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Mitchell’s NJPW WTL x BOSJ Results & Report! (11/30/20)

WTL 2020 is entering round 7!

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NJPW WTLBOSJ

Who gets lucky in World Tag League’s seventh round?

Round 7 has put the spotlight on last year’s World Tag League winners and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Who wins this tournament’s most pivotal match-up?

NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • World Tag League 2020: The Empire VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; The Empire wins.
  • World Tag League 2020: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; Goto & Hashi win.
  • World Tag League 2020: HenarACE VS Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii; Yano & Ishii win.
  • World Tag League 2020: SANADA & Shingo Takagi VS Guerrillas of Destiny; Guerrillas of Destiny win.
  • World Tag League 2020: FinJuice VS Dangerous Tekkers; FinJuice wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current World Tag League standings!

Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 4-2
The Dangerous Tekkers: 4-2
SANADA & Shingo Takagi: 4-2
FinJuice: 3-3
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
HenarACE: 1-5 [ELIMINATED]

 

The Empire VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi w/ Dick Togo!

Two teams on the bubble are battling to stay alive! Will the Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb conquer the King of Darkness and the Tokyo Pimp to continue towards the top? Or will they be the next to find that Everything is Evil?

The Empire doesn’t budge as Evil and Yujiro get in the ring. Bullet Club gives a Low Sweet, and the Empire Strikes! Khan throws Evil out while Cobb throws Yujiro. The bell rings to get this on record as Khan kicks Evil and Cobb goes after Yujiro on the outside. Khan rakes Evil’s eyes then glares at Dick. Cobb sends Yujiro tumbling around the corner while Khan POSTS Evil! Cobb clubs Yujiro, stalks him to railing, and CHOPS him! Khan goes to the ring and Cobb puts Yujiro in. Khan pulls on Yujiro’s ear then brings him up to CLUB the ear! Fans cheer as Khan drags Yujiro up to gut wrench and SLAM him down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Khan drags Yujiro up to waistlock. Khan carries Yujiro to the corner, CLUBS Yujiro on the back, then sits on his head!

Fans cheer as Khan dares Evil to do something, then he pulls on Yujiro’s arms. The ref counts, Khan hops down at 3 and taunts Evil more. Tag to Cobb, Cobb drags Yujiro up and scoops him for standing knees to the ribs, and a backbreaker! Cobb tosses Yujiro aside while staring Evil down. Fans rally as Cobb stalks Yujiro. Cobb brings Yujiro up, throws forearms, then puts him in the corner. The Empire mugs Yujiro but the ref reprimands Khan for holding Yujiro. Khan tags in and the mugging continues. Khan stalks Yujiro as he staggers about, then brings him up and in for a judo throw! Arm triangle!

Yujiro flails and kicks, and he gets the ropebreak! Khan leans all his weight on Yujiro before letting go. Fans rally, Khan puts Yujiro in the corner and tags Cobb in. Cobb headbutts Yujiro on the back, puts him in a corner and rams in! And again! And again! The ref reprimands but Cobb lets off and brings Yujiro over. Tag to Khan and he clubs Yujiro on the back. Cobb adds a headbutt before leaving. Khan dares Evil to do something and fans rally up. Khan digs Yujiro’s face into his boot, but Yujiro powers up! Khan knees low again and again but Yujiro throws forearms. Khan puts his hands back to egg Yujiro on, then Mongolian CHOPS him back! Khan runs but into a flapjack hotshot!

Yujiro distracts the ref while Khan flops out of the ring, and Evil JAMS a chair into Khan! And then, the chair HOME RUN! Evil gets away with that but Cobb comes around to back Evil off. Dick hits Cobb but Cobb doesn’t even budge. But then Evil JAMS Cobb with the chair and RAMS him into railing! The ref can’t keep up with it all and Evil puts Khan in the ring. Yujiro drags Khan up to snapmare and drop a leg, an elbow and a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Yujiro drags Khan up. Yujiro whips Khan to the corner, and surprise! Evil pulls the buckle pad away! Khan gets bare steel, Evil tags in and throws him out.

Evil then brings Khan up to RAM the timekeeper’s area! Abe-san was ready this time and he got clear. Evil RAMS Khan in again! Evil rakes Khan’s eyes but lets off as the ref reprimands. Evil puts Khan back in, stands on Khan’s head, but the ref reprimands. Fans rally, Evil stops and wrenches Khan’s arm, and wrenches again. And wrenches again, to whip him into the bare buckles! Khan goes down and Yujiro tags in. Evil and Yujiro double whip Khan, Yujiro bots and Evil clotheslines! Fisherman suplex to basement boot! Cover but Cobb breaks it! Evil throws Cobb out, Yujiro goes after Khan but Khan swings on. Yujiro gets around to reverse DDT!

Yujiro runs and BOOTS Khan against ropes, then runs, only for Khan to BOOT back! Fans fire up and Khan tags in Cobb! Cobb rallies and runs Yujiro over with shoulders! Cobb carries Yujiro to a corner, rams his shoulder in again and again, then whips Yujiro out to send him back in! Cobb hits a leaping back elbow! Cobb lifts Yujiro to RUNNING BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Yujiro survives and fans rally up, but Cobb looms over him. Cobb drags Yujiro up, reels him in, but Yujiro BITES Cobb’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro stops biting to block the kick and trip him up. Yujiro runs and basement boots Cobb! Cobb staggers up, Yujiro reels him in for an INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO!

Dick distracts the ref and Yujiro hurries to get his pimp cane! Yujiro aims, Cobb stands, CANE SHOT! Yujiro sits Cobb up, but Khan runs in to get Yujiro with the iron claw! But Evil kicks Khan first! Khan goes after Evil with the claw but Evil holds it off! Evil blocks the kick, hands it to the ref and mule kicks! Evil distracts the ref, Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Khan! Khan breaks free, side steps Evil and Mongolian CHOPS him into Dick! Yujiro runs into the iron claw and is thrown into Evil! Khan judo throws Evil and fans fire up! Khan clamps onto Yujiro, coordinates with Cobb, feed to the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! Cover, The Empire wins!

Winners: The Empire, by pinfall; now 4-3, Evil & Yujiro are now 3-4

The Dominator and Hawaiian Hulk dominated the darkness! Will they take the entire league for the glory of Will Ospreay?

 

Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens!

Chaos’ Fierce Warrior and Head Hunter are fighting to #TurnItAllAround, but they’re on the bubble, just like the Rogue General and Crown Jewel! Will Goto and Hashi be able to avoid elimination?

Goto barely gets in the ring before Bullet Club attacks! Owens stomps Goto and Fale clubs Hashi! The bell rings to get this on record as Hashi bails out. Fale drags Goto up and Bullet Club double whip Goto to a corner. Fale runs in but Goto dodges to clobber Owens! Hashi returns to CHOP Fale and Goto clotheslines! Fans fire up as Chaos double whips Owens for double shoulders. Hashi runs for the hip toss senton! Fans fire up with Chaos as Goto drags Owens back up. Chaos hammers away on Owens’ back, but Fale returns. Chaos kicks him first and hammers away. But Fale breaks out, only for Chaos to double kick and whip. Fale runs them both over! Fans cheer that showing of strength as Bullet Club brings things outside.

Owens whips Hashi to railing, Fale clubs Goto down. Owens goes back to the ring while Fale stomps Goto. Fale drags Goto up and puts him in, Owens pulls Goto’s shirt off and chokes him with it! The ref reprimands, Owens stops at 3 then brings Goto back up. Owens headlock punches Goto then tags in Fale. Bullet Club mugs Goto, but the ref reprimands. Owens lets Goto go and Fale argues with the ref but fans rally up. Fale digs his boot into Goto’s neck but lets off as the ref counts. Fale argues with the ref and Owens gets a cheap shot in. Fale drags Goto up, scoops him and slams him, then pushes him to ropes. Tag to Owens, and Bullet Club gives Goto that “massage” they talked about last round.

Hashi protests but the ref keeps him in, then reprimands Bullet Club for standing on Goto. Fale steps away and Owens drops elbow after elbow on Goto’s back. Owens tags Fale in, stomps Goto, then Fale stomps Goto. Fale steps on Goto then drops an elbow, only to miss! Fans rally up for Goto as he and Fale crawl. Hot tag to Hashi! Hashi DECKS Owens, rams Fale but Fale choke grips! Hashi breaks free to throw forearms and CHOPS! Hashi whips but Fale blocks to reverse! Fale runs in but misses in the corner! Hashi runs in to clothesline! Hashi whips Fale, Fale reverses but Hashi dropkicks a leg out! And then runs to hit HEAD HUNTER! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally up for Hashi as he watches Fale stand. Hashi aims and SUPE- No, Fale blocks the kick to fireman’s carry! Hashi slips out, waistlocks but Fale rams him into a corner! Fale rolls and crawls to tag in Owens, and Owens runs in to forearm Hashi! And then clothesline! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Owens keeps his cool. Owens toys with Hashi, kicking and slapping him around. JEWEL TRIG- No, Hashi blocks the knee to spinning back kick! Owens staggers away, Hashi tags in Goto! Goto runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Goto drags Owens to a fireman’s carry.

Owens slips out, throws forearms but Goto forearms back. They go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally up with them. Goto gets the edge, fires up, but Owens ducks to fire off a strike fest! Owens runs but Goto follows, only for Owens to enziguri! Owens wrenches, hammerlocks and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives and Owens is furious! Owens calls for Fale, Bullet Club regroups, wristlock but Hashi SUPERKICKS Fale! Owens runs at Hashi but Hashi dodges, the BOOT hits Fale! Goto clotheslines Fale out! Owens BOOTS Hashi after all, and rolls Goto up! With tights! TWO!!

Goto fireman’s carries, Owens slips off to shove Goto into Hashi! Goto dodges Jewel Trigger, Hashi SUPERKICKS Owens! Goto fireman’s carries, SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI! Fans fire up with Chaos as they drag Owens back up, G Y W!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall; now 4-3, Fale & Owens now 2-5

Round 7 was good luck for Goto and Hashi! They’re still alive, and now Fale and Owens are out of the running! Will Chaos really find a way to #TurnItAllAround?

 

HenarACE VS Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii!

Sadly, at 1-5 and with this being round 7 of 9, there is no chance for Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare to win the 2020 World Tag League. However, they can still be spoilers for the Producer and the Stone Pitbull! Will the Once in a Century Talent and the Hammerhead at least succeed in causing Chaos’ failure?

Yano gets impatient with the checks again, even as HenarACE shows off the muscles. Fans rally as Henare starts with Ishii at the bell. Ishii and Henare stare down and approach then tie up. Henare headlocks, Ishii endures the grind, throws body shots and powers out. They ram shoulders but neither backs down. Henare runs, rams Ishii again but Ishii doesn’t budge! Ishii forearms, runs, rams but Henare rebounds to ram. They ram and ram and ram, but Henare staggers. Henare reverses the whip, Ishii comes back to ram him! Henare forearms, runs, rams Ishii, Ishii rebounds and Henare finally runs him over! Henare hits Yano for good measure, then coordinates with Tanahashi.

HenarACE double whip and double shoulder Ishii, into the Double Half Crab! Yano gets in to pull hair! HenarACE hits him, trips him and puts him in the Double Half Crab! Ishii CLUBS Henare, CLUBS Tanahashi, but runs into double elbows! Tomahawk elbow comb! And flex! Fans rally up as Henare stomps Ishii at the ropes. Henare whips, Ishii reverses and Yano gets a cheap shot in! Henare doesn’t budge, and then DECKS Yano! Henare turns around, Ishii runs him over! Ishii hits Tanahashi then goes back to Henare. Yano quietly slips off a neutral corner’s buckle pad while Ishii KICKS Henare in the back. Ishii kicks and toys with Henare but Henare gets mad. Henare slaps Ishii!

Ishii doesn’t flinch. Henare throws forearms, Ishii wobbles, and Henare keeps on him! Ishii puts Henare in the corner to CHOP, forearm, CHOP, forearm, repeat! Fans cheer but the ref reprimands. Ishii tags Yano in and Yano stomps Henare. Yano brings Henare up to whip at the bare corner! Henare hits steel and falls! Tanahashi protests but the ref keeps him back. Yano stomps Henare, fans rally up, but Yano brings Henare up. Henare throws body shots and back hands! Yano rakes eyes, whips Henare again, and Henare gets more bare buckles! Yano drags Henare up to suplex but Henare blocks! Yano throws forearms, whips him to ropes but Henare comes back with a flying tackle!

Both men are down and fans rally up! Tanahashi reaches as far as he can, Henare gets up, hot tag to The Ace! Tanahashi runs to forearm Yano down! Tanahashi hits Ishii for good measure, then brings Yano up for more forearms. Tanahashi whips, Yano holds ropes but Tanahashi dropkicks a leg! And DRAGON SCREWS! Tanahashi scoops and slams Yano to a drop zone, then goes to the second rope. Somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but fans rally up! Tanahashi waits for Yano to rise, then runs, but Yano grabs hair! Tanahashi hits back, Yano forearms back, they brawl faster and faster! Fans rally up as Tanahashi fires off strikes.

Yano reverses the whip to pull hair for a throw! Fans rally as Yano tags in Ishii! Ishii drags Tanahashi up to CHOP and CHOP and CHOP him to a corner! Ishii CHOPS more and more and more, but Tanahashi turns it around to CHOP back! Ishii eggs Tanahashi on and Tanahashi keeps throwing CHOP after CHOP! Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he brings Ishii up. Tanahashi whips but Ishii reverses, then runs in, but into an elbow! Tanahashi jumps up to crossbody! Both men are down and fans fire up! Tanahashi crawls to his corner, hot tag to Henare! Henare dodges Ishii, DECKS Yano, then rams Ishii! Ishii stays up, forearms and whips, but Henare reverses. Henare runs in but Ishii dodges to come back with a clothesline!

Henare shoves Ishii back and throws forearms! Ishii swings but into a fireman’s carry, SAMOAN DROP! Fans fire up with Henare and he drags Ishii up. Henare reels Ishii in, suplexes, Ishii tries to fight free but Henare holds him up! Henare gets Ishii up again but Ishii fights it off to suplex back! Henare slips out, shoves Ishii into Tanahashi’s SHOTEI! Henare KICKS Ishii down, and fans fire up with HenarACE as the coordinate. Ishii stands, Tanahashi runs but Yano drags Tanahashi out! Yano throws Tanahashi into railing, Henare runs into a hotshot! Ishii GERMANS Henare down! Tag to Yano and Chaos drags Henare up. They whip Henare to the corner, Ishii hits a clothesline!

Ishii whips Henare to Yano but Henare fights off the atomic drop! Henare also fights off the hip toss with elbows! Ishii falls but Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips, Henare reverses and Yano gets bare buckles, then Henare’s LARIAT! Fans fire up with Henare as he goes to a corner. Henare climbs up, leaps, FLYING SHOULDER! Ishii is right up and RAMS Henare down! Henare is right up and rams with Ishii! Ishii throws a haymaker, Henare throws many! Ishii DECKS Henare!! Ishii drags Henare up as fans rally, and hits a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Ishii keeps his cool as he looms over Henare. Ishii drags Henare back up, reels him in, but Tanahashi returns to dropkick a leg out!

Yano returns, dodges Tanahashi and pulls hair. Tanahashi fires off strikes but Yano counters to backslide, but Tanahashi fights it off. Ishii clotheslines Tanahashi, Yano whips Tanahashi into bare buckles! Chaos regroups to drag Henare up and whip him to a corner. Henare dodges Ishii but not the atomic drop! Yano catapults Henare into Tanahashi, who saves Henare from buckles! Yano runs in but HenarACE sends him into buckles! Tanahashi runs at Ishii to corner splash! Tanahashi keeps moving, but no Sling Blade! Ishii whips, Tanahashi reverses and dodges but Ishii denies the Sling Blade again! Ishii spins Tanahashi but Tanahashi resists the suplex for TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT!

Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he and Henare coordinate on Ishii. Ishii rises, Tanahashi runs, SLING SWEEP! Henare fires up now as Tanahashi PLANCHAS Yano! Henare aims from a corner, Ishii gets up, RAMPAGE SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives but Henare fires up more! The fans are thunderous as Henare drags Ishii up. Henare reels Ishii in but Ishii resists the lift! Henare back elbows then runs, dodges and SPEARS! Cover, but Yano breaks it! Tanahashi gets in and he goes after Yano. HenarACE double whip, Yano ducks the clotheslines and shoves Tanahashi into Henare! Tanahashi reverses the whip and Yano gets buckles!

Tanahashi runs in but Yano dodges and Tanahashi gets buckles! Henare whips Yano but Yano holds ropes. Yano baits Henare in, Ishii clotheslines Henare at ropes! Yano belly2belly, Ishii SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, Tanahashi breaks it!! Yano kicks Tanahashi out as Ishii runs at Henare, to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and Ishii drags Henare up to a suplex! Henare fights free but Ishii swats clothesline away to headbutt! Ishii spins Henare but Henare suplexes! Ishii fights out, Henare headbutts! HEEL KICKS! TOA- NO! Ishii slips out to BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; now 5-2, HenarACE is now 1-6

No such luck for Henare and Tanahashi, they are still at the bottom of the block! But could it be? Could Mr. KOPW 2020 and Stone Pitbull be headed to the top of the World Tag League?

 

SANADA & Shingo Takagi VS Guerrillas of Destiny!

The Cold Skull and the Dragon vow their combination of calm and fury will win the league, but they’ll have to get past the Firing Squad first! Will Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa reach the top of the block for Bullet Club?

Jado and GOD Low Sweet while LIJ put the elaborate entrance attire aside. Fans clap “L I J!” as Sanada starts with Tama. They circle as fans continue to rally. Sanada and Tama tie up, Sanada waistlocks, and Tama wrenches out to a hammerlock. Tama headlocks, Sanada pries out with a wrench to hammerlock, but Tama pulls on hair. Sanada pulls on the hammerlock, but Tama reaches back, stomps a foot, and has a cravat. Sanada endures as Tama wrenches on the neck. Tama snapmares but Sanada handsprings through! Tama avoids the basement dropkick but Sanada avoids an elbow drop! Sanada hits a headlock takeover, Tama headscissors but Sanada pops out! Sanada dropkicks Tama down!

Fans fire up as Sanada tags Takagi in. LIJ drags Tama up to mug him, then they double whip. They double elbow, drop elbows, then Takagi drops a senton! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps his eyes on Jado as he wraps Tama up. Takagi drops elbows, clamps on a chinbar, then brings Tama up to wrench and wristlock. Tag to Sanada, Sanada climbs up and drops an ax handle on the arm. Sanada wrenches Tama’s arm, Takagi goes up and drops ax handles. Tama gets to ropes, Sanada wrenches, yanks and whips. Tama reverses, Sanada holds ropes and jumps over Tama’s baseball slide. Sanada runs, fakes Tama out with the tumble, but has to avoid Jado’s kendo stick! Tama hits Sanada with a Gun Stun hotshot!

Low rushes in to RAM Takagi off the apron! LIJ hits railing and GOD goes out after them! Loa stomps Takagi, Tama distracts the ref exaggerating his bad arm, and Loa CLUBS Takagi while Jado whips Sanada into railing! Loa leaves Takagi behind and a ring count starts. Sanada sits up at 5 of 20, slowly gets to his feet at 9. Sanada walks around the way but Tama rushes out at 14! Sanada gets in but Tama is back in and he stomps Sanada down! Tama drags Sanada up and brings him over to bump off Loa’s boot. Tag to Loa and Tama snapmares Sanada for the slingshot senton! Tama adds his own, Loa covers, TWO!

Fans rally up while Loa argues the count. Loa says it’s “G O D” not “L I J,” and then he stomps Sanada. Loa drags Sanada up, picks him up, and rams him into the corner! GOD mugs Sanada but the ref counts. Loa lets off at 3 and Sanada flops down. Fans rally up and Sanada blocks the scoop. Loa throws body shots, Sanada tries to suplex but Loa fights that off. Fans rally as the two fight for suplex control. Loa gets Sanada up but Sanada slips out. Loa elbows and runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally as Sanada and Loa crawl. Hot tag to Takagi! Takagi runs at Loa in the corner to CHOP, JAB, repeat! Takagi fires off more jabs but Tama clubs him!

Tama whips, Takagi reverses and corner clotheslines! Takagi runs corner to corner to clothesline Loa! Takagi shoves Tama into Loa, but GOD withstands the double clothesline! GOD double kicks and double whip, but Takagi stops himself to DOUBLE DDT them down! Jado gets on the apron but Takagi DECKS him! Fans fire up with Takagi as he goes after Loa. Takagi whips Loa, knees him against ropes, then snapmares him to run and SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with “L I J!” clapping as Takagi drags Loa back up. Loa throws a forearm but Takagi doesn’t flinch.

Takagi forearms but Loa doesn’t flinch. Forearms fly back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Loa gets the edge, grins and roars, then runs, into a lariat! Both men stay up, double clotheslines collide again! Loa runs, Takagi clotheslines at the ropes! SNAP SAIDO! Loa just pumps up! Loa gets around to SNAP GERMAN, but Takagi is up, DOUBLE LARIATS take them both down! Fans fire up as both men stir and crawl. Hot tags to Sanada and Tama! Sanada dodges, forearms and whips, but Tama forearms back. Things speed up, Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks Tama out! Takagi sets Tama up for Sanada’s PLANCHA!

Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder! The fans get louder and he is satisfied. Sanada puts Tama in, covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool as he drags Tama back up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Tama fights out and dragon sleepers. Takagi intercepts Loa, Sanada reverses the dragon sleeper, and now it’s DOUBLE DRAGON! GOD endures, Takagi throws Loa down and helps Sanada with Tama! They STEAL Tongan Twist! Cover, TWO!! Tama survives but fans rally up! Sanada drags Tama up, Takagi returns, and Takagi has a bloody eyebrow as he and Sanada double whip Tama to a corner.

Sanada back elbows, Takagi clotheslines, Sanada boots, Takagi blindside lariats, and Sanada hits MAGIC SCREW! Cover, Loa breaks it! Takagi goes after Loa and throws him out. Sanada vows to end this and he brings Tama up. Sanada scoops and backbreakers, then leaves Tama in a drop zone. Sanada goes up, MOONSAULT, but he has to land on his feet! Loa gets in, BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! GOD drag Sanada back up, they hit a proper TONGAN TWIST! Cover, Takagi breaks it in time!! Takagi fires off forearms on Loa then on Tama! But they get Takagi for a TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up as GOD drags Sanada up, MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives because he knows that move well!

Jado calls for the Super Bomb so GOD drags Sanada up. Loa RAMS Sanada to a corner, Tama hits a corner splash! Loa goes up top, Tama suplexes Sanada up to him, for the SUPER- STEINER?! Sanada counters out of the bomb and Tama sees Loa go tumbling! Tama drags Sanada but Takagi gets in. Takagi denies a Gun Stun but Tama runs into the ref! The ref is down, Jado gets in but Takagi blocks the kendo stick! JAB for Jado! JAB for Tama! Dropkick and PUMPING BOMBER! T K O!! Cover, but Loa breaks it! Takagi fires forearms on Loa, whips him, but Loa reverses. Takagi dodges to PUMPING BOMBER Loa out of the ring!

Fans fire up as Sanada has Tama in the dragon sleeper! Tama cradle counters, TWO!! Tama runs in but Sanada elbows and QUEBRADAS, to the dragon sleeper! Tama flips through but Sanada turns it around, only for Tama to turn it around! Sanada counters the inverted suplex to get the dragon sleeper, then spins to get a normal suplex. Tama slips out to back suplex but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada holds off the Gun Stun! SKULL SWING! To Skull END!! But Jado gets in as Loa distracts the ref! KENDO SMACK! GUN STUN!!! Cover, GOD wins!!

Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, by pinfall; now 4-3, LIJ is now 4-3

The Master Heater insurance policy pays off again! GOD has a tiebreaker over LIJ now that they’re both 4-3! But have GOD completely cooled off LIJ’s hot streak? Or is there still time for Sanada and Takagi to keep their promise of victory?

 

FinJuice VS Dangerous Tekkers!

The road to back-to-back finals for Juice Robinson and David Finlay runs through the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Will Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. deny us all a historic accomplishment when they make FinJuice #JustTapOut?

Taichi shows off the dancing pecs, but FinJuice both have dancing pecs! Fans clap and the pecs move in time. The teams sort out and Finlay starts against ZSJ. Fans rally as the two circle, test the waters, and then tie up with knuckle locks. They break, come back and tie up with collar and elbow. Finlay waistlocks, ZSJ switches to get the arm for a hammerlock, but Finlay slips through. ZSJ gets away from Finlay and fans cheer. ZSJ and Finlay reset, circle and tie up, and ZSJ stands on a hand. ZSJ gets around to motorcycle stretch but Finlay reverse it onto ZSJ. Finlay digs a foot in, ZSJ rolls and escapes, and fans cheer again.

ZSJ and Finlay circle again, fans rally up and the two tie up. Finlay goes after an arm and wrenches, but ZSJ rolls, only for Finlay to wrangle him down. ZSJ gets up, Juice tags in and drops ax handles! Juice taunts Taichi and brings ZSJ up. Juice wrenches, Finlay tags in and Finlay drops ax handles. Finlay drags ZSJ up, Juice tags in, and FinJuice double whip to double elbow. Cover, TWO! Juice brings ZSJ up, facelocks ZSJ and tags Finlay back in. Finlay climbs while Juice scoops and slams. Juice scoops Finlay to slam him onto ZSJ! Cover, TWO! Finlay keeps close to ZSJ and facelocks to grind him down. Finlay gator rolls ZSJ to the corner and tags in Juice.

FinJuice double whip ZSJ and double kick him, to then double BULLDOG! Juice DECKS Taichi for good measure, then drags ZSJ up. Juice wrenches, fireman’s carries, but Taichi gets in to choke Juice! ZSJ DECKS Finlay for good measure, but Red Shoes counts. Taichi keeps choking then digs his boot in. ZSJ adds his boot, Finlay protests but Red Shoes keeps Finlay back. ZSJ lets off and Taichi keeps digging his boot in, until Red Shoes reprimands. Taichi chokes Juice on the ropes! Red Shoes counts as ZSJ adds boots in! Red Shoes keeps counting, they put their hands up. That’s not the problem! Red Shoes keeps counting, they put hands up.

ZSJ finally stops, and Taichi brings Juice up. ZSJ tags in, he DECKS Finlay again! Taichi and ZSJ regroup, ZSJ throws EuroUppers! Juice staggers about, ZSJ keeps hitting him with EuroUppers! Tag to Taichi and Taichi drags Juice around. Taichi covers, ONE, but he choke covers again! Red Shoes sees it this time and reprimands. Taichi stops and “covers” but it’s still a choke! Red Shoes counts for that, so Taichi blatantly chokes this time! Taichi even chokes Finlay! Fans rally as Taichi stalks Juice. Taichi drags Juice up, Juice throws a forearm! And another! Juice headbutts, Taichi staggers, but Taichi DECKS Finlay before the tag!

ZSJ gets in, Tekkers double whip but Juice double crossbodies them down! Hot tag to Finlay! Finlay rallies with forearms for everyone! Finlay uppercuts ZSJ then uppercuts Taichi! Finlay jumps up to FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Finlay brings Taichi up but Taichi fights off the urenage! ZSJ drags Finlay down to hammerlock and ARM TWIST! Taichi chokes Juice! Red Shoes reprimands the Tekkers but Taichi drags Finlay up. Taichi throws Finlay out, ZSJ goes after Juice and Taichi hammerlocks Finlay to POST the bad arm! ZSJ throws EuroUppers on Juice at the railing! ZSJ digs his boots into Juice while Taichi wraps Finlay’s arm around railing!

Red Shoes reprimands the Tekkers but Taichi keeps pulling on the arm. ZSJ BOOTS Finlay down! The ring count is already at 8 of 20, then 14 when Taichi puts Finlay in. Taichi tags ZJS, they stomp Finlay, then ZSJ wrenches and wrenches and wrings Finlay’ out. ZSJ tortures the arm, elbow, fingers, and then STOMPS the shoulder! Taichi tags in and he goes over to Finlay. Fans rally but Taichi wraps the bad arm around ropes. Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi lets go at 3. Taichi brings Finlay over to throw into the corner. Tag to ZSJ and ZSJ gives toying kicks. Finlay gets up and throws forearms! ZSJ kicks the bad arm!

ZSJ has the hammerlock, tags Taichi back in, and they torture the arm together in the corner. Taichi CLUBS Finlay then taunts Juice. Taichi gives toying kicks to Finlay, Finlay throws body shots and forearms! Fans rally with Finlay as he throws more uppercuts, but Taichi hammerlocks to arm and throws him into buckles! Taichi paces while Finlay clutches the arm, then Taichi DECKS Juice! Red Shoes stays in Juice’s way as he gets in, and Juice has no choice but ot go back. Finlay blocks Taichi’s buzzsaw, but Taichi rakes Finlay’s eyes! Finlay avoids Ax Bomber to back suplex Taichi down! Fans fire up as Taichi and Finlay crawl for their corners. Hot tags to ZSJ and Juice!

Juice rallies with big elbows for ZSJ and Taichi! Back senton for Taichi! Fans fire up but ZSJ throws body shots and uppercuts! ZSJ runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Taichi gets in but Juice gives him the Full Nelson SLAM! Juice fires up and fans fire up with him. Juice runs corner to corner to clothesline ZSJ, then keeps moving to LEAPING LARIAT ZSJ! Fans stomp-stomp-clap with Juice, We Will, We Will JAB You! JAB! JAB! But ZSJ ducks the left to get a GUILLOTINE! But Juice powers up and out to a suplex! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his focus, tags in Finlay, and FinJuice targets ZSJ in a corner. Juice runs in to clothesline, Finaly hits a back elbow. Finlay feeds to Juice’s BACKBREAKER, and adds the ELBOW DROP! Cover, but Taichi breaks it!

Juice throws Taichi out, Finlay stomps ZSJ then tags Juice back in. FinJuice double whip ZSJ for the atomic drop and- No, Taichi drags Finlay out! Juice CHOPS ZSJ while Finlay is sent into railing! ZSJ avoids Juice in the corner, Taichi hits Juice with a clothesline! ZSJ uppercuts, Taichi back kicks! ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Juice survives and fans fire up! The Tekkers coordinate, and off come Taichi’s pants! ZSJ scoops Juice, but Finlay drags Taichi out! Juice feeds ZSJ to the urenage BACKBREAKER! FinJuice coordinate, SHOTGUN SWEEP! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Juice grows frustrated. Finlay says they can still bring ZSJ up, and that’s what Juice does with the Electric Chair lift! But Taichi grabs Finlay!

ZSJ turns things into an IRON OCTOPUS! Red Shoes reprimands Taichi as he has his top rope cobra twist! Juice endures even as ZSJ shifts to Hurrah! Another Year! Taichi lets Finlay go to drag him down off the top! Juice powers up and reaches for ropes, and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Juice go and fans cheer! Fans rally up, ZSJ kicks at Juice and stomps the arms. Juice grits his teeth but ZSJ kicks him more. Juice gets up, ZSJ boots but Juice just tanks them! ZSJ runs, Juice blocks the boot to leg lariat, but ZSJ gets under! IRON OCTO- No! Juice powers out to JUICE BOX! Both men are down from the gut buster drop and fans rally up again!

Finlay is back at his corner and Juice crawls that way. Taichi is also back and ZSJ crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Finlay and he DECKS Taichi! Finlay runs at ZSJ to uppercut in the corner! FInlay drags ZSJ up, but ZSJ wrenches to PELE the arm! Taichi tags in and he kicks at Finlay while talking trash. Finlay gets up and throws a forearm! Taichi KICKS the bad arm. Finlay throws another forearm, but Taichi KICKS the bad arm! Fans fire up as Finlay throws another forearm, but Taichi KICKS the bad arm! Finlay forearms more and more, then uppercuts, but Taichi KICKS! Finlay CHOPS, fires up and runs, to block Taichi’s boot and EuroUpper him down!

Taichi goes to a corner, Finlay aims from the other. Finlay runs corner to corner but misses the splash to get a GAMANGIRI! Juice LEG LARIATS Taichi, but ZSJ BOOTS Juice’s left arm! So Juice uses the RIGHT HAND O’ GOD on ZSJ! Taichi GAMANGIRIS Juice! Finlay almost gets his stunner, but he gets the DANGEROUS SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives, all four men are down and fans rally up! ZSJ and Juice flop out of the ring and Taichi sits up. Finlay follows but Taichi powers up! Taichi runs in and AX BOMBERS! Fans fire up because Taichi isn’t done yet!

Taichi drags Finlay up, Alabama lifts but Finlay fights that off to turn Taichi! Taichi escapes the backslide, denies the stunner, but runs into a knee! Taichi ROCKS Finlay with an elbow! Taichi aims, Finlay blocks the superkick and cravats for SLICED- No, Taichi denies Finlay that to Alabama lift! ZSJ returns but Juice intercepts with the LEFT HAND O’GOD!! Finlay sunset flips, rocks it back, Taichi gets a LEFT HAND O’GOD! And STUNNER! Into PULP FRICTION!! Finlay has Taichi, Juice has ZSJ, ACID DROP and PULP FRICTION in stereo!! Cover, FinJuice wins!!

Winners: FinJuice, by pinfall; now 4-3, Dangerous Tekkers now 4-3

And now things get interesting! So many teams at 4-3, but the 2019 World Tag League winners have pinned the tag team champions! Will FinJuice have their title match regardless of the tournament results? Juice gets the mic to shout, “KORAKUEEEN~!” Juice goes to the corner and asks for some slack. “Good evening~! How are you feeling? ‘We’re feeling good.'” FinJuice has one again! ZSJ, Taichi, they’re the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. But FinJuice ICHIBAN! Number one! They did it last year, and they can do it again this year! Now they’ll all have some ice cold beers, CHEERS! Thank you very much! FinJuice will give it their all! Will they be toasting the new year with both beer bottles, the tag trophies, and then the tag titles?

 

Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!

Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 5-2
FinJuice: 4-3
Guerrillas of Destiny: 4-3
The Empire: 4-3
The Dangerous Tekkers: 4-3
SANADA & Shingo Takagi: 4-3
YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto: 4-3
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi: 3-4
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens: 2-5 [ELIMINATED]
HenarACE: 1-6 [ELIMINATED]


My Thoughts:

Well what an interesting round for WTL 2020. Toru Yano getting strong runs in tournaments is one of the oddest things in pro-wrestling this year. He and Ishii stand alone at 5-2 and all rather quietly as they’ve not been in the main event at all yet. Could they be the finalists no one saw coming? Is Yano going to become a collector of trophies with his KOPW 2020 and then the WTL 2020 side by side? Another development in just WTL is all the 4-3 teams. FinJuice beating Tekkers was big, this is really complicating who will be second place and therefore a finalist. With three losses on the round robin record, are Tekkers just going to add New Year’s Dash to the big weekend and get through all the matches they owe? Are FinJuice going to go back to back after all? This is getting wild but that’s a lot of the fun!

My Score: 8.9/10


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

And you thought last week was big!

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Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.

It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.

The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?

 

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!

How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?

The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!

Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!

Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!

Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?

 

Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!

The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?

The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!

Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.

Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.

Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!

Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!

Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?


My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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

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

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
  • Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
  • Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.

But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!

But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.

But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.

Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?

Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.

 

Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?

SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!

The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?

As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.

Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.

Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!

Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?

 

Billie finds the Squad backstage.

She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?

 

Daniel Bryan is here!

And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!

“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!

Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!

The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!

Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”

Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?

 

Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?

SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!

Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!

Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?

 

Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!

Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.

Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!

Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!

Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)

And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?

 

Kevin Owens speaks.

“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.

And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.

But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.

 

The Street Profits have a basket.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!

Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?

 

Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?

SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!

But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?

Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!

Winner: Bianca Belair

Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.

 

Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?

 

Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.

Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?

 

Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?

Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!

Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!

Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.5/10


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