corner. Bushi dropkicks a leg out, hits a DDT then covers, TWO! Fans rally as Bushi keeps his cool. Bushi drags Taiji up, puts him in the ropes and DRAPING BACKSTABBERS! Bushi aims from the corner again as Taiji rises, but Taiji denies the Code Breaker to roll Bushi to a YES LOCK! Bushi gets the ropebreak with a leg, Taiji lets off fast and fans rally up. Taiji drags Bushi back up, gut wrenches and hits the shoulder breaker! Then Taiji rolls Bushi back into the YES LOCK! Bushi endures as Taiji cranks on the hold! Fans rally up, Bushi crawls and reaches, little by little, and gets the ropebreak!
Taiji lets go but grows frustrated. Taiji takes aim, says BANG, then drags Bushi up. Bushi resists the half hatch to backslide, but Taiji slips out. Bushi dodges the knee, kicks and whips but Taiji handsprings for the NEURALIZER! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Bushi goes to one corner, Taiji goes to the other. Taiji runs corner to corner but Bushi puts him up on the rope! Bushi CHOPS and CHOPS and hops up, to then SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Bushi sits up first and he drags Taiji up. Taiji spins out of the fisherman screw to knee low. Taiji runs, Bushi dropkicks him at the ropes!
Bushi goes to the apron and drags Taiji through, APRON DDT! Fans fire up as Bushi goes in and drags Taiji up. Bushi fireman’s carries but Taiji fights free. Bushi resists the suplex but the forearms start flying! Taiji forearms, Bushi forearms, faster and faster! Fans rally as they keep going, Bushi gets the edge and runs, into a BOOT! Taiji runs into an enziguri! Taiji returns but Bushi gets around him for a back suplex! Fans fire up for Bushi as he drags Taiji up, DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Taiji survives and fans rally again! Bushi goes to the corner, climbs up, and takes aim, but Taiji blocks MX! Taiji fireman’s, gut wrenches, CIPHER UTAKI!
Both men are down and fans fire up again! Taiji and Bushi stir, Taiji fires himself up as he brings Bushi in. Bushi denies Bloody Cross to another backslide, but Taiji denies the bridge! BONE LOCK!! Bushi moves around, drags himself and Taiji over but Taiji rolls him away! BONE LOCK is back on! Bushi endures, fans rally, but Bushi taps! Taiji wins!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by submission; now 5-1, Bushi is now 3-3
The Bone Soldier wins again! But that one loss is still hanging over his head. Will he win it all to cancel out his “debt” to Hiromu?
Robbie Eagles VS Hiromu Takahashi!
The Sniper of the Sky’s window for taking this tournament is closing! Will he be able to take down the Ticking Timebomb to keep that window open a little longer? Or will it be slammed shut by the man who’s already pinned the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?
Hiromu mocks Eagles’ scope while Eagles takes off the vest. Fans rally up even before the bell rings. The clapping fits “HI-RO-MU!” as he circles with Eagles. Hiromu and Eagles approach, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Hiromu manages to power Eagles back but Eagles turns things around on the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break and Eagles lets go cleanly. Eagles then swings on Hiromu but Hiromu ducks the chop! Hiromu whips but Eagles reverses to go up and around and arm-drag, only for Hiromu to block and roll Eagles! Eagles slips out, avoids the dropkick but Hiromu avoids the same. Things speed up, Eagles hurdles and rolls, but into a wheelbarrow!
Eagles victory rolls but Hiromu kicks the Ron Miller Special away! Hiromu bails out and fans cheer! Eagles waits in the ring while Hiromu walks around outside. Hiromu has Eagles stay back before he gets in. Eagles runs into a kick and a chop. Hiromu whips but Eagles blocks, only for Hiromu to CHOP! Eagles goes up and around again to arm-drag Hiromu this time! Eagles then dodges Hiromu to huricanrana Hiromu down! Hiromu bails out again but fans rally as Eagles builds speed. Hiromu gets in, Eagles dodges and windmill kicks! Hiromu bails out a third time, Eagles DIVES! Dirett hit with the tope somersault but they both crash into railing!
Red Shoes checks on them but they’re both okay to continue. Eagles gets in the ring and a ring count starts. Hiromu stirs at 4 of 20, sits up at 6, Eagles mocks Hiromu with cat paws. Eagles goes out and CHOPS Hiromu! Fans cheer as Eagles puts Hiromu in and covers, TWO! Eagles keeps on Hiromu with stomps to the leg! Hiromu kicks Eagles out to sunset flip, and APRON BOMB! Hiromu was very considerate, knowing the railing were too close for a bomb to the floor. Fans rally and clap, “HI-RO-MU!” as Hiromu stretches out the arms and fetches Eagles. Hiromu CHOPS Eagles again, then puts him in the ring.
Hiromu stomps Eagles around, drags him back out, and then whips him into railing! And then into more railing! Fans rally as Hiromu gets a lot of space. Hiromu runs back at Eagles for a shotgun dropkick through the gate! Fans fire up while Eagles tumbles! Hiromu waves to the camera, puts Eagles back in the ring and covers, TWO! Hiromu has the legs, for the Cloverleaf BACKBREAKER! Eagles writhes but Hiromu is after him with a Camel Clutch! Fans rally as Eagles endures, but then Hiromu mocks “Robbie Robbie Robbie! OI OI OI!” as he hits Eagles in the head! And then it’s back to the Camel Clutch for real!
Eagles endures, reaches, but Hiromu keeps the arms trapped. Eagles still uses his legs and powers his way to the ropebreak! Hiromu gets the legs for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! Eagles sputters while fans cheer. Fans rally up and Hiromu dares Eagles to get up. Hiromu stomps Eagles but Eagles CHOPS back! Hiromu stands Eagles up to CHOP him off his feet! Hiromu continues to mock, “Robbie Robbie Robbie! OI OI OI!” Eagles gets mad and SLAPS Hiromu! Fans cheer as Eagles throws forearms but Hiromu eggs him on. Eagles forearms again but Hiromu CHOPS him off his feet again! Hiromu CHOPS Eagles to a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Eagles reverses!
Eagles runs in, Hiromu puts him on the apron, then Hiromu counter punches! Hiromu runs, Eagles enziguris back! Eagles springboards to missile dropkick the leg out! BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Hiromu is on ropes, Eagles hits a 6-1-9! Springboard ELBOW DROP! Fans fire up as both men are down! Hiromu and Eagles both sit up, but Eagles is first to stand. Eagles kicks, kicks and kicks, to run and KICK! Cover, TWO! Eagles keeps his cool as Hiromu gets to a corner. Eagles runs in corner to corner, to double knee! Hiromu sits down, Eagles returns with METEORA! Cover, TWO! Eagles stands over Hiromu as fans rally up again.
Eagles drags Hiromu up to club him down, then brings him back up again. Eagles cravats but no Sliced Bread! Hiromu dodges to clothesline, roll Eagles and basement dropkick! Eagles bails out and staggers around but fans fire up. Hiromu aims from the apron and runs in, to FLYING SHOTGUN! Eagles hits railings again and Hiromu fires up! Hiromu drags Eagles up and into the ring, brings him up and hits a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Eagles survives but Hiromu keeps cool. Fans rally up again and Hiromu drags Eagles back up. Hiromu fireman’s carries but Eagles slips out to shove him to a corner. Hiromu boots Eagles away, avoids the Sweep-1-9, but Eagles blocks the superkick!
Eagles hits fast, hooks Hiromu up, but Hiromu resists the backpack! Hiromu waistlocks, Eagles resists the lift and gets the other leg! DRAGON SCREW TOEHOLD?! Eagles hits another toehold and then a mule kick! Fans fire up with Eagles as he goes to the top rope! WARP 4.5! Direct hit but perhaps double-edged for Eagles! Hiromu clutches the leg but Eagles clutches his sides. Eagles crawls over to Hiromu as fans rally up. Eagles gets the leg, spins through but Hiromu kicks him away again. Hiromu gets up but Eagles is after his leg again. Hiromu clubs Eagles away, but Eagles comes back to KICK the leg! Hiromu throws a forearm! Eagles KICKS the leg!
Hiromu forearms! Eagles KICKS! Hiromu fires up and the forearms fly, but Eagles KICKS again! Fans cheer as both men stay up and keep going. Hiromu ROCKS Eagles with a forearm, and then another, and another! Eagles flounders, Hiromu runs but Eagles elbows back. Hiromu tries again, Eagles dodges to dropkick Hiromu down! Fans rally up as Eagles watches Hiromu go to a corner. Eagles runs corner to corner but Hiromu OVERHEAD SUPLEXES him into buckles! Fans rally again as “HI-RO-MU!” rises and Eagles stir. Hiromu drags Eagles back up, fireman’s carries, DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!
Hiromu grows frustrated as he and Eagles sit up again. Hiromu gets the bad leg moving, gets Eagles up in the fireman’s carry, CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu brings Eagles up again, spins him, but Eagles sunset flips and jackknifes, TWO!! Hiromu escapes but Eagles is right after him with a CHOP BLOCK! Eagles runs, into a SUPERKICK! But he stays up, only for Hiromu to SUPERKICK him again! Fans fire up as both men are down! Hiromu crawls over, drags Eagles back up and fireman’s carries, but Eagles fights out to the apron. Hiromu SUPERKICKS Eagles again! Eagles holds onto ropes to stay up, but Hiromu runs and sunset flips!
But the bad leg hurts on the landing! Hiromu lets Eagles go but fans rally up. Hiromu hobbles back to the apron and he goes after Eagles. Eagles mule kicks the bad leg! Eagles gets an idea and he reels Hiromu in. Cravat, but Hiromu blocks the Sliced Bread! Hiromu drags Eagles back to the apron and now they brawl with forearms! Hiromu gets the edge but Eagles BOOTS him! Fans rally as Hiromu fires up, but he superkicks into the APRON TURBO BACKPACK!! Both men crash down and fans fire up! Red Shoes checks and somehow they’re both okay to continue! The ring count is 7 of 20 before Eagles stands, and Eagles is in at 9. Hiromu crawls over at 12 but doesn’t stand until 17! Hiromu flops back down, hurries back up and is in at 19.9!
Eagles can’t believe it but he just drags Hiromu to a drop zone. Eagles climbs up top as fans rally. Hiromu intercepts with a haymaker! Eagles ends up backwards on the top rope as Hiromu climbs. Eagles elbows Hiromu away but Hiromu clubs him down! Hiromu climbs back up, Eagles resists the German! Eagles clubs and cravats, to SUPER SLICED BREAD!! Cover, TWO!?! Hiromu survives and fans are thunderous! Eagles hurries to the top rope again, WARP 4.5 to Hiromu’s back! Cover, TWO!! Eagles drags Hiromu but Hiromu cradle counters, TWO! Fans fire up as Eagles PENALTY KICKS the leg! Then rolls Hiromu to the RON MILLER SPECIAL!
Hiromu endures the modified deathlock as he drags himself and Eagles over. Eagles cranks harder on the legs, then drags Hiromu away from ropes! Fans rally as Hiromu endures more! Hiromu refuses to quit as he keeps crawling! Eagles pulls as hard as he can but Hiromu tells Red Shoes to stop asking! Hiromu claws at the mat, and gets the ropebreak! Eagles lets go and fans fire up again! Eagles takes aim and drags Hiromu back up. Eagles reels Hiromu in, turns him, and uses the corner, but Hiromu escapes the inverted Shiranui! Hiromu fireman’s carries and heads for a corner, but his bad leg gives out! Eagles escapes the fireman’s carry while Hiromu falls!
Fans rally up harder as Eagles dares Hiromu to stand. Hiromu does and Eagles back kicks, front kicks and dropkicks the leg! Eagles runs, into a LARIAT! But Eagles roars as he gets up! Hiromu roars, too, and the fans are thunderous again! Hiromu runs through the pain to LARIAT again! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally as hard as ever as both men are down. Hiromu grits his teeth as he gets up and gets the bad leg to move. Hiromu drags Eagles up and fireman’s carries, but Eagles slips out to dragon sleeper! Hiromu slips around, suplexes, but Eagles fights against it.
Hiromu shifts to a fireman’s carry, throws Eagles into a dragon sleeper, and inverted suplexes, but Eagles slips out of that to waistlock! Hiromu elbows but Eagles ROUNDHOUSES, HEEL KICKS and PELES! Eagles runs, into a pop-up, tries to huricanrana out of the bomb, but Hiromu double clutches. Eagles still fights back, but Hiromu powers through to VICTORIA! Fans fire up with Hiromu as he brings Eagles in, inverted suplex, TIME BOMB 2!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; now 5-1, Eagles is now 2-4
Eagles’ chances have just been blown to bits as the Timebomb keeps pace with the Bone Soldier! Hiromu gets the mic to say, “Robbie Robibe Robbie! OI! OI! OI!” This time it’s out of respect, not mocking. He means it when he says, “That was awesome. Thank you, Robbie.” Fans cheer for that, and Hiromu says his leg sure hurts! And his arm! And he chipped a tooth, his back hurts, and he’s just mentally worn out. But Hiromu says that the more it hurts, the more power it gives him! Because that is the “Hiromu-chan Style!” And in just four more matches, Hiromu will take the Best of the Super Juniors! He’ll make it more, more, more, MORE, MORE FUN for everyone! Hiromu’s spirit is strong, but will his body last until the very end?
Here are the NEW Best of the Super Juniors 27 standings!
Hiromu Takahashi: 5-1
Taiji Ishimori: 5-1
El Desperado: 4-2
Master Wato: 4-2
Ryusuke Taguchi: 3-3
Robbie Eagles: 2-4 [ELIMINATED]
DOUKI: 0-6 [ELIMINATED]
Yuya Uemura: 0-6 [ELIMINATED]
A really good round for BOSJ. Uemura again gets to look strong even in losing to Taguchi. Desperado VS Douki was great because it was both Heel VS Heel, and Suzuki-Gun VS Suzuki-Gun. Unlike Bullet Club, Suzuki-Gun facing itself only seems to make the members stronger, and there wasn’t any real hint of tension since Suzuki-Gun is always brutal. After six rounds, I can’t be sure either Uemura or Douki will be spoilers for anyone, but perhaps the match of Uemura VS Douki will be used as a big moment for the Young Lion. Wato VS Sho was really good, as I expected, and Sho winning makes sense, as Wato can’t be top of the block with Hiromu and Ishimori just yet.
Eagles VS Hiromu was great stuff, and naturally Hiromu wins to keep his run going. With Hiromu’s leg constantly being a target, the real question for his run will be, “What state is the leg come the finals?” It can add a lot of great character and story elements to the finals, because at this rate, I’m pretty sure Hiromu doesn’t drop out of the top two spots.
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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